Friday 30 November 2018

Another one bites the dust.

I promise that this will be the last dusty title. 
The end of another month, how fast they spin round it quite leaves me breathless.
I did the Grandchildren's shopping today, I was furnished with their clothes sizes, they grow like weeds and I needed an updated list.

Pyjamas and Christmas jumpers all round, they love their seasonal jumpers and last years are both grown out and worn out.

A trip to Home Bargains and Lidl filled the list nicely and I picked up a few stocking fillers as well. 
A good outcome although the shops were heavingly full with people shopping as though the prices were set to quadruple overnight. Perhaps it is a result of all the brexit scaremongering.

I am itching to get the tree and decorations out, it may happen tomorrow and then again it may not.
I have the last 3 rows of the blanket to attach and then make my mind up as to the border.

I watched the Crafthouse Magic podcast this morning, I have followed Ellie from day one, and she showed her new sock pattern, called candy cane. It was released tonight and I have just bought a copy, I have a skein of yarn by the same name and will be knitting it up this year, it will be my Christmas Eve cast on. I was going to break tradition and cast on a garment but this pattern changed my mind. Fickle.

There are several patterns around that I would love to make but am drawing a line through the list. Ellie's sock pattern will be the last addition to my library for a while.

I am late out to play today, with shopping, crochet and cooking there has not been a moment free. I did have to pick my times for walking the dogs with care as there has been scattered downpours. In fact the SO has just checked outside and informed me that it is dry. That means it is time to scoop Herbie up and get out for a brisk walk.

                                  TTFN                              Pam

Thursday 29 November 2018

Too wet for dust

Wet and Windy was the order of the day. There were a few dry bits so draped from head to foot in waterproofs Herbie and I sallied forth, he was so excited to have his coat on that he spent some time just spinning round in circles.

Not me, I just put my head down and went for it. I must admit that I enjoy my walks even in the rain (not the horizontal sort) and feel quite out of sorts if I miss them.

The crochet blanket is on it's way, 3 rows have been joined and the rest will soon follow. Once the rows are all joined I will take a pic before starting the border, that is still to be decided upon but it will not be lacy. Probably just some rounds of half trebles to give a fairly firm edge.

A few more rounds on the socks this morning while I caught up with Strictly It Takes Two.

There is no real hurry with these, they are for the SO, he knows, and is happy to wait. It isn't as though he is desperate for another pair.

I was watching the news yesterday and was not at all surprised that an amazingly stupid decision has been made by a Social Services  Department. In what reality does it become acceptable to offer contact with the child of a rape attack to the perpetrator?

Then there is the ongoing saga of Brexit, is it about the money? As one person said, when we were asked to vote in or out no mention was made of how it would effect us money wise.

The amount of scaremongering that took place in the run up to the referendum ensured that most of the country had no idea what any of it was about.

That's quite enough of that.

I am determined to finish working through the yarn, fabric and pattern stashes for at least another year.


I watch Skeindeer and she has 3 new patterns out this week. Then Julia The Happy Knitter was showing some amazing yarn today, temptation is lurking round every corner.

I must be firm.

I did manage to resist all the yarn advent calendars with no problem. 
A, they are hugely expensive. 
B, most of them are mini skeins, which I rarely use and 
C, I like to choose my own yarn.

I have managed to break a couple of my knitpro interchangeable needles, of course they are 2 different sizes. The replacements will have to wait until January, I just do not want to take the time to order them never mind spending more money. I do have fixed circs in the same sizes so all is not lost. My set of Chiaogoo,s are wonderful but not for magic loop. 
I have been looking at 12" circs for sleeves but will continue to use magic loop, I do not get ladders so it would be a definite want not a need. Perhaps I should sent a letter to father Christmas......

Right it is gone 6 and I have things that need doing.

                                 TTFN                              Pam

Wednesday 28 November 2018

More about dust

That is the dust that has been clogging my "little grey cells"  Mes Amis.

I have crocheted all the planned granny squares for Fran's blanket. The SO helped me lay them out and play with various colour plans. 

None were to my liking. sigh 

After wasting too many minutes shuffling I decided that the answer was to crochet 4 more squares in new colours. The colours have been selected and the hook is ready. As luck would have it all that aforementioned dust had challenged my maths skills, I had made extra cream squares. The blanket will now be a row longer, also to my better satisfaction.
I should have no problem getting those done by Friday night. My plan has been to get the top assembled over the weekend and then crochet the border during next week.

