Thursday, 25 July 2019

Is It warm enough for you?

The news said today was supposed to be the hottest day on record, I think they got it right for once,
 It was 24°C when I got in the car to go to work this morning and 38°C when I came home at 1.pm.

I'm in denial of the heat when i'm in the office all morning with the air conditioning on, but as soon as I step out the door it's like stepping of the plane when you go on holiday, the wall of heat just hits you.  I came right back home today, no way was I walking around town in that heat.

I haven't done a lot in the way of crafting this week, apart from being too hot I've had a cough that's kept me awake most nights since the weekend.   I had Bonnie yesterday and Tuesday but came home at tea time both days and lay on the sofa to try and get a bit of rest.  Anyway, I feel a little better today so hopefully the worst is over.

I picked my first few sweet peas from the garden this week :-) 


Not many yet but the beautiful smell from just these few has filled the sitting room, you can smell them when you walk out onto the patio too.  It's the first time I've grown sweet peas so i'm happy they have produced some flowers.

Just a few other things that have been doing well too

Roses
This one was already here when we moved in and has never produced many flowers, until this year


I planted this one last year, it's on it's second lot of blooms this season


Courgettes
I have a courgette I can pick, lol
(No rude comments now please πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜†)


I'm so happy that these have grown, but is it ok to just pick one or two as they become big enough?
These are a first too so I have no idea.

Lettuce leaves, another first.


I have been picking these leaves quite regularly, I sowed some more seeds a couple of weeks ago to keep it going, they have saved me quite a bit of money really, Mark won't eat salad and if I by a bagged salad or salad bowl I usually end up throwing half away.  So this gets a big thumbs up from me :-)

(We put copper tape around the container and have not had any problem from the slimy creatures)

Lilies
Some yellow flowers have joined the pink ones.
These are really tall, i'm glad i had the foresight to put a support around them


Just so you can see how hot it really is, even my hydrangea flowers are wilting in the heat.  I've just been out and given it a good watering, hopefully it will perk up.


A sneaky purchase.  I was bored at work one morning and was browsing yarns, I came across West Green Loft Yarns and treated myself to two more little minis for my blanket.

These are Miss Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Bingley


I'm just loving these pastel shades at the moment, it's strange how I always seem to be drawn to blue shades, even though if you asked me I wouldn't choose blue as a favourite colour.
I can't wait to start on my mitred square blanket once the weather cools down.

I'm going to try and do some stitching on Arthur's stocking for the rest of the afternoon and watch a couple of podcasts.

Stay cool 😎
See you soon
-X-

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Yarningham weekend, did you go?

I finished it!

I was so happy to put the last few stitches in this piece last weekend.  
I thought it was going to be a relatively quick stitch when I started it and I had planned on starting the Autumn one right after, but honestly, I can't do it right now.

I don't like stitching on Aida, I found it made the thread fluffy if I used the length of thread I usually would to stitch, and I don't like the stiffness of the fabric.

Having said that, I do LOVE how it came out!


I had a frame that I was going to use but in the end It was too small so I went to my local stitching shop, (Betty Stitch Kit) and asked Mark if he could make me a frame, no glass.   While Sharon was getting my threads together for my next project, (more about that next time), Mark had made me the frame!  How good was that!  

I wanted something more rustic looking and this frame is perfect.  I've been going to Sharon's shop for supplies and framing for years and apart from being lovely people they also give the best service.

This weekend was Yarningham, and this year Joanne also came with me.

We were both quite restrained, I knew I wanted some more minis and some buttons but we didn't go with anything else in mind.

Of course I had to get my minis from Kelly πŸ˜€ and I finally got to meet her too, she is just as lovely as you would imagine her to be.


This is one of Joanne's purchases but as she can't knit she's passed it on to be to make for Bonnie.


I resisted buying full skeins of yarn, (actually, Joanne said to me, mum, you are not buying any yarn to knit socks until you have finished a pair 🀣🀣🀣).

Well that told me!
Until I saw this one, and you know, one day I will finish a pair of socks, (I will!!)


I love how the yarn has been wound at the bottom of the label so that you can see how it works up.

I fell in love with this little stitch marker bracelet, which I shall probably wear when I'm not knitting too because it's pretty.


