Stir up Sunday +7

I’m slightly late to the Stir up Sunday tradition this year. I decided on a flour free cake and used this recipe for Healthy Christmas Cake. For the observant amongst you, you will see a nutty fruity topping on the cake. This is due to me using part of a fruit cake kit with presoaked fruit that I had lurking in the cupboard. It was in the box and I thought it would look pretty 🙂

Katerina is testing out her new gift. I hosted a little Syjunta gathering yesterday and one of my guests donated a tassel to her.

The holidays are coming!

The Schlossmachers are here! This always marks the start of Christmas for me.

I ended up meeting them in London instead of our original plan and it did mean that we could visit the Good Yarn Stall at Spitalfields Market.

So much beautifulness.

We saw llamas

And mini woolly Katerinas.

I accidentally discovered a feature of my new phone

And we had a brilliant Sunday dinner. See you next year! Sad times for Tamyra, Claude and Katerina who have missed out but next time.

The summer of finishing off – Part 2

When I was in the USA with Jeanne last year, I was furiously knitting away at my Swoon shawl-cardigan in hopes of getting it finished by the end of my holiday. I was, however, distracted by a beautiful shawl and mini-skeins acquired as a birthday gift in Duluth so laid it aside as I didn’t think lace was very portable on a road trip. So I had been working away on this Swoon in Madeline Tosh yarn and enjoyed many happy hours sitting in Jeanne’s then Eileen’s working on this and thinking it wouldn’t be too long to get it finished and wearable when I got home again. WRONG! These small creatures entered my life and wrecked my knitting. So this summer with the prospect of quiet houses and less excited feline company meant I got to finish it off. I had just one piece of lace to knit and then attached it all to the main part of the shawdigan, I had no help. It was great. And I was able to block it in peace. And dry it without it being attacked or dragged off by a growling grey kitten. I think it turned out rather beautiful. I love it. Hugo was such a champ. Not at all interested. A perfect knitting cat friend.

Caturday #catwash

Tamyra is not known as a hive of activity in the washing and action front so we have had to have her groomed over the summer. She was getting a bit whiffy so we booked her for a deluxe wash and blow dry. Readying her for Bob! She looks stunning. Ready for loving!

Caturday Katerina


Out of the two kittens, Katerina is probably the most yarn loving. She growls when she steals and won’t let go of any purloined yarn.


She is very good at looking sweet and innocent.


We know otherwise, don’t we?

Insta-garden


My new job is terrific. There is something to be said for going to work happy every day. I still experience little frustrations but on the whole, I feel content and happy and I come home the same way. I have another part-time job to as a Learning Technologist which is also great (not as good as my other job but pretty good). It does mean that I have a whole new schedule to live up to. The pace of learning is much greater in my new role which means that I am constantly having to learn new things to keep up with new media. I’m often on Instagram – so quick to post a photo but I do miss my blog and enjoy writing for it. Now I’m writing for a living, too, I have such a lot of pleasure in my week! It does mean that I’m very busy! So I took some time out this weekend and did some insta-gardening – I headed to a garden centre and bought lots of lovely plants already in flower and tidied up my front door area. I’ve already been complimented by my neighbour 🙂


My little kitten love keeps me on my toes. She is naughty, funny, loving, special. Tonight she clamped her jaws round my chicken baguette and tried to make off with it. She then stole the chicken breast I cooked for lunch tomorrow and she and Claude were eating it. It was churlish to scold them so they got a chicken dinner.

Please say hi. I’ve been missing you – I’m going to try a little to keep up with blogs. My next big work project is to do Google Analytics and Hootsuite online training which takes up a chunk of my evenings but I will keep trying to read and comment when I can. I’ve been working there almost 6 months and have loved every moment. I love the creativity and the projects. I read ‘What Colour is your parachute?‘ and this was one of the jobs that matched me. It makes me feel so good that I followed my dream.

The End


One of my most favourite book stores closed on Sunday. Waterstones in St Margaret’s Street.


There was something character-full about this branch of Waterstones. The chair in the window made you want to come and read a while. To crease a spine, to peruse the table-fulls of books.


There are not many bookshops where you can see Captain Haddock from the Tin Tin books in the window.


As you take the escalator up to the first floor, there is a wall full of autographs including J.K.Rowling.


It has such character such soul.


It was the first shop I ever went into when I visited Canterbury for my university interview many years ago in 1990. It was newish then and I remember going regularly to the cafe on the top floor. I’d take the escalator up to the first floor then ascend the staircase to the second. I guess given the laws around accessibility that it was a step too far to get a lift put in especially when they put their all into a shiny refurb of a bigger store just round the corner. I used to love going in the cafe for a read and a toasted teacake and a cup of tea. There were great pictures on the wall of wildlife.


I loved these rocking horses in the children’s section. Much played with, much loved.


I loved the quirkiness, the little signs which tell of history. And the books. It was wonderful to spend many a happy hour looking at the books laid out on the tables and stare at shelves.


I used to love to bring my friends to the basement


and surprise them with the remains of the Roman bath house you could see there


It was one of those places you had to know about like the Roman well in the basement of Canterbury’s Pret a Manger (when it was Boots – you used to be able to go and look at it if you asked nicely). So it was nice to be able to walk down the stairs and see it.


So this farewell is a farewell to my first chapter in Canterbury. The store is as old as my connection with the city. It is so sad to see such a beautiful friendly building go. It is going to be the new C&H fabrics so full of yarn and fabric one of my other loves but it will be refitted and the wonderful signs and personal touches will be stripped away and just a distant memory.


Good bye, dear friend. Your fancier, moderner replacement won’t have the same memories for me but I will still go as we still need bookshops. And the rocking horses are moving in so there is hope for it yet.

My mum

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When I was a teenager, I used to rage about how unfair it was I wasn’t allowed to do this and that. My mum was a typical Tiger Mother so anything apart from studying hard was not allowed. It is only in later years, that I really feel a bit of sadness that I spent so much time with her studying at home and quietly resenting it. After all, I didn’t ever get invited to the longed for slumber parties that my friend’s did. I did think of her when I did manage a-kind-of-version-of-that-kind-of-slumber-party when my friend from school and I stayed in a hotel in London together for our school reunion in October but it was nicer and we got more sleep and had spa treatments. So I definitely won on that front.

So my mum would have been 80 today. I miss her.

Endings

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I liked this quote but I am a planner and at the end of this very unusual year, I’m reflecting on the year to come and the endings that I’m contemplating.

2017 will be the year I change jobs – towards the end of January to be more precise and then I’ll be freewheeling a little as the new job is part-time. It is scary but I keep telling myself it will be ok 🙂

I’m also deciding to wind up my jewellery business with a close-out sale on Etsy coming in the new year. I’ll still be making the odd things but for myself and for friends rather than doing shows and making more work for myself.

But one thing is for sure, it won’t be the end of my blog! I’m going to keep going with that with renewed vigour 🙂

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I have to keep you up to date with these fluffy ones… and the knitting that I’m planning!