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Thursday, 22 December 2011

Carol singers and Posada

Just a very brief update, last night our adult church choir were out singing near where we live so when Ian went out to join them I suggested he may wish them to come back to our home afterwards. Meanwhile, I got on with important things, like posting yesterday's blog, listening to The Archers, and answering the phone. Which meant, when Ian tried to ring me to say he was coming back he couldn't get through. It didn't matter, mince pies were available, so was the wine as we had prepared it for the Posada visit.

So, for once, the house had visitors, albeit just 5 of the choir but it was so good, it has encouraged me to try and do some entertaining. No one stayed too long, I don't think they wanted to be around for the Posada visit as that would have delayed them.

The Posada visit went well, Y and J had an extra prayer to that on the sheet; there was much discussion about the structure of the stable. No wine was consumed by these visitors, coffee and more mince pies instead.

I see one of Ian's projects coming, a new stable for next Christmas?

Need to present wrap and other seasonal stuff.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Shortest daylight day

Just thinking.... about a couple of things about Christmas. One is the tree. We have a reasonably realistic artificial tree that has appeared out of various hiding places for at least the past 20 years. It opened out, is decorated, by one person, or by all the family. Decorations have history, like the box of Polish decs bought at the Whitton light switching on evening, there are some infant school sewn items and frankly it is a hotch potch of colour, style and taste. The last attribute is questionable.

A couple of years ago we went all artistic. Out went the rainbow of colours, in came blue and silver, minimalism, enough but not overload, new fine lights that could change in frequency or brightness. It was lovely, elegant, even though the blueish light did clash with the yellowy lights in the window upstairs.

This year, as we are empty nesters the tree, lights and decorations were put up by Ian whilst my back was turned. I doubt we could fit more decorations on to this tree.

The other thought, is how my dear late Mother always baked and cooked everything at Christmas. she was a good baker, how she stored, cooked everything in the tiny galley 30s kitchen I'm not sure but I feel I am failing because I do buy more ready stuff. There is the orange Christmas pudding, the ready made mini mincepies, the pre-weighed cranberry sauce ingredients, likewise the Delia Smith Christmas cake pack. I think the latter does mean I cut out the weighing and measuring, especially as I no longer make cakes every week. I am sure my Mother would have appreciated these short cuts, maybe not the price tags that cover others doing the work but it does make me feel so guilty yet I do not know why. Am I doing my best for the family? Mostly it is down to Ian and I, Martha will be here but it is a good chance for her to catch up with her London friends, not stuck in with the parentals.

At present, just trying to sort a meal where there may be more veggie than non veggie guests so will probably serve all veggie so everybody can eat everything. Hope they will, lots of empty plates without my fear of not enough food either.

Now, need to get on, the Posada is arriving chez PixieMum  Mansions so we require a candle, wine glasses and those mince pies. Rare for us to entertain, am out of practice and find it scary. Oh, the wine and mince pies are not obligatory for receiving the Posada, we thought it would be good to offer them.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Delaying tactics

Saturday December 17th 2011 

Outside My Window:  Amongst the darkness some houses lit up with over the top decorations

I am thinking...  about Martha's friend's Mother who died on Wednesday 14th December from Cancer. Teresa was a few years younger than me, we were in adjoining beds in a maternity hospital, maybe that is when our daughters bonded. The girls went to the same secondary school, were in the same class and the friendship has endured although Martha lives 60 miles away. She came back last night to support her friend, an understanding reinforced by her work with those dealing with the aftermath of a death.

I am thankful for... Ian has been able to get into our old Blueyonder email address and find 10,000 emails as we were asked why we had not replied to our (only) party invitation. Apparently we are usually one of the quickest to reply. Most of the emails relate to Freecycle, as I read these on one of my other emails we have not lost any bargains. Away from Freecycle, what else have we missed?
I am wearing ... green cord East skirt, Uniqlo cable knit cashmere jumper and chunky cardigan, the cream coloured one I completed after a 20 year gap.

Sunday evening.
Well, I never got to finish this blog so will post it as it is. 

