Author Archives: chully1969

A new addition


Oh look what happening!!! The eggs are beginning to hatch!

You can just see the first chick emerging from its shell (bottom left)




Poor thing is exhausted


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First glimpse of the cutie



OMG!!!!! its beautiful


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Looking fluffier this morning



Having a little business while mum keeps focus on hatching brothers and sisters




My week


It’s all quiet in the house at this precise moment, its a Saturday morning and I can hear Hubby snoring in the room above (I know I said quiet but that gentle sound makes everything seem good in the world, but only when I’m not hitting him over the head cos I CAN’T GET TO SLEEP!!!!!) Son and heir is at work and Shopaholic is also asleep after Hubby and I picked her up from a hen party at 1am this morning those girls sure looked as though they’d had a great time!

I’m not sure but I seem to have had rather a busy week, do you know the feeling you have when you seem to have achieved loads but don’t really know how it all got done?

I continued on my upcycling mission and managed to finish this…….


Yes I know the picture is upside down, but you get the idea this tray was one of my charity shop finds a whole £1.50 was paid!

And I got quite a way with this…….



I think its really starting to look good, I need to treat it with something to protect it but don’t want to change the colour so a little web surfing is in order. It did cause me a little bit of concern as it was M-I-L’s pride and joy but now I can’t wait for her to see it when its finished.

By midweek I was on a roll and decided to start on a yarn bombing project…….


I love these little hexagon flowers, I want a sort of 3 dimensional feel to the project and found this pattern over on Karen’s blog Colour in a simple life they are so simple and quick to do and I have a bag of yarn that I’m taking with me everywhere I go so that when I get a few minutes, like when waiting for Shopaholic on various outings for her floristry appointments (I will point out that she has written he car off so I am her taxi until she gets another car) I can do a bit of quick hooky.

As the summer break from college draws to a close I thought I’d have a little wander across the road, follow the public footpath and do a spot of blackberry picking……


I meandered along with my little bag looking in the hedgerows, I think I had been beaten to the ripe fruits as they were few and far between, then I happened upon this wonderfully summery sight!


I wandered a little further taking in the surroundings and still hunting for blackberries



Can you Brinsley Headstocks peeping through the trees?



finally along the path home I spied some ripe fruits and began to pop them in my bag and realised that they were nestling alongside a beautiful but potentially poisonous plant Deadly Nightshade!


I have to admit my haul was pretty poor!


We have an expectant mother in the house, Emily our Red Pyle Bantam has gathered together a clutch of eggs and has now been sitting on them for around 21 days….


As the time for hatching is imminent we have her in a box in the house, she’s very intense and seems trance like, not even moving from her position of keeping the eggs warm, there are 10 eggs in total but only 2 are Emily’s (see the small white egg) the others belong to various members of our brood.

The Dark Destroyer is fascinated by proceedings!!!


Its a hard life for a cat!

It was decided that we needed chocolate cake to keep our strength up for the lengthy wait.


A HA the chocolate cake! I tried this recipe but added a little Amaretto to the ganache and sandwiched it together with cherry jam, satisfied with my creation I popped it in the fridge, a while later in comes the Dark Destroyer demanding his daily quota of milk! OH NO! the cake was stuck to the fridge door! and as I opened it out it shot! but with the reactions of a ninja I managed to catch it, yes I was covered in chocolate ganache and I had to do a bit of patching up and scraping some ganache of my arm but no one is any the wiser. I found the little jelly mould on one of my little mooches round my local charity shop (I was dropping off some stuff so just had to have a little look)

Vinnie is losing his feathers and being the kleptomaniac that I am I’m picking his beautiful feathers from all over the garden….


Shopaholic bought me a pressie I was soooo thrilled how much of my stash can I get in this?


I see a little bit of a crochet decoration for this too!


Unfinished Business


Last week I made a little promise to myself, I gathered together all my unfinished knitting and crochet projects and had a stern chat with myself “you really MUST get these finished” I told myself, I thought about why I seem to leave this things unfinished and realised that its the stitching together that mostly seems to be holding up proceedings, closely followed by the desire to start a new project that is sitting calling my name, like most crafty people I have magpie tendencies when it comes to ‘stuff’ I just LUUUUUVE it!!! So I set about completing everything that is outstanding I promised myself that I WOULD NOT start anything new until these were finished and sat it their rightful place.

Granny square blanket (just awaiting lacey edging) Bavarian stitch something or other (a cushion cover maybe) another granny square cushion cover (needs a back) a scarf of leaves and flowers (I’m just not sure why) an amigurumi cat (I only just started this so doesn’t really count), a large knitted owl (just needs eyes and beak)


A happy flower from Lucy’s blog Attic24 which I adore (I need to stitch together and add beads), I tiny birdhouse (again just needs stitching) a little sail boat (not sure hat I’m doing with that) several flowers and leaves that I hope to make into a broach (you guessed it needs stitching!)


and this is just a bunch of stuff that quite frankly I just don’t know what I’m going to do with, its things I make when I have a spare few minutes when I know I have to really be getting on with something else!

