Monday, 29 July 2013

The Summer Holidays are here :)

And so it begins .... the summer holidays  ... and the RAIN !!! Two days , TWO days of sun is all we've had so far with three days of rain since we finished school ... well OK,  2 1/2 days of rain as it did brightened up this afternoon :) I'm not pessimistic, really I'm not (well, maybe a teensy bit ...hahaha) I like to think that I have 'real life' expectations ... yeah, I'm a pessimist ... hahahaa. The last two weeks of school we had glorious hot sunny weather and we were sooooo  ready to enjoy the gloriousness of Mr Sunshine. I'm still hopeful that we'll see more of the sun though ...we've got six more weeks for him to put in more appearances ... hehehe

The last week of school went well, as usual I cried at the end of Year School Assembly, saying goodbye to familiar faces and wondering how they are going to face the future ... In just 3 short years Esther will be saying goodbye and I'm absolutely fraught with panic already. Transition is what the change is called from Special  Educational Needs Schooling to The Big Bad World and I'm quickly learning that it all comes down to funding and location ... as usual! I'm trying hard not to think about it all, changes to policies and 'provision of care' happen every year so in 3 years we could be facing different factors altogether.  ..... Uuuurgggghhhh !!! I'm starting to worry already, worrying my life away ...what a numpty! I need to do some serious shopping !! :) I really, really, reeeeeeaaly want to go to the Festival of Quilts show in Birmingham this year ... I'm currently in negotiations to decide which day I and my support team ;) can manage  ... basically trying to co-ordinate dearest hubby and darling oldest daughter a day off work together so they can be run ragged by the Angels ...hehehe.

I have managed a likkle bit of Internet shopping ...just to keep my hand in as I feel I have been very neglectful of the old Internet just lately... almost forgot how to 'add to basket' !!! Shock, horror of horrors, quick get the woman a chocolate bar! I know its worrying isn't it?  I persevered and practised my 'add to basket' skills and successfully purchased these yummy cross stitch patterns ...

Not wonderful photos :( They are a new set of patterns from Country Stitches - with thy needle and thread by the very talented Brenda Gervias. I'm quite excited at starting some of these, I love her designs :)

I also found these little treasures in a Charity Shop and they just had to come home with me ...
They were labelled as a 'vintage pre-war basket' ...who knows? :) And my favourite was the '1920's Vintage Bathing Jug' that once I got home washed and peeled the sticky price tag of the bottom revealed a 'Made in China' stamp! You've got to admire some peoples cheek, but its a pretty Bathing(?)  jug and looks nice filled with a big bunch of summery tulips .... I'm happy with my Vintage 'made in china'  flower jug ... hahahaa

I've been reading lots too, especially over the last two hot weeks when I've been too lazy to move out of my cool shaded spots in the house and garden :)
I love to read. I read everyday, I can't go to sleep at night without reading at least a page or 2 ...or more! I'm not a big fan of biographies or factual books. I love to escape with my reading, one of my all time favourite authors has to be Sir Terry Pratchett and his wonderful Discworld series ... Love them :) My most loved books are JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, my copies are old and tatty now but I still love reading them. I've ventured out of my comfort zone just recently and read some ghostly stories and witchy, vampirish books for a change. Not too bad, I read them all, some were enjoyable some were just a 'read quickly and get to the end' kind of book. I have a real OCD problem of not being able to not finish reading a book I've started ... I don't know why, I just have to finish it ... the only time I've stopped reading a book is if its been too saucy (as my Grandma would say) or vulgar, I can't read swear words or profanity, I just can't ... I just wince tooo much and feel like I need to get a black marker pen out to blot out the offensive words/paragraphs. And I have used that black marker pen once or twice ... Hahaha ... I could be a prudish reader  :)

I haven't neglected my sewing tooo much. Still absent on the Woolly love but my fingers are kept active with some Cross Stitch ...
This is a Stacy Nash Primitives design , "True Love Sampler Bag & Pinkeep" A nice easy summer sun sewing project. I tried sewing without a hoop this time as the fabric I used was a teensy bit stiffer that I usually use ... Witchelt I think??  hence the concertina'd look before ironing :)

Also a relaxing summer sew was ...

