Thursday, 31 July 2014

Photo Scavenger Hunt : July

Another month has flown by and it's time for the photo Scavenger Hunt organised by Greenthumb at Made with Love. Here's what I found in July.

C is for...? : Shiny chrome on a Chevrolet car.

9pm : I actually found this one of the most difficult categories, mainly because we never seem to be doing anything particularly interesting in the evening! So, here I am, cocktail in hand (not my usual pose!) watching a new TV series, The 100 (OK, not brilliant).

Stem : The stems of my wine glasses in the kitchen cupboard. My friend's Dad gave them to me: he got them free with petrol vouchers!

Pool : Rock pool near Silverdale (a post about our day trip coming soon).

Dough : Freshly cooking doughnuts.

Liquid : A Caribbean Breeze cocktail (white rum, coconut rum, pineapple juice and cranberry juice).

Lever : I thought this would be a challenge but it turned out to be one of the first I found. An eagle-eyed Chickpea spotted the pillar as we turned into the road leading to Rivington. Lever Park was gifted to the people of Bolton by William Hesketh Lever, Lord Leverhulme, and opened in 1904. He is best known for being the founder of the soap firm Lever Brothers (later Unilever) and creator of the model village, Port Sunlight.

On the wall : A stunt woman riding on the Wall of Death at the Stars & Stripes American car show.

Together : Chickpea and her boyfriend.

In your bag : A present and birthday card for a friend.

Your view of today : The view from the bench where we had our picnic at Silverdale. Movingly, there was the following paving stone in front of the bench commemorating Ted, who 'never tired of this view'.

Sweet : Sugar shakers in a restaurant.

If you'd like to take part in next month's Hunt, the categories for August have already been published. Or why not just go over and have a look at the other entries? There's always lots of great ones. x

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Giveaway winner! and a walk

The names went into a bowl.

And the lucky winner was....

Louise of Ramblings of a Roachling!

Congratulations to Louise and a big thank you to everyone who entered - it meant a lot to me that someone actually wanted to win one of my little quilts :) I'm just sorry I can't make one for all of you.

Water mint

It's been a quiet at home weekend. Yesterday was housework and this afternoon Chickpea and I went for a walk, testing out a possible route for my yoga group. Some lovely paths and views but there were a few too many stiles for the less able of the group. Back to the drawing board.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. x

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Stars and stripes

This time we're back on our travels. On 5 July we decided to visit the Stars and Stripes American Car Show at Tatton Park. It's been on my list of things to do for a while but we've always managed to miss it before. Now, I generally have absolutely no interest in cars - they're just a way to get from A to B. However, I do love the style and details of old classic cars and particularly those from '50s and '60s American movies. Just thinking about them makes me want to skip around in one of those dresses with a big flared skirt and with my hair in a pony tail! Or wear a stetson...

I always knew it would come in handy one day :-)

First we did a tour of the stalls.

The colours of the bracelets on this one caught my eye.

As did these saucy metal signs!

As well as new goods, there were lots of vintage stalls and you could buy almost everything including a bathroom sink!

After the stalls it was time to look at some cars.

This Pontiac was probably my favourite of all the cars on display. I love the style, colour and all the chrome details.

Even the inside was gorgeous.

A Buick. Love the restrained two-tone colour and the hole details.

Another Buick. Loved the front of this one with all the chrome details.

A Chevrolet truck.

Chickpea was protesting by this point so a change of scenery was needed and we went over to watch a Wild West shootout.

After the performance you could wander around the camp.

Love that crochet blanket!

Next it was time for food so we went back to the car and sat on the grass having our picnic before returning to look around the cars again.

Lovely wing details on this Cadillac.

And look at the amazing rear of this 1959 Chevrolet!

A blast from the TV past. Hands up those of you who watched Starsky and Hutch (I was a Hutch girl).

Or sang along with the good ol' boys of the Dukes of Hazzard? Did you have a pair of Daisy Dukes?

There were also motorbikes on display. This Harley Davidson was my favourite with all the airbrushing, chrome and leather details.

We also liked this one which had 'Tribute to Cher' carved on the exhaust pipe.

Lots more airbrushing on this row of trucks. I liked the Twilight one but Chickpea preferred Batman.

