Wednesday, 20 January 2010

My new wool stash

This is just some of my latest wool to be delivered, but not all. I have also received over the last week two batches of sari silk yarn, pure slate blue lambs wool (which incidentally still feels slightly oily, as if its just come from the sheep) and have on order some Louisa Harding, grace yarn and pure hemp yarn.

Now I do have uses for all of the above, but it may take some time in getting around to it. I have already used one batch of the sari yarn but didn't have enough to finish the bag that I started, so obviously had to order some more from this lovely site - Whilst there again and having to pay more postage I thought it best to order the hemp yarn at the same time for another bag.

The above wool is for a colourful throw and the Louisa Harding yarn is for a wrap for me to go with my wedding outfit. Hopefully that won't take too long to come as I've got a feeling it might be quite difficult, whilst I am still learning to crochet.

I also have an idea for another crochet project that will be all mine, but as i'm not sure I will be able to pull it off i'll leave that for another day, or year, or millennium.

Saturday, 16 January 2010


This is Arthur, our twelve year old Lab. A real house dog, who loves nothing more that putting his head on your knee and having his chin scratched. Imagine then his shock when he went out into the garden the night the snow was a foot deep, only to be forgotten about until the morning. How could his best friend have done that to him? What had he done wrong? Did nobody love him anymore?

Well his best friend was mortified, yes she did love him and he hadn't done anything wrong and she was so sorry. So sorry in fact that she tried to get in his bed with him, to warm him up, sat on his foot and made him yelp - 'crumbs I must have been really bad to be punished this much', he must have thought.

So we wrapped him up, kept our eye on him all day and he was fine, extremely tired but fine.

If Arthur was like any normal dog he would have barked to be let in, but barking for him is a rare occurrence. He only ever barks occasionally if there's a knock on the door from somebody unknown and then the whole household jumps out of their skin. Good for us, but maybe not so good for him! And on the plus side when you let him out at night now, there's no more dilly dallying around, he comes in like a shot.

Centipede scarf

I found the pattern for this centipede scarf online on, when I was browsing one lunch time at work and I just loved it. So I brought it with nothing in particular in mind, except that I thought one day I might be able to actually crochet something like it and wouldn't be able to find a pattern then that was something that little bit different.  ( 

And then I thought, hang on its Vicki's birthday and she likes scarves. And I needed no other excuse to get online shopping for wool - again

So a couple of weeks ago my wool arrived, the exact same one as on the pattern and set to.  The pattern suggests a 7mm hook, which I don't own, so I used a 5.5mm and looking back I think it is still too big for the wool. It was quite difficult crocheting something so loose. I was already late for Vicki's birthday so another couple of weeks wouldn't matter, but once I got through the first nine rows it was really easy. I even managed to correct some errors on the pattern, so must be getting better at this crocheting lark.

So here it is the finished scarf, already wrapped up and delivered and best of all Vicki really seemed to like it.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Plastic or real?

At Christmas time every year people hang electric light icicles outside their houses, only this year they needn't have bothered as we all got the real thing. Our own personal chandeliers, hanging outside our bedroom windows.

Unfortunately with the 'big freeze' melting so are the icicles, in one day they have all but disappeared, leaving behind extra puddles in the melting snow. Oh well Christmas does come but once a year, maybe next year we'll get our chandeliers back too.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Wedding update

This weekend was set aside to make the first fruit layer of the wedding cake, which then gives it two months to improve and be feed with lots more alcohol.  We were going to have two layers pound cake and one fruit, however as it has now turned out we have four fruit. Excellent no last minute cake baking the week before the actual day!

The recipe I followed was for an eight inch round cake, but as it worked out there was enough mixture for the six inch layer as well. I decided then that as I still had lots of ingredients I'd carry on and do the ten inch layer in fruit as well.  So I up get this morning to cook another cake and this time I thought I had learnt my lesson and followed the recipe for a nine inch cake. Guess what, I still some left overs, so I slip and slide my way over to Kim's in the car, to borrow a four inch round tin, perfect all the mixture used and my house smells great.

There we go four layers of wedding cake in sizes 4, 6, 8 & 10 inches.  However the marzipan and icing are going to cost a bomb!

So here they are ready for storage and their weekly feeding of brandy or rum, haven't quite decided yet.  Oh and then the marzipan, icing and decorating. Lets just hope the taste ok on the day.

Saturday, 9 January 2010


The day after the snow fell I walked to work, along the deserted roads, slipping and sliding on the frozen ice. The paths were clogged with frozen snow and there were banks of the it too, making walking very difficult. I walked down the slope to the underpass and stopped short as I couldn't believe my eyes. There in the middle of the underpass was a lady being helped by two others to get her and her motorised wheelchair up the other side. Apparently she had been stuck in the middle of the pass for quite some time. What I couldn't understand is how she got there in the first place, the slope down is steep and even once in the middle there was no smooth areas for her wheelchair to go. I have no idea where she could have come from, as the houses are some distance away and no idea how long it would have taken her to get there, why on earth would she want to leave her house in the first place.

