5 Feb 2016

Five on Friday


It's Friday again and also the first week of February!  Once again I'm joining Amy at Love Made My Home for Five On Friday and this week I'm writing about moments that made up my week. Often I find it difficult to choose just five photos so I've created some collages for some of the five categories.

1.  Bird Watch



On Sunday I participated in the RSPB bird watch and count which I did by viewing through our back window.  It was a very wet and windy day and the birds (sparrows, blackbirds, magpies and pigeons) that I observed were mostly huddled in the bushes or trees.

2.  Weather



On Monday the weather was a bit brighter, but by Wednesday we had more rain, sleety snow and ice. Fortunately the pot plants that will be transferred to the flower beds later on are in the covered yard. In the raised beds in the veggie plot there are greens including sprouting broccoli which will be a useful way to add some vitamins to our diet when planning meals for ourselves or the family when they're visiting.  Cold weather means cooking some hearty, warming meals such as cottage pie.




3.   Family



Our oldest grandson (the one holding the youngest grandchild in the above photo) and now in his late twenties, has moved to the county for work and stays over, depending on his work duties, at the moment.  Now we see three of our grandchildren regularly and although we're busy we enjoy their company.

4.  Out and about



During most weeks I meet up with a friend or go to one of the meetings for seniors at our church where we might listen to a speaker or watch a DVD on a big screen followed by refreshments. The Victoria sponge cake in the above photo was made by the husband of one of our group members. We get a good number come and we all enjoy the social occasions, the tea and a small piece of home made cake - ha ha!  (see No 5. below re. maintaining a healthy heart)! Exercise is one way and a balanced diet another, I would say. Something I'm working on, especially the exercise!

5. Other interests



I have several books from the library that I hope to read during February.  I found two Marina Fiorato historical novels and as I've enjoyed others by this writer I 'm sure they'll be page turners. The Venetian Contract is set in 16th century Venice during the 1570s plague years, but the story begins in Constantinople (Ottoman Year 983) .  The Doge of Venice promises to build a new church if the terrible plague ends in the city. He commissions the architect Andrea Palladio for this work and chooses a site on the island of Guidecca where La Chiesa Del Santissimi Del Redentore will be built on the ruins of the Santa Croce convent.


I've taken up my knitting needles and have knitted a scarf.  Red is a colour that we associate with February for different reasons and I didn't have a red woolly scarf.  Today is Wear Something Red Day which is a way of raising awareness of maintaining a healthy heart and to support projects to help us do that.  Wearing my new scarf  I'm going out now to take a short walk around the neighbourhood!  It's a dry, but cold day so I shall be glad of  it.


Thank you for all your kind comments on my last blog post. Have a good weekend!
Linda :)


60 comments:

  1. Sounds like you've had a very calm week filled with friends and quiet activity. This time of year does allow time for hearty food and good books. Enjoy. I am curious about the cottage pie.

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    1. Thanks for the visit, Julie. Re. the cottage pie - it's not really a pie as there's no pastry involved, but instead there's a mashed potato topping on a cooked minced beef and vegetable base which is put in the oven to brown the top. I sometimes add grated cheese which gives the dish a delicious crusty top. If minced lamb is used the dish is called a shepherd's pie. You could make a vegetarian/vegan version using different vegetables for the base and leave off the cheese.

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  2. i love the color of the scarf, beautiful.. that is a really nice shot of your grand kids.. poor little huddled bird is wishing for sunshine i think

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    1. The birds have certainly not been happy, especially the smaller ones, but they do have plenty of cover where they can shelter in the hedges and bushes where we live.

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  3. A nice and quiet first February week. Great family photo and good food. I also love reading and have some good ones ready to start with, now the time...

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    1. Thankfully life has been quiet recently.

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  4. Loved the photo of your family, it must be so nice to see more of your Grandson. I had intended to take part in the birdwatch but life took over. Great looking cake.

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    1. We enjoy having the family come to visit or stay longer and pleased one more grandson has moved from the south of England. He plans to settle in the north as is other grandparents live in Yorkshire.

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  5. It seems that Fridays are coming round very quickly at the moment - your books look really interesting. Jx

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    1. The days go by so quickly! I've begun one of the books I've mentioned on this post, The Venetian Contract. I'm really enjoying it.

