Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Archive for August, 2019

Books- August 2019

August, a month for enjoying the long summer days  and good books…

Jojo Moyes- Still Me- the third and final part  of the trilogy which began with Me before you.  A jolly nice read with a suitably happy ending. Bit fanciful and fluffy, but perfect for a wet and rainy week when I was kept indoors.

Neil Spring- The Lost Village- a thriller with ghosts. The lost village is Imber on the Salisbury Plain. It was taken over by the army for training purposes in WW2. The villagers were forced to leave and believed they would return after victory. You can visit the village for a few days in August. It was a good read, ideal for Halloween, should you be that way inclined.

Sally Magnusson- The Sealwoman’s Gift- I really, really liked this book. 1627, 400 people are abducted by Dutch pirates and sold into slavery in Algeria. This real event is told through the experience of Olafur, a priest who is sent back to Denmark to arrange a ransom, and his wife Asta left with her three children. It is heartbreaking in places. I have put this on my top 100 books as it covered an event hitherto unknown to me. Brilliant, that’s all I am saying.

Danny Miller- Kiss me Quick- This book got a mention by Erin Kelly as background reading for her novel The Ties that Bind. Kiss me Quick is also set in Brighton in the early 60’s, the days of Mods and Rockers, and dodgy underground nasty villains. Not for the faint  hearted, but well plotted, and a good thriller.

Lisa Jewel- Watching You- This was good, very good indeed. Joey falls for the charisma of her neighbour, the head of the local school. She becomes somewhat obsessed by him, and almost becomes his stalker. But someone is watching her, and someone is  watching them…. very well plotted, prepare to loose a day, or in my case two consecutive afternoons.

Alys Conran-Dignity- This is a wonderful book. Told through three narrators, Evelyn Roberts who marries and goes to India in the 1930’s, her daughter Magda who we meet at the end of her life living out her days in a big rambling house in the fictitious seaside town of Bay Mouth and her carer Susheela. Evelyn finds the life of a woman in a British colony extremely restrictive and hard. I really enjoyed reading her narration. My Dad was sent to India in WW2 and found the colonials very unwelcoming to the officers who had joined during the war. No croquet and cucumber sandwiches for him. Themes include, the role of women, the treatment of the Indian servants and staff, the life of a British born Indian in the UK, PTSD , love, relationships, money, etc etc. A lot to get one’s teeth into.

Jodi Picoult- Sing you home- There are some authors that I re-shelve week after week during my library shifts, and have never tried myself- Dilys Court and Josephine Cox come to mind. Jodi Picoult was another- I assumed,  wrongly, that she wrote chick lit, not a favourite genre of mine, but as I say I was wrong. I have a dread of running out of books to read over a bank holiday so choose this one just in case. Oh my days, it is good. Same sex relationships, infertility, court room scenes over battles for the frozen embryos, so much detail, so well plotted. Thoroughly engrossed me through the hot weather. A jolly good read. Is it a film? It would make a good one for sure.

And those are the books I read this month. Thanks to everyone who mentioned these to me. Love to know who has read any of these and what they thought. Have you read any good books this month?


Monkey Business!

“Who’s that down there, saying who’s that up there?”

“Who’s that up there saying who’s that down there?”

Any ideas anyone?

Scrap Happy August- 2019

This is Baby J playing with the fabric ball I made him in May last year.

And Baby J loved his ball and played with it a lot, until he took it to a wedding at which his brother and cousin lost it under a stage. So what to do but make another one.

But with different scraps. The Stanley dog was used in my first quilt this year.

And this was in the place mat I made For Baby J.

And does anyone remember where the camels went?

Apparently he hasn’t noticed its not the same ball.

I was inspired by Kate last month to dig out my hexie quilt from the gone into the cupboard pile of projects. As I already felt it was big enough I was now adding a blue border of many hues. Now Kate said taking out the paper shapes made it easier to work with , so I did.

That’s a lot of hexies.

I’ve added blue hexies to one long side and two corners.

So many memories in just this little corner, there’s fragments from a skirt for me, a picture frame, several cushions and wall hangings, three dresses for Little Miss F, a wall hanging for Master T, a mug rig for Ms J,wedding bunting and pieces from my dear MIL. I am determined to finish this one day.

