Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Having A Grandma Fix.

This last weekend was filled with the Bristol side of the family. Oh the house changes rapidly as they arrive with two under two and a Labrador dog. Suddenly our large house starts getting small! BUT filled with joy and laughter. The kitchen becomes an area, where if someone was filming, has someone nearly always in there! The work surfaces are filled with bowls of fruit, especially bananas, cakes and goodies. The pantry is heaving with extra food! Upstairs the bedrooms take on a new look with what has become the ironing room is reverted back to a bedroom for the toddler. My work room becomes a room for the baby and the third bedroom, well that doesn't get used much, so it is nice to see the beds slept in again. So unashamedly I'm going to bore you with pictures of the grandchildren - you have been warned! 320 pictures were taken over the weekend! NO don't worry you will not have to endure that many photographs!

Saturday we went to Rutland Water to the area with a beach. Now my son in law is amazingly skinny but loves his food - not fair (to eat lots and be sooooo thin). So as we arrive at 11:45 he's wanting the picnic already! Manage to persuade him to wait a little longer but not for too long as Rowan is wanting his lunch too! Now Rowan did eat his sandwich first before he had hoola hoops!

My basket had a new use! Perfect size for Ayla to sit in and be fed! She is now exactly six months old and beginning to eat solids. Unlike her brother who by three months of age was devouring everything he could see! She is taking life easy. She is able to roll around, but not quite sitting up yet. Saturday was one of those days that when the sun came out it was gorgeous and hot, but when it disappeared the layers were on again!

Here I am having precious moments with the baby. Having a large pointed nose was fun for her as she tried to rearrange it!

Meanwhile Rowan had a great time playing on the beach. He spent most of the afternoon contentedly playing with the sand.

He and his daddy made a sandcastle together.

It all became too much for Ayla and Poppy!

It took a long walk around to get her to sleep as she was busy enjoying watching all that was going on. Grandad too had a sleep!

Sunday the weather was horrid and so we opted to venture out to the local soft play park.

Rowan had a great time climbing and exploring.

Enjoying the small slide with his daddy.

Later on then enjoying the BIG boys slide!

Even Ayla had to be dragged around the play area to keep up with Rowan!

But she didn't last as long as he did before falling asleep. Golly even though she is small my arms did become tired holding her in one position for soo long. But oh what a privilege to have her fall asleep in my arms. Aaaargh!

One very thirsty boy - drinking the dregs!

- Drinking chocolate!

Back home for a bounce.

Rowan making me laugh! He discovered that in our porch we have an alibaba basket containing hats, scarves and gloves. Here he is after having chosen some clothes! I just love him in this deerstalker!

All too soon it was time for them to leave. :(

Thanks for popping by, have a good week.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Enforced RICE

Oh dear I have a very short blog today. Friday night was one of those glorious sunny summer evenings and Mr P and I decided to go to Foxton Locks and take the longer route so that we could spend quality time together whilst enjoying the surroundings.

Along the route, near to the start, is a lovely old traditional pig - a bit like this one.

So I went up to the fence to say hello, but he was further back and a new fence had been erected to prevent the pig getting so close to us. So disappointed I bade farewell and noticed a big hole in the grass verge. I thought golly I could have tripped on that! But as I was thinking this I go and fall! There was another hole! Oh it was not pleasant. It was one of those times when you know that you have hurt yourself a bit more than you want to. Mr P is busy trying to talk to me but only swear words are coming out of my mouth! Not helpful I know but saying "oh golly I have hurt myself" just doesn't work for me. I need to be more dramatic! It was obvious watching my ankle swell up that the lovely walk had gone out of the window. All that we could do was rest on the grass verge until I felt able to get up and hobble back to the car. Back home it was enforced RICE - rest, ice (bag of birds eye frozen peas - kept thinking what a waste), compression and elevation. Oh and some ibuprofen. Next day I dreaded getting out of bed but the RICE had done its job and I was remarkably able to get myself down the stairs without any swear words!

Saturday was another glorious day and I was soooo disappointed not to have been able to go out on a bike ride. But I managed to persuade Mrs A to accompany me for another trip to Foxton Locks. But this time it was to the tourist car park, with a picnic, to do a spot of boat and people watching. We spent the whole afternoon on a bench just observing everyone. It was a great rest and a great way to keep myself occupied without being cooped up in the house.

Sunday I was able to drive the minibus for church and this week my ankle is still swollen and sore but I can walk about fine. So I think I got off lightly. Well next blog will be more grandchildren pictures as the Bristol family are here for the weekend. Have a good week.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Barnsdale Gardens and A Crafting Update

Saturday was another glorious English summers day. Dad came over from Staffordshire and we headed out to Barnsdale Gardens, very near to Rutland WaterGeoff Hamilton designed the gardens whilst working for the BBC. 

 I just love being outside when the sun is shining. I guess spending the working week indoors drives this desire to be outside.

Someone with a sense of humour - making this topiary.

I rather liked this unusual plant - sure Mr P would say it was a "phallic"!

This was a children's garden, every few minutes smoke came from underneath the bridge. To the side there was a den constructed from a growing willow.

No problems with food for the bees here! The gardens were certainly buzzing, which was great to see knowing that we have a shortage of bees.

