Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Friday 31 July 2020

July round up

Another expensive month, the shelves in the greenhouse were an extravagance shown 1st on the list above, and then purchasing the slate and a few other things for the garden. Purchasing locally is more expensive, I have also purchased seeds, which is much earlier than normal, but I do feel this virus is going to come back all through the coming months, and my garden has been such a help to both of us, so I am ensuring I have most of what I want. This has been the most expensive garden month since I started my stash list, oops!!

Not spent anything on yarn or fabric, and no clothes, I was in conversation with the company who sent me sunglasses instead of shoes, they have offered me a part refund, and then stopped talking to me. Sadly I have been reading online of the scam on Clark's shoes, loads of people have been sent scarfs and other things instead of their order. They stole all Clark's marketing to ensure the sites looked correct, Oh well expensive lesson learn't. 

We again have spent more this month on food, we are still keeping stocks high, which now gives us the added task of checking dates and ensuring we use the items in the correct rotation, it's so easy to lose focus and then find things out of date. We do not stick to the dates on fresh food, using our nose to check items, as most things will last past their use by/good before dates, but we are managing with fluid menus. We are now harvesting fruit and salad items for us, not huge amounts but enough for us to enjoy. 

We did fill the car twice with fuel, having had a trip back home to Somerset, but the cost of petrol remains low, we should not require another fill up for weeks. 

Hubby has finally managed to cancel our Virgin Internet package, we had wanted to change in February, but found we were in a contract, unknown to us, when they sent us a replacement router last August, they started a new year's contract, it's their standard practice when replacing items, even like ours when the equipment was faulty, they did not need to tell us, it was in the contract we signed years ago. We have halved our monthly bill to £25, which is a great saving, but more importantly we are not part of their contract, where everything is loaded towards them. 

Thursday 30 July 2020

As July fades

I have cast on another pair of socks, these being shades of grey, not exciting, but the person who will receive them will love the shades. 
Book 56 read this year, 
I really must find a different type of book to read,
 I am fed up with murders. 
I was laughing at the radio interview with Jenny Eclair in the week, and said this book sounds brilliant, my lovely husband went online and got it for me. It will be good to hold a book again. 
I started some forget me nots a while ago, I pricked some out into this tray, I would like some dotted around the garden next spring. Soon it will be time to sow my winter pansies. 
Our Olive tree is full of tiny Olives, I did cut it back in mid June, so I am pleased to have such a great harvest, these won't be ready until next summer. My smaller Olive plant is doing well, we damaged the roots back in May 2019, I cut the plant right back, now it is healthy again and I need to decide if I am going to keep it or sell it. 
George came to visit whilst Will was at pre-school, he is the happiest baby ever and loves cuddles with his Grancha, he is 8 months old now. They were taking selfies together, George like Will loves any phone. 
It has been a very mixed week so far, we have stayed at home after our trip away, giving us time to ensure we did not bring any virus back from Somerset, having said that our families are still all well, daughter came over on Tuesday which was unexpected but lovely, she is such a support to both of us.

It's scary how the infections are rising around Europe again, when people travel they take the virus with them, I can't even think of using public transport of any type. As for holiday accommodation, I would need to clean the whole area before I could use it, sorry to everyone who has lovely places to stay, I know my fear is overboard, but this hidden virus is unlike anything we have ever known. 

I still have to finish the arm and neck bands on my orange summer top, I have stalled with this project, I have been trying to see if I can get some more of the yarn, most places have sold out,  I have been given some bright orange in the same brand so I can add a stripe and make the pattern as it was designed, or I can completely change the bands, I just can't decide at this moment. I would like another yarn project, knitting or crochet, something big, but I don't need any knitted jumpers or cardi's and I don't want to make any more blankets. 

I do have some sewing to do, and plan a machine day. Rachel from Eternally28 on her Instagram account showed photo's of her working on her sewn hexagons, I've not touched mine for a couple of years, I have loads made, they just need to be stitched together, at least I have been thinking about them, but sadly not pulled them out yet. 

Boredom has been a huge problem, wet days inside aren't good for me, I am restless, nothing is catching my imagination and again I am over thinking everything. We both love these few bright sunny days, we are having a typical English summer this year, a good mixture of wet and dry days, which is great for the garden, it also helps in our garden, the wet cooler days keep all smells and flies from next door to a low level. 

Monday 27 July 2020

Blooming marvelous

This is stunning, sad to see the bloom broken,
 I found a few on the ground, it has been very windy again. 

In the greenhouse. 

New plants
Fruit crumble anyone? 

