Poppy Patchwork


My little bit of this big World

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Getting ready

£123.00
 Finding gifts
Christmas cake
With Christmas coming up so fast, we are trying to stay ahead, this morning I emptied our lovely coin jar, after much counting we had £141.68 inside, so a good years saving. We can only bank full bags, so £123.00 is ready to go to the bank, £6.68 was put back in the jar, the difference £13 were all pound coins so they were passed to hubby, he uses coins most days. The savings will be used for the purchase of our meats and other food items for Christmas. I have already a collections of nibbles, biscuits and sweets stashed for the holiday period. We have £46+ on our Co-op loyalty card, which will be used for fresh veg, cream and last minute purchases. Plus we have points for Tesco and Sainsbugs, but neither are a huge amount. 
We have a second piggy bank, in which we save £2 coins, on checking there is £72.00, which has been returned and left to grow, I think it will take over 100 coins to fill it.
I am also looking out 12 items, all new and unused, to be passed to our local charity shop, I call it my 12 days of Christmas, I have done this for the past 4 years, it's a useful way of passing on good unused items. We are also getting 2 gifts for elderly people in our local hospital, we did this last year, it's nice to ensure no-one is forgotten at Christmas.
I have put the marzipan on our Christmas cake, and had some left over, so I intend to cover these balls with a rich dark chocolate and some sprinkles, a simple home made treat.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Our weekend

 This came in the post, later coffee and read.
I subscribed in the summer when they offered 2 years at a highly discounted rate, for their 50th anniversary. I am saving each copy as I won't buy another subscription. 
We popped to Monkton Elm yesterday, it was mobbed, so I walked around their craft section. I love these colours, the cost has been added to my stash list. 
Thinking ahead to Christmas, from Asda. 
We have been home again to Somerset, staying with my brother in Cannington, we all went for a family meal Saturday night, at a local pub, The Malt Shovel, Blackmore lane, just outside the village. Another great meal, my only criticism, was why do places serve such huge portions, when almost everyone was not able to eat everything served for their meal, almost every plate served whilst we were there was piled too high. The cost of the food was good, and it was all cooked and served well, we all saved money as no-one could eat a dessert. My sister was not happy to have a wooden block for her main meal, preferring a plate.
We popped to the local Asda, it's a much smaller shop than at home, and picked up PJ's for Christmas, a matching pair for everyone including baby Will. We also stocked up on loads of bit's and have enough toilet rolls for most of next year. We do like their own brand, quilted shades.
I love the garden center at Monkton Elm, it was full of Christmas stuff, all of which we walked past, I have no plans to get anything new from local places. I did linger longer in the craft section.
Sunday we saw our lovely Taunton boys, Logan and Finn, both are so much taller,  but still full of fun and laughter, an afternoon inside playing together. Later an adult evening with mummy and daddy sharing a nice Pizza.
My niece has a new baby son (6 weeks old), so we had cuddles, he is tiny compared with Will, how quick all our grandsons grow.
We stayed an extra night and traveled back this morning on much quieter roads, we enjoyed the extra time with family and a much better drive, not so many cars whizzing past us on the A303.


Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Valencia

Train station and bullring
Cathedral from the back
Love this tree
City indoor market


We love these fruits. 
Lunch
Cakes
I love this city, it is busy, clean and so welcoming, we traveled by train to the city center, and had a perfect day just wondering around. The buildings are all very old, but well looked after.
We have many times visited the food market and always love the smells, colours of the stalls, the variety of things for sell on each stall was huge,  and all looks so fresh. Lunch had to be Paella, afternoon coffee had to have cakes, plus sitting in the sun people watching with a beer (hubby) and red wine for me. With the amount of walking we did averaging over 12,000 steps per day, we did not watch our diet at all.
We did not do much shopping, it was tempting as the prices in Spain are cheaper than here, we did bring back Spanish sweets and chocolate. They are not in Christmas mode as we are in UK, we were told they start closer to December, we only saw a few shops decorated, and we saw very few Christmas decorations for sale. I did buy some  sewing items, mainly because they are different from anything here in UK.
I read three books on my iPad, Sue Grafton books, I is for Innocent, J is for Judgement, K is for Killer.
We are now getting used to the cold again, every where feels so grey, I have lit my candles most evenings. I am happy to be getting up each morning at 8am, missing the worst of the early mornings.
Monday I went shopping with Su and Will, just a few stocking fillers, and a nice lunch.
The wonderful hello we got from Will was brilliant, he was so pleased to see us.
Yesterday I went for a walk around our local park, and later I had Will over, so mummy could do some jobs. We had a fun day inside, watching the birds in our garden and playing.
Today I had a friend here, we walked to Portchester castle, the tide was in so the water was flat calm, later we had home made carrot and coriander soup. A perfect day, but still I am totally tired,

