Nature’s fridge…

Saturdays have become sociable ‘let’s get busy with the loppers’ day. After their hard work on the front garden the Commando Gardeners DSCN1261

returned and tackled the back garden. While JG – who’d come over with her car – and I did a couple of trip tips (how does sooooo much stuff find its graveyard in the garage?!) KC and MR scraped, dug, lopped (tired just listing this…), hoed, raked and dug over the back garden. A further transformation and another BIG THANK YOU to the Commando Gardeners and to JG who helped me take several more steps to a de-cluttered garage. And all for a bowl of butterbean soup…and good friendship.

I’ve loved the last couple of weeks sharing a hearty soup, crusty bread, cheese and of course copious amounts of tea with friends after all that hard work.

Time for relaxing with a crochet project… or two. Even tho’ it has certainly not been the coldest winter on record it has been cold enough to use nature’s fridge i.e. pop milk outside office window* to keep cool in between cuppas. My colleague and I had tried carrier bags but in wet and windy Britain they just got waterlogged  and let’s face it they were not very pretty! Crochet (what else?!) provided the answer. Cast your mind back to the bottle carrier pattern

and then think of the colourful twine JG gave me,

adapt the pattern and voila a milk bottle carrier perfect for Nature’s fridge:

get the kettle on!

Still on the go the Long Way Home shawl. I was beginning to see why it was so named. Not a Weekend Shawl this new wrap has taken me a couple of weeks. From its small beginnings,

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it started to grow, DSCN1250

and now Linda’s glorious, snuggly, soft Alpaca blend wool

has blossomed into a wonderful, stylish shawl

which I can’t wait to wear to Carlisle in the morning.

And while I’m still devouring the hilarious Peter Grant series of books of Ben Aaronovitch,

looking forward to one more (awaiting it’s arrival as a request at Kendal library), DownloadedFile-1

and with days becoming lighter the prospect of Monday morning doesn’t seem too daunting. Bring it on.

*n.b. our office window is above a rear roof and nobody can pass underneath – don’t try this where there is any possibility of someone or something walking underneath…that’s the end of the health and safety warning folks!

Happy memories…and the Monet

Time to reveal the Monet in the garage…. DSCN1235

Monet? you query. Yes Monet,

See! Well yes it’s not that Monet (Claude) but it is his great nephew (Jason). And the happy memory? Visiting his Bayswater studio in the late ’60s with my lovely father (Vati to me Opi to my children) to have this portrait painted. Bless him he stayed for hours trying to keep me amused while my ten year old self sat as still as any self-respecting schoolgirl could for the portrait. Here it is in all it’s glory

By the way the multi-coloured hexagonal patterned dress drove the artist mad.

Now to a form of art I am more familiar with, the fleecy kind. When the lovely Linda left us her woolly stash remained and thanks to her friend Ls and the generosity of her family all Linda’s friends have received little bags of Linda’s loveliness.  Mine came in typically Linda-esque colourful fashion DSCN1242

and was filled with a thoughtful (thank you Ls) collection of Linda’s yarns, patterns and, touchingly, equipment she used DSCN1243

I asked Ls how she knew what to put in each parcel and she said that she had laid everything out and let Linda ‘tell’ her. I can believe it as everything was so perfectly related to the recipient. Needless to say these are all treasures and I will cherish them. And how great it was to see a few more balls of the hand spun yarn that I’d used to crochet a brooch for Linda’s funeral, such beautiful colours DSCN1248

Although it is sad to think of Linda’s loss the happy memories evoked by these beautiful things take me back to all the woolly and other moments shared with my marvelous friend.

Something else has cheered me this week. A laugh out loud book.DownloadedFile

I know its a cliche but really I couldn’t put it down. It is sooooooooo funny and cleverly written. On top of that it captured the role of the probationer PC (in another life I was one too! altho’ magic was not part of the training in my day), the streets around Bloomsbury and the history of the city. It even throws in a bit of Latin! Of course I read it in no time and Saturday saw me making an emergency dash to the library to find (relief unbounded) two more books in the series. Sorry must go…bed and a good book calls….