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Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Toshiba versus Sony

Hi folks,

Well. All the photos on here will be old ones as Martha (aka DD/GroovyPixie) took some good photos of me, and a not-so-good-one of her Dad,  rushed to me saying "Where do you put the camera memory card in your computer" Showed her, completely forgetting hers was a Sony card and needed an extra widget as it is too small for the hole in my Toshiepooter.

No amount of trying using everything from eyebrow tweezers to fine scissors could extract said card from my computer. Amazingly the computer read it so I have the pictures, please admire my new picture you can see at "About me".. Oh well, here it is again in a larger format! I was catching up with the weekend newspapers after Strollers weekend.

 Martha has no card and I cannot download from my camera (a Canon) using my memory stick. Luckily I had downloaded piccies from weekend.

However, I haven't photographed the lovely white 4ply wool I bought in the Malmesbury Cancer Research charity shop and as I'm now sewing my cardigan together will not be able to picture that either. I had so wanted to use the stash facility on Ravelry to show the wool, which cost £2.75, I paid 75p for a maths book too (Maths = Ian) and when I gave the guy £5 and said put the change in the till he protested and kept asking me if I was sure. The maths book hardly opened had cost £10 new. I try to round up in charity shops or say keep the change especially when their prices are a bit low.

Last evening kind friend along the road invited me to her house, helped me with picking up stitches around the neck and I finished the knitting part of my cardigan. We chatted, we knitted and played with her new kitten. I learnt more about knitting and equipment, loved her circular gadget for wool cutting, better than scissors.

Today, started next project, socks, whilst waiting for over an hour to see Doctor for flu jab and asthma discussions. Unfortunately, having cast on, joined up last stitch to form circle then discovered I don't have stitch markers, not around when I was young, think we would have used cotton thread. Didn't have that with me at surgery either!

Time for bed methinks, but will leave you with picture taken on Sunday afternoon walk around Malmesbury. Don't know what kind of butterfly this is but it stayed still for some time. Apologies if quality is poor, didn't have time to play with camera settings.

Oh, for all those of you who like to know what a Blogger wears whilst tapping away I'm in my black M&S trousers, cream Thomas Pink shirt, black V neck Uniqlo wool jumper and an old silver, blue, black patterned silk scarf.

That's all folks, Ian has bought my coffee, in Emma Bridgewater pink hearts mug. Aaaw, he is so good.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Quick update

Hi folks,

Just a quick blog to say we have been away for the weekend, left home last Friday and back late yesterday afternoon. Reason was the annual St. Augustine's Strollers weekend away, this has been happening for 20 years now and this year's trip was one of the best.

Twenty intrepid souls stayed in a Best Western hotel in Crudwell, walked a little on Friday afternoon, some of the others went further. On Saturday the big walk was around the lakes of Cotswold Water Park, created when all the gravel had been extracted to be used in the construction of M4 motorway. So beautiful, near the mouth of the River Thames, flat walks so no steep inclines and thus I was not puffed out, able to stop for Kodak corner opportunities and to enjoy the surroundings.

Evening activities included "Sing Praise" ; our annual dinner, awards and toasts followed by a noisy game of Jenga (spelling? Ed.) Unfortunately the ladies lost this but it was amid much laughter and deep breaths whilst wood was removed from the Tower of Babel.

Sunday saw those of us able to stay on in Malmesbury, a walk around the town following the river and history before tea in hotel (will need to find name and amend this later.)

Will post a picture from water park and expand later. Coffee has been made for me.

All man made lake
Cotswold Water Park

Pictures seem to have joined up but will edit later.

Byeee folks, I'm being nagged by daughter, must go and drink my coffee.


Monday, 20 September 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

Simple Woman's Daybook: 20th September

Outside My Window ... early this morning whilst still in bed saw parakeets flying around and balancing rather precariously on the top of our apple tree; now three loads of  laundry drying.

I am thinking ...about our busy weekend, Saturday we visited the construction site that is the Olympic village courtesy of the London Open House scheme and yesterday was Harvest Festival celebrations at church. To my surprise and delight our church was packed. Loads of children, not many in fancy dress but Rainbows, Brownies and Guides plus their parents and many families that I didn't recognise. So good. The new screen  and Power point was used, this is one of the changes that has caused controversy among the few Anglo Catholic members of our congregation but I welcome the more evangelical approach. 
There was a bring and share lunch, plenty of food, we had contributed two quiches (they came home uneaten), green salad and potato salad. The kids were entertained, there was a fiendishly difficult quiz compiled by Christian Aid for the adults (I escaped by helping with kitchen chores). After all this activity there was choral evensong, I think the choir of which Ian is a member nearly outnumbered the Congregation.

