Friday 29 October 2021

Friday Chat Day

 Hello friends

Welcome to another Friday Chat Day which is a rushed FCD as 
I am typing it just hours before publishing because it has been a funny ol' week.

To begin with, I've been in the office in London quite a lot -
it is month end = pure panic/manic at work and to
add an extra dollop of pressure it half year in the financial year so we have 
invoices flying around desperate to catch fees before our next quarter.

Must admit I've never worked in a role where last week of the 
month just goes by in the blink of an eye, I've become the queen of 
spreadsheets to try to keep track of everything.

ANYWAY... enough of boring work talk would you like to see
a new boiler?  I bet you don't get asked that very often!

Here it is, not connected to anything at the moment as yesterday
was a full day of removing the old boiler, cylinder and tank.
Another reason why I'm typing this blog post last minute,
house is very much upside down right now.
Does having work done on your home affect you?
I have real problems settling to do things when everything is topsy turvy,
I keep trying to tidy/move things.

I know with COP26 happening right now I'm not being very
climate aware but in my defence, my old boiler was apparently 30+ years 
and had become dangerous and my home just isn't suitable to have 
the new fangled air pump heating.

But the most exciting thing about having a combi boiler is 
that I have an empty cupboard where the cylinder used to be - 
even Mitchell suggested I use it to store yarn! 

And talking of yarn/crochet - I'm taking part in a challenge 
on Instagram to post daily using these prompts.
Just about keeping up.
If you are on Instagram and fancy a nose - I'm here.

I promised to talk to you about a special crocheted scarf
that I saw on display at Dover Castle and here it is...

This scarf is only one of eight crocheted by Queen Victoria and sent to South Africa in 1900.
It was awarded  to selected servicemen during the South African War. 
It was apparently worn over the shoulder, passing under the shoulder strap, 
across the chest and buckled on the right hip.
This photo depicts a wife of one of the servicemen wearing it.
Questions have been raised as to whether Queen Victoria 
had crocheted the scarves herself but it was reported that the Duchess of York 
(later Queen Mary) had informed one recipient that 
she had helped the eighty-two year old Queen 
when she had dropped stitches whilst making the scarves.
The colour was listed as khaki but I think it may have faded.
I think that is lovely and look - she got the sides beautifully straight!

Last post...
lots of thanks for the cake comments last week, 
wasn't it a smashing cake, not much left of it now - 
apart from the dog, of course.

Carolyn - so sorry to hear about your fall and further complications,
I do hope you are on the mend.

Lyn (Spyder) - wow thank you for taking time to read my 
natterings, lovely to read about your Kent memories.

And I'm afraid a shorter post that normal again this week because
my bed is calling me - this little picture spoke to me...

BUT just before I go I must tell you I managed to go to the cinema,
I haven't been for so long and we saw the latest James Bond film.
No Time to Die.

Oh goodness it was fab - I don't know if it was brilliant because
it was well, just brilliant or because I haven't sat in front of a huge screen for
months and months and months.

If you like the car chases and fights but done with a little bit of 
class and wit - (if that makes sense) then it is a must-see,
although I would say it helps to have watched the previous 
Daniel Craig Bond films.

So yes - must go - but what am I up to this this weekend?
The boiler installation continues
and I hope to go hide somewhere and crochet!

Take care friends - have a super weekend.

Friday 22 October 2021

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

Happy Friday!
This week's blog post is about a cake and a castle -
cue lots of photos.

My sister celebrated a special birthday and I arranged for an
extra special cake featuring her dog Bear.
 I one hundred percent recommend Melanie Cakes at Sevenoaks 
Isn't it amazing!

The real life Bear so you can see how well she captured him,
even down to his bow tie collar.

The cake featured chocolate drizzle/drops, party rings, jammie dodgers,
fondant fancies and more! 
I can confirm it was delicious.

We had the most wonderful time away on the Kent coast again.
Three visits in as many months and I still want to go back.
I am feeling drawn to this area, the mix of beautiful countryside and sea.

We put on an afternoon tea and my parents drove down
which made this visit all the more special.

Also on this visit we made a point of going to Dover Castle.
Unfortunately we did not get to do the underground tunnels
but that's fine - we can go back.
This isn't my photo but shows just how magnificent the castle is.

Grey skies but thankfully no rain.
You can't help but wonder how many feet have passed through 
this entrance.

