Check out my Finished Items on the second page

Thursday, December 20, 2007

a tad cold!

Spot was very disgruntled to find that I had to scrape ice off the inside of my car this morning!

Sorry there haven't been many posts lately. Been struck with a tummy bug (apparently sisters are never toooooo old to share!!!! - Love you!!!) so all best plans have gone a little westward. Heigh Ho, 'tis the season to be jolly!!!!! and all that!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

How much would you have paid?

OK so not many of you know (particularly as I bang on about jazz all the time) that I am and always have been, a rock chick. The first gig I ever went to with Mum & Dad and sis was the A.R.M.S. concert in 1983, and from there I went to frequent Eric Claptons residencies at the Albert Hall - in 1991 managing to see all 4 versions of his concert. I studied for my A levels to the soundtrack of The Song Remains The Same........

So what would i have given to seen this???

(Turn your speakers down A LOT if you're going to have listen - it's really loud!



Well not £83,000, but I would have loved to have been there! Robert Plant's voice sounds just incredible.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Deer !

Would you believe it!! - in the absence of any photo-able knitting/crafting. I went for a walk last week and saw 5 deer.... They were beautiful. So every day since I have taken my camera to take photos so I can at least show you something. Not a one, not even a "Butt shot" nada, nothing. Little monkeys!!!!! Bet now I've told you this and won't be taking my camera out they'll be there on Monday, in the middle of the flat bit!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Gentleman Jim Mcintosh and the Jazzaholics

Noo's Knits & Other Bits: Where to start??

If anyone was interested in the CD as reviewed in the above post. It is now available on eBay, just type Gentleman Jim Mcintosh in the search box........

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The frost didn't last!

Well all that beautiful frost and sun from last week turned into never-ending rain! - Finally today it has stopped (for a while anyway) and the sun is peeking out form behind clouds. The garden is soggy, and the chickens are fed up!

Talking of the chickens - do you remember me saying about a few bullying problems? - Well we put 2 new perches in their run, up at around 5ft. They can get to them in stages by flying up to the roof of their nestboxes, and it seems to have done the trick. The older 2 Welsummers love being up there, and the youngsters do go up every now and again, but there seems to be a pre-agreed "no fighting on the perches" rule! So harmony is restored.

Saturday in Swindon was just the best fun! - It was so great to meet friends and chat and laugh and knit! Everyone had taken knitting and we sat in a big circle knitting and talking. Franney had not only brought knitting, but apparently everything bar the kitchen sink........ she did a proper "show n tell", which was pretty cool it must be said!! There was a bit of spindle spinning, and some charity raising (in the form of an auction and a raffle), a fabulous lunch cooked by Grannysmith, and a surprise visit via video link of one of our illustrious forum leaders - Jacquie, who joined us for afternoon tea and cake (or in Utah, where she is, an early morning cuppa!). It was really such a great day and heartfelt thanks goes to Grannysmith for organising it.

Well that's about it for now. I'm afraid it's all going to get a little bit quiet here now for a while. Christmas needs sorting out (snuck up on me a bit!) and I have another part time job (much better this time - working for people I have known for a long time who know how I work and are happy for me to pick and choose my hours and work at home :) ) Hope you're all better organised than I am! x

Friday, November 16, 2007

It's a beautiful day

This morning we have woken up to the thickest frost, and brilliant sunshine. The sky is a cloudless winter blue, and it's enough in itself to put a great big smile on your face! We will be going out for a long walk in a little while, but in the meantime here is Spot first thing in the morning.
Then she came in to warm her tootsies by the radiator!
The sock yarn blanket is finished for now. At around 1 metre square it's plenty big enough for a newborn, so I've braided one end, and just put a row of double crochet along the other end, so I can easily unpick that later next year and make it bigger. With all this chilly weather I think my sister has more need of it now!!

Tomorrow I'm off to Swindon to meet some of the Crafty girls. A day of knitting and giggling I expect! Now that I've finished the blanket though I'm not sure what to take to knit!

Have a great weekend everyone. x

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I was so good!

I only bought the new Stitch 'n' Bitch for men book! - *polishes halo*

It was a fabulous day though, and I met so many people that I know from forums or blogland. Thanks to Joy and Franney for spending most of the day with me, - it was so nice to do it with such great company. Also I got to meet Glynis (who I think is blogless :( ) , Woolly Wormhead, DianeM, Jane, Lixie, and badger. There were plenty of other people there too that I had come across in my internet rambles!!!!

We were saying that whilst in the normal world there are supposed to be 6 (is it 6?) degrees of separation, we believe that in the world of knitting there are only 2, you either know the person (in an internet way ;) ) yourself, or you know someone that does! Small world!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Stitch n Bitch

I'm off to the Stitch n Bitch at Iknit tomorrow. I'm very excited!

To remember the past and the present....

ITS CHRISTMAS DAY ALL IS SECURE
TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
HE LIVED ALL ALONE
IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OF PLASTER AND STONE
I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE
AND TO SEE JUST WHO IN THIS HOME DID LIVE
I LOOKED ALL ABOUT A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE
NO TINSEL NO PRESENTS NOT EVEN A TREE
NO STOCKING BY THE MANTLE JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND
ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES OF FAR DISTANT LANDS
WITH MEDALS AND BADGES AWARDS OF ALL KINDS
A SOBER THOUGHT CAME THROUGH MY MIND
FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT IT WAS DARK AND DREARY
I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER
ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY
THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING SILENT ALONE CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR
IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME
THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER
NOT HOW I PICTURED A LONE BRITISH SOLDIER
WAS THIS THE HERO OF WHOM I'D JUST READ
CURLED UP ON A PONCHO THE FLOOR FOR A BED
I REALISED THE FAMILIES THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT
OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT
SOON ROUND THE WORLD THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY
AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY
THEY ALL ENJOY FREEDOM EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR
BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE
I COULDN'T HELP WONDER HOW MANY ALONE
ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME
THE VERY THOUGH BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE
I DROPPED TO MY KNEES AND STARTED TO CRY
THE SOLDIER AWAKENED AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE'
SANTA DON'T CRY THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE
I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM I DON'T ASK FOR MORE
MY LIFE IS MY GOD, MY COUNTRY. MY CORPS'
THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP
I COULDN'T CONTROL IT I CONTINUED TO WEEP
I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS SO SILENT AND STILL
AND WE BOTH SAT AND SHIVERED FROM THE COLD NIGHTS CHILL
I DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVE ON THAT COLD DARK NIGHT
THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOUR SO WILLING TO FIGHT
THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE
WHISPERED 'CARRY ON SANTA ITS CHRISTMAS DAY ALL IS SECURE'
ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT
'MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT'


THIS POEM WAS WRITTEN BY A PEACE KEEPING SOLDIER STATIONED OVERSEAS
THE FOLLOWING IS HIS REQUEST I THINK IT IS REASONABLE.
PLEASE WOULD YOU DO ME THE KIND FAVOUR OF SENDING THIS TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN CHRISTMAS WILL BE COMING SOON AND SOME CREDIT IS DUE TO OUR BRITISH SERVICE MEN AND WOMEN FOR OUR BEING ABLE TO CELEBRATE THESE FESTIVITIES.
LETS TRY IN THIS SMALL WAY TO PAY A TINY BIT BACK OF WHAT WE OWE!


