Friday, 30 December 2011

A Happy Family Christmas .

Well folks I got all I could have wished for and had my happy family Christmas.
After the last two bad Christmases I decided I wanted a big traditional family one.
So the plan was we would have eleven for dinner.
DS1 said he couldn't make it with his two boys as his ex was having them over Christmas and he wouldn't be getting them till Boxing Day evening.
Papa and I worked hard baking and cooking and by Christmas Eve  the dining room was transformed.
By twelve o'clock Christmas Day everyone had begun to arrive so I went into the kitchen to put the veg on and do abit of sorting out  that's when i got my surprise.
DS1 arrived with his partner they'd driven up Christmas Eve and stayed at his partners parents then come over to us for Christmas dinner . So it was a full house .Just a pity his boys couldn't come. We had to rapidly dig out " emergency chairs " and jiggle things about but everything worked out in the end . 
I took loads of pics and here are some of them .

All in all it was a brilliant day and one I would like to repeat.
P.S. Something I forgot to mention. It was twelve months, on Boxing Day , since I last cried in despair.
Black Dog begone !!!!!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Remembering Bobby .

Today marks two years since I lost my beloved brother but I don't want to be all maudling and sad on this post I want to share  with you some of the significant memories I have of him.
Bobby was eleven years older than me and along with my eldest brother Michael they made it a very special childhood .
My memories started quite early in my life.
The first memory I have of him is whilst I was still in my pram and he was taking me to see a neighbour and got the pram stuck in the gate way. 
When I was six we lost our sister and it was he who came to pick me up from a family friend and wheeled me home on the seat of his bike . I can still feel myself resting on his back so's I wouldn't fall off.
When I was thirteen I didn't get a birthday card from him instead he sent me a telegram , some thing very special in those days , with the declaration "Welcome to Teenage "
He didn't laugh at me when aged fifteen I developed a teenage crush on one of his mates .
Bobby only lived round the corner from us when he got married and if I saw his mate walking past our house to go to Bobby's I'd find some excuse to go round . He didn't mind and let the crush run it's course.
Again aged fifteen I started work as a baker and had to get up early to start work at seven . On Good Fridays morning's , which I had to work, there were no buses running that early so Bobby used to get up on his day off and take me to work on motor bike and sidecar. He was  rewarded with a buttered hot cross bun straight from the oven and a brew.
During my early teenage years i used to attend youth club discos .Mum and Dad didn't like me walking home alone and Bobby used to come and meet me.But he didn't wait right outside and embarrass me in front of my friends , he waited across the road in the shadows .We'd walk along him on one side me on the other till we were out of sight of my friends then he'd cross over and walk me home.
When I was nineteen I had my heart broken by a boy I'd been dating for three years . Bobby was there to pick up the pieces .
He took the photos of my rather rushed wedding
 And when I went into labour with my firstborn he took me to hospital . Papa and I lived with my Mum and Dad for the first few months of our marriage . After a day of mild labour pains Mum decided we'd better get to hospital and as luck would have it Bobby had just got home from work and took me in, in his green A35 van . Hitting every pothole on the way to hurry things along :0) Baby wasn't born till after midnight.
When we moved into this house Bobby sorted out with a mate to move all our stuff here so we wouldn't have any expense and when a week later he was holiday he turned up on the doorstep with a load of gardening tools and my Mum and together we sorted the garden out .
Over the next few years he helped us get the house in shipshape.
When Robert, our youngest was born, he was the obvious choice as Godfather .
When i was forty I started to learn to drive and when I passed at last after four attempts he was thrilled to bits for me . He said "I'll give you one word of advise now .Always be aware of the driver behind the car in front of you " and I always have .
When Papa had to finish work aged 46 it was Bobby's shoulder I cried on and he was very supportive .
He a has been a constant in my life all my life . If I needed advice or help his was the first number I dialled. When we'd been away on holiday he was the first person I rang to say we were back . Whenever I got a new car the first journey out was round to his house toe let him see .When I got my present car two years ago he was in hospital and very poorly but I drove past the ward window just to let him see .
My last memories of him before he was struck down are especially good .
Bobby had was frightened of water and had never learnt to swim . Papa to was a late starter and had been taking swimming lessons . We persuaded Bobby to join him at the classes . He was scared at first but gradually got the hang of it . I spent hours swimming by his side encouraging him to slow down and take his time . We used to sing a childhood song together so he could get the rhythm . He progressed to diving in and I can still see his grinning face as he surfaced from the water .
So many happy memories and they are replacing the the horrible ones before his death.
I loved him very much and it was a privilege to have him as my brother .
Rest in Peace My Darling Brother till we meet again .

