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Monday, 30 May 2011

Socks finished

So excited. Today I finished the second sock of the first pair I have ever knitted. It wasn't until late afternoon that I was able to sit quiet and still on the temporary sofa and carefully work the Kitchener stitch. Left it last night as I felt it best done in daylight and without rushing.

Now the big decision is what to knit next. I have a ball of Super Soxx yarn in varying shades of pink and could knit the same pattern again. Not ready yet for lacy or cable socks, especially as they would be lost in the variegation of the yarn.

Then I have yarn to make a cushion cover, will I finish it before the sofas arrive? Did I tell you the date has slipped again?

Good news we have had some rain this afternoon, so pleased I watered the seedlings and vegetables this morning so they benefited from the rain. Our water butts have been running low too, only two of the five have water in them.

An effort to picture the socks in situ, perhaps leg make up is needed.

That's all folks from one happy bunny,  it doesn't take much to please me.

Sunday, 29 May 2011


Well folks,

Am enjoying new toy and spent much time playing with it yesterday, helped by Adam & Juliet who came to see us. Adam said he never expected to be envious of his Mum in the world of computers. It was not until Friday morning that Martha read my testing 123 email "sent from my iPad" so much screaming and excitement from her. She'd not noticed I'd been using my laptop in the kitchen without cable emerging from broom cupboard.

Today we had problems with the Internet, we've had to switch from cable to wifi and the three lights wouldn't work. Tried all the tricks, switching off and on, shaking the device before asking Ian if it would help if modem would be better in a different place. By this stage I'd reached the state of if all else fails read the instructions. Ian  then unwound a very long cable which is draped around the study; for some reason the one blue and two green lights have come and stayed on. As Ian says, the Internet is now another utility in running our lives. So I'm back here but have no pictures cos I haven't taken any.

We went on a Strollers walk on Friday which should have created plenty of Kodak Corner opportunities but I didn't remember to take camera out of my bag. For those who know the walk, it was from Marble Hill Park along the Middlesex bank to Richmond Bridge then back along the Surrey bank past Ham House to Teddington Lock. From there we walked through Ham Fields to the Common where group ate packed lunch near the pond.

We repaired to the New Inn, coffee for me, orange juice for Ian, don't know what the others drank. Discussion was about our first cars, not sure why such a subject caused so much laughter and amusement. It was one of those "you had to be there to appreciate the jokes" moment.

I left the 5 guys at this point, my legs felt heavy, a sign I'm running out of oxygen and some of Richmond Park is not flat. Instead bus to Richmond and train home. Made bread, used dried yeast and first lot didn't froth up but bread made by second try was fine. Need to use up the tin, Ian tends to use the quick yeast but I like the traditional method and twice proving.

Off now to finish off second sock, am so pleased as have reached the toe decrease and have just about 5 or 6 rounds before tackling the Kitchener stitch again. Promise I'll take pictures of socks for here and for Ravelry too.

Sorry about lack of pictures, recommend you Google Earth the places mentioned, or better still come and see them. It's the beauty of places on our doorstep that means we don't need to go away on holiday.

A little PS. The Strollers is the informal walking group from our church, we have a weekday walk of about 6 miles about once a month.  Ian was the youngest walker on Friday, the walks are not too strenuous, promote fellowship, I suspect we all benefit from the exercise, fresh air and beautiful surroundings.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Brunel Museum

Ian and I went out to play today. It was a U3A visit to Brunel Museum and a walk around old Rotherhithe. Early start, we needed to be at Waterloo station Platform 1 by 10am. Group of 44 attendees, one lady Ian knew from his art class was friendly  but otherwise no one introduced themselves or chatted.

To Rotherhithe station and the museum, really small but enough chairs and the choice between tea or coffee and between 3 flavours of muffin. So civilised. Then a brief talk about Brunel and about the area, I didn't realise how in the C18th and C19th century how international the area was. Of my family from Rotherhithe all of them were born there.

