Friday, 9 October 2015

Five On Friday

Another week has passed and we are now well into October!  Where has the time flown.  Some of you commented on a remark that I had made in my monthly mantel post this week that there are only two more months of the year to go, and just how quickly the year had passed.  It really does seem to me that 2015 has galloped by at an alarming rate! 

They say that as you get older time appears to pass more quickly because a day, an hour, a year, is a smaller proportion of your life.  At 10 a year is a tenth of your life, at 80 it is an eightieth.  Makes sense really doesn't it.

Before any more time passes I will move swiftly on to this weeks Five On Friday.


Baking!  Always a fun thing to do.  I made some Pumpkin and Sage Quickbread using this recipe which I had cut out from a magazine years ago and had stuck into my own recipe book.  I can confirm that it is delicious and is of course the most perfect recipe to bake in my Nordic Ware Pumpkin Patch tin!  A pretty perfect combination I think.


Our bedroom decorating isn't finished yet, which is why I haven't revealed anything to you.  I have done a little windowsill arranging though after I moved things around in the living room for my autumn decorating.  Gosh, it is a never ending round of moving ornaments.  Next year I am not going to move things about so much.

Two little birds and a candle - that is actually dark blue not black as it appears here! - make a pretty arrangement.  Oh, and don't worry, we do have another window that doesn't look out onto a brick wall!


My Christmas Cactus is doing really well!  It has got loads of fat buds coming on it and I am thrilled to see them!  There is only one downside.  It is on a windowsill on the stairs and because it is doing so well I am loathed to move it in case it doesn't like it.  So I only see it when I go up and down.  You can just seem me dragging visitors halfway up the stairs to look at it can't you.


This is more of a shift change in thinking.  I have been doing a lot of thinking lately.  I wonder if that is why I have had a headache!  It is about blogging.  I took a few days off recently, and oh gosh it was liberating in a way that I didn't think it would be.

I had got myself into this cycle that I had to post every day, except Saturday when Five On Friday runs over - it goes until tomorrow evening if you want to join in!  I would write my posts and schedule them to appear at 7 am every day and would fret if I didn't have them done.  I made sure that when we were going away I had posts already written and lined up ready to go.

Silly really.  Anyway, I took the break and you didn't all run off screaming and I realised that it was OK!  I could post or not and you would be there and I wouldn't fall to bits either.  So you might not have noticed, but I have changed!  Sometimes I will still schedule posts - such as this one, I wasn't up just before 6 am waiting to press publish.  I wrote it yesterday afternoon.  If you are reading this just after 6 am I am still asleep!

Instead, I will write posts as and when I want to.  At the time of day I want, and if I skip a day, well that is fine too!

One other thing - which I fretted over more than anything and which I realise you will all think is even sillier - is that I have, I am afraid, stopped commenting on every single one of your posts and replying to all of the reply bloggers.  I probably still comment on most posts and will also reply to most replies, and those of you who only post occasionally will probably still see me in your comments all the time, but if you are more prolific like me, I might skip commenting occasionally.  I will still read though because I love to read what you are up to!

I will of course always continue to answer questions if I possibly can either directly or in the comments.

It takes a while for me to figure things out, but I get there in the end.  Better late than never as they say and I feel so much better for it.  Don't feel that you have to tell me that this is all OK and that I am a silly thing, I already know!  Thank you though!


OK back to less serious things!  Or in some ways actually on to something more serious.

You all know - yes I know, I go on about it ad nauseam - that I work in a historic house.  Well, I love it, but one of the things that stresses me out - the only real thing in fact -  and the thing that stresses everyone else out too is when visitors touch things.

Mostly they do it without even realising and I bet that I do it occasionally too and never realise.  Some people though deliberately touch things and that makes us all crazy!  It isn't so much because we think that anyone will steal something or break it.  It is actually worse in a way.  No matter how clean your hands are, you leave things behind that leave dirty marks, oils that attract the dirt and gradually things just wear away.

Case in point is this lovely pink chair.  The top of the cover is so worn where victors lean on it all the time - many times a day.  It has had some repairs, but they are now wearing and the top of the cover is also very grubby now.

So a solution was needed.  They called upon me!  How kind and how gratifying.  I have been asked to make two shawls that can be draped on the furniture, protecting the delicate areas and at the same time looking as though the lady of the house has just come in and dropped them there.

I made this shawl a couple of years ago, but it is too short of me.  So I never wear it.  So I have donated it to protect this chair.  It will be far more use here than stuck in a drawer never seeing the light of day.

