25 June 2017

As Pretty As A Picture!!!

Maggie's Rose.
It is actually called Margaret Merrill but I shall call it Mags for short.
I have a lovely idea to make a special little garden in a small border we have by the front door. I just need to make some things and aquire some things to bring it all together.
It does look amazing against the shed which is painted in a colour called Coastal Mist but I wouldn't dare leave it there as Andy spends a lot of time hanging about round the shed and with his clumsiness it will without a doubt get damaged. Best out of his way then it saves him an ear bashing.

A lazy lunch at the pub today but a very noisy one. There was a group in with rather a lot of screamy children. Not sure if my ear drums will ever recover. They also monopolised the waitresses to the extent that the wait for even a menu was ridiculous let alone the wait for food but once we got our meal it was absolutely delicious.

A bit of horror at Tea Towel Mansion this morning....DD spotted a rat coming from behind the shed to feast on the scattered seed from the bird feeders....yikes!!! Andy will be off out in the morning to pick up some rat poison and get it put down and I will be racking my brain to come up with an idea to minimise the mess the birds make if at all possible so that no more get tempted to visit.
I really, really hate rats.

Now we are all doing our own thing for a while until it's time to settle down and watch The Loch. Usually by the third episode I can tell if I am going to watch something to the end so tonight will be the decider.

Hope you are all enjoying your Sunday.

24 June 2017

A Good Morning!!!

Trentham was lovely this morning although we didn't go into the gardens today. We have walked in them many, many times before.
We will however be going there for a picnic when DD is on annual leave next permitting and I will take photographs when we go.
Today was more about visiting the garden centre for DD and The Works for me.
I was thrilled to find a Rose called Margaret which I want to plant in the garden in memory of my sister.....a beautiful cream tinged with a peachy's stunning.....and DD was over the moon to find some Petunias she had been after called Night Sky. She also bought a Heliotrope and some herbs.
It started to get a bit too warm for me so we decided to head for home with just a quick call into the little town to pick up some tin foil which I forgot to buy on shopping day.
Since arriving home DD has tidied up the borders and planted most of the new plants although the Rose will be going in the front garden and will be left for another day.

I picked a bad day to have the oven on but hey ho. The Jerk Chicken and sweet potatoes need to be cooked so I shall have to grin and bear it.

Hope you are all enjoying your weekend.

23 June 2017

Loving The Grey!!!

Absolutely loving the grey cloud and the cool breeze. No rain to speak of although I have just noticed a puddle on top of the little tool shed so it must have rained in the night. I didn't hear it....I slept like a log with it being cooler.

I must thank Marlene at Simple Living for her meal suggestion of the bacon and egg salad. We had it last night and it was absolutely gorgeous....a big hit with us all.
I did glaze the bacon with maple syrup before grilling it and made a mustard mayo to drizzle over the salad.
We will definitely be having that again.
For tonight I have pulled some portions of leftover Lasagne out of the freezer which we will have with salad and some rather nice Red Leicester Mature Cheddar and Balsamic Red Onion flatbread.
I will also be getting a head start on some Jerk Chicken for our tea tomorrow as DD and I are going to have a ride out to Trentham Gardens in the morning and the chicken can be marinating while we are out ready to pop in the oven when we get back.

Just waiting for Andy to get up before I start on the Friday clean to get the house ready for the weekend. He came in at 4:30am this morning so I had expected him to be up by now but he must be sleeping well with it being I'll have a late coffee and hopefully he will be up by the time I have finished it.

Have a happy weekend.

22 June 2017

Oh Yes!!!

This morning I woke up to the dreaded bright, hot sunshine and my heart sank just a little bit......but now we have thick grey cloud, a nice breeze and the thermometer is dropping slowly downwards.
If it carries on I will crank the pootling up a notch and go out and get the windows cleaned as they are looking very dusty and cobwebby.

Still not keen to have the cooker on for long so today we will have hard boiled eggs and crispy maple glazed bacon with a fridge bottom salad, homemade mustard mayo dressing and some crusty bread.
We have got through a lot of salad this week so I will need to go out for fresh supplies tonight.

I think I have found some suitable fabric to add to Andy's quilt so once my jobs are done I'll lay all the bits out and see if it works and then start the sewing if I have time.

Yay....the thermometer has just dropped another degree so I can go and change out of my floaty frock and put my working clobber on for the first time in a few days.

Hope you all have a fab day.


21 June 2017

Just Pootling!!!

The plan is drawn for the quilt and some fabric has been chopped up but I think I am going to see if I can find another shirt to replace the white one I had bought. Looking at it I think the white will be too much.....and let's not forget that this quilt is for Andy.
Andy + white is not a good
I am amazed at how much fabric you get out of one shirt.....there will even be some left over to make him a cushion.
........and for anyone interested....soaking in starch and air drying before steam ironing really does work. The fabric was beautifully crisp and cut like a dream.

Today will be spent just pootling about doing odd jobs that require little effort and this afternoon I will attempt to blow up the little paddling pool DD managed to find the other night and I'll put it on the back yard ready for when Ruby gets here. She will love it.....and I may also find time to go and have a sit, dabble my toes and sip a cold drink.

Stay cool....and don't forget your sunscreen.

20 June 2017

Fabric Preparation!!!

......and this morning I present to you the most boring photograph in the history of blog photographs.........

.......just to prove that I did actually do something in the vile heat of yesterday.
I finished stripping the charity shop shirts after they had been washed, soaked them all with spray starch and left them to air dry.
Today I will iron them and start to cut them into strips to see how much fabric I will have and how big a quilt I will be able to make.
I'm going to plan this one out on paper before I do any sewing so I also pulled out some suitable fat quarters just in case I don't have enough shirt fabric.

 I must admit that apart from doing that and some laundry I didn't do much else as the heat gave me such a bad headache.
I'm hoping today will be better as we do at least have a breeze blowing.

Another simple tea of salad today with some fish.
Yesterday I prepped the salad into individual containers and there is still plenty left so I will mix it all up in a bowl and add some chopped red cabbage and maybe some sweetcorn so that it at least seems a little The grated raw beetroot will have some balsamic vinegar sprinkled onto it instead of just having it plain so it should be quite a tasty offering tonight.

I haven't had a coffee for a couple of days so I think I'll go and make myself one and then I'll crack on with ironing and chopping up this fabric.

