Friday, 27 December 2013

Christmas soup

Almost every soup I make begins with this:
Which is chopped and sauteed:

But this is Christmas, so there has to be some of this:

Chopped and added to the pan: 
Some stock is added, and later some milk and cream, to make a real comforting meal that has become a family tradition in this house:

Thursday, 19 December 2013


Sorting through last year's Christmas cards to make gift tags I came across two cards using the same David Hockney painting:

I just love this painting - and many of his Yorkshire paintings too. I wish I had made it to the exhibition at the RA last year, even though the Guardian Review is less than positive.

I wonder if I might put together a knit based on this? Maybe another Jane Thornley vest, I shall start looking for appropriate yarns for when the spring comes and there is enough daylight for painting with yarn.

Monday, 16 December 2013

A walk on the walls

What do you think of when you think of York stone?
Maybe York stone pavements - there are plenty of those around the country.

Or maybe you think of the glorious York Minster - still wonderful against a stone-coloured sky, and with scaffolding cladding each end.

But if you have visited you might also think of the city wall, we have more miles of intact city wall than any other city in the country.

Today I took a walk on the walls and imagined I was walking with friends who insist on doing this on every visit.
I collected a few images of  the stone and bricks of York for this collage.

Did you spot the interloper?

Knitting is everywhere. Maybe it was a visit to York that inspired Natalie to dye this particular yarn.

Thursday, 12 December 2013


We are having Christmas in a rented house, surrounded by boxes. The usual decorations are in the loft of the other house.  So I have improvised.

I'm trying to upload a video made in Picasa, owned by google to a blog in blogger, owned by google in Chrome, owned by google, but they appear not to be able to talk to each other grrr.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013


Haar:   A wet mist or fog; esp. applied on the east coast of England and Scotland, from Lincolnshire northwards, to a cold sea-fog. (OED)

We may not be on the coast but we are definitely north of Lincolnshire, and on this cold and grey morning we do have a fog, not dense but very chilling.

Coincidentally I was going to blog about haar  this morning, even before I walked up the lane and saw the fog.

What may be a dull grey fog to you or me, is just another colour inspiration to Natalie.

 Natalie dyed her lovely Toddy yarn to a blue-grey that at first glance may seem to be just that. But look a little closer and you can see that it is anything but a flat colour. All sorts of nuances brought out by a not too complicated stitch.

I used the yarn to knit a Tennessee Twister Cowl - all the details are on Ravelry.

Over the coming year Natalie will be using her dyeing skills to give us all sorts of wonderful colours, some of which I am sure will become cowls and shawls by next Christmas. Read more about that here.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Colour Journal Project

Natalie, of the Yarn Yard has a new plan to bring colour into our lives.
Part of this plan is to have a colour journal. Coincidentally I have recently started a journal too, largely to have a record of the many concerts we go to, but I shall try to make it have a wider brief, to inspire my knitting over the coming year as well.

I began by picking up some leaves on my way in this morning before they all blow away, they go well with my lovely red journal:

So I've made a start on the colour collection.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Ganbatte! 頑張って

In her comment on my previous posting, CCK finished with the single word 'ganbatte'.
I don't think I have ever seen the word before, so of course I hade to Google it.
I was not surprised that it is in fact a Japanese word, meaning something like 'go for it!'. Thank you, CCK.
What was interesting was the discussion  around the cultural differences between Japan and most of the European languages. We would probably say 'good luck', implying that it is up to chance whether you succeed, where as 'ganbatte' implies that with effort your chances of success will be improved. I like it. I may not use it much, but I shall try to say 'go for it' rather than 'good luck' more often.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Returning to blogging world

Well its been a long time, and I am not sure whether I will keep this going, but I'll try.
Life is a busy as ever, I still regret not being able to run, but there are other things to write about.

So to bring the story up to date (if there is still anyone out there reading?):

We are living in York now, though 'camping' in a rented house whilst our is being refurbished. I am still enjoying my work at the University and am coming to the end of writing a dissertation for my MA in Science Education (by research).

I returned to WW a few months ago and am managing to lose a steady pound a week with the support of WW, MrBeanz - who is doing most of the cooking these days, and a couple of friends with whom I am WW virtually, we text and email support for each other.

The key as always is exercise. We live about 1.5 miles from the office, so walking there and back most days is making me feel much better, and helping with the weight loss I am sure.

I have to write for the day job, and the more I write the easier it gets. So writing here will be part of maintaining that momentum.

But I promise that there will be no more writing about WW until I get to goal, and then I may well celebrate.