Saturday 27 October 2007

USA Today

We leave Palm Springs tomorrow, after a glorious week, to travel to Las Vegas where we are booked into The Bellagio for one night of decadence. We have mixed feelings about Vegas but are prepared to take a look and Mr FF is looking forward to the all you can eat buffet. Then we hope to go on to Grand Canyon and return to Palm Springs for our last few days and my birthday. Are you getting the message we love Palm Springs, life is so easy, the weather is perfect and we have been much lazier than we expected, but in a nice way. We did manage a very long day trip down to Mexico, crossing over at Mexicali we wanted to return via the central border post but this was closed because of the fires and we had to drive right over to the coast at Tijuana to get back into the States. We were shocked by the huge contrasts between the USA and Mexico, though we had expected the poverty it was much worse than we'd imagined. We drive over a stunning mountain road carved out of the rock but were stopped en route at a military checkpoint, complete with tanks, machine guns and young soldiers who tried to question us while we waved our UK passports and they eventually let us through and we have no idea what they were looking for.
The knitting isn't making much progress and what I do is generally in the air conditioned car, its far too hot otherwise. I shall be off line for a while now I expect and hopefully not pushing all my money into the Vegas slot machines. Now I need to search out some bling so they'll let me into that hotel.

Tuesday 23 October 2007

How Lucky am I

I'm sitting in the public library at Palm Springs with half an hours free internet. We arrived here Friday and on Saturday managed to meet an English bloke who introduced us to a friend who had a property for rent. We got a real bargain and are now staying a week at Ocotillo Lodge, a small complex of condos, as we call them, in central Palm Springs with a great pool, 2 hot tubs and beautiful grounds. We are told that Frank Sinatra has played the piano in the lounge, that the Kennedys and the Rolling Stones have stayed at our resort, but I bet everyone gets told that kind of thing, we are in the playground of the stars. We have a neat place with our own private patio, where Mr FF is serving bacon eggs and hash browns around 8 am every morning. The weather is fab, blue skies all the way. We've paid Rich, our landlord up till next Saturday but he says we can stay on if we wish, really tempting, though we'd like to get to Grand Canyon if we can. Unfortunately a lot of the walking trails are closed around Palm Springs because of the dreadful fires in Southern California, we watched on tv this morning the properties at Malibu being engulfed in flames and shuddered to think we were there a few days ago.
Yesterday we took a walk round the local area and noticed a House Open so we went for a look. We were shown round a wonderful home with pool and resident cat and having got the property bug proceeded to view a condo and then some new desert homes costing around $2 million, I was surprised they let us in. I promise we shall not be purchasing property here, but a little fantasising is good, we are on holiday after all, and loving it.

Friday 19 October 2007

Friday USA

I am sneaking an update in the Pasadena Apple shop.  Its hot here, been to Rodeo Drive, The Getty Museum, Malibu.  May go to Palm Springs next who knows.  Got the latest Interweave magazine.

Tuesday 16 October 2007

All my bags are packed

well maybe not quite but the important things are ready to go

and the other stuff is laid out on the spare bed, though I do keep adding another t shirt or six. We fly to Heathrow Wednesday morning and on to LA that afternoon. I'll try to get on line while we are away, 3 week is a long time without news, but if not I promise I will be knitting, reading, chilling, searching out yarn shops and seriously thinking about my life. I'm calling this trip a fact finding mission, I shall be 59 when I come back, I feel I need to wear more purple.

Friday 12 October 2007

The autumn leaves

I am certainly not a winter person so autumn is not the best season for me, give me the anticipation of spring anyday. It was only when someone rang the doorbell the other morning and greeted me with the news that the view from my front door is amazing that I took a proper look. I did actually open my eyes and see how beautiful the view is at the moment, sometimes you just don't see the wood for the trees. The colourful plants at the front of this photo are in my garden, I can't lay claim to the woodland behind but I can borrow it to complete the landscape. So as my herbaceous garden gently fades away I've been planting for spring. Pots of Cheerfulness and Paperwhite narcissus to bring into the house as they flower and lots and lots of tulips both in pots and in the garden. Queen of the Night are my favourite tulips, I love both their inky colour and their exotic name. I planted up three large terracotta pots to stand at the front door next year and discovered during the week that the squirrels had been digging up crunchy snacks. I've moved the pots into the cold frame, doubtless the little tree rats with their inbuilt bulb finding radar will start digging in the garden next.
If I'm not out in the garden tomorrow I shall be starting to put together a capsule wardrobe for my holiday (I wish) and Sunday we are off walking in Perthshire. Enjoy your weekend.

Saturday 6 October 2007


I've started the pure alpaca I bought last week hoping to make a pair of comforting slouchy socks for myself. I used the standard Opal 60 stitches pattern and added a bit of faux cable but they seem to have knitted up quite small, should have done a swatch and realised the cable would tighten the knitting. I can get my foot into them with a bit of wriggling and maybe they will loosen up. I'll finish the first one tonight while I watch the welcome return of Strictly Come Dancing.

The yarn is incredibly soft but quite easy to split and knits a little uneven. Are you getting the impression I'm not 100% about it, well maybe I am a bit disappointed considering the cost. I do have other yarn that is 30% alpaca 70% merino so this could be a better option for me and some small footed person will get these for Christmas, which will mean that at least I have made a start on knitting Christmas presents.

Monday 1 October 2007

Happy Birthday Amy

It was Amy's birthday yesterday but we celebrated at work today. Joanna made a delicious chocolate cake topped with Maltesers and we'd bought Amy a hand painted mug from Hannah McAndrew. I offered her a choice of socks but she couldn't decide which she preferred so in a moment of generosity I gave her both, which will in fact make 3 pairs in total because she can always wear them this way (and have an identical set spare).

I only finished the ones on the right last night and discovered when grafting the toe that I'd made a mistake in the final shaping. I need to pull the last bit out tonight and reknit, only perfection will do. We went down to the Lakes on Saturday and I was knitting in the car but forgot to take my stitch markers. I improvised with a piece of plastic I found in my bag, which didn't work so gave up on knitting, but one of the home made markers came out and I lost the plot.

On the way down we called in at The Alpaca Centre near Penrith and I bought myself 2 balls of pale blue pure alpaca to knit socks for ME - I really deserve them just now.