Sunday, 31 December 2017

Happy New Year..

Happy New year to you.I hope 2018 is a good one for you.My OH and I sat down this afternoon and talked about 2017.We concluded it had been good.Certain health problems in the family seem to be settling and both OH andI have been well and we decided that was the main thing.We have had some lovely holidays,managed to get the family together three times(no mean feat) and generally enjoyed life.I have made contributions to some new charities(Lend with Care and Share Aid).
I intend to learn how to put photos on here more easily and to blog more.We start 2018 with a. Visit for the day from our daughter,son in law ,two granddaughters and of course Kodi the dog.Lots of love and laughter.

I would love it if you just gave me a "hi" to show you have read this.I know a lot of you do but I don't know who you are.LOL Barbarax

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Happy Christmas!

We are spending Christmas with our daughter and family.We see our son one year and daughter the next.Sarah only lives 45 minutes away so that is good.Matt is spending Christmas with his wife's family in Sclotland.Jude has three sisters so they rent a different property each year big enough to accommodate everyone.So this year they were travelling from Cambridge to Scotland,about seven hours or even eight.We are about half way so they split the journey and spent Thursday night here.They arrived early afternoon in time for us to have a walk.Then early evening Sarah and family came over and the eleven of us went out for a meal. (with one gluten free and one vegetarian a much easier option).Also I wanted to spend time with them and not in the kitchen.Getting the whole family together is really special for me and we had a lovely time.So off to Northwich tomorrow for two nights and then back home and a quiet few days..


Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Are you ready for Christmas or .......

Well ,the snow has gone and it actually quite mild today and it looks as though the weather is going to be OK over Christmas.We are going to our daughter's on Christmas Eve and staying two nights so no catering for me.Having done Xmas for so many years it is quite nice not to have the responsibility for it.
At the weekend we had Ruby and Emily to stay.Ruby had had a tummy bug so I was a bit nervous we might catch it but we seem to be OK.On Saturday afternoon we went to the pantomime at Theatr Clwyd.Sleeping Beauty this year.There was a cast of 11 and it seemed like a cast of 30 as they all played different parts and different instruments.So much talent and they probably get paid next to nothing.Then in the evening it was the final of Strictly Come Dancing and Joe won.Hurray!!
This morning it was our Art Appreciation Group(U3A).The speaker's topic was Art you can see inAmsterdam which was a reminder to us of the wonderful art in this city and made us want to visit again soon.

Does anybody else feel a touch of sadness at this time of the year for people who are lonely,hungry ,homeless etc.I was talking to a chap this morning who has lost his wife and his two daughters.He will be on his own this Christmas.If we were at home I would have invited him here.I did drop hints to various people so hopefully someone will offer him some company.This year I have given my fuel allowance to be divided between a charity that supports refugees and also the homeless in Chester and the rest I shall give to the Foodbank after Christmas when I expect donations will dry up.

Back soon but still no photos.I must learn how to transfer photos from my phone(android) on to this blog.Any help would be appreciated.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

SNow,snow and more snow.

I can't load photos at the moment but we have had loads of snow.It started on Friday,a bit on Saturday  and today it had never stopped.It is my OH's birthday tomorrow and I had booked two nights in a hotel in Kendal in the Lake District going today.We planned to have lunch with Sarah and family and then go off from there.The forecast was dire so we decided not to go today and hopefully will go in the morning.It is about two hours drive from here so we can include a drive round the Lake District and go the hotel late afternoon.I have booked a table at a French Bistro in Kendal for tomorrow night so fingers crossed we get there.A snow plough/gritters has just been down our road but it seems to have piled snow up across the drive.Tonight it is going to go down to -7 degrees!!! whether we can get the car out tomorrow is another question!!!!

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Ruby was 10 this week.

