Monday, 23 February 2015

A round up

Thank you for your kind thoughts & wishes for Friday. Dad had a lovely send off & the whole day went off without a hitch.

The pigeon was as expected! The photo does not do it justice, it really was the most extraordinary looking creation!

My camera decided not to work on the day, yes, my new camera I think it's broken so Mike will be taking it back this week. So I took the photo from my brothers facebook page.
To give you a better idea of size -  imagine your microwave. It was mounted on a board with a roofscape? painted on it, The board is larger than a microwave, along with the floral pigeon plonked on it, it was a sight to behold indeed!

I have no idea where it is now, it was placed at the back of the hearse so it was in my view on the way to the funeral & it was then placed at the front of the coffin while the funeral was taking place. I'm rather glad it is now out of sight!

It's still a bit too cold to be in the garden, given that I'm a fair weather gardener anyway. So naturally I have to occupy my mind in other ways. My fabric haul has been considerable this month.

After reading a post by the lovely lady who blogs at Countryside Tales  I spotted some rather lovely bird print fabric. Now you know when you see something & you really, really want it . Well naturally I asked google who couldn't find said fabric but directed my attention to 9 lots of fat quarters which I accidentally on purpose paid for as the site in question used paypal. This was the day after I ordered a selection of Liberty fat quarters for my hexie quilt, which was after Mike taking me out for lunch in Chester & a visit to Abakhan where I picked up three long lengths of fabric for crafty purposes.

Well as the fabric gods would have it CT kindly replied with the fabric shop website address & of course I placed an order for the birds fabric & some with bees & eggs on too! 

All fabric washed, ironed & stashed until I find the time to do something with it which believe me I'm very short of at the moment.

I shall leave you to it now I've confessed my fabric sins, I'm off to read up on your blogs as I've had a rather lazy weekend & have not looked at what any of you have been up to since Thursday.

As always, enjoy your day xx

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Fox watch with extras part 1

Harry & I would like to present Fox watch 2015 :)

I was gazing through the kitchen window on Sunday morning when I thought I glimpsed something of a gingery nature! At first I thought it was one of the rather large cats that roam the fields as the pickings can be quite rich here. Mice, frogs, birds, ducklings etc. But no it wasn't! It was a fox! I scampered past Mike with great excitement as I do like foxes you see & ran upstairs quite possibly sounding like a baby elephant as I knew I would get a better view from my bedroom window. 

I am beyond excited, I've asked very nicely for a pair of binoculars which no doubt Mike wont buy me as my fabric haul this month has been quite extravagant to say the least.

Anyway since Sunday morning always between the hours of 7 am & 8 am Mr or indeed Miss Foxie comes through the back field, enters the middle field & meanders by the hedges. I'm pretty sure the den is to the back of the middle field too! This morning however the fox & to be honest it could be a different one as this one appears a little smaller decided to try & play with one of the cats who haunts the field.

It was hugely funny to watch as the cat kept on chasing the fox away which is how they appeared so close to my back garden fence. I shouted for Harry to grab the camera & off I ran to try & capture a few shots, which I sort of managed but when I tried to zoom in more the fox saw me & ran off!

Rocky dog had decided at this point that he had had quite enough & started yowling for his walk. It was no fun to him as he couldn't see anything & was getting bored!

He also decided that has he had to wait for his walk he would not look at the camera at all, certainly not when there were lots of interesting smells & brambles to get himself tangled up in! He was eyeing up the pond in the bottom shot.

Now my dears I shall leave you with a giggle for the day!
It is my fathers funeral this coming Friday (no need to giggle at that part, but think of me on the day after you read the following)

It has been a long fraught process as my mother is now due to come into a large sum of money & of course the house etc, never having experienced this before. My parents had one of those deeply old fashioned relationships where my father was in charge of everything & it was all in his name accordingly. Regular readers will know this & the fact he refused to leave a will!!!!

My brother & sister are useless at sorting things out & my mum lives in cloud cuckoo land so you can imagine the sorting out I've had to do the last few weeks.

