Sunday, 10 April 2016

AND FINALLY............!

And finally x 2 really.

Firstly that we've finally made a visit to Anglesey Abbey Cambridgeshire last weekend and secondly that I've finally managed to sit down and write a blog post about it.

We wanted to get out and about last Sunday and as always we had the normal debate of "where shall we go?"
Did we want to face the M25 and go somewhere in Kent? That brought us both to that screwed up face and nodding sideways of the head answer.
What about Aldeburgh, Southwold, Woodbridge? Well they sort of received disinterested, possible maybes on both our parts.
Finally as so often happens in this house we ended up going round in a circle and nearly coming up with a conclusion that we would stay at home, but oh no, that was not  going to be an option last weekend.

We've been wanting to join the National Trust for a while and with a little tiny bit of persuasion on my part we went off to do that and visit Anglesey Abbey in Cambridgeshire which I've been wanting to visit for quite a while.  The weather was looking iffy when we left home but by the time we got there the sun was out and it became a lovely day. We both really enjoyed it, I hid my phone deep in my bag and my husband took loads of photos with his camera and here are just a few  to show you.


We walked along to the Lode Mill



and then on through the grounds with lots of spring flowers on display.






The house is currently open so that was nice go in and see and all in all we had a really lovely day and will definitely go back there again as well as now having lots of other places to visit in the coming months. We're looking forward to that.

My knitting and crochet is dormant, the little prem blanket is finished but may well end up in the dolls cot in my spare bedroom. However, I have been looking at throws and blanket patterns for my lounge.  I must thank Sue from Granny's World  who has suggested a ten stitch blanket by Frankie Brown which I am quite fancying making and I've already downloaded the pattern. Now I've just got to think about colours and yarn which I'll do over the next few days. 

 I can't believe that this last week has passed so quickly. I suppose I have had a week of grandchildren and parents which have kept me busy and made the time fly. Really pleased today that in this little corner of Essex we have said a fond farewell to winter, we have just downed a nice cup of tea and eaten up the last crumbs of the christmas cake. 

Hope you're having a good weekend.



Tuesday, 29 March 2016

EASTER RAMBLINGS!

Driving back from the town on Good Friday morning there was a definite feel that spring had sprung.
We sat in the garden enjoying a coffee in the sunshine as my husband was taking a break from his job for Easter project, installing new stair rails. 
"We should enjoy this while we can!" I exclaimed, "because from today it is only going to get worse!"
Well that is what those who supposedly know had said at breakfast time. 
Lunch was enjoyed outside too and I was hopeful that we were going to have a bit of a "ta da" moment and finish the last of the christmas cake but we opted for a hot cross bun instead, much more appropriate for Easter. (When we do eventually reach the "ta da" moment it will be closely followed by a "oh no" moment, as hidden in a biscuit tin, astride my herbs and spices rack is a second rich fruit cake which I made just incase I ran out at christmas!)

On Saturday we planned to go out for a drive and a stop for lunch. The weather by this time had already turned and we decided on a short drive to the garden centre for coffee and cake and took a brief whirlwind walk around the plants outside and the BBQ's inside before heading home.
I spent the afternoon catching up with the tv and making the finishing touches to this blanket for Alfred which I'd made out of left over aran yarn that I'd over ordered when making a chevron car seat blanket for Jack.


Poor little Alfred was taken poorly also on Saturday. Being sick is never nice but at Easter it does raise extra problems like having to wait 6 hours for a doctor to phone having contacted 111, only to find that after the 6 hours that they don't actually phone. Eventually Kate managed to get an appointment at the emergency clinic at our own little hospital for Sunday morning, then a drive of about 10 miles to find a chemist that was open to get his antibiotics. However once the little man had had a couple of doses of medicine, thankfully he picked up and by the evening was so much better.

On Easter Sunday my husband worked to finish the stairs and I visited my parents. Then back home for more tv (I know, quite lazy!) and I found an odd ball of yarn and started knitting a little square blanket for charity supporting a project that some of the ladies at my knit & stitch group is involved in. I'm not that happy with it so whether it gets finished or recycled is another matter.

 Easter Monday was much busier here with a family lunch. It was the first gathering of us all without my daughter in law and although it was really nice, it was quite strange. My parents are struggling to deal with their separation, they either don't understand it or they don't want to accept it, I'm not sure which. It's hard for them, I know but it's hard adapting for us all. It's taking time but we are getting there ever so slowly.
The children had lots of Easter eggs to keep them occupied and we could tell Alfred was definitely improving as he tucked in as well.

I'm looking forward to the next couple of weeks, a little break for me as Kate is home and can look after Alfred. I'm hoping to source a new pattern for a throw for the lounge. It'll be a bit of a project, something I can pick up if and when I feel like it, as long as it's ready for autumn that'll be fine.

