Saturday 29 September 2018

Saturday Shorty.

The last push today for the wall and patio. It will involve moving .
the heaviest slabs, we saved the best for last. Not

I will be helping with the lifting and in between carrying on with the general tidy up business. The gas barbie will be moving down to the new patio, so a large area near the shed and greenhouse will become MINE, all MINE. I have plans, I have planters, compost and seeds. 
Once Spring has sprung it will be a potted herb and salad patch.

The Jack and Jill seat will also be moving, another free area for me, no firm plans for that just yet.

Behind the raised beds is a very solid and tall fence, I am going to plant at least one pear tree there and either Espalier or Fan train it. There is space for 2 which would help pollination, lots of pears are self pollinating but you get a better crop if there are two. 
I have looked around and there is not another pear tree to be seen close enough.

Here are my latest Wool warehouse goodies......Well they would be if the 'puter would let me access them.

Instead here is my new cupboard

I have opened the top and bottom cupboards and everything that I need is at my fingertips now. There is even room for a cuppa, and the 'puter lives on the top

I will have another bash at getting that photo later, if not I will take another. 
I am off now to help move the slabs before I walk Herbie and Rufus.

                           TTFN                                        Pam

Friday 28 September 2018

Blimey O'Riley

We were hard at it hammer and tongs all day yesterday.

It all started with a simple remark from me, along the lines of....

" I could do with a taller unit in the living room to keep my current knitting projects in, big enough to take a few of my stitch pattern books as well"
Just one of those casual throw away things that we all utter from time to time, thinking out loud. Before you could say Jack Robinson, always supposing that you wanted to, we were in the car and offski.

There were a few things that the SO wanted from B & M, they have a decent building section in Neath.
They also have quite a lot of flat pack furniture, some good and some not so good.

We left 10 minutes later with a load of sand and cement and a tallish slimline unit.
Once home it was only a matter of moments before he had the unit unpacked and assembled.

Wonderful you may think, how good is that????????????????

You would be so right and also so very wrong................................

The unit was just a sliver too wide to fit..................................
Even though we both measured it.

It became A Challenge.
Strike that.
It became THE Challenge.

The display cabinets were emptied of all his models and various bits of china, glass and other pieces.

Shelves were taken out, doors removed.

Every Little Bit was washed/dusted/polished and all the glass was cleaned as well.

Of course every little bit had to have a temporary home while the cleaning happened and the cabinets were moved.

Bang went my "tidy the sewing room" endeavours.

The moving meant that carpet and skirting boards, that had not seen the light of day for many, many months, had to be cleaned as well.

We walked a thousand steps and more. We pushed and pulled, lifted and turned until we could move no more, and then we carried on till all was right.

The unit is just right, just big enough to take what I wanted it to, not big enough to hold anything else. There is an extra bit of floor space that takes my craft light, I no longer bang my elbow when I reach for anything.

He is happy, I is happy, the dogs is happy. We is one big happy family.

Nothing much happened to the wall and patio, but he did go over to our neighbours and moved a set of steps for them and tidied the area up.

Today we will both be out in the garden, more pushing, pulling, lifting and another thousand steps or so.
Fit? Fit to drop more like.

The forecast is for a good weekend so the job will be finished.

He Who Can decrees it so.

She who tries will assist as best she can.

Always supposing that I survive I will join you on the morrow.

                              TTFN                                 Pam

Thursday 27 September 2018

It really is the Little Things.

We recycle every thing possible, stuff that can not go down that route is composted/re purposed/ taken down into components and as a final option goes to black bag rubbish. I say bag but we have a wheelie bin, it is emptied every 2 weeks and some weeks the base is not covered. I have 3 bags in the utility, 1 for plastic and cans, 1 for paper and cardboard and 1 for everything else. Just so that I am not running outside every few minutes.
 There is also a small bin for compost and another for cooked food waste, that goes to the council compost site on a weekly basis.

There are times when the wrong item goes into one of these bags. Whilst I was "doing" the kitchen and utility this morning I thought of a jolly wheeze, a way to prevent this and the subsequent muttering once the bag had to be emptied.
I emptied them all, brought them into the kitchen and fetched a permanent black marker (gosh they do whiff a bit). I duly spread 2 bags out, on the floor I hasten to add, and marked each for the contents. Great big capital letters on both sides of each bag.

P & C for paper and cardboard, let that dry and hung it up.
Next bag.
P & C for plastic and cans, let that dry and hung it up.

Then the penny dropped, with a resounding CLANG.

I now have a new bag duly anointed with  T & P for tins and plastic.

The glass goes straight out into a lidded collection bin. No worries on that score.

It took me right back to my first Freezer, a monstrous creature with walls about 6" thick and a motor that could have been first cousin to a Perkins diesel engine. Noisy, oh yes.

