Monday, 28 March 2011

Spinners

I thought it was about time I posted some video of Steve spinning!


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Fixing the drive band

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Practicing treadling
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Spinning

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He also gave Em a spinning lesson when she was last home from China.

Now she's gone back and we all miss her like crazy! But we know our children have to spread their wings and at getting on for 30, she needs to see the world! Most people would go to France or somewhere else for their first trip abroad, not Em! After meeting her first Chinese boyfriend while at college, China was her first choice of foreign soil!

This week, the south west of England has jumped a season, going from winter straight to summer!

We took a trip further west this weekend.....................for a very special lady


During this last weekend, my Mother-in-law turned 81! She deserved a something special, so we paid her a special visit!

I took these for fun, on the way down. Not far from Jamaica Inn. Yes the one named in the classic!


She celebrated our visit with an icecream. I think she's saying 'cheers'!

Can't remember what they were all looking at!
It was great to have DD#1 and our Son-in-law with us too! We had a great time looking at the tall ship in the harbour. 
I was great to be back by the seaside!


It was a great day! Great food, great company, a great reaction to a great surprise!
Because we had a few hours in the car and for the majority of the day, we sat and chatted, I was able to get a substanual amount of knitting done. I am making the Stripey Noro Messenger Bag by Deborah Cooke. I am knitting with some Noro I won in a raffle a couple of years ago. But I am not doing the stripes, I wanted it to be completely Noro! I only started it yesterday afternoon. I just have the flap to finish and then the sides and strap to do. Then I shall felt and line it. I know it's mostly stockig stitch, but it meant that I could chat and knit.


Thursday, 24 March 2011

Just a quick note...

There was a heavy dew last night and by the time we were out for a walk, the mist was rising. I love these bright, not too cold mornings! Today we donned our walking boots and wandered across the fields. Here are some of the images from this morning's walk. Hope you enjoy them! The venue was the same as yeasterday. The route, just a little different.




Spring is here indeed!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Happy Wednesday

Just lately, due to lack of time to walk together during the week, Steve and I have taken to getting up earlier and walking before work. This morning was just lovely (but not long enough!).


This was part of a walk I did with a friend yesterday. We walked through the fields to get to the same point, but today time was precious. For those fibery people amongst you, I thought you would apreciate the following group of pictures, taken just feet from one another. We also saw a fox bounding across a field, but I just wasn't quick enough with the camera!










There is a great history to the farm where the alpaca were.
We didn't really go far enough for you to see the oldest part of the buildings properly, but the tallest gable, which you can see behind the conservatory is from a more ancient time. It is a private home and farm, so I am not going to name the property this time.Having researched the history of the site, I have discovered that it has quite a past! For anyone living in Somerset, you might even be able to guess where it is!


The first written evidence for the place goes back to 579! In 1539-1707, it was owned by The Duke of Somerset, Sir Edward Seymour, brother of the famous Jane Seymour, who of course married King Henry VIII. Sir Edward Dwyer, and Elizabethan poet also owned the estate at one point, as did the Thynne family of Longleat (famouse for it's free ranging lions, and now a thenme park). For those of you who enjoy classical novels, Henry Fielding, the author of Tom Jones, was born here in 1707. From the late 1700's it passed into the hands of several gentleman farmers including Thomas Hawkins, the palaeontologist who discovered fossils of the ichthyosaurus.


In the 1830's a large part of the main buildings including the chapel, were demolished, but by 1830 it was looked upon as the best farm in Somerset and employed over 40 labourers, growing wheat, dairy and beef cattle, and sheep.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

SPRING!!!

Last Sunday was such a beautiful day weatherwise!
We took a drive over to Selworthy Village. You may remember, I wrote about this a while ago. It is not far from Dunster (which, if you are a fan of Agatha Christie's Hurcule Poirot, theTV series, you will have seen, I'll take some photos the next time I'm there).

The village is beautiful and owned by The National Trust. It is right on the edge of Exmoor National Park. Some of the scenes you can see on here this time, you would think you were miles from civilization, but actually, this is not the case! We were always within a mile from the nearest house.


You may remember that I have posted pics of these lovely cottages before.

This was the woods at the start of our walk.
Land uses change. For the past 18 months, volunteers have been working to restore the walls and hedges that have marked boundries and have allowed nature to flourish in their cracks. We hadn't walked very far before we noticed this bracket fungus on one of the trees

Then we looked up and saw this!

