Monthly Archives: September 2012

Train Travel

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This is me now, snuggled in a train corridor, enjoying a steaming cup of tea and a delicious Shortbread and Mincemeat Slice, courtesy of my mother. All pretty cosy really.

I have decided to take this opportunity to try something new and post from my phone. No idea how it will turn out and there won’t be many photos as my mobile is bottom of the range with a mediocre camera but I shall try anyway! You see I still have limited access to a computer at the moment and therefore am getting behind with my blogging. I miss it. Life feels pretty full, photos, experiences, ideas are passing by and I want to record them here. So I am going to have a go, starting with this weekend.

So, ‘Where is those train taking you?’, I hear you cry. Well I am currently speeding northwards to England’s very own windy city, Sheffield. (Seriously, if you’ve never been, the centre is like one long wind tunnel). The weekend will be spent catching up with two friends from university and having a nosey around the area. Very excited!

My train is slowing now so I must gather little man and his multitude of bags. However, providing this works, I hope to be back later with an update of my travels. ūüôā

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Filed under Trips and outings

A Day to Scream About

This post was written and¬†ready to go on Friday evening, right down to the final photo. One hour later and the air was turning blue as I still battled to complete the final edit and publish without¬†Wordpress freezing. Needless to say, I failed.¬†A weekend of fun and frolicking has prevented a return visit but here we go, better late than never! I have not changed the wording as the words would not read true so for today, think¬†Friday. ūüôā

18:35 РToday. I was blown away looking out over the lake from 6.30 Р7.30 this evening. The light was incredible and so different to a couple of weeks ago. Summer is truly coming to an end and Autumn is moving in. In the space of one hour there was rain, sun, clouds and a rainbow. Just incredible Рit was as if time was on fast forward and hours were speeding by, instead of minutes.

Anyway, hello all!

I am thrilled that there have been so many of you visiting Rosy Hill over the last week and am quite touched at the reaction to my hexagons. Thank you all so much. I hope you have enjoyed having a peek around and will visit again, you are very welcome! ūüôā

‘Something to Scream About’ – Well, that is what the advertising claims and you know what? They’re right!

Tuesday was a special day. The Tesco tokens had been exchanged (I love these), hubby was off work and 6 of us arrived with anticipation at Drayton Manor, a theme park only 30 minutes north of my home. It is not the largest one, not on the scale of Alton Towers or the gigantic American versions, but it is a more relaxing, accessible, family-friendly day out. The queues are shorter, the tickets are cheaper and the distance between one side of the park and the other is easily walkable.

I say about the ticket prices but, like any such attraction,¬†admission prices are astronomical, even though they’re 45% cheaper when booked in advance online. I did feel sorry for one gentleman who had arrived with his daughter and two young grandchildren. After investigating prices online and printing off the information, he had failed to actually book. I think I may have gone home rather than fork out two lots of¬†¬£25 for 4-year-olds. Ouch. We had all cashed in Tesco tokens, therefore entering for free, and had packed lunches and flasks of tea with us – we know how to do theme parks without breaking the bank!

There is something so exciting about amusement parks, so exhilarating yet so relaxing. The screams and the metal cranking always seem to sit alongside beautiful greenery, flower beds and lakes.

The little man was fascinated as he watched daddy storm overhead on ‘G-Force’.

I am on there, Hehe!

I love a good roller coaster, but even more I love the fact that these are adjacent to the Victorian elegance of the Ferris Wheel and Carousel.

I say Victorian elegance because that is the era that I associate carousels with. However, the wonder that is Wikipedia assures me that there is a Byzantine image depicting baskets rotating around a pole from 500 AD. Who knew?!

What is not to love about this ride? Colourful horses, tinkly music, flashing lights¬†– it reminds me at once of Summer and parasols, as in Mary Poppins, but also hot chocolate and chilly noses as there is always a carousel at the German Christmas¬†Market in Birmingham. All sweet memories. And now I shall also¬†remember it as the little man’s first ride:

Awww!

Of course, Drayton Manor offers the usual tat to be found in such places. Arcade games and slot machines emitting neon lights and irritating noises. So many ways to lose another fiver with the hope that you may become the lucky owner of some grotesque representation of a cartoon character.

