Friday, 29 May 2015

Five on Friday - Five Dreams





old crafts


making gifts

self sufficiency

Boris, one of my sons dogs


time with family

baking bread


Sorry I have been so absent but as you will see I have a lot going on at the moment.  This is a very brief summary of all the things that are whizzing around my head. They are all dependent on each other, they have to all fall into place for it to work.  It is a work in progress that will take years to achieve, I hope you will be there with me on my journey, offer advice and tell me when I'm being totally unrealistic

1.  Move back to the countryside

I love this house, it upsets me to think of leaving it but I dream of moving out of the city.  I have a vision of waking in the morning, throwing on some old clothes and taking my future dog for a walk around our fields.  There will be no car horns, no squeal of breaks, no helicopters heading to the hospital, no ambulance sirens.  I will not have to queue to get out of the city and back after work. My health will improve by taking lovely walks in the country, not breathing in car fumes, or dodging traffic using our local lanes as rat runs into the city.

To make this happen I have to maximise the money we will get from the sale of this house, so lots of decluttering, cleaning, painting and gardening.  It will be very difficult for me to change my ways and keep the house tidy.  There are always projects I am working on, books I am reading and more interesting things to do than tidy.  My days are spent scouring the internet for properties, keeping an eye on the market and looking for alternative ways to sell our house when the time comes.

2. Retire at 60

I will not get my government pension until I am 67.  I would rather live on bread and water than work until then.  Don't get me wrong, I like my job but I will not be shackled to work until I'm 67.  I want to live my life now.  My parents had all sorts of plans for when they retired, my mum sadly didn't make it to retirement.  After my health scare I am even more determined to 'seize the day'.  I will get a small NHS pension at 60 (5 years time) and have plans to supplement this income.  This is dependent on Dream 1, moving out into the countryside.  I hope to set up a holiday business (well it is Cornwall) using the land for either a camp site, barn conversion to rent out or shepherds huts.  I will have the time to run it and be able to spend more time at home.

3.  Have more time 

Dependant on the above two dreams.  I would like to have more time to improve my health, walk more, eat more healthy home grown, foraged,  home cooked food, lead a less rushed life.  Have more time to spend with the family, especially as the grandchildren get older.  Enjoy my craftwork and learn new things, read more and just enjoy life as much as possible.  Also work on my 60 by 60 list, I may have to change it to 65 by 65 though! 

 I am changing my much loved mini for something that will fit 3 grandchildren, future dog and cope with country lanes.  Less city car, more truck! I will be able to take the grandchildren out and about when they come to stay with us.  At the moment I am scouring the internet and garages for something that will tick the boxes.  Negotiating with some very pushy and patronising car salesmen and trying not to be too rude to them when they annoy me too much. 

4.  Get a dog

Moving out into the country, having more time when I retire and spending more time at home will mean I will be able to have a dog again.  I miss having a dog, they are always so happy to see you and such wonderful company.  It will help with my goal of getting healthier as I will have to take walks everyday. 

 So lots of research to find the right dog for our family.  I would like to re-home a dog but with three grandchildren 4 years and younger I have to be 100% happy with it's temperament.  It will have enough energy to keep up with them as they get older and be well trained.  Our last dog had a wonderful temperament but was not very bright when it came to training.

5. Be more self sufficient.

By being more self sufficient, growing more of our food, having more time to cook from scratch, not needing good clothes for work, have time to make more Xmas/ birthdays presents, I will not have to rely on going out to work.  I will be turning into Barbara from The Good Life, knitting a suit for the bearded one :)  

Moving out into the countryside, retiring, having more time at home will help with this dream.  In the mean time I'm learning as much as I can about growing veg, preserving food, foraging, repairing and recycling.

I know many of you have similar dreams, or have achieved your dreams.  I would love to hear about them and any words of wisdom you have.  Perhaps your dreams are to move into a town/city, downsize and take it easier?  Tell me your dreams.

Chickpea xx

Joining in with Amy at Love made my home

Monday, 25 May 2015

Fretting in the early hours.

