Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Knitting update, Rams and Yowes

I am making progress on my Rams and Yowes blanket and have been happily knitting round and round following the pattern and creating rows of sheep. This week I finished the fairisle centre panel and for the first time attempted a steek.
The photograph above shows the lines of crochet reinforcement and below I am bravely cutting between the lines of crochet.

It was nerve wracking to take the scissors to my knitting but following Kates excellent tutorials, everything turned out well and I could spread out my knitting and see the entire design. I took it outside to photograph this momentous event in the sunshine.

One thing I like about stranded knitting is how the back looks almost as interesting as the front.

Now "all" I have to do is pick up nearly 800 stitches for the border and knit another 72 rows, Still a long way to go.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Orchids at Kew Gardens

Today I took a day trip to London with eldest son. I haven't been to Kew Gardens since the boys were small so I decided to treat myself this half-term. The weather was very cold today, even a few flakes of snow, so we spent most of the time in the Princess of Wales conservatory amongst all the Orchids.

This special exhibition is on for another week and the flowers were stunning.

After the warmth of the conservatory we braved the cold once again and walked past the crocus

to the treetop walkway.

Here, 18 metres above the ground it felt even colder but there were good views over the garden

and I was able to look down on the trees.

By now we were thoroughly chilled again so we made our way to the Temperate House (the largest surviving glasshouse in the world)

and ate our picnic lunch in the warm amongst the palm trees.

I'll have to go back again when the weather is warmer and look around the rest of the garden. This afternoon it was just too cold so we hopped on the tube and spent time in the warmth of the Victoria and Albert Museum instead.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

A day in my life

Wednesday 13th February

Today has been cold and grey with the temperature staying around freezing all day. My fingers hurt with the cold as I hung the washing on the line this morning but its worth it to dry the laundry outside all year round.

Although it has been cold there are signs that winter is moving on, some fresh Aquiliga leaves

and buds and flowers on the coloured primroses. As soon as the flowers appear the pigeons peck at them leaving just the flowers stalks and a few scraps of petals which seems a shame, they are very pretty if they are left alone.

Wednesday is a home day for me and this week eldest son had a day off as well. Our plan was to go shopping and then visit the snowdrops but the weather was against us and we came home after shopping. Last year the snowdrops at Welford Place were spectacular, I am hoping for nice weather to go again this year.

We arrived home early afternoon and the washing was dry. I just finished bringing it into the house when it started snowing and raining at the same time.

There was a slight white covering in the garden but I am pleased to say it didn't stay long.

During the rest of the afternoon I did housework, ironing and made the dinner.

I made a large bowl of vegetable chilli with onions, carrots, courgette, mushrooms, garlic, chilli, red lentils, kidney beans, vegetable stock and passata. We're not as greedy as this looks, this is for two days. Today we had chilli with brown basmati rice, salad and tortilla chips. Tomorrow the remaining chilli will be a filling for jacket potatoes, a nice easy meal when I come home from work.

This evening I have been knitting and chatting on the telephone with my parents and with youngest son. All is well. Now all I need to do is pack my lunch for work  tomorrow and enjoy a nice bath.


Friday, 8 February 2013


I realise that blogging about what you ate for lunch is considered a bit boring, but I liked the colours of my lunches at work this week and took photographs to help me remember what I made.

I take lunch to work on Thursday and Friday so on Wednesday I base our evening meal around some sort of grain which will also form the base of my salad for the following days. This week the grain was black rice to which I added borlotti beans and pomegranate.

The dressing was tahini lemon dressing.
1 tsp tahini
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
0.5 tsp maple syrup

I added a salad of mixed leaves and sprinkled pumpkin seeds on the top - simple, nutritious and full of flavour and colour.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

February and the first snowdrops

The snowdrops were underneath the snow, patiently waiting for the space and light to show themselves.

January has been a tiresome month here, no real problems but between us we've dealt with a few little irritations of life, vertigo, snow and ice, flu, broken laptop, broken phone etc so I am happy to bid farewell to the first month of the year and look at February as a fresh start.

The garden and the countryside is slowly waking and there are leaves of celandines, clumps of fern-like cow parsley and the first shoots of "Lords and Ladies" appearing in the verges. February seems a good time for new beginnings.

Happy February to everyone.