Thursday, 24 December 2015


When we were on holiday in October we bandied around lots of ideas to improve our home in the new year.
When we got back home, we started looking around, getting more ideas. The chimney sweep came and while he was sweeping and I was nattering on about our plans he recommended someone to change our fire and fire place. We got rather carried away and decided how nice it would be to have the fire in place for christmas so that was the catalyst that started the ball rolling.
Then came the ceilings, ,landing, hallway, lounge and dining room all plastered, followed by the flooring and then in the last couple of weeks, finally painting the walls.
Hence no blog, lots of mess, no furniture in its right place and christmas in orbit.
At one stage I didn't think we'd ever be straight again!

These hats are the only things to have come off my needles, one each for my granddaughters.

Despite making a defiant statement that I wouldn't be making Christmas cakes this year.- I did!
I had 3 little helpers round to decorate the cakes and we enjoyed a morning of icing sugar mayhem!

With the lounge decor in mind we went out the other day to buy a rug and came home with a rug and a new fairy for a tree that at the time was still propped up outside by the garage door.
Would it ever make it inside in time?

Well, yes it did!
with the lounge finally finished we were able to put our fairy and our tree in place.
It's been all rush here this last month or so,  but  so worth it!

As we head towards a new year, I'm looking forward to spending Christmas with my family.
Then after I'll be itching to start something new whether it will be knitting or crochet, I have yet to decide.

Thank you for dropping by my blog this year and reading through my ramblings.
Merry Christmas to you all!

Saturday, 14 November 2015


For the past couple of weeks I've been making hats. I made 3 for my friends grandchildren in an aran yarn which I totally forgot to photograph before passing them on and today I finished this one for Alfred. I bought the yarn when I was in Camden Maine and it's worsted Misti Alpaca from Peru. I'm going to make an identical hat for Jack as well. The yarn feels ever so soft and I'm sure the boys will have lovely warm ears throughout the winter when they wear them.

I had a nice treat this week. We've had quite a busy time here recently and my early morning swims have dwindled to one session a week. I really feel that I need more exercise. So on Wednesday morning I took Alfred for a long walk along the seawall.
The tide was high when we set off and the skies overcast but luckily it was fairly mild. Unfortunately  at this time of the year if it's mild, the path is generally muddy in places but we kept going dodging as many of the slimy puddles as we could until we reached the paved path.

We went passed this little house on stilts that recently featured in Homes by the Sea on TV which the owners bought and renovated as it apparently reminded them of a holiday trip to Antigua.  Having been to Antigua myself, I would think you would need a cocktail of high tides, cloudless blue skies, scorching heat, a chilled glass of wine and an over active imagination to recapture that particular scenario. However, I cannot deny that this place has got its own beauty. The new owners have transformed the property into something quite special. Perched on the seawall it is in a very quiet tranquil area. To have this as a little bolt hole must be quite idyllic.

So, a little further on, we saw that this place is up for sale.  It will be interesting to see if someone will snap it up and turn it into another riverside retreat.

There were quite a few people out and about as boats were being pulled from the water ready for their winter storage.

The now empty beach huts were standing out proudly with the water lapping all around their feet. We were getting closer to our destination and as it was approaching lunchtime I began to wonder whether the cafe would still be open and I regretted not checking that before we had left home.

However fortunately for us the Osea View cafe was open and Alfred and I enjoyed our first lunch out together, a slice of cheese on toast for him and a toasted sandwich and a cuppa for me. Ok, not much of a banquet but very special.  A brisk walk home, as there was now a chill in the wind, an afternoon nap for him and an hour of knitting for me.

I had a great time, I hope he did too!

Tuesday, 3 November 2015


Sunday dawned and it was quite gloomy, the fog lingered throughout the day. Yet, we felt the need to get out and stretch our legs so we went up to the town and wandered down by the river.  
There were lots of people about, some families picnicking, others taking their boats out.
Both, we thought were strange things to do as in some places you could hardly see in front of your noses. 
We guessed the families were on a promised day out and no one ever wants to disappoint their youngsters, but the sailors, we really couldn't fathom why they were heading down the river.

Just a couple of weeks ago we were driving through New England in brilliant sunshine enjoying the beautiful changing colours of the leaves

and this weekend I only had to walk out of my back door in foggy Essex to see the beautiful autumnal colours of our acer covered with cobwebs. This acer has been in a pot on the patio for a few years now but I can never remember the changing leaves being quite as red as they are this year. It really is so vibrant.

