Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Tuesday 31 October 2017

October gone

I came in just under budget, but spent more than predicted
the purchase of the walking foot was not budgeted at all. 
As yet I have not found the Christmas fabrics I am searching for, I still have a couple of places to pop to, I really do not want to take a chance on the net and end up with the wrong weight of cotton. 
I have portioned the leftovers from Sunday lunch, the beef was on discount for the larger pieces, so we purchased knowing we would have loads left over.
Monday's tea, beef roast, plus a bowl for Will who was on another sleepover.
 The turkey and stuffing are in the fridge, enough to make pie, 
again I will add cranberry sauce and palma ham. 
The beef will be used this week for meals. 
 Turkey carcass and left over veg, once the meat came away from the bones, I added the veg, warmed everything through and blended it. I am fussy with what veg I eat, but adding it to a soup, mixes the taste and I get to eat everything. 
 Four huge pots of good thick soup, which is perfect this week as our temperatures are dropping. These four cups will make three lunches for hubby and I. 
We are on a mission to clear the fridge this week, we have enough to ensure we should not require a big shop, hubby will make bread today.
Will had a good sleep over, we were up at six, bit earlier than normal, I put him in his travel cot whilst I had my shower and he is taking a nap, not sure how long he will be down, our sitting room looks like a toy shop, we have the morning to play together, then he is out with mummy to another baby playtime.
I have finished reading Dead Woman Walking, Sharon Bolton, she is a master of leading you wrong and then when she revels the true plot, it was there all along. I could not put the book down, hubby is now reading it. I am also reading letters from Father Christmas, J R R Tolkien, a dip into a long gone world of childhood in the 30's and 40's. It is the publication of letters to his children, I can dip into it as and when I want.
Whilst I was feeling under the weather, my steps dropped and honestly I was not too bothered, but yesterday I got to my target, so the plan will be a couple of walks today. These cold sunny crisp mornings are great time for walks.

Sunday 29 October 2017

In the greenhouse

Free plants,

 I have 12 violets grown from roots taken from a huge plant in my garden, I want to plant these all along the front of my side garden, so they hang over the raised bed. Soon I will pot these on, to stay in the greenhouse all winter. I will then get another 12 root cutting to grow for my sister. 
 This is my Kiwi plant, grown from a seed, 
it took three attempts, bit it is now a nice size. 
 I was given this walnut tree and a small plant, it has tripled in size. 
 Not a free plant but a reduced daisy I purchased last month, it will stay in the greenhouse over winter, I have the perfect spot for it next spring. 
I love my nasties, I made a few mixed pots this summer, but again these will winter in the dry, they do not mind the cold, but hate to be cold and wet. 
 Geraniums, loads of different ones,
 in the spring I will take cutting to make more plants.  
 A close up of our back fence by my greenhouse, so full of colour, not alot grows here, my neighbour has four trees all in his back 9 foot of garden, they make a lovely backdrop for our garden, but stops most things growing. The table and chairs make a great workbench for me, when I am not sipping my tea. 
I am not planning to heat my greenhouse, I have a big plastic propagator, which I have placed on the raised bed inside, and a few of the delicate plants sit in it, when the real cold weather comers I can close the top to give extra protection. My citrus and olive plants both do well inside away from the frost.
It has been much cooler today, on my walk this morning the air had a bit of a chill, I do love cold sunny days.
We had a family lunch this afternoon, Will, mummy and daddy, plus daddies parents, we had been looking for a nice pub, but all the good ones were very busy, so we decided to eat at home and allow Will plenty of play area. We had our second turkey dinner, plus roast beef, Grandma and grandpa brought the desserts, rhubarb crumble, lemon meringue, so a huge lovely meal was had by all.
Will has been a bit out of sorts, we thing the clocks going back last night threw his routine, he has been tired most of the day.
We have a quiet night in together, and a lazy day tomorrow, we have so much leftovers we won't need to cook. I will be having Will again tomorrow, I do love our days together.
I have not done any more to the quilt, I hope to finish it this week, and then stitch the reading wigwam.

