Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Monday 28 February 2022

February roundup


Another low spending month, I had most of the crafting things I required, just got a few things. A couple things for garden and a reduced houseplant and an Orchid.  I still have the parcel from Hobbycraft, they were so quick to resend the lost parcel, but I have emailed them twice and still they have not arranged collection. 

I purchased more bra's this month a pack of 3 from Asda, they fit well and are very comfortable, I also got 2 novels, I  saw a book I could not resist, I am now back using our local library. 

We did spend more at Asda living store, but everything was on our list and the extra 10% discount helped. Reusing Valentine day cards saved money, we had a few to choose from, which I had saved in my memory box, I did think hubby would say no, but he's liking the wasteful saving. We also did another grocery shop, a couple of weeks early, but with rising prices the extra 10% discount was a big incentive. 

With all the prices going up and the war in Ukraine, our local petrol station saw panic buying again, loads on Facebook which made things worse and our village garage is now again sold out.

Waste is still on the agenda, here we only cook what we can eat, we are careful about the fresh fruit and veg we get, with prices rising, no one wants to pay for anything they can't eat, we are aware of everything coming into our house. The chart above shows most European countries and how much more each uses than our dear earth can produce, at some point we have to wake up to the fact our earth can't keep supplying the amounts we are using. 

I had to send my fitbit back for a replacement, it was not syncing with my phone, the new one is working fine, I do like the extra information from this design, my steps are not where I hoped they would be each day, February has been a difficult month, but I'm not giving up, it's better to be late with my targets. One positive note, I normally pop on a couple of pounds in Jan and Feb, this year I still weigh the same as I did on Jan 1st.

Friday 25 February 2022


 Is that Molly or me, I have a baby photo and when we compare it to Molly, we look so alike, it was the same with George, but he has changed so much as he has got older. She is now sitting up all by herself.

We had a full house on Thursday, toys everywhere, loads of fun, lunch was enjoyed, both boys ate well, Molly had her own food, just a few spoons, we did have loads leftover. Mummy took them home 4ish, after a tidy around, we both sat in the quiet, followed by an early night. It was a fantastic day, everyone was happy, lots of laughter together, sadly too wet to play outside. 
Book 17 read this year, I was passed this book, I've had it for a while, I've never read any of her books before, I did enjoy this book, but would not choose another of hers. No one passed books on this week, so I popped to our library and picked up 3, 2 are by authors who I love and have to be returned within 2 weeks, on their fastback scheme, no problems for me, I read fast. 
My lovely old cat Grace is now showing her age, she is 18 in May, she spends all morning in her bed, and if I sit and read in afternoon, she is on my lap as well as all evening. She does go outside, never for long and she never leaves our garden, she has become very vocal and follows me around the house and garden. She is thinner but still eats well, I don't think she has any discomfort, at her last check-up the vet said she was in good health, it's just old age. Purdy is 12, she rarely leaves our garden, never goes out the front anymore, I have heard her go into a garden behind us, but again she is home a lot, in the day she loves to sleep on the edge of the rug, just where we walk. 

This week all Covid restrictions have been removed, I'm not sure if I'm totally happy about it, I would love freedom from restrictions, I am aware numbers of infections, hospital patients and deaths are much lower and our vaccinations are very high. I would have preferred self isolation and free testing to have stayed much longer, giving us that backup against any new variants. So freedom is ours, we will have to hope every one is decent and the virus stays under control. 

Thursday we popped back to Asda, we moved our big shop forward a couple of weeks to use the 10% discount on hubbies blue light card, the discount finished on Feb 28th, as another supermarket says, every little helps. We are both shocked on how much the prices are rising, not by pennies, hubby gets 3 pack small tins of beans, last year they went from 99p to £1.29 today £2, almost everything cost more. Some things we passed on, rice was expensive, so on the way home we stopped at Lidl and got the rest of our list, we never shop at more than one shop in the same week, we always have paid £1.69 for German meatballs at Lidl, today they were £1.99. Petrol at Asda was £1.48 per litre. It has been an expensive month for food, but we should not need a big shop in March. 