The tree is pretty dead, although it did look as though new spindly shoots were sprouting form it.
The woodland, known as Holinocote (once spelt and pronounced Hunecot) was mentioned in The Doomsday Book.
There are a number of interesting stone features as the spring runs its course down the hill. One is a bridge that marks a junction in the paths. It has a cutout at either side. So presumably the water comes down as a torrent during inclement weather. There is another pool higher up which directs the water in a certain course.
It is a pretty long, but not too steep a rise up to meet the coastal path. On the way, you pass through a memorial garden where clumps of daffodils were beginning to flower and a hut (although no in our photos, we did see it) stands as part of the memorial.
Carrying on up the hill, Steve made me stop and took the following!
While stopped at this point we heard the distant yaffel of a woodpecker, we saw some evidence of its drilling on some of the trees nearby, but the holes were not good enough to show you and the tree was very dead!
On and upwards again and we could feel the breeze coming over the top. It had been so peaceful and still in the woodland. There were just the occaisional bluetit or greattit calling, whilst hiding away from us.

Selworthy Beacon
 Then suddenly, we were at the top! Some of the tracks up here had, it is said been used by Canadian tanks during WWll, I could imagine some of the terrain being a battlefield up on the moor.
Selworthy's Beacon has exsisted since the sixteenth centuary wars with Frane and Spain.

Just a few more views from the beacon.  If you zoom in, you can see South Wales and Weston-Super-Mare acoss the other side of the estuary, depending on the direction of the photo.





Unless you know, this just looks like any other country track. However, as we turned the corner and began the downhill stretch, we could hear (and Steve could see...) two skylarks! They have become quite rare in the UK now, mostly dueto modern farm practices. It was just great to hear them!

Next week, there may not be a walk report, as my Dad, once again is coming to stay. But now the weather is getting warmer and we have seen more of the sun, hopefully it won't be long before we are able to get out on the tracks again!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

More Yarn Please!

Signs of Spring? Well, there are suddenly plenty growing in neighbours' gardens, but these were a surprise from a friend. I only wish you could smell them! I left them shut in the kitchen, as it's cooler there during the day and when I came home, the scent almost knocked me over! Enjoy the sunshine in the flowers! We are told to stare at yellow for a while if we are feeling depressed during the low light levels of winter.


Better late than never....
I had a present from my daughter for my birthday (last November), a luxury manicure. I wanted to save it for a school holiday as when I am working, nail polish wouldn't last 5 minutes. SoI thought Christmas would be a good time. The first day of the holidays arrived and my appointment, hm, but so did the snow! So all was cancelled! Then spring half term arrived! Hooray! No snow! So I had my lovely hand treatment! The best bits were the massage and wax treatments! The hardest (for any knitter, I would think) was to sit for 20 minutes and not do anything with my hands! The results were and are (I'm trying to keep up the good work with hand creams) amazing! Thanks Jin and Jim (her DH)!


Lovely hands!


Today, DH and I came back from work to find the following on our kitchen table!

What a great surprise! We were served English muffins with burgers inside. Meat for DH, a veggie burger with egg on top, for me! Then My favourite chocolate covered ice lolly for desert!

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Coldharbour Mill

                                                              
Yesterday, DH and I went to our favourite yarn mill. The objects of the visit was to buy more yarn, have lunch and go for a walk. However, the yarn purchase will have to wait :(


At Christmas time, the leat for the water wheel froze as did the pipes in the mill building. So on the weekend when there should have been a steam up and we were meeting an old friend there for lunch, the whole complex was closed! They couldn't even open the cafe as there had been a burst pipe in that building too!
To show you the mill's setting (wouldn't mind living there!)


Today when we visited, the cafe had been reopened after the ceiling that the water from the burst pipe had brought down had been fixed. Today in the lovely sunshine, the mill race was flowing beautifully, but the yarn shop is still empty and being dried with dehumidifyers! All the lovely yarn has been ruined because a toilet pipe two floors up had burst! It ran through the cafe, but ended up in the shop on the floor below!


Uffcombe Village. Water from here was diverted into the mill race to power the water wheel, before the days of steam power.
The walk was a great sucess! The weather as I said earlier was just wonderful! Bright sunshine, but fresh feeling. Many spring flowers were blooming, such as snowdrops an chrocuses and tiny daffodils.