Saturday, 16 June 2018


Good Morning to you,

I love looking out into the garden on a morning, because I never quite know what will catch my attention.

For instance, on Wednesday, I was sat quietly in the conservatory, when I  heard a noisy, squawking sound  above my head. I thought a bird had caught its foot in the roof of the conservatory and could not free itself.

I leapt from my chair to take a look, but  I soon realised that I was completely wrong, the bird on the roof had not hurt itself, in actual fact it was not 1 bird making a noise, but 2 young magpies, doing a merry dance on my roof. The magpies were having difficulty standing on the roof and instead of giving up and flying away to something more suitable, they decided they would peck each other and squawk at each other.

After a few seconds of furious squawking and pecking, they realised this was not going to work, so they decided to fly away, but  not very far, one decided to fly just as far as our garden shed.

.... and this is where the fun began.  The garden shed door was open and George had hung our garden broom on the door.  That in itself is not very strange, but what followed was perhaps not strange, but it was fascinating to watch.

The young magpie which decided to stay in the garden, flew to the top of the shed. Instinctively it knew it had to look for something, but I don't think he knew quite what, as he kept tapping his beak on the side of the shed. He continued pecking, that is until his eye was caught by something more interesting....  the garden broom hanging on the door.  

The magpie stopped pecking and  decided the broom was worth a little investigation.  He made his way to the top of the door, by which time the broom began to move in the wind. This stopped him in his tracks and he continued to sit on the top of the door, watching the garden broom swing from side to side.  He then decided to spread his wings and practically jumped onto the broom, which of course then swayed a great deal more, but he held his own and managed to stay on the swinging broom. He looked this way and that and couldn't make head nor tail of what he was perched on, so he decided to give the broom a peck, after all it might turn out to be something nice to eat. He must have pecked the broom quite hard because a few bristles appeared in his beak.  He didn't like the bristles so he opened his beak and the bristles fell to the ground, but he obviously thought the broom was worth further investigation, so he continued pecking. This was one determined little magpie, he was not going to give up on his new interest.

I called George to watch what was unfolding in front of me and we both watched, completely fascinated by this bird.  The magpie was determined to have his way..... it was as if he needed to remove every single bristle from the broom.  More bristles appeared in his beak and again the bristles fell to the ground whilst he continued swaying on the broom. At which point George said, 'Enough is enough', at this rate there will not be a bristle left in the broom'.  So George went into the garden, thinking that would be enough to make the magpie fly away.... but George was mistaken. The magpie stopped pecking for a moment, looked up at George, as if to say, if you think your getting this broom, you are sadly mistaken. He then lowered his head and continued pecking the broom.

George thought what a mischievous little bird, so he clapped his hands and the magpie flew to the fence, all the while watching George, waiting to see what he was going to do.

George did the only thing he could, and that was to close the shed door, because he thought the little magpie was not going to give up and if he left the door open, he knew the minute his back was turned, the magpie would return to investigate the broom.

So the door was closed and George walked back into the house.  When we looked out of the window, the magpie had not moved, he sat waiting.  Well that was until his brother or sister arrived and they returned to the game they were previously playing. The screeching began and all thoughts of the broom were completely gone.

.... that is until the next time the shed door is left open. I have a feeling the little magpie will return to pay us another visit.

So with my back door firmly shut, against unwanted visitors, it is time to share with you,

a very simple, but enjoyable carrot and orange salad, which is perfect on a hot summers day.

So it's on with my pinnie and time to organise the ingredients.


6 medium sized carrots
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 clove of garlic ~ crushed with salt
1 tablespoon of grated orange zest
1 orange ~ juiced
1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
250 ml vegetable stock
A couple of sprigs of coriander leaves


Peel the carrots
using a potato peeler cut the carrot
into ribbons
and set aside for the moment.

Place the olive oil into a wide pan.

Add the
crushed garlic
orange zest
ground coriander
ground cumin
ground ginger

and cook for 2 minutes

Pour the vegetable stock into the pan
and bring to a simmer.

Simmer until the dressing has reduced by 2/3rds.
This will take approximately 12 to 15 minutes.

Allow the dressing to cool.

Pour the dressing over the ribboned carrots.
Toss until the ribbons are evenly coated.

Add a little chopped coriander and toss again



This is a really easy salad, but one which is full of flavour. Sometimes if I run short of time, I cook a pan of noodles and toss this salad into the drained noodles. A lovely quick and easy lunch.

I did not add salt, because there is a little salt from the crushed garlic, but taste test and if you feel you need to add salt then please do.

Take care and I will catch up with you on Saturday.

I'm just going to see what that little magpie is up to.

As Always,

Sunday, 3 June 2018


Good Morning to you,

Today, on the 3rd June 2012, Ivy, Phyllis and Me! was born. With nervousness, I pressed the Publish key and waited patiently, in the hope, that someone would find my first post interesting.  

I never imagined that 6 years later I would have enjoyed over 270,000 page views. Thank you dear friends, for taking the time, to read and enjoy the words I have written. It is truly appreciated, as to be honest when I had written my first post, I thought that would be that.... but you proved me wrong, to which I am truly grateful.

