Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Yarn along!


Today I'm joining in with Ginny's 'yarn along'.

 I'm making some progress with my Osen Christmas stocking knitted in Titus yarn
This yarn is so soft that I think I will be wearing this Christmas stocking, rather than 
hanging it up hopefully on Christmas Eve! 
Progress on this has slowed recently because I've been distracted by crocheting 
little red Christmas gift bags.  

I am making even less progress with 'The Full Cupboard of Love' - I just don't 
seem to be able to concentrate on reading at the moment. 
Looking forward eagerly to my next book!

PS Thank you for all the lovely messages left on my last post - and for all the offers of drives on which to park my campervan! Fun times beckon!

Monday, 16 November 2015

"swishing and swooping, tumbling and turning"


Do you watch 'The Apprentice'? This is one TV show that all the family in our house like. 

For those of you who do not know the programme, over a period of weeks candidates
 vie to become the business partner of Lord Alan Sugar (he of Amstrad and Tottenham 
Hotspur fame). The candidates divide into two teams and take part in a variety of 
challenges, such as selling pet care items at a pet show or developing a new brand of shampoo, 
and each week the team that makes the least money loses and at least 
one member from that team is fired). 

In a recent episode the candidates were charged with writing and printing a children's book. Team Connexus wrote a tale about a dragon-elephant hybrid creature named Snottledink  - it was really very good. Team Versatile opted for a story about Bizzie the Bee's search for honey. Poor Bizzie got blown about by the wind all over the place and one of the candidates memorably kept repeating, while swaying her body - 

"swishing and swooping, tumbling and turning". 

This is exactly how my mind has been feeling lately. 

There are many changes afoot - mostly related to that fact that my family is 
becoming more independent. It is a fact of life and I wouldn't have it any other 
way but it does take a bit of getting used to. After 20 years of three main 
elements to my life: children, work, home, my life now seems 
much more: work, home

 I feel my life has changed much, even over the last 2 months. 
Younger son left for University last year and elder son is in his final year so you 
would have thought I would be accustomed to their empty bedrooms, but I think 
because this year both of them are much more settled and established in their lives 
away from home that their combined absence has only now really hit me. 

I miss their lively conversations - the house is so much quieter. 
I miss their bodies not filling the space. 
I miss the coming and going of people. 
I miss that I no longer have to fill my brain with things to remember to do 
and that I no longer juggle transport for after school activities 
I despise myself because I find myself enjoying the fact that the house stays tidier - grrrr! 

Daughter is still at home of course, and misses the boys, frequently 
complaining that she does not like being an only child!

So I have been doing much soul searching, readjusting, trying to see 
this all as an opportunity and not a threat. You know, trying to think 
positive about it all. Realising that maybe the time is approaching for me to regain 
some of my independence after 20+ years of daily hands-on child care.  

As Thursday was such a beautiful morning I took myself up to a local wood for 
a bit of restorative fresh air and cogitating space. This is one of my favourite 
places local to us - it is just 3 miles away, I even cycled to it! 
Well, ok, it is a while since I have been on my bike so I cycled 
down the hills and walked my bike up them!

 I was so glad I went out, soon after I returned home the sun disappeared. 

Sorry, this is a bit of a self-indulgent post. Sometimes I just need to 
write my thoughts down to help me sort out 
their "swishing and swooping, tumbling and turning".
I've considered and debated with myself at length!  
If you have got this far, thank you for sticking with it and it has all helped.

And you know, I really think it might be time to start planning new adventures for 
that time when daughter leaves home. It might even be time to start saving 
for that longed-for campervan and a map of the world.  ;-)


PS. Thank you for reading. 
I'm not looking for sympathy, please save that for those around
 the world who really need it. 

Wednesday, 11 November 2015



November, what an unseasonably mild month it has been. 

November, means it really is time to crack on with Christmas crafts. This Osen stocking 
is proving a lot of fun to knit. 

I'm using Baa Ram Ewe's Titus  yarn. I also used this yarn for 
my Whitlam Cowl and maybe I just had a dud skein of Yorkstone but 
I was a little unhappy with it. The yarn had been spliced several times and I 
ended up with 4 balls of variable sizes. Not particularly satisfying.

So I bought Chevin (green), White Rose and Wesley Bob (red) with a bit of trepidation - 
but no fear! After balling each of the 3 skeins I ended up with 2 equal sized balls of each colour!

This would make a fantastic festive hat wouldn't it?

Progress has temporarily been halted while I wait for a small circular needle in the 
appropriate size to land on my door mat.
In the meantime I have just started to crochet the first of several small 
bags for Christmas gifts. 

We like to have reading material close at hand to our kitchen/dining table, something
 to fill our brains while filling our stomachs. For months these books and magazines
have sat on the end of the worktop by the table, their untidiness annoying me. But no longer! 
They are now neatly stacked in a wall-mounted magazine rack. I'm really pleased with it, 
and with my new book 'Student World Atlas', a super book full of facts, ideal for just 
dipping into for a few minutes. 

How beautiful our carillon looks through the autumn leaves.
This was built after WWI to commemorate those who gave their lives in the war. 

For the size of our town we have a very large event held here on Remembrance Sunday, 
with poppies dropped from the top of the carillon. 

And for those of you who are interested, here is a definition of a carillon from wikipedia:

carillon is a musical instrument that is typically housed in the bell tower (belfry) of a church or municipal building. The instrument consists of at least 23 cup-shaped bells, which are played to produce a melody. A traditional manual carillon is played by striking a keyboard with the fists.  

A walk in the city on a Sunday morning while daughter warms up for football. 

We tend to walk the same route as we know where we can buy coffee at the end with just 
enough time while daughter warms up. I love the mix of city life and buildings we see on 
this walk: light commercial, residential, 

and even the empty buildings have some beauty.  

We could be in the middle of the country here, rather than in a city, 
with the tram line passing behind me. 

Ummm, coffee at McDonalds - oh, we know how to treat 
ourselves on a Sunday morning when it's a home match!

November, and the fair has arrived in town! 
And I mean right in the centre of town - how unusual is that!

It brings congestion, confusion, empty shops 
but also bright lights, heart-thumping music, candy floss and happy faces!

November, with a huge fireworks display at the town's University and firework
 toffee made by my husband (ideal for expanding waistlines and removing loose teeth)
 .... yes, I like November!!