Sunday, 24 March 2013

Digging first then to Birmingham we go

It may be too cold to plant but that didn't deter me from making beautiful trenches for the potatoes when eventually the snow & frost forecast disappears. Naturally accompanied by warm cups of coffee & biscuits to keep the energy up.

So far it's been an active day, getting up at the crack of dawn as Mini Betsy had to be dropped off to take a coach to Birmingham.

She'll be making her stage debut there tonight. Very exciting, we're all a bit giddy and spent all afternoon packing bags, making cards, wrapping presents and cooking. The Brazilian cheese breads are ready; the halloumi, chicken and leek pie is about to go in the oven. We'll have a lovely picnic when we get there!

My only worry now is the weather. I do not enjoy the forecast of blizzards & being stuck on the M6. Fingers crossed that all goes well. The good thing is we'll have plenty of food with us. As they say in the theatre world: "Break a leg".

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Gate to Narnia

Well obviously this is not the gate to Narnia but to my allotment. After three years waiting I am finally the proud keeper of a plot. This lovely little blue gate is falling apart but it looks charming and is the door to a lot of excitement. 

The plot has not been looked after for a few years but  apparently those who did used to keep it really well. Since they were no longer able to work the land it has sadly been used as a tip and this is how we found it.....: 

....with some markings for beds and luckily with a few rhubarb plants to give me hope! The plot does feel like Narnia with new finds around every corner. Just about every piece of furniture imaginable was dumped but we also found some old wellies that can be used as planters, also some useful tools and lots of pots that will be scrubbed in the next few weeks. I say 'we' because my lovely friend Nikki digs along with me and keeps me company.

First attempt at digging!

There will be lots of clearing rubbish, learning, reading and seeking advice done in the next few months but it is most exciting. I will be keeping a diary; the potatoes and onions have been bought and plans are started to shape up for a lay out. One of my friends said that having a plot is really addictive and I think she is right. Now I am hoping for some warmer weather so that we can start sowing & planting!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Aunty Social

Yesterday I went on a day trip to Blackpool as I was invited by Linzi Cason to take part in a press event in The Old Rock Factory on behalf of Redeye - The Photography Network. More about that later in the week but as Linzi showed us around the building she took us to the meeting place of Aunty Social, a community group that creates opportunities through craft, art, music and plenty of other cultural activities. 

I didn't think I would ever say this, having had a dubious experience living in Blackpool for six months about 10 years ago but I would quite like to be there right now and be part of Aunty Social. One of their groups Knittas with Attitude look like a bunch of fabulous crafts people, meeting in a fabulous place and look at the things they produce!

Girls to my own heart really, pompons and bunting, how much better does a studio interior get? 

I absolutely love this bike. That is yarn bombing at it's best! I heard the bike had been "exhibited" in the town centre and the reactions from people where truly fabulous with one woman remarking to her daughter that it was covered in yarns so that drunk people wouldn't hurt themselves! Classic! 

An awful lot has changed in Blackpool in the last 10 years. The Old Rock Factory is fabulous, the town centre is unrecognisable with many newly paved streets, street lighting and some sort of of music/light/arches installation. But one of the most memorable things is the comedy carpet but as I mentioned more about the day later. Just couldn't resist to post these shots of this wonderful group.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Some places in the Lakes

Some time ago I went to stay in the Lake District where I came across a couple of lovely places to eat. I intended to put them online as soon as I got back but the business cards got lost in the mountain of paperwork in my bedroom. Every year I get more and more on top of this rather time consuming task but now that I would like to have an all white bedroom asap I have started a cleaning frenzy and just came across these cards again. In case some of you are in need of some tips for places to go I can recommend The Log House in Ambleside. Here I had one of the most enjoyable nights and most delicious meals I can remember. 

The staff were lovely, fires burning and I'm hoping to spend a night there some time. 

For lunch I'd gone to Lazy Daisy's Lakeland Kitchen in Windermere where they served the most gorgeous sandwiches, soups and cakes. I loved the decor and the wall paper in the ladies toilets (go check it out when you are there). Again lovely staff but perhaps this is the way everyone is in Cumbria? There were some lovely shops in Windermere as well and I could have bought all the stock at Detail. They have some fabulous stationary and quirky gifts and thankfully an online gift shop!

I bought some of the local produce and obviously had to try a Kendal Mint Cake (this reminded me of the sugar animals I used to get for St Nicholas day when I was little) and the most delicious freshly baked gingerbread, which sadly can only be bought at The Gingerbread Shop in Grasmere. 

Hoping to go back to this lovely part of the country and try out some more lovely places, I am now going to sort out a chimney sweep as whilst I'm writing this a nice soot drop caused my floor to look like a black sandpit.