Monday, May 28, 2007

Childhood Sweets

Oh dear I'm all behind again! It's time to post my May post for Blogger's Paradise - Childhood Sweets.

Or should that be childhood memories because already memories are flooding back. Something I remember very fondly is my mother's taste for Butterscotch - something she still loves today. Her own favourite was Callard and Bowser Butterscotch, it came in a little rectangular packet. The sweet itself was like a domino, scored in the middle to make for easy breaking in half. If I remember rightly they made Treacle Toffee too, but it wasn't as nice.

Now do you know what I really remember - and miss - Lime Barrels! They are a long since extinct chocolate from the Milk Tray selection. Oh, and do you remember Milk Tray Bars - bars of chocolate but with Milk Tray chocolates to break off? Lovely.

Then there were Fry's Chocolate Cream bars - the five fruit flavoured variety which no longer exists. Oh, and Spangles. Oh how I loved Spangles - I remember fruity ones and Old English flavour too. What else - oh, Cherry Drops, Pineapple Chunks, Aniseed Balls - yummy, and my very favourite Bulls Eyes.

These days my sweet tooth has packed it's bag and gone which I am sure is a VERY GOOD THING but just sometimes I can be found with a Dipped Flake or a bar of Whole Nut.

I have discovered I can get Bulls Eyes HERE but I warn you - it's a very dangerous place to visit!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Morning After the Night Before

Oh well, it wasn't to be. 2:1 to Milan, and just like two years ago the best team didn't win. Ah well that's football!

Today though I am feeling distinctly unwell. And I don't think it is alcohol induced either. My legs ache and I have very little energy at all. I'm a bit light headed too. I think it's a bit of what DS had the other day.

I've finally finished the back of Bob having frogged the first 3 balls knitted. I have decided to make this a back and front knit rather than knit it in the round. I have had far too many knots ( 11 in 5 balls at the last count, one of which wasn't even a knot, it was two loose ends ) so joining all of these in "in the round" was just so noticeable - well to me anyway.

I'm still not sure I shall like this - I'm hoping my knitting will appear neater when I have washed the finished article. At the moment it's looking a tad uneven to say the least. And I didn't use the frogged yarn on the Stocking Stitch bit in case you were wondering, I used those up in the ribbed bits.

I'm back off to bed.

Before I go I should tell you about the Who gig shouldn't I. Let me tell you there's no band quite like The Who live, they are STILL magnificent, loud and irreverent. That was my eighth time of seeing them over four decades, and I shall never ever tire of seeing them. DS slept all the way there and all the way home, but managed to enjoy the gig itself.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Poorly Blanket

I'm in a reflective mood this morning. Last evening DS2 announced that he wasn't feeling well and wanted the poorly blanket. There hasn't been a request for the poorly blanket for years, so in a way it was nice to get it out. And here it is. And what is it you might well ask, and what is so special about it?

The poorly blanket is a quilt. I was made for me as a wedding present by my grandmother who was by then 87. My granny made beautiful quilts, hexagons usually, out of scraps of leftover material, each one hand stitched, unique and beautiful.

This one is different. Not hexagons, but squares. And I love it. It was made with failing eyesight, Alzheimers and love. It was the last quilt she made, and by the time it was finished she had forgotten who she was making it for. The stitching isn't brilliant, but they are HER stitches, and it's one of my treasures and I just adore it.

It was always used as a snuggle up when the children were poorly - hence the term pooorly blanket. Here it is. It's not huge, it's just the right size for a little one to snuggle in.

As you can see it's different on both sides.

I can only hope that if I am still around at 87 that I will still be capable of knitting or sewing something - whether it would then be as fondly remembered a quarter of a century later who knows. This little quilt is absolutely priceless.

I shall be remembering little bits and pieces about my grandparents all day I think.

And please - spare a thought for DS2 - we are going to see The Who together tonight at the NIA. We've been looking forward to this for yonks - I do so want him to feel better this evening.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Daemons and Wizards

No - it's not Uriah Heep - hands up who remembers though - but Daemons from the wonderful world of Philip Pullman. Although I am not sure if I can bring myself to watch a film called The Golden Compass - even if that IS what "Northern Lights" was published as in the States, and not sure at all if I should break my rule about watching films of brilliant books in case the brilliant book is spoiled forever, but I was curious to know what my daemon might be. I think I'm pleased with the result.

I was lucky enough to have seen this performed on stage at The National Theatre and found the books fascinating. Here's a link to the film The Golden Compass

Apologies for two posts in one day!

