Saturday, 16 May 2009

Tribute to Lucy and Sydenham Walk- SAT 16.5.09

Here we are on 16 May and I am having a fresh baked baguette from those half-baked ones you finish in your own oven? Yummy! I bought them for Izzles as she loves them especially to start her ''finished SATS'' weekend on the best possible footing.

Mind you she'd promised she was going to sleep all weekend as she was soooooooo tired.

IT'S LUCY!!!!!11 weeks old today and looking at me with her head to one side: What are we going to do today? Poor thing was quite blinded by the flash judging by the size of those pupils....
She has big BROWN eyes by the way, NOT these blue ones which are caused by the flash.

Plan was to ''pop'' into town to choose some new specs for my updated prescription and then come home to CROCHET crochet crochet..... as the forecast was heavy rain.....

So here's my blanket ready to go : just have to decide on the next colour.... Izzles wakes up and says: this mid pink mum, but it's a colour I haven't yet used so it may look odd suddenly appearing halfway in? Or thr royal blue but that came after red the last time so...which one?
I go sit in my chair to ponder this....Very a la Lucy? From the chair I see the garden. And I'm in my pyamas just like Lucy said in her blog yesterday that she would be too- see this IS a Lucy tribute as she gives me soooo many good ideas! And always cheers me up! . IN the garden - the sun came out- I discovered these!!!Clematis :sooo lovely and PINK and stripey!

Then JJ calls: the post has arrived and a magazine has come for me: whoopee!!!! This is a subscription that happened by accident: I had 3 for £1 and was supposed to cancel after that , but the payment went wrong and then the 3 came much later and there was a fuss and then I forgot when I was supposed to cancel and and and : now it's too late and I LIKE getting it anyway... Even IF there is hardly ever a decent crochet pattern in it, or even if there's only 1 is it VFM?
BUT I say to JJ: I like reading all the articles: the news, the letters, the new yarns... ooh they can be sooo scrummy...!!! He says: BUT but but you agreed to curb your magazine addiction...?!
And I say: well at least I'm not buying 2-3 kntting ones AND 2-3 sewing/embroidery/textile-y ones anymore am I?
Here it is and I like the cover cardigan BUT I don't really like knitting, nor am I very good and I'm VERY VERY SLOW. ( the scarf started a year ago is still only halfway- the coat it's designed for will fall apart before I finish it...have decided to add crochet ends on either side and finish it that way much sooner!)
AND THEN then : ooooh! I'm shouting and laughing and showing my kids and even seeking JJ in the shower- nooo let's not go there....- My letter ( e-mail) and photo are IN IT!!!
It's NOT colourful but very practical: it's when I added a crochet border to my daughter's school trousers- those grey- well worn hence the creases!!Very popular with my youngest- ones in the photo on the left.
When that excitement had subsided I chose my new specs and JJ and co came to help me decide as it's so hard to see when you try on specs without the prescription lenses one needs- so you stare at a blurry vision of yourself and there's this huge sticker on one eye and then you are supposed to be able to tell if it suits you????
I did find 2 pairs I loved at once but they were way outside the budget and eventually we did find some that I'll be happy to wear at work ( sensible black and white) and a fun ( BRIGHT MAGENTA!!!) pair for after work and these were BOGOF's.
AND THEN the day got even BETTER!!!!
We all went together on a walk from a village we have never visited in all the 12 years we've been here. OS map in tow of course! These are the pictures.....From Sydenham to Thame Park.
Pippa is loving this. Lucy had to stay home ( she was asleep) as she can't walk outside yet until Monday 18 May.( 2 days to go!!!!)

Wide open spaces: WOW. But why is the grass so pale? So yellow?

With Pippa on a short lead we walk among lambs and their mums.....
LOTS of lambs!
Funny lambs.

They stop and stare. We stop and stare back.

Then the weather changes.....
Still dry but windier and colder and Miss youngest is having a tantrum ( aged 9???)

