Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Sunday 31 December 2017

A look back

 2017 in photo's, it has been a good year
a few things could have made it better
but on the whole it's been enjoyable
 February, another grandson 
 Sunshine and the promise of summer
 Harvest, mainly salads and fruit.
 Using our camper van
 BBQ's alone and with family.

I read 76 books this year, loads of new authors to me, I have been using our local library, saving money and resources.
I did very little cross stitching, but have made a few nice items on my sewing machine.
Finishing full time employment in late summer was not planned, but I am enjoying my extra time.
We are in Somerset for the celebrations, plus family birthdays on 1st and 2nd.
I hope you had a good 2017 and I wish you the best for 2018
A Happy New Year.

Thursday 28 December 2017

In between

Our snow fall on Tuesday night - Wednesday Morning
Just a sprinkle
 All my bulbs are growing.
We are again at the time in between celebrations, I like this time of year, home together, no excuse to have to go out, relaxing, catching up on TV, family time. Hubby and I have nothing to do, the place is tidy. 
The snow was all gone by 10am on Wednesday morning, and most of the standing water has gone as well.
My brother drove home to Somerset this morning, and is now safely warm in his own house, it has been a cold sunny day, so perfect for his drive home, traffic was busy, but no problems. 
We have only been to our local Co-op for bread and milk, we have no desire to shop in the sales. On a really sad note our local Co-op had  filled their Christmas Isle with Easter eggs, a tad bit early for me. Having said that we do not buy our grandsons Easter eggs, I rather give them a book each, they have far too much chocolate at Easter. 
For tea tonight we will use the last of the roast beef from Christmas lunch. Tomorrow I am using the last of the turkey in a pie, it's made and in the fridge. We have vegetable soups for lunches for the rest of this week. 
As I am not planning to go shopping this week I have sorted my final end of year figures for my stash list, I managed a no spend December and ended up spending £226.16 less than last year. I had not planned to save any money it just happened, I have not done much cross stitching this year, so a £30 spend was very low. I will keep my list going next year, it's fun to see where I spend my cash. 
Throughout January we are going to have a low spend, our freezer and cupboards are full, so the plan is to use as much as we can, we will have to shop, we do like our fresh vegetable soups for lunch, and if something we use is on a very low price we will stock up. We also have a good supply of cleaning and toiletries.

Tuesday 26 December 2017

Christmas day

 Will with his first Christmas stocking
Daughter wanted us all to dress the same this year
Will with daddy

We shared a great day with family, daughter, SIL and my brother, all dressed in our Asda matching PJ's, which were very comfortable, I was so pleased to get Will a matching set. I think we may have started another Christmas family tradition.
We have huge amounts of food left, I have just blended all the veg left from our dinner into a nice soup, which will last most of the week for lunches.
We took our walk along the sea front, this year at Stokes bay, we went early to avoid the fore cast rain, which now has arrived. The rest of the day is inside, no-one has any desire to go to Boxing day sales.

Sunday 24 December 2017

Merry Christmas

Three of our lovely grandsons together
 Finally found on our local facebook page
so my thoughts are again with all the wonderful local people (Police, medical, firefighters) who work over Christmas time, away from their own families, there to keep us safe, these are truly our hero's.  
We are ready, house is sparkling, food prepared, wine breathing
Merry Christmas to everyone xxx

Friday 22 December 2017

What day is it?

Loads of buds in our garden, 
our weather is super mild and my poor garden is confused. 
Amaryllis, just starting to show.  
 Hyacinth, another try at growing these bulbs.
A new tree in our local park. 
I am totally lost to what day of the week it is today, feels like a Saturday, but I'm not sure, I have lost all notion of the days of the week. Having said that I did get to my hair appointment this morning, and we have nothing planned before Sunday evening, when we have been invited to our neighbours house for a festive drink, a few neighbours are going, so it should be fun.
We walked to the village today, our local Co-op had loads of fresh veg, cream and last minute items, all looking good and a great date, so we got everything today, saves an early morning dash tomorrow. We used our points we have saved, so the shopping cost nothing, plus we still have some money left, for early January.
I have had my sewing machine out to finish Will's cot quilt and I am having a few problems, the walking foot is working, but I keep getting a tangled mess on the underside from the bobbin. I have checked my machine and it is working OK, my test piece shows no issue, but once I start on the bigger quilt it starts to go wrong. I will chat to my sister later and if necessary go on youtube to see how to resolve the issues. My sister has taken a quilting course, so she knows more than I do, I have done small quilting before but nothing on this scale, it is not his Christmas present, so I'm not in a rush to get it done.
I was really pleased to see a new tree planted in out local park, we have not lost any to bad weather, so it is pleasing to see another lovely tree added to our wonderful park, we are aware not all councils can afford to do much with parks, but our is well maintained.

