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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.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Good news

Well, Mount Ironmore calls but first I must give some good news to all readers of my ramblings and announce that daughter Martha has been successful in her search for a position as a Newly Qualified Solicitor. Her CV had been despatched to all parts of the legal universe. On Tuesday last week she spotted an advert, contacted agency, sent CV, invited to an interview on Monday (three other candidates were interviewed on Friday) and yesterday was offered and accepted the position.

This was the first position for which she applied and her first interview in an area where all the signs show few vacant positions.

Sufficient to say she will be in Sussex-by-the-Sea so moving out of the family nest and go with our blessings to a new part of this land. Many thanks to all my contacts who have offered leads, contacts, advice and help.

Also this week son and his wife move to their new home in Aylesbury, so pleased for them too.

Now a big mystery. Why is the hexipuff I am knitting going so wrong? I have undone it so many times, it is the 14th not as I initially thought the 13th. I have used the yarn before, it is Jaeger woolsilk so easy to use for it doesn't split. Will keep going, because I like a challenge.

Just a quick couple of pictures to show the nests we uncovered when we had a big pruning session in the garden. Plans are underway to keep garden low maintenance as Ian will be studying even more next year. Today he has paid for M208, next year's 60 point course that sounds like a radio station with the Infra-draw method. Keynsham Maths anyone?

Back soon, nearly time for The Archers.

PS: as of Wednesday evening I sat quietly and have finished the errant hexipuff. Then on the principle of getting back on a bike/in the water/on the horse I started another puff and had reached the magic 40 stitches at the end of the 10pm news bulletin. So, one knit row and then it is decreasing and downhill.