Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Tuesday 31 May 2022

May roundup

Slightly higher spend this month, but lower than this time last year, changing the herb bed, most cost went on topsoil and manure, I have reused many plants from around our garden, plus loads of half price spring bulbs, too good a price to miss and a few packets of seeds. Low spend on craft, I got material for bunting, I am using mainly what I have, I also got yarn, I am knitting again, I visited the library this month, I did purchase another pack of bra's from Asda they were reduced and I got 10% extra off. 

We have been really good with our shopping, our cupboards and freezers are all full, and I'm not letting the levels drop, there are still empty spaces on shelves in the supermarket, and with the prices rising every time you visit. We did another big shop at Asda they are doing their 10% discount with the blue light card, it's too good to miss. No food waste again, we have our own salad stuff growing, so we are making savings here, and eating more salad than normal. I also got the compost from the garden, saving on the cost of a bag, which I normally pop on the garden in May. 

My weight is still too high, it has reduced a little, my steps are much better, I am hitting 7,000 steps per day at least 4 times a week, and on average I am hitting over 49,000 per week. I will soon rise the number to 8,000 per day. The weight is just so stubborn this year, I'm going to have to work harder to rid myself of this unwanted fat. 

Monday 30 May 2022

A slower time

This is a bit different for me, it's a vintage pattern, probably from the 80's, I've never made it up before, I love the colour mix in this yarn, but I wanted it lighten it a bit, so I have added the pink side panels as a contrast. I hope to do the neck and one sleeve cuff in the pink as well. The design is opposite to the pattern, I am knitting the back section.  Knitting with double knitting yarn, feels so thick, I normally knit with 4ply.
I have done a few more squares on this piece, I will finish the light green and yellow before doing the bottom section, it would be so easy to leave these colours to last, but I'm thinking it's best to get them done now. I have a plan to frame this and give it as a gift, I hope to pop to Hobbycraft next week, it's next to a huge garden centre, so we can make a day of it.
Book 45, that averages out at 9 books each month so far this year, my reading will slow down now as the summer months are here and the garden calls. Again another book I enjoyed, it did have a slower start, but he always builds the tension, I love how he uses normal people, giving their lives a twist. This is set in today's world, post covid, so many people who could be behind it, and how clever the plot ends and sorts out loose ends. Not my favourite but still a really good read. 
I have cut my bunting, firstly I cut into strips, then into V shapes using 100% cotton, 2 patterned and 3 (red, blue and white) plain, it took a while to iron them all, I only have to sew them onto the tape, I am making them so the can stay out in all weather's and be used again in the future. Here whilst cutting and before sewing. 
I've had a marvellous slow weekend, I do enjoy being home on my own, I spend Friday with daughter, George and Molly and stayed for tea and spend time with Will. I took my book to bed that night to read for ages and after making a quick coffee I lay in bed reading on Saturday morning, bliss, nothing much to do, completely lazy start to the day, just what I needed. Middle of the day I cut out the bunting, I then did some cross stitch. Nothing to do in the garden, except watch the tiny birds feed, drink and use the bird bath, both cats slept in the sunshine.  Did some more reading later, did not turn TV on and had another early night. 

Sunday, I did some more sewing on my bunting, almost finished, just have to sew it to the tape. I also took the feet off a sleep suit daughter purchased for George, it's going to be a fancy dress costume, we are all going out to a Jubilee afternoon on Thursday. Another restful day, lovely sunny warm day, cats spent most of the day outside, I love living with patio doors open and the garden so close. A neighbour popped over for a chat and coffee, sat outside in the sunshine, sadly it won't last, as the heat builds so does the cat smell from next door, so we enjoy this time of year. 

Hubby is home later this morning, again nothing planned, he will want a few days at home. I still have my sewing machine out, I will finish the bunting and sew a couple badges on hubby's motorbike jacket. I am loving this relaxed feeling, we don't live a rushed life, but doing nothing has been good for me. 

