Friday, 21 October 2016

At last it's started!!

The workmen arrived this week at last, brilliant. 

But how did this all start?

At the beginning of May a car parked in front of my house and stayed, and stayed and stayed  for seven weeks.  I contacted the police to see if they could get it removed, but they said that it was fully taxed and therefore it could not be removed and the owner lived in the "vicinity".  In the UK if your car is taxed you can park in front of anyone's house unless the kerb is dropped to allow access or there are any other restrictions.  I had none of these in front of my house so they couldn't help.

However, I did discover that the car was due to have an MOT test and this meant it would have to go to a garage for testing and while it was away I parked my car - SORTED!!  It was driven back to my road and parked further up though.  I couldn't risk this happening again so I decided that I would turn my front garden into a parking area and have the kerb dropped at the same time.  This takes time (five weeks) as a licence is required from the County Council and the builders had to contact FIVE service providers; gas, electricity, water, cable TV, telephone.

But at long last they are here and working
Lovely son cut down the hedge and knocked down the wall but hedge
is sprouting in the meantime!

Path being dug up

Digger making short work of the stumps
They arrived on Wednesday morning just after I had got out of the shower and I greeted them in my dressing gown.  They moved my car for me and ever since then I seem to have been making cups of tea and providing biscuits but the work is moving on and they have been so polite and helpful.
A digger in the front garden!  Oh little Will would love this.
Getting there
The 'Terram' has been laid
More hardcore required

Well today they have finished the pavement and the tarmac is laid, but the parking area is still ongoing.

I will update as and when.

Meanwhile on the crafty side I went to the re-opening of a local craft warehouse, Colemans and bought this unusual crochet 'fibre' just on a whim!!
I decided to make a bowl and though I found it quite hard on the fingers it did not take long to make.  It felt as if I was using 'raffia', but the amazing thing is that at the end you spray it with water to shape it!!
The finished bowl

Anyway, Mini Mania for October beckons; anyone know how to make 'Joseph's Coat'?  I have seen many variations so will have to gamble which one is right!!

Friday, 14 October 2016

Zoo time

It has been a fairly quiet week and I have actually had some time to myself.  However Tuesday was my normal 'Will' day so my sister and I took him to Hamerton Zoo.  When we arrived there were two coaches in the car park with 90 children and their teachers and helpers and we were concerned that they would be noisy and in our way, but we hardly saw them, so they must have been very busy doing school work!

This is a lovely little zoo, with a mixture of lemurs, meerkats, gibbons (very noisy) hanging around, a large wallaby enclosure, cheetahs -

tigers, both white and Malaysian -
Will thought it looked like his cat at home

some Reindeer -
A Reindeer stag 'wrestling' the fence!

 and circling low overhead was a Red Kite.  It swooped down into the zoo and had something in its talons that it took into a nearby tree.  I grabbed my camera but unfortunately it had the sun behind it so not a good picture -

 We didn't think it was any of the animals that had been caught, but there was a great deal of food lying about, including dead day old chicks being fed to small carnivores.

I haven't been 'pot washing' of the finds at Chester Farm lately but we did clean some bags up that have been dug up in the last month.  The contractors are now on site preparing the new car park and visitor centre so this is last minute archaeological digging.  I was lucky enough to wash this, complete with the 'Maker's Mark' on the rim.
The whole piece
 There was a good piece of Samian Ware also with the Maker's Mark in the centre, so the experts will be able to name the maker.
Maker's Mark in the centre

I loved this piece though I am not sure what the figures are - elephants perhaps
Could that be an elephant's trunk on the left?

and this small pot would have been quite dainty.

I have finished my Christmas bauble at last and though it is not perfect I am pleased with it -
It is called the 'Emperor'  but I think it looks like Peacock 'eyes'.
I still have another kit to make up but that will have to wait as I must get on with my embroidery.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Murder...... !!

In my last post I mentioned that I was organising two activities for the 50+ Adventure Club and so the other Friday I was in Loughborough at the Great Central Railway for a Luxury Murder Mystery evening.  We assembled on the platform where the first part of the play, set just after the Second World War, was enacted and then onto the train and off we puffed, pulled by a steam train.

As you can see from the photos we were in Pullman carriages and what luxury they were; like armchairs!!  We had a five course meal, served by lovely staff, when the train stopped at a station and all the time the 'players' were going up and down the train answering our questions and queries.  Some of the diners were in period dress and I did think about this but I couldn't find the trousers that I wanted as 'Oxford bags' so I must have sent them to the charity shop!

Anyway the next big outing was here at Alexandra Palace, and I went with two friends and we had a brilliant day.

They did lead me off the straight and narrow a little when we stopped at the Spellbound Bead stand and I bought two kits to make Christmas baubles.  What made me do that; I have never bought a kit like this before, let alone two!!  Madness.

