Tuesday, 28 August 2012

A parcel from Spain


The Bloggy Blanket Chain has arrived – thanks Amanda http://craftyinthemed.blogspot.com.es/


Two brown parcels – one containing the blanket

And one containing some lovely gifts for me – thanks so very much.  A few small bells, a magnetic picture frame, three broach pins and the most delightful hand painted fan.

Now what colours shall I use, what square design shall I add to this blanket? Granny, circle in a square, flower, single colour, multi colour - the options are endless...


Where will it go next – do get involved in creating this bloggy blanket adventure




MummyHen X


Sunday, 26 August 2012

A birthday gift


I like to make handmade gifts, I am already planning for Christmas gifts; well its Auntie Bettys birthday today.   Happy Birthday to you..

A few weeks ago I thought I’d made this very simple lace scarf for a birthday gift.  I prefer to crochet rather than to knit and I’ve not tried lace knitting before.  The pattern looks simple, short rows only 39 stitches, with a 16 row repeat and only one skein of yarn so why not. 

It wasn’t all plan sailing and I did make a few errors – I’d forget which row I was on and would get frustrated.  I finished it a couple of weeks ago and then had to block it. [Stretching wetting and drying]

You can see from this photo that you can see the pattern until it’s stretched out

So I thread my blocking wires through the edge, lay a towel on the floor ( I have limited space that suitable and that's cat free!!), pin and then spray with clean water and leave to dry.  This only works with natural fibres.

TaDah the final scarf 


MummyHen X


Friday, 24 August 2012

What the fig…

I have a lovely fig tree in the garden, given to us by my mum for a wedding anniversary many moons ago and it's laden with fruit and I am a loss as to what to do them. I eat them straight of the tree, warm them in the oven with honey and have them with homemade ice cream. 

What else can I do with them? Any ideas?

MummyHen X


Thursday, 23 August 2012


Wanted to post this earlier but I got a little distracted.

Ta Dah – Cornish Mice finished.  Not too sure about the face of the boy mouse but they are done and I am happy with them.  I don’t really like doing fiddly but I did enjoy these two little mice.

I have finished another knitting project but the ta dah will have to wait as it’s a gift and I know the beneficiary visits here!?!?

Gift for a new bloggy friend Fostermummy – the pleasure is all mine in the giving.

The distraction – another of my interests is genealogy. Overnight I had an email from someone who was looking for information about my mums’ side of the family. An email or two later just to confirm she was not name hunting and we had a real connection; yeah.  I have found another distant cousin in Australia.  As a result I spent the most of today, between meetings (I do work – yes really I do), looking at the information she sent about one of mums Gt Aunts (Granddads sister; Mum was brought up by her maternal Granddad & Grandma); the family (Mum & Dad plus 7 children) went unassisted to Australia in 1889 only to returned in 1896 (still not 100% sure why; perhaps Leslie (new cousin) will be able to shed some light). I do like a mystery.  Two of the older children stayed in Australia and two returned a few years later after marrying in England. 

Off to see mum at the weekend so will have to pick her brains to see if she and her sister can remember anything more.

Do you have old photos of your ancestors – I find them so interesting; the style of dress, the way they look; the formality of the photo; just wonderful ephemera

MummyHen X

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Birthday Treat part 2

Yesterday was second part of DaddyHens birthday treat – a walk over the O2 or should that be the Greenwich Arena as we are still in Olympic mode. Anyway it’s the O2 to me. http://www.theo2.co.uk/upattheo2

There are some criteria which need to be met

1.    10 years or older – Check – with a few years grace

2.    A minimum height of 1.2 m – check by ¾of a metre

3.    A weight of less than 130kg/21 stone/286lbs which is the maximum weight our harnesses can bear. – check – a few stone to spare

4.    Able to wear a harness which has a maximum width waist of [125cm] and a maximum upper thigh width of [75cm] which are the maximum measurements of our harnesses. – check although having well developed thighs I did have to get the tape measure out!!

We booked in, completed the necessary H&S forms. Watched the safety video (cheesey to say the least), donned the blue nylon boiler suits (nylon in this heat not a good combo) and the harness. Long hair had to be tied back, bags etc placed in lockers – only small camera that can fit in small pocket on can be taken up or phones. No bags or large SRL cameras allowed.

BIL#1 had climbed the day before and had given us some tips on what to wear; sturdy trainers or walking boots, thin t-shirt and shorts or leggings, as the boiler suits are very hot.

Jeremy our guide attached us to the safety cable and showed us how to get past the wire joiners (I can’t remember their official name) and we were off.

