Monday, 30 September 2013

Weekend At Home

The rest of the weekend had a hard act to follow after Friday nights fun. Struggled with a decision whether to go to Skipton to the Yarndale Event , desperately wanted to go but I have been out soo many weekends that my body was screaming to stay in Leicester and relax more. Next year if they hold it again I will go for sure. Saturday was filled with some jobs to do at home - but by no means completed and then the afternoon crafting. In the morning I opted to use some blackberries and apples growing in the garden to make some jam. Of course I needed to do this for my cookery book challenge! (More of that another day).

I do like them with their pretty gingham hats. Felt very domesticated making jam - haven't done this for years.

Mr P adores fruit cakes so I had to replenish his supplies! Also helps the cookery book cause.

Went for a swim and then came home to the delights of my new glasses! Yes you are reading right.

How can one get excited about this plain pair of glasses but believe you me I am! You see I have been struggling to do any embroidery or cross stitch because of my aging eyes! But with these glasses I can see my stitching and pattern - hallelujah! They are glasses just made for my crafting - very close up work - thank you Spec Savers, you're marvellous.

This set I bought last year at the NEC but have been unable to do much but now......

I've been able to get going. I'm so easily pleased.

In the evening church was holding a barn dance to raise money for charity.

There was a ceilidh band and caller who volunteered their services for free - so kind of them.

 About 90 people came to the event and we were also served a hot dinner and pud. Absolutely amazing how they got so much food out so quickly and still hot and yummy. Well done team.

Sunday got up early for a quick mooch at Fabric Guild where I purchased some reduced material for various projects and of course had to have my free cup of drinking chocolate. Followed by church and then home to do some more crafting. Some weeks ago I purchased some Paddington Bear fabric to make a quilt/play mat for the babies. So with the thought of all three babies coming next weekend I decided to get a move on and make it. Ta dah!

Hope the babies approve and the back I used some fabric that I got this morning for £2 a yard - what a bargain. Think this quilt cost me around £5.50 to make as the Paddington Bear fabric had an error and was being sold very cheaply.

Finally I meant to show you a picture that my cheeky friend added a few choice words to!

Saturday, 28 September 2013

People - Down Town

Before I begin - apologies for poor photographs but either my camera or I just do not know how to use it properly, is rubbish at taking night pictures.

Golly last night was like being young again - except I didn't feel very youthful. After what has been a rather mammoth week, out many nights, worked long hours wasn't quite sure how I was going to keep going. So only one way to guarantee, more or less, staying awake is to fill myself with espresso and tea, no wine! We headed into Leicester, parked in my favourite car park - John Lewis carpark. Golly only £2.50 to park all night after 5.00pm! We arrived early in order to have a quick nose around John Lewis and then we headed for the food area. Our mooch around took up more time than re had anticipated so opted for a quick meal at Wagamama. In case you don't know Wagamama is Japanese inspired cuisine. We've never been there before and I have to say there was a great choice of food. As the dishes came out you could see things have been well thought up and were creative, not mass produced. Mr P had yaki soba and I had chicken and shrimp pad thai. The flavours were delicious and fresh. Lots of wonderful fresh herbs. I could taste some mint on my plate and I have never ever thought of using mint with noodles but I will do now. We had green tea to drink which is free! Any way we shall certainly go there again and perhaps opt to spend a little bit longer next time trying out other exciting looking options.

With very happy tummies we headed off to the Curve Theatre to see Alan Bennetts's play   - "People".
This outing came about as last year we were sent a gift voucher for the theatre as a thank you to Mr P for marrying a couple in Marrakesh. We were not disappointed. The National Theatre are on tour with this play. Click here for the link to their website.

15 minutes before the play began and the theatre was 99% full before it started.

 It was a great funny, provocative play about some elderly ladies needing to decide what to do with their decaying mansion. Bit of a dig at the National Trust and Church of England but not soo bad that we will not be visiting any more properties. Few naughty bits too - which of course made the audience laugh.

The main character was played by Frances De La Tour - she was made famous for her role as Miss Jones in Rising Damp. She was brilliant and there were some lovely moments of her breaking into a song and dance routine with her elderly step sister! They were so funny but we were left with the song "Down town", by Petula Clark buzzing around our heads. Click here for a utube clip.

As we left the auditorium we could then see the props.

The chamber pots have a significant part in the play but I will not spoil it for you by telling you!

Picture came out all blurred but the lights were just huge and dramatic.

Love this fluorescent entrance/exit.

Well we had a lovely evening DOWN TOWN

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Twin Babies and Twin Break

Sunday Mr P and I headed yet again up the M1 to see our adorable twin girls.

Karis is on the left having a small whinge and Sophie on the right acting all angelic.

I find it very hard to tell which baby I am looking at but thanks to the parents clothes regime - I know that this is Sophie.

And of course this is Karis. They have put on a small amount of weight and next week they are hoping that the midwife will be able to sign them off from their care over to the health visitor.

It was sooo lovely that we were able to sit outside and enjoy the autumnal sunshine. What I love about Leeds is all the hills - Leicester being as flat as a pancake. It was soo funny when Mr P came for his interview he was given directions. They were to turn right after going up the second hill. When he found himself in the city centre he had to reassess what Leicestershire hills actually are!

Tried to take a picture of a plane just taking off from Leeds/Bradford airport. This is the view across the back of No 2's back garden. The houses to the left are in Rawdon and Horsforth is to the right.

I adore their tiny fingers.

Made so perfectly.

Final farewell picture before we left to visit some friends in another part of Leeds.


