Sunday, 22 July 2012


Jo, our daughter in law bought this little bird house for us when she first started dating our son. It has hung in our virbunum tree in the corner of our garden ever since and birds have shown no interest in it until.........

 On Thursday I was out working in the garden all day and I could hear birds tweeting very loudly. Surely it couldn't be from the blackbirds nest that sits on top of the brick pillar under the shade of the virbunum tree, I was sure they'd flown a while ago.

 I was so surprised! Someone had at last taken a shine to our garden and Jo's vacant box, Mr and Mrs Wren had decided to bring up their new family in it. I suppose because we've been away and haven't been in the garden that much recently due to the weather that our visitors came along unnoticed.

Saturday morning came and mass activity in the garden, the little wrens had fledged their nest. The tiny birds were no bigger than the "o" you make with thumb and fore finger and they weren't wary at all, quite happily allowing us to get so very close with the camera.

They spent a long time scurrying around the plants, sitting on leaves while mum flew off and brought them back food.

In the afternoon all of sudden we noticed the silence. The baby wrens had finally found their wings!

It was an absolute pleasure having them stay with us!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012


We've just got back from a week in the Orkney Islands, off the coast of Northern Scotland. We stayed on the mainland not far from Kirkwall and whilst the weather was very blustery at times and we did have some mist and a full day of rain, it didn't stop us getting out to see what the Orkney Islands promised to offer in their brochure.

Stunning scenery!

Wonderful cliff top walks - this one here was at Deerness.

Archeological sites - the Ring of Brodgar is just one of those that we visited.

The Italian Chapel

This was constructed by Italian POW during WW2 by putting two nissan huts together end to end and men painting all the inside to simulate brickwork. One of the POW'S Domenico Chiochetti  recreated the sanctuary end of the chapel by copying a postcard that he carried with him always.
At the end of the war when the prisoners were released Domenico remained on the Orkneys until the chapel was finished.
It was amazing to see!

We did also see plenty of sheep and a huge amount of cows!

An abundance of wildlife - hares (who moved too fast for their photo call!)


Quite a few seals, who apparently come closer if you sing to them!
I tried - a quick melody of songs from musicals came forth and I have to say it did make them stare up at me but only probably because they couldn't believe what their ears were hearing.
They didn't really seem to want to come any closer!
Husband - well he had dropped well behind me at this point and I also noticed he'd pulled his hat right over his ears.
I really don't understand why!

The wildflowers were so so beautiful and plentiful!

AND there was just a glimmer of blue sky and sunshine!
The Orkney Islands offer lots if you just want to get away from it all.
Loved It!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012


We have just had the most wonderful weekend. 

To start us off on Friday we had a family wedding, it was lovely that nearly all of my Dad's family could be together. My Dad was one of 9 and although I'm an only child I have many cousins who might not get together that often but when we do, it's like we're together all the time. There was a great deal of chatting, lots of laughing and by the end of the evening much dancing. My mum and dad (approaching 90 loved every minute of it!)
I think I can say for us all that we had a brilliant time.

I woke up on Saturday and remembered that 33 years ago to the day I woke up on a mattress on the floor! It was the day of my wedding and we had so many guests staying with us that mum thought it would be best if I moved out of my bedroom a day early and give someone MY bed!!!
She loves me really ( I think) and I suppose I didn't really mind, neither can I remember waking up with back pain. But, NO bed to sleep in meant NO room to get ready in. Thankfully, the landing was quite spacious, although I had to share it with my four bridesmaids!
It does remain a memory to treasure.

So back to the present and off we went to Dedham for a champagne afternoon tea at  Maison Talbooth.

We spent a very relaxing time on the terrace and the afternoon tea hit the spot! It was all really nice and so peaceful. I can understand why Constable loved this area, it is so picturesque. Especially on a sunny day!!

From Dedham we drove up to Ipswich and had an evening walk around the dock. 

The thames barges Hydrogen and Thistle were moored there, which was strange because we normally see them at home moored at the quay in Maldon.

We really like Ipswich Dock yet, we don't visit very often. Next time, we'll spend a little longer, perhaps have a meal and stay for the evening. We were too full to eat anything else on Saturday after our afternoon tea.

On Sunday Jessica had an early 3rd birthday treat, some presents, a birthday lunch and a Peppa Pig birthday cake, which I posted about on my blog earlier. That was all good fun and I was full up once more with sandwiches and cakes.

In the afternoon I took these photos of my sky scarf which is now at it's halfway stage. It is beginning to get quite heavy now, I dread to think if I'll ever be able to wear the finished article around my neck. I think I'd end up with a permanent stoop!
I do plan however to decorate the spare room with these colours in mind and have the scarf across the bottom of the bed.

Finally to finish off our long weekend, we were very lucky to be invited on a boat trip from Orford in Suffolk on The Lady Florence. Michael's brother was celebrating his 60th birthday yesterday so 6 of us in the late afternoon set off from the quay with a gale blowing and dark clouds looming overhead.

Along the river, passed Orford Ness we headed towards Aldeburgh. The boat can carry just 12 passengers.

From Aldeburgh the boat made it's return journey while we went inside to be served a delicious freshly prepared meal. I have to say we really enjoyed ourselves and as we passed our original starting place we took our coffee out on deck while the boat chugged past the RSPB Sanctuary at Havergate Island.
We then returned to Orford and as we stepped back on to the quay the rain finally came. I think we were so lucky we didn't get a shower or two while onboard.
I'd definitely recommend this trip!

Sunday, 1 July 2012


Jessica will be 3 this week and a huge Pepper Pig fan. So, the request was put in for Granny to bake the birthday cake.
This is just 2 plain sponges that were baked in a swiss roll tin and sandwiched together with butter cream and jam. After covering with white icing I used an oversized picture of peppa as a template and cut out first the body in pink and then the red dress which I laid over the top. I added the arms, legs, ears, tail and feet and eyes (liquorice) at the end.
I cheated with the letters, managing to buy them, which was handy.
We took the cake round for Jessica at lunch time today as we had a family tea party.
By the time we left, Peppa was legless.
The cake tasted very nice.

I have another post which will follow in a day or two with a sky scarf update.