Sunday, 29 December 2013


After spending a couple of days indoors, doing all the lovely festive things you do at Christmas, we were itching to get out and breathe in some fresh air.
Yesterday, we drove up to Aldeburgh and took in some sea air,  stretching our legs as we walked along the coast path to Thorpeness. 
There were many others joining us. Couples arm in arm, dog owners and their dogs and children trying out their new bicycles who were either very wobbly or just careering down the path.
As I walked I thought back to when our family were children and laughed to myself. To get our son to do the very same walk we would have had to lure him to Thorpeness with the promise of hot chocolate and a biscuit and lure him back to Aldeburgh with yet another promise of a packet of chips.
Yesterday all was very hectic but also all very happy.

There was a wonderful bright, cloudless sky and no cold wind to chill our ears and fingertips.
  We saw an abundance of geese flying above us while we walked and here on the Mere at Thorpeness the swans and ducks came close to the shore.

We walked up to see the windmill 

and the very famous "House in the Clouds"
which you can book for a holiday let,
(I wouldn't mind doing that before I'm too old to climb the stairs!)

As the afternoon began to fade we walked back into Aldeburgh.
(No photos, I'm afraid, I was too busy looking out for a table for late lunch - and very nice it was too!)
We just had time, to do a little sale therapy before returning home for tea.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013


The garland is made!

The cakes, decorated!

And the socks, well they are finished too!

Thank you for reading my blog this year.
Happy Christmas to you all!

Sunday, 22 December 2013


I can't believe that a year has passed since these four little ladies made an entrance.
 A year ago the day never brightened, the clouds were grey and heavy and the rain fell continuously. Very much, like yesterday!

Despite the weather, the day was perfect in every way.
The venue was adorned with beautiful decorations and was very festive.

The cake looked and was indeed splendid.
I've included this picture because although we are celebrating a very special anniversary, our very good friend and neighbour who made and decorated the cake passed away during the year, unexpectedly.
She was a very talented lady and I think she would be pleased to know that Peter is now eating the top tier which she made especially for him as he is partial to fruit cake!

So our daughter Kate and her husband Peter celebrate their 1st wedding anniversary today.
Congratulations to them both!

A little ps - I'm still knitting the sock!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013


My marriage has certainly reached new heights this morning.
My husband exited the bathroom at 6.30am to find me sitting bolt upright in bed, glasses perched on the end of my nose with knitting in hand as I decreased the toe section of this sock.

His face was a picture of astonishment and he questioned, " Is that it, once that's finished?"
"Of course not" I replied, trying hard to focus with my not quite awake eyes, "I've got to make the other one yet!"

He left for work and I muttered and tutted as the sock finally reached it's near conclusion.

Only one more week of madness!

Saturday, 14 December 2013


So, here we are with Christmas fast approaching and I'm really now getting myself prepared.
I made the finishing touches to this bag this morning and I'm really pleased with how it looks. The socks fit perfectly inside and I found this ribbon in my box which I bought many moons ago and forgot I had. 

The socks look good too
They should keep someones feet very warm and cosy!

I have another sock on the needles now and one to go.
Plenty of time!!!!!

I thought I'd share some of my christmas decorations with you too.
I've had this wreath for near on 10 years. I bought it in Harrods in the January sale at a very reduced bargain price and every year I bring it down from the loft and it always looks so festive.

This little chappy is fairly new and happily sits on my fireplace.

I went to my local wholesale florist and bought orange and apple slices and cinnamon sticks which I had hoped would fill my lounge with delicious smells. 
While I was wiring them to pop them on the tree my hands smelt lovely but unfortunately now they're hanging on the tree I can't smell them at all.
Never mind, they have at least made the tree look very pretty.

The glass bauble is one of two we bought while in Venice a few years back at the Morano glass factory. They really do glisten.

A busy week ahead, presents to wrap and even presents to buy (oh dear!), cakes to decorate and socks to knit.
As I said at the beginning of my post, plenty of time!