Saturday 28 October 2017


Hubby got me two books 
 and a lovely plant
 I required a walking foot for quilting
 Daughter got me this book 
 It will last five years and has a different question for each day
I love this, she has a copy as well, and we are filling in each day
it's something to look back on. 
Hubby has been home all week, the plan was to have a few days out, but me feeling under the weather stopped any chance of going out, not that I am bothered I like being at home, I can always find something to do, plus hubby got a relaxing week off. I am feeling much better, still not quite right, but much better.
Friday we needed to pop to town, I wanted a walking foot for my sewing machine to stitch my thicker layers together, I had seen one on Amazon, but did not want to wait for it to arrive. Popped to two shops, got the foot in the second shop for £35, which was more than I expected, but £10 cheaper than the first shop. I also got some thread, all the cost have been added to my stash list.
We wanted to get Major Peake's book, Ask an Astronaut, and after hearing him on the radio saying all the profits made go to charity, we decided to buy it, with so many grand sons it's a perfect book to have. Hubby saw the new Sharon Bolton book, Dead Woman Walking and got it for me (he loves to read her as well), he also got a couple of books for him. I have already started reading the book.
He also purchased the lovely plant at £7 and in a nice ceramic pot, it amazes me how anyone makes a profit, it should flower up to and beyond Christmas.
Friday afternoon I spend time in the garden, I have cut back all the late raspberries, which is a bit early, but I had a pile of leaves to put on the plot which I mulched with farmyard manure, I cut back all my mints and mulched each section. I have planted more bulbs in my back garden, the clay is much looser and I am hoping they grow. In previous years almost all bulbs I planted have rotted, but I have worked on the soil this year, so fingers crossed. I also planted a bit pot with spring bulbs, so I will see some colour.
Last night we had a meal out with a workmate of hubbies and his wife, she is another gardener, so we enjoyed a nice chat and meal. Hubby does a few hours each week driving for a community mini bus service. 
Today is housework!!!!

Thursday 26 October 2017

Getting there

Will's quilt is coming along, 
I have to stitch all three layers together
the back is just a pale grey. 
It's pinned and ready to go. 
 I am very pleased so far
 Good bargain for card making
I love my light box
Just a small display 
I never decorate for Halloween, but I do like to keep a few sweets in, just in case we get a knock at the door, we always open the door to early callers, which are the children in our street.  I got these squashes because they look pretty, and I will use them in soup, the scary ceramic one in the corner I have had for years and normally sits on my doorstep at this time of year.
My light box I have had for a while and I do change the messages, it a fun thing to have in a dark corner.
We have been shopping today, Lidl firstly, got most of what we needed, plus stuff for a big family lunch on Sunday, then on to Tesco, cheapest place for beef, we also got Bertolli with butter it's only £1.50 again. With Christmas in mind we got a few things, plus 6 bottles of wine with a 25% discount. Our coffee was at full price but we still have a few packs left, so no panic as yet. The sticky back book covers came from there as well, £6 off, less then half price, I have added the £2 to my stash list.
I have done very little this week, still feeling a bit yuck, today has been my best day. I have not picked a book up to read, yesterday was so sunny and warm, but I did not feel up to being in my garden, which is very rare, the fore caste for tomorrow is good, so my plan is to be in the garden in the morning, and sew some more on the quilt in the afternoon. It's nice to be making plans again.
Friday will have to be housework, the place is tidy but could do with a proper clean, and with a houseful on Sunday, it's a must be done task.

Wednesday 25 October 2017

Words or pictures

I recently read this book and then watch the TV adaptation 
Firstly the book, the story being set in the future after humans have almost destroyed our earth, I enjoyed the style of the writing, the main character was believable, the setting against an restrictive life full of rules, fear and her role now within society.  Her memories of her previous life and family, trying to recall and not forget, plus the fear of general life, everyone watching everyone.

The TV adaptation, I found the 10 episodes very good viewing, the story line was very good, a different view of our possible future, they covered all the story plot, adding to the original plot, to ensure the story was told and understood. The last 3 episodes were added to the story, which sat well and gave a view of the larger story, away from the handmaids home.

For me the book won out, at just over 300 pages, it was never going to take 10 hours on film. A couple of main points were left out or twisted for TV, and TV spent far more time on her past life. 

One good point is the ending, it kept within the scope of the book and TV did not change it.

