Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Saturday 31 October 2020

October roundup

I have just 1 order for yarn, needed to make jackets for grandsons. I got a few things for the garden, I did look at sale items, as you know I love a bargain, but there was nothing I saw I liked. I am well stocked now, I have raised my own seeds for my pots. So a much lower spend this month. 

We are spending more on food, we have a good stocked larder and freezer, so if any panic buying starts we can sit it out. We have already got most of the treats we want for the Christmas period, we are both good at not opening these treats. BUT we have noticed how prices have risen this year, I have made the few gifts for close family, our grand sons will all get money, the things they want as they get older are all so much more than we want to give, which sounds cruel, but we have a budget and we will stick to it. 

The heating is on, just an hour in the mornings, I hate a cold bathroom, and then late afternoon to early evening, but it's not coming on every evening, some times the inside is warm enough. It's still warm enough for me to open our patio doors most days to air the house, not normally my thing, but through these strange times I am trying to keep the house and us safe.

We have not been able to find the new cooker we wanted, so we have decided to wait until the new year and see what's about. But our dishwasher started playing up, not cleaning and then the cycle lasting over 3 hours, so a new dishwasher has been purchased.

Our food and general waste is as always very low, we do not waste any food, all peeling go to my wormery, they are making beautiful compost for next spring, our portion sizes are now right, so we watch carefully everything.

We ended up with another cost from next door, because of her constant complaints to our local planning department, we were asked to submit a retrospect planning application for our pergola, we were told they could not see any reasons to refuse, so £250+ spent. But we did request it was added to the list at the council of antisocial behaviour against us. The woman is a nightmare and gets away with too much, our council and police are both fair and good, but she pushed buttons with them and they then work to show they are unbiased, and do things further than they need to be sorted. Often because our neighbour will refer things higher, if she does not get the results she wants, claiming institutional discrimination against her. 

Friday 30 October 2020

Warning contains cute photo's

We were asked to look out for a parcel in the post from hubbies brother and SIL, it has arrived, they are a lovely couple and will often send things just because.
These are beautiful, the Welsh Griffin to celebrate hubbies heritage,  and the bee and flower to show my love of nature and gardening. These hand painted colourful works of art, reflect both of us beautifully, I will think very carefully about what frame to use, they are going to bring us joy every time we see them. 
It was Halloween dress up in Nursey this week, Will loves these bones costumes, he has had one most years. Nursery allowed the children to dress up all week to ensure they had a fun time as trick and treating was off the list of things to do for many children. 
There is something very special in seeing George wear this costume, it seams only yesterday Will had it as his 1st every dressing up costume. Both mummy and daddy had a childhood full of fun, so it's important to them for their boys to enjoy making their own memories. 
I have finished my 4 squares, and was prepared for them all to be different, having the colours in different places, so how come 3 of the squares almost match, I'm not sure what to do now, I think I might knit another square or 2 and see how they look, the 2 spare ones I can use for dish clothes, as so many of you say home made ones are brilliant. It's not big enough for anything, so I still need to decide how to do the edges. 
Another good book, I have read 70 books this year so far, and the quality is amazing, we are so lucky to be able to lose ourselves in a good read. 
No thoughts on our situation, we all know what is happening in our part of the world and elsewhere, I control what I can, and try to keep anxiety levels low. It is hard, I want so much for us, our children and grandsons, this really is the strangest of years and the next couple of months won't improve, fingers crossed rules will be obeyed and we can keep the best life we can. 

Just how much rain is there still to come.....

