Friday, 16 June 2017

Destination Lesvos, Greece

I'm glad it's Friday, are you?  
There has been so much to do this week, lots of running errands because we are going on holiday tomorrow :-)

Now I must confess that I almost never look forward to going away on holiday, there is just so much preparation involved, unless your name is Mark that is, in which case holidays require no preparation whatsoever, you just present your sunglasses kindle and charger, certain in the knowledge that the holiday fairy has washed and ironed the clothes, shopped for holiday essentials, packed the cases, found the passports and collected the euros, lol.  

I swear, if I come back in another life, i'm being a man and getting my own back, either that or a cat, because lets face it both have fairly easy lives, as long as they are fed and watered at regular intervals and have somewhere to sleep they are not much trouble, lol.

That's what you get for wanting to be in control of everything, no help!

To be honest I have everything in hand, I packed one case last night and the rest of the things were packed this afternoon.  We have a lunch time flight so hopefully there will be no mad rush out the door.  I will relax when we have checked in our bags and are in the departure lounge :-)

I hope you all have a lovely weekend, and week ahead, enjoy the weather if you are in the UK, it's supposed to be a scorcher!

I will see you all in weeks time, hopefully refreshed, re-charged and raring to go :-)

Until next time

Sunday, 11 June 2017

A Hook and a Book, and charity shop finds

I hope you are all enjoying a relaxing Sunday afternoon.  For me Sunday has always been a day to re-charge my batteries, no wandering around shopping centres or food shopping for me, I like nice quiet Sunday's, sometimes I cook a roast other times, like today, we will have something quick and easy later in the evening.  This morning I have done the ironing and had a lovely soak in the bath and caught up on a bit of reading, bliss :-)

I have been watching a few podcasts again and recently Sam, of Betsy Makes mentioned something she had subscribed to, A Hook and a Book, I thought it sounded interesting so went in search and signed up for the June parcel.

The idea is each month you receive a hook, a book, a ball of yarn and a pattern, which is sort of themed to the book 

This is what was in my parcel when it arrived earlier this week.

Isn't it a great package!  I was very happy with it.  I've never read The Hobbit and I don't know if it will be too much in the realms of fantasy for me but I'm going to give it a go.  It's such a lovely little hard backed book too with lovely illustrations.  Have you read The Hobbit? What did you think?

I had a wander around the charity shops after work on Friday and came away with a couple of good finds.
This chicken caught my eye.  I did have a lovely Masons chicken to keep my eggs in but it got broken when we had the kitchen done recently.  This one is not so eye catching but I think It fits perfectly in with my new kitchen colours :-) 

I've seen these vintage cake stands in many places and Mark has always put me off buying one, but this time he wasn't with me, so home it came, lol.

It's in great condition and will come in very handy when we have Joanne afternoon tea baby shower :-)

I'm really happy with this purchase.  I don't know if I should just give it a good polish and keep it this colour or should I give it an Anne Slone make over? What do you think?

That's it for today, I hope you have a great week whatever you are up too.

Until next time

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Thinking about what happened in Manchester and London

Only last week I was saying what a wonderful time we had visiting London again and our trip up to the viewing gallery in the Shard, and then on Saturday in the very area we had been the previous week, there was another cowardly terrorist attack.

We had walked around Borough Markets and enjoyed looking at all the lovely food that was on sale before visiting the Shard, it is tightly packed and must have been so so scary.

But, it won't put me off visiting London again, you can't put you life on hold because some idiots  object to the Western way of life.  

This photo popped up on my FB feed this week, I can't find the original feed but the caption was, 

This country survived the blitz and the milkman still delivered the milk. Do these pieces of low life ever really believe they can break the will and determination of the British people ?
No bloody chance.

I found it a very apt message.

I thought the photo said it all

Until next time
Stay safe

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Seeing London from the highest point

  I had intended for this post to be a crafty one but I couldn't let this Bank Holiday week go by without sharing some photos of our trip to London and the visit to the Shard.

