Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Archive for February, 2022

February Books-2022

In which I take up my own challenge to eschew the delights of the library and choose my reads closer to home, well actually my own bookcase or the floor by my bed. Wherever, I am BYOB this month…Bringing my own book.

Simon Brew- Could you survive Midsomer? Good question. A gift from my boy for Christmas just gone. Based in the TV series Midsomer Murders. It’s an interactive book to solve a murder, you choose what you do and where you go, you are the detective. Great fun. On my first attempt I failed miserably, deemed unsuitable as a detective and was put on traffic duty. Second attempt was worse. I was bumped off myself with a flower pot. Third time through I solved it. And was promoted. Hoping that if I wait till next Christmas I will have forgotten enough if it to try another time.

Raynor Winn- The Salt Path. You may recall I abandoned this book in the Autumn, too close to home. I picked up the story from where I had left off. Ray and her husband Moth were walking the coastal path around the South West of England having become homeless and broke, (bad investment) and a medical diagnosis for Moth which was terminal. It was a good decision not to go back to the beginning. I missed the trauma of their plight and just enjoyed their life changing walk. The descriptions of landscape are terrific, and I learned a real appreciation for a bath, a warm bed and food on my plate. This one came from a charity shop, so I shall take it back to one.

Stephen Fry -Heroes– this has been lent to me by Mrs G, my daughter in law, and had been waiting to be read for about four months. Stephen Fry has a lovely turn of phrase , that makes me chuckle as he tells the complicated stories of the Greek heroes from Thesius to Hercules. Really enjoyable and it doesn’t matter if you can’t remember which god and mortal begat which hero.

Georges Simenon- Pietr the Latvian. We really enjoyed the few Maigret episodes made by Rowan Atkinson, so we were given some Maigret novels as a Christmas gift. This story was the first one he wrote in the late 1920’s. Margret is telegramed to say Pietr the Latvian will be on a train to Paris. But who exactly is Pietr the Latvian. It’s an odd book, not at all like a detective story we would encounter today. I enjoyed it, a bit, but I wouldn’t say you must read this one.

Tanya Bourton- Shroud of Snow

I don’t often include a picture of my books, but you need to see the cover of this one. Before Christmas I visited a Christmas fair at tbe Steam museum. The usual crafts were on sale, plus a lady selling her own novels. A local lady. Now I like to support local authors if I can. I selected this one, based on it’s appealing cover. Oh dear. It was awful. The basic idea, four children go out to play in the snow, only three return, is good. But… the writing is terrible, cardboard characters, dialogue, and action. No wonder it’s her fourth book and she has self published them all. I got to the end, is all I can say. And now I know why you should never judge a book by its cover!

I have been to the library ready for March. I was armed with a list of books recommended by bloggers, and I have chosen what I hope will be three corkers.

Did you ever choose a book by its cover, was it a good experience or an unfortunate one?


Balance- February

This month we were encouraged to think about the opposite of our chosen guiding word for 2022. Imbalance is how I feel quite often, and thinking about it, is helping me to see what is throwing me off kilter.

I have been feeling tired, a lot. Especially in the afternoon. I thought it was just the post lunch energy slump, but it didn’t feel like that kind of tiredness. I wondered about Long Covid, but that didn’t match my feelings either.

Close observation of the exhaustion led me to realise that it occurred when I had had to deal with a domestic crisis, waiting for someone to repair something, or answering endless emails and letters re Mr E’s Estate or just stuff. If I look back on this month, I have had to purchase and get used to a new washing machine, order a headstone, see a solicitor, arrange to see a financial advisor, fruit trees being planted, a trip to the recycling centre, passing on Mr E’s equipment for a home cinema, a broken smoke alarm , a missing payment to my account and three storms. Now in themselves none if these are insurmountable occurrences. They are rather mundane in fact. But in the past there was Mr E, who if I am honest would have left all of this , well not the garden, to me anyway. So I googled grief, and there was my explanation. The tiredness I feel is very much linked to the grieving process.

So I ceased to berate myself for all the things I don’t have the energy for at the moment. If I only manage a few rows of knitting in a week, it’s understandable. If I can’t yet face doing all the things I spot that would be fun, that’s understandable. If swimming doesn’t appeal at the moment it’s understandable.

If I just need more rest, to read a few pages in a book, and just sit quietly, then that’s OK. The sorting out of stuff can wait, its not going anywhere, I don’t have to build a new life straightaway. I can take time to adjust to this new situation.

I can do lovely things, but to stay feeling alright I need to balance myself with down time . So I did go London. I have been to the theatre in nearby Cheltenham (I went by coach in a group, but needed to find somewhere to leave my car so I could get home, you won’t be surprised to know that I drove down many streets before asking in a local pub if I could pay to use their carpark. Yes they said, and no payment required). And I have seen all my family this month, from pub lunch to London, to family meal in a kitchen and a cosy unexpected visit from my step granddaughter.

And oddly when I started to be kinder to myself, to have the downtime I needed, not only did I feel less tired, I picked up my knitting needles and did a few more rows than I have managed in a day for quite a while.

Hyacynths in my kitchen.