And for me....please visit http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Where to start??

Well it's been a while my friends - I do hope you'll forgive me. I have so much to tell you so you'd better grab a cup of tea!!!
I'm going to start with last night's dinner! (I seem a little food obsessed lately, but this happens to me in the autumn as I love re-kindling my passion for cold weather comfort food) I had some puff pastry left in the freezer from last weeks game pie, which has been calling out to me ever since I put it in there! - So last night I found this recipe for Chicken & leek pie. It used up the last of my farmers market cider and some leeks I had in the fridge, so was a perfect recipe. It was absolutely delicious and I'd recommend it to anyone!
Still vaguely on the food theme. The 2 newest girls are laying well. However they are turning into proper bullies and one of them is feather-pecking the others. I have tried making their run more interesting, but she just seems to have a bee in her bonnet. I'll leave it for a while and see if they settle..... I'd hate to lose her as she's a fabulous layer, and is a very friendly little thing to me! - I think she just hopes that everything in her path is food and pecks it accordingly! I've let them out in the garden this afternoon and that definitely placates them! So much to do and so little time!!!

On to knitting now!

I steeked the cardigan - and I "think" it worked OK! I've knitted up the button bands and it all still seems to be in one piece which is a promising sign! - I haven't done the sleeves yet, so I must get a wriggle on with them!
I am also knitting an Irish Hiking Scarf for a lovely friend of ours. It's done in Garnstudio Karisma Superwash on 4mm needles, and because it's a bit thinner than the original yarn used I added a pattern repeat on to the width, otherwise it was in danger of becoming a cravat!! The colour is much deeper than it looks (why do digital cameras never photograph a true red?)

The sock yarn blanket is also coming along ... although still a way to go! (excuse the dog biscuits and general mess please!) I think I might edge the bottom of it, and then give it to my sister to use for the time being, then have it back next summer for elongating! Otherwise she will miss having it for the winter, which would be a shame.

I also have had the absolute pleasure to receive a swap from (I think the blogless) craftylady on the forum. I was so lucky and felt very spoilt indeed. 2 balls of opal rainforest (in snake!) some wonderful mint cream chocolates, and a selection of glove and scarf patterns for the yarn. The sock yarn has already found it's way into a couple of squares of the blanket, so the gift will be shared family wide!!



Also I won a competition on the forum! - This one was frankly hysterical. It was to guess how many WIP's the delightful (also blogless, but then she hasn't time for a blog) Pictish has on the needles at the moment. - I guessed a raucous 76..... and won by being the closest to the answer of 68! I won this.....
Yarn yard sock yarn in pink for October which I believe (although am happy to be corrected) n dyed last year to raise money for breast cancer awareness.



I also sent my copy of yarnforward magazine to another forum pal, as there was nothing in there that inspired me this quarter...... and looky what came rattling back through my letterbox: Fyberspates in colourway "Heather" - it's gorgeous and was totally unexpected and very naughty of her. I will find something beautiful to knit with it to put it to good use.




I also received a raffle prize from Terri, who had run a raffle to raise funds for her Great North Run. Unfortunately I can't find the photo I took of the whole prize which was a felted bag book, and 7 balls of Jamiesons shetland yarn, but here is the yarn!


Embarrassed by my recent good fortunes I ran another competition on the forum. The question was - with all my recent acquisitions, how many balls/skeins of yarn do I have in my stash! - I was surprised to find that the answer was 59 (I didn't think it was quite that many!) so will not be entering any competitions for a while!!!!! (I did buy some of them - honest!)

So moving swiftly along!

I also received through my letterbox this week, a copy of a CD by a great friend of mine - Gentleman Jim McIntosh, which he sent me because he said I would be honest about it - good or bad !!! (Is this a good thing to be recognized for?? - I supposed it is?!)Gentleman Jim McIntosh and the Jazzaholics "Drying Out" was recorded live at Moreton-in-Marsh Jazz club on 27 July 2007.

Well there was no need for him to worry about my honesty! - The CD is fabulous. It is everything that a good jazz CD should be - toe tapping, uplifting, raucous. The musicianship is incredible, and the whole CD just puts one of those silly "Big Fat Grins" on your face from the minute it starts to the minute it ends. The pace is good, with plenty of scope for a bit of aerobic exercise should you wish, but also a couple of slower tracks to get your breath back. Also a couple of tracks that you should just listen to intently to appreciate the incredible talent of the band. If you've never jived I guarantee you'll want to by the time the CD is half way through! The sleeve notes say that there was a 30 minute encore - I can't say I'm surprised, you wouldn't have wanted the evening to end. Gentleman Jim plays the banjo, ukulele and harmonica on the CD (the harmonica being one of the tiniest little things you have ever seen in your life - I doubt it's longer than an inch - how he's never choked on it I'll never know, especially when you know he is prone to the giggles!) He is joined by Richard Bennett, Mike Pointon, James Evans, Annie Hawkins and Baby Jools, if you are a regular on the jazz ciruit you'll know that's a pretty impressive lineup. The CD is a mix of traditional jazz & gospel, and there is also a track written by the Jazzaholics dedicated to the memory of Railway George, who I was lucky enough to meet at the 100 club a couple of times. As yet Gentleman Jim doesn't have a website, but if you want to get hold of a copy of the CD, let me know. I'll also see if I can get his permission to put a couple of excerpts on here.

(A lot of people seem to end up on this post after googling good ol' Jim Mcintosh and his Jazzaholics - He still doesn't have a website, but he is on facebook - if that helps at all)

Well I think I'd better leave it there - the chickens need to be put back in their run now and given their evening tea! Spot is curled up in her bed with her nost under her tail (she looks sooooo cute) so it must be time I tapped the heating on for an hour or two.... and had a cup of tea!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Game Pie

As much as I love to share recipes with you all, this is as much for my benefit as yours!! - I bought a wonderful game pie mix on the farmers market, being sure that I had a recipe at home. When it came to the deed this week, the game pies I had recipes for were more of the cold - pork pie- style, and not what I had in mind at all..... So, I made one up! and I have to say it turned out pretty well. So here, posted in immortality, is my made up game pie recipe!

