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Thursday, 12 October 2017

OUT AND ABOUT WITH MY SHOPPING BASKET

Good Morning to you,


Are you a casual shopper?

Do you enjoy wandering around the shops, for nothing in particular, but to see if there is anything which takes your fancy?

I have to tell you, my days of casual shopping are long gone.

When I was younger, I loved meeting up with my friends to shop.  I shopped with Phyllis and I shopped with Natasha and Danielle and still do when they come to visit, but nowadays I tend not to go to the town as much as I used to.

As I've grown older, I tend to make a note of the items I am running low on.  For instance, if I see that my favourite bottle of perfume is running low, then I write it down in my notepad. I then wait until a few more items have been added, before I take a trip into town.

.... and last Thursday afternoon, I checked my notebook,


and discovered, 


there were enough items on my list to warrant a visit to Newcastle.  I asked George if he fancied a trip into town the following day.  Although before he agreed, he did  check to make sure I was not buying him clothes. When I replied, absolutely not, only then did he agree to come with me.

Now you may be wondering about the 'absolutely not', it does sound rather harsh, but you will understand, when I tell you, that George is a dreadful clothes shopper. He loves wearing nice clothes, but he is an absolute nightmare when it comes to shopping for his clothes, and for someone who is so easy going it really doesn't make sense.  What I have come to realise is, when we were both working, George was super busy and really did not want to think about the clothes he wore, so I took on the role of buying George's clothes.  I would show George the clothes I had bought and he would happily put them on. Although having said that, I do remember on one occasion, I had bought George a pair of brown casual shoes, nothing fancy, just something casual to wear with his corduroy trousers.... yes he loves cords. Well, when I presented the shoes to George, he really did not like them, in fact I would go so far as to say George hated them. 

The offending shoes were relegated to the back of the wardrobe, never to see the light of day, for about 8 years.... honestly I kid you not, 8 years. They were brand new when we moved to Cyprus and they were in the same condition when we returned to England. So a couple of years ago, I decided it was time to do something about the shoes, they really needed to be moved from the back of the wardrobe.  I mentioned to George that I had found the said shoes and if he was not going to wear them, I would donate them to charity.  After all 8 years is a really long time to have a pair of shoes languishing unworn in the back of the wardrobe. George took the shoes and said 'Those are nice, I'll try them on'.  Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather, he really didn't remember them.  I held my tongue as George put on the shoes.  He walked around the room and said 'I like these, they are really comfortable' and so I couldn't help myself, I asked 'How about the colour?' I know, naughty wasn't I,  to which George replied, 'Actually they are nice, I think I'll wear them with my cords'.  Yes he really said that.  Now it could have gone either way, I could have mentioned the fact that George had made such a hullabaloo 8 years ago about the shoes and that was why they remained unworn, but I chose not to follow that tack, because  if I did, I think there would have been a few choice words spoken. So I decided to bite my tongue and say nothing,  so that peace and harmony could remain in the Bryson household.  Although I couldn't help myself, I had to vent my frustration somewhere, so I mentioned what had happened to the girls, who both laughed and said 'That's dad for you!' They then said, 'Don't feel down, you haven't lost your knack, remember, you really do know what dad likes to wear, even if it takes dad a few years to realise it.   So with a smile on my face I left it at that.

So Friday morning arrived and we hopped onto the bus and enjoyed a 30 minute journey into Newcastle. It is so much easier using the bus, rather than trying to find a parking space in town.  It makes the whole shopping experience, much more relaxing.

Our first stop was,


Kiehl's.  I love their products and this Turmeric and Cranberry Seed Masque sounds like it should be added to one of my dishes rather than to my face.  I love this product and I find after applying the masque, my skin looks much brighter afterwards.  I would say that, rather than rinsing off the masque, which contains seeds, I find it easier to use a wet flannel. I buy flannels from the Pound Store and wash them after each use.

The masque is put onto a cleansed skin, left to dry for 5-10 minutes, then water is added to the masque and you gently massage the face before finally removing the masque.

