Thursday, 25 August 2016

Treat time!!

In lieu of a holiday away this year due to a mother faffing around(mine) and a reluctant teenager Mike and I have treated ourselves to a stay-cation. 

A whole week away from the office - how blinking divine -smiley face - smiley face. Admitting to the fact that I've cast more than one look at the emails on my phone because a) I'm expecting a couple of important ones from the police and b) one came through about a meeting in London which gives me time to wriggle my way out of it. Another smiley face or three!

We've been out for several nice meals, spent an exorbitant amount on Harry's school uniform. The cost was so scary I declined Mikes kind offer of a visit to Seasalt.  Honestly the cost of buying a uniform for a child who is in adult sizes. Harrumph!!!!

I did however visit the new local yarn shop. Swoony? smiley faces here!

Yarn o'clock is filled to the rafters with British yarn and is absolutely delightful to visit. I have a trip planned for next month. Anne the owner has a little corner where she sits and knits and is so lovely and helpful. 

My loot

The mustard yellow one is WYS 4ply because I have rather fanciful ideas of knitting socks. Ann the owner kindly showed me the magic loop method and after two days of blood sweat and tears have made a good start. 
The rather fancy caterpillars are yarns dyed especially for Yarn O'Clock by Fivemoons. The deep purple is a Tibetan DK is called Vampire's Tipple. Very soft and very squidgy and made from SW Merino, silk and Yak. I have this earmarked for some mittens featured in the autumn edition of  Pom Pom magazine.
The multicoloured yarn is a lace weight as I have even more fanciful idea of knitting a lace shawl. I really am getting above myself. The colours include shades of grey, black, purple, lilac, red and pink and is named Winter.
Can you see the two cream coloured balls or I think cakes are a better word. This really is special stuff. 
Cartref Alpacas is based a few miles away from where I live and a little closer to the shop. It is then spun about 35 miles away. So it really is locally produced yarn. 100% undyed alpaca. I got a little carried away when giving it a good squidge in the shop and picked up a ball of Diamond Geezer (the daddy alpaca and a ball of Peggy (a daughter). Before I visited the shop I knew I wanted to make a hat out of this yarn. Mike very nicely went back to the shop this morning and bought me another cake of Diamond Geezer.I'm going to see if we can visit the place after I've knitted my hat.

Don't feel sorry for Mike, he had a new fishing rod, reel and a tent thing. xx

Monday, 15 August 2016

A small harvest

I picked some runner beans Friday evening. Far too early really but there were two that needed picking so I rummaged through the leaves for some others at a nearly reasonable size. 

There are plenty more to come - thankfully! 

I eked out my pathetic harvest with two asparagus spears. The patch which the asparagus struggled to grow on has been sprinkled with a wild flower mix. So there was no harm in picking the spears this late in the season.

Both boys were out while Mike was making dinner. Duck in orange sauce with dauphinoise potato so Mike and I shared the runner beans between us. The boys weren't left out completely , they had their meal later on accompanied by sliced green beans from the freezer. 

Thursday, 11 August 2016

The greenhouse

I feel more on top of things now I've commented on quite a few blogs and because I enjoyed posting on my own blog yesterday I decided to give it another go. 

We have grown very little out in the open this year. The current design of the veg plot doesn't work very well so it needed to be redesigned. I hope to have the work completed during the next few months but in all honestly I cant see it being done until next year. We are having a new bathroom fitted towards the end of September and Mike has just decided that his car will need new front breaks. He was also muttering about it might need new calipers?? but to be honest I lost interest and have told him to take it to the garage at the weekend. I have a feeling it will be around £300 so no nice new sleepers for my new veg beds just yet.

We are very lucky in that we have a large greenhouse in the garden. Free too which is always nice.  It came with a weather vane, a table and a water butt. It came from just around the corner from where I live and I have happy memories of the kindly chap who used to own it. The poor chap is dead now but he was a lovely, cheerful fellow and I like to think we do his greenhouse justice. 

Mike enjoys growing a wide selection of chilli plants. No idea what he has in there I request that two of them be normal cooking types. The remainder are hot ones which he distributes between friends and work colleagues. 
The greenhouse is also home to a cucumber plant, the cucumelons, five or maybe four tomato plants and a peach tree.

No peaches this year, I accidentally left it out over the winter and nearly killed the poor thing. It has recovered surprisingly well and now resides permanently under cover. The fig tree will join it in a couple of months. About five years I've had the fig tree and the only fruit I've had off it was in the first year. I thought my luck was in this year as it had about fourteen baby fruit on it. Unfortunately they all fell off!

