Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Thursday 31 August 2023

August round up


Another low spend month, when crafting I am mainly using my stash, just some fibre and needles purchased, the garden almost nothing, I did get half price seeds and some tulip bulbs, the bean pole sets were both 30% off. 

Another spend on clothes, at Matalan, great prices and 3 T shirts from Millets, good quality cotton. 

The zoo trip was my treat, £53 entry, that's with me reduced OAP, daughter free as carer for George, paid for Will and George, fibbed and said Molly was under 2, 2 adults and 3 children should be £73, not cheap. Food and ice creams were well priced, so just over £100 for the day, if we forget the visit to gift shop, which again was not over priced, I still think it was worth the cost.

Household spending was just monthly outgoings, nothing big required, plenty of savings this month, I did treat myself to 2 new cushions for our sofa. Hubby repaired our coffee filter system, the shredder and got a new cat-flap under warranty, which is 3 great savings.

Food waste was again good, it must be boring to read, but it's brilliant to record zero waste, still eating our own tomatoes and fruit, just enough most days to keep us happy, we still have bits left over from the long weekend, they will all be ate. One use plastic is still a huge problem, it's very useful, light and cheap for meats and other chilled items, we don't have anywhere locally which sells loose items. 

My steps are low again, I am doing more and feeling better for it, I have gained a couple of pounds, but my weight yo-yo's so much, I do feel fitter, I must focus again, I'm not very good at losing weight. 

Monday 28 August 2023

Long weekend

I was not sure about this book, it could be good or silly, as it turns out it was good, very good, not my normal read, but very enjoyable. Set in the near future, just 3 main people and their interactions with each other and how they change, grow, expand, it had 467 pages and I loved each one. She has another book which I am off to find called Last one at the party. Book 24 read this year.

Late August garden is looking good, I ripped out the french marigolds and replaced them with colourful viola's in the front of the side bed, I have been harvesting berries which are huge this year and tomatoes. This is our view for the weekend, it's calm and relaxing and just what we need. Some of the flowers are on their final bloom, summer is drawing to a close, it's rushed by, the speed added to by the number of wet days, this summer will be remembered for the amount of rain. 
It looks like a cat flap, it is a cat flap, for hubby is a triumph, we have an open plan house, so an electronic cat flap is a important item, it allows any animal to exit from the house, but it only allows certain cats back in, it reads the chips in both our cats, ours stopped working, hubby took it apart to clean and check, got in touch with the company, sent video's as we could not return the item (it would have left a huge hole in the door), in less than a week it has been replaced under warranty, and we are back secure. Our old one was white, but I can live with this one being black. 

 The cat flap is the third thing hubby has repaired this month, our coffee filter pot stopped working, hubby took it apart and descaled everything, we live in a hard water area, it's working perfectly again. Our paper shredder had jammed, he freed it, but it still would not work, he came in for coffee shaking his head muttering we need a new one, after his coffee, he had one more go and now that is working again, he will tell you he is not technical, but he does like taking things apart and rebuilding them. Nice savings this month, repair rather than renew, we both like to pack things away clean, I empty my Dyson each time I use it, he cleans everything after use, we both were raised by parents who made us look after our stuff. 

Having had a BBQ on Friday, I have lost track of the days over the weekend, and made this bank holiday a day longer, not that national holidays mean much to us, just loads more cars on our roads. Our oldest grandson Josh, has been at Redding festival for the weekend, he has just had his 18th birthday, locally in Portsmouth Victorious is happening, it was under threat as our local bus drivers were going on strike the whole weekend, as well as the trains, but at the last moment the bus drives cancelled their protest.  Saturday I did almost nothing, again I was tired, my brother spent 2 days with his daughter, so hubby and I had a restful day and evening together and I finally a glass of red wine. My brother returned last night from his daughters house, they have football matches all day today, so Martin is back here. Later we are having another BBQ, we are inviting the guys from the house at the bottom of the garden, after I have ate, I will come inside and leave them to it.   