As for Russia, well Putin, after all the hell of Covid, I had hoped the world could love itself more, but as usual it's the mad leaders who drag their people into these situations, I can't imagine  the struggle of those living in the area. 

Wednesday 23 February 2022

Calm weather today

After the storms the garden is looking good, there is loads of moss blown from the garage roof onto the lawn, and loads of plant material blown about, we are not doing anything at the moment as the winds are still blowing. 
We have buds on our Magnolia tree, it's far too early and as much as I love the shocking pink colour, I think most of these blooms will not flower, it's just too early. 
My metal table looks good, I keep changing pots, 
so we can see blooms from inside. 

Hellebores are still in full bloom, I hope to have more in the garden next year, white ones in my small raised bed by the back door. In the seed tray is seeds from the black flowers grown in the tub, I harvested them last year.  
I have Acers in 3 places, the big one is looking very healthy after we moved it last year, can't wait to see the colourful display, so close to the decking, I have a trio in a big pot and a green one in the smaller pot, these are by our patio doors, all are in bud. My pomegranate, which I left out this winter has loads as buds as well, the Olive is doing well, it has lost loads of leaves, but I have feed for it in early April. 
This is a Chinese Hazel, I purchased it a couple  years ago, it has hardly grown, last year I re-potted it into this pot in hope I can get new growth, it is hardy, so I have left it in a sheltered spot, but nothing I do can get it to grow, it's not dying, just not growing. 
The greenhouse stayed safe as did my shed, both have buildings in the wind path which protects them, the plants are doing good in the greenhouse, but as yet we have not had any real winter weather, only a few mornings with light frost. March is our coldest month, and if we see snow it will come in the next few weeks, we have been lucky in the past few years and only had a few flurries of snow, and no deep of snow on the ground, I have fleeces in the shed for my Olive, Acer and a couple of other plants, ready should I need them. It's a case of keeping my eye on the weather forecast and react as necessary. 

Normally at this time of year I am itching to get gardening, but this year I'm quiet OK not being outside, I am not sowing any seeds, I will purchase bedding plug plants from our local shop in the village in early April, I can grow them on for a nice mixture of colour and form. I have loads of houseplants which are feeding my desire to grow, some with babies which give me my gardening fix.

Thank you for all your birthday wishes for Will, he's a happy lad, and a joy to play with, they are all coming for lunch tomorrow, we are having a party lunch with cupcakes, no reason, just because we can.

The knitting book is great fun, I do worry that soon all the ladies in sign group will have a knitted lookalike doll, there were loads of chuckles as everyone had a look at the book. 

Monday 21 February 2022

Oh naughty.

I got this knitting book for my friend, she loves knitting soft toys, but said recently she was bored with animals, I think this should be a nice change for her. She loves knitting, it was for her birthday in May. But they have the builders in, so I have given it to her early for stress relief. 

I am rarely disappointed with books, below are 2 which I started reading and had to stop, strangely the Jojo Moyes book I have tried to read twice, but I can't gel with main woman and the setting does not help, so I will pass it on with the other book, which after a few chapters I knew I had already read, back in early 2020.

This book started much the same as the book above, I think I have read this before, I checked all my list, and no this title was not there, but still I kept thinking this is so familiar. Then the story opened up and it's bringing back villains from another book, in a new twist to their deeds, not all villains have been caught in his stories, I really enjoyed this book. Book 16 read this year. 
I have followed 'All on the board' on Instagram for ages, I am always reading out quotes to hubby, they have now entered them all into a book. They started just popping words on their board in a London underground station, in 2017 to cheer people up, now there are boards in many stations through out the country. Hubby got me this book, it was new, no chance of any second hand ones yet. 
This quote is from yesterday, sad news our Queen has Covid, not nice at any age, I like so many others, wish her well soon, she is and has been a perfect female role model all my life. 

