Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Monday 28 December 2020

Last post

Book 82 read this year, it was a great book to read, filling in the details of their 1st year in France, I have followed them from their 1st program on channel 4, I love their positive attitude and their beautiful ch√Ęteau. 
I am opening these tiny parcels from Jo, Through the keyhole, blog, I am loving these colourful little yarns, it brightens each morning. 
 We had a really enjoyed a very excited Will on Christmas morning opening his presents, he had loads, he also helped George open his gifts, it did look like a toy shop. 

I did have a post ready for end of year, but I deleted it, 2020 is like no other, and on 23rd it gave our family another nasty turn, which until mid January when we get medical results and to be able plan a path forward, we have to wait with our own thoughts. 

We both have bad colds and coughs, and are waiting for test, just in case, no plans to go anywhere, lazy slow days. 

So from a very subdued household, this is my final post for this year, stay safe, and dry. There are positives everywhere, sadly they are not within our reach. Happy New year. 


Sunday 27 December 2020

December and end of year

I only purchased the buttons for boys jackets and some braid for my Christmas cushion, December is always a low spend month. I do pop everything on these list's there is no point doing this I if cheat at it. 

 So it's my end of year review, I'm sorry if this bores you, please pop back next post. I am known as the queen of the spread sheets, I do love them. I find information breakdown so very interesting, 

Here is my list from previous years, and I'm pleased, this is never really about saving money, it's more checking where I spend my money.

This chart shows the breakdown on different crafts and the garden, I like this chart it shows what I am currently doing, gardening will always be top of the list. I have looked back and I can honestly say I spent about £200 sorting the green house and a couple of other things, which were structure items and not general gardening.  I spent less on yarn this year, nothing on card making, I do have a good stash for most crafts and I am using what I have, unless I see something special, 

I was given a flowering cactus and my Orchids are still blooming, the 2 amaryllis now have buds, I got just one new plant which did not last long, I have loads of silk flowers, Ivy and Holly which I use every year. I am mega pleased with myself, for years I had fresh flowers every week, I decided this year I would see if I could do without, and I've been really good, I think I have probably saved at least £20 each month. 

My clothes spend was £224.46, I did get myself a good coat in the Joules winter sale included in this amount, and a reduced Clarks sandals at a price not to pass plus free delivery. I still have loads in my wardrobe, but I will need more jumpers and underwear next year, so I will be checking the January sales, I don't like to buy items at full price. 

On the whole we have had a good year, we stayed on budget over Christmas, the biggest increase was on food, but we have got stocks of most things, with lockdowns, Brexit we decided we needed to have 3 months larder stock. We are now back in lockdown, which I'm happy to do, hiding from people carrying the virus is our only hope, stay safe. 

Heating is on more but we are still staying within our monthly budget, we do have a reasonable credit on our account ready for the winter surge in cost. On the whole our monthly outgoing are level and not going up. 

Our household waste has reduced, having the new local fruit and veg shop has really helped, we are not saving money, but no packing and being able to pick loose items helped with no having to eat things before they go off. We stopped buying so much new household stuff and clothes, we are mindful of using what we have, the days of replacing for a newer model has long gone. In the last few years hubby has gotten on board with me and now understands what we are doing, not huge major things but little simple things which all add to the bigger issues we are all trying to sort with environment and how we live our lives, commercialism is now global, 24 hours every day, our government needs it, it brings in taxes, but we are happy to have left it out of our lives. 


Thursday 24 December 2020

Merry Christmas

This is the oldest book I own, it was given to me by our local church, in my childhood they gave every child in the village a gift on Christmas eve. Growing up in a big family almost everything was passed on to a younger sibling, but this book I kept, at 11 years old I already had a huge love of reading.  
It says received in 1966, 
further down this back page I have written my name and address. 

Sadly one of my daughters added more colours to this page
This book is very fragile, after all it's 54 years old, I still love ladybird books, for so many people they were the knowledge books of our childhood.

I feel Christmas this year is fragile, nothing is normal, families are apart, I feel horrible my brother is not here with us, he will have lunch with our sister, but he will be alone Christmas eve and day nights. 

