Saturday, 28 July 2012

Which would you rather?

A couple of weekends ago I made one of my infrequent trips on the London underground.

The train was crowded and there were no seats.

For the first time in my life I was offered a seat by a young woman of about 19 or 20.

I smiled and thanked her but explained I was only going one stop.


have I reached an age (early 50's) where younger folk will give up their seat for me?

That's pretty devastating.

Or have I put on enough weight to look pregnant?

That's pretty devastating too.

A friend laughed and asked which would I rather?

After deep consideration I decided I'd rather be old.

What would be your choice?

Andi xx

Sunday, 15 July 2012


Last Thursday we spend the day at the Harry Potter studios.

Absolutely fabulous for any HP fans.

 Which we are.

Lots of pics.  Hope you enjoy seeing them.  Particularly for those who can't get there.

Harry's bedroom under the stairs at Privet Drive

Diagon Alley

This took my breath away.  You can see the scale of it if you look at the guy on the left.  This model was used for all the long shots of the castle.  The detail was unbelievable.

The Great Hall

The Burrow.  The knife on the table on the right was chopping the carrot. 

In detention.  (I wish!)



Who couldn't love him?

Daughter poses in front of the Knight Bus

Godrick's Hollow

The Griffindor Common Room

Yes, they actually sold Butterbeer and it was delicious.  
Hard to guess the ingredients, but my guess is Cream Soda, caramel syrup with a dash of vanilla.

At the staff table in the Great Hall.  These are the actual robes worn in the films.

My alter ego Sybill Trelawney

A thoroughly grand day out.  Obviously there's a lot more than I've shown you here, but I hope you enjoyed seeing the pics.

Andi xx  

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

I've been busy

Mum has been making a few comments about my lack of updates so before the tumbleweeds start breezing through this blog I'll tell you what I've been up to.

First things first, I won a giveaway held by the lovely Lorrie over at Fabric Paper Thread.

These were the goodies that came through my letterbox:


Some note cards made with photos of France which Lorrie took herself.
The viewpoints are fabulous

And very specially, the 'A' for Andi.  There were two as you might see in the first pic but for some reason the photo of the second one hasn't appeared on my memory card.

Thank you Lorrie for a fab giveaway.  I am thrilled.


You've got to love them, but they do bark.  Especially if there are two very barky dogs living next door.

The fence between our two properties didn't help as they could see each other through the gaps, so we had a new, more solid fence put in its place.

This was the old fence ready to be broken up and put in the skip:

Basically sound, just not suitable for two dog-owning neighbours. 

Hmmmmm.  Can I really allow all that good wood to be thrown in the skip?

Absolutely not!

Our back fence was just as open which left us little privacy in the garden:

So with my trust crowbar and hammer, I took those fence panels apart:

And slotted the struts in between the gaps on the back fence.

The fence guys didn't understand. 'We can put up a new fence' they said.  
Why?  When I've got the materials right here to reuse, recycle and reclaim my privacy?  
Oh it's grand not to feel on display any more!
(and not give the fence guys any more money!)

Also I've tarted up a junk cupboard.

Imagine if you will this cupboard stuffed with bin bags full of duvets, pillows and old curtains all piled up on the floor.  Disused clothes jammed on the rail waiting for the car boot or charity shop, their drop hindered by the bin bags of duvets etc.  The top shelf stuffed with junk.  Got the picture?  Not nice is it?

Here's me ready to pull it apart, sand it down and paint the walls.

(I didn't have any dust masks)

A trip to B&Q for wood, some erratic sawing and I now have a more respectable cupboard with lovely new shelves (goodness, with all that sawing and working with wood I felt like one of the Waltons).

Oh, and I built a greenhouse.

Well, that's not strictly true.  I asked pal Eddie (who does a lot of work in our house) to help me build it but after about an hour he very tactfully said, 'You can go indoors, I'll call you if I need help'.

So here it is.  My greenhouse.  The tomato plants are doing nicely and the herbs are poking through but a lot of other things went in a bit to late in the season.  Never mind, next year it'll be a riot!

Andi xx

Friday, 4 May 2012


The following had me crying with laughter:  
(warning: contains the F word)

 I'll be posting again soon. 

Have a great (bank holiday - UK friends) weekend.

Andi xx

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The Shawshank Redemption Quilt

All those who wear glasses to read blogs

please take them off now.

All those who don't wear glasses...well, just half close your eyes to look at the following pics.

I've finished my beach quilt!

(thank you; thank you)

It's very far from perfect, which is why I don't want you to look too closely.

