Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Amaryllis

It took a while but it finally got there. I bought my mum an amaryllis for Christmas and shortly afterwards, I bought one for myself. Admittedly, my mum's was started off a little while before mine was but hers bloomed ages ago. I'm sure you'll agree that mine was worth the wait though.


I don't think I've ever grown one in the past which had as much foliage at the time of blooming as this one does, they're usually just flower spikes and the leaves tend to come later.


If you look around the back you can see that a second flower spike has started to grow so there's more beautiful blooms to come.


As for the amaryllis bulb I kept from last year, well, it hasn't done much I'm afraid. Just three tall leaves and no sign of any blooms, though I think you're supposed to feed them after flowering and I never did that. Never mind, they're cheap enough to buy new each year.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

In The Making - March 2019

A roundup of the things I'm working on at the moment.

I've finished two things since last month, the Autumn Leaves baby cardigan and the Blue Lagoon socks.


The Blue Lagoon socks were knit out of two different colourways so once I'd finished them, I added a couple more squares to my commercial yarn scrappy blanket. It's growing slowly but surely.


I've also been working on my scrappy blanket which is made out of hand dyed yarn. I love how these scrappy blankets look so different because of the different colourways being added to each.


At long last I've picked my cardigan back up and have started working on it again. I've now completed the rib at the bottom of the garment and shall be picking the stitches back up for the sleeves.

It seems a long time since I've cast on anything new and as the cardigan is now too big to take out and about with me you might see some new projects on the needles next month.

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Lunch Date

As I've mentioned before, Mick's got quite a bit of holiday to take from work before the end of the month, so he took another day off on Monday and we had a lovely walk with Archie at Roundhay Park, one of the biggest city parks in Europe. It was a bright day but very blustery and the wind was bitter. There were a few people out walking their dogs but apart from them, the park was empty, in fact, I've never seen it so quiet.


We had our wedding reception at The Mansion in Roundhay Park back in 1990 and looking down from there you can see the small lake.


The wind was blowing the water which was being spurted out of the fountain and it was creating a rainbow to the side. I think you can just see it in this photo.


Quite a few big bands and artists have played at Roundhay Park, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, U2, Robbie Williams, and I went to see Michael Jackson there in 1988. Later this year Eleanor is going to see Ed Sheeran there, it will be the third time she's seen him in concert.


Archie had a good time, as usual. He played with a few dogs. His coat is so thick at the moment, he's ready for a good cut but it's got quite cold again just lately, I'm trying to hold off for a while.


The trees are still bare but I think it's only a matter of time until they spring into growth. The daffodils planted around this tree looked so pretty. I was surprised to see them still standing though in the gusty wind.


There's lots of interest in this park even during the winter months.


We headed down to the larger of the two lakes, this is Waterloo Lake . It's area covers 33 acres and it's 60 foot deep. It's a former quarry which was sunk and filled by soldiers returning from the Napoleonic Wars, hence its name.


There's always swans, ducks and geese on the lake but there were a couple of cormorants there too on Monday.


The Lakeside Cafe sits on the edge of the lake. During the day it offers breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea and by night it can be hired out for private functions. It's in a great spot with beautiful scenery.


We didn't patronise the cafe, instead we headed up the road to The White House, an Edwardian pub/restaurant. This used to be the home of entrepreneur James Holroyd Junior who owned the Burmantofts Pottery Company. We had our lunch here, and very nice it was too. Archie was a good boy, sitting really nicely underneath the table whilst we ate, in fact, the staff even commented on him being as 'quiet as a mouse'. It's very dog friendly so we often stop off here after a walk in Roundhay Park, they even have a bowl of gravy bones on the bar for dogs.


It's lovely having Mick at home during the week and going off and doing something we usually only do on a weekend. He's off the whole week next week so I'm hoping the weather improves and the wind drops so that we can have some more days out, though he's now been able to carry the remaining holiday over into April so he'll be having another week off just before Easter when Daniel and Jasmine are coming to stay and Eleanor will be home from university, I'm really looking forward to that.

Monday, 11 March 2019

Three Things About Elsie

I'd seen Three Things About Elsie here and there, I thought it looked interesting, so when it became available on a Kindle daily deal I downloaded it.


"84-year-old Florence has fallen in her flat at Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly. As she waits to be rescued, she considers the charming new resident who looks exactly like a man she once knew - a man who died sixty years ago. His arrival has stirred distant memories she and Elsie thought they'd laid to rest. Lying prone in the front room, Florence wonders if a terrible secret from her past is about to come to light..."

I did enjoy this book but I found it written in a similar vein as Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey which I read back in 2016. A long forgotten mystery runs alongside a dementia storyline, but to be honest, I actually preferred Elizabeth is Missing.

I love a good twist in a story and there was one in Three Things About Elsie which I didn't see coming, so I thought that was good, and I really enjoyed seeing how the character of Simon the Handyman developed throughout the book, he was a likeable individual.

In my opinion, Three Things About Elsie is worth a read, but I enjoyed Elizabeth is Missing more.

Friday, 8 March 2019

Blue Lagoon

Isn't Blue Lagoon the perfect name for this West Yorkshire Spinners colourway?


I've finally finished Eleanor's socks and I couldn't be happier with them.


Blue Lagoon is the main colour with Blueberry Bonbon, also West Yorkshire Spinners, acting as the contrast for the cuffs, heels and toes.


