Sunday, 23 October 2016

Slipper Production continuing - in full spate!

Good afternoon Everyone!

Another week has gone by, and it's time once again for me, Cy Bear, to update you on what's been happening in the Coldham Cuddlies World.

As the title for this post indicates, the Baby Slippers we told you about last week are well under way. with the White Polar Bear Slippers now completed.

The Polar Bears were joined on Friday evening by the first of the pair of  Panda Bear Slippers ordered at the same time by SnraCF - and Isobel sent her the photo above to update her on the order's progress.  The second slipper is well under way, and we're hoping to get that completed by the end of  Sunday evening.

The basic slipper is complete, and production of the second head is under way.  It needs the black eye patches and plastic eyes to be attached, the black plush ears as well,  and then the pink ribbon sewn on and the elastic threaded through.

All being well, we're hoping that both the Italy-bound Slippers will be en route early next week, well in time for Christmas - which is when SnraCF plans on giving them to her Granddaughters E and A.

Then, it's checking the measurements we've received for the Isobel's great-nephews to see how many new pairs of slippers need to be produced - once we've checked our existing stocks to see if, perchance, we may have some already made that could fit the bill.  At the same time, we'll be checking to see if the intended recipients want to have them with animal heads on

Owl Novelty  Slippers Brown Fleck Faux Fur Made to Measure Poodle Plush Lined Man's Size 12-13 Practical Warm Footwear Unusual Unisex Gift
or for them to be just conservatively plain and simple!

Unisex Novelty Slippers Badger Stripe Fur Unusual Footwear Special Faux Fur Shoe Made to Measure Head Optional Custom Orders Very Welcome.
Then, it will be all systems go to see that they're off in time to reach the Williams Lake area of British Columbia, Canada in time for Christmas.

To make sure that we don't run out of the insoles - which form the base of the feet for the bigger slippers (for ladies and gentlemen) - while in nearby Sutton in Ashfield, our next door town yesterday, Isobel stocked up with a new supply of these vital slipper parts. They're made with "memory-foam" and have the different foot sizes printed on one side of each foot template.  Please see below:

We get ten pairs at a time, so that we've always got some in stock - and this is the second time that a stock up has been required since we began making slippers in 2012 (and the first since we arrived in Nottinghamshire). 

Isobel cuts out the pattern size required, and then starts the construction process.  Because we're not sure if the sizes given here are for American or European foot sizes, Isobel is going to cut the Boys' slippers to the measurements (from heel to toe) given us by their Mother, MrsAS- Isobel's niece.  That's the way, we went with SnraCF's grand daughters' slippers, and they should allow room for growth, because as all prudent grandmothers do, she allowed for such eventualities when she provided the vital statistics for the slippers shown above.  (All our Slippers, so far, have fitted their intended owners to date I hasten to add!!)

(As you may recall, being a Beaver Lamb Bear, I always include a lady's - or come to that, a gentleman's - title before their initials when referring to them in a blog post here.  I've also never met MrsAS, so it's another reason for a well brought up Bear to do so here!)

In between times, during the week, Isobel was taken by daughter Clare, together with GrandsonE, to the Our Lady's Shrine at Walsingham - where Peter's ashes are interred.  It's almost four years since that happened, and the family have tried to get there at least once a year to pay their respects. Normally it rains, and the Shrine (pronounced a Basilica by Pope Francis last December we discovered when they got there - because of it's importance in the life and history of British Catholics) is located very close to the East Anglian coast of North Norfolk. (That's the round bit on the right side of a map of Great Britain - for those who might not know where Norfolk is in the UK). It's thus always windy there, and Wednesday morning was no different.  However everything was accomplished in comfortably cool conditions, and the travellers returned home safely, with the driver (Clare) having done a 222 mile round trip in 7.5 hours, with a short break for a picnic lunch in between.

I'll end this post for this week, with a photo of the Chapel of  Reconciliation (a major focal point of the Basilica) with surrounding trees in all their full autumnal glory.  (In the 1970's, Peter was on the Committee charged with the building of this central feature of  the National Shrine - which is why the authorities at Walsingham were agreeable for his remains to rest there)

You can just see the back of  Clare and GrandsonE - on the right of the photo.
Do have a very good week, everyone.  See you all next week - with the latest from the Slipper Department, and whatever occurs in the days to come.

