Friday, 26 April 2013

'Summer' comes home

Our beautiful summerhouse, who has now been appropriately named Summer, has arrived in her new home, completely unscathed by the journey, thanks to the careful handling of my DH and his brother.

My DH worked like a trojan this afternoon and with a little help from me and a neighbour has almost completed the rebuild and even managed to lay the decking...... magic!

The clean up has begun and I started with the worst panel, cleaning off the ivy and washing the window, what a difference.

Next job is to mend the roof and then onto the porch and veranda rails.

We are so delighted with Summer's addition to our lovely garden, can you see the smile on her doors? maybe I should paint her some smily lips......

Thursday, 25 April 2013


We have a summerhouse for our allotment!

As some of you will know who've been following our allotment progress, we've been looking for a summerhouse to complement our lovely plots for several months now, and here she is.

She needs a bit TLC, but she has a lovely personality and just wants a loving home.

The dismantling process was a bit traumatic for her, but I think she trusts us already and knows that we will love her to bits in her new home.

This was a scary moment for met too, I had visions of my DH pitching through the roof  and subsequently requiring lengthy hospital treatment!

A view of the diamond shaped windows I fell in love with, and the ivy that's been growing inside, to say nothing of the chickens that lived here once, scandalous!

Nearly there...... 

One more side to go

Now she's all ready to come to her new home tomorrow, we can't wait :-)


Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Glad rags and posh dining

Last night my eldest daughter Pru and I went out for a bit of a jolly. We were heading for our local library that was hosting a World Book night.

What I didn't know was that Pru had a lovely surprise in store for me, she had booked a table at one the famous Loch Fyne restaurants. What a treat, I'd heard of the name of course but didn't know much about the food, other than that they specialise in delicious fish dishes.

So here I am enjoying my starter of crab paste and toast......mmm! It was certainly nothing like the well known brand of potted crab paste us older bloggers will remember from our school sandwiches!

We followed that with salmon fish cakes with fried new potatoes and salad and then, shock horror! pudding as well.

A chocolate Torte for Pru and a wonderful pomegranate cheese cake for me, fabulous.

We were so full up it was as much as we could do to walk up the hill to the library, where we were treated to a wonderful dramatic reading from stories about James Herriot, read and acted by two very funny and talented gentlemen.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening :-)

And because I've just had another exhausting day digging on the plot I thought  I'd show you the results of my efforts.

My final raised bed for the sweet peas over the back and you can just see my efforts in straightening a downhill slope on the right of the bed.

That's my neighbour's summerhouse in the background.

And this is one piece of 5 decking planks that we were given yesterday, which I hope I will have more news about tomorrow.


Monday, 22 April 2013

Sunshine visitors and 'girl time' catch up

The sun has brought our allotment  visitors out in force:

On Friday our daughter Hannah came to visit and she and I went on a shopping spree in our local town, which included the fabric shop and the charity shops. We were both so tired at the end of it we just had to drop by the allotment for tea/coffee and biscuits.

No work for me today, not in these shoes!  just soaking up the sun :-)

On Sunday our daughter Nicola and family came round for a wonderful picnic lunch, which they provided, with all sorts of lovely goodies.

We both ate so much we were much too tired to carry on the digging so we had to enlist some help......

Thank goodness our grandson managed to get that plastic bag out in the end.

It was a lovely first picnic on the plot.

And just to catch up on the 'Girl Time' post, Nicola had made this wonderful curtain and matching blind trim for her youngest's bedroom, but didn't have the pics ready for the post, so here it is now.

Isn't that just gorgeous.....

looking forward to our next meet :-)   

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Digging for victory

Yes, for those of you who think I just lurk on the allotment plot, and you know who you are :-) I have been digging today, lots of digging in fact.

It doesn't look much but I finished the last of the four raised beds, planted my four lavender plants, 3 artichokes, lovage seeds, camomile seeds, black peppermint and sunflower seeds. 

I also levelled the area around my beds, which took a lot of digging and raking, but I'm getting there.

In the top of the pic you can see some ideas for a brick path, (it won't be 2 bricks deep) I haven't levelled that bit yet, just wanted to see if a pebble path across the top of my area would match up.

Phew! After all that activity I needed a lie down in a darkened room, followed by a bit of light sketching, which turned into a marathon.

This was one of a collection of shells I brought home from Littlehampton and what a challenge. When I first tried these, about a year ago I thought, 'if I can draw them, I can draw anything!' Hmm, still trying.

