Friday, 31 January 2014

January scavenger hunt

Well, here we go again, here are my photos for the January Scavenger hunt, organised by Greenthumb at Made with love  just click on the link to see what everyone else has found or even to take part yourself!

J IS FOR ............  Jared  my son, who celebrated his 22nd birthday on the 10th of this monthChocolate cake as usual!

LOOKING DOWN  taken from the 2 floor next to the lift, looking down into the fish pond.  Inside Essex County Council, County Hall.

A CORNER.  Wherry corner in Manningtree, looking down from the end of the High street to the river Stour.  As you turn the corner it becomes Mistley

COLOUR - bought some wool to start a new project.  Spring colours to make a spring wreath, something like this Attic 24's beautiful Easter Wreath  we will see!

FRUIT -  my fruit bowl after a shopping trip to the market on Saturday. A pineapple, oranges, apples and bananas.

MEMEASUREMENT- measuring my sock with my new Cath Kidston tape measure (I just love the noise it makes, click click click as you pull it out and then wirrrrr as you push the button to wind it up!!!!!!!) 

1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.  My mantlepiece is looking rather bare. The Christmas decorations have long gone, two lots of birthday cards and banner have been up and taken down, all that remains are 3 felt owls and the clock, but no dust!

CROWD  We went to Portabello Road market for Birthday shopping for Alice, just after Christmas and it was very crowded, where do all these people come from. Had to take a photo of this shop, obviously!  Got some great bargains that day, well worth a trip.

NATURAL - carrots freshly dug from my allotment, covered in natural earth and very tasty (after a good wash).

ROOF - the roof of our shed that we Mr HH  built.  It overhangs a bit so that I have a shady place to sit under, or indeed a dry place!

HAT  - Alice wearing a lovely hat at a family wedding last summer

STAMP - I have no idea why I have so many 2nd class stamps, hardly ever send a letter these days.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Something to sit on

 Ta Da!
 The wind is howling, the rain is lashing down, what to do but stay indoors and crochet.  The chair cushion is now finished.

 Started a couple of weeks ago, choose 9 shades of blue and green for the centre then a round of grey, a round of cream and a round of green. All wool left over from other projects.  Nine granny squares altogether.

Joined them together with more green and then two more rounds of green around the whole lot.

And it came out like this.

I made a cover out of fleece and edged the flap with a row of green shell edging.

Pinned the crochet to the cover
And hand-stitched it on.

Here it is on it's chair

And the other three.  The one on the left was my practice ripple, to learn how to ripple before I started my blanket.  The one in the middle is just one big granny square, made when I was between projects and just wanted something to do.

And here they all are around the table!  Just one more to make, but that can wait for a bit, got a little something else on the go now.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Prickly I apple

Picked up this pineapple at the market on Saturday morning for just 80p. Which I thought was a bargain!
I looked at the label this morning and noticed that it is from Costa Rica, which reminded me of the time Alice spent there when she went travelling a couple of years ago and that when she was little she called pineapples "prickly i apples"
Each morning I chop up some fruit and pop into tubs for me and Mr HH. This makes me eat some fruit as it is easy to eat like this, somehow I can't just pick up an apple or orange and eat it. Also this way is easier when I am working.
So today we had pineapple and satsumas - lovely!
The pineapple peal filled my compost bucket to overflowing which meant a walk down the garden to the compost bin to empty it- should I get a bigger bucket?

Monday, 13 January 2014

An excellent weekend

Oh no he didn't!  Oh yes he did!  Panto time!

 And I nearly didn't make it. On Friday evening as I drove to the end of my road I noticed that there was an enormous traffic jam (we don't get many as we live in the countryside) but realised that I was not going to get to Colchester the normal way. Took a detour through some lanes and hit the traffic jam from the opposite direction, so took the "long cut".  This took me about 20 minutes longer than I expected and arrived at the theatre with a 5 minutes to spare!  I found out after that a lorry had overturned on the A12, closing the road, this means that traffic diverts through the country lanes near us, but there was another accident on this route and it seems the whole of North Essex was at a standstill.
I joined the others from the WIGS (WI girls) at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester for a fabulous production of Sleeping Beauty.  What fun it was!  lots of singing, dancing, silly jokes, being squirted with water and an ice cream tub in the interval.

Saturday was a lovely bright and sunny day, popped to the market to stock up on fruit and veg and came home to get out in the garden.
 Picked up this lovely pot of daffodils for just £1.

I let the chickens into the greenhouse and they had a lovely time dust bathing - rolling around in the dry earth working it into their feathers.  They then stand up and have a good shake and cover me in dust!  They must have loved it as Sunday they laid two eggs.  Have been having one or none most days.  I don't think that Marjorie is laying though, I have had words with her.

