Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Golden Wedding Hamper

Back in January, I did a post about a hamper which I was putting together as a present for Mick's auntie and uncle for their Golden Wedding Anniversary. I wanted all the items in the hamper to have the word gold or golden in their title. I covered a cardboard box with gold paper and covered the whole thing in cellophane once it had been assembled.

The anniversary in question was last week, but the happy couple were on a Carribean cruise celebrating, so we gave them the hamper on their return yesterday.

So, what's in the box? We have:-

  • GOLD Label Tea

  • GOLD Coffee

  • Lyle's GOLDEN Syrup Cake

  • Thatchers GOLD Somerset Cider

  • Dole Tropical GOLD Pineapple Slices

  • Premier GOLD Mango Slices

  • Starbucks GOLD Coins

  • Pek GOLD Pork

  • McDougalls Whole GOLD Premium Flour

  • Haribo GOLD Bears

  • GOLDEN Wonder Crisps

  • Terry's All GOLD Chocolates

  • Badger GOLDEN Champion Ale

  • GOLDEN Nuggets

  • GOLD Biscuits x 2

  • GOLDEN Vegetable Savoury Rice

  • Fox's GOLDEN Crunch Creams

  • Micro Oats GOLDEN Syrup

  • GOLDEN Shredless Marmalade

  • Lyle's GOLDEN Syrup

  • Oba GOLD Macaroni

  • Milk Chocolate GOLD Coins

  • GOLD Baking Cases

  • Tagetes GOLDEN Gem

  • Courgette GOLD Rush

Phew, I don't know how I managed to pack it all in the box, some things got pushed underneath or behind others, and it was very heavy.

They were over the moon with the present and I'm sure they were pleased that it was something which we'd obviously put a lot of thought in to. It's been quite fun looking out for things with gold in the title whilst I've been doing my shopping, I'm thinking of the next event I can do something similar for now.

As an aside, I've had so many problems getting this post to publish without bunching all the paragraphs in to one. I've never had any problems like this before, and I don't know until I publish the post whether it will be set out correctly or not, so if not, I apologise.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Eleanor's Busy Weekend

If you read my last post you will know that Eleanor took part in a local music festival on Friday. They say that everything comes at once, and it certainly has this weekend as last night Eleanor took part in a concert with her drama group.

The whole company took part, the younger children singing songs from Jungle Book and the older ones singing songs from Glee. Eleanor is 12, about middle of the age range, so she sang songs from both.

For Jungle Book she sang with the other children, but for Glee she did a solo of Christina Aguilera's Beautiful as well as singing the verses of the final song, Heal The World, solo.

It was a wonderful concert, held in the local church, and there was such a wide range of songs which was nice.

I'm so proud of Eleanor having the confidence to do something which I wouldn't dare do today, never mind when I was 12. She absolutely loves to sing and it really is wonderful that she gets the opportunity to do so at such fantastic events.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Music Festival

This afternoon, Eleanor took part in a local music festival. Last year she came first in the under 11 solo class, however, as she is now 12 she had to choose a different class to compete in.

She decided to enter the Girls' and Boys' Solo - 14 years and under in which she sang The Owls by Peter Jenkyns, and the Junior Show class - 18 years and under in which she sang In My Own Little Corner by Rodgers and Hammerstein.

The other competitors were aged towards the top end of the scale, so she did really well to come third in the Girls' and Boys' Solo and second in the Junior Show class.

The music festival runs over three days and includes a full programme of competitive classes from singing, through to piano, strings, brass and woodwind.

Fingers crossed for a trophy next year.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Lotherton Hall And Doggy Ghosts

Lotherton Hall is an Edwardian country house which once belonged to the Gascoigne family. We're about ten minutes away by car so it's right on our doorstep and a lovely place to while away a couple of hours, which is what we did on Saturday.

The Gascoignes purchased the estate in 1825 and built the eastern extension in 1896. In 1903 the Georgian wing was demolished and a new western extension was built. In 1968, the Lotherton Estate was gifted to the people of Leeds.

