Friday, 29 January 2016

Calling All Yarnheads

Hello everyone out there, my wonderful knitting sister is looking for 1 ball of Rowan pima dk cotton in shade 50 - Pampas; does anyone have one - we'll pay of course.  


Two months, or thirty-two working days, until I leave my job on voluntary redundancy; as any of you who read this blog will know, I will have three months off after that - cue excited jumping up and down.

I've been making some preparations for some things I want to do; small trivial things but still things that I want time for.

Some wool from the Wool Warehouse; these are the 'Coastal' and 'Cosy' collections put together by Lucy at Attic 24.  Perfect for sitting in the summer house (or garden if it's warm enough) crocheting blankets.  Also perfect for fascinating the Nu; keeping the right tension is difficult with a cat sitting on your yarn.

 Patterns and material for some summer skirts.  Since part of my preparations also include getting back on the exercise bike and restarting my 5:2 diet, I'm hoping I'll look a bit more svelte and some summer skirts seem like a good idea for a bit of an image reboot..
A decent haircut is also on the books.

Speaking of books here is the start of my 'real' book pile.  I'm adding to this pile on a regular basis as well as saving some of the ebooks on my kindle for my time off as well.
I can't wait to start.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Sunsets, Stupidity and Suds

 The most amazing skies last night.  If you put these colours together in a quilt it'd probably look garish but somehow nature does it so much better.
 When we were children we used to call this sky blue pink.

Sometimes I have very small moments of stupidity.  I've been stalking  Persephone Books' website for sometime now, admiring them and sighing over the titles; finally I took the plunge and ordered my first book, the first of my grand vision of a whole shelf of them looking splendid and intellectual.  Obviously if I can picture that spendiferous shelf I must a more than passing familiarity with what these books look like, after all they all have the same, rather austere, outer cover (and sumptuously individual and tempting inner end plates).   So why, oh why has it never dawned on me that one of my lovely and generous friends had already bought me a Persephone Book and it has been gracing my shelves for over two years at least.  Nil points for observation I think.

.It's been raining - again - and in time honoured tradition (well in this house anyway) I made some laundry liquid.  Nine litres of the stuff, which will keep us going for several months.  Soap grates in an amazingly similar way to cheese; I'm thinking it must be something to do with similar fat contents; making soap definitely high in calories; thank goodness it's not edible.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Odds & Ends

There truly is no escape from our consumer culture; if they can't get to us, they attempt to get to us through our commensals.

Yes, once again Tesco attempt to persuade us we should buy what we don't need.
We fed it to the Nu, she ate it; we won't be buying it.

It finally snowed last weekend - hooray!
You could tell it was cold out as the bird table had a constant stream of garden birds chowing down on sunflower seeds, suet and other seeds, including the delightfully cute long-tailed tits.  They are almost impossible to photograph because they move so quickly and I didn't manage it this time; but I did manage to photograph two Jays, uncommon visitors to the garden.

The most colourful of all our native Corvids.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Winter Light

After another night of very heavy rain that's again flooded local roads (but not the village - hooray!), it's cold outside; the sun is shining but making little headway against the chill wind and plummeting temperatures; a real change from the previously mild weather, definitely gloves and scarf weather.

But the late afternoon light is beautiful.

So I've snuggled down with some crochet....

....and Series Two of Hinterland on BBC iPlayer.

 A detective series set in the heart breakingly beautiful and bleak countryside around Aberystwyth.
Great acting, a very atmospheric soundtrack and astonishing cinematography that gives the feeling of both the vast space of the land and the sense of claustrophobia that living in small rural communities can bring.
Best watched by lamp light with some tea or ginger wine and a warm craft project across your lap.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

It's a New Day

To be perfectly honest 2015 has been a bit of a bummer. 
  • I decided to take voluntary redundancy.  Although I'm viewing this decision as a positive, this is a bit of making the best of a difficult situation caused by massive budget cuts.
  • I have had a few health issues associated with the menopause.
  • The company Jean-Luc works in is subject to a hostile take-over.
  • My father died.
  • Our village flooded. Badly. On Boxing Day.
.Well it's 2016 now and I'm expecting much better things from this year thank you.
I have three months until I leave work and I have quite a lot to get ready beforehand.  Not only do I have a few work projects to finish up and some handing over to prepare for and do; on the domestic front i also have some preparations.  
I have to sit down and do some detailed budget reviews and planning - I've done some already but I feel the need to delve deeper into our household accounts and do some fine tuning.
I have a few supplies I want to lay in and some things I want/ need to buy while I still have a regular wage coming in; including some new glasses and a new winter coat - my current coat has what has turned out to be an unrepairable hole on the shoulder.

 A christmas present - some delicious yarn from Attic 24 - the crochet hook is already in use.

I also want to plan for my time off.  I have some largish projects I want to do - such as clearing out and repainting the pantry; and a long list of things I want to try, such as getting to grips with baking bread, optimising our veggie production, lots and lots of quilting, crochet and knitting, learning to use Pearl my sewing machine and making some clothes, improving my soap making, more organised foraging and a whole load of preserving experiments.  I'd also like to learn to make cheese properly.
Not bad for three months!
I know that some things will not get done but I don't want to get to the end of my three months and realise I've done nothing with this wonderful opportunity.  I'm hoping some planning will help me make the most of it.

My christmas present from Jean-Luc - a Japanese puzzle box.
I haven't solved it yet and it is absolutely beautiful.
Here's to solving some beautiful puzzles over the next year.