Wow.

However I prefer to ignore this side of the outing and concentrate on the more pleasant aspects. This is considerably easier when visiting on a Tuesday in term time when the children are at school and the only delay to boarding a ride is how long it takes you to navigate the miles of stairs and corridors which would otherwise be full of tired, irritable people! As I stated though, Drayton Manor is not that bad even in high season but the opportunity to visit without the crowds was too good to pass up.

Bumper cars – such a great stress reliever! You can see me whizzing by in the yellow car in the centre!

I am running out of computer time now and hubby is glaring at me so I shall stop waffling and finish off quickly…

My favourite ride is always Apocalypse – the view from the top is incredible…

… and the drop exhilarating!

I attempted to capture the view from on high when I was aboard the Pirate Ship:

and this one:

and my personal favourite:

Oops! Didn’t quite go to plan.

And of course, no trip to a theme park would be complete without a box of fresh, sugared doughnuts:

Yum!

Ah, what a great day. It was lovely to be outside in the fresh air Рnot exactly a walk in the countryside but I have more freckles now! I admit my faith in the day wavered as the rain started within 5 minutes of arrival but a fair proportion of it was bathed in sunlight. I shall leave you with a final photo that I snapped as we walked out of the park:

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Patchwork Granny Blanket CAL

Hello all and happy Monday! First for a little weekend update.

The weather excelled again on Saturday Рwarm and sunny with a gloriously blue, cloudless sky. Perfect for a little time out with tea and cake. Yum yum. I have recently fallen in love with a new recipe for Lemon Drizzle Cake which produces a beautifully light, rich sponge along with the usual refreshing citric zing. I have successfully made the hard sugar topping which was well received but I am a great fan of glacé icing so could not resist using this instead. The other advantage is that this increases the overall lemon content, which I prefer, as I use the zest of two lemons in the batter. When the cake comes out the oven, I prick it all over, as per the recipe, and squeeze the juice of one lemon over the warm sponge before using the juice from the remaining lemon to make the icing. Scrummy!

The garden¬†renovation is continuing as hubby made the most of the fine weather to begin laying some slabs. Don’t you just love our little cement mixer?! Such a beautiful colour. Our own little Dizzy!¬†She looks so sweet turning in the sun.

Such a wonderful, summery day involved some obligatory lake appreciation, watching the Canada Geese float lazily over the shimmering ripples, always on the lookout for some obliging person with a bit of bread.

The dazzling green leaves were fluttering gently in the breeze making shadows that danced over the floor. So quiet and peaceful.

However there was already evidence that the seasons are due to turn and Autumn is on its way. I love Autumn –¬†wrapping up in chunky knit-wear on crisp, sunny days. Can’t wait!

Anyway, moving on to long promised yarn matters…

Ah dear, my poor yarn bag needs a good tidy after the little man’s raid last week.

Many of you will probably have noticed a craze sweeping the crochet blogscape¬†at the moment¬†– Patchwork Granny Blankets. These are a multicoloured collection of single-coloured blocks, usually joined as you go. Most people have crocheted them in the granny style, although some people are hooking solid blocks. I love the eclectic look of these afghans as a result of the¬†‘random’ colour spacing. If you haven’t seen these about, check out Sandra’s Giant Granny Patches¬†on her Cherry Heart blog. This stunning afghan inspired a ‘Patchwork Granny Blanket CAL’ (Crochet Along) in the ‘We Love Lucy’ group on Ravelry.

I have never joined a CAL before but am excited about the idea of joining the party. The yarn was a given (I am currently awash with a rainbow of squishy Stylecraft DK) but first the decision had to be made on the style and size of the blocks. Having already completed an Elmer Blanket I knew I didn’t want to do another one yet. Granny squares are always fun but I have already created a Baby Granny and I wanted to do something different. I am still experimenting with my crochet and I wanted to learn a new technique. Then it hit me…

Hexagons! (Btw, the yarn does not look nearly so shiny in real life, just in some of these piccies).

