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      5 crochet photos

      28th October

      Last year the wonderful Ashley from Lazy Daisy Jones ran a photo a day challenge and I loved every minute of it.  So when I heard she was running another one this year I was beyond excited and determined to really think about each photo and how I was going to try and be a little more creative this time round.  Want to see the list for each day in October, here it is...

      Day 1:  Yarn Selfie
      It was incredibly difficult to pin the
      yarn to my hair, my family
      finally think I have flipped!

       Day 2:  Cosy

      What could be cosier than being surround by crochet
      blankets, working on my latest project, wearing
      my home felted slippers and sitting in front of a lit fire?

      Day 3:  Texture

      This was a no brainer, I'm Norwegian so it had
      to be the waffle stitch for texture didn't it?

      Day 4:  Granny Square

      Here I am aged 2 and a half with my granny
      who taught me originally to crochet

      Day 5:  WIP

      This was hard for me as I have so many works
      in progress, but my current ones that
      I am working on and not sitting in the corner
      waiting their turn are all Christmas related.

      Unfortunately this month has not turned out as I had planned and I have been side lined a bit by current events, so it was not to be that I could complete this photo challenge nor have I even had time to look to see what others have posted, I made it to day 8 before I had to bow out.  I am however, already looking forward to next year if Ashley runs it again.


      Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post Drama on the high seas, I am sorry that I have not as yet replied to everyone on that post and the one before, as said life has been somewhat hectic, but I do intend to if I can.  I though it more important to come and visit your blogs instead but I always read every comment and I really do try to reply, just been slack of late and I apologise. QUESTION?  Do you know when I reply to your comments, are you informed via email, do you come back to check?  I still have not worked out about comments and replies, can you advise?

      So back to the update and Ella...  she is no longer on a meningitis watch but is still completely wiped out and it may take some weeks before she is fully recovered.  The last two weeks have been mostly spent sleeping and recuperating but each day she is a little better, thank you all so much for your get well wishes to her xxxx

      Joining in with Amy sharing my 5 photos with you, 
      hoping you will stop by and see what others are sharing too.

       Hoping for continued autumnal warmth  

Drama on the high seas

October 21st


Leaving Eastbourne at 6am
Friday night saw John and I training down to the south coast to hook up with Brimble, our boat.  So far this year we have sailed her from the east coast of Scotland through the Caledonian canal, taken part in the Scottish Peaks Sailing and Running race, sailed across to Northern Ireland, over to the Isle of Man, into South Ireland and visited the oldest sailing club in the world in Dublin, sailed south to the Scilly Isles and then headed north to the south coast of the UK taking in Falmouth and Plymouth to name but a few coastal towns.  Now we were to pick her up from Eastbourne with the intent of managing to round the coast to near Ipswich on the east side, almost but not quite a circumnavigation of the UK in a season.   In theory we hoped this would be the last sail of the season as now the weather can turn and sailing can be hairy. Having  well over a hundred miles to cover with winds admittedly in the right direction for us but strong meant it was not a done deal that we would cover the distance and so we would have to find another weekend to move her if the task could not be completed.   Of course there are also those pesky tides to deal with too, get that wrong and you can actually be sailing backwards for 6 hours at a time!

A great sail


Saturday's sail was fast and furious, we generally estimate to make between 3-5 knots, meaning we cover about 3-5 miles in an hour but with strong winds and tides in the right direction for most of the sail this trip saw us making up to 8 knots.  This was terrific news as then we could wave at Dover and the white cliffs, not needing to make landfall there and scoot on over to Ramsgate.  Perfect, it was looking like we might actually make it to the east coast this week end.  John decided as we were doing so well, we could also push the boat out (almost literally in this case) and take a cunning short cut so as to avoid the now turning tide which would slow our last bit of the sail down to possibly only 1 or 2 knots and sail on the inside of the sand banks that are notorious around Ramsgate.  My heart began to palpitate as I hate sailing anywhere where it is shallow, but there was a buoyed channel so it meant it was possible.


I cannot convey to you how wrong that was, according to the chart (sea map) we were supposed to have at least 2.3 m of water under us but as we 'bumped' hard twice on the sand beneath us, I can tell you the chart is wrong or the notorious sand banks had shifted, this can actually happen but then the bouyage is usually moved.  As we were the only idiots ones to be out at sea in October and to take the inside channel the buoys had not been moved, it's the end of the season after all.  Luck was however on our side and we did not get stuck, although it took a while for my heart to calm down.