I am thankful ... for the safe arrival today of Daniella Kaitlin, grand daughter for Ian's cousin. Baby weighed 7lb 9oz so very good weight.

From the kitchen ... Two loaves of bread are now proving, have used recipe from "The bread book".  Recipe uses quick yeast, downside is 10 minutes of kneading, so with two loaves quite physically tiring. We put each tin in a large tupperware box, rather than messing around with oiling cling film and then boxes placed somewhere warm, perhaps as today near the window with the afternoon sun streaming in.

I am wearing ...  Track suit style outfit, navy jogbots with matching navy & white striped top. Tidy and neat for around the house as Monday is chores day but not an outfit I would wear away from home.

I am creating ... buttonhole band for cardigan and then will have to remember how to join together sleeves, back, fronts and button bands that are on large safety pins.

I am going ... to try to go to a knitting group and will be asking for guidance on picking up and knitting neck band. This is because at church was the person who set me back on the knitting road and she suggested that I attend.

I am reading ... Dewey: the small-town library cat who touched the world; I treated myself to paperback edition of Howards End is on the landing: a year of reading from home. Both these are dipping into books, but I am neglecting Bill Bryson. 
I am hoping ... I can find time to clear more 'stuff' and add to the decluttering.

Around the house
 ...Ian is making the stand for the bird table, there are serious discussions as to the location of the bird nesting box.

One of my favourite things ... my Freedom Pass. We were able to travel from SW to NE London for free. One of the very few benefits of being older. The pass makes us greener, especially where parking is difficult or expensive so we use the cars less. In fact we are looking to sell our big Citroen Picasso.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ... Local studies voluntary work; knitting group at Mrs Moon on Thursday.

A Picture Thought I Am Sharing inside the stadium at the Olympic village. This weekend was the first time the coach parties were allowed inside the main venue.

There is great attention to environmental improvement and trees have been and will continue to be planted. The orange plastic is to protect the plants from the wild geese.
Pictures were taken through coach window, often quickly and have not been edited.
Off now, it is 2.20 BST on Monday afternoon, whatever the date stamp on the blog says.

Byeeee, Madeleine.
E. & O. E. as we used to put on important letters and documents.

 Find instructions and links to other daybooks at The Simple Woman


Friday, 17 September 2010

Gardeners Question Time

Well folks,

If I had heard Ian's voice on the radio without knowing his question at Gardeners Question Time had been recorded I would not have recognised it!

Very difficult to say what the difference is, perhaps stronger, but I think the pitch. Will be interested to hear what others who know him think.

Have been bought two knitting magazines to help decide on next project, the changes in cost of wool/yarn is still concerning me, types of needles and whole knitting culture. No longer is knitting for some one who wants to save money by knitting their own cardigans and jumpers, it would have been so much cheaper to buy clothes in Sainsbugs, could have nearly bought a top for the price Ian paid for the magazines alone.

Years ago, well when I was in my twenties the fashion as now, was for chunky cardigans and I went to buy one. It was a Saturday, I remember my parents my parents had left for a fortnights holiday. The cost to buy a knitted cardigan was so astronomic, the assistant in the 'original' Bentalls store in Kingston agreed with me and asked if I could knit. As I could, she suggested I went downstairs to haberdashery and bought pattern, wool and  the large wooden needles. I did so, I think it was two strands of wool together on huge needles so I finished the cardigan before my parents returned. Today, I think the situation would be reversed, although there is always the thrill and challenge of creating a garment.

I suspect the same is true of dressmaking as well, something else I used to do.

Must go,  Archers to hear, busy weekend. London Open House visit to Olympic site, Harvest festival at church with a bring and share lunch. Will be good to have a social event that is not fund raising but just a church family occasion. Then there is sung Evensong at 2.30., not quite evening time but so the congregation don't wander off!