Friday, 6 December 2013


 Yesterday I was helping my daughter and son in law move into there new home so it never was going to be an ordinary day. Up, just after 6am, we all worked really hard and by lunch time we were already waiting for the keys to their new new house.
We knew that a tidal surge was forecast for the east coast so throughout the day we kept a close eye on the environmental website as we began to help them move in and unpack.
After a busy day like that I was keen to get home, eat some dinner and relax but as we tucked into our fish and chips the phone rang. The recorded message from the environment agency advised us of a severe flood warning. Our first thought to be honest was "really!!" We sat there, not sure what to do at first. Then I looked around and saw the photos of our grandchildren on the low table and before long Michael and I were moving small objects and items we could move easily upstairs.
We still weren't sure if we were over reacting but the knock on the door and the warning from the policeman advising us to prepare for evacuation made us realise we were doing the right thing.
Our thoughts swung from should we stay or should we go and if the flooding was effecting other parts of the country, I would be the first person to be watching the news and saying, "why don't these people just go!"
But, believe me when you're put in that situation, it's not so easy.
So we stacked up the furniture on books, lifted as much as we possibly could to a higher level, even tied up the curtains and waited. 

This was our lounge at 1am this morning.

I took water, biscuits, candles, matches and welly boots upstairs and we listened to the excellent coverage on the BBC local news. Then, even when the tide had started to ebb and it appeared that the waters hadn't breached the seawall it was so hard to sleep. Probably the continual cups of tea we'd been drinking didn't help that!
We were so lucky, although I know people further up the coast were affected by the flood water. 
My hat goes off to the wonderful job the emergency services and the environmental agency did over night. We couldn't have been looked after better!

A little bit of news from earlier this week. On Monday I met a friend at RHS Hyde Hall and we had a lovely walk around the gardens and a nice lunch.
I thought these grasses looked beautiful and stood out against a rather grey murky day.

I have also been having a sock issue this week. I don't know how it happened but my markers ended up in the wrong place when I was completing the toe of the sock to match this one. 3 times, I had to undo it and restart it. I really thought I would have to start  the whole sock all over again at one point but eventually it all came together and now is finished. I'm just knitting a little bag to put them in.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013


Over the weekend I took a short break from knitting baby clothes and got on with knitting socks for slightly older people who are having a wonderful time at the moment touring New Zealand in a camper van. When we were all together in Malaysia during August I promised them socks for their return in the new year. The yarn was bought when I got home and has unfortunately sat in my bag for quite some time. I needed a kick start to get on with them and chilly weather at the weekend kept me inside and obliged.
This is a new pattern I'm trying, just very plain and easy to follow which I was given free when I was in the Orkneys. This one tells you how many rounds to do for each section so as long as i've turned my counter in the right direction both socks should match.

Now this other little sock is another matter. Very tiny, not complicated, no mistakes and yet on Friday afternoon I knitted and knitted and knitted. It didn't seem to matter how much I knitted I couldn't seem to finish it.
 Why is it that something so small takes so long to do?
Fiddly, I suppose, that's all I can think of.
Just one more to do, well for this particular little outfit!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013


So, the forecast was for a wet Wednesday and indeed that is what we've had. I had to pop out this morning for a while but was quite relieved to be indoors this afternoon with  a cup of tea, some lunch, more tea and the tv on showing a re run of last nights "Last Tango in Halifax" while I got on with my knitting.
(I had my own little nodathon going on between 9 and 10pm last night Oops!)

Here is a sneak preview of the little outfit I'm making for my soon to be grandson. The jacket is also nearly finished but that is in an off white colour. Both yarns are Drops Fabel which I've not knitted with before and I'm finding really nice to work with.

Today also saw the finish of the Drops Harlequin jacket and booties.
I raided my mum's button box and although I have a feeling theses buttons probably came off my dad's old trousers at some time or another, I think they're perfect for the jacket.

I found the booties quite fiddly to make but I think that was because it was quite hard knitting with this colour, not good on the eyes! I am always so relieved when I knit things in pairs that they are actually a matching pair when they're finished.

