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Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Christmas Tree and a New Game

Christmas has arrived at our house. Perhaps a little early, but we couldn't wait any longer to see the twinkling lights, all the pretties and decor recor rations, Adam's name for them (his 26 now) when he was little and it seems to have stuck!

The weekend was spent bringing all the exciting trinkets from the loft, retelling of tales from Christmases past, remembering stories that go alongside some of the decorations.

 Imogen filled her traditional role, placing the fairy on top of the tree

The Christmas countdown calendar is up and counting down, Advent calendars have been opened... I catch myself humming... 'it's the most wonderful time of the year...' I do love the build up to Christmas!

In case any one is looking for a new game to play at Christmas, I can definitely recommend Pandemic. We bought it a couple of weeks ago... and haven't beaten it yet!

You play together as a team, which makes a nice change from games where you compete against each other. The world has been infected with 4 virus' and it's your job to cure them before time runs out.

It's for 2 to 4 players, the more players, the better chance you have of winning. The game says from age 8 upwards, Imogen's 12 and really enjoys it. There's quite a bit to it, but once you've worked out the rules, it's not difficult... well the playing isn't, but as I said, we've yet to beat it!

I shall end with a picture of our little Gary. He watched over all the Christmas decorating with his front paws crossed, looking very regal and handsome.

Take care

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

My Fair Daughter

What a wonderful evening I've had this evening. I've spent the time snuggled up on the sofa with my beautiful 12 year old daughter. The fire was glowing and there was a box of chocolates as we sat together (dearest husband too) singing along to and watching My Fair Lady.

Imogen hadn't seen it before, though already is rather fond of Audrey Hepburn. She recognised many of the songs and joined in with my warbling.

We've decided we might make it a regular night, a musical night... sounds good to me!

Take care

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Huggy Crochet

Goodness me, I appear to have gone from one extreme to another... I think this is my fourth day of writing a post! It's a bit late in the day and I shall be toddling upstairs very shortly, but thought I'd just drop by quickly to say hello and wish you a happy and safe bonfire night.

We haven't celebrated this year, I've spent the evening on the sofa with the dogs. They aren't too fussed by the bangs, but it's nice for them to have the security of having us close by.

Another Christmas present ready to be put away (though only until next month... cripes).

It's a cheeky devil from a book my darling husband bought for me (from my amazon wish list) a while ago.

Nice simple patterns, many using the same basic arm, body and leg design. They don't take too long to make and are a nice size for a gift. I think I have my eye on the monkey next, aren't they cute!

I've had a quiet day today (except for the constant bang from the fireworks), I think I may go to our local knit and natter tomorrow as Imogen has after school commitments so I won't need to rush home.

Take care

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

What's for Dinner?

Well it certainly feels colder doesn't it? Not complaining as it's still quite mild for November and I can now start wearing my fluffy bed socks and using our comfy cosy throws in an evening.

There's a long put off decorating project underway here. We've lived in this house for quite a few years now, but have only painted the hallways and stairs over the old wallpaper. I find it so drab and can't wait to see some pretty wallpaper with our family photos hung on it, so my darling husband has started the job of stripping paper, pulling off ceiling tiles (yuck) and removing bits of wooden frames that unfortunately are taking plaster with them!

So I'm doing my bit by making a tasty, quick to serve dinner.

Frying the bacon bits/lardons. Just dry frying them, I don't want it to be greasy.

Water boiling in the back ready for the pasta to go in while I add what's left of the frozen peppers (so much cheaper to buy them like this, and always ready to hand).

Lots of cherry tomatoes. I like to cut them in half and sear in the pan.

Sweetcorn, though peas would be just as tasty.

I love a cheese sauce. We used to have it with fish when we were children... yum! I have only once tasted a cheese sauce from a packet and it was horrible, no comparison to one made yourself, and it's so easy to do.

The only thing not in the photo below is the butter because I'd already used it and popped it back in the fridge. To make a tasty sauce you just need butter, flour and milk. I like to season with some pepper and mustard powder (brings out the cheesiness) and cheese too!

Gently melt the butter in the pan.

Once the fat has melted, add your plain flour. I like to sieve mine so no lumpy bits. Make sure you stir it in well so you don't get any lumps in your sauce.

Gradually add your milk while stirring well. This is a basic white table sauce. I then added seasoning and cheese, stirred through and bubbled to thicken!

Poured the sauce over the pasta and everything from the frying pan.

Heated through in the oven when I heard the call 'what's for dinner'. Nice and filling with a bit of salad so we have our greens.

