Monday, September 29, 2008


Here he is, our brave little fellow. We were a bit shocked at the size of the incision but it doesn't seem to be bothering him at all and he's purring happily and doesn't seem to have any pain (thank goodness). The lump has been sent away to be checked so I expect we'll hear in a few days.

On the knitting front I finished the second Pomatomus sock and have restarted Mike's fingerless arm warmers which I lost interest in last year when I discovered Fair Isle! Must take a photo. I've promised him that I won't start anything else until they are completed. Then it will be the turn of the Oregon cardigan and I can't wait.

We always like to watch the sunset if possible and there have been some beauties this past week. I loved the pink reflections on the clouds.

I see some glorious sunrises too and this was taken on a very hazy autumn morning when I was out feeding the horses.

This weekend I did my 3rd 20 miler prior to the Beachy Head marathon. It was rather chilly when I left home at 6:30am and barely light and I foolishly didn't take an extra layer (how long have I been doing this?!) so was rather cold for the first 2 hours. Then the sun started to warm things up a bit so I was OK. I chose a really hilly route along the lanes and it was quite tough but nowhere near as tough as the actual marathon itself. Next week I'll do 20 miles off-road then I get to taper (reduce my mileage).

It was such a glorious day as well so in the afternoon Mike and I took a walk up to Great Dixter and that helped to stretch my legs out. It's a great feeling to be able to run 20 miles in the morning and then go for a 5 mile walk in the afternoon. If someone had told me 6 years ago when I started running that I would ever be able to do that I would have laughed!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Keeping everything crossed

Today I am nervous as Tinker, our lovely ginger cat, is going under the knife to have a large lump removed from his side. Firstly he needs to get through the op and secondly we need the lump to be harmless. I'm trying not to comfort eat..............

Update - Tinker says thanks for your kind wishes! He's back home now and purring like mad. He has a massive cut all down one side with stitches in that have to be taken out in 10 days time. The lump has gone off to be checked and we're very glad we had it taken out. He's still very woozy and his purr has got a very deep rattle to it as if his throat is sore from the anesthetic tube.

For now he's just glad to be home but I suspect he will be rather sore later on. It's so hard when a beloved pet is poorly.

Monday, September 22, 2008


I got a lovely card from Lochlan and his mum and dad at the weekend, thanking me for the jumper. I love the card that Zoe and Lochlan made - look at those cute little footprints!

The jumper is too big for him at the moment. He's just 6 months old now and I knitted the 6 - 9 months size hoping it would be OK for him to grow into so I'm pleased that he'll get lots of wear out of it. It was also a great relief to hear that they love green and doesn't he look gorgeous.

Yesterday I ran a local 10k race as a break from my marathon training (I'm into the really tough weeks with high mileage now). It was a beautiful day for it as it was warm but with a gentle breeze. The course is not for the faint-hearted as it's rather hilly but as it was only 10k I just trotted round and thoroughly enjoyed it. Next weekend it's back to a 20 miler on a similarly hilly route.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Autumn Walks

It's that time of year when you just have to get out into the countryside to enjoy the wonderful autumn weather - neither cold nor hot, perfect for walking in fact. Judy and I are both Footpath Wardens for our Parish and we go around checking that the public rights of way are in good order and that stiles are not rotten etc.

Judy took me along one of her favourite walks which I didn't know and it really was a beauty. I love exploring new places and this was well worth the trip and parts of it would be good to run too.

Poppy, Judy's lovely dog, came too and she had a wonderful time chasing pheasants and bounding around in the grass then through the woods.

I loved the woods and took several photos of bark and lichens as I love the patterns and colours (too many to upload!). I also couldn't resist a couple of fungus shots. Aren't they just gorgeous?

The first one I haven't identified but the second ones are named 'Sulphur Tuft' which is very apt as the yellow colour was jewel-bright.

They smothered this old tree stump and it looked like a fairy landscape. Simply beautiful.

These 2 photos show views over towards Salehurst, a small village I've written about many times before because I often run around there.

If you enlarge to lower one and look at the lefthand side you can just make out a shape in the grass - it looked as if someone had mown a smiley face into the hillside!

Autumn Walks

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Just a quickie

I wanted to knit a little jumper for my dentist's new baby boy as a thank you to him because he's sponsored my marathon running for the last 3 years. I chose this pattern from Simply Baby and ordered the yarn 4 weeks ago. 2 days after I placed the order I received 1 of the colours but not the other so I phoned to check when it would be in (even though their stock level showed as high on their website!) and was told it would be about a week.

