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Thursday, 23 February 2012

Who do you think you are?

Just a quick word to say that tomorrow I shall be at the Who do you think you are? show at Olympia. As I may have mentioned before here, I am a volunteer at Richmond Local studies library. The library has a stand (47) at the show to help family historians whose ancestors come from the Richmond and Twickenham areas. We shall be exhibiting the CALM database showing not only the borough plans but illustrations and information too.

My attendance means I shall miss seeing the completion of the wall being built at the front of Pixie Mansions. New wall was necessary as part was damaged by an elderly driver losing control of his car (fortunately nobody injured at all) and any rebuilding would not have matched the original 1934 construction. We wanted to ensure the design matched both the original to preserve the 1930s street scape.

There have been alterations further along the road whereby pillars, railings and electronic gates have been added and these clash with the original design. There appears nothing that can be done about this, especially as we are not in the fashionable, touristy part of the borough.

We are very pleased with the local  building company we have chosen, all the materials have been kept neat and tidy, as the bricklayers are English there have been no language problems, no noisy radios have been played either. Downside, they will be back at 7.30 tomorrow morning so another reason to arise early.

Our new Sony TV was delivered this afternoon  so great fun this afternoon trying to work out how to set it up and use the Internet on it. We were guided through the setting up by 'George' who was in Cairo at the time. For those who are wondering it is a 22" Bravia, excellent colour and sound quantities. Will be listening to the Archers to practice working the controls, the remote is not too small, it has reasonable size buttons.

Now back to knitting, I have made my mind up to reknit the back, won't need to do much to establish if the same weird pattern is occurring.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Notes and blog

In between posting here I have ideas of what to write about, these fall into two halves, one is that of a diary, like 50 years ago, which enumerates where we've been, weather and other trivia. The other half is more my thoughts about life, mine and others. Some thoughts cannot be expressed here of course, either too personal or too politically incorrect. I need to consider who is reading this, wouldn't want to be in trouble for incitement of any kind. As my posts can be a bit random,  I used the notes facility on my I-Pad (only for the second time) so the note says:

Oversleeping; Martha and flat; pancakes; Ian & maths whilst I'm naked; knitting. So some are diary and some are thoughts. Hey, why did I write pancakes? Yes, we remembered this year. Unlike last year apparently according to daughter. I cooked them and we ate them as a light lunch before Ian went to his U3A class. Nothing special there.

Knitting. Need advice. Am well on with baby jacket, have rest of first sleeve, second sleeve and collar to complete but am not happy with the back. Not my knitting, but the way the random dye has worked differently on the lower back from the other areas.

 Hope it is clear in the picture, that the front and top of the back are the same as the sleeve too.

I am considering knitting another back, ensuring I cast on from a different colour in the thread. There is plenty of yarn left to do this. If the new back works out the same as the front and sleeve I will carry on. The back already knitted can be undone and the yarn used for something else. It is double knitting so I can find a pattern, perhaps a cowl or scarf.

What do my readers think?

Ian and the maths. I thought this was just funny but it is a diary type entry. After my morning shower and hair wash had gone in to the bedroom to dress and style my hair but before this could be done, Ian rushes in from the study and insists on explaining a maths. problem on which he has been working to me. Whilst I may have got a few of the gems of knowledge he was imparting to me, especially about a radius, I had rather hoped his enthusiasm for his studies could have waited till I was dressed. Especially so as the default setting for our heating is just 18 degrees so it was chilly.

Martha and the flat. This is really good news. Martha has found a flat to buy and everything is galloping away as we are hoping exchange will be completed before 24th March when stamp duty starts again for first time buyers. It's a lovely flat, gorgeous views over the countryside, in a good situation. Now her fun begins, designing and furnishing her home to please herself. This links to our oversleeping - a call from Martha at 8.45am to discuss the minutae of buying woke us, thankfully as goodness knows how long we would have slept even though we'd turned out the light at 11 so we weren't up late or boogying  the night away.

Such is life in suburbia.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Twickers tattle

MonDAY, February  13, 2012

Simple Woman's Daybook: 13th February

Outside My Window ... cold, grey, rain, wind. I don't plan to go out.

I am thinking ... how fortuitous it was to have all our family here on Saturday. Martha came for the rehearsal for the concert (10th March, in aid of Pancreatic Cancer) and Adam and Juliet came after work, we'd not seen them both since Christmas Day. They had won the opportunity to have photos taken by a studio so that wanted to show us the picture they'd selected and the others on a CD. Interesting to see some one else's take on your own son. 
For once I prepared the meal as Ian was at choir practice with Martha. We dined on cottage pie, (I make a mix of ordinary and sweet potatoes for the topping), carrots, spring greens. Then crumble with plums and blackberries from the freezer. My crumble mix includes porridge oats and some walnuts for texture. When Ian returned he made custard, shark infested as opposed to egg custard.

