Tara Tuesdays – Part Seven… on a Wednesday – oops!

Sorry Tara for publishing your Tara Tuesdays blog post on a Wednesday!  I got completely captivated making up my new fabric bundles yesterday and I lost track of time!  Here she is, albeit a bit late… Tara’s Grand Tour continues…

So, onto the next part of our adventure! I forgot to mention quite a big thing that happened to us in Yorkshire! We had stopped to park the car and take some pics and I was on the phone to my bank trying to sort out an ISA they had messed up…Anyway, we were all ready to head onto our next place, I picked up the camera that was on the bonnet of the car, thinking the bag was closed, only to find that it wasn’t! £400 worth of camera went flying across the car park! It was one of those stomach in mouth moments! A VERY stony silence followed all the way to Whitby where we had remembered there was a camera shop. Unfortunately the chap couldn’t fix our broken Canon, so we had to buy a new one! It wasn’t as expensive as the original and only has a 30 x zoom (our Canon has a 35 x!) but it had to do or we would have had nothing for the rest of our trip! It took a bit of time to get used to it and some of the features are better than the Canon, however, now we are back, the Canon is being repaired and will only cost £97!  Result!

Right then, back to the trip. We had a really long, horrible drive to Ramsbottom, hubby was born there and we had been recommended a couple of restaurants that were in the Good Food Guide which really was the only reason we were going! We made really good use of our English Heritage membership during the whole trip and en route went to Riveux Abbey & Helmsley Castle which were both fantastic! Pics of Monks below!

The weather started to close in however and the drive over the Yorkshire Dales was horrendous! Why do people still drive like nutcases when the weather is bad?! It’s enough to put anyone off! We finally arrived at the Old Mill which was a Best Western hotel, a bit basic, but clean and comfortable nonetheless. I had a bit of a red stress neck going by this point, so we went for a quick drink and then got ourselves ready for our evening out. It was pouring with rain; fortunately we didn’t have to walk that far to Ramsons, where we had a six course tasting menu. OMG! Food face, big time! We had amuse bouche’s, seared Shetland scallops, sautéed calves liver, carnaroli rice risotto, flashed fillet of beef, crabtree & stitchleton (cheese) & the best la pana cotta I have ever had! Lashings of wine too! I can highly recommend this place although it is expensive; it was WELL worth the money!

Next day was steamage from Rammy to Bury. Not much else was happening in Rammy although I did find a great Saddlery shop and bought some new jodphurs and gloves! Oh and a lamp with a huge shade that we had to carry round with us for the rest of the trip, hubby wasn’t amused at having to skilfully pack the car every time to fit it in and leave enough room for me to see out of the back of the Landy! The train was fun, hubby enjoyed himself too! Not much happening in Bury so we headed back on the return train although did go to the Museum and saw a fab Lady Butler original painting. We had a pool and jacuzzi in our hotel which we enjoyed before our next event out to Sanmini’s which is an Indian restaurant. The poor chap serving us was also cooking, so service was a bit slow! The food was delicious however!

Derbyshire was our next location, more on that next time!


Tara Tuesdays – Part Six

I saw Tara last night, she’s back from her grand tour and I have no idea how she fitted all her new purchases in her car, thank goodness for the Land Rover!  Here she is:

Grand Tour

I have recently returned from a fantastic 3 week tour of the UK with my hubby in the Landy. We had an awesome time and went to Stamford, Lincolnshire, Goathland in Yorkshire, Dethick & Rowsley in Derbyshire, Wollerton in Shropshire, Dolgellau in Wales, Winscombe, Falmouth and Padstow in Cornwall and finally Teffont Evias, in Wiltshire. We covered 2,050 miles and I endured all sorts of driving conditions from thick fog to heavy rain, as well as mega gradient and double roundabouts central! Hubby was a top navigator and had planned all the routes out for us beforehand which was a big help!

As we didn’t want to drive from home to Yorkshire in one go we stopped off at Stamford first and stayed at a lovely pub called the Exeter Arms where we enjoyed a relaxing evening and delicious meal followed by our first of many full cooked breakfasts before heading to Yorkshire the following day. Here are some pictures: I really liked the bunting and fabric fish and thought the knitted cushion in our room was also very nice!

