Wednesday, 29 December 2010

A change is as good as a rest.....

As the title says, this Christmas was such a change for us and of course we missed all of our family, but we didn't realise just how good our friends were.  We were invited into their beautiful home for Christmas and we stayed the night so that we could have a little tipple without worrying about the drive home.  Below are just a few pictures of our stay with them, I'm sure there will be more Christmas photos to follow on another day.

Table set and ready for the feast
A beautiful hand-made gift waiting on my pillow
A gift for Richard and me - a Christmas cross-stitched picture

For me - hand knitted socks in amazing bamboo yarn
Richard also received some hand knitted socks, (not in the bamboo, but wool) but they are in the wash so I couldn't take a photo of them, but they are so warm and snuggly.  The bamboo yarn is amazing, it feels almost like velvet.

The beginning of the most amazing meal
I have to say that this Christmas Helen has been an inspiration to me because the hand-made gifts were so special I really do need to do more myself.  New Years Resolution is to try and make some during the year, although I'm sure I have said this before, but really, can it be so hard???  Watch this space.......

The next photo is just to make you smile because our little Sophie climbs onto the window sill in the kitchen to try and get closer to the birds that feed on the bird feeder attached to the window.  One day she will learn that they are the other side of the glass!!  Now, our Sophie wears a collar with a magnet attached so that she can get in and out of the cat flap and no other cats can.  We have had a problem with the neighbour's cat, and seeing we have been away for a long time, we wanted her to feel safe in her own home.  Well on this particular bird watching day, she managed to pick up the lid of a Haywards pickled onions jar and she wore it proudly for a while - my little medalion cat.

I think she was quite proud of this!!
I hope you have all had a very happy Christmas and I look forward to catching up with everyone in the new year.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Sun and Friends

What a fabulous day today although very, very frosty this morning which looked very pretty.  I'm afraid I didn't get a photo of that though as Richard and I were listening to the Archers drinking our tea sitting in our bed watching the birds on the feeders.  Well, it is Sunday after all.  Oh! before those of you who listen to the Archers think we were still in our beds at your 10am, our 11am, we were catching up with the Omnibus from last Sunday on the computer, before I listened to this weeks.  I know I'm sad, but hey ho!

After lunch we went over to some friends and took advantage of the lovely weather and went for a walk, we stopped to wave hello to you all.

Just thought we would stop and wave hello
The views round and about are just stunning and my friend Helen went armed with some scissors and a bag because she knew where there were some bushes with loads of lovely red berries on them.  Unfortunately when we got there, the birds had had them so we just had to make do with the greenery.

Caught in the act!
Beautiful countryside

Back home then after a lovely day of sunshine and good friends.  You can't really get better than that can you?  These friends have invited Richard and I over to their home for Christmas day and we are really looking forward to it.  We will be stopping the night so at least we can have a drink and the 4 of us can raise a glass and toast both of our families back in the UK.

Once again, keep warm, stay indoors and snuggle under blankets.  My lovely William, I do hope you are feeling better, Nannie is still sending you virtual hugs and kisses to you and your girlies.  I love you all.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

OK my girls, it's done

Well we have finally got around to looking out our Christmas decorations and seeing what we have got here.  The trouble is, since we have been here in France, we have never put up any decorations because we have always gone back to the UK to be with the family, so it was a bit of job and even now, we haven't found all of them.  As I am typing this Richard is trying to fix the old lights we have, I say old because they were from when I was a child so HUGE sentimental value.  I will be so disappointed if we can't get them to work, but because they don't at the moment, we haven't put up a Christmas tree but we still have some twinkly lights as you will see.

Nativity scene in the bread oven

Twinkly lights over the fireplace in the lounge

My very own choristers made by my lovely friend Di and myself

Fireplace in the kitchen, excuse the aprons
At least it looks a little festive and to be honest I wasn't sure I was going to put anything up at all because this year is rather strange for us, but at the end of the day, it is still Christmas and needs to be celebrated.  Perhaps tomorrow I may even make some mince pies and crack open the mulled wine, I will let you know on that one.

