Showing posts from July, 2013

It is Tuesday, isn't it? No? No, it's not really Wednesday? What? Already?

This holiday is too short. Really, 5 and a half weeks is not long enough for everything I have planned. Like long lie ins (I haven't had one yet; DH has a thing about leaving me in bed so I keep getting up for a cup of tea with him and staring blankly into space for an hour after he leaves wondering why.), catching up on the washing, reading a book a week and sitting in the sun sipping cider. My pleasures are sweet and easy to fulfil. Well, except the one about the washing. That's a big job.
And days out; I have a few of those planned as well. Liverpool is a lovely place to find unexpected treasures. We have parks, coasts, wildernesses and all sorts within a short drive. Yesterday I took my three to a hidden treasure.

Hale Village has parts that date back to 1081 (St Mary's Church was formed then, although the present building is a little younger, like mid 14th century) and loads of thatched cottages and bigger that, were the village in the Cotswolds would have people swoo…

Put another Shrimp on the Barbie and chuck me a Canny.....

Oh my! It has just been soooo hot! And last week I managed to score a whole week of work in a nursery class, so there was a lot of hanging around outside, playing with water and keeping in the shade. I love nursery and reception because something as easy as brushing up the mess under a bench becomes a life lesson (keep your habitat clean) that they can carry forward to later life.

And we have been doing stuff at home, too. The princess has a fascination with barbecues, apparently.
I hadn't owned one since about 1998, when I put it aside as too much stress and danger to do with young children, and sheer laziness stopped me getting a new one.

 But I saw a £10 barbie at a time when I had a spare tenner, so this year we are rediscovering the joys of burnt sausages and flames that lovingly flicker around cheap burgers. Oh, and of toasting marshmallows (yum) which we usually do as an aperitif as the flames flicker inches high and before the hot embers are at cooking point.

Happy Birthday Aunty D!

This is my Mum (on the right) and my Mum's cousin who celebrated her 80th birthday last Sunday (end of June).
Yesterday I drove up to her house (about 60 miles) to collect her, bring her back to Liverpool and take her to the Adelphi which she had NEVER been inside and always wondered about. They don't do afternoon tea mid week, but the restaurant in the basement, called Jenny's, deserves great and lavish praise because they not only prepared a pot of tea and coffee, but treated my Aunt to her birthday cake for free. Say what you like about Scousers (and my Dad does) but they can be the kindest people around.
And my life lesson for the day? I don't want to wait until I'm 80 to do something on my bucket list. Live now. Now!!!

Happy Birthday Aunty D!!

Meal Planning Monday

When I lose my Filofax I can't plan properly. I know it is just upstairs, but I can't be bothered to walk up. It's just too darned hot. So this week's meals will be easy, not oven based, and quick.

Mon;Pork Fajitas made with an Old El Paso kit. Too easy after a day out with elderly relatives and before WI (7pm!!!)
Tues; Sausages with rice and red pepper. I have some red peppers left over from last week. I am trying to buy as little as possible this week. Please.
Wed; Burgers made from fresh mince with cheese and grated onion, served with homemade bread, potato rounds and salad. More salad please.
Thurs; Bacon pasta, made with a Lloyd Grossman sauce and 
Fri; Homemade pizza for the kids and risotto for the adults.
Sat; My parents have invited us for KFC as a treat. Yum.
Sun; Possibly roast leg of lamb. The church are having a gala afternoon and I think I can slow bake a leg of lamb while we go.

A good week. Not too much prep and easier cooking for the summer. My daughter want…

Weekends are so precious...

As a busy mother of three, sometimes I just need a break from everyday life and a time to reconnect with my handsome husband, even if we do no more than sit in a coffee shop and sip together. But when my parents offer (or are encouraged to offer) a longer break, then we jump at the chance.

This weekend was such a chance. We left the children in school on Friday morning, jumped into the car and drove off to t'North East. Way aye Mon, it's a canny distance theer. At least, sometimes it feels it! We drove through Kirkby Stephens and on to Barnard Castle, where we stopped off for a lovely lunch at a tidy and reasonably priced even while being really lovely tea shop called Clarendon's. Yum! I had a prawn and avocado open sandwich, while Mr K had a rather delish chicken club sandwich.

The castle here was owned by the Earls of Warwick, and inherited (from his father in law, locked up and attained so his property was confiscated) by Richard III.

 Having spent a couple of weeks in …

My June Ta Dah! Finished and now revealed.

If you read my post, I Know Something You Don't Know, you know I was busy for a week in June. I bought the cotton yarn (stylecraft cotton DK), set to with a will and a 3.5mm crochet hook and I made granny squares. 30 in total, 12 plain and the rest a lovely mix of red, yellow, orange, blue and ivory.

Vintage Pretty soon guessed what was in the ether, and here it is in all its glory, my very own, don't ask for the pattern cos there wasn't one, bag.

I joined the top squares with a line of single crochet on matching ivory, but I decided to sew the plain ones together so there was a contrast between the pattern and plain in texture as well as colour.

I used folded squares so that the bag could be long enough without being too long, but to make a shorter or longer bag would only be a matter of taking or adding a row or half row to the bag. It means the base is angled rather than squared, but I like that.

The strap was easier than I thought as well. I single crocheted the first…

I could never make daisy chains :,0(

During the long, hot sunny summer days of my childhood (and they were all long, hot, sunny and summer, not like now) one of the greatest skills a 10 year old girl could possess was to be able to make daisy chains. Usually a big sister or sometimes an elegant mother with long finger nails painted red and dark kohl lined eyes initiated the lucky girl.

It took skill, effort and perseverance. You needed to break off a stem long enough to link, but not so long that the chain looked just green.
You needed to softly flatten the stem, such a contradiction, but effectively just to slightly lose the roundness to give a surface into which you could slip a sharp, strong, thin fingernail. Flat nails worked better than curved, unless you were an adept and could curve the stem to match the nail. And nails had to be at least 3mm long to give you a chance to get the hole through the whole stem.

Make the hole about 1cm (in those days we were supposed to be metric; actually we probably worked in cm and …

Meal Planning Monday.... on Tuesday

My my how time flies..... How often do I say that? But it really does, don't know how.

Our menu this week;

Mon; We had chicken with pesto rice. Love it. Well, actually, I don't like pesto so I had rice with  a teaspoon of Marigold Bouillon powder to make spicy rice instead.
Tues; Pizza for the kids and then risotto for me and Mr
Wed; Spaghetti and meatballs. Cheats recipe using a Lloyd Grossman pasta sauce with herbed mince meatballs.
Thurs; Sausages cooked anyhow. Probably with mash because I have a bag of potatoes that need cooking.
Fri; Durham. Ha. A weekend off cooking.
Sat; Ditto
Sun; Back to reality. Probably something with noodles and quick to cook so I don'y have to come back to earth too quickly.

Have a good week! See you next Monday (Tuesday)!

Time to WOW......

I have been a secret member of an organisation for 6 months now. From 11th February until now.... and now I've decided to go public.

Am I a spy?