Skyscrapers and String


From A Knot To A Thing

Hello all!

It’s been a while since I had any quiet time to write to you, which, is a jolly thing for me, as I am not a solitary creature, and I have a tendency to mope about and get nothing done when left to myself.

It is all guns blazing on the knitting front, both secret blankets were delivered to the new parents in Knitting Club, and I am so relieved I didn’t lose them on the train, or ruin them when blocking lol! It is quite a responsibility to be trusted with the combined output of a dozen keen knitters. Lovely wool – Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran, and jewel bright colours.

IMG_2437.JPG

Also, I showed you the tangled shoebox of yarn in my last post. I have made a pencil case, a shoulder bag and a back pack so far and the shoe box is still quite full!

IMG_2835.JPG

As you can see above the lid of the shoebox is getting lots of love as well!

IMG_2846.JPG

Here you can see the bag pieces, I am still at work on them, but the colours are lovely and it will be nice to have a matching shoulder bag and backpack.

IMG_2819.JPG

IMG_2845.JPG

I am loving the colours, they remind me of Tiffany stained glass windows. I have so much left I will get something else out of the remnants in the box.

It is also time for Knitting Club to start poppying for charity, and I have made about 25 poppies so far. Lunchtimes and bus journeys can result in quite a few poppies with very little effort, today I am going to the hairdresser and. I am spoilt for choice as to which projects to take.

IMG_2836.JPG

Life is really good right now, I am enjoying everything. It is nice to not be caught up in any dramas at home or at work and have a peaceful patch in my life. I love my commute, my park walks, this week I saw crows herding seagulls, dogs racing after sticks at top speed, lots of clouds and sky, and I adore the smell of grass and being out of doors. Work is fun, varied, the week speeds past so I am at the weekend again. And how lovely is the weather right now!

On my Birthday recently, Amber and I sat in the park during the day as warm as in summer, and it is still too hot to need covers over me in bed. Unheard of for October.

I am neglecting my reading books, however as Jane explains for Mr. Bingley in “Pride and Prejudice”, “I wish I read more but there always seems to be so many other things to do”. I am really happy, I hope you are too!

Advertisements

Seven Years Of Waiting

Why is it that all my favourite kinds of art portray yearning?

My go to cd is Jeff Buckley’s Grace. I can’t even describe to you the effect this music has on me, it is quite profound. If you haven’t heard it, buy it, take the music player into your bedroom and lie down and listen. Ethereal, sublime, transcendent. There are no words adequate to describe the wistful passion of lost love.

My favourite books are all filled with sorrowful longing for another person in various guises, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and of course, Persuasion. In Persuasion, the hero and heroine are kept apart for eight years!

Yesterday I watched “Notting Hill”; I have had a summer cold and was in the house by myself. It kept me company so I could knit. Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts star as divided lovers, she is thoroughly rotten to Hugh’s character, and he cannot help himself but long for her return. It is super, great cast, and both funny and poignant.

Back to the point of this post.

I am a greengage lover. So I know all about yearning!

You can buy them in the shops at this time of year for a few weeks, and when they’re gone, that’s your lot. They don’t grow them overseas and ship them in all year round like blueberries or mange tout peas.

Greengages are a rare type of plum, but they are more fragrant than plums, and in my opinion, quite divine. I read somewhere that they originated in France.

Seven years ago, after we bought this house, Jon and I walked over to our local garden centre and purchased a greengage sapling, thinking I would shortly be overcome by a glut of greengages and I would have to resort to pies, jams, chutneys and the like. My mouth watered at the prospect!

We had to walk the tree home, which is no mean feat as you’d be amazed at how much street furniture overhead needs to be negotiated whilst carrying an eight foot tall tree in a pot. We planted it, and I thought, right, that’s that! Now I’ll have greengages coming out of my ears for ever!

Hmmm. Yes, this post is about wanting, but not getting.

To the point, greengages only grow fruit under certain conditions:

1. If a neighbouring plum tree is in blossom at the same time (they don’t compare diaries so the same two trees might not blossom together and you watch your blossom drop off as next door’s tree just puts forth flowers – gah!).

2. If it is wet all spring to make the fruit flesh out. Dry weather=no plums.

3. If the tree is in a good mood.

In previous years, I have usually had one or two fruit, the most in one go once was about 9 greengages in total. Some years, nada, nothing, zippo, zilch.

This year I had loads of fruit. The fruit, if I get any, is usually ready the weekend after Amber’s birthday. The tree was literally dripping with fruit. All the conditions were favourable, and my hopes of a glut were very high!