Sunday 22 October 2017

Storm Brian

Garden still looking good
all the wires are protecting my Peony 
which I moved last month to the middle of this garden 
 Our tree is OK, still full of leaves
 Finally Grace has started using her basket again
Changing storage units.
Another very good read

It's sunny here, still very breezy, but dry, hubby has gone on a ride out, and will stay at my brothers tonight and be back home tomorrow, so loads of me time.
Storm Brian in the main has passed, as you can see from the garden photo's we had no issues, having the garage in the garden acts as a wind breaker, protecting most of the garden and greenhouse. I have a few things to do in the garden, cutting back, and a pot of spring bulbs to plant, but not today.
It became cold enough for Grace to start using her basket again, she stops using it in late spring, now we do not have to step over her sleeping on our rug.
Yesterday we walked to the village, I always have a look in the charity shops, we found the bedside drawers for £5, brand new in box never been made up. Perfect for the spare bedroom, the smaller unit there was moved to the corner next to hubby's chair, perfect for him. I love a useful bargain.
I did a final read through and spell check on my 2016 book, it was this time last year I was offered the great discount, if the discount does not show, I will wait until January. I have started working on 2017.
I finished reading Cast Iron in the afternoon, I have a pile of books by my chair waiting to read, but I am going to cross stitch instead, I'm not sure which one I will do, I have 3 which require finishing. This afternoon I will be sewing Will's quilt.
Later this morning I have Will for a couple of hours, mummy and daddy are test driving a new family style car, they do require more boot space for all Will's stuff.

Saturday 21 October 2017


 11.30am Stokes bay
 The Crescent, Stokes Bay

 Boating lake, Stokes Bay
 Looking over to Portsmouth
 The sea wall, Stokes Bay
Towards Portsmouth

Friday I spent the day with a Friend, we normally meet in town, but because she retired on the same day as me, we decided with the extra time we would do something different, I drove to her house. It was very dull on my journey, I stopped to capture the 1st photo, so grey and dull.
We both went for a walk around Stokes Bay, I have not been into the village before,  it is full of naval history, as is most places in this area. The crescent was not as grand as at Bath, but it did look good, with a beautiful park on the other side of the road. Next onto the tidal boating lake, the tide was on it's way in, in the summer it gets very busy.
We walked back to her house which backs onto the waterfront, it was nice to sit on the sea wall in the sunshine watching all the boats and a couple of fishermen. This is just around the corner from Gosport, and across the water from Portsmouth. You can see the Spinnaker Tower in a couple of my photo's.
The wind was blowing as we walked along the coast, but it still felt warm, which is surprising after the rain and wind we had through out early Friday morning.
This morning we have storm Brian, loads of heavy rain showers and very windy, we have planned to do nothing, we will walk to the village, it's just 5 minutes, but the rest of the time we will stay at home, where we are warm and dry.
Our garden is looking very good, we are pleased we cut back our magnolia tree, it is still full of it's huge leaves. A couple of our neighbours trees have been whipped around in the wind, but everything is still standing.

Thursday 19 October 2017

Dull in so many ways

Two fat quarters,
just because I love the colours and designs.
 We always covered our school books with brown paper
mine always had ban the bomb on them. 
 I have just finished this book
I enjoyed the story, very different from my normal read. 
 My Roses
 Will's Quilt
It's such a dull week here, the sun has hardly shown, very grey and cloudy, I have had lights on in the afternoons. Having said that, we missed all of the storms, just had a few windy days and a bit of rain, along with the strange skies.
Daughter took me out on Tuesday just for a couple of hours, we went to a new to me fabric shop, where I got the two fat quarters shown above, lovely colour on a dull day. The cost has been added to my stash list.
I have finished The Handmaid's Tale, interesting book, different from my normal read, I enjoyed it, the plot is a bit like 'Big Brother as in 1984', I am going to watch the TV adaptation over the weekend, it will be interesting to see how they deal with the plot.
I have also started stitching Will's cot quilt, I am working much slower than normal, but I am pleased with it so far, all the extra time I took when cutting it out has ensured all the corners are neat.  I am home alone on Sunday, so the hope is to get it finished, I have every thing I require to make it.
Hubby cooked a lovely Turkey crown as a roast on Tuesday, he always cooks too many veg's, so I blended the leftovers, added the turkey stock and made soup for lunches for two days, it was lovely. With the leftover turkey, I used an oven proof dish, I had a tray of cooked stuffing, so I cut into cubes and mixed with shredded turkey and cranberry sauce. On the top I cut Parma ham into slices, and reheated in the oven, both hubby and I enjoyed our pie, the sauce kept the meat moist, some of the stuffing was soft and other bits we crispy, the ham crisped up. The colours are bland, so it never looks great, but we both love the taste, it is the first time I have added the ham, and will always make it this way. We always have one meal like this after Christmas, we find it's a good way to get rid of leftover turkey.
I am being very good and taking my antibiotics, and starting to feel a bit better, I will do anything to avoid another day like last Sunday. Plus taking things much slower, I will see mummy and Will this afternoon, just a catch up, so loads of cuddles and laughter.

