Sunday 31 March 2019

The Best Mum In The World

My mum died on Thursday, she was the best mum in the world.

Thank you for all your comments on my last post wishing my mum well. Unfortunately, she took a turn for the worse, they discovered she had pneumonia and possible sepsis and the antibiotics weren't working. She slipped away on Thursday morning. I usually answer all your comments but I won't be answering those on my last post, I hope you understand.

I won't be around for a while. I've got the love and support of Mick at home and we're helping my dad with things as much as we can. They'd been married for sixty three years, it'll be quite a wrench for him not having her there with him now. We all loved her so much and she's going to be missed very much by us all.

Tuesday 26 March 2019

Holiday Week

We had a lovely time whilst Mick was off work last week. I'm really pleased that he had some holiday left to use up before the end of the month, it was like a little staycation.

On Monday we decided to head over to Nottingham to see Eleanor. She's at university there and will be home for Easter in a couple of weeks but it was nice to see her mid-term. We took Eleanor and her boyfriend out to a lovely pub restaurant for lunch and then dropped them off at university as Eleanor needed to pop in to do some lab work. It didn't take long and then we all spent the rest of the afternoon at Wollaton Park.

We walked down to the lake...

...and made friends with the residents.

We wanted to get some jobs done in the house and garden whilst Mick was off so we had lunch out on Tuesday, which I'll tell you about in another post, and then the afternoon was spent cutting the hedge and digging over the borders.

Wednesday was a beautiful day so we decided to head off to the Yorkshire coast. On our way we stopped off in Beverley, an historic market town in East Yorkshire, for a wander round the shops.

There were a couple of market stalls but the full market is now only held weekly on a Saturday.

Afterwards we continued on our journey to Bridlington but unfortunately, the tide was in and we couldn't set foot on the beach so we shared a bag of chips and got back in the car.

We headed further up the coast to Scarborough. The tide was just on its way out here so Archie managed to get his seaside fix.

My dad had hospital and doctors appointments on Thursday so that took up a lot of the day, but Mick managed to get another couple of jobs crossed off his list and afterwards, we had a little trip out closer to home. We often visit Temple Newsam but on Thursday we decided to approach a different way than we usually do and walk through the woods.

Archie was highly delighted with our idea, he loves walks in the woods.

I'm not sure what scent he'd picked up but he enjoyed rolling about in ecstasy. Funny dog.

Archie was ready for a rest afterwards so we dropped him off at home and went to Wetherspoons for something to eat.

We'd enjoyed some lovely weather throughout the week but it cooled down a lot on Friday, it was really rather chilly and it was time to put our coats back on. We decided we'd have day out in Skipton.

It's nice to wander round the shops and down by the canal. We had intended walking in the woods behind the castle but when it came to it we decided that we'd both had enough so we got back in the car and had a run through the Yorkshire Dales before heading back home.

We managed to fit plenty into Mick's week off. We had some lovely days out and managed to get some jobs done in the house too, we couldn't ask for more really.

We're back to hospital visiting again now. My mum had another fall in the early hours of yesterday morning. My dad found her on her bedroom floor, though he doesn't know how long she'd been there. It turns out that she's broken her humerus bone, near the very top of her arm. They put her on an observation ward but decided to keep her in last night as her blood pressure was very low and she was dehydrated. We're hoping that they might let her out today, we'll see.

Saturday 23 March 2019

What I'm Watching - March 2019

TV and film that I've been enjoying this month.

I usually enjoy a good mini series. Cheat was broadcast over four nights, I like it when they don't make you wait a full week for the next episode. I had high hopes for this but although I did watch all four episodes, it was quite disappointing. The story is centred around university professor, Leah, and one of her students, Rose. When Leah accuses Rose of cheating on a paper, things take a turn for the worse. Unfortunately, I found the plot quite far fetched and bordering on the ridiculous in parts, and I'd foreseen what was supposed to be a big twist a long time before it came. I'm sad to say that I'm giving this a thumbs down, however, it was better than MotherFatherSon and Baptiste, other dramas which are being shown at the moment. I managed to watch one or two episodes of these before I totally lost interest.

I've been enjoying Netflix so I've extended my trial. I'm happy to pay whilst there's things I want to watch, but with no lock in contract and no cancellation fees, I can cancel at any time. One thing I knew I wanted to watch on Netflix, even before I got it, was The Crown. I've heard so much about this series and it hasn't disappointed. One surprise was how much I enjoyed watching Matt Smith as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. I didn't like him at all in the role of Dr Who and stopped watching it but I think he makes a brilliant Prince Philip and Claire Foy has done a wonderful job portraying the Queen. I've finished both seasons but season 3 is due out sometime this year with Olivia Colman taking on the role of Queen Elizabeth and Tobias Menzies playing Prince Philip. I'm looking forward to seeing if they can make the roles their own.

Another Netflix series which I watched this month is The Staircase. Filming for this series began soon after American author Michael Peterson was arrested on suspicion of bludgeoning his wife to death back in 2001. Peterson maintained that she died due to falling down a staircase. The film takes us through the twists and turns of the trial which concluded in 2003. Since then, there have been appeals and Peterson was released from jail pending a retrial. Additional episodes have been added to the original series. If you enjoy true crime or watching legal proceedings then this is the series for you. I found it fascinating.

I wasn't sure I'd enjoy The Greatest Showman, I'm not sure why as I love a good musical. As it happens I did enjoy it, it's entertaining and there's some catchy tunes in there but it's not a gripping story line, the film skirts over and sugar coats P.T.Barnum's life. I don't dislike it for this, it's a family musical after all and includes a great message to accept those who are different and celebrate diversity.

Have you been watching any of these? What else have you been watching this month?

Wednesday 20 March 2019


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.