Train and Tequila Tat

train1
Lynne very kindly fixed the brightness on my train pic from Guildford so you can really enjoy the train building I stayed in. Thank you, Lynne!!

Friday was an interesting day as my friend Mrs H-B had her last day at work and I was very sad. A bunch of us went for a Mexican after work and I thought I’d try a margarita as I’d never had one before. Bear in mind two things: 1. I don’t drink vast amounts or that often and 2. I hadn’t eaten a lot so the tequila hit my system very quickly. I’ve been told I got very giggly indeed but I don’t remember much 🙂

After we ate dinner with Mrs H-B, I went on to a Tat for Tat party. I came up with the idea at Christmas when I got a load of gifts from an auntie which really weren’t me at all so I decided to have an unwanted gifts swap party which pao swiftly named ‘Tat for Tat’. It was a great success and I got the amazing knitting box at that party. Consequently, Emma decided to have a Tat for Tat II party which I went to on Friday. I was still feeling the effects of the tequila and was feeling very wibbly wobbly still when I arrived at Emma’s.

tequila-tat
As Vicki pointed out when she came round on Saturday afternoon, I’d asked for some tat which she would have never imagined being my taste. Shiny bag? I remember thinking how lovely the lining was. Red bag – dunno! Zippy bag – zips tada! Vicki and I did gain lots of nice purple towels which smell strongly of essential oils and I did get a portable CD player which I’ve been wanting for a while plus some other random stuff.

So in the spirit of Tat for Tat – does anyone want the shiny bag or red bag? Sorry, even though I was tequila-fueled, I still like the zip bag a bit as it would make a good sock bag and it’s got zips. Leave me a comment and I will send either the shiny or red bag to you. If there is more than one taker for each then I will get the random number generator out. I’ll give you until Friday 1st May to get your comments in and spread the word 🙂

Last stop: Guildford

train
Yes, this building was shaped like a train. This was where I stayed overnight before I went on the Nvivo course. The architect certainly had a sense of humour as there was a busy train track very close by.

I did manage to get to the town centre for a look round before dinner.

posting-house
Guildford is Surrey’s county town and often a place where travellers broke their journey from Portsmouth on the way to London. It was nice to see the Angel Posting House. It certainly looked like a cosy place to stop and have a drink.

clocktower
The clock tower is at the centre of the High Street.

castle
I even found my way to the castle

castle-garden
with its stunning gardens.

beautiful

Bournemouth in the sunshine

wool
I had to go to Bournemouth the Sunday after I went to Cambridge and as I’d been told it would take 7 hours to get there I decided to go early and make the most of the beach and try and see my very good friend Michelle at the same time. I had to take a train which went to Wool but I had to get off a couple of stops before. If I wasn’t meeting my friend, I might have been tempted to travel on a couple of stops.

balloon
Lucky I didn’t go to Wool as it proved to be the sunniest day we were there. It must have been amazing in the static balloon. Neither me or my friend fancied it much though.

beach
The sandy beach was full of people enjoying the sun. It was a bit windy so a bit cold for sunbathing but it was nice to sit in the sun and chat for a bit.

beach-huts
Bournemouth’s beach huts are pretty prim and proper in comparison to Tankerton’s.

michelle
It was great to catch up with my friend Michelle again. We better not leave it eight years til the next time as the last time I saw her was at our wedding but to chat to properly not for over 10! 🙂

Prettiness in Pembroke College

pem-spring-flowers
These beautiful flowers were planted by the porter’s lodge at Pembroke College where I was staying overnight.

pem-accommodation
I stayed in this accommodation block which was quite nice but the best part was the view just outside:
pem-quad

pem-quad2
Here is a view from the other side of the accommodation.

pem-blossoms
I would never do any study if I lived there as I’d be sat staring at the beautiful buildings all day long!

pem-path
I had to get up early the next morning so I’d have some extra time to look round.

pem-library
Pembroke Library

pem-chapel
Pembroke Chapel. I wish I’d had time to go in but I had to get to back to my room and pack and breakfast and get to work.

mrandmrsduck
However, not before I greeted Mr and Mrs Duck who I’d met the day before when I almost tripped over them. They are quieter than most ducks.

more-flowers
Just a last look at the spring flowers and hellebores. Just beautiful!!

Exploring St John’s College

A number of Cambridge colleges offer visits at a small cost so I picked St John’s College at random as I was nearby. I was lucky as I got to see the Bridge of Sighs.

sj-archway
I loved the big imposing archways

sj-courtyard
leading to the different courts of the college.

sj-chapel
I think each college has it’s own chapel and it was nice to go into St John’s Chapel. Unlike other visitors, I did respect the signs requesting that photos not be taken in the chapel. Instead, I sat on a pew knitting away on my sock for a few minutes admiring the view.

sj-nograss
I felt quite at home. We weren’t allowed to walk on the grass at school in order to keep it nice for graduation. Even now, I find it hard to walk on the grass even though everyone else is doing it!

sj-staircase
I found myself wondering about the students who live and study at the tops of these staircases. Cambridge terms are only 8 weeks long and they have to write several essays a week. Normal students complain about having to write two essay a term so sounds like an intensive programme. I saw that one of the students on this staircase was S Palin 🙂

sj-grounds
New Court (?) which is in the grounds of the college.

sj-grounds2
I could have spent hours and hours sitting in those gardens.

sj-grounds3
I just have no idea how the students ever do any work…

sj-gate
This gate separates St John’s from neighbouring Trinity College. I wondered how many students nipped across the river.

sj-primroses
Even the primroses were special. I’ve only ever seen yellow ones before. It was a magical place to visit and I could have spent hours sitting around soaking it all in but I felt pretty lucky that I had a bit of time to wander before I got to work.