Hope it's a bit cooler for you all today.


19 June 2017

An Executive Decision!!!

Just after nine in the morning and it is already 27C here so being the kitchen boss I have made the decision that there will be no hot meals this week unless it cools down drastically. It's salad all the way which makes DD and I happy.....Andy.....not so much but never mind it will do him good.

I am expecting the laundry to bake on the line rather than blow in the breeze as we don't have even a whisper of one. It's just very still and very hot.

So glad I ran the hoover round yesterday after lunch as that means I won't have to do it today.
Just a little tidying in the dining room and I can pretty much do as I please for the rest of the day......something gentle and not too far away from the fan would be

Keep cool and enjoy your day.

18 June 2017

Easy Does It!!!

Andy was up and out early this morning to get up to the next village for the Sunday papers before the lycra clad army started belting down the main road.
While he was up there he heard gossip from two sources that this will be the last Ironman. I don't know how true it is.

So back with the papers he and I have had a lovely quiet morning while DD has been getting her chef hat on.....although I did have to step in and assist when the onion sauce went a little bit awry.

It is dreadfully hot here. The thermometer in the dining room is edging up towards 28C but it feels much hotter.
Poor old Smudge is not liking it at all so he has his own pack of ice lollies in the freezer for cooling him down.

As soon as lunch and the washing up are done with I shall go and bake a chocolate cake as we are expecting a visit from the Doodles later on so it will be nice to offer them tea and cake when they come to see Dad/Grandad.

.....and that's about it for today here at Tea Towel Mansion....nothing exciting but then it's too hot to be doing anything too

Hope you are having a wonderful Sunday.

17 June 2017

A Thing Of Beauty!!!

I went out to try and get a pic of the new rose DD planted this year but I kept getting divebombed by bees so I quickly snipped a small branch and a couple of smaller peony heads to bring into the house.
The rose is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.
The buds are a deep sugar pink. The partly opened roses are cream flushed with pink and then fully open they are just a gorgeous plain cream.....and the scent is just divine.....strong but not over powering.
It is planted next to the peony and the two together look like something from the pages of Country Life.....or they would if the weather hadn't ruined the peony.

It was very hot when I got up this morning so I have had a very leisurely breakfast in front of the fan. I need to move soon as I have a couple of jobs to get done before I go out to do a bit of shopping this afternoon.
I couldn't change the carpet tiles yesterday as I couldn't get the screws out of the bar that seperates them from the vinyl flooring in the working part of the kitchen but I did get the fire place painted and hung two pictures so that is two jobs crossed off which won't have to be done again. Still a few of those to go at and they will get done eventually.

The Doodles are off at the seaside for the weekend as DDIL found a bargainous break on Groupon. Looks like they chose a good weekend for it so I hope they have a good time.
I'm only going as far as the little town this afternoon but I think we'll find ourselves somewhere to sit out and have a coffee when the shopping is done.

Have a lovely weekend.

16 June 2017

Here Comes The Weekend!!!

I really should bake more often.
Andy's little face when he saw I had made a cake when he arrived home last night was so cute.....bless him. 
I have heard it said that cake baking is a scientific process.....ha, ha, ha....not in this house it ain't. I tend to add things even to a Victoria Sponge and yesterday it was three tablespoons of natural yoghurt which may well have got thrown away but it was in date so in it went.
It was the best VS I have ever light and fluffy.
I was very impressed.

Back to the job list today so I will be taking up and replacing two carpet tiles and painting inside the fire surround to tidy it up a bit.
I will also be having a ferret in the salad and veg drawers to use up anything I can in a tomato based pasta sauce for the freezer.
I couldn't face going out for tea last night. We'll be going tonight so nothing to get ready for tea.

The bath arrived very early this morning so we just need to let the plumber know it's here now and ready for installing.
I am so excited to be having my bath back.

Really quite annoyed that once again we will be trapped on our estate on Sunday morning while the Ironman thing takes place. DD should be going to work but we are not allowed to use the main road at all between 8am and 1pm so she has no way of getting out and has had to ask a colleague to take her shift and she will have to do one of theirs at a later date.
We normally take Andy out for Father's Day lunch but we won't be able to go until later in the day. Andy likes to be there for 12pm while it is fairly quiet so we scrapped that and instead DD is doing a roast lamb dinner here.

So....we will be having a pretty quiet weekend.
What are you all going to be up to?

15 June 2017

A Hard Day Or Two!!!

Yesterday it was four weeks since the last time I held Maggies hand and told her that I loved her before her life support was turned off.
Today it is two months since the last time I spoke to her when she phoned me on my birthday to take the rip out of me at turning sixty.
I know these kind of days are going to be hard. Last night I found myself sobbing as hard as the day it happened......all part of the healing process I am sure.

I will be pottering again today.
The heat and the crying are giving me headaches and my powers of concentration are absolutely zilch so I will just do whatever takes my fancy. I might even watch Fixer Upper on the tv instead of squinting at it on the computer screen......and that's me who never watches daytime tv.

There is illness at the Doodle House. DDIL, Ruby and Marlowe went down to London for the weekend last weekend and the first night Marlowe was taken ill with a dreadful sickness bug which London Grandma and Grandad then caught. DDIL and Ruby have somehow avoided it but it has been bought home to DS who looked extremely ill when I saw him last night. I hope he gets well soon and that he doesn't pass it on to anyone else.

I think despite the heat I will pop the oven on for half an hour and make a cake for Andy. I have some eggs that want using up so I'll use them to make a Victoria Sponge. That will be a nice surprise for him when he comes in tonight and I have no other cooking to do today as DD is taking me out for tea.

Weather is very mixed today....still hot but sunny one minute and dull the next and I think I felt some spots of rain earlier on but that won't worry me as I only have towels to dry today and they are always done in the dryer. I don't like them dried on the line as they always seem scratchy to me. I like soft fluffy towels.

Hope you are all having a lovely day.

14 June 2017

Turn Me Over...I am Done!!!

