LilySlim - Weight loss

Monday, 31 October 2016

Children, meetings and a quilt

Today, as are many days this week, was due to be a busy one.  Starting with a quick visit to the nurse to look at my leg ( I thought that it was looking better - but it was a different nurse so she couldn't say), it was then onto  the craft group - unusually being held in the morning for a one off.  Carine brought her two children as it was a staff training day at their school - and one of them was content to sit quietly and read.  Ami. however, was full of beans and so I set her some "Olympic" activities to do - 100 step ups, 20 times the length of the hall balancing a  book on her head and then carrying 10 books 50 times across the hall.  We didn't see the poor thing for the rest of the 2 hour period!

After lunch, and a quick tidy up of the kitchen (more of that later), it was then onto a WI committee meeting.  They are friendly affairs but are not good for the waistline - Carine had cooked some rock buns for us - and was taking them out of the oven as I arrived!



Today is Halloween (which I really don't like and hate my evening being disrupted with little children - bah humbug!) but that means that tomorrow is 1st November - the date that I had promised myself I would put my Anni Downs quilt up.  Since tomorrow is another busy day, I cheated and put it up this afternoon!


So - returning to the tale of Mr and Mrs Mouse.  I decided, last night, to turn the kitchen lights off and shut the kitchen door, whilst then shutting us all into the lounge and watching tv.  Maybe, I pondered, I would be able to catch the kitchen mouse (I am convincing myself that there is only one more to catch!) before I went to bed.  At the end of Strictly Daisy wanted to go out so I gingerly crept into the kitchen - only to see hat the malteser had been nibbled - so its still there I thought.  As I stood by the back door waiting for Daisy - I started to hear some rustling - totally freaked me out!  It turns out that Mrs Mouse is was not a great fan of Poldark but does did like her chocolate.  As we were all safely back in the lounge watching the afore mentioned programme, I heard the trap go and, when we all went to bed, managed to get rid of trap plus Mrs Mouse.  I have set two more traps just in case I am wrong and will leave them in situ for a few days whilst keeping an eye open for signs.  I have also plugged in the mouse emitting plug - allegedly prevents more from coming in.  Let's hope that this little adventure is over!

Sunday, 30 October 2016

A close shave!

So, once more I crept down to see if I had captured Mrs Mouse.  However she was clearly more cunning - she had licked the trap clean of its chocolate and peanut butter WITHOUT setting the trap off!  So, another trap has been set and 4 more traps have been bought - two more will be strategically placed tonight!

This morning Jean and I were popping over to Scamblesby to support their art fayre.  Sewingbuddy had asked us all to make some things for the craft stall so we obliged and went to see our efforts.  I am pleased to report that there were a number of gaps on our stall when we left so people clearly liked what they saw.  However on our way over I had a close shave with an oncoming car and we touched side mirrors. Truthfully it was completely my fault and I just hadn't seen him as he came around the corner.  I am pleased to report that once we talked, checked that both cars were okay and that we were okay, we parted on good terms - he was a complete gentleman!

Once home, the weather had turned to a fine drizzle and therefore not suitable for painting.  I allowed myself some sewing time before lighting the fire and settling down to some more handsewing (with Daisy on my knee as ever of course!).  Today's Splendid Sampler block is embroidery so that can be added to the pile but I completed three gift tags last night so I am on a roll!  I have even managed to complete another Christmas present - this time not a  family one!

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Oh dear me dear - I spoke too soon!

Well folks - I came downstairs this morning to find some shredded pieces of an egg carton in the kitchen on the work surface.  Clearly Mr Mouse has moved his harem in!  Right now, the peanut butter trap is in place where the carton was and we will see what happens.  Curiously the dogs haven't reacted to seeing / hearing anything!


This morning was spent - yes you've guessed it - painting the third coat of Elderflower onto the summer house - complete with my ferocious guard dogs of course!.  Given that I hadn't got up until nearly nine o'clock (oops), by the time I had finished it was late lunchtime.  I had intended to be good today and rest my leg for longer but got side tracked by these wretched Christmas presents!  If you recall I set myself the task of completing 7 this week and had done 5 early on.  Well, today, I completed the final two - but, more excitingly, they are part of a larger number of experimental presents that have gone really well. I can't show you a picture - but they did involve free machine embroidery - get me!