Your Friend, Cy Bear.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

New Novelty Slipper Production now in full swing

Hello once again, Everyone.

 Cy Bear reporting in - and hopefully being able to do things better now that Isobel got the computer seen to on Monday.  It only took the Techy Guy 50mins from start to finish:  goodness knows how long it would have taken Isobel to try and sort it (as was suggested by the system, I believe!) and definitely worth the monthly fee we've signed up to for 12 months hence!!

The business regarding the hiccup on the Etsy Custom Order system was eventually sorted - but not before both sides of the transaction almost gave up on the order system totally.  Actually, we've got one on the official Etsy Order system (which is well under way - you can see where it is at the moment.)

This is the first of a pair of  Polar Bear Novelty Slippers - destined for SnraCF's youngest GrandaughterA, who is now about 12 weeks old.  The picture was taken last night and sent to Italy, just to make sure that it is what SnraCF was looking for. (IT IS!!  So, full steam ahead......!)

The second pair of  Novelty Slippers (this time featuring Panda Bears) are ready to be cut out, once the Polar Bears are complete. (They were eventually ordered between SnraCF and Isobel, via their mutual PayPal accounts!  It does mean that the second pair won't show as an official Etsy Order, but who really cares - when the funds are well and truly in Isobel's bank account!).   Once both items are finished, they will be converted into normal Coldham Cuddlies Novelty Slipper listings, and be added to that Section in our Shop (  That will take our listings total further forward and nearer the 110 mark, which will be exciting.  

With the success of the Polar Bear slippers, Isobel has had an idea as to how she can use some small Brown Rabbit Heads that she was left with earlier in the year - after someone contacted us, got Isobel to make them, and then disappeared before the custom order was completed.  This time, though, it was not such a problem as it has been in the past!!  (We actually blogged about them here )  Isobel was never entirely sure that the Rabbit Heads would work as Shoe Ornaments, but we are pretty certain there won't be a problem as Baby Slippers.  So, watch this space - I'm pretty sure they will end up in that role, rather than that for which they were originally produced.

Meanwhile, we've finally  been able to "find" the missing pictures showing how our Gentlemen's Badger Stripe slippers, recently shipped to MrMW in San Franciso, were put together.  (You can see the difference in fabric usage between Slippers for a 12 week old youngster, and needing a slipper to fit a size 9-10 for our gentleman customer!)  You may recall that I told we'd shipped them on Friday afternoon a week ago - so they are probably still en route, as we may have missed a California-bound 'plane from the nearest airport (we're not that far from Birmingham, Manchester and/or Nottingham International Airports) but Isobel has found that packages bound for overseas destinations need to be in our local post office by mid-morning on a Friday, if they're going to make it before the week-end.  I'll let you know when they do arrive safely.

Meanwhile, here are the rest of those photographs I was telling you about:

This photo shows one, almost completed, Badger Stripe Slipper - but giving our customer the choice of a grey or brown satin ribbon trim.  (He went with the Brown, which is what we thought would be the case!)

The grey ribbon will come in handy though because Isobel is making Christmas slippers for her Great Nephews who live in British Columbia, Canada, and they may well need to have special slippers made for them.  Their foot measurements were received during the week, and Isobel anticipates having to make at least a couple more pairs - although, hopefully, some will be met from our existing supplies. Some of the great nephews are healthy teenagers, with feet measurements to match!!!  In all, there are 4 Great Nephews who need foot warmers for this winter- ranging in age between 5-21!  (Isobel is of a generation that one does not become fully adult until you ARE 21!!).

Another view of the slipper and ribbons.

San Francisco-bound Slippers, completed.

The Slippers for MrMW before they were packed for the Journey.
So, that's all for this week, Friends.  Hope to be back with you again next week - with the latest from the Slipper Department of our Coldham Cuddlies Shop!!  Have a good one!

Your Friend, Cy Bear.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

A return to Rufford Abbey - this time in Autumn surroundings.

