Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Excitement In The Garden

Ooh today has been wonderful. Started with the sun glowing, followed by Mr P booking our ferry crossing to France for our jollies, oh and sadly the return journey too. Work was ok. Then afterwards I went hunting for a sun lounger - suitable to take camping to France. Found one eventually in Homebase for £20.

Temperature this afternoon reached 34! Can't believe I was putting the gas fire on this time last week! So anyway I then put the lounger to use and did some crochet in the shade.

Look I have achieved 10 granny squares! Think I'm going to make a bag with these and some more. But I am so proud of myself.

My first sighting of a green bean! It's very tiny at the moment but I think there maybe some more hiding. How exciting. Hope it's not too late in the season for them to grow.

And finally the first sighting of a strawberry!

Monday, 23 July 2012

The Sun Has Got His Hat On

The sun has got his hat on, Hip-hip-hip-hooray! The sun has got his hat on, He came out this weekend!

Oh what joy to see the sun. Going without for so long makes one very grateful when it does arrive.

Saturday: Day spent with dad in Lichfield. I'd not really been there before and dad was keen to show me his local shops. We had a great day. We mooched around the shops and found an amazing Bead Shop that I know my daughter-in-law would absolutely adore. She has just finished her full time job to create more time to make and sell her jewellery. This is her blog silver chestnut and this is her folksy shop.

We went into a local church that was having a sale and I bought this lamp for a fiver. I cannot decide whether I like it or not but going on Mr P's reaction I know what he thinks.

I thought it was whacky, liked the dangly bits and no one else will have a lamp quite like this one!

We had a coffee and toasted teacake in the park and watched the weddings take place in the local registry office. It's great being nosey!

Headed up to the cathedral - amazing building. Sorry my photographs do not do it justice.

The choir were practising for Sunday's Evensong. Sounded fantastic in that beautiful building.

We slowly walked back to the car past some ponds and saw this duck. Anyone any idea what has happened to this duck? I have never seen one with this hair do!

Then back to dad's home for a refreshing orange juice in the garden and I just couldn't resist taking some photographs of what I could see around me.

Dad's lovely garden - he is such a good gardener. I defy any weeds to try growing there.

My niece bought dad this
hedgehog and bug house.

Sunday: Mr P was still officially on holiday and seems as it was still gorgeous outside we head off for the day for a walk near to Market Bosworth. And of course there had to be some boats!

And an aquaduct.

A horse and cart

Leicestershire may not have dramatic hills but it does have some quaint viallges. I just loved the name of this one! Can you imagine telling someone that you live there they'd never believe you.

The walk was finished with a pub meal - shocking on a Sunday too! Well  I think God wasn't too pleased as the first one we went into wasn't doing meals as the chef was on holiday and then the second one we tried didn't do food on a Sunday! So we ended up in Market Harborough before we found one doing lunch!

The rest of the day was spent crocheting some granny squares - show you later.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Jet Stream Madness

Well that's what we're being told - we've been stuck in a jet stream of rain and it may be coming to an end this Saturday - whoopee! Here's a link if you want to understand more How the jet stream influences our weather

 Our local road yet again got flooded yesterday.

Some silly lady decided she would try and drive through it and of course the consequences were her having to have her car towed away.

Mr P is away this week in France. He has always wanted to drive his Bertie (BMW motorbike) in France.

Here he is all loaded up and ready to go. Somewhere in all this stuff is a weeks worth of clothes, a tent and bedding. Not sure where?

And of course there had to be some space for little ted to go too! So that Mr P doesn't get all lonely without me.

I have been desperately trying to learn to crochet - especially want to do something with granny squares. Whilst I was away last week I tried but had to give up so this week Mrs A gave up an evening to teach me. Sadly to say tonight she has a migraine - so you can begin to understand what a nightmare I am to teach!. Anyway last night, on my own, I at last managed to accomplish 3 small squares! Ta dah!

Thought I'd show you the latest pictures of the green beans, strawberries, peppers and tomato plants. I don't think there will ever be any tomatoes, just lots of greenery! Just hoping that all the rain doesn't break any more flowers off the beans.

As you can see lots of greenery!

Well having heard from Mr P who is in Normandy, enjoying lots of sunshine, seeing the war memorials, museums, D day landing beaches, that I'd better lure him home with The Devil's Food Cake.

I've got to wait till tomorrow before I can sample the cake too. The smell is very enticing - let's hope he's not too late or there may be none left.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Northumberland Jolly

Hi Readers - this latest blog is my ramblings about my week away - so please feel free to just look at the pictures and ignore the words!

Saturday: The Car was heavily loaded with the new garden furniture, coffee table and my own luggage. In order to fit it all in Mr P had to remove the back seats. Managed to leave at 6am after not going to bed till midnight! At first I thought my eyes were too sleepy to see properly but no it was fog causing the problems and by Wetherby all became clear. Arrived at Alnwick for 10am, in glorious sunshine.

