Friday, 27 April 2012

Patterns

Y'know sometimes it's good on these drearisome days to break away from the mundane and let some colour and pattern into your life.


Do you favour stars?

Or Dotty Dots?

Rather 70s inspired circles within circles?

Or neat little lines of multicoloured flowers?

Can't make your mind up?  

Well why not go for all four?! 

This toilet tissue is so posh it has a go-faster pink inner tube! It is truly the Christian Laboutin of bog roll!

Look!!! 


How utterly decadent !

Guess who bought this eh?  hmmm??  Well I'll give you a clue.  It wasn't Kevin the Teenager.  Nor was it Diva Daughter.  I'd go as far as to say that it wasn't me either. I wasn't in the Country.  Nuh-uh.  Nope.  I would never entertain such frivolity in the smallest room!  Which leaves that big rough an' tough punk man of mine.  Named and shamed methinks!  Of course he will state in a Court of Law that said purchase only fell into his basket because it was "on offer" m'lud. 

If you say so my love!

Now where else in the blogosphere would you find a post dedicated to such a subject eh?   You shouldn't be shocked really cos (wait for it)



- it's just how I roll.



Snigger.


See what I did then?!!  

Thursday, 26 April 2012

One of those days...

Hello bloglies!

It's been a somewhat trying day today.  Regular readers may remember that my Dad was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer a couple of year ago.  Thankfully a massive dose of chemo shrank the huge tumour and,  Tarceva is keeping it at bay for now.   Unfortunately however, a couple of months ago Dad developed chronic pain in his groin and thigh.  Bone tests showed that a localised patch of cancer had developed in his thigh bone and as they were worried about the potential that his bone could shatter or snap under any kind of pressure or fall, medics decided that as a precautionary measure they would put two pins in his bone and this would also hopefully help to alleviate some of the pain.

It's awful to see a loved one in pain.  The sense of helplessness is just horrible.  Dad had his operation today thankfully.  I went to see him this evening not long after he was back up on the ward.  Dad's a big man and has never looked his age, but today he seemed old and very frail. Once the anaesthesia had worn off, which happened unbelievably quickly, the pain level was unbearable.  It sickened me to see him in so much pain.  After some pretty heavy pain relief I'm hoping that he can get a good night's sleep and be more able to cope tomorrow.  Please keep him in your thoughts.

I think today has been made doubly difficult by the fact that it's the sixth anniversary of my Nan passing away.  She died on her 93rd birthday and not a day goes past where I don't miss her or think of her.  She was the loveliest, sweetest person.

Ah anyways...... I don't want this to be a pity party but I'm a down to earth blogger and this is just how my day has been.

Moving on and on a lighter note....

Kevin the Teenager made pizza at school yesterday.  When I got back from the hospital he proudly presented me with this box telling me that he'd left me some to try.

I was very impressed by the big posh box the School had sent him home with.  Very professional eh?!


Harvey was suddenly on high alert!!


Come ON Mom.... the suspense is killing me!



Wow.  The tiniest pizza ever!   


Thanks Son!

Well it gave me a giggle anyway!!  And it actually tasted delicious!! 

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Floral Fantasia

A very warm welcome (and thank you!) to new followers Scarlett, Gilly and Datacreata (I'm sorry I don't know your name).  

A bit of a random blog post this one - not that my regular followers will be shocked by that statement!!

A couple of weeks ago Mum and I were invited to (an imaginatively titled) Flower Club evening.  The club meets once every month and is held in a local community centre.  My Mum has always been really interested in flower arranging and took some evening classes in it some time ago.  With our wedding on the (distant) horizon, she was keen to get back in the swing of things and perhaps learn some new techniques.  I went along as chaperone to ensure that she didn't generally cause chaos, miss her chair and sit on the floor, trip up a step or go to the wrong venue completely.   

On the evening in question, there was a demonstration of various floral arrangements.  Now this is not generally something I'd be interested in as of course I am far too rock and roll for such quiet affairs (cough) - but, *blush* I found myself leaning forward in my chair, fascinated by the creativity of the demonstrator and oooohing appreciatively at the resulting displays.  The chosen theme was "Fantasia" and around five or six different arrangements were created to denote different parts of the music/Disney film.  Her interpretation was brilliant and the flowers she used were beautiful.  Indeed I was amazed at the sheer volume of blooms she used in her demonstration - it must have run to well over £100 (at a very conservative estimate) - and each one was raffled off at the end of the evening to the delight of the attendees.

I took some photographs of the finished items on my phone, so forgive me if they're not the best quality.










