Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The Big C!

I finish work around lunchtime tomorrow and then start the first of 2 and a half weeks off!!  Our preparations are almost complete and there's lots to look forward to.  Carol Services are over, cards have been written and the decorations are up.  OH took responsibilty for the decorations this year and as a result things are quite different. The porch is more like a grotto this year and I love what he did with the bunches of baubles hanging from the wall lights.

 I might have mentioned in previous years, that despite OH being a forester, we have an artificial tree! We've had real trees in the past but it inevitably means moving a chair out of the room, and I think we have more use for all the chairs we can get at this time of year than we do a real tree!

 We are going with DD on Thursday to do a little more shopping, along with gettting the final Christmas food.  There are a few more presents to wrap then we'll be ready.  We'll be having our Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve (OH, me, DD and boyf, DS and girlf) as we've done the last few years. Then the next day, after we've opened presents and enjoyed a nice breakfast, they'll be free to accept other invitations to dinner without clashing, .

These 4 chaps have made themselves more comfortable since I took their picture earlier.

Stitching progress since last time:

It's hardly worth mentioning but, I've finished the crocheted mitts. 
Not another stitch has been produced by me and I've even sat in front of the TV on a couple of evenings with nothing at all in my hands to do, which is almost unheard of.  And funnily enough, I didn't feel compelled to do any or guilty because I didn't do any.  I hope I'm not losing my 'mojo' which I've read about on other blogs.  No, I'm pretty sure I'm not.  It's just something to do with the fast approaching Big C!!

It just remains for me to wish all my readers, followers and commenters a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2012!

See you next year
Bye for now
Teresa x

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

That Festive Feeling!

That festive feeling is beginning to build for me now.  I don't know about you, but I've not been feeling it much yet and have found it difficult to get enthusiastic about the planning. However, a few Christmassy events have helped to get me going.

First was the December meeting of my quilting club, Ladybugs, where we enjoyed a bit of sewing (I managed to quilt another block), a Show and Tell, Christmas card exchange and a Hope Lunch (where everyone brings something, nothing is planned but, somehow, no dish is duplicated!). One member's clever daughter made this lovely ladybird cake which was cut up and shared during afternoon tea.  Sorry about the messy table; I didn't get the picture until after the table was raided - and the ladybird had lost it's antennae!
A church in Usk converted into an art gallery
I wasn't planning on going out on Sunday but J (daughter) rang and we decided to meet in the afternoon at Usk Winter Festival.  (Bathroom cleaning had to wait until another day) It was a clear, fine day and not too cold so we had a leisurely browse of the stalls, drank mulled wine and listened to carol singers. 

Usk clock tower in the middle of the square where the event was held.

The clear sky meant that as soon as the light faded it got quite cold.  As J couldn't feel her toes anymore we decided not to wait to see Father Christmas pulled through the main street by reindeer and left just as the crowds gathered and it started to rain, but just before the road was closed.

K (son) mentioned he might pop to the Festival after work.  We didn't see him there (nor my parents who were apparently also there) even though it wasn't that big, but I assume he went, and picked up this little chap.  I found him on the kitchen window-sil when I pulled the curtains the next day. In case you're wondering.... there's a teensy weensy cactus under the disguise!

I'm ready for IT now (not in the preparation but in the mental sense)!  Choir practice continues tonight with Christmas anthems for the carol services and we've got a shopping day planned for Saturday when I'm sure all the shops will be decked out and filled with festive music. Onwards and upwards!!
I hope all your preparations are progressing well!!!

Stitchy progress since last time:

Quilt as you go Quilt - one more block quilted
Crocheted Mitts - Knitted second incarnation (then undid it), knitted half of another one.
Ummm........uummmm...........no, that's it, can't think of any more.

Bye for now
Teresa x

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain!

Apparently it's called a 'mnemonic'; a phrase where initials of words to be learned, are made into a phrase that's easier to remember. It's how we were taught in school to remember the colours of a rainbow; Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Indigo, Violet. 