No worries I thought as my next appointment wasn't until today. At the beginning of last week I still hadn't received it so I phoned again to be told that it would be another 2 weeks. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr. I explained that I really needed it now as I had to knit it for this week. Thankfully they had another shade of green in stock so they despatched it and I received it on Friday. I didn't get much done at the weekend so I really had to motor a bit on Monday to get it done. Good job it was teeny-weeny!

The yarn I used was Debbie Bliss 'Cathay', a blend of cotton, silk and viscose and I really didn't like it at all, sorry Debbie. It was way too slippery and as with so many cottons it split like mad. Not one to add to my list of favourites.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What a FAB weekend!

It was always going to be exciting as it was my first time at our village Horticultural Society's Autumn Show. As our garden is still being remodelled and I haven't grown any veggies his year I concentrated on the potted plants and craft events. Although I've been passionate about gardening since I was a child (and indeed made a 2nd career in horticultural retailing) I have never joined a gardening society before so it was a new experience.

So Saturday morning, which is usually spent running, was spent baking bread, cheese scones, preparing jam etc. I had to be up with the lark to get the bread on the go as we had to stage our displays between 9am and 11am so there wasn't much time.

There was so much to take and Mike helped me with it. I entered these classes - Jam, Jelly, Marmalade, Bread, Knitting (Autumn Rose), Other crafts (my willow basket), potted plant grown for foliage and potted plant grown for flowers. We set them all out just in time for the judges to do their judging then it was back home to relax for a while - well, Mike did but I went for a run!

In the afternoon we went back to see how I'd got on. I only expected to get any recognition for Autumn Rose as it does look rather good, but as soon as we walked through the doors people started congratulating me. As we didn't know what I'd won we didn't know what to expect. Well, I got 3 x 1st place (Jam, Marmalade & Bread), 2 x 2nd place (Knitting & Flowering plant) and 2 x 3rd place (Foliage plant and willow basket). Crikey! That was unexpected but rather nice. We treated ourselves with a cup of tea and a chunk of cake to celebrate. Ordinarily I would have a few glasses of wine but I'm trying to abstain 'cos long distance running and alcohol don't go well together and I had a long run to do on Sunday.

This begonia won 3rd prize.

This Streptocarpus (which has lost a lot of flowers since it went on it's outing!) won 2nd place. It was a wonderful plant that won and I wish I'd taken a photo of it.

Sunday morning I bounced out for my run with a real spring in my step. I did think about the saying 'pride comes before a fall' so I was waiting to fall flat on my bum but thankfully I remained upright! With that out of the way we went off for an adventure in and around Hastings and St Leonards on Sea where there were several artists' studios open to the public. We had a good mooch round and it's always good to see the variety of work that people are producing (painting, ceramics, ironwork, photos, screen printing etc etc).

It was a most enjoyable day and we had our lunch in a nice little cafe along the seafront. Of course we had to go and say hello to the sea. Usually I would kick my shoes off and have a paddle with Mike walking along the edge like an anxious parent, but it's a pebble beach there and so not as inviting.

We always have a look around secondhand book shops wherever we go and have come away with some great finds over the years. Today was no exception. Mike didn't find anything of interest but I most certainly did. I always check out the craft and gardening/plants/wildlife sections but when I asked the proprietor if he had any knitting books he said there were very few so I wasn't expecting anything exciting....................until I spotted this little gem 'Poetry in Stitches', by Solveig Hisdal. It was the cover that caught my eye - lovely colours and a modern shape to the garment. As I flicked through the book I knew I'd found a treasure and had to have it - £8 seemed like a reasonable price as it is in good condition.

When we got home I checked it out on-line to see if I could find out more about the designer. That's when I realised the book is much sought after as it is out of print. On checking Amazon I became even more excited!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Kool Kalanchoe

I'm always on the look out for unusual and interesting plants so when I ran past a "charity plants" stall outside someone's house the other day I was delighted to spot this little beauty.

I had to take the car round later to collect it as I couldn't have run carrying it!

What I love about it is the way it reproduces. All along the leaf margins are baby plantlets which is why I took this photo from above to show them off. When they are ready they simply drop down onto the ground and start rooting. It also has lovely markings underneath the leaves.

There's a really good photo of a mature specimen here

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

One Pom and the Blackberry Way

Here's the first one finished. It fits well and I'm pleased that I've worked out how to adapt patterns to accommodate my high instep.

It's easy actually as you just need to add extra stitches on the heel flap and then pick up more stitches along the side then add more decreases along the instep. All these things are easy when you know how.

The Sundara Sock Yarn is very soft (many thanks to Amelia who sent it to me for winning her draw) and is very comfy to wear.

The blackberries are ripening nicely in the hedgerows and here's the first batch about to be boiled & strained to make bramble jelly. YUM! They reminded me of this song by The Move -