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Hello :)

Sorry it has been so long in posting, but I have been so busy! Isn’t this time of year a really busy one, what with the gardening, cooking, preserving, and everything else, phew, I’ll be glad when winter comes so I can have a rest!

John and I have dug over a new veg patch, about 10x20ft, and we have planted it up and are now anxiously waiting for our yummy veg to grow :)
We have also been working on the front garden to try to get it looking lovely, as someone has pulled down our arch, which was over the gate, with the wisteria growing round it! I was so upset about this, as I love the wisteria, but we managed to save the stump of the wisteria, which we are just going to let grow, without training it around anything, as we do not want anything else to be vandalised in our garden. We have been plating out loads of flowers, and the front garden is starting to look lovely again, I really must remember to take photos!!

This is going to be a really picture heavy post, as I have been taking photos of everything, so I can post them on here, but I did mean to post them a long time ago, but with been so busy, I just have not had the time, so I am afraid they are all going on in one go, lol, so I will try to keep my writing to a minimal, so the post is not too long :)

On the cooking front, I have been going a bit crazy really, making all kinds. I tend to bake on a Saturday, but if the mood takes me, I bake during the week too :) Here is what I have been making :)

John and I love cheese, onion and tattie pie, so I tend to make these quite often, and I always make my own pastry :)

Here is the mixture to go into the pie, I could eat it just as it is!

And the pastry cases…


Ready to go into the oven…


I have also made a selection of lemon cakes, a lemon icing cake..

I loved this one :)

A normal lemon cake for Johns uncle..

and a lemon syrup cake for us…

I have baked quite a few batches of almond biscuits over the past few weeks, for John and I, and for Johns parents, and my dad and Pam..

I like to wrap the biccies in greaseproof before putting them in the tin, so that they do not break..

I’ve also baked two trays of choccie chip cookies..

A Victoria sponge cake filled with double whipped cream..

A days baking, with a special big biccie for John saying Love You :)

I have baked a rhubarb crumble with custard when we had Johns parents over..

And I have baked a choccie cake…

And I have baked some ginger bread people using a very old fashioned recipe from my Lark Rise Recipe Book :)

Oh yes, and I made some tattie cakes for supper one night when we had some left over mashed tattie, yum , love these :)

And still on the subject of food, John and I have been blackberrying, in our garden, and round about where we live, and really enjoyed doing it too, I love to forage with John, it is so enjoyable and a lovely thing to do :) We have picked lots of blackberries, and will be going blackberrying again in a few days, as I plan on making a lot of things from the berries this year, for now we are freezing them until I need to use them :)

I am really loving the fact that all the berries are coming out ready to pick and be turned into delicious things, not just blackberries, but elderberries too, and soon, I will be gathering rosehips to turn into syrup to eat on our morning porridge, yum! I love this time of year, the weather turning just a fraction cooler, hinting that Autumn will not be far off, and I love Autumn, and winter, in all its cosy glory, and I can not wait for those Seasons :)

Okey dokey, now for the crochet :)

I have been doing a lot of crochet lately, I do so love it :) I have crocheted a family of blankets, for a little boy, a little girl, and a baby girl, which I have traded with Nicola from Smilernpb, for lovely smellies which now fill our bathroom shelves :) Nicola and her children are absolutely over the moon with the blankets, so I am very happy about that :)

Firstly, the little boys blanket…

The little girls blanket…

I have shot through some dark colours every now and then , just to give the little girls blanket some contrast and interest :)

The baby girls blanket..

and the family of blankets together :)

Still on the subject of blankets, I have crocheted a baby blanket for our niece who is due to give birth this Friday! she is having a little boy, hence the blue ribbon :)

I have crocheted two pretty petals cushions, the idea of which, I got from the wonderful blog, attic24. The pattern is for a potholder, but add a back, stuff it, and you have a fabulous cushion!

The first one I made, I made very big, so it now lives on our bed :)

and the second one I made, I crocheted smaller, and it now lives on our settee..