Thursday 26 May 2022

Bottom of the garden

The greenhouse was emptied recently, I have english marigolds growing in the long pot, and loads of black hellebores on the shelf below. Everything else has been planted. It was given a big clean out in here when hubby replaced my glass, so everywhere is looking tidy. 
Both tomato plants have flowers, but one plant is not looking too healthy, there are a few flowers on the cucumber, my cut and come again salad leaves are in full harvest. This should be a productive space. 
My spring pots have been tucked along by the composter, these can't be seen from the house, they will stay here all summer. Plenty of room to walk, to compost all the garden waste, the path should now stay clear.
Out side the greenhouse along the back fence, my blueberries have loads of flowers forming, I have cut it back, so the crop won't be as good this year. The flower tubs look good, the white daisy shows and can been seen from the house. 
These steps I do like to keep clear, I am up this area a few times each day, the plants along the garage wall are all healthy, the butlers sink has my smaller grasses in, the trio of acers are still beautiful, the smaller one in the front pot has grown loads. 
I have sorted the centre of my shed, it's clear and I can get to everything inside, but I do want to pull things out and give it a good clean, there is no rush, I like it done once a year. In my photo above you can see a rusty hanging stake, I forgot to bin it. These few dull days are helping my new bedding plants as they can settle in and not dry out, I am watering the garden a couple times a week, having so many pots always ensures I have to water, but I don't mind I find it relaxing.

Our plan to save money with the composter and shredder, is a long term plan, the cost of the composter would take 2 years saving on council waste system, so beginning of 2023 will see us in savings, the shredder is almost 4 years, so we should be saving money from 2027. Gardening is never a quick fix, but the bonus is we deal with all our waste here, no trips to the tip, and no extra big dustbin. Plus we get free compost and leaf mulch each year. 

Both grandchildren are much better, we are just hoping they stay that way, last week was really frightening, how quick they both became ill, they both have fallen over in the last couple of days, as they both become mobile accidents will happen. We have not done much in the last couple of days, reading and knitting, lovely simple calm days. Hubby's eldest son is visiting tonight, he has motor biked it over from southern Ireland, he and hubby are heading off for a few days, they will meet younger son and travel around Devon and Dorset, hubby should be home on Monday. So I am planning a crafty weekend, top of my list is making bunting, I have everything I need. 

Wednesday 25 May 2022

Catching up

The lovely Miss G, Andrew is my daughters hairdresser, his alternate ego has been fundraising for local charities for 26 years, our local hospital has had the most support from him. Once he knew George has Downs Syndrome, he offered to help support the local charity, afternoon tea at a local hotel was so much fun on Sunday. It's the first time I've seen his show, not normally a show I would go to, but it was very enjoyable and just look at those legs. 
 I have done loads of stitching, I am on the last quarter of this project, my day times are spent out in our garden, any work outside at this time of year is repaid many times over so stitching and craft times are reduced. The pale green and yellow square are the hardest to stitch, the silks being so pale.  
Book 44 read this year, this is the 4th and last book in a series, somehow I have managed to read book 2 and 4, this should have been book 1 in the set, which I ordered from our local library, but I did not realise it was the last book until after I had started reading it. Another great book, I love the journalist in this book, he's a dad as well and makes an amusing story line.
I have purchased some double knit yarn from our local shop, I loved the shades, originally I got one ball for socks, but I love the shades so I got a couple more and a contrast for a summer jumper. I will have to look in my pattern books and find something I like, I have an itch to knit. It's James C Brett, Fairground DK.

Daughter was back at local hospital, this time with baby Molly, George passed his bugs on, Molly had trouble breathing on Sunday, daughter called 111, they sent an ambulance, who took Molly and mummy to the same ward George was in, so daughter has been dealing with the same doctors and nurses, now with the youngest. After two days they were sent home in the evening, tired but home, now we need everyone to gain their strength, I feel so much for my daughter having had weeks with them all having the nasty tummy bug, and them all being so ill, then George having difficulties breathing, and now Molly. Will is full of health, and happy to be at school, I truly hope they can all be well again, first night home neither Molly or George slept well.  

Monday I stayed at home, just incase daughter needed me, I took my frustration and worry out on the house, it's now spotless and gleaming, both bathrooms had a deep clean, I have always done this in times of stress and worry, hubby made no comments, bless him. Most of the gardening is done, so I have time for reading and craft and a new knitting project.

Tuesday we popped to Asda, they are running the blue light card discount again, 10% off, can't argue with that. Afternoon was relaxing and knitting, photos soon, it's just a block of stitches at the moment. 