Another Pineberry Lane Design "Lydia Broome Sampler" :) I've enjoyed sewing both of these, nice easy stitching with just two or three coloured threads so not lots of chopping and changing, very relaxing on hot summery evenings :)

In my hoop at the moment is this sweet "Summer Band Sampler" by Little House Needleworks ...

Just putting the last few stitches in and its finished :) I finished Spring earlier in the year and I also have the Autumn and Winter patterns too. It would be nice to complete the series :)  I have missed the monthly cross stitch designs I did last year by Country Stitches ... still need to finish the last few into little hanging pockets! I'm thinking my next projects may be Autumnal/Halloweeny ones to give me a head start and actually be able to finish and display them in their rightful season :)

Well its time for a nice soak in a lovely bubble bath, a bit of pampering with some forgotten bath goodies I found hidden away ... I shall luxuriate and read for a short while before bed ... Don't disturb me I'm washing my hair, lol! Actually there's another thing  .... My Hair!! It's not acting normal at the moment, it's thick and curly and luxurious, not my hair at all... I have fine wispy droopy hair, this curly thatch can't be real .... I'm certainly not pregnant or anything scary like that. I must be having a good hair month. It's slightly unnerving, oh well, it'll all fall out soon, I'm likely to be bald by Christmas! ;)  Hahahahahaa

Hugs Wendy x x

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Part 3 .... Finally!

Part 3 ... Finally! But I do think I saved the best til last :)  On our last day of our little escape-away Hubby had an extra special treat for me ... We breakfasted early and packed up our bags and took our leave of the very nice B&B. We drove a short distance and took a little ride on the ferry across Lake Windermere..

Then a short drive heading towards Near Sawrey Village...
I'm a bit slow on the uptake sometimes ...hehehe and I was wondering what my treat was going to entail ...I had visions of Mountain climbing and trekking ...Uuuurrghhh ;)   But then I saw this sign and to be honest I did nearly wet myself with excitement ... made me wish I'd been more diligent in  practising those pelvic floor exercises more after having all those babies ...hehehe
So now I'm proper excited ... fortunately with dry unmentionables thanks to my crossed legs ;)   I'm super giddy because I've always wanted to go see Beatrix Potter's Hill Top Farm but its not exactly the kind of place you can visit with Angels ...due to all those breakable antique-y treasures ..hahaha
We park up and I jump out the car and literally run to the farm building where you buy your ticket only to find hubby is lagging behind (reading the sihn about the entrance fees!) I manage to drag him with me so that we are at the front of the queue, whereupon he tells me he's not coming in, he's not that bothered about Beatrix Potter, didn't she just write picture books for children, he's not that interested!! He has the idea that we can save some money and just pay for one entrance fee for me and he'll just wait outside ???? To say my heart almost stopped at his profanity would be an understatement, but been the quick thinker I am ;) I cleverly decided it was not  a bad thing him not coming in to see the house ... I could (and did!) use his entrance fee 'savings' to buy a beautiful coloured brochure!!! HA that'll teach him ...hehehe (Actually upon reflection, it worked out well, I was able to peruse the house and all its treasures at a leisurely pace without been herded onto the next thing and hubby was able to enjoy the beautiful gardens to his hearts content)
Lots of photos next so I'll try and keep the words to a minimum until the are uploaded :)
Walking thru' the pretty cottage garden up towards the House
Hill Top  Farm House ... Beautiful :)
You couldn't take photos inside the house.. for obvious reasons I guess, there are pictures on Google images that are fairly accurate but I didn't want to start getting into bother with copyright and such by copy and pasting them. It was very olde-worldly inside, very country cottage-y and very dark! Apparently they keep it intentionally dark to protect the fabrics and drawings etc... There were a few 'guides' here and there around the house that were really friendly and happy to share little tidbits about items on show and just general queries about Beatrix Potter's life in the Lake District.  Apparently she enjoyed collecting things that made her happy and there were some really lovely 'homey' items that caught my eye. I particularly liked her bedroom where she had a lovely handmade blue and white patchwork quilt on the bed ...possibly made by one of the farmers wives in the village. A pair of beautiful needlework samplers framed on the wall, which again she possibly picked up at a farm sale ... But I really loved the beautiful green bed canopy that she had hand embroidered herself whilst confined to rest by her doctor after an illness. Wish I could have taken a picture because it really was lovely, her stitches were obviously sewn with love :)
Moving on to outside and the gardens and views that were her inspiration ...
A peek thru' the garden gate directly opposite the front door
Mr McGregor's garden ??? :)
The sweet cottage garden, looking  back up towards the house ... apparently Beatrix loved growing her own vegetables and flowers .. Loved the beehive :)
Beatrix Potters prize-winning and much loved Herdwicke Ewes (carefully fenced off from her pretty flower garden!)
Tom Kittens little white gate leading out of the flower garden to the village lane ...
And there were little Peter Rabbits everywhere  :)
One last view of Hill Top as you leave, heading back towards the ferry...
It was a lovely visit and I enjoyed every minute of it. It was a magical visit tasting just a tiny part of a time long gone but not forgotten.  Hubby is soooooooo lovely to me, he really did work hard to make sure our first weekend away without the Angels, our 2nd Honeymoon, was a super special time. I am a lucky girl to have him :)  Glad  I shared some of my posh chocolates with him ...hehehe
Well its time to see if this post will publish, hopefully I've not overloaded with my uploads ...hehehe :)
Hugs Wendy x x