Yes.Ruby was ten this week.All five of our grandchildren are in double figures.Two are taller than me and one the same height.Where has all the time gone?Ruby,sat on my knee, had chosen a Chinese restaurant for her birthday treat and this photo was taken there.The food was wonderful but far too much of it.It was very happy occasion.
We love seeing these girls every week.We pick Ruby up from school.Emily walks home from Secondary school herself.We then stay until Mum or Dad comes home and we usually do tea.We don't see our Cambridge grandchildren very often,usually every couple of months.The time will soon come when they don't need looking after.I dread that!
Apart from birthdays what have I been upto.Christmas shopping is coming along nicely with the helpof Amazon.WE went to the theatre to see Not about Heroes.It was a two hander about the war poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon.It was excellent.We have seen the film Victoria and Abdul which we really enjoyed.I had Reading Group on Thursday.We discussed Sashenka by Simon Montefiore.600 pages long and lots of Russian names.It was Quiz night last night.We didn't do very well.Still,it gets us out and about and mixing with people.
I have finished my second sweater this afternoon,the olive green one.Now to start the rust coloured on.e.Photos soon.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

A lovely weekend.

last weekend we had our family get together.We all met up for a pub lunch in Tutbury.It was mid afternoon before we moved off.C and I had spotted an adventure playground that was suitable for older children so this is where we headed.Matt and Jude walked their dog,Ozzy,by the river Dove and we stayed with Sarah and Mike,their two children and Matt's three.We are 11 in all ranging in age from Ruby at 9 and Grandpa at 75.The rain started about 4 pm so we went and booked in at our hotel.This was  The Boars Head at Draycott in the Clay about 9 miles from Ashbourne in Derbyshire.This a great venue as they have a lounge for residents which is great for us.Before and after dinner we played various games and battered and joked etc.There is always a lot of laughter when we get together.Sunday morning we went to Sudbury Museum of Childhood before heading off in different directions.We decided to have circuitous drive home going via Matlock,Bakewell Buxton and Congleton and then back home to N.E.Wales.To be honest we were a little disappointed with the scenery but living in North Wales we are spoiled.

this weekend is another busy one.This morning we met four friends for coffee and this afternoon we have been to the cinema to see God's Own Country.Pizza for tea and then Strictly Come Dancing.Tomorrow it is Open Day at Theatr Clwyd and as I have never been backstage I really fancy going.(We usually clean on a Sumday morning but it can wait).Tomorrow afternoon we are going to Ness Gardens where there is a free lecture on Parkgate(on the Wirral).It is a fascinating place where we often walk and then have lunch.Monday I am meeting a friend for coffee.Cis at his French group.Tuesday morning one of our closest friends is giving a talk on Artists from St Ives in Cornwall for our U3A Art Appreciation Group and then we are at the cinema again at 5pm to see Victoria and Abdul.Thursday back at Theatr Clwyd( where the Film Theatre is) to see The Rise and Fall of Little Voice!!

When am I going to find any time to knit???!!!!

Friday, 6 October 2017

One jumper down.....two to go.

 I finished this jumperyesterday.It is a nice easy pattern to do watching TV.
 I put this photo in to show the cable pattern on the cuffs and it is round the neck as well but it has not really worked.
Feeling flush with my success I decided I would make another jumper.Recently opened about twenty minutes away is the online supplier smdknitting www.knitting only do they do online they have a shop as well.You will all know how difficult it is choosing yarn on line.The colours are never true.So,along I go with the intention of choosing one of the above but of course I couldn't decide so bought both!!Plus some very fetching yarn in the counter for a shawl.Cinnamon and olive are the two colours/So I am going to be kepy busy.

I have not blogged for a while because we have been away.We had a week self catering in Northern France and then an all inclusive week in Spain.I much preferred France.It was too hot in Spain and we ate and drank too much.As you can see fro my photo I put on weight and I can't shift it.I am feeling a bit sorry for myself at the moment but am hoping a day with my family tomorrow will cheer me up.We are meeting near Ashbourne in Derbyshire at lunchtime and then having a night in an hotel.Matt and his family are coming from Cambridge,Sarah and family from Cheshire and us from North Wales.Eleven of us all together.It doesn't happen very often.I will report back on Monday.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Two finished projects......well almost!!!

