Thursday 31 August 2023

The Last Sunrise of August


Sunrise on the last day of August just outside out little town.

Taken by a local photographer Keith Sergeant.

Sue xx

Wednesday 30 August 2023

Saying Goodbye to August


August has whizzed by.  

With much cooler days the tomatoes have taken an age to ripen, and some just haven't.  The garden is slightly going over with the only flowers left being the beautiful white Cosmos 'Purity'.  Each day I tidy a bit more and add to the contents of the compost bin.

As the nights draw in the animals are sleeping indoors more, no basking in the late evening sun on the patio as they did earlier in the year.  They claim their spots and then switch around when the mood takes them.  The other persons bed is always comfier it would seem.

In the bed by my chair Mavis is usually well placed to see if I'm consuming any tasty treats, although there's not so many these days with my rationing challenge going so well, I'm never hungry enough to need nibbles in the evening.

Suky has eyes like little radars always on the lookout for what's going on.  It's important to look and sniff when you can't hear.

One burst of real colour left in the garden is the weed by my living room doors.  

It's flowered since Spring and is a firm favourite with bees.  So much so that I have been saving seeds from it and I will surreptitiously scatter them in the hedgerows along the canal when I walk there next Spring.

It's been a strange Summer, with the heat of June dissipating almost as quickly as it came and then the much cooler August seeing the season out not so much in style, as in the need for woolly jumpers before they are even unpacked and the Summer clothes put away.

What will September hold ... that's anyone's guess!!

Sue xx

Sunday 27 August 2023

Making the Best of Typical Bank Holiday Weather


It's been a busy couple of days, so we decided to make the most of the sunshine that we woke up to yesterday.  

The forecast hadn't been brilliant for the weekend, so the minute I saw sunshine when I opened my eyes, I got up and loaded the washing machine and then managed to get it out on the washing line before we set off to Morecambe and a couple of hours at the seaside.

We walked along the prom and then sat at the far end admiring the view.

The dogs appreciate the rest as much as I do and they are brilliant people watchers. They met a lovely little dog called Rita who was celebrating her first birthday with a Puppicino ... a doggy drink from the café.

And after admiring the views for a few more minutes and seeing the clouds rolling in ...

... Mavis reminded us that part of the purpose of the outing was to get Mum a coffee and Dad a bacon butty.  So we wandered back along the prom to the Clock Tower Café.

We had a coffee each and Alan got his bacon bun, and of course the dogs got a little bit each too.  After a good half an hour of watching the world and his dog go by we carried on walking.  I had spotted a large Animal Rescue charity shop as we drove away from the prom on our last visit so I told Alan I would nip across the road for a quick look while he walked the dogs up to the grassy area for a while.

For less than the cost of Alan's bacon butty I managed to get a t-shirt, 2 books and the cutest little Dunn Bennet & Co. Burslem cup.  I've just looked up the cup online and it's mark dates it to anytime between 1937-1968.  There's a similar much less decorative one for sale on Ebay for £12.99 , so I think I've nabbed myself a bargain.

And of course I still have all these things ... Alan's bacon bun is long gone.

A successful day and one that I ended by binge watching the entire series of The 1940's House.  What a relaxing day.

This morning it's wet and quite chilly, so after breakfast I decided to mend the handle of my kettle with a bit of superglue.  Only Alan's superglue was all stuck up, and when I tried to force the lid open it all spurted out all over my fingers.  I managed to get the kettle fixed ... and now I can have a relaxing day picking bits of dried up superglue off my fingers.  😏

How are you spending your weekend?

Sue xx

Thursday 24 August 2023

For Lesley ... Pugs Might Fly


Are these the 'things' that you were asking about Lesley?

I hope they are.

They are my 'Pugs Might Fly' bought by Alan as a Christmas present for me during our first few months in Wales way back in 2013.  They were white at first and once we had redecorated the wall around the fireplace there they did stand out a bit better, but I decided to paint them this subtle shade of  fawn when I moved here and I knew I wanted a white wall.

Just three little plaster Pugs flying in the manner of the old Flying Ducks from the 1930s.

Made even more famous on Coronation Street in Hilda Ogden's house.

Sue xx

Wednesday 23 August 2023

Waiting for Dad


Alan was away down South for a few days for work at the start of the week and as usual Mavis went periodically into a state of decline.  It's almost as though the food with Mum is good, the walks with Mum are good, the snoozing in the doggy bed right next to Mum's chair is bliss ...

... but every now and then she realises that Dad has gone.

And there's nothing for it but to sulk and stare into space, or in this case sit looking at the freezer door for over an hour.

Every single time he goes away it's like this, and gosh he's been doing it for all of her little life with us, she knows he always comes back but she does enjoy a good sulk.

