Friday, 15 January 2010

2009 has gone!

Well, I have to admit that I'm going to cheat with this post.  I would love to do something different, but due to a computer crash I have lost all my photographs from last year (they may be retrievable, but I can't do that) so instead I am going to point you towards a post on another blog.

Please forgive me!  The post is here.

Monday, 28 December 2009

The ghost of New Year Past

Many years ago there was a group of friends

They would meet from time to time throughout the year

But once a year they would party like no other.....

Long finery to beat that of Cinderella

Champagne flutes overflowing

Music to delight the ear and get the feet tapping

Tables overflowing with food

Chatter, long into the night

Late to bed

Very late to rise

And then....

Everyone got married, and late nights were no longer a feasible option!  How much better to share New Year with the family.  Cosy and at home, looking back on last year and ahead to next

Happy New Year everyone

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


This month's carnival is an interesting mix, but probably not for the reasons that are immediately obvious.

I want to begin by relating a little story.

The story begins somewhen before 1999

Here in the UK Halloween was not celebrated until fairly recently.  As a family we never celebrated, preferring to do other things.  We 'celebrated' in our own homes - usually by not actually doing anything because as far as we were concerned it was a 'non event'.  However, things changed in about 1992 shortly after my father died.  At the time my mother was still living in their house and became the target of some very unpleasant Halloween 'pranks'.  From that time on we determined that she would never be at home alone on that evening, and so we developed the habit of having our own alternative celebration at our daughters' home some distance away.  This would involve a lovely family meal and an entertaining and amusing video, so that all thought of what might otherwise have happened would be avoided.

All went well until the fateful day in 1999.  The plans were made as usual, but this time, as I was working, other arrangements were made to transport my mother from her home to that of my daughter.  I arrived a little earlier than anticipated and wasn't surprised to find that Mum hadn't yet arrived.  By the time the dinner was ready, however, we were all somewhat concerned.  We now discovered that we had all telephoned at various times during the day and on each occasion there had been no reply.  Unfortunately the distance was too far to rush back, so I telephoned  friends who lived a short drive from my mother.  They had an emergency key and a short while later I was summoned in great panic as the police had been called.  I knew no more than that as I drove as quickly as possible. I arrived at about 10pm to a state of total mayhem.  I didn't recognise my mother who was being treated by an paramedic.  The police were going about their business very efficiently, but I couldn't understand what had happened at all.

When is a friend not a friend?  That is a very hard question to answer.  An apparently very good friend of my mother had offered to drive her to the 'party'.  She had known this man for a number of years, and he also attended her church.  He was smart, had a good job and was very well respected.  What no-one knew was that he suffered from a mental illness which was controlled by medication.  For a completely unknown reason he had decided to stop taking his medication, and when he arrived at my mother's was in no fit state to drive, or in fact to be anywhere other than under medical care.  Suffice it to say his behaviour left a lot to be desired.  My mother was forced to remain lying down and unable to move for a considerable length of time during which he did some very strange things, including walking all over her. 

I won't go into any more details, but it was sorted out, although not very satisfactorily, and my mother got on with her life, even managing to forgive him.  However, a couple of years later she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to undergo a mastectomy.  The link?  We were told that the extreme stress that she experiences accompanied by the injuries that he inflicted on her upper body were probably the cause of the cancer.  She coped with the whole thing admirably, and although she is frail and her health is failing fast she is now 92 and still with us.  We will no longer get together in the same way at the end of October as now Mum is far too weak to travel.  We do, however, support Breast Cancer Awareness, and here is a photograph from last year

Monday, 13 April 2009

My Dream Studio

Oh, to have a studio......

I have given this a lot of thought.

It will be the size of a soccer pitch.

It will be divided into two parts - one for 'wet' and the other for 'dry' activities

There would be storage space for absolutely EVERYTHING

Worktops will abound, so too tables and chairs - one for every project currently 'on the go'!  There are at least three deep sinks just for dyeing!

