Thursday 18 June 2020

Many thanks

Thankyou so much for all the good wishes for Michael. He got through the appointment and treatment but there may be another op later, it has been suggested that a bone graft may take place.

The weather has been all over the show, pounding rain, blazing sun, strong winds and total calm with a smattering of mist and fog. At least there has not been any white stuff.

The grass is approaching hay length but I am not bothered. I can always strim it before mowing.

The veg garden is romping ahead in some places and falling behind in others.

The sock knitting is going well and the floof for Francesca's sweater has arrived, bliss, pure bliss, it's like touching a warm cloud.
I ordered it from itsastitchupyarn and the service was brilliant. I realised that I had not oredered enough so messaged Suzie. She instantly told me to order another and she would refund the extra postage, which by the way was for the complete order not just 1 skein. It arrived yesterday, that's just 3 days delivery time.
I will certainly use the shop again and will check it out on a regular basis, I don't want to miss anything.

I have my eye on a new teapot, not a specific one, with an infuser. There is a famous make that has a French Press, very nice but I am not a fan of transparent pots. I will mull it over and whatever I decide upon will go on my wish list. 
I am under orders to replenish it after my birthday gifts emptied it.
I do like a surprise as long as it is well considered, Francesca knows my taste but likes a list to chose from as does Michael.

People that I gift to like anything that I knit, sew or crochet. That is very good for me as I am never without something lovely to work on.

Good loose leaf tea, Assam in particular is always on my list, along with coffee beans. I have gone completely away from tea bags and instant coffee. I have the coffee filter machine and a French Press and 2 different size tea leaf infusers. The only issue with the latter is that they are very hot to handle once the tea has brewed. Sugar tongs are rather short for removing them from the pot. 

At the moment it is raining quite hard, Revi has just galloped outside so I need to grab a dog towel

I am still mulling over the hoover situation, I will make my mind up soon.

Stay safe.

                            TTFN                                   Pam

Sunday 14 June 2020

It never rains

But it pours.
Michael is back in hospital, complications resulting in surgery later today.
I fell into bed quite early but have now been awake for a couple of hours.
Herbie is most put out and has been searching the house, he doesn't like it when one of us is missing.
I threw the towel in and brought him down, there was to be no rest whilst he pitter patted up and down.
I have been indulging in some retail therapy, not for me. I found the  undyed suri alpaca silk and 4 skeins of that are headed in my direction. I was intending to dye 4 skeins of fingering weight yarn but found an Etsy shop having a sale, there was a colourway that was perfect for Francesca so she will have a Paloma for either birthday or Christmas.

I blanched at the total cost and dived headfirst into my stash, I found some long hoarded cream wool and have cast on a Penny sweater from Tin Can Knits, it's a paid for pattern, knitted bottom up in the round and joined at the arm holes. It has a V neck but I may well change that into a crewe or even a roll neck. It has become a tradition that she has 2 garments, at least 1 hat and a few pairs of socks shared between Birthday in November and Christmas. 

Herbie has settled down and is snoring so I will see if it is possible to get back to bed myself. I hope that he settles down, I like my sleep, not a massive amount but unbroken.

We have had glorious hot sunny days with cool and rainy nights, good for the garden, not so much for those looking to make hay.

Stay safe.

                         TTFN                                         Pam

Thursday 11 June 2020

How far will it go?

The protesting.

Yes many wrongs were commited in the past, some of it not so distant. 
Gang masters have been responsible for virtual slavery toward migrant workers fron Europe.
Zero hour contracts, may not be slavery but they have very long reaching consequences.

Statues being toppled, I can understand that in the heat of the moment, but to then tip them into docks where they become a danger No.

How far will it go?
Will direct descendants be strung up?
Will estates and monies be seized?
Will our goverment (such as they are) be thrown out leaving us in chaos. After all the government of the time approved of the Slavers, possibly many members of parliament had their snouts in the trough.
Will Queen Victoria statues be removed, and every Queen Vic or Prince Albert pub be renamed. After all they were in full knowledge of these happenings

Taking it a step further will all blonde haired, blue eyed people have to prove that they are not descendants of Hitlers breeding program.

Yes , it all sounds pretty far fetched. But who could have predicted the recent scens across the world.

My grandfather was in both world wars. His view was that war should never be glorified but that it should also never be forgotten.

History is what it is. To try to sanitise it is morally wrong.
Children, and many adults, need to be able to know what happened. To know that people who are on pedestals for their ability to make vast amounts of money did not do it kindly.

