Monday, 31 May 2010

Plan B

I joined a Baktus exchange group on Ravelry and signed up for the early swap.  Only problem - ran out of yarn. And the woolshop was closed for a couple of weeks while the owner was on holiday so no chance of getting any more for a while..... sigh

Plan B. Knit another one and here it is!
Lots of lovely garter stitch. Really easy to knit and great for doing while watching telly!

Hexagon Love

I've got the six-sided bug.  It's great! Just randomly joining as I go. No rhyme or reason. Loving it.
I think I'll just keep going until I run out of yarn!

Don't speak like you know yoga

Is what daughter the younger said to her sister in the car on the way home from a day out in the lakes.

We went up to Esthwaite which is just down the road from Hawkshead village and a favourite spot of ours for picnic-ing and general pottering about. It's not too well known so you don't get many people. There's only a fishing tackle shop and boat hire there so it's great.
It's such a nice spot. Windermere and Bowness are nice enough but just too full of people shopping in full walking gear for my liking! This was the first "proper" day trip in the new car so we did wonder how we'd manage to transport the four of us, the dog, a picnic and all the other essential bits and bobs (crochet stuff today). In the event it just took a bit of canny packing and we managed just fine. Here's Milly Molly Mazda looking quite at home among the trees on the car park. Luckily, there are picnic tables so we didn't miss sitting in the back of the Land Rover too much. It was a bit blustery with a chilly edge to the wind but otherwise no problem at all.
I just love my little green car. So easy to spot on the carpark!

On with the business of the day then.  The rope swing was still there so everyone had a go. It was a bit shorter than last time so help was needed to get the smalls onto it.

It's just so much fun swinging over the water though. Nick decided to have a go and I was busy taking lots of action shots when there was an almighty thud and he was on the floor! Mostly ok, bloody gash on a hand and seriously dented pride but nothing requiring a trip to casualty. Phew! We were all free to laugh (aren't we mean!!)
This was the moment. I pressed the shutter and thud! We decided to leave the swinging alone for a bit and tried out hand at skimming stones instead.
Then paddling! Ok it was cool and a bit blustery but who can resist the urge to dip their toes in.  The girls can't.
We had a really good time. There were lots of ducks with unbelievably cute babies to feed and a slightly scary and hissy swan that Sally wasn't too keen on.
The hissy swan. Looking rather lovely in this pic but a bit big and scary close up! And here's a gratuitous Sally pic to finish off. Check out the wind swept ears!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Kicking a ball about

Was outside last night around 10.30/11.00pm ish and could hear someone kicking a ball around.  Just to explain - across the river at the other side of the wood there is a "youth" hangout spot.  It's next to the leisure centre and there's a skating ramp and a shelter that have been put there for youngsters to hang out in, which they do.  It's a good thing generally as it's not right next to any houses so doesn't disturb too many people.

Anyhow, due to the acoustics around here if there's anyone there at night when the general noise of the day has died down it can be rather loud and annoying up here at the house.  Especially if someone has a car with loud (and usually rubbish) music blaring out.

So I could hear a ball being kicked against the skate ramp. How annoying I thought and was about to start wingeing and complaining to DH when I had second thoughts about it.

It's actually rather sad.  There were no voices so it was a solitary person (can't actually see it for the trees you see so this is all supposition). Then I wondered what age they were likely to be.  An older teenager would probably be hanging out in town in the pubs or certainly where they can be seen. So I reckon they were between 8/9 and 15.  Hopefully anyone younger would be home. How sad is it for a youngster to be on their own kicking a ball around at that time of night.  Why aren't they home?  Is it so much better to be alone kicking a ball than to be there?? You see... really quite sad...

Friday, 21 May 2010

Wobbly teeth...

I've got a wobbly tooth announced daughter the younger yesterday.  She is so thrilled about it and has been envious of her older sister's tooth fairy visits for a while.

She's a tough cookie though, unlike her sister and there was no wussy, timidity lasting several days/weeks. She was so keen to have her first tooth fairy visit that she got it out the very next day and just had to show the world! you can see the gap on the bottom row.
The tooth is in a little bag under her pillow and, fortunately, I have a reasonable shiny coin to replace it with.... ahhh.... bless....

