Monday, 12 August 2019

Three new projects.

 This should have been number 4!
 I fancied doing something it ting other than socks and quite liked the look of this teddy bear.I thought if it worked out ok I could do some for charity.The yarn is Shetland Yarn in a natural Cleese colour.Easy to do watching TV.

 Now this is different.Not something to do watching TV.It a reversible cowl done in Brioche stitch.This is something new to me but I do like a challenge.Watch this space.

This is my third project.Can you guess?This is a large ball of twine to do macrame.I did macrame in the seventies.My OH said you must have a book on it(I have lots of craft books).I didn't have one but I found this M&S one from 1976 and yep ,macrame is in there.

I must also press on with my black stitch.

I read on someone's blog (Eileen?) about nonograms.I am looking into that too.I do like to keep busy.

Sunday, 4 August 2019

My blackwork

 My Blackwork is coming along very well.It needs a lot of concentration but that is good for the brain cells.You just hope it is all going to meet up!Gold thread and beads are added at the end.
I had a dreadful night last night.OH was snoring( it is usually me) so Idecided to move bedrooms.Still I could not get to sleep and ended up moving back.We gardened all morning and so I went for a cheeky little sleep this afternoon and slept for two hours.We have spent the last week cutting back shrubs in the garden.They seem to have gone mad this year.Two more full cubes waiting Togo to the tip tomorrow and at least double that piled up on the lawn.
Did you experience the Painted Ladies butterflies phenomen?It only happens every ten years but I was lucky enough to walk into a swarm of them Truly incredible.
We went to see Vita and Virginia at the film theatre onFriday evening.It seemed very slow to me but perhaps I was just tired.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Have you tried these....

Have you tried these for the birds in your garden?They come as a pack of three.1 fruit,1 berry and one peanut.They are solid blocks and go on the bird table.I have a nail in the middle and fix one on there (to stop the squirrels getting it).The blackbirds and robins love them because they find it difficult getting on the feeders.The only place I have found them is at Charlie's store. £2.97 for a pack of three.Excellent value!

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Photos from the last week

 Cathedral of St Omer

 View out of the window from a restaurant in St Valery

View across the Somme where the sheep graze freely and produce superb meat.

 St Valery.William the conqueror sailed from here.

My iPad has frozen .Hopefully to follow is a photo of our son's new house and our Cambridge grandchildren and some old French houses.

Friday, 19 July 2019

We are back from a trip to France.

Well,it was a quick visit.Spent Saturday in Cambridge with the family and then off to France.Three nights in Abbeville visiting Bay de Somme.Then two nights in St Omer.Lots of wine buying and we ate some amazing food.
Back onEurotunnel this morning BUT then it is a six and a half hour drive home,round London on the M25,then round Birmingham on the M6.Traffic,traffic and more traffic.Ididn't do any driving ,not on motorways.C seems remarkably lively but I am sure will be nodding off watching TV tonight!!!!
Photos tomorrow when I have had a good sleep.

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Does anyone know what plant this is?

The shrub is about one metere tall and wide with lots of these tiny yellow flowers.I can't find it in any of my books.I live in North Wales .uk.
Any suggestions ?

Saturday, 29 June 2019

We have been to Northumberland.

 We stayed in a Studio flat attached to a pub in Boulmer,Northumberland.It is east of Alnwick on the coast.These are fishermen's cottages by the inn.
 This is the view from our window.

 It is a wild and rugged coast and very beautiful.We were there for three nights but packed a lot in.Below is Bamburgh CastleWe went round this at the end of the day and it was hard work,steep and lots of stairs and slopes.Next was Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island.

Blogger will not let me scroll down so Here is where else we went
Cragside(NT)This was the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity.Wow.It was a pretty impressive.It was also an Arts and Crafts masterpiece with stained glass by Rosetti and tiles etc by William Morris.
We also visited Wallington(NT),again very impressive.
C wanted to visit Hadrian's Wall which we did on the way stopping at Housesteads Roman fort.
While we were in Alnwick we visited Barters Books ,a second hand book store with

Sunday, 9 June 2019

A funny old week.