I have to tell you, I am so excited, but I have won the most adorable present and you can see it here  Thanks so much aims I can't wait to receive it.  Now I just have to decide what to do with it.....

We are slowly getting the house back to normal again but we still have mice.  They are very clever little things and avoid the trap and go straight for the food!!!  Can't blame them really because secretly I'm quite relieved they live to fight another day, just not in my kitchen!!!!!!! or bedroom!!!!!

Well I will say cheerio to you all and much love to all my family and friends.  Thank you for all your good wishes for my birthday which was on Monday and I had some really scrummy presents.  Of course, being a "nannie" I particularly loved having Happy Birthday sung to me by my grandchildren.  Talk again soon.  God bless one and all.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Oh my goodness, what a mess

We plucked up courage today and went into our barn to see the damage that happened while we have been in the UK.  We were told a beam had come down but oh my goodness, what a mess, where on earth do we start.  The beam is HUGE and we were so lucky that it missed our sit-on mower and various other bits and pieces in there.  We had to go in because when my dad was over here a couple of years ago, my dad and Richard moved all his tools and benches into that barn and made it into a wonderful workshop.  Since we have been back this time, Richard has wanted to do various little jobs and of course, he has no tools that he can find so we had to brave it and go in.

Where the beam had rotted and snapped
What a mess, where do we start
We are so lucky to have such wonderful friends and neighbours around us and 2 of them, Paul and Ester came round today and helped Richard clear out a lot of the rubbish that had come down from the first floor and also make safe the beam.  We are now able to get at the mower and this is used all the time with the trailer to get rid of rubbish etc.  I think there may be quite a few trips down to the tip in the next few weeks.  To be honest we had never been up onto the first floor of the barn so had no idea just how much rubbish was up there.  So much straw so very, very dusty and an awful lot of other junk.  Just our luck though, nothing worth anything.  Why do other people find "stuff" that's worth hundreds of pounds??  Wouldn't it be good to have a lot of money, if we did, we would fly our son-in-laws out and some friends who are fit and strong and get this barn into shape in no time; that's if they were willing of course.  Ho hum, there you go

Last photo is of the peanut butter cookies I made for us all to have with a well earned cup of tea.  An industrious day and probably the busiest one we have had since we have been back.  Poor Richard is rather tired, but the trouble is, being back here there is such a lot to do and he is like a pig in muck when he is doing something.  Still, slowly slowly.............

Take care one and all, keep warm.  We were lucky today and were able to be outside in t-shirts.  Long may it last.

Oh by the way, we caught a mouse in the bedroom last night so that's another one.  I wonder how many more of the little blighters there are.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Home at last

We have made it at last and now the fun begins.  We had travelled through the night, something we said we wouldn't do again, but pleased we did because the snow may have stopped us otherwise had we not got through when we did.  After a very quick look around and unpacking a few things our time was spent cuddling our little Sophie, who, after just a few minutes, couldn't leave us alone.  She is such a people cat and to be honest we thought she would ignore us for a little while, for leaving her for so long, but no, she was fine.

I had put the electric blanket on for the bed to air, and once we had a bite to eat we decided to go to bed very early and catch up with our lost night's sleep.  It was quite funny really because we walked into the bedroom and apart from there being quite a few flies to sweep up, we moved a piece of furniture and a mouse ran out.  Welcome home!!!  Never mind, we will face those problems tomorrow.  We were lying in bed and started to giggle because we had forgotten just how dark it is here.  Not a light for miles and of course where we had been in the UK, all the streets have lights in them.  We couldn't see the hand in front of our faces.  The same kind of thing happened in the morning when we woke.  We said, "What was that?" Of course it was nothing, absolute silence and that hadn't happened to us for quite a few mornings.  Richard made us a cup of tea and coffee and we sat in bed and looked at the mountains in all their winter splendour and noticed that the birds were sitting waiting for us to fill up all the feeders.

