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Thursday, 5 September 2013

I have moved!


Just to let you know that my future posts will be here.

Please bookmark the page and continue to visit me at my new address :)

Star

Sunday, 4 August 2013

My Memoirs - Larry's First Week in England.

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Back in 2007 I remarried to Larry. This is our wedding picture, one of them. Nice isn't it! At the time his dad was still alive and in his 80's and Larry was his carer. Dad lived with Larry. I went to America to live and every now and then I returned to England to be with my own family. I became a gypsy! I think I was always a bit of a gypsy really and this confirmed it. The fact that I could live this double life so easily came as a surprise to me and everybody else. I won't say it was easy. Sometimes it was very hard and there were many mountains to climb and valleys to cross. However, our love endured under these difficult circumstances and we are still together after six years.
Larry's dad died just over a year ago and just recently Larry has come to live here in England with me and my ex who still dwells in the same cottage as me. Life will be even more interesting from now on!


Last Tuesday I went to Heathrow to meet Larry and bring him back to the cottage. It was a magical moment when I saw him coming through the gate at 'Arrivals'. I had been waiting for an hour, hanging on the rail as I got more tired and a bit anxious. Finally I saw him coming through the doors.


Larry has been with me here for a week now and I thought you would like to know his thoughts on his first week in England? We are all curious about what it is like to live in another country, aren't we. Well here is his take - an American in England, part one:


'My First Week in England – Being Three Years Old Again! – Living in a foreign country is like being three years old all over again. Everything is new and different and can be learned for the first time, even if you are 68. Some examples (some expected, some not):
• Cars drive on the wrong side of the road and come at you from odd directions

• Steering wheel, gearshift – all on the wrong side of the car.

• Car is on the wrong side of ME, putting the curb and the rear view mirror also on the wrong side of me.

• Toilet paper comes off the roll in the wrong direction (I may feel compelled to fix that one at some point)

• Clouds look familiar but move across the sky at several times the normal speed limit.

• Sun comes up at least an hour too early here – 4:30 am (I should have that corrected by December I think…)

• There is this funny “u” that keeps popping up for no apparent reason, like in colour and flavour.

• Words that are spelled the same but pronounced differently, like conTROVersy instead of CONtroversy, etc.

• Other words have new meanings, like BOOT and BONNET – yes you can wear these here on a spring day, but they are also the front end and back end of a car

• Inanimate objects have hidden desires, i.e., “the car wants washing today”, the floors want vacuuming (excuse me “hoovering”!)”

• Ten words are often used where I would use only five, but it sounds so much nicer using ten. That is a skill is simply must master!

• You can watch an entire two-hour mystery movie on the “tely” with no “adverts” to make you forget what the movie was about. This means you need to go the toilet before the movie starts, like in a movie theater (excuse me – “theatre”)

• The “toilet” here is the entire room, not just the porcelain thing you sit on.

• You can still have your milk (and bread and cheese) delivered to your door here!

• A doctor will come to your house if necessary! Absolutely amazing!!

• One is rewarded, rather than penalized for being over 60 here. I have a “bus pass” that lets me ride the local buses for free! Even gives me a discount on the train to London.
• No sales tax (“VAT”) on food or children’s clothes here.

• I used to wonder where “the good ole days” went. It appears they went here in many instances. I have fond memories of things I used to do as a child growing up in the 50’s and 60’s. To my surprise you can still do them here.

• It’s fun being three again!!!Watch this page for my second week in England…..'

Monday, 24 June 2013

Baby Sam - update

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Baby Sam is my second grandson. He was born on May 27th 2013 to the delight of all his family and especially me. Here he is having one of his first baths. Isn't he cute.

On Friday he visited the cottage with his parents for the first time - quite an occasion and one of many to come. So far he has been asleep most of the times I have seen him. He does seem to be a very contented baby. I'm thinking he might have auburn, curly hair like his Dad.

Needless to say his mum and dad are very proud of him. Here is Dad having a cat-nap with his new son:

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Isn't that adorable? My heart swells with pride when I see my lovely family growing and thriving.

