Sunday 16 October 2016

knitting news

this week has been mostly about knitting. 
and mostly hats. Three so far.

hats and cats. 
this one is helping me wind a centre pull ball. 
he really is.... 

note to self. egg shaped balls are fine.... no you don't need to buy a yarn winder.....

waiting impatiently for postie to bring new circular needle provides ample time to mess about with knitting trying to photograph stylishly, or making Harry Potter symbols.

cat two, and hat two. 
cat in the hat. 

please excuse me, I'm off to cast on hat four......

Monday 19 September 2016

September so far

Sepember so far. I have a new part time job at a local farm where they produce beautiful yarn from their goats and sheep The sheep like to keep an eye on me to make sure I am doing everything properly. "No sheep, I never make your yarn into terrible tangles........ of course not........"

The yarn dances around on these swifts looking like a circus field of carousels, and is measured onto the winder where it becomes lovely soft and squishy skeins. So soft. Such wonderful colours. I must learn to knit better so I can actually use some of it.....

The children are back at school. It is Miss K's last year. How is that possible? It was surely only a few weeks ago that were buying her first ever school shoes... Now we are overwhelmed with UCAS applications or apprenticeships or ??? E has to start thinking about A level choices or college applications or ???

Faced with the responsibility of such impossible parenting we did the only thing possible.
Sent them to stay with friends for the weekend and ran away.....

Thursday 1 September 2016


ok, so let's gloss over the 2 month absence and look at some lovely August happenings, list courtesy of Hawthorn Spellweaver.

eye -  I may be little but I'm watching you....

feet - my feet are a bit scary....

button - a button like flower? happily growing in my garden. along with the nettles and the creeping buttercups..... which sound pretty, but trust me, you don't want them.....

something handmade - well I made these skeins, and I made the most incredible tangle in the process. does that count?

green - the lakeland fells, as seen whilst supervising a Queen's guide expedition. So green. So beautiful. And in case you're wondering, that water - So cold...... also pond weed. and possibly a lake shark....

glass - sweetie jars in an old fashioned shop on the Yorkshire coast that would be well suited to a home on Diagon Alley. (Harry Potter fans will understand....)

floor - the paths at Saltburn are embellished with fossils, Huge ones!

blue - skies above Whitby Abbey. We were so lucky with the weather this year. Glorious.

Favourite - my favourite holiday destination. We've been to the same cottage for 8 years now, I checked in the visitors book.

my choice - the view from Holy Island. or lack thereof. Still gorgeous.

August you were lovely. xxx

Friday 1 July 2016

June's photos

I don't have the right words at the moment, so instead photos. 
Taken by E, joining in with Hawthorn Spellweaver.








his own choice.

we're missing "view" there isn't one in the garden apparently....
and "garden". because all the photos are already in the garden..... 
more teenage logic.....

Wednesday 8 June 2016

catching up

good grief it's been a while since I wrote anything here. 

so quick update

  • mouse problem resolved. finally. the cat re caught it.....
  • slugs - so far my yeast/sugar traps, and all the other protections seem to be just about working.
  • now I need to stop the pigeons eating all the spinach.
  • I sang in a choir concert at the Sage, Gateshead - amazing place. Wonderful acoustics.

  • It's allium flowering time. Oh how I love them.

  • And cow parsley. love that too. although the pollen gets everywhere. even the cats have runny eyes.....

  • yesterday was hubby's birthday. We carried a birthday picnic all the way to the top of this hill, which has amazing views over the Cheviots, and the Northumberland coastline. Also huge thunderstorms We got very rained on, and carried the picnic back to the car and ate in the car park listening to the rain hammering down on the roof.... although I was less worried about wet and more worried about the lightning...... I had to make an extra large cake when we got home to recover!