I had decided on a mahogany coffin as my dad liked dark wood lined with green fabric because  he liked nature & the garden. As it is a cremation (my dads wishes, only wish in fact) I decided on a nice simple floral display on the top of the coffin. White lilies & chrysanthemums as he used to grow both. A nice elegant send off if you like & it was all going swimmingly. 

I had a text from my brother late last night & a phone call from my mother this morning 'The lads from the local have ordered a wreath out of respect' 

Except its not a blinking wreath its a floral pigeon!!!! 

Many years ago my dad used to keep pigeons, that's where they got the blinking idea.   

All my thought process into an elegant send off spoiled by a floral pigeon. Can you imagine how monstrous it will look. I'm imagining yellow carnations for the eyes. I've had my eldest son & little sister in stitches on the phone this morning. I phoned both starting with the words 'What the hell was that dipstick thinking off, what the hell am I to do with a pigeon'

Think of me my dears staring at this pigeon on Friday with yellow carnations for eyes!

Enjoy your day all xx

P.s I had planned to put the tasteful display on my nan & granddads grave, I truly don't think that even they would appreciate the pigeon, I will take a photo quite possibly next to my deeply unhappy face & the majority of my family rolling in laughter looking at me! 

Monday, 16 February 2015

Shots of spring

Just to prove there is someone else in this world who takes worse photographs than me, I sent Mike into the garden yesterday morning for a couple of shots.

Spring is still an exciting prospect though is it not. Right I'm off, first to play catch up & second to clean the sofas & other less fun stuff. Enjoy your day all xx

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Ta dah -

I took part in a swap earlier on this year held by Tracy from Madboutbags. The swap was titled 'Send a little love' & I was partnered with Sarah

I forgot to take any photos of what I sent to Sarah so if you want to have a little nosey click on her name. 

In the parcel Sarah sent to me I found two balls of yarn & some seeds. What a great gift for a gardener who likes to knit! Also a handmade card, some heart shaped notebooks, a little garden scene cross stitch which I love, I might try & transfer it on my gardening apron thingamajig! A little necklace which has the saying 'I love you to the moon & back' which is quite funny actually & has come in quite useful.

Harry is a loving boy & is quite keen to tell me he loves me often, our daily conversations tend to go 'Love you mum', 'Love you to H', 'Well, I love you more' ' Are you sure as I love you most!' & so on & so on. I've been waving the necklace at him saying that I have physical proof now. I'm waiting for his loving nature to wear off now he is a teenager! 

Last but not least was a bag of chocolate caramel hearts which I ate & nearly saved one for Mike but he wasn't home that night so I ate it! 

I do believe that if someone has sent you some yarn that you shouldn't stash it but use it straight away. 
 The yarn Sarah sent was a self striping one which I am knitting a hat for me with on circular needles, its called knitting in the round & your work joins up as if by magic. Something I thought I would never be able to do! I'm trying some socks next.

Photos courtesy of my new camera from Mike Pike who was given very strict instructions on which one to buy for me! Without these instructions Mike would of gone for a far more expensive model with all sorts of fancy things. This would not do for me as a)I'm buying a fancy dslr one for his birthday & b) I only wanted a basic point & shoot which I can sling in my pocket. 

I have a Sony Cyber-shot if anyone was interested. 
Enjoy your day all xx 

Friday, 13 February 2015

Five on Friday

Ohhhhh a late addition I'm sure. I hurried home from work partly to get this done & also half term is coming up. Yay!!!!!

Joining in with Amy's Five on Friday, which from next week will be changing so if you are interested pop over to Amy's blog to see.

Happy Fives to come -

1. Saturday 14th. Mike Pike is buying me a new camera, just a little point & shoot one as that's as far as my skills stretch + it will be shoved in my jacket pocket on numerous occasions.

2. Sunday 15th. A post about a swap I took part in earlier on this month. A kaput camera meant I couldn't take any photos.

3. Monday 16th. Start of half term, need I say more!

4. Tuesday 17th. A little crafty time will be in order, so much planned -  so little time to do it!

5. Wednesday 18th. I do believe a small order of yarn will be delivered. I plan on attempting to crochet some slippers. Might take me a while because I really struggle with this crochet malarkey!