Thank you for your comments in my last post, daughter knows George well and knew he needed antibiotics,  any decent doctor would have seen him and given her a course and see how he is, the hospital said they were giving him them, but as he was there they would observe him, daughter sat for 6 hours, time when she desperately needed sleep herself. The department was very quiet, happily not too many sick children, George has perked up, Molly is looking better, they do bounce germs off each other. They both had a birthday party on Sunday, at their friends home, the host told daughter to bring them along, let them stay and play for as long as necessary, the host had already purchased food for them both to eat as they are both dairy free, Molly also can't eat Soya, George doesn't eat meat, they had loads of fun and slept well that night. As George gets older he is being invited to more parties, he is like every other 3 year old, loves a party and playing with friends, daughter has a great network of friends, who do not exclude him.

Saturday 26 August 2023


 I love this plant, it's a Albuca Spiralis Frizzle Sizzle, I have had two different leaf growths since I purchased it, I had to check with Mr Google how to care for it, as it's a bulb. After it flowered I put it back into my greenhouse and let it die back, I leave any top growth, until it can be easily removed. I have a passion for different leaf shapes and textures and love these which naturally curl, it does look as if I now have a second plant in this pot, I will leave them grow and when they die back, I will renew the compost and pant into 2 pots.

Our daughter's post on Instagram

I am so annoyed, George and Molly both have bad colds, Molly is able to work her way through the germs, sadly George struggles, he had a bad night on Thursday, so mummy called her doctors surgery early Friday morning and was told a doctor will call. At 4pm she called the surgery again, she was worried as its a weekend and the surgery will shut for 3 days, and was curtly told the doctor will call, she was upset as this has happened before and did not get the promised call. We had a lovely time at our BBQ, the little ones were both tired, but played well, neither ate much. She left at 4.30pm, once home she got a call after 5pm and was told by the doctor, George needs to be seen and he has to be taken to A&E. George is 3, he has Downs Syndrome, with many breathing issues, when ill he deteriorates quickly, but yet again her useless surgery have let them down. I know doctors are over worked, but with his medical records, and past experiences, the doctors at this surgery never get daughter to bring George to them, they return calls later and just send him to A&E, why can't some doctors see sick children. I drove to daughters, so I could sit with Molly, Will was going to have a sleepover at ours, but he was upset and came home with me. It spoilt the day, thankfully the staff at our local hospital, QA at Portsmouth are brilliant, but it does take hours, so daughter came home exhausted. I know our world has changed, getting medical help is very mixed, we are lucky we have a brilliant surgery, shame daughters surgery, which is on the other side of town, is so poor, sadly it's the only surgery in her village. Luckily I don't drink when the children are with us, I had just poured a glass of red wine to relax after all the cleaning up from our BBQ, so I spent the whole evening baby sitting and worrying, it's a sad world when a sick child is let down so badly.

I got home just after 1am, so I am tired again today, daughter did not want to call 111 as they always send an ambulance, if they have to go to hospital she is able to drive him, it's not too far from their home. George slept better, he was just so tired, we are hoping the meds he has been given will help him. 

Friday 25 August 2023

Not much

Another incredible book to read, I do love Sharon Bolton, she holds your attention all through the book, lots a little details, which weave through the plot. This is a sequel to The Craftman, and is set 30 years later, lives have been lived and the town has moved on, and at the same time stuck in the past. Book 23 read this year.
Many years ago, I made this adorable felt cat, using the pattern from this Japanese book, I could not understand the written instructions, the book is packed full of animal patterns, with sketches showing how to make them, at the time I made loads of animals. I kept the cat, it's on my shelf by my desk, I love the quirky style. 
So for my next needle felting project, I thought I would make a copy of the cat, here is the body I have shaped, it's a bit bigger, I used too much of the fibre, probably a common newbie mistake, but I am shaping it down to size. I found the head a bit of a struggle, I had to start it a second time, unlike the body which I formed freehand, I required a pipe-cleaner form head shaped to wrap the rovings around, this I found much better, remembering my tutors words, use less and wrap more to build the shape, as yet not picture worthy.
 I quickly realised the few tools I purchased years ago are for making flat designs, and not useful for shaping 3D items. Sadly there is nowhere locally to purchase supplies, Hobbycraft is the only place and as I purchased the items in the right hand photo, which are unsuitable, I had to go online. There are some great sites for need-felting, but again you need to know what to purchase and then there are delivery charges, so I gave in and looked on Amazon, I got this kit, it has 4 sizes in needles and a few extras, including wooden handles. 