I usually let her have her space for a while and then call her back to me Suky and Ginger in the living room end, and put something doggy related on the television for her.  She does like a good programme with dogs, cats or farmyard animals to watch.

She also loves watching Mr Hamster ... but the music drives me mad so she only gets small doses of that.

And yes, those are Gingers ears at the very bottom of the first photo.  😸

Sue xx

Monday 21 August 2023

By the Water ... and Home Fires


I had another lovely walk along the canal with the dogs this morning.

We go along the road and then come down the old stone steps at George's Triangle, a lovely little half-tended plot of wild and planted plants by the side of the stone bridge.  The bees were already out and about and buzzing around the flowers.

It looks a lovely raggle taggle mess, but the wildlife love it ... and the dogs always have a good sniff.

We enjoyed the walk along the canal back to the house as there were lots of different narrowboats moored along the towpath this morning and it's always nice to see a few different ones.  I look at the boats, taking great care not to peer into the windows and the dogs sniff out the bushes and hedges that line the path and we all say hello to anyone we pass.

Back at home I've been watching this on DVD just recently, it's a really good series, well both series one and two are equally as good as each other.

It's keeping me on the straight and narrow for my rationing challenge.

It was only when I got to the end of series two that I remembered how they left it all up in the air ready for another series ... and then never came back with one.  What a shame.  The good things get cut off in their prime and the boring and obviously much cheaper to make programmes go on and on and on.

Time to dig out my DVD folder and find something else to sink my teeth into, or maybe I should pick up a book and read for a while instead.

Sue xx

Saturday 19 August 2023

What Are You Up To?


This weekend I will be reading my book while we wait for the delivery of the furniture that we chose from the British Heart Foundation shop in Llandudno last week.

It will be nice to have the television sat on a piece of furniture instead of our plastic box.  

And it will be even better to sit on a sofa instead of the garden chairs we have been using.  Amazingly for just over £500 we managed to get ourselves a two seater sofa, a coffee table, two sets of bedside drawers and a brand new self assembly dining table and two chairs from the BHF shop ... and an oak television unit for just £30 from Facebook Marketplace which we will be picking up ourselves.

And it's also nice to help out a very deserving charity while furnishing our Welsh flat.

Alan will no doubt spend some of our waiting time cutting the grass again.  After just two cuts it's already looking a bit more like a lawn than a piece of waste ground.  The dogs love having grass of their own again.

And this photo of my plant has just reminded me that I need to go and water all the indoor plants before we go.  Why have I got a photo of this plant, I don't know, sometimes I just go around snapping away at things and it must have caught my eye for some reason as I stepped in the door. 😀

Hope you all have a great weekend ... what are you up too?

Sue xx

Thursday 17 August 2023

Wetting the Baby's Head


We walked the dogs along the canal last night on their favourite route, it leads to the pub ... a very dog friendly pub.  We had a mission to accomplish as well as having a dog walk and our tea there.

We had to wet the baby's head in good old fashioned style.

Welcome to the world little Finley-James Wright, 7lb 7oz of perfection who came into the world just after 10pm on Tuesday 15th August ... three weeks early.

He is our third Great-Grandchild, his older brother is five this year.

His Mum Ellie is still in hospital after an emergency caesarean, but both she and Finley-James are doing well now.

His Dad, Liam my grandson, is absolutely besotted with this beautiful bundle of joy.

Happy Families.

Sue xx

Tuesday 15 August 2023

Bringing Home the Rhubarb, Snaffling the Blueberries and Old Photos


We only planted this rhubarb plant in Spring of this year.  You're not really supposed to harvest from a newly transplanted bush, instead you leave all the goodness to go back into the roots ready for a bumper harvest the following year.

Our rhubarb has had other ideas, it was this big a couple of months ago and I carefully pulled out the largest of the stems and made some rhubarb crumble mixes for mine and Alan's freezers.  Over the last few weeks the plant has gone rampant ... there is no other word for it. 

The chippings disappeared under a blanket of huge leaves and the plants behind were invisible unless you peeled back a leaf and had a look..

So today I bit the bullet before the garden totally disappeared under a swath of huge leaves.  The dogs will be pleased to see their chipping area back, I can finally see my Fern and Rosemary plants again ... and the compost bin is full right to the top with all the leaves.

Meanwhile in the kitchen, the rhubarb stalks are all trimmed, soaked and ready to be cut into chunks and frozen ... alongside a few apples that came easily off the tree.  There will be some lovely homegrown fruit to help out with my rations over the Winter.

I could have had some Blueberries as well if I hadn't been eating them all the minute they turn blue enough.  Not a single one has made it as far as the kitchen.  Well, all gardeners deserve a tasty little treat don't they.  😄

When we met up with my cousin at Mum's house a few weeks, ago she brought with her some old family photos to see if we wanted them.  I of course had to say yes to most of them and Mum had some too.  I love old photos, especially black and white ones.  I managed to find this old frame in an antique centre with a mount that I just knew would compliment it perfectly.