We have not done much in the past few days, the weather has kept us inside most of the time, I'm bored, not interested in any crafting, maybe knitting, but nothing to knit, so I read. Our book swap is still going strong, but as I am the quickest reader, I still have to find more books, charity shops help, but I must get back to our local library. 

The main event this week was Will's 5th birthday on Friday, we did not get to see him on his birthday, the weather kept us away. I did drive to theirs 9am on Saturday, passing loads of broken fences, branches off trees, but no big trees down, I was very amused to pass a summerhouse roof, dropped on the outside of a fence, by the road. We are lucky where we live, few huge trees and no trampolines, we had nothing extra in our garden. The fence is done for, but next door has propped it back up, it won't last, hubby will write to her, we will have to pay in full for the replacement, but she will make it as difficult as she can, sadly it's what she does best. Storm Franklin has a yellow wind warning in our area for 24 hours ending today at mid day, there is only so much you can say or want to read about windy days. 

I sat with Molly on Saturday morning, whilst everyone went to Will's party, plenty of space to run around, the venue did all the party stuff and provided all the food, other than cakes.  They were all back home by 1pm, I stayed most of the afternoon, Will had loads of Lego packs, and a whoopie cushion, which he loves. Sunday was a day inside, watching the weather again, it's boring, but it's how our winter is. Lucky for us, we have power, no snow, and as Sue says in Her in him out2, how we live is much better than our parents, warm home, food and plenty of media to feed our minds. 

Friday 18 February 2022


 Eunice has blown through and done her deed, we no longer have a fence between us and our mad cat woman next door, it's the 3 panels by our house, these being the 3 panels they would not let us replace when we did the bottom half of the fence. Should be fun trying to get these done. Our hardwood garden furniture is under the green cover. 

Very high tide at Portchester castle, this photo from a local photographer, we went nowhere, just too windy, but strangely beautiful blue skies. The biggest gust was off Isle of Wight, the needles, it felt bad enough here. 
We did not get to see Will on his birthday Friday, they also stayed at home. His cake was made by a lady local to me, she delivered the cake to my house for his party on Saturday. Its a small cake and loads of cup cakes, it's just as he requested a police cake with a policeman chasing a robber. 

Eunice has passed us, it's still windy, but not too bad, we only had a couple quick rain storms, so we stayed at home, just a lovely restful day, loads of reading.

My brother was without electricity for a couple of hours, he lives in Somerset, not that close to the shore, he lives nearer the Bristol channel. Everyone else is fine, no problems, most of us no longer work, so no travelling.

I will be at daughters tomorrow early, I will look after Molly whilst Will, George, mummy and daddy go to popular go wild play area, just for 2 hours, the boys won't be worn out but mummy and daddy will. 

There they blow

 Book 14 read this year, new to me author and another brilliant plot, I had no clue until the plot revealed itself at the end. Very clever storyline, she has written 2 other books, which I've added to my list to read. 

Book 15, I have read Ruth Jones before, this was a brilliant read, she does understand the interaction between people, the ups and downs, another book I could not put down. I'm already reading my next book. 
I'm not sure when I last purchased an Orchid, but I don't have any in bloom at home, this beauty cost just £10 from a garden centre, it has loads of buds, so should bloom for weeks. I love to see an Orchid on this log burner, with my other white pots. 
I have said before most bulbs rot in our clay soil, but it does not stop me purchasing them, I love these bulbs, they are small and look lovely in the side garden, They are like mini Nerines, can't wait until warmer weather so I can get them in the ground, they are summer blooms. 

Tuesday our sign group met at a nearby garden centre, Dobbies, I have been there before, coffee was brilliant, we sat and chatted for a couple of hours, ladies pushed 2 tables together, and our husbands sat on another table, there was a 4th husband as Linda has hurt her knee and can't drive. It was far too wet to look outside, half the outside area was shut off as the staff were changing things around. 

