Monthly Archives: September 2015

First Pumpkin of the Season!


What a happy moment when you realise that in the bag that your Dad is carrying….is a GIANT PUMPKIN!!!

Now it is Autumn. Coz there is pumpkin.

Why so happy? Last year we only had a lonely 1 pumpkin on the allotment and it was very lonely and sad with no other squash friends to talk to. And it died before we could eat it *sad face* but this year there are about 6 I think. And this one is a whopper!

Happy, happy, happy…

Happiness in an orange casing!

Happiness in an orange casing!

As always, please excuse my crappy photography!

So, I will have to see what I can make tomorrow. There will definitely be some soup at some point!! And I have never had pumpkin pie before so that is a possibility if also a cliché! Roasted in the oven…

I know it is a bit weird to get excited over a pumpkin…but that’s just me! I feel like I have said this word a lot in this post. Pumpkin. Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin! 🙂

Happy Autumn to you all!!



What is a pumpkin’s favourite sport?



Wednesday Wonderings #2

Wednesday Wonderings #2

Some thoughts on a Wednesday that go like this


A good book to read: The Canterbury tales…yes, yes I know, it’s old language etc. (Middle English actually). But it’s been on my bookshelf for years unopened and unread and finally I read it yesterday. The Miller’s tale is my favourite…is this possibly where the phrase ‘Kiss My Arse?’ comes from?!!!


A good website to visit: Tips on writing and self-publishing


A good recipe to make: Ciabatta = YUM! This actually doesn’t look that hard to do…so maybe I’ll try it out soon!


A good cause to donate to: The Bat Conservation Trust…one of my new favourite animals I think. Did you know none of the bats in the UK are fruit eaters? They all eat insects (or so I believe). When I lived in Thailand last year there was a bat cave near a Buddhist Temple which took 2 hours for the bats to come out at night – so just imagine how many lived in the cave!! I have a video on my phone…it looks like huge flocks of birds, but they’re bats!


A good place to visit: Brimham Rocks, North Yorkshire. Ancient rock formations, walking, climbing, woodland, moor…a good day out


A good (?) joke to tell: What did Santa say to Queen Elsa? I’m Fro-ho-ho-zen! (I made that up!)


A good thing to know:

That’s all folks! xx



I know it is Tuesday, but this week has been offline completely! A little late but here it is!


So who have I followed this week?

I have followed

There’s crochet, craft and food…all good things! If you haven’t already, head over there now and spend an hour or two – lots of ideas and inspiration to be had 🙂


My favourite post? This one: How to make an easy bag for the beach…I know it’s getting cold here now but we can dream on for next year right?!


And who has followed me?

This blog has some lovely crochet goodness in it! Free patterns, cute ideas (loving those crocodile stitch baby boots!) and it looks like there will be lots of crochet to come!


My favourite post? This one definitely because…there is a link to a free minion scarf pattern! Oooooohhhhhh…


Have a happy Tuesday and remember…only 3 more days till the weekend!


Sunday update


Sorry for the absence this week, it’s been a busy fortnight. Lots of health stuff got sorted, some didn’t – had chronic back pain for several days which always throws me off kilter.

I started a scraps scarf. It is in my favourite crochet pattern of basket weave stitch in black, grey, beige and blue. Because OMG I am running out of room! Need to whittle down stash. I absolutely HATE colour changes though so it is taking a little while, but nearly done. Just a few pattern repeats then weave in all the ends and double (single) crochet around the edges.

You’re only getting a close up coz it’s not finished!

close up basket

I will do the Friday Follow post tomorrow I think, since haven’t been online for a week or so and honestly, I’m not in the mood now! Just about to have a slice of apple pie from the BEST APPLE PIE SHOP IN THE WORLD! So, you know, no offence, but between blogging and pie? I think pie wins! (And the shop is called The Apple Pie Shop in Ambleside, Cumbria if you are interested).

Last month I wrote the post below with a few things I wanted to achieve.

So here is an update:

Walking. As of 3 days ago I am officially on 1 crutch and can get in and out of the bath by myself (no bath board to sit on). Which in my book equals progress. It’s slow going and since April I have been quite patient and sensible, but I think another 6 weeks or so before I can properly walk unaided with confidence. So a result in my opinion!

Finishing WIPS etc. I finished my Dictionary of Cake cross stitch. I have one more cross stitch thing to do, which is a MASSIVE balloon cross stitch pattern I have had for years. A couple of years ago I got all the ‘ingredients’ for it and it is in a folder waiting to be started. And reading? Of that list I have only read David Copperfield and 1Q84 so far…but they took long enough! And if I want to actually complete my 52 books this year I should probably be a little more proactive in my reading!