I have done very little for the past few days, I picked up a tummy bug, and have been feeling yucky for days, hubby has looked after me, as he always does, trying to tempt me with food and loads of drinks. 
Yesterday I managed a walk around my garden and greenhouse, it rained in the morning but cleared into a nice but windy day. By tea time I needed to get out of the house, so the garden called. I even did a bit of dead heading.
In these strange times I found it difficult to be ill, I was over thinking everything, no I didn't have a cough or temperature, but I was unwell and I have been away from home. How did I feel, should I call the doctors and seek a test, we did decide to stay at home with no visitors, and not seek any test. But it is difficult, we are both at an age where we would not want the virus, but just because we don't want it, does not mean we can't get it. We have no plans for this week, stay at home together, I am now sure it was just a bug. On the positive side I have lost 3 pounds in weight, which is great as my weight loss had stalled. The bruises from my tumble last week have changed from blue and purple down to yellow and are almost gone. So this morning I am hoping I'm back to my normal self, that's not to say I think I am normal, in truth I'm not sure what normal is. 

Saturday 25 July 2020

It's a wrap

No it's a lap blanket, but it is finished.
I'm teasing you now, the edging is my 3rd attempt, I just could not get the balance right, the colour was perfect but the design did not sit right. All I have done here is single crochet, as suggested by my niece, she said to do rows until it felt right, I stopped at 3 rows. 
Lovely neat boxes, Tunisian crochet looks like knitting, but as you make a colour square at a time, there are no huge rows to knit. 
I have not blocked it as yet. 

Back as a whole
Left over yarns
Enough to make me a bright summer top.
I used 4ply yarn, the plans shades were Drops Baby Merino, but I added some hand dyed yarn from Burrow and Soar just to lift the colours, all the colours and placements were my own design. 
I really enjoyed making this smaller blanket, using a new to me stitch, it's going to be my warm comfort blanket this winter, I don't need a blanket here as we have stopped most of the draughs, but it's lovely to be able to snuggle. 
The hardest part now is to pack it away, it's too beautiful to hide. I started making this in April, alongside knitting other things, so I pleased to have it finished. 
For details I did 20 squares wide and 33 squares long, each one is almost 2" (4.5cms) square, perfect for me. I always use 4ply on all my crochet and knitting, I just love the weight of the yarn, I do not use cheap yarn, and keep the sheep's wool to a low % as I have difficulties with the lanolin in the fleece, I find baby yarn great for me. 
Now to finish my cotton top, I only have the arm and neck bands to do. 

Thursday 23 July 2020

Back home

Just a simple pack of seeds, but I have had so much trouble obtaining these, can't get them or any plants locally, I have a tall pot in the middle back of my herb garden, and I want it full of these daisies. I finally got these on line, after first checking they came in this packet and not sent from China. 
We have new growth on our passion flower, these are tough fast growing plants, we have a couple of months for it to grow, which should allow a few flowers next year, flowers grow on second year and older stems. The clematis is still dormant, I will leave it until next spring, give it a chance to come back. 
Hubby having the best of times.
Blackberries in July.
I have done loads of reading, I did not read The Infirmary, it was a prequel to another murder, and I don't enjoy when story lines go out of sequence, this makes 55 books read this year. I am not going to read anymore of these books. 
We had a brilliant couple of days in Somerset, seeing both Logan and Finn, mummy and daddy was great, we did keep our distance, but might have had a quick cuddle, our boys have grown so much. We spent one day with my brother, sister  and her partner, outside in my sisters lovely garden most of the day, chatting, doing normal things, later we popped to the village pub for a burger, again sat outside, social distancing is so normal to us now. The last day we drove to Castle Combe race circuit, where hubby drove an e type Jag, it was a birthday gift from his children, his birthday was last September, he loved driving this iconic car. 
I found the few days away very uplifting, as I have said before simple normal things make me happy. 
Last night I gave the garden a good watering, this morning we have picked more tomatoes, there is a cucumber which will be ready for  the weekend, we have started to pick ripe blackberries in July, as a child we always had blackberries in September. 

Tuesday 21 July 2020

What's growing

The greenhouse is full of cuttings, most are doing well, most of these are salvia's of different colours, I also have a couple lavender and honeysuckle, plus a passion flower which rooted in the garden. 
I am following Monty's advice here and have softwood cutting in Perlite, held in a tray of rainwater. I have a couple of Hydrangeas, a Clematis, a Rose, and a few smaller cutting in the round pot, they have been here for a few weeks and none have died. 
Will loves my string of pearls, 
so I have popped a few in this little pot, just for him
My Amaryllis seeds at the back are strong, I do have a few of these potted up, 
and at the front is one of the pineapple babies again looking good. 
Another Coleus cutting rooted, I have planted in a pot, it will live on outside table, hubby love these colouful plants.  

This lovely looking succulent has taken weeks for this flower shoot to form and it has been promising to bloom for the past week, I do hope it will be worth the wait. 

