Sunday, 31 August 2014

Goodbye August

So it's the end of August and the end of the Summer - Jeff goes back to work tomorrow, the children back on Wednesday. It's been a great sunny, Summer and we've had plenty of time together as a family to enjoy it with trips to Cornwall and Majorca.

The garden with the new addition, has been wonderful and used daily with nearly all our meals enjoyed outside. The pumpkins are ripening up lovely - we've ended up with 6 in all. The beans are just about coming to an end but the courgettes still have a fair few more offerings to come.

My sweet peas have been the biggest surprise and success, after my previous poor attempts to grow them. I'm making the most of them whilst I can and if they're still flowering, I'm still cutting.

But I must say my sunflowers, given to me by a friend have been beautiful.
This was taken today - blue skies, glorious sunshine and although a little ladybird wanted to get into the shot, perfection.

Hope you've had a lovely weekend and enjoyed the sunshine.

Friday, 29 August 2014

The unexpected

This week I have been unexpectedly busy - an order we thought was no longer wanted, suddenly became very much wanted and wanted 'yesterday'! So with a willing (cash strapped) helper we have put in the hours and worked hard to get the order ready in time for dispatch early next week.

So we have made up a mere 264 festive Wrap Packs

Packed Merry Christmas Tape and Mini Gift Packs and

made up 648 packs of Gift Tags - that's 3888 tags - not that I was counting!!

So my Friday evening is very welcome tonight.
I have a date with a big mug of coffee and the sofa.

Hope you have a lovely weekend and a glimpse of some much needed sunshine.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Bank Holiday Monday

Today - Bank Holiday Monday is truly wet and miserable. I'm sat typing away with my feet on a hot water bottle in an attempt to keep the chills at bay. 

Thankfully we decided to pull the onions on Friday when it was still sunny.

They had a chance to dry off and are now stored away for the coming weeks.

Jeff and I went foraging for more blackberries - there are loads this year.

So we had apple, pear and blackberry crumble for tea last night and although I say so myself, it was really delicious and the best bit, there's plenty more for today too.

Our beans still keep coming and they're even producing 's'pecial beans for Sophie and Sam!

This colour combo is fabulous - our neighbour suggested drying out the beans to grow next year, so we'll give it a go!

We spotted the first conkers of the year too which must have dropped prematurely but I must say, as I sit here typing, the odd leaf keeps fluttering down catching my eye and Autumn does seem to be making it's early arrival known.

With just a week of the Summer holidays to go we are now gearing ourselves up for the school start. Jeff is basically back in as of tomorrow although the children aren't back until a week on Wednesday. The weather is going to be nothing special and dots and spots Christmas Prep isn't going to do it's self so it would seem that the lovely Summer is coming to an end and with Autumn knocking, so a new regime begins. I'm not looking forward to the early alarm wake up call and the school run is still the worst part of the day but I'm ready to get a little routine back into my days......just!!

Friday, 22 August 2014


I can't believe it's been a week since I last posted - not sure where the time is going.

Last weekend it was the Midsomerset Show which takes place in the field opposite our house so it would be silly not to go and have a nosey.

I love the produce tent and can only stand back and admire the talents of Harry Godden, who every year gets First Place for all his entries - amazing.

The weather has certainly turned - the hot water bottle has come out and the heating even turned it's self on the other night, it must have been so cold!

It's toast and cardie weather, although I try and maintain no socks until at least October!

The cool weather has meant we have at least turned our attention to the jobs that needed doing inside. I now have a shelf and the first few pictures up in my new re-jigged corner.

We've also given the front garden a much needed cut back - I can't believe how overgrown it had become. That should see it through until next year now.

I have kept up the swimming - not as much as I'd like but there are only 2 weeks left before the lido closes for the year, so it's a case of making the most of it whilst you can.

We've booked next years holiday too - we've decided on Ibiza again.
We now have time to save up and something to look forward to - as the weather keeps reminding me, we have chilly times ahead.

Have a lovely Bank Holiday Weekend and lets hope the sun shines!

Friday, 15 August 2014

Where has the week gone?

Time has just whizzed this week - nothing exciting to report just general goings on. 
I did manage to get early pickings of some blackberries - I looked back at the blog and it was late September last year.

So I made this delicious apple and blackberry cake again (recipe here). Trouble is I'm the only real cake fan in our house and it's far too tempting.

I guess the main thing we've done this week is help move Jeff's Dad out of the family home. Twenty years of stuff and 1000's of books, need I say more. I must confess I feel the urge to sort, tidy, dust and de-clutter my own house after the last few days. The house he's moved to is perfect for him - smaller, cleaner and now full of a lot less stuff but still full of 1000's of books!

