Thursday, 10 November 2011

Busy knitting

Too busy to write a post but thought I'd at least put some pictures up of some of the bits I've knit the past few weeks.

So many babies arriving, so little time...

Aren't these the cutest dang Mary Janes?

No I havent duplicated a picture, yes I knit another of the hooded cardigans but in lilac shades.  

This pattern was a dream.  Turned out perfect, knit really fast and fits lovely.  Actually knit another (yup, another) but this time in blue.  

Lots more knitting done, just need to take pictures.


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Pre-Christmas York

York, usually one of our Christmas haunts but after far too much work and not enough play we thought we'd visit our safe place for a nice weekend away. (that wasn't supposed to rhyme!!!)

walking over Lendal Bridge into York

Lovely smoked kippers
Better still a food and drink festival was on.  York never disappoints food-wise but I can't think of anything better than a food festival on as well!!!

So many lovely treats to take home, Yorkshire chocolates, cheeses, meat, chutney, oh and a few pairs of smoked kippers for Dad.

No trip would be complete without at least one visit to Betty's, how could you go to York and not visit Betty's???  We had breakfast there on the Saturday which was perfect but instead of having afternoon tea we tried a new deli near to Betty's in St Helens Square called Mannions.  

I can't find a website sadly but they are quite new.  They stock the best quality local deli produce and I can highly recommend one of their platters.  There is a charcuterie platter but being someone who doesn't want to miss out on anything I opted for the 'bit of everything platter'. 

Oh my goodness, I can't tell you how good this was!  
Sorry Betty's, you know I love you but I'm afraid Mannions will also receive a visit from now on.

"bit of everything" platter - Mannions.

I never get bored of the Minster, well I never bore of York but the Minster is just special.

Some shots inside - 

 A few from outside -

and a few random York ones - 

walking through the Shambles towards the Minster.

From the gate on St Helen's Church, York.
Garden at the Royal York Hotel

ornate lamppost on Lendal Bridge

I really do love York, the only thing that beats this is York at Christmas.  My favourite festival is the Festival of Angels which is on the 10th and 11th December this year when our clan will descend onto York in all it's festive splendour and immerse ourselves in the cheery Christmas atmos, fake snow propelled out of shop windows in the Shambles, hog roast baps, mince pies and one or two mugs of mulled wine.


Tuesday, 16 August 2011


Sunset at Port Isaac

It's in my blood, it's my favourite place, it's the best childhood memories and after just returning home am already thinking where we can stay and what we will do when we go again.

Trebarwith Strand

We stayed on the south coast this year in the Pentewan Valley not far from Mevagissey.  We normally stay north coast and for the past 30 years or so that has been in or around St Breward, a small village nestled on the edge of Bodmin Moor.  Perhaps old habits die hard or maybe it's just the warm nostalgia I feel when driving through the tight bending inclines framed with arching greenery that will make our next Cornwall holiday further north again.

Port Isaac

Although we squeeze in as many places as we can, some places afford more than one visit.  The photos say it all, Port Isaac... it's my favourite.  St Breward band play there every Thursday night and no holiday is complete without a casual meander down the hill, nipping into the lovely little shops on the way, watching the kids play on the harbour then sitting on a lobster pot listening to the band whilst the waves splash in the background accompanied by the seagulls, but best of all the walk back on the coastal path with a bag of chips which always taste better with the brisk sea breeze.

I love this house.  Even though I already have photos from every other visit I can't help but take another picture.  So here is the 2011 snap!

To the kid's relief, we did fit in some beach and surf days.  I'm not overly fond of Newquay town but it's beaches are amazing.  We visited Mawgan Porth and Watergate Bay, this is Watergate Bay...

All the little man wanted to do was dig holes and then sit in them!

I picked up so many lovely things to bring home from spice rubs and wine to pottery and wool (no surprise there).  Can't wait to share some of these finds with you and once I've found the camera cable will add them to the blog (these pictures are from my phone).

Our final night was perfect.  We celebrated Dad's birthday by having the famous 'Maxi Moorland Grill' from The Old Inn at St Breward. Can't believe I didn't take a photo of it, but here's a shot of the girls and Dad before the feast arrived... and yes, I did eat it all!

Genes farwel Kernow   
(or at least for this year)



Monday, 23 May 2011

Jackbit - Liver and Onions

One of my favourite dishes, made very quickly and ridiculously cheap, comfort food at its best.

Liver and Onions (serves 2)


360g Lamb's liver
1 large onion chopped
2 rashers bacon
8 chestnut mushrooms, sliced.
olive oil
1 x beef stock cube
1 x lamb stock cube
1 1/2 pints of hot water to make stock.