Wednesday 20 December 2017

On your marks

I have list everywhere,  I am a list maker
If not on paper then in my head, once it is on a list it's rare it is forgotten. 
Most of the items for Christmas has a tick against it.

Freezer - our freezer is full, we have purchased larger joints of meat on special, which we have cut in half and frozen, we have enough supplies in the freezer to last most of January.
Fridge - Is also full of items with a good date, cheeses, pate's, we always go to Somerset for the New Year, so we don't want anything not ate going off when we are away, plus we do take items to my brothers.
Fresh - So far we have sprouts cut ready to cook in the freezer, Lidl had their veg on special this week, our veg box is full, we have soups to make. We will get the late stuff from our local Co-op, we have saved £49 in points on their loyalty card, plus hubby was sent £50 of vouchers ( he retired from the Co-op a few years ago), so it will be a five minute walk to do last minute shopping, at a price we love free of charge. Monies left over will help in January.
Baking - Hubby does the baking, he will makes another batch of mince pies and sausage rolls, the first batch is almost gone, our friends know his baking skills are fantastic, so we get loads of people dropping in swapping cards and enjoying a mince pie with coffee. My baking was the cake which is ready for Christmas tea time.
Christmas - Everything is sorted, presents have been given, stocking fillers ready for the big night (everyone who has a bed in our house on Christmas Eve has a stocking in the morning).
This is the best run up to Christmas ever, most of our shopping was done early on a weekday, early December so no crowds, we have given most of our children and grandchildren cash for presents, not the best, but they have so much it is hard to know what to get them, plus most of what they want is far more expensive than we can afford.
I have been busy, sorting cupboards in our kitchen, and I am so very pleased with myself, I have pulled out the pots and packets, not as many as in previous years, we try not to eat process foods, so now we store different things than before. The reason I am so pleased is I had nothing out of date, so nothing to throw away, normally I would find a few things tucked in the back corner. We have been fighting waste all year, and use everything fresh without waste. Plus the cupboards are not overfull with stuff we might use.

 Su, Will and I popped into town on Tuesday, M&S had their Christmas decorations reduced, so two red and two green, £2 instead if £4 each. We had lunch at a local garden centre after seeing the raindeer.
I finished the two Christmas stockings, one for Will and a marching spare for a couple of years time( baby brother or sister) my brother, Martin arrived yesterday for a long break with us, so Christmas has started in our house.

Sunday 17 December 2017

My favorite things

Jo at Through the keyhole is posting about her favorite things, it's the second time she has done a post on this topic, Rain drops on Roses
so here is my December list. 
Will with his Christmas jumper on, he is here to represent all our lovely grandsons, we do not see our boys often enough, distance and busy lives get in the way.
My Christmas tree, I love Christmas, the joy of families being together, warm, snug with loads of traditional features. I show my tree, because it's full of happy memories, I'm not one to theme a tree, just loads of decorations, purchased and made through out the years we have been together. Yesterday afternoon I watched It's a Wonderful Life, the best ever Christmas Movie. The best music for Christmas is the songs from The Gremlins, I love the big wall of sound from these American hits.
This drink is the taste of Christmas for me, the spices are festive, no alcohol, just pure enjoyment. I only drink it in December/January, drinking it hot, it does not work in other months of the year. The second taste is mince pies, hubby made our first batch last night, again we only eat them in December.
My garden is bare, but still I love the view, these cold dull days are all about the wildlife visiting the feeders at the bottom of the garden. A walk around my garden is like a bust of sunshine to me.
Books, I have been a bookworm all my life, but now I really do have time to read, and I am finding new authors all the time. 
Our girls, they always have a welcome when we get home, this time of years they are mostly in these baskets or on our laps. 
Cross stitch. I'm not stitching at this time, I have been sewing on my machine again. I never worry my stitching will come back it always does.

None of the above should be a surprise to my followers, family and my hubby are key to me, but it's a happy post on a dull Sunday morning.
We have had a quiet week, Will Slept over on Friday night so mummy and daddy could have a lovely late and lazy morning on Saturday.
Hubby and I had a small party night together last night, watching the Strictly final, pleased Joe won, but felt they all have become wonderful dancers.
Today we have nothing to do, how wonderful.