There are a multitude of patterns available but I chose a nice, simple one by Novamade. It is still in the granny style so I can join in the CAL but with a slight twist. Yay!

Loving these –¬†¬†so quick and easy to whip up and great fun.

I did photograph the blanket from the beginning but am having technical difficulties so I cannot access them at the moment. These would show how I got a little confused with the shape so had to add the beige square at the top left later. All good now though!

I haven’t done that many blocks yet, certainly not like the amazing speed some people are whipping them up, but hey, it’s a marathon not a sprint.

Are any of you joining the CAL? Leave a comment telling me about it – there are so many amazing examples and I’m loving seeing them all grow. If not, you’re not too late to join the party. xxxxxx

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Filed under Blanket, Cakes, Crochet, Food, Snapshot

Hydrangeas

This post is somewhat out of order as these photos were actually taken in mid August and these hydrangeas are fading as we move into Autumn. However I could not bear to leave these piccies to wilt away too so I am temporarily resurrecting these Summer blooms in attempt to hold onto the last bit of the season. Why not?!

I noticed these flowers¬†nestling amid the lush, green bushes in my mother’s garden one Sunday evening. They looked like they were bursting out of the border.

I love hydrangeas. Their petals are so delicate and papery and their colour is so variable, from soft pinks and lilacs to vivid blues and purples. Each flower head is like a whole bunch of flowers.

Just like oyster shells there are jewels hidden within – just look at those pearly centres.

This one reminds me of a bride’s bouquet.

I’m afraid the light was already fading and I only had hubby’s phone to capture these images with but I could not stop snapping these blooms. There is something vintage about the look of them – they hark back to a previous time. They remind me of those flowery bathing caps that ladies wore in the 50s.

In between the colour were these incredible skeletons of the dead flowers, delicately patterned like moth wings.

I’m afraid my editing skills have completely abandoned me with these photos. I cannot choose which ones to put in so I’m just going to leave you with a stream of scrumminess. Enjoy! ūüôā

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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Filed under Gardening, Snapshot

Smiley Snapshots

I would like to share a few random pictures from the last week that are currently making me smile.

19:32 Wednesday –

Indulging in a little blanket love whilst attempting to photograph my ripple. I love the sense of achievement and enjoyment that crochet has brought into my life. Not only the therapeutic¬†relaxation of physically hooking but the whole crafty world that I have discovered online. The colourful, pretty, yarn infested¬†realm of blogs and Flickr and Ravelry – I can’t imagine not being part of it now.

On the left you can spy my Summer Garden Throw that I blogged about last June. I fell out of love with this blanket for a long time and dreaded the thought of carrying on. However, I recently rediscovered it and am head-over-heels all over again and itching to get on with it. Unfortunately this blanket requires quite a lot of concentration to keep track of the colours, which is not easy to do whilst watching/chatting with/singing to a little one so it is not coming on as quickly as I would like. I’m in it for the long haul though and, one day, it will be complete!

19:58 Thursday –

The final instalment in my current ‘Red Sky at Night, Shepherds’ Delight’ trilogy. As you will all know, watching the light change over the lake is quite an obsession of mine and I have particularly enjoyed watching the pinky/orangey displays lately.

13:36 Friday Р 

Ah, washing drying merrily under the sapphire blue skies. Sigh. What a sight. Makes my heart light and happy. The weather last week was superb and I really enjoyed it. It made me so happy to step outside and feel the warmth on my face, or even sit inside and watch the emerald-green leaves rippling in the sun. Unfortunately it has now turned and today I had the irritating task of re-hanging my washing indoors when it started raining (BBC weather Рyou lie!).

¬†12:45 Sunday –

The little man’s first proper taste of non-milky food. He feasted on toast fingers and cooked apple and he Loved It! I¬†just cannot stop looking at these pictures, they make my heart swell. My little baby is now feeding himself. Aw. I was all ready to demonstrate with some exaggerated actions but he knew exactly what to do! From the moment the plate was placed on the floor he was in there. So cute!

