Friday, 29 June 2012

A Wild and Weedy Garden of Delights....

A lovely day today.. the wind did rage ..and ragg the trees but we seem to be in a sheltered spot...

 so it was nice to spend some time moochin in the garden.

Will picked a whole heap of Elderflowers ... they smell just so delicious...the air is scented with them.... they are just so 'Summer'.

Whilst I tackled the Gooseberries .... big.. fruity... juicy berries to give a zing to our pies and puddings!

 Hubby P espied me at my picking from his shed/oops sorry 'workshop'....and not wanting to be left out ... it is a very Summer-y thing... a nice 'Harvest Natures Bounty' kind a thing...he tackled the bushes with gusto!
He tells me he is a natural because he knows for a fact ...'He Was Found Under a Gooseberry Bush' .... its perfectly true his Mother said so!
As we picked I began to think that maybe it was a good idea to foster this 'picking the Gooseberries' being a manley ... 
rugged even...sort of thing to do...afterall the bushes were very, very prickly. If anyone was going to be scratched to death and have a bad back ....well... these manley sorts can bear it that bit better than me.
Of course I will make the puddings and pies!

 We had an awfully big dish full...

 Just look at this little lot ....they looked and smelled amazing ...such bounty ....we are so lucky to be able to step into our garden...our own little bit of Eden ....and harvest such wonders.

Whilst I wandered the garden ... and brushed past the plants the Lavender gave up its scent strong in the fresh sun warmed air.
I couldn't resist a bunch for the house. 

The sound of a chainsaw shattered the fragrant stillness of the garden ....I went to investigate and found Will sawing logs ready for the fire.
Free wood! ... always a thrill...
Will had done a 'Tree Job' the other day and brought home some of the wood....the people whose trees were thinned don't have a wood burner ....and were happy to give the wood to Will... lucky for us.
I must say some of it was burnt tonight ...we are still lighting the woodburner ....its chilly in the evenings ... and it dries the washing. 
The wood is/was Ash burns green.... doesn't have to be stored/seasoned/dried out. 

What did I do with my bounty?

Well the Elderflowers are at this moment turning themselves into Elderflower cordial...a wonderful fragrant drink ... It will keep well and give touch of summer in the dark cold months.
A cordial ... we dilute it with plain water, fizzy water, vodka if you like....or even poured over icecream....its lovely.

The Goosegogs I 'topped and tailed'...what a job...I did notice Hubby P managed to wriggle out of that one... very busy 'making a living' was his line..
Anyway they are in the freezer ready for future use ....I may make a bit of jam...and the rest will be used for fruit crumbles, pies and the like.
Anyway ....what have you been doing today? how is your garden growing...I noticed my Sprouts are doing well with all this rain ..

Do drop me a line/leave me a comment ... like to think I am not just babbling on to myself!..

Bye for now x

Monday, 25 June 2012

Finds ....Flowers ... and Craftiness...and A Surprise Visiter!

Hello ...

Just a few pic's of this weeks finds...I should have blogged/posted much earlier but I have spent lots of time sat on the bench outside watching the birds, and enjoying the sun.
I do hope the sunshine is here to stay for a while...

How do you like my new basket?....well its an old basket really...bit battered and little unravelled ....bit like me!
But I thought it a shame not to bring it home and enjoy it for a can moulder its life away looking pretty with some of my vintage terracotta pots. 

And how about these vintage buckles for something amazing .... Hubby P found them in an old battered tin .... now there's an exciting project in the offing... what can I make that will show off their fabulous-ness?

 Hankies...who doesn't just love a nice crisp fresh hanky ....I found a pile of them in an old suitcase...bit musty....bit of a good old boil up in an old pan and they are just fine. There were very many of them so I have done the usual ...some for me and some on ebay to help restore the funds spent in buying them.

And a bit of Craftiness....

 Last week I had someone ask me if I had any pincushions for sale ...knowing I was a crafty-type person. 
Of course a body never has what one is asked for! ... so I thought I ought to make a couple...or three....just in case!
I just used some odd teacups and scraps of vintage fabric ... worked well I thought....quite pretty.

Sat in the garden...
...of which I have done a lot of today...lazy mare that I am ..the air was filled with the scent of Elderflowers...lovely.

 Great creamy ....frothy heads of flowers...the size of dinner plates.

I have the makings of Elderflower cordial ...just have to pick a few lower heads ....maybe tomorrow.


Well....Hubby P has just walked in with Happy News ...
Guess who's back?
...or should I say happy to stop have a chat and his picture taken.