Game Pie Meat Mix
1 large tumbler med dry quite strong cider (prob about 250ml)
1/2 mug porcini mushroom stock
1 teaspoon (level) grainy mustard
2 bay leaves
fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic
small amount dry mixed herbs
salt and pepper
1 tsp bisto powder to thicken gravy if needed
2 large squirts of honey (prob 2 tblspoons)
Carrots/onions/ whatever

Roll meat in some plain flour, and fry with onion and garlic. When meat browned, put into large casserole dish and add all the other ingredients (excpet bisto powder which is only used at the end if the gravy needs thickening) Cook slowly for a couple of hours. Served with mash and greens. mmmmmm!!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

New Life

He's here!!! - I have a new nephew! He's adorable and gorgeous, and cuddly!!! Everyone is fine, and my sister should be home today.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Autumn Days...

Aren't they just the best. Glorious sunshine, fabulous colours, not too hot to do things, a tiny bit of frost on the ground, wrapping up warm, coming in to hot drinks and soups, amazing earthy smell everywhere, bonfires....................... ahhhhhh ...... t'is my favourite time of the year.


And here is Spot to prove it's hers too!







I ordered my first ever organic veg box today, from Riverford . I'm really pleased with the contents, and will probably continue to do it every week, although may change from the mini box, which this was (£7.50) to the potato free winter box which I think is £9.75, but not available until 5th November. It's a tad more expensive than the supermarket, but it's all organic, and it could save me a supermarket trip once or twice a month, as I often only go to get veggies...... I always have meat and fish in the freezer, so it could end up saving me meoney in the long run!

As promised here is an updated piccie of the blanket..... My sister has gone to hospital today for a "gentle induction" (can there be such a thing? - the whole process doesn't sound very gentle to me at all - she says sitting with her legs crossed!!). So hopefully the next post will be some exciting news!

I am still loving knitting it, although have realised it needs to be at least twice as long as it is now!!! - but I've just downloaded the Magician's Nephew (read by Kenneth Brannagh) and the Horse and His Boy (read by Alex Jennings) as audiobooks, as I didn't get around to my usual summer read of the Narnia Chronicles, so it is all working out rather well!.

Hope you are all getting this wonderful sun too!





Saturday, October 13, 2007

Ally Pally

Well here is some of my haul from Thursday at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace.

The yarn is cherry tree hill merino, in Blueberry Hill, and it's to make a huge shawl/throw/tablecloth/thing in the one skein book which I also got. I also got the three newest Drops brochures which show proper pictures of their patterns. It's fabulous to be able to get free patterns on the Internet but is so worthwhile getting these brochures to properly show you what you're going to be knitting!!!! There were a couple of other little bits and pieces but they're for a secret Santa swap so I can't show them just in case!!

I had a fabulous day at Ally Pally. I met up with my Mum, and also Aknita, Franney and Jobo from the forum. It is so cool to meet people that you have been chatting in forums with, my forum friends are really important to me, I love 'em all, and so finally meet them "in the flesh" is really lovely. It's amazing how well you realise you know them, although we would never have recognised each other if we hadn't arranged to meet - how weird is that? You all made the day very special, thank you.

In other news..... well the new chickens have settled in just fine. Both are laying every day, which is great, and they seem happy and healthy. they are the funniest two creatures I have ever seen though. Such strong characters. Dorothy is soooooo greedy and the minute you open the big door to the run she tries to run between your legs to get out into the garden and eat grass. if you take a pot of corn - or indeed anything - in with you she jumps up and down like a demented jack-in-the-box trying to get to what's in it before the others. She also checks out your coat, jeans, shoes, (or in the case of sandal wearing - your toes) just in case any of it has become edible since she last checked. I will try hard to get a video of her before long because she is just so funny. Primrose is only a tad more refined! - basically the same character as Dorothy, but a little more genteel in her approach. (i.e. she doesn't peck your toes) So I now have to banish Spot to inside whilst dealing with the chickens, because chickens making a break for culinary freedom, make for a dog doing likewise, but with something else on the menu!!! and Noo invariably in a heap on the floor!!!! (stop laughing, I can hear you you know!!)

The sock yarn blanket is coming along beautifully and I am loving making it. So much so that my cardi has taken a back seat, despite the fact that I desperately need it because I had more than my fair share of felting accidents last year! I'll try to take a photo of the blanket soon, but it's getting hard as it's too big now to easily fit in!

So that's about us all caught up for a couple of days. Have a good weekend.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Gotta larff!

Finished the body of my Sunday Cardi last night - for the second time. I had already finished it mid-week, only to realise that the two fronts were completely different lengths from the armhole to the shoulder *rolls eyes* - memo to self:- don't drink a full can of cider before measuring your knitting!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Pink for October

Reminded by other blogging friends, I have turn my blog PinkforOctober........ it's not the best ever paint job (but then as my family know I can be a bit of a "botch it" merchant in these circumstances)

But the idea is it's PINK! - and it reminds each and every one of my friends to check those jubblies and be aware...... Go on do it now - I mean no-one can see you can they????? - What, You're in the office????? - Oh well just get everyone else to join in too!!!!


(Ok then, but promise to do it when you get home eh?)

(Pink badge in the header courtesy of KimWest from the pinkforoctober site)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Knitting Progress

Finally... .I can upload photos!
So here we have the progress on the sock yarn blanket:-





and the Grandad cardi...... - It's all going swimmingly!!!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Back but still slow

After a week and two days - I finally have a phone connection again. It's weird having no phone...... although I hardly ever use it, it's a very isolated feeling to realise that it's not there if you want it!

Anyway the phone is working again as of 14:30 today! and the internet..... as you can see..... is connected too. it's still pretty slow though. So, I have 226 blog posts to read (my, you lot do chat a lot don't you) and I haven't even logged on to the crafty threads forum yet because I know there'll be loads to read and I think I need to wait until my connection is back up to full speed otherwise I may end up throwing the laptop out of the window in frustration. But I'll be back there soon girls - honest. Trouble is if I log on and don't get to spend enough time there then all the posts are marked as read and I won't know what's new..... so I'm biding my time!

Everything here is good! Work finished last Thursday so I'm just trying to get myself into my old routine again....... walks at 11am, supermarket on Tuesday mornings......... It seems so long since I've done it that way! My sister and her (soon to be augmented) family have also just moved back down south and are living only about 4 miles up the road from me, so it's lovely to have my free time back again to be able to sponaneously suggest...........!! DNphw and I had a picnic together last week whilst everyone else was moving in..... we definitely got the best part of the deal! :)

The new chickens are in the big run with their older counterparts, and much as I thought it would be the old biddies who were boss...... I was wrong. The young ones are certainly in charge and bordering on what would be called bullying. The older two are moulting badly and probably not feeling up to putting up much of a fight at the moment. I'm sure things will even out a bit when they're feeling more themselves. No eggs from any of them yet, but at least now I know they're worth waiting for.

Piccies of knitting updates soon. Oooh and I'm sorry to all you Golden Fleece readers. Normal service will resume soon - honest!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Grrrrrrr

You know how I had a slow internet connection????????? Well now I have no phone line at all. Nothing, Nada, Dead, N'owt.......

I will be back, but I have no idea when!!!!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

The new girls have names!

