Tuesday 30 April 2013

Not my cup of tea

But I persevered. This book is written as a detective story follow on to Austen's Pride and Predjudice.  

Because of this some people may find this a great book to read but ...

I'm afraid I found the story tedious and repetitive. Just not my 'cup of tea' at all. :(

PS DeeJay in Whangarei - thank you for your comment on the Stasiland book. Very interesting!

Sunday 28 April 2013

Spring Fest

Just a reminder that it's only a week until the Spring Fest - a celebration of the coming of spring. We've all seen signs and know it's on its way (if a bit late).

If you wish to celebrate with us all you have to do is post some pics in celebration of spring. I've suggested some ideas in my other post. Up to now I've had a terrific response from these bloggers - 

Frugal Queen is going to be spring crafting for us.

Sft will be providing some music for spring.


... but there's always room for more. Just leave a comment and I'll add more 'festival goers' to the list.

It's not spring-like here at the moment with a gale blowing and rain dripping down. I think it's an 'in' day today.

The mess on the floor is dead orchid flowers and my
The mess on the couch is 'vintage' mags from the JS,
 gardening jacket and the puss.

Puss thinks so too.

If you've not visited the first Spring Fest post click on the Spring Fest label or link in the side bar to find out more. Hope you can join us next week.

Saturday 27 April 2013

Kitchen Window - April 2013

Sunny outside but dark inside.

The vase is from the JS and is for DD who wants to keep some of her bits and bobs in it but she's not claimed it yet so I've used it to display some euphorbia from the garden. My juicer is on there as I used it to make a Madeira cake last week and have not put it away. The basil is looking the worse for wear and we have been eating it in salads.

One tendril of the long, hangy plant is nearly touching the window sill. If that happens I'll have to find it another place to put it. The long, creepy plant is not beginning to curl itself around the tap. That, too, will need sorting out if it persists. There's still condensation on the window. Roll on more sunny days!


Wednesday 24 April 2013

Number 16

These joins lie flat.

With a right side facing in front and a wrong side behind I put a half treble in the front square and a half treble in the back. When opened out it becomes a fairly flat seam.

The edge was one round of half trebles then 2 trebles, ch 2, 2 trebles, skip 3 all the way round. The corners were 3 trebles, ch2, 3 trebles.


Tuesday 23 April 2013


It's a non-fiction book but is highly readable as it is written as a kind of story.

'A gripping account of a city's search for identity under the unexpected burden of freedom' is one review.

The book was gripping from the beginning, an intriguing look into the lives of people who lived behind the Berlin Wall.

Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive.

PS Jeanne, I left you a reply to your comment on allotments.

Monday 22 April 2013

As requested

Sprout Soup ... a soup with an explosion of delicate flavours! 

I'm afraid I didn't measure any of the ingredients but the basic recipe is this.

1 stock cube

Boil up the sprouts with the water and stock cube then blitz with a blender. Add a little bit of milk to make it look creamy.

That's it! I'm sure there are many variations on this theme. Just google sprout soup. Some people sauté the sprouts first in butter, some add potatoes and/or onion. Cream can be used instead of milk etc.. I just made it the quickest way with ingredients to hand.

After effects were nil - no windows had to be opened and the soup was delish.

Sunday 21 April 2013

With a little help from my friends

We gave the help, or rather DH did by rotavating an allotment for a friend. I helped by just 'being there' giving moral support. I picked a few of the remaining vegetables before they were thrown on the compost.

... and then I passed the time crocheting and reading,

first out in the open and then into the shed when it went a bit chilly.

I like sheds - all warm and woody.

Today I have peeled the sprouts, chopped the leeks and washed the purple sprouting broccoli.

The parsnips are resting in the garage for another day. 

The veggies will go with the lamb chops for tonight and mince and onion pie tomorrow, with enough left over to make leek soup and my friend's favourite ...

sprout soup!
(I do like a bit of gourmet cooking once in a while.)


Saturday 20 April 2013

It just popped into my head ...

... in the middle of the night.

Fah lah the dow a diddy
Bow wow wow.

The verse, the verse - how did it go?

There was a one-eyed miller and he had a one-eyed wife?

No, no, that's not right.

Fah lah the dow a diddy 
Bow wow wow.

Where's  my Community Song Book?

No, I can't find it.

Look it up on Google.

No, I can't find it.

It stayed in my head the next day and has just surfaced again now. Ahhgh!

Perhaps it was 'loved a one-eyed cook'.

Type it in Google.

Ah ha! Found it.

The Drummer and the Cook

Oh, there was a little drummer and he loved a one-eyed cook
He loved her oh, he loved her though she had a cock-eyed look
With her one eye on the pot and the other up the chimney with a bow wow wow
Fa la la la la dee dee bow wow wow
And this couple went a courtin’ for to walk along the shore
Said the drummer to the cookie “You’re the girl that I adore “
With her one eye on the pot and the other up the chimney with a bow wow wow
Fa la la la la dee dee bow wow wow
Said the drummer to the cookie “Will you name the wedding day? “
Said the cookie “We’ll be married in the merry month of May “
With her one eye on the pot and the other up the chimney with a bow wow wow
Fa la la la la dee dee bow wow wow
Said the drummer to the cookie “Will you buy the wedding ring? “
Said the cookie “Now you’re talkin’ that would be the very thing “
With her one eye on the pot and the other up the chimney with a bow wow wow
Fa la la la la dee dee bow wow wow
When they went to church to say I will the drummer got a shock
For her one eye killed the parson and the other stopped the clock
With her one eye on the pot and the other up the chimney with a bow wow wow
Fa la la la la dee dee bow wow wow.

