Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Evening all

Its been a bit busy here again this week; do not seem to have five minutes to myself so I am grabbing these few moments just to pop in and let you know I am just about in the land of the living.

Its very rough with the wind outside at the moment blowing a right hooley yet it seems mild - no heating on in the house at the moment will probably go on a little later, but not for the moment.

I popped into B & M at dinner and ended up bringing home a few bits and bobs.  I think I will be popping back for a couple more bits and bobs over the next few days or so.  Its good for foodie bits as well so some more supplies for the pantry have also found their way home.  The Ferrero Rocher chocolates are the cheapest I have seen them so far this year at £6 a tray (the larger tray) at the moment.  I have also bought some little artificial candles in a pack of 12.  I might get some more as I might be able to make some embroidered candle holders to go around the outside and with these little artificial lights there is no risk of something burning. 

I may well get some more and then start a stockpile of Christmas presents from the beginning of the year.  In all honesty I have not had the time to do any Christmas presents this year although my intention was to do the same.  Next year is going to be very different.  I am really going to play with both my sewing machines over the Christmas break whether OH likes it or not.  I might even be able to get to some of my UFOs as well as well as use up some of my fabric stash which seems to be ever growing at the moment.  I have had some more jelly rolls arrive today.

My step-son and his wife are in the process of buying their first home together.  So I may well in due course make them a patchwork quilt.  Will see how it goes.

At B & M they had some nice lanterns at a reasonable price which I might also get a couple of as I like proper candles in any event, but sometimes you cannot for safety reasons use the real thing.  That is when you can get away with some of those candles that look like the real thing but are not.  B & M had quite  a few of these as well. 

Tonight we have had fish for tea.  OH has had haddock which I floured and then gently fried and I have had smoked undyed haddock which was a delicate smoke but very tasty served with butter and a couple of poached eggs and brown bread and butter and it has gone down very well.  I just fancied some fresh fish today as I did not want a heavy meal.  OH was supposed to do tea tonight but I spotted the fish so its his turn tomorrow.  I have cooked a couple of times already this week.

Right I had better get a wriggle on, lots of things to do as usual so little time to do it.

Catch you soon.



Saturday, 18 November 2017

A busy day

But boy has it been cold.  I have been busy in the kitchen sorting out a lot of my preserving stuff.  A lot of it does not live in the house as a rule but lives in the shed.  I am talking preserving jars, and large pans, the stuff that clutters you up but not the expensive equipment.  It has all been sorted ready to be transplanted back into its original home and then I can start to get a little tidier in the house.  Everything has a home and everything a place.  This has entailed an awful lot of washing and drying by hand.  But it needed doing.

We then walked Missy - Not a lovely sunset like last night not a flicker of one all overcast cloudy grey and orrible. I was glad I had my lovely thick jacket on and my gloves.  We gave her a good run in any event she is like a rocket when she is let off.  She frightened herself tonight as without realising it she put a rabbit up - it startled her  but she ended up going in the wrong direction and chasing around after nothing. The rabbit had long gone.

I was glad to get into the warmth of the house I had turned the heating on before we went out so it was all nice and snug when we walked in.  

Then a load more washing.  This time it was bath time for Missy as her skin condition had flared up again and as she is not well behaved if OH is around come bath time and will not do as she is told.  If left with me on her own she is as good as gold. So that is another job out of the way with although she paid me back by making sure I was as drenched as she was.

We have toad in the hole for tea tonight with mash, spring cabbage and carrots and plenty of gravy followed by Streudel and custard.  Felt in a comfort food mode - probably because it is so cold out.  A hearty meal is just as good for the soul as well as the body and I am starving as I did not have much for my tea last night and I am hungry.

Right better get things ready.

Catch you soon.



Some Finds For Christmas

I nipped into the Charity Shop yesterday and picked these two meat platters up for £2.  They are in  excellent condition and I am very pleased with them.  They will be put to good use over Christmas and will blend in well with the Ivy crockery I already have.

Then there were the silk flower decorations.  They match well with some items I had already bought. These are for the front room/lounge -  some have missing flowers but I should be able to save those to make a good set.

I also managed to source another four gold glasses with twisted stems.  I bought a few of these last year but I collect gold coloured glasses in particular especially for the Christmas table. It is an ongoing collection.  I did find some nice new ones in Dunhelm but I am not paying £28 for four glasses.

I also found two amber/gold matching serving dishes with a pretty fluted edge for £2 the pair during the week as well so it will all blend in well with the existing decorations and glass and pottery pieces I have.  These collections are pretty much ongoing year to year.  I specifically target gold coloured glassware or good quality cut glass items as although not a perfect set they match in well with each other and make the table look interesting antiquey and charming and it does not cost very much and goes to help a worthwhile charity; so is a win win situation all the way round.

When I was in Lincoln the other day; I treated my cousin to some bits and bobs for her sewing and I thought I had got away with it.  That is until it came time to come home and she presented me with six little Christmas panels and suggested that I make my first Christmas table runner.  Here are the panels - I just need to find a red cotton or red and white spotty cotton to mount them in and then to hand quilt.  Colourway is exactly right for my Christmas table this year. Silver, white and red.  I have silver Mercury Glass items (various) and lead crystal glass items for the centre of the table and my two Stag Tealight Candleabra.  So lots of lovely items with which to decorate the house with and not much money spent.