I know turmeric is very popular with ladies who live in India.  Natasha did once bring me a packet of  turmeric from India, especially for the face, but knowing how turmeric stains, I never had the courage to use it.  After all, walking around with a yellow tinge to the face is not a look I like.  However, I promise you, there will be no yellow tinge from this Kiehl's masque, it will leave you with a lovely glow.

We then headed to Holland and Barrett to buy,


some organic quinoa.  I use this quite a lot in my cooking as it is full of protein.  In 2015 we made a Quinoa salad and further back in 2014 we made Tabbouleh using quinoa.


I also bought some Vegan Yeast flakes, because I am trying to introduce more plant based food into our diet.  I was shocked to hear about the way a factory in Bromsgrove dealt with their chickens.  I won't go into detail, suffice it to say, I feel at the moment, a plant based diet is something I am becoming more and more interested in.


.... and now it's time for tea. I wonder, are you like me? Do you sometimes find, when your head is full of 'busy', it is hard to sleep at night. I was talking to Natasha about this, and she suggested trying Valerian tea, as she had read that it was a good aid to sleeping.  So an hour before I go to bed I drink a cup of Valerian tea, and do you know, it's working. What I would say, is, check with your doctor before taking this tea as I know some herbal remedies can interfere with prescribed medications.

It was then time to head over to Neal's Yard.


Are you confused, no it isn't someone's back garden. Neal's Yard is a company which sells ethically sourced products.  My sister in law, Gloria, recommended their products when I visited her a couple of weeks ago. I normally buy Molton Brown products, as I love their hand wash and hand lotion, but when I used the Geranium and Rose hand wash in Gloria's bathroom, I was smitten. I  decided to try the Citrus hand wash and hand lotion as I wanted to use them in my kitchen.  The hand lotion is light and rubs into the hands so easily and the combination of these 2 products are really lovely.

We then headed over to John Lewis where I chose some Christmas material for the 2 quilts I am making. I will not share the material at the moment but I will when I show you the progress I am making with the quilts.

We had thought to stay in town for a coffee, but we were both feeling a little tired, so we decided to head for home, but before we did, there was just one more shop I wanted to pop into. I was hoping to buy a pair of pyjamas for Sadie, my mother in law.


My goodness the buyers must have read my mind, because on a counter near to the entrance, I discovered these lovely flannelette pyjamas,  which I know Sadie will love. It's interesting, because both Sadie and Phyllis, my mother, love pink. Actually I have bought a pair for Phyllis as well.

So job done, we headed for home.  Well almost, as on the way to the bus top, George popped into the Dickman's Pie Shop, where he bought two pork pies.

.... so much for our plant based diet.

Before I leave you, I wanted to say, I am not paid to recommend these products to you.  They are products which I use in my own home and which I thought you would be interested to know about.  I also thought it would be fun to introduce 'Out and About With My Shopping Basket' every 4 weeks.  Sometimes I could share hats... I adore berets, or it could be a scarf or a piece of jewellery, sometimes clothes, maybe flowers, also food.... who knows.  It all depends on what I buy during the week and what I feel will interest you. Knowing me, it will be quite an eclectic mix of items.

So take care and I will catch up with you next Thursday.


As Always,






Thursday, 5 October 2017

SUMMER FRUITS CRUMBLE TART

Good Morning to you,


I was reading an article in one of the Sunday supplements extolling the virtues of eyebrow tattooing.

I then picked up another magazine, that told me that the 'bald eyebrow' or the 'no eyebrow' look was in fashion.

.... and a third magazine informed me that the 'raggy, unkempt eyebrow' was the look to wear this season.

.... and before I continue, I must tell you that the reading of these magazines were not all in one sitting, although it's true to say, when time allows, I can quite easily enjoy a magazine marathon. 

