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Sunday, 23 June 2019

Ruby, Ruby, Ruby.

Yes! Forty years and one week ago Ian and I were married by Archbishop’s Special licence five and a half months after we met at an IVC New Year’s Eve Party in snowy Twickenham. (IVC is Inter-Varsity Club, established many years ago to provide social, intellectual  and sporting activities after university or college, there was an interview before one could join).

We are no longer party animals, I wrote about the May Norwegian cruise, for the actual anniversary we went to Bath for a long weekend, train from London via Reading to Bath Spa Station, then taxi to Roseate Villa,  On arrival, tea and cake and news that we had a double upgrade so instead of overlooking the garden at the back we viewed the large trees bordering Henrietta Park. Amazing breakfast menu too, all bread and cakes are made overnight on the premises, there’s a breakfast chef so every was freshly cooked

Apart from pottering around, we took two bus trips, one around the city with a great live commentary from a would be comedian, yet still informative whilst providing amusement. The second bus tour involved plugging in ear pieces for prerecorded spiel that didn’t quite coordinate with the bus timings.

On Trinity Sunday as it was our actual anniversary we went to Bath Abbey for 11.15 Sung Eucharist, held in the newly reordered East End, apparently the first day using the space in a different way. It was successful, Bath Abbey is technically an ordinary parish church, but wow, not many ordinary parish church has a choir of such magnitude, the Abbey Choir of Girls and Lay-Clerks, nor do they have singing in Latin. Felt quite emotional, a mixture of the the service, reminiscences and thanks that we still delight in each other’s company, laugh together, read each other’s minds.

We were much taken by the comfortable chairs that have replaced pews, the pews were damaging the sinking floor, chairs allow for modern worship we are and can be moved easily to allow space for wheelchairs, this had happened at a previous service, something that would have been impossible with fixed pews.

Our journey back was uneventful, it did occur to me how narrow and cramped the train seats were, on Great Western Railways luggage space has been removed to make space for more seats, if I were travelling alone I wouldn’t have been able to lift my case onto the luggage rack. It was my insistence that we travelled by train rather than drive, hopefully far less stressful, I had it in my mind that one could get up and walk around or even stand so not sitting for too long. Not possible, however, we had a walk around at Reading as we changed from South Western Railways to Great Western Railways. South Western gains were very old, if a tad more seat room but with no air conditioning, the carriages are used usually on the Kingston Wimbledon loop line, not on a ninety minute journey from Waterloo.

Will add photos, if Blogger lets me I will attempt to add a caption.

Photographs from Roseate Villa showing the building, our twice upgraded room, the sweets, the view.

Monday, 10 June 2019

British Banter.

British Banter is a Ravelry forum, last Saturday a group of around 30 knitters & crocheters met on 4th floor of the Royal Festival Hall, close by the singing lift. It takes courage to join a crowd of ladies, some of whom you have met before, but cannot remember where, when, their Ravelry or real name!

In the event, I didn’t even have a chance before I was recognised by Joy, after a while it was suggested that I may like to take my coat off! So for about 5+ hours people moved around to chat with others, laugh, eat, some goodies were bought to share. Time went very quickly, the stories knitters bring about their lives and interests seem to be so individualistic and varied that it was delightful to listen and learn about people who had been just a non-de-plume online.

I came away on a high that has lasted, even the broken down train at Mortlake station that delayed my journey home, hasn’t altered that, annoying as it was at the time. It was good for me to cope with a large number of people, didn’t feel overwhelmed but then the chairs and sofas were spread out.


Saturday, 1 June 2019


These last few weeks have been busy, some routine events such as volunteering at Local Studies, Pilates class, half term meant no art class or singing for Ian, we went to a talk about diary collection held by the Bishopsgate Institute and sadly, yet another funeral.

The local resident who died was one typical of suburbia, born before the war, bombed out, an evacuee, Boy Scout, devoted husband, one for whom friendship and family were important, worshipper at  chapel, an engineer who repaired his children’s toys and family belongings, supporter of the local football team, a father who chauffeured, supported the children’s  activities and interests - altogether a good bloke, eventually lost to dementia. How many thousands like him grew up in the post war years in those semi-detached 1930s homes with a culture of duty, church, discipline to become stalwarts in  business, civil service or military whilst accepting how things were. Although of an earlier generation my father’s family had and have still in some this idea of duty to others.

Last Thursday we heard a most interesting talk by archivists from the Bishopsgate Institute about their collection of diaries, not just those of the famous, great and good, but of as they said those diaries of the great unwashed, the common man whose observations about national and international happenings were as interesting as the personal details of their own lives and thoughts.

Taken from the speaker’s PhD, the description of why people keep a diary, what kind of person and the recording nature of diarists did resonate with me. Unfortunately I haven’t kept all the diaries, my oldest is a  Boots scribbling diary of 1962, much considered with food, weather, school life, times of getting up and going to bed, then later ones cover late 60s when I was at college until 1979 when I met Ian.  It is a sad fact that years when life was exciting and busy I was less likely to record events. If I donated my diaries to Bishopsgate there may be some judicious use of Snopake, it was comforting to hear that one can put an embargo on the diaries. I will tell my children of my wishes, as the diaries predate them there should be no problem, Daughter and I have had a laugh already about my entries in 1962.