Then a short walk around the area, some of which I remembered from childhood visits to a Great Aunt, but from memory it seemed busier then, we never did tourist/history stuff and I didn't realise how near the river it was. Many of the new developments were lovely, certainly changed from a dockside community.

View of the Thames, apparently at one time the river was filled to capacity so that was why the first tunnel under the River was built. The engineering method was devised by Marc Brunel, that same method mechanised is used today. After all one cannot use cut and cover for a tunnel under a river.

Original premises of the earliest free schools in London, financed by ships captains. School still exists today, albeit in newer premises. 

St Mary's church, Rotherhithe. The pillars are from ships' masts then covered with plaster. There are chairs made from timber from the Fighting Temeraire.

Very high church and from the literature obviously they won't have women priests here.

After the walk, some of which was along Rotherhithe Street, the longest in London. This street is given as an address in some of my family records. John Moore (father's family), died in 1878 at 12 Rotherhithe Street; James Henry Bragg (mother's family) lived at 320 before his marriage. It had been called Rotherhithe Wall previously.

Above and below are views of Rotherhithe Street.

At the end of the walk we went and looked at the street where my grandmother lived, my first record is the 1891 census when the street was called Berkley Street, by 1901 census it was called Clack Street. Think the former name was preferable. I knew the houses had been demolished, my great aunt was moved in about 1962 and there were new semi detached houses in their place which  I'm sure have bathrooms and not just one outside loo.

We walked further along Rotherhithe Street, before returning to the station and went north on the London Overground line, changing at Highbury and Islington station. Richmond train came in as we came down steps. How good was that? Although I've lived in Richmond all my life I had never travelled on what we used to call the North London line before as far as I know. The new trains were lovely, very open, no compartments so in between knitting sock foot admired the views. At Richmond station bought a guide to i-Pad, can't do much until we have wifi modem.

Today's visit reinforced my belief that we have no need to go far away for interesting visits, felt like being on holiday today with sunshine, a tad bit windy but no worries about ash clouds, airport delays, currency or language.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

New toy

Just a brief message to tell you all about  the lovely pressie my darling Ian bought me yesterday.

As you may know this has been in the air for a while, I'd mentioned that here but yesterday the decision was made. We'd been up and out early as I was collecting for Christian Aid from 9 a.m. in the local High Street. I did think I'd agreed to collect for two hours but some one took over before the hour was up. Certainly quiet, didn't collect very much and no one mentioned envelopes that had been put through doors.

Home, and sparked by Telegraph guide, Ian phoned John Lewis and reserved one. So to Kingston in little car to pick up my new toy. We are hard wired so will change to wifi, more discussions about i-Pod size, it's 16GB and then chose blue cover.

After lunch to Virgin Media to sort out account and replace our modem, well after 9 plus years think it is time. Many phone calls and peering at shop screen, also we switched to e-billing, not sure why we didn't do that before.

Once home it was time to play, will be easier once we have wifi but photos were transferred. That made me think what I really needed to keep so deleted loads of pictures from laptop and Ian helped me to sync so these were deleted from i-Pad. Need to sort lap top photos and to  put some in separate folders so they don't transfer to i-Pad.   Steep learning curve, we downloaded the free books app but it didn't seem to work. Ian has an i-Pod so he's more familiar with it but he wasn't sure either.

So, looking forward to organising my life, keeping in touch and am off to finish picking up stitches for instep on the second sock.

Will be linking to Ravelry so I can check the yarn I'm stashing against patterns.  Ooh, so exciting learning a new skill.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Wedding weekend

ONDAY, MAY 09, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook: 9th May 2011

Outside my window ... sunshine, warmth, but a cool wind. Garden looks lovely, the rain that fell while we were away at nephew's wedding has helped the garden which was so dry. Ian worked on it yesterday, putting up supports for the tomato seedlings, weeding and tidying.
I am thinking ... how pleasant it is to be back home after a couple of days away. We didn't sleep too well, the bed in the hotel was very uncomfortable, well worn out would be polite. We filled in one of the comment cards, if no one tells the staff about the bed in room 78 how will they know it needs replacing. Also, was a small double and we are spoilt at home with a king size.

