Wishes…..

Wish ~ desire or hope for something to happen.

If wishes were fishes we’d all swim in riches!

A winter wish from a few years ago!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

These two photos taken in the early 1950s came to light the other day and a whole lot of emotions bubbled up to surface – some good some not so good.

Plus the word Wish….

I would have been about 9 in the first one – it was a happy day.  My grandad from Belfast had come over on the boat to visit us in England and an uncle plus his family were there also.  I had on a new dress and remember wishing I could wear it every day and that grandad didn’t have to go back home.

As we were growing up there were times when my sister would wish she didn’t have to wear ‘cast offs’ with turned up hems. She would never accept the fact that as much as she wished otherwise it wasn’t my fault I was growing out of clothes, she was growing as well, money didn’t grow on trees and she was next in line – as you can see in the second one.

You never get anything by wishing, my mother was fond of saying.  Hard work and determination is what’s needed!,

That was my mother, wearied from the war years, the one I wished would love me more than the sister she gave my clothes to.  If she loved me, she wouldn’t have got angry and cut (chopped) my hair off with her big scissors.  I remember squealing and shouting as she brushed it one morning, trying to untangle the knots before it was plaited for school, all the time saying to me ‘I wish you would be quiet and stand still’  Oh how I wished I’d done as I was told that day – my mother was no hairdresser and I went to school that morning looking a bit – odd 😊

It’s strange that all these years later I’m reflecting on this and wishing things had turned out differently – my mother and I never got on, my sister continued to get my ‘cast offs, I never grew my hair long, grandad went away back across the Irish Sea and I only got to see him 3 more times.

Oh, but listen to this, my sister still wears ‘cast offs’ – chosen very carefully with a good eye for what will suit her – from charity shops.

And….. the beach with a hammock turned up on Green Island Qld back in 2009……..still looking for the winning lotto ticket though 😊

MicroBlog Monday is found at Mel’s Blog


D is for….

D is for Dad and also for Daughter

Today I want to say Thank You to my Dad who loved his 3 daughters

From me (the oldest) all the way down to the youngest

I know that each of us in our own special way
had control of our own little corner of his heart

Happy Father’s Day Dad

From you I received a love of music and dance and laughter

Plus a never ending respect of family

We all know that without Fathers there wouldn’t be Daughters 😊

Learn to stand on their own two feet….

So the baby came to visit.

The 6 month old baby that quickly turned us into gibberish speaking fools 😊

The baby that wormed his way into the heart of the man who once asked me

‘Why do people treat babies and children like new toys’

This hard hearted at times but biggest softie most of the time man rightly or wrongly holds the opinion that children won’t get anywhere in life if they don’t learn to stand on their own two feet!

So once he had succumbed to the charms of his first Great Grandson it appeared he felt Bentley needed a bit of early help in learning that skill.

Educational play he called it lol

Looks like he taught him well 😊

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sad thing is that this little lad might need that skill much earlier than most do because his mum and dad have decided to go their own ways.  Luckily they have lots of family and friend support in their own city as well as the baby talking eejits down here in Melbourne 😊😊

Food on a Friday – It’s that time of the year again.

Aunty Pam’s recipe comes out for its annual airing

complete with her ticks from years gone by

These are easier to cook at this time of the year  – no hot kitchen 😊

Greaseproof tops and bottoms cut, calico covers ready,

Bowls waiting to be filled then steamed

Several small ones this year – no need for large when only two eat it

They can be kept in the fridge or even the freezer

An ‘instant’ pudding when fancied during the year.

Delicious hot with custard – or cold with ice cream 😊

All ready for steaming – small basins only need 4hrs 😊

 

The photos below were taken as a record a few years ago – voilà

Aunty Pam’s Christmas Pudding – good enough to eat 😊

 

Have you cooked anything extra special recently?

 

I have often wondered…..

I heard a song on the radio the other day that brought back a memory – something I remember being said about a family member.

‘She died from a broken heart’

These are some of my Mum’s family taken about 1940 during WW2.  An aunt, a brother in uniform, some cousins and their children  All hoping things will change and they can go on living the way they used to.  Of course we all know it was quite a few years before that happened.