 Lord Mayor announcing the book fair.

 A collectors book fair was taking place and I managed to buy Mrs A two Persephone books. Of course I cannot resist a trip to Barter Books and just happened upon a craft book. Then with a trip to the supermarket for enough food to keep me going for a day I journeyed the final leg up to the cottage. But oh the lovely sunshine had disappeared and the fog had returned. The local village had experienced flooding, Silverstone Grand Prix were advising people not to come and the Great North Show had to close(only closed once before for foot and mouth)! So that's how bad it's been this week with weather. Meanwhile back at the village the strawberry and pimms in the park was moved to the village hall. I observed very little pimms being drunk but rather gallons of tea. One of the first things I do when I first enter our home is go around checking everything is in their right place and for some bizarre reason the guests have decided that it's better to mix all the mugs and glasses together rather than having them separate. But after a quick tidy and getting the bookshelf all back in its right order I can then settle down to relax. After a bath and a little snooze on the settee I am then all set up for some knitting and a nice murder to watch!

Sunday: Drunk on sleep I didn't get up till 7.50am. As the birds were busy singing I thought outside the sun must be shining but no it was raining. There were so many sparrows on the lawn and on the bird feeders it reminded me of that old Sunday school song "there are hundreds and thousands, millions of sparrows... but God knows everyone and God knows me" - so true. My back felt a bit sore but off I went to Holy Island to attend the church service. Well I tried to sit on the hard pew and realised that my back was rather more sore than I thought. After 5 minutes I sheepishly had to walk out, apologising, but I just could not sit without pain.

 Very misty view of Holy Island.

 Arty farty photo across the harbour.

After a small walk around the harbour I hobbled back to the car. After arriving at home, in time to watch the men's final at Wimbledon my back finally gave up and screamed in pain. So decided that painkillers were not enough and struggled into the bath. It was so bad that I was not sure if I could manage to put the plug in but I did and the bath was definitely a good move. Most of the rest of Andy Murray's match was watched from me lying on the floor.

 Andy just after he had lost the final.

 But just after I got out the bath someone was knocking the door. Our new next door neighbour turned up to invite me over for a drink. I felt so embarrassed answering the door at 3pm in my dressing gown and with wet hair and then having to explain that I could not accept their kind offer as my back was bad - what a way to meet your new neighbours! Oh but wasn't the match so exciting and I think Andy did so well. By the end of the match I was able to sit up again and of course do some crochet. After a yummy dinner of mussels, coriander in a tomato and chilli sauce time for another murder!

Monday: Again the birds fooled me into thinking the sun was shining. They had eaten all the food in just one and a bit days! Decided the morning I would take it easy and just do some reading and craft work - give time for my back to re cooperate.

 This is a female eider duck, see a lot of them walking around the harbour at Seahouses.

 As the weather was so bad none of these boats were going out to the Farne Islands from Seahouses.

 Bamburgh Castle never fails to amaze me - it's so perfect.

 This ice cream I bought from a small shop in Bamburgh - it's a rather special ice cream. It is made very near to where No 4 son lives and works. It brings back fond memories of family holidays to this area of Dumfries and Galloway.

 The afternoon I went to Seahouses and Bamburgh, in the drizzle and cold. I felt so sorry for the holiday makers with small children. I heard one mum saying "It's ok we're going back to the car, and then, and then". It took me back to when my children were small and having disastrous weather on hols and wondering what the heck to do with them.  On the local news it was announced that a lady had given birth to twins - one in Wooler  England at home and the second twin at the hospital in Melrose Scotland. I guess those twins are going to have lots of fun with this story when they get older.

I stitched this snakes and ladders many years ago, but now my family have all grown up and left the nest I decided it was time to leave it at the cottage for other guests to enjoy. Forgot some counters so managed to make these button ones with pebbles from the beach and some felt.

Tuesday: Rain - birds never stop singing. Trip to Belford, to the local craft gallery but it was closed but the local charity shop was open and I managed to get this wonderful Brio Train set for £15 - bargain.

Then because of the grotty weather I decided to visit Cragside House, part of the National Trust. If you haven't been is well worth a visit. First house to have electricity and the gardens and land cover miles. But discovered I was not alone thinking this a good venue and there was a large queue to get in> not only was it raining but the midges had the cheek to attack whilst we were all waiting!

 Cragside marble fireplace


 Cragside House

Wednesday: Well it's gone from rain to heavy rain! Opted today to take a train from Berwick up to Edinburgh. Had a great, exhausting day. Obviously topped up with pain killers.

 Love the olympic theme.

 For the ladies a Scots man in a kilt.

