Sunday 27 April 2014

A Weekend whim.

Ever had one of those 'stuff it' moments? Well I did and booked us an Easter weekend away in my favourite place in the. World; Wales. Found a bargain caravan on a wonderfully quiet little 18 chalet park above the glorious town of Caenarfon.
Alas, we did not go 'castle ing' this time. A few days of relaxation to recharge our batteries. The days were sunshiny and wonderful. It was flipping freezing at night! There is a scary interlude here. On the Monday morning I was folding the big woollen blankets we'd had atop of the duvets,  to put back in the wardrobes. To my horror I saw a GIANT SPIDER. IT MUST HAVE BEEN IN BED WITH US! I did what any sane person would. I grimly folded it back up in with the blankets and kindly left it for the next people!!! Shudder.

I have not enhanced these images at all. I'm a point n shoot kinda photographer and what you see is what you get.
We strolled for for *miles up and down Llandudno's front and pier. What a gorgeous place!

Yes, the sky was really that blue and yes the sea was even bluer! I think that's the Great Orme you can see in the distance. It means great worm and was so named by the Vikings apparently. 
I've never been to Llandudno before. We'd stopped off to visit my cousin who lives in Prestatyn, which was a pretty enough place......but then we drove through Rhyll and Towyn to get to Llandudno. What a pair of nasty, cheap, rundown hideous places they are. Even the blue sky and blue sea couldn't disguise the fact that this clearly was the Jeremy Kyle fodder holiday destination of choice. I am a snob! I judge people! I would not stay here if you paid me! It was horrible. Then you  drive on a bit and hit where the snobby judgey people like to be! 

The town centre was packed with cars. There was NOWHERE to park. We drove onto the front and decided to park right on the outskirts! It was a lovely day. *Afterwards we checked with google maps, we really had walked for miles. We realised this when standing on the pier and saw the distance betwixt us and the car. See the teeny little silver dots in the distance, just at the headland? That's where our car was! 

It doesn't look that far in the photo. But we'd walked one and a half miles to get to the pier, then strolled right to the end - which is half a mile out to sea - and all the way back again! 
That's the cable car base. I WAS NOT going on those. ( I also have no idea who those people are ) 

I'm going to do this on my back grass!! 

Another place we went was Llanberis. I've been here before but the geek in me could stand another visit! It holds the National Slate Museum which is FREE! And the Electric Mountain which isn't, but to my annoyance all the tours were fully booked up. Again, the weather was glorious. We went on the little Steam train round the lake. The place is STEEPED in history, splendiferous views and majesticness! I really adore Wales as if you can't tell! The HG likes it because we drive through tunnels to get there! The teens are less enamoured...but tough!! 

These are a few shots from the train. 

We also packed in a trip over to Anglesey, the a Welsh Mountain Zoo ( I will never go there again ), a working  Wool Mill and Morrisons!!! ( Stocked up on welsh butter! ) We stopped off at Cheshire Oaks on the way home so the brand new 17year old could spend his birthday money. I treated myself to some new wristwear! Two new bargain bracelets and a star charm for my charm bracelet. It's Pilgrim Jewellery and I love it! 

Anyhoo, it all seems so long ago now, when it's actually only a week! Work was a brutal shock to the system. I know I whinge about it, but I do love my job and all of the above wouldn't be possible without it! I was 'star of the week' in the Friday worship. The new Head decreed as we nominate children for the honour, the children should be able to nominate the adults in school. ( it's basically a tick you off the list job I think ) but the children don't realise and we receive these nominations! My favourite one reads. 
I nominate *Mrs Radiostar* because she is really nice and doesn't shout that much! Others said I'm kind and lovely and helpful. Arty cropped up on a couple ( I think from some Night Owlers ) . One little soul just wrote I'd been there when they needed me. Ahhhh! 

So, it's Sunday morning.Shortly,  I'm about to start the drain on the National Grid with the washer etc. This coming week is a full five days of work! Shocking. 
How will I manage?! 

Off to read some blogs now. 
Love from Rachel *Pro Procrastinator * Radiostar xx

Ps. I still haven't finished that sock! 

Sunday 13 April 2014

Strawberry and cream layer cake.

