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Thank You Mr Postman

7 May

Well the Bank Holiday came and went Mr S is back at work but it was lovely to get to spend a long weekend together.

I have been a bit slack on the photo front over the weekend.

Saturday evening we went to our friends wedding reception. Which was lovely as we haven’t seen them in so long and the whole family are old family friends.

C had chosen purples and lilacs for her colours and they had an ice cream man and sweetie bar need I say more!

I didn’t take any photos but these I borrowed just to show you the colours, they were taken by her photograph Stuart Hunt.

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On Sunday we had the 2 elder nieces; I & B. We had a fantastic afternoon cleaning out and playing with the rabbits. Then we spent hours at the park with the Dog and on the play equipment.
All exhausted we then came home for some crochet and dinner.

As dinner was coming to its last mouthfuls we heard the tune of the ice cream van and Mr S & The Girls ran to catch him and get us all Ice Creams for dessert. – the ice cream van is very exciting whether your 7, 9 or in your 30’s in our house. As a child having an ice cream like that was our annual holiday treat.

Returning to the crochet. I stupidly didn’t consider the crochet very well I should have started the foundation chain and one line before they got here as it was hard for their little fingers and 2 tired little girls to start the first row. But they are angels and waited, B started doing some of my knitting (a scarf half done) while she waited and in the end B just knitted and I continued to crochet.

I produced this before her Mummy turned up (with a little help).

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Monday was beautiful weather but I spent the majority of the day indoors with Mr S sorting paperwork and other boring grown up things that pay the bills.
I just enjoy spending anytime I can with Mr S though. We needn’t be doing the same thing but I enjoy just being together in the presence of each other.

By the looks of these pictures we had a very purple weekend without realising it.

Monday & Today I’ve had a sore throat I’m praying at the moment it’s not measles. The Groom at the wedding Saturday and his brother had measles, bad luck on your wedding day poor guy.
It’s got an incubation period of 2weeks so I’m crossing my fingers I’m ok as we are off to Dublin for my birthday treat.

Talking of Dublin!

Thank you Mr Postie for bringing goodies today.

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My Amazon parcel contain 2 books one on Dublin and one on crocheting.

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I’ve had a quick flick through while having a cup of tea.

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This has some lovely ideas for basic granny squares.

And Dublin, well I’m so excited, but until you get there I think your never know how good a guide book is.

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My second package; the box.

Was an order from Baker and Maker , I have never used this company before its a new find for me, but so far so good über quick delivery especially for a Bank Holiday weekend; I ordered Friday on normal delivery and it turned up Tuesday.

So what did I pur-chase, well I gave Twitter a sneak peak at the packaging earlier …

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I’m a sucker for well wrapped orders, it makes it more exciting when you have delicate tissue paper to peal back before revealing your purchases. I find the whole process very ‘eek’ with girlie excitement. (So another tick there for Baker and Maker)

Drum roll please (I’m excited as I haven’t brought anything for a while)

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Where to start;

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I added to my cookie cutter collection, I loved the blue butterfly then the snowflake and rabbit cutters just sort of slipped (hopped) into my shopping basket.

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Again a sucker for packaging these little sugar hearts combined with the cute jar caught my eye.
The bright & vibrant colours of them will look great as a simple quick embellishment to cakes and to quote our youngest niece the other week “Serotiny LOVES sprinkles” so they were a must really!

Still with baking I’ve wanted some of these pretty case for AGES so I went for it, I think I will be returning soon for more as it was very hard to choose just one colour.

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I’m really looking forward to using them but already have the niggling feeling no one will ever be good enough to use them for, so I will just sit and display them forever.

I also got a few other non baking bits…

These birdie gift tags, again perfect to use as quick embellishment for plain wrapping paper.

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This ribbon had a slight discount, so I couldn’t resist it’s lacey’ness.

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And last but not least the enamel bowl, I have stolen my idea for this from Silje-Sin. She has planted her enamel bowl with flowers and I really liked it (in fact I love her whole house, she is such a wonderful homemaker)
So I intend to plant this one up and see how it goes. Perhaps it will turn our home into a Scandinavian delight.

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I am looking forward to using my goodies and to shopping with Baker and Maker again.