Elliott, my nephew and sister followed these steps
and went up to the castle roof (I declined - dodgy hip!) 

And these are some of the photos Elliott took from the top of the castle:

Views for miles...

and miles.

Back inside where I was, 
I espied stunning stained glass windows in the chapel.

Back outside there are separate exhibits and the gift shop -
always a gift shop!
There's a museum and on display is a scarf that Queen Victoria
crocheted with quite a story - I'm saving that until next week to share.

Within the castle grounds is a church and we sat in here
out of the wind and enjoying the peacefulness.
In fact we had the church to ourselves for so long we wondered whether
we were locked in, but all good - we were able to get out!

It's a wonderful place to visit but lots of hills and steps,
we slept well that night.

On Monday as we drove back home, we stopped at Walmer,
blustery and beautiful.

I've already started to look at dates to return!

Back home a special anniversary popped up on my Facebook
memories - the cabin was put up 7 years ago this month.
This is it before I put all crafty stuff inside - it was thrilling have that blank canvas.

It is still looking great although Dad is doing some repairs to the roofing felt
this week, the magpies keep pecking away at that.

So - definitely photo heavy this week, I'm going to be saving
my usual natter of garden, telly etc until next week otherwise I fear
you may never get to the end of the post.

This weekend, working on November's charity kit, tidying the garden,
seeing Elliott, meeting up with a friend at Lakeside, getting the house sorted
for the new boiler installation that is starting  - oh goodness not sure 
that's all going to fit into two days - wish me luck! 

Take care friends - thanks for stopping by.

Friday 15 October 2021

Friday Chat Day

 Hello friends

It's Friday...again! Hope you are all well.

Pixel has decided he's had enough of me working from home and chooses
to sit on my mouse mat to gain attention - look at that face, Mr Grumpy! 

I've had to have many Teams meetings with a cat/dog on my lap 
and once was asked "What is that strange noise?" - it was Bella snoring!
I am still grateful to be working from home some of the week
(despite the pets) but also pleased to go into the office to see humans.


Autumn has definitely arrived in the tiny garden. 
Wonderful reds and oranges.

This climber (no idea what it is but I love it) is very invasive during the 
Summer months, it manages to weave its way into the shed and into the 
neighbour's outbuilding! I know because one minute it is covering that ugly
wall and roofing felt and the next he has pulled it all down.
 It changes to deep burgundy before shaking off its leaves everywhere.

And in the midst of all this... my Snow Queen Clematis is flowering.
Oh what a beauty.

Before the builders arrive next month to sort the conservatory 
I'll be having a garden clear up.
I have a mix of sadness and relief at this time of year - 
sad because the wonderful Summer colours have gone but 
relief that it is a break from gardening during the Winter months.
Goodness knows how I would cope in a large garden!


All the squares for this cushion have been sewed together.
Yes, my least favourite job but I think I'm getting quicker.
I am about to start cushion number 5 so definitely making progress.

The pattern writing is progressing too, I am pleased with how the photos
have come out.  I've also discovered a nice bit of software when it comes
to offering printed copies of the pattern (I thought some may prefer printed
and I could offer that for a small charge for the printing and postage)
stay tuned...


Managed to have a little watching binge this week.

Time - BBCiPlayer

Prison drama `Time' follows Mark Cobden, a husband, teacher and father 
who is sentenced to four years in prison after accidentally killing a man. 
Consumed by guilt, Mark openly accepts his sentence but is quickly 
confronted with the harsh realities of life inside. 

Written by Jimmy McGovern - who can't really put a foot wrong in British drama. 
I personally think they should show this at schools, it would certainly
put students off from breaking the law.
Starring Sean Bean and Stephen Graham.
Interestingly Stephen Graham's wife in real life plays his character
wife and I didn't think they looked compatible at all! 
Excellent if you don't mind ducking behind a cushion
for the nasty bits.

The Larkins - ITV/Brit Box

This popular British show follows the raucous adventures of the Larkin clan 
and the local tax collector. Ma (Joanna Scanlan) and Pop Larkin (Bradley Walsh)
 have a large brood, living in 1950s rural England.

In stark contrast to the previous drama!