I took this photo a month or so ago from my office.  However lovely they are, I don't normally go around taking photos of every rainbow I see.  This one, though, was AMAZING!!  Not only did I take a photo, I also went round the office telling everyone to look at it  (most of them sit facing away from the window or on the opposite side of the block, so hadn't seen it).  Without exception, they all said, 'WOW' when they turned around.  I'm not very good at taking photos so I hope this shows a glimpse of how utterly fabulous the colours were.

It was so bright and clear, especially near the ground.  The second (double) rainbow was fairly clear too which is unusual but means we can check out the fascinating fact I read on Wikipedia about Rainbows; you might have know this already but it's news to me that the colours on the second rainbow are opposite to the main one!!  

Were you taught mnemonics to remember lessons?  Some that come to mind are the ones associated with learning the music notes on Treble and Bass Clefs; Every Good Boy Deserves Fruit; All Cows Eat Grass, FACE (not a mnemonic, but didn't need to be!).  I can't remember the one for GBDFA.

The Sudoku panel made into a cushion
As for crafting (Do you get the sense that I'm trying to avoid the subject?), there HAS been a little going on this week.  I've had orders to take the Sudoku cushion to my quilting club on Saturday.  It's 'Show and Tell' day and they want to hear all about it. I must remember to shout this time; last time we did 'SaT' I was asked to speak up!!! We meet in a huge echoey room that's not conducive to public speaking and I must take into account the elderly-ness (and consequent hearing loss) of some of the ladies without deafening those right next to me.

Now that colder weather has set in, I'm finding it difficult to keep my hands warm (as usual) so it was very timely of Judith from Rags to Bags to post about these snuggly fingerless mitts.  She very kindly emailed the pattern to me and I got started straight away.  The yarn I picked out of my basket was 4 ply so I crocheted it double.  Not sure if it's clear in the pic but it's a mustardy colour.  DD said the mitt was ok apart from the colour :-(   I have actually only crocheted one so far and I'm not totally happy with the cuff so I'm making it shorter so it doesn't need to be folded over. 

Other craftyness has also occurred so here's the run-down:

Sudoku cushion - finished
Crocheted mits - prototype made, another started.
HST quilt - Quilting finished, hoorah hoorah, only binding left to do.
Knitted cardigan - pressed ready for putting together (and possibly completely ruined - we'll see)

Bye for now
Teresa x

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

You'll Never Guess What I've Been Up To!!

I missed posting last week due to lack of anything interesting to say or show.  Today, however........boy, have I got something to say!!!!

I finished tweaking and twiddling my Sudoku block and will definitely get it made into a cushion by next time. (No, that's not IT)

I'll keep it on our bed so it doesn't get dirty too quickly.  I don't think it will stand up to the treatment meeted out to the sofa cushions so it'll be better off out of the way. (This isn't IT either) 

I made this box at a day workshop a few years ago. It wasn't until I received the information about the Sudoku weekend course and looked into what might be involved, that I noticed the connection with this box.  Look again at the panel above and see if you can spot it.   (No, not this!)

Hip hip hooray. I've actually completely finished something for the first time in months.  The two pin-cushions are no longer flat.  They are stuffed, plumped and buttoned.  I know that you can barely bring yourself to believe it, and that it's a major achievement (for me), but that's not IT either!!


OH and I were lucky enough to attend the Welsh Premiere of this film on Monday, along with a couple of hundred other people including the author of the book the film was based on, some of the stars and many more of the production crew.  The star guest, however, was none other than HRH The Prince of Wales!!!

Since the book was set (and the film was made) in and around the area of Abergavenny, the Welsh Premiere was held there the day after the London Premiere.  We walked up the red carpet, listened to speeches, watched the film and attended a reception afterwards where wine and nibbles were in abundance and all the hotel staff were dressed in 40s outfits. HRH wasn't at the reception but the film people were and I was struck by how much younger and smaller (in height and girth) they were in real life.

Much of the filming took place on the country estate where OH works and his boss was kind enough to get the tickets for us and other estate employees.  The estate employees were also mentioned in the speeches and acknowledged in the film credits!