Monday 23 May 2022


I dug out my composter for the first time this weekend, I really thought it was going to be wet and smelly, but luckily for me I got lovely compost, a bit too many woody bits, but it's a learning curve, I used it on my side bed as a mulch. I took out the bottom third. 
Hubby got a new toy, a shredder, it will help with the woody bits when we cut back shrubs and branches from the tree's, he trimmed the twisted willow as we don't want it getting huge. All the bits have been put into my black dustbin, in hope it will add to the leaf mulch I am making. So other than thicker branches (and we don't get many of them), everything can now be reused in the garden. 
On a sunny day everything looks great, I have all my bedding plants out now, the greenhouse is almost empty, I sorted all my plastic pots and cleaned them ready to reuse next year. 
Our bench is being used every day, we do love to stop for a coffee outside, it's nice to sit together and chat, another small plan is forming, not too much work, just sorting an untidy spot. Here you can see the shade forming from the garage, lovely spot for a hot day, it's always sunny in the morning and shady in afternoon. 
This is now my herb section, I have loads here, chives, thyme and parsley in the big black tub, and in pots I have bay, rosemary, mint, 2 x sage, lemon balm and marjoram. I have seeds sown for basil and some cress on wet kitchen towel. The bay has been cut right back, I am training it into a ball top. 
The beds are starting to look good, I still have a few gaps, but once everything has grown it should look full, I have cut back on my forget-me-nots in hope I get a second lot of flowers. 

Saturday was a working day, I don't think of gardening as work, it a passion of mine, hubby was happy to use his new shredder, the twisted willow looks a better size for our garden, we both are pleased we can reuse almost everything in the garden, without using the council expensive garden waste system. There will be times when we have branches thicker than we can shred, I am hoping I can pile them in a corner to rot themselves down. After 12 years here working outside, we don't get many weeds, I do keep an eye out and pull any when they are small, all our plants are healthy, so nothing is a chore. I have even decided to get rid of 2 big pots, they are not needed with the new garden bed giving us loads of colour. 

Sunday was a lazy morning, I went out for an afternoon tea lunch with youngest daughter, it has been planned for ages, it was a fundraiser for Portsmouth Downs Syndrome charity. Our host was daughters hairdresser, he is gay and has a cross dressed alter ego, he has been fundraising for a couple of years, he's such a fantastic person. 

Saturday 21 May 2022


 This is my 2000th post, I started this blog, way back in February 2009, Just a simple post, my eldest daughter helped me to start, who knew it would still be going 13 years later.

Somerset House, it was the story of my dolls house, I no longer have the house, but I do have a few miniatures around my office, just small rooms. I have left this blog open, as I do like to look back on everything I made. As with all my crafts, I changed so much on the build of the house. 

One day in the lens was to record my photos and the course we did on how to get the best from our cameras. This is the smallest of my blogs, I did hope to keep it going with just 1 photo a day, but Instagram has taken on that role, which sadly I still don't post every day. 

I have 10 blog books, the first 2 years are in one book, I have not printed 2020 or 2021, I do hope to have them sorted this year, I was going to stop at 2020, but world events changed my mind, and I will print a few more years, it is hard work, but it's fun. 

I still love blogging and bloggers, we are an interesting group, so many subjects to follow, my blog has always been about family, craft and gardening, each post has labels, so I can look back to see how things started, changed, I also love to look back on our grand children, 8 boys and Molly. The topics have stayed the same but my knowledge and outlook has changed. Being retired has also changed me, I was dreading having so much time, but in truth I am loving life, more time for all my passions. 

Thank for your good wishes for George, he came home on Friday, daughter has a phone number to call our local hospital department direct if he starts going blue again, this would bypass A&E and get him the best treatment quicker. Hopefully he will have his follow up appointment soon to see if his tonsils need removing, it so good to see him smile again. We are planning a very quiet weekend at home together. 

Friday 20 May 2022

Summer time

We are using the earth's resources faster than our planet can replace them, each year our overshoot day gets closer to the beginning of the year. Some people don't care, others don't know, we try and use anything we own for as long as we can, we stopped purchasing items just because we liked them. Our consumer world gobbles up resources making things to sell which we don't need, we sadly live in a throw away society. 

It's time for my summer displays, here on the kitchen window this jug is full of sweet peas, I can't grow them in my garden, but these silk ones are just as pretty, sadly no scent. I have had these flowers for a few years.
My tulips are now packed away, this mixed bunch has everything I love, it sits on a small table just inside our patio doors, again these are a few years old. These days I don't spend any money on cut flowers. I have on our dining room table a glass bowl with plastic lemons, limes and oranges, again they always look good and are years old. 
This orchid has bloomed for months, there are 2 stems and still loads of buds, they are the perfect pot plant for our sitting room. I do have a few orchids and when they finish blooming, I use a silk stem until the flowers return, because the leaves are real, the flowers look real as well. Silk flowers are a perfect way to keep blooms in your home. 
I could not get the cucumber seeds from Thomson and Morgan, our garden centre no longer sells their seeds, so I got this pack of mini munchies, I have popped 2 seeds in to see how quickly they grow. The cost of seeds is horrendous, I paid £4.25 for 5 cucumber seeds, how crazy is that. These seeds with a packet of Californian poppy seeds cost £11.19.

