Thursday 27 September 2012

Shades of red and other colours

Good evening

What a difference a few hours made - the rain Monday afternoon gave way to a beautiful sunset here in Suffolk - luckily I was in the right place at the right time and snapped a picture on my phone;

We were lucky here - yes it rained but there was no flooding and destruction like in other parts of the country - quite shocking to see the news pictures.

Tuesday I went to visit my Grandma - as ever I had a plastic tub with me so I could collect the blackberries that grow along the driveway. I also raided her orchard as I knew there were pears that were ready to pick - some for her and some for me. I also collected some of the windfalls for jam making.

 After lots of peeling & poaching of the pears - it was time to add them to the blackberries I've been collecting - the perfect amount - 1kg of fruit for 1kg of jam sugar. After bubbling away nicely it was time to jar it up - 6 jars in total - 5 for us and 1 for my Grandma :)

I've also been making pressies this week - this time for a stitch and bitch group friend - a simple string of rainbow felt hearts finished off with a jingly bell. Each heart being edged with blanket stitch in a contrasting colour;

Today there was a very rare sight. Me wearing trainers! and also gym gear. Yep I've rejoined the gym - I used to go regularly a few years ago and enjoyed it but the job I had at the time increased its hours and sadly I stopped going. Well after thinking about it since I stopped physio I finally made the call the other week and today was my first session with an instructor. Off tomorrow for a proper work out - I wonder how much my body will ache on Saturday? Probably quite a lot but am sure it will be worth it long term!

 As its the end of the month almost it time for 2 mosaic pictures. Firstly 9 pictures that sum up September in the VV household;

 Spiders, berries, butterflies, back to school, The Tour of Britain, autumn fruits, leaves changing colour, the steam fair at Henham and lastly chutney making time.

There have even been a few makes this month - mostly for the fair in 2 weeks time - more have been made since these pictures were taken. I need to spend a day with my sewing machine this weekend as there are strings of bunting to be made too.
Right that's more than enough for tonight - my eyes are feeling very tired. As soon as Little Son gets home from brass practise I'm off to bed!

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Monday 24 September 2012

Officially Autumn

Good afternoon

Yep the equinox has passed and we are now officially in Autumn - the season of colourful leaves, woolie jumpers and snuggling under blankets.

However today here in Suffolk it wasn't nice Autumn - it was blooming horrid - torrential rain from lunchtime onwards and those poor leaves that have turned a golden brown were being blown around by high winds too. Two very soggy teenagers arrived home from school this afternoon - raincoats no match for the awfulness we've had here. Luckily I was prepared - towels were handed over and once soggy things were put to dry/into the wash, mugs of tea were handed out and a emergency packet of biscuits were opened!

Anyhow - back to Autumn - I was browsing blogland the other day and I spotted a challenge on moonstruckcreations blog which was right up my street. Find a view or two or even more and take a picture of it each week to track the progress of Autumn.

I've picked 4 spots from around the garden and will take a picture of them each week and then do a mosaic post at the end of each month to show the changes.

 First place - the corner by the summerhouse - as you can see this picture wasn't taken today - there's washing on the line and a cheeky squirrel attempting a raid of the bird feeders.

 View two - This border is just outside the back door - the silver birch tree is a self seed and wasn't even here when we moved in 9 years ago!

View 3 - three trees in the front garden - as you can see today it was very gloomy here :(

View 4 - the cherry tree and honeysuckle that covers one fence - you can just see the start of the leaves changing colour.

Whilst we are on the subject of Autumn - here's a common view in the kitchen this time of year;

 A busy stove top - soup in one pan and a beef stew in the other.

I started making some hedgerow (sloe, blackberry and elderberry) gin at the weekend - can't sample this until Christmas though. 

Have a good week all - here's hoping it doesn't rain everyday - already my kitchen is looking like a laundry with two clothes horses of stuff drying in there.

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Thursday 20 September 2012

What's yours?

Good afternoon

I found a total bargain in the charity shop (not the one I work in)  the other day - this bracelet;

I've seen these for sale in a little jewellers nearby and really liked them - however the price (£20) and the fact I didn't know if I could get one over my hand without using soap put me off buying one. This one was in the window and only £1 so I took a chance - with a bit of help from a squirt of washing up liquid, it was over my hand and I've worn it since (yes I can get it off again the same way).

Chocolate is my weakness but I'm trying hard at the moment to not eat it (and other less healthy things) - so far so good - my jeans feel a bit loser! Oh and I've a gym induction session next week!

As the weather has turned here and the promise of frost coming soon, I thought it time to pick all my tomatoes from the garden. Some had been eaten by something and I decided I'd rather not share them. We've eaten loads too and they have been so tasty. However there were as every year some that were never going to ripen - so it was time for chutney making;

 Everything assembled - tomatoes from the garden, local apples and onions and some of my homegrown chillies too.

 The chopping up took rather a while but the colourful result was rather pretty.