See the bike in it, flaming Mike! A whiff of anything free and he is there like a shot. He visited his brother the other week and noticed the bike had been put out for scrap. He asked if he could take it for Harry who incidentally already has a perfectly good bike. When I commented to Mike (through clenched teeth) why such a grotty thing was in my greenhouse he replied it was an expensive bike when it was first bought. I replied with 'I'm sure it was but your nephew is now in his twenties, it's been rotting at least ten years'! Grrrr xx

Monday, 8 August 2016

Bits and pieces

Oh I've been so busy of late, not the nice ' I've baked lots, gardened lots and made some crafty items'. 
No, busy at work that's me. I've found myself pondering more if I should have given up work when the boys were little like Mike said. Or if I had had my children later on in life instead. Or if I had a job where people likes me. For the record colleagues respect me but I'm not paid to be liked. 
Meh - excuse my miserableness I'm tired - really tired, work really has been overwhelming but we are off in a couple of weeks and have a few fun things planned. Including a visit to a brand new local wool shop!!! I'm excited about that one, Mike isn't. 

Anyhoo some photographs taken from my extended bloggy break when I was too tired to turn on the laptop at night, I am so behind with your blogs apologies, apologies.  

I sent my swap parcel over to Australia (nearly cried at the postage)

We have tomatoes in the greenhouse. I think these are 'Black Russian'. We also have Sungold of which I tried three! One after several glasses of wine, the second was a sober test to make sure I don't like tomatoes and the third was a tiny one the other day. I can confirm that I do not like tomatoes!

There are some courgettes somewhere in this photo. It's a trailing variety of which the name escapes me. I should google for you but I need to go o the local shop shortly and I'm still in my dressing gown. Harry requires his pocket money in cash and I require some breakfast pastries. Also some peppers for tonight dinner. 

Cucamelons, is that the correct spelling? See above for reasons for not googling the spelling. I love these, definitely on the list for next year. They rarely make it to the house. 

Goodness this is an awful photo isn't it. I was trying to capture just how pretty my runner bean structure looks. It is also entwined with sweet peas and borage. It really is very lovely in real life. Set against a background of raspberries. I nearly fell into the raspberries the other day. The Red Arrows were at Hawarden Friday and Saturday. I was stood on a garden chair trying to spot them. Alas I never did although I did hear them take off. That's when I nearly came a cropper. They flew over the house last year, quite low down in formation. I was all of a quiver I can tell you. The sky looks kind of blue doesn't it? It is actual steel grey, my walk to the shop will be fun!

Erm I finished my crochet cardigan thing from the first issue of Crochet now.

I sewed the first half up when I was nice and relaxed (what you see above is when I sewed the second half up)

I was tired not concentrating so sewed it up inside out. I've bundled it into the wardrobe until I can be bothered to unpick.

Please excuse the grubby walls, we are in decorating mode here. The Royal we of course. A new bathroom is being fitted next month too.  Oh what fun pfft!!!

Mike was perusing facebook last night and I was perusing possible treasures to buy as payday is coming up (for me).

He was giggling at a meme someone had posted of a 'bitchy resting face' he turned to me and remarked 'You don't have a bitchy resting face'. 'Thank you  darling' I said in return. ' No' he said 'You have a quivering I've seen something that somebody has and am busy searching Etsy, NotontheHighstreet, or wherever else to see if I can buy it after Mike leaves the house for work kind of face'

How rude! I was actually searching for gnome candles! 

Enjoy your day all she says hoping to catch up today! xx

Monday, 4 July 2016

This and that, that and this

The sun was shining yesterday with blue sky accompanying it. Honestly I'm not lying.
We celebrated by sitting in the garden with tea and biscuits. 

Admired the bees and flowers and unfinished patio I also ignored the dust and muddy floors in the house too. Mike is able to permanently ignore such things. 

Rocky hound had a nose over the fence into the field. 

I did a spot of crocheting and finished my knitted dishcloth for a swap

I've been scaring the neighbours by gathering soft fruit every morning for my breakfast shake. I add a sprig of mint too.

Tayberries, blackcurrants, strawberries, mint, spinach, banana, chia seeds and some strange cereal stuff from Holland and Barrett, It looks like pureed liver. 

Mike decided on a sort out the other week and sent me disapproving looks after stacking my craft bits in one place. 

Disclaimer golf clubs and ladder are not mine nor are the curtains - Mike is decorating Harry's room. I got more disapproving looks when he took delivery of more yarn. In my defence it was for a project. 

