Wednesday, 22 December 2010


This is probably going to be my last blog before christmas so Happy Christmas everyone. Charlotte has been here this afternoon and helped me to decorate the cakes.

The pink one is Charlotte's. She made this all herself.

The one with the tipsy father christmas and the white footballs is Kate & Peters.

and the next one is ours. Charlotte & I tried to make a few leaves to go around the edge but I think a better description is that the poor snowman is standing on an icey pad with broken chards of ice floating around him.

I have to agree the frilly things we put around the cakes do look abit "60ish" but retro is fashionable in my book.
At last my amazon parcel has finally arrived today so I can wrap up the last few presents this evening.
2 days to go and I'm nearly ready.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010


Not so sure about this one. This is something either my grandma would have taught me to knit back in the 60's or a school project made at primary school.
I'm a tea bag in the cup kind of person, someone my mother would frown upon. I keep her in the lounge while I make the tea, it's better for the heart and soul if I don't reveal the secrets of my tea making.
Jo on the other hand has asked for a teapot for Christmas and a teapot she has got complete with this nice little tea cosy to keep the tea warm.
If she doesn't like it, I'll sew the sides right up and wear it as a hat - minus the ribbon!

Sunday, 19 December 2010


The things we do just to get those last Christmas presents and treats!

Michael, Kate & I went off to Cambridge yesterday, it didn't start snowing there until after 3ish. We were oblivous, enjoying a quick bite to eat at lunchtime when my Dad rung and said the weather at home had really deteriated.
It's amazing how much shopping you can do in just over an hour when you're up against a challenge.

We got back to the car just as the first few flakes hit in the ground in Cambridge. By the time we got on the A120 towards Braintree it was like this!!

Today, thankfully I have nearly all my shopping, so I'm going to spend my time in the warm, wrapped up and wrapping up.

Thursday, 16 December 2010


Charlotte came round after school yesterday and marzipaned her Christmas cake. With a little help from me, Granny, she made the cake a few weeks ago.

I showed her how to roll the marzipan out, rotating it to keep the circle shape and for her first effort she did quite well. Her Dad is disappointed that we didn't cover the whole of the cake but as Kate said later ,"If we're going to have put up with one of those 1960's frilly things round the edge then, that is what we're going to have to do."
I've made 2 other cakes, all the same recipe, one for us and one for Kate & Peter. They're all now at the same stage, marzipan on, decoration to follow.

Knitting is work in progress again, I've just got to complete the second side of a tea cosy that I'm making for Jo, my daughter in law. She's into the teapot craze, so I've bought her a plain teapot and i'm knitting it a colourful cosy.

Saturday, 11 December 2010


Pictures only today I'm afraid but I just wanted to show you my finished blanket. It's the largest piece I've ever knitted and it was fun to make.

Thursday, 2 December 2010


As I've had a request to see the snowman, here it is.
Not the best I know. I have no claim to being an artist, but at least it does have a nose even if its actual head is missing!

As you can see by the state of the weather today, the frozen carrot may be the one essential vegetable ingredient I may need for tonights feast!
I'm sure you can now understand why the photo of my snowman was absent from my blog yesterday.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010


Having knitted for a considerable time yesterday I did feel when I went to bed last night that that was the reason why I had a crick in my neck. I think the weight of the blanket on circular needles while I knitted the edging was a contributing factor to my pain and not the fact that I had watched at least 3 repeat episodes of Midsummer Murders, one after the other.

No knitting so far today as Charlotte had a snow day, therefore no school. While their mum went off to work I had both grandchildren round to play. Here are my little entrepid explorers in the garden searching for the ideal spot for the snowman.

We weren't outside too long, far to cold. We quickly made something resembling a snowman, pushed a carrot into the top for its nose, [now one carrot less in the casserole!] and headed back indoors.

Jessica slept and Charlotte made her first ever pom pom. She was very impressed as was I, what an excellent way to use up any Debbie Bliss wool leftovers. Apparently now that they've both gone home ,I have been told that the very same pom pom will be adorning their Christmas tree.
Later this evening after the one carrot casserole, I'm going to do some more knitting!!!!!

