Monday, 30 July 2012

What I did last week

Crikey I'm supposed to be on holiday, surely that means relaxing with a magazine or two, or maybe a little bit of hooky time or perhaps putting my feet up with not so little H and watching a film....alas this has not been the case and last week I was busier than ever (this week also seems to be heading in the same direction)

On Tuesday we celebrated little H's 12th birthday and as usual the sun shone, he didn't want a party at home this year and his football plans went slightly awry when only seven people confirmed due to being on their summer holidays (oh dear not enough to make two teams) so we had to cancel. Instead we had cream tea and ice creams with grandma in the botanical gardens and he bought a scooter he'd had his eye on so he was a happy chappie.

The cake was a bit of a rush and usually I put much more effort in but it tasted truly scrumptious, especially the day after when the marshmallows went all soft and gooey.

Wednesday I tootled over to Swinton to paint a friend's bathroom. I love a bit of decorating whereas she doesn't and it only took a few hours so it wasn't too bad and she loved it.
As for Thursday well I had been planning to pop down Meadowhell (as we locals call it) to the opening of Cath Kidston. I had been anticipating this day for weeks and had it all planned, I was going to get there early as I was predicting a queue, I was going to take a leisurely stroll around child/man child free and soak up the atmosphere and maybe make a little purchase or two BUT........... in a crazy moment of madness I decided I would clear out the spare room instead... WHAT WAS I THINKING?!!!

I really can't explain my actions other than I couldn't bear to walk past it and see the pile of stuff gradually making it's way through the door ( I kid you not) onto the landing. I would normally just close the door and ignore it for a few more days but as the stuff was now creeping toward the landing and blocking the doorway I couldn't even do that.
There was only one thing for it...... I rolled up my sleeves and got stuck in.
So Cath was put on hold for a couple more days and Mr. H breathed a sigh of relief.

This was taken during the big tidy up just as I was beginning to lose the will to live.

I'm still not totally happy with end result as there is still too much furniture in there but for the moment its clean and tidy and everything is in it's place.

As some of you know, we recently lost two of our three hens, first Bob then Hirsty so poor old Dame Judi was left bereft and pining, so on Saturday we decided to get her a mate with a view to getting three more when we return from our hols. Although we would have preferred to get more battery rescue hens we decided to steer clear for now as they can come with so many problems and cause too much heartache as we have found out to our cost : (

So here she is......Bobby our new girl.

I think maybe Bruce is in luuuuurve!

Our sad experiences haven't deterred us from hen keeping as they are so much fun and really rewarding but for now it as certainly put us off taking in battery rescue hens which is such a shame, maybe when we are more experienced.

Yesterday Mr. H and I celebrated our Wedding Anniversary, yes we have been married seven whole years and although it's very lovely to be married, seven years is nothing really when you consider we have been together for twenty five years *GULP!
When I say celebrated what I actually mean is we did our usual Sunday thing......Car booting, so actually not celebrating at all really!
I don't mind as we are saving our hard earned pennies at the moment as we go on our hols in a couple of weeks and as usual the camper a.k.a the money pit has had to have some work done, as anyone who has an old vehicle knows, what starts off as a little job turns into a rather large job resulting in being a few hundred pounds worse off : (

By the way how amazing was the opening Ceremony for the Olympic Games.

I have never been more proud to be British...apart from William and Kate's wedding obviously!!!

: )

Friday, 27 July 2012

Three become one

It's been another tough week for us this week as new chicken keepers.
Hirsty started to look slightly off colour on Monday after she laid and egg minus the shell. We did everything it said in the books to help her as the broken shell can cause problems if not passed or retrieved.
She carried on eating and drinking but became a little lethargic, however on Wednesday she seemed to pick up and was back to her normal self, foraging around oblivious to Bruce's obsession with bottom sniffing.
Yesterday however she looked peaky again and stayed in the same spot under the hedge nearly all day, she carried on drinking but had no interest in food.
Mr H put her to bed early last night hoping she would be better this morning but when he went to check on her before work this morning she had died.
I'm not sure I am cut out for this chicken keeping malarkey, one minute they are running free around the garden as happy as Larry and then the next minute they are sick and dying. I really hope it's nothing we are doing and more to do with their former lives as battery hens.