We had Molly Monday and Wednesday morning, mummy was at the gym, she is determined to remove all the baby fat and get fit, with 3 children (5, 2 and 8 months), she is already fit running after them and keeping her house tidy. The rest of the time we have stayed local, popping to the village a couple of times, but it's been reading time,  storm Dudley threw himself everywhere, we are lucky this time as the south coast only caught the tail end of him. Storm Eunice is hot on his tail and she will bring damage here where we live. Both my family in Somerset and hubby's in Wales are all sitting out the storm, they all have the red weather warning,🤞everyone comes through OK. 

Thursday we had mummy, Will, George and Molly for tea, hubby made fish pie, which was lovely and loved by all. Will had his hair cut in our village barber, we had George and Molly at home, loads of play time. 

Today is Will's 5th birthday, he has an inset day (no school for children) and next week is half term, later we are going to his house to celebrate, mummy was planning to take him out, but the storm has changed plans. Now a red warning is along the south coast and into London, we will have to see if it is safe to go. 

Tuesday 15 February 2022

Wake up

Like everyone, I have games on my phone, I've never owned a games consol, and never been a gamer, but I am enjoying brain teasers, for years I did Sudko, but I've never found an online one I liked. 
 I have played Free Flow for years, I love it, but I do find it simple to play, the more games you play, the more you understand how the flows run. 
I get games daily and a weekly 30 games of different grids, I love them all. As with everything, it's knowing where to start. 
Flow Fit is a number puzzle, a cross between Tetris and Sudko, each shape has numbers in, you just have to fit them all into the grid, there are many different shapes of grid. 
I found Nerdle by luck, I after I started playing Wordle, I love numbers more than words, this game for me is easier. 

I often struggle with this Wordle game, but that's good, makes me think harder, the American spelling sometimes catches me out. But I have managed to complete it most days. I also play Worgle, it's almost the same, just has 6 letters in the word, not 5.
We are active much more than our parents, I often think of my mum at the age I am now, she was very different, much 'older'. A different generation, I do feel it's up to us to be the best we can, even on days you don't feel like participating in anything. Doing brain teasers each day helps, gets the grey cells going, wakes me up, they can take time every morning, but being retired I do have plenty of time. I also check my fitbit each morning, how well I slept, it helps plan my day, I do try and increase my steps, still heading for 10k each day. 

I still am not used to not working, I gave up over 3 years ago, but having had to work each day, just to have a comfortable life, I can feel guilty now being at home doing nothing. I do often think about volunteering, not in a charity shop, shop work has never been a choice I wanted. I tried to help in our local library, which had them suggesting things I rather not do and them wanting more hours than I planned. In the past I have taken on unpaid roles, doing things which were fun, but in almost every case, I did far more hours than I signed up for. 

I think this time of year gives me too much spare time, normally I'm planning the garden, but honestly there is nothing to plan, everywhere is sorted, just summer bedding plants to get once it's warmer. Inside we are getting bits and pieces to update our bedroom, when we moved in 12 years ago, we renewed so much throughout the house, good quality which has lasted well. Nothing else inside needs doing. 

I am reading loads doing a bit of craft, I have a few household sewing jobs to do, mainly I am waiting for summer. 

Monday 14 February 2022

Scrooge or eco warrior

 We ordered an afternoon tea from our local lady, we had it delivered Sunday 13th, there is always too much food for one sitting, so we had a lovely late lunch and then saved some cakes for Valentines day. So beautifully created, we always have them packed in boxes, she does at no extra cost normally serve them on tiered stands and loan cups and saucers. 

Hubby is making a lovely curry for tonight, we never dine out, as I feel we end up in a crowded place, given the venues choice of Valentines celebration, so we stay home together, nice bottle of Prosecco. We have the leftover scones and cream from yesterdays afternoon tea for lunch.