The first, as I mentioned, was a lazy Sunday morning read, a few weeks ago. The second was a magazine I picked up to read at the hairdressers.  It was one of the trendy magazines, which I only read when I visit the hairdressers.... I learn all sorts of things I never knew, its quite an education and the final magazine, I picked up was at the doctors surgery.  Nothing to worry about on that point, just my annual visit to make sure everything is working as it should.

So I looked in the mirror.  How should I wear my eyebrows?  The 'no eyebrow' look, definitely not. How about the 'raggy look'? A bit messy for my liking, not that I have much choice nowadays as the eyebrow hair has become sparser with each passing year. So that left the eyebrow tattooing.... a possible, because as a teenager, I carefully plucked my eyebrows to look like the iconic Twiggy eyebrows, only to discover a number of years later, that my perfectly plucked fine eyebrows were out of fashion.  

So after years of being in fashion,  suddenly I was  out of fashion and my out of fashion eyebrows have stayed with me for the last 40 odd years. Hence the attraction of the eyebrow tattooing.

So when I read about eyebrow tattooing, I was intrigued.  Apparently micro blading is a semi permanent tattoo which gives brilliant results. The eyebrows are fuller and frame the face beautifully.

....but on further reading, I discovered micro blading is a lengthy process and painful. I didn't even touch on the cost. With the mention of pain I totally dismissed the thought.  Not that the thought was really a reality, it was just a passing thought. Just a ' I wonder what I would look like with fuller eyebrows'. Nothing more.

I knew someone who would know.  I rang Danielle, and I was right, she knew all about micro blading and she confirmed that it was a painful experience.  She asked me if I was thinking about having my eyebrows tattooed and if so, she really didn't think it was a very good idea.  

.... and why was that, I asked.  Danielle replied, 'You wouldn't want half an eyebrow tattooed and the rest left as it was.'

I didn't see where she was going with this. So, with laughter in her voice, she reminded me of the time, when as a trainee beautician, she offered to wax my legs.  

Honestly, I had quite forgotten all about my one and only foray into leg waxing. To be honest, it wasn't even a full leg, no, I am stretching it if I say I had a third of my leg waxed. Please bear with me, as I haven't gone off piste, you will see the connection shortly.

This all happened when Natasha and Danielle still lived at home. I was sitting comfortably on the sofa, with Natasha, watching a television programme, so my mind was not focused on what Danielle was doing. My leg was poised on a stool and Danielle was organising herself. As I say, I wasn't paying attention.  Now at this point, I have to tell you, I had never had my legs waxed before, so I really did not think about the pain. Danielle rubbed lotion onto my leg, then the warm wax was spread onto the lower part of my leg.  Fine so far.  The gauze was laid on top and smoothed and it was a lovely feeling.  I was feeling quite pampered and thoroughly enjoying the experience.

.... and then it happened.  Danielle, my lovely daughter, ripped the gauze from my leg and to say I nearly jumped through the roof is not an exaggeration. Added to that I screamed.  Our little King Charles, Chloe, came running into the room barking, because she had heard me scream. Natasha jumped up from the sofa concerned that the wax was too hot. Danielle, looked at me and could not believe my reaction.  I was hopping around the room in excruciating pain (alright, I freely admit, I am exaggerating a little), but I have to tell you, I am not kidding when I say, I was hopping around the room feeling pain. Leg waxing had not turned out to be the lovely, pampering experience, I thought it would be.

Now, I can hear you asking through your laughter, did I not know that the wax would pull the hair from my leg.

.... and the answer to that question would be, yes.

.... and did I not have any inkling that there would be pain?

.... and the answer would be, no, I didn't think there would be pain, I just thought it might sting just a little.

I know, it sounds ridiculous now, but I really didn't know what to expect.  Maybe I should have asked.  Danielle did tell me what she was doing at each stage and she did say I would feel a little sting.... but not pain.

When I calmed myself down, Danielle asked if I wanted her to continue and to that I said a resounding NO!  She said 'I thought not'. At this point both the girls burst out laughing and if you have heard my daughters laughter at the end of one of Natasha's Dynasty YouTube clips, then you know, they have a fabulous laugh. Through the laughter Danielle said, that as only a small part of my leg had been waxed, my legs would look very strange with a bald patch on one leg.

