Thursday, 9 January 2014


Hello, I have managed to download a blogger app to my IPad which should make writing posts an awful lot easier. So this is a test post to try out the new app.

Little Pumpkin!

Splatty boy!

Here is our new little girl called Pumpkin, she is a real sweetie. We got her in October and she has fitted in so well. She really loves Splatty boy and curls up with him. He in return brings mice in for her to play with! She is just waiting to have her big girl operation and in the Spring she will be able to start going outside.

This new year I decided to try and stick to dry January, no alcohol for the whole month! It's been going well but tomorrow it's my works Christmas party. The dilemma is whether to break it for one night or stay on the wagon! I'm still undecided, it seems a bit rude to miss out on a totally free bar!

It's my favourite day of the week tomorrow - Friday yay! It's craft and coffee in the morning and then a free afternoon. I'm trying to crack on with my rooster yarn granny stripe blanket at the moment. Here it is, what do you think?

The weather has been so very wet here this week, the river Thames has flooded locally, with Cookham, Bourne End and Marlow flooded in places. There are so many gorgeous river front houses just down the hill from us, but I really wouldn't want to be in their shoes right now. I suppose it's the price we have to pay for such a dry Summer. I really hope that the freezing weather across the pond doesn't wing it's way over here. I don't really fancy waking up to an Artic Vortex thank you very much!
I have been trying to organise our digital photos over the past week. The fact that they are spread over four old laptops, had been bothering me. I decided to sort them out and save them all to a memory stick. In the good old days, you sent off your film, got the photos back and then put them into albums. The digital age in my opinion has killed off that simple process. Last weekend, I retrieved the old photos, loaded them all onto a memory stick and then decided to make a memory book for both Daisy and Alex. Luckily Snapfish had 50% off on all of the photo books. The books arrived this week and I am so pleased with them. I think it's a lovely keep sake for the children, and a lovely reminder for us!
I have also dug out my SLR camera, charged the battery and found the SD card, so I have no excuses now for not taking photographs. I would hate the children to look back at their childhood and find large chunks of it missing just because the camera was sat in the cupboard with a flat battery and missing SD card!
Well that's it from me for tonight, time for bed!
Till next time

Alison x x



Wednesday, 1 January 2014


Happy new year to all (I doubt anyone still reads my blog)!

I can't believe a year has passed by with me only making one blog post, but it has. Time just got the better of me in 2013, it was the year of adjusting  to going out to work once again, albeit for only three part time days per week, but it definitely took some getting used to.  

Poor old Pepe, Gingercat, was diagnosed with diabetes at the tail end of 2012 and spent nine months battling this miserable illness.  Sadly in August the vet discovered a tumour in her tummy so we made the sad but kind decision to say goodbye to her.  I still miss her funny ways.  In October we acquired a new pussy cat to keep Splatty boy company, a little black and white kitten called Pumpkin.  She adores Splat and has done from the minute she came home.  He likes her too, and lovingly brings in mice for her to chase around the kitchen!

I have still managed to find time to craft in 2013, crochet still being my favourite.  I have just finished off a baby blanket, and plan to knit my first ever pair of socks this year! 

I would really like to contribute to my blog this year on a regular basis, I love reading blogs still but have found that I haven't had the time or inclination to write which is a real shame,  sometimes it's just that technology gets the better of me.  I want to add some photos today but I'm not  sure how to do so from the IPad!

My main resolution for 2014 is to worry less and to continue to try and improve my fitness and weight loss.  Last year I managed to loose two stone, through a combination of diet and lots and lots of walking. It has felt like a big achievement but I would like to loose some more weight and get fitter?  It all starts tomorrow, no excuses to eat chocolate or drink alcohol now Xmas is over.  I just hope the weather picks up, it's been very miserable here today.  

I shall endeavour to add some photos but I'm not promising it will work!, 

Till next time.

Alison xx

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, let's hope 2013 is a good year despite it's unlucky name.  

One of my resolutions is to start blogging regularly again. A post every five months isn't really good enough is it!  

Here are a few highlights in pictures from 2012.

A picture from our fabulous holiday to Florida back in August.  I wasn't really looking forward to going that much as we have done Florida a few times before and I knew the weather was going to be rediculously hot.  We had such a great time though, lots of relaxing in the pool as well as doing the theme park.  The  kids loved Harry Potter world, it was very well done.

Daisy started Secondary school in September.  She has grown up so much since leaving her primary school in July.  She seems to have settled in really well and is working hard and making excellent progress.

Daisy turned 12 in September and enjoyed an Alice in Wonderland themed tea party.  The weather was really warm that day so the girls spent the whole party out in the garden, playing all the games they had devised themselves.

Alex and I went to the Paralympics at the beginning of September.  This was another gorgeous day and very inspiring. I was so impressed with the stadium, the fantastic athletes and the games makers, who were all so friendly.  My naughty son and his mate acquired the foam pointy fingers that the volunteers were using to guide the crowds!