Hubby can't make his mind up, am I cheap? or saving the planet, I pulled out cards from previous years from my memory box to reuse, saving money and not adding to the card mountain I already have in my memory box. I'm happy to be both.

These are from last year.

Book 13 read this year, I do love Sharon Bolton, her plots are always different and brilliant, this one did not disappoint, I could not put the book down, it was exploring guilt, and very clever with it. Finding a book with a great plot is always a gift, I've had a few good books so far this year. 

My SIL gave me a beautiful gift over the weekend, I did ask if he could help, what was it? a bag of grass cuttings from his lawn, he did his 1st cut of the year. My composter was getting low, I have not added any bulk for a couple of months, so now it's full again, it's always the simple things which make me smile. 

Saturday we had a couple of hours at youngest daughters house, Will was practising his writing, he is now trying to write sentences, it's so very pleasing to see him so engaged with his school work, Molly was full of cuddles and then rolling all around the floor. George was having his afternoon nap, but I did get to wake him up before we came home, the smile when he saw me, was stunning. I am so blessed to have this happy family living so close.

We are happy to have our afternoon tea a day early, I would not be able to eat afternoon tea and then have a nice meal afterwards, our local lady lives close by, so it's an easy drop for her, she does not like you collecting, she is strict on who can enter her kitchen. This is becoming our Valentine's day treat to each other, hubby stopped getting flowers a few years ago, on my request, the cost of flowers can be so expensive. 

Valentines day has changed so much for us, no huge bunches of red roses, boxes of chocolates, meals out, weekends away, my hubby is a romantic and very thoughtful, he has not changed, but the way we view the world has, so a homecooked meal cooked with so much love, a small nod from me and he would get flowers. I really do prefer our chilled out, less of everything life we have now. 

Saturday 12 February 2022

Good things

Chinese Money plant, I have seen these often in Wilko's and walked past them, this week they were reduced to half price £3.50, I chose this plant as it has a baby and maybe a second growing, the main stem looks healthy as well. I also got a Chocolate Cosmos tuber, I love these plants in a pot outside, but I struggle to keep them over winter, even in the greenhouse. 
My car was due it's MOT, we always take it to the same garage, we used them for over 20 years, the same man is still in charge, we had to have new back brake pads, other than that it sailed through the MOT. We were chatting about if we should update the car, it's 8 years old, I was pleased to see he agreed with me on electric cars, and the way the battery is part of the main floor of the car, which if any problems, would be a huge expense. We have decided to keep the car for a couple more years, see where the technology is going. 

Book 12 this year, good story line, I think it must be part of a set as they referred back to things which has already happened to the main characters, I'm not sure I would want to read another book by this author, a bit to simple with all threads tied in, I don't always want the ending to be so sorted, real life is not that neat. 

I did not need another houseplant, but the challenge of returning the plant back to the beauty it once was, and to grow on 1 or 2 of the babies was there. My desk area is cluttered with plants, I still have space to move, but my side is much greener than hubbies side, as yet hubby has not said anything regarding my new houseplant, he is not a lover of plants inside. 

Thursday we walked around town whilst the car was in the garage, most of the shops I like have now closed in the town, M&S, Robert Dyas, Debenhams. We did wonder around TK Max, B&M and Wilko's and had lunch in a nice cafe, we walked in about 5 minutes after our friends had arrived, so we shared a table, it was good to chat on about any and every thing, a nice surprise meeting. 

We have been purchasing our cat food in tins for over a year, much better for the environment than pouches, tin can be recycled quickly, but we have been struggling to find the brand and type Grace will eat, she is really fussy and will only eat Felix, fishy flavours in jelly. Hubby had a look online, and was struggling, he called a local Pets at Home store, which had the tins in stock, it's not a store we visit often. Friday we drove to the shop and got 2 trays of tins, which will last for ages, the things we do for our pets,  it was next to a Homebase  and Farmfoods store, so we had a look around both stores, I've not been to Homebase for a few years and never in Farmfoods. 

