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Sunday, 31 May 2015

Rescuing Fairies and Entertaining Tiddlers

Firstly let me welcome Meg, my new follower, I do hope you enjoy my mad ramblings :)

This last week has flown by in a whirl of activity amidst rain, sunshine and much sniffling (mine).  Tuesday night saw me totally sleepless for some reason.  I was tired when I went to bed but just couldn't drop off to sleep.  By 4.45am I gave up, got up, made myself a mug of tea and, when by 6.30am I began to nod off in the armchair, went back to bed and slept until noon.  What a waste of a day.

As it was half term the GC came for the day on Thursday.  They prepared their own lunchtime pizzas with lots of tomato puree, pepperoni, yellow peppers, chopped up tomato (they refuse to eat sliced ones...eh?...) and lots of grated cheese....


 
They even made a small smiley one especially for Grumpy Gramps...their pet name for OH  ;)


As they had made and cooked them themselves they ate every scrap plus a bit of salad which I let them pick from my pot in the garden and wash in a bowl in the sink.

Next came 'cooking' a very loose description of the no-cook sweet things!  First milk chocolate was melted in the microwave....



Then dark chocolate....


Both kinds were layered in tiny shot glasses and a plastic spoon inserted, then they were chilled in the fridge....

 
 
A topping of mini marshmallows was added and 4 of the finished choc pots nicely wrapped to take home and impress Daddy......


                                                   

All it needs is one little choc block stirred into hot milk to make an amazing hot chocolate.  Needless to say they tried one each before they went home that evening....  Chocolate covered cornflake cakes were also on the menu and which mainly disappeared before the next day!
 
 
Rescuing Fairies

My kissing fairies have been on the operating table, well, kitchen table actually, but following advice from fellow bloggers....


I took the top bit apart (quite easy when you pluck up the courage to try it)....


And found the battery.....


I had a bit of a brainwave and decided to try an ordinary battery in it because it could have been a broken bulb and not a spent battery, couldn't it?  Success!  The light came on so I ordered some solar power batteries from the good old internet (6 for £4.95) which arrived amazingly quickly, one has been popped in and, with the switch set to 'off, ' has been outside charging in the bit of sunlight we have had between showers.  Tomorrow, 48hrs later, will be the big SWITCH ON....a bit like Blackpool Illuminations, I hope anyway, so watch this space..  :)

How has your week been?  How did you occupy your children / GC  over half term?  I hope all you teachers are well rested and ready for the rest of term.  Just think, it won't be long until the summer break :)

Have a lovely week ahead x

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Cornish Holiday

Thank you so much for all the comments on my last post.  I have taken all the tips on board, have fed my tatties (greening up perfectly now) and will investigate taking my fairy lamp apart to find the solar battery as it's still not working. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Anyway, we pootled off to Cornwall as planned and after a lot this....


and much huffing and puffing (on my part as well as OH's) we were set up in a personal record time of 50 minutes. Oh lor...surely we can improve on that.....

Our first visit was to Polperro which we have never before visited.  It was a wild and windy day so the beach was very quiet except for stoic dog walkers.... and us.....



 
Not even a single surfer.....and I am not surprised!

 
I felt and looked like Scott of the Antarctic....



but we had a lovely day.
 
 
Next day we visited Port Isaac where the TV series Doc Martin is filmed.  Filming had been taking place quite recently but not on the day we visited. We parked up and walked along the little path at the top of the cliffs to reach the village.  My word the seagulls are friendly.....
 

The view from the path was wonderful, it was still very windy but beautiful views....


Just around the corner was the first glimpse of Port Issac's tiny harbour, stunning!


In the village itself we decided to treat ourselves to a lovely lunch in The Mote pub which overlooks the slipway.  We were lucky enough to get the only window seat upstairs and could people watch whilst eating :) We learned that a black Rhino had been installed at the top of the hill in order to highlight the plight of the Black Rhino in the wild.  The lone creature was a very poignant reminder of what man is actually doing to our world....



We walked up the steep hill towards the Rhino and looked across the harbour.  The white building is the school in the fictional Port Wenn of Doc Martin fame (now a restaurant, I think)...

           

Further up the hill is Doc Martin's home/ surgery; a lovely building build from Cornish stone.  I would love to have seen inside it but it's not open to the public....