So on the 6th anniversary of Ivy, Phyllis and Me! I thought it would be fun, to read once again, the very first post which started my friendship with you.

I hope you enjoying reading my words, as much as I enjoyed writing the words.... even though, I freely admit, I was a little nervous.


With Warmest wishes to you.


Today is the first day of my blog.  Am I nervous.....yes, is my stomach churning..... yes, am I worried that no one will read my blog.... yes, BUT, there is an underlying feeling of great excitement!

Who would of thought this day would actually arrive. I have made this excuse and that excuse, actually, every excuse under the sun not to begin, but I had decided, today was the day I would begin my blog. I even told my daughter, to make sure I followed through, but do you know this morning I started to sidetrack, the sun came out and I decided it was more important to plant the last of my summer bulbs, I could have gone on and on finding other things I really must do, but decided enough was enough and that I really had to take myself to task. I made myself a cup of coffee, sat down, opened my computer, and here I am writing my first post! As I write I am feeling more and more excited, so I hope you will enjoy reading my offerings!

Let me introduce you to my late Grandmother Ivy (known as Nanny to the grandchildren), she was a huge influence in my life.  She was a keen cook and baker and a superb knitter. Sadly she passed away many years ago, but her influence remains. That little cutie in the photo is me....oh such a long time ago!

.....and this is my Mother Phyllis as a young mother.  She cooked and baked for us as children, one of the most memorable cakes was a Swiss Roll.  When the sponge cake was cooked and cooled, I was fascinated watching her spread the jam onto the sponge cake, then using baking parchment, she would roll the sponge cake and finally dust with icing sugar ..... delicious!

So with the thought of that mouthwatering cake in your mind, I will leave you and look forward to chatting to you next Sunday, when I will be showing you how to bake that delicious swiss roll.....don't forget your cup of coffee!

                                     Best Wishes from your new friend,

                                   Daphne xxx

Saturday, 2 June 2018


Good Morning to you,

When it comes to my home, I really am a creature of habit.

I am not influenced by the latest trends, because I have found my style and remain happy with it.

.... but every now and again I have a yen for a little change.... and this is one of those moments.

For a little while now, I have been toying with the idea of changing the colours in my conservatory. Nothing too drastic, just a different colour added here and there. Now this will really surprise my daughters, as when it comes to my home, they know I am resistant to change, but they also love the fact, that no matter where George and I live, our home has a familiar feel, with most things remaining the same. So the fact that I want to change something will make them smile.

.... and this thought of change, all started with,

this navy blue ball of wool,

which turned into a crocheted throw. Admittedly with the addition of many more balls of wool, but this was the very first ball of wool which led to the change.  

I had thought about buying a navy throw, but I felt I could save quite a bit of money by making one myself.... thrift is never far from my mind.

I crocheted a large square, so that it could  be folded and draped over the arm of the sofa, but still large enough to use during the winter time.

.... but the throw was a little plain so I decided to add a frill.  Only 1 frill mind, not 3 as I had done before.

.... but there was still something missing, the navy  blue needed lifting. You can probably tell that I am a visual person and  not a planner of projects.  This applies to anything I make. I tend to work on a piece and whilst working, I can see the direction I want to head in.  

I had 2 colours to choose from, should I lift the navy by using mustard or white wool?

I plumped for white wool. I don't think that is much of a surprise.  The minute I added the white, I knew I had made the right choice.

I am thrilled with how this throw is evolving.  I still have a little more to crochet in white, but that will not take me very long.  I just have to wait for this sultry weather to finish.

.... but I discovered a snag.... not a big one, just a cosmetic one.... the current cushions would not go with this new throw.

I had seen some lovely cushions in M&S, but I felt they were a little too pricey.  I also felt sure that I had some suitable material, so I looked through my material cupboard.... and there, I found 2 perfect pieces of material which would look lovely made into cushions.

This first piece of material, I had bought a few months ago, when I went with a friend to Fabric Land  and I loved the feathery design the minute I saw it. In actual fact I had other material in my hand, but that was returned to the shelves in favour of this feathery design.  I had intended using this blue for a quilt, but that has gone by the by, as a cushion will be its final destination.

This 2nd piece of material, I had intended making a pair of culottes.... yes I am a child of the 60s and I still love culottes.  I find them to be so comfortable and a change from wearing trousers.  I thought the culottes would look perfect in the summer worn with a white top.  But once again, that was not to be.

I love the contrast in the design.  There is a slight difference in the colour in this photograph, but actually they compliment each other very well.

The final thing I needed to complete the task, was some navy blue chord, which I discovered left over  from a previous project.... we crafters can usually find what we need, tucked away in our craft cupboards.

Now I wonder, as a contrast cushion, should I try white. No I don't think so, as the sofas are white and they would disappear into the sofa.

How about a bright pink.

What do you think?   

A step too far?


Also I would have to try and convince George that bright pink would work with the blue. George's opinion is important, after all, he also lives in this house.

.... it doesn't matter how I wrap it up, somehow I don't think he will be convinced.

But what I do know is, he will love the new blue and white scheme.

I can't wait to finish the throw and the cushions. I will let you know how I get on at a later date.

Take good care of yourself and I will catch up with you next Saturday.

As Always,

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