Wednesday, 27 January 2016


I'm having one of those weeks - perhaps the January blues is true - more likely the amount of people who have peeved me is to blame! I'm going for the last one.


1. Dipsticks who turned off a server in work last week & took 99% of my work with it, Little Miss sufficiently ranty pants ensured it was switched back on. The blame was apportioned to someone else - the mum stare soon stopped more lies!
2. I'm looking after my nephew this week, it is proving to be trying to say the least! His parents are having what they call 'a cheeky little get-away' I'm calling it 'a starting to take the **** now' especially as they have won a holiday & no doubt in their airy fairy world will expect me to help out again! Errm no.
3. My brother who has quite possibly peeved me off the most! Monday was my dads 1st death anniversary & my brother wanted to go out for lunch. As he is single I agreed as he doesn't have anyone to lean on -blah blah blah - deep down I'm a kind hearted person. He thought it was quite acceptable to go out at 1pm & while away the afternoon. I told him 11am as I had to be back for the boys. It got to 12:30 & repeated texts from me & then I cancelled it given it would take 40 minutes to get to the restaurant, lord knows how long for lunch & another 40 minutes to get back.
4. The 'rose-tinted glasses' postings from my siblings on facebook on my dads death day. God that site has a lot to answer for. Even Mike knew it was a load of 'claptrap' when he phoned me & slightly begged me not to respond. 
5. I'm quite behind on commenting on your posts - apologies! I was rather good last week but I had taken a break from the housework you see to prove to Mike that we don't actually have a fairy to do it for us! I was proved correct as the house was a bit of a shambles & his brother wanted to visit. I said no & Mike couldn't think of a suitable reply. Needless to say he did a bit on Saturday :) 

There are other minor peevements which  I think I am over now

Onto some pretties

I've joined up to The Lucy Boston Patchwork of Crosses Block of the month club because I wanted to. It's run by Sew & Quilt

I had by first delivery yesterday & have been busy cutting out some rather delicious Liberty fabrics! 

It's my treat to me  because I deal with enough from my family, the one I was born into not Mike & the boys! I'm going to make myself some dripping with butter toast shortly too! 

Mike bought me some tulips too 

Friday, 22 January 2016

Five on Friday

I hadn't planned to do a Five on Friday post this week but I seem to have the time to - in fact I seem to be on a roll this week. Perhaps at the age of 42 I've matured & can successfully manage my time. It will however all go to pot next week but we shan't dwell on that shall we.

I've been a gardener for such a long time, I can't imagine never not growing my own. For many years I gardened from my armchair before taking the plunge & digging up the lawn in the back garden & having a veg plot instead.

So here are five reasons for growing your own or perhaps there may be a myth or two put to rest

1. Gardening keeps you fit & healthy by increasing your exercise. Perhaps so if you have a large plot, but mine encourages me to have a gentle meander round the garden.

2. You can encourage plenty of wild life into the garden. This indeed is true however my resident toad cannot keep up with the slug population & the birds dislike the caterpillars on my gooseberry bushes. 

3. Gardening teaches your children where fruit & vegetables come from & encourages them to eat healthily. This again is true however even Usain Bolt couldn't make his way through a strawberry/raspberry bush at the same speed of my children.

4. Growing your own is a cheap way to eat fruit & veg. Not even close - on a small scale it is purely a hobby a blinking expensive one at that. Unless you are more organised than me which I'm sure you are.

5. Joking aside, there is no better feeling than carrying a basket of your own produce into your kitchen with the sun on your back.

Joining in with Amy's Five on Friday - pop on over to see who else has joined up x 

Wednesday, 20 January 2016


Well my kind anyway!

You know when you read a post on someone's blog Codlinsandcream2  & you have a severe case of the wanties !!

Then you give yourself a strict talking to over several days about not making random purchases & saving money.

Then your husband, partner or even wall sees how sad you look - not very sad but when your trying to be a grown up kind of sad & tells you to order said book.

Then you excitedly look at said website & then see said book is part of a package deal also!

Then you sadly think to yourself 'too much money' but it would be a saving as you would buy all four books anyway!

Then said husband, partner or wall looks at you & says - well I wont go into all that but here is my exquisiteness -

These are truly exquisite books - I implore all your crafty folk to visit Janet Clare to see for yourself

More Exquisiteness

As part of my 12 days of Christmas swap which Jo kindly organised in which I was partnered with the lovely Susan I have another shot of the pen which was one of my gifts.

Susan sent me an email this week  explaining about some of the gifts she sent me. My pen was made by a friend of hers (yes made) from a banksia seedpod. Isn't that fascinating - I love it even more now!