 I have so much yarn I decided I needed to do something.I was visiting Helsies Happenings blog and she pictured a blanket she had made.I loved the design but it is Helsies!!It is very effective.Not finished because I need to do a border.What am I going to do with it?Keep it but donate another four blankets made in the past,to a Syrian project.
This is finished .A shawlette which can be worn as a shawl or tied round the back to make a shrug.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Hurricane Irma

What a dreadful situation in the Caribbean and now in Florida.Our son worked in the British Virgin Islands for a year and we went out to visit him.Beautiful islands and now a scene of devastation.We went to an island called Jost van Dyke.Foxy had a shack and he would sing calypso to you.I lay on the beach in a hammock next to the turquoise with a glass of proper lemonade just listen
Ing to the sea.For a long time afterwards,and still do,if I can't sleep I imagine I am lying in that hammock.I found photos yesterday and the damage is terrible.All the islands and others like Barbuda rely on tourism.What is going to happen now.Because our son worked in Road Town on Tortola we used to mix with the locals in the evening.Lovely,lovely people.
I think,perhaps,if you have been to the place affected it seems more real.I have been really very sad this weekend and it is now hitting Florida .I follow Meredith's blog and keep wondering how she and her family are in Florida.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Family and a week inFrance.

 We had a lovely time with our family in Cambridge.It was great to spend time with the grandchildren.We saw Angus playing football as part of his Norwich City training and were delighted when he was awarded Player of the Week.I think I cheered a little too loudly!!We also spent time with Ella and Finlay(both taller than me now).We played cards,table tennis and just chatted.Great.
 From Cambridge we went to Folkstone and caught the train to Calais.Euro Tunnel is so slick.We had hired a gite and these are photos of where it was situated.Very peaceful.Not a sound to be heard.
 We had a day in Belgium looking at World War  1 things mainly in Ypres.This is a photo of the Menin Gate.It is dedicated to British and Commonwealth soldiers and whose graves are unknown.
From Ypres we went to Tyne Cot cemetery.It is the largest cemetery for Commonwealth forces in the world and is avery sober and moving experience.There are 11,965 buried here of which 8,000 are unnamed.We then visited the Passchendale Museum.Dugouts and trenches had been re created.

As I said a very moving experience.We are back home now and doing our normal things.Off ,this afternoon ,tp ick Ruby up from school and wait for Emily to come in from Secondary school.

Hope you are all well and do popin just to say "Hello".Love Barbaraxx

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Making decisions!

As I get older I am finding it harder to make decisions.I have never been very decisive but find now that I dilly and dally.For example.We are going to spend two nights in Cambridge this week where our son and family love,en route to a week in Northern France .Do we stay with Matt?Do we book into the Premier Inn ?If we stay with them Fin has to move out of his room into a bunk bed with Angus.He only has a double bed and we are used to king size.Both C and myself always need the toilet in the night plus I have a tickle cough.Will we disturb everyone?Decisions,decisions.Eventually I decided Premier Inn wins.We get a better sleep and no one gets disturbed .
DO you find t difficult to be decisive.This is just one small example of my indecision.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

What a busy few days!

Monday morning saw our daughter and her two daughters arrive in Mold-chez nous- for two nights.We soon set off for Llangollen going via the Horseshoe Passwhich is pretty spectacular.Into Llangollen ,visited the Wharf ,a World Heritage site, then the Art Exhibition,lunch overlooking the River Dee and then onto Froncysyllte Aqueduct.This is the tallest navigable aqueduct in the world!!After that we called at Valle Crucis Abbey and then home to recover.
Tuesday saw us off to Conway.C,Sarah,Emily and Ruby walked the walls,another WH site,looked at Edward the Firsts Conway castle,went in the Smallest House in GB,home via Llandudno and then out to eat at night.
Wednesday was a walk around our local market,a quick lunch and then off to try and find Emily school shoes.She is 12 and I can remember this when Sarah was 12.She kept saying "sorry Mum" for what she put me through!We failed and S ended up going into Chester to Schuh where she was successful.
Today.A level results.As some of you know our eldest granddaughter has had a difficult nine months suffering from depression etc.At one point we didn't think she would even do her A levels but she did and she got 3 As and 1C and has had her place at Manchester University confirmed for Sept 2018.She is having a year out ,working to earn some money and do some travelling.Phew ,what a relief.Plus, the bonus is that she will only be an hour away from us so we will,hopefully,see a lot more of her.Now she is four hours away.She is going to do American Studies.