I will take time out to knit socks during Strictly, if only to give my hooky hands a break.

We had a very tasty lunch today, much more than we usually have. I made a version of Ciabatta (no recipe, just a vague idea) and it was a bit too wet so sliced up it became cheese on toast. Bellissima.

That means that tonight's dinner needs to be fairly light, soooo bacon chops (from Tesco packs of cooking bacon) cooked in some fizzy orange with leftover pasta bake it will be.

While the oven was on I made Mary Berry's Lemon Drizzle tray bake, I did not use the icing but mixed some granulated sugar into the lemon juice for a bit of crunch. BTW, when I make a cake that has citrus zest in it I do not add with the other ingredients but fold it in at the end. I find that beating it into the mix means that half the zest gets left on the beaters rather than in the mix.

As it is now Tea O'clock I may have to quality control a little piece, I did make a little taster cake in a 4" square tin, just in case.

                      TTFN                                             Pam

Monday 26 November 2018

Cleaning frenzy.

Today we both felt better after a touch of the lurgy, once we had filled the tanks with tea and coffee it was all systems go.
The house has been vacuumed from top to bottom, bathroom and kitchen fettled,  laundry done and dogs walked.

The SO decided that his indoor tool store needed a tidy up, Herbie was really eager to help and had to be evicted, twice.

After a little sit down and a cuppa at lunchtime we walked Herbie to the next village, around about a 2 mile round trip. The SO had to drop off a repeat prescription and I popped into the local shop to see if there were any bargains for the taking. A tray of chicken wings is now in the freezer and a slab of Rump steak is waiting to be sliced up. Not a bad little find, both were less than half price and their prices are comparable to the big 4, often cheaper.

The rest of today will be gentle, tomorrow I plan on "doing" the paintwork, with the dogs rushing around and doors constantly opening the dust seems to make a beeline for every white surface. 

Can you buy dust coloured paint?

As the month draws to a close I am turning my thoughts towards The Decorations. 
Every day I see more houses fully decked inside and out, I would be sick of them by Christmas.
We will probably go Under The Bed Diving at the weekend and pull them all out. 

Dinner tonight is a Broccoli and Pasta Cheese, with a crunchy gratin topping. All made and ready to slide into the oven, I plan on putting a curry in at the same time ready for tomorrow. I hate putting the oven on for one thing, it seems such a waste of power.

The SO is busy making pom poms and I have a few more granny squares to crochet. I did cast on a new pair of socks Saturday evening, with both the Strictly shows I managed to get the toe increases done and a few straight rounds, now they will rest till next week. 
I can not see myself touching them during the It Takes Two shows, I want to crack on with the blanket. I have three weeks to finish but would like it done and dusted well within that time.

Now I do believe that it is time for a cuppa.

                         TTFN                                   Pam.

Saturday 24 November 2018

Shuffle or Juggle.

WIP,s are what I am talking about.

These are the WIP,s that I am working on at the moment, top left is the latest dog blanket.Clockwise from that is a trial set of dog socks (more on those later), a pair of slipper socks, Fran's blanket, A pom pom project (the SO has taken that one over), finished squares for Fran's blanket and in the middle a sweater for Fran that just needs the sleeves attaching.

I consider that I am shuffling these as there is no anxiety about any of them.
Juggling is a busy word, it sounds as though there is lots of pressure to keep them all in the air at once. 

The dog socks are for Ben, he lets Herbie wash his feet and it is pulling the hair out!! I hope that socks will stop it. He was doing it to Ben,s head but a little neat shampoo put a stop to that.

The new dog blanket will be for mainly for Herbie, he loves his blanket and drags it around just like a child.

Every now and then he jumps up to have it admired, regardless as to what you may be doing.

In reality there are only 5 things there now that the SO is making pom poms, I want to make some bunting with them, for a change from the fabric set.

The sweater will be finished off later today and there are only 10 more Granny Squares to make for the blanket. Yes I still have to fasten them together and then crochet a border but that will not take long. The slipper socks are 1/3rd done and are not important, mainly to give my hands a break from the hooking.

I do have other WIPs and they will get their turn in the spotlight.

My month of Hygge is progressing well in most respects, I have cut down on my time here in blogland though. Some days this means that I have to chose between reading or writing, I just go with how I feel at that moment. I choose to avoid any pressure and am comfortable with that choice.