Decluttering. SUCCESS! I hardly recognise my room. So much has gone. I am in the process of whittling down my language and grammar books with a couple of boxes ready to go to fellow nerds and language teachers. I also have another bag ready for charity shop and a bag of craft papers I am not sure what to do with. So that’s good.

Gym etc. I’m not quite there yet. A tad overambitious maybe? But it’s on the horizon.

New crochet techniques. I have experimented with colour more. I have also done quite a few granny squares which was something I hadn’t really been interested in before now. Likewise I have made a ripple blanket which I had never tried. So, slow progress but that’s ok.

Needle felting and Gutenberg Project – I just haven’t got around to. But I will!

Win lottery – I would have to play first!

Which about sums up where I am at the moment. Some things completed, some things started.

So, lots to get on with methinks!

To the pie!

Sunday Baking: Apple Loaf

Good afternoon to you all!

Are you enjoying the weekend? I am!

The parents and I had a lovely meal out at our local village pub The Wellington Heifer in Ainderby Steeple on Friday night. All 3 of us had the beer battered fish and chips – how very British of us! And it was rather nice too…although so much I couldn’t eat it all. They came with some tasty pea and mint mash which was quickly gobbled up by us all. It’s a small pub but the food is very good and the atmosphere is very welcoming.

And today? I have had a very happy morning baking today. It’s getting so much easier now…still have to watch where I put the crutches or they topple everywhere, but I know I am healing when I can bake a cake. 🙂 The only downside now is I am also able to do the washing up.

I  watched a few cooking programmes today too, so it feels very foody 🙂 And I think just about everyone who knows me will agree – I love food!

So what did I make?

Apple Cake!

You can find the recipe here

I modified it slightly by using half sultanas and half currants instead of raisins. I also heated them up in a small pan of water for about 10 mins whilst I did the rest of he cake because I think it makes the fruit swell a bit and rehydrates them.

I used a loaf tin instead of a round one (because I thought it would be easier to store) and sprinkled some brown sugar on the top before baking which is why it looks quite well done – but it makes the top a bit crunchy which is good!!

It tastes rather delicious if I do say so myself…although as always I have been a little impatient and not waited for it to cool completely, but I do love warm cake. And cold cake. And just cake really…

Apple cake just out of the oven

Apple cake just out of the oven


Slice of apple cake 5 seconds before being devoured!

Slice of apple cake 5 seconds before being devoured!


So, thank you very much for posting the recipe Mrs Blooms! (I may have missed the name – I want to say Jane but I’m not sure :O …therefore I name you Mrs Blooms x)

That is the first recipe I ever followed from another blog. And since it turned out well, I think I might just look to blogs in the future for some more ideas.

I have so many cook books that just get looked at without trying any of the recipes from them. I think from now on I shall try to do at least one recipe from each cook book. Which might take a while!

I want to bake some bread next I think. But I am always very impatient – I want it to rise quicker and prove quicker. So I can eat it quicker!

Hope you have been making and baking this weekend too.

