28 September 2020

A Lovely Weekend

I've had a busy old time this weekend.  It started on Friday night with a meal out with the two men in my life.

A treat for my Birthday.  A meal out at my favourite restaurant, the Anchor Inn in Irby.  Masks were worn from car to table, table to loo and table to car!!  The service and the meal were excellent as usual.  A free bottle of fizz may have also been on the menu.  Mindful of the 10pm closure times we were back home in plenty of time.

Saturday saw me putting up new shelves in my craft room and sorting my wool into colours.  I have more wool on the way (but don't tell anyone).  I also started a mandala even though I said I'd have a whole month off crochet whilst trying to fix my tennis elbow.  It's just a small project to get me back into the swing of things.

Washing and ironing were also thrown into the mix on Saturday as Sunday we went to the zoo to see the elephants.  I wanted to see how they were doing after the death of the matriarch, Thi a few weeks ago.  We also popped along to see if the aardvarks were awake and say hello to the giraffes.  

We could only get an afternoon slot which means we only got three hours before the zoo closed, but it was enough time to recharge before heading back to work on Monday.

25 September 2020

One from the Archive

I'm still wishing we could have gone on our "Big" holiday this year for our 25th Wedding Anniversary, but sadly it was not to be.  Here instead is our holiday to Vernon, France in 2011.

Ten Things - September

I completely missed August's Ten Things as I hadn't long been back from holiday so this month I thought I'd share a little of my trip with you.

::  Bayeux Cathedral

 ::  Bayeux War Cemetery - all these boys died on D Day - 6 June 1944

::  Monet's Lily pond - Giverny

::  Downtown Vernon

::  Strawberry tart from my favourite shop in Vernon.  Patisserie Rose.

::  Evreux Cathedral

::  Memorial on Omaha beach, Normandy

::  My boy outside Notre Dame, Paris

::  The above mentioned Notre Dame

:: and finally my favourite.....The locals of Vernon all sat facing away from the river Seine!!

21 September 2020

The Black Pearl

In 2013 the 'Black Pearl' was launched on the beach at New Brighton.  

She was built by local artists Frank Lund and Major Mace and is maintained by a small group of locals who have even had to help rebuild the ship twice; first when it was destroyed by Winter storms and again when it was set alight by yobs just six months later.

She has been a much loved ship to young and old alike, has seen many a budding pirate walk the plank and has encountered many storms.

    Unfortunately one storm in March 2020 saw her ship-wrecked beyond repair.

As before there are plans afoot to rebuild her.  

Watch this space.

18 September 2020

TV Shows you never thought you'd watch

Forged In Fire Seeking Contestants | American Farriers Journal 

Forged in Fire

Each week, four of the best blade smiths in America put both their skills and reputations on the line. The competition is fierce. In the first two rounds, contestants face-off, forging blades they hope can withstand the judges’ gruelling tests. Only two smiths will be left standing and continue on to the final round where they’ll have four days at their home forge to create an historic blade. It takes a certain mix of brains and brawn to be crowned the Forged in Fire champion and take home a cheque for $10,000.

At first I thought this as something hubby would watch by himself, but I actually quite like seeing how they make things out of old tools and farm machinery.  I now know my 1080 steel from my Damascus!! 

Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing - Wikipedia

Mortimer and Whitehouse - Gone Fishing

After one had a triple heart bypass and the other suffered heart problems  comedians and lifelong friends Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse share their personal and hilarious life experiences while travelling around the UK fishing for elusive species.

I can honestly say I'm not a fishing fan, that's hubby's domain, but this program is not just about fish.  It's also humorous and has me laughing out loud at their antics, especially when they reminisce back to the 80s.

Lost Gold of WW2 (TV Series 2019– ) - IMDb

Lost Gold of WWII

Lost Gold of World War II uncovers the quest to solve one of the last great mysteries of World War II. In 1945, as Allied forces closed in, Japanese troops commanded by the notorious Japanese General Yamashita allegedly buried a fortune in treasure in the Philippines. It’s believed the treasure included gold, jewels, and priceless artefacts stolen from many nations. Now, a team of Americans follows the lead of an eyewitness who says he saw Yamashita’s forces bury countless boxes in tunnels, sealed with explosives, and riddled with booby-traps. The team must decipher a bizarre code believed to be left by a secret society, as a means to avoid the traps and recover the treasure.

It's one of those shows where they talk a lot and go over the same bit twice but it was worth watching just to see if all those years later they actually find the gold.

16 September 2020

One Photo - Twenty Words


Was I miles away in my own thoughts or staring at the locals on the prom.  We will never know.

14 September 2020

The Demelza Blanket

My friend asked, recently, if I would make a blanket for her to give to her mum as a Christmas Present.  Luckily, I had just finished a blanket and was wondering what to start next so said yes straight away.

She chose the wool and the order arrived in just a few days.    I didn’t want to just do stripes so I chose a pattern from Ravelry called The Demelza Blanket by Catherine Bligh, that looked complicated (but not too complicated)  and I loved that it was a mixture of stripes and granny squares.  

Next, I had to work out which colours would go best together and which size hook to use to get the most out of the wool and make the blanket as big as possible.

In between bouts of tennis elbow I crocheted like mad and had the blanket finished in five weeks.

It was all finished off with a faux leather label from a company I found on Etsy.  It came all the way from Lithuania and added that finishing touch it needed.

