Saturday 30 June 2018

Simple, Cool and FREE.

I like flowers in the house, bright and bold colours. I quite like them cheap. I really like them free.

It is too hot for bold flaming colours. 

I want Cool.

I want green.

I want to keep it simple.

I have the very things in my garden.

No, not the containers.

Although they were free.

Ladies Mantle, it grows like a weed all through my end of the village. Last year I potted up over 50 self seeded small plants and they went onto a plant stall to raise money for Alzheimer's research. They sold the lots for £1.50 each, not bad going.

Mint, I have a small forest of this, it grows beside the steps up my garden and wriggles out into the grass. When the SO cuts the grass it smells heavenly.

Melissa, aka Lemon Balm is in there as well. It is a garden thug, when we moved in there was a bed of it about the size of a bath. I now have 3 plants that I keep in check.

They look pretty, they scent the air and they provide a cool spot for the eyes to rest upon.
I can almost feel my temperature drop when I look at them.

I know that candles equate heat but these are cool white so I added them to the mix.

I kept myself busy inside for most of the day, it was searingly hot outside by 11:00. We did a trip to the recycling centre and dropped off about a third of the utility room debris as hard core, then did the shopping as we were half way there.
There will be another trip tomorrow with another third and the rest will go on Monday. One trip a day is enough, there are a few bags of green waste to go and we will fit them in along with the rest.

I spent some time cutting out another dress, and the lining, and 2 pairs of shorts for the SO. I will probably have a sewing session after my tea and the first dog walk.
We are not in dire need for the clothes, although who sneezes at a new dress or three, but I am sewing up the stash. I am waiting for my quilt backing fabric to arrive, should be here later, and then it will be all systems go.

I also managed a few rows of knitting so the socks are nearly off the needles. Then it will be the WIPs turn, only 2 but they need finishing, no more casting on till they are both done.

I am eating fresh strawberries, warm from the sun, every day. The SO does not like them, or rather, they do not like him. Luckily my neighbours are happy to eat them every day too. I am not going to make jam this year, the pantry shelves are still well stocked from last year. I will miss the strawberry jam but there's another year following and I can jam to my heart's content.

I have set a little potting station up under the garden parasols, it is far too hot in the sun, and will be potting on a few plants today. They have been waiting for a week now and so have I, I want the pots that they are in for something else and will wait no longer.
 I put the sprinkler on the garden last night for a couple of hours, I was weary and could not face being out there with the hose. It looks so much better this morning that I will probably do that every other night while this weather stays.

Unless we have a hosepipe ban, of course.

On that note I am going to say toodle pip and get another cuppa.

Enjoy your weekend.

                         TTFN                                Pam

Friday 29 June 2018

The Good, The Bad and the Unmentionable.

The good is, or rather, are these.

Both made from stash, and light and cool, just the ticket for this heatwave. Side seam pockets, you have to have a pocket or two, and just above knee level. Both made in a 24 hour period over 2 days, simple fuss free sewing.

The bad is only temporary.
My Utility Room, the contents are strewn about the house and I have to seacrh through boxes and bags for every item.

B U T it will pass, the new plumbing has been installed and the new floor is down.
My little patio/yard looks like a builder,s merchant but that too will pass.

The Unmentionable, mmm,not a subject for the delicate of mind. 

NO, it is a subject for everybody.

I have just completed the procedure for Bowel Cancer Screening, a white coated cardboard container, toilet paper, little cardboard sticks and a collection unit.

Followed by lots of soap and very warm water.

I do this every time the envelope drops through the letterbox. Just as I go for the Breast Screening.

A distasteful task and squished boobies are worthwhile inconveniences when you think about it.
In the grand scheme of things prevention is better than cure, and an early diagnosis is better than a too late one.

My Brother in Law died far too young, he had Bowel Cancer but was too embarrassed or maybe stupid to see the doctor until it was too late.

Breast cancer kills on a regular basis. It killed my Mother in Law and she never got to see her grandchildren grow up, they have no memories of her.
She just could not face the indignity of seeing a male doctor. She was not stupid, or ignorant, just foolish and a product of her time.

