Friday 25 November 2016

All wrapped up

I started wrapping presents today. Most of my Christmas wrapping paper has been used and I've not bought any more as I use material bags to 'wrap' the family presents. This bag was made from an old shiny gold top. All I did was sew the bottom up.

Fill with presents then just tie the shoulder straps together. Other bags have been made from clothing or material in shiny, Christmassy colours.

This year I tried something different and wrapped some presents up in a scarf - shiny and Christmassy of course. The recipient has a present on the outside as well as the inside. The scarves are bought very cheaply from the CS.

This scarf wrapped present is adorned with festive tassels and decorations.

Only a few more presents to wrap now and another task is ticked off the list.


Thursday 24 November 2016


Grr! I'm having trouble with the new Blogger. I only had a blank screen when I opened a new post so I tried a different browser. Now I can get to start a post but I can't put the cursor above my first picture. I've had to cut and paste to get it down below. Grr! Anyone else having problems? Rant over now back to the post.

My present to DD's partner is a Beer Advent calendar. I've purchased 24 bottles and I've just finished the numbered hats to top them with. The hats are made out of those Christmas cards that hang around for years and years in the Christmas card box. I'm sure you know the ones I mean.

I've put them to good use now. Just half or nearly half a circle bent round to form a cone and a natty little decoration on the top. This next one is a portrait size card fringed at the top and selotaped to make a tube.
 Grr! I still can't move the cursor down by the pictures.

Here's one that looks like a crown. The bottom is decorated with some stick on santas.

 On this one I cut round the picture to make the top.

I did 4 of each design.

Tops all done now, beer bought - just a crate to find before the 1st.




Sunday 20 November 2016


1. What was the 'best bit' of yesterday?
2. What was the most exciting thing you did?
3. What was the most boring thing you did?
4. What was your 'good deed' for the day?
5. Did you achieve what you set out to achieve?

Aren't I being nosey! One day tends to blur into another sometimes and the days and weeks rush by. Nothing seems to stand out much and life can be pretty hum drum at times. But is it? Some activities must stand out above others. Here are my answers to the above. They aren't sensational as life isn't most of the time.

1. I had candles lit around the bath. O.K. so they were the battery lights as we don't use real candles but the lights were low and the candles flickered - very relaxing.
2. Ah, exciting. Well exciting for me. I tried out a new chicken casserole recipe that popped up on Facebook last week. It was good but very same-ish so I will add my own embellishments to make it more interesting next time.
3. I brush the kitchen floor every day but it takes me a while to dustpan the crumbs up at the end of sweeping. I will avoid it because it's so boring. It gets done eventually.
4. Always do at least one good deed a day - good girl guide style. I called in at the CS and gave them a bit of help for about half an hour. No trouble as I was passing. (Plus I had a nosey round the shop for any bargains.)
5. Yes, I did - all my list was crossed off, not that it was very long in the first place. Saturdays are put things away days so all that was done and hobbies pursued.


Thursday 17 November 2016

Open when ...

One of my presents I've made this Christmas are some 'Open when …' letters for one of the family. They've taken quite a long time to put together as I had to write 18 different letters which corresponded to 18 different items. The items are trivial but mean quite a lot. Each letter and item are put into an envelope to be opened at certain times during the year.

For instance -

Open when …
you are missing me.

Open when …
you need peace.

Open when …
you're happy.

Open when …
you're down.

The recipient lives quite far away so I've included - 

Open when …
it's your birthday.

Open when …
it's your Anniversary.

The first card to be opened is the Open Now envelope which explains the whole process and lists all the sentences on the envelopes. Here's part of my letter.

"Dear ……, Your present this year is a box of letters. What? Why write letters when we can Face Time or send each other messages and texts? There's even a telephone we can use. Well these letters are for certain times in your life to help, guide or encourage you. If you read the envelopes you will be able to see those times…….."

Only the Open Now and the Open when … it's Christmas envelopes are to be opened on Christmas Day.

I've enjoyed putting these small notes together and decorating all the envelopes. I do hope the person who receives these will enjoy reading them.


Wednesday 16 November 2016

Solving problems

I like brown and he likes white.
Who's to say who's wrong or right?
Think a bit and use your loaf,
Then bake some bread that's a bit of both!


Tuesday 15 November 2016

One moment in time in the kitchen

The time is after breakfast, first thing this morning after a drink of lemon. The basket of given to me apples needed attending to. This year I'm tackling them a few at a time so ...

10 were peeled ready to stew.

While this was going on I had started the bread making and was making up 2 lots of 2 loaves. The first lot was wholemeal.

Another cuppa was ready to be made.

The floor was swept but the bits not picked up because ...

my second batch was being made - white this time.

While I was at it I decided that the Christmas cake needed its first feed. There's whiskey and cognac further along the counter.

My burnt on casserole deposits from yesterday were being given a seeing to with bicarb and a damp cloth. I'm leaving it to soak in before I wipe them off. I'd done 'pulled pork' slow cooked pork on a bed of garlic, onions and carrots with a little stock to keep it moist. Left in for 5 hours it came out really well and is enough for a few meals.

2nd batch made and final floury bits wiped up.

Must stimulate the brain while doing all this practical work so while I was buzzing around I noted down a few other things for the shopping list this week. I always go with a list so I know exactly what's in my cupboards. The other writing on the paper must be some measurements for the greenhouse. I tend to re-use any scrap paper. It's surprising how much accumulates.

Apples nearly ready - have to be quick otherwise they go brown and I'm not giving them my lemon for my drink.

It's 10 o' clock now and at this particular moment I'm typing this post and drinking my lemon. Now for my next task on the list.


