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...


Out and about

After an odd week at work where two of the three days in the walled garden flew by at an indecent pace and I was left reeling almost as if I'd stepped off a roller coaster by the end of the day, followed by the slowest Friday I have experienced in a very long time.

It took an age to get to 10.30am, forever to get to 12pm. It then appeared to be 1.45pm for several hours. So to get home was an incredible relief. Sitting on the settee nursing a couple mugs of tea before I could move was the best way to recover.
This weekend was set aside to celebrate Eldest's birthday (which had been earlier in the week). When the boys were little and a birthday was during the school week - they were allowed to choose a weekend to celebrate their birthday and the entire two days would be for them. We still do the whole weekend thing but on a more sedate and grown up way these days .... like visiting historic houses and doing afternoon tea.
The weather at the moment is a bit 'nothing', it is almost as if spring thought she could start to appear is now holding her breath while we all collectively wait apprehensively for the return of a vengeful winter.
I wondered if buds and bulbs are not aware of the dire weather reports we have been subjected to recently and are cheerfully making an appearance. Even my garden which is a bit dull and bland this time of year has been cheerfully singing a song of snowdrops and crocus accompanied by choirs of clematis leaves and song birds.
It was interesting wandering around an historic home and grounds during winter - without out the exuberant garden and its abundant roses and lilies obscuring the architecture. I noticed so much more. 
Despite a fair number of other visitors, there was an air of quiet on the cusp calm. The garden was definitely showing signs of bursting into song but the chill air and grey skies were reminders that winter has not gone yet.
I am typing this early (and I do mean early) Sunday morning having woken up from a restless night and decided that rather than lie and listen to the house creak and the cat snore, I'd come downstairs and quietly enjoy a mug of tea and a quiet moment. It is (and I say this in a whisper) pretending to become light. I might slip back into bed once I've finished meandering around the keyboard.
The old house has had a checkered past, but then - most of them do. East Riddlesden Hall is an oasis of historic charm surrounded by industrial and modern life. I was surprised how much it is looked over by neighbouring suburbia. We've not visited in winter before and the bare trees showed starkly how exposed the house and gardens are when not sheltered by thick green foliage. 
Today  - Sunday - Moss is hoping she'll get a dog walk and I suspect she will have her wish come true. I think flasks and boots (and a camera) may be involved. She'd like that.... the walk part, she's not bothered that much about boots and cameras!

The crochet blanket is growing slowly and the gentle rhythm of the hook and chains is rather soothing in the evenings. I find with blanket making that it seems to start quickly, rows appear and like magic the yarn starts to look like a scarf for a giraffe, but then as it becomes shawl-sized, it slows down and it is only when it is almost big enough for a bed that it seems to have a growth spurt. This one appears to be doing the same....

Hope, whatever you are doing for the rest of your weekend makes you smile -  xxxxxx



 March 1st is (meteorologically speaking) the first day of spring and, I must admit, as I shuffled about early doors this morning to let the dog out, despite the chill in the air, I think I could smell spring. Please let the next dose of winter be a brief one....

Walking this afternoon was gentle and a repeat of one we have done over the years - 'the dog loop'. In my last post I'd mentioned that although we'd enjoyed some cracking walks, I felt that it would just be a 'rinse and repeat' story and would be boring. But then I read somewhere that not every walk has to be an adventure or have jeopardy or lashings of humour to make it worth sharing. Sometimes the benign repetition of the act of walking in itself brings a gentle satisfaction and makes me notice the 'less noticed'.

This 'dog loop' has three versions, the concise gallop that fills the brief and fits in with the weather, then the slightly longer one, which involves stiles and gates and fields with space to run and chase (if you are a dog) and views to drink in. Finally the longer version which mean an afternoon has to be set aside and a tea filled flask taken along (with the obligatory accompanying biscuits of course).
Years of walking these 'loops' had made them 'invisible' and the sometimes felt almost like a chore. We dragged small boys, then slightly taller boys then all grown up with girlfriends boys along these paths. With repetition came boredom. So our walks took on new distant routes - further away and 'more exciting'.
Then covid happened and the 'exercise from home for no more than one hour and keep away from everyone' rule. These once little local routes became oh so precious and we walked them as often as we could. We re-learnt their quirks and fell in love with them again...and again...and again. 
Moss - along with probably half the village dogs and others who'd travelled (although not supposed to) re-found new places to sniff and scent and pass on 'peemails' to each other. Suddenly the stone walls had shapes and colours we'd previously just walked passed and just not noticed. Trees were appreciated, hedges and hedgerow flowers discussed, the sky and clouds admired. Our relief at being outside felt priceless.
Any hoo, walking the route this afternoon reminded me of how lucky we were/are that we can 'fall out of our backdoor' and be on a footpath in less that five minutes and in the landscape with a few steps more. 

