Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Oh baby, Books!

Where did October go! 

We just seem to be hurtling towards Christmas at an alarming rate don't we, it's really scary how as you get older the months seem to fly by faster.  Remember when you were small, and the year stretched ahead of you and it seemed like forever until Father Christmas would visit, or until your next birthday?  Ha Ha Ha, the joys of getting old(er).

We had two birthday celebrations in October, Oliver turned five, five!!  (those five years went by far to fast!!), and Mark's birthday was last weekend, which we celebrated in London, as we have done for the past couple of years.

I've read / listened to quite a few books in October.  Mark bought me the new Kindle Fire 8, the one with Alexa, a few weeks ago, the sound had gone on my other Kindle Fire, and to be honest I do prefer the feel of a real book in my hands, but seeing as I'd got a new gadget I took advantage of the free months trial of Audible and Kindle Unlimited, and I have to say that I've become a bit addicted to listening to audio books.  
I do have to wear headphones otherwise I find I get distracted, and the narration on some is not the best, (accents and female voices are sometimes particularly bad!) But on the whole i'm enjoying it, I don't watch a lot of TV so this is keeping me entertained while i'm knitting, or whatever.

I know there was a bit of hype when this one came out which I didn't get to be honest, it was ok but had I been reading rather than listening I don't think I would have finished it

Mark Edwards writes a good psychological thriller.  I enjoyed this one, (although the narration, 
by Napoleon Ryan was a bit strange in places, his female voice and Leeds accent were awful!)

Mark Edwards also wrote The Magpies, which is really good

I've read a couple of Amanda Prowse, they usually jog along quite well.

This one was read by Amanda Prowse herself,  I have to say she did a terrible job, (sorry Amanda) her voice was quite depressing and made the main character come across as weak and pathetic, but, again, I did enjoy the book despite that.

I should imagine it's quite hard work narrating a book, so perhaps i'm being a little too judgmental, and they are just my opinions, you may feel differently.

The next two books I 'borrowed' from Kindle Unlimited

I've never read any Paul Pilkington before, but this was good.

Matt is trying to rebuild his life following the breakdown of a long-term relationship. The most important thing to him now is to be with his son, Charlie. But when Matt gets a sinister warning from a mysterious stranger, it sends chills up his spine. Then Charlie vanishes during a trip to the local pool, and it suddenly becomes clear that something is terribly wrong.
Desperate to protect his loved ones, Matt goes looking for answers. Who’s after them? And why? Matt finds himself caught up in a web of lies that leaves him questioning everything he once trusted.
Can he get to the truth before it’s too late?  (Blurb taken from Amazon)

The Mangle Street Murders (The Gower Street Detective Series) is the first of a series of  4 books (so far as I can see).   
If you like Sherlock Holmes you might enjoy these, or if you are a really huge Sherlock fan they might annoy you, lol, they are sort of a poor mans Sherlock I suppose, Sidney playing Sherlock and his side kick is his ward, March.  I'm almost at the end of this one have downloaded the others via Kindle Unlimited 

I'm tempted to keep Kindle Unlimited, well, for another month or so at least because a lot of the books have the option to switch between reading and narration, it's £7.99 a month, so the price of a book really, I'd be interested to hear if you have tried it and what you thought, did you think it was worth it?

To finish the month of October off nicely I'm going to our annual Halloween meet -up at the Nimble Thimble this weekend.  Really looking forward to seeing everyone again and a day of stitching and perhaps a few new purchases ;-)  
I'm making a weekend of it, so also looking forward to a little 'me' time too :-)

Tonight Is our monthly stitching get together, and I actually have some stitching to take with me this month, (shock horror), It's a Christmas gift for someone small and cute and I'll show you more next time.

Talking of small cuteness, my eldest daughter, Jenny is expecting again, so Oliver will be getting a new little brother or sister in early April and we are so happy to be welcoming another Grandbaby :-)

So my knitting needles are still clacking away, lol and I'll show more of that next time too.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your October
Until next time


Sunday, 1 October 2017

A bit of stitching has been happening, Halloween Ornament Exchange

A bunch of us who meet up at the Nimble Thimble for stitching days have a small FB group and Tracy recently organised a Halloween ornament exchange.  We were to stitch an ornament and include a chart and some sweets/chocolate in our parcel too.

My recipient was Michelle, aka Mouse :-) 

I found a designer, Good Flora Stitchwort on etsy, (she has some lovely charts, go take a look),
I chose Bubble Bubble and finished it as a little wall hanging.

I found a little pack of Halloween buttons perfect for holding the hanging ribbon

Here's the whole exchange I sent, luckily Michelle didn't already have the chart I included

My package came from Chris, (I don't think Chris has a blog)

A cute little pumpkin ornie.  My grandson, Oliver is mad about Halloween things and wanted to claim it for his Halloween tree, lol

Love the chart she included too

This weekend has been quite a busy one, It was my book club meeting on Saturday morning and later I went with Joanne to have high tea at a local garden centre.  It was a lovely treat, lovely to just sit and take our time.  Today was the annual Scarecrow festival in Belbroughton and I went with the girls again.  We started the day with breakfast at another garden centre before going into Belbroughton.  The weather was quite dull and dreary today but at least the rain kept off until we were ready to make our way home.

