Sunday, 31 August 2014

Day 4 Mont de Marsan

The "Rescue" Hotel Arbor is very nice with one exception, no means of getting food or drink other than at breakfast and dinner. Luckily we brought the travel kettle, tea, Barley cup and a bunch of bananas from the car when we abandoned it.
Last night we ate dinner in the resturant which was very nice [and expensive], I had sole and Chris had steak, we were not asked to pay so we have no idea if the Rescue service are footing the bill or what!!!

I am beginning to feel like Tom Hanks in the Terminal, where he was not allowed to leave the airport and made himself at home. Chris has gone for a walk to see if he can find a shop open but it is Sunday and all the larger shops we googled are closed, apart from the fact we are a long way from anything.

Think I'll rearrange my suitcase for something to do. Wish I had not left my sewing in the car but we could not bring everything with us.
Chris going for a walk

Dinner at Hotel Arbor

My sole

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Day 3 Not as arranged!

After a good nights sleep we filled up with fuel [again!] and drove to a quaint Boulangerie with its wide range of breads and pastries. The village roads then turned into more major roads and we made good time.
Decided to visit Mont de Marsan to buy a few things when suddenly there was a terrible clattering and we limped into the Carrafour car park about 11am. Chris jacked up the car and investigated the problem but the bearings [ or some such thing] have gone in one of the wheels, so a call was made to Britannia Rescue in England. They were very efficient in getting us sorted out, even though it .took a long time. Garages in France close midday on Saturdays. Eventually at 2.30pm we were transported in a low loader to their yard where the car will remain until Monday and someone can be found to work on it. The Rescue company in England arranged for us to go by taxi to a Hotel for two nights.
So here we are in the Hotel Arbor with all mod cons and swimming pool at the expense of the Rescue company. When will we be on our way again is anybodies guess.
A wonderful choice of breads

In a tiny village we passed through

Will we see our car ever again?

Friday, 29 August 2014

Day 2 at Hotel Kyraid Bordeaux

We left Orleans at 7.45am after a fairly good nights sleep in the basic but clean hotel.
A village Boulanger for croissants and a sandwich we headed south, again avoiding the toll roads.
Using our new picnic set we had breakfast which was delicious.
The roads were mostly motorways and quite busy in places.
Sun shine and showers were order of the day as we passed fields of sunflowers and nearer Bordeaux many vin yards.
Our hotel this evening is a little more upmarket and very nice.
Setting up the breakfast table

275 miles has taken us 7 hours. Diesel costs €1.25 ( just over the pound) in Orleans, we are using a lot so are pleased it is cheaper that at home.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Day 1,Hotel Premiere Classe Orleans

A very early start saw us leaving home at 3.45am! In the rain and very dark.

We managed to get a Channel Tunnel crossing at 7.20am which went smoothly and we ate the breakfast sandwiches and orange juice we had with us.
Driving onto the Channel Tunnel train

Two Gendarmes walking away after stopping us!
The rain and mist persisted as we drove near the coast to Rouen then turned south. We had decided not to use the toll roads as it is very expensive, plus much nicer to see some of the villages etc.

A number of villages had wonderful displays of flowers lining the streets.

In the countryside we suddenly found ourselves stopped by the police, always a scary thought, hoping you have the papers France requires, but the Gendarme was very nice and we were cleared to continue our journey.

We stopped for a short while every couple of hours to stretch our legs and arrived in Orleans at 5pm local time ( one hour ahead of England). After a quick cuppa we will be going out for a meal.

The rain has stopped and the sun is out. 398 miles travelled from home has taken us 12 hours including the tunnel.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Holiday plans

Tomorrow we set off at 4am on the start of our Adventure holiday. First stop will be the Channel Tunnel for a crossing into France, then down to Orleans where we have booked a hotel for the night.
We are travelling in Chris's 14 year old Land Rover 90 Defender TD5 .
The next planned stop is near Bordeaux, then its into the Pyrenees Mountains at a little place called Gourette where we have a hotel booked that looks like a Swiss Chalet covered in snow! [ I am hoping the snow has gone by now!]. Our final over night will be somewhere near Valencia in Spain before arriving September 1st at San Javier Spain where we have a house booked for four weeks.
No decision has been made as to our route home.

Having learnt how to blog on my iPad with photos I hope to record our trip.

