Friday, January 30, 2009

Quilt Fever

Having being consumed the last two months by quilt fever, I am now ready to put my three layers together to start my favourite bit which is the actual quilting . This should take me the next few months as I have a Grand Plan to try and make templates from real leaves to include on my borders and quilt these with Autumn colours with embroidery silks. I collected and pressed Autumn leaves last year so that I would get the colours right. So far, so good.

Reclaiming the land

Our stockpile of Christmas movies is finally running down and our next delivery hasn't arrived yet, so we decided that we really should come out of our hibernation and go down to the plot, check things over and pull our fingers out. So, armed with our trusty thermos, we psyched ourselves up and went off last Sunday to see what was what. When we arrived, we bumped into Barry who thought we had joined the Foreign Legion and would never been seen again. We opened the door of our home from home shed, took stock of what needed doing, armed ourselves with a fork and a spade and got dug in. In an hour and half we had dismantled all our cages and netting, dug over all the beds generally tidied up and was just left with the raspberries to cut down to ground level and harvest whats left of the parsnips. leeks, winter spinach, swedes and cabbages. Boy did we feel good! It was great being in the fresh air again and listening to the birds and having that wonderful freedom. Feeling smug, we returned home to await our postie, Phil, struggling down he path with our next fix of Christmas movies now we can resume hibernation until March with a clear conscience that we have done our bit, for now. Anyway, the weather man says we're going to have snow on Monday.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Mi Casa, Su Casa

This week, Molly has shown Henry how to play 'paper'. We have this game whereby we make a tent out of a sheet of newspaper and then either pull a ribbon through it, or poke a feather through holes we have made in it. Molly loves this, she goes mad hiding in the paper and tearing it up. Henry watched this performance and made a half hearted attempt to jump on the paper. The next day, however, he had got the idea ( he must have been practising) and was as enthusiastic as Molly. He has also taken over one of her favourite toys which he rolls on and makes a fuss of. Now Molly has decided that the idea of my house is your house, maybe not that good so she is trying to discourage him from playing with her stuff by tapping him on the head from the safety of the top of her scratching post. Henry, of course, has no idea that he is outstaying his welcome and carries on washing himself and generally not taking much notice.We bumped into our neighbour who told us that, yesterday, Molly went on an extended visit to her house to see Pussy'Little Mama' Willow as she has always looked after her when she needs comforting while Henry, slept on in ours.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Can I Play?

Molly's friends have been around a lot this week, so much in fact that the kitchen reminded me of being on a carousel, with them playing pee po through the cat flap and then running out to the pear tree and back. What great fun they have had, and then treaties thrown in by me 'local sucker' (my nick name). I decided that they should all have nick names as members of a real gang do. So we have 'Indiana' Henry, Ferret 'Jones' (his brother), 'Black Tail' Toby, Wil 'Scarlett', Pussy 'Little Mama' Willow and of course, the Leader 'Totem Pole' Molly, as shown in her latest photo call. We are getting to know their characters a bit better each day. Henry is definitely laid back as you can see, when he pinched my hottie bottle for an afternoon siesta. Ferret is really really shy, Toby is full of fun and always looking for a morsel or two or three, Wil is careful, he likes to know what is on the other side of every cat flap before he leaps. Pussy Willow is bossy but gentle and can keep them in check at the drop of a hat. Molly is boisterous, fast, sweet and full of everything but mostly loves cat company and keeps bringing everybody and everything she finds home. The best thing is that they all seem to share and get along together very well and individually all love a bit of fuss from us when they think no one is looking, in case it spoils their image.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Surprise, Surprise!

I had a treat last night, the phone rang and Bri called me to find Ann from County Cork on the other end. What a lovely surprise it was to hear from my quilting friend, the one I met at the Quilt Fair two years ago and again last year. She was passing Birmingham but unfortunately she couldn't stop for a cuppa because she had to catch a 'plane home, maybe next time. It was a real pick-me-up on a gloomy winter's evening. The Internet has turned out for me to be a lovely way to keep in touch with friends from far off places, and to make them feel like next door neighbours. I hope Ann and I will see each other from time to time at the quilt fairs but, if not, we can still send photos and news at the click of a mouse button.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Thrill of it All

Well, after waiting months and months, we finally dug up our parsnips this week when we visited the plot. How wonderful to take them home along with our own onions and celeriac and make them into velvety and very tasty soup. We aren't ones for white soup usually, but the thrill of growing and cooking your own produce made it the best soup ever. We still have more to come so next up will be roasted maple flavoured parsnips, remoulade with the celeriac and french onion soup with french bread and cheese melted on top.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Oh baby, you know what I like!!

