Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Friday 28 February 2020

February catch up

Back to normal spending, most on yarn and glass for my fusion, I had loads of bits but ran out of the circular clear glass I use for the base of my project. Garden was good, but I have seen a pot I want to purchase in March. I spent again less than  Feburary 2019 or 2018, which is pleasing.

Again nothing on clothes, hubby did get me a couple of books, and no cut flowers, my fake tulips purchased last month are keeping colour in the room.

No food waste, we have worked out our portion sizes, and ensure we keep tabs of everything in the fridge to ensure nothing goes off. We now have mainly frozen veg with meals, and use a stew pack for base for homemade soups. We have lost some focus with the plastic, mainly on fruit and veg, but it's top of our list in March. With the closure of our local Co-op where we purchased all our fruit and veg, we are having to changing how we shop.

I am having half price haircuts, my hairdresser is not going back to the saloon after her maternal leave and will pop to my house whenever I need a trim, I have my hair done once a month so savings of £180 per year, £15 each visit, I did think I was saving £10, but the prices in the saloon has gone up by £5.

Its an expensive car month, tax, insurance and MOT, tax is always £30 for the year, insurance went up by £28, but we upgraded our breakdown cover, we plan longer journeys on our short breaks, going to Newcastle in a couple of months. It passed the MOT, the tyres and brakes did not need changing, we only had to replace the wipers on the front.

We are both saving a £1 each on Monday mornings if we have one, this will replace the cashback we were getting each December from our local Co-op. If we save through the year, we could have up to £100.

A pleasing month, the house is warm and dry, the new boiler has made a huge difference, the radiators heat up quicker, and are off more as the house stays warm. The boiler and the new windows last year were very expensive, but to have a warm draft free house is great as we get older.

Thursday 27 February 2020

Here and there

I've managed to plant the head pot, I love the angles of his face. I popped a couple small plants of Japanese blood grass, the new growth will be red and then turn to green. It looks a bit worse for wear, not sure if it's natural die back, or it was doing badly where is was before. I've popped it in the greenhouse to see how it grows. 
 Something is eating my Imperial Fratrillary leaves, I could not see anything on the plant, but I only had a quick look, the weather was looking very over caste again. 
 I've changed my kitchen display for my spring bunch, they do look lovely on the window sill, these were purchased last year. This very old jug has a crack so I can't keep water in it, silk flowers work well. 
I enjoyed this book, it's a very light read and the pages turn very quickly, I loved the plot and how it all came together in the end. I say the end, I felt the the story could have gone on longer, left me thinking how it should end.
Another good read, I again could not put this book down, I was not sure if I would read it, the plot looked good, but the reviews made me think it might be too close to a horror, but it was a great thriller. This being book 13 for 2020.
Monday, Will wanted to go shopping with mummy, so plans were changed and we had George for the day, very different from having his big brother. It was another wet and windy day, so we did not go outside at all. Whilst George had his naps, I did some reading, later in the evening I managed to get loads of knitting done and finished my 1st sock, with red toes. Hubby made a lovely slow cooker meal, the house was full of spices all day, plus we had enough for a 2nd meal each.
Tuesday I did not meet the ladies for coffee, instead hubby and I went to town, he needed to pay in a cheque he received for doing online surveys, I do a couple when asked, he does loads and enjoys them, with the bonus of payment. I did pop into a few shops, there was nothing I needed, but just a few things I liked. Sadly already loads of shops have closed and a few more are on closing down sales, we did have a look, but purchased nothing, soon the town center will have as many closed shops as trading ones. The heavy rain returned in the afternoon and evening, so loads of reading time.
Monday night the winds dropped to their lowest level for weeks, it felt really calm, and a surprise to wake up to blue skies on Tuesday morning, still really cold. Neither lasted for long, but it was a nice break from stormy weather.
Wednesday was another sunny morning, very, very cold, I did manage an hour in the garden, I got everything done, moved a few pots around. Later I walked to library and looked at our local market, the village was not as busy as normal, not sure if it's the weather keeping people inside. We did have a huge hail storm, but the blue skies returned, I wrapped our Olive tree, March is always very cold and we do have a weather warning for ice and snow, its better to be safe.
This morning it's bright, but wet again, my heart goes out to everyone struggling with the floods, I can't imagine having dirty water through our home, our weather in the world this year has been crazy horrible.