Just a thought from the kitchen, am going to put the marzipan on the Christmas cake, thought I would need have a cake board as part of this, but have checked with Delia and will need board for icing. Am going to marzipan the sides as well, although the leaflet with cake has marzipan and icing on the top only.Also, will make royal icing, don't like the roll out icing so we will be having our usual snow scene. Traditional, just like my Mum made.

Yes, I know this is a bit close to Christmas, but I just keep forgetting about it! Will photograph it after, and may add that to these ramblings later.

Saturday, 3 December 2011


After all that blogging about newspapers I think we are missing part of our paper. There is no Weekend supplement, no property - not that I am wanting to buy another home but I lurve looking at interiors for ideas -no personal finance. Ian said there wasn't another plastic wrapped section apart from the magazine. It appears that the app on my iPad does not have these supplements so I am pleased I don't pay extra as the app comes with the subsciption.

Oh well, it is late. Ian is just boiling water for the hot water bottles, so good night.

Sunday morning.

Ian collected Sunday's paper this morning, and the rest of Saturday's as it turned out that not all Saturday's paper had been delivered by 9am yesterday. Newsagents had therefore saved it for us to collect with today's paper. As we have a prepaid subscription papers are put aside for us, some times it is quite late when we amble down to our urban village.

Very different Sunday for us. We had planned to go to son's to help him and his wife assemble the IKEA wardrobes that were to be delivered yesterday, but they weren't, and have just been so it is too late for us to drive to their home today. Instead Ian is continuing with painting the kitchen, it isn't too bad, but some areas need freshening up. He's painted some door frames, now it is the larder so all the food has been taken out. Good to see what we have, there is even more in the dining room than shown below.

We suspect some items are well out of date, such as the four 5-litre containers of water, with a use by date of end July 2011 so we are not sure whether these should be kept any longer. They were bought earlier in the year when water supplies were threatened, have been kept in the dark that is the larder. We wouldn't waste the water if it were not drinkable, loo flushing comes to mind. What do my readers think? 

Here is the larder, awaiting cleaning and painting.

Lunch preparation calls, will I find everything?

A good week.

Well, this week has been quite interesting, everything from son and D-in-L visiting last Sunday, a broken down car, a meeting with a blogging friend to a surprise shopping trip today with daughter. Best news of all, Ian passed his Open University Maths. exam so that is MS221 out of the way. So delighted  for him, he had done so well in all the assignments, but was worried about the 3 hour exam.

Will try to type this quickly as have not yet read the Saturday paper at all, before I know it there will be the Sunday papers to peruse. I've always enjoyed reading newspapers, as a child I developed the skill of reading upside down as my father would put the paper flat on the table, I sat opposite. My parents took the Express, in the days when it was a broadsheet, much more serious, if fewer pages. Apparently when they set up home, four and half years after their marriage there were discussions about which paper to buy for their choice had to be suitable for their children to read too. In the evening it was the London Evening Standard, it could have been the Evening News or the Star in those days when the capital had three paid for evening papers, including on Saturdays too.

Then papers were more for news, not for comment so much. We didn't seem to have the radio on, or perhaps not the Home Service when I was a child, I remember my father coming home from work, holding up the evening paper with headline: The Queen: a baby. That baby is the Duke of York now. It wasn't just newspapers, my mother had Woman magazine delivered with the paper. As she wouldn't have had time to read it till the evening it was hidden as I wanted to read it too! At one time they bought She but when the magazine published a pull out supplement called All you want to know about sex but were afraid to ask there was disapproval. Obviously Woman was more suitable reading!

Our big car breakdown was on Monday, on the way back from Teddington with my new bag and books. The Citroen Picasso started jumping kangaroo style, the engine stopped too when it wasn't grinding. Fortunately we were so near the garage, an appointment had been made for Wednesday anyway so Ian drove very gingerly to their premises and left it there. We collected it this morning. To be fair, it was ready yesterday late afternoon but we couldn't face convoying over there. Apparently the crank pulley and glow plugs had gone, plus we had new filters, (the air and pollen filters are essential for me) as well as an annual service. We have used this family  garage for about 25 years, so do have a loyalty discount and feel happy with them. The main dealers failed completely to sort a problem we had a couple of years ago with fuel injectors so we will not go back to them.

