30 July 2010


last night I got to babysit our little man.  He was very good, went to bed, slept the whole evening.  Then kept his Mum awake all night. I took ear plugs!!  Anyway I got to spend the day today with him.  We did some jobs for his Mum, then we went to the market.  Lots of old ladies stopped to admire him, I was very proud, especially when 2 ladies thought he was mine!!!!!  I guess their eye sight wasn't so good.  Anyway he was in a very good mood so I got loads to pictures of him, 40 actually, but I won't show you them all!!

I can't believe he is now 6 weeks old.  He's starting to really take interest, we even played peek a boo, hence the smiling face.  His Daddy had his 30th birthday yesterday, hence the reason for the babysit.

27 July 2010

Some holiday photos

Simplon Pass lunch stop

Cols des Monets

Glacier on Mont Blanc

The kittens and Mum

Part of the Mont Blanc range

Basil - my favourite - yes we named them all

Me in Lugano (lips had gone down!!)

Peter admiring the view

So the holiday – France/Italy/Switzerland.

We had a great time, 2000 miles round trip on the Harley. We had rain, lots of sun, thunderstorms and rain, luckily more sun than anything else.

Our base for the trip was in St Gervais at the foot of Mont Blanc, a beautiful area, lots of twisty roads and hair pin bends! We arrived on the Friday after riding down from Folkestone on Thursday morning and over-nighting in Nuit St George. It was very very hot so we ended up riding in t-shirts carefully. I got sunburned lips and woke on Saturday with a trout pout, women pay £££ for the look, there are no photos!! Our journey was fairly uneventful apart from one fuel stop. Radio masts + Harley = blocked ignition, so we had to push the bike away from the aerial along the hard shoulder of the motorway, not much fun in 32C heat. It must have looked funny to passing motorists as at one point we were going downhill so Peter had to coast on the bike leaving me running behind, once we were clear the bike started!!

On Saturday we were up early and headed off to the Swiss Harley Days Rally at Lake Lugano in Switzerland, this took us nearly 6 hours, longer than I had been promised, however interesting ride! I’ll say nothing about Italian drivers. We managed 3 countries in the 6 hours. Our route to Italy took us through the Mont Blanc tunnel and was mainly motorway all the way, the cost of the tolls was incredible! Arriving into Switzerland we got caught another 40 euros for a motorway pass, so all in all an expensive exercise. Lake Lugano was busy/noisy as you’d expect with 1000’s of Harley, but it looked like a good time was had by all. The temperature was 35C and very humid. We managed to find ourselves a hotel - courtesy of the Swiss Tourist Board, for the night as the trip had taken longer than expected. Shower and change and we felt much improved. We had a good day walking round looking at all the bikes, eating ice cream, a few beers, a good dinner and then rain/thunder stopped play, as all the entertainment was outside the evening sort of ended, fireworks weren’t set off. I expect the local police were really happy.

Sunday dawned sunny and dry and we decided to head back via the scenic route rather than motorway, took us longer but it was worth it for the views. Lunch on Simplon Pass. Across Mont Blanc via the Cols des Monets pass. My knee breaks work really well! Still must be good for the inner thighs.

The most of the rest of the holiday was spent in the St Gervais area, we went up Mont Blanc on the Tramway du Mont Blanc to Nid D’Aigle (about half way up) and walked around a bit checking out the glacier etc. Lots of nice lunches, pastries (you should have seen this shop), wine, ice cream. We had another sortie into Italy to buy Parmesan and Bresaola then came back via the Petit St Bernard Pass (knee breaks again!! Phew it was twisty.) A few walks, trouble is what goes down has to come back up and in this area that’s steep, still I guess it worked off some the things we ate.

A highlight of the trip were the cats at the property we rented, one of them had 3 little kittens – so cute, by the end of the week they were letting me handle them without fuss, wish we could have bought them home as no one seemed to be feeding the 2 adults. We went through a whole pack of cat food, plus bread and milk and leftovers, they seemed to be happy to eat anything.

Time to go home and Thursday nights thunderstorms gave way to pouring rain, Peter packed up the bike in the rain and we set off in it too. All day we rode in and out of storms, not fun I can tell you. We finally made it to Reims for our overnight stop, a large glass of wine was needed I can tell you.

As I said it was a good holiday, but it’s always good to get back home, even if you have 10 days worth of washing and the garden has gone berserk – how does stuff grow so quick? Thanks to Rachel and Stuart for looking after Audrey, the house and watering all the pots and veggies, much appreciated.

Photos to follow......

25 July 2010

Before the holiday report

we went to see Rufus and his Mummy today......

sleeping while I took him for a walk, Mummy had gone shopping with Pops

finally awake, this child spends most of our visiting time asleep, are we that boring?

24 July 2010

I'm back

have you missed me.... full holiday report to follow when the washing is done )-:

12 July 2010

the things you read.....

yesterday Peter decided to sort through some books we had stored that had come from his granny's house. Well we had a real good laugh at some of the things written, in particular from a book called Enquire within upon Everything. 

This section entitled

Hints to Wives - if your husband occasionally looks a little troubled when he comes home, do not say to him with an alarmed counternance "What ails you my dear" Don't bother him, he will tell you of his own accord.  Don't rattle a hailstorm of fun about his ears either, be observant and quiet..... and on its goes.

