Skyscrapers and String

Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Randomness category.

Chunky Cross Stitch Stage 2

Momentous completion of centre section of my bluetit cross stitch! Yaay!

So this morning I got to turn the screws on my embroidery frame and reveal the top section.

It looks pretty straight forward so I’m hoping to zoom along.

But not right now, my puttering has to stop! I have a design to type up and a poetry magazine to edit.

All the problems at home of recent months are starting to recede and I’m feeling cautiously optimistic that everything will turn out alright.

Plus, I’m chuffed with my new swimming costume and matching towel.

Yesterday I took these to the pool to try out and it felt great to be smart.

My poor old cossie had died, my old towel was frayed, they had been well used and loved.

Today I shall stay home and get to grips with my duties and tomorrow I will swim again.

How long this state of equilibrium lasts I don’t know. But it’s one day at a time, isn’t it!

Mini greenhouse

I do admire people who are great at gardening.

My Grandad grew everything in this garden, leeks, potatoes, runner beans, raspberries, rhubarb, you name it.

I tried. Raised beds, seeds, mini plants that come in the post you plant outside, potatoes in growing bags, they were a success. Just too much faffing!

Flowers, I am good with things that don’t need anything done for them, I just about manage to deadhead once a week and I am very reluctant to weed.

Indoors, everything has it’s place and runs like clockwork.

Outside I barely manage to water my windowboxes.

So acknowledging the fact that we’re reluctant gardeners, every patch of soil is paved over and we have planted loads of trees and made a pond. You can sit on a bench by the pond and stare at the mini beasts in and on the water. It’s extremely soothing.

Last year I bought a mini greenhouse thinking I’m likely to enjoy growing salad and herbs.

I like the mini greenhouse and it’s full of basil plants. I have lost the salad seeds so I’m yet to try those.

Someone in my house really loves the mini greenhouse. I’m glad Philippa is getting the benefit of a heated throne.

Morning Smoothie

Weird food.

Ever since school dinners I have had the strongest aversion to certain weird foods. Apple Snow. Neon coloured puddings of all kinds. Mashed up anonymous vegetables.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to consult a naturopath and most of her suggestions and powdered remedies for the detoxification of my liver (?) revolved around things I would put in my morning smoothie.

I didn’t have the heart to tell her I eat toast or bacon sandwiches first thing. Occasionally a croissant. Usually accompanied by multiple cups of dark strong coffee.

I used to smoke, so for many years cigarettes and coffee was the best I could do till lunch. (I still miss the fags, it’s like the lover you never really got over).

Smoothies are weird food.

Recently I tidied my kitchen cupboard and found my stick blender. As a consequence I started making thick soups, and thoroughly enjoyed eating lots of vegetables at lunch, so it became a regular thing.

The other thing about serving soup is that it feels like you’re being clever and thrifty, you can use up wobbly veg and salad and random odd potatoes and the last chicken quarter thus tidying your fridge.

I thought hard about how I could get more vegetation into my day and decided to eat an apple on the bus home after my swim in the afternoon. Then I added an easy peel satsuma and I felt like I was onto something.

At swimming, I have a friend who I chat to if we see each other and a couple of weeks ago she had a vast smoothie in a huge container that she was chugging from between laps. It was a rather royal purple and viscous and had loads of pips. She said it’s a good way of getting more veg, she always put kale or spinach or broccoli in first.

My blender cried out for more uses…so I thought I would give green smoothies a go.

I stocked up on frozen smoothie ingredients and started off. The first ones were a bit pants and relied heavily on mint.

The appearance of a green smoothie is not for the faint hearted. It looks like melting permafrost, or a blended defrosting mammoth.

It’s also impossible to consume rapidly and it takes me right up to lunch to finish one.

With all the frozen ingredients I use apple or orange juice as a blending base, coconut water is satanic.

Some people I have mentioned it to have poo poohed the intake of blended stuffs, saying that there’s a lot of sugar. I’m not very qualified to talk about nutritional matters but I know a smoothie is better than cigarettes/buttered toast, snacks and several buckets of milky coffee.

And, my stomach seems to like it. I’m a lot less bloated and gassy, my digestive tract seems to be functioning well on it.

I’m definitely getting my five a day most days of the week and when choosing what to eat I seem to be picking more vegetables than before.

So, raise your glass!

Today’s smoothie is spinach, apple, cherry and fresh strawberries. Disturbing colour, but tastes okay!


Hello everyone

I hope you’ve had a splendid week and are looking forward to the weekend.

I’m in the middle of a socknado!

Deciding to knit socks for some of my friends for birthday or Christmas was something I thought would be both fun and thrifty. My yarn stash has heaps of sock yarn and I’m a veteran sock knitter of many years standing.

So, decision made, I open the heaving wool cupboard and rummage through for some wool to start work with.

I found half a dozen skeins and started looking on Pinterest and on some of the blogs I follow.

I swiftly ran into trouble because all the socks everyone else was making had nifty colour combos, contrasting cuffs, toes and heels, stripes the whole nine yards!

I looked at my collection of skeins and I couldn’t bear to make boring socks.

I wanted to make cool socks. Socks that rock.