Tuesday saw me scurrying up to town to meet with Z, a lovely blogger from East Anglia who writes daily about all sorts of interesting and fascinating topics. Her blogs are the new newspapers, sometimes I read them before I settle down for the night, otherwise they are a joy to peruse early morning on my iPad. We chatted for about 5 -6  hours in the café in the crypt of St Martins in the Field,  we were joined by Ian later who reminded us we needed lunch.

This is becoming a long blog, so will jump to today. Our church had a fair and a display of Christmas trees, we were just going to collect the car and go to the fair as Ian had made decorations for the choir tree and a tree from oasis, when Martha called to suggest meeting her in Kingston - she is missing John Lewis obviously. Hesitated, then said yes. So went to the church, bought cakes, saw the trees before being driven to Teddington station to catch a train immediately so very quick journey to Kingston.

I think these show the hymn books made by Ian on the choir tree.

We lunched, as you do, in John Lewis, so fortunate to have a table overlooking the river before shopping. All purchases are secret, but apparently I have yet to learn the art of wondering around shops, looking at stuff that I would never buy or desire.

Well, enough nattering, papers to read still, haven't done much knitting lately either, the train journey today was too short. If the pictures look a big colourless, I have since read the rules relating to my camera and it is back on auto.Those other symbols were so baffling, have gone for the KISS principle.

Oh, here's the oasis tree made by Ian with flowers stuck into the 'tree'.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Just a rather late mix of thoughts and some pictures.

Let us start with these photographs taken last Friday in London.

This is the memorial to Sir Richard Francis Burton, and his wife, Isabel in Mortlake in the cemetery attached to St. Mary Magdalene's RC church. It is in the shape of a Bedouin tent, one can climb up a wonky ladder at the back and look inside where it is furnished in the style of such a tent.

This memorial was one of the delights of our monthly Strollers walk from Barnes to Kew. Well of the eleven proud walkers, 4 of us opted to jump on the 65 bus to Richmond  after lunch, where as the others walked to Richmond along the tow path past Kew Gardens. It had been an interesting walk, by train to Barnes Bridge a chance to travel on the loop line through green suburbia. In Barnes we wandered past the pond and looked inside the parish church, it had been reconfigured when rebuilt after a fire in the 1970s. No pews, the altar faces north not east. Background to this is there is much discussion at our church of the need to make better use of the space, provide toilet and catering facilities and replace uncomfortable pews with chairs.

Problem is two ends of the same borough but Barnes is Hollywood on Thames and we are in Whitton.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any more pictures so cannot show the stretch of the Thames Path along which we walked to Kew Green. As I have said before, why do we ever need to go away with such beauty so near?

Today had a pulmonary appointment with a physiotherapist, blood pressure, lung function and oxygen levels checks. Glad to report all well, not changed from last year but have to have exercise that makes me puffed. Walking is the best, so last Friday was good from both a health, sociable and fun viewpoint.

This good news merited a wander around the shops of Teddington, browsed Oxfam for books, we purchased one on decorating woodwork just as an assistant bought a beautiful small pink leather Radley handbag out to put on display. It never got to the display, £20.00 and this perfect, unused bag was mine.

About 7" x 6", so neat, will take essentials like inhaler, purse, hanky, keys.

Oh, nearly forgot. There was a yarn and fabric shop in Barnes so I popped in and bought a grey plastic circular needles to carry around so I don't break even more bamboo ones. Cannot say I like knitting with them, they are slippery and cold but the hexipuffs and thus the Beekeepers Quilt  is devouring lots of bamboo needles. Anyway, I have made 60 hexipuffs so far, nowhere near one a day though.

Am knitting this hexipuff with moss stitch, have made a few this way, makes a more interesting texture although have needed to concentrate a little more. Picture shows also the plastic and grey needles.