On close inspection after we got up, our poor house needed quite a lot of TLC, after all, we have been away for nearly 6 months.  With having mud walls and floors, the damp comes up through the floor.  When you are living in the house all the time, the house seems to breath and you don't seem to notice it, but not being lived in for that long, quite a lot of our drawers and cupboards were rather mouldy and musty.  Food thrown out, drawers washed, windows cleaned etc and it is starting to feel more like home although there is still such a lot to do.  Slowly slowly we need to take our time.  On the second day, the chimney in the kitchen blocked and the log burner had to be taken out and the chimney cleaned.  Of course we had taken the whole of the previous day cleaning the kitchen and washing all the pottery to put back on the dresser, so very pleased it happened the day after that............... !!!!!!  Eeek!  Are we still smiling??  Only just.  On a good note, Sophie caught a mouse in our bedroom so that is one problem solved but I'm sure there are a few more.  I lie there at night time and hear a few things but luckily I'm not scared of mice, I just don't want to share my bedroom with them.  As you can see from the photo, apart from the fact that Sophie is very pleased to have us back, she is in the right place to listen out for the pitter patter of mousy feet - that's if she stays awake long enough.

At the moment we are taking a break and I am typing this sitting in front of the fire in the lounge, after having a lovely walk at lunchtime.  It is very cold but the sun was lovely and we promised ourselves we would try and go for a walk every day.  I need to get my colesterol down and Richard needs to build himself up again and of course I am fighting with my weight all the time so the more we can do to help that situation the better.

Well I had better stop now and get on with some more work.   I hope all our friends and family in the UK are keeping safe and warm.  The snow looks dreadful, so mum and dad, should you read this at Hilary's, please stay indoors and keep warm, I know what you are like dad, you will be out there clearing the snow away so you can feed the birds, but please don't.  Hopefully I will be able to blog on a regular basis again now so I hope to catch up with all of my fellow bloggers in the next few days.  Bye, talk again soon.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Last post for a little while

As the title says, this will be the last message I post for a little while because Richard and I are off to my mum and dads again tomorrow, so no computer access.  We are going over to my mums because on Friday Richard GOT THE ALL-CLEAR and we are heading back home.  The cancer in his blood was undetectable which is fabulous news and we don't have to be checked again until the end of February.  As with all these big decisions it has been a hard one to make.  On the one hand we are desperate to be in our own home again, but we have never had a Christmas without any of our family around us so it will be quiet, restful, peaceful but very sad without our children.  Time for us to be rather selfish though and I know my mum wants us to be here for the holidays, but dad understands that we need time to heal and rewind our batteries.  My mum knows that as well, and I quite understand why she wants us to stay here because I want to stay for the same reason but.................  Back again in February.

We looked after our beautiful girls today because their mummy went to Brighton to run a 10K and William went with his daddy to cheer her on.  She made it and did really well so we are very proud of her.  The girls behaved for nannie and grampie; they couldn't go because they have horrid coughs, and we had a pyjama morning and watched Bambi, Dumbo AND Snow White.  How cool was that??

Well, now we are planning when we return home and hopefully, this time next week we will be back.  Very strange.  It will be so good to see all our friends again and our little Sophie, so the next time I will be blogging it will be from home.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Light at the end of the tunnel

Like the title says, there is a small light at the end of the tunnel. Richard is coming along very well and we are just waiting to see what his PSA count is in his latest blood test. Should it be good we are thinking about going home. We have been over here for such a long time, living with family at 3 different locations, that we have forgotten what it's like to be on our own. Don't get me wrong, we have been incredibly lucky and we have managed so well, but not having our own space and not being able to do what we want when we want is very difficult. The up-side is, we have spent such good quality time with all of our family that we just wouldn't have done, it has set us up for a long long time. I am sure as well, that Vicki and family will be pleased to have the house to themselves especially our William, because we are in his bedroom and he is in with the girls.  I have to say though that I will miss the little bodies, albeit cold, first thing in the morning coming in to snuggle beside nannie, perhaps not the 5.45am ones!!

