Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Anyway I digress!
and so to bed with 2008. It's been a mixed year, a wonderful holiday in Wales, a few good nights out, some wonderful walks with my Spot-dog, my sister and her family buying a house just a few miles from me (that's a high not a low point!) which means she can't escape for a year or two!, new chickens.... and later chicks. But financially it's been tough, and is getting tougher. The comapny I work for seemed to come to a grinding halt at the end of August, having just completed our biggest year ever, we have started a new financial year with hardly any work and the probability of laying everyone off in the New Year. It was really like hitting a brick wall, no gradual down turn for us..... loads of work one minute and absolutely none the next. We've kept paying everyone up til now to see them through Christmas, but it has taken all our last years profits and we've now run out! I have worked and re-worked cash-flows so many times that I now dream in numbers!! but, we are not the only ones, and there are worse things happening in the world, so shoulders back, head up and on we march...........
So next year I will be back to growing more in the garden (and praying for better weather than last summer so it actually grows!), wearing more clothes to cut down on heating (I look like Michelin Man at the moment - my heavens isn't it cold??) and being more frugal if I can. I may be blogging a little less, cos let's face it there are only so many chicken pictures and knitteds you all want to see.... but I'll keep you updated on all the important things, and there'll be little photos here and there.
Have a Healthy and Happy New Year everyone, and whilst I doubt anyone's will be Prosperous as such, I do hope that you all find a way to manage as best you can through the next year without having to give up too much in the way of yarn!! :)
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
This is a ridiculously useless photo of last night’s brolly parade at the 1066 Jazz club in Hastings, where we went to see Gentleman Jim McIntosh and the Jazzaholics.**
Taken on my phone cos it hadn’t occurred to me to take a camera. It’s a fair old way for us to travel – over 2 hours to get there and 1 and a half back (no traffic on the M25 at midnight!) but it was a lovely fun evening. The regulars had dressed up in all manner of fancy dress, and there was even a little girl there, probably only about 2 or so, who had her very own lacey umbrella – a really tiny one, it was so cute. She out-did everyone by dancing almost all night – from 8 to 11pm!
So that’s about it for jazz for a while – the next scheduled outing is Feb 15th at the Preston Cross to see the Bennett Brothers.
**If you have landed on this page by searching for Jim’s Jazzaholics or varations on that theme, then I am sorry that he STILL doesn’t have a web-page , despite me telling him that I get quite a few hits on my blog as a result of having seen him around and about. But if you are looking for gigs or CD’s then leave me a comment with your email address and I will pass your details on to him
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Somewhat spurred on by a couple of hairy blokes on TV the other night, I have today surpassed myself and made bagels. The photo isn’t good, but it’s dark and there’s no way they’re going to be here long enough to take any photos in the light!
They are totally yummy - soft and light and not dense like shop bought ones. The only problem is not eating all of them at once. And the worst thing is that I am out of cream cheese! Tragic! (Although not tragic enough to stop me eating these!) – I made 10. I doubt they’ll be any by Monday!
|The Christmas tree is up and Spot seems to think she would make the best present ever – well she’s not wrong is she? Bless her. |
On the knitting front, I am making my sister’s Christmas present so no photos of that. But I am also knitting a shawl for my 87 year old neighbour, who has no central heating, and my utmost respect and admiration for even getting out of bed on days like we have had recently. It is Anni Designs Two of a Kind shawl, but knitted BIG! in New Lanark Aran. Hopefully it will take the chill out of a few of those winter mornings!
Friday, December 12, 2008
Friday, December 05, 2008
It’s been a while since we had any knitting content on here. This has been finished for some time just waiting for some buttons, but finally here in all its glory is…. Flicca!
I love it! It needs to be worn and loved a bit so the ribbing at the bottom opens out and drapes a bit more. It is made in Jaeger Extra Fine Merino Chunky in colourway Alaska. Mods to pattern: Changed top section from 1 x 1 ribbing to stocking stitch.
Makes my bum look a bit on the wide side, but what do I care, it’s snug and soft and warm and wonderful. I love it!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
- get up (late) (very)
- go downstairs in PJ’s, dressing gown and wrapped in a handknit blanket….