Right, time to do mundane house chores, like loading the washing machine and thinking about supper. Will be casserole and apple pie as there is enough from yesterday. So Jill Archer.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Just thoughts

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook 

Wednesday November 16th 2011

Outside My Window: our road in being resurfaced, great you say. Not at all, rather than completely relay all  the road only the worst sections have been recovered so it looks like a patch work quilt. Ian says the pricing for the work would have been done on a square metre basis, and only the worst damaged part repaired. Now given all the time spent working out the most  damaged,  costing, marking them up with yellow paint, arranging for cones to be planted days ahead would it not have been marginally more economic just to resurface the whole road, apart from the aesthetics. 

From the kitchen... not so much food preparation, Ian is making the decorations in the kitchen as it the garage is too cold.

Shows the great detail, the carols on one side, the book marks which will be used to attach them to the tree, plus he has made a container for storage.

I am wearing ... pink jumper I made from Rowan alpaca cotton earlier this year and East green needlecord skirt.

I am reading...  Henry's Sisters, by Cathy Lamb. Need to complete by next Monday. It's Knitting versus Reading. 

I am creating... still making hexipuffs, but am thinking ahead about what I can make from the lovely old wool collected yesterday through Freecycle. Real mixture there, some fine items on cones, Aran yarn that has been used and unravelled. All I need is time to knit it all. Then there is the yarn in my stash ....

Laid out on the kitchen table. Ian found another box in which to store the haul, the box in which the wool came smelt of loft so it has been put out for recycling.

This blog was left incomplete on Wednesday. This evening, Friday, is the first time I have used my laptop since Wednesday so need to catch up on those things for which I don't use my iPad. 

Meanwhile life is fine, two new experiences for us today. We visited the Lidl's shop that opened in our High Street yesterday, and we will return. Sadly, there was no organic milk but today that problem was solved with another first. This was sampling the delights of a Hobbycraft store in Staines. I was amazed at some of the crafts, some of which were new to me. Disappointed to see no bamboo needles, nor KnitPro so was not tempted. Since the haul of Freecycle wool I was not tempted to consider even more yarn. 

Ian bought some stuff,  I know of a new guillotine but I was not permitted to be around when he went to the tills. Next door to Hobbycraft is Waitrose so we were able to stock up on milk and Davidstowe cheese. Isn't life great when one's favourite cheese is the one on special offer?

Must get on, emails to send, reading group book to read, 58th hexipuff to complete. 

Back soon with thoughts and events.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011


Just a quick addition to the blog to show the prototype that Ian made for the choir tree decorations.

 The ruler helps to give some idea of the size of the 'hymn books'.

The green cover is a match for the copies of The English Hymnal which it must be said, are rarely used now. So many hymns have been written since this was published, late 1950s I would guess as it was in use at the church when I was confirmed. Ian says the choir has the English hymnal with music: brown bound Hymns Ancient & Modern with the music: various sheets with music and words for other hymns not in those two works; then a black folder with the music for the services with different settings according to the church calendar plus the music and words for the African Mass.

Also, not sure why yesterday's effort had so many type faces and font sizes. Hope it didn't affect your enjoyment of my ramblings.

Now off to watch Kirstie Allsop and knit.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011


Simple Woman's Daybook: 8th November 2011

Outside My Window ... grey, damp, raw cold. Funereal cold which was fitting as I attended the funeral of a parishioner today. He would have been 102 in a few days time.

I am thinking ... about the TV programme we watched about Christianity in Europe. Still available on iPlayer & here. 

I agree with some one who said that it wasn't so much they were against Christianity but against the man made church. It is all the regulations, who can and cannot take communion, the rules nowadays that seems to say that every service must be Holy Communion/Mass/Eucharist. Who decides? Why no morning prayer any more? Who decides about all the extra bells that jangle away during the services? Services? Surely they have become a performance sometimes with much annoyance if not everything is done 'right'. Although I cannot sing, I enjoy hearing hymns and 'sing' them inside myself if that makes sense. This links in with my theory that the fewer the congregation the longer and drearier the hymns - and no the theory applies to both modern and traditional hymns.  As an ordinary Anglican in that broad church I wonder if we have drifted away from what Jesus taught and those commandments about loving God with all your heart and your neighbour. Maybe it is me having doubts, for example, I no longer believe one goes to Heaven after one dies but as Wordsworth said "Heaven lies about us in our infancy" and maybe in all our life if we can see it. To me Heaven can be the views of and from Richmond Hill, it can walking and holding hands with my husband, or the scent of a rose in our front garden in November. 