The thing is Bracknell has developed this culture where if you hit the age of 50 your legs become useless and you have to get a motorised shopping buggy. There is Mr and Mrs shopmobility, fifty somethings with matching shoppers, the Howards and Hildas of Bracknell town centre. Others that hire the shoppers just to ride around town, you can hire them per hour and obviously there are people that do need them to have a more independent life.  Don't get me wrong I am not knocking people with needs, but if you walk through the town you have to watch all around you so that you don't get run over. Get to the shops, they nip off their buggy and more or less run inside to get the the front of the queues.

The car parks are very PC too, looking for any space to park is getting harder, as all the spaces are allocated for the disabled, is there something wrong with the water around here, are the majority of car owners really in need of special spaces and should they really be driving in the first place?  Tesco car park can be entertaining though, I have actually seen people park in the disables space, jump out of their car, realise that you have looked to see if they have the obligatory parking sticker and if they don't they start limping their way into the shop.

Some of these people need to visit France where the elderly take their Sunday walks and keep active. I have only ever seen one motorised buggy in France and guess what, the women riding it was English!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Snow day

This is the scene greeting me this morning, beautiful. But it would be much more beautiful if I didn't live within walking distance to work and could get snowed in, like the rest of Berkshire.

Still i'm all dressed up in my skiing gear; thermals, skiing gloves, skiing jacket, Jourdans silly but very warm green hat and an old pair of wellington boots that are 3 sizes too big for me, but hey somethings got to fit round these calves. And at least having had the benefit of the most terrifying week of my life, skiing in France has now benefited me in some way, I may not be the best skier, but I am certainly, this morning, the silliest dressed woman in Bracknell.

So onto work. It was extremely tough going walking through all that new snow, like running on dry sand, but I got to the town centre in the end. Obviously I wasn't the first there and looking at the bench someone else must have found it hard work too. Nothing like a nice sit down to rest those weary feet for a while. And before you ask, no its not my bottom print.

So after not a full day at work, all three of us that ventured in went home again after further downfalls. Nearly home and a new blizzard has arrived. I think this may be it now until Friday but judging by the temperatures it won't be melting in the mean time, so we'll see how many make it in tomorrow.

Oh and by the way, the chickens wouldn't even try to leave their coop today, not so silly after all are they?

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Red sky in the morning

Its cold this morning, very cold. But the sky just looked beautiful, worth going out to try and unfreeze the car. At least this morning the locks weren't frozen, I could actually get out the front door, couldn't do that yesterday, and into the car as well. Looks like my lucky day and I can go to work then, yah!

Red sky in the morning, shepherds warning, well I certainly wouldn't want to be a shepherd on a day like this. If you stood still too long outside you'd be frozen on the spot, left out in the cold to be found thawing in the spring by a hiker with a bobble hat, walking stick and backpack, singing 'I love to go a wandering'. Well what could be worse than being a shepherd on a day like this, oh going into CIT for the next eight and a half hours of course.

The weather forecast has severe warnings today for snow, creeping up from 10cm to 16 inches as the day goes along, over estimating for underplaying it before Christmas probably, but we'll see what we get by the morning.


Well, its now 10 o'clock in the evening and yes the snow is coming down with a vengeance, maybe the weather men have got it right this time after all.

Its a bit tricky taking photographs without a tripod, but I wanted to show the weird colour the sky goes here when it snows, it seems to always go that eery yellow, like old sepia pictures, I think its something to do with the town lights. So here you go, my snow news at 10.

Front garden
Back garden

Sunday, 3 January 2010

An afternoon in London

Yesterday we went to London to go to the the theatre in Covert Gardens, 8 of us in all and some time for dinner and looking at the craft stalls. I have had the above beetles for a very long time. Imagine my delight when the same stall is still in the same place, obviously then I had to buy another one. See below, one day it might even get onto the wall.
Next we found the Whittakers shop, so I had to buy these handpainted bowls, who wouldn't they were reduced to £3.00 each. Lovely bright, colourful pasta/salad bowls, all ready for my diet. Oh and I also bought 2 mugs as well.
So today we went to the Home Grange Craft Village to have a look around. Couldn't get Emily out of the craft supply shop so we left her there and carried on looking around the rest of the units. She did catch up with us eventually though, maybe the man at the till thought she might move in and asked her to leave. Next onto KA International where they have the best curtain and upholstery fabrics for sale, very expensive though, I go in for little remnants for bag making purposes. You can get a piece for a couple of pounds, but instead of that I brought the fantastic blanket below, yes much more that £2.00 but it was still a bargain in the sale, well thats what I tell myself although I dont think its quite true.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

New Year, time for resolutions

Well 2009 is over and we are now into 2010. One of my resolutions this year is to really get to grips with my blog and obviously hand my notice in, can't wait. I'm going to open my own shop on once I can think of a name for it anyway and work really hard at the allotment with Roy, hmm that may be one resolution too many, maybe change that to help as much as possible. At least i'll be in the kitchen preserving and cooking all the lovely things that he grows!! This years rhubarb and ginger chutney was a big hit, I will definately be cooking up more batches of that. I'll add the recipe soon.

Obviously I will be losing 2 stone, by April, the usual resolution, but this year its a definate for the wedding, can't have the mother of the bride looking like a fat forgotten hippy. I'll also be brave and go the the doctors to get my thyroid checked, only been meaning to do that for oh about 10 years.

New year, new start, i'm going to be healthy, slim and gorgeous, or maybe thats next year or the year after, or the year after that, well by 2020 anyway!!