Friday, 28 November 2008


I have got the mother of all sore throats... but today, it's the first morning where painkillers were not my first thought, even though I have taken some now, lol. 
Anyway... today I fancy making a card, so watch this space!!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

2 photos from the weekend.

Justin's dad and step mum were down at the weekend, and Saturday we spent at a local park. We had a lovely walk through the woods and the lake, and laughed at some dogs chasing each other into the lake. The second picture shows some "play" equipment that resembles gym equipment!! I thought it was amazing, lol. We all had a go on most things. I found the one where you sit down and hoist yourself up and down a bit hard, lol. We also had a cup of tea in the little cafe there as well. It was a great day, rounded off by dinner at Frankie and Bennys in the evening. 
I'm still making the blanket, but I REALLY hope I'll get it finished by the end of this week... or at least just leave the black to do... but it's getting really boring doing it and I keep putting it off. I've had about an hour on it today.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Still no cards ARRGGHHHH

But I have been busy crocheting that blanket... I'm just about to start the 6th 100 gram ball of pink, then it's onto the black eyelash. I need to get it finished by the end of next week!!!! It's quite heavy to work with now too. I will be SO glad when this one is finished. I still have one to make for Abby... 
Nothing much else has happened this week. I've still been wrapping pressies, and they're in black bags on top of the wardrobe... Matthew asked what they were and was told they're pressies for other people... he half believes it. I've also said there's a couple up there for us lot here, lol. 
I pick up his bike next Friday morning (so dad, that means no Tesco's for me that morning), and also get £20 worth of accessories free, so I'm getting him a pack that has a lock in it and various other little bits in it. 
We have Justin's dad and step mum up from Devon this weekend. I've got Saturday off work only, but they don't tend to stay too long on Sunday.
Well.... back to the blanket then!
Oh, I've also been given two more awards from Debbie! Thanks Debbie!!! I really will have to have a think about who to pass them on to, and also get the awards up on my blog.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Rememberance Sunday 2008

This is a repeat of a post that I uploaded last year.

In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

In Memoriam
by Ewart Alan Mackintosh
(killed in action 21 November 1917 aged 24)
(Private D Sutherland killed in action in the German trenches, 16 May 1916, and the others who died.)

So you were David's father,

And he was your only son,

And the new-cut peats are rotting

And the work is left undone,

Because of an old man weeping,

Just an old man in pain,

For David, his son David,

That will not come again.

Oh, the letters he wrote you,

And I can see them still,

Not a word of the fighting,

But just the sheep on the hill

And how you should get the crops in

Ere the year get stormier,

And the Bosches have got his body,

And I was his officer.

You were only David's father,

But I had fifty sons

When we went up in the evening

Under the arch of the guns,

And we came back at twilight -

O God! I heard them call

To me for help and pity

That could not help at all.

Oh, never will I forget you,

My men that trusted me,

More my sons than your fathers',

For they could only see

The little helpless babies

And the young men in their pride.

They could not see you dying,

And hold you while you died.

Happy and young and gallant,

They saw their first-born go,

But not the strong limbs broken

And the beautiful men brought low,

The piteous writhing bodies,

They screamed 'Don't leave me, sir',

For they were only your fathers

But I was your officer.

Inspiration for the Poem
On the evening of 16 May, 1916 Lieutenant Ewart Alan Mackintosh and Second Lieutenant Mackay of the 5th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders led a raid on the German trenches in the sector of the front line north-west of Arras. By the end of the night there were sixteen British casualties, which included fourteen wounded and two killed. One of the two dead soldiers was Private David Sutherland.
Private David Sutherland has no known grave. His name is commemorated in Bay 8 of the Arras Memorial to the Missing at Faubourg d'Amiens military cemetery in Arras.

Taken from the website

Letters home: 'Pray for me'
Lance-Corporal Frank Earley was a young journalist from Derby who regularly 
wrote to his family from the front.

His letters were normally full of enthusiasm and excitement. In July 1918 he 

wrote, "As you see, I am still alive and well, and as usual enjoying life to the full."

