Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Strike It Lucky

I follow Mr & Mrs Rabbit Yarns on Instagram and have coveted their yarn for quite some time, though haven't yet tried it. They do such beautiful colours.

Recently, Mr & Mrs Rabbit Yarns had a Giftaway on Instagram, they asked their followers to nominate someone deserving for them to send a little gift to. My friend Maggie, from BlackCountry Wench blog, nominated me and my name was one of five which was picked at random to receive a gift. 

I received five 10g mini skeins, ready wound into 'roses', in the colourway Eloise which is inspired by David Austin roses. The colours are just beautiful and will look perfect added to my scrappy blanket. There was also a sachet of tea and a lavender sachet.

Thank you, Maggie, for nominating me. There were so many entries, I feel very fortunate to have such a lovely friend who thought me deserving.

I've also been lucky with giveaways which I've entered on Flosstube videos I watch on You Tube. Before Christmas, Kim from Barbara's Daughter gave away this Peppermint Pals chart by Brenda Gervais. It's been a popular chart, I've seen quite a few people stitching it over the festive period. I was lucky to have my name picked at random and I shall enjoy stitching it myself.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I entered a giveaway on Megan's Georgia Girl Stitching Flosstube video to win Promise of Spring, part four of Songbird's Garden Series from Cottage Garden Samplings. This design is an American robin and tulips, it's so pretty.

Thank you to everyone for hosting these giveaways, it's always exciting to win something and have it delivered in the post. I've been very lucky just lately.

Saturday, 16 January 2021

Village School

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that back in 2015 I set myself the challenge of reading all of Agatha Christie's murder/mystery books in chronological order. That challenge came to an end during 2020 so I've been looking out for another little reading challenge to set myself since. I've heard a lot of people mention the Miss Read books, some have recommended them to me and said they thought I'd enjoy them, so I decided to include the first book from the Fairacre series, Village School, on my Christmas wish list and Mick obliged. There it was, wrapped in beautiful Christmas paper, waiting for me underneath the Christmas tree on Christmas morning.

"Fairacre is a pretty village of cottages, church and school - and at the heart of the school is its headmistress, Miss Read.

We meet the young school children with their scraped knees, rosy faces and inevitable mischief. Through the author's discerning eye, we meet the inhabitants of Fairacre and learn of their trials and tribulations, their hopes and dreams.

Miss Read takes us through the school year, beginning with the Christmas term, when the bitterly cold weather challenges the school's ancient heating system, right through to the hot summer day when school is over for another year.

Full of Miss Read's fine humour and astute observations, Village School is an intriguing glimpse into a forgotten world and has become a true classic."

What can I say, I loved it. Not only did I enjoy reading it but I've now found my next reading challenge. There are, I believe, twenty books in the Fairacre series and thirteen books in the Thrush Green series. I shall tackle these first but there are other standalone books too. I averaged one Agatha Christie book a month, in between reading other books, so if I continue at this rate, it should take me just short of three years to complete the two main series of books before I decide if I shall continue with the other books which were written by Miss Read.

Miss Read was the pseudonym of Dora Jessie Saint MBE, an English novelist and schoolmistress who was born in 1913. Her pseudonym was derived from the maiden name of her mother. Her two main series of novels were written between 1955 and 1996 when she retired and in 1998 she was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for her services to literature. She died in 2012.

I'm hoping that I can get hold of all of the books, it does look as though some of them aren't available to buy new any longer so it will be a case of whether I can get hold of them second hand as the library seem only to stock the odd one or two. I've already ordered the next two in the series from Ebay, fingers crossed I can get the rest.

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Twelve Days Of Christmas 2020

I've been swapping twelve little gifts to open on the Twelve Days of Christmas with my friend, Lisa, for seven years now. I met Lisa through blogging and though she doesn't blog now, we're still in regular contact.

These are the gifts I received from Lisa this year.

It's hard to see them all together in this way so here's a closer look.