We have not done much this week, we have had Molly most days and collected Will from school, George is back in hospital, his oxygen levels keeps dipping, they give him oxygen and he's well and then a couple hours later he starts to turn blue, they have kept him in for 3 nights, their thoughts are his tonsils are enlarged and when he tries to rest, they part block his airways, he is going to require oxygen at night until they can resolve this. We are both tired, nothing has been done, not that anything other than good health matters. 

I have been driving most days the 8 miles to daughters house and Will's school, it's the other side of Fareham our local big town, I love driving and have never been bothered where ever I drive, I used to drive in London often. BUT recently I have noticed so much bad terrible driving, I'm not a slow driver, but so many people want to push in front of my car, last night at 9pm I was driving home, I was cut up by a car with a 'P' plate, whose driving was terrible, to fast and aggressive, he went into the left hand lane me into right as I was turning. I watched this car for a while, just keeping an eye on him, as we got to the roundabout, the car in front of the P plate, swing into my path to make the right turn, totally in the wrong lane, no indication,  how I missed hitting him I don't know, the car behind me had left a gap and managed not to hit my car, 2 idiots in one journey. It would be lovely to say this is not the normal behaviour, but that's not the case. 

Thursday 19 May 2022

Herbs to flowers

 Our herb garden has evolved, when we moved in this space was decking and in a state, I started popping pots here to cover the messy base, This was back in 2009, we were still sorting the house, so we did not have much time outside. I had a grow bag here as well. 

We decided to remove the decking planks, leaving the frame for a small garden, this was in 2010, we tried for many years to grow things in this space, it was not big enough and it was not a success. Too many cats digging up my veg made us not want to eat anything. 

 I then decided in 2016 to make it into a herb garden, using pot tops to keep the herbs tidy and slate around them, it worked much better, but often I would look at this space the herbs are good, not many plants here, but it was tidy.

It stayed this way for years, but lots of the herbs did not like our clay soil, many died each wet winter, I also have herbs in separate pots as they are too invasive to plant in the ground, these days we hardly pick any of them. This is how it looked before work started.
Firstly I picked off most of the slate, it been added around the acer and Magnolia trees, I removed the membrane, it's not worth keeping, I have dug out the herbs and potted some of them, the rosemary and the garlic both were binned, I took a couple cuttings from the rosemary. The small bay tree is now in a big pot, the bird bath is staying. 
Still loads to do here, I have added more manure and top soil, should now be perfect for planting. I have placed loads of bulbs from my big black tub, these should be OK planted 'in the green' and come back next year, I had a couple forget-me-nots to help fill gaps, a small hellebore as well as some nerines, which I love. There is a buffer zone of slate at the front, helps with plants which flop and the slate links the sections both sides. 

All this because we moved our bench and sit with our morning coffee, looking at this bed, hubby has never enjoyed the herb bed, as I have said before, the garden is never finished, luckily we did not want too many plants, I did get some packs of bulbs and corms, half price, they won't grow this year but will be OK for next, a few packets of seeds, we did get a rose and top soil. 

Tuesday 17 May 2022

It's raining again.

Aquilegias around the garden, so many lovely colours, these have self-seeded in many beds, I do love the pure yellow or white ones, they are all very tall this year. 
I have not shown many photo's of my Peonies, my big plant in top photo, is my best plant in the garden, I have had it for years, it came from our childhood house when mum moved. It is full of buds, which have stopped growing, I have done nothing with it, but I do think this year it's going to fail to flower. I have 2 other much smaller plants which are growing well, neither has yet to grow buds, I'm OK with that I can wait. 
I have done more squares on this, I find it very relaxing to make, I am now just over the half way point. I love these cooler colours, all the outlines of the squares are finished. 
This book was on the thriller desk at the library, I have never read this author before, so it was a random choice, it's a good story line, but the ending was all set out, no clues along the way, a good story not a great one. Book 43 read this year. 
Hubby was out last Saturday for a fundraiser, and purchased this book marker, it is very pretty and the lady who stitched it has lovely neat tiny stitches, I will try and keep it clean, it does look much nicer than the big wool band I was using. 
I have had this book for ages, I want to increase my knowledge on our native trees and wildflowers, I could have used it on our walk last Friday, it's by my chair for now, I might pop it into my camera bag. 