Saturday, 6 July 2013

Part 2

Ooooooh Part 1 published OK :) So I'll push my luck and try another one :)
Next up is a journey around Ullswater. Not too far to drive and a really beautiful lake. We don't usually stop off at any of the main parking areas, they can sometimes be overpopulated with the whole family-tourist business. As you drive around there are always lots of smaller parking places where you can stop to admire the scenery and go for a little wander ... or a BIG wander if you are a hubby! :)

Off in the car again, a bit of drizzly rain but nothing too bad. These are quite good roads, no windy scary lanes ....yet! :)

View from the car ...lovely :)

And this is part of Ullswater Lake ...
Views across to the other side of the Lake ...

Who's that crouching person down there?  ;)

This  is the view that I often had ... hahaha ...hubby likes to get down and close to whatever he's taking pictures of :)

 This is his view across the lake from the 'lie on yer belly' vantage point ... I'm told aaaaaall the serious photographers 'know how to make it real' ...!!!

 We enjoyed our little wander at the edge of the lake and then we were of 'exploring' again. Not too far away is Aria Waterfalls. This is a fun kind of scrambly-hands-on kind of walk and not one that I particularly wanted to make in the sudden rain storm we encountered as we parked up. Yes I'm faint-hearted :) But Hubby was not to be deterred ... he's a mans man :) So out comes his waterproofs and he's off whilst I do this ...

Can you see that rain lashing down onto the windscreen?? I sat happily reading and sewing (and munching) whilst hubby battled the forces of nature :) He brought me back some nice photos though

I watched him walk thru' that gate ...
Then he ambled over that bridge ..all wrapped up snug and dry in his wet gear ... I didn't see that bit , I was snuggled up in the car...possibly eating a Worthers chewy chocolate covered caramel! ...They wouldn't have been half as enjoyable eating them out in the rain on that bridge !! ( Yes, I did save one or two for hubby!)
Next are hubby's photos of the waterfalls ...

 splashy spots....
more waterfalls...