Taking the inside channel, Ramsgate in the distance

This meant we had to back track the last two miles around the sand bank and still had another 3-4 miles to sail after that.  Taking the short cut had cost us about an extra two hour sail and against the tide!  After twelve and a half hours we made it into Ramsgate, not helped by the harbour master who helpfully added  when I called up on VHF  that we could moor up in any berth on E or F pontoon if we could see it, meaning it was dark and we were silly to be out there, thanks for that!

Moored up in Ramgate with a moody night sky
Having been a little unsettled in my tummy on the sail I was now ready for some good food ashore but not before we popped in to the rather salubrious Temple Yacht club founded in London originally in 1857 but later moved in 1885 to Ramsgate.

Yachting silver ware at Temple Yacht Club

Bad weather and drama 

Paying the friendly harbour master our berthing fees, he told us that the forecast for the next day was for rough winds and that were we going to instead enjoy time ashore and not leave the next day.  'We don't like heros here, ' he said.  John mumbled something about the wind again being in the right direction and that our boat had sailed more miles than most in extremely strong winds that he was sure it would be fine.  [At this point maybe I should point out that John is very qualified both in academia of sailing  and in practice a sailor even winning Yachtsman of the year some years ago, presented by HRH Princess Anne, so he knows what he is about]

Leaving Ramsgate


See the rain in the distance?
The wind did indeed pick up and was gusting a force 7, one below a gale, but the good ship lapped it up and the sail was great, not as fast as the day before but it was a brilliant day sailing.  We were not alone this time as there were another 2 sailing boats out at sea.  Sailing across the Thames estuary means there are no bolt holes once you leave Ramsgate, there is no where to to go and one just has to continue.  Turning round really was not an option on this day with such strong winds and with the tide against us had we turned, we literally would have been going backwards by a knot or two, so forward we had to go and enjoyed the sail until that was ...


At 9am my daughter rang in tears not able to get out of bed the pain was too excruciating in her back. This is not the type of call you want when at sea with no bolt hole to make landfall at.  It was also quite incredible that I had mobile reception at this point.  Being out at sea and more than 10 miles from land, it was quite by chance all reception was working.  Calling a village friend who was on stand by for the weekend at just after 9am, I sheepishly asked her if she could pop over and see what the situation was like, telling her that I may loose mobile signal and that whatever she needed to do she had my permission!!  Tense times on the boat in the high winds I can tell you.

It turns out they needed to call NHS direct, who did not like what they were hearing and sent a paramedic round immediately.  I cannot fault the NHS system, all was incredible by all accounts and the paramedic stayed at our house with Ella for over an hour.

To cut a long story short she was put on a meningitis watch as she had all bar two of the symptoms!  I just could not wait to get into land and home to my girl.

At some points you could not distinguish the sky from the sea

Murky weather

Suddenly all clear now just need to dodge the wind
farms that are scattered all overt the Thames estuary

Muddy east coast water


 My husband has several forecast apps on his iPad and googles the weather constantly from about 10 days before we set sail and then daily until we depart.  We joke in our household that he searches until he finds one that he likes.  The forecasts really do vary that much!

A good look out is always needed for other shipping,
especially in bad weather conditions,
we are so small we might not be seen

Once safely ashore, John googled the Met Office off shore water weather page and found that there were severe wind weather warnings around much of the UK on Sunday.  We sailed from area 6 to 5, so all red warnings for us.  When asked why he looked now and not before we set sail on our 10 hour sailing journey, he replied that this particular forecast keeps most sailors in dock as they are nearly always scary.  John asked if at anytime I felt the boat or the conditions were unsafe and I had to admit that I did not, infact I thought the boat loved the conditions.  'There you are,' he said, 'that's why I don't bother with this forecast...'

Season sailing complete

So our season of sailing has come to an end and Brimble is now safely tucked up on the east coast, waiting for her major refurbishment.  She is going to be pampered and looked after and made safe to continue to be sailed hard for the next twenty or so years, she's not bad for an old girl of 44

Sunset on the east coast


Blue skies in October

Until next season Brimble

As to Ella, she has not got the meningitis strain, we don't think, she was not allowed to travel to Italy with her Grandfather yesterday, doctor's orders and in fact Ella admitted that she is so wiped out that it would have been impossible.  Since Sunday she has spent most hours asleep in bed and not well. Today we have been told we still need to keep an eye on her and although she seems better, it could spike it's ugly head again.  I'm wishing her better all the time.

