Saturday, 26 January 2013

Walking, snow fun and some new headgear

Well the snow stuck around tenaciously all week.  It was getting quite thin on the ground but deadly icy in some spots. I spent most of the week in my trusty walking boots.  Carless, as I think I mentioned last time, I have walked everywhere and it's been great.  I walked 38.40 miles in 5 days.  That's an average of almost 8 miles per day.  Really pleased with it.  I have met my 100 miles target and gone past it to 105.26 miles with a few days to go until the end of the month.

It's Saturday today and it's my hanging around waiting for girls to do stuff and big shop day.  It also snowed again last night.  While there is lots and lots of snow it's all a bit sludgy and thawing quickly so horrid to walk on.  Decided to buy a sledge and head off with the girls to the park instead.
Girls trying out the new sledge in the park
It was a glorious sunny afternoon and much too good an opportunity to waste indoors.  We wrapped up and had a ball in the snow.
Getting a push off
There was much shrieking and screaming but all in the best possible way of course.
The girls took turns then soon realised more sledging was to be had if they rode together
Not quite deep enough for a snow angel but enough to attempt it anyway!
As it has been so cold I decided some new headgear was needed.  After a bit of head observing while out and about it seemed that headbands/ear warmers are all the rage so that's what I decided to have a go at.  Used the quick and easy pattern from Village Stitches called the Groovy Girlfriend Earwarmer and ended up making 3 of them.  One each for the girls and one for Littlest Girl's best friend (it's her birthday this week)

Gift version with crochet flower
 I used a James C Brett Chunky yarn and had enough for two headbands.  I didn't want them to be exactly the same so I was really pleased when I went to Stitch and Bitch and came across some huge flower buttons. Just right!  Also got some King Cole Comfort Chunky in a turquoise colour to make a third headband for biggest girl.

Girls in their groovy earwarmers.  Just love the big buttons.
My week off is over and it's back to work and normality on Monday.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Singing, socks and snow

This week I have the pleasure of an unexpected week off work outside of the school holidays. It's great! The circumstances that led to this week off mean that I am carless but that is a plus as I am in the middle of my walk 100 miles in January challenge so at the very least I will need to walk the girls to and from school each day.

Last week they took part in a Young Voices concert at the MEN Arena in Manchester.  What an awesome event that is.  Hundreds maybe even a couple of thousand primary kids from all over the region getting together to make up a massive choir and sing together.
All the lit up areas are school children taking part in Young Voices

Children could take torches and it looked like stars
The African Childrens choir were one of the acts that were on and they were fabulous. Such energetic dancing while singing so well.  Amazing.  A really great evening and a wonderful experience for all of the children that have taken part in it.  Fancy being able to say, " yeah, when I was 8, I played the MEN arena in Manchester!" Brilliant.

There have been some friends' birthdays lately so socks have duly been knitted.  Timescales proved to be a little short.  A backup plan was needed and, ladies and gentlemen, the answer to shortness of time in respect of socks is this, 6 ply. Oh yes indeedy; so fast and quick to knit up!  And with the recipients having little feet ( still being little people ) I even got 2 pairs from one ball.  What a result!
Socks knitted in Opal 6ply sock yarn - Polar Lights
Just in case you hadn't noticed, we've had a bit of snow lately.  Actually, here in the North West of England it's been a bit lacking frankly but it has been quite heavy elsewhere and there has been a right old song and dance about it.  Here it was just plain disappointing.  The girls are desperate for a bit of snowman construction and there just hasn't been enough of the white stuff.

This may change though and we did get some more snow last night.  It was looking promising and the girls were crossing everything they could in the hopes of a day off school.  It wasn't to be though and we duly set off walking to school.
Not snowy enough for school to close! Enough for snowballs though!
Now as I have the week off I decided to take a long way home and headed up the hill from school.  As I got higher it got snowier and at the top of the road it was a beautiful winter wonderland.
Heading up the hill to the snowy woodlands
It was gorgeous and got even better when I turned onto a quiet lane (Back Lane) to head back to Padiham.  The tracks on the snow were made by the only vehicle I saw up there which was, of course, a postman in his red van!
Snowy lane
It was a rare treat indeed to have such snowy loveliness all to myself. I felt quite spoiled by it and glad to be alive.  There was sooooooo much unsullied snow to walk in.  I was in heaven - I just love making the first footprints into fresh snow!
This snow is mine, all mine!