Right in the interest of fairness & I've seen this on other posts elsewhere I was not paid for the review - they are my own words. I have four books because I'm a greedy trout but they are truly beautiful & by buying them direct I am not supporting a huge company! 

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Walking the hound

I'd like to say I took photos but I've misplaced the camera again (& again & again & again) not quite my fault  as it's so small! We are going to buy a bigger (proper) one but that might lead to an argument or nine - anyhoo

I've just come back from taking Rocky Hound for his evening walk ( afternoon on Monday because I'm off) 

The hound is currently snoozing on his knitted with love by me blanket where as I have dinner to prepare, hoovering, bathroom to clean & some clothes to put away. As a side note Harry who is supposed to be doing homework is strumming away on his brothers guitar - badly. I feel a bellow coming on!

We bumped into Harry's friends mother who was walking their Jack Russell (very cute hairy one who came from a rescue centre) 

Rocky who is scared of his own shadow by that letting the Jack Russell side down, behaved admirably  - only a few squeaks! 

Prior to bumping into each other as I saw them ahead a thought entered my mind.

I had visited my mother & drank two glasses of wine. Which is customary & she gets rather put out if you don't have an alcoholic beverage. This is the reason I see my mother at 2pm rather than 10am as the offer of a glass of wine is always there. 

Not everyone is as slatternly as me & this lovely lady takes Harry to school & picks him up & I wanted to check that this was still okay.

Conscious of smelling like a brewery I removed my gloves, licked my palm & sniffed, Then as I couldn't remember if I was supposed to lick the top of my hand & sniff instead naturally I repeated the exercise, no doubt to the hilarity of a passing bus.

Erm I couldn't smell anything offensive so I caught up on the way home for a conversation & managed not to knock her out with any fumes.  

She is more than happy to take H, I knew it was but I still wanted to check & I did take round a bunch of flowers last week.

Back in work now & while I really should do a garden post it's cold, wet & apart from a few leeks & a couple of red cabbage there isn't a lot there!

P.s I was very excited to escape watching Star Wars the other day, I was a lot more excited when I found out it was on for 2 hours & 16 minutes! The boys enjoyed it though x

Friday, 15 January 2016

Five on Friday

Linking up with Amy's Five on Friday


1. Should I look for one of those spiked receipt holders. I think it would be useful to count up the foil wrappings from the chocolates I'm shovelling into my mouth left over from Christmas.

2. The end of Harry's first two weeks at his new high school. He has lost his German homework & a gym sock other than that he has settled into the place extremely well. He has made several new friends, one also named *Harry. 

3. If my anxiously awaited book delivery arrives *today

4. Not altogether looking forward to our Friday night out. Star Wars is not my thing & I'm sure the place will be to dark to crochet. A husband who is looking forward to said film & trip to Nandos afterwards along with two fourteen year old boys. I think I'd prefer to curl up on the sofa with a hook, the hound & hopefully some new books. 

5. Hopefully looking forward to Mike finishing late Friday night so no cinema trip (or mortgage to pay for it). My Sunday would then go to pot as the trip would happen then!

* My Harry was born in 2001 when the first Harry Potter film was released. His name didn't come from the Harry Potter novels but I think quite a few did. Rob was extremely jealous of his baby brother back then. Not sibling rivalry but the fact he had green eyes & dark hair where as Rob was  a dark strawberry blonde with blue eyes who desperately wanted to be Harry Potter! 

* Typing this post on Thursday morning whilst desperately hoping for book delivery & wondering if supping a bottle of water will help in the calorific nature of consumed chocolates! 

Rocky is dreaming as I type - of the above I think & some squirrels. 

Right I'm back in the office today so I will endeavour to leave comments on your posts this evening

Wishing you all a splendid weekend x 

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Plans & dreams

First Rocky would like to thank you all very much for your comments on his first post yesterday. He hopes to be back after his first holiday which will be in August, if I ever get round to booking one that is. He would also like me to reply to all your comments - we shall see how that a pans out as I'm working from home & still waiting for me book delivery also Rocky is snoozing on his knitted by me blanket on the other sofa!  A thanks from me too my face isn't swollen or sore any more I shall return to the office tomorrow. 

There are big plans here for 2016 the conservatory needs to be built, the veg beds moved & Mikes workshop installed. 
The workshop being the arguing point I'd like him to have a wooden package one Mike wants one built out of breeze block & a feckless member of his family to help him build it. I know who will win this argument!

What I'd really like to happen next is Mike to finish off the kitchen completely & to replace the bath. This means I can then have the new bannisters installed, the hall & landing decorated & a new stair carpet.
Though Harry has moved bedroom so that needs decorating & he has devised a desk system of monstrous proportions so the money needs to come from somewhere.