The rest of the day was spent convalescing (am I egging the pudding too much here?)  I have lit the fire for the first time so imagine that cosy, feet up on the sofa, Daisy on my lap and Millie by my side, doing some hand work scenario!

Friday, 28 October 2016

This should please my mother.

After another lovely night's sleep, I crept downstairs this morning and gingerly opened the bedroom door.  Would the peanut butter have claimed it's victim?  Nope - but as I bent down to pick the trap / chocolate / peanut butter concoction from the floor (Didn't want the dogs getting hurt) I did notice that the chocolate had fallen off / been nibbled off and a suspect peanut butter footprint on the paper under the trap. mmmm - Mr Mouse may well have been around last night so he is still in the room.  Right - will try again tonight (I am loving the bed upstairs so it's no hardship).  I then put my trap concoction up above the dressing table out of the dog's reach - when I noticed that the malteser trap wasn't there.  Where had it gone?  Well it had fallen down behind something - and now I knew why.  Mr Mouse had gone back for some malteser, as a dessert I presume, and has, sadly, paid the price for his greed.  Trap and Mr Mouse are now in the bin (sorry - I am not so frugal as to be able to separate dead mouse from trap!)  So - problem over and moving back into the bedroom tonight - right?  Well - no.  I don't know where the mouse has been in the last few days so will want to give the room a good spring clean before going back in.  However that job will need to wait unto the good weather has gone - the painting of the shed takes priority.  So - why will mum be pleased?  Well -speaking to her yesterday, I suspect that she was getting twitchy at the thought of me keeping the nice new bed and relegating her to my old one - along with Mr Mouse as company!

This morning, after another one of my bi-weekly visits to the nurse to get the dressing on my leg changed, was spent painting the summerhouse (everywhere now has two coast of elderflower and I hope to finish painting the third coat tomorrow - the pine colour will then be painted willow - I have decided that, if time runs out, I will save the fourth coast of elderflower until the spring so that it spruces everything up - three coats is protection enough after all).  It's beginning to sound a little like groundhog day isn't it?  The nurse isn't happy with the old war wound and has gone back to a dry covering - ie no protection from bandages etc - just a single plaster really.  I also got a telling off.  Apparently sitting with my feet up all evening isn't enough - I need to keep it elevated more!  Preferably at the same level as my heart!!!!!  Oh dear me dear - can you imagine what position I would need to be in to paint the summerhouse?  I will confess to going into the summerhouse today and taking a chair with me - its quite warm here and I was sat in short sleeves - very pleasant.  I am looking forward to having my morning coffee in there and doing some hand sewing.

So, this afternoon has been feet up, some embroidery and some snoozing might just have gone on!  Tonight its the book club monthly meeting so not sure that my foot will be raised then unless I take a foot stall with me!

Thursday, 27 October 2016

So, the temperature has dropped - but is it below 10 degrees?

Today saw my 6 weekly appointment with the hairdressers.  Sure - we did the usual - have you been on holiday recently etc chat, but then I found myself giving her advice as to how to help her 7 year old learn his tables.  As I paid my bill and was about to leave, another customer stopped me and asked for help with her daughters homework - to simplify 27 squared x 9 squared.  I explained it to her and she was delighted that her daughter had got it right but didn't know how she had got there - now she could explain it to her.  I've still got it!

Once home, it was time to do some more summerhouse painting.  However I did stop to check the temperature on the tin (not to be used below 10 degrees) as it is getting colder here.  Fortunately for me the car was reporting a temperature of 13 degrees so I was okay.  The back now has thee coats of paint and I will probably stop there for the back.  However I think a fourth layer will be needed for appearance sake.  As you can see I have started on the sides.  The window trims will be green and I will need to open the window before I paint around them.  The kit came without the handle shank so I currently need to use a screwdriver to open the door and therefore open the window!!


 



As ever Millie and Daisy supervised - at one point racing around the summerhouse - and ending up with paint all over them!

