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Sunday Sevens #132

Linking up with Natalie at Threads and Bobbins for this week’s Sunday Sevens – a weekly blog series in photos.

1. Progress on the ‘Scrappy’ blanket has been good.

Although I had to buy five more balls of yarn so it’s no longer strictly a scrappy blanket.


2. Managed a glass of red and a homemade pork pie at the pub whilst The Boys played in the playing field behind. We even sat in the garden as the rain held off. Still chilly enough for a jumper though. Well, this is 3pm in August!


3. Another day, another pub. Our local has been closed for a couple of months and is now under new management. The Boys took their light sabres to use as guns. As you do. Our walk takes us past this thatched cottage in the village.


4. A pint and a bag of crisps. It should be written into the Human Rights bill.


5. The blackberries are coming thick and fast – I’m picking over three pounds a day from our bush in the garden alone! Good job it’s thornless. The apples are from mum’s tree.


6. A rare Chinese takeaway – The Boy’s favourite treat.


7. I gave No.2 Son a ‘holiday haircut’.

8. I didn’t realise he had this much to lose!

9. Breakfast at Heathrow airport before heading off to France for the week. It took us an hour and a half to drive to the airport and just forty-five minutes to fly to Paris!


10. I love France’s café culture.


11. And food!


12. Pretty street corners of the district we stayed in – Croissy sur Seine.


13. We did the sights, after all, the last time I visited Paris was as a schoolgirl back in 1979!

L’Arc Du Triomphe


14. Tour Eiffel


15. Sacre Coeur


16. If you turn around 180 degrees, the view over Paris from the Sacre Coeur is breathtaking. Here are two of the Littlies taking a break – we walked eight miles that day!


17. The iconic Metro.


18. We walked the quick way up to the Montmartre district (for which read ‘steep’). Mr. H-L can be seen about half way up the steps struggling to keep up!


19. Montmartre is all about the artists – and they are everywhere.


20. It was fascinating to watch portraits come together before your very eyes.


21. Of course, we HAD to have chocolate and banana crepes while we were there!


22. Relaxing with the locals.


23. Lots of good food and drink (again) and good times spent with family (again).


24. Landing in London to – you guessed it – more rain!


25. Still, we’re grateful to have Fifi to come home to. I’ve vowed not to leave her again as she has needed an emergency trip to the Vet’s whilst we’ve been abroad the last two times. She has recurring mammary tumours and a heart murmur which flare up frequently. Whether she’ll survive this latest bout remains to be seen, but at least she is comfortable and happy – for now.


She’s lying on the bed beside me whilst I type this, snoring quite contentedly wrapped in bandages and her little rainbow coat.

Bless her.


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Sunday Sevens #130

This week’s sum-up is actually two – and comes from sunny Spain again. Linking up with Natalie at Threads & Bobbins who invented the original Sunday Sevens.

1. A whole week of glorious weather meant several consecutive days of dog-walking involving both a hat AND sunglasses – a rare combination in good old Blighty!


2. If you look carefully in the shadows, you can just about make out Fifi and Tess wondering why I suddenly stopped. I thought I’d take a few photos of our usual five-mile route, beginning with open fields and country lanes which are always traffic-free apart from the odd farm vehicle or post van.


3. We passed some cattle grazing under the welcome shade of trees. They soon came trotting over when they spotted the dogs.


4. This farmhouse features regularly in my Sevens, most recently whilst wearing the most glorious covering of Wisteria which is now over.


5. The point at which we turn around and head back towards home – the church at Blackford, our destination village.


6. The Dogs were relieved to find a stream to cool down in and immediately jumped down for a drink.

Both dogs were exhausted and Fifi spent the rest of the day snoring!


7. I managed to find some see-through wellies at last and ordered a couple of pairs to be gifted together with the hand knitted socks for Christmas.


8. Work on the decking has started! It will eventually wrap around the back and side of the house.


9. “Teachers’ gifts” are a new concept to me since my last batch of children were at school, so imagine my surprise when a student presented me with this tote that she’d printed by hand for me!


10. End of term barbecue at school, accompanied by a steady stream of drizzle. Well, it wouldn’t be a barbecue without rain, would it?!


11. Places you can crochet: in the car whilst No.3 Son is at football training.


12. Progress on said blanket.


13. We popped in to a café which we had passed numerous times but had never actually been in. They were shooting some promotional photos and asked us to pose. Looks like we’re going to feature in their advertising!


14. Mr H-L erected a new chicken coop and run for the hens. We just couldn’t get rid of the mites that infested the old one and decided that the best thing to do was to burn it.


15. Here it is in its final resting place at the top of the garden. The Girls are already happily laying in the nest box again, after eschewing the coop in favour of laying in the hedge in an effort to avoid the pesky mites.