Some very old threads found in mums sewing box

I'm afraid I have neglected you all somewhat over the last week, I didn't even manage a Five on Friday!  We have been busy with family things which have been lovely, a trip to Somerset to look after our gorgeous grandchildren, followed by our sons birthday which involved a meal and family  trip to the cinema.  It was the same evening as the Eurovision Song Contest, but I think Mad Max was probably just as bonkers so we didn't miss anything.  The rest of the time has been spent sorting out the craft room/spare bedroom.  Two days and it still looks just as bad, I walked in there this morning and my heart sank, how the hell did I manage to cram so much stuff in there.  I save everything, and I mean everything because I recycle everything I possibly can.  It usually ends up in a quilt, or future rag rugs but oh boy, I may have to re-think my hoarding habits.

Lots of mums old buttons

I'm thinking of painting her sewing box

It has been interesting finding all the unfinished projects and future projects but frustrating as well because I just don't have the time to work on them.  It was lovely to sort through my mums old sewing box crammed full with threads and a little sewing box which I was given, probably in the hope that I would take an interest in sewing which sadly I didn't until after my mother had died.  I even found some more of the fabric I brought back from Australia.  I thought I had used every scrap of it but this must have got separated from the rest in the total chaos of the craft room.  A lesson on keeping things organised me thinks.

Thank you for all the lovely comment on my last post regarding the interest in our house.  They didn't actually see inside the house otherwise they would have run screaming down the path!  There is just so much to do, I keep finding more every time I look.  Yes we could put it on the market as it is, well after tidying up, but I need to get as good a price as possible to fund our next move.  New throws and rugs from Ikea have been ordered to cover our very shabby sofas and replace the grubby mats covered in cat vomit stains.  They will all go with us so the money won't be wasted.

Oh dear, I am becoming a 'house moving' bore, but it is all consuming.  I promise I will try to find the time to post something more interesting soon. My other time consuming stress factor is that  I  need to change my car to something a  bigger so we can fit in three grandchildren and their seats.  My mini is just too much of a squeeze, especially having three doors so involves climbing in and out of the front, but I LOVE my mini.  After having 'family' cars when our kids were growing up it was wonderful to get a 'me' car.  Now I'm  going to have to be sensible again, but just can't find anything else I like, or when I do it is out of my price range.   3 o'clock this morning I was sitting in the lounge fretting about cars and houses, how stupid is that.  I'm lucky to have a roof over my head and a car to drive, all the terrible things going on in the world and I'm stressing over 1st world problems.  I need to get a grip, but insomnia does mess with your mind.  In the early hours everything seems a 100 times worse than it actually is, or is it just me that feels that way?

Anyway, I'm off to pick some spinach from the garden to make a spinach and goats cheese quiche. with some very small home grown potatoes.  Life IS good :)

Have a good week lovely bloggy people :)

Chickpea xx

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Unexpected offer from Jehovah's Witnesses

I have started a cardigan in the hope that I will finish it in time for winter.

Thank you for all the lovely comments on my last post, sorry I haven't had a chance to reply as I have been drumming all weekend.  Such fun!!!!!  Working my socks off the other days, and even getting home from work and going to bed for an hour yesterday as I was so tired.  Such is life.

Having discovered the knitting cafe nearby, I am now a regular customer, I just can't stay away!  The work room is filling with new knitting projects when I should be clearing it.

I ran out of wool just before I finished this shawl, there was no more in the shop so I had to finish off in another colour.  I will have to make a feature out of it.  Any ideas?  I'm thinking perhaps an embroidered flower on the other end and pompoms in the darker colour.

I have seen lots of face clothes on blogs so bought some cotton to make some for Xmas prezzies. 

There is lots of therapeutic knitting going on, mindless easy stuff that sees my mind calm down.  You see I have been having a bit of a wobble about the whole moving house thing,  I guess it's natural, we have been here for a long time.  It was triggered by a text from the bearded one when I was drumming, and I quote "Think I've just sold the house to Jehovah's Witness couple, lovely people.  Really should have put some clothes on before I answered the door but it didn't seem to put them off"  Haha says I to my drumming buddies, typical of his humour, but when I got home he had been serious, they had left their telephone number for if we were going to put the house on the market.  I rang them a couple of days later to tell them we wouldn't be ready for a few months and told them more about the house.  As I was writing the list of house features, I thought, crikey this house has everything we need, why are we moving?  To make the wobble even worse, as I was doing the above mentioned knitting I watched one of those Kirsty and Phils house programmes.  They took a couple around to see various houses, they looked like show houses, not a thing out of place, all shiny, neat and tidy.  I then looked around my house with its shabby old furniture, bits of projects all over the house.  I guess you would describe it as 'homely'.  Oh dear, do I really have the energy and fit enough knee to do all of the decluttering and tidying needed.  (News on the knee is that I have been referred for physiotherapy, no doubt they will tell me losing weight may help!)  They say moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do.  I haven't even put the house on the market and I'm stressed.

