Archive for May, 2011

It’s half term

woo hoo!!!!!!

That’s all I had to say really ūüôā

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The Weekend

I was going to write this post on Sunday but fatigue wouldn’t allow it. Better late than never.

I had a very inspiring weekend, visiting quilt shows on both days. Saturday’s one was a small local one in Sleights. They have one every year and the standard is usually very high. I was not disappointed; the high standard was adhered to and the quilts were beautifully displayed. The North Yorkshire quilting world being relatively small you usually end up seeing somebody you know with whom you can chat so it was a very pleasant afternoon indeed – especially as it involved both tea and home made cake at the show followed by a stop at an ice cream van at the Hole of Horcum on the way home.

Sunday we trekked up to Belsay Hall up in Northumberland. Arriving at lunchtime we were pleased to see the cafe at the gates was still there and still producing home cooked food. Belsay has it’s exhibition every 2 years and we didn’t go to the last one due to various illnesses of the household quilters. Again the standard was a good one, with one or two poorer ones (I like these because I know I can do better!) I came away from both quilt shows feeling inspired to quilt again. I have several unfinished quilts and I would like to finish a few of these and even start something fresh afterwards. I have enough fabric to make several quilts so the only thing stopping me is the fact my sewing machine needs a clean, a drink of oil and the feed dog knob unjamming before it’s ready to go (my machine is older than I am, I hasten to add!)

I did take some photos of the quilts but I’m unsure about the niceties of posting photos of other people’s work without their permission. Although the actual photos are mine, the subject isn’t. Advice from Those Who Know is welcome.

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I hate genetics

Like everybody else I have 4 grandparents. 3 of them were dark haired, 1 had fair hair. So when hair was handed out did I get the lovely, dark, thick potentially curly hair from any of 3 lovely grandparents? No, I did not. Not only was the fair grandparent not a pleasant person but he has to land me with sludgy-dark-blonde-with-ginger-bits, thin, stringy straight hair. So, when I decided to dye my hair “medium golden blonde” genetics took a large hand. It was previously “medium blonde” and I thought it would just lift the colour a bit, make it look a bit sunkissed for summer. Not much to ask for, is it? Mother Nature decided to allow my red-hair genes to shine through so it’s now what authors so euphemistically call “red-gold”. I have nothing against red hair having been many shades in my time, but if I wanted ginger hair I’d have chosen a nicer shade.

Mother Nature is such a bitch!!!

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Sorry that I look nothing like Matt Smith or David Tennant or whoever your favourite Doctor is, but I’ll brush my hair and put my lipgloss on and do my best to be glamorous!! Now buckle yourselves in and make swooshy Tardis noises and¬†think¬†yourself back to 21st April 2011. Picture me packing my little pink tartan suitcase (yes, I know I don’t do pink but it was in the sale and, to be honest it is always very noticeable amongst all the black and blue ones) I decided to believe the weather forecasters for once and filled it with summer clothes for my Easter break in London. I wasn’t overly convinced as I made my way to the train station as it was grey, overcast and frankly chilly. Luckily the train was not very busy at all. I hate it when trains are packed. I found my booked seat, not a table seat but it was by the door to the carriage so had extra leg room. There was nobody in the seat next to mine so I enjoyed spreading my bags and baggage out. Very annoyingly a total knobhead got on at York and, in spite of a half empty carriage, decided he wanted the seat next to mine. Very reluctantly I moved my belongings and resisted the urge to elbow him in the ribs as often as possible. Stupidly I’d timed my arrival in London to coincide with rush hour. Fool. Luckily the journey to E’s new flat consisted of my working out which section of the Northern Line I needed and getting on the correct tube train and getting off at the correct station, where E came and picked me up in her car, although it’s only about 10 mins walk from her flat. E has a lovely flat. It’s ex-council, built in the 1950s when council properties were a decent size and a garden was deemed necessary. It’s in a nice area too, you don’t have to go far before you’re in amongst green fields and woods (and the houses in the Posh End makes our Posh End look positively down at heel!).

On Good Friday E and I decided that Central London on a ¬†hot Bank Holiday weekend would make Hell look attractive so we piled into the car, popped into Sainsbury’s for some picnic goodies and headed for the countryside. We ended up at the Ashridge Estate in Hertfordshire, which is a huge expanse of woodlands, commons and downlands. We found a likely spot and parked the car and went for a walk¬†through¬†some glorious¬†bluebell¬†woods (my spellchecker wanted to call it Bluebeard woods, hah!)

