Thursday, 31 July 2008

From the worst blogger in the west!!!

I am you know. So bad at getting down to it and achieving a new post!! Sandi has been nagging me as has the first born daughter ( no doubt the other would if she wasn't in Africa!). I have sort of been busy. So thanks Sandi as I thought I.d display the garden flag you sent me. So far wedged in it has no chance to blow away. But the weather has been well very English if you know what I mean!! Only people who live here really understand English weather.Cold wind, grey sky, beautiful sunshine and deep blue sky, massive flashes of thunder and nights where you really want an electric motor to waft cool air on you one minute and pull the duvet over you the next so that you get some sleep!!! all of the above in a 24hour period. No time to be bored by it all.

However on to the busy bits. The shoulder is much improved thanks to intensive physiotherapy. My physio is heartily sick of me!! I have completed the sweater I started for husband in March. Most of this done in last 3 weeks! I have spent a fair amount of time in the garden which is my fav place at this time of the year. So far have picked these onions. A little disappointed as they are not very big but I think we planted them too close together. They taste very strong though so a little will go a long way.

This is the first crop of runner beans and they were delicious.

The temperatures have been warm enough for the passionflower to produce fruit and this is one of several that appeared in the last few days.

The thing I got most excited about was the first ripe tomato!! I have tried in the past to grow them without much success but this year I have already picked about 10!!they are cherry toms but there are about hundred little green ones ready to ripen. I am now picking each day. The peas are not doing as well as the slugs have got to some. All of the veg is being grown in pots or bags. We still have 5 large containers of later cropping potatoes to get. Was disappointed in the yeild from some but will try a different type next year.

Now on to the other bits of busy. Managed to get some fab strawberries and cherries when in Shropshire and decided to make jam and cherry brandy. Didn't have a recipe for brandy so sort of made it up. I had a cheap bottle bought really to put in Christmas cakes etc (no on drinks it neat in this house) so made the brandy as I would the damson gin, but with less sugar. I will let you all know how it tastes Very alcoholic I suspect judging by the smell!!

Then we decided to give the family bathroom a quick update. We had some duck-egg blue left over from the bedroom we did earlier in the year so painted the bits that need it. Very little really as white tiles prevail here. I found a little bit of Kath Kidston material I had bought from their discount store in Bicester about 2 years aago. Sarah machined them and they are held up with little clips that I bought for very little in France ages ago. The curtain rail is really a kitchen utensil rack from Ikea! Total curtain cost about 10 pounds! Thanks Sarah I will post a pic of completed room when totally finished.

I have other bits to post like my car boot finds from last weekend but am running out of time. I still have to do some cleaning!! as always. I will try to be a better blogger in the future. Best wishes to all and hope everyone is enjoying the summer.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Autumn in June

Well we are back from our French hols and appear to have come back to Autumn!! Its wet , cold and windy with leaves coming off the trees and very little sunshine! Is this global warming? Or are we having a repeat of last years summer?? As you can see this is Sarah keeping warm with the lap quilt and the lap cat on Sunday evening ( we had a fire going as well) Dougal loves to get on this quilt!!

We had a great holiday although the weather wasn't extremely hot in Brittany it was warm and mostly sunny and everywhere we went were great profusions of lilies growing.These were just some outside a farm building. Makes my efforts in the garden look very poor by comparison.
My garden ones.
Elsewhere in the garden the flowers were good. Lots of wind and heavy rain has dealt them a blow during the last week.

The veggies are doing quite well though. I have about 20 little green tomatoes and have harvested the garlic planted in pots last September.

This is the result of 5 spuds planted in an old tin bath in March!!

They were so delicious. I am looking forward to the next early ones from the bags and later the main crop ones in large pots. Peas and beans growing so much but no flowers on them yet. We need some warmth!!
My shoulder is feeling much better although still limited movement due to the tendon tear. Am seeing the consultant again next week and am hoping he will be able to repair the damage. If not I will never get a full range of movement back in it. But the pain is much improved and for that I am very grateful. I can even manage a little bit of knitting now.
Husband had a day off on Monday and so we went out to lunch and to visit Lady Heyes ( an antique sort of centre in Cheshire) We have a bolster pillow on our bed (Its a sort of double length pillow) and need a new case for it. These are difficult and expensive to buy now. Look what I found there though. Old ( 1950s I think) but never used set of one bolster case and 2 pillow cases. All for 8 pounds a bargain I think.

The sun is trying to peep out from a grey sky so I think I'll risk putting the towels out to dry. Hope you all have a great week.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Drum roll please....

Well one and all, mi madre is currently on her way to France avec Mon Papa! So she asked me to perform a very important task for her. I had to pull the name out of the hat - literally! Anyhow, with Hamish as the office adjudicator, the winner is...

Kari - yes it's you!!! Mr Cat is nameless no more!! His Name is Basil!!!!!

Please leave a message with your e-mail and I can post you your prize!!

Sarah the guest blogger!