Apart from a few chores that was my Weekend & Tuesday.

I’m now off to read my new books.

S

Wash Day Tuesdays The New Monday

12 Mar

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold; when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”
Charles Dickens – Great Expectations

And hasn’t it just been like that here today.

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The poor bunnies bottles were frozen this morning.
And the daffodils outside had keeled over retracting with cold. But yet the sun has been shinning, the sky blue, and the clouds white & fluffy.

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I woke up still fighting with this virus thing. So had to cancelling meeting L for Coffee & Shopping I am rather disappointed at that. (I have cake saved with your name on L)

My box of tissues and I have spent the day mostly answering the door to the postpeoples.
As my books arrived and so did the cutlery trays.

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I did the basic tidying chores but after that I got back under the warm duvet with a cup or 3 of tea and my books till I got up at Lunch time.

My New Books ~

As my treat for World Book Day you may remember I ordered 4 books one of which arrived Saturday and the other 3 today…

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Tales of Greek Heroes By Roger Green, the second of my Greek Mythology books to arrive. Not only has a great hardback cover which will go with my growing ‘pretty’ book collection, but has a good content too.

Obviously aimed at the younger reader, the print is larger than your average adult read, though I wasn’t expecting anything other as this is clearly a child’s book. One good thing about the larger print makes it feel like you have accomplished reading lots in one morning.

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The book has not only got the Tales of Greek Mythology but also some good subsequent text including A Glossary, Whose Who and Further Learning Projects.
Im still perplexed at why I have very little knowledge of this topic, it seems everybody did this at school excluding me? but soon I will be able to challenge any 8 year olds knowledge!

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Pottery Books ~ Yay Yay Yay

The other 2 book purchases were on pottery; my newish hobby.
I’ve wanted for a while a general book on everything pottery, I’ve looked high and low read review after review then finally took the plunge and ordered 2 and I am very pleased with my choices.

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Techniques Using Slips By John Mathieson, is unsurprisingly on the use of slips in pottery. It covers the application of slips, the different techniques, designers examples and little how to guides, along with technical and firing information.
Some good inspiration, unfortunately I could be limited by the pottery class kiln and firing temperatures etc. But slip decoration does seem to be one of the main techniques we have access to the materials for, hence my purchasing this book.

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The Complete Potter By Steve Mattison, I hoped would be as it said on the tin and I was again not disappointed.

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From initial reading it answers topics relevant to my level of knowledge (little to none/refresher on what is known). Off the top of my head I can’t think of an area not covered, it’s got Techniques, Clay Types, Molds, Colouring, Glazing, Firing, Kiln Information the list is endless. I would recommend this for any budding evening class potter.

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I’m looking forward to putting more ideas into practice.

* * * * * *

Last night I took some in progress pictures of the Kitchen/Diner for record of before and after, though the Kitchen/Diner is nearly finished.

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There is a few more changes and additions which I’ve been voicing in my WSW (Window Shopping Wednesdays) and WHITE PAINT!! We have magnolia’esk walls which will do for now as things go with it, But by the end of summer ideally I would like the whole house painted.

I wonder if the next generations will cry “oh no not white” like ours does for magnolia.

We don’t want to add to many ‘staged’ impersonal items into our home, both Mr S and I like original pieces and things with meaning.
For example the red barn with little cows was a present brought for us by my Aunt & Uncle from Canada, we have pieces of slate we brought home from our first holiday together which are perfect coasters, the birdies on the window ledge we brought in Scotland at Christmas time when we were on a break with my cousin, brother and his girlfriend.

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I’m also finding our bargain eBay Chair and Table set not in keeping with my room dressing. They aren’t going anywhere for now and I don’t dislike them, we like a big table for so many reasons, for one we are great believers in eating our meals together at the table. I just have to incorporate them~ I think the key is in the table mats and dressing.
I’ve been using my Great Great Aunts and Various other relatives Filet Crochet edged tablecloths & dressings and the brown leather is a bit harsh against this. I feel perhaps the introduction of glass on the table or a light drift wood and candle feature would link the two and softer place mats.

