Wednesday, 28 July 2010

gnocchi business

This photo, quickly snapped by G as I was rolling the gnocchi, helps to explain why my home is never tidy.
On the worktop next to the cooker is a list of jobs I wrote out on Monday and have asked G to do, this should be on the noticeboard.
The white packet contains some chocolate chip cookies I bought for the children as a mid week treat. These should be in the 'treat basket' not on the kitchen side.
I'd finished with the Flora so this should be back in the fridge.
I've left the cupboard door open after getting out the plate I needed.
Washing up left draining and not dried and put away before I start on cooking this evening's meal and start to make even more mess!
A tin of cat food next to the sink. Bought at 4pm and won't be needed until tomorrow morning so why didn't I just put it away as soon as it was bought indoors?!
If I was just a little tidier and more organised as I went along things would be so much easier. Especially as what you see if more or less the extent of my kitchen work space.

But the gnocchi was a success. Tried with a new recipe tonight. Served it with bacon and baby spinach in a soft cheese and garlic sauce.
EDIT... the sauce was 5 rashers of bacon chopped and fried, 100g baby spinach added and wilted for 1 minute. Stir 3tbsp milk into 150g of Philadelphia type soft cheese with added garlic and then add to bacon and spinach. The cooked gnoochi is then stirred in too.
I'm sure Michela is the best person to give us a recipe but the one I use is from a cook book of potato recipes and is 250g cold mashed potato added to 1oz melted butter, 1 cup flour, a good sprinkling of black pepper and half an ounce of parmesan cheese. Roll into balls. Place in a pan of gently simmering water, when they bob up to the top they are done. Couldn't tell you what they taste like as I HATE mashed potato, but G, T and S eat them ok!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

clematis and cats

A few years ago in a burst of garden creativity G built a couple of wooden spire type things. One of them is a support to 3 different clematis plants.

One of pale purple

This looks quite pink it's really more of a dark red

and a white one.

How cute are these two? Malcolm going over to say hello to Melvin having a rest in his new favourite place.

Monday, 26 July 2010


I took loads of photos with my new camera this weekend but only a handful were in focus! I think I need to read the instructions.
We had a full and fun weekend with lots of time spent outdoors.

G wasn't with us on Saturday as he had a day out in London at the High Voltage music festival. Not my kind of music, but he loved it.
Early afternoon me, T and S wandered up to our local park and when T spotted the flowerbeds, newly planted since my visit in May, he asked 'Can we go and play down there, we had great fun the last time we did?' I can't tell you how happy that made me to hear say that. So we spent some time there with our prizes from the wacky games evening, a frisbee and a football.

From here we went to Weston Shore to get in position in time to watch a fly past of a Lancaster, a Spitfire and a Hurricane. You'll have to take my word for it that it was a spectacular sight, one of the many times my photography was inadequate this weekend, but I always get such a spine tingling sensation when I see them.

The evening was spent at a party celebrating my cousin's 18th birthday. All guests were asked to wear only black or white so Emily could stand out in her stunning fuchsia pink long frock.

My two looking smart, well I am biased!

Sunday morning we walked into town as we needed to buy new trainers for the children. This week, much to T's disgust, they will be going to a sports playscheme at his school. I hope to get lots of stuff done at home whilst they are kept busy. Another reason for going into town is there were a couple of events happening. The first was the skyride. There was a live music, lots of stalls selling food (I bought a walnut loaf), stalls selling cycling paraphenalia, free drinks of water and Gatorade being given away and just across the road in another park other live music by various groups at the bandstand which we enjoyed listening to as we ate our picnic.

The final mode of transport we saw was a selection of old classic cars. There were only ever 99 of the Gordon Keeble cars made and approximately a quarter of them were on display in the city centre. The one below is number 3. I took a couple of photos of the interior, but yet again these aren't worth sharing. Very swish inside though.

I don't really get excited over cars, but these are so very sleek and elegant.

So this weekend G used the train, we saw some old planes, we watched hundreds of cyclists and a handful of rollerskaters, coveted classic cars and took a bus ride together.
Plus a quite of bit of shanks's pony thrown in for good measure.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

birthday winner

Thank you for the messages on my last post and for the birthday wishes.

Not only did I receive lovely presents from visitors, but some lovely gifts arrived through the post too. A heart necklace from my in-laws, some pretty bath confetti all the way from Sue in America (with a card which I shall treasure) and along with some other goodies this party in a bag from the ever generous Diane, chocolate, party poppers, streamers and confetti!

A big surprise gift from G was this little camera. It's so light, perfect for taking out and snappy daft bloggy things with. There isn't a load of instructions to read it's pretty much point and shoot and hopefully I'll get to use it lots now the school summer hols are here.

I'm more a bangles and beads hoarder, with I'm very happy to report many more additions to my collection since Wednesday(!), than a shoe lover but I saw these when we were in London at the weekend and G kindly added them to my birthday stash. At only a fiver they were a bargain!

A few more books to add to the ever growing to read pile. The 'Is there Life after Housework?' one is from my sister. Some of you may remember that my sister and I only buy each other gifts that come from jumble sales, car boots sales and charity shops. With a budget of £10 she bought me 31 things! Ranging from jewellery, a card game, a jigsaw, a picture, an apron and 15 items of clothing!

