Saturday 6 May 2023

Five Minute Gardening

Tip Toe through the Tulips!

View of the Wolds from my kitchen window


Hello there, how are you all? We've been away on holiday to the south on England. I'm slowly catching up with reading all your blogs. Today we had a street party with the neighbours, to celebrate
King Charles 111 Coronation and new home welcoming. There are several of us new in the close, so it was good to chat with them all. I took some Millionaire Shortbread, I made mine with gluten free flour, which was good as a lady was GF. I've put my favourite recipe, I've not found it online, the ingredient quantities vary but this one has simple and memorable weights. 

We've been trying to do at least 5 minutes a day gardening, we have lots of weeds and untidy patches. 
I don't want a show garden, no perfect lawns here, but I would like it tidy and manageable. I borrowed this book from the library and liked it so much that we bought a copy. The book is divided into the 12 months with general advice on plants and chores. Each week the idea is to cover 5 main categories: Spruce, Chop, Nurture, Fuss and Project. Obviously you may chose to do more than 5 minutes. If you do commit to the 5 minutes a day, Laetitia says your garden will become tidy and stay tidy. To me that sounds great, now where are my gardening gloves? 

 Take care everyone and have a good Bank Holiday weekend if you're in the UK.

Friday 21 April 2023

Five on Friday

Hello there, I hope you are all well, thank you for visiting last time. A Five on Friday post today. The week has gone by so quick, we had the Village Pop In at the hall, I took some crochet, my friend provided some homemade cookies, that her daughter baked. It was also the AGM at the village hall, apart from myself, I noticed that only the committee members seem to attend this. 

One: After work today, I managed to get a haircut which I was pleased about. I returned all my library books except The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin. I picked up a book for next month's bookclub - Something Wilder by Christina Lauren. The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel is this month's bookclub read. I'm struggling with this one, I had great plans to read a chapter a day... it hasn't worked. I've finished Village School by Miss Read, restarting the Fairacre series. I've read some of this series but not all of them. 

Two: Angus has been to the groomers for a shampoo, a trim and nails clipping. Not too much, just a good trim for a Goldie, all the long bits around the feet, tail area and scruff. When he gets wet and muddy, he always looks bedraggled and messy, making it hard to clean him. As you can see he's more of a pincher than a retriever. 

Three: Kettle on, cup of tea and time to be cooking dinner. This isn't my usual tea preference but whilst I'm cooking dinner I like to try different ones. This one is nice and spicy with: ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and black pepper. Usually I drink Morrison's Rooibos tea, which at the moment seems permanently out of stock. The family drink Yorkshire tea but I went off that a long time ago. 

Four: Is 2 a collection? I'm not planning on buying more pot holders, but they do make handy cloths for the oven grill. King Charles lll Coronation 2023 to go with The Queen Platinum Jubilee 2022. I saw all the Coronation merchandise in the shops, but didn't fancy buying more stuff.

The decluttering is still happening here, today a new unwanted gilet left the building with some popcorn from Aldi, some Christmas cards - dreary scenes - no idea why I bought them! They were a bargain though! Also some mattress and pillow protectors as I'd bought new ones for Johnny's bed. A few other bits were in the bag too. Progress is progress.  

Five: Another dish cloth / wash cloth, Gramma's Dishcloth (Grandmother's 2nd Favourite)  pattern on Ravelry. This pattern is for a symmetrical knitted cloth. I am having trouble with this cloth (top left - cast off corner), no matter which pattern I knit, the cast off always looks too long. Any ideas knitters!? 
Yarn - Drops Paris, Recycled denim 100% cotton.  

That's all my news for today, take care everyone. 

Friday 14 April 2023

Knit & Natter - Show and tell

Hello there, I hope you are all happy and well. Thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post. Today is a bit of a show and tell of finished knitting & crochet projects. 