I replied I would rather have half a bald leg than go through that experience again.... but I had my own solution to sort out my half bald leg. I went upstairs found my electric leg shaver and shaved my legs, which turned out to be a much nicer experience.

.... and would I ever have my legs waxed again..... never, not ever.

Although I must be getting braver as I now use an epilator.... and what do I feel, only a little sting!

So back to the micro blading.  Even though it was only a thought, after being reminded of my leg waxing experience, micro blading is definitely not for me.  I'll leave that for much braver souls than I.

I think I will keep my 1960's inspired eyebrows, after all they have been with me for a long time.

Now that is enough talk about pain, it is time to turn pain into pleasure, because today, we are making,


a Summer Fruits Crumble Tart. I often make a fruit crumble during the winter time, but I have never made a tart.  I was inspired to make this recipe when I was shopping in a certain supermarket.  They had rhubarb crumble tarts for sale, but they looked quite pitiful, although  George said he liked the look of the tart. I said I could make a larger one, but with summer fruits , because I had some frozen berries in my freezer.... George was sold and my Summer Fruits Crumble Tart was a hit.

So it's on with the pinnie and the music I am listening to is George's choice.  Yesterday was our 47th wedding anniversary and I asked George what music he would like me to play


and he chose 'Two Hearts' by Phil Collins from the film Buster. We both love this song.

So with 'Two Hearts' playing it is time to organise my ingredients.

INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED
TO MAKE
SUMMER FRUITS CRUMBLE TART

Serves 6 large portions or 8 smaller portions

PASTRY

1 tablespoon of flour for rolling the pastry
1 egg yolk ~ beaten

We have baked so many different pies over the years, that I feel sure you do not need me to show you how. If you would like a refresher, then pop over to when I made Quiche Lorraine, you will find the ingredients.  You will notice that the tart dish is 22cm (9") and today I am using a 25 cm (10") tart dish.  Don't worry as the pastry does stretch to a 25 cm (10") tart dish.

THE FILLING

600g (1lb-5oz) frozen summer fruits ~ thawed
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of mixed spice

THE CRUMBLE TOPPING

100g (4oz) plain flour
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
100g (4oz) unsalted butter ~ chilled
75g (3oz) dark brown sugar
50g (2oz) walnuts
50g (2oz) oats

YOU WILL NEED 

25 cm (10") loose bottom tart tin
baking beans
baking parchment paper

Pre-heat the oven 180C or 160C Fan oven

HOW TO MAKE
SUMMER FRUITS CRUMBLE TART


Make the pastry.
Roll out the pastry and carefully place into the tart tin.
Place on a tray and put into the fridge to cool for 1/2 hour.


Remove the pastry case from the fridge and line with baking parchment.
Fill with baking beans.
Cut away any excess pastry, but leave 1/2 inch all the way around to allow for shrinkage.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry case is a light golden brown in colour.


Remove the baking parchment and beans.
Brush the beaten egg yolk onto the base of the pastry case.
Return the pastry case to the oven for 5-10 mintues to dry the egg wash.

Set aside and cool.
When cooled remove the excess pastry, either with a sharp knife or by running the rolling pin over the top of the pastry case.

THE FILLING


Drain the summer fruits using a sieve.

Reserve any juice.

Mix the sugar and the mixed spice to the fruit.
Set aside.

CRUMBLE TOPPING


Sift the flour and the ground cinnamon into a medium sized bowl.

Cut the chilled butter into small pieces and rub the butter into the flour until it resembles large breadcrumbs.

Stir in the brown sugar, oats, chopped walnuts.

ASSEMBLING THE TART


Spoon the drained summer fruits into the pastry case and spread evenly.


Spoon the crumble mix on top and drizzle over the remaining summer fruits juice. The crumble will absorb the juice.