This post is inspired by Carolyn https://youronewordblog.wordpress.com/2022/02/21/one-word-february-twenty-two/

Rather Blowy!

Storm Eunice is in full throttle overhead at the moment. Trees blowing like crazy. So far just sticks falling here, but trees down around town, and buildings sustaining damage. I have put things in the garage and found the torch, can’t think what else to do now but stay indoors and wait it out.

So I thought I’d do a bit of an update.

First, my mini adventure. Since we moved my outings away from here have been limited, and I was beginning to get a bit apprehensive about leaving town, which was not only ridiculous but also slightly concerning. So when Mr J suggested I hop on a train to meet the family for a day out, the time had come.


It took a lot of planning. First buy ticket in advance. Next work out where the station carpark was, drive past twice to make sure I know how to get in. Find out how much it will cost. Accumulate enough change to pay for it. Work out a timetable, from setting alarm to boarding the train. Pack handbag night before… you begin to get the idea of how I bigged this up.

In the event the carpark no longer took real money just cards, and I was half an hour early.

Son had asked me what I would like to do in London. I told him get used to the underground again. We did.

They had also booked us onto the London Eye. But we couldn’t go as it was closed due to a suspicious package. Not to fret we had coffee and big walk, and lunch out and more walking. And I really enjoyed it all, and could easily do it again.


Meantime, an update on my fruit grove, currently looking like sticks in a lunar landscape.

The moon?

There are signs of Spring now

I have even harvested some leeks to make room for a stick, sorry sapling. Just hoping they survive this storm.

Hope everyone stays safe this weekend. I shall hunker down for the rest of the day, with a mug of tea, the Peaky Blinders and some knitting.

Scrap Happy Feb 22

Delighted to say that I finished my scrappy fabric box.

made from scraps of fabric slow stitched together with plastic canvas to provide the sides, then blanket stitched to make a box with a lid.
Lid detail , with butterfly button to open.

Now winging it’s way to the https://thesnailofhappiness.com to go in her shop as an example of fabric scrap usage.

Meantime Jean from https://onesmallstitch.wordpress.com/2022/02/03/signs-of-spring-2/ kindly sent me some leftover squares

to embroider on, which I have just started to do using of course scraps of yarn etc.

Now what do you do with left over pastry if you make a pie?

Just had to use some with leftover fruit mincemeat, and they were yummy.

Linking slightly earlier than usual with Kate for scrappy happy day, because I am going on adventure and I need to set an alarm..


Friday Finish#2

Actually finished last Saturday in time to be gifted on Sunday with the perfect matching outfit I bought to go with this matinée jacket.

Hopefully on your screen the yarn looks lilac and the dress dusky pink. I just love the yarn , so pretty to knit with.

I started this before Christmas but didn’t want to touch it all whilst I had the covid, and then it took a while to get my brain back in gear.

I love the way the yarn looks like blossom.

So it’s onto the next project, which I’d like done by mid March in time for Grandson H’s birthday. He will be 14. How time flies. Harder to take on board is that my step granddaughter Ms J who was 3 when I met her will be 21 this year. Now I really feel old.

Meantime I am gradually getting braver with my days. Last week a theatre trip by coach to Cheltenham, fabulous theatre called the Everyman , all gold and glitter decor and proper scenery. I had rather got used to the pard down stage in theatre in the round where you are lucky to get a table and chair.

Saturday Mrs T, d.i.l. , and I went to a craft fair in nearby Corsham. Sunday I met up with Mr B, Mrs G and Baby P who is now 6 months old and sits in a High chair. We had a wonderful lunch, no pics, she had a cucumber stick!

Nothing so exciting this weekend. I am taking rubbish to the recycling centre, mostly cardboard from the apple trees, bits of broken computer and an ancient microwave which has been sat in the garage for eons.

So have you had any finishes recently, been anywhere or done anything wonderful. Can you top a trip up the recycling centre for a Saturday outing this week?

Be happy,

Cathy x

Out and About

I am continuing to look at getting my life in balance, in particular getting out and about. Far too easy to sit indoors in Winter and keep warm.

I’d signed up to doing the Great British Garden Bird count. Now as I don’t feed the birds in the garden any more, I decided to go to Coate country park with my grandson, feed the ducks etc. Count the birds,

Swans, geese, ducks, seagulls, feral pigeons , do you spot the problem?

Not a garden bird in sight! Nice walk though, and fun with Master T.

Back to the drawing board and I counted the birds in the wood opposite the drive. It didn’t amount to many, just a couple of blackbirds, a Robin, three starlings , a wren and a couple of wood pigeons, plus the squirrel. Bird count done, what next? Snowdrops!

So yesterday I went to Lydiard Park, where I knew I’d find them and I wasn’t disappointed.

Followed by a walk round the lake, which I did the opposite way round because I was in that kind of mood. Places do look different if you go in reverse. I wasn’t in reverse of course, t’was just the route.

Solitary coot for company.
Fountain or water spout?

I don’t recall seeing this before, lovely watching the birds fly through the spray.

Love the winter silhouette of trees against the sky.

So where to next?

Have you been out and about recently? Love to know.

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