Eta - My daemon has changed 8 times now - I've been a snow leopard, a wolf, an eagle, a tiger and now a ladybird amongst others!

But only one comment other than mine on the post..........

Eight Random Things About Me

A little while go I was tagged by Audrey and have been thinking about this post for a while. Here are the rules.

1: Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.
2: People who are tagged, write a blog post about their own 8 random things, and post these rules.
3: At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and include their names.
4: Don't forget to leave them a comment and tell them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

So, here goes, completely random and not in any particular order...........

1. I played the viola when I was a child, and was in the County Youth Orchestra ( Montgomeryshire ) and once played in the Welsh National Youth Orchestra in a competition in Stuttgart. I haven't played the Viola for over 30 years as it was a county instrument and so it was returned when I left school.

2. Speaking of school I hated it with a passion. Hated it. I crossed off every single day of my last year on the calendar, and did the bare minimum required of me to get the qualifications I needed to become a nurse. The teachers who taught me had all taught my brother, and I gave up trying to live up to their expectations of me based on his abilities. This sadly has stayed with me all these years, and my brother and I enjoy an uneasy relationship.

3. I love being a nurse. I have never wanted to be anything else, nor could I imagine doing anything else. However, I despair of our NHS and what it has become, and find myself longing for "the good old days". When we were actually able to do our job without mountains of paperwork and beurocracy and targets and actually CARE for people. And their families. In safe clean environments. And actually do hands on care. Oh I miss that!

4. I am inordinately proud of my children.

5. I find the older I get the less I care about what people think of me, and have developed an unfortunate habit of saying what I think, which doesn't always win friends and influence people! I have always stood up for the underdog, and am a socialist ( note the small "s" ) at heart but in this day and age find it impossible to vote Labour. I have always had a rebellious nature and habit of doing as I pleased and was very unconventional back in the 70's. Meeting Mr A and having children reigned me in for a few years, but I am gradually going back to my old ways. And loving it!

6. Several years ago I had a slipped disc which resulted in my having a dropped foot and very little sensation in my right leg below my knee It is most disconcerting to have an itch, scratch it, not be able to feel the scratch yet relieve the itch! I was told by my consultant that I would never walk properly again, let alone work, and I've proved him wrong on both counts. I have thrown my splint away, and occasionally fall flat on my face when my foot doesn't work or I'm tired, but it won't beat me!

7. I LOVE football. Love it passionately. I love nothing better than being in the Kop at Anfield sing and chanting - there is something very tribal about it - and it's been a magical place for me since I first went there back in the early 70's. I shall be very sad when the old stadium goes, but that's "progress" I guess.

8. I am VERY stubborn - the original immovable object - and I am NEVER wrong! Although I can always see the other point of view, and have been known to play devil's advocate, I KNOW I am always right!

So there you have it! Eight random things about me. Now then, I am going to be very naughty here, and not tag anyone - ever the rebel - but say please, if you'd like to, post eight random things about yourself.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Forest Canopy Shawl

Ta-da! At last here it is, my Forest Canopy Shawl! I haven't knitted a shawl for years, the last shawl I made was in 2-ply baby wool about 9 years ago, and I certainly didn't block it that's for sure, so the whole shawl and blocking thing was very new to me.

Forest Canopy Shawl

Yarn: Posh Yarn Emily in Recite

Shawl edging: Chrissy's custom-dyed Emily yarn

Needles: Pony 5mm

Now I do hope you will all forgive the light on these photos - truth to tell there IS no light of any shape or description, and so this is the best I can manage!

Now, who would have thought that this little kite shaped thingy would block out and become something completely different!

I discovered that the picnic blanket was ideal for blocking - straight lines to guide you and a waterproof backing.

Monica thought it was her turn to do the modelling again

And another close-up!

I have many people to thank for this shawl. You all know who you are, but a special mention must go again to Pictish, terri and Chrissy. I'd also like to thank everyone for their support and encouragement when I ran out of yarn. This is a lovely pattern to knit, and I dare say there will be other Forest Canopy Shawls in the future.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

A Little Help from my Friends

Remember my Forest Canopy Shawl and how I ran out of Emily at the last hurdle? Let me tell you there is nowhere quite like cyberspace and the on-line knitting community for rallying round and helping. Dee at Poshyarn didn't have quite an exact match for me - not that that didn't stop me buying anyway, but that's another story - and then my dear friend terri said "I have 25g of undyed Emily - why don't you see if Chrissy could dye it for you?"

