Wednesday, 31 October 2012


TRICK! I shout out as I open the door dressed in by best witches outfit- Black hat and green and black striped tights (skirt and jumper too!)
 They never have a trick, only want a treat.  My cauldron (preserving pan) is filled with sweets - chocolate eyeballs, milky way stars and haribos.

 This was the front of my house before it got dark- the black things are bats and the poster says Wicked witch lives here!

 This is it after dark, with all the candles alight.  Its very windy here tonight and the candle keep blowing out, especially the ones in the tin cans.

And a close up of my pumpkin which has been much admired by all the parents that have been coming around with their children.

Its a little bit of fun to brighten up the first week of such early dark nights and the real beginning of winter.

Sunday, 28 October 2012


Well, that's it.  Summer is over.  The clocks went back last night and the winter weather arrived yesterday morning.

Heavy rain made Saturday morning shopping fun, trying to hold a handbag, umbrella and a shopping trolley loaded up with fruit and veg is a little tricky. It was 3 degrees when I got back and then the rain turned to sleet.  Indoor jobs then...

Bottled some parsnip wine, which was made last winter, it was drinkable but not quite ready.  Also racked some other wine.  Racking is syphoning the wine from one demi john to another, leaving the sediment in the bottom.  This helps to clear the wine.

Also made a couple of loaves of bread and a cherry cake, yes all the cherries sunk to the bottom again, even though I coated them in flour.

This morning started with the first frost of the winter but dry and bright so we went to the allotment, first ones there just after 8 am (new time!)

 Planted the onions.  The white ones are Troy and the red are called Red Cross.  Tried to plant them far enough apart to give room to hoe between.  I usually put them too close.
Then Basil our plot neighbour called over to say did I want to pick some chrysanthemums.  I went over to find him pounding something in a barrel with a stick.  He said he had 6 dead rats in it which he was going to incinerate (AHHHHHH)  but the barrel had filled with water and he was trying to make a hole in the bottom.  Oh dear, I am not keen on rats to say the least, didn't go any closer, picked the flowers as quick as I could and hurried back.
They do look lovely though.

The rain then started again and it turned colder and we hurried home.  Time for another indoor job.  I am getting low on soap so needed to make some more, homemade is so much better than shop, does not dry your hands out, I never need to use hand cream.

First thing I need to check my supplies and decide what sort I am going to make.  This is the exciting bit - all the bottles and potions that I have collected

Today I decide on rose with added rose petals.  Wanted to colour it pink so used some paprika.
Melt the oils in the pan, add the caustic soda (with goggles, mask and rubber gloves on) then stir.  After a bit the mixture thickens, I add the rose petals and essential oil and then pour into the moulds.
I will leave these to harden with a towel over them for a couple of days and resist all temptation to poke them with my finger.  Must wear gloves to touch the soap until it is cured.  After one or two days the soap is taken out of the moulds and then put on the shelf for 4 weeks when it will be ready to use.

A bit of ironing, easy baked potatoes for tea, a bit of knitting and then the Strictly results show.  I think that will be it for one weekend!

Friday, 26 October 2012

Birthday girl socks

Today is my little sisters birthday. I won't mention her exact age, but it could be over 30!  She is far away on the other side of the world in Hong Kong.  Sent her these socks that I knitted.  Can put the photo on here now because I know that she has opened the parcel - hope she likes them.
Hope that they keep her feet warm, but not sure that she needs them there, I think it is rather warm.  Never mind, she will need them when she comes home in January!!

I took the pattern from the book Knit Socks! by Betsy Lee McCarthy.  The tops are a lace pattern, followed by 3 rows of flowers and then green and blue stripes, the flowers are repeated on the heal.  They were quite challenging to knit, but won me first prize in the village spring show.

I have also found another swap to take part in Mad about bags This is a Christmas Cracker swap.  Looks like fun!

Saturday, 20 October 2012


I'm puttin' on my top hat
Tyin' up my white tie
Brushin' off my tails........... 

Wednesday afternoon saw me finishing work a little earlier than normal.  My neighbour knocked on the door just after 3.30 and we walked to the village hall and jumped on the coach and joined a group from the village to travel up to London to watch the musical Top Hat. 
A local lady organises these trips a couple of times a year, but this was the first time that I had joined it.  I was told to bring my sandwiches as there is no time to eat when we get there.  I was most surprised to see the others  cracking open thier bottles of wine!!  There was quite a party atmosphere by the time we got there!!
Off we set, up the A12 towards the M25 then down past the Olympic stadium, thought the East End, past the Tower of London, The Gherkin and along the Embankment.  We were dropped off right outside the front door of the Aldwych Theatre just after 6 pm.  Time for a coffee in a nearby cafe and then found our seats.  I was quite surprised to be sitting next to my neighbours mother who lives up the road.
Top Hat was a wonderful show full of beautiful costumes, lots of singing and even more tap dancing - wonderful.  The star of the show is Tom Chambers who won Strictly Come Dancing a couple of years ago.

What a treat!