Monday, 13 November 2017

Cheste, Spain


Views from our flat
The countryside, full of oranges
I love to see these views from the summer house
Huge street Paella 
Street food
Some of the bikes, there were hundreds. 
A visit to the co-op fruit plant.
Sizing the oranges
Down to packing
We have been visiting Cheste for 25 years, it's a small town near to Valencia, which sits on the med coast down from Barcelona.
Life here is very rural Spain, which has changed over the years from growing grapes to oranges, the main crops for the area are Oranges, Grapes, Olives and Almonds.  We love staying with our Spanish friends and living their Spanish lifestyle.
The weather was great, warm and sunny every day, I loved being in my sandals again, sadly they are now packed away until next year.
We were lucky enough to be offered a visit to the local orange sorting and packing plant, simple operation to ensure the oranges are all to the standard required.
The town is a quiet place except in November, when the local GP motor track has it's main race, the whole town is transformed into a biker paradise, through Friday, Saturday and Sunday the population doubles in size. The street markets are huge, we loved all the street food. It 's the first time we have visited when the event is running, and in true Spanish style, it was busy noisy and loads of fun. Most of the town stayed awake until 5-6 each morning, so sleep was not easy, as our flat is in the center of all the fun. We often find they have a very relaxed way of doing things, there were bikes everywhere and loads of showing off, alot of which would not be allowed in UK. Hubby was in bike heaven.
We had a lovely meal out on my birthday, the whole family, we elected for Chinese which we enjoyed, plus I had a great birthday cake.
We are now back home and it is cold, we woke up to a frost this morning, so my tender flowers in the garden will not last much longer. I hope to get outside later this week, but other than picking up leaves there is not much to do.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

A very new start

I have finally started some cross stitching, nothing called to me so I have started this little bird. it's on 20dpi, which is large scale for me, but it has to be stitched with 2 threads, and has colour blending on the body. 
Another great bargain, £5 from the charity shop, and hubby paid, sorry the photo is not the best. Here is by my chair, I keep a few books , my hexagon box and a plastic container with my sewing. This basket is much nicer sewing storage box. I will line the basket at some point. 
 I had an early birthday celebration at the weekend, daughter got me this lovely soft scarf, red and navy, it will go with my red jacket. Hubby remembered I said Monty had a new book. 
We are on a birthday break, just hubby and I, involving a big silver bird, and loads of sunshine, with friends house sitting and giving our cats loads of cuddles, we have left the gloom of UK behind. I have wrote this post before I left, I do not get on with blogger on my Ipad.  But I am able to read everyone's post. I have loads of books on my iPad, so plenty of reading.
We are near Valencia, Spain for a week, not a beach holiday, but plenty of rest in the sunshine. Today is my birthday, not sure what hubby has planned for me, I can tell you once we are back in England.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

My week

How cute is Will
 Simple costume from Asda.
He is still not walking, but very confident on his feet. 
I spent £5.30 at our local market on Wednesday
The 4 small ever greens I have planted into one pot, which is in the greenhouse, I would love these to bush out, I have a pot next to our back door, which next spring I want to use, once these are fuller, I will cut to make topiary, I want them in a button shape, not to high from the top of the pot. 
I have knitted myself a chunky little scarf
Perfect for under my winter jacket, I have an allergy to lanolin, and can't wear any wool, so winter scarfs are always a problem. This is knitted with chunky woven Tshirt cotton. 
Another good book, I loved this story, it was a great read to the end, this is the second book I have read by Debbie Howells, I will look for a few more titles. 
Carrot and coriander soup
We had to make more soup, a friend stayed for lunch one day, so our leftover soups are all gone. Last week we got cheap bags of carrots and tomatoes, so we got a pack of fresh coriander, added an onion and a couple peppers going soft, it taste brilliant, and we have enough to last for this week's lunches. We are still eating leftovers, last night we had cold beef with wedge potatoes, and a mixture of roasted tomatoes, sweet peppers and mushrooms, it was a lovely meal. Tonight we are having turkey pie with cranberry sauce, stuffing and parma ham, all mixed together and baked in the oven. 
It's a sunny and cold morning here, lovely blue skies, I have a line of washing blowing in the breeze, nothing to do in the garden, everywhere is tidy, I do pick up the fallen leaves and pop them on my raspberry plot, the huge magnolia leaves are not falling yet.
I have no plans to go out, Will is coming for a couple of hours this afternoon, so play time, it might be nice to take him for a walk around our park, he loves to see the children and dogs running around. 

