Thursday, 30 June 2011

Treasured moments

This week, running alongside the rest of life, I have had some special time with Han-solo. She is often out and busy and it is rare that we get time to hang out together. We played badminton tonight on the lawn after dinner and she told me that she had enjoyed her week with me. How I love that girl. I also love the fact we had this time.

Book Club extravaganza

That is how one of the reader's described it. How lovely. We sat on the patio with bits to nibble (I decided not to bake and went for healthy nibbles and seasonal berries to pick on) and glasses of wine and we talked about the book, rated it, agreed and disagreed and then we moved on to less literary topics. The new book has not been chosen yet, but we were all feeling quite excited that we are 'getting it' and learning how to be a book club!!

I planted this lavender up with some lobelia yesterday. I absolutley love the tall stems with the tiny flowers on them. It smells amazing and I think it looks very continental agains the wall in its terracotta pot. There is something about walls and pots and bright flowers that really cheer me up.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Book club ladies

The ladies are coming to my house tonight to talk about the book...'The Boy in the Striped Pajamas'. I am excited because I have not had so many ladies here ever, at one time. The weather is wonderful and I hope it stays that way so that we can sit outside.
I am of course getting ready and there is lots to do. I had to remove Bosley's towel from the conservatory and do a detox in there in case we have to use that room. He is a bit put out and moany now and is lying in an awkward uncomfortable position on THE FLOOR to show how he is suffering.....!
He would rather be doing this:
I am thinking of some nice nibbles, some wine and maybe something to have with tea and coffee later. To bake or not to bake?

Monday, 27 June 2011

Summer toes

It was hot, hot, hot today and our old buildings can get very stuffy. The thought of a cool swim was lovely. Or a pedicure....mmm. After work/school Han-solo and I went to have our toes done. The lady doing Han's asked if she wanted a design which she did. She now has a little floral picture on her green toes and said she felt like a celebrity. My toes are gold. Summer gold and my feet feel very indulged.

Nice on a hot day.
Youngest daughter is in Wales and left on a cross note. Aren't mothers THE most humiliating people? They can bring shame on you in public and act all wierd in front of friends.... Still, no matter what she thinks of me, I love her to bits and there is no changing that.

Somewhere on the road between Birmingham and here is BJ, worn out no doubt. Needs to get home before the looming storm breaks. We can already hear the thunder rumble. I do love a storm after a hot day.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

life is a bowl of cherries

The curtain/net coming off the cherry tree....
revealing shiny cherries....
lots of them....
which we ate outside in the sun after dinner....

Real sunshine

It started off misty this morning, but the sun has been blazing all day. The walk went well and Han-solo was not too sunburnt. Big J and I had a potter around Steyning, the pick up spot. Very pretty, but no photos as daughter dear had my camera in her pack.
I have made a batch of tomato sauce for pasta from frozen toms in the freezer, part of last year's glut, and a few over-ripe ones in the fruit bowl. Delicious. A few more days of weather like this and our own toms should be feeling a bit more like growing and putting out some nice fruit.
Second daughter has packed for her week away. Early start in the morning. For BJ too who has to hit the road long before the campers!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

She's off again - DofE Bronze Medal

Only this time, it is cold, windy and wet. Fingers crossed we see some of the sunshine they keep talking about.

Thursday, 23 June 2011


This is England but we are infested with blowies - blow flies, blue bottles, those pesky things that buzz and fly and bump into things especially windows, and sometimes people. It started with one or two in the living room and daily their numbers grew. We used the tea-towel method of elimination and fed the carcasses out of the window into the garden for the birds. BUT, by today things were way out of control and I am afraid we had to resort to spray. Every piece of furniture, soft and otherwise has been moved and inspected. The garden bed had been poked at and foilage disturbed to see if any sort of bird or mammal had shuffled off its mortal coil beneath the window, but it seems not. The horrifying fact is that there is/was probably something INSIDE responsible for this population explosion.
The girls find it deeply embarrassing. I just am annoyed that they got the better of me...and I had to use spray.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011


It was not a good idea to work on the baby blanket when I was feeling so bad over the weekend. It started to bug me and it had to be dramatically altered because it was all too busy and confusing. A break has provided some clarity of mind with it, as has some useful imput from the girls.
It is a more simple idea now and we will just have to see how it turns out.

There is another DofE walk this weekend and then Em departs for Wales for a week on Monday. A lot of packing for activities. Let's hope they both get sunshine and warm weather and not the blustery, cold showers we have had now for days.....Did I really moan about not having rain?

Tuesday, 21 June 2011


Fresh rhubarb for sale, organically grown in Yugawara. PERFET for rhubarb crumble, cobbler, jam, even fantastic with roasted pork. Why not try some and see?
My dearest friend and her fabulous husband and girls grow it.
Check out their link, which appears above and more details which appear below.