Ellen xx

100 ways to save the Earth

100 ways to save the Earth


  1. Get rid of your TV
  2. Get rid of your tumble dryer
  3. Re-use grey water (from baths, washing the dishes etc.)
  4. Install rain water harvester
  5. Eat local food
  6. Eat and buy Fairtrade
  7. Recycle glass
  8. Recycle plastic
  9. Recycle batteries
  10. Recycle paper
  11. Recycle cardboard
  12. Recycle cans and tins
  13. Donate things to charity shops
  14. Upcycle items
  15. Use freecycle to get and get rid of
  16. Use eco cleaning products – like Ecover
  17. Use eco body products
  18. Compost food waste
  19. Get a wormery
  20. Mend, fix, repair, re-use, re-love
  21. Don’t use Air Con – or reduce use
  22. Turn down thermostat
  23. Use re-usable razors
  24. Don’t use a hairdryer / limited use
  25.  Use tote bags instead of plastic supermarket bags
  26. Use local markets / farmers markets / butchers / fishmongers/ green grocers etc.
  27. Banish the junk mail – sign up to the mail preference service
  28. Buy / build a bird table and box
  29. Buy / build a bat box
  30. Buy / build a bug hotel
  31. Plant bee friendly plants and flowers
  32. Only boil the amount of water in the kettle that you need
  33. Buy Forestry Stewardship Commission (FSC) wood products
  34. Cook in bulk and freeze to save energy and money
  35. Buy sustainable fish
  36. Eat organic
  37. Plant organic seeds in allotment
  38. Recycle aluminium foil
  39. Use a lunch box instead of foil, cling film or plastic food bags
  40. Cycle when you can
  41. Use local library
  42. Eco- friendly car / hybrid / electric car
  43. Send electronic invites
  44. Send electronic Christmas cards etc. / re-use last years cards
  45. Buy recycled paper and stationary products
  46. Unplug electrical items when not in use – don’t put on standby
  47. Pick up litter around your local area
  48. Use eco light-bulbs in EVERY light fitting
  49. Volunteer with environmentally friendly organisations e.g. The Wildlife Trusts / WWF / National Trust
  50. Online activism – sign petitions, retweet / re-blog relevant issues, write to local politician
  51. Donate to green charities and local ones too
  52. Carbon offset flights
  53. Try not to fly of can be helped
  54. Ask for green gifts
  55. Go on eco holidays
  56. Buy fewer newspapers and magazines
  57. Wear organic clothes / fair trade clothes / hemp underwear!
  58. Wash clothes on a lower heat setting
  59. Fundraise for eco charities
  60. Get houseplants to clean the air and provide link to nature
  61. Green / charity signature on e-mail (mine is linked to Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation)
  62. Recycle electronics
  63. Don’t wear nail polish – chemicals!
  64. Cut down on waste – how about a bag a month in total?
  65. No wrapping paper / tags / disposables
  66. Recycle old glasses – opticians often take old spectacles to give to 3rd world countries
  67. Have a Buy Nothing Day (at least once a month)
  68. Candles to be made / bought with natural beeswax
  69. Eat vegetarian option once a week (at least)
  70. Have a No Media and Electronics Day (at least once a month)
  71. Stay informed of local and environmental developments
  72. No more disposable make-up and baby wipes
  73. Re-use envelopes, cut up cereal boxes for shopping lists and then recycle, no post-it notes
  74. Recycle old mobiles
  75. Go foraging (make sure you know your nature first!) for nuts, berries, apples, wild garlic, herbs etc.
  76. Go beachcombing (where allowed, sometimes you are not allowed to remove things from beaches)
  77. Visit local and regional places in your home country – eco tourism, boost your economy and appreciate what is on your doorstop
  78. No Styrofoam – evil! Pack things with popcorn or toilet rolls or fabric scraps
  79. No plastic / paper plates and cups etc.
  80. Eat seasonal
  81. Leave excess packaging at store
  82. No cut flowers – grow your own or give a houseplant as a gift
  83. De-clutter regularly – recycle, give to others, swap things, donate things and feel happier
  84. Don’t use dry cleaners – chemicals!
  85. Have weekends at home with friends – crafternoon tea and make things together, swap things with friends
  86. Sign up to local LETS TIME BANK
  87. Visit Learn new vocabulary and feed the hungry at the same time
  88. Recycle ink cartridges from printers
  89. Sign up to Earth Hour with WWF
  90. Use recycled and biodegradable bin bags
  91. Buy free-range eggs or keep your own chickens
  92. Solar panels, wind turbines, water bore holes…
  93. Learn a new skill – willow basket making, keeping bees, sewing class, bread making
  94. No fast food chains, ready meals, no microwave meals and NO MICROWAVE!
  95. Don’t dig up your front garden, keep the plants. A lot of concrete= not a lot of life
  96. Use your local Post Office and Leisure Centre, cafes, pubs, restaurants, shops – use them or lose them!
  97. If you don’t need it, then don’t buy it!
  98. Pass on any of your skills or hobbies to next generation
  99. Join campaigns – or make one!
  100. Get involved and spread the word!


Just some ideas, could easily think of 100 more.

How about reading about what is in the stuff that you buy and the food that you eat (I mean the chemicals)? What about healthy eating, exercise, organic pet food, organic cotton, eco friendly toys, eco paint with no VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds which can cause cancer), not upgrading mobiles etc the minute new ones come out, making things last…the list is endless.




This is the first in a new series of posts called Friday Follow. (Yes, I know it’s Thursday today…it’s called organisation and pre-planning!).

I will look at 2 things in these posts.


First, a blog which I have followed recently and second, a blog which has followed ME recently.

So, First up. Who have I followed?


This week I have followed

I really like the mix of posts and the style of writing, as well as the whole ethos and attitude behind it. The focus is on living a good and honest life away from the stress and panic of the rat race, there are posts about earning a living from home, growing your own, self-sufficiency etc.


My favourite post? I would have to say this one… which has a good list of links for making money from home…especially like the writing ones!


And who has followed me recently?


I love the bright, cheerful pictures on this blog – they make me very happy! There are posts on bread-making, gardening, flowers – lots of flowers! – Making and baking, sewing, local wildlife…all sorts! And they are long posts, so obviously a lot of time and effort has gone into each of them.


My favourite post?  I think I will definitely have to try the yummy looking Apple Cake recipe! And parrots in your garden? How lucky!


There are so many good blogs around, it is difficult to keep up with them all. There just isn’t enough time in the world to read every one of them unfortunately. But each week I will try to share 2 with you that I particularly like.

Ellen xx