Monday, 13 April 2015

A view from the kitchen window

You all know by now just how bad my photography skills are, I was on my way to grab another chocolate biscuit from the barrel & as I glanced out of the window I thought  'oh that looks nice'

Believe me my dears this was the best shot! In real life the sky doesn't look quite so murky & there are blossoms on the trees. It really did look quite pretty.

As I was cramming said chocolate biscuit in my mouth ok, ok there was more than one - I glanced at the real view -
This is quite possibly the neatest view of the kitchen, I have told Mr Mike Pike that enough is enough, I have been with out a proper kitchen for a couple of years now with him ripping things out & adding things. I've told him that I will be adding photos to his facebook account on the lack of progress. The units are still in boxes for crying out loud!!!

Anyway my dears, it seems to of worked. He has booked two weeks off work beginning the 15th May, a skip has been ordered, the kitchen ceiling is coming down, Mike & his brother are putting a new one back up. I have ordered tiles for the kitchen floor & the plasterer has been booked. Hope to be back to normal by June (of this year).

My original photo for my first post of the week -
A flyer from the local garden centre, Afternoon tea buy one get one free ( I might give one to Mike depending on his behaviour or I will eat both myself), free pack of bedding plants with a spend of £5 or more (I can manage that) & 20% off in the craft shop. Hello next day off together :)

We are off to Chirk Castle next Sunday as we have rejoined the National Trust after a couple of years break. I've also told the boy he is coming with us. I can't explain just how thrilled he is! I'm going to buy myself a nice plant or five from there.

P.s I'm having a give away shortly when my sneaky delivery arrives - very exciting - open to all - no excuses not to enter - I promise not to make anything but there will be a few surprises for the winner depending who you are! What, you want to know the main prize?, no couldn't possibly tell you, no you can't get it out of me. Oh go on then, I needed a new Emma Bridgewater mug for my collection & they were on offer. So I have order a Jack Russell Terrier one for me &  red Squirrel one for one of you lucky lot. Still waiting for the blinking things to come.

Enjoy your day all x

Friday, 10 April 2015

Five on Friday

Hello, I'm joining in with Amy's Five on Friday again. A random round up if you like -

A finished quilt top, hastily photographed last night after Mike had taken Rocky hound out for his evening walk. It was hastily snapped because a) I wanted to include it in today's post & b) Mike thinks I'm a prat for taking photographs of random things to stick on my blog. It's meant to be a heart shaped but I haven't photographed it particularly well, as usual! I shall do a post on it by itself one day, when it's completed. 

My crochet blanket, well some of it, it's blinking huge! Mike bought me a pack of this yarn for Christmas a couple of years back. The idea of crocheting a big blanket scared me, silly really. I can do a small granny square but decided enough was enough & got on with it. Once I got past the scary foundation chain & the first couple of rows it was quite easy, I'm going to make another. The crafty ones out there will recognise it as an Attic 24 granny stripe. 
I like it folded up too!

I am officially old, I went to pick up my new specs last week. A pair for seeing & a pair for reading & took my chance as Mike was parking the car or trying to find a parking space that is! I darted into my favourite charity shop. It's one of those proper charity shops, you know - the scruffy ones. I have a holy grail of things I want to find in a charity shop I have the first two now, a rose bowl & dressing table set. I'm now after a turquoise glass soda syphon & a rumtopf jar. Perhaps they will be there on my next visit.

A small sack of dahlia tubers. I am still undecided where to plant them. I had first planned to put them amongst the fruit bushes in the back garden but now I have my new border in the front they may go there.

I was trying to snap the plum blossoms against the blue sky yesterday evening when I heard an extremely loud buzzing noise. This bee was huge, much much bigger than it looks, I'm only small I thought it might try & carry me off at one point! I like bumble bees, we used to have a nest in the garden many years ago so I spent a good while watching this one. 

So there you go my dears, some random fives. There is a linky up thing over at Amy's blog should you wish to join up or see what other bloggers have been posting.

As always enjoy your day xx

Thursday, 9 April 2015

A freebie maybe?

Mike bought me some carnations last Saturday & a magazine, it was all a ruse really as he wanted to go to the pub to watch the football in the company of men rather than me!

He took his chance as I had asked him to pick up a bunch of flowers for the boys to give to my mother for Easter. He must've been rather desperate to watch the match without a lady snorting with laughter as he bought me two bunches of carnations. My pleas over the years of "I much prefer bunches of single flowers rather than mixed ones darling" must now be lodged in his memory!

Anyway before I rather unceremoniously plonked them in a jug I cut off the ends & stripped off the lower leaves. I noticed what I thought looked like baby carnation plants attached to the stems. So I snipped a few off & potted them up in a pot of compost which happened to be on the kitchen windowsill.