I embarked upon a baking marathon cakes, pies of all persuasions, pasties and the like. I had a large farmhouse kitchen and all the sweet things were on the dresser and all the savoury on the table. No accidents here.

Once all were cool and the detritus cleaned away I set to wrapping and labelling.
I am sure you can see the results.
An S for sweet. and another S for savoury.
The only good thing was that the sweet S was red which ran out, meaning that the savoury S was blue. Phew, disaster avoided, just.

It also helped that I have always decorated the tops of savoury pies and never sweet ones.
I do remember being in a shop with my grand daughter about 25 years ago and at the top of her voice she asked the counter assistant why the apple pies were decorated with blobs (her word) of pastry when everybody knew that you only did that to savoury pies. She had just started school and "why" was her favourite word.

Little things, they can niggle.

I am off in a minute to have my Flu Jab, as luck would have it I walked past the surgery yesterday and spotted a notice stating that the jabs  for over 65,s were being done in alphabetical order this year and A - E's day was the 27th. The past years it has been a free for all. The new regime means that the SO, as an asthma patient will have to go on a different day.

Once I get back it will be a cuppa and then time for a dog walk, I am hoping that the exercise will push the vaccine round fast and any side effects will be over pdq.

I have promised the sewing room a couple of hours of my time this afternoon, really needs a couple of days but little and often is less tedious.

                               TTFN                                    Pam

Wednesday 26 September 2018

To Podcast, or not

I do enjoy watching a wide variety of podcasts/ vlogs or whatever you like to call them. I do not care for the adverts that pop up, but you can skip most of them, I do understand why they are there.

I can not see myself ever undertaking such an adventure. I am simply not techy enough and far too tight to fork out for the equipment. Think of all the fabric and yarn that I could have.

There is also the fact that I find the thought of recording, editing and then getting it all on the 'puter quite a chore.

I love to blog and my mind has a myriad of things to write about. I sometimes write so much that I have to cut some out. That is easy with the written word. I guess that with a video it is not so simple, I have seen more than a few videos where it is obvious that chunks have been removed. I have also watched many that are so professional that you can not see the cracks at all. Then there are the ones who state that there will be no editing, sometimes it works and sometimes it makes for a hot, disjointed mess.

Then of course there are the days when I simply can not sit down for long enough to turn the lap top on, never mind write anything. Plus there is the odd day here and there that I just can not summon up the interest and enthusiasm to write anything.

If you are podcasting to a schedule you can not just miss one out without annoying your followers. I understand that some people regard the whole thing as a full time job, and do indeed make a good living from it. 

First you have to carve out a niche, something that nobody else does. There are stacks of them out there devoted to cleaning, shopping, slimming, baby care and so on. 

I have neither the inclination or the dedication to do any of this and certainly not the level of perseverance required.

If the chance of a day out came on a podcasting day then the day out would win hands down. BUT that is just me, if I was a young Mum and wanted to be at home with my children it might be a different matter.

I could not promote anything that I would not use myself and love above all it's competition, not for any amount of freebies.

That,s enough of that, I am still carrying on as normal. Knitting through the stash and intending to get some sewing on the go. Let us hope that those intentions do not end up paving the road to hell.

I have used enough stash yarn that a storage rack has been  banished, it was not harmed and has gone to a very good home. 

I have had a bit of a binge, not just on the lovely hand dyed yarns from recent posts. Oh No, I was just window shopping on Wool Warehouse and spotted some" commercial" sock yarn. (That is a phrase beloved by many who have knitting and crochet podcasts) at a very good price. I will share it soon, promise. Then I had a look for some more Pink and Sparkly yarn, Francesca does have an inner Barbie. To no avail so I "shopped local" and contacted Jennie of Owl about Yarn. She is very kindly dying me some yarn to order, my request was quite simple, Pink, Sparkly and bright. 

Now Jennie has suggested that some other tones, shades and a few speckles might be in order. She is the expert, I did buy some of her yarn when I went to Wonder Wool, so I have given her free rein. 

After all if someone asked me to cook a meal with ingredients that would not go together I would make a few suggestions or back away.

I would say that if any of you have not visited her shop on Etsy then you should go and have a look.

No I have not been asked to recommend her, I just love her work along with Rosies Moments and Little French Meadow. 

On that note I have to say that Herbie has just gone to sit under his lead and harness. His way of telling me to get off my btm.

He is a bossy little thing, that is probably the Jack Russell part of him. 

                        TTFN                                      Pam.

Tuesday 25 September 2018

What's it all about, Anybody?

The bodyguard program I mean. I have not been watching it but after all the "feeding frenzy" that is all over radio and TV I thought that I should have a look. The SO downloaded it last night and we watched the first episode. Those deep set dark eyes, all that shading(?). 
Brooding looks, dark hair, dark pools for eyes. Oh er, Is it? can it be? 
 Oh My Word it's Heathcliff, but where was Kate of the flailing arms?

