Monday, December 09, 2013
We had a walk through the Botanics yesterday. It'll soon be the shortest day and it's cheering to see some flowers even at this time of year, such as this periwinkle.
I'm not a great fan of pampas grass but it was good to see the green leaves and creamy plumes brightening up the herbaceous border.
This viburnum has delicate pink blossoms against bare branches.
And - cheating somewhat because these are alpines, in a covered, open-ended greenhouse -
(but still very lovely on a dull day) early-flowering daffodils and crocuses.
And then my phone ran out of battery.
Home again, this is the best that my garden could offer: the last two roses. But there are spears of spring bulbs beginning to appear through the soil. Enjoy summer while you have it, Australia. We'll be starting to drag it north again before too long.
Mind you, we do have a bit of winter to deal with first. Sigh.
Saturday, December 07, 2013
Life is... not boring, because I can always happily potter about. But uneventful. Cassie and I have now finished quilting the quilt and once I've written some Christmas cards for overseas I shall tackle the binding. I am slightly quailing at this but I expect it'll be ok, or at least sufficiently so for the standard of the quilt.
The bits I enjoyed most? Well, all of it really. I certainly enjoyed fiddling about with the fabrics to get an arrangement that satisfied my eye. I quite enjoyed cutting out and sewing together, though would have enjoyed sewing the strips together even more if I'd done the previous bit more accurately so that all my corners were perfect.
And doing the hand-quilting was very pleasant; totally brainless and yet giving me something to do while watching television, such as the latest Gareth Malone choir project. (Oh, what a nice young man he is.) (I must say that I would have appreciated Thimbleanna's lovely quilt gift even more had I realised quite how many woman hours went into the circles she quilted on it!)
Not that I can currently sing, which is a great hardship. This longwinded cold and cough are still with me. Not only do I have to just sit and follow the music at my two choirs but I'm unable to carol around the house. Mr L's life has never been so peaceful.
Today we went to Almond Valley Heritage Centre with the grandchildren, their parents and their other grandparents.
The lad had a good time...
... though it was a bit chilly and muddy.
The three chaps went on a trailer pulled by a tractah. They all enjoyed it. Boys do seem to like tractahs.
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
These are some of the things I did today.
I went to the park with Granny and surveyed my territory.
Then I slid down the slide quite often. I told her that it's also called a chute.
It was fun.
I also crawled through this tunnel and picked up lots of pieces of wood chips, or as I call them, little logs. I then crawled backwards and deposited these little logs on the ground at the other end of the tunnel. And repeat.
Later we went to Granny's house and did a lot of serious playing. We also read quite a few books.
By the time Grandpa came home, I was tired so I persuaded him to look at a tractor video with me on his iPad. Grandpa and I both appreciate technology.
I believe that you're visiting me this weekend, Nanny and Gramps. If you're good, I'll let you do stuff like this with me too!
Monday, December 02, 2013
Today I made new curtains for the upstairs bathroom. Despite Cassie's assistance, I've finished them. Rather foolishly, perhaps, I bought the material from Laura Ashley, from whom I bought the previous upstairs bathroom material, which I still really like (and the curtains are still fine in most respects) except that it faded badly. I hope that LA have got less fadey dyes since I made those. I suppose that this was 16 years ago... but I expect things to last longer than that. My kitchen curtains are also a Laura Ashley fabric, are about the same age and have also faded, but in a more acceptable way. Either that or I've just got used to them. I do occasionally think I should get new ones for the kitchen but there are three windows so it would be a bit of an effort and I don't think they look too bad. It seems wasteful to throw away perfectly serviceable curtains.
And because Daughter 1's lovely family-in-law look at this blog for pictures of the littlies, not of our cats, I thought I should include Granddaughter, yesterday, eating a (plastic) carrot...
... and Grandson saying "In you go, piggy" as he loads the pig into the truck of the train that Thimbleanna brought to him last summer (which he plays with a lot).
Thank you so much, Andrea from Minneapolis, for your comment. I will post a picture of my quilt when it's finished, but prepare to be unimpressed. It's my first one and very very very basic! (Note the phrase "first one"... suggesting that it won't be my last... well, let's see, will we?)
Friday, November 29, 2013
The garden has very few flowers now - only some miserable-looking remnants. But it's so lovely to be able to buy them: here, two bunches of alstroemerias for £6. Such a joy (as long as you don't worry about air miles and underpaid workers, which I do, somewhat). They're a week old already and should last for another week. So pretty.
I've been working steadily on my quilt, hand-quilting it in mainly-interlocking circles. It's very simple and quite pleasant and soothing but I hadn't realised quite how many circles it would take. I feel like Penelope, sewing away at a never-ending piece of needlework, though in my case I'm not actually unpicking it every night. I keep getting to a corner and thinking that I must be nearly done and then finding a completely unquilted bit. (You're not creeping out of bed and removing the stitches, are you, Mr L?)
I bought a special pen to draw the circles (round a cereal bowl) - it's very clever because the ink fades away, though frankly it would be even cleverer if the ink didn't fade away quite so rapidly. I dare say it would be fine for machine work but, hand sewing, I keep having to stop to redraw the vanished line. It's either that or sew along the memory of a line: homeopathic quilting.
Is it going to be finished by Christmas? Well. There's a question. A Christmas snoozing-quilt is a fairly bonkers concept in the first place but it would somewhat have lost its point by January.
I can't imagine how long a complicated quilt would take me.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Happy Thanksgiving, America!
A house which is basically the same as ours, in an adjacent street, was sold earlier this year. It was, reportedly, immaculate inside. This is it now.
This is the first time that a house in our immediate area has been demolished in order to build a bigger one. It hasn't happened in Edinburgh much at all.
It's rather unnerving to see that one's house is built of such easily trashed materials. That yellow machine pecked away on and off for a day, smashing walls and dislodging windows as if the house were made of balsa wood, and it was destroyed.
It's hard to believe that this is a financially wise thing to do, but presumably the owners think it is. I'm very glad that it's not happening next door to us: there'll be noise and dust and construction lorries for months, and the houses in that street aren't very far apart. I hope it doesn't give anyone else the idea to do it too.
Grandson and I went to the Botanics again today. He wore his Gruffalo jumper. ("Fluffy!")
We saw, among other wonders of nature, ducks.
And I admired the boy in his springtime and the autumn garden in its berried beauty.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Son and Daughter-in-law were in town and we met for lunch at the museum with Daughter 1 and the children. Grandson then had a little tour of the museum to make sure that everything was in order... .
... such as the trains whose buttons one has to press to make the wheels go round.
Later, Son entertained Grandson with a YouTube video of a sleeping dog being licked by a cat (or something). It seemed to be hilarious.
Then some fairly wild activities took place.
You do need good muscles to do this for long - which Son did. Whenever he stopped for a bit of a rest, Grandson shouted "Again!"
So that was all very lovely except that we all missed Daughter 2 so much. (Sorry, world. But there it is.)