Thursday, 29 May 2008

Three more days to go.

We've only three more days to go before we trek down to Devon. I am so looking forward to it .Peace and quiet and hopefully some sun. This morning has been spent getting a basket of wool ready for small projects to knit. I should get plenty done . We are planning a trip to Coldharbour Mill for an Organic Wool fix. Plus we want to sus things out for Fibrefest which is on down there next year and hopefully we will be attending.
We had the Three Musketeers ( our Grandchildren ) on Tuesday but unfortunately it rained for the first time in three weeks so we were confined to barracks . They had a good day though with lots of home made food , pizzas , soup , bread and jam.

I've been knitting as well . I wanted a cream cardigan for my hols but couldn't find one anywhere so on Sunday night I got the needles out and found some cream Merino DK and made this . It's Forest Canopy . It's a quick and easy pattern to do and looks so effective . I did it bigger than the pattern so it will wrap round and keep me warm .

This is a close up of the pattern . There are only eight rows to remember plus eight different rows for the edge .
The best thing this week though is my weight loss. I started making a concerted effort three weeks ago to get my weight moving down again and I've done it . In three weeks I have lost five pounds and I hope to lose more . I'm taking the scales with me on hols just to make sure I don't fall off the rails , which I usually do . This time I'm coming back lighter instead of heavier.
This may be my last post before I go away as I still have quite a few things to do . So TTFN (to all my foreign readers that means Ta Ta For Now )

Quick PS The passes have just arrived for Woolfest on the 27th / 28th of June . Can't believe four weeks today we will be in Cumbria . Yeh!!!!!

Monday, 26 May 2008

The Caravan's packed , can i go now.

I spent all of yesterday ironing and packing clothes into the caravan ready for the off next weekend. It's great when you have a van you can get everything ready , it goes straight into the wardrobe no suitcases and nothing gets creased . Except that is ,when you go down a particularly windy , twisty ,bumpy road , that you weren't supposed to go down in the first place and everything ends up in a heap at the bottom of said wardrobe. This happened last year when we took a wrong turning to a caravan site and ended up having to do a 180 degree turn round on VERY narrow country lane.
Anyway everything's done so like a child I want to go now .This is an Edinburgh Marathon Medal . How have i got my mitts on one of them you may ask ??

Cos my Big Lad ran in the Marathon yesterday and brought it to show me. He did it in 4hrs 20 mins . Which isn't bad at all seeing as how he's never run one before . Me and DH are very proud. His legs haven't recovered yet and he's walking like an old man . I couldn't run a mile let alone 26.

The weather has been gorgeous over the weekend pity we weren't working but I managed to get all my jobs done . I've started knitting a shawl for my hols but i can't show a pic the batteries have gone on my camera so it will have to wait till my next blog.
Tomorrow the Grandchildren are coming for the day so it should be fun.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Bank Holiday Weekend

The weather outside is gorgeous but there is a cold wind. This is the first time I haven't worked May Bank Holiday in fifteen years. All due to some bureaucratic Jobsworth. Anyway no pics today I've borrowed an idea , with permission, from Leanne in Somerset hope you like it .

Outside my Window.......I can look down on the garden , all nice and tidy.
I am thinking ...... I should be getting the clothes ready to put in the caravan for the holidays.
I am thankful ....... For my family and good health .
From the kitchen ......... I can hear DH brewing up ....again .
I am wearing ....... A long denim skirt which I embroidered with purple flowers and a green and cerise pattered top.
I am creating ...... A jumper for one of my big lads .
I am hoping .......My eldest son will manage to call in on Monday on his way home to Somerset after running in the Edinburgh Marathon.
I am going ...... To plant up my pots before teatime.
I am reading ......... Lark Rise to Candleford and Donny Osmond's autobiography.
I am listening to ........ Waterloo Sunset by The Kinks.
Around the house ..... It's dead quiet .
One of my favourite things........ My spinning wheel , which I don't get to use as often as I would like.
Plans for the weekend ............ Nothing exciting . Just getting the caravan ready for next Sunday when we go to Devon.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Everything in the garden is rosy

This is a bit of a garden blog. This time of year I tend to outside more than in . If I have work to do in the Attic I try to get up early and get it done . Then do any handwork outside

The potatoes are coming along nicely. They should be ready by the time we get back from Devon.

