Monday, 26 May 2014

1st Baby Dedication Weekend.

Wow the last week has been manic. The working week had been very full and then Thursday night arrived with No 3, hubby, baby and dog. Shortly followed by No 1 and hubby from Northern Ireland. Saturday was No 3's birthday and we were all hoping for another sunny weekend to celebrate with. Plan was for a BBQ or picnic in some woods and a farm trip, but instead we had a yellow warning for rain!

So in the start of the pouring rain I'm outside cooking sausages and bacon for the birthday brekkie. Being a good British person - not giving into the weather!

Presie time! The large one was a decking chair.

Below just one of her items of jewellery from her lovely hubby.

This is the reaction of her hubby to seeing her open yet another scarf!

Time for a baby picture - here is Rowan eying up the strawberries, one of his favourite fruits.

Here goes - whole strawberry in his mouth and note another strawberry ready in his other hand!

With the grotty weather forecast we decided to head out to Lincoln but as we encountered soo much traffic we diverted to Southwell. Guess what by the time we got there - it was lunch time! Time for more food and tea!

I just loved seeing these two old ladies, busy reading Country Living magazine.

After a mooch around the town, some bargains bought from the charity shops - we all ended up in the local park having lots of fun!

Birthday girl having fun!

My turn!

This brings back memories - no child but a buggy full of clutter!

                                            Birthday cake time!                                                                                                     

Sunday morning we were all up very early in order to leave to travel to Bristol for Rowan's dedication. Here he is waiting for his big moment. He is so photogenic.

Cuddles with other granny - aaargh!

After the dedication we all went out for a carvery and then a piece of cake which was made 10pm the night before!

We had a lovely day, I was very tired having to drive the 2 and a quarter hours to Bristol and then back again. But it was a very special day. Sadly Mr P went on his motorbike and on the way back got a puncture. But for obvious reasons you can't carry a spare on a bike and he had to be picked up by a local company and missed leading a church service.

Today we dropped off No 1 and hubby to the airport and Mr P and I spent a few precious hours together at Kedleston Hall.

Wouldn't it be amazing to sleep in this bed!

Apparently the ostrich feathers denote power.

We had a really pleasant afternoon together, came home and slobbed. Now I must get to bed as it's work in the morning and another full week with more visitors, but this time from New Zealand, wow!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Enjoying The Sun

Friday night Mr P and I went out for a lovely stroll along the canal at Foxton Locks. It was just one of those beautiful warm evenings when you do not even need a jumper. So nice to have time together, talking, mulling over ideas and enjoying the sun on our faces. The evening was finished off with a cheapo meal at a local pub. Not the most exciting food but it saved cooking and washing up, as it was getting rather late by the time we had finished the walk. We then came home and I tried to catch up on IPlayer and watch Masterchef. I had two episodes to watch, but as I lay on the settee with a blanket covering me you can guess what happened - yes I fell asleep! So yesterday I had to spend the day not turning on my computer, not looking at any newspaper, as I did not want to see who had won the final. Needless to say after the day had finished with my dad I watched the final. I was so happy that Ping won. She, I think, only once made an error throughout the competition. She is amazing and the irony is that her mother banned her from the kitchen as she was growing up! I would really love to taste her Malaysian food it looks divine. As I watch the programme I feel as if I can almost smell and taste it. Well done Ping.

Yesterday dad came and with such a wonderful glorious sunny, warm day we headed out to Stamford. We took a picnic and ate by the river.

Mr P was not abandoned - it's cricket season and he was off playing his second game this year. His team were playing against a team with a lot of Muslims and apparently they served up a most delicious tea that also included a fantastic lamb curry as well as sandwiches. Perhaps I could be converted to cricket if the tea included curries!

Even though it was cup final afternoon there were plenty of people picnicking along the riverside, resting in the sun. I love days like this.

I don't think he geese were too happy with all us humans. They were keen to guard their young and kept giving us the evils! It was almost as if they were saying - "don't you dare come anywhere near my ducklings, I'll kill you!"

Not sure what the council has done to this tree, but it looks as if it might be dead! Such a shame. Dad and I then had a wonder around the shops. Dad managed to find a few more Observer books. He has hundreds of them. He carries around a small notebook with all the numbers he has and what editions, it's all very technical. But he gets very excited when he finds a book in a different edition and the jacket is in good order etc.

The monkey made us laugh, hanging from the scaffolding.

Back across the river.

I think you can see from these two ladies what sort of day it was - one just to enjoy the sunshine and not be in a hurry. Poor dad had to wait ages for his dinner as we did not get back till late. I think we didn't start eating till 8.30pm! But he had a good time and I did make him a rather yummy pudding of plum tarte tatin, which included one of his favourite ingredients - marzipan.

Change of subject - last weekend I completed a WIP (working in progress). Ta dah! I think it is becoming traditional to have a washing line photograph!

This is a quilt that I have made/ adapted from a rather nice quilt cover I found in a charity shop. You cannot see very easily from this picture, but I have embroidered the names of my children, their partners and their children onto the sails. I am guessing there are going to be a few more names to come! I've sewn Mr P and my name onto the lighthouse, as I guess that is how I view our role - being their to protect them all but not interfere! Just letting our children free to sail around.

