Popping Into Poole #mysundayphot

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I did think I’d taken some reasonable photos of our trip into Poole. It was a lovely sunny day and the skies were blue. However, when I got home they looked washed out and grey. Fortunately, this photo taken as we were leaving, moving along, through the car window, came out much better!

As with last week’s day out, things happened spur of the moment and not entirely to plan (as I’ve said before, when do they go to plan in this blog?!). We’d driven over to Poole for my husband to look at a car. He’d phoned prior to us leaving to check it was still available and arranged to meet the sales guy, told him how long we’d take to get there (best part of 2 hours). However, he forgot to take his phone with him so we missed the phone call and text message to say that the car had been sold as we were mid-journey. After delivering the news they didn’t suggest we look at any other cars they had in stock, so we decided just to leave, cut our losses and have a look around Old Poole instead. Good choice!

The harbour area is lovely. The views are stunning. The seabirds, as you may have seen in my previous post, were eyecatching and entertaining. Lusting after the yacht-age in the harbour was mouth-watering. Imagining living in the amazing water-side houses was good fun. So, forget about cars, take a trip down to the water, a wander around town, eat fish and chips and be happy! We will be back!

 

OneDad3Girls

 

T is for …. Tulips

Why I didn’t just call this blog “and then it all went wrong” instead dodging the true facts with A Good Day To Dye (NOT!) I don’t know. It must have been obvious from that title that things weren’t going to go my way, and then most of my blog posts do contain a confession that things haven’t gone to plan….and here’s another of those posts!!!!

Pinterest, I have to say, seems to set me up for a fall every time. The people who do craftiness on there must be perfect and I’m not. By putting the bar so high I’m bound to jump and just slide on under it I think!

So, this time I saw an idea for growing tulips in glasses with just glass beads (or treasure as Holly used to call it when she was little) for the roots to grow around rather than growing them in soil. On the Pinterest photo they looked amazing and, as my sister’s a big fan of yellow tulips and has a young son who is eager to learn things, I thought I’d give it a go…..

The “and then it all went wrong” starts right now!!! I was completely in the wrong season to buy tulips, I couldn’t find any tall, narrow necked glasses or any glass nuggets/beads. You’d have thought I’d give up then wouldn’t you? But no. I went down to mum’s and asked if she had my old marble collection (just to prove I hadn’t lose ALL of my marbles), picked up some plastic beads, found a narrow necked vase in a charity shop…. and then enlisted my husband’s help for the rest. We picked up some glasses from the supermarket which, in all honesty, weren’t tall enough. Kev then convinced me to buy…..tulips that were already growing in soil and extract them….. Yes. You can stop cringing now. And I’d skip viewing the next photo altogether if I were you….

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Um, yeah…. I really did un-pot them, split them and…..wash off all the roots :/ Are you ready to contact the RSPT yet?

IMG_2649As a result, they didn’t look tooooooo bad. Of course the marbles and plastic beads wouldn’t mix together as they were different weights which made me even more ratty (oh, didn’t I admit I was very grumpy by this stage yet?!). The one in the vase, which I’d already earmarked for my sister, really did look much better than those in the too short long glasses (if you see what I mean).

Once I was convinced it wasn’t going to shrivel up and die with the shock of it’s “robust” treatment, I turned up on my sister’s doorstep and thrust it into her waiting hands with a “here this is for you, sorry it’s gone wrong”. My poor family…..

Fortunately the rest of the tulips thrived and moved into the front room and onto the top of the new fireplace. Only one, to be honest, has been completely successful, and it isn’t really as yellow as I had been led to believe it would be but, from disaster, comes tulip. Will I try again? Not sure. Has anything positive come from this experience? Yes, I realise I am probably too honest for my own good!

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I See Sea Birds! #AnimalTales

We’d never been to Poole before, but found ourselves there and having a lovely afternoon walking around the old town and harbour area.

I think Oystercatchers must be very common around the edge of the water in this area as we were the only ones walking along taking any notice of them whatsoever! With the amount of noise they were making as they flew along the waters edge, they were hard to ignore. Some were picking along alone and others in big groups. With their amazing long beaks they made fascinating watching (well, to us at least!).

