Friday 31 October 2008

treat or tricks?

Come and sit, have some tea and some Irish tea bread, try not to frighten yourself whilst I go off rummaging, see if I cant find you some candy....









Here you are, knew I had some, not sure how old they are mind.

Whats that you say? You were terribly scared of that last spook. Well shes had a hard life...there wasn't much call for a mohican ballerina, when times get tough...

Monday 27 October 2008

making hay

Although summer was a wash out, it seems that autumn has so far been of use to the avid gardener. With clear blue skies and just enough sun to warm your face, or make you strip off in the garden if you are having a good Monty dig and most definitely not tickling the soil*
*Toby Buckland
Last week I planted lots of over wintering garlic thermodyne which I bought from the nursery, this will be my first attempt, I hope they are worth the wait! Roll on June!
I also planted out the camassia bulbs that I bought a few months back.

The usual suspects
. Here are my squashes hopefully ripening. I did have 8 until I made soup last week which was good, though I've found the lack of sun affected the sweetness , but still good for casseroles and the like.

Today was another perfect day for gardening and I intended to make use of it. Now that I have picked all the squashes I was able to have a tidy up and build a new raised bed out of old fence posts. Again this is great for the garden and the birds, as they get an easy feed, but they also root out all the beasties including slugs eggs! Yuck!!

Apples apples everywhere! Don't you love something for nothing especially the edible kind! I'm on the second bag of apples from the tree in my parents garden and was wondering what else to do with them, when I remembered my Dad keeps making an apple cake. So I had a look through my books and found one in Delias cook book. I simplified it and made something akin to bread pudding with spiced apple!

At last I found some small pie dishes for, wait for it...pies. Charity of course!

Another charity buy was this wonderfully gorgeous Sarah Raven £2.50 bargain, I didn't even have to look inside to know I had to have it. I'm really chuffed as well as they are selling it new for £18 on ebay. I already have a lot of the plants so I think this is really going to help me arrange my garden in a bolder way!! Now I want it to be spring!

I've managed to plant some pansies for either side of the bay window, I'm hoping they survive!

apologies: it seems that in my last post I made a fopar. Instead of ne hao it should have been ni hao (don't rely on the internet) which is funny because I was talking to my husband about silly translations and then I go and make one. Lets hope I wasn't rude!!

Wednesday 22 October 2008


Good morning everyone, I would like to say ne hao to my husbands work colleagues over from China and thank you for their kind gifts. The first being of course green tea and the second this beautiful fan in a gorgeous green box, do you see where I'm going here? Its also a follow on post from the blue one, maybe yellow next?

JEERO really does have no clue....

Monday 20 October 2008


Reasons to be cheerful:

I spied this clip on a walk in part of the forest unknown to me. Call me a weirdo if it pleases you, I felt it was a spiritual sign from my late Grandma, blue being her favourite colour. Anyway that cheered me up considerably.

Finding out that my friend gave birth to a baby boy!



Realising that I have the same initials of my late Grandma!

Thursday 16 October 2008

fading grace

Though the skies are blue as I type this post there is no doubt that autumn is here. The garden takes on a fading charm and feels entirely different. It is this time of year when we must resist the urge to tidy our wild and woolly looking gardens as not only do the seeds head add beauty to the frosty winter garden but they also provide food for birds. Above is the seed head of the scabious flower which has bloomed all summer and has got quite out of hand, how glad I was that I didn't chop it down, for it attracted goldfinches for the first time. Now I really want a new camera with a twitchy zoom!

If you look hard enough you might see the goldfinch hanging around right in the middle of the picture.

The Autumn vegetable garden

There is still some activity in the veg patch. Here are my pride and joy, 5 butternut squashes, hopefully ripening to be stored for winter soup.

The leeks are still growing, lets hope the bug attack didn't render them inedible.

The carrots are also still growing which isn't always a great thing as they can end up woody or get eaten by somebody else!

A few weeks back I had to pick all my tomatoes due to threatening blight, so they tended to ripen all at once. So I made some soup, which was a little tarte if you know what I mean, I think as the tomatoes didn't ripen on the vine they were less sweet which showed in the soup. Not bad for my first tomato soup, though not as good as my Dads!

ps. excuse the half eaten soup, I forgot to take a photo so had to rush back indoors!!
Crazy this blogging!

pps. Call me crazy but I have a new blog
this gardens life
which I will start January 1st 2009.
I will be posting a photo every day, you guessed it, of the garden! The countdown begins!

Tuesday 14 October 2008

the wedding

The waters off, so I can't do any cleaning; shame... So I'm blogging instead, and why not?
Well Friday was the London wedding I've been telling you so much about. My husband is still friends with all his school mates, which is great if not a little strange, especially looking back at the photos through the years. So this wedding was one of our group who has made a successful life in London. We all travelled up on the train dressed up to the nines!! This doesn't happen often!

This is the Institute of Contemporary Arts, on The Mall where the reception was held. A beautiful building and super venue which had balconies with views of the London eye and Big Ben.
Unfortunately I didn't have my blog head on so there are limited pictures that don't include drunkenness! Must have had something to do with the free flowing champagne!

I did however remember to take a picture of the dessert which was their wedding cake, individual white chocolate cakes with chocolate sponge inner! Yum!To break the ice as we were seated, they had a fabulous book of who's who, which was such a cool idea as we'd all been split up on various tables. I think my cv is spot on!! fun fun fun!

The Happy Couple! It was a very upbeat wedding with lots of raucous cheering especially when the bride and groom made their first appearance!! Wow stunning! I like individuality! I didn't wear white on my wedding day either!

At this point the boots were off (never to be worn ever again, including walking back to Waterloo). So here we are a rare glimpse of summerfetes half cut author!

Saturday 11 October 2008

campervan swap

This week was the deadline for JBs campervan swap. My swap partner was Yvonne from Country Bliss. I think we were both unsure of our talents this being our first swap; but no need to worry look at the cute cushion Yvonne has made me, complete with a sign to St Ives!

I also received a van pen. Yvonne how did you know that we can never find pens in this household? Well now I wont lose this one! Also the cutest tiny keyring.

I think our partner swap was a great triumph, If anything this swap has found me a great friend in my favourite part of the world (Cornwall) whom I feel I can connect with!


I say connect because I feel like we are on the same wavelength. My husband was given this postcard for his birthday, 2 days later Yvonne sent me the same one!! I had to gasp when I saw it. Also the day before my parcel arrived I bought this embroidered cushion cover, isn't it eerily the same sort of colour combination!! cue twilight zone music.

After many attempts and ideas above my station I hit on an idea for my project. For a while now I've been wanting to make patchwork pictures and this swap actually made me put the needle to the cloth, so to speak. So Yvonne is the owner of the very first 'prototype'.

Its a hexagonal patchwork, made with traditional paper templates, including 3 Cath Kidston fabrics. The van transfer is a tweaked photo of one of our vintage corgi toys with a swarovski crystal for a headlamp. The I heart VW badge and the slogan were both made with iron-on transfer paper too.

I had a wobble half way through, you know when your not sure if its all going to work, overall I'm quite chuffed with what I achieved and learnt some new skills along the way!

I also made a little card and a label for Yvonnes youngest daughter Lily tied to some sweets!

I like embroidering names in case you haven't noticed, so I just had to personalise my parcel, all sewn by hand which I enjoy, however if you have ever sewn something and then had to turn it inside out, you can then imagine how long it took me to turn out the ribbon! LOL It was worth it though!

I would just like to thank Yvonne for being such a super swapper and sorry if this post is gushy!!