Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Monday 22 July 2024

BBQ weekend

 Saturday I was home alone, time outside in garden, I had watered the night before, so everywhere is looking good, so much of the colour I crave. I found a few peas growing, so I tasted one, wonderful, I will have a few more to harvest. 

My beef tomatoes growing outside are just turning orange, again I've not grown these before, the two plants in the greenhouse are very mixed, I do have some tomatoes growing on them.
I've had a couple cauliflowers, and I have one last one growing, these are purely for hubby, I don't eat them.

Saturday was a dull day, I did some housework and then went outside for a few hours, loads of deadheading done, it's another job I love doing. Later I rested and read, I have loads of great books. We had more rain in evening and over night, all good for the garden.

Sunday was much nicer, not too hot and really sunny, perfect for a BBQ in the garden, daughter, Will, George and Molly came, Grandma and Grandpa, hubby and I. We did simple food, the children loving burgers, followed by a lovely fruit salad, perfect time outside, chatting  and watching the little ones playing.

Having a few sunny days in a row does make me feel so much better, the rain is good for all growing crops and flowers, and hopefully our water reservoirs are high. Here the schools finish on Tuesday, so let summer begin, everyone is happier when they can get outside.

Friday 19 July 2024

Sunny Eastbourne

We visited hubby's old army buddy for a few days this week, we stayed in a small converted barn in a stable near Polegate, East Sussex, the weather gods were good to us.

We popped to Eastbourne on Wednesday, starting on the east side near the harbour, sadly we did not visit the harbour this time.

We walked around the Pier, 
the views were stunning
It was a blowy day, but lovely and warm,
hubby and I 
As with most places along the south coast, the beaches are shingle.
Angie is not great on her feet, so we used the land train, hopping on and off, best way for her to see so much.
We had a meal in Beachy Head Hotel Tuesday  evening, we managed to get a table by the window, the views were stunning, we were high up and could see the south downs and right along the coast. The food was brilliant as was the lovely young waitress, a perfect evening with friends.

Later on Wednesday we spent a few hours sat in their back garden, fish and chips for tea, perfection, I do love sitting in someone's garden, I can enjoy the view without noticing anything to do. The car journey was only a couple of hours, so a perfect trip. 

I was unwell on Thursday,  I am beginning to see a pattern when I eat gluten, I have always suffered with eating foods with refined white flour, but these days it's happening more often, I shall speak to our doctors. At home it's much easier to control my foods, I am good when away, but the smallest amounts cause me issues.

Friday daughter came to ours with Molly and George,  they spent the morning with us, later we popped to Lidls and got loads for a Sunday BBQ. 

Wednesday 17 July 2024


 Flowers are my success story this year, my foxglove gave me one very tall spike, which has gone over and now there are shorter spikes, my hollyhock is coming into bloom, these are in the square garden, tucked to the back. I would love more next year, hubby is loving them as well, they stand out. I have planted some tall daisies in the area  hoping they will hide the lower scraggy bottoms of these plants.

These agapanthus are my original plant, it sits in the back section in front of the raised flower bed, they are at the back of my garden, but always look stunning, I have 9 heads here, I have cut one for my inside display. The leaves are evergreen, so interesting in the winter months, I have split this plant 3 times, and have 2 other smaller clumps around my plot, I hope to split it again later this summer.

I have a few sweet peas growing, this year I threw some seeds into a compost bag and popped it into the back corner outside my greenhouse, I have neglected them and they are growing, I have cut a few blooms, my hope is for them to fill out and I have more to cut. 
I love my table, this display has been here for a few years, both begonia's are in pots which stay in my greenhouse over the cooler months, the lower plant is now huge. I have other begonia's around the garden which are all behind with their growing.
This is my second hosta plant, it's in an old brass coal bucket to deter the slugs and snails, it works well, last month I separated this plant, I have 3 smaller ones in pots, they are looking good. I was not expecting this plant to flower, so these blooms are a bonus. 
I popped to my favourite garden centre with daughter and George last week, George and Molly love these butterflies, it's solar and when it's sunny the butterfly wizzes around the top, daughter did not think it would last long in her garden, so it lives in ours. 

Just flowers in this post, life is extremely busy here, family time.

Monday 15 July 2024


Today would have been my mum's 101 birthday, 
here is mum, myself and both daughters, at eldest daughters wedding.

Our little family having fun with friends last weekend, they went to a BBQ and had loads of fun, all three children mix well, just like their mum was as a child. 

I am incredibly sad at the moment, our son-in-law has decided to walk away from youngest daughter and their 3 children, he has been staying away more, he travels alot with his job. Daughter has been expecting this, but it's hard when it happens, no one else involved, he has struggled with George since birth, seeing his disability rather than the wonderful little boy he is. Daughter is strong, loves all her children, she has a strong circle of friends, who support her, hubby and I will do everything we can to help, as will his parents, who are left stunned and so upset. 

This brings back so much hurt for me as well, my first husband left me when youngest daughter was 10 days old, he walked away and never participated in his daughters upbringing.  

Our society accepts this as ok behaviour, it's not a crime to fall out of love, but it's so easy to walk away.