Across the world there are rafts of exceedingly wealthy families. Much of this wealth comes from nefarious sources.
Many such families chose to do good with their wealth. Should they now be vilified, their history wiped from the books. How and why should they be held responsible for the acts of generations ago.

These people were products of their time and they and their acts should never be hidden from view. They should stand as a warning to future money and power greedy generations. These things must not be allowed to resurface, nor anything like them.

Knowledge is power. 
Ignorance may be bliss but it can lead to unmentionable wickedness.

That's it. Soapbox away.

Stay safe.

                                  TTFN                           Pam

PS. no diatribe comments please this is just my reaction to the craziness about me. I learnt about creatures such as Cecil Rhodes at school. I may despise him and his ilk but I want other children to be able to learn as well. 

Wednesday 10 June 2020

Feeling chipper

I am feeling much more myself today, still being careful though. The dogs had a new walk today to a place where they could have some off lead time with lots of space to run round in. They enjoyed it and it gave me a breather before the walk home. The sun was shining but within an hour the rain arrived, nice and gentle so doing good. 

It has brought the slugs and snails out so I have had a picking session, nasty things. I have a resident toad but he must be having an away day, I didn't see him but there were some empty half crushed shells around.

I have been sitting on the Paloma sweater pattern for a while, humming and haahing over whether or not to knit it. Then I saw  Nicky Winterton, on her blog Sheep and Cheerful, trying hers on and my mind was made up. Not one but two, one for Francesca and one for me.

I had a look online and found fingering weight for both, then looked for suri alpaca silk. Hah! Undyed is sold out everywhere. My plan was, and still is, to pick really strong colours in the fingering and tone them down with undyed fluff. I did toy briefly with reversing it but threw that idea in the bin.
Anyone know where I can source said fluff. I can get kidsilk mohair but both Francesca and I find it scratchy.
I usually go to, but they are out of stock. I did find some on an Indie dyers site but it was rather overpriced.
I will buy the coloured yarn and hope to locate the lace weight sooner rather than later. I do have a few months before it will be cool enough to wear sweaters, fingers crossed.

Meanwhile I am at the ribbing on the blue socks and halfway up the leg on the paler pair. Even with the rain it has been bright enough for the darker yarn today, a bit iffy at times with a terrier on my lap, but I managed to get quite a bit done.

Herbie has finally given in and gone to sleep, he has such a good time with Revi. They are a perfect match though she towers over him.

I am ready for a cuppa now, the kitchen is put to rights after dinner an I am eyeing my knitting up. I have a film to watch and could well finish the ribbing whilst watching it.

Stay safe.

                                     TTFN                       Pam

Tuesday 9 June 2020

Still resting up

It's just past 9 and I am in bed with my knitting. I am resigned to stick with vanilla socks, on magic loop I can almost knit them in my sleep now. Having said that the current pair, and the last 3 pairs, are k4 p2 rib. All in light shades and mens sizes. My gift box is filling up nicely, once I cannot face another pair of socks it will be sockhead hats or possibly beanies, something that doesn't require reading a pattern and intricate stitches.

Not feeling sorry for myself, quite the opposite. Here we are in early June and I getting well through my gift knitting. I do have 2 sweater wips that have been set aside till my eyes are done. Both are too busy for me, one is heavily cabled and the other is lace.

I have cut out a wrap skirt, I adapted a pattern and instead of side seams I have marked darts for shaping. A deal less sewing and no zipper to insert, and no need for the overlocker, I can not see to thread it now. I had a job to wind bobbins earlier, it was difficult to see to get the thread through the machine and the little hole in the bobbin. I persevered and wound 6. It's quite silly as I have no problem threading the needle, and no I do not use the automatic threader.

I see that the greedy grasping few are selling a £1 tin of dried yeast on Ebay for up to £7, I hope that nobody buys it. My local shop has some, at a higher price than the supermarkets but not that exhorbitant. They took the time and trouble to source it for their customers, they have a limited supply and sell only 1 pack at a time.

There is nothing like a disaster to bring out the best and the worst in people.

We were promised rain this evening but so far it is dry and warm, the last lot filled my water butts so I am happy.

Now I think that I ought to do a few more rounds on the socks before turning the light out. Michael is snoring his head off in the other bedroom, all the doors are open but I think that I willl need to shut them soon or I will never get to sleep.

Stay safe.

                          TTFN                          Pam

Monday 8 June 2020

Champing at the bit.

First let me thank you all for your advice as to getting rid of the layer of dog hair. It looks as though Dyson is the make to go for. I will have to double check though as I am sure that I read somewhere that the business has been moved to a "tax haven". If so I will not be looking at that brand. 

