30 June 2019

Just an average week

Good evening.  Another week over.  A week that went by quickly, was fairly busy and where we went from one sort of weather and back again.  So what did we do?

Monday (hot and humid)- Market day - headed into St Ives for plants to add some extra colour to the borders.  All this lot for £38 which I thought was quite reasonable.

Then off to have my haircut.  I've been growing it for the last year and whilst the family like it longer I'm not so sure.  This time I had some extra layers added, but I'm still not sure.  I do this all the time.  Get fed up with short, start to grow it, then get it all chopped off again....

Plants in as rain due for Tuesday, then on to finish my June socks

Tuesday (cold and wet) - Ikea and Costco in Milton Keynes with Rachel and Gus.  Someone fell asleep in the car on the drive back and then got himself all upset about saying goodbye.  Screamed all the way home, then made himself sick.  Don't you love 3 year olds?

Wednesday (sunny intervals, cool) - we went to visit my Mum and then called into Anglesey Abbey on the way home to check out the gardens.  The rose and herbaceous gardens looked a treat.  The formal garden was all planted up with Dahlias which are yet to bloom - another visit will be in order soon.  In fact we must be due another visit to the Botanical Gardens too

 The rose garden smelled amazing, if only there was a way to capture the smell on camera

Thursday (cool start/hot) - Peter went to give a platelets donation and I met with my younger brother for coffee, then Peter met up with us for lunch.  It was good to have a catch up, it had been a while

Friday (hot) - Gus day, we did the usual things, lego, baking, playing in the garden.  School pickup for Jess and their summer fete.  Lovely afternoon in the sunshine.  Both children had fun playing on the stalls, winning lots of sweets!!

Saturday (hot hot hot) - Bangers & Blues at the Cock in Hemingford - we attended this with Rachel and the children (Stu was playing a charity football match!!)  for a while but it was crowded and hot the children were getting fractious so we went home, filled the paddling pool, poured some beers and put on some blues.  Our own blues afternoon, plenty of space, happy children.  Spotty windows due to extensive hosepipe use. 

Sleep was hard to come by as it was so hot.  We were both awake early but today Sunday turned out to be a much cooler day.  Sunny intervals. 

I decided that a cardigan I finished a few weeks back just didn't do anything for me.  The sleeves were too full, the neckline felt wrong.  This is the problem when you make/knit clothes, you have no way of knowing how it will look on you until the final stitch.  I knew it would just hang in the cupboard unworn so I made the decision to spend the day unpicking it. 

What a task.  But at least I now have the yarn to make something else.  To be honest I'm not a 100% sure about the summer top I currently have on the needles, hence part of the reason I'm procrastinating on it. 

Peter has a new toy.  He bought a new BBQ which has a built in smoker and so he tried it out today.  Smoking some sausages just to see how it fared.  Result was very pleasing, I see more smoked goods in our future.

So there you have it, our week, and tomorrow is 1st July - already - no plans as yet, so a blank canvas to work on.

23 June 2019

June - Gardening news

So to the garden.  As predicted the poppies had made a takeover bid whilst we were away and the first thing I did on Saturday was rip them all out.  I couldn't believe the space they had taken up.  I did harvest all the seed heads to dry for flower arrangements in the autumn/winter months though.  Not sure if I'll save the seed....

Just one pink one
I now have some much needed space for the next round of plants to go in.  There are lots of Rubeckia and Crocosmia coming along but I need to plant lots more oranges, yellows and reds - so Dahlias and Cannas, Cone Flowers are on my shopping list for market day along with anything else that takes my fancy.  The clock got moved as my climbing rose was wanting the space.  I think I prefer it where it is now.  I'm wondering about some garden mirrors to reflect the space.  Thoughts?

I really dislike these paving slabs but can't justify taking them up.  I'm hoping that will dull over time.  Mr S pressure washed them last year and they came up far to bright.  I would have lots of pots to break them up but as we are away so often I have to keep the garden self-care and I hate seeing those plastic tubes on the automatic watering systems trailing everywhere.  For now that's how the garden is looking. Hopefully by next time I post the borders will be looking brighter.  Happy gardening

June - Knitting news

Good morning.  There hasn't been a whole lot on the knitting front.  Nothing finished.  A week to go before the end of the month for my June socks.  I started off so well but I've tailed off.  I'm on the heel so not too much left to do if only I could pick up some knitting.

