Monday, October 07, 2013

Photos, blankets and idle chatter.....

I mentioned that it seems that I took the very first photo of Lucy on the opening Saturday of Yarndale. Well, the first one she was aware of anyway, and here it is, as promised, taken in the restaurant of the Auction Mart before doors opened - lovely lady!


And so I came home, fired with enthusiasm, and finished off the very first Granny Stripe I have made, another of Lucy's tutorials, which you can find here.


It has been said that it looks just like rickrack. It does rather, doesn't it?


And then here is the daisy blanket I made over the last month or two. That was fun, except i don't like the joining bit at all, and would do it a different way next time, which may just be now, because I have nothing on the hook at the moment. 


But it does look lovely, I have to say. 


This morning, I returned to the pool after a break of nearly 4 weeks. I had to have a biopsy on something on my back, and because it was across my shoulder span, I had more stitches than usual, and they stayed in longer, and consequently, I was out of the pool much longer too. And so I was not over exuberant today. And now I creak. 

Anyway, when I had had it removed, the registrar said she was confident it was of the nasty variety, but not to worry as it was out now and there was treatment available. But that they would send me a letter if it was all clear and call me if it wasn't. 


Every time that phone rang I had a near heart attack. And nothing came in the post. When I went to have the stitches out after two weeks, I discovered that it can take - wait for it - up to SIX WEEKS to get a Nasty Call or a nice letter. 

There was no way I would survive the 6 weeks, so I called the consultant and the secretary promised to search for the results. She called me 4 hours later to tell me all was well. The letter arrived a few days ago.  It was clear and I am just fine. 


But it is fine. That sort of event makes you re-evaluate stuff. So I retreated into myself for a while and did some serious thinking. You will, no doubt be getting to hear about some of that serious thinking over the next few weeks. I have been storing things up in the head. I just had no will at all to reach for the computer keyboard. 

So. In an hour or so, I am off to the church to talk to some teenagers about the homeless centre we collect food for at our church. I am not sure what I will be saying but it is for 15 minutes so maybe getting them to do the talking may be the best thing. Excellent. I will ask 4 questions. They can spend the time answering them. Sorted. 

After church yesterday, David (he is home) and I went out into the jungle garden to start emptying pots and hacking back things for autumn. Well, he did the cleaning of the chairs and packing them away bit, and I did the hacking. I also managed to trip and fall without being seen. The neighbour was mowing his lawn, so David, who was just 10 ft away, never heard me screech. Fun. Just fun. 
Back to the garden - after he hauled me up again.....

It has been mild, but it is time to get the straggly things out. The tomatoes are almost finished which is excellent seeing that the freezer is very full as I speak. Maybe another 3 pots to cook. And heaven knows the apple mountain is not moving either. Bounty, people. Harvest. Blessings upon blessings. 

It has been a good year. My butternut squash and gems continue to grow and I have not been to the allotment for a week, so I am anticipating marrows. Groan. I will have to venture down there this evening. After I have talked to the teens. 

Right. I am off to get some strong coffee. I need to have my wits about me.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Blankets, daughters and mice............

So today, because I did a little too much yesterday, I had a quiet day. Everything is relative though. I did WAY too much so I get to pay the price, but the good part is that I finally finished the granny stripe blanket. My first granny stripe. 

So that was good. I love it. Bright and cheerful. And then my daughter came home, which was great. She has been in London and Copenhagen. Then London. The global totter of the family. 

Anyway, she walked into her room, picked up a small parcel her friend sent her from NZ and asked me WHO had been eating her chocolate. Hmmm. 

No-one human. 

But a mouse maybe? And then we found evidence of a rodent in the vicinity and I was out of the door, in the car and off to B&Q for rodent dispatching stuff faster than you could say Jack rabbit. We now have a sonic thingy emitting a sound mice hate and traps baited with Nutella. They had better work. Did I mention that Diana Is using my sewing room as her room? I do not want rodents in residence ANYwhere in this house. 

Maybe I need more traps. 

More sonic thingies. 

A bazooka. 

A cat. 

I will post a photo of the blanket tomorrow. Did I tell you I finished the daisy one? I will post that photo too. Hahaha. It sounds as though I have just one photo of it. I do not. I have dozens. This digital age is so different from earlier ages I have experienced. And right now, the best camera in the house is my phone one. I need to work out how to configure it to Flickr. 

Right. I will be back.............

Friday, October 04, 2013

And then we had to come home..........

Sunday dawned a little chillier but the sun still shone, and so we headed back into Skipton because we had planned to go into the woods for a wander. It just amazes me that you can have a bustling market tow, with the church at the top of the road, (and the castle) and behind that is a place of quiet. Just fantastic. 