Hello again Everyone - this week, I intend to let Cy Bear take over.

That's because Isobel has got herself into a fix on the computer (YET AGAIN!) and am hoping her friendly Techy Guys from Hewlett Packard will be able to sort her out early next week.  Some things still operate:  but not all!  So, here's an update about what has been possible!!

After a busy week in which a successful MacMillan Cancer Support Coffee Morning was held - and resulted in a total of £500.00 ($620.75 USD) being sent to the Charity.  The actual event raised a little over £280.00 (with the help of our regular Tuesday Coffee Morning attendees, and their friends).  The rest was made up with a contribution from the Old Chapel Close Busy Bees Club amounting to £200.00 and the total being rounded up to the final amount with a personal donation from one of our residents. 

(The Busy Bees meet regularly on a Monday afternoon and consist of a regular group of ladies who "knit and natter".  They create knitted toys, baby clothing, and tea cosies, which get sold on a Womens' Institute stall at nearby Southwell Market each week.  Once the WI have taken their share (ten per cent of any item sold), the monies are returned to the Busy Bees, who then decide once a year on which local charity they would like to support.  Isobel is one of the weekly regulars - but uses the time to do some Cuddlies preparation, as she rarely knits these days.  The Monday Regulars are quite happy with this arrangement!)

Isobel celebrated her birthday on Saturday, spending it with Clare, Alan and Grandson E - involving a stomp around Rufford Abbey Country Park - about which we posted earlier this year - (on 24/04/2016-Rufford Abbey, Part One and 02/05/2016-Rufford Abbey, Part Two).  It was a beautiful, autumnal day, plenty of feathered friends came to meet the Party, and a good time was had by all.

Ever hopeful avian friends

A very regal Swan - keeping an eye on family (out of sight) and friends

A gaggle of  Brent Geese - gathering in anticipation!
Whereas the previous stroll around the Country Park had taken place in the Spring, this time the trees were in full leaf (getting ready to drop in some cases), and the visit concentrated on the lake area, finishing off with a delightful picnic lunch in the Rose Garden.  Here are some more photos of the occasion:

Queen Mother's Walk in full leaf - at the beginning of our visit.
A tantalising first glimpse of the lake, with autumn colours appearing
A view of the lake - with the furthest point in sight

Playing with a new found friend
A last glimpse of the lake at the end of the trail
The clock tower of Rufford Abbey, seen from the Rose Garden as lunch was being unpacked
The rest of the week involved Isobel finishing off the order for a pair Size 10 Mens' Fux Fur Novelty Slippers, which were dispatched on Friday afternoon, and will hopefully be in situ in San Francisco by the end of next week. 

We've also received two custom orders for some Children's Novelty Slippers - from  a returning customer, SraCF, living in Italy.  Isobel has got to clarify something with the Etsy Custom Order system - which doesn't seem to be recording the request as 2 separate orders, largely because we think the client based her Custom Request on the same original Slipper listing.  Isobel may be wrong - but it's another of these things that need sorting........ if only to see that the correct charges are applied!!!. 

So, you could say that this week has been somewhat frustrating on the Coldham Cuddlies front - but overall has been a good one for Isobel.

Hope to be back functioning with All Systems Go next week - I'll close for this week.

Your friend, Cy Bear.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Return to normal service - hopefully!

Greetings Everyone!

Back at base once more, after a splendid holiday in Devon, and stop overs with daughter Philippa in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire on either side of a five day visit to one of my cousins.  Lovely time, helped by the fact that the English weather actually co-operated all the way through, with rain only starting as I got off the train on the return journey at Kirkby in Ashfield Station, in time to catch my 'bus for the final stage home.

While there was Wi-Fi linkage where we stayed in Devon, it's not really the done thing to spend one's usual time dealing with the daily Etsy business for www.Coldham when in one's family members' home (or anyone else's when it comes to it!)  so I just checked in each day, and then began to catch up when I returned to High Wycombe at the end of our week away. (Last Sunday, when I might have been able to do something, frankly, I didn't feel like it - so, hopefully, we've not lost too many of our regular Followers as a result of this dereliction of duty!!!).