I can just see the big house at Thame Park.... but we have to turn back. Miss Y is having a hissy fit and declares she HATES walking,lambs,mud,wind,us definately us......
Until we come across the horses.... She LOVES horses. ( but this is on the way back)
We see these but I don't know what they are and neither does JJ. Anyone out there know please??? Very tall. Blue pendant/ pendulous flowers, large leaves. At the top the leaves stand up like a pointed crown....Very striking.
Missy has cheered uo since the horses and HAS to be pictured with the biggest Dock leaf I have seen. JJ has a story about dockleaves and the days before toiletpaper was invented which I'm sure is his own invention to amuse the kids- or is it?
We have a lovely drink in the local pub: the Crown and then go home to bake ( and EAT) COOKIES!

JJ promises a lie in, followed by church, lunch and another walk for tomorrow: I can't wait!
THIS IS what weekends are for !!! Not the endless catching up on household chores and ''to do'' lists that we usually struggle with as working parents....

Walk by Moreton on Sunday 10 May 2009

Thanks to Lucy at I have been inspired to make a new resolution!
This is to walk a new walk every weekend- weather permitting- using my new ( BIRTHDAY!!!) OS map and to do this with the dog and the family if at all possible.
Lucy 's in Yorkshire and has such wonderful outings and stunning scenic photography that I was inspired to seek our own local scenery and greenery. I want to reflect and record our little corner of Oxfordhire/Buckinghamshire

This was last week and we've just got back from a walk today but as life's been so very busy busy busy with SATS etc I am gradually catching up again.....

This was 5pm on Sunday last week when my youngest refused to move and JJ very kindly offered to cook the dinner if we would walk the dog: WHAT an offer!!! How could I refuse?
( Cooking is not my favourite pastime- especially NOT the quick family evening meals...)
Izzy started with blowing the above- far above- dandelion and making a wish.......
When she was very little she asked me once where the mummylions were and did they look very different from the daddylions?

Then we spotted a butterfly: a ........ and I just HAD to capture it on camera- not as easy as it looks actually as it flitted about a LOT! teehee HERE I DID capture it TWICE!

Onwards past a neatly ploughed area where a few years ago among many cabbages Pippa used to dash about as a pup, we called them her mad puppy dashes, she'd run in silly circles among the cabbages , then run back but drop and hide behind them just before reaching you. Then wait and jump up only to dash off in another circle...

And oh, oops got my finger in this one, SILLY me....

What will grow here next time we visit?

And it was windy and dry but with an AMAZING sky: LOOK!!! The sun popped out for the occasional 5 minute visit but mostly there were these massive castles in the sky: cloud city scapes...

This oak tree was just soooooo GREEEEEEEN, and also I want to draw the squiggly wiggly outer lines of those leaves. In out in out and and shake it all fingers.....
Where'd they go? Pippa and daughter had walked on into the wood. Not so obvious here but there was this eye catching RED tree in the middle distance.WOW.

Come ON mum, this is a walk remember?
Pippa chased a few squirrels but luckily gave up when they ran up the trees and jumped from tree to tree- such fun to watch! Pippa was NOT amused. They were too quick for my camera with it's 7 seconds minimum warm up time....
After extracting Pippa from a mudbath ( she went straight into the shower when we got home) we walked across this field: curving to the right and with Izzy worrying about bulls....

I love this: a glimpse of a path but no more: a hint of mystery: WHAT lies beyond the gate?
There were no bulls and the cows just watched us pass by, Pippa behaved herself and ran past too. Then looking back we saw they had calves! The sweetest looking jet-black calves - on the far left in the photo they moved from a side view to walk away from us.

That was it : a lovely short circular walk from Thame to Moreton and back across the fields to the TLC.


Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Ripple stitch rainbow blanket or afghan : progress!!!

