Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Archive for November, 2017

Octavia’s story

Something to warm your heart.

Little Silver Hedgehog

I wanted to share this video with you all – Octavia’s story. She came into my hedgehog hospital as a tiny hoglet only 153g. She had a terrible infected bite wound. It has been a long journey to recovery but she is now over 650g and ready for hibernation.

You can read more about Octavia’s injury was treated here.

I run a hedgehog hospital in York, England. You can support my work at www.littlesilverhedgehog.com

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One a week photo challenge- Comfortable

Love my “office” these days!

Please leave a link to your comfortable photos in the comments.

Next weeks prompt is Dark.

Happy Snapping!

November Books!

Some more wonderful books this month.  Love to hear what you have read recently, I really enjoy your recommendations.

June Emerson- Albania-the search for the Eagle’s song. Not only is June an artist, a practising musician in her 80s, still working in the sheet music company which bears her name and inspiration and organiser of the Repair Cafe, she is also a bit of a travel writer. There is no end to her talents. In the late 80s on almost a whim she spotted an advert for a guided tour in Albania. Thus began a love affair with the country, the music and the people, and in due course two booklets. A Fascinating read. This lady really is my role model.

Ian McEwan-Nutshell- unborn babe with amazing thinking skills over hears his mother and her lover planning the murder of his father. The book struck me as odd and thought-provoking, until page 124. How could I be so dense? I had my “Reading like a Professor” lightbulb moment. Then all of a sudden the book was clever, sheer genius and brilliant! Loved it. If anyone is looking for a book for Book Club, this has got to be one, so much to get your teeth into, don’t let people give up, See how long it takes for their light bulb moment. Even the names of the characters should have told me. As I said , just dense.

Kate Atkinson- A God in Ruins- a stand alone follow on from Life after Life. The main protagonist is Teddy Todd, RAF fighter pilot in the Second World War. There are a lot of chapters about this part of  his life as well as about his family. It’s a good read, but the chapters are each very long, too long to read one at bedtime, at least for me. They also dot around a lot from one time period to another , which is confusing to me as I couldn’t always recall who the secondary characters were from one chapter to when they appeared again. Also I got bored with them all, the book is just too long for me, which is what I thought about Life after Life. Love to know if anyone else has read this one and what you thought.

Joanne Harris- Blackberry Wine- I have waited ages for this one to appear in the library. It’s a lovely book, if you enjoyed Chocolat , you will enjoy this too. Young boy befriends old man who is a whizz of a gardener and herbalist. Later on young boy as young man writes a best seller based on the character of the gardener, then moves to France where the magic begins.I was reminded of the message from Joni Mitchell about the pink paradise putting up a parking lot, the sentiment fitting in with our discussion in my York City Wallls post on tourism. One of my favourite book this year.

Samuel Beckett- Waiting for Godot- re-read of a loved play, prior to seeing in performed at the Stephen Joseph theatre in Scarborough.. It’s like marmite you love or loathe it. A play in which nothing happens while waiting for Godot. Bit like life!

Emma Healey -Elizabeth is Missing- this one was recommended to me by Simply Hooked in the October books comments. A woman in her late 70s in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, worries why she can’t find her friend Elizabeth and why no-one listens to her concerns. This story is entwined with her earlier life and her missing sister. A good read and especially good for highlighting the symptoms of this terrible condition, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry as one after another of my own Mum’s peccadillos, as we thought them at the time, were mentioned. Especially poignant were the endless notes and the most irritating reading out loud of street signs. A well observed book, and I would sincerely recommend everyone reads this, because it may save you months of misery whilst you try to cope in these early days should your friend or relative fall victim to this illness.

Have you read and enjoyed or not enjoyed any of these? Has anyone been to Albania? I spent a long time reading about the country after reading June’s book on t’internet, fasicanting country and the folk costumes looked so Greek to me. And please do give me your recomnedations. Rainbow Junkie, I am reading yours right now An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris.

Knit and Natter Friday!

Two trips to the theatre in the last week, both were very enjoyable. Turns out plays are just like buses. That will be it for months.

Jill at Nice Piece of work wrote a lovely post this week in which she said it was good to be thankful but it was beneficial to have something to look forward too. And she is so right. If you are having a tough day/week/month/year(s) as I have had in the past, (fortunately I am enjoying a quiet year worry wise in 2017 )then it really helps to focus on something to look forward too.

