Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Checking In - February 2017






Making - Still trying to make progress with WIPs this year, mostly my happy scrappy wedding blanket (above)

Cooking - Lots of soup, Broccoli and Stilton is the agreed favourite thus far

Drinking - Red Bush Tea. I gave up caffeine recently and to be honest I really don't miss it now. I don't drink coffee anyway and I'm used to different teas now. I think I'm more awake paradoxically as a result!

Reading - 'A Game for All the Family' by Sophie Hannah - see here.

Wanting - A few more blue skies, the real sign Spring is on its way :)

Deciding - What to make next

Enjoying - Work, which is great. I really like what I do and enjoy my days in the office, I feel very lucky at the moment

Loving - Bright yellow daffodils on our table

Wondering - Whether things will actually grow in our allotment! Potatoes chitting now, and some seeds sown in the greenhouse.

Considering - What TV series to watch next, C and I are in need of another one. We like Crime and Detective Dramas if anyone has any suggestions...

Buying - Jeggings. I have finally found some smart enough for work courtesy of Marks and Spencers. Elasticated waistbands and I'm over the moon

Disliking - The difficulties of the NHS which are not making the news at all in all the Brexit/Trump mania.

Watching - The Good Wife. Binge-watching if I'm honest. C doesn't like it so it's my guilty pleasure.

Wearing - Jeggings mentioned above. And lots of crochet scarves as it's cold again.

Admiring - Senator Warren

Thinking - About getting a second piercing in my ears. Really putting way too much thought into this, but I can't decide!

Eating - Doughnuts - really not healthy at all but seem to be craving them!

Getting - Ready for Spring!

Feeling - OK.




Saturday, 4 February 2017

The Year in Books - January 2017


This post should really be called 'The month I finally finished Wolf Hall'. Because I finally did!!! This has been the longest it has taken me to finish a book in a long time. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed reading it. I just haven't had much time to read, and it's not the easiest book to just pick up and put down. This book is so famous I'm sure it needs no introduction, following the rise of Thomas Cromwell who became Henry VIII's right hand man during the English reformation. Whilst as a good history student I know the basic history of the Tudors (and always found it fascinating) I learnt so much from this book and really enjoyed reading the back story of the son of a blacksmith who became arguably the most powerful man in England. The dilemma now is do I launch into the sequel 'Bring up the Bodies' whilst it's all fresh in my head or do I have a break and read some other books...


After the Wolf Hall marathon I did manage to make my way through 'The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy' by Rachel Joyce. I really enjoyed 'The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry' and it was a beautiful companion novel - offering a deeper insight into the woman Harold walks across England to see one last time, Queenie Hennessy. I'd highly recommend both books :)

For February I'm not sure what I will read, there are a fair few books on my kindle to get through. My book group will be reading 'The Household Spirit' by Tod Wodicka - here - so at the very least I hope to read that!

As always, joining in with Laura at Circle of Pine Trees.


Sunday, 22 January 2017

Throwback to a Weekend In Copenhagen

Back in December C and I headed for a 3 day break in Copenhagen. We normally try and get to a Christmas market and we decided 2016 would be a Danish one. Despite it being rather cold and very grey Copenhagen is a beautiful (if expensive!) city. Here are some of my favourite snaps




My favourite area was Nyhavn, which is the picture postcard area which seems to be 'the' image of Copenhagen. It featured a lot on The Danish Girl with Eddie Redmayne. The houses are lovely and the little habour is full of older boats - it's also where a lot of boat tours depart from.




Apparently there have been a lot of fires in Copenhagen over the years - this is the current town hall but it is relatively 'new' having been inaugurated in 1905. The two previous ones burnt down!


Danish parliament. We did a guided walking tour and our guide told us all about the political system, and also explained about the taxes. Although they're high they seem to have it right in Denmark - social benefits are amazing.



There is a square on which all of the royal palaces sit (about 4 in total I think). The royal family lives in these - they are so open in comparison to Buckingham Palace. We were lucky enough to see some sort of ceremonial changing of the guards complete with marching band.