We are away for a few days, back home in Somerset, staying with my brother, everyone here is good, we have visited family, staying most of the time outside keeping our distance. We have no desire to book a short break away, not wanting to stay in holiday accommodation, but we do have the need to catch up with family.  
We even managed a pint in our local village pub beer garden, just sat outside chatting and catching up, no days out, just family and resting, back home tomorrow. 

Sunday 19 July 2020

Looking for the positives

I have finally decided to plant up this jar, it has cleaned up well and is looking good, I only had to purchase the grit for this project, I have everything else. 
I had one back in 70's, which I loved and grew indoor green plants, for ages I could not decide what to put in it, but it is no surprise I have a cactus and some succulent cuttings, I hope I can thin out the succulents as they grow and keep this jar looking good. 
My little lemon clematis is doing well, I have my 1st new bud on it, I cut the buds and flowers off when I planted it to allow the plant time to settle in it's new pot. I am keeping this plant on the greenhouse floor in semi shade, just to allow it to gain strength. 
I've not shown the garden for a while, most of it is looking good, I do prefer this view without the arch at the back, I still have my fruit net cage up, I have collected more blueberries, but their are still loads to come. 
This side bed is looking much better, loads more colour, the cosmos are huge this year, and I am loving the salvia hot lips around my one rose bush, I hope to be able to plant some around the 2nd rose bush. I have a few cutting in my greenhouse to plant next spring, and I will grow my own bedding plants. 
We have had a few lazy days, hubby had to collect new glasses on Friday, so he made an early appointment and I popped to town with him, again everywhere was empty, I had to pop to Boots, and then did my usual shops, TK Max and Wilko's, our Robert Dyas branch closed, which is a shame as I did love popping in there. I did get a few more packs of seeds and some plant restrainers. I never look for clothes, always on the hunt for garden things. 
The rest of the time we spent in the garden and inside when it's really hot, hubby has been working on the child's bench he has cleaned off all the rust and paint from the metal bits and has painted them, they do look good. I have spent loads of time reading, I have not done any more to my top or lap blanket, the heat always makes me feel tired, and so I keep away from my craft. 
I did manage to take a tumble in the garden this week, bruised my arm, scraped my leg and hurt my pride, I was home alone, so no one saw my foolishness, note to myself, don't walk backwards and not look where I am going, so easily done. 
I have stayed feeling more upbeat this week, I did not realise how down I had been feeling, I have popped a bit of eye makeup on most days, I am able to keep the new hair style looking good. 
The TV news is so full of doom and gloom, 1st the virus, now it's the coming recession, all sprinkled with Brexit. Most of the news will not effect us, we both do not work, so no fear of losing our income, it might stall for a while, but it will be there, most of Brexit will pass us by as well, other than the almost certain price rises on everything, we already have private travel insurance to cover hubby's health, so when we visit our friend's in Spain and stay with them, the only issue might be the cost of flights. The virus is still with us, we just have to keep being safe, watch our local figures and avoid all crowded places. 

Thursday 16 July 2020

Feeling happy

Reading Mr Tickle to grandsons, simple pleasures.
These wooden bowls were turned for me, a friend has a lathe and I asked him to make me a bowl, he made 2, the smaller bowl was from a log he found on a walk. I love the feel of natural things, I had planned to use this bowl in my shed, but it's too beautiful, so it's in the house. 
This top is almost done, just the neck and arm bands to do, I don't have much yarn left, but as always I have a plan. 
Grace is following me everywhere, this summer she has more energy than normal, she is 15 years old, and a huge part of my life. Purdy was sat a little away watching us, our cats are such a part of our home. 
This perfectly formed bud on my cosmos.
These flowers, just one small spot in the garden. 
For the 1st time in ages I can say yesterday I felt happy, it was a simple day, normal day, but doing simple and normal things these days are so special. My hairdresser cut my hair, 1st time since early March, I wanted to change the style and she did a great job, did as I asked, it felt so good, I even popped on a bit of eye makeup. Later daughter came for a visit with Will and George, we walked to our local Bistro in the village, had a lovely lunch, Will was so happy to be there again, the waiting staff are so good, answered his questions regard their visors. We had a quick walk around our market and then home for play time. Later a lovely evening just hubby and I, so a simple normal day, I did not have time to feel worried, no time for thoughts of a second wave, family time beats everything else. 
Monday was a sunny day, we spent time outside enjoying the garden, watching birds, I even did some knitting on my summer top. 
Tuesday it was our turn to host the sign ladies coffee morning, we all sat outside keeping distance from each other, hubby made a marmalade cake, and I made my cheese straws, nice coffee and a decent chat. Later more knitting and reading time. 
It's been a better week for me and for one day I did not struggle with everything, we did simple things, enjoyed family life, I have said it before we need contact and interaction with other people to make our lives complete, I hope today I can carry some of yesterday with me, if I can't, I do know happiness is just within our reach. 
On a plus I have managed to style my hair correct this morning, it's much easier with shorter hair. 


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