Wednesday, 18 February 2015

CALL THAT AN IRON!

This is my kitchen door door stop.
A family heirloom, inherited when my husband's uncle passed away.


As it's half term I had the pleasure of looking after all three of my grandchildren on Monday and although we eventually spent a lovely day out at RHS Hyde Hall, I don't think they were expecting a history lesson as we trundled off in the car.

While I was in the throws of packing wellies, nappies, binoculars, waterproof clothing etc, the telephone rung.

So what do you do when your Granny has to answer the telephone, do you

a) carry on watching the tv
                  or
b) find a smooth surface and practice a spot of curling.

Well obviously the answer to that one is b!

There they were shoving my cast iron doorstop from one end of the kitchen to the other. Oh, what a lovely game they were having, little Jack thought it was wonderful. I suggested that they should perhaps play with something else and asked them to put the iron back by the door. Both girls stared at it blankly and Charlotte said, " what iron, that's not an iron, it's a doorstop!".

Now I can remember my grandmother showing me how she used to use an iron like this when I was little, so when we were finally in the car and on our way, I explained to them how the iron would have been heated up on the stove and then used. I then told them about washboards, mangles and tin baths. It really dawned on me that there is so much that they take for granted in their short lifetime. They couldn't begin to imagine a life without electricity, central heating and a car, as it would have been for my grandmother.

Last night, as I watched the news and they spoke about sending people to live on Mars, I thought, whatever next! I reckon those words were on the tip of my grandmother's tongue many times as she journeyed through her life.







Tuesday, 10 February 2015

CELEBRATING AT THE TOP!

Last Monday, when I opened my birthday present, I thought, how lovely, we're going to spend next weekend in London and then I thought, oh dear and I don't feel at my best.
Tuesday came and husband stayed at home. He now didn't feel well either and I wasn't feeling any better.
We'd been struck with this head cold type of thing that gave us continual headaches, fuzzy heads, loss of appetite and just generally lacking in energy. 
Wednesday for him was only a slight improvement but my determination kicked in and I thought myself much better. Only I wasn't and on Thursday with the weekend looming I decided that a doctors appointment was my way forward and thankfully I managed to get one.

So on Friday arm in arm with my husband and my antiobotics off we went for our weekend in London.
It was the first time I'd been out for a couple of days and the blast of fresh air seemed to do us both good as we wandered along Southbank on our way to the hotel.

When I originally saw that Michael had booked matinee tickets for the Saturday to see Made in Dagenham, I laughed and asked if he'd booked the earlier tickets to ensure I stayed awake during the performance. Thankfully, I was relieved he had done as I don't think either of us would have been able to keep our eyes open, if it had been in the evening.
We really enjoyed the show, it made us laugh and as every hour passed we were beginning to feel so much better.

Sunday came and with it, lots of lovely bright sunshine.
Perfect for our afternoon up the Shard.


First stop, a lovely brunch, I'd call it lunch in the Oblix lounge and as luck would have it a table next to the window.

This is from level 32 and I took it with my phone.


After lunch we had to return down to the bottom before making our way up to the viewing platform on level 72. Here I let Michael take over with his camera to take the photos while I enjoyed the view.









We had a wonderful afternoon and from there set off back to where our car was parked and home. As we walked we chatted about the Shard and I wondered how on earth they would be able to keep all of that glass clean.
"Oh, it's all self cleaning" he said.
"Really!", I never miss a trick, "well, in that case why haven't we got that glass in our windows at home, we'll have that next!"
I simply hate, cleaning windows. 

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

I JUST CALLED TO SAY........!

Having grandchildren is the most wonderful thing and when we were expecting the first of our grandchildren nearly nine year ago I had visions of being fussed upon as we all aged and spending lovely times together as their Gran.

However as soon as Charlotte was born, I became Granny and though I wasn't too sure that I liked it, over the years I've grown to love it.
I can't believe how grown up she is becoming and I'm always amused when she rings me up for a chat.

So on Friday evening, just days away from my birthday, the phone rang and on answering I heard,
"Hello Granny, it's Charlotte, can you tell me how old you're going to be on your birthday."
"Quite old," I answered and told her my age.
"That's what I thought," she said. Just a couple of seconds passed before she said, " the other reason I'm phoning is to say that I love you and to wish you a very happy birthday!"
We carried on chatting about her school day and the design she is currently making with her hama beads.
Finally the words, "bye Granny" came and she was gone in a flash but that little conversation made my evening.

My birthday came and with it an horrendous cold that I'd been fending off for the last couple of weeks. Plenty of knitting and crochet took place as I stayed put in the chair with my feet up.
No birthday celebrations for me but the family did pop in bearing gifts and I just had to show you these few, because to me they are simply the best!


The reason for my phone call became obvious when I opened this coaster made of hama beads by Charlotte.
Now, when I lift my first mug of tea in the morning I will be reminded, (just incase I'd managed to forget) that I am 57.


These 2 little trinket boxes contained,


a ring, from Charlotte, that fitted perfectly


and a ring, from Jessica that didn't quite.
I love them both, though!


Also, as Hawthorn Spellweaver is having a February heartathon, I thought I would join in today with this design on my new scarf.


Charlotte & Jessica created this lovely sheet of birthday wishes.
My son in law, affectionally known as Pete Pete by the children thought he'd be witty and say that I'm only three years off of being 60. But I must point out when I see him next that for as long as I have my coaster, I will remain, 57!

My birthday has gone, yet my cold is still here, I feel that my head is being held in a vice and there are lead weights hanging from my teeth!
Is anyone else suffering like this or is it my age?

Enjoy your week everyone!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

KNITTING OFF THE NEEDLES!

