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Saturday, 31 October 2015

Halloween and a RAK

I've been planning to do this post all week, but it's half term and I've been trying to keep away from the laptop as hubby and I have had a week together. I've been successful and we've had a lovely week, but as I wanted to show you my Halloween mantlepiece I thought I should get my act together today!

Firstly, I want to tell you about the wonderful RAK I received from Jo at Through The Keyhole. I'm not sure where it originated, but it's a lovely RAK (random act of kindness) that is winging it's way through blog world. I'd sent Jo my address a while ago and had forgotten about it. When I sent my address I forgot to send my surname, so I wondered who'd sent me a parcel that was only addressed by my first name.

So many goodies

I've lived in Yorkshire since my late teens, but hadn't seen these Yorkshire crisps before, yum.

So gorgeous wool from Stylecraft in lovely complimenting shades ready for a spot of crochet.

Some very tasty looking cookies, just right to curl up with this afternoon when I watch 'Whiskey Galore' with a hot drink.

Speaking of hot drinks, look at all these lovely flavours hot chocolate.

I always have a book on the go, so shall look forward to reading this when I've finished my current one.

And how kind, Jo didn't forget our 3 dogs and 2 cats, treats for them too.

I want to continue the RAK, so if you'd like to have your name popped in the hat, just leave a comment to let me know after this post. I'll leave it open for about a week, though I won't be sending out the goodies until after Christmas by which time you will hopefully have forgotten all about it and it'll be a lovely surprise.

So here is my mantlepiece, not the best light as it's late afternoon. Lots of candles, spooky globes crochet pumpkins and a spider.

I changed it at the beginning of the month as I love the Halloween globes and wanted them on display for as long as possible, even if it's just 1 month a year. My favourite in the bird and the books, which imagine is Edgar Allan Poe's Raven. The dancing skeletons have a key underneath to turn, it plays music while they dance.

A couple of small pumpkins I crocheted to sit with all the candles, I do love candles in an evening when the nights draw in.

My little Chihuahuas sit on the hearth (they are so much better behaved than my 3 furry ones), 1 is trying to get in the Halloween spirit...

 Don't forget about the RAK

Take care

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Morning Deliveries

Thank you for all your bread storing ideas and comments, it appears we are all having a similar predicament with the bread being left on top of the container. We've decided to start storing our wraps in the freezer, so let's see how that goes!

Our postman has been busy this morning. First delivery was a special something for me from hubby after a few heavy hints.

Surfing through social media I found some references and pictures of the newly released yarns from Stylecraft and some other limited edition colours. It didn't take much to tempt me...

 It was hubby's suggestion to get a few more bits to get the free postage, honestly!

 I have some patterns I looking forward to trying out, but I'm hampered in my search for a good skin tone yarn. I really wanted some double knit cotton, but it's so difficult when ordering online without the benefit of natural light. These are the ones that looked best on the computer screen.

The 2 cotton dk that I ordered are a bit too peach and too tan, the Sugar n Cream is the best I've seen, but I didn't read it properly and it's cotton, but arran weight, sigh. The dk Bonus is actually called flesh tone and isn't bad at all. It means though that I'm still looking for a double knit cotton in flesh tone, the search continues. Any suggestions welcomed.

A couple of new hooks in my most used size, 4. A knit pro with a soft handle

After the frustration and eye strain I've recently had from crocheting a spider and a witches hat for Halloween in black wool, I thought I'd have a try with a light up hook. I've heard good and bad about these hooks, so just trying the one size to see how it goes.

 The other delivery was a treat for me and hubby. I tend to drink tea far more than coffee, but I do like a coffee too. We recently tried a couple of flavours and enjoyed them, so thought we'd treat ourselves to a variety of the Beanies flavoured coffees.

It arrived in a lovely presentation box and a freebie bag too!

We chose the flavours ourselves from a choice on the website, taking it in turns so we both knew we'd have flavours we wanted to try.