Best Laid Plans

It's been a funny old week. Lots of unexpected and sometimes annoying stuff going on.

Girls have been under the weather. Older girl has developed an abscess which involved the nightmare of trying to get an emergency dental appointment.  Girl the younger's eyelid swelled up so it was a double whammy as then had doctor's receptionist to battle with as well as dental ones. What is it with these people. It's as if their sole purpose in life is to prevent you from even getting a sniff of a doctor or dentist. Grr...  Anyhow, all my skills of diplomacy, negotiation and persistence paid off and anti-histamine and anti-biotics now working nicely.

Then I've been knitting like a mad woman to finish off my Baktus scarf only to run out of yarn with about 5 inches left to go! Drat!  The wool shop lady is on holiday for another week so I might have to turn to plan B instead (when I figure out what that actually is!!)

On a happier note, the new car is brilliant and I filled it up for the first time yesterday and it was £35. I was amazed. Almost half of what I usually pay with the Land Rover.  Also got some money back from the insurance people and don't have any road tax to pay.  Woot! This is all good and is balancing out my karma like no-one's business.

And look, here's another crochet project....
Can you tell what it is yet?  It's a ripple blanket and it's hopefully going to help me use up my stash of King Cole Merino blend (and then I can justifiably buy some more) stash!

I do like this stuff.  It's really nice wool and superwash too.  Also reasonably priced.  My favourite I think other than sock yarn, of course.

Speaking of sock yarn, I am fortunate enough to work only up the road from Laalbear and I popped round to pick up some sock blockers.  Couldn't resist having a shufty through her fabulous hand dyed yarn and came away with these babies
At the top "Pussyfoot" ( plum colourway) gorgeous merino with some cashmere so it's soooooo stokeably lovely. Slurrrrppppp! At the bottom "Lush" merino (Fairy colourway) also very, very lovely.... Couldn't help myself! Laalbear will be at Woolfest this year so make sure you check out her scrumptious yarns if you are planning to be there.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Triffids and casting clouts

Finally remembered to get a shot of the rhubarb flowers. I think they look a bit like triffids. They are quite tall. We've also got a little clump of lovely bluebells and the yellow azalea is just flowering (smells gorgeous).
The Hawthorn is a bit late flowering this year but when it all comes out there will be even more heavenly smells around. Love hawthorn flowers.  Let's hope it will begin to warm up soon because as they say;

Cast ne'er a clout 'till May be out

which I take to mean don't give up on the winter woollies until the hawthorn flowers are out. May is another name for hawthorn around these parts. Although some folks argue that may is literally the month of may. Either way, it's not usually warm enough to be walking around in sandals and vesty tops until at least June!

Had a bit of a tidy up around the garden but left this little weed alone because the flowers on it are so pretty.
It really is lovely isn't it.

Everyone knows that dogs NEVER climb trees

But if they are bold....
and adventurous too...
it might just be possible...
they do!
This is one of our favourite stories at bedtime. Along with all the other Lynley Dodd characters - Hairy MacLary from Donaldson's Dairy, Slinky Malinki and Scarface Claw.

The reason I mention it is because during all the tree climbing today Sally decided to join in and had to be rescued about 12 feet up before she fell out of the tree!  Half dog half squirrel maybe?
May I present.... Schnitzel Von Sally!
Sadly no photos of her right up the tree as was too busy trying to grab her before she fell out!

Bluebell Woods vs Rotten Wood

We were all set for a nice little jaunt to Spring Wood to see the Bluebells once more before they are all gone. It seems we were not alone in that aim and there was absolutely nowhere to park.  Not even a teeny weeny little spot for our new teeny weeny car.  Oh well... it was time for a rethink and the answer was Rotten Wood.  A less known woody spot that's great for walks but rather lacking in bluebells and we hadn't been there for quite a while. So off we went and weren't we glad we did.