First is a Fish & Chip Jumper, the details are here, I've spoken about these before, several posts labelled in the cloud (right side of blog). My church run a Craft Circle, essentially a Knit & Natter session once a week. Some people knit strips of 2 x 2 Rib, changing colour after about 8" of knitting. The colour change is repeated until it's the length of the Communion table - around 130cm. The lady in charge (not me) takes all the strips home and sews them together to make blankets. 
If anyone wishes, they can knit the Fish & Chip jumpers or vests as they are sometimes called, with a matching hat, these are all collected by the Salvation Army. They are sent abroad to Countries in need, for babies that would've been wrapped up in news paper. 

Second is a Knitted Miss Marple Scarf, I knitted this for myself but as it is knitted in Aran weight yarn, it is very thick and large in size. 

I wanted to photograph each section of the Lent Scarf with its description. I have blocked each piece but the ends are rolling in already. The reflections on Lent tradition of fasting or giving up, are rooted in Christianity. I'm not going to copy out the full reflection, just a simple explanation of the pattern and what it represents. If you wish to knit your own Lent scarf, here is the free pattern on Ravelry. 

The red square was the sample piece to check tension. The tree has since been enlarged by the designer to make a stand alone Place Mat or dishcloth/washcloth pattern on Ravelry here to purchase. 
I chose to do all my sections in different colours, some choose one colour, the best one I saw was in 3 colours with different coloured dividing holey rows.

Dark blue - Dove representing Peace.

Light blue - Diamonds representing - Glimpse of light. 

Cream - Stars and Sea, Wonders of  Earth's Beauty.

Gold - Fence - Justice, hope.

Lime - Growth, Tree woodland, creation, good.

Jade (the colour looks blue but it's a green/blue) - I Am, Jesus

Grey - The Cross 

Happy Easter 

The 2 knitted dishcloths are from this pattern book. 

The mauve crochet cloth is a mat, being half acrylic it's not suitable as a washcloth or dishcloth. 

I'm off to knit another dishcloth. 
Cathy x


Saturday 8 April 2023

Thrush Green - Miss Read

Hello there, I hope you are well. Today I want to show you some photos of our trip last October. I posted them on Instagram but wanted them together here on my blog, as a reminder of our stop over at Whitney, Oxford UK. 
We hired a motor home for 5 nights to visit family in Hampshire, staying in The New Forest. Breaking the journey, we stopped at Bicester on the way down and back again, taking Angus our Golden Retriever with us. There is a short walk in the campsite, handy for dogs wanting to stretch their legs. 

I've always loved Miss Read's books, in particular the fictional village of Thrush Green. It's based on the town of Whitney. Miss Read (Dora Saint) stayed in Whitney during the war, pushing her small daughter in the pram, up and down the high street. She gained much inspiration for the Thrush Green series during her stay here at Wood Green, North of Witney. Some places in the books, the author has added eg a school and a church at the Southern end, which she later burnt down.

I was fortunate to win a map of the area on a Facebook group live chat, pointing out key places in blue ink (real names in black). The Thrush Green series is my absolute favourite, I'm reading through the Fairacre series (purely fictitious village) at the moment. It was a joy to find the places circled in yellow on the map, I'm easily pleased. 

Back in the Motor home eating dinner, the news was on TV, we couldn't believe it... Whitney was on the BBC National News! The film crew interviewed people in the high street, business premises and finally here on the green facing the church - St, John's in the book.

The Fushia Bush café: now named the Curry Paradise, is where the villagers gathered for a cuppa or light refreshments. I enjoyed all the storylines around the café, not only were plans discussed to grow the business, friendships blossomed and village life thrived. 

The Fushia Bush proved hard to find, we knew it was called Curry Paradise from the map. The place was so busy, we were guided by the bow shaped window, tall 3 storey building with a chimney. There was some searching up and down the road. 

Behind these bins (I couldn't move them - very busy high street) lies number 94 where Miss Read stayed during the war. 

We finished our walk down the High Street at this point as we needed to be on our way. Hopefully we'll visit the other end of the high street next time. 

Have you been inspired to visit places that you've read about in books? 
Do let me know. 
Bye for now

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