I did go into Ammanford yesterday, I needed some things from Wilco and it was not a good trip. Friday is market day and the town was busy, people pushing and shoving in a hurry to get there first, wherever "there" was.
I had considered doing my shopping, I even took the list, but abandoned the idea. I will go to Pontardawe at a time when it is usually quiet.

Dinner last night was a chilli, made with pork and flavoured at the end with some dark chocolate. It was sumptuous, I served it on a bed of steamed shredded cabbage, it was full of borlotti beans and veggies so rice would have been too much.

Tonight we are having a root vegetable casserole with steamed broccoli and  some Yorkshire Puddings from the freezer. I put the extra ones in from the last roast, much to Ben,s dismay he loves a Yorkie.

I see a small hill of pom poms appearing on the coffee table so I need to go in search of the butchers string (from last years Christmas packaging) to start making this bunting.

                   TTFN                                       Pam

PS. I will be casting on a new pair of socks for Strictly tonight. 
Well, it would be rude not to.

Wednesday 21 November 2018

In The Pink

I was bitten by the bug, the "change it all round" bug. The sewing room has gained a whole heap of space (can you have a heap of space?). The little? sofa has gone to a new home and the storage has been shuffled round giving me more floor space. This will mean that when I am piecing there will be plenty of room to move around the ironing board. 
Even better there is now space to lay out blocks to get a better idea of how they look. No more thundering up and down the stairs, with Herbie in hot pursuit, to lay them on Fran,s bed.

I got a second pair of Coral socks out of the ball simply by adding solid pink cuffs, toes and heels. These are another gift struck off the list.

The first pair.

A pair of mittens, to match the last hat that I knitted for Fran. have been made. Such a quick make, just 2 evenings, I aim to make a cowl as well but that will go into the Christmas box.

A little more work has been done on the scrappy quilt blocks.

I have lots of strips ready for the next few rounds. Some have been created by sewing shorter strips together, this will only add to the overall look.
Some of these fabrics are familiar to me, some are very new but all fill me with joy.
I have decided where this quilt will be going, I hope to get it done and in the post in a couple of weeks.

Herbie had his stitches out, such a relief for both of us. he has been very good at ignoring them, much too good as he has had to be watched like a hawk at all times. He came outside with me a week ago, to play while I pegged out, I looked up to see him jumping up to catch a branch of one of the apple trees. I had visions of ripped stitches and lots of complications.
This has been a theme during the past 2 weeks, he still wants to leap and jump, run up and down the stairs and play leapfrog round the garden pots.

It is no wonder that my hair is just about pure white now. That is not a whinge, I love my hair, in fact I am hoping that the last few strands either fall out or turn white soon, very soon.

I was not happy that all the sites I found to donate my hair will not take it. apparently more than around 10% grey is not wanted.  I would have thought that older women would want a realistic hair colour, I certainly would not want the very blonde hair of my youth. My skin tones would make it look brassy now. Hey Ho, I will continue to let it grow through the winter and then think again when the warm weather comes back.

I made pizza for dinner last night, the dough was wonderful. I used the recipe from Jenny Can Cook on you tube. So easy, no kneading no work. She made hers in what looked like a frying pan, I used a half standard rectangle tin. I did heat a cookie sheet in the oven so the tin went on to a very hot surface. Result,  a lovely crisp bottom.
We don't like soggy bottoms in this house.

Now I have a cuppa to enjoy and then a Herbie who needs a good walk.

                       TTFN                                  Pam

Friday 16 November 2018

Here we go again

You remember a while ago the upheaval regarding the sewing room?
Well he's been at it again.
This time it was the living room.
All I said was, mmmm, sounds good!

That was my absent minded response when the SO said he was thinking of moving one of the sofa,s and the TV.

Oh My Goodness, what was I thinking. The answer is that I was not thinking at all, I was working out a stitch pattern.

Of course, by the time that reality jumped up and shook me into full awareness it was too late.

The drill was out, rug rolled up, furniture pulled about and the TV off the wall.
This time though all was back to rights before dinner.

Well nearly all, there was still a heap of things strewn around the sewing room. The large coffee table that had been in there for ages was now back in the sitting room. The move round had gained us a huge amount of floor space, and said table now has plenty of space.

I had to move a bookcase and all the yarn that was stored in it and we ran out of steam last night.
First thing this morning it was all put back and is looking good.

The TV mounting holes in the wall have been filled, they will need sanding back before painting but that will be tomorrow.

I must keep my ear alert for any more suggestions,I really do not want the bedrooms turned inside out and upside down this close to Christmas.