Secondly I am on a forced slow down.
You long time readers may remember my heart issue from a few years ago. I have been in control and all has been tickety-boo. Until this morning. I was scuttling around, getting through my job list, before the foster girls arrived and was obviously going at it  hell for leather. Half way down the stairs my heart went into overdrive and I sat down hurredly. It was lucky that I fell backwards.
After several minutes I got right down, onto the sofa and I have mostly been here since.

During the winter I was fine, remembered to take regular pit stops, and maintained a somewhat measured pace.
When the hot weather arrived it was just too hot to hurry. This morning it was cooler but fine and bright and I got carried away with myself.

Soooo, its bum on chair for a little bit longer today and then back to my old routine for the forseeable future.
I was fine over the weekend as I was sewing coronavirus masks. My family in England have all had some but with the relaxing of lockdown I became concerned. The fact that people on public transport will have to wear a mask soon, plus they will then have to wear a fresh mask once they arrive at work put another strain on the chain of supply.

I have posted off 30 to Francesca, like me she is concerned that the ongoing demonstrations will lead to a surge in new cases. She is still working from home but now intends to wear a mask on her daily walk.
My sister in Norfolk has to go to the local post office and the chemist weekly, I want her to wear a mask, and the same with the rest of the family. Apart from my sister none of them sew, and she does not have a fabric stash, I was given some part bolts of quilting cotton recently and I have interfacing and elastic. My sewing machine is going through a needle every day now and I bless my American bought Oliso iron. It has little feet that drop down when you let go of the handle so nothing gets scorched and it does not have to be balanced precariously on end. How many irons have fallen onto the floor? in my home more that I care to count, usually due to a dog pushing through and rocking the ironing board.

So my days are pretty much cut, sew press, rinse and repeat. I like that. I do have a skirt cut out ready to sew and will try and slot that in this week. I make 25 masks a day, its tedious work, and sewing through the pleats and elastic kills the needles. I could use a jeans needle but I have a stash of machine needles, also from the US, that have been with me for over a decade. They worked out at around 3p each, I ordered them with some  Bonnie and Camille fabric, the Marmalade collection (when the regulations and cost were not so draconion) and they threw in an extra box as a gift.

Much as I like to sit and sew, there are other things to do. I want to be in the garden moving pots and a stack of wood. That will have to wait a while, if I could get the "bit between my teeth" it would be done and dusted. Hence the champing.

The dogs have just finished a particularly lively game of chase and have collapsed on the sofa and are all snoring. It's very soporific and I can feel my eyelids drooping so I may join them for a while.

Keep safe.

                          TTFN                                      Pam

Friday 5 June 2020

A cry for help

You all know by now that I tend to be thrifty. I buy good and expect it to last, almost forever.

I try to only buy to replace something that is not merely dead but really most sincerely dead. Deader than the parrot from Monty Python for sure.

Well I feel the overwhelming need, defo a NEED, to not replace but add to my cleaning equipment.

I NEED a new vacuum cleaner. My wet and dry semi industrial model has served me well for many years. It was a bargain buy from a shop that was closing to remodel.

It has dealt with workshop floors, 3 Springer Spaniels, several grandchildren and laughed at 30 broken eggs on the kitchen floor. Lets not go there again.

But. It is struggling to cope with Jug hair + terrier hair + Labrador puppy hair. The situation is not helped by the fact that Jug and Labrador like nothing better than a game of All in Wrestling. Rough and Tumble could and should be their alternative names. You can see the hair flying as they play, yes they do take it outside then back they come.

It is very good for both of them, Herbie is losing his excess weight (perhaps I should join in) and Revi is building muscle.

I just need to have a better way to remove the hair.

So, any of you shedding dog owners out there, how do you cope? Who can recommend a cleaner that actually does what it says. 
I am a sceptic and think that, if there was a brand and model that really did all that it is claimed to do, it would wipe the board of the competition.

I don't mind cylinder or upright, battery or mains, although I would imagine that mains is better in the long run.

All suggestions will be welcomed with open arms. This dog fostering is likely to be a long lasting thing and if and when it finishes I may contact one of the rescue centers and offer my services. So the scary, hairy carpet situation will be indefinite.

On another note we have wind, not gale force, broken cloud with the odd gleam of sunshine. The first walk of the day went well, I missed the cuckoo call though, I expect that she has done her job and returned from whence she came.

Building has resumed on a site close to us but we cannot hear the racket. 

There is more traffic but nowhere near the pre Covid amount. Schools are open from next Monday so that will be changing.

The dogs are all snoozing away, Revi hid in the garden when the vacuum came out, she doesn't like it any more that I do.