Monday, 13 September 2010

Monday musings

Simple Woman's Daybook: 13th September

Outside My Window ...high humidity, heavy leaden skies, we've had a little rain but nothing to clear the air

I am thinking ...of what I have been reading in my diaries that I wrote in my late teens and twenties. Was going to destroy them out but not sure now. I had remembered some things incorrectly; medically hadn't realised that sore eyes are not new, my flatmate (a nurse) recognised an allergy and gave me antihistamines. I stopped writing diaries not long after meeting Ian, so busy, less time as didn't  child mind in the evenings, nor was there a need to record my views on guys who took me out. Most of them came into the category of "Would I mind if I never saw this person again". My answer invariably was no, I wouldn't. 

From the learning rooms ... Ian off to his final OU MS121 tutorial this evening. He has done and submitted all his work, still going as he has started preparing for February and next year's course. Also wants to thank his tutor for all the good support he's received, not just in person but online too.
I am thankful ... my Freedom Pass so I can go into and around London when ever I like (well after 9.30 on SW Trains) so can meet friends, go to exhibitions, shop etc.

From the kitchen ... nothing at present, but daughter home soon so she will require supper. Ian and I ate out late at Loch Fyne so no need for a meal, maybe just a snack. Thanks to internet we'd downloaded a voucher.

I am wearing favourite M & S jeans, slightly stretchy ones, blue/grey patterned Gap top and navy cabled V neck cotton jersey from Crew Clothing. Jumper belonged to Martha until last week but she has given it to me and I think I look good in it. (Vanity will be the undoing of me. Ed.) I suspect I bought it anyway last year for her to take to Texas.

I am creating ... cream cardigan in Fisherman's rib, now have just the neck and button band and pockets to do and work is finished. Question is what do I start next? Have discovered a wool shop near here so will be going there to look for new materials. Have a free pattern for socks or may do a lacy style cardigan.

I am going have a Mummy-and-Martha evening as Ian is out.

I am reading ...well will be reading new book from reading group, it's The Colour by Rose Tremain so a new author for me. Also given a book by one of the other ladies called Dewey: the small-town library cat who touched the world. Reading group was very good, lots of chat about our Summers, families and I am hoping we may have sold our Citroen to one of the group. Have known her a long time, we used to live in the same road some 20 years ago.

I am hoping ...I can become motivated to clear, let go of stuff, books I will probably not read again and live a less cluttered life. 

I am hearing ... the radio on downstairs, a bird and then traffic

Around the house ...  quiet, daughter now home is in the kitchen preparing her supper.,
One of my favourite things ... this is hard to decide, think it is the freedom I have to spend my days how I wish.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ...usual enjoyable stint at the Local studies library and then on Saturday a visit to the Olympic Village as part of London Open House weekend. Sunday is Harvest Festival, with bring and share lunch, games and quizzes for all ages and Choral Evensong after. Ian is singing with the choir. For once it is not going to be a fund raising event as these have become a turn off. Always we were being asked for money.

A picture thought I am sharing .... two pictures of my knitting with the pattern superimposed on the back

The pattern and knitting are laid out on our lounge carpet, wanted to take pictures quickly so could finish this blog today and post on Monday. Also, just five minutes to The Archers so that takes precedence over everything and everybody!

So byeeee, check out the Simple woman site too, her idea to do this blog.

  Find instructions and links to other daybooks at The Simple Woman

Saturday, 11 September 2010


Just a few musings ...

went to meet friend P. yesterday at V & A with the intention of lunch and then viewing the Grace Kelly exhibition. Unfortunately we didn't buy our tickets for GK first so after a good lunch at the V & A café we found we couldn't go around the exhibition until nearly 6 o'clock which was far too late. P. has a lovely Border terrier to consider so instead we wandered around the museum and found other interesting things to see.

One area was supposed to be medieval but it was buildings and art. Took photographs of a building that had been rescued before demolition.

Main problem for us was trying to find a loo, they are not well signed and whilst did stumble on an exhibition near the National Art |Library of modern stuff, postwar designs and realised how quickly technology changes. I think this was the design side of modern technology but quite an overlap with the Science Museum.

Today has been an interesting day, managed to do gardening, I think the 'green gym' has done some good for I weeded and then planted the bulbs we had bought in Whitton High Street. A couple passing by remarked what pleasure they obtained from our sunflowers, I glowed with pleasure, the pressure I put on Ian to have these has been vindicated and he has agreed we add to the cottage garden effect by planting hollyhocks next year. Stuff that will grow above our 3' something wall is needed.