Whether or not I get it finished for the Christmas or not I am not sure but if not it will be ready for next year.  Sometimes with the greatest will in the world there is just not enough time to do everything; but at least the greater percentage is achieved.

It was very cold here overnight and is still icy this morning.  I will be heading to the garden soon to get some fresh air although I will be wrapped up to the dozen to try and tidy the back door garden tidied up and the pressure cleaner out to clear up the moss.  I need it to look really tidy.  The shed can be done a bit at a time.  I chose Seagrass for the colour of it and hope to get the planters done as well.

Right I had better get a wriggle on. 

Catch you later on.



P.S.  I also forgot to mention that my cousin had made me a pinny for Christmas.  Here is the pinny excuse the model she is in training!

Friday, 17 November 2017

The Sunset tonight

Was absolutely stunning but I fear my pictures taken on my  mobile do not do it justice.

Catch you soon.


Thursday, 16 November 2017

Playing Hookey and a bit of a mish mash

I have been out again today and not doing what I should be doing.  Big sigh!  This time to The Range and I have come back with some goodies. I like The Range.  As usual I have a couple of things on the go and I am busy collating bits and bobs towards those things. I have even this year sent for a Christmas bedding seen in golds and creams.

I am very much a collector.  The bedroom will get sorted and probably decorated after Christmas but as I have a couple of large mirrors in the bedroom I have been looking for something to accentuate said mirrors.  I have come away with two turquoise butterflies which will do what I want them to do.  I have a few more decorations as well ranging between country folksy and Victorian decorations and some very large jingle bells to hang off some of my garlands.  I have also bought some crafting items.  I have plenty of  Christmas style stamps already and I thought that some of my brown wrapping paper could be stamped in red, green or in clear and then have some sprinkles popped on to create the base for some of my Christmas paper.  I thought simple and then wrapped with ribbon with maybe a little bit of greenery threaded through somewhere along the line.

I have also been to Homebase and picked up two large white box lanterns for £7 each they were reduced to clear and I think will look good with some of those battery artificial candles in outside the back door.  I am not sure about the white colour but we shall see.  If I do not like it then I can always paint it black.  I have bought Cuprinol for the shed and some paint brushes and also a small pressure washer to clean the pavements with as we have a little moss growing where it should not and also a palm sander for me to attack the skirting boards with. I have the front garden as well as the back garden to sort but it needs tidying up.   I have also seen some plants that I would quite like to turn the piece of the garden outside the back door into a tidy winter garden. I have two box baubles from last year and one of the standard bay trees (one of them has died), four wooden planters which are currently dark but which I intend to turn into the same colour as the shed.  I have seen two standard holly trees and also a couple of miniature fir trees which I think will be ideal for out of the back door I have then to sort the shed out. I also have two ivy hanging baskets and I have enough ivy to do two more hanging baskets.  I thought that I might also do some of the black cauldron plant holders I have done out with some pansies. That will probably be early Saturday morning I start on that but this will also depend on the weather as well.  The fence also needs a coat of stain well at least in the bit before the shed.  So I do have a lot to do.

I have also gradually over the past few weeks been acquiring different pieces for the Christmas table.  This year I am going for a silver colourway for the table.  I normally do gold and that is it.  However last year I managed to find two Mercury silver glass candle pillars and two candle lamps.  This year I have managed to find two storm lanterns decorated in white with scenes of deer on them, the two Stag Candleabra from M & S and two small domes that have deer on them for a tea light candle lamp.  I have also found from the Range two small deer sitting with room for a tea light in each.  I am planning on having a pure white cloth and knapkins with a little greenery on the table but also with faux ivy leaves with a touch of silver scattered over the cloth down the centre.  There are a couple of more pieces that I am after but they are not in stock at the moment and that will be the centrepiece for the dining room table sorted out. I have a long 8 seater table made of pine in the dining room. Slowly that part of the Christmas planning i.e. the table centrepiece is coming together.  I have also found at The Range two strings of lights with reindeer on them so I shall probably drape these with an Ivy garland on each of the dressers.  We shall see how things will go but I want it to look as pretty as possible.  I also have to see if I can get some plain green fabric to make covers for the dining room and front room candelabra chains to try and tidy them up a little.  I have wrought iron in the dining room and brass in the front room.  I am also hoping to go back to The Range another day as there were a couple of other items that I could not manage today.

I have also added to my collection of cutting dies for the Accuquilt Go cutter and some of those arrived this morning.   Although there are some more due.  My cousin is a terrible influence on me!

Anyway I am off to do a bit more.

Hope everyone is well and slowly getting there with their Christmas planning.  I am off to get busy again.

Catch you soon.


Wednesday, 15 November 2017

What a wonderful day

Well I managed to get up on town and walk to the Station and I even  managed to get on the right train.  According to the time plan when I first booked my ticket online train should have arrived at about 10:30 am.  Then when I checked up which platform I had to leave from it said arrival 10:00am.  In reality we arrived at around 9:50am and I was waiting for my cousin to arrive outside of the station.