I have crocheted  new wash cloth, which I love to use, as it is so soft :)

And I have crocheted a  football scarf,

And last, but not least on the crochet front, I have begun work on my Autumn crochet projects, starting with a pumpkin tea cosy :) I am also going to crochet a carved Halloween pumpkin, to sit on our hearth on Halloween, and I may crochet some mini pumpkins, and ghosts, for Halloween too, when my Autumn projects are done, I will start on my Christmas projects, I know I know, it is only August I hear you say, but I think it is never too early to be thinking of what to make to decorate your home, and to give away at Christmas time :)

Phew!!!!!! Now that that’s the cooking and crochet out of the way, I can tell you the other things I have been doing :) The other day, I decided to make another little cat basket for our two kitties, so that they did not have to share, bless them. I took an old wicker washing basket, and two old crochet blankets I have made, which now have holes in them thanks to the kitties, and made a very comfy basket for them. Jack has claimed this basket, and Whiskey sleeps in the other, iglow type cat basket, but, during the day, when the Jack is not in the basket, Scrappy decides to squeeze himself into it for a snooze, lol, now Scrappy is a big dog, and he hardly fits in the basket, but he loves it! John and I were in stitches the first time he did it, here he is here..

Lol, silly doggie! :)

I have also been working my way through all 4 series of LRTC, getting snug on a night, watching these wonderful programmes..

I love how snug and cosy our sitting room looks on an night :) I always watch my programmes before John and I get settled to watch a film together, then the room is all set up, cosy and comfy for John, I and our 4 pets to all get settled together, it is my favourite time of day, I love it :)

I took the next one quite late at night, when we were all settled, as you will see by the time on the clock, lol :)

I have been gathering and drying lavender from our garden, here is a small selection of it, I still have a lot more hanging up drying..

and I have turned the lavender into lavender bags, which smell divine and are scenting my drawers :)

I did make more, but I have gave some away, and I will be making more lavender bags from the other bunches I have drying :)

And finally, let me show you some of the gorgeous floral things I have been buying recently from the fab shop, B&M :)

I love this shower cap!

I have been after a floral shower cap for ages, then spotted this in B&M for only 99p!

Right, and thats it I believe, that is everything I have taken photos of over the past few weeks :) So, until next time,. which will hopefully not be so long, can I just say, thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog, and leave your wonderful comments, which I really do love to read :)

Take care everyone, bye for now :) :) :) :)

26 Responses

  1. #1

    Hi Melanie

    Well, that was really superb, and worth waiting for. You never need to apologise for a lot of photies – I love them!

    Your baking looks absolutely delicious – very difficult to choose a favourite. Lovely crochet too (wish I could do it) and that cheeky Scrappy in Jack’s basket. It makes us laugh too when our cats curl up in the most ridiculously small things – they seem to enjoy it.

    Your living room looks SO cosy and lovely new flowery things too. I’m also looking forward now to autumn – I’m waiting to see all the lovely things you make with the blackberries. I agree that blackberrying is a really enjoyable thing to do and ooh – the pumpkin teacosy! So much to enjoy in your latest blog. I’ve also been drying lavender but haven’t done anything with it yet, apart from drown in the amazing scent of it.

    I think you deserve the title of domestic goddess.

    Love Deborah (beedeborah) xxx

  2. Good golly Mel, you’ve been busy! That baking looks so good and I love almost anything with lemon. I’m getting antsy for Autumn too. Your pumpkin tea cosy is so sweet.

    Ali x

  3. #3

    Hi Deborah :) What a lovely comment! I really loved it, so pleased you liked everything here :) xxx

  4. #4

    Hi Ali :) Yip, busy busy busy!!! I love anything with lemon too, mmm, yummy :) I know you love Autumn too, I can not wait for it :) Thank you for your lovely comment :) xxx

  5. #5

    I love your blog, you work hard to get a nice ‘cosy living’, the dog looks so cute with his butt squished in the basket :) Bless him x

  6. #6

    Hi Lucy :) Thank you, I am pleased you like my blog :) I do like to get our home to look as cosy as possible, I love cosiness :) Scrappy is as daft as a brush, squashing himself in the basket, lol :) xxx

  7. #7

    Hi Melanie, just wanted to say another HUGE thank you for the blankets, we love them so much. They are currently on their beds, but that is because the children are upstairs playing in their rooms, however they have been snuggling on the sofa with them this morning. Bless them. They really do love them, as do I. B said to me this morning that he liked his because of the colours. M loves the sparkily wool in hers and Bronte just loves hers because it’s something of her very own. And yes, a family of blankets. I will link to this post in my ‘blankie love’ post if that’s OK? Have a good weekend and I’m loving the Sunderland scarf! :o ) xxx

  8. #8

    Hi Nicola :) I am so pleased you all like them :) Of course it is ok for you to link this post :) Hope you have a good weekend too :) xxx