I have started one
'Emporer' bauble ready to go

The first part

It took me ages to get one completed so I was pleased with this

and only another four to make -

I had hoped to complete this project in a weekend but I think it is going to take a little longer!!  I will keep you posted.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Local history tour

Since August when I didn't do too much, life has got busier and during September I had two activities to organise for the 50+ Adventure Club.

The first was a walk around one of our local towns, Oundle.  I always enjoy these types of walks because you tend to go down alleyways which in the normal course of events you would not find or know about.

Oundle is famous for it's public school which has over 1,000 pupils, the majority of whom are boarders and pay up to £35,000 per year!  Many of the buildings in the town are owned by the school and we started with a visit to the chapel (not allowed in) which was built to commemorate the Fallen in the First World War.

St Anthony House - one of the boarding houses
We then walked through one of the many little footpaths to get to the main street, after vising the site of the original workhouse!
The Courthouse - now the museum
The Catholic Church

West Street
What wonderful architecture; I love these old towns, especially when you see a house like this with an old dovecote on the side of it. 
Note the Collyweston roof tiles
We headed back to the town centre passing many interesting buildings on the way, too numerous to mention but I liked the shape of this one -
and we had a peep through this doorway -
A beautiful courtyard garden

Oundle School - Headmaster's House
It should read Headmistress as they have the first in the school's history.  It is called Cobthorne and was built in 1656 by one of Oliver Cromwell's Major Generals - William Boteler.

Finally we reached the Talbot Hotel, which is supposed to be haunted by the ghost of Mary, Queen of Scots because the staircase from Fotheringhay Castle was moved here.  Our guide disputed that but I believe it!!  What isn't in dispute is that the Talbot Hotel is an old coaching inn.

Finally a visit to the parish church of St Peter -
and a brief history of the old workhouse church

now a private residence I think.
and we arrived back at Fletton House for a well earned cup of tea and some had cake!

The end of September saw the revelation of the month's Mini Mania - Flying Geese.  Because I had been so busy, I only managed something quite small and not too difficult

but for October we have one word - "Joseph's"!!  This will be interesting!!!!!

Wednesday, 28 September 2016


What a great weekend it has been and such fun with three good friends.  I have been wanting to go to Yarndale since the beginning and I was not disappointed.

Our day started early on Saturday morning when we queued to get in at 10.00am

and once in the hall, I decided to visit 'Lucy' of Attic24, who has been my inspiration since taking up crochet again.

After a quick chat I left because I knew she would get busy and I wanted to start looking round the rest of the show.
Delightful alpacas
Just a small amount of the bunting

I bought a small woolly sheep that was made in Yorkshire and now resides on my workroom window sill.

I checked out the Mandalas and was delighted to find mine (made for Yarndale 2014)
That is mine - the bright pink spokes emanating from a lime green centre!!

and I even found one of my brooches that I made last year amongst a sea of brooches!
Mine with the blue bead centre - bottom right just below the pale blue with red button centre!
A wall of brooches

The brooches were being sold off for Alzheimer's Society.

I found the pair of Socks for the Homeless knitted by one of our Higham Piecemakers group
The pair hanging between the bootees

I spent more than anticipated on wool, which I couldn't resist and I even managed to get a photo of the surrounding countryside
The hills above Skipton

and of this wonderful knitted 'river'
The 'Leeds - Liverpool' canal

and Attic24's giant Mandalas

and these delightful yarnbombed bollards -

After the show we walked back into Skipton and I took this final look back at the Auction Mart where the show was held.
We walked through the park past all the yarnbombed lamp posts
Fishes under the sea with button bubbles

and along the canal

and I loved this sign -
Speed limit 2 mph

We stayed at this excellent hotel and had canal view rooms where there was plenty of river traffic that all had to stop and move the swing bridge to allow passage.

Sunday we went out for the day to Bolton Abbey and spent time looking around the ruins of The Priory

and we went into the church to have a look round.  I loved the wall behind the altar which was built in 1877 to replace the old wall built in 1539.  It was decorated three years later by a local artist, Thomas Bottomley, and his apprentice, R H Greenwood.  It was beautiful
and all the flower pictures represent Christ in some manner. ie the Barley is how Jesus described Himself as the 'Bread of Life' (John 6).

We watched walkers cross the 'Stepping Stones'
but decided to cross on the bridge and later on went on these children's stepping stones.

We carried on walking up the valley of the River Wharfe and I was impressed with all the different things there were for children to do, including this safe tree climbing.

After a visit to the tea rooms, including a cream tea, we walked back down the valley

having spent a warm, fine day, with a little gentle exercise, out in the open air.
A memorable weekend, full of laughter, spent with three good friends and don't forget the 'Garforth and Shipley' chocolate.  Sorry, an in-house joke which we will remember for ages; there is no such thing!