Friday, 25 September 2009

I'm dreaming of a new bathroom!

I just wanted to show you my new bath and other stuff that will be going in my new bathroom! I have dreams about using my nice new bathroom. We have been ‘putting up’ with a horrible, cold, dark, damp, spider infested bathroom for three years now and what's worse, it is downstairs, about as far away as you can get from the bedrooms upstairs!

Here's my new bath! Unfortunately it isn’t usable yet due to the fact that not only is it not plumbed in but the room it is standing in needs a lot of work doing to it! Still, the bath is in position and that’s a start! I can kind of get my head around how the room will look now and how much space I have left to work with. As you can see from the style of the bath, I will be having a vintage style bathroom. The silver on the walls is insulation material.

I wanted a big French style mirror for one of the walls and bought this one in Laura Ashley. It is one of the few vintage style things that shop does now.

This is the radiator/towel rail. It is new but Victorian style

Hopefully my dreams will become reality soon!

Friday, 18 September 2009

Sloes, Damsons and Gin!

I'm told it is a good year for damsons and sloes so that being the case, mother and I went into the orchard to pick some and decided, instead of making pies and jam we'd go down the alcoholic route and make some sloe (and damson) gin.

Damsons in abundance.
I had the task of picking the fiddly little sloes in the hedge while mother...

... had the relatively easy task of picking the damsons off the tree!

Don't they look lovely in their basket.

To make sloe gin you need to weigh out half a pound of sloes.

Buy some cheap gin - supermarket own brand will do and then drink half of it (not all at once)!

Prick the sloes or damsons with a knife and then put into an empty bottle.

Add four ounces of sugar.

Then add the half bottle of gin. Give it a good shake.

Then leave it for a few months to mature, shaking it every day for two weeks. After three or four months you can decant it into clean bottles and start drinking. Cheers!

Sunday, 13 September 2009


I always think it is nice to have some spring bulbs flowering in the middle of gloomy winter. As September is the time of year for planting bulbs, this year I have decided to pot up some hyacinths. Planting them now means that they should be flowering around Christmas/New Year time.

These are the bulbs. Three of each colour. The white bulbs are yellow flowers and the red bulbs are pink flowers
These are the pots I'm going to be using. They belonged to my grandmother and I remember her always using them to plant hyacinths.

Put a layer of compost in the pot and set the bulbs out on it so that they're not quite touching.

Fill the spaces with compost, making sure that the bulbs just have their noses showing. Water the pots and then leave them in a cool, dark place such as a shed or garage. Check on them regularly and water them sparingly if needed. When the shoots are showing bring them into the light and then hopefully, you will have beautiful hyacinth flowers ready for Christmas.

If they are ready at Christmas it is nice to give them as presents.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

A Day of Hunting

I’ve been trawling the antique shops and reclamation yards this week. The main thing we needed were some ridge tiles for the roof. They need to match the original one’s and have been difficult to find. Anyway, this particular rec yard had exactly what we wanted. The only problem was, it was closed! It will be a good excuse for another trip this weekend!

Mushrooms anyone? I love these garden mushrooms but unfortunately everyone else does too and when you have them in your garden they tend to disappear overnight only to reappear in the nearest rec yard!
I really wanted this tub. Hopefully it will still be there when I return next weekend!

Here's where you come if you need a new chimney pot!

I can spend hours looking around antique shops, especially sprawling ones like this one in Church Stretton that sell junk as well as antiques. I walk around the whole place and then go around again and spot things that amazingly, I missed the first time round.

You really have to search for what you want. The place is stacked with old stuff!

It was a good week this week and there was a lot of nice furniture but unfortunately everything I liked was around the £1000 mark so I settled for a plate and a jug!

I collect blue and white plates and this one is by Minton. I got it for £4.99 so I thought that was quite a good bargain for Minton.

This little chintz jug is by Nelson Ware and it too was a good price at £2.99.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Cast your minds back to 1403!

Well okay, I know it is quite a long time ago! At the weekend I visited the site of the battle of Shrewsbury which took place in 1403.

The history is all a bit complicated so I am quoting from Wikipedia! The battle was fought in 1403 between an army led by King Henry IV and a rebel army led by Sir Henry Percy of Northumberland. In 1403, unhappy with King Henry IV, the powerful Percy family rose in rebellion. The family's dissatisfaction stemmed from a feeling that they had been mistreated by the king after helping him gain his crown in the wars against King Richard II. Raising an army from among the Richard's former supporters, Sir Henry "Hotspur" Percy moved south with the goal of destroying a small Royalist force at Shrewsbury commanded by the 16-year old Prince of Wales. The conflict began, after a long stand off and failed negotiations, with an archery attack from both forces followed by an attack by the King. To cut a long story short the King won and poor Percy was killed.

Anyway, I won’t go on but I will show you some photos of my visit.

This is part of the battlefield itself and as you can see, is now just farmland. Who would have thought that thousands of men fought and lost their lives 600 years ago on these fields!

There are lots of marshy bits too, a bit like The Dead Marshes! I didn’t see any hobbits though!

There is a walkway through the fields where the battle took place. There are lots of things to eat in the hedgerows at the moment.

There is a shop, cafe and exhibition and if you have the strength to pull a longbow you can have a go at archery.

On the battlefield is the Church of St Mary Magdalene. The church was built in 1406 as a memorial to those who fell in battle and is said to be have been built on or near the mass graves.

The beautiful stained glass windows of the church.

The Victorian encaustic tiles of the floor of the church replaced the medieval ones when the church was restored in 1861.

In the church, they have on display, all the coats of arms of the men who fought alongside the king and Henry Percy. I noticed there are two Kynastons (my family name) among them. Maybe they are my ancestors but who knows. It would be nice to think so!