Saturday, 6 February 2016

A RESOUNDING FAREWELL TO JANUARY!

I haven't posted for ages mainly because I really didn't know how to begin and I still don't really but I have to start somewhere so here goes.

January saw my son & his wife separate, breaking up my gorgeous, perfect, little family. It's been so tough on everybody, trying to understand and doing everything we can to be supportive. We love them all so much, it is very hard!

January also was the month that my elderly parents became much older and more fragile.
My dad had a nasty infection in his leg which resulted in us getting the emergency doctor to call on a Sunday night and then, just the other day a possible DVT which thankfully proved to be not the case.
My Mum had a fall after creeping about on the landing at night, in the dark. The little glow night lights we'd put in place had been stowed away in a drawer because my mum said they weren't necessary as she could walk around every room in their house in the dark with no problem!
 "Not on that day Mother!!"
Although she bumped her head on the bannister, no bones thankfully were broken.

Throughout January I can honestly say I wallowed in my own misery. In fact I was happier, in a strange sense of the word to wallow, rather than trying to make a greater effort to pull my socks up and get on with life. 

My concentration levels have taken a battering as well in January, sewing has gone right out of the window and the apron I'm supposed to be making myself has been put away for another time.
I have knitted a sock (not a pair) and even that hasn't been the easiest of tasks. As a skier can run off piste, the knitter in me, ran off pattern. 
I started following the pattern quite well, turned the heel, then carried on looking at the pattern and knitted a completely different pattern that I'd made up in my head. As I was reaching the toe I noticed my huge error and at that point, "to bin, or not to bin!" came to the forefront of my mind. I could have cheerfully dumped the whole lot, yarn, needles and pattern in the dust bin but something in me relented and two evenings later I'd taken it back to the heel and continued, only just finishing it last night.

So February dawned and along with it my birthday and an accompanying rotten cough and fluey thing that nearly everyone else has suffered with this winter.
Terrific!
My husband had booked a day off work so we could go out for the day and I was determined to go.
First stop, to see my grandchildren and daughter in law where they'd laid on a lovely breakfast of croissants and the girls had made me a birthday cake. My son was there too making pancakes for us all.  (As I said before, trying to understand!)
While the children headed off to school, we left them and headed off to Blakeney in Norfolk. I wanted to spend the day somewhere, peaceful and quiet. 

It was lovely and bright as we walked down into Blakeney


We've visited there several times before but have never walked along the coastal path to Cley.


To say it was windy, is a little bit of an understatement. It was very, very, very, windy!


My husband took the photos while we walked and I thought.


I made some February resolutions.


I cleared my head and reignited my energy levels.


I began to actually enjoy myself, fighting against the wind to stay upright.


We walked into the village of Cley, going past the windmill.


A delightful shop there sold very tempting homemade cakes and we shared a norfolk pasty and munched on flapjacks as we left the village behind and walked along the road to get some respite from the wind making our way back to Blakeney and the car.

The walk, the fresh air and in fact the whole day did me the world of good and I'm now looking forward to February being a good month in my calendar. I'm also hoping to get back on track with my knitting. At one point I had told my husband that I felt like giving knitting up completely to which his face became horrified and he enquired. "What about all that wool you've got stored upstairs!!"

Ha ha dearest, do not worry, I'm sure I'll knit it all up eventually and probably buy some more too.



Saturday, 9 January 2016

A NEW YEAR AND FRESH IDEAS!

Between christmas and new year we always spend some time walking by the sea.
On new year's eve, a very bright if somewhat blustery day we headed off to Shoeburyness to walk towards Southend. As it's been so mild, I contemplated wearing just a light jacket but my word was I so pleased I'd grabbed my winter's coat, hat, scarf and boots as we were leaving home.
The wind was so strong down by the sea it made it feel so cold, I was amazed at how many windsurfing people had taken to the water.
How also, I managed to take this photo I don't know with one hand trying to maintain a firm grip on my phone and the other holding on to my hat!


 Halfway through our walk we did have some respite from the wind. We sat in the warmth of a restaurant overlooking the water and enjoyed some extremely tasty fish and chips.
In our house a visit to the seaside and a plate of fish and chips always go hand in hand.

So we welcome in 2016, no new year resolutions made here. There is so much going on in my life at this moment that I'm going to take each day as it comes.

My yearning for bright colours continues. I bought this yarn at Yarndale back in September to make a bright and cheery scarf


 and indeed it is very bright.
I had ideas in my head to make a crocheted chevron design scarf but after a couple of evenings of despair, gave up, cast some stitches on my knitting needles and came up with this pattern myself.