I have had a fantastic day with my baby coz.  We started off in the coffee shop with a bacon buttie and coffee each, then had some cheesecake and then another coffee and then caught a taxi back to hers.  In reality when we were younger we used to leg it around the City but a few years have passed since then and muggins is not as able as she used to be and my cousin sustained hairline fractures to both feet last year and since then has had difficulty walking with her right foot. 

We had a quick shifty around the indoor market which has changed so much not as packed as it used to be but a brilliant fabric store in there.  The main market apparently has been scrapped by the owners of the land the Co-Op, Which is very unfortunate as it used to be a really good market.  Needless to say I bought some fabrics and also some fabric for my cousin - both packs batiks just different colourways. My coz tends to go for autumn colours and I tend to go for the greens, pinks and blues.  She is not a pink person.

Then we caught a taxi back to her home.  I was introduced to her two new moglets Charles Chaplin..... and Orson Welles.... both beautiful black and whites and so affectionate and cuddly they were very fussy with  me the pair of them,

My cousin has put  me through my paces with the Accuquilt; she has no end of cutting dies, including some of the ones I have got but the for the best part we have managed to accumulate different ones and we both have the basics.  I have come away with a list of the ones that I still need but they will have to be built up a little at a time. The Accuquilt certainly makes things a lot easier and will be cheaper in the long run once I have one or two more dies as I will then be able to make my own jelly rolls etc.  We have cut out a few squares and strips for me to play with and some miniature squares to form in effect a scrap quilt.  Her Go machine is the big one which is electric.  Very impressed.  My one is the in-betweenie which is hand-cranked but as long as I do not have to use a rotary cutter very often that will suit me just fine.  I am not very good with it.

She has also shown me what she can do with her embroidery machine (hers is a Brother mine a Janome) - I will need to seriously play but she has given me an awful lot of pointers and instructions even though her machine is very different to mine.  She has produced some lovely lace items.  I am going to have to really play and intend to set some time aside to do this a bit at a time but it has certainly given me more of an idea as to what it can and cannot do.  I owned up when I got there about the machines and the Accuquilt.  The comment well we have gone and done it again.  I said to her that we were more like sisters than cousins as we really are that close.  We do not have to explain anything to each other we just know.  She just laughed when I said to her that really I had come for a tutorial and that I had the same equipment.  So for over 5 hours we have had a really satisfying time and I have enjoyed the playtime.    Trouble is time passes far too quickly.

We went off out for a meal and then they bought me home from Lincoln.  Did not want me travelling alone in the dark.  It was thick fog coming home, so I have asked for them to let me know when they get home safely as otherwise I would worry about them.  Its good being with family and has been a smashing day.  Its ages since I have had a play day so I am really looking forward to experimenting.    I have strips to play with and squares and blocks. Some new fabric, some recycled shirt fabric, so now I am going to have to sew them together.  I really am going to enjoy this.

Right better go and settle myself have a lot to do tomorrow.

Catch you soon.



Monday, 13 November 2017

Busmans Holiday

By the time that you read this post I should hopefully be in full swing in respect of operation Christmas.  I have the radio on and am working away downstairs trying to create order of our chaos.

It is going to be a bit of a busmans holiday i.e. that I am going to be working most of my holiday apart from one day.  But there we are.  It does not look as if I am going to get time to do any crafting apart from my day with my cousin, but hey ho nonny no the work I have to do needs doing. So perhaps it is a good thing that I have booked an away day.  At least if nothing else to get my jelly roll quilt started.  So it is just a brief nip in.

I have determined that I need to get up with OH and do normal hours otherwise I will still be asleep instead of being able to get on. I have to be disciplined about this and despite me wanting to crash it just cannot happen.  I am not firing on all cylinders this morning in any event as I had another bad sicky attack last night probably because I ate more than I normally do although had not stuffed myself silly.  I do not eat as much as I used to I just cannot do.  The joys of getting older.

It was a very cold night last night although we did not have a frost when OH walked Missy this morning it was 2 degrees still brghh.  I opened the door and promptly shut it.  However I will need to venture into the garden at some point so I am hoping it warms up a little when I will be able to take advantage of the same. I also need to sort the shed so that some of the stuff that belongs in the shed can go home and out of the house.  I just have not got there yet.  So Fingers crossed and toes plaited.  It looks as though it is going to be a long day.

Right here we come.

Catch you later.



Items acquired for the Christmas Food Stash Updated 12.11.2017 version 2

A further update on some of the bits I have managed to pull together in readiness for Christmas/New year.  Still some bits to get.

Items acquired so far for the Christmas food stash


Pantry Items

8 bags of sultanas

8 bags of raisins

8 bags of currants

6 pots of cherries

6 pots of mixed peel

2 jars redcurrant jelly (Waitrose own)

2 Jars cranberry jelly (Waitrose own)

2 jars mint jelly

Two bags of whole almonds (needed for Dundee Cake and Christmas cake)

Four bags of ground almonds (these I use a lot of so may add some more bags yet)

4 tins of Strawberries

6 tins of Pineapple rings

I should add that the majority of the above items should take me through to the New Year as the bulk of them are for baking and I do not bake fruit items every week.  I would rather make my own cakes than purchase them.


1 bottle of Delaneys Irish cream liqueur

1 bottle of port special reserve

1 bottle of green ginger wine.