Perhaps I should head him off by talking about The Tree and The Decorations. That should give food for thought.

After all the pushing, lifting and shoving yesterday we relaxed in front of the TV. Fran had bought the new Mama Mia film on prime and we watched that. The SO enjoyed it so much that we watched the first one right away.
I really enjoyed the new film and I 'fess up to having a tear or three in the final scenes with Meryl Streep playing the ghost of Donna. It would have been nice to know how Donna died but hey, it is still a good watch.

A top notch "feel good" film. 
With no violence, no filthy language and no gratuitous sex.  
A rare bird indeed.

The knitting continues, cushion covers are cut out with thread and zips at the ready.

B  U  T

Another confession.

All that fabric has been sorted into size groups, pressed and is mostly put away ready for when inspiration strikes.
I say "most" as there are 30 blocks halfway there. I have just finished putting another strip on them and the next step is to press and trim. They are now around 7 - 8" squareish. I will be building them up to 12 1/2" before sewing into a 5 by 6 block quilt top.

Once layered, quilted and finished it will be donated.

I have called it Karma Chameleon as each block starts with either a Red, Gold or Green square. 

Photo to follow once it is presentable.

I am making myself take this steadily, using my interpretation of hygge, the temptation is to just shut myself away and sew till it is done. 

There is always another day tomorrow and I have no need to rush to the finish and miss enjoying the process.

It is now getting towards dinner time for Ben and Herbie so I am off to the kitchen.

I will make a start on our dinner as well, Fish Pie tonight with a sweet potato topping.

                                  TTFN                                 Pam

Tuesday 13 November 2018

Weather unpredictable.

The sun was shining from a clear blue sky when I walked Ben and Herbie first thing. Hip Hip Hooray, I thought.

Upon my return home I threw a load into the washing machine only to watch as the sky blackened and it hammered down with rain.

Hey ho, such is life, I am not going to fuss about something that I have no control over. Think calming thoughts is today's mantra.

Ooh Er! that has gone out of the window, big time.

I was just interrupted by a knock at the door. A friend has just handed me 2 bags of fabric scraps and off cuts for my donated quilts. Deep joy, let the pressing commence, quite soon. First I have a little gentle sewing to do.

How quickly things can change the mood, I have gone from being relaxed as in almost horizontal to bolt upright and almost quivering with eagerness to get stuck in.

I will take my time before jumping in, I have some planned sewing and will do that during the day. It is just a set of cushion covers for W, I want to use a concealed zipper in the back, mainly because it is an age since I used that closure.

On that note I better close this and get started. The sooner started the sooner finished.

                            TTFN                                     Pam

Monday 12 November 2018

Winding Down

November is often a filthy month as far as weather is concerned, wind, rain, fog and frost, and then a bit more of each.
My weekend of Hygge is going to be drawn out to cover the rest of the month. Friday night and Saturday went very well, lots of bits and bobs tidied away ( why am I constantly tidying? ) and empty spaces created. just like neutrals and solids on a quilt they give the eye somewhere to rest. 
Sunday was a day to remember all those who served, not just the fallen. Many members of my family were there, quite amazingly they all came back although they were all deeply affected. Of course I only know this through years of family gatherings and listening to the ensuing conversations.

I want to start winding down the projects and WIPS that are filling my space, and mind, with noise. It seems like a constant chatter almost nagging me to get them dealt with.

I also want to use the rest of the year to finish off some knitting WIPS, there are not many, a dk cardigan, a chunky cardigan and 3 jumpers, 2 chunky, 1 Aran. At least those are the ones that come to mind, I will have to check to make sure.

The oldest is around 2 years old, and just needs the sleeves finishing. I am not on "sleeve island" with it, I just got bored with SS and went on to some patterned things. Then discovered the wonder that is sock knitting.
The other 4 have been getting a little attention here and there but went into the shadows when gift kitting commenced.
I am well into my list now, and one of the jumpers has been dragged into the light and will become a gift.

Then there are the quilt tops waiting to be finished off and 2 quilts still in blocks. 

I would love to see them finished by the end of the year, in reality that means before Dec 24th as it will be the Christmas Eve cast on.

I know that this is nigh on impossible, but I am going to give it my best shot.

That cast on is usually socks but this year may be a pair of Norwegian mittens from my Arne and Carlos book.

I have started thinking about next years projects and will be starting a new project on January 1st. I have not decided on what just yet but it will be a garment.
Rather than just diving into the yarn stash and knitting randomly I would like to have a somewhat structured plan. With that in mind I have unearthed a hardcover notebook which will become my journal.

