My Blog List

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Joining Bloglovin

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Josie left a comment on my blog and  I noticed that she belonged to Bloglovin. |So I joined too! It's worth clicking on the button at the side or the link above and checking out a few more blogs. You can get facebook and twitter to let you know when there is new stuff but I don't do that but if you become a follower you can take advantage of it.
Cheers Gillian

Friday, 25 April 2014

Easter Outings in the North of England...Ullswater, Bollihope, Low Force/High Force

To start with, a pic of Billy being happy enough to show his trust in us.
Followed by us showing our trust in Billy. I put the picnic basket on top of the fridge to keep him from leaping up there. It didn't work!
Easter came and went with a variety of weather over the country. We watched the sunshine forecasts for the North of England and went to Pooley Bridge on Ullswater, in the Lake District, on Easter Saturday. A gloriously sunny day. There was still some snow on the tops and young lambs below in the fields alongside the lake.
It takes less than an hour and a half to leave home, pick up the papers and stuff at Sainsbury's, drive along the A688 past Raby Castle and the deer park, through the pretty village of Staindrop and the lovely town of Barnard Castle and on, up and over the Pennines to this place. The journey is better than the best coach tours.
I shan't tell you where you can park with views like this and spotless facilities for £4.50 a day!!!... Oh alright I shall. Park Foot Campsite
Next doors campers/parkers had a young lad with a penchant for cetaceans and we met him first with his shark. He offered it to us but we declined. We are older and wiser and can see when something is deflating of its own accord.
He was fonder of his Orca and worried about its possible beaching on the rocks.
Our walks along the lake later in the day showed the levels of water activity. Still far too cool for me to join in. This sort of thing in April needs very young blood and a very good wet suit.
On the Easter Monday we drove through the Bollihope valley south of Frosterley. An ancient and unique environment. Remnants of Roman settlement meld with mining activity through the ages. Lead, iron and limestone have all been vital to this area.
These are old but artificially created landforms.
On Easter Wednesday the weather was too good to go to the pictures to see "Noah", so we went for a walk instead. We headed up to Low Force. DJ had walked Low Force to High Force before while I was at painting class,and wanted to show me how lovely it was.
To get there you have to cross the footbridge at Bowlees.
One at a time.
Low Force looks like this...
and after a two mile gentle hike through the Strathmore Estate to the south of the Tees, High Force looks like this...

On the way we walked past lots of sheep...
and sheep with with lambs...
At last we returned to the car park at Bowlees, cooked some bacon butties and then went down to the Visitor centre for an ice cream.
Cheers Gillian

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Lovely Little Lambs

We went over to The RSPB site ...Saltholme...near Teesside.

The birds are not bothered by the industry, It makes no noise and only has small smells.
In the distance are some large gas and fuel containers and in the greater distance is the cute shape of Roseberry Topping..
I love the Transporter Bridge too but..........
Someone, somewhere inside the Saltholme "Lambing Shed" had helped this lovely Shetland Black Sheep mum give birth to two white babies. The second baby shown here is only about ten minutes old and hasn't yet found how to suckle.
If you live nearby it is a grand place to go to.
Cheers Gillian

Wednesday, 2 April 2014


I cleared out the house freezer and made all the little left-over loaf ends into a bread pudding.
It helps me to feel less wasteful and it does instead of fruit cake with the morning coffee for a few days. I do this one with lots of fruit and a tablespoon of marmalade for a nice tang. I did forget to put it away last night and even though it was well wrapped in foil, Billy has had a taste too!
Then I put some stuff in the breadmaker to make dough, so that I could get it out and form it into a different shape for a change.
It ended up like a bloomer and I scattered it liberally with wheatgerm to give it a nice topping.
After it had been in the oven for a few minutes I smelled burning and discovered that wheatgerm is not a good topping burns easily.
Never mind. The loaf came out beautifully risen and with a lovely texture. It was a half and half wholemeal and white. Next time the wheatgerm will go inside the bread. I was determined to use it because it had taken me four supermarkets to track some down and at last I had found it in Morrisons.
We had some for tea with a bowl of pasta.
Cheers Gillian

Tuesday, 1 April 2014


 There are many good reasons to live in the north-east of England  but the weather is not one of them.
While the south sunbathed in the warmest days of the year we woke to thick fog and have done so now for a few days. Temperatures are generally cooler but markedly so this last week. That was a shame because my sister was visiting and so we had to resort to going to the pictures, visiting Aunt J and staying home to play with Billy and the new "Bananagrams" game.
Billy tolerates being played with quite well.

But he likes to collect a fee for his part in our entertainment.

And I'm still keen on the bread machine. We roll out a loaf every few days and are pleased enough with it to give a couple of loaves away.
Today I might get round to making dough in the machine and baking it in the oven. A new shape would make a pleasant change.
The campervan is out of hibernation so we shall spend some time getting it ready for the days when the sun shines hereabouts. If that doesn't happen soon we shall just get in it and head south for a spell.

Cheers Gillian