Monday 30 August 2021

In the garden

 I've tried growing tomatoes a few times but never had great success, so this year I decided to try potatoes instead.  Knowing my track record isn't all that good for growing edible things and not wanting to spend any money I used a large planter that had been empty for a while and just bought some seed potatoes.

I say me, but it was in fact Mark who did the planting and I did most of the watering, so I suppose it was a joint effort :-)

These were the ones I got just off the top on Thursday without digging down too far

I had no idea how long you could leave them in the soil before they rotted, so today we emptied the whole pot and this is the rest.

Not bad for very little work, and more successful than tomatoes.  I have no idea if they taste any different to shop bought potatoes, we are going to try them tonight so I'll let you know.

I popped to Home Bargains on Thursday and they had some Viola's and Pansies on offer, £1.49 for a pack of 10 plants.  You have to be quick if you buy plants from Home Bargains because they don't water them, luckily I think they had only come in that day so I bought 20 packs.

I filled the window boxes

I filled my three tier basket

And a hanging basket

And still had a few left over to do around in other containers

I planted these Violas up about three weeks ago, again bargain buys, this time from Aldi.  Hopefully my new ones will do as well as these have.

I'm ready for Autumn now and fingers crossed I will still have some bright spots to look at in the garden for a while to come.


Thursday 26 August 2021

Monday's outing

 Monday's outing this week was to somewhere I haven't been before, Charlecote Park near to Wellesbourne and about four miles outside Stratford-upon-Avon.  It was about 45 minutes in the car but pretty straightforward to get to.

Charlecote Park was built in 1558 by Sir Thomas Lucy, the Lucy family had owned the land since 1247 and Queen Elizabeth once stayed in the room which now the drawing room.

Only the lower floors were open to the public and we couldn't spend too much time reading or looking at all the lovely things because we had three children in tow.  So I think a child free trip might be in order so that I can appreciate it and find out more.

The servants quarters were interesting, Arty took a liking to the stove of all things

And they were all fascinated to see how washing used to be done.  What hard work it must have been, I wonder what they would think if they came back now and saw our washing machines and tumble dryers.

The grounds are huge, 185 acres, and there were lots people taking advantage of the good weather that day.  It mentioned on the NT site that deer roam freely around the estate, we found a bunch of them on one side of the estate and a bunch on the other side of the lake.

Jacob sheep have been kept at Charlecote Park for over 200 years.  They were introduced by George Lucy from his travels through Europe back in 1756 and were the first managed Jacob flock to be introduced into England.  Today they have one of the largest flocks in the country

It was a great day out and I can highly recommend a visit, especially if the weather is good because the walks around the estate are so lovely, there are plenty of things to see and lovely big open spaces for the kids to run around.  There was even a bit of den building, Arty's not afraid of getting his hands dirty that's for sure, lol


Sunday 22 August 2021

Still stiching

 I started Quaker Pumpkins by Hello From Liz Matthews at the beginning of July and worked on it on and off for a couple of weeks in that month, then I'm afraid I lost interest in it.  

I'm not one of those people that can just put a few stitches in here and there, I much prefer to set aside a chunk of time to sit and stitch, that does mean that I'm less productive though, especially now with looking after grandchildren, who are still on school holiday and taking my turn looking after mum.

But last week, apart from one day, I had a child free week and a week off from my turn at mums, (we have all taken it in turns to have a week off 'mum duties' so that we could get a decent break).  It was lovely not to be clock watching every day and thinking about being somewhere by a certain time, and of course It meant I had some free time for stitching.

It was never my intention to stitch the words on this piece, so with a bit of luck, and some stitching time I'm hoping to get it done soon.  

And.... I've just noticed that there is an incomplete section on the first pumpkin! Good job I uploaded the photo because I hadn't noticed it πŸ˜•

I have an idea how I'd like to finish it but, I don't know if my finishing skills are up to it, we shall see.

I opened my surprise book this morning as I will need something new to read tonight. There were a couple of guesses as to what the book might be and some people, like me, hadn't got a clue.  There was one person however who guessed correctly.  Gloriade said she thought it was Whitethorn Woods by Maeve Binchy, and she was right!

