Sunday, 22 June 2008

Busy Week Gallivanting

Out every day on trips or evenings out. What a lucky girl I am! Monday out for a birthday party, Tuesday David and I went out to celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary at a wonderful little French Restaurant in Kenilworth, Wednesday was members' night at the WI, Thursday I drove out to an NCCPG member's garden with my friend Penny, and Friday went on a WI outing to Lord Leycester's Hospital in Warwick where the Master himself showed us round.

All that was in addition to my usual weekly Pilates class, craft group etc., only missing out on my knitting group on Tuesday evening.

This is Penny who introduced me to the NCCPG, and we drove out together for the Coles's garden and nursery.

This is Lord Leycester's Hospital in Coventry. The Master gave the Kenilworth WI a tour of the Halls, chapel and gardens. This was the second wonderful garden of the week I had been round. Mid June must be the best time for roses and other herbaceous plants. The tour ended with tea in the brothers' kitchen.

I caught this mettle frog in the Cole'ss garden, leaping up at the edge of a pool. As well as having the most amazing range of plants, they were beautifully set out on a rolling, sloping garden, with water features, pergolas, patios and seating areas.

I loved the bench with a lovely view, set against some rosemary giving an aromatic view of the garden for anyone wanting a rest. This metal rooster on one side faced into the setting sun.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Crafts at the WI

Tuesdays are now play days for me, starting with Pilates at St John Church Hall. Then there is time for a quick lunch before setting off the afternoon craft session. Then back to cook dinner and then off to the lovely knitting group at Web of Wool in Leamington.
A few months back I was lead to believe there was a knitting group down the Waverley Road, but I found out the group did various crafts and was attended by WI Ladies, and I was invited to join, without the need to join the WI. Its has given me the opportunity to try out different crafts alongside experienced crafters, and learn new skills. I joined the group when they had already started on a patchwork project, and Kay our leader, set up a small patchwork project for me to do. Now we are working on a small item, a collapsing box, to hold sewing items, based on a Japanese craft of small containers and boxes. The ladies are a fun lot to be with, and have made me very welcome. I have even joined the WI and have been to a couple of excellent talks so far, and next week am joining them for a guided tour of Lord Leycester's Hospital in Warwick. The ladies are a wealth of knowledge on local matters, and Jean who is pictured above with some of her previous projects as well as the partly completed project with lovely Japanese fabric. This time we are taking short-cuts with glueing the fabric onto the card; purists used curved needles and sew the fabric onto the cards.
Going to the craft group is like being at a play-group/Blue Peter group for adults, lots of fun, laughs, and 'present' making...sorry chaps, ladies only!

Monday, 2 June 2008

Bed and breakfast with a view

Here is the picture of Jenny's terrace, her house is over three floors and there are magnificent views. David and I spent a wonderful five days with my sister in Gerona. The five days together were fabulous. Although we had left very hot weather in the UK, it was cool and raining in Spain, on the same lines as it had been in Morocco, but as the days past it improved a lot. Jenny took us for alovely drives and we walked along the coast to see the breakers crash on the shore, which is pretty unusual for the Med.
Jenny's house is almost the last house out of Gerona and butts onto a pine wood which forms part of a regional country park. Just five minutes walk away we found lovely orchids, honeysuckle, broom, and just by her balcony we were serenaded by nightingales. We walked from her house along a lovely valley into the heart of Gerona right behind the Cathedral.
Jenny has now two paying guests with her for several weeks: one from Greece a Professor seconded to the University, and a 'lad' from India who is enjoying being looked after by an English speaking 'auntie', who also cooks him vegetarian meals. He is over in Gerona as part of his degree, and is spending some of his weekends joining up with his friends who are doing similar graduate secondments around other European Cities.

The flower festival in Gerona impressed David and for me it was not quite up to what it had been when I last visited. but still awesome, and wide huge variety and spread right across the city.
The festival is also an opportunity for the very generous citizens to open up their private inner medieval courtyards and one can just visualise what life had been like there centuries ago. The local Museum in the city offered further insightes. We also had some delicious lunches out, and other walks in surrounding medieval towns.

Divas don't Knit by Gil McNeil

This is what is written at the front of the book, so I shan't be giving anything away:

Jo Mackenzie needs a new start. Newly widowed with two young sons and a perilous bank balance, she has to leave London to take over her grandmother's wool shop. Broadgate Bay is the kind of Kentish seaside town where the tide went out a long time ago and the dusty old shop is full of peach four-ply. Marmalade mohair, an A-list actress moving into the local mansion and s 'Stitch and bitch' group addicted to cake will help, but it's not going to be easy....

I read the review in a knitting magazine, and then searched the on-line library catalogue, and hey presto there were copies available. However believe it or not, if you do all the work yourself and order on line, there is a £1 charge, but if you go into the library, ask the Librarian, who then does the search and the ordering taking about five minutes, there is no charge! The flip side is that you can end up as I did with a large print version. Quite good really as I could have read and knitted at the same time! However I enjoyed reading so much, I had to put the needles down.