Thursday, 20 October 2016

Four Steps to Happiness

1. Go to The Range and buy a pack of mistletoe craft embellishments.

2. Once back home find the craft glue and the stash of brooch backs (how did that safety pin get in there?!).

3. Glue brooch back to mistletoe.
4. Do happy dance at thought of wearing new brooch in December, or possibly November if you feel you just can't wait that long.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Celebration and Season

Jeepers creepers if I thought the week before G's birthday went quickly this latest one went at double quick speed.
Which can mean only one thing, it's time for another news round up.

Lets wind back to 8th and G's 50th.
As planned it was lunch out with family, all very relaxed and jolly good fun and then back to ours where we were joined by friends.
Lots of cake was consumed and this magnificent creation was the hands down favourite.
It was made by our friend M with help from his young son and daughter.

Do you like the cheeky banner?
I bought a make your own slogan kit from Poundland.
As soon as I saw it I knew what I wanted it to say.
G had already had his gift from me (our trip to NY back in April) but he did have a present from the children.
They gave him a chimenea with some mega marshmallows for toasting.

The day following his birthday G asked me what I wanted to do. I answered that as it was his birthday weekend it was for him to choose. He choose to do nothing. He wanted to chill out and listen to music, so he did.
I pottered and did some of my jigsaw, she's beautiful but oh there are so many shades of brown.

Monday I went into town and met with my friend I.
I wore my new favourite autumn outfit. I think the colours are very seasonal. The dress was a £1 buy from the car boot and I think the cardi came as a gift from my sister. I may also be wearing a new necklace. A buttony necklace for 75p was too much for this jewellery magpie to resist.

Talking of autumn, whilst in town that day I found out we now have a branch of Flying Tiger. I picked up a couple of things including these pumpkins. Got to have a bit of seasonal decoration going on indoors.

Carrying on with the birthday celebrations G and I had a night out together on Tuesday. We went to see a trio called the Lounge Kittens, who sing rock and metal songs but in a three part harmony Andrews sister style, but with way more sass. G is the rock and metal love but I loved them and if you want a listen, here's a link. 
Their support act was a chap called Jay Foreman who sang his own comedy songs which were very funny and very clever, especially this London Underground one.

G spent this past Saturday in London. His birthday treat from his sister was a trip to the theatre to see Sunny Afternoon, the story of the Kinks. He said it was brilliant. Apart from the fact a chap who was sat behind them was clearly drunk and talked throughout the first half, when G politely asked him to stop he was rude and then proceeded to eat a bag of crisps extremely loudly. Thankfully he was asked to leave during the interval. 

Of course there has been other non birthday stuff going on during the evenings. 
Evenings which are now darker so much earlier but the plus side of that is we get to put on pretty, twinkly lights.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Bits and Bobs

We are all toddling away doing our own thing here in the Jumble and Jelly household. 
Nothing especially post worthy in it's own right so a post of bits and bobs for a little round up seems to be the order of the day.

It was G's weekend for working but one day either side he made a start on decorating S's bedroom. It'll look great once it's done but in the meantime half of her belongings are piled on the landing and I'm trying (and failing) to ignore them each time I walk past.

I went out with a couple of friends on Saturday night. First we ate, chatted and laughed and then we saw the new Bridget Jones movie and laughed some more.

Loving my latest necklace purchase. The pink beads are so lustrous. I need to cut back on my spending what with 'that time of year' approaching but couldn't resist this brand new one in a charity shop for the teeny tiny sum of £1.49.

My mum's aunt passed away a few months ago and now her home has been sold and cleared her son asked us if we wanted to go and choose a little something as a momento. I picked out this little lidded glass dish. I love the little addition of the china flowers on top, I have a couple of brooches like that, and I know I will use the bowl in lots of different ways. 

T has been offered a transfer to a store much closer to home. This would cut down on his travelling time but he would have less responsibility which he would miss. He does like seem to thrive on that in the workplace we've noticed, so he is weighing up his options.

I am completely smitten with the new range of foxy items from Asda, not good when I'm trying not to spend. It's those cushions I'm most coveting, the foxy designs and the Stay Home and Snuggle one.

Talking of home, this is what I saw when I came home after work on Friday. Glitter ball sparkles on the kitchen ceiling, what a happy sight.

S is still enjoying school and is out with friends as much as she is able to be. We have had to have a serious chat about homework but with our help she is getting her head around learning to be a bit more organised in her approach with it's completion. One of the changes senior school brings!

