Sunday, 31 March 2013

Challenge Update - March

My 2013 challenges are:-

1) Watch one old film each month.

2) List five items on Ebay each month.

3) Have a date night with Mick each month.

The film I watched in March was Mildred Pierce. I've never seen this film before, or the remake which was made in to a mini series and starrred Kate Winslet. Although I guessed the ending almost as soon as the film started, I did enjoy it. Joan Crawford won an Oscar for playing the title role.

Five more items have been listed on Ebay during March, and I shall make use of the free listing day tomorrow and get my next five items listed for April.

Mick and I went on our date today. Just like last month, we had a meal in the local pub. Being close to home, it's handy if we want a drink, and the food is good.

The Easter weekend weather has been better than expected so far. We had a day out yesterday and it was quite pleasant in the sun, but still cold when the sun disappeared behind a cloud. It's been a bit warmer today. I wonder if spring's finally here.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013


I've finally finished the Humanity fingerless mitts which I started a while ago for Eleanor.

They're lovely and long in the arm so they should keep her snuggly warm in this cold weather we're having, though I must say that I prefer my gloves or mittens to cover my fingers, but Eleanor's very happy with these.

I used Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran which is 100% extra fine merino, and lovely and soft.

I don't have any knitting on the go now, and just my One A Day blanket on my crochet hook, so I need to start a couple more projects to keep me going. I've been wanting to have a go at a ripple blanket for a while so I may start one, but I need to buy some yarn for it yet, and it's been a while since I've knit any socks, so that may be my next knitting project. I've got plenty of sock wool in my stash.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

A Musical Fortnight

Eleanor has been very busy with her musical activities over the past fortnight. First of all, she took her Grade 5 singing exam. Her song choices were Home from Beauty and the Beast, Somewhere Over The Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz, and an Italian song, Sebben, crudele. She also had an aural test, had to sight read, and perform a vaccai vocal exercise. She did really well and came out with a merit, which I think is excellent. Eleanor was a little disappointed as she's always got a distinction in her previous exams. She got 83 marks out of one hundred and would have needed 87 for a distinction, so she wasn't far off. She's a bit of a perfectionist where music's concerned, so she's very self critical, but we're very proud of her achieving a merit as we know she's put a lot of work in.

On Friday, Eleanor took part in the local competitive music festival. Her first class was the Girls and Boys Solo, 14 years and under. She had to sing a set song, Five Eyes by Armstrong Gibbs and she came second. The second class she entered was the Girls Solo, 16 years and under. Again, it was a set song, The Sky Above the Roof by R Vaughan Williams. She did very well and came first. She was awarded a cup for this. The Junior Show Class, 18 years and under was the third class she entered. She could choose her own song, so she chose Home by Menken and came third. She really enjoys competing in this festival, it's the fifth year she's taken part.

This morning, Eleanor performed a Passion Play at church with her drama group. She was a narrator as well as taking the part of Mary Magdalene. It was very well received by the congregation.

I think after this flurry of activity, she's due a rest now before her next concert, which is in June.

Friday, 22 March 2013

80 Today

Happy birthday to my dad who's 80 today.

This photo of me and my dad was taken at Appletreewick in the Yorkshire Dales. We had many day trips to the Dales when I was a child and I think that is why I love it there so much now.

Today is also the 25th anniversary of my first date with Mick.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

A Waiting Game

It's been a waiting game since Christmas for my Amaryllis to flower.

I was bought a ready planted bulb as a gift. I've never grown an Amaryllis before, so it was a bit of a surprise when I saw the bulb, I wondered how such a large flower would grow from such an insignificant thing. I actually wondered if there was life in it, but it started to show a bit of green soon after I started watering it.

The leaves grew first. I started thinking that I was going to have nothing but leaves, but eventually, the flower stalk started growing. Buds emerged, and it wasn't long before they opened to show these magnificent flowers, two of them.

This one's called Red Lion, I think it suits it.

Apparently, it can be quite hard to get an Amaryllis bulb to flower for a second time, but I'll give it a go, and I shall be putting a new one on my Christmas list just in case I don't manage it.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

R and R

There's nothing like a bit of rest and relaxation, is there?

Archie doesn't have any problems chilling out, though he does need a trim. I shall be booking him in at the groomers very soon.

I think I'll take a leaf out of Archies book, get my jobs done this morning, then relax a bit this afternoon.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Blanket Update

I'm still crocheting my one granny square each day and adding it to my blanket.

