Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Pests in the garden

I'm not on about the standard slugs, snails or pigeons either. The plot is small enough to keep most damage caused by them under control.

No the biggest pest in my garden is Rocky hound. The shortest route to the small orchard area is straight across the veg plot. I'm sure you can imagine this naughty little doggy likes to have a good dig too!

I decided to enlist Mikes help to place a rigid net around the veg plot. I can steady myself with a cane to clamber over for planting & harvesting purposes.

And yes that is a dandelion I'm cultivating in the blue planter, I'd best make some plans to re pot the containers for summer!

Monday, 27 April 2015

A lovely day

We visited Chirk castle yesterday, we were supposed to go last week but the lovely weather meant the garden took priority. Living in the UK especially North Wales every bit of sunshine needs to be taken advantage of.

As we are members of the National Trust it was a free day out for us although the £30 we saved on the entry fee was spent on tea, coffee & cake & a nice rug for picnics!

There is on five months difference between my youngest son & nephew so we tend to take them out together, I can't tell you how thrilled these two nearly 14 year olds were yesterday!

How can we escape this torture, lets walk off!

I spotted a sign for the kitchen garden so naturally this was my first port of call. It wasn't as big as I thought it would be though it was very pleasant to walk around & there were quite a few things growing -
Asparagus bed

Globe Artichokes & raspberries

Standard gooseberries

View from the Kitchen garden

The boys quickly scampered up the hill, though I suspect they were anxious to get the trip over,they did enjoy themselves in the dungeons, exploring the castle & grounds much to their surprise. We spent several hours there which proves how much the boys secretly enjoyed it & the weather was lovely too.

I couldn't take any photos of the State rooms as you had to turn off the camera flash, I didn't know how to + I was busy keeping my eye on two teenagers making sure they didn't touch, run or bump into something. Mike & I will be paying a return visit by ourselves as I'm sure I would enjoy the staterooms more without worrying about teenagers.

So some random shots of the day

Right my dears I thought it was about time I stuck myself on the blog & the bottom shot is Harry's favourite of the day. 'Oh look mum, I wonder how much gin you could fit in that' Awful boy!
I shall play catch up later on, I'm off to the village post office to post Jo's parcel. Enjoy your day xx 

Friday, 24 April 2015


Hello! Bad blogger back again - April is always a bad month for me so I have a sort of excuse! 

Anyway just popped back on to announce the winner - drum rolls if you will  - 

Congrats, I made Mike pull a name out of the hat, well a wicker Rudolph which is far too nice to put away in the attic with all the other Christmas decs.

His face was a picture when he drew Jo's name out of the hat -

'Joanne, you can't put your own name in the hat'

'I haven't you dipstick man & you've never called me Jo'

He still doesn't quite believe me!

Send me your address Jo & I will post your mug & surprises on Monday & yes it's still in one piece xx

Monday, 20 April 2015

Give away alert :)

Oh my word I've been a bad blogger! No posts from me for over a week, I've been so blinking busy in work & have been in the office for five full days on the run - unheard of since 2009! I've been that busy I've been unable to look at your blogs too!

Anyway my dears to make amends here is my promised give-away -
Isn't he/she cute, now I rather like expensive things as poor Mike found out many moons back. I am also a scrooge I like to know where my money goes & I tend to put off my buying until I see a bargain.

A bargain I did find the other week when perusing my emails & one popped up from Emma Bridgewater So I ordered a mug for me (currently in the dishwasher) & one for whoever the lucky winner is.

Rules - None really, I truly haven't the time to sort any out. I pondered long & hard over which mug to buy you. It had to be suitable for male or female.  Garden or crafty lovers, so I decided on the Red Squirrel. Open to everyone no matter which part of the world you live in, leave a comment on this post by 5pm Friday 24th April & I will scribble the names on paper & stick them in a hat & get Mike to pull one out. I will also add some surprises for the lucky winner so you will have to give me a week before I post it.

So that's it add a comment. I quite possibly wont be commenting on your blogs until Wednesday. I've got broad beans & potatoes to plant, I've promised to visit my mum again (I went yesterday too), I have a shed load of housework to do & clothes to put away :(

However Mike & I have ordered tiles for the kitchen floor & I got a super bargain too! It actually caused much hilarity with me wanting the kitchen floor tiled. I have a habit of dropping things & with a love of expensive china - well they don't really mix!

The mug was photographed in the greenhouse because with the lack of a kitchen & me being way behind on the housework the house really is a tip! Yes, I did nearly drop it too!


Enjoy your day all x

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