Sunday 14 July 2024

Books and Tennis.

There are so many great books out there to read, and here is another on, one main plot and two sub plots, I guessed the main plot at two thirds through, it's the downside of reading so many books by one author, you get to understand their thinking. Book 40 read this year. 
This book for me was a bit tough to get into, I almost gave up at the beginning, the print is much smaller than normal, I could read it, but my eyes got very tired. I had seen this cover in a few places, so I picked it up from our local library, I did enjoy the story, very different from my usual thrillers, the ending was a bit open, I'm not sure I would read another book by this author. Book41 read this year.
I don't need fabrics, but I wanted this one, I have a sleeveless tunic top blouse pattern, this will work well, just too pretty to pass by.
I got a meter and half for it, which will be too much, but I want the fronts to match in a mirror fashion, so I rather have spare fabric to be able to cut it out as I want. 
I checked on my flower again, it's deconstructed itself, all the petals have fallen off, strange, hubby's flower is perfect, mine has gone in the bin. Both flowers have stayed in their box, both in the same spot in our office. I do have a pack of air drying clay, I have had it for ages, maybe it's time to use it and make another flower, where I will really press the petals on.

Friday morning we managed to do our big shop at Asda, we pop into a huge mainstream supermarket every 6 to 8 weeks, stocking up on items we can't get at our local Lidl, it's a huge store over two levels, we had a good wander around, our total spend was again higher than expected. Afternoon was tennis, gentlemen's semi finals. Could they live up to the drama for the ladies semi's played on Thursday, yes in both cases, Musetti put on a great show against Djokovic, again Djokovic played to the crowd because they cheered against him, the Wimbledon crowd will often back the underdog in a big match. 

Saturday I was in the garden in the morning, I was given a huge clump of daisies, so they were popped into the ground, I potted on some flower cuttings, and had a tidy around, sadly no harvest. We both planned to sit and watch the ladies final, which for me, whilst exciting, was hugely disappointing as Paolini lost, after her semi final match, I hoped she would win. We had a huge unexpected rain storm early evening, probably because I watered the garden, everywhere looks good.

Today is a repeat of yesterday, another dry day, morning in garden, afternoon in front of TV for gentleman's final, I will be shouting for Alcaraz again this year.

Friday 12 July 2024

It's wet out there.

 I have not done anything outside for a week, which is totally out of character for me, it's been busy here so Wednesday was my first gardening day, dead heading was my first job, the flowers looked good from the distance, but not close up. This bed has been everything I wished for, my square bed is almost there, and the new back bed just needs the fleabane daises to fill out and it will be perfect. 

My veg beds, where do I start, well the runner beans failed, waste of space this year, I am going to pull them out and leave the space clear. The later broccoli plants have all gone to seed, I cut my cauliflowers small as they were also going to seed, my leeks, parsnips and beetroot are thriving. I never expected a great harvest this year, but I did hope for a bit more success, with new beds it's a learning curve.

Tomatoes are not their best, the beef tomato plant is doing well, growing outside but is shaded by the rhubarb, I've not cut the rhubarb this year, so hopefully it won't be an issue next year. Inside the greenhouse my two other plants are beginning to form decent sized tomatoes. My replacement cucumber plant has decided not to grow, so I've given up, no home grown ones this year. 

With out much to harvest, I decided to have some cut flowers inside, I am not normally a fan of cutting flowers from our garden, I always prefer to see them growing, but we are not sitting outside very much, so a vase full  of pretty blooms inside brightens the mood. Having such a good show of flowers has helped, I cut these and still left loads blooming outside. 

I harvest some blueberries, the birds have had a feast on them, I will have to improve the netting around the plants, I had it too close and the birds got a good feast. Strawberries have just a few to ripen, raspberries again failed this year, we are getting one or two daily. 

I have potted up other plants, mainly flowers, useful to sell or use myself next year, this relentless rain has really caused me issues, the lower temperatures and grey days have played havoc in the veg section. I also think the eco balance of my garden has changed, I am hoping it will rebalance itself before next years planting.

On top of everything, we have seen loads of big rats running in our garden, we are sure our mad neighbour has stopped putting bird food out on her bird table, and like the huge pigeons they are in our garden looking for food. Hubby has set the traps, in hope to move them elsewhere, hubby sets them free in local woodland. Our neighbour refuses to let anyone onto her property, so neither us or the council are not able to track their nest, they are not afraid of us and run around when we are outside. 

Wednesday 10 July 2024

Three already

Molly at her party on Saturday, with her unicorn cake, it was a joy to see her with all her little friends, some George knew, so a happy few hours. The children loved the games, played well together, the house was reasonably tidy when they left. I was pleased to get this photo, which does not show the other children's faces clearly. 

