Kenilworth Knit and Natter’s 1st Birthday.

Well, what can I say, one year on, how time does fly. In between the occasional Christmas party, lunch, workshop and nattering we may have knitted the odd row or two.

It is all of you that have made the group what it is today. It is all of you that welcome new members and have made them feel comfortable right from the start. New members often tell me how apprehensive that they felt, but how wonderful it was because they were made to feel comfortable right from the start, and along with that what a lovely group we have.. I can only agree.

I will share some photo’s from today, I won’t put names to faces because.. well its the internet, you all know who you are..

And before I forget, thank the Almanack (I already have done so in person) for the lovely birthday cake, what a treat and oh so many glasses of bucks fizz, we are very lucky to have this as our home from home.

A tasty supper and a little knitting.

Our chickens have been laying like the clappers of late, which is of course very good news and normally son no.2 hoovers up any surplus. Strangely this time he has not and the egg mountain in the kitchen was growing higher and higher. Drastic action was required. I considered my options, egg curry, omelets in various disguises, scrambled eggs etc etc, Nope nothing was calling to me that my family would entertain as they are all slightly egged out at this time of the year.

I opened the fridge and found a couple of ends of cheese, courgettes that were looking a little tired but that were still serviceable, some very ripe tomatoes, a couple of onions and a few mushrooms and a pack of bacon. (which must have got under the boys radar somehow) Bingo! Egg flan filled with yummy vegetables and bacon.

I griddled the courgettes, pan fried the onions and mushrooms and grilled the bacon until it was crispy, grated and crumbled the cheeses (cheddar and Irish Cashel Blue), having found the pastry in the freezer, (I know, but I can’t be perfect!) whisked together eggs with a little milk and seasoned well and then all there was to it was an assembly job.

Hubby brought home some fresh salad and supper was served.

One of the flans is carefully wrapped and resting in the freezer, much to the disappointment of the hungry wolves who bayed to the moon when they realised they were not going to get another piece for a midnight feast.

Tonight we are having breakfast for supper, its one way to use those eggs!

I’ve also been doing a little knitting.

This is Amaya by Marie Wallin, or should I say this is the back of Amaya. I’m knitting this in Rowan Bamboo Tape, colourway Amethyst, which I bought for a very good price from Kemps in October. I spent many hours trying to get gauge and I didn’t manage it, I am still off, but I’ve fiddled around with the pattern and I think it will be okay. Now if anyone could tell me where I’ve put a pack of Bamboo Tape in Amethyst I would be very obliged – I’ve completely forgotten.

There are strange tales of Bamboo Tape stretching and I expect that to happen, still its a fast knit and it should be finished soon to enjoy for the rest of the summer.

And now a quick preview especially for the pregnant one AKA as Carie. Because I did promise a little sneak preview.

There may be bobbles involved. (And before you start clicking I have not put any information that will give you any clue into the title of the photograph!! – although I only just remembered not to do that – LOL)

You get extra brownie points if you can guess the yarn.

RASE do it again!

It would have been the week of The Royal Show this week, so we organised a little social with some friends of ours. Whilst listening to the sound of leather against willow we merrily discussed how dreadfully wrong RASE had got it again.

One of our friends who has connections (his wife plays horsey with a few of the Royals) couldn’t believe how desperately quiet it was at the new event The Royal Festival of the Horse. The grandstands were practically empty, which was hardly suprising when RASE were charging twenty pounds to sit in the covered grandstands after you had already paid twenty pounds for a one day entrance to the showground. I am sure there were many there who could easily afford such an extravagance but equally at The Royal Show there were many in this agricultural part of the world who came for a family day out.

Last year when it was announced that the Royal Show was to close and that there was going to be a horse show in its place there was disbelief all around. After all both events had run quite nicely together for some years. And if you can’t make a profit when forty thousand people a day are streaming through your gates along with over a thousand stall holders, your not going to make a profit from stream lining it into a horsey only event.

In 2008 RASE cancelled The Town and Country Festival because they wanted to transform it into another show. They left that August bank holiday completely empty, then wondered why they didn’t get the large turnout they needed the next year for the newly transformed Country Festival. Not surprisingly The Country Festival 2010 has been canceled.

One can only wonder what they will do next.

I’ll leave you with the independents view.

The Independent

At long last a blog post about the allotment.

I know it has been a while since I’ve been up to the plot, as does a dearest hubby, so these wonderful fruits and vegetables are due mostly to him. Although I did have a good patch were I was able to do the planting of the seeds, since then I’ve had one flair up after another, I am still in the throes of another flair up which involves maximum pain killers and a sleeping habit that is rotating from four hours a day for a few days which then shifts for a few days to a twelve hour deep sleep that I absolutely need. Grumble, grumble, moan, moan, hey ho!

I have a deep philosophy that there are always people that are worse off than me and I am blessed with a good man, two sons who will if asked if they are wandering about to make me a cup of tea at the dead of night and often will stay a while to chatter about their day, which often involves good, hearty male humour which I find very amusing. We often have the best of chats at midnight even to the point that I have to ask them to go to bed, fearing that they won’t be their best in the morning.

I am seeing my rheumatologist next week, I think we will be looking at a shift in medication, he was looking to change it two months ago, but I asked for one last try, even though the blood tests had revealed that the eight or is it ten month try (I’ve completely forgotten) on methotrexate wasn’t working.

I’ve always said that this blog should be about the best of Mandycharlie, not about her moans and groans but I just wanted to explain about my absence from the plot this year..

So, onto the allotment we shall go, it is still an interest of mine as much of our conversations are about the plot so although I am not there in body I am there through hubby and his endeavors.

Firstly the greenhouse, the tomatoes are looking fine, I’m not sure what we are going to do with all these surplus plants, I think we will be trying them outside in this hot and dry summer to see how they fair.

Remember the globe artichokes that I started from seed a couple of years ago. They are making substantial plants, I am thinking of recipes involving char grilling the hearts, olive oil and garlic.

The runner beans are climbing as we speak. They desperately need rain.

Raspberry canes doing what they do so well. I’ve never regretted planting them they require so little work. A tidy up in the autumn and off they go.

Hubby helped me pick these, he’s bought cream on the way home, they are his very favourite fruit. These fruits are very small compared to previous years, we need rain.

Last of the peas, we only planted one double row this year, (due to all of the above) last year we had three double rows… They are lovely.

Last of the broad beans, we did not get many of the plants, I am putting this down to the very dry weather.

First of the new potatoes,

See how easy they are to peel, just rub them with your thumb when they are this fresh. Which is a good tip when buying them from a market or green grocers/grocers. If the skin doesn’t rub off easily they are not very fresh.

Hubby dug up our shallots, which are not as big as I would have liked, again not enough rain, but they will be sweet and delicious.

These are now stored in wire baskets to continue to dry out. Hints and tips, whenever I end up a the tip (desperately trying to think of the modern name, refuse recyling!) one of my very favourite places, – just call me Stig, (Stig of the Dump, a childrens novel) I look for things that could possibly be of interest. One of these items that are so casually thrown away are wire baskets that people use inside of their fridge. So I open up the old fridges and take the wire baskets and ask how much? Often only pennies but they do such a good job of drying out your shallots and onions.

And lastly a photograph of our second plot. Which hubby has spent hours on tidying up recently, you can just about see the sweetcorn and courgettes growing in the distance.

We do need rain, its desperately dry up at the plot. Its been about six weeks now, vegetables are going to be very expensive if this continues.