We’re off, we’re off, we’r e off in a motor car

We’re off

We’re off

We’re off in a motor car

60 miles an hour

And we don’t know where we are

Do you remember singing that, sitting round the camp fire in your brownie uniform, bobble hatted and knobbly kneed? No? Oh well just me then !

We’re off up ooop north for a long weekend and to celebrate my nieces 18th. The greenhouse plants have been watered, the bags are packed and most importantly the wine gums purchased.

My hometown Manchester will no doubt welcome me with low cloud and rain but family and friends will provide the warmer welcome. But picture me on arrival, getting changed into my glad rags and heels, glass in hand, chat-chat-chat, and then later in the evening A Dancing Queen, aka doing embarrassing auntie dancing, it’s just too easy to embarrass an 18 year old isn’t it?!

And for our return journey I get to pack my brother into the car, he’s coming to spend a few days on the coast – but as he’s a gardener I might just have one or two jobs I need some help with – talk about a bus man’s holiday ! Or maybe that’s mean and we should go for lovely walks along the coast, stop off for some fish and chips and pop into a pub or two along the way? Ahhh that does sound a bit better.

So in the meantime and courtesy of the joys of WordPress I’ll leave you with some peas. Purple Podded (Robinsons’ Purple Podded Peas to be precise). Growing well on the plot – the first handfuls are being picked and eaten. They are another of the climbing heritage peas I grow – slightly squared in shape, not as sweet tasting as some of the others, better cooked into dishes as opposed to eating them raw.

We made a risotto of the peas and broad beans – a chopped shallot, a clove or two of garlic, a slug of white wine, good Arborio rice, vegetable stock and a lot of stirring, And towards the end a knob of butter and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Followed by a simple freshly picked green salad, but more on that another day.

Or how about an even quicker summer pasta of Linguine with broad beans, peas and mint with a touch of chilli oil for those busy, busy days when you need to make a quick meal and have fresh produce to use up.

Toutes a l’heure mes amis

Anymore campfire songs?

One, two three ‘- Kumbayah me Lord, Kum ba yah…..‘ I know I know maybe good old ‘London’s Burning, London’s Burning, Fire, Fire, Fire Fire……. ‘ ooo you are bound to know this one ‘She’ll be coming ’round the mountain when she comes, (when she comes). ……. ‘

Ok it’s still just me isn’t it !


  • Since embarrassing the family adolescents is unavoidable, you should do as I and many others have done: treat it as a bit of a hobby, developing an appreciation for the nuances of different types of embarrassment one can inflict, I mean create.

    Also, you’re making me feel that it is inexcusable that I am not growing broad beans.

  • You forgot “Ging Gang Goolie” (I don´t think it was rude, but reading it now makes me wonder). I was a brownie too and had the same uniform as you. Ha! I was a Sixer….happy days. Your weekend ahead sounds fab, it´s fun to get dressed up and embarass the youngies (although I am sure you will look fab and show them how it´s really done). Love the recipes too, I dug a bag of broad beans out of the freezer this morning (Operation Try to Leave Some Space in the Freezer for Kindly Neighbours to Fill With Veg In My Absence) so am feeling very inspired. Bon Voyage!

    • How could I forget Ging Gang Goolie !!
      He, he, I was a sixer too, I think they must have run out of options 😉
      I’m the one at the front with the bendy ankles 🙂

  • I know the second and third, but not the first….but, I was a Campfire Girl, not a Brownie 😉
    Oh, and my 20-something children are subjected to their mother bursting into song in public all the time…I still hear them muttering softly “Mom, stop it…” I’ll do it til I die!

  • Isn’t it amazing how those camp songs come back? I can’t get this one out of my head sometimes: The other day (the other day) I saw a bear (I saw a bear) A great big bear …

    Have a great short holiday and be sure to make full use of that gardening brother!

  • Don’t get me started on camp songs, Claire. I don’t know the motor car one, but I know “Flea,” “It’s Cheese That Makes the World Go Round,” “Noah’s Ark” and many more. Did you ever sing that one that starts, “Tell me why the stars do shine.” A friend of mine sang if a couple of weeks ago and then sang to the same tune, “Lizzie Borden took an axe/And hit her father forty whacks/And when she saw what she had done/She hit her father forty-one.” Improved the song to no end in my opinion, but I never was a sentimental type. Enjoy yourself while you are embarrassing your niece and dragging your brother around town.

    • Hi Sharyn, I don’t recognise those songs, judging from the other comments here it looks like I should write a separate post on campfire songs. But then maybe better not ….. 😉

  • What fun! I see you take your responsibilities of being an Aunt quite seriously and, as an Uncle, I share the responsibilities. When they’re young, we spoil ’em. When they get older, we embarrass them. Now, just remember, it she doesn’t roll her eyes at least once while you’re on the dance floor, you’re not doing it right. Have a great trip and time!

  • Claire, embarrassing the young ones – what could be easier or more fun than that? Dance like you’ve never danced before and be sure to sing out loud! Campfire Ladies, sing this song, doo-dah! And On Top of Old Smokey. I was a knobby-kneed brownie too. Have a wonderful time! (and those peas sure are cute!)