If you are not familiar with the building know as The Shard, it's that tall glass building near London Bridge and it looks like, well a shard of glass, hence the name I suppose :-)

The Shard is the tallest building in London, at about 1017 feet (310 meters) to the tip and has 95 floors which houses offices, the Shangri-La Hotel, a retail arcade, and various bars and restaurants.  It also has a viewing gallery on floors 68, 69, and 72, where you can get 360 degree views for up t 40 miles.  This trip was one of the gifts that the girls bought us at Christmas and I was so excited when I opened the envelope with this ticket in and I've been so looking forward to going :-)

The Tower of London

St. Pauls, shame about the red cranes

You can see the arc of Wembley Stadium in the distance

HMS Belfast

And closer

The Monument used to be the tallest structure in London once upon a time, now it seems so small.
Built 300 years ago to commemorate the Great Fire of London.
(Can you spot it?)

There it is with the gold top

We climbed The Monument last year I think it was, all 311 steps!!

I should have looked to see what this building was (below) It looks like there is a little garden are on top of the building.  I zoomed in on the photo and there are workmen up there, you can just make out their reflective jackets if you look close.

I hope you enjoyed looking down on some of the sights of London.
It was a great experience and we both thoroughly enjoyed it, I would really like to do it again some day but at night fall.  It's strange because even though I don't like heights I always seem to want to go to the top of the tallest buildings, I suppose my want of the experience out-ways my fear, although you wouldn't be able to get me to climb a ladder if you asked me to!

Here's a useless bit of information for you to end with.  The company I work for designed and installed the fire protection system for The Shard and for several of the individual units within the building too, including the Shangri-La Hotel so I get to talk to people calling from the building quite often.

Just a quick update on Mum as a lot of you were so kind in hoping she was feeling better.  The dressing was changed again last Thursday, there was a little improvement although most of it is still open wound and the nail which is growing back looks quite nasty.  They are still waiting for results to come back but the ones that have come back are inconclusive, i.e. they still don't know what has caused it.  We haven't got to go back now until June 12th when hopefully all the results will be in and we might know more.
Thank you for your well wishes.

Until Next time

Friday, 19 May 2017

A nasty finger and a new kitchen

I had just got used to posting on a Sunday and then it all went pear-shaped.

Mum was admitted to hospital last Wednesday after an x-ray on her  index finger revealed a bad infection which had gone to the bone.

She had been treated at her doctors surgery every week for the previous 6 weeks but the nurse recommended an x-ray this last time because it looked as though it had started to spread.

She ended up at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Birmingham and they have taken biopsy's and cleaned it up under local anaesthetic.  The bone specialist she saw there was lovely and treated mums case as an emergency and did the treatment the following day.  At least two doctors that mum has seen at two different hospitals have said that her GP should have sent her long before it got this far, one even went so far as to say it was neglect on her GP's part.

We have no idea what mum did to her finger , she says she can't remember doing anything, but some germs must have found their way into a small cut or under her nail bed somehow.  Her nail came off and the skin on the top of her finger had just peeled away.  It didn't look pretty I can tell you!

I took her yesterday to have the dressing changed, it looked better but not closed up and i'm sure I could still see bone! (I took a photo to compare next week when I take her again).  We won't know what the infection was until her appointment on June 12th.

I'm not going to put a photo on this page because truly, it is not nice, if you have a strong stomach and are NOT eating go and have a look in the tab at the top of this page if you want too.  But don't say I didn't warn you!!!!!

So, I've been running backwards and forwards every tea time to mums to get her tea and put something up for her supper and lunch the next day and help get her tablets sorted, (it's her right hand which is making it difficult to handle things, plus, she has arthritis so it's very awkward for her).  My youngest sister has been going up to wash her, she can't get the bandage wet at all so even though mum hates the thought of her daughter doing something so personal for her she has no choice at the moment.
It is best that I don't dwell on what my eldest sister has contributed to the help else I might start to rant, all I'm going to say is when she goes up she thinks it's more of a social visit and just sits and talks, about nothing really, gossip.  She's a talker i'm a doer, before she has finished telling everyone what she is going to do, it's done.  I can't be doing with it, so i'm avoiding her if I can because I don't want a falling out, and anyway she has an answer for everything and can't see she is doing anything wrong, it's just so frustrating.  See, i'm starting to rant!