It is early. Herbie decided that he had to get up at 5:30.
I do not mind, the doors are propped open and cool air is flooding the house. The first cuppa of the day has been drunk (pure nectar that first one) and I will be out watering the front garden soon. The back garden has a soaking last night and all the pots had a drink of rain water. I am giving them a very diluted feed twice a week at the moment, this heat would drain them otherwise. 

That is a perfect place to stop and get busy, I have to get the hose round to the front and soak the borders before the sun gets over the yard arm.

                           TTFN                                Pam

Thursday 28 June 2018

11 weeks of non stop fun (and motion).

11 weeks ago yesterday a little surprise landed in my life. Herbie the Jug, a jet propelled Jug,  9 months old and as cute a bundle of fun as anyone could want.

I the intervening weeks we have "jerry rigged" escape proof fencing, made and hung gates, put wire netting cages round the fruit trees and made an assortment of playthings. He is very intelligent and the toys have to evolve to keep his interest. The latest is a fabric strip that is folded and tied repeatedly till it becomes almost a Chinese puzzle box. 
He loves it and spends copious amounts of time worrying at it, chewing, throwing around and shaking the living daylights out of it.

I had spent too much time humming and hahing over whether to get another dog. At one point I thought that perhaps a cat would be better. I needed the decision to be made for me.
I was leaning towards an older dog, now that I have Herbie I know that an older dog would have been a mistake. I need and enjoy the extra activity that stems from having a young dog.

Life is busy with a Herbie, I need to be able to turn on a sixpence when he wants a game or just a cwtch. I would not part with him for all the tea in China.

On another note I am working away at creating more space. The finally finished quilt top has been layered and quilted.

I aim to work through all my started, no matter how little a start has been made, projects before taking a long hard look at what is left in the stash. 

This will be sewing right now, I picked my knitting up and the yarn stuck to my fingers, it has been retired while the temperature keeps soaring. It reached 30.7 c in North Wales yesterday.

I expect these large quilts to be my last, unless I revisit QAYG. The house of full of quilts, Francesca has oodles and there are 2 more for her in various stages for me to get finished. Plus 2 more in blocks for gifts.
I may consider making Child size quilts to donate if I find that I miss quilting too much.

I do want to make more of my clothes and would love to get to grips with cross stitch and embroidery.

If I find that I do give up quilt making then I will be aiming at getting rid of my Horn cabinet and the big Janome, I will not need them for what I plan on doing. (More space, much more to claim back). My Singer has all the features that I need and with the overlocker everything is covered.

A long table will be better for my needs and the SO can make me one to the dimensions that suit me. It is very handy to have "A man who can", and does.
Of course there may be some baking involved in the negotiations.

The dogs are settled into the new routine, a very early walk followed by a lazy day and a late walk once the heat has started to abate. 9:30 last night. W told me that this heat is forecast to last several days yet, possibly over a week. I am so happy that I am no longer working, the temperatures in the Deli kitchen must be astronomical.

We had a salad of Quinoa, Bulgar Wheat and as many raw veg as I could get mixed in for dinner. It was just the ticket, fruit salad (again) to follow, the very cheap pineapples and Galia melons that I found in Tesco have been so refreshing. The strawberries from the garden are so sweet and I just add a mix of whatever fruit that I have.

I think that is enough for now, I want to make a start on laying out the blocks for Fran,s next quilt. They have been made for over a month and I would like the quilt done and dusted by Monday at the latest.

                           TTFN                                       Pam

Wednesday 27 June 2018

A good idea.

Mmmm maybe and maybe not.

Yesterday morning the SO, with my blessing, drat, emptied the utility room completely. And when I say completely that is exactly what I mean.
Shelf off the wall.
Chest freezer in the kitchen
Washing machine...yep, in the kitchen.

The idea was to give the tiles a good clean, freshen the grout up and paint the ceiling.

This was all to keep the "make space" ball rolling. The shelf was a bit rickety and not very pretty and certainly too small. The idea was to replace it with 2 deeper shelves, enough to store all the gubbins that were cluttering the sink unit and get my buckets off the floor.
All well and good. Sounds great.

