Monday, 28 March 2016

Well its been quiet

....but I needed it to be as I am absolutely tired out again.  No particular reason just how the cookie crumbles sometimes. 

The gardener has come back with a quote.  I will take him up on the quote which he has given which involves two workmen and a skip.  And the rubbish is being disposed of ethically which is a good thing Probably a good couple of days work.  Days were when I would get stuck in and do it myself but unfortunately because of my back it cripples me these days - the heavy work that is.  OH cannot either his back is worse than mine.  I had him off work for 13 months about 10 years ago as he sustained a slipped disc.  So have to keep him working no matter what. 

There is a greenhouse down there somewhere.  The shed is in a state of collapse and not looking its best these days (dilapidated not fit for purpose) caved in roof - suitable perching post for the cat  - oh and last September a Fox was basking on the roof!  We get a lot of urban Foxes around this way attracted we think by the increase in people keeping chickens in their gardens.

Once done it will be a good job well sorted and then I should be able to get the garden sorted so I can have my veggie plot.  I like growing plants and picking straight from the garden; there is a lot of untapped potential there with growing your own and putting stuff up in the pantry for colder and leaner times.  When I was younger Mum and Dad always used to grow their own and then latterly Dad had his allotment; but then my grandparents did on both sides.  It was a way of life then making sure you were fed well with a minimum amount of pennies; making the most of what they had - it is what sustained them during the War years.  They were also organic before the word "organic" came into common usage.  My Granddad always grew his marrows off the compost heap and used the chicken manure to sustain the soil.  They had quite a sustainable little system in place.  My brother has his allotment and I am looking forward to getting a little veggie and fruit plot on the go.  Just wish I had my own land and house that I could do up.  Never mind we have to make the best of what we have and at least I can practice a little bit with this and that in the meantime, improving my skills and getting to grips with things.

I would also like a patio area so that I can have family and friends over for a meal/barbecue -  Oh and a garden swing now that would be good on a hot balmy day. 

We also need a couple of sheds for the bottom of the garden.  I intend to put the freezers in one and the other one can be for general gardening and OHs fishing consumables and probably a potting area for me for plants.  Once that is achieved I can then get my new fridge for the dining room and create a bit more space in there.  I am after a tall larder fridge.  Then I can get the dining room decorated.  So there is a method in the madness.

We will have to see what happens but that is the outline plan at the moment and we all know outline plans are subject to change.

I hope your Easter has been a good one.  We had lovely weather on Good Friday - yesterday we had torrential rain and howling wind and after a rainy and windy start it has turned into quite a nice evening and the sun has come out not long before its time for bed.

We did not have Easter dinner yesterday and are having it tonight instead.  We have leg of lamb studded with garlic and fresh Rosemary from my herb patch which needs sorting out a bit.  New potatoes, some shredded cabbage, broccoli carrots and peas with home made mint sauce and lashings of gravy.  I always love lamb done this way and it is particularly nice when it is cold.  If there is plenty left we may well have it as cold cuts with one of my chutneys from the pantry shelf and some home made fat chips with Cornish sea salt.  Yummy.

Catch you later.



Sunday, 27 March 2016

Home Grown Parsnips

With Thanks to my brother I received last Sunday a whole load of parsnips which he had grown to put down in the freezer to take us through the summer months and into the autumn.

So one night during the week I sat on my Nan's stool with my bag of parsnips to the side and a couple of processing bowls in front of me.  One for the peel and one for the parsnips (with salted water in) and I knuckled down and processed the lot.  I now have some 30 bags of about 4 pieces per bags of parsnips resting in the freezer and as I was preparing them they smelt wonderful.  I have also done some bags of chunked parsnip for popping into a casserole or a stew. 

So thank you my lovely brother I have put these to good use and they will not be wasted as we love roast parsnip with our Sunday lunch along with home made roasties.  This should take us through to autumn nicely.

If I can get the garden sorted I will look forward to growing my own as well.

So thanks little brother.  My hands are now stained bright yellow with processing.  Its three days since I dealt with the parsnips and I am still suffering from
om parsnip hands!  Hey ho I think these are going to be delicious and all ready and prepped for Easter lunch. All  have to do is take them out the freezer.  That's the sort of cooking I like.  I bet they will be delicious.

Catch you later.



Rib Eye Steak Supper

We had the rib eye steaks that we bought from the farm shop yesterday.  Cooked rare they were delicious.

The steaks were cooked with field mushrooms, Tuscan vegetables home made fat chips and onion rings.  They were delicious - I could only eat half the steak.  OH finished the rest off.

