Day three, I think I’m getting somewhere.

I’m not sure it’s anywhere I want to be though.

I’ve managed another lace repeat and a bit today, so I’m up to eight pattern repeats out of twenty two. I’m going to try to finish number nine before I go to bed, and then knit another two tomorrow to see me half way through! Fingers crossed! However, I’m not enjoying this shawl any more than I was yesterday. I don’t think I will actually enjoy it until I’m on the twenty first pattern repeat. And then maybe I’ll get nostalgic by the time I hit repeat 22, thinking that it is the last time I’ll be knitting each row of the pattern. I’ll let you know when I get there! But, just to prove that I’m not making my progress up, here’s a WIP shot for you;

However, tomorrow, I get to knit something different for a while. I’m having a little trip out with a knitty friend, and as I need to concentrate too much on the shawl I’m going to take something new to start while we enjoy some hot chocolate somewhere! I can’t wait to knit something else for a change!

GG had a day off today, which was nice. We had a nice lie-in this morning, while Handsome brought us a cup of tea in bed. Then we potched around the flat, doing this and that (including teaching Cheeky how to clean a bathroom – I’m investing in the future!). Cheeky has also been busy today designing and helping to make a birthday present for his auntie – GG’s sister celebrates her birthday tomorrow, and the children are old enough now that they want to think of presents for themselves. I’ll try to post pictures tomorrow. I’m fairly certain my sister in law has never looked at this blog in the three and a half years I’ve been writing it, but knowing my luck she’d look for the first time tomorrow!

I’m enjoying following the blogs of everyone I’ve found who is taking part in the knitting olympics or the Ravelympics – I think most people are pleasantly surprised by the amount of knitting they’ve managed to achieve in just the first few days of the challenge. I know I’ll be extremely happy if I manage to reach half way by tomorrow night.


Is ‘live and let live’ not an acceptable way of life?

I rarely buy newspapers, but while I was out shopping today I bought the Guardian. While reading it, I came across an article about Pope Benedict and his remarks on a recent meeting with the British R.C. Bishops about how they should unleash their ‘missionary zeal’ on the UK in an effort to sort out our ‘unjust’ equality legislation that prevent people from adhering to the tenets of their religion in their every day lives. At first, I genuinely thought (bless me and my optimistic innocence!) that he was preaching the sort of tolerance and acceptance which is such a part of my Christian faith (for the sake of clarity I should state that I’m a protestant, although I believe that these are at the core of the whole Christian faith). But no. Apparently, the ‘unjust’ equality legislation is that which we have already recently gained in the UK with regard to homosexual couples and gay adoption as well as employment equality rights.

It made me so cross to read that. It made me angry that the Pope was essentially preaching intolerance for people of other beliefs and other ways of life. This is what leads us into so many conflicts. Surely in these troubled times internationally we need our civil and religious leaders to be talking about unity, tolerance, understanding and compassion. There is far more that unites the peoples of the world than divides us, but the last thing we all need right now is for such influential people to preach such hatred and send such divisive messages around the world.

Lovely Stratford Upon Avon

I’ve just had a lovely weekend away with my husband in Stratford Upon Avon. It was his idea, and completely booked by him, so I was very spoiled!

We stayed in a gorgeous five star guest house called Cherry Trees. It was really conveniently located, just over a footbridge from the main town and the Royal Shakespeare Company theatres. On our arrival, they couldn’t do more to make us feel welcome.

Even though it was nearer dinner time than afternoon tea, a tray with a pot of tea, scones and jam was brought to our room. Our breakfast order was taken so that it would be ready at the time we specified that we’d like the meal. Our room was beautiful as well.

A lovely old fashioned four poster bed, living room area with comfy chairs and a chaise longue. We even had our own private conservatory with two more comfy armchairs and tea and coffee making facilities (including a little fridge with milk, filtered water and chocolate!). We also had access to a small garden with a pond and water features.

I couldn’t recommend this guesthouse more. It was fabulous service, a fabulous location, and a lovely comfortable room. If you’re visiting the area, see if they have any vacancies. I don’t think you’ll regret it!

More soon, including the town, the theatre and the eateries!

