Thursday, 27 October 2016

Let the baking begin!!

We have all the ingredients for 2 Christmas cakes (I always do one for my youngest son) and a large Christmas pudding as we are have DH's daughters and one hubby and one partner.. so nice to have a family Christmas.
DH and I love baking altho' with always watching what we eat these last two months we have done none, but each time I look at blogs where there are cakes I have a longing to bake.
It was the final of 'Bake Off' last evening; we will miss it. Candice won. I wanted Jane to win altho' they were all good and the cakes they made each week made my mouth water. I doubt it will be the same on Channel 4, but perhaps Mary and Sue and Mel will do something together in the future, who knows? I do hope so they are a very good team and there have been some very funny times on the show.
Do you like baking?
PS Thank you Lesley I loved your comment and like you love to plant for the spring, I would have visited your blog but couldn't find it?

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Just a pleasant day.

We have had a really pleasant day; did a little gardening this morning. I hoed the main flower bed, it is still very, very dry so easy to riddle the little weeds. Most were marigold seedlings and love in the mist seedlings. There is no need to let them grow I have plenty seeds for spring time.
DH dug up some variegated grass, I have hated it for years and a failing rose, so we had room for a whole lot of daff bulbs DH bought from Wilko. 2.5 Kilos for £2.50 a real  bargain.  They have been planted behind where we intend the new Lutyen's bench to go, I can't wait to order it but DH say wait till we clear some of the garage so we can have some space to oil it. Product DetailsI have always wanted one of these!
Do you have any plans for your garden?
PS. We also popped to Southend.. it was so lovely there, the sea was far out but like a mill pond.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Slimmer of the Week!!!

Today I came home from my SW meeting with this!! I was slimmer of the week.
Amazement doesn't come anywhere near how I felt when my name was called out.. wow!!
I have now lost 11 pounds, so I am well pleased and they are such a great bunch of people too, so much laughing, One lady said she had found the 'C' choices??? We were all perplexed because there are 'A' choices, milk and cheese etc And 'B' choices bread and cereals etc, but what were 'C' choices?
Cake, crisps and chocolate she replied.. we raised the roof laughing!!   It is such a fun time and I am loving the food we are eating, recipes from the magazines and web site.. only 3 pounds to go to  my first stone loss.. I am feeling good! How are you doing that contacted me?

Friday, 21 October 2016

How does your garden grow?

I did say I'd show photos of my garden, but there are a lot of bare patches so just some individual flowers.
This lovely dahlia is from a dear friend. She thought of me as it called' Christine!'
 And this antirrhinum has cheekily  self seeded in the veg patch! 
 And I grew these for DH as he loves them..
 And waiting for labels are these eight jars of grape jelly. The same friend that gave me the dahlia gave us pounds and pounds of grapes.. so there are gallons of wine 'nurdling' on the side in our kitchen and this grape jelly, which has a wonderfully fresh grape taste... very nice indeed.
The wine making is DH's hobby and we have over a 100 bottles of all different wines in racks on the garage. You might be surprised but I rarely drink, but DH gives bottles away so it does go down and a reason for DH to make more! What's your favourite tipple?

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

We nearly moved to Suffolk.

My eldest son and girl friend are moving to Suffolk and so are her parents. So while we were there last week, we looked at a semi-detached Victorian styled villa (Date was probably 1900-1910) I absolutely loved it, although it needed a new kitchen and the bathroom needed some TLC too, we would have happily had it all done.  But the rest was fine and truth be told we could have just moved in without having to do anything immediately. The garden was an ok size and had some sort of attempted design, which we could easily have continued and we planned a summer house. We put in a bid of the asking price,  which we both thought was worth it... and it was accepted. So we came home to put our house on the market. We cleaned and tidied, cleared away wool, sewing bits, (me) Books, piled on a blanket box, our TBR piles, magazines, (DH) We made up the empty beds, we polished, vacuumed, cleaned windows, in fact made our house sparkle, it absolutely gleamed!!The Estate Agent thought it very saleable, but do they all say that?
BUT...The one big snag we could not change about the house in Leiston Suffolk, was Leiston itself. Omgosh it was a dire and dreary little town. I tried to think past it. It had a good library, a cinema, a large swimming pool,  a Baptist church, a famous ruined abbey, and only about 2 miles walk to the coast at Sizewell, which has a super little café. So all the basics of a town, but so dark, narrow roads, no café (well there was one but it was closed till 25th Oct.) No shops selling pretty bits and bobs and cards, although a lovely fruit shop, with displays right out onto the pavements, so just like here in Billericay.. but there was too much of 'nothing' for me. We love Billericay town, we often pop in for a mooch and a coffee.. and this house has a very large kitchen which I had built in 2002/2003 and which we have just had re-furbished.. could we  really leave here.. NO!!