I've also been picking and packing Christmas orders, going out to organised trade customers and today I've been shopping. Today Sam had his annual shopping trip to Bath. He hates shopping but has to get school trousers and shoes so whilst I have him as a captive audience, I try to get some casual stuff too. A coat, pumps, jeans, tops, school shoes, trousers and socks later - I am bankrupt! He is at that really awkward age/height/size of not fitting into children's clothes anymore but not really into adult sizes either - so it's a case of getting what fits regardless of cost. I'm exhausted!

So back home to peace and calm and an hour out in the garden with a coffee, to rest my weary feet. The weekend weather doesn't look too bad although getting colder - autumn is in the air.

Have a lovely weekend.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Normal life resumes.

No sooner are we back from holiday and the trips to the unit resume to pack orders, followed by the necessary visit to the Post Office. Morning outings to Tesco for the food shop and cooking, washing etc all fall into routine -sigh!

We did have Sam's birthday to celebrate and add a little cheer. I can't believe he's just turned 12 and is now as tall if not a little taller than me! Time is going by far too fast sometimes.

The weather has been pretty mixed on our return. We have just about turned all the washing around but the trail of Hurricane Bertha fell on my poor pots - my poor sunflowers.

The veg plot however has thrived though in our absence.

The pumpkin is still with us. I think it's probably as big as it will get now but hopefully we can keep it going until Halloween!

We've had an abundance of courgettes, beans and the last remaining pea pods to harvest.

So we've had beans for tea every night and (minus little visitor!)

I've been thinking up as many ways as I can, to cook courgettes.

I've had the joy of picking numerous posies of sweet peas - they smell divine.

When we have had a burst of sunshine, I've been sat out topping up the tan and making the most of it. I hate to mention it but I must say, I think there is the beginnings of an Autumnal feel to the air.

My poor sunflowers certainly look Autumnal - although that is probably down to my neglect whilst away, rather than how they should be now.

So normal day to day routines have resumed, although thankfully in a lazy way as we are still on school holidays. In fact we are at the half way point, although I always feel the last weeks seem to go by much quicker. I will have to start thinking about shoe and uniform shopping and do I dare mention, Christmas prep! eek!!

Well the sun has just made an appearance so I will go make the most of it before the next shower arrives - have a good week.

Friday, 8 August 2014

What a wonderful week!

We have just returned relaxed, refreshed and batteries recharged after a wonderful week away in Puerto Pollensa, Majorca.

It was a return visit to the Puerto Azul Hotel as we had such a fabulous time there 2 years ago. There is a new manager at the helm and improvements had been made to the rooms giving them a modern makeover. 

The one downside with any poolside holiday is the sun lounger routine. Thankfully here the loungers were chained up until 9am so there wasn't the ridiculous 7am 'grab a lounger' scenario. You still had to be around by 8.30'ish to get your 'spot' but as my 2 insisted on being the first in the pool every morning, it wasn't a problem.

What we enjoy and have come to realise we need, is good old family time together with no interruptions.

Our days were spent poolside,

and our evenings were spent in the seaside town of Puerto Pollensa.

I spent my week on a lounger, swimming in the pool (20 lengths every morning) .......

reading, people watching, drinking coffee......
  basically doing nothing at all and I loved every minute.

 I love the fact I don't have to think about food - meal plan, shop, cook for a whole week and I actually managed to lose 1/2 a pound.  I've come home feeling completely relaxed and refreshed.

I love how the children become closer when away - none of the walking 10 paces ahead, not wanting to have anything to do with one another, less bickering. They really do enjoy each others company when away which is refreshing to see.

Puerto Pollensa is the most beautiful place - we stumbled upon this tranquil square on our last evening. The boys went swimming in the sea a couple of evenings whilst us girls walked the pine walk along the sea front.

Our last evening was treat time - they'd been eyeing these ice cream sundae's up all week. So as it was Sam's 12th birthday the following day we thought it only right to celebrate a little early!

I think Sam had mixed feelings about having his birthday on the day we returned - he had a 5.45am wake up call and had to wait until we got home to open his pressies, so may have to reconsider when we go next year. My fears about how he would cope with the heat weren't an issue. Maybe because we had some glorious weather before we came but he survived fine - air conditioning and time out up in the room certainly helped.

This photo is my favourite from our time away - I must get it framed.

So we are now at home, working our way through the piles of washing, catching up on emails and orders, I have a birthday cake to make and a garden to tend to. It's back to life as normal.........

.........although I will start to give plenty of thought to next years adventures x