Thursday, 26 May 2016

Stiff Legs

I think I may be getting too old for my yoga class. My old yoga teacher (who moved away to Devizes, blast him) was more of a gentle stretching kind of guy. My new one, although lovely, is a bit more on the cardiovascular workout side. Repeated lunges this week turned my poor legs to jelly. Some weeks it's great and I come away feeling fluid, supple and taller. This week, I felt a wreck and my legs stiffened gradually over the next 24 hours until I frightened the birds with my cursing as I tried to do some gardening. I'm OK when I've been up and moving for a while, but when I sit down I'm like an old woman trying to get up again. I'm supposed to have a pilates class today. I don't think that's going to happen, so I'm considering a gentle swim instead.

On a happier note this week:
For the past 2 years come exam time, I have made E a 'keep calm' lavender bag. It hangs on her bed at night, sits beside her during the day when she is revising and comes in the car with us when I drop her off for exams. Here is this year's version - Hamish had a paw in choosing the fabric:
When I started to knit I bought myself some cheap and cheerful plastic stitch markers. They did the job but were a little fragile and kept snapping, so last week I treated myself to a new set from Amazon. Can you guess the theme?
L used to love 'The Owl and the Pussycat'. She was such a shy little girl and I can remember being amazed when her nursery teacher told me that she had stood on a chair and recited the whole thing to the class. I remember hearing somewhere that Johnny Ball recited it at his daughter Zoe's wedding, so L was in good company.
 Rhubarb shortbread, made from a recipe recommended by the lovely CJ. It disappeared in no time.
 Hostas in the rain - still surprisingly slug free, but I noticed the holes starting to appear yesterday.
On Sunday, L and I went to a local car boot sale. We had such fun, trawling up and down the rows and came away with a few bits and pieces. When she was in year 6 (11 years ago) L's class went on an end of year trip to Legoland. She bought a Merlin key ring as a souvenir and has used it ever since. 'LegoMerlin' has had many repairs over the years but recently, he has lost both legs and one arm. Luckily, a stall selling Lego people had a bits box and, for the princely sum of 50p, we were able to buy some replacement parts. It felt better than dismembering a complete Lego person (yes, we are a little sad like that!) and LegoMerlin is now whole once more.
Other finds included: a few fabric pieces, 2 'as new' water bottles for hiking and a piece of tapestry material (I'm sure it has a name but it escapes me for the moment!) which I hope to use to recover our threadbare piano stool. There's a cushion cover in Jane Brocket's 'The Gentle Art of Stitching' that I hope to replicate.
I'm not really sure why I loaded this photo. I got up early one morning and was struck by how pretty the light looked. Unfortunately, it doesn't show up well here but I always enjoy having a nosy at other people's homes, so here's one end of our living room:
 Making marmalade for R:
 I never seem to be organized enough and there's always a last minute frantic scramble for empty jam jars.
 A garden picked posy with the first rose of the year: 
Nigel Slater's 'Frosted Marmalade Cake' (well, I did have some to hand!), recipe to be found here. I read a tip that said to cream the butter and sugar for quite a while and then add the eggs REALLY slowly. It apparently stops the cake sinking in the middle (which this one, apparently, has a tendency to do). It worked anyway and I am usually the Queen of sunken cakes.
 Sneaking a slice with a cup of mint tea. The mint is growing at a pace, so we're drinking a lot of this at the moment.
Finally, I thought I'd show you a photo of me keeping one foot warm while I knitted my second 'Blue Tit' sock. I'd put them on hold whilst I struggled with my 'Wheel of Colour' cushion, but it's all systems go again now that I have my new stitch markers.
Well, that's all for this week. Have a lovely Bank Holiday weekend and Half Term if that applies to you. I'm just off for a hot bath to try and easy my achy legs!

Toodle Pip for now. x


  1. What a gorgeous post full of lovely things. I sympathise with the aching muscles. I started running again this week after five months off and was walking like John Wayne for two days ;-). The shortbread looks great and as if it's been picked up whole and nibbled at! I love the marmalade and the marmalade cake- it looks cooked to perfection. And your room looks beautiful (love the clock). We've got hundreds of Lego bodies in the attic so if you need one again give me a shout! Xx

  2. A lovely happy post. Love the shortbread recipe unfortunately my rhubarb has been dire this year and I see new plants being bought in the future x

  3. I need to start running again, I've been shamefully inactive lately. Well done on the yoga and pilates and swimming, I'm most impressed. Thanks for the mention, I'm glad you enjoyed the shortbread. Great finds at the boot sale. My eldest is off to Legoland soon, I shall point him in the direction of the keyrings, they sound satisfyingly long lasting. I love the idea of a yearly lavender bag of calmness. I hope all is going well for E. The stitch markers are brilliant, I love the Owl and the Pussycat as well. Wishing you a good weekend and half term. CJ xx

  4. Love the darling little lavender bag you made! So sweet. I know what yu mean about aching legs. I have just started pilates and always ache the next day. Love your living room photo - but your sofa is lacking cushions!!! ;) Have a lovely bank holiday weekend. xx

  5. Oh, your poor legs! I know that feeling, hope they ease off soon. What a lovely week, I do like that keep calm bag, what a marvelous idea. Good to see your hostas have survived to date....fingers crossed the slugs go elsewhere. Ahhh....bless legomerlin!xxx

  6. Aching legs are no fun are they, mine have been aching this week from a mamouth gardening session last weekend! I love the idea of a calming lavender bag that is such a good idea, one I will park for future use ;). I love your stitch markers, I have tried using them but find them all a bit annoying I stick to my scraps of yarn! Have a lovely bank holiday weekend.

  7. I am way behind on my blog reading, having been on vacation. It is so nice to be back and catch up on all your news. Hope you're having a lovely weekend.

  8. Crikey you have been busy, love the stitch markers, I may just have to go and have a browse. The socks are gorgeous, lovely colours, and I think I need to make myself a lavender bag to keep me calm.

  9. What a lovely post! I love the idea that you make a lavender bag for your daughter. Might have to think of something similar for my boys. Rhubarb shortbread - yummy!

  10. I remember going to 'fitness yoga' classes some years ago. They were exhausting and I put my back out at one session. When I later took up what I call 'ordinary yoga' I couldn't believe the difference! Your delicious shortbread, marmalade and cake look very appetising, and I love your little lavender bags. I also like your crocheted cushion and socks. You are very busy indeed! Hope you enjoy your gardening when you've recovered.
    Cathy x

  11. Sounds like you need a new yoga teacher :). How lovely to make the lavender bags. What a great idea and I bet your daughter loves them! Love the look of your cakes, I feel it's time I had a baking fest. Have a good week. B x

  12. What a lovely post. This is when I most feel that I'm chatting with my blogging friends, when I sit and read posts like these. I have recently started yoga again after a long lapse and love it, but do find it very challenging. I am hopeless at standing on one leg but do feel taller when i leave, and generally sore a day or two later. Your living room looks so pretty, and how lovely to have double aspect windows in any room, but especially a living room. Your mention of the marmalade cake reminded me how much I love that recipe - I associate it with January and Seville orange season, but it seems a shame to only eat it once a year!

    Good luck to E with her exams. A lavender bag is a lovely idea. xx