Now now all you fans, there is no need to get excited. I will give the second episode a look as well, in the interests both of fairness and the fact that I might miss something good.

It was good seeing Mrs Durrell again, lets hope that she doesn't get tipsy and make a fool of herself.

This is all in jest, I have not set out to offend anyone. It is, after all, a work of Fiction! It does, however, take me back to the heady days of The Forsythe saga, do you remember?
The Churches in many areas put Evensong back to allow their parishioners time to see it, the churches would have been empty if they hadn't.

Come to think of it Soames was a dark haired, dark eyed brooder with "issues". There is nothing new under the sun, as my Granny would say on a regular basis.
I remember when I made my first mini skirt and my Mun tutted rather pointedly, My Granny just said that the flappers dresses were positively indecent behind all the fringes, and do you remember that Chinese style dress with the slit up to your thigh? your dad made you wear 2 pairs of knickers just in case. I fell about laughing and dad choked on his coffee.

Silly season may just have made a comeback. I am a bit off piste here.

Anyhoo, I had a grand day out yesterday.

 A visit with Chrissie, tea, chat and knitting, a pop in to see Sue and drool over some fabric in the Flying Goose. 
Then a bite of lunch.......Bite....Who am I trying to kid, it was more of a controlled slurp.

Off again to see Bovey Belle for more knitting, more tea and Joy of Joy's CAKE!!! Home made (of course) Carrot Cake, what can I say. Moist,soft, tasty and a HUGE slice, no tasting the knife in that house.
I didn't pick the plate up and lick it, even though I thought about it. I can be polite, it did take will power.

We chatted away, put the world to rights, and did some knitting. I did a demonstration of my way of joining to knit in the round and the kitchener stitch. Why is it so difficult to explain something that you do without conscious thought ? it is akin to giving driving directions in your home town, you suddenly realise that although you could almost do it blindfold you can not tell anyone whether it is the 2 nd left after the big roundabout or the 3 rd. 

On that confusing thought I am off to get Rufus and Herbie on their morning walk. The sun is shining,it is dry with very little or no wind and the air is crisp. Just Perfick.

             TTFN                                         Pam

PS. I came back from my last visit with a massive box of apples, I know that I have a relatively decent crop from my trees but 2 of them are mini trees and the others are too young to crop fully. That booty was most appreciated, just as much as the cake.

Sunday 23 September 2018

Quelle Surpise!

What a lot of talent on Strictly last night, along with a couple of nerve ridden celebs, I was really surprised. I had not expected it to be a particularly  good show and only knew a few of the contestants. That Strictly First, a quickstep in the first show was truly am az ing along with several other dances.
I cast on my first official Strictly Sock, one pair was finished before it even started properly tut tut.

These will be part of Fran's birthday gift. her Dad dyed the yarn. I am using her "recipe" and a centre pattern in the Old Shale stitch.

I did manage to bend the rules and knit for most of the evening.
Ali of the Little drops of Wonderful podcast, who is running the sock-a-long is allowing wips. 
Soooo as well as starting these I also finished off a pair of DK socks which will be part of Fran's Christmas gift, I cast on several pairs in August and got them all to the same point. It will take very little time to get each pair finished while I watch the daily catch up show. dk knits up so fast and with only 48 stitches the rounds whizz by.
 One of the rules is to bend every rule and get as much sneaky knitting in as possible. I am all for sneaky knitting.

Dinner last night was home made pizza, loads of veg, a home made tomato sauce and some yellow sticker Mozzarella, it was reduced fat but did the job very well.

Tonight we will have fish pie, with a sweet potato topping, sweetcorn and broccoli. There is a Pineapple Upside Down cake, I found some pineapple that I froze a few months ago, and Greek Yogurt for pudding if we need one.
The pineapples had been reduced to 30p, less than the cost of a small tin of the cheapest value anywhere, so I emptied the shelf.

The day started dry, then wet and just now the sun is glimmering, almost shining, but the forecast is wet. 
I hope for better tomorrow as I am off out visiting for the day. 
driving in rain holds no appeal for me.

A few hours have passed since the last paragraph. The dogs were walked as the sun came out to play. Washing was done and pegged out, soup was made. i went out to get the washing in just as a mini wannabe tornado wooshed through the garden and my whirlygig went down like a felled oak tree. luckily it landed on the fence and no washing was damaged or even marked.

Off we went to Ponty to look for another in Argos, I should have gone to Ammanford and tried Wilko, there was a road block with 3 police vehicles and 1 small car just off the entrance to the retail park. When we finally got through there was nothing other than a cheap as chips puny little thing that I wouldn't trust with my undies.

I will be going via Ammanford tomorrow so will have a look in Wilko's, fingers crossed that I find one as i do not fancy trekking to Swansea or Carmarthen.