The heavy rain has stayed with us, Sunday was a washout, we did not leave the house, Will played lovely all morning, he did not stop eating, he is a growing lad, up rather than out. I spent the afternoon stitching, and then later reading. We moved the cats baskets from their place near the patio doors to the back of the dining area, away from the promised thunder storms. I got up twice in the night to check they were OK, both times they were snuggled in their baskets, the thunder and sheet lightening was very close and very bright and loud, the rain again was very heavy, luckily we do not have issues here with flooding, I was worried the rain would damage things in the garden, but in the morning, everything was good. 

Monday was a dull day more like October than May, I had loads planned but the grey skies hung on, I did spend 2 hours outside, the new bed has been sorted, I have already planted the bulbs from the pots and our new rose, until rain stopped play. I did waste a few hours on here, just relaxing and reading new to me blogs and some housework was done. I am happy to see so much rain, we do live in a dry part of the UK, so to have all this water at the start of our main growing season is good, and I won't need to water the garden for ages, just ensure my pots don't dry out. I am always happy at home, I can find things to do inside and out, and can lose hours reading I am a book worm. 

Today we are meeting in our village cafĂ© for coffee about 8 of us, should be fun, then I hope to pop to a garden centre, I want a packet of Thomson and Morgan seeds, which they sell, hopefully they will have what I want. We have blue skies again and it should be lovely and warm. 

Sunday 15 May 2022

No place like home.

 There is no place like home, and on a sunny hot Saturday afternoon with the grandchildren visiting, a walk to our local park, is just perfection, plenty to play on and loads of room to run around. 

They are growing up so fast, Molly is now crawling everywhere and pulling herself onto her feet. George is now taking more steps than crawling, not totally fully walking, but trying hard. Will is a brilliant older brother, he loves playing with both his younger siblings, he did make a new friend in the park. 
Book 42 read this year, this book is the 2nd in the Promise Falls set of 3, The Twenty Three was the final book, so I read this out of sequence, but I really enjoyed it, he is so very clever, this booked weaved through various situations all building to the final book. Even with the knowledge of what happens next, this was a good read. 

I managed to do half the gardening yesterday, I could have done it all, but after a chat with daughter, I had a shower as she drove over the children, Will was so sweet, he's a good little lad, mummy sneaked a bag into the car, so we could surprise Will with a sleepover. We played late into evening outside, it's so good to fully use the garden. 

No thunder and lightning, but at 4am it rained heavy for over an hour, the garden needs the water, all my water butt's will be full again. This morning it's cloudy, but should clear up soon. We have been up since 6am, Will never sleeps in, it's never so bad to be up early in the warmer months, we are not going to be able to play outside this morning. 

Saturday 14 May 2022

Midweek break.

We stayed just outside of Coventry, in the beautiful old house, Brandon House Hall, we had a room in the back of the house, they had build accommodation for huge numbers, our room was big, modern and comfortable, but it lacked any of the style of a grand old house. We had a brilliant few days, we caught a bus into Coventry from the local village.
We wanted to visit the cathedral, I love these old buildings, so full of interest, I love a photo with the old looking out on the new, the big arched windows are just so beautiful. 

This blue jacket was everywhere I went, 
he kept purchasing me coffee and cakes.
This wildlife centre was close to the hotel, we had a walk for a couple of hours around, and saw so much wildlife. 

The wood management was brilliant, everywhere there were piles of logs left to rot, and loads of beautiful carvings. 

Just a few of the signs, this is a wonderful family location, there were paths throughout the location, it was so big as we walked around we felt alone most of the time. 
This blue jacket had as much fun as I did, we both love our camera's, and love taking photo's, our styles are very different, so as we look through our photo's back home, we rarely take the same view at the same angle. 

We both feel recharged, the break was just what we needed, time together away from home is very different from time at home, we both relaxed. In Coventry we also went into the motor museum, I didn't take any photo's hubby took loads, it was an interesting afternoon, I enjoyed the displays, not as much as hubby, but it was worth the entrance fee.

Back home all is well, cats were fine, our neighbour and their children care for them, most of the day they both sleep, we have a camera set up in our sitting room, so we can check up on them whilst we are away. My water butts are looking much fuller, and the ground has had a good drink. we are fore caste thunder storms later and over night, they should fill the water butts. 

The laundry is on the line, we did our shopping yesterday at Lidl's, I had a £5 off a £40 spend, which had to be used , our fridge is again full. Hubby is out most of today, I have a few things to do and then I hope to get a couple hours in the garden, working on my project. 


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