Friday 28 August 2020

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

It is a somewhat reduced blog post this week,
hoping you will forgive me.
My time has been hijacked by that boy of mine and his new flat.
Elliott got the keys last Friday and we were up brandishing paint brushes
early Saturday morning.  
Those paint brushes and rollers were welded to our hands 
for over three days, and boy did it need painting.
It looks lovely, fresh and white now and 
I'm still finding paint where it really shouldn't be!

New carpet is going down end of next week and then he will 
be moving in. I had forgotten how much stuff you need,
we have lists coming out of our ears.
Very exciting time, I feel somewhat honoured that he has 
given me the second set of keys but then I was told:
'for when you drop my dinners in!' Haha.


I do have a tiny crochet offering.
This was another kitty blanket that found its way to its new owner.
A plain blanket so I felt it needed a crochet flower.

And I have been sorting my Summer Harmony Blanket
ready for the next round of colours with a little help from Bella.

I haven't been able to pick up a crochet hook this week,
my arms and hands have ached each evening, 
I have managed to lift a wine glass though...


The garden has carried on without me and with the rain it has been very happy.
I mentioned some weeks ago about the plant haul from Secret Gardening Club.
They do offers whereby you can purchase 15 perennials plants 
for £20 inclusive of postage.

They are all growing (except one, that Bella thought was grass and ate it!) 

And the new tree has his own plaque - I decided to go with his proper name.
I was worried about him when it was very windy, I found myself checking on
him at 2am. Thankfully my garden is very sheltered. 

And this area of the garden with the fake gate and trellis
(that Darcy cat loves climbing!) ....


I can now reveal what is behind it ...Darcy cat's own shelter.
The shed roof overhangs to create this space -
I did have visions of pretty planters but no, it houses
wall to wall tarpaulins, a weatherproof box and a bench with blankets.
Oh yes and a  mirror - so we can see her from the house.

We do have a cat flap - she comes in and out as she pleases and when it
gets very cold I find her on my bedroom chair but the rest of the 
year she loves being outdoors.  The soppy animal lovers we are,
we go to very great lengths to keep her cosy. 

I did take some time out and visit my cabin, September's Charity Kit
is underway and will be announced first Sunday so that is 6 September.
I can reveal it is a Christmas card, I thought perhaps festive cards
for a few months to ease us into Christmas.
For a very unusual year 2020 is flying by.

This weekend we are celebrating Elliott's birthday,
it was on Tuesday but it went by in a blur of decorating.
We are visiting my sister's garden and having fish and chips,
cupcakes and Prosecco - classy eh! 

So friends, I'm afraid that's all my news this week.
I hope to be back on track next week with a recipe,
some crochet etc - all my usual natterings.

Until then, I do hope you are all keeping well and wishing you 
a wonderful weekend.

Much love,

Friday 21 August 2020

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

How are you?  Grateful for the cooler weather?
The rain was welcome but perhaps not in the sudden deluges.
Some big and sudden news in the Emberson household this week,
details below.  Let's start first with regular bits and bobs.


 Yes, this week I have a recipe.
In fact it is a 'no-cook' recipe so I could have shared it last week
in the blistering heat but never mind, it could have proved to be molten chocolate.

This is 'Beryl's Biscuit Chocolate Cake'
It is very chocolatey, delicious and easy to make.
'Beryl' was a very dear lady. I was going through my recipe cuttings book
and found where I had written out this recipe on an index card,
it would have been in the 1980's,
with an ink pen no less - so there's smudges!

4oz butter/margarine, 1oz caster sugar,
1tbsp golden syrup, 3 level tbsps. Cocoa,
½lb digestives, bar of chocolate

Place into a saucepan the butter, sugar and
golden syrup, heat until melted.
Place digestives into a bag and crush to crumbs,
mix into the saucepan and add cocoa.
Place mixture into a greased sandwich tin,
put in fridge until set.
Melt a bar of chocolate – bain marie or place in microwave
with butter so it melts correctly. (I use a large bar of Bournville).
Spread over the set biscuit base, pop back in fridge again.
1-2 hours later, if you can wait that long, cut with a sharp knife.
Perfect with a huge mug of tea!

