Tuesday, 2 August 2016


Along came July and with it a hive of activity. 

Michael's canoe took it's first trip out on the water and I think, though it needs a few tweaks here and there, it rowed well. I can't even begin to tell you how many hours he spent building it in the garage but they were hours well spent.

July is always a busy time here for birthdays, our son and our two grand daughters all celebrate in this month.

Jessica is a strawberry - holic so I made this cake for her. She loved it as I knew she would, it was packed full of strawberries.

Charlotte on the other hand designed her own cake and gave me clear instructions of what she wanted.

Not the prettiest of cakes but they were gobbled up soon enough!

We had a lovely weekend away in Shropshire and on the Saturday visited Powis Castle. Shropshire is certainly a beautiful county and one that I would definitely like to explore some more.

The resident peacock showed off his feathers

 and the peahen, her young.

I can't recall ever seeing baby peachicks before. I used to work for a lady once who had peafowl in her garden. She used to leave filet steak out for the foxes every night in the hope that if she fed them well, the foxes would leave her peacocks and hens alone. I'm not sure how successful that actually was but I do think we had some pretty fat and well fed foxes in the area.

There has been some progress with my knitted projects. The 10 stitch blanket has been put away for a while but I've made one sock for Alfred and the other is on the needle.  To be honest I'm just playing around with oddments of wool from my stash, I'm not really sure at the end of day if he's going to love a pair of green socks.

A lovely lady from my knit stitch and natter group gave me a few balls of aran wool on our last meet before breaking for summer. I really wanted to get on and make something with it to show her in September so I'm knitting this sleeveless sweater for Alfred.

July saw us enjoying our family, our garden and the great outdoors. Being able to sit outside in the evenings and have our dinner is a most welcome treat.

Summer is upon us at last, let's make the most if it and enjoy!

Sunday, 26 June 2016


Knitting in this house is progressing oh so slowly. Here is how I've got on so far with my 10 stitch blanket. I love it and  know that it is going to keep me nice and warm and cosy in the autumn/winter months. However, most evenings when I get it out to knit a few rows it makes my knees a little too toasty for comfort. Hence, its slow progress!

On Thursday we had the most awful weather here in this part of the UK. The rain was torrential, many roads were flooded including the one and only road that leads into our village. Thankfully my car sits high enough that I could drive through it but it didn't make for pleasant driving. I took my grand daughters to school in the morning and the journey home that normally would take under 10 minutes took me 1hour 10 mins.

On Friday the rain held off and there was some sunshine, we were going to have a day at Goodwood West Sussex for the Festival of Speed. I was prepared for all eventualities, sketchers, espadrilles, flip flops and wellington boots, all packed in the car. Thankfully, though it was muddy in many places, it wasn't squelchy mud and I got through the day swapping espadrilles for sketchers at different parts of the proceedings.

Hubby took over a 1000 photos on the day but I've picked just a few to show you.

Standing under that monument and looking up made me feel quite woozy as the car overhead seemed to swing back and forth. It was  most definitely the car moving and not the couple of glasses of champagne I'd had before lunch.

There was plenty to see during the day and the red arrows arrived and gave their usual spectacular display.

After all the noise of Friday it was nice to take a detour on the way home yesterday to visit Sissinghurst Castle in Kent. It was very peaceful and quiet there but unfortunately the rain just wouldn't stay away and it lashed it down yet again. 

Fortunately we did get to see most of the garden before the rains came and lunch was very nice in the restaurant.
Home again last night, the road to our village was still flooded but thankfully the water has gone down today. Everything in our garden is sodden and the poor foxgloves have given up the fight, I don't think I've ever seen it as green and lush at this time of the year. 

Keep smiling everyone, the sun will eventually shine!

Saturday, 21 May 2016


We're trying to do more, we're constantly finding that our weeks consist of 7 hectic long days and our weekends are disappearing in a haze of busyness. So as I am a member of the RHS already we've decided to join the National Trust and get out and visit new places.

Last weekend we decided to visit Chartwell in Kent, home of Winston Churchill. Now, to be honest I have been there before but Michael was keen to go and I was happy enough to visit again, after all I already knew they had a nice tea room!
We set off on Sunday and the sun was shining, the traffic, running smoothly. All good, for the M25.

Chartwell when we arrived was pretty busy as you would expect but not so busy that we couldn't find a table outside for a cup of coffee and a scone. 
Once fed and watered we went for a tour inside the house, where you can't take photos and then outside for a long stroll through the grounds.

The azaleas were stunning!

 and we walked along by the lake

and up into the woods where the blue bells were still flourishing.

as we walked back towards the car, another stop in the cafe was needed and appreciated.

As it was such a nice day we decided to come home via RHS Wisley for another wander and an ice cream. The gardens are always lovely there whatever the season and there is always something to take a photo of

and more azaleas

In the large glass house there were beautiful displays of orchids

and water lilies

We had a great day and are looking forward to going out again very soon.
Not this weekend though, grandchildren to see and my mother is celebrating her 92nd birthday tomorrow.

