Wednesday, 15 January 2014

A cheeky robin.

You never know what you might see along the towpath.  Nothing much, you might think.
Back in June I was given a new camera - I still don't understand it and probably never will as my memory is so bad, so I'm working my way through these 'how to' cards that came free with Digital Camera magazine.
I had my camera set up for water droplets.

Well, do you see trying to find a water droplet when you want one......
even though it was damp along the towpath they were hard to find.

 I could see the moon.

Ah, here are some water droplets but it's hard to focus and get them sharp. 
Eyesight poor as well as memory.

The reflections and colours were nice along the river. 
My camera still set for water droplets for this shot.

Then this happened. I spotted a cheeky robin. I took three blurry photos of him then called my husband quick. He's the expert at photography!  I was worried it would fly away, but it sat on the branch posing for ages.
We (he) got some great shots and that's the Christmas card sorted for next December!

I love this photo below - he looks like he's wearing a little cap.

It was so tame.

Then on the way back I set up my camera for sunsets.

There was a mist rising up from the river.

Then the sun had gone.

So there's always something to see along the towpath and today we got really lucky -  seeing that wee robin made my day!

Friday, 10 January 2014

Stormy weather.

                                               Grey day. Newcastle, Co. Down,  sea front.

                                                                  Waves were crashing.

Looking towards the Slieve Donard Hotel.

                                   This is how it looked in the summer with the tide right out.

Fancy a dip in the Tropicana?

Too stormy to get out of the car.

We always go to The Strand and look out at the sea but I've never seen it so rough.

Looking towards Slieve Donard
.....and this is how it looked in the summer...

........and now the waves are crashing over the promenade.

                 This family couldn't resist having a closer look ... it was so noisy and exciting....

                                                           but they soon turned away......

                                                           ....because this was coming!

After that, we headed for Tyrella beach.
Mad dogs and English(wo)men...... but not quite the midday sun.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Cranberry Hootycreeks... and talk of homemade gifts.

In my last post I was going on about my homemade Christmas cards. Pondering on whether my friends and family like to receive them. They always do lots of talking about them (good and bad)!
Over at heyhomewrecker she's posing a similar question.. 'do you like to make and receive a handmade gift?'
Yes I do.  Both.
There's a bit of thought and effort that goes into producing a handmade gift.

My youngest son gave me this for Christmas. It came beautifully presented with a lovely ribbon and a handmade gift tag all stuck on with hospital tape. His mother taught him well!
Cranberry Hootycreeks - a jar layered with all the ingredients to make cookies. My wee grand-daughter came to help.

I inherited my retro Salter scales from my mother -in -law.  There are scales similar to mine at pineappleretro with a black base, but mine have a blue bowl with a white base. I think they're probably 70's vintage.
All we had to do was cream butter, vanilla essence and an egg together until fluffy. Then we tipped in the entire jar of ingredients and mixed until well blended.

Watch out for this little miss on the GBBO in a few years time. Her mother is teaching her well!

In to the oven 175C, 8-10 minutes.

Yum. Yum.

But that wasn't all. Along with the Cranberry Hootycreeks came a bottle of homemade Baileys.
Now in it's 2nd year of production. I don't mind getting the same thing twice over. It's very boozy!

And two years running I've been given lovely shortbread from my neighbour. 

                                                                     What's not to like?!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Goodbye Christmas - Hello New Year!

Christmas started with the Christmas cards, photography by me, printing by my husband. Should we bother making these? I'm not sure.

Some people like 'hand made' - some don't. Some of the stuff that I saw Kirstie Allsopp making on her show this Christmas was downright awful.......don't think my lot would appreciate tie-dyed knickers somehow.

Then there was the food.  My daughter-in- law's fridge .....  groaning.

The obligatory sprouts, did you ever hear so much talk about one vegetable in all your life?

 The sky on Christmas day.

We went to the beach at Culdaff.

There were some good waves.

                                    On another day we went to see the waterfall at Clonmany.


                                   Then it was time to leave Donegal and head back home.

                         On the way home we drove through Belfast to see the Christmas lights.

                                                  Goodbye Christmas -   Hello New Year.