From the learning rooms .. as Ian is not studying maths. at present he has been grabbed to make things for a Christmas tree. It has been decided that each group at church will decorate a tree and these will be around for all of Advent. Ian is well known, and rightly so, for his model making and woodworking skills so he has to make miniature hymn books for the choir tree. Not sure whether other decorations will be required but a brilliant prototype is ready for inspection.

From the kitchen ... we are about to prepare supper. We purchased locally produced Italian pasta from Waitrose so will be trying that. I intend to stew cooking apples.

I am wearing ... black East dress, charcoal grey Uniqlo cardigan and coloured scarf.

I am creating ... Hexipuffs. I have purchased new needles, then a new cable as the spare cable I had was just so long. Have abandoned temporarily the complicated cardigan. I had made an error and could not face unpicking about 16 rows. It happened at the same time as losing my hexipuff knitting, feel so upset still about that but exhaustive searches have revealed no sign of  the half completed hexipuff on magic loop in cotton yarn.

I am reading ... Henry's sisters, by Cathy Lamb. The first few chapters are not encouraging but I will persevere. This "worst read librarian" (quote) needs to read more fiction.

I am hoping ... the Cox's apple Pippin that we planted will prosper and grow. It was an offer from Copella Apple juice to encourage more of us to grow and eat English apples. Just had to purchase three bottles of Copella products, plus payment postage and packing.

 Tree soaking before being planted in the garden, mid way between two other apple trees.

Apple tree in the earth.

I am hearing ... Ian tapping away at his computer, as is his wont he is working on an Excel worksheet.

Around the house ... lots of clearing going on, have contacted Society of Indexers to see if my copies of The Indexer from 1981 can be of use to some one. Very friendly reply from the Society. Any one interested?

A Picture Thought I Am Sharing ...  about ten days ago we went on one of the Strollers walks around Puttenham, a village on the Hog's Back and part of the South Downs Way. It was a good, if slightly challenging walk for me but I managed it. (My lung capacity is just below 40%) A coffee break had been planned. After coffee at Manor Farm café, we looked in the Seale Craft Centre. Lots of beautiful items for sale, there was very little yarn about 8 balls of this Pure Jacob double knitting of which I bought these three. 

I was so delighted as the church in Seale was where my great grandmother was baptised in 1855. As the church was open I was able to see and photograph the font that must have been used for Frances Barnes. According to the literature in the church the font was medieval although the church was remodelled in the later nineteenth century. 

Lunch on the walk was one of the best. We had a copy of the menu for The Good Intent pub in Puttenham so orders were telephoned ahead for our party of 8 so when we arrived about 2pm our only other consideration was the choice of drink to accompany the excellent food. Only downside of the day was the heavy traffic jams we encountered on the A3 coming home and for me, rather achy bones for a couple of days. Worth it for the exercise, fellowship and laughter these walks give.

Well, I guess I've said enough, sorry for rambling on folks.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Changing times

Well life for this household is going to be mighty different from this week.

Last Monday darling daughter drove away with a few belongings in her car to live in Sussex by the Sea.

On Wednesday it was her birthday so we braved the heavy rain and hail to drive south to see her and deliver her pressies and to take her out to lunch. Research had been done to find a good restaurant in Chichester, none of us realised quite how far it was, nor how one small set of road works could cause such interminable queues, nor how heavy the rain would be once we reached a space in a car park.

So we turned tail and ate at White Swan near Arundel, ok usual pub food.

More jams ahead .....

Next day, another long drive and rain to Aylesbury to help Adam with DIY, always helps to have another pair of hands. Also I am now familiar with the stock at B&Q, more building materials less fluffiness than Homebase so it is good both stores have branches locally for Adam and Juliet. On a prosaic note the countryside looked fabulous, it is a colourful Autumn and the Chilterns excelled in their colours. Should have taken pictures but doubtful about the quality when inside the car.

