We are going away to Chester on Sunday for a few days. We plan to visit the zoo and just generally see what Chester has to offer. It's supposed to be good for shopping, so fingers crossed. I hope the weather warms up a bit, it was -2 degrees here this morning (Friday). Scarves, hats, gloves and winter woollies have all been retrieved from the loft and so for once we were actually prepared for this cold snap.
I enjoyed my school trip to Hampton Court last Friday. It was a bit of a whistle stop tour, due to the restriction of being back at school by 3.20pm. The children on the whole were well behaved if not a little boisterous at times. I was very glad of a sit down and a very peaceful cup of tea when I got back to school! Hampton Court's education department arranged a talk for the children by a lady called Sally who was dressed up in Tudor costume. She was brilliant and really acted the part of a Tudor lady in waiting. She explained all about King Henry's court and how people would very easily fall out of his favour. She lined the children up in order of importance depending of the job that they carried out at court. The children though it hilarious that King Henry ranked his dogs and horses way above the majority of his staff! I do find the Tudors fascinating and have loved reading several of Philippa Gregory's Tudor based novels.
Daisy took these pictures and wanted to share them with you.
Inside Hampton Court's main courtyard.
The fountain set in the centre of Hampton Court.
The stained glass window in the Great Hall. I am definitely going back to Hampton Court and there was so much we didn't get to see and the gardens looked absolutely spectacular.
I have been busy making for my advent swap partner Pene and also crocheting my ripple blanket. Progress has been steady on both. I wish I had a bit more time for crafting and some days I feel so bogged down with the hum drum things of everyday life. I wish I had a cleaning and ironing lady who would pop in and "do" and I would take myself off to my imaginary craft room and potter and make for a few hours each day. Oh how reality is so very different!
We are planning a little Halloween tea on Thursday which my two are very much looking forward to. Julia's girls are coming over for some Halloween fun and food. I have gone a little mad this year and bought a little string of Halloween pumpkin lights, some Halloween window gel pumpkins, Halloween cake cases and toppers and lots of sweeties for trick and treater's, oh and of course a pumpkin ready to be carved. I fear I am turning into an American! I do love the way the Americans embrace Halloween and treat it as a real family fun occasion. Us Brits are real bah humbugs when it comes to Halloween (well some of us). I have no problem with kids dressed up in costumes knocking on the door asking for a sweetie or two. I do have a bit of a problem with 16 year old thugs wearing really scary masks knocking on the door and asking for money though! Lets hope with have lots of the former and none of the latter.
I have been obsessing over ginger cake lately and have been on a bit of a mission to find a recipe that in my very small mind ticks all the boxes. I tried the ginger cake recipe listed on The Pink Whisks blog but I found it too treacly and not nearly gingery enough. I am going to have a go at Delia's ginger cake with lemon icing. The only problem is that it includes a tablespoon of ground almonds. Both the little ones have a nut allergy so I need to leave out the almonds. Anyone got any great ideas on what I could use instead or has the perfect ginger cake recipe?
Well I will love you and leave you, we need to be up early tomorrow and plan to leave around 9am for our three and half hour drive up to Chester. All I can say is thank goodness for portable DVD players and DSI's - what did we do without them.
Enjoy half term.