At the moment we are staying with Clare and Kenny in Cornwall for a few days and Clare and I have been doing some craft. While I am typing , Clare is knitting away and she is making such a good job of it considering this is her first attempt at what she calls "proper grown-up knitting". We had seen some wrist warmers in a shop and would you believe she looked at them and the price and said "That's crazy, they look so easy to make". Who would have thought I would ever have heard my daughter say that. I was tickled pink. From there we went to her lovely local knitting shop and 45 minutes later we came away with - wool for 3 pairs of mittens for Clare (and that's without even having a pattern - that's my girl) and 3 huge balls of wool for me to make a gilet - with cabling and everything grown-up. How scary is that??  I haven't knitted anything for myself for many, many years apart from socks and scarves.

Richard and I are now talking about our home in France and wondering how it has fared while we have been away.  We are very lucky to have wonderful neighbours who have been going in and airing it and generally keeping an eye on everything.  The lawns have been mowed, but the weeding will be a bit of a challenge!!  We went through some photos just to remind us what it was like and what we have been missing, I will share a couple with you.  You will notice the one of little Sophie and she has been looked after and loved by our wonderful neighbour David who has cats of his own so we know she is well loved.  Would you believe he has been known to take his lunch round to our house just so that he can sit with her to keep her company for a while.  How perfect is that, she just couldn't have anyone better taking care of her.  We originally thought this stay would be for a couple of months but we have worked out that this year, we will only have been in our own home for about 3 months.

Our little Sophie

Getting back to normal


We were hoping to have a few good walks while staying here but the weather has been too wet and blustery so we are keeping our fingers crossed for tomorrow.  I suppose it is November.  Oh and talking of November, can you believe that I have done all of my christmas shopping and even wrapped most of them, because if we go back to France, we will be staying there until Richard's next hospital appointment mid February so I have had to get organised.  Talk about having to be focussed, it really worked - brilliant.  We are so looking forward to going back to our home but at the same time, I have never had a christmas without my family so that is going to be very strange.  They would all love to come out to us but the flights are such a lot of money at that time of year that it's not possible, so it will be just us, though we have had an invitation to one of our friends out there, so although very different this year, I'm sure it's going to be wonderful.  At least we are here to tell you about it because a few months back when the word "cancer" became part of our everyday conversations, it could be a very different story.

Well, my knitting needles are beginning to call me so I will say cheerio, but before I go, Clare and I had watched the new TV series of Kirstie's Homemade Home and there was this part in it that made some baskets made out of crochet using garden twine.  I thought they looked fabulous but I have never crocheted anything other than a blanket, going round and round and round and round in circles.  Still haven't finished it as far as I know, not sure how!!!  Anyway, Clare had a bit of double knitting wool, I bought a crochet hook from her lovely shop and I had a go.  This is the end result, very wonky and obviously the seams aren't pressed, but it would pass wouldn't it?  I seem to lose stitches though.  I start with 22 chains and end up going across about 17.  How do I do that???  I just don't seem able to make a true square.

A not-quite-square but OK container?

I am definately going now.  I won't be back for a while because we are off to stay with my lovely mum and dad.  Will talk again soon though.  Bye.

Thursday, 23 September 2010


Well the day finally came and Richard had his operation for prostate cancer yesterday and we have been told that all went well, so now we are on the (rather long) road to recovery. I saw him last night and while I was there, he had a cup of tea and a sandwich which must be a good sign. It was a 3 hour operation, longer than I thought it would be so he needs to do a bit of sleeping, which he has always been rather good at, to let his body mend. Various bags are hanging off him which he has to drag along with him wherever he goes but he has got used to that recently because our beautiful twin girl grandchildren wrap themselves around our ankles and we have to walk with them hanging on. Very good for the leg muscles!!

Not sure I can write any more at the moment, my head is spinning, but thank you to everyone who has called, emailed or texted with best wishes, thoughts and prayers, they are much appreciated.

