Hey Ho, if it did not rain what would we have to talk about? when we can meet and talk that is.
I have to say that I am making the most of both the weather and the lockdown.
Hey Ho, if it did not rain what would we have to talk about? when we can meet and talk that is.
I have to say that I am making the most of both the weather and the lockdown.
I am sure that in parts of the world, at least north of the equator, there has been enough dry cold air to start the leaves turning to burnished bronze and amber. Just not here, too wet, too warm and too much wind.
Even my blueberries just shed their leaves while still green, it has been wet, windy and not really cold. The wind and odd storm have moved lots of the leaves into heaps that are slowly mouldering away.
Many plants that should still be in flower have been shredded by the wind and rain, not to mention the odd hailstorm.
In need of some colour I turned to my knitting, Fran's new sweater is richly coloured and I am knitting Christmas socks in seasonal colours.
Then I had some moments that were pure serendipitous. I was watching the Sheep and Cheerful podcast and Nikki was knitting a pumpkin hat in glorious orange. I found the pattern and in a moment it was paid for, downloaded and printed. There is also a Kal going on that I need to finish some WIPs and get posted for.
Then I watched the first Vlogmas from Ange at Yarn N Yarns and she is doing the same, an Autumn make and a Thank Goodness it's finished make.
I don't usually take part in Kals as I tend to lose track and forget to take photos.
This time though I will be joining in, I have a pile of WIPs to finish up, most do n ot need very much work, and I have some gift knitting to do.
I went straight on to Ange,s shop and bought yarn for the hats, well for the girls ones, I will knit Mum and Dads from stash yarn. Bless her she packaged up the order yesterday and it arrived this morning. I had already cast on Dad's hat and finished it before bedtime. such a quick knit. because the yarn arrived this morning I have knit one of the girls hats, I decided to crochet a leaf and attach to each hat. Just because.
These will be gifted as soon as they are finished, I may make a small pumpkin and attach to the girls hats, it depends on how much yarn I have left.
The street is much quieter now that the local lock down is in place, I took Herbie out a short while ago and only saw 2 cars. There are still people inviting visitors into their homes against the new measures, one can only suppose they have a death wish.
We have been going through each room, emptying cupboards and sorting the contents out. Some furniture has been moved and every nook and cranny has been cleaned. Today Michael emptied the welsh dresser and cleaned the inside, disposed of some rubbish that had secreted itself away and refilled the rest tidily.
We decided to sit down fairly early, yippee I had my hat to knit, and had a stroll down memory lane and watched the first 2 Ghostbusters movies. Herbie got very excited a few times and ran round like a hamster in a wheel.
I am now tucked up in bed with one of the sock WIPs and Herbie is on the bottom of the bed snoring. I plan on catching up with a few podcasts.
All in all It has been a good day, even if the garden is a mix of green, colourless dying leaves and mud. There is plenty of colour indoors.
PS, starting the day with purple porridge is great.
It's been a funny few days here.
With the news that the Royal Glamorgan hospital is taking no new admissions due to an ongoing Covid situation. The extra work load will be divided btween other units including our local Morriston hospital. I am resigned to the fact that my cataracts will be with me into the next year.
Michael has had a letter asking him to arrange both an Xray and a video call regarding further work on the thumb that he almost severed. He has managed with it as is for the last 3 1/2 months. He should have had this Xray at the end of July and has no inclination to go anywhere near a hospital right now. So he has declined the invitation.
Our neighbour,S, who owns Revi and Poppy was at work on the family farm, last weekend, with his teenage nephew is on red alert. Yesterday his sister rang him to say that her sone was home from school on the direction of the track and trace system. he had been in contact with someone who tested positive for C-19. They are now trying to assertain when the contact occured and whether S has to be tested and/or quarantine. Thankfully we have a system in place where we transfer the dogs with no close contact. This was a "just in case" decision and I am so pleased that we made that call.
My friend has finished her treatment so the Bichons will not be here for a month now, then she will have a checkup appointment. as before we have a hand over with no close contact.