Our rhubarb is now ready for delivery.
To order, please contact us at the e-mail address below, stating
your name, address/ tel. number and quantity required.
Please pay at your nearest post office using the payment slip
enclosed with your delivery of rhubarb.
Rhubarb Price : 800yen/ kg
Shipment Fee : 800yen/ shipment
Contact address :

Friday, 17 June 2011

Wife cakes

My man bought me a box of Wife Cakes from Hong Kong. Apparently he asks me every time he goes away if I want anything and I say no, so he bought these.

I took them to the office and they created quite a stir. I like the idea that this is what BJ thought of to buy me.

Feeling very off colour, am going to keep a low profile until I am better.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

The tricky art of giving hand made gifts

If you read Fox's Lane at all you will probably have read about the pitfalls of giving something handmade to friends/family.

Somehow, while even knowing it can be risky, I still ploughed on with my idea of a baby blanket along the lines of the lovely spring blanket on Me Me Rose for my little niece to be.

It was going swimmingly and here are the first few tentative squares, really testing the colour wheel when....
my mum told me that sis-in-law only wants WHITE for her baby...
After a long hard think, I have decided to plod on. I hope she likes it and that it does get used. Rightly or wrongly I cannot see myself working only in white!
What do you think?

I want to stick with it. It is a happy project which is good right now. I am feeling very far away and sad as my dad is in hospital, doing well after surgery, (planned), but I am not there to help in anyway. Cooran is so far away.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011


I have ordered Mollie Makes volume II online.

I have made lasagne.

I have bought an old pine desk with a fold down writing flap for Em's room.

I have started the BABY BLANKET for the new little girl on her way. Pics of this will follow along with acknowledgements to two very creative women.

I have looked at Eurostar tickets to Brussels and will book one later.

I have played in the garden with Bosley. The leaf game...he loves it.

I have picked raspberries and frozen them.

I have driven my neighbour who was feeling poorly, to the station.

I have parted with more bedding.

I have parted with a big bag of baby yarn. This goes to Peggy who knits for preemies.

I am waiting for my friend to come so that we can crochet/sew together.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011


The patio looks more lived in and there are lots of new plants ready to grow into stunning blooms! Sweet peas popped out of the soil today as well, between breakfast this morning and getting home from work. Not a bad day's growth for such little plants.

I have bought Mollie Makes and love it and have subscribed. One WIP in hand which is fun and easy and relaxing to do. A gift for Han-solo, her request.

Em and I are into Jeeves and Wooster at the moment and it is wonderful that she can laugh so much at the older language and that she is picking up some great expressions and words.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Smell the roses

This evening is about taking time to centre, to dig, to plant, to smell the roses. Love that summer nights allow us this outdoor time at the end of a trying day.
These were a gift from a friend's garden and the smell is heavenly. Scents for the soul.

Sunday, 12 June 2011


Some nice finds at the car boot sale this morning. Apparently not as busy as usual because of the weather but it was worth the drips and drizzle, I think.

I came away with a blue dress, a pair of Hobbs shoes, new in the box and never worn, and they are red! A scented candle that looks like carved stone. A Wedgewood teapot (inside there are straining holes) and a lovely medicine bottle blue jar. We also bought a of bunch flowers each at nearly nothing because the florist was in a hurry to pack up.

My dear man is home and looks as if he needs a good night's sleep. Some nice food with friends tonight should help him relax. A raspberry cheesecake is baking now as I write.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Saturday, 11 June 2011


Not something that I have done before, but I want to have hanging baskets and if not baskets, planters stacked full. Loads of flowers everywhere. Part of it is for the sheer joy of colour. Again a bugbear because I don't know the 'rules'...but there is nothing to loose by having a go! Part of it is to get more bees into the garden.
Picked up one of these today. The centre is the deepest violet. Gorgeous.
Also managed to pile in a few complimentary plants so if time permits tomorrow, there should be something to see.

In the morning my man gets home at about 7 am from Hong Kong and shortly after that I am off to one of the big boot fairs in the area with Betti. We are shopping for us and for ebay.

It's in the name

I love these flowers and at this time of year they are everywhere. They can be seen in the most hostile settings, think motorways and empty tracts of land. When we walk anywhere I bring a few home, they last for ages in water and recently I planted some that had come away with their roots. I asked a friend what they are called and she said 'moonpennies'. What a lovely name. It comes from the fact that in moonlight they shine like bright pennies.
I decided to name my blog after them. Miss Lizzy was always interim. Only a few people call me Lizzy now, it harks back a long way. Anyway, this blog is about things I love and this name and these flowers suit the blog.
I hope you agree.

Friday, 10 June 2011


Fried rice. Tonight for those who eat at home there is going to be ebichahan...prawn fried rice. To make the thin strips of egg I used my lovely egg pan.
Something most Japanese households have and use to make tamagoyaki..a neat looking retangular egg roll. When I use the pan it feels as if the meal is a bit more authentic. One can do exactly the same thing in a fry pan, but I just had to bring one of these with me when I left Yokohama. There is no way the tamagoyaki that comes out of my kitchen looks like these beauties on the link but it might give you some ideas about how delicious an egg roll can be...

