Yarn, Yorkshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Take two minutes

What a very good idea, just have to reblog this.

The official blog for the North York Moors National Park

Alison Goodwin, Moor to Sea Project* Officer

Most of us will have seen the shocking images from David Attenborough’s Blue Planet 2 programme: oceans full of plastic and beaches filled with detritus. On our UK beaches, the Marine Conversation Society revealed in 2018 that just under 7 tonnes of litter was collected at a handful of beaches over a 3 year period.

Since then there’s been a grassroots-level movement emerge with people keen to do more. Whitby Beach Sweep is one such community organization. Running since February 2018 in association with Surfers against Sewage, they’ve been organising community litter picks along Whitby beaches. Eager to expand their focus to reach wider audiences, they’ve now linked up with the #2minutebeachclean board initiative. By promoting the scheme through social media, and by having a physical board sited on the beach, it’s hoped others will be encouraged to lend a hand.

Close up on a #2minutebeachclean board. Copyright NYMNPA.


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February books-2019

I have read some super books this month and many are thanks to the recommendations I receive here or read on blogs. Please tell me if you have read any of these or have found any good reads recently.

Natasha Lester- The Paris Seamstress- an enjoyable book set in Paris and New York, blending real and fictional characters and two-time spans- the 1940s and the present day. There is romance, spies and fashion.

Heather Morris- The Tattooist of Auschwitz- gosh what can I say, other than read it. The real story of Lale Sokolov who was given the job of tattooing the numbers on the arms of the people who were taken to Auschwitz. One day he looked into the eyes of the young woman whom he fell in love with and married after the war. Just read it, and have some tissues by your side. Onto my Top 100 list. A very well written book , you feel as if Lale was talking direct to you, one to one.

Stuart Turton- The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle- Cluedo meets Groundhog Day! A murder happens in Blackheath House, can Aiden Bishop discover the murderer. Only problem is he only has eight days to solve the mystery otherwise he has to start again. On each of the  days he wakes up as a different person staying in the house. It’s a very complicated and well executed plot, the map of the house and the list of characters help you keep track of what is happening and to whom. It felt like being inside a computer game, where you can start over but you obviously remember what happened. It isn’t one by the way, if it had been it would have been a more satisfactory explanation at the end. It was an enjoyable read, but you do need to have set aside big chunks of time to read it, not one for the journey to work, be great on holiday. And if you don’t like it don’t blame me blame Doris.

Peter Toohey- Boredom, a lively history- I attend a monthly group through the U3A which looks at psychology. This month it was my turn to run the session for the group. I choose Boredom as my theme. My question underpinning things was Is Boredom useful? So I read this book as part of my research. It covered a lot of ground from a Boredom Proneness test to looking at how boredom has been portrayed in art and literature. I found the whole subject totally fascinating and guess what, I am not prone to boredom. If you enjoy things psychological this was very accessible and interesting read. I am thinking of looking into the psychology of shopping next, what do you reckon, interesting or boring?

Julie Kibler- Calling me home- two love stories across the racial divide set in the present day and the 1930s in America. Well written, but knowing that the 1930s story could not end well , made it quite harrowing at times. A good read. The best part was the developing friendship between the elderly white woman and her hairdresser and friend who is a black single mother as they travel to a funeral.

Sally Rooney- Normal People-This book won the Man Booker Prize 2018. It examines a rather weird couple and their non relationship  -friends with benefits really. Marianna is clever, but has a troubled home life, bullied by her older brother, father is dead, Mother is a shadowy presence who fails to make any meaningful contact with her daughter. At school she is a misfit, bullied by the other pupils. Connell is the son of their cleaner, also very clever and popular, he enjoys the sex and power he has over Marianna but ignores her at school. They go off to Dublin to uni, he to read English she to read History. Marianna is now pretty, and popular, but goes beyond being a doormat to her boyfriends and becomes masochistic. Connell is the misfit now, being the boy from the poor background, but their relationship comes and goes, and sometimes they have significant others and sometimes they don’t. It all ends abruptly. I mean Connell gets the offer of a place in New York to do creative writing and the book stops. My advice is don’t bother with this one. However if you already read it I would love t know what you made of it?