Well, Chrissy could and Chrissy did and this is the result - a perfectly contrasting skein of Emily for the edge of my shawl. I am quite overwhelmed by this, and so chuffed, and would like to thank them both very much.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Going Under Cover!

It's here, it's here, it's here, *jumps up and down doing happy dance* my Under Cover Club parcel has arrived.Isn't that tote bag pretty - I love it. And the O~Wool is sumptuous. And concealed in the folder are 2 secret patterns - so secret they come without pictures.

The patterns are called Diamond Brocade and Dimpled Delight. I want to cast on right now this very minute - sadly I have to go to bed and I also have to work this evening, so roll on tomorrow!We have all been sent a different coloured skein so no two Diamond Brocades and Dimpled Delights will be the same - in fact no two covers will be the same. Exciting isn't it!
SShhh - don't tell the socks!

Monday, May 7, 2007


I have just returned from a wonderful weekend in Pembrokeshire. Given that we'd had weeks of almost unbroken sunshine was it too much to ask for just a couple more days?

Here is Solva Harbour first thing Saturday morning - beautiful isn't it?

Just a couple of hours later

And the lovely little river that runs through the village

Caerfai Beach, just outside St Davids

St Davids Cathedral

The Bishops Palace at St Davids

I LOVE Pembrokeshire! I have many happy memories of holidays there when the children were younger. Sadly it was very wet and cold yesterday afternoon, and very miserable this morning too.
Saturday till 3-ish was glorious though. We walked for miles. And - shock horror - it was a Bank Holiday weekend and I wasn't working so who am I to complain about the weather!!!!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Over the Moon!

I'm such a happy Aknita tonight! Liverpool have beaten the Special One and his Chelsea team in the Champions League semi final and we are on our way to Athens on May 23rd.

The observant among you will notice in my sidebar that something else is happening on May 23rd - the Race for Life. I am going to see if I can transfer to the Worcester Race on June 10th. I may not be able to, but it still appears to be open to entries so I shall try. And after all, it doesn't matter WHERE I run the race - it's the doing of it that counts!

I can't tell you all how chuffed I am!

Now then my shawl. As you know I received the most beautiful yarn for my birthday, some of which was a skein of Poshyarn Emily in Recite from the lovely Pictish. Thank you again btw for this lovely present! It's my first skein of Posh Yarn but it won't be the last I'm sure! I decided to make a Forest Canopy Shawl with it and ran out of yarn on the second bind off row. To run out so close to the end was hard to take - and I thought I had accommodated my yarn shortage by knitting 2 less border rows. Cast on on Friday evening, it should have been blocking Monday evening - it's a surprisingly quick knit.

There was much weeping and wailing yesterday but I'm over it! It's only a ball of wool after all, but I have to say a huge big thank you to everyone who has offered help - your offers are all much appreciated. Watch this space ........... there will be a happy ending!

I am so excited! This will be the first month in which I receive Yarnyard Sock Club yarn, also my Under Cover Club* yarn was posted today. It's stalk the postman time again!

I have also been very remiss of late - so let me put things right. For those of you who have special birthdays / family celebrations coming up, look no further than Piglottie Productions for your special card - being sold for a very good cause. I am lucky enough to have bought some of these cards and it's going to be hard to hand them over to their recipients when the time comes.

* Under Cover Club - Courtesy of The Yarn Grove - "Everyone is knitting socks and we are too. But The Yarn Grove is going Under Cover to add some diversity to our knitting. SHHHHH....don't tell the could cause an uprising. Would you like a change of pace, a finished item that covers more than your feet? We are going to make it easy and fun Here it is: The Under Cover Club will go for 8 months. Each month you will receive 1 skein of O-Wool Classic organic yarn (different color each month) and 2 patterns. Each pattern will make a 12" block. The patterns will begin with impressive but simple stitches and continue with more complex stitches each month. The finished result will be 16 blocks in 8 colors with 16 different patterns to be sewn together to give you an heirloom quality "Under Cover". Instructions will be given on putting them all together. Being that we are going Under Cover, the patterns will not have a picture but you will see them develop as you knit. Special surpises too! First Month: 1 skein O-Wool Classic Organic Yarn 2 patterns 1 Under Cover Club Tote 1 Binder for patterns Each month after you will receive: 1 Skein O-Wool Classic Organic Yarn (different color each month) 2 patterns Special gifts (Really, special gifts)"