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Saturday 29 October 2011


One of the M's has been planning replacements for some of her rosebushes. She phoned local garden centres and was dismayed by the lack of variety coupled with high prices.
A web search later and I discovered a specialist rose grower in Cheshire. 
Yesterday was wall-to-wall sunshine, so we took her to the rose-grower and their garden centre.
We sat in the cafĂ© and discussed roses with the help of a catalogue. This time of year they supply bare rooted plants. Then we strolled round the garden centre, where OH found a variegated azalea M wanted. Next we went to the order department and put in two separate orders. We ought to be able to collect them mid to late November.
M and I love highly scented roses, M chose floribundas, a couple of hybrid teas and a climber. We went for Hybrid teas and a climber.

Wednesday 26 October 2011


I ought to have gone with B to see Top Hat, but OU studies got in the way. She phoned to say it had not been a memorable performance and could we have a day out together soon? I wanted to go to Culcheth to Black Sheep Wools to see what I could find. One way and another it meant Tuesday is the best day for B to go out. 
Typically I got lost time and again and before you GPS and no navigation system apart from map reading.
As B said 'We have a tongue in our heads, let's ask someone' who did we find? the local postie, best route finder there is.
So we found and investigated the place, decided it was a one-off but at least I got a pattern I'd been seeking. Then we had lunch in a local was delicious and a bargain price.

Saturday 22 October 2011

sunny day but...

One of the M's has been what we've dubbed 'Orkneyed' for the past fortnight. People she's known a long, long time who live in Orkney. They tend to stay in this area a couple of times a year and insist upon taking M with them for days out. It means she has little time to herself apart from continuing visits to hospital consultants, doctor and chemist. The 'Orkneys' have headed North, first to Durham and onwards from there. 
However, no sooner had they gone than M was told to expect a visit from I'n'J (yesterday). Our phone rang earlier on too early for M, yet it was her. All the to-ing and fro-ing is taking its toll especially as I'n'J failed to turn up. So she's fit for nothing today.

Friday 21 October 2011


Friday, bin day and this week it's all of them; red. blue and grey. So, one of the M's does her own and M next door. And, when our dogs remind us the bins have been emptied one or both OH and I return the emptied bins.  
Today I went and met one of the M's so we had a nice chat. Another part of the routine and a most welcome one. She's tired out as visitors from Orkney have been staying locally and insisting on taking her hither and thither. They're northward-bound today and M was looking forward to her weekly visit by the hairdresser followed by peace, quiet and time to herself...
However, there's been a phone-call and two other people have 'promised' to descend on her! 

As for me? The delivery man has dropped off sacks of dog food and a sack of sunflower seed hearts (bird food). I've settled back in my chair with a cappuccino waiting for the last of the bins to be emptied and to return them to their rightful properties. 
Just one little niggle...shingles pain has returned as it does now and again. It was summer 2006 when shingles attacked yet the shingles neuralgia...has continued spasmodically ever since. 

Tuesday 18 October 2011


On reading Diary of a teacher, I noted that she made soup from roasted tomatoes and onions, so I followed her example.
Out came the halogen oven, perfect for roasting veg when only doing a fairly small quantity. The result with addition of potatoes, water and Worcester sauce was very moreish. One to remember for the future.
Sadly, the tomato plants are coming to an end, even in the greenhouse. 

Before the month ends, my friend has her three score years birthday! Problem...what to buy?  The weather is dreadful, squalls of wind and rain, not the sort to venture out in, so I took recourse online...perused Debenhams and made my choice. Now it's fingers crossed it arrive in time. 

Monday 17 October 2011

In March

I relaxed and enjoyed the craic in Dublin.
This last weekend my dearest friends spent a long weekend there. 

They celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary (a short while ago)...and now she has a new wedding ring.

Sunday 16 October 2011

it's all in the words

I love crochet and knitting and have collected far more patterns than anyone could make up in a number of lifetimes! One of my click of the mouse friends in the US has posted a photo of her crochet and someone has asked her for the pattern.
So why my title 'it's all in the words'?
Let me attempt to explain...

When I knit I work right-handed as this was the way I was taught as a young child. I used to go across the 'backs' from our terraced house to the one opposite where a neighbour showed me how to knit and purl. The needles were short and the wool red. From then on I taught myself over the years, and by my teens was doing Aran patterns. Later I tried Fair Isle and Intarsia. Kaffe Fassett, Rowan patterns.

Crochet was something I discovered in my teens and as most do became good at making 'grannie squares'. However, this time I was self-taught and did everything left-handed. Working my way thro' the various stitches and combinations...

Now there are numerous patterns on the Internet, and this is where confusion arises... abbreviations are many and varied enough in English patterns, try some with US conventions and...??? Suddenly it's a new language especially in crochet...

This is when symbols mean more than words and are much clearer.

Sizing? UK modern is in mm, traditional UK is different and so too the US. 
Size 3mm aka 11 aka? no not at all in the US.
Yarn? double knitting aka worsted; Aran aka fisherman/medium... 

Monday 10 October 2011

Friday 7 October 2011

weekend special

This guy is the focus of the weekend...a truly special time

Notice, I didn't use the word 'little' as he's a hefty guy!

Here's his Daddy

Thursday 6 October 2011

Autumn favourite?

for me it has to be my quirky photo
Man and dogs wandering into the blue across Autumn moorland...

Wednesday 5 October 2011

Sayre asked what do people crave when the weather gets cooler? I'm late joining in; but it's such a good topic, I didn't want to let it slip by.

Agreeing with Sayre, yes cooler weather is soup weather especially when there's a glut of tomatoes.
Tiny Vittoria tomatoes...goodness what a lot of them and they keep on coming

Home-grown onions
It's also time for casseroles...and

Not forgetting apples, eaters and baking varieties. Perfect for making crumble. Home-made crumble usually turned out more like shortcake biscuits...
Now with my halogen oven the crumble is just that, lovely and crumbly. Make the filling and crumble topping as usual; the only difference is to wrap it in foil before putting the dish on the low rack. Halogen ovens cook very quickly. It took a bit of trial and error, hence saying use the low rack. I added some pear to the apple, no need to add any sugar to the fruit.

Fall colours

Apologies for not posting yesterday. At long last I've completed my course for this year, but it meant not doing anything else but focus on the final project yesterday.

A big Thank You to Faye at Summit Musings! 
Pyracanthus - so many berries this year. Some say a hard winter is in prospect; I hope not.

Monday 3 October 2011

Autumn sunlight?

We've had much of it , more than usual, until today that is! Today is as they say 'overcast', time to borrow from my archives...
I love the colours in this sky...

No, your eyes are not deceiving you...I slanted the image deliberately.

Sunday 2 October 2011

continuing the meme - Nature close-ups

October flowers and fruit
Strawberry ripening in October
October rose

Saturday 1 October 2011

early Fall landscapes

The latest challenge from the lovely Faye at Summit Musings...
As we're experiencing a 'little summer' rather than the first weeks of Autumn and as here in the UK we don't tend to go overboard on the changing seasons...
Ornamental grasses are growing well...
So, to get anything resembling a Fall landscape...
 Here's an autumnal tree at sunset...