Tara Tuesdays – Part 19

What a week!

I honestly don’t know where the time goes these days! It has certainly been one of those weeks! For a few hours EVERY day last week I did some gardening and am still not quite finished! As I have had a bit of time this summer (if you can call it that!) I have been working on my borders and have also put in some posh edging that has sat in my garden getting the “lived in/rustic” look for the last 9 years as we hadn’t got round to doing anything with it! I am pleased that the edging is now in place (so much cheaper to do it yourself with some help!).

However the new turf needs laying and my next job was to level off the borders before my help returns from her holiday next week. I’ve never dug soil in my life and I can tell you if you want to do a work out on your bottom, then this is the right exercise for you, my life! This is almost complete now too but as I have run out of soil, I have to wait until my partner in crime (Mary from the Sewing Circle) returns from her holiday as she will be helping me out with this!

After a busy weekend which started on Thu – we went to my in-laws as we were at a family wedding reception on Friday evening and couldn’t drive as our car isn’t compliant with the new low emission zone thingy (cheers Boris) and my Mum-in-laws partner was driving us over to Bickley from their place in Surrey. We had a great time although I am starting to feel my almost 40 years as had to go to bed before the end, then couldn’t sleep so felt like a zombie on Sat, had to drive back home from Surrey, ripped my white linen trousers trying not to fall out of the car when we got home as hubby had put the steps up (ahem) and then endured a wedding ‘do’ in our local pub that had a live band! They sounded really good but I slept in the spare room to avoid the noise as I so needed to get some rest! This confused the cat somewhat, anyway, back to the gardening!

We came back from hubby’s Mum’s laden with plants and garden furniture that will do us a turn until we decide on what we really want (you should have seen us trying to squeeze all of it into the car?!) After a good night’s sleep I had planned to plant up on Sunday but before I could finish this, the next job on the list to do before Mary’s return was move the ¾ full composter! More digging ensued! I managed it but god was it hard work! I now have a green waste bin full of not quite ready compost that needs to be put back into the now moved composter! That job is on the list for this week! I know how to live!

I haven’t attached any pics of the garden as it isn’t quite finished yet but I will do as soon as the turf is laid so you can see it in all its glory. I do however have these ones to show you of some of my plants and also some of the visitors we have had to the garden over the last year or so! Hope you like them!


Tara Tuesdays – Part 18

The Sewing Circle

I had my weekly get together with my girlfriends last week (minus Sue & Em) and as we were all being rather productive I decided to write a little bit about what we are all working on. We were at Mags’ this week and she supplied the usual delish refreshments of cakes and tea which we need to keep us going. Believe it or not it is hard work talking, knitting, sewing, crocheting or doing nothing (ahem) and we need this sustenance to get us through the evening!

I took some photographs of what we are all crafting and then asked Mags, Gin & Mary what they are making; here is what they had to say (interpreted by me!):

Mags is knitting a beautiful Tiger King hat taken from a Ruth and Belinda pattern. She is using 4mm needles and Peruvian Silky yarn which is very soft (80% alpaca & 20% silk). She has made one before and was so pleased with how it turned out; she is getting ahead of the game and is making this particular one as a Christmas gift, nothing like being prepared is there! Gin also purchased a pattern for some Ruth and Belinda mittens and you may recall seeing them in one of my very first blogs? The cable stitch used in both patterns is quite simple to work and creates a lovely effect too! Mags also told me that she is going to start a six week night class next month in drawing where she will learn the technique of constructing realistic drawings and developing skills in the Sight Size method (SML?!?!) Mags is always keen to learn something new, she has attended a bee keeping course, a cooking holiday in Italy to name but a few and is a woman of many talents!

Gin has just made some lovely hearts which she machined and then has hand finished with running stitch. This project is a work in progress as Gin isn’t too sure what she will do with the hearts yet and is just experimenting with them at the moment. She did say that she might make a garland from them but she is still undecided. Gin is also starting to cut out some lovely chicken fabric to make some cushions with so I am hoping that they will be finished by the next time I see her (no pressure!) Watch this space for further details!

Mary is working on a fireside rug which she is making using the Rag Rug method. She attended a one day course in Ticehurst recently taken by Debbie Siniska where she learnt how to rag rug. There are a couple of different techniques and Mary learnt how to hooky and proddy on her course! Once complete, Mary’s rug will consist of 8 separate squares. She is using hessian and fabric remnants from her stash which include some of her kid’s old clothes, nothing like a good bit of upcycling! Mary has already made 5 heart squares all using the hooky technique and to finish the squares she will use one colour for each square using the proddy technique. I will have more on this to show and tell once Mary has finished the rug which knowing her won’t be long!