The other piece of furniture needing protection is this chaise.  At the moment you can see that there is an antique fur coat here trying to protect the fabric.  But this raises several issues in itself.  The coat gets worn out by touching and many people don't like to see furs although it is, and we do explain that it is, an antique.  So I will be making another shawl to go here.  This one will be in some creamy colours.

It was lovely to be asked to help in this way, and now there will be a little part of me in the house for many years to come!

On that note, here endeth the fifth item for this week!  I hope that you are all well and that you will have a great weekend!  If time is on your side, do go and read some more Five On Friday posts.  I will be by to read all of yours, see you over at your place later today!

Thank you so very much for the enormous number of comments you all left on last Friday's post.  Really I was overwhelmed.  I am just so glad that you enjoyed seeing my door arrangement so much.  Thank you!



Thank you - as always! - for joining in last week.  I look forward to reading your posts again this week too!  Remember, anyone is more than welcome to join in, read this bit below, go and visit the Five On Friday page and then write your own post and then come back here and link in!

If you want to grab a Five On Friday Button or get more information about how to join in the All About Five On Friday page will tell you all that you need to know.

The Five On Friday "opening hours" are from 6 am on Friday until 7 pm on Saturday.  Please include a link or the button to my Five On Friday post within your post, or to make reference within your post to the button if it is in your sidebar.  This is to be fair to everyone.

If you want to check out anything else about Five On Friday see the All About Five On Friday page - top right of my sidebar.

To visit other bloggers taking part, just click on the links at the end of the post.  Please do go and visit their lovely posts!



  1. The bread certainly looks delicious, what a great tin just perfect for the season. How wonderful to have something that you have created at Basildon park, your own legacy lives on what a delight. Have a great weekend and thank you for hosting.

  2. Hi Amy, it's always a joy to read your blog. The autumn cake you baked looks so beautiful and I'm sure it tastes yummy, too. I liked what you said about blogging. I sometimes feel that my blog has become a job. It should be something enjoyable and not a burden. I find your work at the historic home so fascinating; love the shawl you made. Have a wonderful weekend, hugs, Pat

  3. That was such a good post Amy! What a fabulous tin for your pumpkin bread - and the mixture didn't get all stuck round the little pumpkins, genius. I have slipped into writing something everyday which I didn't really mean to but I am still trying to write about things I want to remember so I expect I'll gradually run out of ideas and write less often. Thanks for all your comments I have really appreciated them but I don't want to wear you out. If you have replied to my replies on your piosts, I haven't seen them as I don't get a notification so thanks for those as well. People can be so irritating touching things all the time, I can quite understand your feelings but it's great that your crochet will now be admired by all the visitors. Have a good weekend. x

  4. Agree with what you said about blogging. Definitely do it when the mood takes you and don't be a slave to it :-) That's a very neat solution for the lovely chairs – well done. Have a super weekend. Sam x

  5. wow for the gingerbread. And how absolutely fabulous having some of your crafty work on display - a real treasure in a beautiful old house.

  6. Hi Amy, I am a relative newby to your blog and I love it!

    I would love to join in on 5 on Friday but I am not entirely sure about what the 'rules' are - is this just 5 things that I have enjoyed in the week?

  7. I'm glad you've freed yourself from some of the self-imposed blogging strictures Amy, it will be so much nicer for you to blog and comment just when you really want to. And as you say, really, nobody minds, everyone is happy for you to do that. I love the shawl over the chair, it's the perfect place to have something beautiful and handmade, they are lucky to have you I think! Wishing you a good weekend. CJ xx

  8. What a great idea with the shawls and of course you are clever enough to do a lovely job. Now, how many times have I said, your loyal followers will still be here, even if you don't post everyday! I find I can't spend too much time on the computer, and end up feeling as though I've wasted part of my day. I do like posting, but only maybe once or twice a week, as not much exciting happens in our life now that we are retired. Have a wonderful weekend and take care.

  9. I'd never thought before why time seems to go by so much faster as you get older, it makes perfect sense that it's because it's a shorter percentage of your life. How lovely to have some of your crochet draped about Basildon, it's like you're putting your own personal touch on the place.