And it made me happy. 

So, no - nothing dramatic happened, no funny stories, no being chased by cows or menaced by horses. No tea break, no biscuits and no rain.... just simple one foot in front of the other, chilly air and warm hats, a dilly dog and good company - what more could I ask for?


a bit of this, a bit of that and a whole lot of nothing...

That moment when you inhale the fresh air and you can feel it rush down into your lungs with a sharp tang. Enough to make your eyes water and your tail wag.

That sentence I wrote nearly ten days ago, I got that far, added a pile of images and then stopped. The story didn't flow and the fingers didn't know what to say, so I shelved it. Life has carried on, both mundane and mad.... so nothing out of the ordinary, I just lacked the 'omph' to write. So, today, on a rather chilly grey Tuesday with a half drunk mug of tepid tea, I shall endeavour to type a little more.

There are, I am relieved to see, signs of spring both at work and in my garden at home. Winter - apart from a couple of particularly Baltic weeks, was more blah that artic although there is talk of a sudden stratospheric warming event making it almost inevitable that winter will return with a vengeance!
Not generally know for my status as a 'Domestic Goddess' πŸ‘️πŸ‘️.... I have been both crocheting and baking with reasonable success.

Honey Biscuits - these have gone down an absolute storm with the family, if you like honey, these are definitely worth a try. I haven't managed to take a photo of the ones I have baked, but Youngest's lovely girl has made them and sent this image of a successful trayful of yummy goodness!
The crochet blanket - using the Woodland Ripple pattern by Attic24 in autumnal (woodlandy) shades is gently growing. It is my go-to-keep-my-hands-busy thing in the evenings but after some days at work, all I do is slump with glazed over eyes on the settee!!
Funnily enough, I actually do like sewing in the ends. To me that signals a successful completion to the creation of the blanket.
We've done some cracking good walks recently but I don't want to overwhelm you with one walk story after another. You'll just have to take my word for it and see that Moss's face says it all🌞
Hope the rest of your week is gentle and kind and brings a smile to your face and a wag to your tail xxxxxxx


Midweek walking

There is a lot to be said for midweek walking. While the year is too early in the growing season to start up my round of private gardens, I have the delicious (if poorly paid!) delight of two days a week spending time with these two....

The bog trotter who delights in finding every.single.muddy.path.or.pool.or.trench and then sampling the contents by jumping in..... Happy little dog......πŸ™„
And the husband. 
He and the dog outwalk me every time, but years ago I learnt to slow down and walk at a pace which was good for me. Himself calls it 'cat-walking' when I stop and stare, take photos, breathe the air and just be - me.
This particular walk took us up and over Hare Lane (although not a single hare was spotted - the air was a bit too raw and I suspect all the hares were hunkering down out of the breeze) then down into the neighbouring village where we sat and nibbled on super rich and super sweet valentine's day fudge. Both of us wishing we'd brought a flask of tea to dilute the fudge but still savouring the wicked sweetness of the chunks.

Then after nearly three hours of walking while being blustered about by the wind, we returned home. The kettle went on (we were still in need for that mug of tea) and we sat, feeling battered by the weather, quietly recovering.

Thank you for your lovely comments on my last post - they do mean a lot! And, my parting shot for this post is a photo of the info board I put out at work when the gate is open to invite folk in to visit the garden .... we are definitely in a Fool's Spring - I'm just waiting for the Second Winter to land with a mighty bang!


Recipe for Saturday


Take a day with a welcome addition of gentle of sunlight

One over enthusiastic mud attracting dog
One patient husband who will carry said tired dog up an almost vertical stile, 
then back down the other side 
so she does not have to jump down to the very much lower field 
Add generous piles of crunchy leaves strewn through the woodlands
Top up with generous amounts of water - almost any variety will do
Randomly insert drovers tracks, farm lanes, bridle paths and byways
Spice up with a flask of steaming hot curried lentil soup and hunks of bread
Sweeten with a surprise clump of delicate snowdrops in the middle of the moors
Mix well and serve with copious amounts of chilly air, 
long distanced views and empty horizons - simmer for nearly 7 miles.                   
Optional extras:
bring along crochet for a little 'in car entertainment'

Have in generous helpings and repeat as often as you can. 

It does wonders for your soul πŸ’š


True story

 Sitting in the front of the van after a really satisfying walk up in the Dales with Himself and Youngest.

