For the past 2 weeks, Himself has been recovering from an unexpected appendectomy.  It started with abdominal discomfort which got worse over the weekend and when he started looking it up on NHS direct I knew he was taking it seriously.  We were driving to our local A&E to get it checked out when his appendix ruptured.  He managed to pull over, then passed out but because I couldn't move him from the drivers seat to take over the driving for the last few minutes to the hospital we had to get rescued by ambulance.  The hospital mended him and I got him home a day later.  So what has all that got to do with a picture of some tumbled down barns?

Himself likes exercise.  Running, swimming, weight training, cycling, hitting a bag (boxing?) I mean really, properly, actually enjoys it.  I like it a bit but I think it should be kept in it's place and balanced with cake.  So what he's missed as he's recovered from his operation is exercise.  We've had a few walks to stop him going stir crazy and I thought I'd share with you some of the more picturesque parts of our village.  These old out buildings are at the back of the high street and we're sure they're a haven for all kinds of creatures.  I don't mind a farm cat or a hedgehog and I quite like a bat but I'm not fond of scuttling things.  As far as I'm concerned, if they're finding a home here that's great because it means they're not in my house.

 It was a sultry, hot day and the only things moving were butterflies and bees buzzing in the bushes.  (Ok, buzzing in the lavender but it's not as alliterative.)

The path leading to the church always has a great display of seasonal flowers.  People are very generous in giving their time to keep this a nice place to live.  I think it won best kept village of the year a couple of times.

And at the back of the church are a couple of useful benches for invalids post operative people.

The views are worth the pause.

 It looks very overcast doesn't it.  This is the point where the plateau we are perched on drops away into the deep wooded valleys of the Cotswold folds.

 There was loads of action at the village pond.  Big, bright blue dragonflies shimmered and flitted.  Despite my best efforts (ie waving my phone camera at them), they eluded me so you'll just have to believe they were there!

This was turning into a day when we were throwing caution to the wind so we visited our nearby tea shop too.  It has a good reputation and is popular with cyclists and walkers.  Normally we live so close we just go home for a cuppa but this was a good excuse to balance all that exercise with cake.  On this occasion the cake was his.  Medicinal.  

 And home again.

Since cake was a bit of a theme I had a go at the Orange and White Chocolate Loaf Cake from Ruby Tandoh's book, Crumb.

 All mushed up and plopped in the cake tin.  (Messy me.)

You make a citrusy syrup ready to spoon over the cake while it's still warm from the oven.

A tasty outcome.  Very nice.  One I'll make again.