  10. How lovely to have things you've made being put to such good use and how clever to make it look like an item that's part of the everyday house. You are the lady for that job, for sure, with your lovely craft items. I'm the same re commenting and reading too sometimes- life is busy. Have a great weekend my friend XX

  11. Your pumpkin and orange quick bread sounds and looks amazing - love that tin! Your shawl looks perfect on that chair and, as you say, how special to have something of yours on display in that beautiful setting. Have a great weekend. xx

  12. Your quick bread looks amazing made with the autumn pan! The details show up so well. Can't wait to see your redecorated room! It think that's a really special gesture of Basildon to ask you to make up these pretty shawls. What surprises me is that people are allowed to walk around the room. In historic homes here, the norm is to rope the room off so that you cannot access anything, just look as you walk through the rooms. I'm glad you have made another step in making your blogging less stressful and more fun for you. Have a great weekend!!!!!! We're going to have some very warm weather this weekend ... highs of 21C for Thanksgiving! Back to shorts ;)

  13. The Christmas Cactus is amazing, so many lovely buds. I wouldn't risk moving it.

  14. Good morning, it's a rainy Friday morning here. I cut back on my posting too, daily is just too much of a commitment and I also find then folks don't read everything you post. I blog for me, join in on link parties when I can and share what I like to do. Love the pumpkin loaf tin, perfect for now. Your Christmas cactus looks very healthy, hope there are lots of blooms.

  15. Hi Amy! I'm glad you don't feel like you have to post every day unless you want to AND that you don't have to get back to people when they comment. It's nice that you often do, but it is VERY OKAY if you don't. You have a good heart. I read so many blogs and I try to remember that they each represent a lot, the person and all of their unique preferences and loves. Maybe I'll do a Five on Friday post right now. Friday comes around so fast!
    Oh! I love it that you are contributing shawls to protect the house's lovely pieces!

  16. Your shawl is an excellent solution to a perennial problem. Well done for donating it. I also love the cushion on the same chair. It is so flamboyantly '50s. I don't think I got round to commenting on yesterday's post but I just wanted to say how much I liked the photos of your garden.

  17. Hi Amy! Your quickbread is the perfect bake for Autumn and Halloween. It just looks amazing! I don't think I've ever seen a baking tin like that before.I'm impressed! And don't worry too much about blogging every day. You have to enjoy it, and putting pressure on yourself takes out all the fun. Your readers will always be here so don't worry. X

  18. Love the pan you used for your quick bread, so very pretty :)

    I completely agree with you about the blogging, I think we sometimes put too much pressure on ourselves to crank out posts and keep everyone entertained. When blogging becomes a chore, it's not fun anymore. I've had to step back or cut back from mine many times before, it just is what it is.

    I decided to join in with you today, my first time but I had fun :)

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend :)

  19. Love the pumpkin patch tin...but not as much as I love robin!
    Jane x

  20. Oh wow, look at your bread! I am glad you are feeling less stressed about blogging. This should be a joy not a chore! I remember way back when I was young I thought I'd be indispensable at work. Then I went on maternity leave and noticed that work was just fine without me stressing about it. It was painful but I took this as a lesson for many other aspects of my life, including blogging. I blog for myself and I only do it when I am in the right mood. Yes, of course we write for others to enjoy snippets of our lives but the world keeps on turning when we take a holiday. I am glad though that you don't take too much time off because I enjoy reading your blog xx

  21. What a great idea to have strategically placed shawls to protect the chairs at Basildon Park from sticky fingers and how wonderful that they are yours too. I guess some visitors can't be content with just looking. I love the way that in some NT properties they place teazle heads tied with pretty ribbon on chairs to stop people sitting on them. I don't write posts as often as I used to only once or sometimes twice a week and I don't stress about it as much as I used to either it's a good feeling. Your pumpkin bread looks amazing. Have a lovely weekend:)

  22. Amy, you must only write a post when you feel like it, never because you feel you have to! It should always be a fun thing and your readers will, I am sure, understand if you don't always post every day.

    I love those shawls on the chairs! What a totally brilliant idea, and the colour looks so good on the pale pink upholstery and with the rose patterned cushions. As you say, most people don't realize that they are touching things, but some are just blatant about it. I once visited Powderham Castle (not NT) and there were two gorgeous cream-silk upholstered sofas on which two very badly behaved children were climbing. This was a house in which you joined a tour, you were not permitted to wander around on your own as in a NT property, and the tour guide had to reprimand the children. Indeed, if I'd been the tour guide I'd have had a strong word to say to the parents, because obviously they hadn't explained that shoes were for the floor and not for the sofas. My mother always taught me - and sadly, with so many hands-on things available now - that I must "look with my eyes" and not with my hands. A good message to get across to a lot of children today.
    Margaret P

  23. Oh Amy - your fourth comment I think is something that a lot of us think. I like to think of my blog as a place of joy, for it is so wonderful to be able to share and feel like a part of a community. And as all joyful places, when a place or thing doesn't bring joy anymore, it is good to reevaluate and change so that it does. Find what fits you at your time and point in life. So I think the changes that you are making are wonderful! And wow, working from the historical house - how fun to be able to be a part of the project by having your hand knits there! Knitting is so beautiful - it has been on my to learn list for years and years and years, like since I was a little girl years. Hopefully I can still learn this year, which apparently only has two months left! Oh my! =) Have a happy Friday Amy. Aloha.

