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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 cafĂ©, 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.