Wednesday, February 01, 2023

So here we are in 2023 ...

 I spend time in my studio at the Art Room several days a week, and am still running our regular Woolly Wednesday session from 18.30 - 20.30 ... 

Tonight, I'll be knitting on mittens I'm making for myself ... it's decision time, for the cuff now ... here's the first one in embryo ... I'm pairing alpaca with a somewhat hairy sock yarn for these ...

At this time of year there's still plenty to do in the garden, but less incentive when it's dreary out there.

The first irises are flowering, brightening up a couple of areas ... the crocuses are just beginning to show hints of their colour ... 

Meanwhile we've trimmed the hazels at the bottom of the garden, and I'm using the trimmings to add to the low fence I wove last year to hold the lavender out of the way ... this replaced a makeshift edging I'd made with bamboo earlier ... here seen alongside the decking to the left ... 

Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Looking back at former trips ...

Today, I was inspired to look back at our trip to India in 2010. 

In some ways it seems a long time ago, in other ways fairly recent. 

I was looking for photographs taken in New Delhi when we came across a wonderful textile market being held in the grounds of the Indira Ghandi National Centre for the Arts. There were stalls from many regions of India, and a few nearby places showing and selling local textiles.

One in particular was a stand from Bhutan, which had beautifully woven fabrics, but what interested me was the spindle and bast fibres for spinning. I was allowed to try out this spindle, and ever since have a great memory of just how beautifully it spun. How I wish that it had been for sale.

Other attractions abounded, there were concerts and dance performances throughout the day and evening, and wonderful food to sample. On our first visit we came across these dancers preparing to perform ...

There were so many other memorable performers, including this bagpiper.

The atmosphere was very relaxed, which helped with the sensory overload from all the colourful textiles.

This seems to be the only food stand that I photographed ... while perusing the menu.

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Friday, April 09, 2021

And to my surprise, a year has gone by ...

Plenty more gardening has been done, and some areas that were set up over 20 years ago have now been refreshed:

New Corten steel edging has been installed around the pond ... here shown just after completion early in March ...

And here it is again, just over 3 weeks later, beginning to show its rusty nature:

Spring is with us, and following up from a single unusual daffodil we had last year, we now have more "Rip van Winkle", here shown gracing the windowsill by our back door. 

With it, a ball of the Marie Curie yarn for this year, dyed by Rosie's Moments:

Adjacent on the windowsill, are a colourful trio of Primula denticulata:

And that's it for now, I'm hoping to post more frequently, but don't hold your breath waiting for an update!

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Plenty of time for gardening ...

... means that for once I'm getting things done.
After a wet few months, not really a winter (as we only had one hard frost that I'm aware of) suddenly it is spring.

On 10th February, a tiny dusting of snow fell.

This was gone in the blink of an eye ...

By the end of the month, we had the usual spring flowers, crocuses, daffodils, hellebores and lungwort.

Then mid March, the first tulip made its appearance, along with the first flowers on the magnolia stellata:

By the end of March, the magnolia looked magnificent:

And then I got into sorting out the compost heaps, which took a few days.

As we are at home, we got on with putting some trellising along our fence where the neighbour's leylandii has died off:

Now it is time to go back into the garden, and get on with weeding and seed sowing ...

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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