Sunday, 28 November 2010


For those of you who may be following the latest series of "I'm a celebrity get me out of here" [I'm not one of them] you may have found more entertainment if you had decided to follow me around my local Tesco's on Thursday morning.
Upbeat and determined, I would describe my mood as armed with a large trolley I ventured in to the store at 8am to do my pre-Christmas, infact I like to think only Christmas shop of the year.
At first I remained calm as I couldn't find this or they were out of stock of that, but as I proceeded along each aisle I knew, by the fact that people were beginning to stare that I was actually starting to moan at myself.
I felt, as I checked my watch, dismayed when I realised that I had been in the shop for over an hour and I had actually found and picked up only half of the things I needed.
Now feeling that this shopping expedition had deteriated into a "Tesco Tucker Trail" I flung my trolley round into yet another aisle, fortunately coming face to face with my friend Maureen who was hooting with laughter [she had no doubt heard me approaching long before I'd swung myself round the corner].
There was no hi or hello just cries of "I'm a Tesco frustrated unhappy shopper, get me out of here!!!"
That lightened the mood as we certainly had a good laugh.
I came home nearly an hour later, laden with umpteen kitchen & toilet rolls, well you never no how many you might need and enough essentials to keep us going until the New Year.

These photos are obviously totally unrelated to my rant about shopping but Michael took these when we were at Symonds Yat at the beginning of the month and I think they are perfect.
At that time thoughts of Christmas were just a blur on the horizon.

Now I'm spending all my spare time knitting, the blanket for Kate is coming on a treat. Hopefully I'll get that finished this week and then get it wrapped up for Christmas.
Another present done!

Saturday, 13 November 2010


My avid spare time boat building fanatic, also known as Michael, my husband has been dreaming up the idea of creating this steamer for a few weeks.

A proud moment today as it is working for the first time. Apparently he'll be using this to make wood pliable, so that he can bend it into shape, in order to finish the boat project in the garage.

He bought this from a group of sea cadets in Norfolk a couple of years ago and is restoring it as and when he can. Hopefully the new steamer will be an asset to the project. If not, by next summer it may have a new culinary use. Anyone fancy steamed fish for supper?

Tuesday, 9 November 2010


Really pleased with these. I enjoyed knitting them and I nearly enjoyed sewing up the red gingham one with the sewing machine. Thankfully Michael was on hand to get the machine in the right frame of mind in the first place.
Only a short blog today, my internet connection is having a mind of it's own. I'm putting it down to the weather, it always plays up in the rain and BOY is it raining!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010


We were really fortunate to be away at the weekend for a wedding near Lichfield. This meant that on Sunday we were able to visit the National Memorial Arboretum.

It was an absolutely amazing place to visit. Sadness, courage, pride and respect, just a few words from my thoughts as I walked through the young trees visiting many of the memorials there.

We visited the section for the Far East as my Dad served in Burma with the RAF during WW2.
The next photo is of an original section of the Burmese railway.

Here is the memorial in respect of those killed during the Burma campaign.

There were also so many individual trees dedicated to those who have died fighting for our country throughout the years and also for many who were able to come home, but have now passed away. In just a few years, the memorials will remain unchanged but the trees will grow up and surround them. It is going to be the most incredible place.

On Monday we went to Symonds Yat. It was a beautiful warm and sunny morning and we walked through the forest alongside the river. I'm convinced that this autumn has been the best for colour.

We walked up quite a long winding steep path, [why do women always carry their handbags where ever they go?] but we're so please we did, this is the view from Yat Rock.

The walk was much easier going down. Well, we followed the right path for a start!
Lunch was very nice, sitting outside the little pub by the river, then we were homeward bound!

Thursday, 28 October 2010


There was great excitement in the town of Maldon today, the Queen came to visit. Firstly this morning she went to the Maldon Salt Company and then delighted hundreds and hundreds of people with a walkabout through the High Street. Eventually with a last wave she made her way into the town hall for a lunch.The atmosphere in the crowd was amazing. Kate, Jo, Charlotte, Jessica and I were able to get close to the barrier and considering we had been in position since 11 0'clock and the Queen didn't arrive until nearly 1pm everyone remained patient and in very good humour. Charlotte and her little friends waved their flags frantically.
The town was so busy that we decided to wait and see her leave by car for her journey to Tiptree for her visit to the jam factory, Wilkin & Sons. We only had to wait about an hour, which may seem a long time to you but when you've stood in one place for two hours anyway another one wasn't going to make a huge difference.
Again there was lots of cheering and flag waving as she went on her way.
It was a very special day.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010


I stumbled on a new website yesterday

I had a brief look through and there seemed to be loads of likeable free patterns.
I picked this one to try. I thought I woud be better off knitting squares in the evening and leaving the union jack for my 3rd and final cushion to complete during daylight hours.

