Super man

I have never actually dedicated a post to anyone … I wonder why? 😀

But as Bill is leaving on Sunday and given how busy he has been cooking meals for us, making jams and jellies, picking and freezing fruit and generally being a top bloke, I thought I would – although I hate to say he has stopped doing my ironing!


Bill’s famous salad .. tastes as good as it looks!

Yes he will be greatly missed, his two mth sojourn literally flew past.


So in no particular order, just a few pics current and a couple from the library of our ‘super man’.




Harvesting those damsons


Hauling the harvest


Even doggie helpers




Damson tree in the late afternoon sun


Oh look at that haul


The helpers return – father, son and dog


Plum jam .. my larder is full, jelly too


Panna cotta with white chocolate and rosewater

As this is a gardening blog I think it only right that I should mention that my garden is doing very well thank you. The green shield smelly foul things are back, hanging off beans, corn, tansy anything they desire. Did I say I love squishing them? The corn is climbing skyward and the tassels are dropping pollen onto the silks .. perfect!


The orchard is nearly bare which made me smile when I spotted Mrs Turkey and her kids, meandering around the trees the other day .. too late!


It’s that time, leaves are slowly turning colour … my favourite season is on its way.

A huge THANK YOU to all you wonderful people that follow my blog – I have finally hit 500!

Happy gardening

115 thoughts

  1. Well thank you so much for your blog Julie. Yes my time here has just flown by. Sorry about the ironing. But still got mine to do. Once again thank you 😊 both for my stay. It’s always a pleasure to visit your farm. You both work so hard keeping it in beautiful condition. And cooking is something I really enjoy 😊 doing. I’m hoping the damson jelly is going to set! Otherwise you’ve got damson sauce! Yes in four days time, on my way back to the UK. Hope it warms up. All the people I forward Julie’s blog to she would love ❤️ a reply. Hopefully will be back next year. Lots of love ❤️ to you both. Bill xxxx

  2. Aww, what a beautiful dedication to a wonderful man (and I just read his lovely comment too, just before mine!) I’m sure Bill enjoys time spent at your gorgeous farm and you will certainly miss his help and his company. Safe travels, Bill. ❤

    • Thank you Joanne. Andrews sister is called Joanne. But calls herself Jo! I prefer Your name and that’s what I call her. Regards Bill

      • Hi Bill, so lovely to ‘meet’ you! 🙂 I am often called Jo, which I really don’t mind, but I always give my full name, Joanne, and let people decide for themselves what they will call me. Take care. xx

  3. Big shout out to Bill from John, Fiona and lily, in Cambodia, having left the boys back home at uni. Glad to see him looking so well – and cooking up a storm! Love the seasonal photos – the garden looks sublime. Xx

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Thanks Fiona and and family we go back a long way. I ending up 48years with the BBC . Such a good time. Lots love to you all Bill xx

  4. What a legend you have in Bill! Good on you mate. I’m sure he gets huge pleasure from doing all that amazing cooking and harvesting. So lovely to see regular updates from your awesome happy place and gorgeous photos. Love to you both.

    • Thank you Jenny. Yes I’ve always loved cooking I find it very relaxing. By the way anyone who reads Julie’s blogs, the damson jelly did set. Thanks again Jenny, Regards Bill

    • Hello Jenny … A legend indeed. I know he gets great pleasure .. and to think I forgot to mention his seaweed butter. Oh that is just divine! Thanks for the lovely comment .. lots of love right back at you 😀

  5. What a gift to have a visitor who loves to work hard, cook and preserve! Solid gold. I’ve heard you mention Bill in the past and I’m glad you gave him full exposure this time. Well deserved. I’m so ready for a green garden… we are still slogging through the mud. I have heaving raspberries so ready to be dry with all roots in ground. xx Happy eating!

