Month: October 2016

The breakfast love affair continues – Chocolate Pancakes


Indulgence at its best. My niece was round for a sleepover and I wanted to make pancakes for our breakfast but she isn’t a big blueberry fan (crazy I know.) I was trying to think of an alternative that she would like and of course chocolate was going to be a winner.

I used my usual pancake recipe and threw in the chopped choc before cooking. I’d found a bar of white, dark and milk chocolate mixed in together and this combination looked pretty and gave a balance of chocolate-ness.


My niece and I had ours topped with banana and I have to admit it was a perfect addition. Apart from the fact that banana and chocolate are a great partnership anyway, the fruit made you think you were being healthier than you were but it also worked as a balance for the heavier pancakes. All in all a breakfast success.

Bloom 2016 – late summer meets early autumn (and a vignette series)


I am absolutely of the opinion that this arrangement does not work but I loved it anyway. These were some stems I had left over from a big arrangement and they couldn’t be wasted so were popped into this lovely earthenware vase.

The phrase ‘vignette’ seems to have been cropping up everywhere internet lately. In fact I was unaware of its meaning in this sense until I read Emily Henderson’s blog post. I always thought they were just arrangements of stuff, but what do I know.

I thought I’d try my hand at this little style cluster with my vase of mismatched flowers…. See what you think.







I think I liked the first one with the black vase best. Not quite in Emily’s league (I think she’d say there wasn’t enough shape variation!) but fun all the same and good to mix things up a little.



Photo a Day – week thirty one


And here are another two weeks!

I seem to be drawn to fungi this autumn. There is a lot of it about.


And leaves. Always leaves.


I wonder what he’s trying to say?


See what I mean…… This whopper was nestling in the grass and must have been at least 15cms in diameter.


A collection of flowers gathered.


And a naughty treat. Loved the way the colours in the packet mirrored the colours of the leaves.


My niece at the garden centre taking a photo of the mist on the moors.


Getting up to date with this past week. We continue with a nature theme starting us off is a juvenile shield bug.


A most amazing Dahlia that I forgot to plant in the spring. Gav found the tuber abandoned in the garage (oops!) So after planting in a pot I kept it in the greenhouse. This is a variety called Labyrinth and is so pretty.


This may just look like a teasel seed head and it is, but clever old plant – the seeds have germinated and those green bits are the seed leaves. There’s no wonder it pops up everywhere if it germinates that easily!


The glorious colour of a Hamamelis leaf.


Our wonderful Christmas tree sat waiting as it has these last few years for December roll around. Nestled on a branch I spotted this delicate feather. The green and grey looked good together.


A snapshot of the garden as it is a the moment complete with camera shy Bud.


And finally an autumnal flat lay. You have to put all those conkers to use somewhere right?


And there we go again.


Bloom 2016 – A little late, late splash of colour


I had hopes of harvesting more these last couple of months but sometimes things don’t quite work out. September zoomed by then we were away and here we are almost at the end of October! I’m disappointed at my flower arrangements this year but not too much. After 20 years of growing flowers and vegetables I know that these things happen you have to let it go and look forward to next season.

That said I did harvest a few stems last week and have a couple more vase fulls to share yet. This one was filled with the greenhouse grown Zinnias and the tougher Antirrhinums and Salvias that have done well outside as usual. I added one or two clematis trailing stems in as well. A sweet vase for this Tuesday.

52 Stories – number thirty eight – Going to the game in SF


We’ve had a little seasonal break in these posts but hopefully I’m back to sharing weekly now!

Going to the Game in SF


Here’s the story –

It wasn’t like we hadn’t ridden the CAL train before but still it was a little nerve wracking parking then buying the tickets and waiting with all the other orange and black clad fans to board the train. It was fine though and we made it in plenty of time. I love to see all the fans. A glimpse of how those over the pond live a little of their day to day, you know just regular old life…HA! We saw one of the ex-players get their ring, Tina Sinatra throw the first pitch, greasy fries and pizza. All in all it was a great night apart from one small problem…. we lost.

The takeaways from this page/would I add anything more?