If I said I was eagerly awaiting this I would be lying,
I was actually cringing when I first read about a remake of Darling Buds of May
because I have massive fondness for the original with David Jason and Pam Ferris.
So perhaps I began to view this in the wrong frame of mind.
The scenery is beautiful, the wardrobe lady is spot on but...
(yes you knew there would be a but)
Bradley Walsh didn't quite cut it for me - great but not as Pop Larkin.
Ma Larkin was a little better.
I'm going to persevere because it is beautiful TV to watch 
and tell myself it is a new drama and not to compare.
I'm certainly not against new adaptations - Channel 5 have done
a marvellous job with All Creatures Great and Small - love it! 

Other news:

My sister is celebrating a very special birthday soon so we made the 
decision to go away for a few nights.
Can you guess where?
Not too far, big white cliffs..
Yes - we are returning to St Margaret's at Cliffe near Dover.
I am thinking we should get frequent visitor points soon.

We are heading off this afternoon and Elliott and my nephew are also joining us.
My parents are going to drive down on Saturday - it is going to be lovely!
I've got a little more time off work next week so definitely some crochet time! 

And that is my week. 
Thank you as always for stopping by and 
wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Friday 8 October 2021

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

Happy Friday, how are you?

From photo heavy last week to photo scant this week! 

This week has flown by in a blur of work, head down at home and
up to the city a couple of days.

Whilst waiting for my commuter coach at Tower Hill I took this 
photo of the Tower of London - no scaffolding, first time I've seen it without
renovations for years.  Also a break in the traffic to snap this.
Quite strange to imagine all the goings-on over the years inside the Tower,
a lot of bloodshed for sure!

And earlier in the week the rain came!
Waiting for my commuter coach in Gravesend huddled under my brolly.
And didn't it rain!  Garden absolutely sodden.
I was awoken by it lashing against the front of the house, felt like
all my camping holidays as a child! 


The squares for the front panel of the third cushion are done,
I'm always a little impatient at this point and think I should block these,
but then I sew them together and block them as one panel - seems to work OK.

 Blocking seems to spark off quite a debate - those who absolutely
insist upon it and have the blocking boards etc., and me...
I pin it to my bedroom carpet overnight!
(I create a little barrier so the cats and Bella do not go near it).

I was making good pattern writing progress until I realised I had forgotten 
to weigh the yarn - it would be really useful to know
how much you need of each colour wouldn't it!?
Especially as I'm recommending this as a stash busting blanket.

I will be starting cushion 4 (the commission is for 5 so I'm nearly there)
and I've placed a huge post-it on my notes saying 'weigh yarn for pattern info!'


 Now I'm back in the office and chatting to colleagues they
are sharing lots of telly recommendations.
I had been in a bit of a streaming fix (Netflix, Prime, Acorn etc)
so this week I did visit 'normal' TV channels and watched:

Manhunt - ITV
Factual based drama looking at the work of Colin Sutton, 
who was a Senior Investigating Officer on some of the 
Metropolitan Police's most high profile cases.

Martin Clunes does a fab job in this role as unpretentious Colin Sutton.
No sensational car chases, shootings just pure drama -
with some chilling thought provoking moments when 
you remember this is based on real crimes.

Other stuff:

Apart from going out to work I haven't been able to go anywhere 
due to no diesel, petrol seems to be available here in the South East but 
diesel is tricky to find.
I'm thinking it will hopefully sort itself out this weekend and I can visit
family and pop to my cabin -  I've got some ideas for November's kit.

And that is pretty much it for this week - bit boring!
Due to my lack of content...
I can recommend the Attic 24 blog - Lucy there is taking part in 
Blogtober - she is writing a blog post every day for this month.

Along with her gorgeous crochet and cute cat Tilly - she also shares 
beautiful pictures of where she lives up North (Skipton I believe),
her posts are an array of colour and a feast for the eyes.

And that was my week, I swear it was on fast forward.
Wishing you all a lovely weekend.

Take care friends.

Sunday 3 October 2021

Not a Charity Kit Day!

 Hello friends

Stopping by to remind you that there isn't a 

Charity Kit today - real life has intervened with working full time,

and nipping away for a lovely break!

Just skipping this month and back to normal for next month - 

available here on the blog, first Sunday of the month - 7th November.

(October's chosen charity (BSSA) will be moved to January 2022).

Take care and wishing you all a lovely Sunday.