Lisa knows I've got a bit of a thing for pigs so this 'You make me smile' pig mug is just perfect for me. I love the Merry Christmas plate, I'd actually been looking for one this Christmas but couldn't find one I liked so I'm pleased I'll have this one ready for next Christmas. I've never seen An Affair to Remember so I shall enjoy watching this DVD, and who doesn't love Caramel Crunch, and by Thorntons too, yum.

I love the heart-shaped bauble, it opens up and inside I found the cute candy cane earrings. I'm all set for Easter with the bunny paper cups, bowls and serviettes. There's some notecards and postcards and hand cream and lip balm.

Another piggy gift, how I love these socks, aren't they cute. The sticker book and pretty washi tape will come in very handy in my journal and planner. Another yummy treat, Guylian dark raspberry chocolate, and a cute panda spoon to use in my hot chocolate.

Thank you, Lisa. Once again, I love everything you've sent. I enjoy this Twelve Days of Christmas swap so much, it's become a Christmas tradition.

These are the gifts I sent to Lisa.

A closer look.

I know that Lisa and her family have fun and games at the Christmas dinner table so I thought these Festive Face Mats would be a laugh. They're drinking mats that you can wear, twenty mats and forty different faces. I think I've included a Christmas book in the parcel every year, this year it's a Debbie Macomber book, There's Something About Christmas. I saw this tealight holder and thought it was so pretty, in fact I loved it so much that I bought one for myself too. A Bellini bath fizzer, how indulgent.

I always like to include some treats in the parcel. This year I've gone for Godiva salted caramel flavour chocolate and some spiced almond biscuits, they sound delicious. The Merry Christmas tin contains some sachets of hot drinks. A reusable bamboo mug in a butterfly design.

I saw these measuring cups and thought they were so cute. They're hard to photograph but they're cats and their tails are the handles. A set of two pens. A shopping list pad, to do list pad and some sticky notes, I use a lot of pads of this kind so I hope Lisa does too. A hand knitted washcloth and some Moringa soap from The Body Shop, it smells gorgeous.

So that's it for another year. It was such a fun swap again, thank you, Lisa.

Friday, 8 January 2021

Advent Calendars 2020

First off, I just want to say thank you for all the lovely comments you left on my last post. I try not to get down about things but I suppose it's to be expected after the last couple of years.

I mentioned My Advent Calendars back at the end of November and I thought I'd show you now what I received in them.

My main advent calendar was purchased from Beaches and Birdsong. I'd heard good things about their yarn but had never tried it for myself so it was a leap of faith really as purchasing a yarny advent calendar isn't cheap. I'm so glad I went for this one though, I'm so thrilled with the quality of the yarn, it's so soft and squishy, and I absolutely love the colourways of each of the 10g mini skeins. There were also a few sweet treats, two progress keepers and a stitch marker included.

I also purchased a 12 Days of Christmas Charity Selection Box which Helen from Giddy Yarns organised. It's the same idea as an advent calendar except each of the packages were opened during the twelve days of Christmas. These were 20g minis from twelve different indie yarn dyers. I must admit that some of these colourways aren't ones I'd choose myself but it's been fun having a taste of what each of these dyers offer.

There was also the advent swap which I did with my friend Maggie from BlackCountry Wench blog. I was thoroughly spoilt as in addition to the beautiful yarns included in each package there was a delicious chocolate, and two of the packages contained a beautifully scented lavender sachet and a relaxing bath bomb.

But that's not all. In addition to our daily packages, Maggie and I decided we'd swap a skein of yarn on Christmas Day too and I received this beautiful yarn from Dandelion & Dogwood, a dyer I haven't tried before. It's absolutely beautiful in such a pretty colourway. There was more goodies for Christmas Day too, Thornton's chocolate, Body Shop smellies, a scented candle, a sachet of tea, and the cutest bunny soap. Thank you so much Maggie, it was such a fun swap and I love everything.