I have been crocheting more blankets and am currently  working on a diagonal blanket (photos to follow).  I completed my first knitting project in December, a pair of lacey wrist warmers.  I bought these as a little kit from the stitching and knitting  show at Alexandra Palace.  I always go with my good friend Julia and we always enjoy the show and the day so much.  I bought some gorgeous yarn for my next blanket, I just need to decide on a pattern and finish the diagonal blanket first.

Julia and I decided to start a Friday morning craft and coffee at our local coffee shop.  We had some posters designed by my lovely sister in law and waited eagerly for the day to arrive. We weren't really sure if anyone would actually turn up but they did! We have a nice group of ladies who come along on a Friday morning for a couple of hours.  I am back working two days a week now so my Friday mornings are a real treat.

Christmas was good apart from Mr P having the Flu, it sort of passed him by as he spent three days in bed.  So here we are the start of a new year once more.  Resolutions have been made and I'm sure they will be broken just as quickly!

Till next time x x

Saturday, 7 July 2012

It's raining again!

What a wet week we have had, I don't think our lawn has ever looked this green during the first week of July.  I have got to say, I am ever so slightly sick of getting wet.  On Friday I popped to have a quick coffee with a couple of friends straight after dropping off the children at school.  Only a ten minute walk to the coffee shop from school. By the time I had walked back home (which is a mere five minutes from my house) my jeans were water logged, the water had risen half way up the back of my calves! 

It is our local Summer fayre tomorrow which no doubt will be badly affected by the weather.  I think it may be a bit drier tomorrow but showers are still predicted.  Thank goodness Centre Court at Wimbledon has a cover now!

It has been a manic week, work is hectic, school is hectic the chores never go away, they just seem to pile up.  I am so looking forward to our Summer holiday (only just over a month away).  We are off to Florida for a couple of weeks of sunny weather (fingers crossed) and some fun.  We have been a few times before so know exactly what to expect and the children are really looking forward to going to Harry Potter at Universal Studios. 

At the beginning of June we did the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio tour (near Watford) which was excellent.  Daisy in particular is a massive HP fan, she read all of the books back to back a couple of years ago and loves to watch the films.  We had such a good day out.  It is exceptionally well done and even if you only have a vague interest in the films or books the whole insight into the world of film making is fascinating.  The work that goes into each film is amazing.

We have had a very musical week this week, it was our school's music concert on Thursday evening and today we went to our local music centres garden party.  Daisy is the musical one in our family, she plays the flute and saxophone and music really is her thing.  Alex is our sporty one, any sport will do but his first love is football.

Daisy heard this week that she had passed her grade 3 flute exam and she performed perfectly in the school concert doing both a solo piece on her flute and also performing in a trio.  It was a real proud parent moment, lots of parents came up to me to say how well and elegantly she plays the flute.  Daisy is not at all sporty so its great that she has found "her thing" to be good at.  She is desperate to learn to play the piano also.  I think she is hoping that her nanny and grandad might take pity on her and "sponsor" her lessons as we really can't afford to fund three music lessons a week. 

It's Daisy school prom on Friday night which she is so excited about.  She had a hair practise this week as she is desperate to have curly hair on the night.  Why is it that people with straight hair desperately want curls?  My hairdresser managed to work wonders with a curling wand so curls she will have.  It's amazing how much easier curly hair is to work with.  I put her hair into a pony tail after she had had it curled and it stayed in perfectly all day!  Daisy's hair is fine, thick and poker straight so doing anything with it other than having it straight is a nightmare.

Right its time for me to sign off, I have a mountain of ironing I could be doing, a house I could tidy, a million and one craft projects that I could be finishing but I think I might just go and have an early night instead! 

Till next time.


Thursday, 28 June 2012

This and That

Just thought I would pop by, say hello and give you a little update on the gingercat household.  Life is as busy as ever, the weeks fly by in a whirl and I never seem to catch up with myself.  Is is just me or does time seem to go faster the older you get?

I have had a very busy week work wise and I must admit today I felt very tired indeed.  I could have stayed in bed this morning if I'm honest, as it was a struggle just to open my eyes.  I have been burning the candle at both ends, staying up far too late reading.  I am ashamed to admit I have been reading 50 shades of Grey and am half way through the second book - it's easy to read and the characters have a crafty way of getting under your skin, I just want to find out what happens to them!  Yes there is lots of sex and the number of orgasms is almost laughable, its not terribly well written either but there is just something about it, which makes it very readable.

I have definitely been trying to make the most of the sunshine over the last couple of weeks.  The Summer has been so patchy that I feel I have to be outside making the most of any rays of sunshine we have.

