Friday, 11 June 2021

It's Been A Busy Week.

The Rock Art

 Well I have been back and checked all the places where I hid my rocks and they have all been taken.  The one that I left in the most prominent part of the town centre was the last to go, just as I don't want to be seen leaving them people probably don't want to be seen taking them either. 

They have appeared on the u3a Day blog on the main website and apparently will be shown in the newsletter too along with other u3a's pictures of their celebrations for u3a Day.

My latest craze is flower bugs I think everyone I know is going to receive one sooner or later as they are such fun to paint.

The Replacement

Look what I've got at last! I have managed to get a replacement treadmill from a different firm. I am hoping that this one lasts a little longer than the last one in fact a whole lot longer. It has taken me ages to decide on a replacement so I hope that I have made the right choice,  This one has an incline adjustment as well so I'll get a better work out.  It's good to have it for awful weather days. 

I have just received my credit card statement and have discovered that the refund for my first treadmill hasn't been credited to my account even though I had an email to say that it had been, that's why I went ahead and bought this new one I should have checked first, anyway I am on the case, I'm sure that I'll get it but it sure is taking a long time. 

Lovely Weather 

It has been lovely to have some nice bright sunny weather for a change look who came to visit last Sunday.

Little Mikey playing with his toys with a very tame Robin looking on without me realising it, I only saw the Robin when I looked at the photo. 


I had a phone call from a very dear friend, we don't speak often but we do keep in touch, this time she phoned me for a very sad reason, as I picked up the phone to answer her a robin flew right up to my window and perched on the watering can just in front of the conservatory doors, it stood there looking in while my friend broke the sad news that our very lovely mutual friend Frances had passed away. That Robin stood there looking in right up until the end of quite a long conversation. Coincidence? probably but I thought it was spooky and since then that robin comes into my garden and stands very close every time I go out (see above!) 

That makes four very special friends of mine that have passed away over the years, one just before last Christmas. Cancer in some form of another has been the cause for each one of them passing, of course as we get older it's inevitable but it's very sad just the same. 


Thank goodness for the busyness of this week it has kept my mind on other things, one of which is Mahjong, we have a u3a group which hasn't opened yet but four of us from the group meet when we can to have a game or two, this week we met in Paula's garden and had a very pleasant afternoon, if only the weather could be like this all the time.


Well there has been some progress on the station display, yesterday six of the ladies from the knitting group met in my garden and it looks as if we are getting there, we hope to erect the display a week on Sunday.

Coffee with a view

Sitting in The Outlook coffee shop with a friend down in our marina last Saturday, it's so lovely to sit there in the warm sunshine and take in the view, this time we had a visitor, that starling was sat just a foot away from us listening in to our conversation, it even posed for a photograph.

 It looks like the crochet, knitting and sewing have been put on hold at the moment nothing has been done, I'm not in the mood and the weather has been too nice to ignore, I'm making the most of it because it won't last long.

I hope you all have a great week 

Friday, 4 June 2021

Spreading The Word.

 As I mentioned in my last post, it was the first national u3a day this week, in normal times we would have planned various activities to spread the word about our u3a and to encourage people to come and join us. Unfortunately because of the pandemic not much has been going on at all in our u3a and getting together to organise any kind of activity has proved impossible. 

As I also said in my last post we were hoping that the display for our train station would be up and ready but because of the bank holiday weekend  people had other plans and not much has got done.  I have manged to finish my portion of the net but there is still a way to go with the rest.  It will happen, just not as soon as we had hoped. 

The station is just a very small one consisting of two platforms so whatever we manage to display it will have some kind of impact.

With that in mind and with u3a day approaching I came up with an idea which was advantageous to me and would also raise peoples awareness of our organisation. 

As you all know I am totally hooked on painting rocks and love leaving them around town to spread a bit of cheer, what better way to spread the word about our u3a. This way the message will reach a more diverse group of people rather than a poster or a leaflet, posters are rarely read and leaflets usually end up in the bin. 

