Sunday, 28 September 2014

Easy like Sunday morning

Good morning everyone!

Here we are - the last Sunday in September 2014 - how did that arrive so quickly?  I was up bright and early at 6.30 this morning - yes, I know, it's Sunday, but I really prefer to get up early if I can, get on with a few jobs around the house before anyone else is about (quicker that way) then I can sit with a coffee, catch up on blogging, and do a bit of crafting - which, for me at the moment involves crochet, here is a sneak peek of my latest project:

I love the colour of the yarn, but it is a bit of a beast to work with as it often splits.  But, the colour is so wonderful I will persevere!!

Out in the garden, hanging the washing, I couldn't help but stand and stare in wonder at the increasing autumn colour all around...

This year, I have tried to have a few plants around the front door, here is my autumn display:

Mums, I just adore these colours...

Cyclamen, so pretty...

Glimpse of my miniature Japanese Maple, just starting to change colour...

and pansies in my hanging basket, they almost look as if they have little faces...

Just as I was about to go back indoors I spotted this little fellow (look away now if you don't like spiders!!)

He wasn't there last night, so must have been very busy spinning such a perfect web.

Back inside again, I made a cuppa and had a bit of a think about what to make for dessert tonight.  Then, I remembered I had bought this:

Pumpkin Pie it is then!  I love Pumpkin Pie, so spicy and sweet.  To off-set this treat I am going to make a hearty vegetable stew in the slow-cooker, potatoes, sweet potatoes, swede, carrots, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, and lots of herbs and spices.  So the whole house will be smelling quite delicious later on I hope!

And because my jobs will be out of the way early, hopefully I will have time to go out for walk later on.

Have a lovely Sunday, Helenxx

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Pootling about with potholders

Good evening everyone, hope you are well and having a good week.

Over the past few weeks, I have been doing quite a bit of crochet, making gifts for loved ones.  I started off inspired by this book, full of vintage-inspired patterns and ideas:

but then also came across this pattern by Pammy Sue (great pattern, thanks so much for sharing):

so now for a gallery of potholders, some from the book pattern, some from Pammy Sue's pattern, and some are a hybrid of the two...

I think the red and white ones look quite festive together...

Pink ones a bit more summery perhaps...

The collection together...

a few gratuitous macro-shots...

I so love making these, so easy to pick up and put down, and I love that in an evening or two I can complete a project, and make some progress with my gift list. 

At the moment I am making some autumn-coloured cushions, will hopefully be able to share a few photos soon.  Crochet really suits me especially when I am on a hectic schedule (as I am at the moment) so easy to pick up and put down. 

Have a lovely evening, Helenxx

Monday, 22 September 2014

Arrival of Autumn

My favourite season of them all - beautiful Autumn.  Wherever you are, I hope it is a wonderful season for you and yours.

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns". George Eliot.



Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The reason for my visit to Belgium?

The chocolate and waffles (and indeed pizzas!) were lovely but there was another reason...


is Formula 1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, I was there for the Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Circuit Spa-Francochamps!!!!!!!!!!!!

Regular readers may have spotted that I am a big Formula 1 fan, along with my kids and more recently my husband.  I have loved the sport since I was a teenager, and used to go to Grand Prix with my brother.  Then came marriage, kids, mortgage etc, etc, and it is a long loooooong time since I could go to a race.  Each race weekend we would sit glued to the TV to watch the practice, qualifying and the big race itself.  And this year, we were finally able to go back to see the real thing.  And it was AMAZING!!!!!

Lots of beautiful cars to look at, here is our favourite, the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen (more of him in a moment):

A few hairy moments for some of the drivers, but thankfully everyone emerged safe and sound, but perhaps with slightly bruised egos:

The track itself is beautiful and very dramatic, very hilly in places:

We were able to walk the track after the race (7km!) and took a picture of the Ferrari teddy leaning in a casual manner against the barrier:

We were also allowed into the pit lane on the Thursday, and met some of the drivers - first off, from the Red Bull team, Sebastian Vettel, the current 4 times World Champion:

He was very modest, took a lot of time to talk to the fans, a very nice chap!

Then, Daniel Ricciardo, the eventual winner of the Grand Prix, who was very bubbly and entertaining (I might just have to adopt him as a nephew)

Then to the driver we have been supporting as a family for over 10 years, the 2007 World Champion, Kimi Raikkonen:

A much quieter chap than the Red Bull lads (he is often nicknamed the Iceman for his cool and calm manner) but he stayed out the longest of all the drivers, making sure that he could sign as many autographs as possible, a very patient guy as there were so many people there!

We had the most fantastic time imaginable, if you are not into cars or motorsport I can understand that you might find this all a bit strange!

Of course we are back to watching the races on TV again now (Singapore this weekend) but the memories we have of this fantastic sport in a fabulous country will always remain.  Would love to go again next year!

Have a lovely evening, Helenxx

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Beautiful Belgium

Good morning everyone, hope you are well and enjoying a lovely weekend.

One of the reasons I have been away from Blogland over the past few weeks was due to a lovely 5 day trip to a European country I had never visited before - Belgium!  Such a lovely place, the people were so incredibly friendly and helpful.  For example, when asking directions in incredibly broken schoolgirl French, the lady being asked (who was just standing outside her house smoking a cigarette) didn't speak much English, but signalled us to wait, went next door, called a guy out (who was in the middle of eating his dinner) who, speaking perfect English, helped us with directions in the most courteous way possible.  The landlady of the little flat we rented for the duration of our stay ignored our impossibly late arrival (Sat Nav - brilliant for main roads but didn't show the side roads!) as if this was the original plan anyway, and welcomed us so very warmly and with impeccable courtesy. 

We stayed in a little town called La Roche en Ardenne - so pretty, but with a very harrowing history, having been all but destroyed in the Second World War (part of the Battle of the Bulge).  The townspeople honoured the British and American soldiers who liberated them - on every street corner we found memorials, plaques and tanks (this one has been restored as it received a direct hit and all inside were killed)

More memorials...

This is a memorial to the many civilians who lost their lives...

Hard to imagine now, the grief and desolation that engulfed this pretty, friendly little town...

Our accommodation was simple, but simply ideal...

Lovely garden and terrace, complete with a wood burning oven...

Friendly neighbourhood pets...

Little kitchenette and comfy living room...

Lovely views of the town from the window...

However, we did not spend that much time in this charming place, as we headed each day to somewhere else in the Ardennes...

Beautiful isn't it?  But we weren't there for a woodland holiday.  No, we were there for something quite, lovely readers, where do you think we were, and for what reason?

Hopefully back soon to reveal all!!

Have a lovely Sunday, Helenxx