Fun in the sun

(how we miss you, golden sunshine)

We headed over the Whitstable late on Saturday morning as I wanted to go to Seaside Sadie’s for another bag of buttons and pao wanted to drop a machine off for his friend. Saturday was the only day of the long weekend where we saw the sunshine. Seaside Sadie’s is a really nice little shop run by a Scottish lady. She is only open Friday, Saturday, Sunday depending on the weather so if it rains then she doesn’t bother opening shop. It is a nice little place and sells a bit of Colinette, is the only local supplier at the moment of Aragon Yarn, Noro and some Scottish yarn. She’s also got some fleece and wonderful buttons. It is a tiny shop but a fun place to visit every so often.

Whitstable is famous for oysters and Wheelers is the place to go for seafood in the town. More like someone’s living room than a restaurant. We didn’t pop in for one of their delicious crab sandwiches because I wanted to go to Birdies because we hadn’t been for 10 years. pao had taken me there for my 25th birthday and it is as good now as it was then.

There is always something different – this time I was bemused by this cheesemobile. It seemed to be very popular because we saw lots of people queueing when we went past.

I liked these old childhood annuals which were in the window of the ice cream shop.

This sign sums up the essence of Whitstable

but you can’t underestimate the weird. Have these people been watching too much Meerkat Manor?

Fordwich snapshots

We often drive through this tiny village on our way to work most days and I asked pao to stop so we could have a drink one Sunday evening and I could see the other side of the river we cross (we don’t go home that way). We were a bit tired and wanted to get home to see Dr Who so we didn’t walk around and see what the rest of the village was like even though Fordwich is tiny.

As you can see, the river was pretty high a couple of weeks ago. I can’t imagine what it is like now we have had lots of rain.

There was a really pretty lilac bush near the pub car park. I wonder if you can make cuttings of lilac?

We’ve had a respite from the rain but the forecast suggests that we will have more rain really soon now 🙁

Rain, rain go away

It has been raining on and off since Sunday but last night’s storm was so severe that it work me up! The lightning seemed to be so close that I contemplated moving away from the window – just in case. Ophelia came in for cuddles throughout the storm but I’m now bleary eyed and not quite with it particularly after we had a bomb scare at work yesterday. My building was evacuated but pao’s wasn’t despite him being nearer the device. Weird or what? Luckily, I grabbed my handbag with knitting in it so the hour or so we were stood outside wasn’t wasted.

A couple of randoms from the weekend.


and Phoebe went out and rolled on the patio during the only dry spot all weekend.

pao had very kindly spent a day cleaning to find that Ariel had obliterated his clean conservatory floor with black footprints.

The hallway was a popular cat lounging zone when the heavens opened.

Some of you asked what the dragon fruit looked like inside – well I was a bit surprised when I discovered it to be white! It didn’t really taste of much – but I could imagine a cold one would be nice on a summer’s day.

A bit of knitting kitsch. Don’t you just love the expression on that woman’s face? Click on the picture for more detail 🙂 I think KnitWit would be particularly amused by the claim it is for knitwits everywhere!

Springing into the Earth palette and a shawl along

I started off some vegetable seeds last week as we really like our fresh veggies and we’ve now had our first signs of life. I’ve sown pumpkins, peas, french beans, runner beans and baby cabbage. The Bank Holiday rain does mean that the ground will be a lot more workable over the next few days so we’ll have to get busy preparing the vegetable patch and emptying out pots and hanging baskets for our produce. I haven’t tried it before but thought I’d grow tiny tomatoes in hanging baskets to see how they would fare. I suspect the best thing to do is perhaps sow directly into the hanging basket since it is a lot warmer now and see how things go.

I usually get my tomato plants from church fetes and open gardens now. We haven’t really been looking this year so we’ll really have to get those as soon as we see them as it is probably too late to start some off as seed.

Talking of growing, Sarah convinced me to knit along with her whilst she works on her Hanami shawl so I took the dismal weekend weather as an opportunity to add a few more repeats to my Stormwater Shawl. Sarah’s just been to Chicago and posted some wonderful pictures (Chicago is on my travelling wish list) – she is such a quick knitter, I bet she has knit loads more.

I love the way the colours weave together.

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside

It’s Bank Holiday Monday and pouring with rain so we’re hunkering down with tea and toast. I’m on a bit of a photo catch up at the moment as I have a few that I’ve not posted yet from those sunny days in early May which seem like a distant memory now. We visited Hythe a little while ago – when it was still hot as I had to go there for work and I wanted to check out all the IT worked properly the day before. New places and IT make me nervous so pao put my mind at rest by saying we should drive down and have a proper look. Luckily, it all worked like a dream and I got to sleep again.

I caught a glimpse of the sea which I longed to be by whilst trapped in focus groups and plenary sessions the next day (particularly since the rooms we were trapped in had no air con and the heating was still switched on!)

Our little recce revealed a multitude of charity shops so we decided that Hythe was definitely deserving of a return visit when all the shops were open.

