Sunday, 28 February 2010

I’m very pleased with myself today…

…because I made something from The Pioneer Woman’s Cookbook.  I got stuck in this afternoon and made her Cinnamon Rolls. DSC_2337 She raves about them at every opportunity on her blog and they do look good, so today I gave them a whirl.  I had to gather all the ingredients first and there was a lot. I thought there was anyway!  DSC_2338I missed something off  this photo too, the vegetable oil.  They took quite a while to make, you have to leave the dough to rise for an hour and then wait another 20 minutes when you have made the rolls before you can put them in the oven.  Boy, they’re fiddley too when it comes to rolling up the dough mixture with the filling in the middle.  But I succeeded and ta da… here they are.DSC_2341I know, they don’t half look a gooey mess!  I think I may have overdone it on the maple icing but, they tasted GOOD.  Funnily enough though our little boys didn’t like them! DSC_2350 copyHowever, all the adults did.  I only got a picture of Gary and he had all but finished his.  It’s difficult to take photos when there’s food around, especially when I’m the one wearing the pinny and trying to eat my own share too.

Caroline said they were good and she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to cinnamon rolls.  That’s another reason to feel pleased with myself!

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Before and After

Yesterday, Muffin having a bad hair day! Today, after a visit to Posh Pooch, he was having a cute all over day.DSC_2323Doesn’t look like the same dog does it?  Bless him.

Friday, 19 February 2010

My Welsh Granny.

Going to Wales has made me think about my Welsh granny, my mother’s mother.  She was very proud of being Welsh and was always referred to by her full name, Sarah Jane.  She died at the age of 92 when I was 11 years old.  I say 92, but at the time nobody was completely sure exactly how old she was. I don’t think they could find her birth certificate.My maternal grandmother, Sarah Jane (nee Jones) Waterworth.  She died in 1963 aged 92 years when I was 11. I remember her very well, she lived with us for a while before she died.She lived with us for her last couple of  years so I remember her very well.  She had a bed downstairs in our parlour.  I remember her teaching me to say this Welsh phrase “"Cay de geg”.  It means “shut your mouth”.  It came in very useful from time to time!   Also she would tell of how she used to play on the steps of Caernarvon Castle as a little girl and that her father was the gamekeeper for Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn.  I remember too that she used to like a little flutter on the horses.  A bit of a character she was. How she ended up in a little mill town near Manchester I have no idea.My maternal grandad, Thomas Waterworth.  I never knew him, he died when my mother was only a little girl.This is Thomas, her husband.  I never knew him he died when my mother was only a little girl.  I have cousins who look very much like him.  He was said to have been a Liverpool Irishman. 
I wish I knew more about these people and what life was like for them.   If Time Travel ever becomes a reality I’ll be at the front of the queue to buy a ticket!


… I went to Towneley Park with my girls and their boys. We all needed and wanted the fresh air.  Poor Nicholas is just getting over Chicken Pox and is still a little bit delicate, so fresh air was definitely needed by him.  We were blessed with a beautiful day about which we were more than happy. What a vision of loveliness! We had no snow where we live and no snow when we got to the park.  In between though we drove through a  winter wonderland where the hillsides were covered in frost and snow.  Isn’t that a vision of loveliness?  DSC_2270 We had lunch sitting outside the very pleasant cafe near the Hall and then walked down to the play area. DSC_2279 Charlie could just about see where he was going, I think!  Caroline has recently had her hair cut short.  It really suits her.


Thursday, 18 February 2010

It’s been half-term this week…

… so George stayed overnight with us Sunday and Monday. He likes to do that as often as he can.  I took some pictures of him.  He doesn’t really sit still for the camera very well unless it’s to pull funny faces!  But he was playing with his remote control helicopter and not paying me too much attention so I snapped away.  I got quite a few good ones, this is one of them I particularly like.George flying his remote control helicopter.  He stayed two nights with us during half-term. 16/02/10

That’s it.  Short and sweet.


