Monday, 29 August 2016

A road long travelled

I'm back in work tomorrow - meh. Mike actually said I could leave if I liked but Harry is off to uni (hopefully) in four years and I like to save more towards that. 

Who knows though in seven years I could retire. Exciting possibilities ahead.

Apart from three years away I've always lived here. I bought a house just round the corner from my parents. Quite a few of my childhood friends did the same and now my youngest son is friends with their children. Some are also in the same year group at school which is nice.

I was very blessed last week as Mike did the majority of the dog walking. I only took Rocky out on Saturday as Mike was fishing. 

Rocky and I almost always take the route above, so close to my house I could almost touch it. The cut off for the primary school is just by the bend in the top photo. The school which my siblings and I attended and our children too. 

This road is still much travelled by us all. My sister lives at the very top out of sight just round the corner.  Harry wanders up and down it each day to meet his friends in the village. They've had a wonderfully idyllic school summer holiday. The group of them tramping up and down the lane and through the fields. It's also the route to and from secondary school if walking.  Similar to me at that age.

They are too old now to find old dens made in the hedgerows, explore the ditches looking for creatures or paddle in the shallow stream. I think they still visit the small wood of which there are two.

Times change of course. The farm is now a farm park, the small field where the best hedges for making dens was sold  and a few houses were built there about 20 years ago. 

Times might change but thoughts seldom do.

"Joanne, where do those little girls I see visiting next door live"?
"In those new houses at the bottom mum"

My thoughts were interrupted as Rocky and I returned from our Saturday morning walk. I spotted three young boys in the middle of the road by the houses. Naturally I knew the boys and how long their families had been living there. Bikes akimbo on the road as is the traditional position here often as goal posts. Never on the pavement and there is always a mad scramble when a car approaches. 

They were looking at something in the middle of the road and as I came into view they looked up at me.
One of the boys I know very well as he is the youngest brother of one of Harry's closest school friends. His father was a childhood friend of mine. This boy has chosen to call me 'Harry's mum'

'Harry's mum Harry's mum there's a frog in the middle of the road'

'Pick him up and put him in the hedge then'

'Ew' said three seven year old boys together then 'Oh no a car is coming, it's going to get squished' - mad scramble to remove bikes.

The frog wasnt squished and after the close escape one of the boys decided he would be brave and pick it up. Except the frog had enough by this time and was unnervingly to the boys hopping off. 
Now they were worried for their new friend so one made a grab for it but really did not like the feeling of the frog and started grimacing. 

I handed Rocky over and the took the frog to put in a place of safety. Rocky was rather exhausted by all this palaver so a short talk on frogs was given and the hound and I returned home for a much deserved rest and treat!  

This is my greenhouse frog - Francis x 

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Treat time!!

In lieu of a holiday away this year due to a mother faffing around(mine) and a reluctant teenager Mike and I have treated ourselves to a stay-cation. 

A whole week away from the office - how blinking divine -smiley face - smiley face. Admitting to the fact that I've cast more than one look at the emails on my phone because a) I'm expecting a couple of important ones from the police and b) one came through about a meeting in London which gives me time to wriggle my way out of it. Another smiley face or three!

We've been out for several nice meals, spent an exorbitant amount on Harry's school uniform. The cost was so scary I declined Mikes kind offer of a visit to Seasalt.  Honestly the cost of buying a uniform for a child who is in adult sizes. Harrumph!!!!

I did however visit the new local yarn shop. Swoony? smiley faces here!

Yarn o'clock is filled to the rafters with British yarn and is absolutely delightful to visit. I have a trip planned for next month. Anne the owner has a little corner where she sits and knits and is so lovely and helpful. 

My loot

The mustard yellow one is WYS 4ply because I have rather fanciful ideas of knitting socks. Ann the owner kindly showed me the magic loop method and after two days of blood sweat and tears have made a good start. 
The rather fancy caterpillars are yarns dyed especially for Yarn O'Clock by Fivemoons. The deep purple is a Tibetan DK is called Vampire's Tipple. Very soft and very squidgy and made from SW Merino, silk and Yak. I have this earmarked for some mittens featured in the autumn edition of  Pom Pom magazine.
The multicoloured yarn is a lace weight as I have even more fanciful idea of knitting a lace shawl. I really am getting above myself. The colours include shades of grey, black, purple, lilac, red and pink and is named Winter.
Can you see the two cream coloured balls or I think cakes are a better word. This really is special stuff. 
Cartref Alpacas is based a few miles away from where I live and a little closer to the shop. It is then spun about 35 miles away. So it really is locally produced yarn. 100% undyed alpaca. I got a little carried away when giving it a good squidge in the shop and picked up a ball of Diamond Geezer (the daddy alpaca and a ball of Peggy (a daughter). Before I visited the shop I knew I wanted to make a hat out of this yarn. Mike very nicely went back to the shop this morning and bought me another cake of Diamond Geezer.I'm going to see if we can visit the place after I've knitted my hat.

Don't feel sorry for Mike, he had a new fishing rod, reel and a tent thing. xx

Monday, 15 August 2016

A small harvest

I picked some runner beans Friday evening. Far too early really but there were two that needed picking so I rummaged through the leaves for some others at a nearly reasonable size. 

There are plenty more to come - thankfully! 

I eked out my pathetic harvest with two asparagus spears. The patch which the asparagus struggled to grow on has been sprinkled with a wild flower mix. So there was no harm in picking the spears this late in the season.

