Thursday, December 30, 2010

Merry Christmas and .......SWINE FLU

We had a wonderful Christmas Day-with friends Marion and Phil and Becki- the turkey was one of the best we have ever had- and for the first time we cooked it on the morning instead of the Christmas Eve
it certainly makes the preparations go easier if you have a glass or three of bubbly wine when you are doing it!
It was certainly a cold Christmas--the pond was almost completely iced over--but it did keep running--poor little fishes!
We had a whole salmon as part of the Boxing Day buffet for the family--Bill cooked it to perfection and everyone thought it was delicious!
Not quite your usual family Christmas viewing but it was sooo funny to watch and hear everyone shouting in dis-belief at the antics of Dirty Sanchez---we had recorded 6 episodes for them to watch--even Mother loved it!

Somrthing a bit odd happened on Boxing Day morning--I was sat on sofa in front room and I hear a bang as something hit the patio windows--I rushed outside and found this beautiful little gold finch---however it was as stiff as a board-and although it was cold I dont think it could have frozen that quick--8-10 seconds--maybe a crow had been carrying it off and dropped it?

Sparkys had enough of festive cheer and has gone back to being a grumpy cat again!

Well I started to feel ill on Boxing Day as we were preparing the food--and felt worse as the day went on...I was asleep as soon as the family had gone and basicaly slept for 3 days!
Sweating, coughing and aching from head to foot.
I had to ring Beth and cancel the birthday party again as I couldnt get out of bed---fingers crossed for next Tuesday now--3rd time lucky!
The doctor confirmed today that Ive had/got swine flu and that has left me with a chest infection.
Im am feeling a lot better long as I dont move!
But its my first day out of bed since Boxing day.
Poor Bills still coughing from his chest infection he had before Christmas--I wont be long until Im back up in bed -its been a long day--but have got the bits sorted more or less I needed to do-- workshop bookings and paintings sorted out ready to post next Tuesday--I wont chance them being posted tomorrow and getting there Saturday and dont want them sitting round a depot over the weekend.So safer to post next week.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Well its arrived--and we are loving it--family and friends together having a good time!
We have had a busy week-we marzipaned and iced 8 Christmas cakes for various friends and family -major job--made the start of Jamie Oliver's special gravy-which involved cooking and mashing chicken wings and veg--to be finished on the day . Today I made the bread sauce, cranberry and port sauce and my special stuffing !
Its been lovely to get the final bits done today--cards delivered, shopping done and the best bits-friends and family calling by.....little Callum our oldest grandson came by with his mum and dad to have his pressies as they cant come tomorrow--then after they had gone it was time to get the mulled wine going in the slow cooker and the Camembert in the oven along with the french stick and garlic bread.
Our friends Marion and Phil came by and we had a wonderful couple of hours with them--the Camemberts have been maturing nicely in the garage for the past 2 weeks-as they smell the fridge out something chronic--but by the time I had added the garlic and thyme to it-it was smelling just divine!
The smell when we pulled the lovely gooey cheeses from the oven was to die for..
 I have been friends with Marion for ever-she used to babysit me from when I was a little baby--and we have remained the closest of friends ever since-however the only meal we have never shared in all of the 49 years is Christmas dinner---but tomorrow we will be-and we are soooo looking forward to it!
Got some great games to play afterwards..we will have lots of laughs with them.
I am looking forward to some time off over the festive period-but am also looking forward to getting back to the workshops again at the same time-- as long as the weather picks up things should get back to normal --
so I'm just going to wish everyone A Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

No Market :-(

Well poor Bills not very well--his cold has turned to a chest infection so we will not be venturing out to the market tomorrow-- the weather forcast is not good either--its snowing as I type--and is supposed to snow much more tomorrow. So thats it as far as the market goes until next March/April-depending on the weather!
Bills off for X Rays on his knee and hips on Thursday---they have been giving him some gip lately-so between that and his chest he's not been great.
 It will be good to have a rest--the new years classes will soon be here,

Monday, December 20, 2010

More Snow....

Well today we should have been over in Kidderminster doing a painting party--however as we were getting ready to load the car (we had already decided not to risk the van in the snow) Beth rang us to say it had taken her sister 2 1/2 hours to get to Bewdley which is a few  miles from Kidderminster.
So she didnt want us to risk it. We knew it was on the cards after speaking with her yesterday--so the girls are still having a sleepover at the house as they all live locally and we are going to try again on the 28th Dec to do the painting party.
We have had loads of snow again today--and we wouldn't have got back from there if we had chanced it.
We are suposed to be on the market on Wednesday for the last time until March/April but if its still like this we wont be going--its -12 here at the moment!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


I had to cancel the Birches workshop again today--I had spoken to everyone last night and we all knew it was on the cards with the forecast--however when we got up at 7.30am and opened the curtains we knew there was no chance of it going ahead!
Hopefully it will go ahead on January 8th--weather permitting -again-we will wait and see!
I did talk Lyndsey through the painting this afternoon as she wanted to do it for her sisters Christmas present--she is adding some bluebells to it as well--Im sure she will manage it ok--she has been to a birches class before--she just needed some reminders on how to do it!