Last night was a good result from SW but, as you can see from the tracker, the last few weeks have been a "journey".  I thought, however, that I ought to fess up and let you see the real progress (or otherwise!)  With a month to go, at least it's a loss!





Once I had recovered from the cold (I am typing this with a hot water bottle attached still), it was time to pay attention to restoring some form of order to the craft room, sewing  Splendid Sampler block and then tracing some redwork for tonight in front of The Apprentice.

And my visitor?  Well, let's just say that the peanut butter is coming out tonight!

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Painting the town "Elderflower"

Well - my visitor enjoyed his snack - there were distinct sigs of nibbling on the malteser but no dead body.  Tonight I will move onto Wendy's suggestion of chocolate before going all out and truing peanut butter!  On the upside I got to sleep in the new bed upstairs - wow - that has to be the most comfortable bed that I have slept in - possibly forever.  It could tempt me to relocate upstairs - its that good!  The only downside is that the design has the end protruding into the room so, in the dark, you can bang your leg on the wood if you are not careful.



This morning was rather overcast but promised to be fair - so I went outside and started painting the summerhouse - starting with the back.  The colours that I have chosen are the same colours as in the ad (that's why I liked it after all) but the buttermilk cream (Elderflower according to the tin) quickly absorbed into the orange timber so after 2 coats I think that we will need three if not four coats before it is fully covered.  Painting in a jumper is a strange feeling though and I will need to buy more paint - most of it is on Daisy and Millie!



Of course there hasn't been time today to do much sewing and I am at Slimming World tonight - but I did manage to finish my garden wall hanging last night and feel quite empowered to try a more difficult design next time.  I have, however, finished all the hand sewing that I have to do for any Christmas present so now will move onto gift tags - well, you have to attend to the smaller details now don't you?

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

The BFG comes to Lincolnshire

Do I mean the film?  Well, yes but more of that later.  My BFG arrived minutes after turning the lights out last night.  The paper rustling was a clue, as was the HUGE animal scampering across the carpet in the bedroom as I turned the lights on.  As I looked towards the corner so a pair of eyes looked back at me and started to edge forward from behind  my bag.  There was nothing for it - I was out of there!  I could have been eaten alive for goodness sake - and so decamped to the lounge - again!  This morning I turned the light on in the bedroom and gingerly stepped inside - I have left the back door open to try to encourage the monster to leave home but will buy the mouse trap and maltesers on the way home today!

Being Tuesday, it was Senior Screen today and the choice of film was, yes you've guessed it, The BFG.  As a fan of Mark Rylance's work, this was a film that I had wanted to see since it had come out - and it lived up to my expectations.  IT was both funny and touching - you came out with an "ahh bless " feeling.


My summer house was due to be erected tomorrow, so I was delighted when they asked if they could come today instead.  So, once home, I was on coffee making duties whilst I inspected their progress - things were looking good and they had certainly brought the good weather with them.  It was then off to the local hostelry for a late lunch with Sewingbuddy before popping around to Jean's.  Remember that thwarted art holiday?  Well, after much discussion, we have now booked a sewing retreat in Norfolk in March.  Deposits have been paid - now we need to decide what we are going to make on this retreat!  Any suggestions?

So - the bed has been made upstairs and the trap set.  Apart from waiting for the bang, this evening sees some more work on one of the two remaining Christmas presents and the finishing off of my garden landscape (hope to show you a picture tomorrow).

Monday, 24 October 2016

Daisy comes of age!

Oh the indignity - Daisy has come into season and is now sporting a pair of "panties"!  Don't ask me how I know - the throw on the sofa is now in the washing machine!  With other dogs in the past I have just kept a close eye and cleared up any spots - however with cream carpets etc I thought that I would try my luck.  Having been bribed with a biscuit every time she lets me put them on, she has adapted to them well (albeit she tries every now and again to remove them and is now sporting some little girlie knickers over the panties for extra security!) - it just looks a little strange.  Of course I now can't walk her from the house - I have to take her up to the beach - when it's clear of other dogs of course!  On the upside I have no intention of breeding from her and so she will be spayed in the new year - they say wait for three months after her season has started so that will be the end of January then.