Hints for Husbands - if your wife complain that young ladies now-a-day are very forward don't accuse her of jealousy.  A little concern on her part only proves her love for you, and you may enjoy your triumph without saying a word.  Don't envince your weakness either by complaining of every trifling neglect.  What though her chair is not set so close to yours as it used to be, or though her knitting and crochet seem to absorb too large a share of her attention; depend upon it, that her eyes watch the intertwinnings of the needles as they dance in compliance to her delicate fingers, she is thinking of courting days, love-letters, smiles, tears and reconcilations, by which your two hearts became entwined together in the network of love, whose meshes you can neither of you unravel or escape

Really, there are pages of this..I plan to read it all.  But can you see anything going down well in 2010!!  We also have a copy of Housewife's Handy Book, Universal Home Doctor, Family Doctor - you should read what it say about young men and sex - the beasts!!

11 July 2010

Who knew row E was the front row?

after our guests left we high-tailed it into Cambridge to see the Robert Cray Band at the Corn Exchange, as the title says row E turned out to be the front row, so excellent seats, but did end up with a bit of neck ache due to looking up all the time. 

They were supported by Andy Fairweather-Low (he of Amen Corner fame) and the Low Riders, excellent support act.  Andy played with Eric Clapton for 12 years so we have seen him on many occasions.  Robert Cray and band were their usual brilliant selves, we actually saw them 2 weeks ago in Chicago when they appeared at the Crossroads Guitar festival but then they only did a limited set.  My only complaint about the evening. Too damn HOT!!  Either no aircon or it just couldn't cope.

Rufus comes to Grandma's house.....

and does this all day long!

  Love these little feet

With it being so hot he was pretty zonked out all day. His great grandparents Ron & Iris and great uncle Bob came to visit, but as you can see asleep, so they didn't get much in the way of cuddles, mind you it was really too hot for cuddling.

9 July 2010

Food for free or cherry ripe part 2

Our normal morning walk gets extended when Rachel works from home on a Friday. We are marching along today, as you do, when Rachel spots a cherry tree, now not ones to pass up some free pickings we take a look, there are loads.  Problem, no bag.  Solution, Rachel's t-shirt, she has on a sports bra so is happy to continue our walk in that.  We tie up the sleeves and make a bag, and then get picking.  There are cherry trees every third tree along the guided bus way, but I'm not telling you where! Different varieties as you can see below. We picked around 10lbs. I will be making more jam and some pies.

Rachel's t-shirt, not sure that stain will come out but its a old one anyway!

Washing the grit off - I let go of one end of the t-shirt!!

6 July 2010

Cherry ripe.......

This year our neighbours' cherry tree is laden with fruit; even the birds can't keep up with it. As the majority of the tree overhangs our garden it seemed rude not to pick them.  The neighbour certainly doesn't seem to be bothering with their side.  We picked around 12lbs over the last couple of days.  I've been having them for my lunch and decided that I was never going to eat them before they went mouldy so have spent 2 hours pitting around 6.5lbs to make some jam.  It tastes really good.  I have enough cherries over to make a pie or crumble for tomorrow evenings dessert.   There are still lots on the tree to pick, just wish I could reach the ones at the top of the tree, they hang their in the ripe glory teasing us!

We have started our annual round of preserving, starting as usual with Elderflower Cordial.  Peter has some beer on the go, the utility room has the scent of a brewery.  The first courgettes are nearly ready to eat and as we get sick of them I will make relish, same goes for the runner beans they get turned into Delia's Spiced pickled beans, so good I could just eat them out of the jar with a spoon.  I find it very satisfying making jams and preserves, perhaps I should have lived in an earlier era.

4 July 2010

Sands Appeal - Part 2

Finally finished this blanket, it shouldn't have taken me this long but I guess everything else has got in the way.  Will definately knit some more.  Finding it hard to think about what it will be used for.  So sad.

Spending time with Rufus

Yesterday we went to visit, it was hot so we went on the Harley, gave our new helmets an airing, realised it doesn't have a visor and my old one doesn't fit, need to rectify that before going to France.

Anyhow you want to hear about Rufus not Harley's. He was being fed when we arrived so I patiently waited for him to finish so I could get my hands on him. As you can see he is filling out nicely, he now weigh 8lbs 11.5oz. It was suggested that Tim and Rebecca might like to go out for some lunch and leave us to mind the baby.  We could see the look of panic on Rebecca's face! What will they do to my baby, I've only had him a short while, can they cope.... you know the kind of thoughts that go through your head.  Anway she reluctantly went leaving us in charge. 

Out came the camera and here are some of the resulting pictures.

After about 15 minutes of this he started to get grizzly, so we popped him in his pram and decided to take him for a walk.  As Peter wanted a pork pie - the butchers in Stamford do a really good pork pie, we headed down into town.  Over the recreation ground we went, volume getting louder so I finally relented and gave him his dummy (pacifier) and like magic he quieten down and went to sleep - see above and this is how he stayed.  We bumped into his parents on the market, and once Rebecca saw he was sleeping peacefully went off much the happier. Pork Pie and some cakes bought we picked up some lunch and headed back to the park where we sat in the shade while our little man slept on peacefully. Returning him home around 2:30.  It was such fun to be allowed sole charge of Rufus for a short while, so thank you Rebecca and Tim, be rest assured we would never let anything happen to him.  Hoping this is the first of many such outings. 

Being a grandparent is so wonderful, all the joy and non of the anxiety

2 July 2010

Coming along nicely....

Whilst the borders are looking a bit droopy from the hot weather my hanging baskets are filling out well, just lots of watering needed