At the top of the main street is the Black Horse. I think it is a hotel. In fact, if I read the board, it very clearly SAYS it is a hotel. My brain is addlepated. 

The board also tells us interesting facts.

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Richard III is still an intriguing man in British history. 

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And it still blows my mind when I see dates like 1676 on a wall.. 

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And mounting blocks. 

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Anyway, we found the towpath beside the church, and, after asking a passerby if we were heading in the right direction, we walked down beside the canal, or river, next to the castle walls, and into the Skipton Woods.

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Next time, I really want to go and see inside the castle,. Glynis has been before and says it is magnificent. Her father was born in a town nearby, and she has family in Yorkshire, so has done a great deal of exploring over the years. 

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I just love forests,. Woods. Walks in them. If you have been here a while you will already know how I delight in the Swiss forests, and English ones are just as beautiful.

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There are benches here too.

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The sound of running water, and small waterfalls, is beautiful. And so is birdsong. 

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You can see the start of Autumn and falling leaves, can't you - I tried to catch one as I walked, but failed. 

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One should always make sure one's friends wear bright colours!

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The sheep are never far away, it seems!

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We loved the way the branches of this tree covered the whole pathway. 

We had a hilarious encounter on that path. A couple of young Mums and their children all came past us on a walk, and then, along came a police person (a female special constable) on a pedal bike. I seriously never imagined anyone on a bike in the woods, although why not, I do not know, given that they are all through the Alps as well. As she approached us, I said that that she must be demented to be riding up on that high path through the woods - and she roared with laughter as she pressed on, after a brief chat. 

And as we reached the church at the end of our walk, so help me, there she was on her bike again. I must say that it makes you feel very relaxed about walking in the woods when there are police on bikes roaming around them as well. Not that anyone - and there were lots of people walking - looked in any way concerned. It was great. 

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And this is the entrance to the castle. 

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Look! The Yarndale bus! This ran back and forth from the station to Yarndale, taking people back and forth all day.

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The church at the top of the main street. It is beautiful. So is that blue sky!

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And, all I had to do was turn around, and this is the view down that main street, where, on the day we arrived, market stalls were erected on both sides of the street, where all those cars are parked. 

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And so we bid farewell to Skipton and headed off home. However, we made a planned stop at Ilkley, for breakfast/lunch, and found a Betty's
What a total pleasure, and what a wonderful way to end our trip away. Click on the link and you will see exactly what I mean. The food was superb. Everything was. I loved the Swiss connection, and the dishes on the menu were so familiar to me - I am used to Swiss menus!

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And then I fell asleep in the car on the way south, apart from making a total hash of redirecting Jean through Wakefield, when the motorway ground to a halt. Really, pedestrian precincts can be driven over on a Sunday, I am quite sure. (A man told us that it was quite normal, and he seemed at home there. It worked, we got back on the right road.)

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And that, my friends, was the end of our little escape to another county. Wonderful. I love adventures. 

I will be back in the morning. 

Thursday, October 03, 2013

After Yarndale..........

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After crashing on the beds and oohing and aahing over all the Yarndale purchases, having a hot drink (we avoided the queues!) and gathering our strength, we decided to go exploring. 

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Yorkshire is very beautiful. 

We headed north to Grassington. There was a national park place there, so we gathered some local leaflets of information, and went for a walk. The weather was stunning, and it was so great to see so many people out and about. Walking in the countryside is very popular, and the Yorkshire Dales on a beautiful sunny day make a superb combination..

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And you can see why. 

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Access to the fields was through tiny gaps in the walls. They are tiny to keep the sheep in place, one assumes, but we did see some very complicated how-does-my-very-large-dog-go-through-that-tiny-gap incidents.
They involved much heaving. 

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So pretty. Imagine living in this house by the river. 

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With sheep mowing the lawns.

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It really was stunning, you know. 

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There is a church across the river, and these are stepping stones for the parishioners to use if they live/d on the other side.

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If you look closely at the photo above, a couple were making the crossing. Well, the man was crossing. His lady was not. She did make it across about three, and then he had to retreat with her. We didn't want to watch too closely. But I tell you, if it had been a little warmer, I would have loved to take my shoes off and cross barefoot. The water wasn't very deep. 

I think. 

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I could get used to the rolling hills.

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We left Grassington and were heading to Bolton Abbey when we saw this village across the fields. It is on the list to be explored next time we head north. 

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We got to Bolton Abbey quite late in the day, and the entry price for the car was a little steep so late in the day. Not if we had arrived in the morning and had time to explore. It looks magical, and it is definitely top of the list for next time. The Yorkshire Dales. So much to see.

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So, by Saturday night we were almost comatose, and it was a happy weariness. Everything about this weekend away was lovely. Everything. Tomorrow, I will tell you a little more..............

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

I went to YARNDALE!