Mike mowed the lawn yesterday and went over an anthill. In all honestly the grass had shot up with all the rain we have had. I'm surprised he didn't mow down a tribe of pygmies. I spent a fascinating half hour kneeling on the lawn watching the ants move the eggs and repair the nest. 

I'm trying to catch up with your posts I have been avidly reading whilst in work so am up to date with your news.  I've mostly stayed away from the fall out after the referendum. It wasnt my choice to leave Europe but living in an area which has been overwhelmed with immigration the result wasnt all too surprising. Are you all well I do hope so. xx

Monday, 20 June 2016


Facebook told me it's the first day of summer as I logged in this morning.  Not that I'm a great lover of facebook but I find it a valuable tool to keep track of my children and their shenanigans. Not that I'm a neglectful mother but all this tagging in photographs is very helpful. Especially with a fourteen year old who was by the river without permission!!!

Back to the first day of summer - it's wet - very wet!

 The garden got a long overdue weed yesterday well half of it.  Fathers day saw me cook a very nice lunch. I went for the easy option Sea Bass fillets with a savoury butter, jersey royals and asparagus. I think the whole thing took 20 minutes how wonderful we also had wine and profiteroles. Mike was very blessed with new speciality sun glasses for fishing (really there is such a thing!) sweeties, a fishing t-shirt and a fishing jigsaw. 

It really is too wet to be in the garden so I have been crafting and getting myself in a right pickle when ordering yarn. 

I've signed up for CreativeChaos dishcloth swap - I think it's open until the 24th or 5th. Pop over and take a look.

Dishcloth / Mug Rug Swap 2016

Dishcloth / Mug Rug Swap 2016

I was busy perusing for patterns and the yarn to go with it. I was about to place my order and realised I didn't have my debit card with me (I was in work) No matter I thought I shall take a look on Amazon (card details saved on there).
I quickly found the yarn I wanted and placed a very restrained order for three balls of yarn then feeling very pleased with myself continued with my work. 

I checked yesterday to see when they would be dispatched  and to my horror realised I had ordered three balls of yarn from America. I live in Wales!!!!

I've finished my Hitchhiker scarf, the colours are divine I can assure you but as you know my lack of photographic skills you will have to imagine. It's the pheasant colourway from WYS . I have another ball left in this colourway which I may start a pair of socks with or will do when I find my sock knitting book.  I have another three of these scarfs planned for Christmas presents they are exceptionally easy to knit up especially if you don't knit outside in the sun when you're tired and give your own special design feature which I will not zoom in on! 

I have a tiny bit left over so I might start a hexi puff for my Beekeeper quilt.

Very exciting times ahead. My sixth quilt block kit has arrived. This means I will be half way through when I have pieced these together and instructions were included to piece the first six months together. There is an add on kit for a larger quilt but Mike help me measure what I have made so far and I think it's big enough. I just hope I have enough glue sticks or I will have to make an emergency order. 

Finally I have a pom pom maker and yes I know I could use cardboard but I wanted one of these. I picked it up from Hobbycraft last week along  along with some yarn but that really is not my fault as I only have to stick my fingers through the door and they come flying towards me!

Right I've bored you enough I'm off to make a cup of tea - it's neither the time or the weather for Pimms xx

Monday, 13 June 2016

Greenhouse in June

Firstly thanks for you comments on my last moany post its a bad situation but Friday flew by after I locked my office door. This stops nosy people coming in which in turn reduces my stress level considerably, I also managed to get a lot done.

Sunday saw us celebrate Fathers day a week early with my sisters family. We had arranged this months ago as my brother in law will be on call on the 19th so we booked a nice restaurant. Alas Mike was the only dad to attend as my sisters car nearly blew up on the way. Her words not mine! Her husband (the other dad) had to arrange to have the car picked up. The head gasket needs to be replaced but thankfully he is a mechanic so it wont prove too costly although he has threatened to charge her for labour as she had failed to mention the temperature gauge kept on going up.  

My little cucamelon plants are coming on nicely. 
The cucumber has some baby cucumbers

The tomatoes have started producing fruit. The top one is Sungold and the bottom one Black Russian.
My three year old poinsettia lives in the greenhouse during the warmer months. Mikes chillies and my scented leaved geraniums recovering after we potted them up in the wrong compost.  
Some more chilli plants - a late purchase so we shall see with these they are putting on growth though. 

The rain has returned to Wales with a vengeance may I add. The nice postman brought me a sewing and crochet magazine this morning so I'm curled up on the sofa with them and a cup of tea. 

Enjoy your day xx