16. We were able to squeeze in lunch at our favourite place, Holbrook House.


17. Fifteen of us met in a pub for a family meal.


18. Happy 69th Birthday Mum!


19. No.2 Son’s last day at Primary School.


20. I was gifted FIVE boxes of embroidery threads, all carefully catalogued and beautifully organised! 


21. Schools broke up for the Summer holidays later than most countries, on 21st July. Three days later we flew back to my Auntie’s in Spain for ten days, joined by my sister this time.


22. Mr H-L was working the whole time – here he is taking a ‘phone call on the roof terrace above the ‘casita’, his office for the duration. Nice work if you can get it!


23. Everyone needs a lunch break, though, so popping out for tapas was a must.


24. And, of course, long, hot evenings were all enjoyed together.


25. I’ll leave you pondering over one of our more adventurous tapas.

Yes, it is EXACTLY what it appears to be!!!


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Sunday Sevens #110

1. I bought Mr H-L some festive pyjamas although he always swore he would never wear any. Here he is fast asleep ‘watching’ TV wearing his new PJs. This has been the scene every night since!


2. A crocheted Poinsettia brooch was whipped up in an evening and found its way into one of my Stitching Santa parcels.


3. The reason I straighten my hair – ’nuff said.


4. I went to Amsterdam for a couple of days with hubby on a business trip and had arranged to meet a blogging pal who lives there. Marianne, from marrose-ccc.com, was so lovely and we had a wonderful day going around the yarn shops in Amsterdam. More on that in a separate post.


5. Mr H-L turned 50 on Saturday, so we had a bit of a party at home with about twenty-five family and friends. This is a quick snap taken before everyone arrived as we forgot to take any photos later on! 


6. The dog’s bed was put as close to the fire as possible but, even with her coat on, Fifi decided it wasn’t close enough and sat on the hearth instead!


7. The Boys are enjoying their advent calendar again this year. Here they are secretly putting Candy Canes on car windscreens for the kids in the village to wake up to. There are less than twenty children in our village, so we could leave an anonymous treat for all of them.


8. Another day, their task was to write a letter to Father Christmas, which they did on headed paper before sending it up the chimney. Can you guess where we’re taking them next week for a few days? It’s a surprise so they have will have no idea until we get on the ‘plane.


That’s it for this week, folks! If you want to see how Sunday Sevens works or maybe have a go yourself, just visit Nat at Threads & Bobbins.


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Sunday Sevens #105

Extra hour in bed? Who’re they kidding? I woke up at the usual time and couldn’t get back to sleep so decided to get up anyway and get more done, starting with this week’s Sunday Sevens. Visit Nat over at Threads & Bobbins to find out more.

1. The knitted baby shawl is finished and I’ve started to sew it all together which is a loooong job.


2. See the proximity of the goal? I’ve decided that, if I make The Boys clean off the zillion football imprints on the French Windows, they might be more careful about where they kick it.


3. The Boys have been brilliantly behaved this half term, so I treated them to a pub lunch. They played with their Match Attax whilst waiting for their meals. Just look at that expression when faced with defeat!


4. No.1 Son was working from home on Thursday when my sister came down for the day, so we snuck out on our own for an hour and had coffee in Divine Wines. This is the front of the shop and there are several tiny rooms out the back where you can sit to eat and drink. It’s really lovely.


5. Without a doubt, the highlight of my week was Date Night, when Mr H-L surprised me with tickets to see a talk by one of my heroes, Architectural Historian, Dan Cruickshank, in Sturminster Newton. He signed both books and was more than happy to pose for a photograph. What an incredibly charming man, such a gentleman and exactly as he appears on TV.


6. Arghh, what a mess! We decided to bite the bullet and clear out the office which has become a bit of a dumping ground. I say ‘we’, but Mr H-L actually suggested that he mowed the lawn whilst I did the office, thinking it would take us each an hour.

Nine hours later and we weren’t even half way through! Guess what we’ll be doing again all day today?


7. Before you ask, no, I didn’t take this photo, but it serves to illustrate the beautifully haunting call of a Tawny Owl that woke me up at 2am this morning. It was so loud outside our open bedroom window, that I think it must have been perched on the ridge of our stone shed just a few feet away.


Finally, just a quick reminder that midnight tomorrow on 31st October is the last chance to sign up for this year’s Stitching Santa, so if you haven’t sent me your details yet, you’d better be quick!

That’s it for this week folks – hope you all have a great weekend!


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Sunday Sevens #103

Sunday Sevens is on time this week, with only eight photos, too, largely due to not having a phone to take snaps when out and about, but let’s not drag all THAT up again…….!

Visit Nat at Threads & Bobbins to find out more and how you can join in.

1. The daisies are now all starched and holding their shape beautifully, so just the chain to finish now before I can hang it on the dresser.


2. I was watching Phil Spencer’s Secret Agent programme in the week and the ‘before’ picture showed the exact same Axminster carpet that we have as a rug in our lounge! They were advised to rip it up because it looks like a pub carpet, but it works as a rug on our oak floor. Isn’t it funny how the same carpet can present so differently according to how you decorate?


