Monday, 17 August 2015

What I did at the weekend

Today I am joining with Karen at Pumpkin Sunrise to share what I did this weekend!  Do go and visit and see what Karen got up to and the others who join her as well.

This weekend there was:-

Baking of a madeira cake as per GBBO two weeks ago.  I got the crack and it tastes OK, but I think that I need more practice at these.  This is my first madeira cake!

Plant shopping.  More on that in a moment!

The discovery that the BBQ is very dead.

Quick, look away at these beautiful roses to distract from the deadness of the BBQ!

Oh no, it is still there.  Really good and dead.  The gas burner has completed rusted away.  All gone!  It is only a couple of years old.  We will get a new one next year.  Good job that I didn't decide to throw a BBQ for my ladies lunch isn't it!  The holes are not from poking, hubby lifted the coals off the rack and this is what he saw, just as he found it!  Eeeekkkk!!!!!!

Watching the yucca sprouts!  They are getting bigger and there are some more too!

Sorry!  Lots of sprouts!

Weeding and deadheading - not that you can tell as these are after pictures!

Planting of new shrubs into the shrub area.  A buddleia, a ceanothus and a cotinus. 

And the planting of this spiky job!

The addition of two new hostas - the ones on the left - to the hostalrey

Admiring of a beautiful new rose.

And excitement that the bud didn't go missing this time.  We are accusing Mr Squirrel of eating the last one.  He gets the blame for a lot, but don't feel sorry for him.  He digs up the grass and causes a lot of trouble!

Watching the geranium leaves change colour.

What do you see here?  Nothing!  That is correct.  The weeds are gone, gone, gone!

Deadheading.  All of the daylilies are gone now and none of them miraculously turned into twodaylilies, despite my best wishes that they would!

Planting of a few things to cheer things up a bit.  We have a lot of green, but not much colour!

I have yet to put these wall flowers in.

Watching the leaves change colour on the Rowan Tree already.  We have staked it to a more upright position as well, it was leaning rather alarmingly for some reason!

There are berries - currants? - forming on the flowering currant.  I won't be eating them, but I wonder if the birds will?

The leaves are changing colour on this as well.  It is surely a sign....

That soon the kalanchoes will have to return to the windowsill to keep them safe and warm over the winter.  They have enjoyed the summer outside!

In other news, I tweeted my post from Saturday to Rod Stewart - I know, get me! - and - AND! - he replied!!!!!!!!  Well, I doubt that it was actually Rod and it was only saying thank you and suggesting that I join their e-mailing list, but still, it was a reply and it was nice to get a thank you wasn't it!  I was pleased and glad that I sent the tweet and that I shared the video with you all.  I am gladder though that you enjoyed the video so much!

I had a good sort through my blog and made sure that I had caught up with all of those of you who have newly commented over the last few weeks.  I think that I am now following you all (via Bloglovin not Google) so I will be stopping by as and when you post.  I also caught up on reading all of your posts and comments and replied where I could if you are a replyable blogger.  As ever if I have missed you, please let me know!

Oh, and another thing on the subject of blogging, sometimes I just don't get your comments coming through to my e-mail at all, whether you are replyable or not, so if you don't hear from me in reply to a comment I do apologise!

Countryside Tales shared some lovely fabrics that she had bought at Hobbycraft and I had plans to go and buy some myself on Sunday after seeing them, but I didn't make it.  Perhaps I will get there in the week.  It is probably just as well because I have no need for any more fabric!  You know how it is though.

Hubby washed the outside of the windows, cleaned both of our cars and gave mine a good clean inside.  It is going for its MOT - annual inspection - on Saturday.  Fingers crossed!  It usually passes, but it always makes me nervous!

There was reading and sitting around and eating too of course!  Oh, and a bit of crochet work on my shawl too!  You have to have some crochet don't you no matter how busy everything else is!

I also made a big list of all that I have to do for the lunch which is on Friday.  I am so glad that it is nearly here and will be gladder, but sad too, when it is over.  This week I have got to wipe down the outside of the kitchen cupboards and the downstairs woodwork - doors and frames etc where there are the odd fingerprinty marks and clean the insides of the windows.  After that it is normal weekly housekeeping chores (throw the duster and hoover around and so on) before my big shopping and cooking day on Thursday.

Final tasks will be the food prep, table laying, stuff some flowers in vases and find something decent to wear.  You might think from all this cleaning that I have been on about that my house is a tip, but I assure you that it isn't.  I am also not a Stepford Wife!  The last thing you could ever accuse me of is being a perfect housewife!!!  I am just a normally amount of clean (and grubby!) kind of person!!  There are though two reasons that I have gone overboard (for I most certainly have gone overboard!). 