Tomorrow we have leg of lamb with garlic roasted with seasonal veggies for our main meal.  I have also bought a couple of Ox-tail joints to make Oxtail stew.  Something neither of us have had since we were children.  Am going to start that off tomorrow.

Don't forget to put the clocks forward an hour.

Catch you later.



Saturday, 26 March 2016

Collecting Bits and Bobs

There are still wheels within wheels in motion here at home.  I am still starting to collect bits and bobs together and have recently purchased some second hand Elizabeth Bradley cross stitch/needlepoint charts for further cushions to work for the themed Roses Lounge I am working on little by little.  I love pinks, greens and creams warm colours and I keep working away at bits and pieces. 

This at the moment "dream" lounge will not happen here but it will be altogether and blended by the time I find my forever home.  I even have Rose china pieces and framed artwork. I am working new pieces and old textiles and pieces together to try and create a unique home. Eclectic like me. Some pieces I have worked myself and some I have found unloved in Charity shops but each has its place and once I get it altogether I think it will look good.

I noticed when I was in Wilkinsons the other day that they are starting to do the feather blanks for cushions amongst other things.  You can also get them from Dunhelm or John Lewis.   I have the fabric for backing the cushions in creams, greens and pinks some of which are velvet.  Also on the to do  list are some Canadian smocked cushions.  I have the fabric and when OH goes fishing I should be able to sit, concentrate and create without any distractions.  There is a lot of hand stitching involved with the Canadian Smocking.

For the Dining Room I am also collecting together vintage green glass at the moment.  I have been collecting this for a little while.  The impetus for this came about because at some point I would like to have a full Colclough Ivy Dinner Service.  I  have a few pieces and still have a way to go.  Most of the tea set side has been acquired but need to do more work on dinner, side and salad plates.  However instead of just plain glass I liked the idea of having green glass to stand out and complement it; and this is where the Green Glass collection started.  I like collecting things together.  All of the pieces are to be put into service and are not just for show. 

I have a very large pine dining table that seats 8 and being as I cannot always find what I am looking for new I collect vintage bits and pieces and make a set either matching or two or three different styles mixed together to make a set.  I love cake stands and fruit bowls vintage pieces as they really do make the dinner or tea table stand out  and come to life although I have yet to acquire some of these; but it will happen in due course.

These are just some of the pieces I have acquired over the last few months:

I have shown you these little liqueur glasses before

And these slightly larger glasses

These are six little plates which can be used as plates or as stands to vintage Sundae dishes.

There are six of these bowls - they are quite large and a darker green but I do like them.

And there are four of these little dishes which I am quite taken with.  I am going to add some more to these when I can source them.

After going to the Farm Shop yesterday I ended up popping around to the local shops and bought some more veggies and fruit and other bits and bobs.

I have also purchased some minced pork that I bought from the Polish shop £3.49 a kg.  I intend to make some small pork pies with lard pastry and pop them unfrozen in the freezer for OHs pack ups.  They have chicken livers every so often so when I see them next I will buy some in for making some pate.  It freezes quite well and dealing with it this way means I get the most out of it and do not waste it.

I have heard from the Gardener and he is going to have a look and give me a quote tomorrow.  It would help me so much if he can and the prices are reasonable.  Fingers crossed and toes plaited.

Right must get a wriggle on.

Catch you later on.



Friday, 25 March 2016

Bit of a Foodie Day Out

This morning OH wanted to be up early as he had made his mind up that we were going to pay a visit to Johnson's Farm Shop at Old Hurst, Cambridgeshire. Telephone 01487 824658 website:

My step-son and his fiancée had been and had taken some produce in for OH to try.  He was impressed and so decided that today was the day for a recce.

We headed off down the A1 from Peterborough until we hit the signpost for Abbots Ripton.  We suddenly hit the Fen Alps these villages being  much elevated compared to the flat Fenland surrounding Peterborough.  I cannot recall ever having been this way at all but they were proper old fashioned villages Abbots Ripton in particular being very picturesque with lots of Thatched cottages.  I hadn't realised that there were such pretty villages off to the side of the A1.

We eventually got to our destination and headed for the café for something to drink as I was gasping.  The coffee smelt good and I decided to try one - coffee being off my menu as a rule as it upsets my IBS.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and thus far I have been okay.  I also had a toasted Hot cross bun which was lovely.  Very spicy.  OH had a full breakfast with produce from the farm and it was delicious.  He slipped me some bacon and a chipolata.  Very impressed with the café and the friendly service and the delightful tea room/restaurant.