4 Bottles of Cherry Glogg from M & S (two bottles for £10 rather than £7.50 a bottle)

1 bottle Jamesons Whisky

1 Bottle of Jack Daniels

1 litre of Baileys

1 bottle of Dandelion and Burdock

1 bottle of Ginger beer

2 bottles of perry cider

2 bottles of Tribute

2 bottles Elderflower Presse


Boughten items

2 tubs of Quality Street
1 Pack of Chocolate biscuits
2 packs of After Eight Mints
2 packs of Mint Matchsticks
4 nets of Christmas chocolate figures for the Christmas tree

2 different sorts of Christmas balls for the tree

1 pack of chocolate bells

2 pkts Hovis Digestive Biscuits

3 pkts Thorntons Chocolate Brazils (on offer at Waitrose £3 a box)

18pkts Chestnut Puree

2 bags Krisp rolls

1 box large Cars water biscuits

2 boxes Carrs cheese melts

2 pkts Sesame seed Grissini

2 Pkts Jacobs Cream crackers

2 smokey bacon pringles

2 Texas barbecue pringles

2 tubs honey roasted cashews

Creamed Horseradish

Gooseberry fruit cheese

Quince fruit cheese

Damson fruit chesse

Lime curd

Blackcurrant curd

Passionfruit curd

Poachers Pickle

Cheesemakers pickle

1 jar Opies cocktail cherries

Cranberry Port and Orange sauce

2 Pkts Orange and Lemon jelly slices

2 large packets of dates

1lb of Walnuts

1 net of Chestnuts

Items made so far for the Christmas food stash (in no particular order)

Seville Orange Marmalade

Strawberry Jam

Apricot jam

Pickled Onions


Apple Chutney

Apricot Chutney

Plum Chutney

Plum Jam

Plum and Apple Jam

Peach jam

Plum Jelly

Greengage jam

Greengage jelly

Flavoured vodkas: Lemoncello, Mixed fruit, Candy Cane, Peach, Strawberry, Rhubarb, Rhubarb and Strawberry. Spiced Vanilla vodka (for white chocolate cocktail); chilli vodka for home made Bloody Mary; 

Elderberry jelly

Bramble jelly

Rosehip Syrup

Dried Rosehips

Apple Sauce

Bottled Strawberries

Five Spice Peaches

Bottled Peaches

Bottled White Fruit Salad

Bottled Red Fruit Salad

Clementine and Passionfruit Jelly

Mulled Pears


Cherry Brandy

Bottled Cherries

Mixed fruit - Jumbleberry jam

Nuts in Honey

Mixed Fruits in Honey

Herb Butters:

Tarragon vinegar

Raspberry vinegar

Apricot vinegar

Lemon thyme vinegar

Mixed herb vinegar

Passionfruit vinegar

Vin D’orange

Blushing Strawberry Wine

Peach Wine

Plum Wine

Orange Wine

Elderflower wine

Black Cherry Wine

Strawberry Wine

Geordie Newkie Brown

Spiced Oranges

Spiced Clementines

Vanilla Caster sugar

Vanilla Granulated sugar

Cinnamon Granulated sugar


Pickled Jalapenos

Chilli jam

Dried Chillies

Dried Sage

Dried Thyme

Dried Lemon Thyme

Dried Rosemary

Home made Mincemeat

Sloe Gin

I make the different preserves by choice and they are allowed for in my budget through the year. They have to last a year in any event. When I make a load of preserves like the last couple of months I cut back on items on the general shop.   I tend to bulk buy meat and then freeze it myself in any event usually restock in the quieter months.  We don't eat masses of meat and that we do have is eked out where I can get at least two to three meals from it, but generally we eat relatively well in the greater scheme of things.  By saving here and there means I can squeeze in some extravagances. Hence me buying ingredients and then making stuff myself a lot of the time.  Nothing is wasted though.

Will be updated as soon as more is acquired/prepared.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Sunday evening round up

Boy is it cold.  I have been so cold today that my hands and joints have stiffened up.  That's usually a sign that either it is going to get even colder or that it is going to bucket it down with rain.  At the moment because of how cold it is outside I can quite easily believe that we could get a little bit of snow especially if it warms up a tad.  But then again we are low lying round here and only tend to get snow when it is seriously bad elsewhere.  I went round to get some extra money put on the gas and electric and it was a lot colder than it had been earlier on.  I am now cocooned in the house where it is nice and warm and I do not intend to venture far either.  May be to the dustbin but that will be about it.

We had the Cornish pasties from the Butchers for tea tonight with a milkshake each..  We were not really hungry so that is why we have not had a roast dinner today. We do not do bad on the food front so when we both are not famished (not that we really know what famished is) but it makes sense to just do a bit of something; a scratch meal.  I am hoping to get to grips with some decent cooking during the week including some home made soups. With me being at home soup is an ideal meal for me not too much of it but it is filling especially with a bit of nice bread.

It will be a working holiday for me this week apart from the day out at my cousins.  I have a couple of more weeks due to have off yet before Christmas.  The second of which will be the week before Christmas so whatever I can get done this week will make it easier for me in the long run and as usual I have an awful lot to do.  Christmas decorations will go up at beginning of December so that I can forget about them and then concentrate on everything else and hopefully get everything wrong.

I also forgot I think to mention that we had also ordered the Turkey when we were at the butchers.  That is something else out of the way and ticked off the check list.