The weekend after Amber’s birthday came, and I went into the garden and picked a beautiful golden green soft plum. Ooops! It was bitter! I tried a couple more, no, not ready.

The weather continued nice, I tried a few days after, but no still bitter.

Yesterday I tried again, the fruit were quite sweet, but a majority of the fruit had turned overripe and dropped from the branches. There would be none left if I waited any longer.

This evening, I harvested the twenty or so yellow plums and made a crumble. I waited for it to cook!

Here, my first crumble, it needed sugar in the fruit as they were not perfectly sweet. It will last me a couple of days, then will be gone for another year!

20140728-210631-75991245.jpg


Secret Santa!

Shhh! I am making some mittens for a dear friend at Knitting Club! The pattern is called “Honeycomb Mitts” from Simply Knitting in April 2011. It is in my special folder of best patterns.

Here you can see them in progress.

20131210-183833.jpg

I am hoping the cheery red yarn will find favour with my friend. I want to keep them, so nothing new there!

These must be made quickly for next week so they are plain, however I have been thinking how to add some beads for my pair. Hmmm.

Today during a lunchbreak I finished the last couple of Christmas cards for my neighbours. Phew!

Jon posted the gifts for my Aunties, and the cd for my friend in Bristol. I hope her girls have glitter hairspray for dancing in. I have some upstairs.

Here you can see my cat, who was annoyed at my working today.

20131210-184303.jpg

For dinner we are having Smoked Haddock Macaroni Cheese, I am quite pleased with my lack of energy to have managed to make something nice, I would have been happy with a yogurt. The smell however, is quite wonderful!

I am watching the tv series of Emma, by Jane Austen. It’s the version with Jonny Lee Miller. I love how they all wear beautiful gowns and eat lovely dinners by candlelight. When I am better I am going to make so much more of an effort with everything. The episode is the one with the ball. Perfect!

Have a lovely evening everyone!


Staying In

One of the worst bits of having to rest is having to rest.

The reason I got pleurisy is because I didn’t get over my birthday cold, caught another cold and didn’t rest. Now everything hurts and it’s my own silly fault.

This weekend I was supposed to go out with my dear friend Alex, tomorrow we were also going to a restaurant I have longed to try since January, and now will miss that too. I am also supposed to have dinner this weekend coming, fingers crossed!

Never mind! Soon I’ll be better! I wrote my Xmas cards just before dinner tonight, and made a compilation cd for my friend who lives miles away. The new version of iTunes is a giant pest, it took ages to figure out what to do as it looked different.

The cat hid under the Christmas tree this morning, it was ages before we found it. The tree is decorated, just not low down where the cat can bat the branches.

20131209-215021.jpg

Whilst I was working on my laptop today, the cat sulked on the back of my chair, what a pair of happy ladies eh?

20131209-215208.jpg

It seems an announcement about the restructure in work is due this Thursday, am looking forward to hearing the plans, we’ve waited since June!

This evening we watched a film called Hanna, it had Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett; it was about a genetically engineered girl whose Mum was trying to kill her, jolly eh! The chap who played Mr Collins in Pride and Prejudice played a murderer, he always scowls and does bad things in films lol!

At least Noro is fun, you can rely on the talented creators of wooly perfection to lift a girl’s spirits!

Here, see how pretty the colours are going!

20131209-215644.jpg


Friday Lie In!

Hello everyone!

It’s nearly 8 am and I am still lounging in bed. What luxury is a lie in!

Having Fridays off for a year now, and only working 4 days, has been the greatest improvement in my life to date. Running a house and managing a family is busy work, and the more equal balancing of work and private time is a godsend.

This morning I have just finished reading Pride and Prejudice. What a super book! Now I have the choice between finishing Game of Thrones volume 2, “A Clash of Kings” or the other JK Rowling book, ” A Casual Vacancy”. Decisions, decisions!

This is the third book I have read since August, and I don’t think I have read with any enjoyment or consistency for some years until now, and it struck me this week how odd it was that I had been unable to find any comfort or refuge in a novel for the longest time.

A thought occurred to me that perhaps my enjoyment of reading has been increased with the degree of general happiness I have felt. So often books are lighthearted, and describe happy endings, following difficulties and reversals of fortune. Whilst I felt like my fortunes were reversed, I couldn’t bear to read of fictional situations along similar lines. Or happy endings.

