Thursday, 20 October 2016

Three Shires Hospital

This is my home for the next few days while I get my left knee replaced.
It's 7.30am and I have a room overlooking the grounds awaiting the nurse and Mr Simon West the surgeon to give me timings. Just hoping I go down early.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

4x4 rescue team and the Owl bag

Sunday saw Chris going off to practice a rescue with the Northants 4x4 Rescue team. The senario was a plane had crashed into a hot air balloon. Hopefully he will never be called to the real thing but as a volunteer at least once a year they have a full scale practice.

The weather could not have been worse it was pouring with rain all morning while he was out.

This has been a difficult week for me as I wait to go into hospital on Thursday but Tuesday three friends joined me for our monthly workshop. Pauline had organised the day and we all made an owl bag, which although a lot of work I really enjoyed. Christine had just had her birthday so treated us all to a lemon drizzle cake she had made, yummy.
Penny and Pauline working on their bags.

We all liked Christine's choice of bright colours

My bag is growing

Pauline [ teacher ] completed bag.
The day went far too quickly and was enjoyed by all.  I think I especially enjoyed the day as it will probably be some time before I can machine again until my new knee heals.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Sock knitting pair #2

I few days ago I started knitting another pair of socks.
I seem to have tried every type of needle possible, long circular, short circular, long metal 5 pins, short wood 5 pins, and now medium wooden 5 pins.

The wooden five pins, well actually there are six in the packet, but I only use five, are much easier on the hands and lighter in weight. The wool mix I am using is King Cole Zig Zag 4 ply.
Considering I only started knitting socks a few weeks ago I am really loving the process, especially like turning the heels!

Sock pair number two nearly finished

10cm wood, 15cm wood, 20cm metal, 80cm circle and 30cm circle
The rest of the 15cm wood are still in my knitting.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Bargain of the Day

One of our favorite places to donate charity goods is Emmaus Village near Turvey Bedfordshire. However while searching for something else on Google I came across an Emmaus shop in Hinkley Leicestershire. It is further to travel but we thought it would make for a nice morning out, which it did. The autumn colours on the back roads were a picture, even though I hate to think of Winter being just around the corner!

The Emporium - Emmaus Leicestershire & Rutland

All sounds very grand, and the web site said there was a cafe so off we set. Well the place looks like a bit of a dump outside and even inside did not look too promising, but we were surprised by the amount of "stuff" in the warehouse. A real rummage for a bargain building.

I had been looking for a fold up bed and found just what I wanted made by Ikea and looking like it had never been used. With one of the Companions help Chris managed to get it in the car and we paid the £30, a real bargain. While this was all happening I ordered us a coffee for him and chocolate for me plus two home made Cornish pasties... cost £2 the pasties were free!

While eating the pasties I notices a large tub of knitting needles and sorted out some I would like plus some much needed elastic, guess how much ?  £2 the lot.
My £2 bargain bundle
All in all a great morning out, forgot to mention we donated two large bags of "stuff" so the house is a little emptier.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Friends Golden Wedding

What a wonderful afternoon spent with friends Ann and Peter celebrating their Golden Wedding.
I first met Ann through Tupperware parties about 44 years ago, and a couple of years later moved into the house opposite her and Peter. She was a rock to me while I went under the surgeons knife a couple of weeks after moving into the new house. Both Ann and Peter have been cherished friends and we wish them well for the years to come.
Ann's niece Heather provided the music

Enjoying the party

Ann organising everything? 

Cutting the cakes

Daughter Judith reading Ann a "This is your life" for her 70th next month

Ann, Mark, Judith, Jess, Peter, James and Conner
plus Mandy photo bombing!