God Bless you Hirsty and I hope you enjoyed your few weeks of freedom : (

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

When Cath comes to town

Ooooh I'm so excited I could crush a grape!
Why I hear you cry......well I'll tell you. It's because Cath is coming to Sheffield (not Cath herself- obviously) well Meadowhall to be precise but that's fine as it's only ten minutes away from where I live.

We did have a little taster last week when the tour bus rolled up for the day.

I jumped on the tram after work and managed to catch it just before it left.
The bus was packed with gorgeousness and it took every ounce of willpower I had (and the fact it was a week before pay day)

I was really really good and only made two teeny tiny purchases.

a patch for our picnic blanket £2

and this which will hang in the camper £1

this was a little freebie

I spent a good twenty minutes chin wagging with the lovely girls and they insisted I had my picture taken (they really did honest). So here it is the first and most definitely the last photo you are ever likely to see of me on here.

I'm convinced I don't take a good photo and always look a bit ropey but Iv'e recently come to the conclusion that I am actually a bit ropey and it's nothing to do with the photographer/dodgy camera more the subject matter!

Anyhows I digress, the lovely girls (I didn't even ask their names- how very rude of me) were very interested to hear about my previous job in the convent and my ramblings on here and ended up encouraging me to apply for a job at the new Meadowhall shop. Can you imagine me working at Cath Kidston, I would be handing my wages back over the counter quicker than you could say 'spotty messenger bag'!!!

While i'm on the subject of Cath, i picked up this little tin from the car boot at the weekend for 50p. I think it should have been part of a set but sadly the others were nowhere to be seen.

also spotted this Johnson Bros plate which will be making it's way to the next vintage fair. The photo makes it look washed out but it's actually a really lovely shade of green.

Hope you are all enjoying the sunshine .....although it seems to be in hiding here in Sheffield this morning.

: )

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

School's (almost) out

YAY school holidays are just around the corner which also means I'm off work for 6 whole weeks *does celebratory dance.
I appreciate that I am one of the lucky ones as I have never had to worry about childcare as my previous job at the Convent allowed me to take (not so) little H along.
My current job is term time only so again I don't have to worry about who is going to look after him while I am at work, especially now when he is at an age where he doesn't need looking after as such but still needs supervising.

I made a list, it's a very long list of all the things I hope to do while I'm off, what I will actually achieve is another story altogether!
Here are just a few of of the things on THE LIST

1. over haul spare room which is currently a dumping ground for my junk AHEM important craft supplies.

2. try new recipes as I will have all day to rustle up something interesting... fish fingers will be banished to the back of the freezer and saved for emergencies only (like when I forget iv'e put something interesting in the oven and burn it to a cinder!)

3. watch a film at least one afternoon a week.... without nodding off

4. Get at least half way down the W.I.P's basket.

5. take (not so) little H clothes shopping for the holidays.

6. rob a bank in order to achieve above task.

7. tackle the small mountain that is my ironing pile.

8. paint tea trolley.

9. transform oneself back into the domestic goddess I once was (or at least I liked to think I was!) o.k crossed this off as this ain't ever gonna happen!!!

10. potter- I love to potter and I must admit I am very good at it, so I can safely say this is one thing I'm sure I will be able to cross off THE LIST

Squeezed in amongst this hive of activity will be our annual camping trip and this year as some of you already know we are heading off to Southwold (never been before) via Norfolk (been loads of times before) and I for one can't wait.

All we need now is some much longed for sunshine as I fear another two weeks of damp miserable weather spent in the campervan will finally send Mr. H over the edge!

Just a quick chicken update... our two remaining chooks are doing grand with no sign of any illness, so we decided it was high time we introduced Bruce.......... so with bated breath and hands over eyes we let him off the lead and let the girls run free.

It could have quite easily gone t**s up but I am happy to report that he was an absolute star and apart from having a little sniff at their nether regions he was quite happy to let them do their own thing. This means we have been able to give them much more freedom and in return they are rewarding us with two eggs each day.

: )

Friday, 13 July 2012

R.I.P Bob

It's been a sad day today as we had to say goodbye to Bob, little H's hen.
We noticed yesterday that she looked really lethargic and slightly off balance and extremely pale.
We took her out of the shed and gave her lots of love and attention, we bathed her and massaged her belly, thinking she may be egg bound but in the end she wouldn't even eat or drink.

