Monday, 27 December 2010

Happy Christmas from Snowy Stratford

9 days on and it is still here :-)

Friday, 16 July 2010

Still here......

Things are still very busy, and I keep thinking I really must post.....I will catch up, for now I am cleaning the house....I love this time of year though, look, flowers from the garden x

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

All caught up...for now ;-)

Just had a phone call from DH: Where are you?
I am at home! Where are you?
At your work waiting to pick you up!

Good job my communication is better for my assignments!

I can't believe the score of my last assignment - I never performed like this at school, and I didn't even know I was really this interested in Business Studies. I realise that pride becomes before a fall, this isn't pride - it is shock!! No pressure for the next one!!

I have been busy making too - gooseberry jam. I am told by "him who knows" that apparently it is very good. The plan was to save it for autumn/winter, one of those cold miserable grey day when you need a reminder of summer - oh well, at least it is being appreciated.

DD bought herself some peonies as she loves them, so I thought I would share a photo of one of them in their full gorgeousness.

A quick snap of some of my pots :-)

And finally a photo of my street this evening. Children being taught their cycling proficiency - how summery.

And very, very's my b'day Friday and we have 2 days of excitement and picnics planned. I am not entirely sure what we are doing, but am very excited!!

Have a nice weekend x

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

grumble, grumble

off work with a bad back (muscles are failing to relax - hhmm, wonder why!), I have been working on my assignment due in next Monday (well I want to get it in asap, so I know it is there, as I have a new computer, and Windows 2007 might not be compatible with the system of sending assignments, and although I have made it compatible I won't believe it is there until I see it...and breath!!). Anyway sitting here tapping away, missing the good weather, back aching, I think I have almost finished this one, when writing the Executive Summary I see that my assignment doesn't quite pull together, I seem to have chosen to study one problem but the solution is resolving another I have only just touched on - BLOODY HELL!!!! just when I thought I had it, it looks as if I am going to have to rewrite it....AND I SPENT ALL OF YESTERDAY AND SO FAR TODAY ON IT!!! For goodness sakes!!! I am going to walk away, catch my breath and do some crochet, but I know it will be playing on my mind.......I will revisit tonight otherwise I won't sleep properly.
AND my days off are Saturday/Sunday this week, but now I will probably swap them for the 2 days I have had off sick, so I don't lose any pay..........grumble, grumble!!

Saturday, 19 June 2010

can't keep up.....

I am keeping with blogs I follow, and sometimes even commenting, but I am finding it difficult to blog at the mo!
This last week was sooooo busy at work, one of those weeks when you know what is going to happen, so you plan accordingly then circumstances decide to send a few curve balls - hey ho, nothing major and we got through it!
So DH and I decide to book a night away at a local hotel, a change of scenery, a bed without cat fur, and space for DD to have a friend round. I found a really good deal on t'internet. 4* hotel, about 5 miles out of town, an old elizabethan building that Will apparently used to frequent, and all at a last minute price. Fab! Yesterday was my day off, so I got up early and cleaned the house, and DH managed to get home from work early. It started raining, so no chance to wear a summer skirt, it had gone chilly too. We went to M&S to get our carpet picnic and fizzy for watching the football with, in the privacy of our cat hair free bedroom. It started to rain harder (this really should have been a sign)......the carpet in the rooom was stained, there were no staff in the bar, and breakfast this morning???? we had to sit in the bar with other guests, waiting for tables to become free in the breakfast restaurant despite 6 tables not being laid for service!!! I have come home feeling like I have a 24 hour thing really crappy, so am hoping to shake it off soon.We went to the Little Chef for breakfast which was fantastic, great service, great food and fab staff....would we go to this hotel again? No! Are we on to try another hotel soon? Yes......we have been spoilt, a couple of years ago we stayed in a Hyatt for a night - fabulous :-) but rather pricey....I think we will start saving. Despite the hotel being crap though we had a lovely time, just me and him, no cats, no chickens and a change of scenery, a real little mini-break. Back to work tomorrow - back to posting properly (with photos!!) sometime soon x

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The Archers...

I miss a couple of episodes and then the shocking storyline of the year happens.....I won't spoil it if you don't know....but goodness me, I would never have seen that one coming!

Monday, 7 June 2010

Monday, Monday...

Only a couple more days off before I go back to work - sigh! I love work when I am there, but do find it hard to go back after a week or so off.

