Wednesday, 29 August 2007


Says the birthday boy! There is a long story behind this. It was Si's birthday on Monday of this week. He is the most difficult man to buy a present for. We all pussyfoot round him for weeks before his birthday to see if he drops hints and eventually ask him what he would like. The response this time was the iron and ironing board!!! I ask you .It was said in this pathetic voice !! Now for the story. Si had a small stroke about 4 years ago. He had extremely high blood pressure which he did not know about until after the event. He is a wimp where going to the doctor is concerned and eventually when it was obvious something was not right we got him there. The doctor wanted to admit him to hospital but he refused. We had a difficult time with him for several weeks because he could not believe it had happened and it took some time for the treatment for his blood pressure to work. He was off sick for about 12 months and had to have a staged return to work. He is very well now with a completely normal blood pressure. However whilst he was off work and begining to recover he began to get very bored. I was working fulltime in quite a stressful job and suggested he started to do things around the house to help. This man can take cars apart and fix them, can do mental arithmetic but the washing machine leaves him scratching his head. So he decided he would start ironing and he has taken this over now. I no longer do any ironing he's the main man!!!! The iron and board are very old and falling apart at the edges A bit like myself. There is no way I'm going to buy anyone those for a birthday, especially when each one should be treated as special when his blood pressure could have killed him at the age of 54.

So we scratched our heads and came up with the idea of a picnic basket as he loves picnics and than the Fortnam and Mason picnic hamper grew from there. We all contributed and ordered it on line. Below is said hamper with goodies.

As some of my family were around we invited them and some friends for a barby on Sunday (had to be Sunday as Mike(son) who is a staff nurse on a childrens intensive care unit) was working on Monday. My sisters kids and their children were able to come and they all bought him a red Ferrari. Now the picnic hamper can't go in the Ferrari Oh no the opposite way round.

We all had a good time and it's lovely to see the children as they are all spread out around the country so don't see enough of them.

The garden is looking a bit sad. The weather has been very strange. This morning started very grey and now the sun is shining. The everlasting sweetpeas are just coming into flower.

Berries are abounding here.

Look what we have been making Damson gin . Should be ready for Christmas

Now the last photo are my runner beans Yes they were runner beans until Mr and Mrs Slug and their family moved in Gone in one day now we have Mr and Mrs Snail attacking anythings else they can find.Oh well thats life.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Tagged for name game

OK its happened again. This time the name game. I have to use the letters of my middle name to describe things that are relevant in my life. Well I have a long middle name with a Z in it so this going to be hard. OK here we go

E.. eyesight I do not know how I would cope without it.
L.. love from my family, friends and the cats.
I.. imagination running wild of how my dinning room will look after its makeover.
Z.. Zebras are very cute are they relevant in my life ? Well erm can you think of a Z??
A.. alcohol couldn't do without my odd glass of red wine & G&T
B.. beans cold baked beans on toast with marmite (or vegemite)
E.. England I love many other countries in the world but I wouldn't want to live anywhere else
T.. thrifting. I know its an American term but I can borrow it can't I.
H.. husband of 32 years I am going to blog about his birthday tomorrow.

So there you go Elizabeth I was going to cheat and say I spelt it with an S but I didn't. So now I have to find 9 others to get with this. So Sarah, Sue, Sophie,Hayley and Fred, Alison, Jo,Jenny and Kara its your turn to hurt your brains now.
It's called the name game, and here are the rules for those that choose to follow them: Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog post containing your own middle name game facts. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
Well I'm off to the Vet with Lucy now I've had fun doing this.

Friday, 24 August 2007


This week has rushed past me in a flash. Its sort of been one of those weeks. The weather has improved and I just had to get bedding on the washing line to take advantage of the sun and breeze. First I want to thank all of you for your best wishes regarding the shoulder. The pain is less acute but the X-ray shows an area of calcification right on the joint which will need "nibbling off" to help me regain movement with no pain. At present I have only about 40% movement. The physiotherapist cannot give me any exercises to do as this would make the pain worse. But I do feel better knowing that it is a fairly simple procedure to fix it and shouldn't have to wait too long. So to all of you here are the thank you flowers. Best buy from M&S at £2.99!!