We then hit the shop.  Outside of the Farm Shop they had a big section of fresh veggies  I picked up a load of forced rhubarb for making some puddings for OH and also making some rhubarb jam, (I intend to make this tomorrow in my Jam Pan), as well as some big field mushrooms, some squash, carrots, cabbage, walnuts. 

Johnson's Farm is a  proper Farm shop with quality produce most of which they have produced themselves.  There is a drinks section of soft and alcohol related drinks, seasonings, spices, frozen fruit salad, pain au chocolat, croissants, blackberries, onion rings, stir fry, Tuscan roasting vegetables etc etc. 

I picked up a 3kg bag of white stone ground flour produced from Wicken Fen Windmill a proper wind powered windmill and also a Wholemeal stone ground flour to make some bread. 

The Butchery section is absolutely magnificent really large.  I have never seen so many varieties of sausages in one go.  They also sell game (and indeed some of the cured skins are available for sale in the gift shop I fell in love with a quad sheepskin). 

They also sell pork pies and at long last we have found a pork pie that we actually like.  The pastry and the meat are delicious.  You have the option of buying mini pies, 1lb pies or 2lb pies. This time round we went for 2 x 1lb pies.  I also bought a haslet and some ham.  Both were delicious.  The ham is hand cut in front of you and you are actively involved by the Assistant throughout the whole process of cutting and preparing making sure that you are getting exactly what you want in the Butchery and the Delicatessen.  I am not a great fan of fat but I know you need the fat for the flavour and for the meat to cook properly.  The fat on the ham melted when you ate it.  Really delicious. 

Please see the links here for a look at the butchery department and also on how they make their pork pies.  This only shows part of the shop. Envisage a square block and take off one of the smaller sides and that is the size of the shop.  The video below was taken about five years ago.

There is then a big cheese and pie section as well as a bakery and delicatessen.  We bought some buns OH had crusty ones I bought a couple of mini cottage loaves.  The bread was lovely and flavoursome and soft in the middle.  And they had different seed and flavoured loaves small big medium, some sliced The bread is made by Woods Bakery Tel 91767 313025.

I bought a Cherry pie but they also had Cornish Pasties and other lovely bits and bobs available.  They also sell different flavoured vinegars from carboys by the bottle.

We bought quite a lot of stuff and I shall pop up a note as and when we try it.   We shall be going back and next time I will try a large game pie. 

So today has been a foodie day and the food so far as been really really good.

We did have a walk around the farm and saw the livestock.  There was also a big Easter Egg Hunt on for the kiddies.  Its been a lovely sunny day quite mild one that leads you to believe that Spring has sprung.

This is not an advertisement for Johnsons of Old Hurst near Huntingdon.  But is my own express view.  If you are in the area pay them a visit especially if you like real proper food.  They are not open on Sundays or Mondays.

We got back into Peterborough for about 1:00pm and I have been pottering about quite a bit since.

Catch you later.



Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Looking for Help with the Garden

I have been busy this evening trying to organise some help for the garden in clearing it up.  It is long overdue and I would like to enjoy it as a proper garden.  OH for the past 7 years or so has indicated that he would do it and it just has not happened.  So it looks as though I will have to take charge.  I have all my seeds to grow and unless I get some help soon and with the disposal of the old fencing the landlord's agent has left behind - don't ask and my trees they chopped down and left behind. (we haven't got to the bottom of it yet but believe it is something to do with the moaning next door neighbour).  The landlord's thugs came in and chopped down my cherry tree - they have absolutely decimated it.  That was two years ago - I have not had any cherries since.

I am going to be another seven years in the waiting if I leave it to OH.  Whilst he goes fishing it would be nice for me to be able to sit outside on a nice day and do my crochet or cross stitch outside or just be able to potter doing actual gardening.  I don't mind gardening but I cannot do the physical lifting stuff out the way sort of stuff-  I can dig though.

Oh well will just have to see how things go and see what the chap I have approached comes back with.  Here's hoping.

Catch you later.



Monday, 21 March 2016

Good Morning

So far it seems a peaceful morning bright and the sun is trying to break and at least there is some colour in the sky.  It is always hurley burley first thing getting OH off to work and now I am sat in the peace of the house.  It is a little chilly so the heating is on as it is not warm enough otherwise to walk around in my pjs.  As a result with me being in the computer room there is a little Jack Russell snuggled up to the radiator.  She likes to be warm and she must be near you.

I found the majority of paperwork that I was looking for which is a good thing.  Big sigh.  I also found the conservatory blinds and got them washed and clean, dried and pressed.  So that is another good job done with and thank goodness I found them.  I am a little bit scatty at the best of times!

