Wednesday, 20 September 2017


My husband seems to have adopted a baby hare.  Or it has adopted him!

It pops out of the raspberry bed, or the beetroot row or from behind a fence post just a few feet in front of his ride on mower.  After several  near misses/near heart attacks he has taken to walking around making a noise before starting out to mow the field areas.

Not too much damage being done. He chased it out of the poly tunnel one afternoon where it was hiding in the strawberries and snacking on lettuce. He has recorded  midnight snacking on the pea row on his wildlife camera - no wonder our pea crop has been hopeless.  When husband has got it to move it bolts for our neighbours cabbage patch.

To remind him to check the field first I have painted him a hare picture for the conservatory.

Grandson thinks its hilarious. His favourite videos and books are about Peter Rabbit sneaking around Mr McGregor's garden.

Welcome to my new followers - thank you for visiting.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Renovating 3rd bedroom

We had our 2 older grand daughters and their mother for a few days in August and the elder one begged us for a separate room from her sister and mother because they snored so much. She wanted to sleep on the settees but as these are rapidly deteriorating (saggy seats) we were reluctant. Our third bedroom is used as s study/computer room and literally we just dumped stuff in there 3 years ago and have not moved a thing since.  Quick clean up and we put the camp bed in there for her.  

Having done that, we realized it was quite a big room and the built in shelves may have suited a previous owner were not helping our storage needs.  As it was forecast to rain most of this week we made a deal which was - as long as the wall paper  (embossed with glossy vinyl beige paint - yuk) was not damaged and could just have a coat of emulsion over and no money was spent on wood my husband could renovate as he uses this room far more than me.  I would assist as much as possible. We can probably find £25 for this updating - not much money to spare as our dentist wants about £80 to re-do some of our fillings and we need to think about winter fuel soon.

Once the shelves were carefully deconstructed, the husband puzzled out a plan reusing the wood and some bits from his store.  

There are also existing shelves running round the room.  These too may be re-purposed.; probably without the large metal "struts". 

As you can just see the main painting problem will be the brown stencil pattern running round the room.  We have a small amount of white emulsion left over which I think I will use up "killing" that off before we find some money for fresh paint.  I mistakenly encouraged him to join me watching "Celebrity Money for Nothing" the other rainy afternoon and he is channeling his inner Jay Blade now and suggesting line green walls and highlights of primary colours.   I suppose its beats the dull, dingy beige.

Hope the kids are not thinking of coming here for half term as I can't see this project being completed all that quickly as traipsing up and down stairs and right through house and down the garden to the shed for tools and sawing wood adds to the job. 

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Hedge sparrow population

I think we have been too generous with feeding routine in our front garden and the hedge sparrows have had a very successful breeding season. There are about 10 on the feeder.

At the same time there are about 16 underneath picking up the spilled seed.

The great tits and blue tits wait till late afternoon and the sparrows have gone off to turn up to tackle the peanuts.  There are definitely 3 or 4 pairs of these now.  
Have your bird populations increased this year?

Friday, 15 September 2017

Stressful Friday

8.30 am
Husband: Tube attack. South west London.
Me:         Which line. Which station?  Where's the mobile phone?
Husband: District.Wimbledon way. Not much info only just happened.
Me: Phew. Don't think either of them would be over there  Should be on school run now - probably Penge/Dulwich way ??
Husband: I'll text.

 8.45 am
Land line is ringing.

I apologies to random sales man flogging some national scheme for new boilers.  I really, really don't want one and that was a very bad moment to ring!!!!

10.00 am Text: we are home having coffee; safe and sound.

Me?  I'm adding sugar to the latest batch of blackberry wine.  I need more alcohol in my life.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Them kids and their devices

Their gone. Summer holidays are over.

With it our monthly data allowance.  Sorry no blog posts or blog reading until the next accounting period and I shall have so much to catch up on.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

3 year olds

Phew! Grandma forgot how busy, noisy and screamy(frustration) 3 year olds could be!
Still the hobby horse riding was a distraction for a bit.

Another 3 year old expected at the weekend.

Back to blogging when fully recovered (may take a month or too.................LOL)

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Up cyling a cheap commercial picture

I used to think this was a dead sophisticated picture which fitted in well to the "big" executive house we used to have.

It has been in our current dull bathroom - beige tiles and beige walls.  I recently invested in a brighter shower curtains which matched the stack of  blue/emerald towels we have. I thought some brighter paint may help and intended just to vamp the background of the pebbles.

Firstly the commercial "made in Taiwan" product was simply hot glued throughout. It was quite difficult to take apart and I was a bit worried the frame would collapse if I went too far. had to cut through the glue with a sharp modelling scalpel and in the end made a finger hole to be able to lift the layers of cardboard off.  disappointed in the "product" as other commercial pictures I have taken apart have at least had substantial wood frames.

Secondly, the layers of textured paper inside the picture the pebbles were stuck too were just poor quality faded tissue paper. So the plan to introduce bright colours by simply painting around the centre bit went out the window for now. Although I may revise with some scraps of wallpaper I have stored, somewhere.

