Blog Archive


I awoke this morning with a jumble of ideas in my head of what I wanted to do today.  So, so many possibilities.  On the list was replanting the rest of the patio pots for winter, but as it rained most of the day (and as much as I enjoy gardening, I am definitely a fair weather gardener) POH said he would do those, therefore I could devote the day to indoorsy things. 

I decided to make a traditional Sunday lunch.  Although we have a 'special' meal pretty much every Sunday, I don't always do a roast.  Today I decided to treat my two favourite men to roast beef, Yorkshire Pudding, and all the trimmings.

Oh, those are the rest of the pickled onions we bottled yesterday.  We have approximately 20 large jars, but oh, we do love them!!

As I was in the kitchen all morning, I also decided to make a chocolate roulade for tea.  I whipped the eggs and sugar...

...folded in the flour and cocoa powder, and baked it for 10 minutes.  I tipped it onto a piece of sugared baking paper...

...placed another sheet on top and then rolled it up fairly firmly, like, well, a Swiss roll!  I then left it to cool.  Later on I'll fill it with chocolate ganache and whipped cream.

I also made a steamed jam pudding for lunch dessert.  I didn't take a photo of that though!

Lunch was scrummy.  I didn't have the beef, as I'm vegetarian, so I has stuffed mushrooms instead.  POH obligingly took a photo of his lunch though:

Pudding was eventful.  I carefully cut a delicious, jammy slice for POH, and as I was transferring it to a bowl, I dropped the whole thing in my lap.  There was jam everywhere!  Over the table, the placemats, but mainly me.  We scrapped the pudding off my skirt, and after a quick change we had our pudding.

After the washing up was done POH went back outside to clean up the last of the leaves and I went up to my sewing room to set in the sleeves on the shirt I am making.

By now it was getting dark, so POH came in, I stoked up the fire and we settled down to warm our toes, and I got my crochet out.

I am very excited to tell you about the Blooming Big Blanket, as all the rows are done, the ends sewn in, and I am now doing the edging!  I am using one of Lucy's (Attic 24) edging patterns.  It's this one.  I'm on round 2 of 4 already!  Lucy's blanket edgings are great, and she explains them so well, like she does all of her patterns.  Thanks, Lucy!

At 7.15 pm (precise, because we wanted to watch the Strictly Results Show) we had our tea.  Whenever we have our tea in front of the fire we lay up the little table I inherited from my Mum, adorning it with a pretty cloth.  We had a selection of sandwiches and the chocolate roulade, all accompanied by lashings of Yorkshire tea. Mmmmmm... it was very good.

We are now settled in for the evening, catching up with Howard's End, thoroughly enjoying the fire, the pets' company and the wonderful contentment of a day well spent.

Donna x

Beautiful Northumberland

Gosh, it's been a busy couple of weeks!  I so wanted to tell you straight away about POH's surprise trip for October/November, and we've been back nearly 2 weeks!  My part time job has been so hectic, and I've been busy working on making my Christmas presents, as well as doing things around the house.  The time has just flown.

Anywhere, here I am - finally - to tell you all about our lovely holiday in Northumberland!  It was wonderful!  POH had no idea where we were going but kept saying he hoped it was the seaside. Phew!  We stayed in a little village called Beadnell, which is just south of Seahouses.  The house I had rented was perfect - warm and cosy, and everything we needed.

We spent the week walking on vasts beaches under great expanses of sky.  Daisy was in doggy heaven!  She ran and ran and looked like she was smiling most of the time.

We had a lovely day on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, which you get to by driving across the causeway at low tide.  I never fail to be impressed by the atmosphere as you approach this most unique place.  

The castle was closed for major renovations, but we went to sit in the little walled garden, out of the wind, and I took a few minutes to start yet another shawl from the Crochet Project - my much talked about 'Your Mileage May Vary'.  What a location to crochet; it was perfect.