Tuesday 27 October 2020

Meanwhile outside

I managed an hour in the garden on Monday, it was a dry sunny day, these plants will now stay on this table, we will cover our wooden furniture set this weekend to keep the wet and damp out, winter is getting closer. 
This back section looks much better now I have placed my new pots, before I had loads of odd pots, often with nothing in, it did look messy. I need the space clear to be able to get to my shed and greenhouse, I can see this area from the house, so it's now pleasing to look at. It's very rustic in this section, the raised area is not level and the fence is bowed. 
The raised bowl is working well as a water area for birds, we often see loads on here, the bottom has pebbles in so the water is not to deep. I have winter pansies in the blue pot and loads of spring bulbs. The new plant in my cider jar is looking good, it's hardy so can stay here all winter.
I have planted my winter pansies in these tubs and in the tubs at the side of the house, home grown plants, still a bit small, so I have used the dreaded slug pellets, but only in these tubs, hopefully the hedgehogs can't get to them. I have tried many different organic slug protection, but sadly none work well enough, normally I would plant and replace if they are eaten, but these are so small without the pellets they would not stand a chance. 
This side bed us still beautiful, I normally have it sorted by now, but I can't bring myself to cut back the Cosmos and Hotlips, they are so colourful. Note the laundry on the line, Monday was a good drying day. 
This book was just amazing, I did guess the end, but as with all her books it was a fantastic plot, I really could not put it down. I have passed it to my youngest daughter, we do like the same type of books. This being my 68th book this year. 
The garden is my haven, all the work I have done in the past few weeks make it ready for the new seasons, I don't have enough winter colour and will have bare patches, it's not a big enough space to be able to have all the plants I love. I do enjoy the bare shrubs and trees, they do add structure. We are having the Magnolia cut back in early November, the guy will give it a nice shape and take some height away. 

I did enjoy plenty of reading time, so much rain in recent days, my big water butt by the garage is again full, hopefully now it will stay level. I have a knitting pattern book coming to make jackets for Will and George, should start them at the weekend. I am getting on well with my knitted squares. 

Hubby is very happy with his motorbike, he's been out on it a couple of times, it's always a worry when you change something, a big decision and not one you want to get wrong. 

Sunday 25 October 2020

Happiness is....

I'm knitting 4 huge squares, I used 120 stitches to make this square and I intend to make 4 and sew them together, once I see how they look sewn, I can decide the next step, this is just a bit of fun.
I loved this book, it was a great storyline, I really did not want to put it down, I have loved every book by this author.  I have The Escape to read next, I found a few books in our local charity shop. This being my 67th book read this year. 
Hubbies new toy, he is really pleased with it, it's a smaller bike than his old one, but it still has the chrome he loves, and it's still the 'bike' look he loves, this one is a Triumph.
How lovely to see flowers on this plant in our downstairs bathroom, I cut the plant in half earlier this year, I did not want this to become a huge plant, the other half is not doing so well, but I think I have saved it, at the moment it is in my greenhouse. 

Friday was a lazy day, I did some knitting, and a few bits around the house, hubby was outside alot, checking and getting to know his bike. I did post the card to Spain, and take the shoes to the charity bin, so another nice walk, it was more over caste, but mainly dry after the rain in the night.

Saturday we had Will for a sleepover, he is the happiest little man, we had homemade pizza for tea, and homemade carrot cake,  did some Strickly dancing before bed. Sunday morning was fun, no too early start, he's off soon  to Grandpa's for lunch. 

 Happiness is fleeting at the moment, we are still in the lower tier, but rates are rising in larger towns just north of where we live, no where near the levels in the North, but the figures are rising and its scary. We have done very little this year, summer in our garden was good, but now with so many cold and wet days, we are inside together, we do get on well, but we need the company of other people, but most of our friends are staying at home, it's the strangest of times, without any idea of when it will end. I try not to think too much, my anxiety levels are up and down, I fear so much. 

Friday 23 October 2020

It's not a case of need

We popped to B&Q (a DIY and garden store) to get a few things for hubby, I tagged along, I needed a bag of slate to finish the fruit garden. These plants and bulbs were a great price, the small shrubs will go into the 2 pots at the base of the fence by my shed, the sempervivums I just loved, I did swap a few plants to get a good selection. The fritillary's I just love and will have them in every pot if I could.  Hubby did not say anything when after choosing the plants, I then picked up 2 new pots!!!
Again the yarn I did not need but with good prices, the heather blue shades I am going to knit matching jackets for Will and George, making each one longer as they are both tall boys. The navy and pale blue I'm going to use with some pink I have for a knit down jumper. 

