Sunday, 29 May 2016

BSK and the Bathroom

At the last BSK machine embroidery day I decided to work on a pelmet
 for my downstairs bathroom window.
I managed to ME the dolphin designs and have now completed the pelmet by making scollops along the edge and a channel for the rod. The theme of this bathroom is fish, dolphins and sea horses.
The dolphin stained glass was purchased on holiday in Scotland when we saw lots of dolphins
 in the sea from our rented cottage window.
The sea horse was a gift from a friend.

My new pelmet

Last few days at Bispham Green Cottage

Guess where we are?

No not Paris and the Eiffel tower.

Approaching the Blackpool Tower.

A whistle stop visit to see the sights and do some shopping.

Our last full day of holiday was spent meeting friends that we had not seen for ten plus years!
I met Audrey at a lace day about forty years ago and we have kept in touch ever since, often meeting when we used to travel to Glasgow for the New Year in our caravan, we would spend a night near their home. It was really nice meeting up again and the years just drifted away it was as if we had met again last week.
A visit to the wonderful shop Bents near Wigan where we enjoyed a meal together, no photos as we were talking too much for me to remember!

Our next stop was the Wool Barn to buy fabric and wool etc... you can never have too much of either !
Audrey is being tempted by a cross stitch pattern.

Chris and Colin are probably discussing Land Rovers and wondering how much longer the ladies will be.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016


Here we are in sunny, well we had one day of sun, Lancashire. In fact the weather has not been too bad and we have been out and about. Bispham Green is a small village and the farm we are staying on has two converted barn cottages. This is ours...

View of the Maltkiln cottage

Chris soon settled in

the chickens left us some wonderful eggs for breakfast

The kitchen has everything we need, not that I intend using it too much!
Bedroom leading to the bathroom

All on one level makes for easy living
This is to be a fairly lazy week, but we did venture into Southport and a sign for a craft fair at the Botanical Gardens was to good to miss. There were quite a few stalls selling things I had not seen before, including a wonder cure for arthritic knees. I bought a pot needless to say.

Cakes, candles, pictures etc etc

Lunch at the Red Squirrel was delicious. I had ribs and CJ had steak.

A morning spent at the Preston Temple was a real treat.

The grounds of the temple were at their best, with every colour of Rhodedendron.
It has taken me four days to get around to making a blog post, mostly because I have been working on my family tree and spending far too much time on the computer. I have also managed to work on my Mini Mania quilt block.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Grabbing a day of sunshine

If the sun shines and we can fit it in, we head of for the countryside. There is nothing better than a day driving Off Road. Tuesday was such a day and we spent six hours enjoying the countryside, plus some scary moments!
With the map marked showing routes to Byways we set off

Nice to see conservation happening

Approaching a short stretch of river, always fun to drive through

Causing a wake as we leave the river

Wonder what is around the corner?

We stop, turn off the engine to let the horses pass, everyone waves and shares the countryside

NO I am not getting out to open this gate with a bull leaning on it!

Chris tells the bull to stay where he is!

Add caption

New calves, it must be Spring

A Ford to cross, so I'm sitting in the car again!

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Happy sewing day

Months ago I made new curtains for my Happy Room and I fully intended to make the same for the small side windows but....
I came across the fabric while having a bit of a sort out and made them my first job today. I am so pleased to have made these simple oblongs of fabric that hook into my curtain rail and now everything matches.

Pretty flowers at the windows [one window out of shot.]

Another job on my "to do" list was to machine embroider something onto two cheap pairs of pillow cases, blue for him and pink for me. It will be fun sleeping with a little bunny face looking at us!

Japanese birds
His and Hers bunny faces

Friday, 13 May 2016

Chasing Alice

I love researching my family and have spent hours, if not days trying to sort out my husbands family tree. His grandmother was Alice LEWIS and she married a Harry Samuel GEAR and although I could trace the GEAR side back I had no luck with Alice.
I thought maybe the record office in Reading, a two hour journey away, would be the answer. Having never visited this record office the machines, fiches, films, transcripts etc. were difficult to get my head around but eventually having tried everything I know the conclusion was I needed to buy the marriage certificate, £10 if I sent for it or £19 to get one on the day.
I decided it would be worth the £19 and went to the Registry office to buy the certificate. The Registrar was extremely nice and asked if I was looking for Alice's father? if I was, I was in for a disappointment it was not mentioned on the certificate so I could save my money.
Had I tried the 1939 census? no I didn't realise it was able to be seen, we have a 100 year rule in England regarding census and the latest is the 1911.

