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Thursday, 19 May 2016

One Saturday in Edinburgh

I had to bid a fond farewell to my old laptop, it served me well for probably 8 years or more, nothing could be done to save it, but at least the I.T guy managed to get all my files and photos off the hard drive.  It's going to be a task to go through everything and see what i really do want to keep though, something i will have to do a bit at a time.

It seems ages since I was here but I thought i'd pick up where I left off, which was when I was just before I set off to Berwick again.

We have had some really lovely weather the last few weeks and when I set off for my visit to Mark we had been having temperatures of 22 - 24 degrees most days.  I got a shock when he picked me up at the station on the Friday evening, it was only 12 degrees!!

The following day Mark dropped me at the train station just before 8.30 for my train to Edinburgh, it was like a bleak Winter morning, really cold and misty.

Berwick Upon Tweed station. 
(If you are wondering,this is how you pronounce Berwick)
I know some of  our place names can be a little strange and not pronounced how you might think,
the universal English language can be confusing.


Anyway, 40 minutes later i was in Edinburgh, where it was clearer but colder still.
Honestly, i couldn't have chosen a colder day if i had gone mid Winter.
My daughter text me to say it was a lovely 24 degrees at home, and there i was considering buying an extra jumper and a pair of gloves, lol

I decided to buy a tour bus ticket, one of those you can hop on and off all day, Edinburgh is very hilly so it gave me chance to rest when I'd had enough of walking.

I didn't have time to visit all the places I would have liked, and chose to visit Holyrood House rather than the Castle.  Unfortunately you're not allowed to take photographs inside the Palace.  Twice a year the Queen still stays there, it's shut at those times, but when it's open for visitors some of the rooms on the tour are actually used by the Queen.  It's quite strange walking round and thinking that Her Majesty has walked where you are walking. and sat at that dining table :-)

Holyrood is also where Mary Queen of Scotts lived and you can see her rooms in the Palace, and very cold they are too, imagine what they would have been like back then in the middle of Winter!

The Abbey ruins and the gardens are well worth a walk around too.












Edinburgh is also home to the largest monument to a writer.
Normally you would be able to climb to the top of the Walter Scott monument but at this time is was closed for refurbishment, which was probably just as well because i wouldn't have been able to resist the challenge of climbing the 287 steps just to say I'd done it, but my legs and feet would not have thanked me, lol

Walter Scott

The Walter Scott Monument built in 1884

There are plenty of shops selling tartan paraphernalia and shortbread biscuits in various shapes and in every conceivable shaped tin, of course, there would be, and why not, but there is also a lot of history attached to the City, and that's what I'm more interested in, which was why the tour bus is a good idea, the guides are very informative and you get little snippets about the City that you would probably miss otherwise.

I managed to fit in a mini yarn crawl while I was there.  Ginger Twist is a cute little shop about 10-15 minute walk from Hollyrood House and where I purchased some goodies



And later in the afternoon I managed to find Kathy's Knits, another lovely place and another purchase

This is the first time i've ever bought any hand dyed yarn, and i'm loving the colours and have been spending quite a bit of time on Ravelry looking for something to knit.

My train back to Berwick was at 5.30,  I'd walked almost none stop all day, only stopping for breakfast and a cuppa late morning and another coffee stop while waiting for my train, needless to say, I was shattered.

Mark said the mist from the morning had hung around Berwick all day



I was heading home and another long train journey the next afternoon, so although it was lovely to get away, see Mark and do some sight seeing it was a tiring weekend, plus I had Oliver 3 times as well as work last week so I feel like i'm playing catch-up with everything this week.

Hopefully I will get around to some blog reading and commenting at the weekend now I've got my new super duper computer :-)

-X-

Friday, 6 May 2016

When computers go wrong

My lap top has a serious problem.  
It has been with our I.T guy at work all week and he thought it might have been the power jack,
but he has called me this morning to say it's bad news.
Not sure exactly how bad until he comes over later, but it may be time for a new lap top :-(

I have been putting off getting a new one for ages, (Mark kept telling me to get one), but the one i had served the purpose i wanted it too, well obviously now it doesn't so i've got to look around for another, (sigh)

I have hundreds, no, it's probably thousands of photos on there, fingers crossed that the I.T guy will be able to get them off for me.  They are on Picasa too so i should still be able to get to them (i think??)