Do you remember Geoffrey....and the Geoffrey family?

For those of you who don't have the plesure of the aquaintence of ...the Geoffrey's
...they are a family of mice who live quite happily, in the garden, under an old Belfast sink. They venture out of an evening to munch on any titbit's left by the birds in the birdhouse/feeding table. 
Hubby P spends many an evening chatting with them as they munch on varied delicacies (rice is a favourite) and he.... Hubby P has a cigarette. I think they know him from the smell of the cigarette smoke and are quite happy to go about their business.

Of course now we have no cat you remember we lost Charlie Cat earlier this maybe there are a lot more little Geoffrey's than in past years....I know we have lots more birds.

Anyway nice to see Geoffrey out and about again, and happy to be in the limelight!
Who knows we might get to meet some baby Geoffrey's soon....I'll keep you posted..

Bye for now x  

Friday, 22 June 2012

Approved Foods Order.....

Well .... the Approved Foods order arrived in no time at all...and apart from my Sister (who's home it had been sent to) having a bit of a panic at just HOW MUCH food there was...and just what was on who's list ...the ordering process was a great success.

Hubby P picked up 'our box full' from my sisters house (just up the road)....and we got stuck in.....just to see what we had got for our £21.

Lots of goodies .... I had ordered things that perhaps I wouldn't have bought from the supermarket because they are too expensive.... would make the meal too expensive for everyday.
Things like nice sauces and fancy nann breads, ready made poppadoms (so yummy with that chopped up salad and a bit of chutney).
I popped the nann breads in the freezer...ideal for livening up our dinners, and the rest stacked nicely in the cupboards.
 Hubby P is looking forward to the Bacon Grill .....I tell you we lead such an exciting life! 
I haven't been buying his favourite Bacon Grill...its just been too expensive from Tesco ...but at A Foods it was just 78p....I will pay that....I think 'He's worth it'

Has anyone had the baking mixes do you find them? and do you find you use them up, being in such large quantities?

I got a large bag of the scone said Savoury Scone Mix so I made a round of cheese scones (well.... I say made ...just added water shaped and threw in the oven!)
The next mix I added a bit of sugar and a few sultanas, mixed with milk and cut into rounds with the nearest drinking glass (so lazy...couldn't be bothered to find the proper cutters).

....They look just fine...if a bit rough and ready.
 So.... the interests of research.....purely to give you feedback on A Foods you understand....I'm sat munching on the sultana scones ...they go very well with mugs of Earl Grey tea ....Hubby P does brew a very fine tea!
Bye for now xx

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Quick Catch up and News Of Percy The Woodpigeon..

Just a little 'Hello' ...quick catch up and a few pic's...

I spotted a nice little mirror the other day at a car boot sale ... t'will be a nice addition to my mirror wall.

The 'mirror wall' is across from the outer wall of the cottage with the small deep set helps reflect the light back into the least that's the idea ...and I think it looks pretty!

This pretty pair of vintage curtains have been sat at home for a while ... so pretty. I was going to make something with the fabric but to be honest I can't bring myself to cut them up.


 Looking at my finances and thinking ahead ...we have a lot of Birthdays coming up and of course Christmas will sneak up on us...I really need to be upping my 'pin money' stash. I think of my paypal account as money for that sort of thing ...presents, treats etc...or emergency money!
 Its been very often emergency money of late.
Anyway.... scratting about for stuff to go on ebay to up the 'pin money' ...I've been through the wardrobe and found some bits and bobs, and decided these pretty little curtains can go too.
Its surprising what you can find ...just walk around the house with a small box in your hand and throw in stuff you have not picked up, looked at or worn in the last few weeks ...chances are you don't need it.

Percy the Pigeon is doing well....

Hubby P found him a bigger cage (rather than the small basket ...which was good initially to keep him quiet and confined so he wouldn't flap and do more damage to himself).... anyway one dog cage ...£5 at car boot sale....handy!

 You can see the damage ...he has lost an awful lot of his feathers from his wing and the side of his body. Good news is the feathers have started to regrow, he is eating well, stretching and preening ...and hopping around the cage. He has a little roosting perch and happily sits there watching the world go by....hopefully he will recover fully and return from whence he came.


Today he's been keeping Hubby P company whilst he cleaned up this lovely old mirror. Hubby P kept up a runny commentary and Percy seemed quite content to sit and listen with the odd nod of his head.