The start is VERY steephill going up was really hard work – gee whiz it was very very steep; pulling with one hand on the wire rope and swishing along the metal attachment thingy (I can’t remember its name); it’s hard work.  On our trip there were about 12 people most where young, I’d say in their 30s however, there was an older women who was probably in her 60s who did very well.  It hard work pulling yourself up the steep start and remembering to swish along the metal thingy, if you don’t compress the metal thingy it clamps on to the wire and you come to halt.

Its flattens off a little after the initial walk up the side and it’s a little like walking on a trampoline its very springy and there’s an urge to bounce; which Is not allowed!!

I’m not good with heights but I was concentrating so much on the metal thingy and hauling my body up the hill that I didn’t even notice the height.

The platform at the top has wonderful views; Jeremy unclipped us so we could walk around freely and take photos.  The views are spectacular -   around the perimeter are skyline information panels.

The view from the platform was stunning, canary wharf with the shard peeping through

The helter-skelter (ArcelorMittal Orbit), the Olympic stadium just about visible and the Aquatics centre

Royal Naval College and Greenwich

Down the Thames to the east; Thames barrier, Woolwich, North Greenwich pier and Antony Gormley's Quantum Cloud, you may ask it’s the monstrosity to the right of the pier, if you squint you can see an figure of a man in the centre.  Squint harder he is in the middle.

Excel centre, DLR red train, cable car

St Marks Victoria dock – a significant church for DaddyHens family; paternal Great Grandfather is named on the WW1 Memorial, MILs marriage, DaddyHens christening – sadly it’s not a church any longer but a music hall – but at least it’s still being used.

London’s only lighthouse – Trinity Buoy Wharf.  The pier on the foreground is part of London's longest pier


Sky kiss

MummyHen X

Friday, 17 August 2012

Tall Ships on the Thames

During the Olympics there were Tall ships on the Thames doing trips from Woolwich Pier to Deptford Creek.

Given that the summer weather has been typically British it was a bit of a gamble when we booked.  It would be awful if it was windy and raining – ahhh. 
It turned out to be a blistering hot day – factor 50 was liberally applied.  Parking in Woolwich can be a little difficult so I booked a parking space, however the directions on the website took you to the wrong place, so DaddyHen and MIL went to book in whilst I drove around the oneway system to get to the car park – a little concerned given that the ship would depart at 13:00. Managed to get parked and all was well.  We boarded the Wylde Swan, built in Hull in 1920, to be used in the Herring fleet, and then used by the Germans as a torpedo carrier during WW2, now a nine sail tall ship taking part in Tall Ship races.  I would love to participate in a tall ship race but I am a dreadful sailor (I spend most of my time very unwell and green round the gills) full history and details of events http://wyldeswan.com/index.html

DaddyHen & MIL know Woolwich well; MIL was born and bred in North Woolwich, her paternal family moved there from East Malling at end of 19th Century.  DaddyHen spent the first three years of his life in North Woolwich before moving to saarf of the river.  So a trip to see this part of London from the river is always interesting. MIL was surprised to see that so much had changed, the factories that her ancestors had worked in all gone,bar one (Tate & Lyle).  She did however, like some of the flats that had been built although probably way out of our price range.

Going through the Thames Barrier

Greenwich from the river is always a lovely site the view up through the Naval College to Queens House is such spectacular vista.

The island where DaddyHen used to play as a child – not too sure how he got here; probably shouldn’t ask!!

The cable car and the Dome

Canary Wharf

Posh swanky apartments

Military landing craft – there were a few police and naval ribs and boats messing about on the river.  This landing craft whooshed past – I took a few snaps.  When I was reviewing them for the blog I looked more closely at the two people on the bow (technical term?!?) wearing white shirts. These two figures are Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal and her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence.

Woolwich Ferry

Tate & Lyle – Grandad Jim (MILs father) worked here for over 30yrs; in addition to various other ancestors. 

A lovely couple of hours – shame these trips are only available during the Olympics; I hope they have been a success and they return next year for the summer.

MummyHen X

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Birthday Treat

It was DaddyHens birthday yesterday – lots of cards, gifts and phone calls wishing him best wishes. Happy Birthday DaddyHen.

We celebrated the day before as Wednesday had too much happening at work. With a lovely lunch in West Malling at The Swan weather was warm and the food was delicious as usual, although I think things have changed since we were last there a few months ago. 

Scallops & pork belly                       Fish cake        

Wild Boar                                   Haddock Fish & Chips

Cheese - Blue Monday                    Treacle tart and Ice cream

DaddyHen had a couple of glasses of red wine; I was driving so had a small glass of wine and water.  A most enjoyable lunch with my wonderful husband.

