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Friday, 23 May 2014

Snippets of our garden tonight......

Photo 1.   Ligularia 
Photo 2. Ceonothus (it's hiding my washing line's concrete post)
Photo 3. Fatsia japonica, Iberis (candy tuft), Achillea
Photo 4. Pelargoniums, Pachiysandra terminalis, fuscia, Hedera helix
Photo 5. Hosta, Alchemilla mollis (lady's mantle), 
Photo 6. French Lavender.

It's all blooming lovely and on the otherside of the garden there is lot's more to see but will save that for another time.....

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Charles Dickens House and Broadstairs, Kent.

We have had a lovely week off and certainly done some travelling.  We went to London on the train to Lower Marsh Street to visit a favourite cafe and next door was the wool shop, I Knit...which is one of my favourites.

On the Tuesday we went back to London to take Frank's Mum to Liberty's and John Lewis.  Liberty's is so easy to get to by train.  We got the District Line to West Ham, got the Jubilee Line to Waterloo and then the Bakerloo Line to Oxford Circus.  It sound's like a lot of messing around but it's not, when you get off the train it shows you different arrows to exit with the name of roads and you just go to the one that says Argyll Street.  When you go up the steps from the station you do a left, and then an immediate left and you are walking down Argyll Street and directly in front of you is Liberty's of London.  We had a good walk around the 'soap's and smelled every one and then we had a look at the cushions.  My goodness, I would have to work a week to pay for one but so gorgeous.  We then walked back towards the station and had some lunch in McDonald's and as you come out of there, there is a big John  Lewis Store and had a look around in the Haberdashery section.

We certainly did some travelling and walking that day and used our Oyster Card's a lot but the day we were really looking forward to was Wednesday because we had got train tickets for the High Speed 1 train to Broadstairs.  We got up excited, left quite early and got the District Line train to Barking Station and then got the Hammersmith & City Line Train to Kings Cross St Pancras.  Blimey, it was almost an hour's journey just doing that and when we got the Kings Cross we had a bit of bother looking for the platform.  It is such a busy station and there are so many platforms its crazy. You were playing dodgems with people just to get around.  Apparently you can get the Euro train that takes you through the tunnel to abroad, I didn't know that!

We found our platform and here is a photo of the train we got is like a bullet!
That photo was taken at Broadstairs, Kent when we were returning home and it is so fast, it has a top speed of 140mph and we did that coming home.  It was brilliant.

Frank took a video of me knitting whilst on the train showing the speed we were going at.........

and it was such a smooth ride, it was brilliant.

When we got to Broadstairs it was so peaceful and calm.  You walk out of the station, down some steps and walk towards the sea.  There is a small high street and parade of shops and that's all!  That's how I like arcade machines making loads of noise, no loud music from cars driving past and certainly no roudy drunk people. Just quaint little shops, sweet shop, bakers, charity shops a couple of banks and a local supermarket.

It's a gorgeous beach, a couple of little tavern pubs, a hotel called The Albion that you can get into via the high street or from the beach side.  We sat and had lunch there with gorgeous views of the sea and it's horizon.  Here are a few photos of our first visit on Wednesday where we saw Charles Dickens House which is so small. You could pay to go inside to look around or visit the shop but we were happy with just taking a little photo.

The second photo is of one of the oldest taverns in the town and the photo directly above is where I have decided I want to retire.  They are called 'Serene Cottages".  There is no walkway to get through and they are so sweet with all the cottage garden flowers.  Can you see on the right hand corner of the picture a table with cups etc on.  Well, that is where there is the best Tea and Cake Shop and it would be like heaven.  Home made bakery bread and cakes and a cuppa!  What else could a girl ask for.

Here is a picture of Viking Bay which is the beach where the high street leads you too.....

Isn't it gorgeous.  The sand is so soft and silky to walk on and I don't know what it is about hearing the sea thrashing about at the edge, I just love it.  It relax's me and at times makes me feel emotional.

We had a rest day on Thursday and then on Friday we went back to Broadstairs but this time we took she is enjoying a whole seat to herself whilst doing 140mph

We got there around 11am and had a walk around, found a woolshop which was quite quaint and then went down to say hello to the sea again.  Tammie went potty, she would have run to the edge and fallen down.  We stood by the railings, with Tammie on her lead, and she went under the railing to the edge of the bay and looked down to see the seagulls flying around.  The waves were thrashing and she was so excited.  We went back a steep hill and did a sharp left which is a shortcut to the beach side of the Albion Hotel where the restaurant is.  There is a lovely little shop on that turning and it had a very low window display of beanie toys etc and Tammie stood up on her back legs, with her paws on the window clawing at it cause she would have dragged that toy out of the window if she could.  

We sat and had lunch again with Tammie at our feet with her water and snacks and then went for a long walk towards Louisa Bay and Dumpton Gap.  I will post a few pictures here now so you can see the walkway you go along at the side of the sea and you can see the cliffs of white stone towering to the right of us.  Dumpton Gap is a weird name for a Bay but I tell you this, its gorgeous and serene.  It's so quite and the only down side is that flipping hill you come to that you have to walk up to get back up the top towards the town.....I hope you enjoy the photos....

I might be a bit on the chubby side but I jog every other day and walk 4 miles a day and even that hill would give me a heart attack.  It is so steep.  Of course, if Tammie were a bigger dog she could have pulled us up it which would have been much more pleasant!

