Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Archive for October, 2017

One a week Photo Challenge- Shop


All pictures taken yesterday ,Monday 30 October

What more do I need, butchers to the left, greengrocers to the right, and a yarn shop from where my Stylecraft yarn for the blanket I am crocheting comes from. Best button shop in Ryedale, btw.

And behind me


Please leave a link to your Shop pictures in the comments below.

Next weeks prompt is WALK.

Happy Snapping!


October Books

October has been a good month for book choices. So glad I go to the library with a list of a 109 authors to look for. Here’s what I have read.

Ian McEwan- Atonement- I groaned a little when I saw it had been shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2001. I really am going to have to get over my prejudice against these books which get on prize lists, just because I read a couple I didn’t like is a very poor reason to condemn the lot. Especially as I can’t even remember which books they were.

Moving on then to Atonement. I do so wish that the blurb on the back didn’t give away so much. The title Atonement suggests that a book is going to be about someone atoning for something. I spent the first half of the novel wanting to know what so the atoning bit started. Page 166 before you find out the what. Which is a great shame because the lead up is brilliant, and if you haven’t read the book be patient. A single day begins on P18 and ends on P187, the tension builds slowly through a hot summers day in a very well to do household in 1935, the servants struggle with cooking Roast Beef which no-one wants, children squabble and young love blooms.

It’s not often the various Parts in a novel are so completely different from one another. Part two is all about a group of soldiers in the second world war trudging through Belgium, or it might be France, my geography is hopeless, anyway they are making their way to Dunkirk in an ignoble retreat. Only us Brits could turn a disaster of military failing into the triumph of grit and determination by the ordinary man.

Part three, is different again, and deals with the aftermath of Dunkirk in London hospital. And by golly this is a powerful bit of writing.

Part four is set in the present day.

It’s a jolly good book and I recommend it, but relish the first part, and don’t be in a rush as I was to find out what exactly happened. It’s a masterful build up. Parts 2 and 3 are brilliant too and for these two parts I have decided that this books makes it into my top 100 books! I liked the ending too, as the author doesn’t dodge a final confrontation by killing off the protagonists. When authors do that I get very cross.

John Boyne- A History of Loneliness- Oh my this book got to me. Tears were streaming down my face at the end. Plot is quite easily summed up for you- Irish Catholic Priest. Going to quote from the front cover” Boyne writes with compelling anger about the abuses of power and the dangers of submission”, Helen Dunmore, Guardian. There is another part which brought tears to my eyes too, the description of the Priest’s sisters illness as she moves into a care home. I read this in a couple of sittings, a compelling read.

Both these books are making it onto my Top 100 books.

John Grisham- The Whistler- time for a bit of easy reading, another cracking good thriller, corrupt judge, casinos, golf courses and scheming!

Andrew Taylor- The Silent Boy- Historical crime novel, set in England during the French Revolution. Boy becomes mute after witnessing the death of his mother, taken to safety in England, but there are rival claims to be his guardian. The book is a good read but ended a bit abruptly, can’t help wondering if there is a missing page from this library book. The best bit for me was the description of life in 18th century England. The fancy manor houses don’t sound so fancy when the money runs out , the damp and vermin get in and the decor goes. It made me very grateful for running hot water and central heating.

Hilary Mantel- The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher- collection of short stories. My favourite was Harley Street, most appropriate for the time of year.

Susan Hill- The Mist in the Mirror. A ghost story! Quite good, the build up is better than the ending which was a bit of an anti climax. Monmouth is haunted by ghosts, when he returns to England. Who are they? Why do his new friends warn him against finding out about Conrad Vane, an explorer?

So that’s what I read this month. Have you had any good reads, or bad ones to avoid? Please leave a link to any book post in the comments.



Ivy’s Butterfly

In the garden this week enjoying a bit of tidying up in the sunshine, I heard a buzzing coming from the garage wall. Imagine my delight when I saw not only bees but butterflies too.

I had no idea that ivy flowered or that it had its own quite distinctive and almost pleasant scent. In a week when there was a report of less flying insects it was rather nice to see this.

Have a great weekend.


One a Week Photo Challenge- Muddle

My sort of Muddle.

Please leave a link in the comments below to your Muddle.

Next weeks prompt is Paint.

Happy Snapping.

Knit and Natter Friday!

The Snail of Happiness re- blogged a post about the Smoothie Innocent campaign of little hats for Age UK, whereby they donate 25p for every smoothie bought wearing a hand knitted wooly hat. Last year I made some hats you may recall and I wondered whether it would have been simpler and easier to just give the money, and I think the consensus was that it did raise money and raised awareness of Age UK. This year a further point was added to the debate,- what happens to the hats afterwards , do they go into landfill and does the acrylic content of the yarn add to pollution. You can read the Snail’s post here https://thesnailofhappiness.com/2017/10/09/not-so-innocent-little-hats/.

Sorry word press is not playing ball with the links this morning.

Now of course all of the above is true. In my innocence I thought people would keep the hats for dolls or send them back for use again next year. Maybe that’s just me..

This year the campaign to knit for them passed me by completely. However last Friday found me in York at the station in need of lunch. So I went to WH Smith and choose a sandwich( egg and cress, ‘cos I know someone will want to know which I choose), and thence to find a beverage. nestling amongst extortionate bottled water and so-called fruit drinks were half a dozen Innocent Smoothies wearing little wooly hats. THEY MADE ME SMILE. So I bought one, and enjoyed my ad hoc picnic, whilst chatting to a lady who was catching a train to Nottingham to stay with her son and to see a musical, before he drove her home on Sunday, and we wondered at a girl taking several selfies of herself on York station under a sign saying Welcome to York.