This is the second year I've had yarny advent calendars and I really enjoy opening all the little packages, I think it's probably going to become one of my Christmas traditions.

Monday, 4 January 2021

Auntie Beryl

I was hoping that 2021 was going to be a better year after what's turned out to be a very difficult couple of years for me but we've started the year off with more sad news. I got a phone call a couple of days ago from my cousin telling me that my Auntie Beryl had died. She was my mum's elder sister, a particular favourite auntie of mine and my mum and her were always very close.

So here's the weird thing. On New Years Eve I went to bed and dreamt about my mum and my Auntie Beryl. I woke up on New Year's Day with the feeling that my Auntie Beryl had died. It wasn't until the following day that my cousin rang and told me she'd died before the new year.

This photo is of my mum and her five sisters. My mum is second on the right with my Auntie Beryl sitting next to her on the end of the row. Sadly, my Auntie Janet, sitting on the other side of my mum, is the only sister left living, and none of their husbands are with us any longer either. It was very rare that all six sisters got together so my mum always cherished this photo.

I try to keep upbeat. It's been quite hard over the last couple of years with my parent's illnesses and their subsequent deaths. The coronavirus and all the associated restrictions last year have been very trying but I've still put a brave face on everything. I have to admit though that I'm finding it very tough at the moment. It just seems that it's bad news after bad news. Obviously, family deaths are hard to deal with at the best of times, but we're back under new coronavirus restrictions again with the threat of more restrictions to come and it's all beginning to take it's toll. 

I miss Daniel and Jasmine. They live 200 miles away, which doesn't seem that far, but they may as well be at the other side of the world at the moment because the restrictions mean that we can't travel away from our immediate area, and even if we could, they're having to be extra cautious because Jasmine's classed as high risk so they're being very careful. I just wish they lived closer.

My mum and dad's deaths have hit me hard this Christmas, they've never been out of my thoughts. The grieving process is an ongoing thing and I suppose it will take a very long time until I come to the end of it.

When I'm feeling a bit down I try to get myself out for a walk as I truly believe that a change of scenery and some fresh air does wonders. It may not be a cure all but it can definitely lift the spirits. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to leave the house since before Christmas as I'm having some medical issues and this really hasn't helped my mood. I was supposed to be having an investigative procedure at the hospital today but that hasn't been possible which is making me feel even more down in the dumps. I should say here that it's nothing to worry about but I don't want to go into detail about it due to the personal nature.

I won't be able to attend my Auntie Beryl's funeral because there's still restrictions on numbers. It really is a sorry state of affairs.

Goodness, this really is a woe is me post, though I know that many of you have felt, or are still feeling, this way. I suppose it's only natural with the way things are. Who knows how long all this is going to go on for. I really need to start feeling more positive but that's easier said than done with everything that's going on at present. I'm never usually so downbeat but I suppose the saying 'at the end of your tether' really is true and I've just about reached mine. I do try to keep my blog positive but life isn't always a bed of roses and I suppose this post just reflects that.

Thursday, 31 December 2020

Looking Back At 2020

At the end of 2019 I commented that the year had been a sad one for me with the death of my mum, and here I am again at the end of this year saying the same thing following the death of my dad. I never would have predicted that I'd have such a devastating couple of years, and on top of this, we've had coronavirus to deal with this year too. It's been a very mixed twelve months with sad time and happy times too, lets take a look back over the last twelve months.

We were Blowing Away The Cobwebs back in January with a new year trip to Scarborough. Little did we know then but this, and another day in March, would be the only trips we took to the coast this year because of the coronavirus restrictions and lockdown.

Storm Ciara blew in during February causing damage and destruction. We had quite a few days of stormy weather but got off lightly compared to many people. There was flooding, loss of homes and sadly, loss of life too.

Coronavirus came to our attention in March and we all started to practice Social Distancing. Who'd have thought that we'd still be in this pickle at the end of the year.