Place the tart into the pre-heated oven for 25 minutes or until the crumble is golden brown.

Then all there is left to do is, let the tart cool a little,


cut a slice 
and
enjoy!

As you can see I left the base of the tart tin in tact because I could not remove it until the tart had cooled.... I really must buy myself one of those round cake spatulas, which removes tarts from pans perfectly.  Next time I am visiting Lakeland, I will see if they sell them.  It would really make life a lot easier.

.... and no, George could not wait, he wanted a warm slice of summer fruits crumble tart and could not wait for it to cool. Well these recipes are part of our day to day living and I cannot bake and expect George to wait.... that would be mean. Although he did wait long enough for me to make him some custard. 

.... and before I leave you, I was wondering, what type of eyebrows do you have? 

Do you have the fine 1960s eyebrows? or the bold 1980s eyebrows? or are yours untouched and just as nature intended?

I'm just curious.

Take care and I will catch up with you next Thursday.

As Always,









Thursday, 28 September 2017

HEXAGONAL LOVE

Good Morning to you, 


Do you ever find the time, to stop what you are doing and enjoy a moment in time.

Do you allow yourself the luxury of clearing your mind to  enjoy what is  right in front of your eyes.

On Tuesday morning, I was lucky enough to do exactly this.

I was up and about early to get myself ready to go to my Tuesday sewing group.  I don't know about you, but I am not the kind of person, who can leap out of bed, shower, dress and drink a cup of coffee within the space of half an hour.  I am the type of person who likes to ease myself gently into the day.

George had decided to have a lie-in, so I was on my own in the conservatory drinking my morning coffee.  I was looking out of the window enjoying the rare early morning sunshine, thinking how peaceful it was.  When no sooner had the thought crossed my mind, than a family of blackbirds flew across the garden.  They all rested on the fence for a moment before the 3 babies flew down to the lawn and began running around our garden.  I did not move, because I did not want the blackbirds to fly away.  The thought about not moving, had only just entered my mind, when 2 magpies arrived in the garden.  They sat on the opposite fence and one decided to fly to the roof of the neighbouring bungalow.  When I looked over in the direction the magpie was flying,  I noticed a wood pigeon sitting very comfortably on a tv aerial. Upon seeing the magpie, the wood pigeon moved and started to pay attention to the magpie on the lower level.  The magpie stayed where he was for a few seconds and then he decided to circle the chimney stack.  He disappeared from view and upon turning the corner he continued his walk around the chimney stack.  

I watched and I could see the pigeon was unsure as to what the magpie was doing..... but I knew, the magpie wanted to be the one perched on the tv aerial and not the wood pigeon.

But the wood pigeon stood his ground and was not giving up his aerial quite so easily, as the tv aerial gave him a good view of the surrounding area.  I watched to see how this would play out.  The magpie soon  realised that walking around the chimney stack was not enough to move the wood pigeon from its perch.  So he decided on another tactic and harassed the pigeon by flapping his wings. It looked as if he intended to fly up to the tv aerial, but he didn't, he continued flapping his wings.  Still the pigeon held his ground, that is, until the magpie received reinforcements.... its mate arrived and flew to where the wood pigeon was seated.  The tv aerial  started to wobble which made the wood pigeon uncomfortable, so he finally gave way and flew to a large tree at the bottom of the garden. The magpie who had tried so hard to eject the wood pigeon, joined his mate and they sat for a few minutes, having a good look around, before deciding they had had enough and flew away leaving the tv aerial vacant for the next occupant.

Now I'm not sure if it was the same wood pigeon which returned or if it was another, but a wood pigeon arrived and made itself comfortable on the tv aerial. When it had settled  a 2nd wood pigeon landed on the roof of the bungalow.  Now at this point I did not know if the wood pigeon on the aerial was male or female, but within a couple of seconds, the wood pigeon on the roof started billing and cooing at the wood pigeon on the aerial, so it is safe to say, it was a female sitting on the tv aerial.  