Gawd it is hot here this morning.
I don't do hot.
Hot makes me cranky.
Hot means I can cry off cooking a hot meal and go for salad.
See....even if I hate hot....I can find a
The job list can go fiddle for today. I am pottering....and trying to pass the fan as many times as I can while doing it.
Roll on Winter 😄

DD and I managed to get to see The Mummy on Monday night. I gave it 5/10 and all five points were for special effects and CGI.
Note to the casting crew......Tom Cruise was an expensive plank of wood wasn't

Right....I shall go and chop up some salad and slice some cold sausages.....and I might make a bit of cuckoo (cous cous) salad to go with it.

Hope you are keeping cool.

13 June 2017

Busy Days!!!

Poor old Andy is in shock after returning from work last night to a house with a clean and tidy kitchen. He is allowed in there under threat of bodily harm if he messes it up.
The oven still needs cleaning but that will have to be tomorrow now as I have used it at lunch time and I need it to be cold. It seems to take ages to cool down.

The bracelet gifted to me by my nieces and nephew has arrived back from the engravers.......

It is on my wrist and will not come off unless absolutely necessary.
Gawd my skin looks awful but it is a cropped photo and certainly doesn't look that bad in real life.

The bath, bath panel and taps have been ordered and will be delivered on Friday ready for the plumber to come and fit when he has the time.
I can't wait for my first good long soak in a Badedas bath.

I was going to take some photos of the beautiful pink peony that we put in last year. Last year we had just one hand sized flower.  
This year it has been glorious and produced about nine tea plate sized flowers but they have been ruined now by the rain and wind so are not very pretty any more.

Today I am doing laundry. I will peg some out but there isn't much of a breeze today so heavier stuff will go in the dryer.

Okey dokey......a cup of tea and a quick read of the papers and then I had best get back onto the job list.

Hope you are all having a good day.

12 June 2017

We Have Lift Off!!!

Fantastic news from the Doodles......Marlowe has taken her first unaided steps and is now walking.
I can't wait to see her do it myself which will probably be on Wednesday now when we drop Ruby off after tea.

My shoulders have eased a lot but will probably be back to square one once I have had a good clean in the kitchen today. It has been neglected somewhat over the last month but now I need to get it back on track and I will have a good few hours at it once Andy has been fed and gone to work because DD is out for tea with work colleagues tonight.
She is hoping to be back in time for us to go to the late showing of The Mummy.

The Loch was OK. A bit here, there and everywhere as the first of a new series can be but hopefully it will get better. Mind you it's worth watching just for the scenery alone.

Rightio....outfit for the day....apron and Marigolds accessorised with a black bin bag....very

Hope you have a fab day.


11 June 2017

Deliciously DD!!!

There is a wonderful smell of roasting chicken coming from the kitchen......absolutely nothing to do with me as DD is fine tuning her newly learned cooking skills and flying solo this morning.
I am here if needed but so far she is doing just fine and really enjoying herself.
The Lasagne last night was awesome.

I am just waiting for Andy to get back with the papers so that I can have a lazy read of those with a cup of coffee. Taking it easy as I did myself a bit of a mischief yesterday while turfing out one of the bedrooms. Very poorly shoulders this morning and I can't even remember what I did to them. It could well have been the hoovering of the landing as the hoover is very hard to push over the carpet.

After lunch I have some bags of decluttered stuff to sort out for either binning or taking to the charity shop and then later we are going to watch The Loch and see what that is like.

.......and that is Tea Towel Mansion for today.
We keep getting little bits of sun....hope you are getting more.

10 June 2017

A Back To Front Day!!!

For some unknown reason I decided to stay up on on Thursday through the night to watch the election results as they came in.
I watched the ITV programme and have to say thoroughly enjoyed it. Their choice of George Osbourne and Ed Balls was just awesome and I even fell a little bit in love with the eternally annoying Robert Peston.
The result was a bit of a shocker to say the least so I expect to be trolling off down to the village to cast another vote sometime soon.
Had to have a sleep after that so got absolutely nothing done all day as I woke up feeling like a slug.

Today I am teaching DD to make Lasagne. The sauce is simmering on the stove and smelling really good.
We were going to make it last night to sit overnight but I hadn't the energy.

Our laid back plumber has been engaged to rip out the shower and replace it with a bath.....although the shower will kept over the bath. Gawd knows when he will start. He came in the week to have a look at it and said he would ring Andy the day after but up to now he hasn' dilatory but he is really nice and does a good job for us.
I think we will go ahead and order the bath, panel and taps so we have them ready for when he gets round to doing it.

Well it's dull and threatening rain so I don't think I will start any laundry. It can wait until Monday.

Today is the first day for nearly a month that I didn't wake up crying for Maggie. I am sure there will be many more days when I do but a little progress is a good thing.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend.


08 June 2017

The Last Goodbye!!!

Yesterday we said our last goodbye to my lovely sister and it was one of the saddest days of my life.
The Humanist service was beautiful. From the wicker coffin to the music her partner and children did her proud.
The chapel was filled with so many of her family and friends that I think it was standing room only. A testament to how very much she was loved by everyone who knew her.
Her children gifted all her sisters a piece of Maggies jewellery and I have a bracelet which I am going to have her name engraved on and once that is done I will wear it every day so that she is always with me.
Today is the first day of the rest of my life without her and it is going to take a good while for my broken heart to start healing but I will get there one tiny step at a time until I can think about her without crying and just remember the good times.

On the path back to normal.....there is cooking to do, a vote to cast and some shopping to be done later. I am also going to try a gentle foray back into my sewing by prepping some fabric for the start of a quilt top. It will be one for Andy which will include a shirt which belonged to the brother he lost two years ago. I have collected other shirts from the charity shops to include with it.

Have a good day.

05 June 2017

You're Never Too Old......!!! learn something new.
This is what I told my daughter when I put my foot down and insisted that at the age of 37 it was about time she learned to cook.
So far she has done two different Sunday lunches and she is doing very well although I don't know which is more exhausting....doing it myself or teaching her to do
On Saturday I will start on teaching her how to make some of our family favourite recipes for weekday meals.

I could have done with a dry sunny day today as I seem to have a mountain of laundry to do but it's raining and shows no signs of clearing up.

I had a lovely couple of hours out with DDIL and the girls on Friday wandering in the grounds of the Buddhist centre and enjoying the peace and quiet.......and the excellent coffee and chocolate cake in their cafe. I have decided that I would quite like to take some of their meditation classes and will definitely look into that soon.

