Sunday 29 January 2012

The Lines

Yesterday, all four of us, and Archie, took a walk down The Lines. This is another walk which Archie is regularly taken on so I thought you might like to come along with us this time.

The Lines started as the Leeds, Castleford and Pontefract Junction Railway but was taken over by North Eastern in 1878, before it had opened. It ceased passenger services in 1951 and goods traffic stopped in 1969, though one and a half miles of track were left in place in Castleford until 1998 for the use of the collieries and open cast sites.

This is where The Lines start.

The beginning of The Lines is a long ginnel between rows of houses.

It was a gorgeous morning and we came up on a lucky black cat sunning herself on a fence.

We were being watched as we made our way further down the ginnel. Just look at the gorgeous blue sky.

We noticed bulbs popping up from the soil all over the place. Spring must be on it's way.

At the end of the ginnel we pass under a bridge. This takes us underneath the very busy A63 Selby Road. At this point we carry on down a track in to the countryside.

We noticed ladybirds out in abundance. I hope they haven't come out of their slumber too early.

We come to another bridge which we pass under.

Archie loves water. He manages to sniff puddles out even on the dryest of days, which yesterday wasn't, he was in his element. Look at those muddy paws.

We head further along the track.

Eventually we come to a crossroads.

We decide to turn left in to the next village, Kippax. There's horses in the field to our right which Archie is very interested in.

We make it to Kippax where we come to this interesting looking door. I wonder what's behind it.

Aren't these handles cute? Horses heads.

From Kippax we can take a circular route back home, but we decide to head back the way we came instead.

Achie loves being free to have a sniff. Lots of dog walkers use The Lines so he picks up lots of scents on his walks.

Archie missed this puddle on the way there, he didn't miss it on the way back!

Back under the bridge we go.

This photo doesn't show just how dirty Archie got, he had to have a bath when he got home.

We passed through another nearby village today, Allerton Bywater, so I took this photo of the entrance to The Lines from there.

It's important to get out in the sunshine at this time of year, you never know what weather the following day will bring.

Hope you all enjoyed coming with us on another of Archie's walks.

Wednesday 25 January 2012

A Sad E-State Of Affairs

This is the sign which greeted Archie and I on our walk on Monday.

It seems that another field is being turned in to yet another housing estate. There won't be any green spaces left soon. The works machinery has moved in already and work has commenced.

Apparently, sixty eight houses are being shoehorned in to this one field, I don't like their chances of being given a big garden.

This is the field from the top view.

You may remember the above photo from my Come For A Walk With Archie post from June last year. When Archie goes for this particular walk now, he has to turn around and go home the way he came, not quite as exciting.

Sunday 22 January 2012

Orange 'Jaffa' Brownies

Back in December, I bookmarked a recipe which Shaheen from Allotment 2 Kitchen posted on her blog for Orange 'Jaffa' Brownies.  Daniel especially is quite partial to a Brownie, so I thought this was an ideal recipe for me to try.

Yesterday, Eleanor decided that she wanted to do some baking. She got out the cookery books and had a look through before I remembered this recipe. It takes such few ingredients to make that I had everything already in, so Eleanor decided to give it a go.

It turned out so well, and everyone thought it was scruptious. So much so that there's only a few pieces left.

I don't think they'll last the day.

Wednesday 18 January 2012

Sale Shopping

Boots has lowered all it's half price sale items today from 50% off to 75% off. I'm not one of those people who hunts the shops for bargains after Christmas, but I always try to get to the Boots 75% off sale as you can pick up so many bargains.

I've managed to get quite a few things to put away for birthdays. I got some lovely things for Eleanor's friends, reduced from £10.00 down to £2.50, what a saving. There were a few Christmas decorations too. I got the NOEL letters, reduced from £10.00 to £2.50. I can't show everything I bought as some things will be gifts for family members who read my blog.

Last week, I got an email advising me that Laughing Yaffle were having a sale. Mick bought me two skeins of Laughing Yaffle yarn for Christmas, and I've also got another skein in my stash, but the colour of this Winter Sunrise yarn just called out to me and I couldn't resist.

I think more socks are in the pipeline.

Sunday 15 January 2012

Mama's Got A Brand New Peppa Pigbag

Isn't this bag cute. It's a bag for life from Asda featuring Peppa Pig with a new Olympic theme for 2012.

All the proceeds from the sale of the bags are going to Tommy's, a charity which funds research in to pregnancy problems and provides information to parents.

The bag is only about 12 inch by 10 inch, but good for when you only have a few bits to carry with you, and Eleanor has one to take her lunch in to school.

Thursday 12 January 2012

Come Rain Or Shine

One of the things I've learnt since getting Archie is that no matter what the weather's doing, you have to get out there in it as a dog needs his walks. Having a dog gives me the push I need to get myself out in the fresh air every day, something I neglected to do before getting Archie.

It's not all fun though, and not for Archie either. He's not particularly fond of the rain.

When he comes home filthy, he has to have a bath. That's something else he's not fond of, though I have to say that he's quite good and stands still. Notice how clean the water is when he's just got in.

This is the colour of the water after he's been washed.

We've got gales again here today. Oh well, I'd better get my coat on as Archie's waiting for walkies!

Sunday 8 January 2012

Knitting And Crochet Christmas Presents

I know it's a while after the festive season now, but I really wanted to show you the lovely knitting and crochet presents which I got for Christmas.

I got some gorgeous Laughing Yaffle yarn in Fantasia and Orchard shades. I'm looking forward to pampering my feet in socks made from these.

I've been wanting some sock blockers so that the socks I knit are well shaped. It'll be interesting to see what a difference these make.