Great excitement here too ...nearly forgot to tell you .... we (myself and two friends) have clubbed together to send a Approved Foods order ...
Can't wait for it to come and see what its like...I've tried to be ultra sensible and just order things I would usually buy from Tescos.. or the like.
 But I must say some of the offers are so tempting...but really ....just how much mint sauce does a girl need?

I know a lot of you 'out there' use Approved Foods do you find it? Any tips ...anything to be avoided?

I do like to think it will save me loads long as I don't get carried away!

Bye for now x

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Woopy Carrot Soup ...and some random photo's from a rainy day!

Well what a rainy day .... miserable.... damp and cold.

I looked in the fridge for something cheering and was met by this....

 dodgy looking veg....
woppy carrots and sprouty spuds....that will teach me to go having Birthdays with lots of nice things to eat ....and ignoring the good wholesome veg....

I thought a good hearty soup was the answer....anyone would think it was the depths of winter!
So I dragged out all the dodgy,woppy, sprouty, wrinkly veg... chopped it up and sauteed it in a drop of oil, added a handful of lentils ... always a goodie ...lentils...and simmered it long and slow.

Funny ... but I was thinking how dingy and battered my old soup pan was ....its just the old bottom of a pressure cooker...lost its lid years ago. And to be truthful it really does look a bit grim...its clean but a bit tarnished with age ... but you know what makes the best soup ever.
Bit like me really ....looking a bit grim...bit tarnished round the edges...but still feel I've got what it takes ...hehe! 

Yummy soup ...I think the wrinkled old red pepper made it....really tasty... its all gone anyway!

So come on do tell ... what grim secret utensils do you keep stashed in your kitchen....what could you not do without ...or is it just me?

Just a few random pic's I thought you might enjoy....

I went with Hubby P to 'help' load the van for tomorrows trading...'help' being a very elastic word....
It involves a lot of 'pointing' on my side... so I spent the slack minutes when I wasn't needed (was in the way....maybe?)
...wandering about with the camera. 

Just a few vintage-y bits and bobs on the shelves in the 'Emporium'!

 Stock is always changing ...coming in and hopefully going I have lots of opportunity to 'faff around' ...a technical term picked up somewhere by Hubby P.....such a darling ... just as wall I'm rather fond of him.
.... I must admit it is a bit like playing shop.

Who remembers these old lipsticks .... such lovely old cases and creamy colours... and the smell of them ... remember the smell?
I'm sure it probably was made from something awful like whale blubber.... but 'those were the days' all seems so much more glamorous.

Back to the hum drum and washing day ....but how sweet is this little peg bag .... a bit battered but then again wouldn't you be stuck outside on a washing line for years!

Well here we are all loaded up .....just enough room for a few bits and bobs from home....completely over the top of course (in my opinion).... he has to unload all this at 6am then reload whats left later in the afternoon .... but he likes 'a good van load' ....'cant sell it if they cant see it' ....and all that!
Well ...bedtime now...early start and all that...
Bye for now xx 

Friday, 15 June 2012

Flowers ... Thanks and Thrifty Snippets!...Oh .. and a Wood Pidgeon

Here we are again ... back to the 'everyday' .... I had a super Birthday and I really must thank you all for your warm Birthday wishes.

The house is filled with flowers ... I just love flowers... and kind thoughtful people provided lots.. 

 Even Hubby P ventured into a shop and came home with flowers....

 Their lovely fresh scent fills the room....

 It was a good excuse to pull out all my mis matched vintage china ... so pretty...

But as I said back to the everyday .... Thrifting being a big part of most days...
Hubby P brought home a big bag of knitting wool... mostly odd balls which we bag up and sell 'at a bargain price' ... as Hubby P would say ... on the stall. 

Amongst the balls of yarn ... all colours ... all sizes ... was a bag of half knitted babies garments ... the pattern and the needles.
It struck me as quite sad... a little project abandoned ... what happened? Was it a Grandma who was suddenly taken ill? ... a little snippet of someones life..
I couldn't bear to waste all that good wool ... so I sat and pulled it all back.... wound into nice balls ready for another project.

As I sat winding away it took me back to my many hours had I sat with my Mother and Grandmothers.... unpicking and pulling back old jumpers to be knit up again. They did it without any thought .... it was just what you did ....nothing was wasted. 
How different life is today .... so much waste.

Oh .....and in the midst of all this Hubby P had to rescue a Woodpidgeon from the lane....he/she has been a car? or the Buzzard has tried for a meal. 

 Anyway it is resting quite happily it seems in an old basket for now seems quite lively and strong and is eating ... keep you posted...