Friday 11 November 2016

Thursday 10 November 2016

Very odd

Sometimes when clicking on the comments on a blog I'm greeted with very unusual pop up messages which don't close down. I have to quit my browser and log in again. Very odd. Does anyone else have this problem? It's only been with one blog so far.


Wednesday 9 November 2016

Kitchen Window

I've used the last apple from the garden in a fruit salad which will last us for quite a few days. In the tub went a can of pineapple slices in fruit juice, the apple, another bought apple, 3 satsumas, 2 slices of melon and 2 bananas. The chip in the window sill was done with a pan falling over. Whoops!

My jungle plant on the other side is taking over and is venturing out over the sink.

It's also heading along out from the shelf and ...

towards me. Next time I take a kitchen window shot I will be tied to the kitchen sink and held hostage by a rampant plant. I think it appreciated the feed DH gave it a few months back.

it gets more and more difficult to clean the shelves as I have to untangle it and then hook it back up again. I can see a construction heading out along the ceiling in the future!


Sunday 6 November 2016

9 to 5

8.00 - Late start today. It is Sunday after all and today began as each day always begins with breakfast in bed with a slice of toast (no butter, just Marmite) and a grand cup of tea. A discussion of the day ahead and then off we go.

9.00 - Tidying up the kitchen while DH gets on with the greenhouse renovation (big job this). Ingredients are gathered for a second Christmas cake and the bread is started. Today it is granary loaves. While this is going on I'm sweeping the kitchen floor, sorting out the rubbish, wiping down doors and under the sink.

10.00 - I'm washing my hair and cleaning the bathroom sink. Break for DH and he calls upstairs that he's made a cuppa. Tea for him and a hot lemon drink for me while we have a little sit discussing how cold it is outside and how the weather forecast had been correct with a shower this morning just as he was up the ladder. After this I'm here upstairs typing and then I shall finish off the bathroom and write a few more Christmas cards. I've a few things to look up on the computer and then I'm going to clean the brass.

11.00 - The brass has been cleaned, the last of the potatoes dug up from the garden - there were a few more hidden in the soil and the veg has been peeled for the roast later on. I'm going to make some soup with the left over chicken cacciatore, an onion and a stock cube. DH will need something warm when he comes in.

12.00 - It's din dins with the homemade soup and an apple for DH, fresh fruit salad for me while listening to the Sunday Politics. Afterwards I'll put the barbed-wire plant I bought from Lidl last week back into a pot as I've read that it is a tender plant. It will have to go inside over winter as I would hate it to be killed by a frost.

1.00 - I've just prepared all the ingredients ready to make the Christmas cake and am now sorting out my list for next week's shop. I don't need much particularly, just a top up of fruit and a few tins. Another Toblerone might fall into my trolley seeing as it's nearly, no-where near Christmas. I'm going to change my clothes (tut, tut, not got up yet) ready to receive a visitor/friend later on this afternoon. My cake should be smelling good by the time he arrives. The beef roast will go in later to be ready for tea. I've had to look up the constituent spices of mixed spice again as I've still not bought any.

2.00 - Christmas cake is made and now I'm just awaiting our visitor.

3.00 - Visitor has left so back to roast tea preparation. I went into the garden and dug up some leeks for a leek in cheese sauce dish and also picked what are definitely the last of the runner beans. Sauce made,  roasties peeled and beef ready to put in the oven.

4.00 - Break time here for a quick drink and sit reading a magazine before tea which has been scheduled for 5.00. The bread is kneaded again into loaves to rise once more in this next hour. It will go in the oven when the roast comes out.

5.00 - Tea time - roast beef, roast potatoes, leeks in cheese sauce, carrots, runner beans, gravy, horseradish, mustard and mint sauce followed by baked apples with boozy fruit (left over from the Christmas cake). We're full now.

4 diddy cakes and 2 medium

Granary bread this week

This evening is a bath and relax on the computer with a final hour of viewing the TV. Sunday done and dusted.

Alright, it was 8 to 5 not 9 to 5. Not to worry. Hope you had a wonderful day.


Saturday 5 November 2016

Follow, follow

A very warm welcome to my new follower - I've been stuck on 349 for ages. I need to do more visiting, commenting and following myself but, of course, life gets in the way. The word 'follower' conjured up a 'follow my leader' image in my mind with one person leading and a tail of people following all copying the actions of the one in front. In reality we are all following our own interests with people who share the same so it becomes not just one long line but a whole network of people interacting with each other's blogs. 

I couldn't get this 'follower' word out of my mind and I kept on singing - Follow! Follow! Now which song has these lyrics? Quite a few it seems but I finally found the one here.

And here's my take on the tune.

Time to say thank you to all of my readers.
I look at the stats and see all the views there.
Time to say thank you to all of my readers
Who visit often and leave their comments.
Time to say thank you to all of my readers.
You're kind and sharing, warm and thoughtful.
Time to say thank you and if you're a mind to
Then follow, follow.

(Sorry about that - what a round-a-bout way to encourage more followers. Please forgive me.)



Tuesday 1 November 2016

From my seat

Actually I'm not sitting down but standing on the promenade gazing out to sea. To my right is North Pier with quite a few people taking a walk down to the end.

Turning round anti-clockwise I can see the end of the pier and the tide is in. It's quite high today. I think it's called a Spring Tide which occurs after a full or new moon when there is the greatest difference between high and low water.

Round a bit further and the blue sky and cloud formations can be seen a little better.

The sun is shining through the clouds onto the water making it shimmer.

This is the closest I could get to this seagull who was also gazing out to sea.