We nipped to my brother's yesterday just for a little catch up and he had a plethora of parsnips.  Last year on his allotment they had set three rows but only part of a row germinated and they ran out of parsnips early.  This year they have been overflowing with them.  This year they have duplicated the process and all three rows have set.  So I am the recipient of a lot of fresh parsnips which I have started processing for the freezer to take us through to the autumn months again.  They look lovely well done baby bruv we shall enjoy them and thank you.

My nephew is home for some tlc from university getting ready for his finals.  He has come home for Easter but is then going back to prepare himself for the last stint.  He says he finds it easier to study at university than he does at home. I think there are too many distractions.  He already has gained a 2.1 for his degree course but because he has taken the Masters on top of that he will receive both accreditations together.

Youngster has chosen his university and is in the throes of finalising that.  He takes his A levels shortly and then all being well goes up to university in September.

We are very proud of both of them for all their hard work.  It is lovely to see them grow into fine young men with the family sense of humour which is wicked to say the least.  Love them both dearly.

As I have been typing away at this post I have a CD playing on the computer.  I have my bright pink headphones on so I do not disturb the neighbours) and am jiggling away to Tommy Steele "singing the blues".  Tommy Steele was one of the first pop artists that I really liked. There are also tracks from Paul Anka "Diana", Connie Francis with "Stupid Cupid", the Everly Brothers (another favourite), Elvis Presley, Bill Haley and the Comets, Lonnie Donegan.  All tracks which we had at some point on 78s.  Some I still have but quite a few have got broken as they are so brittle compared to LPs  I was given a load of records as a nipper which were left over from my aunts and uncles.  I still have what are left but they gave us a lot of enjoyment as children.  Have all the old singles as well but I cannot play them on the computer so the CD is the next best thing.  Music is very important to me.

Right must get a wriggle on.

Hope your day is a good one.

Catch you later.



Sunday, 20 March 2016

Iconic Things

The sorts of things that you have known forever and have been with you in one way or another for life and which outlast the generations.  Things at first glance which you are never particularly enamoured of but which grow on you little by little.  When we came to sorting mum's out we found several such pieces my brother and I and we both have items of this calibre. My brother has my Grandmother's Bureau. 

I am pleased he has this as I did not really want it to go out of the family.  I would have loved this as my Dad used to use the desk to do his homework and to read his music however I just did not have room. It used to stand in the dining room against the inner wall (small room that it was).  It had a china cabinet either side of a central drop down lid (which was the desk) below that was a small drawer and below that a cupboard.

In my Nan's day the desk was used as a drop down desk and the china cabinet either side had choice pieces that my Nan had including her little liqueur glasses in green and amber, the cut glass champagne/wine glasses the silver plate acorn salt n pepper and mustard, the three glass salts all items which I have and which I was given after my Nan passed. It also held the Mandarin China teaset which was willed to me by my Dad however I let my brother have this as something lovely to remember her by but to pass to the boys in due course.

One of my first memories of the bureau is the drawer.  No one was ever allowed to go in that drawer - its where Nan would hide her 1/4lb of Extra strong mints that she used to buy weekly.  It was a big accolade if you were given one to suck on as they were clearly her treat for the week. 

I was introduced at an early age to extra strong mints and I am not sure whether they were given to us to stop us chattering 19 to the dozen but I got hooked and I still love them to this day.  Funnily enough my brother also remembers the Extra strong mints in the white paper bag.  Its funny what you remember.

Underneath the desk was a little cupboard.  Nan kept the expensive spirit in here and the whisky decanter and the tablecloth. 

The table was always laid for a proper meal no matter what time of day.  Her dining suite was a heavy drop leaf table made of sturdy oak with six chairs.

On top of the bureau was always a jug of flowers mostly grown in the garden by Nan although which flower vase or jug always varied. Nan had a lot of lovely vases and when fresh flowers were not available there would always be a pot plant. Dead middle of the bureau top was the big heavy fruit bowl that my dad made for them as a silver wedding present together with a little inscripted plate which I also have.  My dad made one for Aunty Ivy a smaller one and my brother has that one.

One of my memories is the big watercolour speckled jug which is marled in tourquoise with like gold touches.  It always stood out against the rest of the jugs and indeed I also have that.

However funnily enough one of the things I always remember first is the kitchen lampshade.  It was marled like marble in orangey yellow, green and a grey blue and hung off chains in the centre of the kitchen ceiling.  I was not particularly struck on it as a child but it was always there.  So when I found it in the cupboard in my old bedroom when we were sorting mum's I just could not let it go - I tried but I could not let it go.  Always in use until the latter years when it was retired to the cupboard.

