Thursday, 29 December 2016


Last week I had my usual Tuesday trip to Bedford to look after great-nephew, Will.  As all our normal outings were cancelled because they only happen in term time we went to the library where he did a lot of gluing, scrunching, sticking and colouring and made a Christmas wreath and card for 'Mummy'.  Just down the road I had seen a very large poster on the walls of the Panacea Society advertising the ADP Riot Tour so I took Will to have a look.  I also wanted to see into the grounds, houses and museum of the Panacea Society, which is normally closed on a Tuesday.

In the garden was the 40' container with eyeholes in the side and after obtaining a stool for Will, we had a look
Note the eyeholes at different heights
I apologise for the photos, but it was difficult to get up close with my camera.
A new citadel

The world in miniature, predicting it's end and Armageddon on Christmas Day.  For some reason Bedfordshire would survive because they are gong to build the new Citadel there!!  Wonderful conceptual artwork.

Afterwards we looked round the rooms in the houses all furnished to receive the 24 Bishops of the Church of England to open Joanna Southcott's box.
The sitting room with dining table
A bedroom fit for a bishop!

Anyway, Armageddon has been and gone and we are still here!!  I will not make any comment on others beliefs.

I spent Christmas Day with one of my nieces and woke up to this sunrise on Boxing Day

after very heavy rain overnight.  A noisy day ensued when others joined the party and copious amounts of food and drink were produced.  A good time was had by all.

I can now show pictures of the Weekend Bags that I made for my three grand-daughters and have discovered that I forgot to take any photos of them so use the link to see what they look like.  I filled them with little girl goodies.

Finally, a Happy New Year to you all and I hope that we have a peaceful one.

Friday, 16 December 2016

""Nothing to laugh at, at all.....!"

The title of this blog is regularly paraphrased in my family and goes back to my childhood when we had a 78rpm record of Stanley Holloway singing about 'Albert and the Lion' and it is how I have felt lately.  Nothing that would be interesting to blog about; you don't want to hear all about the Christmas or 'bring and share' lunches that I have been to or how like a beached whale I have felt after all this eating, or the mundane things I have done. 

However after nearly three weeks I must write something or you might think that I don't care!!

Since the last blog, I have had the reveal on our November Mini Mania, which was an appliqued item with a creature and a plant.

I love this picture which I have used before and added the Christmas Rose and holly.  I have always called the technique backside applique because though the fabric is layered up on the right side the picture is on the back.  I have used it many times and very intricate pictures can be sewn.  We have two months for the next Mini Mania to be completed; 'House and Home' - a minimum of 5  buildings in a street.

Last weekend was spent with my eldest son in Kent.  His brother and family joined us as we are not meeting for Christmas this year (both at their in-laws), presents were exchanged and I had a splendid but busy time.  After attending the local school Christmas Fayre, where my son won the 'Barrow of Booze' we all went to a Roller Disco on Saturday night.  I did not skate but my grandchildren loved it -
Grandson's first time and looking good
Next morning we all went for a walk in the woods

and this was the destination -
The rubber tyre swing over the stream
We had to drag the children away as they were loving it.  I can't watch as I can only think that the rope will snap!

Back home there was a 'bring and share' picnic at our Higham Piecemakers sewing group and we received our Christmas Challenge which is always so exciting.

We were given a fat quarter of fabric and received this


that has to be turned into the Fractured Star block and then made into any item of our choice and all to be completed by early April.  I am thinking up my ideas as a write this as I like to be different; so a WIP (Work in Progress).

I am also working on a new piece of embroidery and I am knitting as well, but more about that in a later post.

Today I have been Nordic walking and we were joined by another local group

Very foggy when we set out
Fog was lifting before the end
and towards the end we crossed the river again and saw this

Narrow boating in December!!
This is my last blog for 2016, so can I wish everyone a very merry and peaceful Christmas wherever you are and I look forward to a busy 2017.  I know it will be as I have just won fabric in the Pyjama Fairies '12 days of Christmas' and it will be delivered in January!!!

