Sunday, 12 July 2020

Meals from Nothing and a Mantlepiece Beauty

Although I have lots of food at the Van I'm not wasting anything or going berserk eating everything.  I am being my usual sensible self and wasting nothing.  With just a little bit of hummus left in the tub ..  nowhere near enough to warrant opening a box of crackers ... I decided to turn it into the basis of a simple pasta sauce.

With just one onion, five cherry tomatoes and the spoonful of hummus I had a nice sauce going, but I decided a smidge of green would be healthier and more pleasing on the eye.  It was going to be frozen peas then I spotted the full bag of Spinach pellets.  

Can you imagine how much spinach it must take to make a kilo bag of spinach ... the mind boggles ๐Ÿ˜†

Anyway it turned into a tasty little meal with a sprinkle of mozzarella style cheese as a garnish.  And as always I had cooked far too much pasta, so that is in the fridge and will make a nice pasta salad tomorrow with the last of the cherry tomatoes, some more onion and a stick of finely chopped celery.

I got some lovely post the other day, a little bit of the most beautiful mantlepiece clutter.  

A lovely card from my son Simon and a selection of photos of my gorgeous granddaughter Amira ... I also have three very handsome grandsons and a great grandson who is almost a year older than Amira.  She's such a little beauty and the apple of her Dad's eye.

Sue xx

Saturday, 11 July 2020

Grey Weather

It's been mostly grey weather since I arrived here at the caravan park last weekend.

What should be fresh early Summer weather has instead felt like Autumn September days.  The skies, apart from the few hours of sunshine on Monday when I gardened like mad to make the most of it, have been grey and overcast and the nights wild, cold and wet.

The  river has been high and fast flowing, and watching it rush past so quickly can make you start to feel dizzy.  But I do love being on the riverbank in the mornings.  

Seeing how the rain of the previous night has made the level rise or fall, listening to the water and breathing in the damp freshness of the riverbank itself and then the salty, sandy smell of the little pebbly beach that we have half way along the river behind the grassy banks.

It's a good way to start the day, especially with an appreciative Pug at my feet.

There's more colour in the fridge than outside at the moment.  

This little shelf with the mixed aroma of Spring Onions, Easy Peelers and the salad in the salad drawer makes the fridge seem a happier and far more Summery place than the one outside the Van door.

Sue xx

Thursday, 9 July 2020

The Books at the Van

I obviously haven't got all my books here at the Van as they are needed at home in Wales to make the bookshelves look appealing for house viewings.

But bit by bit over the course of the next few months I will bring dribs and drabs of them here to the Van.  Better for them to be here nearer to where I will eventually be living and where I can read them than back there on the shelves.

Someone asked me about the ones I have here after seeing the small stack on yesterdays post.  So I went round photographing all my Van books this morning ... and here they are.

The top photo is the little shelves in the kitchen, such an annoying size as even my Miguel Barclay books can't quite stand up on them  ๐Ÿ™

The rest of the shelves hold the things that are in daily use.  

I really don't like open shelves like these at the end of a run of kitchen units.  They just end up looking messy no matter what you do, how much better and more useful this would have been if it was another little cupboard.

Obviously there are the ones you saw yesterday on the mantlepiece, this photo is the one from yesterdays post.

There are just two by my bedside at the moment.  I picked these up from a charity shop back in March for just 50p each.  You can't say no for that price can you.  They are both waiting to be read when the mood takes me.

Also in the bedroom are these on the chest of drawers at the end of the bed, neatly organised in their little crate bookshelves.

These are currently in the little spare room waiting to be housed where I do not know. 

 I need some proper shelves, ones that will take an upright book.  But I think I'll just wait until I can buy my new little house and then find them all a good permanent home on some shelves in the kitchen.  There's no rush I can add to this line on the spare bed over the course of the next few months.

Oh, and there's this one that was lying behind the computer, the one I'm currently reading.  There are some good recipes in here and a few good ideas.

So that's it all the books that are here at the Van at the moment.  I'm trying not to buy too many books at the moment after having such a good sort at home ready for moving.  Although saying that, I have the new Deliciously Ella book waiting to be picked up from Waterstones in Llandudno and the new Happy Pear vegan cookbook on it's way from Amazon ... I just can't stop can I !!

My name is Sue and I am ... and always will be ... a bookaholic ๐Ÿคฃ

Sue xx

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Mixing Things Up, Sorting Things Out

Once I get things looking nice, I tend to keep them just the same.  

I'm not one for shifting furniture and changing things for changings sake ... I used to be, much to my first husbands amusement (or maybe horror), he never knew where the wardrobe would be to hang his clothes after a hard day at work.