15:04 Tuesday –

This was the scene that greeted me as I looked down from my cuppa yesterday afternoon. I had placed the bubba¬†down in order to drink my tea without fear of it being wrestled out of my hands but may need to reassess the safe zone as he is getting more mobile. He does show great enthusiasm for yarn, so¬†soft and colourful and fun to unravel. Clearly his mother’s son!

18:45 Today –¬†

This stripey little number is a new addition to our bathroom and is currently causing me to squeal with excitement whenever I encounter it. So soft, so stripey, so super-dooper! In fact, on Saturday we acquired a whole host of stripey numbers to adorn our newly refurbished bathing area and I love them all. What is more, they were purchased using gift vouchers so were, to all intents and purpose, free (or at least that is what I am telling myself). Brilliant!

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Filed under Baby, Blanket, BLW, Crochet, Snapshot

Thou Shalt Have a Fishy

I wrote this post before the weekend, intending to publish it before we went away. Unfortunately it was not quite completed on time so it is a little out of date! Apologies. Thank you so much for your lovely comments on my Ripple Reveal – you’re all wonderful! x

On Friday hubby went back to work. How sad (probably even¬†more for him than me, but I will miss having him around). He’d been off for what seems like ages because his annual leave was up in September so he’d taken it all in a couple of chunks over the Summer. The majority of these weeks were taken up with gardening but it is the last few days that I have really enjoyed. We haven’t done anything much, fixed a few jobs around the house, caught up on some sleep, but mainly we’ve just¬†had some low-key family time.

Thursday was an unusual day for us because we spent it doing something that we do not do very often¬†– shopping. I am not a big shopper. Don’t get me wrong, I can spend money with the best of them but I am not very interested in clothes and find going into town a bit of a bore,¬†an opinion confirmed when the excursion is accompanied by a 5 month old! There is one sort of shopping that I do enjoy though and that is¬†food shopping.¬†What is more, this¬†particular grocery shop was¬†gearing up to an exciting event that will be¬†happening this month – weaning.¬†Yes,¬†the time is approaching when the little man will begin to supplement his¬†daily milk ration with solid stuff. Exciting!

This event has been heralded by an avalanche of¬†junk mail from what feels like every supermarket and baby food manufacturer in Britain advertising their wares. Now I understand why people use ready-made infant¬†food but I have been looking forward to preparing food for my little ones for years so will not need shelves of glass pots. However, all of these magazines came with strips of vouchers and I thought, what harm can there be in getting in a few packets to use in emergencies? Even more exciting, this meant I got the opportunity to frequent my favourite supermarket that is located near my parents’ house. All good.

I say we spent it shopping but in reality¬†I mean the whole day was gearing towards the final event. By the time we finally arrived at my mom’s we decided it was lunchtime (smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, yummy). Cue 90 minutes of soaking up the sun whilst all parties were fed, watered and changed. Procrastination supremos, that’s us!

Our final purchases were not anything particularly noteworthy but they have led me to pondering food and the family. When I was younger we always ate together. Even when we return home now all meals are eaten around the table and the TV is never on. I cannot wait for the little man to join us for dinner and love to plan what foods we shall share. Family favourites, those suppers that are guaranteed to please, and new ideas.

I made of one those crowd pleasers last week – Fish Pie. My mother was making fish pie for us before I can remember but, over the years, our recipe has adapted to include new foods and flavours. The basics, however,¬†have always remained the same – fish, parsley sauce and creamy mashed potato. So, without further ado, let me share the secrets of our family’s fish pie.

Let’s start with the base ingredients. I am not going to give amounts because that depends on personal taste. For example, I use a lot of onions and veges etc. compared to chefs’ recipes because it’s healthier and cheaper but it depends what you like. So I begin with onions and chorizo. The latter is less conventional and optional but I find it gives an extra depth of flavour and, let’s face it, chorizo’s always wonderful!

For me, the vegetable portion of a fish pie is always carrots, peas and sweetcorn. I do sometimes use peppers as well, but these were earmarked for a curry so were omitted this time. I think the secret to chop up the vegetables into small chunks because nobody wants giant chunks of carrot taking centre stage.

Anyway, now’s the time to start cooking! Fry the onions and chorizo until the onions are soft and the chorizo has released its delicious oil.