All started well


Cute little birdie house got finished, shopaholic loved this and immediately a home was found!


The Happy Flower Decoration this is destined for my bedroom

And that’s when I come to a grinding halt!! I’m distracted, its not hard, you see I suddenly have divine inspiration in the form of Kirstie Allsopp do you remember this little lot?


Well I did this! I have since found better handles so will be swapping them.

Then I couldn’t stop so started on these………….




I’ve given them all a coat of undercoat and am about to give them a top coat and a few finishing touches, in the meantime I decided that I would clear out the room which is at the front of our house which we don’t actually use, the primary reason being its a dumping ground! Further inspired by Kirstie and her TV programme Fill Your House for Free I decided to part with a few items that I really don’t need, so I made signs stating I’m Free Please take me! So at 8am I placed the stuff outside on the drive in view of passers by and waited, first to be go was a little pink chest of drawers that belonged to Shopaholic that were in perfect condition but really needed the owner to be about 10 years old! then things seemed to go quiet and I thought I would be fetching the things back in and taking them to the charity shop! but on my next sneaky little look through my landing window the wine rack  Had disappeared! woohoo!! Just as Son and Heir returned from work we saw the light fitting winding its merry way down a little jitty a few houses down from me! This just left a coffee table feeling alone and sorry for its self, Hubby arrived on the scene laughingly saying he wouldn’t mind that coffee table where should we put it? (ever the comedian) during the aftermath of feeding everyone and discussing fetching in the little table and setting it out again in the morning a knock came at the door, it was a young man wishing to thank me for the coffee table he was thrilled with it!!! and I was thrilled that I was able to give some of my unwanted stuff new homes, it really made me want to do it again, but alas it is raining today so I won’t be setting up a little stall, but maybe by the weekend I will have gathered more unwanted items to give away!

I did start to clear the room and together with Shopaholic came up with a master plan! so I feel that I can justify my broken promise to myself! (for now)


This is the room after we have cleared of some of the junk (I see at least 8 more unfinished projects!)

The Doll’s House is on a whole new level of unfinished business, this project has been on going for at least 15 years!!!! one day it will be finished maybe in time for my grand kids!


The Art of Barter!!!


Its been a few weeks since my last post, I’m not sure where the time flys to! but trips to the beautiful seaside town of Bude to see the inlaws seem to be taking up many weekends.


I’ve been watching The Roux Scholarship over the past few weeks while Hubby dutifully sits pretending to watch, making lots of oohing and ahhing noises in almost the right places, while simultaneously watching clips of eighties pop on you tube, I’m engrossed in a particular episode of fondue making when hubby pipes up (bearing in mind on this culinary journey we have visited several Michelin starred restaurants) “ooh I’d love you to make some of that! you have surely got one of those fondue gadgets in your office somewhere” (my office being the kitchen according to son and heir)

“No its one of the few things I don’t possess” is my reply, a little flurry of activity on his laptop and Hubby is ready to purchase said item from amazon, I explain that maybe on one of our little jaunts to Bude perhaps we can pop into a few of the charity shops and hunt around to see if there is one lurking from the 1970’s that will be a lot more economical and fun to do (plus it will give us something to do when its tipping it down with rain) so this is hubby’s mission! He’s in and out of the many shops, explaining to the old dears that are volunteering what he is after fluttering his eyelashes, asking if they need any help having a look in the vast mountains of stock hidden in the backs of these shops, let me say he now has a following of lovely old ducks waving at him across the streets of Bude because of this venture! but its unfruitful the holy grail! “Oh well we’ll have to keep our eyes peeled for a little longer there’s no rush”


He is easily consoled in one of the local bars The Beach Hotel


Then again in The Brendan Arms


And finally the poor thing is placated with a heavenly chicken shish kebab from KJ’s!

Although the search is not forgotten.


The in laws have hired a beach hut for the summer on Summerleaze beach, its a fantastic base for them to sit like 2 little Meerkats watching the emmets

The views are spectacular


On one of our many trips around the shops I’ve spotted something I rather like and keep doing the sighing thing when peering in the shop window at my object of desire.

I gently mention to Hubby how luuuuuvly said items are “yes luv” is the reply, but my fortune seems to change on our second spin around the town, we stop outside said shop once again with me drooling over the gorgeousness of said object, “come on” says M-I-L “lets go in, I want to treat you” “Oh no you couldn’t possibly its waaay toooo expensive” is my a little too enthusiastic reply!!