One of our close friends was taken into hospital following a stroke.He had already shown signs of dementia and this won't have helped.This friend has had such an interesting life,RAF,worked in Paris for five years,back to the UK and then to Basel for two years etc.It is so sad to see him declining.He is now home and we shall visit tomorrow.
On Friday we went to a funeral,a woodland burial.Kate had only been ill for three weeks but was diagnosed with an acute form of leukaemia and she went down hill rapidly.She was only 73.The woodland burial was quite strange.Obviously in a wood but nowhere to sit and no shelter.Thank goodness the rain held off.Also at the funeral was a friend whose wife has got severe dementia at the age of seventy.Which is the worse situation?Brian whose wife has died or Arthur whose wife has dementia.What do you think?

Now onto brighter topics.On Thursday we went to Manchester to meet our granddaughter Ella who is just about to finish her first year at Uni.She wanted to show us the Northern Quarter full of little shops,bars,coffee shops and vintage clothing which she is into.We had a leisurely coffee,had a wander and then a lovely lunch.We are loving having her less than an hour away.
In my OH's family there was always the joke that he had Italian ancestors but no one ever believed him.On Friday I decided to subscribe to and dig deeper into my family history.Yesterday we started looking into his and blow me,he is right.We traced his family tree back to the mid 1800s and there is the Italian He came from Lucca in Tuscany and was a modeller in clay.We have also found some mention of him in industrial journals.He would make ornamental things to go in or on buildings.C was over the moon to prove he is part(a small part) Italian but who would want to leave Tuscany and come to Manchester?
A final note ,my S in law who is very security minded and computer savvy had a call from"BT" who managed to get enough details to take £15,000 out of his business account.Fortunately the bank didn't pay as it was the weekend .Beware!!!!

Friday, 24 May 2019

My finished cross stitch.

This is my latest cross stitch.I hadn't done any cross stitch for quite a long time so when I discovered this,half done,I decided to give it a go.I am thrilled I can still see to do it.Threading the needle is a tad trickier but I have now got some needle threaders so that should help.Now I just need a frame.I really enjoyed doing it.
My next project is a Blackwork sunflower.It is much bigger than I thought.(I am not very good with centimetres.Oops.) and it does look quite complicated but I enjoy a challenge.I am also knitting a top down jumper and I am so bored with it.Row after row,round after round,but it is good for doing watching TV.
I have just planted 50 freesia bulbs that came free with an order.I did it half heartedly because they felt a bit soft and also how long will it take the squirrels to find them.Watch this space.
OH is at band practice with his ukulele.We shall stay off the roads this Bank Holiday weekend as everyone will be rushing to the coast or the mountains.Plenty of time for crafting.Have a good one.Barbara

Saturday, 18 May 2019

We went to Bodnant Gardens today.National Trust.

 At this time of the year it is azalea and rhododendron time but there are other lovely plants.Look at these gorgeous irises.
Below is a willow sculpture of Emily Pankhurst to celebrate the Suffragette Movement.

 More irises.I always associate irises with France and especially Monet' s garden.
 Blocks of azaleas.Gorgeous colours.
Finally a photo of me in front of an enormous rhododendron.
We then went to the West Shore at Llandudno for some lunch and sea air.All in all a very pleasant trip and only 50 minutes from home.
We were on Anglesey on Thursday but I never took any photos.

Monday, 22 April 2019

Easter Monday and hardly a car in sight!

 We live in North Wales which is very popular with tourists so with the promise of glorious weather this weekend for Rhe Bank Holiday our general rule is stay off the roads!!We have done that for three days but fancied a bit of a ride out today.When we have been going to Snowdonia (the quiet way) we go over a bridge in a little hamlet and there is a road off to the right going up the river valley but fairly flat at this point.I have been intrigued by it so off we went.The idea being have a quiet walk along the river,fairly flat(I like flat).Within a couple of hundred yards we came upon this church.No sign on the road to it.It was open so we went inside.It is the 13th century church of St Michael on the banks of the River Alwen which flows into the River Dee.What a surprise .We have drive along this road for 40 years and did not know this church existed.This landscape has inspired poets and writers for centuries including William Wordsworth.How amazing is that.Wordworth's poem Vale of Meditation was based on this.

 A lovely bunch of primroses outside the church.

A view inside.The photo at the top was a carved Druids chairs close by.
I really have no idea how the photos have gone out of order.Sorry.
So our little trip gave us a brilliant find and we encountered no traffic only wonderful views.A little bit misty for photos.
The church was in the village of Llanfihangel.

Monday, 1 April 2019

A very happy a Mothers Day.

Normally I don't see our son on Mothers Day because he lives four hours away but this year we went down for the weekend.I had said "no presents just a card" but of course he ignored this and spoils me rotten.We wanted to set off home about 2pm on Sunday so Matt decided to do brunch.He had found a BBC recipe and bought all the ingredients and cooked for us,his wife and the two boys and it was delicious.On the way back we called on our daughter and had a cup of tea with them so I saw both children,a first for many years.
We decided that we would call at the National Ironworks centre near Oswestry on the way to Cambridge.Massive iron sculptures of mainly animals but other things as well.Quite bizarre.I will post some photos tomorrow.We were still a bit early for arriving so did a quick detour via Ely which has a very impressive cathedral.A lovely weekend with the family but very tiring.We are both shattered today.Been to the cinema this afternoon to see "Can you ever forgive me?"C briefly fell asleep!An early night tonight methinks.
Back tomorrow with some photos.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

A few busy days.

Thursday was my Reading Group.We now only have 6 in the group.On Thursday there only four of us and two hadn't read the book.It was a book of short stories called Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri.The co-ordinator in whose house we meet had not read even one story but she had found some questions from a website called Reading Group Guides.I came home exhausted when there are only two of you answering the questions.We need new members.
Friday was a very busy day.It started at 10.00am with my weekly catch up with my best friend over a cup of tea and a teacake in a local cafe.12.15 it was lunch out.Some very close friends of ours sold their house here and decided to move near their daughter who lives in Royston near Cambridge.They are living with her at the moment because houses down there are double the price they got for theirs up here but can't find anything.They were up for a few days and so we were lunching.C then went off to band practice for two hours until 5pmand then it was back to the theatre for 7pm to see Ronnie Scott's All Stars,the story of Ronnie Scott's jazz club
.There were films clips and a commentary but four great musicians and a singer playing live.A pianist,double bass,saxophone and drums and they were brilliant.We went with the friends who were visiting and another friend who always comes with us.Drink in the bar afterwards and then home.
This morning we had coffee with the visiting friends and two other couples.We all used to go out for meals together.A bit of a breather this afternoon and then back to the Film Theatre to see The Green Book.An excellent film.Catch it if you can.
Nothing on the agenda tomorrow.Thank goodness,just the usual Sunday cleaning.

Friday, 22 March 2019


Have you done anything to convert to Google+ or will it happen automatically?

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Ian McKellen was amazing.

Last night we went to Theatr Clwyd to see Sir Ian McKellen in his one man show to celebrate his 80th birthday.He is playing multiple venues all over the country.He wanted to do it in our theatre in Mold because he used to come to North Wales for holidays as a child.We were very lucky to get tickets and it seems there were 200 people on a waiting list for cancellations.The Theatr holds 550 in the main theatre ,250 in the smaller theatre and a film theatre holding about 100.Sir Ian was playing in the large theatre.The first half was mainly about his life and how he got into acting.Lots of quotes and he was also funny.For most of the second half he got out books of all the plays that Shakespeare had written and challenged the audience to name them all which we did.As each one was selected he got the play and then told us if he had played in it and which part.Lots of speeches were performed and he was truly magnificent.It started at 7.30pm and ran until 10.15pm with a short interval.How at 80 years of age you do this night after night and remember all those speeches.Amazing.Sir Ian is not taking any fee from any theatre he does the show in.All money taken goes to that theatre.It is his way of paying back .A truly memorable evening.

This morning was our Art Appreciation Group.The talk was on George Bellows and the Ashcan school.He was American and lived from 1882 to 1925 and was noted for his expressive portraits and seascapes and some lovely paintings of New York.Painters in the Ashcan school included Robert Henri,George Luks,John Sloan etc.They were a group best known for works portraying scenes of daily life in New York often in the poorer areas in the early 20th Century.
I liked George Bellows paintings.I had never heard of him before today .Always good to see something new.
We could have gone to the theatre again tonight to Jazz night.We were offered some free tickets to hear the Tina May Quartet but we passed on it as we are there again on Friday and it is a busy week.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Why does Sunday come round so quickly?