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  6. Five lovely things. Your scarf is a lovely colour and is sure to keep you warm and be eyecatching too. I enjoyed the birdwatch but the weather wasn't the best for it, your books look really interesting, I must look in the library and see if I can find any of her books:)

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    1. It was interesting to compare the type and number of birds with last year's birdwatch although the weather was different this year. I'm enjoying The Venetian Contract. I read Marina Fiorato's novel, The Glassblower of Murano, some years ago and also enjoyed it.

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  7. I so enjoyed reading about your activities this week. Your grandchildren are lovely in the picture you shared. And, I love the color of the scarf you are knitting. Wish I could have been there for a slice of that delicious looking cake! Enjoy your weekend, Pat xx

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  8. Now thats a magnificent looking Victoria sponge, I'm most impressed. The books you are reading look my type of read, but not an author I am familiar with, will add them to my reading list - thanks for the inspiration :)

    Angela - Garden Tea Cakes and Me

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    1. The Victoria sponge was delicious. The gentleman who made it has a tried and tested recipe for it.

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  9. Lovely to catch up with you and what you have been up to. Hope that you enjoy your reading. Your scarf is lovely! Thank you for joining Five On Friday, happy weekend! xx

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    1. Thank you Amy. I hope your weekend is going well.

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  10. We are pleased that so actively spend time. Count birds, you go to church for meetings, knitting, and even read books. Sports have grandchildren, I have only two granddaughters. Regards.

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    1. I can always find something to do. I'm never bored. All the best to you, Giga.

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  11. Yes, I am wearing my red today. Beautiful cake, cottage pie, and grandchildren. Always love reading a good book and spending time with friends. Nice week.

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    1. Red is the colour of the moment and I've seen lots of women wearing red coats and accessories when out and about this weekend.

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  12. The cottage pie looks good. Lovely that your grandson stays over regularly. Your scarf is lovely - enjoy your reading xx

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  13. Lovely activities in your week. So nice to spend time with grandchildren and friends with good food, some pretty flowers for the garden, good books to read and a little knitting to keep the hands busy. A pretty scarf to keep you cozy. x Karen

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    1. It's been a fairly quiet week. I hope the coming week will be a good one for you.

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  14. I wore red too with lots of hearts on to raise awareness. Your scarf looks lovely. Hope it kept you warm on your walk

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    1. That's good! Still very chilly out and the scarf is indeed helping to keep me warm.

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  15. Your blog header is fantastic. What a lovely family ♥ Your books sound very interesting indeed. Enjoy your weekend!

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    1. Thank you and I hope your weekend is going well.

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  16. It must be lovely to have all those lovely grandchildren and see them regularly. Your red scarf will be so cosy.. Have a great weekend. Barbara

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    1. Thank you Barbara. Hope you're having a peaceful day.

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  17. The PSB is looking good - I can't wait for ours to be ready enough to eat. The weather continues to be odd doesn't it for the time of year, but it's light now as I leave the office which is a welcome sight. And like you, I agree the best thing to do on the bad days is to hunker down with some hearty food - have a fab weekend!

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    1. Thank you Stephanie. I hope you're having a relaxing weekend.

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  18. Cottage pie is a favourite here throughout the winter months, I usually make one each week for my mum and dad too, it's easy for them to just pop it in the oven to warm through. I love the colour of your scarf, Stylecraft do some lovely shades, don't they?

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    1. Cottage pie is one of those dishes that's easy to prepare and welcome comfort food.
      Making two is a good idea so that your parents enjoy a home made 'ready meal'. I'm pleased the way the Stylecraft wool knitted up and I shall make use of the extra amount I bought.

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  19. What a beautiful, interesting and heart-warming post, Linda! Your grandchildren look adorable.
    The cake looks so good, but it was the cottage pie that made me feel really hungry. It must be lovely to have broccoli growing even now.
    I seldom read historical novels, but the one you mentioned does sound very interesting... and it's about Italy. :)
    Your scarf looks beautiful and it was interesting to hear about Wear Something Red Day. It's cloudy, but I'll have a walk now.
    Enjoy your weekend! xx

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    1. I thought I would write about a fairly typical week when we are in the UK for this post. Hope you're enjoying your weekend.