We enjoyed a quiet peaceful weekend. There was nothing much to do in the garden, just a few leaves to be picked up so, while my husband headed to his garage to work on his boat, I baked christmas cakes and put the finishing touches to this baby blanket which I crocheted in Drops Baby Alpaca Silk. This is the same pattern I made for Alfred and it is so soft. I highly recommend the pattern and it can be found here. Heldasland

This blanket I have made for my friends first grandchild, baby Frank and I hope he finds it as snuggly and warm as Alfred does.  I'm now back to knitting and on my second hat since the weekend, pictures will follow in my next post.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015


As September ebbed away we had a lovely weekend at Malham Cove and Yarndale.
Purchases were obviously made for lots of projects I have in mind.

Then we were off again.
With a pretty smart hire car at our disposal we saw mainly beautiful blue skies

and plenty of glorious sunsets.

A work shop with boats waiting to be restored, this time NOT our garage but,

at Mystic Seaport, Connecticut.

Gorgeous views of Mount Washington in New Hampshire.
My son in law has now got this golf course on his "I must play at" list.

The changing colours of the fall in Vermont.

Pumpkins here, there and everywhere.  These, moderately large, 

this one, enormous! In the region of 1383lb, I believe.
How much soup could you make with that?

 Then, the hump back whales off of Cape Cod
who didn't want to come and see us the first time we went out when in Boothbay Harbor Maine but,

the second time............!
Well, they were just amazing.

Finally, into Boston for a a spot of sightseeing and retail therapy.

We loved it all!

Thursday, 24 September 2015


The view from my back door yesterday morning was so colourful. Because we've had so much rain recently, the grass has taken on such a gorgeous deep green colour and the plants have gone mad and had a growth spurt.

By blog has taken a back step since the end of August for an assortment of reasons, some I feel I can write about and others that I'm having some difficulty to even understand let alone write about.

It is so difficult to help parents who at 90+ are so independent. Even though they do need an element of help they are adamant they don't need it.
The other weekend, we had a phone call from my dad to say that my mum had been taken to a&e by ambulance during the night. After the paramedics and mum had left him, dad went back to bed and back to sleep, waking at 9.15am. It was only then that he decided to ring me as he had neither any idea of mum's condition nor even 100% certainty of where she was.
After a few minutes of phone calls, we'd located mum and sent our daughter off to their house to check her grandad was ok. My dad would never admit to it but we know he was shocked to find my mum wasn't their beside him when he woke up.
We headed off to Broomfield Hospital to find my mum who thankfully having had a thorough check up had been discharged with a course of antibiotics for a water infection. She was sitting there, waiting for an ambulance to take her home (the nurse had explained to her that there would be a long wait) because she had no one who they could call to go and collect her.
Yet here we are, we live just 20 minutes from mum and dad and about 30 mins from the hospital, what can you do?
Their neighbours on both sides were equally as frustrated when they heard. 
We are so lucky that they can do lots for themselves but sometimes...............!

When we left them, that day they both looked tired and in need of some rest. They both said they would have a lazy day and for lunch they would cook the lasagne I'd made for them, a couple of days previously.
The very same lasagne that my mum had taken under protest and had told me that I wasn't to make for them anymore because they didn't need them.
I rest my case!

September has brought another change to my week days. Kate has returned to work and I'm going to be looking after baby Alfred on Mondays and Wednesdays, I already have Jack on a Monday so it's 
going to be a busy day but now we've done a couple of weeks, I'm more organised and beginning to plan things that we can do when they're here.

I'm looking forward to Yarndale this weekend and I thought as I'm bound to be buying more yarn (oh yes!) I really should make some space and knit up some that I bought last year. 

I bought this as a kit

and I'm very happy how it has knitted up and how it looks.

It was a lovely sunny day here yesterday, so I was able to wash it and lay it outside.
Me and washing wool, don't usually go well together but now dried it still looks the same size and shape.
All ready for my weekend!

Monday, 31 August 2015


It came................

