Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Garden shots

A few shots from the veg plot.

Finally the PSB is making an appearance, there is also some white sprouting broccoli too but all you can see are the leaves. I do believe they are later than their purple cousins so I haven't given up all hope.

A surprise cauliflower. Not a complete surprise you understand I did actually plant them. The surprise came from the speed in which the head came. It wasnt there several days ago. Still it will make a nice addition to Sunday lunch this coming weekend. Perhaps the other four bedfellows will produce something too. 

A snail on last years teasel. It is a snail I promise. Long time readers know my lack of photography skills. I need to cut the teasel down along with lots of other stuff in the garden. I'm such a fair weather gardener. 

Finally Rocky hound being introduced to the cows in the field behind my house 

He is such a wimpy little doggy, 

Are you all well, I do hope so xx 

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Grand scheme of things

I've pondered hard on whether to post this very minor matter, it's a very first world problem & in the 'Grand scheme of things' means diddly squat. 

My lovely husband has a very traditional view on life in that he is the provider. We are both lucky that we are both in well paid secure jobs which means our little family has a good standard of living. I do realise how fortunate we are.

Yesterday morning he told me to get ready & that he would take me out for a charm for my bracelet. I was lying on the sofa with a minor cold keeping warm under my finished blanket. I was going no where. He then offered to take me to Hobbycraft &  I thought to myself ohh I'd rather like a pompom maker but no I was still happy with a bundle of tissues & to stay on the sofa.

He then offered to take me to Abakhan to use my £5 off voucher Mike had won & we kept on forgetting to redeem. This did make me get up from the sofa, showered, dressed we were off. 

We visit the Mostyn branch often, it is staffed by very knowledgeable ladies (in the fabric department) & we always visit the cafe for a nice lunch. The location is nice & the only thing I've ever had against the Mostyn branch apart from a few minor issues with the yarn building is that each department is housed in separate buildings. I have a set routine when visiting. Fabric department first, a mooch round the home furnishings, peruse the craft classes on offer, lunch, yarn shop then finally the craft shop then departing with car boot full of goodies. 

The fabric department was as always a pleasure to shop in . Mike bought me two x 1.5 meters of two different Liberty fabrics & two meters of a navy cotton fabric. We had a lovely chat with the lady who served us & she signed me up to their new reward scheme. 

You are given a card & if you spend over £15 you get a stamp. You are given various rewards at different stamp levels. We spent over £42 & while I was expecting one stamp the card was stamped twice. This troubled me slightly as Mike is a cheeky so & so - he will always ask for more. If I'm close enough I normally tell the person to ignore him.

I looked at a couple of craft classes I was interested in taking. An overlocker one & a machine embroidery one. We then went for something to eat.  All very nice.

We then visited the yarn building. I had no plans to buy yarn but I always like to have a look. Then I saw the display of West Yorkshire Spinners yarn & went straight to heaven. We did have a good look round the shop & Mike was very encouraging. We returned to the WYS display &  I looked at the 4 ply Signature range. I put two balls in my basket & Mike put another two in along with a crochet hook. He was going to buy me the Illustrious book which I had been after for ages & promised me a return visit to by me the yarn I declined the offer of the book due to the amount he was spending. As I said earlier we are frequent visitors. I could get it another time. Anyway after a lacklustre response to a knitting needle enquiry we decided to pay. 

The staff member who was serving a customer at the next till was encouraging her to sign up to the reward card. 'For every £15 spent you get a stamp dear' this appeased my slightly troubled mind over having my card stamped twice earlier on. We thought we had spent around £30 & this was confirmed when my yarn was put through the till. 
'I can only stamp your ticket once' the assistant told us 'as it has come up as two separate transactions' Mike asked in a slightly bemused manner what she meant as we were paying for the one transaction. 'No it's two transactions one for £21 something & the other £9 something this means I can only stamp your  card the once for the £21 transaction.' Which she proceeded to do so. After further queries we decided to leave it & left the shop. Instead of our usual visit to the craft shop we headed for the car.

Now this troubled Mike to the extent of stopping in a car park on the way home to phone Abakhan.  The phone was eventually answered by what sounded like a slightly bored teenager &  I took over the phone call after looking at Mikes incredulous expression. 