Soooooo we look, which one should I have? I don’t know! I can’t choose! we need a little more time and another spin around the town!!! (I must add Bude has very small quaint interlinked shopping streets) A cup of fruit tea later and the choice is made and is now safely nestling in my in laws guest room!


Oh I know!

I send a photo to my daughter (The shopaholic) her immediate response “Is that for me?” We all laugh and then M-I-L announces “ask her if she would like one for her birthday” a flurry of texts confirms shopaholic would very much like one for her birthday! Oh no which one to have!!! 2 days later yes 2 whole days later shopaholic decides on her choice, the red with the blue spots – perfect!

Meanwhile the Hubby is still in search of the holy grail.

Our week is drawing to an end the weather has turned a bit muggy so we have a wander down to the Bude Canal its beautiful down there, on the way back to the apartment Hubby starts to sing at the top of his voice “look what I can see” M-I-L and myself are used to these outbursts but can only see a few flea market type stalls in the middle of a grassy triangle, he is now marching over to said stalls saying “can you see it can you see it?” We are in hot pursuit, what on earth could this be? Hubby then stops dead and does a funny whispery thing behind his hand whilst pointing at what he has spied, THE HOLY GRAIL!!!!! OMG!! Hubby saunters over, has a little flirt with the two female stall holders whilst M-I-L and I nonchalantly browse the stall with the focus being the holy grail, oh the art of distraction we don’t want to look to interested we want a bargain! its too late Hubby is in there with his “How much for the fondue set?” The two women look a little surprised that this dusty relic from a previous decade is truly looking like it wont have to be carted home! A quick conflab “£2 would that be alright?” I can’t believe my ears but my instincts tell me I should barter them down just a little for my own satisfaction, but before I can open my mouth Hubby produces his wallet rummages around pulls out a fiver and announces “I’ll give you a fiver, how’s that?”  I’m flabbergasted the two women are beside themselves and offer to “gift wrap” it, a bit more cheeky flirting from Hubby and they are going to hang on to it for him while he does a bit more site seeing and shopping!


So with a spring in his step and looking extremely pleased with himself Hubby heads off back up the hill for his pasties with me trying to get my head around his topsy turvey bartering skills!

Chickens can’t keep secrets!


Over the last 18 months of my new venture ‘Chicken Mummy’ I have been amazed at the cunning of my little flock, I as many others I would say thought these creatures to be of low intelligence, however they surprise me daily with their antics!

Over the last few weeks a Gwalice has realised that there are easy pickings in the kitchen in the form of ‘The Dark Destroyer’s’ food bowl.

the dark destroyer

But for the last couple of days a couple of my girls seem to have stopped laying eggs, this is not unusual so I wasn’t too bothered as they don’t lay everyday but it seemed 2 eggs from my 7 girls just didn’t add up! They have a tendency to not bother with their lovely nest box in the coup, you see they like to make things difficult and lay them in the lovely homemade nest in the pampas, but this was empty or just the odd egg in there.

Pampa nest

What could be wrong? I had a little search round under the nettles and various other places but nothing.

It wasn’t long until Prudence let the cat out of the bag though! Today being my day off college and having a house totally empty of offspring and Hubby all was quiet until the familiar sound of one of my girls announcing that she has laid her egg for today AHA!!!!

Prudence gives the game away!

Prudence has given the game away!

The Stash

Just the other side of the pond I find their little stash!

To say that the other girls were not happy could be an under statement as I made off down the garden pursued by my little flock all complaining bitterly at Prudence not being able to keep a secret!

The Birds!


There’s never a dull moment where my girls are concerned each one seeming to have its own little foible!

Gwalice is a fan of the cats biscuits and will come into the kitchen and raid his bowl with no fear of Monty who will sit sulkily watching from the top of the stairs (I have yet to capture this on camera).

Phoebe well where to start with her, apart from being the instigator of great escapes she will frequently sit on the window ledge watching TV!

Watching TV

But today the Blue Tits from the neighbouring garden fledged! Oh they are so cute 4 little pieces of very noisy fluff who are still shouting to Mum & Dad for food

Peter Paul

They have moved quite far from their nest box and 2 are now sitting outside my lounge window in the wood store, there is one in the tree above and I’m not sure where the other is but he is making himself heard! Hubby, The Son & Heir and myself along with a steady stream of neighbours children have been oohing and ahhing over these 4 little mites all day, I’ve carried the cat down to the bottom of the garden so he doesn’t “interfere” with them carefully watched by Mummy Blue Tit. But then disaster struck! Phoebe! yes Phoebe! as quick as a flash grabs one of the little fellows and is running off down the garden with it! I’m galvanised into action chasing her round with the garden fork closely followed by Hubby and a very bemused Daughter who has just arrived home from work to her mother frantically chasing a chicken round the garden shouting and brandishing the garden fork, Phoebe tries to give me the slip several times and Vinnie is weighing in with his “two penneth” chasing all three of us along with Phoebe around the garden! finally cornered Phoebe parts with her prize and I rescue the poor little mite, it’s not looking good he’s very distressed! After several moments he seems to come round but he is looking very dishevelled.poor mite

I think his wing is broken but can’t be sure, it’s so heart breaking, Hubby is beside himself and thinks he should stay up all night on predator watch! The chooks are now safely ensconced in their run where they are now complaining bitterly!

