Monday, 28 December 2015

Santa Sack Swap 2015

I've had such a rotten cold lately (over now thanks) & some dim witted fool thought they could work right up until Christmas day (me) I've not had any time for blogging. I've read your blogs whilst in work (can't add comment there) but I'm back now :)

I took part in three Christmas swaps this year Amy's card swap which I need to do a post on my card if the link is still open. Jo's 12 days of Christmas swap which is still on going so I will blog about that in a few days & Cheryl's Santa Sack Swap

I was partnered with the lovely Cally who doesn't blog any more & look at the delightful things she sent to me.

& a hand made bag which I was sure I had taken a photo of. I will remedy that in my next post. It's a lovely festive cotton bag which is currently holding the yarn for a snowflake crochet blanket I've been promising to make my self for more than a year. 

I was thrilled to open Callys gifts they were really thoughtful & I adore each & every one of them.

As Cally doesn't blog any more I shall add photos of what I sent in exchange - 
erm didn't make these but I sent Mike out to buy some nice chocolate & he returned with a chocolate reindeer & carrots!!!

Anyway that's me for now - I took a sniff outside the French doors yesterday aka 'Bisto kid' style - my nose had unblocked sufficiently enough to do so - nearly growing season my dears xx

Thursday, 10 December 2015

A Christmas Eve book

My family have never understood my need for books, this has extended to my husband & children.

You can actually hear a loud audible sigh when the question 'What do you want for Christmas/Birthday'? etc. & I reply 'Books please'. 

I don't actually need anything but I do like books.

Flighty posted last week about the book he bought himself for Christmas so I'm posting about the book I bought myself for Christmas Eve.

This is my book of salvation, the one I will look forward to. I'm working Christmas Eve you see my choice, my children are older now & I would be on call anyway. I will work from home or if enough family people peeve me I shall be quite happy in my office or quite happily be with the lads in the race room. 

My mum has planned a buffet for Christmas Eve afternoon & we will be opening our presents to each other. As she used to cater for the 5000 I've been tasked to keep an eye on her. Seeing as everyone else is off  I shall be neglecting my duties & passing them on. Someone else can have a go!

Anyhoo approx 6pm Christmas Eve I plan to be curled up on a sofa with a little doggie curled up beside me. We shall have a blanket over us, a snowball or two & depending how the day goes I might end up opening the baileys! 

Take care all xx

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Attempting some Christmas cheer

Little tree in the sitting room

I've not been feeling the joy so much this year, too much going on I think, nothing in particular but lots of little things in the background. Also the lack of little excitable children to add to the spirit. The only excitement shown from Harry was an eager scampering up the stairs to the attic to drag all the decorations down .  After he helped Mike put the big tree up he scampered back up stairs to his x-box. Not that a 14 year old scampers - stomps might be the more appropriate word. I think Mike stomped back to the TV to watch Gold Rush, Extreme fishing or something to do with cars & left me to get on with it. Rob was in the pub. Pfft! 

I do like my new nutcracker ornament though, can you see that he is an advent calendar. 

A little attempt to bring some Christmas cheer to one of the worktops in the kitchen. I added a few things to highlight the lack of tiles & painting to Mike & also I displayed the sockets he is yet to put up!! The only remark I got from him was a suspicious 'When did the bowl & plate arrive'? - 'January' I snapped back. Then smiled sweetly & added ' Quite possibly the same time the sockets & tiles arrived too darling' 

Pfft!! Enjoy your day my dears I'm back in the office Pfft! xx

Monday, 7 December 2015

Feed the birds tuppence a time

As the song goes &  I wish it was only a tuppence as it costs a blinking fortune. Not that I begrudge it too much it would be nice if the birds could repay the favour & eat all the caterpillars from the red current/gooseberry bushes during the summer! 

Joking aside it is very important to feed the birds at this time of year & we actually keep our feeders topped up all year round. 

In the winter we put out fat balls & in late spring & during summer we put out live food instead. We always only use sunflower hearts & have recently bought a meal worm feeder which has proved to be a huge success. 

We have three sunflower heart feeders, one fat ball feeder & one meal worm feeder & at this time of year we have to refill them every day. 

