Where have I been?

Oh dear. This has been the longest time between blog posts since I started this blog. I just got so damn busy recently. My temp job got extended for another month but won’t last much longer so I’ve been really pushing myself to apply for other jobs. I must say, the temp job is great but the uncertainty about what’s next is quite a worry.

The other day on the way back from work I stopped in Tesco’s car park and observed this glorious rainbow.

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It lit up a most humdrum scene of cars and shoppers. The photo hardly does it justice: it was a complete rainbow with both sides clear as anything, and it cheered my heart.

The weather has been very wet but mild and we still haven’t had any snow this winter. Now the crocuses are out and even my camellia is showing a bit of flower, so it looks like Spring could be here.  I remember the weeks of snow and ice last year – even on Mother’s day it was a whiteout with a good 10 inches of snow and I was relying on my snow grippers to get me out and about for weeks. How ironic that I didn’t fall over once in all that snow and ice, but instead I managed to fall over in July and break my ankle!  You just never know what’s coming.

All for now,
Til next time,
L x

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Big Changes Ahead

Stressful times at KR. This morning I simply had to get out of the house so I grabbed my bag and keys, and set off walking. I considered walking and walking and walking all day, but after a brisk half-hour I felt calmer. It is unseasonably warm and sunny here, and I turned homewards, thinking of a cup of tea in the garden and some reassurance with the OH.

I have just four more days left in my job of 16 years. My redundancy is going to be paid in tiny monthly instalments, instead of the lump sum I am entitled to, and was counting on, since I have no other job to go to yet.  I have to take my employer to court in order to get the lump sum.  This could take months and will incur costs. Financially, this is a huge worry. In the meantime I have to turn up and do my job, through gritted teeth and with a false smile on my face. I am very sad about this because I have enjoyed this job very much, and I never thought it would end like this.

Still, fingers crossed that I will get another job soon, even if it’s only temporary.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon with a dear friend in the city centre. The sun was shining. We took our picture reflected in these great spherical water features in the Peace Gardens.

Water feature in Sheffield Peace Gardens

Water feature in Sheffield Peace Gardens

Onwards and upwards!

L xx

An Award!

An Award!

An Award!

Jackie at Knittingwithheart has kindly nominated me for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award. Thank you so much Jackie for following my blog and for thinking of me. It’s almost a year since I started this blog and not only is it great fun to be part of an online community, but it also keeps me motivated. I aim to post once a week and I like to be disciplined about that and make sure I have something new to share.

I am loving the beautiful copper sun symbol of this award, and amazingly enough we have had lots of sun here in Sheffield, UK. But this is northern UK sun. So it’s not ever so warm, not warm enough to make you uncomfortable, but pleasantly warm.  Warm enough to have the windows open and to go outside without a jacket or a cardigan. Our sun also hides behind clouds quite a lot and sends us the odd shower, so you don’t really need your sunglasses on because there’s no harsh glare, and the summer rain makes the garden grow, nice and lush.

Ha! I’m such a northern European, eh?

We have lots of trees in our garden so it’s nice and shady, perfect for maintaining my pasty-white northern European features. Sometimes I move my chair to sit in the sun, just for the sheer novelty of feeling its warmth. As for ‘getting a tan’, that’s more likely to happen whilst I’m out and about in the fields walking the dogs.

My shady garden

My shady garden

The round thing on the left is a copper sun garden ornament hanging on the climbing rose – how appropriate for this post!

The roses are just starting and their scent is wonderful.  The honeysuckle is well-established and rampant, covering the entire trellis from wall to wall, and because Spring was so late this year we have honeysuckle at the same time as the roses.

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Competing with the honeysuckle on the trellis and just about holding its own, is my clematis, the gloriously-named Crystal Fountain Fairy Blue.IMG_2664

When the outer petals fade and drop off, the centres stay, leaving us with little puffballs of blue dotted around the trellis.

Also competing with the honeysuckle on the trellis is the rare species known as Little Herb.

View from the kitchen window - Herbie

View from the kitchen window – Herbie

He likes to hang out on the wall with the stone lion, overseeing the garden and plucking bees off the honeysuckle.

But back to the point – the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award nominees. I am very happy to nominate these wonderful and inspirational blogs: Buzy Day, Stitch and Purl, All Kinds of Knitting, Lana Plantae, Agujas Blog, Skyscrapers and String, Measured and Slow, All She Wants to do is Knit, Montana Designs, Hollis Plample, A Tangled Yarn Knitting Adventure, Introverted Knitter, My Spare Moments, Pipknits.

Spread the sunshine, until next time!

L x

The Last of the Snow

Here in Sheffield, UK we are enjoying a glorious weekend of bright sunshine and mild temperatures.  Yet only 4 days ago it was like this:

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I went on a sales trip to Scotland, in some trepidation as to how bad the weather might be further north. To reach the motorway, we have to cross the Pennine Hills. There are two routes across this region: steep, rocky and breathtakingly beautiful hills which pass for mountains around here. The Woodhead Pass was closed, but surprisingly the aptly-named Snake Pass was declared open. At the summit, the road travels across a flat and desolate plateau, and we found it only just passable: covered by a thin layer of snow and  narrowed to a single track. Once safely down from the mountains and back in civilisation, skirting the city of Manchester there was no snow at all. We visited Glasgow, Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy, Dundee and Perth, all completely snow-free, and we were most relieved. Back in Sheffield, next day, another blizzard hit, and despite lots of grit and salt on the roads traffic was at a standstill by five o’clock so once again I walked home trying not to slip over.

It is delightful to at last be able to enjoy some fresh air in the garden and feel the warmth of the sun whilst sweeping up leaves and thinking about doing a spot of pruning. New buds are coming through and I haven’t even dead-headed the hydrangeas yet. It has certainly been a long and snowy winter. I’m looking forward to getting out and about with my dog-walking buddies.

Knitting is on hold at the moment unfortunately. I am waiting to hear from my Uncle about making some oversized double pins for me. He hasn’t actually said ‘no’, so I hope he will be able to say a definite ‘yes’. My pattern is almost perfected and written out, after lots of trial and error and more prototypes than I can remember.  So as soon as I have needles, I will be flying.

In the meantime, I have a nice little project on which is to design and make a set of clothes for my friend’s little girl’s bunny. Mrs Bun-Bun has had all her pink fur cuddled away and she’s looking quite naked. A skirt, a jacket and a hat are needed to restore dignity.

Till next time,

L x