Today is wet and dreary .... so much for weeding the garden as I had planned....
Hubby P is busy beavering away in his workshop (posh word for the shed).... He's restoring vintage furniture for sale ... it all looks so pretty I want to keep it...all .... but we do have to put bread on the table.

So I am sat doing something I have been itching to do for weeks...
I found this big bundle of pretty black lace ages ago .... in a box at carboot I think.


 There is so much of it I thought I would edge the bottom/hem of a rather boring plain black cotton skirt.

I use the cotton skirts in the winter too... they are used as petticoats under heavier skirts ....they and a pair of leggings and woolly socks keep me warm when I am hanging around a carboot sale during the chilly months.

A Girl needs a bit of lace to cheer her now and then ...and how nice to have a bit peeking out under your skirts!

Bye for now xx

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

A Boon To A Thrifty Housewife ... And New Shoes!

New shoes.... well not exactly new...pretty vintage really.... but new to me today I've been wear'in um in as they say.

Feet look quite glam .... shame about the face as they say ha ha!
Not a glam day... having to wear my dingy collar... sore neck an all that, at least I'm indoors and not frightening the natives!

Bit of thrifty luck yesterday ... a 'boon to a thrifty body' as they say.....
I bought my veg as usual from the market grocer ... and as it was the end of the day he gave me a big bag of mushrooms to 'use up'.
They were looking a bit past their best .... and as he said its better someone eat them up rather than just throw them away... so mushrooms it is for tea.

What to do with a large bagfull of free mushrooms....
I consulted the Queen Mum and a made a cuppa..... tis is my favourite mug at the moment. I think everyone must have a favorite mug.... just the right size, shape and ...well the tea just tastes that bit better.

I fried up a big pan of the mushrooms with a couple of onions and  a rather bashed looking bit of garlic I found in the bottom of the veg bin.

 Fashioned a couple of quiche's with a bit of cheese.... added some of the mushrooms to a bit of stewing steak for tomorrows dinner.... and saved a helping of mushrooms for Richards meal. 
He's not keen on quiche.... whereas Hubby P is a huge fan .... life is full of surprises I find...
 Hubby P doesn't come across as a quieche-y sort of bloke... but there you are!

Turned out looking nice and tasty.

 Find of the week these cute little beakers ... who remembers these? I think everyone had them at one time ... and nowadays they are quite on trend with their spots.

And just look at my pretty flowers ... I just so love flowers.
They were given to me by the couple who sell the veg... I like to think of them as friends ..... 
Hubby P has been 'letting the cat out of the bag' and letting it be known to all and sundry that I have a 'significant' ... as he puts it .... Birthday at the weekend.

What he means is I am 50 years old on Saturday ... I really don't mind .... no..honestly!  
Its just a number .... I'm glad I have got so far... and have so many people in my life ... so many to love.

So a small celebration at the weekend ... family and friends ... all relaxed and casual ...plenty of nice food and drink.

And how nice very lovely .... that I have a house with flowers from kindly friends.

xx bye for now  xx

Friday, 1 June 2012

Gathering Now For Winter ...

Lovely and sunny here .... yet the year still turns and I like to prepare as and when i can.

I've been saving the pennies for winter fuel... and today we had a load delivered.... all ready to sit and dry out ready for keeping us toasty warm during the cold months.

 Method in my madness ... I had it delivered whilst we had a strong bit of muscle about to do the carrying...

 Hubby P likes to stack the wood ... its akin to poetry for him ....... feeds his soul...
He will tell you how its so important to stack them just so... so they season well .... its just ... well of those satisfying jobs.

The woodshed was well cleared and swept out ready for the new load of wood.... its now half full so I will start saving again and get another load in a few weeks ... we aim to have the shed full to bursting ready for the winter.

Whilst 'we' were stacking the wood I faffed about with the camera ... and made tea ....THE most important job of course!

 I found this little fella in the water trough ... swimming for his life.
 He/she is a May Bug ... big and chunky .... not really got the looks either ... shame ...I'm sure he is a really nice bug .. nice personality and all that.
We dried him off...let him rest a while and let him go.

 This guy had loads of energy ... busy busy... a tiny wild bee filling his pockets to bursting point. He was so ladened it was a wonder he could take off.
So nice to see my 'wild' garden is benefiting the wildlife .... its fairly heaving with birds, bees and whatnot.

I just love the lush green of the garden at the moment... the scent of blossom on the makes up for all the cold dreary months.

How does your garden grow? any interesting visitors?

Have a nice weekend... lets hope the sun shines for the Queen!