  9. #9
    Pom Pom 

    Hello Melanie! WOW! (I always say this, don’t I?) You have been so busy! I’m amazed! All that baking sounds scrumptious. I haven’t been baking at all because I am like a runaway train when it comes to EATING the baked goods!
    Look at you go with that crochet! You are so good! I’m so glad I know you. :)

  10. #10

    Wow, you have been busy, Mel, what scrumptious looking baking, beautiful crochet work and some great new floral finds.
    It does indeed look like ‘cosy living’ in your lovely home.
    Carol xx

  11. #11

    Hi Pom Pom :) I am like a runaway train when it comes to baked goods too, lol, they soon vanish in this house :) But I think to myself, well, they are there to be eaten :) I am so glad I know you too Pom Pom, what a lovely comment :) xxx

    Hi Carol :) Thank you for your lovely comment :) I am pleased that you think our home does look like ‘cosy living’, thats what I am trying to achieve :) xxx

  12. #12

    Hi there Melanie,sorry I havent had the chance to pop over for a while,its been busy here too with the children home etc.
    Gosh you have been busy,what wonderful home baking and makes you put me to shame.I love the look of the larkrise to candleford recipie book,that is my favourite ever programme of all time. How awful that your arch got pulled down,that is so awful,I m glad at least the stump was left.
    Hope you and your family are well,take care and enjoy the garden and the last days of summer,love julie.xxxxx

  13. Your cakes, cookies and crumble look delicious!!
    I just love how Scarppy has squeezed himself into the basket. :)
    Vivienne x

  14. #14

    Everything looked wonderful. In fact, I had to get a napkin and wipe my face off cause I was drooling so much and in between reading I went and walked around the block I felt as if i’d gained about 5 lbs. LOL
    Not really obviously…it just all looked marvelous.
    You have been a very busy lady…and a very good wife.

  15. #15

    oh I am so so hungry now after looking at your lovely baking!! and the crochet! I love the pumpkin cosy so so cute! the cushions are cute and I love your floral products –

  16. #16

    Hi Julie :) LRTC is my favourite ever programme too! I love the recipe book, there are some wonderful recipes in it, and gorgeous pictures too :) Yes, it was awful when the arch was pulled down, now we just have to wait for the wisteria to grow back, which will probably takes years. I hope you and your family are well too, I think we have seen the last days of summer now, lol, it has turned quite cold here. Take care, and thank you for the lovely comment :) xxx

    Hi Vivienne :) Thank you for your lovely comment, Scrappy is a funny little thing, he likes to get himself comfy in the strangest of places! :) xxx

    Hi Barb :) I did laugh at your comment, yip, there are a lot of calories in the food I made, buy hey, lifes for enjoying, so I say, eat what you like :) Thank you for your lovely and funny comment :) xxx

    Hi Neen :) When you come over again, we should have a baking day, and bake lots of lovely goodies to feast on :) Thank you for your lovely comment :) xxx

  17. #17

    Hi Melanie,Im so glad you found me and thankyou so much for adding me to your blogroll,;) I m so glad I found you again and am looking forward to keeping up to date with your blog.Have you heard anything about a new series of Lark rise to Candleford coming back,I really hope so.Ive got my dvds out to re-watch after reading your blog yesterday,I watched the first one last night,I also went over to Amazon and bought the recipie book after seeing yours,I didnt know they did one!Also after seeing your photos on flicker ,can I ask you about the green spotty book, is it Cider with Rosie,what is that book about?Thanks again,love

  18. #18

    Hi Julie :) I have heard that a bunch of people have been writing to the BBC, protesting against their decision to cancel LRTC, and the BBC have refused to go ahead with the appeal they wanted, saying no more series of LRTC will be made, which is a great shame, as it is such a great programme. But, you never know, in a few years they may change their mind and make another, or ITV or another channel may buy it to make more, knowing how popular the series was.
    I am onto the last disc of series 3 now, I have been re-watching them all for a few weeks now, fitting them in when I can :) The recipe book is great, I do love the recipes in there, there are recipes not just for food, but for household products and beauty products too :)
    Cider With Rosie, a book by Laurie Lee, is a great book, very much like LRTC, it is about a boys childhood in rural England, and he writes about his family, local customs and holidays, the food they ate, basically, LRTC, but with a man telling the story instead of a woman. If you get the book, after you read it, I would recommend you watching the film adaptation of it, which is lovely :) I have loads of good books, about life in the countryside I could recommend, if you like?
    Have you read the Miss Read books? Also, have you read the LRTC books? They are wonderful, and quite different to the series, though you will recognise a lot of the characters and stories in them, which they have used in the series :)

