Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday 24 September

Autumn has well and truly arrived in the UK. The trees have been changing colour since probably early August, but the weather has been sunny and sometimes quite warm. Now we have rain and wind and some more rain and some more wind, leaves swirling around and lights on most of the day. We lit the woodburner for the first time last night and it actually warmed up the front room beautifully. When it's really cold outside, the house gets so cold the woodburner can only take the edge off it. Last night we were all snugly though.

I have been knitting a lot lately. Somehow I got a lot more knitting done when the kids were home from school, not sure why but I wasn't complaining!

I finally finished my Shale Baby Blanket by Jared Flood which I'd had on the needles for a couple of years. He is probably my favourite designer - his patterns are often so simple but so beautiful. This one now lives on our sofa as a blanket to snuggle under.

After getting that off the needles I was really keen to knit another pair of socks. I'd knitted one sock almost to the end with this wool which is called Magic Ball, but I'd forgotten the pattern and I'd made a few mistakes, so I unravelled it and made this pair which is from Jane Brocket's The Gentle Art of Knitting. Pure coincidence that the colours matched!
I'm wearing them today for the first time and I've got toasty feet...

Then during the last few days of the Olympics I cast on for these, my Olympic socks
The stitch pattern was easy enough to memorise so you could knit them whilst watching the Olympics, the long rib sections are Greek pillars and the little cables are medals... Pleased with how these turned out and looking forward to wearing them.

And yesterday the latest pair came off the needles, this time for 13 year old
These are from Purls of Wisdom by Jennie Lord. 13yo wants to do a proper 'photo shoot' with them in the same way as the socks are modelled in the book, you can't see here that they have a lovely picot edge. The best thing is that we now have the same shoe size, so if she gets fed up with them (neither of the kids have ever really taken to handknitted socks before), I'll just wear them myself!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturday 22 September

I had fully intended to do a crafty post as my next post, as I have managed to fit in quite a lot of knitting and crocheting over the summer. But then the lovely Fran from Cry Mama gave me a blog award. If you want to know all about frugal living, Fran's your woman. Actually, she knows a thing or two about eating cake too, and best of all, she only lives a few villages away from me, so she is one of the few bloggers I actually know in real life too (we must try and meet up properly for a coffee sometime!).
And when I was in the middle of writing this post, my phone and internet went down... and were down for almost a week. It took three phone calls and me threatening to stop my direct debit for the ISP to sort it out. Sad that you have to resort to getting cross before getting anywhere.

Anyway, I was chuffed to bits about getting an award. It's a bit like entering a competition online and forgetting all about it till something arrives in the post. This one is the Liebster award and is given to blogs with 200 readers or fewer. Much as I enjoy reading some of the very popular blogs, I do miss that you slowly get to know the author and sometimes even become friends. I know some people think you can't make friends online, but I very much believe the opposite. But that's almost a post in itself!
Fran asked me to answer 11 questions about myself, so here goes...
  1. If you could only read one author for the rest of your days, who would you read?
Daphne du Maurier - without a doubt. I have read most of her books (but not her most famous one, Rebecca), and I love them all. My favourite is probably My cousin Rachel. When I first read it, I didn't see the end coming at all. A few years ago it was dramatised on Radio 4, so I told B. to listen to it. He heard three sentences and immediately guessed what was going to happen. I was so disappointed! but the play was good nonetheless.
  1. You're leaving town forever and need to pack your worldly goods into a backpack - what's the first thing you reach for?
 Of course I'd have to say the children here, but as they wouldn't be packed into a backpack I think I can get away with not choosing them...!
It would have to be my camera - yes, the DSLR I got given in February. I feel lost without it now.
  1. If you were queen for the day, who would you knight?
I have thought long and hard about this, and I really don't know! It would be someone doing voluntary work, that's for sure - someone giving their time freely for someone else without expecting anything in return. But who? I don't know!
  1. What is your most memorable day?
I think most people would probably have a happy memorable day. I thought long and hard about it, and of course my wedding day and the day the children were born were memorable, but the one day which I'll truly never forget is when my mum had her operation. We had been told that they wouldn't really know what was going on until they opened her up, and that it was possible that they found they could not perform the planned procedure at all. In this case I would be rung on my  mobile within a couple of hours and she would come back to the ward. It was the longest day of my life. She was wheeled away as the first patient and I thought I'd go and check my emails and have a coffee. But I couldn't concentrate on anything - all I did was watch the clock. I was immensely relieved when it went past 10, 11, 12... and I knew that she'd most likely be taken to ICU. Which is where I saw her later that afternoon. And I'll never forget her asking me 'am I in ICU?' which made me laugh, because she was surrounded by machines and wires and drips. When I said she was, she sighed and said 'I'm still going to be around for a while to come then' and went back to sleep again. That is almost five years ago. She was right about that 'little while'!
  1. Where in the world would you go if money wasn't an object?
Around the coast of the UK. I think I was a mermaid in a previous life as I love being on the beach or near the sea. I think the UK coast is fabulous and would love to explore more of it.
  1. Who would you take with you?
B. and the kids. And the camper.
  1. Are you a closet Star Trek fan?
Nope. In fact I can't stand Star Trek. Or science fiction for that matter. Having had to sit through hours of Star Trek with J. who loved it, I've more than had my fill of it. 
  1. What's your favouritie flower?
Nigella or love-in-a-mist. Or sweetpeas. Or nasturtiums. I don't know!
  1. Where do you feel most at home?
At home, on my own sofa, with a blanket and thick socks and a cup of tea, a book, some knitting, the computer and the radio and telly.
  1. How do you prefer to travel - car, train, plane, walking etc?
Car and bike. We've had some brilliant holidays with the camper, and I love cycling for exploring.
  1. What did(do) you want to be when you grow up?
A vet, for a really long time. Until I discovered that I was no good at maths, physics, chemistry and only had a passing interest in biology. And looking back at it now, I don't think I am the right person to be a vet anyway!