 

Mum’s cousin on the right (known to me as Aunty Lena) was married to a naval officer who was on submarines.  When he and all aboard were lost at sea in 1942 she became a young widow with a young child and did as all widows at that time had to do – put on a brave face and get on with it.  She died in 1951 aged 44.

Even though I was only 9 at the time I can clearly remember family saying:-

‘Never mind what the death certificate says, we all know she died from a broken heart’

As an aside, you occasionally hear of people dying not long after traumatic events (the loss of husbands/wives/partners or other family) and I have often wondered and maybe you have also if that could actually be true – not the dying but the broken heart bit 😊

Well, it seems there could be some truth in the saying after all.

This article popped up on a website I subscribe to – it and others I’ve discovered suggest it is possible in some cases to Die from a Broken Heart.  Fairly close to the trauma that is but it didn’t say it couldn’t happen or wasn’t possible 9yrs later.

It would be sentimentaly nice to think Aunty Lena died of a broken heart and not from complications after a bout of pneumonia.

What Musical Memories do you have on this Monday ?

Linking to Mel’s MicroBflog Monday

I have one in white….

It’s not what you have but how they do the job!

Words of wisdom from my father about kitchen gadgets and appliances.

Take potato peelers for example- he didn’t believe in them.  Wash the potatoes, scrub them if need be, then cook.  He believed a lot of the goodness was in the skins.  For any other vegetables that did need peeling he had his trusty knife.  It wasn’t anything special, just an old kitchen knife he regularly sharpened on a concrete step.  Very sharp – mum wouldn’t go near it – even as adults we weren’t allowed to touch it!

It’s funny to think of it now but there were ‘words’ in the house on the subject of peeling potatoes resulting in Mum buying one of these.  Hook it up to the cold tap and away you go. Mum loved it!

Each time I saw it in action it made enough noise to wake the dead so as I’d married an Englishman (one who had always been used to peeled potatoes) not an Irishman like dad 😊 I used a knife and have memories of various thicknesses of peelings and from what I remember Lumpy Potatoes.   No way could I master the art of thin peelings and smooth potatoes with rounded edges lol.

Fast forward to arriving in Australia, children now old enough for real kitchen duties so after a few nicks in fingers and ‘losing’ several knives in the peelings (courtesy of children learning to peel spuds) I decided we needed to try a peeler.  Posh ones aren’t cheap are they!  After a couple went walkabout we discovered these.

Nothing special about them.  Some friends call it cheap and nasty.  Cheap maybe – nasty never.  It’s simple design is perfect.  Available in those $2 shops, in supermarkets, even on the web.  They do the job – peel like a dream – for more years than I can remember now I have had smooth round potatoes 😊

Mind you they ‘have’ been known to hide in peelings so that’s why mine is white.  I can see it at a glance amongst those brown peelings.  ‘White tatties’ from the supermarket are clean washed ones so I don’t need to peel them 😊😊

BTW The Golfer uses a little knife – just like his Mum 😊

Haven’t left town…….yet :)

Just popped in to say Hello and let you know I’m still in the land of the living

I’m not sure where the past three months went to

but they came and went in what seemed like a blink of the eye.

Days were a mixture – hot, cold, wet dry

It was the strangest Summer for years here in Melbourne

There were connecting days and reconnecting days

Reconnections made with 2 ‘very old’ friends I’d lost touch with and an out of the blue connection with a very distant family member.  Lots of connecting chatting to look forward to this year.

Days were a mix of emotions – we have cried buckets of tears

Sad ones as well as happy ones.

There was the death of The Golfer’s Aunt Dorothy (in Canada) seen here on her 90th birthday three years ago –  and the birth of our first Gt Grandchild Bentley (in Brisbane) seen here with his beautiful mum on one of his first days here on earth.

Anyway we’re off on a ‘big boat’ tomorrow.  Pacific Ocean here we come!

There’s a Big Smile on my face – you all know how much I love

‘Life on the Ocean Wave’ 🙂

Bye for now – See you in May

Cathy

Confidence comes from within…..