I am thankful ...  the ministry of Ann at our church, so upset she's left us.

From the kitchen ... chocolate brownies, well those not eaten by the reading group. Ian is becoming famous for chocolate brownies, in Mustardland and when I host the reading group.

I am wearing ... new narrow leg jeans, Gap grey & cream striped top 

I am creating ... second sock! Finished first one last week and am now on cuff of second one. Will be much faster cos understand what I'm doing and also using Magic Loop rather than 4 dpns.

I am going ... to last of this season's Borough of Twickenham History society meeting this evening, although there is the wine and cheese gathering in the summer some time.

I am reading ... Love in the Time of Cholera, well will be. Only given it this morning.

I am hoping ... to take over some of the chores from Ian so he can work on his maths. This morning he supported the book group meeting here by serving refreshments.

I am hearing ... silence of suburbia. 
Around the house ... still no sofas :(
One of my favourite things ... going out on the spur of the moment for lunch with Ian at Osteria Pulcinella in Twickenham, a non chain Italian restaurant. 

A few plans for the rest of the week ... helping at the local studies, now all the planning applications have finished I've signed up for other projects. Have offered to try and identify photographs of the borough from 1970s and 1980s or to do data entry. Don't mind mundane duties, it's not like a career and often the routine throws up interesting material.

A picture thought I am sharing ... 

The four of us at Ben and Carla's wedding. Slightly annoyed with myself about my dress, didn't realise that civil ceremonies require almost evening type outfits. Bought two dresses in East, the other one is linen and had a shawl in the same design but when I put it on decided it looked under dressed. Wore this one, it had gold embroidery so slightly more formal but in Indian cotton.

Find instructions and links to other daybooks at The Simple Woman

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Terrific Tuesday

Must record all the events of today, Tuesday 3rd May.

So much has happened on what we thought would be an ordinary day.

Started by attending Prayer and Medication group at church, the assistant priest who started this is off to another parish, am very sorry she's going. Felt very calm after service and in a good mood.

Back home, met postie and first letter was from tax authorities who claimed I'd not paid surcharge so billed me for more interest. Their letter dated 4 days before I received last one. Very upset, I thought everything had been settled.Half an hour on phone waiting , then a few minutes talking to Glenys sorted it out. Well I hope so.

Then loads of phone calls. Two separate ones telling us we'd won a prize in the raffle at the St George's Day parade. This was held in our local Whitton High Street, closed for the day last Saturday,  lots of charity stalls and noisy amplified music but fun, good community feel. First prize was an Indian head massage, second prize which we've collected is a cordless steam iron. No brand on it nor on the instructions. Sounds as if I'm ungrateful, I'm not, just bemused. The charity shop from which the prizes were to be collected couldn't find the envelope with the voucher for the massage so will try another time.

Fair dos, we were turning out waste bins to find the raffle tickets only to discover them screwed up in the bottom of my capacious Radley bag. I lose so much stuff in its depths.

Another call from son who wants to leave their car here and for us to take them to Gatwick and collect them after a long weekend in Italy for a wedding. Second wedding they've been to in Italy.

So we set of for Kingston to buy shirt and tie for dear Ian. Oh, the driving standards!  Horrendous, we suspect it was a Mum trying to find a parking space but there were none. Did she think the car would concertina into the space? Then another driver doing a million point turn in a narrow busy road; another driver shooting out of a side turning assuming we'd make a space. Did I mention the wobbly cyclist?

Anyway, things calmed down in town, we found a space in John Lewis' easily but for once didn't buy in there. Spent time at beginning and end of shop looking at i-Pads for me. Didn't have to decide today cos JL had none in stock. They rarely do apparently. We will need to go from hard wired to wifi, I'd want to use the opportunity to say bye bye to our big giant desk top and tower thing too.