Then the bug bit him. 
You know the one.
 I believe it is called  "I can do better than that".

Before I could draw a breath the wall tiles were coming off. Not altogether a bad thing as they were fairly dull and a few were grazed.

The detritus was cleared. 

We had a cuppa. I had my overnight oats. ( I had a slice of toast for breakfast). SO had a cookie. 
And then another!

I retired into the sewing room to finish a quilt top. Hooray it is an old WIP. I bought the fabric in the Flying Goose when they opened the first shop in Llandeilo.

When I came out the floor tiles were up. 
Mustn't spoil the ship for a halfpence of tar!

It will be lovely when it is done.

It better be.

There could be bad words.

Things could be thrown.

One of us could go away on a little holiday for a month.

Only kidding. I have confidence in him. He is an over achiever.

I should have foreseen this, similar things have happened before.

I am just pleased that the washing is all up to date, so there is a time limit here. It needs to be serviceable before we run out of clean clothes.

Time to walk the dogs.

                    TTFN                                            Pam

Tuesday 26 June 2018

The Elephant in The Room..

What a scorcher yesterday was, we had a busy start to the day so made it an early one.
 Before lunch time the job was done and as we were half way to Neath we popped into town and went to B&M. Not my favourite shop but they have a half tidy garden centre which carries aggregates and cement.

We picked up the necessary bags of "building stuffs"not my area of expertise. 
There was  Brucie Bonus in the form of a purple leaved Hydrangea, a lovely plant for £9.99, photo to follow.

The SO is going to put some hard standing in, for the compost bins and pot storage etc. That will be the last job at the very back of the garden till Autumn when we have an area to clear of general garden rubbish, this was inherited and we just pushed it all back as far as possible and fenced it off. Now my greedy eyes are looking at it and want it for planting. Some fruiting trees or bushes probably, I have a heap of Jostaberry cutting that are coming along, and we love the fruit, so 3 or 4 of those would be great.

As we were quite hungry after our long mornings work we had a sandwich for lunch, seeded bread stuffed with some cold pork, cucumber and a slick of garlic mayo.
The heat made for an afternoon indoors, we moved some things around and added to the donate heap.

Just as we are looking to find more space in the garden (albeit to add plants) so we are looking to create more space in the house.
We made a list of some larger items that we no longer wished to keep, and decided to ring a CS today to arrange collection.

As luck would have it I walked Herbie and Ben in the evening and stopped to chat with a friend. She had the glad news to share that her daughter had got a place to learn pattern design and cutting.(someone had dropped out). The only hurdle was collecting all the things that she needed in a comparatively short time. 
Top of her list was a dress form, and that was top of my list to donate. Win Win. After a bit more chatty catch up I took the boys home and returned with the dummy.

More space instantly acquired. A favour paid forward. The feel good factor shared around.

The main change that we are undertaking is to reduce the amount of "kitchen" stuff, a start has been made on this. 
My collection of china is (or rather was) the Elephant in The Room.
I had Silver Maple in the kitchen cupboards and Old Country Roses on the Dresser. It made for a lot of walking back and forth, not to mention taking it all down and washing regularly.

So the Silver Maple will be leaving,it is boxed up already, and the Roses set is in the kitchen cupboards on hand for daily use. I have friends who car boot so they will have the offer of the  china. If they turn it down then it will be off to the CS.

There is a 2 seater sofa, banished from the sewing room, a TV/dvd/sky box unit, our TV is now wall mounted and the boxes live on a shelf, we have a small wicker chest of drawers and a small TV that are also going. If the CS does not want to collect them they will go outside with a "Free to Take" sign on them..

I know that Ben will sulk when the sofa goes but he has a bed in there anyway.

I gave the back garden a good soaking last night but the sun was still fully on the front. This morning I pulled the hose through the house and treated the front garden to a long cool shower. The pots all had rainwater so lots of steps chalked up before 7, and the dogs have had their first walk.

I see that time is ticking away, and I have only had 1 cuppa, tut tut, I better rectify that asap.