So had another go tonight  with a slightly different one and after a whole page I managed to get somewhere near to what I was looking for. I used a thick graphite stick for 7 and it seems to have loosened up my approach. I used to be a big fan of charcoal for the same reason, but it makes too much mess these days.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Girl time

On Saturday and Sunday my daughters and I got together for a bit of creative R and R. Hosted and devised by Hannah we had a wonderful time making the beginnings of two Amy Butler Barcelona skirts which I hope to show later when they're finished.

Here's a sneaky preview of mine

I had got over excited when Hannah offered us a rummage in her fabric stash and remembering some skirt designing I did on the course rushed out a few sketches and even made a pattern for the one on the bottom right. 

Unfortunately when I put all the fabrics together in real life the looked hideous, so went for something a little less extreme. Hopefully you can't go wrong with black and white and a bit of colour.

As usual we had a lovely supper washed down with some super wine.

It was a great girly afternoon and evening which we followed up with a huge cooked breakfast on sunday morning.

Hannah and I continued to sew for most of the day and she made a wonderful laptop bag from an outgrown baby carrier.

From this

As if by magic 

to this

How cool is that, I want one.

On Monday I spent the day helping my  eldest daughter to rearrange a couple of her rooms to accommodate some lovely '40's furniture she has just been given. It was a very satisfying day, if a bit tiring but this was the result of part of her transformed living room.

Next time it'll be redecorating, that is if I get invited to help again, I can be a bit bossy.....

Wednesday, 10 April 2013


At last there was a small window in the weather, just big enough for us to take the nomad wagon for a spin. We didn't go far, just over the border into the magical land of Sussex.

Our first stop was the medieval castle at Arundel, it's been a favourite haunt of ours for years.

We were lucky with the weather on monday afternoon and able to take a jaunt along the river.

And, surprise, surprise there was a lovely pub at the end of the walk, just perfect for a refreshing beer/pear cider, yum! They had a wonderful fire pit outside too so we were able to stay lovely and toasty while we had our drink.

Cheers !

I could't resist taking pics of these beautiful rushes.

And these brave little pansies outside the pub.

And king cups growing right down on the river's edge.

This lovely medieval bridge (behind the foot bridge) is part of the Arundel estate. 

And this gorgeous coloured brick texture was what I found under the arches.

On Tuesday morning we hit the shops in Arundel where there's all sorts of wonderful places to buy treats, so it would have been rude not to buy something, which was a great invention for any galley, a non slip chopping board with a crumb catcher. Perfect for those naughty French sticks!

After our shopping trip it was time to head for the seaside, Littlehampton to be precise. It has a lovely pebble beach with loads of shells just perfect for my collection.

It was a bit cold and windy, but very refreshing, so we went back to our home on wheels and made a pot of tea, followed by a little light sketching of the new wharf houses.

All this activity made us very hungry, so we had to indulge in a fish and chip super, lovely!

And finally, every year near her birthday with us we toast our lovely Connie, the nomad wagon, for keeping us so comfortable and happy.

Can't wait for the next trip :-) 

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Family to the rescue

Just when I thought I'd go completely mad with this dreadful cold weather which is stopping us from doing our geriatric nomad wanderings, our wonderful family came to the rescue.

We had a lovely meet on Easter Monday at our daughter Hannah's house and once again we all took something for lunch and ended up with a veritable feast of homemade fare.

After we'd demolished all of the savoury delights it was time for the children to disappear  to various parts of the house and let the grownups have a nice quiet cupa and enjoy first dibs on the cakes. 

Hannah had also made all her children these wonderful Easter eggs and name plates, looks like one little person had already demolished hers as I can only see 5 here.

So thank you to all family members for breaking the monotony of the bad weather

On Tuesday we did get some sunshine and our grandson Ben came down to the allotment to give some much needed help with the digging.....

Not without instruction from the foreman of course

And there was the incentive of gingernuts and tea, naturally

Then yesterday the weather closed in again, so more doom and gloom, but help was at hand today in the guise of our daughter Pru and her youngest son, who whisked me off for a bit of girly time and treats.

We started off with cake, well we would, wouldn't we. We have a lovely cup cake shop in town so all three of us sampled a different one each, I think Pru had a Clark Gable, Rowan had an engagement cake with a nice diamond style ring in the top. He was very coy but I think he wanted to give it to his girlfriend, and I had something that sounded like an ice cream and was delicious.

And then it was time for shopping and roses and I wasn't allowed to pay for anything.

Such a beautiful fresh feeling of summer

.......and these lovely cardigans, perfect for the heatwave that's just around the corner.

So I feel so much better now, despite the fact that it's been snowing all afternoon, thank you all so much.