Brussels and Cauliflower

Scarlet Runner beans . You can almost watch these grow. Nice row of Cabbage as well
All nice and tidy waiting for tubs and trough to be planted up.

I've moved the table and chairs near the pond so we can eat outside and listen to the waterfalls.
I'm getting the wild garden effect now and it's bringing in the butterflies and bees.
I've also been busy knitting but I can't show any pics due to the fact it's Christmas stuff for the family and I don't want to spoil any surprises. I've done loads of dyeing as well and when I've got it rewound I will let you see it . There's lots and lots of different plain colours for Stashbuster Socks.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Home Sweet Home

It is thirty seven years ago today since we moved into our house . It seems like only yesterday since we walked from my parents house , where we had been living , through the village . My big red pram loaded with the last bits and pieces and our five month old baby son .
We had scrimped and saved every penny for a year to get enough to put down on a house . It cost £3995 and we managed to put down £995 and got a mortgage for the rest . Back then only the husbands wage was taken into consideration when you applied for a mortgage . I had a little part time job working a few hours in my brothers shop which helped with the saving up. I gave that up when I became pregnant with No 2 son who was born the following January . There is only a year and three weeks between No 1 and No 2 . It was like having twins . I never went back to work DH was the breadwinner . We had DD two years later . We thought that was going to be it but we had a little surprise four and half years later when No3 son made an appearance. It's been a happy house and the children all have great memories of what we used to do . I never went out to work whilst they where growing up , I was professional Mum and loved every minute of it . We managed to bring four children up and pay the mortgage off eight years early all off one wage . I think we were lucky ,young people today struggle to pay mortgages with two wages coming in and Mums have to go back to work to pay the bills .

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Bus Passes and Nature Walks

Today we christened our Bus Passes. You can now go anywhere in the country with one of these without paying a fare . At last something for nothing !! The reason we did it was , we do a cycle ride twice a week which takes us to town and where curious as to what the distance was . The only way to find out was to walk it using my pedometer but instead of walking the length then having to walk back we took the bus into Preston and walked back . We weren't sure if we could take Meg on the bus but the driver said it was alright . She was as good as gold and just laid under the seat . It was all new to her but she wasn't phased at all. This is the long walk .You can just see Meg to the left. We love it down here . Meg can run free , all you can hear is birdsong and the occasional cycle bell . Dh takes a list of all the birds we see and hear for his BTO ( British Trust For Ornithology) reports . This time we got fifteen , we have been known to get twenty eight . The walk itself is a designated Cycle Path but it used to be a tram road taking coal from Barges on the Leeds Liverpool Canal at Walton Summit in Bamber Bridge to Preston. Like everything else now it's all gone but they've made good use of the long straight track.
There was Hawthorn blossom on abundance and the air was filled with it's fragrance . It's one of my favourite Spring smells .
Another of my favourites. We used to eat Clover heads when i was a child.
It was nice having a day off and it didn't cost a penny.

Guest Blogger

I have an extra blog today .You could call it a Guest Blog . These pics are from DD . She sent them to me the other day with a note . " Here are some pics for your blog " so here they are. She's been baking and proving to be a huge chip off the old block . I'm a baker by trade and when the children where all young they helped on baking days when they weren't at school . I don't bake as much these days as I would put on more weight than I already have done . DD has no such problem . For a kick off she's five inches taller than me and never carries a spare ounce. Who's a jealous Mum then ? Rasberry buns and biscuits.
Jam Tarts.

and if that wasn't enough, these are her first radish from her backyard garden. Quite talented.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Out of the Attic and Childhood Memories.