She told me that the yarn staff member was right, that there were teething problems with the new introduction & issues were being passed to the marketing manager.  I asked her to confirm that if I had bought a variety of smaller priced items which totalled £15 then I wouldn't be eligible for a stamp. She agreed with me . She tried to backtrack at one point of the conversation but as I then had that slightly incredulous look on my face I can't quite remember at what point she backtracked.  I pointed out that Abakan really need to up their staff training on matters like this & to ensure the marketing boards in the stores are changed to reflect the true nature of the offer. 

I've sent an email of complaint in & after the dismal experience of speaking to the slightly bored teenager informed both that I will not be returning to Aberkan & would be taking my not inconsiderable yearly craft spend elsewhere. I'm not if I'm honest expecting a response back from Abakhan & the only reason we haven't returned the items we bought is that Mike refuses to go back to the place but as I say 'In the grand scheme of things' it's nothing really.

I wish I had gone to Hobbycraft for a pompom maker instead. 

According the the receipt & Abakhan the three multicoloured yarns were one transaction & the red yarn along with the crochet hook was a separate transaction. Yet all on the same receipt & one total of £31.60 paid- madness. If I do get a response I might jolly well copy & paste it as a post in the week.

Hope you are al well xx  

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Pocket money

I'm very lucky that Mike gives me an allowance each month to spend on fripperies. 

I receive on the 15th of each month - wait for it now - £36

Mike receives a tax free allowance of £36 for each night he spends away from home. I pointed out that by rights & in all fairness that I should have one nights worth for myself each month as obviously my workload increases dramatically when he is away. It doesn't if anything it makes my life a bit easier - one less male to clear up after but a frippery allowance actually makes me spend less each month. 

It's the 15th today but I had already spent my pocket money at the weekend. 

I made good use of it in Hobbycraft on Sunday & received a bonus gift by walking like a lady.

I stupidly wore a pair of heels which were really hurty & rubbing (hurty is a proper word in my world) 
Mike told me to stop stomping & to walk properly, which I did with imaginary books on my head. 

Mike was suitable impressed enough to buy me a bonus gift of this

It's a storage container a bit like a craft briefcase if you will. Marlene who blogs over at Poppy Patchwork bought a similar one so I found where they were in the store to have a further look. 
They come in several sizes but Mike picked this one for me & seeing as he was buying I agreed. 

It's rather useful & currently houses all of my current projects - well the ones that fit in.

Take care all xx

Monday, 14 March 2016

That time of year

As much as I enjoy the onset of autumn there is no doubting the run up of spring is a magical time. These few days of sunshine have been just so lovely. 

I know lots of you have started your seed sowing but I have held off. With the veg garden being redesigned I really don't know what space I will have. We normally buy chilli, tomato & cucumber as plants anyway. Leeks, carrots, spring onions & salad leaves will be grown in troughs. So really I'm looking at beans, broccoli, beetroot & sweetcorn being grown in the ground. 

Anyway another crop I grow in tubs are potatoes due to the lack of space really.

We have cut down hugely on what we grow. We have worked out what does well for us & the time we have to dedicate. In all honesty I think this will be the last year for the asparagus patch, I'd like a larger pond & we have a farm shop close by which sell their own asparagus, sprouting broccoli too but that's another story. 

This years potatoes Accord (I think), Charlotte & Pink Fir Apple.
Just the three varieties which we are growing in larger tubs - the builder bucket type.

I really don't have the time any more to water lots of tubs. By cutting down on the seed potatoes bought & growing in larger tubs I'm sure this will help to gain an adequate harvest.

I bought my seed potatoes from a fairly local garden centre Gordale. As well as the usual nets of potatoes for allotments & the small bags they have lots of loose ones. We went for the fill two plant pots for a fiver option. 

They also have a peacock & peahen roaming the grounds along with guinea fowl & ducks. 

Take care xx

Friday, 11 March 2016

Five on Friday

I'm joining in with Amy's Five on Friday as I am having a sneaky day off work which means I can visit all of the other contributing blogs. Friday mornings of late tend to see me tearing my hair out over something or starting a countdown to the end of the working week.