After the crafting bonanza of the weekend, it was a swift return to normality with a trip to Tesco and the local Garden Centre for some inspiration.  Being half term I went fairly early - but already there were parents with children having tantrums and you got the distinct impression that the parents were waiting for them to go back to school already.

Once home, shopping put away, dishwasher emptied and reloaded and lunch made, it was down to some church admin work (it can't be all crafting you know!) before starting to put the finishing touches to the "garden landscape" (ah well -all is well with my world).  I even managed to fit in a blood test (I have to fit one in before my next appointment with the consultant).

Sunday, 23 October 2016

They say that things come in three's - don't they?

In August, you may recall, we nearly killed ourselves putting on a paper festival in church.  We consoled ourselves with the thought that next year is a fabric festival so we would be able to create things throughout the year and it would not be so "full on".  Me being me, I didn't then connect the August bank holiday weekend with my brother's wedding which is being held - yes you've guessed it - next August bank holiday!  Ah well you prioritise and the fabric festival is now in 2018.  This morning I woke up to a message from Sewingbuddy - the art holiday ( that I had been carefully saving up for and was quite chuffed with myself for doing so - I am not a natural saver) has been moved from June to August - guess when?  Yep the bank holiday weekend!  I am just about to bury myself under a heap of duvets and hibernate - let me know when its all over will you?




Today was our church's Lily Service.  We take the nearest Sunday before All Souls day and invite people to donate a lily in remembrance of a loved one who has passed away.  Their names are then read out in the service.  It's a lovely service and one that many people look forward to.


Once home and lunch eaten, it was back to the grindstone of Christmas presents.  I can report that three more have now been completed - which makes 5 out of the 7 pledged.  It just goes to show what you can do when you are focussed!  It was also a lovely opportunity to take the dogs for a walk in the autumnal sunshine.



The last two Christmas presents require a sewing machine - and we all know how much I like my hand sewing in the evening - so I will need to sort some out before nightfall!

Saturday, 22 October 2016

63 days to go ......... until christmas!

Last night, you may recall, Wendy and I went to see Bridget Jones' Baby - I can really recommend it.  There were "laugh out loud" moments and "gentle caring, bring tears to your eyes" moments - a perfect antidote to the week!

As I look at my calendar, it would appear that I have another fairly light weekend/week ahead of me - mainly because it's half term week here and lots of activities that involves me shut down for half term.  I know that some people fret when they have nothing planned to get out and do.  Me?  I see opportunities to see some of these crafts finished off.  I am sure that, by now, you have realised what a low boredom threshold I have - I seem to flit from one craft project to another - never appearing to finish them off.  Sometimes that is true, sometimes that's because of something as simple as "Whilst I have that foot / thread in my machine then I will just do.......".  Anyway this is a long way around to committing to another list by the end of the week (you know how much I love a list !).  So here is my list (or rather a pledge since I cannot give details).

By the end of this week I will have finished 7 Christmas presents - there now it's out there!

So - how did I get on today?  Well the good news is that 2 of them have been ticked off - completed and put away ready to be wrapped.  A third is nearing completion and tonight will see continuing work on the blue project (the blue project isn't within the 7 presents - just to clarify - I am still hoping around but it's a task that I can do whilst watching Strictly Come Dancing).  I have to admit that I am feeling rather smug about today's progress but frustrated that I can't share the pictures just yet.  You will have to wait until after Christmas!

Friday, 21 October 2016

Feeling in a creative mood.





Last night's WI craft group was fun - ending with a whole line up of skiing snowmen!









This morning I woke up to what promised to be a "bitty " day.  First appointment was at the groomers with Daisy - this means taking her, coming home, going back half an hour later and then home again so it's difficult to settle down to anything.



Next up was the biweekly appointment with the nurse to redress the gammy leg. she has now ordered some honey patches to try - should be interesting!  Finally there was a hastily arranged viewing of Bridget Jones' Baby - a film that Wendy and I both wanted to see but just couldn't seem to coordinate our diaries - 5:30 this afternoon seems the only time and date!