- let chicks out
- replace chicks water cos it’s frozen
- get muddy slippers……
- trip over dog…..
- give dog biscuit filled bone which she slobbers all over the floor….
- . make very strong coffee…….
- log in to work to find many many invoices needing doing……
- do them still in PJ’s….
- make more strong coffee…
- get dressed……. now am missing blanket….
- go back and get blanket and wrap round over clothes….
- sun is out momentarily so rush out, clean up after dog, clean out chicks, and grown up hens, feed all, … sun gone in…
- *thinks* might as well get knitting out and light a fire!
How’s your day going?
Monday, November 24, 2008
|Just trying something out to see if it’s better than bloggers composer – not that I think there’s anything wrong with blogger, but I like to try new stuff.|
It has some interesting features and make make formatting posts easier, including a nice and easy table feature which is how I did the photo above.
Hmmmm, we’ll see how it looks on the blog.!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
We are 5 weeks and three days old today. Mum has taken loads of photos but we move too fast for her camera and she says they're all blurry. Mum has been lovely to us this week and bought us and our big sisters a whole bale of straw which she put in our runs. We love it so much and after she has let us out in the morning and we've had breakfast (porridge if we're very lucky) we snuggle down in the straw and sun-bathe. Mum says we're beginning to look like real grown up chickens now. She says we're pretty but we knew that already! Daddy put us up a proper perch this week too. We already knew how to perch cos we've been practising in the house and keep flying out at Mum when she lifts the lid -(it makes us giggle) It's nice to have something high up to sit on, it makes us higher than that soppy dog, so we can look down on her!
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
So just quickly. Flicca is almost finished (you didn't know I was making that did you!) I changed the very top from 1x1 ribbing to stocking stitch as I knew I wouldn't like the rib at the top, and it is gorgeous! Made in Jaeger Extra fine merino chunky. I haven't done the second button band as I haven't managed to find buttons to work on it yet and I want the button holes to be in the right place - and fit! but it's all done apart from that...... photos as soon as buttons present themselves! (Do you think if I wait in, they'll just knock on the door and say "Hi, we're the right buttons for your cardi!")
have started a long pullover in some green aran wool/ acrylic mix from a Noro book. I couldn't decide what to make and that yarn has been sat in my stash (which is now somewhat depleted) for sometime since I bought it from Melody, so it sort of decided itself.
Chicks are growing great guns and are getting their feathers. No photos today cos it's a bit nippy to let them out, but sometime this week I'll show you how they've grown.
Spot is adorable as ever, I have taken to lighting a fire in the sitting room over the weekend as it was sooooo cold, and we sat on the floor together all snuggled up (mind you I always ended up furthest from the fire!!)
So there you have it, all is well and snuggley chez noo......... now if we could just slow down time a bit!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Just look at their feathers!
Friday, October 17, 2008
We moved the chicks and mum today to a place that gets more sun so they could have a little bit of time outside when the weather is nice, and immediately she taught them how to dust bath. It was so lovely to watch.
Altogether now........................... AHHHHHHHHH!!!!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
My social life revolved around Richmond ice Rink. Although I had great friends at school, I kind of moved around in different circles depending on what was goin on at the time, orchestras, folk groups, mass (it was a convent!), revising, skipping PE! so I never really stayed in the same group for long. I started skating when I was 7 years old (according to an old family poem written by my Uncle), Mum took me as a friend of hers took his daughter who was a few years older, and so started a whole childhood of Saturday afternoons at the rink.
There are so many memories entwined with the rink and my days there that it's really hard to know where to start. I skated every week until I was about 20, so it spans a pretty great period of my life.
The reason for this sudden nostalgia is that I found a group on facebook (and consequently the slide show on the Richmond link above). I had never thought to search facebook for Richmond Ice Rink! No idea why, it just didn't occur to me. So having had that particular thunderbolt hit on Friday, and having found a group, I spent 2 hours pouring over photographs and Oh MY..... how those photos pulled at my heartstrings with sudden rushes of memory and feelings. My first crush, my first boyfriend, my first drink (!) my first job........ oh it's almost too much! :-)
So, as much for me as anything else I'm going to scribble down some probably disjointed memories over the next couple of posts. I will try to keep them in some semblance of chronological order, but hey they're memories and up until Friday I didn't even know I had them!