Last night the Garrick Theatre, Lichfield played host to the rockingest show around. Rockin' on Heaven's Door, as the name implies, features artists who are no longer with us such as the Big Bopper, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Eddie Cochran and, of course, the King. The only living rock 'n' roll icon in the show is the Killer himself Jerry Lee Lewis who opened the show.
He got us off to a rocking good start which included a piano in flames, before introducing the Big Bopper who gave us his only hit Chantilly Lace. He then acted as MC and told us that unfortunatlet Eddie Cochran was unable to appear. Shame!Next up was Buddy Holly. He really looked the part being long and tall with the heavy framed glasses etc. After his set came the Big O, Roy Orbison. I must admit, I was apprehensive that anyone would be able to replicate the unique sound of Roy but I needn't have worried. He took to the stage dressed all in black and sporting the dark shades, and with the minimum of effort , as per the Big O himself, proceeded to give us some of those great soaring ballads.
The second half opened with the King himself. We were disappointed that he concentrated on the Vegas years as we would have preferred to have had the old fifties hits. He wasn't the best Elvis we have seen, that honour going to Kevin Paul, who lives the part of the King. However, he made a good stab at it and some of the songs he did were pretty good. For the finale, the whole cast were on stage rockin and rollin and had the audience on their feet singing along to Johnny B Goode. All in all it was fun night out which kept moving along at a frantic pace.
For those of you who are wondering, Yvonne managed to stay in her seat for the whole show. but we did have a job stopping Terry singing 'Cwying' along with Roy Orbison as per the classic Del Boy sketch

Saturday, January 10, 2009

An Afternoon Affair

"The weather outside is frightful
but the fire is so delightful",

as Dino sang. I have been trying very hard to feel guilty for what we have been doing in the afternoons for the last few weeks, but I can't. Instead, I feel warm, happy and romantic living in the lovely world of Christmas snow with log fires, goodwill and the small town life of close knit communities. The kind of places we used to have, but have now passed into nostalgia.
Just what have we been doing every afternoon at 3.15 on the dot, after Molly has come in (her Winter curfew)? We light the cinnamon candles, make the tea, slice the stollen, sit by the fire and overindulge in romance in the form of Christmas movies with snow, eggnog, cookies and all the things that make up the truly wonderful Christmas that dreams are made of. The romance that can only happen at this special time of year when the frost is on the ground and you crave the warmth of your fireplace with that special someone.
For us, these afternoons have almost become an addiction, but I'm sure that when our 'flu has gone, and the sun arrives, the plot will have the same obsession it has always had, meanwhile we are enjoying the naughty but nice ninety minutes a day.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Raiders of the Lost Fridge

Boy, oh Boy! I wouldn't want to be in Indiana Henry and Ferret Jones's paws this weekend when their Mom and Dad get home. As you know, we feed them during the week while their guardians work. We feed them well I might add, but obviously with the very cold weather not enough (yes I'm making excuses for them). Well, how are they supposed to know that the fridge is off limits and not up for a midnight raid? They stole the bacon and ate it,... all of it. Hell, we were so worried about them being sick, but we checked on them all day and night and they were just fine. I can't vouch that the cat burglars won't be in big trouble though when the jury gets home.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A New Year Treat

Off we went on a cold and frosty afternoon into the beautiful Winter sunset to Kenilworth. (We know our way there) You know, to the place that grows the most amazingly large vegetables and where the ducks come to. Angie was cooking us her courgette soup which she had invented during the glut last Summer. It does have other veggies added, and it tastes just wonderful. She also cooked us a lovely main course, followed by two kinds of homemade cheesecake, a white chocolate one and a lemon one freshly baked by herself. All presented in spectacular fashion. What a treat! Angie is turning out to be a great cook as well as following her Mother as a great gardener. Her Dad, is just a great eater and designer. I wonder if she'll follow him too? Hopefully she will share her soup recipe with us on the blog. Thanks Angie, for a lovely meal.

P.S and thereby hangs a tail

Being a cat person curiosity finally got the better of me today and I buzzed that buzzer. A lady answered and she confirmed that it was her cat and I explained how Molly plays and then brings him home every day at mealtimes and could she pleeeease tell me what is his name? It's Toby, she said and I don't mind you feeding him at all. So we were right , it was a female owner and she is out all day and he is a boy . Mystery finally solved. However, after all that investigation ,he doesn't answer to Toby any more than he answered to Tailor.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Mystery Almost Solved

At last, I can rest easy in my bed because this morning, I found Molly's friend, Tailor's home. There he/she was large as life sitting on a windowsill two floors up in the suspected block of flats. At least now, when he goes missing at night and at weekends I know he is being cared for. All I have to do now is ring the buzzer downstairs in the said block and ask for his/her real name, which probably bears no relationship to his tail. Mission almost accomplished.