Thursday, 11 June 2015

The taste of summer

Good afternoon

It's been a mixed few days with the weather - some days it feels proper summery and others the temptation to find socks has been very strong.

Last Friday was a very mixed day - warm but thundery and at times extremely rainy and thundery. The weather almost scuppered our Friday evening plans. We'd found an abundant supply of elderflowers and our plans included turning them into cordial - well the first part.



We decided to double the recipe and picked 60 gorgeous flower heads which once de-stalked were left to soak in a sugar syrup for 24 hours.



After we'd got back from a fun day out at a Medieval Fair, it was time to strain and bottle the cordial.

We'd got a collection of bottles ready and began the process. Whoops our maths was a bit off - more cordial than bottles! A call to a nearby friend produced a bottle and she was happy to take some from us and a promise of things from her garden in a few weeks was made. A mad dash to a supermarket and we bought the last litre pop top bottle in their kitchen section!!

My share was 2 litres of cordial which tastes like summer in a bottle - mixed with fizzy water or fizzy wine its lovely;


Should last me a while - though there is a vague plan of making elderflower champagne or cordial another weekend soon when time allows.

Am off dancing tonight and taking me camera - might even this week manage to take some photos!!

See you soon

xxx Vintage Vicki xxx 

Monday, 8 June 2015

House and garden

Good evening

Thanks to those who've visited since I dipped my toe back into blogging this month :)

Still getting the hang of taking pictures on a camera and especially for here. Had a crash course at the weekend on how to upload them onto my new toy and also how to use a programme to edit/resize - the one I used before was very very old and not compatible with this new lappie of mine.

In recent weeks its been very domestic here at times at No6 - my dining room was looking shabby, overstuffed and the radiator had sprung a leak :( Time to give it a makeover. Coats of fresh paint in a neutral cream, new curtains that actual fit, a new non leaking radiator and tomorrow a new carpet in a colour I like and that won't show every mark, thread or crumb.

Here's what we've done so far - very happy with it and also the fact I've not gone over my limited budget :)

 The room had felt overstuffed so when big son was home at Easter we sorted out the two bookcases that were in there and condensed them into one - bookcase was sold and I sold lots of the books at a boot sale this weekend.

New tablecloth from Aldi which the boys actually quite like - they were worried it would be a very floral room but so far they approve.

 The two huge paintings were done by one of my sister for her GCSE and A levels exams many years ago - I love both of them and they will always feature somewhere wherever I live.

One of the first things we bought for this house - now rehung and filled again with clean china - still have the stuff from my dresser to do tomorrow so once the carpet is down that too can be refilled.

The arrival of spring and sunny weather made me look at the garden and realise it needed work doing on it. I spent hours weeding, cutting back and sorting out. Then when S was over we went to a local garden centre and I chose things to fill gaps, tubs and new tiny veggie plot. Here's just a snapshot of what I've been doing;

 Just a few strawberry plants - this year in pots but hopefully next year in a proper bed.

 Tiny tomatoes appearing - we chose varieties which crop heavily.

 Trying to disguise the less pretty bits with tubs of geraniums.

 Waiting for this one to flower - it's called Apple Blossom and the petals look beautiful.

 Bargain hanging baskets filled with car boot find bedding plants.

 It was so sunny when I took these pics you can't see this one too well - must get the hang of my camera again - anyhow its full of pink, blue and purple and a as one lot finish another should burst into colour.

A practical bit - storage with strawberries and a few leftover geraniums on top.

Just realised I forgot to take pics of the little veg bed and the raspberries behind it - they are looking very promising this year - handy really as we've run out of raspberry jam!!

Right that's probably enough for today - there's dinner to cook, washing to get in and of course things to water later too.

See you soon - we've been productive this weekend and there's the first foraged make of 2015 to share with you.

xxx Vintage Vicki xxx

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Home is where you park it :)

Hello again

Still getting the hang of reading blogs again and commenting on them but slowly, eventually I will catch up - blogland echoes real life very much these days - happy news and some sad.

We are mostly happy here in No 6 - will be even happier in 10 days time when big son is home from Uni for the summer - we've missed him lots and it will be nice for the house to feel full again. he has finished his first year exams and has a couple of weeks of fun,sorting and packing to do. Plus catching up on his sleep and probably nursing hangovers!

Little son has just 2 more AS exams to do then its onto A2 courses and Uni visits before he gets a summer break. Then he'll probably spend his time sleeping, making You Tube Minecraft videos and podcasts and working hard selling ice-creams again.

