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Back home again after a couple of weeks in the Pyrenees

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since 23/09/2002


Mr Fothergills Kale Nero di Toscana Seeds 19/07/2017

Easy to grow super veg.

Mr Fothergills Kale Nero di Toscana Seeds There are historical records of the Greeks and the Romans growing and eating Kale, it is suspected that the Romans brought Kale to our shores. Not that they would have called it Kale. The word Kale is a Scottish word that is a derivation from the Greek and Roman word for this vegetable. Kale is native to the eastern Mediterranean or to Asia. Kale is grown as an annual but I think it's a biannual with leaf growth in the first year and flowers appearing in the second. We tend only to crop and eat the leaves. ~~#~~Kales family Kale is a member of the Brassica family. There are several varieties. ~The common Kale, curly kale The Green one with frilly edges is the one I remember dad growing when I was a child. ~Red Russian Kale. This has wavy not quite curly edges to its leaves and the stems a red purple colour ~Redbor Kale This is a pretty one with curled red green leaves ~Siberian Kale has a green leaf which has a curly edge not so curly as some other Kales ~Ornamental (Salad Savoy) This one one's pretty looks like a flower its outer frilly leaves green its inner ones red or white. Yes it can be eaten. ~ Lacinato Kale (Dinosaur Kale, Tuscan Kale, Cavolo Nero) This is the Kale I shall be describing to day. It has green slightly frilly leaves the inner leaves are rumpled and puckered not flat looks a bit like a dinosaur skin! ~~~~~Eating Kale has become more popular in recent years, in the past it was mainly used for animal fodder ~~#~~Mr Fothergill's Kale Nero di Toscana ...

Lego Duplo Trains 3775 Points 17/07/2017

Allows Duplo Train to change track, do you get the point.

Lego Duplo Trains 3775 Points Duplo made by the Lego group wasn't invented when I was a child, the trains not internationally available till 1977. However I have had much experience with Duplo and the Duplo trains as I have worked with young children almost continuously since then, Duplo trains and this train track are suitable for children over 2 years old. This points set was first released in 2005. I do not think Lego make this Duplo 2736 points track set anymore. However other point's sets are available. There is an older point set which is not good for the newer Duplo trains and carriages. I have not noticed any problems using old trains on the new track. I also note this one still available at a few online shops. Cost £31. I also notice it at For Price: EURO 4.95(~GBP 4.3336). These pieces are grey with a red switch. Also available with some of the Thomas train sets. There are 2 pieces in this set a right and a left hand turn. They fit other Duplo train track with a male -female conjoining part. This is great as it makes this track more interesting as you can make a more interesting lay out than just the standard circle. A standard circle is fine for the 2 year old but when they get over 3 and 4 years old will want to create a more demanding track. We have a large assorted collection of Duplo trains and tracks at work stored in a large plastic storage box. We ...

Hotel Nadal, Llieda 15/07/2017

One star Hotel Nadal in Llieda tops the rating

Hotel Nadal, Llieda Recently my husband and I stayed at the Hotel Nadal in Llieda Catalonia Spain for a couple of nights. We booked this hotel through The reason why we chose this hotel over others in Llieda was that it was in a good position and the price was good too. This hotel could be used as a business hotel; there are as well as the bedrooms some meeting/conference areas. There is a fax and photocopying service. No pool or outdoor facilities. (~~)Price Since I mentioned price I shall tell you that now. The price for a double room next week is £32 a night for either twin or double bed. Breakfast is 7 Euros We were touring travelling by car through France into Spain and stopped in Llieda a couple of nights before returning. We arrived in Llieda mid afternoon had got the address and a map I had looked this up previously ; Our car has a SAT NAV but have found it not always reliable in other countries. And it wasn't. However with the map and several circuits of one way streets we found the hotel, (~~)Parking Initially we parked on the street by the side of the hotel but when we booked into the hotel we were told we could park in their locked garage 5 minutes walk away y for a few Euros per night. Other means of transport to Llieda. There is an airport in Llieda 20 minutes by bus and a Train station train station is only 10 minutes walk from Hotel. (~~)Building The Hotel is a tall red brown and the name is on the awnings, the outside is not especially attractive. (~~)Now ...