I've still been going to work and I've also had Oliver twice overnight this week so as you can imagine I'm shattered.  I got back in home at 5.30pm yesterday after the hospital trip and sorting mum out, had my tea and a bath and was in bed by 8pm.  I just hadn't got the energy for anything else.

On a happier note, my kitchen is finished, Yayyyy.  We still have to decide on a blind and order a splash-back , I'm hoping we will find time to do that soon.  Of course having the kitchen done meant there were boxes to sort and things to put away and I've almost  got that all done now.  
The next big thing is Mark starting work on converting part of the garage into a shower room come laundry.  Although I will be able to shut the door on that while it's being done so it shouldn't cause too much disruption to the rest of the house, (she says hopefully).

I'm really happy with what we chose, our kitchen is not very big as you can see and the previous owner had not made the best use of the space to be honest.  We have opened the doorway back up into the garage (this is where the shower room come laundry will be), you would think that this would make the space smaller but it has had the opposite effect, everyone has said how it feels much bigger and brighter.  
I think there is a temptation with a small kitchen to fill all the available space with cupboards, but in my opinion that just closes the space in.  We have a larder unit for all food stuff and opted for deep drawers for pots, pans plates etc.  I love the drawers, it was one of our better ideas :-)

All my kitchen gadgets and baking tins i'm keeping in the pantry under the stairs.
It was an opportunity to have a good clear out and get rid of all those things you keep but never use, or all the duplicate things, I had 3 large mixing bowls, why I would need 3 large mixing bowls I have no idea!  Now I have one, the one I used to use all the time anyway :-)

The appliance that both me and Mark are loving having again is the dishwasher.  For almost three years we have been without one and it's soooo good to have one again.  It's lovely to walk into a clear kitchen :-)

The weather has been pretty miserable the last few days, from pottering around the garden last week though I will say that the ground needed a good soaking, we just don't want it all summer do we.

I'll try and make some time next week to share that little baby cardigan I'd started last time, it came out so sweet, i'm really pleased with it :-)  Tomorrow I'm having a day out with Joanne at the Baby Show in Birmingham, i'm sure we will come back with lots of lovely goodies :-)

Until next time, take care

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Sometimes two colours are enough

I finished another baby blanket for Joanne a couple of weeks ago but only just got round to taking pictures to show you.  I used the same King Cole Comfort that I used for the chevron blanket I did for her a couple of months back, this yarn is just so soft and snuggly, and If you're looking for a reasonably priced yarn then you can't go wrong with this for babies.  I'm very happy with how this one came out, the colours are white and silver, although the silver is showing more blue on the screen, it is more grey/silver in real life, depending on the light.

I also made a start lasts night on a little cardigan, a free pattern on Ravelry that I found earlier in the week.

Knitted top down so no sewing together, i'm loving that :-)

I'm using Katia extra fine merino for this one, and again this is just so soft and lovely to work with.
My colours are not showing up true today, which is a shame because this is a lovely duck egg blue.  Katia don't have names for their colours, just numbers, this one is colour number 67.

Yesterday was Yarn Shop Day and I found out that Christine Perry aka Winwick Mum was going to be at Christine's (City Knits if you are looking online) in Bournville, Birmingham.  The shop is about 25 minutes drive from me so I thought I'd take a trip over as they had Christine's book on sale.

I didn't go until well after lunch time and I'm happy that they still had some books left

And she was signing them :-)

Now I have no excuse, I have everything I need to start my first pair of socks.
Perhaps this will be the week when I take the plunge :-)

I know there are quite a few people who read my blog who knit socks and I wonder if I could ask you a couple of questions?
Do you prefer to knit on DPN's or a small circular? and is there a difference to your knitting with either method?
Tension squares.....did you knit one for your first ever pair of socks, or did you just jump in and start?