So it all started when I was about 7. I went one week with my Mum, and a friend of hers and his daughter - Alison. The idea was I would give it a go and see if I wanted to carry on. Well I think it was only about 3 or 4 weeks until I had my own boots and lessons booked. My first teacher was a lady called Jenny. She taught Alison too. At Richmond there were two rinks - unimaginatlively called the big rink and the little rink. Most people only got to see the big rink, the little one was for people like me who had lessons or it could be booked for a private party. So at 2:30... I can't remember the signal for the start of the session, but we all used to crowd around the breaks in the barrier waiting for it, and then hurtle onto the ice when it went - maybe a whistle or an announcement, I can't remember....... I would have a 15 minute lesson. It started with just learning to skate forward (like a penguin!!!), and do a T-stop. Then went on to learning drags and three turns. I would then skate as much as I could manage at my young age until the session ended at 5pm. For the first while Mum stayed and watched me. Then as I got older and stronger and less inclined to come off the ice early, she would saunter into the shops in Richmond and leave me with some pennies for a mid session coke and cake, and come back later. By this time I had met plenty of young friends, and even when we cleared the ice at 5 we would go into the ladies at the back of the little rink where we had lockers, and still be practising jumps and landings. It was a big changing room with rubber floors and lockers all around the outside, and in the middle a large rectangular clear area with a patchwork of red and blue rubber squares where we would jump around, and fall over, and try to get enough turns in to qualify for an Axle!! :-)
I should actually qualify at this point that I was never any good as a skater. I loved it, I tried hard, but I was quite frankly crap! In my spins I would travel half-way round the rink. My edges made that awful grinding sound as I scraped my toe-rakes round in tight circles, and I was scared to death of falling. My jumps had about as much spring as tigger in a coma, and if I ever did manage to land on one foot gracefully all the teachers would applaud as it was such an unlikely occurance! But I tried and I loved it!
Into my life came new young friend Liz Miller and later her brother Richard, a young steward Adam (who is my aforementioned first crush! - and taught me how to hockey stop on my figure skates, it is a testament to my figure skating ability that I was better at that than anything my teachers tried to teach me, and could shower my friends in ice at 10 paces!)
I got better enough (that is -"Not a lot better" but "a little bit better!") to have to come in earlier for lessons as it was no longer appropriate to try to shimmy round public skaters gathering enough speed to take off for a full revolution jump (especially when there was little hope of you landing it), so after passing my prelims I went for lessons on the free ice before the session. I think this started around 1pm, and meant that my Mum could no longer take me to the rink as she was working (she owned a wool and fabric shop for all you knitters who are now thoroughly bored, see there is knitting in everything!) So dad would now take me, and my sister joined in too. I would guess I was around 12 by this time? There were two changes that happened around this time and I'm not sure which order they happened in. One was the already mentioned progression to the free ice, and also I started learning the compulsory figures on a patch in the little rink. The little rink would be divided by a scored line in the ice into 5 strips, each one the full width of the rink. You would then move through the disciplines of skating figures of 8, with each circle having to be on a set edge and equal in size to the other. as you progressed you learnt different figures, loop, three turn, bracket...... each being a shape that was to be drawn in the circle by shifting of edge and weight..... and supposedly with only one push off from the join in the middle of the 8 each circuit. I was even crappier at these than I was at free skating! :-) My teacher by now was Jackie (or Jacquie?) and she frequently used to have to come round and push me back to the start! You weren't supposed to push yourself off as you upset the pattern on the ice which was disected and studied by all and sundry to know how well you were doing (or in my case what they could laugh about this week!)
Actually as I am remembering that I think the compulsory figures came first.........
Right this has taken far longer than it should so I'm taking a break and will continue in my next post..... with the next installment!
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Is there something that whisks you back to childhood? something that the merest note of, or smell of, or sight of just plonks you down in your childhood back yard, aged 8 with a grazed knee (I always had grazed knees - and bruises!) a big smile on your face and dirty hands?