Friday 1 October 2021

Friday Chat Day

 Hello friends

Happy Friday - happy 1st of the month.
I have lots of photos to share again this week!
Firstly though thank you for your understanding about 
skipping October's charity kit.  It has taken the pressure off this month and
allowed Elliott and I to take our little trip away.

Last Friday lunchtime we arrived in St Margaret's at Cliffe,
drove down to the bay and this was our view - can you smell that salty fresh air?
It was warm, the sun was glistening on the water and we could see for miles.
We walked for a while and then feeling quite virtuous
we ate a huge lunch in the pub!

Next day a trip to Sandwich, which took a lot longer than normal as we inadvertently
joined a traffic queue thinking it was for the town and it was actually for fuel.
Once there we walked the little scenic streets and we thought about food again!

The Lantern Pub in Martin.
When I visited last time we had hoped to eat here but it gets booked
up very quickly.  It is such a beautiful little pub.
We phoned in the vain hope that they may have a table available and they did!  
And to make it doubly perfect, the sun came out so we sat outside.

And...trebly perfect, they had a stone pizza oven - Elliott was over the moon.

With full tummies and me expectant of an afternoon nap Elliott asked
what we would be doing next.  It was definitely a different paced break.
We headed off to the White Cliffs at Dover.
This time walked down the cliff to sit closer and watch all the ferries,
lorries and cars - it is quite mesmerising figuring out the logistics in the little toy town below.

We took a drive into Dover town which I have to say wasn't so nice,
like many towns it is a bit depressed and full of charity shops.
But look what I came across...

Opal Fruits!  
Not Starbursts, I was quite excited about this and probably
went into a longer explanation than necessary to Elliott about the 
fact that Mars changed the name (and flavours) 23 years ago!
I then thought I had better check this wasn't an out of date bag
but no, it's a limited edition and available for 12 weeks only.
Funny how these little things can make you really quite happy.
"Made to make your mouth water" for those who remember the jingle!

Now where was I?  Oh yes - on the Sunday we visited 
Wingham Wildlife Park.

We planned to arrive in time to see the otters being trained and fed.
They put their noses and mouths on the stick so they are upright and the keepers
can check them over to see they are healthy.

Flamingos have very odd knees!

Well hello!

Red Pandas are super cute but very shy.

Meerkats - can I just say, these little fellas took up nearly an hour
of our day - you cannot stop watching them.

The following day we had to leave and the heavens opened.
We packed up dashing to the car in torrential rain.
30 minutes later the sun was shining so we stopped off in Canterbury.

It has been a long time since I visited.
The Cathedral was covered in scaffolding so not picture worthy,
unlike these gorgeous buildings.

We stopped off for a coffee and brownies - a perfect breakfast.

And that was our trip away and it was very wonderful.
As I said goodbye to Elliott he asked when we could go again. 
I think that is a huge measure of success.


If you've made it this far (so many photos!) I do have some crochet news.

While I was away I began to write up my cushion pattern.
My naive head said 'oh it will be easy'!
In reality - I take my hat off to anyone who writes patterns.
I have persisted and it should be ready soon. 
Slight stumbling block - the pattern needs a name so all suggestions welcome.
I was keen to have lots of clear photos to assist in the tutorial
and the lovely daylight in St Margaret's helped.

I plan to have it available here on my blog and also free to download
through Google docs (like I do with recipes).
I had even wondered on doing a CAL (Crochet Along) at some point
but perhaps I am getting ahead of myself...


All this galavanting away and then straight back to work has meant
very little telly.  As mentioned, I have subscribed to Acorn TV
so I am revisiting episodes of Agatha Raisin.

Having read so many of the books I still struggle with Ashley Jensen
playing Agatha. She's a bit too nice and glamourous.
In the books Agatha is a bit of a cow! 
Anyway, it is relaxing watchable TV with murders thrown in.

No garden news this week - it's scruffy and needs a good tidy up.

Recipes - thank you Karen for sending your soup recipe,
it looks wonderful and I am planning to make it - 
unfortunately my food shop let me down
with one of the ingredients - coconut milk. I will endeavour to get some.
I'll be sure to share - through the Blog medium, hands off my actual soup!

This weekend - well not going too far as, like many, eeking out the fuel.
 I need to get to grips with the garden and hopefully
finish off that crochet pattern.

Take care friends, wishing you a lovely weekend,
it's certainly turned colder - we all need a crochet blanket!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...