Dinner was fruit salad and slipped down a treat, I will be cooking tonight though as I have a fridge full of veg. Something spicy in the slow cooker probably.

Time to get the kettle on. Just call me Polly.

                 TTFN                                           Pam

Monday 25 June 2018

All Slated.

It has been another gloriously sunny day (well it is Sunday), thanks to our busy days we were able to take it easy. I was up early so all the ironing was done and put away before 8: 00.

The wheelbarrow and pots have all had a mulch of blue slate, I hope that this will minimise both watering and weeding.

I am still pondering over what to plant at the arches.

Hilary asked about my 10 minute cookies, they are one of the SO.s
 favourite sweet treats. I can not remember where the recipe came from, I have been using it for many years.

I thought a few photos might inspire someone else to have a go.
The basic recipe is 110 grams each of,
Self raising flour.
Oats, not the instant type.
Sugar. I use a mix of granulated and dark  brown.
Butter, if I am baking to take to a group thing I use Vitalite, just in case of dietary restrictions.
2 tablespoons of golden syrup, sometimes I use Maple or the syrup from a jar of stem ginger.

A small dish of any fruit, nuts, seeds chocolate chips as you fancy.

This morning I made 1 1/2 times the recipe, that fills 2 baking sheets using my scoop.

Butter and syrup into a pan. I do not measure the syrup, too sticky by far.

Tip the sugar into the pan, with the butter and syrup, and put on a low heat to melt, I turn off the heat before the butter has melted and let the residual heat finish the job.

Tip the flour and oats into the pan.

This is a mix of sultanas, raisins and ready to eat apricots

I snipped the apricots up and added some sunflower and linseeds.
Add these to the rest of the ingredients and stir well to mix thoroughly.

Scoop onto lined baking sheets and flatten slightly.

This is my scoop, it is about egg cup size.

Into the oven, mine is set at 170 c as it is a bit fast, and is a fan oven, the recipe says 180 c.
Cook for 10 minutes, after 7 minutes I change the trays top to bottom.

Leave on the tray for a few minutes while they firm up and finish off on a wire rack.

A slight break as I put the 'puter down at 7 last night and then after watering the garden and walking the dogs forgot about it till this morning

These keep in an air tightish tin for a few days, if you put them under lock and key. Most of this batch are still in the tin as I made a batch of sultana scones and there was whipped cream in the fridge. 'nuff said.

It is now Monday morning, the sun is shining. The sky is blue and we will be outside until it becomes too hot to do anything bar melt.

There is a job that the SO requires my help in doing so once Rufus and Herbie have had their long walk I will be a busy bee. I have a to do list for the remainder of the day and then I can do as I please.
I have had my first cuppa and now Ben and Herbie are ready for a little jaunt out to wake the day up.

                        TTFN                                     Pam

Saturday 23 June 2018

Herbie just loves dangley things.

Anything that moves, even slightly and his eagle eyes are on it. Given a smidgen of a chance and he pounces. 
The tail end of a cast on row of a sock. Boom he has it.
Curtain tie back tassels. Boom, they have been replaced with smooth wrap round ones.
His absolute favourite lately has been the handles and pull ties on my knitting bags.

I have been inspired by Sandra Paul of the Cherry Heart blog and podcast.
Sandra has just released a PDF pattern for a sock bag that will allow 2 yarn cakes to sit side by side.

Mmmm, I thought I need something of that ilk as I am a recent convert to Toe up, 2 at a time socks.

No drawstring though, Herbie magnets!

No extended zipper for wide open top. Another Herbie attraction.

Image result for winnie the pooh think think think image

I know, a fold over bag. I saw a pattern a while ago. I can surely fashion one myself. That one had a big button and a loop, better edit those out.

First find some fabric that has been hanging around waiting for a trial project.
Then decide on some approximate measurements and cut, sew, quilt and form a box bottomed bag.

Done, a bit on the large size but that is all to the good.

Sew in a fold line, easy peasy.

Look, it holds a projects worth of yarn with wriggle room.

More to the point it holds a pair of scrappy socks and the yarn. Along with my notion pouch, every thing that I need in one place.

Then when I have finished it just folds down leaving nothing to tempt Herbie. (Fingers crossed).

I will make another, slightly smaller and with more quilting for extra firmness.

Now for the before and after photos.

The, more holey than righteous, wheelbarrow. The inside was just as decrepit.

Holes mended, proper drainage holes made. 2 coats of black paint for metal. Much betterer.

The Alpines are small but I do not want to have to be splitting them any time soon, a couple of years and they will fill out nicely. The Cordyline is in it's own pot in proper compost for it. That too has some growing time before it becomes too big.

There is a triple layer of coated wire netting, for drainage, under a porous membrane beneath the growing medium, which is part John Innes No 2 and part sharp sand. 
Later on, when the sun had slipped behind the mountain it had a  mulch of blue slate. Too late for a photo I will take one today.
( I used some of the slate to mulch the Hydrangeas.)

Fingers crossed that it does okay, I do have some Alpines at the back if any casualties occur.

The Honeyberries have been prolific, not a bad thing as the birds go mad for them.

They love the Blueberries as well, I put 2 of each plant in the front garden. It means that I can see the birds from the sewing room and they are safer from the cats that roam through the back gardens.

The wheelbarrow in not obtrusive from the road, I will have to move that front planter soon though, once the Hydrangea gets a few flower heads forming it will block the whole thing.

My roses are putting on a marvellous show, they are all scented and the perfume drifts in through the windows.
 I may put some honeysuckle on the back of the arches, although I was thinking of planting some maiden whip apples to train over. I could enjoy the blossom and share the fruit with the birds.

It is another sunny morning and I have changed the sofa throws and cushion covers.
Ben and Herbie have had a jaunt round the garden and are ready for a walk. We slept late this morning, possibly because of all the work yesterday.

I better get myself into action, Herbie has just joined me on the sofa and is looking mournfully at me.

                       TTFN                                          Pam


Friday 22 June 2018

Technology, Friend or Foe?

I am very wary of techy stuff. I can get by on the 'puter but do not explore all the possibilities.
My little digital camera is very ancient, but has served me well.

Yesterday evening, after a prolonged gardening session, I picked it up to take a photo of the newly planted wheelbarrow. 

All that I got was "CARD LOCKED" Mmmmmmm.

Mutter a few naughty words and go back indoors. Take card out for a few minutes and replace. Card still locked. Insert into said 'puter, no probs. Put back in camera. Still locked. Put camera in case and dump carefully place on little table.

This morning get manual out, go me still having the manual 20 ish years down the line, and ......gibberish to me.

A second cup of tea and I turn to my right hand man   Google. Up comes a few sites and BINGO the solution is at my fingertips.
Now the manual had nothing on card locking but the lock switch is on the card itself and I must have moved it when I was loading the last lot of pics. All sorted now so photos later.

The camera cost £50 and it was on a special offer. It has taken thousands of photos and been round the world. I have a battery charger, just the second set of batteries in it a couple of years ago.
It was a real bargain.
I have wittered on a few times about getting an "all singing, all dancing" model but in all honesty it would be wasted upon me.

I may have a look at a back up camera, just in case, but that might be the trigger for old faithful to take early retirement and go to sleep on me.

I have been pondering the fact that although I aim for a simple life I am surrounded by technology.

There is this laptop and the camera. My breadmaker, combi oven, air fryer and programmable slow cooker.

Then there are my computerised sewing machine, overlocker etc. Even my little manual Singer is miles away from my first sewing machine, another singer but with treadle action.

The television has all sorts of functions, I watch most of my podcasts on it. I can access so many films that it would take a lifetime, if not longer, to see them. That is without Sky and the DVD player.

We got our new Yellow Pages last week and it went straight into recycling. It is far easier, and faster, to look on the internet than riffle through a book hoping to find what you need. 

As I write this my breadmaker has just started the knead sequence on a loaf that will be sliced and frozen. 
The domestic freezer, another brilliant addition to most homes. I well remember filling dozens of Kilner jars with fruit and veg to use through the winter. had I been born in the US I would doubtlessly been canning meat, fish and poultry.

