Sunday, 28 February 2010

Back to Normal

OH has been away since last Monday morning and is due back tomorrow so I have had a fairly quiet week although I kept pretty busy.

About three weeks ago a friend asked me to make and decorate a birthday cake for her mother's 75th birthday so I have been busy preparing the decoration for that (I made the cake as soon as she asked me) and will finish the decoration tomorrow. I also took the opportunity of re-arranging some bits and pieces in our flat knowing that if I suggested it whilst OH was here it was a possibility that he could be against it. If I present him with a "fait accompli" he will almost certainly agree with it (at least that is how it usually is)! He has telephoned each evening and last night joked about me altering things around and laughed when I said there are one or two changes but that I hadn't changed the locks!

On two separate days I had lunch with girlfriends which I thoroughly enjoyed and on Saturday brought my mum to lunch here with me. We sat reminiscing for a couple of hours which was also very pleasant. I usually see her several times a week as I go to help her with certain jobs that are a bit beyond her now as well as taking her grocery shopping.

I did try to keep up with blog world though I didn't post much myself. And now my son in Australia has asked me if I am on Facebook so it looks as though I may give that a try! I also made a few overdue telephone calls to family and friends so what with one thing and another the week has flown by and it's back to normal tomorrow. I have missed OH though and will be glad to see him back at home.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

ABC Wednesday - F

Flora and fauna and feathers

A few photos from my former garden



Fritillary (snakes head)



ABC Wednesday is hosted by Mrs Denise Nesbitt and her team and more takes on the letter F can be found here.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

ABC Wednesday - E

E is for Echidna

Apparently their young are called "puggles" - how sweet!

This post is from the archive. I took this photograph a couple of years ago at Cleland Park in South Australia but I was fortunate enough one evening, on a walk with my son in Kuitpo Forest to see one in the wild. My son had heard a noise and motioned to me to stay quiet but to follow him and there it was, trundling along through the undergrowth, oblivious of our presence. We left him to it. more details about echidnas here,

I always feel privileged when I see animals in their natural habitat and was thrilled, though slightly irritated with myself as it was one of the few occasions that I hadn't bothered to carry my camera! I am away from home this week and so I used my letter E from the last round and have scheduled it for posting.

ABC Wednesday is hosted by Mrs Denise Nesbitt and her team. For more letter E subjects - click here.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Back last August I happened to look in on Chris's blog, Always Smiling, when she was inviting names for a lucky dip for a Pay it Forward (PIF) pressie. A week or so later Chris informed me that my name had been drawn and that I would receive a gift from her within 12 months. Last Saturday I received my gift, handmade and stitched by Chris and here it is:

Isn't it beautifully made and she has even embroidered strawberry on it.

Part of the "deal" is that I, in turn, should invite names which will be put into a "hat" to be drawn to receive something made by me, within 12 months. Winners to take up a like challenge. So, if you would like to take part in this just let me know in a comment. I shall in no way be offended if you do not wish to take part!

I'm off to Stratford on Avon for a few days tomorrow to help with half-term "minding". I'll be back on Friday although I will try to look in before then.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

They're Playing our Tune

I was watching Loose Women at lunchtime today and the girls were discussing love songs and whether or not each of them and their respective partners have a particular song which means a lot to them.

OH and I do have such a song - it is "Wooden Heart" sung by the late, great Elvis Presley. Not as strange a choice for "our song" as you might think.

While we were on our honeymoon, one evening we were sat on a balcony, having a quiet drink and from somewhere nearby we heard this song being played. I told OH that it was a song I really liked and we enjoyed listening to it. OH can play the harmonica quite well and a few days after we returned home he surprised me by playing "Wooden Heart" to me. He had been practising it, unknown to me. Now whenever we hear the song, it brings back some lovely memories.

