Thursday, 29 December 2011

Our 45th wedding anniversary

Today is our 45th,yes,45th wedding anniversary.I can't believe it.Where did all those years go.We had a slow start,exchanged cards,had phone calls from both our children and then out we went.It has been a miserable wet day so our planned trip of a drive through Snowdonia had to be postponed.Instead we decided to have a bit of culture and visit the Lady Lever Art gallery in Port Sunlight.We had lunch there and came back home via Brimstage Craft Centre.Then it was home and a late afternoon visit from our daughter,son in law and two gorgeous granddaughters Emily and Ruby.This was a real treat as we havn't seen them since Xmas Eve.Tonight we are having a meal out so all in all a great day.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011


I presume my Secret Santa has got lost.Over the next week I will get together a replacement but as there were knitted items in it may take longer!

Monday, 26 December 2011

Secret Santa

Look at all the lovely things I had in my Secret Santa box.Thank you Claire.I hope everyone is having a lovely time.It's a quiet time for us.Xmas lunch with friends yesterday and just C and me today.

Friday, 23 December 2011

merry xmas

Merry Christmas.I hope everyone has a happy and healthy time this Christmas.Enjoy your time with your families.Have lots of fun and laughter.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011


Have you had my Secret Santa?I am getting a bit worried that it hasn't arrived!!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Back from Paris(and Ashbourne)

The Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Elysees in Paris.A very famous sight.Down either side there was a Xmas market.We stayed in the Ibis hotel in the Bastille area.It is certainly a hotel I would recommend with good restaurants nearby.We flew from Manchester with Flybe in their brand new aircraft.We were on its first flight since taking delivery!

A view down the Seine.The Eiffel Tower was in the distance but hasn't shown on the photo.Below Montmartre.

We love going to art galleries and had pre booked to see the Gertrude Stein Collection at the Grand Palais.A wonderful exhibition showing works by Picasso,Cezanne,Matisse and others which havn't been in an exhibition before.The Steins were great cllectors of art and supported young artists.If you have seen the latest Woody Allen film "Midnight in Paris" you will recognise this.If you havn't seen it -go.Its a brilliant film.

We also went to Musee D'Orsay which has a huge collection of works by Renoir,Van Gogh,Degas,Seurat etc.Wonderful

We also went to Galleries Lafayette.What an amazing store.Jimmy Choo shoes at 500 euros etc.

Every Xmas they do brilliant animated window displays which schoolchildren come to see.There are little platform/bridges so they can see better.This year's theme was Rock'n'Roll

Our trip was very enjoyable.We had great time but to finish a couple of photos from C's birthday weekend near Ashbourne

Ilam Country Park(NT).We had lunch here on the Saturday after a walk in nearby Dovedale

The whole family.I'm in the middle in the red jacket.So lovely to have everyone together

The morning of C's birthday surrounded by our gorgeous grandchildren-all still in their pj's.Now it is back down to earth after a superb week.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Secret santa

Just to let you know that my Xmas box has arrived.I am saving it for Christmas day.I am sooo excited.We have had a brilliant weekend away for C's birthday near Ashbourne.What a lovely area.more next week as we are off to Paris in the morning.must get packing!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

My strawberry tea cosy!

I always make something for my sister in law and my stepmother for Xmas.In the past I have done scarves,hats,mittens and socks so couldn't repeat those and I really have lost my knitting mojo.I came across this pattern.I know it isn't Chrismassy(but the colours are right!)but I thought it might put a smile on their faces and most important it is incredibly quick.I started one at 5.30pm and it was finished by 7.30pm and I ate tea in between.I'll wrap them up with some fancy teas.

I am pleased to say I have finally got over my sore throat and cold.It is a good job because we have a very busy week coming up.Next weekend my OH has a landmark birthday.We are going away for the weekend.I have booked two cottages on the edge of the Peak District.He thinks it is just the two of us going for the weekend and that we are only meeting up on Sunday with the rest of the family.But everyone is coming on Friday evening and so we can spend the whole weekend together.There will our son,his wife and their three chidren,our daughter,her husband and their two girls and my brother in law.Twelve of us altogether.We aren't seeing them over Xmas so it is a pre xmas do as well.My only problem is the weather.Snow is forecast and everyone has to travel there.

We come back on Sunday evening and then on Monday we are going to Paris for three nights flying from Manchester.We intend to take in lots of art galleries and lots of good food and just enjoy the Xmas atmosphere of a big city.Should be good.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Beaded bauble

From this.......

to this.It's quite effective isn't it.I was just playing about but am really pleased with the effect.Is this the time to get back into beading.I must say I don't feel like doing anything at the moment.I have a rotten cold and a throat that feels like sandpaper!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Two birthday parties in one weekend.