These two are starting to spend more time indoors with the steady drop of temperature. Although they are also spending more time out the front of the house (and using the open window as a cat flap) as next door now have two cats who are determined to attack ours on every occasion they possibly can. We now have a spray bottle filled with water which we squirt at them whenever we see them on our garden wall or in our garden.

It's G's 50th birthday this Saturday so that's been keeping my brain busy, thinking of all that needs sorting for it.
We are out for a meal at lunchtime with his family and then back home friends will be arriving for cake. 

I baked this black bean cake because I thought it sounded interesting and it turned out like a brick so needless to say baking a cake for G isn't on my to do list.

Two of my favourite things, blogging and cakes, are combined in a deliciously cosy way on Jo's fabulous new blog how to hygge the british way which I am thoroughly enjoying. I urge you to pay her a visit and give yourself over to making your world a lot more hygge as we go into autumn and winter.

We've started in the perfect way.
Cinnamon pastries. 

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Watch The Birdie

 One morning a couple of weeks ago I was in the kitchen and suddenly became                             aware of a terrific noise coming from outside.
I opened the back door to see a tall tree at the end of a neighbour's garden was chock full of birds all atwitter.
G was home and I called to him so he could share in seeing and hearing this spectacle as I dashed back inside for my camera.
Unfortunately the battery was dead and so no photos could be taken, but we enjoyed watching them.
Then on Monday as I was pottering around at home I heard the same noise and glanced out of the window.
The birds were back.
Thankfully the battery in the camera was fully charged.
They settled themselves all over the branches and then a few at a time would fly off, circle around and then land again.
And my goodness did they make some noise whilst they were about it.

Then as suddenly as they arrived the sound of their chatter changed and they were all off.
A pretty rubbish photo of a portion of them is all I managed to snap, but it gives you an idea of how many there were.

Monday, 26 September 2016

My Weekend

This past weekend was spent a lot closer to home.
It began with a cuppa and a catch up with my friend G.
There was lots to chat about and as usual we could have nattered the whole day away.

One job which really needed doing was tidying my wardrobe and chest of drawers. It didn't take long to sort and with some kind of order restored I took the opportunity to count how many cardigans I have. 
I admit they are my weakness. 
I counted 50. 
Perhaps, but I love them.

We weren't sure about going to the car boot on Sunday morning due to the overnight rain but decided we'd pop along to see what was to be had.
G picked up a stash of records which he was thrilled with and my best buy was this tin for 50p.
It's going to be one of the items in my mum's advent box of gifts. I just need to decide what treats to put inside. I'm thinking shortbread.

A short while was spent in the garden, filling up various pots with daffodil bulbs,

before spending some time indoors with glue and glitter. Our boss is retiring at the end of this week and she is having a bit of a do on Tuesday evening. Colleagues who have worked with her for a long, long time want to decorate the room where it's being held with some of photos of her from over years. I volunteered to make some glittery pegs to hang the photos up with, I thought this would look more fun and festive.

Time with friends and family, odd jobs completed and of course the start of Strictly all added up to a gentle weekend to savour.

Friday, 23 September 2016

August Bank Holiday Monday

I'm having to go back in time to the end of August for this post.
Our plan for the bank holiday was a train trip to Portsmouth for a little jaunt to Gunwharf Quay. There were two places I wanted to go. First up was a look in the Cath K outlet store to see if I could find anything to spend my birthday money on. Nope, nothing I fancied for me but I did purchase a Christmas present for my friend I so it wasn't a wasted visit. Then it was on to Clarks for school shoe shopping. This was more successful and completed in less than 10 minutes, phew.

Then the next part of our day out saw us boarding the ferry over to Gosport.

S enjoying the ride over the harbour which takes all of about 7 minutes or so.

Here is the reason for going to Gosport, Carter's Vintage Steam Fair were in town.

Clicking on this link will explain why you won't see a carousel at the fair. Interesting stuff.

Now I'm not hugely in to fairground rides normally but I wanted to go on so many of these. Only thing was G and S refused to go on with me. I had to beg S to go on and eventually she agreed to go on two of them and in the end she loved them as much as I did.
First up we went on the chairoplanes. I was grinning like an idiot the whole time I was on this, but I didn't care I felt so happy and carefree.

The other ride was the Whirl Around Twist, this went on for ages and we laughed so much.

Some of the rides we didn't go on were the steam yachts

The giant octopus

The Dive Bombers.
Everything was so brightly painted and seeing it all together and looking so vibrant  couldn't help but feel happy.