It sounds far more glamorous than it looked! I fancied baking a cake yesterday. I made a basic Madeira sponge ( it's slightly firmer than a Vicky Sponge ) . I used the utterly delicious Bon Mamon Strawbery conserve. It's v spendy, EXCEPT WHEN ITS ON OFFER , which is why I bought it. Some double cream and half a tub of ready made Betty Crocker buttercream frosting that I bought to try. One of my pet hates is making butter cream, even though it's Beryl who does the hard work. I rarely weigh out, so by the time I've creamed the butter till it's light and fluffy ( even when Beryl is going top speed it takes too long ), sieved in more and more icing sugar, tasting it, too thick, too thin, too buttery, too sugary etc etc I've made approximately 14kilos of the stuff. And feel so sick from tasting the same amount during manufacture!!
Which part of your hobby which you love doing, do you in fact despise?
For me the two that spring to mind are
Baking - buttercream making
Knitting - sleeves and finishing off weaving ends in.
I made it in two 8" tins and sliced each one in half, I should have done it in thirds for a more dainty looking cake!
I think I will next time. Each layer had a thin layer of jam. Two layers had neat unsweetened whipped double cream, one had a thin spread of neat Betty Crocker stuff and the top was halfy halfy cream & Crocker. It gives it a lovely sheen. I couldn't be faffed with an icing bag to pipe so it got swirled on and peaked with the back of a knife. A few strawberry n vanilla sprinkles and Ta dah!

I also made some Easter Nests by crumbling Shredded Wheat into melted Cadbury's milk chocolate and topping off with mini eggs. Healthy and yummy!

Barry update - he is very cheeky and chatty. He loves eating fresh apple from your hand. I'm trying to teach him to talk so say the phrases Come on, Come on Barry, a billion times a day. Yesterday whilst he was out chatting his head off, I definitely heard a 'human style' whistle amongst his chirruping. I am sure the children at school will adore him! I don't adore cleaning budgie poop off my carpet. It's his least appealing feature.

The Uni one returns tomorrow for a week. I've seven lovely days with her till we all have to return to real life! Today am going out to a retail shopping place for a look! Dunno what the weather is doing. Have decided to let my garden run fallow this year. I think I'll do some beets in my pots though for the pickling in Autumn. I've grown different veggies in the same bed for a long time, each year it gets a decent thick layer of compost from my bin, but I want to remodel and change it around this year. I say *I* , I mean I want the HG to do the remodelling!!!

Anyway must get ready for the day :-)

Rachel buttercream Radiostar xx

Tuesday 8 April 2014

Easter Hols part 1

It's Tuesday. It's 6.58am. The HG is still at work so I'm up as usual!
The washer is on, the dishwasher is on and the slow cooker is on making a Manky veg soup/stew thingy for the freezer. There's cabbage, broccolli, cauliflower, carrots, swede and sweet potato, oh some bendy spring onions went in and a few sorry tomatoes. A stock cube and it's on slow.

I let Barry out yesterday. For the first time!
Here is is after I 'Budgie Whispered' him back in!! He's very chatty and chirpy.  I opened the door and out he came. He had a fly about and settled right on the top of the curtains. Where he remained for aaaaaaaages. He simply sniggered at me when instructed to get down and return to his cage. He fluffed out his feathers and had a sleep. But I needed him back so with a piece of apple he was tempted down. Naughty budgie!! I'll let him out later for a bit. I'll miss him when he goes to school! I tell him all sorts of gossip! I tell him what I'm doing. I ask his opinion on stuff - he's fab - he always thinks the same as me!!! He will be very very happy to go to school to get away from the crazy budgie lady! The birdy equivalent of a crazy cat lady!

I watched some trashy tv yesterday; an American series called Revenge. I'm slightly hooked! Maybe I will allow my self a programme or three later on! I'm knitting a pair of darling little booties shoes  with some left over wool to match the hat and cardi. Just the sewing up to do.

Remember these?
Well I vowed to myself I will finish the second sock before I start anything else new!!! Now I've blogged it, I've got to do it! 
The HG has requested I make some biscuits today. I think some gingers will do. I feel very lazy though, maybe the biscuits will happen tomorrow! 
The daughter is back from Uni next week and the boy turns 17 on Easter Monday. We will be in my favourite place in the whole wide world as I had a 'Sod it' moment and booked us a mini holiday over the Easter weekend! Was a bargain too! Expect glorious photos of ruined Welsh castles sometime soon!! 

So there you go, my life might not seem very eventful or glamorous but I likes it :-) 

What are you doing this Easter? 

Rachel Lazy Sock Knitter Radiostar xxx