Friday, 15 October 2021


 Morning, everyone.  It's still dark, of course, but I've been out to get supplies for the day from the shed and it's both dry and milk so fingers crossed for a pleasant day.

Yesterday passed gently with one surprise.

Chris and I had a good old natter, as always.  I'm sure we talk about stuff everyone talks about - petrol, Covid, the dire state of our national political scene, families, etc.  While we were chatting in her front room, a van drew up and it was one of my parcels of yarn.  Yay!
It wasn't the yarn that I wanted for the pattern I linked to the other day but for one of the free downloads so, surprise, I sat down straight away and started.
It's a nice stitch, a sort of honeycomb effect and one I've not come across before.  It's a bit slow but, hey, it's chunky so 'slow' is comparative!  One good thing is that it is more or less self checking and one couldn't go more than a row wrong without realising - just as well because to pick back and remake would be pretty well impossible.
I've tried to take a photo but the colours are all wrong, they're not the least like the photo - much darker and there's no orange, nor is it purple in the least.  However, you can see the stitch.

I managed to put it down to do my weekly shop and now I have all I need to start off the Christmas cake on the 19th (family tradition).  I'm not going too fancy; just a bag of mixed fruit and peel, some glace cherries, some cranberries and Cointreau instead of brandy.  The house should smell nice while it's all soaking.

The surprise was a text from Alex saying could he come over for a chat followed by something to the effect that it wouldn't be a special chat, just a 'normal' one, bless him.
So I had a lovely chat with Alex.  He didn't stay for dinner because he's not keen on fish and that's what I was having.

Today is the same as usual.  Slimming World, tidy house, cleaners come, nice, lazy evening.  And knitting.  What's not to like there?
May your day be as nice as I expect mine to be.  xx

Thursday, 14 October 2021


 Good morning, everyone.  It's quite light now and looks to be another fine but not terribly warm day; 'light cloud and a moderate breeze' says the Beeb.  Fine by me.

Yesterday was nice and gentle but slightly annoying.  Well, more than slightly as neither of my yarn parcels actually arrived despite me shelling out for a next day delivery.  I know there are issues right now but if they can't make the next day, they shouldn't be offering it.

Having said that, I have an email that says one of them will arrive between ten and eleven this morning and if it does, I will forgive and forget.  Maybe the other one will come today too but I only need one to start knitting.

I did get a parcel however.  On Monday, I ordered some Christmas candles.  Most candles are easy to get hold of but I need (ok - want) some that are specific shapes - some ball shaped ones to go on the candle holders I made in pottery a couple of years ago and also some teardrop shaped ones for a specific candle holder.  

Here it is, brought back from Mum and Dad's attic last weekend.  I now have two of them because when Mum and Dad bought this one decades ago (literally decades ago) , they also bought one for me.  I need to replace those shiny bits on mine and will be looking around to see if I can find anything suitable.
So - red teardrop candles which I have to get from one place.  I'm sure they are sold elsewhere but I can't find anywhere else online (I bet someone will prove me wrong now).
I wasn't expecting the candles to arrive so soon so that was a pleasant surprise.

I really enjoyed personal training.  My fitness levels are definitely improving again and Lindsey makes it all great fun.

On to today, usually I am out on an early morning shop at this time but I don't have much to get and am going to the local Morrisons today so I'll go later as I know parking won't be a problem.

Before then I am over to Chris' for our usual weekly coffee and chat and, as that's when the delivery is due to arrive, I will leave a note on my front door asking them to take it there.

After that and when the shopping is done and put away, the rest of the day will be devoted to getting the house in reasonable order and knitting.    Nice.

I hope your day goes really well.  Stay warm, safe and well.  xx

Wednesday, 13 October 2021


 Good morning, one and all.

I had a very pleasant time with Val.  We changed our plans and went to Blake House Craft Centre instead as we both wanted something that we can get on with on these longer and darker evenings and I also wanted to get a bit of sale fabric with an autumn vibe and if you read my other blog, you will see why.
Val was very quick to agree - we both love it there and it's pretty close to where she lives.

We started off with a coffee (me) or cuppa tea (Val).  There's a splendid yarn shop at the centre, Sconch, which, until Covid came along, ran classes, had knitting groups, coffee and craft, that sort of thing.  All that stopped, sadly (restarting this month, I believe) and they went over to online sales.  However, the shop has taken over the coffee shop so you can buy your yarn and pattern and then start it there and then over a nice hot drink or a light lunch.
Maybe another time . . .
Anyway, we had a good old chat over our drinks before exploring the shop.

It took me a while but I found a pattern for a jacket in a chunky yarn.  See, I don't NEED any more hand knits but I would like a chunky cardigan/jacket thingy to put on as it gets colder when I'm indoors.  Here's a link to it online although I am adding considerably to the length as I think it's too short for the style and certainly too short for me and, looking at the measurements, it will be looser fitting too.  I've never made a collar like that before but it looks easy enough.  I didn't get that yarn though; I don't want self stripes and anyway they didn't have it.  I found a heathery coloured chunky yarn in the shop but, when she had done the length calculations, allowing extra for my extra length, there wasn't enough in stock, sadly.  So when I came home, I looked online and found something quite different, a marbled chunky in a warm red.  I also found the heathery yarn.  You know what I'm going to say, don't you?  I ordered both and another pattern - I found some free patterns and downloaded them.

