Friday, 30 June 2017

A Cheap And Simple Solution!!!

Yay....I am back with a full set of keys.
The laptop keyboard is toast but we came up with the cheap and simple solution of a plug in keyboard with a USB connector.
A cost of £14.99 rather than nearly £300 for a new laptop....that'll do for me. If Argos had had one in stock it would have been the £9.99 one but the extra fiver is worth it.

I wasted such a lot of time messing about with the flippin' thing yesterday that I am a little behind with jobs so I need to get myself into gear today and catch up to get ready for our little weekend visitor......although I won't see much of her tonight as she is off out for tea and a visit to the cinema with Aunty DD. Nothing to cook today then as Andy is treating himself and me to fish and chips which he will pick up on his way home from work.

Tomorrow I will need to go and do a top up shop. Ruby loves to go shopping so I have managed to eke things out so that she can come with us. I think we will go to the little town and have a wander around the charity shops as that is one of her favourite things and I can have a look for some books.
Ooooh I am looking forward to seeing her later.

Okey dokey......lots to do so I had best go and get on....after I have had my coffee of course.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Blanket- Blank!!!

So--- .......I can't w-ite m- blog post p-ope-l- toda-😕

Some of the lette-s on m- ke-boa-d have decided to stop wo-king which is ve-- f-ust-ating.
Have t-ied to use And-'s tablet but it won't connect to the inte-net.

Back as soon as I have this figu-ed out.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Shut That Door!!! (Herb Table Edit)

The thermometer has a little triangle on it that says that if I so wanted I could put the heating thanks I'll make do with my cardigan and some socks....the cool is cool.
The only thing I can't stand is a draught so I am constantly shouting 'shut the bloody door' at the moment which makes a change from 'will you please leave the bloody door open'

Very worrying that the company that Andy works for was caught up in the latest hacking event. That brings it very close to home.
I wish these evil swines could be caught.

DD and I were so chuffed last night to find the local hedgehog in our garden. He is absolutely gorgeous and we quite often see him having a wander round the estate at teatime searching for something good to eat. It was lovely to see him at close quarters.

A good day on the job front yesterday although I have not completely finished.....I decided to give myself a bit of a break, cut some more fabric for the quilt top and add little snippets of fabric to the plan I have drawn out to give me an idea of what it will look like and a pattern to work to when I start sewing the blocks.
It's looking very nice.

Today is Doodle Day so me Ruby will be here for a couple of hours after school and I won't have to wait very long to see her again as she is coming to stay for the weekend. I am so happy.
Sleepovers used to be nearly every month but she now has such a busy social life with birthday paties or play dates nearly every weekend so we don't see as much of her as we used to.
This weekend we are having a Troll Fest. It's one of her favourite films at the moment so the weekend will involve lots of pink and probably a ton of glitter......including glitter

Well that is me for today. I just need to go and have a quick tidy up and run the hoover round before she gets here.
As it's cold and wet I am guessing the meal request will be tomato soup....her favourite.

Hope the rain isn't stopping your play.

Editing to add this pic of the herb table for Jackie and MM.....

 Mine came already says grey wash on the box but DD says it's a blue/green if it is the same as the display model.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Sidetracked....As Always!!!

I made a start on the dining room yesterday and was going great guns until I came across a stack of plastic boxes which needed to be returned to the cupboard in the kitchen.
So I opened the cupboard and out fell a pile of boxes.....causing my language to become somewhat colourful.....and that was me.....sidetracked yet again.
Things have been swapped around, tidied, boxes reunited with lids and hopefully will stay that way.
Today I will carry on with my original job......unless something better comes

Very grey and wet when I got up this morning but now the sun is trying to come out and the wind is getting up. I might chance a line of laundry.

My herb table didn't get built last night as DD and I decided to watch the first episode of a box set we borrowed from DS while we had our tea.
It's an old one. A prison drama called Oz which I didn't think we would like.......we are hooked and as we take advantage of Andy being at work until 9pm I can't see the table being built until the weekend....oh well 😄

Right....the timer has just pinged so I will go and feed the worker.

Have a lovely day.


Monday, 26 June 2017

That Job List!!!

I have two job lists.
Job list one is in my head and is all of the everyday jobs that we all do....dusting, hoovering, keeping everywhere tidy, laundry and general pottering about.
Job list two is the serious job list of heavier jobs such as deep cleaning of rooms and maintainence jobs.
This week I have chosen the deep cleaning of the dining room which will involve shifting of furniture and washing down of everything that doesn't move.
I have plans to change the furniture around so I am very glad for the cool weather today. It would be good if it stayed dry though as I would like to wash the curtains.
I'm feeling a bit rough after a bad night so we'll see how much I manage to get done.

DD will also be busy when she comes in tonight as she gave me a gift of a herb table which needs to be built before she can plant all of my new herbs into it.
Once that is done we will settle down with our cheese and pineapple salads and watch some TV.....either the Food or True Crime depends which one is showing something we haven't seen.

Right....the oven has to go on now so that I can feed Andy before he goes to work so we'll have coffee while we are waiting for it to cook and then on with the jobs.

Hope you are all having a happy day.


Sunday, 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.

Saturday, 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.

Friday, 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.

Thursday, 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.


Wednesday, 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.

Tuesday, 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.


Monday, 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.

Sunday, 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.

Saturday, 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.

Friday, 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?

Thursday, 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.

Wednesday, 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.

Tuesday, 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.

Monday, 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.


Sunday, 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.

Saturday, 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.


Thursday, 8 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.

Monday, 5 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.


Thursday, 1 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.