With winter coming next week, I think I may have finished it just in time and tonight I shall wear it when we go to  see our grand daughters in panto with the Wickham Bishops Drama Group
By wearing it there will the 2 children see me from the stage through the dazzling lights?
Will it be, oh no they won't or oh yes they will?
Sorry, I can't resist a bit of pantomine jargon.

I really do want to do some more sewing this year so yesterday I bought this fabric to make myself a new kitchen apron. 


As I stood in the shop choosing what to have, the lady explained that if I wash it above 30 degrees this fabric may be inclined to shrink a little.
As I left the shop with it in nestled safely in my bag I thought,
I've got to make it up first!



Thursday, 24 December 2015

CHRISTMAS GREETINGS!

When we were on holiday in October we bandied around lots of ideas to improve our home in the new year.
When we got back home, we started looking around, getting more ideas. The chimney sweep came and while he was sweeping and I was nattering on about our plans he recommended someone to change our fire and fire place. We got rather carried away and decided how nice it would be to have the fire in place for christmas so that was the catalyst that started the ball rolling.
Then came the ceilings, ,landing, hallway, lounge and dining room all plastered, followed by the flooring and then in the last couple of weeks, finally painting the walls.
Hence no blog, lots of mess, no furniture in its right place and christmas in orbit.
At one stage I didn't think we'd ever be straight again!


These hats are the only things to have come off my needles, one each for my granddaughters.



Despite making a defiant statement that I wouldn't be making Christmas cakes this year.- I did!
I had 3 little helpers round to decorate the cakes and we enjoyed a morning of icing sugar mayhem!



With the lounge decor in mind we went out the other day to buy a rug and came home with a rug and a new fairy for a tree that at the time was still propped up outside by the garage door.
Would it ever make it inside in time?


Well, yes it did!
And,
with the lounge finally finished we were able to put our fairy and our tree in place.
It's been all rush here this last month or so,  but  so worth it!


As we head towards a new year, I'm looking forward to spending Christmas with my family.
Then after I'll be itching to start something new whether it will be knitting or crochet, I have yet to decide.

Thank you for dropping by my blog this year and reading through my ramblings.
Merry Christmas to you all!



Saturday, 14 November 2015

HATS ON THE NEEDLES!

For the past couple of weeks I've been making hats. I made 3 for my friends grandchildren in an aran yarn which I totally forgot to photograph before passing them on and today I finished this one for Alfred. I bought the yarn when I was in Camden Maine and it's worsted Misti Alpaca from Peru. I'm going to make an identical hat for Jack as well. The yarn feels ever so soft and I'm sure the boys will have lovely warm ears throughout the winter when they wear them.


I had a nice treat this week. We've had quite a busy time here recently and my early morning swims have dwindled to one session a week. I really feel that I need more exercise. So on Wednesday morning I took Alfred for a long walk along the seawall.
The tide was high when we set off and the skies overcast but luckily it was fairly mild. Unfortunately  at this time of the year if it's mild, the path is generally muddy in places but we kept going dodging as many of the slimy puddles as we could until we reached the paved path.


We went passed this little house on stilts that recently featured in Homes by the Sea on TV which the owners bought and renovated as it apparently reminded them of a holiday trip to Antigua.  Having been to Antigua myself, I would think you would need a cocktail of high tides, cloudless blue skies, scorching heat, a chilled glass of wine and an over active imagination to recapture that particular scenario. However, I cannot deny that this place has got its own beauty. The new owners have transformed the property into something quite special. Perched on the seawall it is in a very quiet tranquil area. To have this as a little bolt hole must be quite idyllic.


So, a little further on, we saw that this place is up for sale.  It will be interesting to see if someone will snap it up and turn it into another riverside retreat.


There were quite a few people out and about as boats were being pulled from the water ready for their winter storage.


The now empty beach huts were standing out proudly with the water lapping all around their feet. We were getting closer to our destination and as it was approaching lunchtime I began to wonder whether the cafe would still be open and I regretted not checking that before we had left home.


However fortunately for us the Osea View cafe was open and Alfred and I enjoyed our first lunch out together, a slice of cheese on toast for him and a toasted sandwich and a cuppa for me. Ok, not much of a banquet but very special.  A brisk walk home, as there was now a chill in the wind, an afternoon nap for him and an hour of knitting for me.

I had a great time, I hope he did too!

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

A WALK ON THE FOGGY SIDE

Sunday dawned and it was quite gloomy, the fog lingered throughout the day. Yet, we felt the need to get out and stretch our legs so we went up to the town and wandered down by the river.  
There were lots of people about, some families picnicking, others taking their boats out.
Both, we thought were strange things to do as in some places you could hardly see in front of your noses. 
We guessed the families were on a promised day out and no one ever wants to disappoint their youngsters, but the sailors, we really couldn't fathom why they were heading down the river.