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Lunch was cake; healthy as it has Apples and Blackberries in and lots of energy to face the laundry pile & ironing.
I swear I will keep on top of this chore every time and then I blink and its multiplied again to uncontrollable levels; invasively microbial like but it’s Log Phase never seeming to reach a Stationary Phase!

Mr S also took it upon him self to re-organise his wardrobe the other week. Completely randomly waffling on about his system; his system appears to be putting worn clothes back with washed clothes mixing them up and seeing if I can pick what’s what. Ive given it a few weeks trial but its really not working for the laundry lady aka moi, it adds to the dread of the task. Today I took a deep breath and faced putting it back to an organised system. Hoorah!!

And dutifully I ironed Mr S’s shirts tonight, don’t tell him but I actually quiet enjoy ironing. While doing it I listened to some podcasts and had a hissy fit at the sleeve of one particular joy to iron.

The RHS Gardening podcast the other week passed in the bed time listening stakes. It was a bit rooky’ish in some presenting aspects but matched my listening criteria regardless. So Ive downloaded the next and a few others such as BBC Radio 4 Inside Health, BBC Radio 4 Food Programme and a few other tried and tested BBC Four programmes mostly. We will see how they fair tonight.

Mr S and I caught up on a bit of our favourite TV. Before an early night called. Mr S has to be up at 3am! To fit his morning routine in before he starts work super early tomorrow *yawn*.

S

The Best Laid Plans …

9 Mar

Even the best laid plans and intentions sometimes go awry.

As per normal I was running behind schedule. As per normal we were left saying why do we leave things till last minute. As per normal I wished I’d just stayed up and did things last night as the time I need to be up early I was shattered and over slept.

Some what worn out now but the day went very well. A few short cuts were taken unfortunately the cake did not get baked for dessert, Mr J Sainsbury’s provided a Tarte Au Citron (I will bake on Monday now) and I didn’t get the spare room washing pile put away (you never know who might look in your spare room – Mr S thinks I’m insane at times especially when its just family) but luckily no one went into the spare room~phew.

Which brings tonight to an end all baring the washing up, my friend the dishwasher is currently helping me with that though.

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Empty plates and glasses all round can’t be a bad sign.

Time to put my feet up with a cuppa before bed and
Ooo this morning my first book Ive got on order arrived…

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I had to hide it away though as I just didn’t have the time when it arrived to give to it. But it was extra exciting when I remembered when everyone had left I had my package to open!

I’m looking forward to educating myself in the basics of Greek Mythology. The text which I have just at this stage had a quick squiz of is concise and informative and there are some lovely illustrations.

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With that I will finish tonight on SELENE ~ The Goddess of the Moon.

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Though I am sure it’s a very interesting story about Selene the moon goddess I’m sure with all the washing up left tonight I will be dreaming more along the lines of Button Moon than Moon Goddesses.

We’re off to Button Moon!
And we’ve followed Mr Spoon,
Button Moon! (Button Moon!)
Button Moon! (Button Moon!)

We’ve been to Button Moon!
Button Moon! Button Moon!
Button Moo-ooooo-ooon!
Button Moon (be back soon!)
Button Mooooooon!

I think my brain is over tired good night.

S

A Glow Worm Is Never Glum!

8 Mar

Today’s theme tune ‘Hot Blooded’ By Foreigner … Bones & Booth’s song.

So it’s Mother’s Day this Sunday and I’ve insisted I am well enough to host a gathering for my Mother, Father, Brother & His Girlfriend tomorrow. (Sunday we are off to Mr S’s eldest sister’s for a Mothers Day meal with his side)

I’ve decided that I am going to go with simple and tasty as I’m still not feeling 100% so something that looks after its self.

My choice, Slow Cooker Spanish Chicken

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I love my slow cooker! And this book has some great recipes, ones that I often have ingredients in the store cupboard for.
Spanish chicken is a paprika chicken stew with chorizo, olives and new potatoes.

And for Dessert I am going to make a recipe I’ve wanted to try since September, Blackberry & Apple Cake from Good Food Magazine September 2012 issue. The front cover recipe is also something I’ve been meaning to try Blackberry Bakewell Tarts.