To be honest, OH wasn't keen on the film but I enjoyed it.  It's a very moody, atmospheric film with more silence and expression than dialogue.  The acting is superb and the story clever, with the Welsh countryside playing a major part.  Having read the book (of the same name) beforehand, I found nothing jarred with my imagination, although, when the film ended, I couldn't remember if that was how the book had finished. (I wrote this before reading the review linked above and was surprised to find similarities in them - though a little less eloquent in my case)

It was an opportunity not to be missed and, despite being a 'school night', we were detemined to make the most of it.  I still haven't caught up with my sleep but I'm sure I will soon and it was well worth it.

The Welsh theme included the little gift placed in each cinema seat's drink holder. There was a bottle of water (which I presume was from a Welsh source but didn't think to check) and a little box of 3 chocolates called Black Mountain Gold from a Crickhowell based chocolatiers .


I'm not going to spoil the mood, or depress myself or you, by listing my crafting accomplishments for this week.  Suffice to say that the above mentioned items are about all there was anyway.

Bye for now
Teresa x

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Tweaking and Twiddling!

Tweaking and twiddling, that's what I was doing most of last weekend!  I took Friday off work and headed for Farncombe Estate where I'd booked a weekend course called Texture into Sudoku.

I've been to Farncombe before. Last year I stopped off on the way for a few hours in the quaint village of Broadway and decided to do the same this time.  The weather being wet and dreary, and the village being inundated with road works, I didn't see any point taking photos but you can see a few if you visit last years post, since the weather was much nicer then. I partook of a little luncheon in the same cafe as last year (the second cafe.... ahem!). If you've never tried peanut-butter, banana and honey sandwiches before - give them a go. Yum....my!

Saturday's weather wasn't much better but at least it'd stopped raining.
Jennie Rayment, who taught the course, is as good at teaching her craft as she is at doing it.  She travels the world teaching and I can understand why she's in demand.  She's funny and lively as well as having a teaching manner that doesn't make you feel like a complete idiot if you don't understand.

My progress after the first day.
'Sudoku' refers to the layout of the 9 different blocks, in Jennie's quilt below.  Each block design represents a number (1 - 9) and the blocks are put together in the layout of of a Sudoku puzzle.  Clever eh!!
Thanks go to Jennie for allowing me to use these photos!
There's even one block replaced by a question mark and extra blocks hanging from bottom, one of which is the correct one to fill the space.  I realised after I got home that we'd become so engrossed in our own projects that no-one had actually taken the time to work out the puzzle.

This is my progress at the end of the second day.  The two blank squares also had pieces ready to stitch on, so it was coming together.  I have a little more 'tweaking' left to do so will show the finished piece next time.

Sunday was a much nicer day weather-wise.  As I wandered the grounds in an after-breakfast stroll, the clear sound of church bells rang out from down in the village. Look at the photo above and imagine standing there listening to peals of chuch bells! 

We'd all come to the course armed with our sewing machines, equipment and fabric already cut out to the correct sizes.  Some ladies had used different colour combinations, while others, like me, had stuck to the suggested cream calico.  We were shown enough variations of each block (in colour and design), along with lots of extra hints and tips,  to keep us in ideas for a very long time.

Stitching progress since last time:

-Texture into Sudoku panel - nearly finished.
-Knitted cardigan - Second sleeve finished (but realised I'd made a mistake on first sleeve so un-run it to the armhole shaping and nearly finished re-knitting - need to check I haven't made the same mistake on the second sleeve before continuing)!!
-Scrappy pincushions - still flat and waiting to be stuffed!

Last but not least, if you said Roger Moore for the knitting patterm model in the last post - that's who I think it is too!! In fact, I'm 99% sure after doing a little googling. 

Bye for now
Teresa x

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Before He Was Famous!

Well there you have it, Brulee is more popular than Caramel (see previous post). The only disenting voice came from DD who has only tasted the latter and, although has served the former when working as a waitress, didn't much like the look of it and was never tempted to try a sample.

Thank you for the helpful hints regarding how to bring together my Bee Quilt (also previous post).  I looked at the pic with the soft green sashing/border in mind and I think that's the way to go. 