It's just Mum, Dad and me on the day of my christening.   I'd say happy memories .... but I don't remember it at all. 💖

Sue xx

Sunday 13 August 2023

Our Short Trip to Wales ... and Rationing Begins


Those of you who have followed me for an length of time will recognise this photo.  It used to signal that we were back home, the road sign that Alan mowed around once a month to keep the roadside verge neat and tidy that was just outside our front gate ... and actually knocked down once with his tractor and had to fix ... shhh.)   As you can see our old 'Egg and Vegetable Sales' box is still in position at the bottom of the driveway.

We had dropped our things off at the flat near Llandudno and decided on some lunch at one of our old favourite places, the Tu Hwnt I'r Bont tearooms with a dog walk around the park first and a check to see in the conkers were ready for gathering in.

While our lunch was being prepared I checked out some of the photos on the wall above Alan's head.  As you can see from the photos, the tearooms flood on a regular basis and we were quite sad to see that a lot of the memorabilia that used to be on the walls is no longer there, no doubt victim to the rising waters of the River Conwy which started bursting it's banks regularly again before we moved away from Maenan.

A couple of ladies placing their order in the same place we were sat but many, many years before us.

I managed to get a couple of photos as we drove back past Isfryn to get to the flat.  We were both a bit disappointed to see that the place was looking so overgrown, and Alan was upset to see his lovely hedges and verges were neglected.  But hey, perhaps the new owners like the shaggy look, it's not for us to judge.

As you can see the house still looks exactly the same.

We headed back towards the coast pointing out differences to each other all along the route, it's nice to look back ... but I would never go back long term.  For me having the flat for a year or so will be a nice way to say goodbye to Wales properly and for us to continue looking forwards.

It was a good weekend, but we decided to come back a day early and get a head start on the week.  Alan needed to catch up on bits and bobs of work and I had decided overnight that my rationing will start tomorrow.  Just like that, not much notice for myself, sort of like how it was for the people of 1940 when rationing started with regular news reports and instructions ... and the issuing of ration books ready for 8th January.

Time for some reading, but before I do I am going to make a coffee and settle down to watch Housewife, 49.  Not a bad way to spend a cool and wet Sunday evening and get me in a rationing mindset ... it will definintely be porridge for breakfast.  😀

The new blog is now visible for everyone and the first post ... a round up of a weeks rations ... should be appearing in the morning.  It was nice to go away for a night, but it's nice to be home.

Sue xx

Saturday 12 August 2023

Weekend Watching

Our motley little crew hoping to share Alan's lunch, I think it's the corned beef they are after rather than the figs and beetroot. 😄

And here for Weekend Watching are a few of the YouTubers that have entertained me this week.

Farmhouse on Boone ... a recent home tour.

This is one of my more recently discovered channels, she does some lovely relaxing cooking videos too, and now they are a family of ten.

Three Rivers Homestead - Jessica is currently doing her #everybitcountschallenge.

I used to love preserving our produce for the Winter months, but I never reached the volume that Jessica does ... well there are only two of us and lots more of this lovely family.

If you are even thinking of moving onto a narrowboat here are some great tips delivered in a unique way by Vic, of Holly- The Café Boat fame.

And the lovely Grackle is all grown up, married and sharing some of the things she enjoyed on her honeymoon.  It's been like watching a daughter grow up and find the love of her life.

And finally -

A couple living in a tiny space in Brooklyn, New York.

I'm not sure if some of the things they have done would suit me, but they have lovely taste and so much of this apartment I would love.  They also have even less space than me, my small home is just over 336 square feet and theirs is just 300.

I hope you enjoy some of these YouTube videos as much as I have over the past week or so.  My current favourite is watching Farmhouse on Boone while I wake up in the mornings with a nice cup of coffee, watching while she makes her sourdough bread or organise her food for the day is a lovely peaceful start to my day.

Little glimpses into other peoples lives is very nice isn't it, and I would much rather this than all the 'celebrity news' and gossip that is bandied around.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, I'll be back soon to let you know what we've been up to on ours.

Sue xx

Thursday 10 August 2023

No Questions, No Answers ... Just Be!


Isn't this so often the case. 💓

Moving forward and growing ... at your own pace. 

Sometimes hard to do ... but worth practising.

Blogging Buddies forever.  💖

Sue xx

Wednesday 9 August 2023

Oh WOW!! ... Thank You


Oh wow ... really wow!!

Thank you so much for the responses to yesterdays post, I did not expect to receive so many immediate answers to my questions or such detailed ones, but they REALLY helped me and I thank you for taking the time to join in with what turned out to be a bit of a survey.