In deep frying pan fry the 2 rashers of bacon until golden.  Set aside on kitchen towel leaving bacon fat in pan.  Cut the bacon into thick ribbons.

Gently fry chopped onions in bacon fat, add salt, black pepper and pinch of sugar, fry until soft and golden.

Whilst onions are frying, rinse liver and pat dry with kitchen towel, trim if necessary, slice any thick pieces horizontally so all pieces are no more than 2cm thick. Flour liver on both sides, gently shaking off excess.

Once onions are golden, remove from pan, add more oil if necessary and fry the floured pieces of liver.  Do not overcook the liver, fry for about 1 minute per side.

Remove liver from pan, add onions back to the pan with sliced mushrooms.  Once mushrooms are golden add 1 tbsp of flour and mix in well, cook for 2 minutes.  

Slowly add stock to form onion and mushroom gravy, then return the sliced bacon and liver to the pan.  Simmer for about 10 minutes.

Taste and season again if necessary.  

Serve on hot plate with either mashed potatoes or boiled new potatoes and spring greens.  Sprinkle with fresh chopped flat leaf parsley.


Wednesday, 18 May 2011

This is Wigan

Not had chance to put a few pictures I took on a recent day out at Haigh Hall, Wigan and thought I'd share them today.

It was one of those wonderful last minute decisions, the weather was beautiful and we just wanted to nip somewhere nearby for a pleasant walk.

We decided to park outside the Infirmary and just walk through the plantations to the Hall, grab an ice cream and walk back through the plantations.

The walk to the hall through the plantations is about 4 miles there and back, you can read a little more about Haigh Hall here


The plantations are lined with so many Rhododendron bushes and pools of bluebells, Honey Bee and the Little Man couldn't resist hiding amidst one of the many batches of blue.

 Haigh Hall is surrounded by 250 acres of park and woodland and the Grade II listed Hall dates back to 1840, you can feel the history as you walk through such established woods and huge trees.

  lots of places to explore
enjoy a little rest

and relax

It's easy to forget such wonderful places that are on your doorstep.


Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Tartan on the needles

I'm working on a tartan inspired scarf/wrap.

I actually started this in the New Year after Hubby suprised me with a lovely camel cape.

It's crying out for something around the neck and I was thinking what kind of pattern would suit it.  I was really into the new series of Sherlock at the time (still watching repeats now, love it) and although the new Sherlock is set in present time I couldn't help but think of the older Sherlock films and series.  Thick wool capes and caplets, waistcoats, walking sticks, deerstalker hats, bowler hats, tartan.... tartan!!!
The more I thought about it the more excited I got about putting together something with a tartan or tartan inspired pattern. 

I've been messing about with various tartan patterns and colour schemes, I had some gorgeous camel Rowan wool so went on the hunt for other Rowan colours to work with on my swatches and am now really happy with the design I've ended up with. 

To keep with the tartan theme I thought a pleated edge would be perfect, give it kilt feel.  I've experimented with a few different ways to work a box pleat and the one I'm using is quite fun.  I haven't done this before but am loving the way it turns out.

To avoid floats and also to keep the amount of wool down that it uses I've decided to use fish floats (don't think this is what they are really called, but I call them that) to take the wool up on the vertical stripes and then just carry wool across from the ball for the horizontal stripes.  This way the scarf isn't too thick and the reverse looks almost as neat as the front.

I say scarf... I've made it quite wide and its somewhere between a scarf and wrap, I want the whole tartan pattern to be displayed and it looks much nicer draped than tied.

I'm hoping to have it completed very soon and I'll put the pattern up for free download.


Thursday, 24 March 2011

I'm loving...

this artist.

Andrea Joseph.

I stumbled across Andrea's blog and was simply blown away by her amazing sketches.

Believe it or not these pictures are created with simple ball point pens.

amazing aren't they???

You can buy her moleskins and other fab things from etsy.  

How I would love to be able to draw like this, if I were a pen, I'd be green!!!


Monday, 7 March 2011

Sundays are for...

Washing the car

and walking in the park

What a beautiful weekend.  Truth be told, it probably wasn't that beautiful... but it was bright and not raining.

The first sunny weekend for a long time, and despite the cold nip in the air the sunny presence was enough to make us feel like warmer days were on their way.  I guess that would be Spring!

Not exactly BBQ weather but this glimmer of daylight gave us the chance to get out and about and pretend it was nearly Summer.  Hubby did work in the garden, the Little Man washed his car (and his bikes, AND the patio, AND my windows, in fact anything he could reach), the girls bounced on their trampoline and we all felt the urge to have a walk in Wigan park, it's amazing what a little sunshine can do!


Jackbit - BBQ Pulled Pork

Every now and then Sainsbury's will have an offer on shoulder pork which isn’t my favourite cut but is great to buy at the right pr...