Monday, 19 December 2011

Christmastime Again

Hmm thought I'd better show my face :0)
Well it's that time of year again where everyone is running round like headless chickens, last minute Christmas shopping and hitting the supermarkets like food is going to run out . Why do people do that?
I've seen people already with shopping trolleys full to overflowing . For God's sake the  shops are only shut for one day, two at the most .
I'm going to be smug now he he !!
No queueing for me I've made all my Christmas pressies this year . Apart from toys for the littlest Grandbears and I got them half price from Sainsbury's in November. Everything is finished and just needs wrapping. I've got to psyche myself up to do that . I hate wrapping presents .
 But what i do like is trimming the tree .
 This is the best tree I've ever done.
 My father Christmas X stitch that comes out every year.
 And my beautiful crib.
 And lots of snowmen .
I've felt more like doing things this year. The last two Christmases haven't been good at all .
We are having a big meal Christmas day .Three of the my four children will be here with their partners and four of the six Grandbears as well . So it will be pretty hectic.I am so looking forward to it .
One Christmas regular has come to an end .Grassington. As regular readers know we usually travel up to Grassington at this time of year for the Dickensian Festival . It's an early start and a long drive to get there and it has usually been great but not this year. we didn't do well at all . So much so that we cancelled the last one.We aren't going to do again , I've decided that the long drive in the cold and dark is just to much . If Papa could drive as well it wouldn't be so bad but driving there at 6-00am in the morning and driving back at 6-00 pm is no joke .So next year we'll be staying in bed .LOL
One last thing. Remember at the beginning of the year I started my 26 A-Z sock challenge .Well
I've finished . And I'm pleased to say that I am the first to do so :0)
I've really enjoyed it as I love knitting on four needles .
I'll have to think of something else to do for 2012 .

Monday, 21 November 2011

Busy Busy .

Well we are two thirds through November and hardly a blog in sight . Sorry .
I have been unbelievable busy since we came back from Wales .
Sorting the Etsy Shop out has taken up so much of my time. I didn't realise how long it would take to get all the photos taken and loaded up . Not to mention all the dyeing etc .
I've not finished yet .There's still fibre,batts and project bags to go on there yet and this week we have to sort all the stuff to do Grassington on the 3rd December .
There is one thing I usually hate November, to many bad memories but this year because I've been busy it's not been to bad .
I've been busy knitting and keeping up with the sock challenge as well as Christmas presents . Here are the socks so far 
Nearly there :0)
I'm not the only one who has been busy either . Papa has been spending an awful lot of time in the garage.
Let me explain . A few weeks ago  whilst we were out and about looking at Christmas stuff I saw this .
An empty stable to put crib figures in . I thought it perfect for mine and was going to buy it but Papa said " I could make one of those " 
And look what he did 
 The crib figures are 40 yrs old . We bought them for our first Christmas in our new home and we are still here.
 The Ox and Ass .

 Even a hay loft complete with ladder .
Isn't he clever . 
Apart from the wood base and the back of the stable all the wood used was collected whist out walking Meg .I love the "palm " trees .
It will have pride of place in the hearth this year when i trim up for Christmas .
Another thing Papa has been busy with is he's learning to spin. After buying my Lendrum spining wheel last year my beloved Ashford Traveller languished in the corner gathering dust and i was going to sell it . But Papa decided he would try his hand at spinning on it and he loves it .
I will post pics of his yarns when i get a bit more time :0
Well that's all for now folks I have a Christmas cake to make , also some pastry to make for making pasties tomorrow , a huuuge pile of ironing to do .All before 3-30pm when a friend who we haven't seen for aaaaages is coming for a visit :0)

Friday, 11 November 2011

Etsy Shop Open for buisiness


It's been a long time coming but at last I am online properly .Hope you'll go over and take a peep and maybe treat yourself to some smooshy yarn .
Thank you .

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

A Short Stay in Wales

Last week we went down to stay with friends in Wales for a few days of chilling , spinning , knitting and eating.
We usually stop off in Llandudo for stroll along the sea front but this time we called in at Conway as we'd never been before.
This is the castle ( with a bit of Papa's head )
this was an old ship in the harbour.
It was very quiet in Conway. I love going to seaside resorts out of season.
this is the smallest house in Great Britain and is just on the quay side.
After our visit to Conway we drove down the B road to Annie and Tony's .
It made a nice change from hurtling along the A470.
During our stay Annie and I had a visit to Colinette  .This is a knitters paradise.
We were there ages.

Suffice to say my credit card was feeling very poorly when we came out.
It also took a beating when Annie took me to this fab little shop that had the most amazingly different clothes .
Will post pics when next I wear them.
All to soon the visit was over but it was a brill long weekend.
Now I need to get stuck back into work and get some dyeing and sewing done .

