Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Last Sunday in August

I woke bright and early this morning - well actually I do most mornings - not necessarily feeling bright, usually stiff and sore, but hey 'bright and early' sounds better :-)

I was pleased to see that there weren't any puppy 'presents' awaiting me this morning.  Once the dogs had been out, had their breakfast, I took them for a nice walk.  I have walked nearly every day in August as I had planned and sometimes twice a day - more so lately, especially now Stanley can go out for walks.  So hopefully will eventually get fitter and lose a few of the extra pounds I have put on in the last year.

We had some very ripe bananas in the fruit bowl, and rather than throw them away I thought I would try a new recipe using them and made a Walnut and Banana Tea Loaf.  It is very tasty.

Wednesday is our day for taking my Mother in Law out for lunch  - a very enjoyable lunch was had sitting outside at one of our favourite Cafes.

I spent the afternoon in the garden, dead heading and pruning some of the roses, weeding and also planting a rose that I bought a couple of weeks ago.  The guinea pigs were also cleaned out, something they were happy about!

I picked some of the lavender and have hung it up to dry.

The bees really enjoy the lavender.

This pretty rose is one of my small 'patio' roses - I think it is called 'Carefree Days' and was bought many years ago - it is quite petite.  Very pretty rose that has just started flowering the last few days.

The Marigolds are still looking good

As are the Petunias.

I am on a quest to try and find a recipe for Madeira Cake like my mother used to make...I remember her cake so well and I know my sister and I used to really love it.  But so far I haven't been able to replicate it, although both recipes I have tried so far have turned out well and tasted nice, they haven't met the mark or had the taste or consistency of my Mum's cake.  Of course, it may have been her own recipe, and sadly I don't think she will remember now.  It may have been the difference in flour, as I have noticed that on a whole cakes and baking are definitely different here to how they are in New Zealand - my tried and tested recipes are never the same here as they are there, and vice versa...strange.  

This cake above was nice, although perhaps a little dry after the first day.  It still got enjoyed though.

Well August has almost reached a close...I can't believe how quickly it has flown by.  September tomorrow and the Sailor and his Fiancee are back home in just under two weeks!  I guess I better get his room ready again - I have been using it in my quest to sort and clear the rest of the house!  Yikes!

Time for a spa and then to watch the last of BBC iplayer - we are banning all BBC from our computers tomorrow - with the introduction of them wanting to charge a TV licence for Iplayer now, (we don't have a television)  we will no longer be able to watch it and to be honest we are quite sick and tired of their completely biased and one-sided reporting so have decided to block it altogether - we can get news from more reliable sources, especially if we want to know what is REALLY going on...but that is another subject!

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Happy Birthday Hubby!

What a beautiful day it has been today - the perfect day for 'Birthday Boy', myself and the two dogs to spend at Audley End. I think the temperature today must have been pretty close to 30 degrees Celsius. 

The dogs enjoyed the day as much as we did.

Percy giving me a big 'smile' - he is always happy, except perhaps when he has had enough of being pestered by Stanley.

Stanley is another happy boy.

Both dogs were loved to bits by three lovely children who spent some time sitting with them and giving them cuddles.  Percy especially enjoyed lapping up the attention.

Another stop - this time in the shade.

Profile shot.  It was Stanley's first big outing out - he has just been going on short walks 'around the block' with us until today.  He was a perfect traveller, and settled down to the just over an hour journey there and back.  He was very good the whole time we were out as well.  What a star!

Of course no day is complete without some flower and bee photography.

This was a perfect ball shaped dahlia - so pretty.

Some unusual gourds being grown.

Wish my pumpkin looked like this - mine amounted to...nothing!

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Sunday Summary

Another dull and slightly drizzly day for most of the day today, so I spent much of the day sewing again, catching up on things I needed to do and a couple of orders.

By the late afternoon the sun was appearing and the flowers looked lovely in the sunlight.

This apple got picked before it fell off...a lot have been falling off, so this one and one that had fallen, along with a couple of rhubarb stalks were destined for my 'apple stuff' dessert and a few vegetables were picked/pulled to go with dinner.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

A Wet Saturday Activities.

It has been pretty wet and gloomy here today with lots of intermittent but heavy downpours of rain.  Fortunately when I got up this morning at 6.30 it seemed to be a lovely day so I went for my walk with Percy bright and early.  I got home just after about an hour and the weather was already starting to turn with the odd spit of rain.

So what to do do but have a baking and sewing kind of day.

A jar of biscuits.

A slice of Madeira cake for afternoon tea.

A little bit of colour - one of my Celosia plants, (photo taken the other day).

I have been making little dresses to go with the little wooden dolls I have been carving.

I also had this 'almost vintage' Rag Doll Cloth Kit' in my stash of fabric dating from 1981 'Reproduced to mark the Centenary of the Church of England Children's Society - 1981'

She is a reproduction of a Pauline Gilbert Rag Knock-About Doll 'Mignonne' produced by the Deans Rag Book Co., Ltd.

The printed fabric sheet makes one doll and contains instructions printed in five different languages, English, French, Italian, German and Spanish. 

Here she is finished - now need to find a home for her.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Friday Flowers and what not.

A very wet and dreary Friday, so what better way to spend it than a bit of sewing now I have cleared my sewing table which is in our conservatory.  After last nights failed attempts today was much more successful.

Elsewhere in the house.

Fortunately I picked some roses yesterday before the rain today.

I also changed the table cloth to something bright and cheery - which just happens to match the roses!

I also took a few photos of the flowers yesterday

This one was taken today, but many look a lot soggier!

A few days ago...

'What's that?!


'It's a ghost!'

Arghh!  You're kidding me?!  Where?

What really happened next....

Ah sweet Percival.


Little Stanley is growing fast and has his second vaccination last week so we can take him out next week.  Let the lead training begin!