Saturday, 27 April 2019

An Easter Weekend full of my Favourite Things #2

Hi there everyone ๐Ÿ˜€

Welcome to my second post of Easter ramblings. As you will know we spent Good Friday having fun with David, Alison and Bobby. Saturday was to be a far more relaxed affair.

It was another corker of a day, full sunshine, clear blue skies and the temperature gradually rising over the course of the day.
We got a few errands done early on, leaving us with the rest of the day at home. We pretty much spent it all in the garden, nipping in and out of the shade of the umbrellas, whilst we matched up pots with saucers for the summer, diluted worm tea and gave all of the pots a good water and feed.

The garden is really starting to look lush and green, but there is plenty of colour too, both in the borders ...
Morello cherry, periwinkle, flowering currant, choisya, honeysuckle, honesty, kerria, summer snowflake
... and in the pots ...
Anemone, rhododendron, tree peony, primula
There is plenty of blossom on the trees ...
Lilac, flowering cherry, acer
... and the raised bed on the patio is starting to look really full, with lots of buds coming on the clematis and the rose. The plan was for there to be colour in this bed all year round and so far it's looking promising ...
Camassia, tulips, primulas
There is plenty going on in the greenhouse too. The summer basket plants we potted on are growing well ...

... and the seeds have all pretty much come through with the beans putting on a real spurt over the weekend ...
We didn't spend the whole day working out there though, it was just too hot. There were plenty of breaks with ice lollies from the freezer, cold drinks and a sneaky little read ...
... before enjoying another slow cooker dinner, though, to be fair, a BBQ would have gone down very nicely.

Sunday morning we were up bright and early. We were off to our first craft fair of the year so the car was packed to the rafters with all the paraphernalia needed to set us up for the day, including plenty of pack up and cold drinks.

It was forecast to be another glorious day and we managed to stop and catch a photo of the old colliery wheel in the early morning sunshine on our way ...

The craft fair we went to is a monthly one held at Hoar Park Craft Village. It's in a lovely spot and we've been a few times before. It's always lovely first thing ... dead calm and very quiet ...
 
Once those barn doors open though, at bang on 8.45am, that all changes and there's a bit of a manic hour whilst everyone is unloading and setting up ...
After lots of trips to and from the car for Martin and lots of unpacking boxes and titivating for me we were soon up and ready to go ...


It wasn't the busiest of days, but there was a steady trickle of people wandering round and we managed to sell a few bits and pieces. We more than covered the cost of the stall so overall we were happy with how the day had gone. We'd sat in comfy chairs, had an indoor picnic, chatted to lots of people, had lots of compliments on how nice our stuff was, done the crossword and weren't going home out of pocket, so no complaints from us.

There was also plenty of time for a bit of a wander in the sunshine ... I'm all right as long as I don't leave Martin on his own for too long ...

By the time we'd got home and unpacked the car we were both pretty shattered and just about fit to flop in front of Sunday night TV with a Chinese.

Monday morning and the last day of our long weekend. Martin was back at work for the rest of the week so we wanted to have a fairly slow day.

We started off calling in at Jackie and Phil's to drop off a baby gift that I'd made for Chris and Jenny's baby girl which really is due any time soon ...

From there we headed to a garden centre just the other side of Lichfield, which neither of us had ever visited before. There had been a new zero waste food shop open there over the weekend and I wanted to go and have a look. I was also hoping that it might be a good spot for something to eat whilst we were out and about.

It was definitely a good call for lunch. It was another glorious day and we found the perfect spot to sit for lunch outside, under the shade of a huge umbrella ...

The menu looked interesting and we were spoilt for choice. Martin opted for a burger and I went for a cheese and pickle sandwich with some sweet potato fries. It did take about half an hour for our food to arrive, but it was worth the wait ...

The portion sizes were decent and the food was very, very good ...

We had a good mooch round the garden centre, the craft cabins and the zero waste shop before heading for home, where we spent the rest of the afternoon just chilling out, Martin getting ready for work and me managing a few more rows of the border of my crocheted blanket ...

It had been a real cracker of an Easter weekend and we were both sad to see it end.

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Thursday, 25 April 2019

An Easter Weekend full of my Favourite Things #1

Hi there everyone ๐Ÿ˜€

You would be forgiven for thinking that, once retired, Bank Holiday weekends are pretty much like any other. I have discovered that this is very much not the case. There is still the excitement of looking forward to a 'long' weekend, just as I did when I was working.

I think it's because I know that other people, who are normally working or at school, are also off, which means I can spend time with friends and family without it having to be a weekend. Also, there do tend to be lots of events and bits and pieces happening when it's a Bank Holiday, even if its just a family BBQ in the garden.

And when the weather forecast is what is was for the Easter weekend that we've just had, then all the better ...

This year I can really say that the weekend was just full of my favourite things ... we spent time with the little man, we spent time in the garden, we got out and about, we found a new lunch spot and we also had time for some general chill out.

We kicked off the weekend on Good Friday with a lovely morning spent with David, Alison and the little man. They came here first for a bit of garden fun. We'd been up relatively early for us and had hidden some little Easter eggs in places that an excited 2 year old would have a chance of finding them ...
... and got the wormery out and ready for him to have a look ...
David and Alison must have told the little man that there were worms to be looked for as that was pretty much the first thing he asked for as they came through the gate. Well, Martin was happy to oblige ...
Sadly, our worms are either very shy or they haven't thrived well in our wormery so we didn't find that many, but it was good fun looking and most exciting when we found the odd fat wriggly one.