Back home it was still making me smile and not for one second did I consider putting my hat in the bin. I found a home for it on my window cill on top of this.

Round the back it still has on its label which tells you about the Age Concern campaign to promote the health of older people in Winter.

So not all hats go into land fill. Some hats become the star of a blog post. And this hat makes me smile every time I see it, and I am officially a OAP, even if I don’t really think of myself that way.

Of course this hat doesn’t help older, even older people than me keep warm, but this blanket I have started to crochet, may.

Is it just me or is there something in the October air that says ever so subtly, c  r  o  c  h e  t  a b  l  a  n  k  e  t.

Seems to happen every year.


Nana for a fourth time to this little chap

Hence forward to be known as Baby J with my middle son , his Daddy Mr J.

So proud! So happy! He was late, and I have been like the proverbial cat on hot bricks for a month ( my babes were all early, so I start the grand child anticipation early too).

We will be hitting the motorways later this month. Can’t wait for my first cuddle.

Precious little knitting this week. I now have a heap of bits

to be turned into something super cute.

Ok time for me to come down to earth and go supermarket shopping. Groan. Normally a Saturday job, but this weekend it’s the Pickering war weekend, at which our little town gets turned into a theme park for 60,000 people. We shall be heading for the hills, metaphor for out for the day away from the hoards who dress up in uniforms, sport medals to which they are not entitled, but the worst are the women who wear dead things round their necks.

So, what is everyone else up to craft wise this weekend? Where do you stand on the Innocent Smoothie hats, or even on the tourist plagues that spoil the very thing they come to enjoy?

Have a great weekend, whatever you do, And Be Happy. I know I am..


One a week photo challenge-Regal

Wild Daffodil helped me choose the subject for the prompt this week as I didn’t have a clue. So here he is

My lovely lion.

Next week’s prompt is Muddle, virtually any room in the house would do for this!

Please leave a link to your Regal picture in the comments.

Happy Snapping!

17 for 2017-September

September was another busy month. I think it must have been , because I am a week into October before  I have  got round to thinking of this post. Let’s just take stock of the 17 goals for 2017 I set myself.

17 swims- just one this month, total now 14. Getting there.

16 hour long walks- achieved already.

15 books read from the heap by the bed- none this month, total still 13

13 cards made. Yes three this month, including this one. Total is 12. Getting there.

12 posts about Yorkshire villages- none this month, total is 4. Not getting there.

11 days out- achieved

10 new things tried- with the Faulty Towers dining experience , some research on the Adele Shaw hospital and the Repair Cafe adding three to the previous total of 9, I have got there. Achieved in September. This is the one I am most pleased with, taking myself just outside my comfort zone.

9 crochet/ knitting projects. Already achieved

8 other craft projects- I made some pressed flower cards, pressed some more flowers, and splashed a lot of paint around, then bined the result of my painting. However that adds two more , making a total of 3. Not getting there.

7 sewing projects- already achieved. However I thought you might like to see the Flamingo skirt on a model. Photo by Mrs T.

Too big, but on, and looking just like a skirt.

6 Non fiction books read still at 5, but I am learning How to read like a Professor still and I spent a lovely afternoon choosing 24 poems from this book, for my U3A poetry group. My turn in October. I had so much fun, I choose another 24 ready for my next turn, sometime in 2018!

5 family history questions answered. I spent as you know some time researching the woollen industry in the 1800s, and I now know what a cloth dresser did, which was my ancestors occupation.

Picture from a Shire booklet I bought. A cloth dresser takes the woven cloth and with those shears sort out the final appearance of the cloth. Not easy and skilled.

So that makes three- Getting there.

4 good sort outs- achieved already, although one needs doing again! Whoops

3 Interesting things found- achieved

2 picnics consumed

1 boat ride-0

0 craft purchases. well it seemed a good idea back in January!

Not too bad, but could do better on some. How are you doing with your goals for this year?

Still 1/4 of the year to go!


Knit and Natter Friday.

So it’s Friday, and time for knit and natter. I have nothing to share this week knitting wise. The gloves are nearly done and I have started on a little something from this book.

But the truth is that I have been busy on all sorts of other things. Freezing beans, making delicious food with the tomato crop, soup and tomato sauce.

And family history, trying to make sense of where I got 8 years ago, and where I have gaps. Yesterday I spent at our local family history group entering my family tree on Ancestry with the help of one of the volunteers.

Today , I am using my bus pass for a trip to York with a group from the family history group of the U3A to the Borthwick Library based at York University. I think I am as excited by the bus ride on a double decker as I am about the tour of the Borthwick!

Things calm down over the weekend, so I may finally have a look at my 17 for 2017 for September.

I may even do some knitting!

What are your weekend plans? Have you ever researched your family tree? How did you get on? What are your crafty plans?

Look forward to hearing from you,

Be Happy,


Not one a week photo challenge- Rust

I wish I knew why exactly I liked the appearance of rust, but I do. And I take a lot of Rust related photos, sorry. Actually not sorry, I have been anticipating this week all year. My favourite selection from just this year.

These taken on my wander through Cropton.

The next ones at Combe Mill, in the Spring.

This one last week in the Bradford industrial museum

But my favourite one of all this year was taken on holiday in Parga, Greece

And if you check out my co-conspirators photo for this prompt, well I don’t think you will have a surprise.. Rusty Trucks Rule

Please leave a link to your rust inspired pictures over at Wild Daffodil or below in the comments.

Next weeks prompt is Regal. The week runs Tuesday to Tuesday.

Happy Snapping!

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