This Orchid was just £6, less than a bunch of nice supermarket flowers, and with all the buds it should flower until Christmas, it's one of my favorite house plants. 
Will loved his rainbow scarf, I though it was a great length for him, it's lovely and bright and should not get lost, mummy will add a name tag for when he wears it to nursery. He wanted George to have one, but accepted he was too young to wear scarfs, but I am knitting George a ball in the same colours. 
The rain on Wednesday was non stop most of the day, just constant rain all the time, my water butt is set up, so all the rain from the garage has been caught. We had George in morning whilst Will had his swimming lesson, plenty of baby fun, mummy and Will stayed most of the day it was great fun.

Thursday was lovely, warmer and blue skies, we walked to our post office and then on to the village, it was a nice walk, sadly I forgot the card we were posting to Spain and the shoes I wanted to give to the charity box outside the drycleaners, so we will have to pop back, later we had afternoon coffee with friends, loads of home made cake, just a normal afternoon, it was great. 

Won't see much of hubby today his new to him motorbike has arrived, so he is playing, but he did make a carrot cake for Will, who is on a sleep over tomorrow, so cake in afternoon and Pizza for tea. 

Tuesday 20 October 2020


Another finish for a Christmas gift, this is for my sister, the shades are ones she will love. This is such a simple shawl to make, the pattern is here, it's one of those I can knit with my eyes closed. I've always used plain colours before, the shades does lift this design.

Nanna can you knit me a scarf, yes Will, what colour would you like?, rainbow please! I have a bright shade of red to add, it's small just 40 stitches and fun to knit, his coat is shades of blue, so this should go well.  
I've finished day 5, I added some golden thread to the yellow, as I do feel gold rings should shine out. Day six is another simple design, I get this project out when hubby is out, just my quiet time. 

Monday we popped to Lidl for a fridge shop, got all we needed plus some Christmas chocolates, I think we have most of what we like, not too bigger stash as it would mean more weight to lose after Christmas. I got fresh oranges and lemons, so later this week I will soak the dried friut for 1st Christmas cake, I always use the rine and juice of 2 large oranges and 1 lemon.

Nothing much to do outside, did swap 2 pots around, just a small rethink. My neighbours gardener popped over to give some advice on one shrub, which is now too big, she confirmed I can cut it back hard at this time of year. The shrub came from Win's garden, and I was being extra careful with it. We are waiting for the tree surgeon to set the date for the Magnolia to get its reshape, I love this tree, it's the star in our garden. 

Off to do some more of Wills scarf, I am enjoying the simple knitting and the bright colours. Next I want to make some fingerless gloves for my sisters partner, he not keen on the hand-knitted socks I make. Later it's coffee time with our sign group, we are a group of 7, so we now take in turns who not to attend, sad but a reflection of our times, following the rule of 6, thank goodness no rain today. 

Monday 19 October 2020

Potting up

You know I love a good tidy up, this small area I call my fruit garden, it's next to our decking and seating area,  I have a good crop of berries each summer. Tucked in the back is my kiwi plant I grew from seed, it's a big tree which I have tried to keep small, but it's not working, I knew I would never get fruits, but I did hope I could get blossom, but it's a mess and it's time for it to go. We also want the Olive tree in this area, the branches get in the way of clothes on our line where it is now. 
This area outside my greenhouse I love, but the plants in the big pot need sorting, I don't want to separate them, so I need a bigger pot, humm I have a spare pot now, much bigger and would sit in this spot, should look better. 
This blue pot has yew in, and they are pot bound the bigger pot above will soon be free, perfect solution. I want to get next year a couple Chocolate cosmos, it's a plant I love, it can be placed in this pot and moved into the greenhouse over winter. The blue pot will look good closer to the decking. 
Kirk's hair is now punk, I love this Japanese blood red grass, but it's not quite what I was wanting, but I do have a different grass which will curl rather than growing up straight, and this blood red grass can go in the bigger pot at the back of the garden. 

That's the before here's the after....


This pot has been moved to the front garden,
it looks good in this corner where nothing wants to grow. 