Wednesday, 30 November 2016


It all started last March when I mentioned to my younger son that I wanted to visit my cousin in Florence, Italy.  I last saw her at her father's funeral some 20+ years ago and as I get older I feel that I don't want to meet cousins at each other's funerals!!!  Son immediately said "Why don't I run the Florence Marathon at the end of November" and that is what happened, except along the way, son's brother in law also wanted to do the marathon as well.

So off I flew last Thursday, as the first part of the group, arrived at the 'Air bnb' apartment we had booked and was delighted that we were very, very, close to the Ponte Vecchio.
Our apartment is on 2nd floor of block on right

Outside our window was this 'windmill' art installation which appeared very popular.
Back of the Ponte Vecchio
All jewellers shops and tourists
That evening I was meeting my cousin at her apartment for a meal and we never stopped talking and catching up.  What a lovely evening.
Next morning was spent looking around and getting my bearings. (Lots of photos to follow)

Ponte Santa Trinita from Ponte Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio

Galleria degli Uffizi

Statue (copy) of David by Michelangelo outside Palazzo Vecchio

Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio

An unusual bike I saw in the street!

A typical central Florentine street

Only way to get around - a scooter

'Il Porcellino' - Piglet

The Duomo

Campanile and the dome of the Duomo

Inside the Duomo

The 24 hour clock in the Duomo

Inside the Duomo
Though not a Catholic I have been in many Catholic churches abroad and have been amazed at the decorations, but this cathedral was very austere inside.   
The apartment was very close to

and I realised that if I needed to know "how much" I couldn't afford to shop there!!
The 'boys' registered for the Marathon at the 'Expo'

and once again I did the touristy bit with them and in the evening we met up with my cousin for a meal and I snapped night photos.
Ponte Vecchio at night

Christmas lights in the main shopping area

I popped up on various places on the marathon course, but only saw my son once to cheer him on, but both of them did well with 'brother in law' getting a personal best and son overcoming an injury and finishing well at just under 4 hours - his 60th marathon!  He had completed 50 marathons by his 40th birthday and wants to complete 100 by the time he is 50, so he is well on course.
A group of runners outside the Apartment, going off to the start close by
On Monday morning my son and I had a quick walk in the Oltrarno district on the other side of the river Arno before leaving for home.
Palazzo Pitti
Wedding cakes in a shop window
Porta Romano

For myself -  I met my cousin again after 25+ years, completed my Christmas shopping and visited a lovely Italian city that I had last been to 50 years ago when newly married.  What a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

A reunion

Last week I started a new course of training with Chester Farm - 'Finds Marking'.  Every single 'find' that is dug up on the site has to be marked and recorded on a database and as this was our first day of training we had to practice writing very small and very neatly.  This does not come easily to me as my writing is not particularly neat or small but I had a go.  After practising for a while I went to collect my first bag for marking  and immediately recognised 'him'.
Remember this horse's head?

I blogged about this here, so imagine my surprise when it reappeared for marking and I swiftly said I would do it as it felt like an old friend.
Teeny tiny writing underneath

Ready to go back into storage
Ever single item in a 'finds' bag has to be marked, down to the smallest piece, as each piece is part of a bigger picture of the site.
A bag of animal bones all marked

We also marked bags of pottery which can be very monotonous.  On this occasion we didn't enter anything on the database - that will come next time.

What a dreadful day on Monday; it rained from dawn to dusk with some very heavy downpours thrown in.  My morning Nordic Walk was cancelled the evening before after seeing the  weather forecast - all blue over the East Midlands!

However days like this do have silver linings as I headed for my studio to finish something crafty started on Sunday.

Appliqué is the subject of the November Mini Mania and we have to use a 'creature and a plant'.  Well here is a sneaky peek of the finished item
A 'Christmas Rose' perhaps?

Once this was finished I started on a new Christmas bauble that I bought at the Knitting and Stitching show -Narcissa and I love it.
A long way to go

Nearly there
and finally, thanks to a wet and cold afternoon -

The finished bauble
I fancy making some more!!