For a giggle…

I’ve just found this website with a little help from my mother, Granny Anne. It’s a tribute website to all the fabulous altered Conservative campaign posters which have been created since the Tories unveiled their airbrushed David Cameron poster a few weeks ago.

I was crying with laughter at it – there are some very witty anti-Conservatives out there!

And just for fun, a couple of my favourites from the site; | They forgot to lock the cell. | Some of my best friends are poor. | My chums from school….

And if you want to create your own, there’s a really easy way to do one over at

Things to make me glad

After many, many weeks of cold, dark, rainy and sometimes snowy times, finally the first herald of spring has arrived in our front garden. The snowdrops have started to bloom. Unfortunately, they haven’t yet brought any crisp, sunny days with them, so my camera was sulking when I took the photo of them, refusing to believe that I didn’t want to use a flash! And, as I was balancing somewhat precariously to take the picture, it’s a little fuzzier than I’d like. However, you get the general gist. I’d not noticed them because I always look to the right when I leave the house, looking for where the snowdrops were last year. This year, though, there’s only one lonely looking little snowdrop sitting in last year’s patch, so I think something has been at the bulbs. So, I had a lovely surprise to see this healthy looking little patch around the left side of my house.

The other thing which made me happy yesterday was this glorious sunset.

This is the view from the front of our house, so we had a grandstand view of these beautiful sky colours from our living room window. Again, I don’t think my camera really did the sunset justice last night. It amazes me that such colours can be seen in the sky, and I sat gazing at it, enraptured, for some time before it occurred to me to rush outside with my camera.

Little bits of blue are just starting to appear through the clouds, so hopefully this afternoon will be a little brighter than we’ve grown accustomed to over the past couple of weeks. I find it very hard to get energised to do anything when the world outside looks so grey and gloomy. Bring on balmy spring days!

Another wintry walk!

We made the most of the sunny day and went down to the local lake again today. It was much harder to stay upright today, since lots of the snow on the pavements has now turned to ice. I felt exhausted by the time we got home just from the sheer effort of staying on my feet! I’ve got a couple more pictures to share with you before my fingers actually turn to icicles and snap right off!

These frost flowers were on one of my car windows.

The lake was still frozen solid, so the birds were all very glad of any food thrown to them. We chose to throw our bread to the smaller birds in the trees and bushes at the side of the lake, as I expect they don’t get so much attention. Plus, I’m hoping that my robin friend (the one in my header) will have found some of it!

If you want to do a full circuit of the lake, you have no option but to cross this footbridge. Now, it worries some people enough on fine days, given that there’s no handrail. So you can imagine that today, we crossed it very gingerly indeed! I love the shape of the bridge. So much more interesting than a straight bridge!

Organisation for the New Year!

So, if you saw yesterday’s post, you’ll know that I managed quite a lot of crafty production last year. I would really like to get near the same amount this year, as I really enjoy all my various crafts, and I had a great sense of satisfaction at being able to present those I like best with hand made Christmas gifts. But, in order to achieve it, I will have to be organised.

On Ravelry, I’m in a few groups, including the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup (I’m a Gryffindor!). Assignments are set for the various classes each month, and completed projects win points for your house, towards the goal of winning the house cup. And one of January’s assigments was pure genius. On Ravelry, there is a queuing facility where you can queue all the patterns that you’d like to do. I’ve half-heartedly used it before, but now, thanks to an assignment which demanded the queue organised, catalogued, tagged and in a working order, I’m set up with at least enough projects for a few months! Of course, it’s a work in progress and I dare say I’ll add more as I think of more to make, but it’s certainly made a good start on my goal of 2010 being a more organised year (notice I said goal, not resolution. The R word generally tends to be counter productive for me, so I’m ignoring it for this year. I figure that if you don’t meet a goal, it doesn’t sound as harsh as if you break a resolution!).

In the next couple of days I will have my first couple of completed projects of the year, which I will be sure to show you as and when they are achieved. But for now, I’d like to reiterate that I wish you all a very happy new year for 2010 full of lots of good things. I hope that this time next year you can all look back and have good memories of the year just ended.