I've never used any needles other than metal ones so it will be interesting to try out these bamboo ones. I'm a little nervous of using them actually in case I snap one.

This Symfonie wood crochet hook set is wonderful. There's five different sized hooks and they're so smooth. I can't wait to try them out.

I've been wanting this book, 200 Croochet Blocks For Blankets, Throws And Afghans by Jan Eaton. It was recommended to me quite a while ago and has been on my wishlist ever since. I hope I can manage to master some.

The crochet hook set was bought for me by my mum and dad, all the other presents were bought by Mick. I have such a thoughtful family.

Wednesday 4 January 2012

Knitting For Christmas

I'm not a very fast knitter, so it took quite a chunk of last year knitting some gifts which I wanted to give people for Christmas. All the gifts were socks, with the exception of one scarf.

This was given to Eleanor and she loved it. The pattern is Leaf by Susan B Anderson and is knitted in Rowan Big Wool.

You may remember that I started these socks for my mum back in November. The photo is quite dark as it was taken at about 9pm on Christmas Eve when I had just finished them. Talk about leaving it till the last minute. The yarn used was Regia Design Line and I used a simple sock pattern by Sue Morgan which is given free with the purchase of a ball of sock yarn from Get Knitted.

I knit two pairs of these long socks, one for Daniel and one for Eleanor. They're ideal as welly socks to go inside wellington boots, but Eleanor wears her's around the house, they're lovely and warm and soft too. They're great if you don't like using double pointed needles as they're knit on two needles and sewn up the back of the leg. They a Sirdar pattern 9135, and are knit in Sirdar Crofter DK.

Another two pairs were knit using the simple sock pattern by Sue Morgan, one pair for my dad and one pair for Daniel. My dad's were knit in Regia World Circus Color and Daniel's in Regia Sudsee Color 4 ply.

This year, I want to have a go at some other things as well as socks. I do enjoy knitting socks, I think once you get going on them they're quite addictive, and there's some gorgeous yarn about to knit them in too. There's nothing quite like having pampered feet.

I got some knitting and crochet gifts for Christmas but I'll show you those another time.

Sunday 1 January 2012

2012 Challenges

I've never made new year resolutions, I always think that you're setting yourself up for a fall making a promise on the first of January that will be too hard to keep. This year I've decided to set myself some challenges, nothing major, just little things which I think will add something to my life. What's the difference between a new year challenge and a new year resolution? I don't suppose there is a difference really, but I prefer the word challenge to resolution as I always think of giving something up when I think of resolution, giving up food to diet, giving up cigarettes, giving up alcohol, giving up chocolate etc. My challenges are things which I'm going to enjoy.

My first challenge is to have more fresh flowers in the house. I don't like to cut flowers from the garden to bring indoors, I prefer to see them outside, so for the past two years I've had a go at growing a cutting patch at the allotment, though it hasn't really worked. This year I'm going to give it another go, though I'll still buy flowers too. They don't have to cost a fortune. This little seasonal bunch cost me £3 from Tesco's, I love the colours. I bought a similar bunch just before Christmas and they're still going strong too, so I don't think £3 is too much to pay for something which is going to brighten the house up and make me smile each time I look at them, for over a week. I shall post a picture of what's gracing my vases from time to time.

When I was young I was never seen without my head in a book reading. I sadly got out of the habit of reading when I had the kids, there just wasn't enough time. Instead I read magazines which are much easier to dip in to when you've got a spare minute or two and just as easy to put down again. I'd like to read books more again, so my next challenge is to read at least one book each month. I'm going to start with The Illustrated Lark Rise To Candleford by Flora Thompson for January. If you remember, I found this in a charity shop for the princely sum of £1.99 a few months ago, and it's beautifully illustrated, I'm really going to enjoy reading this.

It's only recently that I've started knitting again, and only last year that I learnt how to crochet. I spent a lot of time last year knitting socks as Christmas presents, and crocheting squares for a granny square blanket. I've recently bought some knitting and crochet books with lots of project suggestions in, so this year, as well as finishing off the crochet granny square blanket and a pair of socks that I've still got on the go, I'd like to have a go at some other projects and aim to have at least one finished item each month.

It will be two years in March since I stopped smoking and since then my weight has gradually been increasing. I know this isn't good for me so at some point I'm going to start eating healthily. I've never dieted in my life, but I know from other people that once you stop a diet the weight goes back on. I think it will have to be more of a lifestyle change, eating smaller portions and eating things which are good for you. Treats will be allowed, but in moderation. I'm not starting this challenge right away as our fridge and cupboards are still bulging with food which we've bought for Christmas, and I've still got boxes of chocolates to eat which have been bought for me for Christmas, so I'll wait until everything has been consumed. I think this will be the hardest of my challenges and the one which I like the least.

Although I take Archie for a walk every day, we sometimes don't go very far. This year I want to increase the distance that I walk. Ideally I'd like to be able to measure the distance I'm walking but I don't really know how I would do that. As far as I can tell, a pedometer only measures how many steps you take. This challenge will fit in with the healthy eating and will hopefully help me to lose some weight. Mick bought me this Collins Short Walks In The Yorkshire Dales book for Christmas. I can't wait to do some of the walks mentioned in here.

Let's see if I can keep up with these challenges, they don't seem too hard and most of them will be fun.

We've taken our decorations down today, I hate to have them still up when Mick goes back to work and Daniel and Eleanor go back to school. Archie tried to help but ended up getting wound up in the tinsel. OK, I admit it, I put the tinsel round his neck so that I could take a cute photo for my blog.

Happy New Year, everyone.