There didn't seem to be as much effort put in by the residents this year, in fact it was quite
disappointing to be honest, the theme was Fables and Fairy Tales, plenty of choice as to what to
make, you would think, but we counted at least 3 Humpty Dumpty's, 3 Tortoise and The Hare,
and about 4 Little Red Riding Hood .

I thought these were the best efforts

This one was brilliant, a lot of work has gone into making these

And this giant Gingerbread Man :-)

I've been flitting between various WIP's this week, nothing finished except for this little pair of shoes

I came across the pattern on line and just had to knit them right away :-) 

They worked up really quickly, I knit both of them in a couple of hours

I do need to get a move on and finish some of the things I've got on the go at the moment, because I want to make a start on Bonnie's birth sampler this month  so that It can be finished and framed ready for Christmas.

So many lovely things to make, so little time, lol

I hope you all have a lovely crafty time till next week


Friday, 22 September 2017

A London Weekend, Kensington and Brick Lane

I'm back with a long overdue post of our London weekend, I have no idea where the time went in between then and now, only that I have been busy with one thing and another and the opportunity to blog seemed to keep passing me by.

The weekend was fabulous, we saw and did lots of things that were new to us including a walk through Hyde Park, the Serpentine, a walk through Kensington Park and the Diana Fountain, (not what I expected), but as you will see the weather was beautiful and there were lots of people making the most of the sunshine and children splashing about in the water so it was all good.

Unfortunately the people who organise the walking tours had cancelled the one the girls bought us which was a shame, we were both looking forward to it, the reason they gave was the recent events in London, (the incidents on Westminster bridge and the one outside Parliament).  The tour would have taken in much of this area so for this year at least they made the decision to cancel that particular tour.  Hopefully we will be able to transfer the voucher to another tour at a future date.

As we had now got more time on the Sunday we decided to visit Brick Lane again.  We have already been several times to Brick Lane and absolutely love it.  The atmosphere is fantastic, as is the food :-)  It is also a great place to pick up vintage things, clothes, records and things for the home, which Mark calls tat , but I love :-)  Even if you don't buy anything it's still worth going just for the atmosphere alone.

I'll stop rabbiting on now and leave you with some, (ok, a lot) of photos from our weekend, I hope you enjoy looking :-)

Princess Diana fountain 

The Serpentine, Hyde Park

Street art

See you soon

Sunday, 3 September 2017

A works in progress post

I don't have any finished things to show you this week so I thought I'd show you all the things I have on the go at the moment.

This baby sleeping bag has been on and off my needles for quite some time.  
I started it months ago and just couldn't get the pattern to stay in my head, even though it was basically moss stitch.  After picking it up and finding yet another mistake I decided I would ditch the pattern as written and do a similar stitch but something easier to remember.  I've worked almost 12 inches now in double moss stitch and, fingers crossed, no mistakes.

I want to get this one done by the end of September really so Bonnie will be all snug in her pram when the weather gets cooler.

A scarf for Oliver.  
He will be start Reception at school in a couple of weeks, and this will keep the chills off on the walk to and from school.  The grey was something I already had in my stash, the blue, (Sirdar Aran) was a bargain £1 a ball from the charity shop.

Another little cardigan in a new to me yarn.  Sirdar No1.  I'd never heard of it until I saw it last week.  It's knitting up really nice and is lovely and soft.


Yes, I know, I haven't stitched for ages but I enjoyed working on this last night, (and a little more progress made this afternoon)

I've read lots of blog posts that have mentioned the change in the weather, and it's been no different here in the Midlands this week.  The afternoons have generally been ok and yesterday was quite sunny, but it does go chilly late afternoon, we have managed to resist putting the fire on just yet but that may change tonight, it's windy, raining and not very warm at all this afternoon.

Last Sunday couldn't have been more different.  We went to Bewdley for the day as they were having a fun day with stalls and street food along the river over the bank Holiday weekend.

Oliver in the middle shouting at the Punch & Judy show

And Spiderman kindly let him sit on his bike, lol

Despite the change in the weather some things in the garden are still ok, some are almost past their best and will need pulling out soon.  I put quite a few dahlias in this time, the slugs ate three  and two are yet to flower but two have produced the most amazing bloom, from this....

To this.....

One of the roses I bought a couple of months ago has decided to give some lovely flowers at last, the scent from these is gorgeous. 

If this rain and wind keep up though I doubt there will be much of anything left by next week.  
I bought a couple of packs a Autumn plants for some baskets this week that will replace the ones that will die off soon and I got a couple of pack of tulip bulbs too, we have loads of daffs in the spring but no tulips.   All in all I think my plants have done quite well this year, and I've been really happy with how my tubs and baskets have done.

I've got a couple of days off work this week, I haven't decided what to do yet, one of them I might set aside as a 'me' day.   On Saturday we are going to London again, for the weekend this time, we are using another voucher the girls got us for Christmas, this time Kensington Palace, breakfast at the Orangery and a walking tour.  Something to look forward too :-)

I hope you all have a lovely week and I will see you again soon