Simon and Garfunkel are like that for me.... as solo artists as well as the infamous duets. Mum and Dad were both ardent S&G fans, my sister and I were brought up on Sounds of SIlence, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Bookends and Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme. By an early age we knew pretty much all the words (or the words we imagined them to be!) and the order of the songs on the LP's. As loyal fans we continued to support their solo work. And a good few drives to the South of France were accompanied by a never-ending cassette (God Bless the auto-reverse invention) of Watermark. (actually dual sided with Bonnie Raitt's Streetlights I think?) Simon and Garfunkel's songs and LP's were, and indeed still are the soundtrack to my life. As I hit my teens I began to appreciate the words for their messages, for every song that a teenager loves must have a deep and meaningful message!!.The canticle which underlies Scarborough Fair, the seven o'clock news behind Silent Night, and beautiful beautiful songs like Kathy's song, and America. Art Garfunkel's solo work contained songs by Jimmy Webb, James Taylor and Randy Newman to name but a few, as well as old ballads. I grew to appreciate the solo albums for the two distict characters that they portrayed. AG the more emotional, gentle, story-telling songs, with a silky smooth voice that always conveys the story he is telling. Paul Simon the slightly more morose, deep angsty melodies. But always both with harmonies that break your heart and set you free all at the same time.
So, last night was a chance to re-visit old emotions, and memories and re-kindle a love affair with real music with real lyrics and real melodies.
AG walked on stage in blue jeans, white shirt and a black waistcoat and I swear it could have been 25 years ago (!) apart from the small joke about the thoughts he had had whilst setting his hairpiece in his dressing room (which may not have been as much of a joke as we thought at the time :) ) He opened with El Condor Pasa, and continued through a couple of Paul Simon Tunes before moving off on to some of his solo work. His voice for the most part was still as silky smooth as ever, the occasional croak, but at his tender years he is forgiven, and indeed after the inverval his voice had warmed up and was far more reliable. How someone can stand with his hands in his pockets looking for all the world like he's about to catch a bus.......... open his mouth ... and sing so softly, so perfectly, so amazingly...............?. His voice is so much purer live than ever it sounds on a recording. There were a couple of real surprises too - a reading from his book of prose to introduce a lullaby, which was quite beautiful, and a rendition of a song Paul Simon wrote called On the Side of a Hill (some of the words of which are the Canticle sung by Paul Simon under Scarborough Fair on their LP) - an anti-war song which they decided not to release at the time and so never got recorded in its own right. A truly beautiful song, and every bit as pertinent now as ever it was.
So guess what I'm listening to on the Ipod today?!
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Shed and Greenhouse still clear, which isn't bad for a week!
Wii has been played and played and played (and my muscles have stopped aching now!)
Today has been a day of absolutely torrential rain, so I've been camped on the sofa, checking up on some family history (though not checking too much as my ancestry.co.uk membership has run out ) and watching the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe on DVD.
I am a woman of few words at the moment, because not a whole lot is happening, at least not stuff you can blog about. And I'm quite busy getting ready for possible chicks (though still trying not to get my hopes up too much as it is really quite cold here), and a few other autumn garden chores. The spring greens and all year cauliflowers have been planted under cover, and other tidying up has been done. So I expect the next you will hear from me is when I either am or am not a grandmother to chickens!
Monday, September 29, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
The rules of the award dictate:
1. Post this award on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who sent you the award.
3. Nominate at least 4 other bloggers, and add their links as well.
4. Leave a comment at the new recipients' blogs, so they know they got an award.
But as you know i was never one to follow rules! - I read around 50 blogs and i love each and every one of them for all sorts of different reasons. So if I read your blog, then this is yours (cos surely I wouldn't bother if I didn't lovel it!), and how do you know if I read your blog? Well if you update it, and it appears in the list right, then I do....... but be quick, only 5 show at a time! :) And if I don't read yours, then leave me a comment and I'll do my best to rectify the situation.
Silkie is still sitting pretty........... one week down, two to go :)
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
These were taken yesterday when I hoofed her out of her nest to eat and drink.