Nothing beats a day in the garden, Saturday was warm, we had lunch outside, everywhere is sorted and tidy again, hubby had dug the base out for the water butt by the garage, one side had sunk again, so now there is a concrete base and it should stay put, the rain due this week should help to fill the water butt again. 

I put a Begonia in my blue pot for now, it's still flowering, so it can stay there until it dies down and I can find another spot. I have popped spring bulbs into the big pot outside my greenhouse and a pansy, there will be space for summer bedding plants as well. I had to move the broken pot which hedgehogs use overnight, but I've placed it in a second spot where the hedgehogs sleep, I have also added dried leaves as their bedding. The bright green grass in Kirk looks much better, I planted them a bit deeper and topped up with gravel, this grass will take a trim when it gets too long. I will need one bag of slate for the fruit garden, just to finish it off, but everything else I already had, so a cost effective time in the garden. 

Thank you for your kind comments from my last post, we as so lucky to have so many wonderful grandsons, and extremely lucky to live so close to Will and George, to be such a big part of their lives is a precious gift. 

Saturday 17 October 2020

Boys and their toys

Wednesday we had George whilst Will went swimming, he is getting all around the sitting room floor, loving all the different toys. Sadly Will did not get into the pool, there were too many children splashing about. 
Then we had Will whilst George went for a check up, he loves all the books and toys kept in this drawer and will spend ages choosing what to read and play with, he still has his splint on, but has no pain, so we are starting to remove it for short periods. George has had good review of his heart, and needs no further treatments, which is a very reassuring assessment, his next heart check up is in 3 years.  
I managed to start sewing in some of the ends, I use a fine rug hook which is quicker and neater than normal sewing in methods, Here is the reverse, each navy section has 2 ends to be sorted. I have never used the random yarns before on this design and I am loving the effect. This is so quick and easy to start, but now I'm at 100 stitches, it is taking longer to make. Will has asked me to knit him a scarf, so my next project is set. 

The blankets have been sent for their part in fundraising, these are small sized, useful for car or pushchair, I'm pleased with both, but I don't want to make another granny square for a while. 
I have started reading another book, I do like to mix all the crafts and other things I love to do. 

Wednesday Will and I walked to our local park, it was sunny and he loved running about and the play area, it's not too busy, much easier when it's just the 2 of us. 

Thursday was a lazy sunny day, we did walk to the village for more birthday cards, most of our family birthdays arrive at this time of year.

Friday we had George again, Will went swimming and had a good lesson, we had a lazy afternoon with Will and mummy. Husband has sold his motorbike, the guy came to collect it, both were pleased, hubby got a good price and the guy loved the bike, hubby is now looking for a newer bike, he's not ready to hang up his helmet yet. 

I've had a lazy morning, I did not sleep well last night, not sure why, I always ache so I'm not blaming that, I am anxious again, we live in the south and live under the rule of 6 and 10 pm closing, not that we go out drinking anymore, I think I worry too much about love ones and what's happening. I am hoping to do a quick change around with some of my pots today, whilst it's dry, I will have a big pot spare, so I'm going to move plants around, photos next time. Time outside is always good for me.

We had planned to drive to Somerset this weekend, but decided to stay at home instead, I do feel safe staying with my brother, but it's a 3 hour drive and we decided at this point it's just too much for us. 

Tuesday 13 October 2020

October garden.