Five past garden photographs enjoy your day all x

I am joining in Five on Friday, taking five minutes from our day to enjoy five things.  Please go and visit the other people who are also blogging about Five on Friday this week.

Helen from Woollybluebells
Gina from Fan My Flame
 Debbie from Saylor Street Cottage 
Rosie from Corners Of My Mind

Wednesday, 11 February 2015


I feel like I'm getting more & more behind with things even though I'm not!

Thank you so, so much for your comments regarding Harry. We both spoke to him that night & separately I found out the next day! He was very calm about it & I explained some calming strategies for him to cope if it happened again. I also explained to him how important it is to maintain eye contact as it can be quite unnerving  for the other person if they know they are in the wrong.

The next morning Harry asked me not to contact the school that day as he wanted to see if he could sort it out himself. I agreed & sent him off for the school bus unknown to me that he had had a further conversation with Mike before bedtime. Well my happy little soldier returned from school that day with a huge smile on his face, I was feeling rather relived I can tell you until he said 'I've sorted it out mum, can I tell you the exact words I used'. 'Of course darling' I replied not expecting the next sentence! 'Well one of them started on me when I got on the bus, I sat there for a moment trying to ignore him & I couldn't. So I put my fierce face on & like you told me I stared him straight in the eyes & then like dad told me to I then told him to f-off & to leave me alone & to have more respect for people, so its all sorted thanks can I have a hot chocolate please'.

Now I don't condone swearing in any way even though I can get quite sweary in work when under pressure & Mike did get a rollicking that night when he returned from work but Harry's fierce little face when he demonstrated the whole incident with me will stay with me for ever.

I cant get the camera to work so no photo's sorry,  I have an appointment at the bank to sort out my dads affairs, it does actually seem a straight forward transfer of his accounts into my mums account to be honest. I have a business trip to London tomorrow which I could really do without & I have countless people asking me stupid things. I am feeling slightly stressed I really don't need the 'Do you think it's bad form for me to have my hair done on the morning of dads funeral' type of thing!

I did however spend a delightful day in the garden with Mike on Sunday when we planted onions, shallots & garlic.

Enjoy your day all, I can't wait for half term next week xx

Friday, 6 February 2015

The unjoy of adolescence

I'm quite happy to take what life throws at me, I'm big enough, theoretically speaking of course as I'm only 5ft 1" tall & have been round long enough to be pretty able to deal with anything. If it gives someone else a break I'm happy to take the load for a bit.

What I am not happy with is when my 13 year old son returns home from the school bus with a red face & tears because a pair of little ****** have thought they could wind him up by saying he was gay for most of the journey home. Well done because you got through to him.

Now whether any of my children are gay, straight blue, pink or green it doesn't bother me.  What does bother me is that they grow up into happy, responsible people who are able to settle down & get on with life. I hope my children will always see us as a springboard - jump as high as you can & if you need to come back home for any reason before you jump back up then you can. I digress

Harry my youngest child the one who shows his emotions easily, he is a very caring & loving child, the one who is more anxious about finding a good wife & having children than thinking of what sort of career he will have. He has planned two grand children for Mike & me, Johnny & Emily, not sure what his future spouse will make of these plans but there you go.

Harry was also the only child who went up to one of these little ******* at the junior school leaving assembly as the little ****** was upset & crying. I have the video to prove it, I was recording the whole event  not just that touching moment.

I will be contacting the school tomorrow, I know exactly who they are. Unfortunately they live a little too far away for me to walk round to visit their parents once I calm down. I will make sure the school deals with them in the proper manner. What makes this slightly more galling is the fact my nephew who is 5 months older than Harry & hangs round with these boys would give no help or support other than 'They're only joking'. I'm thinking long and hard before I deal with this one, he tends to follow the pack. I also know the limited response I will get from my sister & her husband.  My kids have been brought up differently & more importantly to think before they do or say something.

Harry will bounce back from this, he has already started to. We have spoken about coping strategies for tomorrow & he seems happy enough.

Whilst you may think I have this delightful & loving teenage boy he also morphs very easily into the typical grunting one trying it on. I gave him a fiver to replace what I thought was a lost school tie this morning. Once he calmed down after school I asked if he had bought a new one, he replied he hadn't as he found his lost one in school. Well I never thought to ask for my money back.

