Saturday, 26 April 2008

Birthday presents

I would like to say a big thank you to Lesley because she sent me a gift for my birthday.

With a beautiful card in my favourite colours, which she had made.

Inside was a beautiful purse with a spool of pale pink spotty ribbon four skeins of thread, and a pattern for me to make a bear. He is gorgeous Thank you Lesley

Today we went to Arundel and had lunch out in Belinda's restaurant, the food was delicious.

Happy Birthday

Its my birthday today, the sun is shinning and the birds are singing - perfect. I had turned off my alarm so I could sleep later than 6am, but a delivery lorry started crashing his metal cages around and I woke up at 5.55, everyone else is still asleep. I found some birthday cakes on the web which look amazing, I think this is my favourite - it even has my name on! Tony bought me a Tatty Teddy cake last year, (I'm a big fan of TT)

My Mum made me a delicious coffee cake last weekend and for a joke put 60 and 18 - subtract them and now you know how old I am. Whilst we were on Easter break I was busy with some crochet the bag that started off as the Giants shoe sole turned out like this. I was delighted with the finished bag. So I made another version for my Mum's neighbour, but forgot to take a photo. I also made a baby blanket for a friend who's expecting in September, I do hope she likes it. Now I'm experimenting with hyperbolic crochet! Back soon Jane x

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Holiday Part 3 - Wednesday 16/04/08

Happy St Georges Day. I think this time of year is my favourite not just because it is nearly my birthday but because it is Bluebell time. The woods I pass going to and from work are just beginning to show their first flush of blue.
During our visit to Eden there was a display of questions about our changing environment. The one that really made me think was "When Christine was a girl her mother always decorated her birthday cake on the 15th May with Bluebells. Will Christine still have Bluebells on her cake this year?" My response was no and then I thought about my own birthday and realised that the bluebells always came after my birthday when I was a girl and now they often flower before my birthday. Last year the hot Easter had them flowering so early they had all gone before my birthday. So I'm pleased that I started at the beginning of the year to use the 30 degree wash for our clothes amongst the many other small changes we've made to try and help the environment.
Back to our last part of the holiday - On Wednesday we travelled home stopping at A La Ronde, a National Trust property, which is a pretty little house sitting on the hill above Exmouth. It was built for Mary and Jane Parminter after their grand tour of Europe in the 18th Century. It has a shell gallery with a feather frieze and the upstairs rooms have stunning views of the river Exe and Exmouth. The house is just lovely and has that rare feeling of cozyness and that it was the sort of house you could live in.
Downstairs there was a little restaurant selling home made
sandwiches and cakes and a very delicious cream tea with fresh clotted cream and strawberry jam for your scones.
Continuing our journey back to Dorset we stopped at the Haynes Motor Museum in Sparkford near Yeovil. Car heaven! They have increased the number of cars and display space since our last visit.
We drooled over cars from our childhood, and more recent models built for speed. Also there was this beautiful deep blue Duisberg from the 1930's, but two cars which made me smile where the pale blue VW Beetle and the childs Bull Nose Morris in red.

I had one very much like this when I was very small and it was apple green colour. We had a lovely time and finished our day out with a cup of tea in the restaurant. We'd like to return to Cornwall and explore further.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Holiday - Part 2 Monday 14/04/08

We visited The Eden Project on Monday and had a lovely day. It was busy but not too bad. The only place we really noticed the number of visitors was inside the biomes, but it didn't stop us looking around and enjoying the views. It was fascinating to see the different levels of tropical forest and the flowering plants. Many of these are our house plants, no wonder they struggle to cope with our centrally heated houses when normally the tropical biome is kept at 78% humidity during the day and 99% at night.
From the inside you could also see the construction of the biomes with the indivdual hexagons which are based on soap bubbles - the architect found inspiration whilst washing up. Each hexagon bubble is triple layered and filled with air. Each bubble is supported internally.
We stopped for lunch before visiting the Mediterrean climate biome, which was also very beautiful. It was also cooler and drier at this time of year. It covers the Mediterrean climate regions of the US, South America and South Africa as well as the Mediterranean in Europe and had lots of plants which we do grow in our gardens in England. Some of these plants may need a south facing wall for protection from the worst of the English winters or are summer bedding, in the case of the daisies from South Africa. There was a restaurant with both hot and cold food together with a huge gift shop. If you buy your tickets in advance online and gift aid the payment you then get a years free membership. We spent all day there and came back to our hotel happily tired and footsore, our heads full of all the wonderful things we had seen.
Tuesday - We visited The Lost Gardens of Heligan near St Austell. We had another good day and enjoyed following the paths around the formal garden and vegetable garden. Most of the vegetables are just being sown but in a month or so will be sprouting. We stopped for lunch at the Stewards House and ate the most delicious freshly homemade rolls filled with local cheese and ham. After lunch we continued our walk down into the Jungle Garden, it felt as though we were walking into the valley of the dinosaurs from the film Jurassic Park. There were walkways along the valley, taking you down to the bottom and back up to the top. There are even Praying Mantis insects around on the plants, one of the visiting ladies found one and showed it to us and other visitors who came past as it had climbed onto her sleeve. There were very tall palm trees aged 100 years plus; Monkey Puzzle trees 30-50ft tall as well as thickets of Black Bamboo with canes the thickness of my wrist. At the base of the valley was a stream which filled shallow ponds which were full of Water Lillies. We made our way back along the woodland path, stopping to look at the Grey Lady and the Mud Maid and finally the Green Giant. Near the exit there was another shop and restaurant where we stopped for tea. We enjoyed our day looking at the gardens, but if you've never been before you must remember to keep looking up as some of the trees are over a hundred years old and very tall. We didn't visit the Lost Valley because Tony's foot was hurting but we will return again, perhaps to see it in a different season.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Holidays, Cornwall - Part 1 Sunday 13/04/08

Tony and I escaped to Cornwall for a few days starting last Sunday, we stayed at travel lodge in Saltash. We visited the National Trust house - Cotehele which was interesting, It is a Tudor manor house with beautiful gardens, and interiors mostly hung with huge tapestries. It also has a restaurant serving food made with local ingredients, we stopped for coffee and a toasted teacake which was delicious.
In the late afternoon we drove down to Looe, which is a little coastal village with a harbour and sandy beach which are seperated by a stone pier. We walked through the winding streets full of gift shops selling all the usual seaside items. We stopped for a postcard and then walked to the end of the stone pier.

For my readers from other parts of the world this link,+UK&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&resnum=1&ct=image is for a map of Cornwall.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Easter Holidays - Hurrah!

They are here at last - our holidays. So Em and I are off to visit my parents in Dorset whilst Tony stays at home as he has to go to work :( But then Em is off in the caravan for a holiday with my parents. Tony is joining me later in the week and we are going to Cornwall for a long weekend. We are hoping to visit: The Eden Project, & Lost Gardens of Heligan plus whatever else appeals to us while we are there. I finished making a bag for Lesley's birthday although it was a little late arriving.

Nothing on the needles at the moment but I am crocheting a bag in 5 ply garden twine but as it is very hard on my fingers I'm only doing a couple of rows each evening. Tony says that it looks like the sole of a shoe for a giant! Can't decided what to knit next, perhaps socks - not sure. Hope you have a good week, Jane x