Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Tuesday 29 September 2020

September round up


I purchased one lot of expensive yarn this month and a batch of reduced yarn, garden has a few things on my list, I got a big bag of garden grit, rather than purchase it locally, it was half price, expensive but will save me money in the long term. I also got a couple of brilliant plants for the garden off line. 

I have purchased a new coat, my green coat with hood was 7 years old and when I popped it on the zip burst, which is strange after all my weight loss it was loose on me, we tried to fix it, I looked at the cost of replacing the zip. I have seen a lovely coat with a hood at Joules, expensive shop, after I looked at their site I was sent an email with 25% discount off everything, good coat at great price, so clothing spend so far this year £197.46, so staying under the £200 marker I gave myself. I have taken the old coat to the clothes bank along with a few more items. 

The garden pergola was not too expensive, it was my choice for a birthday present, hubby offered jewellery but I declined, it's not my birthday until November, but there would be less choice in winter months. It is a big birthday hence the bigger gift. 

The oven broke on our cooker, it's 16 years old and I am now struggling to clean the top, so we decided to look online, found the model of cooker we wanted, out of stock everywhere but one place, who do not deliver to us. We have been told it should be back in stock in October, so hubby ordered the replacement part to allow us use of the oven until we can replace it, expensive but not a huge surprise. 

As yet we have not popped the heating on, but it's getting close to the time when it will be used, I see no point in having something and not using it, I get we are lucky we have no issues with the cost of our heating. The new windows and doors we had last year play a huge part in the house staying warmer, having wooden floors and blinds instead of curtains, don't help, but again it my choice. 

We are not wasting any food, portion control is working well and we are using our slow cooker more, which we fill and then use the leftovers blitz with some cooked veg for soups, salads are being eaten less, we are planning more soups and home made bread. I have purchased porridge for my breakfasts, so we have started buying more milk. 

Monday 28 September 2020

Before the frost

My greenhouse is beginning to fill, as soon as the cooler weather arrives I pop loads of tender plants in here, plus I have spring plant seedlings growing. I am still getting fruits off my tomato plant, this was grown from a supermarket tasteless tomato, I am pleased to say the tomatoes from this plant taste wonderful, so sweet. 
My prized Lemon plant is back inside, I grew this from a pip started in 2014, it's a great size and looks good in this bigger pot. My metal chicken is back inside and I have cut loads of the plant away, it had finished flowering and did not look great.
My cape gooseberry, grown  in 2018 is also back inside as are the tender coleus plants, next year I will take some cutting from them and make new plants. These are sat on my folding camping table, which will stay up through the winter. 
Below are a couple more tender plants, and the sweetpea seeds I planted last month, the sweetpea will stay inside through out the winter and be planted next spring. 
I removed my raised bed, which I had planted like a dry riverbed, so all my plants are now on the sunniest side of the greenhouse, these small shelving units have been brilliant. 
This Aloe Vera was purchased a couple years ago as a small 50p plant, I love it, next to it my bronze planter, with a daisy inside, there are no drainage holes so I think this will survive better in the dry. 
My very expensive shelves, with one of my table solar lights, I have popped all my solar lights into the greenhouse, I always store them in the greenhouse through winter, it make the greenhouse pretty in the dark evenings and stops them from rusting in the rain. 
I have pansy's and forget-me-nots in this tray, I need more space in the greenhouse, so this sunny spot will help the grow quicker. Should only be for a couple of weeks, then they will be big enough to plant in my pots. 
There is a mixture of hardy plants here, these can stay outside, until next spring, most of them are not for my garden. 
I have placed my spring bulb pots, all near this seating area and found a couple of nice clay pots for the cyclamen. 
Kirk has been moved, in this spot he will get some sunshine, 
behind is loads of spring bulbs. 

The nights are much cooler here, and Friday night the TV weather lady said the frost word, not for us, but north of our region, so it's time to move plants, I had already planned to do some work outside over the weekend. This year I am leaving my pomegranate plant outside, it's much bigger and I have placed it by the garage door, which is a sunny spot in the garden, I can always bring it into the greenhouse later if I need to. I still have the small Olive plant, my daughter has not yet found the pot she wants, there is no hurry, I am leaving it outside for now, the big Olive has been outside each winter, we plan to move it popping the pot in the center of my fruit slate garden, still in it's pot, but have delayed doing it until next year, once placed we will struggle to move it, so it's better where it is, if the weather is too wintery, we can wheel it to beside the garage and protect it from the wind.  

The new layout for the greenhouse is working much better for me, the raised bed was huge and was not great use of the space. The shelving units I purchased are not big, but they work well, they are narrow, so I have more floor space, as I am now filling this greenhouse, it's very pleasing to have space in the center to walk amongst all my plants. 

