Tuesday, September 04, 2018

So, where was I ......

Once again, while tossing compost, I've been thinking about blogging.
Nothing particularly special has happened, but it's time for an update.

This time I'm taking action and providing a summary of the past 14 months.
So, herewith an experiment in providing a snapshot of the time that has passed.

Firstly, here are a few places that I visited in the remainder of 2017.

At the end of July 2017, we took a trip to the Isle of Man to ride on the trams.
I hadn't been since 1961, but the weather was similarly brisk at times.

August 2017 saw the AIA annual conference, held in Northampton.
These barrels in Phipps brewery were very colourful.

We spent 12 days in Texas in September, for Ian to attend his professional convention. 
The partners programme took me to the George W Bush Library in Dallas where this display showed those all important chads which caused so much trouble in Florida in the 2000 presidential election.
October gave a last chance to get over to Stoke on Trent for the British Ceramics Biennale.
These pots stood tall and close together in the Original Spode factory.

Early December unusually brought us some snow, though not more than a dusting.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

45 years ago today ...

... I set out for a three month holiday in Canada.

Here's the ticket!
I had been working as a waitress in Switzerland at a couple of hotels during the previous year and had the time and money to spare.
I had no job, nor any idea what work I might do once I was back home from Switzerland.

So on 27th June, I flew to Montreal, with the intention to catch the train out west later that day to see my aunt, uncle and cousins in Alberta.

But, it all fell apart when I realised that although I was there, my luggage was not.
I had checked in in plenty of time at the BOAC terminal in Victoria, and caught an airport bus out to Heathrow.

Arriving in Montreal to find it 90 F (35 C) and extremely humid, and with airport staff refusing to speak to me in English was horrible.

I had only just about adjusted back to speaking English, rather than German, and could not remember any useful 'O'  level French. 

Many thanks are due to a London based Canadian who had given me a Montreal based relative's phone number the day before I left.
This lady, once contacted and she'd sorted out her children, swooped down and took me to her home.

She fed me and took all my clothing and laundered it for me, lending me some of her clothes.
The following day, having sorted out Air Canada's luggage people, I was put on the train with clothes and food to sustain me for the three day (2 night) journey.

I ended up staying very nearly five years in Canada, but that's another story.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

... and a year went by ....

I can't quite believe that all those posts I composed in my mind didn't make it onto here.
So, here's a quick summary of a busy 12 months:

This time last year I was heading off to Skipnorth. this year's Skipnorth is now 10 days behind us.
It was another memorable visit to points north with great company.

This time I did remember to take a rather grainy photograph of the patterning in the centre of the ballroom floor at the hostel in Haworth. This may have uses in designing knitwear.

But, back to last year and some of the things that happened and places that were visited.

In March 2016, we put our family home in north London on the market, thus ending a lifetime connection to Finchley.
It sold in early August, once my brother had moved to France.
This completed the realisation of my mother's estate.
My father had designed the house in the early '60s, and we built it from Easter '64, moving in at Christmas '66.

April 2016 saw Ian and I visiting Japan for the first time. Japan deserves several blogposts, so here's a glimpse of the cherry blossom in Sendai. We were travelling in Japan for four weeks, and nearly a year on I haven't fully taken it all in.

In late August we had another lengthy trip, this time to Canada.
Firstly we flew to Toronto and spent a fortnight driving around busily visiting many friends in Ontario.

Here's where I was living when I left St Catharines in May '77. It was a compact apartment built over my landlady's garage, cold and draughty in winter, too hot in summer. It is not much changed visually since I lived there.

After that we had a couple days in Montreal before embarking on the Marco Polo to cruise back to Britain. We spent two weeks gradually making our way up the St Lawrence Seaway and visiting places in the province of Quebec and the Maritime provinces.

In October we had a day trip by plane from Lydd to Le Touquet in order to visit the war grave of one of Ian's great uncles at the Etaples cemetery. This was together with Ian's brother and his family.
We combined flowers and foliage from our gardens to form a small bouquet.

December saw us visiting Devon for a few days, staying at a Landmark Trust property in Lympstone.

Then we closed the year by flying out to Limoges to see Tony and his rural property.
This was just a short visit of four days, conveniently in and out of East Midlands airport.

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Madly doing things

The months roll by, and all of a sudden Skipnorth is this weekend.
My second time, and it starts tomorrow afternoon.