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My American husband has applied for a visa to come and live in England. Tomorrow, Monday 24th June 2013, we will get the result of the application.

I don't know how I got any sleep last night.

For sure the decision will change my life.

Please wish a favourable outcome for us and watch this space.

Star

My English Garden in June - a riot of colour.

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We got off to a very slow start this summer. Everything is late and here at the cottage there has been some replanting. The gardener has had to replant his runner bean seeds because first they didn't germinate properly - owing to the cold Spring and then when they did, something ate them under the ground.  Every morning we went out to look, but nothing! Finally we gave up and planted some new seeds. As I speak on 18th June the little plants are about 3 inches up.

My Morning Glory seeds germinated and then got water-logged and cold and died so I had to buy another packet of seeds and replant them. They have just germinated - watch this space.

However! despite all that the garden is a riot of colour as you can see here. Come take a look...
The poppies, daisies and acquilegias are all in full bloom.

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Here and there some lichnis growing fast (that's the grey foliage in the bottom left hand corner of next picture).

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The bees are happy and that's the main thing!  Happy gardening peeps.

How have you found the weather has affected your garden (if you have one) so far this year?

Sunday, 2 June 2013

My knitted socks - finished in time for summer?

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I finished knitting these socks last week using a pattern from GlennaC. Click here for her website. You can find another of her patterns here. I made them because I had to because I wanted to know why everybody seems to love knitted socks so much. As we have just started our summer here in England, it may be some time before I wear them in earnest, but when the time comes, I will be ready!

I made these on four double pointed needles and mastered the technique in the end although I can tell you it is tricky and requires practise. Then I saw a video on Tina's website showing how to knit socks using two sets of circular needles so next time I'm going to try that. Tina at her website was making some stripey socks and I admired the way the stripes seem to match up in each sock. Some clever sock wool designing there!


So I'm getting into sock knitting. In America sock yarn is everywhere but I don't see it very much over here in England. Perhaps I just haven't noticed it. We have different yarns in varied plys and I'm so familiar with the English ones that when in America, I see everything with fresh eyes. You have the space in your shops to see everything displayed my American friends. Never take that for granted please! To me it is like shopping in Aladdin's cave!

Here are my socks again. I'm pleased with them. Thank you to Glenna and Tina for the tips.

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You can find other posts about knitting, sewing and spinning at my Stitching Stars Blog.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Please welcome Mr. Small :)

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There were two lovely people called David and Michelle.

They got married:

It was a beautiful wedding.

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They had a lovely cake:

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...and all their friends came to help them celebrate:

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Then last September, they told us some news...

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and we've been waiting excitedly ever since.
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The Nursery was prepared...

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Mum was getting bigger...

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David was providing all the odd foods that Michelle was fancying..
and then:

on Monday 27th May 2013 at 6.29 a.m. Mr. Small made his appearance.

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His name is Samuel Alan and he weighs 7 lbs 8 ozs.

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He has his mama's dimple and his daddy's curly hair!

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Well done Michelle.  We're all so proud of you.

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We are all ecstatic!

Note to Anonymous posters: Please do not insult my family by posting advertisements on this page. I take my blogging seriously and do not want my work defiled. Thank you.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

What's on my spinning wheel?


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I've just finished spinning up the bag full of ecru merino roving. It was a a delight to work with. This will be spare because I have finished the sweater I was making with the bulk of it. I'll show you how it turned out soon. This roving was easy to spin and easy to draft and the result was very smooth as you can see above and below.

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Now on my wheel today is some more of Miss Babs blue faced leicester yarn, which you can see is much more woolly. It is more difficult to draft and I have to be very careful that the thread doesn't break. Once I get in my stride with it, it will be just fine. I just have to take care because after using the merino, followed by the mixture of Alpaca and silk, this one is tougher to use.

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and I'm pleased with the result so far :)

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Saturday, 18 May 2013

Millie has an argument with The Ghost!


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This has been a slightly worrying week with Millie because she had an 'argument' with The Ghost - a large Tom cat who lives across the road.

