Tuesday, 31 December 2013

New year cheer

The first break of glorious colour from my hyacinths

Potted up my medlar cheese

Started my woolly tribute to the sadly missed Mick Aston

Happy new year

Monday, 30 December 2013

Piglet wisdom


Friday, 27 December 2013

Happy New Year

All best wishes for peace and happiness for the New Year from me to you all, thankyou for your continued support and good wishes and I hope all your dreams come true in 2014.

Much love xx


Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Wee fox

I've not done much needle felting, but I've had a kit for this wee fox in my stash for a while; today seemed a good time to tackle it. I love him :)


Tuesday, 24 December 2013

New on the needles

Have just cast on for these


Saturday, 21 December 2013

Supper for a winter Solstice

Champagne, roast chicken, roast tatties and parsnips, sprouts and carrots with gravy, followed by trifle flavoured sherry lol


Friday, 20 December 2013

Solstice blessing

May winter see you safe and warm,
With fire and food and love;
With friendships, family, those held dear
And light from up above.
  A happy heart, a peaceful mind,
A conscience clear and true,
Many years of smiles and joy -
My solstice wish for you.


Thursday, 19 December 2013

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Old and beige...............

.............  I will not be!!

I've been very very fortunate in being given a large amount of clothing and textiles this morning, in the most fabulous and glorious colours you can imagine. The sort of clothes I've always admired on others, but never been able to acquire for myself for one reason and another. The clothes are all handwoven cotton, custom made for their previous owner; there are also three large hanks of Pima cotton I am desperate to wind up and get on the needles, and various large pieces of fabric, aprons, bags, all sorts. How lucky I am via a lovely friend :)


Sunday, 15 December 2013

Wee fat fairy

Pay Per Click Management
I am a wee fat fairy, I have a wee fat wand,
I have a fairy dress (and wings)
Of which I'm rather fond.
It's made of lace and ribbons
And gathered into pleats;
It's got pink bows and furbelows
And goes right to my feets.
My crown is made of silver,
My hair's a shade of gold,
My face is young and childish
Although I'm very old.
I'm brought out each December
And tied upon a tree
In all my grace and finery,
Up there for all to see.
I guard the chocolate pennies,
The candles and the treats,
The little lantern candles,
The crackers and the sweets.
I have a secret boyfriend,
He's on the branch below,
He's a soldier with a rifle,
For fighting every foe.
His uniform is smart and red
His paint work is still good,
He really is my heart's desire,
Although he's made of wood.
The lamps are lit, the tinsel glows,
Ad Christmas Eve is here;
There's smiles on all the faces
All good will and cheer.
I love the carol singing
And all the happy banter,
The mistletoe and holly wreaths -
I've even cuddled Santa!
I love the crappy Christmas jokes,
The mince pies and the pud,
The fathers feigning soberness,
The children feigning good.
I sit up there and cast my eye
On all that's down below
Until twelfth night is here again,
And the it's time to go.
I', taken down, my hair is brushed,
My dress is patted straight,
My wans is back upright again
(The wings will have to wait).
The box comes out, the tissue's found,
I'm put gently in my place;
I'm covered u from head to toe
My feet ad arms and face.
I'm there again for ten months straight,
But I'm happy with my rest;
Another Christmas come and gone,
I know I've done my best.
I've been around for twenty years
It could  be more - true.......
So I for one believe in me -
Surely you do too?

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Swaledale on the swift

Tonight's project underway


Tuesday, 10 December 2013


I bought this beautiful piece of felting last Saturday at the Guild meeting, thought I'd share :)


Monday, 9 December 2013

Centre for Ancient Technology, Cranborne

Went along to their Medieval Day on Saturday; very lovely place


Friday, 6 December 2013

Wednesday, 4 December 2013


Naomi Shihab Nye: "Kindness"

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night
with plans and the simple breath
that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness
as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow
as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness
that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day
to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend


Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Eatooteries - The White Rabbit at Lyndhurst

Had a good meal there last night on the way back from further down in Hampshire.  Lovely bar, tasteful and abundant Christmas decorations (although still a little early to my mind), nice lad behind the bar, decent glass of house white. 

My starter was mushrooms in a pepper and Stilton sauce, on a hot buttered muffin

This was delicious, only grumble was the cold plate it came on

Main course was a vegetable tagine with roasted red peppers and couscous and soured cream

Couldn't fault this one, was very very good.