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Extra Long Blog

 Well at long last here is the extra long Blog I promised .Six weeks later but...better late than never.
Well here we are the 1st of Octobet and as I'm writing this the Sun is shining gloriously as we enjoy an Indian Summer . Wish we could have had it in August or July or June .....
I've got loads of catching up to do with you so I'll take it on a month by month basis.
July so us quite busy after a spectacular Woolfest. I was dyeing up a storm and replenishing stocks .
We went down to Bedford for the first ever FibreEast Show . What a surprise. It was only a small show but it didn't half pack a punch . We had an excellent weekend amongst very friendly people and it ended up 2nd for success surmounted only by Woolfest . We will be attending again next year .
July also saw us taking possession of our new caravan.
 Conciderably larger than our old one.
The pics don't do it justice as I couldn't get the whole of it in . I will have to take a pic when we are out with it .Because of the size it has had to go on the front garden and we have had to have the kirb lowered to get it on and off .To say it's fab is putting it mildly . It has an end bathroom so we don't have to squeeze in a cupboard size one anymore and it's got loads of little extras . A sky light in the roof , extractor fan when you're cooking , built in stereo , stainless steel sink. big fridge and loads of storage space for my knitting and spinning stuff..Unfortunately we havn't been able to go out in it since we got back from Devon because of a fault . We can never buy anything that works first time . Anyway after a lot of stamping of feet it was sorted this week .
At the end of July we had visitors from down South when DS no1 came up to stay .We managed to get everyone together and had a family teaparty .all 16 of us .My word our family is growing :0) I did take some pics but I'm blessed if I can find them on the puter.
After the sellout job at FibreEast stocks had to be replenished for FibreFest in Devon.
Unfortunately the show wasn't very good  due to bad planning and the layout of the show was far to spread out . Papa wants to give it one more go next year . We'll have to see if they have taken on board any feedback they've been given.
We had a lovely ten days in Devon though . We stayed at the site in Woodbury Salterton that we stayed on 2 years ago . It's a lovely nice quiet place with easy access . We had a few trips out to our favourite Lyme Regis and Buddleigh Salterton . If we do FibreFest next year we'll probably go there again.
September began with a visit from our friend from Wales who we hadn't seen since Wonderwool .It was lovely to see them again and we had a lovely four days eating ,chatting , walking . Annie and i went off on our own on the Sunday for a Woolly day in Harrogate visiting the Great British Wool weekend , which wasn't very great ,so we went to the patchwork show in the next pavilion. All to soon they had to go home .But we'll see them again later this month when we go down to them :0)
The rest of the month has been spent in the usual way in September making jams , pickles and gins . I have also been doing loads of knitting for Christmas . Can't post pics yet as they are surprises . I'm up to date with my A-Z sock Challenge on Ravelry i just need to put them on my projects page .
I ended the month with a long awaited trip to Manchester with my DD . Since she has become a police officer and working shifts it's been hard to sort a day out . Anyway we did it and I had a lovely day out with her . We visited the new Cath Kidston shop where i bought a few goodies
I wasn't allowed to buy anything else as DD is going to get in touch with the boys and get a collective Christmas pressie of all the bits and pieces I liked . Can't wait :0)

Now then I have two announcements to make . 
The first is I am opening and Etsy Shop
It will be opening , hopefully at the end of October as soon as I've got everything dyed/sewn/photographed.
The second announcement is I am taking part in Brownberry Yarns new sock club Legends
There are three Indie dyers  taking part . If you want to join click on the Legend link , it starts in December but subsciptions are now open. My contribution will be out in February.
All very exciting .
Right I don't think I've missed anything out so you're all caught up on my very hectic Summer .
Thank you for your patience :0)

Monday, 15 August 2011

Ahem :0)

Tiptoes in whilst no ones looking .
Just to let you all know I'm still here " waves nicely "
I've been so busy these past weeks that the Blog has had to take a back seat.
We are off to Devon on Wednesday with the new caravan :0) to take part in Fibrefest.
We are making a holiday of it whilst we are down there . Well it's a long way to go . That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
If you're coming to Fibrefest stop by and say hello.
There are new bags for sale and lots of my usual goodies .
I will post an extra long blog when I get back to fill you in on the past weeks .
Tiptoes out again

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Climb Every Mountain ........