We were only allowed to walk in the neighbourhood during lockdown so I took you with us on Another Local Walk For Archie in April. We were lucky that we had some lovely weather at this time and we went on many local walks.

In May we were Enjoying The Rhododendrons at Temple Newsam. We like to visit around this time each year to see all the beautiful blooms, though it was a different experience this year with social distancing still in place yet very few people following the guidelines.

I was finally At The End of my five and a half year long challenge in June to read all of Agatha Christie's sixty six murder mystery books in chronological order. It was a fun challenge and I was sad to come to the end of it.

I wrote about A New Normal in July after the death of my dad the previous month. I recognised that after spending so much time caring for and looking after my dad, my life was about to change now that he was no longer here.

We had an impromptu day out in Burnsall in August to celebrate Mick's birthday. We haven't had many days out during this year because of coronavirus restrictions so this was a welcome visit to the place I love best, the Yorkshire Dales.

Crafting has been a big factor in my life this year especially with having to spend so much time at home. I decided to give my attention to a number of different projects with a view to getting some of them finished, and making some good progress on others, and I gave An Update On My Crafting Rotation in September.

At last, we had something to celebrate in October when Jacob asked Eleanor to marry him and She Said Yes. They haven't set a date yet but they don't want to wait too long.

We had some very murky days in November so it was nice to come Out Of The Fog and enjoy a walk at Roundhay Park. As you can see, Archie had a lovely time too rolling about in the fallen leaves.

We discovered A New Walk in December. Being close to water, it's a walk which will attract Mick time and time again, we've returned once already.

A huge thank you to everyone who has visited my blog this year and those who have left such wonderful and supportive comments, especially when my dad died back in June. It's been a tough year in more ways than one but life has gone on, albeit in a very different way to that which we're used to. Wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2021.

Monday, 28 December 2020

Books Read In 2020

I'm pleased with the number of books I've managed to read this year, especially as my reading dropped off a bit after my dad died in June. I found myself unable to concentrate on reading, as well as most other things, during this time but I did get back into it again eventually. During December though I've only read two books as I just haven't seemed to have time for anything. In total I've read seventy five books this year.

In 2015 I challenged myself to read Agatha Christie's murder mystery books in chronological order. There are 66 in total and I averaged one book a month for five and a half years, having completed this challenge just before my dad died. I never got the chance to tell him I'd finished reading them all, he was always interested in which book I was reading having read some of them himself.

I've found some new to me authors this year so as well as reading books by authors I already enjoy, I've read quite a few books from some different authors, some of which I'll continue to read. Some new favourites are Dani Atkins, Elaine Everest, Celeste Ng and Mary Gibson. Some old favourites are Charity Norman, Amanda Prowse, Jojo Moyes and Donna Douglas.