    • Hey Wendy .. I know how lucky am I! And yes solid gold and more … Thanks for your lovely comment and full exposure is justly deserved. I bet you are looking so forward to that green garden as we head in to autumn! Cheers Miss

  6. Bill sounds absolutely lovely, the perfect visitor. The damson jam looks good, that’ll do nicely for breakfast, it’s one that I make with fruit from the tree in the cemetery and salad with pannacotta for dinner, are you crazy? I wouldn’t let him leave. I’m intrigued now I see he lives here.

    • The perfect visitor! Damson jam and camembert or brie, oh divine. And his signature salad and panna cotta – sensational! I shouldn’t let him go, should I? Yes he lives in Croxley Green and eagerly waits for his visits leaving winter behind. Thanks for your lovely comment.

  7. I don’t think I’d let Bill go home! I presume you work as hard when you visit him.
    Very envious of your harvest haul, especially as our garden is just bare earth and branches at the moment.

  8. WOW! What a great post dear Julie, beautiful photographs. Bill, he is so nice, does he visit us too, especially to our village home 🙂 Blessing to him. Yes, time runs and autumn will be there soon and in here spring. I hope and wish you all to have a wonderful season, Thank you dear Julie, I love your blog and your farm and your photographs, and sure, I love you too, Love & Hugs, nia

  9. Such beautiful photos whenever I see them it puts a smile on my face back in the UK especially when the weather is dreary as it is at the moment . Bill looks great and his food to die for, my mouth is watering looking at his salad and panacotta, food of the Gods ,am I right ? Safe travels Bill.

    • Hi Lynds nice to hear from you. I must make the effort to visit you all. When the weather improves. Love ❤️ and best wishes to you all.Bill xxxx

  10. Doesn’t time fly? I remember Bill’s last visit from a previous blog post – his prowess in the kitchen and handsome looks left an impression on me😉. Your photos are gorgeous as always and your posts always convey a sense of natural beauty and bounty – as the world should be but so rarely is…

  11. This is such a beautiful post! I love how you love your father-in-law! That treats in the kitchen and the glorious photos of your yard as just outstanding. I love coming here and visiting with you!

  12. Well done Bill, you have left a treasure trove of wonderful colour and taste to see Andy & Julie through the winter to come, & happy memory’s of a summer in your good company.

    • Hi to you both hope you are both well. Yes it’s been a good two months in the warm weather. I just enjoy 😊 making the preserves with their produce. Lots love ❤️ to you both. Bill xxxx

  13. It sounds as though you had a great time. It will be good to get home for the rest. We are away in our motorhome near Bath for a few days. We would have loved to be in N Z at the same time. All the very best to you.

    • Hi to you both no I could still do with more time here. It’s so nice and so well maintained by Julie and Andrew. Enjoy your time in Bath haven’t been there in years. Did quite a bit of filming in that area. Very best wishes to you both. Bill

  14. hi Bill.what a great youve made looks stunning ,as usual.looks like you have had another great stay with andrew and julie ,hi to you all,we will be looking forward to seeing you back in the Fox and Hounds next weekend,callum is enjoying himself as well over on the gold coast,best wishes to all,safe journey home bill,see you soon
    martin and esther,croxley green,uk.

    • Thanks Martin seeing as you have been here you know. The stay here will be so nice. Yes will see you in the Fox 🐺. Glad Cullam is having a good time. Give my love to Esther and very best wishes. Bill

  15. He truly is superman
    I should know he is my daddy we get you back next week .
    Can’t wait to see you ,
    Once again Julie love your blog always look forward to your amazing pics . ! Miss and love you
    Joe joe xx

  16. Hi Julie. Very fine post. Sorry you will be losing Bill in the kitchen. He is a handsome man. Unfortunately, he will have to switch back to long pants when back home. It sounds like you guys had a wonderful visit. Tell Bill I have a jar of Huckleberry Grand Marnier Preserves here. The Huckleberries come from a secret spot on the mountain. I would gladly trade him for a jar of his Frog Pond Plum Jam. Take care. Bob