Sunday, 10 October 2010


"All you need is love" the pattern says. Yeah right, I believe that one.
I've now completed the backs for these three cushion covers, they are only knitted in stocking stitch so, so far, so good. Last night I wound the wool on to the bobbins ready to have a go at the love motif. [I'm leaving the union jack for a very chilled out day.]
The weather man says we may have blue skies today, well I can assure you that this girl here predicts the air may also be blue by the end of the day.
Being a bit of a glutton for a punishment I'm already planning beyond these cushions. As it looks like I'm going to have loads of wool left, I thought it would be nice to use it for a little patchwork blanket, I'm in search of a pattern as I speak.

Monday, 27 September 2010


My new knitting project:-
3 cushion covers for Kate. She'd found the pattern in a magazine just before we went on holiday and I thought they looked very patriotic and challenging. In red, white and blue, one of them has the motif of a Union Jack on the front. [at this stage, no scanner, no picture, imagination only I'm afraid]
Anyway I was quite keen to get started so wanted to get the wool asap. My local shop, the Cheap Shop is in Tiptree and is a real Aladdin's cave if you're after something in the arts, craft, material, wool etc line. I chose my wool, thought I'd treat myself to a pair of bamboo knitting needles and took it all to the counter to check with the woman that I had all the correct stuff for my new project.
The woman glanced from the wool to the pattern. "Yes, it's all fine" she said, then questioned, "You'll be doing the motifs with intarsia then?"
"Oh, yes" I replied confidently, trying to see on the pattern what exactly she was talking about as well as thinking, "Oh god, what the hell is that?"
It was no good. As she started to tell me I'd need to buy bobbins, yes BOBBINS!!!!!!! [I don't sew, remember] I decided I had to come clean and tell her I hadn't got a clue what intarsia was.
Good job the woman had patience, half an hour later I left the shop with the pattern, wool, needles, BOBBINS and somewhere in my brain the know how to complete my project to perfection.
So far I've knitted the back of one and a half cushion covers - they're just 86rows of stocking stitch. It's early days.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010


We've just returned from our holiday in the South of France. We stayed in a little apartment in a place called Beausoleil. This is just a short walk from Monte Carlo, down 538 steps to be precise. This we did quite often during our stay but I think we made our return by foot, gasping for breathe only four times. Thankfully there was an excellent bus service and taxi service.

I loved this couple sitting on the bench, looking out over the jardin exotique. This wasn't on our planned list of things to see and do while in Monaco but we made the decision to go there on our last day and we're so pleased we did.

The garden was perched on the edge of "the rock" and the pathway meandered down through amazing cacti and eurphorbia.

As well as chilling out on the beach and reading a library of books we also visited some really nice little villages perched high up on the cliffs. Eze was one of them and the picture below is the view from the garden right at the very top, again full of cacti.

One cannot go to Monte Carlo and fail to visit the Casino, well that's what I told Michael. The next photo of the fountain outside Michael took and I think he's captured it really well.

We played the slot machines just twice, luckily going in with a little bit of money and coming out with a little bit more. Result!!!!

We sat with hundreds of others at the Cafe de Paris waiting for someone famous to brush shoulders with but came to the conclusion that they were all on holiday somewhere else. Lots of nice cars, Michael reckons someone's obviously doing a good deal on Bentley convertables at the moment and thousands of scooters which roar up the road and come at you from all directions.

We had a great holiday, there was so much to see and do, yet we were still able to relax and unwind. I chose the last two pictures because on this particular day we visited the little village of St Agnes. Again this was another perched village high up looking down over Menton, Monaco and beyond. Right at the very top there was the most beautiful little garden, not only was it so peaceful but the smell of thyme and lavender was amazing. I couldn't believe the vegetables that were growing and took this picture of the cabbages.

The local guy from Menton who tended the garden gave us so much information about the area and following his recommendation we walked back down and had lunch in a local restaurant. It was our only four course meal of our holiday and the food, all homemade was delicious.

We really should have done another quick climb up the garden path afterwards to rid ourselves of excess calories.

Sunday, 5 September 2010


Mum and Dad had a smashing day on Thursday. They celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary at home with family and friends. The card from the Queen arrived in the morning and this took its place with about thirty other cards on the mantel piece.
There was lots of chat and reminiscing over a buffet lunch.

On Friday we left for a weekend in aldeburgh. We stayed in a lovely old house 5 mins from the sea. It was lovely for us all to spend some time together. Charlotte and Jessica loved sailing their little yachts on the boating lake even though Jessica was keen to jump in for a swim.
On Saturday we all went to southwold, we had lunch on the pier and had a few laughs in the bizarre amusements. The children and Michael then played on the sand while we took in the sunshine.
The whole weekend was great. Mum and Dad thoroughly enjoyed it as we all did.