Aren't they gorgeous?  And huge!! I'm secretly glad that I didn't win one because I know that I'd have absolutely nowhere to display it!

These are the best flowers of all though.  Delivered to me today by my amazing man.  



It's the two year anniversary of the day we met today (24th April).  He's the love of my life.   Ok you can all stop gagging now.  It's my blog and I can slop if I want to!! ;)

See you soon! 


Sunday, 22 April 2012

Planning for our Plot and Plant Purchases

Hi Everyone, thank you  for joining me again.

I was very happy to see that my followers now total 10 lovely people! A mini-milestone. That makes me smile - thank you so much.  Numbers seem to have dwindled since I moved my blog from 'Peapod Ponderings' to 'Love From Peapods' but hopefully people will find me again and be happy to read my ramblings!  If you have a minute, perhaps you wouldn't mind leaving a comment.  I really do appreciate the time you spend here.

I had arranged to meet up with my friend this morning for a long overdue catch-up.  She collected me at 10am and we drove out to our favourite little Garden Centre,  this little place,  We have been using their coffee shop for the past 10 years or so; using it as a place to escape to when the going got tough, a quiet corner to hatch plans, a bolt-hole to run away to and drink coffee, and in more dire circumstances, eat vast quantities of home made cake.  We used to collect our littlies from pre-school and take them here for a cheap and cheerful lunch.  Nowadays it's our catch up place; still a place to put the world to rights and to catch up on all the goings-on in our respective busy lives.  Today was no exception; a hearty full English breakfast and a couple of cups each of coffee fuelled much gigglesome gossip and sharing of confidences ...we reckon (and I sincerely hope that this is the case) that we shall still be visiting this place in our respective dotages, both causing chaos on our mobility scooters!

I took some snaps of the greenhouse which, as usual, was a riot of colour.  Plants of the moment include pansies, pelargoniums, geraniums and wonderfully spindly early season dahlias.  There were also row upon row of boxes of tiny summer bedding plantlets all ready and raring to go for growing on.









When my family first moved into this house some 12 years ago, I did my best to try to shift several clumps of columbines (granny's bonnets/aquilegias - whatever name floats your floriferous boat!).   In fact I tried to uproot them every year for about five years.  They just grew back stronger than ever.  I can't even remember why I was trying to move them now because I love them!  Even more curious is the fact that this little beauty found it's way home with me too!




I also purchased two of these beautiful Senettis.  I love blue flowers and these are really deep blue despite the camera's attempts to paint them purple.  These will be transplanted into the raised planter when the daffies have died down, and under planted with the little yellow daisy type flowers you can just see peeping underneath (which I've forgotten the names of).


Lovely Man and I were having some discussions over our week's holiday as to what we should do with the garden.  We have a decent sized lawn, but unfortunately it has become rather scrubby over the years following abuse by collective cats, chickens and more latterly, HTH.  After talking it over we came to the decision of perhaps taking up the lawn and installing a low maintenance courtyard garden, upon which we could place large ceramic pots filled with tall structural plants to create some interest and maintain our green area.

A couple of days later, we spotted much to-ing and fro-ing at a neighbour's house which what we had believed to be a large delivery of slabs and sand.  We thought nothing more of this until we saw a skip being delivered next morning and the landscape gardener beginning to load said slabs into the skip!  EEK!! STOP THAT IMMEDIATELY!!   A quick move and lots of heaving and ho-ing on Lovely Man's part secured us these wondrous items:-


 


















How serendipitous is that?!! We now have more than enough of these wonderful looking courtyard slabs, all in perfect condition, to replace our lawn!  We were most appreciative I can tell you.  Our kind neighbour was reluctant to accept the two decent bottles of wine we took over as a thank you gift, saying that he'd resigned himself to just getting rid of them and was happy they could be put to good use.  The gardener advised that he actually has to PAY to get rid of this stuff when he's removing slabs etcetera from new landscaping projects.   I love the fact that we can recycle the items which would only have gone to landfill - but more than that, the fact that they are just SO perfect for what we were planning.  Money is always tight here at Peapods and it would have taken a long time to save up for the hardcore materials we needed.  Serendipity that we were home last week eh?!  Thank you Thank you Thank you!!

Edited to add:  Major blush.  I'm down to  9 followers.  I appear to have lost one along the way in the space of a couple of hours  :(     Was it something I said.  I knew I shouldn't have mentioned the goats' heads!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

W.O.W. Round Up

W.O.W. = Week Off Work.  Tee hee.