We are taking it in turns to check on them but as I said they are noisily shouting for food outside the window so all seems well for the moment.

Fingers crossed they survive the night nature seems so cruel.







Why do you have to keep on bringing back all this junk?

This a regular question posed by my long suffering hubby, he’s been a little worried since happening upon ‘The Hoarder next door’ but during the recent relocation of his parents my hoarding/junk addiction reached epic proportions, the thing is I love to upcycle pieces of old furniture but my procrastination on this often results in things just staying as they are which is why poor hubby often just shakes his head and mutters “mad woman” under his breath when I come through the door with the latest find.

Anyway after a little bit of a tussle with him over the relocation of several pieces of M-I-L’s furniture he agreed to load the van and bring said items to their new home.

CHest of drawers


The little Beswick coffee set and the murano were also given to me by the M-I-L

I have plans for each piece and will post as they are finished.

I need to sign off now as I can hear one of my beautiful chickens in the kitchen raiding the cat biscuits!!!!!

Got the hump!


Remember the popcorn crochet? well it really got the hump!

popcorn crochet with hump

I really don’t know how its happening, I tried to put more chain stitches in between the clusters but it hasn’t worked maybe someone out there in blogland will have a solution.

Its been stuffed in its bag and has been bothering me for a few weeks so last night the decision was made yes it would have to be undone!


The deed is done!

I then enlisted the help of my daughter to wind the wool back into balls which wasn’t an easy task.

all wound up

It was quite satisfying in a way as it was niggling away at the back of my creative matter, but I’m a little bit sad because I was beat by the popcorn crochet!


The end is nigh!


I will soon be finishing my first year at catering college and I seem to have been bogged down in exams and deadlines for assignments, but its half term and I am on top of things and the delicious thought of only 3 weeks left after that is spurring me on!

I haven’t written of the antics of myself and my fellow students yet and the scariness of being in a crazy busy kitchen on a lunchtime service that can wait until September when I will be back for my second year!

My true love is baking I’m not keen on the endless vegetable chopping side of things I like to make people happy with a gorgeous desert.

Poached Pears & Shortbread

Poached Pears & Shortbread

This was the result of my penultimate exam and I was deliriously happy when I was given a distinction! I would have cartwheeled but for the fact I’m a little unfit and slightly overweight!

I will, I promise write more about being a mature student surrounded by teens, my eyes have been well and truly opened!


Busy Busy Busy!


What a mad few weeks I’ve had since I last had time to sit and write!

The cavorting frogs produced plenty of frogspawn which has now hatched into tiny little tadpoles, I was amazed at the speed this happens.

But the maddest thing that has happened is that hubby and I  popped over to the in laws for our usual weekly visit (obviously this is only usually mad when you take into account that dear old D-I-L is ever so slightly losing his memory) The usual things happen cup of tea, have you eaten? that kind of thing, when M-I-L announces we’re moving to Bude! can you take us at the weekend to have a look at some property? So a trip to the seaside was planned.

We were booked into a sweet little B&B then escorted around several apartments each one having its own charm, but secretly me and the hubby loved the first we viewed. After a few hours of oooing and ahhing over the size of the rooms, the distance from the beach and town etc hubby declared a snooze was in order as he had been up since 5am driven 300 miles then climbed what seemed to be the equivalent of the north face of the Eiger in stairs!

After what only seemed like minutes we were awoken from our slumber by a little tap on the door, its the old folks! “We’ve been and signed the forms and put a deposit down on one of the apartments!” pipes up M-I-L, so that  was that much jumping up and down with excitement and a couple more visits to the apartment (which was of course the very first we viewed) and a date was set for moving the 10th May!

In the weeks that followed 30 years of clutter was packed, recycled, rehomed, thrown out and sold. Moving day came and everything was packed into the lorry and disappearing down the M1 by 9am, followed by hubby myself and the old folk.


Oh the excitement of moving to the seaside!

We were going to hire a beach hut for the summer!

beach huts

It would be wall to wall sunshine!

On arrival in beautiful Bude the weather was doing its worst, but the hail and driving rain would not dampen our spirits!

Stormy weather

Stormy weather

Amazingly by teatime the furniture lorry arrived!

By 8.30pm we were sitting the local Indian Restaurant having left the apartment in a semi unpacked state.

Fast forward to the Bank Holiday weekend and Hubby and I are winging our way down to Cornwall on a visit to the Old Folk.