I've only read one other Maeve Binchy book and that was a long time ago.  This one has mixed reviews on Goodreads, but I'm going to give it a go and I'll let you know what I thought later in the month.

I haven't done any baking in a while but I was in the mood to this morning so we have scones and banana loaf for tea.  I only use a basic banana loaf recipe and then add some extras, chopped nuts, sultanas, chocolate chips, and my secret ingredient, (caramel flavouring), shhh, don't tellπŸ˜‰ 
That little drop of flavouring is what makes the loaf so delicious and everyone who has tried it has said how lovely it is, so it must work, ha ha.

I hope you are all having a lovely relaxing Sunday, we have another Monday outing planned for tomorrow which I will tell you all about later in the week.

Take care

Monday 16 August 2021

Monday's outing

 Our Monday outing today was to Wightwick Manor, (pronounced Wittick), a Victorian manor house who's owners were passionate about the Art's and Crafts movement.  Today the house is owned by the National Trust for everyone to enjoy.  

The house was built by Theodore Mandor who's family were successful 19th century industrialists.  It was built in two phases, the first being completed in 1887, the house was then extended in 1983 by the addition of the Great Parlor wing.  Theodore and his wife decorated the house with designs from William Morris and the Arts and Craft movement, which was popular at the time.

Theodore's son, Geoffrey Mandor persuaded the National Trust to take on the house even though it was only 50 yeas old, the collection were so complete that it was considered worth preserving.  Descendants of the Mander family still retain a private apartment at the Manor.

Only the ground floor of the house is accessible at the moment, not sure why, but there are beautiful grounds to walk around and enjoy too.

In the kitchen garden we found some very big pumpkins and a scarecrow!

There are more photos on a post from August 2016 of Wightwick Manor HERE.  It was a better day weather wise than today and more photos of the inside of the house, there is also a very little Oliver, lol.

On the way out we took a look around the shop, National Trust shops are a little on the expensive side, but it's nice to look, we came across a basket full of wrapped books, I can't resist a surprise book and at £3.00 each was worth a chance.

There is a tag with a little clue as the what the book is about, the one I chose said...
  Full of warmth, humor and compassion.  This story tells of the people of a sleepy Irish town, each with their own tale as they wait for the great road of progress.....

I thought this was such a brilliant idea.

Does anyone have an idea as to what the book might be from the writing on the tag?  I haven't got a clue, but would love to read your guesses :-)

I'm not going to open it until I've finished my current book, then I'll let you know what was inside.


Wednesday 11 August 2021

New garden friends and book giveaway winners

 We have had some new visitors to our garden over the last few weeks so I thought I would share them with you, they have been a source of entertainment and I never tire of watching them.

We now have a pair of Thrushes come every day

And they do like to make use of the spar facilities while they are here

Bert, (named by Bonnie, although I'm not convinced he is the original Bert,)  is usually the first one to arrive in the morning, and if I haven't yet filled up the feeder he stands and stares at the kitchen window!  He is quite brave and is back down most times before I've even walked away.

Although I have to say, he is like that person at a buffet who piles their plate sky high, (there is always one isn't there, lol)

I've started to put a bit of cheese out and he wants it all!

Mrs Bert has better table manners.
It looks like she's giving him that look here, lol

We had another greedy flock last week, six juvenile starlings swooped in.  That bird feeder was almost half full when they arrived and they ate the lot within half an hour.

They haven't got all their plumage yet, but still so pretty, I'll forgive them their greediness because I loved watching them 

I had to look this one up, its a female House Sparrow, they have a yellow beak in summer but it turns dark in Winter.  

We still get loads of Tit's to the feeders everyday, especially in the morning and early afternoon, and these last few weeks there have been more Dunnocks too.  I probably spend way too much time each day standing watching them through the kitchen window, but It makes me smile to watch their comings and goings so I'm not going to stop.

Book Giveaway
 Marlene was the only one who said she would be interested in Lockdown by Peter May.  I already have your address Marlene so will get it in the post to you by the weekend.

Two people were interested in Away With The Penguins so I used Wheel of to pick the winner and the name that came out was Jean from the blog Shrimpton and Perfect. 

Jean, If you can drop me an email with your address i'll get it in the post to you.