Friday, 19 May 2017

Calmness is restored

Now our bathroom is finished we have reinstated the second bedroom, until recently used as a work and storage area for all that was happening in the ensuite.
Although we envisaged buying fitted wardrobes for now Mr FF has moved the existing ones into the newly created space, they look fine. 
I bought a very cheap pair of off the shelf beige eyelet curtains, maybe they need an iron, but the room feels calm and of course has the benefit of the newly installed ensuite bathroom.  I'd be happy to sleep there, in fact we are toying with the idea of moving to the other end of the penthouse.  But don't think about coming over for a few days Mr FF is keen to get off to Italy.  Me I'd like to enjoy the quiet and the sunshine here for a while, I know what's waiting in a house that has been empty for 6 months and a garden that has been neglected for the same amount of time.  I could move into the second bedroom for a while before the next bout of dust and debris but we are leaving very soon.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

I couldn't wait

Having said I would take Josie Kittens sock pattern to Italy, I couldn't resist starting a pair using the Austermann Step yarn.
Both pattern and yarn got top marks, nice colour shading in a yarn that was good quality and an interesting textured pattern that wasn't too demanding.   I will definitely knit more of these especially as there are three size options.  

I am not really doing the pattern justice as I took the photos before I blocked. Sorry JK, not just in a hurry to start the pattern, in a hurry to show it off.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Breakfast treat

I love breakfast, its my favourite meal of the day.  When we wake before we get dressed one of us makes a pot of Yorkshire tea, I have one cup Mr FF two and whoever hasn't made the brew gets to drink theirs in bed reading. Eventually we drag ourselves into the shower, dress and properly set the kitchen table for breakfast.    For me its always a large milky coffee, Lavazza made in one of our many stove top espresso pots, some rough tough muesli and wholemeal toast with home made marmalade, honey or jam, preferably red.  Mr FF is much more demanding, he's heard to say I'm bored with this muesli before we get to the bottom of the jar and often cooks himself bacon or a poached egg.
So I was delighted to find these beautiful big cups recently in a charity shop, £3 for the 4.  I spotted them as soon as I went into the shop and I was thrilled to look underneath and see that they are Danish.

They are perfect for my cappuccino and making me very happy at the start of the day.  I expect Mr FF will be bored with them soon.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

A quick alert

The lovely people at Wool Warehouse have further reduced Drops Fabel 4 ply sock yarn to £1.30 for 50 g.  Since delivery is free on orders over £25 I fear there will be another lovely squashy bag of yarn arriving at the penthouse soon.
I have started using this yarn and I'm happy with the ways its knitting, I like the colour patterning and its not splitting or being at all tricky.  It may be slightly thinner than other brands and of course I can't guarantee how it will wash and wear but at the price I do think its worth a try.
I'd show you what I've done so far but we are off out for lunch, I will try to post later but for now I suggest you take a look.
Happy knitting.

photo added, shade 914 Shoreline

Sunday, 30 April 2017


We have over the last three days had Le Tour de Yorkshire cycle race passing through our beautiful county.    
Today was the last and toughest stage that passed through our town before tackling some serious climbs amongst amazing scenery.  And did we get a mention on the news, did we heck.  I am furious, we had top cyclists, millions of people out on the roads celebrating a wonderful event, no trouble, no problems, just a lot of fun and its totally free to enjoy.   Football, boxing, formula one all mentioned on the national news, Le Tour de Yorkshire not at all.  

Every inch of the route was packed with people, I bet there were more than a million spectators,  every town and village decked out with bunting and flags. Our wonderful Sir Gary Verity, chief exec of Welcome to Yorkshire, was driven round the route ahead of the race accompanied by Christian Prudhomme director of the Tour de France.  He reported that neither of them could believe the crowds and support, even better than the two previous years.  I wouldn't be surprised if we don't get another Grand Depart here before much longer and we already have the world road racing championships coming here in 2019.   We produce great riders, champions, the first Brit ever to win a stage on the Tour de France was from Yorkshire.   Brian Robinson was born in 1930, rode competitively in the 50s and 60s and still rides today.  I've met him, he's wonderful, a modest, genuine man who loves and supports cycling.  
Come on Britain, wake up to what happened here, this is special and important and positive, we are proud of how we make this event,  we want everyone to know how great it is and don't you think those guys on the bikes should get some credit to.  We are all cross.  

Monday, 24 April 2017

How did that happen

I am once again fully stocked with sock yarn so no further need to worry about me or the demise of my LYS.
The latest addition was this package from Wool Warehouse, again a beautifully presented bag full of Drops Fabel 4 ply, a yarn I haven't used before.   For some fortunate reasons Wool Warehouse applied an extra 10% discount to my bill for readers of Simply Crochet, I don't read that magazine, I can't crochet, so each 50 g ball worked out at £1.89, excellent.
Before ordering I checked the reviews on Ravelry and read that it was best to buy three balls as you can get two pairs of socks from 150 g, so mostly I did that risking 5 in one of the blue shades and hoping for either 3 pairs in a man's size or even a small persons garment. 
Rest assured that this year I shall not run out of yarn in Italy and I might still look there for something beautiful to make another Estuary.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Lest we forget

In my continued effort to clear the bookshelves, I've embarked on this
Three books in one, its a hardback of almost 600 pages so not ideal bedtime reading as I tend to nod off and drop it - heavily.  I've finished the first book, Regeneration, which centres on a real life encounter at Craiglockhart hospital Edinburgh, where first world war shell shocked soldiers were sent for treatment, between an army psychologist and Siegfried Sassoon.  At school so many years ago we studied the war poets, Sassoon, Wilfred Owen, Rupert Brooke et al, their words never left me so I enjoyed the book and knowing the setting from my years in Scotland made it all the more vivid.
Craiglockhart war hospital, now part of Edinburgh University
When we travel through France on our way to Italy the great war always comes into my mind as we pass signs for places from history, The Somme, Ypres, Arras and often we've glimpsed memorials and war graves from the motorway.  Two years ago we made a special visit to the Menim Gate in Ypres and last year as we travelled home we stopped off at the Ring of Remembrance, Notre Dame de Lorette.  
This remarkable modern memorial is a large ring of concrete containing 500 sheets of bronzed stainless steel listing 576,606 names, without rank of country, people of all nations who gave their lives in northern France.  I found it overwhelmingly sad.

The memorial is located on a strategic ridge that was bitterly contested during the war.  Nearby is a church with cemetery and ossuary that hold the remains of more than 40,000 soldiers as well as the ashes of many concentration camp victims, it was atmospherically misty when we were there.

Perhaps most touching of all were the elderly Frenchmen who every day stand at the entrance to the graveyard, each with a proud chestful of medals and wearing their berets.  This Honour Guard consists of volunteers who retain the memory of those who died for France and represent the families of the dead who are known to be burried in the cemetery.   We chatted to them briefly, they thanked us for our visit and we thanked them too.

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,

As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,

To the end, to the end, they remain.
For the Fallen, Laurence Binyon