How we resisted buying an ice cream from the cutest van ever I'll never know. Actually I do know as we were going to go and treat ourselves to a coffee and cake before we got the ferry back again, so another treat was beckoning.

Even the accommodation for the staff is vintage. Clicking on the link you can see more of what is on offer and they have a handful of dates left for this year before the end of the season and they spend the winter on maintainence.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Open House London 2016

Each time the Open House London weekend rolls around I think 'that would be an interesting event to take part in'. Well, when I read about it recently I thought let's stop thinking about it and actually do it.
So a cheap Travelodge was booked for our over night stay and I spent a little time on the website looking at places to visit.
As S was coming with us I couldn't try and cram too much in so I roughed out the shape of a plan and off we went early Saturday morning.
On route to our first planned stop we walked past what was the Royal Waterloo Hospital for Children and Women and admired the beautiful carved faces which adorned the old walls.

As we walked on over the bridge we had a great view of the Starflyer ride. I bet it's a real adrenaline rush being on that.

Who doesn't enjoy spotting some of London's tall landmarks.

Once over Waterloo bridge we nipped through Somerset House and found an interesting stainless steel art installation. Walking through it was like being in a hall of mirrors as they distorted your body shape and you saw yourself reflected at unexpected angles

and when you stood up from being sat on it the metal rebounded and made a noise like a clap of thunder.

Love this of G and S.

We had seen quite a bit before we had reached our intended first stop but not long after we arrived at our destination. The Royal Courts of Justice.

Having seen the outside of this building umpteen times on the news I found it quite exciting to actually be going inside it. Once inside and past the security checks you are greeted by it's architect, George Edmund Street.

The lady I approached at the enquiry desk was very helpful and gave us an information sheet and a quiz for S to do.

Just look at the view of the main hall from the first floor balcony, it is just as grand as a building built for it's important role should be

and the floor is given special treatment too, covered in hand laid mosaic tiles.

We got to go inside some of the courtrooms where photography isn't allowed and into the Painted room where it is allowed. Such a stunning room, decked out in rich Victorian reds and greens.

In stark contrast to this we also got to see the cells, we were shown examples of meals those in custody are offered, we could try on handcuffs and see inside the vans which bring those being bought to court would arrive in.

There is also a display of robes and wigs and a chance to try some on. This is the kind of thing I love but unfortunately there was a small queue and certain people were getting hungry and so we gave it a miss.

And this is where we ate our lunch, at the back of the building with not one but four red phone boxes in a row

As a bonus we were treated to the sight of two mounted policemen clip clopping past us.

Before I share our next stop here are a few highlights from our walk to reach it.
An incredibly narrow home called The Wee House

a striking look chap covering a water pipe, a pretty art nouveau lady pub sign, Jessica Ennis-Hill and a multitude of bird boxes in a small neighbourhood garden.

Our next venue was Hoxton Hall. My two grainy photos do not do the interior justice so please check out the link to the website to see it in it's true splendour. The little tour we were given was by Boris the Participation Manager and his love and enthusiasm for the music hall shone through. He told us how the building had been through a period of restoration due to a 2 million pound grant by the lottery fund and how the hall is still very much being used for the community.
Laurel and Hardy once graced the stage here and it was wonderful to be in a place where they had entertained the crowds and try to imagine the atmosphere of those evenings when a night out to see the latest variety acts was the thing to do.

And so ended Day 1.

Day 2 was to be spent in Hampstead. We had a couple of options lined up as you never know how busy a place will be until you get there.

But thankfully when we got to Fenton House we were able to go straight in. This 17th century merchant's house is definitely the kind of home you could imagine people living in. This is the view from the main entrance gates.

Having said I could imagine people living in it, the one thing I was disappointed with is that it wasn't overly furnished. These were my favourite pieces. The house is home to a collection of early keyboard instruments but I would have much preferred to see the attic rooms and other bedrooms filled with furniture that would have made it more of a lived in home.

The real gem of Fenton House is it's garden.

Walking through a hedge you emerge to topiary lollypop trees of holly and huge terracotta tubs planted with fig trees.

The green house is picture perfect although it must be well used as the garden provides an abundance of produce.

Around every corner there is a little bench, just right to sit quietly and enjoy the view or strike daft poses for photos.

All to soon it was time to think about returning home, passing on the way to the tube station this sweet little house

and a row of shops including a florist which had the prettiest pale hydrangeas on display.

It really was a fabulous weekend.