As you can imagine I am not looking forward to Wednesday this week which is the day of Maggies funeral but I have asked that Ruby comes for tea as usual as I think those hugs and kisses will go a long way to helping in the healing process and moving forward.

Hope you are all OK.


01 June 2017


So sorry for the lack of communication. 
It has been a rather emotional couple of days.....trying to get a florist to understand what I wanted with regards a floral tribute for Maggie and also one of my other Sisters sharing some childhood photographs that I hadn't seen since the day they came back from processing at the local chemist about fifty years ago.
This is my most favourite.........

Rhyl in the 1960's.
Maggie is holding the monkey. I love her cheeky little smile.
I am standing at the back with my hand on her twin's shoulder.
As you can see my sister has made the photos into digital scrapbook pages and they look amazing.

Nothing much going on here at the moment....just quiet days still doing what I have to and no more. The house is clean and tidy and everyone has clean clothes and is being fed which are the most important things.
Tomorrow I am going for a coffee with DDIL who I hadn't even clapped eyes on for a fortnight until yesterday when she dropped Ruby off. She's very busy at work.
It will be nice to spend some time with her and the girls.

Hope you are all enjoying the sunshine.

29 May 2017

Typical Bank Holiday!!!

It's raining so it must be Bank Holiday Monday.
It's only been spitting most of the day but now it is thrashing down.
The laundry still has to be done as my pair need clean clothes for work so the tumble dryer will have to go on.....and I was doing so well saving money on not using it.

Still no inclination for sewing any projects as such but I have had to mend three pairs of DD's work trousers this morning as the hems had come down. Both legs on all three pairs and it is a job I really do not like doing. Still it's done now and hopefully won't need doing again for a while.....mind you Andy has bought a new pair of work trousers this morning which will need shortening by quite a bit......grrrrrrr!!!

I'm looking forward to having the house to myself for a while tomorrow with Andy back at work after his leave and DD at work. I really need a little time on my own just now.

Anyway I hope the weather hasn't scuppered your plans for today and you have enjoyed the day off.


28 May 2017

Cars, Cars...And More Cars!!!

We either hadn't seen or there hadn't been any advertising for the Family Fun Day at the racecourse in the little town and if we had of known we would have avoided the place like the plague.
The traffic jam went right from the racecourse down to the A50 and a few miles along there too. Getting in and out of T***o was just not going to happen so we veered off and went A**a instead. 
Those poor people stuck in that lot would be lucky to make it the end of the event never mind the start of it and of course our main route home goes past the racecourse..ha....not today matey.....we went the long way round.

I cooked a whole chicken yesterday to have cold with salad and new potatoes today so that the kitchen wouldn't be like a blast furnace while I cooked a roast dinner and I must admit it was very, very nice. Even Andy enjoyed it to my surprise.

He has been very busy these last few days as he has been on leave from work to use up some hours before he loses them so he has stripped and revarnished the old fire surround and sanded and varnished my £5 bargain coffee table. I love the fire surround but am not totally in love with the coffee table. Still the varnish was a bargain from B&Q's clearance bin at £2 per tin. He has used both tins but I think £4 for a makeover is not too bad at all.

Since losing Maggie I have had no inclination to sew or do any other type of crafting so I have been watching episodes of a home makeover programme on You Tube called Fixer Upper. Jojo who dresses the houses after the remodels is amazing and her style is definitely right up my alley. I am now planning a piece of wall art similar to one seen on the programme for over the sofa in the lounge involving a leftover piece of picket fencing, paint, decoupage and a clock. As soon as I feel able I will make a start on it.

I hope you are all enjoying your Bank Holiday weekend and haven't spent any of it stuck in traffic jams.

26 May 2017

Healing Music!!!

My Maggie was very 'new age' and spiritual......everything I am not but we did have one thing in common and that was our love of New World music and in particular we both liked Medwyn Goodall.
This piece of music and the accompanying pictures sum her up so well.........enjoy.


25 May 2017

Just A Little!!!

For the past week I have just been stumbling from day to day doing what I had to do and no more. Not wanting to see or speak to anybody and bursting into tears at the slightest thing.
Losing my Sister just has to be the shittiest thing ever but today I have put my head up out of the mire of misery for a couple of hours.
Andy said I needed to get out and get some fresh air so he took me to the garden centre for a gentle stroll around then on to the pub for a refreshing glass of lemonade and I do feel a little better for it I really do.
Maggies funeral has been set for June 7th which seems an awfully long wait to me. I am not sure if this is normal or not.

The plague of little black flies we get every year outside the back door has descended yet again meaning that even in this heat we can't have the back door or windows open without them filling the house. I wish I knew how to get rid of them.....they make me itch just thinking about them.
Two really hot days is enough of a summer for me.....roll on winter.

I hope you are all managing to stay cool.

23 May 2017

Evil Bast***s!!!

My heart is aching for all the innocent people caught up in the horrific attack in Manchester 💔💔💔

21 May 2017

Slow Days!!!

Since Wednesday I have been on another planet. My head is full of fog and my limbs feel like they are dragging through treacle.
I just want to lay down and never do anything ever again.
I know it will pass but at the moment everything is so raw and painful.

Tomorrow Maggie's amazing children will begin the preparations for the funeral. It is going to be a celebration of a life in colour and sound for Maggie who was as colourful as they come.
I really can't wait for it to be over.

19 May 2017


My darling Maggie💔
Thank you all so much for your kind and comforting words on the loss of my beautiful sister.
Love Sheila-x-

17 May 2017

A Request!!! Updated

Dear readers
Yesterday I received the devastating news that my dear sister Maggie collapsed with a brain hemorrhage and has been given 48 hours to live.
If you could spare some prayers or healing thoughts please could you send them to her.
She is a strong, feisty girl and I am hoping that she can prove them wrong but she may need a little help on this one.
Thank you so much.

Just to let you know that Maggie lost her fight and and her life support was turned off at 20:35pm tonight.

Maggie Newman
You will be missed so much.
Fly high beautiful lady.

16 May 2017

Alien Invasion!!!

