Sunday, 28 October 2012

Who Needs a Gym ...

... when they have got a garden? :)  This week I have finished digging over the flowerbeds and paths in our back garden.
I have taken every available opportunity to be outside,
 knowing that it could rain at any moment. 
When rain did stop play, I was working on a bed of a different kind.  Fay's new bed arrived flat-packed and I have assembled it and we are now waiting for the new mattress to be delivered.
Also whilst it was raining I visited the local garden centre.  The plan was to replace one rose, one lavender and one rosemary, but as you can see I got rather carried away. :)  The rose is David Austin's The Countryman and the lavender is Hidcote.  I also bought Clematis Mrs George Jackman, Japanese Aneome Splendens and some wallflowers.
Having planted the bulbs that I had previously purchased, I couldn't resist some more!
I'm so looking forward to seeing my garden next spring.  Although it looks rather bare now, I know that it will be much improved; no more jungle!
Yesterday was rather warm, despite the Arctic winds that we are experiencing and I managed to give the trees around the outside of our garden their annual prune.  I cut them down to below fence-height as they put on so much grown each year and shade our garden too much.  Afterwards I collected these humongous pumpkins from our allotment, ready for Halloween.
Last night our village celebrated Guy Fawkes night early, with an amazing firework display.
The winds had died down and the sky was clear.
It was a perfect evening.

Now I am looking forward to a relaxing half term and to seeing Fay this week.
Best wishes, Pj x

Monday, 22 October 2012

Another Day Gardening

Yesterday I spent most of the day digging up some more of the back garden.  I think Mr Squirrel was wondering if I was after his buried hazelnuts. :)  I often find hazel seedlings growing in the flowerbeds!
I found another baby lizard - this one was even smaller.
Rain stopped play late afternoon otherwise I would have finished, but as you can see there is one corner of the garden left to do.  I have given most of my hardy geraniums to a friend as they were taking over my garden and smothering other plants.  I have kept some small pieces - no doubt they will spread again!
 My lower back and backs of my legs were hurting so much that I spent the evening on the sofa with Mr Milky Whiskers.  
I'm still hurting this morning, but off to work I go!  Hope you all had a good weekend.
Best wishes, Pj x

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Red Sky at Night ...

... Shepherd's Delight.
 This was the amazing sunset last night!
 We noticed it as we drove home.  Once home I dashed in and grabbed my camera.  Jay is so like me - he was out taking photos too. :)
The black splodge in this last photo is a bat that was whizzing around above my head.
I was so mesmerised by the sunset that I didn't even think about focusing on the bat!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Tag - You're It!

I have recently been "tagged" by Ellie of Jelly Jam.  To be honest I wasn't sure about doing this, because I didn't think anyone would be interested in my answers and I have always been wary of such things as they kind of remind my of chain letters?  But having read a few of the comments about tagging I have decided to answer the questions, but not pass them on.
Ellie's 11 Questions, in the style of a Boden catalogue and my boring answers! :)
  1. town or country?
    Definitely country!  I have always been a country girl; I was born in Norfolk and lived in a small village (that sadly has now grown immensely).  My grandparents worked on a farm and I loved it when they took me to the farm.  When not on the farm I could be found climbing trees and picking wildflowers in the woods behind their cottage.  I have always loved being by the sea as well.
    Majorca 1972

  2. your most unappealing habit?
    Ooh!  I have just asked my Husband what this would be and he has squirmed and refused to answer! :)  Possibly I nag?! :)
  3. what advice would you give your 18 year old self?

    Be more confident in yourself and follow your dreams.  I wanted to go to art college, but followed the route that was expected of me.  I don't regret anything as I wouldn't be here now if I had done things differently, but I would have liked to have studied art, particularly textiles.
    Me at 18
  4. cats or dogs?
    Cats!  No surprise there.  I have had a pet cat since I was junior school age.  My first cat's name was Skippy and she was dumped as kitten in the back of my Dad's lorry!  He brought her home and she was covered in grease.  Mum and Dad had to cut all of her long fur off and wash her in washing-up liquid to get her clean.  She then lived a long and happy life with us.

