Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Fab day - shopping?

Have had a bit of an indulgent week so far - went to the cinema on Monday to see Last Chance Harvey with Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson, rather poignant about two misfits who get together, rather nice and not the usual cliched ending. Went to knitting - Pins and Needles, it used to be called Stitch and Bitch but some of the ladies objected to that so it was changed. Most of the knitting is for prem babies but they also knit gowns for stillborn babies - so sad but very beautiful work. I have finished another pair of socks - adult size 5 - 7 in kaffe fassett designed sock yarn that doesn't seem to have a repeat pattern at all, just one long pattern from end to end! I am now knitting a bag on a circular needle, this is something I saw Joan (bags) do whilst I was living on Harris, the base gets knitted on the circular as two needles then you pick up stitches around the side and knit upwards, it sounds difficult but Joan always makes knitting look so easy, she is so clever, does vegetable dyeing as well - amazing. Joan's blog is Calanacrafts - you can get onto it from here . I am knitting some more of these funny little sheep and heilan coos for some craft fairs I have booked myself into over near Bridlington, the 'Lamsey' sheep and brooches were really popular at the Sassygael craft fairs we held in Taigh mo Shenair last year (and they are happening again this year keep an eye on De Tha Dol)
Anyway back to my week - I am so sad as I got really excited about going to Waitrose... haven't shopped in Waitrose for about eight years or so since I left Lymington and of course filled a trolley - a little one!
I spent this morning with a medical student - mystery patienting a bit like mystery shopping but different! She was doing her final exams and she had me to 'deal with'. I get invited to do this as I had an acoustic neuroma. Acoustic neuromas are quite unusual - only 1:80000 people have them and as far as brain tumours go it is the one to have cos it's removable! Anyway she asked the right questions and did the right tests and I was able to promote acoustic neuromas to another budding doctor - AN's are nearly always missed and misdiagnosed so this is my little contribution to doctor education!
Onto more cheerful stuff! I am off to Leicester to Lizzie's Graduate Show on friday. She has printed some amazing fabrics and I am really looking forward to seeing them - will take the camera and get some pics. A lot of her inspiration for this final work came from the beach huts at Southwold and also the funfair at Bridlington. One of her designs incorporates appliqued merry go rounds! Lizzie has always loved the beach and beach huts - we had a lovely old hut on the beach at Milford on Sea for a number of years before she and I moved north to Manchester, we used to have great fun there as a family - early morning breakfasts and late evening barbecues, midnight swims before going home salty and tired. We took great pride in decorating it - all very vintage and distressed, absolutely delightful with lots of shells and rope, stencils - it was all great fun!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009


Pics of Buna, some from the house, from the garden and outside Roddy's house. The dry stane wall was going to be refurbed but the dykers said it was made of the wrong sort of stone and the whole wall would have to be replaced with new stone so we left the wall with the willows growing out of it and around it. There is a corner of the Tin Shed in one of the pics with Joan's house in the distance. The island was rescued, when we moved to the house it was very overgrown, we risked the midge and cleared it and then a friend - Dave Perry, built the bridge and we had a party to celebrate the bridge opening - needless to say it poured and poured and everyone got soaked and I forgot to take the camera out! We had great fun building and filling the raised beds - here are some lettuce and courgettes. The growing of veg became quite competitive as our neighbour - Joan and I vied for the 'best of' to go in the annual North Harris show. On the actual day I couldn't go as I had been bitten by a claic and was having a bad time with it so Joan walked off with most of the prizes! That was the 2008 show when Sheila's duck - Baggy, won first prize because he is just so handsome! Joan has moved onto bigger things with a polytunnel - she should be supplying the whole of Harris with salad this year if the tunnel doesn't disappear over the Clisham in the wind!

Friday, 5 June 2009

Mills and Daisy.

This is Horsey Mill - looked after by the National Trust and is on the North Norfolk coast. It is a drainage mill used to raise and pump water. It is so peaceful - sat here for hours just watching the world go by.
Have heard that Daisy (the sheep that I raised from orphaned lamb this time last year) has been sheared and the fleece is now waiting to have something done with it. Have asked Sheila - Daisy's new owner to spin it for me - you can see Sheila, Daisy and the others on her Scalpay Linen blog. Pics are of Daisy 3 or 4 days old and then at 7 months just before she moved to the Outend.
I have been choosing fruit trees - have opted for three apple trees and two plums. I didn't realise how complicated all the pollination stuff is, how you have to combine trees with different ways of pollinating - I hope I have got it right! I thought you just bought them and dug a hole put them in and that was that - no! I want to develop my hedgerow a bit, sow some wild flowers in amongst all the undergrowth, there are poppies in a field hedge just down the lane and they look delightful anyway that's the plan so fingers crossed for some more dry weather over the next few days.

Time flies when you are having fun! Have been busy with a holiday to Norfolk, my father in law having surgery and some 'sweatshop' work for daughter Lizzie who had a pile of appliqueing to do on one of her fabric designs - Mum was just the person to do it!
Went off to Norfolk thinking wellies and umbrellas but in actual fact had a lovely sunny week and had to go off and buy suncream. We (Tony, Hamish and I) stayed in a converted boatshed at the end of a broad, much entertainment outside as the big holidaymaker boats struggled to execute 3 point turns under the balcony. The boatshed was upside down with the bedrooms downstairs and the sitting room, kitchen and balcony upstairs. We had a relaxing time spent drifitng around - there were some lovely out of the way places - Horsey Mill and Waxham Barn that were absolutely delightful. We also had a trip on the Bure Light Railway - here is Hamish on the little train. The Shire Horse Sanctuary nr. Aylsham was wonderful, huge area to wander around in and lots of rescued animals - battery hens, alpacas (the wool would be wonderful!!), pigs, turkeys rescued from the 'bootifull' man - a lovely relaxed space to be in and a veggie cafe!
Back to the real world - the wool destash is going well, I am sending wool to all parts - Sweden, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Ireland and the UK, still got a lot but the pile is going down. I am making bags - a shopper/tote mainly from vintage fabrics, they are nice to use as a summer bag, for crafting or for shopping instead of the plastic handouts - they are fun - pink flamingos, strawberries, lighthouses, stripes and Harris Tweed. I have called them Tinshedbags as I want to keep the name going. Will get some pictures done and on line. I am knitting socks - of course and beach huts - did you watch Kirsty's Home Made Home? Mine are a bit bigger than the 'draught excluder' that was made for her and are more like cushions! They look quite good balancing on the back of the sofa. It was knitting group last week - I still don't think they 'get' me with my offbeat designs - still part of life's rich tapestry. My cousin Hil, who is a ceramicist, makes little knitted shoes that sells with her own design nursery set - porringer and mug, she is now making porcelain buttons - daisies and stars, when I lay my hands on some I will get them on here - she is down in Dorset but will hopefully be moving north to Derbyshire.
I am off down to Leicester again next week for Lizzie's graduate show. I had a demand for old deckchairs to recanvas - thank goodness for carboot sales! I want the vintage canvas that comes off though - lovely washed out stripes. Lizzie is replacing them with new printed canvas she has designed, she is keeping the wooden frames vintage not painting them. Looking forward to seeing the show!
I am busy choosing fruit trees for my orchard - planning on planting 5 trees (which is apparently an orchard) in the hen pen. The hen ark will hopefully be put up this week and I will get it painted - I thought wishy washy blue or pale green. Bit of fencing to do and I have told Tony I want him to pee around the perimeter of the hen pen as that keeps the foxes away and on that note I shall go - breakfast calling!