Made from charity shop shirts and castoffs from my husband's wardrobe (whether he was aware of it or not. )

The squares had been cut in my life-before-dog and have been waiting patiently to be sewn together for a whole year or more. The centre embroidery was bought at a car boot sale for 50p.

I'm sure I'd worked out a better pattern for the squares, but I'm afraid I just took them as they came out of the pile and sewed them together.

(oh look, a dog toy on the left)


The backing is part of a duvet cover also bought from a charity shop.

How the Quilt Got Its Name

It is meant for the beach, oh best beloved, and as British beaches are very often covered in pebbles, I thought it would be a good idea to double the filling, you know, make it more comfy.

Bad idea.

After I had (with great difficulty) quilted it all together, I realised it hadn't been such a good idea and bravely decided to unpick it all. Yes, unpick all the quilting stitches.

I put a DVD on one Sunday afternoon and spent the duration unpicking.

The film was The Shawshank Redemption so that is how the quilt got its name.

The Shawshank Redemption quilt

(and I must say I was very glad to have a visual diversion during some of the more brutal parts of the film.)

Now I have the quilting bug but I want to learn to do it properly.

I'd seen some Japanese quilting which I liked a lot so I ordered this book from Amazon

Not only is it full of beautiful things to make with Japanese fabric it also had a picture and instructions for this beautiful quilt

Quite by chance I then discovered a quilting supply shop not so very far from where I live and today I went there.

An Aladdin's cave of fabric.

I bought this

And I've signed up for quilting classes. I begin at the end of April and the Japanese quilt is the one I'm going to make.

So excited!


Andi xx

Monday, 12 March 2012


Dead may tree where I wanted to plant a lilac shrub.

Three hours,

one spade,

one fork,

one sledgehammer

one saw and

a bit of female muscle later...

A little help from Elsie (not)...

and the may tree was out of the ground.

Am SO looking forward to a nice long bubble bath.


Yesterday Elsie had been part of our family for a whole year. Tomorrow she is meeting up with her mum (Olive) and sister (Doris) for the first time since leaving the nest.

Knowing Elsie it could go either way but I'll take my camera and let you all know how we get on.

Another thing I hope to show you soon is the beach quilt I've been working on. Hope to have that finished this week.


Andi xx

Monday, 5 March 2012


It's a dog's life.

Elsie having a snooze in her bed under my desk.

We had a nasty meeting with a neighbour on Saturday morning.

Elsie and I were returning from our walk around the reservoir when she stopped to have a good sniff at a garden wall.

The owner of the house came flying out shouting how dare I let my dog foul outside his house?

I told him she was just sniffing but he didn't believe me and came out to check. When he realised I was telling the truth he just turned his back on me and returned to the house shouting 'I'm fed up with you dog owners messing up my property'.

No apology or anything.

I hope he is actually a nice man so that he spent the rest of the weekend feeling guilty about how he behaved because it certainly soured my day.

Ho hum.


Andi xx

Monday, 27 February 2012


My very first loaf

So proud!

Have a fantastic week everyone.


Andi xx

Saturday, 25 February 2012


Tuesday 21st February was my birthday. I had a lovely day.

M bought me a bread making machine:

I feel a bit nervous about using it. Only because it's new and I've got to read the instruction book. Not that I'm lazy or anything.

My son sent me this yummy card:

and reminisced about us reading the Mr. Men book 'Mr. Perfect' who had a party with lots of perfect cup cakes. Son is at uni now. I miss him.

My brother was also in a reminiscing mood and told me he remembered that Thunderbird Three was my favourite Thunderbird...

I think it was because it had a 'skirt' design which gave it a feminine look in a very male dominated show (Go Lady P! Go TinTin! Go Grandma!)

Then the floral birthday kicked in.

Some magic beans from BF Tammy:

Can't wait to see what they are.

Mum treated me to lunch at the Jamie Oliver restaurant that's just opened up in town.


And also gave me a pot of wild flower seeds

This gorgeous bouquet was waiting for me when I got back from the school run and is now filling the hall with a wonderful floral scent.

My MiL gave me some birthday money which I spent in my favourite shop, Wilkinsons:

I thought I would really miss Woolworths when it closed down, but Wilkinsons has more than replaced it.

BF Sue had visited me from Norfolk on Saturday and we had a fantastic fun day together. She had made this wonderful owl for me, all from recycled fabric:

His name is Michael.

Sue really inspires me with all the craft/design/work she does. So much so, that I've taken out the squares I'd cut to make a beach quilt (in my life before dog) and have started to sew them together. My electric sewing machine is having a problem with its motor so 'Dolly' came out to be used for the very first time:

I find the quiet trundle she makes as I turn the handle very therapeutic.

I think we're going to be friends.

Have a wonderful week everyone.


Andi xx