In other news, what is going on with the weather? The last two nights we have had very heavy hailstorms.  My poor veg patch has taken casualties, and I worry about the chicks in their nests.  The peppers I won from Dani have germinated, but at this rate I'm not sure they will be able to go outside for a while and then will they have time to ripen?

I hope you are all having a good week, I'm trying to pop around to visit you all during coffee breaks.

Welcome to my new followers on Bloglovin :)

Chickpea xx

Friday, 15 May 2015

Five on Friday - Blog Anniversary

It has been a year this week since I started my Blog.  It has been a year of joy and despair, but that's life.  I thought for this weeks Five on Friday I would look back over the year and pick out five of my  photos that sum up the last 12 months.  It has been really really difficult to decide on just five, but these are the ones I have settled on.


The bearded one turned 60.  I don't want a fuss, says he, no party.  Well o.k. just a quiet little party at home.    So I booked the biggest bouncy castle that would fit into our garden, filled our home with family, from babies to great grandparents and had a wonderful day of cake, champagne and lots and lots of bouncing.  This year has also seen our family grow with a gorgeous new grandson.  I feel very lucky.


  I booked  a little cottage on a nearby 'eco' farm whilst recovering from an operation.  I had heard there were wild deer that often visited.  Every evening I went out into the fields to try to find them.  I crept along in the dark listening for any noises that would give their whereabouts away.   I had resigned myself to the fact that they had probably moved on to graze elsewhere.  I felt the disappointment I felt when we went on a whale watching trip and didn't spot one single whale.  At dusk on our last night they appeared grazing a few fields away, using the zoom at its maximum I managed to get some photos with shaky, excited hands.  You can see the stag bellowing, showing off his magnificent headgear, his maleness and doing what stags do, while his little family grazed.   It was brief, thrilling,  they then jumped over the hedges and disappeared.  I hope they are still out there somewhere, that hunters haven't taken their wild lives for so called sport.


Last summer we created my very first vegetable patch.  It has brought me so much pleasure, wandering out to pick the freshest produce for our meals. I never ever saw myself as someone who would have a vegetable plot.  It makes me feel connected to my ancestors, growing food for their families before the days of supermarkets and food flown from around the world.   I still wonder at planting the tiniest of seeds, seeing them peep through the earth a few weeks later, becoming something that will nourish my body and my soul.


The year of my life changing operation saw me too ill to go to Pride.  My son sent me photos and I cheered them on from my sick bed.  Last summer I was determined not to miss another, even though I was struggling again health wise.   For me it is showing my pride in my son, his partner and their friends.  It is showing support for all the LGBT people who live in countries where they could be imprisoned or  killed for who they are. It is showing young people who are suffering bullying or rejection by their families that they have nothing to be ashamed of.  It is thanking those who fought for acceptance and made Pride possible in this country.  I carried the rainbow flag with my son beside me.


This photo sums up my joy of live music, to be among thousands of people singing along and holding our hands up in a salute to the band.  Being a 'shorty' my view isn't always the best near the front as you can see, but being among the most passionate fans is worth it. We are best buddies and family for a few hours.   I often get stepped on, beer spilled on me and sore feet from standing on tiptoe all evening.  I also experience lovely acts of kindness from lanky young lads who probably see me as a little old lady and let me stand in front of them and keep checking that I can see o.k.   Although obviously not on the same scale, playing with the samba band and seeing people dancing along, bringing fun into their day is paying it forward.   This photo was taken at the Eden Sessions last year, I ticked off one of my 60 by 60 wishes when I saw Pixies and we also saw Elbow with the charming Guy Garvy.  Happy days,

During the last two summers I have undergone surgery, I'm hoping this next 12 months will not involve a surgeons scalpel.  I look forward to sharing my year with all my blog friends, to working on my 60 things to do before I'm 60 list, and to reading about your year.  I have found wonderful blog friends whose lives have enriched mine.  Thank you everyone.