It was easy to arrange in both cases, it isn't rocket science, it isn't even like picking up a dropped stitch in a lace pattern.
We have a new to me veg box scheme in Pontardawe, Frosty's will deliver to our village. they will make a mixed box with fruit or 2 separate ones from £10 to £whatever. They also offer a range of pantry staples, whole foods and vegan supplies and are very accommodating. Yes they are dearer than the supermarkets. Yes they have a smaller choice, you will not have 30 types of lettuce to chose from, but that can be a bonus. We will be trying them out soon, I have a fridge full of fruit and veg to eat through first.
The news is still full of whinging people but there are some truly inspiring people out there as well. Those who have weighed up the situation, thought about it and altered their routines to be able to help their neighbours.
The writing was on the wall in plenty of time for all to get prepared, in fact it has been on the simmer from the beginning. The warning has been there for all to see and hear that the winter would bring an upsurge of cases.
I am still amazed that anybody thought that opening up the Universities was a good idea. Hundreds and thousands of young people are now in virtual house arrest, having paid fees and accommodation costs and getting much less in return than they expected or deserved. At the same time those who are bleating about wanting to return home need to stop. Look in the mirror and ask if they really want to potentially take a killer into the family home.
Once again. It isn't rocket science. If they haven't got it before they start for home it is highly likely that they will be in contact with it before they arrive. Pessimist. Too right I am. We will not be in contact with anybody for a long time, we do not want to put ourselves ir anyone else at risk.
Apart from all that we are well, the dogs had a good 2 hours walk this morning and are happily slumped across the sofas sleeping it off.
PS. I am sure that i started this with something particular to say but have run off piste. At leaast I didn't have the soapbox out to fall off.
David Attenborough is a familiar face on our screens and has been for decades. His new book and program strike to the heart of the consumer society.
He tells us to use less, waste nothing and the subtext is buy organic.
This morning when he was featured on the Beeb there was a shot of battery chickens in the background.
Factory farming started to provide cheaper food for our ever increasing population. As a "baby boomer" I, my generation and susequent ones are to blame.
That was the time to get up and speak about the effect this would have on the planet. It was just not on the agenda at that time.
It is very easy to be wise after the event.
The longer the event goes on the harder it becomes to reverse, never mind stop.
I guestimate here. I think that up to 75% of the worlds population live either in the poverty gap or a smidgeon above it.
These people waste nothing. They do not consume vast amounts of power.
They do not fill their cars (they simply don't have the money) with Kilos of food and then bin a large percentage at the end of the week.
They do not buy clothes and household goods on a regular basis just to consign them to landfill when the fashion changes. In fact they probably shop second hand when they absolutely have to, thus helping the environment.
In MY opinion most, if not all, of the rhetoric needs to be directed at the (roughly) 25% of the worlds population who have the money to throw around.
The "jet set" with air travel, the fashionistas with revolving wardrobe doors, the shoppers who buy ever increasing volumes of everything from food to cosmetics and jettison it just to make room for more.
These are the people who should be targeted, after all if you cannot afford a leopardskin coat you are not responsible for the reduced population.
Equally if you cannot afford to buy organic free range food to feed your family you have to buy the cheaper alternative. You are not responsible for factory farming.
I am off the soap box now, but will keep it handy.
I just wanted to add that I did not mention the middle ground. All of us who may or may not be rich but have the means and the ability to stretch our money wisely. We already waste nothing, make do and mend and repurpose as much as possible. Some of us are firmly in the perceived poverty belt, although you would never know it, and some of are in the wealthy belt but do not flaunt or waste it. I know that it is wrong to generalise but there is not enough room here to be specific. Gosh, that sounds like a cop out. Sorry, but I had a strong reaction to being preached at by someone who has never had to make do or go without and would probably not recognise the Benefit Trap if he fell in it. I do still admire him, he is a stand alone man, head and shoulders above many others of his ilk.
It has been a few days.
I didn't plan it but got stuck into getting the house and garden ready for winter.
We decided to have a change round upstairs and leapt, laughing foolishly, down the rabbit hole of decorating. Our bedroom has had a clean sweep and looks much better for it. Just changing a few things around has opened up the space and makes it seem larger.
