Saturday, December 27, 2008

All over for another year!

This is my Mum enjoying Boxing Day lunch with us and a couple of friends. It's amazing to think she will be 90 this coming year! It was a lovely relaxed affair after the rush of Christmas Day! Even with just me, Martin and Mum, Christmas Day seemed very fraught though lovely. In fact this Christmas has been one of the best for me. I was spoilt rotten and had a great time. As I hope did everyone else at our house!

On Christmas Day we had a chicken, leek and cheese sauce pie which I decorated with the words 'Happy Christmas'. It was delicious (I don't suffer from false modesty!) and was so easy to do compared with turkey and all the trimmings and to follow the main course we had Christmas pudding which I'm afraid I bought this year and trifle. The best trifle I've ever made for some reason. Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the trifle! So all in all a fantastic two days.

I tried to show the brandy alight in this picture but it just didn't take. But the pudding was delicious. In fact I don't think I have ever been successful in taking a picture of a flaming pudding!

This is one of the fruit appliqu├ęs that I have been doing. Just so you know it is a stem with gooseberries. The sweet dessert kind! I used 'twinkle' over the green to show the undersides of the leaves and it worked really well. I have really had fun doing these and have another two or three still to do to complete the set. I'm thinking of doing blackberries and perhaps melons or bananas.
Today I went into Falmouth with my friend Sue and we had a great time at the Marks and Spencer's sale. I was able to find several things to augment my wardrobe. It was sad going into Woolworth's for the last time. Our branch closes on Tuesday. The end of an era. When I was a child I used to buy printed table linens and embroidery silks and embroider items for the great aunts and the grandparents! Ah those were the days. All my presents for ten bob! Amazing! I can only have been about six or seven but some of the embroideries were quite complicated I remember. Do children still embroider at that age? Anyway today I was able to buy six screwdrivers for a £1 and two candles in glass containers for another £1. Still good value! A pity it couldn't make it's centenary!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Christmas!

I want to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous and Peaceful New Year. I hope you all have the best of times and that your lives unfold in the New Year in the way that you want them to!
Thank you to all who have left kind and inspiring comments on my blog. They have always made me feel good! I hope that reading the blog has been as much fun for you as it has been for me writing it. Next year I'll try to write more regularly and share more of my projects. Until then let the merriment commence! (I'm already ahead on the chocolate!)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Time Wasting!

I saw this on Lisa Call's blog and thought it looked fun. Another way to waste time and put off doing anything serious!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied - doesn't take money for this to happen so Yes
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favourite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury!
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas lunch!

Today we had our work Christmas lunch at the Falmouth Hotel. This was Falmouth's first hotel and was built in 1863. "In 1850, the Post Office Station at Falmouth had closed down and the loss of a substantial source of trade and income had an adverse effect on the life of the town. Facing a bleak future, local businessmen set about exploring new avenues to restore prosperity. With Falmouth's magnificent harbour and its geographical position as the first port in the kingdom, they decided to form a company to build and operate a dockyard complex. Together with other influential people they had already created the Cornwall Railway Company and were building a line that would eventually link up with the Great Western Railway at Plymouth and thus the national network. They formed yet another company to build a large hotel. On August 6 1863, the foundation stone of The Falmouth Hotel was laid by Robert Tweedy, the first Chairman of The Falmouth Hotel Company Limited. Twenty-one months later, he was joined by 70 distinguished guests at a grand dinner to celebrate the opening of Falmouth's very first hotel."
History is fascinating! I remember as a child that the railway line ran straight through from Paddington, London to Falmouth and it was exciting to come down by train in those days. Now the line stops at Truro and one has to change to a small branch line. Thank you Dr Beeching!
It is still an imposing hotel and the ballroom where we had our meal was festively decorated. We had our works do here last year as well because it is one of the few places that has a room large enough to accommodate us all!

The food was good and I was pleased with my choices. I started with a prawn concoction which was delicious.

Followed by a typical Christmas main course of turkey with all the trimmings. The roast potatoes were superb! Between the starter and the main course we had a small pot of gooseberry sorbet which was lovely. I could have eaten a lot more of it! I did think that it would have been better between the main course and the dessert to refresh the palate but it was good anyway.

And the dessert was so much better than it looked. It was raspberry cream brulee with a shortbread biscuit and it was out of this world wonderful. Very creamy! I didn't eat the fruit garnish as eating one of these while holidaying in Bath I spent the rest of my holiday getting to know all the loos intimately! I was sooooo sick! So it has put me off these fruits for ever!

It was a very grey day and I think we are probably in for some high winds as there were a number of boats sheltering in the bay including a small tug which was all lit up like a Christmas tree. (the boat to the left in the picture)

All in all a lovely outing and great fun with lots of laughs! I actually one a prize in the raffle. I don't think I have ever won a prize before in a raffle so this was a first!
There are no pictures of quilty stuff as everything I've been doing has been for presents but after Christmas I will put some pictures up. I have finished everything and it has all been wrapped and posted. I am feeling very virtuous and after the manic activity of the past few weeks it's a real anti-climax but at least I can now read some books. I had ten books out of the library and it was a real effort not to read them! But I restrained myself and got stuck in to the sewing! I'm good at working under pressure and I managed to stick to the time-table lists of things to do exactly which was very pleasing. It's always good to be able to tick things off. Such a sense of achievement!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Quilty Christmas Dinner

Last night my quilting class and I went for our Christmas dinner at the Norway Inn in Falmouth. This is a very old inn (around 350 years old) on the banks of what was once a very busy river but is now a slow, silted up back water. The food was delicious and a great time was had by all.

This was my choice. Salmon in a filo pastry parcel which was delicious, with a parsley sauce and selection of vegetables. I am not a sprout person so there is a decided absence of green on this plate. And I thought the white puddingy stuff in a bowl was bread sauce which I adore but it turned out to be horseradish sauce. Hot! But interesting with salmon!

Dessert was a raspberry gateaux. Very light and sinful! But tasty! The other choices were chocolate cheese cake or lemon mousse. I was tempted by the lemon mousse and to my disappointment no one else ordered it so I couldn't see what I'd missed. Perhaps this was just as well. All in all it was a very good evening and a lot of fun was had by all. I had prepared small gifts for the two ladies who supply us with tea or coffee and biscuits on a Friday morning. This is a real treat. We never had this in Adult Education. It was coffee from the machine in a styrofoam cup and tasted vile! So very deserving of recognition! And then to my surprise I got a card signed by all and a voucher for Creative Grids. I shall go mad after Christmas choosing stuff! You can never have too much. They are a lovely bunch of students and they are all coming back next term!
Next Friday is our last class before Christmas and the last of my fabric! I have not had a lot of joy in finding a new supplier yet. Anne Wigfull of the blog Grains in the Wind gave me the name of a supplier (JMM Marketing 01428 717357) and they had some nice cotton which I am test dyeing today but no poplin. They are hoping to get some for me but not until after Christmas. Nothing as cheap as I was getting! The cotton looks nice but is thicker than my previous fabric and I'm not certain it is mercerised.Oh to be in the States where they have access to wonderful cottons. Their Pima cotton is superb.