It is only in his very last letter, on 1 September 1918, that he revealed his more

reflective side.

The next day Frank Earley suffered a serious wound to his chest and died

some hours later. He was 19.

Sunday afternoon, 1 Sep, 1918.

My dear Father, 

It is a strange feeling to me but a very real one, 

that every letter now that I write home to you 

or to the little sisters may be the last that I shall 

write or you read. I do not want you to think that 

I am depressed; indeed on the contrary, I am 

very cheerful. But out here, in odd moments the 

realisation comes to me of how close death is to us. 

A week ago I was talking with a man, a catholic, 

from Preston, who had been out here for nearly 

four years, untouched. He was looking forward 

with certainty to going on leave soon. And now 

he is dead - killed in a moment during our last 

advance. Well it was God's will.

I say this to you because I hope that you will 

realise, as I do, the possibility of the like happening

to myself. I feel very glad myself that I can look the 

fact in the face without fear or misgiving. Much as 

I hope to live thro' it all for your sakes and my little 

sisters! I am quite prepared to give my life as so many 

have done before me. All I can do is put myself in 

God's hands for him to decide, and you and the little 

ones pray for me to the Sacred Heart and Our Lady.

I hope that you will not move out of the old house yet. 

Write and let me know when anything happens. I see 

that you went to Preston a few days ago. It seems 

years and years since I tried to get drowned in the canal.

Well I have not much time left and I must end.

With my dear love. Pray for me. 

Your son


Frank Earley is buried at Bac-de-Sud Military Cemetery, Bailleulval, nr Arras.

His letters are held by the documents library at the Imperial War Museum. 

Extracts appear in 1918 Year of Victory by Malcolm Brown.

Letters home: Becoming a man
EJ 'Ted' Poole was the younger brother of a 
soldier who was killed at the third battle of 
Ypres in 1917. The young Ted was conscripted 
in May 1918 and trained at Aldershot, from 
where the letter below was posted. It is clear 
he was replying to the concerned enquiries of 
his father, who, having already lost one son, 
wanted Ted to become a good soldier in the 
hope that it would improve his chances of 
survival. Ted, who was sent to France in August 
1918, wrote that he sure that the training 
would "either make a man of me or kill me". 

Scarcely two months later, on 13 October, he was 
killed in action. He was 18.

28th May, 1918,

Dear Father,

Just a few lines in answer to your letter which I 

received today.Yes I have got used to the puttees,

as they have shaped to my legs by now. And I am 

getting used to my other things now, as I have been

dished out with a rifle and bayonet, and now when 

I go on parade I have got to wear my belt, bayonet 

and cartridge pouch and also take the rifle.

They have been teaching us bayonet fighting today 

and I can tell you it makes your arms ache, when you 

make a point that is, when you lunge out at imaginary 

enemy, with the rifle at arms length. I think with 

this hard training they will either make a man of me 

or kill me. You ought to see me in my Shrapnel Helmet 

and Gas Mask, it would make you laugh, especially as 

the helmet wobbles from side to side, every time I walk.

Yes I got my food alright and you can have supper if 

you like to go for it, and you can bet I always go for 

supper. I am taking your advice and eating all I can.

Yes I did remember Dolly's birthday and I have sent 

her a little badge of my Regiment which she asked for 

and which I expect you have  received by now. You will 

have to tell Miss Farmer that I think she will have 

to wait another two months before she sees me on leave.

I will see the officer about the allowance in a day or 

so, as I have heard today that two or three boys 

mothers are receiving an allowance, but I don't know 

how much.

Well, I think I will have to close now. As I haven't 

anything more to say just at present. Hoping you are 

quite well.

From your loving son,



PS. Love to Dolly and Frank 

After the war Ted Poole's family erected a headstone which 

bore the inscription, "Out of the stress of the doing, into 

the peace of the done". He is buried at Naves Communal 

Extension Cemetery, near Cambrai in France.

