Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Going, going, gone?

My blogging mojo has vanished, seem to have suddenly gone off the whole idea.
Don't worry, everything is OK here, I may be back sometime.


Saturday, 23 July 2016


Sorry for being AWOL, bit busy with visitors, the 8 week old one seems to take up a lot of time!

Back in a few days

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

A pretty sight, and NOT a pretty sight!

It might have been the Med today, even the grey old North Sea had a tinge of blue and not a cloud in the sky, but it was just Felixstowe with a lovely breeze keeping the temperature to a comfortable level.

This plump old whale waving (not drowning) is me in for a swim, Gawd knows why Col zoomed in so close! People with beach huts who are regular swimmers there say the sea is much warmer than usual for mid July.

Thanks for comments on the last blog post.
It's quite a few years since we went to Hay-on-Wye and some of the second-hand bookshops have disappeared. I noticed more shops selling new books along with the second-hand and now you have to pay 20p for the toilets too!

Back in a day or 3

Sunday, 17 July 2016

We went away..........

..........for a few days and now we are home again.

We stayed here
 Visited here

We might have bought a book or two here and at some of the other bookshops in town

We went here too - Hereford Cathedral

 and saw this
We visited several of  the small towns in mid Powys and searched for a hovel in the hills, but didn't find one, but we did find that if you share the driving the journey seems much shorter and now I've driven on a motorway too.....Go Me!

Welcome to A Maine Homestead - a new follower.

Back shortly

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Make Do and Mend

What's your sewing box like?

Mine is a very old Mothercare baby box, found in a charity shop many, many years ago.

I had a small wooden cantilever sewing box before this, but it soon got full and untidy, so this is a much better idea.

 I've never made many clothes from scratch but I've always mended.
Several weeks ago someone mentioned their button-box, mine is a very old tin, bought from a scout jumble sale a long time ago, then some buttons were added from my late mum's button tin and some have been cut off old clothes that we've had. It's very full and rarely opened, buttons don't seem to feature much in the clothes we wear nowadays.
 I've got so many different colours of sewing thread and very few bought new, most have been found in car boot sales along with other odds and ends like the Woolworths Garter Elastic in the zip lock bag!
I've used the darning mushroom for darning socks too, back in the days when Col wore thick woolly  socks for work in winter.
Now the old hand-made quilt has been repaired, it needs a wash, but it's too big for a normal washing machine, I shall have to track down a launderette in Ipswich somewhere.

Many Thanks for comments on the last few posts

Back in a day or two

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Silly Me!

When we were at Addenbrookes hospital the other day I noticed this newspaper on the floor under a chair opposite
"Oh Look" I said " I didn't know they were doing a special newspaper for The Archers"

Col looks where I am pointing........ " ? "

Me "It's a paper for Ambridge, you know, where The Archers is set"


Oh, so it is.
Collapse into hysterical laughter!

Back Soon

PS Thanks for all the Knickers comments!  I missed a trick there .......should have used a catchy title to attract more readers, what would have John at Going Gently put as a title?!!

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

A favourite post from long ago in a different world! (and other stuff)

 Actually not that long ago but definitely a different lifestyle

 I was fiddling about on the Stats page recently, and discovered this  post has been looked at nearly 2000 times. I wondered what it was, and found again just how busy we were in the summer on the smallholding and campsite.
Missing it ...................................... just a bit, but mainly the raspberries!

[You can see it here]

We've not heard much about the new owners of the smallholding and campsite, no one locally (our old neighbours) has seen anything of them. We know they've moved the roadside stall to the campsite gateway and don't seem to be selling very much. But we heard today that they have put the campsite prices up so much that some of our regulars can't afford to go there anymore, what a shame.

In Aldi the other day I noticed they will have school uniforms in tomorrow. Poor children haven't even finished term for the summer holidays and the shops are wanting them, or their mums to plan for September. Flicking through the leaflet  I discovered a new word - skort - a skirt with hidden shorts. They would have been better for  P.E than we what we had to wear at Stowmarket Grammar School back in the 60's............Thick maroon knickers!!

Thank you for all the comments about doughnuts on the last post, I doubt the walk back pushing my bike up hill made up for the calories in the doughnuts, good job they are not a regular thing on my shopping list!

Whoops, I've forgotten to welcome Rosemary to the followers pictures, she has a blog called Where Five Valleys Meet, including some lovely photos, and I'm not sure if I've said hello to Jomum and Anne who are also new to following- I think.

Back Soon

Sunday, 10 July 2016

A Bad Influence

I've been meaning to bike to Morrisons ever since we moved here. It's downhill almost all the way which, sadly, means it's uphill almost all the way home!

But when you cycle or walk you find footpaths that give you a short cut, like this one above that I discovered. The path cuts off a corner taking me straight into the Morrisons car park.

Then I spotted these and because Sadie at Life in the English Rain had them on her blog the other day I was "forced" to purchase! She's such a bad influence! :-)
and who knew I was so easily tempted into buying doughnuts?
(£1 wasn't wasted as they are very delicious.)