After saying there were no discounts from the publisher I use to print my blog books, I got an email, 30% off, as with everything else the prices have risen, but to a level I still feel OK to pay for my book, 2020 will be with me soon, I was very glad to finish rereading that year. I have just November and December to import into 2021, I have proof read up to and including July, so a bit more work to do, but I'm getting there. I do think I will do 2022, so Molly features in my books, all other grandchildren have their places in my blog and therefore in these books. 

Nothing much has happened here, I harvest small amounts of fruit and veg, tidy and dead head around the garden, clean the house and read, I'm not in the mood for much crafting, just enjoying the peace within out tidy home. We have shopped for our BBQ today, my brother is here, and daughter and her 3 will arrive later with her mum and dad in law, we always invite them to our family BBQ's. My brother is staying for a week, he will visit his daughter, but not stay over long, they have a new puppy who does not like the nights and is very noisy, so no plans, we both enjoy his company.

Wednesday 23 August 2023

Just another week as this year rushes by.

Two very different books, 
The Rise, started with the main players, all very successful, rich and famous, and looking very good for their age, it is set in LA, I almost discarded the book at the first chapter. It had a very good plot, the story line was OK, a bit too showy for me, the end was very predictable, I was surprised I read the whole book. 
The Dilemma, I do love B A Paris, so from the start I knew this book was going to be good, and it did not disappoint, I could not put it down, a very simple concept, a difficult subject, well written, loved every word. 
Books 21 and 22 read this year. 
We popped to town on Monday morning, mainly for something to do, popped in Wilko's, so sad to see empty shelves throughout the store. I got these tulips from B&M, they are for a big tub going in the new section of the garden, in the summer I want to use the tub to grow tomatoes, so I thought it would be nice to have spring colour, tulips have to be grown in pots here, our heavy clay soil rots the bulbs. 
This is not to my taste, but my sister will love it, she has done some work in her garden, and has a new bird feeding section. Almost all of the gardening section was on sale in B&M, they are clearing space and putting out Christmas items, it's a bit early for me, but I will keep an eye out for bits and bobs. Last year I made food hampers, getting a bit every time we shopped, when I added up the cost of each hamper, they were more expensive than I intended to spend. This year I will do a mixture of treats to eat and other bits. 
This cutlery drawer sums up me beautifully, I love order and tidy, even down to my forks and spoons. It is also a huge source of amusement to my family and friends, a friends husband loves this drawer, only because he has found someone who is more organised than his wife. Thank you for your comments on my decorating post, it has been a messy time, which I can't stand, I feel much better it is all done. Hubby would like to start doing the stairs, our bedroom and en suite, but in truth, it's too much for me all in the same year.

After I arrived home on Saturday lunchtime, I had a very lazy day, I had a nap in the afternoon, I was very tired, I sat and read The Dilemma most of the evening. Sunday was another day of doing little, hubby trimmed the Magnolia tree, the new growth has gone mad this year, he shredded it and popped everything into a black dustbin, which will be mulch next year. I had already transferred the contents of the small dustbin into the bigger one, the leaves from last year are almost ready to use around the garden. We had a treat of Chinese for our evening meal, which was enjoyed, we forgot to open the bottle of wine, so we packed it away again. 

I popped into our village craft haberdashery shop, Sara the owner, gave me the names of her suppliers, so I could look online for needle felting supplies, sadly none of them supply what I am after. Sara has a donation section, where you can give things to be resold, raising money for charity, she handed me two bags of coloured rovings, they had been handed in and she thought of me, as the only customer doing felting, I now have loads of colours, and a nice saving. I just needed to find some white fibres and needles, Mr Amazon supplied me with what I needed, he is always my last resort.  

Tuesday was the last sign group for a while, holidays will keep us apart for the next few weeks, we had a chatty time with a few games, after I got my hair cut, 1st time in a couple of months, my hairdresser has had maternity leave after the birth of her 2nd little girl, it's great to have tidy hair again.

My brother is due soon, it will be great to see him, like us he has filled his time with decorating his home, so he is here for a rest, he will stay at his daughters over the weekend, if the weather is kind, we will have a couple of BBQ's.