There was once a medieval village on the site of Lotherton. A chapel was built in the twelth century which is still there today, and a Sunday service is held there once a month.
The formal gardens surround the house on three sides and were created by Mrs. Laura Gwendolen Gascoigne. She divided the gardens in to several parts, each with it's own character. Here you will find this lovely little summerhouse, isn't it cute?
In the formal gardens there is a statue of Sho-Haku, the Pilgrim Priest. The plaque tells of how he travelled from town to town reading the Scriptures. He was also known as the Peony Priest because of his love for the cultivation of Peony flowers.

In the 1970s, a deer park was created. You can often see the red deer and on Saturday we were lucky. When we walked by later in the day they had gone.

There's also a bird garden with many rare species, though we couldn't go in on Saturday as we had Archie with us. It is the home to the world's largest land based flying bird, the Andean Condor, as well as owls, parrots and flamingoes to name just a few.
In the formal gardens we came across a pet cemetery. There are nine gravestones, and a tenth by a nearby tree, to commemorate dogs which belonged to Sir Alvary and Lady Gascoigne, the last private owners of Lotherton Hall. Lady Gascoigne was a passionate dog lover and took her dogs with her when she travelled the world with Sir Alvary when he went away on business. Some of the dogs came from the countries where Sir Alvary and Lady Gascoigne lived.

Michael was a black Standard Poodle and was born in Moscow. He is said to haunt Lotherton Hall and the scratch marks made on a door on the landing are said to have been made by his claws.

There are walks of various distances around the grounds including the Captain Wood Walk, which is suitable for prams and pushchairs, and the Boundary Trail, which has views of the countryside. The latter is the walk which we took on Saturday and Archie loved it. On our walk we came across a modern stone circle which has been created by The Countryside Rangers. It is called Geometry in the Landscape, and the stones follow sacred mathematical formulae.

Car parking is £3.70, however, you can buy an annual ticket for £15 which we have decided to do. We'll definitely get our moneys worth as it's close enough to pop Archie in the car and take him for a walk on an evening once the clocks go forward, and it's a lovely place for a picnic on a weekend too.

There's a great playground for kids, our's used to love it. Daniel's much too old for playgrounds now, but Eleanor will still have a go when no one's looking, as will I.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Back To My Knitting

I was only saying last week that I haven't been ill since leaving work last March. There always seemed to be something going round the office and I always seemed to catch it, so it's been nice to feel healthy for a change. I think I spoke too soon though as I've had a stomach bug for the last couple of days which really knocked me off my feet. I thought I was coming down with flu at first as I was aching from head to toe but then the stomach pains started. I'm feeling much better today, though still a little weak from not eating.

I was feeling so off colour that I haven't even picked my knitting up since the weekend, though I managed to finish my socks before I took to my sick bed.

I don't particularly like this colour when knitted up. I don't mind pink but I think these are just a little too pink for my liking. In between knitting these socks I have been knitting some other things which I can't show on my blog as they are for Christmas presents, I know, I've started early but I have to if I want to get everything I've got planned finished in time for Christmas.

I've started another pair of socks, these are for my dad for Christmas. I love the colour of these, my dad wears a lot of brown so they will be perfect. I'm using Regia World Circus Color for the first time and it's lovely and soft. I can definitely see me using it again.

I think I'll get back to my knitting tonight now I'm feeling better.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Old Films

First of all I'd like to thank everyone for all the lovely messages on my last post, they really cheered me up at a sad time. Alzheimer's is such a cruel disease and at least we know that my uncle isn't suffering anymore.

Today I dug out a DVD which I got for Christmas 2009 and which got put in the cupboard without being watched. I love old films so I don't know why it's taken me so long to dig it back out.

There are four James Stewart films in this collection, Harvey, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Rear Window and It's A Wonderful Life. The only one I've seen before is It's A Wonderful Life, which is one of my favourite Christmas films, so I'm looking forward to sitting down with my knitting and watching the other three.

Monday, 7 March 2011

A Little Pick Me Up

These daffodils are doing their very best to cheer me up after I received the very sad news yesterday that my uncle has passed away. He's suffered from Alzheimer's for quite a few years, such a terrible disease.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

After School Cuddles

Archie can't wait for Eleanor to get in from school so that he can have some cuddles. He likes nothing better than human company.....

.....but his toy giraffe comes a close second.