Apart from reading other blogs, especially those linked to Ravelry I have made two loaves of bread using the Taste of Health half-and-half loaf with slightly more wholemeal than white. Sneaky but healthy.

Very good sunset here, have not done it justice in this picture from back bedroom but you can see we look out on greenery. So good so near London, but then this is one of the greenest boroughs.

Must come away from here and iron, feel I need to use calories after a lovely, most delicious risotto cooked by daughter but humungous quantity.Maybe time for some knitting if ironing goes well, will listen to Last Night of the Proms whilst doing it. As I have been to a Last Night can recall the setting, I'm so lucky, we were right at the top of the Albert Hall, still promenading though.

Byeeee, Madeleine

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Birthday doings

we all 


I am thinking ... about the Meditation and prayers around Psalm 42 at this morning's monthly service. Only 4 of attended, but the leader had put in a lot of work around the theme of God being with us always. I think I need to learn to differentiate between literal and actual meanings, especially in the psalms.

Also am thinking about my birthday yesterday and how good it was. Had some special pressies of course, Ian made me a bird table; Martha bought me the DVD of Julie & Julia and the cookery books that inspired the film; my friend MPC bought me a bird nesting box and a present is on its way from son. My sister donated a gift from me to the Cats Protection League, we don't exchange gifts as such any more. 

It was so good that we had tickets to see a recording of GQT.

From the learning rooms ... just Ian and his OU. He is pleased to receive 96% for his CMA.

I am thankful ... that we do not have to work but can enjoy the freedom to choose our own activities, for lovely places on our doorstep like Kew Gardens.

From the kitchen ... Ian has just gone down to prepare our supper.

I am wearing ... M & S black trousers, white short sleeved Laura Ashley blouse and black and white East cardigan.

I am creating ... second sleeve of cardigan I am knitting.

I am going ... to ensure everyone I know listens to Gardeners Question Time on Radio 4 on 17th or 19th  September to hear Ian's question about courgettes. The programme was recorded yesterday at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. We took along our question, photographs of courgettes in pots on patio and a plant itself.
Ian is sitting in the allocated seat for question 5.

Our sad courgette plant can be seen on the table!

I am reading ...still Bill Bryson.

I am hoping ... to sort out all the books that were in crates in the garage. Still haven't found Herb of Grace or other Elizabeth Gouge books, but there are plenty of others that I would like in the house. 
Martha has come to a decision about her back copies of Vogue, she had a susbscription for an number of years but changed it to Marie-Claire but still kept back copies. We have retained a few special editions and plan to put the rest on Freecycle. Maybe art students would like them.

Around the house
 ... need to tidy as son and his wife are popping in on Thursday, same day as our Treasure comes. Will be busy as Treasure will be cutting my hair and Ian's too. The boiler was to be serviced that day too but we have postponed that. It would have been too much. I plan to make a risotto and an apple pie with custard.

One of my favourite things ... the kindness of Ian. Today he returned from shopping with a birthday cake, just right size for us to share.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ...attempting to make a cob loaf as on Great British bake up last week, Voluntary work at Local Studies tomorrow, meeting at friend to see the Grace Kelly exhibition at V & A; more knitting.

Thanks for reading this, will be off now as it is not long before I pay my nightly visit to Ambridge.


Thursday, 2 September 2010

Book bonanza

Happiness is finding books that I had thought had gone from my life for ever.

Background is that we are trying to have a clear out, yesterday an unwanted vacuum was Freecycled and Ian decided to clear more from garage so bought in crates of books. Now I thought these books were kids university ones and was delighted to find that many were ours, there were old Pelicans, black covered Penguins covering classical Greek literature and history for example. These have replaced Martha's Harry Potter collection on our shelves in the hall as can be seen here.
This bookcase that was found in the garage when we moved into this house, it was used for storing paint pots, now it is in the dining room and has our fiction collection, like Barbara Pym, Howard Spring and now Nevil Shute and Ian's Asimov collection that have come from the garage. Some of the fiction is light reading stuff that will go once read. So short of time, what with blogging, knitting, cooking/baking, meeting friends, Local studies voluntary work so how did we work and run around after two children.

Must get on, want to sort out more books, haven't attempted the DT quick crossword yet, am meeting friend for lunch in Kew Gardens and to look at the photography exhibition there and then there is the knitting. Didn't do any yesterday but climbed Mount Ironmore instead.

Byeee, Madeleine