I like this story. It does capture an overview of our experience that evening and that is what I was aiming for. I think that maybe it’s beacuse I’ve had this gap in between sharing these stories but I feel like I am more naturally the literal story teller opposed to telling those stories that are not so obvious. I am quite happy doing the literal thing but need to remind myself to watch for the other kind because they can be gems.

Anyway happy with this one and onwards.


52 stories is a series (or adventure) in my story telling. Can I get the whole story onto a layout? Am I telling the stories I want to tell? Read the inspiration post here.


Read – Brazen by Katherine Longshore


This was a good holiday read. YA and set at the time of King Henry VIII. It was  recommended over here. (I really like Jamie’s blog even though she is twenty years younger than me!)

I don’t often pick up historical YA – or historical anything actually, I’m never sure about the mix of fact and fiction, so this was something new for me.

The book takes place during Ann Boleyns time as Queen in the court of Henry and is told from the perspective of a young courtier who has been married off, at the age of fourteen,  to Henry’s illegitimate son. It was enjoyable and interesting and made me do some research about the period and people so that alone has to make it a success. The author just about manages to keep it a romance while dealing with the facts of that time.

I did enjoy it but don’t think I’ll read any other historical YA. Having said that though it may have tempted me to pick up Hilary Mantel’s final installment of novels set in the same time period. Gav and I watched the BBC dramatisation of her previous books, Wolf Hall.  Although, like I said,  I’m never sure about mixing fact and fiction this series was excellent and I wonder what Hilary will do with the last one.




Photo a Day – week twenty nine and thirty


Another week of Portugal to catch up on then its back home.

The villa we stayed at on this trip is on a golf complex. They have a lot of these on the Algarve. We like to watch golf so this is perfect for us and it was interesting to wander past the practicing. And I really had to stop myself hopping into those cute little buggies…..


Out for lunch.


I took the laptop so I could work on a photobook I’ve been building up for a couple of years now. Also love this shot for the iced lemon water herb tea combo.


We went out for the afternoon and saw a Roman bridge in the town of Silves.


And had another visit to the golf club bar which overlooks the course.


I have long been a fan of silhouette photos. I think I first saw Becky Higgins do them. She even has an instagram hastag! Gav and I had been to see the sunset at the St Vincent lighthouse and as we walked back to the car there was the perfect spot to try and get one of these photos. I think for a first attempt this was pretty good. Go Gav!


And this had to be documented. Washers and dryers outside! Oh for that sort of weather.


And then home again and this sweet boy.


Can’t resist picking these up.


I know this generation are attached to their phones so this kind of documenting is inevitable but I like to think she does it a little bit because of me!


Not quite in focus but loved this macro show of a home-grown Zinnia.


I didn’t realise the colours of the Zinnia match the colours of the tomatoes till I put them side by side here. These are some homegrown ones too. We didn’t think any would ripen because of the blight the plants developed but I was happy to harvest a bowlful.


A selfie from a different angle and showing off that wonderful Dahlia flower.


Family over to celebrate two birthdays. Here are three of my sister four children. Love them so.


Okay so that was that.





Around here and a sunset


I thought I’d just pop in and say hello.


I have been absent from this space for a week or so and I was thinking how to delve back into the blogging thing….

What better way than with a few words about what my brain is up to and a new favourite photo.

Pondering the Tulip order. I say this every year but next year will be the year for Tulips in our garden.

Waiting for the new season of Elementary. Actually I’m waiting for the new season of Elementary, Big Bang Theory, NCIS LA…. well several of my guilty pleasures in the t.v department.

Planning to do lots of sewing in an attempt to finish three quilting projects.

Catching up on scrapbooking. Or at least thinking about it.

Buying new jeans! This is big, huge. I hate that first few weeks getting to know a new pair. I like my old comfy worn in pair. However, I have bought some new and need to get wearing them.

Thinking about the changing of the seasons. That switch from light nights, garden photography, spending time outside to cosy evenings, winter crafting projects, no photography!

Hoping to be inspired and get back on the blog highway soon.