Sunday, 29 June 2008

Making Jam!

4lb of Apricots (discovered at local market)

4lb of this sugar (although I only had one bag so had to use the ordinary kind as well)

Put apricots, sugar, juice of one or two lemons and 3/4 pint of water and boil together until it becomes thicker and when spooned onto a saucer and left for a few minutes, wrinkles back when pushed. Then fill washed and warmed jam jars and here you have a good supply of apricot jam at a very reasonable price and very little work really!

Just need to work on some fun labels now but it's off to have some tea and toast (with apricot jam!) as it is Sunday afternoon and teatime!

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Thoughtful Friday

"The wise man in the storm prays not for deliverance from danger, but for deliverance from fear. It is the storm within that endangers us, not the storm without."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Picnic Time

This is Scotney Castle in Kent which is a National Trust Property and where we had our lovely summer picnic en famille on Sunday. This was to celebrate daughter no. 4 getting a place at Central St. Martin's for menswear fashion design! So unfortunately the rest of my photos are all family ones and I agreed with everyone that they would not appear on my blog! Young ladies need their privacy. I didn't even manage to get a picture of the rather scrumptious strawberry sponge cake we had as dessert although as we didn't actually have lunch until around 3pm perhaps it is not so surprising that it got eaten rather quickly.

It was a lovely day of sunshine and there was lots of space to walk around the estate and in the gardens. We were too late for an admission into the house on the site but I think we shall go back again sometime.

When we got back home, having dropped daughters off at various stations, I seemed to have plenty of energy left and got going with mowing the lawn (hubby has hayfever badly so this is my job all summer), and two hours of ironing (my fault because I haven't done it for ages) but I did discover these while I was at the bottom of the garden:

Our first crop of raspberries!

After many hours in front of the computer today I am now craving some craft time so as there will be only daughter no.4 coming in tonight later, I think I will dash up to my desk and get going on some cards at least.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Thoughtful Friday

"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong"

Joseph Chilton pearce

In The Country

Last weekend we had four days in this delightful little cottage, complete with wood stove.
As it was so cold we actually had the woodstove burning and the central heating on!!! However we did have a lovely time and Saturday was warmer and the sun was shining so we took some time out here
and here

and took time to smell the roses

And to do some embroidery

Here I am using the strawberry transfer out of the The Stitch It Kit by Jenny Hart which I am using to help me get back into embroidery after many years away.

It was lovely to have time together and to sit in front of a roaring fire - something we cannot do at home and the cottage was beautifully and tastefully decorated too.

One amusing event was we stopped off for coffee on the way and I just happened to see an Oxfam shop lurking close by and said to P that I would pop in while he went to the bank!! He came to find me and I couldn't get him out of there!!! It was a books and music Oxfam and he ended up with an armful of books which he was absolutely delighted with and I bought nothing!!! You have to understand that this is a man who hates shopping and rarely does it, only when he has to or he is with me on holiday!!

On another note, I can't believe today is the first day of summer! I am sitting here feeling very chilly with a number of layers on - it just has to get warmer. On Sunday we are celebrating daughter no.4 getting into the Uni of her choice and the way she has chosen for us to celebrate is a picnic! So I am hoping for high temperatures and lots of sunshine. Hope you have a good weekend and the sun shines where you are.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Thoughtful Friday

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails" I Corinthians 13:4-8 (New International Version of the Bible)

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Love in a Mist and Love of 30 years!

I love these flowers, so delicate and pretty. I planted seeds a couple of years ago and they have now spread out making a lovely display.
Well today we celebrate 30 years of being married! Although we are not really celebrating today as we have booked to have a longer weekend away in the Cotswolds at the end of the week. I really do have my knight in shining armour! He is my best friend and a very lovely husband and father and a very special person in every way. I consider myself a very lucky/blessed lady. I have ummed and ahhed about posting photos of people on this blog and I know a lot do this regularly but I thought it might be fun to post a 1978 and a 2008 photo so here they are:

Note P has lost most of his hair but I have managed to retain mine fortunately!

