Skyscrapers and String


Blue Skies and Fluffy White Clouds

Mindfulness, and being in the moment, is very much in vogue.

Living in my imagination, as far safer for me than anywhere else in the real world, I have spent my whole life wandering about and noticing things, which always made me feel set apart from other people.

Jon made me a card once which was just a picture of clouds overhead. He said he made it because I always talk about the sky. The other night as we walked home together the moon was this profoundly spectacular yellow ball. It was huge and expectant, and it looked like the entire universe was about to be born again from it.

The daisies in the park looked like constellations of stars.

The sky tonight was huge and high, azure with streaks of pink puff clouds. I felt very small yet very glad to be a small part of such magnificence.

But today was not about my eyes, it was a day of wonderful smells.

* The smell of Jon’s kiss, fresh from the bath. The powerful smell of a proper man is not diluted by bubbles and toothpaste.

* The scent of the fresh bread cooking, as the dough seared on the red hot cast iron casserole. The aroma of cooking bread permeated the whole house.

* Jasmine growing around my front door. Huge clusters of pink buds and billions of white blooms. Smells like teen spirit. Like infinity.

* The purple red lilac that grows in the garden on the corner of the street. My childhood. Memories of my grandmother’s house.

* Grass in the park. Dark green, crisp and verdant. Just freshly cut. The smell of summer’s promise.

* The smell of the pool. The fiery dryness of chlorine in the nostrils, despite a wonderful shower with vanilla shampoo I still emanate the smell of the baths.

* The smell of coming home. More jasmine. Dinner cooking. A fresh cup of tea. Bliss!


Daily Bread

Hello everyone!

I have hidden the remaining Easter eggs.

Surely the sight of chocolate will please me once again?

No work for me today, all I have to do is lounge about, crochet, drink tea and read. And perhaps a nap.

Must dot out to the Library later too as the latest Bryant and May detective book is out “The Bleeding Heart”. I think this is the 14th book in the series.

The gripping element (underneath the mystery solving part) with these books is that each volume goes into historical details of some element of London life. Previous books have detailed the hidden rivers of London, the history of witchcraft, punch and judy, and old London pubs.

Yesterday, Jon and I went out to buy red kitchen tiles. After a long walk, and heavy carrying, Jon set to work, and here you can see his work:

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After tiling, I put some bread on to rise overnight, the link to the recipe is on my links bar at the left.

It is an American recipe and calls for cups of flour.

Last night I used my regular coffee mug as my measure, and I used two cups of strong bread flour, with one cup of seeded brown flour.

The taste was superb!

This morning I popped the bread in the oven, here it is in its baked glory:

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Here it is once Amber and I had it fir breakfast:

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Lucy from the Attic 24 blog shared this bread recipe, and she republished this in UK measures.

I made a loaf using these weights and it came out way too small for my liking. The first time I made the recipe I used my trusty mug, and I preferred the bigger loaf, it makes a few servings, rather than one.

Now I am crocheting a hat. I am embarrassed to take a picture as it looks like a vast doily at the moment.

My wish list for this year is to master crochet by producing a hat, a lace shawl that is not a granny lace, and some kind of garment, such as a bolero or cardigan.

Watch this space!

Have a lovely day!


Patchwork Crochet At Last!

Hello everyone! Happy Easter!

I hope you’re having a jolly weekend!

This morning I got up, my first day free of Minion Hats, and picked up my crochet.

These skeins of Spindrift came from Loop, my favourite shop in the whole world. The day I bought them was fab, I was at a class taught by Madeline Tosh, and in my break I picked out these 10 skeins.

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I am making filled granny squares, and after making a dozen, I think I have the pattern mastered now. I am joining them as I go along, it is fun working out what goes where!

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Just Starting Off!

At last. I have wool, ideas, and a 3.5 mm hook.

No more Minions!

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Frantic Tidying To Attain Peace

Hello everyone!

We have eaten three eggs and a packet of cadbury easter egg cakes. Hope you are also surrounded by crumpled foil, torn boxes and have small brown splodges on your tshirt too!

Despite shopping delivery coming Thursday, and me trotting over to Asda for bread and pasta which I’d forgotten yesterday, I then had to go out again when I got in back to the corner shop for Jon’s spices as he was cooking dinner and had used everything up last time (forgetting to let me know). Hmm! Are you seeing a pattern energing here too?

Why is it we are so busy here we are always all in a muddle?

Everything you read advises that muddle is best resolved by decluttering. I think muddle is best resolved by being rich enough to not have to work.

This morning I got up at 7am, and the only reason I am sitting typing to you is because my vast list of weekend chores includes stopping for 5 minutes to paint my nails.

It is good to pair up a dull job with a treat, so my treat for doing the boring mani -pedi is to sit and write to you.

