Thursday, 31 July 2014

Still Here, Just Busy...

Hello! 

This is just a quick pop by to say thank you for still reading my blog and leaving me lovely comments!

I am still here, it's just that I'm in my home town, in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. I'm catching up with my mum and my friends, and doing lots of activities that I always mean to do when I visit, but that always get put back for next time... Well, now that we are emigrating, there won't be so many next times! So I am making the most of this time.

This means that although I brought my laptop along and had every intention of keeping things here up-to-date, actually I have been doing too much other stuff to make time blogging... I will definitely get back to it though, and I have sooooo much to share! (I know I already had stuff waiting to be shared, but now there is loads more!! haha)

I did want to login though and let you know why I've not been on here much, and let you know that I did see my latest comments and I will reply when I get a bit more time!  And I will be posting again - I haven't given up or anything :)

I will also share this cute photo with you, I really wanted to see puffins again when I came back, and I was convinced that we were arriving too late in the year to see them. Fortunately for me, there were still loads of puffins though, and I got to see them! Yay!!! I was so happy :)








Monday, 21 July 2014

Blankety News



Well, I’m sure you’re going to be really surprised to hear that I don’t have any more travelly bits for you yet… I do, however, have some exciting blankety news!!

Last night I finally finished the very last bit of the very last panel of my mum’s Walled Garden Blanket. Yay!!!!!!

It may have been quite late when I finished, but I did make sure to take a few pictures of my lovely stack of 15 flowery panels :)





Then, this morning I made all of the horizontal joinings of the blanket panels. A few jobs later (including a wasted trip for a hospital appointment that had been rearranged without them telling me!!! Grrrr!!!), and I was back for the evening and finishing off the 2 vertical joinings. Exciting stuff! I wish I had taken pictures during this stage, but it was wet outside and I was fitting the hooky in between other jobs, so I felt like every moment counted as I tried to get it finished...

Once that was completed, I went all around the outside with a Cascade blue row of granny squares to neaten up those edges. This continues the pattern of the panels, and will be followed with another Cream row. I had been wondering what colour to do the border edging, and after a bit of playing around I think that a Fuchsia border will look nice:

Blogger has made this one portrait as well, really not sure why! But I do like the pop of dark pink as the final round - a good colour for the edging I think :)


Of course, the decision about the border design will be made together with my mum, and before the final edging there will be a bit more border to hook up as the blanket needs to be a teensy bit wider really. I’m looking forward to searching through Pinterest with my mum to help come up with a plan :)

So, tomorrow we will leave for Pembrokeshire, bringing lots of stuff for outdoor activities with friends, my crochet project basket, and birthday presents for my mum and my best friend (whose birthdays were earlier this month). I’m really looking forward to going back, so I’m going to enjoy a bit of a read of my book before bed so I can (try to) get up bright and early tomorrow. 


But, before I go, would you like to see how the blanket looked once all of the panels were hooked together? I'm afraid it isn't a great photo as the light wasn't great, but I have to say, I am quite pleased with it - and can't wait to see how it will look with a finished border and lovely edging!! 





 

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Change of Plans



Wow, we are having some hideous weather this weekend! The sky keeps getting so dark that it looks like night time, the rain is coming down in deluge-form, and the thunder is spectacularly loud! I’m kind of feeling like I had a lucky escape – I had been planning to go to North Wales to meet my brother for the weekend; we were going to be camping, and going out walking and/or climbing.



I had really wanted to go, for the sake of several things: seeing my brother, being in North Wales, walking in the mountains and rock climbing. I even have my new helmet to take out, as well as a new climbing harness that my brother gave me. He had bought it for his wife, but it was a bit big for her. She’s slimmer than me though, so it turned out to be a perfect fit for me! 

Petzl Elia Helmet

Black Diamond Primrose AL Climbing Harness


It was a sore decision to make when I decided not to go, and one I only made as my husband said that while I was away he would stay behind and do more work on our inventory of stuff that really needs to be sent off, and packing up more bits and bobs. This made me feel pretty guilty, as I should be helping with this too, so I decided to stay as well.

I have to say, we did get quite a lot done today! Lots more stuff in boxes ready to go to the store on Monday morning. I tidied up a few crafting supplies so that they are prepped to move, we sorted through the remainder of my husband’s work gear – stuff he may need again getting packed, stuff he won’t getting tidied to one side so we can sell it. 

I also packed our coat hangers – how difficult are they to pack efficiently??? In the end, what worked for me was buying one of those long and wide under-bed storage boxes from Wilkos. 

www.wilko.com


I sorted the hangers into bundles of the same size and shape, and used little hair bands to hold them together. 



Then I placed them in the box as neatly as possible, and finally I filled the gaps with any unusually shaped hangers (such as the ones with clips for skirts and trousers), laying the chunkier jacket hangers over the top however they would fit. 




Somehow this picture just will not upload in the landscape format!





