Wednesday, 28 August 2013

One Day and One Night in Walberswick

Having not had a summer holiday I jumped at the opportunity to go away to the seaside for one night. We were hoping to have stayed a night somewhere in Norfolk but as I tried phoning various camp sites it became obvious that there was no space. Really hard to believe there was no space on a camp site in the whole of Norfolk. So the nearest available campsite was just into Suffolk and we jumped at the booking space. It is not an area that we know and it made even more fun to go somewhere new. So after Mr P finished church on Sunday we headed off and I knew it was just sooo right to be doing as as we drove away from Leicester the sun started to come out and by the time we arrive 3 hours later it is to a sunny, warm campsite. It was also a first for our Quecha tent, otherwise known as our "boing" tent, to be used in England. It is only used to being put up in France.

The beauty of our tent is it is up within minutes and it didn't take very long to unpack the car. We are very much cheaters when it comes to bedding - we take caravan bedding cushions to lie on and the quilt off our bed comes too! After a late afternoon lunch and a cuppa we head off to Walberswick.

Having never been here before we decide to take a walk around the coast and head off along the path to the beach - where we saw this sign. Mmmmm


 As we followed the coast we then were greeted with this beautiful estuary and we couldn't help but carry on walking by its side.

 It was a little bit hazy at this time but somehow it made it more romantic. Anyway this walk led us to a bridge where we crossed and decided it would be fun to walk into Southwold, even though we were only wearing sandals! This signpost amused us as Methodists are supposed to be teetotal!

We had a quick walk around part of the town and then joined a huge queue for what appears to be the only chip shop in Southwold. It was well worth the wait - can't beat fish and chips at the seaside. Then we had to walk back partly in the dark.

Monday woke up to beautiful sunshine. I was glad I had bought some bacon and sausages to fry on our one burner gas stove - everything tastes sooo much better when its cooked under these conditions. We opened up our wedding anniversary cards and then packed up the tent. The day warming up and we head back to Walberswick to spend time lazing on the beach.

Discovered that Walberswick is a favourite spot for families to do some crabbing. We used to enjoy this activity too when our children were small. The only difference being is that now you can buy small netted bags with bait in rather than cutting up dead bits of fish! Oh and also they sell lots of lovely large clear buckets so that you can admire your catch easier! Ooooh I sooooo want to bring my grandchildren here when they are older!

We found a snug spot in between the dunes and there we stayed for the rest of the day. Me doing a bit of hookey and Mr P reading. Oh it was just what we needed. Then after a day of lazing on the beach we walked again to Southwold.

Saw this beach hut for sale - but was shocked at the price!

We spent sooo long walking around Southwold that we ran out of time to eat in a restaurant - you  guessed right we ended up back at the chippie. I'll leave you with this final picture of the lighthouse which is snuggled into this housing area!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Saturday Mayhem

Hi all - yesterday was supposed to have been a restful, peaceful Saturday. Well it would have been if it hadn't have been for ME!

Yes it started with me the minute I got up dying my hair and then I baked a cake.

 As I baked it in one of those silitone tins it had space to "fill out at the side" - just like me! It is a type of fruit loaf and hopefully it will taste nice when we eat it on a camp site.

Then I  followed this by several hours of getting through my huge pile of ironing. Whilst ironing I watched a few programmes through IPlayer and one of them being a cooking programme hosted by Nigel Slater. He was encouraging viewers to make things with their leftovers. So feeling very inspired I went ahead and baked one of his cakes.

Found some leftover plain chocolate and leftover butter! Thought I'd take a picture because it looked so luxurious.

Plenty of spare eggs left from the chickens.

It always amazes me how much one small egg can become when beaten.

Then I knew I had this one ingredient stored away at the back of my, yes you are reading right, salad box!

Yes - it is beetroot. Such a great colour. According to Mr Slater it makes the cake moist.

Mmmmm it looks a bit like a crater, but hopefully this chocolate cake will taste nice.

But oh boy this cake might have used up some leftover ingredients but was rather indulgent in using appliances. Just look at my work top after the deed!

It is now mid afternoon and I decide it is time to get on with some crafting but my computer is playing up. And this is when things start going wrong! I decide I would just "refresh" it - no I didn't feed it a piece of cake and a cup of tea. That might have worked better. The consequences of this action caused me to loose a whole load of stuff. By the time Mr P walked in from cricket he came in on a rather stressed out wife! I was rather distraught at my actions - this is a reminder to myself that I have been right in the past when I had previously decided not mess with the settings on my laptop. So I fed Mr P some dinner and he spent ages reinstalling some of what I had lost. But I won't bore you anymore with this story other than there is a bit more to be done and I have had a kind offer from a friend to help me if needed. Thank you both. I will not mess again!

