Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Crazy weekend!

Whew!  We seemed to pack a lot into the weekend with some crazy planning from some of the family.  It started with overnight guests on Thursday x 1 and then x 5 on Friday in preparation for daughter no.3's hen party (I do hate that title, bridal shower sounds so much nicer!!).  Meanwhile I (way back in June I think) had booked myself on an introduction to free machine quilting for the whole day on Saturday - yes, just 4 weeks to the wedding and here I am trotting off for a day on something totally unrelated.  To add to this, I discovered I couldn't take my own machine (very basic and no dropping of feed-dogs!!) so had to take my mother in law's which I had never used before.  I'll save you the rest of the story but it was a great deal of fun and this was the result:

We did a trial piece first of all and then tackled several different stitches in a nine patch effect.  I didn't finish all of mine so there are some gaps but of course just after I took this photo someone thought it was just for him!

as this is usual morning nap space!

So I came home from the course and mowed the lawn (as you do!), did all the laundry from the guest beds and made a card for hubby's birthday the next day - yes a birthday as well!
There was smoked salmon crostini

Asian style chicken salad from Jamie Oliver see recipe here.  I make it as a main course usually and it is one of hubby's favourites.  This was all followed by a coffee and walnut cake which was not coffee tasting enough at all.  Does anyone have a good recipe to follow for one of these?
Needless to say, I fell into bed on Sunday evening and went straight to sleep!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Someone's hiding....

Someone loves to get 'under' things and managed to open the door to hubby's wardrobe and scramble in amongst the many shirts!!  But I have to admit he does look rather cute.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Thoughtful Friday No. 61

"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. "
Stanley Horowitz

Monday, 21 September 2009

Five weeks to go and it's getting very exciting!

Oh, I can hardly believe it is only five weeks to daughter no. 3's wedding!  This Saturday we had a wonderful time visiting the church they will get married in which is in Virginia Water (a couple of hours from where we live but the groom's home town).  Then we went on to the venue which is in Windsor Great Park!!

and which is surrounded by this

and this

Then we went on to a large garden centre which has the most amazing floristry section and together (how lovely is that!) we chose L's hand-tied posy, an arrangement for the church which will come on to the reception and flowers for the sisters and buttonholes for the ushers etc and a creamy rose and pearl corsage for the mothers.  Just take a look at the range of flowers in this place!

And I saw these gorgeous coloured pots as we were leaving and couldn't resist taking photos, although by this time the family were wondering what on earth I was doing going around taking photos of everything!!

We were taken into a little room at the back which looked like this:

and pondered about colours, styles and how much it would all cost (such a nuisance this last one!) and in the end we got there and daughter no.3 and son in law-to-be are very happy.
Then we went off to meet the grandparents of son in law-to-be and whose membership of the venue (cricket club) made it possible for us to have the reception there, and then on to have a quick look at the lake and waterfall and finally to the happy couple's new flat which they will live in when they are married.  For me the day just seemed to bring the forthcoming event to life and I am now very excited indeed and must get that outfit very soon!!!  Hope you all have a very good week.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Thoughtful Friday No. 60

"Keep your face to the sunshine and
you will never see the shadows"
Helen Keller

Thursday, 17 September 2009

I'm loving...

these beautiful morning glories that greet me outside the back door every morning.  I planted them from seed back in May and they grew and grew, leaves and more leaves and I didn't think anything was going to happen.  In fact I was ready to throw it on the compost heap because it just looked like a load of leaves.  But....   when we came back from holiday, I checked and thought I could what looked like more interesting buds....  and as I popped out early on the Sunday morning I greeted by the most gorgeous bloom.  I adore these flowers and the way they last just for a day and are at their best in the morning.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Vive La France - part two

Last holiday post I left you with lakes, today there are rivers, flowers, cathedrals and french markets, come with me on a visit to Troyes:

Lots of wooden buildings, very old and higgledy piggeldy
Then there was the cathedral itself - an amazing structure
And fountains nearby
And then on to the tiny village of Wassy on Thursday for their delightful market
I discovered mirabelles, tiny yellow plums which are very sweet and make excellent jam so I thought as we were on our way home I would collect just two kilos - as you do

So there are some very nice pots of jam standing in my cupboard and there were enough left over for une tarte as well.  I love France!

Friday, 11 September 2009

thoughtful Friday No. 59

"What you dismiss as an ordinary coincidence may be 
an opening to an extraordinary adventure"
Deepak Chopra

Monday, 7 September 2009

Winners and Weddings!!

Everyone is a winner!  Thank you for your comments and reasons that you are cheerful.  I will get these goodies out to you this week and you can have fun anticipating which one of these you might have coming in the post to you!

So you will remember that daughter no.3 is getting married on October 24th - less than 50 days to go now and they are counting down.  All the plans are coming together and it is all very exciting.  On Saturday daughter no. 3 and I went shopping for my outfit.  It is tricky is all I am going to say!  I haven't bought a wedding outfit before and even when I went to the Buckingham Palace Garden Party last year I recycled an outfit (albeit a lovely kebaya from Malaysia) for the occasion.  And of course there is so much black in the shops now plus I had no idea just how expensive such outfits might be!  I did try a lovely dress on in Cath Kidston (the one on the cover of the magazine currently) and it fitted perfectly but I am not sure what I would wear with it to make it more weddingy if you know what I mean.  So I have three days in London this week for various meetings and will try to look some more.  Any thoughts?

In the afternoon we did bridesmaid (the three sisters are bridesmaids) dress organising and went to visit the dressmaker who will make these up for us in three different colours according to daughter no.3's instructions.  It's going to be a colourful wedding!  I'll keep you posted about the outfit.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Thoughtful Friday No. 58

"How softly summer shuts, without the creaking of a door"
Emily Dickinson

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Vive La France!

Back from a little trip to France, where space, fields and open roads pan out before you and somehow you feel like you just need to take a deep sigh and breathe out! Our first stop was at Charmontois, at a little farm just for the night to break the journey. Here there was complete silence except for farm animals early in the morning. The sun was warm and bright and we just ate the remains of our picnic for supper before we settled into the delicious quiet of the night.
Then it was on to Cluny for a some nights in this little place

whose little sign 'attention au chat - chat fort suseptible' had us intrigued. It turned out that the ginger chat (whom we didn't ever see) had a somewhat volatile nature and could not be trusted with guests who might want to stroke and adore it!!
Our little guest room for the duration looked like this:

and was charming and very comfortable. We spent our days here at Taize which is a delightful community with some teaching in the morning, discussion groups in the afternoon and services in the evening. We had very simple lunches and dinners there in the tent or on the grass and our task for the time we were there was to clean up after lunch so much wiping of benches and tables and sweeping of concrete took place - even though it was 38 degrees most days!!!

From here we went on to visit my penfriend and her family at Thonon Les Bains just other other side of Geneva and on the shore of the lake. It is such a beautiful spot and we had a wonderful time together catching up, enjoying the speciality food of the region - fillets de perches.

Last year we spent a whole week in the region and as the weather turned and was cloudy on our only full day there I wasn't able to take any photos of the wonderful mountains but you can see them under the heading Lakes and Mountains last August.
Then it was a case of making our way back up towards home staying for a little while in the middle of nowhere with just sweetcorn for company in the fields and lakes beyond but more of that perhaps tomorrow.