Sunday 27 January 2008

Red leather

This is our new sofa that was delivered at 0745 during a power cut. We bought in online from the Ilva sale, its all singing all dancing, the arms and back are fully adjustable and the seats push out for extra loungeability. Mr FF says its more suited to the home cinema of an urban loft apartment (he's angling for a big flat screen telly) but its just fine for staring out of the window at the hills. The room its in we pretentiously call the Morning Room, only because it gets the sun first thing. When we were building the house this space was destined to be the double garage but we discovered once the site was cleared of woodland and scrub that there was such a slope we could drop the garage down and have a room above it with patio doors and a balcony. Since we hadn't planned or needed all this extra space we never really had furniture for the room and two very old sofas lived in there covered in throws. We decided they were really no good for recycling so we arranged for the council to collect and dispose of them. It wasn't easy moving the old furniture out and once we got the sofas lifted down the steps from the front of the house I suggested to Mr FF that we could simply push them down the drive to the kerbside. His reply? 'Don't be ridiculous that will ruin the castors'. You can take the boy out of Yorkshire ...........

Wednesday 23 January 2008

I couldn't stop myself

from buying a few more balls of sock wool, one of Opal and two of Aruncania. I've never used the latter before, its a hand painted yarn from Chile, a country Mr FF visited a few years ago. I pointed out that he could have brought me some wool back from his travels, but then he did bring me lots of other lovely gifts from Chile and Peru. The wool was in a 30% off sale in Edinburgh, which obviously justifies the purchase.

I've started knitting the Opal even though I still have one project to finish, not like me but we've just come through what is apparently the worst day of the year from a weather, financial and emotional point of view so I deserve a treat. Besides Germintrude (the non blogging blogger) did say I should make socks to match my marmalade. The wool is knitting up beautifully, I always enjoy self patterning yarn as you never quite know whats going to happen next. And speaking of not knowing etc, my car is on the blink, a problem with the power steering that our local garage cannot fix, so now we have to find somewhere else, possibly wait for parts and juggle journeys to work and meetings sharing Mr FF's motor. Bad January, good sock wool.

Sunday 20 January 2008

Days of the domestic godess



THREEWhat a good weekend

Wednesday 16 January 2008

and don't run with scissors either

I need to issue a health and safety warning today, don't prune the garden at dusk. Working from the paths and not stepping onto the sodden ground I spent Sunday afternoon collecting yet more leaves and uncovered lots of emerging bulbs. By the time it was coming dark I'd started tidying up a few of the pots at the back door. Cutting down last year's sweet peas I managed to sever at ground level a clematis that was growing in the same pot. Not learning from my error I then chopped off a sizeable piece of a camellia in another pot thinking it was one of the annuals I'd used as underplanting. Two steps forward one step back.
More positively I can report that my amaryllis has a second stem bearing 6 more flowers, that will be 11 blooms in total and continual colour for almost a month all packed into one bulb. When I cut back the finished stem I was very carefully not to remove the new one too.

Sunday 13 January 2008

Knits 2008 numero uno

My first completed item for the new year, it has already been posted to Rudy in London. He was born last September, the son of Mr FF's nephew, which I suppose makes us great aunt and uncle, but I don't want to dwell on that. The pattern is from an old Rowan magazine, the yarn Jaegar Matchmaker pure dk. It's a jumper I've made many times for babies, in fact I probably first knit it for Hector who is now a handsome and charming teenager. I like to think the handknits gave him a good start in life and contributed to him turning out so well. We had a visitor to our office last week, Matthew, who was only 5 days old and snuggled under a beautiful colourful handknit blanket and into a wonderful little stripy cardigan. The handknits can't take credit for him being such a beautiful baby, but maybe he was such a contended one because of them.
Mr FF is a devotee of the handknit and announced only last week that he hadn't worn a 'bought' jumper for a long time. He still wears one sweater I knitted him over 30 years ago. It's Herdwick wool that I bought in the Lake District on a cone, the wool was quite oily giving it a good sheepy smell and it still turns the water after many many washes. In fact Mr FF wears it when he's out with his walking group and when they put on the latest in insulating, wind and waterproof expensive fabrics, he presses on in his woolly jumper, snug and smug.
I'm currently knitting him a plain raglan sleeved round neck in graphite pure wool dk from New Lanark, the yarn is produced there on a 19th century spinning mule using traditional methods. Cleo however seems to think I'm knitting her a new petbed, but thats OK most things I produce have a few cat hairs knitted in, it just adds to the thermal value and I tell people its very lucky.