Last night we went to our friend Judy's party.She was 70 but looks 50!We have known Judy for 45 years but don't see her very often as we have moved away from Bolton where she lives.Our two families used to do a lot together so it was great to catch up with them and their children.I gave Judy the turquoise scarf but she didn't open any presents last night.
Today was Ruby's birthday party.It is actually her birthday tomorrow but they have pretended it was today.She is 4 today.She had a play barn party with her little friends at lunchtime and then we went across for a party tea at their house.She had asked me to make a trifle which I duly did.We always have to have dancing,pass the parcel,musical statues,a winking game and anything that Emily and Ruby came up with.We laughed so much.These two girls are brilliant and a real credit to Sarah and Mike.It is a pleasure to be with them and they give us so much joy.We are really lucky.
We didn't go to bed until 1.30a.m so I think it might be an early night tonight!!

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Which do I choose?

We are going to a party in a couple of weeks time and I want to take a gift.I have recently knitted these two items and eventually got round to blocking them.(I hate blocking!!).Do I give my friend the shawl which she might think has "old lady connotations" or the scarf.Us knitters know differently and I often wear mine with the point at the front.

They are both knitted in Rowan Fine Lace.80%alpaca,20% merino.It is a lovely soft yarn and very pleasant to knit with.I am lucky that Stash Fine Yarns is not far from here so I can actually go and see the yarns and see the exact colour.

I have beaded the fringing on the scarf.It pretties it up and adds some weight.

We have had a visit to Quarry Bank Mill(NT) this week.We met Sarah and the girls there on Tuesday.We arrived at 11.a.m as it opened and only left at 4.30p.m.A really good day out.There were Hallowe'en crafts and trails and spooky things round the ground but the bit Emily liked best was the Apprentices House,trying out the beds,going in the kitchen etc.Wednesday they came over to us and did some pot painting with Grandpa.We took them to Ruthin to see the dog exhibition(posted about previously) so a bit of culture to add to the history.

We went to the theatre last night to see George Orwell's Animal Farm done in the form of a musical.It was OK but not brilliant.

Friday, 21 October 2011

As I have lost my mojo...and a harvest service.

On Wednesday we went to see our granddaughter in her harvest service.Emily is second from the right before it started.The rest of my photos were rubbish.They did the Tale of the Turnip and she was one of the narrators and did very well.We could hear her clearly and she was word perfect.The rest of the school provided music and songs.Lovely.

Here is Ruby waiting for it to start with her other granny.She was very good.

As I have lost my mojo at the moment and can't seem to build up any enthisiasm for a craft project,I have been "playing".I made this crochet bowl(thank you Bunny Mummy for the pattern).It took less than an hour and would look nice with some sweets in.

Then I made some brooches,experimenting with various thicknesses of wool.

I then went on to do some braiding,firstly with one strand and then

and then with three.It is so easy to do but what do you use the braids for!! Suggestions welcomed.

It has been a testing week.Literally.Eyes on Wednesday.Ears today.I passed both and can still buy reading glasses off the shelf and cheaply.My close and distant vision are good.Flu jab today.I hope there are no side effects as tonight C and I are doing a quiz.It is a new group that has started(U3A) and we volunteered to do the second one.It is really difficult pitching the level.Will it be too easy or too hard?

p.s.On the subject,again,on bags.I am more than happy to get rid of plastic bags especially in supermarkets but where you are buying,say,gifts,could we not have recyclable paper ones?

Thursday, 20 October 2011

A bargain!

A couple of months ago we lost our copy of Delia.How you lose a book of that size is a mystery.All we can think of is that it got put on the pile of Sunday papers followed by Monday and went in the recycling bag.Now ,C needs this book to make his perfect Yorkshire puddings( he is also renowned for his roast potatoes!).Look what I found in a charity shop yesterday and it's illustrated.All for £2.
The lady behind the counter asked if I wanted a bag.Now for most of you this would seem quite normal but not now here in Wales.Since october 1st you have to pay for bags in shops.All shops,garden centres etc.The lady in the charity shop had written to the Welsh Assembly to ask could she recycle bags and they said yes.It does take some getting used to always having a bag with you.The other day I went to a garden centre to buy some birthday gifts for a friend,candles ,soap etc.No bag unless I paid.

The rule about not providing plastic bags in supermarkets has been in operation in France for a while.