Now Sophie Honeysuckle has been asking for bed photos. So I got the camera out, put some new batteries in,looked at what was there and decided I had some old holiday pics that I would show as well as taking new bed photos. These below were taken when in Italy last September for my nephews' wedding. He married a delightful Italian girl. The wedding was wonderful and we had 2 weeks enjoying a very hot holiday.These 3 are of Lake Garda. There was quite a heat haze so difficult to get great pictures.

Sarah's head in some photos.It was a family affair as all 5 of us went.

This next photo is the view from the wedding reception venue overlooking Lake Varese.

When I was still able to knit I used up the left over wool to make a pair of booties for my greatnephew who is now 4 months old!! We are seeing him and quite a lot of family on Sunday as it is big Sis birthday and we hoping to barbeque!!! Now it will definately rain.

Finally to the bed pics. Many years ago when visiting my parents-in law we used to drive through a place called Chirk on the Welsh borders. We saw signs for a place called Seventh Heaven and stopped for a look one day. If you are ever in the area stop. It has grown since then but they have the most beautiful antique beds, gorgeous linen and duvets, eiderdowns etc. Look on line at I coveted one of their beds for years. We saved and eventually bought ours about six years ago. It is late Victorian (circa1890) and is cast iron with brass bed rails. When we went to get it I was like a child in a sweet shop Took me ages to decide which one to get. The people who own these delights are delightful and the service is fantastic. Here is the top view.

And the bottom ( so to speak) with our vintage patchwork quilt folded up Too hot to use in the summer.

And to Hammish's foot stool! He is our old cat who is a bit arthritic and the bed is high so he gets on the linen chest and pokes his head through the bars waiting to be invited onto the bed. I must get a photo of that one day!!

Well this has been a massive post so I must be finished now. I have one more photo of sunset taken in France when we were there in June. Happy and healthy weekend to all.

Sunday, 19 August 2007


Well the seasons seem to have changed. High winds and heavy rain. Has summer gone? Sarah, Jenny and I went to the quilt fair on Thursday and I am still recovering. Sarah has blogged about this but oh boy can elderly ladies push, shove and generally behave like a load of hooligans!! I have quite severe arthritis and was knocked into by a buxom lass of about 70 around my left shoulder, which is badly affected anyway, and since then its been really bad. Can't do what normally do, but am going for some physiotherapy this week so hope that helps. Slow typing with right hand only and can't use fork in left hand,can't knit and having trouble sleeping. I've finished moaning now.!!! Onto some of the lovlies I did get there. Fab material.

Here is some close up.
The quilts on display were wonderful.Works of art. Not sure if I would be brave enough for another adventure in the future. Some of the material will be going into a quilt for our bed. I also got some beautiful buttons. These are made in Africa under a fair trade agreement.

The Laura Ashley catalogue full of fantastic goodies beneath.

Last weekend we were in Shropshire and visited a village fair and carboot and got these goodies. A cheesedish for £2, displayed on my table runner Jenny made for me, and some old linens and bits of lace which were another couple of pounds.

Well I guess thats all for tonight. We have had the central heating for a couple of hours today!! Can't believe that we would even contemplate that in August. To all my friends in USA who are suffering with high temperatures hope it cools down soon and to all my friends in Europe who are cold and wet lets hope it will improve.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Whats on your walls?

Today I decided to post about what we put on our walls. Yes I do have a few standard type pictures but also have a few "odd things " to decorate the walls. I love this embroidered tea cosy, egg cosy and tray cloth. It was a very cheap buy in Lady Heyes ( Craft and antique centre in Cheshire) several years ago. Didn't really know what to do with it so put it on bathroom wall. Bathroom mostly white so need some colour to relieve white.

Our bedroom wall with little embroidered bits. The old frayed ones were found when clearing out my mother-in-laws sewing box. The one in the centre is beautiful silk embroidery found in an old copy of Shakespeare given to me by an aunt when I was at school. The sampler was bought in France some years ago. I have to own up that the lower 2 on the left. They are cross stitches done by me in another lifetime. Embroidery is not a strong point with me.

