Friday 30 April 2010

A Rainbow in my garden

This is my easy way of remembering the colours of the rainbow (may come in useful if you find your self on "Who wants to be a millionaire".

Richard (red)

Of (orange) - try hard to ignore the very sad dead daffy!
York (yellow)

Gave (green)

Battle (blue)

In (Indigo - poetic licence invoked!!)

Vain (violet)

Richard of York, gave battle in vain. Remember where you heard it and send me a share in your winnings!!!

Tuesday 27 April 2010

Survival Sunday

This coming Sunday is being dubbed "Survival Sunday" by Radio Sheffield as Sheffield Wednesday (the boys team) have to play their hearts out to avoid relegation. Hubby and the young man paced around a bit last night as they listened to a match where if Crystal Palace (I think it was Crystal Palace, I am a bad wife and only half listen!!!!) had won, then Wednesday would have been out - they drew 1-1. So, it all rests with the team themselves as they play on Sunday. Its going to ne a nail biter!

Talking of the blues - I spotted some of my favourite "blues" making their first appearence of the year - and I heard my first cuckoo too.

Monday 26 April 2010

Wicked Parents

The young man has "wicked evil parents" who "drag him out for long walks at the weekend - his words. Sunday morning came, he had been warned, he needed to get up early doors as we had planned a long walk in Derbyshire. He was not happy - at all!! However en route, the number of flashy TVR cars that passed us, alerted him to the fact that there was a possibility of a meet up at Chatsworth, so we decided to go to plan B - diverted and ended up on the Chatsworth Estate. Being wicked and evil, we stuck to the plan to take a lovely long walk.

The views wherever you are on the estate are breath taking.

We noticed some deer. Unfortunately, they also noticed me and ran away before I got the camera set up!

We walked down through the stunning estate village "Edensor". Spookily, my 99th "follower" who introduced herself yesterday was also in Edensor - possibly at the very same time!!! Can you see yourself in any of the photos Rebecca? What a small world.

The young man had been right. There was in fact an enormous meeting of wonderful TVR cars - old and new. The boys were in heaven.

But as ever, their favourite was not a TVR, but the Aston Martin. Dream on Boys.

The young man had to admit it hadn't been too bad after all.

Saturday 24 April 2010

Last weekend was agony for the boys at the Heartshaped house. The "local derby" Sheffield Wednesday Vs Sheffield United - and they had tickets. Their team (Sheffield Wednesday) are facing relegation (this happens on a regular basis these days I'm afraid), and my cries of "Its only a game" don't seem to make things any better! Any way, whilst they went off to watch the game (which ended in a 1-1 draw, not the best result but it could have been worse!), I took myself off to the garden centre for a walk around the walled garden.

These filled the air with a fabulous scent.

I have some of these in my garden, but I don't know what they are called.

Its such a sheltered spot that the Rhododendrons are out here now.

I was even brave enough to enter the bear pit on my own.

Its very dark in here. I did manage to scare another lady who had ventured in on her own.

Friday 23 April 2010

Chocolate Heaven

I recently received an invite to visit the Cutlers Hall in Sheffield to visit "Chocolate Heaven". I managed to get the Dancing Queen on the invite list too. I had never been inside the Cutlers Hall and so was very excited. It looks fairly impressive from the outside, but as this is smack in the middle of the city, you could easily walk past it and not notice it.

The staircase is beautiful - very grand. We had a bit of a tour of the building and our guide told us that it was a replica of a staircase in Buckingham Palace.

I was totally amazed at the size and spectacular rooms inside. There are also displays of some of the most impressive silverware and fantastic cutlery - all made in Sheffield. I wish that it was on public display - its such a shame that so few people get to see it.

The main hall is simply stunning.

The ceilings and cornices are really decorative.

I couldn't get great photos of the chandeliers, but they too were out of this world. One of them was copied for the film "Titanic".

It really is the greatest building. Rooms can be hired for weddings and functions, and they still have the inauguration of the Master Cutler here - a very grand occasion by all accounts.

So what about the chocolate? Exhibitors had been invited to tempt us with their wares. On arrival, we received a goody bag with Green & Blacks chocolate in it.

And then there were the Chocolate Fountains - where you could dive in with marshmallows, strawberries and fudge!! and so we did - several times!

Cupcakes were courtesy of "Fancie" who were advertising their new shop which has opened in the city centre.

I love the Heart shaped sprinkles!

There were also chocolate eggs to decorate, a display by a chocolatier who was making chocolate spoons, truffles etc - all of which were sampled!! We also sampled the wares of the Fudge maker - Irish coffee was my fave.

We also tasted ice cream by a local farm - Our Cow Molly. My favourite flavour was the "dairy" (plain) ice cream - not vanilla. Its just the taste of fresh cream and milk - totally delicious.

We couldn't believe how sick we felt as we made our way home on the tram!!!!

Thursday 22 April 2010

I had a great surprise waiting for me when I returned home from work today. Recently, I won a giveaway over at Clares. She said she would send something handmade. Just look at the fantastic goodies she sent me.

The label is beautiful - I am going to hang it on my wardrobe.
And the crochet heart will be displayed in my conservatory.