Monday 16 October 2017

A change of plan

This is cake number 2, cooked yesterday
1st cake is cut into, hubby and daughter love fruit cake. 
 I am missing - brilliant book, clever.
A family secret - a light read, won't choose another book from this author. 
 Hubby got me roses on Saturday, half price from the Co-op
 Another gift from hubby
I have wanted this book for ages. 
When I cooked my Christmas cake, I found I had enough ingredients to make another, hubby gave me the big eyes, daughter came to visit and wanted to take some home with her. The first cake overcooked a bit on one side, so I was happy to make this second cake, plus Will tried some of my cake and tried to get more. Our house has smelt of spices for days.
We had Will overnight on Saturday, mummy and daddy had a night out with friends, Will was lovely, he woke up at 11pm when we went to bed, I hoped he would settle, but after giving him a bottle he slept through to 7.30am. We had plenty of play time before mummy came to pick him up. We feel it is very important Will's parents have some fun adult time together and with friends.
Hubby and I went out for a Sunday carvery yesterday, we had a nice meal, but we would not go back again, we are looking for a nice place to go at end of the month with daughter, her hubby David and Will, and David's parents.
We did not get the weekend weather we were promised, it is very mild here, I did nothing in the garden, spent loads of time reading.
I am having a day at home, I was unwell yesterday, enough for me to call our local doctors surgery, which does not have out of hours cover, redirected to NHS 111. I called at 6.45pm and was told a doctor would want to speak to me and would call me back, go to A&E if feeling worse. At 2.30am the controller called to say I was not forgotten, but they were very busy and a doctor would speak to me, I said forget it, I would see my own doctor this morning. If this is our NHS system, I can fully understand why our A&E departments are so stretched, I understand doctors (GP's), need to have time off, but if the system is so broke at local level, how can it catch up, which leads to everyone in A&E. I have always thought those in the medical profession are angels, but those who control the system are devils.

Friday 13 October 2017

Spiced up

I show this each year, 
my typed Christmas cake recipe
used for the last 20+ years. 
 I don't used the orange juice,
I use the zest and juice of 2 oranges and 2 lemons
soaking over night
 I picked this tiny bunch of flowers from the garden
the vase is one from Win's house, her nephew let me choose a few items.
I have loads of flowers still in bloom.
Another good book
Set in Scotland
The house is full of spice, it smells lovely, I love cooking our Christmas cake, it will be in a low heat oven for 5 hours. It's the one cake I always cook myself. I have never looked for another recipe, this one works for me, I always use the juice of orange and lemons, if I'm using the zest, I like to use all of the fruit, the juice does not evaporate when cooking, so the fruit stays moist. Once the cake is cooked I turn off the oven and leave the cake inside until tomorrow morning, allowing it to cool down slowly.
I am sat here disappointed, we were promised a lovely sunny day here, yesterday was sunny but not that warm, I woke up knowing I could be outside today. BUT it's dull wet and not very warm. We have been promised a really good weekend of warm sunny weather.
I have my sewing machine out, I have one quick task to do before stitching Will's quilt together, my mind is full of the reading wigwam, plotting and planning how I am going to make it safe for a little boy. I have a few tricks which should make it work.
Hubby has been sorting our TV box, he has found me loads of TV series which I can watch again as the winter weather arrives, I am not good at sit and do nothing. I have Downton Abbey, Doctor Who, and The Handmaidens Tale, BUT I also have all 16 seasons of ER, with 12 episodes at 45 minutes long, it's alot of TV to watch. I watched every episode, always on the day aired, I loved every thing about this programme, I am looking forward to getting to know them all again. As for George Clooney, he was good looking but I always preferred Anthony Andrews ( Mark Greene).


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