There are a couple of old books sitting on our bookshelf that I browse through now and again out of interest.  One is a knitting book and the other is about sewing.  I can't remember precisley where they came from.  Most likely they were from when we sorted out MIL's house after she passed away although she was a crocheter rather than a knitter and not very skilled at sewing.

"A perfectly plain, perfectly knitted twin-set is a 'must' for every woman.........."
The knitting book was published in 1949 and has obviously been used most because a few of the patterns have pencil notes on and the pages are coming loose in places.  Most of the patterns use 3ply yarn and are smallish in size, many without any extra sizes.  There seemed to be no such thing as 'loose fitting' in those days either.  All the garments are shaped to within an inch of their lives and are very uncomfortable tight looking. 

"The teen-age youth will appreciate this polo-neck sweater for weekend wear......"
There aren't many teenagers these days who would appreciate this, or any other kind of hand-knitted sweater. Do you think it's the clothes, the hair styles or the black-and-white photos that make them look much older than they are?  Does this young chap look familiar to you?  He did to me.............

.....and when I came to this photo a bit later (which is of the same person) I was more convinced than ever of who he is.  I may be wrong but I think................no, I'm not going tell.  I've just changed my mind because I think it would be much more fun for you to guess.  


If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  Believe it or not these people are of friends of mine.   We're on our way to a party to raise money for the local Music FestivalWeThey like to dress up!!!!  It's funny how some peoples' personalities change when they put on a costume.  OH in particular became a different person.  He said it was because people reacted and behaved differently than they normally do to HIM.  I wonder how much of our normal behaviour is governed by how people interact with us rather than how we really feel!?
Me on the left, OH on the right!!

I had to change my plan for the little felt hearts.  The darker felt was finer than the pink so when I tried to hang it up it pulled out of shape. I put together a few more hearts and joined them in a circle but it's a bit too 'chunky' for my liking.   Put it down to experience - on to the next thing......

Here's the crazy patchwork piece I made (along with another one) turned into a ready-to-be-stuffed pincushion.  Stuffing will commence after the weekend because I'm off on an exciting little jaunt by myself.

Stitchy progress since last time in addition to the above:-

Knitted cardigan - second sleeve still not finished but I'm on the homeward straight i.e. decreasing the raglan shoulder.That's it!! 

Well this time I even have excuses!  The last couple of weeks I've been doing some proof-reading for a friend and I've joined a Musical Theatre Group.
I know, I know - there's no hope for me. :-)

Bye for now
Teresa x

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Caramel or Brulee?

DS has recently finished a 2 week stint covering a holiday for the chef of a local pub/restaurant.  It was a one-person kitchen so, apart from a washer-up and a couple of waitresses, he was on his own. It was the first time he'd been in charge and quite enjoyed being called 'Chef' rather than being the one doing the calling.  It's a small establishement but has a good reputation locally for its food so the owner was putting a lot of trust in DS!  By all accounts, he did himself proud!! 

OH and I went there for a meal in a group of 7 and we were all thoroughly impressed!  The Creme Brulees he made were to-die-for!!  It reminded me of the time we went on holiday to Malta when the kids were about 8 (DS) and 10 (DD) yrs old.  DS was always quite adventurous about trying different foods (although he'd not shown much inclination towards cooking himself).  He ordered Creme Caramel for dessert at a restaurant after I'd explained what it was.  When it arrived, however, he didn't like it and failed to eat much.  It turned out, he'd thought it was Creme Brulee. Now, here he is, making Creme Brulee himself - and quite perfectly, I should add.  Not sure if he's made Creme Caramel yet but I have to say, I much prefer Creme Brulee too!!

These 2 desserts are quite similar but the end result tastes very different.  Which do you prefer?  Is there anyone who prefers Creme Caramel?