By my reckoning, we're on the seventy first day of the year, so there should be seventy one squares. There's only sixty eight, I'm a couple behind.

I'm going to visit a friend this morning, but I'm intending to catch up with my blanket this afternoon, so I'll be back on track again.

I'm sewing in the ends each time I complete a row, that way I'm not left with hundreds of ends to sew in at the very end. That would be a daunting task.

I'm happy with how it's going so far. All the colours are chosen randomly, but I think they're working out fine.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to mums everywhere.

I received two gorgeous cards with such lovely words.

I usually receive flowers for Mother's Day, and today isn't any different. Pretty colours.

As I'm back on my healthy eating regime, you'll notice the complete lack of chocolates, which I'm happy about, nothing to tempt me. Instead, you'll notice lots of gifts to tempt me back in to the garden.

Two lovely climbing roses. I'm hoping to dig a small border to the side of the grassed area, and these will be able to climb up the fence.

I love to attract wildlife in to the garden, and I have quite a few habitats for various insects, but now I also have a frog and toad house. The opening leads in to a covered area, then there's another opening inside which leads in to a cosy house.

Aren't these cute? They'll really brighten up my plant pots. I do love quirky and fun things in my garden.

Stickers which I use in my Filofax.

I think you'll agree I've done very well.

I'm also being taken out for my dinner, so I'd better go and get ready. I hope you're all having a lovely day.

Friday, 8 March 2013

On The Needles

I seem to have been concentrating more on crochet just lately than knitting, so I thought I would rectify that.

Eleanor loves the Fetchings which I knit for her last year, so I thought I'd knit her another pair of fingerless mitts, though this time I'm following a different pattern.

These are Humanity, and as you can see from the pattern, they're longer in the arm than Fetching. I thought these might keep her a little bit warmer.

I'm enjoying getting back to my knitting, though I'm still crocheting a granny square each day to add to my One A Day blanket.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Be-Ro Home Recipes

The first recipe book I remember having is the Be-Ro Home Recipes book. It's been a book I've referred to time and time again, especially for uncomplicated, basic things. Be-Ro have just launched an updated version, the 41st edition, so I thought I would update my own copy.

It's still got all the basics in there, but there's lots of new things too. Some of the recipes would never have been included in the first edition in 1923. I don't think a scone base pizza would have featured on many home menus then, but it's one I'd quite like to try.

Inside the new edition, it shows a photograph of the very first edition. I remember using a very similar Be-Ro recipe book when I was a child, though I'm not saying it was the first edition, I wonder how long my mum had had that book, it was very well used. Unfortunately, she no longer has it, lots of things got thrown out in her recent house move. The book was more of a chubbier shape than the narrower pages of the more recent editions.

I remember having my own Be-Ro recipe book from before I was married, but don't know if it's the same one that I've still got. I'm not sure when this 38th edition was first published, but it's served me well.

If you'd like a copy of the new edition, you can get one from Be-Ro for just £2.50.

Sunday, 3 March 2013


I'm always pleased to hear that someone enjoys reading my blog, and it's extra special when I'm nominated for an award. I was given the Liebster Award twice last month, first from Jan at Life In Newcastle, and then again from Jem at Angel Jem's City Cottage. Thank you very much to both of you, it's very much appreciated.

The Rules:-
Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them.
List 11 random facts about yourself.
Answer the questions set by the nominator(s).
Set 11 questions for those you nominate to answer.
Nominate 11 people with less than 300 followers and let them know that they've been nominated.

I've listed many random facts about myself previously and I can't remember what I've told you and what I haven't, so I may be repeating myself but here goes.

1) I've got an allotment and love to grow my own veggies.

2) I've developed a phobia of flying, though it never used to bother me at all. I'd much rather holiday in the UK now.

3) I've got a dog called Archie and I love to go walking with him.

4) I hate clothes shopping and am much happier in jeans than anything else (except my pj's).

5) My favourite subject at school was Maths, so it's not surprising that I worked for a bank (or two).

6) I would have loved to have had more children, but was unable to after undergoing chemotherapy.

7) I hate going to the hairdresser's, so I only have my hair cut a couple of times a year. I let it grow quite long and then have it cut rather short so I don't have to go again for a long time.

8) I've lived in Leeds all my life and can't imagine living anywhere else, except perhaps The Yorkshire Dales, my very favourite place.