So, this week's post is really a bit of a catching up one - to bring you up to date on matters here at base.

The travelling version of  Winston Wombat!
However, we did hear that the package, with Winston Wombat on board, arrived in time, and that the recipient was "very pleased" with his gift!  The Slipper order that we spoke about in our last post has been started, and the first slipper is at the final stage - where the ribbon trim needs to be added.  MrMJW, the customer, was kind enough to give me a little more lee-way in dispatch time, because of course when I got back it was to find myself head over heels in preparations for the upcoming MacMillan Cancer Coffee Morning we are holding on Tuesday - 4th October - for which I had prepared the Crab Apple Butter (posted about in our last but one bulletin a week or two ago - visit here to see more -

These are now ready for display- and sale - at the Coffee Morning

There are eleven jars in all - and I'm planning on taking them over to the Residents' Lounge, where the event is taking place, tomorrow afternoon.  I'll be rushing around setting up the Coldham Cuddlies sales table on the actual day!!

One thing all this "extra-curricular" activity has done though - is to encourage me to return to the baking stakes.  Since Peter died, four years ago, followed by the move from Wiltshire to Nottinghamshire, I've really not felt motivated to do much baking - but this year, I got the urge!  So, earlier this afternoon I had a go - largely as an experiment, in case my oven didn't play ball.  Much to my surprise, it did co-operate, and this is the resulting offering!

While studying my pantry shelves prior to this foray into the baking stakes, I discovered I still have two jars of Strawberry Jam (made in July 2007!) using berries grown by myself in our West Lancashire garden , so one of them is going to be opened to form the sandwich middle of this Victoria Sponge.  I'll be making a second one, as celebration of my return to the baking stakes!  (The jam looks darker than most Strawberry Jam - because Peter couldn't eat anything baked with White Sugar, so all my baking - which included breads, etc - all used Brown Demerara Sugar.  I still use it - from habit - and really think the flavour is improved as a result!)

In between all this week's activities on all fronts, I've also had time to list two new Cuddlies - which have been mentioned in the past few weeks, if memory serves.  Either Cy Bear or I will tell you more in coming weeks (in between posts showing the places I visited in Devon - which lived up to all expectations!) - but to whet your appetites, here are pictures of the two new members of the COLDHAMCUDDLIES Family -
The missing ear belonging to the Fantasy Bear on the left is now firmly attached I hasten to add - it was listed in this way as a way to illustrate Cuddlies en route as it were!!

Also listed this week, was the associated Fantasy Bear Baby Mobile - seen here.

Fantasy Bear Mobile, Bear Toy Mobile, Nursery Baby Mobile, Poplin Toy Mobile, Kids Room Decor, Unisex Child Present, Unusual Shower Present.
Now, after a frustrating afternoon trying to find all these pictures - all as a result of some new manoeuvres I'm required to do on my computer, which seem to have emerged since I left for Devon (don't know what wrong button I landed on this time around!!) - I'll end this week's update.

Look forward, together with Cy Bear, to being with you all next week.  Meanwhile, have a great one!

Your Friend,  Isobel

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Progress report - on Several Fronts.

Hello there Everyone:

Cy Bear back again, having "dictated" this post to Isobel - so she can type it from "up the road", where she has been house- and pet-sitting since Thursday of last week.  She's been in and out during morning hours each day since, because of the need to finish the crab-apple processing and other community related matters, and she's due to be doing the same until Wednesday morning next week.

For explanation of this "progress" - see below
First of all, despite the heading here,  there's not been that much progress on the Baby Foxes/BabyMobile project, because of the distraction of the Paralympics from Rio de Janeiro this week (and that is likely to be the case for the next week because the Games will be on-going until the week-end).  Isobel will be busy next week-end, because it's Clare's birthday on Saturday, Philippa is coming up on the Friday evening, and we'll be busy playing with GrandsonE on Saturday.  Then we're both leaving Nottinghamshire on Sunday for a few days holiday in Devon. (So, once again, we repeat - NO BLOG POST next week - but do come back to check:  Isobel has been known to change her mind - or something else may  have occurred.  The computer is going with her!)