Passenger to Frankfurt - Agatha Christie

The Colours of All the Cattle - Alexander McCall Smith

Nella Last's Peace - Nella Last

Nemesis - Agatha Christie

Elephants Can Remember - Agatha Christie

Postern of Fate - Agatha Christie

The Nurses of Steeple Street - Donna Douglas

District Nurse on Call - Donna Douglas

The Light in the Hallway - Amanda Prowse

A Nightingale Christmas Promise - Donna Douglas

The Librarian of Auschwitz - Antonio Iturbe

Nightingale Wedding Bells - Donna Douglas

To the Land of Long Lost Friends - Alexander McCall Smith

The Girl in the Red Coat - Kate Hamer

The View From the Corner Shop - Kathleen Hey

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - Rachel Joyce

The Story of Us - Dani Atkins

A Good Heart is Hard to Find - Trisha Ashley

While I Was Sleeping - Dani Atkins

Our Song - Dani Atkins

This Love - Dani Atkins

The Christmas Sisters - Sarah Morgan

The Choice - Edith Eger

Fractured - Dani Atkins

The Woolworths Girls - Elaine Everest

If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things - Jon McGregor

The Other Half of Augusta Hope - Joanna Glen

The Perfect Couple - Jackie Kabler

In Five Years - Rebecca Serle

Half a World Away - Mike Gayle

Curtain - Agatha Christie

A Mother's Journey - Donna Douglas

Dear Edward - Ann Napolitano

The Wish List - Ruby Hummingbird

Found - Erin Kinsley

Sleeping Murder - Agatha Christie

One Split Second - Caroline Bond

Three Hours - Rosamund Lupton

When All is Said - Anne Griffin

Love After Love - Ingrid Persaud

Little Fires Everywhere - Celeste Ng

The Man Who Didn't Call - Rosie Walsh

The Keeper of Lost Things - Ruth Hogan

The Secrets of Strangers - Charity Norman

Poirot Investigates - Agatha Christie

The Garden of Lost Memories - Ruby Hummingbird

The Beekeeper of Aleppo - Christy Lefteri

Sister of Mine - Laurie Petrou

The Day She Came Back - Amanda Prowse

Where There's a Will - Beth Corby

The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding - Agatha Christie

I Confess - Alex Barclay

The Chain - Adrian McKinty

The Day the Nazis Came - Stephen R Matthews

The Alibi Girl - CJ Skuse

Everything I Never Told You - Celeste Ng

All We Left Behind - Danielle R Graham

Hughie Mittman's Fear of Lawnmowers - Conor Bowman

The Holiday - TM Logan

Christmas at Woolworths - Elaine Everest

Wartime at Woolworths - Elaine Everest

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird - Josie Silver

A Gift From Woolworths - Elaine Everest

After the End - Clare Mackintosh

Blood Orange - Harriet Tyce

Foreign Fruit - Jojo Moyes

Custard Tarts and Broken Hearts - Mary Gibson

Jam and Roses - Mary Gibson

Gunner Girls and Fighter Boys - Mary Gibson

Bourbon Creams and Tattered Dreams - Mary Gibson

Hattie's Home - Mary Gibson

A Sister's Struggle - Mary Gibson

The Peacock Emporium - Jojo Moyes

One Moment - Linda Green

The Secret Santa - Trish Harnetiaux

The stand out book for me this year was The Other Half of Augusta Hope by Joanna Glen. I don't know what it was about this book that did it for me, it's just a touching story which is beautifully written and I came across it by chance during the first lockdown when I'd run out of books to read so I was looking for something on my Kindle. In fact, I stumbled across many books this way this year. Other memorable books were The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe, The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri and Custard Tarts and Broken Hearts by Mary Gibson.

Now that my Agatha Christie challenge has come to an end I'd like to think of a new reading challenge, what that will be I don't know, however, I'm going to cut back on my reading in 2021. I've found that I immerse myself in whatever I'm reading to the detriment of my other hobbies. I'd like to spend more time on them this coming year, but we'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Merry Christmas 2020

It's going to be another strange Christmas. Last year was the first Christmas without my mum and this Christmas is the first without my dad. It's been a strange year all round actually with many of us being separated from our families because of coronavirus. I had taken comfort in the fact that we were going to spend a few days with Daniel and Jasmine who we haven't seen since last Christmas but as they live in Essex and therefore have entered Tier 4 restrictions, we're now unable to see them. It's going to be very quiet around here.

Wishing you all a happy and peaceful Christmas.

Sunday, 20 December 2020

Aava Socks

Once again, I've taken part in the Strictly Sockalong which Ali from the Little Drops of Wonderful podcast hosts each year. I used the Cha Cha Chevron sock pattern last year and the year before so this year I decided to go with something different. I had a look on Ravelry and came up with a pattern by Heidi Alander, Aava Socks.

It's a pattern with a design running down the outside of each leg, so there's a definite right and left sock. It looks pretty and the lace pattern isn't too difficult so I didn't have to concentrate too hard whilst watching Strictly.