Thursday 14 December 2017


A perfect shot, showing the cold weather over the bay
 Croke Park Hurling Stadium 
 Skyline tour, on top of the stadium
 Higest point inside the stadium
 Dublin Castle

 Loads of lovely art around the city
 Including their history
 Modern with the old
 Interesting everywhere you look
Ha'penny bridge 
 Loads of churches, and beautiful woodwork
The skyline tour of the stadium was brilliant, we were on top of the roof looking down on the city and beyond, it was the coldest I have ever been but was worth the visit. I have added the link above should you want to know more. Loads of interesting facts given about the history of the city. The light on the pitch grass was to warm the ground, the pitch has real grass which needs help in the colder months to grow.
Richard was a perfect guide to the city, he is English by birth, but met and married a beautiful Irish lady, so Dublin is now his home. We came away with so many funny stories about the city. His FIL was in the Garda back in the 60's, Ha'penny bridge at the time had no steps and once in the middle of the night they drove across this footbridge in a mini, which just fitted in the gap, if they had broken down they would not have room to open the doors and get out. Stories like this bring the city alive.
Christmas in a different city is always fun, we avoided all the big brands and did not do much shopping, but walked around taking everything in, the sights, smells and the people.
It was a perfect time to catch up with family and spend time together, now we are into Christmas, we have only the fresh stuff to get. So we are planning a lazy weekend, looking forward to my brother coming next week.

Wednesday 13 December 2017


Front and back of a tree ornament from Will
Perfect 1st Christmas gift.
 All our boys on one ornament
 Irish Merry Christmas
 The best drinking chocolate, ever!
We are back home after 6 days away, We drove to Somerset, to stay with my brother for one night and a final catch up with my family before Christmas. The next morning it was off to Bristol airport and a flight to Dublin, hubbies oldest son lives on the edge of the city.
We had 5 days in Dublin, it was bitterly cold, but dry, none of the expected snow, Richard took Friday  and Monday off work and had planned some wonderful trips, photo's will be in the next post.
I love to get tree ornaments on our travels, I have said before our tree is our family history, it is very popular to get the decorations on which names can be added, so we got a large family one with all our grand sons on. Plus I thought it would be nice to have the Irish Christmas greeting on our tree.
The top ornament was unexpected, daughter Su had 4 made for grandparents and their tree, a perfect item for Will's first Christmas. We all have had them early so we can get a few extra days viewing before we pack Christmas away.
In Dublin, on almost every corner there is a Butlers cafe, they make the most wonderful hot chocolate drinks, we had one each day as a special treat, and I brought some home for next week as visitors arrive.
We have no snow here, we almost always miss the snow falls, but as with everywhere else it is very cold, I have to pop out this afternoon, but before that I have Will for a couple of hours.

Monday 4 December 2017

Play day

This hat has been used by all our grandsons
It did get a bit too much
Our tree survived 
Festive drinks
Cake finished
We had Will all day, he has been away at Grandma's and Grandpa's house, so it's the first time is over  a week. He looks so much taller, plus he now has four teeth, not that mummy and daddy realised the top two were coming through. He loved my Christmas hat, purchased at Disney Land Paris, many, many years ago, I have a photo of Josh wearing it on his 1st Christmas, Josh is now 12.
Will loved the two new toys and played on the floor most of the day, our singing Santa on the motorbike went down well, I had to play the video from my phone to him as he went wild for the model.
Our tree survived, in fact once he had crawled past it a couple of times to get to the window to the garden, he was very good, he also loved the wobbly Santa we have, which he could play with.
I have a new table decoration (well new to me), our local community center had their Christmas Fare on Saturday, so we popped along, the pot with lights was just £6 and perfect for our table. Hubby also won a bottle of wine, the tickets cost us £1 each, we both had a go, but I was unlucky.
I have started drinking my spice berry cordial, I love the taste, it's like mulled wine, without the wine, very festive.
I put a notice on our local facebook page asking for anyone who makes cake toppers, had a few recommendations for one lady, the snowmen were a good price and a perfect finish for my cake.
PS I've got my Christmas header again this month.

Saturday 2 December 2017


This came yesterday
 Along with book 7
 Pure pleasure
When you import as a photo, the video does not play
My neighbour across the road, Chris has hearing problems, she is very good at lip reading and unless you are told you would not notice. For the past year she has been learning to sign, something I would love to do, so I got this book, with the hope of joining her class in the new year. If I can't get into the classes I will teach myself.
My blog book for 2016 came, the task of importing by hand was not as bad as I feared, once I had established a system, it all became much quicker. Purchased on Black Friday with a 50% discount, with postage I paid just under £40.00,  I can still use better quality pages and finishes and pay much less.
Our friends came over yesterday after school with their children, Jack 2 and Maddie 5, they came to see our decorations, poor mum could not relax, as most of the decorations on our tree are glass, so I ensure both children checked everything on our tree, their faces were full of wonder, it was a lovely moment. Santa on the motorbike was a huge hit, as was another Santa I have who sings and wobbles about.
Later we went to our village for the switching on of the lights, local schools sang for us, it was very cold but really enjoyable. Our main street is only small (we are close to Cities,
Portsmouth and Southampton), and the locals have to raise the monies themselves for any festive.


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