Sunday, 28 July 2013

Cruising Cornwall...

Last week we went on our annual holiday to Cornwall to visit my Dad, which is something we always look forward to. As a bonus we are getting a proper summer this year, which made planning what we wanted to do so much easier, as all of Cornwalls beauty is outside!
It's always a long trip down there, but it is definately worth it!

Our trip coincided with the Stithians show this year, which is an agricultural show, so we got to see plenty of lovely animals.

On our first day we got to see a variety of sheep, including one which had, what looked like a rabbit head. So much lovely fleece!!
3 really adorable Alpaca's, one of which was only 7 days old. They had not long been shawn, which made their fluffy-topped heads look even cuter!! 

All breeds of cows. Watch where you step now!!
There was a marquee of Goats
A massive Poultry tent, with every shape and size of chicken. From the big plump rooster to the fluffy headed, fluffy footed chickens, and also the bare necked chicken, which was as ugly as it sounds!

There was a whole tent of pigeons, yes really! Muli-coloured, tiny, caged birds, and Cavies, the term used for Guinea pigs. But the highlight for me, which you don't normally see at Ag shows, was the rabbit tent! A whole space dedicated to cuteness and fluffyness, which definately had the Aaaaaahh factor! I could have easily taken a few home with me! My absolute favourite was the lion-head rabbit, the ultimate in fluffyness with its tufty mane.
After having explored all the animal areas, we stopped for some much needed refreshment, in the heat, before heading round to the rest of the stalls and displays. It was a long exhausting day, but well worth the visit.

On the Tuesday we opted to stay local, as we did need some rest days. There are usually some small changes to the village each year, but even if there wasn't I'd still enjoy re-visiting the little shops and galleries and you can never tire of the beautiful views of the harbour!!

It was great to have a garden to utilise too, something that we really miss, especially in this fine weather. It enables you to enjoy the full extent of the light, morning and evening, and can enjoy dining Al fresco too!

On the Wednesday, we had booked aboard the Scillonian3, to take us across to the Scilly Isles, this was somewhere that we hadn't ventured to before. It was a 2 1/2 hour trip away from the mainland.

Once we'd arrived at the biggest island, of St Marys, it was a hop onto a much smaller boat called Surprise, to take us to the Isle of Tresco, this was home to some stunning gardens, which Dad wanted to take us to. It looked so idyllic on arrival, with turquoise clear waters, white sandy beaches and palms, a tropical delight. We needed to make haste as we only had a limited time to venture round, as the travel does eat into much of the day.

Tresco gardens certainly lived up to its reputation, absolutely stunning, with a whole host of tropical plants, but giant sized.

All the plants were green and lush and the flowers were bright and colourful.

The trees loomed up into the sky

and the succulents spread out widely.

We stopped for a quick picnic lunch, where we had a little visitor. A beautiful chinese pheasant, with colourful plumage.

There was a gorgeous shell hut

and an amazing treasure house which had a whole collection of figureheads from various wrecks that had washed ashore.

Our time was up and it was a quick march back to board our boats. Both boats seemed more packed for the journey back, and finding somewhere to sit was quite tricky, and we were exhausted from walking around in the midday heat, but it was worth every moment as we have many visual memories to treasure.

On the Thursday, it was yet another new experience. Hubby is an enthusiastic freshwater fisherman, and we had the opportunity to go with a local fisherman to try sea fishing. Dad has had experience of this trip before, which he said was great fun, though I had to admit I was not totally convinced of this, but hubby was most excited to try. It was great to sail away from the harbour, and see it from a new angle.

The sea was totally calm and flat, and as it had been so hot in the uk, there was an unusually large amount of jellyfish in the water. We were handed our rods and shown how to attatch the weights and hooks. We put our lines out over the boat and reeled in and out of the water. We stopped for the boat to move position now and again, and then we changed from using a lure, to multiple feathers, and then we added bait, as the fish werent biting too much in the heat.

Dad was the first to land a fish, and the team went on to catch a mix of mackerel, pollock, ....... To my surprise I managed to catch not just one but 2 mackerel. Oscar the fisherman was a great tutor, and was helpful as most of us didnt really know what we were doing and he was always at hand to help out. It was a sweltering heat, being out on the water in the middle of the day, but surprisingly I thoroughly enjoyed the whole venture. I got stuck in and with the expertise of Oscar, it was a pleasant smooth trip for me.

On our return to shore, we went straight to one of our favourite pit-stop for a milkshake. They make milkshakes from chocolate bars or biscuits, and they are refreshing and yummy.We do have to try as many flavours as we can while we are there of course!! This time I tried peanut m+m's, mint areo and terry's chocolate orange.