The darker one is Dorothy, and the ligher one is Primrose. Didn't DNphw do well!??!

One more week of work left, then things can get back to normality round here (whatever normal is LOL!)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Two new ladies



Hoping DNphw will come up with some names when he visits next week. These are Rhode Island Red/Light Sussex crosses. They are the friendliest girls I've ever met, and are more than happy to be held and stroked (unlike the other two miserable old ladies) I didn't mean to get them (*blushes*) , but a local farm supplier sells them for only £6.75 and as Bea and Molly are not laying due to moulting (they'll be "oven ready" if they carry on much longer) I have realised that 2 isn't enough, and although I plan to hatch in the next month or so, the babies won't be laying for around 6 months. And I do miss my lovely eggs! (can't quite bring myself to buy them in the supermarket now) Although I won't get very many through the winter, I'm hoping that with 4 hens I should get enough for me! The hybrids are supposed to be really good layers and as they are just coming up to point-of-lay now, they should go through the winter giving me a few!!

Pluckingham Palace

There are also two new residents, but blogger/my broadband won't play and load the other photos.... might try to do it via the phone later!

Also, I'd just like to say that I have read all 109 new blog posts this morning, and I'm afraid I didn't comment on any as a) broadband still a bit slow so it was quicker to read them in my bloglines, and b) there were just too many. But I did love reading it all.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Still no broadband :(

Tiscali phoned me yesterday to say it was all working again, as there had been some work done on the exchange. They lied!!!

So here I am at work, and thought I'd just do a quick update in case it doesn't get fixed for the weekend. So no photos I'm afraid, but I'll try to be descriptive ;)

Firstly the bank holiday weekend was great. It seems like such a long time ago now so I can't really remember what it consisited of, but I think mostly knitting and gardening!

Then there was the lawnmower incident! - There I was home from work and it was a nice afternoon - perfect for cutting the lawn. Out came the mower in went the plug - round went the blade, for a moment..... then nothing, it was stuck. Flipped the mower upside down and ...oooops..... a new method of mouse eradication. :( I cried !!! (Mr Noo laughed at me when I told him!) This would not be my chosen method or reducing the mouse population. I only hope it was quick.

Spot's brother has been round to play a few times - that's been fun! They are so totally different in character and I am sure most of it is down the basic differences between men and women! Spot is a proper woman, very independent, generally quiet and very peaceful at home (usually asleep) but her moods can be deadly (as Dodge found out when he fancied a kiss and cuddle!) She couldn't care less if you cuddle her or not, and only does what she's told if it fits in with her plans. Dodge on the other hand is a little sweetheart. Will sit at your feet for hours waiting to do something to please you. He loves nothing more than a pat on the head or even better to get up on the couch with you and snuggle in! He's obedient because he wants to please you, and if he gets told off you can you see how hurt he is in his eyes. He is a bloomin' fidget though, permanently plodding about. Nowhere near as restful as Spot. It's funny to see them together and see their differences.

On the knitting front I have started the new "Sunday Cardi" and ..... wait for it....... I'm going to steek the front :o The pattern, which if you remember had some colourwork on it, is written for steeking, and I ummed and ahhhed about it for a while. But sometimes you just have to get on and have a go, and as it's only for an indoor cardi...... well, what can possibly go wrong ! (watch this space!)

Finally, we've also made another chicken house to go in the new run, I've made a definite decision to hatch new chicks to keep the flock at an optimum size. I was going to buy Point-of-Lay but they can be expensive and with hatching I can get them used to being handled etc. And once I've paid for the incubator and equipment I'll have it "forever". Piccies of the new house as soon as the internet is up again at home.

I'm sure there are other things to tell you all, but because I'm at work, I can't think of it all at the minute!

Have a nice weekend everyone.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I am still alive!

No broadband at home so no posts - and I've got so much to tell you!!!!! But you'll have to wait!

Hope you're all having fun!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Dog in the Dog-House

I was up early this morning - well before 7 :o ! Spot had a good play in the garden - we even played fetch for a while. Then I went to work........ and when I returned my sock blanket + three balls of yarn and the current "patch" were on the floor, spread around in a somewhat alarming fashion (I have to admit I did shout just a little!) Luckily it is knit in Opal sock yarn so is totally machine washable (in fact I think the opal washes up really nice and soft) and she didn't do any damage - obviously just wanted to spread it out and see how I was doing! My current square is in opal zebra, and she must have had a bit of a tussle with that as the outside of the ball of yarn is covered in hair, but amazingly not a single stitch is dropped off the needles - so I guess all that gun-dog training of not destroying stuff when she brings it to me must have paid off a little. Luckily that was a full ball as I haven't knit the socks yet (sorry Terri!!) so i can re-start the square using the middle of the ball and use the outside for socks for me. grrrrrr

In other animal news, the bloomin chicken house is covered in red-mite. They weren't there the other day - well not that I could see anyway - but today it is pretty infested. - The birds have been off the lay lately, but I also think they're moulting (although now I realise they could be loosing feathers due to scratching from the mites) so we'll have to see what the outcome is. The hen house has been thoroughly cleaned and Mr Noo is bringing a blowtorch with him tomorrow (- watch out Guildford!!) Hopefully it's been caught in time not to have caused them too much stress or illness...... Poultry shield and Diatom are also on their way for some weekend activity!

As you have probably seen, I've added a magictaxi search box to the top of my blog. This is the company that I have been working for........ it's one of those strange dilemmas:- I find it slightly immoral to build a business on the premise of giving 50% of your revenue to charity. Without the charities there would be no reason to use the search engine (or any of the other products), and consequently there would be no business (!) and the company is getting the other 50%., so the company is using other people (the charities) to sell their own product.......but, it is money to charity for something we all do all day, every day which is better than it going to no-one or google/yahoo/lycos etc etc etc...... so there you are, I've put it up there and I'll leave it to your conscience to decide whether to use it!!! You can also download a toolbar or add magictaxi to your search providers. All the info is at magictaxi.co.uk (some of it is on the magicaloffices link at the bottom of the page)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Finally the Musckat cardi - Plus next on the agenda




Finally....................... I've posted this on the forum and on Ravelry, but not here.... so here it is:
DROPS 101-22, knitted in Muskat colour 09. Exactly as pattern!

Next I'm going to do this:-
Yet another DROPS pattern (they appeal to my blonde nature) This one is DROPS 70-17 and is knit in Karisma Superwash, which is a 100% superwash wool, which is so lovely and soft when it's been washed. I have a pair of slouch socks made in it, and I will actually find things to wash with them so that they get done quickly and i can get them back on! I'm going to modify this pattern a bit though as I'm looking for a "Sunday Cardi" if you know what I mean. I'm going to knit it all in one colour, which is cream (I think I should have chosen grey now, but it's bought and I'm sure I'll like it - and at least it won't show the dog hairs) I'm also going to make it a wee bit smaller. The smallest size has a chest of 41", and as I'm only 35" (if I breathe in really hard and puff it all out as best i can) 41" is going to be a bit too baggy, so I'm aiming for around 38 - 39"! I might also make it just a tiny bit longer, maybe just an inch or so! The yarn should be here on Thursday, so it'll be on the needles by next weekend ready for the two hours in front of the tv watching the F1 GP!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

New Blog!

