Friday, 27 May 2016

Five On Friday

It is time to join Amy at Love Made My Home for another Five On Friday post. I know I say this every week but I just don't know where the days are going to at the moment, it is frightening that Friday comes around so quickly and I haven't achieved as much as I had planned to do in the week. I don't seem to have much time to blog at the moment or visit other blogs but I am determined if nothing else I will do a weekly round-up for Five On Friday. Please forgive me if I haven't replied to some of your blog posts, I will endeavour to try harder in future!

Well, what have I been up to this week - really it boils down to the same as most weeks - work, walking, crochet with a couple of other bits and pieces thrown in.

1.  On Saturday we ventured to Salisbury to see Flying Scotsman, arguably the most famous steam train in the world. As my regular readers will know my DH and DS1 are big steam fanatics and this day had been eagerly awaited when this locomotive made a return trip to this part of the country. I decided to accompany them, mainly I have to say, because it was a miserable day but I still wanted to get some steps in. My goodness, did we get some steps - rather than motor to Salisbury we decided to go by train and it is a fair distance from home to the station, plus walking around Salisbury and then the return walk home (in torrential rain) all added up to well exceeding my target. Salisbury was absolutely packed with lots of mad steam lovers as was every bridge and vantage point on route. I would love to travel on one of these excursions and have a meal in the Pullman carriages but at £200+ I don't think that is ever going to happen!

2. I didn't have to work on Monday so we took advantage of a beautiful afternoon to walk the Forton Loop in Longparish. This walk is interesting as it takes you through varying landscape (from village street, meadow land, common land, agricultural land to woodland). It seems to be an excellent year for wildflowers which are growing in profusion at the moment.

3. Tuesday and Wednesday are working days for me but I did manage to do some crochet - progress was made on my interlocking ripple blanket and a couple of this week's pattern release squares have been completed on the Last Dance On The Beach CAL which you can see displayed on my blocking board.

4.  I am enjoying my garden but am waging a war against slugs and snails attacking my lovely Marguerite plant. As soon as the flowers appear they are being eaten. Just before taking this photo I have had to cut off several flowers that have been damaged beyond repair. They have also taken to nibbling at my Ice plant leaves as well but seem to leave everything else alone. Any advice as to how to deal with this pests will be welcome! 

5. I work on a Thursday every other week but this week was a 2 day week for me so another walk beckoned. This time we started off in the village of St. Mary Bourne, I have shown you many photos from here in the past but this time we covered new territory for us (although I walked these paths many years ago with my Dad). The walk took us from the village up to Cold Harbour Farm and then on through the fields eventually arriving at the tiny hamlet of Wadwick before heading back to SMB. We are so enjoying our walks in our glorious countryside and spotting the changes as the weeks go by - long may we continue to be able to do this.

Well that is it for this week. I hope you all have a lovely long Bank Holiday weekend (UK) and that the weather stays kind. See you next week for another Five!

Friday, 20 May 2016

Five On Friday

Five On Friday time once again and as usual I am joining with Amy from Love Made My Home. I am so enjoying participating in this weekly posting and finding out what others have been up to. I am a bit behind replying to blog posts at the moment but will hopefully catch up over the weekend.

After my somewhat long post last week I am short on time today so without further ado here are my five bits of news from this week.

1.  Our new garden furniture arrived and we are really pleased with it. We do have a parasol to complete the set but for now you will just have to imagine it as I just whizzed outside to take a quick picture this morning and didn't have time to assemble the parasol.

2. A walk on Monday and suddenly this river-water crowfoot has emerged out of nowhere it seems. Everything seems to be growing apace at the moment which surely means that Summer can't be far off (well let's hope not).

3. I did it! Weighing in at Slimming World this week I achieved my 5 stone weight loss. Really pleased but still a long road ahead. I haven't actually set a final target but in my head I know what I want to achieve and what I think is a realistic target so if I go by that I have another 2 st 1 lb to go so onwards and downwards.

4. I have been a wee bit naughty and have started another charity blanket without finishing the previous one. There is however a reason behind this - my friend contacted me and wanted me to teach her how to crochet a ripple blanket and as it was my plan to start a ripple blanket as my next charity blanket I decided that I would start it now as it makes it a lot easier to show someone if you are actually doing the same (well that is my excuse anyway)! I have made several ripples before but this one is a little different, I am playing with the colours a bit and making it an interlocking ripple. You will be able to see what I mean as I progress with it so will show you my progress sometime soon.

5. The next square for the Last Dance On The Beach crochet-along (CAL) was released on Wednesday and I have only today got around to trying it out, this one is meant to represent seagull footprints on the beach and was quite quick to crochet so hopefully I will be able to get all four squares done by tomorrow so I can get back to my charity blanket.

Please go a visit Amy's blog where you will find links to more Five On Friday posts.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you all have a lovely weekend and I will see you all same time, same place, next week (if not before). 

Friday, 13 May 2016

Five On Friday

Another week gone by and it is time to join Amy from Love Made My Home once again for another Five On Friday. 

So what have I been up to this week:

One:  I have not had as much time as I would have liked to spend on crocheting this week and have yet to start my 4th week CAL square (hopefully will get to it sometime today). It took me until Tuesday this week to finish my four squares for week 3.