At last I'm out of the Attic . i was determined this week to get all my stuff finished for the stall then I could Dye more wool for Woolfest . I have completed 30 Memory Albums , of which you can see below . Weddings , babies , christenings , My Familys , school days and memories. There should be enough, hopefully, with the stock I've got to last me through the Cumbrian shows. I've also made 20 note / recipe books as well , which also brings my stock up to a decent amount.
Having got all this done I can now concentrate on Woolfest .

Childhood Memories
This morning I pulled a long hair from my chin and in doing that sparked a memory from my childhood . Every Sunday morning ,when I was young ,I used to walk up to see my Grandma and two Great Aunts with my older sister. After the visits ,which usually gleaned bags of toffees , we
caught the twelve o'clock bus home for lunch. Every week a lady used to get on at one of the stops and she had rather a lot of facial hair , which amused me and my sister no end. Consequently we named her Mrs Whiskers . I never knew her name but pulling that hair from my chin was grim reminder of what could happen :-)))))
Talking to DH about this got me thinking . There are no interesting people round these days . My young life was peppered with interesting people . The first I remember was Bob Bailey . He was the milkman who came into the lane twice a day with fresh milk on his horse drawn milk cart. The milk wasn't in bottles but in big churns . It was ladled out into pint and half pint kits and brought to our door where it was duly poured into a huge glass jug. Before i was old enough to got to school I was allowed to ride on the cart down to the bottom of the lane and back. Then there was The Banjo Man , he used to come in the lane on Sundays playing his Banjo for coppers. He was usually followed by Molly's Ice Cream Man pushing his pushcart of goodies. During the week there was a succession of tradesmen calling. Herman Seed used to bring veg , Harry Walne bread , for those who didn't bake their own . The Pop Man came on Tuesdays with pop in glass bottles for which you got 3d back when you returned them empty . Then there was The Lamp Oil Man who came with a huge horse drawn cart carrying paraffin , donkey stones, mops and all sorts of hardware . He always fed his horse when he stopped at our house. The Coalman came every four weeks and occasionally Walter Bates . He worked for the council and if your drains got blocked up he would come on his bike with the rods to do the unblocking tied to his handlebar. Oh! I've just remembered Percy Woods . He lived in the lane and also worked for the council on the roads and he drove a crusher , a steam roller. It was huge . I still see these magnificent machines when I attend Steam Rallys . I think I could sit here all day reminiscing .
There just aren't any people like this anymore . It's all supermarkets . I've said it before and no
doubt I will say it again I am so glad I was born when I was .

Monday, 12 May 2008


The blog isn't in some strange language from deep in the Amazon jungle , it's Lancashire dialect for " hasn't it been warm of late " . It has though but will someone please explain to me why at the first sign of a bit of Summer vast acres of milk white flesh have to be uncovered. I nipped into town yesterday to get some togs ,to go out in and the number of people walking round with the skimpiest of clothes on was mind boggling. The trouble was most were of , lets say , ample proportions . Do these people not have mirrors or do they choose not to look in them. I'm no Twiggy myself but the only time I expose my legs , chest etc is in the privacy of my garden . I wouldn't dream of inflicting my bits of my uncovered body on the rest of the world. In the words of my late Mum " Have they no decorum ????"

Any way back to my new togs . Reason I had to get them was we went out last night and I only had best Winter togs , so a foray into town was needed. We went to see Number 3 son singing at The St Ives Hotel in St Annes . As usual he was brill . There was only a small audience but big or small he gives a great performance . He sang Gene Pitney's " I'm Gonna be strong " for me . Talk about making the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. He's doing really well and is now singing full time .

I've been doing a bit of outside knitting in the evening . These are Stashbuster Socks and you can knit them with oddments or as I've done used some of my hand dyed . It takes three 25 grm balls of wool to make a pair of socks . In the pic above I have placed the yarn by the needles each one is on . It looks difficult but if you go to the link you'll find the basic instructions. You end up with a spiral stripe and you can't see a join .