Monday 24 February 2020

What to do

We had the boys on Saturday all day, it was fun, Will got some time outside with Grancha, it dried up early afternoon. I forgot to bring Georges mosses basket, so we blew up the single bed and placed it in the dining room end, Will loved it, and George was able to watch us on times he was not being cuddled. It was a fun day, Will behaved so very good, I don't think he has taken his police officer uniform off since his birthday. 
Knitting, the weather outside is still stormy, the rain has eased to light rain, but still most of the day, the winds are still much stronger than normal, so inside hobbies. 
 I am rather pleased with this sock, I love the colours, and whilst they are colourful, they are not too bright, the toe will be red, unless I change my mind and knit them grey. These will be my 2nd pair of Christmas socks, I am getting well ahead this year, but I have plenty to make. 
My pineapple on this plant is ripening, it is tiny, I am surprised it has ripened, but the radiator under my desk keeps it warm. I have cut the tips of the leaves off, they were going brown. I am aware the plant will die once the pineapple is ready. I purchased it back in September, it's fun to watch it grow.
 I have 5 small plants growing from the bottom, so I will repot them in the greenhouse, I can't decide if I should put them in 1 big pot or individually in 5 pots, they will have to come back inside, they need the warmth.  
I have not done anymore knitting to my cardigan, or sewn my rabbit together, we are having issues with our neighbours over trying to get the fence repaired, it was expected they would kick off, but the devious way she did, was nasty, again police involved, it's so sad when people can be so horrible, we only want to repair a fence so we can't see into each others gardens. So simple knitting for now, I've not started reading my latest book.
Sunday I cleaned the house, top to bottom as my mum would say, it was really dusty, but I had not given it a good clean for a while. I managed a small time in the greenhouse, got a few things done, to wet to be in the garden.
Today it's Monday and Will is coming over, we love having here with us, gives mummy time to get loads done, he is very happy to be with us, it's a shame we had to work for so many years, it would have been nice to have this much time with our other grandsons in their early years.

Sunday 23 February 2020


Locally, in our nearest small town, there are 5 shops all due to close soon, M&S moved out last year and now branded store are following, each store has a much bigger store at an out of town retail park. The store which took the M&S site has also gone into administration, and they will close soon, so many changes, we already have loads of coffee shops and bistro's, but how will they survive if the shoppers don't visit. We have had 2 good reports on Fareham, last year it was the top place to retire to, and Halifax had it 2nd on their list as a good place to live, our council has been very good and we still have more services than most small towns.

Here, in our tiny village, our Co-op has closed, so the loss of the lottery, cash machine and the food sales, we use this store loads each week.We have been told our local paper shop, part of a chain is closing in the summer, this is not a surprise as the shelves are always empty in here, but the post office is part of the shop, so it will close, along with the lottery machine and another cash machine.
Now I have received a letter from our only bank, Lloyd's they are to close in August and the loss of the final cash machine.

We still have an Iceland, Superdrug, bakers and butchers, although we do not use the butchers his meat is not good and very overpriced, the baker is wanting to retire and has tried to sell the business, if foot fall drops we fear he may just close the shop. We do have a market here every Wednesday, which always bring people in, but is it enough. Our library has a good footfall, which has saved it from closing, but we do need a boost of income here in our local centre.

There is loads of chatter on our local facebook page, one of our ward councillors is brilliant, he is meeting with the bank, they made their decision last year, before all the other closures were known, not sure what he can do, but it's good he is trying. Not too far away is the village of Stubbington, which has a busy shopping centre, lots of useful shops and cafes, so villages can be profitable, lets hope something can be done for us, enough people are wanting to voice concerns and help.

There is another smaller Co-op with a post office, Lottery and cash machine in walking distance but it's away from the Prescient, we do need to keep people visiting the shopping prescient. Last year a small retail park opened near the huge Tesco superstore, which is not to far away, plus the big retail park  a few miles away, neither of our local high streets can compete with them.

Everywhere changes, but to lose so much in one year, it is sad, we have a huge older population, people over 80, loads who do not drive. We loved moving here to a feel of a village, but we now watch to see how we survive.

