Friday, 27 October 2017

Enjoying the nice weather

Early this morning it was frosty and misty, but as Chris had an Hospital appointment we thought we would make the most of the day and head to the National Trust property at Stowe as soon as he was finished. What a treat the buggie that takes you down to the main area was driven my a friendly chap who took us right down to the lake. It is a long walk and too much for me. We walked around the lake and enjoyed the sights, while children were on a Pumpkin hunt.
Late summer sun shine

Statues appear from every vantage pooint

Autumn colours

The Temple of British Worthies designed by William Kent in 1734, this monument is an exedra [outdoor seat]

Alexander Pope, Thomas Gresham, Inigo Jones, John Milton, William Shakespeare, John Locke, Isaac Newton, Francis Bacon, King Alfred, Prince Edward, Queen Elizabeth 1,
King William 111,Walter Raleigh, Frances Drake, John Hampden and John Barnard

A lake view

Love this view

Part of the pumpkin trail for the children.
A final hot chocolate in the cafe, we headed for home stopping at the Queen Eleanor Pub for lunch.
Days do not get much better than this.

A visit to my sister

My sister Debbie lives in the Cotswolds and we rarely get to see each other. The last day the girls were with us we took off early and the sun was shining, in fact it was so warm we hardly needed a coat! Debbie lives in the stable block of a large house and Eleanor enjoyed pressing a button to open the large gates so we could drive in to the grounds.
 Debbie's house backs onto a field where two rams were enjoying the sun.

They are very friendly and soon came over to eat the apples we had brought with us.

We enjoyed a lovely meal at the local pub

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Half term with the granddaughters

I love when the girls come to stay, but they sure do wear me out!  We never seem to stop, even after a walk I was told not to sit in my chair as we HAD to play a game at the table... I would not want it any other way.
Monday I collected them and after settling in we drove to Costco at Milton Keynes as I need to replenish my freezer after the kitchen makeover.
We like to get their early and have a cheap lunch, the four of us had jacket potatoes all with different fillings and a drink for under £9. Then armed with a large trolley set off to shop. The girls could not believe you could buy anything from a hottub to a pack of mince and everything in between.

All the Christmas stock was in and Abigail decided she would like twelve of these drummer men, well they only cost about £350 each!!  Eleanor spotted a star she thought would be good for her Christmas tree, it was about four feet high! 
Back home all the meat was vacuum packed ready for the freezer by me and the girls. This was followed by more game playing.

Tuesday was BBQ sauce and machine embroidery day.
2 jars of red jam, 2 bottles of tomato sauce, 2 bottles of Worcester sauce, 1 bottle of soy sauce, 1/2 bottle of lemon juice, 2 bottles of honey, with a large tablespoon of mustard and cornflour. It was Hubble Bubble toil and trouble in the new kitchen.

Someone on one of the internet groups I belong to had made scarves with fleece and machine embroidery, so we thought we would have a go. Eleanor wanted a unicorn and do you think I could find a pattern amongst the hundreds I have... no. A quick download from a machine embroidery site and she had the unicorn she wanted.. she made two one for herself and one for her friend. Abigail choose the dark blue fleece and ME an A on it, we also made one for my sister as we are going to visit her on Wednesday.

Machine embroidered scarves.

Working on the new me!

Over the past couple of weeks I have been working on losing weight [AGAIN!] and taking more walks. A couple of the walks were particularly nice..
After taking a car load to the charity shop we went on one of our favorite walks at this Country Park.

Love to see the hedges layered

The overcast day meant the water looked almost black

Wood carvings are everywhere

Love this owl

This pair of swans looked like they were trying to keep warm

A heron where it belongs [ in a park] not fishing in my pond at home!
A local walk often taken is along the old railway line, we usually park the car and go right but this day for a change we went left towards town. There is always something interesting to see and everyone you pass says hello.

A mile marker

Chris working out how far we are from Harlestone woods. A track leads across the fields but we didn't take it.

Well wrapped up for the cold wearing my new Panda hat.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Carolyn Forster Workshop

Tuesday evening Carolyn Forster was the speaker at the Hamtune Quilters meeting. Table upon table was covered in quilts and her talk covered her quilting life. She was a very entertaining speaker and her quilts were beautiful.

On Wednesday a Perkiomen Valley Quilt workshop had been arranged with Carolyn. Perkiomen is an area between New Jersey and Pennsylvania and had a rich heritage of a certain type of quilt not found anywhere else.

Made of squares and half square triangles we were shown a number of different ways these could be made into blocks and then a seemingly endless number of ways the blocks could then be arranged.