Now these brick constructions were early composters and when the compost was ready for use the whole thing had to be taken to pieces! Dad was saying that he doesn't use his composter anymore as he finds it too strenuous for his back. We did see a new design composter that looked a little like a cement mixer. It was circular on a stand and had a handle to rotate the composter. Now there's an idea for a presie for him.

Tortoiseshell butterfly enjoying the lilac flowers

Now as well as the bees the birds were having a great time pinching berries. I spotted this bird and cannot think what it is. I have come to the conclusion it is a female blackbird with a strange growth. Has anyone else any idea what this bird could be?

After lots of mooching around these inspirational gardens dad looks at his watch and we discover it is 6pm! Ah we had been there around 5 hours! What I really liked was that the gardens were designed into sizes that represented most peoples gardens. Lots of ideas to absorb and use for home.

Ok lets change gear and go onto another favourite subject - crafting.

It is really difficult to take a photo of my fern shawl as it curls at every edge. I am really enjoying knitting this shawl and can see the end is in sight. It will definitely need blocking. It will also have some tassels!


This is a small crochet shawl/scarf  Spun Gold by Kate Goldin. This I finished yesterday and I need to block it. The yarn is "purple haze" by Knitglobal - presie from a lovely friend!.

I have done a little bit more on my Indian Embroidery sampler.

Below I am going to add these washers! You'll have to wait and see as to how I am going to use them!

Last night I tried to make a top, well it went well until I went for a first try on and it was too small for my big belly! Fortunately I was only using some leftover cheap fabric, but I think I will try and add an extra panel in! Sewing clothes is surely a huge learning curve! Especially when you have curves like mine!

Well it's time to wish you all a great week, from a rather grey looking Leicester.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Wrennie and I - Rutland Water.

One of my current loves is my ebike. I bought her 9 months ago and have managed to cycle at least 75% of my working days. The only times I have not cycled has been due to excessive rain, snow, and if I HAD to use the car for work. I have come to resent any days that I cannot use her. It's difficult to explain how I exactly feel, but somehow I feel liberated. As it has a battery to help with the pedalling it does mean I can arrive at work not smelling! Well what with all the lovely weather the UK has had during the last week I decided it was time that Wrennie and I went somewhere more for pleasure rather than avoiding being hit by cars, in busy Leicester! So I studied the internet and came up with Rutland Water. Now I looked at various sites and there seems to be a discrepancy with the mileage some say 23 miles and others 25 miles! Goodness knows which is correct as I am having problems getting my bike computer to work. Saturday morning arrived and I hadn't even really told Mr P my thoughts as I was having doubts as to whether I would really do it or would I back out. But sadly we had a phone call, early Saturday morning, to inform us that one of the very special lovely old ladies at church had died in her sleep during the night. I then realised that I needed to grab the moment and cycle as you never know what is round the corner and stop being a wuss. With the help of Mr P, I checked my tyres, loaded Wrennie into the boot of the car and off we went into the blazing sun. Now so concerned was I as to whether I would have the guts that I forgot to think of suntan lotion - stupid me my arms paid for that mistake later. I do my utmost best not to get sunburn.

Well there was no going back, car parked, bike assembled, pack lunch and drink loaded, map bought. Time to get cycling. Oh it was delightful to be riding in the beautiful English countryside. The wild flowers swaying, butterflies dancing, birds singing etc etc. Golly days like this make me so happy to be living in the UK. Now unfortunately I couldn't get my camera to work. Later on Mr P sorted it out for me. So the only pictures I have were taken on my phone. I parked at Whitwell and headed in the anti clockwise direction as that direction is recommended by the Water Board. As I headed down the peninsula there was a sign saying "think cake" and as I came out of the 7 mile peninsula ride there was the local village hall(Egleton) raising money by selling wonderful homemade cakes and cuppas. Aha that was what the cake signs were all about. Well it would be rude to cycle by and not support them!

Mmmmm marzipan, cream and apricot cake! Yum yum. I have to say I thought the ride around the peninsula was the best bit. I guess it is a little quieter due to lack of car parks and facilities. Most of the ride was off the road, or it was on a special cycle track. So it was really lovely not to have to worry about any cars pulling out in front of me or swerving around me.

Lots of other people were making the most of the gorgeous weather and were out enjoying the the Water. I saw lots of people cycling, too numerous to count. But I did see a group of three people riding a bike built for three! I wanted to take a picture of them but never saw them again. Apparently these bikes are called "triples" or "triplets". I did hear them say that in order to start cycling they had to count 1,2,3. Sounds like hard work to me.

Then I passed Normanton Church.  
It is now de consecrated but used often for weddings. A few years ago Mr P and I had the privilege of attending a wedding here with some friends from Leeds. If you look carefully you can see there is a wedding taking place.

Within a few hours I had completed the ride, it came to an end all too soon. I loved it sooo much and I shall certainly cycle there again. I was going to stay a while and relax in the sunshine but due to being dopey and not taking suntan lotion I needed to get out of the direct sun. So I headed home but as I was driving back I realised that I was not far from where Mr P was playing cricket so I stopped at the ground.

Golly my timing was perfection as I say hello to him he is then called to go out and bat. So I stayed until he got bowled out. Have to be honest I find cricket rather boring but the setting was lovely and I think Mr P appreciated me popping by. Well back to work this week and the weather is looking rather more like its old self - grey and rainy! Oh well back to the usual English weather. Hope you all have a good week.