9) I was born on my Nana's birthday.

10) I passed my driving test on my first attempt, but hate driving. I only ever drive close to home.

11) I got married when I was 21. It will be our 23rd wedding anniversary in July.

Jan's questions:-

1) What's your favourite perfume?
I love Ysatis by Givenchy. I've used it since I was in my teens, but wear something a bit less expensive, like Anais Anais, for everyday.

2) Why do you read other people's blogs?
My official answer is for inspiration, there's so many clever people who write blogs, but really it's because I'm nosey.

3) What's your favourite activity in the week?
It's not really an activity. The thing I look forward to most is spending time with my family on a weekend.

4) What's your favourite meal of the day and why?
It's got to be my evening meal. The rest of my meals aren't very exciting, a bowl of muesli for breakfast and a sandwith for lunch.

5) Where do you want to be in 5 years time?
I don't really think about the future, there's so many things which could change between now and then.

6) If you could leave your life today, where would you go?
I wouldn't leave my life today, I love being a wife and mum.

7) What's your favourite dessert?
I don't really have a favourite, but anything chocolatey.

8) Have you got something you regret?
I regret ever having started smoking, though I managed to stop three years ago.

9) Have you got any dreams?
Only to win the lottery so that Mick could stop working and stay at home with me. My dreams are for my children, I dream that they can have a long, happy and healthy life.

10) What's your favourite song or piece of music?
I enjoy musical theatre. The CD in my player at the moment is the soundtrack from Les Miserables.

11) What's your strongest memory of your school days?
I have lots of memories, but I particularly remember being in tears on my last day at middle school as our little group of friends were all going off to different high schools.

Jem's questions:-

1) What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Listen to your heart. It's usually right.

2) What clothing do you like best?
Jeans and pj's. (Not together) (See above)

3) Where would you like your heart to be buried? (like Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee)
I don't want any part of me to be buried, I'd rather be cremated.

4) How do you prefer your eggs?
I love eggs and don't mind how they're cooked. I had scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast this morning, and poached eggs on toast for breakfast yesterday.

5) What was your favourite toy when you were young?
Not really a toy, but I loved my bike. I must have done miles on it.

6) Who would you like to be stuck on a desert island with?
Definitely Mick, we haven't been married for 22 years for nothing.

7) Why did you pick your blog name or online name?
I have another blog, The Good Life, which is all about gardening and my allotment. That was named after the television programme of the seventies. When I came to start this blog, I decided to carry on the theme and named it after another television programme. I thought it was appropriate as I'm inviting my readers to take a peep in to my home life. Little did I know that many Google searches would be from people hoping to peep at something a little different through a keyhole.

8) Do you have a favourite cocktail?
I don't like cocktails. I drink either white wine or, very occasionally, lager.

9) What is your favourite time of year?
Definitely summer, I hate the cold.

10) What was the silliest thing anybody ever said to you?
I'm not sure, but it must have been something which Daniel or Eleanor said, they used to have me in stitches when they were little. I really wish that I'd kept a note of all the funny things they've said over the years.

11) When in history would you like to have lived? (you can take some modern conveniences with you if you like)
After researching my family history, I would love to go back to the beginning of the twentieth century when my grandparents were born and meet their parents and grandparents.

My 11 questions are:-

1) Who, from history, would you most like to meet?
2) What's your favourite day of the week, and why?
3) If you could have a super power, what would you choose?
4) What is your dream holiday destination?
5) What's your favourite television programme?
6) What was your favourite subject at school?
7) Who was your teenage crush?
8) What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
9) Starter or dessert?
10) Red wine or white wine?
11) What would you like to be remembered for?

The bloggers I would like to pass the award on to are:-

June from Cats, Dogs and Eiderdowns
Lisa from Jumble and Jelly
Anne from Marmalade and Catmint
Cheryl from My Little Piece of England
Sft from Life After Mortgage
Jan from Stand and Stare
Gillian from Tales From A Happy House
Karen from Use It Up, Wear It Out
Tammy from My Journey
Amanda from Eight by Six
Gail from Amongst The Wool

I know that some of you have already had the award, and that some of you don't accept awards. Please don't feel obliged to accept the award or blog about it, I just want you all to know that I enjoy reading your blogs.

Thank you again to Jan and Jem for these awards, I'm very grateful.