Great laughter after the meal as the young people were talking about the hymns they'd sung in primary and Sunday school, what was fascinating was they remembered the words and actions  of such delights as If I were a butterfly. 

From the learning rooms ... Ian is well into his MS208 course now, tutorials are fortnightly, so with online conversations, U tube, course materials there is plenty of support.

From the kitchen ... need to think about evening meal, chicken? Ian was talking about making bread whilst he thinks about a maths problem - think it's about sets.

I am wearing ... green cord East skirt, honey coloured cashmere cabled Uniqlo jumper topped with warm cream cardigan. It is that cardigan - the one I picked up and completed after 20 years.

I am creating ... Hexipuffs, and a "Sporty car coat", not in Sublime but in Artesano hummingbird variegated yarn. Rather interesting design and pattern from the random dyeing of the yarn!

As you can see I have finished the back and nearly completed the right front.

For the first time ever I made a sample square to check my tension. Now, do I frog it, it is 4" square, do I always make a tension square and join these up to make a throw or cushion cover. Answers on a post card please.
I am going .. to be helping, as a volunteer at the Who do you think you are show at Olympia. This is for Richmond Local studies stand, they have been exhibitors for a few years now. I think the idea is I help to show people the Calm site so they may be able to see the plans for the houses they, or their families lived in. Or they may be interested in the schools or public buildings in the area. We shall see.

I am reading ...  The hare with amber eyes. Have to complete this by next Monday, but knitting seems to have taken over. Does reading the newspaper each day count for reading?

I am hearing ... just the 110 year old clock ticking behind me.

Around the house ... mmmm, need to complete the ironing. After all Monday is washing day!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ... will go to local studies, not sure which day yet. No other plans made but something will turn up. At least there should be time to finish the book.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Accession Day

When I was reading the newspaper this morning it occurred to me that I remember nothing of the death of King George VI but I have domestic memories of the coronation.

One very silly thing is remembered both for the conversation and the location. I was with my mother and younger sister waiting for a bus at was was called then Gas Works Bridge, now it is Manor Circus but it is in Richmond near the borders of Kew and Mortlake. To be at that bus stop we would have been visiting my maternal grandparents who lived in Kew. What I remember was my mother apologising to the 6 year old me for being unable to find any white ankle socks with red and blue stripes in my size although she had obtained them for my sister. I told her truthfully it didn't matter.

The aforementioned grandparents were rather upset as they had been 'paying into' a fund for a street party in their road but my parents had decided we should go to the other grandparents and watch the TV broadcast as it was an important historical occasion. My first memories of TV were at the paternal grandparents, apparently they had a TV as soon as the service resumed after the war. We did go to the street party after, don't recall to much about it except some singing about 'Yes we have no bananas' and 'roll out the barrel'. In the end it didn't matter, later the whole of my primary school, Latchmere Road were walked to a Kingston cinema and saw, in glorious Technicolor, all the Coronation celebrations.

Friday, 3 February 2012


Couldn't really think of a title for these ramblings so Friday it is. Suppose I could add adjectives like chilly, cold, wintry but I didn't. I had stayed indoors much of this week, didn't want to go out in the cold wind but today braved the weather and went to the Local studies library. Had the option to do more work on the illustrations collection or data entry, chose the former, prefer to write on paper. Photographs were of Richmond Hill, which I discovered used to be called Hill Rise. Now that name is used just from Richmond Bridge to the junction with Compass Hill. Wonder why the name was changed in the 1920s. Had some advertisements showing business premises with the old address, all helps to identify the date, although there are plenty of local directories to confirm these. One business was for corsets, trousseaux and baby clothes, from the directories it had been there from early 1900, maybe a little earlier and from the advert it had moved from New Bond Street to Richmond.

These photos and information about them will be scanned, eventually you will be able to browse them in the comfort of your own home. Although that is good, there is still the delight of visiting a local studies library for the serendipity of finding nuggets in the directories for example. It is surprising how long some businesses had survived, many local names were listed that I remembered from my childhood. Then there is the excitement of coming across ones grandparents' names as residents in the directory.

Just so my readers know where I, and many other volunteers spend our time. The library is at the top of the Old Town Hall and affords views to the west  over the River Thames to the Middlesex bank. Thus there are some beautiful sunsets to be seen, I have attempted to capture one today although it was not one of the best, neither the photo or the sunset.

In the far right there is a hump on the horizon that is the famous Rugby Football Union ground, the foreground is part of the Quinlan Terry development that so transformed Richmond Riverside back in the 1980s.

Now I must leave my keyboard to carry on with The hare with amber eyes: a hidden inheritance as would like to finish it before reading group meets. Need to read it with computer or iPad handy to look up some of the references. Have to admit  the book hadn't registered with me at first, hadn't even realised it was non-fiction.