Today so far I have tidied, filed and cleaned and dusted for 4 hours flat. And I’ve only done half what needs doing.

It is not like I let my house go to rack and ruin all week either.

Admittedly just finishing off my last Minion hat this morning has allowed me to focus on my surroundings a bit more. I have had my head down in the yellow Minion wool quite a bit lately!

It is nice to finally stop sewing on eyeballs it must be said!

Ahhh! Breathe! I can now relax a bit!

This morning, I found myself unable to tolerate the ghastly tissue box that had awful slogans typed on it and pictures of women wearing rollers.

So I found my bag of leftover crochet squares from this bag project:

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So I sewed them up with some spare grey yarn:

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And, Hey Presto! The ugly box became obscured from sight! Yaay!

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Once my house is straightened I am sure I will find peace ! Lol!


I Created An Army of Minions!

Hello all!

I hope you’re well and enjoying the Bank Holiday long weekend.

Jon and I already had a fight where I was trying to steal the chocolates out of his Egg and It Was Very Silly, but fun!

You’ve been wondering where I’ve been as I have been invisible blogwise, but let me assure you in Real Life I have been very present, and focussed.

Knitting Club have been organising an Easter Sale for several months and we had a massive table of wonderful knitted goodies.

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I made the four Minion hats, we set up our stall in the staff restaurant, and three hats sold straight off, with orders for another 6 on my shift.

Mary took over from me, we had about six club members on each hour long shift, and I think by the end of the day we had 19 Minion hats sold.

So here I am, finishing the last 4 orders, everyone knitted a hat order in the Club, so it wasn’t just me, and it has been a mammoth knit.

We have met every lunchbreak to knit minion hats.

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Here I am wearing the one I just finished. Soon I’ll get my life back, we’ve raised about £400 for Macmillan Cancer, which will be doubled by our employers.

I’ll be back soon once I sew up the other three. I dream of freedom!

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Covent Garden! Two cakes!

Hello everybody! This post was written Mothers Day weekend, but I forgot to press “post” silly me!

I can’t believe how quiet the house is today, the clock is ticking and I can hear the bed creak when Jon moves about in his sleep. The UK has moved to British Summer time, so to my shock, when I look at my iPad it says twenty to eight, however I got up at six thirty, where did the hour go? Oh yes, BST, I remember now.

I am looking forward to two quiet days at home, I have tomorrow off from work, and I’ve enjoyed the long weekend so far!

Yesterday was manic. Luckily I started the day fresh and without a hangover, my Friday night drink date was cancelled, it could have been a very painful day yesterday otherwise!

My plan was to visits the seaside with my dear friend Lesley. I got up and raced about, however the journey to Upminster took a mere 30 minutes, and when I got there there were hordes of teenagers wearing fancy dress and carrying camping equipment. Why??

When Lesley arrived we went to the station to see about tickets to find the trains weren’t running properly and they had a replacement bus service between Benfleet and somewhere else.

In the UK, public transport regularly is rubbish at weekends due to engineering works etc and they get out of criticism of it by running “replacement buses”. The only problem is, you have no idea where to stand to catch the bus, and no idea how often they are running, so it’s best to just make other plans, or you would just end up getting stuck at Benfleet overnight or something….

Anyhow, we decided to go to Covent Garden. We had Patisserie Valerie. Mmmm!

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At lunchtime, after strolling about in the sun admiring things Lesley took me to “The Souk” which is a moroccan restaurant hidden in Neals Yard.

We had lovely dips and bits, proper mezze. It was super, but the best bit was the Sharbert. This was rose, mint and lemon snow in a glass. Divine!

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Afterwards, Lesley went home but I headed north to Angel to meet my dear friend Karen, who had made the journey down from Cheshire.

I headed to Loop and treated myself to a new Addi Rocket sock needle and some yarn.

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Karen and I met up and went to the famous Ottolenghi restaurant for dinner, it is both expensive and odd. The actual menu bore no resemblance to the impression I had of umpteen yummy salads, vegan and wholefoody.

My starter was a dish of raw beef. I mean raw. You couldnt have vegetables or sides with the main course, these were all cold mainly, they had to be starters. They were about £8 each. The main course I chose was pork, it was smaller than the palm of my hand.

Although I’d been to the cake shop already I had a dessert as I felt like I had eaten nothing. The wine was expensive too so I didn’t dare order another bottle.

We sat on a communal table alongside a german family whose children had no manners and they drew throughout dinner, after a bit the mother and daughter just left silently, perhaps they went to the chip shop. The father and son sat in silence.

Karen and I had a fabulous catch up, it was lovely to see her! I was a bit tired afterwards and was glad to be home by 9pm or thereabouts.


Endless Knitting WIP Boredom! Help!

Hello everyone!