I would find it to be a steep learning curve to go back to the simplicity of my childhood.  

Enough of this waffle, the day is still young. I had an early night and woke at 4:00, I did not exactly hit the floor running but I have a busy day ahead. A bit more gardening in the front and lots in the back and thanks to the beautiful weather yesterday there is a little ironing. 
I took a boot full of things to the CS yesterday and I have a boot full of garden waste to go to the tip (aka the recycling centre) today. The compost makers are full and this will all be composted by the local council.

More tea is needed so I am off to get the kettle on, a turn of the tap for water and a flick of the switch for heat. Much easier than pumping water up from the well, filling a heavy kettle and then putting it on the range.

                    TTFN                                   Pam

Thursday 21 June 2018

Substitutionary food.

I am sure that many of us remember the Bedknobs and Broomsticks spell, Substitutinary Locomotion, where Angela Lansbury  had military relics save the village, if not the country, from invaders.

Funny, entertaining and a regular film in my viewing history, almost ageless.

As you may have gathered, I am a part time vegan, part time vegetarian and full time greedy guts foodie who likes meat, fish and has a not so mild cheese addiction. I love finding new ingredients and recipes then toying with them and eating the results, mostly with pleasure.

However I have never gone down the road of Meat Substitutes. This is mainly because of a bad experience many years ago. We were on holiday on the South Coast and visiting family. After a day out on Hayling Island we were invited back for tea. We were assured that there was more than enough casserole and a few more sprigs of cauli and a couple more carrots would make enough veg.

We accepted gratefully and returned to the house, in due course the meal was served. It smelled a bit "funny" but I assumed that different herbs and seasonings to mine had been used.

   How    Wrong    Could    You    Be.

The "meat" in the casserole was in fact TVP, in the very early days of this strange product. It was an acquired taste, I did not acquire it, in fact the whole lot left my system PDQ.

I put it down to too much sun in my apologies and we left.

I expect that things have improved greatly since those days. 
They must have done as the shops seem to all have fast growing areas devoted to such stuff.
 Long gone are the days of the early incarnations of Linda McCartney veggy sausages. Not to mention the strange looking veggy rissoley things.

I saw on a podcast recently that Iceland have launched a vegan burger ", No Bull" that actually oozes red liquid when cut.

Disgustilating, is the only word that comes to mind. Apart from the fact that real burgers should be cooked through what vegan would want to see that?

The podcast that I saw this on is very entertaining and the presenter justified it by saying that newly converted vegans liked to eat familiar looking food.

I beg to disagree. In fact I think that the absolute opposite is truer.

Newly converted anything people are generally brimming over with enthusiasm and preach it from the rooftops.

We all know the new non smoker who bangs on constantly about the dangers/smell/ash etc. 

Or the new teetotaller who can quote, verbatim, large chunks of medical articles to support his or her fervour.

I can not imagine that vegans and vegetarians are any different. As a "foodie" I have to force myself not to prattle on about cooking from scratch, shopping wisely and using herbs and spices for added flavour. 
Well maybe I fail a bit in that respect, I do run on at times.

I have friends who are vegan, Will and Jess spring to mind along with their lovely daughter Ivy. All three are as healthy as can be and Ivy is a proper active little girl, I only see her still if she is eating!
There are some who are vegetarian, W for instance has been vegetarian for years. They too eat very well and are all brimming over with energy.

I only know one vegan who eats make believe meat, that is simply because she refuses to cook and lives off ready meals alternated with vast homemade dishes of beans/grains/nuts and salad. Her choice, her preference and the dishes that she comes up with are decidedly in the "tasty tasty very very tasty" zone.

I have not aimed at upsetting anyone with this post, I just do not understand why anyone who has given up using any part of any animal would want to eat something that looks like meat.

I did make the Black Banana cake, I had 4 large bananas so made just over double the recipe and made 3 cakes. Before they were completely cold I cut one, Oh My Word, let me blow my own trumpet, it was sooo good. Far too good and utterly moreish. We resisted temptation but the SO did wonder whether we should give one to W, he was only joking. At least I choose to believe that he was.

