Friday, 30 December 2016

We cooked a lot!!!

This year we seemed to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Moomin made a huge batch of gingerbread which she gave as presents to family, but it still left a good deal for us to wade through.
I made some boozy mince pies which were great on the first day, but turned to little tooth breakers when reheated! I have no idea how I managed that and I've been asked not to attempt it again! Pah!
My lovely man cooked a wonderful buffet for Christmas eve with homemade tempura prawns and spicey pork and chicken panko bites. They were perfect and no teeth were harmed that night, thankfully :D
I had a lovely Christmas garland from one of the children at school, so thought I would show it off with my Manx Loughton arm warmers. Crikey, they really do work, my arms and hands were just so toasty. However, the ML is really scratchy, so I won't be making a matching scarf, hat or anything with it!!!
There had to be a left overs curry, or course, it's the done thing in England I think :D We'd already had a big pan of bubble and squeak, so I made a very hot sweet potato curry
and Moomin made a slightly less hot turkey curry with coconut cream. It was divine.  We then settled to watch that wonderfully festive film, the Suicide Squad, haha! It was great fun, although I got caught having a doze in the middle of a huge fight scene. I must have been tired!
We've managed to have a couple of walks as the dogs have been desperate, and I need to at least try to keep a little fit despite just wanting to curl up in between cookathons! 
I'm still getting over the last round of school bugs and so have decided to give my immune system a boost with some juicing. I don't juice too often because of all the mess, but the fibre goes into a veggy porridge for the chickens so at least it's not wasted.
Today I'm having green apples, cucumber, ginger and spinach, yummy :D

Happy New Year to you all, I'm trying to get around to everyones blogs, but it's taking a while.x

Monday, 26 December 2016

Seasons Greetings.x

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas a Happy Yule and a wonderful New Year full of love and dreams.x

Friday, 23 December 2016

Keeping journals.

It would seem that I love to write! I have several journals on the go including a couple of home written cookery books. I take recipes from everywhere, sometimes tweak them to my own taste and then add them to my little books. I also stick in recipes from supermarket magazines if they suit my mood.
I write little notes in my day journal in case I want to use anything from that for my blog, it saves me from being on the computer all day.

Last night I wrote about Fae, my white and grey cat. In the summer she's slim and ethereal, but in the winter months she turns into a big marshmallow, all squishy and cuddly. Right from when she was born she was special, she was the largest of the litter, but never too pushy and her brother and sister would use her as a pillow. When her eyes opened she would watch me constantly and as soon as she was mobile she would find me.
When I go away, she's the first to greet me and the last to hold a grudge (like when I go away)! She often sleeps with me and when I'm unwell, she curls into my tummy and makes me feel better, perhaps she should have been called Angel <3

I've been meandering through lots of new blogs this week. It's been great fun and totally relaxing. I'm finding inspiration everywhere and have even found a few bloggers that I lost when I closed the old blog. 
I did at one point wonder why so many of my old blog friends have moved over to other social media and I've come to the conclusion that it's because of the instant reply you get from Facebook and Instagram. Sitting here talking to my laptop often feels like throwing words out into the void, so if you do manage to find your way here, please feel free to say hello :D

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Looking back

I suppose at this time of year, when we do a lot of looking forward, it's quite normal to also look back. It was 6 years ago that I closed the old Yarrow blog as it was just too personal and no longer reflected me or my life. Frankly, it was a bit painful to read. But I've had a look at it today and some words jumped out at me 'I don't know how long this limbo will last'!!! Well, it lasted for six years!!!! Six years of recovery, struggles, disasters and triumphs! I've held on to my home by the skin of my teeth and I can't say I did it with style, but we always had a home to come back to. Now my children are young adults and it's time to move forward and make a new life for ourselves. Say goodbye to the old things that have held us here and make a new home somewhere else. It's scary, but also very exciting.
Maybe I'll get somewhere like the house above. Does anyone recognise it? Will you join me on my new adventures?


I don't want to tempt fate, but my lovely herbs are sleeping peacefully under their little cloches and so far have avoided any frost damage. Mind you, we've only had a few really cold mornings, but this is still better than I had hoped for. I don't normally have the luxury of fresh herbs this late in the year!
It's just so wonderful going into the garden and having a few of my home grown plants to spice up lunches or dinners. I even have a little mint still hanging in there! The middle blue pot is dill, which I've never managed to grow in the warmer months, so that's an extra special plant :D
Last night I treated myself to a little catch up on Prime! Thank goodness Claire and Jamie are back in Scotland and we can get back drooling over those lovely shawls. Piper clearly didn't want to have her photo taken, and frankly, I thought she was a little rude!
Finn, on the other hand is always good for a picture, he's a bit of a camera tart, haha!

Monday, 19 December 2016

Healing walk.

First day of the holidays and we were up early. The ponies were fed and the dog and I took off for our favourite woodland. We've not been here since the Spring and so much has changed. Trees have fallens and new paths created which made it quite exciting, especially for a crazy lurcher!
We tried to follow our normal route, which is up a very steep path. Luckily I found my normal resting spot, this rather bouncy branch. Manchee doesn't like it so much as it boings up and down when he jumps on it, which is precisely the reason I like to sit here, it's just a bit of fun!!! The woods were so quiet that I indulged in a lovely Reiki treatment. I felt so connected to the little birds rustling amongst the resting trees and felt the gentle mist beading my coat with tiny jewels.