I've bought some Sasso x Light Sussex, for no reason other than they were a good price and will be good as table birds. It's not really a good time of year for hatching as the weather gets colder, but we'll give it a go, she seems happy enough to have a try so who am I to stop her?! - If anything hatches it should be 21 days from tomorrow. Fingers crossed.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
I have completely felted Muir :(
Please don't comment on this post I can't take the sympathy I will probably cry, and if you are feeling honest, I can't take the realisation that I am completely and utterley stupid. I am so totally mad with myself....... and have told myself off in no uncertain terms!
(in case you are wondering, I couldn't get the machine oil and associated smell out of the yarn with handwashing - it really did smell like a diesel engine. - so I popped it in a laundry bag, and washed it on my most delicate 30deg wool wash - delicate my arse!)
Seriously don't visit for a while.................. I will be swearing for some long while yet.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
I am still consistently getting two eggs a day from the 4 big hens, and occasionally 3, I would assume Molly has stopped laying for the winter (looking at the state of her) and Bea will soon follow suit. Much as I love them I am not sure at the moment whether to pop these two in the freezer now :(, It's a long winter to be feeding them (prices have shot up) and not get any eggs now until next March. The two hybrids Dotty and Primrose will stop laying for only around 6 - 8 weeks I think later in the year, and I may get two more hybrids like them to see me through winter. I can't decide though!
Monday, September 08, 2008
I met loads of people from the CTnY forum (and didn't meet nearly as many! - seriously I must have been walking round in a daze). I stroked yarn, and perused a few books, I stood in a queue for a book signing for a while, whilst people knitted (that was cool), I was a complete ditz when it came to my turn and couldn't think of anything to say (I was SO in awe!),I saw a little bits of some of the fashion shows and I watched the hundred different ways that people knit - I swear I didn't see two people holding their yarn the same way.
... and then there was the Yarn Harlot talk. Well it was the most enjoyable way to spend an hour and a half. I laughed far more than I thought I would, and I actually learnt a lot too! Apparently knitters are about the cleverest people on the planet - along with monks!! (OK it wasn't quite as simple as that, but I like that precis so I'm sticking with it!) (and I knitted my sock too!) Stephanie was so entertaining and engaging and deserves full credit for standing in front of that many people and not running out!! :)
As for the event itself, well I personally thought the venue was much better than last year - there was much more space and air (although it was very hot) and it never felt too crowded, which for me is quite important. However the increase in space did mean that it lost a wee bit of it's personal feel, and the impromptu party atmosphere which has been at last year's IKnit was sadly missing a bit this year. (I'm sure I remember music/singers) I think last year's venue benefited from having the bar area in the same hall as the market place and fashion show - it allowed people to sit with a drink and watch the world go by, and although there was plenty of seating this year, the cafe/bar was downstairs so was removed from the event. Having said that, you obviously can't please all the people all the time, and for me I think the increased space and "non crowding" won over the slight loss of atmosphere.
So, Craig/Gerard...... what you doin' next year then?! ;)
Friday, September 05, 2008
(Sorry to all those who are sick of reading about people going to IKnit but not having any knitting to take is traumatic!)
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
In other news:- !!
Muir has been started and in fact is nearly finished. It's made in Colourmart Merino/Silk/Cashmere which has been wound into 2 ply. It is for a raffle prize for a friend who is having a charity do for her birthday. She is holding it in aid of motor neurone disease and I thought it would be nice to donate the kind of prize I would have given her for her birthday. Hopefully it will raise plenty of ticket sales! it's a fairly easy pattern, and the first I have made with anything even vaguely resembling laceweight, so I am happy. I will try to remember to take a finished photo before it goes to the raffle prize table!