Springtime in Cambridge

I don’t normally travel for work much at all so I completely blessed with three trips last week. The first of these was Cambridge which was blissful. I was so lucky with the trains and the weather that I got there earlier than anticipated and was given a couple of hours lunchbreak/exploring time.

trinity-college
Trinity College

stjohn-entrance
Entrance to St John’s College

round-church
The Round Church

kings-college
Kings College entrance

kings-college2
Kings College side view

cam
The River Cam

eagle-pub
It was difficult not to make comparisons with our recent trip to Oxford especially since I spotted the Eagle pub and this immediately brought to mind the Eagle and Child in Oxford. Sadly, I didn’t have time to go in as I was a bit lost at that point and was trying to figure out how to get back to where I was supposed to be as I would have enjoyed seeing where Francis Crick announced the discovery of DNA. There were a lot of bicycles again and I had to be careful not to get knocked over. Cambridge did seem to be more compact than Oxford but that might be because I didn’t get too long to wander as I was very short on time to explore as I had to work. My feet were weary when I got back to the college I was staying in and had to meet my colleague about the work bit.

There are two things that I would have liked to have done in Cambridge:
aunties
1. Had a sit down with a cup of tea. I had been a whole afternoon without one – eventually I had one in John Lewis’ near my college. I did like the look of Aunties Tea Room but I was a bit disorientated from wandering round aimlessly that I doubted I would find it again before I had to meet my uni friend Jon at 6. There was something called a gyp (any ideas of what that could stand for??) in my accommodation which was like a mini-kitchen with a kettle and a microwave but no crockery whatsoever.

punts-cam
2. Gone for a punt on the Cam. I saw people punting and it did look great but as I was getting short on time, I had to skip this time. I think I will have to persuade pao that we should take a trip to Cambridge to explore further.

Happy Easter!

egg
Happy Easter! We received this beautiful hand decorated egg from Auntie H – it looks too good to eat but we shall have to break into it eventually as the box promised handmade chocolates inside.

kittens
Wishing you lots of kittens! Chocolate ones are particularly good.

spring-socks
I thought these socks were like knitting striped Easter eggs. I’d finished them before my trip but hadn’t grafted the toe before I left. Everyone who saw them commented on how cheerful they are. They are made from Trekking XXL colour 134.

spring-flowers
And for those of whom spring may not have sprung yet – some pretty spring flowers. Happy Easter!!

541 miles of socks

At last, I’m back home again and on holiday – woohoo! I started a pair of socks when I commenced my travels last Thursday and finished them off just yesterday.
canttocam
Canterbury to Cambridge
104 miles

camtocanter
Cambridge to Canterbury
104 miles

cantertobourne
Canterbury to Bournemouth
164 miles

bourneguild
Bournemouth to Guildford
87 miles

guildcant
Guildford to Canterbury
82 miles

I did stop off in London on the way back from Guildford as it was the middle of rush hour when I got to Waterloo so I took the opportunity to join the knitters at the iKnit knit night and discovered my friend Vicki was also in London at the same time so we met up and had dinner in a truly excellent place called Giraffe. We’re planning to meet up again to go to Giraffe again as we’d narrowed our menu choices down to two things each so have vowed to revisit so we can have our other choices.

taxi-art
We did see this truly awesome piece of street art as we were hunting for somewhere to eat. The windscreen wipers moved in time to the music. If I’d been remotely awake and not lugging a large suitcase I might have figured out the video function on my camera again so you’ll just have to take my word for it. 🙂

541 miles of socks – they are certainly very well travelled and cultured socks.

UPDATED: The yarn is Trekking XXL in colour 340.

simnelcake
As it is Good Friday, we made inroads into our simnel cake I bought from Fortnum and Mason’s during our last trip to London. We went to a three hour prayer and reflection service at the Cathedral this afternoon after church in the morning. Even though it was three hours, I barely noticed the passing of the hours and it was a nice way to think about the meaning of Easter.

sleepers
It is nice to be home again and see pao and Ariel cuddling up together. It is a little sad as Perdita hasn’t reappeared. We keep on hoping but it has been a while now. Our neighbours said that she liked to get into their car so we’re hoping that is what has happened and she is making friends wherever she has ended up. Maybe she’ll be back one day.

Brief pit stop

bos-stjohns
Got home from Cambridge last night and heading off to Bournemouth tomorrow. Still no sign of Perdita 🙁 I am quite concerned now as I hoped that she might have shown up by now. She is probably fine curled up in someone’s house or something but they do make us anxious!

The photo is just a little taster of how beautiful Cambridge was – more next week when I’ve got more time. It is the Bridge of Sighs at St John’s College. I was very lucky to have magnificent weather.

Perdita? You can come out now.. wherever you are..

perdita
pao let Perdita out on Monday when he was at home sick and she’s not been back at all. As the weather has warmed up and people’s thoughts have turned to gardening, we think she’s got herself locked in someone’s shed or garage because she is deeply nosey and if a door is open she will wander right in. I’m trying not to worry as she loves to wander into houses without any qualms whatsoever.

Ariel came back from the vet’s tonight and peed on me on the way back. That cat is in rude health! I don’t know what the vet has been doing to her.

It’s been a very busy week again so blogging fell by the wayside. I’m going away tomorrow then on Sunday so I’ll have plenty to blog about when I come back again. We’ve been really busy again so it has been quite a hectic week. I’ve still got to finish getting myself organised for tomorrow’s trip and haven’t quite finished working out what I’m taking on Sunday just yet.