Warm sunshine and a family holiday in Turkey

 Making sand castles 

Eating far too many desserts

Making a big splash on the flume rides

and even making a new friend, fondly named Dobbin who fortunately didn't require much feeding but always needed a bed for the night with Granny and Grandad 

Enjoying a wonderful day in London to celebrate VJ Day with my Dad starting on Horse Guards

then joining in with the parade passing the Cenotaph

followed by afternoon tea in the gardens by Westminster Abbey.
Very scrummy indeed!

Our  grandchildren's sunflowers have brightened up our garden a treat
Charlotte's grew to about 8ft so she was very pleased hers was a winner!

Finally this charming chappy was spotted at RHS Hyde Hall yesterday while we were there to wander the craft fair and the gardens. The sculpture  by Robert James is there to commemorate 150 years of Lewis Caroll.

And then it went .............

Goodbye August, hello September.

Hope your August was as wonderful as ours.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015


70 years ago this young man was stationed in Burma.

On Saturday, he was in London to mark the 70th Anniversary of VJ Day, 
for my son and myself it was a great honour to walk beside him.

We had such an emotional and wonderful day.

Well done Dad!

"When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, 
For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today"

Saturday, 1 August 2015


 Having been spurred on by cheery words which, I thank you for from fellow bloggers I was finally ready to jump back on my roller coaster ride of amateur cake making.

Charlotte in her role of cake designer had specific ideas of what she wanted and had given me a drawing so I had something to work from

and once I'd stopped panicking in the end, I came up with this!

The bottom cake is plain sponge and the top tier, chocolate. I think the bright colours of the icing really set it off and I am so pleased with the result.

My daughter in law literally worked her socks off organising the children's parties this year. Charlotte's friends arrived in the afternoon, using up some energy on the bouncy castle and enjoying crafts like face painting and tattoo transfers.
As the afternoon moved into evening and after feasting on BBQ food they lounged indoors with popcorn and watched a movie.
Then before finally crashing out in the tent in the garden, they danced the night away in the spare room that had been stripped bare of furniture other than a glitter ball, disco lights and sound system.
Were they exhausted, unfortunately, not quite!!

When the morning came, breakfast was consumed and by lunchtime a sleepy bunch of Charlotte's friends went home.

After a quick tidy round preparations were again soon under way and as 1pm approached Jessica's friends arrived for a tea party for the afternoon. More fun was had on the bouncy castle and lots more face painting.

I had made another cake and this time it did look more like a teddy bear.

The children's birthdays and parties are now over for this year, no more 'till next March.
A good time was had by all  and my daughter in law now deserves a rest. Me, well I"m pleased to say I have washed and ironed my "pinny" and it's neatly folded back in the drawer.

I have also managed to do some knitting, I've just finished my hat.

I sat last night with needles and yarn ready to start a hat for baby Alfred ready for the autumn but did not even get to the casting on stage. As the end credits of Ripper Street rolled, I found I'd dozed off instead, totally missing out on the program and the knitting!

Enjoy your weekend, fingers crossed for some summer sunshine!

Sunday, 19 July 2015


Mid July and another birthday in our family, on Friday we celebrated Charlotte's 9th birthday. Another cake was called for and I have to tell you I was much happier making this cup cake than that bear type monster creation that I made for Jessica.
I felt back in my comfort zone!

As I sat with the cake perched on my lap en route to her tea party there was a brief sense of relief on my part when my husband commented that my birthday cake making season was at least over for another year.
This may not however be strictly the case.
The girls are having a joint party at the end of the month and they've asked me to make a "shopkins" cake.
 Do you know what they are?
I actually don't know myself yet but I have thought briefly about purchasing one already made.
The only thing is that my grand daughters have come to love my take on their birthday novelty cakes even though they are often lopsided and not totally recognisable.
I think I'll do some research of what the cake should be like before I decide, to buy or not to buy!

As part of Charlotte's birthday present, I gave her her finished cardigan

and by the skin of my teeth I managed to finish this one for Jessica.

This has turned out so much better that I thought it would. I ran out of yarn (Drops Muscat)  and couldn't get another ball of the same dye lot so ended up taking a chance with a different one. Thankfully, it's not noticeable at all and it looks really lovely on Jessica.

So now I am moving on to a quick little project, using this Pam Murray yarn that I bought while on holiday in the Orkneys.

When I find the right pattern, the right needles (you never have the right ones, do you!) I will be making myself a hat!

Enjoy your Sunday!