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.