Christmas is nearly upon us, no good kidding myself that I am going to knit three jumpers, 10 scarves and an elephant in time to post them ( wasn’t actually but artistic licence and all that). Christmas for many of us is a joyous occasion, but bad things happen at Christmas, I have done hospital visiting on Christmas day, so I speak from experience, and there are our memories of people and Christmases past too. So I reckon having something to look forward too is a jolly good idea.

So have you something to look forward to? I am off at the start of December to stay with my brother and visit my Mum in Wales. The weekend after that young Mr B and Ms G his partner are coming up to and DRUM ROLL, clear out his bedroom which he has not slept in for nigh on 10 years. I don’t mind things going in the loft or having to take stuff to the charity shop , but it’s time t-shirts I bought him aged 15 went! And Buzz Lightyear, and cds of Marilyn Manson, and replica football kits going back to the first when he was 7. I have been very, very patient over this. I now have stuff from Mum’s house and my Dads and my FILs and I am in danger of looking like a mad hoarding type of person. There is stuff everywhere.

Jan at the Snail of Happiness wrote an equally interesting post about someone who had pared his belongings down to 111 things. He said he didn’t have a storage unit, but I noted he said nothing about his parents house and his old bedroom.

It’s terribly hard to move your children out. Part of me loves having his things occupying one bedroom, but part of me thinks it’s time he dealt with the stuff. My Mum had no such problems with me, when we got married and started to buy our first home, age 21, she just packed up all my belongings and put them on a removal van.

What finally prompted Mr B to come was when I told him we would be bringing a load of stuff down to him, he doesn’t want that!


The Contented Crafter explained to me brilliantly in the comments last week why I was having such problems with the crochet blanket. I have copied it  here for you

I really like the centre square of your blanket. I like the buttermilk on the white background much more than when you team it with the orange – I think the orange is my least favourite colour here. Do you see how the colours become brighter when paired with the white, but when placed together they tend to become dull and heavy? It’s because they are all the same tone weight – which means there’s no light and shade to lift and move the eye across the pattern. Having lighter colours beside deeper shades makes it more interesting for our eyes. The orange, green and mustard are your same tone colours. Change any one of those up with a lighter brighter version of the same colour and magic will happen – or just insert a row of white between those colours and see what happens….. Or you could just choose your favourite colour and make the final squares and edge it all up in that same colour.

She is so right!

So now I have orange (Stylecraft call it Spice) and Cream together to brighten up the green, and mustard and grey with the Marigold block to dampen it down a bit. After that I will just do a DC border in the various yarns. Never before has a blanket caused so much hassle. Thanks to everyone for you help and support. In future I will think about colour and tone! Now all I have to do is crochet 14 blocks of each square.

Meantime Secret Santa has been hard at work.

A stocking for the Good Girl, and

one of Bekki’s Santa Sacks to go in it, which will be filled with all manner of good things. I went to a rather nice yarn store on Tuesday to buy some rather nice yarn and a pattern, Ohoh I blew the whole budget there, no matter, it’s quality not quantity for this lady. And you will never guess what, but some more rather nice cotton yarn for a rather nice bag just happened to fall into my shopping basket. I think the Gremlin that normally lives in the computer on yarn websites had come with me.

Seriously I think I might have yarn buying problem. Is there a self help group for me I wonder.

Knitting you ask? Well Secret Santa has been knitting some gloves.

I am taking rather a lot of care with these!

I have a quiet weekend in front of me. If it stops raining there are still jobs outside to be done, but other than that I foresee some yarn related activities on the horizon.

What about you, anything you are really looking forward to , some lovely things on your weekend agenda maybe, please join in I love to chat on Fridays.

Be happy,



One a Week Photo Challenge- Light

I just love the way the Autumn light has caught this tree, walk at Cawthorn Roman Camps October 2017.

Please leave a link to your Light fantastic pictures in the comments.

Next weeks prompt is Comfortable.

Happy Snapping!

York City Walls

I played the tourist a bit last week and walked this part of the ork city walls. Why have I waited so long to do this? Starting from Monk Bar.

heading past the Minster off I went, enjoy the stroll.

The light and the colours and views took me by surprise.

Is there anywhere near you that you always meant to go , but haven’t yet. I would love to walk the whole length of the walls in one walk, and there are a hge number of smaller historic sites in York for me still to enjoy. Have bus pass, must travel.

Have a great Sunday, the sun is shining here, I may go for a walk in the Forest.

Knit and Natter Friday.