Lego Duplo LegoVille 5646: Farm Nursery 15/07/2017

Duplo baby farm animals for your nursery age child

Lego Duplo LegoVille 5646: Farm Nursery At work (special needs school) we already had some adult Duplo farm animals. We bought a Lego Duplo Farm Nursery so we had some baby animals for family and animal topics. ++This set contains 9 pieces including 3 bricks, 4 baby animals and 1 child figure... ++The animals are a calf (cow) foal (horse) a lamb (sheep) and a kitten (cat). ++These figures measure about 4 cm. ++Although not realistic like some toy farm animals they do look like the animals. ++Each of these animals has 4 feet and will interlock onto a standard Duplo brick. We have a green Duplo base plate which we use to represent the field... ++ Each baby animal except the kitten has an interlocking stud on its back. My students fit Duplo people onto these and pretend they are riding the animal. Each of the animals has features, (eyes, nose, mouth) marked and has 2 ears. ++The Sheep This is a brown animal with a white bumpy fleece. ++The calf This is a brown animal with a white marking on its head. ++ The foal This foal is white with a couple of brown markings. ++The cat. A light orange brown colour with a few stripes on its back and a white flash on its head. ++The figure This is a girl figure can be unisex it's not ever so girly. This figure has brown hair and is wearing a red T short. Blue dungarees a yellow flower is in the pocket on the dungarees. The arms will move on this figure, the hands cup shaped and will hold some duple bricks like the pram. The legs bend at the waist so this Duplo figure ...

Kings Seeds Cosmos Sensation Mix 14/07/2017

Cosmos , Flowers are out of this world

Kings Seeds Cosmos Sensation Mix Cosmos Earlier this year I bought some Kings Cosmos seeds. Kings sell several varieties of Cosmos my packet was Sensations. Full sowing and growing instructions on the packet. Cosmos are an annuals plant. *~*~*~My Cosmos I sowed the tiny seed's which look like pine needles in April in my cold greenhouse. It took about 6 weeks for them to grow to a size where I could plant them outside. It's not a good idea to plant out before the end of the frosts, so the first week of June was fine. I wanted some of these flowers in my pots by the front of the house. . I wanted some height in these planters. Cosmos grow tall this variety 90cm some can grow to 212cm. This position gets good sun which Cosmos like. I continued to water and look after these small plants and then went on holiday for a couple of weeks. Sadly although they did not die they certainly suffered from lack of water. Once Cosmos are established they do not need so much watering unfortunately mine were not at this stage. My cosmos are now only about 22 cm tall. Cosmos can grow quite bushy too but sadly mine are not. Cosmos are ideal for use as a cut flower; I can remember mum having vases full of them but my miserable specimens are a bit embarrassingly small for me to exhibit. *~*~*~Cosmos Cosmos is a flower that was introduced to the UK in the 1700's from Turkey. They are a member of the Asteraceae family this is the daisy family. *~*~*~Leaves The leaves are quite attractive, small pointed ones growing in ...

VTech Connect-A-Pillar 10/07/2017

Connecta pieces to make Connectapillar

VTech Connect-A-Pillar Today I shall be describing the Connectapillar from VTech. This is a toy that I have played with alongside children at work in a special needs school. This toy is suitable for a 6 month old to about 4 years old, this will depend on the individual child and his/her development This Connectapillar is made out of coloured plastic. It needs 1 AAA battery. (It needs batteries for the sounds) The caterpillar is made out of 6 connecting pieces. Each piece connects to the next one with a push in connector. This is quite easy to do. Once connected it measures about 7. x 40. X 14. cm. Let's start at the head and upper body. There are 2 wheels attached to the base of this piece. The pieces roll fairly easily this is a lime green colour. The head has 2 lights up antennae which light up and flash and respond to the music. That's right lots of cheerful music for your child. The caterpillar head has two black shiny eyes, a little cute moulded nose and a smiling red mouth. The head is moulded on to the Connectapillar body. In the centre of the body there is a red heard push button with the numbers 1, 2 and 3 on it, Push the heart button this is where the fun begins. What's this you pushed it and no sounds and flashing lights? Ahh that must be's not switched on. Do you see that little yellow switch next to the heart well that's the on and off lever. It won't take long for your tot to discover that... Now we have 5 pieces left.These pieces include the tail end with ...

