Bread, Vikings and Latin

What a 24 hours that was! If variety is the spice of life I’ve just eaten a Vindaloo. Here goes…

I got off the train yesterday looking forward to a creamy tomato soup for tea. Not homemade I’m afraid, but that brand – mentioning no names – that sometimes you crave when a bit of cosseting is required. All that was missing was a tasty crusty loaf.  I was ready to settle for some toasted slightly stale left over crusts. But AW must be a mind reader as there she was at Oxenholme with…fanfare please…sourdough baquettes just purchased from the artisan baker (Lovingly Artisan) based in the little yard next to the station. The smell was delicious and having purloined a couple of these wonderful creations I whizzed through my front door and straightway gave in to the temptation to tear off a hunk and eat it there and then, mmmmmmmmm….I wish you could smell this photo, DSCN0793

So far so relaxing but Saturday morning saw a change of pace. Here come the Vikings DSCN0831

As a Young Archaeologists’ Club leader I have enjoyed some wonderful sessions exploring history and archaeology with groups of brilliant young people but this morning’s meeting was one of the best! It was made particularly special because it was lead by one of our long time members  FW (she’s been a Young Archaeologist since she was 9!) who is a Viking re-enactor. FW had brought along a fellow re-enactor whose character name is Bjarni Thorvaldrson and they shared with us their passion and tremendous knowledge of the Viking era. We handled artifacts (look away if of a squeamish disposition),

wrote in Runes,

and played Nine Men’s Morris, sometimes know as Merrel, a very addictive Viking board game,


But the best was yet to come Viking weapons and how to use them. After terrifying museum visitors with group training in the use of shields and battle formation – I should have known they were not all lined up just to look pretty! –

FW and Bjarni went on to demonstrate with the stuff that could really hurt you (don’t try this at home these people are experts!)

Phew what a finish to an exciting morning.

Time for something more sedate and what could be better than sitting down to master (snigger) the present passive infinitive? whatever that is…. DSCN0848

AH and I are nearing the end of Book 4…oops I mean IV… and have only one more book to go before we finish the course. EeeeeeK. We are hoping that the gods are watching and on the last page of the last book there will be divine intervention transforming us into perfect Latin speakers. Methinks we live in hope!

Now before you go thinking I have forgotten my woolly stuff never fear something I saw amongst the Viking goods reminded me of where my obsession with wool-crafts began. Here’s a clue:DSCN0803

Watch this space tomorrow….

The Joy of Wallowing

Did I ever mention that I like the occasional wallow in self-pity? I know hard to imagine. But…

As a precursor to the chillier weather I developed a cold front of my own. Hacking chesty cough, sore throat, runny nose…you get the picture ….the works.

My friends knew I was feeling a teensy (what is that loud guffawing?) bit sorry for myself (stop that nodding in agreement!). Anyhoo, like a trooper (…stop it…) I carried on (picture hand raised to brow) but luckily as the week closed a ray of sunshine lifted my spirits. Yarndale Bunting I love you and all your cheery colourfulness. Thank you to the ladies (and gentlemen?) of Yarndale – that little bit of Yorkshire that seems to cover the entire globe – for providing a welcome divertissement from the onset of Autumn.

Nonetheless the cold wind whistling through the trees is a timely reminder to find ways to embrace the season. Out comes the trusty stock pot for hearty soups and Clara Chuff (my trolley) is taken into town to carry home delicious vegetables from the market for a warming supper served with jacket potatoes and grated cheese….yummmmm!

As to the town coat of arms and the motto beneath – Pannus Mihi Panis – more of that later….

Having made it (just) through the week I was relieved that I was able to get together with a group of friends two of whom are celebrating special birthdays. To spare blushes I asked them to take the photos to mark the occasion. You could call it an eclectic mix!

Can I say every group should have a JG cos without her mathematical wizardry we would never be able to work out the bill!

Having recovered from her calculations (offers are great until you have to factor them in to make everyone’s share fare!) JG and I were given lifts by AJ. Stopping at JGs for a final cuppa JG treated AJ and me to a slice of the wonderful AW’s cake. By now you will be becoming familiar with AWs sugarcraft and baking skills. She had surprised JG with one of her special cakes. ‘Ere ’tis,

AW had covered the cake with JG’s interests and loves, see what you can spot. And if you were wondering what AW’s cake looks like on the inside feast your eyes on the fruity goodness, DSCN0791

delicious…and now all gone….

But today my thoughts turned to wooly stuff. Kendal is famously a wool town – hence the coat of arms and motto from earlier – and during this Wool Week Kendal had its own Kendal Wool Gathering. I was lucky enough to play a tiny part. Gathering up my real string bag – capacious is certainly the word – and my bits and pieces of crochet and needle felting I toddled down to Kirkland and joined in a jolly morning of sharing crochet and felting with families and visitors to the town’s newest festival in Abbot Hall Community Centre.

It was lovely to meet people and share a cuppa and a mutual interest in wool based crafts. A fitting close to the weekend….almost….

The slip-thru scarf is complete! Here are the final stages:

So tomorrow I will be sporting a new scarf and enjoying the warmth it’ll bring. No more wallowing for me.

Busy Week

One of the best things about having a stay-cation is that I had chance to crochet to my heart’s content and make supper for some of my friends. As you know I have been busy making birdie decorations, DSCN0705

and having made six of the little fellows they have now all found homes. One  with my daughter who moved into her first home with her boyfriend on Friday (they only knew on Tuesday aaaarrrrrghhhhhh), one to a very poorly friend LF in hospital and the last four went to a small group of library ladies as a thank-you for making my years at the library so much fun. But more of that later.

Before I leave the birdies behind I had a lovely comment on my last entry from fellow blogger Jaspar Wallace. He thought that these little not-so-feathered friends reminded him “more of a Forfar bridie than a Cornish pasty”. He made the excellent suggestion that they be called a “Forfar BIRDIE”. I love it and will certainly adopt the name for my little creations and I hope that is OK with Lucy at Attic24 from who I got the pattern.

Having some of the wonderful Debbie Bliss wool left over from the Forfar Birdies I had to start on a new project…didn’t I? So (fanfare please) welcome to the beginnings of a slip-thru scarf,

I’ve made a couple of these scarves before and given them as gifts but this one is definitely mine ‘cos I remembered why I don’t make them very often…the sewing in!!!!!! This time I’ve been very methodical and worked row by row. I make up all the little granny squares one colour row at a time and then sew in the ends. That way I have crochet to look forward to without being outfaced with all the ends to do when I finish. For the finished article watch this space.

But if all that crochet wasn’t enough fun this Friday saw me entertaining at home. The candles were lit, flowers on display and the food laid out.

Most of my guests had made up a little (friendly) posse to walk over so arrived in a lovely bubbly clutch on my doorstep. Thank goodness I went with a buffet as in the midst of the preparation my daughter was shifting furniture! it also meant that I could join in the conversation and (hopefully) a good night was had by all. It was great. Naughty people! everyone brought delicious chocolates, wine and other lovely gifts,

AW made a wonderful Harvest Plait for pudding…infact it was so scrumptious I didn’t even pause to take a photo before it got eaten up!

Evenings like Friday are precious hope its not too long until we get chance to do it again.

Night night all.