Oh well, I think I have posted enough for loads of boring chores to do now because I have to go back to boring and stressful work tomorrow.  I have done a fair bit of my crafts but I will save that for the next post.....have a good week.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Anderson Shelter and Dig for Victory

Just a quick hello and to show you what we found whilst on our visit to a local library.  The library is called Valence Library and set behind it is one of the oldest buildings in the borough.  It's called 'Valence House Museum'.  The photo above of the white house is the museum and its got such a lot about the area, who lived there but also about the way people lived and worked and also denotes the efforts and losses of both the World War's.

You walk through the herb garden which is abundant of flowers and herbs and is just so relaxing to take your book and read.  At the far end of the herb garden is an old Anderson Shelter which has various items inside that families would need when there was an air raid.  i.e. a hard hat, a gas mask.  Around the shelter there would be vegetables growing to hide the shelter from enemy planes and most residents would give up their gardens of pretty grass and flowers to grow vegetables to give to their families and neighbours.

There is also a small lake next door which is fenced off and protected and has loads of wildlife around it.  It's not very big but is a joy to walk around.  There is a rumour that there is a ghost that walks around the lake called 'the lady of the lake' and there is a photo inside the museum of it.

I am off to do some more designing and will leave you with a photo of my goodies I got at I Knit, London today.  Does anyone remember 'the clangers' from 1969...I don't cause I'm too young but my partner does...

Friday, 9 May 2014

On hols...

Yep, I packed up work for a whole 5 days, including 2 weekends and today, which is a Friday so that's a whole 10 days off with no work, no noise, no telephone constantly ringing, no staff colleague's bugging me through the day, no deliveries and definitely, for moaning at everyone.   I turned another year older recently and had a lovely day and I thought, maybe that's why I am so moany and grumpy at work.. No, not at all!  I'm just that way when I am at work.  I can't stand all that noise and by the end of the day my ears ache, my neck aches, my eye site is getting worse and most definitely, sitting on my bum on and off for 8 hours is not doing my body any good.

So without anymore work nonsense,  I am going to start by saying I have been a very busy girl lately. I decided to give designing a go and blimey, that's not easy.  I picked up my crochet hook, had my pen and paper ready and started the process.  After two weeks I finally had a finished project and hand written notes of a pattern.  That was Tunisian Blockbuster and I ended up thinking to myself 'maybe it's good enough to try and sell the pattern' instead of the actual end product.  The amount of time you put into making something could be hours, if not days or months so to put a price tag on something is very hard.  However, a pattern for a few pounds means that someone can have a go at making their own treasures and be proud of what they have achieved.

After much deliberation, I wrote up a pattern for Tunisian Blockbuster, found out how to save it as a PDF and then with tense shoulders and a hot cup of tea and cake next to me, I became a designer on and put my very first pattern up for sale.  It wasn't as bad as I thought and afterwards I went into the chat room quick and a kind lady said I had done it ok and wished me luck.  That was at 9pm one evening last week and then I got up for work the next day, checked my e-mails and I already had a pattern purchased.  I was so excited that someone wanted to buy my pattern, I rang everybody and didn't care that it was only 7.30am.  I did not expect any purchases to be made and then two days later, someone else purchased my pattern.  So since then my head is full of ideas and the frustrating thing is when do I get to do all of them.  I am kinda hoping that with my time off I can get to do some more as well as spending some much needed time with my partner Frank.

Besides the designing, I have made my first toy too!  I watched one of my favourite podcasts knitabulls, and Diane had made a Wee Bonnie Mouse. It was so cute that after finding the right sock yarn, I made it in around 4-5 hrs.  Wanna see Bonnie,  here she is sitting in front of our gardening books...............

I took her to work and she sat on my desk in front of my monitor to help keep me calm.  It worked for a while and then I took ten minutes rest and disappeared with my knitting at lunch time.

After knitting Bonnie I had another idea pop into my head for a pair of seat pads.  I have two dining chairs left in my  small home (the other two chairs were broken years ago) and because they have no soft seat for your bum, I thought of making a chunky granny square with ties so that at least it's a little softer.  Again, I got the hook out, my pen and paper and even took photo's of the project as I made them.  I then thought 'what about if I put some hints or tips in the pattern to' and so when it was completed and I started writing the PDF pattern, I added a tip about that annoying 'twist' in the middle you get when your granny square gets bigger and decided to write down how to stop that from happening.  Wanna see a picture........I am so pleased with them!

They are so simple to make for a beginner to get use to doing a granny square and you could make them with different colours too.

I do have another project on the go.  The yarn I had leftover from making Bonnie gave me an idea so I am in the process of knitting and writing the pattern down.  I will show you an update just as soon as I can get it finished.

Tammie my dog is doing fine, she had a visit at the vets two weeks ago for a check up because she is on special medication and there was a new vet there and not my own vet that we are use to.  We were not happy about the new vet's bedside manner and she basically said that Tammie had a serious heart murmour.  We questioned her because our own vet had always checked her out thoroughly at each visit and he never said anything about her heart and the vet just wasn't listening to a word we were saying.  She we said we would wait till next week for our original vet to be back from holiday.

We took Tammie to see our own vet who had returned from holiday and he thoroughly checked her over and said that there was nothing wrong with her heart.  So, if any of you have animals and you need to go to the vet, just be cautious.  Vet's are good, they all are but in my experience when a new vet see's that you are a customer who has animal insurance and say things like 'need's dental work, need's a scan because of a heart murmour'.  Take in what they are saying but always always always, get a second opinion from an experienced vet.   If there is a problem with your animal then yes, we have to accept that and we deal with it.

Here's a photo of our spoiled Tammie who loves her belly rubbed......especially when I am knitting!
Oh well, on that note I am going to say bye for now.  I have got two hours before Frank comes home from work so I am going to grab a cuppa, do a bit more knitting of my next design and watch a podcast.