The printable is available here.
I have also sorted all the recipe links at the top of the blog,
pesky Blogger had deleted them all, fingers crossed they stay put.

Out and About:

 Not real going out as still being as cautious as possible.
Elliott and I walk Bella each evening and we visited Windmill Hill again this week.
It is an uphill climb, the view is lovely - that is the River Thames in the distance.
There has been a lot cruise ships moored there with nowhere to go.

I say 'view' this is my view as I sit on the bench - the back of Bella's head!


Do you like this new climbing plant?
Darcy cat investigating the trellis, not sure it is robust enough for cat climbing
but she's doing her upmost to investigate.

Did I mention how much I love Clematis?
I have discovered a brilliant online store for them - 
I ordered some and they arrived in perfect condition
and well established, they are all 2+ years old.
I definitely recommend them.

This variety is 'Sally' growing wonderfully in a corner of my garden,
I could not resist this one as it is my Mum's name.

And another tree! 
An ornamental pear, awaiting a very large tub to be delivered to
pot and position him.
I need another plaque but I need to name him first.
The variety is Pyrus Chanticleer - that doesn't really lend itself to 
a sweet name does it? Open to suggestions please.


Slower progress this week on the crochet front,
I am working on squares for the Summer Harmony blanket,
this is my filing system in my trolley.
When they outgrow the little wallets I tie them with lengths of yarn
from those wound balls in the background.
I went from not liking granny squares to absolutely loving them,
I really enjoy following the colour sequences of these.


The Secret World of Your Rubbish - Channel 5

All episodes available on their catch up service.
Documentary about people working in the front line of waste management.
This statistic is literally food for thought...
as a nation we throw away 24 million slices of bread every day!
This series, not something I would normally watch, has certainly opened my eyes,
it is a very worrying thought what the future holds,
there is only so much landfill we can use.
There is also good news, interesting to see how plastic is recycled and
how you dispose of a Boeing 747! 

The Boys - Amazon Prime

What happens when Superheroes go rogue?
A mix of humour, drama, voilence, occasionally a little bit silly
(they've got a New Zealander playing a British guy?) but overall good.

And the news I mentioned at the top of the blog...
a milestone.
Elliott is moving into his own flat! 
I am so proud of him, he has done brilliantly with his job, 
diligently working from home during the pandemic.  
He has been looking for a little flat near to his work and one 
popped up, it was a quick viewing and an even quicker decision made
as lots of people wanted it.
It is in a very nice area, a modern building, he is on the top floor.

He collects the keys this weekend, we are donning paint brushes 
for a couple of days and then full steam ahead moving him in.
It is also Elliott's birthday next week so the timing is perfect.
I keep smiling at his address: 
Unicorn Walk, cute but not manly, apparently haha.

And that is my week - I truly hope yours has been good to you
and wishing you an even better weekend.

Take care friends.

Friday 14 August 2020

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

Sticky, hot and humid! 
We are all suffering this week I'm sure, here in the South East
the promised thunderstorms have still not arrived.
My rain dancing is clearly not working.

Apologies no recipe this week, I could not bear to put the oven on.
We have been having 'hob dinners' and sandwiches to avoid a hot
kitchen and a takeaway or two. 
Normal recipe service will resume next week.

Here in the Emberson VT (Victorian Terrace) we've done a bit of celebrating 
this week, 9 years ago we brought home a pup - Bella.
Her colouring has completely changed.

And a very important celebration, my Dad's 80th.
We marked the occasion with a BBQ in my sister's garden,
Dad received help opening his gifts! 

Mum was able to join us and thoroughly enjoyed being out.
It was a wonderful afternoon, very special memories.
(And that gift Dad is opening is from Bella, 
a frame photo of herself - she insisted!) 


I'm still slightly stressing over my tree, I've resisted watering Arthur,
inspecting the leaves a few times a day, seeing some new growth.
He has a plaque, I'm pretty sure that will not assist growth but made me feel happier.

My freebie Hydrangea from Freecycle is very happy
and blooming.