 Sorry this shot had our breakfast dishes waiting to be swapped into the dishwasher.

Our kitchen measures 12'x14' I have tried to take photos all round. The doors are shaker style and a vanilla colour with steel handles, the work surfaces a block beech effect. I love it and so does DH, who is doing all the cooking at the moment.
We sit in here in the summer with the door open enjoying the scents of the garden, which is rather nice too, when we're not sitting in the garden. In the winter we sit in our conservatory..(Photos of this and the garden tomorrow's post)
So we are staying here and we are happy to do just that. It has everything we want and need, it has shops 10 minutes walk away, buses to our little town, Basildon, Chelmsford, Brentwood and Lakeside shopping centre.. so a beautiful house and convenient for all we need. And not just a pretty house, with my customed designed front door...our home.

Signing off happy... yeh... very happy.. I am happy with my 'lot'.. I have so much more than most and am very blessed..

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Stormy weather on our last holiday of 2016

We decided on the hop to grab five days away in Southwold..Although we didn't have rain we had some pretty fierce winds. Most days the beach was deserted and we kept to the lower prom to walk.
 And onto the pier where as long as you were wrapped up warm you could sit and have a coffee.
 And this solitary person is me!! I didn't know DH had taken this but you can see it is me in my pink fleece which will zip up with my arm in the sling inside, so I stay warm..
I did have a dreadful cold all week, but I dosed myself up and sucked throat lozzenges and I was ok.

We had a wonderful fish lunch on Wednesday at the Smoke House down by the harbour. It looked a bit ramshackled from outside but inside it was a food gourmet's delight. Omgosh was it good
I had the mixed fish platter DH had the lobster platter. I wish I had taken photographs, because just the look of them was amazing. I had crab in its shell, smoked salmon, cockles which I love, prawns and those big shell on prawns, whelks, smoked sardines, and mussels.. with them we had a crisp green salad and chips.. there was also freshly baked crusty bread and local butter, honestly,  I'd drive the 90 miles back there just for the same again. We washed it down with a glass of chilled NZ sauvignon  blanc, the perfect compliment to the food. I couldn't eat it all so I had some of mine wrapped to take back to the cottage which we ate with some added smoked salmon the next day.
All in all we thoroughly enjoyed our week away and so did Nell.
Isn't it lovely to be able to just pop away when you're retired..anyone else do that? Being retired to do as you like is the good life!!
And while away I lost a lb so I am going down, I have now lost 9 pounds so I am happy.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Autumn has arrived!

 It is definitely autumn here,  I have broken out my warmer clothing, and needed it today in town. It was also raining just a bit and altho' I have been screaming for rain I hated it. It was cold and wet!! Our garden is so dry it is like a desert and trying to plant some new plants has been very difficult for my DH.  Digging down to plant some bulbs, it was still dry 12 " down and hard as iron.

We did our usual visit to the library this morning, and Costa's, both were crowded. There were children every where; in the library singing nursery rhymes and in Costa's just making a noise!!  I always say... thank goodness they're not mine!! Home now in the warm and cosy.

I have treated to myself a hottie bottle because I get cold feet,  but also because I keep seeing these lovely crochet covers which I thought I could do! I have actually bought a book on crochet squares, which I really, really  needed! OK so I do have another couple of books which are about 'grannies' and blankets, but you can never have enough crochet books! Don't you agree? Enjoy this time while temps here are still mid-teens, 14C and even up to 17C this afternoon... it will soon be winter, brrrrr?


PS.. I am sleeping all night, which has been bliss..yeh!