Afternoon Tea at the Town Hall

My cousin Sylvia and I arranged to meet in Manchester on Monday. It was a very damp kind of day, not very conducive to wandering around outdoors. So what better way to pass the time than over Afternoon Tea in a beautiful old building like Manchester Town Hall.  DSC_2236 For such a big place it was surprisingly cosy, there was even a fire burning in one corner of the cafe area. It was one of those log burning stove thingies and now I think about it, it could have been an imitation fire.  Anyway it looked nice whatever it was.  Also, it added to the ambience which was that of a gentleman’s club. Not that I’ve ever been in a gentleman’s club, but you know what I mean.I’m afraid we had eaten the sandwiches off the top tier before I remembered to take a photo but you still get the idea of what the food was like. 

We had the place to ourselves most of the time and we just sat, nibbled and nattered away to our heart’s content.  It was lovely.



Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Weekend in Wales Part II

Sunday we went to Asaph.  The highlight of which for me was the 13th century Asaph Cathedral.  DSC_2235Certainly not the biggest cathedral I’ve ever seen.  In fact it’s the smallest ancient cathedral in Great Britain but it’s definitely the cosiest one I’ve ever been in!  DSC_2234 It was a pleasure to look around, really welcoming and warm inside.  Glorious architecture.  I think the building itself would be enough to give you Religion, if you didn’t already have it that is.DSC_2233Some wonderful memorials to read and marvel at. 
I loved Asaph Cathedral and I like to think I’ll be going back again on a future visit to my wonderful in-laws.Brenda in the graveyard of a little church in Asaph. 14/02/2010 Here’s Brenda in the graveyard of a church we came across on the walk to the cathedral.  Our other halves wouldn’t look at this church with us because it wasn’t part of the plan for that day.  Talk about grumpy old men! We enjoyed it though, we both love reading gravestones. Some of the inscriptions were so sad.  Talk about weird old women!
It was our first visit to Bodelwyddan staying with Brenda and Arthur in their lovely new home.  They took us on a tour of their new territory and we bookmarked quite a few places to visit next time, hopefully when spring has sprung.  We had a smashing time, just like we always do with Bren and Arch!

Weekend in Wales

Well, we had a lovely weekend in Wales and here are the pictures to tell the story.  My maternal grandmother was a Welsh woman and very proud of it. Her name was Sarah Jane Jones, you can’t get any more Welsh than that can you?DSC_2158 This absolutely beautiful church, just 5 minutes walk away from my sister in law’s home, is known as the “Marble Church”. Built in 1856 it’s one of the best known churches in Wales.  DSC_2171_edited-1 William and I outside the main door to the church.DSC_2164 The doors are always open and it’s well worth a visit. DSC_2161 Here’s William looking at the numerous war graves in the cemetery.  We were curious to know the story behind these Canadian war graves so I looked it up on the Net, here’s what I found on the church website:-

Immediately to the west of the church is Kinmel Park, which was a military camp used by Canadian troops during the First World War. The churchyard contains the graves of numerous victims of the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-19 in the camp. On 4-5th March 1919 a riot occurred in the camp when the ship allocated to return the troops to Canada was diverted to carry food supplies to Russia, and five Canadian soldiers were killed in the disturbances and subsequently buried in St Margaret's Churchyard; a common story is that they were executed for mutiny, but this has been denied by the Canadian Department of National Defence. DSC_2176 Two minutes away from the church are these quaint Alm’s cottages.  Very chocolate box pretty, wouldn’t you agree? DSC_2178 copy This is Kinmel Bay, a lovely long and wide beach.  Just 5 minutes away in the car it looked perfect for a vigorous walk on a windy day.  Maybe next time we go we’ll do that.

To be continued…


Friday, 12 February 2010

We’re going to...

