Saturday, 18 November 2017

Festive Things

When it comes to Christmas I like to get prepared well in advance. Today I made the Christmas cake, I use the same recipe every year from the BBC food website.

I have used a few cheats this year as a few weeks ago I found some sweet shortcrust pastry and some cracked black pepper puff pastry and sausage meat reduced. So I have made sausage rolls, and mince pies for the freezer, they will be taken out and just lightly warmed through when we want them.

On Thursday I was over the moon as I had been informed that I had won a competition. What did I win? well I won Christmas Dinner.

10 1b Free range turkey
500g stuffing
500g sausages
500g bacon
Jar of cranberry sauce

The online retail value of the prize is £85, so it must be good quality.

This is being delivered on the 22nd December.

So I was very pleased indeed, free dinner.

I was going to make some chutney as we were going to have some baked camembert for starters on Christmas day, but I thought I would buy some of the chutneys from Asda instead. There was another one I wanted which was out of stock so I shall buy that next time. These are on offer for £1 each at the moment.

I am even going to cheat with the potatoes, I managed to get two bags of these free on a shopping app a few weeks ago. So I shall keep a bag for Christmas day.

So there you have it , I am not a domestic goddess all the time, I do cheat sometimes.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Gloucester Quays

This morning we went over to Gloucester Quays for the Victorian Christmas market. Gloucester Quays is located next to the historic docks of Gloucester. Filled with Victorian architecture. The ship canal was opened in 1827 and allowed boats to bypass a particularly winding part of the River Servern, making Gloucester an inland port. At is busiest times the docks would have been full of narrow boats, sailing ships, steam ships and barges. In recent years it has been featured in lots of major films including Alice Through the Looking Glass and Amazing Grace, Terry Pratchett's Colour of Magic, Vanity Fair to name a few, do you remember the popular children's television series Rosie & Jim? in some scenes their canal boat was filmed on the docks. There is also a Tall Ship Festival in May every year, hopefully we will attend the next one, we have missed the previous ones due to being on holiday.

Gloucester also has a Cathedral.

The Cathedral has been used to film scenes for television and films, including Wolf Hall, Sherlock, 3 of the Harry Potter Films, a Doctor Who Christmas special to name a few. We have seen the outside but have yet to go in, so we will certainly pop in and have a look around on another occasion, Gloucester is only about  10 mins away from home.

A few pictures of the market.

I was very tempted by some of the cakes, but am saving myself as we are treating ourselves to cod and chips tonight.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Baby Finches

Welcome to my new followers Petra and Pat.

We now have 10 baby zebra finches, they are all doing very well, when I went in the avairy this morning there was just one little still in the nest.

This little one did venture out a little later, he/she landed on my arm, and then when I was trying to get out of the avairy perched on my head and sat there for some time before decided to leave it's mark on my head, cheeky little rascal.

The other little ones . There is quite a bit of background noise from planes, as we are in a flight path.

After the baby's had come out we were going to take the block of nest boxes down, but the doves are now nesting.

One of the chinese painted quail , has also gone broody and sitting on eggs, which they don't do very often, we also have a big incubator now also, so there will be little ones everywhere before very long.

I don't mind I love them all, but I know we can't keep them so I won't get to attached, we have only had the birds a few months but they are so enjoyable and entertaining.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

A lovely day.

Yesterday was my birthday, a milestone birthday. I am now 50.

Gosh those years soon went by.

So this is how my birthday started with my favourite vanilla cream doughnut from Greggs. We didn't have breakfast we had cakes and coffee at 10 am. 

After the cake and coffee it was time for cards and gifts.

I received some lovely gifts.

A lovely calendar, what a great idea a calendar with no date and days written in so you can use it for whatever year you wish.

Some lovely writing paper. 

A beautiful bird calendar.

A Robin tea caddy.

Looking forward to trying this.

Perfect for chilly winter nights.

I am not a fan of blue and white china like the willow pattern for example, but I really do like this indigo blue with gold it works really well. I really do love this teapot, so pretty. I shall test it out later.

A copper biscuit cutter. I have started collecting copper cutters now.

These honey soaps smell simply divine, I really love them.

Aren't they pretty.
I am looking forward to using these, I shall pop them in my clothes drawers as I do with all soap now to fragrance my clothes before I actually use them.

I few nice things to consume.

I also had some money which I might use to buy a new coat.

Then it was off to Bourton-on-the-Water, a pretty little village in the Cotswolds, about half an hour from home. We have been here three times before, but it is such a lovely place. Before we went around the village, we went to Birdland.

These penguins were such adorable characters.

Such beautiful iridescent plummage.

The Kookaburra.

There was also a nature trail and Jurassic World, which I can imagine to be great fun for little ones.

Beautiful Snowy Owls.

These are Frogmouth Owls, I can see why they are named that.

So after Birdland it was time to have a stroll around the village, although the sun was out there was a real biting wind, so before we went too far hot drinks were in order.

I chose to have a fruit scone with butter, my husband had a really tasty looking cheese and ham croissant, so we decided to share, half a croissant and half a scone each. Very nice it was to.

So now all refreshed we went for a stroll.

Look at those lovely grapes.

There were a group of Japanese tourists and they were so exciting by seeing this grapes hanging from a house. The cameras were busy clicking away.

So after Bourton we went back for a stroll around Burford Garden Company.
So much more than your average garden centre, but such a pretty penny is needed to shop in here.

Panetonne anyone? Only £69.......

Lovely meringues.

We finished off with a meal at the Hungry Horse pub chain. I had a steak sizzler - mixed peppers with onions topped with a steak covered in mushrooms and cheese with a little peppercorn sauce. Followed by an ice cream dessert which I shared with my husband. It was an extra large sharing one.

It was a really lovely day.