First is that I am a major panic bunny and like to have everything spotless so that no criticism can be levelled.  This is caused by some bad visitor experiences many years ago when a speck of dust was noticed.......  A comment was made about the person who spotted it understanding that I didn't have time to do any housework because I was busy working......  I will say no more!! 

The second reason is that my best friend who is coming to the lunch has told the others that my house is like a showhome - which isn't true, it is no cleaner/nicer/better than either my friends home or any other average home!  But I feel that I have to make it as nice as I can because I dread to think what they are expecting.  It was a passing remark by my friend, but now I feel that I have to live up to it!

So, that was the weekend and the plan for the week ahead.  I will - I hope they are not getting boring! - have some more travel posts this week if I can.  Otherwise I will see you all after the lunch!

Hope you had a great weekend and will have a great week too!  Thanks Karen for the what I did at the weekend prompt!



  1. It's nice to get on top of the garden at this time of year, and to plant for coming seasons. My day lilies didn't flower at all this summer, and my rowan tree has always been rather leany and droopy. Your hostas look amazing and that new rose is very pretty. Hope your lunch goes well.
    Cathy x

  2. Your Madeira cake looks very professional. I'm not sure I've ever made one before.

  3. What are you gonna wear on your date with Rod - I am assuming he asked you out in his reply Amy! you are one busy bunny but chill out on the cleaning, people just love you, you do know that don't you? Love from Jo

  4. Your cake looks scrummy. I think it's bread on the GBBO this week, just enough time for you to make some for Friday! The leaves on the geranium are so pretty, our flowers seem to have gone over quite quickly this year. x

  5. Does "Her house is like a showroom" not really mean that you have beautifully staged areas like the mantel? But good on you for getting the work done; I've had a decorating/clearing mood on me this summer and the place is feeling much better for it (although visually looks no different!)

  6. You have had a very busy weekend, Amy! I always love seeing photos of your garden.

    Hope you have a good week! Xxx

  7. I am not the tidiest or cleanest person (that sounds so wrong, but you know what i mean). If I can find something else to do other than clean I will find it - saying that my house is not minging either!!!! A good friend tells me that she comes to see me not look for dust bunnies - she gets lots of invites :-) Enjoy your lunch on Friday. x

  8. Just remember ---- everyone is coming to see YOU! :-)

    Your garden looks lovely. The roses are beautiful.

  9. Mmm, cake, yum! I'm sure your friends will have a wonderful time and appreciate all of your efforts, you are a good friend to have I think. The garden is looking gorgeous, especially those roses. Lovely to see a new buddleia, hopefully that will attract some butterflies. Wishing you a lovely week Amy. CJ xx

  10. Hello Amy, you have packed so much into your week end. Your maderia cake is mouthwateringly delicious,
    I can even taste it. A garden is beautiful, and a stunning Rose, sorry about the BBQ.


  11. your cake looks wonderful. my policy on house work is as follows - dim lighting works for hiding the dust, also people who make comments like that don't get invited back.

  12. Yummy cake, Amy! There is always so much to do in the garden, isn't there...your new pansies are a lovely colour, very fresh for Autumn. Poor BBQ, it has gone the way so many of our appliances do - nothing seems to last as well as it did in our parents day. I am sure your entertaining day will go wonderfully well, and I do understand the need to freshen up the house, as I am the same. My friends aren't coming for over a fortnight, but I have given myself a sore arm from some over-zealous de-cluttering and cleaning done over the weekend :) Have a good week, dear Amy. xx

  13. The Madeira Cake looks lovely. I've never made one but feel the urge to try one, that and a black forest gateau. That Mary Berry has a lot to answer for.

  14. Your cake looks good, I've never made a madeira cake before although it's one of my favourites to buy. Love the new plants you've bought. I've added a peruvian lily, a phlox and rudbekia recently to add some more colour. Oh and another heuchera. Will be time to start planting Spring bulbs soon, where is this year going??

  15. What lovely photos - I love the colours in the geranium leaves, they make a great photo! I'm sure your home is just fine and I'm sure your friends won't be too concerned if there's a speck of dust or anything!

  16. Loved the garden tour!!! Sometimes having a party as a get-ready deadline does wonders for the house and yard, doesn't it??? Maybe I need to schedule a party! (My yard is its usual end of the summer disaster. Too hot. Too buggy. Now too weedy. ICK)

  17. Medeira cake sounds interesting. I lie the name. I need to get out and do more weeding but it has been very muggy here, too muggy to weed!

  18. That cake looks wonderful, bet it's even better when toasted...? Visiting from Vicki, 2 Bags Full and say congratulations on winning one of her journals.

