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The Non Holiday

I wait all year for my week of skiing. I’m not a very daring skier, and often find it quite stressful, but the clear mountain air, amazing food, spa treatments and some time with my husband, it all adds up to a pretty good week away. A holiday! Until this year where it ended up being a non-holiday.

We had experienced the snow here, and then the worry about our flight, as Bristol Airport had actually closed the day before we were due to fly. We were checking the internet every hour, and saw there was a check in time! Off we went!

All day at Bristol airport.

Waiting. There were many others also waiting, and a couple of flights before ours were being cancelled. They delayed us by three hours, then we boarded! We were actually going. We quickly emailed the hotel to say were we on our way, but would miss dinner. Then, just when we were all loaded,  seat-belted with magazines ready, they decided that a leaky water pipe couldn’t be fixed! As soon as the engineer said it needed to be a visual inspection, we knew we weren’t going. We were offloaded, sent back into departures, called the hotel, and waited to be escorted through to arrivals, where we claimed our bags.

We weren’t expecting that!

Back to the carpark, trudging through the snowy rows to find the car and then home. We dispatched the dog sitter, and made some beans on toast. Not quite the beautiful food that we had been expecting to eat that night, but we were thankful we had something – all the pubs and restaurants had stopped serving food early, due to lack of supplies from the three days of snow. At least we weren’t the ones sitting in Salzburg airport trying to get home. Always an up-side I guess!

There were no alternative flights either, as Bristol only flies to Salzburg on Saturdays for the ski season. People had been frantically looking to see if there were flights available from Heathrow – yes, if you wanted to pay more than double, and have the drive up the M4. We decided to cut our losses and have a week at home.

So what were we going to do?

We did spend most of the following day in a despondent and lethargic mood. Especially when we woke on Sunday morning to the view of a wet soggy garden, and not a crisp white mountain side, sunshine and blue skies. We were allowed to feel sad/annoyed/grumpy/cheated even! Then we needed to move on and decide how to spend the week ahead.  I could have worked some of the week, as I had lost a few clients due to the previous weeks snow, but I decided to be productive in other ways. This was a perfect time to focus on my new found love and slight change in direction.

A whole week to be creative. Perfect. I went to an art suppliers and bought an easel, and even got time to visit Wot A Picture in Street, to get some pieces mounted and framed. They had been highly recommended to me by Jackie Curtis – a local artist. In fact, I even got change to visit her open studio, which I was going to miss!

A few days out and a few days painting!

We also had a great day at the beach with the dog, and MrH was able to play some gold and continue  building his new workshop – He was ordering insulation board at Travis Perkins first thing on the Monday morning!

We love the Mocktails at The Pig!

But what about the food?  A big part of my holiday is not having to cook! We planned a few meals out, including a great lunch at ThePig at Gittisham. Halfway through the week, we realised we weren’t going to have our Austrian Apple Strudel – always my treat at the end of a weeks skiing. I tried to get hold of one in Waitrose on out way back from a beach walk, but I was too late. The lady in the check out queue had the last one. I was thinking about offering her double the price for it!

I wasn’t going to make one – Far too tricky! So, I made Sticky Toffee Pudding instead!

Not my usual healthy recipe!

Having put this on instagram and Facebook, I’ve been asked for the recipe. It’s a special one for me. From a holiday about 25 years ago to the Lake District. Before emails, internet and social media. It was hand written on a compliment slip from a Bed and Breakfast I was staying in. The most deliciously light pudding I had ever tasted.

Here it is, just because it deserves to be shared!

Sticky Toffee Pudding

From Little Town Farm House B&B!

6 oz chopped cooking dates                     

The sauce – boil together:

4 oz butter 7 oz soft brown sugar 6 tbsp double cream

Pop the chopped dates in a pan with the water and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the bicarb. It will foam up, and softens the dates.

Cream the butter with the sugar.

Add the beaten eggs.

Stir in the flour, essence and then the dates. It makes a VERY sloppy batter type mixture.

Pour into a lined 2 lb loaf tin – or eight single moulds.

(I did four moulds and a 1 lb loaf tin so I could freeze the tiny one)

Bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes then check with a skewer. Obviously the large loaf tin will need longer – about 40 minutes – but check it!

MrH likes custard with his. I serve mine with cream – for the contrast in temperature.



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

Nicki is a Contemporary Energy Artist and Holistic Healer based in the beautiful Somerset Levels.

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