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We then spotted this beauty, sitting quite happily just down from a busy bridge and road, seemingly unbothered by the noise of the traffic. We thought it might be a juvenile shag, but to be honest weren’t quite sure. My plea for anyone out there who might be able to identify him/her was kindly answered by Stella Lee @Purfylle – thank you very much for your help! Obviously our first up close and personal with a cormorant 🙂

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ANIMALTALES

Berry Head Revisited

No, we’ve not really been back, but I thought it was a shame to just leave the post there without adding more of the photos we took at the weekend. Hopefully some of those of you living nearby will be inspired to take a visit, or re-visit, yourselves (can I have commission do you think?!).

IMG_2708 You’ll be pleased to hear that you don’t just have to put up with my useless explanations of how the place works and what you can see. As well as an interactive visitors centre, there are handy information boards on the way around. There’s also the opportunity to listen in on the Berry Head Audio Trail; 15 points which take you on a journey from the tip of the headland right around the site, collecting rubbings on the way – there’s also a Children’s Trail.

Here are some more photos from around the site.

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Here’s a few of The Guardhouse Cafe too, just to persuade you that it’s a good idea to pop in there!

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Day Tripper – #MySundayPhoto

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Sometimes unexpected and unplanned days out are the best. You have no pre-formed expectations and you’re just happy to be out and about and experiencing something new.

Kev wasn’t too happy when I suggested a trip to Berry Head. The roads to get there are often busy and at the moment it involves negotiating a huge mass of roadworks too. However, as he’d worked on the refurb of the facilities and cafe up there some years ago, the temptation was too big for him and we negotiated our way down there. His prior knowledge of the back roads was very helpful and we soon found ourselves there, wandering around in the sun on a lovely warm February afternoon.

Berry Head towers 200 feet above the English Channel and has the remains of constructions built during the Napoleonic, Cold and Second World Wars. During those times it housed observation points, anti-aircraft guns, lighthouses and 18th and 19th century naval signalling stations.

Today, as well as visiting these remains, it is a wonderful area for butterflies, insects and birds. A nicely perched bird hide allows you to watch over the coastline unseen. Even if the wildlife isn’t your “thing” the breathtaking views and plunging cliffs are well worth seeing.

We popped into the splendid Guardhouse Cafe for a lovely cuppa and superb bowl of chilli with cheesy chips and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend you call in there too if you find yourself in the area. Quite handily their website will give you a good idea of the weather conditions if you check it before you leave home. If the weather’s too bad – they’re closed! If you sign up to their newsletter you’ll also be kept informed of their events at the cafe, which sound lip-smackingly tantalising.

It really was a lovely few hours away and we’ll definitely be going back. It just goes to show that when sunny days present themselves this time of year, you really should make the most of it. Lovely memories are made and it really does make the weekend seem so much longer having been out and done something.

 

OneDad3Girls

S is for …. Silly Solar Sheep

I wonder if S has ever stood for Silly Solar Sheep before?

Needless to say, it didn’t go entirely to plan, but I had originally seen two of these ideas on Pinterest and decided to combine them to make a friend smile. It’s not as great as it could be, but was done in a hurry as the need to make her smile was bigger than the need to make it perfect.

I went into our brilliant local wool shop, The Wool Stack, where poor Austin was in charge while his wife Sara was at lunch. “Austin, I need some wool to knit some grass and make some sheep please”. Fortunately he knows me and is used to requests like this and I left mere minutes later with the items I needed – in fact more than I needed as he’d found me some gorgeous sheep buttons with wobbly legs in white (for good days) and black (for baaaaad days!). The local toy shop supplied me with some glow in the dark paint so all that was left for me to do was to throw it together and unsuccessfully take photos of the glowing in the dark bit. Hopefully you’ll get the general idea though…

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National Libraries Day #MySundayPhoto

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Did you realise that yesterday was National Libraries Day? You did? Good! I hope you celebrated appropriately!

At work yesterday we had a lovely time. Our Friend Group were run off their feet supplying coffee and cake, running a sale table and tombola and we were visited by lots of very nice people who stopped for a cuppa, chat and to fill out hearts to stick on our boards with reasons they love their local libraries. Above is just one of three sheets that we’ve hearted-up so far, with borrowers having the rest of the week to come and fill in a heart too. We also had a fun treasure hunt for the kids to take part in while they were with us, with the prize of them being able to pick a sweet from a tub full of loveliness for their trouble. Not many of them were convinced by the rule that it was one sweet for them, one for me though unfortunately!