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  20. I like the look of your scarf Linda, it is a very pretty color. Loved the photo of your grandchildren and how super that you have another to visit you more regularly. The books look like a great read. Your cottage pie is just the ticket for these cold winter months. The cake looks delicious also and looked like a nice get together at your church. A lovely display of veggies and flowers. I enjoyed reading all about your activities this week and wish you another lovely week ahead.

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    1. Thank you Denise. Wishing you a good week also.

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  21. joli famille
    j'adore aussi regarder les oiseaux , mais de l'intérieur , dans la véranda
    dans le jardin il commence on commence à voir plein de fleurettes
    j'ai 4 livres d'avance à lire , et quelques revues
    j'aime le calme , ici aujourd'hui il y a beaucoup de vent
    bonne journée
    bisous

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    1. It has been wet and windy here also. We went out earlier and it was a cold, bright morning, but now it's raining and it's good to indoors for the evening. I hope your day is going well.

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  22. The victoria sponge looks delicious. Love the way he's used a doily to decorate it.
    I love knitting scarfs & you can have a different one for every outfit, plus they are so cosy.
    It's frightening how quickly the family grows up but lovely when they visit.
    Have a lovely weekend :)

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    1. Thank you Prunella Pepperpot. Sprinkling the doily with icing sugar to leave a pattern on the cake was a good idea. Clever!

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  23. Lovely post....I am thinking about getting my knitting needles out again...it's been 6 months since I last picked them up and it's about time I got back to it. Love the photo of the Grandchildren.

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    1. Knitting is relaxing. I can only do a little at a time though. I wish I could do something more complicated such as gloves and socks. I hope you're having some rest and relaxation this weekend Tanya.

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  24. Lovely to see your grandchildren. I'm not surprised the birds were huddling in the bushes, the weather hasn't been brilliant yet has it. :-)

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    1. We're all looking forward to some better weather!

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  25. Dear Linda,

    I enjoyed seeing all the lovely pictures you have shared, beautiful family and you must be proud of all your sweet grandchildren. There has been a resurgent of knitting here too, and you will look great in the pretty red scarf.
    Hope you are enjoying the weekend
    hugs
    Carolyn

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    1. Thank you Carolyn. I know it's a long weekend for you. I'm sure you're making the most of the extra day and, hopefully, enjoying some sunshine.

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  26. This looks a peaceful and cosy week Linda! Love the red scarf and photos of your garden/flowers. I had no idea you had all those lovely grandchildren thought there were about three! Though now I think about it I recall you saying that three lived nearby. Are the others in Italy? Have a good week.

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    1. We have six grandchildren, Jan. There are seven in the photo as the young boy next to our granddaughter is her cousin. All grown up now or teenagers and all live in the UK. The baby in the photo is now 13 and his sister is 17 and live near us. The cousin is in the Forces, the big boy at the back and the boy on the right in the front are brothers and live in Berkshire (working as a garden landscaper and as a chef) and the other young boy on his cousin's lap is the one who likes theatre activities.
      I hope you have a good week yourself, Jan.

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  27. What a lovely looking week you had Linda, such beautiful grandchildren, a wonderful blessing. I had to look up what cottage pie was though, kind of like shepherd's pie? It looked delicious, as did the cake. If I lived nearby I would have put on my scarf and gone walking with you. Bird watching too. :)

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    1. I would love to go walking with you too in the beautiful area where you live. I'm glad that I've met you through blogging. Such friendship with you and others is a joy.

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  28. What a lovely varied five this is, Linda.Being a knitter myself I love your red scarf and as a keen fiction reader I'm always pleased to hear of a new author.

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    1. I would love to be able to knit socks, Perpetua. I've finished The Venetian Contract. It was a fast-paced story and I learnt something about Venetian medical practices of the period.

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  29. Hi, Great post! Red is a favorite color of mine too. Your scarf is beautiful... Love that shade of red, almost burgundy.

    It's nice to see the grandchildren often (at least some of them). Mine are scattered far and wide and I seldom see them.

    That sponge cake looks yummy. We made some homemade bread yesterday. The house smelled good for hours.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  30. Hello Betsy. Good to hear from you. Yes, the scarf is a nice shade of red and it's keeping me warm when out and about. Homemade bread is so enjoyable.

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  31. What a nice week. It's nice to have grandchildren near. That's neat that you can already knit a scarf. xoxo Su

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  32. That cottage pie looks delicious!

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