I used Noodle Soup yarn in the Disphotic Zone colourway. It's on a stellina base and is very sparkly but the photos don't really show just how sparkly they are. I thought this yarn was perfect for Strictly socks with all the glitz and glamour.

The socks were started during the Strictly Specials which were aired prior to the launch show and I've knit them whilst watching the main Strictly shows, the results shows and the sister show, It Takes Two, which is shown on weekdays. I got them finished just ahead of the final last night.

They're a perfect fit and I'm very happy with the end result.

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Radio Times

First of all I'd like to thank everyone who left a comment on my last post about my dad, I know I'm not alone in my grieving, many of us have lost one or both parents and it's a hard thing to go through. So much so that many of you are still missing your parents many years on, and I know I'll be the same. It's all still very raw for me but I know in time I shall be able to look back and remember the good times we shared. Your understanding when I've written these posts about my mum and dad over the last twenty months have meant such a lot to me, it's been very comforting reading through your comments so thank you once again.

Let's talk about Christmas traditions, or one Christmas tradition in particular that we had as a family when I was a child. My parents would always buy the Radio Times and TV Times at Christmas. In those days you had to buy two magazines as the BBC channels were listed in the Radio Times and the ITV channels were listed in the TV Times. Nowadays, each publication lists the other channel listings. 

I remember all three of us kids sitting down and circling all the programmes we wanted to watch over the Christmas period. I know a lot of people had the same tradition and they still follow this with their own families now. It's something we no longer do, we have Sky so we just go through the programmes on the listing page and set it to record the programmes we choose. I don't think it's as fun doing it the way we do though so I thought I might buy a copy of the Radio Times and go back to our old ways but I got a bit of a shock when I picked it up, the price was £5. I decided I wouldn't bother just for old time's sake, I'll stick with my Sky listings, especially as there aren't that many programmes on my 'must watch' list these days.

Monday, 14 December 2020

Six Months Without My Dad

It's six months today since my dad died and I've found it very hard to come to terms with. I think his death coming just seventeen months after we lost my mum has made it even harder to deal with.

Looking back, I think the death of my mum hit me in a different way, basically because my dad was still here and needed my help and support with day to day things. It made me put my own grief to one side in order to support him. It's very hard to explain but I also think I'd come to terms with losing her once already to dementia, so although I was still devastated, I'd dealt with my grief already to some extent.

My dad was taken into hospital at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic during lockdown and we weren't allowed to visit him in hospital for the first week of his stay. He was poorly when he was taken in though he was still aware and alert, but during that first week I received a phone call from him which was heartbreaking. He was speaking very child-like, we'd been told that he was suffering from delirium, and he told me he didn't think he'd be coming out again and that he didn't believe he'd ever see me again. The hardest thing after receiving a call like this was the fact that I was unable to go in and see him. I still think about this call all the time. It was like he was pleading with me to help him.

After he'd been in hospital a week we received a phone call from the consultant asking us to meet him. We were told that my dad didn't seem to be getting any better but they were still treating him and they were still hoping to see an improvement. I was allowed to go in and see him for ten minutes which I was so grateful for. I could see he was in a lot of pain and it was difficult for him to talk but he was able to make himself understood. I knew it didn't look good so I made sure that I told him I loved him and we said our goodbyes as I didn't know if I'd get to see him again.

Four days later we were asked to go in and see the consultant again. This time they basically told us that the treatment wasn't working and that it was now just a matter of time. We were allowed to visit whenever we wanted from here on in but only one person by his bedside at once, though this was relaxed and two of us were allowed to visit together in his final couple of days. In just those four days between us meeting with the consultant he'd deteriorated so much that he could no longer speak, although he was trying to. One of the things that haunts me now is that I know he wanted to say something but I don't know what it was. He was also in so much pain. They kept dosing him up with painkillers but they didn't seem to touch him. I was willing him to die just to get out of the pain. 

It was another five days before my dad eventually passed away and it was a relief at the end, he'd suffered so much and it was a terrible death.