Not sure why Blogger has decided to number all the questions with the number one and is refusing to let me change it...

And I'm nominating the following six small blogs that I like to read:
1. Cloudberry Knit - I can't remember when I first started reading Beate's blog but I count her amongst my online friends!
2. Claireabellamakes - Claire and I did a swap earlier this year. She set up a blog not that long ago and it's really taken off. Lots of crafty goodness.
3. Evie's Gran - I 'met' Susan through Twitter. I love her down-to-earth posts and tweets and sense of humor.
4. The Joy of Farming - Sophie hasn't posted as much lately as she did earlier in the year, but her photos are beautiful and I enjoy reading about her life on a farm in America. Her story about Henry the abandoned cockerel made me cry with laughter...
5. Halfpenny Home - actually, Halfpenny Home is a shop with a blog, and I knew the shop before I knew the blog. The shop in Needham Market is run by Nicola and Jacqui and is a dream for button lovers, vintage crockery, yarn, knitting needles. Nicola is also very active on Twitter and has been through a tough few weeks, having been diagnosed with arthritis recently. The blog is mostly about crafty projects.
6. Under Dutch skies - last but not least, Alex's blog was one of the first blogs I started reading, and I found her because she was writing about her running adventures just as I'd started running too. Neither of us run much anymore (truth be told, I don't run at all anymore, Alex still does from time to time), but I enjoy reading her posts as we are both foreigners in another country - only she lives in 'my' country. And she is a very talented knitter and photographer. One day we'll get to meet!

Finishing off with a photo of a gloriously sunny evening in Walberswick where we went last weekend.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday 10 September

Blink. And that was the summer gone.

Every year as the summer holidays loom, I wonder how I'm going to manage work and having two children home for 6 weeks. And every year before I know it the holidays have been and gone and the alarm gets set to its more normal time and we stand shivering at the bus stop in the early mornings again, and trying to fit in 8 hours of work whilst keeping the children amused seems a long and distance memory.

We are only in our second week of school which is the first full week. And the house still feels strangely empty and quiet, and I long for 4 o'clock every afternoon and school bags dropped on the floor as soon as we come in and the 'what's for supper?' question and biscuit crumbs everywhere. As the children grow up they become better company all the time and I find I miss them more too.

And now it's September. My favourite month of the year. A mixture of gloriously sunny days followed by a sudden chilly evening, tractors ploughing and drilling, countless berries in the hedges, the odd grey and blustery day, the promise of woollen socks, mugs of steaming hot chocolate.

13 year old has started at a new school and we're all finding our feet. A new morning routine, a new afternoon routine. It takes some getting used to. I think getting used to the silence during the day at home is going to take the longest.