  24. I used to work in an historic house as well, for several years and it was hard seeing people ignore your warnings about not touching. There is a very real danger to historic items from the oils and acids in our hands! It was interesting seeing you post about this also. And I love that you feel you don't have to post every day but just "when you want to. " I post about four times a week, linking into my favorite memes mostly, but when I visit someone's blog who does a post every day, I have missed a LOT since my last visit. I think most people have such busy lives, they can't visit everyone like they would like to, and someone with six posts you haven't seen puts the pressure on! :-) I know what you mean about the year going by so quickly. Yes, it's almost mid-October. I have already set my sights on Christmas shopping and planning because it will be here VERY SOON! I really hate it when people complain that Christmas things come out in the stores the day after Thanksgiving, but to me that's doing it LATE. It only gives a person one month to get ready and that isn't enough time! Since it's my favorite holiday, I start enjoying it when I can! :-) Just now getting into the spirit of fall though because our temps finally dropped. Have a great week. And thanks again for your wonderful meme.

  25. Hi Amy,
    I love your baking and crocheting. Oh Amy this whole blogging thing is so hard especially trying to fit everything into our busy schedules! I love your blog and your visits and I thank you for that. I hope you have a lovely Friday and weekend.
    Hugs, Julie xo

  26. OH! I love the shape of the bread made by that tin!

  27. Wow!! that is fantastic that you were asked to help out, just think you have contributed to the conservation of that furniture for more generations to enjoy. I know what you mean about the regular posting thing, I have been panicking about it myself and don't really know what to do. A lovely five, especially the cake it looks delicious. Thanks for hosting xxx

  28. Amy, looks like you will have some beautiful blooms on that Christmas Cactus, so we will be looking for a picture. My mother had one that always bloomed in the late fall.

  29. Hi Amy, I love your pretty cake - it's so nice to have a treat now and again! I also love your little birds on your windowsill - I collect stone birds :) It is wonderful that you donated your lovely shawl. What a sweet little chair and they look so pretty together. I hope you find a happy medium with your blogging - I go through times when I want to blog all the time and times when I have nothing to say (Is that possible? - My Mr. would say No to that!) It takes a while to strike a balance, I think. So Happy Friday and hope your weekend is sweet. Thank you for hosting! xo Karen

  30. That bread looks amazing!! It's important to take some down time for you, we understand that and will still be here :-) Grab a great book, a comfy blanket and curl up and read a great book! You deserve it!


  31. Hi Amy! Your posts are always so full! The bread looks beautiful and I'm sure it taste as good as it looks. You know when I first started blogging I was alot like you. I just thought I had to post every day. Finally realized I didn't need to do that. It was freeing. Unless I'm traveling or something, I usually do comment back to my commenters. I know most folks don't do that but I do. I'm just so thankful people would come and read my silly posts! :) How nice and what an honor to ask you to help with the furnitures fabric. I love the idea os using shawls. You'll have to show us when you make the second one. Thanks for popping in and have a great weekend.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  32. That bread looks amazing! Amy please don't stress so it really doesn't matter how little you blog or how few comments you reply to we will love you just the same. I used to blog 3 times a week now I don't but maybe I will again when the mood takes you have to enjoy it that's what blogging is all about. I think your shawl looks lovely draped over the chair and what a great idea and how lovely that they came to you for help. Have a great weekend xxxx

  33. Your bread looks amazing. I made a Pumpkin loaf today. Don't stress Amy just blog when you feel like it. Joan at

  34. Wow! Your pumpkin bread is amazing! It's a wonderful shape! I think the solution of the shawls over the furniture is a very good one and you work is perfect for the house!
    Love you r post and thanks for hosting!

  35. Amy, you blog for yourself and so it is right that you post as and when you feel like it... And of course, we will still always be here! I love that baking pan... And the bread looks really good!

  36. I have never seen a loaf of bread like that - I understand you have a fancy loaf pan - that doesn't change the fact that it look like total and complete magic . . . so way cool!!!