Everything I have is usually bought with a purpose in mind to go with something or to be used with something. It has to earn its keep. The shade is made in glass and is known as a "fly catcher" because it has an open top. Need I say more!

I thought I would source a couple of more and put them up safely together with my other vintage style lighting (safely in a box until the time comes to use them). [I already have a set of pretty 1930s yellow tulip shaped light shades that I came across for £10 for six a little while ago, and a Art nouveau style lamp in the same colours but with two stems of flowers with decorative shades and a Tiffany style pendant and reproduction Tiffany lamps and also a brass hexagon hall lamp]. You have to source things when you come across them.  I tend to "squirrell" everything away just like my Nan used to.  Its not only food I do this with.

When I get my farmhouse kitchen I would like a worktop/breakfast bar that comes out in the middle and I thought if I could match them up I could make a practical beautiful feature of these shades for my kitchen over the worktop. I think it will work well because the colours match in well with what I intend to go for.  Its also keeping something that has memories and is still eminently practical in good use.  Just because something goes out of style doesn't mean you should not keep it times change and things come in again.

Right catch you later.  Have lots more tidying to do yet. 

Catch you later.



Saturday, 19 March 2016

Starting to sort things and Memories of Great Aunty Ivy

Today has been spent in trying to sort the front room out a little bit and to find certain bits and bobs I have been looking for, for quite some time.  Mostly to do with paperwork.I have not found it all yet but we are getting there.  I had also brought the blinds back for mum's conservatory to wash and iron them and then popped them somewhere safe and then not being able to locate them.  They are now in the washing machine whizzing around getting clean.  Just the drying and then the ironing to do and then they can be delivered back to my lovely brother for popping back up.

I have also come across Topsy.  Topsy is a negro pot doll that used to belong to my maiden Great Aunty Ivy.  Topsy's body parts need re-stringing and some of the finish has come off one of the forearms so I am going to look into see how much it will cost to restore her and depending on how much will depend when it gets done. 

My Great Aunty Ivy used to have a chest in her bedroom and all her dolls and teddies were laid out on top of that.  I was always fascinated as a child because even then the dolls etc. appeared very old to me as a small child and I am a lot older now.  My brother is not keen - that sort of thing gives him the creeps.  Topsy is now mine and I think the oldest doll I have.  I have a lot of period china dolls that I have collected over the years many of them reproductions.

Great Aunty Ivy was lovely - I thought a lot of her she was very kind.  She was riddled with arthritis from an early age and with her it attacked her spine and she had to wear a neck brace.  I only ever remember her with the neck brace and the walking stick.  She had grey hair which was more often or not braided in a plait and then twisted into a coil or done in two small separate plaits around the front of her face and then twisted up.  Its funny what you remember of people in your mind's eye - a child's view.  I was 10 years old when she passed and I remember being extremely cross that I could not go and say goodbye to her.

Great Aunty Ivy was always a beautiful needlewoman her main hobby like mine being crochet.  I have some pansy mats that she made for my grandmother and also a couple of the half waist pinnies that she used to make as Christmas presents for family members and friends every year. I am pleased that I have her plain simple needlework box that is lined with green silk which stands on quite high long slim legs.  I am slowly starting to get all my bits and bobs in there. Great Aunty Ivy always kept herself busy too and was actively involved in the Church in Lincoln. I also have both of her bibles.  One was a special edition version and beautifully bound and the other her plain everyday version.  I have a lot of the family bibles my father gave them to me for safekeeping.  Some of them were not in very good condition when they came to me but they are precious as they have been held by those that came before a tangible link and in relation to my Great Grandfather's bible he has written each child's name in the bible and date of birth and birth weight with my grandfather (Pop) being the eldest and weighing a massive 16lb.  I bet my great grandmother knew she was carrying him. I do miss those kind souls that are no longer with us and who I knew.

Family heirlooms to be passed on to my nephews in due course to be catalogued and then hopefully passed on to the next generation; that is my wish and my hope.  I don't own those items I am merely custodian and facilitator just like Great Aunty Ivy did before me.  She was the keeper of the Family History too.

Right tea break over of to do some more sorting.  Now I am going to have to work out where to put it!

Catch you later.



Friday, 18 March 2016


..... you forget just what you have and when you find it again its exciting like re-visiting an old friend or renewing an acquaintance.  Well it is for me. Books are like friends they do keep you occupied if you are on your own and they give you something to do to keep you occupied and the little grey cells busy.  I get so much from reading it stretches you in a different way and gets the ideas buzzing in the brain.  I read extensively and I save magazines that have useful patterns so it is always with pleasure that I re-find such items that I had put carefully away and then forgotten about.  I mention the forgotten about quite seriously as my memory is not what it was or perhaps it is that I am distracted more and then lose the golden silken threads of thought and completely lose the plot.