We then set off to Goathland in Yorkshire which is where Heartbeat was filmed and the train station was used for the first Harry Potter film (did you know that Em?!) We stayed at the Mallyan Spout which was lovely.  I was completely blown away by it here, I’ve never seen countryside so beautiful, and the colours are just amazing! We did a brilliant train trip to Whitby where I ate the BEST fish & chips ever, OMG! Food face! Hubby was beside himself on the train; it was pretty impressive I have to admit! The beach at Whitby is also very beautiful and we had a stroll across it and headed up to the Abbey and all 199 steps to get to it, it was well worth the effort!  We had lots of drives and also headed to Robin Hood’s Bay & Staithes which was a tiny pretty fishing village where I found an Arts and Crafts Fair and purchased some lovely yarn and a gorgeous knitted clutch gnome, I’ve not named him yet though!  Next up was Ramsbottom, Lancashire, details to follow next week!

Garden Party – Fundraising for Leukaemia Research

I wrote a few months ago about Alfie in this blog post, who has been through three years of treatment for Leukaemia. His Granny (my Auntie Jean) and his Mum (Aimi, my cousin) arranged ‘Granny’s Garden Party’ in Northamptonshire last weekend to raise funds for Leukaemia Research and the Our Space Appeal.  It was a great day and we had lots of fun.  We aren’t often all together so it was a good way to spend a Sunday!

Luckily, Auntie Jean has an amazing garden in which the event was held.  The sunshine even came out to say hello!  The morning was hectic to say the least and we were all there for 9am to help set up.

Auntie Jean had made hundreds of scones, Auntie Iris had made lots of jams with Hannah who also made lots of lovely bags, bunting, jam pot covers etc.  Auntie Myra was in charge of teas and coffees with Uncle Pete, Charlotte, Sue and Pauline were fab waitresses.  Aimi manned the raffle, Emma W was in charge of bric-a-brac.  Alfie, Lili, Callum, Tom and Ellis played on the bouncy castle, had some body painting done and Finn rolled around on the grass as he was too small for the bouncy castle.  My mum (Enid) was in charge of ‘decorate your own gingerbread man’ along with Lucy.  Granny Maud was in charge of ‘name the teddy’!  Recognise any of those names?  They’re the names of my fabric bundles, I have to remember them all somehow!  That is the fabric, rather than the people, I can remember them ok!

We had a raffle and there were lots of generous prizes donated by various individuals and companies.  One in particular I’m going to write about tomorrow…  It was a long day but a huge success.  £2,100 was raised for Leukaemia Research and the Our Space Appeal.  I know the family wanted to do something to ‘give back’ to the cause for the excellent treatment, care and support they had received from the moment Alfie was diagnosed, just weeks after he first started school.  The Garden Party was opened by Alfie’s nurse Corrine who they had seen almost every week since Alfie’s diagnosis, often at school where she would take his blood for testing.

There were lots of visitors and lots of purchases which contributed to the rather fantastic grand total.  I know that the family will hand over the money with pride.  It was a long day so after we’d cleared up we had a BBQ and then made the journey back to Kent, rather sun burnt (who’d have thought it!).

Aimi has been chosen to run with the Olympic Flame when it reaches the Midlands.  She started running to fundraise so this is a great culmination of all the hard work she’s put in.  Her blog can be found here.

A final mention goes to Lesley Bee, wonderwoman photographer, who produced the lovely collage image at the end of this post.  Please have a look at Lesley’s website and Facebook page.  She is based in the Midlands and I would definitely recommend her, she’s one of those lovely photographers, not the type that shouts at you at a wedding to get into place (we’ve all met one of those haven’t we?!).

All in all a great weekend.  Thank you to the sunshine for making an appearance, I hope we will see you again soon!

Tara Tuesdays – Part Five

When Tara sent me her Part Five blog post, I did a double take when she wrote about a fabric shop.  Obviously I needed to check out the competition rather than send people flocking to it!  However, what a find it was.  Tara has a habit of doing this, finding random vintage shops, patterns, yarn from an albino alpaca flock that graze on the cobbles of Coronation Street, that kinda thing.  Here she is:

I’m finally home after an epic tour of the UK with hubby in the Land Rover, had probably my best holiday ever, ate and drank far too much, spent too much but don’t care one bit! We’ve stayed in some fabulous places, and met some lovely people too. I’ll be sharing my adventures with you over the next few weeks so watch this space for more details!

On a separate note…. I was in London recently doing some boring bank correspondence, wandering aimlessly through Soho trying to avoid the rain, when I came across this fabulous shop that I never knew existed!  I could have spent a fortune but held back which is most unlike me!  If you are ever passing, do pop into this place, the fabrics are beautiful and unusual, they had some gorgeous trimmings and buttons too, enough to bring on one of my famous excited fabric sweats!