I'm going to leave you with my post now as I'm off to the kitchen to prepare our dinner, roasted pork followed by plum crumble. Just the thought of it is making me feel quite hungry. Is it me or does everyone feel hungrier when it's cold, dark, wet and miserable outside?

Tuesday, 12 November 2013


These crocheted hats were a hit with my grandchildren and so quick to make. I did post a photo of the pink one, posing on a salt cellar but they do look so much better actually on a head. I hope you agree!
 I used some left over Drops Big Delight and unusually I managed to use up near enough all of the yarn by also making them both a crochet head band.
They should keep their heads warm on their winter walks to and from school!

I wanted to make them a little something before I start on baby clothes for their little baby brother.

Here is the yarn I have chosen to begin with!

I'm already working on the sleeves of a first size jacket which will also have pants and socks in the blue edging colour.
I know, I have seemed to have bought quite a lot of blue, when there are so many colours out there but, this is just a starting point!

Thursday, 7 November 2013


We've just had a lovely long weekend in France, in Carcassonne which is somewhere between Toulouse and Narbonne.
We stayed in the medieval cite which was very busy during the day but at night time, very peaceful!
So nice for there to be some warmth still in the sun, when it was out and to enjoy a coffee or glass of wine while we sat and watched others meandering passed.

Apparently they filmed some of Robin Hood Prince of Thieves here!

And this is the little square where there was an abundance of restaurants and cafes'.

We took a walk through the castle itself and along the ramparts!

I particularly liked the colours of this stain glass window in the cathedral as the sun shown through!

The canal du midi was a nice place to have a slow stroll. There wasn't much boating activity, I suppose because it's the end of season.

When we got back home and despite the fact that I still have one bootie to knit to match the Harlequin baby outfit, I couldn't resist ploughing through the Drops patterns and ordering my yarn for all the baby outfits I intend to knit.
I couldn't resist this crotchet pattern for my grand daughters and spent just one afternoon making this for Jessica with some yarn from my stash.

(I am so sorry about this picture. In my efforts to make it look more photographic and as I didn't have Jessica's head here with me to model it, I draped it over the salt cellar and now I've made it look like a tea cosy!)

I'm now in the process of making one for Charlotte.

At this point, if you've ever wondered, I can confirm that the Drops Delight yarn washes up a treat.
Last night I was just about to tackle the last round of the hat when I had a mishap.
I stopped to have an evening cuppa in front of the tv when the next thing I knew I'd been woken by the feel of gushing tea all over my recently finished blanket, right through to my trousers and beyond.
My crotchet hook was still in my other hand!
Fortunately the hat was not involved in this incident.
I felt a right stupid idiot!

The hat, will hopefully be finished later today!

Sunday, 27 October 2013


Over the last few days we have received some exciting news. Our daughter in law who had been told that it was unlikely that she could have any more children found out that she is 5 months pregnant and on Tuesday during her scan all was revealed that she is expecting a baby boy. All a bit of a whirlwind but we are absolutely thrilled that in the New Year around about the 25th February we will have a little grandson.
As you can imagine, I am itching to seek patterns, buy yarn and get going with a wardrobe for him BUT I'm holding myself back so that I can finish this little jacket for Kate's friend's imminent baby.
I've just got to sew in the sleeves, knit the collar and sew on the buttons. I'm also knitting the socks from the same pattern (Drop's Harlequin) in the shade of purple. 
It actually looks better for real, my photo skills never seem to capture things in their best light!

I've also this week been baking cakes for christmas, though why shops have to adorn their windows with christmas trees, twinkling lights, snow and santa before we've even had halloween is, as the saying goes, "beyond me!'

These cakes will be wrapped up and stored, not seeing the light of day until at least the middle of December when I'll remember frantically that they need marzipan, icing and some decoration by the 25th.

My grand daughters will be dropping by, hopefully tomorrow (storm permitting!) to mix their christmas cake which they like to decorate themselves every year.  Next year, they'll be 3 of them cooking in my kitchen, what fun!

