Pink, green, yellow

Yow! April and May are almost over and it is almost time for a colour change in Project Spectrum. I have been busily collecting photos of pink, green and yellow but have only gotten round to sorting them out to post now.

First up is the alpine strawberry which is growing in a pot by my front door. This is because we have lots of birds in our backgarden and any hint of fruit would be decimated within seconds.

These are some pink flowers I found by the duck pond at work. I have no idea what they are called.

I’m growing garlic and onions in the garden and all the rain is sending up lots of green shoots. I did plant some runner beans but there have been no sign of those much yet in the garden.

The bright green leaves of the raspberry canes have started to grow with vigour. I’m going to have to figure out some sort of netting to keep those birds off the fruit!

I found this pink flower growing beside the water feature in the garden.

There was a lot of pink, green and yellow in Montenegro which I’d saved up for this post.

Cactus in flower.

Geranium-like flower.

Green carving on a door.

Greenery on land mass in the fjord.

Green leafiness.

Statue in the park fountain.

Possibly a mimosa?

A palm tree nursery?

Clematis in bloom much earlier than they are here.

A mysterious looking but very pink flower.

Subtle pink and unusual looking flower.

This yellow painting was in the church we visited with the Russians and pao wasn’t allowed into.

I’m not greatly into yellow so I didn’t knit anything yellow this time. I did manage to knit the Birch Shawl (more on that soon) in Rowan Kidsilk haze – colour Grace.

A Cordial Taste of Summertime

I have found that May has gone by so quickly that June is almost upon us! One of the sure signs that summer is on its way are the appearance of elderflower heads in the hedgerows.
There is a soft fragrance which fills the air as you walk past them and they make the most excellent cordial.

As pao had to do some studying a couple of Saturdays ago, I took myself off for a walk round the village to gather some elderflower heads and to explore a bit.

The cricketers were out on the green as usual during the afternoon. We can see them quite clearly from our dining room window.

I walked up The List and turned right towards the fields and found a few bushes in the hedgerows but it was still early so there weren’t many
elderflower heads yet.

I found a great number of elderflower heads on Court Hill where the contraversial new doctor’s surgery is going to be and

found myself at the barn where I’d been for art exhibitions which our friend Gillian had invited us to.

I found a gate through to the church yard and

picked a few more in there.

I headed down Nargate Street and stopped a moment by the watermill to look at the Nailbourne.

I looped back onto the High Street via a leafy footpath.


Detouring briefly to admire the oast conversions. I have always liked oasts with their big rounded rooms at the tops. These are a little close to the river for my liking but they are lovely though.

I finish back where I started on the village green collecting elderflower heads from the three enormous bushes there with the unasked for but appreciated help of a surly village girl who demanded to know what I was doing.

I carefully washed the elderflower heads as I was determined not to end up with a cordial full of bugs as I had a couple of years ago.

Then I boiled the sugar and water together.

Then I sliced the fruit and mixed them all together in two large jugs.

24 hours later, I was sieving cordial into bottles. Elderflower cordial is supposed to be a yellowy green colour but mine is pink. I can only put it down to my use of blood oranges instead of ordinary oranges. It still tastes nice though.

Lucy’s rose bush

I can’t believe a year has gone by since our beautiful, fat, loud cat went to sleep. We dropped into our vet on Friday and he mentioned how she was so good about never digging her claws into you and I felt the tears well up. We’d only had her for a few years and her big personality left such a big gap.

I haven’t found one yet but I spent a long time looking at the rose bushes on the David Austin site and read all the descriptions until I hit on the Queen of Sweden which is described as “softest glowing pink with hints of apricot later” which seems to describe her because in certain lights she seemed more of a pink than a ginger cat!

Also after some googling about Sweden, I found out there is a LucyFest for St Lucia, patron of lights. Lucy brought so much light to our lives, it only seems fitting.

I’m also going to order a Princess Alexandra of Kent rose to grow alongside it because it has unusually large flowers (and let’s face it, Lucy was an unusually large cat) and I was born in the Princess Alexandra hospital at the now defunct RAF Wroughton. lucy4.jpg

Fixed again

I’m all fixed again 🙂 A combination of new hormones, that special time, the impending anniversary of Lucy’s being put to sleep, the aborted appraisal, two very special colleagues leaving and lots on made me particularly weepy and feeling low. I think on Sunday, I’m going to buy a rose bush to plant to remind me of my big fat ginger cat.