Saturday, 8 October 2016

October IAM meeting

Due to my hospital appointment we had to move our IAM craft day to Friday. Seven of us met for a very lively meeting.
Ann arrived all dressed up as she was leaving at lunch time for a Golden Wedding dinner.
The rest of us seemed to spend more time chatting than crafting. Clare bought a roulade and lemon merange pie for lunch, both were delicious. 
Show and tell was a bit thin on the ground, but Shirley had made a really nice crochet lap quilt and interesting cushion cover. I showed my socks and the lap quilt I made at Colemans [ see previous blog post] Jenny had been busy knitting baby items for a charity. Dorn showed us the pretty crochet lap quilt she was working on.
Such a nice design and colours.

A cheap charity find was converted into a pretty cushion

Yummy cup-cake colours

A couple of babies are going to look so smart in these pretty outfits.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Ups and Downs of the week

What a busy week, most of the time forgetting to use my camera!

Sunday we had a joint birthday party here, Abigail reached the teenage mark! Chris had a birthday while we were away, Eleanor and Richard both have birthdays within the next week. It was lovely seeing the family and enjoying time together.

Also this week I had an optician appointment which I am so pleased to say went OK and no need for new glasses, Chris was also OK. I went for my pre-op assessment at the Three Shires Hospital which involved two hours of not stop tests and questions, hopefully all is OK and I will go into hospital on Oct 20th for another knee replacement.

On the plus side I attended the twice monthly meeting of Hamtune Quilters, the speaker was Marion Maule, she is always extremely knowledgeable and entertaining. Her talk was based around a sampler made in the 1700's which now hangs in the Higgins Museum Bedford. I really must try and get over there to see the original one day.

I also attended a workshop at the newly organised Colemans Warehouse [ near Rushden] with a friend from church Ana Cecelia. The alterations mean there is now a first floor with lift and it was all so nice and new. We made Christmas wall / lap quilts.

Ana Cecelia taking instruction from Trish

View from the new workshop floor, with a pretty little cafe in the corner.

My Attic Window Christmas panel waiting for the binding to be sewn down.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

THE most expensive socks

Wow I have finished my first pair of hand knitted socks. What a journey, having never knitted with five needles before I fought my way to a comfortable position using them, they say its like taming the hedgehog! and they are right.
The pattern I am using and the facebook group I joined [ Winwickmum] recommend using a circular needle or smaller needles than I could buy in Spain, so I ordered both for my arrival home. I had already tried and failed with a long circular needle also bought in Spain.

Armed with my new needles I tried the 30cm 2.5 circular needle, but it made my hands hurt, so tried the SIX ! 10cm 2.5 wooden needles, they looked so pretty but again I struggled handling them, so back to the original 5 20cm long 2.5 needles and I have managed to complete my first pair of socks.

I also bought one of those little counter things you stick on the end of normal [ two needle] knitting but it was so fiddly, I sent for a click type counter which I find easier to use.

So ONE pair of socks
Pack of 5 20cm metal needles
Pack of 6 10cm  wooden needles
80cm circular needle
30cm circular needle
Pair of needle counters
Clicker counter
and oh yes a ball of wool   all for one pair of socks !
Pleased with the most expensive pair of socks ever!
The final straw when I wound the remaining wool into a ball, hubby said "is that for darning them". They are to nice to wear, I'm just going to spend the next few days stroking them!

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Apple Trees

Two years ago I bought a couple of cheap apple trees, well the looked more like sticks actually, from Aldi, or maybe it was Lidl. I seem to remember they cost about £3 each.

Like everything in my garden they all have two chances, live or die. The trees were planted in compost and mostly left to their own defences, sometimes I would remember to water them.

Last year we had ONE apple which was ceremoniously divided into two
 for Chris and I to have a taste!

Look at them now, wow branches breaking under the strain of all the apples and they taste great.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Spain - France - Home

Sunday 25th
Well I managed it, finally completed my very first sock, and as a bonus it fits! Need to start the partner sock while I remember what to do. Strangely I didn't have too much of a problem with turning the heel, everyone seems to dread that part, but sewing up the final toe part... Nightmare, took me ages.
Now to start it's partner!