Stir in the vegetables and leave on the heat for 15 Р20 minutes.  

Whilst this is all going on it is time to talk fish. For this pie I used salmon and kippered mackerel¬†(I do not understand how a mackerel is ‘kippered’ but essentially it was smoked!). I chose these because they were plentiful and good value at the time but it is up to you. I recommend that you include some smoked fish because this adds flavour, but really there are no rules!

Place the fish (filleted) in a pan with a bit of water and cover. Leave it on the heat until it is nearly cooked through but the centre has not quite turned opaque. It will be cooked again later so this time just needs to be done enough to work with. Transfer to a plate to cool but keep the water for stock.

When cool, remove the skin and flake the fish, checking for bones as you go.

A fish pie would not be complete in our house without seafood. Now I live just about as far from the sea as it is possible to be in the UK so fresh seafood is not free-flowing. I therefore make life easy and buy the frozen ‘seafood selection’ packs from the supermarket. If you live in an area where good seafood is plentiful then go wild!

Next up is the Parsley sauce: Melt 40 g butter then stir in 20 g plain flour. Take off the heat and slowly stir in 250 ml cold milk and 200 ml of stock (add a stock cube to the fish water from earlier Рvoilà!). Return to heat and stir til simmering. Add plenty of chopped parsley (dried parsley works well too).

Place the vegetable mixture, fish and seafood in the bottom of the dish and cover with the parsley sauce.

Top with mashed potato (make relatively soft so it can be spread easily) and a little grated cheese (strong cheddar or blue cheese gives good flavour but you can use less). For an alternative topping, cook a whole potato for 10 minutes. When cool, peel and slice before layering on top.

Cook in a moderate oven until piping hot and brown on top.

Serve with veges and tuck in! ūüôā

Let me know if you try this recipe – I hope you enjoy it! x

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Filed under Baby, Dinner, Food

Ripple Reveal

Hello! I have been so excited about this. It seems like a long time coming. My first big ‚Äėreveal‚Äô on Rosyhill. I have shown you my two baby blankets (here and here) but they were made ages ago. This is an adult sized blanket that I have completed whilst actively blogging. Writing this post has been remarkably difficult! It has taken quite a few hours to organise my¬†ideas and pictures and translate them into a coherant form.¬†¬†‚ÄėErm, yes‚Ķripple ‚Äď finished, yay, so pretty!‚Äô. ¬†Doesn‚Äôt really work, does it?! So, forgive me any awkwardness. This blogging-lark‚Äôs still pretty new and there are times when I find it hard to access my ‚Äėwriting voice‚Äô. I shall just let the ripples do the talking!

I started this blanket last Summer,¬†6 months after learning to crochet. I was quite dubious about how I would get on ‚Äď maybe I‚Äôd get bored? The yarn choice was easy. I didn‚Äôt have much money and even less idea about yarn so what to do?¬†Go to someone who knows better, of course! Hey presto, a Lucy Pack of Stylecraft dk was soon winging its way to me.

My first decision was about the pattern and overall plan for the blanket. Obviously¬†I was using Lucy’s¬†(Attic 24) ‘Neat Ripple’ but how many rows in each colour? I knew that I did not want to¬†make all¬†of the ripples 2¬†rows¬†wide but also thought that totally random was somewhat beyond me. I therefore decided on a repeat ‚Äď ‚Äė1, 2, 3, 2, 1‚Äô. The 4 deepest colours used for the single row ripples also appear in the border; 10 other colours made the main body of the blanket.

I am far too uptight to just pick a colour out of the bag. I like to plan my projects so my living room was constantly strewn with balls of yarn mapping out the next section. It took a surprisingly long time (and the acquisition of a phone that does more than just call) to come up with the novel idea of photographing these designs so I could then give hubby a break and tidy up our living space.

Oooo, leopard print booties and spotty, fleece¬†pyjama bottoms. Don’t say I don’t know how to dress to impress.¬†

This project has been a delight to work on. So soothing, so rhythmic, so satisfying. Ripple, ripple, ripple row after row was added.

