Showing posts with label Not Knitting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Not Knitting. Show all posts

Friday, 17 July 2015

Just for a change...A Few Shots of Cycling Paraphernalia


Charity bike ride training weekend, Friends of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment

It happened to be a sunny day in Kent and I had the pleasure of meeting the Tigers during their training weekend in Canterbury. They appear to be rather fond of their kit. 

To find out more, follow them on Twitter: #Tigersr2r /  and here.

Here are my impressions of the day: 

Monday, 25 May 2015

Kent Local Elections 2015: The Curious Case of the Missing Ballot Paper

Now that the dust on the UK General Elections 2015 is settling and we are slowly getting used to the idea of another five years of unfettered Tory rule, it's time to start turning our attention to the handling of election logistics in the county of Kent.


More here.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Damson Jam Recipe

Back in September, I promised to publish my recipe for damson jam. Nearly six months later, I finally managed to find the time to write it up: 




Saturday, 31 January 2015

Beetroot, Carrot and Apple Salad

I fell in love with beetroot and carrot salad, when I tried this combination in a café in Bloomsbury, just a short walk away from the British Library.


Beetroot, Apple and Carrot Salad


Sunday, 11 January 2015

Tidying Up The Knitting Cupboard

Sifting through my yarn stash, organising knitting needles, taking stock of (un-) finished projects and being amused by my (neglected) collection of vintage knitting patterns... 

I am, of course, talking about tidying up the knitting cupboard - a vault of treasures.



Saturday, 27 September 2014

Why Knitting for Charity? Why Knitting for Pine Ridge?


The onset of yet another Age UK / Innocent Big Knit campaign prompted me to start reflecting on charity knitting. Perhaps, I should mention that the topic of charitable knitting is vast: Some charity knitters specialise in particular accessories required by hospital patients, those in remission or patients with chronic conditions. Others knit for animal shelters. Some of us also produce custom-made items, clothes for birds after oil spills, for example. I also thought of those knitters, who produce clothing for premature babies and especially those of us, who cast-on for baby burial gowns.

Talking about charity knitting can thus come across as bleak, and this is perhaps one of the reasons why I've so far always refrained from writing about it. After all, this blog is intended to be my creative leisure pad. I'm also aware that knitters generally have strong opinions when it comes to discussions on charitable knitting, with some of us raising the question whether there is a place for charitable knitting in this day and age, given the abundance of mass-produced clothing. 



Badlands, Pine Ridge Reservation, Photo: Patrice Ouellet, more here.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Damn Damsons: Foraging in Kent

I'm the victim of my own frugality. If the opportunity arises, I simply have to forage. The prospect of turning wild-growing, Kentish damsons into jam was just too tempting. 


Wild Kentish Damsons


About 20 minutes of intensive damson harvesting in the more affluent outskirts of Sittingbourne produced roughly 3 kilos of destoned damsons. Despite the presence of gloves in the house, I opted to destone the damsons with my bare hands. (I'm so hardcore.) 


Saturday, 19 July 2014

Dear Pebble, this post is dedicated to you...

...I know it's pretty hot today, but that's no justification for this...





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The Hidden Treasures of Mayfair: Mount Street Gardens

Hidden in the backstreets of northern Mayfair, just off Mount Street and a stone's throw away from the American Embassy, there is an oasis of tropical tranquility right in the heart of London: Mount Street Gardens.

Mount Street Gardens, Mayfair London

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Where the 'Ruling Classes' Hang Out...

Whilst tidying up, I came across an old copy of the Mayfair Times from August 2012, sporting a rather waxy - looking David Lauren on its cover.

David Lauren on the cover of the Mayfair Times, August 2012



For all those not familiar with the publication: Despite being priced up at £3.00, it is freely distributed across Mayfair's neighbourhood. When the usual twenty copies are pushed through the letter box of my office building, I tend to ignore them for the first few days until they eventually get escalated to their special filing cabinet, the recycling bin.   


