Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Welcome to

Vintage Vacations on the Isle of Wight where much fun can be had spending a night or two in one of these.

A choice of 10 retro Airstream caravans, all refurbished in true vintage style.

Yes, folks, that's where we were at the weekend, and a jolly time was had by all!  We set off on Friday afternoon (boys finish at 1pm), managed to catch an early ferry and we arrived safe and sound at our Airstream for 5pm.  A quick 'tour' by Fraser, the owner and we were then left to our own devices to enjoy our weekend.

Here's ours -

First, sit down and savour a complementary cream tea, yum yum, while the boys ran round playing badminton (racquet's provided).  We'll save the miniature bottle of Babycham for later!

Anyone for tea?

Let's take a tour -

Boys' had a bed each with the bathroom at the end (fully working shower and diddy sink).  Toilet facilities were housed in a portabcabin further down the field.

A bit of evening reading -

Cheery bunting -

Lounge area (our bed)

Fully working original cooker -

Some friends' to share our weekend!

We really did enjoy the experience, even the walking across the field in a hoodie and polka dot PJ's!  The Isle of Wight was lovely too.  I'll share what we did later on in the week.

Thursday, 23 September 2010


I didn't think I'd ever get a chance to blog this week, it's been a whirlwind of activity, some good and some not so good.

Inbetween all of this, we've had brain numbing trips to various secondary schools, and I don't think we've undertaken such a stressful process.  Like many parts of the country, getting into the school of your choice doesn't always follow and you have to think quite strategically, especially with secondary schools as the quality can vary greatly.

We have 2 good secondary school choices, 1 of which was in the top 40 Sunday Times list.  Of course, everyone wants to go there, we live out of catchment, but go to an in catchment primary school (which does help).  Anyway, whilst wandering around, it bought back many memories of my secondary school days.

This particular school does woodworking and we happened to stand and watch some of the lesson.  I remember very vividly standing in my woodworking class one day and I must have had new shoes, probably about 12 yrs old.  I looked down at them and they were browny/tan in colour and they had a tassle (all very grown up!).  There was a mark on them, and I remember licking my finger and bending down to wipe it off!  That's it - nothing about the class, nothing about what I was making, but I just recall the shoes.

Funny what we remember!

Moving on - my mum has recently given me back this book from childhood -

Not sure how old I was, but I loved the pictures, this was my favourite poem.  The Jumblies seemed so sweet with their blue hands and green faces!

Interestingly enough, the author says "I have made this book especially for you; but not just for you, also for myself; not the present, grown-up self but the old self, the one left behind in childhood.  In memory, I have gone back to those days and I have tried to recall some of the verses I learned and loved then, and have drawn them as I remember them..............I want to make you look again at things, always noticing something new which you missed at first - the shape of a leaf - the wonderful colours of berries and flowers - the birds and animals and insects - all there for you to see if you will stop a moment"

Don't you think that's so true?  Certainly very poignant for me this week.

What do you vividly recall from your childhood?

Friday, 17 September 2010

My cool caravan.........

I have been yearning for this book for a while, and finally got it a couple of days ago.

It certainly didn't disappoint - what glorious photo's

I've spent (as a child) a good many holiday's in a caravan and my mum recollects fantastic holidays she had as a child in a caravan.  Caravan's for a while became a little passe, but they seem to be making a revival as more and more people are staycationing.

I'm not sure whether I could immerse myself in the whole caravan 'thing' but would quite cheerfully have one in the back garden to 'play' with.  Having said that, we are off for a little jaunt next Friday evening, to take a ferry to the Isle of Wight and staying in one similar to this for 2 nights -

There's only 10 Airstreams on site so quite an exclusive affair, and all decked out in vintage style (right up my street). 

We booked it via a company called Vintage Vacations who were featured in Homes and Antiques magazine a couple of months ago.  Now I do think this 2 night break in a caravan will be make or break.  I think I'll love it, hubby and the boys think not, as trotting across a field to go to the toilet isn't appealing - where's their sense of adventure.  I hope the weather's kind to us though!

Here's a few more photo's from the book

Have a great weekend!

Monday, 13 September 2010

Plums = Autumn

Plums was the word of the weekend in our house.

I've never been one (up to now) to cook or bake what's in season, I tend to do what I fancy.  However, plums are in season and very reasonably priced. So, keen to seize the plum (see what I did there!), I set too and dug out my trusty Preserves book.

Plum butter - yep, I fancied some of that.  Having made Apple Butter a little while ago and established that there was no sign of butter (I'm intolerant to dairy), I had a stab at making some, and boy was it worth it.  Yesterday was the turn of the plum.  It's quite simple really - sugar, water and fruit pulp which you boil until thick.  I'm not sure why fruit butter is called fruit butter, but you do get a lovely intense fruitiness - I added some spices for extra flavour. 