Anyway good shopping in M& S, shirt, tie, two pairs of trousers for me. Feel sad I need a 14, enough said. Found a top in Gap too so all was good.

Drive home was safer but a bit of a crawl cos it was rush hour. We celebrated with a sweet of profiteroles. Thirty two years ago this was our pudding of choice at the Italian restaurant in Victoria Street. Memories.

Now for investigations about i-Pads, do I really need one? Any guidance, comments from all out there would be appreciated. Am used to my Toshiba lap top, but an i-Pad would fit in my big black Radley handbag, along with the knitting, inhalers, etc.

Monday, 2 May 2011


MONDAY, MAY 02, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook: 2nd May 2011

Outside my window ... sunshine and a very cold wind, great for drying washing.  I am very old fashioned and wash on Mondays. Just works with the logistics of this household.
I am thinking ... about what I'm going to say next Sunday about Breathe Easy. This charity has been chosen as local charity of the month at church, yesterday I gave a brief run down how charity started. Stood at the back of church holding collecting basket as congregation left and was pleasantly surprised how much money was given. As we had to rush away I don't know amount. I think I will talk about the benefits of the meetings, how it led me to attend pulmonary Rehabilitation course.

From the kitchen ... lovely sticky buns that Ian made using fresh yeast from the Polish grocery shop. All the packaging was in Polish but it didn't matter, the result was great.
I am wearing ... striped black & cream Boden top, cream M&S trousers and as it is chilly have added grey mohair/wool cardigan. Feet are cold so need to add socks.

I am creating ...  still working on first sock, I'd started the kitchener grafting but not happy with the evenness of the toe decreasing I undid it all whilst on journey to Solihull yesterday.
We went to celebrate the forthcoming birthday of our friend C. His wife was another Mum in the coffee circle whereby 5 mums took it in turn to meet at each others houses some 30 years ago. No Starbucks for us. We all admitted to a massive tidy up when it was our turn plus we all worried that our children would be difficult and not 'share nicely'.  The Solihull family moved north some 25 years ago and kept their tradition of annual BBQ every year. So 4 families hit the M40 for many years, latterly the kids weren't involved but they remain friends to a greater or lesser degree.
I miss the chats with the other Mums, Loose Women had nothing on us. 
I am going ... to a celebration to mark the completion of the first part of the Building our Borough project whereby the planning applications from 1880s have been digitalised. Volunteers are being sought to assist with other projects, I've said I will be happy to assist with new projects. 
Not sure whether the Prayer & Meditation group are meeting tomorrow, an hour of calmness with no fuss about liturgy or jangly bells. The minister who started this leaves next Sunday, a great loss to the parish.
I am reading ... Trying to finish Eat, pray, love in time for book group next Monday.

I am hoping ... that aches and pains and tiredness go, think it could have been stress of yesterday, public speaking is not my forte even with a prepared script amongst those I know and then the worry we'd be late for the party. Also bit concerned at first whether the car was running ok, it seemed a bit jumpy but improved. think it needed a long run.
We'd been invited to a party today in East Anglia, considered going from Solihull to there but decided it would be too much. We were right, plus Ian is concerned about his OU studying, this year requires more time from him as all the work is new. Would have been good to meet Internet friends in real life.

I am hearing ... a blackbird even though the windows are closed. They seem to thrive on the food the little birds drop rather than eat from the feeders.

Around the house ...  quiet, daughter is out, there seems no traffic, just the occasional plane.

One of my favourite things ... not really a thing, but I'm proud of being English and a Londoner. Very patriotic feelings whilst watching the Royal Wedding. Enjoyed the service, felt the papers didn't give much mention to Richard Chartres' sermon. Am impressed by him, have been at a Deanery meeting he attended and felt he was in touch with the ordinary worshipper.

A picture thought I am sharing ...  sorry, took camera to the party and never got it out of my bag!
Find instructions and links to other daybooks at The Simple Woman