Take care and talk again soon.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

It's been a while

I can't even begin to say what has been going on in our lives and where we have been but I will give you the good bits with just a few medical bits, but mainly, what we are doing now. So, at the moment we are in Cornwall staying with Clare for a week's visit to get some rest and relaxation to boost Richard before his operation for prostate cancer which is due on the 22nd September. The first picture shows you the reason we are here, the footprints in the sand, the walking and dreaming on the beach with our family..... just being.....

Walking and chatting, catching up, just being mum and daughter

Having a giggle or two
Having a paddle which I love because when you come out of the cold water, your feet feel really warm and soft
Walking and talking until the late afternoon turns to the most amazing sunset
This brings me to a roundabout way to the first photo on this post which is an embroidery that Clare gave to me one Christmas about 10 years ago and at the time it only had just a few stitches to do to finish it off. Being here this time, Clare has now given it to me and isn't it worth waiting for? There is a photo of the whole thing but it doesn't do it justice so you can imagine the rest of the verse. I'm sure you all know the verse well enough, and I just hope and pray that Richard and I are being carried at the moment during our troubled time. I'm sure we are.
We leave here on Tuesday to go and have a couple of days with some very good friends who we haven't seen for a very long time. The husband has already been through prostate cancer so very reassuring for Richard, and Gillie is a soul mate with regards to craft, quilting, knitting etc. In fact it was Gille who started me on the quilting trail. We saw a lot of each other before our lives took us all to different parts of the world/country and I just know that once we get together again and start chatting and laughing, it will be as though it was only yesterday that we saw each other.
After that it will be back to our other daughter and family to stay and begin to get Richard ready for his operation. Certain tests need to be done but we will be with our family and grandchildren who will keep us laughing and taking our mind off the nasty bits. As a bonus, it is our twin girls 4th birthday on Saturday, so needless to say that is going to be a fun-filled day.
Well, I think that's all for now, I will try and post more often now to keep you all updated. Talk again soon.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

The Pied Bird Catcher

Can you see me mum? As you can see from the "spot the cat" picture, she just loves it when we fill the bird feeders. Before you all go "Oh no, that's really cruel", she really is too silly to ever catch one. I have seen her catch one bird and she brought it to me as pleased as punch into the kitchen, put it down to show me and it flew off thank goodness. I know it's only nature, but you hate to see them catch things don't you, although it's all rather small fry with Sophie. Anyway, this is as far as she gets and that's OK with me.
In this post I have just posted some photos so while we are back in the UK we can look from time to time at what has been going on in our garden, the roses this year have been amazing and at least we have been able to see them. We are going to miss all our fruits, the potatoes, the onions we are going to dig up and take with us, the cherries have been and gone and to be honest there weren't very many of those this year. Never mind, there will always be another time.
The next photo is of our pond, specially for our friends Di and Brian who were with us last year and helped us clear it out and get rid of all the bullrushes. Just look at it now, you wouldn't believe Di was standing about halfway down, still with no water around her.

Now for our flowers. Sorry to all the photographers among you, I only wish I could do them justice. One day I am going to get myself a decent camera and have some lessons. The first being the most perfect white rose, the second is for my sister who bought us this pineapple tree, the name being because the flower really does smell of pineapples. The next is of the roses on the side of the house. These were already here when we bought the house. Amazing.

Well, our time is nearly up here and we have nearly caught up in the garden, but of course, at this time of year, you never really finish do you because the next day, the weeds are back. We have dug over the flower beds and loaded them high with the grass mowings hoping that it will keep the weeds down and also the moisture in. I am going to start putting the crockery that is on my dresser away so it won't be such a mammoth task when we get back to wash it all again! The problem is not knowing how long we are going to be away. Little Sophie is going to be well cared for by our neighbour David. I did wonder about asking someone if they would like her, not knowing which was the best for her, but David said she will be fine and we know he loves her and gives her as many cuddles as he can. He will be rather busy though because his cat Pica has just had 2 beautiful kittens. So this is it, on to our next adventure, what do they say, Life is a tapestry, it just seems our stitches have gone a bit wrong at the moment, so a bit of unpicking and re-stitching is required and we have the most amazing family and friends in the UK waiting to give us all the support we need.
I will try and post again before we leave but if not, I will try when I get back to the UK, but remember I'm not able to get on the computer when we are staying with my mum and dad. Be patient, we will be back. God bless, talk again soon.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Lost in France ........