Have spent much time this week searching for my hexipuff knitting, have revisited locations where I might have had need to open my big Radley handbag. Luckily, was just carrying around the half completed hexipuff on the Magic Loop and was at the tail end of the Rowan purelife organic cotton yarn in oak bark colour that was being used and not the rest of my kit. The house and cars have been turned upside down, phone calls made, church searched. I have spare Magic Loop but the needles are 3.75 not 3.5 as per Little Owls pattern. Should be okay for now, I am a tight knitter sometimes. Tight as in tension, not tight as in drunk or as in mean. I hope I am a generous person and nowadays it seems I rarely have alcohol. Not sure why, I like a glass of good red, but it doesn't fit with lifestyle and I will not have drink if I am driving or expect to drive in the next 24 hours.

Stay at home day, laundry chores but anyway just didn't wish to go out. I like my home and have plenty to do here.

Good night to my readers and fellow bloggers.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Ends and beginnings

MONDAY, 17th October 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook: 

Outside My Window ... Cool, cloudy, breezy. Was sunny earlier

I am thinking ... about how I can be more proactive, not just sitting at computer and iPad but to achieve more than a few rows of knitting each day, sorting family history papers and file the print outs and maybe even completing the indexing of local history publications that I started a while back. It is not just hobbies and interests, need to sort out linen, will need to send Martha off with bedding and towels for instance. We have plenty!

From the learning rooms ... to quote dear Ian "the maths books have been put on the top shelf". I laughed, but it is good that he will have a break. We have lots to do, the garden, I would like some shelves in our porch for plants, tidy out and declutter the house and maybe going out to play if the weather isn't too cold.

I am thankful ... that Ian's course next year is all tutor marked assessment and no end of year exam. So much better, the cut off dates are in the diary already.

From the kitchen ... oven on for evening meal, Martha bought a pie from new butcher in Twickenham so we hope she will prepare all the meal. I had started to defrost beef from the freezer, but unbeknown to Martha, had doubts whether defrosting would happen in time for cooking and eating today so it has worked out well.

I am wearing ... Black East dress, with orangey-red CC cardigan and multicoloured Tradecraft scarf.

I am creating ... my 44th hexipuff; well on with cardigan now, about 70 rows of the back knitted.

I am reading or will be ... Henry's sisters by Cathy Lamb. The new book was given out at our reading group this morning. Reminds me to download another book from the public library collection, not that we don't have enough books to read here but because I can. Another skill I have taught myself. 

I am hoping ... Ian has good results from his OU maths exam which he took today. He's back home, very tired, well we did wake at 6.20am this morning and 3 hours of maths sounds horrendous.
I am hearing ... radio 2 whilst typing this.

Around the house .. Martha is starting to sort out her belongings before she sets sail for West Sussex, just a week to go. Very generous gift from her colleagues, so we hit the Kingston shops on Saturday to see what she could buy with her voucher. Was a good day, I found a pair of shoes, wanted black, smart but not high heels and she spotted the right ones in Jones the bootmakers. We had lunch out, and I was photographed knitting whilst waiting for the risotto.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ... not sure, have a cold, have started the antibiotics today but any plans will depend on how I feel. May check whether I should be taking steroids too, anything to avoid the dreaded Winter chest infection.
A Picture Thought I Am Sharing ...

View from Twickenham side of River Thames looking towards Petersham Meadows. Picture taken yesterday.

Find instructions and links to other daybooks at The Simple Woman

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Girls at the Palace

Just a quick word to tell you briefly about yesterday's Mummy-and-Martha day when we went to see The Wedding Dress, shoes, cake, earrings and bouquet at Buckingham Palace.

The comment most heard was how tiny waisted the dress was, wow, so slim. The workmanship, as has been written everywhere was superb but I am sure the train, which had canvas to weight it, must have been very heavy.

Very interesting video about how dress and shoes were made and designed.