Miles walked in January so far  - 74.23

Sunday, 13 January 2013

January Challenges

I think I mentioned that I was going to join in a 100 mile walking challenge during January.  Well I am doing quite well with it and here are the stats so far;

Distance walked - 45.52 miles
Time taken - 17 hours 31 minutes
Calories burned -  4879

Also just started a new knitting challenge.  The Double Heelix socks from It's a bit of a mind bender for me but I think I have cracked it.  Here's the first sock in progress.

Look! The heel spirals around. It's awesome!
Just in case you couldn't see the stonking spiral effect. Here's a close up. Spectacular spirals don't you think? I'm pretty pleased with it so far.
The socks are a birthday pressie for a friend of Big Girl so got to get them done by next weekend. Ulp! Last always! I decided on a saffron yellow / cerise pink colour combo to make the most of my amazing spiralling heels.
Bright and colourful contrasting colours

It's a dog's life

Sally dog relaxing after a long walk, on the furry cushion, wrapped in a towel, with her favourite toy in front of a roaring coal fire!

It's a hard life!

Pepperpots, mossy socks and alpaca

Almost two weeks into 2013 and I think it's about time I got back to writing a bit more regularly. If nothing else I will have something to look back on. I think maybe I have got to a point in my life where my head is completely full. I can only take new things on board at the expense of something that is already in there! Writing stuff down is a kind of back up system really!

December was very busy and there were lots of things going on for the girls with school and music. There were preparations for Christmas, Christmas itself and then finally the New Year. The weather wasn't up to much and it was very mild but very rainy. We were all a bit stir crazy by the end of the holidays and quite relieved to get back into the normal routine.

There has been some knitting going on. Mostly socks. Nothing new there.
Socks for Father-in-Law made in Regia Ombre Stripes by Kaffe Fassett. Moss colour way
Socks for Sister-in-Law made in TyDy sock yarn. Colourway Magenta moss
I'm rather in love with the sister-in-law socks. I adore the colours and the feel of the yarn is sooooo soft and silky. Struggling a lot to let them go. But let them go I must.....sigh

My mum's birthday is at the beginning of January so we decided to all go out for lunch. As my parents were also getting somewhat stir crazy after being stuck indoors for so long it was arranged to go up to Silverdale for a bit of a walk and then food. It's up in the north west corner of Lancashire and is a favourite spot with us all really. Heading up the motorway it wasn't raining. It was very misty and foggy in places but in between there was a promise of some sunshine. At last! Maybe it would turn out to be a glorious day.

Sadly not. It remained unrelentingly misty and foggy all day. In the end this didn't really matter.  Our walk was quite pleasantly eerie and atmospheric.  We went to Eaves Wood and walked up the hill to see the Pepperpot ( a monument built for Queen Victoria's golden jubilee ). 

Eaves Wood in Silverdale. Misty and mossy.
It was a mix of mist, moss and mud in the woods but a good time was had by all because it is such a lovely place. Has a real enchanted forest feel about it. We reckon there are definitely fairies living there.
Fallen trees make a picture frame
Every now and then you also come across funny little half built shelters. The girls loved these little dens and each one had to be explored and photographed. 
One of the quirky "dens" dotted around the woods
Heading through the woods we were still hopeful that the mist would clear. It's a spectacular view across Morecambe bay on a clear day.
Pepperpot in the mist
Not today though. The Pepperpot looked more like the end of the world than a panoramic view. Oh well.... another time. It's still a slightly bizarre little folly to visit. A flask of hot chocolate and some biscuits later and we were off back down through the woods to have a look at Silverdale Cove.
Looks like a fungi!
The mist stayed with us so there wasn't much of a view on the shoreline either. Time to head off to the Silverdale Hotel for a spot of lunch.
Silverdale Cove
Not far from the cove we came across a pair of alpaca in a field looking super cute.

Dark cheeky alpaca
Lighter shy alpaca
A lovely lunch was enjoyed by us all. We hope for better weather and views next time.