We couldn't have the funeral we wanted, we were allowed just ten people at the crematorium and no gathering afterwards. We all had to sit separately in the crematorium, even those from the same household were made to sit apart. I found this so hard, I couldn't even comfort Eleanor who cried through the whole service. There are still restrictions now on the number of people who are allowed at funerals. We'll have some sort of gathering in the future when we're allowed, to celebrate my dad's life. The one thing he'd want is for us to raise a glass to him and he'd be put out if that didn't happen! Hopefully we'll be able to organise something in 2021.

We've spent a lot of time dealing with my dad's affairs since his death and this continues now. Mick's the executor and he's spent an awful lot of time sorting things out. My dad left a will, a couple of bank accounts and his flat and it's all quite straightforward and yet we've had so much paperwork to deal with, goodness knows what it's like for the relatives of those with more complicated estates.

My dad's death has been a very different experience than that of my mum's, mainly because of how he died, I can't think of anything other than the pain he suffered. His death has also brought the loss of my mum to the fore again and I think of them both so very often, especially so at the moment. I'm not sure what it is but Christmas does seem to bring our loved ones who are no longer with us to the forefront of our minds.

Time is a funny thing, it doesn't seem nearly twenty months since my mum died yet it seems much longer than six months since my dad died. Our lives have changed dramatically in this time, we used to be visiting umpteen times a day and doing such a lot for him that it took up a great deal of time and in a way there's now an emptiness there.

We've had a hard couple of years, I know the thing most people will remember 2020 for is coronavirus, for me it will be the loss of my dad, and 2019 the loss of my mum, but we have to remember that it hasn't all been bad. We've had celebrations too in 2020 with Eleanor and Jacob's engagement and this reminds us that for all the sadness and despair, life does go on, time stretches out ahead of us and the future is to be lived.

Saturday, 12 December 2020


You may remember the Confetti Socks which I finished back in August. Eleanor bought me the yarn that I used from Ducky Darlings and it was a dream to knit with. I follow Ducky Darlings on Instagram, they've been doing a weekly giveaway during lockdown and I was so lucky to win the last one.

I received a beautiful skein of yarn in the Cascade colourway, a mixture of greens, yellows and blues.

It's on a superwash merino velvet cotton base, 85/15. I presume this is 85% superwash merino and 15% cotton, and it's beautifully soft. There's 400m to 100g so it's quite a plump yarn. I think it would make a beautiful hat, or perhaps a pair of mitts.

In the past I've purchased minis from Ducky Darlings which have been added to my scrappy blanket and I've been very happy with all the yarn I've had from them. Why not have a look at their online shop, though it could be quite tempting with all the loveliness on offer.

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Back To The Canal

After finding A New Walk last week, we decided to head back to the canal yesterday. It was another dull day but I was aware that it was forecast rain in the afternoon so we made sure we got out for a walk late morning.

This time, instead of walking through the woods, we parked near to the canal and set off on the other side of the water to which we walked last time, though it was very muddy.

The River Aire runs to the left of the canal so we went to take a look. The water was fast flowing. We thought we might take a walk along one of the tracks here but the mud made this impossible.

We decided to turn back and walk down the other side of the canal which didn't look quite so muddy. We passed this boat, it's The Floating Gift Shop.

It wasn't open for business but had a sign telling passers-by what they sell and advertising their website.

On the other side of the canal we came across a boat selling refreshments. We read the menu boards and we were very tempted but we resisted. We shall definitely treat ourselves when we visit again. They sell all manner of things from a bacon butty to hot doughnuts to Belgian hot chocolate. Somewhere to visit when I feel in need of a little treat.

We walked further on and came to the marina.

I think the ducks were hoping for a snack but we didn't have anything with us to give them.

We got to the lock and then turned back as it became too muddy for us to pass.

I think this will definitely become a regular walk for us, though perhaps more so during the summer months when the ground will be a little dryer and cleaner.