We kept her in the house overnight were she would be warm and cozy and Mr H even took her to work with him today so he could keep his eye on her.
As the day went on she failed to perk up so Mr H took her along to the vet.
He said we had done everything possible to help her and had probably given her the best 3 weeks of her life but other than antibiotics which he felt probably wouldn't work anyway, there was little else he could do.
So sadly we decided to put the poor love out of her obvious misery.
R.I.P gorgeous girl.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Treasure Trove

Iv'e managed to get my mitts on few lovely bits and bobs over the last couple of weeks and thought perhaps you would like to have a gander.

Here are some recent car boot finds

a pile of Noddy books

a pretty sewing basket

.....mmmmmmm not too sure about that Barbie pink lining, it looks suspiciously like a dressing gown to me!

a lovely bowl which might be keeper

another bowl, not in great condition but I really loved the colours and for £2 it would have been rude not to!

a giant tea pot which reminded me of the Convent where I used to work so this just had to come home with me and only a £1.........more tea Vicar!

this was discovered while rummaging through a box at the Summer (felt more like Autumn) fair at our local church last Saturday.

a lovely scrap of embroidery which had been badly placed in the most hideous frame but hopefully someday soon it will be transformed into a beautiful cushion.
(already breaking out into a cold sweat at the thought of firing up the Janome)

I also picked up pretty rose picture, a cup minus saucer and a lovely glass cake stand which had never been out of it's original box, I'm no Judith Miller but I'm guessing it's from the 70's, possibly a wedding present, who knows (pics to follow)

This little pot is my latest flea market find.

Still experimenting with instagram but loved how this turned out.

Iv'e been tackling my pile of W.I.P's and finally managed to get this done while watching Inspector Morse on a wet and miserable Sunday afternoon (the one where he died and yes there were tears)

Little H couldn't believe I had patched my jeans and was horrified when he realised I was actually going to venture out of the house in them. He said I was becoming more like Barbara from the Good Life
I got the idea when I first saw it here

Although I have enough unfinished projects to keep me busy for the next ten years I couldn't resist starting another one.
I enjoyed doing the hexie patch so much I thought I'd give this a bash.

I do love a bit of hand stitching while watching the box
It's destined to become yet another cushion because as we all can never have too many cushions!

Well school's nearly out and I for one can't wait.
It's little H's 12th birthday the first week of the holidays and this will be the first time since he was born that we haven't had a huge party for him at home *sad face.
Usually by now all the plans have been made, lists compiled, invitations made and posted out and party bags made and filled..... but not this year, this year he asked if he could do something else *even sadder face.
I knew this day would come but nothing prepares you for the sudden realisation that your sticky fingered, blonde haired blue eyed boy has grown up and morphed into a handsome pre teen with a complete set of adult teeth and squirting deodorant like it's going out of fashion... BLOODY NORA when did that happen?!!!

So he's decided he wants to play footie with his friends, so the pitch has been hired at our local park and a trainer/referee who will supervise take charge of the proceedings has been booked (good luck to him that's all I can say!)
Fingers crossed the weather picks up in time although I won't hold my breath!

I am also looking forward to our summer camping trip. This year we are Southwold bound, somewhere we have never visited before but it looks like just the kind of place we like and a little stop off in Holt on the way there and Cromer on the way back, with a trip to Wiveton Farm and Holkham Beach thrown in for good where did I put those waterproofs?!!!

Saturday, 7 July 2012


Well they have finally arrived!
May I introduce you to three new members of the Hotchpotch household.
They are battery rescue hens but have been living in a barn for a few weeks so don't look nearly as bad as I thought they would.
They have been with us now exactly two weeks and are settling in really well. Even in such a short space of time they are looking so much better, their combs have started to colour up as they were very pale when they first arrived and their missing feathers are just starting to grow back.

This is Bob, little H's hen. I have no idea why he chose this name but has stuck with it since we talked about getting chickens yonks ago so Bob it is.

She is a funny old girl, quite timid and doesn't really like to be handled.
she prefers to have a nest box to herself and perches perilously close to the edge and combined with the slight rocking motion looks in danger of falling off.