Sunday, 25 August 2013

Sittingbourne - Sheerness: A ride on the Sheppey Express

As previously mentioned, I planned to visit Sheppey again, that mysterious island off the Kent coast. This time, I took the train and what follows is an account of my journey to Sheerness - on - Sea.

For all those who rely on public transport, getting on to the Isle by train is by far the most convenient method. The Sheppey Express, as I have named it, departs twice hourly from Sittingbourne railway station; and it is here where the journey starts. (Well, I had to come over from Faversham, but no incidents worthwhile reporting occurred during the eight minute ride.)

Upon arrival at Sittingbourne you cross over onto platform three, the platform that is entirely reserved for the train to Sheppey. The train model itself is one of those regional type trains, the ones that are being used across Greater London, the ones with the uncomfy seats, that call at all stations. I'm sure the model has a name, but who needs that kind of technical information in their lives?

The Sheppey Express, awaiting its departure from platform 3 at Sittingbourne


Friday, 16 August 2013

On the eve of boarding the Sheppey Express...


Today's top tip: 

If you feel under the weather, somewhat unhappy or even a little depressed ... Why not head for a location that's even more dreary than the state you are in? Coming face - to - face with all the grotty misery on offer, you will return sufficiently re - charged, and, perhaps, somewhat relieved that at least you can come back to a place that's marginally more inviting than the destination of your trip. If you are looking for a location of this kind, may I suggest a trip to the Isle of Sheppey, situated just off the East Kent Coast?


The Isle of Sheep: Sheepey (or Sceapige in ancient Saxon) 

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Still No German Translation for Ammonite ...or Ammonite in Moonlight Sonata (James C Brett)

I should be renaming this blog into the 'Absent Knitter's Landing Page'. In actual fact, I might just do that in a minute. Considering this rather long period of silence (due to having nothing to report on the knitting front as of late), I may take a while to find the 'knitting voice'...the nice, fluffy me. It's not here at the moment. I lost it on a train between Faversham and Victoria. 

Commuting and knitting. It can be done, but it requires dedication to preparation, meaning you have to be organised at 6:00am in the morning.

So what have I been doing? Reading, mainly. Because that's what one does on a train. Preferably with headphones, so you don't have to witness the human misery around you. Somewhere between Faversham and Victoria I came across some interesting knitting - related trivia...it involves men, knitting and the island of Jersey (Channel Islands):

Men (as I keep telling non - knitters: knitting was the domain of our male brethren before mere females were allowed to engage in it) are apparently prohibited to knit during the fishing season on the Island of Jersey. By law. To this day.


Sunday, 27 May 2012

Inspired by Bluebells





Bluebells between Ashford and Faversham (Kent, UK)


The woods between Ashford and Faversham (Kent, UK) are widely known as bluebell country in the area. Earlier this month we ventured out to have a look at this magical spectacle and took a few pictures.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Pebble's Parasites

In my last post I introduced Pebble, our kitten of approximately fifteen weeks. Here she is again, because a blog of any kind can never have enough pictures of cute kittens:




Pebble went to the Vet's this week for her  vaccinations, chipping and a general check - up, which includes treatment against potential parasites such as fleas, mites and worms.

The vet confirmed that everything was as it should be; and she is a healthy little kitten. So far, so good.


Roundworm


When I cleaned her litter tray the morning after the vet visit, I was greeted by the usual presents. However, over night the worm treatment got to work and she also released the above. 

I do appreciate that not everyone wants to look at poo, but, let's face it, every cat owner will have to do it to ensure that everything is in order with their furry friend.

Without confirmation from the vet, we believe this was a roundworm, which she must have picked up from her mum, as our two other cats don't go out and are routinely treated for / against parasites.

According to our research on the matter, roundworm in kittens is quite common, but also highlights the importance of getting your cat checked out and routinely treated, even if everything appears to be ok and there are no symptoms of infestation. 

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Not Knitting (due to Pebble)


Not much has happened on the knitting front recently. This is mainly due to one factor: Pebble.


