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Monday, 31 December 2012

New Year's Eve

Just a quick update blog on a rainy grey New Year's Eve. Like many others I haven't ventured out, Ian braved the heavy rain for the newspaper, milk, tomatoes to add to our Christmas remainders. I do like the slightly odd, unbalanced meals that post Christmas dining can bring, last night we had the last of the Christmas pudding cheesecake as well as bread pudding. Sadly the last of the Christmas pudding has gone, likewise the brandy butter and cream which was enjoyed with fruit salad, preceded by smoked salmon and salad so some healthy eating.

We sat down and had one of our planning meetings, kind of broad policies for the new year, one of which includes an effort by me to socialise and maybe even entertain a bit. I could quite happily stay home, potter, knit, read, drink tea, sit in the garden (when the weather is right) and generally ignore the world. Ian excepted of course, except whilst he is studying. As I lived on my own before our marriage I was used to my own company, even when I lived with a family whilst a student my mother warned my landlady that it wasn't unusual for me to disappear to my own room to be alone. Another decision was that maybe we will sometimes eat breakfast at the kitchen table rather than in the dining room so there will be less lingering and more of the day to enjoy.

Our Christmas was good, each day we were seven, my paternal cousins, one set all day on Christmas Day and another set visited on Boxing Day afternoon and evening. With all the talk about the bad winter that started Boxing Day 1962, I am reminded that we went to this cousin's home on Boxing Day, her father and mine were brothers. It was snowing when we left our home in Twickenham, at a cross roads in Richmond my father braked but our Austin A30 just kept going, fortunately in the right direction without any mishap. My diary recalls that we played Monopoly and I won. No games on Christmas Day, on Boxing day it was Scrabble for four of us and Sorry for the other three.

With wider family joining us, there was no way I could attend a Midnight Mass, I would be so tired after the late night so we went to an 8am Holy Communion service on Christmas Day. Right decision, as last night I did feel so tired, ill with exhaustion, couldn't function so didn't stop for shoulder exercises, just for medication and slept many hours. Not sure why this happened, had been out just for the newspaper, the rain again later precluded going out, the day had been relaxed.

Very tired now, so off to the land of Nod.   All best wishes to all readers for the new year, and thank you for reading this.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Today on Christmas Eve, whilst listening to a Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from Kings,  I would like to send Christmas Greetings and my best wishes for 2013 to all who read this blog. Thank you to all who respond, to those whose format, ideas and thoughts that I may have used and my apologies to anyone that has been upset, angered or annoyed by my writings.

Just a quick update, an appointment came through for me to see a musculoskeletal physiotherapist about my painful shoulder, apparently a rotator cuff tear. Yvonne the physiotherapist gave me exercises to do thrice daily, these have been much help, although there are movements that are impossible or very painful.    I see Yvonne again in the new year, if she has the results from the x-ray by then it can be determined if I have a partial or full thickness injury. Rapped over knuckles for not going to see GP immediately after I fell, paracetamol and time were never going to repair the damage from this simple fall.

Good news on the knitting front, this be day 26 and since I last wrote I have made a cowl for myself. Have not worn it yet, it requires steam pressing but will do so as I wish to wear it tomorrow. The pattern, Rivulet Cowl was bought through Ravelry, the yarn is Spud and Chloe it is super bulky wool and organic cotton so size 10mm circular needles, such a contrast from 2.5mm size that I used for the socks.

 Photos were taken using my iPad rather than my Canon camera, will try to be photographed wearing the cowl.

Now to decide what to make next, maybe I will continue with the hexipuffs, 161 completed and not start anything else but I have yarn specifically for cushion covers, plus loads of wool to use. Was very satisfying to complete something in a few days so maybe more big needles and chunky wool

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Questions of style

Like others I have been writing Christmas cards, and have been pondering the order of the sender and the recipients' names.

Starting with the sender, nowadays it is just Ian and I sending cards so whose name comes first? Alphabetical, age, the person writing the card? My solution is to put the person first who has the closest connexion with the person to whom the card is sent. So, when sending a card to Ian's brother, obviously I put Ian first, also would put his brother's name before his wife's inside the card. So, a card to my sister, same rule, she is named first inside the card and I sign my name first.

On the envelope for married couples it is just Mr and Mrs, unless I know the addressee is a Quaker, or follows Quaker practice of not using titles. Fair enough, then there are the couples with different surnames, here I use the closest link rule again.

Another quirk I have is where there are children named on a card I don't keep always to a chronological order but may put the youngest first for a change. No personal experience here, I was the elder so my name
came before my sister's. In my twenties I sent out Christmas cards in my own name when still living in the parental home, cards sent to my parents included me and I rarely received cards in my own right. My sister had married so this didn't apply to her, nowadays we are still have receiving a few cards with our children's names on them. Both thirty somethings have left home.

It is a small aspect of manners I suppose, one of my father's ways of judging our boyfriends when we were younger. There was much criticism of one young man who didn't see my sister to the door, or at least put her in and pay for a taxi; another was found wanting because he didn't walk on the outside of the pavement.  I remember one who ensured he grabbed the last comfortable chair so my mother would have had to sit on the low woven stool had not some one else given their seat to her. In retrospect, many of these young men may not have known the rather arcane rules so may not have been aware of breaking them.

However, even today I worry about the niceties of social encounters, should I shake hands in the European style, surely preferable to the air kissing and insincere mwahs. I think I may go and consult one of our 1930s books on household management and as we live in a 1930s house follow that decade's practice. Such larks!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Day 25 - completion.