Saturday 22 February 2020

Potty plans

It's not Mothering Sunday for a few weeks, but I fell in love with this pot from Asda, and hubby purchased it for me as a gift, at 12" high it's not huge, I love these head pots, but so often they are so expensive, this is plastic (I know), but it will last for years. I have the perfect plant to go in it already in the garden, where it is planted it's not thriving and is lost within other plants. 
 This is for my back garden, in the corner where I have planted a pale pink Peony, this is a late summer plant, so will look good as the Peony is going over. 
I have seen these planters, I have my Olive tree in a huge round grey one, I plan to purchase one for the decking, I have lemongrass and lemon balm to go in it. I will get a grey one, but could only find the green ones shown online. 
I will sort pots out in March, it's a bit early to do them in February, I will also need another bag of compost. I try and pop out in the garden between the rain storms, but the ground is just so wet. I have popped more snowdrops in the ground, I can purchase them from our local Wednesday market, they are sold in the green, so the bulb is growing with leaves and flower, I find in my heavy clay soil they have a better chance of surviving.
Thank you for your comments, so many of us are making garden plans, it's that time of year, when hope appears and spring follows.
The tin of paint arrived Wednesday, so hubby finished painting the last wall on Thursday afternoon, it's great everywhere is finished. I had a long lazy afternoon doing my nails, he did not want any help, by evening time everything was back in place and looking tidy. He has also replaced the cut tiles around the boiler in the kitchen, luckily we had some spares. So no major work for the rest of this year. We do need to build our savings again, but we are snug and warm, so we did spend well.
I finished The Librarian of Auschwitz, a good read, I can't imagine anyone being so cruel to another person for any reason, life in the camps was unbearable, and my sadness is in our world, we still have so many issues against religion, ethnics, and anyone who is different. Sadly people do not learn from the past, and some of those with the power, use it in ways that disgust the majority of us. I am just starting The Family Upstairs, by Lisa Jewell, I have knitting to and craft to show, which will be in my next post.
Today we have Will and George, so mummy and daddy can have a relaxing day together, they are going to watch a film, have a nice lunch out, I feel it's so important to allow them time to be a couple, parenthood is just so demanding. I was lucky once our girls were school age my mum had them often in the school holidays, my daughter has wonderful memories of time with her nan.

Thursday 20 February 2020

New start

I have loads of knitting to do, so why then have I started another pair of socks. Red and slate grey, these are men's sized and will be another Christmas gift, I don't need a pattern any more so they are for me simple to knit. 
 I have started reading this book recommended to me, I've not found it a great start, but I am starting to 'enjoy' it. Can you enjoy a story like this, it's a good read. 
 Checking in the greenhouse, 
no storm damage done to structure, all glass panels still secure. 
Most of my plants in the dry river bed are looking good, I have one which needs protection, it looks as if water has been dripping on it, not good, but it's still alive, so there is hope. 
So many flowers on this plant. 
My chicken will go back outside once summer is here. 
 The huge bulb in the center has shot up, this pot is at the back of the garden, soon I will move it to the front, so we can see the progress of the plants. I won't move it until after the high winds drop, I don't want the plant to be damaged, in this spot it's sheltered. 
The weather has forced us to be inside far more than normal, I do manage a walk around the garden, and short time in the greenhouse. We do love to sit inside in the warm and dry and look out on our garden, we feed birds, so there is always something to watch. I also manage to do loads of crafting and reading, I really can't sit and do nothing.
I make loads of mental notes at this time of year, looking for bare patches, I have already dug out an old holly and rose bush, and replaced with a Peony, I would like some more snowdrops, after saying they had not come back, I now notice some growing, they are just later to shoot and flower.
My herb garden is not as productive as I would like, I'm not going to change it, I love seeing the herbs, the design has loads of slate around the plants, and I could plant more herbs, but I do like the space between the plants, I think I need to replace a couple of aging plants.
I am truly pleased with my fruit pots, I had a decent harvest last year, I have loads of small pots dotted in this area with spring bulbs in, later I will put out my decorations, animals ect.
I was pleased with my side bed last year, I am hoping I will just have a few gaps to fill in the summer.
The big raised bed infront of the greenhouse has not been changed, just as I planned to lower the height, I noticed the bulbs showing so it has been left, I will fill it with colour, I have some Dahlias to plant.
I only have 3 small pots at the side of the house to fill, they have winter pansies in at the moment, and they still look good. Soon I will start the marigold seeds for the old strawberry tubs, I always grow them from seed, I will also sow parsley and coriander seeds.