Anywho, i probably won't be posting or commenting until i get something sorted, just so you don't think I've done a disappearing act, lol  I may be able to get a sneaky browse of your blogs when i'm at work, I could use my phone or Kindle Fire i suppose but it's not the same, for me anyway.

This afternoon i'm off to Berwick again, Mark hasn't been home for 2 weeks, (the job he is on is nearing the end and it's always manic towards handover), so i'm paying him a visit.  He will be working all weekend though so i'm taking myself off to Edinburgh for the day tomorrow, Yayyyy, really looking forward to that, when i return with a blog post I will bombard you all with photos of my trip :-)
I've got a list of things i want to do and see while i'm there and an order from Oliver to bring him a T Rex teddy, please nanny  :-)

I have some knitting and some crocheting to pass the time on the train, it's around a four and a half hour journey each way so i should be able to get plenty done :-)

Have a good weekend, and if you are in the UK, make the most of the beautiful weather, the forecast on the news this morning was for change next week, isn't that usually the way!

-X-

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Hook, book and needle

Not a lot of crafty progress to show this week, most of my time has been spent in the garden, we have had some beautiful weather and I have managed to get some much needed tidying up done.  It's looking so much better now and should be easier to keep on top of over the summer months.

So, on my hook...... I have had some solid granny squares.  

I used Lucy's tutorial, (Attic24), which I opted for after trying quite a few, I felt these were so much neater than the others I'd tried .

The only thing I did differently was to start with a magic circle.

I'm just using what Stylecraft Special I have at the moment and will decide on what colours to go with when I've done a few more.


Book....I'm reading 
Stormbird by Conn Iggulden

I've read such a lot of 'fluffy' stuff lately, and that's ok, there's nothing wrong with fluffy stuff , I've enjoyed a change but I'm ready for something a bit more substantial again now, and I was missing my history books.

This is the first book in his new series set during the Wars of the Roses and starts at the very beginning with the death of King Henry V.

I do have the second one on my bookshelf  too but I believe that the 3rd has already been released, so you can tell how long they have been waiting for attention!

My needle....
Not a lot of work with my needle this week.  Elizabeth has really not had a lot of attention for these past couple of weeks, all I managed to add was the two little flowers.

Excuse the wrinkles and the shadows

That's it for now, short and sweet again this week:-) 

Just a few photos in the garden to end with.  
As I mentioned earlier, the weather has been really good and there are lots of plants coming to life again, with the pieris taking centre stage at the moment with it's changing colours.





Thanks for popping by and your lovely comments, I really do appreciate them all.

-X-

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Flowers and bunnies on a sunny Sunday afternoon

A much shorter post this week, and one with crafty goodness :-)

Some weeks ago I had a thought that I would like to make some crochet flowers, after many Google and Pinterest searches one pattern kept coming up, the Maybelle flower.  
The pattern is easy to remember and in no time at all I had a lovely collection pretty circles.

Do you like my little project bag?
I ordered some yarn from the Wool Warehouse some time ago and their deliveries come beautifully wrapped in these organza bags.....Perfect for holding your projects :-)



Arranged any which way I love them!



I need to make one more yellow and orange, then i will have four of each colour.
I'm thinking they would make a lovely garland (or 2) :-)

For those that are interested, I used Rico Cotton and a 3mm hook.
The only change I made to the pattern was to start with a magic ring so that the hole in the middle was smaller.
If you should feel the urge to make some too, the pattern is here

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During my week away I stitched on the Snowflower Diaries April pattern but was a bit lazy when it came to making it up, actually, in the end I didn't make it up at all.
I was having a sort out and came across this plain white photo frame and thought "that'll do nicely thank you" :-)


I took the glass out and put some wadding on some stiff cardboard and just put it in the frame.  
You probably can't see from the photo but the wadding just makes the stitched piece stand forward in the frame a little.
I also left off the boarder stitching.

As you can see, I still have a 'bunny' theme going on for my April mantle, apart from different flowers and this new finish, it hasn't changed this month. 