Basil 10/07/2017

Basil Seed not Fawlty

Basil Basil no not Basil Fawlty but the herb Basil, Basil Ocymum basilium is a herb from the mint family Labiatae I Love Basil the taste of Basil in my foods. Consequently I have bought and eaten basil in many ways. Basil is available as dried herbs in those jars you can buy at the supermarket as pregrown pots of fresh basil available from the supermarket for around £2. Or you can buy the seed to grow yourself. I have done all of these options. I find the most satisfying and probably the most economical way to have Basil is to grow your own. <=> varieties There are at least 17 varieties of basil see for descriptions. I have grown both standard green basil and a red one. The difference of the varieties can be the colour of the leaves some green some green with purple veins, some the whole leaf a purple red. The leaves are quite glossy. <=> Looks like Basil Ocymum basilium is a herb from the mint family Labiatae it usually grows to a height between 30 - 45cm depending on the variety. The leaves of Basil grow on square hairy stems Branches grow outwards in pairs opposite each other. The leaf shape is rectangular with points at the base and tip. The leaves also grow in pairs opposite each other. The flowers grow from a flower spike at the end of the stem. <=> Flower colour The colour of the flowers varies from white to lilac /pink <=>Smells like I like the smell of Basil its strong pungent sweet clears the ...

Solsona, Spain 08/07/2017

Splendid Solsona Spain

Solsona, Spain Only a few weeks ago I was walking around the medieval streets of Solsona. ##ll##Location Solsona is in Spain. It is just in the Pyrenees in the Catalunya region of Spain about 100k from Barcelona #Map ##ll## My Experience We had driven through France to visit friends in Ax Le Thermes for a few days and the driven into Spain through the Pyrenees Exploring places we had never visited before. #Soldona was a walled Cathedral city. We parked our car just outside of the city walls found free street parking. There is a small amount of development of Solsona outside the city walls but Solsona developed into a large sprawling city. Most of the walls are no longer evident Three of the gates still survive. Inside the city a lot of the streets are narrow and one way some pedestrian only. #We parked free in the street just near one of the city gates. Lidyl the large supermarket just outside the old city has lots of parking. We stopped at this Lidyl to stock up on supplies. #Solsona is know as the city of Giants, we have met the giants in a couple of other locations in Spain. The giants are folk law a tradition dating back to the 17 C. The Giants are huge fancy dress models word by people in the carnival. Each giant has its own character. Animal figures such as horses are also featured. These Giant figures are really amazing to behold. I image its hot ...

Brio Handy Coal Wagon 02/07/2017

This Brio wagon carries coal.

Brio Handy Coal Wagon Coal Wagon - BRIO Having just read a couple of reviews for wooden trains I was inspired to write my review of the Brio coal wagon. I have fond memories of sitting on the carpet at the school where I worked and playing alongside children with this coal wagon and other wooden trains and carriages. = Brio is a well known maker of good quality durable wooden trains and toys. This coal wagon is compatible with the other Brio wooden trains and track also with several other makes of wooden trains including Tesco ones or ELC and Bigjigs = This coal wagon looks realistic the wooden wagon is a dark brown speckled with black to look likes coal dust. There are 4 yellow wheels which turn easily, these are made of plastic. Inside the coal wagon is some realistic looking black coal. This has a metal disk in the centre which allows the coal to be lifted by the brio magnetic crane. At each end of the coal wagon there is a magnet so the wagon can be attached to any of the other Magnetic Brio Trains and carriages. This coal wagon measures 7.6 x 3.8 x 5.1 cm This toy is suitable for children over 3 years old. = Now its time to play come on you know you want to. First we construct a layout with some wooden track maybe including a turntable and a station. Which engine and carriages shall we attach the coal wagon to? The coal wagon will fit behind the engine in front of the carriage (we are learning now language prepositions) (Making the track and positioning the wagon encourages and ...

