So, here we are in a gorgeous house in a quiet corner of the Lakes that feels like a little bit of Hobbiton. I would not be surprised to see Gandalf strolling down the lane or the Riders of Rohan to come sweeping down the valley. (My mind clearly wanders too much in the silence of this place! ) The kitchen is well equipped though the electric’ faux range’ cooker is not great. I think I am getting the hang of it but the dials have no numbers so it is all guesswork. First night I made 15 naan bread pizzas – all topped with mozzarella, serrano ham, olives, sliced chillis, olive oil and rocket. The oven does get red hot so I managed to turn them out more or less at the same time. I used garlic and coriander naans and they were delicious. The dining table is of the board room variety so it seats us all comfortably. Yesterday was a wash out walk-wise – it hammered down – at one point the rain was sweeping sideways down the valley. We ended up playing what felt like a never-ending game of trivial pursuits which was way out of date but provided lots of laughs along the way. I now know what the palatine uvula is , which eye Moshe Dayan wore an eye patch on and that Mike Hawthorn was the first Englishman to win the motor racing world championship – I am sure such riveting knowledge will be of great use to me in the future! Hmmm….last night I made 2 large pans of paella which was interesting challenge on this dinosaur of a cooker. Anyway – it all turned out fine, though with everyone standing and chatting around me it was akin to trying to cook on a busy pavement in London! I started off with several bowls of a basil, chill, lemon and cumin hummus which went down well. We have already got through a lot… a lot..of wine…. and last night ended with a few rounds of Spanish brandy…hey..I slept well. I marinated three legs of lamb before i went to bed. It is the tikka lamb recipe that I posted a month or so ago. At least now I can enjoy today and as the sun is shining the cabin fever is about to cease! The hills look inviting and the air is vibrating with an almost tangible freshness. Will try and post more soon. I hope all is well with you back in civilisation!