And I did get buttons, a lovely colourful bunch :-)


I've got no photos of the actually event to show you because it wasn't until I got back home that I realized I hadn't taken any!  
I'll leave you with some of the pretties in my garden at the moment instead 🌻🌼








Until next time, I hope you all have a lovely week
-X-

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Geeking out on history again

I've been feeling much better in myself these last couple of weeks, I think getting out and about has gone a long way to helping.  
I'm feeling much calmer, less anxious, and more in control.  I've been trying to be present in whatever task i'm doing instead of thinking about what i'm going to do next, that's harder than it sounds when you are used to rushing around, but i'm sure it's helping.
My back, neck and shoulder feel much better too.  I went for my third massage on Friday and she said that she is very happy with the improvement, there is less tension in my shoulder blade although my neck muscles still need some work.  I will go again on Thursday and then we will decide on the frequency from that session.  
Having a massage seemed so extravagant, and had I not been off work I don't think I would have made the effort to go to be honest, but I'm so glad I did, I think It has really helped and once this problem is under control I think it's something I will continue with just to maintain my stress and tension levels.

So, to continue my new mantra of giving myself some 'me time' I took a little jaunt to Kenilworth Castle on Saturday.  The weather didn't look promising but the rain kept off except for about half an hour, although the sky was grey and I had only taken my phone for photos, so I apologise now for the washed out sky shots! 

I will just say now that this post is long, if you are not interested in history or looking at photos you might not want to go any further, and that's ok.  I like history and looking at photos and looking back on past blog posts to remind myself of good times so I make no apologies, just saying ☺
  
Kenilworth is about a 40 minute drive from us, and I really don't know why it's taken me so long to visit considering my interest in History, I think in my mind I thought it was further away than it actually is!

If you have never been to Kenilworth Castle you really should put it on you list of things to see because it has a fascinating history.

  It dates back to the 1120's and was established by Geoffrey de Clinton, in the 13th century it was added to by King John and in the 14th century John of Gaunt made it into a Palace.  It was also favoured by Lancastrian Kings, Henry V built a retreat at the far end of the lake, Pleasance in The Marsh'  
In 1563 Elizabeth I granted Kenilworth to her favourite, Robert Dudley and he turned it into a Palace, probably hoping that eventually he would be able to persuade Elizabeth to marry him, (and we all know that didn't happen!)  

The building on the right, the Great Tower is the oldest of the three buildings, it would have had a keep and a draw bridge
The building in the middle with the ornate windows is from the 13th century and was built by John of Gaunt

The building on the left is the one that Robert Dudley had built for Elizabeth I, her rooms were at the top.  You can now reach the top via a series of stairs and stand in the bedroom that once belonged to Elizabeth.  (If walls could talkπŸ˜‰)


John of Gaunt's building.

This would have been the great hall, obviously there would have been a floor, you can see underneath was a series of store rooms


 But you can still see the window seats and the fireplace.
The large opening on the left would have been a doorway.


 You can see where the grand staircase would have been, (the grassed area), leading up to that doorway.  The space to the right is where the huge kitchen would have been.




 All around the castle now is beautiful countryside, but all this was once covered by water, it was flooded in order to make it impenetrable 


An original window in the Great Tower


17 foot wide walls in the Great Tower


Stable block, the ruin in front of it was once Collegiate Chapel


Leicester's Gate House built in 1571 /1572


Above the entrance you can still see his initials carved into the stone

The fireplace is original and was rescued from another part of the castle to be put here


Again, you can see his initials and the raged staff.


There are a couple of room in Leicesters gate house to see how it would have looked, on the upper floors there is information on Elizabeth and Robert Dudley and also the story of the man who saved Kenilworth Castle, (Thank you Sir Siddeley)

Section of the Gatehouse garden

The Privy garden was created by Robert Dudley for Elizabeth and been re-created as closely as 
possible to what would have been here through letters found giving a detailed description.

It was accessed via a corridor and steps leading down to an archway.








The small building at the far end is an aviary, and yes there are canaries in there 🐀



(Terrible photo with a washed out sky!!)
 
The smell from the roses was wonderful as you walked into the garden.

If Elizabeth was impressed by all the effort and expense the Earl of Leicester had gone to, (her 19 day visit in 1575 bankrupted him)  the woman was still not for marrying.

If you want to find out more the English Heritage site for Kenilworth Castle is HERE
The A Bit About Britain site is HERE
Both websites can tell the story so much better than I can, I do it just for my own record

See you soon
-X-