Both boys were out while Mike was making dinner. Duck in orange sauce with dauphinoise potato so Mike and I shared the runner beans between us. The boys weren't left out completely , they had their meal later on accompanied by sliced green beans from the freezer. 

Thursday, 11 August 2016

The greenhouse

I feel more on top of things now I've commented on quite a few blogs and because I enjoyed posting on my own blog yesterday I decided to give it another go. 

We have grown very little out in the open this year. The current design of the veg plot doesn't work very well so it needed to be redesigned. I hope to have the work completed during the next few months but in all honestly I cant see it being done until next year. We are having a new bathroom fitted towards the end of September and Mike has just decided that his car will need new front breaks. He was also muttering about it might need new calipers?? but to be honest I lost interest and have told him to take it to the garage at the weekend. I have a feeling it will be around £300 so no nice new sleepers for my new veg beds just yet.

We are very lucky in that we have a large greenhouse in the garden. Free too which is always nice.  It came with a weather vane, a table and a water butt. It came from just around the corner from where I live and I have happy memories of the kindly chap who used to own it. The poor chap is dead now but he was a lovely, cheerful fellow and I like to think we do his greenhouse justice. 

Mike enjoys growing a wide selection of chilli plants. No idea what he has in there I request that two of them be normal cooking types. The remainder are hot ones which he distributes between friends and work colleagues. 
The greenhouse is also home to a cucumber plant, the cucumelons, five or maybe four tomato plants and a peach tree.

No peaches this year, I accidentally left it out over the winter and nearly killed the poor thing. It has recovered surprisingly well and now resides permanently under cover. The fig tree will join it in a couple of months. About five years I've had the fig tree and the only fruit I've had off it was in the first year. I thought my luck was in this year as it had about fourteen baby fruit on it. Unfortunately they all fell off!

See the bike in it, flaming Mike! A whiff of anything free and he is there like a shot. He visited his brother the other week and noticed the bike had been put out for scrap. He asked if he could take it for Harry who incidentally already has a perfectly good bike. When I commented to Mike (through clenched teeth) why such a grotty thing was in my greenhouse he replied it was an expensive bike when it was first bought. I replied with 'I'm sure it was but your nephew is now in his twenties, it's been rotting at least ten years'! Grrrr xx

Monday, 8 August 2016

Bits and pieces

Oh I've been so busy of late, not the nice ' I've baked lots, gardened lots and made some crafty items'. 
No, busy at work that's me. I've found myself pondering more if I should have given up work when the boys were little like Mike said. Or if I had had my children later on in life instead. Or if I had a job where people likes me. For the record colleagues respect me but I'm not paid to be liked. 
Meh - excuse my miserableness I'm tired - really tired, work really has been overwhelming but we are off in a couple of weeks and have a few fun things planned. Including a visit to a brand new local wool shop!!! I'm excited about that one, Mike isn't. 

Anyhoo some photographs taken from my extended bloggy break when I was too tired to turn on the laptop at night, I am so behind with your blogs apologies, apologies.  

I sent my swap parcel over to Australia (nearly cried at the postage)

We have tomatoes in the greenhouse. I think these are 'Black Russian'. We also have Sungold of which I tried three! One after several glasses of wine, the second was a sober test to make sure I don't like tomatoes and the third was a tiny one the other day. I can confirm that I do not like tomatoes!

There are some courgettes somewhere in this photo. It's a trailing variety of which the name escapes me. I should google for you but I need to go o the local shop shortly and I'm still in my dressing gown. Harry requires his pocket money in cash and I require some breakfast pastries. Also some peppers for tonight dinner. 

Cucamelons, is that the correct spelling? See above for reasons for not googling the spelling. I love these, definitely on the list for next year. They rarely make it to the house. 

Goodness this is an awful photo isn't it. I was trying to capture just how pretty my runner bean structure looks. It is also entwined with sweet peas and borage. It really is very lovely in real life. Set against a background of raspberries. I nearly fell into the raspberries the other day. The Red Arrows were at Hawarden Friday and Saturday. I was stood on a garden chair trying to spot them. Alas I never did although I did hear them take off. That's when I nearly came a cropper. They flew over the house last year, quite low down in formation. I was all of a quiver I can tell you. The sky looks kind of blue doesn't it? It is actual steel grey, my walk to the shop will be fun!

Erm I finished my crochet cardigan thing from the first issue of Crochet now.

I sewed the first half up when I was nice and relaxed (what you see above is when I sewed the second half up)

I was tired not concentrating so sewed it up inside out. I've bundled it into the wardrobe until I can be bothered to unpick.

Please excuse the grubby walls, we are in decorating mode here. The Royal we of course. A new bathroom is being fitted next month too.  Oh what fun pfft!!!

Mike was perusing facebook last night and I was perusing possible treasures to buy as payday is coming up (for me).

He was giggling at a meme someone had posted of a 'bitchy resting face' he turned to me and remarked 'You don't have a bitchy resting face'. 'Thank you  darling' I said in return. ' No' he said 'You have a quivering I've seen something that somebody has and am busy searching Etsy, NotontheHighstreet, or wherever else to see if I can buy it after Mike leaves the house for work kind of face'

How rude! I was actually searching for gnome candles! 

Enjoy your day all she says hoping to catch up today! xx