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Showing posts from December, 2012

Dark Ages

Hello Folks & thanks for all your comments & good wishes! Our phone line came down in the storms on Friday night, which means no telephone or internet & our mobile phones have no signal within a mile of the house... We're visiting a free WIFI pub to get our fix, but looks like we're in for a quiet week or more... BT are "hoping" to get us reconnected by January 7th! See you when we're back on & look forward to some quiet time during January to catch up properly with everyone...  Happy New Year!!! Love Kay, Sime & Hugo xxx

Greetings Of The Seasonal Variety

From here Hello everyone! Hope you're all enjoying the festivities, our feet have barely touch the ground these last few days - so we apologise for not visiting other blogs, let alone keep our own up-to-date! We have had the first of 3 days at home today, which has been great & in the usual Smith way - we are doing everything last minute, so there is frantic Secret Santa activity happening, baking, putting our tree up & delivering cards to our fellow villagers... It's all nice, hectic but lovely to be spending time with our young chap & kitties. The girls are working until this evening & will be over later tomorrow, when we shall be feasting & sharing our gifts. We have lots of photos to share of our recent trip up north & of Hugo's circus show, but think that'll have to be another time... Hope you all have a wonderful time! Love & best wishes, Kay & Sime xx

Up North Kids

Hello! After a hectic week, we have arrived in Stoke... We are here with 2 of the 5 kidlets, Rose & Asa. Sal & Ryan couldn't get any time off & Hugo is with friends because he has his circus show on for the next week - he texted earlier to say the first performance went fine & although they made mistakes - the audience didn't notice! It should be nicely polished by the time we see the last show next Sunday... Just want to say thank you to Amy, who is looking after the kitties - meaning they've been able to stay at home (they hate catteries) & this makes us really happy! So we're now off to eat & tomorrow we shall be visting our folks... It's Sealed Pot Sunday & if you check out  Saving For Travel  - you'll be able to read how well everyone is doing, including us. It's not too late to join in... Hope you enjoy the music - We love Papa M, his records keep us company on most road trips! Kay & Sime

Jubilee Wharf

Jubilee Wharf , a set on Flickr. Yesterday it was cold, but sunny & we had to take Hugo to a circus meeting at Jubilee Wharf . Normally, we would relish popping into Miss Peapod's , but in our quest to save money, we refrained... We did manage to call on Rose & Asa - we got to see their "Pot Of Gold" which they have started for our family holiday next year. We also briefly caught up with Sal, who was working, but nice to get the chance to say hello... Last night, we had the coldest night since last winter, so we slept in long johns & thermal tops... We even had to get up & find an extra blanket. Must have been the clear sky! Cold again tonight & although it's not nice, we all agree that the wood burner has made a massive difference - it's just wonderful! Kay & Sime xx

Stove Cooking

Slow Cooker , a set on Flickr. We've found the perfect way to simmer a pan of food on the wood burner... This is Sime's quinoa chilli, which we had with cornbread. Just great not using the electric hob & making the most of the stove heat. We also boil the kettle on it & fill our flask, so there's always a supply of water for hot drinks. Makes us feel good that we're using less electricity! Apparently, in the last 12 months - we've used 4600 kWh, but have nothing to compare it with, it seems a lot though... Does anyone else know their usage? It's cold here tonight... Hope it's warm where you are! Kay & Sime xx

Heartlands, Carn Brea & Sealed Pot Sunday!

Heartlands & Carn Brea , a set on Flickr. Hi Folks, Hugo's circus group are hotting up their rehearsals ready for a week of shows starting next Sunday, so today we dropped him off at the venue, Heartlands & as it was our first visit - we enjoyed a look around & catching up with friends. We then decided to head up to Carn Brea , a place we've been meaning to visit for the last 10 years, so as it's on the doorstep of Heartlands - it was the perfect opportunity, although the freezing cold wind got a bit too much! We're linking up with Saving For Travel for Sealed Pot Sunday, as we're spending the next 12 months saving for a holiday with the kidlets in December 2013. You may remember we started with £10 & have decided to pay into the pot each time we save, instead of spending. We managed to add £14 from an old tub I'd started saving a few years ago, Sime put in a £1 instead of buying a second hand travel guide from the library. Last night,

Early Morning Sunshine

Early Morning Sunshine , a photo by thesmithsontour on Flickr. The view from our dining room window this morning... Even though it's very windy & the windows are rattling... It's still a beautiful start to the day! Our glass snow flake is a permanent fixture - a friend made it some years ago & we really like it. So along with our fairy lights - it always looks like Christmas in here! We usually get a tree around the 21st, either save one which would be turned to sawdust or we'll get a potted tree, which will then live in the garden. Time for second breakfast, we do have to work today - though we're in no rush... Have a lovely weekend everyone. Kay & Sime xx


Lobby , a photo by thesmithsontour on Flickr. Lobby is the name potters gave to a simple stew. We both grew up eating it most weeks. My Grandparents always had a big pan of lobby on their stove & my mum used to make it in her pressure cooker.... Our version of the North Staffordshire dish is so cheap & easy to make - we love it! We use onions, garlic, lots of root vegetables, pulses, some greens & fresh herbs. You can add stock , miso or soy sauce, but cooking it slowly for a couple of hours just makes it taste so good & finishing off with a sprinkle of black pepper & the juice of half a lemon. Served in large bowls, with some home made bread fresh out of the oven... Makes a great warming meal! Hope everyone is keeping warm! Kay & Sime xx

Our Sealed Pot

Our Sealed Pot , a photo by thesmithsontour on Flickr. Today we are linking up with  Saving For Travel . A year's worth of saving begins & this will be the spending money for our December 2013 holiday with the kidlets... We've not quite decided where we're going yet, but it will probably be for a week & just before Christmas. Scandinavia & New York have been suggested, but not sure whether Momma & Popsy's funds will stretch that far... We shall see! We have decided to also include money we save, instead of spend... On Tuesdays we sometimes go for a coffee, but instead the money has gone into the pot... We didn't have a £5 note, so we've started our pot with £10! Thank you all for your comments on the previous post - we'll send replies probably tomorrow now, as it's dinner time! Bye for now & happy saving to those joining in!!! Kay & Sime xx

Family, Food & Flood

Family, Food & Flood , a set on Flickr. Hello! Oh dear, we seem to be so busy... These photos were taken last weekend & everyday we've been meaning to post them, but things get in the way - in a nice way of course... We have another guest coming in the week, can't believe folks are still coming down, but it's great! Between our guests, occasional holiday let guests, Sime's gigs, Hugo's circus workshops/rehearsals & lots of never-ending paperwork... We are very busy & time is just flying! The kidlets came over for lunch (a very rare get-together) & we drew our Secret Santa names out of Sime's top hat, so now have 3 weeks to get sorted & in true Smith style... We've done nothing yet! We have to either make or buy second hand & have a £10 limit to spend. In the early evening last Saturday, the kids left & within minutes rang to say they were struggling to get out of the area due to flooded roads. None of us had quite realised jus