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...



No - really I am!

Just seem to have been snowed under by life itself.

My little cold- starting off innocuously enough - raged horribly by the end of day one and sent me scurrying off to bed for three days - unheard of!
Then, having managed to get over it, I dragged myself around like a limp lettuce for several days more.

Feeling crook does nothing for crafting or writing or being enthusiastic about anything other than loitering near the wood burner whilst nursing a steaming mug of tea.

The only ones that seemed to really enjoy my ill health were my cats - they were delighted at finding a lap that was just ready for curling up on.

Now I am feeling a little less revolting and a whole lot more human I shall get my blogging mojo back!

Just you wait!

Oh - before I forget - I did manage (for medicinal purposes of course) to lift my knitting pins and finish a few things....will share pictures and stories soon, promise xx



I was reliably informed today - that a pale face and flushed cheeks with a semi-permanent drip on the end of my nose was not a good look (at which point I had a fit of sneezing prevented my manager finishing her sentence as she dived for cover) She returned, her face covered and pointed to the door uttering 'GO HOME'

So I did.

Several cups of tea and a good dose of tablets, nasal spray and cat love later, I am sitting at the lap top with Pepper on my knee and Pan on my feet - Think the NHS should employ cats - they so know when you need a bit of therapeutic sitting on.

That in itself is quite medicinal - whether it is deemed as psychological or genuine, tea has such warming and comforting powers that I won't disagree with the feeling of contentment it gives me.

I drink tea in many forms.
I often use the'chuck-a-teabag-in-a-mug-followed-with-boiling-water-and-milk-hasty-stir-and-slurp' method. I know it will be volcanically hot but that is a risk I am prepared to take.

If there is time and the need not quite so reckless, then a teapot is selected, the tea brewed and revered. Milk is dressed up in a glass jug rather than the supermarket plastic dispensing bottle and added to the motley crew of favourite mugs and plate of tea time treats on the table. The four of us will sit around and talk and sip tea. The boys going down the 'letting-the-tea-cool-down-sufficiently-so-you-can-throw-it-down-your-throat' technique and using that cooling down time to stuff as many cake/biscuits/or other suitably naughty nibbly things into their mouths while we prefer the 'scald-the-roof-of-you-mouth-drink-it-while-it-is-hot' approach.
Then occasionally, very occasionally I succumb to a special ritual. Drinking a tea that unfolds itself like a lotus flower, filling the room with a delicate hyacinth scented bouquet. The pale amber tea feels like drinking liquid flowers.

The first time I was introduced to the delights of hand tied flowering teas was with a colleague who welcomed me into her home after work and offered to put the kettle on while I waited for an evening meeting to begin. A glass teapot was ceremonially brought out of the cupboard, a tea flower chosen and boiled water was added. 

We then sat back and chatted as the room, then the house gently filled with the jasmine scented perfume. Lifting the china cup to my lips was quite magical as I felt the steam tickle my cheeks. My entire head became suffused with the exotic warming fragrances of frangipani, hyacinth and jasmine. So delighted by the experience, I purchased myself a flowering tea and deeming a particularly dreary wet Sunday a good day to recreate the magic, I gathered my three, put on the kettle, laid out some baking and almost giddy with excitement I encouraged the boys to watch, to admire and to taste.
All that anticipation (on my part) was just good tea drinking and cake scoffing time wasted (on their part).......... Heathens - the lot of 'em!!

I was a hardened coffee drinker with the accompanying tremors and fizzing head at 3 am, I am now just as hard a drinker now - only it is with tea. I must love the stuff - I have mentioned it here  and here in 2012, here  in 2011, here in 2010 and here in 2009

All photos are from my previous blog - which, while I was looking through it for images of tea drinking I realised how much more crafting I did than I do now.....hmmmm - think the balance needs redressing. But until then.
*sniff* I am off to bed, I feel a little rough.


Today, it felt right.

When the sky is as blue as this......
And the colours as autumnal at these.....
  It seems right to leave everything behind.
The un-vacuumed carpet. The pile of clean washing waiting to be put away. 
It seems right to sit on the side of a hill and eat lunch and steal a moment or two to knit another row.
To look across a breathtaking view. Ageless and timeless.
The feeling of space and freedom and the ability to find a comfortable rocky nook so to escape into a book.
The communal delight at sharing an unexpected find - an old humpbacked stone bridge.
It feels appropriate to breathe in sharp autumn air and feel it right to the base of your lungs. 
To feel it's chill burn the back of your throat then watch it leave you when warmed and steamy.
Dragon's breath.

To smile at the length of your legs that autumnal shadows afford you.
To feel the gentle warmth of the autumnal sun on my cheek, to walk and talk and hold my man's hand 
and to hear my boys chat - it feels good and makes me feel complete.