Friday, 30 May 2008


Just a reminder about my giveaway. All you have to do is suggest a name for Mr. Cat ( already had some great ones) and we will put them all in a hat and pull one out. You have until tomorrow.
And this is what you will win. I hope you are all into vintage things we have a shopping bag made from the cut offs from the study curtains,an old linen traycloth, a needle kit for emergencies,a French linen teacloth, an old tablecloth with lavender flowers and 2 little handmade broches( made by Sarah!).
My operation has been postponed for a while as they want me to have more physio and get more movement before I have to have it stabilised in a sling for several weeks. I have had a second opinion who agrees so am to have some time exercising and some holiday and the go back on July 1st. Not much happening here The garden is looking lovely I love this time of the year in the garden. All the veggies are doing well but the tomatoes need more sun as do I!! Good luck with the cats names.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Fifty posts

Hi to everyone. Sorry I have been away from doing the blog for a while. No excuses really but have been ongoing problems with my shoulder and I seem to have spent so much time either at Docs. physiotherapy and X-ray departments in last few weeks. I have a fractured humerus( upper arm bone) with a torn tendon. I am to see the Doc again on Tuesday who will decide what surgery I need and this is to be done next Thursday. On top of that I had a little trip last week, just a stumble not a fall, and hurt my knee which is still painful to walk on!!! Oh the joys of getting older and more clumsy. So now I can't walk well and cannot do much with left arm. Despite this and with much help from big Si we have done quite a bit in the garden as I shall now show you.
Firstly we have the superior Hamish who is ensuring we get it right. You cannot be out in the garden without him.

Potatoes in bags.

Potatoes in an old tin bath.

Flowers in abundance

The weather has been so good over the last week or so that everything has sprung into life so quickly making up for a very poor Spring. Not as warm or sunny today but still very nice. Good gardening weather and I hope to get out and do a little more later.

As this is my 50th post I decided that it would have to be a giveaway! Not decided exactly what yet but have some ideas. I won a beautiful cat from Annie at a Saucerful of Secrets not so long ago and decided he needs a name. Here he is.

I've decided he is a he and not a her so if you want to leave me a comment with a suggested name for him I will pull a name out of what I hope will be a hatful of comments. I will get my act together with the giveaway stuff and post again with picture before I go to have my op next week but will not be drawing until May 31st as not sure how long I will be in hospital. Hope all have a wonderful weekend and the weather is good no matter where you are.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

I'm back!

Hi to all. Just a very quick post today to let everyone know I'm still alive. I have had problems after my shoulder manipulation and am still not able to move it properly but enough of that. I thought I would leave you with some pictures of Spring! Indoor ones at least. Hope everyone is well and as my next post will be the 50th I think its time for a giveaway.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Did the Earth move for you last week?

Well did it? No I'm not being rude but referring to the earthquke we experienced here last week.Did it wake me yes it did. As our substantial cast iron bed shook and the wardrobes doors rattled I thought a bomb had gone off at first and then realised it was an earthquake. Only lasted a very short time but still frightening. It must be so awful to be in the middle of a proper one. Of course my ever loving husband only woke after a sharp jab in the ribs from me and said" its only a gust of wind " and proceeded to start to snore!!

The weather has been very mixed of late with very high winds at times, a short show of some snow and frosts and then some beautiful sunshine. Spring is making an appearance in the garden but its still cold so I havent done much out there yet. Lovely indoor bulbs though.

And belated Happy Mothers day to all of you mothers out there.I had forgooton about it almost as both Simons and my mothers are no longer with us.We all had a great time here when the children cooked Italian style for us. Thought Id post a pic of my mother and father on their wedding day.And Mothers day goodies of course New Crocs from husband and a handbag from the children. I'm into lime green in a big way.Not quite matching but good enough for me. A big thank you for all my gifts which included Cranford DVD !!!!!!

Its been an eventful week. I had to go back to the Orthopaedic surgeon regarding the ongoing saga of my shoulder. I have been having physiotherapy for some time and although improved still not good. So I am to have an arthroscopy and freeing of the joint on 20th March. I have been prodded and poked this week, have had an armful of blood taken and my first ECG to ensure that I am fit enough for the general anaesthetic!!! It was all done in one visit to the hospital but we were there for 4 hours!! Sarah came with me and had taken her knitting Good job really! I an dreading the whole thing but it will be lovely to move it properly and to get rid of the constant pain. Typing is mostly reduced to one hand now with frequent rests.
So this was Tuesday and Wednesday was Sarahs birthday. We won't go into how old she is but its how old I feel knowing I was still in my 20s when she was born!! So happy birthday Sarah. I am sure she will be blogging about it.
Wednesday was also the day that son Mike had an interview for a promotion at work. He rang afterwards to say it would probably be Friday before he knew but has phoned me about an hour ago to tell me that he has got it. Great news son and many congratulations from us all. Its quite a big change in salary so hopefully this means that he will be able to get a mortgage soon as he wants to buy his first house.Talking of him reminds me that I never did post a pic of the quilt that I made for Debs and him for Christmas. It was down to the wire as they say but I just managed to finish it in time. He isn't a floral person so I used other patterns in it.
Well folks I guess this is it for today.Hope everyone is keeping well and if I havent visited you for a while I will be back.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

A Quickie!