I'm busy looking round the house for unwanted yarn to take with me for the stash swap in aid of p/hop (monies go to MSF).
Of course this mostly means that I get distracted by the items I find hiding, and I really should be planting out some things that I brought from our family home in Finchley.

So almost time for lunch then a concentrated trawl through the "insulation" (known to others as knitting yarn!).

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Sunday, August 09, 2015

20 years ago I did something foolish ...

... and as a result my watch stopped working.
Now this wasn't just any old watch bought cheaply from the local jeweller or department store.

It is a Tissot with a stainless steel housing that I bought in Switzerland in 1972.

I can't now remember how much it cost me, but it was pricey for the time.
I had saved my meagre tips when working in the dining room of a hotel in Arosa and used them for this luxury.

It replaced the basic Timex I had been given aged eleven when I started at secondary school.

Fast forward to the summer of 1995, and we were on holiday in British Columbia.
Touring around Vancouver Island, it was late afternoon and we were in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve between Tofino and Ucluelet.

We walked out to the coast, and gazing at the Pacific I indulged in one of my favourite activities, beach-combing.

I saw a pretty stone or shell, I can't now remember which, purple in colour.
I reached out to pick it up out of the sea, forgetting that I was wearing my watch.

Disaster, although I hastily removed my hand from the water and tried to dry it off, it stopped working.
When we got home I took it to a jewellers to see if it could be revived, and was told it wouldn't be worth it.

So, I bought a basic black Casio digital watch, no fancy leather strap this time.

Fast forward once more to 2015, and now I own another Swiss watch, a Mondaine once again purchased in Switzerland.

The Mondaine was just out of it's 2 year warranty when it seized up as we were travelling home from a five week visit to Australia at the end of June.
Taking it to a shop in Derby resulted in gaining a new movement, which was cheaper than I had expected.

When retrieving it, I asked whether they could take a look at the Tissot.

So on Friday when I had other errands to run in Derby I picked up the Tissot and put it in my bag.
I had finished everything else and went in to the jewellers, and told them the story.

The young man I was speaking to said, "There is nothing wrong with it!".
He handed it back to me, and apart from the date being the 27th rather than the 7th it was fine.

I've wound it each morning since, and it is keeping time.
Why it slept for 20 years is beyond me.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Oh, it's 2015 and I'm typically slow in updating

So, as usual things I wish to post about occur to me when busy in the garden, or when I'm walking or cycling around the place.

Now, I was thinking of sharing some images from the cold spat we had just before New Year, but the connection between camera and computer seems suddenly to be lost.
So, imagine if you will, a couple of centimetres of snow that fell on Boxing Day early in the evening.

The next few nights brought heavy frosts, and ice crystals materialised on the snow, most notably on the edge of the bird bath.
By New Year's Eve it had all melted away, but not before we had enjoyed many walks on the crunchy (rarely seen) white stuff.

The first weekend of the year saw me joining some knitting friends at the youth hostel in Sheringham on the North Norfolk coast.
I love to be beside the sea, so took every advantage to nip down to the shingle beach to hunt out some interesting pebbles.
The wind and the tides were high so the seas were dramatic.

The following weekend saw me near the sea once more staying with friends in the Wirral.
The coast was a bit disappointing in the drizzle, no shingle, just dull sand.

Changes are happening at the Art Room as we gradually continue with the development of our premises. Last summer we had toilets installed in the lace factory. We now have connecting doors from the education room into the larger part of the lace factory.

But this week the view from my studio window has changed as the local council had all the trees outside trimmed back.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Another birthday exchange

I hadn't taken part in any exchanges for a while, so was pleased to remember to sign up in time for a birthday exchange via Ravelry.

My exchange partner was Alice, born on the same day, but in the USA and as far as we can ascertain a few hours earlier than me. I have photographed the contents of the parcel she sent a couple of times to show the colours with only partial success. Purples are so hard to depict.
For whatever reason I have been unable to rotate the image, but seen from sideways on the treats look so good.

The shawl is knitted in the most perfect purple, and the weight of the beads at the bottom makes it hang beautifully. It has been much admired already, and will be worn so much, as it goes with so many of my clothes.
There are marvellous additions to my stash, purple and brilliant green yarn, and a lovely purple project bag.