Keep safe and warm wherever you may be.

Right duty calls.

Catch you later.




.... and out of the blue we have been to Johnson's the Butchers at Old Hurst again.  OH had spoken about it to a colleague at work who had seemed very interested.  He lives much closer than we do to the Butchers so last minute a trip was arranged and we had breakfast which was very welcome on this cold morning.

There was another reason behind this meet up in that OH's Department have a Christmas party looming where partners are also welcome.  Colleagues partner was nervous as she did not know anyone so that was the second reason for meeting up so that she had a friendly face in the crowd at the party.  It is always daunting going somewhere new and not knowing anybody.  I have been there.  However the group he works with are a good bunch and we always end up having a good laugh and a giggle.  I think both parties enjoyed today's jaunt.  It also goes to prove what a small world this is as the male of the couple involved is also the brother of another friend of ours.  We had a good time and they were very impressed with the quality of the 

Its been a lovely bright beautiful morning however petrifyingly cold - that wind has a really bitter edge.  Out came the hat, scarf and mitts today as well. Fortunately I am blessed in having a really warm coat that stops the wind penetrating and also my Ugg boots which are absolutely worth every penny - they are so warm and comfortable.  Would not be without them now.  I am very lucky in this respect.

We have bought some hot Cornish pasties fresh out of the oven home (having these for tea tonight), a Steak and Venison Pie, some bacon, some chippolatas and a little cheese.  Did not need much on this front this time though.  However in their preserves section there were quite a few new items which I had never had or tried before so some jars have found their way into the basket for test driving so if I like them I shall be searching for recipes and then producing them myself next year.  Interestingly enough they also had some flavoured vinegars which had been turned into dressings in tiny little bottles at about £3 a bottle.  Most of those fruit vinegars I have produced myself in any event i.e. Raspberry, Strawberry, Blackberry and passionfruit.  There are also my herb flavoured vinegars and the pre-existing bought vinegars that I already have ideal for mixing my own dressings and also for using on top of a winter salad or my favourite Toasted Goats cheese ciabatta salad.  Yum.

Right now I need to schedule what I have bought today for updating the Christmas Stash list, it needs doing again as it is at least a couple of weeks since I did this last.

Now I really need to get a wriggle on lots to do.

Catch you later.



Saturday, 11 November 2017

What a delightful day

I have had a lovely day today; a bit of a lay in which was a luxury then the postman came with some of the fabric I had ordered in readiness for my play day later in the week.

I walked into town, cut through Waitrose (I had not intended doing any shopping on the way out) but they an offer on whole Chestnuts at £1.50 per bag (pre-prepared) and £1 for the Chestnut puree.  So I snaffled a few more bags.

I then went to the train station to pick up my ticket for my visit later in the week to Lincoln; that was an experience and one I would repeat again.  I ordered through a company called Trainline an online service and basically you have to produce the card that you have made payment with (nothing is taken or charged at the pick up point it is just to prove identity) it prints out the ticket and a copy for yourself,  I specifically chose a straight through train though as it complicates things a bit if you have to get off and change trains somewhere down the line and me being me that is where things would go wrong.  So I am erring on the side of caution.  The other thing is I am not really used to travelling anywhere by train.  I have done this particular journey with my mum when she was with us so feel able to cope with this on my own.  Plus it is only one way as my cousin's husband has volunteered to bring me home.  I am hoping to go and see her like this on a regular basis if everything goes okay and if it does may venture further afield later on.

I then met up with my friend.  My brother had treated me to a an afternoon tea at a local patisserie and today was the day I chose to use the ticket along with a very good friend.  The food was delicious and consisted of various different sandwiches, little quiches, sultana scones, plain scones with cream and jam, and lots of little cakes.  I have bought some of them home as there were too many for us to eat.  The company was superb; I for one had a lovely time and a really good catch up.  She was the ideal person to share tea with.  We then had a little wonder around town, still talking nineteen to the dozen.

After going our separate ways I then went to HMV and ended up buying a couple of more DVDs for the Christmas stash, Churchill and King Arthur.  I have a little stack of DVDs I have been buying a couple here and there for watching over the holiday period or later on or before depending on when the fancy takes us.

I then nipped into M & S to see if I could find some of those pies that I found the other week. I had looked earlier on in the week and they were not there but I have been successful today together with some veggies. I also bought some more of the cherry flavoured drink I bought earlier on, together with a couple of bottles of Elderflower Presse.  I shall buy some more of this another week.   I also noticed the M & S had some different drinks in so I will investigate those further on in the week. I also bought a couple of tubs of the Honey Roast Cashews to Squirrell away for Christmas.

I then walked back to Waitrose.  There were a few other things I needed for the stash and I had seen one or two things when I popped into the store earlier but could not manage to carry so went back for them.  I came home with a trolley full of bits and bobs a lot it in fairness for the stash. I managed to get some Chocolate Brazil nuts which were on offer at £3 a box; Crisps, cheese biscuits including the Digestive cheese biscuits which are shaped like a loaf.  OH prefers these with cheese as do I.  I also have a plan to make some crackers as well but I have stocked up on the usual suspects.  The mixed boxes are not big enough for us as we eat a lot of cheese so I buy the varieties we like and so we are usually stocked up for a little while. 