We had a lot more luck with the Easter egg hunt and the little man found all eight, making a really good job of counting them as he found them. It was a real joy to watch him hunting and getting all excited every time he spotted a bit of shiny foil ...
Next on the cards was an idea pinched from our latest Gardeners' World magazine ... bean planting in a jam jar ...
The beans all planted they needed a gentle spray and so it began ... this was definitely something that Bobby fancied have a go at. After a bit of gentle coaching from dad ...
Everything was fair game for a gentle misting ... the furniture, the strawberry bed, the greenhouse ...
... the pots, the beds and the borders ...
Daddy soon decided that a gentle mist wasn't actually that much fun, not when there was a full on jet spray to be had ...
We ended up having to bring out the big guns ...
By the time we packed away we'd all got wet patches, but we soon dried off in the warm sunshine ...
We headed off down to the Castle Grounds where first stop was the play park ...
We are so lucky to have our Castle Grounds, the flower beds always look stunning and today was no exception ...
The stone paths and wonky steps just perfect for a little intrepid explorer ...
... and sculptures, through the eyes of a two year old, great fun too ...
He did manage to still for just long enough to capture a group selfie ... which is becoming a bit of a rare event ... there are just so many more interesting and exciting things to be doing that to be hanging around for photos ...
It was then time for lunch in the cafe before a bit of duck feeding ... and they really aren't that keen on oats, even though they are supposed to be good for them ... and daisy chain making ...
... before heading over to the fun fair ...
... where the roundabout seemed like a good option until it became a reality ...
So hook a duck it was ...

The roller coaster just about got the thumbs up, though there were a few wobbly moments ...
It was soon time to wave good bye to the fair and head back to the car ...
... taking with us the usual plastic tat that comes from a go on the hook a duck stall ...
For a little one that's never had a sword before it certainly didn't take much for him to know exactly what to do with it ...
Bobby wasn't the only one taking something home though. I was really looking forward to this with a drink sitting in the garden later ...
It was definitely a very good Good Friday!

Well, the plan was to do just one post for the Easter weekend, but I think I will have to save the rest for next time ๐Ÿค๐Ÿค๐Ÿค

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Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Joy in the Everyday Ordinary - April 11-21

Hi there everyone ๐Ÿ˜€

It's the Tuesday morning after the Easter weekend and what a weekend it's been. Four whole days full of blue skies, sunshine and record temperatures. It's not very often we get that combination in this country and it was a real treat.

We managed to fit in lots of our favourite things, making the most of the sunshine. I really felt for Martin having to get up for work this morning, but at least it's just for the four days.

To be fair, it's not just the Easter weekend that has been good from a weather point of view, the previous week saw plenty of dry weather, though it was a little cooler and we managed to make a few more strides in the garden as well as finding time for a bit of crafting ... and we've been to our first craft fair of the year ... so all in all it's been a fairly eventful 10 days ...
Day 11 - I was thrilled to finish a surprise computer project today, that has taken up a lot of my time this week. I did manage to get out into the garden in the afternoon sunshine and scarify the grass. This friend wasn't too impressed at being disturbed from basking in the sun.
Day 12 - After what seems like weeks I finally got my sewing machine back today. I though I'd best test it to check all was ok and ended up managing to finish this gift project for a baby girl due very soon.
Day 13 - We had a lovely day today just pottering out and about. We started at Dobbies, a local garden centre, where we had brunch and picked up some bargain hanging basket plants with a gift voucher I'd had from a friend for Christmas. On the way back we called into a local fabric shop where I picked up a pattern and some fabric for my next sewing project ... my first garment since I was at school studying 'O' Level Needlework ๐Ÿ˜€. We finished our day with a home cooked curry night with our good friends Jackie and Phil, who literally live just around the corner.
Day 14 - We had a nice slow day today, but of course there was time for a mooch around the garden, which is starting to look really lush and green now. This tree peony always brings a smile once it flowers as it was salvaged from Beryl's garden and it always makes me think of her when I see it bloom ๐Ÿ˜€

Day 15 - We put abruzzi lamb in the slow cooker and had a day out back in the garden. We managed to finally get the last fence panel in, which was a fab result and then moved on to potting on the bargain hanging basket plants we'd bought at the weekend.
Day 16 - These were delivered today. There are so pretty ... but that's not why I've bought them. I thought I'd give them a try as you are able to buy refills for them, rather than having to constantly buy new bottles, so I thought it might help with our journey to less waste. I'll let you know how I get on with them.
Day 17 - We actually forced ourselves to do a bit of housework today ... but not so much that there wasn't time for a bit more hooky ๐Ÿ˜€
Day 18 - The camassia is in flower. This was a clump that was dug up for us by a kind cottage owner when we were away for our wedding anniversary in Pickering. I love the fact that it has taken well to our garden and it's always reminder of a lovely time spent in Yorkshire.
Day 19 - It was Good Friday and we had the loveliest of days. We spent the best part of the day with David, Alison & Bobby, starting off in the garden where Bobby was helping ... well he was to start with! We then had a wander round the castle grounds in the sunshine, fed the ducks, had some lunch and had a wander round the fair. The little man was on top form and we had the best time.
Day 20 - Today was sooooooo hot. We put in a bit of a token effort in the garden and managed to get all the pot saucers matched up with pots and watered everything, but we had plenty of breaks and I finally managed to finish my book.
Day 21 - Easter Sunday and today found us out for the first time with the craft stall. It was a fairly slow day but we did ok and just had a nice day sitting, chatting, eating, doing the crossword ... what's not to like?

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So there we go for another 10 days of the things that have made me smile.

I've lots more to share with you about our Easter weekend, but I'll save that for another post, so look out for that if you want to find out more about what the little man got up to and how we got on at the craft fair .... oh, and we found another garden centre with the loveliest cafe for a sunny day.

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