The approaching storm is certainly a concern. My husband seems to think it won't be as severe as the weather people predict though he is currently clearing out the garage to make room for my little car just incase.

Kate and her husbands family are on holiday in Cornwall and at this moment in time standing at Land's End on storm watch. She called me to say that it was already very windy down there.
Fingers crossed, the storm will pass safely and any destruction and traffic chaos will be minimal.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Saturday, 12 October 2013


So my little knitting production line has continued this week.
First and only completed item to be rolled out is another pair of fingerless mittens.

Ive also managed to get under way with a baby jacket pattern by Drops which had me stumped at first (like their patterns always seem to!) and I'm using Drops Alpaca yarn. I have made good progress over the last couple of days and it is coming along quite nicely, I think. One of the sleeves will be knitted in purple and the other, well I'm not quite sure yet, might be in cream, might even be in green. 
 I'm knitting this for one of Kate's friends who's baby is due at the end of the year.

My post is short this week, but I do have one wise cooking tip before I leave you.
When straining noodles, do always remember to use a colander, especially when you haven't any more that you can cook in the cupboard.
Whoosh went the noodles down the sink, leaving a tasty yet lonely piece of salmon languishing on the dinner plate!
My poor husband who was standing agog at my error was warned not to say one word!

Sunday, 29 September 2013


So, at long last, I have finished my granny square blanket. Oh yes, it has taken a while! I started it back in July 2012 when I was on a long car journey to our holiday in the Orkney Islands, the first time I'd crocheted since the 1970's. I did struggle with it at first and ended up casting it to one side for many months. Finally this summer I decided enough was enough, picked it up again and really got to grips with it. The pattern is by Drops, the wool, Drops Delight. I didn't quite follow the pattern in the end but I'm pleased it's finished and I'm very pleased with it. I intend keeping it in the lounge, it'll keep my feet cosy as the winter evenings creep in.

Hopefully it won't be too long before I crochet something else, though probably not another blanket, at least, for a while. I'm looking out for some ideas to inspire me.

I've also knitted these fingerless mittens and I've already completed one of another pair. A friend gave me the easy to follow pattern and the wool I'm using is Sirdar, Click, double knit.
It's nice to knit something that is finished so quickly for a change, just a couple of evenings in front of the tv and they're done.

Earlier this week we had a very foggy morning here and walking Charlotte & Jessica to school we saw the most amazing spider webs. I couldn't resist taking a few photos and the girls intend to use some of the pictures for halloween next month. I don't know what for yet but, they said that they will be very useful.

It certainly is a sign that Autumn is well and truly upon us.

 This weekend has seen me out in the garden, cutting back shrubs and tying up hardy plants that though straggly now are still giving such a lovely display of colourful flowers.
A visit to my daughter in law Jo this morning saw her bringing in the last of her homegrown veg from the garden. I returned home laden with tomatoes and an enormous overgrown courgette.
This week soup will be on the menu here and hopefully some for the freezer too!

Thursday, 19 September 2013


I know we all keep lists of some kind or other either, mentally in our heads, hand-written, perhaps on a back of an envelope or these days stored neatly on our phones/tablets/computers.
I tend to have my lists stored in my head and on my phone.

"My knitting to do's" list is currently sitting in my head.
1. Crochet the border to the otherwise complete granny square blanket.
( This is currently waiting patiently on the chair in the lounge, willing me to get on with it!)

2. A pair of fingerless mittens, knitted this week in just two evenings, but now waiting next to the blanket on the chair, just to be stitched up!

3. Then there's this little baby jacket I've made for a friend of Kate's, baby not due until December. When I got back from holiday I popped out, bought the wool, (Sirdar Snuggly), knitted it, sewed it, sewed on the button and finished it. Why can't I do that with everything I make?