The Ghost has always been a source of annoyance to me because he is ever-present and determined to live here, even though he has a perfectly good home of his own.  I say perfect, but perhaps he thinks otherwise. Some of the problem has been my own fault because I have tolerated his presence to a certain extent. Here's what happened ...

About four years ago, we noticed that we had a 'stowaway'. We first saw him making a dash through the cat-flap after stealing Patch's food one evening. We didn't hear him come in. We only heard him going out! Then we started finding him under beds, hiding. It seemed like he wanted to stay, perhaps to keep warm, perhaps for other reasons. He was very sneaky. He used to hide and stay the night. We didn't even know he was in here most of the time. That was when he was a kitten. As he reached adulthood he became more noticeable. When he started to spray, we shut the catflap and kept him out. He wasn't welcome!!

I made some enquiries as to whom he belonged. My friend around the corner told me he belonged to a lady in my street. She never had The Ghost neutered. I wish she had. The older he got, the more of a nuisance he became. Finally he started chasing Patch into the house and frightened her. She is an old lady and likes a quiet life.

Then Millie arrived. I was a bit worried that he would 'have a go at her' and sure enough he did - last week. She came indoors looking very sorry for herself and started licking her tale. I knew something was up. Luckily the bite  didn't turn into an abscess but she was a poor thing for a day or two. I think her pride was hurt. She didn't expect to be set upon by the neighbours.  After all she had been through to get here, she didn't deserve that.

Now she is better (thankfully). I wasn't looking forward to a trip to the vet's office. She will have to learn to live with The Ghost. That will not be easy. There's always one, isn't there.

Come to think of it, there's always one in the human world too, isn't there.  Always someone to 'get along with'. Someone you don't really like very much or who picks on you or bullies you or makes your life unbearable.

Is there someone in your life that gives you a hard time? Can you 'shut up the catflap' or must you endure?

When we were deciding how to handle this situation with Millie, we had discussions. My house partner suggested we shoo him away. I wasn't in favour of that. I asked myself, 'what would St. Francis do?' The equivalent of Jesus's 'turn the other cheek' scenario perhaps.

In the end I decided to let the cats sort it out for themselves. I have enough problems.

Here he is, the devil, alias The Ghost. For the moment peace reigns!

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Friday, 10 May 2013

My English Garden - May 2013


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My English cottage garden has had a wonderful show of tulips during the last week. It's so wonderful to watch them opening up every day when the sun comes out!

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Each year I lift some of the bulbs and dry them off. I usually pick a hot, dry day in summer and let the bulbs have a good baking.

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Once they are dry, I rub off the soil and store them until the Autumn when I plant them out again, usually haphazardly. I like to see where they come up, mixing the colours as I go.

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Just love to count how many of each colour I have each year.

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...but I always buy new ones, usual ten at a time. That guarantees that at least some of them will come true. I put the new ones in a tub by the back door to the cottage so I can see them from the kitchen window.

The cowslips are pretty too, aren't they!

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The primroses and primulas are mainly over now but there is still a bit of colour visible.

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What a joy my Spring garden is. It delights all the senses.

Have a good week everyone.

Star

Thursday, 9 May 2013


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This is St. Peter's Church, Lilley last Saturday when I visited their glorious Flower Festival. You can read more about Lilley and its church here.

The graveyard is delightful, as is the church and I love to visit every year if I can. It is not my local church.

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This year's Flower Festival theme was '  On the Air'   and the festival ran for three days over the recent Bank Holiday weekend.  For once the weather was kind, which made the whole thing more enjoyable and hopefully helped to raise the funds needed to keep this beautiful church in a healthy condition.

Here are some of the exhibits:

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'Radio Times' by Monica Thomas

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BBC World Services by Kim Major:

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'Gardener's Question Time' by Betty Sharp:

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'The Chris Evan's Show' by Susan Constable:

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'Listen with Mother' by Maureen Bland:

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'Sunday Half Hour' by Pat Sayer & Margaret Dickenson:

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I'll show you some more of these wonderful flower arrangements next time,
and before I go - a Very Happy Birthday to my son David, who was 33 year's old yesterday and soon to be a dad for the first time!

Mum and Dad