We also visited our beloved Padstow for some Cornish pasties and fresh sea air but I won't bore you with more photo's as Cornish Chickpea has lots of lovely ones on her blog.  The weather did eventually brighten up for us though and, despite OH coming back with a lovely Cornish cold, a great time was had by all.  Oh, and I forgot to mention that we took the ferry from Padstow to Rock for lunch ;)
We had to miss our Eden Project visit as well as Heligan's lost gardens ( and, yes, there were signs John!) because OH's arthritis decided to invade his foot just for a laugh and he couldn't walk far :/

Old age is a terrible affliction....

Thanks everso for popping in.  Have a wonderful Bank Holiday x

Thursday, 14 May 2015

On Growing Pains and Fairies


At long last my potato pot has begun to flourish.  It must be the lovely sunny days we have had lately.  I do wonder, however, if my bargain pack of seed potatoes was a mixed bag.  They were supposed to be Pentland Javelin  but the leaves don't all look alike if you see what I mean.  Now I know that young leaves change as they develop but a close inspection (seeing through the frost damage I had a few weeks ago) shows decidedly a range of shapes and colours.  We will just have to wait and see what happens.



Do you see what I mean? :/


My salad leaves are flourishing now too and we have eaten a fair few already. They were very tasty and you can see that we have also shared them with a bird or snail, I'm not sure which....



I have a definite failure with the carrots though.  I counted 12 yesterday...twelve?  I can't bear to pull them out and start afresh so I will let them grow on. They had better be super tasty!



When we moved in here 5 years ago we treated ourselves to a solar powered lamp for the border....kissing fairies...aw....sweet...but I suddenly realised that it's no longer producing any light so I have switched it off and given the top a good clean to let in more sunlight and I will switch it on again in a week and hope for a glow!  If it still doesn't work it will stay put anyway; I just love it.


Look at our bargain of the month; a lovely strawberry pot for the princely sum of....drum roll per..lease....  £1 !! Yes a whole pound!  It would have been very rude not to have bought it :)




Tomorrow we are going off to Cornwall for a few days, to Padstow in fact, Cornish Chickpea country :)  She posts such wonderful photographs that we have the urge to visit our most favourite place once again. If the weather is kind to us we hope to visit the Eden Project too and perhaps Polperro.  I am taking my camera but I just know that my photographic efforts will be nowhere near as good as Chickpea's.  Never mind, it's the effort that counts, isn't it ;)


Take care while I'm gone, play nice now! x


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Tuesday, 5 May 2015

On Bank Holiday Baking Disasters

I hope you all had a lovely relaxing Bank Holiday Monday.  As you know, I was grounded as my car has a problem (yet again!), it was raining heavily on and off with a lovely bit of sunshine in between and my thoughts turned to baking. I realised I had run out of bread (my usual shopping day is Monday), a quick rummage in the back of the cupboard produced a packet mix which I prepared  according to the instructions. Whilst that was proving, I thought I might make some cholesterol friendly sponge cakes using Flora instead of butter or margarine, then realised my mixing bowl was being used to prove the bread..doh...so I had to improvise...lol...



The sponges actually turned out ok....


Decorated with a bit of frosting (probably not cholesterol friendly on reflection) and some sprinkles, all from the pound shop, they looked reasonably tasty despite not winning a beauty contest...or British Bake Off! :)


The bread, however, was a disaster.  It simply refused to rise.  I have used this kind of packet mix before but usually in the Winter when the heating is on and I have proved it quite successfully in the airing cupboard.  Yesterday, it just wouldn't play ball :(  I moved the bowl around the kitchen trying to find the warmest place then gave in and baked it anyway.  To say it was leaden is a vast understatement.  It thudded out of the tin with a great thump onto the wooden board.  I gingerly cut into it and tasted it.  It tasted a bit like ciabatta which could be down to using oil instead of butter in the mix.  There was no way this 'bread' was going to go to waste so I sliced it up added some sliced tomato and a bit of cheese (full fat, I'm afraid) and grilled it.  It was actually quite tasty and the rest can be eaten with some homemade soup.  I actually made 2 small loaves so one is wrapped up and languishing in the freezer for another time :/



After a tip from Pam @ A New Life In Wales I tried dressing the salad leaves with Balsamic vinegar instead of salad cream (I don't eat mayo) and they were very tasty.  I think the meal fulfils one of my 5 a day too as I ate the ends of the tomato whilst waiting for the grill to do it's job.

Is anyone out there a whizz with breadmaking? How can I improve?

Onwards and upwards, dear friends!

What sort of Monday did you have?  I envy anyone who can take a walk beside the sea....