I woke this morning to find that I had been invaded by aliens from the planet Domesticus and had strange urges for doing domestic goddess type things. What is that all about.....I never, ever wake up wanting to do
So....hoovering done (very quickly so as not to wake Andy), last of the laundry done, dried and put away, a roast chicken dinner is prepped, fridge has been tidied and wiped out and kitchen floor is mopped. I now have the urge to tidy out the cupboard where I keep all the pickles, chutneys and sauces to check nothing is out of date and see if we need top ups on anything.
I do hope they go home tonight.....can't be doing with them hanging round for

I have just parked me bum for five minutes to have a coffee and then I'll be back in DG mode until it's time to wave Andy off to work tonight.......after which I will breathe a huge sigh of relief and chuck meself onto the sofa to watch something with DD.

Hope you are all having either a restful day or a busy day...however you want it.

15 May 2017

Brave Little Girl!!!

Marlowe has been visited and I am now quite happy that the head injury she sustained on Saturday will heal and be forgotten in no time.
She has a bump with a cut on it which apparently bled profusely, a small cut under her eye and a bump and a bruise on the side of her head.
When we saw her yesterday she was happily chattering and singing.
I hope to goodness she is not going to take after her accident prone Daddy who must have spent more time at A&E in the first fifteen years of his life than he did at home.

Today is going to be a bit of a mish mash of all sorts with laundry to put away as it comes out of the chance of line drying today as it is raining.
We are going to have a treat for tea tonight....egg and chips with some baked beans. Not something we have very often so I am looking forward to that.

I thought you might like to meet......

......Skylar and Ginger.
Ginger is very placid and loves cuddles but Skylar is a little more lively and makes Ruby a little nervous. He was trying to nibble her chin yesterday.

Well DD has just arrived back from The Lake District with a case full of muddy clothes so I will go and add all tat to my laundry pile.

Have a lovely day.

14 May 2017

Hugs & Kisses........!!!

.....being sent to DDIL and Marlowe this morning.
DDIL phoned this morning to let us know that she and Marlowe wouldn't be joining us for lunch today as poor Marlowe had a fall yesterday and ended up in A&E. 
She is fine but DDIL is just emotionally and physically shattered and would like some time to just rest but Ruby is coming for a bit of spoiling as she was very, very upset by the accident.
After lunch we will bring her here for some cuddles with the giggly pigs and hopefully we can deliver her home cheered up a little.
I'll go with Andy when he takes her home just so that I can put my mind at rest with regards to Marlowe.

Lots of cuddling and comforting will be going on today so I have no plans to be doing anything in the way of housework or sewing until I am sure that DDIL and my girls are OK.

Hope you all have a fab Sunday.

13 May 2017

A Very Quiet Saturday!!!

Just me and the old man at home today so it's going to be a pretty quiet day here.
I will be doing girly type house jobs and he will be doing manly type outside jobs which I hope will include mowing the lawns which seem to have gone mad overnight and look very untidy.
My main jobs will be cleaning the lounge and then going up to have a final sort through what is left of the stuff that came down from the attic and is currently cluttering up the sideboard on the landing.
When we are done we are just having a simple tea of cheese, crackers and pickles.

Grandad picked Ruby up from school yesterday and bought her home to meet her guinea pigs. It was love at first sight and she was over the moon with them.
The ginger one has been named Ginger of course and the black one has been named Skylar....because he reminded Ruby of the night sky....bless her.
We didn't handle them too much with it being their first day in their new home and wanting them to settle in but when she comes for tea next week we'll get them out and let her have a cuddling session so that she can get to know them.

Not sure what the weather is going to end up doing could go either way. It's bright with grey clouds at the moment and cold again with a good breeze so I might wash the sofa quilts to freshen them up and hang them out. They can always be finished off in the dryer if it decides to rain.

Hope you are all doing things that make you happy today.

12 May 2017

New Arrivals!!!

Andy went into town for the papers this morning and came back with two guinea pigs for last.
Oh my word they are cute. One black and one ginger. Two boys as we don't want any shennanigans resulting in babies. As yet un-named as that will be a job for Ruby.
She will be so excited when I ring her later to tell her.

I have woken feeling much better this morning but convinced that it is Saturday. Andy having a night off last night has totally thrown

This morning I have to go into the big town for a few things and then call at the craft shop in the garden centre on the way back for thread to hand quilt the worn and washed quilt when it's ready.
I've not been to The Works for ages so I might call in there to see if they have any new sewing or quilting books.
It will be nice to get all these things done so that we don't have to go out tomorrow if we don't want to.

Grey skies and heavy rain here this morning so a snuggly afternoon of sewing is on the cards once we are back from town and then Chinese for tea while we watch Passengers....a new film that DD picked up this week. I have watched it with her but it was so good that I don't mind watching it again with Andy.

So that is what is going on at Tea Towel Mansion today.
Have a lovely day y'all.

11 May 2017

Poor Old Thing!!!

I had a really good night of sleep last why have I woken up feeling like I have been battered and with all of my get up and go gone.
This happens far too often....and I don't like it.
I don't feel ill....just achey and sore in my shoulders, neck and back.
Still.....I'll just soldier on and maybe it will go off as the day goes on.

Ruby was so thrilled with her new skirt and top when I gave them to her last night and I was really amazed that they fit her so well but with room enough to grow so that she doesn't just get to wear them this summer. I am a little bit chuffed with
Today I'll make the other top up that is cut out. Exactly the same but I will add some lace to this one so that it looks a little different.

Leftovers for tea tonight. Savoury mince which I cooked the other day and I'll do some jacket potatoes and steamed carrots with it for a nice tasty meal without too much effort and then it looks like I am in for an easy weekend too. Chinese and a film tomorrow night as Andy and I will be on our own. Not sure what we will be doing Saturday but Sunday we will be going to the pub and meeting DDIL and the girls. I'm so glad they had nothing planned. I love going out for lunch with them.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Andy may have a night off work tonight as he has bought his bag in from the van with his work clothes and towel in to be washed and he doesn't usually bring that in until he has done his last day. I just hope he doesn't want me to sit and watch a film with him as I have plans to sew the strips together for the worn and washed quilt tonight once I have finished the top for Ruby.

Another sunny and breezy day today and I do believe it is getting warmer and warmer as the days go by.....and about time too...I am sick of shivering now.

Have a lovely day.

10 May 2017

It's Good To Be Nosy........!!!