My summer top has one side completed and I cast on the stitches for the other side and that's where I stopped.  I like it and should get on with it. 

I'm in no hurry on the shawl.  Too warm for shawls right now.  I spotted a mistake but to be honest I'm happy to leave it rather than try and unpick the mohair.  It will be up on the shoulder so not that noticeable

So why aren't I knitting?  Well I'm stuck into this book, which I'm really enjoying, not much left to go, it will be finished later today.  I do have a stack on my bedside table though......  Yesterday evening I was "home alone" and enjoyed a light dinner and some quiet reading time with a glass or two of rose.  I also had a quick flick through my Gardeners World magazine and saw the perfect pergola idea for the garden.  Now to convince Mr S that its what we need

Plans for today? We are going with Rachel and the little ones to Picnic in the Park in St Ives - live music, picnic, sunshine and space to run around (children).  I may even take my sock ............ Enjoy your Sunday

22 June 2019

June - France

Hello again.  We are back from our recent jaunt to Chateau de la Ruche.  I'm guessing this post should be called, Pull that weed, pick up sticks, cut the grass, clear the meadow, and all things gardening. 

Before arriving in France they had a spell of rough weather and there was lots of branches and twiggy bits bought down.  Hence the pick up sticks (they use it for kindling so not wasted) as it jams the mower.  Warm and wet weather had bought the grass on no end and the wild flower meadows were starting to go over.  Their neighbour Alain will be coming to cut the big meadows with his tractor and baler, but the smaller ones Peter and I tackled with the sit-on and petrol mowers.  Good exercise for me, walking up and down with the petrol mower and very satisfying to see things getting tidy again.

right side of the entrance

front lawn

planted some new shrubs in the conifer stump area

Farmyard had a trim

banks and top of the lake cut - lake had an algae bloom hence its green appearance
some of the piles of hay and weeds from the back of Maurice's house

this will be a patio area and garden by this time next year

shame to burn it but no one wants it

back of Maurice's - can't wait to make this into a garden
We didn't spend all our time in the garden.  We popped into Le Mans for the Sunday market with Rufus and had a wander around the medieval town

It was busy with guests for the Le Mans 24 hour - so I helped where I could with changing beds and prepping food..

Rufus was 9 this week and we celebrated with a visit to his favourite Chinese Buffet and a Rocky Road birthday cake

and finally we spent a morning picking cherries (19lbs) and I then spent an afternoon pitting said cherries for the freezer and various preserves for guests.

I even ended up bringing home 4lbs which had to be pitted.  So after 7.5 hours in the car, unpacking, washing on, I set to work.  They are in the freezer and will become jam at a later date.  My nails look a real mess but I'm guessing its worth it.

So all in all a busy 12 days.  We are home for 5 weeks now, so goodness knows what the gardens will be like when we get back.  We are hoping that it turns really warm then the grass won't need too much attention.

Our garden needed some work but I'll save that and my lack of knitting for another post.

I have an evening too myself, so I am going to make myself a long drink and find something I fancy for dinner.  Until the next time - cheers xx

4 June 2019

Poppies..... and stuff

This was Saturday



The poppies are going crazy.  Not just this clump, they are all over the place.  Shame is they all seem to be the same colour.  I was hoping for some pink ones.   No photo today as we have finally got some long awaited rain.  Hopefully we will get a good soak and my recently added plants can settle their roots in.

Yesterday we went and collected some Elderflowers to make our yearly supply of champagne - not that mine ever end up fizzy.  We store in the freezer and it makes a great accompaniment to gin or vodka with some tonic, or in fact, just with tonic for a refreshing summer tipple

June socks are cast on.  I'm using 4ply cotton and the Rye socks pattern from Tin Can Knits

I've started the lace panel on my summery top, its very easy, just 8 rows.

Not too much on for the rest of the week, I need to check in with a friend, collect my new reading specs, do a shop and look after Gus.  Gus and his mummy came over today, having just got back from a visit to France.  They had a great time, here a few photos of the cousins together

That's me up-to-date for now.  Lets hope the poppies don't take over the whole garden!!