Category Archives: Holiday

Knitting needle crazy

After leaving our cabin on Saturday morning we took Bud for a walk then set off to sort out some needles to enable me to knit on the way home.  Here’s what I got (well of course I got eight but two are in the car somewhere)…

Here’s how WE got them…

We went to a charity shop where I was informed they can’t sell them as they are an offensive weapon.  They use to keep them to one side and take a donation (I knew this since I got a pair that very way last year) but the manager had caught them and they had to throw them away!

We then tried a general shop at B’s suggestion who referred us to

The hairdressers – who had needles but not double ended ones

So we got in the car to and B suggested we stop at a village 15 miles away even though I was 95% sure they didn’t have a wool shop.  I broke at 12 miles and cast on for a Myeloma Buddy but with the yarn being 4ply it seemed so tiny that B said we’d stop anyway.

We parked up, popped Bud on his lead and all went for a walk down the main street where I tried…

A shop that sold touristy type stuff which had an odd owner (I am not just basing this on their lack of knitting accessories but that the last time we called in he was complaining to a local about customers!) , he said I wouldn’t get any but I could always ask the girls as the grocers

They said ‘Try The Trading Post’ – a hardware store at the end of the row that sold just about everything – except knitting needles but the lovely owner suggested a secondhand place we could get to by turning left at the previous traffic lights and going behind the hotel to a large green warehouse called The Shed.  The owner then fussed Bud and stated that our Staffie was hazardous to people in that he could lick them to death.

So we all traipsed back up the main street, round the corner and tucked in behind the hotel was this large green warehouse that was full of all sorts and indeed did have double pointed needles.

However, the lady who knew where the needles were was on the phone and so we waited and waited and when B was just shy of having steam coming out of his ears she finished up and I got my needles.  The co-owner was also a knitter and described some gorgeous needles she’d found that were tortoise shell effect with silver ends – I managed not to drool openly.

So two hours after starting our needle search I jotted down some pattern details off the laptop and cast on for a pair of trainer socks for a friend and then I nodded off, and then I knit, and then I nodded off (I had been awake since 5:40), and then I knit, and then we stopped for a wee (or rather three), and then I knit and nodded and then I looked at the sock good and proper and I thought – ‘That’s awful’

I mean look at the quality of those stitches at the heel – I hang my head in shame…

So I pulled the stitches off the needles and knit a Bamboo Buddy!  I have since confessed this to B – just in case!

The yarn is Wendy happy in Milky Way and is 75% bamboo and 25% nylon and is apparently one of those yarns that’s ideal for socks as it does the whole keeping your feet warm and keeping your feet cool thing.  I of course wouldn’t know this, what I do know however is that it is soft, smooth and just lovely even when it’s not a sock.

Oh, and when B arrived in the bedroom this morning he said ‘Are you alright?’, ‘Mmmm’ I answered – the power of speech eludes me when I first wake up.  B however is quite use to this by now and somehow interprets correctly most of the time, in this case ‘Yes.’

B: ‘Only your looks funny.’

Me:  ‘How?’ – slightly more awake.

B:  ‘It’s like the phantom of the opera. ‘  I swear it’s times like these I have to remember that at least I know when he pays me a compliment its sincere.

When I got up 10 minutes later – apart from being craft-less on a long trip I am otherwise quite hard to panic so didn’t spring out of bed straight away – it looked mostly like it usually does.  However I do have a ‘bite’ on my forehead near my hairline – well hopefully it’s a bite since this is exactly where my first lot of shingles started and we thought that was a bite too and my face was swollen in a morning then too! I’m keeping an eye on it.

Don’t panic Mr Mainwaring!

You know that saying about remaining calm when all around you are panicking well now’s the time to panic.  I potentially have nothing to do for the seven plus hours on the way home.  I finished my cardigan and now this is all I have left of the yarn for the crochet blanket…

the issue being I need just as much pink as cream.  (Okay when I was taking the picture of my artily arranged remaining yarn I thought it may look like a flower or spaghetti with a tiny bit of Bolognese and now, before anyone else says it, I realise it looks like a booby – but not of the bird variety. )

Anyhoo how on earth am I going to manage on the way home.  B has suggested I read but that cuts out my other essential occupation of travelling for many hours in the car – admiring the passing scenery.

Deep breaths – I have one last hope – I bought a very nice ball of 4 ply yarn from a very nice shop in Nairn – I have spent some time scouring the internet for free sock patterns (ie, available immediately) and I can only keep everything crossed that the one nearby charity shop has some double ended needles available.  So obviously we’ll be checking that out as a matter of priority as soon as they open.

Meanwhile in less panicky (indeed soothing) matters I tried some lavender shortbread yesterday afternoon…

It was heart shaped, a bit pricey for one biscuit, but made on the Isle of Skye and I’ve wanted to try a foodstuff with lavender in for some time now (it’s on the antiangiogenic food list) AND I love shortbread – so what a treat, right?  Well yes it was, Bud loved it!  I however will need to buy plain shortbread ASAP to realign my taste buds.  Fortunately there’s a Walkers shortbread shop just further up from the charity shop – I may need the shortbread for the lonnnnnggggg trip home.

Driving Miss Paula

‘Okay Bud, I’ll show you how to drive and then we don’t  need to let Paula near the wheel again.’

‘So you got all that about where everything is?’

‘Yeah, but I can’t get the hang of this changing gear malarkey…

let’s try this…

or this, narghhhh!’

‘Phew, I need a kip.’

‘All that effort and now I’m stuck in roadworks!’