Such was the case yesterday.  I found a stack of magazines both cookery and needlecraft and general magazines that I had squirrelled away for future reference.  I was tired last night especially after the week of pain from the teeth so I curled up for an hour or two and had some me time trawling through some of the magazines.  To tell you the truth it was a luxury for me to do this; but why do I always feel guilty if I take time out.

Some of the magazines are years old - I am a bit of a hoarder  and when I have had clear outs in the past I end up needing said items not too long after.  Such is life.  These snuggle downs as I call them are when I have my creative thoughts and get my ideas for doing things. (I am already planning things for the C word later in the year). 

I am trying to be organised about it as well so that I can find things when I need them and I intend to start a little earlier this year with my preparations on all the basic stuff as I really want more time to play in the run up to the C word this year.  At the moment I plan to have a couple of days at least baking stuff for the freezer i.e. getting it prepared and raw freezing so all have to do is bung it in the oven type of cooking where I can.  This has all risen to the surface since trawling through the magazines yesterday.  (I found some very yummy recipes). I have also found a couple of cross stitch charts that I would quite like to have a go at, but I need to get some of the UFOs out of the way first.

In recent weeks I have not been watching as much TV - if I have watched TV its been a catch up time suitable to me once all the chores are out of the way  -it seems to be helping me manage my time more.  As a result of that I also need to revisit my routine.  I want to get shot of some of these UFOs and for the past few months I have not been able to settle.  Perhaps when OH starts his fishing I will be able to settle and concentrate as much as I need to.  Also with the lighter nights coming I want to get as much done as I can whilst I can.  I have much to do and I want to make as much of that time as I can.

One thing I do need to do this weekend though is make myself a new ironing board cover.  The other one has bit the dust and I have a stack of ironing to do.  I have some pre-quilted cotton fabric somewhere in the stash so I think making that cover will be one of the first things I do this weekend (that is if I find the fabric).

Right catch up later.



Thursday, 17 March 2016

Dentist Update

Well I have been very lucky in that I was able to get an urgent appointment with the Dentist today.  Apparently my previous Dentist has left and gone to pastures new and I have yet to meet the new one - he is currently away on holiday but I have a follow up appointment on 4 April 2016 where indeed I shall meet the said gentleman. 

The one who saw me today was lovely and quickly put me at my ease - I absolutely hate going to the Dentist as a rule (something always manages to happen that shouldn't and I have been put off root treatment for life especially as I had been complaining to my Dentist for two years that there was a problem with one particular tooth.

In the end she did an x ray realised there was quite a big problem and then tried to do root canal treatment - I then got an abscess under the tooth (I get caverns under my teeth which are healthy environments for abscesses form - as a result of having a brace in my teens). 

I was then sent away with antbiotics and when I came back she realised that she was not going to save it and tried to take it out.  The tooth broke off flush.  She then would not touch it because I was epileptic and she would not have been covered under her insurance policy to have taken the tooth out in the surgery. 

I then had to wait 9 months to go into hospital to have the tooth taken out.  I thought I would be knocked out but no  - they kept me awake and I got that stressed they nearly had to stop the surgery.  They managed to get the root out and stitch me up without incident, but it has left me extremely nervous as a result.  As a result I venture no where near root canal treatment preferring to lose the tooth if it cannot be saved any other way.

Today's dentist has popped a temporary filling in the tooth in question it is at the base of the tooth and I am not sure whether they will be able to save it or whether it will have to be extracted.  Will find out when I go back.  It is a lot comfier than it was and apparently a small abscess had started to form so I have been provided with a weeks worth of antibiotics amoxicillin and have had to take double the dose on each pill today to hit the infection big time.  I am hoping I get a good night's sleep too as it has been when I laid down that I have had the biggest problem and ended up with very little sleep as a result.

However I class myself as very very lucky at being able to get an appointment so quickly.  Very pleased with the Dental practice I use; 157 Dental Surgery in Peterborough.  Lovely lot.

However I am feeling a lot better and have a little bit more energy than I did have so I have started doing a little bit of sorting out  - a precursor to the Spring clean which is looming.

I must just say it has been a lovely day here today.  We have had the sun out and it has felt a tad warmer than it has been; but the best bit tonight was coming home and it was still light.  I am hoping that it will be nice over the weekend as it would be good to get the washing line dried in the fresh air - makes everything smell so much sweeter.

Right back to the tidying.