So I went online to Deramores and splurged on some 4 ply in neutral tones, I bought grey, beige, cream, and erm bright green and lavender. Well they’re kind of neutral! Aren’t they?

While I waited for my 4 ply to arrive in the post I found some aran weight yarn in my stash in buttery lemon and grey and cast on. Great start and totally from stash! Halo!

The pattern I picked is called Blueberry Waffle Socks by Sandy Turner, and they flew off the needles and straight onto a hydrangea bush.

Willow grove

In my local park there’s a grove of willow trees and they look like they’ve been there forever.

When we have heavy rain, the ground between the circle of trees fills up with water and makes a magical lake.

Today I went and spent some time with the willows and the lake and when I returned to the path a hawk was sitting there watching me.

She flew up to the willows and sat, glorious against the blue sky and the scudding clouds.

It’s been a while

For some reason I thought I had better things to do than blog.

But although my world has changed, I have missed coming here and visiting my thoughts and my doings with you.

There’s been plenty happening.

Hello world!

Patchwork Shawl – Pattern Thoughts

Hello everyone!

I hope your week is going well. I have stress excema, and cold sores. Lol!

As it was Knitting Club, I wore my patchwork shawl today and it was amazing how it stayed firmly put on my shoulders, unlike ordinary triangle or semi circle shawls, which slip, slide and twist.

The whole purpose of the design was to sit and stay whilst wearing. I have a busy commute and in bad weather, which is when you wear a shawl, I have had to pin, knot and grab hold of shawl ends. This shawl stays!

I dislike scarves in cold weather as they are too long and skinny. Even if you make them wide, they bunch up and become skinny and gappy.

The other deliberate design feature is the contrast between the patches of the centre part, and the stripes which peek out at the sides whilst it’s being worn.

Now I intend to explore this design further. Oh it is exciting thinking about it!

My thoughts are, how about a stone, taupe, white and lemon yellow bamboo version. A bright Noro sock version, just in one colour way. A red white and blue version edged in triangle lace. One in something neutral with minimal colour play. One just in a single shade of angora perhaps! A lot of inspiration is working its fizzy magic through my mind!

Work is odd, being reshuffled, no one knowing who you are or what you do.

My a SharePoint is coming on splendidly. And Knitting Club was fab as always! Enjoy the rest of the week!


Flower Purse Ta Daah!

Here! It’s finished!


Pink Cardigan Nearly Finished!

Hello everyone!

What a lovely but busy day! Have you had a super weekend so far?

I have been up since quite early today, Jon was out since 7am so I had a lie in, then got up and enjoyed the quiet. I need to finish my pink cardigan and had two pockets still to knit, so I set about getting them done. I am nearly finished on the second.

The cardi is in good shape, the buttons are on, the pockets make the last bit.

I’ve put some pictures below so you can see my progress.




Amber and I went out for a walk today as we needed milk, and I promised Amber some new Jammies. She posted our Christmas cards to our neighbours, then we headed out, me in my blue cashmere jumper, purple hat and patchwork hexagon scarf. I felt very smart.

We struck gold on Amber’s new pajamas, she is sporting her new Bambi top and leggings tonight, and has a complete weeks worth I think!

I was very pleased with my new coffee machine pods, however no matter how vast the supermarket, it appears lemon jelly is no longer being stocked anywhere :(.

A new larger tapestry frame was needed for my Woozle cross stitch kit, so I ordered that may, or may not come quickly! Our postman is so grumpy, I am sure it is due to my love of mail order and knitting magazine subscriptions!!

This afternoon, I have been tidying and knitting, it has been very domesticated. Tonight’s dinner was shepherds pie. Yummy if I say so myself!


The Life Of Pi

Hello all,

One of Jon’s friends wrote a hilarious Facebook post (which turned into a brilliant comedy conversation regarding how one should address as Tiger in a boat as “Sir”etc,) about the film of The Life of Pi.

During the course of my confinement to quarters due to pleurisy (which is not funny) I thought in a very bored moment that I should watch said film, although I had zero interest in the subject and would certainly not bother with the book. But when you’re ill, and enjoying repeats of “Lovejoy” you realise you are very bored indeed and such films do arouse curious interest, viz, what happens other than the obvious when a Tiger and a boy are in a boat with nothing to eat. And it is a free download.

So I sat in my chair, and pressed the buttons to download the film and started watching it. I had my knitting in hand and was only watching with half an eye, when I realised after about an hour there were no Tigers or boats and the boy in the film I was watching played Kurt in Glee, and I was patently not watching a film set in India.

Ok, so when I stopped the film I could see I’d made a mistake – it was “Struck by Lightning!”. Durr! Thank god I hadn’t pressed the wrong button on something at work! So I paid attention and downloaded the correct film, and sure enough there were scenes of India and a zoo, a boy and a Tiger.

Then I got to the bit with the boy and the boat, after everyone had died horribly, but there was no Tiger, just the boy, a zebra, an orang utan and a hyena then the animals started dying and eating each other and the boy was so fricken useless I just got annoyed and switched it off.

You can’t beat Lovejoy.

Anyhow, I thought I’d show you the huge ladder from the bit of knitting I did yesterday which I’ve just had to fix:

Although I was keen to knit this cardi I am a bit bored already. Oh dear! Lol!