Monday 2 October 2023

And Now we're past the Equinox

Autumn is upon us, and although I haven't done much blogging, I have been fairly busy. The 'Heirloom' blanket is finished, and another is being worked out.

Two more reprinted EJO books have been prepared for publication - one is already out and one currently at the printers, with more to do for next year, so no let-up on that front.

One of the summer highlights was a rail trip to Dartmouth. We joined the train at Romsey early one Saturday morning, and were diesel hauled to Taunton. Then 'Sir Nigel Gresley' took us to Kingswear via Exeter and Paignton, and our tickets included the ferry crossing to Dartmouth. We took a picnic lunch and were served fizz, unlimited coffees or teas, and a 'snack box' each both morning and afternoon. 

That was so generous that we almost could have managed without taking anything of our own, but Mr Bufo's quiches are well worth the carrying. We managed to park at Romsey station all day for just over £2, so when we were finally dropped off again at about 9.30 in the evening, it was just a quick drive home - and a lovely day!

We'll be doing our usual end of season trip to Cleeve Abbey soon, and the year will be over before we know it!

Wednesday 7 June 2023

On the way to Summer

Part of the 'Making Mischief' folk costume exhibition

We have just returned from our first real expedition of the year. An attempt at a weekend away in April was marred as we arrived by Mr Bufo having as spectacular a fall as I had suffered in February, including an evening in A&E - this time in Taunton! 

So it was several weeks before we felt confident enough to attempt another foray. But the Folk costume exhibition we had wanted to see since it opened in February would be finishing on 11 June, so we had to do something about it. We had been to Compton Verney before, nearly 10 years ago, so knew it was worth a visit for its own sake, and found a nearby Mercure Hotel, Walton Hall, so that we could take a fairly gentle drive up on Wednesday afternoon, see the exhibition on Thursday morning, and come home that afternoon. All of which worked as planned, we also managed to see a friend who lives nearby for dinner at the hotel on the Wednesday evening, and although tired afterwards, we felt we'd had a good time. The exhibition was well worth the trip, but the restoration of the Georgian chapel, and the rehang of the permanent folk collections were also good to see.

Motif 3 (of 6 designs)

More crochet has been accomplished on the Heirloom blanket, but plenty more to do. I'm currently nearly finished all 8 of Motif 4, have done 8 Motif 1; 9 Motif 2; & 8 Motif 3 (shown here)

The latest flower delivery was peonies, which don't last long, but are lovely while they do.

And once again we have a good crop of strawberries; this was the first picking - about a week later than last year's.

We'll soon be off Somerset again for the last ever Cleeve weekend.

Tuesday 21 March 2023

First Day of Spring?

Heirloom blanket

Not a great deal to say - recovering from a rather spectacular fall on my face, which thankfully managed not to break my nose, or a tooth, or a wrist! but made a mess of my face for a while, though it has healed well. 

Was attracted to a new blanket, in hexagons, and have made a good start as can be seen above. There will be 8 of this design, and 8 or 9 each of several others, but so far I've nearly finished all of this type.

Trying to arrange the usual seasonal visits to Somerset and Sussex, but neither of us have been well enough for long enough to be confident about actually booking anything yet. The weather hasn't been great either, despite 'them' telling is it was the driest February in a long time. By contrast March has been quite wet.

Thursday 19 January 2023

More than half-way through January

I've finished the socks that have been on the needles for over a year. I've deliberately made the legs short so they don't cut in, as the last ones I made gave me deep lines round my legs, and swollen ankles.

I've also made a start (see left) on a counted cross-stitch embroidery that I've had for at least 10 years - I bought it as one of several when a shop in Harrogate was closing down. The pic below is from the front of the packet and shows what it will eventually look like. I did 2 very similar ones many years ago which are now at the flat, so I'm hoping I can find a matching frame.

The cold weather has prevented us going to Poole this week as various roads are closed or restricted, so we'll have to save that pleasure until next month.

Tuesday 6 December 2022

Christmas is coming ...

We've sent the few cards we do - or those going by post, anyway, in the hope they will arrive before or despite the impending strikes. This year our chosen charity in lieu of buying commercial cards is Southampton Hospitals Intensive Care Unit.

We've sent, or organised, such presents as we give - not many, and mostly cash to the under-eighteens.

Festive food is on order, and the non-perishables already to hand will be taken tomorrow to where we are spending Christmas so there is less to take on 23 December when we transfer ourselves there for the holiday.

So here are two of the pictures from this year's card. The third was from part of an exhibition and whilst I'm sure it's fine sending to the few friends who get a printed card, I don't feel it would be right to put it on the internet, even though the photo is Mr Bufo's - as are these - and the notice in the gallery said photography was allowed. As always we have chosen only from pictures taken during this year.

The stone 'face' is on the beach at Porlock Weir, and caught our fancy on our post-lunch stroll in the spring.

Those who know Cleeve Abbey will recognise the inspiration for this early 20th century carved pew-end in Old Cleeve church. The mandorla containing the Virgin Mary and Christ-Child, and the motto 'Porta patens esto nulli claudaris honesto' - loosely translated by Elsie J Oxenham as 'Gate open be to honest folk all free' - appear high above the entrance arch of the early 16th-century Abbey Gatehouse. 

So all that remains is to wish everyone reading this the very best of the season, and may next year bring everyone, if not what they wish for, what will be right for them.

(The goose might be getting fat, but we're not having one this year...!)

Thursday 8 September 2022

And now it's Autumn

After one of the hottest summers on record it is now beginning to feel autumnal, as we are nearly halfway through September. The heat made knitting/crochet impossible as my hands were too sticky, and made it difficult to concentrate on reading, so not much done since the last post, other than the work I do for the EJO Society, which although voluntary (i.e. unpaid) is still necessary. Hence the main photo on offer is a rather splendid thistle I caught in full bloom a couple of months ago.

There is still war in Ukraine; still the same party in government, though a new prime minister and cabinet; still difficulties between UK and EU; still not seen the end of COVID-19. But I've enjoyed meeting a group of likeminded people at a conference in Bristol, and we've had some good meals out.

It felt like a sad day this morning - now we have the news that the Queen has died. For the first time in 70 years we have a King.

Friday 4 March 2022

Spring in a Time of War


The garden is showing signs of Spring, and the days are lengthening. But there is news of war to counteract the spring feelings.

Pulmonaria and daffodils seemed to be the most appropriate flowers for the heading, but the hellebores are doing well, both the white...

...and the red, 

while the violets are putting on a brave show 

- and the tulips are all that are left of the last delivery from Bloom & Wild. 

Let us hope that the world situation doesn't get worse as the weather gets better.