Adventurous- my word of the week

I will never grow bored of spotting the first vegetable seedling breaking through the soil’s surface in its pot, each year, like a slow motion volcanic eruption. Mesmerizing, in its quiet way. Rest assured, I’ve been checking regularly since I planted them. It becomes a race. Which one will be first? This year, it was a small adventurous cucumber that took the title, closely followed by more cucumbers. Then tomatoes, courgettes and finally a splattering of squashes. Turning my pots from brown to green and promising an abundance, I hope, of tasty ingredients for our summer meals. My growing season has started.

Adventurous cucumber seedlings

Welcome to the world, little seedlings. I’m going to take good care of you.

King Alfred the Great

We’ve been adventurous this week too. Making the most of a four day weekend, we headed further down Somerset to the birth place of England.

Quick history: Alfred the Great was the first king of the Anglo Saxons and the start of the English Kings. Under attack from the Vikings, he fled and hid in the Somerset Levels. There he defeats Guthrum in 878, takes London and declares himself the King of the Anglo Saxons. He is also allegedly meant to have burnt the bread of a fisherman’s wife, who scolded him.

There is a monument on the Somerset Levels to mark the spot where he defeated Guthrum and laid the foundations for England.

King Alfred's monumnet

I’m not sure what I was expecting. It stands on its own, tucked behind a farmhouse, in a field.

I like King Alfred the Great. He was an interesting man, who cared about education and his people. It seems a shame that he’s remembered more for burnt bread than being the founding monarch of England. He was most definitely more than a bad baker. Incidentally, the story of the bread is most likely a myth, as it only appears in writing around three hundred years later.

Burrow Mump Somerset

While we were there, we also visited Burrow Mump. Somerset Levels, as its name implies, is fairly flat except for a few hills that really stand out. Burrow Mump is one. At the top is a ruined church. This hill was the vantage point that King Alfred is reported to have spotted the advancing Vikings.

It still has good views from the top, but no Vikings on the day we visited. It waited until we were up the top and then the heavens opened. Our cue to head for pub for lunch. There is, undoubtedly, only so much being adventurous that I can take in the rain.


It was a different kind of Easter this year. First year that we weren’t all together, as Eldest is too far away to come home. We had our traditional breakfast, with hastily drawn faces on the boiled eggs and the usual chocolate offerings. No Easter egg hunt, this year, searching for the chocolate eggs our hens had laid (I think this must be a Somerset tradition.  Feed the hens chocolate the night before and they lay an abundance of chocolate eggs around the garden for you to find. They even wrap them in tin foil. Clever girls).

As Middle daughter was working, breakfast was the only meal that all four of us would be together, so I brought out the Italian colomba cake too. It is a traditional Easter bread/cake which used to fill the windows and hang in boxes from the ceilings in all the little shops in Italy when I was younger. It is dove shaped. I thought this year, as traditions were changing, it would make a fun addition to the table. I should have explained it more clearly to the rest of the family. They thought it was odd that I had a chocolate sting ray cake for Easter. I see their point. Even when I added almonds for eyes, I’m afraid I added to the confusion.

Anyway, Easter was fun and who doesn’t love inadvertently added a new tradition? A fishy themed tradition.

Adventurous pastry making

In the kitchen

I’m trying to be more adventurous with my baking. This week, I made cinnamon rolls using a knotting technique, which shows off the layers  nicely. I forgot to take an after photo, but they did turn out well, so I’ll be trying this again. Half the unbaked twists went into the freezer, so fingers crossed, this works out. I do like filling my freezer with homemade treats, as well as meals.

Adventurous shield bug emerging from tulip

So, that was my week. We also visited grandparents and went to the orthodontist. Not quite so adventurous, and one more fun than the other. One more week of Easter holidays to go, which is very different once they are teens. Everyone is working or not here. Ah well. More time for me.

Joining in with Anne’s Word of the week linky.

Word of the Week linky



  1. I feel like I am late in planting my seeds this year, I hope to get them done this week. It is exciting seeing them grow! Alfred the Great does sound interesting and that cake does look like a stingray. hehehe Those cinnamon rolls look great. x

    1. My seeds went in a week ago, so you are right on time. Yes, I’m not sure about it looking like a dove. Maybe if you squint at it! 😀

  2. So strange, we had a conversation about the Saxons and Vikings this week (we started off talking about the wars, but went onto other people taking over other countries and how it’s happened forever!) And I made some cinnamon rolls but I didn’t knot them. We had everyone here for Easter which was ok, but we didn’t do anything special and although I’d bought a Sunday roast we had to have it earlier in the week. I do love Somerset, if I were to move to another County it would be either Somerset or Dorset. Maybe one day.

    1. History can give perspective. How funny we were talking about the same era. Cinnamon rolls always go down well, don’t they? It was fun giving them a different twist. Somerset has so many hidden treasures. People pass through it on the way to Cornwall and Devon and only see it from the motorway.

  3. We had the same triumphant entry of the seedlings too! So fun to watch and we keep our fingers crossed that they do well for you. Our slugs and snails are waiting on ours but we have planted enough. Easter sounds lovely too and I love that you make memories with the family. I hope the last week of the break went well too.

    1. I have the same philosophy. The slugs and snails are around but if I plant enough there should be enough to share. So long as some survive.

  4. It is lovely when seedlings emerge and the growing season properly starts. Interesting to visit places connected with King Alfred – I remember reading about him burning the bread at school although I’ve read a bit more about his life since then! I love the idea of feeding hens chocolate to help them lay chocolate eggs for Easter. It must have been bittersweet being the first Easter without your family all being together but I like the idea of a new tradition of chocolate stingray-shaped cakes! Hope you’ve had a nice second week of the holidays. #WotW

    1. Reading more about a subject, or person, as an adult, makes you realise that we were only give a very high level summary at school. He was an interesting ruler. I promise you the cake really is dove shape!

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