Friday, 16 November 2018

I Have Internet, People!

Well, Richard Branson's ears must be on fire the amount that I have cursed Virgin Media over the past 6 weeks. Not having a smart phone (mine is a hand me down from E and it's actually her last but 1 phone!) I rely on my laptop for checking emails etc. Our internet has been intermittent for the last 6 weeks and completely non-existent for the past week and a half. I didn't mind it for a while; it made a nice change being comparatively cut off from the outside world. It started to irk me when I began decorating L's room and couldn't have my usual Audible playing in the background. I worried that people would have emailed me and think that I was ignoring them, and then the cherry on the cake: I traveled to Oxford to attend a colourwork workshop at the Oxford Yarn Store, only to find that they had cancelled it ...... by email. It wasn't their fault, and I did end up having a lovely day doing a bit of Christmas shopping, but still. Their customer service also sucks. After spending quarter of an hour listening to pop music, you eventually get through to someone in India who can only say that there is a problem in your area (we know!) and give us a completely fictitious date when it will be repaired. We know it is fictitious because the said date came and went 6 times (yes, we kept ringing India!), and eventually they admitted that it was probably made up. It wasn't their fault, so there was no point taking out our frustration on them, but it was difficult when there was no way of contacting anyone in the UK to find out what the problem actually was. We were just on the verge of changing providers when it miraculously returned. We will probably swap anyway as we are just too annoyed. 
Anyway, rant over. Sorry.

Here then are the photos from the past month that have been languishing on my camera waiting to be uploaded:
A day trip to Abingdon for lunch and a potter round:
 Raiding the veggie patch for our Hallowe'en pumpkin. The jar is some pumpkin butter - one of the presents that our lovely neighbours brought us back from America for cat sitting. It's yummy.
 Carving said pumpkin - it made some of the best pumpkin soup we've had in ages.
A trip into London to attend this:
 

It was held in the Central Hall in Westminster. I bought a Coop Knits book of patterns and 3 skeins of yarn, one of which is now a hat.
 
The Central Hall was opposite Westminster Abbey, so I joined the queue to get in and paid my respects to Stephen Hawking - he is in illustrious company, sandwiched between Newton and Darwin.
 R works just down the road, so I popped in to meet up with him before we went for dinner. His office has quite a view: 
 It's also a great place to catch the sunset:
 This is where we went to eat. To be honest, I wouldn't really recommend it; both of us were disappointed with our meal.
My autumn view from the kitchen window:
 
Our friendly woodpecker:
 More painting. I finished the actual walls etc. quite quickly. There is a run of 8 cupboard doors down one wall though that is taking me forever. 
 Having fun with Bosh! Bowls:
 A paint your own Christmas decoration workshop at our local museum: 
 Remembering how tricky it was to paint the tiles last time, I kept my designs quite simple. Here they are before firing:
 A trip to the theatre. It was okay, but not the best play we've ever seen:
 A trip to Bristol to catch E between essays!
As it was Remembrance Sunday, we were lucky to get there just in time to pay our respects with 2 minutes' silence at the war memorial. For obvious reasons, I didn't use my camera then, but I really like the soldier silhouettes that have been on display around town:
 R was desperate to see The Great Britain, so we humoured him. He was thrilled to discover that the tickets are valid for a year ....... E and I less so!

 After knitting L a pair of Pride socks a while ago, I managed to squeeze a pair for E out of the leftover yarn by adding contrasting heels, toes and cuffs:
 The Harvest Hat, made with one of my Yarnporium  purchases. Weird lighting, sorry.
 Finally, a photo of the yarn store where my workshop didn't take place! It is a lovely shop though.
Well, that's all for the moment. Perhaps I'd better take the opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2019. Well, you never know with our internet! Enjoy the weekend.

Toodle Pip for now. x

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Autumnal Snippets

Hello there! It's been a while since my last post, mainly owing to internet problems - Virgin Media have been extremely hit and miss over the last 3 weeks but it is supposedly fixed now, so fingers crossed.
Firstly, I'd like to thank everyone who left sympathetic comments on my last post regarding my transport, or lack thereof, and my almost pathological attachment to my faithful car. I am very pleased to announce that Lily rides again! Her knight in shining armour, R, managed to mend her so, for the time being anyway, we are back on the road together.
L and J are home at the moment, on their way back to London after spending a few (mercifully sunny) days in a yurt in Wales. They have just popped into town, so I am grabbing the opportunity to upload a few photos.
I have been reveling in the gloriously sunny autumn weather that we have had recently. Autumn is my favourite season, and I have been thoroughly enjoying the combination of blue skies and golden leaves.

Here then, are a few snaps from the last month:
The first lighting of the stove of the season:
 Hamish enjoying an ear rub in front of it:
 Finishing my 'Cyprus Socks' - yarn bought in 'Stephen and Penelope' in Amsterdam:
Casting off my 'Featherweight Cardigan'. Pattern by Hannah Fettig, and yarn from 'Stranded Dyeworks' in the 'Industrial Kingfisher' colourway:
 
Casting on the 'Garter Breeze Shawl' by Stephen West:
 What can I say? Ian McKellen - sheer brilliance:
 Gloucester Cathedral: 
 Stunning cloisters:
  The nearby Beatrix Potter shop. Rooms were set up in the style of 'The Tailor of Gloucester' - my favourite of her books.
 R finding a caterpillar - any ideas which sort? 
 A trip to the Watermill to see this. Written by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman, it tells the tale of William Hone who, in 1817, underwent 3 trials in 3 days for libel and blasphemy. We thoroughly enjoyed it.
 Another Cathedral. This time, Salisbury. People come a long way to see this you know! There were flyers for a forthcoming concert entitled 'From Russia with Love'!

Lunch here:
 
Yummy masala dosa:
 Figsbury Ring in Wiltshire:

 The results of my pottery workshop. The vase now contains some of my colourful vintage knitting needles:
Who would have thought it? Little old Newbury having a vegan festival, and very good it was too!
 The Knitting and Stitching Show at the Alexandra Palace. I bought one skein of Christmas sock yarn and some fabric for a dress:
 Talking of sewing, I had some denim left over from making my pinafore dress (I panicked in the shop and bought too much!). There was just enough for a skirt. Apologies for the weird lighting in this photo:
 My new thali trays. I'm ridiculously excited about these! Clockwise from top left - butternut squash and chick pea kebabs, vegan naan (first time I'd tried making naan since going vegan as I'm not that keen on vegan yoghurt - too sweet - but it was surprisingly okay), chana saag with sweet potato, Sri Lankan dahl with lime and kale and potato and okra curry.
 A trip to Westonbirt Arboretum to see the autumn colours:





:
 Finally, a trip to Christchurch to paddle in the sea:

Well, that's it for this month. Wishing you all a fun half term filled with sunny autumn days.
Toodle pip for now. x