This morning over the cup of coffee you see me making in the photo above, I sat and read all the responses that came after the first two that I had replied to last night.   The photo was taken for a completely different reason but boy has it come in handy to head up this post.  I am now sitting writing this over a bowl of Weetabix ... a proper multi-tasker. 😄

It seems that we are indeed a community of like-minded people that dip in and out of each others lives, sometimes regularly and sometimes more intermittently, but that's just like real life isn't it, we see some people regularly day-in day-out and there's always that friend that we don't see for months or even years, that once we do get together again it's as though no time has passed at all.

This meme sums it up really well, blogging gives me and fellow bloggers a way of entering into peoples lives all over the world and and we find that borders, languages and ways of life do nothing to stop true genuine friendships developing ... and I will always write about everything that is 'good and true and real'.

Don't worry if you can't get into the new blog that is linked on the sidebar, I am currently tinkering with it's layout and 'pages' and while it is flashing around and changing it will remain private.  Once I start my rationing journey it will ... I have decided after reading all the responses to my questions ... be public and available for all to see and comment on and Follow. 😄

Something that came up in a few comments was the inability to see the sidebar when reading on a phone.  What I do to visit people's sidebars when I'm on my phone is scroll to the bottom of their post or page and click on 'View Web Version'.  This will bring up the same page but as though you were on a computer, hence everything will then be visible.  Hope that helps.

And now it's only fair that I answer my own questions, just so that you can see how I view things in blogland.

So, the questions:

1.  What makes you want to read a post on a blog?

A good title can grab my attention and if you are on my sidebar I tend to read your posts most days.

2.  What makes you decide to click on the Follower button?

I always Follow a blog that I read more than a couple of times if I like the content and want to visit regularly.  I see it as being like the Subscribe button on YouTube, it lets the person creating the content know that you are there and appreciating their efforts.

3.  What stops you from leaving a comment?

If the same answer I would have left has been said over and over, or if I have nothing nice to say.  I hope I would never say something that would upset someone.

4.  Do you prefer a blog that you can't comment on?

I don't 'prefer' it, I don't mind it, but it does surprise me sometimes if people don't want to engage with their readers.

5.  Do you like getting a response to your comment when you leave one?

I always check back to see if there's a reply and sometimes to see if my comment is still actually there.  Blogger is being strange these days, sometimes I have left comments on other peoples posts and they just vanish.  I always check my SPAM folder as comments on my blog that have previously published suddenly revert to there, even my replies to other peoples comments.  It's bloody annoying!!

6.  Does being a Follower and a Commenter on a blog help you to feel part of it's community?

Yes.  It shows me that I have found a blog or blogger that I can relate to.

7.  If you are a fellow blogger how do you see your Follower numbers, Comments and interaction with your readers?

Yes Joy I know HOW to check, but thank you!!  ðŸ˜‰

I don't check my Stats very often, just occasionally out of interest and they are always surprising.  The statistics on my old blog Our New Life in the Country for example are amazing, it is still drawing visitors from all over the world and each post has now had millions of unique visits ... I had no idea.

It's nice to see Follower numbers rise as it means I must be doing something right to engage with more people, THANK YOU to everyone that joined our little community yesterday.

It's nice to see Comments under a post as it means people want to have a voice on something I have written, give an opinion, offer advice or something similar.  I think we all want to be heard and it's nice to hear other people too. I know I sometimes get stroppy with an reply to a comment, I try my best to be 'nice Sue' most of the time but occasionally 'what the heck Sue' bursts forth.  Those of you who have read way back (like Linda from 2008 and Lavender's Blue ... ) just get used to my at times unique ways and take no offence, others run for the hills and are never seen again.  And Karen ... hold your head up high and comment whenever you want to.

Interaction with readers is part and parcel of blogging and in my opinion is what keeps me and many other bloggers going, gives us inspiration and at times can even be vital for our well being.  It's a shame I have no click here if you've visited  button.  (I will check to see if there is something similar available.)  I remember the post I did when we lost our little dog Charley and I couldn't bear to hear of other losses or even read comments for a few days and I asked people to leave 'two kisses for Charley', that post had 307 comments and meant so much to me then and now.

So to round all this up before I set off to Mum's for the day, I just want to say once again a massive THANK YOU to each and everyone of you who took the time and answered my questions yesterday, it was a really useful exercise and I'm sure lots of other Bloggers will have read your answers and found them useful too.  I didn't realise how long it would take you all, sorry!  The post is still there if you didn't see it yesterday and would like to take part.

It's brilliant that we have such a wonderful community of like-minded souls to bolster each other up, laugh with and at each other on a regular basis and well, to just be friends.

Thank you. 🎕

Sue xx