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Donut done

This is a pattern I have not used before and the hole in the middle is a bit tight. But it still looks cute. All wrapped up in a cookie bag with teddies on it for tomorrow.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

mini donut

This evening I spent some time at a friend's working on a mini donut for someone very dear who is leaving our office this week. She saw the little donut I made for our Norwegian exchange student on flickr and wanted one. Hers is smaller and still a WIP, but there is always tomorrow to finish when it is done.

This is how it is done

and this

To be able to completely give oneself over to relaxation must be bliss. It is also a skill. One I do not have. Of late I have spent time trying to relax and clear my mind of all the lists and tasks that constantly seem to pop around in my head. It feels like a fight scene in a comic up there with big coloured stars saying 'pow' and 'bang'. Only my stars say 'Japanese GSCE', 'DoE trip', Em's Challenge Kit', 'CHEESE' and today, 'crochet a donut'....My jaw aches most mornings now and today the clinic called to say my mouth guard is ready for collection. Something to bite into when there is too much popping in my head although it could be a bit of passion killer!!

But, really, life is so full and that is of my own making in many ways. It is a small step to be aware at least that slowing down and enjoying the ride is no bad thing. Life is not a race to its end. I crave the time to garden, crochet and cook but find I take on other chores. What do you say? A bit of prioritising, a bit of slowing down and maybe a bit of not being all things to everyone might be necessary?

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Western Union

to the rescue. Finally got the money to Spain and am now looking forward to the hols.
This week there are only three of us here as BJ is in Hong Kong and Ads is back in Hove. Not quite the peaceful home I crave, but everyone needs their space to be crabby.....I was a crabby teen, in fact I was horrible. I love my girls to bits but there are times when it really is a struggle just to remind myself that they are young and life can look very bleak at times and if you are going to act out, it is better done in the safety of home where they love you warts and all....and I do love the warts, but I love the girls under the warts much, much more!

Monday, 6 June 2011


is it so hard to transfer money to a country in Europe? For days I have been trying to send a holding deposit on a holiday flat in Spain with no luck....we booked the tickets and the car and now we need a place to stay and it is making me nervous that I can't get the money to the lady.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Goodbye, farewell

This morning we took our students to see the lambs that Han-solo's friend is hand rearing. There was much excitement and everyone cuddled a lamb....both were very obliging and did not bleat or wiggle.
You can see why they were so popular. They are very sweet and only a month old.
While the lambs were getting all the attention, someone was getting a bit jealous! She can't get through the cat flap but it didn't stop her protesting!
Our final outing was en route back to school when we stopped for a superb lunch at The Fox Inn - Famous for Seafood
between Guildford and Horsham. GREAT food and lots of it. We will go there again.
Now we are at home and tomorrow school starts again. It is raining and even though it is gloomy, it is a very good thing. We need lots of rain here.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Kemp Town Carnival in Brighton

What a great day. We took our Japanese girls and our two to Brighton, a magic place,
to go to the Kemp Town Carnival. The main reason being that Adam was playing with his band RISING TIDE , please have a look at this link and this one too! They were great, and here is a photo to prove it...

The band list
A group of hard core fans....

The carnival was fun too. There was a samba parade to start it off and lots of food, quirky stalls and music. Brighton has to be one of the best people watching places of all time. It was fabulous. The girls went off on their own and Big J and I pottered. We had posh lamb burgers, then later on an ice cold beer in a Polish restaurant where BJ ordered bigos to take home.

We chilled in a garden cafe with bits of the paper and between these two sit downs, walked miles.

At the end of the day we both had a garra rufa fish pedicure. So cool on the feet and a bit tickly. A great way to rest tired tootsies.

I snapped this nosy gull who seemed very sure that someone would come to the window eventually.
Some folk travel in splendour
and some have fun.

It was a lovely day.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Shortcake - Triumph to Tragedy!

This is what the cake looked like when decorated and ready to cut. Almost like the real thing. After taking loads of photos, birthday girl was cutting it when it slipped off the plate and onto the floor.

This is the re-assembled result. Fortunately the five second rule kicked in meaning that as it wasn't on the floor for all that long, it was still edible. We can thank Julia Childs for that little gem of a rule. Have to admit, it was a little on the solid side, but it did taste nice.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Sunny start

Almost hot here today, so nice for the beginning of June. The girls have gone to London for the day, so will be tired and foot weary when they get back. I have had a day to myself. It meant I could visit the coin laundry to get the mattress cover washed and I have put out piles of clothes to dry in the sun. One of our girls is 19 today, so I am going to make her a birthday cake 'Japonaise'....Shortcake...a sponge with fresh cream and strawberries. Fingers crossed it does not turn out like pancake.

In theory it should look a little like this:

We will have to wait and see!