Tuesday, 30 April 2013


Here goes with my forth photo scavenger hunt.  I have found this month really hard, just not been able to find what I have been looking for.  The first one was easy though:

PINK -  my crochet bunting, just finished it and hung it over my bed

6 - The six colours that I am using to make my crochet blanket

MY TOWN-  Manningtree there is an ox on the wall with a gold ball inside WHY?  Because in the Shakespeare play Henry iv someone said "That roasted Manningtree Ox with a pudding in his belly"  apparently that was an insult!! 

SPORT- Olympic cycling, last summer we were lucky to get tickets to the velodrome and saw the British women's team win gold medals.

NIGHTLIGHT - tin can lanterns

SOMETHING THAT I COLLECT- I don't really do collecting, it can all get a bit out of hand.  If anyone in our family goes somewhere then they bring home a fridge magnet.  Alice has been to quite a few places so has bought the most!

BIG - Wembly stadium, England v Ukraine


DINNER -Babybelle enjoys a lovely mixed salad

TEXTURE - the side of a loaf of bread from the bread maker

CURL - some wood shavings

TAKE OFF - stripping paint from the window sill to reveal the lovely wood underneath.

PLASTIC - Flash the plastic!!  all my cards in their own little wallet

Thursday, 25 April 2013


 The greenhouse is full of small plants, seedlings and seeds sprouting.  I seem to have planted everything at once.  It was too cold in there until a couple of weeks ago, had decided not to heat it this year, as we spent a fortune of paraffin last year. It has been so warm this week that I have had to water every evening, disaster if these little seedlings dry out,they never recover and that means having to start again.
Have sown quite a few flowers including sunflowers, cosmos, morning glory and salvias.  Also have a dahlia tuber in a pot and some chrysanthemum cuttings.
The cucumbers are doing well, sprung up in just a few days, also have leeks, brussel sprouts, cabbages, sprouting broccoli, tomatoes, melons, dill, lettuce, parsley and basil.

Have just sown some french beans, pumpkins and 3 different types of courgette - Romanesco, which is a stripey long one, All Green bush, which is just a plain green one, but the seed was free and Pattypan which is the one shaped like a flying saucer, I have never grown this type before and never eaten them, so will have to wait and see if they are worth it!

 The sweet peas are ready to go out, will start hardening them off from tomorrow and then hope to get them planted very soon. I grow them in loo rolls, which I save all year round.
I try and reuse, re-purpose and recycle as much as I can.  I keep all the plastic trays that come with food in them (as much as I try not to buy things in these trays I still have ended up with loads of them)  Although I have probably had some of these trays for at least 3 years.  I just wash them out and reuse them, the same for flower pots and plant labels.  I try to keep on top of this job, otherwise I end up with a huge pile dirty of pots by the back door and then the wind blows them all over the garden.  But I find it really annoying going to use a pot and find that it is dirty and I have to wash it before I use it.
My Mum gave me this handy little gadget for my birthday 4 years ago and I must have made hundreds of flower pots with it.  Just tear up some strips of newspaper
Wind the strip tightly around the tube

 Fold over the ends

Push it hard into the bottom bit and hey presto

A flower pot - great for sowing large seeds like sunflowers or for potting on seedlings like tomatoes or cabbages.  You can plant straight into the ground with out disturbing the roots and re-purposing some old newspapers - best of all not pots to wash up!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

My last ( I promise) Hong Kong story

 This week spring has finely sprung on my corner of Essex.  The frogs have spawned, flowers are flowering and I even managed to sit in the garden for a while this afternoon.  I have been trying to catch up on all the seed sowing and planting that needs to be done.  For weeks it has been TOO cold to plant anything, now it all needs to go in at once.

I did just want to tell my last story of Hong Kong, my last day there (which seems so long ago now).
My sister decided that we needed to see the Big Buddha, I was not sure what to expect.  We drove to town and took the Star Ferry across the see to the Island of Lantau. 

This was the ferry man, he was dressed like a sailor, and had obviously done this once or twice before.
 A choice of coach or taxi?  We picked the wrong choice and had the most hair raising drive across the island in a taxi.

 We stepped out of the taxi onto dry land(!) and could see the Big Buddha in the distance on top of the hill.  

Lots of gift shops to navigate before walking through this arch and up to the steps. 

Doesn't look too bad, just a few steps up, my sister wisely waited at the bottom with the pram, and sent me, Dan and the baby up!  With instructions for a photo of the baby at the top!  We approached the ticket office and thought that entrance tickets had to be purchased and that they included an ice cream (we didn't really want one) and climbed up all these steps

At the top!  Phew!
Time for my ice cream? 
We went to the ice cream stall and were told that we had to get our tickets stamped by the lady inside the building, in we went, tickets stamped, clicker clicked and ticked off on the clipboard.  We had a brief look around and then went back to the ice cream stall and..........

An ice cream and a drink!  Turns out we didn't actually have to buy a ticket, it was just for the ice cream!!

We then looked around the Monastery, where everyone was buying incense sticks and burning them, the air was thick!  We then took the cable car back down to the main land, a very long journey, took at least half an hour

It was an amazing day out, so many different types of transport and views.


Sunday, 14 April 2013


Yesterday my friend, tales from the greengate and I  went on a little outing to Ipswich.  We were heading to, what used to be called the Suffolk Show Ground and is now known as Trinity Park.  We were doing a spot of "Kirsty Allsopping" (as in Vintage Home) and going to a vintage and antiques fair. It wasn't quite like on the telly though, more carboot with some proper antiques thrown in.
Also running at the same venue was a Joules Outlet shop.  We even had to queue to get in!  Lots of lovely clothes, but all in the wrong size for me! 

 GreenGate(!) found two cups and saucers at a good price!

I have always wanted a darning mushroom, homemade socks get a lot of holes in them.

There were lots of stalls like this one selling a mixture of old stuff that had seen better days

And this one

And this one, it seems that you need a caravan, an awning and some carboot junk.

I bought this rather beautiful brooch.  An allotment brooch?  A watering can with a trowl, fork, peapod and sunflower dangling from it - love it!


Thursday, 11 April 2013


I haven't finished my tales from my visit to Hong Kong last month.  One evening we got a taxi into Central and then took the ferry across the harbour.
This is the view we saw looking back from the boat.  At night all the buildings are lit up.

This was another ferry going back the other way.
When we got to the other side we stood an watched the light show.  This happens every evening and lasts for around 15 minutes.  The lights on all the buildings flash and move and lasers flash around the sky  - quite impressive!  

 And then we went for dinner, to the coolest, shiniest, highest up restaurant that I have ever been to.  It was 27 floors and glass and mirrors everywhere. The menu choice was either Italian or Japanese.

We started with cocktails - a Raspberry Bellini for me.  This was my starter a Mozzarella salad
Followed by the most Delicious mushroom risotto, even though it did look quite like a bowl of porridge!

This was something my sister had, that looked quite amazing, but I am not sure what it was.
Here is Daniel, who managed to book the best table, with the best view of Hong Kong!