My bedroom has also been decorated and is nearly finished. MrNoo moved a radiator for me, so we are just waiting to get some plumbing type equipment to finish that job. All the painting is done, then when we've finished the plumbing I have new carpet to put down too - very exciting. I haven't decorated this room since I moved in 9 years ago !!!!! *rolls eyes* ! Shocking! The room has been painted in a really pale yellow, with pale blue paintwork, it looks lovely and warm, and I will think the sun is shining even in winter! i had to settle for a slighly yellow beige carpet which wouldn't have been my first choice, but at £125 for the room including underlay as opposed to £400 upwards, who am I to be fussy for a room that I only walk in once a day? - and anyway when it's full of furniture I won't see it much. At least it will be clean, warm and lovely on my toes! :)
This evening I managed to pick some blackberries on my "Spot-walk" I have been walking up at Newlands corner these last few weeks and everytime I get about half way there I think "Drat (or words to that effect) I forgot something to get blackberries in"........... and today I realised I had something all the time...... not a conventional tupperware pot but then i never was a conventional type. Oh No something far more inventive. Well it's not like they're re-used is it?!!! :)
So..... who is waiting for IKnit on Saturday then? - Only 3 sleeeeeepps!!! :) It'll be a great day and I am so excited to be meeting so many good friends from the CTnY forum. It'll be so much fun, and we get to hear the Yarn Harlot too..... omigoodness too much excitement!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
The socks were very well received - which is great. I was worried as they weren't black, but apparently they will be worn! :)
Not much else going on round here due to rain, more rain and even more rain. It's got so serious I have even done a bit of housework!! *shock*
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Thursday, July 31, 2008
It's a free service for up to 2gb home use, (click on Mozy Home at the top, then look on the left hand side for the free service), or $4.95/month for unlimited and I also have to tell you that the link above is a referral link so if anyone does sign up I get an extra 256mb free. However, I don't need the extra space so that's not why I'm telling you!
You download a little piece of software to your PC/MAC, select files or folders you want to backup (it also starts by suggesting some "backup sets", including your internet favourites, emails and contacts, and your My Documents folder, but they can all be changed) and how often you want it to backup - it suggests once a day. The first backup obviously takes an age, but subsequent ones only seem to take around 5 mins. It's not a file-share service so no-one else can access your data, unless you give them your password, and it's run using 448bit encryption and then 128bit SSL transfer, so it's pretty secure.
Backup is something most of us are notoriously bad at, and only when disaster strikes do we realise we should have been more prepared.
Anyway, just thought I'd mention it!!!! :)
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Another post to follow in a minute due to arrival of a parcel! :)
Monday, July 28, 2008
Pattern: Hemlock Ring Blanket by Jared Flood
Yarn - New Lanark Donegal Silk and Wool Aran - Colour Swinford (gifted 3 1/2 skeins - thanks Mum! - bought another two to make blanket a bit bigger)
Needles - Boyes Interchangeable size US10.5 (6.5mm)
Mods - Did crochet bind off as didn't have enough yarn to do the knitted one.
Size - Around 4 1/2 ft across widest point.
For some reason mine won't block flat - but then it's a blanket so it's never going to be flat anyway! - Bah who needs the heating eh? :)
Friday, July 25, 2008
and knitting like a woman possessed:-
(The blanket thing is acutally nearly finished now but no point taking any more photos til it's blocked cos it's all scrunched up on a circular needle!)
So, obviously no time for blogging! :)
Sunday, July 13, 2008
There was me ambling through this so called summer, happy as a pig in..... well whatever pigs like! - and bamm! went for a run this morning with my sister and now cannot move my head. I feel like I'm carrying a bowling ball on my shoulders, and one that hurts every time I move!
So I have taken painkillers and anti-histamine. I'll be in a coma right about supper time.
Will be back to my perky self soon (or maybe October!)
Monday, July 07, 2008
I absolutely love it, the colour is great, it's quick to knit, easy to keep track of as all the shaping is done at the beginning of a stripe, and the sock yarn knit on bigger needles gives a really lovely fabric. I don't normally make things twice - but I could make an exception here!
I'd like to say one more very special thanks to Terri who swapped the Mossy Logs and made it extra special colourwise!
So, I wonder if Lewis Hamilton was such stuff that dreams are made on this weekend. I wonder if somewhere a little boy watched that race and dreams of doing that when he grows up. Just as Hamilton did himself when he used to watch Senna......... It was a really great race, and did show Lewis for the talent he has, and good old Barichello getting 3rd - what a great result for him and Honda (I have a feeling Mr Brawn may do some good things with that team!!!)
I daresay the tennis produced some dreams too (maybe just of the game actually finishing!) but I'm not really into tennis so I'll leave that there!!
And the Tour de France has started too..... I can't begin to understand it, but whilst trying to avoid the tennis this weekend I did watch the first two days' highlights, compelling stuff!