How are you all?  We've had a week's leave this past week and have had such a lovely, relaxed time.  The kids  have been back at school and we've had lots of 'us' time, which has involved just bimbling around, lazy mornings, lie-ins,  having late breakfasts in cafes, wickedly extravagant beverages in coffee houses, trundling around charity shops and making lots of plans for the garden.  Simple, uncomplicated stuff but boy has it recharged our batteries!

It's absolutely chucketing down outside and it's reallllly cold.  It's not been the most pleasant of weeks weather-wise but I did manage to catch these lovely puffs of cloud suspended over the horizon early on Tuesday morning when we had a rare clear and bright morning - aren't they fabulous?



















Yesterday we popped across to Birmingham with the sole intention of browsing the markets.   We travelled into Brum on the train and and alighted at Moor Street Station as this is just a stone's throw from where we needed to be.  Moor Street Station is such a pretty little place right in the heart of Birmingham City Centre.  It's recently been renovated to it's 1930s splendour at huge expense.  I didn't take a photograph yesterday but have 'borrowed' one from the t'interweb.

Unfortunately, once you emerge from this little oasis of calm, your visual senses are assaulted by this:-



This is the Selfridges building which straddles the Bullring.  I'm sorry.  I've tried to like it, I really have- but the more I see it, the more I think it looks like some ghastly alien pod, sitting malevolently at the road side sucking the life out of the area.  Ugh.  *Shudder*

We ran away at top speed t'wards the less painfully chic but more homely and ample charms of the markets.

Come with me on a little tour!

First point of call is the open market.  The majority of the stalls are fruit and veg and traders vie with each other to offer the best bargains.  We had no intention of buying anything today, but the brightly coloured stalls crammed full with fresh produce were extremely tempting - particularly as the prices were so incredibly cheap.  Five huge peppers for a pound. (and no green ones either!!). Three bunches of HUGE spring onions for a pound... and SO many traders are now using the 'bowl' system of selling which is quite bizarre!  Quite simply, each plastic bowl of fruit or veg costs a standard £1.00 per bowl. I guess it looks like a bargain but you don't really get to compare prices per pound so what may look very reasonable may actually be very expensive.

 You can't ask for the wrong thing here..... Union Jack all-in-one anyone?!!
 

















Indoors we go now to the Rag Market.

This was revamped when the Bullring was upgraded a few years back but hasn't lost any of its old fashioned charm.  I spent many a happy Saturday here in me yoof, looking for vintage clothes and buying loads of tiny Ska button badges for my Harrington jacket.  Inside the red bricked building, the huge space is crammed with aisles and aisles of closely packed stalls.  Again you can buy anything here...from joss sticks to vintage leather; second hand clothes to pet food; there are loads of haberdashery stalls.


I loved these buttons and the sweet girl behind the stall was happy (if not a little puzzled)  to let me photograph them.


Oooh Shiny Buttons!!





Add caption















A lovely Asian gentleman saw me with the camera and insisted that I photograph his array of brightly coloured materials!  "All the colours of the rainbow!!" he kept saying, grinning at me as I snapped away.







I think that anyone's bum would look big in these babies!!

Our purchases from the Rag Market amounted to 10 sandalwood joss sticks, 30 assorted incense cones, one pair of vintage Lee jeans for the man and a new neckerchief for the Hooligan,

Next to the Rag Market is the Meat and Fish Market.... my oh my I wish you could see the stuff  in here.  It's certainly not for those of a delicate disposition - particularly when every part of probably every barnyard animal that ever lived (ok it's my blog and I can exaggerate if I want to!) is offered for sale! I didn't take any pictures in here as the market was very crowded, but the following delicacies were offered for sale:   Goat's heads (avec eyes - eek!! It looked like something out of Alien!), sheep's stomachs, livers, lights, offal of every description, chitterlings, brains, throats (no really!!), cow's tongues, chicken feet, cows hooves, and.... something that I could very possibly revert to vegetarianism over - beef snouts.  I kid you not.  A whole tray piled high with cow's noses.  Vom.

Do people really eat these things? Do they settle down in front of the tv with a light snack of goats feet and cow's nostrils??  They do?  Well Bleurgh!!!  Quite frankly!

 Everything is very fresh, however, I'm afraid it does make one feel slightly bilious if one loiters for too long.

And then there's the fish stalls!  Snapper, Bream, Cod, Salmon, Pollack, Shark, Parrot fish which looks blue under the light, octopus, prawns, whelks, crab, and more exotic and fancy fish than you can shake a stick at!

Escaping out into the insipid sunlight, we came across this statue:


No it's not called Wagamama!



Looking up towards the Bullring the clouds were gathering behind St Martins.

