Wednesday, 28 March 2018

British Summer Time

Here in the UK the clocks went forward an hour last Saturday night for British Summer Time (BST) and though I lost an hour's sleep I immediately felt so invigorated, so much so that I turned off the central heating (well the sun was shining) and opened the back door and almost, yes almost ran round the garden in my PJs.  I didn't, which is probably just as well, but instead went for a bike ride.

This stretch of road is a hill down and steep up the other side and in the past I would have dreaded it but it now holds no fears for me.  Amanda - this is especially for you as I used the boost button and shot out onto the A6. Luckily no traffic around!

There was a field of horses just by me
The point on the horizon under 'O' is Irthlingborough church

Anyway it was a lovely sunny Sunday morning bike ride.

Friday last was smocking day and when we were looking for a venue to hold the group we found the Community Room at our local Tesco store.  There is no charge and we have free tea and coffee so what more could you ask for.  Teacher J was not there but we are now quite experienced so could help each other if necessary.  We were able to photograph our latest projects

.... a bowlful of smocked Easter eggs.  Aren't they lovely; I think we deserve a group pat on the back!!  I will show you my personal contribution next time.

If you read the last Higham Piecemakers blog you will know that at our all-day meeting we made bunnies, and boy, did they breed!  I actually think that they were hares because of the long ears. It was a really fun day and I was trying to keep up with my friend, who seemed to have stuffing the 'animal' off to a fine art and actually at the end of the day she had finished, dress and all. I had made the dress but my hare was still armless!!
Now complete!
The dress is Liberty Lawn that I bought in The Fent Shop in Skipton two years ago.  Another to add to my collection and I hope that they all get on together.
So I have nothing else to make;  I am at a loose end and it is pouring with rain outside so I can't even do any gardening which is how I spent last weekend.

Never mind perhaps I better tidy my workroom and the Easter weekend is coming up and I am going on a gentle cycle ride organised by British Cycling.  I have warned them that my bike is electric but I don't think I will be using the boost button much!!

Sunday, 18 March 2018

The Beast from the East is back (a mini version)

I am getting fed up with our weather!!  After having had a week or two with decent weather (well relatively) I have been able to go on my usual Monday morning Nordic walk
The sky a couple of weeks ago after the first snow

and then last Monday after a lot of rain and snow melt we went exploring along the river bank -
Alpacas and little white egrets with geese in the foreground
The entrance to Rushden Lakes from the river (by the sign)
 The last time I went canoeing on the river we accessed Rushden Lakes here and it was a gentle little backwater but this time it was very full and when we crossed the weir opposite the opening I didn't like it
The bridge bounced and made me uncomfortable with
all that water gushing underneath
We tramped through mud but it was great to be out and walking.  However the snow was back last night and the temperature is below freezing!

Last week it was announced that Professor Stephen Hawking had died and I remembered this photo

 My father studied for his degree at Gonville and Caius in Cambridge, so back in 2014 I went there to have a look round and lo and behold found this plaque at the bottom of one of the staircases.  It was a surprise to me at the time.  RIP a very famous and clever man,.

You can read more about my 2014 meander around Cambridge here.

A friend gave me these for Christmas
No snow in the background

and though they are long over they gave off a wonderful scent, but I bought the amaryllis in the pot beside them

Well every snow blizzard has a silver lining and as it has enforced me to stay in, I have managed to get some projects finished off!!

Drum roll............

remember this photo I posted in OCTOBER

the foot of my Tilda Bunny - well here you are

she is finished and I love her.  The holdup was because I finished everything but I was worried about her face and so she sat there faceless because I didn't think I could complete the line down from her nose!!  But crochet group teacher J told me how to do it and it was easy peasy.  Please note that the link to the pattern is American crochet.

She joins my Tilda elephant

that I sewed from this book some years ago and guess what - we are making a Tilda Rabbit tomorrow at Higham Piecemaker's All-day session.   I shall be Tilda'd out!!

Anyway I have finished the Piecemaker's Christmas 2017 Challenge and some smocking but that is for another blog, so watch this space.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Cycle Ride

I haven't been out my new 'go-faster' bike for three weeks and the weather was fine and the temperature looked OK so off I went.

I had decided to head for where I used to live from about the age of eleven years and I knew there were also some hills, but these hold no fear for me now.

I rode through Yelden, that in my childhood had a blacksmith where we took our horse to be shod.  This does sound grand but we only had her for the summer months and when we returned to school in the autumn, she was returned to the local hunt who owned her.  Very importantly my sister and I had got horse ownership out of our systems and this pleased our parents!!

There is a very steep hill to go up out of Yelden and as I was starting to climb an older man of about mid 50, clad in Lycra, overtook me slowly. He was going so slowly that I HAD to pass him so with a shout of 'Electric bikes are great, especially the boost button' I shot past him!!!!  He caught up with me later and had a chat about an electric bike for his wife.  Maybe a convert?

Passed  through this village which held many memories for me, and the pub that is still open.  My sister and I used to catch the bus to school from this village but we had to cycle there first so I was re-tracing my footsteps so to speak.

Past the windmill that was falling down when we were children and looks good now it is restored and so to

where we lived and where my mother died in 1968 and though a long time ago I have missed her so much, especially today on Mother's Day.  Shelton is a small hamlet and when we first moved there did have a pub now long closed.  I saw a field with ....
.... Guinea Fowl in it

They must be owned by someone as the fence was electrified!!  So into the village
This was the first house we lived in - behind the trees
 Then my parents bought two farm workers cottages and converted them into one house. 
Our house on the right behind the trees. 

The pub is straight ahead and was called the Cat and Custard Pot and was kept by a little old lady who brought the beer from a back room.   Now a family home.

I could not resist taking these photos

This hill was very important in our childhood as we used to ride our 'soap box cart' down here and if we couldn't make the corner would career straight across the road into the field which was behind me!!  Very little traffic in those days thank goodness!!
Who remembers these (not my picture)

Anyway I cycled on and the next village was

We didn't know the people who lived here at all but it gave me a circuit and so home again through Yelden.  Before I got there I stopped at the top of the hill and took a photo of the village.

When we were children there was an American Air Force base on the top of the hill in the distance and the planes made such a noise as they took off and landed, which usually seemed to happen on bank holidays and the weekend when we were in the garden!!

In all I had cycled 19.5 miles but it was so enjoyable and brought back so many memories, both happy and sad.