As the title suggests we are Lost in France, but not the country, our garden, amongst the weeds that have grown since we have been away. What is it they say, if you can't beat them join them? So I picked some for indoors. We were very lucky and our lovely neighbours mowed the lawn for us, but the weeds were waiting for us on our return. Still, I suppose it is the growing season so we can't expect anything else. Our little cat Sophie has been very well looked after by David our neighbour but she hasn't left us alone since we have been back and I haven't had the heart to tell her we won't be here for long. Bless her, she is such a poppet. David says he gives her lots of cuddles, but obviously he can't be here all the time and they are never enough. Of course we don't know how long we are going to be away next time so it will be hard leaving her again.

We have been keeping very busy since we have been back so not much time to think of the horrid few months ahead of us. Enjoying the sunshine and getting warmth on our bodies and building up our fitness for the next adventure in our lives. We will be leaving here 2nd week in June so it is a matter of closing the house down and tucking her up for a while. Worst case scenario, it could be 6 months, so a long time to be away from our home. I am madly trying to put together craft work that I can take back with me, although mum and my sister always have lots of projects to do. I will spend many a happy hour with them while we are back in the UK.

Dad is getting along a little better again now with his leg, but he has had to have another injection in his eye. Yuk! I can't begin to imagine what that must be like. Bless him. Lots of love mum and dad and see you soon. Keep the B&B open for us.

I will try and post again before we go back, but I will say cheerio and God bless for now, talk to you all again soon. Thank you to everyone for all your good wishes.

A message to the Smith family, "Sorry if there are some spelling mistakes or typos, but I'm sure you will tell me about them when I get home"!!! Lots of love.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Good friends, good walks

Richard and I spent a wonderful couple of days staying with our very good friends. It's lovely when your friends give you the chance to really chill out, talk when you want and feel really comfortable. We spoke about the dreaded "c" word the first day, then it was banned with a small fine if it was mentioned the next day. We had a couple of fantastic walks but one in particular at Virginia Water where we walked for about 6 miles, passing these amazing rhododendrons and azaleas. If you are reading this, Brian and Di, thank you for a really good couple of days. Let's hope we will be able to repay you in September when you are booked to come to us. It's doubtful we will be back in France for then, but who knows??

That's all for now, off to my mum and dad tomorrow and get ready to return to France to close the house down ready for the next, not so good, adventure in our lives. Take care one and all, talk again soon.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

A Wonderful day

This is going to be our last day with Clare and Kenny in Cornwall and we have had such a wonderful day. The sun is shining, lovely and warm so we decided to go to Godrevy Lighthouse, picking up a really yummy cornish pasty on the way for a picnic on the beach. Such fun clambering over all the rocks and looking in the crystal clear rock pools. Even better, just after we had finished our lunch Richard's mobile went and it was the hospital saying that the CT Scan on his kidneys was normal. I have never seen such a change in a person in so short a time.

This photo is me lifting the heavy load that his been on our shoulders while waiting for that phone call. The next photo is Richard with the most amazing smile and shouting into the wind and huge YIPPEE!!!!!

We were making so much noise, these two little characters popped up to see what was going on. We stayed and watched them for quite a while and I was surprised at how large these seals were. This day was just getting better and better and what a good job Kenny had taken his camera with him so I could share everything with you all.
Always good to have good news when you are with your family.
Tomorrow we are off to stay with our very good friends before we say goodbye to Vicki and family and my parents. We are then hoping to get back to France for about a month before we go for the MRI in the middle of June and then decide with the consultants what the best treatment is for Richard. By the way, this is where we were this morning, not bad eh?? Talk to you all again soon. Take care

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Good Times and Bad

It has been a long time since I last posted and to be honest, I'm still not in the mood for this but here goes. As you know we came back to the UK for 2 weeks over Easter, we are still here. Firstly we had a brilliant time with the children and my parents during that time and as you will see from a couple of piccies, we had a fun time with the grandchildren when we took them to a wonderful enchanted forest for the day. Lots to see and explore and we didn't see it all in the time we spent there so we will need to go again. The first photo is where we found this huge "giant's hand" that we could sit on and have a bit of a snack. The second one is where they were trying to say that nannie looked a little like the goblin??? Personally I don't see the resemblance do you? Good job there isn't a close-up here.

