Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Archive for July, 2021

July books- 2021

Four out of five books read this month were wonderful. Let me know if you have read any of these.

JP Delaney- PlayingNice– One of the best psychological books I have ever read. I stayed up to 1am till my eyes were drooping , woke at 7am, wondering how the characters were, then finished it by 10am. So what hooked me? Two narrators, Pete and Maddie parents to Theo. Pete a freelance journalist and main carer, Maddie an advertising bod. One day Miles turns up and explains he is Theo’s father. He claims that Theo and his son David were mis- tagged in the hospital they were born in.That’s all I am saying.

Willa Cather- O Pioneers– beautiful book set in the early 20th Century about life in rural America. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Sarah Armstrong- The Starlings of Bucharest- Set in 1975, Ted Walker, aged 22, makes a big desicion to leave home and life as a fisherman to become a journalist. He gains work at a small and little known film magazine as International Film Reviewer and is sent to Bucharest to interview a film director and to Moscow to an International Film Festival. Here we see an Innocent Abroad encounter the murky world of the Cold War. At times funny, and at times slightly menacing, and always entertaining, a good read for sure.

Hilary Mantel- Fludd- Written in tthe 1980s but set in a Northern Mill village in 1956. Father Angwin, Roman Catholic Priest has lost his faith, but carries on. His Bishop thinks he needs modernising- out with the Latin and the Saints, and determines to send a curate. Enter Fludd- Bishops Curate, spy, practitioner of dark arts? On the plus side, it’s a short book and the scene setting is so so good you feel you are there. But no, not my cup of tea, I got to the end but had it been longer I’d have given up. Love to know if anyone has read it and what they thought.

Fredrik Backman- A Man called Ove. I totally loved this book. Ove is a Swedish man, very similar to the UK’s Victor Meldrew. Rather grumpy with very fixed opinions on how everything should be done, and repaired! It’s a love story, a sad story, it’s funny and weepy. I defy everyone not to have laughed and shed a tear by Page121, paperback edition or Chapter 15. I am rather attached to the Cat Annoyance. Have you read it, what did you think?

I write my reviews as I finish a book , or this post wouldn’t have been possible.

Reading has now really slowed down for me, as has blogging and crafting. Mr E is very poorly indeed, he started to get unwell in September. In the Spring he had some treatment and we were optimistic , however he failed to perk up as anticipated . The trip to the Weald and Downland was probably our last as a family. Since then it’s been hospitals, pharmacies, community nurses, endless phone calls etc. We are so glad we moved nearer the family, our sons, daughters in law ,and grandchildren are being amazing. I am having to get my head round things I never had to think about, from dripping overflow pipes to how to plant leeks to sounding just like Ove , -whoever thought that to charge a mobile phone you needed a lightning cable? For goodness sake!

My sense if humour appears to be lurking around somewhere which helps with feelings of panic, helplessness, frustration- Mr E is the messiest man on the planet, and when he needs some obscure piece of paper, well I could growl, and tears which come at the worst possible moment, often when satnav sends me down a single track road for fun, and it’s all too much. Next week is our wedding anniversary, 47 years. That’s a long time, and the worst is seeing him just vanishing before my eyes, the feelings of sympathy and loss are overwhelming at times.

This blog is my happy place, I have a huge capacity for feelings of positivity , making the most of life, but this, this is defeating even me. So I won’t be sharing much by way of Wiltshire explorations, or even wooly goodness. I hope to keep reading, crafting may come back in time, the forlorn patch needs me, poor thing, I may share my lamentable attempts …

Sorry to end this way. I am reading your blogs, leaving the odd comment, and I will click like to show I have been there. Thanks for reading.


Scrap Happy- July 2021

It’s just over six months that I joined in with Anne Brooke’s 52 tag challenge. Every Friday Anne posts a You Tube video with a new tag to embroider- see #52hannemadetags. You create a tag and on the back write something- maybe something that happened that week, or someone you wish to remember, whatever you like. I think since I am sharing my progress this month I may well dedicate this week’s tag to all the bloggers who keep me going with your wonderful posts.

There they are the first 27 tags, all made from scraps of fabric, lace, buttons from the button tin, etc.

I bought the tags and the ring binder- serious doubts that I will fit 52 onto one ring. Here are some of my favourites.

Faux chenille- fabric leftover from the stitchbook I made last year- love the tactile nature of this one.
Buttons galore- dedicated to my love of sewing and embroidery.
This tag was all about stitch- bullion and french knots.
A pocket with a treasure- in my case a badge I think belonged to a son- the smiley face made me think of how much I wanted to go strawberry picking, which I missed out on last year.
Two of my very favourites- couching and teeny tiny hexies, very fiddly the pair of them but most enjoyable.
The most recent ones- weaving and the medal to award ourselves with reaching number 26.

Slow stitching is the most wonderful way of practising mindfullness I know. The UK has made great strides with vaccines etc but we’re not out of the woods yet, and anyway life always throws a googly when you aren’t expecting one. It has.

I post my tags on my other blog, should you wish to see them all- https://avoicethroughstitch.wordpress.com/

And if you like lots of scrap happy things then do please visit https://talltalesfromchiconia.wordpress.com/

The Weald and Downland Museum

When we moved here last year to be close to family, one of the things we dreamed of was seeing more of them! With Lockdown easing finally we managed a family day out on Father’s Day to the Weald and Downland mseum in Sussex. It didn’t rain. Well maybe a drizzle, but mostly it was ok and the sun shone enough for an icecream and a picnic.

We have all been before and the wisest of us recalled that wellies and a coat would be a good idea. The W&D is a living history museum, full of houses and buildings rescued from demolition, road widenings etc and reconstructed piece by piece. Normally the buildings are full of volunteers putting on demos, but these days normality has not returned to that degree- but many of the buildings were manned by volunteers, outside, making sure it was one family group at at time inside, and many were doing something- there was one lady with her blackwork embroidery , and a chap making arrows. We were happy just being out again as a family.

Motley crew- picture by Mr E!

Great excitement though was provided by the building of a TV set for a comedy to be called The Witchfinder with Steve Coogan. You saw it here first… I’ll stop rabbiting on now.

Clearly there is going to be a market scene

Those are not real, but they really do look it.

There are ducks to be fed

Serious business duck dinner time.

And a lake not to fall into

Visitor centre over the way.

Old houses and gardens to explore- the gardens looked a bit sad, missing the volunteers.

Idyllic in many ways, but no hot and cold running water. Who’s old enough to recall hotels/ B&Bs that boasted hot and cold water to basins in all rooms?

And a new building since we were last here- a dairy

Fascinating to see the state it was in.

Love the blacksmiths which came from a Sussex village we used to live in

Can’t beat a good bit of rust.

And finally these flowers.

No-one could identify them, and I mean no-one.. and ideas?

If you’d like to see more this is the link to their webpage https://www.wealddown.co.uk/plan-your-visit/things-to-see-do/

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