Please visit the other blogs for more Scrap Happiness. Linking with Kate just in case the links below don’t work.


Falling in love with yarn again.

A yarny life is a strange one. You spot a project, fall in love with it, acquire pattern and yarn and realise you can’t start it just yet on account of all the Work In Progress and the Not Yet Started and the Relegated Things in the back of the cupboard because you just got fed up pile.

So you make some wonderful resolutions.

Number one- Use Stash (that’s the leftover yarn and the yarn you just had to have but have no idea what to make with it)

Number Two- Complete all work in Progress

Number Three- decide what to do with the Relegated Bags in the cupboard, because you could really use the space and they make you feel miserable.

Number Four- Make the Not Yet Started things.

Number Five- Reward self with lovely new things to make.

Only I discovered it doesn’t quite work that way. At least for me. I was very good at the leftover yarn pile- blankets etc for charity. However I hardly noticed the space I created.

Work in progress, was all right till I got to the Christmas project, who does Christmas at Easter- hid that in bag in Guest bedroom.

Relegated projects- one went to a charity shop, the rest remain hidden.

Which took me to the not yet started, and the realisation that what seemed like a top notch project had not been started for some very good reasons- like the yarn is weird or the pattern is hard. and a gradual realisation that the yarny mojo had just plain gone.

But emails from yarn companies continued to arrive. I looked at the little fellow who had popped up from the Knitting Network and followed the link last week.

I just have to make him! But wait there is a wonderful quite small crochet blanker kit too which I fancy, well it will make the postage more worthwhile if I order two projects.

I can hardly wait but if I am quick I can just finish the cushion which I have been slowly plodding with a row at a time. The thing with it was I could see that it was not going to look like the picture on the pattern. I had already frogged it once. ..Never mind I got to the end, and no it doesn’t look like the picture on the pattern at all.

But hey it’s a squashy cushion. And meantime my package has arrived. Hurrah. And oh my another eamil has popped into the inbox, another James Brett pattern for the party time yarn, the wonderful bright colours which Master T adores and look this pattern just goes up to a 30″ chest which he is now, Hurrah, order sent for this…

Is the mojo returning?

I start to crochet the granny squares, I dig out another project from the not yet started pile which I should do before the Polar bear. All is good again. It turns out this one is not weird at all, it’s rather nice. Yarn love has returned.


Have you ever decided to finish things and go on a yarn diet only to loose the love you feel for all things yarn? Or is it just me?

As it is Yarn Along time here is the book I just started, I think it’s going to be a good one.

Linking with Ginny for the

Yarn Along {August}




Finding Mary Anning

Earlier this year I read the wonderful book Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier. She tells the story of Mary Anning a pioneer in finding and understanding fossils on the Jurassic Coast.

She spent her life in Lyme Regis, so I knew I really wanted to visit her grave, and to see

The window dedicated to her achievements.

Linking to Wild Daffodils monthly Windows photo challenge- here

Bolton Abbey

We visited Bolton Abbey during the very hot spell for Mr E’s birthday treat.

Just stunning.

Looking down to the river and the stepping stones

So good to see everyone enjoying themselves.

I think what I liked best was that people had put away their phones and gadgets and were just enjoying fresh air and the river. Even world weary teenagers!

All Saints, Minstead

We spent a day in the New Forest on our recent little break. Mr E announced he wanted to visit the church of All Saints in Minstead. I love a rural church every bit as much as a local museum, so I was very happy at his request, and even happier with our destination, which may have a surprise for you.

The neat and tidy approach gave way to a most wonderfully atmospheric grave yard.

Fabulous graves, this one with an angel.

And this one , at the foot of which Mr E came to an abrupt halt. Can you read the inscription.

That really does say Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes. We paid homage to the great man. Apparently he was originally buried in 1930 in the garden of his house in Crowborough, East Sussex, but his wife had always wanted them to be buried side by side together in Minstead. In 1955 his family fullfilled her wish and here they are. The Rector at the time was too not happy about this as Conan Doyle was very keen on spiritualism, so the grave is as far away from the church as he could possibly site it.


These most wonderful old pews and for the knees of the worshippers, some beautiful kneelers.

Aren’t they just fabulous? What a treat.

Hope you enjoyed the quick visit.

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