I’m heartened to see that the bunnies haven’t completely gone away and they are still about despite their deluxe warren, erm, hillock being covered up.

It has been a long day and despite a long lunch with friends, I was feeling a bit frustrated by the end of the day so pao and I went into town so I could buy some shampoo. We stopped off in the fancy department store and I went and stared at the selection in the charm bracelet section for the longest time like I normally do because I love their charms. pao wanted to visit the bathroom and I went to look at all the shoes I couldn’t buy and agreed to meet him in the bedding department. I waited and waited and waited and wondered if there was something wrong with pao. Perhaps, I mused, he had eaten something that disagreed with him and he was in dire trouble in the men’s room. I pondered asking one of the male members of staff to go into the men’s room to see if he was ok but decided I was just too embarrassed to do that. So I sat on one of the very comfortable chairs near the men’s room and waited and shuffled up pretending to look at things every time I got a pointed stare from one of the shop assistants who was thinking about going home as it was very close to closing time.

Eventually, I got up and headed downstairs. Perhaps he’d misheard me and thought I was still on the ground floor. As I was descending on the escalator, I spotted pao in the middle of the shop floor fiddling with the waist of his trousers and I wondered what on earth had possessed him to change into his new belt in the middle of the shop floor. Couldn’t he see that the woman on the counter next to him was cringing with embarrassment?

So I wandered away and waited elsewhere until he was done with whatever he was doing. It turned out that he had wanted to get rid of the old belt so that he could put something else in the bag so I wouldn’t be suspicious when I saw him. 🙂 Crafty pao! I think you may be able to guess what was in the bag..

Leave a message at the beep

Perdita says: Mummy is extremely tired at the moment as she has been expending lots of nervous energy on that appraisal thing she keeps muttering darkly about. Thing is: the appraisal thing was cancelled at the last minute so she is now going to collapse in a heap with her knitting and her audiobook instead of uploading her weekend photos. But she does say she is very sorry and will be back soon otherwise you’ll think she is very dull. (She has been knitting though)


Now I know I promised some more on the elderflowers today (oops – yesterday even) but I got home very late after spending all day supporting a conference – I had to sit through the whole of the last two hours til just after 6 as I was photographing it and handing round the mike at the question hour. It was very tiring and I learnt about the phenomena of nipple confusion (gosh, will my google hits go up now?!) and that if you go to an American midwife you shouldn’t refer to the embryo as an embryo but call him/her the baby or the midwife will be all huffy.

I’ve got to be back at work just before 8am tomorrow morning to smooth out the joys of Powerpoint. Thankfully the whole thing finishes tomorrow afternoon and I can get the task of writing my appraisal paperwork done – I hate writing those sorts of things because I’m going to have to write some objectives for the next year. This will be my first ever appraisal and I’m a bit nervous. I felt a bit down yesterday about it for one reason or another. I suppose that I found last year quite trying and having to dredge up memories of it are pretty hard to deal with. Also, as I’ve never done it before, I’m more than a bit nervous about getting it wrong (the perfectionist thing is rearing it’s head).

I did get some good news today whilst I was listening to long talks about parenting and breastfeeding; our vet has been reinstated as a vet. It is a long story but finally his anguish is over and we can take Merlin to see his second favourite person again. Hurrah!

Knitting Meme

Found at Nic’s 🙂

Edit the list, bold for stuff you’ve done, italics for stuff you plan to do one day, and normal for stuff you’re not planning on doing.

Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cozies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with DPNs
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair Hair accessories
Knitting in public

We had quite a productive day: posted four packages (who can those be for, hmm???), went to three jumble sales, bought many more paperbacks for the ‘to be read’ pile, won a raffle prize, and made cordial (more on that tomorrow).

Now just to prove that Project Spectrum 2 hasn’t completely slipped my mind.

Here is Ophelia examining some very pink peonies.

Hopper’s huts through the decades

I am always amazed about the lives of the hoppers who came down from London for six weeks of hopping as a holiday.

The Museum of Kent Life has really good replicas of the hopper’s huts of the 30s, 40s and 50s. It is really interesting to see how things changed.

This is the hopper’s hut of the 30s.

Knitting must have been an essential activity during the period between the wars.

Isn’t the toy sheep really sweet?

Things are a bit more cozy in the 1940s hut.