And my new whiskey barrel water butt is now installed.
The aroma of whiskey is still strong, I'm not complaining!
It connects to the drainpipe via a converter, installing that was not without
issue, bless Mitchell he accidentally cut 3 inches out of the pipe instead of 3cm!
The pump was from a previous water butt owned by my parents and 
Dad has restored it for me, it works perfectly and there is something very 
satisfying about collecting the water - come on rain! 


The heat has hampered crochet somewhat this week, 
truly not the weather to have a blanket on your lap.
Saying that, I have managed to join squares to my Harmony Blanket,
14 more to go and then the border.

I am doing the same blanket in different colours, a bright colourwash
 - Summer Harmony, that may be finalised in Winter.


I've managed to flop in front of the telly of an evening.
I'm still watching a few box sets, Poirot - well there are 70 episodes!

 I viewed Enid this week available on Britbox.

Helena Bonham-Carter playing the part of Enid Blyton.
The film starts with a disclaimer:
"some scenes have been invented and events conflated for the purposes of the narrative".
It isn't easy viewing if, like me, you have fond memories of her books
and envisioned the writer to me motherly and sweet.
The film explores how those orderly, reassuring clear words of her books
are in stark contrast to the complexity of her personal life. 
Still worth a viewing if you have BritBox or available to rent on Amazon Prime.

And that's my week so far, again no great plans for the weekend
but next week I am visiting a work friend over in Essex.
I'm very much looking forward to seeing her and sitting in her garden,
she is a brilliant gardener so I hope to pick up some tips.

Take care friends, have a lovely weekend,
may it be cool and safe where you are.

Friday 7 August 2020

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

Welcome to another Friday Chat Day, they certainly come around quickly.
I have bits and bobs to share with you this week but first,
excellent news - my Mum is home from hospital and improving daily.
Many thanks for all your kind words.

Second, this month's Charity Kit was another sellout.
I've been thinking about September's kit - too early for a Christmas card??

Now let's get to the chatter, starting with...


Rustic Chelsea Buns this week.
I admit these do take a bit of faffing, it is dough and waiting for
it to rise etc so not a speedy recipe but one for a lazy Sunday morning perhaps?
I call them 'rustic' because they are always chunkier than the shop bought buns.

Dough: 450g strong white flour, 2 x 7g sachets yeast,
50g sugar, 150ml warm milk, 1 egg beaten,
50g melted butter, 1tsp salt
Filling: 25g melted butter, 150g dried fruit,
2tsp mixed spice, 25g sugar
Glaze: 2tbsp sugar, 1tbsp water (mix until sugar dissolves)
Start with the dough – in a large bowl mix together flour, yeast, sugar, salt. Make a dip in middle and add milk, egg and butter.
Mix and then use your hands to make a dough.
Knead on a floured surface until smooth, place in greased
bowl, cover with cling film and allow to rise for 1 hour.
Grease a baking tin. Knock the air out of the dough and roll
out to 20x30cm. Spread over the butter, dried fruit and mixed spice.
Roll from longest edge (like Swiss Roll) and slice into 9 portions.
Arrange in tin, cover with clean, damp tea towel and leave for 30 mins. Pre-heat oven to 200.  Once risen again, bake for 10 mins.
Reduce heat to 180 and bake for a further 10 mins.
Remove from oven, brush over glaze. Leave in tin to cool.

And here is the printable recipe.
I'm also getting around to reinstating all the recipe links
that the new Blogger removed.  Grhhh!
For the moment I've managed to access 
the old template so things are behaving.


Transformations are still happening in my tiddly garden.
I've got a couple of before and after pictures to share.
Elliott and I were walking Bella and espied this garden seat that someone
was throwing away, he was delighted to carry it home for me and even more
thrilled when I told him what I had planned for it...

Two cans of garden paint spray later...

I'm calling it subtle pink but I've been told it is VERY PINK!
I love it.

And here is my tree, I've never owned a tree before and I'm ridiculously attached to it.
It is 2 year old cooking apple tree - Arthur Turner variety, so of course 
I'm calling it 'Arthur'!  
It is self-fertile so I may get fruit one day - all this new stuff I'm learning about.
Some small leaves went a little yellow this week,
panic stations!!  
Turns out I may have watered him a little too much so he's on a dry diet 
at the moment.

