More Yarn Will Do The Trick

Friday, 19 February 2016

Brighter Days...

Hello again! Doesn't time fly, can't believe it's a month since my last post. I always find it hard to sit down with my laptop on damp and dreary winter days, and prefer to be in front of the wood stove with a steaming mug of bouillon. But recently the weather has taken a turn for the better and we've had some beautiful sunny days with clear blue skies and sparkling frosty mornings - wish I could bottle it :) However, in the dark days I can always rely on a bunch of tulips to cheer me up. I love them in every stage - from opening to when their petals drop. They just ooze elegance.
Spotlight on tulips
So what have I been up to? Knitwise not a lot, as I became rather obsessed with crochet after spotting granny squares on the catwalks. Hard to believe, but I'd never made them before and I soon became quite obsessed. I put together a small basket of different colours and then set about finding as many different colourways as I could from them . I really enjoyed it as it's more or less instant gratification as each square is completed. I still have no idea what to make with them, at the moment I'm experimenting with ways of joining them together - whether to use crochet or introduce some knitting into the mix.
Selection of my granny squares
We've had a couple of lovely visits since my last post. Our friends Sheelagh, who lives in London, and Ruth, who lives in Athens, came up to see us for a long weekend. It was Sheelagh's husband's memorial that I mentioned last month, and after all the hard work that goes into organising such an interesting event, featuring many of their talented friends, she needed some time out. We hadn't seen Ruth for donkey's years, so it was wonderful to be able to have some lazy days with her chewing the cud and hearing her news about family life in Greece. I was so sorry to see them go and hope we get together again soon.
Ruth (left) and Sheelagh (right)
We also had a visit from Felix, which was lovely as he lives in Bristol and we don't get to see him anywhere near often enough. We went off to Harlow Carr on one bitingly cold day, reasoning it would be warmer to be out and about rather than sitting indoors. As I still can't walk very far, we borrowed a scooter and, surprisingly, I managed to get around quite well, even off piste in the woods, although there were a few visitors limping back to their cars! Just kidding!
Felix and Philip -bookends
As soon as there's a hint of sun, I'm out in the garden. We'd been planning to crown a lilac tree for several years as it takes a lot of light away in the summer. P suddenly got it into his head that there would be no better time than today. So out came the saw and the three major limbs were lopped off quite speedily, but unfortunately then came the task of getting rid of it all, so the rest of the day was spent chopping it into small pieces, and bagging it up before taking it to the tip.
In the process Django got a new climbing frame. 
I'm the king of the castle!
Meanwhile back indoors, Arlo looks on from his comfy spot on a tea towel on the counter.
You're welcome to it,  - totally not interested!
Despite the fights they love snuggling up together
Later that evening they were both tucked in, curled up around each other as close to the fire as they could get, without actually setting fire to their tails.
Happy birthday Izzi!
At the beginning of this month it was Isabella's birthday, and as she's the world's worst self-confessed chocaholic, we celebrated with what other than a chocolate cake! Izzi was our first grandchild nine years ago - seems incredible that she'll be in double figures soon. Uncle Filo's gift was an adopted donkey so as the Donkey Sanctuary is only twenty miles up the road, we decided to take Izzi and Ava to meet William D.
Here he is, typical cheeky monkey with a twinkle in his eye
Other donkeys at the sanctuary
I like to think he's smiling for the camera in this shot
You can go at other times too and help groom the donkeys or ride them. We all thought mucking out might be fun using these colourful wheelbarrows.
Quite fancy a purple one
As it was still quite early as we were leaving, we decided to go on to Harlow Carr as the girls hadn't been there since I got ill. By the time we got there the frost was fairly hard on the ground and we feared the girls wouldn't find much of interest there in mid-winter,. However, after a brisk walk around the garden (the powers that be agreed to let me have another go on the scooter), and having spotted lots of colourful bulbs...
My favourite irises
 ... and spectacular dogwoods...
Looking fantastic grouped together with grasses
and ending up in the potting shed, where I indulged my passion for wheels with a shot of this vintage mower/roller.

Colour, texture and movement... aaaahhh!
Just had time for high tea at Betty's, before delivering the girls back home, then heading back for our homemade chilli, with tortillas, guacamole and yogurt and relaxing with a good film.
Chilli on the stove - just what we needed :)
Thanks for dropping by x


5 comments:

  1. I am so happy to read this blog post you sound so much happier I can almost see the twinkle in your eye and a spring in your step too. So glad you are feeling stronger and I am sure once the warmer weather arrives you will go ahead by leaps and bounds. Love Sally

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    1. Thanks so much Sally, I almost burst into tears when I read your message, no reason in particular, just so nice to hear you say that. Not long now before your little one arrives, she's looking super-gorgeous in the photos. Big hugs xox

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  2. Dear Jean, there truly is lots of brightness apparent in this post, along with lots of joy of friends and family sharing good times together. And donkeys, too!

    Granny squares truly do offer endless possibilities of combining colors. I have made several of these afghans over the years, and used crocheting to join the many squares together. You've intrigued me with the notion of knitting them together.

    It's grand to see all your photographs of beautiful nature as this still new year develops. Over here our 2016 weather has swerved between very, very cold and sudden spurts of strangely warm days. This weekend we are treated to the strangely warm variety. Very odd for February, but still welcome.

    Best wishes, xo

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  3. I know exactly what you mean Frances. This week has been glorious weather, a tad cold but blue skies and toasty warm in the sun. Philip has had a good go in the garden and removed all the 12' high bamboo - a nightmare to get out, but at least now it's done and it won't be invading our neighbour's garden :)

    Good to hear that you're thinking my posts are getting brighter. It's hard to see from the inside, but great to know that people are noticing.

    Enjoy the New York spring, I'm so envious xox

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  4. I know exactly what you mean Frances. This week has been glorious weather, a tad cold but blue skies and toasty warm in the sun. Philip has had a good go in the garden and removed all the 12' high bamboo - a nightmare to get out, but at least now it's done and it won't be invading our neighbour's garden :)

    Good to hear that you're thinking my posts are getting brighter. It's hard to see from the inside, but great to know that people are noticing.

    Enjoy the New York spring, I'm so envious xox

    ReplyDelete

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