Anyway, DD has painted our bird table in an attempt to lure them to us. She chose summery ice-cream colours. It looks lovely, but the birds are yet to appreciate it. A while ago I posted about the 10 or so bird feeders I had hung - they didn't work either. We have loads of birds round here, the little blighters are more than happy to wake me up at 4am, but they won't use the feeders!!!! But the latest attempt is very pretty :-)

And here is the view they have from their feeding post. Not too bad, I am sure a lot of other birds would be very grateful for their surroundings!!

DD and I are off for hair cuts, then we will come back and make cakes - hooray!!
Have a lovely day, hopefully you can avoid the rain.
See you soon x

PS ANY advice about getting birds onto feeders would be very welcomed, thanks x

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Lovely weekend

As ever I forgot my camera. We always seem to be heading out and on the road before I realise I haven't got it. You would have thought I would have learnt by now......

We headed out to a big carboot this morning, DH and I really have the bug now. This was a huge one, we couldn't believe the size of it. It took us about 2 hours to walk round, and what did we buy??? Well, I bought nothing, and DH bought 3 books from the very last stall. He has spirited them away, but I think one of them was an Eagle annual....again, hidden away too quickly to take any photos. On reflection I think we both felt that this one was too big, or maybe we caught it on a bad day. It was full of stuff that I got the impression that you didn't ask where it came from, piles and piles of kids clothes, and stalls full of kids toys...oh and lots of bottles of domestos - so very disappointing, and I am at work next weekend so won't get to another for a fortnight. I also pop onto other blogs and see lovely items that people have unearthed for pennies - sigh! So if anyone has any tips as to where/how we are going on, I would love to know.....

We wandered into town this afternoon to see the delights of sunny Stratford , and I went to say hello to this lovely family, Sew Special Bears. I had spotted on the blog that they were coming to Stratford to exhibit at a Bear Fair, and I felt it would have been rude not to have said hello. Her bears are absolutely gorgeous, I don't know how she is able to part with them. It was great to meet up, say hello, and put a face to a blog. Hopefully we will meet up again in Chipping Sodbury at one of the 2 Vintage Fairs later on this year. If not, there is always the bear fair again, this time next year.
Hope you had a good journey home x

When we were in town I picked up a copy of this months Homes and Antiques.

Look who is featured:

How exciting! To have your home chosen for a magazine feature. The article is great and the photos fab - lovely article. This edition will be a keepers (as they say in films!!). I can never throw away my magazines away. I will be found one day dead, buried under piles of

Something else that we have been up to is starting to make some elderflower cordial
here is my bucket of blossom. We walked miles to get it, there wasn't much were I chose to go (we have seen load since), and a lot of it isn't quite open yet. I think next weekend will be perfect but we are both working then, so I wanted to get some going. It is smelling good, all I need to do now is to source some citric acid. We also plan to pop out one evening this week to harvest some more.

The recipe is from here   
Enjoy the rest of your weekend x

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

I am in love....

.....with my fabby new computer. I am still getting to grips with it, so bear with me, but for now I will leave you with a photo of the dinner chefs, who cook dinner when I am studying.

79% for my first assignment, so they must be cooking something right.

Enjoy your evening x

Thursday, 27 May 2010


When I said better late than never yesterday, I meant my posting NOT receiving my parcel

DD asked me to point this out as she felt my post was ambiguous, which I certainly never intended.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Good enough to eat swap

Better later than never, here are the photos of my fab package from sewjustinesew

I'm afraid to say that I didn't get a photo of anything wrapped, DD and I just tore into it. I was excited to receive a beautiful parcel, and DD had been sitting at home looking at it all day waiting for me to come back to give her the go-ahead.
Justine spent so much time hand-making such wonderful things for me. I will admit to wussing out of making anything for her as I had seen the quality of her things on her blog, and I know the quality of mine, so I took an easier option and picked up some fab hand-made items for her. I was absolutely delighted with what I found for her, and I hope she is too (and compared to what I would have produced...well.....enough said).
So in the piccie above there is a beautiful hand-made card, a fridge magnet, a little note book which is now living in my CK bag (where else??) and some lovely buttons covered in cupcake fabric. I think these need to go onto a brooch :-)
2 lollies and a pack of milk chocolate beanies, sadly now all gone, but they were very nice!

A lovely soap (I just love the embellishment - I would never have thought of that!), and some yummy hand cream. In the background you can see the cupcake paper my parcel was lovingly wrapped in. And everything is lying in and on the tissue paper and ribbons that each gift was wrapped in.
A hand crafted book mark which is already in use on my OU books, and a scrummy pin cushion.

"A coffee cozy for my favourite take-out!"
How fab is this????? I am off next week, so this will get a few trips out I am sure. Look at the fabrics and the work that has gone into this. I absolutely love it.