Moving on now to the "DIY jobs that need attention in the household department" list.
We haven't actually got a huge list, but I think it would be better termed as a rolling list. As one thing is ticked off then something else takes it's place.
So since the weekend Michael has made and fixed in place the shelves in our wardrobe and very nice they are too. That's 1 ticked off!
No 2 on the list was to order the parts to repair the taps in the kitchen. (They have drippy tap syndrome!) Done!

Now on to the list goes -
1. Toilet seat cracked in ensuite - order a new one!
2. Hairdryer needs looking at. It had a distinct burning smell when drying my hair this morning and I think it's got a loose wire. Thankfully I have a spare!

Never ending!

Saturday, 7 September 2013


While I'm busy behind the scenes finishing my crochet blanket and knitting a little baby jacket, I thought you might like to see some more of our photos from Malaysia.
This time, I've picked a selection with food as a theme but please bear with me as I can't promise accurate spellings.

As we spent quite a lot of time with a Malaysian family we were very lucky to experience some very different foods.

On this day we headed to Brickfields, an Indian community in Kuala Lumpur where in this restaurant our food was served on a banana leaf. Here we had biryani rice, poppadoms, chickpeas, fish and a hard boiled egg. (They seem to eat a lot of them in Malaysia, they turn up randomly on your plate for many dishes). In the metal container, was a red soup, very spicey and surprisingly tasty.
We were granted spoons as we were European but by the end of the meal we'd all tried as best we could to eat with one hand and after getting through an entire packet of "wet wipes" we managed to succeed.
Once the meal is finished you just wrap your banana leaf up, it all gets put in the bin and your'e on your way!

Although we normally eat breakfast in our hotel which was very good but an international buffet affair on this particular morning we were taken out to have a try at Pan Mee.

This was in an open sided building with lots of different stalls selling different types of breakfast. We just ordered drinks from the restaurant owner and here we are having tea made with condensed milk - so so sweet!
The Pan Mee breakfast consisted of two bowls of food. One of noodles, which were lovely and another with a soup containing some green vegetable, fish balls and surprise surprise a poached egg! The little dish was of extra chillies if we felt the need.
All eaten with chopsticks quite successfully and very very nice!

While we were in Malaysia we became very fond of roti cani an indian flatbread and one evening we went out to taste roti tisu.
The arrival of this bread at the table is quite a spectacle as you can see. The bread is quite crisp, I thought salty in parts but sweet in others. Once it was laid across the table we broke pieces off and dipped it in a spicy sauce. I really liked it.
The drinks we had with the meal, were water melon juice which we had on many occasions during our stay in Malaysia, very delicious and thirst quenching!

In the markets we saw lots of different fruits, these here in the foreground are rambutans which are very prickly skinned but the fruit inside is very sweet and just behind them, mangosteens which once opened  resemble a white satsuma and taste a little sharp but are delicious.

For the whole time during our stay we were promised an evening at a durian buffet!
Golly, I don't know where to begin, but if I say that these fruits are banned from hotels and restaurants etc because of their pungent smell, believe me I can definitely confirm that they stink!
As you drive along the roads, you know you're approaching a durian stall as you can  smell it.
The fruits are large, green and prickly and once they're broken up you eat that yellow flesh which is very soft and custard like in texture.
We did all taste it, my portion was just a tiny tiny piece, but definitely not something I would partake in again.
Afterwards we eat mangosteens which were much nicer and helped rid us of the other horrible taste.
All I can say is, some really love durian and some really don't!

This colourful stall sold an array of little savoury snacks which were nice to try.

And these little eggy things turned up in a restaurant with our lunch of noodles one day. We really haven't got a clue what they are, so if you do, please let me know?

Hope you've enjoyed our photos of Malaysian cuisine.

Finally my daughter Kate and her friend Jeni will be in Greenwich Park London tomorrow to run a half marathon for the charity "Beating Bowel Cancer"
This is a disease that my father had and beat about 25 years ago and a disease that tragically took the life of a close young friend of Kate and Jeni's.
Now Jeni has also recently been successful in beating the disease herself.

I would just like say how proud we are that they are running tomorrow and to wish the girls the best of luck.