This battle is not like any other, we can't see our foe, our love ones could be carrying a virus which could pass us by, make us really ill, or, well lets not think of that. So this year we are in small groups, sadly loads will be on their own, not able to travel from there tiers to loved ones homes. On boxing day we raise to tier 4, we need nothing and will not leave our house, can things get any worse. 

I hope you find peace in the Christmas season, you and your families are well, in all this doom and gloom please look because there are happy moments, conceptions, births, marriages and birthdays, some we will miss this year but there will come a time when we can all touch and cuddle each other, sadly just not this Christmas.  

Wednesday 23 December 2020


I have seen this book for sale at £25 for a new copy, which is not a bad price for a book, but with gardening books I have found they look promising and then don't deliver, so I have passed it by. Hubby found it on Amazon 2nd hand at £8.49 and at that price it was worth having a copy. This book delivers, it's just what I need to be able to choose garden plants which gives colour in the cooler months as well as the summer. I do also like Nick Bailey, he has a simple approach to gardening. 
 I do have a couple of years of Gardeners World mags, I keep for reference, I do pull them out in winter months in hope of inspiration, but there is never enough details to be able to plan for my garden. I got most of these on a 2 year deal, I rarely buy them now.  
In normal times I would not have picked this book to read, it was picked on my library's scheme for me, it's an uncomplicated story line, simple lives, I did enjoy reading it.  
Another book I would not have picked up by choice, I have read Danielle Steel books before, I find them predictable, the female always gets to the place she wants to be and wins the heart of the man she loves, and always in the last few chapters. Book 81 of this year. 

I did walk to the village on Tuesday, the new Tesco express was open, I had a look, plenty of stock in there, I got our fruit and veg from our local shop, and I managed to pick up a couple of cheap books to read. I walked to Co-op and got the last 2 items we required, the Co-op had almost sold out of it's Christmas stock, seams we are all shopping local this year. I will stay in today as it is market day, and I expect the village to be busy, and as there are just 2 of us, we have plenty of food and treats. 

We watched It's a wonderful life, I try and watch this iconic film each Christmas, black and white movies always remind me of sleepover with my older sister, we watched the midnight movies together, old B&W horror movies, you know the ones where the lead female has the most perfect scream. 
Later today Will and George is here mummy has an hospital appointment, so it's nanna duties, I stripped and remade our bed, so I will iron it later once dry and then everything is sorted.  So plenty of play time and watch a movie, chocolate may also be involved. 

Still not done any crafting, I'm not in the mindset, I have a blanket to finish for George and knitting for both Will and George, but the days after Christmas is always time I find my crafting mojo back. 

Monday 21 December 2020

My heaven

I love tree's, I always have, this twisted willow I got when it was just a twig, it's beautiful in summer and also in winter, I love the structure it brings into the garden. 
My dogwood, is just as we hoped, it will get bigger over the years and will look stunning against the green of the water butt, turning a dull corner into a beautiful feature. 
My Acer is another beautiful shape, I have the green tape at the bottom to stop the cats. The grasses in the sink give colour to this area. The front pot is my little lemon clematis, which is closing down for the winter. I also love the tower baskets with pebbles in, the shades look better after the rain. 
My triple Acers and a spring pot, both looking good.
Fruit pots even look good at this time of year. 
My Pomegranate plant, it's the 1st winter I have left it outside, I am keeping a close eye on it, I would hate to lose this small tree, I grew it from a pip/seed from a fruit. 
Olives are changing colour, very few have dropped off, but the birds have feasted on the new smaller one which formed in September, which I don't mind at all, I do try to have natural bird foods growing in this garden. 
The back garden is looking good, the hedge leaves are changing and giving late colour, there are no berries left here. 
By the front door the eucalyptus are looking good, I have 2 plants either side of the front door, they are getting bigger, so I plan to cut them back next spring. 
I never move the geranium, it's survived for years in this chimney pot, it should be dormant at this time of year,  I'm watching it to see if it flowers again. I also have a begonia corn in this pot, but now is lost all the foliage and is sleeping. 
Winter jasmin along the back fence, with my lights, which are left up all year, they are solar so we don't see them on so much now. These tiny yellow flower look so good, I pop here most days to my greenhouse and shed. 
Even on a dull wet day, this view brings joy to me. 
I had not planned to post today, but with so much negative news everywhere, I went to the place where I find joy, my garden has helped with healing after too many operations and dealing with cancer, stress after bad days at work and now with anxiety. I really hope you have such a place to go, peaceful and calming, I'm now going to plan for next growing season.

