did I mention money?

After all that I ended up watching the royal wedding three times!

I had completely forgotten about it yesterday morning when I bumped  into my neighbour.  He was cursing because he was trying to get his wife out of the house to leave for their holiday but she refused to go till she had seen THE DRESS.

So whilst I was doing the vacuuming etc, I turned the tv on just in time to see all the crucial bits.  Then I hived off up town to do a few jobs (visit Louise in her shop, eat caramel apple cake at the Back Fold cafe, visit charity shop for single sheets for guests beds) and by the time I came back Mr T and his parents were home and had the tv rewound to the bit I had already seen, so I watched it again.

Then I left for Louise’s street party in the Back Fold.  A rather pleasant group of people and I finally met the King of Hay Richard Booth and his partner Hope.  Lots of good eats and conversation, with Tim the Gardener playing his guitar and singing until it was all bought to a sudden wet halt by a thunderstorm.

Home again where a little later in the evening, Mr T decided he hadn’t  watched the wedding properly so we watched it again – bloody hell..

What I thought..

Music – most of it wonderful and mostly the best part of the show

The Abbey –  fucking, fucking fantastic – can’t wait to go there

BBC coverage – could they have got any closer?  What must it be like to be filmed at what is probably the most nerve-racking moment of your life and know that millions of people are watching?  What happens if you get a sudden attack of itchy bottom? On the other hand – the shot from the Abbey roof down onto the proceedings was spectacular.

Stupid hats, and I mean really stupid hats – first prize to Princess Beatrice.

Guests – Posh and Becks, why?

The dress – perfectly lovely darrhhling!  BUT – wish it could have been a little bit more exciting, speshly when you’ve got the money to do it.

Public holiday  – the best bit.  However – many retailers in Hay decided to open anyway.  I met up with one of my old co-workers from No 2 who said they had been told they had to work, no tv or radio to watch the coverage and no extra pay.  She was just amused because they had no customers all day and the boss’s were going to lose out on that one 😉 . Maybe I should thank them for firing me, I am so glad I don’t work there anymore.

The Really Best Bit – Watching lots of people totally enjoying themselves.

Money, Money, Money, with lashings of money

Plate by Emma Morton

Other plate designs can be seen here

because I like to live on the edge..

I am sitting here on the sofa at 8.30 am crocheting a African Flower pot holder because I have at least a couple of hours of house cleaning and tidying and making beds up  before my parents in law get here in about three hours and I just like to make life hard for myself.  Procrastination is my watchword.  Any minute now I will SPRING into action but until then I’ll just write my blog, because I have to do it anyway don’t I?

And then I will just pop in a few pics of my next door neighbours dogs – as you do – they come in and visit us on a regular basis when the back door is open.  Minny is the black and white and Tiggy is the hairy brown and white.  I love them to bits, it is very cool having them around when we don’t have any of our own..

Spose I should get moving..

Min the Moocher
Tiggy the Tiny

Hope you are all having a good one..

crochet post alert – look away if allergic to hookers..

So most of you out there will not have heard of the Japanese flower motif, and there is absolutely no reason why you should have.  Except that this crocheter has been amazed by the way word has spread in the hooky internet world in the last couple of months.

I saw my first Japanese flower courtesy of Lucy at Attic 24.  She had been looking for some time for a suitable motif to make a shawl with – and being picky it was taking some time.  Finally she came across two French blogs this one  and this one from which she downloaded the (french) PDF file and then she blogged about it.  Lucy’s blog is extremely popular and I and about a thousand other readers of Attic 24 also downloaded it – the pattern had gone viral.

It then occurred to the French woman who had put the PDF file up for download that maybe there might be a small copyright problem with doing that.  Being that she had originally taken the pattern directly from a Japanese crochet book – Pattern Book Vol 4.   She had the pattern on her blog for the last two years but hardly anyone had paid much attention to it so it all seemed ok – now every person and their hook was visiting and it all seemed to be getting out of hand – so she took it off.

But it was way to late, way, way ,way too late.

And now it is everywhere – like some weird weed that keeps popping up month after month.  And what a beautiful weed..

One would have thought that now the only way to get the pattern would be to buy the original in the Japanese crochet book (expensive) or to know someone who had got in on time and downloaded the PDF,  BUT  the wonderful Elizabeth Cat stepped in and posted a tutorial on her blog – slightly different from the original but it looks pretty much the same.

Since then I have seen references to this motif on many  blogs including Crochet with Raymond, one of my absolute favourite crochet blogs whose author hails from Wellington, New Zealand – my home town.  Also  I have found a Ravelry group who have been making this shawl for the last couple of years. If you are after inspiration check them out.

I am not going to comment on the copyright issue except to say that hopefully once all those thousands of crocheters get exposed to the incredible lovely crochet (and other craft books) that come out of Japan, support for the designers will go up hugely.

One of my favourites - this one is by Adelaide and can be seen on Ravelry

The motif was originally created by Mayuko Hashimoto (橋本 真由子) and pretty damned cool it is too.

stir the stumps..

It’s late.

Late for me anyway, it’s usually pumpkin time around ten – ten thirty.

But I’ve been an eBay listing fool for the greater part of the evening as well as cooking a chicken dinner for His Nibs when he got in.

So what with one thing or another, blogging got pushed to up to the time where my eyes are sand paper  and I keep making mistakes… CONCENTRATE!  Ah – that’s better..  I’ve just been handed a mug of tea.. enough to keep me going at least till I have finished this.

Now I have the eBay listing out of the way I have only one day of work tomorrow and then my time is my own until next Wednesday.    I have a possibly mad hope that I will get all the flower motifs of my shawl sewn together some time soon.  It really is a pain in the bum to have to do and next time I make something like it I swear I will join  them as I go along.  The thing is I suspect that it is going to look fricking fabulous when it is all put together and also – once you have actually crocheted 34 motifs it would be a crying shame  not to finish it.   Sooo..  I need to stir my stumps..