Just a couple of weeks ago we were driving through New England in brilliant sunshine enjoying the beautiful changing colours of the leaves


and this weekend I only had to walk out of my back door in foggy Essex to see the beautiful autumnal colours of our acer covered with cobwebs. This acer has been in a pot on the patio for a few years now but I can never remember the changing leaves being quite as red as they are this year. It really is so vibrant.


We enjoyed a quiet peaceful weekend. There was nothing much to do in the garden, just a few leaves to be picked up so, while my husband headed to his garage to work on his boat, I baked christmas cakes and put the finishing touches to this baby blanket which I crocheted in Drops Baby Alpaca Silk. This is the same pattern I made for Alfred and it is so soft. I highly recommend the pattern and it can be found here. Heldasland


This blanket I have made for my friends first grandchild, baby Frank and I hope he finds it as snuggly and warm as Alfred does.  I'm now back to knitting and on my second hat since the weekend, pictures will follow in my next post.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

OCTOBER HAPPENINGS!

As September ebbed away we had a lovely weekend at Malham Cove and Yarndale.
Purchases were obviously made for lots of projects I have in mind.

Then we were off again.
With a pretty smart hire car at our disposal we saw mainly beautiful blue skies


and plenty of glorious sunsets.


A work shop with boats waiting to be restored, this time NOT our garage but,


at Mystic Seaport, Connecticut.


Gorgeous views of Mount Washington in New Hampshire.
My son in law has now got this golf course on his "I must play at" list.


The changing colours of the fall in Vermont.




Pumpkins here, there and everywhere.  These, moderately large, 


this one, enormous! In the region of 1383lb, I believe.
How much soup could you make with that?





 Then, the hump back whales off of Cape Cod
who didn't want to come and see us the first time we went out when in Boothbay Harbor Maine but,



the second time............!
Well, they were just amazing.



Finally, into Boston for a a spot of sightseeing and retail therapy.




We loved it all!

Thursday, 24 September 2015

SEPTEMBER

The view from my back door yesterday morning was so colourful. Because we've had so much rain recently, the grass has taken on such a gorgeous deep green colour and the plants have gone mad and had a growth spurt.


By blog has taken a back step since the end of August for an assortment of reasons, some I feel I can write about and others that I'm having some difficulty to even understand let alone write about.

PARENTS!
It is so difficult to help parents who at 90+ are so independent. Even though they do need an element of help they are adamant they don't need it.
The other weekend, we had a phone call from my dad to say that my mum had been taken to a&e by ambulance during the night. After the paramedics and mum had left him, dad went back to bed and back to sleep, waking at 9.15am. It was only then that he decided to ring me as he had neither any idea of mum's condition nor even 100% certainty of where she was.
After a few minutes of phone calls, we'd located mum and sent our daughter off to their house to check her grandad was ok. My dad would never admit to it but we know he was shocked to find my mum wasn't their beside him when he woke up.
We headed off to Broomfield Hospital to find my mum who thankfully having had a thorough check up had been discharged with a course of antibiotics for a water infection. She was sitting there, waiting for an ambulance to take her home (the nurse had explained to her that there would be a long wait) because she had no one who they could call to go and collect her.
Yet here we are, we live just 20 minutes from mum and dad and about 30 mins from the hospital, what can you do?
Their neighbours on both sides were equally as frustrated when they heard. 
We are so lucky that they can do lots for themselves but sometimes...............!

When we left them, that day they both looked tired and in need of some rest. They both said they would have a lazy day and for lunch they would cook the lasagne I'd made for them, a couple of days previously.
The very same lasagne that my mum had taken under protest and had told me that I wasn't to make for them anymore because they didn't need them.
I rest my case!

September has brought another change to my week days. Kate has returned to work and I'm going to be looking after baby Alfred on Mondays and Wednesdays, I already have Jack on a Monday so it's 
going to be a busy day but now we've done a couple of weeks, I'm more organised and beginning to plan things that we can do when they're here.

I'm looking forward to Yarndale this weekend and I thought as I'm bound to be buying more yarn (oh yes!) I really should make some space and knit up some that I bought last year. 

I bought this as a kit


and I'm very happy how it has knitted up and how it looks.


It was a lovely sunny day here yesterday, so I was able to wash it and lay it outside.
Me and washing wool, don't usually go well together but now dried it still looks the same size and shape.
All ready for my weekend!