Consequently I needed a project that could be picked up and put down  Cue my attempt at a "landscape' - the garden scene that I started several days ago.  You may recall that I have wanted to try and be more creative for some time and develop my own design.  So I now have a quilted fence, two shrubs ready to be embroidered and some quilted clouds - along with a washing line.  There are ends to sew in - plus the embroidery - but I am quite pleased with how it's going.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

The Ying and Yang of life!

This morning was the funeral of our organist and the husband of a friend.  I went round to  the church early top help where possible and was delighted to see the church so full.  He had obviously touched so many lives and the address elicited both tears and laughter.  In particular I like the point made that Heaven wold be full of music - but on cake rations - he sure liked his cake!

One home, of course, normality returns.  I have had a call from the joiner saying that he can come next Wednesday (weather permitting) to put the summerhouse up so the fence painting becomes ever more pressing.  Fortunately for me the weather turned out to be sunny for a while, if a little chilly, so I spent some time painting more fencing and, hopefully, getting past the point that the summerhouse will hide.  The new patio has prove to be a sunny spot for Millie to lie out on whilst Daisy just goes berserk running around the garden!  I might also add that Daisy's apricot colouring is now tainted by a willow green streak - good job that she is at the groomers tomorrow!




 



Craft wise I spent another three hours working on a splendid sampler block.  It's a paper piecing one - and a really tricky one at that!  My attempt is truly shocking and may not make it into the final quilt - but I am not trying again either.  I can see why a lot of people just appliqued a circle onto a square!  Tonight it's the WI craft club where we are making snowmen -and where they will cast a critical eye over the poppy wreath.  Let's hope that they are gentle with me!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

The "Blue Project" continues and reaches a vital stage!

Today was a day that I had planned to be the real antidote to last week's mayhem - a whole day at home - nowhere to go or be - could even be a pyjama day if I wanted.  Perhaps it was that mindset, perhaps it was the lack of sleep the night before or perhaps it was the shocking headache that I woke up with - but it was 9am before my eyes opened!!!!!  The poor dogs hadn't made a noise - but sure ran to the door fast!


 



After the usual chores, the first task was to do something with the WI wreath.  The white base bothered me and I was concerned that no matter how many more poppies we made we would always see the white coming through.  So I took the poppies all off and wrapped the wreath with some red fabric before reattaching them.  I don't know if the WI will like my efforts but I am pleased with it.






Then it was onto the "Blue Project" that I mentioned several weeks ago and which has been lain across the back of a chair trying to stare me out.  As I said before, this is a Christmas present so I have to choose my words and pictures carefully, but today is a trimming, sewing and then cutting day.  It is something that I need to focus on and therefore need a whole day to concentrate.









As light relief, I also spent some time completing a couple of Splendid Sampler blocks.  This first one was a bonus block to celebrate a million dresses being made from pillowcases for girls overseas.







The second one was block 53 ( we are currently on block 71 so that tells you how long this has been lying around waiting to be completed!).  No real reason why this is so late - but it has had to be undone several times and don't look too closely at some of the points!  I suspect that this sampler will be my Christmas holiday project - every block has to be individually quilted before the sashing is added.  Since the new bedroom upstairs has been colour coordinated with this quilt, and the blocks finish next February, I need to get a wriggle on!




Tonight is Slimming World. I know, I know I haven't been mentioning this recently and really haven't been following it so its time to face the music and get back on again.  As someone once said I am going the scenic route and enjoying the ride!

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

"A woman of your calibre ..."

Sorry for the blog title - this comment was made to me by my embroidery teacher on Sunday but I forgot to use it then.  Praise indeed though - eh?  She seemed to think that I knew what I was doing!

Today, being Tuesday, guess what?  Surprise, surprise Jean and I went to the Senior Screen.  The choice of films was limited so we went to see Swallows and Amazons.  It was clearly aimed at children but was filmed in the beauty of the Lake District and any film with Andrew Scott in it just has to be good.  Suffice to say I only dropped off once - Jean gives a good dig!!