We are very lucky where we live to be surrounded by fields & hedges, there are also pockets of the old woods. This means there are an awful lot of birds to feed. 

To help to keep costs down we buy the large sacks of sunflower hearts & keep them in a  special container in the kitchen. Each time the container is opened a little hound comes along for a sniff. Rocky hound adores sunflower hearts & he is allowed a little sprinkle. The vet remarked at his last check up how wonderfully glossy his coat was - we know why now!

Harry also likes to do his bit & throws his apple cores & wrinkly grapes on to the veg plot for the blackbirds & thrushes, while I do moan about my lack of weeding the veg plot I have seen the sparrows pick among the weeds which I suppose is keeping them down a bit.

P.S grapes are dangerous for little doggies big ones too but as the veg plot is fenced off to stop a pesky little JRT he can't get to them before the birds do. Take care all xx 

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Veg plot in December

I wont post actual photos of the veg plot as it is blinking windy (just been topping up the bird feeders) & there are oodles of weeds. This mild & I did actually type wild first which is quite apt given the strength of the wind out there isn't doing much to keep the weeds down.  

Red cabbage being photo bombed by some Swiss chard. I have five red cabbages or at least I hope I have five as Mike has very helpfully promised some to other people. There should be one for me, one for his brother, one fore next doors son, one for next door but one & one for his best friend. Mike is very good like that you see, I never got to taste the cabbages from summer though the compliments from the people they were given to were very complimentary. 

Mike is a very kind hearted & generous man it gives him great pleasure to give away the stuff that he  I grow. I can't be too harsh on him as he is also very kind & generous to me & bought me a nice cook book last week. There was a lovely recipe in there for a spinach & ricotta cannelloni which is a great favourite in this house. I'm planning on using some of the Swiss chard to replace the spinach & as I'm trying to cut down on air miles I'm going to slice the stalks for stir-fry to replace the water chestnuts. Or at least I will if I ever remember to buy ricotta cheese!

I grew my leeks this year in large window box style planters & they have proved to be quite successful. Forgive the awful photographs if you will, it was rather tricky to use the camera when the wind was blowing me almost horizontal. Leek & potato soup, welsh rarebit with leeks & leeks wrapped in ham & smothered in cheese sauce are planned. 

This shot would you believe is meant to be of my tub of sweet potatoes in the greenhouse! It was taken through the glass & actually looked ok on the camera view thingamajig. It doesn't on here but the leaves have died back enough to have a rummage to see if there are any sweet potatoes in the soil. Once the wind dies down enough for me to enter the greenhouse without the door being ripped off I shall check. I do hope there are some there. Not that a lot of effort was put into growing them. I bought one sweet potato plant from the garden centre & put it in a pot in the greenhouse, it was fed & watered & grew beautifully. It would be nice to harvest something though & I like mine roasted but I have seen a chard & sweet potato curry I'd like to try. 

So there you go my dears my December veg plot. Hope you are all well xx

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Winter Project

Linking up with Jennifer from Thistlebear

I really need to up my game with crochet lark - well all of this crafting malarkey as I've amassed quite a lot of stuff over the past couple of years books & magazines too. 

If I'm honest the terminology scared me with regards to crochet instructions, I find knitting easier although I've come to a standstill with a cardigan I'm working on when the next instruction started with 'AT THE SAME TIME' I've put that away until after the Christmas festivities I'm sure I will be able to concentrate then. I think the 'AT THE SAME TIME' instruction is quite easy - my mind keeps on going blank when I see it.

I joined in with the Cherry Heart Spice of Life blanket cal as I wanted to be able to crochet more than just a granny square/stripe. It's been very enjoyable so far the instructions are easy to follow& I can now crochet a stacked granny & a shell. More importantly I know how to crochet a row of doubles & trebles.

My second blanket is just simple granny squares using up some yarn from my granny stripe blanket, always satisfying to use something up isn't it. A random blanket if you like as I pull what ever colour out of my basket & crochet the squares together when I have enough for a row. 

Both are easy to work on in the evening curled up in front of the TV & at this time of year very cosy projects too. 