Friday 13 May 2016


  1. I wrote a blog post about coeliac awareness week. and then deleted it. it was really boring.  you're much better off going to  they've got loads of great information.
  2. one of the cats brought in mice. two mice, at the same time. no idea how. whilst I caught mouse one in a box mouse two hid somewhere in the kitchen. he's still there, I saw him this morning run from under the fridge towards the washing machine. he is super fast and super tiny and occasionally the cat looks at the washing machine in a slightly puzzled way and then wanders off bored....... the teenagers want to keep it as a pet.
  3. the teenage boy had a haircut. after years of wanting to have long and shaggy curls he suddenly asked for it really short. . he has filled my phone with selfies trying to look at it from all angles............      when he walks into the room for a second I don't recognize him.... does that make me a bad parent.....
  4. the teenage girl has suddenly become obsessed with baking. I suspect it is because the exam revision is making her go slightly mad. 
  5. I am preparing to wage war on slugs. Claire has already had slug casualties. All slug repellent ideas welcome. Also mouse removal expertise appreciated.

hope you have a lovely weekend, with lots of cake.  and no mice. or slugs......

Monday 9 May 2016

keeping it real

everything I look at online at the moment seems a bit picture postcard perfect. exquisite flat lays on instragram. gorgeous gardens on pinterest. perfect meals, of well balanced superfoods and not a messy kitchen in sight.  nothing like online pressure to make you feel like your life isn't quite as it should be.

Then Penny at homemadeheart posted a picture on instagram of her kitchen sink with the hashtag #reallifehome.

Light bulb moment!

I want to live a real life.
in a home and not a show home.
I never ever want to create a flat lay, my garden has the biggest crop of dandelions you ever did see, and I'm quite proud of that. and mess, oh I can create the best kitchen mess you ever imagined.

so in the interest of "keeping it real", here are some bluebells I picked from my mother in laws flood battered garden.  Transported home, and still elegantly displayed in the takeaway tea cup that was in the foot well of the car because the journey there was extra long due to the road works, and we had to buy tea at Scotch Corner services after sitting in stationary traffic for nearly an hour .........

As for the show home, well on Friday night it turned into a film studio for the teenage boy's course work, Every personal item, picture, cushion, plant and accessory got squirrelled away(stuffed in cupboards or dumped on my bed.............), to be replaced only by items suitable for the film's character - wine bottles, dirty dishes in the sink, takeaway menus on the fridge and a giant mess of dvd's on the floor..........  some of the furniture even got the dust sheet treatment.... thankfully the teenager put it all back again afterwards, and the house is mostly back to it's chaotic usual self, although there are still dirty dishes in the sink - guess that's my reality too.......

Friday 29 April 2016

an month of photo hunting - April

making progress with my hexagons. assisted by my ever present helper. 
Apparently this is His sunny spot....

a gorgeous sunset sky over the estuary.

tulips mixing their fiery reds and yellows to glow orange in last weeks sunshine.

something else
teenage boy's idea of how to cut a cake into 1/6ths. I told him to cut it in half and then cut one half into three pieces. This wasn't quite what I meant...........

foraged beach treasures, a long piece of driftwood and some rope. looks like some kind of crazy crochet apparently. I have other plans for it.........

tomato seedlings on the window sill. could be a while before they make it out to the greenhouse, it's freezing in there.

the aftermath of the flood at my mother in laws. We salvaged as many of the photographs as we could, these ones curled and needed carefully flattening..... 

well it certainly feels fresh outside. It's May in two days......

treasures from the notice board, everyone has paper feathers next to the list of emergency phone numbers don't they.......

oh look more snow.........

hope you have a lovely weekend everyone, are you doing anything exciting?
I'm looking forward to May.   Surely it won't snow in May.....
Really don't want it snow on Sunday, K is running her first half marathon. I shall be waving and jumping up and down to keep warm..........

Saturday 23 April 2016

after the show

Thank you for all the marmalade advice, I think I may be better at eating marmalade than making it. 
I shall embrace my inner Paddington Bear.

We arrived at 5.30 to find that although the program says collect between 5 and 6 they actually mean arrive at 5. 

Then they start emptying out the uncollected flowers and throwing them away.... 

It's ok though. If you apologise profusely for your lateness, and look a little sad that your very pathetic floral offerings have been disposed of, then the nice ladies will give you the uncollected tulips. All of them!