Have your glasses with you? (me asking Himself)


Can I quickly borrow them (mine are in the back)

Hang on....(rustling around in his pockets until he locates them and hands them over) ... here

I'll just clean them first (using my scarf to wipe the lenses)


As a treat for them


And so that I can see through them

I just lick them .... (cue a silly grin)

You can really go off someone....

You only realised that after 30 years? (followed by a satisfied blokey chuckle)

Thank you Youngest for this excellent photo

Remind me never to leave my glasses out of reach.....


Knitting 'knitwit'

It has been a little while since I have successfully wielded knitting pins. I was on a roll with Himself's green moss pullover and as I cast off and wove in all ends it was with a flourish! I had a plan and could not wait to cast on my next wip.
For Christmas I'd asked for wool so I would have a lovely pile of woolly goodness to knit myself a cardigan. I had spent some time trawling the 'net researching 'the one' and felt a little giddy when I selected a pattern which seemed just right.

So almost before the knitting pins had cooled - I was up and casting on my new project...... Which was ripped back after a couple of days knitting .... this pattern didn't feel quite right after all.... so I started researching again, looking for several evenings until I found 'the one' - yes this time - this time it was the one for me....
Until, a couple of evenings later I ripped back again. Once I'd started I realised that it was beyond my simple level of knitting so I wound the ball back up and replaced it in the basket with it's companions and went back for another look for a pattern. I now knew that 'top down' cardigans were not for me, I had to look more carefully. And then - I found it ... Yes, this was definitely 'the one' cue a happy dance!!

Except it wasn't, once again I ripped back and this time, I walked away. I thought I was going to be cool with starting again, but no - I was rather annoyed. And just to show my knitting THAT I DID NOT CARE! I started something else ..... and cast on and finished in record time a simple scarf which I started wearing almost immediately as the temperatures dropped for a few days.

After a couple of weeks I tentatively picked up the wool, cast on a pattern and .... yes you guessed it, I frogged after a day or two. This was getting ridiculous. So. another break, more researching and checking out patterns when I found ..... no - I am not going to yell 'this is the one', coz there is still time for it to be frogged, however.... this piece of knitting has survived so far and has grown in size past all the others and is making for gentle knitting and a happy heart.

The knitting good vibes just may have returned and I am taking odds on finishing this particular wip - watch this spaceπŸ’™πŸ’œπŸ€πŸ’œπŸ’™

*My only comment is - the colours in the images are not true - the shades are more muted and thunder sky than the bright blue it appears here.


This must be how birds feel

Saturday was crisp and frosty with with a heart achingly blue sky. We packed a lunch, wrapped ourselves and the dog up and we headed for the hills.

am always interested in what and why folk feel the need to leave some sort of 'mark' of their passing.
Sometimes it is a pre-painted rock - the type that seemed to flourish during the pandemic and now is almost endemic around the country. Stickers are increasingly common on road signs or gates. I was amused by the upside down sugar skull until I took a closer look and saw it was actually the right way up! 

My favourite I have to admit is this one .... SHEEEP! I wondered if the farmer who painted this was either distracted half way through and when he returned just continued without realising - or, if he wrote it as if he was yelling at the drivers who bomb through this open bit of moorland road with out even heeding the grazing ewes and their lambs. Who knows....

Moss of course threw herself into her walk - collecting sticks along the way regularly  'upgrading' until the stick was too large to 'dog-handle' along the narrow woodland path. She 'dog-fully' and doggedly dragged it some distance before discarding it for a very much smaller piece.
Alongside the path, I spotted at eye height, the sweetest and most exquisite nest made entirely of moss with a snowy centre. It seemed so exposed and vulnerable, but I suspect when the hawthorn is in full leaf, the nest would be magically invisible and it's contents safe.
There was frost encrusted winter debris all through the woodland which crunched and crackled beneath our feet.
On the far edge of the woods, where the trees thinned and the landscape felt ancient, we stopped for a mug of tea and watched brick red beef heifers graze and browse amongst the birch and hawthorn. They gradually surrounded us, occasionally lifting their huge shaggy heads to balefully glare however they never encroached or threatened us and we in return sat quietly and respectfully.

On the other side of the thin trees we arrived on the rolling ridges of the Dales. The thin blue icy sky felt high and brittle and oh so beautiful. It surrounded us, covered us and elated us.
This must be how birds feel when they fly.
We followed the higher path to the edge of the sunlight then dropped back into the valley, we had to return to the van before the sun slipped behind the hills taking with it the thin warmth we were holding on to.
Once back, we cracked on the kettle and curled cold hands around steaming mugs, ate digestive biscuits and watched the last of the light fade. These days fill my soul and clear my head.