He brought it down later with a £10 note he had managed to save with these words 'I've managed to save £15 mum, do you think I could have some xbox livepoints'? 'Of course darling, I replied I will get your dad to pick some up on his way home' It wasn't until later on I twigged.

Enjoy your day, sorry for my rant, this post was supposed to be a bout a rather lovely swap I took part in. I shall be back with that one over the weekend. x

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

I'm craving ...........

a salad. A good old fashioned table salad of the variety my mother used to serve Sunday evening during the summer.

Each element in its own serving dish. There was a bowl of lettuce, the loose leaved variety not iceberg, being circa 1973 there were no bags of salad leaves for me to remember either. A bowl of radish, a bowl of cress, two bowls of cucumber one bowl was always pickled! A dish each of spring onions, tomatoes & celery.  A dish of sliced meat, roasted that morning always two types.  A plate of cheese always including Cheshire cheese & if we were really, really lucky a huge bowl containing baked potatoes. Pickles too! Always accompanied with salad cream. never ever mayonnaise.

My mother was a god awful cook, truly bad, I always looked forward to a salad as she always put on a good spread!

Anyhoo excuse my flashback but I am growing everything of the above this year so I'm rather excited!

We are quite big salad eaters in this household, normally, well always actually its chopped up & mixed in one big bowl & plonked on the table!

I will have one in the above manner at least once this year. Three times actually if I can keep the slugs away from my three celery plants I'm due to receive from my garden plan!  

Thanks for your continuing kind comments & support, it really is appreciated. As always enjoy your day xx

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Supposed to be a cheery garden post!!

I am so unbelievably stressed, angry more than stressed if I'm honest. First I'd like to thank you all for your lovely, kind & thoughtful messages on my last post. xx

Grief is such a strange reaction, it hits us all differently. Grieving I'm not, there was a certain sadness of course there was. But seeing someone in the position my dad was & the toll it was taking there is a certain sense of relief. Harsh I may sound to some but I am an extremely honest person.

I had actively encouraged my father for several years to make a will. He brushed aside my conversations loudly stating I knew nothing about it. Actually I do know lots, the fact that I'm female had more to do with it, he was an extremely traditional old school man. Everything in his name you see nothing in my mothers, girlie's can't deal with things like that.

Naturally my dads estate has now gone to probate after me handing over a large wad of cash for the process to start. The probate forms I could deal with but I have neither time nor the inclination to deal with the tax man!

Looking on the positive & by god I needed to last week after dealing with my mother who was always sheltered from money etc by my father!

'I need your national insurance number' I asked her, 'My what' she replied. 'Oh it's on the front of my bank card' (debit card for those in the know) & on & on & on.

She has no id, her passport ran out last month. She chucks away all of her bank statements, pension details etc I found out so there is no blinking trace of her!!!!

Guess who is sorting it out, I'm going back to work tomorrow for a break!

Anyway, the lovely Mike took me out at the weekend for some seed potatoes. We're not doing many this year & as we are getting a few with our first plant delivery I was very well behaved. The fact there weren't many varieties on the fill your pots section helped. I picked a couple of varieties I hadn't grown before. One pot was filled with a mix of International Kidney the Jersey royal one & Ulster prince. The other pot was filled with Pink Fir Apple which we have grown before.

I also picked up a pack of mixed onion sets & a pack of shallots. I perused the garlic bulb selection hoping to find a hard neck variety for some garlic scapes as well as bulbs to harvest. It might be a bit late but we will see

The experience really did not do my stress levels any good with Mike using his phone to google which one to go for mid onion aisle. He kept on reading out how to grow the things. You can imagine the steam from my ears! After approximately forty minutes we decided to leave the garlic for next year then Mike had the idea of visiting another garden centre for the garlic.

I was very vocal on the point of it being a daft idea & upon Mikes insistence I stomped into the next garden centre. Imagine Mikes glee & my huge disappointment in finding  the very variety I had been after. Naturally I apologised (through gritted teeth)

Apologies for the old photo & my whine earlier on, the camera is on the blink & well I'm just slightly peeved. Enjoy your day xx