The Real Mary King, Edinburgh 30/06/2017

Who was Mary King of Edinburgh

The Real Mary King, Edinburgh Mary King's Close. Edinburgh ^^WHY I VISITED My Name is Mary, Mary King or was before I was married in 1975. So you can see why when I visited Edinburgh a few weeks ago I had to visit the real Mary Kings close. ^^WHO WAS MARY KING? Born in the 16th C Widow Mary King was a very successful seamstress and fabric trader ^^LOCATION Mary Kings Close was not really very easy to find it is on the Kings Mile under the city chambers opposite St Giles Cathedral ^^ OPENING TIMES Mary Kings close opens at 10am between April and October the last tour is 9pm between November and March last tour at 5pm. There are many tours throughout the day. ^^PRICE I thought the price a little expensive, but then I found Edinburgh expensive anyway also often think admission prices a bit expensive, my age I expect. :-) Just past my 60'Th birthday I paid the senior price of £12.95. Adult price £14.75. Students £12.95, child 5-15 £8.95. Children under 5 are not admitted as it's not really suitable for them. I think unless you are with a group including several children it would not be suitable for the younger ones. I visited Mary Kings close in May when I thought it not a busy holiday time so did not book my tickets before. I arrived quite early and got my ticket easily. However before the beginning of the tour I did notice other would be visitors get turned away. The tour groups are small I think only 20 people allowed at the same time, So in the summer and holiday periods I think it would be best ...

Ca L'Oller., Solsona 28/06/2017

Location for a drink in the heat in Solsona

Ca L'Oller., Solsona We visited the Spanish town of Solsona on our recent holiday. Solsona is in Catalonia on the route between Andorra and Barcelona. Map We explored Solsona and tired and hot found the Ca L'Oller a bar/taverna/ cafe near the cathedral. See for a map. This taverna is in a good location it is in the placa de la catedral with a good view of the cathedral. We sat outside there is also some seating inside. This is a very small taverna inside is tiny. Outside the tables are covered by parasols these are essential not just for the sun but to protect the tables from bird poo :-). While we were there, there were several other people sat at other tables. Our order was taken by the waitress. We were only having drinks (it is too hot to want to eat) .If we had wanted to eat the menu contained tapas, cheeses, sausages, omelettes and more. Looking at the prices were about what we had seen in other tavernas. The service was ok friendly not extremely fast bit considering how busy they were, not bad. Yes this was a good place to rest and have a drink, if we were hungry to have a snack. I would certainly recommend.

Scott Monument, Edinburgh 26/06/2017

I looked and marveled but did not climb

Scott Monument, Edinburgh I looked and marveled but did not climb. Sorry guys there's no way even you would get me to climb the 287 steps to the top of Scott's monument. The narrow stairs spiral to at 61.11 m above Princes Street gardens to get an amazing view of Edinburgh. ? So who was Scott and why build a monument to him? Sir Walter Scott was born in Edinburgh in 1771. He died in 1832. He was a poet, a writer, a pioneer of the historical novel. He part owned a publishing firm. He was a Tory. The President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Scot wrote and published many books to see a full list of his work go to He is perhaps best known for his poem The Lady of the Lake 1810, the novel Rob Roy 1817 and Ivanhoe (1819). After Scott died it was decided to build a monument to him, a competition for the design was held and won by George Meikle Kemp.The building of the Scots monument began in 1840 In 1836, an architectural competition was launched, inviting designs for an appropriate memorial. Two years later, the trustees approved the design submitted by George Meikle Kemp, and construction began in 1840. In April 1844 Kemp died before the monument finished. The monument building finished in August 1844 under the supervision of his brother in law The resulting monument is a gothic masterpiece. A spire built of Binny sandstone. This sandstone has blackened through time which I think suits the monument. If you look on the monument you will see a few ...