It was Mollys birthday on Tuesday, so we visited, along with Grandma and Grandpa, we gave her the big unicorn she wanted, it's like a space hopper, plus a couple small mice for her dolls house. She shared her presents with George, allowing him to play, they are just like twins.
Will is not in many photo's, he ask not to be included, so it's rare to get one of him, I don't think he will object to this photo. Sunday night after he had settled in bed, daughter heard a noise and went to investigate, this is what she found, Will is army mad.
This month Will finishes infant school, I love his hoodie, as does he, in the numbers are every child's name. Schools are getting very clever at their fundraising through the year, they also have a system in this case where you can donate an extra £1, to pay for hoodies for a child who's family are not able to purchase themselves. Every child leaving had one.

It's been a family few days, I met a friend for coffee on Monday, and a walk around Port Solent, amazingly it did not rain. Tennis is on TV every afternoon and evening, most of the men's matches are going as expected, the ladies championship is anyone's to win.

I have done nothing in the garden, at minimum I need to dead head the flower beds, and harvest blueberries, the birds have taken loads, but the net has protected loads for us. Hubby had another cauliflower for his tea, not much else ready in the veg garden or greenhouse. 

Today should be less wet, it's not raining here, and there is a tiny wedge of blue skies.

Monday 8 July 2024


 I do love this author, this was a Will Trent storyline, I do like it when they reuse characters, some of her books can be a bit racy, but not in this case, a really good story line which built, one remark said in anger, starts a chain, it was defiantly a page turner. Book 38 read this year.

Another good author, but occasionally she has a poor storyline, not in this case, a clever plot, building, hints, how is it going to end, do you trust everyone, even when your instincts are raised, I could not put it down. Book 39 read this year.
We tried making a china flower on our recent trip to Gladstone Pottery,  both hubby and I made a flower, these air dried. The lady who was our tutor was in series 4, programme 4, getting contestants making flowers, we both enjoyed our creative moments, sadly one petal has broken off mine.
George had his nursery leaving graduation celebration on Saturday, I was lucky to be able to attend, he sat on my lap for most of the singing, too many people for him to be comfortable. He did put his hat and gown on with my help and stood for his photo, he rarely smiles for this type of photo. The parents in the hall were asked not to clap and make any noise when he came in. Afterwards he played in the park with Molly and a few other children enjoying a picnic. 
George was very keen to show us his school uniform, daughter has been allowing him to wear it, in hope he would be happy, which he is. How quickly our grandchildren grow up.

It's been a wet weekend, which is OK as the tennis is on all through, Sunday Molly had some friends to their house for her birthday celebration, sadly all daughters plans were for outside, Saturday was a day of creating other activities for excited children.

We have a busy few days here, my garden is looking after itself, with all the heavy rain again, I can't get outside at all, my tomatoes are forming, my cucumber plant has started to grow, but oh so slowly. I am going to remove the runner beans and the french beans, they are failing, I'm starting to look at later summer and into winter harvest now. Hopefully by the weekend, life will slow down and be our normal. 

I'm still not up to speed with blogging, I hope to find time to catch up with everyone, whilst away I struggle with making comments when using my phone, Blogger only allows me to comment on a few sites.

Saturday 6 July 2024

Rest of the trip

 We visited Trentham Gardens it was a dry day, perfect for a nice walk, the house is a ruin, but the gardens have been restored. There is a huge lake which can be walked around, we decided not to risk any storms and stayed in the gardens. Here the huge boarders full of flowers and paths winding through.

I loved the fairies around the gardens, they added to the atmosphere, something modern in a traditional garden.

We visited a local high viewing point, which allowed us to enjoy the local stunning countryside, Mow Cop is a ruined church on top of a steep hill, the carpark was just a few steps away from the base, so an enjoyable hour. Photos do not give the views any real justice, it was stunning up there.

Now back home, life again is busy, rain on Friday ensures the garden looks healthy, after a 4+ hours drive home, we had a lazy evening. The laundry is done, this morning I'm staying here to catch up with my blog reading, I'm behind. 

Tennis is on TV, we are watching so much good tennis, we both enjoy Wimbledon tournament, 2024 is the year of the underdog, the giants are falling.

Friday 5 July 2024


Wednesday we visited Gladstone Pottery, Stoke on Trent, it's where they film The Pottery Throwdown, we delayed the visit from early June because of heavy rain.
 It's iconic chimneys and this well known view of courtyard from the programme. 
There are a total of 4 chimneys here, in an area of historic potteries, this is the only intact site left.
Inside the huge chimneys.
Huge metal bands on the outside of the kiln, still inside the chimney.
Hubby demonstrating the size inside, he is 6'2".
The site gives the history of Pottery making through the years, here the mould making and storage area.
So many slip moulds, all made on site.

Here a colour plate, to show the different shades.
The whole cabinate.
A mixture of tiles making a huge round.

We were given a site map and wondered around, taking as much time as we needed, it's a site for learning and we loved seeing a group of junior school children searching for information.

It was a dull dry day and a perfect couple of hours, we later went to the cultural area and visited The Potteries Centre and museum,  which was not so enjoyable.

YP, we did not visit anywhere else in Stoke, there are other potteries, Emma Bridgewater, Wedgwood and Moorcroft  which was sadly closed, we would have loved to take the tour. Its very interesting to learn the history of an area, as for shopping, forget it. We are driving home today, should be home mid afternoon. 


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