I shall sleep well tonight.!!!

Thursday, 10 August 2017

The Last Two Days.

yesterday we had nothing fixed in our diaries so decided a trip and lunch out was needed.We went to West Kirby on the Wirral and walked round the marine lake.lots going on as it is the school hilidays.canoeing lessons,sailing,children crabbing and lots of people out walking.A breath of sea air does you good.Lunch was at the Cottage Loaf at Thurstaton.Home and a little nap.
I subscribe to a magazine called New Books.Paperbacks are reviewed and some are always on offer for free.You just pay the postage so I ordered three.Tin Man by Sarah Winman,The Returning tide by Liz Fenwick and Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore.
Today I had nothing fixed but C had a hospital appointment.Two years ago he was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and is on medication for it.This involves monthly blood tests before they issue the prescription.Last month all his readings were up and he was a bit worried about it.However,he was reassured today that they are fine.He hasn't had a flare up since diagnosis.Fingers crossed that continues because the pain is awful.
Our daughter and two granddaughters are coming to stay next week for a couple of nights.I decided the bedding needed freshening up so have done numerous loads of washing which has dried outside and is now back on the beds smelling lovely.I finished my Reading Group book sat in the sunshine ( yes,we actually had some sun!!),having a chilled glass of rose.I think I deserved after all that washing.The book was Heartburn by Nora Ephron.It was supposed to be really funny but I wasn't amused.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Do you know any 9 and 12 year old who would like to write to my granddaughters?

Ruby is nine and has discovered she likes writing letters tp people.I was telling her that a number of years ago I had lots of pe friends around the World.I got into to it through International Penfriends which was an organisation based in Dublin.The idea was to promote international goodwill.It was a great hobby and I still keep in touch with most of them,usually at Christmas with a catch up letter.
Ruby is nine.Her sister is Emily  and she is twelve.If you know anyone who is interested you can email me at

We met up with the girls and Sarah for coffee this morning.This afternoon we went to our Science Group. two short talks.One about Physics which was way above my head!We have a cup of tea afterwards so it is a nice social event as well.

Guess what? it is pouring down again.We really havn't had a summer.We are off to France in two weeks time and are also grabbing a week in Spain in September.Watch us hit a bad week there!!

Monday, 7 August 2017

Bits and bobs.

This morning saw me going to my Social History Group which meets once a month.Today the talk wason the History of the Royal Mail from Henry VIII s time.We are just off the route that was taken from London to Holyhead from 1795 to 1808.Northop was a Post.The coach stopped there .The post was collected and off they went.In ten miles they will change the horses.All the way from London the horses are regularly changed.When they get to Conway everyone gets off the coach and ferries across the river and then picks up another coach.It wasn't until 1826 when Thomas Telford built his bridges that they could get across the water safely.We take everything for granted today but it was so difficult in the past.An interesting talk.
Over the weekend I did some sorting out in my craft room.I have so much wool.I was ruthless and this afternoon went to the British Heart Foundation charity shop to see if they wanted it.They were delighted.
Back to a bit of pootling in the garden,filling bird feeders ,clearing the pond and a bit of weeding.Just done a bit of shawl knitting and am about to watch some TV crocheting some squares with more left over wool.Mindless stuff that I can do watching TV.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

What happened to yesterday?

