Just being ME

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it's amazin' what raisins can do ...

Remember the advert from the 1970s for the chocolate bar below.

Amazin' Raisin bar - (cockney pie and mash type song) "Its amazin' what raisins can do/All that goodness and its all fo' you/You just 'ave ta do what ya gotta do/It's amazin' what raisins can dooooooooo... Oi!". A Cadbury concoction of raisins and chewy stuff and rum!

Anyway I am getting a bit side-tracked here, which is nothing unusual. What I was going to start off this post by saying, is that you can't beat the sun shining through the windows to get you motivated. Yesterday was such a glum day and I had no incentive to do much at all, but today, well it's a different story altogether. Already I have commented on some blogs, done the housework, baked a cake and made this delicious flapjack in the photo above. After I have had a quick coffee break, written this post and eaten the piece of the flapjack that is missing from the photo, I am going to get out and attack the garden!

The flapjack is made using Dorset Cereals fruity porridge. Him indoors rarely shops, usually only when he needs emergency supplies for his fishing expeditions, but the other day he came back with three boxes of this stuff, purely because the Co-op had marked it down to half price! I don't like it as porridge with milk but he has a bowlful every day before he leaves for work. Even so it will take quite a time to get through this lot, so I thought I would help out, by making something in the way of naughty.

Well he does need help in eating it before it goes past its sell by date!


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periwinkle's tag ...

Lisa from Periwinkle tagged me a while back on the 4th April for this meme. Better late than never I say!

How did you come up with your blog name?
For my garden blog I needed to think of a name quick and This Is My Patch came to my head whilst pottering in the garden. Home Is Where The Heart Is was easier. I believe I have a good heart and have lots of hearts around my home, so the name seemed perfect, albeit rather twee!

Do your friends and family know about your blog and what do they think of it?
Yes, friends and family know. Some look in, some leave comments, and some don’t do either!

How do you write posts?
More often than not I start with a photo and then work what I write around it, usually writing short posts on one subject.

Have you ever had a troll or had to delete unkind comments?
No unkind comments yet, only an IPod advert and a rather strange comment, both of which I deleted.

Do you check your stats? Do you care how many people read your blog. If you care how do you increase traffic?
I don’t do stats, but I do a monthly poll. This gives me some idea of how many people have been having a nose, and it still surprises me at how many do and how many comments I am lucky enough to get. They all make my day!

What kinds of blog/posts interest you?
I am interested in all the blog posts I read, there is no one subject I favour. Every one has got something equally good to say for itself.

What do you like and dislike about blogging?
I like the fact that I am in touch with folk from all over the country, and the world! I still think it’s amazing. I dislike how I get nothing else done while I am away in this other world of mine.


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middle farm ...

Today we visited Middle Farm, a 625 acre working family farm, which nestles at the foot of Firle Beacon on the South Downs in Sussex. As you can see I didn't bother to dress up!

Nor did the other half!

Lovely old buildings. The Skies & Scarecrow gift shop and entrance/exit to the working farm which costs £3 each for adults.

A Gloucester Old Spot. I love pigs, I was born and grew up on a farm.

A rather cute Jersey calf making the most of the sunshine, just like us.

This is a goat? Well it was in with them!

My dad had a tractor much like this back in the 1960s.

This really is the first time I have seen a turkey still with its feathers!

A majestic peacock.

Pets on the farm too. Just look at these sweet little bunnies!

This guinea pig has his own little house!


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cheese 'n pickle anyone ...

This is what I am going to suggest we do over the extended Bank Holiday, that's if we don't get the rain that's forecast for the weekend.

The picture is taken out of Lucie Attwell's Rhymetime book, thought I'd share it as it is so cute. The car reminds me of a yellow MG my mum had.

Whatever the weather I hope everyone enjoys their weekend.

Louise x


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granny's bonnet ...

This is a lovely photo of my paternal granny, G as she was known. It would have been taken at the same time as the photo in my earlier post showing my grandad looking somewhat like a film star, in the early 1930s. The photo was taken by Robert M Barr who resided at 69 Denmark Hill, London SE5.

Seeing as yesterday was such a beautiful day down here in the South of England, I took the opportunity to photograph a few things in beautiful blossom at the moment from around the garden and Granny's Bonnet seemed appropriate for this post, although photos of flowers usually appear over on my garden blog.