Apart from dabbling with some cotton for smaller projects, I have always used acrylic yarn so am not very well placed to make comparisons on how it works/feels compared to wool. I have, however, built up a bizarre stash of all kinds of acrylic and I can certainly feel the quality of Stylecraft when measured against similar yarns. It arrives in delightfully squishy 100g bundles that I just want to bury my face in and the colours are wonderful. I have since built up quite a sizable collection, which I shall have to share with you sometime. It works well, slides comfortably over the hook and does not split easily. Oh, and it is Bargainous!

As the blanket grew I had a desperate desire to straighten the bottom edge. Straightening a ripple at the top is relatively straightforward. Working out of a foundation chain, it transpires, is not so easy. Essentially I just bodged it until I felt it looked right and, I have to say, I am pretty pleased with the results.

Then came that happy day when the final row was done. 135 rows, 67 ripples of delightful rainbow woolliness (yes that is a word). I couldn’t believe that it was done, that I could sit on a sofa and snuggle under it from head to toes. Squeal!

Lovely as it was it was not quite ‘complete’ yet. There was something missing. My blanket¬†needed an edge.¬†(Really should have photographed it at this point but you get the idea of my borderless blanket above). I could have added some rows of treble crochet, which would have finished it off nicely, but I wanted something different. I had bought this¬†rather wonderful book¬†after seeing it floating about the blogosphere and have since spent many a happy evening thumbing through, quizzing my long-suffering husband on which one would suit best. We I eventually chose pattern 88, 4 rows worked in ‘leaning tower stitch’, a rather pleasing variant on granny trebles (and it has a marvellous name!). Incidentally, Eckman’s book is so full of delightfully tempting crochet borders I just want to create things to edge them. May have to¬†make some coasters just for fun!

I did change the final row, replacing the last row of leaning towers with one lot of UK htc (US hdc) and one of UK dc (US sc) to finish it off neatly. This also happily matched the purple htc and dc row that began the border. Very tidy!

So, there’s only one thing left to do…

TA-DAH!

It reminds me of Aladdin’s magic carpet! I want to jump on and fly away!

Hehe, there’s me, hiding behind it! You can see how it will be a good, snuggly size for Winter. I shall leave you to imagine hubby’s face when I announced that we were going to the park to photograph the ripple! Incredulous is the word, I think.

I cannot believe how difficult it was to snap the finished product. It was far too big to lay out in my living room and, even outside, it was a nightmare trying to get it to lay flat and straight. However it was great fun to whirl about the park, wrapping it around me, ignoring the stares from passers-by. Fun fun!

In all its glory then: Here it is, neat and tidy, folded in a pile…

… and all soft and squishy lying in a heap.

Yes, I have to say that I LOVE this blanket. It is bright and colourful and soft and warm and I look forward to snuggling under it when it’s frosty outside.

*happy sigh*

Looking forward to my next project now! Hopefully a trip away this weekend may give me time to really work on it before revealing my master plan next week! ūüôā

Blanket Stats:

Yarn: Stylecraft Special DK

1422 : aspen 
1390 : clematis  
1034 : sherbet 
1081 : saffron 
1084 : magenta
1316 : spring green 
1132 : shrimp  
1065 : meadow
1019 : cloud blue
1241 : fondant
Border: 
1061 : plum
1003 : aster
1246 : lipstick  
1068 : turquoise

Hook: 4mm (G)

Pattern: Attic 24 Neat Ripple Pattern

Size: 150 x 90 cm Р135 rows, 67 ripples 

Edging: Around the Corner Crochet Borders by Edie Eckman, #88

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Filed under Blanket, Crochet

Red Sky at Night, Shepherds’ Delight

Hello all! I am loving this week. I am loving the sunshine, loving the flowers, loving the sunsets, loving that hubby is home. Happy, happy, happy, just like those flowers.

On Monday I told you that the evening sky had been passing through a rainbow of beautiful colours that were bound to herald a delightful day on Tuesday. And indeed they did. I also explained that, unfortunately, this delight was largely hidden behind some pesky buildings. However, last night we were treated to a similar display but the increased cloud cover gave me the opportunity to snap the scene as seen from my front garden.