Another new exhibition showed the Royal Family's collection of Fabergé - many of them gifts over the last century, some beautiful flowers and colours on the work.

Each time I have visited the Palace there have been different things to see, each time one is never hassled or hurried along, there is plenty of time to stand and stare. When I see Vermeer's The music lesson it brings back memories of my mother, she liked this work, I bought her a reproduction, she said always she would like to see the original. We didn't know where it was, the Palace wasn't open to the public in her lifetime so she never saw it. When she and my father had tickets to view the Queen's marriage they were just for inside the palace railings, not sure whether they went inside. My father's parents did, but then my grandfather worked for the Royal Household.

After tea and cakes, Martha and I walked through the gardens, saw a heron, onlookers were not sure whether it was real at first for it was so still but it did move. My photos do not do it justice.

Difficult to see that heron is on the water,

It had been a most beautiful day regarding weather, yet when we were coming home there must have been a cloudburst over Hammersmith, so noisy one could hear the rain on the roof of the train, outside the window it was very black too.

To close, Martha used my camera to take a picture of us in the gardens, you can see I'm dressed for Summer in Talbot dress in black and cream spotty silk dress. Just so you know!

Just saying, managed to knit nearly a whole hexipuff on the trains, no reactions from any fellow passengers but now have completed 28 hexis for the heirloom quilt.

Thursday, 22 September 2011


Simple Woman's Daybook: 22nd September 2011

Outside My Window ... bit cloudy, slight breeze.

From the learning rooms ... revision, revision, revision for M121.

I am thankful ... that I received a letter from the Breast Screening Unit today telling me that my x-rays showed no signs of cancer. Great relief, although this was a standard screening and I had no reason to think anything would be amiss.

I am wearing ... dark blue straight length jeans, striped Thomas pink blouse and navy heavy cotton cardigan.
I am creating ... hexipuffs, have reached 25, yesterday was the first time I have used two different yarns, didn't think I had enough of each to complete the whole. The pale blue yarn came from The Wool Bar, a yarn shop in Worthing. There has been enough to make three and a half hexipuffs, the cost has been a donation to the local hospice as this was the end of a ball. Chose blue to represent the sea, even though it was a grey sea on Saturday.

I was in Worthing driving Martha around to find a suitable house to share. Pleased to announce that she appears to have found somewhere to lay her head, so all is settled. Long time since I had been in that part of the world, as the A24 had been blocked on way down due to an oil spillage we drove back via A29 and north avoiding the motorways. English countryside through both Sussex and Surrey looked beautiful. Couldn't take pictures as I was driving.

I am going ... to plant the strawberry plants, these were collected from a local garden after I had seen them advertised on Freecycle. The gardeners were trying to sell plants from their garden too but I thought they were expensive, may have been ok if it were for charity.

I am reading ... well have read, The diary of an ordinary woman by Margaret Forster. Had read it before as I'd spotted it when working at the library but had forgotten much of the detail. Been a while since a book took preference over other activities. Enjoyed the novel, not sure I agree with the online criticisms that some readers hadn't realised it was fiction.

I am hearing ... noise of builders. Not just the actual building noises, but the shouting of the workman, why do they have to speak so loudly and shout to each other? Even worse in other languages.
Around the house ... beautifully clean and tidy, our Treasure came today so the homestead looks good.

One of my favourite things ... is the idea of unintended consequences. Ian and I decided we would like fish for supper (Martha is out so we can). Rather than spend time and/or money going to Twickenham we would walk to Whitton High Street - 5 - 10 minutes at most - and purchase a well known brand of non breaded fish at Iceland. We diverted to call at a friend's house to drop something off, then set off for shops before meeting another friend. He invited us back to his house for tea, we'd just passed it, (his house, not teatime) but we agreed. Sat, chatted, drank tea, ate cake then left, reached Iceland which is the other end of High Street, ambled back. The builder supervising the work at next-door-but-one spoke to us, long chat ensued about construction, wiring, chimneys, house prices before we were released by his phone. When we reached home Ian asked if I realised that we had been out for over two hours - unintended consequences of dropping something off at a friend's house and buying fish.

