Spring has sprung! J is still in the middle of his two week Easter break and E is having an extended Easter holiday at home which is nice. She’s fitting in a few days work at her old job at the children’s farm near here. Extra income is always useful for student life. There’s a bit of studying going on too, E being the ‘tackle it nice and early’ type and J being the ‘cram it all in at the last minute type’.
Jersey was wonderful. I was picked for a random frisk again. Why me? Honestly, M looks far dodgier than I do! Thankfully the Jersey airport staff read my ‘I really am fed up with random frisks face’ and left me alone. They are a lovely bunch.
The weather was much milder than our last visit. I did a lot of wandering around on my own, found some new places to have coffee and homemade soup (The Lovin’ Spoonful I think one of them was called, great for soup and sandwiches!)
M had a free afternoon and we took a bus ride round to St. Brelades Bay. It was just right for a romantic stroll along the beach, collecting sea glass and then quickly darting into the nearest warm hotel coffee bar when the wind turned cooler. We did the British thing and had a pot of tea and watched a few brave kids run around barefoot with buckets and spades. It had a lovely French feel about it, similar to some of the bays we’ve visited in Brittany.
On one of the afternoons we had expected M to be free he was called away for some extra hours and I was too tired to do anymore walking. I made coffee in our room and spent some time staring out to sea. The view was mesmerising, instead of a harbour view we chose a sea view this time. I think if we’d had a veranda I probably wouldn’t have wanted to leave the room at all. With the nod that a large group of women were just leaving after a two day stay I went down for a swim and ended up having a whole hour in the pool to myself, that really was heavenly, especially with my view of palm trees bending almost double due to high winds. I felt very snug and cosy in the warm water. I did a lot more swimming than I would have normally.
M would like to go back to Jersey again but I’m all for exploring new places and perhaps save Jersey for any future work related visits. There are a few places we’ve talked about for later this year but we’ve also got boring house maintenance to factor in too. Guttering, sheds and a wood burner.
In the meantime M is gradually getting over his recent illness albeit much slower than he would like. I’m using it as an excuse to finally get him to agree on getting tradesmen in to do various jobs that he just won’t be fit enough for this year. We might actually make some progress at long last. He doesn’t know it yet but once he starts an away from home court case soon I plan to tackle the hall and slap some paint about. We tarted it up quickly with white last time but with two constantly muddy dogs going through it wasn’t such a great idea. We’ve got a lovely gun metal grey in the kitchen on one side so I plan to paint the lower half of our hall with something similar and probably with the wipeable variety even though I prefer matt paint. The dogs will be banned from the space while this is underway. They both had white painted tails last time which made excellent paint brushes for every surface they walked past elsewhere in the house!
I picked up the 100th copy of Inside Crochet recently. It was a complete overdose of my least favourite colour, pink. I’ve given most of the freebies to E who has recently discovered the joy of being able to knit a whole hat! One of the patterns inside that wasn’t demonstrated in pink was the Sitka Spruce hat by Kat Goldin. I would have liked to have made it in green but I had the right amount of pure wool in natural silver from my haul last year when we went to Wales (yarn info on my Instagram post). I thought it might be a bit of a nightmare to work with but it was a pleasant surprise. It’s got a lovely hairy thing going on, I’m sure there are technical words for that but it does mean that it’s a devil to frog. Luckily I only needed to do one round of that early on when I clearly wasn’t paying attention. The post trebles make a nice thick hat despite it being only dk. We’ve only had the odd cooler day when I’ve been able to wear it. It’s been so lovey and mild lately. That hasn’t stopped me thinking about making it again in the dark green alpaca I found recently when E and I drove out to a market town about forty minutes from here.
E drove us on this country scenic route through the Lincolnshire Wolds and I managed not to tell her to slow down or grip the side handle too much. I’d much rather be driving I guess but she is a very good driver and it’s easier to chat if she drives because I need to lipread. We intended to browse all of the charity shops but it was a very busy day with the mild weather, school holidays and it was market day too. We didn’t have any lucky finding ‘treasure’ at all, so we went in search of woolly treasure instead. E chose some yarn for a simple scarf, she also bought the ball of mega chunky that came with the two wooden buttons and pattern needed to make the pale grey hat shown above. She knitted it in an evening and was amazed that you could have an end product to wear in such a short amount of time. The joys of mega chunky!
Her second hat was the buccaneer hat which I made myself about two or three years ago but came out rather loose round the brim. Luckily I made some notes in the booklet and we went down a needle size. It still came out a little loose so we reckon we need to lose some stitches if she made another. All this experimenting and discussion has been good for her to get an idea of the sometimes inexact science of patterns. I’ve refrained from comparing knitting to crochet too much because I think she will enjoy knitting for now. She’s currently on her third hat, a simple ribbed beanie for her boyfriend, using dk in a speckled black and white yarn that is probably quite a challenging combination. The pattern is in Erika Knight’s Simple Knitting book and I feel more confident that this will fit well because I’ve previously made a lot of knitted items using her patterns and they’ve all been successful.
We had a lovely family get together on Easter Sunday. It’s like a second Christmas for us, with my brother, sister in law and niece travelling up from London. Mum did a wonderful roast turkey dinner. Little E carried on the tradition of hunting for Easter eggs in Mum and Dad’s back garden. They won’t mind me mentioning that although they have buckets of energy and all their marbles they were worried about hiding Lindt mini bunnies and eggs and forgetting where they were so they made a little map just in case. To be fair I would have had to do the same. It was lovely to see E and J watching Little E walk round with her basket and I reminded them that we had to mark theirs E and J because E was just too good at finding them. It didn’t really matter because J tended to just find two or three and then sit down and make a start on eating them.
Little E loves to dress up and she had a new ballet dress on this occasion. I’ve started a classic ballet wrap cardigan in crochet after sifting through many many designs. It’s got a nice interesting texture which is fairly slow to work up and needs concentration but I think it will be worth it in the end. I managed to find a very soft shell pink yarn which I think is close to the shade of most ballet shoes. E had a very brief ballet career when she was about 3 or 4 and decided it wasn’t for her when they had been doing the same routine for weeks and weeks, I was so glad when that phase was over.
I’ve been really enjoying even the briefest bit of sunshine on our recent dog walks. If it’s just down to me on my own I quite literally wait for the sky to look promising and then quickly, out we go. I only have to raise my eyebrows whilst standing at the kitchen window and they know immediately what is in store. It was nice to have E and M for company on one dog walk. We chose a silly day to go down to the proper nature reserve touristy type place and it was packed with people. Riley went a bit loopy and didn’t really know how to cope with the crowds and all the dogs so we had to lead him through the busiest parts before we could let him run free. He just wanted to play with children, dogs, strangers and he ignored us calling him. He was much happier once we got to a quieter route. Harvey had a good long swim and then carried his stick for a while. He is always focussed on moving at all times, he has no time for small talk.
It was warm enough to wear just a t shirt so I ended up carrying my yellow rain coat but it did mean that M agreed to brave the crowds at our local drive through ice cream farm place on the way home. They make it all on site and it’s pretty good! Today, with M and E back at work and J in his man cave my dog walk was back to the usual muddy fields and no ice cream drive through on the way home! There were a million daffodils though. I’m not entirely sure why a farm field would have so many beside it but they were a lovely sight.