I may have eaten the little corners that fell off before finding the camera.

We settled on Pizza for dinner and in the interest of using the oven to capacity I made 2 loaves as well. 
One just basic wholemeal.
One a take on Bara Brith, with lots of cinnamon and mixed dried fruit with some candied peel and a couple of tablespoons of homemade marmalade.
The pictures refused to load. Duh.
These will NOT be cut till completely cold. 

I may have hidden the bread knife.

The butter may be hiding in the veg drawer.

Sometimes it has to be done.

Just 2 days ago this tin was full to the brim with my 10 minute cookies.

I have eaten one.

The dogs can not open the tin.


The grey skies started to clear late afternoon yesterday and this morning is bright and sunny. Woo Hoo.

A second pair of socks were cast on last night, photo later.

This pair had the ends woven in and scarcely had time to land on the little table that I use when knitting, before they were grabbed and put on.
He has a serious sock addiction.

He is very knitworthy.

I am off now to peg out my washing, deep joy, and then get the dogs out for a walk. First I will need to remove Herbie from his bed. He played most of the evening with various toys and was really tired when we went to bed. Before I was in bed he had snuggled into his and was snoring.

                           TTFN                                          Pam

Wednesday 20 June 2018

Climbing back up.

Not back on top yet but getting there. I managed to take Ben and Herbie out for a little walk (or should that be swim).
It rained.
We didn't care.
We needed some fresh air.

I managed to get some photos sorted, some were not playing ball so I deleted them. No patience, that is the problem.

I did some pattern drafting over the weekend, just a casual top and skirt. The prototypes are wearable and will be fine, but there is room for considerable improvement.

A simple tee with grown on sleeves and a scoop neck, I didn't bother with facings just overlocked the edges and turned 1/4" under and sewed it down.

Simplify is my mantra.

The skirt is also simple, 2 identical skirt pieces and 4 pocket pieces. I only had a small piece of gifted fabric, a remnant from a dress, so the waistband is very narrow. I did not have a zip the right colour hence it is elasticated. Apart from that I am happy with the fit, just the right amount of fullness in the skirt for me. I will be making it with a proper waistband and zipper, I may will experiment with different pockets.Much as I like the simplicity (there it is again) of side seam inserts I do love the curved jeans style pockets, and the Hollyburn skirt pocket style. 

The log cabin quilt is done and dusted, it hangs over the bed nicely and is long enough to tuck in at the bottom. It has been folded and tucked away for the cooler weather. It is not quite as "wonky" as I had imagined so there may be another in my system, just not quite yet.

Ben is still a sofa surfer at every opportunity.

He is happy to share though.

Even shares his basket.

He is not too certain about sharing the squeaky toys though. This particular one belongs to Rufus, who brought it round to play a few days ago and left it behind.

The SO made dinner last night, it was lusher than lush. Pasta in a sauce that was bursting with good things, sweet with cherry tomatoes with the salty hits of green olives. Loads of garlic, it is the law that garlic and pasta go hand in hand, isn't it?

Tonight is undecided, a quick rummage in fridge and freezer will settle the matter. 

I have a small heap of things on the sewing table to sort through and a few inches of a cardigan front to knit.
There are lovely speckled bananas in the fruit bowl, I have some glorious dark chocolate and some toasted hazelnuts. I feel a Nigel Slater Black banana cake coming on, make that 2, W likes a homemade cake on a fairly regular basis. 

He has become a good friend as well as a neighbour and deserves a treat as much as we do. Plus I will not put the oven on for one thing and we would eat 2 cakes as fast as , the recipe never fails even though I tweak it every time.

I just had a moment of excitement, I though that the sun had broken through. It was just the sky lightening, so perhaps the sun is on it's way for a visit.
 Thanks to Bovey Belle I have found where to get the Cordyline that the SO wants. We will probably leave till tomorrow when I hope to be back on top form.

That's all for today, I must get that stuff sorted I want my sewing table back, I plan on a second top in white with some satin stitch embroidery and some satin binding in the same colour. I will share whether it works or is a dismal failure.

                         TTFN                                 Pam