Waitrose also have offers on spirits as well at the moment.  I bought a large bottle of Baileys, a bottle of Jack Daniels Bourbon and a bottle of Jamesons Whiskey. I am not really a Whiskey drinker.  A lot of my family members have been.  I do not normally  I shall nip in later in the week and see what else they have and see what else I need for the drinks cabinet.  I quite like the Jack Daniels Honey but I did not see that today.  I must add that its been a while since the drinks cabinet was topped up and we usually shop around for the cheapest prices. I shall definitely start topping up month by month through the year again next year and with stockpiling the gin and vodka.  Remember I have a whole host of flavoured vodkas to add as well.  It has helped space the money out more effectively little and often.  I am afraid it is my nature to be forever plotting and planning.

There is a cost but effectively it is swings and roundabouts there were will be about three or four months early next year when I will be using up what I have rather than buying in new stuff apart from the fresh stuff and I will probably end up freezing some of that as well so that we always have options on hand .  As a result of not buying hardly anything it is also an opportunity to bank that budget money for use later on so it all equals out in the end.  Initially it will probably go to filling the freezers with meat.

Now I am ready to put the old weary feet up.  It has been a very good day.

Catch you later.



Friday, 10 November 2017

A list of items

This post covers a couple of events over a couple of days.

Being told "bring what you want anything to embroider, bring any fabric you want to do something with.  Have you got jelly rolls you really should get some and get a tablecloth and some knapkins and we will find a pretty design to pop onto them" is like lifting the flag to start a motor race at full pelt with me doing 100mph!  Being given the green light to play is very liberating  - but I am not just used to it.  Mind you I am not complaining.

So after my telephone call with said cousin (nearly two hours later) we don't stop gassing when we start either.  I ended up doing a recce for some Jelly Rolls.  I had heard of Jelly Rolls and I have bought a couple in the past but there they have stayed due to lack of time and to tell the truth I was not completely sure how to use them but the mist is getting clearer in that respect.  So Last night I ordered some more jelly rolls in a Christmas design, some cream and some red.  Also in purple and yellow and lilac.  I thought that I would take the Christmas design with me. 

Also some of my shirt material in reds, blues,whites and greys.  Some plain fabric I have for embroidered designs and I thought a couple of white pillowslips and a hand towel should be enough to practice on.  It is going to be so handy to be able to make lovely things myself instead of having to buy them.

The pillowslip thing has come about as I nipped into town this evening - I had some things that I needed to get hold of for the Christmas preparations.  I have bought two x 6 pie tins to make my own pork pies in (individual ones), a brand new chinois for making sauces off the ground floor of the store.  Whilst in the shop I also nipped upstairs to the bedding department as I am still looking for pure cotton Egyptian bedding but I do not want to pay an arm and a leg for it. That is when I spotted the prettiest of bedding, wildflowers trimming a duvet cover and a pillow slip with a flappy edge which had the embroidery on and I thought how pretty.  How simple.  How effective.  I would love to do something like that/  I am starting to buzz with all sorts of ideas.  I particularly like wild flowers and traditional designs although there are the odd one or two newer designs that I am quite taken with and particularly butterflies and wildflowers.  I am a country girl at heart.

Also on the top floor of John Lewis they have the china ware, glasses, and table drapery, mats etc.  They have some lovely stuff there but they are pricey.  Good quality but pricey.  However I have also picked up some ideas from here too. I can foresee its going to get a tad pricey on the fabric front but not as pricey as buying it brand new from John Lewis.

Today I paid a visit to TK Maxx.  I had gone in specifically to look for a plain tablecloth and some knapkins.  I could not find a tablecloth in store today but I will look another day.  I did manage to get four napkins though. Four plain white ones.  I shall look out for more before going to my cousins.  The thing with TK Maxx is if you see it you have to grab it there and then.. So I shall take those with me to my cousins as well.

Now to look for some cotton pillowslips to do the same with and a couple of little hand towels.  I think that should stand me in good stead for my playday with my cousin. 

Catch you soon.



Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Getting ready for a playday

In a few days I am going to be allowed to go out to play with my cousin.  I have spent about an hour and a half on the phone to her tonight and its as though we have never been apart.  Here is the curious bit.  She has an embroidery machine a Brother.  I knew she had an embroidery machine as she had told me and I have seen some of her pieces of work which are beautiful on the Internet. 

As regular readers will know however last year I bought the Accuquilt Go and an awful lot of templates. In fact I have seen another couple that I would like to add to the collection. My Accuquilt is the hand cranked one.  Speaking with her this evening.  She has the Accuquilt Go but the electric one and has an awful lot of templates.  What was it I was saying earlier that both of us have a habit of buying the same things, different places, different times and the amount of times this has happened is amazing really.  Although I know that she has bought her Accuquilt from Create and Craft as did I.  It would seem around the same time.  Seems we have done it again.  However this time round I have not let on that I have either an embroidery machine or the Accuquilt.  She did mention that she was after the double wedding ring template for the Accuquilt.  Guess what  - I already have it.   Oh and by the way - she is back into the patchworking again.   Yet again I have not let on about any of this.  I am telling you all first.  So I am in for a play day with her.  She has asked me to take some pieces with me like Jelly rolls  - so I have ordered some; a Christmas design and a cream one and also some lilac, purple and mixed print lilac and purple strips. She is also going to teach me a more modern way of dealing with triangles and also cutting my own jelly rolls with the aid of the Accuquilt.  Sometimes it does more good for me to see how other people actually do things  as it gives you more of an insight on how to do things and the possibilities and we all know how I like to see the possibilities.