.... and so the show began.  The male wood pigeon on the roof of the bungalow, started his little dance. His head went up, then his head went down, he then took a couple of steps closer to the female wood pigeon on the tv aerial and he continued his little dance of courtship.  He billed and he cooed as he edged closer and closer to the female wood pigeon.  He had completed his final dance when he decided to take his chance and flew on to the tv aerial where he continued to bill and coo once again.  He really did his best to impress the female wood pigeon, but the moment he stepped closer to her, the female flew away, leaving the male wood pigeon alone on the tv aerial, looking very sorry for himself. All the effort he had put into wooing the female wood pigeon, had been to no avail.

.... and then I had a lovely surprise.  My neighbours have a Christmas tree planted in their garden and it is beautiful.  It pops its head over our fence by a couple of feet and both George and I love it.  I caught movement out the corner of my eye and I looked across at the Christmas tree and there on a branch sat the first robin of the year.  I was thrilled to see him because when I was a small girl, robins and Christmas went hand in hand.   Seeing the robin made me smile, but then my smile grew even larger, because a moment later, a 2nd  robin flew across the garden and joined the 1st robin in the Christmas tree.  I sat very still so as not to disturb them and they rewarded me by staying for a minute or so.  It was so lovely.

What I hadn't realised was, our garden is a bit of a bird highway first thing in the morning.  Birds were tooing and frowing for the half an hour or so when I was sat in my chair.  It was a delightful way to start the day.

.... and now I am smiling to myself, because I have just talked about enjoying a moment in time, and  now I am going to propel  you forward, to Christmas, as I am going to show you a Christmas gift I am making. 



I am busy making two Christmas quilts for two very special people.  I cannot say who, because I know they read my blog, so I am keeping them guessing.

I adore sewing and I have an immense love of hand sewing, which works perfectly when it comes to sewing hexagons.



When I begin a project, I love taking the time to look at the material which I have tucked away in my cupboard.



Some materials work together and some don't, but 9 times out of 10, I do find what I am looking for within my store of material.



I have a well used cardboard template to cut out my hexagon papers and 



a larger cardboard template, to cut out my material.  This is such a peaceful task.... and so the process begins.




When the hexagons have been cut out and the hexagon papers are ready to be attached to the material hexagons, I find my needle and thread and enjoy the peaceful art of hand sewing.

Making hexagons is a brilliant way to use up scraps of material because a hexagon can be cut to any size.



Here I made sure I centred the picture of the poinsettia into the middle hexagon.... pretty effective don't you think.

Oh no, I've just noticed I have sewn 3 hexagons upside down..... when a pattern is involved you have to be so careful.  As you can see I wasn't.  Oh well, it's time to find the unpicker and set this right. 



Each hexagon can be a different colour or just one colour choice but with different designs.



I have so enjoyed hand sewing these hexagons together, but I had to focus, because for some reason which I can't quite fathom, I sewed one completed hexagon onto the backing fabric, with one of the centre papers still in tact.  Luckily I was able to retrieve it with a little bit of careful manoeuvring. I'll put money on it, that this happened, when I was at my Tuesday club.... I have a feeling that it was too much chatting and not enough concentration.



I will not show you all the blocks, but I promise to show you the two quilts which have to be finished by Christmas time.  Although the hexagons have been hand sewn, I think I will use the sewing machine to attach the sashing, because that will allow me more time to hand quilt.

.... and would you like to see the mannequin I used to lay out my blocks out.



My lovely wicker chair.  This beautiful cushion was one of two which used to grace my bed, but I think, as beautiful as it is, it was a little too feminine for George, so I brought them down stairs.... and this one is living happily on my wicker chair.  Although not for long, because my autumnal cushions will be making an appearance very soon.

The nights are drawing in very quickly and there is certainly a colder nip in the air these days.

.... but I really don't mind when I am warm and cosy inside my home.

Take care and I will catch up with you on Thursday.