I have written our website address on the back and invited people to join us I'm hoping that whoever finds the rocks may pass on the information to a relevant family member, it could be a case of look what I have found Grandma, Grandma admires the stone turns it over see's the address and investigates.  I have painted stones that will appeal to all age groups so it may even be Grandma who picks one up who knows.

These are just a few of what I prepared, I added some of my decoupaged ones too,  it took three walks at different times of the day as they are quite heavy as you can imagine,  I did leave one on each platform at the station yesterday, but have saved a few for when we erect the display and I will add to them, it's a good excuse to paint more stones. 

I had fun leaving them around town in various locations, doing it without being seen can be tricky but I think I managed it. 

We have had a very disappointing bank holiday weekend, while the rest of Britain basked in warm sunshine we had sea fret to contend with from the North sea which made it quite cold but although it was still dull when I set off to deposit my stones luckily the temperatures had risen a little and it was quite warm.

Taking in the views as I passed by..

You can see how dull the weather is, this was the beach when I went for my walk last Saturday

It felt quite eerie, there were quite a few people searching for sea glass, the weather never stops them, they are there come rain or shine.

Can you remember how upset I was last year when they felled all those trees in the dene.....

 the ugly scars have disappeared under a mass of wild flowers and spring foliage. there is no sign of building work going on so I am still at a loss as to why the trees were felled in the first place.

Sea fret creeping in..

I am watching to see what develops, hopefully it will remain a wildflower meadow but I remain sceptical. 

Have a great week.

Friday, 28 May 2021

No Time To Post! Angels, Cradles and back to Durham.

No Time To Post!

 Now that things are moving on a bit more as restrictions ease I'm finding it hard to fit everything in.  How did I manage it before? we have all got used to life in the slow lane and now as things open up we don't have the excuse of lockdown to fall back on for not getting things done.

I run the website for my local u3a and am also the Group Coordinator, over the past year and a half apart from a few zoom meetings and a weekly quiz on the website nothing much has been happening.  Now people are wanting the groups to start up again which has meant holding a zoom meeting with the group leaders and trying to find a way forward.  Lots of the venues we use for our meetings only allow a certain number of people inside and others haven't even opened up again namely our Town Hall which hosts seven of our groups, they don't plan to open until the end of June and only if it's safe to do so. 

I didn't even have time to post last week because another thing that was put on hold and has once again come to the fore is the need to assemble the knitting and crocheting display we had planned before Covid in order to decorate our Train Station. We were going to do this to celebrate u3a day which is on the 3rd of June but judging by the number of people who turned up to help last week that's not going to happen.

I invited about six ladies to my garden in order to get the process started and there was only myself and Pamela the lady who runs the knitting group there to try and make some sort of start.

Pamela brought a huge fishing net, the plan is to assemble all the work onto the net and then hang it onto the fence at the station. We worked hard for 3 hours and then I called a halt, we were shattered! I have taken a portion of the net to work on and Pamela has taken the rest, I have no idea when we will get it completed because trying to find a day when people are free to help and one that is warm and dry is a challenge in itself. 

If you remember we decorated the Marina back here and it was such a hit we were approached by the person who looks after the station shortly afterwards to ask us if we would decorate the station. Hopefully once it's up it will bring some much needed cheer to the town.

Angels and Cradles

Along with the sewing of flowers onto nets, I have been continuing with the crochet angels and another part of the challenge for N.H.A.P. which is for for knitted cribs for angel babies. 

crib and blanket

When making them I realised that I have never used eyelet lace before so I learnt something new, it seems strange that in my 60 years of knitting this is the first time I have ever used it.

 I can't believe that I have been knitting for 60 years! and crocheting for 48 where have all the years gone, I wonder how many items I have made in all those years. How many years have you been knitting and or crocheting?

