Monster Chutney

It’s that time of year. Apple, apples, apples. As well as fabulous apple pie, the other wonderful thing that can be made out of our very own British apples is chutney. Every Autumn it makes me so sad when I see this wonderful home grown fruit going to waste in thousands of gardens across the country. And if you pop to Sainsburys, you can buy tasteless Pink Lady imported from the other side of the world. Tragic,

Anyway, I spread the word around my local network of friends and have since been inundated with offers of mishapen, slightly bruised, yet delicious apples. I made my first batch of Monster Chutney today. Lots more to follow, including a some for HAWI’s stall at the Pinner Panto night in November. The Pickle Queen is back.

Monster Chutney

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Finally, the sewing machine makes an appearance

I treated myself to a rather nice sewing machine a few months ago when I received an unexpected tax refund in the post.  It’s been sitting in the cupboard for quite some time – calling out to me to be used – but I simply have not had the time since the school holidays started.  I’m also permanently knackered as I’m still feeding L at night and by the time I’ve got all three of them to bed all I want to do is go to sleep myself.

Anyway, yesterday evening, I finally managed to get started on a little craft project – a fabric flower garland.  Photoman sat reading his latest rock band biog (Led Zep this time) and I happily got to work with the sewing machine.  Two hours later and I had produced four fabric flowers – very satisfying.

ImageEversince I bought the machine D has been asking for a crooks sack to hide his loot in and C wants a pink bobbit (bobbit is her toy rabbit).  I want to make a long cushion for the settle, a couple of doorstops,  two laundry bags and lots of cushions.  The list of projects is getting longer and longer every day but at least I’ve made a start.

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Bunny Park visit cut short

We ventured out to Brent Lodge Park in Ealing this morning – commonly known as The Bunny Park.

http://www.ealing.gov.uk/info/200878/parks_in_the_borough/664/hanwell_parks/2

Now that that stage two of our house renovation is almost complete we can finally start dedicating proper time for family days out at the weekend and this was one of them.

The kids loved the butterfly house and burned off lots of energy in the maze and playground until Photo Man received a call from work – unfortunately, his deputy’s grandma had just passed way so he had to go in and take over.  Fair enough, I could hardly moan about it – but it cut short our day out together.  I’m now back at home, bribing the children to be good with jammy doughnuts and the promise of ice cream later.  Sunshineone is building playmobil and daughtershine is making gingerbread men out of home made playdoh.  Sunshinetwo is fast asleep in his car seat in the hallway.  Hopefully the rest of the day will go smoothly.

 

 

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Dehydration at school

As much as I love these tropical temperatures, I’m wondering what I’m going to do with three small children once they are all at home with me.  It’s currently 12pm, very very hot and number three and number two child are both fast asleep in the shade.  I think I may have gone deaf.

Number one child came home from school yesterday complaining of a headache.  I’d also arranged to collect one of his classmates who was coming over for tea – his first visit to our house.  The journey home in the searing sun was terrible.  My son moaned and complained all the way.  He was completely dehydrated.  As soon as we arrived home I put him under a luke warm shower to cool him down and made sure he drank as much water as possible.  His poor friend didn’t quite know what to make of it and and when his Mum arrived at 4.45 expecting dinner as planned they both made a quick exit so I could carry on sorting out my little boy.  Not a good first play date experience.

Surely schools should make sure children drink enough water in this heat?  I queried it with the Welfare Officer at the school gate this morning and she said, “The children can always go and help themselves to water”.  Well, that’s all very well and good if your child understands the concept of heat and dehydration.  All my four year old wants to do is run around like a mad thing in the playground and has no intention of wasting his time at the water fountain.  They should be made to drink water but alas, this is something I cannot control when he is at school.

Hopefully he learnt his lesson yesterday and is now under strict instructions to drink drink drink.  Let’s wait and see.

 

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School cake sale madness

So at 9pm this evening I find myself icing fairy cakes for the crazy school cake sale fundraiser tomorrow. Imagine the chaos created by hundreds of excited primary kids crammed into a school hall full of tables groaning under the weight of homemade cakes selling for 50p each.  In my reception parent naivety I volunteered to help the last time it took place. Never again. I have already successfully bribed D to come straight home from school with the promise of Mummy’s super special cakes baked especially for him.

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Snood in progress

I have now taught myself to add a new yarn of wool and cast off.

Snood in progress

This book has been a great help.  I just need to darn the two ends together with the help of a nifty darning needle set recently purchased on Amazon and my snood will be complete.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Clover-339-Darning-Needle-Set/dp/B00114M20A/ref=sr_1_1?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1364122630&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Knitty-Gritty-Knitting-Absolute-Beginner/dp/0713685425/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1364122678&sr=1-1-catcorr

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Every household with children should have one of these….

Forget lugging the vacuum out of the cupboard or spending money on expensive, ugly battery powered hand held machines to clean up the debris following mealtimes etc. This is the product you should buy…

Bissell Natural Sweep

http://www.lakeland.co.uk/23273/Bissell-Natural-Sweep

It arrived yesterday and I’m already wondering how I managed without it.

 

 

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Stay at home parents – who cares? Certainly not the government.

So now it looks like the government is going to take away nursery vouchers if one parent has decided to stay at home full time.  Are stay at home parents being penalised?  Yes.  Do I feel this is yet another unfair decision?  Absolutely.

We pay for C to attend a pre school for eight hours a week.  It is simply not possible for me to find work for such a short period. So now we will have to take on another financial burdan simply because we want our young children to be brought up my their mother.

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Snoodaliscious

Taught myself to cast on and knit a basic stitch last night.   Image

I scanned the internet for online tutorials and this one was by far the best, despite the accent…

http://www.knittinghelp.com/video/play/long-tail-cast-on

The Rowan wool and 10mm bamboo needles are from John Lewis.

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It’s our March WI session tomorrow night – The Science of Flirtology

It’s the flirtology session tomorrow night.  I have a feeling there will be some sort of interaction as our speaker, Jean, wants the room to be laid out in rows of semi circles.  She’s one of the few speakers who has insisted on charging a fee so I hope she’s worth it.

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