Wednesday, 25 June 2014

A Trip to the Seaside

Taking a break from crocheting yesterday, I went down to Bournemouth to visit youngest daughter and see the end of year degree exhibition at the Arts University .  Afterwards she was keen to take me to Hengistbury Head, knowing I'd love the beach huts and she wasn't wrong.  We had a lovely time wandering around, imagining how great it would be to own one of these little treasures.  I took heaps of photos, but have picked out some of my favourites.

There are more than 300 huts, arranged back to back along a long spit of sand.  Some face towards the nature reserve and the beautiful Christchurch harbour.  Others face the dunes and beach with stunning views to the Needles on the Isle of Wight.  No wonder they are some of the most expensive in the country. ( Around £150k plus £2000 p.a. ground rent)  We peeped in a few and they are surprisingly large, with sofa beds and good size kitchens, many having sleeping lofts and bunk beds.  There are shower/toilet blocks and water standpipes, though no electricity, but solar panels and gas fridges would make them very comfortable.

The beach cafe is a great place to watch the world go by.

The land train is the fun way to reach the huts.

To end the day we went to the beach a little further along the coast, towards Southbourne, where it was almost deserted, and had a paddle, before reluctantly heading home 

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Gin and Crochet!

With Hubby away for a few days this week I decided it was a good time to dig out the crochet blocks that have been sitting unfinished for over a year and get on with turning them into a blanket at last.  I've looked at them so many times, but couldn't face doing all that cream and kept putting it off.   Deciding to use lots of colours instead suddenly made it more "me" and I love how they're turning out.  72 done, 72 to go!

Lottie's not very impressed, but perked up at the mention of walkies.

It seems to be a good year for elderflowers, the garden full of their musky scent.  My daughter made some wine with them a few years ago and it was delicious.  I thought about having a go, but decided to try some elderflower gin.  The stems are toxic apparently so I pulled off the flowers from a bowlful of heads and just added them to a couple of clean jars and topped up with gin and a bit of sugar. (4 tbsp for each 70ml jar)  

The flowers near the top did turn brown, but I don't think it mattered.  After leaving for about a week I strained it through some muslin and returned it to the same bottles.  I tried it with lots of ice in some sparkling lemon flavoured water rather than tonic and it was lovely and refreshing and delicately scented.  Just the thing for the hot weather.


Monday, 9 June 2014

This and That.

Blogging seems to have slipped down the list just lately, but here's a bit of what I've been up to in the last couple of weeks.

Another quilt top finished.  I wanted to to something quite simple and settled on this layout of half square triangles.  Most were made eight at a time using pairs of 11" squares like This.  Nice and easy and endless ways to arrange them!

I took the chance to photograph the finished churn dash quilt top as well.  Maybe one day they'll all get quilted, but I'm not promising anything! 

Some of the showier pelargoniums have moved outside for the summer.  I don't remember ordering the red one, but rather like it as a change from the usual pinks and whites.

Everything's shuffled round in the greenhouse, with the streptocarpus having their own shaded area which they seem like.  

The one on the right, "Ruth" is one of a few new ones ordered after I saw Dibleys nursery on the Chelsea flower show TV coverage.  They describe it as "coral", but I think it's the prettiest shade of crushed strawberry.  I hope it thrives as it looks like it'll be a favourite.

I also ordered a begonia rex "Pink Champagne" which looks quite at home.  I think they're one of those "marmite" plants you either love or hate, but I really like this one.

Elsewhere in the garden the clematis and roses are looking gorgeous.

And I was struck by the amazing wispy cloud patterns yesterday.  Just like a painting!

Enjoy your week.