Now Michael and I are sitting in the car waiting for our ferry. South of France here we come!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010


I thought I'd give it a try this morning and write my blog via my iPhone. As I'm laying here I must hastily add that Michael has left the building to go to work. I think he'd confiscate my phone if he knew that there was yet another string to it's bow. Maybe it is annoying that I check my messages, email, the weather, the news and perhaps have the occasional game of solitaire while I drink my morning cuppa but no different to reading a book, in my mind.
Enough of my ramblings, I think I've mastered it. Not sure if you can add pictures yet from the iPhone. I'll have to do more research.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010


Well, here they are, my Mum and Dad.
My Mum will go nuts if she knows I've put this picture on the internet. It was bad enough last week when I arranged for the local newspaper to call on them. She was adamant that she wasn't going to have her photo taken for the paper and obviously not best pleased with me. It's always my fault! However when I called there afterwards she spent the whole time praising the reporter, probably gave him enough information to fill the paper from cover to cover and loved having her photo taken.

So there she was worrying about a few thousand people seeing her in the local paper and now she's on show to the whole world. We won't tell her!

I took this photo on a day trip to Aldeburgh a couple of years ago. They enjoyed it so much that we're taking them there for the weekend, along with the grandchildren and great grandchildren to celebrate their Diamond Wedding Anniversary.

On Thursday, the actual date of their wedding we've arranged a get together with all their family - sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews. Fingers crossed the sun is going to shine and a good time will be had by all.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


This is it!
The finished article. This is knitted in a very pale greeny colour.
It is a square, sorry if the picture makes it look alittle lopsided.

AND in the end, I enjoyed knitting it!

Thursday, 19 August 2010


I thought as I hadn't written anything for a while I should give a quick update on my exercise regime.
I swum my 3rd mile of the week this morning and at long last the needle on the scales is moving in the right direction. I took this photo yesterday morning on my walk, this time of the canal. [You must be bored silly by now of my endless flow of photos of the river.]

I'm really pleased with my progress, I feel much better and even think I look like I've lost a few pounds. Therefore can you imagine my face when my mother commented earlier this week, how big my arms are and that they're much bigger than hers! God bless her, she always knows how to wind me up.
I have had a fairly quiet couple of weeks, pottering around in the garden and doing those jobs that you never get round to doing in the house. I have actually enjoyed it and I'm really, really, really pleased to say that the entrelac blanket is near completion. I'm just half way through knitting the 56 triangles that go round the border. Do you think I'm counting?

Thursday, 5 August 2010


My exercise program is continuing in the right direction though, I could and should most definitely try to be a lot more disciplined with the healthy eating regime. However, I must be doing something right, I've lost at least half a pound, well that's what the scales at the gym indicated this morning. Either that or the arrows pointing to my weight are bent. Anyway, most importantly I feel better for it!
I'm also pleased to announce that I am now on the last main set of rows for the Debbie Bliss Entrelac Blanket. Touch wood, this is now going well. Had a brief hic-cup last week, I couldn't remember in which direction I should be knitting but in the end I put it down to the lateness of the evening. The next day it all became clear again and thankfully I didn't have to undo any of it. It's beginning to look really good.
When it's finished I'll post a photo.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010


Last week, I really got stuck into my exercise regime, starting on Sunday with the bike ride to Goldhanger. Had a good swim on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and walked the other two mornings. I have a target - I want to loose half a stone by the end of August and by exercising and putting less and better food into my mouth I hope to achieve it!
It was alittle misty first thing and a nip in the air but once I got going I soon got into my stride and actually got round to Osea Rd.
Osea Island had the air of mystery about it this morning, shrouded by sea mist. I was pleased to get that far, last week I could only manage Mill Beach and back.
As I returned home, out of breathe alittle and hungry for my breakfast, the sun broke through.
A gorgeous morning!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010


My Dream
A slow drive on Sunday over to the Kent coast and perhaps a nice meal in a fish restaurant. Then maybe a slow walk along the beach hand in hand [OK, a stretch too far with the imagination!] but a sound possibility of a "99" before returning to the car and home.

A very slow cycle a long the country lanes to Goldhanger.

After a very enjoyable lunch and too much cider an even slower cycle back to Heybridge Basin along the sea wall. Hand in hand, definitely not, far too hot and clammy for that.

