Monday 28 January 2013

Knitting now

While its looked like this outside
Its looked like this inside
The snow hasn't been too bad for us, about 6 inches at its worst,  we've kept the drive and paths clear and not been out very often.  I have done lots of knitting whilst watching some pretty dire television programmes and making the sofa even more lop-sided than it was before I spent the month January on it.
I've made several pairs of fairly standard socks, this little baby jumper in Sublime organic cotton using a Rowan pattern I suddenly realised I've been knitting for 20 years, the first recipient of one of these is now at university.
I used up some Aruncania pure wool for this hourglass cowl.   It drapes nicely loose, looks good and chunky round my neck twice and doesn't have a wrong side, all very pleasing 
And I made a plain grey raglan jumper using a cone of unidentified yarn.  It was intended for Mr FF but shortage of materials means it fits me.
So that's quite a lot of yarn used up and I'm pleased to say no new stock has entered the house.  Maybe I'm not doing so bad after all, a whole month without a stash purchase. January certainly is the month of the sofa but now the snow is melting I might set my sights further afield.

Monday 21 January 2013

What's in a name

Mr FF has been pestering me for ages to change my email provider.  I was quite happy with the one I had and registered all over the place with that address but apparently we won't be able to keep that provider, it has limited capacity and lots of other reasons all beyond me.  Of course my old email address, taken out in the dark ages before everyone got on line was simply my name @etc, now its impossible to get anything like it using either Jen, Jenny or Jennifer.  
Mr FF thought I should use my existing Jennyflipflops email address but I don't feel that would give me much credibility if I was writing to my MP or making a complaint.
So after a while he got a bit cross because I was dithering and eventually he told me Jenny.Twat@ is available.  
Mmm, I'll give that some thought.

Post blog note,
I finally registered with my name and 48, the year I was born.

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Make a wish

While we were in Italy Mr FF started to landscape the approach to the back door of our house.  Originally there was a very steep drive from the road to a garage but it was practically impossible to access so a while back we took off the heavy old garage door and replaced it with a pass door, window and some new block work, very smart. Over the years the old drive had broken down and the parking area was rough and uneven, in fact one group of paying guests mentioned that they had never managed to get more than three of their hire car wheels on the ground at the same time.
So the plan is to have a flat parking area off the road, that will eventually be paved, a flight of steps down to another flat area at the back door and retaining walls to create interesting places where I can display pots of plants.
Mr FF made good progress though we will have to finish off when we go back to Italy in spring.
However, just off the road and on our drive was a manhole cover placed at a steep angle, this has to remain as it gives access to power cables so Mr FF gave some thought to the problem. Eventually he made a design decision to raise the level of the cover and build up a wall round the manhole to match the garden wall which would also help prevent water from the road running down our steps.   I wasn't too keen on this idea, even less so as it started to develop until eventually I realised he was in fact building a wishing well or pozzo dei desideri as we say in Lazio.

I suggested he makes a little wooden roof complete with a bucket on a rope and winding handle, that didn't go down too well (pun intended).  Wonder how he feels about a few plastic gnomes, perhaps with fishing rods.  

Saturday 12 January 2013

Not cut out to be a nomad

I've been away a while for various reasons and as usual pure idleness figures highly but here I am all set to tap away on the new computer now that Mr FF has finally let me have the password.
I'm in a funny state of mind, not sad exactly just wondering who I am and where I belong at the moment.  We had to go down to Yorkshire this week for a family funeral, my cousin's husband died suddenly.  Being in the village where I went to school, with people I've known all my life and who are still in the same place really got me thinking.  Mr FF and I have moved around since we were married 42 years ago, we've had 7 houses and for the last 24 years have lived in Scotland.  My recently bereaved cousin lives in the village where she was born and has only ever in her whole life lived in two houses both in the same road.  She is now back in the albeit revamped house where she was born.  My brother also lives in the house where he and I were born and his two daughters and two granddaughters are not far away. 
Back in Scotland I also attended this week a memorial lunch for a dear friend's Mum who died recently at the grand old age of 95.  The lunch was to celebrate her life at one of her favourite restaurants, attended by her children, grandchildren and great grandchildred, plus old friends and neighbours and the extended family of which I am proud to be a member.  It was a positive uplifting event, with many photos of Betty's life and a humour filled speech from her grandson.  Betty had moved round too, from Scotland to England and back again but was fortunate that her family seemed to follow her and she ended her days living close to them.  
However, it all got me thinking.  I love being in Italy with all our friends in the village, I love my house and garden in Scotland and all the friends I've made here but I still call Yorkshire home and its calling me.   Maybe I just want the best of everything, the sunny Italy life style, my comfy Scottish house and to be surrounded by everyone I care for.  Maybe its because we are thinking of downsizing and don't know where to that is disconcerting me, maybe its just old age.
I hope you are feeling a bit more grounded and enjoy your weekend, which for us is forecast to be chilly.
And finally I have managed to upload a photograph, view from the family room.  Not easy working with a new computer system, new is certainly not better, I definitely need some fresh air.  Back soon.