Monday, 25 August 2014


Something else to learn! My poor old brain is on overload...
For a long time I have not found a way to put pictures on my blog using my iPad2.
Posted with Blogsy
Today I notice a friend on holiday had a little  Blogsy logo at the bottom of her blog, so I investigated it, spent £2.99 on the app and yipee now I can blog on holiday and send pictures through my iPad2.
Thanks Christa for going to Croatia and using Blogsy.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Brother PE Design Next

Having been given a good offer [saved £400] I treated myself to PE Design Next [ well I do have a BIG 'O' birthday coming up in November!]
Chris came with me to collect it and as soon as we got home it was installed on both my home computer and laptop. I was so excited to try it.
I managed to plough through the first tutorial but by then I had given myself a headache, so decided I better pack it away for now.
A lot of the things I learnt on courses using EQ5,6 and 7 seem to help.
I intend to take my laptop and the instruction manual away on holiday to really get to grips with it. While on holiday Chris likes to sun bathe, but I find it too boring and would sooner sit and sew, read or this year it will be use my laptop!

Friday, 22 August 2014

Machine Embroidery Mad!

Yesterday I went for my monthly Machine Embroidery meeting at BSK Bedford.
This is one day of the month that I always really look forward to.
Usually I pick up my friend Penny and we travel together chatting all the way but sadly she was unable to attend yesterday so I just had the radio for comfort.
As I reached Bedford the radio programme announced that Bedford had been voted the most miserable town but they gave the most to charity! This has never been my experience as I always have such a good time when there.

It is only a week before we go on holiday so I had decided I must not spend any money other than the course fees and to buy 10 yds of white tape to finish the Days for Girls bags.
What happened....
I bought the tape £1 but  then we were offered at less than half price fabric that had a [faded]  flaw in it so I had to buy 4 yds [£12]. Then I thought I really needed some more tape and elastic plus I got the offer of a couple of tops for the girls for another £1. I really must stop now.

A discussion about a design programme resulted in the fact they had one left "on sale" should I or shouldn't I? It is a £400 saving. I have still not really decided but must let them know today.
Ho Hum my cheap day out was a financial disaster, where was Penny to keep me under check!

8 of the black on white designs sewn out at BSK
plus the bird with a fluffy top and tail!
The calender for 2015 is a project I am working on at home.
ps... what did I not bring home... the ten yards of white tape I bought somehow got left behind!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Hamtune Quilters

Last night I attended the meeting of Hamtune Quilters. The speaker was Sandie Lush. She had travelled quite a distance from Bristol to give us a talk and slide show on wholecloth quilts.

As soon as I see its a slide show I worry it might be boring and I'll nod off! BUT she was so well informed and such a good speaker there was no chance of a quick nap. As an accomplished designer and with a keen interest in wholecloth quilts...[ yes I still have one the size of a double bed started a few years ago with about 6 inches of sewing done on it!] she explained the differences between Durham, Welsh and Amish wholecloth quilts.

I have worked a number of her cushion size colonial knot kits.
One of Sandie Lush patterns for sale on her www site.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Days for girls charity

This is a quote from the web site.

What is Days for Girls?

Every girl in the world deserves education, safety, and dignity. We help girls gain access to quality sustainable feminine hygiene and awareness, by direct distribution of sustainable feminine hygiene kits, by partnering with nonprofits, groups and organizations, by raising awareness, and by helping  communities around the world start their own programs.Thanks to a global grassroot network of thousands of volunteers and supporters on 6 continents, we have reached women and girls in 75 countries on 6 continents.  It's working. You can help us reach the rest.

A friend at Church has become involved with this worth while charity so I found time and fabric to help by making 4 shields and 5 bags. 
I cannot imagine the lives these girls have but thank goodness there are people out there willing to help and come up with a solution. If you would like to know more click on the link.

Friday, 15 August 2014

All quiet

The girls went home last night and this morning seems strange knowing they will not be back to stay until half term in October. Apart from anything else the house is tidy, well as tidy as it ever gets ;-)

Yesterday was spent "at the salon" different hair plaits were tried with their long blonde hair and then nail painting, Eleanor achieved five different colours of nail varnish, Abigail three and me just one.

The lounge turned into a tip with a post office, toy and animal shop plus a cafe all set up. It was hard to find a chair to sit on so they then moved into my Happy Room and got out the Sizzix to make posters and pictures.
Next they wanted to play UNO so it was a mad dash to tidy everything away and the reward was a few games of UNO before they went home.

I so love having the granddaughters to stay and look forward to their next visit.
Abigail shows off her new nail polish

Eleanor loves the colours of hers

Playing in my Happy Room

Thursday, 14 August 2014

East Carlton Country Park

Wednesday saw us having a trip to East Carlton Country Park.
The extensive park has trails to follow and objects to find.
The girls particularly liked the dragon.