I used the Sugar Frost Socks pattern by Marianne Heikkinen. I've used the same pattern previously and I wrote about it in my Sugar Frost Socks post. The first pair was also for Eleanor but look so different in another colourway. This time I used a different pattern for the toes as the Sugar Frost Socks pattern has you gathering remaining stitches on yarn pulled through them and it gives them a more pointy look, though Eleanor said they were perfectly fine. I just prefer a more wedged toe myself.


We're hoping to have a trip over to Nottingham to see Eleanor soon so it will be nice to take them with me to give to her, though I'm sure we'll all be out of woolly socks soon now that spring is nearly here.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Golden Acre Park

It was quite dull and much cooler on Saturday than it has been but it was dry, which was the main thing, so we decided to visit Golden Acre Park.

It's a while since we've been and in that time they've brought in a rule whereby you must keep your dog on a lead around the lake area and on the paths which circle the lake. Fair enough, there's lots of birds on the lake, however, some of the paths which encompass the lake are well set back with many trees in between them and the water and there's no way that Archie would make a break for it. You have a decent amount of walking to do to get right around the lake and Archie wasn't at all impressed that he had to be kept on his lead. Just look at that face!


I always put Archie on his lead if there's any chance I can't control him but it's that same old case of the few irresponsible dog owners spoiling things for the many. Our trip to The Yorkshire Coast on Friday highlighted why there must be dog bans on beaches. We were able to take Archie on the lovely beaches there this time, but come the first of May until the end of September, we'll have to stick to designated dog walking areas, and quite rightly so when you see all the dog faeces that we saw. Who wants to take their children on a beach where it's quite likely they'll step in that? It's disgusting how owners fail to clean up after their dogs. So I suppose that's the problem here, owners are allowing their dogs to jump in the lake and they're probably scaring the birds half to death, if not worse. Something had to be done but it's annoying for those owners who walk their dogs responsibly.

Anyway, back to our walk in the park. Look who we saw. It's only Squirrel Nutkin stuffing his face. Okay, I know it's a grey squirrel and Squirrel Nutkin is a red squirrel, but still.


Further into the park, and away from the lake, Archie got his time off his lead.


Don't you just love mossy walls. They stop me in my tracks.


There's so much blossom about at the moment.


So beautiful.


Different colours too.



Look at this cutie, she had babies with her too but they were too quick for me to snap.



There's quite a bit of colour about at the moment.


The daffodils seem early this year. I'm not sure whether they are or not but I'm sure it's usually later when they're blooming.


There's still some snowdrops about. These are mingled in with the dogwoods.


There was a whole swathe of them just around the corner.


I'm always happy to see that things aren't cleared away too soon. Take hydrangeas for example, their spent heads look fabulous whilst fading and even when completely dead, I think still look attractive.


It's a shame about the dogs on leads rule as I doubt we'll bother returning with Archie now. He likes a walk where he can come off his lead and run free so this park doesn't really fit his needs any longer. Never mind, there's plenty more lovely places where we can take him.

Saturday, 2 March 2019

The Yorkshire Coast

Mick's got over two weeks holiday to take before the end of March so he's taking a full week off later on in the month and he's taking the rest of the holiday he's due as odd days scattered throughout March, the first of which was taken yesterday. Typical then that the gorgeous weather we'd had in February came to an end, though it wasn't too bad, we avoided any rain. We decided to hop over to the coast to catch our first glimpse of the sea this year.


No one was more happy than Archie, he loves it at the seaside, all that open space to run around in and lots of smelly seaweed to sniff out.


Our first port of call was Bridlington, a place my mum and dad used to take me when I was a child. In fact, I think I've mentioned before that my first steps were taken on Bridlington beach. It's a wonder I didn't hurt my toes on all the stones, though there's plenty of sand too.


Archie looks to be asking if he can go in the sea, he loves paddling.


There were quite a few cormorants about, three of which were balancing on this buoy.


It wasn't long before Archie was getting his feet wet...


...and rolling in the sand to dry off. Just look at that sandy nose!


It was quite chilly when we first arrived but we soon warmed up once we started walking, it was a pleasant day for this time of year even though the mercury wasn't quite reaching the temperatures it had in February.


Archie was in and out of the sea as we wandered along the sand.


I think these seagulls were waiting to see if there were any picnics about, still a bit too cold for that I think.


There were lots of boats in the harbour yesterday.


We spent a couple of hours in Bridlington before travelling a little further north to Filey. The sun had put in an appearance by the time we got there.


Archie enjoyed a bit more rolling on the beach. You wouldn't believe that it's less than six weeks since he was last groomed, he looks like a big woolly bear with his thick winter coat. If I'd known we were going to have such a mild February I'd have asked for a shorter cut. As it is, he's ready for another trim already.


A little further north and we were in Scarborough to finish off our day. The weather was turning decidedly chilly and it was looking rather dull too.


I was surprised that most of the shops and amusement arcades were open with it being out of season, especially midweek, I thought the resort would have closed down for the winter. We visited one of the seafood stalls and purchased a couple of crab sticks for Archie for a treat, he loves them.


Scarborough Castle stands atop high cliffs overlooking the North Sea. The old town, with it's narrow cobbled streets, is nestled below.


Looking from the beach across to the pier you can see Scarborough Lighthouse. You can walk to the end of the pier but we didn't bother yesterday.


I've been wanting to visit the coast for a while so it was nice that we got to spend the day there yesterday. Archie was worn out by the time we got home and slept soundly all night. I'm looking forward to some more lovely days out this month whilst Mick's on holiday. Let's hope the weather cooperates.