EJ Poole's letters are held in the documents library at the 

Imperial War Museum. Extracts are also published in Malcolm 

Brown's book 1918 Year of Victory.

The above letters were taken from the BBC website Special Report.

Friday, 7 November 2008

No cards so far this week...

I just haven't had the time. I do need to make my boss a birthday card though, so watch this space.

As far as firework night went, it was very quiet. Matthew had some sparklers in the back garden and there were hardly any fireworks going off. I think he saw them all at dads earlier, and that wasn't very many.

Last night we had a poker night. I'd bought some nibbles, and the winner was to receive a box of Jelly Babies, lol. Matthew won again!!! This time he didn't have any help!!!!!!!!! Either he had all the luck and is sort of understanding what are good cards, or we're all rubbish. 

I have been wrapping up more pressies, but that marathon wrapping day I had on Tuesday took me 3 hours! I had backache afterwards.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Christmassy day!

That's what I'm going to have today.
I've just been to Halfords and ordered Matthew's bike for Christmas!!! He has wanted a bike for ages, and he can't even ride one bless him!! He will be SO excited when he gets this on Christmas morning. Click here to see the one I've ordered. I think he'll be pleased with this one. His favourite colour is red, so I was very pleased to find this one this morning. I only went in to get an idea of what size I needed to order for him.
I'm also going to be wrapping up what presents we've bought so far today... I always start off enthusiastically but that feeling soon vanishes... 

Monday, 3 November 2008

And here is the cake!

Here it is, and it's definitely my best yet. The sponge rose perfectly and was fluffy and light. Excellent. I shall follow the instructions for it again next time. I normally make a sponge using the creaming method, but this time I didn't... click here to follow the same instructions. I do wish all ovens were the same though, coz I think this still could have done with a few minutes less cooking time - one side was just beginning to ... not burn exactly, but could of done with coming out sooner. I already cooked it ten degrees less as it's a fan oven, and 5 minutes less. Still, I'm very happy with this one.

Justin says I can quote him and say "The cake was tasty, yum yum" lol

I just found this blog, Cake Wrecks - there are some gorgeous and also very strange looking cakes on this blog, and some that will make you laugh so it's very much worth a look! 
One I particularly couldn't stop laughing at... Dalek cakes. And this pumpkin Autumnal cake is stunning! 

Dogs and Fireworks.

I have two dogs, as most regular readers will know. I have a labrador crossed with a greyhound called Sophie who has Addison's Disease and absolutely hates fireworks. She shakes like a leaf until she gets a couple of prednisolone (steriod) tablets in her. I also have a very batty Golden Retriever, Abby. (There are photos back through these posts of both of them) Anyway... Abby is like a big kid! She hears the first bang and runs up and down the lounge and whines to go outside. We let her out and she stands up the fence watching them wagging her tail. She gets so excited, it's really funny. Does anyone elses dog like fireworks or is my dog just odd?

I haven't made any cards today. I'm always tired on a Monday after working the weekend, but I did make another cake!! Mainly because the Halloween one was a bit flat, lol... it tasted lovely and Darryl said it was his favourite cake yet! Weird! So I had to prove to myself that I could get another cake to rise! And rise it did! I shall take a photo of it later tonight and add it to this post.

Sunday, 2 November 2008


I had a go at making my own background...
I found a site that told you how to do it. But the size is wrong... and apparently when you upload it to Photobucket you have to make sure it uploads as a 1 megabyte file... I did, then it's too big for the page! So I've had to have it as a 17" page... oh well...

Oh yes, and thank you to Poppy for giving me two blog awards. I'm still thinking who I wish to pass them on to. Thanks Poppy! It's great to know that my blog is liked.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Halloween Brag Book

I made this tonight using our Halloween photos from last night, and a Fright Night Brag Book which can be FREELY downloaded from Just So Scrappy. You have to scroll to the end of the post to get to the picture and the download link, but hurry, I don't know when the link will expire!! 
I laminated each page and used one of those little ring thingies to secure it. I love these little albums, and have so far made two!