I love it when I drop the children at school, come back home have a quick tidy round and then take a nice cup of tea or coffee outside.  I enjoy the peace and quiet and love to sit and just take in the garden.  The garden is looking fabulous at the moment, it really is the best its been for years.  I have got back into the gardening grove which helps, I have really enjoyed tending to my garden and seeing all the plants thrive (well most of them).

Mr P had a mini garden revamp after the chickens moved down the road.  He soon sorted out the muddy mess at the end of the garden.  Turf was laid and the swing moved down behind our office.  The bench has also been moved down the end, so that's another of my favourite spots for an alfresco lunch or a mid morning cuppa.

I have almost finished a little lap blanket which I have been crocheting for months and months.  I bought the wool last October at the stitching and knitting show.  It was just enough to do a lap throw.  I choose my favourite ripple pattern.  I just love the ease of crocheting the ripple, so rythmic.  I just need to sew in the ends and then we are all done.

The pictures aren't great as I only used the little digital camera, and it was as very sunny morning. The colours are all very muted tones, very earthy colours.  I just have the big granny square blanket to finish off for Daisy's bed, although I still have a very long way to go.  I would like to finish it off by her birthday ideally so I definitely need to pull my finger out and get on with it.

Here was my mid morning snack on Monday, a nice cup of coffee and a slice of lemon drizzle cake.  Naughty but oh so nice. 

Here are a couple of garden pictures I took that same morning(again not great photos).  Our lupins have looked lovely this year, some have finished now and some are still in full bloom.

The fox gloves have looked magnificent this year also.  My delphiniums have been spectacular too, often they just get obliterated by slugs and snails but I have been on their case this year and managed to kill them before they did too much damage.   I do love cottage garden plants. 

For some odd reason I have downloaded a picture of bacon and pancakes!  I think Daisy must have photographed her breakfast last weekend.  We always try to have a family breakfast at the weekend.  In the week we tend to eat breakfast at different times and never all sit down to eat in the morning.  I like to make a bit more effort at the weekend and cook something a bit different to our normal weekday fayre.  Pancakes are often on the menu, ocassionaly we have bacon and eggs.  Our favoutie at the moment is bacon, pancakes and maple syrup.  I love the whole sweet and salty thing you get with it.

Last weekend I made a batch of elderflower cordial.  I left it a bit late really, as the elderflowers were coming to an end.  I find it incredibly difficult to get the citric acid.  A lot of chemists just don't sell it anymore.  I hate the smell of elderflowers when you make it, it smells like cats pee!  I love the finished result though, so refreshing.

I will leave you with a rather poor photo of the newly revamped end of garden.  It's hard to imagine this was were the chickens lived. Do you like our cheesy frog band.  Me and Mr P bought then from a sunday magazine about 15 years ago.  I keep threatening to get rid of them but Mr P refuses to throw them out!  My sunflowers in the trough have grown an awful lot since I took this picture.  I can see the green leaves of the plant when I am sat at my desk looking out of that window.

We are off to a 40th birthday party on Saturday night which should be fun.  I managed to find a new dress to wear to it today in the sales which is great., I do love a bargain!  It seems strange the shops selling off their Summer stuff, I don't even feel like we have had a Summer yet.  It will be Christmas at this rate - yikes!

Till next time, enjoy the weekend.


Sunday, 10 June 2012

Hello, once again it's been a while!  Time just seems to run away with me at the moment.  I always have good intentions to blog but just never seem to get around to it.  Anyhow, I'm at my keyboard and ready to update you on life in the Gingercat household.

Its been a busy Spring, we decided at Easter to put our house on the market and to see what happens.  It has been very quiet to say the least.   We have had a few viewing but not many.  I don't really think it's because our house is massively overpriced, I just feel the market is absolutely dead right now.
We have looked at a handful of houses and all with the exception of one or two they have been truly awful.  We are seriously thinking about staying put for now and maybe looking to build up into the loft.  I just don't feel that now is the going to be our time to move. 

Daisy has been on her residential year 6 trip with school to the Isle of Wight and had an absolute ball.  She hated the residential trip last year and really didn't want to go this time around.  I am so pleased she had a really positive experience on this year's trip.  I still remember my last year at primary school and our trip to Swanage in Dorset.  It was the first time I had ever stayed away from home and I loved it!  I still remember so many things about the week away and that was 32 years ago now! 

Daisy only has six weeks left at her Primary school, off to her new big school in September.  She seems OK about it at the moment, I'm the one having a few nervous wobbles over her starting.  Here is a picture of her taken last weekend, trying on her outfit for the leavers prom.  She is in the in between stage at the moment clothes wise.  Too big for some children's departments and too small for adults.  We finally found this cream lace dress in Zara in an extra small.  It's a bit big in places but she loves it and it looks lovely on.  There is definitely a gap in the market for party/prom dresses for girls aged between 11 and 14 years old. 