Now I am flustered, hot and bothered and I still have the bed to make, it may have to wait till after dinner.

I am off to walk Ben and Herbie while the sun shines, oooooh nearly forgot, I have (hopefully) my last appointment early next month to get my mouth back in order. It will be so good to be able to crunch through salads again.

                     TTFN                                   Pam

Friday 21 September 2018

Slop in a pot.

When I worked in the Deli food factory that was our pet name for all the soft salads, rice, potato, pasta and various bean and veg mixes bound in a sauce.

That is also what we have been eating this week, casserole type dishes and some really delicious soup. the idea was to go through the fridge and use every bit of veg therein.
It almost worked, I have a few sticks of celery, a yellow pepper, a few carrots and a swede and half of a big celeriac that were both reduced to clear on Wednesday and irresistible.

I love those old fashioned winter warming dishes but enough is enough. I need something more formed (not too hard as the mouth is still not healed) but I want a plate and a knife and fork in front of me, rather than a dish and spoon.

The problem is that my mind has taken a back seat and won't even come up with a single suggestion, the SO is no better.

I quite like the thought of pastry but then crisp Yorkshire Pudding and Roasties have a certain appeal.

Whatever it ends up being there will be mushrooms involved.
I love mushrooms and add them to every possible dish, I often pick them up with a yellow sticker on for pennies and then slice and freeze. The last few weeks there have been none to see and I worked my way through the ones in the freezer. I usually keep a couple of tins in for times when only a mushroom omelette will do. A couple of weeks back I was in Farm foods and spotted bags of them so one went into the basket.

Never Again, I tipped some out to use 2 days ago and the amount of water that came out of them was scandalous. I have just tipped the remaining 310 grams into a sieve, over a bowl, to thaw.
I will be weighing both mushrooms and liquid and will let you know the results.

I anticipate sending a "snottagram" off later in the day. in fairness the packaging does say to cook from frozen for "best results"
The microwave cooking instructions say to add water!! 
Boiled rubber anyone?

I also know that mushrooms do give off quite a bit of liquid, but this is dark and aromatic, not obviously water. From my food production background I deduce that these have been soaked in a major amount of water during the process. Mushrooms are akin to sponges in that can take up huge amounts of water.

Oh dear, I think I had a "soap box moment".

BUT, the sun is shining, the wind has dropped, it did escalate during the afternoon and evening and record wind speeds were recorded over the Gower peninsular last night.

I have a small shopping list, top of it is fresh mushrooms as once thawed and weighed I am not sure that I will want to eat those FF ones. They were fine in the soup, I did chop them very fine as they were a bit rubbery though.

Now I am off to throw all the windows wide open and give the house a good airing, I may even risk a load of washing to peg out. There is a small pile of socks to be hand washed so they will definitely be out there soon, very soon.

                       TTFN                                           Pam

Thursday 20 September 2018

Tiny is not for me.

I have had some emails from the Tiny House Society offering some collaborative posts.
I do sometimes look at Tiny Houses, I am a bit nosy you know,  I find them intriguing and quite interesting. I have picked up several tips on storage, I have sofa's with cavernous storage underneath, and some ideas on placement of furniture.

But, and it is a big but, the idea of trying to fit my crafting stash alone into that size space makes me break into a cold sweat. Not to mention my kitchen contents, and I do use every single item in there. Much of my equipment has multi use, the wok is perfect for a batch of soup, (sunshine soup for lunch today) or for a pasta sauce.

Last night,s dinner, cooked in the wok. I did break up the fish steaks, the SO had his with pasta.

Here it is in the wok.

I could lose some of my knives, Haha, as though that will happen. I worked long hours to afford the best knives that I could find and they will outlive me and still be razor sharp.

The bread maker is a one use item, I see no gain in making cakes or jam in it, but it gives me wonderful bread at low cost and no waste.

The maslin pan has not been used for preserving this year as I made far too much last year. It has however cooked a few large joints of gammon that would not fit into any other pot. 

I have sent off a reply declining the offer for those reasons, I will not be a hypocrite and promote something that I do not and will not ever use. 

I want to be free to write whatever pops into my mind and not have to answer to anybody.

That said I do mention some of the places where I buy yarn and fabric from. I would not do this if I did not buy from them. 

I like to be as prompt to pat as I am quick to kick when a product or service is not up to scratch.

I watch several podcasts based on yarn and fabric, I hear some of the presenters say that "this is my favourite yarn ever" about a skein that has been given to them. The next episode they have a brand new "softest, squishiest, absolute favourite yarn in the world".
That is not my way and I often wonder if those people ever listen to what they are saying.
The main exception to that is Kay from the Bakery bears, I have watched from the first episode and never heard that type of statement. I have in fact heard her mention that type of thing and vow never to do it herself.

