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Saturday, 22 April 2017

Daffodils and The Deep

Thank you for all your lovely messages of support regarding my dad, they're very appreciated. When my son and his girlfriend (Holly) took Imogen to visit their grandparents last weekend, they took Andrew's old telescope with them. Andrew had upgraded to a different telescope and my dad was absolutely thrilled with it. Mum says he has perked up considerably and is enjoying tinkering with it, which is fantastic news as his mood was dipping.

As I've mentioned, Hull is the UK city of culture this year. There seems to be lots going on most of the time, but what caught my eye over Easter was a wonderful display of lego daffodils. These are some of the pictures from the internet (the ones I took were full of people).

Isn't this cute with a little bee settled on it

There were more than 1700 individual flowers there, all made from lego, how brilliant! When the display was over, the flowers were taken down and all of them were given out to people who queued up to have one, what a lovely idea.

Even a watering can to help keep the flowers fresh

Yesterday was the last day of the Easter holidays. We were looking Holly's little girl for the day as both Adam and Holly were working, so thought it would be nice to go out. We went to The Deep, a place that was as much fun for adults, a 14 year and 7 year old alike. There was so much to see as well as things to do, stroke the starfish and touch the sea anemones, follow the turtle trail and lots of interactive things to do.

the view from inside The Deep over the River Humber

some very large starfish

This pool was amazing, there was a member of staff walking through it feeding the fish, it was fantastic to watch

The corals in here were so colourful, so beautiful, I could have quite happily just sat and watched it

Sharks swimming with these fish

I wasn't very successful with this photo, it was a tank with lots of Clown fish (like Nemo) swimming amongst the sea anemone, oh and starfish.

These were strange little critters, water eels popping out of the sand, very odd looking swaying about... I wasn't too keen.

A very big fish

There were quite a few penguins, they were the sweetest things to watch, marching about with their flippers out to balance themselves. In another part you could watch them as they swam about and dived for their food.

More sharks...

Even a shark outside.

We were in there for a good couple of hours and all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. As an added bonus, we can use our entry tickets as often as we want to for a year, I think we shall definitely be going again especially as they have 2 new turtles which we didn't really see much of this visit.

As an extra treat we thought we'd take a drive out the seaside, Hornsea. We had fish and chips for our supper.

Andrew and I ate ours in the car looking out to sea while Imogen and her little charge ate theirs outside before having a good runaround and collecting some pretty stones.

It was a lovely end to the Easter holidays. Imogen is making the most of the weekend before going back to school on Monday.

Take care

Thursday, 13 April 2017

First Grandbaby Blanket Finished

It's not been the best of times recently. I wasn't sure whether to mention this on my blog as I like this space to be my happy space, but it's part of my life too and we all have lives with ups and downs, sadness and happiness.

It started with my husband's brother dying just before Christmas, expected, but still desperately sad to see a relatively young man (he died the day after his 55th birthday) lose his life to cancer. Unfortunately my father is now very ill. He hasn't been well since Christmas, but put it down to tiredness as he has been caring for my mum recovering from her second hip replacement. Eventually my mum managed to persuade him to go the the drs (he must have been feeling pretty horrendous to agree to go) and he was diagnosed with diabetes with very high sugar levels. He remained quite ill though so my mum tried to get him another appointment. Everything was fully booked for a couple of weeks (as seems to be the norm nowadays), but she was lucky that she was able to have a quick word with one of the drs on the phone, who requested he come to the surgery straight away. Quick examination, an ambulance was called and the hospital advised the dr to have a defibrillator on standby, my poor parents were in shock as you can imagine, thank goodness they had the phone consultation. After having his heart restarted 4 times to slow it down, by poor dad was diagnosed with endocarditis and a leaky heart valve. After weeks in hospital on IV antibiotics trying to get it under control and catching 2 infections in there, he now has also been diagnosed with cancer. How dreadful it has all been, my poor mum is exhausted, but keeping a smile on her face for her husband and everything is now in limbo until the original infection (heart) has completely gone so operations can go ahead firstly to find out what's going on with the cancer and secondly to fix the leaky heart valve. They live so far away from us, but son and his girlfriend are going down for Easter with Imogen and we're paying for them to stay in a hotel so as not to give my mum any extra work with changing beds etc.