Saturday 26 September 2020

Close to home

I love Portchester castle, to have this within walking distance of home is fantastic, we have walked here many times with grandchildren or just the 2 of us, it's a place I will always want to visit. 
Inside the grounds are as lovely, with the Keep, Tower and church and plenty of grass areas for families. We renewed our vows in St Mary's, on our 25th wedding anniversary. 
We have a well kept park in our village, this is less than 5 minutes walk from our home, we walk through many times each week, diverting our walk to the shops to pass this way. Our grandsons love the play area, I love the tiny bandstand. 
This area is the closet to our home, we walk here often and not just on sunny days, at different tide times, so it's an ever changing view, popular with families and dog walkers, plenty of space. Walking this stretch of our coast, you can start from the castle and walk up to the football club and wreck, and then on past a golf club and into Fareham, you can also from the wreck walk to Gosport, in all cases you would need your walking shoes. 
We have a football club, which is by the wreck, which is a huge open space next to the waters edge, we drive to this area, it's about 10 minutes from our home. 
There are loads of trees and shrubs and large swaths of wild flower beds, you can walk for hours if you want, at this time of year there are loads of blackberries to pick. With a skateboard park and a basket ball court, and these views it's popular with all ages. 
Lee on the Solent is about 20 minutes drive from us, it's not huge, but walking along the seafront is fantastic, with views over to Isle of Wight, most of our local beaches are shingle. 
Everywhere beach huts. 
Southsea Portsmouth, is about 40 minutes drive away, there is a huge beach, which again is shingle, here looking toward the Pier, beyond you can walk to Old Portsmouth, and the port, there is loads of naval history here. 
Looking towards Eastney, Portsmouth
The sea walls in Gosport, looking toward Portsmouth and the Spinnaker Tower, this is just behind my friends house, again about a 25 minute drive, the hovercraft from Portsmouth to Isle of Wight passes here through out the day. We have taken our coffees sat and had a chat here many times. 
The whole area is tidal, and can be interesting watching the wading birds in the rich muds, small boats stranded waiting for the returning tide. 
This is Emsworth, it's about an hours drive from our home, but there are loads of similar places all within a short drive, we are now in West Sussex rather than Hampshire. 
With all the negative news, and our need to stay at home and local, I have been thinking of how lucky we are to live in a lovely part of our country,  being so close to the sea with the changing scenery. Everywhere sailing clubs, boats of all sizes bobbing on the water or resting on the mud, waiting for the tide to return. We have a posher area with very expensive boats, you can walk along the boardwalk and view others lifestyles, we have not visited Port Solent much this summer, it's not a place to easy self distance if crowded, there are loads of places to eat out, so it has always been a popular spot. I do love to watch water sport, and people enjoying the water. I do also like to see the sea on a windy day, the power of the water does impress me. We do also have some lovely country parks and green spaces, but the water does call me. None of these photo's are new, I have posted them before, but this post does cheer me, our season is changing.

We decided other than a visit to family in Somerset we would not travel this summer, I really do not want to get on a plane, we had plans to do a couple more city breaks, visit friends in Spain, but all have been shelved, so we enjoy our lovaly local spots. 

I have done very little in the past week, it's turned much colder, and we have had the much needed rain, so most of our time is spent inside, we do wrap up warm and walk to the above places, feeling safe with so much outside space. I hope to pack tender plants into the greenhouse and start changing the garden to it's winter setting this weekend, it's a sunny cold day, so perfect for being outside. 

Thursday 24 September 2020

Some finishes

I have made more mask for hubby and I, again using Tea towels from my stash, the inner part are just plain white, these will wash well and should last us as long as we need them. I used the last of my good quality elastic, so any more I make won't be as sturdy. 
Hubby wanted this pennant for his motorbike, but it would not stay attached so now I have added the top ties. 
I have had these for ages, but before Wednesday they were long trousers with slightly flared bottoms. I had tried them on a few times and was not happy to wear them, so I cut them off, once washed they will look good and get used on sunny days. 
This is book 2 of 5, another huge book with 720 pages, she has a style of her own, but a storyline I can loose myself in. Book 64 read this year. 
Will had a fall at nursery, they suggested mum take him to A&E (emergency room), he has fractured his wrist, loves the brace he has to wear. He was scared of all the Xray machines, but sat still, the lovely doctor allowed him to see his bones once they had checked him. 
 At 10 months George decided to show us his skills of sitting on his own, he stayed upright for over a minute, mummy was closed to tears, our clever boy. 

Mummy came to visit on Wednesday, Will could not have his swimming lesson, so we played with both boys together. We did walk to the village, it was market day, nice to see lots of stalls, almost back to normal. 

I'm still not doing much craft, I know I'm not in the right frame of mind to get things right, and unpicking is a pain. I am loosing myself in books, I've always been a book worm. I have enjoyed using my sewing machine, I have a few more things to make, as yet I have not packed my sewing machine away. I have just finished season 3 of In the line of Duty, I have seen them all before, but well worth another watch. I have started a small granny square blanket, using my new random colours yarn. 

Our weather has changed, autumn has arrived, and we had some rain Wednesday, it's much cooler, we changed our summer quilt for a thicker quilt, I am watching my plants, I will soon be moving some into the greenhouse. This morning we have had heavy rain, which is soaking into the dry ground, and it's really windy, so leaves are starting to fall. 