Blogs weren’t considered as diary entries, not sure if they would be accepted if printed out, has made me wonder whether I should return to pen and ink again, no one else would see it and send me emails  that resulted us leaving a ‘family’ with which I had been involved since my early teens. For the past 40 years a pocket diary has sufficed, each is full of details of appointments, contact details, I still use a Filofax, it is heavy and too big for a handbag laden down with knitting and crochet.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019


Yes, for the first time for a couple of years we went on holiday, so different from anything we’d done before, connecting our ruby wedding anniversary, Knitting & Crochet Guild and first time cruising. Way back in 2017 an article by a frequent cruiser in Slipknot suggested KCG held workshops and Knit & Natter sessions on sea days, opinions were sought as to to dates and destinations, result was this May, Norwegian Fjords and P & O Ventura. Although about 5 weeks ahead of our actual anniversary we decided to make it part of our celebrations, we didn’t want a rent-a-mob party. Advantages included no flying, it is not the actual flying, it is all the hanging about as one is told to be at the airport hours before the flight so much money can be spent in the departure lounges. These are even more profitable for the airport finances than landing fees.

As newbies to this we enlisted the help of Ben, our travel agent who advised us on cabin location, meal service - we had freedom dining - car parking etc.  Before we went we booked 4 tours, nothing energetic but organised so no danger of missing the boat. There was a closed Facebook page discussing all things woolly and cruising advice.

Briefly, it was all very successful, it did take us a few days to work out how everything worked like the onboard spending, there were fewer knitters and crocheters join us than expected, I learnt Judy’s magic cast on and at last conquered Dorset buttons, the usual friendliness of craft people as we met each day for afternoon tea. I had taken some stash that I couldn’t see myself using for passengers who wished to learn to knit, pleased to say it will be used for charitable purposes.

Because of GDPR there are no photos of knitting on board, instead amongst the pictures will include a photo of Ian and I in Norway, he’s wearing a crocheted scarf, mine is knitted.

Once I add photos Blogger won’t let me return to the text so no annotations.

Friday, 3 May 2019


Just want to explain why the previous post was cut short, once I posted the photographs it was impossible to scroll the screen up so I could add more text. Must remember to add pictures at the end, after editing my ramblings.

Stylecraft ethical twist is 70% organic wool & 30% alpaca DK, I was delighted to receive 2 skeins in camel and cream, I think I may make a large shawl, as a chilly mortal it would be a great way to keep warm whilst not being concerned about fit and tension, not sure whether to crochet or knit. The Knitters’ bingo was great fun, a sociable way to fund raise, a big thank you to all who donated or made prizes. Finally, a picture of the goodies at the end of my posting.


Well folks, things are back to normal, at last my mouth has healed after the extraction, still a little difficult to eat hard crusts, even  struggled with a square of darkest chocolate which we have with a glass of milk at bedtime.

A list of instructions came back with me from the dentist, no alcohol for 24 hours, we hardly drink so it was very unusual for me to have a drink so to have one about half an hour after the 24 hours had passed as I was attending a gathering of knitters & crocheters to play Knitters bingo to support Mel & her  daughter Emilie take part in Walk the Walk for the Moon Walk. The fizz was Prosecco, with  home made scones, jam, cream on first was popular.  The bingo prizes were amazing, when I won a line my prize that included yarn gold.

Add caption

This soft yarn is 80% merino, 15% Qiviut & 5% silk, in daffodil colour, I’m searching for a small scarf pattern to enhance this 28 grams of squidgyness. That’s not all in a project bag made by Jean, yes the same friend who saved my sanity concerning the Moorland stitch pattern - it is growing so well now - there were these gems.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Catching up.

A quick summary why I haven’t blogged so much, a broken tooth with an abscess underneath and the visitation of family over Easter weekend.

Couple of weeks ago I felt unwell, nothing specific just felt grotty, lack of energy, jaw became painful, saw an emergency dentist (thanks to 111) who identified an abscess and broken tooth, attended my usual dentist, tomorrow the tooth will be extracted, no general anaesthetic this time compared with September 2014 when I last had a similar problem with a mouth infection.

Other reason life has been busy is the grandchildren and their parents came to stay last weekend, Edward had had chicken pox, on Saturday morning Alice succumbed, poor mite it was worse for her coupled with eczema and warm weather so much so that her temperature shot up that she ended up at local hospital’s children’s A & E. Meanwhile Ian and I enjoyed caring for Edward, supper, watering the garden, bath time and story time.  Apart from Rosie’s hat he asked for Macavity, I hadn’t read Eliot’s work since first year of secondary school, did my best with intonation whilst wondering whether the 1930s references would mean anything to a twenty first century child. Alice is recovering, no nursery this week.

Whilst  family stay we try to make their time restful and a break from routine so they don’t have to worry about domestic and catering, hence our busyness before, during and after their visits, hence little time for blogging, emailing, crochet, reading or sudoku, but so worth it to spend time with those children.

Will add photos at end, if I add them with text cannot scroll up!