Thursday, 23 June 2011


This is Puska, the cat that seems to have adopted us. Often we'll find, when going over to the window and looking out to a seemingly empty garden, that there is in fact a mischievous someone lurking beneath the window, on top of our garden bench. Suddenly we'll find a little kitty head poke it's way up above the window sill, effectively scaring the living daylights out of us!!!

We don't know who she really belongs to, but she's very affectionate. She's also distinctive because she has no tail! We're not sure whether she was born that way (Sorry, Lady Gaga flashback there...) or had an accident and had to have it removed. She seems well fed, but has no collar. Bunny accepts her presence in the garden but gets a bit jealous when she asks to be stroked - I've ended up stroking Bunny with one hand and Puska with the other!

Veggies and other pics

Took the camera out to the back garden the other day.....
The carrots are coming along nicely.

The gooseberry leaves are under attack (presumably gooseberry sawfly) but the fruit's fine. This has happened before, but the bush recovers.

The potatoes have turned into triffids and are taking over the patio!!!!!!!

Hubby's pride and joy - his Japanese Acer, which we grow in a pot using ericaceous compost. The leaves turn the most beautiful scarlet colour in the Autumn.

Some pretty Bramble flowers. We have Bramble growing in the wild bit of land that backs onto our garden and it regularly attempts to invade our garden too! After it has finished flowering I will cut this back to the ground.

This Hypericum has self seeded into our garden. It's also called St John's Wort because it flowers in time for St John's Day, June 24th.

As the flowers fade they develop into these pretty fruits. You can also see White Bryony trailing over it all. Another self seeded plant, it always amazes me just how quickly Bryony grows. It has tightly twisted tendrils that cling on as it climbs and pretty greeny/white flowers. The berries turn from green to red to black and look like strings of beads festooned over the hedges.

Finally, couldn't conclude without more piccies of my gorgeous Bunny. The plants are mint, growing between the tiles of the patio.

Have a great day everyone!  God bless!  x x

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Yummy home made chips

I'm not well known for my home cooking skills but occasionally I feel the urge. I don't do fancy stuff, just plain, honest, homely stuff. 
The other day I had the urge to make home made chips - that's fries, for our American cousins. I remember these as a special treat when I was a child, running down the garden with a bowlful seasoned with salt and HP sauce. Chip shop chips are much better than frozen ones, but home made ones are better still! So, with apologies if I'm teaching Grandma to suck eggs, here's how I make them.....
I have discovered that leaving the skins on makes a much sweeter taste, so just scrub the potatoes clean. These are new potatoes.

Cut to shape.

Wash off the excess starch with cold water.

Drain and pat dry with a clean tea towel. (Water will make the hot fat spit.)

Place in the basket of your chip pan. I used to have an electric chip pan but it was a pain to clean and I hardly ever used it anyway.

Carefully lower the basket into the hot fat. I usually do this with the lid on at first, to avoid hot fat splashes. From time to time lift the basket out and carefully shake to separate the chips. Cook until golden.

Dish up and enjoy!!!!  

Soggy Bunny

Here are some pictures of my daft bunny who refuses to come in out of the rain unless it absolutely hammers down! He looks like a little punk bunny!!!
The box in the foreground has been his favourite toy since we first got him.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Congratulations Colin!!


Have been a fan of said gorgeous acting man for several years. Had a MAJOR crush on him for a while, during which I made some good web friends via a fansite. But, best of all, I MET HIM WHEN HE WAS FILMING 'THE KING'S SPEECH'!!

It was definitely God's doing. I was off work with stress due to an horrendous year with my poor hubby being ill, culminating in him falling down the stairs and breaking 6 ribs. My doctor said that, as hubby was now being safely looked after in hospital, I should treat myself to a day out somewhere and relax. I chose to visit Ely cathedral as it was easy to get to by train. While there I overheard a volunteer cafe worker say there would be filming there later that week, with some actor called Colin Firth. I nearly choked on my hot chocolate!!! What??? Colin???? My lovely, lovely Colin??? Screeeeaaaammmm!!!!

So, 2 days later, Mr Firth and Mr Geoffrey Rush were treated to the sight of a short, plump, middle aged woman in a crazy patchwork coat sitting in the freeeeeeeezing cold cathedral watching them as they first rehearsed, then filmed a scene for the film. I'd picked a good day since, apparently, the press had all done their bit the day before so I was the only fan there!
At one point Colin and Geoffrey were walking up and down the aisle, while adjustments were being made to lighting or cameras or something, and they noticed me sitting watching. Colin glanced over and gave me a polite smile. When I returned with a huge, I'm-so-thrilled-to-see-you smile he did a double take and looked again, giving me a really big, friendly smile in return.  *swoon*

Anyway, just as I was looking at my watch, thinking I would have to go soon or I'd miss my train, they finished filming and I was able to apprehend Colin on his way out. All day long the 'crew' had emphasised that Mr Firth was busy, that yesterday was his day for doing autographs, and I would be really, really lucky to get him to stop; but I knew this would be my only chance since I'm not the type of person to wait for hours in the rain at film premieres! So I asked politely and he smiled and agreed, asking what my name was. Since I have an unusual name (well, unusual for England) I asked if he knew how to spell it - he did. I said "Just like in that song by 'Little Feat'" [a group Colin followed as a teenager, and he mentions in the film 'What a girl wants']. This made Colin do that kind of laugh where you lift your head and blow air down your nose (I made Colin laugh!!!) and I said "See - I do know some things about you!" and my moment was over. I sooooo wanted to ask for a photo with him on my mobile phone, but they'd kept on about him needing to go, and there were a couple of other people waiting too by then so, like the good, polite, English girl I am I left it at that.  BUT I MET COLIN FIRTH!!! AND HE KNEW HOW TO SPELL MY NAME!!!!  AND HE SMILED AT ME AND I MADE HIM LAUGH!!!!

So, when you're watching "The King's Speech" and you get to the bit where Geoffrey Rush is marching down the aisle of Westminster cathedral muttering about walking on Chaucer's grave, look out for a glimpse of patchwork behind a pillar on the left!  ;-)