Very reasonably priced, decent level of music noise, good attentive but not 'in your face' staff,  lovely bar.

We drove through the main street on the way home where the Christmas lights had been strung across the road - simple but colourful garlands of plain coloured lights. One of the most beautiful displays I've seen.

Well done Lyndhurst.



Back to slow.............

Been a bit of a weekend what with one thing and another; Saturday was all day at the Guild of WSD, shared a selling table and made a wee bit of money, bought some lovely stuff too, then was the lunch and AGM.  Sunday I visited the local garden centre's award wining Christmas display - while I don't do Christmas any more, there are some very beautiful things to covet and inspire as you walk through the themed areas. 

I did buy him, though, couldn't resist him!

Yesterday was a family funeral down in Hampshire - very difficult for a lot of reasons, namely family issues; let's just say ma glad I can choose my friends lol  Anyhoo, done and over now, was lovely to see my three favourite cousins again.
Today is the back to slow bit; I now find myself well enough to fully get back into the household stuff- cleaning out, feeding and watering the animals, getting the logs in and lighting the stoves, emptying the water butt from the washing machine - all the heavy stuff I have been unable to do for so long now. It feels good, and I really think I'm more or less mended now

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Ethics in the work place

Tuesday nights, I go over to the pub with a couple of friends for a pint  and a couple of hours knitting and catching up. This has now come to an end, and I won't step foot in there again. The older I get , the easier I find it is to stick to my principles and what my heart tells me. Last night I happened to be in there when there was a meeting at the other end of the pub involving local farmers and the NFU on the subject of bovine TB.  General chatter with the landlord and his wife, while waiting for my friend, resulted in him saying all the badgers should be killed, and his wife agreeing with him as they 'don't add anything' - meaning there would be no loss if they were all exterminated/killed/culled whatever., who then went on to loudly profess she was an animal lover but.............  I raised my hand and told her to stop right there.

I was actually shocked to hear this.  The chef in the pub recently asked me to knit him an Aran jumper; I agreed, purchased the wool and began knitting; it's going well so far, then the landlady asked if she could buy it secretly and give it to the chef as a Christmas present. Fine by me, she offered a good rate and I enjoy knitting Aran. However, after last night, I am not knitting this jumper.

I cannot accept business and money from a person who has such  scant regard for life. I have written a note to her to tell her I am unable to complete the commission; if she bothers to ask why, then I shall tell her. I am now on the lookout for an alternative venue for knitting night.  I will stick to my principles on this one. Saddened, but with a lighter heart in some respects, it's been weighing on my mind all day. The substantial amount of money is irrelevant to me.


...................  only toast will do


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Medlars, mince and other goings on

It's been a busy few days here, since I returned home on Saturday from my house-sitting duties. Have got a big good crop of medlars to deal with, I think will make medlar cheese for the store room.

Work on the outside of the house is now completed. I remain steadfast in my hatred of plastic windows (even though I'm not staying here), so they have been repaired and painted for now, and the house has been re-pinked in quite a dramatic way! Gutters cleaned and repainted too, and TV ariel down, loose tiles on roof replaced. The house looks much better for it all too.

One of my favourite meals makes a regular appearance at this time of year - mince and tatties; I keep it very simple, just with carrot and onion, and favourite accompaniments are buttery mash and savoy cabbage. Can't be beaten really :)

Decluttering and downsizing continue apace; I have done the sitting room except for the computer cupboard inside, and my main bookcase; I will go through that today or tomorrow and thin out the books again. A lot of the books have duplicate things in them, so to lose a few would be good.  I'm sharing a sales table at the Guild meeting on Saturday, so will take the craft and similar ones then. Those that don't sell can be kept for the ordinary sales table there.  I just like things to go to a good home.  Small lights and candles, warmth from the stove and my rocking chair :)

I feel as though I'm getting somewhere at last :)

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Two hats finished

More details here: http://figheade.blogspot.co.uk/


Full moon

Tonight :)  Am hoping for clear skies again for a really good view out here in the Vale

This beautiful pic from http://www.klaraadalena.com/?p=1192

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Boxes of books

Today I took a box of books to another box of books :)  The ongoing downsizing includes a radical overhaul of  my book collection; I sorted out a load that I will never read/read again and boxed them up and took them over the hill to Bingham's Melcombe (or it could have been Melcombe Bingham, not sure which one!) and popped them on to the shelves in their fabulous little telephone box library there.