And here's part of the garden 14 months ago.

Taken yesterday...

All the new plants from the Secret Gardening Club are now in,
not sure if I'm going to like every one, next year should prove interesting.

Aside from Arthur my tree I've realised my love is definitely Clematis,
I've spent time learning about their groups, pruning and varieties.
Delighted to know you can grow them in among other plants so 
another project on the horizon.

And instead of Bella this week, I give you Lily who is my seedling monitor.
She's a funny little thing, smallest cat we've ever owned but the loudest.
Also a massive hunter - no chance of us ever having mice with her around.


Two projects finished.
This striped blanket using the Hydrangea pattern from Attic 24 and
Deramores Studio DK is being shipped off to Bristol.
It's an order placed for a Christmas gift.

Also going to Bristol is this smaller blanket made entirely from leftover yarn.
A gift for a very pampered pussy cat.
My instructions were 'any pattern you like' so I went with a real mix 
of stitches and I loved doing it.  
The granny squares in the middle were guesswork, if I do it again I may
do the maths correctly - I'll have to use my toes as well as my fingers! 
(Pink chair is coming in handy for displaying blankets).

I've updated my Yarn page at the top of my blog for more links and details.
At the moment I still have just one blanket for sale, hope to have more soon -
gardening is curtailing crochet a little! 


Last week pesky Blogger deleted one of my recommendations so 
I'm posting it again.  
Our Yorkshire Farm on Channel 5.
Amanda and Clive Owen, Hill Shepherds who live on one of the most remote 
farms in Britain and an insight into their lives raising 9 children,
1,000 sheep, 40 cows, 6 dogs and 4 ponies.

It is totally feel-good, I admit I have split moments where I think
how wonderful to live their lives but goodness what hard work.
2,000 acres in severe weather conditions...
I struggle to nip out an get the milk in on a cold morning! 

And because I've been seeking out all things gardening...
Gardening Together with Diarmuid Gavin on BBC iPlayer.

Diarmuid encourages us to get gardening and offers advice and tips.
It is worth watching the first episode just to be in awe of his house/garden transformation.

And that's been my week so far.  
Let me know how your week has been going.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend, I have no major plans and that
feels just right.
Take care friends, continue to be safe and careful.

Sunday 2 August 2020

Charity Kit Day - August 2020

Hello friends

STOP PRESS: Apologies to those who tried to purchase earlier,
the PayPal button has now been fixed. 

It's Charity Kit Day!

As always, big thanks for your support and please 

feel free to share kit details with everyone.

Each month a donation is made to a different charity,
and this month we are supporting The Lullaby Trust,
a charity that raises awareness of sudden infant death
and offers support for bereaved families.

To keep track of charities there is a tab at the top of my blog 
here with lots more kit info.

And here is this month's kit:
A contemporary grey and white 'Happy Birthday' card
with a splash of colour, flowers and foliage. 
The flower and leaves can be coloured to your choice,
I went with pink as I like how it tones with the grey.

Included in your kit:

White 5 x 7 card base and envelope
Printed patterned paper x 2 - Happy Birthday and Dotty
Die cuts - Chevron Border x 1, Candlewick Rosebud x 4,
Leaves x 2, Rose Buds x 4
Full instructions
(Items you will need: adhesive, inks/pens, brad/pearls/gems).

The kits are packed in recyclable paper bags and sent in a 'do not bend' 
envelope so they arrive in pristine condition. 
To make up the kits you just need a basic craft kit, everything is pre-cut.

The kit cost is £5.50, that's the total payment -
inclusive of postage and packing.

Payment is via the PayPal link below.
If you wish to purchase but would prefer not to use PayPal, 
please email me:  
I'm happy to help with alternative payment arrangements.

Here's the link and it is possible to purchase multiple kits,
there's an option for that too.


If you would like to support the kits but do not need one right now,

there is a 'Ko-fi' button', at the top of the blog,
All donations enable me to purchase card blanks, envelopes, the paper bags,
sticky labels and more -
very grateful thanks to those of you who help through Ko-fi.

Thank you so much for your valuable continued support.
Take care friends, enjoy your Sunday.

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