Pebble 


Pebble is the most recent addition to the feline division of the household. She joined Pickle and Mietze on 1st September 2011 and ever since we have been busy “managing” her gradual integration. I guess the last few weeks taught us that the introduction of a new kitten into a household with established cats is a slow and gradual process, requiring constant human supervision and, at times, intervention. Whilst there may be examples of instant acceptance of the newcomer by the senior cats, this rarely, if ever, happens.

What’s more, there is no failsafe method and cat owners’ experiences and methods facilitating the integration of the newcomer vary greatly.

Pebble disrupting the weekly clean

Just in case anyone is interested, here is what we did:

Pebble spent her first twenty four hours locked away in our bedroom. (We obviously spent the night with her and paid her numerous visits during the day.) She was equipped with food, water, her very own litter tray and an eclectic selection of toys. Knowing that there was another cat somewhere in the house, both Pickle and Mietze occasionally came up to the bedroom door and a had a good sniff. In the evening of the second day, when we were still living in hope that Pickle and Mietze might just accept the newcomer, we decided to let the cats encounter each other briefly.

Mietze
Mietze hissed, growled, ran away in fear, jumped onto the fridge and spent the best part of the next week sitting on the highest surfaces she could reach. Pickle, though slightly more confident, did much the same. Oblivious to all this, the kitten was just eager to meet both of them. Following the first meeting, we stopped all further face – to – face encounters and only showed the kitten to the adults when it was safely sitting on our arms and only for very short periods.

Whilst I was swapping blankets and toys from room to room to disperse Pebble's smell across the house, Steve built a cat cage (which the cats are now using a a new seating facility). Every evening, we inserted Pebble together with a ping pong ball and let her run wild in her pen for twenty minutes or until she grew tired of being confined. The cage enabled the others to take a closer look without being directly exposed to Pebble; and it gave us piece of mind. If Pickle or Mietze really wanted to take a swipe at Pebble, she was at least not in danger of being injured. Thankfully, the adults only hissed and growled at her but refrained from swiping.

Pickle (during a rare quiet moment)
Another week passed and it was time to abandon the cage and open the bedroom again. This time, one of us sat and played with Pebble whilst the other remained with the adult cats, who were by then interested in watching the little one from a safe distance. A few more sessions of this kind and Pickle eventually ventured towards the kitten. She still hissed at Pebble, but she didn’t overtly threaten her. At this point, we decided to introduce a cardboard box and see whether Pebble and Pickle would start playing with it together. As hoped for, the cardboard box was an ice breaker.

Fast forward a further seven days and the kitten is now spending longer stretches with the big cats. Being the more social of our two senior cats, Pickle is naturally more involved with Pebble, but Mietze is slowly coming to terms with the presence of the kitten. Whilst Mietze makes it abundantly clear that she doesn’t wish to engage in play of any sort, she now seems interested in watching the interaction between Pebble and Pickle.

Pickle and Pebble sharing the coveted kitchen sink
When we are not at home we continue to keep Pebble in the bedroom as she is still quite boisterous. Over a prolonged period of time and without us there to intervene if need be, it might come to clashes, which we are keen to avoid. However, when human company is at hand, Pebble is now roaming freely throughout the house.

Considering that Pebble’s integration into the household has taken us nearly two months and is technically still ongoing, it’s no surprise that my knitting time has been severely curtailed. When I get a precious moment to sit down with a pair of needles and a skein, Pebble excels at disrupting the process. Being a kitten, this was to be expected.

Having said that, I have managed to continue my work on two projects. Both of these are my own designs: a bulky Raglan cardigan and a shawlette. As regards the shawlette, this project only exists as a rough sketch on paper accompanied with a few notes. I am hoping to begin swatching during the upcoming weekend. The Raglan cardigan has progressed a bit further and I am hoping to be able to wear it by mid – November....Pebble permitting.

Raglan Cardigan in Wendy Zena
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