Wednesday 9 January 2008


What a week its turning out to be. I was feeling much more relaxed driving home last night as the predicted snow turned to rain, even thinking to myself that rain can be a good thing. It was extremely windy when we went to bed, the lights flicked on and off a few times. I woke around 2, checked the time on the radio alarm and listened to the wind gusting away. Shortly after that the glow from the alarm was extinguished and the room plunged into total blackness, a power cut. The power was still off at 4 am when Mr FF set his watch alarm by candlelight so that I didn't sleep in.
Having imagined it would be wonderful to live a gentile life in the times of Cranford or Sense and Sensibility, I've changed my mind. Our village doesn't have gas so everything we do is electrically powered though we have a multifuel stove that we keep running all night at this time of year so we did have some heat. Getting up and dressed for work (I abandoned the idea of shower and hair wash) was difficult and to add to the stress the new and rather large sofa that we had ordered in the sales arrived at approximately 7.45 am. The delivery men didn't seem best pleased as they struggled up the front steps even though I'd lit a few candles!
No wonder those Jane Austin girls just sat at home waiting for a beau to appear, I had wondered why they didn't go out and find work when they fell on hard times. I know now, its far too difficult to get yourself up and looking respectable by candlelight. I was glad to get into the office for a coffee and to slick down my spiky hair.
The power eventually came back on early afternoon, not that I'm complaining, over 10,000 houses in Scotland were without electricity today and many still are.

Monday 7 January 2008

Gridlock Day

Despite my best efforts I didn't get into work today. There was snow overnight and whilst the local roads were fairly clear after about 8 miles of driving they were rutted and icy with packed snow. I heard on the local radio that the road I use was blocked by lorries unable to negotiate the descent towards Edinburgh so I turned off on an alternative route. So did everyone else, I was queued from about 10 miles out of town and the only time the traffic moved was when someone turned round and went back. When I spoke to my office I heard that Edinburgh was no better with journeys of a few miles taking more than an hour and that others from my direction had given up and gone home. When I could find a place to turn round I did so, 2.5 hours after leaving home and having made precious little progress. The road was no better on the way back, in fact worse as there had been less traffic on it. No sign of a gritter or snow plough until I got back to our tiny village, which can't have more than a hundred houses, to find the local authority busy gritting the footpaths. I should be into work tomorrow because the snow isn't forecast to fall until later in the day, just right for the journey home. Give me strength (or take me back to Palm Springs I don't mind which).

Friday 4 January 2008

Winter Weather

There was snow on the ground when I left home yesterday morning and showers on and off throughout the day. I left work early to get home before dark and had an interesting journey that took me twice as long as normal to travel 22 miles. The streets of Edinburgh were icy and once out of the city the roads were snowy. I managed to slither my way up the untreated back lane to our house, down into our road and got stuck at the bottom of our drive. Mr FF kindly shovelled the drive and got the car up and safely into the garage. I did mention to him that when the car starts to slide a warning light appears on the display panel, he said he's never seen it before which could be taken as a reflection on my driving!

We woke this morning to still more snow and a few showers are forecast before the temperature warms up tomorrow. I've only ventured out to top up the bird feeders, its far too wintery for a flipflop wearer like me.

Tuesday 1 January 2008

Happy New Year

This amaryllis has brightened my kitchen for the whole of the holidays, which are not over just yet as I don't go back to work until Thursday 03 January 2008.

I hope your new year is everything you want it to be. Me, I don't make resolutions but I do hope I can continue to downsize my wardrobe of work clothes, reduce my stash of knitting wool and keep on blogging. Nothing too challenging but I never said I wanted a challenge.