...Welsh Wales this weekend and I’m really looking forward to it.  It’ll be our first time visiting Brenda and Arthur since they moved down there. 
However, today was just another day and ordinary things had to be done, like the weekly shopping.  I made it a little different today though and went to the Co-op first.DSC_2143 In particular the co-op in Todmorden centre.  I’ve passed this shop in the car so many times over the years and thought how nice it looks and how good it is that they kept the old shop fronts and wondered what it looks like on the inside. I’ve even walked passed and looked in the window but never made the time to go in and have a look around.  But today I made the time and went in and am glad I did.DSC_2137 The interior is very bright and modern looking but at the same time has retained that old-fashioned feel.  The walls on both sides are lined with high shelving and I’m sure they must be the original ones.  Painted white now they would have been dark wood in days gone by.  It reminded me immediately of the co-op up the road from where I lived as a little girl.  More or less the same layout.  Dark and big, it had a long shop floor with a high dark wood counter on one side. Perhaps all co-ops were laid out like that? I seem to remember it always being half empty and not a lot of anything on the shelves.  This shop though was full of stuff and doing a roaring trade too. 
Upstairs is a cafe.  I love a nice coffee shop.  I had a latte and a cake, which looked home-made.  It was good.  I daresay I’ll be going back again.DSC_2148 Then, walking back to the supermarket I saw this street name sign.  I’d love to know the history behind these two peculiar names.
I’ll be back next time with pictures of Wales.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Donkey Stones.

This display caught my eye today in a shop window in Hebden Bridge.

It was common practise once upon a time for a woman to mop her front doorstep and finish it off  with a layer of donkey stone.  I remember my mother doing this when I was a little girl in the 50s and early 60s. It looked lovely for a while then people would walk on it and it was back to being mucky again.

Nobody ever bought a donkey stone, you’d get them off the rag and bone man when he came round with his horse and cart, in exchange for your old rags.


I’ve just been looking it up on the Net and it seems that donkey stones were made in Ashton and are still available there on the indoor market.


Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Old photos, happy memories.

This picture brings back so many happy memories of childhood holidays in the country in Ireland.  In Cloneygowan near  Tullamore, Offally to be exact.  The little village where my dad was born.  We used to stay for a week with Uncle Tom in his white-washed, thatched cottage and have the best time imaginable.  This was the cottage where my Irish grandparents lived and where my dad was born .

My Mother, me, Jean (both on the ginnet) Maureen and Uncle Tom.  Approx 1956

In this picture, taken around 1956, is my mother, with me sitting on the old ginnet behind my sister Jean.  Maureen, my other sister, is standing and that’s Uncle Tom.

Uncle Tom was one of my my dad’s older brothers and he inherited the cottage.  There was no work to be had in the country and my father needed to earn a living so at the age of  16/17 he sold his bike and with the money from it he travelled to England to look for work.  I don’t know if this was planned or done on the spur of the moment but I do know his poor mother knew nothing about it until he wrote to her from England!  Can you imagine that?  She must have been frantic.

On holiday in the country i.e. Cloneygowan, Offaly. Maureen, Ken, Jean behind him and me with some of the neighbours.

In this picture are, front row, Maureen, Ken, me, Jean is standing behind Ken.  The other three people were neighbours.  Don’t we all look happy?  That’s because we were. 
I have only recently thought about this part of it – I don’t remember the sleeping arrangements. I’m thinking there must’ve been a lot of bed sharing going on.  The cottage only had two bedrooms and there were six of us, plus Uncle Tom.  I need to ask my sisters about that.

It also had no electricity or plumbing or any modern conveniences.  There were no floor-coverings, I think the floors were the old stone flags.  One lasting memory is the smell of peat burning in the old black range.  I can smell it now, heaven! I can remember being taken to the bog by horse and cart to collect the peat… Like I said at the beginning these pictures bring back so many happy memories.

I could go on and on.  No doubt my girls will read this and think, but that’s what you’re doing Mother! 

Until next time.