Anyway, when we went back to stay with my parents my dad was in a bit of a state with his leg and we took him to the doctors, only to have him whisked away to hospital with a suspected blood clot. He was in there for 3 days and although he is out now, he is still in a lot of pain. That was the first part of the holiday and we should have been going back to France by then but........... Richard had a bit of a scare and went to the doctors, was referred to the hospital for various tests, (I am NOT going to go into details here but rather invasive) and the outcome so far is, he has prostate cancer. We are waiting for the results of the CT Scan on his kidneys and then he has to go for an MRI in 6-8 weeks time. We will probably go back to France to set things in order there and close the house up as we will carry on with the treatment for Richard, whatever it is, in the UK. As you can imagine, we are in for quite a few rough months so forgive me if I don't blog very often.

Take care one and all. God bless.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Happy Mother's Day

In the UK it is Mother's Day on Sunday, so if my sister looks at my blog, I am sending the photos of the flowers for my mum. Happy Mother's Dad mum, I love you very much and will see you in a couple of weeks. I can't wait. We saw this little clump of violets when we were out for a walk and I couldn't get very close to them, and I get very frustrated because I know if I had a slightly better camera I could zoom in to them and you would see them better. Still, they were still wonderful to see. The others are a little clump of daffodils we have in the garden and one of the stems has 3 heads on it. Just beautiful.
I have no idea where the time has gone since I last posted. It was glorious sunshine then and spring had arrived, but since then we have had a day of snow and it has been rather cold, so we haven't done much outside. We started weeding the beds and just when Richard wanted to mow the lawn, the snow came and it is rather wet again. We were hoping to get the grass mowed before we go back to the UK for Easter.
I had a wonderful surprise yesterday because the most amazing bunch of flowers came to the door for me for Mother's day. These were from Clare, so thank you. I have a card from Vicki and I know that I have a special "day out" organised for when I go back so I am really looking forward to that. I keep making guesses as to where we are going, but she keeps telling me off, I have to wait and see :-) It is also our wedding anniversary on Monday, 41 years. It only seems a few months ago that I was telling you all that it would be our ruby anniversary and here we are another year on. It's quite frightening isn't it?
Should Tracy read this, we wish you a very happy birthday for Monday. I bet there will be another super handbag somewhere in the presents!!! We look forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks time when we are back.
That's about it for this time, I wish you all a good weekend and for my family, I love you loads.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Spring is sprung, the grass is ris, I wonder where the birdies is

As it says in the heading of this post, spring is sprung..... well after a fashion. As to "I wonder where the birdies is" we saw them flying over this week, must have been a couple of hundred cranes, what a sight and the sound cannot be mistaken for anything else. You hear that first and then you are searching the skies trying to find them and then this skein appears and there they are. Our neighbour got in his car and followed them for quite a way, he was having trouble keeping up with them at 50-60km ph and then they stop and circle as if taking imaginary photographs so they can find their way another year. Quite amazing.

You can see from the 2 photos below how exciting it all is with the bulbs. The snowdrops in fact have nearly finished and the crocus are out in their best frocks now, all yellow!!! No idea where my purple and white ones went, I think the mice underground had a field day. Our very good friends came to see us last September and brought us some tulips so they were planted up in pots as you can see - not having the mice chewing on those little beauties. Well they are doing really well as you can see and if you are wondering why they are covered with wire netting, if you have a cat, you will realise the reason. She just loves using the pots as toilets. Little darling!