A while ago I mentioned the granddaughter who blossomed as she got older

https://cranethie.wordpress.com/2014/11/14/age-brings-a-change/

Well 18 months on this is another ‘look at me now’ post.

She doesn’t have a slim build like a lot of her ‘trendy’ friends but what she does have is enthusiasm for a new pastime and that happy look that comes from a new found confidence.  Her beautiful red hair is dark at the moment but that is because she likes the look rather than hiding behind the colour.

My mother and father were very keen dancers of all styles and watching at this inter dance school competition I wished they could have been there to see her.  Sadly not possible as they have been gone for many a year now but how great is it that the same passion has emerged in another generation.

Not very often I do a bragging Grandma’ post so I do hope you enjoy these short videos I took from the sidelines.  It seems she has found a style she enjoys and is comfortable with –  ‘New Vogue’ – similar in ways to Old Time.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Vogue_(dance)

Orange and Green….

There were beds to be made, dishes to be washed, floors to be swept along with  all those other mundane household tasks that accumulate and with the promise of another hot day they seemed like mountains that had to be crossed.  Couple that with the frustation – annoyance even – of ‘losing’ a spreadsheet on my excel app on the iPad – and you can tell it could possibly have turned into one of those days spent in an armchair with a book and still clothed in my nightie come 4pm lol

But no – today was the day to celebrate all things Irish and as my Irish ancestors from both sides of the border never seemed to run away from a fight I had to do them proud and get on with it .:)

Would you like to see my chosen ‘dress’ for this special day?

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This is one that I refer to as being a Joseph (as in being in many colours) and it definitely was the one for today.  Loose fitting and sleeveless and featuring the colours of Ireland!  There’s green and orange and white in the fabric which are in the Flag of Ireland (Irish triclour) – red is there as well but sadly no blue to compliment the red and white found in the Union Jack which my north of the border families would have favoured.  Plenty of the afor mentioned orange tho!

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And as you can see, oodles of a bright sunny yellow that certainly helped to brighten my day in another way 🙂

 

 

Now to start the year proper…….

February 1st 2016 – our Big Girl’s birthday. Happy Birthday J.   Born (at home) during one of the worst winter England had experienced.  Know as The Big Freeze of 1963 all I can say is central heating was still a luxury – we had poky little coal fires in the big old house we lived in and it was cold!  But we survived lol

So here we are at the start of the second month of this year – time to start the year proper.  All the Christmas and New Year festivities are definitely over and done with, people are back at work, business’ are trading again, our dollar is still sinking, the school bus is going past a 8am which means the schools are back after the long summer break.  That fact was reinforced last week by the the usual tv coverage of 5yr olds, some putting on a very brave face as well as many sets of twins, making their way into class rooms for the first time.  Oh and Federal MPs returned to Canberra today after their long summer break – wonder what unknown surprises they have in store for us there ??  Raising the GST ??

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The Australian Open tennis tournament finished yesterday, no surprises in that Novac Djokovic beat Andy Murray (who might get more support if he spent more time thinking about his game and less mouthing off at all and sundry) and a big surprise win for Angelique Kerber over Serina Williams (who was very gracious in defeat).

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Cricket seemed to come good towards the end of the season – there were many visiting overseas teams (West Indies, India, Pakistan,New Zealand), there were Test matches which included a first ever day/night Test and also some very ho hum matches which seemed to go on for ever, followed by some very good T20 against India who proved they certainly could hit that ball for a six and succeeded in beating Australia in all three games.

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And of course there was the entertaining Big Bash league – all good fun, which isn’t how I viewed it when it first to began – ‘loud noisy bash and crash, no proper thought to how they played the game’ – until I came to understand it isn’t the same sort of ‘pure’ game like in Test matches or even the shortened day nighter T20 (20/20) games but is a form of its own.  And like it or not it appears to be here to stay.

‘The Big Bash not only attracts the best players in Australia, although many will be on Test match duty, but the best players from around the world. That includes some of the West Indies best players who have decided to forgo the Test series against Australia to play in the Big Bash’
http://www.theroar.com.au/2015/12/15/who-are-the-big-names-in-your-team-for-the-2015-2016-big-bash-league/

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With all that cricket and tennis, oh, and the cycling road racing that was on in South Australia (which I forgot to mention) looking back over the past two weeks it seems like I watched a lot of sport on tv lol but I wasn’t just sitting there oggled eyed, I did do (what else??) a lot of knitting at the same time.