There will be socks, I like a portable project, but not nearly as many pairs as this year.
I have the Arne and Carlos book of Christmas baubles and would like to work my way through that. Not for the tree but to make a garland, I think that it would be amazing.

In the sewing department I hope to make some scrappy projects, I am certain that between my scrap drawers and the drawer of part made scrappy blocks I can fashion 2 quilts.

I know that there will be temptations along the way, and I know equally that I will succumb to some of them. To help me resist that I will be making a detailed list of projects for the year, that will include spaces for spontaneous making.

Wish me the strength of mind to adhere to that.

As to my mind, it has been a bit scattered lately, I find that I am almost reluctant to leave the house unless it is essential. The only exception to that is the dog walking, that I look forward to every day.
I do not feel ill or depressed (mind you getting soaked to the skin by the sudden downpours is getting beyond a joke) I am just happy in my own skin and my own home. I see my neighbours every day, I chat to the other walkers and their dogs. I do not spend much time on social media as there is always something that I would rather use my time for.
I am not a vain person, I wear no cosmetics or jewellery and fashion is a stranger to me. I am however very aware of the state of my teeth, I have gaps and there is still work to be done. It will be a while yet before those gaps can be plugged. Meanwhile I am still lisping along with the best of them and that niggles, quite a lot.

I do get enquiring looks from those I speak to who are not in the know. I just ignore it but try not to put myself in those situations.

I feel that it sounds as though I have a bit of the " Greta Garbo" complex, not so. I hope not anyway.

I hope that once this grim month is over the joy of December will kick the November blues into touch.

If I am absent for a day or so it will just be that I have immersed myself into the current WIP, the rest of today is devoted to a sewing project that has been loitering for several months. I bought the fabric last February, cut it out and then promptly abandoned it. My reasoning was that it was a Christmas project so there was no rush, and now there are only a handful of weeks left.

On that happy note I will wish you a lovely day, wherever you are.

                               TTFN                               Pam

Friday 9 November 2018

A weekend of Hygge.

Herbie is absolutely over his op. So over it that this morning when I knelt down to pick something off the floor he leapt from the sofa on to my back and then onto the other sofa.
Quite the athlete.
We were at the Vets this morning for his checkup and all is extremely well. The next visit will be to get the stitches removed. Ouch. It is a shame that they do not use the ones that dissolve.

The forecast was for a filthy day with heavy rain and driving winds, we had a little rain and one downpour and a bit of wind. The temperature has been all over the place though. When I took Rufus for his walk it was very chilly, after around 15 minutes the temperature began to rise and I soon had gloves and hat off. It has fluctuated quite a bit since then but is now back to fairly warm.

I did the shopping yesterday, a quick visit to Pontardawe, Tesco, Home Bargains and Lidl. I can not get everything that I want in any one shop but at least these are very close together.

Dinner last night was a Sweet Potato, chickpea and Spinach Curry, I cooked a handful of rice in with the curry as it was a bit too loose. Saved on washing up as well, I had a lentil dahl and some onion bhaji,s in the freezer so they became part of the meal. 
Tonight we are having a variation on Mary Berry's sausage supper, a firm favourite, tonight it will be with root veg including parsnips and carrots.

I have drawn up a meal plan for the next 4 weeks based on what is in the freezers and pantry. I WILL get the small chest freezer empty ready to start afresh.

The pantry is shrinking slowly in some parts, pulses, pasta and rice for instance and much quicker in others. The herbs and spices are visibly shrinking now as is the tinned goods stock. As our meals of choice has changed our stock needs to change accordingly.

I am in dire need of a cuppa, it has been all systems go today and apart from driving to the vets and back this is the only time that my btm has landed on a chair. It won't be there long as I have a list of things to do.

I wish you all a very good weekend, mine is (fingers crossed) going to be based around Hygge, a word that has cropped up several times this week.  It may well be my word for next year.

                          TTFN                                          Pam

I have just seen the latest post from Mean Queen,s Life After Money blog. Do go and look, there is a banned Advert from Iceland on there and everybody in the world should watch it. All Politicians should sit through it on loop for at least an hour. Pam xxxx

Tuesday 6 November 2018

Herbie's big day.

We were at the vet,s on time and Herbie trotted in as usual, perky and quite clearly at ease. He had a once over from the vet and went off with her without a backward glance.