Monday 21 August 2023

As it is

The view from the gates, for years, this front section was just forgotten, never really part of our garden, it was a space to get to the garage and the back door. When we first moved in it was where we kept our rubbish bins. Here you can see how huge the decking space is. For the past couple of years hubby has been talking about removing the decking and having paving. 
This view is what I often show, it's what I have always felt is 'the garden', even with our fake grass it always feels a living space, so much growing and it's where we see the birds. This view has changed over the years, our Magnolia tree we keep small, it can be hard work, but it's worth it, as we get older, we will have tree surgeons in to keep it's shape. 
This is another view you often see here, this time different, there is no seating areas on the decking, the smaller bits of washing often are outside on the airier drying, but never for long, there are towels on the line drying as well. I often have pots along the path by the garage, this year I have trays, waiting to be passed on, it's a bit more cluttered. The bird feeder in top left hand corner is hanging off the birdhouse post. 
This is a view I never show, across our garden to the working area, our lines are here, as you can see towels drying. We now have our seating area over there, once the washing is dry, hubby removes the lines and we have a lovely space. 

This is an indulgent post, I wanted to record in one place how the garden is looking, I often show parts of our space, but I wanted photo's of summer colour, we won't make the big changes until spring next year, but now is the best time for the garden looking good. We now both agree the changes will work, we love when inside looking at the garden without any furniture in the view, having the back flower bed closer will please us. We can have our umbrella up when one line is being used, our airier works well for the rest of the laundry, we still have the option to use both lines, when necessary. 

The flies and smell are bad again, it the same every time it is hot and sunny, we do get less bother with them now we have moved the table and chairs, I still spray with Pinesol, an American disinfectant, which works well. We have a curtain on our kitchen door, the patio doors in our sitting room have not been opened for weeks, we are managing to keep them out of the house. 

We are not alone, many people have hard landscaped parts of their gardens, some park their cars inside the garden gates, it's never been an option here, the gap between the houses are too narrow even for the smallest of cars, but it was perfect for hubby's motorbike, which he kept in the garage. Our plans now is for a more slower life outside, not focusing on huge BBQ's and family get togethers, now it's about just the two of us and how we want to continue living our lives as we age.

I have not purchased many plants this summer, mainly because the gardens are full, but also as I move one flower bed, and then change some fruit positions next year, I can decide what I want in any gaps. My plan next summer is to use bedding plants to create the colour I crave, allowing me time to decide on any bigger plants I would use. I have a couple of small shrubs in pots, mainly cuttings, if I want to use them. 

Saturday 19 August 2023


This is book 20, I have read this year, it's the best book by far, which is amazing as I have read a few great books this year, I have read this author before and added her to my list of authors to look out for. It's written much like the style of Jo Jo Moyes, with a clever modern topic, I just had to find reading time, I did not want to put it down, and was sad when I finished it. 
 The sitting room is done, of all the newly painted areas this is the best, I popped to town on Thursday morning and purchased the 2 cushions I had seen in TK Max, everything else is what we already owned, the old ones have gone to charity shop. We put the room back Thursday afternoon, hubby was happy to clean and pack all the paint stuff away, he needs time for his knees to stop aching. The dining room was once the biggest bedroom, the sitting room is in our extension, making a huge area.
Everywhere has been cleaned, including the light fittings, it does feel good, I put everything back, we don't have many bits in this room. The wall colour is so warm, it has changed the feel of the decorated areas, it's definitely the sort of job you pleased once it's all done.
Our first blackberry and apple crumble, home grown berries with clotted cream, it was lovely, I cut back the bush so there won't be huge amounts of blackberries, but I am happy to get enough for such a lovely treat. I am getting a steady fruit harvest, and my big tomatoes are ripening, I've not had a glut on anything this year, which is OK, we just love the steady supply.

The whole house is back tidy, the spare bedroom is again empty and ready for visitors, my brother will be here soon, I do have one task, I would like to clean the kitchen cabinet tops, I did them last December, so they won't be too bad, I will wash the wall tiles as well, then I can say the whole ground floor is done. There is no decorating in the kitchen, the walls are all tiled. 

I spent last night at daughter's, mum and dad had a night away together, including a really good meal and a slow start to Saturday, to celebrate SIL's birthday. Will went to Grandma's house, so I just had George and Molly, both wake early every morning, but I did get the evening on my own. It's so important for them to have some time as partners, away from the children, luckily Grandma agrees and we both help with the little ones.  