MummyHen X

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

One Lovely Blog - thankyou very much

I am so bad and rude – well, I blame the fact that I’m new to blogging and still not 100% sure of the etiquette that goes with having a blog and blogging.
Mum gave me an award two weeks ago and I’ve not even acknowledged it – I am so sorry. I’m a little overwhelmed and very surprised at receiving this considering that I only started blogging on 1st July.  Thanks so very much I’m touched. 

One Lovely Blog award; well what it is all about – I had to google to find out
Here are the rules of acceptance:

1. I need to thank the person who nominated me.
2. Share 7 things about myself that you still may not know
3. Nominate 15 bloggers.
4. Notify the nominees that I have done so.
5. Put the logo of the award on my blog site.

Seven things about me
  1. I went to the same school as some of Idi Amin's children
  2. I have more than one tattoo
  3. I learnt to ride a motorbike when I was ten
  4. I have been a refugee
  5. I met my hubby in a pub
  6. I have a rare blood group
  7. I loathe housework

Nominate 15 blogs – this is going to be tough – not sure if I can find 15 that have not received the award (I think that’s the rule) so I will just add 15 that I like and visit regularly.  A mix of crochet, food & frugal; Just noticed there are 16 oh well!


















Thursday, 9 August 2012

Hot Thursday
The sun is shining and its hot the outdoor thermometer is showing 32.6 and its only 10am.

Bread turn out OK but not that cheesy even with a load of strong cheddar; it loaf didn’t last long so it must have been yummy. I don’t really do bread, well I eat it every now and then but I then suffer from the most awful stomach pains – will I ever learn!?!?

The hens are all back to normal now which is great but still a few days more to get the egg production back on track.

The weekend didn’t have any plans but we had a lovely day on Saturday – we went to Battle (no we didn’t fight) 1066 Alfred arrow in the eye.. It was lovely – really pretty high street bunting over the road, pretty shop window displays, flowers (forgot the camera so no pictures). I did have an ulterior motive – DaddyHen was going to treat me to an ice cream maker attachment for my KA and it was the only place that had one that we would collect and it would be a nice day out.

Onward then to Maynards Farm – to PYO; time was short so we cheated and purchased raspberries, loganberries, plums, blackberries and cherries from the shop– all so much cheaper than the supermarket and I do like to support the local economy/smaller businesses and not the big corporate enterprises.

Had lunch in a lovely pub The Oak & Ivy in Hawkhurst - They do excellent food and great beer which Daddyhen loves. Whenever we’re in the area we always pop in for a drink. It has a great history of smugglers and gangs from bygone times.

Sunday was spent in the kitchen making ice cream vanilla, cherry & chocolate; I looked at a heap of recipes and decided to use my own; a basic custard recipe and then added the fruit or chocolate. Lovely ice cream really smooth but the cherry didn't taste much of cherries - umm don't want to go down the route of artificial flavours so Hen family will just have to put up with the natural flavours. The chocolate was seriously chocolaty; only a very small portion could be managed. We had the vanilla with plum tarte tatin I used this recipe and it was delicious, for lunch on Sunday. I froze the rest of the fruit - lined baking tray and placed each berry individually on the sheet so that they don’t touch, freeze for 24hrs and then put in bags or plastic boxes.

I have crochet squares to send to FosterMummy for the Bloggers Blanket – Can you send me your address so I can send them off.

Off on a tall ship tomorrow – the weather is going to hot

Well it was 10am when I started to write this but a few interruptions later is now after 1.30.
DaddyHen just brought me fish finger salad for lunch - yum 

MummyHen X

Friday, 3 August 2012

Friday in the coop

DaddyHen does the main supermarket shop on a Friday morning.  I try and ensure I finish work early or at a minimum limit the number of meetings – I need the time to wind down after a hectic week.

I popped into the CoOp first thing to see if they had any bargains; oh yes they didn’t let me down– chicken kebabs marked down from £3.00 to £1.45 and asparagus down from £2.10 to £0.99p.

SonnyHen has been asking me for ages to make cheesy bread – so his wish is my command; - after trying to look for a suitable recipe I decided to adapt my regular white bread recipe and add a couple of cups of grated strong cheddar cheese, 2 tbls caraway seeds and 2 tbls of tarragon – I will let you know how I get on – it’s in the oven at the moment proving.

Two of my girls - yes, I keep five hens (well I’d didn’t get the name MummyHen for nothing) are broody again.  They are Lemon Cuckoo Orpingtons named Linda (after my Mum) and Betty (my aunt; mums sister).  I don’t have a cockerel so no point in them sitting on eggs – they'll go into the broody cage for 48hrs
Not sure what the weekend offers – nothing planned except perhaps some Olympic viewing and some crochet

MummyHen X