I hope you have made it to Friday in one piece. It feels to me like this has been a long week.

On Monday we met our new Big Boss for the first time. I liked him. He wore a yellow tie, he was saying he wants everyone to be happy at work, and he appeared jolly, and he said it was important to have fun. All good.

On this Monday coming apparently I find out about the outcome of the restructure, but I’m not sure I’ll know anything definite about my new role. It is all such a drawn out mix up you could say it borders on farce.

Today was nice, I had a lie in, the bin men took all the rubbish without an argument and the weather was glorious. As I did yesterday, I ploughed through loads of chores, and the house is starting to sparkle. Jon has worked hard too and when I wiped the cat sneeze marks off the window I finally felt like I was getting somewhere!

This week I finished my last item for the Macmillan Cancer charity sale next week. At some point I have a bunch of eyeballs to knit for the Minion hats as well as sewing the mitts.

Part of my tidying today involved moving my knitting corner around. I had brought a lot of wool downstairs for the charity knitting, so that went back up, and I got my wool stash out and finally assembled all the yarn for my purl bee cowl. Here:

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The ochre colour is some Organic Merino by Nimu in shade “Harvest”, the cream is some Rowan Summer Tweed, and the yellow is “Neon” Cascade 220.

It has been a hard slog knitting things for other people this year, an owl for my friend’s Nipper, a baby gift (hibernating) too warm to give, an alternative baby gift, four Minion hats and two sets of mitts for charity.

The sideways shrug needs 42 rows more before I can decrease and then start the sleeves, so I am trying to stick with it to the end. I also have a pink shawl half done. And I have my Millifiore crochet project which hasn’t even been started.

Where I am sitting I also have some gorgeous yarn for a yellow and grey shawl, some more Nimu silk and merino for a cardi, some bright green Nimu, and the list goes on. Basically I can see yarn for about 30 premium projects, any of which I can’t wait to start! That is not counting anything else. I have lots of nice wool calling me!

I am very bored with the sideways shrug. But I will plough on. Tomorrow and Sunday I will start some mitts which are a gift for a friend. If I am good, and get all my house chores done I will start the Purlbee cowl on Monday, which is also my day off.

How do you cope with boring WIP’s? Chores and WIPs I am feeling very rebellious indeed!

Having said that I am the happiest I have ever been in myself, which must be a good thing!

If I finish the shrug I will treat myself to a new book. Deal!

It’s the weekend! Yaay! Let’s knit!

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Beyond Impressed! Tile Heaven!

Hello everyone!

It’s Thursday, I’ve got dishwash hands after washing up and tidying and chores all morning long; and I’m sitting down for a rest for the first time today, so I thought I’d say Hi!

By all rights I should be whinging about a bit of a hangover, but I’m chipper, after last nights dinner out with my Boss and the Team and the wine and the Capirinhas. We were at Rockit at Canary Wharf, the pretext was someone’s leaving do. It was fun.

On the way home I did a Facebook Word Cloud, it lists all the words you use most on Facebook Status updates. Mine was lovely, I was particularly pleased that the word “drunken” appeared in very small letters lol.

My most used words are Lol, Jon, Amber, pretty, knit, actually, doing, Train, Work, Home, xxx, mins, total and wonderful. I thought it gave off a positive and happy vibe!

Anyhow, enough of the rambling about! I wanted to share a fabulous company I have found online called Flekman Art Tiles.

This company specialises in wonderful art tiles. They have a range of tiles you can buy that feature famous art, or scenes from nature, I found them on eBay when looking for kitchen tiles to make a splash back feature for behind my cooker. Whilst reading the item details on eBay, I saw they make custom tiles from your own images.

I contacted Gena, and she helped me sort everything out, it was a breeze. The firm are based in New York, and I felt very glamorous having some custom tiles made just for me!

For $181, which includes postage, my best loved picture of Woozle became 16 six inch tiles. The quality is remarkable, and it took a couple of weeks. 5 days to make the tiles and post them, and another 5 days for them to arrive in the UK from the US.

Here, see the dull white kitchen wall space behind the cooker:

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Here, see the cat tiles laid out on the kitchen table as made by Gena’s team, absolutely jaw droppingly fabulous! Well done Flekman Art Tiles!

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Spice Up Your Day At The Office!

1. Have your wool delivered to your desk

2. Try not to shriek when package comes

3. Rip open bag and take iphone snap

4. Text your best friend/hubby/nipper with pic

5. Post your yarn porn pic on your work Knitting Club messenger group

6. Debate which yellow is best

7. Post related Purl Bee Cowl pattern

8. Debate alternate colours for cowl with Knitting Club Friends

9. Grin all day long knowing you have New Wul

10. Hug wul on train home, imagining getting in and opening the package up again!

11. Get home and Roll on your New Wul!

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