I shop at Tesco, Home Bargains, Farm Foods and Pound Stretcher because they are my closest shops. They all have their pros and cons. I have heard a few disgruntled comments about certain shops and my reply is simply "if you don't like it go elsewhere".

Oops I seem to have jumped on the soapbox without noticing. sorry but sometimes my fingers and mind runaway with themselves.

I did set out with an idea of what to write about but this has now run screaming from the room, if it does return I will use it tomorrow.

Today we have more rain but very little wind, apparently it will be fine and dry next week. I do hope so as we both want to spend time in the garden.

Bingo I just caught that subject as it tried to slink past me.

Email. The laptop has had a bit of a hissy fit and emptied my inbox and deleted everything in my address book and contact list. I did have a couple of back to back updates so perhaps its nose was put out of joint.

I have been struggling with accessing the patron only content of the Bakery Bears. The wonderful Dan has been a great help and, fingers crossed, all is now back to normal.

I am so not tech savvy that I am pleased to take help wherever I can find it. Sometimes the help proffered is more confusing than the original issue. Just like some knitting patterns, and recipes come to that, the person who produces the tutorial/video/pattern assumes a level of knowledge far beyond what is reasonable. after all if you knew a great deal you would not be seeking help.

I tried to contact Patreon to find out what was wrong, I could only get a generic reply telling me how to navigate the login page.
Fine, but the issue was that the login page would not load. 
That was not recognised as a request for help as it did not fit in with the list of help queries. 
So Not Helpful.
Anyway what ever the wonderful Dan has done it worked and all is well.

Now I am off to get the kettle on. all this writing and getting hot under the collar is thirsty work.

It may be that a slice of cake will slip onto a plate, on the other hand I may be able to resist.
we did have a bowl of wonderful soup each for lunch.

"Every veg in the fridge" soup plus 2 little chillies off my large plant, they are so colourful and go from green to purple to red. They are also quite fiery and to be treated with respect.

                        TTFN                                     Pam

Wednesday 19 September 2018

WIP shrinkage

One down, 8 to go, pairs of socks that is. The garments in waiting can wait a bit longer.

This pair are now tucked away in the sock drawer, perfect for wearing with boots on dog walks when it is frosty.

This is the next WIP to get my attention, I had completely forgotten them. The yarn has been here for a few months and I cast them on within hours of the delivery. Then Fran asked for something and they haven't seen the light of day from then to last night. I had knitted the toes and finished the increases, so a few rounds went on last night while we binge watched Killing Eve.
 Not a bad watch but a few loose ends to carry over to the next series.

Apart from the garden being a no go area, all of the great outdoors really, thanks to the tail end of storms that are shedding their water content all over the show. Life has continued ticking away gently here.
The normal chores, a bit of random baking and some extra polishing. That is merely to keep me moving and reflect whatever natural light that is trickling in.

I had assembled a pile of things to donate so we went off to Ammanford this morning and dropped those off. While we were there we had a nose round Tesco and picked some barganicious shopping. Packs of 5% minced beef were reduced along with some Sirloin steaks at less than half price.
I can see chillies, pasta dishes and Yorkshire Puddings filled with mince and veg in our future. I make all of those on a regular basis but with half price meat it seems to taste even better.
 Raisin and Cinnamon bagels (for the SO) and some wholemeal baps for much less than I can make them are now safely in the freezer.
The SO likes a fish finger sarnie every now and then so when I spotted packs of 4 Large breaded fish steaks on a promotion for £1.50 I snapped up 2 boxes. They will be easier than fingers to put in a roll.

There was a mega naughty buy, a Zillionaires Shortbread at half price caught the SO's eye and he promptly turned into a little boy! Puppy dog eyes and a wistful expression were turned in my direction, in the trolley it went. A chunk of that will be going to W to soothe his sweet tooth. I don't like it at all, not even if I make it myself far too much of a tooth curling sweet overload for me.

My shopping list has been decimated for Friday so I will possibly do a quick tinned and dry goods stock take and have a shop up on those.

Tonight's dinner is cod steaks in a tomato, onion and basil sauce. I will serve it on a bed of Savoy cabbage and cook a little pasta for the SO. 
I will just sweat off some red onion and garlic, throw in a chopped red pepper and a tsp of dried basil along with a tin of chopped tomatoes. I may sear the fish or it may go straight in with a handful of fresh basil for 5 minutes. A simple, easy and very tasty dinner,I use quite a bit of dried basil in cold weather meals as it adds a note of warmth, the heat of chilli would swamp the fish flavour. 
In summer fish dishes I tend to reach for French Tarragon or dill.

That's all for now, it is dry and bright so an extra walk is in order, just in case of bad weather later.