The bathroom did not escape, no painting but changing round the storage, and adding a unit has pulled it together. All my cleaning and laundry supplies are now in the one space, easy to check for gaps when it comes to my online shopping.
The landing is next on the list and one wall that has some scuffs and scrapes will be cosying up with paint and brush later this morning.
BTW I am up at stupid o'clock after a hectic day, much lifting, moving and walking back and forth. That without the dog walking, and of course Herbie not only wanted an extra one but also wanted to walk further each time. I 'fess up that the last one saw me in onesie, boots and long coat after a lovely long shower.
Never mind dust bunnies, I think they were giant man eatering rabbits from outer space, and I do clean regularly. Thankfully there wasn't a spider or web to be seen (tempting fate here)
Michael, while sitting and slurping coffee, said in all innocence "we will do Francescas room next week.". This while I was still scuttling around with boxes and armsfull of things that were heading for their allocated places.
There may have been a red haze with overtones of blue for a few seconds.
However we have settled on putting the living room into winter mode. That means moving the sofas, I have one under the window in front of the radiater all summer, moving my craft lamp into place and making room for The Tree.
I also make the time to go through my yarn stash. this year I have already done that. I wanted to get all my fingering weight in one place. (I am able to knit socks for most of next year,) blushing madly. There is also a box of various yarn that has Fran's name on it. 2 sweater quantities and several skeins of fingering weight.
The string quilt blocks are all made, I just have the last batch to trim. The wadding and backing are ready for pinning once the top is assembled.
I did not make my quilt deadline but a lot has happened in the interim. The new restrictions have meant that we have a group of 6 set in place and that does not include the planned recipient.
We have our neighbour, for the dogs sake he has to be included. Then there is my friend, she still has many more treatment sessions to go through, The last 2 are the couple that Michael has been working for. He is still popping back and forth and will be doing that for some time yet. They have a brand new granddaughter so we are all being meticulous about procedures.
The local lock downs have moved closer to us with Cardiff and Llanelli affected. I think that Swansea will soon follow and that is very close as the crow flies.
I see that some of the supermarkets are seting out buying restrictions, it is a good thing that lessons were learnt, perhaps there will not be the empty shelves of a few months ago.
The only item that I have not seen return is wholemeal bread flour, another thing that I now buy online. My favourite loose leaf tea has vanished from the Asda website so that will be something else to search for, not till next year though as I have plenty in stock.
Speaking of tea, my cup is empty but there is more in the pot, better drink it before it gets cold.
Thank you for your comments on my last post. We got the good news last night that the test had a negative result.
As Fancesca is very sensible she is being even more careful than ever.
Many of you mentioned that people are being less than prudent in their reactions, attitude and the way they go about their lives. I can only think that our education system has failed miserably. If people holding down responsible careers and jobs are unable to behave responsibly in their personal lives and are not able to understand basic rules then there is little hope for the future.
I see that school bus drivers are concerned about the numbers of passengers, who as well as being close together are not required to wear masks. Surely the safety of the staff is down to the employer.
Have these people not heard of "Due Diligence" or even better "Corporate Manslaughter".
More to the point, what are the parents saying?
We seem to have become a world solely concerned with "the bottom line" and ever increasing profit margins.
Perhaps if we were not such a throwaway society it might be different.
I am not sure whether the words "not yet recycled" or the lack of any guidance on packaging is more annoying. There has been plenty of time for all packaging to be made recycable. Sir David Attenborough has been banging on about it ofr what seems like decades. HRH The Prince of Wales has ruffled many a set of corporate feathers over the years and even Hugh Fearlessly-eatsitall( no offence intended) has been seen on national television promoting the cause.
The thing is that unless each and every one of us makes a noise nothing will improve in the near future.
Now I have put the soap box away.
Keep safe and beware the idiots among us.
We are on tenterhooks at the moment. Francesca should be here this weekend but she is now in self imposed quarantine.
The person, S, that she houseshares with gets a lift into work with a colleague.
This person has not been into work since last Monday.