Materials will miraculously appear at the merest thought

Any machine I might ever think of needing are there and electricity will be instantly available in every part of the room

Daylight, the perfect lighting, will be available at all times of the day and night - and in every part of the room

Tea and coffee will be on tap!  No need to wait for the kettle to boil.

Tonight's meal will automatically be created by the inbuilt 'fridge and oven without any thought from me

Would you like to join me? 

Unfortunately it is all in my imagination........

Friday, 10 April 2009

Let's Go Green

Dyeing is my business.  I am very aware of the ecological connotations involved, so I try very hard to waste resources as little as possible, and to only use chemicals that won't damage the environment.  Currently there are a few green coloured items in my shop, but also some bits and pieces that are dyed with a deliberate eye to eco friendly!

If you follow my listings you will know that I can't just dye in one colour so that means that even the most 'green' yarn has some other colours too:

Listed here, this mix of threads are of 'eco cotton' they have been manufactured in a considerate manner and I try to continue that theme.   See, I told you there would be another colour!

Spring greens are the order of the day here, but once again you will find that there are other colours, including gray.  

This one is a lot brighter, although still Spring Greens!  You'll find it here, and the other pictures will show you more of the yellow!  There are several other items that are green, and also lots of items that are anything but a green colour!  So why not pop along and have a !

Thursday, 1 January 2009

New Year's Resolutions.

Would it disappoint you to know that I don't have any? 

Would it disappoint you to know that I gave them up YEARS ago?

The truth is that Resolutions always fail unless they are a spontaneous response to a situation.  At least, that is true in my experience, and therefore the New Year seems such a silly time to make them.  In its simplest form my resolution is to always be true to myself.  To be true to my hopes and dreams,  and do my best in all things.  Too much else is dependent on other outside influences, and as I have no control over these they negate any resolutions that might be made.

I really admire those of you that make resolutions and stick to them.  I wish you well with them this year.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Christmas Traditions

This year we are spending Christmas Day at my brother's home.  We are taking my mother there and it will be a quiet family occasion.  This will be the first time that we have done this.  My brother and his wife have only been married for a couple of years, and last year my mother was not well enough to make a journey of 60 miles in one 'sitting'.  This year, although very frail, she will manage it, and we had a 'dummy run' of the distance last week just to see how she managed.

When we were children our family home was always filled to overflowing.  My mother loved company, and visits from Grandparents were always top of the list at Christmas.  My uncle and aunt would also visit on Christmas Day and again on Boxing Day.  What fun we had.  Presents under the tree! Delicious food! Always a walk after lunch, probably not as long as necessary to walk off all the excess food, but long enough to build up an appetite for delicious Christmas Cake and Mince Pies......

As my mother grew older the mantle slipped in my direction.  For many years the we had a similar scenario at our home.  But circumstances change, and now there are times when sons and daughters must visit other families!

If you followed the link above you will have read about the arrival of my grandparents.  Very soon after my maternal grandmother arrived it would be time to make 'Yule Bread'.  This is a very special recipe that has been handed down through several generations of our family.  It has the usual ingredients of  flour, eggs, fresh yeast and butter, but also stacks of top quality raisins, glace cherries and crystallised fruits.  Made in advance and allowed to 'mature' (much like a Christmas Cake) it was duly wrapped in waxed paper and stored in tins.  No tasting was allowed as it really did imrove with keeping.  The first loaf was cut on Christmas morning and served buttered for Breakfast.  It has an unusual texture and is truly delicious.  We always knew that it was Christmas when we saw it on the plate.

Regrettably, although we still have the list of ingredients, the method for making this delicious bread died with my grandmother.  We have tried a number of variations but have not yet managed to find the one that makes the perfect loaf.  Sadly it was a failure again this year.  No, I won't share the full list of ingredients, or the quantities, but if we are ever successful I can guarantee that I will post that fact somewhere!