Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Happy & Sad Day

Had a great day last Friday when I went on a coach trip to Harrogate with our quilting group to the Knitting & Stitching Show. Now I love a coach trip, takes me back to when I was little in the days before nyone had a car & I went on trips with my Nanna & Granddad to various places for the day. We didn't have holidays in those days, no money around to do that other than maybe a couple of days to Blackpool to see the illuminations.

I loved the atmosphere with families chattering, eating their sandwiches & singing songs on the way home. Well today we certainly did a lot of laughing & chattering & on the way home showing the stuff we had bought at the show.

There were lots of smashing things on show or to buy. I didn't take my camera as I was trying to keep the weight of my gear to carry down so my phone camera's photographs are not brilliant & it was often hard to get near enough to take a photo. 

However the sad news of the day was we discovered that Sewing Quarter which is my favourite crafting telly channel is closing down. They show such great products & with some brilliant folks showing you how to quilt, dressmake, embroider, make bags & lots more. The programmes are all available on YouTube so doesn't matter if you miss one.

I had noticed that for the last couple of weeks there has been mainly sales of stuff rather than the mix of how to make the things they sell. The sale of stuff is masquerading under Black Friday when really it seems to be a closing down sale.

Well it's big shock as it's such a popular channel, we chatted to some of the designers & staff at the exhibitions & it's come as a shock to them too. Sad that so many people will be out of work just before Christmas.

I only bought some dress fabric, a couple of little bag handles, the Sewing Quarter Advent Calendar & a Sewing Quarter Scissor mug in the photo above. 

I've opened three of the boxes in the Advent Calendar so far, I got a thimble, a brooch styled like a black Singer featherweight & today it was a seam ripper. Twenty two more to go! Just hope I am not tempted to go mad & open them all at once.

I've opened them out so you can get a better idea of what they're like! 

The mug is lovely with rose gold finger holds like scissors. Very nice! Think the original price was £39.99 for the Advent Calendar & £8.99 for the mug. I got the pair of them for £10 at the exhibition, I wouldn't have paid the full price for them even though I do like them. For a tenner they're an absolute bargain!

Now I just have to resist opening the rest of the Advent Calendar boxes.

Saturday, 26 October 2019


Corpus (Tom Wilde #1)

I have started to read eAudiobooks borrowed online from our local library. It's quite handy as you can listen to them on your laptop or phone & it's all free. I never buy them!

I've never managed to enjoy reading ebooks on the tablet or the phone but I quite like being able to listen to the audio books when I'm knitting or sewing & it makes mundane housework like ironing much easier.

The library doesn't have a huge range of audio books yet but it's improving. It's so easy to flick through their list & get a good idea of what the books are about & listen to the reader to see if you like their voice. 

I think I've been reading books that are a bit different to what I usually read & the book, Corpus written by Rory Clements, falls into that category. It's the first of three books & is a historical spy thriller set in 1936 as political events take place in Europe prior to the second world war. Stalin is unleashing terror in Russia, Spain is in the throes of civil war, the Nazis have marched into the Rhineland in Germany which was against the terms of the Treaty of Versailles after World War 1 just as the new King of England, Edward is making his decision about whether to marry Wallis Simpson or to abdicate.

I enjoyed this book although the occasional use of the F word irritated me. Now will have to see whether the library has the other two books.

Saturday, 28 September 2019


Sisters Freda & Finch do like to snuggle up together. After having cats that all slept in different places it's lovely to see this pair together so much. Love the feet crossed & on top of big sister Freda.

Monday, 2 September 2019

Welcome Back!

Over the last few years I've really missed the posts from bloggers I used to enjoy following. Crumbs that makes me sound like a stalker!

Some I've managed to check up on where they have an email and been glad to see they are OK. Many have gone over to Facebook which I know is not so time consuming but to be honest I always think it's just flashes of "stuff" that doesn't give a real insight to people's lives which blogs can do.

Today I found a new post from BunnyMummy who posts such lovely photographs & great crocheting stuff. She hadn't posted for about 6 months so it was lovely to hear from her again especially as she had some brilliant photographs of Stratford upon Avon. Take a look if you have never been. I've only been once and it brought back memories of walking along the riverbank from the RSC Theatre and seeing a simple plaque on the grass below a silver birch tree planted in memory of Vivien Leigh. 