Doughnut buying wasn't really my reason for cycling to Morrisons! I went mainly because they had Polly's cat food on special offer - Not so exciting.

I've loved the two weeks of Wimbledon and brilliant to have so many people from Scotland/Great Britain winning. Well done Andy M, Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett for wheelchair doubles then Gordon Reid went out and won the first ever wheelchair singles too.  Jordanne Whiley was one half of the ladies wheelchair doubles winners and Heather Watson was half of the Mixed Doubles winners duo, even though they had never played together before this championship. A very good two weeks all round.

Welcome to Gisela from NZ, who has a brand new blog called Life at Barkalot Farm.

Back Soon-ish

Saturday, 9 July 2016

It maybe a while...............

......................before our grandchildren are tall enough for something we bought today.

For several weeks we've been seeing this big poster on the way to hospital
So this morning we popped round to have a look
Wow, talk about community effort. In just 2 roads every 3rd or 4th house was joining in with this fundraiser, selling their unwanted stuff and also raising money for the local Hospice.
It was crowded with people and cars, (hope a fire engine or ambulance didn't need to get through!)
We came home with 2 things, although I could have filled a whole cupboard with children's toys of all sorts.... but managed to resist.
The first thing we bought was this wooden height measuring thingy for £3.50, it screws to the wall....... yes I know Jacob is only 6 weeks old but now we will be ready for him (and the one due October) growing!  I can just picture future grandchildren rushing in to see if they've grown since last time they visited.

Underneath is the other thing I bought -  a king-size quilted throw. I got one off ebay several months ago and have had it over the settee but it's a hand made one and  now needs repairs and cleaning, and we have no proper covers on the settee underneath as they "died" a long time ago! Now I can mend and organise the cleaning. The 'new' one is very huge and very heavy and the colours are right too, I could have bought a new one from a dozen places for much the same as I paid here - £40 - but prefer not to buy from shops if I can avoid it, this way the money goes into the community and not into some big company.

Here is the latest photo of Jacob our eldest has put on facebook!......... I can't see any resemblance at all!

Poor little fella!

And finally, can anyone tell me who had a recipe on their blog,( possibly on a link to an old post) for marrow/lemon curd. I've tried googling but can only find recipes without eggs and I'm sure the one I saw on a blog had eggs in for a better flavour and set.

Thanks for comments last time

Back very soon
( edited in to say that some people are unable to see photo of Jacob copied here from facebook in which our daughter has compared him to a photo of Yoda from Star Wars!, which is why I said poor little fella )

Thursday, 7 July 2016

What's next

All through Col's Non Hodgkins Lymphoma thing there have been problems and hold-ups so we fully expected that the stem cell collection would take 2 or even three days as they said it usually takes more than one day to collect enough. BUT  Great Joy, they rang last night after we had been home  a few hours and said we didn't have to make the 120 mile round trip to Cambridge again as there were more than enough stem cells collected. Good.
Next thing on the list is a kidney function test on Tuesday and another heart check soon after, then we await  his call to go into Ipswich hospital (probably early August) for 6 consecutive days of very nasty chemo and the stem cell replacement. That's when he'll be in for up to 4 weeks to recover, most of it in an en-suite room on his own to avoid infections.

He is feeling very well at the moment and we are wondering about the chance of having a few days away as that could be our only opportunity this year.
Sounds like a Very good idea.

Back soon

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh


  Another (short) book review
The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh. A novel starting in London society but mainly set in 1880's South Africa. Frances Irvine is left penniless when her father dies and faces a choice of living as a maid  with an aunt or marrying Edwin a distant cousin who is a doctor in South Africa.
She chooses the latter and boards ship to make the long journey with the " ladies middle class emigration society".
The story ranges from diamond mines to a smallpox hospital and The Karoo -one hundred and fifty thousand square miles of barren landscape. Because of a man she met on the ship and the conditions Edwin has chosen for them she is unhappy and hopelessly out of her depth.
 I guess this is two steps up from a romance story but as it based on factual background I learned some of the  history of South Africa and the lives of immigrants.
I'm pleased to say it has a proper happy ending!

You can read lots more reviews [HERE]

Thanks for comments about everything on the last post

Back later in the week

Monday, 4 July 2016

Fiddling the Accounts

 I keep track of spending in my diary - which is just an A4  writing pad. Each month I write down all the things we spend on. Car, Household, Electric/Gas, Clothes, Phone,  Food, Water etc etc. There is a new column for Grandchildren and then there is the column called Sue. In my column  are books and craft stuff (that's all I buy for myself on the whole) and  it's very obvious I'm spending too much every month, especially as Col's column is empty! So I've decided  that books and other bits bought from charity shops should be listed under CHARITY ......................There, that looks much better!