Secondly, the Crab Apple Butter production line was successfully concluded on Friday afternoon, with the apples shown in this picture in last week's blog post being converted into the finished item. 

Picked crab apples waiting to be processed
It's been cool enough in the flat to keep the apples from rotting too much, and in the end, our friendly gardeners actually provided Isobel with 3.5 kilos (something like 6-7 lbs - Isobel doesn't have her usual metric converter to hand at Clare's home).  The final result is 11 similar sized, but different shaped jars, and two small jars - plus a little left over so that Isobel could take some around to near neighbours - for taste-testing!!  We've had the impression that some of our friends here at Old Chapel Close  were a little wary of a Fruit Butter!!  We felt that some independent tasting reports might render the future sale of the items more likely!!!

Then on Wednesday morning, just before she left to do some shopping for the week, we had an order - for our Badger Stripe Slippers.  

Unisex Novelty Slippers Badger Stripe Fur Unusual Footwear Special Faux Fur Shoe Made to Measure Head Optional Custom Orders Very Welcome.
They have been commissioned by one MrMW from San Francisco and as they are made to measure, (as are all of our Novelty Slippers - whether for Gentlemen, Ladies or Children). the actual construction of this gentleman's slippers will commence once Isobel gets back from Devon after September 26.  (This is OK with our customer).  The one's pictured in our listing are a size smaller than MrMW's actual requirement.  He merely requests they look as near as possible like the example given.  As ever, we'll do our best to do so!

Then, in the afternoon of the same day, we found another order (the first time we've had two in one day) - and both for one of our higher-priced items, too!.  This time, it was from a lady who wondered if it would be possible for us to send her one of our Winston Wombat 3-Way Bed Pillows. 

Winston Wombat, 3-Way Bed Pillow. Pajama Case, Plush Pillow Case ,Pyjama Cover, Novelty Hot Water Bottle Cover, Faux Fur Toy
There was a potential snag though because she needed to have one of them by Saturday (yesterday) for her son's birthday.  After an exchange of messages on the Etsy convo system, we discovered she was in London, so it would be possible for us to do it - but we would be taking a risk in following it up.   Royal Mail does a next-day service which guarantees delivery by 1300 hours the day after an item is posted (the cost of which would be covered by the postal charge).  MsNW then wanted to know if we could get Winston Wombat to her on the Friday, as she had arranged to be away on the Saturday for her son's celebrations.  We managed to do so - even though we actually hadn't received the funds in Isobel's local bank account - although Etsy had done so, because that's the way the purchasing system works.  (One disadvantage of  BST (British Summer Time) being 4 hours ahead of  EST - Eastern Standard Time - which is the time zone Etsy operates within!)

Remember, Isobel is supposed to be residing up the road - and the two Winstons and all our packaging materials are firmly ensconced here at home!  The speed of the operation meant that we were unable to offer the usual "Cuddlies Catwalk" session - giving the customer the chance to choose exactly which of the Cuddlies she would like - so we decided to send the one on the right of this picture.

Before he was wrapped up, we took some pics - and this is Winston Wombat Right before he was prepared for the journey:

The photograph at the beginning of this post, is one of our traditional Farewell Photos with me, as Mascot to the Coldham Cuddlies Shop.  Then Isobel took the photograph beneath - just to show how long a Winston Wombat is - compared with me sitting in my usual spot on the bed.  My right arm is between the back of Winston's head with his tail behind my "wrist". (He looks a little crooked, because of the angle of the pillow on which we are both resting!)

Once he was fully wrapped, he was put in a polythene postal envelope and Isobel got on the next  'bus into Kirkby town centre, and he was dispatched at just before 1100 on Thursday morning.  Because the paperwork for this transaction is all here at home with me (and Isobel is not!) we cannot check whether it did arrive so we'll have to wait until Monday when we hope to hear from MsNW to see if Winston did meet the important deadline, and whether his intended Forever Friend and he are happy with each other. Am afraid, you'll all have to wait to hear in the next installment!.

Until then - hope you all have a great week or two.  The weather here is lovely at the moment, with late summer sunshine to the fore.  Long may it continue!  See you all when I next see you!

