Tuesday 28 September 2010

Winter Hobby

During the summer months, I'm usually busy with my garden and allotment as you will see from my other blog, The Good Life, however, during the winter months I have more time to devote to another of my hobbies, genealogy.

I've now been researching my family tree for about four years and it's thrown up quite a few surprises, such as my great grandfather being born with a different surname to the one he took some years later, meaning that if he had kept his original surname, I would have also been born with a different surname. Some discoveries have been sad, one of my great great grandmothers gave birth to fifteen children, of which only four survived infancy.

In the early days of my research, I came across someone who was researching the same part of the tree. It turned out to be my mum's cousin's daughter. My mum had last seen her cousin at the age of fourteen, so, nearly sixty years later, we arranged for them to meet again and they're now in regular contact.

I've also been in touch with people who are very distant relations, but who have been able to provide valuable information to help with my own research, or who have very generously shared photos. I'm now in possession of photographs of my great great grandparents, Thomas and Charlotte who were born in 1851 and 1852.

I've researched all branches of my family tree, both on my mum's side of the family, and on my dad's. I've managed to get back to the 1700's in some instances, but I still haven't given up yet, there's a way to go.

Wednesday 22 September 2010

The Finished Beret

Whilst I was on holiday, I picked up a copy of Let's Knit to read through. There was a free gift with the magazine of a pattern and yarn. The pattern was for either a beret or a beanie, but Eleanor preferred the beret so I decided to knit that. I had visions whilst knitting it of me running out of yarn as there wasn't much provided, but I managed to finish it with a little to spare.

The pattern was easy, and it was actually enjoyable taking a break from knitting socks to knit something else. The yarn is 100% acrylic, and even whilst knitting I could see it starting to fluff, so I don't think it will last long but Eleanor is pleased with it anyway. I might even knit it again in a different colour and with nicer yarn.

Thursday 16 September 2010

Singing Sensation

Eleanor has just received her certificate for the singing exam she took this year. This is her grade two exam and, just like her grade one, she was awarded a distinction, the highest grade. She had to sing three songs accompanied by a pianist and one song without accompaniment, as well as some theory work.

This year she entered the local music festival and came first in the under twelve soloist category. She was thrilled to bits to be awarded a trophy for the year which will bear her name against the year she held it. As you can see, it needs a polish already.

I don't know where she gets her singing voice from, it's certainly not me as I'm tone deaf.

Monday 13 September 2010

Something For The Weekend

I thought we all deserved a bit of a treat at the weekend so I spent part of Friday while the kids were at school and Mick was at work baking these.

The recipe came from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, a book which I can thoroughly recommend. It contains recipes for lots of yummy sweet treats including cupcakes, muffins, pies, cakes etc.

They were delicious, especially the chocolate frosting.

Thursday 9 September 2010

Cricket Star

Last week was Daniel's presentation evening at his cricket club. He plays for an under 15 team and also plays for the seniors in their B team. He shares the captaincy of the under 15 team and this is a position he's enjoyed.

The team weren't very successful losing many of their matches, but they have learned lots and will hopefully have a better season next year.

Each of the team members were presented with a medal and Daniel won the trophy for best bowler as he took the most wickets during the season.

Mick has also started playing cricket again this year, something he hasn't done since before we met twenty three years ago. I've told him that he's too old to play now but he's having none of it. He plays in the B team and enjoys playing along side Daniel.

Saturday 4 September 2010


I have started knitting again this year after a break of over twenty years. I used to knit when I was in my teens but got out of the habit as I got older. After reading My Knitting, Allotment and other Witterings Blog where Mandy regularly blogs about socks which she has knit, I fancied having a go at knitting a pair of socks myself. I have never knit in the round before so I sought out a sock pattern which is knit on two straight needles. The pattern I found was Sirdar Crofter DK and I found it very easy to follow. I knit a pair of socks for Eleanor and also a pair for Daniel. Eleanor's socks were in a small size so I had enough wool left over to make her a pair of wrist warmers too.

After this, I fancied having a go at knitting a pair of socks in the round. Mandy recommended I buy a sock kit from Get Knitted. The kit comprised a set of five double pointed kneedles, yarn, stitch markers, sewing needle and a basic sock pattern. Mandy offered to help with anything I got stuck with and gave me some tips to get me started. It was surprisingly easier than I thought it would be to knit with double pointed needles, though I did have a couple of mishaps along the way. I started off by knitting a pair of socks for myself, then a pair for Daniel and a pair for Eleanor.

Sorry about the picture of Daniel's socks. No matter how hard I try I can't get the photo to turn round but you get the idea.

I'm currently working on another pair of socks for Daniel and also a beret for Eleanor, the pattern and wool for this was supplied as a free gift in Let's Knit magazine.

I'm really enjoying knitting again and I'm sure it will be a good hobby for the winter months.

Wednesday 1 September 2010


Welcome to my new blog. I have had my gardening blog, The Good Life, for seventeen months now but wanted to include other areas of my family life. I thought the best way to go about this was to start a new blog, and continuing with my theme of television programmes I chose Through The Keyhole as it's name. This blog will hopefully give you a glimpse through the keyhole of my front door where you will see some of my family life.

So, to introduce my family. I'm Jo, a 41 year old stay at home mum and I've been married to Mick for 20 years. We have a son, Daniel, who is 15 and a daughter, Eleanor, who is 12. Three weeks ago we added to our family with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy who we have named Archie. Daniel has a rabbit named Monty and Eleanor has a rabbit named Sammy. Mick keeps tropical fish but there's too many of them to name.

I hope you will enjoy having a glimpse in to my family life.