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.