My mind can rest now!

Thank you for all your kind comments yesterday.

Friday 19 April 2013


Hello, new follower. You made me smile today. Another person has become a member of my blog. :) I wonder why you chose to do so.
Did you find me through another website or were you searching for something on the internet and landed here?
Do you follow any of my interests?
Did something catch your eye and you thought you'd stay for more?

Hello new commenters. You made me smile today as well. I look down the comments list and spy a new name. Now who's this? Have I ventured on to your blog and made a comment and you thought you would reciprocate?
Have you 'come out' of the lurking bloggy world woodwork to show me you are there?
Did what I write spur you on to agree or disagree?

Hello people who comment occasionally. You made me smile today. Hey it's so and so again. I'm so glad you paid a visit. I know I visit some blogs every now and again and give my two penn'orth for what it's worth.

Hello regular followers and commenters. You make me smile whenever I see your names on the list. I think we are getting to know each other pretty well, considering we've never met.

Hi, everyone.

My blog reading lists are becoming longer, are yours?


Thursday 18 April 2013

Now what's this?

This is a picture full of symmetry taken on a jolly to the local park. It rained all night but today was bright, sunny and reasonably warm. These gentlemen are enjoying the day playing bowls.

Now what's this?

This is a picture of swans looking like swan vases ...

and beautiful reflections on the lake. I wasn't very near but if you click on the picture you should be able to see more detail.

Now what's this?

This is another picture full of symmetry (I like symmetry.). Can you see those white squares? The famous lions in the park are here no longer. Click here and cursor down to Lions to read the full story. 'Bang' goes my long term target!

Now what's this?

This is not a symmetrical picture but a puzzle picture! Spot the bird!

Now what's this?

This is an ever so slightly symmetrical picture in which finding the birds will be very easy.

Now what's this?

This is a cue to recite (by heart please) the first verse of Wordsworth's poem. Score 1 for remembering 1 verse, 2 for 2 and so on up to 4 if you can recite all 4 verses. Leave your score in the comments!!!!

Now what's this?

If you look closely in the centre of the rose garden you can see some wire fencing surrounding a statue covered with black sheeting. 

The unveiling of the statue will be on Sunday.

Welcome to my new follower and commenters. I hope you enjoy visiting here.

Wednesday 17 April 2013

Thirty Ways to Save a Pound

I thought I'd join in with the Money Supermarket Challenge to Bloggers so here are my 30 ways to save £1.

1. Mend or fix broken items to prolong their life.
2. Buy second hand from Charity Shops.
3. Swap unwanted items with friends.
4. Re-use plastic bags for storing produce, as bin liners, dog poo bags etc
5. Sell unwanted items on online selling sites.
6. Make use of the library rather than buying books or newspapers.
7. Make floor cloths out of old towels.
8. Save wrapping paper to use again.
9. Make cards and gift tags from recycled items.
10. Only shop with a list.
11. Don't take any money when you go out for a walk.
12. Take your own food when going on a day out rather than buying in cafes.
13. Don't throw away left-overs but use again in the next meal e.g. make soup or pies or sandwiches.
14. Make sure all containers are empty before you throw them away - e.g. toothpaste tubes, jars of jam, ketchup etc.
15. Use less washing up liquid and washing powder.
16. Turn your garden, or part of it, into an edible garden and grow your favourite vegetables or fruit.
17. Save plastic containers and use for storage.
18. Turn off lights and appliances when not in use.
19. Make your own compost from kitchen scraps and garden waste.
20. Cook from scratch rather than buy ready made meals.
21. Make your own 'special meal' rather than go to a restaurant.
22. Cut up your credit cards and just use cash.
23. Take a shower rather than a bath - to save water.
24. Drink water rather than bought sugary drinks.
25. Walk shorter distances rather than take the car.
26. Make your own bread.
27. Make your own cakes and pastries.
28. Know what you have in your freezer and cupboards and keep a look out for special offers so you can bulk buy items when they are on offer.
29. If an offer sound too good to be true it is so don't be tempted to buy.
30. Have some 'no-spend' days and don't be tempted to part with any money. Slowly increase your number of days if you can.

Here's an extra one:-
When tempted to buy something ask yourself, "Do I really need this?" (Generally I don't. I probably have too many of them anyway!)

"Where am I going to put it?" (I'm trying to de-clutter so I've not got any more room!)

"If I came back tomorrow would I still be tempted?" (I usually forget what tempted me in the first place!)


Monday 15 April 2013

X? marks the spot

I have quite a collection of book marks - home-made and bought yet what do I use to mark my pages?