My younger sister turns forty in June & I wanted to get her something special. I decided on a portrait of her dog as I'm pretty sure she loves it more than her two boys. 

I needed to get some close up shots of the pesky thing at ground level. My lack of photography skills meant this has been near on impossible along with the fact Mitzy is a speedy little thing. I managed to take a grand total of 42 on Sunday the majority being out takes - five of which I have picked for your perusal. 

I've also misplaced the charger for my now defunct camera. You know when you know where something is but you can't place it. That place is where my charger is currently hiding.

Are you all well? I do hope so xx

Thursday, 3 March 2016


I carry a lot of guilt with me, unnecessary guilt I'm sure but it always seems to hang over me.  I have a sense of guilt over my children Robbie has had such wonderful luck lately & he has worked hard for it but I do feel slightly guilty that he has had such good fortune where as other people struggle. 
I also feel guilt over forcing Harry to revise but I will never admit that to him.

I felt a huge amount of guilt last month over 4 balls of yarn. 

I received an email from Blacksheep wools informing me that they had Debbie Bliss Rialto chunky in a range of colours at a vastly reduced price. I checked out the offer & persuaded myself it was an offer I couldn't miss. I do actually on my 'to make one day list' a chunky crochet blanket. I ordered enough yarn to get the free delivery offer.

I mentioned my good fortune to my deeply superstitious husband who enquired just how many balls had I ordered. Thirteen I replied. 

Mike forced me to order more as in his eyes it was bad luck to order 13. 

I'm not quite sure why I am feeling so guilty - perhaps it was the missed opportunity with having free reign with Mikes debit card!!

Thank you so so much for your kind words over Rob. It certainly is quite the opportunity for him & we still can't quite believe it xx 

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Life whizzing by

I'd like to say that February whizzed by but it felt like I was stuck in treacle. A combination of work & family has kept me away.  Nothing major but something had to give & blogging it was, I was so exhausted last night that I crept to bed at 7:45 pm & woke up rather refreshed this morning. 

We have recently received the most amazing news. Rob has been offered a job with Aberystwyth University. I always thought I would lose my eldest son to a welsh village. In time I know that will happen. That boy of mine has always been so intransigently welsh, it is ingrained on his very soul. Unlike Harry who is English which makes the six nations huge fun in our house. Naturally I side with Harry as I'm English too. I have a lovely memory of Rob aged about 12 on the beach at Aberystwyth announcing that he would attend the university there one day. Which he did & had the absolute time of his life.

Ten years on he starts his dream career at the new Aberystwyth campus - based in Mauritius . Yes that is right  I'm losing my son to Mauritius, not until August though. 

I keep on asking if he is correct  & could I read his offer of employment. To which he is reply yes he is quite sure of the offer & no you cannot read it as it is in Welsh! 

I am deeply behind on commenting & reading blogs to be honest I am trying to catch up as life appears to be on more of an even keel now.

Harry has been picking his options ( a selection of subjects to study through to GCSE level) maths, science, english, welsh & quite a few others are compulsory. Forgive me I should know off the top of my head but I'm feeling a little bogged down by it all. We have had quite a few fraught discussions you know temperamental 14 year old boy & all that!  Over dinner last Monday I brought up at the table that we really should make a final decision & enter his selected subjects and back up choices. Harry's casual reply back was that he had already done so in school. Really? which was  my slightly hysterical response. What have you chosen?

History, business studies & engineering. 

Not quite sure how engineering is going to help with a possible law degree in the future but there we go. Business studies really was the best out of the middle option for him so I'm quite pleased ( & rather relieved)

I read Christina's post last week ( in work so I couldn't comment & rather guilty of no time at home) but oh how I emphasised. Another fraught discussion with Harry last week after I caught him on his xbox. I was madly waving revision books at him asking why he wasnt revising for his science exam, to which he replied with a touch more glee in his voice than was strictly necessary " It was today, I actually thought I did quite well". I gave him extra broccoli at dinner for his cheek!

I shall stop rambling now, I hope you are all well & now I'm  blogging again I shall be back with wool guilt & seed potatoes xx