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Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Resurrected post

With many, many thanks to Zoe of Razorblade of Life blog who managed to save my blog and send it to me on a Word document but I am unable to bring you the lost photos. 

Since November I have been knitting a sleeveless top for Edward, have struggled with the pattern, especially with picking up stitches around the neck and armholes. It is finished, I am not happy with it but will not undo it, Edward won't mind.  The pattern, Argyle slipover  is by Debbie Bliss from her book "Special Knits: 22 gorgeous handknits for babies". The Argyle chevrons were missed out, never tried this  and felt this wasn't the right time to learn.


Apart from the difficulties with Blogger and the business of Christmas there's another reason my blogging has been intermittent, for when I attended the Royal Brompton hospital on 31st October I was advised to attend another Pulmonary Rehabilitation course, these are held twice a week for a couple of hours, the whole course is 12 sessions, just four more to do. Of course it is more than 4 hours per week, one has to travel to the venue, park the car, be ready to start at 3pm, then travel home in the rush hour feeling utterly exhausted. Given the cold weather, when he can, Ian has been dropping me at the door, then coming back to collect me at end of play, I should be grateful, our borough has ring fenced these courses but I find the emphasis on exercise very difficult, however in the last couple of sessions I have felt a slight sense of improvement, even managed the marching on the spot for seven and a half minutes, upping the levels on the bike and treadmill last Wednesday. It does seem odd to exercise in ordinary clothes, no clinging Lycra here, my PE kit is saved for my weekly Pilates sessions.

After the exercises, which we are supposed to continue at home as apparently exercise is as important, or maybe more important than medication, we have a pep talk. This time the course is a rolling one so those joining last week had a talk about what to do after completion of the course, usual health talks about nutrition, mental health and medication do help, I didn't realize how frequently one has to replace a spacer for instance.

Finally, the saga of the missing Advent calendar continues, nothing was found when the Christmas decorations were stowed away so we live in hope as the decluttering continues. Ian donated 21 shirts to the local hospice charity shop this week, I have started a scarf clearance, well at the last count there were over 60 so a culling is needed as fashions change.

Sunday, 15 January 2017


In case my readers think I have given up blogging I have just had my new Blog swallowed by Blogger.

All discussions about Edward's jumper and the Pulmonary Rehabilitation course have gone.

I may consider moving elsewhere. 

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Christmas cake

Before I write about the Christmas cake, I shall update last Saturday's blog to announce that we still haven't found the quilted Advent calendar, once we dismantle our tree, take the wreath down and pack away the lights it may appear. Also, I decided against buying a new laptop just to be able to use Blogger so this is being written on my old Toshiba, the last one worked on Ian's much newer laptop. If all else fails I can use the computers at the public library.

Now to the title of this blog. Well over a year ago I decided that it would be interesting to abandon the old style royal icing snow scene on the Christmas cake and learn to pipe, cross hatch, make flowers just as we did when I was in the sixth form at school learning these skills all through the Autumn term. Although I booked a class to work in royal icing there were not enough other students interested in this to make it viable. This year The Cake Box at Hampton had different classes, so I enrolled in Decorate your own Christmas Cake Course, the flowers, leaves and berries in sugar paste that were made in the first week found their way onto my cake here. 

As I wrote words on laptop, downloaded photos on iPad will end in case anything is lost. 

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Seasonal musings

Advent is over, we spent it looking for our Advent Calendar, a quilted work of art that I won some 15 months ago,

we searched all those safe places where one stores infrequently used treasures, we have found other lost causes, such as bed linen we thought had gone away but fits our futon perfectly. Much time has been spent on turning out drawers, cupboards, boxes with Ian being warned not to say "it will be in the last place you look" because so far the Calendar isn't.

The Calendar is not part of our tradition, we don't go overboard on decorations, just white lights in the front bay window, a Christmas tree with lights and decorations in our lounge, we tuck our cards between books in the hallway Billy bookshelves, not so easy with landscape cards but then one can become absorbed in the book that has been moved and another hour has gone discovering serendipity knowledge that will fail on recall at the next quiz.