I was supposed to blog every day but forgot yesterday!Not a good start!
this weekend it is the North Wales Blues and Soul Festival in our little town,in fact it is about 100 yards from our house.This was very nice on Friday,not so bad yesterday but I think today I have had enough of all the noise and it is poring down so  I feel very sorry for the organisers.Yesterday we met friends for coffee( how long can you make a cup of coffee last) and had a good old natter.I spent £24 on yarn at our local Yarn O'Clock shop.I like to support local concerns but it is expensive.I bought some lace weight and some 4 ply.One of my closest friends has a birthday in October so I want to make her a crescent shaped shawl.I have two different patterns and the two yarns.Decisions .Decisions.
our eldest granddaughter is 18 today.They are on holiday in the USA and are in Yosemite National Park at the moment.We have just managed to speak to her and she was really pleased with her presents- a Welsh gold bracelet,perfume,a book with paintings of Cambridge where they live plus other little things.Phew ,she liked them.

back tomorrow.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Daily blog

I don't ,at the moment ,seem able to put photos on my blog so I have decided I will give you a glimpse of my day to day life.

To start, Abit of a reminder about me.I live in a small market town in North East Wales UK.I have two children ,five grandchildren and a husband.

I have lots of hobbies,knitting ,crochet (not very good at this as I am left handed!) reading, theatre, coffee with friends,loads of U3A groups etc.

Today,I met my best friend for a cup of tea and a toastedteacakein a local coffee shop.She has just had three days in London and had loads to talk about,visits to the Houses of Parliament,Globe theatre ,Claridges ,The Ivy etc.This afternoon OH and me had a 30 minute drive to the coast at Colwyn Bay.The tide was coming in but it was a bit cold but we still had a Magnum Almond Ice cream!!

Thursday, 6 July 2017

games you played with your children

Through the Keyhole has done a blogpost on books you read to your children.It is really interesting and I wondered which games you played with your children.We .have grandchildren and so we are revisiting games from our children which we have kept.Yesterday we were playing Game of Life.Recently we have played Cluedo and Taxi.Our oldest games were Picture Pairs and The House that Jack Built.

How about you?

Friday, 30 June 2017

I still can't load photos so how about a "round tuit"

have you got a "round tuit".I have loads.

I will sell/ give away my wedding outfits from my children's weddings (12 and 20 years ago!)
I will lose some weight.
I will stop buying yarn/wool.
I will phone friends I havn'tspokentofor ages.
I will walk more and not just get in the car.
I will get more computer savvy so I know how to load photos and deal with problems.
I will drink less wine.
I will read more.

How about you?
Do you you have "roundtoit" and where do you keep it!!!!!

Sunday, 25 June 2017

A week in France.

 On our way to France from our home in \North Wales we stopped in Cambridge to see our son and family.Angus was off to ||Scout camp.Just look at that rucksack.He could hardly walk with it on his back!!
Saturday morning saw us heading for Folkstone and Eurotunnel.We only had a 90 minute drive to St Valery sur Somme where we were staying for the week.
 It is from here that William the Conqueror sailed on his way to Hastings in 1066.It is a lovely little town with a medieval quarter and also a fishermans quarter.All very picturesque.
This is the cottae we rented for the week in a village called Saint Blimont,a six minute drive from St Valery.We had beautiful weather and we did a lot of sitting in the garden and reading and me doing my Elizabeth Bradley tapestry bell pull.
I read three books
While My Eyes Were Closed by Linda Green.
From the Heart by Susan Hill.
The Girls by Lisa Jewell.

I have loads more photos to share with you but my computer is refusing to load them.It says files are full so for now this is it.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Latest finished project.

 This is an easy pattern to knit/It is Knitspot Summer Fun Sock.As it says a great one for summr.

 I have started another summery one.
This is the yarn I am using.

How are you all?We have had my brother in law staying.He lives in Kenya but came over to see family and friends.Very tired now he has gone back.Hopefully off to Southern Scotland for a few days next week.
What a dreadful week it has been here in the UK.We are less than hour from Manchester,our daughter a lot closer.Many of her friends and colleagues have been affected and lost loved ones.Truly awful and so unnecessary.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Blogger cut off the photo