At least I will have plenty of knitting to keep me and my fingers occupied now.

Val also bought some yarn to make a baby blanket for a friend; she makes lovely blankets.

Then we moved on to And Sew On where I found my bit of fabric in the sale room.  It's like an Aladdin's cave in both the main shop and the sale room and I could very easily have spent a total fortune.  I just adore wandering around, looking at all the patterns and colours and just soaking them in.  Much of the fabric is for crafting but they also have other fabrics, including for dress making and curtains.  Val found a blouse pattern she really liked, disappeared upstairs and came back down with a roll of fabric that was just perfectly her all over.

We've set a date for our next get together.  Weather permitting, we will have lunch and a walk around Cressing Temple and if the weather fails us, we'll have lunch at mine and have a knit and natter session.  Both will be lovely!

To my delight, as I was feeling quite cold yesterday, my new duvet from John Lewis arrived in the afternoon.  I let it air for a couple of hours and then changed my quilts over.  It worked, I was toasty warm through the night but not too hot.  It's lovely!

The other thing I did that took some time was my nails as they were looking a bit battered.  Nail varnish and computer keyboards are not the closest of friends - at least I assume that's why the fingers I use for my typing (I'm a useless typist!) were the ones with chipped nails.
Anyway, I now have gold nails (which aren't as lurid as it sounds) and have come to a decision about my Christmas nails.  My decoration colours are always the very boring and traditional red, gold and green.  I already have gold varnish so if I can find a nice dark red and a dark pine green, I will have red, green and gold nails to match!  Silly?  Of course it is but it'll be fun!
I'm thinking alternating nail colours but I might experiment with splodges beforehand (and then clean it off again), just for fun.

Today there's one thing in the diary, personal training with Lindsey which should warm me up good and proper.
I'll do some housework as always and might get some allotment digging done, you never know.  However, if any of the yarn arrives, all of that will go by the wayside.  It seems ages since I did any knitting and I do enjoy it so very much.  My fingers are twitching at the thought.

Have a great day and I hope that, as it gets chillier, you are able to stay snug and as warm as you want to be.  xx

Tuesday, 12 October 2021


 Good morning, everyone.  Light is just breaking here and it looks breezy and dry.  Fingers crossed for a pleasant day.

Yesterday was a day of two parts.  
The day was lovely - I got some inside homey stuff done before setting off for circuit training which was hard work but very good.  There were three of us this week plus one online (isolating as one of her family was covid positive).  Of the other two, one just couldn't make it and one was halfway up a mountain!

Tuition was great.  My student had a great time at the Y6 residential week and was full of it.  We tackled stuff that they found challenging a fortnight ago and this week they got it fine.

However, I have found things a bit emotional since the day at Dad's and the evening was quite hard.  Today is fine though.

In the diary there was just one thing - Val?, it said.  We have decided to take a walk round Cressing Temple - we've been before and both love it.  We'll probably have coffee there too.
And that's about it for today apart from the usual home stuff.
Have a great day and see you all again tomorrow.  xx

Just as I typed this last, a squirrel appeared on the fence - we don't get many squirrels round here and, luckily, my camera was close by and I managed to get a few snaps.  

Monday, 11 October 2021


 Good morning, everyone.  It's still dark but it is dry and not that chilly and today's Beeb forecast of 'sunny intervals and a gentle breeze' sounds very pleasant.

As hoped, yesterday was a slow moving, gentle day with plenty of time to chill and relax.  I did get the ironing done which I was pleased about, and I sorted through some clothes.

Here's a couple more things I brought home with me.  They're not from the attic or anything, they are a couple of things that were on display and so far I've chickened out of transporting them because they are fragile, one in particular.

This one has joined my owl collection which has gone significantly up-market since I took Mum and Dad's owls.  This is one I actually bought for them years ago as a wedding anniversary gift, I think.  I know it was broken and Dad repaired it but you can't see the join.

Apologies for the light.
I love it anyway because it is owl but I also love the detailing on the 'wood' - such dear little acorns and oak leaves.

This is the other; another of Mum's village collection.  It's the biggest one, in fact, and I love it - well, I love them all really.  I also have a collection of miniature buildings and, when I have them all safely here, I will devote the whole shelf to my own little village (maybe it will be a mini town by then!).

Again, the light is terrible, sorry.  But isn't it beautiful?  And aren't I fortunate!

I didn't get to the allotment yesterday to pick so that's on the list for today.  The other two things are circuit training at midday and tuition after school finished.  I'm looking forward to how the resi visit went but I won't be expecting my student to 'write about it' in any shape or form - they'll get enough of that at school, bless them.