Pretty, no?

What is more, those pinky hues foretold of another day of deep blue skies and glorious sunshine. The weather today has been marvellous in these parts, warm and bright with a slight breeze. The washing machine has been in overdrive and, 4 washes later, I have only had to move 1 towel and 1 pair of thick jogging shorts inside to dry. Success!

I do hope you are not bored¬†of seeing the views from around where I live. My husband does not understand. When I took a photo of the lake the other day he asked, ‘Haven’t you already put that on your blog?’. Bless him, he doesn’t understand. He doesn’t see how the light changes continually, creating a different scene everytime I look out of the window.

It is one of the things I love about reading people’s blogs – the themes that run through them making them comforting and familiar. The same view shown in different seasons, different weathers. The same subject matters – crochet, flowers, trees, countryside, seaside, cakes, yarn, prettiness¬†– revisited again and again. The chance to get to know people’s likes, dislikes, routines. Become part of their everyday family life. That is why I go back to some blogs time and time again and that is what I would like for Rosy Hill (I will post my Blogroll¬†soon incase anybody would like to know which ones are my favourites). Writing this blog encourages me to look at the world in a new way. To focus on the small details and¬†record them here like a diary. I have never been able to keep a traditional journal¬†but this is my chance to document what is happening in the world around me, what has caught my attention. Primarily I write what interests me and, hopefully, it will therefore be of some interest to you too!

Anyway, I am starting to see some of you return again and again, which is very exciting, and would like to wave hello to you and say thank you for visiting! If this is your first time here, then welcome. I am going to stop waffling and get back to writing up my ripple reveal which is what I am meant to be wrI hope to have finished soon. It is taking a long time to sift through and load all of the pictures so this was just me popping in to show you that I had not forgotten and am on the job!

I shall leave you with the blue-y grey skies and soft light of tonight’s sunset.

So calm and peaceful after the vibrant, bold colours of today.

Back soon, xxxxxxxxx

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Filed under Snapshot

The Sun Has Got His Hat On

Just popping in to wave hello and¬†ask you to marvel at¬†the incredible colour of the sky today. So pure, so blue. Perfect washing drying weather as it turned out. Not very exciting, you may think, but as somebody who does not own a tumble drier and has limited space then any day that I can get the washing out is a Good Day! It’s the little things in life.

I enjoyed these marigolds that were to be found basking in the sun giving off the most incredibly rich golden glow. How could you not smile when looking at these? Like molten gold.

Today has been a lazy day. Nothing major, a lot of jiggling and singing,¬†a¬†little bit of hooky in the sun. As I sit here writing this¬†I am slobbing on the sofa trying to process an All-Day Breakfast from the cafe that has recently opened by us. This is very exciting as where we live is somewhat lacking in ‘community’ but it is currently undergoing a major programme of regeneration. The opening of the new library and local shops has made a huge difference to the feel of the place and I really hope people embrace it and make the most of this opportunity.

Looking at that photo I think maybe I should have spent some of the day weeding but hey ho!¬†Winter soon and they will all disappear. They don’t really bother me most of the time. I’m very good at selective viewing. Why look at the weeds when there are¬†begonias blooming and woolly goodness to look at?!

Having said all of that, today was actually a momentous day…

…can you guess why?

Today was the day that my first ripple journey finally came to an end. The border is complete, the¬†last ends¬†are woven in and straggly ends are snipped. Whoop whoop! I have finished, I have completed my First Big Crochet Blanket. Not just a baby blanket but a proper, grown up person’s blanket. So excited! I have taken a vast number of photos and will¬†to wheedle out a few good ones to do a full Ripple Reveal later in the week. I can’t wait!

I shall leave you with high hopes for another sunny day tomorrow.

The sky has actually passed through some rather spectacular shades of yellow/orange/pink/crimson this evening but, unfortunately, I have not been able to capture them. It is the problem of living in the middle of a city, there are these building things everywhere and they are blocking my view. Ah well. Take my word for it, it was beautiful.