We went in to Pilgrims Cafe, and whiled away a lovely hour sampling cakes and hot chocolate, and I did a bit more on my shawl.  It was so restful.

We wandered around the Priory ruins...

The sun was starting to set as the tide dropped low enough to cross back to the mainland, so we climbed up above the ruins to have a last look.

The following day we took a boat trip on Serenity II to sea the baby seals (and the adult ones too!) It was brilliant!  The photos don't do it justice!

This adult seal bobbled alongside our boat.

The tiny white dots on the rocks are day old seals.  (You'll have to zoom in!)

After our boat trip, we consumed a whole flask of hot chocolate, and then went to a pub restaurant for lunch.  We took a walk along the beach afterwards, and saw a marvellous rainbow!

We visited one of our favourite National Trust places, Cragside, home of the first hydro electricity.  As well as as fabulous house (closed this late in the year though) the gardens and estate are just breathtaking.  Acres and acres to walk around - woodland, lakes, bridges, rock gardens, you really could spend all day walking there.

Sometimes you just have to play Pooh Sticks!

This was the first year we visited the tiny village of Low Newton by the Sea.  The most fabulous beach provided an hour's chasing around fun for Daisy, and probably my favourite picnic spot of this year.  

We even took our coats off!  Afterwards we had a half a cider in The Ship, fortifying ourselves for a last walk in the late autumn sunshine.  Wow, we were so glad we did, as we saw the most amazing sunset.

Northumberland is definitely one of our favourite places, and we are planning to visit again next summer.

There's just one more surprise trip for POH  - December!  I'll tell you all about that once we've been...  :)

Donna x 

All About Shawls

This time of year I'm always torn between not wanting to think about Christmas this early, but wanting to make things for Christmas present giving.  Hmmmm...  That's the thing about making presents; I love to give, and receive, handmade gifts, but you just have to be so blooming organised - something I'm not always that brilliant at.  However, this year I have become a little bit obsessed about a wonderful booklet of small shawls and have been busily making them in all the colours of the rainbow for my loved ones.  The book is from The Crochet Project, and is their 'Shawls Book 1'.  You can look at it here.  It's a fabulous little booklet and I love the way the patterns are written in so much detail; just like someone talking you through the instructions.

Now, I can't put pictures on here of every one I have made, in case one of my friends looks at my blog (I've already given a bit too much away already!!) However, I made one for my friend's recent birthday, and she was really pleased with it.  This is 'Northmoor Lock', and I made it in Rowan Fine Art 4ply.

Perhaps Valerie should have a T-shirt on :0

That's better :D

I made it slightly larger than the pattern, which was easy to do, and I used just over 1 100g skein.  My friend takes her 3 dogs for long walks, so I wanted it to be nice and toasty to keep her warm.

The other one I can show is this one, as I made it for ME!!!!

This one is called 'Your Mileage May Vary' (don't you just love the names the Crochet Project give their patterns?) I made it in a truly fabulous merino and silk blend 4 ply yarn from the very delectable Eden Cottage Yarns.  This particular yarn is like butter, and I wore it almost every day on our recent holiday in Northumberland.  Again, I made it slightly bigger, (easy to follow instructions for doing this are included in the pattern), and it still used well under 1 100g skein. 

The thing about making shawls (or most crochet for that matter) is they look nothing until you've blocked them.  It's well worth taking the time to do this well, as the results will pay dividends. I love the saying 'don't knock it, 'til you block it'!

These small shawls are ideal travel projects, as they fit into handbags, picnic bags, and the glove compartment of the car...  I completed 2 on holiday, just by doing bits on the beach, in the pub, in the car, and in the evenings, when we were snuggled up all nice and cosy in our cottage.  

Crocheting in the pub!

We had a really lovely holiday and I will tell you all about that in my next post.

I'd love to hear what projects you take on holiday!  Please tell me in the comment box below - I'm always looking for more ideas!

Donna x