At last, from this bag of Drops yarn


I have completed this,


my first baby outfit for my daughter Kate and I'm so happy with it.
Knitted in baby merino, at first I thought the colour to be honest was a little on the bland side but adding the 3 white duck buttons seems to have made it look so much better.

Also, I seem to be making great progress with the crochet blanket too, but I'll show you that when it's finished.

I'm just about to start knitting with the drops karisma, a baby cardigan but my plan last night of, early dinner, feet up, tv and knit didn't happen. I got myself too comfortable and promptly fell asleep.
Amount of knitting done - none!
I didn't even get to cast on my stitches.
Later, perhaps!




Sunday, 18 January 2015

AS CHILLY WEATHER SWEEPS IN!

Thank you for all of  your comments on my last post. I really do appreciate them and my belated new year's resolution is to try and reply more in future.

As temperatures have dropped this week, though we've yet to have had any snow here,  I have had a really quiet time and it's been so nice. Sitting down in the afternoons, knitting and crocheting every day, while catching up with some daytime tv you would think I would have got lots of work done.
For all my efforts, there is nothing really to show. I've made little progress with a knitted baby jacket and the blanket that I started on Tuesday seems to be growing oh, so slowly!
Kate's baby is due at the end of March, I need to get a move on.
Next week, I'm hopeful I'll have made more significant progress and I'll be able to show you where I'm at.

Despite the cold weather I've had a lovely day today. We decided to head off early stopping at Jimmys Farm for breakfast which was very nice and then drove on to Felixstowe as Michael wanted to try out his new camera.

We parked next to the docks and Landguard Fort.
My photographer did take an excellent photo of the docks but not unfortunately of the historic fort!


The day was mainly overcast but the sun did try to glimmer through the clouds as we walked towards Felixstowe Pier.
It was nice to get out, stretch our legs and chat as we wandered along.


We returned to the car eventually and then drove along to Felixstowe Ferry quite late in the afternoon. There is a foot ferry that crosses the River Deben between May and Sept/Oct and takes you across to Bawdsey Quay. Here you will find Bawdsey Manor which in 1936 became a top secret research establishment for the MOD and it is where they developed the then new radar technology.
Michael is quite fascinated by the place as his late father worked there for a while but for what reason, he doesn't really know.


As we walked along here by this martello tower the daylight hours were dimming, but we are definitely going to return and venture a bit further afield, perhaps catch the ferry!


Fortunately this cafe was warm and inviting and we popped in for a cup of tea and cake before returning home for dinner.


Now home, the fire is lit, the smell of roast lamb is wafting from the kitchen


and a small bunch of daffodils brightens even the darkest corner and reminds us that Spring will be eventually on its way.


I hope you have all enjoyed a great weekend!

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

JANUARY 2015

I've made a positive start to the new year.

Some new socks, hot off my needles
made with some yarn that I bought while on holiday back in the summer in Salzburg.



And a first for me in 2015 - a "selfie" of my modelling feet, which actually became a feat in itself.
It led to plenty of new year exercising, my nose virtually grazing on the carpet
as I struggled to get both feet in the picture and then when I had to come up for air I realised that I needed to plunge straight down again to take another as by keeping my legs and feet tightly together I looked more like a modelling penguin.
(photo deleted!)


 I've finally opened my bag of yarn goodies from Wool Warehouse and have made a start on a tiny baby hat.


Kate has decided not to know the sex of her baby but she is not a pink girl anyway and sways more towards greys and blues so I've gone with these colours to start with.
The Drops Alpaca Silk is for a crocheted blanket which I really loved as soon as I saw it on a blog that I follow - Heldasland


 Before I go I thought I'd leave you the recipe  that I found for these Cheese & Rosemary Sables that I made for christmas, they were so easy to make and really tasty.


Ingredients
175g plain flour + some for dusting
Half a level teaspoon of salt
Half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Half a teaspoon of english mustard powder
150g of unsalted butter chilled and cut into small pieces
75g of finely grated mature cheddar
75g of finely grated parmesan cheese

1 beaten egg
75g of finely chopped walnut pieces
1 tbsp of finely chopped rosemary and some sea salt 

Method
Rub the butter into the flour, salt, cayenne pepper and mustard.
Add the cheeses and 1 teaspoon of cold water and bring together (like you would pastry)
until you have a dough ball.
Divide in half and roll out each on a floured work surface so you end up with 2  3 cms long logs 
Wrap individually in baking paper and then cling film for 3-4 hrs and pop in the fridge
 (I left mine overnight and they were fine)

Preheat the oven to 180c fan or Gas 4
Brush the logs with the beaten egg and roll in the walnuts.
Cut the logs in 4-5cms slices, place on some baking paper on a baking tray 3cms apart
Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle some with the rosemary and some with the sea salt flakes.
Cook for 11-12 mins.

Once cooked store in an air tight container.

I doubled this recipe and they kept really well. They went down well with pre dinner drinks and I will definitely be making them again.

Why don't you give them a try!




Wednesday, 31 December 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I had high hopes on Christmas Eve of posting on my blog photos of some delicious treats!


Christmas cakes decorated with the help of Charlotte!


Cheese & Rosemary Sables.


Nigel Slater's sausage danish plus a few mince pies made with left over pastry that the seagulls really enjoyed!


These were so much better!

However Christmas Eve passed in a flash as so did Christmas and Boxing Day.
Lots of fun and laughter was had by us all, a busy time but an excellent time.

We've had long walks in the winter sunshine 
and yesterday enjoyed a coffee and some lunch looking out to sea at Aldeburgh.
Perfect!


So tomorrow we start a fresh new year. Lots of projects planned (yarn delivery has arrived this morning) and a fourth grand child to look forward to.

Thank you so much for following my blog through 2014.
I wish you all a happy and healthy new year!