So far we've had the Winter Warmer (hubby really enjoyed it, especially the warming rum flavour), Nutty Hazelnut (my favourite so far) and Mint chocolate. I think I may buy one of these for our coffee loving son for Christmas.

Take care

Monday, 12 October 2015

Bread Bin Dilemma

Thank you for all your lovely get well wishes for Imogen, she's much better now just a bit of a cough, but you know how they can drag on...

Just a quick post about perhaps not the most interesting subject, the bread bin. It drives me potty! It's not particularly big, but there are only 3 of us living here and work space is at a premium. This is how I usually find it...

I'm sure you're thinking it's nice and tidy (except for the crumbs, I should have wiped the surfaces first). It may look tidy, but as you may have spotted, the bread isn't in it, but next to it. This frustrates
me, what's the point of having a container for it if no one uses it!

So is it empty? Not today, it has some breadcakes (rolls or whatever your regional name for them is, it took me years to get used to saying breadcakes, but now can't imagine calling them anything else) and wraps in it.

I cleaned it out, wiped it over, had a mutter about no one else wiping it.

Popped the bread in it, where it belongs.

The breadcakes went in with the bread too and the wraps had to stay on top as they're too big and there isn't any space left inside.

I'm still not really happy with it. How do you store your bread? There must be a better way, a way that doesn't entail lifting the wraps off the top and putting them back again after also putting the bread back inside, because this method is apparently a bit taxing for everyone (I say everyone so as not to name and shame). All ideas keenly welcomed.

Take care

Saturday, 3 October 2015

A Parrot Zoo

Thank you so much for the lovely comments about my dressing table, makes a girl feel good!

I haven't much to write about this week, it's been pretty quiet as Imogen as been ill all week and off school. It was a struggle to persuade her to stay at home because the school rewards 100% attendance with end of term trips and she didn't want to miss out. She dragged herself in on the Monday and felt awful, so we had to put the proverbial foot down on Monday night and say no more. I think she was actually relieved as she ended up spending the next 3 days sprawled out on the sofa surrounded with boxes of tissues, throat soothers and heat sacks for her ears. Getting better now, back to her usual self I'm pleased to report.

In the summer we had to drive through Lincolnshire to pick Imogen up so thought we'd make a day of it, picked Adam up and on the way back went to visit a Parrot zoo. I hadn't heard of the place and it's always good to go somewhere new.

It was quite tucked away, but still quite busy. So many birds in one place...

Bit photo heavy, but there were so many... I found the noise of all the screeching birds bit much outside some cages, but others were a pleasure to behold, flying to the grill to take nuts from your hands and even striking up a conversation with you!

I love African Greys. We did have one ourselves, but we rehoused her after she took a strong dislike to me after falling in love with my husband, the hussy!

Such intelligent birds. It was sad to see some of the ones that didn't look as healthy as others. That's why this place is so amazing though, it's a sanctuary, they rescue birds and keep them until they can be safely rehomed or they stay there for the rest of their lives

 'The sanctuary, the largest it's kind in the world, was founded in 1994 and opened to the general public in 2003. It now houses just under 2,000 parrots as well as a growing array of other exotic animals all of which fall victim to the pet trade, such as Lemurs, Meerkats, Coatimundis, Giant Tortoises and much, much more...' (from their web site here)

Don't you think he looks like the leader of his gang, coming to check us out while the others stay back on the perches.

 When we went in we bought some bird food at the kiosk, different types for different birds. I think the best part was when we passed through the open aviary and had birds sitting on our shoulders and hands.

This little one tugged at my heart strings, it had a bad foot, but was so friendly. I felt quite privileged to have it sit with me for a while and nibble on a piece of apple.

 There were other animals there too, we saw lemurs and the cutest little family of meerkats as well as Giant Tortoises.

 And fluffy, friendly and very relaxed looking Tigers (fluffy and friendly behind their glass of course)

 It was a lovely visit and I recommend it. If you don't like the idea of birds flying around you, you can miss the walk through aviary and stay on the other side of the grilles. Surely something that saves the lives of so many beautiful creatures has to be an amazing place.

Take care