Chickpea xx

For this post I am linking with lovely Amy on Love made my home

Monday, 11 May 2015

I fall for it everytime

Would you like to go out? asked the bearded one on Saturday.  Perhaps we could drive somewhere and have lunch?  Now alarm bells should have rung at this stage, but in my defence I was in the process of reluctantly dragging the vacuum around the house so clutched at anything that would get me out of housework.  How about Padstow he asked? well the bearded one hates anywhere that may be full of other people, may be seen as a 'touristy' and will be full of overpriced shops. Padstow ticks all of those boxes. Yes I know, at this stage the penny should have dropped, but naive little old me was so delighted to be going out any doubts were kept firmly in check.

I have to say it was a lovely trip out.  Whereas we had clouds over our garden, Padstow had lovely sunshine.   Cornwall is like that, travel a couple of miles and you can have totally different weather,  the coast is often very different than inland.  It was busy, the tourist season has started, but we found a restaurant where I could eat something (always a problem being vegetarian and gluten intolerant), wasn't busy and not owned by Rick Stein so was reasonably priced.   I had an interesting conversation with the waitress, she told me she used to be gluten intolerant, but now she is pregnant she can eat a little with no side effects.  I have a theory that gluten intolerance can be caused by hormone changes, as gluten became a problem for me after my hormones went crazy.  I know its not an exact science, but have any of you had a similar experience? She also told me about a cafe on the harbour front that offered gluten free cream teas, well how could I resist, I haven't had a cream tea in a cafe for years.  Even though we were both stuffed from lunch, we waddled around to the cafe, I was so excited by the thought of having something I used to take for granted.  I could only manage one scone, jam first, cream on top in the Cornish way of course, they helpfully wrapped the other up for me to take home.  Eyes bigger than my belly comes to mind, but it is very rarely I get beaten.  I was brought up in the age of eating everything on my plate before I would be allowed out to play.

Although there were plenty of very expensive boats moored in the harbour, there were also working boats.  It is a town where millionaires rub shoulders with ordinary working folk.  Boat trips were noisily advertised by men who may well have been fishermen in the past, and the crowded ferry plied its trade between Padstow and Rock, the playground of Royals.

When we got home the t.v. went on.  Yes of course the football was on, followed by cricket, a catch up on the Grand Prix.  Sunday was a repeat, with the Grand Prix and football.  Well at least it gave me a chance to do a little bit of crafting.  Talk about being buttered up before being ignored for the rest of the weekend.

Meanwhile in the garden, Robin wars seems to have broken out, the garden appears to be a favourite for them and they don't like sharing.   In fact all the birds seem to be fighting and chasing each other off at the moment.  Of course by the time I grab the camera their ariel acrobatics have ended, with the defeated bird flying off to wait for its next chance.  Anyone know why they are so argumentative at the moment?

I hope you all had a good weekend,  and your week will be a good one,

Chickpea xx

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Five on Friday - Beginnings and Endings


I have at long last finished our new grandsons quilt.  I have no excuses as to why it took so long.  I just have to be in the right mood for projects.  Creativity is temperamental thing.

A while ago I posted a tutorial on making this pinwheel quilt.  You can find it here.


I have just discovered a knitting cafe close by, I really don't know why I've not spotted it before! I popped in to have a look, and of course bought some wool, well it would have been rude not to.  I have not come across this make of wool before, if you go on their site there of lots of free patterns.  They are written slightly different than I'm used to but I can pop into the cafe anytime for some help. I thought I would start with something easy, so am making this  shawl in the Drops wool. It is beautifully soft.  Has anyone used this wool or their patterns?


I have planted the peppers I received from the giveaway, so new life will be bursting through the soil soon.....I hope!  Cross fingers, arms, legs, eyes and anything else that might help.  My family call me Charley 'grim reaper' Dimmock!


I picked the first spinach from my veg plot this week.  I just LOVE picking my own produce.  I added some peppers this time to make mini omelettes.  The recipe is here.   I still get excited when something that started as a tiny little seed ends up on my plate.


Today is the beginning of a new term in government, new M.P.s starting, others ending their careers in politics.  I hope they all respect the position they have been trusted with and do the best they can for their constituents.  On a personal note, I am very pleased to see Caroline Lucas of the Green Party retain her seat, I think I may have to move to Brighton.

Linking up with lovely Amy on love made my home

Welcome to my new followers on Bloglovin :)

Chickpea xx