Monday, 30 November 2015

Mosaic Monday


I hope you are well and not too frazzled.

Isn't it nice when your Mum buys you some colourful gerberas when you're feeling a little off colour.

Thanks Mum.

Linking with Judith at Lavender Cottage.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

London Somerset House


Somerset House in London is an exciting place, especially at Christmas.

It was built in the popular river front/ Strand location by the Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector of Henry VIII's son Edward VI, who was too young to ascend the throne following his father's death in 1547, as a suitably grand mansion for such a grand role. Unfortunately he had to demolish a number of houses and churches in the process which was very unpopular and he landed up at the Tower of London for a short time. It was more or less completed in 1551 but by this time the Duke had been arrested again this time for treason and was taken to the Tower again and executed in 1552.

It passed to the Crown and Elizabeth I lived there before she became Queen and then it passed to a succession of Kings' wives until 1693 when it became grace and favour apartments and a place of entertainment. By 1718 it was in great need of repair, demolition started in 1775 and a new building arose in the rubble occupied by the Royal Academy. Over the years many societies and institutions have used the building, there's a lot of detail on the website here if you would like to know more.

Nowadays, there is always so much happening there, from art exhibitions, concerts, open air films in the summer, talks and performances. The Courtauld Institute Art Gallery is there plus cafes and Tom Kitchen's restaurant.  So much to see and do plus a lovely view of the river and close to Waterloo Bridge.

Christmas is a fun time as an ice link fills the courtyard and there are a number of Fortnum and Mason stalls within the building selling all sorts of goodies! Yum!

Even more magical at night!

Mind you it's blowing a gale here today so take care on your skates.


Saturday, 28 November 2015

Morning Moon


Thanks for all your messages, lovely to hear from you.

It's a bright clear morning and look what was peeping out, as bright as a button, when I looked out of the window.

Sadly, the camera didn't yield as much detail as I could see but there you are.

Have a great day.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Five on Friday - Cupboard


I can't believe it's Friday already! This week has gone by in a haze of material and wool.  Mr CK had the brainwave of swapping my sewing machine cupboard for a sewing machine desk which is much more comfy, so I've had to empty all the drawers and fill up the desk with my crucial I-might-need-that-one-day items.

Here are five things I unearthed.

One- Millennium Masks

Hope this isn't too scary for you! I bought these for our Millennium eve celebrations, gosh 15 years ago just for a bit of fun. I think they've been in the drawer ever since! I'm not very good at selfies, I never remember to smile or else look all wonky.

Two - Pearl Beads

A honey jar full of broken necklaces, how can I throw these away?

Three - Thread

These are my Lidl bargain sewing thread, all that for about £4. I couldn't resist all the lovely colours. One is missing, what colour could it be?

Four - Pincushion

This cute, although a bit worn, pincushion was given to me by Mr CK's Auntie Doris many years ago. It's just lovely and so useful and makes me think of her.

Five - Marscapone Cheese?

Well not really, just reusing the pot . . .

. . . for all these glittery bits!

It's amazing what you find at the bottom of cupboards!  Of course, I can't fit all the material in the desk so it's hidden from view until I'm able to use it up!

Thanks Amy for Five on Friday, follow the link to see the other contributors.

Have a good week

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Milk Bottle Tops


My neighbour has just dropped off a collection of milk bottle tops.

They will be handed over to a charity, Gift of Sight, that sends them off for recycling for which they will receive £30 per 500kg towards helping research on age related macular degeneration.

It seems a brilliant idea to help the charity in this way if there's a collection point nearby or as in our case a chain of people with someone who knows someone else who lives near the collection point.

Mind you 500kg of milk bottle tops represents an awful lot of milk. Think of the number of cows involved!

I'll leave you with that thought!!

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Sewing Sew Far


I'm making a few dresses from donated material for members of my friend's church to take to Africa in February.

It's all a bit of a production line. So far I've cut out 34 dresses and 13 pairs of shorts. The shorts just need a cord threaded through the waistband to make them adjustable and the dresses have been sewn done the sides and hemmed.

The next thing is to gather the front and back of the dresses and attach a band and then I can start on the seam binding/arm ties, the strips are all cut and ready to go.

It all takes a while as I have done French seams to stop them fraying but I now have a desk for my sewing machine which makes it all much more comfortable.

I've pressed the seams I've done which reminds me, I must press on . . .!

Bye for now.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Garden Round-up

Hello all

Can you still see your garden or is it covered in snow?

We've only had frost here but the temperatures have dropped to -2°C overnight, usually the coldest time is between 4-5 am, Mr CK is monitoring the temperature just out of interest. He's sampling the temperature every minute and is about to produce an enormous graph.

Here's a frosty strawberry plant, how pretty it looks in it's winter coat.

Most plants have soldiered on but a few begonias have gone all squishy and the hydrangea leaves are dark brown and droopy.

The birds are enjoying the seeds and nuts dangling from the old crabapple tree.

Time for another hot cup of coffee.

Let's get the kettle on.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Mosaic Monday Fireworks


Thanks for popping in for Mosaic Monday with Judith at Lavender Cottage linking us all up again.

Is it too late to show you the fireworks from bonfire night? It is a bit really but here they are anyway! I'm such a rebel!

We are lucky enough to have a firework display right at the bottom of the garden. Trouble is, the trees and bushes block out the low lying sparkles but the colourful skies make silhouettes of the trees as the rockets zip, bang and shower.

It's all set to music which we can only just hear through the misty dark. Somehow, it's all the more mysterious with an obscured view.

Maybe some of you will have fireworks for Thanksgiving this week. Have a great celebration.

Whooosh bye for now!

Sunday, 22 November 2015

The First Frosty Morning


Ooh it's a bit nippy here this morning.

Lucky the sitting room is still cosy from last night's fire.