She sent me a fantastic selection of gorgeous fabric to play with - I needed some inspiration to get the sewing mojo back!
And the "piece de reisistance" is this stunning patchwork covered notebook,

with this brilliant painting and heart felt sentiments on the inside - sentiments that Clare and myself share.

Thank you so much Clare, You are so talented and have great taste, and I absolutely love everything - you made my day. How lucky am I! xxxxx

Wednesday 21 April 2010

Calendar Girls

Had a fabulous evening at the Lyceum in Sheffield last night watching the stage version of Calendar Girls. The play is fantastic, the cast amazing, but the fact that this is a true story is what makes this tale so heartwarming.
If you get chance - go to see it - I just know you will love it.

(photo from Calender girls official website)
Tonight, the dancing queen and I are off to a "Chocolate Extravaganza" evening (yes, its a freebie night out Michela!). Much chocolate tasting and playing with chocolate by all accounts. I'll let you know how we get on!!

Sunday 18 April 2010

7 more things.

I was tagged recently by the lovely Christy, who lives all the way across the pond in America, and also the lovely Julia, who lives all the way across the fields in another part of South Yorkshire, to reveal 7 things about myself. I have done this a couple of times before in previous posts, so I have delved deep to come up with another 7 - as my daughter would say - "random" things about me. Here goes:

1. As you know, I am only 15years old mentally, which means I am entitled to have a schoolgirl type crush on the go the whole time. My current "crush" is the most handsome, gorgeous Dan Snow. What a lovely young man!! The problem at my age is that it has to be a "young" man, as older men are just "old" men!!!

2. I am a bit addicted to ginger. I love to cook with it, eat it, drink it etc Its currently my favourite flavour. I am currently loving Twinings Ginger and Lemon tea.

3. I much prefer to be thrifty than extravagant. Being thrifty brings out my creative side. I get a real buzz from producing a great meal for next to nothing, especially if I have grown any of the ingredients.

4. The only job I never wanted to do when I was a girl, was work in an office - and its the only job I have ever done!! My current ideal job would be either Artisan Cheesemaker (inspired by Alex James of Blur), Specialist Beer Brewer, Wine or Olive oil producer. My scool careers teacher never told me jobs like that existed.

5. I wrote my Junior school's "School Hymn" when I was about 8 years old - "Jesus is our loving friend" . It was the start and end of my musical career, but it did get me photographed sat on the Bishop of Wakefield's knee, which appeared on the front page of the Yorkshire Post, which was advertised on TV - achieving about 2 minutes worth of my "15 minutes of fame"!

6. There is no food now that I do not like. Until recently, I couldn't eat Brussel Sprouts (my mums fault - she used to boil them to a mush - adding Bicarbonate of Soda to them making the whole house smell of f*rts" - not appetising) and I couldn't eat Pineapple either. But I persevered and I can eat anything now!

7. I am missing Michela.

I would love to know 7 things more about you all, so if you feel like revealing, then feel free to pick this up.

Monday 12 April 2010

Youve gotta have "Friends"

I don't think anyone would disagree that Mrs Thatcher started the decline of the large industries in South Yorkshire - firstly she closed the steel works and then the coal mines. Mr Blair continued the trend, sending our large manufacturing companies to the far east. Apart from the jobs, what the area lost was funding for a very many of its leisure activities. People in the area used to live near to where they worked, and also play there too. The miners welfare scheme and company organised social clubs funded almost all of the sporting activities, operatic and drama groups, music societies, parks and gardens etc here abouts. In the late 80's and early 90's, many of these facilities went into serious decay and decline.

The Lottery fund has picked up some of the slack, and local councils have had to dip into their pockets to get many of these facilities back into shape, but the sense of community is lost - possibly forever. However, something amazing has sprung up around some of the projects that exist - "Friends of..... "

Elsecar park had become a victim of the decline. When I was little, Elsecar Park was beautiful and a great day out. I have some wonderful memories of the park (apart from the time when I fell in the paddling pool fully clothed and my mum made me strip off all my wet clothing and wear my dads jumper instead. I was 13 years old and the park was full of other teenagers from my school who knew me!).
A few years ago, the park had become a "no go" area - full of yobs and druggies and not a nice place to be. However the local council, assisted greatly by "The Friends of Elsecar Park" have completely turned this back around, and once again the park is a lovely and safe place for families and kids to be. The "Friends" organise fund raising events, nature events, music in the newly restored bandstand - for both old and young alike, built great new play area's and much more. The "Friends" consist of - like most groups of this type - busy people, mums, single, females, males, young, old from all walks of life who have a desire to halt the decline and improve the area in which they live. Thank goodness for the "Friends" - perhaps we should do away with politicians and get a group of "Friends" running the country instead. I'd vote for them.
They have reopened the cafe - and were doing a roaring trade on Saturday when the young man and I decided we needed to get some exercise, so we took advantage of the 9 hole pitch and put.

The only problem we encountered was the amount of daisies on the course made it difficult to spot where my ball was - not that it ever went very far!!

Here endeth the party political broadcast for the "Normal Folk who make better that which politicians ruin" party.