Tuesday 18 February 2020


Today is Will's 3rd birthday, how quickly did those years pass, we popped over for cake on Monday evening, as Will was at nursery all day Tuesday. Mummy and daddy took him to the Science exhibition at Winchester, for the day, which he loved. They had lunch out and back home to open presents, he loved the police outfit and kept it on for the rest of the day. We all loved his cake, it was fire themed, he loved Fireman Sam as well.
George is growing so fast, he is 12 weeks old, he still looks very small, most people think he is only a month old, we had loads of cuddles and smiles from him.
It was a perfect finish to a busy day, we did some shopping at B&Q and home bargains, it was good to get out of the house, hubby was needing to go out, he had been decorating last week and then the wet weekend kept him inside. The decorating is not finished we ran out of paint, it's not sold any more in store, we did purchase it 2 years ago, but hubby found some online so it should be delivered this week, just 1 wall to finish.
Today I am having coffee with the sign ladies, it's in our neighbour Chris's house, which is just across the road, so no driving.

Monday 17 February 2020

In bits

This is Tilly, I managed to finish all her body over the weekend, I used Ecru shade, and pink ears. She was easy to knit, but I did struggle with the instructions in a few places. 
 I love the long legs, the feet was a struggle with the pattern instructions, but I got there in the end, I did think of an easier way to knit them, but stayed with the pattern. There is loads of sewing up to do, but I find I am enjoying sew things together. 
 These are my 1st Christmas gift finished, I love the shades of blue, I will start another pair soon. This being my 2nd finish this year. 
 I do like this colour Amaryllis bloom, but in truth I think I prefer the pink flecked ones better, this will last for another week. 
 The buds on the 1st stem are dying, these blooms are now all from the 2nd stem, still no leaves. 
It's been a weekend for staying inside, it's just far too wet to be outside much, we did get a walk on Sunday, just to the Co-op for a sweet potato for tea, I have been very busy knitting, reading and drinking coffee. I am happy to be inside, and don't often suffer from cabin fever.
Our garden is OK after most of the storm, we are due high winds all day and some rain, so it's not over yet, but the worse has passed. The fence is wrecked at the bottom of the garden, we are hoping the rest will break, then we will have a new fence put in, which we will pay for, therefore having a strong fence rather than the cheapest, which is always our neighbours choice, normally we pay half each, which in the 10 years we have been here we have replaced 3 times.
Chris from Gully Grove  asked why do we name our storms, as in Australia they only name cyclones, it's a practice we have on done in the last couple of years, not all storms are named, just the ones which will  cause damage, often these named storms come with warnings for wind, rain and flooding. Our weather here in UK, is much calmer than other countries, but these named storms can leave loads of damage in their wake, but thankfully rarely loss of life. So many homes are flooded around the country, in Yorkshire their highest tide should be this lunchtime, so many are not safe yet. Again we are thankful we are not in a flood areas, and have not seen any local fallen trees, I tried imagining losing everything on our ground floor, and it's just too huge to comprehend.

Saturday 15 February 2020

Hunker down.

10th book this year, I really could not put it down, it has been recommended by loads of people, and I totally agree with them, a brilliant read. 
 I am at the toe shaping of my 1st pair of Christmas socks, these are for a size 11 feet, I love the colours, I am making striped socks this year.

 My cardigan is growing, I am working on the length, but I have also done loads on the sleeves, soon I will try it on and work out the final lengths, I always make the sleeves shorter to match my short arm length, making a knit down garment helps me get it perfectly right.