Only on Friday did S see fit to tell Francesca that her colleague was suspected of having C-19 and was waiting for test results. Apparently she has been too busy to remember to share the information.
As it happens Francesca,s car had a warning light come on and had to be checked on Friday afternoon so her visit to us was postponed till that evening.
Luckily Fran and S had set up a strict cleaning routine for shared parts of the house, kitchen and bathroom in particular are cleaned after each use.
If the test proves positive the Track and Trace system will be applied and both Fran and S will be tested, along with countless others no doubt.
If I could have got near to S on Friday I can not imagine what I may have said and done to her. She is in her 40's, a criminal lawyer and should know better than that. Her employers need to be dealt with as they carried on as usual knowing the situation.
Is there any wonder that we are looking at a spike which could well be worse than the first wave.
How many more working people are doing just the same.
The " It won't happen to me" mentality ia alive and well and living all over the world. Governments need to stop the pussy footing about and act.
Never mind the air travel industry, the sandwich shops, beauty salons and pubs and clubs etc. Let common sense prevail and concentrate on prevention. it has always been better than cure.
Beware of the idiots.
I had some happy post.
It was very Orange.
Can you guess?
It will be for next years knitting.
Do I want to tempt fate and buy some?
Do I want to chance never seeing it again?
I will wait a couple of weeks.
If I can.
I have my colour coded storage and have been filling it. I took a photo and the 'puter ate it and laughed at me. I will try again.
Michael is on the last couple of days of his marathon job. He designed and built a custom summer house with overhanging clear roof and large deck. There are stable doors, a swinging seat, railings and a self closing gate to keep the grands safe.
He is under orders that he is working at home for a while as there is a backlog of jobs here.
I have a wood work project tucked up my sleeve in case he gets sawdust withdrawal symptoms. He loves working with timber.
A few years ago we dug out and moved the slabs in the little courtyard area just outside the kitchen door. They were tispy and tilted here there and everywhere, they were used on the enlarged patio and we laid pebbles down in the yard.
Now that Revi and Herbie scoot around they are more trouble than a little and have to go. We will be using them in a different place in the garden. We will be laying concrete and embedding some cobbles, possibly. The jury is out. Whatever we do there will be no loose stones to be kicked into the windows.
I have made a batch of Elderberry Syrup and will be picking Hawthorns for syrup at the weekend. I thought about Rosehip but decided to give it a miss this year. I might pick some and freeze incase I change my mind after they have been frosted. There is a bumper crop of sloes but I wil not be picking them this year and I have not touched the blackberries either. Michael hates the pips and we have jelly from last year. I have them in porage but a bumper crop of blueberries in squirreled away already.
I am all set for the autumn and winter, cupboards full and The Shop in the Sewing Room is well stocked. I have tucked far too much easybake yeast away as last year my sister and Francesca could not get it for love nor money. Our village shop found a supply, a bit pricey, and we had no worries.
I have fabric and threads, yarn, fleece to prepare and fibre for spinning. I have handspun for my peg loom and all is well in my world.
If I get my cataract/s done in decent time I have cross stitch in the cupboard, I do want to order some silks and linen fabric as I have an embroidery book calling me to step right in. The words "I have nothing to do" and "I'm bored" will have no place here, that's for sure.
Lets hope that I do not have to eat my words.
Do they still make alphabet spaghetti?
BTW I knew the answer to the Million Pound Question, I did not watch the program but it was on the news a million times! Possibly more.
This blasted new blogger is giving me the heebie jeebies. I cannot seem to publish comments. I have clicked on the tick mark but then nothing.
I got them published on earlier posts.
It's no wonder my hair is white, it's a miracle that I have not pulled it all out (and Michaels).
Any how I will cool down and try again......later.....after copious amounts of tea......and a calming dog walk.
And possibly chocolate.
We have had a couple of showers this afternoon but it is still warm and muggy, not the weather for physical work.
So, I decided to empty out under the bed and winnow through it. Result, a large portion of the things have now been divided into, donate, recycle, upcycle and bin. I feel better for seeing the dust bunnies (soon to be evacuated). In fact it made me feel so good that I cast my eagle (blurry) eyes upon my wardrobes.