The breadmaker is just about ready to beep at me and the kettle is not only cold but empty.

Stay safe.

                               TTFN                                Pam

Thursday 4 June 2020

My days overflow

I  have a full day ahead, as usual, and may or may not get everything done that I would like to.
Nothing is urgent, it will not lead to a disaster if I leave something undone.
I will try not to rush to finish, there is no need.

But there will be consequences.

The time that I spill into whilst slowing down was earmarked for other things.

Reading for one, books, real and electronic. Magazines, gifted of course and only rarely, and blog posts. I do get a couple of pages of my book at odd times during the day. I do scan through my blog reading list most days. What I do not do is comment very much, either someone has said it already or I can not find the words as my mind is still mulling the last job or planning. Planning the next job, the next meal, the next dog walk. Or there is something that has to be done right now. Something has to give.

If I slow down, and slow down I will, then there will be losses in my day. I watch very little television and when I do sit down I invariably have something to keep my hands occupied.

There are the things that have to be done, I like a clean house and regular meals, clean clothes and an empty sink.
Then there are the things that I would like to do. I slot these in as and when. Some days I get lots in, some days they get swept aside and some days I am just too weary to think about them. Those days I do not strive to get as much as possible done, I just go with the flow and if that means retreating upstairs to put my feet up then that's fine.

I have a to do list, mostly I get through it. Yesterday I did it all. Today? who knows, not I. Importantly it no longer worries me, much. 

There has been a long gap. My neighbours work van was stolen during the night and visits from the police and 3 excited dogs have kept me on my toes. 

The dogs are my prority, along with Michael who is progressing nicely, they picked up on the anxt and had a longer walk and lots of attention.
I still managed to pot on some plants and get the cucumbers and last tomato plants in their final places.
The hoover stayed firmly in the cupboard along with polish and dusters. There is another day tomorrow not even touched yet, all will get done.

There is a shepherds pie in the oven, loaded up with veg, for dinner and a chicken cooking for other meals. Chicken and ham pie for one.

Now I think that it is time to get this published and check on dinner.

Stay safe

                                TTFN                           Pam

Wednesday 3 June 2020

Time is at the gallop

Even though the days are mine to fill as I wish I seem to be chasing my tail.
Yes it has been so hot that I am inside by 9.30, and go out around 8 in the evening, but that is not the reason.
It's because I am impatient. When I want to do something I want to do it now, or even sooner.

Life doesn't work like that, you have to plan and fit in with other people, other ideas, other tasks.
For instance I wanted to spend more time in the garden yesterday morning but the dogs wanted to walk. They don't need a walk but they love the first walk together. I downed tools and off we went. I enjoyed every step of it, the surroundings, the noises (no traffic sounds thank goodness) of insects busying and birds singing. Even the panting and snufflings of the dogs as they explored the undergrowth was music to my ears.

When we returned home I had another 30 minutes and it was too hot to stay out. I managed the jobs on my list and I took time to take stock of the plants. There is a great deal of future food in there, and a fair bit of present food in the form of salads.

I am fortunate to have my garden, I do miss the large space that I had in Tydd but would not be able to manage it now. I was beginning to struggle and that was partly why I left.

I have wandered, I love to be busy. My Granny said that I was born in a hurry and have been hurrying ever since. I try to slow down. Sometimes I am so successful that I grind to a halt, then I knit or read or sew, anything to keep my hands and/or mind busy.

Still there is not enough time to do everything.
Rubbish, there is plenty of time, I just move slower than I used to. I take little rest breaks. I catch my breath. I get distracted and enjoy the distraction whilst it lasts. How many things would I miss if I pushed them away till later, of course when it's later it's too late and you've missed it.

One thing that I know for certain is that I intend to get the most out of each day and take time to enjoy it, rather than rushing and missing things. I will, hopefully, manage to slow down and revel in the slowness, every second counts and I do not want to travel so fast that I only see the hours.

I feel that this is full of mixed metaphores and jumbled thoughts, my mind still wants to be busy, it has to learn to take it easy too.

Time rushes by on winged feet, mmm, and as you get older the days pass faster, mmm. Maybe. I want my days to pass with as much in them as is comfortable. I need to prioritise. If I want to spend an hour watching the bees bumbling round my flowers then I will not repine over something else that I could be doing. I will enjoy that hour, soak it up and hopefully recall it in the dark days and smell the garden and feel the sun again.

Today my grocery delivery comes and I will take pleasure in packing it away and count my blessings. Not whinge and whine because I want to go and do my own shopping. I will send a mental hug to the hero that picked my shopping, I will give heartfelt thanks to the delivery driver, another hero, and I will thank my lucky stars that I set this in place a few months ago.