                     TTFN                                     Pam

Monday 17 September 2018

A quick grovel

Dear Sheila,
Who is too busy to iron tea towels.
I made a boo boo.
I sent your comment on my socks to spam.
I take full responsibility, nobody jogged my elbow. Herbie did not throw himself at me, Ben was sleeping his dinner off and the SO was not in the room.
Fingers crossed that I have not consigned any future ones to the same fate.

I could blame my tummy, there are a take on Chicken kievs in the oven, these are stuffed with pesto and coriander.

Pam xx

Happy, happy post.

Monday morning, warm, slightly wet and windy. Housework day. The day when furniture gets hauled around, the vacuum cleaner goes into warp speed and the whole house has a miasma of polish, Zoflora  and bleach.

I love it.

But this Monday was even better than all that times 5.

The Postie brought me a little parcel of squishy loveliness.

I only ordered these the other day from Rosie's Moments.

This is 50% Merino 50% silk. The colour is garden flowers.
It will be a gift, once knitted.

It came with a lavender bag and this cute little sheep progress keeper.


This skein is 70% superwash Merino, 20% Yak and 10% Nylon.
It will be knitted into socks for the SO, I did tell him that it was Pink and Purple and I am sure there was a look of relief when the parcel was opened.

I am itching to get them cast on but have resigned myself to knitting through the sock WIPs first.
I have 7 pairs on the needles, my fuzzy ones and 6 pairs for Fran. They are to be part of her Christmas present, and the start of a new Tradition, I have got them all to the start of gusset increases so it will be a fairly quick job.
I have been galvanised into this plan of action by a new Craft Along. I have been watching The Project Bag podcast and Gemma has started this off to help her work through her own WIPs.

Just what I needed to get me focused and pointed in the right direction.

This has to be a quick visit ,coffee break, as I still have the bathroom to bottom and another load of laundry to do. I would normally leave it till I could peg out but the forecast is pretty dire and it is all the sofa throws and cushion covers. I have no room to keep those bulky items except for the bathroom or utility room floor. That is so not going to happen.

See you tomorrow, all being well.

                          TTFN                              Pam

Sunday 16 September 2018

Socky Wocky Doo Dah

What a glorious day, if you are a duck maybe. I guess that even Ducks get fed up with the rain.
I got up to leaden skies that seemed to be skimming the roof line, out of that came drizzle, pouring down, a bit more drizzle and then the heavens really opened.
I did manage to get Herbie out for a quick walk, more of a mad dash truth be told. Ben took one look out of the front door, shook his head in amazement at my foolishness, turned round and marched to the back door. It was obviously garden time for him.

The SO and I were in agreement, sofa surfing was the order of the day. We did do all the normal chores first though.

I did the fridge sort and tidy, there is now a wonderfully aromatic veg curry cooling down, tomorrows dinner.

A puff pastry lattice filled with salmon and bechamel sauce is in the oven, along with a sweet potato in it's jacket, we will share that. A small tray of chopped courgette is in there also and there are carrots, broccoli and cauliflower steaming on the hob. I am looking forward to that.

fast forward..... just as I typed the last paragraph the timer pinged and dinner was ready. It was delicious.

I have been knitting, of course that is what rainy days were made for, and one sock is finished and it's partner started.

The yarn is Drops Delight Print, a very plump 4 ply with a halo.

I knitted the gusset and heel in eye of partridge stitch and it is really soft and a bit bouncy. These are going to be lovely and warm in my boots when the cold weather gets here. I only wear short socks with boots as I either have trousers or thick tights on.

I have enjoyed my lazy day but hope that there are not too many of them. I like to keep busy and soon get fidgety if I am idle.

I need to check to see if a walk is on the cards, Ben will keep the sofa warm for me but Herbie needs to burn up some energy.
I feel much the same, I need a walk and some fresh air. If it is still hammering down I will wear my dryzabone and see if I can wrestle Herbie into a coat.

                    TTFN                                               Pam

Saturday 15 September 2018

Spot the mistake.

My pink and sparkly socks are off the needles, I cast off the last stitch last night (Thursday)  and darned the ends in. I whipped my socks off ready to try them on but could only find one.

Then I looked right and the SO had the other one on!

The mistake was to take my eyes off them when he was around. he is a real sock fiend and would indeed wear them, with pride.


So there they are. His feet are longer and thinner than mine.

I soon rescued it and tucked them away ready to be washed.

Here they are, I love them.

A bit of a close up to show you the Dittany stitch pattern.

Of course I cast on another right away, I just made up a little yarn over knit 2 together eyelet pattern. A 4 row repeat, totally mindless knitting. I am now on the gusset increases and as the yarn is super soft I am using the eye of partridge heel stitch. I will carry that on up the heel for extra strength.