I was playing about with some abstract shapes formed with acrylic paint and a palette knife on card when  two shapes of figures began to emerge.  I worked on this for a while and for now, it will uplift the bathroom a bit.

Ta - dah!
Have you tried updating pictures?

Giant onions

My husband has been growing some exhibition giant veg.  Its a pity that our village does not have a fete or anything to show them off.
I am wondering how many meals each one will cover??

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Kitchen improvements

The slow revamp of our kitchen continues. I have always felt hemmed in by the wall cabinets which were too low over my only "working" space so I was glad to finally have them removed.
As expected with a 1930s house there were lots of holes to be filled but it did not take long to poly-fill
and repaint with some emulsion from the bottom of a tin.  Not bothered too much with shade as we intend to re colour the walls eventually.

My husband made some nice shelf brackets and got some decent wood. He fixed on an IKEA rail I have had in storage for ages and Ta Dah!
To all you who say what happened to the two cupboards worth of stuff? And is it the not an old fashioned idea?  The contents of the too small and too awkward common kitchen wall units with the lattice windows was  just "stuff" and 50% was out of date herbs and spices. So a bit of throwing out was needed. I now have all those things I use to cook every meal from scratch twice a day right there in front of me. The old ideas in life are the best.  Marvellous.
(Also the cupboards, doors removed, are standing on their ends in the shed and are proving to be useful storage cubby holes).

Next step is to remove the disgusting and not working cooker hood, which is also a fire hazard as it is apparently too low and not the recommended distance from the hob. (Are we not all a bit more aware of fire hazards and spread since the dreadful London event?)  Plus have some small shelves to the far end of the counter to house spice jars and oils.

Nearly there with this kitchen I kid myself. I am dismissing the much needed taking out and replacing of the sink and units from my mind for at least 4 months. Far too much trauma.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Excessive veg

What are you doing with your gluts of veg?
Carrot cake - I have got a WWW veg oil based recipe sorted now but I may try to make two third quantities as the whole thing is a bit too much when it is just for us two. Also I substitute half the walnuts with sultanas as nuts are not top of our favourite tastes. I often leave the cream cheese topping off (unless its a treat day) as the sugar levels are a bit much if you have a lump for coffee and afternoon tea in one day!  Note - home grown carrots are NOT like  commercial ones - less wet, not the same bright colour and if you leave them a day or two after picking they go too soft to grate!
Beetroot and chocolate cake - we are not that fond of chocolate cake so this one has not proved too popular but it did use up a couple of large beetroot (before the hare called the other night to devastate a large one left in the ground).

Curried Carrot
Minestrone/Vegetable -  a cabbage base plus just throw in what you have (except beetroot)
May get desperate next week - courgette with Stilton stirred in.

Tried a courgette one - not so successful
Red cabbage and red onion - oh yes, that is nice with just about anything!

I won't bore you with the endless salads from the garden - lettuce, toms, cucumbers, radish, beetroot.  Or the dinners with at least 3 veg choices plus freshly dug potatoes.
The other day it all got too much - we had tinned spaghetti on toast for lunch.

What else are we doing with the excess?  We have built a little stand from pallets and bits of ply and sell veg at the gate.  Last year we made £90 over the summer excess ( we just had a small box perched on some bricks then) - so far this year we have £30 in the jar. The pound coins will be in useful for car parking at the beach in August when the various family bring the grand children.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Hobby or stick horses

I was taking out the broad beans last week and pulled out the three old wooden broom handles I had used as supports when I remembered a bit on the news the other day of people doing hobby horse show jumping. We don't like plastic toys but do like to have something to entertain the grandchildren over the summer holidays visits.

Quick look on Pin-interest for ideas and a pattern and out to the sewing cabin to raid the stash and bits of ribbons,felt and cord, etc.

Round the garden on the flat or over the jumps guys?

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Nightshade plants

"What are nightshade plants?" My husband is reading a book about arthritis and keeps reading out bits with strange requests to change his diet.
"Nightshade? Belladonna? which you would definitely not eat. Or do you mean the fact tomatoes and potatoes are in the same DNA whatsit species family, once a long time ago, before they were refined?"

By this time he has read on "Tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants and peppers are not good for arthritis!"

"Really? Not sure about egg plants as never been a fan. But there is lots of vitamins in tomatoes and peppers. Anyway I am sure in moderation they are all fine."  These wretched american feel-good books, I must make sure the next one is UK based, but at least he is thinking about doing something about his health.

Gosh,I hope I sounded reassuring - there are stacks of ripening toms and peppers in our poly tunnel!  Now is not the time to be a fussy eater.
Thanks for the birthday wishes and nice comments  Have not been on line much as I am suffering from horse fly bites. I forgot to change out of shorts BEFORE cutting under a hedge.  Silly me.  Every time this happens (and it has been like this since early teens) I end up with great big swellings and on antibiotics.  Luckily the local health centre fitted me in immediately when I described the red line and swelling creeping up my leg! Will only take 24 hours to knock it on the head.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Funny veg

The season has started to produce its weird veg!  The carrots are twinning around and around - hopeless for peeling!