And that’s it for February. Love to know what you are reading? I am reading about some Remarkable Creatures…

Knit and Natter Friday

Not only am I late to the knit and natter , but I haven’t much knitting or natter to write about. Truth is we have been getting on, as my Dad used to say, with the great house sort out. Mr E has managed to stay focused and we have accomplished a lot. There is a final delivery to a charity shop and a final run to the tip with shredded paper and we are done. We even had the white goods in the kitchen out this morning and cleaned round the back, oh yuk! Last year was so taken up with Mr E and hospital and all that he/we went through that house care had really taken a back seat. It feels good that we have done this.

Tomorrow I shall have off. It’s the second of the three quilting workshops. If last time was about chopping up the fabric, tomorrow is about sewing it all up again.

Knitting wise I have nearly finished the front of the jumper I am making for Miss F. And that’s it.

I really have nothing to say today, except Happy St David’s day. For once we have daffodils in bloom, the warm weather has really brought them on, although having said that temperatures have returned to the norm today- 8.5C. Can’t believe on Tuesday I was gardening with just a t shirt and no coat on.

So, I wonder what’s been happening with you this week? Do you have any plans for the weekend? Hopefully next week I shall have more to say for myself, and at least a quilt half finished to show you.

Take care, and Be Happy,



A Little Owl.

The felt embroidery workshop on Friday was great fun. Cost £1, so I wasn’t expecting much. There were fourteen participants, with varying degrees of skill and former experience. The tutor provided felt, embroidery floss and designs for us to choose from. We each made our selection and traced the design we choose onto tissue paper which we then laid direct over the felt. We stitched the outline of the design through the tissue and then pulled the tissue away from the stitches. Some choose to make an applique design in the usual way. I  had never tried stitching through tissue in this way so gave it a go and it was surprisingly good. Afterwards you will the design with whatever stitches you choose. At this point if you were a beginner the session fell apart . The tutor had provided some worked examples and a couple of books for people to look at. As we were in the library I went and located some more stitch books for people to look at, and I also found myself helping the two novice stitchers beside me. I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop, it has renewed my interest in stitching. I came home and completed my little owl. Here he is.

Stitches used are split stitch, stem stitch and back stitch for the design outline. Then satin stitch, for beak and claws. Stem stitch for the wings and feather stitch for the body. Eyes are blanket stitch and French knots.  Leaf is straight stitch and fly stitch. I had a great time but felt sorry for those who had no experience of embroidery. Less sympathy for those that thought they were going to be doing needle felting when the title of the workshop was felt embroidery. I have no idea what to with him now he’s done, any ideas anyone please?



I counted no less than six nests in or garden last year, and with the hard pruning the gardeners did for us, I have got a much better view of them.

This is a blackbird’s nest in the honeysuckle against the garage wall. I see the leaves are just coming through.

This is an attempt at a nest by a wood pigeon in the tree by the pond. Maybe they will make a better fist of one this year.

This is another blackbirds nest in a rose which grows amongst ivy on the garage wall.

This is again using the structure of a rose and the protection of the ivy which grows on the fence by the kitchen door. I am not sure that this nest was in use as it’s so close to the house. The other two nests I mentioned were also in ivy but that was chopped back and so the nests have gone. The blue tits are already sizing up the nest box on the garage wall. It won’t be long before nesting begins.

Leaving you with a shot of the snowdrops spreading year by year against the back hedge.

I was wondering if you have any birds nests in your garden?

So the sun is shining again today, and we are told the weather is more like May than February, so time to go out and enjoy it I think.



