Sunday 31 August 2008


as Friday's forecast was dry I finally got round to doing something that has needed doing for EVER, but I've putting off all summer with the excuse that it wouldn't dry but really because I was worried it would be a disaster. --- I washed my quilt. This is the first quilt I made, I had no idea what I was doing, so didn't pre-wash any fabric (therefore was terrified it would run) I had no clue about wadding, so I've no idea whether it was machine washable, the stitching is decidedly dodgy, the applique is very loosely stitched, and the quilting - well lets just say I've got better........

but it really really needed a wash, there was a random pink stain (which didn't come out, but at least didn't get worse), some tea stains (very cross about those - I'm very careful about my tea in bed) and some muddy cat paw prints (humph I'll make those cats wipe their feet on the mat next time!). so into the bath it went, with the mildest of washing detergents, and then a rinse and gentle spin in the machine, and finally a few hours on the line. I wash so relieved it had survived it went straight on the bed, although judging from the photos it could have done with an iron first. ...

I made it when we lived near Boston, I had no idea what I was doing, and taught myself applique out of a book, designing most of it to include huge borders to cut down on anything difficult! It includes a white rose of York, a castle from the town hubby grew up in, our 3 cats we had before we got married and moved to Boston (they got farmed out to family, and we never got them back), a striped Bass - J's obsession the whole time we lived in Rockport was to catch one, some bears we never saw when we camped in Maine, and so that J never has an excuse to forget our wedding anniversary the date of our wedding - it's worked so far, he hasn't forgotten an anniversary yet.

today's jobs include a very serious amount of pruning in the garden, and K and E pounced upon all the branches with glee, decorating the climbing frame to create a giant den/tree house.

which provided hours of entertainment until the heavens opened and the train set came to the rescue and saved the day.

Thursday 28 August 2008

wet summer

how to tell if it's been a wet summer.

you have an almost full bottle of suncream.

you never got round to making that sun top you promised yourself when it got sunny.

everywhere is VERY green

mossy walls

can't see any 4 leaved ones

green views as far as you can see

even green roofs

of course not everything green is a good thing........

but the sure way to tell it's been wet is when you get frogs in the sand pit..........

Tuesday 26 August 2008

fun with friends

we spent the weekend visiting with friends , and had a really lovely time. They drove to meet us here at Belton House near Grantham, which would be perfect for a grand blog friend meet up. It's very grand, it has lovely gardens,

we could all rush around like busy bees meeting each other, and oohing and aaahing over the flowers,

we would of course have to be properly dressed for the occasion, for once we could wear outfits and say "does my bum look big enough in this".....

the children would have to dress up too of course, which might make going on the fantastic adventure playground a bit hard but I'm sure they'll manage.

back to reality, we got caught in a huge rainstorm whilst going round the gardens, everyone else ran for the cover of a huge tree, but E and I were going round the maze, which was about shoulder height, so they could all see us frantically running here and there trying to get out, all the while getting wetter and wetter.....

the next morning at our friends house near Cambridge the sun came back and we had breakfast in their garden, a treat I don't think we've managed all summer in Yorkshire.

and then we went to visit a place I imagine to be perfect for dottycookie and her lovely girls,

where we did pond dipping in the lakes and caught tiny fish and beetles,

no this photo isn't upside down, these are reflections

and then we found a play area where the grown ups all behaved responsibly at all times.......

In the afternoon we went to Wicken Fen, where I'd last been on my first year field trip as a college student, many many years ago....

we found beautiful flowers amongst the sedges

and it would be a perfect place for Tracy to visit, apparently there are 24 species of dragonfly to be found here throughout the year.

and peaking through the boardwalks we spotted the tiniest lizard - you know your children have been watching too many natural history programs (Lost Land of the Jaguar was the recent favourite)

when your 7 year old says "do you think it's a new species?"

Sunday 24 August 2008

thanks Lucy

Alice wrote a great post recently, called blogs vs life, and she is so right that blogs follow life, and don't dictate them, but increasingly what I am finding is the many ways in which blogs enrich life, and last Thursday is a great example, after ready 2 posts by Lucy at Attic 24 about trips to Bolton Abbey we packed the car, despite the warnings of heavy rain, and set off in search of money trees, and chocolate cake and train sets in cafes. Thanks so much Lucy we had the most amazing afternoon, and look, blue skies, it didn't even rain!

here is the most fantastic view of the abbey from up the hill, quite breathtaking in its beauty, it must have been amazing in it's time.

but before we climbed the hill we had to play in the trees,

and before we went to the cafe we hunted for green men,

and made wishes to the fairies of the money tree

we know there are fairies here, because we saw some, just before they flew off...

and then we found Buffers, the funniest cafe imaginable, stuck in the middle of nowhere, in a time warp, K and E were most enthralled by the calves

the cows walking past our table going to be milked

and furry noses peeping over barn doors,

and that was before we ventured inside to find the trains

in need of a little tlc, but somehow the cobwebs added to the ambiance

and the trains didn't seem to mind..

and better still the money fairies left shiny gold coins under K and E's pillow, to their great delight, so even though it was a long way up the hill for little legs, I don't think they'll mind at all if we go back!

Tuesday 19 August 2008

blue sky - where?

do you like the lovely calm beaches and blue skies of our holiday photos?
what do you mean you can't see them..........

come down this "really safe" ladder instead

and look for fossils

if you're lucky you might catch a crab in your fishing net

and if you are really lucky a hint of blue sky!
we had a great time, despite the cold (my fingers were numb after 2 hours of not catching any fish) and the wet - the 7 loads of laundry I've done so far are partly due to the rain, and partly due to E falling in the sea at least 4 times - fully dressed....... but it was lovely to be away, to spent time with both sets of grandparents who visited for 2 days each, and 2 of K and E's cousins who joined us as well.
nice to be home though, and it's rained non stop since we got back - so we still feel like we're on holiday!

Saturday 9 August 2008


where has the week gone?
I seem to have spent all week chasing my tail, have achieved not a lot, have got wet several times, and spent an awful lot of time cursing at the computer, but now after a visit from the cable people, and a very long telephone call (probably to a call centre in India) we now have Internet access again, that doesn't crash every 3 seconds - hurray!
we're going away tomorrow for a week in our friends cottage at the coast, the weather forecast is awful - rain followed by rain and thunder, so we may be playing lots of chess/scrabble/..... and watching lots of the Olympics, and I must pack some knitting or something - after I've packed some clothes that is - haven't even written a list yet...
hope you all have a lovely week, hopefully I'll be back with one photo that doesn't have rain in it...

Wednesday 6 August 2008

dinosaurs and collages

isn't this just the prettiest dinosaur you've ever seen.

he was part of a great workshop we went on, "dino robot modelling", this is the finished robot, and once made it had to go through a slalom course of plant pots, reverse into a parking space and drive up a ramp. our dino called "dino rocka" was second fastest, steered by E the superstar dino driver - to much delight we won some vouchers to spend in a cd/dvd shop.

yesterday we made a huge "famous five" collage, as it was too wet to have an adventure

instead we imagined being on a boat,

sleeping in Kirrin cottage,

or exploring Kirrin island
now where's that recipe book, I think we need more picnic food.......

Saturday 2 August 2008

cherry cake and ginger beer recipe 1

we chose secret seven rock buns to be recipe no. 1

they were perfect for a trip to the beach, and Miss K even ate the cherries

you don't get a better recommendation than that....