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Saturday, 26 January 2019


Last Wednesday I saw a muscular skeletal physio lady who was critical of my black, flat heeled knee high boots, was slightly appalled that I am barefoot wherever possible in the Summer and recommend a lace up style shoe with a slight heel to counteract the effect of Achilles tendinitis and hip problem. Needless to say I didn’t admit that I lived in my lovely flat, sheepskin slippers over Christmas and New Year, I didn’t go outside for about nine days, quite happy hunkered down in the warmth, busyness and yarny world of Pixie Towers.

So, after my session at Local Studies yesterday I attacked the shoe shops,well just one, because the first one I entered had racks of sale shoes and joy of joy, the first pair I tried fitted, didn’t rub, weren’t too wide, are lace up, have a slight heel, are black suede so a little boring, DD suggested coloured laces.  Let me explain why all this gave such joy and pleasure, it is so rare an occurrence, my feet are long, narrow, size 7 now, used to be an 8 but I have shrunk, I have a high instep, much as I would like to I cannot wear a court shoe, I always need support. Most shoe purchases have been sheer luck especially when I haven’t been looking but just see something by chance. I still adore my red suede Mary Janes bought in Jones the bookmakers sale, they do have slight heel and are fun, each time I wear them I receive favourable comments.

I wore these new shoes today to go to Knitting & Crochet Guild meeting in Kingston, no one saw my cosy warm feet tucked under the table but the happiness was there, I walked the nearly half a mile from the bus stop home and my feet didn’t ache, there was no pain and I didn’t turn my ankle once. All this may sound very silly but this experience has made me so joyful, I recall even as a teenager not being able to wear fashionable or stylish shoes so as an old lady I’m quite grateful that clumpy lace ups are acceptable even with dresses and skirts, I’m not a trouser person.

Finally a couple of photos, retrieved from WhatsApp to show DD the footwear.

Monday, 21 January 2019

It’s that time of year again.

Yes, mid January and time for marmalade making, Ian’s annual visit to the independent greengrocers in our town, once known as Cousins as it was owned by cousins, now one of them has given his name to the shop, Paul Cooper. Forty years ago there was an estate agent in the same town, we bought our first home from them, they aren’t in business now and the greengrocer is too young to be the same guy.

Anyway back to the marmalade making, today I’ve cut up the first three pounds of oranges and a large lemon, they are soaking ready for making tomorrow.  When I mentioned to a friend that I would be cutting up the oranges today she said commiserated with me, certainly not needed as I enjoy sitting at the kitchen table, radio or iPad to hand for a missed TV programme, or indeed just with my thoughts, admiring the varying shades orange, wondering why one orange had no pips, all those inconsequential thoughts that float in one’s mind.

Very old shopping basket, we have two, one was mine and the other was my Mum’s, very useful for storing fruit and vegetables in our larder. 

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Getting on with things.

A long time ago when I retired I vowed to keep learning new skills, last year I conquered the basics for solving sudoku puzzles, quickest are the easy ones in the Metro, some labelled moderate are doable, I spend much time attempting them using two methods, dots to show numbers that are possible, I call this chicken pox method or I list the numbers missing, this clarifies my thoughts and I see if there is a pattern so for me the better way. Sometimes I end up giving the puzzle to Ian, he checks to see if I have filled the answers in correctly before swiftly completing it. Here is a man who can do fiendish sudoku. Wow.

Newspaper and magazine reading take up time, on Monday we shopped in Waitrose so apart from the regular paper we have on subscription, there was a second newspaper, a magazine plugging ITV programmes and interviews with glamorous persons and a healthy living magazine plugging unusual foods and some weird exercise regimes.  It was Tuesday morning before I read the newspapers, attempted the “quick” crossword, didn’t bother with the politics, it maybe wrong but I’m much in the “whatever will be will be” camp now. Now why didn’t I read the papers on Monday evening? Well, apart from Only Connect and Uni Challenge there is the current addictive Crochet Project. Capitals I know, but it is so hugely satisfying, enjoyable, easy and comforting, so much just pick it up for a few moments and do a few stitches and leave the ironing and correspondence for another day. Even the names of the colours are soothing, candy floss is the present delight, there was blush, cream and blush is to come.

Photo is a bit dark, colours will be on Stitchcraft site and all the FB discussion groups - wow that’s another way of losing time. Rather than send Christmas cards by snail mail, I intended to write a short letter to email, haven’t got far with that, when I do I could refer them to here, but I won’t. It reeks of the boastful round robins that came with cards, I did enjoy them though. 

Friday, 11 January 2019


I’m determined to keep this blog going, if only for a record of the Sweet Pea blanket I’m making for our home, to mark 21 years of living here and in June we celebrate 40 years of marriage. The detail is here , first time I have attempted a CAL, crochet-a-Long, already I’m behind for part 2 was posted this morning. It took time to have the right number of chains for the starting row, I’m learning so much with this.  Who knew that one doesn’t count the stitch on the crochet hook when counting stitches, I didn’t.