  • Have a wonderful trip, Claire! Your recipes sound wonderful…I’ve been thinking about risotto a lot lately, must be time to make it. Your peas look beautiful!

    • Thank you Cindy, I love a summery risotto – so simple and adaptable. Easy to chuck a few veggies in, increase the amount if you have guests.

  • Have a great trip, Claire! We used to sing: There was a farmer who had a dog and Bingo was his name-oh, B I N G O, B I N G O, B I N G O and Bingo was his name-oh! And it kept going from there! 😉

    • They make a pretty sight on the vegetable plot – beautiful two-toned flowers, followed by pretty pods and then tasty peas! Happy seed shopping 🙂

  • I love the look of those peas! Purple legumes are my new obsession — I had purple snow peas, French beans and string beans this year and I loved them all. Your beautiful photos have me making mental notes for next year’s garden.
    Have a lovely trip, repetitive songs and all!

    • Have you tried purple carrots 🙂 Purple on the outside and orange on the inside
      I love purple French beans too, very tasty and easy to spot when growing on the vine!

  • “Oh they built the ship Titanic to sail the ocean blue, and they thought they built a ship that the water wouldn’t go through. But the Good Lord raised His hand, said that ship would never land…”
    Girl Scouts, I’m leery of the theology, but they have some rousing ditties!
    Have a great trip!

    • !I’m leery of the theology, but they have some rousing ditties” so true !! and that’s another song to add to my list, it’s amazing the songs that are creaking out of the woodwork and getting an airing 🙂

  • Which one is you in the photo? Have a fantastic trip. Maybe you need a little Willie Nelson music, “on the road again….” Have fun. BAM

  • Can’t wait to hear about your trip! Have fun! I was in scouts and we sang the same songs!

  • How fun, Claire! I hope you dance yourself silly! And it’s great you’ll have time with your gardening brother! How nice for you both. Love the picture, too! I remember the Kookaburra song and then we sang the same ones you did, except I don’t recall London’s burning. 🙂 Debra

    • Ha you sure you don’t want to join in Celi ?!
      OK I am the one with the bendy broken ankles (and the ear sticking out from under th ebobble hat …. rolls her eyes heavenwards…… ! Mind you I bet I got a rollicking from my mum for that as I wouldn’t dream of doing that now.

  • Had some wonderful green beans today, inspired by your photo. Best wishes for a very nice family holiday.

  • I am honored to nominate you for the One Lovely Blog Award! Please pick-up your award at http://sharechair.wordpress.com/. Copy and Paste the Award to your blog and follow the rules of acceptance. I am very aware that some people do not wish to participate in Awards, and I completely respect that… no strings! But in any case, Congratulations, you have a Lovely Blog 🙂

  • I’m always happy to go mucking about (er, lend a helping hand) in a garden when given the chance.

    I knew a couple of those campfire songs, and many more. I wasn’t a Brownie, and was only a Girl Scout for a couple months, but I did work at a YMCA summer camp one summer all summer…some songs are too silly to ever forget.

      • I’m sure he would have helped but the weather was not on our side! It seems there were quite a few of us sitting around various campfires as kids 🙂

  • You’ve brought back memories of going to camp with the Guides, when we’d travel in the back of a removal van with the pull-down shutter open so everyone could see and hear us. (can you imagine the furore if you did that with a group of children now?) One of our favourite songs was Worms “nobody likes me,everbody hates me, think I’ll eat some worms” etc) or Be Kind to your Web Footed Friend, which got higher with as you repeated each verse. Happy times…

    • I’d forgotten about the worms and the way we travelled, I can’t remember how exactly we got to these places but I know the type of van you are talking about – lots of fun rattling around and waving at drivers! Those are great memories to share 🙂

  • I do remember (Girl Scouts for me) and it was a very good remembrance. 🙂 Thank you for reminding me and have a great time! ~ Lynda

    • The unifomrs are priceless aren’t they! Our neighbours girl is in the brownies but their uniform has been changed (thankfully) to include t-shirts. Mind you the t-shirts are yellow!!

  • Purple podded peas!! I’ve never seen them before – don’t the peas look fat and juicy! Hope you have a wonderful time! If your brother is a diehard gardener, he’ll probably want to head straight to the allotment when he gets to your place.. 😉

    • The peas are fab Celia, and one of my favourites to grow – mostly for the flowers as they are so pretty. And yes normally my brother would have got stuck in but the english weather put pay to that idea….

  • -no, no — not just you – went to church camp one year and sang around the campfire
    -the peas were beautiful
    -hope you enjoyed your little trip and your brother his “vacation” when he came back with you

  • Hi from Kingston, Jamaica and thanks so much for your “like” on my blog post! Those fresh peas look SO delicious! I am a Londoner by birth and looking forward to some of those things when we visit next month… I have also done embarrassing auntie dancing and plan to do some more at our nephew’s wedding “oop north” too!!

    • You’re welcome, I found your blog through Jack’s Perking the Pansies 🙂
      And isn’t embarrassing auntie dancing the best kind, I also think it’s compulsory too !

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