Your friend, 

Cy Bear.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Sampling Local Foraging opportunities as well.

Hello there Everyone - am giving Cy Bear a rest this week, largely because the main topic for this week's is definitely beyond the normal competence of a Beaver Lamb Bear.

The Baby Foxes project has been on-going,however, but subject to some interruption - from the need for me to be active with my neighbours once again around Old Chapel Close, as well as my being "felled" by an early autumnal cold, which is showing signs of repeating my illness earlier this year, which was diagnosed by the doctor then as "query Pluerisy!".  So, I've not been exactly firing on all cylinders. Hopefully a visit to said medical practitioner early in the week will result in my being able to fully enjoy the rest of the time - to the full.

Progress on the Baby Foxes project to date.
Not only are the schools all facing a new School Year this week, but so too am I.  For many years the months of September/October have been a time to store up home made goodies to see a family through the winter, Since becoming a widow in 2012, and with the girls well and truly flown from the family coop, I've not had the urge to do so.  However, this year, having settled in to my small flat in an independent living complex three doors away from younger daughter, Clare, the sight of so many crab apples from the window outside my kitchen, has proved just too much to ignore.

September in the UK is also the month that a major Cancer Charity - MacMillan Cancer UK - traditionally issues a challenge to the country to raise funds with a National Coffee Morning which this year has been set for 30th September.  Groups don't have to do "their thing" on that date, and we here at Old Chapel Close have this year chosen 4th October for our contribution's efforts. (This blog has reported on Coldham Cuddlies contributions to these efforts - both here in Nottinghamshire, as well as at our previous base in Wiltshire  - and we will be taking a table at the event this year).

As I plan to be away in Devon from 18th to 26th of the month (so no blog post then!), and the autumn winds and rain are already causing many of the fruit trees to shed their remaining loads, the arrival this week of the gardeners contracted to look after our grounds, seemed a good opportunity to utilise their skills (and equipment) to harvest as many as many as possible so to produce a family favourite - CRAB APPLE BUTTER,  In between their other regular chores, the two gentleman kindly obliged and managed to forage - by fair means and foul - two plastic bags full.

One bag has already received "the Treatment":  the one shown in the photograph is what remains of the  second bag.  The first having been washed, duly inspected for bugs and other unacceptable marks, topped and tailed, etc - and following the recipe below.  (Taken from "A Country Harvest" by Pamela Michael, published in 1980 by Peerage Books, 59, Grosvenor Street, LondonW1)


(Makes about 3 lbs/1-1/4 kilos)

1 kilo/2lbs crab apples
1/4 litre/1-1/4 cup/'1/2 pint water
1/4 litre/1-1/4 cup/'1/2 pint cider (I prefer dry cider, but go for the least expensive on offer)
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Ground Cloves
Sugar - see the recipe.

Wash crab apples thoroughly, cut away any bad bits and put into a large saucepan with the water, cider, and the spices.  (I like the flavour of these two spices, so do use a good heaped teaspoon of each for my endeavours!).

Cook gently until apples are soft, mashing them well with a wooden spoon.  Put the mixture through a sieve or food mill (doesn't take that long, as the mixture is pretty slushy by this time - the apples "fall " well) and then measure the pulp back into the pan.

To 400g/1-1/4 cups/1lb pulp add 300g/1-1/2 cups/3/4 lb sugar (because Peter, my late husband had an intolerance to anything white - flour, sugar, etc. - I've become accustomed to using only brown sugar FOR EVERYTHING, which can, and does,  affect the final "look", but NOT the taste!).

Bring slowly to the boil, stirring continuously until sugar has dissolved, then lower the heat to the slowest possible simmer and cook in the open pan until mixture is thick and, when stirred, the spoon leaves a clean line momentarily in the bottom of the pan.   Pour into warm dry jars, cover with waxed circles while hot, seal with your chosen tops - if you have tops with a button on them, seal immediately, to obtain a permanent seal (until needed!)   I still have jams to consume, made in 2005, and stored in this way, and know they will be edible at the time of opening!!