......because if you are not nosy you may miss out on delicious things.....and thanks to Pam......... my nosiness was put into action to find out what an Impossible Quiche was.
A recipe was found and made for tea last night and it got the thumbs up from us all.  Very nice indeed and a keeper in the meal plan for the summer.

I managed to get the pj's recut and finished yesterday so Andy is happy.....just hoping he doesn't ask for more pairs for a little while.
The second crop top for Ruby is next on my list but it won't get done today as I have a few housey type jobs to be doing and by the time they are all finished it will be time for my munchkin to arrive for tea......homemade meatballs in tomato sauce with pasta....unless I change my mind and make burgers...I just can't decide at the moment.

The washing is out and blowing on the line to take advantage of the sunshine we have today. It would normally have stayed in the basket until washday next week but as it is a nice day and there was a full load I could put in I would rather do it and get it on the line.

Andy must haven taken the heavy hint about my being fed up of spending half of Sunday cooking and has told me to book a table at the pub for this week....yay.
DD will be away to The Lake District for the weekend so I am going to see if DDIL and the girls would like to join us if they have nothing planned and then maybe take them on to the park after permitting of course. 

A sneaky coffee and then on with the job list I think.
Hope it's a lovely day where you are.

09 May 2017

A Very Rare Thing!!!

Not being a driver I don't very often get to go shopping by myself. I always have to wait for either Andy or DD to be available to take me.
Last night though DD was going into the big town to the gym so I hitched a ride and got her to drop me off at M****son's. It was lovely to have a wander round by myself. 
I don't very often shop there but I think I may have to do the same again as I was quite impressed.
No reduced food items but I did save £1.56 over three offers on cheese, fresh tomatoes and brioche rolls.
I also picked up this magazine.......

The pattern was free with it and is one I probably would buy. Looking online it retails for about £8 which more than covers the cost of the magazine and I have a suitable piece of fabric to make it too so I am quite happy about that.

Today will be a pretty quiet day. Andy is sleeping after a night shift so the hoovering and anything else noisy has to wait until he gets up.
Tea tonight will be impossible quiche to use up the last bit of the gammon I cooked for the weekend. I usually make my quiches with a pastry base so I am quite excited to see if we like this having never made one before. I'll serve it with a nice choppy salad and a crusty roll.

I unpicked the clown pyjamas yesterday and will recut them today ready for sewing up again and see how they turn out this time. If they are still horrible the pattern will be going in the bin.

Coffee and papers before I do anything else I think.
Hope it's a bit warmer where you are than it is here.

08 May 2017

....And Here We Are Again!!!

Good Monday morning.
The start of another new week which will take us halfway through May.
If it would warm up a bit I could probably believe it is actually May. 
I am seriously missing the coal fire at the moment....the warmth and cosiness....not the mess.

Yesterday was lovely.
The not cooking a roast dinner was fab and we all enjoyed the hot pork rolls.
I got one of Ruby's tops finished although it took longer than expected as I had to do a bit of
Today there is a small amount of laundry to finish off and a bit of tidying and hoovering to do and then I can get back to the other top.
I can't wait to give Ruby her new clothes on Wednesday when she comes for tea.

I think I shall need to put some music on this morning and dance round with the hoover to try and get warm.
Hope it's not so cold where you are.


07 May 2017

Putting Me Foot Down!!!

Normally at this time on a Sunday I would be preparing everything for a roast dinner but today I am not.
The foot went down yesterday when Andy asked for a roast beef dinner and I said I was sick of spending half my Sunday every week cooking and especially the weeks when DD has to go into work and we have to have it at tea time.
Today we are having slices of hot roast loin of pork with stuffing and apple sauce in rolls. The pork can be shoved in the oven and pretty much look after itself for a bit.
Ooooh it did feel good to get my own way for

I have two crop tops cut out ready for sewing for me Ruby so I hope with this bit of free time to get those done today.
They are both the same fabric but I will make one plain and pretty up the other one with some lace peeking out from the bottom of the hem.
One metre of 60" wide pink broderie anglaise for £5 is making two tops....can't be bad.

I'll also probably make a start on the laundry seeing as how it is sunny and breezy this morning.

I hope the sun is shining for you today.

06 May 2017

It's A Soggy Kind Of Saturday!!!

Very wet, very cold and thoroughly miserable outside this morning. Poor old DD will be working out in it later on today.

I cooked a small piece of gammon yesterday which we are going to have with salad for tea but salad ingredients are a bit low as we have eaten quite a lot this week so I shall need to nip out and stock up.

Andy is out with Miss Doodle making another attempt to get some guinea pigs. I hope they manage to get her some this week.......just had a phonecall from guinea pigs in this week they all went earlier in the week. Ruby is disappointed bless her.

On the sewing maxi skirt finished at last and one pair of PJ's just needing the leg hems doing although I must say that I am a little disappointed at how they have turned out.
The pattern envelope shows nice straight legged pyjama bottoms but the finished object doesn't resemble them in any way, shape or form. I took all his measurements correctly and used the size most suitable. I've used the correct seam allowances and still they look like clown trousers with just so much fabric in the legs that if he went outside on a windy day I swear he would take off. I will make them again but only when I have found a You Tube video on how to alter a trouser pattern to make slimmer legs.
The next project will be a pink broderie anglaise crop top for Ruby which I hope to get cut out today.

We were going to get the garden furniture out this weekend but I think it can stay where it is for now. At least it will save shifting it around for a while when we mow the lawn.

Rightio....I am off to finish me sewing.
Hope you all have a smashing weekend.

05 May 2017


Well that is all of my fabric and other sewing stuff sorted out.
Now all that remains is to try and keep it tidy.....and I will try very hard.

I have 10 boxes of fabric.........

The top box on the on the bottom pic is currently empty but probably won't stay that way for long.

Patterns all organised and easily accessible now.

Offcuts of fabrics for doll clothes, patchwork squares or small projects and my thread cones now all neat and tidy instead of being thrown in a box.

Andy made this for me to enable me to use the larger cones......a piece cut off an old shelf, a piece of broom handle and all prettied up with a bit of decopatch. I added the container recently as the cones just used to stand on the base and I kept knocking them onto the floor.

The three larger drawers of the unit store more fabric which is already earmarked for clothing projects and all my batting, wadding, filling and backing fabric is stored under the dining table in a large box.
Behind me is a whole other mess which I can't get my head around today but it will be sorted soon.