Today I'm with the little ones until mum and dad get back, about lunch time, it was an early start, but I can rest later, both are happy with me here and not missing mummy, I know their routines at bed time and breakfast, which helps. Once back at home, we have nothing planed for this weekend, just relax and rest. 

We have had loads of heavy rain, again good for the garden, it had been dry for over a week and it's going to get hot and dry again this coming week. I had started watering my smaller pots, so I won't need to do that for a few days. 

Wednesday 16 August 2023

Day out

This was another book purchased at the Works, on a 3 for £6 deal, I have never heard of the author and was pleasantly surprised by everything. It's about two women, who knew of each other at school, now many years later their paths cross. This was a book I could not put down, very clever, the twist were delicate and added to the story. For a lovely change no dead bodies. Book 19 read this year. 
I'm not doing much at this moment, it's hard to craft when the house is spread all over the place, I have a few things on the go, crochet, needle felting, embroidery and some hand sewing. I have been on my computer loads, as it keeps me out of husbands way, whilst he decorates. I have not thought about my sewing machine, the projects have to wait until I have a tidy house again. 
Tuesday I missed sign class and went with youngest daughter and her 3 to Marwell Zoo, it was a sunny warm day, it's a wonderful zoo, very family friendly, loads of space for little legs to run around and be safe. It was full of families, and sadly loads of stressed mum's, mainly chasing after little feet, who when necessary can run oh so fast. Will was happy to be with us, he just did not want to smile in this photo, which is OK, no one should be made to smile. 
This truck is by water, the cab is open for the kids to have fun in, we have a photo, taken back in 2018, just Will then, the flat bed is a viewing point for the water, all three of them loved playing for a short time, it is a popular feature. Molly and George were more interested in running around than looking at animals, Will enjoyed most of it, we spent about 4 hours at the zoo, having a nice lunch and ice cream. The two little ones were in bed early and both slept well, as did their Nana. 

Sunday afternoon we popped to our neighbours at the bottom of the garden, Darren had a BBQ, we stayed for a couple of hours and then walked home through our local park, it was nice to be out chatting to new people. Monday I emptied the sitting room, it's a much easier task, not so many bits and bobs, everything was again put into the spare bedroom, it's a very simple space to decorate, only the skirting boards needed glossing, the rest is plain walls. 

Tuesday evening I did nothing I was tired, it was a happy tired, Today I've a morning at home, hubby is out, I will walk to the village and later whilst he paints, I will clean our upstairs bathroom and our bedroom, it won't take long, the bedding is already on the line, lovely blue skies here. No plans to do any crafting, I'm still working on my 2021 book, I can feel myself edging towards the completion of it. 

If everything goes to plan, the painting will be finished today and tomorrow we can put the furniture back and pack the decorating tools away. The stairs and upstairs, we have decided to leave until next year, hubby has worked hard enough to get the ground floor all done. 

Sunday 13 August 2023

Smiles all round

Fantastic photo of Will taken whilst he was on holiday with mummy, daddy, and siblings, he was having fun on a tree top course. Another of our beautiful grandsons growing up, they were lucky to have a dry sunny week.
 I've not read this author before, the story is set in Finland, so very different, and of course there is a body. I enjoyed the plot, thought I had guessed the bad guy, but it was for the wrong crime, the ending was good, I loved it. Book 18 read this year.
The dining room is finished and everything is back in its place, well not everything, I have got rid of more stuff, things I've had for years, which sat behind glass and has no reason. Once I found so many things beautiful, these days it's just stuff. The teak furniture still looks good, we have had it a long time, we did look to replace it, but found nothing in our price range we liked. We are both extremely happy with the dining room, I do love green, it's my favourite colour, hubby likes paler shades, but will happily go with my choices. 

I have had a couple of sessions outside, I potted my lime tree, its very small, into a bigger pot, I put my sage into the huge herb pot with chives and thyme, the textures look good together. I've planted one of my mock orange plants to the back corner, plenty if space for it to get huge, I have 2 other plants, later this summer I will plant them into their permanent home. The huge planter they were in, I have another use for, again once other plants finish blooming. Everything  is going towards our new garden layout.