All that work for 5 large full jars and one part jar which I've sampled and declared delicious :)

One last thing for today - a lesson in always having your camera with you. I didn't but luckily I had my phone with me - though its picture quality is more suited to Instagram than blogging. 

I was on my way to visit my Grandma and walking up the drive looking for blackberries. I noticed a 'swarm' of something fly over me and settle on the ivy growing along the wall. It was butterflies - about 50 of them - I couldn't get to close to take a picture but managed to snap a couple of them;

There were loads of Red Admirals and a few Tortoiseshell? ones too. Very pretty - never seen so many butterflies in place at the same time.

I don't think I'll be seeing any wildlife tomorrow - the forecast is rather soggy - thank goodness I've a day at home planned.

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Monday 17 September 2012

Boats, Bands, Samba & Sunshine

Good afternoon.

Hope you had a good weekend? We were so lucky here in Suffolk - extremely good weather on Saturday and not to bad on Sunday - both days were dry and warm enough not to have to wear a coat :)

Saturday afternoon saw me heading to Woodbridge with MrVV. He'd been asked to play with another brass band as they were short of a tuba player. I went along too as I rather like Woodbridge.

The event was to celebrate 1000 years of Maritime history in Woodbridge and was based along the river-front. Lots of stalls and lots of people - best of all - blue skies and sunshine :)

The view across the river to the Tide Mill

Such a pretty spot - lots to watch - rowers, small boats and lots of ducks.

 As part of the celebrations there was a re-enactment of 'something' - sorry I wasn't really paying attention. These 18th century soldiers had a camp set up and plenty of people were wandering around chatting to them and learning stuff - me? I found a spot in the sunshine and sat listening to the band, having an ice-cream and reading a book!

Sunday was another band - this time with the normal band - both MrVV & Little Son were involved. A family favourite - a trip to Henham Steam Rally - we've been here so many times with the boys and both love it. So much so that BigSon even came out of his lair for the day!! Whilst the two brass players played - we walked miles around the site several times - finding things we both wanted to see.

 BigSon managed to squeeze himself into this little electric Renault Twizzy - amazingly he could fit himself into the back seat too. Not sure its the most practical of cars - no idea where your shopping is supposed to go!!
 A proper Romany Vardoe - beautifully painted.

 Lots of lovely classic and beautifully restored cars to see - I of course was attracted to something less 'classic' this little Fiat had been given a makeover - complete with ladybird spots, false eyelashes and a clockwork handle on the back which turns when the engine is running!!

 Inside was equally as wacky - fake grass on the parcel shelf and a collection of small toys having a picnic!!

 We heard the samba band before we could see them - very colourful - just a shame they had no dancers with them.

This gorgeous vintage caravan caught my eye. Restored to its former glory by a lovely couple who were happy for me to have a good look around and take photos.

After all the playing was done - it was time for a quick trip to the vintage funfair. BigSon terrified another band member on the big wheel - she was squealing at him to stop rocking the seat so much - rotten boy ;) LittleSon and MrVV went on together;

 Seems that teenage facebook pose is catching on with the older generation ;)

Like father, like son - manic grins all round!
A lovely day out - ended off with a takeaway for dinner and then a glass of wine and Downton Abbey :)
See you soon

Thursday 13 September 2012

I've actually made something!!!

Good evening

How has your week been so far? The weather here in Suffolk has been mostly kind and I've been plodding on with my late for 2012/early for 2013 'spring' cleaning!  Blooming spiders they been so busy.

As well as the boring stuff, I've found time to do some making - first I've really done since May;

 I went back to my S&B group last night for the first time in ages - a combination of the weather, apathy and lack of mojo meant I'd not been for a couple of months. Was lovely to see friends again and have a good catch up - new babies, graduations and other news. I quickly made this little felt owl as a pressie for one of the groups birthdays as I knew she was an owl fan.

 As the weather was kind, I took photos of some of my other makes in the ivy on the side of the house. All of these are destined for a fair next month.

 I love making felt gingerbread men - must have made over a 100 in the past few years.

When I was in town the other day I went past one of the charity shops and something colourful caught my eye. I remember these books from my childhood - we had a vast Ladybird collection (wish we'd keep them all). The collage pictures of paper & wool brought back many happy memories - of reading these to myself and later on to my younger siblings.

Who else has been watching this on BBC2? Whilst I've enjoyed the other programmes in this series this one is my favourite. My Grandmas family lived in the countryside and she's often spoken about wartime life on the farm. I've ordered the free booklet that accompanies the series and I've added the official book to my online wish in case someone wants to be buy me something for the event in December that we must not mention yet!!

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Monday 10 September 2012

Mondays Musings

Good evening

Well that's another week started then - honestly they are going by so quickly at the moment.

Today was the first day of 'back to normal' - MrVV at work, Little Son at school and Big Son finally started 6th form - he's been on hols since late June, he was more than ready to get back to using his brain.