This is Hirsty, Mr. H's hen and named after his footballing idol David Hirst.

She is the pretties one of the lot and definitely the friendliest, she's forever around your feet and loves to be stroked.
I'm secretly wishing I had picked her now!

....and last but not least my girl,Dame Judi named after the lovely Judi Dench who I adore.

she is the ugliest and scrawniest of the lot,(Obviously no reflection on the real Dame Judi) most of the feathers around her neck and chest were missing when she arrived but they are starting to grow back and she has the most comical clump of feathers growing back, which makes her look as though she's sporting a badly fitting toupe!
She is the first one out of the shed every morning and always ready to make her escape given half a chance, she hates being handled and no way will she let you stroke her she's also the most destructive... trust me to pick the most badly behaved bird!

We didn't manage to get the run made in time for their arrival due to the appalling weather but Mr. H managed to get the shed ready which as it turns out wasn't in as good a condition as we thought and in fact had a whopping great hole at the back which we had failed to noticed because of all the junk we had piled in, but with a few bits of old wood and a few nails here and there they had somewhere cozy to spend their first night.

We managed to build the run between the showers the day after they arrived and although it needs a little fine tuning it's secure enough to be able to leave them out during the day while we are at work.
I'm thinking some sort of roof would be a good idea as it's a complete mud bath up there at the moment with all this rain we've been having.

Still not sure how Brucie feels about their arrival, he doesn't appear to be aggressive towards them and there has been no showing of the teeth, although I'm sure Iv'e seen him licking his lips!!!

They have been a great addition to our family albeit a lot dirtier and untidy than I thought - not to mention the smell and the (how shall I put it politely?) manure, they are actually like babies and spend all day eating drinking and producing copious amounts of poo!
Despite all this I still look forward to getting up each morning to feed and water them (actually Mr. H does this) and to check the nest boxes for eggs. So far we have been getting an egg each day which is perfect for us and yesterday I was able to give our lovely neighbours some for their breakfast.
As for the poo I'm sure our compost bins will be all the better for it!

and it's such a good eggscuse to do a bit of baking!!!

Monday, 2 July 2012

Didn't we have a luvverley time

Okay so we didn't manage to get Stone Roses tickets (gutted was the only way to describe how we felt) but not to be disheartened we decided to have a tootle up to North Yorkshire - Whitby to be precise, one of our most favourite places ever.
A whistle stop tour to Levisham to eat our picnic was made even more enjoyable when not one, but two steam trains rolled into to the station.

Levisham is a small but perfectly formed station on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway between Goathland and Pickering and it's where the Santa special makes it's stop every year. Sadly little H is far too old for this now but we did this every Christmas up until a couple of years ago when we decided it was time to call it a day when we realised he was the oldest child on the train!

I will never tire of these views

Back to today and we had a beach day in mind but as the weather was being it's usual unpredictable self we had to mix things up a bit and being as I had heard about a fabulous new vintagey place here it seemed like the perfect opportunity to go and have a peek.

OH MY.... I was in heaven, such a beautiful shop packed floor to ceiling (I'm not kidding) with vintage gorgeousness and the owner Trudie was such a lovely friendly gal who even allowed Bruce (our dog) in for a browse!

We got to chatting as you do, but the more we chatted the more the boys started to get restless so in the end I came away empty handed but never fear I WILL be back in the very near future.

We had a great day and between the heavy but short lived downpours the sun shone gloriously. Ice creams were devoured by the whale bones while watching a spitfire fly past to mark armed forces day, and by 4 o'clock we were on Sandsend beach dipping our toes in the icy cold water.

A day here is never enough for us, in fact a week is not enough and we are always sad to say goodbye, especially when the sun is still shining.

Fish and chips on the way home finished the day of perfectly.

What is it about the sea air that makes you soooooo sleepy? despite my very best efforts to keep my eyes open I failed miserably and dropped off before we even reached York, however when I opened my eyes I was greeted with this magnificent sight.

I can honestly say I have never seen a more beautiful rainbow, the colours were so vivid.

It was straight off to bed as we were all cream crackered and Sunday meant an early start, as Sunday as we all know is car boot day

more about that in the next intstallment

hope you all had a great weekend
: )