(I am not armed with the feather duster yet or the scrubbing brush and bucket of suds with disinfectant in) although it will not be long.

Catch you soon.



Books, Books and More Books

I am in a very fortunate position in that I have lots of books and I mean lots of them and all of them get used prolifically. These days I do not necessarily buy them brand new but often well loved at a lot cheaper price and the money I save goes towards other things that I am interested in.

I have just been on Sarah Tudor's blog at where she has not long posted a mixed post about seeds and cooking and a book she had obtained from the Library by Barbara Beckett entitled The Harvest Pantry ISBN 1 86373 5070.  It was a lovely surprise to find that someone else had found it too.  I have had this lovely book in my library for quite sometime now.  When I was looking to buy this second hand prices ranged from between £30 and £60 - everyone was after it as it was out of print.  However with a little patience I managed to source mine for about £12.

It has sections on :

The Harvest Pantry


Preserves of Fruit and Vegetables

Pasta Rice and Pulses

Charcuterie, Fish, Cheese and Savoury Flans

Sweet things

However what many people do not know is that Barbara Beckett wrote an earlier book entitled "Creating Gourmet Gifts" ISBN: 1 86373 246 2.  In fact I obtained this book first from a Cheapie book shop (now no longer in town) about 20 years ago.  It has some lovely recipes with unusual ingredients as well as recipes for more traditional fare.  It is one of my favourite books.

So if you get chance to locate these books they really do complement each other.  It is more traditional based Pantry fare with a twist here and there. Like Passionfruit Gin.There are not any recipes for bottling/canning per se but there is a very useful sauces section, drying section, baking section, herbs, spices, and pastry section, Cherries in Eau de Vie, Cumquats in Brandy, Prunes in Red Wine, Peaches in Vodka, Summer Berries in Rum, Apple juice for long keeping, home made tomato juice, home made Crème de Cassis, Lemon Liqueur and a whole host of other lovelies too.  It is well worth looking these two books out.

Right must get a wriggle on.  Catch you soon.



Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Le Parfait Familia Wiss Canning Jars for Meat and Fish

The French use them for home preserved foods so I they are good enough for the French who really do love their food why are we not making more of them?  Just doing a few jars here and there when there is an offer on to be had all helps in keeping our families stocked with food at home cheaply and safely. 

I am specifically speaking about Canning foods under pressure  (I hasten to add not by hot water bathing/processing or indeed a pressure cooker both of which are available in this country).  There is a very big difference but more specifically a proper canning processor.  Cooking under high pressure makes foods such as meat and vegetables which are low in vitamin c safe to consume as the canners work on altitude so it is a case of adjusting to the atmospheric pressure for the area where you live.  The idea being that  no nasties can get in and no illness as a result.  Now I do not have a canner yet and this is only my opinion from what I have read  and from my estimation of these jars would seem ideal.

They are quite capacious larger than the Kilner jar and straight sided.  I came across some in one of my favourite haunts just recently i.e. TK Max and I am stockpiling for when I do eventually get my proper canning machine. One day - I have promised myself. So far I have 5 of these jars bought for £3.99 each and you can get replacement seals.  These jars have an outer brass lid and the seal like the Kilner jar seal fits underneath.  I am quite taken with them. 1litre, 750g and 200ml.  The sizing is really generous.

So I shall go on collecting them where I can and stockpiling.  I do not intend to be too long before I acquire a canner.

This is not an advertisement just my own subjective point of view.  I like the look of these jars even though I have not used them yet.

Out of curiosity have any of you used these jars yet.  If so how did you get on with them.

Catch you soon.



Teething Problems

Since last Thursday evening I have been dosed up on Neurofen as I have had the most horrendous toothache.  Unfortunately I cannot do anything until I get paid, so am trying to hang on but I have had a lot of pain and been very uncomfortable. At the weekend I went out dosed up and not able to have a drink anyway because of the epilepsy meds so I just had coca cola. I think when I do get to the Dentist that there will be a further couple of extractions in which case the broken plate will need to be added to so it is going to cost quite a bit to get the situation rectified and that is on the National Health.  It needs doing though so hopefully will be able to get in sooner rather than later.  These things are sent to try us! Never mind though will get there eventually. Fingers crossed and toes plaited.

Catch you later.