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I know I have them (and I’m sure most knitters do as well) those favourite simple, ‘could almost do it blindfold’ knitting patterns.  The one above I found quite a few years ago and the v neck style is my ‘go to’ for a lot of the under 12 months charity cardigans I make.  Knitters know once the basic size is there the world is your oyster and with the aid of pen and paper for ‘workings out’ my oysters come in all colours and designs.  These coloured ones below are some from last year – and yes, I know I made a mistake in the yellow one (Only I didn’t discover it until after I’d delivered the big box and decided to look at the photos I had taken 😦 )

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KOGO has a ‘Give a baby a warm start’ programme where struggling new mums are given baby packs containing knitted items, so as well as coloured cardigans, I knit lots of new born baby sizes in white which can be used for either boys or girls.  A couple of weeks ago armed with a huge 200gm ball of 8ply I made a start.  It’s surprising how quickly it knits up and as these are only the 3-6 month size they are finished in no time.

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So at the moment it’s 2 down and another half finished.  I’ve read a bit of the book I mentioned previously but even tho’ I’m good at doing some things at the same time, I don’t seem to have mastered the art of knitting watching tv and reading at the same time 🙂

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The sun is shining today and it’s not raining, we had oodles this past week but scratch below the surface of the ground and you wouldn’t know.  Still it’s soft enough to do a bit of weeding so that’s where I’m off to now – maybe I’ll have a cup of coffee and read for a while later.  It would seem my tv binge watching is over for a while and it’s Hello to the Year Proper 🙂

Busy doing nothing…..

Trying to stay out of trouble by not doing much  – that’s what I told a friend when she rang to see where I was and what I’d been up to 🙂

After the tooth removal the dentist suggested walking rather than going to the pool for a couple of weeks – ‘no idea what’s in the water’ he said.  So I’ve done a bit of walking and one day had a chat with one of the local cockies.  You’d never believe what he told me – I’ll let you in on that another day lol(

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And to make a change The Golfer and I walked round the lake at Lilydale (2.5km) where we saw all these little sail boats in the water.  They say keeping active and having a hobby helps in retirement, well the ‘older men’ and their remote controlled yachts were having a whale of a time.

 

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imageThen we welcomed another granddaughter into ‘true adulthood’ – keep it low key was her wish and an ice cream cake with a 21 candle lol   She’s off on a cruise next week – girl after my own heart lol

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Then we enjoyed (read that as really enjoyed) a chrissy present in a theatre with a very bare set complete with moveable furniture (four rows from the front). spending the night in a room with a view 🙂

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imageIt was waiting for the tram after dinner at the club up at the other end of Bourke Street I realised the month was half way over.  See the moon reflected in the building?  New Year’s Eve there was a full moon – this one was just a half !

 

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imageSo that’s it – life in retirement is like this.

We’re busy doing nothin, working the whole day through, trying to find lots of things not to do!

We’re busy going nowhere, isn’t it just a crime, we’d like to be unhappy but never do have the time!

(Jimmy Van Heusen + Johnny Burke)

To Mum, with love……

So I have spent many hours over the past few years going through cupboards, drawers, shelves, boxes, you name it – if it’s capable of holding ‘things’ it’s able to be surveyed for reduction. These days I’m even more decisive than ever when it comes to decluttering/tossing/recycling.  Anything and everything comes under scrutiny – if it’s sitting still long enough I give it the once over 🙂

My mother was not the best cook and certainly didn’t encourage us in the kitchen so I had nothing to build my cookery skills on, which meant when I married I had to learn to cook pretty quickly.  I used to copy recipes out of the paper, then later pick up used cookery books from the op shop.  Once I was back at work the buying progressed to big glossy ones about all sorts of ways and means of turning raw ingredients into delicious looking meals.  It sort of got out of hand and like Topsy the piles of them grew.