Kings Dwarf French Bean Tendergreen 23/06/2017

Tender green and dwarf

Kings Dwarf French Bean Tendergreen I am just starting to harvest the Dwarf French Beans that I sowed earlier this year they are Kings Dwarf French bean Tendergreen variety. '/'Availability I bought my seeds in a local shop which sells Kings Seeds. Kings seeds are not often available at garden centres. They can be bought on line at '/' Price £1.60 this price varies little wherever you buy these beans '/'Bean seed The seed is a small 1cm black and purple '/'Sowing I sowed my Tender green Kings Dwarf French bean in April this year. I started them off in a seed tray in the green house. These beans are not frost hardy so did not transplant the small been plants outside till late May when I hoped we would get no more frosts. I also start my seeds in the greenhouse as I get a lot of slugs snails in my garden and find that if I get the beans growing well they suffer less damage.. These seeds can be sown from April through to June. In June now I am now going to sow some more seeds to get a later crop. Depending on when sown the beans will be goods for eating from July to September. I sow my beans at about 5cm deep and plant them about 20cm apart. No I do not go around with a tape measure to get these distances, its guess work :-) These beans need watering and to be kept moist to grow. (Good science experiments with children grow some beans and water them grow other beans do not water them. What happens? '/'Growing These beans do ... 23/06/2017

Looking at Just recently I was searching many recipes/cooking websites for inspiration. One website that I came across was Although it does not say so I suspect this is an American site as the weights /measurements in cups. Some of the ingredients in the recipes are also American .There is a conversion table drop down to make converting measuerements easier, . This website has been around for a few years now. This website is simply laid out with a top drop down bar including home, browse recipes, reviews, pot luck, reviews, conversions, cooking times, diet health report, nutrition facts, forum. The home page , not especially eye-catching has chosen a few recipes to highlight as features articles There's a picture at the top of the page which changes click on this it will tale you to the recipe it highlights. These recipes are ones that are submitted by visitors to the site like you and me. On the home page there's a link on under new recipes, "see your recipe here" This is where you write your recipe. There are dropdown lists on this home page which will take you to various categories of recipes. Appetizers, Beans, Beverages, Breads, Breakfast, Cakes, Candies, Casseroles, Cookies, Crockpot, Desserts, Dips Dressings, Eggs, Equal, Fast N Easy, Fish, Fruit, Holiday, International, Italian, Jams, Low Fat, Main Dishes, Meat Dishes, Mens Favorites, Mexican, Microwave, Old Time, Outdoor, Party, Pastas, Pickles, Pies, Potatoes, Poultry, Puddings, Rice, Salads, ...

Rose Street, Edinburgh 07/06/2017

What's in a name? Edinburgh's Rose Street

Rose Street, Edinburgh When visiting Edinburgh recently I stayed very near Rose Street and walked along it visiting a few of the pubs . Here are my thoughts about this streer. @Location Rose Street is in Edinburgh New Town. This street runs parallel between Princes Street and George Street between St David's street and Charlotte Street. Hanover Street, Frederick Street and Castle Street intersect it. The hotel Castle view where I stayed in Edinburgh was on the corner of Castle Street and Rose Street. There are several lanes running as service streets behind Rose Street and the larger Princess and George Street. @About This street in Edinburgh New Town does not look much like what I would expect a new town street to look like, no big department stores no really modern shops. Theres fairy lights strung across the street. Rose street started life as a housing street not quite as upmarket as the surrounding Princes Street and George street certainly has character. It was built between 1770 and 1771. The houses 3 storey rubble houses. By 1820 it was becoming a shopping street. Now it is a street full of shops and has many bars. Rose Street was pedestrians in the 1980's. @My Experience No I did not do the traditional pub crawl along this Amber mile. The cobbled road is not wide. On the street there are eight different mosaic roses. I did not actually walk from right one end to the other, nearly but not quite. There are many watering holes along this road and apparently a pub crawl from one end to ...
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