So, it's Monday and work beckons. I've also decided to start trading again. It took a back seat when I had to take on some more part time work, but now that I have a good routine with that I feel I have some time to get back into trading. Plus the markets are doing a little more of what is expected now!!! I'm going back to trading the Dow Jones, which was always my preference. I'll spend a bit of time re-aquainting myself with the charts and getting back in the swing of it, and then we'll see what happens.
Have a good week everyone.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Obviously the last 2 posts were a blow by blow account of what we did on holiday, but I just want to add a few points that didn't fit in with the "left here and went there" kind of posts.
Wales was beautiful! - It had an essence all of its own which was somewhere between the cornish coast and the wilds of Scotland (given its geographical location I guess that's no surprise). The sea was just the most beautiful colour though - a real turqoise blue - especially at Abersoch where I think the depths must change quite significantly off the long flat beach. Honestly, you could not have hoped for a more beautiful setting if you were in the South of France. All the villages were picturesque and everyone was friendly and helpful. There were small cafe's and plenty of places to sit out in the sun and enjoy a coffee or an ice cream (have you noticed the plentiful mentions of ice cream?) and often quite a mediteranean feel to the menus - often including dressed crab and other seafood delights. And do you know the best part ??? NO McD's or Tesco's or KFC............ what a triumph for the welsh coastal villages...... and there were real honest butchers and little Spa's that reminded me of my Grandfather's grocers too many years ago to mention, that stocked normal everyday groceries without all the frivolities we've got rather too used to in my neck of the woods! It was a revelation! I also found it pretty sad that I noticed, despite having a hatred for McD's and all things that commercial, I can't believe that I have become so accustomed to That Logo, that I noticed it was missing!!! grrrrrrr.
There were no motorways (although occassionally the locals seemed to want to drive as if there was one) as life seemed a little more relaxed and pleasurable than it is round here (I am currently listening to some buffoon with his hand on his hooter presumably because someone hasn't moved off from the lights promptly enough.)
We saw loads of buzzards - and both remarked that Welsh Buzzards must be a bit more "show-off" than their English counterparts as they were far more often seen low and close to the road - properly showing off that amazing colouring they have underneath them, often hunting or having a bit of a set to with crows or kites, rather than the high altitude gliding that we only ever seem to see them do around these parts. Maybe it was just because of the kind of roads we were travelling on, but it was awesome to see, they are so utterly beautiful.
Right - I must think about putting on some dinner!!! - anyone got any suggestions?
Sunday, June 22, 2008
So, up bright and early on Monday as the house had to be vacated by 10. Packed everything back up and left on time!
First we wanted to drive round the headland of the Lleyn Peninsula, so we headed west to Aberdaron.
A beautiful coastal village, we stopped for a late breakfast and sat in a cafe by a really pretty little river. While we were sitting there a thrush watch avidly from not 3 ft away on the wall.... obviously knowing that people leave little crumbs and bits that she could take away to her little ones. We got back in the car and headed further west to Uwchmynydd, where there is a little national park. We popped out for a bracing wind-swept walk to the tip of the headland to see Bardsey Island.
We sat admiring this view for a while, also quietly hoping to see Dolphins or some such but all we saw was beautiful glistening sea.... well that's ok isn't it!
From there we drove back towards Pwllheli via the north edge of the Peninsula. And once we reached there Mr Noo just had to try out the Bass fishing spot that had been recommended, before we left the area! So I snuggled down on the sand by the rock with my Ipod and knitting (knitting didn't last too long 'cos I fell asleep!) and MrNoo fished for a couple of hours. We both ended up with cracking sun-tans from this particular outing! Mid-afternoon we left the peninsula via Criccieth and Porthmadog, with the intention of camping near Snowdonia and walking some of it the next day. It turns out that if you want to do that kind of thing you really need to have planned ahead as there are no road signs for "Climb Snowdonia from here" !!! LOL Plus as it happened the weather began to close in a bit. We went through a town that we think was probably the base of all things upward.... and camped close by in Llanrug, luckily I had the foresight to ask the owner if there was a good place to eat nearby and she directed us to a pub within walking distance at the end of the road - Good move!!! :)
When we woke up on Tuesday the weather was really cloudy, and neither of us had waterproof trousers, so the thought of getting wet and then camping for a night didn't fill either of us with excitement. - We put that off til next year!!! So we left to head south to Barmouth via Caernarfon and Porthmadog. In Barmouth we stopped and had lunch in a little cafe on the front called Davey's Locker, the weather stayed cloudy and the wind had certainly got up. We decided to continue to head south down Cardigan Bay and looking at the map decided to head for Tywyn or that kind of area for the night. We got past Tywyn to Aberdyfi, but turned back to the bigger town to find camping as the weather had really begun to come in. Put the tent up and headed back into Tywyn to find the beach (MrNoo can't go anywhere coastal without checking out the possibilities!) The sea was so rough, big white horses as far as the eye could see, and waves crashing onto the beach. We watched for a while, then went and got fish and chips and watched again!!!! - til the sun set!