The making of angels will continue until the end of the month ...

my count so far is 23 the overall count is 2321 we are trying to reach 2500, I think that target will be reached and smashed by the end of the month.

Back to Durham

We promised ourselves a trip back to Durham once the lockdown eased, both to visit the Castle and to eat in a restaurant for the first time in months. 

The weather has been appalling throughout May but luckily the day we went it was dry and not too cold so another river walk was a must.  It was amazing to see how lush and green everything had become in just a few weeks.

We had our meal which was lovely, unfortunately the castle is still closed to visitors and you have to book in advance to visit the cathedral so that's a good excuse to go back again, not that I need an excuse Durham is a beautiful place to visit at any time.

It's bank holiday weekend here in the Uk and for once the weather promises to be warm so I have a long walk planned on Sunday to Hawthorne village remember the mud scenario back here, we have to go through the dene again to reach the village so wish us luck! it has been raining pretty hard here for last few weeks. If we manage to reach the village we going to have Sunday lunch in the pub there and then walk all the way back again, glutton for punishment springs to mind.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend whatever your plans are.


Click here to see the great parties I'll be linking to this week.

Friday, 14 May 2021

Crochet Angels a Walk and a Bit of Growth

 In my last post if you remember I was full of enthusiasm for the  Patchwork CAL and planned on crocheting two blocks a week, my enthusiasm for that particular project seems to have flown for now, it may return later I hope so even if I manage to make enough squares for a baby blanket it will be fine.  Instead I have been drawn to making these little angels..

This months challenge for N.H.A.P. is for 1500 of these, they place them in their bereavement packs and like to have a constant supply, they have nearly smashed that target already. I have made six so far and plan to make many more as they are in huge demand.  

These little angels bring comfort to many and I've lost count of the number I have made in the past, I have made these with Dk acrylic yarn as requested, but I prefer to make them with fine crochet cotton and slip them inside a card to send to a relative or friend if they are going through a rough time or just to show that I am thinking of them. 

I remember I made one for my Aunty Kitty sadly now deceased, just before she was due to go into hospital, some time later she wrote asking me if I could make her another one as that one had been lost while she was in hospital and she had felt safe having it with her. I was touched that it had meant so much to her and of course made and sent her another. 

There are many angel patterns online but this is the one I am using and it has a video tutorial too.

The Walk

We have had a week of warm weather and lots of showers this week, I don't mind the showers with the hailstones and torrential rain as long as it's warm and not too windy I am happy.

Our walk this week took us to a place that I hadn't walked before Washington Wetland Centre. Unfortunately we couldn't get into the Centre as you have to book in advance but there is a circular walk around the river wear right next to the centre so we set off on that.  We never have a clue exactly where we are going on these walks and because it had been raining quite a lot recently it was like a mud bath in places so we were splashed with mud before very long  and turned back after a while as we had no idea of how far the trail actually went. We discovered later that if we had gone a little bit further we would have reached a bridge which would have taken us over the river and back to where we had started so we will do that another day when it's not so muddy. 

We seemed to have walked a long way and I was pretty tired by the time we got back to the car and as usual dying for my coffee fix. To my delight we found this place by chance.

We sat in the warm sunshine right by the river drinking a much needed coffee and ate a yummy sausage roll whilst taking in the beautiful view.

I checked my fitbit and discovered we had walked 6.37 miles, 14, 970 steps and 60 floors! we did walk up an awful lot of steps but I think 60 floors is a bit of an exaggeration.  

Our next weeks walk is going to conclude with a meal indoors as the restrictions will be relaxed to eat inside of restaurants for the first time in months so I'm looking forward to that.

The Bit Of Growth

With all the rain and the weather warming up my garden is showing some lovely Spring growth at last, here are the stars of the show for this week..

Japanese Acre
I love the lime green leaves, this tree is growing in a pot but still looks lovely every year.

Bleeding Hearts

Apple Blossom on my little Apple tree.

I hope that you all have a great week.