I’m so pleased this worked out, as coat hangers become so bulky and awkward when packed, but now I can be confident that they will arrive intact so we can unpack easily, plus afterwards we will have some more handy storage to use! (I’m hoping that we will never again be quite so disorganised as we were in our last (and first!) home together, and that the next time we move it will all be a bit smoother…)

I feel like I’ve been wittering on about packing for so many posts now, but it just feels so complicated! I feel like it would be easier if we had just moved house, taking our stuff from one place to another directly. But instead, we had to pack everything we wouldn’t need for some time, and put it in storage. Pack everything we might need, and take it to Adam’s parents, and also somehow keep separate everything that needed extra work – either sorting out the mounds of paperwork we have somehow acquired, or deciding what ‘hobby stuff’ we need with us for use while we wait to leave (crafting supplies, outdoors equipment etc). Even deciding which clothes we need with us now and which can be shipped is tricky – we will need to keep some hot weather clothes with us, and we’ll need whatever clothes we’ll be wearing in the UK, but it must all fit in the suitcase we’ll take with us…



It’s all enough to make you need a break, so I’m now working on my Walled Garden Blanket some more – hooking up the 14th panel!! It’s far too wet and gloomy for a nice progress picture, but number 14 looks just like all the others…

The first 6


I’ve also tidied up my project basket. Its lids were tied on with some weird stuff that was quite stiff, and so used to snag my yarn. I therefore removed it and replaced it with some ribbon that I came across when tidying up my sewing box. I also just gave it a bit of a shake out, and then neatly replaced all my project yarn. There’s quite a lot now since I restocked to make sure I would have all I needed for the edging, so the basket is pretty full! 



And speaking of edging, also in the basket are a couple of books to help choose an edging design with my mum. One is my own:



And I have this one from the library, I will let you know if I spot anything useful in it once I take a proper look :)



Well, that's all for now I guess, I am being called for dinner! Hopefully I can put some more Cornish tales together soon :)




Friday, 18 July 2014

Progress Report ~ Update



I wrote this progress report the other day, and I thought I would write a progress update about the stuff I covered there :)

To begin with, having our stuff in decent storage is making life so much easier! We are now able to pack up things from the house at our convenience, and drop the stuff off in storage when we are ready. So much better than having to spend days and days trying to liaise a time when they could get our crates ready for us, only to get there and find that they hadn’t got them ready at all and there was nothing we could do!

It’s pretty amazing how much stuff we still have at my in-laws house, besides the stuff that we need and/or plan to take with us in luggage because it is too precious and irreplaceable to ship. We do need to get a move on with really being tough over that, but I find it so hard to be brutal over packing up books, DVDs, yarn stash…  I also find it really hard to be disciplined over not acquiring more of these things, and therefore undermining any work we do manage… Oops!!


Lots more forms have been filled out and sent off for the Australia thing, and there is progress! We now have a firm date for my husband signing on to his new job, which will happen at the High Commission in London at the start of October. It’s getting very real!!!!!!!!!!!  We will have to be in London the night before, but they will sort us out a hotel room for that. Then we will fly to Australia on the next available flight, which they will have booked for us. Wow. Can’t quite believe this is going to happen!

We also now have our login details for the housing website we can use to look for our first home over there. I had been really looking forward to being able to find out the type of place we will live in (after our initial period in a motel, while we wait for our shipped container of stuff to arrive!)but it wasn't to be just yet. When we logged in, it just said that there was currently no housing in our area for our eligibility! We just have to keep checking back, and if nothing becomes available in time then we can get in touch with them and they will help us sort something else out.


With regard to my husband’s current job, well, he doesn’t have one anymore! He successfully handed back all his kit and handed in his resignation, so he is a free man. This took place in York, where we also had a fun couple of days eating too much and trying lots of local ales… My husband was a student in York, so he loves to go back and reminisce about his student days. He loves the city too, so we had a lovely happy couple of days as he got to enjoy his freedom ;)

When we got back from York, he then carried on south to collect the last of his belongings from his work accommodation, so now we will be spending a lot more time together, and will potentially see each other throughout the week! A novel concept for us :)


While in York, I finished the book I had been reading:



I really enjoyed this book, I am a bit of a fan of Terry Pratchett so I would buy any book of his, and this one was no disappointment. It didn’t have the daft humour I like in Pratchett’s Discworld books, but it was great to see him being more diverse, and read this very different type of story. Unfortunately, as it is part of a trilogy (I think) it did finish pretty abruptly, with no conclusion. Something of a cliff hanger in fact! I immediately got onto the Amazon app on my phone to look up the next instalment:



This next one is now in my Amazon basket, waiting for more items to make it up to the £10 of eligible purchases required for the supersaver free delivery… (You see my weakness when it comes to getting more books!!) However, when I went back to the library today to return the first book, I discovered that they now has the second one in too! Although now they don't, as I promptly whipped it off the shelf and took it away with me :)   (Libraries are great!)


Also while in York, I was able to make some blanket progress. I discovered with the Glastonbury blanket, where I could take completed circles plus the turquoise outer yarn, and crochet away, that having a colour scheme is a good way to make a project portable. For York, I just took the two pink colours that I’m using for the flower motifs in the squares of the Walled Garden Blanket. I was then able to crochet the daisy flowers in spare moments, all ready to make into squares and then the finished panel. I got 12 daisies made all together, plus a few extra centres. (The larger centre flowers have all been finished already).