Before I do anything else today I am really ready for some lunch. It's not often I bother with anything but we won't be eating tea until later tonight so I'd better have something to stop the grumbling.

The wind is making it feel pretty chilly here again today so I will also need to go and search for my cardigan.

Have a lovely day y'all.

04 May 2017

Bloomin' Lovely!!!

Another glorious sunshiney morning but with quite a strong wind again.
We have been out to do our bit at the polling station voting in the local elections. Another month and we'll be doing it all over again.

When we got back the sun was making the garden look particularly pretty so I thought I would show you some of my favourite bits and some of the new things that have been added since the last time I showed garden pics.......

This little corner makes my heart sing. For so long nothing would grow properly there but DD has improved the soil and with the added pots it now looks so pretty.

Granny's vacancies I'm afraid. The bluetits are in residence and have laid eggs.

A beatiful new red thistle. I have had blue ones before but have never seen a red one. I can't wait for this to fill out. It will look stunning.

Onto the front garden and the Scilla is beginning to flower.

I think the plant in the pot is an Allium. The crate is filled with DD's favourite Sedums in various forms.

More Sedums I think and some Thyme in a new planter. I'm not sure what else is in here as I forgot to ask.

I am so thrilled with what DD is doing with the garden. It's looking better than it ever has since we came here just over twenty years ago.

Today I just have a little more fabric to sort out and some Sweet and Sticky Chicken Meatballs to cook for tea and then I am going to be sewing. I will finish Ruby's skirt and then cut out and make a start on Andy's PJ's.....all of which should have been done yesterday but DD had a bit of a senior moment and turned the car for home....forgetting that she was supposed to be going to the gym and then couldn't be bothered to go out
Hopefully she will remember today.

Also today I will be going against my own rule of never ironing tea towels and ironing a pile of them just for the simple joy of the smell after they have been line dried.

Have a wonderful day.

03 May 2017

.......And Breathe!!!

Oh the relief of having the house to myself at last.
I have about seven hours of pure unadulterated peace to enjoy now that Andy has gone off to work and DD will be gyming until about 7pm.
I feel like I haven't had a minute to myself for weeks and it has been bogging me down as I love a bit of time without anyone to run about after.

So what am I doing with this bit of freedom....well I have put my gorgeous bag from Pam to good use......... a home for some of my quilting rulers. This will now go on the shelf with all of my other quilting rulers and my revolving cutting mat and I will know exactly where they are.
The fabric is just so me Pam so thank you very, very much.

Other things on the agenda today include some super organisation of my fabrics and patterns. Space in the drawers has been made by rehousing my batting, wadding and filling and larger pieces of backing fabric into one box which will be stored under the table in easy reach. Another box will be emptied of patterns which will be re-organised into some small drawers so that I can get to those more easily.
Fat quarters and half metres will be stored by colour in the two other small drawers and one metre lengths and above will be stored in boxes. I have yet to decide what I am doing with offcuts and scraps.
I am having a lot of fun.

Tea today will be something quick and simple....maybe beans on toast and a cuppa before we settle down to watch some more episodes of Rome. The box set arrived yesterday and we have already watched three episodes.
We do love a good box set.

It looks like the bedding I hung out this morning is dry so I'll fetch that in before it flies off across to Derbyshire as the wind seems to be getting

Hope you are all having a nice day.

02 May 2017

Glorious Morning, Grey Afternoon!!!

I'm not a big fan of the phone ringing later on at night as I always think something is wrong. So when ours rang at 9pm my heart jumped straight into my was just DS asking if he could pick me up on the way back from the school run to babysit Marlowe for a couple of hours while he went and got his hair cut.
He duly picked me up in glorious sunshine this morning and I spent a fabulous couple of hours giving Marlowe her breakfast and then playing down on the floor with a basket of assorted animals and singing silly songs. She just started getting ready for her morning nap as Daddy returned so she had that while Daddy made me a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea. We managed to eat, drink and have a chinwag and then she was awake again so Daddy made her a picnic lunch and dropped me home on his way to take her to the park for some fresh air.
I hung out the washing and along came the grey clouds. It's still dry at the moment with a good breeze so I am hoping it will dry.

I want to say a huge thank you to Pam at  A New Life In Wales  for the beautiful bag I won in her recent giveaway. Pam it is just gorgeous and I know exactly what I will use it for. I'll have to take a pic later as the camera needs charging but I will post it tomorrow and show you what I will be using it for.

Well I had best go and catch up with some jobs now until Miss Ruby arrives for tea. She has requested tomato soup and DD and I will be having a cheese and pineapple salad so no cooking for me today thank goodness just a general tidy up and hoover round.

If you have some sun could you send it bit back my way please. It's gone really cold now it's clouded over.
Have a lovely day.

01 May 2017

No Holiday For Me Then!!!

The early night seems to have helped a little with whatever was wrong yesterday thank goodness. I can't be doing with feeling 'off it' and not knowing what is wrong. I'd rather be ill, know what it is and be able to do something about it or be well.

I had planned a little time for myself to do some sewing today but between preparing stuff for the evening meal and an overflowing laundry basket it looks like that will remain just a plan.
There will be some time out this afternoon for a visit to The Doodle House for tea and cake as we got a surprise invitation this morning so I am looking forward to spending some time with Doodle and Moo....and DDIL of course.

Andy was going to be finishing off painting the stair rails in the garden to match the shed but we had rain earlier and although it has brightened up a bit I am sure we'll get more before the day is out so he's leaving that and sofa hugging instead.

We are all very excited to have bluetits nesting in a little house that hangs from the old apricot tree remains....and there are eggs. The house was only put there as a decoration so I am really pleased that it is being used.

Right well tea is simmering away now so I had best go and sort this laundry. Andy can make the coffee this morning while I do that.

Hope you are all having a lovely day either out and about or at home.

30 April 2017

High Speed Hubby!!!

These are the pics taken of Andy at the racetrack yesterday......

These are photos taken by staff at the race track as the set up there wasn't really condusive to taking our own photos although we did get a little bit of video when he started off.