Dubbed ‘The Wartime Domesday Book’, The 1939 Register is the most comprehensive survey of the population of England and Wales ever taken. In September 1939, the Second World War had just broken out. 65,000 enumerators were employed to visit every house in England and Wales to take stock of the civil population. The information that they recorded was used to issue Identity Cards, plan mass evacuations, establish rationing and coordinate other war-time provisions. In the longer term, the 1939 Register would go on to play a central role in the establishment of post-war services like the NHS.
The 1939 Register is particularly significant as the only surviving record of the population between 1921 and 1951. It bridges a 30-year gap in history as the 1931 census was destroyed during the war and the 1941 census was never taken. Each record includes the names of inhabitants at each address, their date of birth, marital status and occupation.
 Back at the record office there on the 1939 census was Alice with her date of birth  which proved to be the key to me finding out about her.
1881 - 1911 census
Age 3yrs she was a visitor to a Hannah Lewis
Age 13yrs  she was named as niece of Hannah Lewis
Age 33yrs she was listed as adopted daughter of Hannah Lewis

My husbands gt gt grandfather was adopted, now we have his grandmother adopted and our son is adopted... its a strange old world !

After all this excitement we went for lunch at a Beefeater which was very nice, and called to see his parents grave as we passed close by.

Hard to believe it is 16 years since my Mother in law died.

May sunshine at last

After a long winter the sun decided to come out for a few days. It is funny how everything looks so much better with a little sunshine. Chris has been busy weeding the Cotswold stone area of the garden. The Mind Your Own Business plant had taken over a lot of it as without the really bad winter it had not been killed off. This was a very labour intensive operation I am pleased he tackled it.

One or maybe it was two years ago [ age and retirement tend to make the years roll into each other ] I bought a couple of apple trees from Aldi [ or was it Lidl?] I remember they were very cheap and I put them in large pots to hide the shed. One tree I decided to weave into a ball just for the fun of it. They are bursting with flowers and I am hoping for a few nice apples this year, but in the meantime will just enjoy the pretty blossom.
My apple tree ball!

Planted a couple of geraniums in the hanging baskets for a little colour

Cowslips came from nowhere a few years ago and now cover whole patch of land
I love the delicate flowers

Pansies always make me smile, they look like little grinning faces.

I have quite a few Acers and love the different colours,
 they shade the pond and hang over the bridge.

On his hands and knees weeding the Cotswold stone area.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Workshop Day 3

Today was spent in the company of two friends making a cushion. Sadly friend number 3 could not make as she was unwell. This is our third meeting to try and keep ourselves motivated with quilting projects. Anyone that comes up with a good idea organises the day, and today Pauline showed us how to make a cushion based on nine patch blocks.
For some reason it should have been a fairly easy day but I think I had a brain storm and messed up the first blocks sequence but eventually got the hang of it and we all managed to complete our cushions. Thanks Pauline for the help.
My cushion made with printed sewing fabrics to use in my Happy Room

Christine's cushion, love the colours that match the project we made last month.

Pauline's cushion 

A beautiful day in the Northamptonshire countryside

The weather forecast was for a nice sunny Monday moving into a wet rest of the week, so we thought we would take advantage of the day and set off to travel some of the local Byways.

According to Wikipedia

byway in the United Kingdom is a track, often rural, which is too minor to be called a road. These routes are often unsurfaced, typically having the appearance of 'green lanes'.

Packed lunches at the ready we spent about 6 hours travelling as many Byways as we could. The sun was really hot and the only "air conditioner" the old Land Rover has is to open the flaps at the front or the side windows. Often it is too difficult to have the windows open as the lanes are so narrow the trees and brambles tend to come into the car.
Not that I am complaining one little bit about the lovely sunshine.

Crossing the causeway at Pitsford Reservoiur

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...