Have a good day, everyone, and may the sun shine on you.  xx

Sunday, 10 October 2021


 Morning, everyone.  I'm back again after a day off yesterday because I was at Dad's with John, doing some more sorting out.  It was a gorgeous day, sunny and quite warm once the early morning chill had gone.  Today it's too early to say but light clouds and a gentle breeze sounds OK to me.

The drive up on Friday afternoon was very easy although I don't enjoy these drives now that the house is empty.  I was very glad John was coming down too.  His journey, of course, is a lot longer, all the way from Jedburgh.  It's a straightforward route, just very long.

He arrived about half an hour after me and we had a take away Chinese as we talked about what we planned to do on Saturday and had a reminiscing session.  Bittersweet, sad in a happy and grateful way, if that makes sense.  He filled me in on how the whole 'estate/probate/death duties thing was going (quite well really) and I filled him in on what else needs clearing, sorting out, etc.

So on Saturday John went into the attic and I waited at the foot of the latter and he passed stuff down.  Quite a lot of stuff but Dad and John had 'done' the attic several years ago after which nothing else was put up there because neither Mum not Dad felt confident enough with the ladder, even though it is a good, substantial, pull down one.
So, although there was a lot of stuff, none of it was rubbish stuff.  

This is not long after we started, looking down the landing:  spot John!

John had brought the van down - he manages a couple of scrap stores in the Borders - and we loaded much of the attic stuff into the van because he could either sell or use it in the stores (this was Dad's wish).  There were loads of flashback moments as we found stuff that took us back to childhood and early adult life - the old trunk (which you can see in the photo) had a label on dating  1973 with 'to be collected from Kings Cross' on it from my first term of teaching when I moved to a flat for a few months before marriage.

I have brought home some of the Christmas stuff, including a big Jean Greenhowe knitted Santa (not by me) and a set of Nativity figures that I did knit for Mum about five years ago and which I truly didn't want to lose.  Mum was not well by then; I showed her a set I had knitted for some one else and she loved it so much that I set to and made her a set  in about three weeks flat.  She was so thrilled with it - very happy memories.
I also brought home a few things that Beth made in her Kitty Stitches days and some smocked baubles that they bought from Germany decades ago and which I have always loved plus some other bits and bobs.  They will join my collection of special ornaments.
I haven't unwrapped the Nativity set yet.

Once we had sorted the attic which is now almost empty, we tackled one of the other elephants in the house, Dad's office (the last one is the garage!).  Oh, my!!  The thing is, there's some stuff that needs keeping until all the financial affairs are sorted - we both have a dread of throwing away some piece of essential paperwork - but that left an awful lot of office stuff.  Again, I took a few bits and pieces - some Pritt-sticks, for example, some batteries and so on while John took the lion's share for the scrap stores.

We found stacks and stacks of old family photos from the fifties and sixties and before, which have joined the others that Beth and I sorted in August.  When Dave and co are able to come over from the USA without restrictions, we can have a mammoth 'do you remember' session over a buffet and some wine.

And we found this - an object lesson in why you should get your documents checked by someone else.  Just after Dad retired, he set up his own little company for a while.  I think it just broke even over the years but it kept him busy and occupied in those first years  after standing down from a very busy and satisfying career.
Please don't read if you are easily offended (and that's not a value judgement, I just don't want any reader to be offended) but John and I laughed until we almost cried when we read it.

Oh, dear!

And finally - does anyone remember these?

When I was a little girl, Mum had a whole set of them in which she kept various household cleaning stuff.  I found this in the back of the bathroom cupboard and it took me right back sixty years or so.  I've looked; it's not worth anything but, to me, it's priceless.

By mid afternoon we were both flagging so we tidied up, finished packing and both left.  John had a long journey, of course, but it means that he has the whole of today back at home to R&R.
We got a lot done.  The attic is pretty much completed, the office isn't by any means finished but it's started, the bathroom is now clear of any clutter and we even started in the garage, John taking various tools, etc while I made note of some things I can clear next time I go.  We are still not sure when the house can go on the market but John has been keeping a close eye on sales there and says that houses are selling very quickly, sometimes within a day of appearing, so that's encouraging.

It was a very active day yesterday so I'm feeling quite tired this morning but don't have loads to do really.  I want to plan tomorrows tuition session, get all the ironing done and go to pick stuff down the allotment.  And that's about it really.
Have a great day yourself . . . keep warm, stay safe and be happy.  xx

Friday, 8 October 2021


Good morning, everyone.  It's another dull day; it's not actually raining right now but it has been.

First of all, for Chris, these are pigs in blankets.  

They're lovely!

I had a list yesterday and I happily worked my way through the lot.  It was a gentle and satisfying day and it makes today all that much easier.

I'm just back from Slimming World (not good results today but that's OK) and picking up my repeat prescription.  Now I have to do a few more bits and bobs before I pack because I'm off to Dad's to meet brother John there.  We're going to do some more sorting out and John's bringing his van to take some stuff home with him.
Because of that, I most likely won't be posting tomorrow but I'll be back on Sunday morning.
Have a super day.  xx