I've been trying over the last few weeks to be more organised - this is week 3 and so far so good :) I right myself a task list for each day - some mundane and some nicer ones. Today's included more fruit shopping! Our local greengrocers has loads of English apples and plums for sale at the moment and they are rather lovely - as fast as I buy them they get eaten!!

Another item on the list was catch up on photo taking. I've joined a local Facebook selling page and its proving a good way of getting some extra pennies - working my way through the big pile of items I never got round to carbooting this summer!!

As well as those pics of course I found time for a couple of bloggy ones too;

The lovely Lucey from Lemonade Kitty is also a fellow Ladybird book collector and she responded when I had a couple of doubles to swap - here's what she sent me. Not one I'd seen before but its lovely and I was pleased to see a section about Ely Cathedral we visited last month in there too. Thanks Lucey :)

Right I promised a crafty catch up too. The squares from a previous post sat in a pile whilst I pondered what to do with them - I liked them but wasn't 100% happy. A quick look through Pinterest and Instagram gave me the answer. The white square was unravelled and I used the white to border the other squares. All 6 have been joined together and voila - the first 6 squares of a 36 square blanket;

I've got a while till this needs to be finished so there might not be much progress in the next few weeks. Instead I must crack on with making for the next fair. I've a huge list of ideas and pile of fabric so there is no excuse not to have loads to sell.

I mentioned at the beginning it was Big Sons first day at 6th form - he reluctantly posed for photos this morning - after all these years in school he knows the drill. Perhaps for his 18th birthday I can put them all together as a mosaic!!

He came home from school tonight shattered - so much to take in, new timetable, new classrooms, no rules and just the shock of a school day after so much time off!

Right time for me to have a wander around blogland and get caught up with everyone.

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Sunday 9 September 2012

Waiting for Bradley Wiggins & friends

Good evening

Just a quick post whilst I wait for dinner to finish cooking.

Today Suffolk was proud to be the starting point for this years Tour of Britain cycling race - it started this morning on the waterfront in Ipswich and wound its way through the Suffolk countryside and along the coast heading over the border into Norfolk for a finish near Norwich.

We were so pleased when the route was announced - not only was it visiting our county but it was coming right through the centre of my little town.

Here's a few photos - I was trying to snap away as well as watch AND it all went passed so quickly!!

 We were so pleased to see crowds lining the route through the town - I don't think there's ever been so many people watching anything in our town before. The motorcycle outriders were there to provide a rolling road closure and they were also great fun too - posing for pictures and getting the crowds going :)

 This was the first group through - a breakaway of 4 riders who had a 5 minute lead at this point on the others.

 Team Sky at the front - one of these may well be Mr Wiggins - so difficult to see here.

 A few more.

 And the rest.

The view as they headed up the hill and onto their next point.

Rather lovely and over too quickly.

Going to watch the highlights on TV tonight just so we can see a bit more.

See you soon - more crafting pics to share :)

xxx Vicki xxx
Thanks for the comments on my last post - trying to reply to everyone individually (eventually). Definitely feeling better now :) Thanks also for the comments on my pics - I try hard to get good pics - much easier with subjects that stay still!!

Thursday 6 September 2012

Changing of the seasons

Good evening

Its that time of year again - the switch from Summer to Autumn - almost as soon the month started I noticed the dewy mornings and an invasion of eight-legged creatures in the house. Currently battling against the cobwebs - seems hit squad of spiders works faster than me!!

 This one has set up home in the garden - on one of the conservatory windows - just leaving him/her alone after all outside is where I'd prefer them to be!! The web is growing daily and there are little 'food' bundles in there which seem to disappear quickly!

These berries were on the honeysuckle that grows over the summerhouse - the birds have been happily feeding on them.

I was so pleased the other day when I found the perfect dandelion clock - just more proof of the 'wildness' that's taking over the garden!!

I spend ages the other day trying to get photos of the butterflies on one of our buddleia plants - they are so camera shy - eventually I managed this pic of a Red Admiral.

I mentioned that my crafting mojo has returned - am sure the cooler evenings make me want to find a hook & yarn and also some sewing.  Firstly a couple of felt christmas decorations towards next months fair;

and then - the first of a least 49 squares towards one of the blankets I'm making;

I am so glad I learnt to crochet - its been in my bag during both hospital trips this week - ideal for waiting around! Just wish I could have taken it into the MRI scanner - not the best experience - not keen on enclosed spaces especially as my head was clamped still! The ENT doctor thinks that it was a nasty attack of Labarintitis - I've a follow up appointment next spring just to check the progress, retesting my hearing and to let them know if I've had any further attacks.

Happily things seem to have settled down - a few giddy moments but nothing serious and they've soon passed. Back out & about and working in the charity shop again. We've been changing over the stock to Autumn things and despite the gorgeous sunshine we've been selling loads too :)

Right back to my Paralympic watching - I am in awe of these athletes and their abilities.

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx