Monday, 8 August 2016

Countryfile Live

Good morning all! I hope everyone has enjoyed the weekend sunshine, it was glorious here in West Berkshire/Oxfordshire and I heard that it's meant to get even warmer towards the end of the week. Just to say a special thank you to Dawn and to Jo for your lovely comments on my last blog post, it really was appreciated!

We had a great day out to Countryfile Live on Saturday at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. It's the first time they've done this event and I think it was a huge success for them, though a few glitches with parking and layouts perhaps to think about for next year. We got there at 10am in order to spend a good amount of time there and we went prepped with a picnic blanket, plenty of water, Barry's collapsible bowl (best purchase I ever made!) and money of course! Barry was very excited to be walking along beside us, meeting lots of other people and dogs and other animals too - he got a kiss from a very cute Berkshire Piglet at one stage! It was a very hot and sunny day, a lot warmer than expected for lots of people so I'm glad we went prepared. It was easy to get down the pretty bridge and river area so we visited there often during the day to let Barry cool off properly in the water. He loves a swim and fetching a stick! (video on my Instagram if anyone's interested - @handmade_em).

There was lots going on at the event and plenty to take part in which is what made it such a great day I thought; fairground rides, lots of agricultural machinery to look at, local food produce stalls, Adam's farm area with lots of different livestock to see, an equine area and a dog area, not to mention the fantastic craft stalls. It was great to see stands such as The Woodland Trust so busy with people getting involved in planting more trees, we even took part in a quiz - I need to brush up on my tree knowledge! We enjoyed watching a few different events in the many arenas and enjoyed a very tasty hog roast roll for lunch followed by some lovely ice cream made in Yorkshire. We saw Adam Henson in the livestock area cuddling some cute Berkshire piglets. It was the Gloucester Old Spot piggies that I fell for though, they've always been my favourite pig breed, closely followed by Tamworths.

I most enjoyed the huge array of craft stalls on offer; it was nice to see so many artists, crafters etc. and even better to see their work and watch them making some too. I chatted with a few artists - I fell in love with so many pieces of artwork and I like to let them know how lovely they are. I only wish I could afford to buy them all! Sadly our lifestyle doesn't stretch to becoming avid art collectors, but I'm determined to save up for a few pieces in the near future. I was especially taken with Debby Mason's beautiful sea-inspired artwork. It's very rare you see Whale art and I'm obsessed with whales - Jack had to tear me away eventually! There was a beautiful Blue Whale piece and after dogs and horses they're my favourite animals. It's definitely going on my wishlist! These are a few other stalls that really stood out to me on Saturday, do take a look in case any of their wonderful items appeal to you too:

Debby Mason Artist
Hogben Pottery
Sally's Shed
Emily Cross Ceramics

Concentrating very hard in case I drop any of my ice cream!

It was a really great day and I'll definitely be going again next year and I would definitely recommend it to you all. We got home at around 5pm on Saturday feeling very tired after all the sunshine and walking. Barry had a snooze on my lap all evening but was back to his usual energetic self by Sunday morning! We had a quieter day yesterday; we went strawberry picking with a few friends, I cooked a roast dinner as we hadn't had one in ages and we also bought some bargain plants at the local garden centre, all of them 50% off. I got them all planted up before spending the remainder of the evening sprawled on the sofa watching some of the Olympics. Go GB! With a big cheer for William Fox-Pitt one of our GB eventers! 9 months ago he was in a coma after a bad fall while eventing in France and it's been a tough time for him to get back to the level he was at and now he's currently sat in gold medal position after dressage, with Cross country later today! I'll definitely be tuning into the cross country this afternoon while doing some crafting!

Have a great week everyone!

Em x


  1. Oh my lordy! I've visited each one of the links and have now added a bee print, a jack russell jug, wooden house and a yarn bowl to my lost of wanties! Mike will not be thanking you but at least my Christmas presents from him are sorted! It looks like a splendid day out, I hope it's on next year as I'd love to visit. I will keep an eye out and book some time off and start saving my pocket money too! Love the photo of Barry watching your ice cream - Rocky hound has a very similar stare x

    1. Ooops! Please apologise to Mike for me! Jack wouldn't buy me the little Jack Russell Jug when we were there on Saturday, they were all beautiful! Yes they've said it will be on next year, not sure when or if it will be held at Blenheim again but you must go if it is, there was so much to see and do so I expect there'll be even more next year :-) I did cave and let Barry have a lick or two of my ice cream before he went totally cross-eyed! x