Recently I have been suffering from TT&T's malady - forgetfulness.  Back in June I bought something to make for my 4th Great niece / nephew - due in November - and promptly put away safely until nearer the time.  Well, now we are staring November in the eyes I went looking for it - only to find that it wasn't there.  Despite this I revisited the place that I KNEW where I had put it many times before looking elsewhere.  When I got in at lunchtime I went straight to the airing cupboard (don't ask) and it was there!  Phew!  However I wasn't off the hook quite yet.  I then sat down to start messing around with a small "landscape" quilt - something that I have been wanting to do for some time and which involves creating your own design.  I wanted to start simple - just a back garden scene - complete with fence panelling and a washing line.  Could I find the fence panelling and tree fabric?  Again it wasn't where it was supposed to be - despite the millions of plastic boxes to organise me!  However I found it eventually and, as you can see, I have made a simple start.  My next job will be to quilt the fence panel with simple lines and then create some bushes before completing the scene with two trees to hold the washing line up.  After that I will decide if it's a keeper and perhaps embellish it with some embroidery.  If not then I will simply start again.  As someone once said - it's only fabric!





The next job - apart from continually phoning the lily man again! - was the WI wreath.  You may recall that we had decided to make our own wreath this year and give a donation to the British Legion.  Somehow I've got the job of gluing the poppies to the wreath so that I can take it on Thursday to the craft group and see how many more poppies we need.  As you can see from the picture - quite a few more!!





After tea, it will be a repeat of yesterday - feet up, Daisy on my knees and some hand sewing.  I know how to live!

Monday, 17 October 2016

The benefits of a good nights sleep

Well, after a very busy and sleep deprived week I eventually got up at 8:30am - so late that I had to turn the hot water on again for an hour so that I could shower etc!  Mind you I felt better for it - there's nothing like the power of a good nights sleep!

I had an appointment with the nurse to redress my leg (she isn't happy with how quick its healing or not and is asking for a second opinion before making a referral).  Whilst I was in there she sneaked a dodgy flu injection in!  I have never had one but I have heard that those with kidney problems (I have no problem - just born with only one kidney) should have them so didn't object too much.  I then picked Jean up - I had dropped her off to take a couple of cars on a test run.  I am happy to report that she took my advice and bought the slightly larger one - apparently it ran and felt better.

Once home - this time for only an hour or so - it was a quick tidy around and getting ready for the textiles group.  Again we were doing lots of different projects:-





Ev was doing the mystery project that she missed the first time around,








Jean was making some wonky house brooches to post to Terry and sell at the Scamblesby Art Fayre,






Carine was making some more "Sweet sixteen" bags for Christmas presents whilst I carried on with the mystery Christmas presents that have been like a millstone around my neck for over a month!






Home again meant walking the dogs - this time an "on the lead" walk ending up going around a nearby field which just happened to have sheep in the next field.  Let's just say that Daisy was so confused that she forgot to bark!  By now it was nearly 4pm so I tried the "lilyman" for the sixth time, again without luck, (we have a lily service on Sunday and I have been asked to order the lillies) before heading outside to take advantage of the only sunny day forecasted this week to paint some more fence.  I am planning on trying to pin the joiner down tomorrow for a date to put the summerhouse up but at least the fence will be painted -well, the bit covered by the summerhouse at least!  Well - that was the plan - two half planks in and the heavens opened - oops!

Tonight?  Well, guess what I am doing?  Yep, feet up on the sofa, with Daisy asleep on my knee doing some hand sewing - what bliss!


Sunday, 16 October 2016

The end of a very long and very tiring self inflicted week!

Last night  bumped into an old acquaintance who retired 5 years ago.  As we swapped stories about our experiences I couldn't help but feel blessed.  She felt isolated, unappreciated by her family and as if this was it for the rest of her life  cooking and cleaning all day long.  This week may have been ,ore mad than usual but, with my friends and my hobbies, there's never time to be bored!




Today's excursion was to an embroidery workshop in Lincoln.  The aim was to learn about stumpwork and to create this three dimensional flower.  The reality was that, buy lunchtime, I created one petal (the 10p piece is so that you can see how tiny it was!).  By the end of the day we had created the greenery but still had three petals to complete!  Hey ho - another project to finish then! 

Sewingbuddy seemed to enjoy herself though.




