Sunday, 4 December 2016

Christmas at Basildon Park

I know that you all love to see the photos of Basildon Park decorated for Christmas each year, so of course I want to share them with you!

So far I only have some photos that I took on my phone - which came out better than I though they would - but I hope to take my "big camera" one day and get some more pictures to share.  As I am not writing any advent posts this year I thought that I would share some of the pictures today and then spread the rest out over the remaining two Sundays of Advent.  It seemed like a nice gentle thing to do on Advent Sundays.

No commentary, just enjoy the pretty pictures.

I hope you are enjoying a peaceful Advent.


p.s. just to clarify and in case you are new here to my blog, I am a volunteer Tour Guide at Basildon Park, they know that I exist (because I work there!), but I post about it because I want to, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Five On Friday

Hello!  It is so good to be here with Five things to share with you on a Friday!!  Yay!!!!!  Can you tell that I am pleased to be here.  Oh yes, I am!!!

Just in case you aren't sure, or were not aware, I have changed the way that Five On Friday works a little bit.  Read my post here for more information.  There is also a link up post, you can find that by clicking here and there will be a link at the bottom of this post too.  This post is just my entry for Five On Friday, in the same way as you write and link yours.

So, off we go with my post.


No Christmas decorations up yet, but I did get the autumn/Halloween things down and put away.  This little bowl of decorations is on the shelf in my office.  I bought these as my new things for this year.  I always get a couple of new decorations and this year I apparently chose four, and then bought another two - the little birds.


My desk keeps slipping into a parallel universe of mess.  Every time I tidy it up - daily - less than half an hour it is covered in stuff again.  I keep find myself on the phone shovelling things on or off of the desk or floor (is that a floordesk?) while balancing the phone and trying to keep my laptop on the desk looking for whatever I need to talk about.

To be fair my desk is only small, I would measure it but my tape measure is buried.  As you will see below, a quarter of the desk is taken up by my laptop and another quarter by my fan.  Oh, and yes, I know that it is now technically winter  but I need the fan.  Hot flushes.  Nuff said.

I also need a bigger desk.  Or better organisation.  Or a way to stop that time slip dumping mess everywhere!

If mess makes you queasy, don't look at this picture.  This is how I found my desk on Tuesday morning.  It was clear on Sunday.


This is my knitting - with teeny tiny sock yarn!  I using tiny yarn and tiny needles.  Then I realised that my tension was so tight I would never be able to carry on knitting, let alone use what I was knitting.  It was stiff as a board.  I wasn't knitting a board.  I was trying to make a sock.

For now the socks are on hold until I can work out how to knit them without getting ladders on the sides.  So far DPN's have been my best bet, but my needle size was too small.  I have tried DPN's, magic loop and teeny tiny circulars.  My needle investment has been large, despite the tiny size of the needles and yarn.  My plan is to knit up this ball of yarn to make a very narrow (because I hope that will make it long enough to use) scarf of sorts and then I will start again with DPN's in a larger size and have another go at the sock.

You might think it is crazy to learn to knit by making socks, but they have lots of technique, there are some great tutorials - thank you Winwick Mum! - and you have to learn to knit something don't you and the thing that I want to knit more than anything is socks.  Plus I have to concentrate SO hard that it distracts me from everything else really well!!!


Somewhere at some point at the beginning of November I posted about my meal list for the month.  My chosen book for the month was Eat by Nigel Slater.  I cooked some new things and some old favourites and also gave up a few times and had pasta and a bought jar of sauce, fish and chips or some other less than healthy choices.  So overall the months meals were meh!.  Good when I cooked and not so good when I didn't.

Despite not cooking all of the things that I hoped to, I love this book and with one exception, I have never cooked anything from it that we didn't like.  The one thing we didn't like was just too spicy for our tastes, but I will make it again sometime with less spice!

My favourite and most decadent dish is the spaghetti bake (recipe here).  I recommend it!  We also tried the stewed red cabbage with blue cheese and apple for the first time (sorry can't find a recipe link). It was delicious.  I recommend it too!


I have had a spurt of finishing crochet things in the last 10 days or so.  I need to eek out some time for pattern writing and sharing new things with you.  The pile of things keeps falling on my hubby.  Not sure whether the pile is trying to tell me or him something.  It looks pretty though.  I want to get them patterns written though because I want to wear these things.  That alone should be motivation shouldn't it!

Oh, and the toilet roll inside is there because I was using it to ply yarn that I have been trying - very badly! - to spin.  I am a terrible spinner!!

Two things I can share with you are the scarf (above).  This is called the First Time Easy Scarf, you can find the pattern here.

The carrot was a gift for someone who really wanted a crochet carrot.  No pattern, I just made it up as I went along and no, I can't replicate it!  The nicest thing about this was the lovely carroty illustrated thank you note I received.  So kind, thank you, you know who you are!

That wraps things up for this weeks five bits of goodness.

To see more Five On Friday posts click the badge below, as I am of course linking with Five On Friday!  You can find out how to join in a grab a badge and everything else you need to do by clicking through to the link up post.

Thank you for stopping by today, I hope that you have a great weekend, whatever you are up to. 

Oh, and if you are taking part in the Christmas Card swap, today is the last day for sending your cards.  There will be a link up post to share your cards later in the month.  If you haven't heard from you swap partner, or been in touch with them, please leave a comment on their blog today, asking them to get in touch.  If you don't hear from them by the end of your day on Saturday please e-mail me with your name and address and I will send you a card from me instead and if you would like to mail me a card in return that would be lovely, but there is no pressure to do that.

If you get a message in your comments from your partner, please do get in touch with them!  They are waiting anxiously to hear from you.

One last thing, that I forgot before, I have decided to do an opening of my advent calendar each day on Instagram, so if you would like to do a daily window opening with me, do pop by my IG account each day between now and Christmas - you can of course find me as Love Made My Home!


Five On Friday - link up Number 1

Five On Friday has changed, so see how it will be working from now click here.  Also read the Five On Friday page, the link is at the top right of my sidebar.

Sorry the links are shooting off the edge of the page, I cannot change it now as the people who have already linked up will disappear, but I will sort it for next week.  Sorry about that, don't know what happened there!

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