 and rocky pools....
He was gone a-wandering for nearly 2 hours! In the rain! What a man!
That's how come I got soooo much stitching completed on my Pineberry Lane project :)
Poor hubby was a teensy bit waterlogged when he got back to the car, so I didn't complain one little bit when it was time to go back to the B&B for a little rest :) We'd had a lovely Roast Beef dinner with a yummy sticky toffee pudding for desert earlier in the day. So we just had evening munchies of crusty bread cheese, crisps and nibbles in the evening ... I even allowed hubby to do a bit of this ....
Well, I still had some of my posh chocolates left to eat ;)
Time to try publishing again, next up is my favourite, our trip to Beatrix Potter's Hill Top Farm, probably tomorrow now as all the munchkins are home and giving me the impression they want food ... honestly what do they think I do all day!!  :))
Hugs Wendy x x

Lakes Part 1 :)

849!! That's Eight Hundred and Forty Nine photographs Hubby and I took between us on our little jaunt to the Lakes :) My camera card only holds 250 and I didn't fill mine ...hubby is to blame ... proper little tourist he is  ;) hahaha  It's taken me daaaaaaays to go through them all! They are all soooo beautiful too, its been hard to choose which ones to share. The Lakes District is just stunning and we didn't even wander to far off the beaten path so to speak. I'm sure it would take a lifetime to discover all the hidden beauty of Cumbria
Enough of the chatter, we've got a lot of photos to try and upload ....849! ..hahaha only kidding, would probably take me a lifetime to do that. Soooo I'm going to try and be clever and do it in 3 parts,  by uploading all at once and spreading them over 3 entries :) All the best laid plans ...hahaha

Part 1 - Windermere :)

A visit to Winderemere is never complete without a trip to Holehird Gardens, a quiet garden sanctuary that is one of those places that you don't know its there unless you know its there Its a little oasis, a bit of a bus-mans holiday for hubby but he loves it  ... and its free entry, maintained entirely by volunteers and all they ask is a donation to help with the upkeep :)
I can only find the entrance to Holehird when I spot the giant Cedar Tree on the main road past Windermere, then its a small turning uphill on the left ...just in case you need precise directions ..hehehe
I forgot to take a picture of the walled garden entrance but thru' the doorway you see the lawns..
Round a corner there's the greenhouse full of tiny beautiful alpine plants
It was a bit crowded inside, only room for 3 or 4 people so I didn't manage a picture of all the alpines , and there were lots!
The formal garden has the most beautiful bedding...
My favourite was this ginormous Hosta, I should have stood next to it so you could see how big it was, easily  up to my hip and I'm a staggering 5ft 3in's high! Beautiful ... the Hosta not me ...hahaha
 I also loved these old drinking troughs  :)
Now I don't want you thinking I'm all earthy and green fingered, I'm most definitely "the appreciative quick walk around the gardens and back to the car to read my book and sew a stitch or two type of gardener" :)  I leave all the professional talk and examinations to Hubby, like  I said a bus-mans holiday for him.
Another nice area to visit is Windermere High Fells, just a short walk out of Windermere, albeit uphill but this is the High Fells!

Beautiful scenery! Can you describe somewhere as beautiful tooo many times???  Naaaah its the Lake District of course its beautiful :)
So  I'm going to see if I can 'post' this on Blogger and then try to add more ....Ooooh exciting ...Can you tell I'm home alone with no Angels, Teens or Hubby ... hehehe   I suppose I should do some housework ...Naaahh, this is much more important ... archiving my 2nd Honeymoon for future generations  ;) ...hahaha
Hugs Wendy x x

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Lost and an Adventure

What do you do when you loose a 'post'? :( I've searched 'drafts' and can't find it anywhere not even a half saved version... it's a shame too cause it was a good one... I was on excellent form even if I say so myself ... hehehe I'll not be able to replicate the literary skill nor the wit and wisdom ... Oh well, you'll just have to take my word that it was exceptional! (Probably exceptionally boring to the majority of people..hehe)

What I had intended in sharing was the wonderful adventure I had over the weekend ... Oooo intriguing ;) I have to say at the very outset that I was a most reluctant participant initially and even tried several delaying tactics ironing! Yeah I know ...ironing!! But fortunately I am married to a very lovely man who understands me and loves me despite all my quirks and oddities :) In the end I gave up complete control to him and am very grateful I did because I had a wonderful time and so did everyone else! I've possibly at this point over exaggerated the 'adventure' and when you find out exactly what we did you'll be left quite deflated and even possibly bored to tears ..haha