I saw Will, George and Molly yesterday, spent a few hours playing with them, mummy said George was not happy to be home, he crossed his arms and shook his head, bless him, they had loads of fun on the Isle of Wight, Will had loads of stories to tell. Both Molly and George were very cuddly, I think they missed me, or is that hope, today the little ones are at a party, and Will is going to have fun with daddy, we are going to have a pottering at home day, no decorating.  

I have almost finished transferring all my post from 2021 into the book template,  I work on it whilst hubby is decorating. I do like to help him, he uses a different description, so I stay out of his way. 2021 was a much easier year, Covid was becoming under control and George whilst still weak was not so ill. Once 2021 is done, I will start 2022, still no discounts,  I can wait rather than pay full price for the printed books.

Friday 11 August 2023

Inside out

I am outside whenever the rain stops, my last Amaryllis bulb had died back, and the compost was completely dry, so I removed the bulb, and found this tiny bulb growing, I have never seen it on a huge bulb like this, I have left it attached, popping them into a paper bag and placed in my wooden tray. I have no idea if I am doing things right with these 7 bulbs, I will plant them in pots later this year.  
I cut one flower from each plant, including the bedding plants and popped them into this container, this is the reason I love begonias, each so different and beautiful,  including the leaves, and they will flower until the frost comes, so for weeks and weeks. The colours are stunning in both blooms and leaves. 
Grace fast asleep on our shelf by the fence, this spot is above our bench, where we sit, she was totally out for a while, normally by the time I get my phone she would have moved. Like us she seeks the warmth when the sun shines, there is enough space for her to get comfortable. I normally find her asleep on the bench.
I have sorted Bette's hair again, the string of pearls have not grown as well as I hoped, I pulled out the plant and soil, her neck was full of water drained from watering, so I emptied it and filled the area with sand, hopefully it should help drainage, lots of new potting compost and now it's wait and see time. The succulent's are from here, they have got huge, I still hope the three babies will grow into the beautiful plant their mother was, most of my house plants are doing well. 
Wilko's had their seeds on sale, not many left, but I did get these packs all with 75% off, I was looking for their bean poles, but they are still at full price. We wondered around B&M, they were marking down all their garden items, but nothing interested us. TK Max was the same, I did see some cushions, which would go well in our sitting room once decorated, but left them, maybe next time when we are in town. I was shocked to see more shops shutting in our centre, a couple have moved to the out of town location, some are gone for good. So sad to hear the news for Wilko's I always go into that store, most of my gardening bits come from there, I will really miss it if they close. 

I have seen this book around and on a few blogger / Instagram pages I follow, from ladies whose booking reading mirrors my own, so I managed to get a copy, I enjoyed the story, it was good to follow, but the style of writing was not to my  taste, a bit too brittle for me. It did make good reading, nice for a change as no one was murdered. Book 17 read this year. 

Tuesday we had a good meal out at lunchtime, we did a bit of shopping  and caught the bus home, stayed dry the whole time, it was a dull day. Wednesday was a day at home, we did walk to village to rid ourselves of the unwanted glasses and mugs from the dining room. Thursday hubby was decorating,  so I had time on my computer, working on importing pages into my 2021 book, I have also proof read two months. Today is a repeat of yesterday, hubby should finish painting today.

I have grown into my version of my mum, she preferred being outside, her garden was four times the size of ours, plenty to do, I now prefer the flowers and shrubs she grew, modern plants just pass me by, mum loved bedding plants. Dad grew veg only in his back garden, he had a huge daisy by his shed, but generally if you could not eat it, he was not interested. Mum's top half of the garden was planted in later years into an orchard, she did get fruits before she moved out. Mum had her front gardens whilst I was a child, we have old photo's showing them full of colourful flowers.

It will soon be time to pop everything back into the dining room, I did a huge sort of my knick-knacks a while ago, so those only need a wipe down before returning them to their spot. Soon I will need to empty the sitting room, which has less stuff in there, it's another easy room to decorate, plus it's the last one for this year. 