We got back to the camp site..... got in the tent and the heavens opened....... T'was a long night! :)
Wednesday morning we decided to leave the tent where it was as it's no fun packing up a soaking wet tent (and even less fun getting it out again) It had pretty much stopped raining but was grey and cloudy and so we decided to be a bit touristy for the day. We went to Devil's Bridge and walked round the waterfalls first. (Yep we walked all around that!) At Devil's Bridge there is also a little steam train station (The train comes up I think from Aberystwyth) so we stopped there for a cup of tea and I picked up some "What to do in Wales" leaflets... as you do! There was a book of local attractions so I found a local countryside visitor centre only about 20 mins away and we headed there. Well as it happens it was a centre for Red Kites....... we had just missed feeding time which was at 3pm, but the birds were still very much around and we slowly took a walk round a small lake and watched around 10 birds overhead. They played really quite low and we both got a really good look at the colours and shape of the birds (I could even tell the difference between Kites and Buzzards on the way home - which is quite unlike me!) it was a real privilege to be able to see these beautiful birds so well. We were again quite lucky as it didn't rain, just stayed grey! It was quite a jaunt back to the camp-site and the night before we had bought some lamb steaks and new potatoes and salad, with a couple of those disposable BBQ's - then read the notice on the camp site that said no open fires!!! - So as we were a bit tired and late we decided to have a go at cooking it all in a fold up frying pan on the tiny Camping Gaz ring we have for making coffee!!! - Well it was a bit of a squeeze but it worked well and we both enjoyed the meal! However by this time the wind was "blowing a hooley!" and staying in the tent any longer than we needed to didn't seem a good move. We did a deal whereby I would sit and watch the sea (from the car!!) in Aberdyfi for an hour and a half, and then we'd stop somewhere for a beer or two! - I love compromise! (I got half a sock foot knitted!!) It was a very, very windy night!!!!!!
Thursday was our last day so we got up early, finished eating everything we had bought and packed up, ready to leave for 9:30. The weather looked good to our West (i.e. the coast) but dreadful to our East (i.e. the mountains!) We looked at the map and asked our SatNav to kindly tell us how long it would take us to get home via the coast! - Only an extra hour..... so we drove to New Quay and spent the day there. By the time we arrived the sun was beaming, the sky was blue.... and the little fishing village was buzzing. We found a little cafe with a sun patio up on the roof where you could see out to the harbour, and they had Calamari...... who needs to be abroad eh? We ate a good lunch, walked to the jetty, walked back along the beach, sat for half an hour and watched all the families playing. Had an ice cream (!!!), walked a bit more. Finally just as we were going to set off for home we saw 2 dolphins playing around the jetty. We watched them for probably an hour. I think they were possibly mother and calf as one seemed a lot bigger than the other. They gave a good show, the little one jumping right out of the water a couple of times whilst waiting for Mum to come back and collect him (He stayed pretty static and just played - She covered a lot of water - presumably feeding) As it was now an hour later we decided to have a coffee before we left and as luck would have it the place had a huge ice cream menu - so as it was the last day we had another one! _ Mr Noo a chocolate sundae, and me - waffles and ice cream!!! (It's no wonder that I now have my very own Welsh Tummy!) We left there around 6pm and journeyed home via the M4.
So now it's back to normality, the end of the month fast approaches with invoicing and payroll to do.... and already the week seems like a dream - a darn good one though! :)