 Here's a surprise ..............I went to a car boot sale and didn't buy any books!
It was the first-Saturday-in-the-month boot sale at Melton near Woodbridge and I headed out of town just after 7am.
Mostly just the same old car-boots there but I found  some Grandchildren stuff; Baby bath and big pack of first size Pampers nappies  total £4 and wooden breakdown crane truck for £1. Other than that just a mini clay chimenea which could be used for planting  also for £1.
(As you can see I still haven't got around to hiring a skip to get rid of the awful crazy paving patio! Mainly because it then means buying in some topsoil to fill the huge low bit that will be left and also not having anything dry to stand on when hanging out the washing)

On Friday I biked to a recently opened charity shop that I've just found out about. It's run by Emmaus, the charity that helps homeless people get back into accommodation and employment. I knew it was somewhere in the road on the other side of the railway line from us which gave me a choice of biking all  down hill to the path under the railway or up, then down and then level to the road bridge over the railway. I choose down hill, only to find the shop was right at the top of the road so that I had to walk all the way up...... it would have been much easier to have gone the other way! Oh well, it's all good exercise.
 I found these cross stitch bits for £2 (which has been entered in the Charity column of course!)

And with regard to cross stitch, this part-started picture of a standard fuchsia
has been staring at me every time I've looked through my box-file of charts and kits to decide what to do next. I don't remember when I started it but I do know it must have been several years ago and I know why I stopped - it was too difficult - too many shades of pinks and greens. Now I'm better at sorting out how to work this type of chart I'm determined to finish it.
On the left  is the chart I'm following. On the right is one of the mini kits from the charity shop - but it has no chart so if any cross-stitchers out there have this very old copy of Cross Stitch Collection Magazine with the Gardeners Notebook kit I'd love a photocopy of the chart ......please, or any other chart with a flower that will look OK using the flower pot button.

Looking out of the kitchen window at dusk on Saturday I spotted a hedgehog snuffling about under the bird table. Lovely to see one in town as we rarely spotted them out in the country. I rushed for the camera but then couldn't remember how to get the flash to work, clicked quickly so all I got was this and then he/she snuffled off under the shrubs.

Another couple of library books finished, both historical crime fiction. First Robin Blake - Skin and Bones, these are set in Preston in the mid 18th century. The 4th in a series - featuring a lawyer and coroner and his doctor friend.
Secondly the latest Anne Perry - Revenge in a Cold River.  An extremely prolific author as there are 32 books in her Inspector Pitt series and 22 in her Thomas Monk series, plus she also write Christmas Novellas featuring both these characters or other people from the series and other novels too. Both Pitt and Monk books are set in Victorian London and quite compelling. If you've not come across these then it's best to start from the beginning although the earlier books were written in the 1980's and 90's so not so easy to find.

Well Done to our future daughter-in-law who did the 5K Cancer Research Race  for Life. She had planned to do it at the organised event in Bury St Edmunds a couple of weeks back, which was cancelled due to flooding. She couldn't do the new arranged date so opted to do it on her own and has raised around £400  for Cancer Research - Brilliant.

Many Thanks for comments on the last post and welcome to The 3 Year Challenge- a new blog. This lady is in France but luckily her blog is in English. 

Back in a day or 3

Friday, 1 July 2016

Into July with a courgette recipe and other notes from the diary

We used to grow 8 - 12  courgette plants to have enough to sell, and for us to eat plus some to leave for marrows. We never had a problem with too many courgettes -  they just went in a bag and out on the stall and chickens love them anyway. This year, with just 2 plants growing well and nowhere to sell them, I'm starting to understand the meaning of a courgette glut.
Here's a recipe I found to use a few, torn from a Tesco magazine a while ago. A sort-of quiche but more interesting. Puff pastry rolled to an oblong and scored around the edges, a mix of ricotta, Grana Padano(I had no idea what that was so just used cheddar, now I know it's a type of Parmesan), a beaten egg and basil (Col doesn't like basil  so I used plenty of black pepper instead), spread over the centre of the pastry, courgettes thinly sliced and laid on top, 180 degrees C fan oven for 25 minutes, then pine nuts sprinkled on and another 5 minutes

I used half the recipe, because I didn't think it would be good cold, and it was very tasty.

Our eldest emailed this, 4 week old Jacob looking shocked or surprised at something!

While searching for something on t'internet I found this, how true!
Sally, a reader of this blog has very kindly sent me some Angela Thirkell books so I have even more reasons to be happy.
Thank you Sally, much appreciated

Not a lot else happening, much tennis watching, stitching- a pretty chart to fit in a bookmark (needs ironing first).

I'm thinking about doing a classic sampler from the book  picked up for£1 at the Needham Market bootsale on Wednesday, but can't work on linen or anything smaller than 14hpi so not sure if it would look OK
and I don't have anything to stretch it on to stitch (well, only a giant tapestry frame which would be much too big) at the moment.

I batch baked 6 pastry cases and used one for a lemon meringue pie with a bargain reduced pack picked up from the Co-op ( Greens twin pack 40p!)

And now we are in July and I shall post this quickly because for some techy reason that I don't understand, the pictures and words keeping jumping about and disappearing whenever the cursor passes over them

Which makes it almost impossible to change spelling or put in punctuation, and is very annoying. If it does it next time I try and write a post I shall scream!

Back Soon


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