I am so forgetful lately!! I was in a rush yesterday when I did my post I forgot to upload the other pressie from Annie. Sorry Annie they did arrive in one piece or actually two pieces a lovely cup and saucer. So everyone knows I have senior moments now!!!

Now then the excitement continued with the arrival of the postie with another intriguing package. Great stamps...

Yes its my giveaway from Sandi at "Holding Patterns" all the way from USA. Now I see it in person I see exactly what you mean by garden flag.
Thank you so much Sandi. When it is in the garden I will send a pic showing you what it looks like. Sophie, who has been to Canada, says these are very popular there as well as in USA. It will be unique around these parts though.
Well i must away as I am doing the pancake thing for everyone tonight even though Soph thought she had a better offer! I got a late evening text from her last night saying that offer had fallen though. Had a row??? So its pancakes for 4 tonight! Once again many thanks to Sandi and Annie for their gifts .

Monday, 4 February 2008

A working weekend.

My giveaway presents arrived on Saturday from Annie at a Sauceful of Secrets.They are so lovely. Many thanks Annie and here they are. Forgive me for not being the best photographer in the world. First there is the cat picture, lace and ribbon.

Then lovely old buttons.
Then the majestic cat that is now guarding my mantlepiece.

For my 50th post I thought I will do a giveaway with a cat theme as everyone knows I am a cat person. Ours are still hibernating unless you go out into the garden with them when they follow you around!! Its been very cold here of late. It tried again and again to snow Thursday/Friday but never stuck and I was so looking forward to building a snowman! Not much gardening has been done but I have started planning and even bought some seeds. Much junk has now been thrown out or recycled. The wallpaper in said bedroom is now almost off and husband is doing all the jobs I hate you know sanding and filling etc before we decorate.
I spent some time at weekend going to a friend's 50th birthday party and seeing lots of old workmates. I also made some marmalade for the very first time. It's quite bitter as I did not put the full amount of sugar in from recipe but used jam sugar so it has set OK. It will bite back on your toast!
Well that's it for today as I have loads to do. Whoever said retirement was quiet and easy!!

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

LUCKY ME !!!!!

I'm joining the lovely Hamish today, who has taken over this radiator, in knowing that Spring is coming but it's still cold and quite dark today. Although we had a very good weekend and managed the farmers market and car boot in warm sunshine on Saturday and spent several hours tidying up the garden and planning for this year on Sunday.There are little green shoots everywhere which cheers me no end.

I have been so lucky as I have won not one but two bloggers giveaways!! Hows that? One from Sandi at Holding Patterns and the other from Annie at A Sauceful of Secrets. I never win anything so imagine me when I checked my emails late on Sunday evening and discovered both.I am delighted and will post pics when they arrive. I am approaching my 50th post so I will have to find something as a giveaway for that.

Mike came up last week to visit and he and I spent a couple of hours going through his bedroom. he hasnt lived here for 6 years now and its time to put away the boy scout pictures, model airplanes ets. His old vintage IKEA wardrobe was falling apart so he took a hammer to it and sorted out loads of stuff. we have been left with about 4 boxes of assorted stuff including a lego pirate ship for us to store in the loft!!Just some painting now and then the new curtains can go up and we wll be ready for the new bed when it arrives. The garage is next in line for a massive spring clean and as husband has a couple of days off this week I hope we can get some of that done. I'll maybe do a carboot myself and try and raise some funds as Spohie is off to Africa again this year to help in a school in Uganda. On that note I have started an African themed quilt which Soph is going to raffle to get money for books,pencils etc to take with them for the children. She bought back some material last year and we have acquired some more and my friend in OZ Jenny( Patches and Batches) is sending some bits for it. The centre is done so here's a look at it.

It will be very bright I think!!

Sandi at Holding Patterns has challenged me by asking "Why is it good to be you"?

1. I have a very long suffering husband(32 years) who still comes home every night!!

2.The support of the family who keep in touch and provided me with no end of laughing over Christmas.

3. The extended family and friends, including my new blogging friends, who I might not see for a while but who are always there when I need them.

Well the coffe is calling and so is the Alan Titmarsh show on TV I have become addicted!!There may be gardening tips today! Happy Tuesday to all.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Is hibernation complete?

January is the worse time to induce me to what amounts to hibernation. I musn't use the hate word but it is the time of the year that is my least favourite!! I have been such as bad blogger of late. The spirit is willing but the mind is faltering. I have however had to raise myself to the occaision to get to the Laura Ashley great sale, further 20% of all sale items until next Sunday, and for Soph's 27th birthday yesterday. So HB again Soph and heres a reminder of the cake. Not home made but 3 mini ones bought from Daphne's Cheesecake place on Smithdown Road, which is apparently quite famous locally.

Yes I did purchase in the LA sale and got some curtains and new bedding for the bedroom that needs a little TLC. we have ordered a new bed for here so now its wallpaper stripping and rubbish clearing out time which hopefully will give me a bit of get up and go!! Could everyone please pray for some proper daylight soon When it hasnt rained its just so grey and miserable. The very first signs of spring are slowly appearing. A few green shoots of early bulbs and when I was up early the other day I heard some birds singing!! So heres to spring may it arrive soon and get us all happy and productive.