We left the gutting of the fish to Dad, but we had the freshest and tastiest fish meal that evening. How satisfying to know you are eating what you caught!

After our last 2 adventurous days, on the Friday we again stayed around the village, with the morning spent relaxing and eating in the garden. In the afternoon we decided to tackle the Treasure trail that we'd brought along. This gave us the opportunity to have a nice walk around the whole of the village, whilst keeping an eye out for historic points and various images. This wasn't quite as difficult and the clues weren't so obscure as our previous one, and as Dad has quite alot of knowledge about the village it wasn't as tricky as we'd hoped for, but we still enjoyed our time scouting around the area.

Then before we knew it, it was Saturday and time to go home again, time always goes so quick. It's so restful and peaceful there, a relaxed way of life, that the thought of going back to the hustle and bustle of town and having to go back to work, was not a pleasant thought.
We had our last milkshake and stroll around the village.
It was lovely to unwind, and more pleasant to by the sea, in the heat, than a stuffy town. So lovely to spend time with family and enjoyable to play and cuddle up with the cats.

It's just a shame that we aren't able to do this more than once a year!!!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Treasure Trails and Daisies....

After a long, hard weekend at work, I had the Monday off, and me and hubby planned a trip to visit his Mothers. We had bought a present for her and my Mum, in the past, from Treasure Trails,  but as yet had not had the opportunity to take her out. As we all needed a stress free, fun day and it was going to be another gloriously sunny day, it seemed like the perfect chance. What you get from Treasure Trails is a booklet, of directions of the trail around the town and clues that you need to look out for on the way round.

Our one was a Murder Mystery, so we needed to work out 'who did it' and 'with what'??
We worked our way up the high street, and found it difficult right from the start. It doesn't matter how well you know the town you are doing this in, as it makes you look at it in a completely different way and in minute detail.

We stopped off at a cafe for refreshments, before working our way up and around the church to the old town.

After a few hours of trailing and at the last clue, we rounded our day off with a cool drink at the pub!

We got stumped on 2 of the clues, so we didn't get a final result. There is a text line to get up to 3 answers, but we've chosen not to do so, as we may go back to re-check.
I can highly recommend to try one of these. In fact we've already ordered another two, a local one for us and one of my Dads village. They are fun for all the family, for any ages, an inexpensive afternoon, to pull together and search high and low!!

Crafting wise, this week I have continued with the mini bunting. This time I have been working on daisies.
Again the pattern was taken from 100 flowers to knit and crochet.
I liked it, but yet again I wanted to add my own twist. I opted to add a smaller round of petals inside.

I did also experiment with doing a closed centre, to be more realistic, but I decided that I didnt like it as much.

Having then decided on my final flower, I then went ahead and made a whole bunch.

I now need to get these hung, and I believe I have some green ribbon tucked away somewhere.

* I'm a little behind with this post, as I didnt manage to get it finished before going on holiday, but as I have only just got back, and I have loads of photos to edit, which will certainly keep me busy for the week,  but at least it enables me to put up a post *

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Little Bunting!

I mentioned last week that I had been doing a little crafting. Not a great deal with all my trips out,  plus work seems to encroach on my personal time more and more.
So I had whipped up a couple of owls, which i had previously shown a sneaky pic of!  It was just something that I fancied doing out of the blue, a nice quick easy project, a basic shape, nothing too fancy! After completing the main owl, I decided she needed a bubba companion!

I'll admit I've committed crafty naughtiness!! My owls were so close to completion, all that I had left was to stuff and sew them up, but instead I started a new project! The shame of it!!
In my head, for ages, I have wanted to do a collection of mini buntings. A selection of different styles, shapes and patterns. So I started with a flower. The pattern I took from 100 Flowers to knit and crochet book, I chose the Irish Rose, but only did the centre of the pattern, otherwise the mini bunting wouldn't end up that mini!! I did a test piece first, I did find it a bit fiddly in places and I changed a couple of joins to make it easier.

But once I knew what I was doing and I got into the flow, and before I knew it I had a whole bunch!!

I had a lovely reel of dusky pink ribbon tucked away, I knew this would be a perfect compliment for the flowers to hang along.

I wanted the bunting to be the width of my door. By putting a couple of pins in the door-frame I can then interchange the different styles of bunting quite easily.

I'm looking forward to making more, as they are small and easily transportable and doesn't feel too daunting a task in between work shifts. I quite fancy doing a daisy chain as I think that would look really cute, some hearts and maybe some fishies inspired after seeing 'Chickidees' display window! I might do some traditional bunting too, I'll just see where this project takes me!! When I get round to putting these in my Etsy store I will be able to offer the option of different colourways and different lengths if they don't want their bunting to be quite so mini!!!