Our adventure was simply a child free romantic weekend get-away. We've been calling it our second honeymoon .. lol.. only because we realised its the first time hubby and I have been away together, alone, without children since our first honeymoon ...that's almost 21 years ago! Over the last year the Angels have been having more regular overnight respite breaks at the lovely Maplewood House. As the girls have been doing soooo well ( better than their Mummy in fact!) it was decided that they were ready for the next step .. an overnight weekend ...two nights away from their mummy (and Daddy but he doesn't count because he doesn't cry as much about it as I do ;) ..hehehe) So the plan was that the Angels go 'in' at lunchtime on Saturday and come home after school on Monday ... it felt like a very long time to me and even on Saturday morning I was still hesitant and resisting ...hence the ironing delaying tactic ...even tried dusting but that one was just tooo much for me to carry off convincingly! Hubby took control and planned and organised things and I just tagged along :) The Angels very happily smiled and giggled their way off on their own adventure with not a tear in sight ...little traitors! ;) A short hours car journey and by mid afternoon I had been swept away up to Windermere in the Lake District of Cumbria for a most wonderful pampered weekend.

This is where we stayed ....

A lovely B&B (Bed & Breakfast) in the middle of Windemere

This is the boudoir ;) ...

A lovely en suite room , I could get used to having my own shower room :) And not to mention someone else making and serving me breakfast ...and washing the dishes afterwards ...Heavenly! I was blown away with the loving thoughtfulness of my wonderful hubby ... I was even greeted by these..
Chocolates!!! I later learned that they were in fact a bride to keep me hushed up whilst a certain hubby sat and watched the Tennis and football highlights on the BIG TV screen on the wall opposite the bed later in the evenings ... I said he was loving and thoughtful ...not perfect! hahaha, But I didn't mind I had plenty of fun munching my way through that box of yumminess :)

I have soooooo many Photos to share of our wanderings , how many pictures are too many? The beautiful scenery of The Lake District is never ending, every sight is magnificent and awe inspiring..between us we probably took in excess of 300 photographs! We drove around various areas, stopped here and there just to look and wander. We travelled around Ullswater Lake, up to Penrith, around Keswick and Ambleside and back around to Windermere and Bowness, not tooo far we only had two days :) My extra special treat was a visit to Hill Top Farm, the home and inspiration of Beatrix Potter ...LOVED it there :) I was thoroughly spoilt and I'm soooo glad I was :)) We had a wonderful time, enjoyed some lovely food and also enjoyed being child-free for a couple of days. I'll carefully go through my photos and share as many as Blogger will allow in my next post/journal entry ... promise you won't get all 300+ ..hahaha

Believe it or not I did manage to sew some stitches too ...usually on an evening whilst munching my way through those chocolates ;)
I finished a design by Pineberry Lane, "Home Sweet Home". Rather apt really because I was very excited at the end of our adventure to return to my sweet home. Back to my Angels, who themselves had had a lovely weekend, including a trip to an ice cream parlour for lots of yummy messiness! Fun and games playing outside in the sunshine, swimming and lots of splishy splashy fun in the pool. A full and busy weekend for them. Abi and Jake enjoyed been home alone ... no doesn't get any better than that when you are a teenager!! Surprisingly they didn't have any wild parties and trash the house, they didn't even burn it down ..haha Although we're not sure who left a HUGE pile of dishes on the countertop next to the empty dishwasher! I suspect it was a joint effort :)

So now we are all back home , safe and sound and very happy after our adventurous weekends away. It wasn't so bad ;) I could probably do it again especially knowing that my Angels were taken care of by the lovely staff at Maplewood ...especially if there are chocolates in a fancy box tooo :))

I'll go look through all my photos and share them soon, hope my adventure wasn't too much of a let-down ...hahaha

Happy Hugs Wendy x x x