After saying how I haven’t been managing to get much done I’ve had two days where I’ve done quite a bit. Fair enough none of it is University work, but all things that were on my long mental list of things to do!
We went out yesterday to use our year long tickets at Alnwick Castle one more time before they run out just before Piggle’s Birthday. We had seen that the jesters would be there again and we enjoyed their show a lot before. Of course, being us nipping to Alnwick also involves a tip to Sainsburys, the dump (why Northumberland doesn’t collect glass with the other recycling I don’t know) and this time to Homebase too as I’ve decided to add a raised bed of vegetables to the things I want to spend time on (hah!). The bed they had there was ok but I’m looking online to see if I can find something cheaper that can be delivered to the house. I did come away with 120l of compost to start filling it when I do buy one though!
Jim had seen a sign for Dunstaburgh Castle on the way to Alnwick so we decided to ‘pop over’ for a visit. It was a little further than I thought it would be and I wondered on the way if it was the one on the coast I’d just seen a picture of. After finding a space in the pay and display car park that is signed for the castle we wandered around a bit as there is no signage at all to tell you which way to go out of the car park, very confusing. Turned out that it’s actually a pretty long walk to get there and the boys moaned all the way about it, I tried to ignore them and enjoy the view.
It was absolutely beautiful, best placement for a castle I’ve ever seen I think. Northumberland is such an amazing place and I don’t think there’s anywhere in the UK that’s better for National Trust and English Heritage membership, we have joined both and use them all the time. We’re looking forward to another summer of investigating local places, we did tons last year and only scratched the surface. I’ve got 4 days planned just for Hadrians Wall with some glamping this summer as a surprise for the boys who have been asking to go camping for ages (I won’t tow anything and I don’t sleep on the ground so glamping will have to do them!).
Whilst in Sainsburys pre-castles I picked up some bits to make some jam using the rhubarb that has shot up again in the garden and also bought some cucumbers etc to make pickles. While the jam was cooking I sat down and made a list of what I want to can this summer.
I thought I’d wait until today to start doing that but I was in the mood last night so I got the canning pot going and set to work. It turned out to be a very pink evening.
Three jars of Sweet and Sour Pickled Red Onions, Rhubarb juice to make Rhubarb Syrup today and 4 jars of Rhubarb and Strawberry Jam. All the recipes are Food in Jars, the jam is from the website.
I also prepped the cucumbers, onions and peppers for the Bread and Butter Pickes that I made today along with the syrup.
Those are 1 litre jars at the back, they are seriously good pickles! I’m going to make another batch as soon as I’ve ordered a few more large bottles of cider vinegar, the little Aspell organic ones aren’t big enough for this recipe and are too pricey for canning. The Rhubarb Syrup I’m thinking will taste good with tonic water, haven’t decided whether it would go best with gin or vodka yet, will make a choice and buy some to try soon!
I have apricots waiting for the jam thermometer to arrive tomorrow too and another shopping list of bits to buy for the next lot. It’s really enjoyable to see the shelf in the storage room filling up with jars and I’m hoping the rhubarb grows fast as I’ve got jam and jelly that I want to make with it!
I don’t bother ironing too well as he’s just going to lie on them!
These are Simplicity 9499, mainly for the fact that it was the right size for him and I wouldn’t have to adjust it too much. I ran out of Swedish tracing paper a while back and that sewing reality show thing that used it put the price right up so I’ve not bought any more and therefore can’t trace larger sizes of my Ottobre or Kwik Sew patterns. I had to take 1.5 inches off the bottom of the trousers and like all Big 4 patterns they’re pretty boxy and baggy but that’s what you want from pjs really I think. The green is ribbing that I dyed Dylon olive green in the machine. For some reason I have about 20 metres of white ribbing, and I’m not kidding, there’s tons of it in my stash that I have inherited from other people who bought too much, so I figured using up a few metres of it for pjs was a good idea. The cowboy print I got from Abakhan donkey’s ago and have wondered ever since why I bought it, but Jim liked it so it’s used up now.
I was trying to think of how many times I’ve used the dinosaur print now and I got to 4 minimum. This is the last big bits of it (I have a few small pieces I kept for facings and sentimentality as Jim was a toddler the first time he had pjs from it) and I didn’t have enough for the back of the t-shirt so that’s the solid green. The necks are really wide for some reason, I probably should have cut them down a bit but I’m not taking them off and playing with them. Jim has a horrid habit of chewing neckbands anyway so they won’t stay white and clean for long, how baggy they are really won’t matter!
Next up I’m cutting out a blouse for myself and then I’m going to work on my last bee block, I’d like to get both those done by the end of the week but I also have essay marking to do, a presentation to get ready for next Monday, more canning and another day out to the seaside with the boys so we’ll see how I get on! Hopefully the enthusiasm will continue to keep me moving.
Now off to see if I can finish off the sleeve of a cardigan so I can sew that up and get it off the never ending list this week!