Welcome to my blog

Welcome to my blog

Wednesday, 8 July 2020


You will have noticed the capital ' shoutie ' letters.  I can't wait to get this mass chopped off and starting to look a little more groomed. The appointment is this afternoon and my mask is at the ready. 

On a totally different subject though I have noticed that meat from the supermarket just doesn't have any taste these days. I am fed up with buying what looks to be a lovely joint and discovering that it tastes of nothing unless it is highly seasoned or marinated in all manner of things. I am hoping that the lamb I bought from Mainsgill farm has a taste. It's organic and cost heckuva lot more than I usually pay for meat. If it doesn't then I may well become vegetarian. I can make some really tasty veggie meals and it wouldn't bother me at all. Himself might not be so keen but I don't mind cooking meat for him. 

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

The stunning Bottlebrush

Just as I was setting out for my walk this morning the Bottlebrush caught my eye.  It looks absolutely amazing and sadly my photos can't do it justice.  Foxgloves pop up quite early in the spring here as it's a really sheltered spot.  They have never been planted here and just appear.  I love free plants and it's always a surprise to see what colour they will be. The garden is looking really lush and green with plenty of leaf colour dotted all around it.  I love a pretty garden and thankfully mine has at least two or three things flowering in the middle of winter and plenty of green and gold from the variegated shrubs that I have planted.   In spring and summer it's an absolute riot of colourful flowers.

Monday, 6 July 2020

Sweetpeas and a rusty heart

On Saturday Tony and I popped into the garden centre and bought some 7ft long bamboo canes for my runner beans.  While we were at the garden centre  we spotted this beautiful rusty heart. I have no idea quite when rusty things started to appeal to me but lately I am loving them.

I wish the weather was a bit more predictable as I would love to do a bit of rehashing in my garden. I have big plans  :-)  My sweetpeas have started to flower profusely and as we all know we need to keep on picking them to keep them producing. The scent in my sitting room is absolutely gorgeous right now.

Sunday, 5 July 2020

Stained glass

Briony, you asked what the thing hanging down in the last photo is.  It's a piece of stained glass that I made a very long time ago. Tony and I took stained glass classes for a couple of years at night school back in the days when Adult Education classes actually included some that were great fun. Cutbacks got rid of all those lovely fun things but we now have all the kit and caboodle to enjoy playing with gorgeous coloured glass when the mood takes us. We have a smashing (no pun intended) glass cutting machine and all the hand tools required. It's a lovely hobby and one that we both enjoyed immensely.

This video link below is similar to one we watched several times before we bought the saw....  

All the glass below was cut before we ever bought the saw. We learned on hand tools and are quite the dab hand at glass cutting

Stained glass balloons

Stained glass heart

Glass bird

Saturday, 4 July 2020

Entertaining this evening

Tonight we are having some friends over for a social evening so we are heading out early to get some nice nibbles in.  When I say early I mean as soon as is sufficiently decent an hour to get himself out of bed.  He thinks nothing of waking me at six every morning but I wouldn't dream of waking him up if we weren't having company.  He suggested 8.30...  No flipping chance.  I am not standing in a supermarket queue fighting hordes of weekend shoppers. It will be 7.30 this morning.  He can sleep all day tomorrow if he wants to.
I spent ages down the secret garden yesterday, I planted all manner of packets of new and old seed to see if any of it will sprout.  The soil down there is amazing and the rain overnight was very welcome. In truth I am not too bothered about growing veggies down there as I think I will fight a losing battle with the pigeons. I plan to use it more for cuttings of my garden shrubs.  I might see if I can grow enough to make it worth having a sale of plants next year at a local car boot sale. I've hundreds of plant pots in my greenhouse and this time next year everything will have rooted nicely. The variegated privet that I trimmed earlier this year is looking fantastic and I stuck all the trimmings into the soil around the garden. They all rooted beautifully and I gave some of them to my friend Jayne for her 'new build house garden'. I intend to move them down to the secret garden to grow on for next year.. Watch this space.

Look how much the variegated privet has grown so far this year

Good job we covered the table. Look at the pool of water on it

It's looking very lush and green at the moment. Lovely rain thank you. 

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Really simple transparent Face Shield

This morning I went upstairs to sort out the big cupboard in my craft room.  I pulled all sorts of junk out of the cupboard when I spotted my laminator and had a eureka moment. I wondered if I could make a face shield using nothing more than a laminating pouch and a piece of thick wadding.. So I did... It worked.
Run the laminating pouch through your laminator and then let it cool
Now this isn't crystal clear and I don't know whether better quality pouches would give a better result but this is fine if you had to go somewhere in an emergency and wanted to shield your face.  The piece of wadding is necessary to hold the plastic away from your face. A rolled up face cloth or piece of old towel would work just as well. I used ribbon for my ties but elastic would be better.. If you give it a try don't forget to round off the bottom corners so they don't dig in your shoulders.

A thought provoking video

This is interesting and very thought provoking

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Visit from the Cherry fairy

Before I start this post can I ask whether anyone has heard from Sheila. I am getting quite concerned about her and hope everything is ok


I've had a busy old day so far.  I went for  my second walk of the day and picked a load of cherries. When I got back I gave them a quick rinse before sharing them out into boxes and leaving on the doorsteps of some of my neighbours. I had a quick cuppa with my neighbour Joan when I took her some cherries.  She handed me a pile of sachets of some fancy coffee that Bryan liked to drink. It's hard to believe that he is gone, he was such a lovely man.
It's a crying shame that I can't use more of the cherries as the trees as dripping with them right now.  Locally there are a couple of walnut trees and there is a cracking crop on them at the moment.  Such a pity that the squirrels take them before they are ripe as I could use them in all manner of things. Brambles look like being a good crop this year so I will make a batch of jam at the end of summer.  I love to see cupboards filled with home made preserves and really must get back into doing that.

Cherries for the neighbours
I've cooked a spicy sausage and red pepper casserole for tea and then made a beef, caulifower and pepper curry for tomorrows tea.  Can you tell that I have peppers to use up  😊

Growing stuff

The summer is chugging along nicely thought it has turned quite chilly. I am back into my winter coat when I go for my early walk. At the moment my tomato plants are doing really well. I gave up trying to grow them in the pond as they turned out to be large plants rather than the little bush ones that I had assumed they were. I will certainly try again next year though as I think it's a good way to utilise the space. My current obsession is watching self sufficiency videos on you tube... Oh my word I would love a patch of land. Sadly that isn't Tony's dream so it is never going to happen for me.  I will just have to make do with what I have. At least I have the space to grown and create a garden. I would hate to live in an apartment in a city with little more than a balcony. Give me blue skies and green fields any day. Just heading out for a walk and then I plan to make a start on another quilt. I will tell you all about it in another post.

Monday, 29 June 2020

Brightlingsea Open Gardens

Tony and I are bitterly disappointed that we aren't able to visit the Brightlingsea open gardens this year. It had been our intention to have a few days visiting Brightlingsea and some trips out with our friends Anona and Kim. We've had some smashing holidays down there but my poorly leg put paid to last years planned visit. This year it's the darn Virus.  If you are interested in a virtual wander around the beautiful gardens I've put a link on the end of this post. Who knows, you might fancy visiting Brightlingsea next year and enjoying the gardens in person... I know that we will be there. It's a lovely place to treat as a base to visit Essex and there is so much to see within a short distance.  If any of you have an open gardens event planned for next year please let me know.  Tony and I are planning a few days here and there and it's a lovely way to get the feel for an area.