I have been painting my nails brilliant red, they are a nice length, my friend commented on how nice they look, her next comment was 'have you stopped doing house work' I replied yep! but don't tell hubby. It's been a more positive week for me, loads of good things, car has MOT, tax and insurance, at good prices. The sun has shone every day this week, I've been out every day, walking around the garden, the park, I should have no reason to feel blue, but that does not stop it from happening. 

Thursday 10 February 2022

False spring

Spring is in the air, these pots on my metal table are beautiful, I do swap the pots around, I like looking out and seeing colour here. I have pots below the table and along the decking at this time of year, so many bulbs starting to grow.
Snowdrops always flower for ages, again I love to see these dotted around the garden. 
Bigger pots along the neighbours half wall, which are in shade half the day are starting to bloom, I almost always mix bulbs in bigger pots. 

I have cut back all the old leaves on my Hellebores, the pink flowers are in the ground and the black flowers in a huge pot. I have the 2 plants I had inside over Christmas with white flowers to plant, but I can't decide where to pop them. 
I am thinking of digging out this small raised bed by the backdoor and if I do I can put the white Hellebores in each end. I would like the Fuchsia located to a postion where we can see it from the house.  
I have wild garlic to rip out of this side bed, a couple of years ago the whole bed was full of the stuff, now it's just here in the middle section. I got cheap bulbs years ago without realising these were included. They do have pretty white flowers, but they are a thug and spread everywhere. 
Colour in the greenhouse, these have flowered all winter, I popped 3 plants into this small long pot, I will need to cut them back soon, then I will start feeding them, ready for the coming summer. 
Everywhere you look, there are signs of spring, tender plants with buds, blooms on plants far to early, this is false spring, we have had warmer temperatures in the past few weeks and a couple of days of light rain. It's not been cold enough this winter for the ground to harden, we get colder weather in March, and if we see snow again it's in March. 

I am doing very little outside, the bugs need the old growth on plants to shelter from weather,  the garden is tidy, I do move the spring bulb pots around, after all the work of planting, it's nice to be able to watch the colourful booms when they arrive. I have not purchased anything, this year all I should need is some bedding plants, which I will get locally at plug plant size and grow them on. I'm not saying I won't purchase things for the garden, but I have no big plans. 

It's warm in the greenhouse, I do have an automatic window opener, which helps, but a couple times this week, I have had to open the door as well. 

It's a mean time of year, I am itching to get outside and grow things, but it's just too soon, the sun shines and it's been much warmer, but I sit on my hands and watch the birds feed, roll on April. 

Wednesday 9 February 2022

Boring time of the year.

 Another book finished, 11th read this year. I thought my last book was great, but this one topped as the best read for a long time. All the clues were there, a straight forward double story line, until the author decided to create a curve ball near the end, did not see it coming, I'm not going to give anything away, just add this title to your reading list, I have already added her to my favourite author list.

The pink socks are finished and gifted to the lady in our haberdashery shop. I don't have many knitting plans, Sewing machine is back coming back out. 

This weekend coming there is a special antiques roadshow coming from our castle here in our village, it was recorded last year, we like loads of locals will be watching. 

We have not done much, Sunday was wet all day and I did not leave the house, a true lazy day.

Monday was another stay at home, we did walk to the village for a small shop, Molly was with us in the morning. We were both very tired, a local cat is coming into our garden and howling most nights, waking us both us often through the night, we don't understand why. Also at 4am, Grace our cat came into our bedroom and woke us up, she bolted but I found her in our sitting room, she seamed fine, again not sure why she came upstairs, normally our cats don't come upstairs. 

Tuesday was sign class and a birthday lunch, so I stayed later, only a few people attended, we had fun as well as a practice run with 'Bring me sunshine' Hubby was out in evening, so a quiet musical evening alone.

Today we have Molly, later I want to cutout more animals, no rush, but I want to start them, I have a few knitting patterns as well, so plenty to do. Oh and another great book to read. 


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