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Life’s no picnic, except for when it’s a picnic. That’s what I always say.

Well, by always, I actually mean I just wanted to talk about picnics. OK it’s only March… but after working at a beautiful National Trust house two sunny weekends in a row I have started to get excited for summer! The big National Trust map is tacked onto the wall in my bedroom and I’m excited to pack up a picnic and sketchbook, fire up the Morris Traveller, and zoom off to do some exploring.

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For now, I haven’t finished varnishing and sanding, so it’s just planning time.

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Plus practising some baking! I did a Paul Hollywood last night (it doesn’t quite roll off the tongue like doing a Delia, does it?) and made some Chelsea Buns.

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After rolling out the dough, which I made using an Aldi white bread mix which rose like anything, I decided to make two different types. On the left is a fruit mix (cranberries & sultanas) with a good sprinkling of cinnamon, and on the right is a nut mix (including pumpkin seeds), flaked almonds and a good covering of nutmeg. Then you sprinkle the whole lot with brown sugar, roll, cut, rise, bake. To top afterwards, the fruity half got the more traditional white icing, and the nutty half a mix of 50g butter, 35g brown sugar and 1tbsp maple syrup, melted and spooned over the top. If you can’t cope with that quantity of icing, just sprinkle them with sugar instead!

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Now, I have some sanding to do today, before I can get this show on the road!

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