Just a quick knitting blog, just had to tell you all that at long last the socks are finished. Also pleased that I got into the rhythm of Kitchener stitch whilst watching the Sports Personality of the Year, rather disappointed that Ellie Simmons, for whom we voted, didn't win, but then I am not inspired by Wiggins.

Really finished, ends sewn in, details added to Ravelry, these photos taken by Ian as it not easy to photograph one's legs.

The picture was taken on the top steps, with the top landing behind, light would have come up from the ground floor, the flash was turned off so maybe that's why the stripes of light.

Have learnt from these socks, I will knit another pair with fewer stitches round even allowing for my slightly tight tension, my legs and feet are quite slim and this pattern assumes a slightly more chunky wearer.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Thinking aloud or thinking allowed.

With the radio programme of that same name I am never sure which was the correct spelling, not that it mattered, I enjoyed the programme. Must admit, I have lost the habit of listening to the radio quite so much. When I was home alone, before Ian was given early retirement, I listened far more. Now, life is so different that I rarely listen to a whole half hour programme, think this has come about as I don't spend so much time in the kitchen where the radio is, if I'm in the dining room or lounge one needs to put the TV on to listen to the radio, if I am using my laptop I need to concentrate. I do use the iPad to catch up though. One programme still sacrosanct is The Archers but that tends to coincide with dinner, if we miss it we can listen at 2pm the next day or on Catchup. Now there's a word that I think sounds like ketchup.

Bit of thinking about things today, well it is our son's 32nd birthday. Weather then was wet, mild and windy and today it has been the exact opposite, high pressure, very cold, still and foggy. Adam and his wife stayed overnight here the other day, one small incident made me realise that we don't know the minutiae of their lives, not that we should. Ian and I make a drink before we retire for the night, usually coffee, occasionally warm milk, cocoa if we have some in, so of course we offered a drink to the youngsters. Oh no, never have anything before we go to bed was the reply. What changes folks from the way they were brought up? Does one half adopt the ideas of another? It's like washing up by hand. If there isn't too much crockery and pots and pans to be on the draining board I prefer to leave it all to drain, then maybe dry up and return everything to its place later, say whilst waiting for the kettle to boil. Ian washes up and everything is dried and put away immediately.

Two pictures, the before and after,showing the drying up which was done whilst waiting for the kettle to boil for our coffee and on the window cill is the aforementioned kitchen radio.

Oh, post 24 of 31, I knitted some more rows of a hexipuff whilst waiting for the train at Richmond station today. Also wore the pink beret I knitted last year, very much a hat day today. Need to join the toes of socks, Kitchener stitch here we come.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Opening day

Often I have posted here about the building plans held by Richmond upon Thames, how the Local Studies Volunteer Support Group have accessioned and catalogued the plans; more recently assisted in producing a booklet for an exhibition. Today that exhibition was formally opened at Orleans House Gallery, there is a smaller collection of plans in Richmond Museum. The plans are mind blowing, beautiful works of art in themselves, you can see them online, to see the framed plans themselves is awesome.   is the catalogue for Local Studies.

The Building of a Borough
Found this example, think this was built, many plans were not approved of course.

This is the original press release from the Heritage Lottery Fund way back in March 2010.
An oriental-style café, complete with onion domes, could have been a prominent landmark in central Richmond, and Twickenham might have gained its own theatre in the early 1900s if plans had come to fruition. 
A fascinating treasure trove of Richmond borough’s built – and un-built – environment is to be made available for the first time thanks to a grant of £46,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
Richmond Local Studies Collection will be cataloguing some 22,400 sets of plans from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The records, from the former boroughs of Barnes, Richmond and Twickenham, are mostly hand-drawn and colour-washed providing a vivid insight into how the towns developed, not only in terms of their physical but also their social growth.
And documents revealing building schemes that were rejected provide a glimpse of an alternative Richmond that can now be imagined for the first time. The plans for the onion-domed café were submitted in the 1890s. The building would have stood in Hill Street. The unsuccessful Twickenham Theatre scheme was submitted in 1909.
Working in partnership with Richmond Museum and Orleans House Gallery, Twickenham, public exhibitions will be created as well as learning sessions with the support of the Workers’ Educational Association and the University of the Third Age. Local schools and colleges will also be able make use of the material as an educational resource.
The collection of plans will be catalogued and a proportion digitised so making them available online. A CD will also be produced for use in school projects. As a first priority plans relating to buildings of historical or architectural interest, schools and domestic buildings will be digitised. The work of sifting through the mass of plans and deciding which will de digitised first and which are in most need of conservation will involve local volunteers.
The thousands of plans were discovered by Richmond Local Studies Collection during office moves about four years ago. Because of the sheer volume of them they have been in remote storage without public access. The HLF-funded project will at last make some of them available.

The whole project has been more than capturing the history of a Thames Side Community, but it has led to fellowship and camaraderie amongst the volunteers, we were greeting each other like lost friends today. The whole set up is very relaxed, I for am for ever changing the days on which I work but it doesn't matter. There are no rotas, no signing in, we are there because we wish to be, we are welcomed and, like so many volunteers, receive so much in return, none of which is measured in financial terms. Teabreaks provide an opportunity for a few rows of hexipuff knitting whilst a hot beverage cools, more knitting is done when I come home by bus.

Now I've mentioned knitting this can be post 23 of 31, nearly at the toes of my socks, worked on them this evening whilst talking to Martha on FaceTime, two ladies multitasking, or multishirking a label from another message board.