Tuesday 8 August 2023


     both cats just watching me when I am crafting, Grace wants to sit on my lap, Purdy is scared of missing out, she is not a lap cat. I often let Grace sit on my lap whilst crafting small projects, she can settle and ignore my work, other times she just decides to sit and watch me, in hope I pack the craft away and give her the whole of my lap. 
The book case is all finished, looks really smart, hubby added a fourth shelf at my request, the bottom two shelves have very little head room, they are set out for storing paperbacks, I can't pile books on top and make it look messy. I still have room for the books waiting to be read, I also like to see gaps, which no doubt will fill with books. 
I did have a key rack under the bottom shelf, left by the previous owners, I hung loads of hearts, but they were full of dust, so all but one got cleaned and sent to charity shop. The cats feeding station works well here, the two bowls stay out permanently, they have wet food at tea time. This was the door way into our dining room, which was the old bedroom. I am loving our newly green painted walls.
I know a few crochet stitches, I can make granny squares, ripple and Tunisia designs, but I've never followed a pattern, I purchased a book with simple instructions, hoping a friend would be on hand, she is busy, so I have made a start, first leg done, I started it 5 times and unpicked a few rows as well, the main issue was the toe being on the wrong side, so I read and reread the instructions until it clicked, one simple point I missed 4 times. Everything is so tiny, I'm sure it would be much easier to make a life size child.

I have loads on the go, a crochet small blanket, I am doing another needle felting project, I have sewing to do, my calendar wheel, hexagon flowers, I've got a book to read, I need a long visit in my greenhouse. I am feeling much better, I am noticing more, wanting to do a bit more, which is getting back to normal me. Daughter and little ones are on holiday (they chose a better week), so plenty of time at home. Monday I cleared the contents from the dining room to the spare bedroom, the couple of units are in the middle of the room, the wooden floor is covered, hubby is hoping to finish in a few days, only gloss paint is skirting boards, they were new so only one layer of paint, so not much sanding, then ceiling and walls, which will be the same green as the hall.  

Today we are out to lunch, there will be 10 of us, nice for a change, we will catch the bus to town, and back home, it does look a bit dull outside, but that should change, and shock! I'm wearing a dress, I have so many lovely dresses, which I never get to wear, my mum always dressed up to go to town, these days no one bothers. 

In my last post I said I was wearing long trousers and cardigans, this week it's much different, I start the day with shorts and T shirt, later I swap to long trousers and add a cardigan, it's much darker earlier in the evening, nice I can see my solar lights on in the garden, not so nice, where is summer? It's also much cooler every evening, Grace snuggles on my lap and keeps me warm.  

Saturday 5 August 2023

Summer blooms

My begonias are the stars at the moment, busting into flowers, from deep red, through pinks and oranges to pale petals as the different plants open around the plot, it's fun and beautiful. I still have 2 plants to form buds, so I don't know their colours yet. 

By the back door one of my fuchsias is flowering, I swapped these 2 plants around when I dug out the bed, this is the taller of them, it going to be great by the gates, plenty of room for it to grow. The coleus are both doing well as are the Nemesia. 
My new daisy has not drooped at all, the amount of rain has helped, and being by the Magnolia tree, its not water logged. My Chinese Witch hazel loves this spot and pot, it's getting huge.
This part of the side fence which we don't use is looking good, 4 different begonias in this area, all in pots, which I find works for good growth. The big blue pot under the acer was planted earlier this year, it fills the corner and looks lovely from the sitting room.
I can't see any new growth from the cut back willow tree stump, which is good, I have everything crossed we are able to kill it off. The trunk is in the garden, ready for a trip to the tip, even though its been cut down, there are new shoots, which have gotten bigger in the last week, it's a hardy plant.

The garden is doing well, we have had almost double the rain fall in July and its been very windy, so I'm pleased the garden is still looking good, my cucumber plant has died back, just not warm enough, typical as it was the first year of letting it grow outside, I have a glut from 2 tomato plants and the other 2 are full of green tomatoes.  I am picking blueberries and raspberries,  a nice steady harvest, fresh fruit most days. Our cut back blackberry bush is full of green fruits, I won't get a big harvest this year.

Everywhere is full of colour, I do have a couple spots starting to go over, the raised bed has colour but the bedding plants are past their best. My sweet peas have done well, I have been picking only small bunches, it's the best year so far for them. I have purchased a pack of 12 Violas, I love the tiny flowers, I have popped them into bigger pots, to have stronger plants for the garden. 

Hubby was not happy with the rose in his front garden, it grows fast and tall, which is not great on a bungalow wall, I suggested he could move it to the side, pop it in front of a hole in her jungle next door. It could grow up and hopefully we would get loads of flowers, it might backfire and she could cut back any growth on her side. I was meaning to move it later in the year, hubby set too and sorted it, it's a tough plant having been moved a few times. 