I've started a new blog in readiness for some winter reading for you all!

Golden Fleece Gazette

I'm just off to make a button!!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Life as we know it

Well as Miss Spot has told you - I have indeed "done a notice" !! - and much relieved I am too, I can tell you! I have agreed to finish the three months, but also said that I would accept a week's notice from them in the meantime if they find someone else, or just don't have enough for me to do - well you gotta hope haven't you?!!!



Today I got home from work and tackled a few veg patch necessaries! - I've trimmed all the leaves off my tomato plant as it's had fruit on it for ages now, but they're not turning ripe 'cos they're not getting enough sun. I hope with the demise of the leaves that a few more rays will penetrate and I'll get some lovely ruby red tomms! - My courgettes are all but finished now - I never weigh my veg but I reckon I've had in excess of 25 fruits, and they're just beginning to get a bit soft before they ripen, so one plant has been taken up to give the other one more room, but I don't really expect much more in the way of "quality" from it!!!! The runner beans are also pretty much finished, but I've had loads and I did plant them really early this year. The onions were pulled up by MrNoo earlier in the week, they were a little small, but there is still so much rain that we decided it was as well to get them up on a good dry day, all the leaves had bent over a good few weeks ago so I doubt they'd have done much more. - They've been hung in the shed, so I'm hoping the resident mice don't fancy them! The carrots are amazing - I have a huge crop and they are so tasty. Definitely one of the season's successes. And the squash is doing well. The one in the photo the other day has turned golden, and there is definitely one more which is going to be a great one! - I can't quite find the others in amongst all the foliage, so who knows - but I do love a good surprise!



Unfortunately we haven't got out for a walk "again" today as it started raining as soon as I'd stopped for a cup of tea from the gardening. I'm sure it's a plan that whenever I'm in work the weather is OK, and the minute I leave (or shortly thereafter) the heaven's open! Still, no work at all tomorrow so we will go out whatever the weather!!!!

I got a great deal on good old ebay last week. 18 patterns for £12 incl. p&p. I haven't sewn anything since I was at school (and that was excruciatingly slow and painful - and it was only a flippin' apron) but I really fancy having a go, and thought if I had a few patterns and some fabric knocking around then one wet weekend I could make myself something! - Well it might happen!

I haven't managed to take a decent photo of the Muskat cardigan yet, but I will soon. It doesn't look quite how I wanted. It's a bit wider than I had anticipated, but it's one of those things that you could never judge as you were knitting it, cos it's all in one piece. It's very pretty, I had just envisaged it being a little "slimmer"!!!! - But a photo soon, when mrNoo has 5 mins!

Right, Spot wants her dinner, and I'm being hassled by her big brown begging eyes!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

To Clover….. Love Spot


Dear Clover,

“Hey friend, it’s been a while…. How are you? I’m fine, but Mum says I’m getting fat! I try to tell her that it’s ‘cos we’re not walking so much at the moment, but she keeps cutting down my food portions anyway. – I get my own back though, ‘cos I steal the plums off her tree when she isn’t looking.

Mum has this thing now that she calls a job. I can remember your Mum and mine talking about them a bit in the winter when we walked together (they think we don’t listen, but how else do they think I know when to run off and not get caught for a while…. I’m always listening and waiting for a bit where they seem to be concentrating on what they’re talking about more than what I’m up to – bet you do too)…….. Anyway, I don’t think this “job” thing can be much fun. Mum gets me up proper early these days – before 7am!!!! I mean,. it’s just not decent! I get half an hour in the garden while she puts some weird brown stuff on her face…. And half an hour isn’t nearly enough time to steal plums and chase the chickens. Then off she goes without so much as a whole bonio, and leaves me here on my own. (Mind you at least I get to go back to bed in peace) She gets back about 2, which I reckon is pretty good, but then she’s moaning about having to go to that big food place (No, not Petplanet, the one for humans), and cook dinner, and do the garden, and knit, and catch up with friends on forums and write blogs She says it’s good to have a job for a while cos we can afford some things that we need, but I don’t see a new bed in my area of the house, and I’ve been trying to tell her that what’s important is that we have time to have fun together. We can manage without new carpet, and if she has guests I’d always let them sleep on my bed, really I would. I think she’s getting the idea now though, .…… The thing is really it’s me that’s missing out, I haven’t been walked properly in ages. AND the other thing is she keeps moaning about it being too hot for me to walk ‘cos I run around too much. I try to make her understand that there’s that really big puddle on the big path there, that’s deep enough to go up to my shoulders if I lay down, and I do find that very cooling if I’m a bit hot, but she doesn’t seem to get what I’m saying. I’ve tried to show her quite a few times, but I just don’t think she really “gets it”, and in all honesty she seems to get a bit cross……. I’m only doing what she wants and cooling off? I’ve invited her in plenty of times, but she doesn’t seem to fancy it, can’t understand it myself!

It seems that it might all be back to normal soon though, ‘cos she said to Grandma this week that she had done a sign or something….. no that’s not right…….. a notice that was it. And that come the 25th of September it’ll all be back to normal. Well quite frankly I can’t wait, I mean I’m a working dog, I need to get out and run on these pins, and keep fit and slim, and chase rabbits, and sniff out all sorts. I just NEED to – You understand don’t you Clover? Mind you it isn’t the same walking in the summer time anyway, with all that Bracken all grown up, there aren’t nearly so many places to sniff out and rummage in….. but I’d have been cross and proper grumpy if the autumn and winter came and we didn’t get more walks, and I’d miss seeing you, cos we always catch up again then don’t we?

Guess what, The chickens are in a really big run now, and it’s so much fun. You can stand and watch them for a while, but if you jump up at the wire they get all flustered and try to fly – it’s such a laugh, ‘cos they’re really no good at it. Not like pheasants! I think that’s where I learnt the idea,............ I can remember Dad taking me out in the winter time and I had to make pheasants fly……I did enjoy that! I did try to “fetch” one of the chickens a couple of weeks ago, but Mum didn’t seem all that pleased. – Honestly there’s just no pleasing some people…….. If I don’t bring her the plums I pick she gets cross and if I do bring her the chickens she gets cross…… when they say “it’s a dog’s life” they’re not wrong!

How are your teeth now, are they better? Mum’s been brushing mine, but seriously it’s not fun! – She sticks this great big blue bristly thing in my mouth, with some foamy stuff on that’s supposed to taste of chicken, well that’s a laugh for a start, never smelt a chicken like that before I can tell you. I’ve told her I’ll let her do it if she let’s me sit and watch the chickens in their run at the same time. It seems a fair enough deal to me, and I’ve got away with it so far. I don’t know what the fuss is about though…… teeth brushing for a dog indeed, they’ll be wanting to put sun-block on us next and moisturiser!!