The gentlemens' assistance was definitely required as you can see from the picture below:

Taken standing underneath

That's a 4 ft hedge from which the tree trunk is protruding, and the "fair" means of harvesting consisted of one of them climbing a portable platform to get as many as he could reach:  the foul method meant the other one resorting to using a metal pole and banging the branches to make them land on the grass beneath!!

Some washed crab apples waiting to be cooked - with one or two rejects having become obvious since they were washed/cut

In the "good old days", I used to have big jars of spices available to me, which we had purchased from the nearest Indian supermarkets:  these used this time around came from our local supermarket, and will be just as good, but will need to be replaced for next year, because the flavours do tend to deteriorate over time.  Purchased from an Indian supplier, though, they seem to last that much longer - and I still have perfectly serviceable supplies of other spices which are as flavourful as the day they were bought (some as long ago as 1997!).  

The whole process took me about an hour and a half from beginning the topping, tailing and washing, and I now have some jars ready for labels (see above), which are being bought for me by one of my resident friends - who knows  "exactly what you need".  This does give me a chance to do the leftover crab apples, and so increase the availability not only for Macmillan Cancer's funds, but also for prospective family gifts. 

According to the author, Pamela Michael, "Spicy fruit butters and cheeses were very popular in Victorian days and are so good, it's a pity not to revive them.  This crab apple butter should be set firmly, but just enough to spread with a knife, it is wonderful with hot toast and grilled bacon, or roast pork instead of apple sauce."   Fruit Butters are still not very well known and used these days - I think that's a pity.  They are an excellent way of using up excess fruit supplies, and can also be made with sharp, green Apples if Crab Apples are not readily available, and can also be used in the same way one would with any poultry dish which calls for ordinary apple sauce.

Well that's all from us for this week.  My apologies for the sudden change in typography - but again, thanks to the mysteries of technology, it's "just happened", and nothing I  do seems to allow me to change it back to the original font size.  

See you all next week!

Your Friend, Isobel

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Holding Post #2 - This time waiting for supplies

Hello there again, Everybody! 

I can stand - sometimes - provided I am propped up:  but prefer sitting
I had hoped to be able to introduce another Baby Mobile - or its components at least:  however, due to an oversight we found we'd run out of the smallest joint discs Isobel needs for our Baby Foxes, so she has only been able to almost complete the second (of four - for the Mobile at least).  They fortunately arrived on Thursday.   Then some developments happened at the housing complex where we live which required Isobel's secretarial input, so her mind has been elsewhere - so Cuddlies old and new have had to take a back seat a bit as a result.  (Isobel is Secretary to the Tenants Committee at the complex and her Minute recording abilities were needed for an Extraordinary Meeting this week).

However, having said that, there have been some developments on the Toy front this week - where we've welcomed back some of the Cuddlies who have been on display at one of the Shops in Kirkby-in-Ashfield since earlier this year.  The Shop - The Ark - where they'd been - is unfortunately closing because of lack of volunteers to keep it open. So, although several Cuddlies did find their Forever Homes via that route, the rest were collected by Isobel on Friday and have just been put back into their places in the Cuddlies Storage Bag.

When she comes back from her holiday (which I mentioned last week), Isobel is going to do some serious shop-hunting in other Towns in the area - so more people can find out about us in the Area. There's a lot of work that has to be done before that happens though.

The Wanderers Return
These Cuddlies are now safely tucked up - until new display areas can be found for them, but in the interim, Isobel has managed to get another Baby Fox almost completed.  Just the ears need to be attached, and then at least two more (for a potential mobile) and maybe another two - to be offered singly and unattached to anything - and then ......... well you'll have to wait and see.  (I haven't got a clue, but then I don't get told anything you know!)  New storage facilities have been created in one of the hall cupboards in our flat - where all the new Baby Toys and the Mobiles can be kept in some sort of order.

Potential Partners in Crime, maybe?
So, that's it for this week - hope everyone has a good one in the upcoming one.  Looking forward to being able to tell (and show) more soon.

Sitting on the Cuddlies Storage Bag - which is getting quite full! There's another two thirds to my left!
Your Friend, Cy Bear.