This meant that when we got back from York yesterday, it was pretty short work to add the green rounds and put panel number 12 together. Then I was also got to work on the 13th panel, finishing almost all of the squares before reaching the end of that ball of green yarn, and deciding that this (along with the fact that it was half past midnight!) was a sign I should go to bed…  A lot of progress made though :)

The pesky yarn ball ran out on the penultimate square!


Today, I finished off those last squares and sewed them all up, and I am currently on the final round of the 13th Panel, only TWO panels left to go!! I can't quite believe it, and I'm really hoping that I can get them all done before I head down to see my mum on Tuesday.

Also today, I headed to Boyes to stock up on some more yarn. I had learned my lesson from my recent yarn shortage (when I ran out of the lighter pink) and didn't want that to happen again. While I reckoned I had enough yarn for both remaining panels, I didn't think there would be enough for creating a border, and I had no idea where I would stock up in Pembrokeshire if I ran out while at my mum's.

So there we go, a bit more progress on everything! Hopefully there will be more progress on packing over the weekend too, that would allow us to relax a bit more and enjoy our time in Pembrokeshire :)







Thursday, 17 July 2014

Cornish Break ~ part 1









I’ve already posted about my nature-spotting weekend in Cornwall (day 1 & day 2), where we had hoped to swim with basking sharks and had got to see wonderful Risso Dolphins. And now - much later than it should have been! – is a bit of a summary of the rest of the time I had in Cornwall. ~ addendum: due to lots of interruptions, I once again didn't get to finish off this post, but I thought I have taken so long to get even this far that I will post what I have so far, and post the rest later...  Sorry!

I had already booked a cheap little room in Newquay, so after the boat trip was over I headed there. My husband Adam had already checked us in, so I got to have a nice shower before we headed out to find food.

The view from our room in Newquay


It seemed that in the years since I had last been there, I had kind of grown out of Newquay, and I didn’t enjoy it half as much as I had enjoyed the brief wander around St Ives.

Fortunately, the next day I took Adam to St Ives, where we spent all our time mooching around the lovely independent shops, looking at arty ceramics and glasswork, and enjoying crab sandwiches and Cornish pasties – and cream teas! And it turned out that Adam also liked it so much that he immediately wanted to book a night in St Ives for after our Newquay accommodation was over!

We found a gorgeous guest house just up the hill and overlooking the sea, called The Belmont. I thoroughly recommend this place if you’re looking for B&B / guest house accommodation down there. The lady in charge is lovely and really friendly, the place is so clean and beautifully decorated. The place is in a convenient location and even has limited parking – at a premium in St Ives! And also the breakfast is great – not just a traditional fry-up, but options for things on toast, cereal and fresh fruit. Very lovely indeed! We had to book 2 nights as a minimum – such a hardship! ;)

Our room, via The Belmont


We headed back for our last night in Newquay, enjoying fish and chips while overlooking the sea. The next day we checked out and moved on to St Ives. On the way, we passed signs for the Healey’s Cider Farm. My husband loves cider so I indicated to turn off here (as we had arrived separately, we unfortunately had both cars with us) and he followed. He was very pleased that I spotted it and turned off, as he had also seen the sign but hadn’t thought I would turn off!  He was even more pleased that it turned out to be the place where Cornish Rattler cider is made, as he thought this would make his brother a bit jealous ;)  

 

We both did the tour, which if you’re interested in Cider was pretty interesting. The guide we had didn’t dwell on anything too long so the talk didn’t get boring




Then when it came to the sampling section of the tour, it was very generous – you didn’t get limited to only trying one or two products, you got a try a bit of everything you wanted to! I must admit, this did mean that we had to wait a while and get a pasty and a cup of tea in the cafĂ© before we felt able to get back in the cars and carry on to St Ives…





After checking in to the new place, we went off and spent the rest of the afternoon at the beach, making the most of rare British sunshine and warmth. We even had a swim in the sea :)

That evening we tried to get into a restaurant but it was full, so we booked a table for the following night and then found a different place nearby instead; an old fashioned-looking place called Hobblers. I hadn’t been convinced when my husband pointed out this place, but I hadn’t wanted a drawn out process of finding somewhere else, so I agreed to it.

Hobblers


When we got inside it was very cramped and the staff seemed a little eccentric. The menu looked good though, and to keep with the seaside theme we ordered rum cocktails and seafood. When our orders arrived, they were amazing. Absolutely delicious!! I had ordered Lemon Sole with a prawn sauce, and while I had only had Lemon Sole once before and hadn’t really liked it, this was sooooo delicious that I felt I could eat it every night for the next week! All the ingredients were clearly really fresh, the fish was expertly filleted with no bones, and it was just melt in the mouth deliciousness…  My mouth is watering just writing about it!


So that's how far I got before I was called away the last time, and now it's past 11pm here so I ought to finish up. Still to write about is a bit more outdoorsy stuff, and the Eden Project!  :)