I halved the quantities and got 2 jars from 750g of plums.

Some of  the left over plums was turned into a crumble.  My Good Food calendar has a scrummy recipe for Maple Plum Crumble.  I also dug out an easy recipe for Plum Cake.  So, for £2.00 worth of plums, it actually turned into a thrifty weekend!

Always keen to keep my website uptodate with new goodies, I used some pretty fabrics for some 'vases full of hearts' which I then framed.  All being well, hubby will get it added to the website today.  I know I've got to make some Christmas goodies to add on, but I just can't bring myself to think about Christmas yet, especially when the weather was as glorious as it was yesterday.

I'll leave you with a picture of our resident 'fungus'. It's been growing steadily over the last week or so and we've all been fascinated by it, so I thought I'd share it!  Unfortunately during the night it took a tumble so you can only see the top of it.

Toodle Pip

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Vintage this and vintage that

Whilst on holiday (which does seem like an age ago), I managed to pick up some pretty bits and bobs along the way.

I had always yearned for one of those old Enid Blyton style school posters from the 50's and when we went to Totnes (This 'n' That) - I managed to get one!  It was quite dangerous as there were so many tempting goodies and Lesley who owns the shop was lovely to chat to!

Here's what I got -

The photo doesn't do these yellow melamine cups and sauces any justice at all!

Here's my poster, now framed.

The Vintage at Goodwood Festival was obviously a bit of a shopping mecca and I was lucky enough to pick these up, I think this stall must have bought the contents of an old shop as most items were in their original packaging, including these hankies and beauty set.  I'm reluctant to separate them from the packaging so will leave them as they are for now.

A couple of pretty pink plastic hangers

Mr Fisherman

and finally my bargain of the year - a Cath oil cloth bag at half price.

Bye for now!

Monday, 6 September 2010

Here's some I made earlier

Morning all - hope you are well? Good weekend?

We had quite a pleasant weekend.  Still in my making preserves mode, I set too and made some Autumn chutney on Friday afternoon.  I was pleased to read in the list of ingredients, that you could substitute apricots for blackberries.  As there is a huge glut still on the hedgerows near us, the boys and I hopped on our bikes and picked what we needed.  I love it when you can use free ingredients.

It's such an easy recipe, a case of pretty much chucking it all in 1 pot - sugar, vinegar, pears, cooking apples, onions and blackberries.  Hopefully you'll be able to see the recipe if you click to enlarge it.  In fact you can pretty much use any fruit you have.

Here we go, bubbling away.....looks great, but I'm not keen on the lingering vinegar smell chutney leaves, as you make it.

60 minutes later, you end up with a couple of jars.  They suggest leaving it for 3 months, so it'll be good and ready in the run up to Christmas!

Saturday was off on a jolly to wander round Laycock Abbey, and what glorious weather it was.  Yesterday saw us standing in the pouring rain watching Toby play a football match.  Amazingly the rain started as we got there, and finished as we left - typical.

I did manage to complete another favourite project of mine - a cushion.  Bit more tricky this time as it was round and I wanted to envelope it on the back - straightforward enough, and use fabric segments for the front so I traced the cushion onto paper and drew then cut segments for templates.  I did remember to make them a little larger to allow for seam allowance etc......somehow it all went a little askew as the front ended up bigger than the back. I think it eventually turned out OK!

You would think trace, draw, cut and sew would be easy...em.

See you later in the week.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Not even a mouse

Can disturb the silence in the house today!  The boys' have gone back to school after 6 1/2 weeks off.  In many ways it seems like a long time ago since they broke up, but driving to school and standing in the playground - it only seemed like yesterday! 
 I'm not going to miss the arguments which increased in numbers over the last week or two and the constant clearing up, snack and drink preparing, and endless washing!  I am going to miss having them around, hearing their conversation, our cycle rides, trips out with friends and general relaxation.

But hey, onwards and upwards as they say.  I hope everyone enjoyed summer and the August Bank Holiday, and here's to a balmy September!

Over the summer break, I did manage to complete my barkcloth patchwork cushion cover.  For some reason the original cushion cover had become 'bleached' on both corners so as a temporary measure I had covered the seat with a wool blanket. 

I've used the same wool blanket as a backing to the seat cover.  I've made it big enough to tuck in on all sides so I can whip it out to wash it.

My most enjoyable quick and simple project was this -

The original lampshade was plain and quite dull, so I thought I would jazz it up using some scraps of fabric and gluing it to the shade.  I'm quite pleased with how it's turned out.  I'll hopefully get the other one completed today.

Right, I'm off now to make some secondary school open morning appointments!  I think we've decided on what school we want Toby to go to next year, but what we want and what we get given might not be the same, in fact I'll probably bet money on it.