So time to think about packing, as I shall be travelling for work all day tomorrow and not getting home until midnight and we are setting off early on Thursday. Hmmm, must remember the knitting (one sock done now so on to the other one before daughter no.4 goes to Uni in September), crochet (need to decide what I am doing with the next blanket as something is not right with the pattern I have started, sewing (I want to embroider a strawberry or two on a teatowel for a dear friend who is having her kitchen redecorated with strawberry paper, and of course I shall take some books. We hope to do a lot of walking if the weather is nice although I have no idea of the forecast. It will just be so nice to be together without the pressures of work etc.
So I shall be posting Thoughtful Friday on Thursday this week - just in case you thought I might forget! Hope you all have a great week.

Saturday, 7 June 2008


I have been tagged by the lovely driftwood so here goes:

What were you doing 10 years ago?

I was working as HR manager for a Christian charity in London and had the opportunity to visit Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia for a special conference. This was such a privilege and gave me the opportunity to meet up with my three cousins there, two of whom live in KL and one who lives in Singapore. I had only met two of them once before so it was great to meet the third and to spend a little time with them all. I was there 10 days in all and it was a wonderful experience.
Otherwise 10 years ago we were living where we are today and the girls were 17, 17, 15, and 10 so it was heavy teenage time.

5 things on my to do list today are:

1. Laundry including bedlinen
2. Mow the lawn and weed the patio
3. Make a cake or two
4. Post a parcel to my friend in Canada
5. Ironing!!!
And the rest
6. Something creative for a special anniversary coming up this week (more about that in another post!)
7. Hoover all the stairs and downstairs rooms after the decorator's mess. We had the hall and landings painted over the last week and well, there is a quite a mess shall we say despite the plea from me to have the floors covered with sheets etc.

Snacks I enjoy

peanuts, pom bear crisps (love them!), cadbury's chocolate of any sort really, popcorn, cheese and crackers, toast and butter (of course)

Places I have lived

I was born and brought up in Hertfordshire, went to college in Bedfordshire and left there to start out in the world of work and lived in south-east London and just into Kent where I met my hubby and have lived to date. I would have loved to live abroad for a while but it just hasn't happened and we have been very happy where we are.

Things I would do if I were a billionaire

Buy my each of my daughters a house ( so they can stop renting and paying huge amounts in London) and a car. Take a trip to New Zealand, Alaska and China and give lots away to my favourite charities.

People I would like to know more about...

The Hobbit
feel free to play along if you would like to but don't worry if not.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Thoughtful Friday

"He who works with his hands is a labourer

He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman

He who works with his hands, his head and his heart is an artist"

St Francis of Assisi

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Come to Colombia Road

Come with me to Colombia Road Flower Market this Sunday morning early. It's a bit cloudy and as we make our way along from Liverpool Street Station we see these interesting buildings

Just a bit further now, looks like a lot of people have the same idea as us..... but here we g0

aren't they lovely? What about these?
and these Nemesis?
and I love this Bottlebrush don't you?
So many beautiful flowers and some quite unusual ones too

It's a great touch of British market culture too but it's getting a bit packed shall we pop in here?

and here too?

Well, after all this browsing I think it is time for lunch so let's walk to Spitafield's market and visit the wonderful Rainforest stall for a rainforest box lunch.

Check out those bowls of salad and so much colour!
I hope your enjoyed our time in this hectic and colourful part of London.
Daughter no. 2 and I did this route this morning and it was delightful. I have to say that going into London at the weekend is not something I relish and usually I am busy doing other things like going to church on a Sunday. But it is very good to get out of the familiar routine once in a while and do something completely different and of course seeing a lovely daughter makes it all worthwhile. She is a speech and language therapist and is considering doing VSO in Africa or Asia sometime soon so we need to have lots more of these get togethers before she goes. I have been to Spitafields before but not to Colombia Road Flower Market. It was a real experience and the flowers and plants were very healthly looking and inexpensively priced compared to most garden centres. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area but it is only around on a Sunday.
I hope you have had a great Sunday.