Now if granny had been wearing a bonnet in her photo, it may have looked much like the elegant item of millinery above.


more friends and a belly dancer ...

Last night I met up with the girls to celebrate my friend Fiona's birthday. As well as us two, the usual suspects being Jackie R, Jackie P, Helene, Lynn and Val.

Fiona chose to go to Istanbul, a Turkish restaurant along Worthing seafront, which turned out to be a very good choice. The decor has a real spicy Turkish feel and the food is of a high standard. For the price of a meal you get a belly dancer thrown in! You cannot dispute the value for money here.

The belly dancer was really very good and was dodging the waiters to keep the dance going. The hip scarf was being passed around but only Jackie P, Helene and Val were brave enough to accept it and get up and have a go. Jackie P being absolutely hilarious after a drink or two! There was a hen party too, so you can imagine the scene, and also couples with their partners of whom couldn't keep their eyes off the dancer!

The belly dance in Turkish is called Oryantal Dansi which means the dance of the East. Click on Turkish Belly Dance to discover more of the tradition.


I really enjoy reading all the blogs I visit but once in a while one surfaces which never fails to make me laugh. Moogsmum this award is for you, you are so funny!


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a good friend ...

Today I met up with Fiona who I always describe as my oldest friend, I have known her for just over 25 years. What maketh a good friend? Well in my opinion it is someone you feel at ease with and can talk non-stop with without drawing for breath, and we certainly both do that!

Fiona had the very good idea to meet up at Highdown tearooms in Worthing. We both had a latte with a huge portion of bread pudding, being a bit naughty and choosing something sweet and not savoury for lunch, Fiona blamed me for her decision! Luckily J couldn't see my choice, I would have got a very disapproving look!

After a couple of hours of chat we had a leisurely stroll around Highdown gardens, well I say leisurely but it is on a slope on the chalky South Downs, so I was a little out of breath in places, maybe not such a good idea to be talking and walking at the same time? The photo above is of roses spotted in the garden, they were really tiny and so pretty, and growing in what I thought was rather a shady spot for them, but they seemed to be thriving. I must look this variety up.

We then popped back into the tearoom after coming up with the lame old excuse of it being on the way back to the car, where I had a strawberry milkshake and Fiona had a pot of char, which we both needed after what turned out to be an energetic jaunt around the garden, going around in a few circles didn't help matters. It turns out after many years of knowing each other that we are both as useless as each other when it comes to finding our bearings!

A good friend is also someone who gives you good advice when you need it. Thanks to everyone for their kind words regarding my webshop. I am still anxious about my decision to open one, but I feel a little more confident after all your words of encouragement.

Louise x

More photos of plants from Highdown Gardens across on my garden blog. You won't be disappointed!


a home with a heart ...

Well I have done it at last! What, I hear you say? Finally, getting my new shop on the web up and running, and is now live to everyone I know here on the blogs. It has taken me quite a time to show it to you, as I have been agonising over the layout, which is quite basic as I didn't spend much on the original package. I have decided it is fine for starters, and it is all my own hard work so I am quite proud of my achievement. It may not have the really polished look as some sites do, but it does what it says on the tin, and I hope to make improvements as time goes on! It all depends on whether I make any sales?

I aim to sell a mixture of things, past and present, basically what I like and hope you like too. I only have a few items listed at the moment, but I will try to update as regularly as I can. Taking photos and writing descriptions is quite time consuming, but once I have the knack it should get easier and faster!

Any purchases can be made using Paypal and cheque in the UK, and Paypal from outside the UK. Remember post & packing is included in the price, and please read the terms & conditions first if you are interested in making a purchase.

Please click on the title of this post for a link straight over to the site, and I have put a link on the sidebar too. Thanks for looking. Any feedback from you would be more than welcome.

Louise x


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beautiful cherry tree cottage ...

This is the cottage my grandparents lived in for many years, I wonder why they didn't have a pale pink front door? I spent many a Saturday morning here with my brother as a child. I have so many happy memories of this place, I don't know where to start. Here are just a few naughty things me and my brother used to get up to, don't forget we were very young!

Rolling marbles from the top to the bottom of the stairs!

Hiding a hard bristle brush underneath the covers on my grandad's side of the bed!

Planting water bombs on top of granny and grandads' bedroom door!

Here are some more sensible memories!

Watching cult viewing, Pipkins, The Banana Splits and The Double Deckers on their TV!

I would get a spelling lesson from grandad without fail every week. We would sit in the sunroom which was sandwiched between the kitchen and the workshop. Don't ask me why but the spelling of the word onion sticks in my mind to this day!

Once granny took the lid of the pressure cooker too soon and rice pudding exploded all over the ceiling!

We would have prunes and custard and granny had special dishes with rims around the edge to place our stones!

I would play washing-up standing on a stool at the kitchen sink!

I took great pleasure in tidying up granny's store cupboard, putting tins in neat rows, much to my Mum's annoyance!

Granny would make her own cream in a cream-maker. It tasted like Nestles, yummy!

Granny and grandad kept one tin especially for sweet biscuits (pink wafers and Nice) and one tin for savoury ones (Cheddars and Cream Crackers)!

I have told you this one before. Granny's Birds trifles were always on the slant!

I wonder if my brother can remember any more?

This post was inspired after seeing a lovely photo of cherry blossom on Carolyn's blog Willow House.

I'd love to hear of your special memories of your grandparents?


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bank holiday monday in the UK ...

With the pleasant weather we have been having it really does make you want to get up and go. So early this morning we jumped on the pushbikes and cycled into Brighton, just under 20 miles there and back! We have been saying for ages that we must do it, as most of the journey is cycle path along the coast, only having to cycle on the road for short distances. Well all I can say is we really enjoyed it and will definitely be doing it again.

Once in Brighton we stopped for a coffee in Caffe Nero in Bond Street. We like theirs as a double shot comes as standard, if you want weak coffee then you must say. I also squeezed a muffin, with J pointing at a sign saying 'do not squeeze me until I am yours' - whoops! We then had a stroll around The Royal Pavilion gardens, where we took a few photos.

We peddled back towards the coast where I snapped Brighton Pier.

And what is left of West Pier, once the finest in England, and the first one to be Grade I listed? A crying shame it has been allowed to end up like this?


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jam ...

My poll for April was to get some idea of your favourite jam, the results are in and there is a tie between apricot and raspberry both receiving 25 votes each. Apricot would have got my vote, so apricot wins! Strawberry came in third with 17 votes and other received 12 votes. Of course there are many fruity flavours of jam, but I couldn't include them all in the list!

I am a lover of packaging and I have always bought Hartleys jam for the shape of the jar! You don't get so much for your money but who cares. The flavour I have just finished is gooseberry which is a definite favourite of mine, I have a jar of pineapple on the go, and an unopened jar of damson.

I am not a great lover of strawberry or raspberry jam, but both are nice used in a Victoria Sandwich, along with buttercream.

This is how I eat my jam, on two slices of toast every morning! I really like it on brown thick sliced sunflower seed loaf, both Sainsburys and Somerfield do a good one.


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baah ...

Happy May Day everyone!

These two must be quite used to having their photo taken, today they were enjoying basking in the lovely sunshine. Unfortunately I have missed the famous Lambing Time at Coombes Farm in West Sussex where this little woolly pair live, lambing time is between March 15th - April 20th. I did hint but the reply was, it will be too busy! Anyway I took the opportunity today to pop up and take some photos before they either get too big or end up on someone's plate!

I now have this photo as my desktop to look at when I log on. It reminds me of a recollection of mine.

A year or so back while driving through Exmoor in Devon, we stopped the car in a carpark to put the kettle on and whilst it was boiling on the stove, I stood by the fence to observe the sheep, something which surprisingly in my 43 years I haven't ever done. What I noticed is how a lamb, split up from its Mum manages to find her again amongst a field full of other lambs and sheep. Quite a commotion was going on, a bleat here and a baa there from this little lamb and the same coming from some way in the distance, well I didn't know that every lamb and its Mum must have a baa which each other recognises, because eventually the little lamb picked up on Mum's radar, and the next thing I knew it was bounding off across the field to be reunited with her. I will never forget this amazing sight which brought a tear to my eye, and a memory I shall never forget.

I needed a cuppa after that and a strong one too!