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

October gone

I came in just under budget, but spent more than predicted
the purchase of the walking foot was not budgeted at all. 
As yet I have not found the Christmas fabrics I am searching for, I still have a couple of places to pop to, I really do not want to take a chance on the net and end up with the wrong weight of cotton. 
I have portioned the leftovers from Sunday lunch, the beef was on discount for the larger pieces, so we purchased knowing we would have loads left over.
Monday's tea, beef roast, plus a bowl for Will who was on another sleepover.
 The turkey and stuffing are in the fridge, enough to make pie, 
again I will add cranberry sauce and palma ham. 
The beef will be used this week for meals. 
 Turkey carcass and left over veg, once the meat came away from the bones, I added the veg, warmed everything through and blended it. I am fussy with what veg I eat, but adding it to a soup, mixes the taste and I get to eat everything. 
 Four huge pots of good thick soup, which is perfect this week as our temperatures are dropping. These four cups will make three lunches for hubby and I. 
We are on a mission to clear the fridge this week, we have enough to ensure we should not require a big shop, hubby will make bread today.
Will had a good sleep over, we were up at six, bit earlier than normal, I put him in his travel cot whilst I had my shower and he is taking a nap, not sure how long he will be down, our sitting room looks like a toy shop, we have the morning to play together, then he is out with mummy to another baby playtime.
I have finished reading Dead Woman Walking, Sharon Bolton, she is a master of leading you wrong and then when she revels the true plot, it was there all along. I could not put the book down, hubby is now reading it. I am also reading letters from Father Christmas, J R R Tolkien, a dip into a long gone world of childhood in the 30's and 40's. It is the publication of letters to his children, I can dip into it as and when I want.
Whilst I was feeling under the weather, my steps dropped and honestly I was not too bothered, but yesterday I got to my target, so the plan will be a couple of walks today. These cold sunny crisp mornings are great time for walks.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

In the greenhouse

Free plants,

 I have 12 violets grown from roots taken from a huge plant in my garden, I want to plant these all along the front of my side garden, so they hang over the raised bed. Soon I will pot these on, to stay in the greenhouse all winter. I will then get another 12 root cutting to grow for my sister. 
 This is my Kiwi plant, grown from a seed, 
it took three attempts, bit it is now a nice size. 
 I was given this walnut tree and a small plant, it has tripled in size. 
 Not a free plant but a reduced daisy I purchased last month, it will stay in the greenhouse over winter, I have the perfect spot for it next spring. 
I love my nasties, I made a few mixed pots this summer, but again these will winter in the dry, they do not mind the cold, but hate to be cold and wet. 
 Geraniums, loads of different ones,
 in the spring I will take cutting to make more plants.  
 A close up of our back fence by my greenhouse, so full of colour, not alot grows here, my neighbour has four trees all in his back 9 foot of garden, they make a lovely backdrop for our garden, but stops most things growing. The table and chairs make a great workbench for me, when I am not sipping my tea. 
I am not planning to heat my greenhouse, I have a big plastic propagator, which I have placed on the raised bed inside, and a few of the delicate plants sit in it, when the real cold weather comers I can close the top to give extra protection. My citrus and olive plants both do well inside away from the frost.
It has been much cooler today, on my walk this morning the air had a bit of a chill, I do love cold sunny days.
We had a family lunch this afternoon, Will, mummy and daddy, plus daddies parents, we had been looking for a nice pub, but all the good ones were very busy, so we decided to eat at home and allow Will plenty of play area. We had our second turkey dinner, plus roast beef, Grandma and grandpa brought the desserts, rhubarb crumble, lemon meringue, so a huge lovely meal was had by all.
Will has been a bit out of sorts, we thing the clocks going back last night threw his routine, he has been tired most of the day.
We have a quiet night in together, and a lazy day tomorrow, we have so much leftovers we won't need to cook. I will be having Will again tomorrow, I do love our days together.
I have not done any more to the quilt, I hope to finish it this week, and then stitch the reading wigwam.

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