I will be wearing the pink ones while I watch Strictly and knit another pair, I better get busy finding the right yarn.
Problem solved, I just too a minute to pop over to Rosie's Moments and picked up 2 skeins. Yes, I did say 2 but I do knit fast and they were on sale, they will also be gifts.
That's it I have no more reasons to give. I will share when they arrive and you will see why.

This is now the next day and my yarn has been posted, such service is amazing.

I do have 38 grams of the pink yarn left, I will be on the lookout for a contrast to use for toes, heels and cuffs and another pair will be born.

My name is Pam and I am a full on sock knitting addict.

I hope that I never recover, there is always a pair of feet somewhere that deserve a pair of hand knitted socks.

More garden work happened yesterday, that is why this has run over. By the time that we had cleared up and showered all I wanted to do was eat, walk the dogs and knit for a while. We were in bed by 9 and asleep in seconds.

Now it is lunch time, and a good thing to as we both have the rumblies in the tumblies.

All that lifting and walking burns up the energy reserves P D Q.

                    TTFN                                              Pam

Friday 14 September 2018

Whinge of the week

Why don't:-

People with aggressive dogs walk them with a muzzle.

Drivers leave 10 minutes early so they do not have to take chances, and cause accidents like the one on the Neath road this morning.

Dog walkers clean up behind their dogs.

Parents walking children keep them on the side of the pavement away from the road.

Walkers leave their earbuds out so they can hear the traffic.

Pedestrians stand still while texting, rather than wandering into the path of others.

Car drivers who have their windows open turn the volume down on radios.

People who smoke stub their cigarettes out rather than flick them willy nilly, regardless as to where they may land.

On line retailers take things off their website that are no longer in stock, or even sold by them now.

All supermarkets sell wonky fruit and veg boxes.

Clothing manufacturers get together and implement a cross the board sizing policy.

Advertising standards crack down on the proliferation of ridiculous claims, just how many different brands of toothpaste do you have to use to protect your pearly whites.

I think that's enough to be going on with.

Just taking a coffee break before going back to the garden.

                 TTFN                                             Pam

Thursday 13 September 2018

Off to a flying start

The rebuilding has started,not as intended though, as the wall came down it was evident that a great deal was comprised of old bricks, lumps of concrete and other rubbish.
The SO was emphatic that nothing but stone was going into his wall!
Luckily there are stones scattered through the garden, I seem to be missing a few slabs from the path though. He also decided to use mortar as even with my path (!) there might not be enough for dry stone. I am pleased as there is a lot of soil behind that wall and the garden drops down to the it. Probably the reason that it was in such a bad state.


The stone waiting to be cleaned.
My job.

The SO at work.

So far, so good.
Very good.

I am very happy with how it is turning out and am looking forward to seeing the end result.

While I had the camera out I thought that I would share these with you.

I bought these plants for the front window box but decided to put them here.

I am sure they are happy here, they seem to be smiling widely. There are some miniature Penstemons in there, I found them in
 B & M a few weeks ago. If they turn out to be too tall I will fit them in the garden somewhere.

I have done my usual inside jobs and taken the dogs out as well as labouring for the SO. At a loose end after lunch, more yummy soup, I took some cuttings. I know that it is a bit late but fingers crossed they will come good.
I had a couple of Pelargoniums that put on a good show so 3 of each of those have been tucked away and then I started on the Hydrangeas. I know that it is a bit late but I have 3 cuttings from 2 of my plants and another 3 plants to go. That will be tomorrows task, there is some ironing that needs my attention (drat and double drat) so that is next on the agenda.

I have nearly finished the Strictly socks, soooo I shall wear them while watching, if I stick with it, and knit another pair. Or two.

I just have to say a big hello and welcome to my new followers, I hope that you all enjoy my babbling, I have a grasshopper mind and it tends to bounce all over the place.

Talking about bouncing, Herbie went to bed the other night as a proper little Jug and got up as a cross between Zebedee and Tigger. I had to borrow Rufus from W and take him for a long walk. I was exhausted just watching him tearing around like a mad thing.

On that note I will go and tear into that ironing.

                     TTFN                                     Pam

Wednesday 12 September 2018

She's no lady.

Alchamilla Mollis, AKA Ladies Mantle, is the "She" here. More like Bill Sykes,s coat as far as I can see.
 Don't get me wrong, the acid green flowers are often in my vases. The froth is a wonderful way to make a few blooms fill a vase. There were 2 fairly small plants in my garden last year, but the heat wave seems to have put them into overdrive. I spent a very sweaty couple of hours digging a veritable forest of them out this afternoon.

They were growing like Triffids (and breeding like rabbits seemingly) along the front bed of my garden. I had noticed but the significance of such a proliferation escaped me. Then this morning I realised that they were choking the life out of my roses and fuchsias. Not Good.

The SO is taking down a dry wall in the back garden, resulting in mountains of soil, and I saw a way to kill 2 birds....