In the evening at a local country park T's cub pack were holding a family picnic and wacky races evening as it was the last meet up before they broke up for summer. My sister and my mum joined us and below is me with C just as the velcro band came undone as we were hobbling along taking part in the 3 legged race. Although we failed miserably and S didn't win the race she took part in I am happy to report that T won the stilt race, G won the welly throwing and I won the egg and spoon race. I also won an egg and spoon race on my birthday when I was 8 so after 34 years I still haven't lost the touch!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

London sights

Our main reason for a trip to London last weekend was for T to have a contact visit with one of his birth grandparents. Whilst T and G went to meet his nan from her train S and I wandered over towards Trafalgar Square where we were due to meet up with G's sister.
T has just read The London Eye Mystery and so I felt the need to add another shot of it to our photo collection. S decided she wouldn't like to go on it now or even when she's older.

Another photo for T, how could I resist one of a Dalek?

S was super impressed by the length of the boots the soldiers sat on horseback were wearing. And the shine on them too.

For some reason I have never taken a photo of this incredibly beautiful monument before and this along with lots of other statues prompted lots of questions from S as we wandered along.

T always got so excited by the sight of Big Ben, I must admit I still do!

We didn't pop in for tea with the Queen, we admired her house from afar and had a cuppa (or two) in the park instead.

On Sunday we went along to Brockwell Park as it's within easy walking distance of D's home. It really is a gorgeous park.

How about this building for the cafe, isn't it just splendid?

As well as the vast open space, there is a lido, a paddling pool,

walled garden,

and over this weekend the Lambeth Country Show was being held there.
There was so much going on, stuff to buy, though not at £75.00!

Entertainment of many different varieties

in fact so much it would keep you busy all day and as we arrived at nearly 3pm we just didn't have the time to fit it all in. Maybe next year.

Monday, 19 July 2010


I haven't been around on blogger much recently, certainly posting has been a bit intermittent, reading and commenting a bit, though not much, better.
Reason being is I've not taken many photos as I keep forgetting to take my camera out with me.
Another reason is I've been doing a lot of thinking.
Sometimes I do too much of this, well ok just too much idle daydreaming if I'm honest, which then leads to time wasting and hair pulling when I realise how little I get achieved.
I've been thinking about my life in general.
Don't panic this isn't going to turn into a long emotionally charged and heavy post, but 2 years ago I hit 40. 3 days before the big day I had a great picnic with friends and family to celebrate and then 2 days after my birthday life turned upside down (and stayed that way for a very long while) as my Dad was admitted to hospital and then a few weeks later he died.
In a couple of days time I'm hoping to go on another picnic and celebrate my 42nd birthday and I hope that it will signify some kind of mark in tme for me.
I still have a lot of thinking and considering to do.
And a bit of idle day dreaming too!

In the meantime here's a couple of snaps we have managed to take from the last few days.
On Friday S had to go into school dressed as a Super Hero.
A made up one or a well known one.
We made up Princess Power, any excuse to wear her red sparkly skirt to school.
Not shown in the photo is the cape I made from a lace tablecloth with tinsel sewn round the edges as a bit of trimming. Note to self, don't sew tinsel on to anything again!

G doing his own impression of Dr Doolittle with the pigeons in St James' Park on Saturday afternoon during our weekend trip to London.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

choose your sonic

T was at home with me on Monday due to a school inset day.
I had housework stuff to do first thing but after all was done I asked him what he wanted us to do.
'Play Dr Who,' he answered.
My heart sank.
I am so bad at those kind of games.
Jigsaw puzzles I can do, reading I can do, colouring I can do, gluing and cutting out I can do, board games I can do. Make believe games just aren't my speciality.
'How about we go to the park?' I suggested.
'No thanks, Dr Who please.'
A couple of other suggestions were also dismissed and so Dr Who it was.
I was asked to make my choice from the sonic screwdriver collection and also decide between the vortex manipulator or Sarah Jane's watch.
I won't forget in a hurry how T laughed until he nearly cried over how I explained to Mr Smith yes of course I was Sarah Jane, no I'm not an imposter, yes I agree I don't look like my normal svelte self and yes I may have put on a few pounds, before finally admitting I was in fact an alien who had just eaten Sarah Jane!
As well as charging around the dining room trying to dodge the sonic rays and work out ways to get through the triple force field shield T was able to deploy whenever it seemed like I was getting the upper hand in our battles, it all turned out to be really good fun.

Sunday, 4 July 2010


I have been a very inconsistent blogger recently.
I've never been very good at managing my time properly and just lately I seem to have become even worse than usual. Time used sat around thinking about what I should be doing/want to be doing/need to be doing and nothing much done at the end of it.
Oh well I'm sure I'll figure it all out at some point.

One thing I really should mention is a lovely little parcel I received recently from Miss Peagreen Kitty. Inside the pink tissue was some delectable G&B chocolate and yes the wrapper on the milk chocolate looks like that because I had already eaten some before I remembered I needed to snap the contents! A string of beads to add to my ever growing collection and the sparkliest blue brooch that had once belonged to her nan. How very touched I was to be entrusted with such a treasure. Thank you Kitty.

Diane, who goes on the most wonderful walks, recently posted about one she and her husband did round Haddon estate. This reminded me of a coffee pot I bought about 20 years ago when I worked in a shop selling china and glass. It only cost me £1.00 as the top part of the handle has a hairline crack where it meets the pot and so couldn't be sold. Apparently the design was inspired by the tapestries which hang in the Hall.

Now this post isn't entitled random for nothing! Next up is a small cutting I made from a magazine years ago of a Scottish home decked out at Christmas. I liked the homespun feel of this sock 'stocking' and being the thrifty shopper I am wasn't going to buy brand new ones and so have been on the look out (when I remember) for some I can use in our home.

And last week I found 2 pairs for 10p each. With all my procrastinating and other time wasting pursuits I reckon I should be able to 'Christmas-ize' them in time for December! Well don't hold me to that, but that's the plan!