We popped down on the Saturday afterwards and came back with two carrier bags of books 🙂 The prices were mostly quite reasonable and there were lots of tables full of book set up outside shops to tempt us. I can safely say we have no shortage of reading material for the summer.

We parked at the far end of the high street and walked in from there where we were surprised to see this man on horseback. Not a sight you often see in urban England!

Perhaps they had just been to the fountain for a drink?

It wasn’t long before we’d reached the High Street.

There was even some yarn but it was mainly acrylic and we were already on a mission to get us some summer reading.

I thought the town clock was very pretty.

Soon we had enough books to need a wheelbarrow to carry them back to the car but I paused to look at the lovely river. I think Hythe is definitely on the list for a return visit – they have a huge charity shop just dedicated to books as well as lots of smaller ones 🙂

Perdita is telling me it is time to go now but knocking things off my desk and purring. Have a great day off if you are also blessed with a national holiday!

Strange fruit

Any one tried one of these before? The label says it is a dragon fruit.

Carrie K tagged me to do this fun meme.

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
I had started work at a well-known pharmaceutical company on a well-known drug project (think blue diamond shaped pill) as a senior secretary on a two week temp contract which led to some other longer temp contracts in the same company.

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list today – in no particular order?
Get some coffee, tackle some more of my ironing mountain, watch another episode or two of the Sopranos, eat the dragon fruit, contemplate world domination by sock knitters, erm, look at sock yarn stash with a view to starting the Summer of Socks knitalong starting on June 21.

3. Snacks I enjoy
Regular readers will understand that there is only one top snack – e.g. Bugles and I love American chocolate. Most British people think it is horrible but I love it. I really adore fruit salad, too. And cake.

4. Places I’ve lived
In no particular order: London, UK; Dhahran, KSA; Siena, Italy; Canterbury, UK, small town in Wiltshire, UK; Luton, UK.

5. Things I would do if I were a billionaire
Travel 🙂 I was talking to pao about this the other day and I thought it would be fun to go for a meal somewhere and just pick another table and pay for their meal so when they called for the bill they would get a pleasant surprise. I also thought a combined bookstore, yarnstore and cafe would be fun too.

What do you reckon to this? A prediction of what will happen when pao retires?

When only self-patterning will do

A week or so back, I went on a long long set of train rides to Wolverhampton (photos very soon) and started on a pair of plain socks in some Maizy Chris sent me. I knitted on the train from Canterbury, met my colleague in London then proceeded to knit on the train to Wolverhampton. Unfortunately, due to the splitty nature of Maizy (don’t get me wrong, I love you Maizy but you are splitty), I realised that I had inadvertantly knitted in some extra stitches. Rather than try and unravel in front of my colleague, I decided to crack on and knit it together so there was a bump which I could sew together (it might not show too badly, I reasoned).

I finished sock 1 but had to sew glitch together. It looked bad. So I decided to unpick the area, cutting into the thread I’d sewed together. Now I had a hole of mammoth proportions which when sewed together looked even worse than the glitch.

Don’t get me wrong – I actually like Maizy and I’m thinking about buying some more because it is rather nice and stretchy and I would be able to make pao-proportioned socks with it. Unlike the trusty Opal self-patterning, you can’t just blather on without concentrating!

So what does a person like me do when faced with fussy socks? I get out the tried and trusted self-patterning to help me through this time of crisis.

I’m going back to Wolverhampton in a fortnight – I just won’t be taking Maizy this time.

Herne Bay snapshots

We headed over to Herne Bay on Sunday evening to get a breath of fresh air and some Italian ice cream. We only stayed a few minutes as it was freezing cold and the coffee lounge was shut 🙁 but we were able to be home for Dr Who. I took some of these photos a couple of weeks back when we went on a Saturday and was able to visit the Wool Baa where I picked up a couple of nice skeins of Noro which I think would make a nice multi-directional scarf. I couldn’t believe how different the weather is now. Just a couple of weeks ago, it was so warm that the sea breeze was really pleasant.

We wondered what a Mary Poppins pancake has in it! Sugar and spice and all things nice….? We’ll have to get Ophelia to find out since we have found out what she does all day whilst we’re earning her kitty food.

Kit cat cakes

The village WI had a plant and cake sale on Saturday so we couldn’t resist slipping over and having a look. After last year’s experience, we were over there just before the 10am opening as the plants fairly fly off the tables – e.g. they are usually sold out by 10.30. We were looking for a nice cake to have with tea when we spotted these cute kitten cakes.

They didn’t last long….

I think we’ll need help with the other cake we bought ..


Shake, rattle and Ariel

Ariel had a whole load more blood tests and her thyroid condition is much better. She is borderline diabetic and has kidney problems but these are improved with the special food she is on. It turns out that her refusal to eat is due to cystitis so she has several tablets to take each day. Thankfully, we’ve got some food which has more fluid in it and can crush and mix all of her tablets in the food. She is good at wolfing that up so she is much much better. I’m so glad we don’t have to force those tablets down her – she might look cute but she is vicious!