We both love all things nautical. This was a birthday card given to husband. It lives in our study.

Old mirrors abound. How difficult is it to take pictures of mirrors.

Beach hut postcards again purchased in France. Also live in the study with the boat curtains from Ikea.

Another study pic. Another card now framed.

This is my favourite. It hangs in the long stairwell. This was painted by my uncle and I think is inspired by my sister and brothers on the beach in Devon when we were children. He gave it to us as a wedding present. When I first picked up a copy of the Shellseekers you can imagine what I thought.

And finally this sits on the wall in our shower room. I would love a beach hut but I think I would need to live nearer the sea. I can dream though can't I ? Whats life without a few dreams on your walls?

Thursday, 9 August 2007


How very nice of Angel Jem to give me a NICE award. I have said I don't think that people who know me would use that term to describe me. As Sarah would say I am as mad as a "box of frogs". But thank you. Now I have to to find another 7 people to award the NICE award. I have been pondering this today and can't just find 7 names as there are so many who have been nice to me since blogging. So the award is to all of you out there who I visit and who inspire me to living in a different way and make me laugh.

However I must mention a few extra special blogging friends.

1. Sarah, the untidiest person I know but is quite nice at times. (takes photos for my blog as she is better than me with a camera) Visit her at everythingstopsfortea.

2. Sophie, as a guest blogger who makes good coffee and sorts my computer challenges out for me.

3. Jenny, one of my oldest friends, currently visiting from Australia. She inspires me to sew. Visit her at patches and batches.

4. Fred and his wife. They make me laugh and inspire me with their family values. You can visit them at freds world and happy loves rosie.

5. Angel Jem whose comments encouraged me when I first started to blog.

6.Random Blethers who also encouraged me and I admire her determination to persue her studies.

7. Mary at Marys view. She makes me laugh and takes the most wonderful photos of wildlife that fill me with pleasure.

Thanks to all of you and I will continue to get pleasure from your blogs every day.
I leave you with a glimpse at some lovely fabric that Jenny has brought from the land of OZ for Sarah and I to make some lovely things. We continue to enjoy wonderful weather here. Sunny but not too hot perfick as PA Larkin would say.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Guest Post from Sophers!!!

I did get some lovely material while I was in Africa so here is a little photo for you to rejoice in the delight of my lovely material. The one with suitcases made me giggle when I saw people wearing it but the looked fantastic. In case you hadn't guessed I Love Africa.

Just to start have a look at the lovely cake tins I got from Cath Kidston today. I got a very good deal in the sale and though I would show them off to you cute aren't they!!

Hello one and all.
First things first I want to say thanks for the good wishes on my trip to Africa. I had a wonderful time and I thought I would give you a few details of what we did while we were there.

We were a group of 14 from Liverpool, we had four adults and 10 young people mostly boys I might add. The girls were a delight and we got on really well just the three of us. The boys to be fair were also a delight and hilarious to boot. We set off from Liverpool to join the 50 or so in the French group to all fly from Paris to Togo.
I will try to keep it as brief as possible we were met in Lome and squished onto a bus and driven about 45 minutes away to Aneho. Here were to acclimatise to the heat and get used to the delights of siesta!!!
We moved several times during the three weeks and met a huge amount of people all of whom were so welcoming and friendly it was amazing. There were many moments of sadness(mostly when we had to leave) and joy and somewhat of an emotional roller coaster took place in Africa.
We did lots of activities with the children in terms of craft and sports. We made some lovely crowns and stickers seem to be the delight of every group we worked with. We did have a few mammoth football games where we had the choice of 50 children for each team but with the use of good gesturing and lots of smiles and hugs we got over the language and cultural barriers and got on with having fun. Some days I wasn't sure who was supposed to be learning from who and that made me smile.
I shan't lament too much over the time in Africa I just wanted to share how amazing it was with you and say thanks for the lovely messages. If you do get a chance do pop over to my friend Bro James' Blog has the most brilliant photo's and a much more detailed account of our trip.
Hope your all enjoying the summer.