Needless to say I felt rather stressed and upset/cross with myself. I tried to do a bit more crafting but gave up when I realised I was wearing one pair of glasses and was trying to pull another pair down that were sitting on top of my head! Definitely time to go to bed and fall asleep to a funny film.

But before I go I wanted to finish with what has become my favourite advert on television. It is wonderful - Marmite neglect. Click on the words and it will take you to the advert.

I adore marmite on hot buttered toast.

Well time to go and pack for a small camping trip to Suffolk. Bye!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Health and Safety

Sometimes I think health and safety has gone mad in this country. I belong to the web site community "Ravelry" - which is absolutely brilliant if you are into knitting or crochet.  One of the groups on this site is called the "British Knitters" and someone posted this:

"I just got IDed in Dunelm Mill, Cambridge branch to buy 3mm circular knitting needles. That was ALL I was buying. Apparently you have to look 25 or older to buy knitting needles.
Has this happened to anyone else?! I found it so funny…"


Then I saw this article in a newspaper:

Knitting group told they cant meet at local library

Perhaps I'm not being fair as this article was also saying the group were rather noisy and the new library was smaller - but still "dangerous knitting needles!"

The other day I received an email telling me that if I go into a building that does not have any washing up liquid then I must not take my own! Something to do with COSSH! For those readers not from this island then COSSH stands for Control of Substances hazardous to health. It almost seems to imply that it is better for me to drink from a dirty, unwashed mug than use some washing up liquid from home.

Oh well enough whinging for one blog! I don't like to end on a negative note - so here's a bit more health and safety advice:

testicle biting fish maybe invading Denmark

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Switzerland Calling

Just when I thought I had no more exciting news to hear I was proven wrong. Within minutes of returning home from a long day at work the phone rang. The caller was someone I haven't really introduced you to - it was from what we call our adopted daughter in Switzerland.

Many years ago when my children were very small we had a request for a young 17 year old Swiss girl to spend 6 months in a home to learn English. Her parents were friends with a family in the church we were working within. We exchanged a few letters and we decided that we would agree - a little bit unsure as to what we were letting ourselves in for. What would she be like? We decided it was a gamble but we'd go for it. Then one day she arrived in her wonderful blue denim dungarees, beautiful long blonde hair and a big smile.

She was an absolute delight. The children adored her and she very soon became one of our family. The six months flew by and we had many adventures together. Her English was almost perfect within days of her arriving. The day she had to return to Switzerland was a killer. We all went to the airport, tears pouring down our faces and No 3 distraught. As our adopted daughter went through the airport gates she screamed out "they're taking our sister away"! She then threw herself onto the floor. It was all very dramatic.

Since then she has returned to England quite a few times and we too have been to Switzerland. We were privileged to be invited to her wedding - in fact I was a bridesmaid. She married into a farming family and moved from an area of many mountains to more of a farming area near to the border of Germany. Her hubby is an amazing guy. He is full of fun and has never ending energy. They keep chickens, have a few vineyards, grow potatoes and have two adorable children (one girl and a boy).

Well what's the good news you ask. She  has asked to come and visit us in November - WHOOPEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She's keen to come and see the newest arrivals. Ooh I can't wait. We haven't seen each other for 4 years so reckon we will be needing a never ending tea pot. Talking of little ones - can't resist not posting another picture of Nemo.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Uniquely Created

I just love the way that  we have all been created individually. We all look different, have varying likes, some thrive with company others strive for their own company. Sometimes I wonder how Mr P and I ever got together when his passion is sport, especially football, and I cannot stand it. Bless him when we first started going out he paid for me to have a good seat at The Villa ground - what did I do - read magazines! But married we did and almost 35 years later he still loves sport and I carry on ignoring it, but we do have lots of other things in common.

Some time ago an acquaintance came to visit, along with family members and friends. We had been discussing varying different interests. Then this acquaintance's partner shared their hobby. The response was "well are you going to be one of those people  who pin flags on a map?"  It was at this point there was silence in the room followed by giggling. Then just to wind this acquaintance up questions were asked what they thought about people who pin maps. This was then followed by my world map coming out with many pins! Much laughter was heard.