    Here is a link to Cider With Rosie, the book and the film… just right click on the links, and click open in new tab, so you can come back and finish reading my reply :)

    The book

    The Film

    Another wonderful book, very much like LRTC is Still Glides The Stream, by Flora Thompson (author of LRTC ), this is a fiction book, (unlike LRTC, which is a semi-autobiography of Floras early life) and it is wonderful, so cosy, gentle, homely, vivid and very very countryish :)

    Link To Still Glides The Stream

    Hope you enjoy LRTC, the series and the recipe book :) xxx

  19. #19

    Hi Melanie,thankyou so much for doing all the links and everything for me,I ve added them all to my basket at amazon and will let you know how I get on.I havent yet read any of the Miss Read series although I was lucky to pick a couple of her books up at my charity shop a couple of weeks ago,I got storm in the village andvillage school and the last chronicle of fairacre.(changes at fairacre,farewell to fairacre and a peaceful retirement) I was really lucky with these and got the 5 for £1-00,I couldnt believe it so quickly snapped them all up!Its so lovely to find someone with exactly the same taste and would really appreciate any other books you can recommend.

    I m so upset that they are not making anymore LRTC, I really hope they do bring it back in a few years,another christmas special even.

    I ve tried and tried to add your blog to my list but it just will not add,any ideas why or what I can do?

    Hope your having a lovely evening?take care ,juliexxxx

  20. #20

    Hi Julie :) With the Miss Read books, it is best to read them in order, here is a link for you, just incase you want to read them in order :)

    The Alison Uttley books are wonderful, the ones about her childhood and her life, I would start off with A country Child, which is semi fictional, but is about Alisons early life on a farm , but reads a bit like a novel, then go from there, they are all very cosy, homely, and set in the country, with wonderfully vivid descriptions in them :)

    If you click on this link, scroll down until you come to ‘other’, then you will have a list of her non fiction books, which are mostly about her early life in the country,

    The Mary Webb books are really good, set in the country again, though they are a little more darker in some of the stories, than the light reads of Miss Read.

    Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell is wonderful, you get a great idea of what the genteel poor lived like in the early 18th Century, in a small country town, and the domestic detail in this book is just wonderful.

    Rosamunde Pilcher books are good, though not old fashioned, but still cosy.

    Ann Purser books are great, I prefer her none mystery ones, and she has been dubbed the modern day Miss Read, as her books are set in small English villages.

    Erm, thats all I can think of for now, lol, if I think of any more I will let you know :)

    I really dont know why it wont let you add my blog? Are you trying to add it when the comments page is open, if so, perhaps that is why? Try clicking on the title of my blog at the top, to get to my home page, then copy the link and try?

    I hope you enjoy all your books, please let me know what you think of them :)

    I hope your having a lovely day :) xxx

  21. #21

    I forgot to mention the Susan Hill books that I love :) Through the kitchen wondow is a wonderful book, with beautiful cosy paintings in it. There are recipes in this book, memories, and it is just such a treasure of a book to own, I go back to it again and again :)

    And another Susan Hill book I love is The Magic Apple Tree, which is about when she, her husband and daughter move to a cottage in the country, and she goes through all the changing seasons in this book, talking of the country, village life, home renovating, sorting the garden out, and there are recipes in here too, it really is a wonderful book, they both are, and I would definitely recommend these two books :)

  22. #22

    You have been so busy! No wonder you have not had time to blog! We have been doing lots of preserving too – squirrelling away stuff for the winter.

    Pomona x

  23. #23

    Thankyou so much Melanie,I will definatley look into all of those ,thankyou so much for the links too,I will keep in touch and let you know how I get on. I will also try again with trying to add your blog that wishes,take care,juliexxx

  24. #24

    Hi Pomona :) Yip, squirrelling things awa, its great isn’t it :) I love this time of year :) xxx

    Hi Julie :) Your very welcome, I hope you enjoy them :) Good luck with adding my blog :) xxx

  25. #25

    This was the nicest read I have had in an age.
    Thank you.

  26. #26

    Hi Lynn :) Your very welcome, I am so pleased you enjoyed reading it :) xxx

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