Saturday, 31 July 2010

Saturday Morning Bike Ride

I really can't be bothered this morning!

N starts his "MAAAMMMEEEEEE" wake up call at about 5:30am. I get up and faff around wasting lots of time and eventually leave at 8am completely undecided as to route. It looks like it's going to rain and I've got a cold.

As usual, I do feel better once I'm actually out and on my bike.

Colourful rowan berries and leaves on the tree at our side gate.

I head up through the trees at the top of the hill on the way out of the village - the road I usually take when I can't decide where I'm going!


So green!

I realise my bike computer's not working and stop to check it much to the interest of this lot.

Another green view, another cow.

The gate and tree mound in July.

Some farm paraphanalia. This is where the Vietnamese pot bellied pig and the peacock live. I see niether today.

It was raining towards the end of my run, hence the lack of photos. I ended up doing about 10 miles so not too bad.

This morning hubby had made scones. These taste even nicer than his muffins though not quite so photogenic - my excuse for eating them instead of photographing them!

I think the weather is to brighten up this afternoon, here's hoping. Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Little Bird Pendant Prize and African Flower Blanket Update

I was very lucky recently to win a Pass the Book event organised by Emma of Silver Pebble.

A package of lovely things arrived earlier this week.

Some seeds for the garden (red valerian and aquilegia)

The book - a lovely edition of "Cranford" by Elizabeth Gaskell. I missed the recent tv adaption of this so it's all new to me, I do prefer to read first then watch.

And not forgetting this gorgeous little bird pendant handmade by Emma. It's beautiful and I've already been wearing it nearly every day since receiving it.

Once I've finished the book I'll be passing it on with some more gifts.

In the meantime...

...I've been making a little more progress with my African Flowers blanket.

As it was a nice sunny afternoon I took it outside for some photos to record its current status.

We start on the bench...

...then my assistant comes along saying she's feeling cold...

...and proceeds to adopt some striking poses.

I've made and joined 126 hexagons. I've another 60 or so to do, then I've to figure out the half hexagons and border so I'm only about 50% complete. I made the first flower on 5th May, so at the same rate I should be finished by the end of October. Considering I've been crocheting for less than a year (this was my first crochet post) I'm still pretty pleased with my progress.

Earlier today...
...actually, as soon as we could, (Clarks opens at 10am, we were there for 10 past and it was already busy!) we went to buy A her first pair of school shoes. She starts school in under three weeks so her days of midweek crochet posing are numbered! Size 9.5E by the way. We also attempted to buy shoes for N who has leaped from a 5.5 to a 7, however, he protested loudly and demanded to get his wellies back on. I wasn't going to pay £32 for shoes under such circumstances - a new pair of wellies from Asda it is then!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Sunday Morning Bike Ride

I'm on my way at about 7am. N is good at getting us up early ready to seize the day, though we'd be grateful for the odd "lie in" past 6am. I don't really mind too much at this time of year, I just hope he'll sleep a bit longer once the dark mornings begin.

Anyway, this morning the weather is overcast and rain clouds are all around. I set off and join the cycle path for the first couple of miles.

This is the view from the cycle path bridge over the road I have just left. I like the patchwork of greens with a splash of pink.

More greens and pink line the verges.

I leave the cycle path at the steam engine sculpture, and head off along some unclassified roads which are completely new to me.

There are lots of dairy farms round here - all that lovely plentiful green grass (and rain!).

Nice gates.

Bird posing on fencepost and more of the ever present (at this time of year) rosebay willow herb.

A T junction in a little wooded glade, such beautiful green light. I go right.

This attractive wood carving is at a farm road end along the way. It was a little gloomy for a decent photo at this point, I'll need to come back another time. This whole route would be excellent in Autumn once the leaves start to change colour as much of the roadside is lined with woodland.

Downhill past a pretty farm sign.

Into more open countryside now. A cow and calf pose nicely on the left.

After a bit of a climb I'm over the other side of the hill and can see the Clyde. A bird on a wire sits high above the firth, a boat sails upstream.

A different take on the same view. I stop here for a little snack while admiring the scenery and taking a closer look at the hedgerows...



Very pretty!

Back on my way again, past some interesting farm equipment, sheep dot the top of the field.

Now I'm in the middle of another big climb. The mountains which would normally visible behind the little houses peeping over the hill are shrouded in dark grey cloud.

Colourful horses in their field of grass and ragwort catch my eye.

Harebells dot the grass in front of the little stone dyke, rain falls in the distance. Fortunately no rain falls on me!

I liked the arching bramble branch with the misty greens in the background.

This dead tree creates quite a dramatic silhouette amongst all the leafiness.

A pleasant pastoral scene, nice little mound of trees.

Then back on the cycle path to head home...

...leaving the roman soldiers behind.

I now have a bike computer! I did 24.3 miles at an average speed of 8.5 miles per hour (lots of photo stops), and a maximum speed of 25.5 miles per hour, so there you go!

The air smelt gorgeous - all fresh and green and moist! There were so many little birds flitting about the hedges, all too fast for me to capture on camera or even identify. A most enjoyable cycle.

It was quite a hilly ride. On the very last climb of the day up from the cycle path to the village I did feel my legs were tired and I was hungry. I started to wonder what food there was left in the house that I could eat when I got in when at that exact moment I received a text from hubby saying he'd left me two muffins...

They were yummy!

Saturday, 24 July 2010

The week gone by...

I did a teensy bit of crafting other than crochet.

A cellist friend from orchestra was organising a cello convention and wanted some cello related goodies to sell so I made her a few bass clef badges...

...using my trusty badge maker toy and some old practice sheet music (aged using coffee granules and water), some Country Living magazines my mum had passed on to me and a marker pen. My kitchen table is indeed usually this messy, no time to tidy it like I usually do for a photo shoot.

I was quite pleased with how they turned out. If they don't all sell I'll be keeping one for myself.

Off on a complete tangent but I liked this photo of the gooseberries we harvested from the garden, this is our first crop as the bush was only planted last year. Hubby used half of them to make a gooseberry pie (eaten without photographing, sorry), the rest are now frozen.

Earlier in the week during ashort spell of lovely sunny weather myself, A & N took a little walk along the cycle path.
Lots of huge rosehips are now forming. I'll maybe have a go at some rosehip jelly this year.

The thistles look great at this time of year, especially when contrasted against a patch of blue sky.

More blue sky with a cow parselyish thing in the foreground. I'll need to look it up to see what it really is, does cow parsley still flower in July?


Brambles starting to ripen. Last year I made bramble jam, this year I intend to try making bramble jelly. Just thinking about it is making my mouth water as I remember how delicious my granny's bramble jelly used to be, mmm.

A peek at the colourful houses from the bridge.

Back home we get out the bubbles.

Later in the week, after the paddling pool has filled with rain A & N have a great time splashing in their wellies. Better fun than with bare feet apparently.

Special Teddy also gets a soaking. Fortunately though there was time for him to take a whirl in the washing machine before bed.

And to finish, a little photo mosaic of Things In The Garden. At this time of year I have to look quite hard to find things that aren't "just" green, I find July rather lacking in big colourful plants as the early colour from the lilacs and peonies has long gone and the late colour such as from the budldleias and hydrangeas is yet to start. Can anyone recommend a good hardy plant/shrub with large coloured flowers to jazz up this little lull in garden colour during July?

Off to start the weekend now, enjoy yours!


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