Sorry the photograph isn't brilliant, you may not be able to read it but it simply says, simply says:
"In memory of Vivien Leigh, 
Actress 1913 - 1961, 
A lass unparalleled". 

It's at the base of a silver birch planted in memory of her.

The words on the plaque come from Charmian at the end of Antony and Cleopatra when she describes her dead mistress:

"Now boast thee, death, in thy possession lies
A lass unparallel’d. Downy windows, close;
And golden Phoebus never be beheld
Of eyes again so royal!"

Very apt!

Monday, 12 August 2019

A Bit of a Day

I posted back in January about being diagnosed with atrial fibrillation & how great the treatment I had in hospital was. 

Something like this is a wakeup call & has certainly made me think about things. I found a book my sister recommended called The Doctor's Kitchen - Eat to beat illness which was written by a doctor, Rupy Aujla who developed atrial fibrillation & didn't want to have the procedures that normally would be offered to patients with this condition. Basically he has written the book which he describes as "a culinary journey through food in medicine". He takes a holistic approach and looks at how food and your lifestyle can improve and maintain your health and there are lots of recipes too. The book isn't just for dealing with atrial fibrillation it's for everyone even those with no health problems.

I've been trying to do some of the things recommended but changing your lifestyle isn't something you can do overnight. My main struggle is with exercise, I do swim a couple of times a week but I need to do more. I hate the gymn & our climate isn't always conducive to walking so I need to find another way to exercise.

The main problems I have day to day are with sleeping, walking up the slightest of inclines, carrying bags plus swelling feet & ankles. Not too bad compared with a lot of people & I was resigning myself to making the best of it as I had decided not to have a cardioversion procedure which was offered. Basically they they give you a light anaesthetic, stop your heart & then give you an electric shock or two to start it which may get your heart back into a normal rhythm. I wasn't too keen on the whole thing especially the risk of stroke & the fact it's not always successful & may not last.

Out of the blue I got a hospital appointent for the procedure & after some thought decided I was going for it as I was sick of having massively swollen anles & feet & was worried about the amount of medication I was taking. 

Well the day was today & with a lot of apprehension I was at the hospital for 7.15am. It's a new surgical centre which is really lovely, I had a lovely view of a little patio. 

I have to say the people were wonderful & thankfully
the whole thing went well, with one shock they got it back into rhythm. So it's thanks once again to the amazing NHS which gets so much unwarranted criticism.

Now I have to wait & see whether it will last. Time will tell, but in the meantime I have to follow more of the advice in the book!


Sadly the atrial fibrillation returned last Thursday so we're back to square one just using the medication. Don't really like taking lots of stuff but don't think I'll go for any other procedures if the medication route works. 

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

The Covers are Off!

Durham Cathedral

The Tower covers are finally off, the scaffolding is down after 3 years & the main tower is open again! 

This is what it looked like with the covers on and often a lot of stuff in front of it.

It's sad that most of the time these lovely buildings have to have so much work going on which maskstheir beauty but it's the price of keeping them alive for future generations. Here's the BBC article about the work.

St Mark's Basilica was covered for ages, I stopped taking photos of it when I was doing the Great Rail Journeys tours. I can't imaging what Notre Dame will look like as it is being renovated. Think it will take more than the 5 years they forecast but I'm sure they will do it even if it doesn't look like the original. It's hard to get the specialist people to produce the craft work necessary. Durham have their own team & train apprentices as I suppose all cathedrals do but the amount of work needed to renovate Notre Dame is colossal.

Now there's lots of work going on inside Durham cathedral providing new entrances to improve access and to show more of the architectural features of the doorways which have been hidden. Hopefully it will be finished by Christmas.

Today there were visitors from many countries including France, Canada, Australia & the USA. Hope they enjoyed their visit even though they are not seeing the cathedral at its best.

Monday, 15 April 2019

Notre Dame in Flames

Notre Dame, Paris     Image Wiki Commons - Licence 

What a tragedy today seeing much of this beautiful Gothic building being destroyed by fire, luckily the main structure has been saved.

The symbol of Paris survived 2 world wars and a revolution but today fire ravaged it. 

BBC coverage is here

Happy & Sad Day

Had a great day last Friday when I went on a coach trip to Harrogate with our quilting group to the Knitting & Stitching Show. Now I...