P.S. C also makes a very good crumble but that recipe comes from the Ladybird Cookery Book!!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

A little jaunt through England and into France.

We have had to cancel two trips to France because C was hospitalised twice but as we had a Eurotunnel ticket we decided to use it and go to northern france for a few days.
We set off on Sunday morning and called in Cambridge early afternoon to spend a couple of hours with our son and his family.As it is a 5/6 hour journey from here to Folkstone and Eurotunnel we sometimes do a hotel overnight.I picked a Travelodge near Whitstable(£15!!).Unfortunately the sat nav pitched us up on the opposite side of a busy dual carriageway to the hotel.Eventually we managed to get into Whitstable but the sun was setting(see photo above).

You could rent these huts for holidays,right by the harbour and beach.Wouldn't that be great.

Some more quirky huts.Whitstable looked a lovely place full of lots of independent is famous for oysters.It's a pity we couldn't spend longer here.The main reason for breaking our journey here was to go to Canterbury.We have never been before.We reluctantly paid £8 each to go into the cathedral but it was well worth it.An amazing place.

From Canterbury it was down to Folkstone and Eurotunnel(free with our Tesco vouchers).It is a very slick operation and so quick and no rough crossings to worry about!

I have posted lots of photos before of the area that we have been to so I have just picked a couple of different things we came across

We were staying in Abbeville and came across this bar cum art gallery.They change the pictures every month.The artists this month are Brigitte Sellier and Michele Bouvin.But what a great idea.Enjoy a drink and view the art.Very pleasant

On our way back up to Boulogne we stopped in Le Touquet.very Swish!We arrived at the Art Gallery five minutes after it had closed for a two and a half our lunch break!We hadn't time to wait but enjoyed the sculpture in the grounds

Our last call was at Hardelot Plage.It was so windy we could hardly stand up.I had read that there was a chateau here that an Englishman had bought in the twenties and made it look like Windsor Castle.

We were surprised when we got there to find this was on.

Next year is the bi-centennial of Charles Dicken's birth.He holidayed near here lots of times and the area was special to him.It was only 2 euros to go in and it was brilliant.Nearly 300 documents,manuscripts,items etc had been gathered together.They had reconstructed his dining room.His writing desk and lectern were there and so many original letters and was a truly wonderful comes to England next year and i bet it is a lot more than £2 to go in!!

Back home last night but we had really enjoyed our little jaunt and found different things to do in an area we thought we knew well.Lots of good eating done and lots of wine bought.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

A free day.

We don't often get a free day when neither of us has something on.The weather here is glorious at the moment,really sunny and hot.So it was off to Conway(on the North Wales coast).We decided to walk the walls and from there you get a great view of Conway castle.It was completed in 1287 by Edward 1 to keep out the Welsh .It was only in the mid 1400's that the Welsh were allowed to live in the town.

Another great view from the walls.After we had walked the walls we visited the Royal Cambrian Art gallery which had an interesting exhibition by five different artists.We always have to take in art gallery if there is the opportunity.

From there we got back in the car and went round to the Marina to have lunch at the Mulberry pub.It was here during the Second World War that hundreds of men were employed in building the Mulberry harbours.These giant piers were then towed across the English Channel and saved many lives by acting as a vital landing point for men and supplies during the D-Day landings.
From the end of the marina you can see across to Deganwy(above) and looking the other way the edge of Snowdonia.

It was a lovely day out in glorious sunshine,such a bonus at this time 0f t the year.

Monday, 26 September 2011

More photos

I took this photo this afternoon while I was waiting for a friend to join me in a tearoom/cafe im my town.Not a bad view from where I was sitting!

Back to the Food Fair for asecond time.This time with the family Ruby had the giggles with Grandpa.They were jiggling around to this group below.Their name "Peel Your Own Spuds"!!!Original.

Emily having a go on the trampoline.

Here is Jean Christophe Novelli.We actually found it quite hard hearing what he said.His accent was very strong(but my hearing isn't the best).

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Mold Food Festival 2011

We live in the small market town of Mold in N Wales.Every year we have a Food Festival and it is this weekend.It is very popular.Lots of tasting-food and drink.Lots of food /drinks to buy.

Just look at those cakes!

. Olives and nuts galore.


Just look at these.

There was lots of live music to listen to while you had a coffee.

It was really difficult taking photos because it was so crowded.It's only £3.50 to go in.There were cookery demonstrations too.We are going again tomorrow because our daughter and family want to go.The chef tomorrow is Jean Christophe Novelli