Enjoy your week ahead!













Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Mothers Day Weekend!

Mother's Day was a perfect day in our house. We had an early start as we had our son's children staying with us overnight but as soon as he arrived in the morning, my daughter and her husband came along too with Alfred and my husband made us all a lovely cooked breakfast.
There was definitely not going to be any room for lunch!

I had lots of lovely flowers but the gifts from the children are always so special. Charlotte, Jessica & Jack have always made cards themselves and this year planted the primula and mini daffodils themselves. I love the little sign they made and the cards to go with them.


Alfred was also very creative with his own handprint of little flowers.
I love his gift too!


When they had all gone home, I had time to sit and relax for a while before going to collect my Mum & Dad. They haven't been over to ours since Christmas and it was nice to cook dinner for them.
With just the four of us here, we sat and chatted, Dad telling us lots of stories of when he was young. He is a fountain of knowledge when talking about his family with a wonderful memory and tells you tales like they only happened yesterday. It's such a shame he's never written any of it down.


Also at the weekend I finished my pouf. Michael and I had a great debate on whether we needed to purchase a cheap single or double duvet to fill it with. I suggested trying the only quilt we have in the house, a king size which we thought would give us an idea of what we needed to buy. However as soon as we started filling the lining in the pouf more and more of the quilt disappeared inside until, we'd got the whole thing in there. That was a result, no further purchase required and more room in the spare wardrobe to store other stuff.

   
It's not looking quite as round in this picture, but this was taken after it'd been attacked by four children, (playfully!).  Once it was plumped back into shape it was fine and ideal for me to rest my feet on in the evenings while I crochet and watch tv.

Enjoy the rest of the week!



Thursday, 3 March 2016

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACK!



It's been a beautiful day here today, very chilly but also very bright and sunny. I love it when I can sit in the lounge and I can feel the warmth of the sun coming through the patio doors.
I was so tempted to get outside  and do a bit in the garden but I soon changed my mind after standing out there for a short while sorting out the recycling boxes. Brrrrrrr!

Our grandson Jack turned 2 this week. He has grown up so fast, a little baby one minute and now a smart little man. On Sunday the family got together for a little party to celebrate and as Jack is a great fan of Mr Tumble I made him this cake. 


His mum made this "Dip" train which looked really great and tasted very good too. Jack loved it!


Birthdays really do seem to come round so quickly. In a few days time our youngest grandson is going to have his first birthday. How many times do we say or hear those words, "where has all that time gone?"

Knitting is slow but I'm getting there. I am actually feeling better and with that has come some renewed energy. I've managed to finish the pouf, it just needs sewing and stuffing. Hopefully by my next post that will be completely finished and i'll be able to show you.
I've also got a little chevron blanket on the go but I only started that last night and managed just the one row during  the whole hour of watching Grantchester. I thought, no point in taking a photo of that until I do a bit more.

Unfortunately the ironing board is now beckoning me to sign off so, enjoy the rest of the week and I'll catch up with you again soon.



Sunday, 21 February 2016

HATS SOCKS & COUGHS

The awful cough that I was suffering with at the beginning of the month which I thought I'd recovered from, hurtled back at the beginning of this last week and tried really hard to knock me off my feet.
I was really looking forward to half term, a week to myself. My grandchildren were off doing different things and I had lots of things I wanted to catch up on. However that wasn't to be the case as my cough left me feeling quite lethargic and I spent quite a lot of time with my feet up and re- watching tv programmes that I'd seen part of and slept through the rest.

I really did appreciate all of your comments on my last post, I was feeling really down then and am pleased that I do actually feel so much better in myself now, even with a cough!

I have finished my socks!
I usually knit socks on double pointed needles but these I made using the "magic loop" method on a long circular needle. 
The lady in my local wool shop said I would find it so much easier. I didn't at first, I found it very awkward but eventually I got the hang of it and I think I would use the same method again when making socks.


With them finished, I wanted to seize the moment and start something new. I decided to order some yarn to knit a pouffe for our lounge. ( They'll be pictures to show in  my next post.)

What could I make while I was waiting for that to be delivered?

Well, spurred on by this "magic loop" method I decided to make Alfred a new hat, I had some oddments of Drops Fabel in my stash. It really didn't take long to make and I had it all ready for him when his mum brought him round yesterday. I thought brilliant, he can model it for me.
Having placed the hat on Alfred's head, he quickly crawled off to the kitchen while I grabbed my phone for the photo shoot. As you can see my little man model was having a mini stretching crisis with the hat.
He was more interested in granddad's shoe!


Eventually with a lot of persuasion we did manage to keep the hat on long enough to get a photo but he definitely wasn't that keen. Perhaps he didn't like the colour combo!


Have a good week everyone!

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!