They are promising better weather next week, but first we need to get past this weekend, here is very wet, windy and cold, I'm wearing trainers, jeans a jumper and cardigan, it's more like late September than high summer. We have had pockets of sun shine, hence the photo's above, but really it's August, can some one tell the jet stream to move on up!

Friday 4 August 2023

August already

This is the final book my sister in law gave to me to read, and the 6th book I have read from this author, she has a medical background, so it features in all her very different stories. This was the best book so far, very different story line which I enjoyed. Book 16 read this year. 
I decided on Tuesday not to go to meet with sign group, many of the ladies are older than me and I did not want to pass on my bugs. Hubby and I drove to Stokes bay for lunch and a walk along the sea front, lunch was fantastic as always, I love having a few nice places to eat out. The walk was sunny and breezy, but enjoyable, we stopped for a while and watched everyone doing their stuff, one lady was swimming. The sea and sky look grey here, they were both blue.
Our coast is almost parallel with the coast on Isle of Wight, it looks so close, the Solent is always busy with vessels of every size. At the moment it's Cowes week, huge in the sailing calendar, Cowes is to the far right on my photo's, but the sailing takes part in all of the waters, it was good sailing weather, and good to watch. We choose our day well, all sailings were cancelled on Wednesday as the winds were too high.  
More felting fun, I got a cheap plastic mould for making daises, I used these yellows, which I have loads of, the petals are too thick, and the centre is too big, but it's a flower. I felted it on some wet felt I made at my day class, but it could have a pin added to the back and be worn. I have my crochet hook out again, being brave and trying something new to me.

Wednesday was a day at home, the winds were really bad, the rain less than recent days, Hubby popped the shelves back on my book case, I didn't put the books back, I wanted the paint to set hard before I filled it, he made a new fourth shelf and made all new side blocks to hold the shelves, all now matching and looking very neat. It will be very handy to have an extra shelf, but it will be already half filled. 

Thursday was laundry day, bed stripped and on the line, the morning promised to be dry, everything dried, but it stayed a dull day, we managed a walk and Pilates was good. 

I have been proof reading my 2020 book, it's not easy reading, George was so tiny and poorly and then as the muck hit the fan in our lives, it's done now, I hope to publish soon, just looking at the hugely inflated prices and hoping for discounts. I am working on 2021, it's a much easier book, and over 20 less post, re-joining the world kept me busy, less time to ponder on things. 

Today, no plans, lets see what the day brings. I have been totally lost on what day it is, so today is the second Friday of my week.

Wednesday 2 August 2023

Overshoot day

Here we are again, today we have used all the renewable resources our beautiful world can produce in one year, everything we use for the rest of the year will never be replaced. Sadly this happens every year, and so much is just wasted.  Last year the Earth overshoot day was, 28th July, so a slight improvement, which shows these dates can be reversed.  

Nowhere to hide

I have shown this many times, and for me its true, in our commercial world processions are more important to some, more important than family and those in need. So many people with the 'me first' way of life, so much on the internet and other media's, all showing the perfect lives and the next must have item. 

This says it all.

I know most of my followers, will read and understand, we are mostly all of a similar age, our world in which we grew up is long gone, how we nourished our children and how they are nourishing their own children has changed.

The improvements which has evolved over the decades should be working to enhance lives, ensure everyone has food, shelter and medical help, sadly we still see wars everywhere, including here in Europe. But then look here in UK, we can't even get the help to those who require it, for years our governments (they are all the same) has worked to save money, cut back, these were good years for many people, more could afford the taxes, now we are left with services which are over stretched, so many people being let down. 

People find it easy to walk past homeless people, just don't look them in the eye, imagine all sorts of reasons not to help, or worse, just don't care. Our world has changed, we need to go back to basics, embrace your local community, help others, simply talk to people. I was so proud to be in a community last winter, who took care of the two homeless men, so many people helped, just gave a bit of time and money, it wasn't hard, just very thoughtful, and most did it without posting on social media.

By the way, I'm not perfect, but as the group 'One million women', say its better that we all do as much as we can, rather than just a few living the perfect (for the planet) lives.


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