Friday, July 29, 2011

Unfeasibly large vegetables

When we were kids there were lots of Leek Shows around. there don't seem to be so many in the area now. They were big business, too, with large cash prizes causing unparalleled rivalry and dirty tricks. Look North abounded with stories of sabotage and leek rustling. God, how I miss Mike Neville and George House!

Anyway, today we went to Gateshead Summer Flower Show, as we do every year. There was a reassuring large range of vegetables on display, along with a pitiable selection of handicrafts and jam tarts that always make me swear that I will enter something next year. I never do, though. Part of the pleasure is disdaining other people's efforts. That's why you have to queue to walk around the display tables, like you are filing past Lenin's tomb.

Loved this collage of the Tyne Bridges:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Daily intake

Yesterday, someone asked me what I ate. It almost seemed an odd question, as I don't really think about it much any more. I'm 16 months post op and my weight doesn't change much at the moment.

This is an honest recount of what I ate yesterday.

Up early, enjoying the quiet:
Skinny latte

Skinny latte
(small pause)
1 and a half small crustless cheese, tomato and spring onion crustless quiches
Handfull of blackberries

Hard bolied egg
Small serving of salad from Morrison's deli counter

Knitting group:
Large skinny latte

Small bowl of beef casserole with green vegetables

Small packet Kallo rice cakes
Four Foxes wholemeal crackers with a banana on top
Two half glasses of wine topped up with water (have to really pace myself these days as get drunk really quickly!)
Muller rice

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Greater spotted garden visitor

Recently, we were at Saltholme RSPB reserve, and one of the wardens was rounding everyone up to go to the scopes to look at a woodpecker that had landed on the feeders.

Ok, we thought, but we've got one of them at home.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


First weekend without any lesson-planning in ages. Can only mean one thing - yes! Summer holidays.

So far, in my two days of leisure, I have:

- read the Guardian weekend from cover to cover

- walked on the beach (does it count if I gathered two bags of driftwood for a school project?)

- cooked all sorts of real food (no take aways, no tins or packets, although I didn't make my own pasta)

- Prepped some yarn for spinning

- did some spinning

- cast on a sock in some yarn I have spun

- cleaned the cupboard under the sink in preparation for the plumber coming tomorrow to fit a new sink and tap

- ordered a new mattress for our bed

What next?

Monday, July 11, 2011

With me little ukelele in me hand

Yesterday, I was one of 250 people, the vast majority adults, who gathered at The Sage to take part in a beginners' ukelele workshop. Managed to persuade two friends to come along, as we have work-related plans for this new skill!

It was great fun and, even though I remain unccordinated, I have great optimism about this now.

On the Tour, I decided to challenge myself by trying to spin on a spindle. I've never managed this so far, having learned my basics on a wheel. I feel as though I've missed an evolutionary step in my learning, so I'd like to fill in this gap. I'm finding it really quite hard.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Comfort reading

I have a pile of new paperbacks on my bedside table. However, in times of stress I tend to fall back on comfort reading.

I've just finished:

I adore Tiffany Aching. This is one of my favourite of TP's stories. It isn't a book to be given, unmediated, to children.

Next I'm seeking refuge in:

Probably my all-time favourite. I'd love to book my next holiday with Three Witches Airborne.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Uphill racing

I knew I wouldn't be able to keep up with daily blogging about the Tour de Fleece! To be honest, although I have managed, keeping up with the spinning has been difficult enough.

So, this week I have:
- spun, plied, skeined, washed and dried my Nowhere to Hide Falklands top from My Heart Exposed. This is my best effort so far and I'm very proud of this yarn. It will actually be suitable for socks, according to my reckoning, but I think it might be a component of some mittens I want to try.

I also finished the baby camel I had started. I love the feel of this, it's so soft - like baby alpaca. It needs to be something close to the skin. Maybe a cowl.

Now I am working on some merino from My Heart Exposed. It's trickier than the shetland and falkland I have done so far, but much less sheddy than the camel and not quite as slippery. I'm working slowly and carefully to try to get a thinnish, consistent yarn from this. I love the grey, pink, bluish colourway, which is quite different for me. It's called Eye Spy.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Stage 2

Stage 2 - Les Essarts to Les Essarts 23 km

Today I spun up 100g of Black Shetland with bleached tussah silk. It's everywhere!
The white silk is all over me, the living room; it’s in our food and I’m pretty sure I saw some on J’s leg earlier (which means it’s also in the very black interior of his new car! Shhh!!!)

I will have to pace myself better for the rest of the Tour. I've given myself back ache today!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Stage 1 update

stage 1 - Passage du Gois to Mont des Alouettes (191.5 km)

This is what I have managed on the first leg. I'm very happy with the way this is turning out.

On the blocks

The 2011 Tour de Fleece starts today. (There may be another Tour going on, but that's secondary ;) )

From the Ravelry group pages:
his year, the Tour de Fleece starts Saturday July 2nd and runs until Sunday July 24th, 2011.

Guidelines (NOT RULES):

  • Spin every day the Tour rides, if possible. Saturday July 2nd through Sunday July 24th. Days of rest: Monday July 11th, Monday July 18st. (Just like the actual tour)
  • Spin something challenging Friday July 22nd. (The Tour’s toughest mountain stage over the Col du Galibier for the second time, and finishing up on Alpe d’Huez.)
  • Wear yellow on Sunday July 24th to announce victory. Why not wear yellow on any day you feel particularly successful? (Yellow is the color of the race leader in the Tour - but here we are all ‘race leaders’)
  • Other colors if desired: Green (sprinter - think FAST), Polka-dot (climber - as in uphill), and white (rookie)

Later today I will be starting with the appropriately yellow Nowhere to Hide from My Heart Exposed. Can't wait, but it will have to as the regular Saturday morning stuff is getting in the way.