Monday, 23 March 2015

Reptiles and gardening, an odd combination

What do reptiles and gardening have in common? They both like fresh food!
Not one to pass a great opportunity to grow fresh veg, and what better excuse than to feed our new house quest. I use the term guest loosely because Bearded Dragons can live to a ripe old age of 12 with careful care.

So drum roll ... meet Thor (lets hope he is a he and not a she!)

Hello I'm Thor

He settled in well on Sunday and he likes his new home, must seem huge to him a 4 ft cage. I wonder if they have a concept of space? Anyway he eats hoppers, yes live ones and salad. I researched their diet today (and he's not even my pet) but keen to make sure he gets all his nutrients I printed off a two page diet sheet. I was pleased to see it includes a lot of things I can grow in the garden veg patch at Eight-by-Six and we can get to try some new fruits too from the supermarket (treats to Thor). So its quite an exiting time in our household to be entering into the world of reptiles.

dinner time!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

chocolate and chilli

I started the day with a good swim, training for my Swimathon on April 19th. I did 1.5m in just over an hour, which was a great effort considering I was half asleep and wishing I was under the duvet. 8am is early or me, well swimming at 8am is. I like swimming, it gives me time to think, lane swimming to some is boring but not me. I plug in my waterproof mp3 player and that's it I'm in a world of my own for an hour or so. Other regular swimmers acknowledge each other with a nod or a smile, and let each other get on with their regime.

chilli jam
My sponsorship started off really well and now I've run out of steam and people to ask so a new plan was hatched whilst I was swimming. Bribe my friends with chilli jam £2.50 a jar and all the proceeds going straight the charity. And guess what? It worked!

So there I was still peckish after my second breakfast, making a batch of chilli jam (sold out before I'd even made it, walking around Asda buying the ingredients, phone buzzing with another request) drinking tea and eating chocolate biscuits. So that was my afternoon of chocolate and chilli!

More news next week to introduce our new guest called Thor, Jack's new room mate of the lizard variety!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Mothers day

flowers and chocolates

I've had a lovely day despite the cold weather and hail stones. Such a shame because Saturday was lovely and sunny but still chilly, it is only March but having some sunshine does make it feel like spring is here.
Today started with a long walk with Ian, Jack and Moss, throwing sticks and getting muddy. On the way back through the Orchard we noticed the pile of compost from last week's community tree planting was still there. A note came up on Facebook to say help yourself, so we did just that. Popped back with the wheelbarrow and took two lots! It filled one side of my veg patch and I got soaked through digging it over and emptying the compost bin. I've never seen so many worms, it was alive! I didn't manage to empty it, got too cold and wet so came in to dry off grab a cuppa and a chocolate biscuit (shh) and sit down to do some crochet and get warm again.

Megan's blanket
I'm getting on well with my granny square blanket with only 3 rows to go. I plan to finish it over Easter when I have a long weekend. I'm still working on Megan's university blanket,  about half way now and I love the colours I've chosen. Once I've done a bit more I'll measure it on a single bed to make sure it fits. I have until September to finish it but I want to start another one so I need to finish this one first! I think I have enough Stylcraft wool to knit another two or three!


I took advantage of the 4 for 3 seed offer at Homebase yesterday, with the added 20% discount made a nice saving. Going to sow the broad beans next weekend,  they did really well last year and I didn't suffer with black fly. Not bad for my first attempt. Once it gets a bit warmer in April I'll start of my Swiss chard bright lights,  a good old favourite for the veg patch. Right now I'm curled up on the sofa full up with roast lamb, crocheting another rowith of the stripey granny blanket. I hope your mother's day was full of nice things too 

granny square blanket

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Spring, knitting and a trip to Norfolk

Hasn't the weather been lovely and sunny, is it true that Spring is here? I do hope so. Washing line dried at the weekend is such a nice thing to do isn't it, or is it just me? I'm easily pleased. On Saturday we made a quick, and I say quick we were in and back in no time, trip to Norfolk to collect Ian's new car. It was so lovely to be back there since our holiday in October it wasn't long before I was dreaming of warm autumn sunshine and daily trips between moorings/towns on the Broads. So I got back and booked this years holiday. Well no point dreaming about it is there? 2015 is our 25th wedding anniversary year so we decided to do some nice things for ourselves for a change. The boat is the baby version of last year, so exited, it will be lovely. But before then we have Chelsea Flower Show for May (my birthday) and a weekend in Minehead for an 80s special (that will be fun) and then probably a weekend in November for our actual anniversary date.

a quick picture taken from the car window

We visited some friends in Essex on the way back. They have deer that come out around 5pm every day, what a lovely sight.

Harold Hill deer

I've been doing my usual juggling act with WIPs and have some crochet, knitting on the go and with me at work for the odd lunchtime catch-up. Nothing grand just some cute coasters that I am still mad about and my sisters snood that is so lovely I can't wait to knit myself one. Its almost finished and if you haven't tried one yet it is so easy and lovely to knit with.

I hope your week has been filled with sunshine, gardening perhaps and of course some knitting or crochet.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

soft cotton yarn in scrummy colours (free cowl pattern for Debbie Bliss Delphi)

I was looking for a small project and something nice to knit for my sister. I came across this pattern and my yarn arrived this morning. Wow it is so soft and the colours are just lovely. I've chosen denim for my sister and pool for me. Here is the free pattern link and you can purchase yours at Jeannette's Rare Yarns (cheapest place I found for this yarn and free delivery when ordering six balls)