Sunday, 27 April 2014


Once upon a time, long, long ago there were four of us living here in this house. Then as time went on our children left home one after the other and it became just the two of us. It's funny how you quickly get used to that so that when you're back to four in the house again it takes some getting used to.
Our daughter and son in law have been staying here this past week and will be here into next as well while they have a new bathroom fitted. We have been bumbling and rumbling along quite nicely together but all I seem to be thinking about is what to buy to eat, what to cook to eat and what time should I cook it? It's not like that when it's just the two of us!

Knitting has ground to a halt this week but if nothing else I have managed to keep up my early morning swimming and walking regime and on Thursday it was such a beautiful still morning that I walked for well over an hour and a half, stopping to capture these photos as I went.

These little ducklings are the first I've seen on the canal this year.

I must add though that it was very nice to get back from my walk to find the kitchen cleared, the dishwasher emptied, all put away and tidy.  A big thank you for my daughter for doing that!

This is a very quick post this week but before I go I must mention this exhibition. Kate and I went along yesterday afternoon and saw some really impressive work. If you are a reader of my blog and are in this area, do pop along if you can and give the group your support!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014


It always surprises me that even though we've lived where we do for so many years we can still find new places to visit not that far from home. 
After our easter sunday was completely washed out by rain, we weren't sure if our plans for Monday would go ahead but we set off armed with stout shoes and rain gear in the boot of the car and drove to East Bergholt right up on the border of Essex and Suffolk to visit the garden and arboretum at East Bergholt Place.  We were lucky. The sun shone, it was warm, hardly a breeze and the rain stayed away until we were back at home in the evening.
We had a lovely walk in the gardens, sat outside their little cafe to enjoy tea and cake and then browsed their extensive plant shop and purchased just a few bits and bobs for our garden.

Leaving East Bergholt we then drove up to Woodbridge in Suffolk for any ice-cream and a wander along by the river. It was a little more blustery there but still really pleasant.

We had quite a lazy easter in the end, plans for putting in a new loft ladder and buying wood to make a new back gate didn't actually happen but we weren't too bothered. Sometimes it's nice to take the days as they come. Michael sailed on Friday and rowed on Saturday. I pottered in the garden and managed to finish Charlotte's jacket in time for Sunday when we had the family here for dinner.

Both girls really liked the jackets and they put them on straightaway. It wasn't until they went home that I remembered I hadn't taken a photo of them which is a shame because they really looked nice especially from the back, I'll try and remember next time they wear them. I also have to say they equally enjoyed all their easter eggs.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014


 I intended posting these photos this morning but one thing, then another came along and now it's tea time. It really didn't help that I spent one and a half hours in front of our computer with the phone to my ear connected to BT whilst a man whizzed around on my screen from some other part of the world trying to find out why our emails are not working. I was desperate in the end to have a coffee and I think he was feeling pretty much the same because in the end we're no further forward and he's arranging for someone else to call us in the next 24 hours.

Earlier in the day, 7am, I was out walking again. Three times in a row this week and it was again another lovely morning. Tide in or out, there's always something that catches my eye. I've seen it all so many times, yet I never tire of it.

The remains of a torpedo boat

This may well have been an old thames barge

Osea Island can be reached only by causeway or boat

Boats of all shapes and sizes are finally going into the water

These little houses on stilts always intrigue me

and finally the sun shines as I wander home for breakfast

 Thank you to everyone who has been commenting on my blog, I hope you all have a wonderful Easter!

Monday, 14 April 2014


At 7am this morning, it was so gorgeous outside that I went for a walk.

 I wandered along the canal path and there along with the other boats in the basin, moored up, were two thames barges. Then I made my way home along the seawall, the tide unfortunately was completely out. 
I used to walk quite regularly in the early mornings but I've been going swimming a lot recently instead and this is the first time this year that I've actually got out bright and early for a stroll.

While I was walking I went through in my mind what I was going to write on my blog this week. It all seemed to flow effortlessly and make a lot of sense but once home, after I'd eaten breakfast, popped the washing on the line and tried to sort out my BT mail ( don't ask, about that one!) I've just sat down to write my post and it isn't flowing as intended.

Over the weekend there was a lot of talk in the news about school trips and the funding of them and I thought I'd tell you my tale.