Its easy being frugal if you have the money in place to do it. Mike & I both have well paid jobs, we've worked hard to get to our positions but we do waste money.

I have the knowledge to be frugal too & I do really try I just need to stop being so lazy about it.

A little tightening of our belts will mean we can get the majority of the work complete this year.

She says after placing an order for four books which Mike paid for. There was one book I really wanted & pondered over it for a couple of days. Looking on the website I saw two more books in the range which of course I wanted. Then there was an offer on a pack of four books discounted so after pondering more Mike told me to order them. Overall I or rather we have saved money on something that would have been bought.

Sky has been cancelled after it had stopped working & a useless phone call. We have a Now TV box instead & very impressed with it we are. There have been several phone calls & letters from Sky asking us to go back on a reduced rate but no. The nearly £1k saving will pay for Mikes new workshop.

I shall leave you with a photo of Rocky with his toy from Susan when he has finished playing with it he takes it in his bed to lick.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

A post by Rocky Hound

Hello - wags tail furiously!! Well I would if I had one but I don't remember if I was born with one or if it was chopped off. I didn't have a very good start in life when I was a little tiny puppy I was very badly treated by my owners & a nice man rescued me I lived with him until he died. The man was my new dads dad so I knew my new family very well

 I came to live with my mum, dad & two brothers where I now live the life of Riley. I don't know who Riley was but I like his life.

I'm allowed to do my own post because my mum isn't very well, there isn't anything wrong with her as such but she has a sore swollen face quite possibly to do with a bad reaction to opening a jar of roasted peppers. More than likely it was to some new cream. She is resting by working from home & waiting for some new books to be delivered. 

I am very fearful of my life with my mum buying things - my dad thinks the house will collapse one day!

Anyway I've wanted to do my own post for ages as my bloggy pal Ted does the occasional one. Ted runs a pigeon watching club for us hounds. I'm not allowed to bark at pigeons as my aunt thinks her dad came back as one & my mum mutters 'poor deluded creature' under her breath. I'm allowed to bark at starlings though or I am until my mum catches me & shouts. 

Here is a pesky starling
Here are a lot more
They are very noisy & pesky especially when I'm guarding against snails

I'm very much looking forward to the summer as I like the sunshine though I don't get much of it in Wales & I like to follow it round until there is enough to warm my bones. 

My hobbies are -

Licking the sofas 

My ambitions are -

To eat a squirrel
To eat a cat

Simple pleasures you see

Well I hope you are all well I must get back to my sleep because it is very tiring living Riley's life you know.

Best regards Rocky Hound Esquire 

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Trial by jar

I decided to make for dinner last night a lovely warming pasta dish as it was cold, raining, I'd wanted to make it for a few days & to show a kindness to Mike as he had been really kind to me by ordering me some books I really really wanted.

I had everything else prepared then I came to the jar of roasted peppers. Could I open it could I heck!
A good half an hour later I was nearly tearing my hair out in desperation. I had whacked the lid with a spoon, tried turning the lid with a tea towel & run the jar under the hot water tap. I'd even filled the sink with hot water &let it soak. Yes, I did google for instructions!

Would it budge - no it blinking didn't!!!!

I phoned Mike & with a slight hint of desperation asked how long he would be & with more desperation explained my plight when he said he would be quite some time yet.

'Pierce the lid with a sharp instrument' he told me 'It will release the vacuum'

Which I did & yes it did release the vacuum & still wouldn't let me open the jar!!!!!!!! 

I had a brainwave & then Mike called

'Did you manage it'?

'Errrm yes darling, in a fashion - see you later I'm a little busy'

With one of Mikes good knives as I was at the point of chucking the jar at the wall to get to the peppers inside.

I'd like to day I was virtuous & served it with a lightly dressed salad & glass of water.

I wasn't, it was served with garlic bread & a large G&T 

It was however absolutely delightful - Red pepper, sundried tomato & ricotta cannelloni. 

I'd forgotten what a bind it was to stuff cannelloni tubes especially when ones is stressed but it made a lovely change from the usual spinach & ricotta cannelloni.