This was taken on Sunday 10 May 2009 and I have progresses a bit further in that there are 5 more double rows, ie 5 colours added to the above picture. It's still totally absorbing and it's very relaxing to add a few rows at a time.
Today I had a half hour lunchbreak with no access to anywhere much so I very happily added 2 rows( 1 colour) to the blanket and the colours simply filled me with joy and peace and a contented happiness.
There are instructions in detail on my crochet blog:
and by that I mean a step by step tutorial in the form of photographs.
I am still using a 4mm hook and DK pure wool from Yeoman Yarns: available from
You have to phone up and ask for the handknitting shade card which they print for you and send in the post, then you can order by phone: It's not online yet.
I have been playing with the colours, not repeating any particular sequence as yet and there are different areas which are my favourites on any given day, my daughters too have their ''most loved'' bits but they also like the choice and the variety.

In that respect it's kind of like a sampler for me. A colourplay crochet sampler.

SEE? I love the sequence from pale blue to the palest turquoise above: from right to left after the red? Not too sure about the 2 orange tones right by the dark navy blue....
But the orange does spark the blue quite well?

I also like the hippy chick bit with all the 70's colours: pink,lime,orange and purple....
And I like the pinks/oranges and reds together.
By last weekend I was on a ''preppy colours'' roll: or classics: you know the sky blue, ''pine'' ( or racing car green as it used to be called) green, royal blue, navy and burgundy.....with a dash of pillarbox red.
It now weighs 666 grammes for 82 rows or 41 stripes and I timed myself today- each single row takes me about 12 minutes so I can do a double row for a single colour in about 24-30 minutes but I tend to do it in very short bursts so it's not really like that most of the time.
It's 112cm wide and the 82 rows are measuring: 82cm.
You're going to have to take my word for it but it's lovely and soft and very very warm and just great to snuggle under - while still crocheting!!!- late at night when the temperature drops and the heating is NOT on to save the planet etc etc etc.....Woolley wonderfulness.
Widthwise it fits nicely from my toes to my chin when sitting down on the comfy sofa.....still crocheting.....

And PLEASE let me know if you do: it would be SUCH a thrill!!!!!

Puppies again catching up and Lucy at 10 weeks

It's time to catch up today on all those photos taken a few weeks ago but not yet uploaded because real life took over and we have been soooo busy busy busy. And it was sunny too so we were OUTSIDE!!!
Watch this: here there are still 2 puppies and mum at 8-9 weeks old and they move about so:

Lucy: I just can't get comfortable....... Jack now known as Ricci moves up too.....

And back down again, while Lucy thinks the basket next door looks a better bet.

AAAAAAAAAH Jack/Ricci now has a real relaxation moment...!!!

Can you still see me? I'm hiding!!!

Who is that then behind that flashing thing?

Jack's spotted something under the table: a bee.....
Lucy again: what a pretty face: this is at 9 weeks exactly on the morning Jack/Ricci was collected to go to his new home.
He's still enjoying the sunshine on our patio....
Joins mum in rolling Lucy over at playtime....

Showing how similar they look from above: Lucy in a red collar, Ricci in the blue...
Lucy trying to muscle in on Pippa's fetch and squeak toy.... Ricci has the sense to watch.
No luck, mum is still boss, leader of the pack.
Where have they gone?

''What's with all the photos? We are playing!''

More movements in the basket: it's fascinating to watch...

Lucy having extra cuddles when Jack/Ricci had left: aaaaaaah.
Priceless this look: Lucy really demonstrating that she's OK with all the extra attention lavished on just HER!!!
Later on she did look a bit lost and the following week she definately was a little down as she missed Ricci who she'd played with, ate with and always slept with from the day she was born....

She has this AMAZING direct eye contact look, something most dog trainers will tell you dogs just do not do...????And even better after a few minutes: she'll tilt her head sideways really quizically.... LOVELY! She's a bright spark this: one you can almost hear what she's thinking!
Just SEE those little brain cells ticking away.......I think you can see intelligence in a dog just as much as you can see it in children's and any people's eyes....
10 weeks old now and at 11 weeks we'll be walking in the big wide world. See you again soon?