Just found this

My brother in law is staying with us at the moment.He lives in Kenya but is over here for two weeks.On Friday afternoon my OH and Paul started talking about their late parents.Paul is 11 years younger than my OH.C knew his Dad had driven an ambulance in WW2 and that he had gone to Belsen when it was liberated.He never talked about it to C.Paul said that his Dad many years ago, had got out an atlas and drawn on where he went in the war.We realised we had this atlas(C's old school atlas)When we found it and looked inside this what we saw.It has been in our bookcase for many,many years and we didn't realise this personal information about his father in the war was there to look at.All the places he had been to were circled ,including the Normandy landings..What an amazing piece of social history.My father in law must have seen horrendous images which must have stayed with him for the rest of his life.No wonder he wouldn't talk about it.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to everyone.A quiet one for us.Hope you are all having a lovely day.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Vintage knitting

 Gina on Fan my Flame blog posted a photo of her wearing a top she had made years ago.This got me thinking.I dug out this tank top,a Kaffe Fassett kit that I made a long time ago.I can't bear to p art with it.I made it,I think,when Matt was in iniversity and he is 46 now.
I still fit into it!Perhaps I should start wearing it again.

Have you any knitting/crochet that you treasure from the past?

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

A trip into London.

 For our anniversary in December our children bought us a visit to London.friday night we stayed at our son's in Cambridge.saturday morning saw us taking the traininto London(after watching grandson,Angus,play football.After checking into our hotel we strolled to the National Gallery which was only a five minute walk.We also visited the National Portrait Gallery.
 Saturday evening they had bought us tickets to Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? starring Imelda Staunton.It was brilliant and has got 5* reviews in all the papers.
 On Sunday I had booked us tickets to go the Hockney exhibition at Tate Britain.Again are some of the pictures we saw.Photography was not allowed so these are from the book.
          "Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy"
                                         "A Bigger Splash"
                                           "Red Pots in the Garden"
                                          "Woldgate Woods"Oil paint on 6 canvases.
"Hawthorn Blossom" 

                                         "Mother,Bradford" 1978
                                         The children had also bought us tickets to this exhibition at the National Gallery.This featured Arthur Streeton,Tom Roberts,John Russell and Charles Conder.
                                          "Golden Summer" by Arthur Streeton.1889
                                         "Cruach en Mahr" by John Russell.1905
                                         "A Holiday at Mentone"by Charles Conder.1888.
A great weekend with lots of treats.We used taxis instead of the Tube as Charles has a slipped disc.
Back to Cambridge for Sunday night and then backhome to north wales on Monday morning.
Do try and see the was amazing.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

My latest finished project.

My latest finished project is the Begonia Swirl Shawl.The pattern is available free on Ravelry.The darker bit in the photograph is where it is doubled over.I used Geraint Lace Weight from Triskelion Yarn.It really is quite an easy pattern and is very effective when finished.It has only taken me a couple of weeks and I only knit in the evening.

Last weekwe went to see "LaLa Land " at the cinema.Have you seen it and what did you think.Tomorrow we are hoping to go and see "Lion"

Friday, 13 January 2017

Only four nights at home in the last three weeks!!!

No photos with this post.We have been really busy.December 23rd saw us going to Cambridge to spend four nights with our son,wife and three of our grandchildren.Home for two nights then off to Sudbury near Ashbourne in Derbyshire for our wedding anniversary.Our Golden Wedding!!I can't believe C and I have been married for 50 years.50 years!!!We had a lovely day and evening with our children and grandchildren.We started off as two and now we are eleven.A little bit of us in nine of them.Home for two nights and then off to Lanzarote for ten days..We had great weather and had a thoroughly lazy time after a busy time over Xmas.We arrived back into Manchester airprt last night and had a horrendous drive home in a blizzard.We couldn't see the white lines on the motorway.What a shock change in temperature.The celebrations don't stop there because it is my birthday on Monday!!

I am ready for a nice stay at home now.No desire to travel anywhere for a while.

12 Days of Xmas swap.

This is my lovely haul from Selma.I feel a little bit guilty because I stuck to the rules and stayed within the monetary limit.Selma spoiled me rotten.I may have to do a little "extra".Watch this space.I am sorry I havn't posted earlier about this because we have been away.(See my other post)