Another highlight was Tivoli Gardens - the world's first theme park and apparently the inspiration for Disneyland. It was suitably bedecked for Christmas.









On the final day we went back to Nyhavn for a boat-trip.








All in all a beautiful city, I'd highly recommend a trip! It was a bit pricey but definitely worth it :) We are now planning our next getaway, Morocco, Amsterdam, Montenegro... who knows!

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Checking In - January 2017




Making: The hexie blanket pictured above - it is so wonky and I don't know why! I've spent ages trying to figure out whether I've gone wrong with a pentagon somewhere... Perhaps blocking will do the trick.

Cooking: Lot's of fish - I got some Body Coach recipe books for Christmas and I have to say his recipes are really tasty - and filling.

Drinking: Lot's of Rooibus tea - I've given up caffeine and I feel much better for it - to my utter amazement I haven't had a 'proper' cup of tea this year

Reading: Wolf Hall. It's taking a long time but I am getting there. Once I get into it I really enjoy it but it doesn't seem to be one I can just pick up and get on with.

Wanting: Less wet weather. Snow is fine but heavy rain is not.

Looking: At lots of gardening books for out allotment, trying to suss out the best breeds of plants

Enjoying: Lots of hard work at the allotment - above shows the progress we have made after one day spent clearing the horrible grass that covers the plot. A long way to go but although I ache all over it's remarkably rewarding.

Wishing: For a happy year ahead

Considering: What sort of soup to make for lunches this week. Broccoli and Stilton or Split Pea and Leek?

Smelling: My beautiful yankee candle

Buying: Seeds for the allotment!

Watching: Sherlock of course, and we are quite enjoying Silent Witness and Oh Dear. Big detective show fans in this house.

Noticing: It doesn't get as dark as early!

Feeling: Settled. It's nice.

Hearing: Monkey sounds - there's a wildlife programme on in the background

Planning: A trip to the states - we are hoping to go for two weeks at the end of April. A big part of the trip will hopefully be to drive through some Canyons - a bit of a life's dream.

Cringing: Trump's inauguration...

Knowing: Spring is on its way :)

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Baby Blanket Number 3

I've been busy crocheting for another tiny arrival - this time for one of my closest friends from uni, she was my bridesmaid and I was hers. I obviously wanted to make something really special for her and spent some time looking at different potential blankets. In the end I settled on this one, using the colour recipe by the Patchwork Heart: see here. She doesn't know what sex the baby is so another gender neutral blanket - although to be honest I think I'd do something similar even if the parents knew what they were having. 





I'm really pleased with it, and she was delighted when I gifted it to her last week. Baby is due end of the month, so hopefully it will keep the little one nice and warm. I also made some little booties and a tiny hat to go with it - I'm hoping I'll have some time to make a few more gifts to post when baby is here.





What have you been making recently?

Hello 2017


Hello 2017 - I was very glad to see you. Whilst 2016 was a fantastic year overall the last few months got a bit much. Very excited for a new year, new adventures - the first of which is an allotment! We confirmed the plot today - it's very overgrown currently, but C is very determined and I tend to muck in as needed so I think between us we will manage. I'm very much looking forward to time outside and harvesting our own veggies (hopefully!).



Christmas was lovely. We had a proper tree for the first time in a few years and it was wonderful to see in our 'new' home (nearly a year in Jan!). We travelled around and saw family and friends which was great. We had a quiet new year, just the two of us, which seemed right for this year. We went for a curry (one of the best things about where we live is the proximity to amazing Indian food) and then came home and played some games. Izzy was not particularly helpful.


Having spent most of my crafting time on Christmas and baby related makes (pics to follow) I've taken a step back and dug out some old WIPs, including my old hexie blanket from 2015 - see here.


I've also decided to try and walk more this year - we have some lovely countryside on our doorstep. Here is my favourite picture from 2017 so far, taken on a lovely winter's afternoon stroll.


I hope you are well, and 2017 is all you want it to be