Look! More knitting. 🙂

This was the most elaborate of the three huts. Look at that beautiful afghan on the bed.

Knitting was still a popular pastime in the 50s.

It was interesting to see that the children slept right underneath their parents.

The tradition of Londoners migrating to Kent to go hopping pretty much stopped in the 1960s due to the introduction of machinery to pick the hops.

Whenever people see that I’m a knitter, they always say “Oh, knitting is really popular again.” It is strange but I feel a bit odd about that because I’ve always liked knitting but not always been as serious a knitter as I am now. I do think it is great because there are so many different types of yarn which I would have never heard of before and I’m really enjoying experimenting with.

I was on a train back from another site the other day and a girl said to me, “What are you doing wasting your time knitting?”. That made me a little sad especially when she went on to tell me that she’d knitted loads of those fake fur scarves to sell at boot fairs – I wondered if she’d ever felt the joy that I feel turning that yarn into something wearable or it was just something for her to do to make some quick cash. We talked a bit and I told her that I liked making my own things because I could make them the right size for me which surprised her a bit. I don’t suppose she ever thought of knitting that way before..

Rood Fayre Swag

As I am on a yarn diet until late August, pao kindly bought me some very nice gifts from the Mulberry Dyer at the Rood Fayre. It was quite interesting to see the colours that were produced by natural dyes.

From L-R the dyes were: Alkanet; Indigo, Cochineal and Logwood; Safflower and Logwood; and Cochineal.

I foresee lots more socks in the future.

More Welsh wool dyed in Marigold Indigo. In the middle there is some really yummy alpaca and silk – so soft dyed in Cochineal, Osage, Pomegranate and Indigo. And I’m not sure what the last item on the right is! But it is lovely.

The lovely lucet with some nice buttons and a shawl pin.

I had planned to show you the hopper’s huts but that will have to happen tomorrow as I have just spent 1.5 hours on the phone with British Gas trying to set up our gas account. I think I’ve finally got through to someone who has some clue about what they are doing but I won’t hold my breath as I’ve already a mass of paperwork saying that my account has been set up from back in February! So why they keep writing to “The Occupier” and threatening to cut me off, I don’t know!! I had one of those days when the straightforward things which are supposed to be easy to fix turn into tangled horrible messes and when I opened the turkey I got out for dinner (whilst still on hold – multitasking) I found it smelled foul. pao was dispatched to get us a takeaway from Canterbury and it was only as he walked through the door that I finally got off hold and managed to speak to a real person who took all three of my reference numbers and gave me yet another reference number which she assured me that would be ok now. She even gave me her full name and the full name and phone number of her manager so maybe this time they’ll get it right but these stories don’t fill me with much hope..

I’ve got to have a cup of tea now!

Rood Fayre

No, no, not that sort of RUDE! The Museum of Kent Life in Cobtree was holding their first ever medieval Rood Fayre so pao and I got into the tin can and drove over there to have a look-see. I don’t mind the tin can but it is small and was a little scary when we picked it up on Saturday.

It was such a shame it was completely pouring down with rain on Sunday because the traders were skulking in their not-quite-waterproof mediaeval tents. A few of them were fun though like these two who were selling brooch pins. The lady told me a little about the history of knitting which was really nice.

I was completely charmed and delighted by The Mulberry Dyer. Despite the awful weather, he was very chirpy and perked up immensely when pao decided I ought to have some of his wool! His partner dyes the wool herself using natural dyes so I came home with some very interesting things.

Linen threads. Look at the great range of colours!

Very nice wooden tools. Look at that niddy noddy 🙂

I also acquired a lucet. I read about these over at Trek’s and knew straight away what this lady was doing when I saw her. It was just too wet to hang around her tent to ask for a lesson but I came home with a lucet of my very own. Oooh, I have just found an online lucet tutorial – yay!


It was great fun going round the Fayre but the Museum itself is pretty interesting, too. The weather was pretty rotten so it was good to be in the dry at times.

It was a bit sad for the stall holders as they had all paid to be there and business was very poor due to the bad weather. We came across these musicians trying to keep dry.

pao and I tried our hands at a bit of brass rubbing 🙂

I even got to stroke a lamb or two again but none of them measured up to the gorgeousness of Buttercup.

We didn’t look round the whole place but saw a couple of buildings. I was quite taken with the hopper’s huts as they reminded me of our trip to Bodiam which I’m going to post about tomorrow.