Sending you happiness and sunshine. A ripple reveal will be coming soon! xxxx

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Peace at Last

The hour was late. Mr Bear was tired, Mrs Bear was tired and Baby Bear was tired, so they all went to bed.

Have you ever read Jill Murphy’s ‘Peace at Last’? It is beautifully written and one of my favourite books.

However, just for fun, let’s try rewriting it to suit current circumstances:

‘The hour was late, Mr Bear was sleeping but Mrs Bear was up yet again as Baby Bear was screaming!’

I have to say, peace of mind has been a little lacking this week. I have blogged about the excitement of garden renovations and parties and food and blankets but, to be honest, this week has not been easy for me. I have been tired. Not just a little lacking in sleep but nerve grating, bone achingly Exhausted. That special sort of tiredness that comes from having a baby who has woken up inexplicably screaming for the tenth time since you got into bed and has now decided that it is morning. The sort of tiredness that makes you have to swallow your irritation towards your husband as you haul yourself out of bed whilst he still sleeps blissfully unaware (I would add that hubby is usually very good at getting up with us when he is not exhausted himself from labouring in the garden all day). The sort of tiredness that makes you irrationally tearful and emotional.

I love my boy more than I could say.  I am so incredibly blessed to have him in my life. I am lucky that he usually sleeps so well. It is not his fault that he keeps waking. He is tired and confused and would rather not be awake so often. I know all of that but I would be lying if I did not say that there have been moments this week when everyday life has felt a little oppressive. I could not write about it at the time because I felt guilty. Instead I wrote about happy things, about blankets and food and parties. I recalled a walk from last week because I wanted to remember a time of tranquility when I was not so tired. Even as I write this I want to delete it and write something optimistic and cheerful but I want this blog to be honest and even the best of us have off days, or weeks.

Then last night it happened. I put my little man to bed and he slept. I went to bed and I slept. We both slept. There were no tears, no screams. Just Peace at Last.

Oh my.

I cannot describe how I felt when I woke up this morning, calm and well rested. Wonderful. A few hours of sleep and the fug had lifted, my mind was clear. All day I have felt like skipping. Hubby decided that he was going to have a break from gardening and we were going to have a bit of well-earned family time. Nothing spectacular, just all of us sitting together, playing together, being happy together.

Bliss.

By mid afternoon the patches of blue were calling and it felt like time to get out.

I hope you will forgive me another walking post but this is what I need at the moment. Fresh air, blue sky, open spaces.

Instead of our usual anticlockwise stroll around the lake we turned left and walked past ‘our’ lake, past the play area and towards the river hidden behind the¬†field.

Down here is a small inner-city country park with a trail through scrub and grassland, a haven for flowers and wildlife.

The paths were lined with these beautiful flowers which were alive with bees. (I’m afraid flowers are not my strong point, does anybody know what they are called?)

These seedheads just made me think of the Wombles of Wimbledon!

We walked through the grass and over the bridge until the path opened up to another, larger lake. 

Here the stream runs into this lake and there were hundreds of tiny little fish eating the little bits of goodness where the two meet. This is confirmation that there are actually fish inside these lakes as I have sometimes wondered if the eternal fishermen down here ever catch anything!

Everything was so green and beautiful. I love it down here. I felt so happy strolling quietly along with my husband and our amazing little man.

It was so calm and peaceful today. The weather was warm and still and the reflections were perfect. I breathed deeply and felt at one with the world.

The symmetry of these scenes never fails to amaze me Рlike the world is on its head. I could just stare at them for hours.

There were so many ducks and geese (you know how much I love waterfowl!) and the cygnets were turning from ugly ducklings into swans.

We didn’t walk very far but I enjoyed every minute of our time outside.¬†It was exactly what I needed.¬†¬†

I hope I have not bored you with my ramblings, both metaphoric and real, but I have found the process of writing this post incredibly cathartic. I am so relieved to have my equilibrium and ‘get up and go’ back. It has made me savour every sweet moment of tranquility today and take the opportunity to appreciate what I have in life. Peace at Last!

Tomorrow, I promise something different and much less self indulgent!

Sweet dreams! xxxxx

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Filed under Baby, Snapshot, Trips and outings