That gave us a large appetite so we went and retrieved our picnic from the car, found ¬†a shady spot and scoffed. We then decided to go to the visitor centre to make use of their facilities and buy ice creams. This proved to be a bad idea as it was absolutely heaving. A quick trip to the¬†conveniences¬†and an ice cream later we hastily departed and took the scenic route home. The plan for the evening was to park ourselves in the garden, build E’s new¬†barbecue¬†and christen it with some fancy sausages. The plan worked very well and it was rather late when we decided to decamp indoors. For once it didn’t start to get cold at 9pm, it was a good 2 hours later when we noticed goosebumps!!

As the next day was a Bank Holiday Saturday we decided to be truly traditional and go to the garden centre. Part of the previous evening had been spent inspecting the garden and helping E to decide what to do with the gaps she had. The previous owner had obviously been a keen gardener and left a glorious border but the winter had killed a few plants and there was an odd random patch by the patio that had an impressive weed growing in it. There I managed to give E a shock by carrying a 60ltr bag of compost with no apparent struggle (okay so it would have been pleasanter if it hadn’t been so hot but I was in no danger of dropping it on my foot) The garden centre man helped us to break 2 flowerpots by putting them carelessly into the trolley but while E and I tried to disappear into thin air he simply went and got 2 replacements. We decided it wasn’t the first time he’d done that!! As you may guess the rest of the day was spent gardening. At least E gardened and I supervised. I’m known for killing a cactus just by looking at it so I figured that keeping a bottomless supply of drinks on the table was more in my line. Just as she had finished and we were packing away the heavens opened. We were a tad concerned as we were going out for dinner that night and had been planning to walk to the restaurant, which was near the station. Luckily it stopped just as A (E’s new-to-me man) arrived, somewhat damp about the shoulders. We had chosen a Turkish restaurant, which was the right thing to do as the food was simply divine. I was rather glad that I am on appetite stimulating meds as it would have been a crime to leave any of that food! We then stopped at a pub on the way home and sat outside and drank and talked. I kept A entertained with stories from work and E and I confused and amused him by reminiscing about our childhoods and singing him bits of Northumbrian and Yorkshire folk songs that our mums had sung to ¬†us! I fear there is another person who thinks of me as “mad friend Anna”!!!!!!

Sunday I was due at Big Sis’ house for my niece’s birthday party. I wasn’t going until the afternoon so we spent the morning going on a woodland stroll near to E’s house. Sensibly it ended at an ice cream/milkshake shop, it would have been rude to walk past as it was so kindly open on Easter Sunday. I think Ferrero Rocher milkshakes are the way forward.

I kind of forgot it would take me an hour to cross London to the seedy stews of Southwark and so I didn’t get to Big Sis’ house until after 4pm. Ooops! But the party was well underway so all I had to do was to grab a drink, grab a plate of food and collapse into a chair. BiL’s cooking was as excellent as usual and Big Sis had made a fantastic lion cake for the podling. Stupidly I forgot to take a photo of it before it was cut, but it was very fab. When the party was winding down we went indoors (basically, it was getting cold!) and while the other children put Timmy the sheep into the Podling’s toy oven I read a story to BiL’s sister’s elder boy. Apparently he loves being read to but as one of three his mum can’t read to him as much as she would like. Shame I don’t live nearer, I love reading out loud!

The less said about that night’s sleep the better! The air¬†mattress¬†decided to play silly buggers so half of it ended up airless and I had to cling on for dear life onto the other half to avoid rolling off! Looking back I would have been better abandoning it and curling up on the sofa but I was tired and thinking in a kind of puddle. While at the Ashridge Estate I had seen two books for the Podling so I’d bought them and showed Big Sis but said I’d give her them the day after her birthday as she’d had so many presents, plus she might think presents were the norm so at least she’d have something new to lessen the harsh truth that you can’t have a birthday every day! So Big Sis held the bag out to the Podling and said “Look what Auntie Anna’s brought for you,” the Podling pulled the books out of the bag, threw them onto the floor and proceeded to practically stick her head inside the bag before asking “Where’s my present, Auntie Nanna?” and then had a proper paddy! We were howling with laughter over it!!!!

The journey home seemed to take forever and I was absolutely shattered when I got in. I was in bed by about 8pm! Thankfully I wasn’t at work until 1pm the next day so at least I could get up and potter for a bit rather than rushing out of the house at some unearthly hour.

Now I must ask you to get back into the Tardis, in a nice orderly manner and I shall spirit you back to the 10th May 2011.

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