Six things


My first sweetpea! I planted these late this year, and then because of the recent weeks of dry weather they got covered with  aphids. I thought the chance of flowers was zero to none. But I got rid of the aphids, carried on watering every day and now look at this beauty. There are plenty more buds too.

On Tuesday we met up with Trish of Made by Patch blog and her family, including Grandma and Grandpa Patch.  We’ve been in touch through our blogs since 2012, but have only met once before, last Spring. It doesn’t seem to matter; when you’ve been the 21st Century equivalent of pen pals for nearly five years you do feel like you know each other. We all had a lovely meal together and I had birthday presents! Birthday presents made by Trish’s clever father. I’ve been wishing for one of his yarn bowls since she posted a picture of hers. I now need to learn how to use the nostepinne, to wind centre pull yarn cakes, apparently there are videos on You Tube. I’ll show you my efforts when I’ve tried. (If they’re not too embarrassing!)

The time for my annual cross stitch has come. Oh, but if you’re a purist and check each stitch as you go for perfection, use a laying tool or trolley needle for ensuring the threads lie perfectly flat side by side or anything half as professional, please look away now. I’ve been googling tips for cross stitch, I really wish I hadn’t. Sometimes the truly professional take away all in the fun in something, don’t they?! I find summertime cross stitching so absorbing and relaxing to do, when the daylight is good and it’s not as hot as knitting or crocheting. My enjoyment is definitely in the process, not so much in having a perfectly perfect outcome.

A long weekend away in Lincolnshire and another BBQ in the field with friends and family. Just look at that sky! When it was truly dark we stood by the chiminea and just looked up at the stars. I think I need a guide to the constellations since I can only really pick out The Plough aka The Big Dipper.

Lincoln Castle and The Wave. I’ve now seen the commemorative poppies when they were at The Tower of London, The Yorkshire Sculpture Park (after Yarndale last year) and now, unexpectedly, in Lincolnshire. 

A visit to Waterperry Gardens yesterday and another bee on another thistle. I often seem to take a photo of these at gardens. I’ve just enjoyed looking back at posts of previous visits in August 2013, September 2014 and last March. The next time I go it will be for Apple Weekend in October, that’s a lot of fun; sampling so many types of Waterperry grown apples and trying to decide which bag(s) to buy. Then there’s the added choice of whether to buy juice too, cheese and maybe a pie…it’s a nice trip out.

If you fancy writing a post about five or six things you’ve done in the last week, then please leave a link in the comments below. I always like to know what you’ve been up to.

Thank you very much for all your likes and compliments on my Baby Hexagon Blanket, here, on Facebook and Instagram. They made my day.

Gunby Hall & Gardens 

   
    
    
    
    
 Gunby Hall and Gardens in Lincolnshire were looking spectacular yesterday. Yes, this was yesterday not mid-July! What a beautifully warm day. Gunby is definitely one of our favourite National Trust properties of the year: the staff were extremely welcoming, but not intrusive, the hall and garden were immaculate, fresh produce from the garden is sold cheaply in the shop, I picked up a brilliant bargain in the secondhand book area and the coffee and walnut cake was delicious. Win win! 

On Saturday there was another BBQ in the field, the last of the year I guess now. If you fancy seeing a couple of the charity shop crochet blankets, which my cousin picked up for people to use when the sun goes down, then check out my Instragram pics (click on the camera icon in pink,  top right of this page). Because nether of us had made them, there was no worry about ketchup/wine/beer spills, sweet little cocker spaniels  jumping up to sit on your lap for a fuss, or whatever else! Apart from a China Teacup Poodle, which I used to have to suffer sitting on my lap in a friend’s car in Australia, this is the first time I’ve willingly had a dog sit on my lap. It’s actually ok, but I’m not making a habit of it. Cats though are welcome. 

A summer weekend 

   
    
     

  
  
    
My cousin has a cottage in the middle of the Lincolnshire countryside. She bought the field opposite the cottage and now she and her Mister host BBQS for friends and family during the summer. It’s really lovely there. The skies are huge, you can see nothing but sky, fields and the owl flies over every day at five or six o’clock, depending on the season. He usually hoots me to sleep late at night too. 