I did my weekly shop in Lidl on Tuesday a day later than normal, some of the shelves were again empty, it seams some people will never learn. 

Sunday 20 September 2020

This is my happy post.

Family, grandsons, husband, daughters and my garden, being able to grow things, read a good book do some crafting, it's all I need, want, oh and a peaceful time. 

Saturday 19 September 2020

Making shade.

Frame up, it was a 3 person job,
 so we enlisted the help of an neighbour. 
All finished, this area whilst really sunny can also be a wind tunnel, so have a huge sun shade here is always going to be a problem, we have been looking for a while, not wanting a wooden structure, metal gives us thinner legs and bars, which does not block our view of the garden. 
When it's just the 2 of us, we keep our much bigger table close to the fence, with the bench tucked in, allowing a huge clear space in the middle of the decking, which is outside our patio door. We are both pleased with the size, as it is almost a big as our decking, so the legs are not in awkward positions.  
Now when we have family over we can move the table and all sit in the shade, it has become necessary, baby George likes to be outside and we need to keep the sun off him, and the rest of us.  
In the winter we will remove the sail, to keep it dry and allow the light into our sitting room, which can be dark in winter. When closed we can see the bottom of the folds when sat down, we did not have the full height for this structure and had to cut a few inches off the legs, but it's still tall, hubby who is 6'2" has plenty of head room. 

It took most of Thursday to build, it was a hot day and we took many breaks, but we were not in any hurry to get it done, the kit had everything we required, but not one part was marked and with so many things looking similar it was hard to identify what was what. 

Unfortunately our Mad neigbour took a dislike to us building this, did not ask what it was going to look like and started screaming abuse, racist remarks against my husbands Welsh heritage, and accusing us of drug taking !! I did capture most of it on video, so I had to call the police yet again. We had a visit from our local council department after a complaint from next door, to check on our structure, the lady did not tell us to stop building, and left us with the feeling they are not taking any further action. Husband check the legal sizes, ect before purchasing the Pergola, just in-case there were problems, our neighbour is protesting we are blocking her light. This structure is away from her house the sun would only cast a small shadow into her garden in the later afternoon and evening and it would not fall on her house at all, we checked this online and we are not breaching any rules. The police are again visiting next door, we have strongly made our views known, her actions are wasting police time, we are encouraged to report her abusive behaviour, but they do need to put a stop to it. We have looked into the cost of taking legal action, but the amounts are huge, without any promise of results, the most likely outcome is she would ignore any rulings, she is clever enough to stop just inside the law. 

Friday 18 September 2020

Getting back to craft

It's the most basic of starts for the cross stitch stichalong, I found the middle of the fabric and created the boxes to the left, there will be 3 rows of 4 boxes. I have 2 other boxes for the right hand side to make. I have counted these rows and recounted them, I can be the queen of 1 stitch out and with my mind set at the mo, it's a huge possibility. 
I managed to sort the issues I had with the heel of this sock, it's not the design, I have knitted this one loads of times, but for some reason I could not get it right this time, now all I have left is simple rows and the toes, soon another Christmas gift finished. 
I finally picked this baby dress up again, I had got to the bodice, so I started on the design, I just need to do 16 rows before I divide the armholes and go onto straight needles.
BUT, and these days there always seems to be a but, I miss counted on the pattern, it looks off, so I have unpicked back to the garter stitch after the ribbon holes. Totally another stupid mistake by myself, so I am ready to start the bodice again, I have decided not to have the pattern on the back, this will simplify the neck opening, I don't think it will take away from the overall dress design.  
I was given this book and it's been on my shelf for months, I did not have many expectations on the plot, I've never read a book by this author before. It was always a case of he did not do it, but why and how? could the author hold me to the end, it was clever read, I enjoyed it very much. Book 62 read this year. 
I have purchased more yarn, this was on special at £1.49 per 100 grms, I now have good quality yarn for small ripple blankets to sell to raise funds for our local Downs Syndrome group, we have sold one already, so I need to get clicking. There are 18 balls of 75% superwash wool 25% nylon, it's 4ply as always, the pink/purple was purchased so I could make something for myself, I do love the colours, with extra for a blanket. The yarn feels very soft. 
Thank you for your comments on my last post, I do feel we are heading for another winter of discontent very different from the 80's, 2020 is not going to end well. I like to plan and make list, which is difficult in these times, we are well stocked and should be OK for a 3 month period, for food, crafting and general good well-being. I think the new year is going to be the crunch time. 

We had a lunchtime BBQ with daughter, Will and George on Wednesday, lovely time in the garden, the sunny weather is brilliant.

Thursday we did do work outside, which our mad cat woman next door, took a dislike to, so she shouted and screamed at us, racism, swearing and more accusations of drug use, so I called the police, sadly its the only way to get a quiet life and stop her. She called the local council, who visited and are taking no action, we are totally legal. We did finish our task, it's our garden and we will have it how we want it, photos next time.

Today we are meeting a couple of friends for lunch then back to ours for a sit outside in the sun. 


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