Good Morning. The Repair Cafe last Saturday was well attended again . Lots more volunteers on hand to help with the repairs and once again a wide variety of broken things saved from land fill. Two sewing machines and a overlocker, several lamps, a picture frame, a copper watering can, a bike, tablets, secateurs, an eider-down in need of a new back, a fabric shopping bag, a couple of radios, but you will note no darning yet for yours truly. Not to fret I did my stint on the welcome table and the teas, and crocheted a few more blanket squares and chatted.

Mr E at work, picture by June Emerson

People are asked to wait while their items are looked at so as to be on hand to see what is done and maybe learn some DIY skills. So they come and sit at the tea-table and munch sausage rolls ( Home-made)  or cake ( also home-made), and if there is a crochet lady sitting there available for a chat, out comes a life story, or something that is on their mind and needs talking through. And so I have come to think it’s not just things that get fixed at the Repair Cafe, sometimes ,maybe a little bit of a person is too.

What an interesting chat we had last week on providing the best that can be afforded materials for children to use and experiment with. In the course of which I was suddenly reminded of a toy piano and a toy typewriter I was given as a child. The piano was hopeless, but I do recall being able to sort of type, I think it had a dial for letters rather than a keyboard. It may explain why I don’t play the piano but I can sort of type! I loved the stories that were mentioned in our natter of toy sewing machines which didn’t sew and how people use real sewing machines with children under supervision and they turn out all sorts.

My best friend Jane, her grandmother taught us both embroidery and she gave us real embroidery floss and linen fabric, and now we both embroider. I  still have the floss she gave us, which we wrapped around bits of card to keep safe. Love to hear your stories of inspirational adults.

Moving on, I was surprised no-one could guess what I was knitting last week, maybe it was the colours which confused? But here it is all finished.

Now who do you think it might be for? And what might this be on the needles?

This one is for a very talented lady who has been a good girl this year. Her knitting is superb, so what could a Secret Santa do, but decide to go for some fun gifts, hoping she likes them. I plan to do some gloves to keep her warm, she does get chilly apparently, the yarn arrived yesterday, so I need to get this done at the weekend, ready for the bigger items I want to make.

Meantime I have bought this coin purse from The Sewing Nook. I think this will appeal to my step grand-daughter Ms J a lot. She is currently saving for driving lessons.  A perfect way to gift a contribution to the fund. I can’t believe that the little three-year old who entered our lives will be 17 next year. It doesn’t seem two minutes since she was Band Master in our sitting room , ordering us all to march whilst playing imaginary trumpets.

It’s the skull that drew me.

Last week Bekki at Dartmoor Yarns posted some crochet hook bags with dachshunds. I had to have one, as I too have been a good girl this year.

Crochet hooks old home.

Crochet hooks new home, I mean it is so cute.

So here is all my knitting and crochet paraphernalia in one picture.

That lovely big project bag which came from the Blenheim Palace craft show many moons ago, the knitting needle bag , a Christmas present a couple of years ago from my son Mr T, and the lovely needle case , a unbirthday present from Claire. I am so Happy.

Bekki bless her cotton socks also included her lovely

Now which should I knit first , this one do you think

Now who might that be for?

Meantime there has been crochet. I don’t how to thank you all so much for the help you have given me with this. Here’s where I am now

Nearly ready to join the next round and start the last one. You were all so right about the grey block, it has gone.

Plan C

Orange with a grey border and mustard and grey?

Now I think I am more or less happy, but should I make the centre grey too or stick with the buttermilk centre?

As it happens I have virtually run out of the grey and I have bought two more but they are a different dye lot to the first, so I might have to re-do this block again anyway. And maybe the orange isn’t right either. Oh decisions, decisions , please help folks….

Yikes is all I can say.

Right this morning’s expedition is to a Family History meeting and a talk about finding WW1 soldiers. Gonna be good. Tomorrow is Scarborough and the theatre.

Sunday will be knitting and sleep! What are your plans for the weekend.

Catch up with you all at lunch time, for the natter, please don’t be shy, join in.

Be Happy,


One a week photo challenge- Letter

Three pictures this week, this one from Sinnington Church.

I love the shapes of the letters and spelling.

The next two from Greece.

My favourite I think.  The World is a Fascinating place.


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

Next weeks prompt is Light.

Happy Snapping!


Getting things right!

When you son does this

Changes nappies. ( Mr J and Baby J)

Makes gardens

Takes the children out so Mum can have a little rest (Miss S and Master H).

Lets proud Nana push the pram on her birthday.

I must have done something right , yes?



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