Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...

27/11/2015

☁☁Just thought I'd mention...☁☁

Last week - in case nobody had noticed - was rather wet. 
The sort of wet, when you just can not see through your windscreen despite the wipers doing their best to swish away the rain.
It was the type of wet that left my fringe plastered to my head and my mascara leaving black trails down my cheeks* despite the fact I was fully suited and booted and all I was doing was dashing from my car into work. Fields have flooded, roads were impassable and I discovered that my car can lift and briefly float when the wake left as I carefully drove through a lake-size puddle, rebounded off the roadside walls and returned back towards me....nice.

The homeward journey was the most fun, I say that rather lightly, as many other drivers seemed either oblivious that they had their lights on full, therefore blinding any on-coming traffic or had no lights on at all therefore rendering themselves a moving target!

So in an effort to quieten my mind after the drive home, then a couple of hours study,
I have been knitting.

Inspired by a very thoughtful gift - thank you Angelina of Blue and Yellow Morning, who gifted me a completely unexpected spiral knitted scarf.

So, I thought I'd cast on.
There, feeling much better already.


Thank you.

*Have now bought waterproof mascara - NoThInG is going to get this gloopy black stuff off!!

23/11/2015

☽Frosty Moon☾

It was interesting reading your comments and emails from my last post.  

Seems that I am not alone being irked at the inconvenience of getting older. 
However, more importantly I was touched by the encouragement to embrace the now, 
remember fondly, but leave the past behind and sod the shallowness of appearance driven society! 
You are all an amazing bunch of blogging folk.
Right, deep breath, think good thoughts and move on :)
Thank you xx


Can you see it?
Peaking through the trees?
 A huge moon rising above the horizon. 
November's moon is known as the 'Frosty Moon'
Perfectly named.
A bitterly cold light breeze cut right through us making my cheeks feel sharply brittle. 
Yet, turning to face the last of the benign evening sun,
proved delightfully warm.
In the distance, the flooded fields from our recent torrential rain. 



 The pathway was a mind-concentrating mix of muddy patches and frozen puddles.
Eldest on the ridge, taking sunset pictures.
Quietly absorbing the beauty. 


The final rich slashes of orange and red as we return to the car.
A quiet walk,
a good time for inward contemplation
and gentle mindfulness.

Before I go - hello to my new followers - welcome to my world, I shall certainly be popping by to say hi :)

xxxxxx

22/11/2015

A thought. Any thoughts?


I have an issue.

I hate the fact I am getting older. I know that I am my own worst critic.

I act and feel as if I had never really left my twenties - which is great until I see a real life twenty-something or other look at me oddly and I realise that the face in the mirror is rather more lived in than I'd like it to be.

Oh - I don't want to be 20 again, but I wouldn't mind looking and feeling 20 though.



Just saying.



And you?




I am still trying hard with my Practising Gratitude and it does help...but not with the wrinkles!!!!

16/11/2015

festive cake making weather

Outside it is wild and windy, the windows look like they have cried for a week and the trees are throwing themselves about in a tortuous dance.  Foul weather has been promised all weekend, so there is nothing for it - time to retreat to the kitchen and fill the house with scents of baking and Indian spices.
Eldest follows almost immediately, rolling up his sleeves and reaching for the weighing scales.  
One kilogramme of mixed fruits rattle into the bowl - we resist reaching in to eat the jewel colours. 
In goes the butter and brown sugar, Eldest taking photos for me - he is used my ways and often picks up the camera before I do.
 
Soon the room fills with a heady sweet scent of a very well matured Damson Gin - I can't claim to have made this particular rich fruity rocket fuel - GG from 'Blue and Yellow Morning' kindly gave it to me a few years ago and I have sloshed generous amounts into festive cakes since then. Sadly this year was it's last slosh. I breath in the final vapours before I rinsing it out. Yum.

Stirring is Eldest's forte - he wields a wooden spoon deftly around the fruity mix, stirring the melted butter and syrupy sugar. The warm sweet smell makes Himself come and investigate the baking.  He adores fruit cake, the fruitier, the darker, the richer - the better. He hung around hopefully but on noticing a brief break in the weather - rushed outside to his car restoration project.

Once melted and mixed and simmering, the next stage was mine to do -  I was really looking forward to this part.  Making the spice mix for the cake. 
Cardamom and cumin.
Ginger and nutmeg.
Cinnamon and whole black pepper corns.

All ground as finely as I could, 
then sifted.

My nose twitched and the kitchen bloomed with the heady spicy scent.  
Eldest had weighed the flours and it amused me that he carefully excavated a 'nest' in which to place the spices. Once again he stirred - this time whisking the dry ingredients ready for the cooling fruit.
Eggs beaten and stirred into the fruit, flour added it was time for the final magical step. 
The stirring for a wish.
The thoughts for peace.
The empathy for France.
Reflection.
Mindfulness.
Gratitude.
It is something that an essential part of the creating of the cake,
something that I have done since for as long as I can remember. 
From being very small and needing to stand on a stool to reach the bowl, to being a nonchalant teenager pretending it was 'old hat' but in reality still delighting in the annual stir, to now, doing it with my children and my man. I hope that my boys will carry this custom on. Thanks Mom - a good family tradition.
Eldest and I pressed the cashew nuts alternatively on to the cake or in to our mouths....