Two photos for you before I hit the hay..

Thirteen joined up so far 🙂
Mother Clanger

I have a small obsession for Wombles, Moomins and others of that ilk, including The Banana Bunch.  From another age when I was A LOT less cynical about television.  Anyway, I found this fair maiden at Past Times in Hereford the other week and just had to have her.  She even whistles when you squeeze her tummy – how cool is that!

tiny, shiny leaves..

On Tuesday afternoons I work in the St Michael’s Hospice charity shop.  I started volunteering there after I lost my job and needed things to do to help pull me out of the pit.  It’s normally a fun thing to do, we usually split the shift between us, one working upstairs steaming the clothes and putting them out, the other manning the counter, then we swap halfway.

Today for some reason I got to be on the counter all afternoon and as the hours went by and my reading of Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years was continually interrupted by pesky customers, I felt a great yearning to be at home, swaddled in a blanket on the sofa, writing the wee blog and then perhaps wielding the crochet hook.  So when 4.30 came I headed off at a great rate of knots and I am cuddled up with a cup of tea and a Hob Nob.

Maybe I am feeling a little deflated because the long weekend is over – it seemed to pass so quickly.  We did get quite a lot done though – the attic room tidied into a proper study space and the garden got a seeing too as well.  Feeling particularly pleased with finding that what we thought was a dead Ceanothus shrub by the front door has survived the snow and has new tiny, shiny leaves at its base.

My parents-in-law arrive on Friday for a weeks stay so that should be interesting – hope they like our little town. Neither of them are royalists so we won’t be forced into watching wedding stuff – thank heavens.   Something to celebrate though will be Mr T’s birthday and Beltane on Saturday and it’s another long weekend!

this blog won’t change your life..

I read the Guardian.  I can’t help it, I just always have..  I know there are more exciting newspapers out there, ones with pictures of naked ladies and/or writers whose main claim to fame is that they are total wankers, but I have some how avoided all that excitement and settled down to a comfortable middle age with G2 and a latte.

I have several favourite columnists, Lucy Mangan and Jay Rayner for a start, but the one I have stuck with the longest has to be  Oliver Burkeman and his ‘This Column Will Change Your Life’ .  Why?   Well  I guess I just have a fascination about us humans and why we do the things we do – because his columns  almost always fascinate me and I find myself thinking about them for ages afterwards  And quite crucially – they almost always end up making me feel better about myself.  Take for instance this one – Existential Indifference  I have thought a lot lately that it is pretty pointless angsting about the meaning of life, a bit of fun perhaps to consider when you are having a few drinks but surely – isn’t it just better to just get on with it?  Be here and now and enjoy the ride?

And then there is his latest one  Get into the Habit of Random Rewards regarding Habit Judo which actually sounds like it might be fun to try.  I have already downloaded the spreadsheet and the first habit I have entered is an attempt to write my blog every day.  So you will get to see how I am going.  Just don’t expect screeds all the time 😉

during the storm I write to you..

The sky is grumbling and muttering away to itself, and I am sitting on the sofa watching out the window as the flickers of lightening herald the rain to come.

It’s been hot today, in fact it’s been hot all week and no proper rain for even longer.  Such a difference from living in Swansea where torrential drizzle was the norm.  Here Mr T is having to water our budding vege garden just about every night.

I have been a month now at my job and am coping ok – even though I have hardly seen my boss and so am still not anywhere near knowing what the hell I am doing… I will sort it all out eventually, or not, I am getting past worrying about it.

We are still loving living in Hay and in our lovely house.  Spring is now fully under way and the countryside is doing its total transformation thing.  Being in an apple growing area is wonderful for the blossoms everywhere, we have a tree in our back garden and it is gorgeous.

Being Easter weekend our little town is crammed with visitors.  There have been more and more over the last weeks but today was tremendous and lends a real festival feeling to the place.  I visited my friend Louise at her shop today and we sat outside and drank tea and marvelled at the beautiful day and the crowds – good for business of course.   I LOVE Louise’s shop – it is full of all old fashioned bit and pieces of china, jewellery, linen and brick a brack.  She has such a good eye, lots of knowledge and really just sells what she loves herself.  I hardly ever leave her shop without buying some little thing or other and today was no different  – I bought this for a pound..

Silk lingerie roll

It is Edwardian, hand painted and made of silk.  Apparently it was used to wrap/roll your lace hankys or underwear in  – or when your maid was laying out your clothes she would use it to cover the indelicate sight of your underwear!  God they were weird back then…

With the return of the sun the local car boot has started back again.  Today was our second visit and as well as some much needed extension cords and strawberry plants I got this –

Brass cover

The lady I bought it off knew nothing about it except it was Victorian and was the lid off something.  We were on our second stroll around, being sociable and enjoying the sun when I saw it resting against a trestle leg under the sale table and did a double take.  Thank heaves the vendor had successfully hidden it until I came along.  It’s a little bashed about but I am in love with it and it now has a home on the parlour wall of our Victorian house 🙂

A few more photos –

Our apple tree in the back garden
Walnut tree in back garden
My friend Louise's hens are laying like mad and so a few of them keep flying our way and ending up in my lovely blue bowl. The eggs are just such amazing colours and yummy of course. Her one and only duck has just started laying and she has said we can try a few of them too - a good excuse to make a sponge cake?

I will go now – the thunder storm which began as I started writing has sent down a flood of rain but it is still going on and keeps shutting the electricity off – thereby fucking up our wireless connection  and the photo downloads to this blog.

Maybe more tomorrow if I get around to it –

Cheers my dears and hope you are having as good a weekend as ourselves..