The front bed had a very low soil level, the retaining wall was standing almost a foot proud the whole length, not a real issue but annoying.
I removed nearly all of the offending plants and saw that there was room to build up the soil level around the roses, without burying the graft too deep.

Cue some more sweaty work shovelling soil into the barrow, wheeling it to the front garden and then shovelling it into the bed.
I have almost finished, an hour tomorrow should see the back of it. It looks so much better, I did take the opportunity to remove some very straggly lavender plants and now have some gaps for more plants. Woo Hoo.

First thing tomorrow we are off to the builders yard for sand and ballast. There is talk off a concrete ring beam that will morph into a potted herb garden, I did hear the words patio and seating  but by then I was deep in what herbs, how many and have I got enough pots.

Once finished in the garden I took the time to make soup, a small butternut squash, 4 smallish carrots, 2 sweet potatoes and an onion were peeled and chopped. A chilli from my plant and 5 cloves of garlic were peeled and minced.
A little oil in a pan, 1 tbsp fenugreek seeds heated till they sizzled a bit then a tbsp or so of ground cardamom a little ground ginger and cumin joined the party. In with the veg and a good stir round and 5 minutes on a low heat. Then I covered the veg with boiling water, added 2 veg stock cubes and a good grind of black pepper. Brought back to boil and then simmered for 35 minutes with a lid on, the veg was soft,the smell was making me swoon so in with the wand liquidiser. 
Oh My Word, delish, Oops I forgot to say that I threw in some fenugreek leaves when the soup hit the boil mark.
The chilli note was there so I spooned a little soup into a bowl for a taste test. 
It's a hard job but has to be done.
Very nice, but just a little too much burn at the back of the throat, I have Greek coconut yogurt in the fridge at all times and a dollop of that tamed the beast.
Once cooled down half went to W, along with some yogurt, and the rest is in the fridge for tomorrows lunch. 
The wall will be put back tomorrow, the SO will be the builder and I will be the labourer so it will be most acceptable if not downright essential, with a slice of bread possibly.

It is now walkies time so I better get a wriggle on. 

                      TTFN                                        Pam
PS I did have a shower before cooking, it was really necessary.

Tuesday 11 September 2018

Hunter gathering.

Not too good on the hunting side (It was never going to happen in reality) but a full on Gathering afternoon.

Once all the chores were done and lunch was made, eaten and cleared away I put on sturdy boots and a thorn proof gilet, collected various receptacles with lids and a decent bag to carry them in. I set off "down the stones", that is the common term for the disused railway track that runs through the village. Most of the sleepers and track have gone and the ground spread with large chippings or "stones". 

I had eyed up a good stand of blackberries and was hoping that the recent wet weather had not ruined them. I am happy to say that I was soon blessed with about 3 kilos of large juicy berries, purple fingers embellished with a goodly collection of prickles. 
I also spotted a wealth of rose hips that may be coming home with me at a later date.
On my way back I remembered spotting a crab apple tree last year, it had hardly any fruit but thought that I may as well check it out.I am happy to say that I topped up the carrier bag and filled all my pockets with apples. I have just used the last jar of Rosemary and Apple jelly so that is in my to do plan for this morning.

Dinner was a full on winner last night, although it was a bit on the fiery side, I added half of a chilli from my new plant and that was plenty.

The bacon pack had 2 very chunky bits of smoked bacon in and I used the largest. I cut it in half and put one half to cook in one of the cans of fizzy orange, this was after it had been soaked in several changes of cold water. It is now in the fridge waiting to be used later.

The rest I cut off every scrap of fat and then diced up ready for cooking. I then prepped and diced a red onion, red pepper, 3 sticks of celery, 2 courgettes (from the garden) and sliced up quarter of a cabbage that was lurking in the fridge. The chilli and 2 cloves of garlic and the kernels off 3 mini corn cobs and then I measured out 2 Tsps Chinese 5 spice and 3 Tsps garlic powder ( no vampires in this house). Along with half a carton of passata and the can of fizzy I had some fry light and blackpepper.

I sealed the bacon bits in the oil, added the onions and celery with a splash of water and cooked for around 4 minutes. In went the rest of the veg ( minus the cabbage for another 4 - 5 minutes, I then added the passata, seasoning and gave it a good stir. Poured in the fizzy and had another stir up, once it came to the boil I stirred in the cabbage then turned the heat down and let it burble away till everything was cooked and the sauce was nice and thick. Served with a sweet potato it was delicious, there was enough for 3 portions so one is in the fridge.

This morning I woke to a wet and windy day, not sorry as I want a day indoors, I aim to make the most of it. First job is to get those apples chopped and on the stove, I will venture as far as the herbs to grab some rosemary and aim to have the jelly bag set up asap.

Now I am in dire need of a cuppa and maybe a slice of toast.

                    TTFN                                              Pam