It seems a long time …


I had been doing an on-line survey (I do quite a few) and one of the questions was to do with hobbies. The question asked which was my favourite hobby at the present time. It then expanded on that question into “why, when, where, how long” and a few other questions, which I cannot remember. It got me thinking though, that I have never really taken the time to write down the why, when, where, how long. So here goes.

Its going a long way back to when I was about 7 years old, around 1962/1963. We used to go to my maternal grandmothers regularly and althoughFamous Five there was quite a lot for us youngsters to play with, I often got bored. I suppose it may have been due to the fact that I was the oldest and I possibly thought that I was above these childish games my other brothers were playing. There were always books to read. Mostly by Enid Blyton, but at 7 years old ‘Famous Five’ and ‘Secret Seven’ books were a little too advanced for me yet.

I became fascinated by the way my grandmother could turn a ball of ‘wool’ into a Needles and yarnjumper, a cardigan, a scarf and even a pair of socks! All done with what looked like a couple of sticks. She would sit there, by the fire “click-clacking” away, often without even looking at what she was doing. Only stopping to take another drink from her cup of tea (didn’t do coffee in those days) or to light another cigarette. I have to say, she was also an excellent seamstress and embroiderer. But it was the knitting that held my attention most, and one day I asked if she could show me how to knit. That’s when it started. She cast on 20 stitches for me and showed me the basic knit stitch. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but I got there in the end.

It then became the job of my mother, to show me more. Mum showed me how to cast on and cast off, how to increase and decrease and, most importantly, how to do the purl stitch. I then began to pick up a lot of the other stitch types that I use today.

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By 1965, I was knitting quite advanced stuff for my age. My parents were foster carers, and took on new born babies that were being put up for adoption. Not to get into too finer detail, many of these babies were to unmarried mothers. Quite often they were under 16 and a great deal were from poorer family background. So often the children came with whatever clothes had been donated to the hospital. So between me and my mum, we took on the task of knitting clothes for these kids. My first efforts were simple mittens and bootees, but I quickly graduated in to knitting hats/bonnets. Within a few weeks, I was tackling cardigans and, what used to be called romper suits.

This new found hobby carried on for a few years, although it was never mentioned outside the house. I cannot imagine what my schoolmates would have thought/said about my hobby. I drifted out of it when I started work, for no particular reason really but got back into it a little when I met my wife. It lasted a couple of years (the knitting that is) and again it fell out of favour.

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It then took about 35 years before I picked up the needles again. I saw in a magazine, a picture of some daffodils that had been knitted by someone. They looked really impressive and I thought I would give it a go again. I still hadSo far so good all my needles and bits and pieces and was only short of the yarn. I bought some cheap acrylic double knit, in yellow and white from the Pound shop and got going. It took a couple of attempts and restarts to get the first one done, but I soon had a bright yellow daffodil. I was hooked again. More flowers followed, then headbands before moving on to beanie hats.

Now that the eldest and his partner are having a child, I’m back to knitting my favourite, baby stuff again. It’s come full circle and I’m feeling the love once again. Only issue now, is that my ‘stash’ as it is called, does not have yarn that is right for baby clothes!

Churn …


Now, this is an interesting word. Are we looking at a milk churn or something churnelse?

I am actually thinking ‘milk-churn’. I am usually transported to those imaginary childhood days when I like to think of milk being delivered in churns. Those days when the milkman had imageeither a horse and cart or one of those new-fangled ‘electric’ milk floats. The horse was often a black and white shire horse, and quite often had blinkers. Those long gone days when everything seemed to happen a lot slower. Type of day that you would read about in one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books. The type of day that I never really knew, but thought I did.

Churn also make me think of job interviews. Especially those interviews where I thought I may have a chance, but it was down to me. That horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach, when you know you can do the job, but do not know the competition. That strange ‘I want to be sick, but I don’t feeling‘. That feeling you get when you see the smart-arse going in before you and you start to question why you even applied for the job. That is a stomach churn. Horrible.

It’s hard work ….


   Back to the decorating today. Who would have thought, that a room 4ft by 4ft, would take so long to paint. I think the problem, lies with the previous paint. It’s green. Not just green, but what was called ‘antique green’. Now I don’t know what that means !!! What I do know, is that it is a pain to cover. The new colour is called ‘Natural Hessian’. I don’t know what that means either, but it is a neutral beige colour, that compliments the base colour in the wallpaper. Well, I thinks that’s enough Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen for one night, don’t you ?

   I have started reading The Sunne In Splendour again. It is an epic factual novel, about the War of The Roses, written by my favourite author Sharon Kay Penman. The knowledge this woman has about the Medieval Ages in Britain, is outstanding. No one comes close to her. When you read one of her books, you begin to feel that you are part of the tale, not just a reader of a book. I am determined to hunt down other books by the remarkable author.

   Another loss for Leeds Utd. I know it was a draw today, but at this stage of the game, anything that is not a win, is a loss. It means that other football teams are getting closer to the top, and it also means that we may be heading for the play-offs. There is still some way to go before the end of the season, but Leeds needs to play every game as if it is life or death. At the moment, this is not happening.

Friday part 1


The trip to the doctors went quite well. Unfortunately, the nurse advised us that we need to use olive oil in his ears for 4 days, prior to the syringing. So he needs to go back on Tuesday. Still he was exceptionally well behaved.

Then off to York for lunch. We had a walk round some of the shops. R*** spent some of his birthday money on some books and a DVD. We had lunch at the Slug & Lettuce. Again R*** was a star. However a proposed walk round the walls was not forthcoming.

More later ………

Tuesday all done and dusted….


Today started quite well (apart from the youngest being in a bad mood again) and it continues in that frame for the rest of the day. I had cakes to buy today. I spent about £9.00 I think, but I brought what was left home with me. They would have only been pinched by ‘persons unknown’. I could not believe Spike asking me if I was taking them home. Cheeky sod … he did not buy any last year.

All the work I needed to do got finished as planned, for which I am very pleased. We are now back in a position, that we should have been two years ago. We’ve finally caught up.

I started reading ‘Brideshead Revisited’ last week. It’s an interesting novel, but I think it will take me a chapter or two to really get into it. I need to get the TV series out of my head. From what I’ve read up to now, the TV version was very true to the novel.

I started to watch the DVD that the eldest bought me for my birthday. He got me Ingmar Bergman’s ‘The Seventh Seal’. I’ve not watched it for years. It’s possibly my 3rd favourite film of all time. He said he was in two minds whether to get that or ‘The Seven Samurai ’ (4th favourite).

The new DVD writer is a success. I have just to get my head around how to use the freeware authoring tool. It is not the most intuitive piece of software I’ve used, but I’ll get there. Which reminds me, I need to edit one of my previous posts. Stop it showing a ‘404’ on the hyperlink.