See you later! x






Sunday, 3 May 2015

On Cholesterol and A Busy Sunday

Welcome to A Heron's View, it's nice to have you aboard :)
 
After a night of quite heavy but soothing sounds of rain, I awoke to a grey day around 9am this morning. What a lazy bones! OH had to go to work (a late shift so not due in until 11am) which made me feel guilty enough to tackle some of this.....
 
 
 
But firstly, one of these..... essential!

 
 
I stripped the bed which made another couple of loads to go in here.  I use a 40 degree wash for bed linen but shorten the programme to 55 minutes instead of the default time of 1 hour 25 minutes.  Does anyone actually get clothes dirty enough to have to wash them for so long? Good grief....

 
 
By 1 o'clock I was pretty hungry and ready for lunch. A quick scrambled egg on toast filled the gap nicely and I indulged myself with two eggs.....very tasty, but at times like this I pine for chooks of my own. Ah well....



Do you remember the time when the slogan was 'Go to work on an egg' ?  The powers that be then decided that eggs were full of cholesterol and therefore bad for us?  A week ago I had my very first health check at the village surgery ( and which will now take place every 5 years...wow!)  On Friday a lady from the surgery rang to say that my cholesterol test results were in and my level is 6.7.  "Crikey", I said  (I had researched this sort of thing online don't ya know :) )  "Isn't that a bit high?" 
"A little" she said "but as your blood pressure and weight are perfectly normal, just cut down on fat and salt and we will do a re-test in 12 months".   Now then, as I drink skimmed milk, eat no meat, very little butter or cream, and cook with olive oil, the culprit can only be cheese (which I do love).  Please don't tell me I have to eat that half fat stuff which tastes of nothing...Yep, I do and, guess what, I can eat several eggs a week for my protein! Huh? :/

Has anyone else had to re-jig their diet to reduce cholesterol levels?  Any tips? Did the plan work? Do tell....

Anyway, back to my day in a nutshell.  After lunch, with the bedding tumble dried as I only have one set, it was duly ironed and put to air, the bathroom scrubbed and tidy, cakes were baked and veg prepared for tea.  Hopefully, this should leave tomorrow free and as OH is once again at work I want a day of crafting and doing lovely things just for me.  I can't go anywhere because my car is poorly. Yesterday it started making horrible metallic grinding noises which my neighbour thinks could be a wheel bearing and I can't get it looked at until Tuesday due to the Bank Holiday.  It sounds expensive aarrggh!


Hope you have all had a lovely Sunday and have an even better day tomorrow, whatever the weather.

Thanks everso for popping in x









Saturday, 2 May 2015

Well I Never! And A Little Bit of Knitting

Well I Never! 
 
I had a couple of positive comments on yesterday's post regarding the withdrawal of Food Bank and pet food donation bins from Sainsbury's store. Helen Graham suggested that Morrisons might have them. Thanks, Helen, but our local one doesn't, unfortunately. Jo@awholeplotoflove reminded me about checking with the Trussell Trust for drop off points. Thanks Jo, I will do that.
 
However, I have an update..... I popped back to the store this morning for my weekend top up and, lo and behold, the donation trolley and bins are back!  As soon as I got home I rang the store to enquire about it.  It seems it was a corporate decision to remove them but the store has been instructed to re-instate them until the end of May when they will, once more, be removed.  Now, why are they being removed at all?  With Sainsbury's connection with Jack Monroe and her action against poverty you would think they would be falling over themselves to keep donations going.  Do they suddenly want to distance themselves from Food Banks?  Are they aiming higher because people are suddenly buying their value ranges rather than the premium 'Taste The Difference' ones?  I wonder...hmm..
 
What do you think is the reason?
 
 
A Little Bit of Knitting
  
A few weeks ago, with time on my hands, I rediscovered my knitting mojo.  I had completely forgotten how pleasurable it can be knitting tiny garments whilst sitting in a comfy armchair in a warm room.  This morning I decided to offer them to a charity shop in town and see if they were enthusiastic about taking them.  Quite honestly, I felt a bit shy about it but a lovely lady in the Marie Curie Cancer Care CS was very welcoming and certainly enthusiastic about the tiny garments.  She said that baby items sell very well and they would love to take more if I wanted to make some.
 
This is what I donated today......
 
 
On the way out I looked at the prices on the baby garments they already had in.  A little buttonless cardigan was £2.50 so, hopefully, mine should sell at more than the cost of the wool.  My income is insufficient to pay tax so I can't Gift Aid them...therefore I do hope so.....I might pop in during the week to see whether they are selling :)

Thanks for popping in. It's lovely to see you x