Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Apples for the Teachers

School finished for the summer last Friday and these bags were our
gifts to Markie's teachers. I was busy making them last week, hand
stitching the appliques and then sewing together all the bag pieces.
I always enjoy projects like these and was very glad to be able to make
these presents to show her teachers our appreciation for all their
hard work. They've done a fantastic job making learning fun and interesting for the children and it's really thanks to them that Markie
 has had a good first year at school. She's learned so much, has made
many friends and most of all, she's really enjoyed her time at reception.
We are grateful to her teachers and it was a real pleasure making them
these gifts. Fingers crossed she'll be just as happy in Year One next
school year. But we're not really thinking about that yet. We're too busy
enjoying the summer holidays at the moment. We're off to the seaside
this Saturday and we're really looking forward to a whole week in
Robin Hood's Bay. A whole week! Can't wait!

I hope the summer holidays have started where you are and
it's going well. Whatever your plans are I hope you enjoy them.
See you soon!

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Two in a Row

We've just had two lovely weekends in a row. The weather has been
 nice and summery and we've spent a lot of time outdoors making 
the most of these sunny days. On the first Saturday of the month 
we went strawberry picking. That was great fun. The following day
we went to  Abbeydale Miniature Railway for a friend's daughter's 
birthday picnic. 

Now, do you like little trains? Well, we do, especially small steam or
diesel ones that can whiz you round a track. There are several of these
there and we had the most fantastic time.

The miniature railway is run entirely by the Sheffield and District Society
for Model and Experimental Engineers and is open to the public two
Sundays a month at this time of year.

It is a real hidden gem set in ancient woodland not far from the city centre. It has two stations, two level crossings, two footbridges plus
 a scaled down signal box and of course, the miniature locomotives. There's also a small museum, cafe, fairground organ and a large green area that's perfect for picnics and watching all the little trains go by.

It's a really fantastic place both for kids and grown-ups. You don't
have to be a vintage transport enthusiast to have a great time here
and we feel very lucky to have something like this here in Sheffield.

Last Saturday was lovely and sunny again and we thought it was just
perfect for a picnic in Derbyshire. It's been awhile since we've been to
our favourite picnic spot in Castleton and that's where we decided to go.

Doesn't this look amazing? This is the northern end of Cavedale,
a dry limestone valley that stretches from here to open pasture land
outside of Castleton. The valley sides at this end is so steep they're almost perpendicular. Peveril Castle stands at the top while the
Peak Caverns runs underneath.

We love it here because it's quiet and a bit secluded even though
we're not many steps away from the middle of the village. And of
course there's also that spectacular view.

After lunch we had a little wander along the stream up to the cavern
 entrance. We stopped at the Carlton Emporium but unfortunately,
 or fortunately, I didn't find anything interesting though I did buy a
paperback novel for 50p from a roadside book stall.

On Sunday we were back again in Derbyshire for the annual pilgrimage
 to Padley. We attended an open air mass with my in-laws and it was
another lovely day.

So- two great weekends in a row. This doesn't happen very often and
we've really appreciated and enjoyed these wonderful days. Hopefully
the coming weekends will be just as sunny and full of summer fun
with maybe some adventures too.

Wishing you a good week. See you soon!

Friday, 10 July 2015

Five on Friday

Today I'm joining in with Amy for Five on Friday. It's been awhile
since I've taken part here and I'm so pleased to be able join in today.

My five things are flowers that are currently in bloom in our small
garden. We only have a tiny green space so we just try to work with
what we've got. We have herbs, a small bay tree and a few other plants
plus these two that bloom summer after summer.

I'm not very good with plants and plant names and I'm not sure what
they are both called but I like them. They never fail to bloom every
year, there are always a lot of them and they're also very hardy.

Another 'regular' are the trusty Hostas. They come back and flower
around this time every year too.

Last spring I decided to try my hand at growing annuals. My gardening
skills are, let's just say, limited so I wanted plants that were easy to
look after. I chose geraniums and petunias. So far, they've not only
survived, they've thrived and are now full of flowers!

 I'm really pleased and even a bit surprised with how well they're all doing. I'm planning to have them again next year and try other colour varieties too.

So those are my five-- happy blooms bringing joy and colour to our
small garden. I hope you're all having a lovely Friday. Please visit
Amy's blog to find out more about other bloggers taking part today.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, 5 July 2015

pick your own

We went strawberry picking yesterday at Eastfield Farm in Doncaster.
This is the first time we've ever been to a PYO fruit farm and we were
very excited.

As soon as we got there we got some baskets and headed out to the fields where rows and rows of ripe and sweet strawberries were waiting
to be picked. 

It didn't take us very long to start filling our baskets. Strawberry
picking is so easy and there was so much fruit in every plant. They're
not very obvious at first. I only got glimpses of red here and there as
we walked between the plants.

Then you push aside the leaves and underneath all that green
are the red berries and they are just perfection-- juicy, soft and so
sweet. Freshly picked strawberries taste SO much better than store
bought ones. Definitely.

The girls had a great time. Markie enjoyed picking with us while Lulu
was less serious about it. She picked some but mostly she walked up
and down amongst the plants carrying her almost empty basket and
chattered to us.

We filled up two baskets and we were very pleased with our haul.

Before heading back we stopped at the farm cafe for ice cream
and cream tea. All that work got us hungry, thirsty and a little hot 
and these were just perfect.

Of course as soon as we got home we realized that two baskets of
strawberries is a lot! We certainly got a bit greedy there. But no worries
because we've already turned one basketful into sorbet and granita
and there are plans for a crumble and other desserts. We're also giving
some to friends. We've got a strawberry-tastic week ahead of us!

How about you? Do you like picking your own fruit too? It's certainly
 a great outdoor thing to do in the summer. You just have to be clever
and know what to do with all the fruit you've picked!

Hope you're all having a lovely Sunday evening. Wishing you a
very good week ahead!

Friday, 3 July 2015

Summer Days


Blue skies and sunny days...daisies,strawberries and ice creams...
...mornings at the park....colourful flowers in bloom...skirts and
sandals....playing and exploring in the evening sunshine..

These are just some of the many things we're loving about summer.

What are your favourite summer things?