However even though our cycling expedition was on the slow side and even today, 2 days on, I feel that the purchase of a new saddle is a priority, I'm loathe to admit, I enjoyed it. Once home and re-energized I got loads of knitting done and even baked scones for tea.

Thursday, 22 July 2010


I went on my first early morning walk of the summer today. What with my knee problems earlier this year and the amount of mornings I've spent invigilating exams since May I haven't had a chance to get out up on the sea wall to enjoy this view.
I started off at a reasonable pace but after just half an hour I decided to walk slowly back. My knee was fine, I just felt my stamina was lacking. I really enjoyed it though. I always carry my phone when I'm out walking but today I made sure it was on silent, I didn't want the lively strains of Hairsprays - "You can't stop the beat" to penetrate the silence.

Tomorrow I'm going to try a short game of badminton. The lady I play with is in her 70's and she wins virtually every game we play, even though I'm the one who normally runs around the court. Could be interesting in the morning, we'll both be standing facing each other, neither of us moving expect for our arms wielding the racket, in the hope of hitting the shuttlecock. From a distance it'll probably look like we're sending semaphore messages to each other. So, we may not actually be burning off excess calories but the way I look at it at least I'll be doing abit of core strengthening and hopefully reduce my upper arm flab!

Monday, 19 July 2010


Here is another one of my little creations!
I made the princess castle cake at the weekend for Charlotte's 4th birthday and Jessica's 1st party. Believe it or not, I'm actually quite pleased with how it turned out. Charlotte loved it and her party, Jessica slept through the whole event.
All the children who came and some of the adults wore fancy dress, Charlotte as a princess and Jessica in a minnie mouse looking outfit without the ears. Michael and I went along as Ben & Holly [the elf and the fairy princess!!], from Nick Jnr fame. However it wasn't long before we both shed our hats and my wand and not much after that when I got Michael to chop my wings off. It was too hot for all that malarkey!
You may well think, we're complete and utter nutters but when you become grandparents you do start to do some odd things. Our daughter Kate's first words as she entered the hall yesterday were -"You both look completely ridiculous!"
Well, all I can say is we tried!

Saturday, 17 July 2010


Is there a reason why small children around the age of one year like to lick their image whenever they see their reflection in a mirror, windows or even worse patio doors?
Charlotte and Jessica have stayed with us for a couple of nights this week and my patio doors have been licked to death!
Now I have to say window cleaning is not my favourite job to do around the house, unlike my 87 year old father who is obsessed with cleaning windows and my 86 year old mother who is obsessed with making sure that when he does clean them he does them to her standards!

Sunday, 4 July 2010


Very quick update on the entrelac baby shawl.
Perhaps I should air on the side of caution and just say, GETTING IT!
I don't want to get too carried away but I'm thrilled to announce I'm now on my 2nd rectangle.

Friday, 2 July 2010


I came to the conclusion last weekend that if Wayne Rooney and the rest of the England team were worn out and in need of a rest after running around kicking a football and making a hash of it in the process, then my brain could certainly have a rest from the challenges of entrelac for a week.
Back to my subject matter.
We spent a really beautiful weekend in the Cotswolds. Michael and I thought we'd get away to celebrate our 31st wedding anniversary, actual date - Wednesday. We stayed in Bourton-on-the-Water and it was really really lovely.
[Sorry that the pictures are different sizes, don't know why and to be honest it's too hot to worry about finding out.]
The picture above is of Bourton-on-the-Water, the river was lined with people picnicking and children splashing around in the water, enjoying the sunshine.

The picture above is of the mill at Lower Slaughter. We walked to this little village and what with the name and the setting, I felt that at any minute John Nettles or even Mrs Barnaby could walk round the corner. It was just like a scene from Midsummer Murders!

Wednesday came - anniversary day! and poor old Michael went off to hospital to have an op on his knee, he's had pain in his knee for quite some time now. The doctor told him afterwards that it was like someone had had a party in his knee and had gone home without clearing up. I hope that this op will help rectify some of the problems, fingers crossed!
I spent my anniversary in the garden with the grandchildren, keeping the paddling pool filled up, [Jessica kept pulling the stopper out] and mopping up excess mini milks. Quite pleasant really!

Thursday night I went along to see Charlotte's new school. She's not 4 until next month but starts in September. Michael couldn't come obviously, he was resting but we had quite a family turn out. Charlotte not only had Mummy, Daddy, Sister, Granny and Nanny there but a real surprise when Great Grandma and Great Grandpa arrived. It was just like being in the Wombles family.
I'm sure Charlotte will settle into school life ok, but last night she looked so tiny amongst all the other children. I know - she will be fine!