And finally onto me. I am still knitting alpaca squares for my blanket but this week after looking in the window of the Susie Watson designs shop in Tunbridge Wells, had a sleepless night dreaming of everything I want to buy in there (all of it in fact!) This restlessness inspired me to make some hearts and a tea cloth using an old stained table cloth of my Mum’s that I loved the embroidery on and didn’t want her to throw away! I made two different sized hearts as I had to cut round marks on the table cloth to get to the good bits of fabric that I could use. The fabric is a sort of thickish linen and was lovely to work with. I also had this really fab gingham fabric that I think worked really well with it. I was quite pleased with the how the finished products turned out and may make some more tea cloths to go with these ones!

Tara Tuesdays – Part 17

My Olympic Experience

You may have read last week that I was fortunate enough to go to the Olympics last Tuesday as hubby had managed to secure us tickets for the Men’s +105 kg Weight Lifting and medal ceremony. When he initially applied he bid for Athletics, Equestrian and the Weight Lifting tickets. I was a bit underwhelmed by Weight Lifting. However, I have to say after going I am so pleased that we had tickets as the experience was fab! I was just slightly disappointed that we weren’t in the Olympic Village; no matter, at least we got to see something!

After all the travel hype, we set off very early to avoid delays, we needn’t of worried as the journey there and home was so well organised, it was absolutely fine! We were there in just over 2 hours which was pretty good going. We bought some merch (as you do) and had something to eat and drink before we got settled in our seats. Although we were on the very back row, we had a perfect view of everything and were able to zoom in with our x35 camera! I couldn’t read the score board mind so we took pictures of it during the event and zoomed in to see who was doing what!

I have attached some pictures of the chaps in their spandex for you in case you missed any of it! The medallists were:

Behdad Salimi – Iran

Sajjad Anoushiravani – Iran

Ruslan Albegov – Russia

One thing I must point out is that the winner lifted 247kg which I think is pretty fantastic actually! There was one incident where the German chap, Matthias Steiner, dropped the weights onto his neck! He was ok, but retired injured. There was a great atmosphere in the Excel Centre and the Iranian fans were going mad when their chaps were doing their lifts! I am not surprised seeing as they got Gold & Silver! It was a shame that there were no GB competitors, however, we just got into the spirit of it and cheered everyone on!

You might want to see the Lego version of events which is so clever and really funny!

All in all the games were fantastic, Team GB did us proud and I guess like the majority of the population, I feel extremely very proud to British!

Tara Tuesdays – Part 16

A Great Day Out!

Another busy week has passed, where does the time go?! Can’t believe it is August already, 4 months to Christmas if you aren’t already counting, sorry, maybe it’s just me that gets excited so early!

This weekend we had our dear friends Andy and Claire come and stay from Shropshire as they had more Olympic events to go to! Last week they snuck in some football and beach volleyball games/matches and this week they had volleyball and hockey to look forward to! I am sure you agree that the Olympics have been just FANTASTIC to watch; I have never screamed so much (apart from at a Keane concert, ahem) or tried to get into the TV willing on Team GB as I have over the last week! I’ve even cried especially when Gemma Gibbons thanked her Mum for winning her Silver medal! Not sure what my highlight has been so far as there have just been SO many! Can’t wait to purchase the Olympic stamps too! Anyway, as usual I digress!

Andy, Claire and their children came and stayed on Fri and went home on Sun evening. They arrived quite late so once the kids were in bed, we had a lovely Spanish themed meal of chorizo in red wine followed by Pork in an almond sauce which is a delish Rick Stein recipe from his latest Spain book. Cheese followed accompanied by plenty of wine! After a late 02.30 finish we went to bed and had a lovely lay in on Sat which was a real treat! A chillax day on Sat, I went riding and rode Bomber who did me proud! We did some dressage and he was such a good boy jumping well for me too! I know it won’t last mind!

We had a great meal in our local pub on the Sat night and then after breakfast on Sun we headed off to Birling Gap and Beachy Head. We have never seen so many cyclists all of which we named Bradley and Bradleyella (!) and we stopped off at the Long Man of Wilmington first for some photos. The last time we were here was in September for hubby’s birthday when the weather was foul! I can highly recommend Birling and Beachy if you haven’t been before! We were very lucky with the weather too as it wasn’t that great at home and we thought the coast would be cold and breezy, far from it, it was really hot!

Going into the sea had to be done, but trying to get out was hysterical as the pictures below will show! The lyrics from my favourite Keane song from their new album Strangeland sprang to mind:

“The ground is uneven

You stumble from day to day

You tread where it’s easy

Although your feet are like lead

And you gotta get underway

Drag your heart up to the starting line”

Made me laugh anyway! After a great day and a gorge lunch at the pub in Beachy Head we headed home, exhausted! Normally if friends come and stay you might get flowers, or chocolates or wine. A&C always bring wine but this time they surprised us with this lovely selection of home grown veg freshly picked from their garden! How lovely is that?! I’m looking forward to using them all, bet they taste delish! It was lovely to see our friends again and can’t wait to get together again soon!

Off to see the Men’s heavyweight Weight Lifting this evening at the Excel Centre so will report on that for you next time!