Tonight is, of course, the Strictly results show (didn't some of them dance out of their skins last night?) and Poldark.  However I am also intrigued by the new ITV series - Tutankhamen - given that it is linked to Highclere Castle and the exhibition that we saw this summer.  Then it will be time to collapse  into bed and turn the alarm off for the first time this week.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

oops - nearly forgot to blog!

Today started with a grey, over cast misty feeling - which couldn't dampen our spirits!  oday was one of our sewing days at Scamblesby.  True we were depleted - there were only four of us.  But it was a chance to get our heads down and forge ahead with our different projects.




Pat, for example, was nearing completion of her beautiful quillow.







Ev was busy making aprons and coasters to sell at the forthcoming art fayre,







and Terry was winding her way through some outstanding Splendid Sampler blocks.  Modesty prevents me from saying how much help I gave her!








It was my turn to make the cake - so I used Nigella Lawson's recipe for an easy almond cake (uses marizipan - mmm).

Tonight I am out again - this time serving ice creams etc at the local theatre - so it is a quick turn around - hence the title of the block.  However I have some hand sewing to take with me to do during the first half!

Friday, 14 October 2016

Well - you learn smething new everyday!

This morning I took Jean car hunting.  I have been lucky enough to always go for a new or, in the case of my current car, a demo car - so when I was told the budget I really doubted that we could get one for that low a price.  However the first local garage we went to had several within our price bracket - two in particular had done an average of around 5500 miles per year - ie a run around car for taking children to and from school.  Indeed one of the cars (the favourite as it happens) has been serviced at this garage for 5 years so they know it rally well.  It comes guaranteed and with a full year's MOT so looks good.  Jean is going to test drive it next Monday but I fully expect her to buy that one - you could say that she has fallen in love with it!




We went to several other garages and then decamped to the local garden centre for a coffee to discuss the situation and a piece of toast.  Sadly the service was so poor that my toast arrived well after the coffee had been drunk and the cup was cold.  I wasn't offered but asked for a free refill so that I had something to drink with the toast - I ask you!




Once home, I set to making a cake for Scamblesby tomorrow (I am now seriously beginning to regret offering!) and a cheesecake for the harvest supper meal on Saturday evening.  On the agenda was also preparations for the sewing day - cutting fabric to size, packing bags etc.  I also walked the dogs earlier today so that I could just lock the door and shut the world out - time for peace and quiet - if only for a few hours!

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Is the boot big enough?

Last night's King Lear was long, a tad confusing but brilliantly acted - everything making sense in the end - and we lasted all the way through!!  Well done to the cast - although it was a VERY bleak film!!  I was tired when I got home - yet, by 2am, gave up sleep as a bad job and got up to watch The Great British Bake Off - eventually falling asleep for three hours to the sound of the radio on low.  What a night -I should sleep to night!


This morning was another early start - Carine was driving Jean and I down to Spalding to a retail outlet centre for some early Christmas shopping and, of course, our winning afternoon tea.  I have to say that we were looked after well and their portions were so big that we brought some home for a late tea - I am not sure that anyone wants a proper dinner tonight.  Did we do enough shopping?  Well - I am not sure that Carine's boot could hold much more so I guess so!



By the time we got home it was late afternoon so the dogs were sorted and then it was time to hunker down for the evening.  I have a Tesco order due between 8pm and 9pm - otherwise it's more hand sewing of Christmas presents.  Did I mention that I already have plans for 2017 presents?  Gosh!

Oh - and by the way - 2017 knitting challenge now has 5 participants.   It's gathering momentum!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

It would really help if you could spell!!




Today was allocated as a training day for Jean - Sewingbuddy and I had been, if you recall, to that awful training course for our ScanNCut machine but Jean couldn't make it.  Instead we decided to both pass on our training which would, in turn, refresh our memories.  So, by the time they arrived, the house was fairly shipshape, the shepherds pie for lunch made and everything was ready.  Even the dogs were laid back about the invasion.