On the home front, I have finally got around to doing some furniture painting.  I bought the paint for Alex's chest of drawers well over a year ago now! This was a pretty tatty looking pine and cream painted chest.  The week Daisy was away, which also happened to be the week the weather turned out beautiful got me in the mood for a spot of DIY.  A couple of coats of Annie Sloan's old white and Louis blue chalky paint, a couple of coats of clear wax, a set of new ceramic knobs and hey presto a greatly improved piece of furniture. 

I have since managed to buy a horrible sun tan orange pine bed side cabinet for the bargain price of £10 in a charity shop and have given that a mini makeover too.  Alex's room is looking so much better for his new improved furniture.  I am considering giving his room a lick of paint before the Summer holidays.  We wallpapered it 18 months ago and it has never looked great.  The paper was a Laura Ashley pale blue star print but we had real trouble with it sticking in places.  It is also very matt and marks really easily.  I figure a bit of sticking down of paper and a lick of paint will make his room look much fresher (I think I will decorate regardless of whether we move or not, even if we do move it's definitely not going to happen overnight).

We enjoyed the Jubilee weekend last week very much.  We decorated the office and front of our house with bunting and spent the weekend celebrating with family over a jubilee lunch and enjoyed a lovely BBQ with friends on bank holiday Monday.   We watched the Thames flotilla celebration and the Jubilee concert on TV.  The Queen is one amazing lady, I don't think I could have endured such a full on four days at the ripe old age of 86!

I entered Laa Laa's Jubilee swap and teamed up with the lovely Pen.  She sent me a whole box full of gorgeous goodies which I did try to photograph, only to find the battery flat on my camera and the SD card had gone AWOL!  I got a lovely hand made pin cushion and needle case, a mini cross stitch kit, cadbury's chocolate, a jubilee coaster, badge, a lovely postcard, a knitted red, white and blue egg cosy and some jubilee pencils (I hope I haven't forgotten anything!).  I was very spoilt.  I tried to send Pen some lovelies too, here is my jubilee patchwork cushion I made for her.  I not sure it will go in any of her rooms but I reckon it would look great on a garden bench, perfect for leaning on when crafting outdoors or for when you enjoy a cuppa in the garden.

An update on our pets, Pepe is fine, still a big fat greedy pudding, Splatty boy is growing up fast, he is a very sweet little cat.  He is now a proper outdoor cat, he comes and goes as he pleases and he loves the freedom. He is definitely a fair weather cat, if it rains he does not want to be outside at all! 

On Saturday we re homed our chickens.  I have loved having them but had started to worry over the space they had.  They were fenced off it the top half of our garden and had eaten all of the grass and vegetation by the start of the Winter.  They had a good size area of wood chip to scratch in but were desperate to get into the rest of the garden or better still fly over to next doors garden. 

I let them into the main part of our garden each day during  the Winter and they destroyed it!  The grass was bold in places and they ate lots of the plants.  During the Spring we started to restock the main part of the garden and grass seeded the lawn so there was no way the chickens were having a free rein after that.  My friend four houses down had kept chickens in her Dad's garden (who happens to live next door to her). He has a massive garden with an old orchard fenced off specifically for the chickens.  She was keen for some new hens (after she lost her girls last year to Mr Fox).  I felt it was only fair to give the girls the space they need and the vegetation they love.  I hope Mr Fox doesn't pay them a visit and that they have lots of happy years scratching and pecking.  They seemed very happy when we took them round on Saturday, instantly they were scratching and eating the grass.  We all agreed it was for the best.  Daisy had lost interest in them but was still a bit sad to see them go. We can go and visit them anytime we like which is a bonus.  I was walking back from the local shop this afternoon and I could hear either Nellie or Henny Penny singing their egg laying song so I will take that as I sign that they have settled well!

I will leave you with a picture of my handsome boy!

Till next time.


Thursday, 23 February 2012

Pictures as promised

No posts in five months then two in 24 hours!  A few pictures as promised.  I have had a stay at home day today as poor old Daisy came home from school sick.  Alex was sick on Sunday evening and now Daisy.  I am keeping my fingers crossed and hope Mr P and I don't go down with the lurgie.

Here is a picture of Splat taken this afternoon.  He loves a bit of ripple blanket to snuggle up with.

Guess who likes sleeping on the ironing board?  Turn my back for a moment and up she hops.

Here is my shoffice (I think that's what people call them).  Guess who has been left to paint the doors?  That would be me then!

Inside of the shoffice - check out the crochet blanket on my chair!

There is always room for a cushion or two!

Check out poor old Nellies boldy old chest (if you enlarge the picture you can see it better), she also has her eyes closed in this picture.

I have just listed 25 items of children's clothing on Ebay so am absolutely shattered and nearly lost the will to live.  Bed time for me I think. 

Have a lovely weekend, and lets hope this glorious warm weather continues.

Till next time.