Take care all xx

Friday, 4 December 2015

Five on Friday

Joining in with Amy's Five on Friday

Five random things from my week, pop over to Amy's blog to see other Five on Friday posts. 

1. I have had the most splendidly relaxing two weeks off work. It has been divine, I am completely unsure if I want to go back which is unlike me as I adore my job. I was however very crochety & snappy before I finished work so it was overdue. I return next Tuesday - cue small sigh.

2.  Two crochet blankets I've been working on - the bottom one (which looks a bit odd for some reason in this shot) is the Cherry Heart crochet a-long. I know most other people have finished their's but I really didn't have the time to dedicate to it but am happy to announce I have now nearly finished the third section. The top one is a simple granny square to use up some leftover yarn from another blanket. 

3. My three Christmas swap parcels/card. Thankfully all received by there recipients which is really good as one was for America, one for Australia & the other one for the UK. I've been very blessed with my swap partners this year I've been in contact with some really lovely people. 

4. Back to this being off work malarkey (such joy) I've been working my way through many a paper back - mainly of the Christmas novel variety. My poor addled work brain can't take anything heavy  & some light reading has been very good for the soul.

5.  Rocky also popping in to say hello. We have had him for just over a year now & he has become a very much loved & spoiled doggy. 

Take care all, if the weather wasn't so atrocious there would of been a garden Five on Friday consisting of red cabbage, leeks, weeds, my sweet potatoes & whatever the fifth would have been! Always next week my dears - always next week! xx 

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

A quilt for Harry

I came in quite late to this crafty malarkey. I've always enjoyed it though & remember spending many happy hours as a child making something or other.

I've amassed a great deal of crafting material over the past couple of years & whilst my children are older 21 & 14 it hasn't stopped me making things for them.

Not quite the material for a 14 year old but I really liked the nautical aspect of a fat quarter bundle I bought at the beginning of this year & along with some other fabric in a similar shade I made this simple quilt.

You can see the deliberate ahem mistakes, the squares are not matched as perfectly as they should be. It is essentially 9 squares by 7 squares of fabric badly sewn together - I did get better as I went along & I've quilted it with a wavy effect. Another mistake which turned out well given the nautical nature of the fabric.  It's backed in a navy fleecy fabric which was a stupendous bargain of £2 a meter! I couldn't believe my luck when I spotted it in the fabric shop & then bound by navy bias binding.

Quite frankly I was ready to pull my hair out when attaching the binding yesterday afternoon - I need to go on a class or something!!

However more importantly for a home-made item it was made & received with love. It was deemed to be suitable for the wrapping of a taller than me 14 year old boy ( I am officially the smallest person in my family now) to keep warm & cosy whilst playing on his x-box.

Take care all xx

Tuesday, 1 December 2015


A long long time ago my dad mentioned something called Rumtopf which is essentially soft fruit layered after picking  with sugar & rum. My kind of pud! 

This conversation probably came about from my love of collecting old tat but he remembered someone making it & he also remembered an old friend chucking a Rumtopf jar away.

Now I'm sure you could make Rumtopf in any kind of jar but I wanted a proper one you see & several years later I found one yesterday.

Mike was 50 on Friday so we had a bit of a celebration weekend & as Monday (yesterday) was no longer the weekend it was back to business & we delivered 5 bags of clothes to the charity shop.

Now I like a nice rummage in a charity shop looking for old jubilee/coronation memorabilia - see what I mean about my love of collecting old tat! I did strike lucky on a couple of pieces but what did my little eye spy on a shelf - a Rumptopf jar. Oh my days!! I was so excited & Mike very kindly bought it for me.

I'm going to layer strawberries, red & yellow raspberries, blueberries, tayberries, blackberries & loganberries oh and some black currants next year along with the sugar & rum. This should give me a glorious concoction to eat over ice cream & cheesecake this time next year. As Mike will be 51 next he wont be having a celebration weekend but I will cook a Sunday lunch for the whole family as conveniently his birthday lands on a Sunday next year. I like to plan ahead too.

Mikes zip wire experience was cancelled due to 'adverse weather conditions' so I think we are going around May time instead The weather may be a little brighter then + there is a steam train in the local area & I've always wanted to go on one so will make a weekend of it.
My three Christmas swap items were posted off last week a card to America, a parcel to Australia & a parcel for the UK. I think they have all got there. Now I can relax a bit & this couple of weeks I've booked off work have been divine. I have never felt this relaxed & I nearly had a go at the lottery so I wouldn't have to go back but then I remembered I quite like my job really & don't like gambling which is quite funny as it's the field I work in.

Are you all well  I do hope so. I'm trying to be really really good & not break into the toffee I bought for Christmas I'd best have another mince pie instead.

I shall leave you with this - you know the milk bottle tops -  well according to my local council recycling dept they have to recycled separately (or they did when I last looked) I was working my way through blogland last week & read this by Crimson Kettle I'm getting as many people involved as I can & have set up a collection box in my kitchen . I'm like the milk bottle police I really need to get back to work you know! I might have to take a little trip to Southampton next year to deposit them though!! Take care all xx

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

A round up*

*without new photos because it's been so long since I last blogged I've misplaced my camera.

I have two weeks off my dears & very much needed it is too, I have two packages & a card to post off this week (belatedly) for some Christmas swaps & then I can really relax.

Mikes 50 on Friday & he has wanted to go on some zipwire thing for ages so I've booked him onto it. At 11:30 Mr Wilson will be wizzing along weather permitting of course. I shall be watching - a family meal is planned for later on that evening or will be when I get my lazy bones self to book it!!
When we are at the zipwire place apparently I can book a camera thingamajig for his helmet, never have I been so eager to spend my money.

We are having a change around in the garden next year. We are having new veg beds which I think I've already mentioned but are now going one further. I need to cut things down to a more manageable level for me, working full time, dealing with homework etc & Mike working away often well things can get a bit too much.

One of the bigger changes is the soft fruit bed, all the bushes will be removed apart from the black currants. The gooseberries & red currents will be removed. We don't eat the red currants in fact the birds have left them too & along with the gooseberries they get attacked by gooseberry saw fly. To be honest it is getting too much of a faff & with having a PYO farm in the next village well I can get my gooseberries from there.

I'm also planning to cull the fruit trees in pots, the ones I can plant in the ground will be, the remainder will be chopped up for a log pile for the bugs.

Time management I think it's called (pffting quietly to myself as I type)

Are you all well? I do hope so, time for some proper blog visiting I think. Take care xx

Monday, 26 October 2015

Thoroughly blaming CT!

Upon a perusal through my blog list last week I read the lovely CT's post.

Countryside Tales is a blog of utmost delight & I know a lot of the blogs I follow & vice versa follow too. It is a blog to calm ones soul after a week in the office where I am finding myself drumming my fingernails slowly with hope it will calm me down enough to deal with the stupidity I find myself dealing with. A bit like the slow clap if you will that my youngest son does with the words 'Well done' in a sarcastic drawl!  I actually admire his cheek as I would never of dared to do the same with my parents though we will keep that between me & you! A further note - I think the slow clap will be replacing the office drumming finger nails - more fun don't you think? 

 I thoroughly look forward to CT's lovely postings about walks through the woods, moths, wild creatures & the exploits of Ted & Poppy.

But why am I blaming CT I hear you ask - its this 

which turned into this

The recipe is over at Countryside Tales & I dare you to try it. You will quite possibly put a stone on with each portion you eat. My thighs looked positively huge in jeans on Saturday.

It is my dears ripped up jam do-nuts (which I dislike greatly) & covered with a home-made salted caramel sauce & baked in the oven. I served mine with clotted cream & I have enough for my breakfast this morning.

It is divinely decadent & just the thing I needed to recover from work last week!!

Hope you are all well

P.s Rachel  I spotted your comment on CT's blog & I can categorically state that calories do not fall out of ripped up do-nuts & I gave them a shake too! x 

Another P.s in the effort to sound like a proper grown up fingernails should actually read as finger stumps - the nails went aeons ago! 

Thursday, 22 October 2015

And breathe

Mikes working away for most of this week so I'm in single mum mode which I need like a hole in the head. I'm not really moaning I know I'm fortunate but I want to whine so I will :)

The kids are pretty much self sufficient but Rocky hound needs to be walked twice a day so I get the evening walk too when Mike isn't here as naturally there is the pub for the eldest & hastily remembered home work for the youngest.

We have had Rocky for just over a year now, he as regular readers will remember was our inheritance after Mikes dad passed away. It's like having a toddler in the house - give me a teenager any day!

This morning on our morning walk in the dark he decided he was scared of the recycling lorry. Tried to pull & pull his way home to get away from the noisy light flashing monster. It truly was a battle of wills & I made sure I won.

The little horror got me back on our way home as the monster was still there - he stopped by the hedge & deposited the smallest dog poo ever seen just to make sure he didn't have to walk by the monster. It took me 13 minutes scrabbling round with a doggy bag in the not quite light morning amongst leaf little & small thorny branches as the hedge had been to cut to find it. Once the monster sailed past us Rocky decided he was a brave doggy again!!!! I was not a happy bunny.

I should be back blogging normally from the weekend. I've been visiting staff this month which has taken up a large amount of my time & have taken on a new member of staff which has meant I need to be in the office not at home in my dressing gown & slippers ,slovenly creature that I am. I think my dears I have now found the balance ( she whispers softly tap dancing on wood at the same time)

Take care all, hope you are all well xx

Monday, 12 October 2015

Plans afoot

Two of my birthday presents this year, I behaved myself impeccably as I wanted The New Kitchen Garden since it was released earlier on this year, I was trying to teach myself some self restraint & it worked as it was left on the radiator cabinet in the hall for two weeks prior to my birthday & I only opened it once!

The above two books will be put to good use over autumn & winter for the planning of my plot next year & they are both a very good read too.

We are back to growing from seed next year & will be very selective over what to grow. The pot was a little too packed this year & I would prefer more quality rather than quantity of varieties. Only took a few years to learn that little pearl of wisdom. The brassicas have been whittled down to sprouting broccolis of each colour variety - purple, white & green, kale & spring greens.

I also find myself planning for two other people next year too, no rest for the wicked. My mother wants a few pots of flowers & veg. I can easily cope with that. She wants a tomato plant, some peas just for eating from the pod, a couple of runner beans, some pots of potatoes, lettuce & some carrots.

The other one is only a situation I could find myself in so I will take you back to earlier on this year when my MD decided he wanted to grow some flowers & went out a bought 3 packs, compost & some of those window sill propagators. Now being an MD means you can just waltz off & leave these things to other people & the person who was trusted to look after these little plants had no clue & the other person helping out  wasn't much better either. I took over the situation & drained the drowning plants & brought in a mister for the little seedlings. I then promptly found myself in charge of them as I was making phone calls over the weekend for other staff to care for them until I decided to save myself the worry & brought them home & stuck them in the greenhouse. That is where I became unstuck as apparently if you have a greenhouse you are an expert gardener!! Which I am not!!

The conversation earlier last week entailed 'What are you growing for me next year, I don't want anything too big about a foot high, I'm thinking of different seasonal displays & what about some hanging baskets too, also I'm having patio doors put into my office instead of the window so I can have some pots on the roof space'. Believe me that is the shortened version. So my dears any advice I'm thinking 5 variety's for each season they have to be annuals, easy to care for & less than a foot tall. I'm looking in the kids section at the weekend :D

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Sneaking back in quietly

Ahem the break was a little longer than expected, I have some serious catching up to do. Flu, pneumonia, extreme tiredness & quite frankly this last week in work has been extremely trying but has now thankfully ended :) huge smiles for that! I am however back to full health so thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your kind comments.

It has been extremely misty here lately & damp too! I'm missing the runner beans already & there is a different feeling when preparing dinner in the evening now. I'm missing skipping around the veg plot gathering veg for - now it's back to the freezer or the bottom of the fridge. Autumn is however the best time for planning next years growing choices though don't you think?

There are changes here to come. Next year we plan to revamp the veg beds. New ones made out of sleepers. There were some lovely ones at the local builders merchants the other week & Mike was completely sold on the idea when the words ' a chainsaw would be your best bet when cutting them for the shortest edge pal'. I'm sending him on a course before he gets one Mike is however thrilled he's always wanted a chainsaw - a motorbike too but I wont let him!

The veg beds are full but I'm not holding out a lot of hope. I'm convinced the plants were planted too late for my part of the world but we shall see - all hope has not been lost yet as I do have some lovely red cabbages.

Are you all well I do hope so, I shall catch up properly with you all later on today the dog needs a walk, washing needs to be pegged out, floors swept & empty bottles removed from the bathroom as the men folk here haven't realised the bottles don't have arms & legs to climb into the recycling bins!! xxx

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Normal service will be resumed next week

I've got flu, proper full on I can't move flu. I'm wrapped in Winceyette pjs, Mikes dressing gown & a quilt & I'm so blinking cold & then I get too hot!  I'm looking rather delightful!! If I could get to the boiler the heating would be on too.

I will be reading your posts but my comments will be limited to when my fingers can type words without misspelling them. I think I've managed to leave three comments in the last two days & Mikes working away I hope he is home tonight Take care all speak to you sometime next week I just wanted you to know I'm not ignoring you. xx

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Next year

I get my last Rocket Garden delivery tomorrow, I'm highly unlikely to order the constant garden again. Baby plants grown in Cornwall & then posted to a chilly North Wales well they don't all prosper. The sweetcorn & butternut squash for example were planted way later than I normally would & the plants are still just inches high. Not to put anyone off as I did receive some lovely well packaged plants which were huge fun to unpack. 

I'm making tentative plans for what to grow next year, my birthday is on Friday & I have some lovely gardening books amongst my haul of goodies. I order my presents you see as Mike would pay full price for everything where as I prefer to save. I wont spoil the surprise for you until my birthday :D

Said gardening books will be perused at great length over the next couple of months & have been bought accordingly. 

On the definite list for next year are carrots in troughs.  My carrots are always hit my carrot fly & having a small veg plot means not much space spare for carrots when you have to consider covering them to keep them pest free. This year they have been a huge success. From three troughs we have had baby carrots for salads & dips, for eating in the garden & then bigger ones for roasting & boiling. 

I placed my troughs on the old frames from those plastic greenhouses, this ensured the carrots were high enough to miss the carrot fly. They really have been splendid this year so I might have to invest in more troughs.

We have a few more meals out of these two troughs left & I'm sure you make out a few weeds forming! 

So that's one definite plan for next year, are you still making your growing lists?

Take care all xx

Monday, 21 September 2015

Best laid plans

& all that. Harry's swimming day didn't go to plan, neither did my intended trip to see the duck race. There was no swimming day in the end, no firm plans were made you see & there were parents far more stricter than Mike & I. Plans have been made though to extend a little more freedom - bus trips for Harry to places much closer to home, but thank you for your thoughts the other day.

We took my mum shopping so couldn't make the duck race Harry elected to join us as nana is a nice treaty one. I was treated too - new slippers, plants, bulbs & a teapot tile

I'm curled up on the sofa today still recovering from a weekend of excess. I really am far too old for such nights. Late plans were made to meet up in our local where a band was playing. It was an exceedingly good night. Harry was at a sleepover so it was a late night - very late - Mike returned home at 2:30 am & I shock horror at 4 am!! We went onto friends after you see & they only lived round the corner.

Rob raised his eyes in horror when he learned his parents would be at said house party. I showed my age apparently as I went home first & took a rather good bottle of red. Not the done thing apparently - there was a tray of dubious green drinks with the consistency of cough medicine & bottles of beer. Robs eyes nearly disappeared over his head when I asked if I could have a drink of water, I smiled sweetly at my host as it was served in a mug so I had another too. Rob also thought it was time I should go when I asked a young man who looked like he was about to keel over if he would like a coffee & a plastic bucket.

So very much feeling my age these last two days & gladly so.  More to do with tiredness than alcohol I'd like to point out. I'm sat here with my old bat slippers on & looking sadly at my flower bulbs that need to be planted but it's bucketing down here. So heavily that even the dog wont go out.

Take care my dears I hope you are all well xx

Friday, 18 September 2015

Five on Friday

Joining in with Amy's Five on Friday - my fives for this week

1. I live in a house of males - the dog is male too. My epitaph will be Joanne Wilson - wife & mother ( hopefully great, great grandmother too) provider of clean boxer shorts, socks & food.

2. I came to this conclusion last night as they were the most asked questions this past week.

3.  I would also like to think I provide good food too. Look at these lovely carrots & potatoes picked fresh from the garden. Also cast your eyes at my gleaming sink & the tap bit bottom that you see. So new it hasn't collected that manky black deposit yet! 

4. Mike ate our dinner last night standing up in the kitchen, lord knows why there was a table a couple of meters away! The boys were out. Rob was in his usual position of keeping the bar standing upright in the local pub for his customary stop off after work. Harry was playing football with friends. We had pulled pork, salad & garlic bread. I was pondering on how my life had changed over the last 25 years. We were listening to 80's music on the radio - some of the songs I last heard whilst trying out new make-up in my childhood bedroom, this time round I was thinking if the boys had enough clean socks & should I clean the oven. Quite a change from orange lipstick don't you think?

5. I'm 42 next week I think the computer age passed me by. The pop ups on my computer asking me to upgrade to windows 10 are irritating me, there is no chance of me upgrading - Windows 8 nearly finished me off. 

There you go my fives for this week take care all xx

Thursday, 17 September 2015


Firstly thank you for your lovely comments on my kitchen & brick wall & secondly for your comments on yesterdays post regarding Harry. It's a straight forward train journey, no football match on that day thankfully as the ground is next to the station! If he's insisting on going by train & he will need to learn how to cope on public transport I might persuade Mike that we travel on the train but not in the same carriage. (to do some shopping)! God I sound like an overwhelming parent I'm really not & Harry has matured wonderfully over the last six months & now I need to stop going on about it!!
Back to the title of the post. I have a large oven, an impulse purchase by Mike a few years back thankfully we have it covered by product insurance! The only item we do have covered only because it came free with it & when that ended Mike took them up on the offer. It keeps on breaking down I'm going to have it replaced after Christmas as we have had it repaired nine times in oh about five years!

It actually broke down again a couple of months back but I neglected to call them as we were in the middle of Mike doing the kitchen & we have a little oven too + it was sort of summer so BBQ & stove top cooking sufficed. I called them five days ago or rather Mike did & yes it takes them that long to come out!

Sorry you have Mike again!
Anyway the nice engineer chap came out with the part they thought had broken this time. It wasn't, a wire had snapped off the element! 
My question is what do you do when you have a chap round, I did the normal things an offer of a drink & showed them to the kitchen, am I the only person to think they should offer a food option too?  I feel like I'm hovering & I don't like leaving them by themselves it seems a little rude to me.

Quite frankly I would of been happy if a large hole had opened & swallowed me up when he opened the oven door. Cleaning the big oven is Mikes job - oh my god it was grotty inside & there was even grease on the door & a slice of pepperoni on the bottom shelf. I could of cried with shame - it hadn't been used for about two months!
The chap fixed the oven (quickly)  & the  proceeded to take photos - of the oven not my shame!
Apparently they have to now, personally I think there is website of the worlds grubbiest ovens & the chap who fixed mine is now seriously in the running for an all expenses holiday to Barbados for two with 1st class flights thrown in!! 

Onto nicer things the lovely Jo over at Through The Keyhole is organising a rather splendid Christmas swap, do go & take a look it's called the Twelve days of Christmas swap so you send 12 individually wrapped gifts top open on those days, all the proper details are on Jo's blog post. Naturally I've signed up - quite possibly as soon as she had pressed the publish button but there we go! 

Now in the interest of exaggeration my oven itself was quite clean, the shelves looked immaculate  from the distance I was standing, it was the inside of the door that was the issue god it really was rammy!! Seriously so, perhaps it was the way the light was shining on it through the window but deep down I know the truth.
And another thing I ramble a lot, seriously I really do go on. There are some beautifully eloquent blogs out there - this isn't one of them. Fun though I'd like to think!!