Well, hello there. Yes, I have been having a little break. Unintentional. Unplanned. It just sort of happened, and therein lies a long story, but that can wait a day or two, because this past weekend, Jean, Glynis and I headed north to Skipton. 

To Yarndale

This was the very first year of Yarndale. I am quite sure it will become an annual event, providing that Lucy from Attic 24 and her friends can face the thought. It was a total triumph, and a total delight, and they have an enormous amount to be very very proud of indeed. 

We loved every single minute. 

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Skipton is a beautiful market town in Yorkshire, and we arrived on Friday morning, to meet my sister-in-law, who lives a few towns away for lunch. It was her birthday, so that was lovely. And then we started exploring Skipton. The centre of the town has a wide high street down the middle, and on 4 days a week, there is a market along it. On both sides of the road. It was heavign with people. If you look on the left of the photo, you will see some of the backs of the stalls. The church and Skipton Castle are at the top of the street, but more of them tomorrow.

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And, wherever you went, you were reminded of Yarndale and it was SO exciting. And hot. The sun shone beautifully while we were in Yorkshire. Most of the time. Please note the bunting in the window - the town was festooned with crocheted bunting all over the place. It came from around the globe.

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The train station had more bunting..........

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Crocheted flowers in the park.......

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Yarnbombed trees..........

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And friends taking photos of them..........

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And then we walked back through the town along the towpaths next to the canal. It was absolutely lovely. Sunshine, canal boats, bright colours, water, swans, ducks..........

I could happily have stayed forever. 

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And then the three of us set off for oour hotel, some supper, and bed before Saturdqay and the Big Event. We had popped in to the Wild Oat Cafe, and one of the lovely girls told us she was on the door on Saturday, and to come at 9, get our tickets and then pop into the restaurant for coffee and a rest until the doors officially opened at 10. 

So, at 8.45, we set off.
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The other two more agile members of our party forged on ahead to get the tickets, and I trundled along slowly behind them. That way I could stop to take photos of the stone sheepfold on the way......

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And the sheep. We were in wool country. 

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And, after totally ignoring all "No pedestrians permitted" signs along the way, we arrived at Skipton Auction Mart, to be greeted by the decorated trees.......

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Don't you love the wool and needles?

So, we walked along to the restaurant, got our coffee and fresh fruit (we are so healthy around here) and sat down to wait for the clock to roll on, and THEN................

I looked over and across the room, I noticed someone familiar popping crocheted flowers onto each table from her basket, and being ignored by everyone, and when she got to our table, I said - "Hello, Lucy", and she smiled and stopped to chat. I told her how she triggered my love of crocheting with her ripple blankets, and I asked if I could take her photo. "The first of the day", she grinned. (Hah. I hold the honour of taking the first photo of Lucy at Yarndale. Only it is on my phone and not on the computer yet. Tomorrow.) And then I asked Jean to take a photo of me with her, because HEY, I WAS THERE TOO. I waited for her to finish talking to the ladies at the next table, and I have my photo. Actually, I stood behind her until she must have been driven crackers, if truth be told, but she was so sweet. 

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I am so glad I recognised her. Without her, crochet would be dead to me, so she is responsible for a great deal of woolly stuff around here. ( I am just finishing my first granny stripe blanket at the moment. Another of her tutorials.)

And then, it was time for the show to get going, and just look at what we saw as we walked in the door...............

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Bunting. Stunning. It took my breath away. So we got our Yarndale bags, and stuck our sticker on the world map to show where we came from, and off we went. We agreed to meet every hour to exchange findings and bargains and discoveries...........

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Many photos were taken.....

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Much bunting was admired..........

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Alpacas - and their oh, so soft wool was being sold. I would have LOVED to buy some, but restrained myself. This time. Aren't they gorgeous? I want one. 

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Lucy had a Knit and Natter area in the middle, where people could chat and gather and all her beautiful things which have encouraged people around the world to crochet - her tutorials are unbelievably easy to follow - they were all there. Her home must have looked very barren for the duration of Yarndale.

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And she was there, just exactly as she is on her blog. Lovely. And she must have been shattered beyond belief and in need of a month in a darkened room to recover at the end of the weekend. 

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So many stalls. Thousands of people. Workshops. Wool. So much beautiful wool. Yarn. Hooks. Needles. Stuff. I was in heaven. 

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And, here are the baby alpacas. Well, I think they are babies. They were small com,pared to the others. Gorgeous. 

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And then we headed back to flop at the hotel. Exhilarated. Exhausted. Yarndale was superb. And we were oh so happy. 

So, I will be back tomorrow. It is October and the 31 Days of............Month. I will be blogging every day. A theme? Hmmm. I may have come up with one by the middle of the month. 

That is if I haven't run away to Yorkshire before then...........................................