Manchee then discovered a deer leg, or what was left of it. He was so pleased that he ran around with his trophy like a total maniac while I tried not to slip down the very steep and uneven ground. We rarely follow the path here as it's dominated by cycle trails which are treacherous for people on foot (not dogs!). Later I noticed Manchee burying his leg bone under another fallen tree, I expect he'll find it next time we walk here!  He looks quite pleased with himeself doesn't he?

I'm not sure what plant this was, but it was so pretty along the path that I had to photograph it. However, my new phone camera isn't a patch on the old one, despite it being an upgrade!
The shawl is halfway done but too big to clearly show in this picture!
It's been a lovely and restful day, a complete contrast to the hectic run up to half term last week.
We finished school with a lovely service at our local church and as I sat and looked at all our well fed and loved children I cried to think of those less fortunate and those who are suffering or worse. That's all I'll say as I find it all so upsetting, so please spare a thought or send a prayer according to your faith for those people less lucky than us.x

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

The bed has been invaded!

I was up early to take Moomin to the bus and came home under a pink mackerel sky, thinking of taking my breakfast back to bed. Behold! It has been invaded by fur babies with the same intent :D
I managed to wriggle under (somehow) and only got a couple of filthy looks! I'm sat here now with a bowl of museli, a pile of paperwork and a degree of reluctance to go to school. With the onset of the damp weather, the Fibro has been kicking my butt lately! I've had every cough, cold and tummy upset on the school menu and now my muscles have decided to join the party by cramping whenever they like!
However today is the school Christmas dinner and also Mufti day (what does that mean???) so I can wear comfy clothes and my garish Christmas t.shirt and treat the little ones with my angelic version of Christmas carols. What fun for them ;)

Edited to add: I'm still not dressed, but thoroughly enjoying my blog hopping. It helps me to feel a little more like my old self when I glimpse the world through other peoples lives. Thank you fellow bloggers.x

Christmas is a little slow!!!

It's taking it's time to reach our house this year and I can only imagine the reason being that I'm putting so much time in at school. Although I only work mornings, I'm exhausted by the time I get home. A sit down and some lunch then leaves me a little time for paperwork before I have to head out to feed the ponies. 

'Hurry up with that bucket.'

Tonight I'm hoping to get the Christmas decorations down and I may even write some cards!!!

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Truffle hunters!

I went with the dog to a quiet woodland , squeezed in between our very hectic pre-Christmas schedule. Just off the path were two very gorgeous Gloucester old spots so I had to say hello. Manchee was not impressed and made it clear that I was on my own!
'Don't be silly,'  I said, 'they're not that big!' Actually they were and when they decided to grab the gate in their mouth and give it a vigorous shake, I made a hasty retreat!

He has that 'told you' look on his face!
So we continued along the path and I took pictures of nice safe funghi :D
Meanwhile, back home, Walley showed us his party trick <3

Thursday, 8 December 2016

This week....

This week very little happened. The furbabies waited for their dinner in the room we call the 'futility room'. It is thus named because any attempt to tidy it is futile!!!!

My favourite of all time bands 'Creep' played their last ever gig. This band was the first I saw when I became single and so will always have a huge place in my heart. They are as professional as any band on the circuit and most likely better than many. They play good old fashioned rock from Billy Idol to Nirvana and back again to U2 and Bon Jovi. My Creep Tshirt may probably be framed. I'm very sad!
This week I've been unwell. No details. I found solace in the woods and found the Woodland Kings crown. Stories are forming and I'd like to start painting again. It helps with so many ills.
My lovely Moomin had all of her hair chopped off some time back and donated it to charity. Last week, she had it cut even shorter. The boyish look somehow makes her look more feminine to me, but maybe that's just my view. Manchee doesn't care, he just wants to help her find the bird hidden within this piece of wood. I think she wants to be a carver (for now!).

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Last pictures of France - for now!

I think this was my favourite feature in our little house. The cottage was so like something from a period drama and I felt a bit like Demelza, lol!
It was chilly but not heavy sweater weather, so I dug out the shawl that I made last winter from hand dyed Leceister Longwool. It's one of the few shawls I've completed, but I'm getting there :D
This is the view from La Moulin de Pont Samoel. We had a beautiful picnic here with olives, goats cheese and big chunks of baguette washed down with blond beer <3 It was so very French ;)
In town, this was my favourite shop. I spent a lot of time here!!!
Back to the lakes, there are a lot in Brittany, and this is the largest, Lake Guerledan. It's actually a very large man-made lake that is used to generate hydro-electricity but it's also a popular visitor attraction. There are all manner of water sports and little holiday resorts all around it.
I loved the still silence of this place,
and the rugged shoreline, grey and stark but painted with the colours of the autumn leaves.
The views were just awe inspiring and we had to sit here in silence and simply soak it all in.
Just before our adventure was over, we decided to go for a special meal. Most days, Saturdays in particular, it seems to be a tradition for villagers to take long leisurely lunches and rather than go to a bigger town and expensive restuarant we decided to follow the locals. I couldn't believe what a special experience it would turn out to be.
The local people were friendly and the food was wonderful. We paid for our food with no idea what would be served, there were no menus, just something called 'menu tous les jour'. It was a selection of food chosen by the chef and we sat in excited anticipation as each dish was brought to the table. Eggs stuffed with mackerel on a bed of crunchy salad, a slice of a sort of pizza and then a dish of rich beefy chunks in thick gravy served with buttery potatoes. There were a variety of desserts, but I managed to squeeze in some clafoutis. Everyone ate slowly, sipped their wine and devoured big baskets of bread. We stayed for nearly two hours and then took a slow walk around the town to recover :D

This was the iconic bridge that signified for me the end of our visit. On the other side was Le Havre and our boat home. However, we will be back :D