The donate pile grew and a few things found their way into the recycle bin. Once I stop wearing my summery things then I will be going through those also.
I have sorted out colour coded storage for the scrap fabrics and that is tomorrows task. Providing that the Bichons do not insist on helping.
There is never a dull moment with the dogs around, Revi very kindly brought me some carrots that she had managed to get to. The only issue was that she also ate them, tops and all and lolled around looking extremely pleased with herself with almost a Cheshire cat grin over her face.
We had a short interlude with a video call from Francesca, a walk with the dogs and then it was time to get dinner on the go. Sweet and sour pork with rice, a hint or two of chilli and some pineapple. That's the way we like it, full of peppers, carrot ribbons and red onion.
Now I think that I am going to knit for a while before clearing the kitchen and putting my feet up till the last walk of the day with Herbie.
I am watching Breakfast TV and one of the Millibands has joined in the general sttack on Boris and his Brexit dealings.
Cameron, Major, Blair and May have come out of the shadows to denigrate what the cabinet is doing. I seem to remember that none of these were covered in glory both during and after their time in No. 10.
In my mind it was Cameron who was the leading force behind the referendum to exit and then when it became too hot in the kitchen he beat a hasty exit stage left.
As for Blair, I have heard it said many times that he was just too shiny, and that was so any close looks were reflected back rather than penetrating the veneer to show the reality underneath.
Major was lampooned as the only "boy" to run away from the circus to become a stuffed shirt.
May, could have made a real difference, just as Maggie did, but failed miserably as she did not appear to have any scrap of authority.
I am not a political animal, I choose to regard them all as self interested, self serving oblivious to real life. I know that there are some who really want to serve their electorate, but fear that The Party Line does not allow that.
There has been scandal in the House of Lords with people turning up for a few minutes and claiming full attendance payment. They are meant to be the top layer in the hierarchy of government. But they have shown themselves to be greedy pigs only interested in getting their snouts in the trough.
The leader of the opposition is "famous" for letting Jimmy Saville go free to continue his reign of abuse for many years. He seems to be keeping his head below the parapet at the moment, goodness only knows what he is cooking up now.
Boris is regarded as a clown in some circles, at least he appears to be a normal person who acknowledges their faults and weaknesses.
As somebody once said:-
There are lies, damned lies and politics.
Nothing to chose between them.
Thank goodness for crafters and makers who carry on regardless of the crazyness around them.
I will be setting off soon to have my eye test, on the way I want to get some sanding pads (Michael is planning on sanding the stairs), small bottles for my Elderberry syrup ( this will be in some gift baskets) and some storage baskets (I am emulating Lori Holts scrap fabric control system).
All of these can be had in one place and we have masks and disposable gloves. I am taking no risks, I am concerned enough at the thought of being in a confined space for my test.
I hope that I have not awoken the gremlins with that title.
The Janome has had another clean, a new needle and she is purring like the cat that got the mouse and the cream.
We have been having a general sort out round the house, I have hauled all my winter tights and leggings out from their summer residence. The scarves, hats and gloves have been checked over and my shawls have come out of hibernation.
Michael has had all the walking shoes and boots outside for a good clean and polish, I need to replace a pair of sturdy hiking shoes, after many years of hard work, so will be looking to do that by the end of the month.
Woolly jumpers and cardigans have had a shake out and put back into circulation and a few lone ranger socks have been reunited with their respective partners.
If that doesn't bring us an Indian Summer I don't know what will.
We were chatting along this morning and I said that the scrap mountain was wearing me down. Right away Michael said that he would take over the crumb boxes and make a quilt.
The nature of his work means that he slows down over the winter and a project to look forward to is ideal. I feel as though a weight has been lifted and am now happy to continue throwing tiny bits into said boxes.
I don't think that he realises just how much there is to work through but he has worked on large quilts before and enjoys it as much as I do.
