Friday. Jobs and preparing for the weekend. Or ‘Judith the car starter’.

We have our concert tomorrow as mentioned before.

And so DD, K and her boyfriend R will be visiting which is really nice.  So I did the usual ironing plus preparing our concert clothes – formal white shirt, black suit and black bow tie for the men, and long black skirts and black plain tops for the women, and then tidied K’s room by putting away the ironing board and stuff.  Velvet saw this as a secret message!

I did tell him K was visiting but I don’t think he really understands, but something made him move into her room after ignoring it for weeks.

It could be that he is scared of the ironing board (who knows why).

R was going out to his CSG Choir at lunchtime but his car wouldn’t start.  It has been on the road since the drive cleaning on Tuesday.  Anyway he took me car, and I did the ‘Judith, miracle car starter’ act and then had to drive it around for 20 minutes to ensure the battery was OK.  I gave it a good ‘thrashing’ up and down a local duel-carriageway just in case!

Then a quiet afternoon of crochet for Christmas presents so I can’t add photos yet. 

I will have a think about Eden Hills Friday themes tomorrow and have some more pictures for you all.  Have a nice a Friday evening.


Wednesday – only bread and soup.

No not a sorry tale of no food, but a busy morning baking bread and cooking soup.

A new bread recipe which is called pretzels but are actually pretzel shaped bread rolls.  Here is the recipe from the GBBO cook book.

Here are the stages:  activate the yeast by mixing with warm milk and sugar until it starts to go frothy.

Dry ingredients,

Mixed together, and then kneaded for 5 minutes until soft and stretchy.

Covered and left in a warm place to rise,

Then rolled into 8 rough balls and left to rise again.

Then rolled into long sausage shapes and shaped into pretzels, left to rise again before egg washing and baking.

2 were sprinkled with sea salt, 2 with Demerara sugar and 4 left plain.

Here they are:

Whilst they were proving I made soup from the leftover vegetables in the fridge.  Today it was parsnip, potatoes, onion and a couple of small peppers.

And here is the finished, blended soup, minus the portion I ate for my lunch with one of the rolls.

The rolls were quite soft on the inside but with a nice, chewy crust.

Tuesday – grey and cold, so let’s have the drive cleaned!

Last night we had the first ground frost of the year here in the Midlands.  The outdoor temperature dropped to -5° C last night, and was still below 0° when the sun rose.

Here is a picture of the garden – not very clear.

We had arranged to have our front drive cleaned today, and I must admit I felt sorry for the workman in this weather, but he was well wrapped up.  Here are the ‘before’ and ‘nearly done’ photos.  He will return tomorrow to re-sand it.

Obviously it looks cleaner, but it also removes all the weeds and moss which can be slippy in icy weather.  The change of colour in the right hand side is where we had the drive extended and the bricks have weathered slightly differently.  Anyway a really nice result.

Velvet is also feeling the cold weather, and has slept by a radiator all morning and has now climbed into the gap between by computer tower and printer and is sleeping on some balls of wool!

He is so black that it is difficult to see which way round he is!

I am having a ‘keep warm’ sort of lazy day, with a church warden’s meeting this evening.

Monday – singing and baking

Tonight is the final rehearsal for our concert on Saturday with Sutton Choral Society, and it is my turn to bake a cake for the rehearsal. And here it is:

It is a lemon drizzle cake from the GBBO cook book.  I’ve made it a few times and it seems fairly reliable.

My mom gave me the book last Christmas and it is very good (except for my earlier chocolate shortbread).  

I also sang through all our pieces this afternoon so feel slightly calmer about the impending event!

Sunday – 3rd Sunday before Advent

I am posting here for Edenhills Friday Hunt and also to catch up with some of today.

1. Starts with an S

Apologies for repeating some of yesterday’s post but it has to be the Shih Tzu crochet dog which I started/attempted yesterday at the TOFT Alpaca workshop.  Here is what is should look like when finished:

And here is my WIP after 2 hours:

It should be noted that the loops will be cut at the end to form the long dangly fur.  Great fun!

2. Week’s favourite.  The weather here has started to turn colder and very Autumnal, and we had a very light frost one morning with a glorious sunrise.

The garden is looking lovely and R has worked hard at tidying and cutting back.

3. Amazing.  R and I sing in several choirs.  R sings in our church choir, which is men and boys.  Here they are looking amazingly smart in our lovely church.

Today is the 3rd Sunday before Advent.  Here is the music list:


10.00 a.m. Responsorial Psalm: 17

 Caesar: Missa Brevis

 Let thy merciful ears Mudd

 349 625 313 114

6.30 p.m. Responses: Reading

Psalm: 40 (1-13) Lang

 Dyson in F

Thou wilt keep him S.S.Wesley
367 362

And I had the first reading from The Book of Job 19. 23-27a. Probably my shortest reading ever.

Please follow for mor Friday Hunt.

Saturday – crafting at TOFT alpaca farm. 

So this afternoon in went to TOFT with a friend.

We had booked onto a crochet workshop to learn how to make a shih tzu dog!  Here is what the finished product should look like.

I had never been to this type of event before and had no real idea what would happen.  Firstly, it is at one end of the shop, so it is very ‘on show’ to the visiting public, and the shop and tea room were very busy.  There are about 8 of us, but 2 seemed to be doing their own projects.  Maybe staff?  Who knows.  Emma was our instructor and she was very patient.  We were given a nice kit in one of their project bags with the pattern, 3 colours of wool and a crochet hook.

Then we were instructed to start crocheting up to where we had 18 stitches (about 4 rounds I think).  Then we were shown how to do a loop stitch.  Well shown and then shown again and then again….. until we got it!  These loops will be cut at then end to make the shaggy coat.  So we continued following the pattern and ‘looping’, punctuated by a lovely cup of tea and a piece of cake.  So after our two hours I have made about 2/3 of the dogs body!

Not obviously a dog yet!  If I show you the inside you can see the shaping a bit better. (The orange wool is a marker for the start of each round).

And here is perhaps a more helpful picture?  Imagine the loops cut?

Emma also gave us detailed instructions on how to assemble the various parts to make the finished dog, and showed us a lot of other animals.

So an interesting and very new experience!

Home again now for a relaxing evening trying to ignore the fireworks which I really dislike!

Many thanks for those of you who have ‘liked’ and followed- I will catch up with your blogs soon.