Carolyn's samples

Eight of us enjoying a day quilting and learning a new method of putting squares and triangles together

End of the day display, mine being nearest the front 

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Another hat

Another hat, hot off the needles!
The pattern was free on Ravelry and designed by Anne Mizoguchi.
I used double knit special by Stylecraft and a circular needle. I love the feel of this 100% premium acrylic and it washes so well in the washing machine.
It is not really this shape, but the only thing I could find to put it on for a photograph was a small kettle!

I now have knitted three hats, so I will be ready for the winter weather.

Other news... today we are waiting for the flooring to arrive and be fitted and that will be the end of the kitchen re-fit. I have put everything away but so much needs resorting as and when I get around to it.

Sunday, 15 October 2017


What a busy birthday time at the moment.
Sept 22nd Chris celebrated his birthday in Yorkshire on holiday
Sept 30th Abigail reached the grand old age of 14 years ! Where did those 14 years go?
Oct 9th my sister Debbie was 70 years old, and she is my younger sister so I feel really old.
Oct 13th Richard celebrated his 46th birthday quickly followed by Eleanor who will be 10 years old on the 17th.
Today would have been my Mum's 103rd birthday... miss you Mum.

As you can see it has been really busy around here, but last night we celebrated my new kitchen, I cooked a meal for the first time, and Richard and Eleanor's birthdays.

What fun we had playing a penny game, followed by feely bag game.
Richard blowing out the candles on his cake

Eleanor blowing out the candles on her cake.
She loved the candle so much she took the card wrapping home so her mum could buy another!

NO looking in the bag !!!
I call out the name of an item and the first to find it without looking wins a point.
We all laughed so much there were tears and a lot of cheating.

October IAM

A week later than usual we held our IAM craft meeting.
Seven of us sewing, making lace, knitting, crocheting and chatting... a LOT of chatting and laughing! The day went really quickly which is always the sign of a good day.
Shirley and Penny had made matching crochet blankets.
Such lovely colours.

Jenny showed us her hand pieced hexagon block quilt.
Absolutely fabulous

Jenny knitted me an angel, I love angels, thank you Jenny

Clare had completed her quilted basket.
The Bosal foam is very effective for shaping the sections.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

The Mystery photo

Searching through some cupboards I came across this picture

Me age about 2 yrs old.
The photo was taken by Helen Speight at Kettering
and hand coloured in.
Not sure they had coloured photography 71 years ago!
The frame was falling apart and as I had a cheap picture in another frame the same size, I asked Chris to re-frame it. Much to our surprise there was another photo behind it of my parents wedding. What a treat to find such a treasure. Mum would have been 103 this week.
L to R Bert ? [Dad's friend I think] Edna Harris [ nee Simons] Dad [Stan Simons],
Mum [Mary Ashby] Rose [Mum's cousin] Grandad [ John Ashby]

Almost there

We are almost there with the new kitchen.
OK the fridge/fleezer is in the hall, the paint is wet, the tiler comes tomorrow plus I have no idea how to use all my new appliances and gadgets! Almost forgot the new flooring will be down next week... but we are almost there !
Starting to look like a kitchen again

I have managed to use the washing machine and
Chris has used the dish washer !

Managed to heat porridge in the combi microwave
and clear up the mess as it is so much faster than my old combi.

Hob and oven still a mystery

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Kitchen progress

Monday Richard the fitter arrived to start work on fitting the new kitchen, of course the first piece he wanted was at the bottom of the pile!
Luckily for us Roy came to help as his job had been delayed, this meant work would move along at a faster pace. Although I felt sorry for the people waiting for him to fit their kitchen.
The end of day one, some of the base cabinets are in and the worktop is looking good.
Tuesday again both men were here at 7.30am and did not stop, even for lunch until 3.30pm

Dishwasher and washing machine are installed, plus lots more cabinets.

Extractor hood and more cabinets on this side of the kitchen

The most enormous Hippo bag is in the garden being filled with packing and rubbish
No idea how they plan to get it out of the garden at the end of the build.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Plaster and parcels

8.30 The plasterer arrived to start on the kitchen walls and ceiling... what a mess!

Outside the back door, white footprints lead all the way around the house to the drive.
Hole in the ceiling fixed and re-plastered plus all the walls made good for painting and tiling.
5.30pm  165 parcels arrived, its like Christmas, the new kitchen was delivered into my Happy Room.
Three men carried everything from the truck around the house to the side door at such a pace.

Wickes truck arrives

It's full of the new kitchen

Washing machine, dishwasher, oven, combi microwave etc.etc.
Even a Hippo bag [ maybe there is a Hippopotamus hidden in there!]

Will my Happy Room ever recover?

Today is our eldest granddaughter Abigail's birthday hard to believe she is now 14 years old and such a nice young lady. We chat on Face time and so look forward to seeing her tomorrow.

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...