I have to call later and see how things have progressed and find out what time he can be collected.

Rufus had his usual walk and then Ben went out for a short one, he has not looked around for Herbie at all. I expect that he is making the most of the peace and quiet.

I will probably be doing the knitting equivalent of pacing at times during the day. No chores left to do, I was up bright and early this morning and all the jobs are done.

I have Strictly It Takes Two to watch and then there is a sewing podcast that I want to have a look at. Lunch will be whatever I see first in the fridge and dinner will possibly be a chunky pasta sauce poured onto steamed shredded cabbage. I don't fancy pasta and we have had potato in several meals lately. The beany burgers and rice were just the job last night. I added some peppers, sliced red onion and some warm spices and dried basil to the pan before frying the rice and then stirred some petit pois through. All in all a very tasty meal.

I am off to have a look for lunch, I have just remembered that there is a little Tuna, red onion and mayo in a dish. That will be good in a sandwich, there is also a dish of hummus so I may add a little of that as well.

                          TTFN                                          Pam

Monday 5 November 2018

Monday, on track.

My usual routine had to be put back an hour today, the SO had to go for a routine asthma clinic check up. Normally this is in our village surgery but today he had to go 2 villages away. You have to allow plenty of time for the journey as the road is very narrow, has cars parked all over the show and carries a lot of traffic, lots of HGV,s.

Then of course you have to wait, and wait,and wait...At least that is the norm.Today we were in and out in record time and with a bit of elbow grease and go faster stripes I am all caught up. Herbie and Rufus had a delayed walk but just as long as ever, maybe even longer.

I added another 8 granny squares to the stack yesterday, I hope that a few more will fall off the hook later today. 62 is not a massive amount but they will have to be joined together and then a border crocheted on.

Fran's birthday is 19 days away and I would love to have it finished by then, if not well that's okay. It will just go into the festive box.

There is bright sunshine out today and it is very warm, doors and windows are open and it feels more like May than November. A day to tuck away in the memory bank, then it can be taken out and looked at when the rain, or worse, is hammering down in icy torrents.

The SO is busy shampooing rugs, They are not particularly dirty but Herbie and Ben like to roll on them so they need a freshen up and a nice clean scent.

I have tucked most of the summer clothes away and will not be making or buying any next year. I will do my usual January Sales undies shop, I don't go mad and by shopping the sales I can save a pretty penny.

There is enough yarn for another 12 months knitting and some crochet, along with a heap of fabric scraps that need using. Perhaps a couple of quilts to donate will happen. I took a heap of blankets to the CS a while ago and they were very grateful. 
Since I added the small wicker chest of drawers to the sewing room my shelves are far less cluttered, I can now see with a glance what is there. 
The little chest of drawers that live under the Horn Cabinet are the last thing to give me any grief. They need to stay in situ as they provide additional support to the lift up extension flap for quilting. If I left this table up all the time there would be no problem, but it is only used when I am quilting. When piecing or sewing it is in the way and takes up too much floor space. I am a moaning Minnie today, I step back, take that whinge back and say instead, I am very grateful to have my cabinet. 

And on that note I bid you bye bye, there is tea to be made and drunk. Dinner is organised, Beany Burgers each stuffed with a chunk of cheese are resting in the fridge and I will make some sort of rice and veggy dish to have with them.

                     TTFN                                                 Pam

Sunday 4 November 2018

Wild, Wet and very noisy

The sound of the rain slamming into windows and the howling of the wind were very nearly drowned out by the sound of money going up in smoke.
Yep, fireworks.
There is a large house close by, lived in by an extended family, (no young children) that is quite ostentatious, a highly visible display of wealth. 
As the saying goes, If you've got it, flaunt it.

Last night they sent several hundreds of pounds sterling up in smoke, bright showers of colour and many loud booms and bangs.

Jealous? not a jot.

Annoyed? quite a lot.

Apart from the intrusion of noise and the stink, apart from the dozens of rocket sticks that will be strewn around the gardens, the sheer waste astounds me.

There were a few organised displays (always the best and safest way to see fireworks)  cancelled because of the forecast high winds. 
These attract many people and the diluted cost is easier to swallow for the majority of us.

I know, it is their money to do with what they will.  I have no right to criticise, but....

I do not like ostentatious displays of wealth. I am not, I hope, one of those self righteous "if I can't have it nobody should" people. At least I hope so. I have a strong conscious sense of what is right, instilled into me from birth. Perhaps I go overboard.