The time that I save from doing it myself is a bonus and I do not waste it. I sit and watch the red kites performing over my valley, I watch the solitary bees that took residence in my bug hotel and I slow time down and in turn slow myself down.

Mind you I have to work at it otherwise I find that I am rushing around like a headless chicken doing everything and seeing nothing.

I am awake at stupid o'clock. I am not in the slightest bit sleepy. I did the little bit of ironing in the hope that it would send me scuttling back to bed.


Didn't work.

I enjoyed taking my time and getting the task, albeit small, done and dusted.

Herbie is on the sofa, nestled in to a pile of cushions, making little snuffly snorty noises.

I have the door open to let in the coolish night air.

I am happy being me exactly where I am.

It cannot get much better than this.

Stay safe.
Take time out.

                             TTFN                                Pam

Tuesday 2 June 2020

The glorious here and now.

Not bragging but our country is glorious, no serious weather and very few poisonous plants and creatures.
By and large at any rate.
Yes we have floods, landslides and parts of the country expect to have hard frosts and heavy snow. We even get the odd tremor and whirlwind, but these are rare.

I walked the dogs this morning and the land is swathed in every shade of green, splashes of white from some wild flowers, a sprinkle of gold from buttercups, a dusting of blue from speedwell (birds eye in my childhood) and a rainbow from the flowers in the gardens that I either pass or glimpse from the footpaths.

The birds are singing, insect life is all around and bees are buzzing fit to burst.

The little streams chatter over rocks and swoosh round bends as they wind their merry way.

The hawthorn blossom is all but gone, along with its intoxicating perfume, but there will be haws for hedgerow jelly later.

Bindweed is climbing every vertical stalk and post, soon to be smothered with luminous white flying saucer blossoms.

Nettles abound, tea anyone? The seeds are very nutritious although I only remembered that recently, not sure if I am brave enough to try them again now i have "grown up". Young nettle tips make a welcome addition to soup and I do like nettle tea with a sprig or two of mint.

I have a couple of patches of nettles in my garden and plan on having a couple more. Kept firmly under control and in their allotted space.

The pandemic has left, and is still leaving, a tidal wave of tragedy in its wake. The world has lost the frail and weak along with the strong and healthy. The finger of fate has stopped randomly and without predjudice.

I hope that those left will think and remember this for generations.

Can we keep the current spirit of helping as required going. People have been kinder and the slowing down of everything has fostered an almost war time spirit.
We are all in this together, neither race, creed or colour has had the slightest effect. Age, experience and wealth have meant nothing.
Fame nor fortune have been barriers.

We have a new breed of super heroes. 
They have staffed our hospitals and nursing homes.
They have manned our shops.
They have driven food from depots to retailers.
They have emptied our bins and collected our recycling.
They have driven our ambulances and public transport.
They have been good neighbours.
There are so many, all deserving our recognition.

Winston Churchill made a famous speech that is just as pertinent today as it was then.
The only change is the enemy. Covid 19.

Spring arrived and summer is hard upon its heels.
Nature carries on.
There is hope.

The US seems to be heading for more serious trouble but, there is always something bad happening, they appear to do everything on a grand stage.
Where is John Wayne when you need him. 
Not picking holes, just giving my thoughts, they are "over there" and can sort out their own issues. Of course much of the population want no part of the madness, my heart goes out to them.

I think that's enough, I just felt like getting on my soapbox. It hasn't been out for a while and you should have seen the cobwebs. Miss Haversham eat your heart out. That's an awful saying but we all know what it means.

keep safe.
This too will pass.

                          TTFN                                         Pam

Monday 1 June 2020

Green Fingers?

Not so much green as brown with raggedy nails, well they were before I got my homemade scrub mix and the clippers out. I mix oil (coconut is lovely), lemon juice and sugar, demerara  is good as it doesn't desolve readily,
The sugar gets into the grain of your skin, and round the edges of your nails, the lemon juice helps to remove the stains and the oil softens your skin.

It's all about the garden at the moment, knitting and sewing have taken a step back. I have fabric matched to patterns and the same with yarn. They will have to wait their turn. It may not be long, we have a chance of rain midweek. There are not enough hours in the day cool enough to work in, I have always been an early riser now it is earlier still when I bounce out of bed.

I hit the ground running but gradually grind to a halt as the sun rises over me. Then I come in, have a shower and get the dogs out.

Now it is gone 11, I am tired and Herbie is flat out on his bed. I am flat out on mine but he is already snoring and I must join in.

Stay safe.

                            TTFN                               Pam