Well time for me to get ready for church and this afternoon I am starting a totally NEW project. I can't wait, but at the same time I am a bit scared in case it is a total disaster.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Vicarage Party - Part Two

Sorry for the delay in blogging about the party. But I think I could not write about it as I was sooo exhausted from all the planning and preparation. My mind was partyed out!

The bank holiday Monday came and we all woke up to beautiful sunshine. Mr P and I headed off early to Asda to collect the 400 bread rolls and the last few bits and pieces. The bread took up one whole trolley. The irony of ordering the bread was that it was so freshly baked that when we tried to slice them it was very difficult to do as the bread kept being squashed - staler bread would have slice much easier.

Down to church to get the potatoes into the oven for baking and salad chopped up. Golly I thought that would only take a few minutes BUT everything takes so much longer when preparing for a 100+ instead of 2 of us!

Here is Mr P modelling a T shirt made by one of his favourite daughters! It's a bit of a joke in our home - if I am talking on the phone to one of our girls Mr P always shouts out "Is that my favourite daughter?" 

 Below is our Craggy Island corner - ready for people to dress up in Father Ted and Rs Doyle costumes. Think I've explained this before to you but Father Ted is a television programme.

The day went by in a bit of a blur. By lunch time people started arriving. There were soooo many friends we have known from the last 40 years. Many we had not seen in many many years.

The barbecue had to work very hard! In fact some kind person started part cooking the sausages in the kitchen, to help keep up with the demand.

The bouncing castle was used throughout the day. Firstly by the children and later the adults. We were so grateful to have the sunshine.

Then there was the cake that I baked and Mr Ps' two favourite daughters decorated. I think they did an excellent job. We copied the idea from another cake on Pinterest.

Mr P cleverly designed a quiz so that people would mingle. It was rather like a wedding when only the bride and groom know everyone. The quiz worked well and it was great to see our friends mixing.

My older daughter and hubby entertained the guests with singing whilst they were busy eating. She has a wonderful voice and her hubby is ace on the guitar.

The cake was cut.

Later on more of the family played together - such a treat.

Golly I was going to change my shoes but it never happened! We had an amazing day. People were very kind and helped with cooking, serving drinks and clearing up. We are so grateful to all who made this day so very special.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Black Sheep Murderer

Decided to take a break from blogging about the party.

I have been rather laid back in getting photographs updated onto the church notice board. So finally last night I decided I needed to spring into action and downloaded some pictures onto a memory stick and headed off to Asda - desperate to get them printed off for today, so that I could take them to church tomorrow.  As I stood in front of the photo machines there was a sign on them all saying closes at 9pm. I stood and stared, then checked the clock - 20:50. Great ten wonderful minutes left. But then the assistant came to me and said "No you can't do them, I've closed them now!" I argued that there was ten minutes to go but she gave me that look that I've seen on Come Fly With Me (comedy television programme). There is a character called "Precious" who always closes the coffee shop early. Click here to see what I am rabbiting on about!  Well Mr P says didn't you complain to the management and I said "No". Oh boy I was so pleased that I didn't make a fuss as this morning when I went to the machines the same lady was there. As I have not used these machines for some years - she saw me struggling and came to help! Phew!

Today is all about trying to find the house after all the mess from having visitors and endless washing, ironing etc. Also today is about chilling out and having some time to myself. Went to get the washing out the machine and realised that is was soaking wet. Then I noticed bottom right hand corner of the machine is somewhere to drain water and rubbish. Managed to drain some of the water out of the tube but could not undo the cap. So when Mr P came in I set him to work and he could not open it. After googling the problem and Mr P becoming a contortionist he managed to open the cap. But oh dear there was one 20p coin and then lots of hair grips!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Crikey I am black sheep mommy - trying to kill the machine. There's no denying who caused the problem - ME! Oh dear I must empty my pockets of any grips if I want my washing machine to live!

But now it is time to chill out. I have become rubbish at reading over the last few years but love audio cd's. The one I am listening to currently is this one: -

I picked this story because I adored the film - The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Click here to see the trailer for the film. This is one of my most top ten favourite films. If you haven't seen the film it is definitely a MUST SEE. Anyway I'm not sure if this book is as good but I guess I'm only a third of the way through.

Decided that I wanted to line the crochet bag that I made with some pretty cotton fabric. Wanted to give it a bit of body and am now pleased with the result.

I have nearly finished knitting a shawlette. The pattern is called Gaia Shoulder Hug and can be found for free on Ravelry. Just make sure you click on the right link otherwise you'll have the instructions in Swedish!

What with all the partying and entertaining I decided I would prepare some more economic meals and whilst doing a clinic in the library, this week, I found this book:

Golly I am a sucker for cookery books! But at least this one was only borrowed from the library!

 Inside I have found some great recipes. Two days ago we had this paella and it was delicious. It contains one of my favourite ingredients - chorizo.

Last night I cooked this vegetarian dish, which was also a success. Except I forgot the yoghurt - which I had especially purchased for the meal!

Tonight I shall be cooking the next dish.

I have been busy watching Masterchef. I feel utterly useless in comparison to those amateur cooks. How did they get to be soo good? Well I'm off to do some more crafting - crocheting. or knitting, or drawing, or sewing? Ooh I do not know yet.