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Each year my Father and I pick Blackberries in the same fields which we used to with My Grandfather and I’m lucky to have some of our bounty left in the freezer to use for this recipe.
(Freshly picked Blackberries of the wild variety are one of life’s great smells to me)

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So tomorrow will be an early start as I haven’t even been shopping yet as we have been ill and then I have to make, bake and clean.

My new Badgers Balms turned up – YAY!

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So rest assured I will no longer be Tense ~ have a Headache ~ or suffer Joint Pain haha well ok hopefully I will have some relief from the for mentioned.

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I stash them in my Poole Pottery 50p bowl in my bedside draw. I love this bowl ~ it’s very me and it was a bargain in TKMaxx.
It’s also great for mixing my aromatherapy massage blends in and because its ceramic it warms up quickly so no chilly oils.

I managed some more slow sewing of my birdies today, did the usual chores with a bit of extra washing of anything with Cat hairs on in sight for damage limitation (my brother is allergic to Cats – tomorrow could be interesting)
Cooked dinner and that was my day.

Before Mr S and I sat down to TV and hot beverages.

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Mr S’s mug which I purchased at Hallmark in Canada in June – he has sugar in his coffee. I have a Alice in Wonderland White Rabbit I’m late mug which is because I’m always late. Unfortunately though it is now used as a hand cream holder as it got a hairline crack and I don’t want to risk damaging it further. I’m silly I know.

So it’s bedtime
But my parting comment is this, how I wish I was a glow worm

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S

“Create A Life That Feels Good On The Inside”

7 Mar

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I can’t find the source of this quote but how true. This can be applied to lots of aspects of life. It’s easy to try and mask over cracks by surrounding ourselves in material effects, shinny pretty things that are there to disguise, hide behind clothes and make up, all because its what we see ‘the happy’ people doing so we follow the crowd. But really we know things are wrong.
“Keeping up with the Jones” entered a whole new level with the social pressures of media such as Facebook and Twitter, no longer was it just the neighbours but everyone you have met over the past 20years too.
It’s so sad to see this in people even close friends on a daily bases updating their profiles hourly “look at me!” And I have a certain friend that you don’t hear from, then you know they are planning something so that they can then say “oh didn’t I tell you” or put it all over Facebook in an oh we just did this way, the reason I’ve figured this friend does this is so they have something ‘BIG’ to tell people, because actually the saying above is very true to their life with out divulging and airing there linen. Over the years though I have learnt to accept this person and feel sorry for them and their highly critical jealous views on others and in doing this have found this friendship much easier. Why friends you ask ~ well why leave someone who needs help & friendship no matter what. I’m not all Peaches & Cream.
As for my comments on Facebook this is not to say I don’t have Facebook or like it. I just believe in doing things for the right reason and motives. Because you truly are happy and want to share it or you have worked darn hard to get where you are.

I’m happy to say though ~ my life feels very good and I’m thankful for that.
Now to make it look more aesthetically polished haha …

Today
Cladophora aegagropila!!
I have found some of the little fellas in the UK, it seems they are popular with aquarium lovers. It wasn’t as complicated as I thought, they are even on Amazon. But now I’m confused to whether or not they need complicated living environments. Some say yes others say just correct lighting levels.
Maybe I will just buy a couple and see how they go.

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On the subject of fishie wishies, I like aquariums. We have had a few gold fish over the years but I do quiet fancy a proper aquarium and a little while back now I did look into it, our main issue is curious fishing kittens! “Oh look they got us another toy”, Mr S isn’t convinced.
But while I was looking I found this really gifted and artistic Portuguese gentleman Filipe Oliveira

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Who designed this tank. I think this is great and very ‘zen’.
Apart from troublesome kittens my only other problem is the amount of work that goes into the up keep of fish on top of all the other animals. Perhaps one for after the house is done.

On another note today is World Book Day such a fantastic day!
Mr S will tell you all about my love of books and his horror at how many we have. I only keep reference books, ‘reading books’ I tend to pass on as they amount quickly and we just don’t have the space. There is an amazing hospice shop where my parents live and it’s dedicated to books – Ive managed to pick up the whole collection of Kathy Reichs books there for no more than a £1 a book then when I’m done back they go – Bargain! Cheaper than the library fine when I run late on returning them and than any new book store, they are all like new anyway.
Mr S’s issue is he thinks I just buy books for the bookshelf to look at! As they remain mint. The thing is I have been brought up to remove dust covers of hard backs when reading and to touch things with care – this way everything remains nice. A shameful confession I have though is I am not so careful with paperbacks and ‘readers’ as they can live in a bag, get treated to a bath or like the other night a whole cup of tea curtesy of The Princess, I feel bad for their treatment but its all about loving them.