My coz has also suggested me taking  a table cloth and a set of knapkins so that I can find a Christmas design of her laptop and so that  I have a fresh table set for this Christmas. So I am to receive a tutorial on both the patchwork and the embroidery which I am very much looking forward to.  We seem to bounce off each other when we start.  We sometimes fight like cat and dog but then we really are that close - she is more like the sister I never had rather than a cousin.  My brother is the only lad she does not get on with as both of them are stubborn and determined to be boss of the other in the nicest possible sense.    Guess who used to be put in the middle of them when they were fighting!  Much as I love them both.  They got away with blue murder and because I was the eldest I always had to be the sensible one!

Right better get a wriggle on.

Catch you soon.



Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Quick trip to Waitrose

Another quick visit to Waitrose during my lunch hour.  I had predominantly gone for some white wine vinegar.  God forbid I had run out which is a rarity.  I keep a stash of vinegar in the jam cupboard under the stairs.  I normally  buy it from the Cash and Carry in bulk its cheaper that way.  I get both white spirit vinegar and malt vinegar.  However for wine vinegar I tend to go to Waitrose and get their own brand it works out cheaper than some of the others and the results have been very good thus far.  So four more bottles of white wine vinegar procured.  I could not carry much so only bought the four bottles.  I will need to go and get more later in the week as well as some other bits and bobs that I spotted whilst I was in there but yet again could not carry. For me I did not really buy that much this time round and I spent quite a bit of the time browsing and looking at new items and considering whether or  not they would get added to the Christmas stock pile or not.  Predominantly not but so far I have found that Waitrose is the cheapest for a large box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates at £6.59 per large box.  Round at the Co-Op an elsewhere they are charging £8 a box upwards.

I also bought a rack of ribs each with some sweet potato chips for tea tomorrow night.  So I shall let them stock up and get going a bit more before I look at them again.  They are very much winding down on the garden front at this time of year but they do have some Rosemary bushes which I might get one or two of as I love fresh Rosemary and I think they will make a useful addition to my back garden.  I am looking for some plain metal containers that are not painted and are just metal that could be used as plant holders.  I have some Ivy plants and I am looking to get some Lenten Roses which if I can find what I am after would be ideal for the small back garden.

I came out of Waitrose feeling all Christmassey.  They are starting to get the Christmas decorations and garlands in. I bought some bits from there last year and am looking to add to what I bought last year.   I saw a rather nice heart shaped wreath made of fir cones that was not too expensive and also a couple of lanterns which would fit in with what I already have. Everything always has to fit in with those items I already have. They even have their fat (rotund) stuffed Robins that they had last year.  They do have some nice cake stands and serving stuff as well as glasses will see if I can get them reduced later on but I do have a weakness for nice tableware.  One of the things I collect is either second hand or brand new gold coloured glasses of different sizes, different shapes and for different purposes i.e. liqueur glasses or champagne flutes.

Yesterday when I was in there I picked up the latest Land Love and Landscape magazines.  There is a special Christmassey stand alone version that covers quite a lot of the crafts they have included over the last six years or so, but today they did not have this in.  In one of them though they did have a cheerful Robin garland that they had a couple of youngsters making.  It was very cheery and one that I may well have a go at.  I like individual stand alone items like that.

I also have my train ticket booked to go and see my cousin shortly.  Am very much looking forward to that a proper girlie day.

Right had better get a wriggle on things to do and no time to do them.  

Catch you soon.



Monday, 6 November 2017

Dear Santa Claus......

10 Johnson's Road
United Kingdom
The World

Dear Santa Claus

I know you select the children who are to receive presents from your "Naughty and Nice" book.  I am now six and a half years old and old enough to write my first letter to you.

I haven't been terribly good this year getting into all sorts of bother and probably more than I should have.  I must try better. Like when I ran into the room and bumped into mum when she was carrying a tray of eggs and they splattered all over the terracotta tiled floor and made it all slippy and sticky and yukky. It took her ages to scrub it up. She certainly was not very happy with me then.  I don't think I was very popular as I think she had planned on us having poached egg on toast for tea.  Or the occasion when she was making a cake in that big brown mixing bowl of hers and I knelt up on the stool and lost my balance and ended up knocking the bowl and the cake contents onto the floor and breaking the mixing bowl.  I certainly was not popular then.

My mum keeps calling me "mischief" and that "I am full of it".  I am ever so worried that as a result of mum being cross with me you will not visit me. That's what she keeps telling me anyway that if I am not a good little girl  you will not visit. 

Even when you turned your toys over during the summer and there was the loud clashing and banging I tried to be good but I don't think I am very good at it.  (Mum told me you were turning your toys over).  I don't like loud banging and clashing.  It frightens me especially when that bright light opens up in the sky. You being cross with me frightens me even more and it worries me.  I will try and be ever so ever so good between now and Christmas promise.  "Cross my heart and hope to die".  