Well, Clover, I hope your Mum let’s you read this, cos it’s taken ages for me to write, my paws are a bit big for this keyboard and I made lots of mistakes.. I do hope we get to walk together again soon… when it’s cooler and Mum doesn’t have the “job” thing, and the bracken is dying back to we can scamper about and play chase.
Ooops almost forgot, Mum says can you tell your Mum, thanks for sponsoring her for that run she did. She was really excited to get the sponsor.. Personally I don't know why she made such a big deal out of it - you and I could do 5Km's before breakfast, but I just kept quiet and let her have her moment of glory!!!

Love Spot.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Friends!

Aren't friends just the most wonderful and precious gift?

As you know I spent Tuesday with a very dear friend in Norwich. It was such a lovely day, filled with smiles, a little sunshine, and a lot of love. We talked, sat quietly, walked in the garden, and sat by a pond watching damsel flies. Although a Bishop now, I first met Fr Evans, as he was to us girls then, when I was 14 and in the third year at Senior school. He was our school Chaplain, and although wasn't at school full time, could often be found in his little office, with copious supplies of coffee and biscuits... and a tape deck which could be found to be playing anything from Schostakovitch (his choice) to Chris de Burgh (ours !! and I might add before the days of Lady in Red!!!) I am not a Catholic, but as we attended a Catholic school we were expected to attend Mass on days of obligation..... and one such day the sermon has made so much sense to me in my troubled state of being 14, that I went and knocked on his office door some time later to talk about it, and a lifetime of friendship was born. The backbone of the friendship was indeed the spiritual teaching that any Priest will give, but brought to a group of rebellious/hormone stricken teenage girls with such care and thought for how life was for us at that difficult age. He taught us to be passionate about our beliefs, whatever they were.... to listen with our hearts and never to judge, and those were rules he lived his life by as our Chaplain.

As years have gone by our friendship has remained strong.... we don't get to see each other often, but when we do we easily lapse into the quiet, serene company that has always been our way.

... and so you see this man has not only taught me about faith, and belief and trust.... but he has also taught me how to be a friend (although I sadly fall short of his measure, but I try!)... and also he has shown me what to look for in a friend. One that listens with an open heart, and never judges........

I am the luckiest girl around.... I have friends in blogland, on forums and "in person" who all seem to live their lives by these values. On my Poultry forum a fairly new member has just had surgery, and to see the effort and love that has gone into supporting him and his young family through the last couple of weeks has been an honour to be part of. On the crafty forum there is so much support for so many things and all done with such love and goodwill, and throughout blogland I have seen so many instances of friends rallying round to support someone who needs to hear some words of comfort, often people they have never met in real life.

So I want to take this time to thank you all for being my friends, and to thank your friends in turn for being there for you. The world would be a sad and lonely place without you all, and I cherish each and every one of you. x

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Squirrel.... my ar............FOOT!!!!!

Sorry people it wasn't a squirrel, it is indeed a SQUASH!







I have started a blanket for my sister's bump! I'm thinking it won't be finished until "bump" is about 18, but hey maybe I can start a new university craze!!! Because I'm lazy and don't want to sew in too many ends I'm knitting it in squares but picking up the stitches on the side of the just finished square to start the new one. It means that the sock yarn will be pooled across the blanket rather than individual squares, but assuming I do finish it before he/she is 18, he/she probably won't notice!!!!! It's just the right weather for this mindless kind of knitting, no thought, no concentration...... just keep going!

I'm also knitting a clapotis in some left over chenille - I don't know if I like it - bit like when I was knitting Sahara in it really, but it's something to do and it's easy knitting for this weather. I'm obviously in a blanket/throw/shawl/shrug mood!!!

Did anyone see the F1 GP today? I have to say that although I think Lewis Hamilton is the most amazing rookie driver we have seen - possibly ever...... I was a bit dismayed to hear the british media permanently going on about Alonso having held him up yesterday and what a bad sportsman Alonso is etc etc etc, when if you read the press conference with Ron Dennis, it was Lewis' blatent refusal to obey team orders in Q3 yesterday which caused the kerfuffle. I'm not saying Alonso was blameless - we don't know, and as the stewards penalised him there must have been good reason. BUT if Lewis had done as he was told the situation would not have arisen. I'm not saying whether what he did was right or wrong, he made a driver's decision. BUT I did get a bit sick of hearing about him being totally done wrong by.... when it was at least partly his own fault. Still he won the race and that was awesome. He is truly a talented driver and I hope that he will bring British Motor Racing back into the fore again!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Awards

I have recently been awarded 2 different awards from fellow bloggers. The first was the "Schmoozer":- from Ruth
Schmoozing is the natural ability “to converse casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection.” Good schmoozers effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogsphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don’t limit their visits to only the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful conversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello - all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship".

This award means such a lot to me *wipes tear from eye, Gwyneth Paltrow style*. As I do believe the art of blogging and friendship are entwined and the Schmoozer award embodies that thought.

The second award was the "Rockin Girl Blogger" From Queen of the Froggers. and Piglottie (oooh double nominated that must be good!)

How cool is that - Me ?? A Rockin' Girl?!!! LOL

Now who to present these awards on to......... it's hard 'cos I love all the blogs I read, so if I don't choose you it's not cos I don't think you deserve either of them, it's just that I have to leave some of you for other people to nominate.... plus if you notice the size of my blogroll over there on the right, you'll see that if I nominated everyone I'd be here for the next week typing hyperlinks!

So, the nominations are..... *drum roll*

Piglottie for the Schmoozer 'cos you are what blog friends are all about.

Seahorse also for the Schmoozer, because I love the way you write and the different types of postings you do, I often learn things from your blog!

Catknit for the Rockin' Girl, 'cos if ever there was one it's you!

Linz for the Rockin' Girl, 'cos you make the best little animated buttons in the crafting world!

Please note this isn't a list of favourites....... I love you all, otherwise I wouldn't spend so much time reading your blogs!!!! xx


I spy with my little eye......

Something beginning with SQ.............

Can you see it??????

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I'm at work......

and losing the will to live!!!!

(Life shouldn't be this boring when there are so many wonderful things to do in the world)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Harvest Festival - Or What I had for Sunday dinner!

Well, it's got to that time of the year when the garden is producing more than enough to live on - As long as you never get bored of runner beans and courgettes! - Here was last night's dinner, baby carrots, runner beans (which went beautifully with a chicken leg and some new potatoes) and for desert 4 ripe plums! mmmmm
I have painted about one third of the chicken run! - Their house is in there too, along with a little bit of cover for them for when it rains, and to keep their food dry! - They seem very happy and I've had eggs from them both, and they're eating well. So all is good there.