Yes I have a world map as since I started blogging I have been intrigued by where people have been reading it. This has improved my geography no end! I get sooo excited to see a new country. In fact those of you who are observant will notice my new flag counter. Isn't it great that we are all so different and some of us are just brilliant at putting our foot in at regular intervals! Where would we be if we were all perfect and liked and did everything the same.

Czech Republic
New Zealand
Saint Lucia
South Africa
South Korea
United States of America

I love people who are just so clever with words and have a good sense of humour. This picture was sent to me yesterday, with the heading "complaint made from Bristol".

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Nemo's 1st Visit to Leicester

Just had a great weekend. No 3, hubby, Poppy and Nemo came to stay along with No 2, unborn twins and wife. They all arrived Friday night and Nemo  was centre of attention. But what amazed me was watching my No 2 son stepping in to help with burping the baby and keeping him calm. It's soooo lovely to watch two of my children becoming parents(well No 2 within the next few weeks) - taking on that protective, loving, caring mode. I am so proud of my children and also of my son in law and daughter in law - all four of them are going to make great parents.

First cuddle of the weekend for grandma and first cuddle for grandad.

Doesn't Rowan look soooo adorable? He's actually snuggling up with his uncle, No 2.

First cuddle with Great Grandad.

Poppy taking a great interest in my crochet.

Rowan just beginning to find his thumb - aaaargh!

Do you remember this picture? Here is a farewell one today.

Nemo and Poppy squashed into the back of the car - Claude.

I already feel so lucky to have such 4 wonderful children, now feel so lucky with a grandson, but soon lucky with two wee girls. What excitement.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Preparing for Nemo's 1st Stay in Leicester

I wasn't quite expecting this event to be happening this weekend - but it is. So I made a mad dash to a charity baby gear shop and bought a travel cot. Last night I spent some time moving furniture around in a spare bedroom to accommodate the new visitor.

New changing mat - these have not changed since my children were babies. So the design has obviously stood the test of time.

My £2.50 baby bath full with cleaning gear!

Second hand play mat that my daughter acquired.

Basket of baby toys - maybe a little premature to get this out, but it won't be too long before they will be needed.

Bargain travel cot at £20.

The yellow quilt was given to us when we lived in Dallas for a year. No 2 was born out there and No 1 was only a toddler at the time. Even the baby blanket came from Dallas. You can just see also hanging a pink sheet. Now that came when we bought the cot(2nd hand) 30 years ago! The owner made a whole load of cot sheets - I bet she never anticipated them still being in use after all these years. Kirsty Allsopp would be proud of me - recycling still.

Love the dog hanging in the corner.

Final view of the room all ready for the first visit. Also No 2 and his wife - carrying the twins are planning on staying the weekend. Dad also coming for half of the day to have a glimpse of his first great grandchild. Me thinks I'm going to be rather busy!

Monday, 12 August 2013

First Granny Weekend.

Took Friday off work to go down to Bristol to help No 3 and hubby out with their new baby. Minutes after arriving the midwife called in. Apparently she only called because they officially have to do a visit when the baby is so many hours old and the previous one came too soon! Golly in my days the midwife would call every day. The next midwife is not due for another 3 days.  Have to be honest this midwife was not that useful. She'd just returned to midwifery after a long break and it showed. Every time No 3 asked her a question there was a rather vague reply, she did not leave them feeling inspired but she did show that Baby Nemo had gained a bit more of his birth weight back. Nothing like being thrown in the deep end.

I had planned to arrive and prepare a soup but by the time we had got Nemo settled after the midwives visit it was mid afternoon. But I had got the washing machine going and managed to make a trip to the supermarket to stock up supplies for dinner.

What amazed me was the speed in which things came flooding back to me and I found myself saying and helping out with the baby's problems that I didn't even realise I knew. So even though it's been 22 years since No 4 was a baby the knowledge is just buried somewhere in the back of my brain, ready to be used again.

Poor No 3 is suffering from her emergency caesarian section. She needed help with getting Nemo or I should be saying Rowan out of his crib, changing his nappy so that she didn't have to bend over. Oh and the poor girl has to have a daily injection to prevent a haemorrhage. Her hubby has been given instructions to jab her but the painful bit is afterwards as it as if she's been stung by a bee and makes her stomach feel very sore.  I was soooo glad to go to bed - I was exhausted. I heard him cry in the night but I just rolled over thinking "not my problem" - can't do much as she is breast feeding.

