Three Cakes Saturday and Mummys’ Sunday


Pop-up day arrived. 7.15am saw sometime Commando Gardener sometime Library Lady sometime craftswoman KC and me wend our way up to Oxenholme Station…..trusty wheelie cases in tow.

Having set out our wares – Library information for KC

my Moke’s Makes10152738_10152282518235816_2080991688_n

and (as if KC hadn’t been busy enough) Kinga’s Bags

– it was time to admire our pop-up neighbour and tuck into our first cake…yummmmm….

KC had brought the most incredible apple crumble cake. Full of fruit, HUGE and delicious. Tea and coffee accompaniment naturally.

As the trains whizzed past and the morning wore on we had a cheerfully chattery library ladies get together as we were joined by CMc and JG and happily munched our way through cake number two, gooey, chewy, hearty artisan baked flapjacks (I had lemon and ginger…amazing), brought by JG.

It was nice to see our wares laid out DSCN1404 and lovely to see everyone but soon it was time for home. Our friend (also a Library Lady) AW arrived to run us back. With her came cake nos. 3! a slice of her melt in the mouth chocolate cake which I wholeheartedly enjoyed back home with a large mug of freshly brewed tea. Aaaaaaahhh.

Thank you to Virgin Trains for arranging these community events and the Oxenholme Community Champion, Alison, who gets it all up and running at my favourite little station.

Mummy’s (Sun)Day and what a splendid sunny Spring day it was. A long chat with No1 son set the day off to a great start and then along came No 1 daughter with all the makings for a High Tea (including the china…I’m strictly a tea mugs household),

wonderful gifts,

and most poignantly a memory board of our small but beautiful family.

There were pictures of a youthful me and my parents – Omi and Opi – when they were young,

and happy times with Omi and my fantastic aunty May(ble),

No1 daughter is our family archivist and it was special to remember times with Omi and her sister May two lovely mums themselves who were there to support us when times were difficult and help give my children a childhood that I know they both treasure.


P.S. Marilyn Monroe was not part of our family! She is just the normal resident of No1 daughter’s cork board.

Pop-up madness

Back to work I go. Back to my daily walks and visits to Oxenholme station to await the early morning Pendolino. Of course there are compensations. The walk is good for my health, almost 4 miles a day is not to be sniffed at if I say so myself, and there is always a cup of tea to look forward to as I settle down to the latest ‘Book on the Platform’.

Oink was an additional cheery feature of this Monday morning.

Then there are always the station’s community events to look forward to, DSCN1362

and – even better – take part in, DSCN1361

and so the wonderful, distracting pop-up madness begins.

For one pop-up day only – I’ll be there on Saturday 29 March – Moke’s Makes has been revitalised, DSCN1391

remaining stock readied,

and new items created….

Being a daily customer of the friendly and ‘welcome sight’ Caffeine Rush van (handily parked on the southbound platform 1), DSCN0604

takeaway cup cosys were top of my must-makes list,

if only so KC* and I can enjoy a long lasting hot cuppa without singeing our hands. The pattern was designed by Danyel Pink. It was amazingly satisfying to hook-up and gave me a few happy Crochet on a Train moments this week.

Then there are the Attic 24 inspired Forfar Birdies filled with fresh smelling French Lavendar…aaaaaaahhhhh…. DSCN1370

chunky crochet flower brooches, DSCN1369

trinket baskets made with yarn crocheted over string:

I made this little fellow up ad hoc much like my display basket,

when I get my head together after the Pop Up madness I will share with you how I made them.

*Now as if all this crafty fun wasn’t enough my good friend KC will also be having a table at the pop-up event. She will be promoting the library service but she will also be providing some of her beautiful sewing for the Moke’s Makes stall. Remember the wonderful bag she made me?

I can’t wait to see what she has been busily sewing up. I know her creations will be marvelous, perfect Mother’s day pressies, and welcome cheerful additions to the Moke’s Makes stall.

Before I go a BIG THANKS is also due to the other half of the Commando Gardeners MR for my superb new header. Isn’t it smashing? I love it.