For all you Spot fans:- The pooch seems to have been a little side-lined lately, so here she is in all her spaniel glory........

...... and what is she making those big beautiful brown eyes at..........
Mum has a bottle of beer!!!!!
I've taken the verification code off my comments for a while, to see if I get hit by spam. I have been having a lovely email conversation with a blind gentleman through work, and as part of the discussions I have learnt how very un-user-friendly the verification codes are for blind and deaf-blind users, because their screen readers can't read the image. Now blogger does at least have an audio facility (although obviously no use to a deaf-blind user), but have you ever heard it?? Go find a blog that uses the verification and click on the little disabled icon next to the box - it took me 8 goes to get mine! - Which is why it's not there any more!
Finally, my next social outing is to visit a very, very dear friend in Norwich next week. - I go up there for a day next Tuesday - and his birthday is on Friday. If anyone has any suggestions for a birthday gift for a Catholic Bishop, I'd be grateful! (I should add that he does have an excellent sense of humour!!!)
Right, Spot and I are off for a very long walk now! Byeeeeee
P.s. Thanks for all your lovely comments on the new layout - I can't take the credit though! - For a lovely selection of blogger templates check out Finalsense. Be warned though you will lose all your widgets!
p.p.s I have been tagged twice - for a Schmoozer award and a Rockin'Girl blogger award. I want to acknowledge both awards properly as I'm stoked to have received them, but just haven't quite got the time at the mo. Please bear with me!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Lessons Learnt

1:-Decide that you want to paint light coloured wood before you make an enormous chicken run and staple wire to the wood apparently at 2cm intervals

2:-When using water protective wood stain, remember it isn't very likely to come off you very easily either!

3:-Re No. 2 - Wear a hat!

4:-Re No. 3 - If you aren't wearing a hat, don't stand underneath the beam that you are painting.

5:-Don't wear a sleeveless t-shirt.

6:-Wear old clothes, shoes, hat, glasses, and if possible old skin - - you'll need the new stuff to cover yourself in after you've scrubbed all the old skin off in a vague attempt to remove dark brown stains from all over your body/face/hands/hair!

7:-Enjoy it! - Well you might as well - it's going to take weeks!

I'm going to get my knitting out now - it's safer!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Phew!

I cannot begin to tell you how tired we are!!! But here it is - practically finished (needs some finishing touches, (perches etc) but they're in and it's done! Mr Noo has gone home now - and I'm already tucking into the beer!!!!! (My feet are killing me!!!!)


View from bedroom window:


View from outside
Here they both are enjoying their new space


We are going to put a full mesh floor in to protect from Mr Fox, but the ground isn't level, and if there's one thing that chickens can do well, it's sort out weedy uneven earth!!! Their house is in there and up in the air, and we've put some extra barricading around the perimeter to hopefully deter any night time visitors - to be honest they're existing house and run didn't have a bottom, so it's no different, just have to keep our fingers crossed for now.
Anyway that's it from me for tonight - I'm too tired to write any more! Just like to say a welcome to Janey, Snowgoose and Wild Rose - lovely to have three new readers, and thank you so much for your comments!
Hopefully there will be another update over the weekend as the Muskat cardi (the "next project as mentioned here!) is nearly finished!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Simple Maths

THIS

PLUS (PLUS A DRY DAY, FINALLY!)


EQUALS
AND therefore hopefully a brand new 12' x 12' chicken run! The Panels are 6' x 6' so I'll actually be able to stand up while cleaning it and putting their feed in etc. - and *ahem* it'll mean room for a few more birds.!! - Not many more because this run will be static, and I've heard they can get a bit pongy!!! But Mr Noo fancies an Orpington, and I'd like a Sussex and maybe a Dorking - or maybe just a couple of hybrids, I'm not too fussy!!!! (What I'm really after is a basket full of different coloured eggs!!)

In other news: The final Harry Potter book was good. I won't say any more because I know there are people who haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I loved it. I hope to read the entire series again now, and hopefully even remember what all the spells do!!!

The job, is quite frankly, crap! but that's a whole different post for another time. I'm certainly not doing what I'm good at. So, that's enough on that subject!

The poor pooch hasn't been walked in over a week, and both of us are putting on weight! - Although I'm only working 8 - 2, it seems that the heavens open every time I leave the office, and on the odd dry afternoon there is grass to cut, and other things to do. - We're both fed up with the situation! The weather here has been pretty bad, but Oh My, my heart does break for all the people up and down the country who have been affected by flooding. Watching the news is really emotional, so many people have lost so much! Many friends from blogworld and the crafty threads n yarns forum live in and around the areas affected, so I want you all to know that I'm thinking of you!

The veggies are continuing to thrive though, apart from my purple broccoli which has been eaten by something..... possibly snails! - they are only taking the centre most stems though, cheeky little beggars!.... and yesterday I ate my first plum of the year from the tree my sister bought me for my 30th birthday! The tree hasn't fruited quite as prolifically as normal but it did loose a large branch last year in the wind, due to the weight of the fruit, so it's not necessarily a bad thing, especially with all this wind and rain. - Also it's less for Spot to pinch when I'm not looking!!!

Finally, I have re-decorated Noo's Knits with some more summery colours for a while, just to remind myself that it really is nearly August!!!!

How you all doing?!!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

It's Here!!!!


See what I found lurking outside my front door at 8am this morning!!!!! - You might not hear from me for a while!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Don't like not having time!

Just a really brief update, cos I've got to pay the tax!!!!!

I've been nominated as a Schmoozer blog by the lovely Ruth. i will acknowledge it properly and put the associated medal in my sidebar probably at the weekend, or sometime soon. I've got to re-decorate my blog so I'll do it then, and I'll nominate some other Schmoozers too!!

Work is OK - ish!!!! I don't think I'll be staying there long-term, for all sorts of reasons, not least because i miss having time to walk the dog every day and do the things i now know are important (cook properly for example!) there are other reasons which I won't go into here and now, but may do later depending on whether I need help making up my mind!!!

The garden is brimming with runner beans and courgettes - I already have a fridge full and have been off-loading onto the neighbour!!! - I got a good deal though as she re-paid me with a jar of homemade marmalade, and some cakes !!!!

Finally..... all you eco-warriors out there..... I need to ask a question.... I know that parabens and SLS in shower gels etc are horrible things! - When I popped into Sainsburys the other day they had a deal on Wrights coal tar soap, which i have always loved the smell of as it reminds me of my dear Grandma's house when I was small.....so I bought it! - Looking at the ingredient list, (Sodium Tallowate, Sodium Cocoate, Sodium palm kernelate, cocamide DEA, Parfum Glycerin, Sodium chloride, Tea Tree Oil, Tetrasodium EDTA, Etidronic Acid, Eugenol, Amyl, Cinnamal, Coumarin, Limonene, CI 11680, CI 15510) there are none of the dreaded parabens or SLS. So, as one who doesn't really understand such things - why did we stop using a good old bar of soap? Is there something in that list that is dreadfully horrific? - I know it's probably not "great" cos it does all sound a little chemical, but i just wondered why we all moved onto liquid cleansers when soap seems a bit less ....ermmmmm..... yucky!!!!

ooooh one other finally!!!!!!!! For those that enquired about the future of the rodent population in my vegetable plot (among other places)...... at the moment they are safe, I won't do anything that may interfere with my veggies. however i do think that maybe in the Autumn i might have to take the matter in hand a little, as one ran out of the lawn-mower yesterday when i was half way through cutting the grass, so obviously there are a fair few around! and it's not good for the chickens!!!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

I think I found the rest of the family....