The instrutions are given for toe up socks but I prefare top down so I've managed to work out what to do . If you do the cuff in colour A , the heel in colourB and the toe in colour C you will have enough wool for an average sized pair of socks . I'm going to dye up some 25 grm skeins for Woolfest for making these.
Well the Sun is shining again today after a terrible thunderstorm yesterday . It's much fresher so i'm going up in the Attic whilst it's cool . By this afternoon it will be like a furnace.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Another gorgeous day

We've had another scorcher today . Doesn't it make you feel better when the sun shines. I was up at 6-00a.m and had got all my ironing and chores done by 8-00am.
We had the afternoon off today. DD had invited us over to her house for tea , so we went over to see all the work she'd been doing last week decorating her kitchen .I've asked her to come and do ours . And take a look at her little veg patch in her yard. It's all coming along a treat .It's amazing what you can achieve in a small space.All her troughs full of salads and herbs.
Papa Bear shows DD how to prick out seedlings .
She made us a lovely steak salad for tea then we went for a walk in her local park .
It was still quite warm . DH bought us an ice cream . I shouldn't have had one but it is my one real weakness . When I was expecting DD i could put away a litre tub of Raspberry Ripple in no time.
These are the tulip beds in the park . They are all different Shapes
They must have taken ages to plant out . The effect was stunning.
I'll have to get some work done tomorrow , though I may go for a bike ride in the morning.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Lovely Sunshine

First a quick gloss over the Bank Holiday Craft Fair we did . It was c*** . Sorry about that but that's just how I felt. The Craft scene is struggling badly . Far to many organisers are allowing stallholders to sell bought in rubbish . We just can't compete . People expect to pay the same cheap prices for my hand made goods , which have taken hours to make , as they do for the bought in stuff. When I looked round the marquee on Monday I said to Papa Bear " I'd rather do nothing than this " Luckily I'm building up Wool Festivals and we've still got Cumbria. But as far as Cumbria is concerned , that might fold . The organiser is packing up and at the moment there's no one to step into his shoes. Plus we've had two fairs of his cancelled because of some bureaucratic nonsence which means he would have to take out a £1000 insurance . Because he does it for the pure love of keeping crafts alive and not as a business he just can't do it. So me and 30 other stall holders have lost lucrative Bank Holiday business . Along with several small shopkeepers in a village on the West Coast of Cumbria , who rely on Summer visitors to make a living. Right I will now put my soapbox away and show you some nice picsYesteday was so gorgeous that I decided to play outside instead of up in my workroom . I spent all day on the garden . Bliss. The perfume from the wall flowers was really strong.
Got it all weeded and transplanted a load of Aqualigia and Foxgloves that had self seeded . I'm getting a nice Cottage Garden effect now with the Forget me nots and Auriculas. I've got Poppy seeds to sow yet and I'm going to get some Pinks , my favourites . I've only to smell them and I'm five again coming home with armfuls from a neighbours garden .

Remeber the radish . They are coming on a treat now .
Runner beans ready for DH planting out.Aren't we doing well ?
This morning I got up at 6-30a.m and went for a ride on my bike . It was lovely and fresh . Hope to do a bit more cycling . My weight isn't moving so i thought a bit of biking might do the trick . I did five miles today so I will build on that. Ah well up to the Attic before it gets to warm.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Wonderwool Part 3 The Animals

There weren't as many animals at Wonderwool as there were at Woolfest last year but they were still cute.Pretty Alpacas . I could have taken one home.
Wenslydale Sheep . There coat is like dreadlocks but when its washed and carded it's superb to spin. Very silky.
Horned sheep . Don't know what breed this is I forgot to look at the sign . Oops .
He was nice though. Lovely thick fleece.
More Rasta sheep . This time Teeswater , which is a rare breed.
Last but by no means least . This is Ewestace , my new bag . Isn't he great , i just could not resist him. Well that's the end of the Wonderwool blog.
Today is May day and when I got up early this morning the first thing I did was go outside and wash my face in the morning dew. I have been doing this for as long as I can remember and my skin is as clear as anything . I have never had a pimple in my life and hardly need to wear make up . There are a few wrinkles but when I look at my contemporaries i'm not doing to bad on that score , so I will continue to do it every year.