Now, in all fairness there were two pots of compost there containing seeds of a giant pumpkin Mike wishes to grow. It was me who actually prepared the pots & sowed the seeds, two per pot. He only needs the one giant pumpkin plant so I stuck my little plantlets in the one with the tiny pumpkin seedling in it.

It may work it may not but they are still alive so fingers crossed.

Mike has prepared a compost bin filled with old compost which he then topped up with manure. He also added to this a bucket filled with manky old comfrey leaves & water. A mixture made up last year. I'm sure you can imagine how foul the stench was!

Something to make you giggle - Harry bellowed as he fell through the front door yesterday if he & two friends could play upstairs. My first day back in work albeit from home -  peace was over! Anyway I've always been a feeder & as they were still upstairs at lunchtime I shouted up to see if they wanted some sandwiches, naturally as they are growing lads they did. I quickly made the required amount of rolls & carried the plates upstairs in a style similar to my waitressing days from when I was in sixth form. Only this time I didn't have a jug of hot gravy to pour on some poor gentleman or the chance to whip away some drinks before they were quite finished. Events that still haunt me to these days. The memories of those last two events popped back in my mind as I wandered back upstairs clutching three glasses of squash & some chocolate biscuits. A TV advert could be heard in the background with the tune "There may be trouble ahead", thankfully there wasn't.

Have a good day all xx

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Halcyon days

I've had a splendid few days off, I really can't remember the last time I've had time off work & have been able to anything I wanted to & not being restricted to sorting things out for other family members.

I've finished a quilt top & crochet blanket, made a start on a  knitted cotton top & spent time in the garden. No family days out due to Mike & I having last week off when it was rainy but never mind. Harry has relished a less structured routine, no school although he has revision to do this week. I shall dish out a stern reminder this afternoon, Harry has spent the last couple of nights playing football with his neighbourhood friends until 9:30 pm, close enough for me to hear the kids play but far enough for Harry to feel he is away from parental intrusion. The kids spent most of yesterday out too, no time to call back for lunch apart from a desperate plea for a couple of £'s for the local shop.

In fact the grubby child has just come downstairs in a cloud of Lynx (believe me I'm coughing & spluttering as I type) as he has no time for a shower & is too busy pumping up a football!

We dropped Rob off at the train station on Monday for his last term at uni, oh my how these last three years have flown by! That boy has adored his time at uni, I asked him at the weekend if he is sorry that his time at uni is coming to an end & he sensibly replied that he wasn't. He would miss spending time with the friends he has made there but they have a lifetime of meeting up to do & he has a chance of a job in the field he wishes to work in.

After dropping him off Mike & I popped to B&Q to look at floor tiles for the kitchen, naturally I found myself in the garden department where they had some fabulous bargains. A pussy Willow tree £5, another Forsythia £5, another shrub which the name escapes me but is good for bees & butterfly £3, a selection of six heathers £3 & three mixed chilli plants £1.03 each. On our return (after lunch) Mike very kindly dug another border in the front to accommodate my bargains. I re distributed the sods upside down to other parts of the garden. Our elderly neighbour drove past on his return from playing bowls with his lady friend & I swear the car nearly came to a screeching halt. "What have you done with those sods" this large man in his mid eighties bellowed. He was rather pleased to see we had listened to his past advice & hadn't chucked them in the recycling bin. The four of us also partook in a glass of wine in the front garden too!

The edible hedge is coming on splendidly well as are the raspberries, the yellow raspberries are making an appearance too!
The rhubarb & sweet cicely making an appearance along with a photo bombing Rocky dog!

I hope you have all had a splendid few days too, I'm off to play catch up. Have a good day xx

Friday, 27 March 2015

Five on Friday

Now my life is presently back on an even keel (note the presently) I can take part in Amy's Five on Friday again.

1. Look sweet peas & broad beans, rather disgracefully plonked on the draining board. I need to move them sharpish.

2. Garlic in the garden, in my rather haphazard style! My more mischievous thoughts include inviting Mark to view my plot, who has an enviable neat plot which proves hard work gets results. In all fairness I tried really hard this time for nice neat rows, some haven't germinated. 

3. As my veg plants are being delivered via Rocket Gardens this year my windowsill propagator is full of flower seedlings. 

4. A nearly completed crochet blanket, pattern & instruction found here on the Attic24 site. I'm super excited by this as I really struggled to understand the concept of crochet. Knitting was & is far easier for me.  It's huge, far far bigger than I thought it would be. 