Anything that comes to hand, where-ever I am when reading the book. I seem to have about five books on the go at the moment, two have packets of pills to mark where I am ...

one has a till receipt, one has a scrap piece of paper and oh yes ... one has a proper book mark in it.

In the past I've used pieces of wool, nail files, crocheted squares, calling cards and pencils or pens. I shall have to try harder and use some of my ready made book markers.

Sunday 14 April 2013

Every last drop

I try to get every last drop out of the toothpaste tube. It's surprising how much is left when the tube looks empty.

Marmite and Bovril jars are turned upside down to 'extract' every last drop and washing up liquid, bubble bath and shampoo have water added to prolong their useful life.

Seeds are saved from year to year and I haven't purchased any new this year. DH thought that the old broccoli and cauliflower seeds wouldn't germinate so he sowed the rest of the packets. We now have about one hundred seedlings! Whoops!


Saturday 13 April 2013

Nine to Five


What am I wearing? 
Slouchy clothes.
What am I doing?
I'm eating breakfast. Tea was brought up to me and I've made toast. There's Marmite on my slice.
Where am I?
I'm in bed with DH and 2 puss cats.
What's the sky like?
I don't know yet because the blinds are closed. Peeping through the gaps it looks as though it's going to be a sunny day.
What's motivating me?
The need to 'fuel up' because it's a gardening, ironing, baking and cleaning day today.


What am I wearing?
Stretchy trousers, stretchy top and flip flops. (I have been bending down to sow the pea, onion, kale, beetroot, leek and spring onion seeds and weed the garden.)
What am I doing?
I have been tidying my den but now I'm listing some items on Ebay.
Where am I?
In the loft room.
What's the sky like?
It's clouding over and looks like rain.
What's motivating me?
The determination to have 'another go' at trying to establish some kind of order in this room of mine.


What am I wearing?
Same as before.
What am I doing?
Dishing up tea - ham salad for me.
Where am I?
In the kitchen and soon to be in the back room eating.
What's the sky like?
It's been raining and is now a dull day.
What's motivating me?
Hunger and the thought of relaxing after tea.

I'm linking to Thrift Deluxe's blog today as her blog is called Nine to Five.

Friday 12 April 2013


Most of my books travel around friends. We read book, we give away book. In between we may purchase books, usually from the CS. This book was given to me and was the 'next' in my pile.

I wouldn't choose it myself.

Looks like 'chic lit'.
Might be too frivolous.

I started reading.

Oh my goodness - it's getting quite explicit. Hope it's not one of those Fifty books.

I looked at the blurb on the back.

'Warm, sexy, satisfying.'

Ooh er!

'Will make you smile, sigh and cheer as this story proves love can be found in the most unexpected places.'

Actually this last review was quite correct. As the story unfolded I found it more and more difficult to put the book down.

It's another one of those easy read, pleasant story books, light-hearted and funny. As my friend would say, "It's a fluffy book that I read along side a more serious one."


Thursday 11 April 2013

Such a pity

How is it, that whenever we visit here ...

I have a great desire to thoroughly organise all our belongings back home - stacking things away neatly and orderly, lining jars up in the kitchen and tidying drawers.

It's a good job that I don't pander to my desires, isn't it!


Wednesday 10 April 2013

A leisurely pootle

It was a pootle slowly kind of jolly for our small music group, taking in woodland scenery, pretty shops and a tasty tearoom.

The Towers is part of an old garden. This is one of the gateposts to the old house. It looks as though it was built using pebbles and stones from the beach.

Since I last walked here pathways have been installed.

These old perimeter walls are made of brick and stone.

There weren't many flowers around and the trees were empty of leaves but birdsong was everywhere.

 These birds made more of a 'honking' noise and weren't taking any visitors today at their pond.

These ducks were sunning themselves at the base of an old tree. Just look at the root system.

We did espy some 'blossom on the hedgerow'. Cue song - Sing a Song of Maytime.

Sing a song of Maytime, verse 2

Blossom on the hedgerow,
Sunshine on the hills,
Oh the merry Maytime
All my being fills.


Maytime, playtime,
God has given us Maytime,
Thank HIm for his gifts of love,
Sing a song of spring

From Tower Wood we walked through ginnels (There's a good word to discuss.) and residential avenues ...

to our destination.

Whoa! Craft shop, wool shop and fabric shop. Cue song - A Mouse Lived in a Windmill in Old Amsterdam.

We could have stayed there all afternoon.

Beautiful displays and fabric to stroke and coo over.

After all our pootling we ended up here for soup and a sandwich.

Happy pootling.


Tuesday 9 April 2013

Spring is sprunging

At last it feels like spring - lots of busyness going on both inside and outside today. My 'get up and go' is getting up and going!

Bread made,

garden rotated (DH) and weeded (me),

tea organised - mince and onion pie ...

... with carrots and potatoes. The first of the rhubarb picked (and some given away) to make a crumble,

Fruit cake (me) and Easter egg brownies (DD) made ...

... and floors mopped and 


Spring has sprung. Let's hope it stays.

Der spring is sprung,
Der grass is riz,
I wonder where dem boidies is?

Der little boids is on der wing.
Ain't dat absoid!
Der little wings is on de boid!

Anon (New York)