I have to be in the mood to take on the ornament fully finishing process, no matter how many times I do it I still don't find it easy, so best not leave it until I have more than a couple to do.
If you recall I wrongly thought I was stitching on 32 count for my January ornament, the one on the left, and It was larger than I wanted so for February's ornament I found some polka dot linen in my stash that I knew for certain was 32 count. I am much happier with this one. I shamelessly copied the lovely Carol, of Stitching Dreams and omitted the section he was standing on so that it would fit into the oval shape. If I stitch any more from that booklet I will definitely be doing the same again, they look so much better and the process is easier.
Both are from book No.80 of The Prairie Schooler Old World Santas.
(That red bow looks quite bright in the photo, it's really not the bright, must be the light today)
I can't call myself British if I don't mention the weather and seeing as It was the main topic in the news I have to show you what greeted me when I opened the curtains last Thursday morning, yes we had some more snow. What a pretty sight, unfortunately it didn't last, by mid afternoon it was all gone, I've never seen snow disappear so fast, lol.
Since then we have has a mixed bag of rain, sun and wind. It was dry on Saturday morning though so I went for another jaunt along the canal, this time taking the opposite direction to the one I shared in my last post. This one is the Dudley No 1 canal which is on the opposite side of the road to the Stourbridge canal walk I did last week.
I did a bit of reading after last weeks walk, as you do, and thought I'd share a bit of history of this particular section of the canal
There was an original plan in 1775 for a single canal but that bill was opposed and so the the project was split in two and resubmitted to Parliament and were authorised separately. They were opened in 1779 and following a joint restoration project between Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal Society and the British Waterways Board, were reopened in 1967
My walk started at the end of the Dudley No. 1 Canal and is the boundary to the Stourbridge Canal.
There are eight locks on this section, (there were originally nine) but locally are still called the nine locks.
I was very happy to see this fella sitting on the wall at the start of the locks
At the top of the locks looking back
Still walking along the canal, there is a good view here of part of our huge local shopping centre. Built on what was farmland The Merry Hill Centre has around 200 shops, a retail park, food court and cinema as well as the usual fast food places and 10,000 parking spaces! I avoid going unless absolutely necessary but unfortunately all the bigger stores moved here from surrounding towns so sometimes you have no choice.
The building work started here in 1985 and 1990, despite local protesting over building work being carried out on green space instead of the adjacent former Round Oak Steel Works site. Since then there have been several extensions and alterations. In the beginning we thought it was great, there was even a monorail! (which went bust many years ago and was dismantled), but it has been the downfall of all the surrounding towns as no shops want to go to the small towns anymore, if you want anything you have no choice but to brave it.
At little further along is the Marina or the Waterfront as it's now called. There are some pubs and restaurants along here, there used to be a couple of night clubs too, not sure if they are still there today.
There is a lot of office space. The West Midlands Ambulance headquarters and control room are here, also HMRC (the Tax Office) and Black Country Radio, as to what else is there and what they do in all those offices I have no idea.
This area used to be The Round Oak Steel Works and was founded in 1857 by Lord Ward.
During the Industrial Revolution the majority of iron-making in the world was carried out within 20 miles of The Round Oak and It was the first in the UK to be converted to natural gas supplied for the North Sea. The History of The Round Oak steel works is a story all of it's own, I don't know a lot about it but I remember when it closed in 1982 and the affect it had on the area, so many people lost jobs, it was a sad time.
The steel works made use of the canal that ran though it, I'm sure it looks a lot prettier now than it did back then.
Not such a picturesque walk now we're are past the marina. The land behind the fence is also where the steel works used to be and is undeveloped but has been left like a wasteland.
I only went a little further over that bridge, there wasn't another person in sight and I started to feel a little bit vulnerable, also it had started to drizzle, so I decided to turn back. I remembered to bring some bread for the wildlife this time, not so much on this section but this little fella made me laugh.
He deserved a treat after that :-)
I hope you enjoyed walking with me and weren't too bored with the little potted history. Where we live is full of interesting things if we take the time to investigate, don't you think?