Shows the benefits of not moving away on retirement and of not jumping in the car but walking around this suburban village. Although the High Street is not as good as it was once when one never needed to shop anywhere else, it looks a bit scruffy, unfortunately the proximity to Hounslow has brought Asian brashness with cheap pile it high tat. However, there are now coffee shops, I remember my mother saying she would have liked to open a tea shop in the High Street for in the 1960s there was nowhere for tea.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ... haven't been to the Local studies this week so will try and  
volunteer tomorrow. My get up and go has gone.

Find instructions and links to other daybooks at The Simple Woman

Wednesday, 14 September 2011


Not the best of days as I went on line to transfer money to some one else's account and discovered my account was overdrawn. Real shock to discover that money had been taken out, using the right number on my debit card. Phone calls to bank, who were really helpful; card cancelled; all passwords and codes changed; advice given that a credit card should be used for online transactions not a debit card; police called to obtain a crime number. Felt so shaky, scared and worried, great way to kill my appetite for lunch.

Plans were changed and I went to local branch to ensure account okay, glad to report money replaced by bank. Thanks to all at LloydsTSB for the kindness and help they gave this worried customer.

Ian wisely suggested we didn't go home but go to Richmond. This lined up with trains so within 10 minutes we were in Richmond. We intended to go along the tow path but couldn't, the following pictures show why.

The road to the left is called Water Lane, for good reason.

The bridge in the background was opened in 1777, it has been widened since then but is basically the same design.

The driver was determined to go through the water to the dry area beyond, and did so.

This view is looking in the other direction from the other pictures, to the right is the White Cross, not quite cut off, but it was not possible to walk along the tow path beyond the pub and towards Kew.

To forget this morning's banking incident we went and had chocolate and coffee at William Curley's chocolatier,  really good sitting outside, people watching and feeling that we were abroad. Not difficult hearing all the different languages and accents as people sauntered by. We are so fortunate to live in this part of London.

Monday, 12 September 2011


Simple Woman's Daybook: 12th September 2011

Outside My Window ... blue skies, warm weather but very windy.

I am thinking ... how I find it hard to be motivated at times, I spend too long on my laptop or iPad, just playing or reading interesting blogs.

From the learning rooms ... well does last week's visit to the Royal Institution count? To be really honest, I was not sure about this talk, I am not a scientist, wasn't aware of Copernicus apart from the name but I had looked at Dava Sobel's Longitude book many year's ago and found it readable so had agreed that Ian should book tickets for her talk. So pleased I did, it was fascinating even though of course I didn't understand all the scientific concepts but Dava's talk was so inspiring that it didn't matter. The atmosphere was like listening to a university lecture, felt so stimulated by this and by the questions that followed. May I commend this website to my readers,

I am thankful ... that the Royal Institution talk was so good as the next day we were not able to celebrate my birthday with a trip on the river because the weather was so appalling. Rather unusual, most years I have had great weather, sun and warmth as the school term starts. Instead we had lunch at Kingston Strada and ordered a freezer for son and D-in-L for their new home.

From the kitchen ... nothing much happening, I should be going to prepare tea, but rambling away here.
I am wearing ... red Gap top over natural colour M & S trousers

I am creating ... hexipuffs, am working on the 18th and cardigan as before.

I am going ... not interfere or micro manage Martha's move to Sussex. However, if any one here knows of a double room in a house in an area between Littlehampton and Worthing that is available at the end of October we'd be pleased to hear from you.
I am reading ... new book from reading group, Diary of an ordinary woman, by Margaret Forster.Have read this before but it is worth a second read. Can't say that of much fiction these days.

I am hoping ... that Martha sorts out insurance for her new car. 
Around the house ... nothing much happening, just washing up from our tea as Ian gone off to a Pastoral team meeting at church.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ... nothing special planned, domestic chores as I have had a day off today. Maybe a visit to Sussex with Martha at the weekend - a Mummy-and-Martha day.

Off to write a thank you letter to Ann, a friend from primary school days and then will knit my cardigan, hexipuffs are for knitting in company and whilst travelling.