Monday, 30 April 2012

Busy busy busy

So as you can tell I didn't get to post on Friday - John was working from home so needed the computer then we hightailed it off to New Lanark for the weekend to meet up with lots of lovely friends.

Fleur was good. Great taste, not as well risen as I had hoped and a little more scorched on the outside than planned. The whole thing completey made me want to keep going and try again.

I was a little nervous about our trip away though - what to do about Fleur? (I really think Fleur#3 needs a new name, I will consult with Tall Girl after school) Finally I fed her and popped her in the fridge. She has revived nicely on our return so I am feeling positive!

I also bought this delicious wool at the Mill Shop in New Lanark. I wish I could show you some pictures of them all on display but sadly the battery on my camera died so no can do.

I was like a kid in a sweetie shop! I had real trouble choosing colours. I would have bought them all if I could. Eventually I spread all the possibles out across the floor gradually narrowing my choice. The little old ladies who were also choosing thought it was hilarious.

I am going to make a cushion with them. The lovely online shop means that I can buy more if I don't have enough of any of the colours or if I decide I need more colours!


Thursday, 26 April 2012

Introducing Fleur

Ooo it seems ages since I popped by - that's what comes of having a social life. Giant Baby's god-parents live in New Mexico and were on a whistle stop tour of UK friends and family so we dropped everything to pack a year's worth of fun and frolics into two days.

Shall I show you what else I have been up to?

I have have been experimenting with starting a sourdough starter. She is called Fleur - named by Tall Girl. An excellent choice I think.

I started off following the instructions in River Cottage Every Day.

Hugh says to cover your starter with a lid. I did this and poor Fleur met an early demise. She did not smell good and went in the bin! Fleur#2 was going great guns (covered by a tea towel) until I put her in stainless steel bowl. A bit of interweb research and I discovered that you should NEVER put a sourdough starter in a metal bowl or use a metal spoon. She limped along for a few days after that but gradually seemed to recover some of here former vigour.

Last night I decided that the moment had come to test her out. I made the sponge according to Hugh's instructions and by this morning it was all bubbly and lovely.

I added the final ingredients and got a bit of a work out kneading her.

She is currently rising nicely and needs to carry on for the rest of the day. Sourdough is definitely not fast food!

I'll let you know how she turns out tomorrow.


Sunday, 22 April 2012

Chancing the weather


Hope you are having a fun weekend.

I didn't zoom out on Friday afternoon and plant out the Sweetpeas. I got distracted instead. Easily done! Anyway after 48hours of heavy rain they were looking very sad indeed so when the Sun peeked out after lunch today I turfed Tall Girl, Tiny Boy and myself outside while J put  Giant Baby down for a nap.

This is the newest area of our garden. J and I put in a week of hard graft during the February half term while the Smalls were staying with their Grandparents. We are overjoyed with the result but of couse many of the climbers will take a while to reach the top so this year I am using my sweetpeas to suppliment them.

I planted both annual and perennial sweetpeas. I have been keen on the idea of perennial ones for a while - so keen infact that when I sorted out my seed stash I found FOUR unopened packets! Hmm might have to plant some more.

Next up for planting in the window sill though is cabbages, brussel sprouts and curly kale. Mine all germinated beautifully out in the seed bed then got eaten completely before they even made it past two leaves. If at first you don't succeed...


Friday, 20 April 2012

A little slice of paradise

Good afternoon!

Well we all got totally soaked on the way to school this morning but now the sun is shining, Giant Baby is asleep and I am going to tell you about one of my favourite places.

We regularly pack up our waterproofs and head off to the lovely Alnwick Gardens for a wee day out. We went off there on Monday since it was the last day of the Easter hols and we had spent much of the two week break plagued by upset tummys. I thought a little jolly to end the holidays on a high was in order.

It is a totally brilliant place at any time of year with fountains, (including ones you can play in although I don't seem to have taken any pictures of those),

wonderful flowers,

and very original planting.

These hedges on stilts are made of crab apple trees, as are the hedges either side of this gorgeous path.

At the moment they are smothered in blossom.

The kids simply love it here. They run  and jump and splash, then suddenly stop and peer at the beauty of a particularly wonderful flower. Here they are going on a bear hunt...

Giant Baby is wearing his big sister's fleece because I didn't quite get the coat selection right. Can you see one of the fountains in the background?

Now I managed to leave my sweetpeas out in the rain all night so I am going to declare them well and truly hardened off and I am going to take my chances and plant them out. I just have time before waking the bub and trotting off on the school run.


Thursday, 19 April 2012

Shall I put the kettle on?

Come in, sit down. Cuppa?

I have been considering this blogging lark for quite a while and have finally decided to jump in with both feet.

I thought I'd start with what I believe is known as a Ta Da! I know this is cheating somewhat since it is something I completed a couple of weeks ago but my blog - my rules.

This is my crocheted ball cushion. It started as a FB post about having got hooked on granny hexigans when someone suggested that with the addition of pentagons too I could hook a football. Not being one who can get such a fun hooky idea out of their head, I pootled up to the local wool shop for suitable colours (red white and blue is the new colour scheme in my boys' bedroom, more of which another time I am sure) and off I went. Tiny boy was completely thrilled with it, and before it was even nearly finished claimed it for his own. I am sooo pleased with the result that I am midway through another more girly and flowery one for myself.

Do you want to see how I am getting on?

 I love the flowers within flowers!

Time has marched as always and I must run up the road and fetch Tiny Boy from his preschool.

See you soon. x