Monday, 30 November 2009

Remembering Andy

Today would have been my friend Andy's birthday. He would have been 33. Unfortunately, he will remain 30 forever as he died suddenly in 2007 from a pulmonary embolism.

I am reminded of his birthday by Facebook. I still haven't removed him from my friends, nor will I. He is also still in my mobile phone address book, despite this being about the third phone since his death.

The Facebook message tells me to "write on his wall". I won't. Because he won't read it. But I am thinking of him today.

That's Andy on the left. This picture was taken on New Year's Eve about 5 years ago. We were in Edinburgh for Hogmonay and to collect money for Cancer Research. I wish I could remember what we were laughing at but this is how I like to remember him. He was a miserable old bastard with an excellently twisted sense of humour. He would be very angry at me for writing this post.

Friday, 27 November 2009

New House, New Life

Last week, Phill, Mani, Moosey and I moved to Portsmouth in order for me to take up my new post as a Speech and Language Therapist in Chichester. It was a bit of a major operation as we were moving an entire house worth of stuff. It needed a truck and everything!

Our new house is fabulous. It's very similar to our old house except that it's actually been looked after and has sensible landlords. They sent us a card to welcome us!! They came over on Wednesday to fix something in the living room and it was really nice to meet them. They are nice and will actually do the things we need doing. There are no plug sockets hanging off the wall and no hole in the roof, unlike the house in Reading. Hoorah!

I've written a letter to Romans to let them know exactly what I think of them. Hopefully they will get the message and maybe not send prospective tenants round without warning the current ones next time =)

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Radio Silence

Tomorrow is the Big Move. Phill and I are moving to Portsmouth as I have a job in Chichester and he is transferring to Fareham branch of D&A. It is very exciting although I am al little worried about the big lorry trying to get down our road!

Tomorrow out internet will be turned off and won't be reconnected until Friday so please, entertain yourselves until then. I will try and take lots of pictures in an attempt to relax about the lorry situation!

Also, Mani has gone on his holidays to my parents house for the week so he is out of the way for the grand clean. He's only been gone an hour and I miss him already :(

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Spinning Weekend

Last weekend, I went with Felix and Liz to Beech Hill Farm in East Sussex. Beech Hill Farm is owned by Felix's friend Julia and we stayed in "The Studio", a converted barn with a lovely wood burning stove and cosy kitchen and bedrooms.

The Studio

The view up the lane to the road

We arrived in the dead of night on Friday so Liz and I did not know what the area around the farm looked like. It was also raining so we holed up in front of Autumn Watch and commenced the knitting.

Later, Felix needed something from the car and when she came back inside, she announced that there were stars. And boy, were there stars! The sky had completely cleared and as we were in the country, we could see many more stars than are visible in town. If the moon had not been so bright, we would have seen many more.

I was sad that I had left my star chart at home but I was able to identify the Plough, the North Star, the Seven Sisters (I think), Orion and Cassiopeia. There was also a very bright star and another which was slightly reddish which I wondered were planets or maybe satellites.

While were outside, we heard three Tawny Owls which we had just learned about from Autumn Watch. Later, Liz reported our 'hearings' to the Tawny Owl Survey.

The view from the studio

On Saturday, we woke to the sound of Sheep. Julia keeps a flock of Wensleydales which we met a couple of while they were being fed. After a breakfast of porridge made by Felix, we headed off to a local farm shop where we bought provisions for dinner, including sausages made on the farm.

A Wensleydale Lamb

The Wheels

In the afternoon, Wendy came to teach us to spin. While Liz and I are confident spinners with our own wheels, Felix had never used a wheel to spin before. Wendy brought some Black Romney fleece from another local farm and it was great to be able to experiment and not worry about how my yarn was turning out without using up any of my limited fibre stock at home. I managed to spin some fabulous thick yarn on a special wheel, the Country Spinner which has a weighted wheel and is designed for spinning thick yarn.

Country Spinner

It was difficult to get the hang of though so I went back to my own wheel and the finer yarn I am happier with. Felix very much got the spinning bug and in the evening after dinner, we all sat and span while watching the X Factor.

Felix learning to spin

On Sunday, after packing everything back into the car, we headed off to Lewes and after a wander around town in some fabulous shops, we stopped at the Needlemakers for lunch and a poke round the shop. Disappointingly, the fabric shop was closed but this was probably a good thing for my wallet! In the basement was an Alladin's Cave of bric a brack and antiques. There were books, clothes, niknaks, and best of all, haberdashery items.

Tins and packets from the 40s and 50s

I was a little worried to find items that I remembered from my childhood amongst the antiques. I could have quite happily spent the whole day down there poking around in all the nooks and crannies. I came away with an Enid Blyton book on tape (The Sea of Adventure which I read as a child), a pretty darning mushroom for my socks and a set of hideous patterns for knitting jumpers with giant Muppet faces on them.

Knitting goodies

It was fabulous to spend the weekend with Liz and Felix. It was very relaxed and much good food was eated in great company.

A carved seat covered in mushrooms

Friday, 6 November 2009