A visit to the sand and swings etc for a little while before collecting our fairy pictures taken on their last trip here.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Free cake and drink

John Lewis offer free cake and drink to holders of their store card, so Chris and I signed up and we took the girls over the JL at Milton Keynes to share their large free cake.
The centre of the shopping area was converted to a children's play ground with areas of sand and rides.
They enjoyed playing on the swing boats and the Helter Skelter. Eleanor came down the Helter Skelter so fast I could not get a photo!
Abigail on the Helter Skelter

The Swing Boat

Great fun

Back home and in the Happy Room

Cooking BBQ sauce

Tuesday morning was spent cooking BBQ sauce.
The girls emptied 3 jars of red jam, 2 jars honey, 2 bottles of tomato sauce, 1 jar of Worcester sauce, 1 jar Soy sauce into a large pan, this they heated on the stove stirring in turn. Next they mixed flour and dry mustard with lemon juice, this was carefully added to the bubbling mixture to thicken it.
After leaving all day to cool down they made labels on the computer and put it into jars and containers.
Well done girls.

Summer with the girls

Monday the grandaughters arrived again for four days, so we set too making a plan of things they wanted to do. The weather forecast was for lots of rain so we had to try and make the most of any good sunshine.

Monday looked like it might be nice so we set off for Woburn Safari Park, always a favourite trip.
We were lucky the weather stayed fine and after a trip through the animal enclosures in the car we walked to see the smaller animals in their pens.
Grandma needed a sit down, still having trouble with my new knee! so the girls spent a happy 1/2 hour exhausting themselves in the play barn until it was time for our picnic lunch.
Next we ventured into the bird glass house where they fed the birds.
The final adventure was to drive around the animal enclosures once again before leaving for home.
As we hit Northampton the heavens opened and there was torrential rain.



Eleanor feeds the birds

Abigail feeds the birds

A happy day out

Giraffes having lunch

Monday, 11 August 2014

Kirste & Steve

Saturday evening we attended the wedding party of our next door neighbours Kirste and Steve held at Sedgebrook Hall. It was a very grand affair and they both looked so happy.
Earlier in the day they had a church wedding and meal with family.
About ten o'clock there was a pig roast and wedding cake... yummy!
The picture is not very good as the disco lights were rotating.
Cutting the cake.

Friday, 8 August 2014

August IAM

We were a bit thin on the ground for our August IAM meeting, as three members could not attend due to family commitments. Pauline, who was recovering from her knee op, joined us [ thanks for the biscuits P! ].
Ann having arrived home from her holiday at 3.30am managed to arrive and stay with us for the morning.

The little handbags sewing kits we had started last month were glued and sewn and much laughter was had by all. I had completed a little Thread catcher

so showed how I had made it and then found my Pringles tube being cut up for the rings, wadding and card also disappearing while one member of the party actually made one with some spare fabric she had with her.

Clare had brought delicious desserts which we all enjoyed.
Busy Busy Busy

My sewing kit  & thread catcher closed 

Sewing kit and thread catcher open

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Boys Toys

Chris is playing using his new toy. He has always wanted a garden shredder and managed to buy one at the Emmaus Charity shop for £30 recently.
I am not sure we will have any garden left until he gets bored using it!
However we had decided our front garden was a real mess with lots of ivy and other horrid weeds growing among the overgrown Hebe bushes and leggy roses covered in black spot. The intention is for all of it to go and a strong weed killer applied, then we will start again.

The Hebe bushes and lavender plants seem to do well in this poor soil on a slope bank so I will probably buy the same again when it comes time to re-plant.
Chris trying to fill the brown bin with shredded weeds and wood

Monday, 4 August 2014

Serger / Overlocker Cover

My serger has a new cover, all I need now is to learn how to use it properly!

PIN cushion

My friend Penny had a special birthday last week and amongst her gifts I made her a PIN cushion. I did not want her to see it before 'the day' but it was fun to make, using an Embroidery pattern from Emlibrary [ I think!].

Saturday, 2 August 2014

T Shirt sewing

Friday afternoon the girls had a go at making T shirts.
I made a pattern from T shirts they were wearing and they machined and overlocked matching T shirts before they went home.
Abigail at the serger

Eleanor at the sewing machine

Pretty T shirts on my pretty grandaughters

Emmaus Village visit

Yesterday was the girls last day with us this week, so at their request we visited the charity village of Emmaus.
Abigail headed straight for the shoes! Eleanor headed for something / anything noisy!!
Chris headed for the electrical department. I tagged along looking at anything.

This is the result of our spending spree:
Chris bought a garden tree / waste shredder that caused a real problem getting it into the boot of the car.
Abigail bought a nice pair of purple shoes, lip balm container and a couple of gold hair bands.
Eleanor bought a lip balm container to attach to her purse.
Between them they bought a keyboard [ they already have one they they like to set up in the summer house and make too much noisy with!!]
I bought a Jeff Banks shirt, 4 necklaces, 6 china cups and saucers [ I want to make into pin cushions!]
Other than the garden shredder we spent £13 between us.

Biopsy, bruises and a block finish

Thursday I went into hospital at 10.30 for my lung biopsy, the staff could not have been nicer and put me at ease. The procedure meant lying...