Friday, 8 January 2016

12 days of Christmas

I took part in Jo's Twelve days of Christmas swap & it was an absolute delight to be part of it. I've been very blessed with my swap partners of 2015 & the luck continued when Jo partnered me up with Susan 

I received a chocolate koala bear in a Christmas stocking as yet uneaten because it really is too cute.
Some little hand knitted hats for fun. I'm going to peg them on my Easter twig tree (once I've sneaked it past Mike)
A delightful little sewing kit
A pack of buttons which funnily enough contained a ladybird button. I sent Susan a pack of buttons which I nearly didn't as it contained a ladybird button & I do like them. I was delighted to receive one back! 
Some pretty little gifts tags
A booklet on crochet baby blankets, a friend is having her first child this year so this will be useful
A calender 
A pretty notebook which contains the workings out of Harry's first lot of physics homework 
A pen which was used to write the workings out
A covered coat hanger which is now in my wardrobe with my Christmas sweater over it
A pretty heart magnet peg which resides on the big fridge freezer. 
A quilt kit which I absolutely adore

Mike even took me to the big fabric shop to get some cream & patterned fabric for the side bits & won me a voucher for £5 off my next visit! 

I'm off for four days now - utter bliss so once I've completed my housework & chucked all the bits in the slow cooker for a curry I hope to start cutting out the rest of the squares for my quilt.

Rocky hound wasn't left out either but I've lost the photo of him playing with his toy that Susan sent, it was a home made fabric twist pulling thing which Rocky absolutely loves. I had a splendid photo of Rocky playing with it, he even takes it in his bed with him.

A huge thanks to Jo for hosting & a huge thanks from Rocky & I to Susan for your lovely gifts. Mike even got to take part as he was dishing the gifts out to me day by day to stop be unwrapping them all at once!

Take care all xx

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Deja Vu

The last few months of 2015 have been a struggle at times. Not to bore you all silly but Harry's high school is earmarked for closure in 2017. 
He is due to take his options this year & 2017 will be the year he takes his GCSE's so naturally it was of great concern. 
Again to cut a long story short because I ramble we were successful in our appeal to get Harry into an oversubscribed High School which he started on Monday & he loves it there - well likes because you know he's 14 & a bit cool!!
Harry has fitted in well because all of his primary school friends & local friends go to this school another story cut short.

Anyway my dears Deja Vu - Physics homework.

"I can't do this I don't understand it"
"What are you whittering on about boy"
"This - I d o nt Knoooooooooooooow w hat I ammmmmmmmmm m e a nnnnn ttt to doooooooooooooo" sarky 14 year old speech here. Can you follow?
" FFS (for the sake of decency & I did actually mutter under my breath) I've just walked through the door, let me put my case down & take my jacket off"

Cue huffing teenager & the need of a G&T ( I had two) hell I nearly sucked the bottle dry I proceeded to complet my youngest child's homework as in give him directions not scribble it myself. 

"Thanks Mum" & a hug to!!
"No problem darling" looking longingly at the gin bottle (no I didn't have a third) "Who teaches physics there now, let me have a look - Jesus Lord in Heaven (no offence intended I do go to church & take communion though I might possible blow up this Sunday) is he still there, are you sure, how old does he look?

Harry's physics tutor is my old one as Harry now attends my old high school - can't wait for parents evening to show him how much I've improved. 

A couple of swaps I'm taking part in should any of you be interested 

errm and a couple of hastily plucked from file photos to brighten up this post because physics is everything I remember it to be  xxx

Monday, 4 January 2016

New year - New plans

A belated Happy New Year to you all. I don't do resolutions as such, a few plans, a few I'd like to do something fits well into my ethos.

There are big changes afoot here & the veg plot needs to go - as in move round the corner not go in its entirety.

Mike wants a work shop a much bigger space than his current man cave. However the garden is only a small one so our Christmas pondering has been how to accommodate the work shop.

The greenhouse will need to go, once Mikes work shop is built we shall buy a small lean to one to attach to the side of the workshop. We can still grow a couple of blight free tomatoes then, still grow some chillies & it will be somewhere for the peach & fig trees to reside over winter. Should they survive the cull that is.

The collection of fruit trees is being looked at, the ones we can plant in the ground will stay, the others, well if we can't give them away they will become log piles for garden insects.

The garden needs to adapt to our needs & lack of time has always been a big issue for me. The current veg patch is only a small one but it was badly designed. The new layout will consist 4 times 4ft by 4ft raised beds or two 8ft by 4ft beds. Beds I can walk around without trampling on the soil. Beds which will accommodate the veg we like to grow -beans, carrots, salads, new potatoes & sweetcorn.

The asparagus bed might not survive the cull, I have an idea in my head of two large triangular shaped beds of herbs, flowers, fruit trees & bushes. With a table & eating area in the centre. The garden needs to become more easy to care for & less maintenance too!

A year long project I suspect but Mike really wants his own space & it's only fair. I do get the man cave though which I will happily turn into a she shed! The new veg plot will start taking shape next month. Take care all xx