I got out all my Tag Square Bee blocks last weekend and layed them out on the floor of my shed.  So, here they are!!  On reflection (and looking at them layed out together), I think I should have been more specific in my requested colour preference. "Autumn colours" was a bit too general and I'm now a bit flummoxed as to how to put them together.  From looking at many quilts online over the last few years, I'm aware that I probably need to choose an accent colour to bring them all together somehow.  The questions are - "What colour?" and "How do I use it?"  I'm thinking sashing and borders in the mystery colour, but will it take more than that to bring this lot together?? 

My Life Coach friend (who, incidentally, has just launched a website for her business - see my testimonial on the Sunflower Club page) came round yesterday for a 'tour' of my shed.  She saw it at the Shed Opening Party, but not since I've filled it with furniture and fabric, books and buttons.  Showing her my ongoing projects in one go opened my eyes to exactly how much I have to do.  It's time to buckle down and concentrate on one long-term project at a time (with little ones in between!).

Talking of "little ones in between", I was feeling in need of a quick-fix fabric fiddle so pulled out a few scraps and - well - fiddled!  There's a little heart- felt creation that will hang up once I've added a ribbon (inspired by Betz White (sorry couldn't find exact post), but nowhere near as neat and pretty as hers);  then there's a completely random piece of crazy patchwork that I have to decide what to do with.  Maybe a pincushion?

Stitching progress since last time:

Knitted cardigan - a couple of hours on the second sleeve.
Bee Quilt - Laying out blocks and umming and ahhhing.
Felt and fabric fiddling.

Writing down here, for the last few weeks, what progress I've made has been a useful exercise.  I knew I wasn't getting much done but didn't realise that some weeks it was practically nothing!  I wonder if the next step should be to write down what I want to do (or am going to do) before the next post.  Mmmm, I'll have to think about that a bit more because I've only just thought of it.  It might motivate me, or it might make me leave a longer time before posting until I get it done (which would be a bad thing).

Bye for now
Teresa x

Friday, 21 October 2011


OH hurt his back last weekend and wanted to go somewhere he could walk around to prevent stiffing up.  He decided on Porthcawl; a seaside town close to where he grew up.  We picked up DD on the way, as she was at a loose end, and as we travelled and chatted OH took a scenic route that took us past where he lived as a child, went to school and played.

The beach at Porthcawl where the tide goes way out.
  It got us thinking and talking about family; who was related to whom etc. and we explained to DD the tenuous connection OH and I have to each other, by marriages in the family, through my aunt and his mother, which is so convoluted even I have trouble explaining it!  In order to explain, we each started at our own family and somehow met in the middle!

An interesting new addition since last time we were there - not sure if we like it or not!
  OH and I also have a connection relating to his work on a private country estate.  He and his father both worked on this estate and I have a great-great-somebody-or-other who was an ostler on this same estate generations ago.

Looking along the promenade one way
 It's surprising the connections you can find with people if you get chatting (even complete strangers). Our ladies group recently had a speaker who'd been to Africa with a charity operating on children with cleft palates. When his trip was over, he took an extended break in Egypt (I think) and got talking to some people there.  It turned out they were neighbours of one of the people he'd just been in Africa with!! 
Looking along the promenade the other way
There must be thousands of stories like this because we're not as disparate as we might think.  And the further back in history you go, the more likely you are to be descended from a prominent figure, since there were fewer people around then. 

Out of season for the fair (not sorry though)!
I tried to think of more examples of connections but having a terrible memory they'll probably come to me next week when I'm thinking about something else! 

Stitching progress since last time:

Knittted cardigan - First sleeve finished, second sleeve half knitted.
Other projects - thought about them every day!!
New projects - thought about them every day!!!!!!
(this is getting embarrassing  - showing my progress every post was supposed to motivate me!)

Bye for now
Teresa x

Friday, 14 October 2011


Do you remember when I got stung by a wasp a couple of weeks ago?  At the time we couldn't understand where the wasp came from.  There's no nest nearby that we know of, no windows were open and the only open door was the back door which is in quite a sheltered spot.  Since then we've had wasps in the house on a few more occasions - sometimes 2 or 3 at a time - and they are HUGE!!  The mystery was solved when OH went outside to bring in some blocks for the fire and a wasp flew out of the wood pile!! They were coming in with the wood he brought in - so I blamed him for the sting I had from a wasp that must have been (at least) 2cm long!!