  19. If a guest pointed out dust in our house,I'd smile sweetly,hand them a duster,say "Knock yourself out,love",then carry on as normal.Guests should be grateful that you've invited them into your home...they should keep negative comment to themselves!
    I'm a good guest,I won't comment on the BBQ,but I will say..."What a beautiful rose".
    Jane x

  20. It was great to hear from you too, Amy. I'm chuckling about squirrel blame and understand. They actually ate a hole in my wooden column so no I do not feel sorry for them either. I also have plants still in flats that have not been planted all spring and summer. I was extremely busy and the heat was upon us in full force so they never got planted. Some years are different and that's ok. No, life is not perfect and will never be.
    Your cake looks great. These type cakes are my weakness.
    Have a great week.

  21. You've been awfully busy, did you manage to take breath? I'm sure you will have huge fun at your luncheon, take time to enjoy it xx

  22. Good friends will take you as they find you, but I know what you mean, it's nice to have a clean and tidy house when anyone calls. The madeira cake looks scrummy.

  23. Your cake looks wonderful!!!!
    I am not familiar with that kind of cake...would love to hear more!
    Enjoyed all your photos, my friend!

  24. my house had to have a complete clean up paint up for the wedding weekend even though the wedding was at a venue. We had both sides of the family hanging out around here in between the wedding and the reception as well as after everything. I saw my house with a critical eye and knew I need to clean from top to bottom. Now I have a super clean and fresh house, you will too!!

    You have a lovely yard and I wish I had as many flowers as you do. Thanks for joining in and have a lovely week!!

  25. Madeira cake looks great.
    Your photo's were lovely to look at - I love the colour of the rose.

    Have a great week.

    All the best Jan

  26. You really did pack a lot into the weekend. Enjoy your lunch and friends in your home, relax. Any negative comments and they are not really your friends.

  27. A busy weekend in the garden for you, but your madeira cake looks delicious!
    Caz xx

  28. Your madeira cake looks delish, Amy. I'd rather sew (or read or bake or sunbathe etc. etc.) than do housework. Life's too short to worry about dust! ;o)

  29. Love your garden pics and reminds that this garden is also very "green", but we will remedy that slowly. Glad that there are other panic merchants out there, but as long as all have a great time eating and chatting, a small speck of dust is nothing and anyone who notices evidently doesn't have a life. Hope all goes well towards the luncheon and take care.

  30. That cake looks delicious Amy! And you're right - that grill does look done in. Lol It must have been well used and loved. ;)
    I love seeing the after photos and some leaves changing color in your garden. I'm thinking more and more Fall thoughts over here and feeling ready for the new season.
    I love that you sent that too Rod and how cool to hear something back!! Love it!
    Prayers and blessings on your upcoming luncheon being a huge success!!! Happy week my Friend. xoxo

  31. That was one heck of a weekend! I bet you need another weekend just to rest form your weekend! I baked a Madeira cake, too, this weekend. Mine tasted good, but was a little dry. Paul and Mary would say it was "overbaked" I'm sure! Have a wonderful week!

  32. Hi Amy I like the cake, your garden too. It sounds like you had a nice weekend!

  33. aww Amy ypu worked so much!! :) The cake look amazing, love it! and love the roses, I can´t wait have my roses again:)

  34. Oh wow! Rod!!! The garden is looking great still x

  35. It's good to get on top of the housework (and I think your H. sounds an absolute gem) when guests are due. Hope you have a lovely lunch party. It is fun to re-vamp a border and I like the new plants you have chosen. A purple or lilac or even white late-flowering clematis to grow through the ceanothus might be a nice addition when they are established.

  36. Have I read this correctly - did your husband clean the outside windows ?? Where on earth have you found such a unique specimen of the male race ?? Lucky you !!
    And don't worry about the lunch - really, don't worry !! If you worry too much in advance, you'll miss out on enjoying !!

  37. Your cake looks perfect to me, I haven't made a madeira cake since I was at school, it looks like your weekend was a very busy one. :) xx

  38. Your cake looks so good! You made me hungry, Amy. Your garden looks nice - still lots of beauty there. I enjoyed my visit today. Best wishes, Amy!

  39. So much beautiful color in this post! And my aren't you industrious over your weekend! I hope you had a wonderful visit with your friend! Aloha.

  40. I think your Madeira cake looks really good!
    Marianne x

  41. Hi Amy, I am just catching up. I do LOVE this post - the baking (looks scrummy), the garden (although I don't like the implications that summer is drawing to a close), your anti-Stepfordness. Thank you. And I do hope the maniacal preparations are going well today. x

  42. You have been busy, hope the lunch is a big success! X


Thank you so very much for stopping by to visit and for leaving a comment, I love hearing what you have to say and I read all of your messages.

All comments are moderated, so it might take a little while for your comment to appear, but it will once I have read it!

Thank you again for visiting!

Amy xx