  5.   your most overused word or phrase?
    I try not to overuse the same word, but "lovely" seems to crop up frequently!  It could be worse right? :) I do seem to use a lot of exclamation marks though!!! (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
  6. your perfect dinner date?
    My Husband.  Although I can't remember the last time it was just the two of us, as the children always go everywhere with us - they make sure they never miss out! :)
    1988 S with our first baby Pippa
    (Here he is doing the washing up after a meal when it was just the two of us.  Pippa insisted on being held, she would climb his trouser legs if he didn't pick her up.)
  7. red or white?
    Red with white polka dots!  I'm drawn to anything with this pattern on.
  8. what are you wearing today?
    Slobbing at home in leggings and a tunic.  Loose and comfortable. :)
  9. spend or save?
    Save to spend.  I have always been good at saving, except when I enter a wool shop!
  10. dream car?
    That would have to be my Mini.  I would love a VW Campervan or a Morris Traveller as well.
  11. if you were an animal you'd be...
    A pampered cat.  It must be a lovely life to go where you please and snooze the day away in a patch of sunlight.  Not sure about washing myself with my tongue though.  Furball!!
These are the people that Ellie asked:-

Friday, 19 October 2012

Double Yay!!

Today I have finished painting the hall, stairwell and landing. It's not easy decorating a stairwell when you are vertically challenged! :)
And I've finally finished my cushion! :)
Hopefully the other 3 will not take so long.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

24 Years

Earlier this week my Husband and I celebrated 24 wonderful years of marriage.  We met 26 years ago quite by chance, we were both doing a favour for different friends, otherwise we wouldn't have been at the same place on that day.  It was obviously meant to be. :)
Each year I like to cook a special meal and bake a cake for our anniversary.  I have been watching Fiona Cairns baking series on television and decided to bake her Beetroot and Chocolate Cake.  It was very easy to make and turned out chocolatey and moist, but we decided that we didn't really like the beetroot taste so I won't make it again.
My poor Husband is looking worn out in that photo - it isn't 24 years of being married to me; he had had a hard day at work! Honest! :)

Monday, 15 October 2012

My Weekend

My weekend started rather early Saturday morning as I needed to take Jay to sit his Driving Theory Test at 8am.  The early start was worth it as he passed!  Well Done Jay!  Afterwards we went shopping and I couldn't resist this cookie cutter; he is perfect for some Halloween baking! :)
I also spotted this cake pop tin.  I have been thinking about making cake pops, but the fact that you have to crumble the cake and glue it back together again with butter cream kind of put me off.  Hopefully this tin will work - watch this space! :)  Both items are from Lakeland.
I can never pass by a Cath Kidston shop without going in and I bought this adorable Christmas dish.
Most of the remainder of my weekend was spent in the garden.  When cutting down the outer hedge I found this old Blackbird nest complete with an egg that didn't hatch.  
I have decided to give the back garden a major overhaul as everything has become so over-grown this year.  It seems a shame to cut back some of the flowers, but it needs to be done.
This Ballerina Rose is covered in buds again.
The Japanese Anemones have looked lovely this autumn,
but the stars of the season have to be this Spindle Tree
and the Michaelmas Daisies.  My Mum gave these to me.
First border dug over and replanted.  The cats think I have given them one large litter tray!!
I have taken a risk and divided my Agapanthus.  I hope that it flowers next year.
I still have over half of the garden to dig and then I will plant these bulbs and the garden should look wonderful in the spring.
Whilst digging I discovered this cutie!
 I believe he is a baby Common Lizard.  Please excuse the hands - I was working! :)
 Off he goes to find shelter under the ferns.
I feel privileged to have him in my garden.  I hope he stays.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Bad Boy, Maurice ...

... Cake Stealer, Pumpkin Eater!!
Here he is sitting at the top of our stairs, looking like butter wouldn't melt!
But I had forgotten that he has a thing for pumpkin and I had left this pumpkin and chocolate cake cooling on the kitchen worktop.  Note that there is a piece missing!  Bad Boy Maurice had taken a bite!
This was a new recipe that I tried from here and after cutting away the part that had been nibbled by Maurice, the rest of the family declared it to be rather good.
I also baked some of my usual pumpkin cookies.
 Hot off the knitting needles this week are a pair of Batty Wrist Warmers.
 Fay had said to me that she was feeling cold, so I have knitted these for her.  I thought that they would be ideal for her to wear whilst drawing (she is studying animation at uni), as they are finger-less.  I'm not sure where I originally sourced the pattern from as I have had it for a while, but it can be found here.  Now I think I need to make a pair for myself! :)  I knitted them in Stylecraft Life DK using sizes 3.25 and 3.75 needles.  I think I will add a couple more rows of rib next time to make them slightly longer.
Fay has settled well into life at uni and is loving her course.  Last week she emailed some of drawings to me and I'm sure she won't mind if I share some of them with you.  She has been out and about studying trees and buildings to learn about perspective and has been taking life drawing classes.  Please don't scroll down to the end of the post if you don't wish to see nudity.

I think Fay is very talented, but then I may be biased! :)
Best wishes, Pj x