Now I'm going to talk about something happy, things to look forward to, our forth coming grandson, my parents first great grandchild.

It's the first blanket he has had made for him. I used a Jody Pyott design, so it was made in lots of pieces... and took lots of time

I finished all the pieces a few of weeks ago, but hadn't had a chance to put them together with one thing and another.

I crocheted them all together, which still left one job,my least favourite job, but a necessary one. So yesterday afternoon, I sucked it up and sat down sew all the ends in and boy was there a lot of them!

A pile with some of the ends of the ends I had woven in.... do you feel my pain...

It was worth it, all sewn in and ready to be snuggled around my beautiful grandson when he arrives. I really wanted to make this design as I thought the words were particularly lovely.

Take care

Friday, 7 April 2017

Planting Seeds and a Weeping Window

Hello lovely people, I do enjoy my time in blogland, reading blogs and getting a glimpse into other people's lives. Today it gives me the opportunity to show something else happening in our city of culture. A weeping window made of poppies in Hull city centre.

I went to see it yesterday, it was amazing. Made of the ceramic poppies originally seen in London pouring from a window at the Tower of London.

A cascade comprising several thousand handmade ceramic poppies, Poppies:Weeping Window was originally seen pouring from a high window to the ground below at the Tower of London as part of the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red.
I didn't see the display in London, so it felt really special to be able to see the poppies in Hull and I really do recommend coming to see them if you can before they're taken down. There's some more info if you click here.

It's been good to see some sunshine this week. It motivated me to get into the garden, tidy up the greenhouse and get some more planting done.

I planted some californian poppies, cosmos, lobelia and one other flower that I can't remember right now, it's a good job they're labelled!

There are plenty of peas, lettuce and some sunflowers planted.

Cauliflowers, butternut squash, cucumbers and sweetcorn

These next photos were only taken a few days later, lots of the flowers have already germinated, sending teeny shoots upwards. I'm quite amazed how quickly the germinating has happened, I wasn't expecting them for a week or so yet, it is nice and warm in the greenhouse though.

They weren't very evenly sown were they, a little crop of poppies poking through

I need to keep the sunflowers in the greenhouse for a while once they start growing, otherwise the pesky slugs and snails tend to munch on them, the sweetcorn seems be a favourite as well. Sunflowers just starting to germinate now... happy times.

Andrew's planted up few sacks with potatoes outside, so hopefully we'll be eating fresh potatoes in the summer too.

We also bought a couple of roses, one for each side of the pergola, both highly fragranced. I meant to take photos them too, but forgot! There isn't a great deal to see at this point though.

Take care

Monday, 3 April 2017

Sizzix Teddy Bears

I've been trying to blog more often, but haven't been here for a week, where does the time go! It's been a busy week starting with a wonderful Mother's Day last Sunday. My son and his girlfriend came to visit in the afternoon with cards and gifts and we all sat down to a 'buffet type' tea. This Sunday we celebrated my boy's 29th birthday. His birthday was on the Saturday, but he spent the day fishing with friends then in the evening went out, so had a second celebration with us the next day.

We've had some nicer weather this past week so have been out in the garden quite a bit. Lots of tidying up and sorted out our poor, neglected greenhouse, but I'll save that for another day.

Also a spot of sewing. I used my Sizzix machine to die cut some teddies, then it was just a case of sewing them together on the machine. This is the larger teddy, I made him using scraps and a little bit of felt for his eyes.

Then some small ones, I really like this brushed cotton tartan fabric it's so soft. The muzzles, nose and eyes are cut from felt and I hand stitched them in place using blanket stitch. I haven't done it before, but really want to learn different stitches, so it was good to be able to try it out.

I was quite pleased with the contrast of the embroidery cotton against the felt (I used red thread on the green felt)

I think they're quite cute and quite quick to make too, the longest part being the hand stitching.

I've already had some claimed, Imogen chose a small one to carry in her bag.

These 2 are my favourites, I think the softness of the fabric makes them so snuggly.

What's everyone else been up to? I have some time to myself now while Andy puts together some new garden furniture so shall spend it catching up with blogs.

Take care