 I hope to make a start on Tilly soon, I am making her for a raffle prize at Easter, I will make her body 1st, I am using Drops cotton 4ply, I also hope to make a second set of clothes for a male rabbit, so suitable for a boy or girl. I am also making another small baby ripple blanket, so busy time. 
Love these knitted animals, 
they have a modern feel to them.
Friday was fun, we all met for coffee and a chat, afterwards I went to daughters house, my friend Shelia came as well, she had gifts for Will's coming birthday, which he opened, loads of musical instruments, we had fun singing and playing. Then my darling grandson did the toddler thing and changed from the little angle to a little devil, in a bat of an eyelid. Shelia and I popped out for lunch together before I returned to daughters house, Will was still having his terrible two's, but was better, I had a chat with daughter and cuddles and smiles with George. Later at home hubby cooked a nice steak meal with wine (no diet on Valentines day).
Today was a dry when I got up late at 10am, we walked to the local shops and then home for the rest of the day. Now the rain  is hammering down, with the wind so strong, we have no plans to go outside for the next couple of days. Plenty of reading and craft time.
We do realise we are truly lucky, we do live near the coast, but it's an inlet  by Portsmouth harbour and Gosport waterfront, any high tides and flooding never come close to our home, we get protection from the Isle of Wright. I hope you all stay warm and dry over this stormy weekend.

Friday 14 February 2020

Before Dennis

Spring is everywhere in the garden

  This pot was re-planted last September

 Tulip buds in February.
  Our Magnolia tree has buds of pink forming. 
I purchased loads of snowdrops in the green last year, in hope they would survive in our clay soil, few have come back, so these are for a pot, looks as if it's the only way I can grow them. 
Another new bulb for this year, just peaking from the center of the pot, Fritillaria Imperialis, it grows huge and has a multi head flower, can't wait to see it in bloom. This pot was planted last September, I noticed when I checked the post, I had some other different for me bulbs, I can't remember where I planted them, so looks as if I will soon be having some surprises.         
I have finished reading this book, I really enjoyed the plot, cleverly written, I have enjoyed other books by Peter May. This being the 9th book I have read this year. 
Hubby has finished most of the painting, just a bit to do in our sitting room, he is still feeling well, hope we have buried the jinx with decorating. I have been able to steam clean all the wooden floors before moving all the units back into the dining room, I still have items to go back inside, but no rush. We are spending time inside, it's been very windy all week, we did have a long walk back from the garage on Wednesday, our car was due it's MOT and service, hubby caught the bus back to pick it up, he has a free bus pass.
I have been knitting, both socks and my cardigan, and plotting to start another baby ripple blanket with yarn I already have, and a toy rabbit, with cotton yarn I purchased this month.
Today hubby will finish up inside with the paint, I am out for lunch it's a friends birthday, so about 8 of us are meeting just outside of town, in a nice garden center with a good cafe. I will pop and see mummy, Will and George after, just to check everything is OK in their happy home.
We are just waiting for the full force of Storm Dennis to arrive this weekend, again more high winds and rain, we are lucky, no snow as yet, but the wind chill makes it feel very cold outside.

Monday 10 February 2020

Ciara has arrived.

Saturday was a beautiful day, it did get breezy later in the afternoon, but the blue skies stayed and it felt spring like, it was not as cold as it has been. 
 24 hours later, high winds and loads of rain, storm Ciara has arrived, no overnight damage to our garden, what a difference, today feels cold. We have lost fence panels along the horrible neighbours side, which will be fun to get replaced. Locally we are not aware of any trees down. 
 Purdy spends most of her time outside, on days like these, 
she sits at the patio door looking out. 
 Grace has the right idea,
warm and dry under the radiator.
 I spent Saturday emptying all the cabinets in the dining room and packing everything small which can be moved into our spare bedroom, hubby wants to finish the decorating. If you remember he started back in 2018, did all upstairs, the hall, spare room and bathroom, he was ready to start our living areas, when he was taken ill and went to hospital for his heart operation. In August 2019, we decided to finish downstairs, I emptied the 2 rooms, the next day he was unwell and again ended in hospital, having a smaller operation. So with a warning to him 'don't get ill' we are hoping to finish the decorating. None of it is hard, when we moved in 10 years ago, we had all the walls and ceilings plastered smooth, and then painted, all the wood on the door frames and skirting boards were stripped, so they only require a rub down before painting.
Sunday was a lazy day, just too wet and windy to go out, I did finish one sock and stitched in all the ends from the stripes, my wool order came on Saturday, so I did more knitting on my cardigan, it does grow very quickly. Later we moved the units to the middle of the dining room.
Today has started sunny and windy, but it won't last. I am out, hubby prefers it, he likes to get on with the decorating alone.  So this morning I'm going to a coffee morning with daughter, Will and George, I was due to have lunch with friends, but one lady needed to travel by ferry, not a good idea in this weather, so we will re-book. I will probably spend more time with boys and daughter.


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