If I am offending anyone then just stop reading, it is so easy.

When I see money being thrown away my mind goes into overdrive. I think of all the children going hungry, all the homeless who need a warm coat and a meal and I despair.

I acknowledge that there is no short and easy resolution to either situation. Successive governments, of all persuasions, have failed. Great fundraising drives have had no long term effect, indeed there are those who say that it just prolongs the situation.

I just feel that it is probably down to Joe and Jane Public to each do their bit.

I do a regular food bank shop, I try to buy things that can be eaten cold as often there is no money to feed an expensive pay as you go meter.
I like to buy the other essentials, toothpaste and brushes, shampoo and body wash, bars of soap, menstrual pads and so on. At the appropriate time I add chocolate bars, not eggs, for Easter and for Christmas. I buy tins of sweets that can be divided up into small bags, they were 2 for £6 in Tesco at one point.

As someone once said "man does not live by bread alone" children of all ages need a treat every now and then.

Then there is the flip side of the coin.

There are beggars on the streets of one of our local towns, they are all clean, well nourished and fairly well groomed. One of them has a better manicure than most women that I know. But the hungry are always there, invisible, silent, despairing.

I am a "feeder", I like to cook and feed people. I hate to see waste and use every scrap of food that comes into the house.
As I have said many times, I count myself very fortunate to have the knowledge to do this. Vegetable peelings go into a stockpot, the onion skins add colour as well as flavour. The stock goes into many meals. I am still learning tricks, last week I watched James Martin deep fry parsnip peelings. How much are root veg crisps a packet, a pretty penny I have no doubt.

I do not deep fry anything, but I found that carrot peelings crisp up beautifully in shallow oil, you just have to cook a few at a time. my next try will be parsnip peelings, sprayed with fry light and put in the air fryer. If they fail then it will be into the stock pot with them.

I am on the soap box again, preaching to the converted, I am not trying to "teach my Grandmother how to suck eggs". She would have blown them and made a cake. I am just running off at the mouth, so to speak.

The soap box is back in the cupboard.

What about Strictly then? The scores are all over the shop. It is a completely open field and we are at halfway point now. Still that elusive 40 has not shown its face,perhaps it is waiting for Blackpool.

I did manage a fair bit of knitting, vanilla socks so that I do not have to take my eyes off the dances.
I have completed 10 of the 64 crochet squares and will hopefully crank a few more out tomorrow, not until after The Results and Dance Off though, it will be strictly only socks during that.

Now I need to get my day started, it is amazing how fast the time goes when I get a bee in my bonnet to share.

                           TTFN                              Pam   

I hope that this has not come over as bossy or preachy, It is just how I felt while Herbie enjoyed the display. He charged around with all the excitement of a small boy at his first party. leaping up to catch the bright showers and yipping with glee at every bang.
There was one very loud Boom that had him jump backwards through the back door, he soon recovered his equilibrium and went out as fast as he entered. 

Back tomorrow with a brighter post. Pam xx

Friday 2 November 2018

Friday musings

I walk Rufus and Ben together every day, we set off along the road and they are full of beans and bounce.They do stop for the odd irresistible scent or 3 but mainly they are letting off steam. Then if we go to the tip their energy levels escalate, this is not good for Rufus so mostly we head for a footpath or lane.
There is one lane in particular, I call it The Lane that Forgot Time. Once you get a few steps in the traffic noise drops away, the dogs slow down to a wander and my mind wanders with them. It feels almost otherworldly, like a scene from a film or a paragraph or so from a novel.

I lose all sense of time and just go with the flow, the first time we did that walk we were gone for 2 hours. Now I have a few landmarks where I know that it is time to turn back. The temptation is to just keep on till we get to never never land, or where ever it leads to.

I was watching a new to me podcast yesterday and the presenter was getting ready to knit her first garment. Her swatch was off the correct gauge and she was not sure what to do. I wanted to put my hand into the telly and give her a little shake.
Her pattern was from an upmarket knitting magazine and her yarn was the cheapest acrylic from a discount store that she could find. This was so that she did not waste too much money if said garment did not fit.
In my mind she should have found her local yarn shop and chosen a budget yarn that had patterns designed for that particular yarn.

I am amazed at the proliferation of You tube channels where people show their shopping off, or how they clean their house. Who watches this? who has time to? Why is it deemed watchable?
Then there is Gogglebox on the TV, Francesca is hooked, or at least she was the last time she was here.

