Friday, 27 April 2012
Monday, 23 April 2012
Today's happy news is that I have a colleague who has lively chickens and she's willing to trade for eggs. This morning I found 6 freshly laid eggs on my desk and my trade was 2 of my home made lip balms. It's much more exciting than just paying boring money cash! Here's hoping the hens keep laying :)
Wednesday, 18 April 2012
Tuesday, 17 April 2012
Thursday, 12 April 2012
A few weeks ago I went to an Intermediate (note, not "beginner" any more!!) Crochet class at Paperarts. We learned basic flowers then advanced to ....this!
It's a bit of a ta dahhhh moment because having taken ages to make the loooooong scalloped row I didn't pick up the last critical bit about how to pull it all together and had to go back for a quick 10 minute remedial lesson to make - well what is it? A corsage or a humongous flower? Whatever it is, I'm very pleased with it because it's the cleverest thing I think I've made so far. Just don't ask me how I did it or make another one!
Then, flipping through a crochet book I found a simple pattern for a hexagon which had been made into a snazzy looking blanket. I have a plan to liven up the living room of the Week Day Home using a palette of colours based on rose and green so thought the hexagons would make a nice throw. Having made a few to put together to see how it looks, I'm not sure this doesn't look a bit too grannyish. What do you thInk?
Wednesday, 11 April 2012
Monday, 9 April 2012
The Tower was all you would expect it to be (after the huge queue to get our tickets but it was a bank holiday!). We joined a tour given by Simon the Beefeater who relished scaring the kids in the group with tales of blood, dungeons, torture, executions and more blood! He insisted on lots of audience participation too with boos and cheers. It was great fun with enough facts thrown at us within the space of an hour to make our heads spin - but not roll. He told us that no one knows why the Yeoman of the Guard got the nickname "Beefeaters" but it may have been because they were in the service of the king and therefore well fed!
Even when we were queuing see the crown jewels there was plenty going on around us, like King Charles II being crowned.
We had to look very, very, very closely at this Guard who was sooooo still we really did wonder if he was real or a waxwork. Then we saw him breathing! How much self discipline must it take to stand so still on a shivery April day?! We were suitably impressed.
London is such a crazy combination of new, old and just plain ancient. This view covering about 700 years of building was taken from the spot where private executions took place within the Tower. Most notably, it's where Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard, Lady Jane Grey and the 70 year old last surviving neice of Edward IV, Margaret Plantagenet placed their necks on the scaffold. Remarkably, old Margaret gave the executioner a run for his money literally and refused to go quietly. She ran round Tower Green until she was caught and dragged back to the block. (Well that's what Simon told us.). As Himself pointed out, in our two days we had seen where Anne Boleyn started and ended.
It was really interesting to hear all the different languages from all the foreign visitors checking out our heritage. We got chatting to a nice couple from North Carolina visiting the UK for the first time. They were impressed how clean London was. That made us blink! It's good to hear other people's views of our country and notice things we don't think about or appreciate.
The final reason we had gone to Kent was to visit another place which has a reputation for being one of the most beautiful houses in England and it really did live up to expectation but more of that next time :)
Sunday, 8 April 2012
Before the rest of the world woke up and before the sun rose high enough to melt away the cold, I went exploring our camp site to try for a little creative photography to give an idea of just how chilly it was!
One of the main reasons we had gone to Kent was to visit Hever Castle, the beautiful childhood home of Anne Boleyn. I've read the history of this place for many years and seen photos of it from all angles but didn't know what to expect from my first trip to see it in person. It was clearly very popular and the car park was almost full when we arrived mid morning. Our first view of the castle was stunning. The medieval fortified home seemed to hover above a calm sheet of water.
Confusingly , right by the front entrance was a large white tent housing a brass band. They were very good and churned out a mix of contemporary tunes but they acted as a distraction and filled the air with sounds completely disconnected with the building. Inside it was difficult to work out the history of the Castle and there was an odd mix of items in some of the rooms such as an 18th century wooden dairy bowl sitting out of place on a 14th century carved trunk. The overall impression was one of beauty and grandeur but don't go expecting it to make a lot of sense! Having said that, it is certainly worth a visit for the lovely grounds and the beautiful walk around the lake.
We left with great photos and it had been a sunny day, perfect for exploring new places and the countryside of Kent was glorious as the sun softened and threw out sunset shadows over an Oast house on our route back to the campsite.
Tuesday, 3 April 2012
I made a number of these little characters to give to friends and this is the last one I have left. I think I'll keep him :)