3. This little girl finished her pyjamas on Thursday and has worn them every night since – she even went home in them after posing for this photo!


4. I couldn’t resist these cute Robin fat quarters. As you might have guessed by now, I LOVE Robins and these will make something Christmassy. 


5. It’s impossible to get a decent photo of your dog enthusiastically tearing open her birthday present, but here is Tess on her third birthday with Fifi looking on enviously in the background.


6. My favourite kind of parcel! A bag arrived from Wool Warehouse with yarn for my next commission. I WILL finish the shawl first – only 55 more pattern repeats out of 120 to go.


7. I have a new phone! Exactly the same as the ‘old’ one and Mr H-L is now banned from touching it. Hopefully, there will be some photos outside of the house next week now I have a phone again.

8. While I’ve been writing this post, I managed to burn the cake that was in the oven – oops!


A reminder that Stitching Santa 2016 is now open for sign up until 30th October – click on this link to find out more.


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Sunday Sevens #102

Time for another Sunday Sevens as organised by Nat at Threads & Bobbins . Not that we’ve heard much from Nat lately – where are you Nat, we miss you?

  1.  Working on the lacy border for the Baby shawl commission that I’ve been slogging away at for a few months. Baby was due yesterday and I’ve run out of time! Trouble is, I get a numb bum if I sit for more than two hours at a time, so I can’t knit it any faster.

2. Whilst I’m still in my Summer linens and flip flops, I’m looking ahead to more typical Autumn weather and thinking about what to wear on the chillier days to come. I’m making the main view in orange and brown Ponte Roma – very seasonal colours. It’s actually a dress which looks like a skirt and top and I reckon it’ll get a lot of wear as it’s as comfortable as a tracksuit but MUCH smarter for everyday use. In fact, I’ve already got plans for a second one in different colours.

3. I finally got around to buying some spray starch for all those crocheted daisies that I made back in July. What a difference it makes. These are going to be a garland for my upcycled oak dresser.

4. As you probably know, I cook a LOT, so should be pretty good by now. However, cakes are not my forté – they always taste great….but look rubbish. Not this time! I used this Carrot Cake  recipe and followed it to the letter and it actually rose!

5. I doubled up on the icing so that I could put some in the middle, too, and topped it off with the grated zest of an orange.

6. Here’s what’s left of it on the far right after a friend hosted a very successful charity MacMillan Coffee Morning during which over £200 was raised!

7. My iPhone 5s is currently residing in a bag of rice. Why? Dear husband left it in his trouser pocket and it went through a wash cycle. I think it’s too far gone to dry out in a bag of rice. I’ve got 18 months left on the contract and no phone so you can imagine how cross I was. Anyone got a spare one…..?!

8. No.1 Son took a snap of the harvest lunch (as I no longer have a camera phone…). It was taken at the end when people had started to leave  so you’ll have to believe me when I say the hall was full and it was a lovely atmosphere.

9. And finally……#stitchingsanta 2016 has started! Click on this link to sign up and take part this year.

Save


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Sunday Sevens #100

Sunday Sevens is here again and guess what – I’ve kept it to seven photos for the first time in forever! Not that we haven’t done loads, just that I keep forgetting to take photos. No pub pics either this week; we had a lovely walk to the pub yesterday in the sunshine, but I forgot to take the mobile with me.

If you want to find out more and how you can join in, visit Nat at Threads & Bobbins.

1. This gorgeous, faded roses fabric was on sale at £5 per metre, down from £16. It is 2.5m wide, too, so I bought all of it – 3m for £15! It’s curtain weight fabric and is destined for the redecoration of the smallest bedroom, which hasn’t been decorated in ten years and needs a facelift.

2. As part of our ‘get the house ready for sale’ effort, we had a clear out of the wall-to-wall bookshelves in our lounge. I offered this lot to the school for their Christmas fair as it’s all in good condition, but they don’t seem to want it as no one has got back to me. Oh well – charity shop it is then.

3. I forgot to show you this book that I couldn’t resist buying last week. It’s just lovely – and there’s more space on the bookshelves now, so there was no reason not to buy it:)


4. Can you believe this? Spotted in a pub in Sherborne on 5th SEPTEMBER!

5. Hmm, not very picturesque perhaps, but an important part of our week. We had a heavy downpour and rain was pouring through the light fitting in the not yet finished sun room. A quick inspection of the single storey roof revealed two broken tiles. Easily fixed before any damage was done, thank goodness.

6. Progress so far on the quilt-as-you-go squares. Each square will be quilted the same, but the design doesn’t show up as clearly on the patterned fabrics as it does on this spotty one.

7. A sweet pic of the dogs to finish with. Wow, they do need a haircut. Time to get the scissors out again….