Saturday, 31 August 2013

Summer Holidays 2013 Part 1

The year has ticked by and been filled with lots of activity so my little blog has suffered, once school starts I am back full time and spare time is precious. So I will give you a flavour of what this year has contained so far since Easter break.  On the May Bank Holiday weekend the Guides and Scouts went off for their usual camp accompanied by the Rangers, Explorers and Network.
We had a beautifully dryish weekend and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, which was a huge improvement on last years weather.
We visited the RHS Wisley Garden again to see the Rhododendrons and Azaleas in full bloom which was beautiful and surprisingly fragrant.
During the month of May we visited The Shard in London, which gave us spectacular views of the whole of London as far as the eye could see and it was a lovely clear day.

Early June one warm sunny friday evening we bought fish and chips and drove up to the downs to enjoy the view, we found a few wild orchids in flower and in the distance could see Cissbury Ring

late June we visited Warner Brothers Studio where the Harry Potter films were made near Watford London

There was so much to see it was a struggle to fit it all into the 3 1/2 hours but we loved it all and would love to go back again.
The great hall with the models of the teachers and their costumes

Harry and Ron's dorm

Magic over muggles sculpture from the Ministry of Magic

Harry's Aunt and Uncles house in Privet Drive

Diagon Alley

It was incredible to see so many of the items from filming together with so many sets or parts of them. above is the model of Hogwarts used for scenes of the castle.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Easter Part 2

We have had a quiet few days at home, in between the quiet days we have been out and about. On Monday we visited RHS Wisley (RHS = Royal Horticultural Society) The RHS is the organisation who also puts on the Chelsea Flower Show as well as several other shows through the year.
Spring has been much colder this year which has held the growing season back. Wisley has lots of colour if you know where to look for it.
On the rockery many of the tiny daffodils and other flowers were beginning to show

 The Alpine House is filled with colour 

At the top of the rockery just outside the Alpine house are two beautiful cherry trees in bloom

In the glasshouse the Orchid exhibition which is on until 21st April was spectacular

We had an amazing day, Em needed some photographic material for her art project which she collected - 345 photos! and I thought I took a lot of pictures.  Wisley is a beautiful garden and one which I have know for many years. Orchids are one of my favourite plants so this was a perfect visit.

Hope you have a good week Jane

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Easter Break

Winter is still hanging on and the days are cold between 2-5 degrees celsius, but now the hour has sprung forward to British summertime the days are longer. The birds are singing and the sun is shining, if you can find shelter away from the wind the sun has warmth to it. Over the Easter weekend we visited my family in Dorset and on Saturday went down to Durlston Country Park near Swannage.

 There is an Earth timeline walk charting the earths formation and change from molten ball of lava through to the beautiful place it is today. Along the path there were big stones nearly six foot tall with fossils in them and this was the most stunning (top right). We visited the castle which housed a cafe restaurant - booking before you go for a meal is essential as it is quite small. If you want morning coffee or afternoon tea you can sit on the balcony if its not too cold. The views from the top of the castle were beautiful, this is looking towards Swannage and Poole (top left)
 Below the castle there is a stone planet, which was carved in 1890 by George Burt, stone mason and former owner of the castle. The stone earth records the world which has seen many changes since in names and borders. From the position of the globe you can look up to see the turrets of the castle.

As we had not been able to have lunch at the castle we moved on to Swannage for the remainder of our day. Passing the Swannage steam railway and just in time to see the arrival of the steam engine pulling a train packed with families on Easter break travelling down from Corfe Castle or Norden Station where there is a big carpark. The engine seen shunting back to the end of the station line is BR Standard class 4 80104 the picture below shows the same engine just coming into the station approach.
 We had lunch on the seafront at the Quayside Restaurant upstairs in the Mowlem Theatre. The food was delicious and beautifully presented.

The tide was in and the wind was blowing straight off the sea so it was very bracing but the sun was out so it was lovely to be there.
 On our way back through the town of Swannage Em found a friend! Jeremy The Macheosaurus Rex who has his own facebook page. He was outside The Pottery Place on his own surf board how cool is that!
The remainder of the Easter weekend were spent with the family. Amongst the Easter decorations are the two lambs I knitted from Jean Greenhowes Christmas booklet one is cream and the other rainbow splash (King Cole yarn) 
Hope you had a good weekend Jane x

Saturday, 16 March 2013


Whether the weather be fine,
Or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold,
Or whether the weather be hot,
We'll weather the weather
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not!

It's been a funny old week. On Monday it snowed all day but didn't lay properly 'til 6pm, by 9.30pm we had been notified by school that Tuesday would be a snow day.

We spent it wrapped up cosy at home, I was busy knitting, Em was doing art work and Tony was working from home. Late morning the sun came out and melted all the snow. 

Wednesday was back to normal but we had an activity day at school, this meant that some students were out on trips to Brighton, Goodwood Sculpture Park, Arundel, London - Love Through the Ages Poetry conference, Lion King and Solihul to visit Landrover. Others were taking part in school based activities: Business enterprize day, Disability Awareness and coursework catch-up for the year 11's.

Friday was comic relief dress up in the 1980's - Most of the staff were in costume and students came in 1980's costume or home clothes.
Knitting completed this week for Easter decorations are two sheep from Jean Greenhowe's Christmas Special booklet. Having made the cream one I had to try something different, so mimicking the sheep of the South Downs I made one with black face and legs, then for a change used some oddments of King Cole Splash so sheep looks as though she has been touched by the rainbow.

Finally tomorrow would have been my Grans birthday, she died in 1991 but I still think of her often, she taught me how to knit, she spent many hours knitting beautiful cardigans for me to wear to school and at home. She was a very skilled knitter and could knit a pair of sock for my father quite quickly. She once showed me how to unravel an old hand knit sweater to gently steam the curly wool straight again for knitting, how to lengthen the sleeves on a jumper, to knit an outfit for my doll as part of my primary school needlework classes. She stopped knitting when her eyesight began to fail due to the muscle in her eye not working properly. I also love, crochet and sewing which my Mum taught me. I taught myself how to cross stitch from books borrowed from the library.

Hope you have a good week Jane xx

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Time has Flown Again

I hadn't realised it was so long since I last posted but I have been busy knitting.
Earlier in the year I knitted a rainbow cosy for my little teapot I use at work. Everyone admires when they see it on my desk and it makes me smile because it is so bright and cheery.

At the end of the summer holidays I finished the ripple lap blanket off that I had started a few years back. I love it because it keeps my legs and feet warm in the winter whilst watching the tv. I made it using the ripple pattern from the crochet stitches book I have and the yarn is the DK baby wool i had left over and wanted to use up.

In November I made a  cowl for Em, the first one in King Cole red aran yarn from a pattern on Ravelry

Then i crocheted a cowl in purple also for Em. This one was an adaptation of the Purl Bee pattern I started with double the starter chain and used two balls of King Cole yarn similar to Galaxy but without the sequins. It was an acrylic yarn which didn't tickle.

My final piece for this post is the beautiful Owl Sweater from a pattern by Kate Davies which can be found on Ravelry click on the word pattern above to follow the link. Em decided although she loved the eyes for the Owls that they would catch on everything including her hair as it is quite long now.
 That's all for now, back soon I hope