Embroidered pieces

For a while now I have been collecting little pieces of embroidered mats, tray cloths, damaged table cloths not spending very much in the process and accumulating a stack of things that will one day be turned into a very individual heirloom quilt for my bedroom as well as bed cushions, handkerchief purses, coathanger covers, curtains, bunting, nightdress cases.  I have also been collecting pure cotton fabric as well so that the quilt will look more like a crazy patchwork and I have also thought about adding extra embellishment when it is all put together with additions of lace and also more embroidery to covers seems and the like.  Here are just a few of the embroidered pieces I could lay my hands on easily.  There are a lot more.  It will be a case of using the pieces of embroidery wisely without spoiling the dynamics to get the best overall effect. So I foresee lots of umming and ahhing and rearranging this and not liking it there etc.  Out of the top cloth I think I will get two generous sized embroidered panels for the quilt.  I am quite taken with this top cloth I just love the colours.

As I find the other fabric tray cloths etc I will add the photographs in. There are quite a few bits and bobs.

Is it me but in the Charity shops where I live you hardly see the tray cloths or embroidered cloths anymore.  I think what is happening is that the shops in order to get the most for their charities are bunging them straight on ebay or the like to get the most amount for their given charity.  You cannot blame them.  I will just have to keep my eyes peeled.

I also need some more linen and lace chair back covers for me to sort out another project that has been on the back burner for a while.  I have been collecting the cream  and lace linen chair back covers for a while but I need some more so that I can actually achieve what I have in mind.  So will have to keep  a look out as I really do need a few more.

Right catch you later.



Some more of the embroidered pieces

Monday, 14 March 2016

A visit to the Charity Shop and Ebay

Once upon a time on a Saturday morning it used to be a regular event that I would go tootling around to the Charity shop around the corner from where I live and have a mosey and see if there was anything that took my fancy and if it did I would bring it home.  I know the Manageress very well due to my frequent comings and goings and since Christmas I have kind of got out of the routine of popping around. 

I think the last things I bought were at Christmas a large white Italian stoneware Soup Tureen and four gold twisted stem drinks glasses and some small green liqueur glasses (5 of). 

Yesterday I managed to pop in during a return trip from the Chemist.  There was not much in as they were in the process of emptying the shop ready for new stock to be delivered on Monday.  However I did find these little green glasses which I think are really lovely.   

A full set of six to go specifically with my green glass table collection; made up of an array of various different individual bits I have  found over the years.  I also have quite a large collection of Victorian pressed glass cake stands bowls and other table paraphernalia also collected over the years.  At present all boxed up and out of the way either in storage or the back bedroom.  One day though it will all be together in a proper China and glass store.  A lot of the pieces are inherited and remind me of family occasions with dear loved ones who are no longer with us and others I have collected other pieces that have interested me and indeed managed to match up and add to individual pieces.

I have also been naughty and won a couple of more green glass items on ebay. Six dessert plates, and four little bowls.  I have noticed that some of the green glass is referred to as "Bagley" green glass.  "Bagley" is a family name so I shall look into that a little further on when doing further research on the family tree.  One never knows.

I have a weakness for nice things and I have been eyeing up some of the cake stands they are absolutely fab.  Will have to do a little bit more saving though.  I just like the table to look lovely especially when having friends or family round.  That's where it all started.

I did try for an absolutely stunning linen pansy tablecloth  on ebay but got outbid but that went for £45 even though it was beautiful I could not justify it.  But it was gorgeous.  I have a real old pansy china tea set and cake plate that came from one of our forays into Suffolk from a little antique emporium there and it would have gone very well with this tablecloth. 

I have a beautiful pink floral tablecloth that was my mum's like large daisies.  It has always been a favourite of mine. It was worked by my Nan and Aunty but is not worked on linen.  It is worked on one of the newer fabrics that frays quite badly and one of the side panel edgings has come adrift and I am not quite sure how to go about repairing it.  Bovey Belle or Dawn any ideas please?

I have also started to get one or two embroidered items together together with some white work tray cloths as I want to start the patchwork quilt for my bedroom using a selection of embroidered and lacy pieces as well as pretty patchwork cotton I have amassed over the years.  There are two old nighties of my mum's both in pink broderie anglais which I would also like to incorporate.  The quilt will be a large superking plus one as I have a superking sized bed.  OH will start going fishing soon so I want to be able to play a little in all areas including my beading.  I want to get some more Christmas baubles on the go for the Christmas tree and also the odd one or two as presents.  However I do need to concentrate quite a lot  when doing this.  Will see how it goes but I have lots of ideas as usual just not always the time to do what I really want to do.

I love having a good rummage in antique emporiums or junk shops or charity shops.  You never know quite what is going to crop up.

Right must get a wriggle on.

Catch you soon.



Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
  • Squeak (approx 2 years)
  • Poppy (approx 16 years)
  • Tyson (approx 17 years)
  • Tinky (official name Clover approx 18 years)