Sunday 20 December 2020

The season for giving

I received a parcel on Friday, it was a very wet dull day, 
so an unexpected parcel was wonderful. 
Inside was a card and numbered little parcels, Jo from Through the keyhole, included a letter, stating these parcels are for the 12 days of Christmas, one to be opened each day until 6th January. I had stitched with her, when she set the 12 days of Christmas challenge. 

They are so pretty.

My friend had a saw this and thought of you moment,
it's a brilliant card.

We have not been out at all, hubby is struggling to walk very far, he needs to rest, if he on his feet too much his leg swells and aches, I know he is bored, but rest is the main course of action for his healing. I have nowhere I need to go, we have most of what we need for the next few weeks and beyond.

I finished watching The Crown, I did enjoy it, but felt they stirred things up a bit, don't get me wrong, I am not a fan of Charles, to me he has always seamed spoilt and self-centred, and I do understand Diana was different from them all, but the way they set the royal family, cold and each of them self obsessed, I did like the rebel Princess Margaret.

We had Will on a sleep over, he wanted to come to our Strictly party, each year on the final Saturday program we have a takeaway and enjoy a bottle of wine, for us it's the start of Christmas. In normal years we would pop out in the day with cards and gifts for friends and family, this year that was all done last week. We did have a our party, only one glass of wine each, we will have another glass this evening. Bill winning was a shock, but at least he can dance, everyone in the final deserved to win, they all danced well. 

This is the year we all need to be kind to each other, having the knowledge someone has thought about you and acted on the thought is powerful and uplifting. I have done more random giving this year, mainly to local groups, food banks and gift request for children and older folk. I have been able through local pages on Facebook to give funds where needed, never sadly huge sums, but as a community together we have build funds for those who are in need.  Even just a smile can be uplifting, catching someone's eye and sharing a few seconds together, before getting on with your day, or a kind comment on a blog, contact without touching, small things are big this year.

When oh when is this nightmare we are living through going to end...... 

Friday 18 December 2020

Friday feeling

Another great book, I feel so lucky to be able to find so many good books, this was one of the six chosen for me from our local library. I was pleased as it was on my list of books to read, book 79 this year. 
You can see the happiness on Wills face, our local force had its meet the public in town center as daughter and Will walked through after his swimming lesson and as always they went to say hello, and they made his day

Acts of kindness, simple things, our local barber popped to our house today, we wore mask so he could cut hubby's hair, even if I drove to the village hubby would have struggled to get to the shop, this simple kind act has again left me feeling so very good, and hubby has tidy hair again. 

So much to think about, locally the city of Portsmouth with a couple of local towns are now in tier 3, we are still tier 2, but it's so close it does not feel safe. Our local hospital is not anywhere I would want to be, hubby does not have any more appointments. We have our huge Asda order being delivered on Sunday, so no plans to go anywhere other than our village. With the hold up at the ports slowing things coming into UK, there is nothing much we need in the weeks to come, planning ahead has worked this time with us. 

Sadly the bird flu has come to our area, the swans on the local creek has been infected and some have died, the council and DEFRA are both working to save the remaining swans, but it's another knock in this really horrible year.

We are heading into the weekend with feelings of sadness, my brother should have been driving down for Christmas, sadly its not a safe year to mix, our levels are higher than in Somerset, so the risk is too much. We won't be on our own, we are spending Christmas with daughter, SIL, Will and George, staying within our bubble, but only for 1 day. Just more of the same in this strange year. 