It has to be said that Jean took to it really well - confidently cutting out different shapes and resizing them - learning how to adjust the blade depth and the pressure to suit the fabric / card / paper etc.  By lunchtime I was feeling confident about the way that the day was going.  I had to nip out this afternoon to have the dressings on my leg changed but would happily leave them - what could go wrong?  Lunch, by the way, was accompanied by some Fougasse (think Great British Bake Off - thank you Sewingbuddy) followed by Apple Crumble and cream - thank you Jean.



The last thing that I showed Jean before leaving was how to cut her name out of vinyl - making sure that the 4 letters overlapped each other and so could be welded together - ie all pull off together.  No problem - mission accomplished.  Then Sewingbuddy (there's always one) said why don't we try to cut Scamblesby Sewing Group - three lines one under each other all welded together.  Now you have to understand that's he lives in Scamblesby - yet, even so, she cannot spell it for toffee - both her and Jean kept starting again as they forgot an L or an M - until we worked out that we could add it out of sequence and then move the others around to fit in.  I honestly did not anticipate the spelling to be an issue!  The next problem was going to the doctors - by habit I locked the front door - locking Sewingbuddy out who had gone to move her car for me.  When I got back Jean admitted that she had heard someone knocking but just ignore it!  So I came back to a lot of cursing re spelling and windows filled with attempts at the vinyl stickers - grrrreat!

Despite everything it was a good day and one, dare I hope, that has been very useful to Jean.  Tonight - gosh this week has been a hectic social whirl - Wendy and I are off to the cinema to see another RSC live production - Antony Sher in King Lear.  I have high hopes for this production!

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Well - I've passed my Ghostbusters training!

So - last night I went to see Sense and Sensibility.  One of the lead actors was a young man that I taught many moons ago and he was very impressive - as were the other actors.  It was only a small cast and they had a lot of long speeches to learn - but they performed very well.  Sadly my vieing of the American Debate, combined with warmth and darkness, did result in the odd nodding head - but I didn't go completely!

This morning Jean and I dropped Georgina off at the hospital for her last appointment whilst we then headed to the cinema to watch Ghostbusters.  It was the all female cast remake and was very enjoyable - although I will admit to looking away at the more scary parts - not sure about its 12A rating! 

After picking Georgina up, it was then back home for some lunch, err a quick rest (ahem), walk the dogs and beat the impending rain and then gather the supplies for tonight's sewing class.  Since its the last one before half term, and we now have a class every two weeks, it will be nearly a month before our next class.  I am expecting a LOT of homework!

Monday, 10 October 2016

It's just not British!

Last night I found it difficult to sleep again and, finding myself still awake around 1am, I decided to stay up and watch the American Presidential Debate between Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton.  Now I can't pretend to know either really well - I have watched Donald Trump in the Celebrity Apprentice and obviously knew Hilary Clinton through her marriage to Bill Clinton. However I am fascinated by the clear animosity both towards each candidate and between them.  As I turned the TV on I then found out that Donald Trump had held a press conference parading several women that Bill Clinton had allegedly sexually abused in the past although he denied it.  I wasn't sure what that had to do with Hilary Clinton and wanted to see how she handled it.  The debate was something that I have never seen before with personal attack after personal attack - followed by a severe lack of facts / policies.  Clearly this is not my election and every country will do things their own way but, as leader of  USA, the elected President will have enormous power and influence over world affairs.  I can only hope that the next debate has more substance and less mudslinging - otherwise I don't know how anyone could decide which way to vote.

This morning I woke up to a cold, wet morning and spent some time sorting out the fabric / equipment needed for the Textiles group - as well as the usual tidying up and hoovering!  The textile group went well - this time, though, everyone was doing a different project.  I finished my Lynette Anderson bag - well, just a button needed.








Whilst Jean pinned and tacked her bag, before going on to do some more wonky house brooches.










Ev was making up some coasters to take to the Scamblesby Art Fayre and sell, whilst Carine was making the Sweet 16 bag that I shared with you yesterday out of her gorgeous charm pack.

Once home, it was a quick turn around to take the dogs up to the beach before the storm set in - the sky went extremely black!!  Tonight, as I said yesterday, I am off to  the local theatre to watch Sense and Sensibility.  Now I am not feeling old - but I taught the romantic lead actor - help!!