31 January 2012

Yay!!! It's Open.....................

Minister opens Fochabers-Mosstodloch bypass

THE £31.5 million Fochabers-Mosstodloch has been finally opened.
The final section of the long-awaited project was opened by Transport Minister, Keith Brown.
The completion of the project signals the end of a decades long campaign for a bypass.
The Mosstodloch section of the bypass was opened to traffic last year.
The final section of the work, through the Gordon Castle estate, has now been completed and took its first vehicles today.
Mr Brown said: "The Scottish Government is committed to investing in transport infrastructure in the North East, including the vital A96.
"Today's opening of the Fochabers bypass, ahead of time and on budget, is evidence of that commitment, bringing with it real benefits for local communities and businesses."
The opening of the bypass removes one of the worst bottlenecks on the A96 between Aberdeen and Inverness.
Businesses in Fochabers have established a new group to promote the town in the wake of the bypass opening.

It is so nice to sit here, at my computer, and not see cars, lorries, tractors and buses whizzing up and down the High Street.  It's nearly 5.20pm on a Tuesday and it is almost quiet.  I no longer live on the A96.  I now live on the B9104!!

The campaigners for the bypass have waited decades for this day so there will be a few celebrations going on tonight I should think.

The story so far..............

1::  2009

 2::  May 2010

3::  August 2011

4::  January 2012

This last photo was me, standing in the middle of the bypass last Sunday.  Not a soul around and no traffic.  (I don't count that digger as it wasn't moving).

Couldn't stand there today.....I'd be squished flat in no time :0)

25 January 2012

A first time for everything!!

Picture from Google images

I learnt the strangest thing at lunchtime today. 

After doing a bit of shopping, my friend Elaine and I went for a coffee in one of the local supermarkets.  I found the area that dispensed the drinks and hopelessly looked around for the mugs/cups.  I could find the paper cups, teapots and drinks machines but nothing to put a cup of coffee in.  After several minutes of trying not to look like a complete idiot I asked the girl behind the till where the cups were.
She told me that I had to pay for the coffee first and then she would give me a cup so I could go to the machine and get my Latte!! 
I stood looking at her for a few seconds as if she were from Mars before asking her to repeat herself.  Her friend obviously thought I was a bit simple as she repeated the same thing only this time 'she talked really s l o w l y'!  I nearly laughed out loud but paid for the empty mugs before heading off to the Latte machine.
The thing is there was nothing to stop my friend taking the receipt and the empty mugs and going back for a refill.
That is the first time I have bought a coffee and gotten an empty mug!!! 

I think we'll go to Starbucks next time :0)

23 January 2012

Call the Midwife

Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth  This has to be the best thing on TV at the moment.  It's a definite eye-opener for those of us who have no idea what the East end of London was like in the 1950s.

Drama set in London's East End during the 1950s, based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth. A newly qualified midwife begins her career alongside an order of nursing nuns.

With characters ranging from mother-of-24, Spanish Conchita, to teenage Molly, whose abusive husband puts her on the game, it cannot fail to tick the "laughter" and "tears" boxes, but it's also more explicit and down-to-earth than many might expect.

The BBC has just commissioned another 8 episodes for series two so you'd have to say it's been a success so far after only two episodes.

Hooky News

Just a little something I'm working on........

17 January 2012

Birthday boy

15 today!!

How?   What?   When did that happen?

Don't tell him I blogged his picture.  He's taken a dislike to having his picture taken, let alone one being blogged!!

16 January 2012

On his travels

I wonder where John was last week?

No not New York but Paris, France. 

The New York Statue of Liberty was made in France in 1884 and given to the people of America in 1886.
This statue stand near the Grenelle Bridge on the Île des Cygnes, an island in the river Seine and looks towards the Atlantic Ocean and hence towards its "larger sister" in New York Harbour.

Just a little bit of trivia for today!!

15 January 2012


My sister-in-law Barbara gave me this recipe last year and I made it for the first time today and it is Yum-diddly-umpsious.