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The weather is doing some strange things at the moment, yesterday morning we woke up to a covering of snow!  Today is beautiful sunshine.
The rain we have been getting is proper heavy rain and these have taken a bit of a beating



And yes! my hostas are coming up :-)
You either love these or hate them, Mark hates them, I LOVE them, so we have 2 huge tubs, lol


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I'm going to put my feet up and give some attention to Elizabeth  now as she hasn't seen the light of day for a couple of weeks.

Have a good week 
-X-

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Berwick Upon Tweed

So after the excitement of Liverpool we were bound for Northumberland.  

Mark has been working near Berwick for a few months now but this is the first time that i have been able to take time off  work to stay with him. 

I was left to occupy myself during the day while he was at work, that's ok, i don't mind wondering around with my camera :-) 

The river Tweed, looking towards Berwick town, the clock tower is the Town Hall,




What strikes you when you first arrive are the 3 bridges across the river.
And you get a good view of all three together from the road towards Spittal.

In the foreground Berwick Bridge, or the Old Bridge as it is known as.  
It was built between 1611 and 1624 and is Grade I listed, traffic on this bridge is one way from the town.  
The middle one is the Royal Tweed Bridge a concrete construction which was built between 1925 and 1928 and is a traffic bridge.

The third bridge is the Royal Boarder Bridge, and is a Grade I listed railway viaduct, built between 1847 and 1850 and designed by Robert Stevenson (of The Stevenson's Rocket fame). 


 I must admit that i have a bit of a weakness for bridges, and never got tired of this view.  
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Berwick is home to the oldest known Barrack buildings.  I didn't visit the Barracks themselves but did spend many hours walking the Ramparts following the Lowery Trail, (which goes for miles).  Apparently LS Lowery spent quite a bit of time in Berwick and a lot of his paintings show scenes he sketched whilst visiting the area.


There is a lighthouse, a small one admittedly

Coming down from the ramparts there are several ways to access the estuary and the sea.

These lovely houses have a perfect spot



When i was walking into the town across the old bridge on the Monday i spotted something in the water.  Can you see that little black dot in the middle of the river?



I was so excited when i discovered that the black dot was a seal enjoying a bit of sun :-)

  
There must be a bit of a sandbank where he is.  I saw him again, in the same spot on Thursday.


I walked down to Spittal one day, just about a mile away, lovely quiet place.  Not a town as such, there are no shops except for a local general store.

But there is a rather lovely beach.
It was very windy the day i went, but in the summer i bet it's heaving, unlike now when there were only walkers like me or with their dogs enjoying the peace and quiet.


 


I fell in love with these houses on the front

How lovely it must be to wake up, open your bedroom curtains and see the sea every morning!


Local sea rescue

I took the river walk one day to get a better look at the Stevenson bridge


The 3 bridges from the other direction


I took a few photos in black & white, i think this one looks better in B&W

Berwick had a castle, you can just see the remains at the far end







I walked right round to that little cottage you can see in the distance to the right


It was a holiday let, so the notice in the window said.  Wonder how you would get yourself and your luggage to it? 

I retraced my steps, walked up through a little park, which was once a spot for local hangings and found myself at the top end of the town centre.

There is a caravan park here overlooking the sea and a small beach


Loved the view from high up


A lonely Sandpiper

Some people were enjoying exploring the rock pools

And who could blame them with such interesting things to find :-)





While walking down by the lighthouse one day i could here a lot of birds singing, then i noticed that someone had put up lots of bird boxes in the trees.

I noticed this little fella first, singing his little heart out he was

Another one keeping watch

Some activity at one of the bird boxes


I was glad to be able to get this photo


Some rather loud chirping got my attention and i looked up to see this little guy on some cable

Looks like he was wondering what i was doing 'down there', lol

Now, i'm no good with bird species, except for the obvious, so if anyone knows what these are i would very much like you to let me know in the comments.

I really enjoyed my week away, i managed to do loads of walking, something which i really enjoy but never seem to have the time to do very often, plus the walks i took were much more interesting than around housing estates!

Thank you for indulging me in posting my pictures, i realise that looking through other peoples holiday snaps is not something that a lot of people like to do, (although i will admit that i am from a strange breed that love to look at other peoples photos, lol)

Normal blog service will resume next week with some stitching and crochet updates :-)

-X-

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