Then, three hours of gentle cooking later - 
Himself who had been salivating at the thought of fruit cake was quite crestfallen at the sight of this one being wrapped up and safely stored away.

So.
After making soup for lunch, I started again.
And quickly made a simple 'emergency fruit cake'
just in time for afternoon tea as we sat by the fire,
watching the rain streaking the windows and listening to the wind rattling down the chimney.


Recipe for the first rich festive (now hidden from sight) cake - HERE
Recipe for second lighter emergency (now eaten) cake - HERE

13/11/2015

Did you see it!??!

Was it just me?
Did any of you notice in between the phwoooorrrr moments of delicious long-haired-hero-action....

...The drippy queen's knitted capelet??

A knitting phwoooorrr....! 
Oh...so it was just me then.

ok.
Back to fantasy then....phwooooorrrr!

Oh by the way - there was another capelet - this time a lady in waiting. Not sure of the historic correctness of the costumes and fabrics - but who cares!

So, in the interest of all things knitting and thanks to Ravelry - there are similar capes here, here, here, and here.

Sigh.

And the programme? The rather good 'The Last Kingdom' on the BBC, based on a book by Bernard Cornwell.

06/11/2015

Practising Gratitude


My life seems very full at the moment and I felt to be almost overwhelmed by it all.  I found I was procrastinating or refusing to acknowledge what needed doing or finishing or starting or continuing. I am sort of doing that right now but, after 2 hours of study my brain does need a moment of light relief.

Quite by chance I read something and it has quite literally turned me around.  Practising Gratitude.

It seemed so simple. Almost too simple to make a difference to my furrowed brow or my tense neck and clenched jaw.

But is has.

I read the article a couple of times and that night as I drifted off, I started to list the things that I was grateful for.

And the list grew.

And grew.

And grew.

As did my smile. It did take me a bit to fall asleep, I kept remembering something to be thankful for!

The next day, I woke feeling (tired but) remarkably chipper - I can't normally be called a 'morning person'. There was the usual rush and chaos to get to school and work, then once the boys were dropped off and I was driving - I thought of my list.

I started again with a 'fresh tally of gratitude' and it kept on rolling on and on as gently thoughts and things, people and places came up. I was amazed.

I have kept it going now a full week and I feel different.

I am happier.

Work feels a better place to go to.

My home seems more precious to me.

My family are treasured beyond time and space. I am grateful that my Mum is healing, I am grateful that my Dad looks after her so wonderfully, I am grateful that my boys are - well my boys and I am grateful to the moon and back for Himself - for without him I feel less than half. I am so very lucky.

I am grateful for the friends I have made, both here and in the tinterworld - they help make my world a much better place - thank you.

And it all starts with - 'I am grateful for the air that I breathe'.

Give it a try.





THIS is also interesting.



04/11/2015

A Sweaty start to November

Yes, I fully understand that it is not an attractive title but seeing I was dripping and I mean dripping (not just perspiring) but DRIPPING on the first day of November in the Northern HEMISPHERE - then you will agree - a sweaty start is the PERFECT title.
After our Samhain celebrations - it seemed only fitting to get out on the hills and make the most of our rather benign autumnal weather.

Himself, Youngest and I set off and very quickly we had to remove our jerseys and don our sunnies. We cheerfully commented at how pleasant it was for so late in the year. (How quickly that changed to 'good grief I am ***** hot!')
Each small woodland was gratefully found and lingered in as we walked through.
By our lunch stop, I stripped off my socks and boots and sank my feet into the wet meadow grass. Youngest rolled up his trousers and flopped backwards and lay down. Our lunch was eaten at a leisurely pace, we could not muster the energy to leap up and carry on  - not just yet!
As we walked higher up through the farm land, eventually reaching the moors, we were completely encased by brilliant blue skies.
Another stop was unanimously agreed and we sat in the late afternoon sun - still feeling hot and entirely grateful for the moorland breeze. I finally felt cool enough to put on my newly finished hat!
 I am not as fully enamoured with it as I had anticipated. But, but - it will make a suitable autumn hat (when it finally cools down!) as it is a 'short hat'. More of a close fitting beanie than I usually choose.  I do, however, like the mixture of textures and learnt how to do the Kitchener stitch when I grafted the front and back panels together.
After Himself had taken the photos, we reluctantly left our lovely cool spot to continue our walk, we knew that we would have to set off as despite the present delicious and unseasonably warm weather, as soon as the sun set it would cool down rapidly.
We dropped into the valley to walk through historic industrial archaeology. Mining shafts and buildings, areas scarred by man's activity on the landscape. Huge chimneys and tunnels, many gated to prevent the curious venturing deep into the earth.
Amongst all the piles of stones, mining detritus and buildings - a lone tree.
Couriously bent with it's own crutch. How extraordinary.
We lingered by the tree, wondering, wondering.
 
The evening light catching the grasses and the small flies enjoying the warm air. 
We reluctantly left, the sun was now behind the horizon and we were rapidly getting cold. What a contrast!

**Just heard on the news - today's temperature was the warmest ever recorded for a November, with the last warmest November being logged at 69 years ago. Hmmm - definitely a sweaty start to November!
Thank you for coming along on our walk - I do love sharing them with you xxxxxxx

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