Do you remember this little critter????








Well i think I just found the rest of his family! - I was transplanting my leeks this morning - something I've been meaning to do for a while, but what with the rain etc it hadn't been done. I thought I'd have time before the British Grand Prix starts - which renders me useless, as I must sit and watch it! I used the handle of my little trowel as a dibber - a bit big but the leeks had good root growth and I didn't want to spoil them. I made 6 holes to begin with at the rear of the winter veg plot. I planted the first leek..... and the second...... and as I went to drop the third leek in it's hole, I was gazed up at by the tiniest little mouse.!!!! - Must admit I jumped about a foot in the air. I now know why a) the trowl went in a little easier at the back of the plot than the front, and b) why there isn't a whole heap growing at the back! - There's an entire colony of mice dining on the roots of my veg! You gotta laugh!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Blog-a-long June 2007, Favourite Recipe

Well here we are again, I've left my blog-a-long post until the last day of the month!!!! *rolls eyes*

The reason I've had trouble this month (I always seem to be making excuses).... is purely and simply that I LOVE FOOD!!! and I can't choose my favourite! I love cooking, and I love eating, it's as simle as that! My preference is definitely for main courses, and for fairly unextravagent traditional (ish) food. I'm not very good at making things like curries.... but good "family food" - just show me the kitchen!!!

So I've chosen two recipes.... one is a more wintry one and one a more summery one! I'm sorry I'm not very good at weights and measures I'm afraid I tend to work in handfuls and mugs, but hopefully you'll get the gist!!

Firstly the summer one: Stuffed Marrow: (Should serve 4, but doesn't usually last us that long)

1 Marrow
1 Onion
1 punnet mushrooms - or mix of mushrooms
dried porcini
mixed herbs
approx 1/2 pint milk
good quality long grain brown rice
grated cheddar cheese
1 egg



Make 1 pint of stock using a small handful of dried porcini mushrooms and half boiling water water/half milk. Season the stock with plenty of black pepper and a small handful of mixed herbs Leave to stand and infuse for a while.

Take Marrow, cut in half and de-seed.

Gnetly Fry mushrooms and onion in olive oil until soft then add 1 large mug (approx half volume of liquid stock) of good quality long grain brown rice. (This is important and I would never have known how different rice brands can be - I personally use Infinity Organic rice, which cooks with a lovely nutty flavour). Mix the rice into the mushroom and onion until coated in juices and oil, then throw in the stock. leave to simmer gently for 1/2 hour or until the liquid is fairly well absorbed into the rice. Leave to cool slightly and beat in one egg and a generous handful of grated cheddar cheese.

Heat oven to around 180 deg C. If you like to eat the marrow skin (I do!) then clean thoroughly and rub with a little butter. Lay each half of marrow on its back and stuff with the mushroom rice mixture. If this seems a little dry you can add some water into the bottom of the dish to help soften the marrow during cooking. Top with more grated cheese and cook in oven for around 20 - 30 mins until marrow soft and rice topping crispy on the top!. Enjoy with a glass of chilled white wine!!!!

Winter Recipe: Vegetable Pasties

(Makes one large pasty for 2 people - should have enough filling to freeze half with the other half packet of puff pastry and make another one night when you want home cooked food without the effort)

1/2 pack puff pastry
swede (You'll probably only need half a one)
onion
1 Large leek
2 or 3 carrots
(any other root veg you like)
mixed herbs
Small amount of strong veggie stock - needs to be enough to cook through veg but not leave too much liquid over or pastry will be soggy. I usually use around 1/3 pint. stock can have a little marmite or bovril added if you like these.

Cube up veggies into around 1/2cm squares, slice leeks.

Stir fry all together slowly with large handful of mixed herbs. When softened add stock. Simmer very gently until veggies cooked through (prob about 20 mins) and liquid mostly boiled off a little gravy is ok, but you don't want too much to soak into the pastry - if it gets too dry without cooking through add a little more liquid. Allow to cool.

meanwhile roll out puff pastry to large rectangle on a floured baord (I usually make one large pasty and cut into half each, otherwise I find you end up with all crust and no filling!!) and place on a greased baking tray (do this before you fill it - believe me it's the best way!!) Use half the veg mixture to fill the centre of the pasty, fold over the pastry and seal edges. Brush top with milk or beaten egg to glaze and pop into fairly high over (around 180 - 200 deg c) for 20 to 30 mins until pastry is all puffy and glorious! I serve this with olive oil roasties in chip shapes ('cos I don't deep fry here I can't stand the smell!) mr Noo's favourite!!!!

I should have made these this week then we could have had photos!!! Oh well I'll try to remember to take photos next time I make them!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

We've gone all dark and mysterious here

Just for a couple of weeks until the New (and *snuffle*.... last) Harry Potter book arrives. If anyone else loves it the template was from here.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Time Traveller's Wife and Garden abundances.

I am currently listening to The Time Traveller's Wife as an Audio Book from Audible. You pay a monthly subscription charge (£7.99 for one book or £14.99 for 2) and for that you can choose any book from their website. The Time Traveller's wife is an unabridged version - at 18 hours long!! - and is an excellent listen! I've vaguely thought about buying the book several times, but it looked like one of those books I may or may not get around to reading! - I used to read a lot in the summer months whilst sitting in the garden, but now I tend to be knitting or crocheting, and you can't do both!!!! - An audio book is a fab idea. And in this case it's a far better way to get the story. It is read by two narrators, a male taking the role of Henry and a female the role of Claire. I don't know if I would ever have gotten "into" the book if I'd read it, but listening makes it so much more real. It's basically a love story, but with a twist! I'm half way through now, and have got to that point where I want to be listening to it all the time!!!! A definite recommendation.


I also wanted to show you these today. This is the area at the back of my garden where the chickens will one day live! I always get to the same state at this time in the year...... in the spring I turn it over and weed it thoroughly and then other things take over and it gets left just one week too long........ and then..... these grow.....................
all by themselves...... and let's face it you couldn't dig them up could you????!!!!! In effect they're weeds - I've never planted or sown them, but it just goes to show that a weed is a flower in the wrong place - and these....... well they can stay for (yet) another year!!!!!!

Finally, this weekend's courgette harvest! - It's started!

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