These precious moments help outweigh the treacherous and  boggy terrain and tired legs, 
helps when gritting my teeth at my bad knee tightening as its refuses to comply.

Then, once back in the car, with soaked feet and the heater on full, 
I can feel my cheeks burning, 
it felt right.
It felt right to be out on the hills on a day like today.

So glad we did it.


A Cow by any other name!

Something that just tickled us when we were out walking on our holidays - the cows not only sport their official breed and herd numbering, they proudly bear their names.

And what wonderful names they have been given -
Top row : Bluesky Morn 2, Bluesky Samantha, Million Patsy
Bottom row:  Bluesky Samantha (again), Jeeves and finally Dodge.

We took loads of photos of these girls while we tried to find Youngest's lost wallet. The girls were exceptionally friendly and curious, so taking photos was not difficult at all - the only problem was they tended to get in so close that the camera kept going out of focus!
I love the whorl of hair on her face :)


Holiday knitting

The morning we set off, I'd woken up early to see Himself off to work and in the silence of the house before waking the boys, I cast on a shawl for myself.  Sachiko Uemura's Spring Kerchief  (Ravelry), I loved the spring colours but seeing it is autumn and I wanted something in a rich warm colour I chose Rico Superba Poem in warming russets, purples and deep blues.

Usually when I am on holiday I am a passenger and the in-car entertainment is plenty of quality knitting time, but this time, as the driver my knitting was restricted to evenings only.

Strangely enough I didn't take any 'in progress' photos with my camera and the only one I did take was with my camera phone (which for some inexplicable reason is not speaking to my laptop so I am unable to down load it).

It is lovely and squadgy, warm and soft . Now that I am back to work, I only have my lunch hour to knit a row or two, my evenings have reverted back to study - progress has slowed down.
Knitting in the slow lane


For Joy

Every now and then, you come across a lovely blogger who comes across as a genuinely charming person. Joy from Joyjinks Creations pops in and says such kind things. Her own blog is a colourful sharing of her creativity plus snippets of her own life. I have just discovered that she originates from where we have just spent our most recent holiday - so, I am going to dedicate this post 'To Joy' x

Before we set off on our break I knew that we had to watch the weather as rain had been promised. Our second day - Tuesday, was promising to be the best for walking.

We wrapped up warmly as despite the sunshine, the wind was cutting and cold.  Our walk had a bit of a fiscal start to it - Eldest found a discarded £10 note in the middle of nowhere, damp and scrumpled - it had obviously been there a day or two then Youngest lost his wallet in a muddy field full of cows. We searched and searched, tramping up and down a rather steep hill much to the bemusement of the same cows. I did berate the carelessness of Youngest somewhat and when I caught his downcast face, I relented - we were on holiday and his carelessness was his loss and he knew it. So after a hug and a hurried call to the bank (to cancel his card) we continued.
The views were AmAzing - a HUGE sky and rows and rows of waves that filled the entire bay.

We followed the coast, hugging the horizon and breathing in the vastness of it all. I kept an eye on the dark clouds to our right which teased us with a few spots of rain just as we came off the edge of the land and down into a gorse filled hollow.

We stopped on a rocky beach for lunch, taking advantage of some one else's hard work - several stone benches with drift wood seats had been crafted. Sitting out of the biting wind was a delight.

A stone cairn had been constructed in memory of a Stewart Mossman, but no indication why or who he was. There was also a drift wood den - big enough for Eldest to squeeze in - it was quite cozy and certainly warm and dry.

We continued around the headland, once again climbing high up above the shoreline. The pathway seemed to cling to the very edge.
Our trail led us in to the very pretty village of Rockcliffe where a most welcome tea garden beckoned to us. We wrapped cold fingers around steaming mugs of tea and coffee and the boys had the most delicious cakes. We sat in the garden and just enjoyed.
Our walk continued through woodlands and farmland, through fields and whitewashed cottages and finally returned to our car - we felt tired yet exhilarated and ready to return to our Tower for the night.


You don't have to be a princess......

.....to stay in a tower.

We, Eldest, Youngest and myself spent a week up in Galloway - ensconced in a Tower gate house just a few steps from a rocky shore.
At night I fell asleep listening to the sea crashing on the rocks and in the morning whilst the boys were drowsily getting dressed, I would drink my coffee sitting on the shoreline watching the sea frothing and foaming just below my feet.

In the distance I could see the island of Heston with it's resident sheep and if I squinted hard enough I could just make out the distance shores of the northern Lake District.

The boys would eventually stumble out of the tower with ruffled hair and bleary eyes but within moments of inhaling the salty air and seeing the sea, they would descend the rocky edge to the water and start skimming stones or taking photos of the sea spray.

We had a lovely escape - we walked, we talked, we ate well, I knitted and took a gazillion photos and apart from the fact that Himself was unfortunately left behind working, we had a wonderful holiday.

I promise more photos and stories as the week progresses.