It looks very much like this one in a photo from the BBC website

I tidied up the shelves a bit and left a couple of dozen books.  I came away with some Terry Pratchett books for a friend and a brand new still sealed 10 CD set of Ella Fitzgerald. Good result I think :)


Friday, 15 November 2013

National recognition for Shetland textiles collections

Just the best news!


(this image from www.visitscotland.com)


I watched this film the other day and thoroughly enjoyed it; based on the life of the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. I like her art, although I don't understand it all. The film helped a bit in my understanding of some of it though, and I'll do a bit more reading and research I think. A film of a life full of passion, love, colour, love and lust. Recommended.


Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Holiday time

I'm on holiday again, aka housesitting for my friend who is away for a while. I've got a cat to look after a few ducks and some hens. Not much to look after in the garden at this time of year, so not too strenuous I have brought several knitting projects and other bits with me to get on with.

I arrived just after lunchtime, and spent the afternoon drinking coffee and watching a film - Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, which I really enjoyed - not much substance to the storyline, but some terrific character acting in it I thought.  Catching up with films that I've been meaning to see for a while will feature a lot I think over the next ten days, as will the knitting.

Monday, 11 November 2013


I enjoy eating out sometimes, especially when the food and drink is this good


Main course - The Ship's bouillabaise

In the bar

Pudding - coconut pannacotta with mango and pineapple salsa and mango sorbet

Excellent couple of pints of Cheddar Ales's Potholer

Starter - beetroot marinaded gravlax with crayfish tails and a horseradish cream
Cannot recommend the place highly enough - lovely knowledgeable staff, good beer, beautifully presented food, local produce, comfortable bar, open fire, decent cutlery, sensible portions, excellent value for money ,  unobtrusive service and quiet music. 
Give it a go.

Friday, 8 November 2013


I just came across this word this morning - copyleft. The exact and wonderful opposite to copyright. Wish more things were copyleft in this world, what a better place it would be.


Thursday, 7 November 2013


............  and lots of it. Having the house painted :)


Tuesday, 5 November 2013


(for more info/artworks, visit http://toinjoints.deviantart.com)

This hit a chord this morning, shared from the Wild and wise Women group on Facebook

he truth is ... I'm just like you
And I'm trying
Sometimes the trying is exhausting
But it is an every day thing
Yes I've heard "there is no try"...
Thank you Yoda
But in my humble opinion
He was wrong
Because there is trying
Every day

Every day I try
To meet each situation with kindness
To own what is mine - emotionally
And to walk in integrity
And honesty as well as faith and trust
That there is something bigger
That is guiding me
And I am trying
Because these are not all things that just happen on their own
Yet. They depend on me to try

I try to not let worry and stress
Grief and pain overtake me
and sometimes I am successful
And when I'm not ... there is a next time
For me to try again

I am trying - to be who I am called here to be
To be the mother my son will always be proud of
And to mother in a way that makes me proud
I try to not forget myself in all the care I give
To not pass over me because I am quiet and "fine"
And I try to remember what I need
In my relationships, my friendships, my love, and my life
While I am taking care of your needs
Yes, while I am taking care of your needs in our relationship, our friendship, our love and our life
Because your needs are my needs
In an abstract sort of way that I have had to rise above
Although they really matter to me too.

Just like you, every day I try
And there are days when trying feels like merely surviving
And that's ok.
Because there are other days
Days when it doesn't feel like trying at all
When I am in the flow and a part of the energy
That works around me and through me
Rather than the resistance I was trained to be
There are those days ~ those ARE those days
When I want to circle my arms around you and
Whisper "It can be like this"
Before we wake up in the morning and
Try again.

(c) 2013 Christa Thompson of W3


Not just the fault of one...............


It's not just the greedy and unscrupulous pickers at fault here; it's the shops, the restaurants, the media -  and the customers who consume the mushrooms. As usual, demand driven. There will be very little of anything at all left soon. Sick to the heart. I feel that the media doesn't do enough to promote the ethics of foraging; yes there is the occasional general article about it , but usually only a sentence or two along the lines of 'don't pick too much'.  As usual I don't know what the answer is, but everyone can play their part in this one.

This photo is of my fungus foray when I went on one led by John Wright, back in 2007.  There is a world of beauty and fascination out there, would be wonderful if folks would just consider that others would like to share it too.