And that bloody alien pod getting its ugly mush in again.  Looks like a scene from Dr Who!


Fearing for our lives we ducked into Pizza Hut to hide from potential alien attack! Well that's our story and we're sticking to it!



Monday, 9 April 2012

Drip ...Drip... Drop ...

Drip, drip, drop
Little April shower
Beating a tune
As you fall all around

Drip, drip, drop
Little April shower
What can compare
To your beautiful sound

Drip, drip, drop
When the sky is cloudy
Your pretty music
Can brighten the day

Drip, drip, drop
When the sun says howdy
You say goodbye right away

Another British Bank Holiday Monday dawns.  Ergo it's raining. 

Hey ho!  It's not like it's a huge surprise or anything is it?!

So many people on my Facebook feed are bemoaning the weather today.  I don't see the point in moaning about something over which you have absolutely no control.    There is no doubt that we NEED this rain - it's been falling steadily for most of the day.  A gentle, steady, drenching rain which will no doubt please the gardeners amongst us. 

I'm more than happy to be inside today. I'm not at the dark and gloomy place, I have Lindor chocolates and some rippling to do!  



 The Superbikes (and lots of  kid's films) are on t' telly so Wondrous Man is happy, DD's gone away to the seaside with her boyfriend so she's happy, there's biscuits in the house so KTT is happy, and HTH is pretending to be invisible so we won't tell him to get off the settee - so he's more than happy!! I cleaned the chooks out this morning so they're happy.  The cats are no-where to be seen so I can't vouch for their collective happinesses but hey, you can't please everyone!

Happy Happy Happy!

Back to work tomorrow for me but even that can't penetrate my happiness shield - just four days breaking rocks (in the hot sun) and I'm away from the place for NINE WHOLE DAYS! YEEHAH!! 

Oh yeah - and we have a haunch of venison cold cuts of this beautifully spicy ham for tea! ~~~~>

Hey one's glass isn't just half full, it's positively overflowing!  **

Don't let the weather dampen your spirit - enjoy the rest of your precious day, whatever you happen to be doing.

See you soon 

xxx

** remind me of all this bloody positivity malarkey, say, on Thursday, when I shall once again have lost the will to live!!   ;)

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Hoppy Easter

Afternoon!  

A very Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate it.

And for those of you who don't - Happy St Cadbury's day! 


Ooh how very non-PC of me. In an effort to ensure that not all sensibilities are offended I must apologise in advance to those chocolate rabbits amongst you who have been rendered disabled by frenzied gnashing of teeth.


Mwahahhaha..  Always makes me chuckle that one!

Ahem.

Want a giggle?

Have a look at this!

Our school float - Wollescote Primary School - Silver Jubilee 1977.  I was ten years old.   Where is I do you reckon?

I'm having a very retro weekend!! On Friday we went to see a fantabulous punk covers band at our local music venue.  Punk'd ( http://www.punkd.co.nr/ )really are a brilliant live band with a very young (in his 20s and not even alive when the the Pistols were kicking off for goodnessakes!) but very charismatic front man who acquitted himself extremely well.  Man and I had the best time, partaking of rather more of the falling down water than we had intended and singing our heads off to such splendiferous and jolly tunes as 'Staring at the Rude Boys', 'Alternative Ulster', 'Borstal Breakout', 'Babylon's Burning' and .... of course (stands up and salutes reverently) 'Anarchy in the UK'.  My face ached from smiling so much - but not so much as my head ached yesterday.  Why is that you never remember why you don't usually drink until the day after the night before?  Hmm there's a conundrum for you! 

The house smells wonderful right now- a lovely mixture of spices and sweetness.  My Hunter Gatherer went out this morning and brought home the biggest piece of gammon you have ever seen!  Seriously!! What is it with men and huge pieces of meat?!   He's been in the kitchen most of the day preparing marinades and glazes and the like.  Can't wait to taste it now - it'll probably last for weeks!!

We're hibernating today.  Revelling in being home and doing as we please.  The kitchen is resounding to the sounds of Stiff Little Fingers, and here in the living room the kids are snugging and listening to probably the worst attempt at a Cockernee haccent ever in living memory. Everyone sing ....."A glorious die in mie".   Tis very funny actually - DD is enthralled and snuggled under the zebra throw, Kevin the teenager is pretending that he is FAR too rock'n'roll to be even contemplating the watching of such drivel but as I'm typing - he too is transfixed!!  pahahaha.  Classic!



Enjoy the rest of your Bank Holidays my lovelies. 
Run along now.  Spit Spot!!

xxxxx