Mum has had the Chimney Sweep in. She always does in the autumn before we need the fire on an all day basis.  We end up having to cover everything up  with white sheets to cover all the good things up as sometimes he makes so much mess.  I think she uses the white sheets to tell where the soot needs cleaning from.  Sometimes it is worse than others. 

The Chimney Sweep is known as Mr Snow and his  business is called "Snow White".  I do think that is a bit of a funny name for a Chimney Sweep.  However, I do go and stand outside waiting for his big black brush shoot up out of the chimney. Me and Ricky next door compete as to who sees it first.  That's supposed to be ever so lucky. I think Ricky still has his letter to do to you.  He is my "boy friend".

Anyway mum says it needs to be done and that I have to be a big girl and help her do things and once I have helped her I can then go and play in the street with him next door. Once the Sweep has been mum gives the room a good bottoming out and has me sat on the settee making strips of newspaper into firelighters and rolling them into balls.  She can keep an eye on me this way round and keep me occupied so that I am not getting into mischief and getting covered in smuts or doing anything else that I should not be.  

Mum has also told me that she has the chimney cleaned so you will not get soot on your lovely red fur edged suit and end up having to take it to the cleaners.

So if you can see your way to classing me as a good little girl this year, and come and pay me a visit I would be ever so ever grateful.

We have a big roof  for you to park the Reindeer on and on which you should be able to balance reasonably well on with the sleigh full of toys for other boys and girls who have been better behaved than me. I promise to leave you a mince pie and a sausage roll [if you decide to come and visit me]; Mum is a really good cook) and I will also leave some carrots for the Reindeer and a glass of Port for you after I have hung my stocking up on the mantel of the fire hearth. We have little hooks on which to hang them off.  My stocking is every so pretty and has snowflakes on and Mum and Dad have one too.  I wonder if they have been good?

I always get new jim jams on Christmas Eve (last year's ones were pink and white spots). When I have had a bath and I am nice and clean in my new togs wrapped up in my dressing gown in front of the fire with a mug of milk, Dad always reads to me.  It's the story called "The Night Before Christmas".  Have you heard of it? I do so love that story it always makes Christmas so magical for me. Once the story is over and I am all snuggled up and sleepy Dad scoops me up in his arms (I love being cuddled) and he carries me up the wooden stairs to Bedfordshire to my little bed, gives me a kiss goodnight and makes sure I am all covered up.

I do promise that I will go to sleep this year and not peek even though I so desperately want to see the Reindeer and hear the jingling of the sleigh bells and the thud of Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Comet, Vixen, Cupid, Comet, Donner and Blitzen and we must not forget Rudolph landing on the roof. Being good like that is not easy for me at all.  It does not come naturally.  Remember last Christmas it was the early hours before I nodded off to sleep and I waited and waited to see you and missed you yet again.  My eyes just closed for a moment honest.   I could not understand it but later in the day Dad was a bit grumpy like he is when he has hardly any sleep but I know he and mum went to bed shortly after me - well I think they did. 

Luckily I do not need much sleep and I woke reasonably early to find that my pillowcase at the bottom of my bed was full of brightly coloured presents. So I had been good.  Yippee. I had been told to wait in bed until Mum came and got me up and then I could go and open any presents on mum and dad's bed.  I waited and waited for them to come and fetch me and my fingers were itching to open the presents at the foot of my bed.  But I was good and waited and waited and then mum came through.  Later on after dinner Dad fell asleep in front of the fire and he snored!

However this year mum has made sure that the chimney is now spotless so you should be able to visit quickly and easily when all is quiet and peaceful.  Hopefully the fire will have died out by then so you don't get a burnt bum!

Anyway I nearly forgot the reason for me writing to you today.  Mum asked me to write a list of some of the things that I would like for Christmas this year.  There is only one thing that I would like for myself and that is that very pretty china doll in the local shop.  She has golden curls and a red coat with a little hand muff.  She is so ever so ever beautiful and if I was lucky enough to receive her I really promise to try and be a good girl for a whole year. 

However I would like some nice things for my mum and Dad.  Mum has been eyeing up that pretty lace blouse with the high collar, and Dad has been looking at some brown furry slippers.  His others have gone threadbare so he does need new ones and a block of Cadburys Dairy milk.  Its his favourite. I would be so happy if they could receive a present each even if you do not think that I have been good enough to have such an expensive present as the china doll.  Mummy and Daddy are so ever so ever so good to me.

Oh and we must not forget the real reason for Christmas the birthday of Jesus and the blessings of family.  That's what they have told me at Sunday School that is the most important thing celebrating his birthday.

Mum has told me that once my letter is finished and that it has been signed and sealed with a big kiss on from me that we are to let the draught from the fire hopefully take the letter up to you.  She has told me that this is your postbox. Seems a strange postbox to me.  Not like the one down the street which is bright poppy red.  If I have been good the letter will come straight up to you and the Elves in the North Pole but if it burns then I have been a very naughty little girl and will be very disappointed.  That's what mum's told me.

Mum is waiting for me to finish this so I had better get a wriggle on. 

With love and kisses.

Yours ever so sincerely



Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
  • Squeak (approx 2 years)
  • Poppy (approx 16 years)
  • Tyson (approx 17 years)
  • Tinky (official name Clover approx 18 years)