One thing that has made me very happy in recent months has been the purchase of a little caravan (I  sold the old bigger one to friends when I moved house). S & I had been talking of getting something but nothing small and cheap enough had been found until a friend spotted something for sale in a little back road and called me. We went to visit and it was perfect - well the right size and price. The inside was very grim and there was lots of work to do on electrics, gas and water as well as giving the interior a good scrub and colourful makeover.

One thing about not blogging is I have got out of the habit of taking my camera with me so the following pics are taken on my phone and recycled from FB and IG.


Not the best picture but here she is - as yet un-named and in her first home of a friends field!


Recycled from last summer camping - a flowery welcome


A small but functional kitchen space - we are slowly filling the cupboards with existing bits and preloved treasures.


We soon decided that the carpet was not our colour - cheap and colourful indian rugs now hide most of it and are easy to clean after we've been away.


The other end doubles as a living and sleeping space - the sofas combine to make a cosy bed - so much more comfy that last summers airbed in the tent! The ceiling was a bit tatty but a throw covers this and gives it the feeling of the cosy aspect of a tent.


When we had our first trip away we decided that each time we'd have fresh colourful flowers in there to make it seem welcoming. The red leather tankard was my birthday pressie from S and we won Pingu on the funfair at Rochester Sweeps Festival.


Pictures and other bits have appeared - our tastes are slightly different but the mix of gothic, pagan and shabby chic seems to work together!


We made one door panel into a pin board for our collection of morris badges - a friend had already used this fabric in a cushion and bunting she made for my birthday so we chose to use this again and base the colour palette for the van around it.

We've had one lovely trip away and plenty more are planned over the summer. One downside is neither of us have outside space at our houses so the van has to live elsewhere :( - we both have a small pile of extra bits to add next time we take her away and I promise more pictures.

Right that probably it for today. I have found my camera and its packed for tonight - an evenings dancing out at a pub and then this weekend we've a day out planned and the camera will come along too!

Thanks for reading - see you soon

xxx Vintage Vicki xxx

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

You don't remember me - do you?

Good afternoon

Long time no see - entirely my fault, life got busy and I stopped blogging. Also my old desktop PC died and its taken a while to save to get a new shiny laptop and learn how to work it - even now I am unsure if this blogging lark will even work and if it does whether I can get back into the swing of it.

Lets see if I have learnt how to save photos and also if I can get them on here!


The easiest way to catch up is a photo mosaic from each month I have been missing.

So November - a smallest giant treat an afternoon of archery, Remembrance Parade, my other half took up Molly dancing my initial role to make a Molly style raggy for a Christmas display, a birthday cake for S and a treat night out - a Bellowhead gig.


December - so much stuff I got roped into Molly dancing, big son came home from Uni for a month, little son played his last brass engagement, we went to the panto (twice - 2 different ones) and we celebrated Christmas in style.


January - more dancing both Molly and Border, little son turned 17 and he gained a title!


Feb - we visited big son at Uni for his 19th birthday, there was Valentines day and Shrove Tuesday to celebrate.


March - more dancing, my birthday, mothers day, little nephews birthday, the eclipse and we bought a little caravan (more on that another time).


April - we danced for St George, celebrated Easter, had a very sunny day out at Southwold and spring began to appear in the garden.


May - more dancing and little stumble!, visiting big son again, decorating my dining room, garden sorting time and my first ever trip crabbing.

Ok so that's the past 7 months in brief - I will be back with proper posts soon and I want to catch up with bloggy friends and their lives.

Sorry its been so long

xxx Vintage Vicki xxx

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

I've not really vanished!

Good morning

As the title I've not really vanished completely - however life is rather busy and my pc which is my main blogging space is rather creaky and temperamental. Sometime soon it will get sorted - a newer tower is sitting here waiting to be swapped with my current old tired one - its just a matter of copying all the important stuff across - and it takes time and there's not been much spare!

I just looked and its 3 months since my last post - so much has happened and so many photos taken of places visited, days out, days at home and family life in general. Here's 3 mosaic pictures which condense it rather a lot;

 August - a long weekend in Wales - mainly to take the boys to the Doctor Who Experience - very much loved by us all, 2 wonderful festivals - Folk East and Shrewsbury Folk Festival - dancing at one and just paying punters at the other.

 September - so much foraging and jam making happened - enough to last us through to next year. Little Son started 6th form having passed his GCSE's with flying colours. Big Son also passed his A levels and we said a tearful goodbye mid September as he started his new undergraduate life at Uni.

October - Little Son passed his CBT test and bought his first moped - meaning he can get to work easier and not rely on lifts and public transport. As the days shorten its been time for fairy lights and candles and also the dreaded raking of the leaves in the garden. S & I had a short holiday in Dorset - we spent one day on the steam trains which run down to Swanage. Hard to believe that on Halloween, we sat on the beach in t-shirts, eating icecream and watching little witches paddling in the sea!!