Why does Sunday come round so quickly?Sunday morning we clean.One week I do upstairs and C does downstairs.The next week we change.You see different things that need doing.I hate cleaning and just have to convince myself that I am burning calories.
Sunday I always speak to my brother.We decided to do this many years ago because he never phoned me.Now we speak at lunchtime when he has come back from church.Today I got up feeling quite down.Yesterday Sarah's birthday was great.All I can put it down to is that I have a very busy week coming up and perhaps I am a bit daunted.A bit of cleaning sorted that out.
C decided he needed to mow the front lawn and I decided I needed to tackle a dead Kerria Japonica.It died last year and when I googled it the RHS said it is caused by a disease which affects only Kerria.We have a new battery powered hedge trimmer so I set to with this and did the job.I felt quite pleased with myself.We have the possibility of a new problem in the garden.We have squirrels but they have started building a drey in one of our trees.I really do not want a family of them.They bury conkers in pots and beds and the lawn and then dig them up.Googling squirrel deterrents got me nowhere.The only suggestion was chilli flakes.They don't like the smell.The man in the garden centre  also suggested this.I haven't got chilli flakes but a bottle of very strong chilli sauce which we have liberally spread round the trunk and on the fence.I bet you haven't got chilli sauce in your garden!!!
Tomorrow we go to the theatre to see Ian McKellen in his one man show for his 80th birthday.C went to the same school as him and has left some reviews of a school playIan M was in aged 15.
More tomorrow.Barbarax

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Today has been wild and windy.

Today has been really wet and windy.Tomorrow hail showers are forecast with a high of 6 degrees.I am really fed up with this weather.I am missing short walks and my weight is going up.In three weeks time I am having a medical check up which I am paying for.I had it done last year and didn't feel I was ripped off.My big problem is that I have put on 5 lbs from this time last year.You get all the results and then it is up to you if anything shows up whether to go to your GP.Too many of my friends have been to the doctor about something quite minor and then found themselves at the hospital only to discover it was nothing.
My weight isn't helped by eating out twice this week.We went to a local Chinese restaurant on Tuesday with a group of friends,eat as much as you like for £14.99.Then today it being Sarah's birthday we met up in Chester and went to Moules a GoGo.We had a set menu and that included dessert!!
Wales beat Ireland in the Six Nations rugby and won the Grand Slam.
Wrexham beat Maidstone in the football and I finished a 1,000 piece jigsaw while this was going on.
Hope you have had a good day.

Friday, 15 March 2019


For my first daily blog I picked a day when nothing was scheduled!Normaly on a Friday I meet a friend for tea and toasted tea cake but she couldn't make today.The weather here has been wet and windy for days so I suggested a trip to Marks and Spencer's at Cheshire Oaks.This is the largest of their stores outside of London so good for a bit of exercise.I went in thinking there would be lots of new Spring clothes in but it was just full of racks and racks of sale items.I really do think M&S have lost their way.I didn't buy anything but I am not really into clothes.What I have suits me fine.We had had an email so say there was a wine sale.All the spaces where they had been were empty.
Back from there we did the Tesco shop.C usually does this on his own while I am meeting my friend.
After lunch it cleared up a bit so into the garden we went.We spent two hours out there.We have three enormous trees in our garden,two with TPOs(tree protection orders) on them. Autumn is a nightmare but we are still raking leaves up and it is March.Where are they coming from?I shall probably be very stiff tomorrow.
I promise tomorrow will be more interesting. It is our daughter's birthday and we are meeting up in Chester.The forecast for tomorrow is dire- again.It is back to raining and blowing a gale here.
I have just poured myself a glass of rose ,my weekend treat, and I stall have a read of my book ready for Reading Group next week.It is Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri  and is a collection of short stories.
Back tomorrow.Barbarax

Thursday, 14 March 2019


I haven't blogged for a while.I struggle between only blogging if I have something to show or not doing it at all. Some people blog every day about their daily life.I am tempted by this but think would anyone be interested in my comings and goings.I love reading these blogs!
Anyway,by the by,I have just had a text from my daughter saying that Ruby,our youngest granddaughter,aged 11 has had an NSPCC person in school today.They had to say three places that made her happy.She said her kitchen,Grandma's (our house) and  Talacre Beach.I was so touched by this.It brought tears to my eyes.Bless her.
So,I may blog every day.
Watch this space.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

My finished blanket.....

My finished blanket minus the border.I have enjoyed doing Attic 24 s CAL.Never have I done a blanket so quickly.Back now to "using up my stash" blanket..