Now to blocks of a different kind. (I don't know why the colours in these photos look so dull.  They really are much  more vibrant than they look here!)  The block above is one of my QAYG blocks that I finished quilting this week.

 This is my last block to send away for the Tag Square Bee.  It goes to Jo of Bellsjo who is the very patient blogger who organised the Bee. She wants to make a 'girly' pink and white quilt for herself so requested these colours.  While I was pressing this, OH commented that there was a lot of white.  He didn't realise it was for someone else and was trying to subtly say that they weren't my sort of colours (I'm not really a 'girly' girl you see).

Earlier in the week I received this colourful block from Jo of Bearpaw for October. The colours and fabrics are amazing and the appliqued circles add a nice touch - the little house and the teapot are great.

 Due to the fact that 2 members of the Bee dropped out, I had 2 fewer blocks than I should have.  What a surpise it was, then, to get these 2 beauties in the mail from Bellsjo so soon after receiving the October block! (I said she was patient didn't I?) The tiny squares in the centre of the one above are amazing - lovely colours and so neat.  And the fabrics in the one below are wonderful.  Jo must have a fabulous stash to choose from!

Now, all I need to to is to get these blocks together in a quilt.  Did I say ALL!!  I think I'll lay them out and photograph them together help me decide how to do it.  I may even ask your advise!

 Stitchy progress since last time:

QAYG Quilt - Finished quilting one block (approx 6 to go I think)
Knitted cardigan - A couple of dozen rows added to first sleeve
Bee Blocks - Last one completed
Read one Quilting Magazine
Visited one Craft Fair - I think this counts as research!! even though it was disappointing and we (DD and I) only stayed about 10 minutes.

Bye for now
Teresa x

Friday, 7 October 2011

Wacky Weekend Weather!

Normal autumn weather conditions have resumed after the blazing blip of glory we enjoyed last weekend. I've probably mentioned the weather before (once or twice!) but it seems to be getting more and more erratic so this, undoubtedly, won't be the last time.

This year, the rose bush in our small front flower-bed has bloomed beautifully -  twice.  Once when we had summer weather in spring and again more recently.

October is traditionally chilly and wet and even when it's sunny it's still wooly jumper weather.  But just look at what we enjoyed last weekend.  Our sunny street above and crowds at a car boot sale on Sunday below.  Everyone in short sleeves (and some a lot less than that!!)
I went along to help DD take advantage of the good weather to get rid of a few more things.  I picked up a few cushions to recover the pads, a M&S hand bag and a book (none of which is pictured!).
This little lot I got elsewhere.  The pile of fabric is from my Saturday quilting group (someone had a clear-out so I got this lot for £2).  The bag and books are from the Church fete. I was surprised no one else had snapped up the bag with it being the day that charges were introduced for carrier bags. I've taken my own bags for grocery shopping for years but this week I left them in the supermarket cafe after having lunch there!! Luckily, when I realised and went back they were left at Customer Services - I'd have been annoyed with myself if I'd have had to pay for bags after all this time!
What's this? At last some evidence of stitching!  Actually the block above is one I received from Karen as part of the Tag Square Bee on flickr.  Look how the autumn colours perfectly match the postcard she included.  There was also a very useful book of postcards in the parcel.  The set of wooden nesting dolls is another bargain from the church fete - they've taken up residence in my shed for the moment.
Ta da!  Here IS something I made at last.  It's my bee block for September and will be winging its way to Julianna as soon as I get the little signature block made to go with it. I struggled to find aqua, white and brown fabrics for this one.  I hope my interpretation of 'aqua' is the same as hers!

Stitching progress since last time:

Knitted cardigan:       Left front finished, one sleeve half done (1 1/2 sleeves and finishing remaining)
Bee block:                   September block made, fabrics chosen and cut for October block
QAYG Quilt:               3/4 of a block quilted.
This may seem a lot (for me) but I've been a bad blogger and this is a couple of weeks worth.