Monday, 15 October 2012


Started knitting this fair isle tank top, to fit a toddler in the summer.  It was supposed to be my entry in to the village show, for a hand knitted garment for a baby or child.  I had finished the back and front and just needed to do the neck and armhole bands.  Got the call to go into hospital and have my foot done and didn't bother finish it.  Until this week, had finished another project (more of that another day) and hadn't got the right size needles to start on my hat. Knitted in the King Cole double knit, not too keen on the yarn as it is a bit "itchy"!! Found the pattern here Oscar It has now been put away until next September when I hope to enter it.
I am going to link this to ta-dah-tuesday
Had a busy weekend, back on my feet and able to get about, so catching up on jobs not done.  first stop on Saturday morning was to the little theatre in the town to get tickets for their next production  - The Boyfriend- they usually do a musical in the Autumn.  I am looking forward to it but Mr HH is not quite so keen.  A quick trip to the shops and market to stock up on fruit and veg, then home to continue making the bread and hang out yet more washing.
I managed to completely tidy the front garden, another job ticked off the list.
Sunday morning saw me wielding the vacuum and dusters as i couldn't ignore the dust and dirt a minute longer and then out in the garden to wash my greenhouse.  No photos - but quite a damp job- Mr HH on the hose and me with a broom -what fun.
Top that off with Strictly, Downton Abby and a good laugh at Friday Night Dinner to round off the weekend..............

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

a tiny pixie hat

This is the tiny pixie hat that I have made for my sisters baby.  I finished it ages ago except for the tassel, as I wasn't sure how to do it, but decided last night just to get on and make it.
The pattern is from Rowan, the Little Rowan patten book.  Using Wool Cotton 4 ply in cream and a light blue/grey colour.  I got it in John Lewis and the blue looked more greyey green colour, the sort of Farrow and Ball colour that my sister likes to paint her walls.  This is more of a blue, which might not be good if she has a baby girl  - we don't know what sort of baby it will be!!

I have photographed it sitting on one of the spaghetti squashes that I have grown, they did very well and I have at last 20 of them, in varying sizes from this small one to quite large.  I had never eaten one, but seen recipes using them, so decided to give it a go and grow some- good thing that I like them, think they are going to keep me going all winter.

My foot is much better, though I am still walking with a bit of a limp and having to come downstairs one step at a time.  I went back to work on Friday last week and am worn out.  A lot of work has built up and I am still working through the emails, should be back to normal next week.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012


 I have finished some knitting!  Have had loads of projects on the go but these are done.  A pair of socks for my son (aka Bigfoot!!) will be  a Christmas present.  Knitted from a yarn that self stripes the pattern, so clever how it does it, all you have to do is knit!

I have decided to join in with this Christmas swap.  I found it on Vintage Vickis blog  Which then linked to Faith, Hope and Charity Shopping's website
who is organising the swop.  I have seen these on various blogs and it seems that you are matched up with someone and swap a present, there are some rules about how many items you can swap and how much the maximum spend is.  It also has to link to a Christmas carol or song, which will get me thinking.  Just hope I can find some good things to go in the parcel.
Christmas swap!!


Thursday, 4 October 2012


Every Autumn I start the "Great Garden Tidy up for the Winter" and never seem to finish it.  I have started a little earlier this year, and intend to finish.  I think that I always start quite optimistically when the days are still quite light and warm and then suddenly the clocks change, the days are short and freezing cold.  Therefore I really need to get this all done before the end of the month............  watch this space!
These are the tasks that I intend to complete:

  1. scrub, treat and put away the wooden table and chairs and take down the gazebo before it blows away.
  2. clear all the outside tomato's.  Wash the bags and pots and put away.
  3. Tidy the shed so that I can fit all the furniture and pots in it
  4. Tidy front garden - clearing all the dead plants, weeding and tackling the Budliea.
  5. Chop down the hollyhocks from 
  6. the side of house
  7. Wash and put away any other pots.

 I have scrubbed the wooden table and chairs and then treated with preservative.  It needs two coats and the chairs are quite fiddly with lots of different parts, so takes a while. TASK COMPLETED.

The shed has been sorted, de-cobwebbed and swept out.  Everything put back in an orderly fashion!  TASK COMPLETED 
and then Whoops!  a task that was not on the list got done, I think that this is why I never finish the "Great Garden Tidy up for Winter"  I remembered that the Barbecue needed cleaning.  It has not really bean a barbecue summer but we still managed to have one while I was PUTTING MY FEET UP and it didn't get cleaned after.
A quick soak and scrub of the grid and brush out the ashes and ready to go.....


I have started on the tomato plants and somebody started on the Budliea (which looks a little lop sided at the moment) but still a little bit to do.


Wednesday, 3 October 2012


 In the spring I bought a magazine with some free seeds attached.  There were two types of pumpkin, Jack O Lantern and Massive also some courgettes and patty pan squash.  I decided to have a go at growing the pumpkins and planted the seeds in pots in the greenhouse.  They soon grew and we planted them on some spare space on the allotment.  Nothing much happened for weeks and then I noticed some Flowers and then some baby pumpkins developing.  They grew bigger and bigger and then over the last couple  of weeks The Jack O Lanterns changed from green to orange.  The Massive ones stayed pale orange and knobbly.  I decided that it was time to harvest, before we get any frosts and we bought them home.  So what shall I do with them?

Here is Alice with all 13 pumpkins that I have grown!  
Roll on Halloween.......