As this is our last full day in Spain we went to the Sunday Market for breakfast and tried a different stall, there are so many to choose from, they were doing a 2euro special English breakfast and it was really good.
On the way back we drove around a large reservoir which is always popular with cyclists, and they were out I their droves. The scenery is very pretty in this area, but there is hardly anywhere to stop and take photos.
Cyclists by the dozen

The pretty reservoir
Monday 26th
Up early, having packed the car the night before, for the start of our trip home. 509 miles through Spain to the Kyriad Hotel in Tarbes France.
Long almost empty roads, just a pleasure to drive here.

The colours in the rock face area sight to behold

This is one long crane, glad I'm not working at the top of it!

There are tunnels of every shape and size through the Pyrenees 

High in the mountains this cow was just wandering along the road ringing his bell!

Love the bear feet up the side of the dam wall. [click picture to enlarge]

Stopped in a lay-by, don't think I'll go fishing after reading this sign.

Wild crocus were growing everywhere

My lonely little car in the lay-by

Poivre Rouge our restaurant for the evening. My choice lamb cutlets, his, steak [ as usual]
Tuesday 27th
 7.30 and we are on the road again.
Stopped every couple of hours to stretch our legs and buy a meal deal on one of our stops.
Our overnight stop this time is another Kyraid hotel at La Fleche, near Le Mans. It is a pretty little town and literally a few steps across the road to the Buffalo Inn, one of our favourite restaurants.
Wonder if this totem pole will fit int he car? It would look good in the garden!

Ribs and chips... yummy. Guess what Chris had... you guessed steak!
Wednesday 28th
448 miles to home via the Eurotunnel.

Rouen from the moving car.. an amazing sight.

Sock progress in the car.

We arrived 3 hours early for the train so paid the extra £13 to change the booking. After the fairly empty roads of France and Spain, England came as a bit of a shock, Motorways jam packed, hold ups, and generally not a pleasant ride north to home.

As each day seems to have a meal as a highlight, we ended the holiday with take away KFC.
3491 miles since leaving home.

Now to open all the post, get the washing machine on, and recover from all the travelling and a great holiday, except for the Mossies... they were a real pain this year.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Last Saturday in Spain

Where has the past week gone? Obviously having too much fun to write blog posts!
There is also the problem that I have not found a way to write posts on my iPad and have to set up my slow laptop, which drives me nuts. Why or why did Blogsy stop working other than in the USA?

Here's a little catch up...
First the most important thing, Chris celebrated his birthday on Tuesday with the most enormous steak at Asador Sierra Nevada, a restaurant that I found doing a google search for Steak Restaurant near where we are staying. The reviews were good so we booked a table. Pauline and Brian joined us and the reviews were right, it was  wonderful. A very intimate Spanish restaurant in an out of the way back street. All the inside tables were reserved so we were glad we didn't leave it to chance.
Brian and Pauline had sirloin and I had bbq chicken, Chris had half a cow!

The plate was almost too small for the steak

My chicken was really nice

Leaving the restaurant, which is on the left of the picture
Wednesday we had a trip to Murcia to look for two wool shops. Boy was it busy and parking a horror story, but we managed to find a space in an underground parking lot. We visited both wool shops, expecting them to be really good in the city, wrong, they hardly had anything not even one circular knitting needle between them. The walking in the city really played havoc with my knee and eventually Chris had to leave me on a bench and fetch the car. Thank goodness he found me again.

The approach to the city of Murcia

Date palms lined the streets.

After the great steak night last night we "slummed it" and ate at Ikea.
I must say the meatballs were very nice,
and its always fun to look around a well known store in a different country.

Thursday 22nd  was the actual date of Chris's birthday, and he seemed to like the fun T shirt I had bought him.
WARNING may spontaneously start talking about LAND ROVERS.

Worked hard mastering turning a heel and managed to get this far with my first sock.