    • Hello Bob .. thank you! I am very sorry that we have lost that handsome man from the kitchen. And yes you are right, long pants back in the UK (laughed when I read that!) I’m sure he would be more than happy to swop a jar of jam for those Huckleberry preserves 😀 Cheers Mr E

  17. Beautiful images and whoever Bill is (your father-in-law perhaps?) he seems a great guy and you’ve had a good time together. It’s not often one gets these dedications after spending 2 months with someone, so he must be really special. Take care, my dear, and enjoy this awesome place you call home xx

    • Hey Annette .. yes, Bill is my hubby’s Dad and a great guy. We always have a good time together. And he is a star in my kitchen. My larder thanks to him, is full. Always lovely to hear from you .. thanks for stopping by Miss 😀

  18. What a lovely tribute to Bill. And, as always, your photos are gorgeous – including the sensitive ones of Bill. Do you think he’d consider doing North American summers in North America, like in PEI? I would be thrilled to have a visit from a salad-creator, plum jam maker, Panna cotta expert. (I’ve never had wanna cotta…)

    • Loved your comment … Can’t share him sorry (ha ha). Panna cotta is divine, just melts in the mouth. The one he made with white chocolate was incredibly good. I felt very naughty eating it! His cooking prowess will be sadly missed

  19. Oh my gosh, how this year has flown by as it seems I just read about wonderful Bill yesterday. What doesn’t that man do, Julie? My favorite picture of them all is the one of Dad, Son, and Dog. How I smiled as I felt the LOVE between the three. Oh what would we do without Love? Your gardens are just full of Love and it shows. Great post, dear one!! ❤

  20. Oh my goodness, that looks like an amazing harvest so far. Hooray for you and your family. Bill is such a treasure. I’ve seen him for two summers so I guess it’s my first anniversary with you and I’ve loved every moment. 500! Congratulations to the max. I’m so happy to be one of the crowd. I don’t think I’ll get anywhere near that …ever…lol. That photo of your three lads is priceless and that garden! It really isn’t showing any signs of slowing down any time soon. 😀

    • Hey V .. how are you? Bill sure is a treasure, I’m very spoilt! I can’t believe I have finally got to 500 LOL, so pleased that you are one of the crowd! Yes it is a priceless image. I was out there yesterday taking pics and watering and thinking how beautiful it is looking .. just very slowly showing signs of retiring for winter. Did you get my email? 😀

  21. A beautiful tribute post to Bill, Julie! Harvest season there on your farm looks lovely, as it always does.

    We are on the tail end of winter here, with a mix of rain and snow coming down today. Your beautiful photos remind me of all the good things to come!

    • I agree, three cheers for Bill! Loads of character and so good in the kitchen, lucky me! Damson plums can be bitter if not super ripe. They aren’t really eating plums as such … but they make the best jams and jellies 😀

  22. I’m so happy that you did a tribute to your super man, Bill. He is just wonderful and I know you have enjoyed having him with the two of you. Love the photos of his creations and your beautiful gardens.

  23. Superman is my favorite character since kid, more than his powers it’s that he is a really good man. In this tribute I have a glimpse to this good man as well. Your garden is marvelous, Julie. Thank you n_n

  24. So did Bill leave you with any recipes? That salad looks great. This is how I picture my retirement years to be; invited to spend a month or two with family or friends and them hating to see me leave for home when it’s time. Of course, I trim my beard and, sometimes, my eyebrows! But I have the hat! 🙂

    • He has cooked in my kitchen for so many years now that I know and love his style. I have picked up bits and pieces .. no doubt about it. Thanks to him, I have the best bottled pears with cinnamon in my larder which I have done (cough cough). It is wonderful having him come and stay – and good for him to exit the UK over winter. Perfect timing. Good to know you would trim eyebrows & beard! 😀

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