And, look at this pot holder and tea towel - far too nice to use!!

Justine, thank you so much. I am absolutely overwhelmed with the gifts you sent me. I feel like it is christmas in the middle of summer.
Thank you so much for your generosity and creativity x

Monday, 24 May 2010

Let me tell you how wonderful...

this lady is! sewjustinesew

Today I recceived the most fabulous parcel from her for the "Good Enough to Eat Swap".

What a gorgeous box to be sent - thank you so much.

I haven't got any time at the mo to do it justice, but I wanted to say a huge heartfelt thank you to a very generous person, and let you allknow how lucky you will be to ever have Justine as a swap partner.

photos and gushing descriptions will follow later this week x

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Still here!!

Assignment has got to be in onThursday -so I am planning on Wednesday as the latest. I will celebrate the small milestone with a new bead for my bracelet and catching up with everyone's blogs, and maybe putting a worthwhile posting on here too.

Just as a quick question - did you see Ashes on Friday???? OMG, what a fab end of series..I am SO going to miss it though.

Justine - Parcel went out yesterday, I really hope it is with you in the morning (and that you like it) x

Monday, 10 May 2010


Look what I bought.....
These babies are fab and very very very strong.....
This was just opening the tops and after lots and lots of handwashing. They are still blue now, oh well guess it a hazard of the task!

I didn't realise they were so strong when I was making my icing......
They are a little more vibrant than I expected....scarily vibrant!! But they taste good, and next time I will be very this rate these colours will out live me!

Anyway, after vibrant cupcake making and 5 hours of study, questioning my VirginMedia bill (do I really spend THAT much a year just to watch Maury!!), I am going to cook dinner, and then this....

Have a lovely evening x

Thursday, 6 May 2010


only this guy will do!

I may need more depending as to how our wonderful nation wakes up tomorrow............

off to clean the computer, macro can be good for so many things, but my keyboard, I think not!


Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Another day off work....

9.20am and so much done already!!
Dinner has been made
Quiche Lorraine - I haven't made one of these for years, and I even baked the case blind!!

The sun is trying to shine and Topsey can't decided whether to go out or stay in - so she is having a case of the "inny/outys"

Ideal situation for a cat who can't commit!!

I have hung my bunting from the Fair
I am really pleased with it, great quality, double sided and the colours are so rich.

On another note I had forgotten to post a photo of the bracelet DH bought me on Saturday

I have loved the Troll bead bracelets for ages, and was going to treat myself to one, but DH said he would buy it and bought me an extra charm too - the ball of yarn, very appropriate!
I love the colours, though DD was surprised I hadn't gone red, but that is the joy of these. You collect beads and charms and then interchange however your mood takes you.
The shop we bought them from keeps a list of the ones you have so you shouldn't get any duplicates, and after every 10 you buy you have a free one - the persn who served us put me down as having 5 as he included the bracelet and the clasp, so I am half way there already.

Can't believe how well this has photographed!

Anyway, must dash, more studying to do to stay on top of this course.
Have a good day x

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Vintage and Handmade Fair

Didn't we have a lovely day, it was all I hoped for and more. The weather held off and was quite warm, and we had a beautiful meandering drive through the Cotswold countryside to get to Chipping Sodbury.
Was it worth the drive to get there?
Oh yes! Not just for the Fair but to see the countryside shining in the May sunshine.

The Fair was fab, so many lovely things and so many lovely people.

A few weeks ago I said to DH that I fancied a day full of loveliness, and yesterday I got my wish.

We arrived at 9.55am and joined the excited queue that had already gathered. The town bells chimed 10am, and the queue shuffled expectantly, and then the doors opened.

DH and I headed straight to the main hall as the entrance hall was already crowded. We walked around looking at the beautiful items displayed, and I spotted Niki's gorgeous stand and discussed the fab cushions with a keen customer who wasn't sure which one to buy. Both were beautiful and luckily it wasn't a choice I had to make as having 4 cats, cushions that beautiful aren't coming into my house. The work was so intricate and quite took my breath away. I imagine the lady I was talking to is sitting gazing at hers right now.

We wandered round and found these lovely people Henhouse and their beautiful stand. I treated DH to this

which he is very happy with, and I now fear I have started a collecting bug for these books.

And I also bought these
My photos really don't do the colours any justice. They are absolutely gorgeous and I couldn't resist them, and could easily have cleared all of her stock. We chatted about their recent holiday, though it is strange to know about people I have never met because I follow their blog.