Well we have some dear friends who are very adventurous, they love the outside and most of their weekends they can be found climbing/trekking over many hills. But unfortunately a week ago things didn't go quite to plan. Mrs friend slipped on some loose stones on a mountain in the lake district. She tried to stand up and realised that she couldn't bear to put any weight onto it. So she tried to have a longer rest , but still unable to get up and walk. Her hubby tried to drag her down the hill on their survival bag but that was just too slow. So reluctantly they had to call mountain rescue.  Fortunately the rescue team were out with the helicopter doing some practising and within minutes it was sent to rescue our friend.

I think if the RAF had not been in the area she would have been taken down the mountain on a stretcher. There was only space for her in the helicopter but the good mountain rescue team walked back down the hill with her hubby and then they were both able to go off together in the ambulance.  Sadly she has broken her leg in two places and has her leg in a pot. There is still some debate as to whether it will heal like this or whether it will require surgery. But I just want to say thank you to the RAF and the local mountain rescue team for all that they do and looking after my friends so well.

Get well Mrs friend.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Woolley Ventures

Leicester is blessed with several places to buy wool but panic was felt amongst some at the craft group I run. Rumours had been heard that the wonderful wool shop based on the top floor in the indoor market was going. So Mrs A headed into town and questioned the shop owners only to find out that they are being forced to move out because Leicester City Council has decided to rebuild the market. Also when it is opened again it will only be for food. But good news they have headed out to Birstall and opened a new shop - phew! So decided at the weekend it was time for me to venture out to find the shop.

I wanted to get some more wool to finish off other projects and I was delighted to find the exact same brand of wool that I had used and bought whilst on holiday earlier this year.

Although the shop was located in the town centre - I think more may use this shop as it is easy to get to and you can park immediately outside.

Apologies for not good pictures but I used my mobile phone and the sun was shining so brightly that I couldn't tell for sure what picture I was taking!

I just love these tiny teddies - noticed some of them even have a belly button!

So having sorted out wool for my projects I then realise I do not have the correct size crochet hooks so off to my local wool shop.

Knit One sells gorgeous wool and is very different from the other shop but both very much needed.

But then I saw these yarnbombings outside - so cute, causing many to stop and enjoy them.

Talking of woolley things - I have been trying to use the wool I had left from making the three baby blankies. So I made four cushions, crocheting both sides.

So you'd think I'd have used all the yarn up but no just look what is still left!

So I have decided to use it up by making some granny squares.

Finally - I get soooo tired of saying to myself that I must not let my ironing pile get sooo big!

25 T shirts for Mr P

3 T shirts for me, 7 placemats and 7 napkins.

6 jumpers, 2 shirts, and 1 pair of trousers for Mr P.

And finally for me 2 pairs of trousers, 12 blouses, 1 dress and 2 cardigans! Took me all night to do, with a break to watch The Great British Bake off! And yet again I find myself saying mustn't let this happen again! mmmmm

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Cookery Challenge Update

Oh dear I need to use that word "ashamed " again. What with babies and the summer my cooking has been rather irratic and as I write up this post I have no idea how badly behind I am with my target! So lets us all find out!

Golly I have had this book for many years - I think my parents bought it for me when I was still a teenager!

So I opted to bake this fruit loaf. We used to like it a lot, but I have to admit to not being so keen on it now. Think Mary Berry's Bara Brith cake is far superior.

Over the many years of being married to Mr P I have made my own cookery books full with recipes I have taken a fancy to from magazines or from friends etc.

Doing this challenge has been fun to recreate old recipes and relive memories. This chicken dish certainly fills this category and still tasted good.

Again another cookery book that is years old but still used. This recipe I found again and took to Bristol with me to cook for No 3 and hubby's first weekend home with their first  baby. They were thrilled with it and No 3 was reminded of her childhood. It was a cheap pudding to make - so guess I cooked it many times when the children were growing up and we did not have much money.

Now this book I have only had for a year or so - isn't she pretty? Also a good cook!

I just loved the name of the recipe - just had to make it.

I guess I have had this book for around 8 years and I keep coming back to the same soup - guess because it is yummy, easy to make, cheap and nutritious. What more can you want?

In fact you can see writing and splodges of food across the page!

Now this cookbook came into my home not by legitimate means. I wont mention names but one of my children borrowed it from school and it never got returned! Now I should say I didn't realise this at the time otherwise I would have insisted on the book being returned.

The recipe below is very simple and yummy. I have made it twice recently and the chicken tasted good with this sauce in a steamer, as well as being cooked as the recipe indicates.

Not sure just how old this book is. In fact I do not remember cooking anything before from it but looking at the cover I think I must have used it!

 So just to make up for the lack of recent use I bakes two cakes from this page - the pound cake and the farmhouse fruit cake.

I've had this book for around 10 years and I have used it a few times, but its not a favourite book. Just cooked from it in order to fulfill my challenge.

Well I am a Nigella fan, I love her style of cooking and always find plenty of her recipes that I want to try.

The chocolate hazelnut cheesecake I am taking to Leeds tomorrow with me tomorrow - as my daughter in law is a chocolate/holic! Looking after brand new twins I think she deserves a small treat!

Made this dish for our dinner a few days ago and Mr P was so pleased with it that he didn't even realise that it had no meat in it.

Golly this book is ancient! But looking through it again I was reminded of some of it rather good recipes.

Cooked this casserole also to take to Leeds tomorrow. The smell of it stewing away for hours was heavenly. Looking forward to my dinner.

Ok now time to do some calculations and find out the truth as to where I am with my challenge!

 77 books used. 50 books to go. 100 days to go to the end of the challenge.

Oooh heck! :(