At this time of year the garden will begin to get out of hand so we need to get out there every good day there is. Yesterday I took about 15 hardwood cuttings of elaeagnus which is a shrub with the most beautiful perfume in all the world, to me anyway, so fingers crossed they will be good to plant out as the start of our hedge come next Autumn.

In the evenings it is still on with the knitting, I finished the scarf in the photo and it is really soft wool and such wonderful rich colours, though you can't really see that in this photo. I'm not very good at photo taking, I would like my son-in-laws skills on that front. Still knitting socks, yes Di, still knitting them. I say that because when I told my friend I was knitting them she almost wet herself laughing so the pair that should be winging their way over to her will now be held here. You wait till you see them Di, you'll be sorry!!! :-) They would keep your feet so warm in your riding boots when out with Zeffie.

I have just spent 2 days clearing out my sewing room, oh my goodness, you know what it's like when you start a job and wonder what on earth you have done. Well I was surrounded by wool, fabric, patterns, frames of all sorts and enough cross stitch kits to keep me busy until I'm about 200. Why on earth did I buy all of them and when am I going to do them? I should have had my mum and sister with me when I was doing it, we would have had such a laugh and I could have sent them home with some. I have a massive bag of wool to take along to the sewing group on Monday for anyone who wants some. Full balls, little balls bits and bobs but they will be useful for someone surely.

Today Richard and I went to a town called Condom (I know, don't say anything) which is about 40 minutes away from here and went to church. It was a lovely anglican service all in english and the people made us so welcome. We are thrilled to bits to have found a church for ourselves because we have really missed it, we were very involved when we were in the UK. They hold a service on the last Thursday of every month so we will become regulars.

Oh well, time to go and do some dusting, we have friends coming tomorrow afternoon so I better show willing. Take care family and friends and fellow bloggers.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Before and after

Sitting here with the snow falling gently outside the window with the sun shining on the mountains showing off their wedding gowns, it's easy to know why we are here, but yesterday when there was more drilling in the walls and we were looking through a fog of dreadful dusty mud from the walls, you often wonder. I ask myself will it ever be finished and did we start this much too late in our lives, but being realistic we couldn't have done it before because we were working. To make myself feel a little better I thought I would look to see how far we have come. The first photo is when we were viewing the property.
The next one is a closer look at the work that had to be done. Perhaps another day I will show you some of the inside.
The last one is of the outside and taken by a very good friend of ours who has the knack of making our house look very nice indeed. Sorry about the car in the drive. If I was clever I would be able to take that out, but ho hum..... you have the car!!!
So now I have looked at these and realise just how much we have achieved in a short time, it makes me feel better.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Cat's cradle/bed socks

I am not allowed to mention the fact that I don't have much to say, on strict instructions from my girls, because when I do I tend to ramble on a bit, so now I will start my ramblings. Really it is just to tell you how clever my little kitten Sophie is, as you will see from the first photo, she is taking serious note on how to knit.

Once she had mastered the technique she thought she better have a go at getting the knitting pins in the correct position, this took a little more effort and drove me insane as you can imagine.

There was more than one time when I was busing knitting away and suddenly, whoosh! the damn needle had been whipped out of my hand and into her little paws. She is very quick. Look at her, butter wouldn't melt would it? So after a few days, look at what WE have achieved, isn't she clever?

These are now winging their way over to Vicki, so I hope they fit you OK and keep your feet nice and warm when you are out walking Mabel in your wellies.

Now, can someone answer a question that came to mind, and I'm sure the person to answer it will be aims. When knitting socks on 4 needles, you only use the knit stitch, because you are knitting on the outside of the sock, though it looks like pearl on the inside. I don't quite know how this happens but is this where the words "stocking stitch" came from??

Well the lovely sunny weather is calling so I am going outside for a while. Thanks for stopping by and hello to all my family and friends again, especially the Smith family who I don't see very often. I hope all is well with you and that school/college is going well for Briony, Jess and Charlie. Pete, you shouldn't work so hard, take some time to stop and smell the flowers and Tracy, let me know when you get fed up with your handbags and throw them in my direction!!