Chocolate Ginger Cake

150g butter  (plus extra for greasing)

150g soft dark brown sugar

150g black treacle (I didn't have treacle so used Golden Syrup instead)

225g plain flour, sifted

1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

190ml milk

1 large egg beaten

100g plain chocolate chopped (I used silver spoon milk chocolate chips)

1.  Heat the oven to 150 degrees C (130 degrees fan oven) (gas mark 2).  Lightly grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm square cake tin with baking parchment.
2.  Put the butter, sugar and treacle into a large pan and stir over a low heat until melted.  Cool for a few minutes.
3.  Quickly beat in the flour, spices and bicarbonate of soda, followed by the milk, egg and chocolate until smooth.  Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.  Don't be tempted to open the oven for at least 30 minutes as the cake will sink in the middle.  Leave in the tin and stand on a wire rack until cold.  You can eat it straight away but, if you can resist temptation it benefits from keeping for three days wrapped in greaseproof paper and stored in an airtight tin.

I served mine with low fat creme fraiche and strawberries.

14 January 2012

Weekly crafting

I don't seem to have done a lot this week with being back to work but I have started a new felt project and done a few rows on my ripple blanket.

This project is set to be a year long one as the things I'm making are going to take longer than I thought!

Loving the colours in this.

I thought I'd do a Lucy at Attic 24 and take a picture of me holding my blanket so you can see how big it is but it's harder than you think to get a good shot.

These aren't crafty I know but they are such a beautiful colour I just had to buy them.

More ripple goodness ready for me to add a few extra rows too tonight.

I hope you're all having a good weekend.

7 January 2012

Monthly Make 2012 - January

I recently joined the Monthly Make group over on The Felt Fairy's blog where like minded crafty ladies (or men!!) make one new thing every month.

This month I've made Felt Owls.  I had loads of felt left over from making hearts last year and wanted a way to use up all the scraps.  I Googled "Felt owl template" and found a lovely blog called Juicy Bits which had an easy to make template.

Hey presto -  I now have 6 felt owls. 

I've already found next months make.   I just need to get all the bits together so I can get started.

If you pop over to Flickr you can see some more of the wonderful crafty projects made so far.

6 January 2012

Ripple up-date

I have to admit to not doing as much of this as I'd have liked over the holidays but then that's due to my own laziness and not the lack of opportunity.  I've not been entirely lazy though as I have done this months crafty make already - I just need to figure out how to get in onto Flickr.

This is it about 1/4 of the way through.  The flash doesn't really do the colours justice so I'll try and take another picture in daylight.

3 January 2012

Resolutions of 2011

I only had two resolutions last year....

1.  Not to buy anymore books.  I managed to read my way through last year by re-reading books I already had, borrowing from the library, reading books I had been given as presents and borrowing books from my Mum.

2.  Not to kill my one and only plant.  I only have one plant in the house as I tend to kill them off, either with neglect or over watering.  Last year I manged to not only get my Orchid to survive but to get it to grow.  It had 5 flowers on it when I bought it in a local supermarket and when they died off I thought that was it.  It though, had other ideas and decided to grow an extra 16 flowers for me which are still blooming now on my kitchen window sill.

I have also had two new Orchids bgought for me as presents so I'm hoping that 2012 will produce lots more lovely blooms.

Quiet time

It's been a very quiet time here at The Gables.  There was just the three of us for Christmas and New Year and although I have met up with friends for coffee it still seems to have been very quiet.  I like visitors at Christmas but the problem is space.  We just don't seem to have enough of it.  I think that's something I may have to look into for next year.

Despite the weather which has been wet and windy we have managed to get out and about (with and without the teenager). 

We took Moss for a walk up one of the local hills.

Here's the village.

And John moving a tree out of the way of the footpath.  It's been so windy recently that trees of all sizes have been blown over.

We found the shelters that the local primary school kids have been building with the Moray Rangers.

And a shot of me and The Ever Growing Teenager!!  That apparently is him smiling!!

I know I shouldn't moan about things being quiet as it will soon be time to go back to work/school and for us at work this year that means moving to a brand new school.  I'm really looking forward to the move but not the packing and un-packing of the office!

1 January 2012

Happy New Year

  Thank you all for the comments you have left this year.  Every one is very much appreciated

I wish you all a very Happy New Year and a wonderful 2012.