Bye for now
Teresa x

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

27 Years and Counting!

Rather than take a new book away, I decided to take the one I've been reading at work during my lunch hour: Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything".  I'm really enjoying the fascinating run-through of the history of planet earth, with all the interesting facts (and guesses) as to how we got to where we are now.

Unfortunately, I was up to the chapter concerning the atmosphere when we boarded the plane, which proceeded to describe the phenomenon of  'clear-air turbulence' and a typical incident when a flight suddenly fell 90 metres flinging passengers against the ceiling! It also helpfully described air pressure and explained how it tries to equalise itself, like 'in a balloon, an air tank or an airplane with a missing window'!!  It was a good thing the flight was only 45 minutes long.

Moore's Hotel in St Peter Port, Guernsey where we stayed
 Just like Jersey, which we visited a few years ago, Guernsey was occupied during WW2.  A visit to the Occupation Museum was a must for us, with the most interesting exhibits (to me) being the ones that showed how the lives of civilians were affected by the presence of the Germans.  In the typical parlour scene below the mother is keeping watch as the father listens for news on his homemade radio set.  All radios were confiscated by the Germans so the people improvised to make crystal sets, then had to find ingenious ways to hide them from searches. I also found the personal items very poignant; newpaper articles, postcards, diaries and especially photographs.

The remains of the defences built by the Germans are in evidence all around the coast, as we saw on our drive around the island.
 Although 'British' in many aspects, Guernsey is a Crown Dependency and therefore rules itself.  As a result there are subtle differences.  The driving experience was one of the most notable differences to us.  The registration plates had only numbers with no letters.  There were few roads more than 2 lanes in total, and most of them were hardly wide enough for 2 vehicles to pass, so the maximum speed limit is 35mph. And where we have signs at junctions saying 'Stop' or 'Give Way', they had 'Filter In Turn' - and they did!! 

Our hire car

 The way of life is generally very relaxed and certainly conducive to unwinding on holiday,

 enjoying the views......

.......and the food!

We hadn't thought of visiting this Little Chapel but did so on the recommendation of our hotel manager. While we were there an elderly couple asked OH if he would mind taking their photo in front of it.  They were on holiday to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary and were revisiting the places from their honeymoon. We had a lovely chat as they explained how they'd flown to Guernsey all those years ago in a 12 seater plane, where they could see the controlling cables moving under the wooden planks beneath their feet and the pilot looked like "Captain Bird's Eye".  We told them it was a co-incidence that we were also celebrating our anniversary but they had 33 years on us.  When we later realised it must have been only 5 or 6 years after the liberation of the islands when they visited, it somehow brought the history there to life. 

This display of sewing machines is on show at a Folk Museum we visited.  The oldest (on top of the cream stand at the back) was from the late 1800's.  I wouldn't be surprised if there are still a few like the one on the bottom right still in use today - I can certainly remember family members having similar ones.
There were also lots of workshop set-ups showing the tools and methods of different trades in the past.  This cooper (barrel maker) has slight damage to his left hand just at the base of the thumb.  I thought he would be made of a hard material but it looked like sponge inside so I leant in and touched it.  He was a lot lighter and less stable than I expected and immediately started rocking.  It looked for all the world like he was working on his piece of wood (a bit spooky actually, as I was alone at the time!). OH couldn't resist touching either, when I told him, and almost knocked him over!!

It was very windy and turbulent on the flight home but, luckily, I'd moved on from the chapter on the Atmosphere and was now onto Bacteria.  We had to wait about half an hour for our luggage when we got home and when they appeared I can honestly say I have never seen so many people running around the conveyor belt after their bags!  It reminded me of a game we used to play as kids where one child would skip around the outside of a circle of children facing inwards while singing a song, eventually dropping a piece of paper that represented a letter behind one, whereupon they would both run in opposite directions around the circle to get back to the space.  The one left out would then skip round, and so on. 

Stitching progress since last time:

Knitted cardigan - All I've managed this time are a couple of hours knitting.
Does reading a patchwork magazine on holiday count I wonder. 

Bye for now
Teresa x