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My little celebration of World Book Day is to treat myself to 4 New Books from my Amazon wish list. 2 from my craft list and 1 from my pretty books list and 1 education style book I guess I would call it.

The crafty books are pottery books.
“Techniques Using Slips – Ceramics Handbook By John Mathieson and “The Complete Potter: The Complete Reference to Tools, Materials and Techniques for All Potters and Ceramicists” By Mattison Steven.

And then the 2 other books are on a similar topic to each other Greek Mythology. Over Christmas I realised how shoddy my knowledge is on this topic thus I wanted to brush up. These books have been on my wish list since then.
The pretty one with cloth bound cover is one of the penguin hard back classics “Tales of the Greek Heroes” By Roger Green and the more in depth version is “Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes and Monsters”By Donna Napoli.

And to finish off tonight I will read either of the 2 books I have on the go at the moment.

Ian Rankin: Standing in Another Man’s Grave in true old school hardback for a true old school police officer John Rebus … Oh how I missed you Rebus. I Pre-ordered this and it’s remained a little neglected though I think psychologically I don’t want to get to the end incase it really is all over this time for Rankin & Rebus.

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Or

Handbags & Poo Bags~Tales of a Soho Boxer By Alice Wright on the Kindle App. Boxer dog owners need I say anymore. I had to download it when I saw it.

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On a personal note of finding something good in everyday we appear to now all be ill, 1 week today for me! But I do seem to be getting my voice back. I however have soldiered on and done chores and washing again today ~ go me!

I think a long hot bath to go with that reading is in order tonight.

S

Please Take a Smile

2 Mar

Dear Blogging Friends,
Please take a smile and enjoy this weekend what ever you are doing.

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Today to add some spring cheer and a smile to our neighbours faces we secretly pinned these little signs up in our neighbourhood. I’m so lucky that Mr S is who he is and likes random acts like I do. I also wanted to share them with you guys.

I’m still poorly – poor me.
Mr S has been taking very good care of me.

We spent till lunch time on the sofa tv watching (Mr S has just got into the American series Bones so is playing catch up) and I also did a bit of crafting.

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I managed to stuff and finish the face of my bunny. Just the ears to go now.

Then late afternoon we took the dog for a walk and pinned up our little smiles.

The day started grey here but by lunch time the sun had improved the mood. And on our walk, after a play on the swings, Mr S decided we should go to our local pub for a drink… I was dubious still squeaking. We are in no way regulars to our local pub its the 2nd time only I’ve been in the year we have lived here and it’s a VILLAGE pub with local people. From the outside it doesn’t look the most salubrious of places either – but its why you should not judge a book by its cover. We have been made to feel welcome by various characters and they love the dog so it is nice to pop in for a change of scenery. Plus they have a lovely crackling open fire which was great to warm up by before heading home.

Mr S sorted dinner for us, which left me to doodle a bit in my pottery sketch book and I’ve been spurred on to get back to the garden planning.

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This is probably the 100th sketch of the garden. I’ve gone from modern to cottage gardens and recently added an edible aspect, so quite a jump.
I initially had designs on a black & silver plant based garden with slate, but dropped this when doing my research I found a lot of the plants I liked didn’t like our type of garden. So this lead to a cottage garden which also links nicely with our kitchen.

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Since we moved here I have wanted an allotment. I grew up spending my summers reaping what we had sewn at our family allotment and I had imagined the good life with my own children someday. Alas due to various reasons it has not been possible to do the allotment thing but we still have time before children to get it sorted, a dream postponed not lost.
With this in mind I thought why not add an edible side to the garden. Another few books purchased (any excuse for a new book) I’ve planned to incorporate vegetables into the garden.

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Next stage the seed catalogues!

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But that’s another day.

Oooo and finally the daffodils have come out.

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S

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