I have had some questions as to what the funny looking object is that I display my squares on - well it is a blocking board where you peg your squares out to the size they are meant to be, the square then settles into that size. This makes your finished blanket much neater and easier to join. Obviously your square does need to come out quite close to the recommended size before you block otherwise you would be stretching the square too much. There are various methods of blocking, some people wet block, some steam their squares but I am sold on this method of blocking since purchasing this lovely board from Daisyboo Creations a little while back.

The only other crochet I have done this week is the square shown below.

I had a message from one of my crocheting pals who had seen a photo of a square looking quite similar to the one above but after searching high and low in books and on the internet she could not find a pattern for it and desperately wanted to make it. She asked if I could figure out how to do it and write up a pattern for her so never one to shirk a challenge I set to and came up with this. This is just the prototype and I did perfect it as the rounds went on and have now produced a pattern for her. I am happy to say it worked out for her and she has now produced a lovely large square using my pattern. I think it does vary slightly from the photo she sent me but I am not sure that matters too much. 

Two:  Fitbit/weight loss - unfortunately after 17 days my streak of 10,000+ steps a day came to an end on Tuesday. This was one of my work days and a day of torrential rain so I had no opportunity to go out once I arrived home to try and get enough steps. However, I am now back on it and hoping to build up another streak. 

I am sure all the walking is helping me with my weight loss as I lost 1.5 lbs this week and only have 0.5 lbs to go until I reach my 5 stone award. Wish me luck, I want it to happen this next week. 1.5 lbs doesn't sound very much to lose in a week but just lately my progress has been very slow so this was quite an achievement for me.

Three:  A few weeks ago I showed you the seedling pots that I was hoping would grow, as I told you I am very new to all this so it was a case of keeping my fingers crossed and hoping they would grow. 

This was a wild flower planter that I was given, I have been carefully nurturing these indoors for a while but have now decided they will survive and hopefully flower outside.

Some more wild flowers, this time taking their chance by being grown outside.

Nasturtiums, these have only just peeked through the compost, I was beginning to think these were not going to do anything.

More nasturtiums, not sure about these, just a hint of a seedling emerging.

Four:  DH and I enjoyed a visit to the stunning Exbury Gardens in the New Forest yesterday. We haven't been here since 2011 so it was time for a return visit. I took far too many photos as usual and will just show you a handful (very difficult to decide what to leave out). Love or loathe rhododendrons and azaleas you cannot help being impressed by this place which is a riot of colour at this time of the year.

Five:  After visiting Exbury we motored onto Lepe Beach which is only a few miles away from Exbury where we planned to walk along the shoreline. However after not getting very far it started raining, very slightly at first so we didn't think it was going to be much so decided to walk on. However the few spots soon became a torrential downpour with hail and thunder and by the time we had walked very swiftly back to the car we were soaked through to the skin and looked like two drowned rats! A very damp journey home but it was still a fun day. I just managed to take these photos before the rain hit us.

Hopefully I haven't bored you with the overload of photos on my Five this week. I hope you all have a lovely weekend. See you next week for another Five On Friday. 

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Two days, two glorious walks!

We are having some glorious weather at the moment and what better way to spend it than walking in our wonderful countryside. Over the last two days we have really enjoyed two walks, one familiar and one new to us, although both walks were less than five miles from where we live.

Walk number one:  On Friday DH and I walked the Longparish Riverdance, those of you who are regular readers will recall that we have done this walk a few times over the last year but I will try and show you some different views this time around.

Some interested/nosy? cows came to investigate us!

These little black lambs were so cute but wouldn't co-operate by looking in my direction!

Beautiful view across the Hampshire countryside

Cherry blossom looking lovely against a perfect blue sky

I love the new growth on the trees (so green and fresh) before the canopy becomes too dense

A grey wagtail, we stood and watched him for ages as he flew backwards and forwards across the river catching bugs

The serene River Test

It was a perfect day for walking alongside the river

We usually see large rainbow trout from this bridge but there were only small ones in evidence today.

A view looking back towards the Upper Mill

Marsh marigolds (kingcups) growing by the side of the path

This walk takes us through lovely parkland

Time for a refreshing drink before continuing our walk!

My lovely DH ...

and yours truly!

Continuing our walk after our lunchtime stopover

Once more, walking through beautiful parkland ...

before making our way around the Lower Mill and trout farm

Wild garlic

I love to see flowers tumbling over the top of stone walls

Walk number two:  Yesterday No. 1 son accompanied us on a walk around part of Harewood Forest taking in the Deadman's Plack monument and some bluebells. Part of this walk was new to DH and me so we were relying on our son to lead the way.

The start of the walk took us across a field to enter the forest

Newly emerged oak leaves

We came across this lovely green clearing in the middle of the forest

Aircraft spotting!

The Deadman's Plack (click on link above to find out more about this intriguing monument in the middle of the forest)

Clumps of primroses growing in the forest - some still in bud

Fields of rape are very much part of the scene in this part of Hampshire at this time of year

A stand of beech trees with their new lime green growth, beautiful!

No apologies for boring you with more bluebell woods - I just cannot resist taking these beautiful flowers

but I will just limit it to two photos this time around although as you can imagine I did take rather a lot!

Yet another field of rape

I love the way the light is shining on this one.

Thank you to my son who treated us to a very welcome drink at the end of our walk.

I hope you have enjoyed sharing our two walks and thank you if you have made it this far from an overload of pictures! Until next time enjoy what remains of the weekend and the wonderful weather.