Thursday, 30 May 2013

Challenge Update

Well it's been a while since I updated you all on my challenges. Probably because I haven't been doing very well with them! Been too busy enjoying myself! Oh dear!.

This a rather useful book and I can recommend it.

Rather tasty dinner and easy to prepare - had to water it down for Mr P.

This book was written by the Masterchef champion back in 1991. It feels very comforting to use this book knowing that when I retire I shall be living near Edinburgh where the author lives.

Sorry no picture of finished flapjacks as they got eaten too quickly. Have made them twice.

Got this book back in 2002 when we were living in Leeds.

This was a quick easy dinner, using lots of leftovers.

This is a brilliant cake book. The cupcakes are made differently from our British fairy cakes. They are much lighter and keep moist far longer.

Have made these cakes many times and they always come out yummy and never ever any left to go stale!

Ooh this brings back memories of happy holidays in Brittany, eating galettes with Breton cider.

I cannot make them look as good as they do in France, but it was still tasty.

The other challenge is knitting my three baby blankies.

To make things a little harder - the observant of you will notice that I am making this one a little wider. So it is taking longer! But I am determined to get the three finished by the end of June. So I have set myself a timetable and I have calculated that I need to accomplish three colours a night!

56 books used. 71 books to go. 214 days to go to the end of the challenge.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Boat Day

Could a bank holiday not be complete if we didn't take a walk by some boats? Stupid question. We managed to leave at a reasonable time and visited a local car boot sale, where we purchased a book of Robert Burns poems and some tweed fabric. Then we took the country roads to Crick. It is the weekend of the boat festival. We decided we didn't want to go to the show but it would be fun to walk into Crick and see all the boats moored there.

Today the sun is shining but there is quite a breeze, keeping the temperature a little lower than yesterday.

Oh I have seen so many of these views but still I come back for more. Maybe if I looked into my past family history maybe I had some water gypsies as relatives.

Lovely traditional style boat.

But suddenly our walk ground to a halt as reached Crick tunnel. We tried to see if there was a foot path across the fields but we could not find one - so frustrating. So we sat and ate our lunch here, as it was sheltered from the wind and so nice and warm in the sun.

It was also good fun to lean over and look into the tunnel at the boats coming through. The tunnel is a mile long and we could hear the engines a long time before we say the boats. Takes about 15 minutes to complete the tunnel.

This was the view looking the other way.

So we walked back the way we came and drove into Crick and took a walk across some fields to reach the other side of the tunnel.

Again fun to hang over and watch the boats coming out the other way.

Because of the show some of the boats add decorations.

I love seeing the traditional boats.

And then there are the boats whose owners have a sense of humour.

Then there are the lovely brand new boats - gleaming in the sun.

Wonder why the next boat called it "Alnwick" - as there is no canal there and this boat is registered a long way from there.

Love the red colour but looks as if the birds do too.

Where do the boat owners get their ideas for names?

This lamb was enjoying herself having a good scratch on this pole.

Ducklings are always sooo cute.

This mommy duck had a football team of them - 11.

This boat had the author of a book I have read - Narrow Boat to Carcasonne.

Here he is - doing boatie things.

After a lovely walk we stopped at the pub for a drink and the final two pictures to show you.

Views looking from either side of the bridge.

Time for home and to eat left over Chinese from the weekend. Hope you all have had a good bank holiday weekend - apologies for those of you not having had a long weekend.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Engaging Day

Whilst Mr P had a lie in I got up and prepared a picnic for our days outing. 9am the telephone went and it was No 4 (son who works in Scotland). He is currently staying in our cottage and he phoned to say he has just got engaged to a wonderful lovely girl. We are sooooo pleased as they are a great match. They are both heavily into outdoor activities - it is their jobs. So we imagine that their wedding will be held half way up a mountain or abseiling somewhere or maybe in a canoe down some fast flowing river! Anyway what a way to start the day.

Eventually we head off to Cambridgeshire to Wicken Fen. But as we drive through the village of Great Glen we find ourselves waving to these people going to church. We're confused at to why they are going there until we both realise at the same time that it is Sunday today. I should explain Mr P is on a three month sabbatical and so we can enjoy a few Sundays together without him working - what a novelty.

The sun is shining and we have to make a stop at a service station for me to buy some sunglasses - what a pleasant problem to have!

Eventually we arrive and it is still sun shining.

Mr P and I love butterflies. The one above is a brimstone. When it flies it is a vivid yellow, but when sitting on a plant it closes its wings. It almost looks like a leaf whilst resting.

View of the fenland.

Amazing how we always come across boats!

 As we sat down and ate lunch we became aware of this great tit flying in and out of this tree stump. It was collecting grubs. It took us ages to try and get a picture of this bird, as it flies sooo fast.

There were lots of bird hides but this was one was the tallest one I,ve ever been in before. Below is on one of the views from the top.

Below is a storage area for the fen boats.

Here are some inside views of one of the cottages that someone who used to work on the fens. But first of all is a picture of someone using a very traditional lathe.

I got very excited in here, as I am only 5ft 3" tall and the ceiling was not much higher than me! Somewhere designed for me! Mr P is always teasing me saying that I am "vertically challenged".

And even out in the countryside - some craft! A traditional patchwork quilt! Poor Mr P can't go anywhere to avoid fabric!

Some people paid to go on one of the fen boats, looks as if they had a good time.

Then I had the extreme pleasure of seeing another love of my life - woolly bulls / highland cattle. These cattle have been bought to the mainland from the Isle of Mull to maintain the land.

This May tree looked to me as if it was covered in snow - not sure I've ever seen some many flower heads on one tree.

Final view of the windmill.

Then back to the car to enjoy a well earnt cuppa and a rest. Think we walked quite a few miles.

Then the inevitable happened and Mr P fell asleep so I took a small walk and spotted two muntjac deer.

My final picture is of a sparrow enjoying the last of the days sunshine.

Such a lovely day, finished off with a good dinner and some red wine.