About this time in 2011 things came to a head the day this happened and I had to turn my eye to decluttering even my cookery books.  Even now I grimace/laugh when I look at the pictures in that post 🙂

https://cranethie.wordpress.com/2011/01/23/cookery-books-anyone/

Move on to this past Sunday and we were enjoying a visit to a son we didn’t get to see at Christmas when he asked me if I could use various things as he was having a clear out – ‘oh no, thank you very much says I, but I’ll put them in the op shop for you”

Then he turned around and presented me with these.  Five basic 500 recipe books (circa 1960s) I gave him (from my shelves) when he moved out many years ago.

“Oh, he said, and I found these in the clear out.  I certainly don’t need them anymore so I thought you’d like them back.’

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Simple Family Meals but full of ingredients we don’t seem to use these days – like proper butter, tinned potatoes, tongue, haddock, belly pork, pigeon??

Does anyone anywhere cook tongue these days?

Why so glum chum??

Well that’s exactly what I asked myself when I found this photo in one of the boxes.  Who remembers the boxes – which aren’t quite as full as they were but certainly nowhere near empty lol  It was a sunny day, we were having fun in a park and then The Golfer mentioned a photo to record the day.  Looks like I certainly didn’t want that to happen.

1972 was a strange year, we had struggled to sell our house, something that needed to be done so we could finalise migration procedures.  There should have been smiles all round in this photo because we had just been to Australia House to advise them we’d jumped that last hurdle and could they set the wheels in motion, give us a ‘date’ and arrange our flights. Looking back now I think it was at that moment when reality set in and there was no going back.

1972 Early Summer Park

1972 Early Summer Park

This next one was there in the box as well.  Yes it’s another one of ‘my favourite five and me’ on another sunny day; this time on a day out with my mother, the children’s grandmother.  I might have mentioned my strained relationship with my mother, and if ever I should have been looking glum this is the photo that should have recorded it.  But no, it was laughs and giggles most of the day – from me. the kids and mum.  If I remember correctly this was the ‘now make funny faces’ for the camera one 🙂

1972 Late Summer Lincoln

1972 Late Summer Lincoln

The kids and I had spent most of their summer holidays in the town where mum and dad were living – a four hour drive from our place.  Once they were back at school we’d be busy packing up the house and all that went with a move like that knowing there’s be no time for an extended stay.  I think it was then on that day I finally ‘forgave’ mum for the troubled times we’d been through earlier on in my life as well as after I married (so many buttons were pushed by us both) and just went with the flow and accepted the way she was.

Yes I know – this is the sort of thing that happens when you grow older.  Wonder which photographs my children will ponder on?  Is it possible they will have memories of those two days?  Perhaps I should ask them and see what they say – what do you think?

Quiet Interlude

We’ve made our way to South Australia – this is the first view of the Murray from a roadhouse in Tailem Bend.  We have to stop here each time we come this way – just to look see. image Tomorrow The Golfer will take part in the Anzac Day march down King William Road along with some ex-airforce ‘mates’.  Lunch, a few drinks and lots of talk afterwards.  ‘Will be home on Monday

Monday Musings….

personality-adjectives

source

My lifelong desire has been to be tidy – my ‘house’ has always been a home and I think that’s the problem. Somewhere along the way after our first child was born I think I gave myself permission to be untidy.

If there were toys around during the day it seemed fruitless to clear them up as the kids would only tip them out again. I did get them to help pick up before they tootled off to bed but clearly remember the day they were being obnoxious and I lost my cool and came into the room with the broom – no, not to threaten them with – just to sweep it all into one corner for the night 🙂

Much to my annoyance it was still there the next morning lol

Ironing seemed to grow like topsy out of the basket and up the wall. Shoes multiplied outside the back door, in the hallway, in bedrooms but never in the boxes provided or on the racks.  I think you get the idea.

Books seemed to say to one another ‘come along to our house, its cosy and comfortable and you’ll have a spot here for life’ I have always thought having books around would enrich their lives and encourage learning so scoured second hand bookshops for ones for them to read; as well as children’s reading books I would bring home all sorts of weird ones about snakes and animals from other continents or volcanoes and natural disasters.  Only problem was there weren’t enough shelves and they spread out over and under the beds and floors.  All stayed here on the bookshelves for years and finally found new homes when I passed them on to other families during some of my had de-cluttering spurts.