 Cities are great for street entertainers - not seen this one before.

 Went to two art galleries and saw an exhibition of Edvard Munch - famous picture being "The Scream". So not the most cheerful of collections.

Had a lovely lunch at a Mexican restaurant.

 Then lots more walking to a retro clothes shop and then Grey Friars to the church etc.


 Grey Friars Bobby

 The graveyard at Grey Friars is fascinating - I know that sounds a strange thing to say but it's true.

  I did not come across any wool shops or no craft shops! I couldn't believe that a place as big as this had nothing. In fact I did not buy anything other than my lunch and the ticket to go into the exhibition. Home for toast and red wine and a nice murder. 

Thursday: NO RAIN. Hung some washing out and  cleaned the windows.

 The new garden furniture with the hand made tablecloth and cushions.


After my long outing yesterday just opted for Holy Island.

 I just adore poppies.

 Just loved the way these poppies were growing through the bench.

 There were masses of sparrows on this fence - these were just some that stayed to have their picture taken.

 This is the causeway footpath - definitely need to take your shoes off and walk barefooted - great fun.

Went on a lovely walk and saw masses of beautiful wild flowers, fritillary butterflies and the burnap moth.


 Out at this time of year is the dreaded piri piri - it just attaches itself so easily, but takes ages to remove.

Found a wonderful stone bothy and I loved walking along the deserted beaches rather than the coastal path - see everything from a different angle.

Felt rather emotional today - it's the usual feeling of not wanting to leave somewhere I love so much and yet know it is so right to be living and working in Leicestershire for the time being. After the wonderful quietness of these beaches it was hard to walk back to the main part of the island where there were so many tourists. Decided I deserved a coffee and cake but nearly all the best cakes had gone and there were no scones left. Felt all irritated with these people who just turn up walk around a few shops and then devour all the cakes( they don't deserve them they haven't walked anywhere)! I know a bit irrational and unfair - this is what happens when you've been on your own for a while! The cafe was really nice with lots of cosy chairs, open fire and free wifi - so this will be a good excuse to come here again. Quick trip to the mead shop - yes I'll admit to sneaking a free sample of their mead. Occasionally I do actually buy a bottle, but most times it's just for the freebie - shocking. Back home for a dinner - except I discovered the smell in the fridge which I thought  came from the blue cheese was my dinner! The chicken breast had gone off! Oh the smell was horrid - poor dustbin has got to wait till next week before its rid of it. Been crocheting a stripey blanket but I am a beginner at crochet and for some reason the edges are shaped like the sea! Also running out of the wool that I got from a charity shop - so will have to come up with an idea. But it will be a unique blanket - one to show any grandchildren. A very satisfying day which ended with me attempting to watch Father Ted but falling asleep.

Friday: I have slept so well this week and again woke up to NO rain. Never thought I'd be so excited about seeing a grey sky - so much better than rain. The weather forecaster said there might be some sun on Sunday - typical the day I have to go home.

The front cover is a picture taken at Holy Island.

  Just been reading an article in "The Northumbrian" magazine about bridges. This guy goes around photographing them and finding out about their history and structure. Suddenly it rang a bell with me - I adore bridges, fascinated by them. Once I went on a walking holiday with a friend walking the Dales way and we got to be known by others doing the same walk as the "Bridge ladies", as we had been observed as always having our picnic or our cuppas by a bridge. Maybe this could be something I could also do when I retire to Northumberland. Trip to Berwick to get some bits and pieces for the cottage. Also some more wool and a lesson from the lady running the wool shop. She informed me that there is only one wool shop in Edinburgh - so no wonder I didn't find any. After lunch a walk around Ford and Etal. Visited a gorgeous Petal "N" Paper shop and then a wonderful antique bric a brac shop The Old Dairy. It has a lovely coffee shop indoors and outdoors can really recommend a trip here.

 Saw some Belties in the grounds of the castle. Cooked myself some Indian for dinner - feels rather strange eating this type of food here. One dead pigeon in the road and one dead sparrow in our garden.

Saturday: Was up early ready with a picnic and flask, but then it rained! Typical! So decided instead to try going back to Belford and trying to visit the Belford Craft Gallery. Hurray this time it was open. I didn't buy anything but it inspired me with lots of new projects. Decided that I really liked a clock I saw yesterday at the old dairy so I ventured back there to get it. I love it, says antique but it can't be that old because it has a battery!


 Had a walk around Ford Nature Reserve in the rain just me and the midges! The afternoon the rain stopped and I headed back to Holy Island with my picnic. In fact the sun shone beautifully and I was able to sit on the beach, crochet and enjoy the warmth and peace. The evening finished with a bath and you've guessed a nice murder. Back to Leicestershire tomorrow. Be nice to see Mr P and friends but I loathe saying goodbye to my home.