11 September 2020

9 September 2020

Spicy Rice

This is my go to recipe for those days when you just can't think of what to have for dinner.  I always seem to have the ingredients to hand and they are regular items on my shopping list.

I found the recipe about 6 years ago in one of the Hairy Dieters cook books.  They make it with pork but I prefer to use chicken.  You can add extra spice if you like it a bit hotter.

Spicy Rice


·         2 tsp olive oil or you can use Fry Light

·         1 medium onion, diced

·         500g chicken goujons cut into pieces

·         50g chorizo sausage, skinned and cut into slices

·         2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

·         1 red and 1 orange pepper, deseeded and sliced

·         100g green beans, trimmed and cut into short lengths

·         1 tsp ground cumin

·         1 tsp ground coriander

      1 tsp paprika

·         ½ tsp hot chilli powder

·         150g basmati rice (or arborio rice if you like it more like a risotto)

·         750ml chicken stock, made with 1 stock cube

·         flaked sea salt

·         freshly ground black pepper




         Heat the oil in a large, non-stick deep frying pan or sauté pan. Fry the onion over a medium-high heat for 3 minutes until they’re softened and lightly browned, stirring regularly.

       Season the chicken with salt and black pepper, then add it to the pan and stir-fry with the onion for 2 minutes until lightly browned. Add the chorizo, garlic, peppers and beans and stir-fry together for 2 minutes more. Sprinkle with the spices and stir in the rice, then pour over the stock and bring to the boil.

      Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring regularly, until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice and chicken are both lovely and tender.


7 September 2020

What a Week

What a busy week last week was.  

Monday was a Bank Holiday and as hubby was off work, we made one last trip out before I went back to work the next day.  We only went across the Mersey to Speke Hall as some of the local National Trust sites were closed again due to local restrictions.

Speke Hall is a small NT property just outside Liverpool and extremely close to the airport but there weren’t many people there, so we didn’t feel too cramped.  You can read about the Hall here.

Tuesday saw me head back to work after the six weeks summer holidays and boy what a shock it was to be out all day and having to use my brain.  I didn’t stop all day and was absolutely shattered by the time I got home.  I’m getting too old for this working malarkey.  Maybe I should consider part-time!!

The rest of the week was much the same.  The office is always a busy place during the first week of term, but it is soon forgotten once the children come back.  I was so pleased to see them and say hello to our new starters.  I really had missed them and they it seems had missed me too. They were only in for two days but they all left with a smile on Friday so we must have gotten something right. :0)

Slimming World started again on Wednesday night and the scales weren’t as unkind as I thought they might have been and I’m now back in the zone and ready to get back to my target weight.  It was strange being back in group after so long and having to sit several metres apart and wear a mask but if it means we can continue going every week then that’s what we’ll do.  Paula, our consultant has been brilliant throughout and kept as many of us on the straight and narrow as possible.  She runs seven different groups, so she’s had a full time job during lock down.

My poorly elbow hasn’t improved this week and I’m now waiting for the doctor to phone me back with some ideas on what to do next.  I can’t take ibuprofen and paracetamol don’t help in the slightest.  I’m really not sure if it’s just tennis elbow or something else (probably age related!!).

At the weekend I seem to have managed to finally get myself a craft space.  I’m not quite sure how but I’m not complaining.  It all started when hubby decided he was going to move his office into the spare room but then changed his mind.  He said that if we moved a few things around I could get a craft cupboard in there and would have somewhere to store my yarn.  I just went with the flow and now have my own space (and not before time as the males of this house have had their own space for the last 3 years!).  It’s not finished yet and I need to decide on the best storage unit but hopefully it won’t be too long.  It's a work in progress.

And finally, the end of the week brought good news about my father-in-law.  He has been in hospital for a fortnight but is on the mend and looking forward to going home soon. It’s such a relief as I know he has hated being in hospital and my mother-in-law has only been able to see him for one hour per week!!

And just like that another week is over.  Hopefully next week will be a bit quieter.


4 September 2020

Funny on a Friday

Slimming World started again this week and this just about sums me up at the moment.

2 September 2020

Currently - September


It's time again, to play along with Anne from In Residence for the monthly "Currently".

This month we are:

Appreciating, All the hard work that has been done by the amazing staff at work.  They have gone above and beyond to get the school ready for our children returning tomorrow.  We have 122 children with autism and moderate learning difficulties, most of whom haven't been in school since March.  We also have 22 new children starting which can be a difficult time for them.

The staff are the most dedicated people I have ever met and it is a pleasure to work with them all.

Anticipating, What the scales will say when I go back to Slimming World.  I have a feeling they are going to give me really bad news.  Try as I may I just can't seem to shift the last few pounds I've put on during lockdown and the summer holidays.  Still, in the grand scheme of things this year, it really isn't anything to worry too much about.  And I do try to worry less!!

CollectingI'm not a collector of anything but I had great fun recently collecting shells with my Grandson.  He's wasn't as interested as I was, as a big puddle in the sand was much more fun.  We found loads of different shells on a little stretch of the local beach and took them home for washing before he took them back to York with him.

StartingTo look at the possibility of going away for a weekend.  I'm still not 100% happy with being away from home but our son is 30 this year and we wanted to get together to celebrate.  I'm currently looking at Airbnb places where we get the whole place to ourselves.  That way I can clean when I get there and take my own pillow!!

I'm trying to finish all the crochet projects I have on the go.  At the moment I only have two to finish, although, one has been on the go since 2015!!