So once our children grew up and started to leave home and go their own way in the world I thought things would be better.  Except I didn’t bank on the craft supplies multiplying and spilling out of cupboards and drawers and on to spare beds 😦

So it looked like I was the culprit and would have to change my ways.

I seem to have the books under control now – big donations to second hand shops and friends and anyone else who looked interested has cleared the big pile both myself and The Golfer (courtesy of a book discount warehouse) accumulated.   Not a lover of electronic reading the library has become my new best friend – well it always was, except the pile of books by my bedside seemed to deter me from going there.  These days I definitely do read and return though – not returning the books on time means fines and having to pay fines means there is less cash in the kitty for the other thing I love – Travel.

The shoes still seem to be everywhere but on the rack or in the cupboard, the ironing is still – well lets just say that as The Golfer takes charge of his own it is my ironing that is still there – and knitting wool (not craft supplies) still appears to expand in any spot it can (luckily out in the garage)

Seems like for all those years so long ago my children might have been taking their lead from me.  They say it takes 21 days to form a habit – wonder one of my ‘bad’ habits I need to work on first lol

Monday Musings…….

This time of the year I tend to be a bit quieter than usual
It’s about this time 12 years ago I became an orphan.
It was funny but that was the first thing I thought about when I heard the news of my mother’s death.

February 2003 Mum decided she’d had enough and
in her words spoken the week before she died
‘wanted to see what Dad had been up to since she last saw him’

They’d been apart for nearly 13 years
and this is the little graveyard on the hill where the meeting took place

Mum and my sisters chose wisely all those years beforehand
knowing there was room for the two of them in the plot

Church Graveyard

She also wanted to know what he thought about them placing him on the hill that overlooked the pub.
The white building on the right of the photo is the pub 🙂

Church graveyard and PubThey were known for enjoying a little drink together now and again.
If the truth be told they enjoyed a little drink far more than now and again 🙂

Mum Dad Happy Pub

Being Irish they loved to sing and loved to dance
Dad did have quiet seriousness about him at times so
My sisters chose the haunting melody of Crimond for Dad’s funeral.

(Please be patient with this video – it’s one that needs to be listened to – with eyes closed – rather than watched)

 And this rollicking number for Mum’s

After leaving home at 18, I met and married The Golfer
and with him being in the armed forces never ever lived near to them at all.

It was the way things were and I accepted that
Yet, it’s funny
but the older I get the more I miss them

Headstone Mum Dad

(The first two photos look much better when enlarged)

Betty’s Christmas Pudding……………

Yesterday’s post about the Christmas Pudding brought several requests for the recipe.  It is one given to my late Aunt Pam by her sister Betty and both had used it for years

Maybe not when they were this young

pam and betty childrenbut certainly as adults like this 🙂

pam and betty adults

 Anyway I know it was one that she put on the table for our first Christmas in Australia.  That was 1972 so it’s more years than I like to remember.

I wrote a post last November about me tackling the puddings for the first time – and this is where I posted the recipe

But I’ve taken pity on those who’d rather see it here 🙂

Scanned from an exercise books she’d used for years
You might have to click and enlarge to read the actual ingredients and amounts

Betty's Xmas Pudding from Pam

Fresh suet came from the butcher – but I do believe you can buy dried in a packet.  And as the brandy was out there was a little poured for me as well lol

I didn’t think I could fit anymore ticks on the page so typed a copy for myself.
I can then print another copy when mine gets full of ticks!

Wordless Wednesday – seen in my kitchen

This was a test drive tasting last year (2013)

2013 Ready to serve

Look here to see Aunty Pam’s recipe never fails 🙂
Certainly looked alright and definitely tasted alright

2013 Looking good enough to eat

So we wonder what this year’s will be like?

~ 2014 ~ Biding their time in their clean coverings ~

~ 2014 ~ Biding their time in their clean coverings ~

Hope they are good!

 But then you know what they say
‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating’
I’m sure we won’t be disappointed – we’ll just have to wait and see 🙂

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