  37. I used to post every day too but then I didn't and it was so freeing. I've blogged more this week than I have for ages - and it wasn't because I'd sewn something! It was because I hadn't! Daft or what? LOL

    What a great idea about the shawls. I can imagine, in the future, a guide will be telling the story of the chairs and about the lovely lady called Amy who made shawls to protect them. :o)

  38. I use to feel guilty if I didn't post every day, but I got over it. Other things take precedence. I hardly ever reply to comments, instead I comment at that person's blog, if I can.

  39. I fret so much about responding to comments when actually few bloggers respond. I think you should be easy on yourself and post when you can, if you skip a day or two it is just fine, life is busy. Well done on the shawls for work, great idea.

  40. Sorry I couldn't join this week Amy! Still having fun time with my Uncle & some other relatives. I'll be back on schedule next week.
    Such fun in your 5 things this week. I LOVE that pumpkin patch tin! That has to be the cutest loaf of bread I've ever seen. ;) Sure sounds selfish too!!

    Can't wait to see your bedroom reveal. Love the birds & candle!

    Also, love the shawl solution for items at your work. What a great idea and how wonderful they have a pro like you to make something. ;)

    I think it's wonderful for you not to put so much pressure on yourself too. Take days off from blogging when you want & keep it fun for yourself & not "work".

    Blessings on your weekend. Xoxo

  41. Blogging should be as and weSweetheart, it's really the only way I can operate! I never think about what I'm going to write, or when. I just think right I'll do one now, and it usually takes no more than 15-20 minutes, especially if I've already got the photos edited...that's the longest part! I try and read a few blogs each day, and I comment as and when. Blogger, for some reason won't always let me comment! I try to reply to everyone's comments on my blog, it seems to take forever if I try to reply via email. It's your space Amy, do it your way :) xxx

  42. Good to hear you've found what suits you regarding blog posts and comments. There's no one size fits all, is there? Your pumpkin bread (and have to admit I've never baked with pumpkin) looks delicious. I'm envious of your baking tin! Happy weekend.

  43. Hi Amy, I can't believe how people handle antique items. You would think that most must know by now about the danger of acids and oils in our skin and the effects on what we touch, but I am most shocked and annoyed when you see the "experts" on certain antiques television programmes handling really old items, and especially parchments, letters or fabrics without gloves!

    Love the bread from your tin! And the shawl idea is terrific!

    It is hard to fit in blogging - it's just nice to see what people have to say when they can manage it.

    Hugs. Barbara xx

  44. Wow, I love the pumpkin patch tin Amy, how clever is that? And perfect for the season as well as delicious. Yes people touching things is always a concern in museum is disappointing that it is so difficult to convince people Not to Touch! I think the shawl solution is brilliant, but of course they will wear and also have to be replace eventually :) As I work in an Art Museum, touching is absolutely forbidden, and there are signs, but people still reach out. I have had to very quickly intervene a few times...

  45. Hi Amy, I always look forward to your posts and this one is no exception. The idea of draping shawls on the furniture is inspired, and what a compliment that you should be asked to provide them! I love it. And I shall continue to look forward to your posts, even if they are less frequent. Take care. x

  46. I think the important thing is to blog in a way that brings you joy, not stress or pressure. I used to blog twice a week, but have cut back to about once a week. For me this is what I can handle without feeling anxious about getting the next post out. We will all be happy to read your posts no matter how frequently or infrequently you publish them.

  47. Lovely photos and great post, Amy! I love the pumpkin patch tin! :)

  48. The bread came out looking so good!!! I'm glad to see that your Christmas Cactus is full of blooms. Mine did not bloom last year, but are looking pretty buds yet!

  49. Wow - great post - I have serious pan envy for that nordic ware baking pan - I've never ever seen anything like that. And the bread looks delicious. Love the photos of the historic home and your solutions. Pretty christmas cactus. I have had trouble getting around to see blogs lately - my husband is facing surgery on Wednesday and things have been hectic - but I always appreciate that you visit my blog when I have time to post and you leave a comment, sometimes that is just what I need in a day. I missed five on friday - had some ideas but the time just seems to get away sometimes - hopefully I'll be back in a week or two.

  50. Gosh you have a lot of comments to read too. 50 of them now, but I still wanted to comment & encourage you to blog when you want to. As well as you finding it difficult to post every day, I find it difficult to catch up with blogs every day. Brilliant use of your shawl, it is difficult not to touch in museums & country houses.

  51. sounds like your blog break has allowed you to get some sense of balance into your blogging, you make a lot of sense in point 4. x

  52. You must do what suits you in terms of blogging, Amy. Do it when you feel like it and reply/comment as and when, no one will get cross with you :-)
    The shawls are a clever way to save those chairs, aren't they? xx


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