Holiday Crochet

My second item of holiday craftiness is a crochet blanket.  Much as I’d like to show a vision of craftiness in a forest setting surrounded by whatever woodland creatures were brave enough to venture close enough with Bud around (so that would be slugs) it’s now too big to tote anywhere other than settee to car and back.  Here’s a little taster of it…

And here’s my holiday reading…

It features Stephen Fry, half of the reason I can’t envisage, even in a dark room, Hugh Laurie being considered a sex symbol/hunk.  ‘What makes me think anyone would consider Hugh sexy?’ I hear you ask – well it’s that time of year over at Kim’s blog – Knitters’ Hunk.  So if you fancy a bit of fun nominating three hunks or just voting on other people’s ideas of heartthrob pop on over there.  I’m still one short in my nominees and bearing in mind Hugh’s popularity I’m seriously toying with the idea of British beefcake Ricky Gervais!  {cough, splutter}  Moving swiftly on.

In Last Chance To See Mark Carwardine undertakes an updated trip to see really endangered species with Stephen Fry, a mutual friend of his and the participant of the original trip, the late Douglas Adams.  Zoologist Mark narrates with a sense of humour I find really enjoyable.  The book is also of a size that comes in really handy when the view into the holiday accommodation from a window adjoining the outside path is this…

and your small furry family isn’t afraid of bursting open doors to check you’re doing okay!

Other creative spaces are here!

Holiday Wardrobe

Ahh, the old ones are the best ones!  Prior to going on holiday I went clothes shopping with a friend predominantly in Primark – a shop, a little like TK Maxx, where you need to be in the right mindset for shopping and not have your husband in tow.  As we’d only managed to get the first week’s accommodation a week before we arrived I hadn’t bought anything – perhaps in the hope that cutting out one biscuit a day would result in being a size 12 before I had to try anything on!

So here is my real holiday wardrobe…





Handmade dress (the one started for last year’s holiday) and 3/4 sleeve cardigan (£6.00).




Five pairs of pink socks in varying stripes (£2.50)


White linen pants – half lined (£15.00), hand knitted cardigan (Peony) from last week which now has flowers attached but no buttons – not too sure I like it, well I like it but I don’t think it’s me.  T-shirt Nicole Fahri from TK Maxx (£7.00 should have been £35.00).  And erm, what’s that round Bud’s neck?

In case you’re wondering how come we have not one, not two, but three pictures of me in the same post, it rained yesterday so Buddy got a five kilometre walk and then after drying off while eating our butties in the car, we came back and B had that much time on his hands (five minutes as opposed to 30 seconds) I got at least 15 pictures to chose from (as opposed to his usual point and click ‘Yes that looks like you.’ ‘But is it okay?’ ‘You can tell it’s you.’ photography style). Plus we have better mobile broadband connection where we are now than the landline connection at home!

Linen casual pants (£9.00), 3/4 sleeve cardigan (£6.00), same T-shirt.

Same trousers getting dried earlier in the afternoon because, did I mention, it was wet.  If we’d not had Bud it was go shopping and then the cinema weather now it’s take Bud during a dry bit and doh, it’s raining again before we’ve finished weather.

Yes I sat in the car in a woodland car park in my knickers (fortunately I had a spare cardy to hand) while I ate my butties – and if you look closely at the previous photo you’ll see I was correct when I exclaimed ‘Oh, look me knickers match me cardy.’

I also got two bras for £6.00, 12 pairs of knickers for £7.80 and after a couple of bargains in the 30sfp sunscreen department Chris ended up insisting on carrying my bag while I carried her one pair of trousers!  Another myeloma perk?!

And as to what Bud is wearing above, well here’s the rest of it…

maybe that’s why it was half price at £2.00 – the floppy brim really flopped!

Modern Technology

In 1969 NASA managed to talk to men on the moon.  In 2010 I can’t get reliable mobile broadband reception on the same planet!

I managed to get reception briefly on Wednesday whilst performing contortions a Chinese circus performer would have been proud of, stopping just short of dangling anything out of the window.

Today B suggested, after stopping once for a comfort break (how quaint is that – it sounds so much better than ‘to go to the toilet’), that a better idea than trying to get reception when we stopped for lunch was for me to try whilst he was driving.

Now I’ve had a bit of a week with technology, Opera threw a diva strop and went on strike, Firefox refused to cross the picket line, Chrome was on some sort of work to rule and Safari might as well have been on one.  Internet Explorer kept throwing a wobbler earlier in the year so I’d dismissed it for gross misconduct and had no way of/or desire to reinstate it.   On top of this I kept getting error messages when attempting to post a comment on blogger blogs and their help was no use.

Therefore before we left on Wednesday I gave the laptop a stern talking to, sacked Opera and Firefox and polished up Chrome.

So following B’s suggestion I sat with the laptop sliding across my lap, no proper keyboard because it was in a suitcase, having to use the built in mouse because I had no where to put the real one and B deciding that after not needing to talk when I was knitting it was essential whilst I was laptop juggling and trying to send a coherent message.  Oh, he also decided when not talking to sing along to the CD with the occasional thigh tapping, his own not mine, because mine was full of laptop.

After all that the signal kept dropping thus I ended up losing knitting time and sending one of the messages from our lunchtime eatery after all, then the battery in the laptop went before I could send the second one.

However we arrived at our new B&B and I plugged in the laptop, turned round and they have WiFi!  Yay!  Then no Yay, the code didn’t work.  Doh!  However due to the fact that we are so high up I could get a nosebleed, the house is on a hill and we are in the attic, the reception on the mobile broadband is fantastic!

The view out of the window in front of me is pretty good too…