Wednesday 16 December 2020

Couple of finishes

Book 78 read this year, this was in my December books from our library, I loved it, great story line, brilliant twist at the end, I could not put this book down. Already started my next book.
Christmas cake is done, I have never made marbled icing before, I did cheat and purchase white ready to roll, and some coloured packs, you roll out the white into 2 sausages you add the colours, using much less and different amounts for all colours, roll them until they blend, then twist together a quick roll and then curl like a Chelsea bun, and roll flat. As you can see it's not quite there, I should have used less colour and twisted more, but I'm happy with our colourful simple cake. 
I managed to clean the house, both bathrooms and steam clean the floors, I always add Zoflora lemon to the steamer, so our wooden floors, kitchen and bathroom smell lovely. I am happy chores are up to date, hubby normally does laundry and ironing and cooks most days, I am doing everything, I'm exhausted each evening and I'm sleeping well. Luckily the garden is resting and I don't have my work outside, it's been heaven not to have our Magnolia leaves to pick up this year. 
Hubby had a check up at fracture clinic, he's healing well, the bones are staying aligned, and they expect no issues, he has been told the boot stays on to mid January, which after he told me, I saw he realised his mistake, now he won't get it removed any earlier. 
Last night we had George on his 2nd sleepover, he is such a good little boy, so happy. This morning mummy has taken Will to his last swimming lesson of this year, they will be here later this morning, we have bread baking and a pizza for Will's lunch. It's market day in the village and wet, so we have no plans to go out. 
I am managing to stay upbeat, with virus and brexit doom and gloom everywhere, we have enough store cupboard and freezer items, we should not need to shop outside of our village for a couple of months. The new Tesco small store is due to open before the end of the year, but I don't plan to use it much. 

Monday 14 December 2020

Mid way

My new bargain yellow sandals arrived, these are from Clarks outlet online, I buy lots from them, reduced from £66 to £20, and bonus they are tan not yellow, leather all over and very sturdy, perfect bargain. I am happy to buy clothes and shoes out of season, my size and taste does not change, I do love a bargain. 
I am so pleased both my Amaryllis bulbs have a shoot which looks like a flower tip, I have everything crossed these grow and bloom. 
I planted Hyacinth bulbs, I never get on well with these, not having a dark airing cupboard has always been the issue, so I popped these under my desk by the radiator, I am hoping I can get these to a nice height. 
We have started using our Christmas mugs, I love my Robin one. I don't have much Christmas China, I have a jug and a dish, I do love plain white China. 
December is marching on, we have another busy week, so blink and it will be the weekend again. Most of Christmas things have been done, I have my parcel ready for collection and then delivery to my sister. I am going to do our Christmas cake this afternoon, I will marble the top icing on the cake, I have not done this before and hope I can get it looking right. I do have a spare pack of icing if it goes wrong, how's that for positive thinking. 

I caught up with the ironing, but I have another load drying, so soon there will be more. I aim to give the house a big clean next Monday, I can't relax even on Christmas day if there are things which need doing, I always clean the house before we go on holiday, so I can enjoy my break. Hubby is relaxing which is good, the swelling is going down, it still aches, we can see improvement, most afternoons we sit and read, I'm not crafting, which is Ok. 

I will walk to the village today, I have a few things to sort and a couple of cards to post, our fruit and veg shop is closed on a Monday so I will have to pop back tomorrow to fill the fruit dish. 

Saturday 12 December 2020

Flowers in the garden

This is my 77th book read this year, I do love this author, she always makes a good story line, it was a slow start, set in 70's, I found it was authentic of the time. I am aiming to read another 3 books before the year end. 
I got the next selection of books from the library, Blood orange was on my list of books to read and I do love S K  Tremayne. I won't read Danielle Steel, the other 3, I don't know anything about. 
The garden has loads of colour, cyclamen are in full flower, I grow these in pots, so I can place them where they can be seen. My begonias in the 2 chimneys have finished so now we can see the cyclamen blooms, I never remove the corns from the chimneys they survive our winters and come back each year. 
I love to see this metal table each winter, it's the only garden furniture left out, I always have cyclamen in pots here, it is the first part of the garden you see as you walk to our back entrance. The garden is still looking good, I do have bare patches, but I can live with that. 
Hubby is doing well, resting which is good, not getting too frustrated, I am so glad we sort Christmas by the end of November, we have an Asda order due on 20th, which will top us up nicely, for the fresh stuff I will walk to our local Co-op and use the vouchers. I do have to take hubby to local hospital for a check up on Tuesday, I will have to sit outside in the car again.

I popped to my friends with the 12 days of Christmas cushion, which she loved, we sat just inside her garage, keeping our distance, naughty but it was chucking it down with rain, she has a new hearing dog a cockapoo, called Hunter, he is beautiful, very happy in his new home, he's really lucky he will have a loving home. 