So much of my writing here has been gloomy, I look back and think how I really have had a horrid few years. Thank God I have been able to come out the other side. What lovely friends I have had to have kept me going, and to keep believing in me. All the kindness I have enjoyed, the support and encouragement, it is a wonderful thing to know that as I was lost, bewildered and faltering, there was always someone to hand to bless me with a smile, or a kind word. The generosity of strangers, the new friends I have made, the old friends who have stood firm.

Now I can enjoy my passion for books, as I can now enjoy everything properly again!

My book is finished, so I am going to get breakfast and a scented bath, with a face mask. Then a few chores and some knitting. With any luck I’ll get to the pool for a long swim.

I hope you all have a lovely day!

20130913-082635.jpg


Dilemma: Book or Knitting?

Hello all!

Putting the kitchen to rights on Sunday, whilst Jon and Amber went out together for a jaunt, and also unpacking the shopping and catching up on the laundry was a tall order, but I took plenty of rest stops after 15 minutes of working, this way I got it done then was able to go out to the gym for a long swim.

Once home, I put dinner on, then basically I could relax. But in previous times, I would have gone overboard, tired myself out, missed my swim, and then been angry and irritated with my family as I would have been resentful that I had to do all this work by myself.

Thanks to Flylady, if you sign up to her website, you learn how to declutter and clean in baby steps, then when you remodel your house, and you have workmen in, there is no embarrassing mess, and thanks to constantly being aware of the state of your cupboards and removing unwanted items, when they’re finished working for you, you can put it all back in a reasonable fashion.

One comedy item I discovered, despite two years of “Flying” was a bulging bag full of “good” carrier bags. This made me laugh to think why I’d kept them!

Another thing Flylady has taught me, is to learn to love myself. It has taken a long time, and it is certainly one of the hardest lessons. I am gradually learning discipline, and doing things to please myself, and I am less anxious, and more content all round.

Today at work, I got really annoyed and frustrated about something quite trivial, and I mulled over it on the journey home, then when I got in and started dinner, I laughed because I realised I couldn’t remember the last time I felt annoyance! Which, for someone like me, with low frustration tolerance and anger issues, shows you quite how far I have progressed.

When I tried my marbles experiment, one of the things on my “must do more of” list was reading. I am proud to say I have read a whole novel each month for the last few months! At the moment, I am reading “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen, again. I am enjoying my reading so much I am facing a real dilemma about deciding between book and knitting. So I am doing both, usually knitting on the train heading to work whilst I have a seat, then reading whilst standing on the end part of my commute. This is a very enjoyable balance!

After putting dinner on I planted some mint outdoors in my window box. Very satisfying!

We still have the tumble dryer in the living room, it makes a frightful racket but I don’t mind, because I know Jon will prioritise sorting out the cupboard where it belongs more quickly than otherwise!

It is Knitting Club tomorrow, we’ll be planning our Jaunt to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Ally Pally in October! I still haven’t used all the wool I bought last time lol! Is there any hope for me?

I hope you’ve had a jolly week, my world is very contented, and as Flylady says, I’m heading for bed at a decent hour. My sink is shiny too. Woozle doesn’t mind the dryer, she likes to view the world from on high! And it’s warm!

20130910-213015.jpg


Home From Pemberley!

Home at last.

20130718-220833.jpg


Pemberley, Sunshine and Swimming!

Hello all!

I’ve had quite a bit of tequila so forgive me if this post is a bit sillier even than normally!

The journey to Cheshire was nice, we had a leisurely train journey, all us girls chatting idly about one thing and another, you can’t beat an iphone because noone had seen Madonna in her scouting for boys outfit, and when it came up in conversation, we could watch it on YouTube and giggle. Also one if the girls wasnt sure who Rufus Sewell is, so could also Google him and again I could swoon at his heart stopping gorgeousness.

The amount of confusion we all lived in before the Internet and smartphones!

Anyhow, this hotel is exactly like Pemberley, we have lakes and fountains, it is the most elegant and huge stately home and grounds I have ever seen. The house is atop a hill, and the landscape rolls down and undulates around with nothing to spoil the view. Really amazing.

We have all just had a splendid bbq, I managed a quick swim when I got here and plan another early on tomorrow.

Ambers cardigan is going well, it will be finished soon! It was good to knit on the train, however in my room I have two good knitting chairs!

I just said goodnight to my dear ones at home. It is so quiet by myself with only my own needs to consider. The room is vast and high ceilinged, there is a huge tv, everything is thought of.

I’ll say goodnight to you all as well, i wish you could see the vast green landscape and all the lovely trees. Lots of birdsong I don’t recognise from home too!

20130716-220542.jpg

20130716-220551.jpg