Take care all xx

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Mid week chatter

I'm enjoying my week off so far, it's been a fair few years since I've been able to have a week just for me. Even the skirting boards have been dusted & I have a few days to go yet before I return to work.

I have lots of crafty projects to keep me going & the garden of course but I'm not really used to this relaxing lark so it's taking some getting used to!

We had planned to attend the Chester Duck Race on Saturday but Harry has thrown a spanner in the works shall we say.  My 13 year old soon to be 14 years old & my youngest child therefore the baby of the family if you don't include the dog has really got me thinking. He casually brought up this morning over breakfast the possibility of him catching the train with some friends to go swimming. I never had this issue with Rob who I swear was actually born an adult so this new on his way to becoming a young adult youngest child of mine - well he's causing me some issues.

Mike & I like to provide an united front if you will, all questions are considered  evaluated & answered the best we can. We never say no straight away but quite frankly this parenting lark is hard - when do you let go? Not now of course he is too young but I need to make a proper decision over this one & while privately hoping the whole train & swimming plan will be abandoned I need to have it sorted in my head. 

Incidentally its a straight forward train journey , he has a mobile phone, a bank account & a good group of friends. Unfortunately the chosen swimming baths is not close to the station to ease my mind. I immediately offered the use of Mike to take some of them but it poses two problems, only so many kids can fit in the car & I'd hate for any to feel left out. Also the issue of Harry will need to used to public transport anyway at some point. Decisions, decisions! 

Anyway I received this rather lovely parcel in the post on Monday courtesy of a lovely generous give-away from Pam who blogs over at A New Life in Wales 
It was a lovely bundle full of crafty items. The bag is stuffed full of yarn ready for a CAL I'm taking part in next week & the zipped pouch has some hooks & scissors ready in the bag too! The owl pin cushion is sat with Aesop & the other items have been stashed in my craft box ready to be put to good use. Thank you Pam it was a delight to open.
My yarn above for the Spice of Life CAL hosted by Sandra & Blacksheep Wools 
And my simple granny square blanket I'm still working on, I rather happily have another row of squares to attach! 

So there you go pondering & projects

Take care all xx

Monday, 14 September 2015


We had a nice day yesterday - one of those nice relaxing ones. The housework had been completed on Friday & Saturday which helped no end in the cause of relaxation!
The peaches looked big enough to be picked, they are smaller than the ones in the supermarket  but still a nice size. They had a little bit of give so I picked one & sampled it in the kitchen by slicing chunks off. Still a bit too hard but hopefully they will ripen off the tree, if they don't I will make a peach & blueberry cobbler. I have a tin of evaporated milk to use up & it will make a nice pudding after some soup this weekend.
Whilst pondering in the kitchen over the ripeness of said peach I noticed how the leaves are starting to turn colour
Talking of kitchen its kind of nearly complete
All wave to Mike now, the wall units need to go up, the worktops need another coat of oil, the trim needs to be added & we need to argue over tile choices but we are nearly there

Work top on the floor??? but I do have a working sink now :)
& my nice new fridge freezer which will be moved to the other side so the tall cupboard & bookcase can be put up in the alcove.

I'm keeping the brick wall Mike needs to give it a brush down & seal it as it's awfully dusty I think it sneezes during the night.

Mike wants to plaster the wall but I like it as it is Mike doesn't know yet I'm going to make some fabric & knitted animal heads for it That will pleas him no end I'm sure! 

One of the chaps who delivered the fridge/freezer asked Mike if he was going to plaster it - I shall give you the conversation

'Are you going to plaster that pal'?
'No, she wants to keep it as it is, a kind of feature she said'
'Oh right, you want to grow a pair mate & tell her it's being plastered'
'I could do yes but errr shes in the front room & is a bit of a pocket rocket so it will definitely stay as a feature now'

Right I'm off I will have to put the blinking dryer on as it's just started pouring down & I don't know where Mike has hidden the airer. Enjoy your day all x