Saturday morning I was up first, took a shower and then raced to Sainsburys to get some rather large yummy croissant and blueberries for brekkie. Went with wet, dripping, uncombed hair - thinking no one knows me in Bristol! Ha ha I only bump into one of the midwives! Felt very self conscious!

More washing.

 Sooooo cute to be hanging out such tiny clothing.

Saturday afternoon I had two hours off whilst they had some visitors. I headed for Ikea, seems as we do not have one in Leicester. Now I know why Ikea is a nightmare on Saturday - took me ages to find anywhere to park. I spent the grand total of £1.50 and had to queue for ages to pay. But I did have the delight of having the 60p ice-cream with a flake and now am the proud owner of a plastic device to store my tea towels!

Back to cook the dinner and take more photographs of the baby.

Poppy (the dog) is just sooo gentle with the baby and look at the daddy - he is just sooo wonderful with his new son. He is ace at winding Nemo and swaddling king. They are going to make super parents, Nemo is very lucky.

Dinner to cook, washing to put away, more nappies to change and finally bed - slept well again, just waking up to hear the cry and roll over again.

Sunday I decided to start as soon as I got up to prepare and cook a roast beef dinner. How wise I was, because everything just takes sooo much longer with a baby around.

Sorry I promise not to bore you all with the baby, every blog posting. But thought I would on just this one occasion - well that is until the twins are born and then you'll have to listen to one about them and then I'll shut up! 

One thing the weekend has made me realise is that if ever there was an inkling to have another baby myself - I absolutely 100% do not want one. I just could not keep up with all the demands and energy it takes to look after one again. This is why I believe we should have babies when we are younger and not in our early 50's! I'm very happy to be a grandma. Well final picture of the baby - perfect picture of how a baby should be.

NEC Quilt Show 2013

Well I have had the most amazing week. It started with the birth of Nemo now officially named "Rowan", a day at the national quilt exhibition at the NEC and then a long weekend looking after my daughter, hubby and grandson(more of this to follow on next posting).

Thursday Mrs A and I headed off again to the NEC - I was absolutely bouncing. I felt as if I was on drugs - well it's the nearest experience I have ever had to feeling as if I've been on drugs! Just so much joy I felt as if I would burst. Mrs A said she didn't want to be around me when I burst/dropped/collapsed! If you have not been to this quilt show then you are truly missing something wonderful. 2 massive halls full of hundreds of quilts and hundreds of stores selling amazing materials and accessories needed to make a wonderful quilt. Here let me show you some:-

Now someone made a comment "Did Mrs A work for the secret service?" - no, but I do want to keep her face secret - don't want her being plagued with people because of my blog.

 Last time we went to the NEC we were standing in snow!

 I do like the small chickens in this picture.

I really like this sort of crazy patchwork where once can be more creative and not worry so much about it being precisely lined up.

This quilt caught my eye from a distance. Mrs A said I liked it because I adore gingham material and the shaker/brethren style fabrics.

Some people are just sooooo gifted and I think this is just one quilt completed by someone exceptional.

Noticed a new style quilting. As you looked at it from one side you saw one picture and then move to the left and saw this picture. Amazing!

Not everything was an actual quilt. Just look at this fun quilted clock.

Aren't these flowers wonderful? Such fun.

Not sure what Mr P would think about these if I made him a pair!

I should say that I took 373 photographs! These that I am showing you are just a small collection! Perhaps I am missing out the most accomplished pieces of work - apologies to those pieces.


 My first purchase - 1 ribbon sewing needle and some embroidery needles, £2.50.

Well after all this mooching around it was time for lunch, but the only space was on the floor, next to the fire exit!

What was nice was observing the bags that were being carried around - so many home made ones.

I loved the square trees.

Then there was a bit of celebrity spotting!

Not the best picture of her - but wasn't she just amazing in the British Sewing Bee. I really wanted her to win.

After I took this picture he gave me a great big smile and a wave - what a lovely guy. He did so well in the show too. Can't wait for the next series.

Oooh just noticed the woman talking to him wearing a patchwork skirt!

Then there was a bit of a London theme going on:

So many pictures I could show you - so much talent.

The next quilt is the winner in the traditional category.

The next quilt was the winner in the modern category.

Well Mrs A and I had to be thrown out - we just did not want to leave. I can understand why some people buy tickets to go for a few days. So much to see, do etc. Well must shut up and finish this blog.