Knit and Natter Friday

We’re on a bit of a roll Mr E and me on the tidying and chucking front. I have finally got round to bagging up my office clothes which I have not worn for the last 4 1/2 years. No less than fifteen items for the charity shop. Bad news it doesn’t seem to have created any space in the wardrobe at all.

We decided to tidy the lounge. Mr E did it again. Half an hour into the task he is sat down at his computer. Apparently he had finished. And just like when we tidied in the kitchen he hadn’t . Never mind half an hours effort is better than no effort, till I discovered that most of the items he had moved from the lounge were now on the stairs. He will never ever be accused of being tidy.

I went to Scarborough last Saturday for the backing fabric and wadding. I choose a plain cream in the end, the simple option.  The wadding is 80% cotton and 20% polyester, which the fabric shop lady said was the one she used. Good enough for me. I then asked about getting a new blade for the roller cutter as we were told to replace it for every new quilt we made. Well the fabric shop lady and  another customer looked horrified at this, on the grounds that it is unnecessary to change it that often.  I got one just in case. I also got some more needles for my machine and confessed that scary new sewing machine ( 6 years old) is still fitted with the original needle. Both ladies looked horrified all over again. Oh dear, I shall never cut it in the quilting world.

Meantime I am still loving my fettled garden. We ( we ? the chaps we hired) came just in time as the frogs appeared on Wednesday. I counted four that day. Yesterday when I took the picture I counted 16 and a right mess they had made stirring up duck weed.

Knitting is progressing slowly. The back of the jumper for Miss F is done.

Looking pretty, I have started the front, but I seem very slow knitting wise this year.

So ’tis the weekend tomorrow. Does anyone have any lovely plans? It is lovely and sunny here, yesterday the car thermometer read 14.5C. Wow. Some Augusts it doesn’t get that nice.

This afternoon the library is hosting a felt embroidery workshop. It costs a £1. Wow again. I am going.  The rest of the weekend will be the usual laundry and shopping chores, maybe a little walk, bit of garden mooching..

Love to hear your plans. Please leave a comment, the natter part of this post depends on them. Thank you. Have a great weekend.

Take care and Be Happy,



Today’s the day I take a small select group of people on a short walk , I wondered if you would care to come along. I am hoping for lots of snowdrops and a nice mug of coffee when we are back. I took the photos when I did the walk back in January, I have to H&S these walks. We are going from Thornton Dale to Ellerburn and back.

See, it’s not a long walk.

Past the old mill which used to be all about animal feeds when I lived in the village, but is now flats.

And along the beckside. I love beech hedges during the winter.

That’s the old mill race, at one time there would have been a wheel to power the mill.

I wonder who decorated the tree for Christmas and if they came back and took them down? Hoping the woods will be full of snowdrops. Should I take my camera and risk annoying the walkers?

I love the way the beck has been reinforced with timber.

The beck is still on our left but the dale of Ellerburn is opening out.

My family tells me I take weird pictures. I can’t think what they are referring too.

Nothing weird about chickens

or trees.

There’s the church with the bats in the belfry , and our route back takes us along a lane, which you may recall is just one mile long. I counted no less than ten benches. Ten. If Wild Daffodil ever has a photo challenge for benches I shall be well prepared. I did take a picture of all ten, not weird, here are the two most moving ones

Christmas greetings for the loved ones on the plaque ,and here too

this one had a letter for Mum, saying how much she was loved still and missed.

If there is a gravestone for people to visit there is a place to go to think of their loved one, but when ashes are scattered well where do people go for a quiet moment.?

You can’t beat a nice photo of a gate can you , and it’s certainly not weird taking photos of gates.

Back past the thatched cottage and if it looks at all familiar it might just be that you have seen it on a jigsaw puzzle.

And back to main road and the Hall care home. It was a hotel back in my day. Mr E and his family stayed there the night before our wedding.

OK coffee anyone?

Hope you enjoyed the stroll. Have you had any snowdrop walks this year?




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