To make the most of the weekend we fit in a lot of fun including: a visit to the smart shops and deli at Doddington Hall (must go back to see the quilt exhibition, or see if it moves somewhere else) a long seaside walk topped off with locally – Skegness – made ice cream at Mabelthorpe. It never changes at Mabelthorpe which is part of the charm of the place, that and the wide expanse of sandy beach. It was a good job we’d walked miles; the ice cream was followed up by freshly made doughnuts – the danger of burnt fingers is worth the bliss of the eating –  and then fish & chips in the excellent Monty’s. We also visited the pretty market town Louth with its plethora of independent shops, the Lincolnshire Wold Railway (a slightly unnerving experience, I’m not going to lie) a relaxed visit to a country pub nearby and a good look around Belton House and some of the extensive grounds on the way home. This is one of our favourite National Trust visits. I particularly recommend the Below Stairs timed ticket tour, it’s so interesting.

I’m loving making the most of the long light days and warm summer.

How can I have forgotten this – Colin Firth sits at the writing desk in one of the bedrooms at Belton House. Some of the house was used in Pride Prejuduce – though not for the wet shirt lake scene, as there is no lake! A sweet old man, who is one of the room guides there told us that you will see him in a room at Belton, then he walks out of it and into another – that is at another location altogether. It’s really cleverly edited, the continuity must be extremely challenging! 

 

A long weekend

A long weekend away, the other week, in Lincolnshire meant that we were able to do the seaside hat-trick: Skegness, Mablethorpe and (very rainy and blustery so no photos) Cleethorpes.

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There was something so forlorn and run-down about Skegness which is basically shut for the winter that I wished I’d taken the posh big camera to capture more. I really like books like Roundabouts of Great Britain and Goats in Trees and….I can’t find it but it’s a series of books of photos you often see in gallery and museum bookshops. They are called something like Unseen Britain, The other side of England or similar though I can’t find them on Amazon. Anyway, isn’t a rundown seaside town in the winter wonderful for these type of photographs?

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I was chatting to the owner of M&G Designs in Louth with my cousin wondering how they clean the water slide in the Spring, and apparently children are sent down with sponges attached to their bottoms. Ingenious. ;-0

M&G Designs is definitely worth a visit if you’re anywhere near Louth. It’s owned by a husband and wife and is crammed with needlework, knitting, crochet and many crafty treasures. I found it hard not to spend all my pocket money in one go!

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A few doors along is Chilli Peppers a delightful cook shop with pretty home-wares in a further room at the back of the shop. The new owner is the former Saturday Girl who decided to buy the business, with the help of her parents, when the owner put it up for sale last Autumn. I love this story!

A lovely bonus of visiting Chilli Pepper is that you’re offered a cup of Nespresso coffee to drink while you browse. This friendly welcome is what marks independent shops from chains. When was the last time you went to Cargo and were given a cup of coffee and had a friendly chat?

I’d thoroughly recommend a visit to Louth, go on a Saturday and stroll around the small market, go to Millie May’s for lunch (Bacon, brie and cranberry panini yum!) pop into the charity shop with rows and rows of books upstairs, Serendipity which is a home-ware and gift shop and many, many more independent shops. Unlike most English towns now you don’t see the same chain shops everywhere, it’s so refreshing. Louth is also an attractive looking market town. I didn’t take photos – too busy shopping and chatting! In the evening go for a big curry accompanied by lots of Indian lager, or another option as there’s a fair range of restaurants.

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We love a good walk at Mablethorpe and admired the beach huts from the Bathing Beauties Festival (see the gin and tonic hut which is my fave?) Next we always go and play in the arcades. You too could win teddy brooches, a hUgE emerald (yes, I have a jewel….sort of) and lots of tickets for prizes like we did.20130219-111413.jpg20130219-111403.jpg

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On the way home we saw a little snow! Leading up to the weekend there had been so many severe weather warnings I admit I wondered if we were wise to visit. In the end the little snow that fell didn’t settle at all. We drove across the county to Lincoln on the way to the M1 and saw only a bare sprinkling on the Lincolnshire wolds. The most was in Northants as far as we could see, but still nowhere near the amount predicted. Jolly good!

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Inspired by my cousin reminding me about my round and round Granny ‘square’ Yorkshire blanket I came home to do something about my odd and ends of Stylecraft. I started this while watching tv (one eye on the hook and stitch and the other on the prog anyway.) After I saw this photo I undid it all and the odds and ends are back in a stash. Asymmetric just looks a mess!

I’m back to working on the jewel baby blanket again. What are you making this week?