Month: May 2015

Read 2015 – The Winners Curse by Marie Rutkoski


I think I read a review of this book but it also popped up on my recommended Amazon list so even though it’s another YA multi novel series, I bought it.

I read it on holiday and it was a perfect read for a trip. Easy to get into and the story moved along. I also found the world she’d created interesting, if perhaps a little Roman Empire-esque and I liked both main characters.

It would have been more perfect had it been a one novel story but I can’t find one of those in YA these days….. I will be getting the others though. in my opinion it was worth the read.

Bloom 2015 – Tulips and Viburnum


It was a joy to come home and find that I hadn’t missed all the tulips. And my other favourite was blooming away too. The Viburnum opulus. This fantastic shrub produces amazing tight lime green balls for flowers that quickly grow and turn brught white. I like both but the green younger ones set off wallflower and vibrant tulips so well so I harvested them while I could.


There are two tulips in this arrangement. Ballerina and I think Orange Emperor.

It’s great to be arranging once more.

Photo a Day – week ten


A couple of days left from our hols then back to routine….

This isn’t a great photo and it does look like there is a whole host of dead stuff on the beach but they are alive alive o’. Elephant seals! Amazing. This colony is supposed to be 7,500 strong on the coast near San Simeon. It was a truly wondeful half hour stood watching these amazing creatures.


Waiting at LAX for our flight.


Someone was all tuckered out after his stay at auntie B’s.


I didn’t totally miss these beauties. Queen of Night, Ballerina and Little Minuet.


Seedlings. These are radish, rocket and mizuna.


We brought him a little gift.


A pretty wall adorned with Ivy and Hawthorn


And there we go.

Photo a Day – week nine


Some more USA photos.

Love a streetcar almost as much as the cable cars.


View of Coit Tower from the high point of Lombard Street.


An escalator just for your trolley? In Target there is!


Big Sur.


Amazing sunset over the Pacific.


Another day another breakfast.


Cute squirrels on the boardwalk right on the cliff edge in the town of Cambria.


Almost the end of our trip……


And more adventures stateside

I intend to do a couple of bigger blog posts (as well as the final week of photo a day while we were in California) to document things being crossed off my list like visit Monument Valley and go on another US road trip and see the big crater in Arizona, but for now here are a few other gems from this amazing trip.

Seeing the Sonics at the Filmore.

I admit that I hadn’t heard of either (I know!) but it was worth the trip to see the historic venue and listen to the band. (My phone camera didn’t hold up well however, this was the best it could do!)


And on the other end of the cultural spectrum, the following evening we went to the ballet! We saw Romeo and Juliet at the Opera House in San Fran and it was pretty amazing.


We panned for gold at the Oakland Museum of California.


And we rode bikes…… Yes that’s me, on a bike!


Oh! Cable cars we love you so.


Fabric, fabric, fabric……


In all the time I have been coming to the US this was the first year I set foot in a Jo-Ann’s. And all I have to say is wow! Why don’t we have this in the UK?


Every aisle off to the left of this picture had fabric in it. I mean every sort of material you could name was right here in this shop. Amazing.


I guess we are not makers as much in England as they are here? I gathered a few rolls together to see what they’d look like and I went for a totally different colour scheme than is my usual go to. I may have gone a little crazy….

There it all is in my basket. And you can just see a little doggie print right at the bottom of the pile. I couldn’t that one for a certain pooch.


Can’t wait to get cutting that fabric for a new quilt and to make Bud a new throw too. Woot!

Photo a Day – week eight


Fun is here…

Monument Valley landscape with moody clouds. Love how the sky picks up the red of the earth.


At Glen Canyon dam.


A restored neon sign on the strip in downtown Las Vegas. This originally adorned the Silver Slipper casino.


Well not sure it’s fabulous but it is a sight to behold.


Love the Coldstone Creamery.


We also love lunch. That toasted sandwich was amazing. Artichoke, courgette, spinach and pesto. Mmm..


And me again. This time at A T and T baseball park to watch the SF Giants. We found these two and had to get a photo to add to my collection.


And there was week two of this epic trip.

Adventures in American breakfasts

From my first authentic bagel and a schmeer in New York I have been in love with breakfast here in the US. Actually I am in love with breakfast anywhere but they do it on a grand scale over this side of the pond.

Gav is an eggs and home fries kinda guy, me pancakes almost all the way. I thought it would be fun to share what exuberant calories we have been partaking of as our start to the day.



The Pasadena hotel had this amazing invention…..


One push of the button and a pancake popped out. Awesome!

Ooo look a variation. French toast.



And then this wonderful machine.


Which made perfect waffles!


These pancakes were a step too far for me. I saw them on the menu and couldn’t resist. Milk chocolate pancakes…… You’ll be shocked to hear I didn’t manage to eat all of these and Gav didn’t finish his blueberry ones either. Vegas got the best of us.


Maybe tomorrow we’ll just have cereal?

Photo a Day – week seven


Some holiday fun this week but first one of the garden early in the morning.


Los Angeles sunset from the plane window.


Our second viewing of this baby, the Shuttle, Endeavour. Last time it was on the back of a 747 flying past us when we visited in 2012.


The cutest funicular railway in downtown LA. Pity it hasn’t run for a few years.


One of many amazing views at The Huntington. It is one of the gardens in the book that’s on my list so it counts towards my 100.


We have waited almost two years to try these again. Yep, it was worth the wait.


Something else to cross off my list. This is the meteor crater in Arizona.


Well including the flight over here we have racked up a few thousand miles this week and have had a great time so far.

Sending hugs and love to all back home and big hellos to anyone reading today.