I remember years ago hearing that the number of cook books and programs being published was growing at the exact same rate as ready meals were being developed. DUH1

I seem to be missing something.

Hey ho, it takes all sorts to make a world.

I spend a day making a dress when I could pop to the shop and buy it for less money in 2 minutes.

In my bathroom I have a tall unit that houses all the paraphernalia required and has 2 sections for laundry, light and dark. So why do the SO,s dark socks invariably land in the lights bin. 

On an up note I have made a start on Francesca's crochet blanket and of course I am not following any pattern. I have decided to make 8 round granny squares in solid colours, half in cream and the other half in a selection of 8 colours, I will assemble them like a chess board and then make up a border with the remains of the yarn. If I make 4 squares a day it will be done this month, they are very fast as there are no colour changes, 5 done in no time today. 

Strictly socks tonight as  catch upon Zoe Ball,s show, I saved it up after watching Mondays episode. An easy peasy dinner tonight, I dragged a selection of curries out of the freezer and some naan breads. No prep and minimal washing up.

I have to get 4 more balls of cream yarn for the blanket, the colours that I will have left are ear marked for another blanket for someone else.
While I am ordering that yarn I want to buy some Aran weight wool for a hat for a gift, I have been through the stash and do not have 3 colours that I feel sit right together, This is a colour work double layer hat from one of the Arne and Carlos books, I have one myself and it has been admired by a friend.

Now I think that it is time for a little catch up blog reading.

                            TTFN                                    Pam

Thursday 1 November 2018

Purple Porridge and Pink Perfection.

Perfect Purple porridge, oh such yummyness. I made good use of the wonderful crop of fat blackberries and have many kilos squirrelled away in the freezer. A handful go into my porridge every morning and as I smell them heating up I can feel the sun on my face. It is a good thing that I do not feel the many prickles that went into my fingers as well.

Pink Perfection, AKA Grown up Girl, Oh My Goodness.

In the flesh this is much pinker and very sparkly. It was a custom order from the talented Jenny of Owl about yarn, as you can see she added a little Owl progress keeper to the pack. I will be getting it caked up ready to cast on for Saturday's Strictly Come Dancing. 
Talking about Strictly, how close is it getting? It really is anybody's game yet. All of the celebs have had amazing and abysmal dances, I am thoroughly enjoying this year after feeling a bit flat when the contestants were announced.    
I am happy to eat my words.  
I have socks on the needles, of course.

They are further along than this and I will share when finished, I used a leftover ball for the cuff and have put in one heel in yellow and the other in a different pink, I will reverse the colours for the toes. Yes, you are right, I am knitting these on 2 separate needles top down. With afterthought heels, I was planning on heel flap and gusset but knitted too far last Saturday and Sunday in front of Strictly. I was not about to tink or frog so afterthought it had to be.

I Cut My Knitting. SCARY, very Scary. But it all turned out fine. I know that many sock knitters use the true afterthought method and love it. There are those who knit a long tube with ribbing at each end and cut for heels and toes. They have my admiration, it may be quicker but I doesn't like it. I doesn't like it one little bit. I was so tense that it took 2 mugs of hot chocolate and a handful of biscuits to calm me down. I kid you not, my shoulders were aching with the tension. I didn't really need the biscuits, it was a want, and I went for it.

Yesterday Herbie went to the VET for a check over. This is in readiness for the Big Snip next Tuesday. He still only has one testicle dropped so they will do an ultrasound to look for the other one. If they find one it will mean a bigger operation (along with a bigger bill) and a longer recovery time for him. I can buy a special Babygrow thingy (for "How Bl**dy Much") if he has the big op , or I can go through my fabrics and make some. I will be doing the latter as he will need more than one. He could wear the Cone of Shame but that would not prevent Ben from access. Plus the thought of him rushing full tilt around the place leaving a swathe of destruction in his wake says a Big fat NO.

We have had 3 consecutive hard frosts and the last one on Tuesday night has finished off my Fuchsias, they were smothered on blooms, but I still have some roses near the house in full flower. I am thinking of cutting them for the house later rather than losing them as well.

The pad is down for the compost bins so they will be moved into place tomorrow. 

I am doing my usual Fridge Bottom meals this week, last night it was Spaghetti Carbonara and tonight it will be a mushroom and bacon Something, with some spinach in there as well.

That's all for now, the sun is shining, Ben has had a bath and has dried off so he can have a stroll in the sun and I can make some Vitamin D.

                             TTFN                                      Pam