Outside the window, the wintery sky is too big to fit in my photo.

Have a good Sunday.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

In The Mood


Thanks for your messages, it's always great fun to hear from you.

Following on from our new mood lighting extravaganza that Mr CK conjured up for us, I've made a mosaic showing some of the colours as seen through a glass sphere.

Well why not!!

The interference patterns are rather interesting, aren't they?

And now, back to the sewing machine . . .


Friday, 20 November 2015

Five on Friday - Henley


Glad you could join me for Five on Friday, many thanks to Amy for linking us all together again.  Do have a look at all the lovely posts, I always enjoy it.

This week I thought I'd show you a few photos of Henley.

One - Henley Royal Regatta

Henley is famous for its Regatta where over 200 international standard rowing races take place over five days in late June/early July.  It is very much part of the summer social scene like Wimbledon and Ascot. Thousands of visitors turn up each year to enjoy the fashionable event. You have to be one of the 6,500 members to be able to enter the Stewards Enclosure - there are 900 people on the waiting list, which means that it will be at least 10 years before an applicant could be eligible to be elected - and there is a dress code to be observed. The Regatta Enclosure is open to the general public though.

Two - Town

The pretty market town is located on the River Thames and is surrounded by the wooded hills of the Chilterns. It has a market square and Town Hall, many shops and a theatre.

Three - Old Firestation Art Gallery

As the name implies, the old firestation has been turned into an Art Gallery.  One exhibition I visited in 2012 called 100 Faces of Henley, featured photographs of 100 town residents, some of which were celebrities who live in the area as it's such an attractive place to live. A book was produced and sold which raised more than £9,000 for charity. I thought it was such a good idea, the photos were excellent and I think they are working on another edition at the moment.

At Christmas, Henley has a living Advent Calendar which involves a performance each day of Advent, if you look at the link you will be able to see the 2015 calendar and be able to open the doors and see the little shows once they've been performed.

Four - Greys Court

On the outskirts of Henley is this beautiful National Trust property, which has a fantastic history, here's my blog post about one of the residents, and a fabulous garden full of secret doors which lead to other gardens.  There's even a tower you can climb to survey the area.

Five - River and Rowing Museum

The Rowing Museum is actually rather good, even if you aren't that interested in rowing.  Situated in an award winning building with a cafe, the Museum has three galleries devoted to the history of rowing, the river and the history of the area.  There is a Wind in the Willows exhibit for children plus a lot of temporary art and photographic exhibitions over the year.

Wind in the Willows

From Henley Bridge

From Henley Bridge

John Piper artwork

Dressing up clothes for children to get in the Regatta mood.

It's time I went back for another visit.

Let's hope the coming week is a peaceful one.

See you soon.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Quilt Ta-Dah!


I hope you are all keeping well.

Having just finished joining the two quilts together and binding the edge, here are a few photos to show you what it looks like.

One side is more bumpy than the other and as they were never meant to be joined, I think it looks ok.  It looks quite jolly on the bed.  I cut up Mum's old cushion covers, as you do, to make strips to bind the edges which I managed to sew on with the sewing machine.

Anyway, there we are, it's done.  All those memories collected together.

I have a lot to do at the moment as I've started on the dresses for my friend's church to take to Africa in February and with the scraps that are far too small to do anything with, I'm making some bunting.  The material has all been donated and consists of shirts and duvet covers so I should be able to knock up quite a few dresses.  I'll show you when they're done.

Must dash, the sewing machine is calling . . .


Wednesday, 18 November 2015



Do you like listening to the radio? 

I tuned in to Radio 4 this morning just after 9 and Midweek was on.  Libby Purves was talking to a diverse selection of guests, one of which was Thomas Heatherwick, the designer behind the Olympic cauldron at the 2012 London Games amongst many many other design projects.  Here's a post I wrote about him, shortly after I started blogging. He was talking about the new London Garden Bridge that will be started next year.

Another guest was Dr. Sarah Beynon, an entomologist who has opened up a restaurant called Grub Kitchen, serving, you've guessed it, insect dishes on her menu like mealworm hummus. Needless the say she brought a few samples with her.

Michel Roux Junior was also there and bravely tucked in to some of the hummus but was really there to talk about his Kitchen Impossible TV programme where he mentors 8 out-of-work people with disabilities in the catering industry.  He also mentioned his involvement in the Growing Underground business which is 33 metres under the streets of Clapham in a disused Underground tunnel where they are producing micro greens and salad leaves under hydroponic conditions and using LED technology.

The final guest was Dorothy Saul-Pooley, Master of the Honourable Company of Air-Pilots, the first woman to head the Organisation.

I think that was 43 minutes well spent, especially as I was busily sewing at the same time!

Bye for now

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

It's That Park Again!


Thanks so much for dropping in!

I had to get a move on this morning as Barney is on the way, Storm Barney that is, close on the heels of Abigail, the first ever named storm by the MET Office. Still, it looked quite nice out of the window.

Can't believe another two weeks have shot by since I last went to the Park by the Shops, let's have a look at what's been going on.

Seagulls in the lake.

This is a reflection of a lifebuoy in a puddle, more likely to be needed in the lake than the puddle.

Leaves mainly down

New primulas planted

Grass still stripy

A giant's flipper - not really!

An old firework which has rocketed in.

Swans eating the grass

Grey heron spotting a snack

Lots of holly berries

Up on the hill, the Mum and baby exercise group were going through their paces.

Grey skies though still fairly warm

Egyptian geese

A granite ball with my shadow on!

Very annoyingly, I've missed this textile exhibition

Christmas has started

A little bit of past craziness!

The roadworks have moved round the corner so normal driving and parking can be resumed. As I pulled away from the shops, down came the rain. How lucky I was to be able to enjoy my walk.