In 1969 aged 11 when I was at primary school I was lucky enough to go on a school trip to Switzerland. It cost my parent £48 and every week for the whole year my mum went to the school office and paid £1 towards the trip. We went at Easter and it was the first time I'd spent anymore than a day or two away from home and I'd never been abroad at all.
We travelled by coach and ferry and I can remember carrying my suitcase along the platform in France before boarding the sleeper train to Switzerland.
 We all had to take our own food for the journey and to my surprise my mum had packed me smoked salmon sandwiches. Considering we only had a tin of red salmon on high days and holidays, smoked salmon was the ultimate of luxury.
When we finally arrived at the hotel and I unpacked my suitcase, there hidden under my clothes was a large bar of cadbury"s chocolate all wrapped up in tissue paper. The word soon spread and nearly every other child came to my room for a square of chocolate.

It's strange what you remember isn't it?

The reason why this all came to mind yesterday was at lunch time, I opened the fridge door and asked  Michael, "what do you fancy in your sandwich, ham, cheese, smoked salmon...?"
We both chose smoked salmon and hence my tale.

In later years when my children went on school trips I always popped a little treat in their bags, like my mum did. Though, once they both became scouts and for my son especially, as well as treats I used to put little post it notes on their toothpaste and soap saying, "please use me!"

If you think it's a good idea and one to remember I must add, for my son, it didn't work. He never was a great reader!

Moving on, do you remember this jacket I made for Jessica?

Well, here is Charlotte's. Same pattern, different size and therefore a slight alteration in the pattern.

Not going well, not going well at all.  The sleeves are knitted separately, inserted into the rest of the garment and then the yoke is knitted to complete it. Jessica's knitted up perfectly but this one........nightmare! I've lost count of the times I've knitted the capped sleeves  and undone them again. I just can't make out where and why it's going wrong. So frustrating!

I'm really hoping I can get to grips with this and finish it for Easter.

Thank you for dropping by and trying to make sense of my ramblings.

Enjoy your week!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014


We have just got back from a very relaxing few days in Ireland. We stayed in County Cork, right on the coast in Ballycotton Bay. The sea was very moody at times and we could hear the waves crashing relentlessly along the beach from our room. Sometimes at night I counted the seconds between each wave as they crashed onto the beach just like you do between lightning and thunder.

We visited Blarney Castle, climbing to the very top!

And yes, I did kiss the Blarney stone!

The gardens around Blarney are truly beautiful. 
 We walked through the fern garden

 and also took a stroll along the path to the lake.
It was so quiet and peaceful there.

There was so much colour, even in the bark of the trees.

Another day we visited the Titanic Experience in Cobh. It was from this quay that the tenders carried the last of the passengers out to the Titanic before it made its first and last transatlantic voyage. Each entry ticket had a name of an actual passenger on it and at the end of the tour we were able to find out if they were lucky enough to make it to America. Sadly Michael's man perished in the disaster but my lady survived and made a life for herself in New York. I have to say, for a moment I was quite choked.

Our stay in Ireland wouldn't have been complete without a visit to the Jameson Experience in Midleton. I'm not keen on whiskey at all but Michael enjoys it.
The tour was very good and interesting and Michael enjoyed the two glasses of whiskey that came his way. For the rest of the day I became the designated driver!

While we were in Midleton I came across this lovely shop. Whenever I'm away I always try to find some local yarn and in KNIT I found some sock yarn by hedgehog fibres which is hand dyed in Cork.
The shop this year is supporting a local charity - East Cork Rapid Response  with a "knit a stocking campaign" and the socks collected so far are winding there way around the shop. The socks will then be sold in December for EUR2 and the money raised will all go to this charity.
I thought they looked really colourful so I had to take a picture to share with you and also as I spoke to the owner Lora, found we have something in common, we both have Attic 24 on our blog reading list. How bizarre is that?

On our last day we went on quite a long drive into County Kerry and to Killarney. Wow, considering the weather was not good at all, the scenery was amazing.  We were so pleased we took the time to go there.

We really enjoyed being in Ireland, we loved the food, the people and the places we visited. Seeing high streets full of individual shops and petrol stations a long the road was brilliant. If we want fuel here in our town we have just two petrol stations, both belonging to supermarkets, Morrison and Tesco. There were others but they closed a while back.

It was also nice to take time out while the cows crossed the road on their way to be milked. They weren't going to hurry for anyone.

Enjoy the rest of your week!