It's Saturday again, where did that week go, I must get the parcel in the post to my sister and brother, I have no excuse, I have started Will's second sleeve for his jacket, I hope to finish and get on with the armhole shaping on the body. I will have plenty of knitting time later, first I have ironing to do. 

Thursday 10 December 2020

More kindness

Hand turned by a really lovely friend, delivered by him and his wife, a chat on the door step, smiles and feeling great. The bowl has been turned on the side of the wood, normally he uses a slice, the grain is very different. 
After turning me a bowl with a crack in earlier in the year, he knew how to use this Holly trunk, he has made a pair of candle sticks for his wife and one for me, its so tactile, the knots, the different shades, there is nothing not to like. This is going to have a premium place, its just so beautiful. 
I did say I was not getting one this year, but they are beautiful plants, I'm loving this table display.
Have been so blue for so long, I am now feeling better, and even festive, I managed to wrap family gifts and pack them up for posting, I also finished writing all our cards. The Christmas cake is ready for its marzipan layer, and I'm looking on how to decorate the top, I hope to make toppers again this year, or go crazy and do a marbled finish in Christmas colours. 

Hubby took a trip to A&E, just to be safe, he had fractured his ankle, so he is now wearing a boot, he was able to book an appointment, was in sorted and back out in less than an hour, the down side was I had to sit in the car, it was very cold, but I'm glad he is sorted. I managed to pass on kindness, a lady's card would not work in hospital carpark, so I paid for her parking, it felt good. 

We had George on Wednesday morning, mummy took Will for his swimming lesson, it's been a busy time, but it's a labour of love. George is surprising me, he picks up things quickly, he can now call the cat to him, he is using his cup most of the day, I even had him holding it himself. Will was a good boy after a great swimming lesson, he can now swim unaided and has no fear of the water. 

I have purchased a pair of leather summer sandals from Clarks outlet, reduced from £66 to £20, plus free delivery, they are yellow, which would not have been my 1st choice, but a great saving. 

 I am reading another book by Karen Slaughter, it's a good start, her books are often huge, this one has 484 pages, the last book was almost 600 pages. I have also started the 2nd sleeve for Will's jacket, it will not take long to knit, my cross stitch has as yet not been touched. Things here feel more balanced, I have said before I need to plan and know how and where things are going, my big worry is still there, but I am managing to a better level, it's not in the forefront anymore. 

Tuesday 8 December 2020


After having Will on Saturday night, last night for the first time we had George on a sleepover, he was in bed by 7.30 and slept through as expected. We had Will at 2 months on his first sleepover, mummy took longer to be able to let George stay, which is good with us, we hope to have him again next week on his own, ready for the new year when we will have both of the together. 
I could not put this book down, it was compelling reading, the story twisted its way to a brilliant ending. 75th book read this year. 
Will was a good boy on his sleepover, we had homemade pizza which he loves, he did wake up at 5.30am and I got up with him, normally he would crawl into our bed and snuggle, but he was wide awake, I had a few things planned to do, but he just wanted to play with the dinky cars we have. 

It's a mixed start to the week here, hubby went out on his motorbike on Sunday and came off, his front wheel slid on a drain cover, luckily it was at a junction and he was going slow, but he has strained his ankle and had a huge bruise, so he is limping around the house. 
Having George was bliss, he's such a happy little man, and interested in everything, Purdy one of our cats loves him and will stay very close to him. He was not interested in the Christmas tree, just all the toys we have here for him. 
I am now feeling much happier, I still have the huge worry, we won't know the outcome until the new year, I have everything crossed things will happen to allow us a better life, but I also know I'm not always that lucky, as they say 'time will tell'. Your recent comments have helped, I grew up with a mum who was a strong woman, so feeling sorry for myself was never entertained. 
I should have been having a coffee and chat with our sign class friends, outside in the village, but George is with us until after lunch, only half the ladies will be there, so hopefully we can all get together before Christmas.
I have not done any crafting, I have spent most of my time reading, at least I have stopped staring into space most afternoons, I did finish daughters cake, and just have to marzipan and ice ours. I also still have to finish the item I am making George, so a sewing machine day is needed. 


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