Sunday 29 April 2012

The House of Trembling Madness

During my trip to York last week, as well as visiting Annie Softpots, we had lunch in The House of Trembling Madness.

If you are ever in York, I can highly recommend a trip to this unusual, fascinating pub, which is in Stonegate, in fact it is right opposite Softpots.

The pub is a stone's throw from York Minster, and we could hear the Minster bells ringing as we ascended the creaky staircase.  We could see the Minster from the windows.

We were joined by a whole menagerie of animals!

The bar was originally a pulpit in a local church.

The pub is in an ancient building.  One of the walls was built in 1180 ad.  The beams sailed the seas as ship beams 800 years ago. 

There are many different drinks to choose from (although we only had diet Cokes, not very adventurous!)  The food is sensational, as it is all locally sourced and produced.  I had a pork pie, topped with Stilton.  I haven't eaten a pork pie for years, but this was a special, meaty version.  It was served with salad, and a beautiful Italian bread, which is baked daily in a tiny bakery in the Shambles, here.

The food was amazing, really different, and high quality, and the atmosphere was friendly, bustling and lively, an exciting place to be.

I am gradually getting used to the new Blogger layout.  Why do things have to be constantly changed and updated?!

Friday 27 April 2012


Here's a craft with a difference!

There is a lovely lady called Annie who has a craft/gardening business in York called Softpots.  I found her quite by accident late last year, one wintery evening, as we were walking through Stonegate.  Her business is in a tiny little alleyway, sandwiched between other shops, and here I discovered a miniature wonderland of plants, fairy lights and sculpture.  I was instantly hooked.

Doesn't this look so inviting?  I had to find out more!

At the end of this alley, Annie was busy potting up plants in her own unique way - you will have to look at her Website to find out exactly what she does, and how she pots up her plants, it's a secret method!

I was so intrigued, I bought a little booklet from her, explaining the process.

Fast forward a few months to last week and another trip to York.  I decided I really wanted to have a 30-minute training session, to learn more about creating Softpots, so while the rest of the family went to look at nearby York Minster, I had my training session, and made my own softpot under Annie's tuition.  Here is my finished work of art.

Doesn't it look pretty and unusual?  The colours come from sisal and gold threads and sequins - I love sequins!

I love this process, because I am not a gardener, although I do try, and so I have little rockeries in my front and back gardens, covered in blue slate, with lots of little pots of plants everywhere.  I really like the idea of introducing a few softpots into the garden, to give it a different dimension, a different medium.

Here is a little video, showing lots of the things you can make with softpots, I can't wait to make some more!

Thursday 19 April 2012

Busy week!

This week I am doing all I can to help youngest son before he returns to university, washing, ironing, proof-reading, shopping, all sorts of things!  I am loving every minute, and we will all miss him when he goes back.

To relax, I have been watching more Heidi Baker videos on Youtube.  This morning I have been watching this one called Riches of the Poor.  God is doing amazing things in Mozambique.

I recently bought this book.................

and yesterday I attempted Mushroom Risottioni.  It tasted very nice, but maybe wasn't too healthy, as there was a lot of creme fraiche in it, but we all enjoyed it nonetheless.  If you want to see a picture of it and have the recipe, you can find it here.  You'll have to scroll down a bit.  I doubled the ingredients to make enough for four people, which meant wiping 1kg of mushrooms!

Sunday 15 April 2012


After a little break I am back in blogging mode, it has been so wonderful to spend time with my family.  Youngest son has been home for the holidays, and daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter Poppy came and spent a whole weekend here at Granny's house, how nice was that!

Thank you for your patience while I've been away!

So what have I been up to then?

Well here are two cardigans that I have knitted for Poppy, sorry they seem to be the wrong way around!

And here I am, enjoying a lovely cuddle with Poppy!

And another thing I have been enjoying in my spare time is watching Heidi Baker on Youtube

Heidi baker is such an inspiration to me.  She is a Canadian woman, married with 2 grown up children, they have been missionaries for over 30 years, mainly in Mozambique.  They feed hundreds of thousands of homeless children every day and have planted thousands of churches.  They also have a heart for England, and Heidi and her husband both have PhD degrees from King's College London.  Go on Youtube or itunes and you will find a ton of Heidi Baker teaching.  I am currently reading one of her books, 

It tells a little about their journey, and it is so interesting I can hardly put it down.  Do go on Youtube or iTunes and be blessed!

This afternoon we have enjoyed a chicken dinner, and a little rest watching an old episode of The Waltons.

Enjoy your day.
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