My faith in cities has been restored a little! I’m in Kingston Upon Thames which is technically Surrey but feels pretty much like London. There are red double decker buses everywhere. The traffic seems to be constant night and day. It was too warm last night and I had to get up in the small hours and get some air from the window. We are three floors up so there is a good view of the city below and beyond. I was really surprised to see people, buses and cars at this hour.
We arrived yesterday and M had a little time to show me a few places he already knew, mainly of the food and coffee variety but I wasn’t complaining, I had the best flat white I’ve ever tasted just round the corner so I’ll be making another visit there today. M has headed into central London for an all day job. I could have gone too but Kingston seems like a much better option.
Outdoor food markets seem to be a given for most cities now and there’s a nicely built one here with wooden stalls and smart gazebos. I don’t want to offend anyone from Bristol because I may have been unaware of a refuse collection strike of some sort but here the rubbish gets bagged up properly at the end of the day and taken away. In Bristol there seems to be a collection of two or three industrial sized bins on every street corner. During the three days we were there they weren’t emptied and the amount of food waste overflowing on to the paths was quite disgusting. Great for vermin I would have thought too.
The city photo was taken at about 3pm yesterday and shortly after it got quite eerie and dark. The sky was already a strange yellow brown colour and then it went very sepia for a while. It seemed to blow over because there was no rain or anything that you’d expect with sudden darkness. A lot of people were taking photos of the sky with their phones.
M and I settled in the window seats of the coffee bar he’d been to before and watched people going by. It was really fascinating because life here is so different to the sleepy town we live close to. I mentioned where we were to Mum and was surprised to learn that my Dad played in a band in a pub here on Friday nights. Of course I had to share this amazing fact with E and J who may or may not have had vague knowledge of Grandad once being a drummer. They were pretty impressed and once again, my parents are so much cooler than I ever was!
Naturally I’ve brought along some crochet. The doll is now looking much more human with two arms and two legs. She’s even got an item of clothing, two hats and a scarf in progress. I’ll be looking out for a box or something to keep her and all the bits together. I’ve found that for some of the clothes it comes up rather stiff and tight if you use the same hook as for the body. I’ve scaled up half or a whole size in hooks and then adjusted trouser lengths as I go. It would probably make life easier just sticking to the guidelines but in my case I particularly wanted baggy dungarees. I’ll do some photos when I’m back at home to explain this better. Using merino instead of wool is a good tip if you want a bit of extra give. I made one hat in wool and it was a bit stiff and heavy. I made a second in merino and it’s much softer and stretchier.
I posted the above hat to E at uni. We had discussed a stripey hat and then got sidetracked with a nice post treble design that I made in tweed green. I’m a sucker for a well written pattern or a nicely styled photo and then often find it doesn’t make what I had in mind. With this chunky scrap yarn hat I closed the books and my iPad and just started making the hat and it ended up being what I wanted in the first place. I’ve got enough chunky bits and bobs to make another for myself and several for the clothing drop box they put next to one of the churches in our town for homeless people to help themselves to when it starts to get cold. I put some thick, warm hand knitted hats in there last year. Stash busting and a good cause, a win win.