Here at the Van this goes for the mantlepiece too, save for the odd bunch of fresh flowers or new scented candle to burn atmospherically late in the evenings, once it is as I like it it usually stays pretty much the same.

I don't like clutter, but I do like 'pretties' if they are also useful, and nicely arranged pretty things are pleasing to the eye and relaxing.  Although, while the mantlepiece was completely clear and drying after a quick wipe down I did briefly appreciate the blank sparseness of the space I had temporarily created.

Last November the mantlepiece looked like this.   Fresh Aldi Daisies in the jug, a few candles burning and the obligatory dozing Pug in front of the glowing fire.  I hasten to add I wasn't cooking Suky I was merely enjoying the flickering light of the false flames.

A quick change around yesterday saw some things go and some being slightly repositioned. 

 The wooden boxes stay, the  larger bottom one contains my nightlights, candles and the matches to light them.  The smaller top one is an antique moneybox, and each time I lift the lid to put in or take out some coins I think of some unknown child in the past, pushing their spending money pennies into it, just as I did with my little metal version as I saved for holidays to this very caravan park many, many years ago.

The new candle jar waits for a fresh Summer evening when it's orange blossom scent will fill the Van, and the Kilner jar holds a tangle of battery operated fairy lights that add to the prettiness when the candles flicker.

For Sue

That the books are predominately white or cream started as a pleasant accident as I tried to make room for some cook books on the kitchen shelves and were added to by one from the bedroom to make the stack an eye pleasing height.

I'm happy with it for now and once I get back to the shops a small bunch of Spring-like flowers will be purchased for the jug, until then the fake Lavender moves from bedroom to living room as and when I feel the urge for floral decoration.

The plants will gradually make their way here from Wales as I go home to chicken-sit when Alan works away, but for now I am relieved of watering duties.

Of course the Pug comes and goes as she pleases, and this little puppy bed of hers has always been a favourite.  A hug for a Pug from the furry liner that snuggles against her as she dreams her days and evenings away.

It's a lazy snuggly life here at the van at the moment, not much to do, but lots of time to do it.

Sue xx

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Claiming Back the Garden

I worked hard yesterday morning claiming back the garden.

When I left the Van back in March at the start of lockdown and the day the Park closed for the duration, the tulips were just starting to push through the soil in the corner flower beds and in the little tin bath.  The Tete a Tete daffodils that filled the planters with their bright yellow faces were a joy to see, and the little Primulas were a mass of prolific colour in the pot on the decking.

When I got back here on Saturday there was no sign of any of them ... I didn't expect there to be.  

The planters and garden have all lived through almost two months with no watering through a mini heatwave, followed by torrential rains and a complete change of season.  The Hydrangea by the decking gate had withered away although it has somehow survived and is now coming back to life after a few days of rain.  The planters at the front of the Van have struggled, but although there is no sign of the pansies or primulas that surrounded them, the main little fir tree and the Cordylines are still okay and after a tidy up all three are looking good.

The grass looks as though it has been strimmed at least once in our absence.   Russ, the park jack-of-all-trades and handyman extraordinaire is a good friend to us both, and it looks as though he has nipped through to tame what should have been (looking at some other little gardens on the park) a rampant little hay field.

But the grass was long, and although I could ignore the buzz of lawnmowers and strimmers all weekend, when Monday morning came and was bright, dry and sunny after a night of heavy rain, I decided that I just had to get stuck it.

Three hours of hard work later, the grass was cut, the flower beds were weeded and the big Lemon Balm that dominated the front section was moved from the front to underneath the Buddleia in the back section of the two tiered corner.

Bird bowls and garden ornaments were washed and re-positioned,  the paths, the paving stones under the bench and the steps down from the decking into the garden were all washed with bleachy, soapy water and left to dry in the sun.  And I took a step back to admire what my aching back had achieved.

It looks better, much better and even now after just one night of light rain the grass is starting to regain a touch of green.

This morning was wash morning and I really do need to get back in the swing of hand washing and remember to wash out the sink before I fill it with soapy water.  It's taken quite a few rinses to get the Weetabix out of my knickers  ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

Sue xx

Monday, 6 July 2020


There are really not many words needed

This just says it all

In a pretty exciting way

But I've never been on a rollercoaster that wasn't just life

Have you?


Sunday, 5 July 2020

A Good Day

Simplicity and sunshine

Fresh starts and hope

With a hug from a Pug

I'm having a good day.


Saturday, 4 July 2020

Start Where We Are


Lets start where we are

Because it's time to change the ending


Thursday, 2 July 2020


It says it all

... but I would just add


 sit right on the edge of a rock that you don't know if you can get up from ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

Sue xx