 Time to start sowing some seeds. I love sweetpeas and try and grow lots on the allotment.  I am starting them off in the cold greenhouse now, in pots.  Sowed some mixed winter salad leaves in a big pot.  In theory you should be able to grow lettuce all year round and not have to buy those expensive bags from the supermarket, but I have yet to achieve this.  Perhaps that should have been my resolution this year  - to grow all my own lettuce!
Leek seeds in the greenhouse, onions and lavender in the airing cupboard - just got to wait and see now.....................  I will let you know if anything grows.

 Just one week after Alice's birthday it was Jared's turn.  His birthday was on Friday, but he had had exams this week and decided to stay at Uni and have  a party with all his friends.  He came home of Saturday and of course I made him a cake  - chocolate sponge (made with eggs from the girls) filled with cream (found half a pot in the freezer) blackcurrent jelly ( a Christmas present from a friend) topped with buttercream (left over from Alice's cake) and decorated with half a packet of chocolate buttons (left over from the gingerbread house).
Yes I am on a mission to use up all the bits and pieces in the cupboards and freezer.  Just shopping for things as I need them - I wonder how long I can go before I need to do a "big shop"?

Sunday was spent cleaning the house, doing my household accounts, a bit of crochet and finished by watching the darts final and Sherlock  -excellent weekend!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

A very long day

Tucked up in my cosy bed at 8 pm after a very, very long day.
Alice has been at home for the Christmas holidays and was due to return tomorrow, but last week phoned up and changed her flight to today.
Her flight back to Moscow from Gatwick was at 7 am which meant that we needed to leave here at 2 am! Managed to get about 3 hours sleep before we set off. Had a good journey and arrived in plenty of time and thank goodness we did. She was told that she was not booked on the flight. All the paper work was in Russian which didn't help. After 2 hours and a credit card payment she eventually had a seat! Said goodbye and see you in the summer!
I got home in time for cup of tea before I had to go to work!
Had to say goodbye to someone leaving work today, so a sad day twice over.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

25, 12th night and a couple of pounds of carrots

I can't believe that she is 25! Already!  Where did that time go? Does not seem that long ago that I spent Christmas waiting for her to arrive!

 Happy Birthday Alice!

She was quite impressed that I had found some Miffy wrapping paper.  Not sure that we wanted to eat any more cake as we had so much at Christmas, so instead I made Macaroons.  That were a bit of a faff, as I made 3 colours, but for a first attempt not too bad.  They looked like macaroons and tasted like macaroons, but each one was a different size!  I must learn to control the piping bag better.

 This is my Amaryllis bulb after one week of growing!  I was very pleased to be given this for Christmas and hope it continues to grow.

 Can it really be 5 weeks since the decorations came down from the loft?  We ate our dinner from the Reindeer plates for one last time last night and now everything is packed up and back in the loft..............until next December.....

 A quick walk to our lovely allotment this afternoon, it is looking well.  All the beds not in use are dug over and manured.

Still some brussell sprouts to pick.

The leeks are beginning to grow, I don't seem to have much luck with them, perhaps this year will be better.

But what has done well is carrots!  We have had loads and pulled up these today.  Will use them to make some parsnip and carrot soup.


Wednesday, 1 January 2014


Well here we are with the very last scavenger hunt for the year.   What fun it has been and a bit of a challenge at times, so here we go..............


Wednesday 25th December  - Christmas day!


Making mince pies - well it wouldn't be Christmas with out them?


I bought this lovely wooden decoration in Hamburg a few years ago when I went to the markets there, it has to have special sized candles to go in it, so if anyone is going over next year perhaps they can pick me up a couple of packets?


A close up of my tree, looking very shiny and twinkly!


Well nearly!  Just fooling!

Me bringing in the Christmas pudding to the table, the flaming fountain was amazing, it certainly finished off our feast


Well not really a photo, but found this subway art, printed and framed it and displayed it on the bookeshelf.  It has all the words that I need!


Sticky date and raisin pudding served with Brandy butter ice cream and salted caramel sauce- recipie found in Good Food magazine December 2012.  I have made this two years in a row and it is delicious!


I love candles and often have them twinkling around the house.  This is my fireplace with some big candles.


I have been looking for a shop window, but not found one suitable, so here is my lounge window.  I spent a couple of eveinings licking and sticking all these paperchains and then hung them from the net curtain wire, with the nets pushed back. A metal Christmas tree candle stand is in the middle, I bought this at a German Market a couple of years ago.


I have had to put two photos for this one! We have had two cakes this year. Alice and Jared spent one evening creating this wonderful Gingerbread house, a week later and we are still not allowed to eat 

 And this is my one.  A rich fruit cake made weeks ago, marzipaned and iced with little marzipan Christmas trees and silver balls sprinkled on top.  We were allowed to eat this one!

A very, very big thank you to Suzie over at Made with love thinking of all the catagories each month and linking everyone together. It has been great to see how people from all over the world have interpreted the photos.  I have been taken  to Colarado, Australia, Borneo, Wiltshire and Birmingham!!!  Looks like we are keeping this going in the New Year too!