Snow.. etc

We had a laugh with Angus on the market last week--he bought me a little artist teddy as a pressie when he found him in a charity shop--he wasnt to know I collect them and have 5 others like him already--one called Bob is kept  in the front of the van--we lined them all up in the window so when we arrived at the market he was greeted by this lot! Bill said to him--"That bear you bought Di--you should have got him seen to--look whats happened -they have been breeding!" Everyone was creased-- 
this lovely little wagtail was outside most of the day feeding--quick little thing-had a job to get a decent photo of him!
not sure if this is a dunnock or not
trouble with feeding the birds so well--we get other unwanted visitors as well--luckily this bugger stayed still munching while Bill took aim....... and he is a good shot!

and this lazy lump has been asleep most of the day instead of ratting!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Feeling better , Weather and Christmas Traditions!

Well Ive been for my second and last session with the osteopath-and am feeling better--not quite right yet but he told me I shouldn't need to go again.
Well the weather has made a change for the worse again--we are expecting snow and all sorts overnight tonight and tomorrow.
It felt quite warm when we set up on the market yesterday-but it got colder and colder as the day went on.
We started to pack up at 2.30pm , and we were froze solid by time we came home--thankfully we are doing the last market next Wednesday -until the end of March/beginning of April- again depending on the weather.

I had rearranged the Birches class that got snowed off earlier this month for this Saturday-some of the original students who were booked in were going to attend it--however its looking like it may be cancelled again if the forecast is right--everyone who is coming is travelling from away...we will play it by ear-that's all I can do!

I hope we don't get too much snow--I have a teenagers birthday painting party booked over in Kidderminster on Monday at 3pm--we will be taking the car with all the equipment in if there is snow around--the car is great in the snow-far better than the van!

Cant believe where the year has gone--its flown by-- we are having a change to our usual tradition this year--usually all the family descend on us early evening on Christmas Day for food and drinks and laughs--that's been the way for nearly thirty years.....but we have found it very tiring  after doing a Christmas dinner the past couple of years so we are doing it on Boxing Day lunchtime this year--we have a huge fresh (frozen!) salmon to cook, along with all the usual bits and pieces--we will be able to enjoy it much more after a good nights sleep!
Christmas Eve will be hectic as usual--we have friends round in the evening and we have mulled wine and a couple of melted Camemberts baked with garlic and herbs with fresh baked french stick to dip in and savour-and we have been know to take the legs off the turkey that we always cook on Christmas Eve and make a sandwich of it as well before now!
Anyway--Im really looking forward to it now--have all the pressies wrapped up and ready to deliver--all we need is the snow to stay away until the day--

Monday, December 13, 2010


I'm off to the osteopath again tomorrow for another session of manipulation..I went on Friday and Kevin did me the world of good--I was completely pain free yesterday from the sciatica that has been bothering me for weeks.
It played up a bit today mainly due to getting in and out of the car a few times-so am hoping that Kevin can work his magic again tomorrow!
 I'm on the market again on Wednesday and again  next week (Wed) -last time before Christmas and the last time until the end of March// beginning of April--depending on the weather!
Must say I'm looking forward to the break from the market--it was -8 last week and it was a long day-brrrrrrrr
Yesterday was warmer up there , but not by much---had lots of bookings and the gift vouchers have gone so well I had to get another 50 printed in a hurry!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Workshop of Dec 11th --Poppy Fields

We had fantastic results today in the workshop-hard to believe they were all first timers except for Maureen-who received her artist brooch for achieving 6 paintings with me
A family affair---Linda, Sarita, Hayley and Chris -what beautiful results
Carla, Lisa, Stewart and Maureen--very different -but all very good--its so interesting to see how everyone tackles it!
Bill bought some raffle tickets at Helena Lane last time we were there--he was lucky enough to win this lovely hamper of wines and glasses--we will put them up for Christmas-and enjoy them then!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Winter Wonderland In Ludlow--Dec 7th 2010

first thing this morning-the sun was coming up behind the tree in our garden--what a picture!
this is the view from my bedroom window--stunning!
we went round the same route as yesterday-but the overnight freezing fog had made everything even more beautiful
the Horseshoe  weir-
up stream of Ludford bridge
the road up to Whitcliffe
Ludlow Castle from Whitcliffe-what a beautiful sight--
The top of St laurences church
The castle, church and in the background Clee Hill
Clee hill
wouldnt fancy parking my bum on that seat!! BRrrrrrrrr
spotted this buzzard admiring the views
we headed back to Dinham Bridge underneath Whitcliffe-the paths take you back onto the top where we had come from
this is one of my favorite photos of the bunch
this is Bills favorite-Dinham bridge with the castle in the background
Dinham weir
this one was taken from the car park below the paths round the castle
this is going to be a painting subject for my workshops in the near future
Im chuffed at how well these pics have come out
Ive had an enjoyable day today--even though its been -8 for most of it-copyright on all these photos belongs to me Diane Jennings .