There was no one else around so we had the place to ourselves. It was gorgeous - a haven of fresh spring green gloriousness.
I adore the fresh greens of spring. Really gladdens my heart. One thing about Rotten Wood though is the fabulous trees. Perfect for climbing and really interesting to look at too. There are also 3 or 4 fallen trees which are still alive and full of carvings of loves long past and stuff like that. Also great fun to scramble over.
We really had such fun there today. There's a large house right next to the wood which is surrounded by rhododendrons which are about to flower so we must nip back there in a week or so to check them out. Should be stunning.

In the field next to the wood were some horses and we just had to go and say hello to one of them as the girls were convinced that it was Black Beauty.

This prompted much expressing of desire to have a pony each from the girls.... hmmm.

There were one or two interesting bits and bobs. Younger daughter found a pine cone that looked like an apple core.  It had to be duly photographed. Please note what a glamour puss she is. Out for a woodland adventure but still fully accessorised!!!

And there were the mossy, strangely shaped stones.  There were all sorts of theories flying around as to what they might be for....
And the tree that looks like an elephant.
Who needs bluebells!

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Zoom Zoom

I have spent the last week researching frugal motorcars and had come to the conclusion that what I needed was a small, diesel car.  It would be cheap to run, be no more than £30 to tax, and undeniably suitable.  Drew up a shortlist and set off to check out the vehicles. Then did the very thing I said I wouldn't do.  Fall in love with the first one I saw and bought it!


Say hello to Milly Molly Mazda!

Not quite as frugal as planned. A petrol rather than a diesel but such fun and I just love the colour. Fun and funky and it feels good to stand out in the hordes of silver and grey you seem to see on the roads these days. Still cheaper on tax and will be cheaper to fill up.  Very small and only 3 doors but the kids can cope with climbing in the back. They are very bendy!! 

Don't care though.... I love it!

Monday, 10 May 2010

Botanical Oddities

Our rhubarb has flowers! I didn't know rhubarb had flowers.  It's never done it before and it's been there for years.  They look like triffids. Must get a picture.

And then there was the plant that the kids wanted to save. They found it dumped in the woods and wanted to plant it in their bit and bring it back to it's former glory.  It had obviously been in a pot (har! har!) at some point in the recent past.  However, as it had spiky leaves and a pungent aroma, we didn't feel it was the right kind of plant for a bunch of small children to be growing. We told them it would give them a nasty rash and they were happy to add it to the compost heap!

Here's an artistic impression of what they found!!!

On the needles/hook

Between gallivanting around Spring Wood and work there has been some knitting/crochet going on.

Finished crochet blanket number two for younger girlie.  She loves it and it's on her bed and wrapped around her at night.  Makes me happy to see when I peek in on my way to bed to check on them.
72 squares altogether.  Pretty pleased with it.

There's also a pair of socks on the go. Vortical Socks by Phoenix Bess. They are my work socks. I carry them about with me and whip them out when I get a spare moment at lunchtime at work.
There is also a Baktus Scarf on the go. It's for a swap and is inspired by some of the stuff that I've been up to lately.  More on that when it's done.

Bluebell Woods

We were only there a couple of weeks ago but back we went last weekend to see if the Bluebells were actually out this time. And they were!

It was a glorious, sunny day despite a dire weather forecast and as always we were blown away by the fresh green of the new leaves and heavenly purply-blue of the bluebells themselves. Took far too many photos (so what's new) and decided to give you a handy collage instead.  The official girls looking out at the view photo is in there as are some photos of the girls having a go at photography themselves.
Got a lovely close up of some bluebells and am particularly proud of the ladybird shot! Ice cream in Landy at the end of the walk, of course.  Although, sob, sob, for the last time.  See previous post.

Got home and the heavens opened. There was even hailstones at one point. How lucky were we with the trip.
Just look at the soggy flagstones!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Oh Landy came and you gave without taking, and I sent you away, oh Landy.

Yes folks, it is the end of an era.  After 7 beautiful years together we are saying goodbye to Landy Land Rover. I know it's only a car but it's been part of the family for all this time and we are all a bit sad about it. Landy is a fabulous, roomy family car, reliable and unstoppable. But, rather pricey to run and fix when something goes wrong. Reluctantly we say goodbye and hope you end up with people who will love and enjoy you as we have over the years.