Hi folks, finally got round to writing my Blog.
I'm being lazy and have managed to download my pics onto my netbook.
Well I've finally got  to the top of the mountain.
Woolfest weekend was the pinnicle in what has been a very hard climb .
The Wednesday evening before Woolfest I was calm as anything . No butterflies about towing the caravan , nothing. I even slept like a baby .I towed the van up to Cumbria without a care in the world .
On Thurday afternoon after I'd finished setting up I had the most overwhelming feeling of joy and elation. I can't put it into writing how powerful the feeling was but it was good .
I'd finally done it , I'd got to the top.
The weekend went brilliantly.
 I'm afraid i've only got pics of the stall
Because we were so busy I didn't have time to take any more .
We had the best Woolfest ever and it was good to be back after a two year break .
I made some new friends and caught up with old ones .Sadly some were missing this year but i'll be catching up with them later in the year :0)
Now the hols .
We made the 340 mile journey down to Cornwall with a slight detour, on the way down, to see our eldest . We did the same going home and it was good to catch up .Wish he lived nearer ,though we do catch up on Skype now .More of that later .
We had a lovely time but wished the weather could have been better. Cue Pics :0)
 Seaton Beach
 This the view of our apartments from the beach. you can see how close to the sea they are.
 This is the view from the balcony of the apartment at dusk.
 There was full moon whilst we were down there. It looks quite tropical doesn't it .
The sea on a very rough day .
It was brilliant being so close to the sea. every night I was rocked to sleep by the sound of the waves crashing on the beach. I think I was a mermaid in a former life . I just love being by the sea .

Now as I said earlier we have signed up for Skype .It's great. We can now see our two Grandbears ,who live 240 miles away , more often . We've missed such a lot of their growing up with them living so far away . but now we can do Grandparent things with them . The other night we even showed the youngest how to knit left handed  . He was thrilled to bits .
Another bit of news is we've got a new caravan .The old one is giving up the ghost. I'll be sad to see it go as we have travelled a lot of miles with it but it's got to go . We'll be picking up the new one next month when I'll post pics Well there's a few kilos of freshly dyed wool waiting to be reskeined ready for Fibre East later this month so i'd better get cracking :0)

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

What a difference a Year makes .

I shouldn't really dwell on the past BUT.....
Can it really be a year since a made my heartbreaking post about having to cancel Woolfest because of my deppression. I've come a hell of a long way since then .
I'm sat here feeling rather smug .
The car's loaded , the caravan's packed and there's just a couple of little jobs to do then......
" It's Woolfest here I come "
For those of you who will be coming along here's a taster 

A sea of coloured wool .
If you are coming please stop by and say hello .

BTW i will do a "Wot I did on my holidays " post when I get back .

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Greetings from Cornwall

Good evening folks . Just to let you know the Bears have decamped to the South Coast for two weeks .
This is our first seaside holiday for two years.
It's very special as it's a belated Ruby Anniversary present to each other .
We are ensconced in a beachside appartment in Cornwall.
As I write I can see the waves breaking on the shore.
Add to that a box of choclates , a glass of something chilled ,Papa Bear sat by me and Meg curled at my feet.
What more could a Laal Bear wish for .
Perrfick :0)

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Pond Project Update

Thought I'd give you a small update on the Pond Project.
 Just to refresh your memory it looked like this .
 Now it looks like this .
Inspired by the watching the Chelsea Flower Show this week I worked like a Navvy on Wednesday.
I stripped out the small bed by the pond and replanted it all with bee/butterfly friendly plants . Scabious , French Lavender , my favourite Pinks ,Aqualigia and Campanula .
I brought out my little Gnomes and Faeries from under the hedge to give the bed a bit a character.
It will take some time for all the plants to grow both in the bed and in the pond . I'll try and post pics from time to time through the Summer to keep you posted . 
I've been very busy this week , not only with the garden. I've been making myself some dresses for the upcoming trip to Cornwall . It's ages since I made clothes for myself and I've really enjoyed it .
I've had to get myself quite a bit of new clothes as I'm still having weight problems .But there is a reason   for it this time .It's not just me filling my face .On a recent visit to the Doc for a check up I mentioned my weight to him and he told me that it was a major side effect of the antidepressant I'm on . Well I'd rather be a size bigger than be ill again :0)
On a final note . Number 1 son ran the Edinburgh Marathon last week and did it in 4hrs 56 secs .Knocking 25 mins off his previous time and with a bad knee :0)

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Help Needed

I know this is a very longshot but is there anyone who reads my blog and is in Edinburgh and has a B&B or the like. No 1 son is running in the Marathon tomorrow and can't find a bed for the night .
You can email me on info(at)laalbear(dot)co(dot)uk replacing the words with symbols .
Thank you

Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Pond Project Day 4

 Well we're nearly there . We've had another warm sunny day and the boys have got loads done .
Stones have been laid between the two ponds to cause a babbling effect.
 The small pond waiting to be lined with stones.
 View from the top end .
 At 5 o'clock the new pump was switched on and we had water gushing over the stones and Papa was delighted . I wish i could get a video of it but I can't work out how to do it . It sounds great .
Can't wait to plant it all up and sit out having breakfast to sound of our babbling brook .
There are just some tidying up to do tomorrow and it will all be finished .
We are really pleased with the work Neil and Lyndon have done and if you like what you see and live in the Lancashire area I can highly recommend Alexander Landscapes