5. No photo but something to giggle at, well several giggles if you like. I walked to work yesterday & felt an unpleasant sensation, one that I had experienced several weeks back. My tights felt like they were slipping down, in fact it didn't feel like they actually were! I had to clutch the top of my skirt to stop them actually slipping mid walk. Luckily I was sat in the boardroom in a meeting all day & only had to clutch myself on my journey home. Said tights are now in the bin which is a shame as they were the perfect shade of black. I first felt this several weeks back at a staff meeting where I had to make numerous trips to the loo to hoik the buggers back up! 
Notice the new photos my dears, I purchased a new memory card as I still can't locate the box we keep them in. When inserting it into my laptop I ahem found the main missing one.

Enjoy your day all, I'm travelling to Sheffield today for work so will catch up tonight accompanied with a large G&T or tomorrow with a mug of tea xx

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Five days to go!

I have a week off soon & it's very much needed too!

I really feel like I've had no time for anything the past few weeks & once I get April out of the way life would have slowed down to a nice normal pace. Also that means we are in May which sees the first delivery of my Rocket garden veg plants.

Apart from some broad beans & soon to be sown white sprouting broccoli seeds there is very little in the way of seedlings here. Extravagant yes, almost certainly to be money saving & definitely time saving, I'm so glad Mike bought me this as one of my Christmas presents.

On a stroll through blogland several weeks back I came across this post from gillymakes which I thought sounded huge fun. I expressed an interest even though there was a doubt in the back of my mind as April tends to be a no go for me. Anyway I got an email back with more details & the more I thought about it the more I thought I wanted to go.

I mentioned it to Mike who responded with "Why on earth would you meet up with a bunch of strangers blah, blah, blah" Well my dears, my back was immediately put up! I retorted with "Oh I don't know darling, perhaps it's because I live with men, even the dog is male, I'm surrounded by men at work, none of my real life friends have any interest in crafts or gardening so it might be nice for me to spend the afternoon in the company of females go fabric shopping & have afternoon tea in the company of said females, also the train arrives at the station 20 minutes before everyone is due to meet, it is meant to be!" My eyes quite possibly flashed at this point too! I was busy going through the booking of train tickets when Mike rather bravely said you can't go on the 11th can you, you're working.

He was right, I most certainly can't be three hours away from the office on the 11th April, I can't tell you how blinking peeved I was! You see I'm Head of Security for a bookmakers & the 11th April is the National! See I've typed it so small so you can't see the real reason & I'm right slap bang in the middle of a large fraud case too so this week off is really much needed. Time in the garden & time for some crafty bits.

Anyway onto some fun things, my nephew has passed his driving test & his car has been parked on my mums driveway until he passed his test. My sister had phoned my mum to ask her for the registration number so she could get some insurance quotes. My mum is as blind as a bat so phoned me to go over to do it for her. Task completed I was on my way out of the door when my mum called me back. Now it is virtually impossible to leave my mums house without anything. I was sent on my way with - a tray of pork chops, pork & beef mince, crispy pancakes, bbq chicken, 4 cod fillets in batter , a large pizza & two pieces of salmon. I asked her & not for the first time why she buys so much & you do know food lasts in the freezer, to which she replied that she likes to have a selection of food & that she was quite aware of how long food lasts for in the freezer thank you very much I am 76!

I though I had made my escape looking like I had been on the cadge with my overfull carrier bag of food, when I heard a bellow behind me. It was my mother shouting to make sure I returned her bag & to come back Wednesday evening as she had a huge meat & veg hamper coming, it was far too much for her so I will give some to you. I am more than certain that in the close knit community we live curtains twitched as I did my walk of shame looking like I couldn't afford to do my grocery shop!

I will leave you with a shot of the garden which will have to make do for March & quite possibly Feb, the more eagle eyed of you will know it's one of the previous months shot. I do however have garlic & rhubarb poking it;s way through, god knows what has happened to the onions & shallots & I have some rather nice posh green paint to do my fences with, once I find the time of course. I might be hibernating next week as it's half term Yay! Enjoy your day all x

Monday, 23 March 2015

It's all go!

Gosh that was a bit of an unintended break! Purely unintentional but blinking heck life does get in the way sometimes!!!!

It has felt one great big merry go round ride lately & I don't see it stopping soon, my great big long to do list keeps on getting bigger & bigger.

However a few happy things -

I have a tray of sweet peas & broad beans coming through nicely.

The potatoes are chitting nicely on a bedroom windowsill.

I can crochet, I'm so excited about this as I could only do a granny square but now I nearly have a granny stripe blanket &  penguin shaped cushion for Harry.

Photos to follow soon, my nice new camera which Mike bought the other month had to be replaced as it stopped working. I can't find the box of memory cards or the cable to enable me to transfer straight to the laptop so here are some old ones to brighten up this post :)

Not that they are good enough to brighten up any post, but some random edible hedges shots. Old ones mind as they are now breaking into leaf. I know I have Hazel, Elder, Blackthorn & Wild Rose, I just hope that I have crab apple & wild plum too!

Toddle pip & enjoy your day all, I have some serious catching up to do x