Baa-Baa-raa and a Liebster nomination

What a lovely week of stay-cation craftiness. I kicked it off by picking up a pile of craft and crochet magazines. I called it research but really I was spoiling myself and oh how I enjoyed it. Then when I heard I was able to have a table at Oxenholme Station’s pop-up shop event on 29 March I was glad I’d laid in a store of inspiration. It’s sometime since Moke’s Makes have been on sale and stock is at an all time low…eeeekkkkkk….but first of all a bit of fun.DSCN1353

Thanks to the latest edition of ‘Knitting & Crochet’ and the wonderful yarns, crochet hook and needles that came with it I was moved to have a go at …. knitting! It’s been a while but like riding a bike it soon comes back and now I have a new mascot, BaaBaaRaa:

Picking up the knitting needles again was very pleasing, especially learning a new stitch. I haven’t made loops before and although they were tricky – how many thumbs do I have?! – I hope you’ll agree that they lend a certain curly cute factor to BBR. But back to my comfort zone: out with the 2mm crochet hook and a new pattern.

Remember the brilliant colourful collection of threads that JG gave me from her mother’s crafting collection?

Together with the help of the wonderful Kara of Petals to Picots  they have now been put to good use. But what colour to choose?

All of them of course. One large paper clip later and I have a perfect little keepsake for my friend JC-K who I’m meeting in Windermere for a cuppa.DSCN1360

With my head in gear for stock making and by delving into another title in my stash of crafty mags, DSCN1355Oink the cup cosy was born.

Oink was something of a labour of love so I might simplify things to make a store of take-away cup cosies that I will add to my range of hooky goodies at Oxenholme. Watch this space, I’ll keep you posted.

Finally, hold the front page…

Thanks to youngatfifty  I have been nominated for the Liebster Award. I’ve never been nominated for anything before and I am chuffed. Thank you youngatfifty. I feel really honored as  I so enjoy your cheerful and inspirational blog. 

liebster award

Here are the rules :

1.Link back to the blogger who awarded you.

2.Answer 11 questions posted by the presenter and ask your nominees 11 questions.

3. Nominate 11 bloggers who you feel deserve this award and who have less than 200 followers. Inform them of their nomination in their blogs.

These are the  11 blogs I wish to nominate (apologies if any of you have already been nominated) :

1.Knitting With Heart

2.Blu Chicken Ninja

3.Curls and Q

4.Molly Bean

5.I’m Sewing Heaven

6.Slipped Stitches’ Weblog

7.Notes From Camelid Country

8.Crochet Thread

9.Veggies, Yarns and Tails

10.Stella Tarakson

11.Completely Cauchy 

My answers to ‘Young at Fifty’s‘ 11 questions are :

1. Why do you blog ? I started my blog as a way of remembering my last month with the Young People’s Library Service.  I enjoyed sharing the wool-iness and book-ishness and ‘meeting’ with other bloggers so much I carried on.

2. If there is one daily chore you hate, what is it ? I can’t call this a daily chore as I hate ironing so much  I do it as little as possible …. ironing … aaaaarghhhhhhh …

3. How easy is it for you to get out of bed in the morning ? Sickeningly for some I am a morning person and like to seize the day. However at the mo’ my job means I’m up just after 5am a bit early even for a lark like me.

4. Do you judge a blog by number of followers, likes or content ? I don’t check numbers of followers and only notice likes when I like a blog or post too. It’s always content for me.

5. Do you read the About page of a blogger ? If so when ? I usually start with reading the latest blog and then go to the ‘About’ page. I enjoy finding out a bit more about the blogger and love to learn where they are from as it is such an international community. 

6. What do you think of copyright issues ? How serious is it for you if you found somebody copied your idea ? I always try and credit the blog, website, book or magazine that patterns, inspiration and ideas come from and adhere to the creator’s requests regarding copyright. Not only do I think this is courteous to the source but also helpful to the reader. Having said that I believe that blogging is about sharing and would not get too upset if someone copied my own ideas.