As Always,






Thursday, 21 September 2017

EVERYTHING IS COMING UP GREEN IN MY NEW GARDEN

Good Morning to you,


It is roughly 3 months since we moved into our new home and one of our biggest tasks was getting to grips with the garden.

Do you remember how it looked when we first moved in?  Goodness me, there was so much to do.  I have to say that both George and I did not feel phased by the amount of work which was needed to bring this garden to life, we both saw the new garden as a wonderful challenge. 

Its not to say that we haven't been tired at the end of our gardening days, because we have, but it has been a good tiredness and we are so pleased with what we have achieved.

Now before I show you the progress we have made, I have to tell you, the following photographs are not the style you are used to me showing you. My previous garden was a beautiful, mature garden, whereas this garden needs so much basic work to be done before we could even consider any planting.


One of the first jobs we had to do and when I say 'we' I mean the royal 'we'..... George. He had to pressure wash both of the decks.  They were covered in algae and quite honestly they were a danger as they were so slippery. I came out of the house one morning to hang out my washing and I almost slipped and fell.  Luckily I managed to hold onto the side of the door, otherwise I would have landed with a nasty bump.

So George set to and both of the decks were transformed.


George pressure washed the deck by the kitchen and also the deck at the bottom of the garden.  You can see the deck drying in the sunshine. The difference when George had finished was amazing.


As you can see, during July/August, the grass began to grow. We had considered re-turfing the lawn, but Phyllis suggested we wait, as given time, the lawn would recover and she was right.  Initially when Gary our friendly gardener, cut the grass, the garden looked more like a hay field, but after a few days we could see a light green haze forming over the garden, just little dots of green here and there. We were so pleased when we realised the lawn could be rescued.


Whilst we waited for the grass to grow, we decided to dig our new borders.  I dug whilst George,


removed the turf and weeded.  As you can see, George is a man who knows who he is and is not afraid to wear pink gardening shoes.


After a lot of laborious work removing so many weeds, the first border was finished.  As you can see our plants were waiting in line ready to be planted.


After digging the first border, George decided to paint all the fencing surrounding the garden.  I chose the colour green because I felt the fence would blend into the background once our trees and shrubs were planted.

So we now have, the fences painted green,


the grass as you can see is turning a beautiful green. We have fed the grass it's autumn feed so we are hoping that it will clear any weeds which are lingering in the the lawn.


The decking has been painted green.  A more bluey green, than the fence, but we needed anti-slip paint and we could not find a matching colour.  When all my roses, jasmine and clematis have been planted, you will never notice the difference. There are a couple of fence panels that seem to need a little more paint, but that has to wait for the next sunny day.

As you can see, I could not wait to begin planting, so I have added a few winter pansies to give us a little colour and focus in the garden.


.... and do you remember the decking by my back door.  Not very attractive is it.... and this is after it had been power washed.


George being the man of action that he is, once again, sprang into action wearing his pink gardening shoes,


and transformed the unsightly decking into a thing of beauty.  I realise it is a little extreme to describe a decking as a thing of beauty, but quite honestly, the way it looked before, to me it really has become a thing of beauty.

I've just noticed the beautiful pink dahlia petal on the decking. Doesn't it stand out well against the green.... ooh I cannot wait to begin my planting around this deck.

As I mentioned earlier, none of these photographs are gorgeous, but they are photographs of our hard work.  We have to do all this boring work, before we can turn our attention to the planting, although as you saw earlier, I couldn't help myself, I just had to add a few plants to the garden.

I have decided that each month I will show you what we have achieved in the garden.  We are working hard because we want to have all our daffodils, tulips, snowdrops, bluebells and whitebells planted before the middle of October.

Before I leave you, I wanted to say that I am sorry I have not visited and not replied to comments as much as I usually do.  The garden has taken up so much of our time, that I have not even sat in front of the computer until today.  As the winter approaches, there will be less to do in the garden and I will have much more time to visit.

So for now, please forgive me, I promise I will get back to normal very soon.

Take care and I will catch up with you next Thursday.

As Always,





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