We had a busy start to November - last weekend we made the trip north to visit Big Son - oh what a happy Mummy I was - first cuddle from my giant boy in 6 weeks :) and the best bit - its only 4 weeks till we head up there again to collect him for Christmas!!
Where has 2014 gone?
I can't make any promises about regular blogging - I do miss it and the reading of everyone elses - but I will try to by a less slack blogger!!
xxx Vicki xxx

Monday, 4 August 2014

Suffolk Sunshine

Good morning

Another sunny morning here in Suffolk - weather seems to have got it right at the moment - sunny days and rainy nights :) We've been spending lots of time outside - we've rather mastered the art of cooking over fire and Big Son seems to have assumed the role of chief flipper of burgers and bbq food.

We had a day out en-masse last week, - me, S, Little Son, Big Son and his girlfriend. We headed over to Thorpeness first and hired boats on the Meare;

 Just a gorgeous day - sunny and breezy and despite the empty looking Meare in this photo it was in fact rather busy.

 We were in 2 boats - we left Big Son and his girlfriend in one and we headed off in another. They took a while to get the rowing mastered but eventually they were getting around rather well.

 There were many swans about and racing across the Meare to be fed. They are surprisingly tricky to photograph - turning their heads at the last moment - eventually I managed a picture!!

After a lunch of chips and ice-cream on the beach at Aldeburgh, we dropped the teenagers back home and S & I headed up the coast to Southwold. As big kids we spent time playing on the arcades and continuing our Air Hockey battles - I always seem to loose whatever dirty tricks I try!!

 Still one of my favourite views - Southwold seafront taken from the end of the Pier.

Lastly for today - a mosaic for July - very hard to limit it to just 6 pictures - its been a lovely and busy month;

Both boys proms, more dancing and plenty of festival fun.

August is shaping up to be busy too - we've a holiday with some Daleks, more festivals, a carnival and of course 2 lots of results days!

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Monday, 21 July 2014

Marching, Morris and A Lion!

Good evening

This posts title sums up my weekend rather well!

Firstly marching - our little town commemorated its involvement in WW1 this weekend. The main employer at the time of the war was the Garretts factory which amongst other things made steam engines. They were also the sponsors of the town band - the company headed the donors for the first set of instruments - these were purchased in 1886 and the band mastered these in time for the celebrations of Queen Victoria's Jubilee later that year. 

Anyhow I've wandered off already. The band were at the time all Garretts employees and when war broke out many signed up to fight for King and country. They marched up to the station in the town and caught their train - many never to return. Their instruments were taken back to the band room on a horse and cart.

This weekend their march was remembered by many groups in the town and headed by the town band - now a British Legion Band.

Little son has played in this band for about 6 years now with his Dad and this weekend, he was marching just behind him - now only a few inches shorter than him!


In recent years when we've had events in town one of the biggest problems has been stopping traffic from coming face to face with a marching band. It seems no longer a job for special constables or community support officers and its often left to the parade to sort something out. Its seems for this one the perfect solution was found - British Legion motorcycle outriders who soon stopped traffic.
 

It is always a lovely sight and sound to hear the band marching through the town and this weekend there was a wonderful turn out of townsfolk and visitors to watch and listen;


They made their way on a long route on a hot muggy day - through the town - up the hill to the old station where some of the band left the parade and put their instruments on a horse and cart as happened a century ago. Little son was one of these and when I realised he'd have been the right age to sign up and go to war, it might have made my eyes leak a little bit.

Afterwards marching to only the beat of the drum the parade made its way to the school field for an afternoon of music and community events. Sadly I'd already agreed to be at another event in the next town so had to miss this.

Yep - we were dancing again - a very hot afternoon to be dressed up in our finery and face paint. Luckily not to long a dance spot and we were sharing it with another side. They did an audience participation dance and several of our dancers joined them;


Yesterday was another hot one - so all sensible people headed to the coast - many of them visiting Little Son now nicknamed Ice-Cream boy due to his holiday job at a lovely ice-cream parlour in Aldeburgh!

However I am not sensible and certainly S isn't. We were inland at an event in his home town and he was dressed as the mascot for the sport centre he works for! Yep temperatures hitting the high 20's and he's dressed as a lion!


 My role? Make sure he didn't stand on any small children or fall over any picnics. Also stop tweenagers trying to knock his head off - good job I've perfect that 'don't you dare look' over the years!!

Right - that's all for today. Time for a wander and to see what others got up to at the weekend.

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx