Just being ME

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Anemone blanda, the Grecian Windflower.



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bittersweet memories ...

The photo above taken in 1950, was in the belongings of a Great Aunt, who passed away this month at the age of 93.

From the left it shows her father John (who I knew as Gampy), and her mother Ethel (who I knew as Old Nan), who passed away many, many years ago.

From the right is my Nan Iris, who is no longer with us, and my Grandpa Eric, who at the age of 96 is alive and well, and lives in Mallorca.

The young girl in the middle (aged 10) is my lovely Mum, who sadly passed away this month back in 2002.

Old photos are bittersweet, a mixture of both pain and pleasure.



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i'se just arrived ...

That's the title of my latest Mabel Lucie Attwell postcard purchase - 1922 Boo Boos!

I've been having a bit of a spend-up on ebay!

I won this beautifully made basket interwoven with plastic ribbon. It's not vintage, but made for the original owner in 1980 by a blind friend.

I also won three lovely handpainted Dartmouth Pottery Seagull sideplates. I've been wanting some of this design for ages.

I've two more purchases waiting to be picked up from my local sorting office.

I'll show you next time.



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remember me ...

With the warmer weather and longer days, you will find me more out than in, as I love my garden and outside space with a passion.

Only a handful of you come over to visit me here. I shall be joining in with Simone's Tuesday Garden Rake over this side of the fence. Just pop your head over, so I know you're behind it!


Below is a token of mutual respect, admiration and friendship taken from an old journal, August 4th, 1853. It's from an inspirational book I bought from a carboot a few years back, called On Women & Friendship by Starr Ockenga.

To my teacher, Elthelda Coggan, from your pupil.

'Remember me when gone away, and I the same will do,
and when you're with your friends at home, then I'll remember you.

Forget me ah forget me not, when evenings shades descend,
For then my thoughts will turn to thee, my fondly cherished friend.'


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sneaking seafront snaps and twiggypeasticks ...

On my way to work this morning I had a bit of spare time, so I snuck behind some beach huts to take the photo above. It's looking East into the sun along Lancing Beach.

I am very, very long overdue in thanking my good bloggy friend Sarah aka Twiggy, from The World of Twiggypeasticks for thinking of me when she was dishing out the above award. It's always nice to hear from you Twiggy.

Along with the award came a question, to name five things you enjoy doing. There's lots and lots of things, but I'm going to relate my answers to how great it is to live along the coast.

I enjoy cycling to work along the coastal path.
I enjoy picking up pebbles and shells with holes in and when I can find it, driftwood.
I enjoy eating fish bought from the local fishermen.
I enjoy eating Mr Whippies from the seafront cafe.
I even enjoy collecting seaweed, for my compost heap!

Twiggy also passed on this lovely Sunshine Award to me!

And talking of sunshine, today we were swathed in yet more of the glorious stuff. Even at 8.00 o'clock this morning it was shaping up to be a lovely day. The month of April this year really has been truly amazing.

And just to top it all, Twiggys only gone and sent me another one!
If you like, accept these three awards from me to you, and if you've the time let us know five things you enjoy doing?



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Exotic Emperor, a beautiful double Tulip.



on two wheels ...

I've started cycling to work again.

Isn't this sketch lovely. By Ernest Howard Shepard, better known as the man who drew Pooh.



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easter and sugar overload ...

Inbetween shifts at work this week, I managed to fit in making a Simnel cake. I've always wanted to make one, and for my first attempt I was a bit chuffed at how it turned out.

I took the recipe from Mary Berry's Ultimate Cake Book, one of the first ever books I bought when J and I set up home together in the eighties from the Lakeland Plastics catalogue. No internet ordering in those days!

I didn't really have the time to be too fussy with its appearance, ending up using a more rustic approach.

I wanted to put the eleven balls of almond paste (marzipan) on the top, each representing the eleven apostles (excluding Judas) present at The Last Supper.

I have every other Thursday off work, and must admit to feeling a bit jammy today. After the foul weather of yesterday, in complete contrast out came the sun.

Perfect for taking photos.

Talking of feeling jammy, a few week's back I was lucky enough to win one of Simone's lovely giveaway crochet jam-jar covers. They are made to fit a Bonne Maman jam-jar, but not having one mine is just slipped over a glass, perfect for these eleven tiny narcissi I picked from my garden.

Simone sent me the one in Cornishware colours!

I made my own almond paste (marzipan), and a recipe is in the book too. It's so much nicer than the shop bought stuff, very easy to make, and you can store it in the fridge wrapped in cling until you need it.

All you need to make about 1.5lb is 8oz ground almonds, 8oz caster sugar, 8oz icing sugar, two whole eggs and 6 drops of almond essence. Once mixed, knead lightly.

A layer of almond paste is placed inbetween the cake mix, and once baked gives the cake a moist pudding-like texture.

For the complete Mary Berry golden look, brush the top with egg and finish off for a few seconds under a hot grill.

I had my family over this afternoon for a cup of tea and slice of cake (Worzel Gummidge), and for those not keen on dried fruit and marzipan, there was Coffee Sponge.

Made in the style of a Mary Berry traybake, but in a round tin not rectangle, as I couldn't wait to try out the round cake tin liners I bought the other day from Julian Graves.

If you love baking, check out Simone's Friday Cake Bake. I haven't been able to join in the fun 'cos I work that day, but lots of others have.

Happy Easter weekend everyone!