 

OneDad3Girls

A-Z Foodie Challenge – H is for … Hazelnuts

HAPPY WORLD NUTELLA DAY!!!!!

I’m delighted to tell you that I especially saved my hazelnut challenge for today knowing it’s World Nutella Day…..but of course I’m lying and it is in fact a very happy coincidence, although I will be celebrating World Nutella Day from now on!

I copied Linda this month and looked on Pinterest for inspiration for a recipe. I was, in all honesty, looking for a savoury recipe but when I found a recipe for The Moistest Chocolate Mug Cake and read the details (Prep Time 1 min/Cook Time 1 min!!!!) I was sold. If you’d like to check out the recipe for The Moistest Chocolate Mug Cake, it appears on the Table For Two blog here. It may have taken a MASSIVE 2 minutes to prep and cook but it took mere seconds for Holly and I to demolish it! I added a swirl of double cream and some crushed hazelnuts just to cover up for my guilt of not using the “real thing” in the recipe!

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Linda’s gone down the microwave path too this time with her Microwave Nut Caramels which were absolutely gorgeous to eat and gave me a real energy boost in the afternoon when I was flagging. Check out her blog to find out all about them – this is they….

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Will add Frances and her culinary creation soon and look forward to I is for Icing next time.

 

 

No new toy for the kitchen :(

At this point I was hoping to tell you about my marvelous new find which I couldn’t live without, but instead I’m here having a good old moan as I reload it into a box and shove it in the car boot sale pile!

This is the offending item – if you have one and have found it to be fabulous, I apologise for my moaning but it’s left me a bit “narked” (to be polite about it!).

IMG_2638Looks great doesn’t it? I bought it in the sale (thank goodness!) at Lakeland. I ordered it online. I don’t think I’d have bought it if I’d seen it in the shop and read the back of the box. Of course I took it out of the cupboard the minute I intended making bread….and then read the care and use instructions. Here we go, ready for this (I might have been a bit naive not to expect this…)

1. Immerse the form completely in clean warm water allowing to soak for 30 minutes (okay, can go away for half an hour and then make bread.)

2. Rub veg oil onto inner surface to coat it entirely.

3. Place in a cold oven and increase the heat to 220 degrees c.

4. Bake the form for approx 25 minutes or until oil has dried completely (hmmm, an hour before I can get the bread in the oven….but then with proving etc that should still work).

5. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely and naturally.

6. Repeat steps 2 to 5 again.

Grrrrr. No bread today then. But I carried out all of the instructions (twice!) and put off the bread making until the following day.

IMG_2644So, up with the lark (ha,ha!) the following day and bread made and in the oven.  One of the attractions of buying this was that it came with two recipes and I’m always happy to try something new. I decided on the Cheddar & Red Onion Flavour Bread. It turned out to be very odd as only the middle roll had any of the onion filling, making it very strongly flavoured, and the others just had a sprinkling of cheese inside and on top.

When it came out of the oven it looked pretty good….but then I tipped it upside down so I could tap the bottom to make sure it was fully cooked….and it wouldn’t move….. After some prising not a lot was happening still…. It was well and truly stuck. Nothing for it but to rip and hang the consequences of pretty unappetising bread – although I guess with hindsight it had been called Tear and Share!

IMG_2647As the form of the rolls had disappeared during cooking I did wonder if my mixture had been too wet and perhaps I had caused the sticking problem? Not wishing to condemn it and never use it again I decided to give it another go the following day using a bread mix, with the thought that if it was “user error” making it stick, that might solve it. The result was exactly the same. I know I followed the prep of the form to the letter (twice!) so can only conclude that me and the flower form are not going to get on. Just to prove to myself that I hadn’t lost any bread making skill I might have ever had, I went ahead and made bread rolls the following week, free forming them into a flower shape and baking them. The results are far better. Erm, so good in fact that the sixth roll mysteriously disappeared before I could take the photo! This is how I will go from now on.

Roll on car boot sale season….unless anyone else fancies giving it a go to prove me wrong?!

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