Monday, 6 August 2007

Sequel to last post

I dont know why the pics wouldn't load before. I've fiddled with them and now they will.

This is the pic of where we are getting old paint off walls of our little courtyard. We have bought a small table for 2 from the hell that is IKEA. On this is the French glassholder awaiting its new old battered look!

The old desk is a car boot find from several years ago and brightens up the area around the front door. It gets moved around depending on what mood I'm in.

The final garden delights. I picked some sweet peas and love in a mist for the house today.

I suppose I should tag more people for random things but I need to think who has not been done. I will contemplate on that.

Tagged again,but I'm in the garden!!

So first I'm going to show you this. These were new last year and didn't do too well but look now. They smell lovely. Pinky/purple Phlox in among the weeds.

I need to do something about the pesky weeds but have spent last 48hours nattering away to OZ friend. You know how it is. So 8 more random facts. I'm going to start with body parts!!

1. I have webbed toes! The 2nd and 3rd on each foot. The right is worse than left.It does not mean that I can swim well. I resemble a drowning cat doing doggy paddle!!!

2. I have part of my middle finger missing. I lost it fighting with my younger brother when I was 11.

3. I used to bite my fingernails until I was 50. I suddenly decided it was time I grew up and stopped doing this and so I did.

4. I always had very straight hair until about 2 years ago. It suddenly started to go curly and now it is very curly. No one seems to be able to explain this to me. Someone must have injected the curly hair gene into me whilst I was asleep!!!

5. When my husband and I were looking for our first house a police car drew up alongside and waved at us. Well I thought he waved and so I waved back!! As you do. Unfortunately he was trying to make us stop as he didn't like the look of the non standard wheels we had on husband's pride and joy his Mini Cooper. The police kept following and I kept waving.

6. When we got our first kitten Lily, she became very ill with cat flu. We were feeding her every 2 hours as we could with a syringe and baby food. I was at work one day and running short of food when the ward clerk, who was going to shops during her lunch time asked if she could get me anything. I asked her to get me some baby food and if she couldn't get that would she get me some cat food. One of the doctors, who I didn't know very well, overheard and was so shocked to think I might be feeding my baby cat food!! When Michael our youngest was a toddler I caught him sitting with Lily sharing her cat food. He had even got a spoon out of the drawer to eat with. He was a devil when a child if he had been the first he would have been the last.

7. I learnt to sort of drive when quite young. On taking my first test, days before seat belts not standard, the test guy told me he would bang his file on the dashboard at some time during the test and I would need to do an emergency stop. This was done OK but shortly afterwards a big dog ran out in front of the car and another emergency stop called for. No I didn't hit the dog but the test guy hit his head hard and I thought I was going to have to drive to casualty with him. Needless to say I failed the test. Ps. passed on 3rd attempt after telling examiner that I wanted to be a district nurse and couldn't unless I could drive!!!!

8. I love old battered vintage things for the house. I like to think I'm using things that have a history. When visiting younger brother in France we visited a Brocante by the side of the Loire on a day that was steaming hot. I found a lovely old battered and rusty glass holder. The stall owner was at lunch, which may last for a few hours there. No idea of price I had to have it but too hot to hang around. Another stall holder rang him on his mobile and a very reasonable price negotiated. We get home and husband decides he thinks it needs cleaning up. Yes you guessed. He painted it black all new and shiny.I nearly killed him. I can really sulk when called for. I now have it outside in the hope it will get all battered again.

We have made some progress with the newly paved area outside.We are still getting old paint off the walls but here are some pics.

New enamel hand wash thingy bought in France this summer.

Am having problems putting any more photos on so I will finish tonight and try again tomorrow. Jenny and I are having a day at shops tomorrow. I'm good at making her spend money!

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Bed made ready for Jenny

Jenny we are ready for you. Bed made up and reading material. Bulb in the lamps.
Just in case you can't see the magazine a close up.We have more for you to see.

Hope that you have a safe and peaceful journey and we will see you at 12.30 Saturday.

Forgot to post about this little table I got at Lady Heyes a few weeks ago now. It even has its original material under the glass top. Its very cute as well as being useful.