7. When do you write blog posts ? When you have an idea or as a schedule ? daily/weekly? As the week goes along I try and note down ideas and take photos ready for the weekend when I have time to write my blog. I try to post at least once a week. 

8. What are your other hobbies ? I think I cover most of them in the blog. My tastes are eclectic and range from reading, writing, continuing to study ancient history and learning latin to the wonderful world of wool crafts and community arts.

9. Do you read all your posts on your reader everyday ? ‘fraid not. I usually skim through a couple of times a week and pick up on the posts that really grab my fancy.

10. How do you discover new bloggers ? Through ‘You May Like’ in the Reader, ‘Freshly Pressed’ and via the internet (web searches).

11. How do you search for new content of your interest ? Apart from through fellow bloggers and the internet I am a great fan of the good old library and specialist magazines. I also like talking to people. While Wool n Stuff  was running I treasured our monthly get togethers when my wooly friends shared their knowledge and enthusiasm.

Here are my 11 questions for those of you who choose to carry on the torch:

1.What are your top three books?

2.What (if any) specialist magazines do you read?

3.Who would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?

4.Who do you write your blog for?

5. Why do you write a blog?

6.If money were no object what would you do?

7.What is your favourite and least favourite colour?

8.How many blogs do you follow?

9.Do you track any tags?

10. Name your favourite blog and why you like it so much.

11. If you could write for any magazine or newspaper which would it be and why.

Thank you.

Book on a Train – ‘The Humans’

‘The Humans’ by Matt Haig images

Matt HAIG “The Humans” importantly sub-titled ‘There’s No Place Like Home’ (2013, Cannongate Books Ltd, Edinburgh, 9780857868756) a touching sci-fi novel that explores what it is to be human.

The story of the ultimate outsider who’s insights allow us to glimpse the peculiarities of the human condition: the mass of contradictions that makes us a wonderful species….although dogs are (of course) better.

Having solved the world’s greatest mathematical puzzle Cambridge professor Andrew Martin vanishes.  Discovered he is different. Struggling with a world at odds with his rational mind and living amongst a repulsive species Martin believes he will easily complete the murderous task he has been given. Reading the poetry of Emily Dickinson, listening to the music of Debussy and making friends with a dog called Newton might just stop him. 

Don’t let the words insightful or philosophical put you off reading Haig’s wonderful little book. It has humour and through the Professor’s first person narrative you will explore with startling clarity the reaches of emotion. I can’t say it better than Jeanette Winterson, ‘Matt Haig uses words like a tin-opener. We are the tin.’

As this week’s book on a train it was perfect. Practically it has short ’chapters’. I could leave off reading at important junctures as I reached my station, left hungry to start reading again on my return trip. Following Martin’s journey of realization while biting your nails as he confronts what he must do prevents the book from becoming maudlin. I recommend it unreservedly and would suggest you take on some of the wisdom it contains:

–   ‘If there is a sunset, stop and look at it. Knowledge is finite. Wonder is infinite.’

–   ‘A cow is a cow even if you call it beef.’

Thank you KC for the recommendation.

Happy reading.

Let there be …

This week I noticed something on my walk to the station, can you see it? DSCN1292

perhaps here? DSCN1293

no? now?DSCN1295

is this is a better angle?DSCN1296

it’s becoming obvious DSCN1297

isn’t it? DSCN1300

Yippee. Let there be light!

What a boost to see a little more light every day. Time also for a little crochet ‘lift’ to the workplace. On the wall opposite me there is an empty hook and it is calling to me …

Sometime ago I had fancied making an Attic 24 wreath and covered a polystyrene ring ready for embellishing,DSCN1304

but it didn’t get made. Now with the pom poms which my lovely friend Linda had persuaded me to keep just ‘in case’,


some flowers that I quickly made up this morning,

and an old friend who had been looking for a home, DSCN1103

I  have my wreath, DSCN1318

and can’t wait to make use of that lonely little hook for a splash of wooly good cheer.