Just to explain why my blogging has become so infrequent, I am struggling to use Blogger on my iPad, whether it is Blogger app on my front screen or from the bar at the top of my post so in desperation I have logged into Ian's laptop and will send these ramblings from that machine.  If it works I may invest in another laptop, have not used my Toshiba much this year, it will be 10 years old this coming May so it is due for retirement. I want to tell you all about my experiments with sugar paste and the decorated Christmas cake but will leave it to another blog as the photos will have to be moved from phone to Ian's laptop.  I can type faster on the laptop but have become much reliant on predictive text of Apple products.  One cannot win, it is all a big game to thwart us. what happened to standardization? My mind jumps back to filing cabinets of grey British Standards full of definitions and diagrams.

 Note to self, double clicking the space bar on a laptop and Windows 7 does not produce a full stop and does not capitalise the next word. 

Monday, 5 December 2016

Christmas cards


Cards from bygone years for recycling 

The arrival of our first two Christmas cards prompted Ian and I to organise our list to ensure that no one was missed. Our method is so high tech, A4 writing pad, names recorded by going through cards from previous years, hidden in the depths of the landing cupboard we found three different years’ offerings. 

There was laughter and smiles from some cleverly designed cards, sadness and memories when the sender is on another shore, memory searching when we didn't recognise a name and a form of bullshit bingo concerning the spelling of my Christian name. No excuses now, just check the credits on the last Bond film please. 

Slightly more difficult are negotiations about where we prune and edit the list, it needs sensitivity, links can be tenuous so each is taken on its merits. 

Need to start writing, no round robins, we have no objections to them and understand for busy folk with careers,  families, large mailing lists and interesting lives they are great and enjoyable.  We no longer fit these criteria, so sometimes add a personal update. Perhaps they should be  referred to my blog, but not all our world is here anymore. 

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Two go to the South West

Ian and I returned from Dorset today, we’d left the Metropolis on Monday, had lunch at DD’s before Ian left for Axminster to attends two day course on wood turning. The photo above shows some of what he achieved, but one cannot photograph caring for and using the special tools. The course was at the Axminster Skills Centre, very well organised, good lunch included in the fee and advice on where to stay nearby. 

Whilst he was away I caught up with my cousin, it was our Mothers who were cousins, so I am not sure whether we are second cousins or cousins once removed, it doesn't matter, we had an interesting day at Kingston Lacy learning about conservation. As a librarian I didn't know the right way to take a book from a shelf, nor did I appreciate that old books are better stored horizontally rather than the usual spine vertically.  Maybe we did learn this at I library school, it was a long time ago, nor did I learn the easiest way to ensure books are even at the shelf edge.  

We had to plod around the house with plastic overshoes on so the Carrara  marble staircase and floors weren't damaged, enjoyed the method of cleaning ceramics, just deionised water and cotton wool balls gently wiping the ceramics, mustn't touch the gold parts though. 

The following day met up with a school friend, went by train to Dorchester from Poole, such beautiful scenery, so much better and safer viewing it from train than car. Thinking about street scenery Poundbury has no street furniture, no yellow lines, no traffic lights, no zebra or pelican crossings, just a slightly raised area of a different surface where one can cross. It just seems to work and looks so visually attractive. Perhaps the appearance of some of our market towns with narrow streets and characterful buildings would benefit from copying Poundbury.

Just wish I had thought to take photos for comparison, oh well thank goodness for t’interweb!

PS Blog started on Thursday, finished Friday as gave up on trying to compose in Word, then cut and paste onto Blogger.  Why can't Apple and Blogger sort out their differences? 

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

U3A 25th


A couple of photographs to show display at Kingston U3A 25th celebrations, spot my Beekeeper's Quilt displayed vertically 

It was a very long day, tiring but worthwhile manning the display for the Knitting group. As I wasn't involved with any other group I sat and guarded everything, especially my Beekeeper's Quilt from about 10am till 4pm whilst trying to explain how I made it, about magic loop,  casting on to for the 'pocket' , about increasing and decreasing to obtain the hexagon, about stuffing before completing with three needle bind off. It did help that I am using magic loop to make socks, had my Work in Progress with me of course so that helped my explanation. 

Quite surprised to see people I knew in my other lives who are not U3A members but had dropped by so the occasion was a good catchup. Looked around other displays by different groups, there aren't any others I wish to join, I attend a Pilates class locally where there is no parking problems, the book club is local too, also just have no time to undertake more activities. 

Finally a picture of the fruit cake to add to the celebrations, appropriate as I am watching Bake off final whilst typing this in notes then cutting and pasting in Blogger which is playing up again. 

Please ignore the odd character and lack of punctuation!