Just time to sit with a drink and listen to the band playing country and rock music before we called it a day.

The show had a great atmosphere and we'd definitely consider going again.

Before I go, something else from a car - mine yesterday on the car park at work. Can you see the temperature? 30 degrees! Maybe a tad too warm but long may it continue - I'm loving our heatwave :)

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Home and garden

As promised, this time I have a tour of the garden and a few other random home-related things.

My bargain chilli plant is flowering. I was worried it wouldn't fruit with (hopefully) no insects in the house to pollinate it, so I've tried hand pollinating the flowers with a small paint brush. No sign of any chillis yet though.

While I was on staycation I bought some of these strange fruit from the supermarket: they're mangosteens. Have you tried them? The nearest I can get to describing what they're like is lychees but they're fruitier and more fragrant. We really liked them but they're a bit pricey so will have to be a rare treat.

Chickpea wanted to make a cake a couple of weeks ago and chose this one from our favorite Clandestine Cake Club book: it's Blueberry, Peach and Amaretto. Absolutely delicious and the cake was lovely, light and moist - she obviously has the right touch for baking. The top is drizzled with blueberry syrup and, as there was far too much, I used it up by mixing it with plain yoghurt - mmm! I really can't recommend this book highly enough - everything we've made from it has been absolutely yummy.

Talking of blueberries, look at what we have in our garden! I'm so excited!!! It's our first ever crop as I only planted the bush last year. The gooseberry which was planted at the same time hasn't even flowered so it seems even more miraculous that our little plant has produced these perfect little berries.

Elsewhere the yellow courgette is in full flow. I grow them every year as they're so reliable and prolific. We've already harvested several and we ate more for dinner tonight.

We also ate our first crop of yellow beans tonight. There's something so satisfying in wandering into the garden to pick vegetables and minutes later they're on your plate.

The name of these is 'Dwarf Orinoco': if you're a geographer, you're probably thinking of the Orinoco river now. If you're a music fan, maybe this song by Enya. Me, I'm thinking Wombles!

The tomatoes are also doing well. This one is 'Outdoor Girl'.

And this is 'San Marzano'. My 30p bargains couldn't be doing better. I've managed to grow plenty of green tomatoes before though and they usually end up falling victim to our fickle English summers and rotting before they ripen. Fingers crossed the sunshine and warmth last long enough for me to taste at least a few of them.

My clematis have done quite well, though the light pink one has performed better than the dark pink.

On the other side of the garden, I've had plenty of flowers on this one too.

As usual I planted up troughs to put along the small wall outside the kitchen. There's a mix of petunias and pelargoniums and both have been flowering away for several weeks.

I recently treated myself to an osteospurmum and absolutely love the purple daisy flowers - so pretty.

Another purple beauty has been my orchid. This was taken a couple of weeks ago as it's finished flowering now. I think it's a common-spotted but I'm not 100% sure.

I am 100% sure this is a goldfinch. They used to be pretty uncommon around here but this year they seem to be everywhere. I've been trying unsuccessfully to get a photo of them and then, Friday morning, I opened my bedroom curtains to find this little fellow perched on the telephone wire outside my house singing his heart out. They have a lovely twittering song which you can hear on the RSPB web site here.

My yoga class has finished for the summer but we've decided to carry on meeting and to go for a walk instead. On our first walk we started off in bright sunshine but with dark glowering skies behind us. The colours were so dramatic looking back over this field - we had just walked along the path in the middle. Eventually the sky did catch us up and we all got soaked.

We were lucky not to get soaked in Manchester yesterday as it absolutely chucked it down. The Haunted Underworld tour was really good. I would have taken photos but most of it was conducted in complete darkness in musty cellars. The guide is a great story teller and made us both laugh and jump out of our skins!

Today the weather was lovely again so I went out for a quick walk. I was on a mission for a photo for the Scavenger Hunt and, although I didn't get what I wanted, I did find these:


Hedge Brown

And lots and lots of speckled wood. I know I've shown you photos of them before but I just liked this one.

And so ends another weekend. Chickpea is impatiently waiting for me to finish to watch a dvd with her ('This means war') so I'll bid you farewell and hope you enjoy the rest of your Sunday. x

PS Don't forget, my Blogiversary giveaway is still open if you're interested. Closing date is 25 July.