There is knitting in progress but oh so slowly. I've started this 10 stitich blanket and I have got the hang of it now. My only trouble is I knit mostly in the evenings when dinner is finished and the tv is on. But, I'm finding as soon as i've picked up my knitting and done a few rows, my eye lids grow weary and drop down over my eyes. Hence I knit a bit and I sleep a bit, still, I don't need this finished until the autumn so I've got some time to get it done.

Monday, 2 May 2016

The Island of Madeira

A few years ago we were sitting in a bar on the bank of Lake Garda in Italy enjoying a pre dinner drink. I remember it well, the stars were shining brightly and as we sat there we were sure we saw a satellite hurtling through the sky. Everything was so clear, not just the night but our daughter had just learnt she'd got a place at her chosen university in London and our son had just started an apprenticeship at a local agricultural firm.

As I said everything was clear and everything seemed settled. Yet, less than two weeks later and having had a wonderfully relaxing holiday we found our son eagerly waiting our return and with his hands in his pockets and leaning up against the kitchen sink (all major decisions in our house seem to be announced in that very spot) he broke the news that the job wasn't for him and he was leaving.
This was all closely followed by our daughter breaking her news that she had changed her mind about her university choice.

 Eventually our son did find a job that he really enjoys and our daughter, a different university and a job that she enjoys too but at the time of their big announcements and the days that followed both my husband and myself took it in turns to lean our backs up against the kitchen sink to try and fathom out why!

Moving forward to this April, on board a flight to Madeira, while my husband was engrossed in his newly purchased book and I was sipping a rather strong gin & tonic I was under no illusion that everything was settled, clear and fine at home. My parents despite telling us not to worry because they are absolutely fine are actually becoming very worrying and as my son and daughter in law continue to rumble along through the pitfalls of separation it is very difficult to sit on the fence and watch it all going on around us.

We were certainly in need of a break and as my husband said 7 nights good sleep so Madeira seemed an ideal choice and we ended up having a very relaxing time. 

Here is the view from our bedroom window.
It was lovely falling asleep to the sounds of the sea.

We were there at the end of the flower festival so there were still some pretty floral displays to see in Funchal.

From Funchal we went up in the cable car to Monte and visited the gardens there.

and we went on a couple of drives around the island and found the scenery, spectacular.

Unfortunately it did rain quite a bit while we were there but then it rains almost everywhere we go, we get used to it.

This was our first visit to Madeira, we were impressed and it really did do us good.

Once back at home I had itchy fingers to purchase some yarn and get on with something new so on Saturday this lovely bag of goodiness arrived for me to make a start and once I've got my feet up this evening that's what I'm going to do.

I'll be letting you all know soon how I'm getting on.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

AND FINALLY............!

And finally x 2 really.

Firstly that we've finally made a visit to Anglesey Abbey Cambridgeshire last weekend and secondly that I've finally managed to sit down and write a blog post about it.

We wanted to get out and about last Sunday and as always we had the normal debate of "where shall we go?"
Did we want to face the M25 and go somewhere in Kent? That brought us both to that screwed up face and nodding sideways of the head answer.
What about Aldeburgh, Southwold, Woodbridge? Well they sort of received disinterested, possible maybes on both our parts.
Finally as so often happens in this house we ended up going round in a circle and nearly coming up with a conclusion that we would stay at home, but oh no, that was not  going to be an option last weekend.

We've been wanting to join the National Trust for a while and with a little tiny bit of persuasion on my part we went off to do that and visit Anglesey Abbey in Cambridgeshire which I've been wanting to visit for quite a while.  The weather was looking iffy when we left home but by the time we got there the sun was out and it became a lovely day. We both really enjoyed it, I hid my phone deep in my bag and my husband took loads of photos with his camera and here are just a few  to show you.

We walked along to the Lode Mill

and then on through the grounds with lots of spring flowers on display.

The house is currently open so that was nice go in and see and all in all we had a really lovely day and will definitely go back there again as well as now having lots of other places to visit in the coming months. We're looking forward to that.

My knitting and crochet is dormant, the little prem blanket is finished but may well end up in the dolls cot in my spare bedroom. However, I have been looking at throws and blanket patterns for my lounge.  I must thank Sue from Granny's World  who has suggested a ten stitch blanket by Frankie Brown which I am quite fancying making and I've already downloaded the pattern. Now I've just got to think about colours and yarn which I'll do over the next few days. 

 I can't believe that this last week has passed so quickly. I suppose I have had a week of grandchildren and parents which have kept me busy and made the time fly. Really pleased today that in this little corner of Essex we have said a fond farewell to winter, we have just downed a nice cup of tea and eaten up the last crumbs of the christmas cake. 

Hope you're having a good weekend.