The white begonias have not faded, I moved them to this bed a week ago, I hope they will grow as well as the red ones, both are bedding plants and should die off each winter, but these red ones have been here for 2 years. I cut back the geranium last spring, so I won't do anything this year, it should fill the middle section next summer. These will keep flowering until the frost comes.
These forget-me-nots are behind the 2 long pots, which sit in the front of my raspberry patch, years ago I had strawberries in these pots, but the bugs ate them, now I grow flowers, soon I will pop in my homegrown pansies. The base of the raspberries always look scruffy, so I am hoping the forget-me-nots fill the lower levels, so far they are not ate by the slugs. 
My pots are looking good, they have all rooted, each pot has loads of grit in the bottom allowing good drainage, these plants will survive the cold, but hate having wet roots. The plants in the ground are slower to root, I am hoping I get ground cover, this area is heavy clay and most plants don't thrive here. 
Our blackberry harvest is almost over, we have had tons this year, I have cut back some of the branches, I don't like it too bushy along the side of the garage, encouraging it to grow around the shed where I have an arch. 
We are planning to cover this table and chairs soon, so I am enjoying this small display, I will move it one our green metal table, which stays out all year, but I can't see that so well from my chair inside. 
There is still so much colour around, it's mid October and the garden is still giving, most of my new plants are doing well, so I am really pleased, I do not miss the arch in front of the greenhouse, it was the correct thing to remove it, I can see into my greenhouse much better and the light should be good throughout the darker months. Removing the raised bed in the greenhouse has worked well for me, as I am now filling it with tender plants, I still have loads of space, before I had to weave myself around the plants inside. I have room for seedling for spring plants, normally I purchase all my spring plants. I popped my solar lights back into the greenhouse, I always have them undercover for the winter months, as a result, the greenhouse looks pretty each evening as the lights shine out. 
I have finished the second blanket for daughter to take for the fundraiser for Portsmouth Downs Syndrome, I did loads over the weekend. I had 2 very lazy days, Saturday with hubby, Sunday on my own. Other than news I don't think I watched any TV, I've not started a new book, in fact it has been a boring few days.  I did start this scarf, I have made the design before, infact 3 times, I don't need to look at the instructions at all, it's an enjoyable knit, which is just what I need, my last finish was here

Sunday 11 October 2020

Finish, finish, start...

Another Christmas gift socks are finished, 
these are for youngest daughter, she loves shades of grey. 
One crochet blanket is finished and I am making another, these are for fundraisers for Portsmouth DS, these guys have been so supportive to our family, I will do all I can to help. I was asked to make a baby blanket for a raffle, but I decided to get 2 made.  
My cross stitch is still giving me loads of pleasure, 2 more days done, I have a few stitches for the top right corner of day four, these will be stitched at the end, the holes are too close to my frame and I don't want to move the design. 
I've done some more glass fusion, these are the biggest thing I can make, I wanted to play with colour, texture and shapes, I am pleased with both, whilst simple the results were as I wanted. I cooked these each for 12 minutes. I am looking for some 'silver' tape to finish the edges, I have seen some online just waiting for the delivery. 
This is the 4th book in the series, and it's another huge book, 599 pages, again a few more new people but the main people are from the police force and their family and friends. There is a 5th book which I do not have and for the moment I won't look to read it. Her books are full of shootings and stabbings, she is not to graphic, which is good, each book is a stand alone book. 
When the rain falls I am crafting, I never sit and do nothing, I don't spend every evening watching TV,  the only regular programme we watch is the 6pm news, and I'm happy to miss that these days again. We did watch Graham Norton on Friday night, I have always loved his chat show.

I did get my sewing machine out again to sew some patches on hubbies leather waist coat, he wears it when out on his motorbike with his mates. I have been thinking about making some Christmas buntings, just a small triangles, but as yet haven't made up my mind, I have enough fabric in my stash. The plan for my Christmas cards is forming, at some point soon I will make one card and see if it works, I always make our Christmas cards, I do like to send a lovely home made card rather than a purchased one. Christmas cakes will be baked 1st week in November, one for us and one for daughter and SIL, I have the ingredients. 

The only thing I have not worked on is my 2019 book, I now am getting used to the new format the publishers are using, it's still really simple, but I loved the old system, I do want to publish 2109 and I think I will publish 2020 only because it's been such a strange year. BUT after that I will not make any more of my blog into books, there is a link here if you are interested. I do love to look back on my blog and my books are a great way af finding things. 

We have had a dry few days, so the washing line has been full, catching up with the laundry, considering there is only 2 of us, we do have loads of laundry, house is tidy.

Today hubby is out for the day on his bike, I am home alone, I have leftover homemade Pizza for lunch, so a day of pleasing myself, I have no plans to go out anywhere. Bliss.



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