Take care

Monday, 3 November 2014

Feeling Snuggly

I absolutely love this sweet little chums.

They were nice and easy to make and just make me want to say awwwww... Changing the colour yarn makes them all look so different.

This first one I made was sent off to be part of a raffle in aid of children with terminal illnesses.

I then had to crochet another one for my sweetie pie Imogen

He sits on her bed amongst many other very cuddly friends.

Take care

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Change in the Weather?

It has been so unseasonably warm, I wish we'd waited a bit longer to change to the winter duvet. Instead of snuggling up under the quilts, I'm throwing open the windows and sticking a leg out the side to cool down... what's that all about?

The weather boffins say it won't last though and things are set to start cooling down. So here's my winter snowman wreath

I've seen a few christmas wreaths with these lovely snowballs. This is inspired completely by the wonderful Sarah and her blog Repeat Crafter Me. She makes such gorgeous things and is very generous sharing her patterns too.

Having a wander around town, I spotted this lovely cookbook from Nigel Slater... nourishing for the soul as well as the body...

It's the second volume of his kitchen diaries, definitely a curl up by the fire and read kind of book

I'm certainly ready for it to get a bit colder (hope I don't regret saying that), lots of hearty winter recipes ready to try out... and Christmas... well I just love Christmas...

Take care

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Tidying up...

The garden has been looking a bit scruffy, it's that time of year when the pots are past their best and we've lost the colour from the summer flowers.

So  a spot of gardening was in order, a bit of tidying up, replanting, bringing back some colour to our neglected patch.

Something to look at through the kitchen window...

A little burst of sunshine...

I love a bit of ivy, it seems to look nice with everything, and hasn't minded being moved around from one place to another.

The garden looks much nicer and I'm hoping we'll still get quite a bit of use out of it while the weather stays so mild.

Of course there has been some crochet happening too, also in the tidy up vein! Our dining room table is looking a bit shabby around the legs, courtesy of some wee doggies when they were younger, so I made it some socks!

 The scruffy bits have been hidden, mission accomplished!

Time for a rest... after sorting out the laundry. Washing machine and tumble dyer doors must be kept closed while not in use, and thoroughly checked for pussy kittens before using!

Don't they look cute curled up asleep together...

Take care

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

A Bit of Prep... Crochet

There are a few things I'd like to crochet for my loved ones this Christmas. I've bought a couple of presents and hidden them away and want to make a start on the creative side.

I've seen a lovely minion phone holder that will look nice on Imogen's bedside table (and be practical) and how could I resist making this cute Olaf from Disney's Frozen.

Unfortunately my Imo isn't quite as enamoured by Olaf as she would have been a few years ago, but luckily my son's girlfriend has a 5 year old daughter who thinks Disney princesses and all that goes with them are the most wonderful things ever.

I've checked with her mummy that she doesn't have one yet, and can't wait to give her a new friend at Christmas.

I'm pleased it didn't take me too long to crochet him up, the best time is when Mitzi is asleep

Otherwise I have to fight her for the yarn...

Take care

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Hull's Freedom Festival

The Freedom Festival started last night and continues until tomorrow evening, and what a marvellous festival it is, full of colour and sound, a visual and auditory treat.

Hull Daily mail
The weather was dull and the rain on and off, what a shame, but still the streets were full of people, and tomorrow's forecast is much better.

Escaping the rain, we went to keep dry in this tent...

How wonderful, it was a story telling tent. The lady below was telling a story in such a way that I just ending up sitting completely enthralled with a tent full with children and adults alike. I believe we have lost much from the art of story telling, when stories were passed from generation to generation before the printed word, this lady made the story come alive and could have quite happily spent the day just listening....

There was an outside circus called - No Fit State. Acrobats, gymnastics, jugglers...

Juggling while being pushed around.

After the amazing performance it was time to involve the audience. Imogen had a walk along the bars, each higher until you reached the tightrope.

Hula hooping and cartwheeling...

All taking place in Queens Gardens

There were plenty of places to get a nice hot chocolate or cup of tea to warm you up in the drizzle.

I was very excited to see a flash mob in the station performed by the very talented Freedom Chorus Choir.

There are pianos scattered throughout the city for the public to have a play on.

Golden firebirds flew through the city.

Bands were playing.

When it gets dark the streets will be lit up and the music will keep playing late into the night, so many musicians, some already well known artists and local ones too, comedians and small theatres. 

So if you aren't too far away, there is one day left, tomorrow, to celebrate this wonderful city and freedom.

Take care