Monday 30 July 2007


This was taken from our garden last night, what a midge infested evening it was.

Busy busy tonight as we have people for dinner tomorrow evening, a family that lived next door to us 10 years ago and have kept in touch from Cheshire ever since. Be good to spend time with them, even though it is a school night for me and it was a lovely surprise when they appeared on the doorstep last night. They are staying in a holiday cottage up on the hillside, almost under this bit of sky.

Sunday 29 July 2007

Addicted to Socks

The blogs I read are related to knitting, my two great inspirations are Yarnstorm who excels in every aspect of domesticity and Yarn Harlot an ace knitter who does so much to promote the craft, so its time I blogged on this subject. I've just finished these socks, knitted in an Opal Yarn protype that came to me from Germany via ebay. They are a gift I'm taking out to Italy.

I've also knitted with Opal Elemente which gives a lovely fairisle effect without the colour change hassle, I don't have a photo at the moment but you could Google it. Opal sock wool comes in 100 g balls, its 75% wool, and one ball is enough for a pair of socks with enough left over for a pair of fingerless gloves. I only recently tackled socks and now that I can turn heels and graft there's no stopping me. In fact I just got this from ebay, its 8 balls of Opal Crazy and according to the second picture should produce some stunning patterns .

Socks are quick and easy, ideal knitting to take when travelling as you only ever need to carry one ball, the needles are short and best of all there's no sewing up. I admit I don't enjoy the finishing process, blocking and stitching, better to travel than arrive as far as I'm concerned, which is strange as according to personality questionnaires my team role is that of completer finisher.

I have aspirations to spin, I've been a couple of times to meetings of the Edinburgh Guild of Weavers Spinners and Dyers and been amazed by the wonderful yarn and garments the members produce. By the second lesson I was able to actually use the wheel and it was really exciting to turn a cloud of fibre into some knittable yarn, but I don't think I'll be investing in a wheel while I'm still working because (a) I don't have the time to dedicate to it and (b) I have a huge stash of wool already (and OK (c) I'm still buying wool on ebay). Besides, I have an Opal mountain that needs to be reduced.

The weekend at sleepy hollow

Black currants picked and turned into 12 jars of jam, plenty of gardening, housework and cooking with time this afternoon to watch the final stage of The Tour de France (those boys in Lycra). We've spent the weekend catching up and catching our breath as the next one includes a Scottish wedding and the start of our holiday.

Friday 27 July 2007

Bride of the Year

My niece, who is also my goddaughter, was married on 07.07.2007 at the church in the village where I was born, as was my father, my grandfather and my great grandfather. The sun shone and the day was perfect. She had been planning this event for at least two years, knew exactly what she wanted and got everything she wanted. Guests ranged in age from 2 weeks to 94 years and everyone had a wonderful time, particularly the bride and groom who apparently partied until 2 am and were a little tetchy next day according to the bride's sister who was her gorgeous bridesmaid.

It was so special for me to return to the place I left 37 years ago to be greeted my people who have known me all my life and to see the girl I've known all her life so very happy. I can be a bit cynical about the expense and expectations of modern weddings, speaking as someone who nipped into Middlesbrough Registry Office one Saturday morning around 10 am in 1970 and came out a wife at approximately 10.10 am, but if a girl wants to be a princess for one day and make her parents so proud, who would stop her. Money well spent, please raise your glasses to Mr and Mrs Ward who can now begin living happily ever after.

Tuesday 24 July 2007

From the beginning

Off we go. First of all I’ve called my site My Life in Flip Flops because I’ve found myself so very happy whenever I’m wearing them. Inevitably the sun is shining, my toe nails are painted, I’m not at the office and even if I’m just mopping the floor or sweeping the terrace I’m at my happiest. I love being almost bare footed hearing the smack of those flimsy shoes against my soles with every step.
I’m due to retire in just over a year when flip flop life will really take off, until then I’m counting the days and make mental adjustments towards not having a structured life after 40 years of office work. The prospect of not having a regular earned income is daunting and my pension arrangements are not great, but hey I’m ready to give it a try. I calculate I have enough knitting wool, enough paperbacks and enough gardening clothes to last me the rest of my life, which hopefully will be quite a while, though maybe I haven’t taken into account how quickly I might devour these with all that extra time on my hands.
I’m living in rural Scotland, not too far from Edinburgh where I work, but am fortunate enough to have a house in Italy where I hope to spend more flip flop time once I do retire. I’m originally from Yorkshire and yes I still have my northern accent and personality. I have a husband of 37 years and a middle aged to elderly cat, the former is up for more time in Italy, the latter not but stays at home and is well looked after by resident house sitters when we are away.