I'm getting a little worried as to what is going to happen to my blog come the end of May.
EE who have taken over the company who provides our e-mail service is closing down Orange and on their advice I have now moved my e-mail to gmail which is Google. My blog is signed into via Google but they will not let me use a gmail account as the primary account for gaining access to various things.
So I don't know if my blog will just disappear on May 31st or if the old e-mail address is just like a password type thing and will stay there to give me access.
I've never had to deal with anything like this so if anyone has any advice I'd be grateful.

Well Sunday lunch has been cooked and eaten. Just some pork chops....half a pack of eight picked up from T***o for £4 so a relatively cheap one this week and there are four more in the freezer for another meal.

I don't seem to have much energy today which I think is due to the fact that it is very, very warm here. No sun to speak of as it is hidden up beyond the greyish clouds.
I feel like a limp rag 😕
I might just take a lazy day then and just go and read the papers on the sofa....not really how I like to spend my time but it's no use forcing myself to do anything if I don't feel like it as things have a  tendency to go wrong when I am not at my best.

So here I go off to the sofa and I suppose it is too much to ask that there is a good film on.

Hope your day is fabulous.

29 April 2017


Well that was an exciting morning out for Andy. He absolutely loved his driving experience....especially the Aston Martin DB9 and I must admit I enjoyed seeing all the cars.
It was quite a long drive there and back but the Leicestershire weather was very nice.....sunny but with a chilly wind that wasn't so good for us spectators.
I have a couple of lovely photos of him so I will try and take photos of those and show them tomorrow.
Now begins the search for the next thing on his bucket list....a ride in a Spitfire which I think is either going to be hard to find or super expensive but we shall see.

Back home now and I have jobs waiting as usual so I'll get a few bits done....there is always tomorrow and Monday.......and Tuesday....and
First I need a decent cuppa as the one from the catering van at the racetrack left a lot to be desired...I hate tea out of a paper cup.

Hope you are all having a lovely weekend.

28 April 2017

Up And Out!!!

Up and out early this morning to take me Doodle to school. I do love to see her gorgeous little face early in the morning.
DD then took me for a surprise treat of breakfast at The Cherry Tree and then back into little town to get some food shopping done.
We now have a couple of hours at home before we go and pick Doodle up and take her home so I am spending that time (after blogging of course) trying to squeeze away the rest of the fabric purchases from Tuesday. It's not going awfully well as there seems to be more fabric than space to put

Tomorrow we will be travelling into Leicestershire to take Andy for his experience day that we bought him for Christmas....driving an Aston Martin and taking a high speed ride in an Ariel Atom. He is really looking forward to it so I hope there are no severe weather issues to affect it like there was with the balloon ride we gave him for his 60th birthday which he eventually got just before his 61st birthday.

Well that is pretty much as exciting as it gets here today so I will love you and leave you for now.
Hope you all have a great Bank Holiday weekend whatever you are up to.

27 April 2017

Swings And Roundabouts!!!

Good morning from Staffordshire where we have a very mixed bag of weather this morning.
We started off with a bit of sun but now it's very grey, windy and raining off and on. I must admit I am thankful for the rain as it will save me struggling to peg the laundry on the shoulders still hurt from carrying those heavy bags of fabric on Tuesday and I can barely lift my arms. I am definitely taking my granny trolley next time I

Yesterday I was at the doctors for my annual review and there was good news....I had lost half a stone, not so good news....blood sugars were very slightly up, blood pressure was a little higher and now they think I may be vitamin D deficient so I have to have yet more blood tests for that. I have opted though to have that checked when I go for my next tests in three months.

We were late getting back from dropping Ruby home last night due to the distraction of that little cutie pie Marlowe being very entertaining so I didn't get the waistband finished on the maxi skirt. I'll get that done today once I have hobbled round and got a few jobs done.

For tea today I am making turkey burgers seasoned with fajita style herbs and spices. They will be served in a brioche bun with a side of sweet potato wedges and a lime and green chillie reduced fat mayo dip.....yummy.

Okey dokey....I shall be away to my chores then.....oh bl***y hell....the sun has come out again so now I am going to have to peg the laundry

Have a fabulous day.

26 April 2017

Fabric Overload!!!

Well....what a fabulous day we had in Birmingham at The Rag Markets and what a lot of bargains we got.
I don't know where to start so I will just dive in and show you what I got.........

100% cotton, 60" wide £5 per metre and no flaws. Destined to become two more 'Edna' dresses

The black with pink flowers is a remnant of slightly under three metres and 60" wide for £4 the piece. the green with pink flowers 45" wide at £2 per metre and the pink broderie anglaise 60" wide for £5 per metre. All destined to become dresses and tops for Ruby. The lace is cotton,4" wide £2.50 a metre and will be used to trim a crop top for Ruby.

A bit of an indulgence at £8 per metre and I bought two metres to make a bag for my sewing machine. I can get this type of fabric from Derby market but it is £10 a metre.

Polycottons for crafting projects. £2 per metre so no cheaper than I can get it on Derby market but they did have a fantastic range.
The navy polycotton £2 per metre will become pyjamas for Andy and the white on white floral will be summer tops for Ruby and maybe a little dress for Marlowe.

Dark and light olive striped jersey. £2 per metre. I don't know what I am going to do with this....maybe a loose t shirt for summer. I got three metres and at 60" wide I should get two out of it.

Three dress zips for £2 and the thread cops were £1 each.

I was over the moon to find these summer dress/tops for wearing over leggings. Two for £10 so I bought four as summer will probably be just about over by the time I go again. They fit beautifully.  

I also got five metres of 60" wide black jersey for £10 which I am going to use to make a sleeveless cardigan and probably a skirt.

There were things I didn't find from my list.....embroidery threads.....I wanted to stock up on white and cream, bias binding....pretty shocking that not one of the haberdashery stalls had this and no flat waistband webbing for Andy's pj's so I will have to take a trip to Derby for those things.

Today my legs and shoulders ache like hell so I am just pottering around at home and trying to find places to put all this fabric until I can get to the projects I will be using it on.
Ruby is due for tea today so I can measure her up for the elastic for the waistband of her skirt and that can get finished. All the strips are sewn together for the Worn and Washed quilt....they just need trimming up before I make them into the quilt top and then I will get the pj's done for His Nibs which should only take an hour at the most although he won't be able to wear them until I get the webbing for the waistband.
Gosh I am going to be busy.....and I am so looking forward to it.

Hope you are all having a lovely day.