DH treated himself to these
and a vintage school room poster of the building of the Wear Bridge in Sunderland.
These were from Country Cottage Chic.

We grabbed ourselves a cuppa and some very tasty cakes, and took stock, and walked around again, and again, and once again.

I also bought these lovely smellies pictured below from Slimbridge Soaps. The lady I spoke to was very knowledgeable and has created some wonderful products that smell gorgeous. Some soaps, bathbombs and lip glosses - the hyacinth bathbombs are mine!!!
I managed not to take any photos, but to be honest it was so busy the photos wouldn't have been very successful. All stands were about 4 deep at most times. Everyone was very friendly, and the atmosphere was electric. There was so much to see, and an awful lot of "do you remember that...", "I had one of those when I was little...", "goodness me, I haven't seen one of those for years...."

Will DH and I being going back on November 28th?
Most definitely...hopefully then I will spot some people whose blogs I read, as yesterday I didn't see anyone but having said that it was so busy, even if I had arranged to meet anyone I probably wouldn't have found them. And if I had been looking out for someone carrying a CK bag, well I guess that was all of us there. It was almost like a CK convention lol.

What really made my day. We popped into Poppies for a bite of lunch (the cafe across the road from the Townhall), and a couple of older ladies came in dressed in very spring-like pastel shaded macs. They placed their order and when I looked up again they were both sucking strawberry milkshakes through pink straws, with very satisfied expressions on their faces. On the way out I stopped for a quick chat, and apparently they had moved onto milshakes as they were all "tea'd out".

Other things: today I have baked

These spotty cupcakes papers were bought in a great cake decorating shop just up the road from the Fair, and the red food colouring was from there too. She had a great range so I will be ready to stock up on bits for my Christmas cakes when we go back in November.

Thanks to everyone who attended the Fair, your stock was fabulous and your talents amazing. I am so looking forward to seeing what you have for Christmas.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Wow, where is the time going??

I don't seem to get the chance to post. It isn't through lack of things to post, purely lack of time, and I can see that things aren't liable to improve - yikes! My course starts on Saturday and looks pretty intense - so apologies in advance for how things may get worse from here on in. I am popping onto blogs to see what others are up to, and sometimes even commenting (!!).
Work is also getting busy......

BUT whilst my course starts on Saturday, there is also this

can't wait!!! Who will I see there? Looking forward to meeting people I only know through blogs (and also buying a few treats, which I will post on Sunday!)

Who's coming??

Saturday, 17 April 2010

'Eat, Pray, Love'

DH bought me this book a few weeks ago and I read it in a few very quick days and bought a copy for my sister. If you haven't read, then do. It is beautiful, funny, thought-provoking, fabulous, simple, is wonderful! And now I see it is coming out as a film in summer with Julia Roberts...I am SO excited!!!!

Friday, 9 April 2010


Where did that weather come from? You can tell I am back at work on Saturday!
Yesterday was gorgeous, it felt like a summer's day. Today is nice, but cloudy, I am hoping that it will disappear after I have finished my inside stuff, so it will be nice and sunny when I go and put my potatoes in. ETA - it is burning off nicely, the front door is open, and cats are happily wandering in andout wondering what this open door policy is all about!

Yesterday was spent very productively. I cut the grass, tidied up some shrubs, and hung some bird feeders!!
ok, I have 9 on here, birds!! 9!! I want to see at least one of you making use of these! I don't want to have to throw any away due to rotting - not sure why, but our local featheries don't eat the fat balls! I just need to get some starlings...that way the tree will be stripped bear in about 5 mins! I know, I know, careful what you wish for...

DH finished work early, so we went to a local garden centre, where we sat outside drinking tea and eating home-made cake - very civilised. I bought some seed potatoes, and a jar of local honey to hopefully stave off hayfever!! Let's see!

When we got back we were interrogated as to where we had been:

Amelie and Audrey continue to be naughty and I haven't had to cut any grass on this side since last August!! Not surprising really, as we have no grass - bless em. Very cheeky, complete garden destroyers, but love them to bits. Never thought I would say that about chickens!

Also this week, after a little conversation (as in "do you remember what happened this time 20 years ago??") DH and I realised that we have been together for 20 years this week. Where have those 20 years gone....20 years is a long time, well it used to be, goodness, I have nearly been with him as long as I have been without him!! We have known each other for about 27 years, but that is a whole other story!

Have a lovely weekend. I am back to work tomorrow, so will be standing inside licking the windows desperate to get the meantime I feel the need to bake some cupcakes, and then get outside and enjoy this early summer x