I must admit that I have never knit a tension square but I am feeling that I should, I would hate to put in all that work and they not fit.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Until next time


Sunday, 30 April 2017

Raindrops on Roses - April

I'm joining in with Jo of Through The Key Hole and her post of favourite things for this last day of April.

Perhaps it's a 'getting older' thing but the months do seem to be flying by at an alarming rate. so it's good to reflect on some of the things we have enjoyed over the past month.

The weather has been quite mixed this month, but we have had some lovely sunny days and I've really appreciated the colours in our garden.  One of the things I do like about our house is that the kitchen window looks out over the garden and it does look good early in the morning or late afternoon when the sun is low.

 I'm very happy that one of my miniature roses has a bud :-)
This is one of two I bought last year for 99p.

I've struggled with finding books that really grab me this year, but this one which I picked up in a charity shop recently was very good.

I do love James Blunt, well his music anyway.  I've usually got one of his albums playing in the car and Stevie bought me his new one for Mothers Day.  It's a bit different to his earlier work and it took me a few plays to really get into it but now I love it.  Good job as we are going to see him in November. 

I took the plunge and re-joined SW, and am loving it at the moment.
I managed to find a class that met at 3.45 which fits in better with me, last week was my second weigh-in and I got my 1/2 stone award, Yayyyy!  I was really really happy with that as you can imagine.

I bought a 6 week count down and am aiming to loose a stone in those 6 weeks.  I set my overall target to loose 1 1/2 stone, then I'll see how I feel.  Really I just want to be able to fit comfortably in the clothes that are already in my wardrobe.
So far so good, I am managing to curb my picking habits, (my biggest downfall)

So there you go, some of my favourite things from April, how about you?  What have you enjoyed this past month?

Until next time

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Wonderwool Wales, a yarnny adventure

I've never been to a yarn festival before, I had planned on going to Yarndale this year with Joanne, (daughter #2) but as she will have a new baby less than a month old by then we will have to give it a miss this time.  We decided instead to go to Wonderwool Wales, which is held at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells in the beautiful Welsh countryside.  The drive was a bit further than I had anticipated, about 2 hours, but the day was bright and the scenery wonderful so all in all the time driving was pleasant enough.

I've heard people say how crowded Yarndale is and to be honest it does put me off a little, after all you go to browse what's on offer and if that's difficult it can be very frustrating.  I'm happy to say that Wonderwool was great in that respect, there were lots and lots of people but there was still plenty of room to walk around and look at the different stands without being jostled around.  When we found a stand that had a crowd we just passed it by and went back later and that worked for us.
  There was plenty of food on offer and enough seating too, although as it was such a lovely day quite a few people decided to picnic on the grass.

I'm afraid I got a little carried away with my purchases!  although to be honest I could have bought more, I only took a certain about of money with me and stuck to that budget, no debit card spending!

 The scarf kit caught my eye as soon as we walked in, so I went back for that later in the afternoon, (my motto is always do a reccie first to see what's on offer.  The grey fleck yarn is from Moonlight yarns, (they have an etsy shop although I haven't looked for it yet) and is a sock weight 100% Superwash Merino and is so soft!  I'm thinking a shawl for this one.  The ones in to top photo I just loved the colours.  and the Tek-Tek I bought for a bag project that I have been wanting to do for ages.  As you can see I also bought a selection of hooks, clover are my preferred hook, i've tried others and can't get on with them, and some needles because I haven't got this size.

Of course I want to start EVERYTHING NOW! but I do have a couple of things on the go that I need to finish first, I'm being firm with myself, lol.

Being about all things wooly and yarny there had to be some sheep.

Cute little lambs, look at that face!

Some sheep with dreadlocks, lol

And this one, who was so lovely and friendly, look how she is enjoying that fuss!
She also had a lovely face and a beautiful curly fleece and the cutest babies.

All in all it was a great day out, I'm glad we made the effort to go.

Hope you all had a great weekend too.

Until next time