So far I have done one row of plum,

I like the openness of the design, it is mainly trebles, with an occasional chain stitch, Lucy the designer calls it trellis stitch based on bamboo supporting sweet peas on her allotment. 

Great sense of achievement here, I prefer this pattern to the wavy Moorland one requested by D-in-Law, the colours are lighter and jollier, work on the Moorland will resume when I’ve finished Sweet Pea, meanwhile I am planning to learn to knit Toe-up socks and to make more little hexipuffs to turn into a cushion cover. Oh, and to finish book club book before Monday. Not exactly enthralled by The Shock of the fall, author is Nathan Filer. 

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Twelfth Night.

On Sunday, Epiphany, the Christmas cards were taken down, we tuck them in with the books in our hallway so they don’t blow away, no fixings are needed with a wall of festive arms. the tree, wreath and lights were safely ensconced in their garage home on Saturday. Before Christmas I meant to write letters to send with cards, or email a newsy letter to friends where we don’t do cards anymore. Letters were never done, we were too busy with preparations for Christmas, DS, DiL and the two grandchildren stayed for 6 days, afterwards it has taken us much time to recover, the last laundry bedding run was completed yesterday. When we had our downstairs cloakroom converted into a shower room, the plumbing changes in our utility room meant there was just not quite enough space for a tumbler dryer. As normally there is just the two of us it doesn’t matter, stuff goes on airers, banisters and hangers in winter and out on the whirly in the better weather.

Meant to post this,  so will update this Tuesday morning, just after breakfast, have to go to the dentist today, a shock to the system as I’ve hardly been out since before Christmas. Had a trip to DS and his family on the South Coast, a Pilates class and that is it. Fortunately I don’t get cabin fever, love our home and would be happy to stay in and complete projects all the time.

This plant was quite tiny when we bought it at church, plants, veggies and produce are sold as a fundraiser, it has grown so tall that I’m reminded of Jack and the Beanstalk, the position in our east facing dining room seems to be just right, in this house it is difficult to find homes for houseplants, windowcills are too cold or other places don’t have enough light. This fits, makes me feel happy, especially now the ghastly cold is going away as the antibiotics have kicked in. 
My aim for today is to finish the double crochet row of the sweet pea blanket and commence work on the proper pattern, just Trust I have the right number of stitches, much discussion about it all on FB and Lucy24’s blog. 

Friday, 4 January 2019

Cough, cough!

For the last couple of days at least DH and I have been suffering colds, it is a long while since we’ve been so afflicted and drained of energy.

This morning at 9am the instructions for crocheting a Sweet Pea blanket had been released by Lucy of Attic24 fame, each Friday there will be more guidance released. It is the first time I have attempted a CAL, Crochet Along whereby hundreds of crafters are attempting the same trellis pattern. I have kept to the rules, made a swatch and to my surprise discovered my tension is tight so am on 3rd swatch and hoping that a 5mm hook will work this time. Maybe that is why the Moorland blanket looks a bit narrow, may have to work a wider border when I reach that stage.

Whilst working on this swatch DH and I played Scrabble, very close match, I won by 8 points!

Not very clear, the yarn colour is not part of the sweet pea pack, same Stylecraft Special double knitting so good for practicing.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Another try.

Well, didn’t post yesterday as we had a long day, drove 50 miles to son,  daughter-in-law and grandchildren, left home before 7.30 so we could leave before daylight fades. Even managed to crochet whilst DH driving along A3, no turn offs, no navigation with which to assist but the work went away once we were joining M27, as it is not easy to determine in which lane one needs to be.

The crochet is a late Christmas gift, I managed to keep it a secret until then, but that meant only working on it when DH wasn’t around, which isn’t often. The scarf is from Red Nose Day Comic Relief MollieMakes magazine published in 2017, the pattern is designed by Lucy of Attic24, I have kept the length but made the scarf wider. My local Stylecraft didn’t have all the colours in the pattern so I have substituted some and added two extra colours.

Tomorrow I’m joining in a world wide Crochet Along to make a sweet pea blanket for us, hope I can keep up whilst finishing the scarf and the Moorland blanket being made for DiL

The scarf pattern is from this magazine. 

The scarf in progress, in the background is the Crochet book DS gave me for Christmas. 

The start of the Attic24 Moorland blanket, have done a lot more, will try and photograph the more recent progress.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

New attempts

It is recently I realised how much I missed my blog as a diary or a point of reference so I typed out an entry, added photos of the most important event of last year, attempted to post on Wordpress but nothing appeared so have returned here hoping Blogger and iPad have settled their difficulties

The most important event from last year was the marriage of our lovely daughter, Martha to Jeremy six years almost to the day they met. The weather was perfect, we had a boat trip across Poole Bay after the ceremony at Poole Register Office, the MoG and MoB were witnesses.