Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Finished knitting

Finished at last. This jumper has been almost two years in the making. It was originally going to be a fitted v-neck jumper and although I tried it on many times while knitting, it wasn't until I had completely finished it that I decided that I really didn't like it. It stayed bundled away out of sight until last September when I unpicked the whole lot and started again.

This time I like it, a very long tunic jumper.  It is slightly fitted at the waist and I like the shape, the neckline and the cable and pattern that I chose for both front and back.  It would be just how I imagined it if I hadn't run out of wool. Knitting from the top down I continued until the wool run out but when I tried it on it wasn't as long as I wanted. No hope of getting more of the same wool so I rummaged through my left over wools and chose this autumnal variegated wool. The length is now just how I want it and I am beginning to get used to the coloured stripe around the hem.

Although I am fed up with winter and longing for some milder weather, I wouldn't mind a few cold days so I get a chance to wear this before putting it away for next winter.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010


It is half term.  My two sons are two school years apart and there are three half-term holidays in each academic year. Each will have been at school for 13 years. During their combined school careers spanning 15 years there are 45 half-term holidays.

This is number 45, the last one. Technically there will be one more next term but since it is in the middle of exam study leave it will probably not feel like a holiday being overshadowed by the coming exams.

I have always liked the half-term break. It does not carry with it the same expectations as Christmas or the long summer holiday.  In February the weather is likely to be cold and damp, so if we have clear sunny days they are viewed as a bonus and we make sure that we spend time outside, catching as much of the sun as possible. Today we got that bonus sunny day and we have been out for a walk, enjoying the relative warmth. 

Hard to believe that school time has passed and the routines of half-term, dentist, hair cuts etc will be no more. As I only work term times I will still have the break but it will be very different with no-one else at home.

I am feeling very grateful today that I have been able to spend all the holidays, half-term weeks and the main holidays (45 of those as well) with my boys. 

The photographs are from our walk today, a place we have visited at least once in most of our school holidays.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

A day in my life

I started this series of posts almost two years ago, writing on the 14th of each month so that over time I create a record of very ordinary days in my life. Some of the posts are really just a list of everyday activities and not particularly interesting to read but that is exactly the point.  The interesting and exciting times in our lives are what we will always remember, it is the day to day stuff that we will forget.

This morning I woke up as it was getting light around seven, which is the time the chickens wake so I wandered out into the garden in my dressing gown and opened up the coop and run. Back in the house I made a mug of tea and looked out the window to see it had started snowing. The winter weather is dragging on this year.

I walked down to the shop in the village to buy a paper with my younger son (only the two of us at home at the moment)  and we decided that on such a dull cold day we would have an early lunch and go into town.

A routine eye test for him (the last free one since soon he will be 18 and leaving school) and a short wander around the shops. Nobody made much money from us, free parking on Sundays and a free eye test!

Back home and I checked on the chickens, one egg today, and put out the recycling for collection tomorrow. I noticed that the moss growing on the path beside the house had made it very slippery. I wondered if putting salt on it would kill the moss. I am experimenting putting salt on one part and leaving the rest, I'll see if it makes a difference.

 Any ideas about the best way to get rid of moss? I wondered if boiling water would do the trick, maybe I'll try that next.

Skype calls to eldest son at University and husband in Boston and then time to cook dinner. Sausages for the meat eater and vegetables and noodles for me.

Now we are having a leisurely evening, one of us is watching a film and the other is switching between blogging and knitting.  Together we are eating our way through a large bar of chocolate - well it is Valentine's Day.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Allotment in winter

Cold, wet and full of weeds describes my allotment at the moment. I haven't been there for weeks, not since before the snow, before Christmas so I can't really expect it to look like a model garden.

A few edibles lurking amongst the weeds though, the leeks don't look great but they tasted good,

and a few leaves of chard that the deer have missed.

When we get some milder weather I will go back and clear some of the weeds. I had hoped to do that today but its snowing again.  The snow is melting as soon as it hits the ground so it doesn't look as if it will stay but definitely not gardening weather for this fair weather gardener!

Instead I'm looking at a couple of pictures I took last summer to remind me that it won't be long before everything starts growing again.

Also a reminder not to be too thorough with my weeding, those foxgloves are so pretty.

Friday, 5 February 2010


A busy, rushed day at work, too many things to do and too little time.

When I got home, I grabbed  my camera and walked along the lane at the edge of the village.

I looked at the sky, listened to the birdsong and soon felt much better.

Have a peaceful weekend.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Calendar - February


February's photograph from my Shetland calendar was taken at Walls. Also known by its Shetland name Waas, it is on the west side of the island and is a lovely peaceful place.

The boat is resting in a boat noost which is a hollow sometimes surrounded by stones. The boat is tethered on to boulders and the hollow provides some shelter from the Shetland storms. Boat noosts are common around the Shetland coastline. I like the patterns of the peeling paint on the boat.

The day we visited the sea was very calm but in the winter the seas around Shetland can be very stormy.
The ferry which travels between Walls and the island of Foula, 14 miles west of mainland Shetland out in the Atlantic is often cancelled due to rough seas and high winds. The island can now be reached by air but when boats provided the only means of access, there were times during the winter when the island was isolated for periods of six to eight weeks at a time. Up until the 1930s there was no wireless communication either, difficult in our age of instant communication to imagine how that must have felt.

For any other fans of Shetland and Scottish islands, Simon King's Shetland Diaries, a series of three one hour long programmes about Shetland and its wildlife is to be broadcast on Thursday evenings starting tomorrow(4th February). I will definitely be watching