Joining in with    Amy  today, sharing my 5 moments from last week end, 
do pop over and see what others are sharing.

 Wishing Ella better  

Just for Fun

October 14th

Thought I would mix it up a bit today and have put in my 5 latest makes, dare I mention the
C word?

As we are still only in October, I will not share with you what I have been making fully but instead give you a glimpse of some of my makes for December blog posts.  Can you guess what any of them are, some easier than others.  I would love to know what you come up with.  Have you any suggestions about good Christmas makes?  I am a girl who prefers quick makes but not adverse to something more substantial either... so without further ado, join in on  Guess the Make Quiz: 

This one has prompted a few ideas on IG, what do you think it is?

Photographed whilst incomplete, but can you hazard
a guess as to what it ended up as?

A close up of a knitted make

This one is too easy surely, but what is the design?

Mostly in shadow here, what is it?

Joining in with Amy
Sharing my Quiz of Five
Pop over & see what others are sharing

♥  Have you begun with any Christmas preparations yet?   ♥

It's a Russian thing (Part 2)

October 11th  

Church of the Spilled Blood
The church of the spilled blood as we have come to know it was my favourite building in St Petersburg.  Tucked away and just seen from the main 'street' of the city, it was everything I had imagined it to be but so much more.

It was on this spot that after several failed attempts that Alexander II was finally assassinated in 1881 by a bomb thrown at his carriage.  Revolutionaries were to blame.  His son decided that a church in his father's name should be erected on the spot where he was fatally wounded and so construction began with the church being completed in 1883.  

The impressive 'onion' domes rising to a height of 81 meters were designed to stop snow settling on them and would just fall away has become an iconic building of Russia.  Designed by the best and most prominent artists of the time, the internal 7500 square meters of mosaics are said to be the largest collection in the world.  And they do not disappoint.

Onion domes

Everything you see inside is mosaic, these are not painted...


Amazing detail everywhere

Close up of the mosaics

The church has a chequered history in that after the Russian revolution of 1917 it was badly looted and so then used as a warehouse for a theater company!   In 1932 it was closed by the Bolsheviks who were also known to have damaged and destroyed many churches during this period.  During WWII it was further damaged and also used as a temporary morgue.  After several million rubles it was finally reopened in 1997 and is now one of the mist visited places of St Petersburg.

Add caption

It almost has a Gaudi feeling to
it but more controlled in appearance

Attention to detail everywhere
both inside and out

 Russian part 3 and the final installment next week  

A Proud Mamma

October 10th

At home before the race, just a tad nervous
Today Ella, my 17 year old daughter is a tad stiff and is hobbling around, but later on she will sit down and write some thank you letters.   I am a proud mamma on so many different levels I could burst.

Yesterday in beautiful autumnal sunshine she and her band of support runners ran the Oxford half marathon in the name of a local charity The Nasio Trust.  This is the second time in just over two years that Ella has raised as much money as she could for the Nasio trust, having visited Kenya with them she was determined to return and help with life changing projects again.  All money raised will go directly to the projects and nothing else.

At the 11th hour, three of her support runners had to pull out for various reasons and so from a band of 8 runners they were reduced to five.  The others were sorely missed but it did not dampen the spirits or the money raising efforts.

Ella had hand written some flyers and had them printed and between the runners they handed these out along the route, thus adding to their overall running time as well as waiting 8 minutes for queuing at a toilet stop!  Two of the runners, Ella and Phil from The Twisted Yarn had not run a half marathon before and looked to me (a non runner) to breeze the race.  The day for spectators and runners alike was fantastic, the atmosphere was supportive and it was so busy, 10,000 runners in Oxford plus all of us watching too.  Heaving but fun.  Ella said it was great handing out the flyers and everyone was so receptive and friendly.

So to those of you who wished her well, donated to her page, it's still not too late: Ella's fund raising page , (she will update this in due course with photos from the race and from Kenya over the coming weeks and months, so do pop back) and helped her in any way shape or form, I thank you from the bottom of my very proud heart.


Near the start of the race and already handing out flyers

Mile 9

A lot of bananas were consumed
at the end of the race

Oxford in the October sunshine

Ella and her support team of runners having completed the half marathon

The total she has raised including off and online money is a tad over £1660
but she is still trying to push that up a notch.  What a wonderful result, 
again to those of you who helped or may yet help, I say:   THANK YOU.