Tara Tuesdays – Part Four

As Tara traverses the country on an epic holiday, she has sent me a blog post about a hoover.  I kid you not.  Here it is…

Hoover OCD, Margo from the Good Life & my cat Gaius

You may think these title subjects a bit odd for a blog post but I just had to share them with you to see if there are any other like-minded people out there! I have a Miele Cat & Dog hoover, not very exciting I know but I love it! I also have a beautiful cat called Gaius who runs a mile whenever the hoover comes out as he is scared of it! As I am typing this, he is sitting next to me purring away on the arm of my chair, he has just come in from the wet weather and wants me to dry him off I expect! Anyway, I digress, back to the hoover. I am not embarrassed to say that I am obsessed with my hoover and use it at every opportunity! Even if I don’t need to hoover I still do, perhaps I need to get a life?! Also, I am feeling more and more like Margo from the Good Life and find myself saying “Shoes Simon” to my husband! Poor thing! He is so untidy whilst I am the opposite (think Sleeping with The Enemy) and I find myself following him round the kitchen with the dustpan and brush and a cloth to wipe the kitchen work surfaces down after him! As soon as anything touches the floor it’s in the wash or washed up before he’s even finished with it! I know I drive him mad but I can’t help it! I don’t look like the picture of Margo in the Union Jack apron however when I’m cleaning! Maybe I should change my outfit!

Now, onto my cat Gaius. I didn’t pick the name by the way, my hubby did. He is named after the Roman Emperor Caligula “Little Boots”. He has the same sort of personality too, although last night, he was so just so sweet. Curled up by the fire sleeping peacefully like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth, bless. I just wanted to share this with you.

My First Attempt At Card Making

I have never had a desire to make my own cards… ever.  However, I had a rush on card-requiring events recently and I wanted to make them extra special, for some special people.  So, I needed 5 of the same type of card personalised for 5 different people.  You may have read before that I love applique, well I had the bright idea of stitching the letters onto the cards but as I didn’t want pin holes, I’d use glue to place them before sewing.  Well, my new best friend is PVA glue!  I used to love covering my hands with it in school but I never realised how strong it was!  The letters stuck fast and there was no need to sew them on in the end.  They were incredibly fiddly to do though as the letters were really small, I must have been having a good day for ‘patience’ as I didn’t cut myself, ruin any letters or throw everything up in the air in frustration!

I knitted some flowers and sewed them on with a button.  It was the only sewing I ended up doing!  I give everyone nicknames, so I personalised them with those:

I wasn’t stopping there though.  I needed some cards for some people affected by redundancy, so I made a batch of the red caravan cards and one for my Granny to say thank you for my birthday present!  Mission accomplished!


Tara Tuesdays – Part Three

This weeks Tara Tuesday posting, about the second obsession in her life – horse riding!  The Fabric Fruitloops of Crowborough feel we know Bomber as we often hear about him.  I’m not sure we’re entirely convinced as to his charms, but T Girl loves him, and he looks rather lovely in here photos!  Over to T Girl…

Ever since I was a little girl I have always LOVED horses. I used to have riding lessons when I was nine years old and thought I looked so cool in my bright yellow wellies and dungarees! I didn’t go for many lessons but enjoyed it so much I hoped and dreamed that I would again one day be able to ride. As Emma has mentioned in her intro and welcome to me on her blog, I am pleased to say that I am lucky enough now to be able to ride at my local stables every week and have been doing so for about 3 years now. Every Saturday I get beside myself with excitement and my heart is in my mouth as I look forward to this part of my week so much!

I regularly ride a big black grumpy, lazy Cob called Bomber who I love dearly. When he is in a good mood and on form he goes very well for me, however when my husband and friends have come along to watch me, he always plays up and refuses jumps and just steps over them and we are often sent to the naughty corner of the school by my Instructor which is very embarrassing!

I am the oldest in my group although have moved up from the beginners class which I am quite proud of, but I don’t mind that all the tots whizz round the school and fly over the jumps on their gymkhana ponies! I try my very best every time and am exhausted, very hot and bothered and beetroot faced at the end of it but I don’t care as I am on such a high and full of adrenalin! I am so determined and accept every challenge my Instructor throws at me but in my heart know that I am never going to set the world on fire…..but you may see me at Hickstead one day if you are lucky!    

I came across this description of a “Cob (Riding)” in my Observer’s Horses and Ponies book and just had to share it with you as the “Portly” part of it fits me to a tee!

Cobs are intended primarily for use as hacks, usually heavy-weight hacks for the more elderly rider, and for whatever the purpose, the riding cob must compare favourably, so far as manners are concerned, with that paragon of equine comportment. It is indeed the ideal ride for the elderly and portly, and is called upon to respect in manners and deportment the not-so-very-young”.

Think Thelwell!