Do you have a favourite song that means something special to you and/or your partner.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

ABC Wednesday - D

My doll

When I was about 6 years old, my mother took me shopping one day to buy some new clothes for our holiday. We went into Marks & Spencer and there I spied this little doll. I immediately fell in love with her and begged to be allowed to buy her. My mother says that I rarely asked for anything and when I offered to use my pocket money to buy her (saved for holiday spending) mum said she couldn't refuse me. So she bought her for me and I have loved my little doll ever since. I named her Susan. As I am now nearly 66 years old that makes Susan 60 years old. Her original clothes are long gone and she is a little faded (aren't we all at 60 years old) but her eyes still open and close, she still has eyelashes and her arms and legs still move well. She is between 8 and 9 inches long (22 cm), so a proper "baby doll". I think she is very sweet. I am going to make her a new dress.

ABC Wednesday is hosted by Mrs Denise Nesbitt and her team. For more takes on the letter D click here.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Sunday Lunch

We love Sunday lunch and frequently invite friends to join us and find it often turns into a long and leisurely event. We had asked some friends over for this Sunday and I was really looking forward to it. However when I woke on Sunday morning I didn't feel particularly well. I decided to give it until mid morning before making a decision as to whether we should put our friends off until another weekend; we had suggested they arrive at about 1.30 pm for 2.30 lunch. However by about 10.30 am I was feeling much better and we went ahead with the preparations.

On reflection I wish in some ways I had postponed it because I just couldn't seem to "get my act together". I dithered my way about the kitchen, almost preoccupied and couldn't concentrate at all on what I was supposed to be doing.

I had made some bread rolls to go with homemade stilton soup - the soup was made on Saturday and was fine, the rolls were heavy! We had roast rib of beef, yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, veg and gravy. The veg was fine - OH always does the veg on these occasions. The beef was OK, beautifully tender if a little overcooked. The roast potatoes were slightly soggy I thought, nothing like as crispy as I normally serve them, the yorkshires failed to rise suffiently and the gravy went lumpy ( I did manage to retrieve this by whisking very hard and fast for a minute or so).

There was a choice of desserts. Home made cream caramel (always a favourite) and lemon surprise pudding and we had apple strudel and profiteroles in the freezer (bought from our local Tesco store and good standby's). Our friends both decided on lemon surprise pudding. That was a blow to me as it had not turned out at all as it should have done with a golden sponge topping and a "surprise" pool of lemon sauce underneath - usually delicious. Yesterday it was a sunken, slightly too brown topping and the sauce was just about runny!

But - we enjoyed our friends' company and they seemed to enjoy everything. We all ate our fill and lunch went on until about 7 pm. We chatted and laughed and had a good time - what more could I ask.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Skywatch Friday

On Our Way to the Beach ...

... the first glimpse of the sea. This was taken in Australia last November.

For skies around the world, please click here.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

ABC Wednesday - C

Chinese Chopsticks - A set of twelve chopsticks depicting each of the Chinese "years".

(click on the picture to enlarge)

We were very taken with this piece of "art" during a visit to Singapore about 10 years ago. We were staying with friends, who were living there at the time and we were looking around the local shops in Holland Village when we saw it and decided to buy it as a keepsake of our holiday there. We have it hanging in the dining area of our living room.

ABC Wednesday is hosted by Mrs Denise Nesbitt and her team; for other takes on the letter C please click here.


Since we have had this new computer I have had some difficulties with posting my photos. Well, I have actually overcome it now, in a way, but I wonder if anyone can explain what is happening.

Whenever I click on "add image" I get a yellow, ragged edged blob with a red exclamation mark in it. Yet if I click on "add video" that is OK and then if I click "add image" that is then OK, but only if I click the video icon first. OK that is not a problem, I can do it that way, but WHY is it happening.

Also I have been trying to "follow" a couple of new blogs but whenever I click the "follow" button there is the yellow blob again and I can't overcome it then.

I'm not sure if this will make any sense to anyone, but I'd appreciate some thoughts on it, please!