Dinner is in the oven, we are having roast pork. I have all the veg prepped and apple sauce is made. I used up some small apples for it, I quartered them with the peel on, removed the cores and steamed them till soft and then pushed the pulp through a sieve. The resulting sauce is very smooth but I couln't face peeling tiny apples. I will be trying a different method next week as i want to bottle some.
The dogs have loved extra long walks over the weekend, the weather has been glorious. Usually by this time they would be ready for their food but instead they are flat out snoring one against the other.
Oops, should not have said that, Revi has just got up, turned round and sprawled herself over the other two.
I am off to the kitchen before she decides that my lap needs her.
That was yesterday morning.
I was sewing strips onto the next batch of squares and the machine protested.
I stopped, obviously, and took the offending fabric out. removed bobbin and case, unthreaded and gave it a defluff and brush down. Still clunky but not as bad. I just turned it off and walked away, time was pressing and I did not want to do half a job.
Later today I will repeat and replace the needle as well. I would love to book it in for a service and mot but that means getting into the middle of Swansea. My eyes will not allow me to make that journey, driving into Swansea is not on my radar for a long time. I do not like the trip, I get lost in the one way system every time I do it. It's fine getting in, it's the way out that confuses me.
As far as I know that is the nearest place where I can get the machine seen to, there was a place in Carmarthen but I think they have gone out of business. Other than that it is Cardiff and wild horses would not get me driving there, even if my eyes were 100%.
I will have to ask around, when I am in Neath on Monday I will go to the market, there are 2 stalls, one that sells fabric and another that do alterations and make curtains, hopefully one of them will be able to help.
I have cleared the table and will get the little Singer out if I have to, it just means that i will be traipsing back and forth to do the pressing. Although I plan on making a big batch of masks in the next few days and that is easy enough to do in the kitchen.
I am not too concered about keeping to schedule on the blocks, I have 120 made and more cut ready to sew so a couple of days off will not hurt.
I still have to make my mind up on the layout, it could be straight rows although I was considering a central square, to cover the middle of the bed,set on point with straight rows filling out to the size that I want. I will probably have a trial layout session next week.
I have Revi and Poppy over the weekend, my neighbour is working on jobs that are not suitable to have them with him. I don't mind and Herbie was overjoyed when they turned up this morning.
Now I need to get ready to take them out for a walk.
I have put my order in to Asda for next week, I am not going shopping unless it is essential at the moment. From monday Wales have made it mandatory to wear masks in shops, and not before time, I have the masks but not the inkling to go out there.
What's it all about Blogger?
Was there a good reason for the change?
Why not just iron out the wrinkles in the original.
I am not adverse to change, as long as there is good reason for it. Change for changes sake suggests to me that somebody/somebodies are justifying their position on the workforce.
I have seen it many times in my working life, an office nearly always has too many staff for the workload generated. They have a nice settled relationship so the thinking caps go on and paperwork is issued, new systems are introduced etc. The staus quo remains intact.
Enough of this.
What I dropped in for was to let you know that I am on target. 80 blocks sewn and cut to size, 20 more with the first 3 strips attached.
I have even tidied the desk top before getting stuck in to the next round of sewing. That will be later in the day as I have the Bichons from 11:30, their mum has her first treatment session today. My thoughts will be with her, I know how scared she is and wish that I could travel with her but that is not possible.
I caught a glimpse of Boris scuttling along the pavement sans mask on the news this morning. Apparently Joe public cannot understand the rule of 6 or the wearing of masks in public. I wonder why.
I am happy that the rain has dried up for a spell, I want to get into the garden later, 5 dogs stuck indoors is a recipe for madness and mayhem. They have a plethora of outdoor toys to race around with and "chase me round the apple trees" is a popular game. I sit on the patio and cheer them on over my current sock knitting.
Revi has just thrown all the cushions off the other sofa and has squeezed herself next to me. She may be big but she is still a puppy, with all the need for close contact that all puppies have at times.
The clock is ticking and I have a few chores to attend to before I go to get the Bichons.
PS You may have gathered that I am not a fan of the new style blogger. I expect that it will grow on me. Which is more than I can say for the new Ravelry.