Saturday, 29 December 2007

Nearly 2008!

We have had a great Christmas with my family down in Staffordshire. DH's 'man-flu' was on the mend by Christmas Day thank goodness! Santa clearly thought we had all been good boys and girls & was most generous! Some of my favorite gifts were clearly sourced at 'Lands-End' & from some of the lovely shops in Edinburgh that my sister spotted on a pre-Christmas break so no disappointments there! It was lovely just to spend time with the family & chill back. Mother clearly thinks we starve at home & meals were not only very tasty but very generous in quantity! This is a photo of her 'christmas table' before it was laden with food!

On the 27th we decided to take a trip into Wales. Son & heir has an A level Geography exam in January based on pre-released material, The material is, this year, based upon the Ynyslas spit at Borth in mid Wales. As this is just over 2 hours from Mom & Dad's we decided that a visit might help him to make sense of the material that he has to study. My sister & her DH came to, which made it more 'fun' for S&H! It is many years (try at least 15) since I have visited mid Wales & it is lovely, especially, away from the coast. On Thursday much of the loveliness of the mountains was hidden behind sheets of water coming out of the sky! Fortunately the rain stopped as we reached the coast, although it was very dark and grey in Borth. We warmed up watching some hardy surfers before driving up onto the shingle ridge that has grown along the coast from the cliffs south of the town & out across the mouth of the river Dyfi. Despite being very windy & wild, as well as not been the most attractive stretch of coast, it was great to have a walk, blow the cobwebs away and just be by the sea. The dog is always game for spending time on the beach!
From a geographers point of view, there was lots of features of interest & I am sure that it fired S&H's imagination. Geography isn't his chosen field for Uni, that's Spot & Exercise Science, but he does find a good bit of Physical Geography pretty interesting! When he spotted the former cliff line on Google Earth & then worked out how the combined work of the sea (longshore drift) & the river had formed the spit & the land behind it he got quite excited! He was soon directing photographic operations & asking plenty of 'good' questions. I think that this is the biggest groyne I have ever seen. The volume of material trapped behind it is massive. Makes the ones on the east coast look fairly pathetic!

Back at the family estate Mum & Dad were charged with laying the scene for Mr J's birthday tea! Mr J is actually Rob the Teacher, but the theme was..... Bob the Builder!!!! Couldn't resist!!!!! He has done quite a bit of building in his time! It created quite a laugh & a fairly silly family party followed!!

Christmas knitting can now be revealed.
One pair of 'Socks for Veronik' from Interweave Holiday Knits. A great pattern -easy yet enough interest!
One pair of sock is Regia DK, knitted in garter rib. Really quick & super soft yarn!
One pair of 'Waving Lace socks' from Favorite Knits. Two lace scarves, knitted in far less of a hurry & photographed in earlier posts.
One pair UNFINISHED still (see previous post!), issue still to be resolved!
I have returned to finish my 'Embossed leaf' socks & play around with 'new pathways'. I think that I will knit something other than socks after that!
We are home again & despite the foul wet weather & lovely time at Mom & Dad's it is nice to be back by our own fire with still holiday time to come. We are 'on duty' at the 'out-laws' tomorrow & I have declared New Years Day evening as our 'family festive meal'. Three plus dog. Mr J will visit our local butcher in Patley Bridge on Monday for something suitable & we will each choose our favorite vegetables & trimmings.
A very happy new year to all!

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Merry Christmas from 'on the hill'

Its nearly here! I enjoyed my 'extra' day off on Friday, although I didn't do as much as I had planned! I wrapped presents, did a little knitting, cleaned (although you wouldn't tell) & fed the washing machine. The weather was cold & damp so Moss & I only had a short wander at Brimham Rocks. The Christmas knitting is almost complete, infact as complete as it will be before the 25th as I ...ran out of wool!!!!! Brother in laws socks, knitted with a novel khaki camouflage wool bought at the Harrogate Show. I checked tension but it never occured to me that it was DK until I turned the second heel & noticed how much wool there wasn't left! Some plain khaki toes should do the job but not before Christmas!!! ********! So that part of his Christmas box becomes a box of Malteasers & an 'on the hill' label with a promise! The label was made using this great website (link from Clarabelle -ta!)
Off to Ma & Pa's tommorow for a few days of being spoilt! I may be fifty (did I really type that?) but its still nice to be looked after by Mum & Dad once in a while! On Wednesday son & heir was summoned to the school 'Celebration of Achieement' held in the grand surrondings of the Harrogate Conferance Centre. It used to be speech day but HGS has entered the 21st century! He recieved the 'Blue House Service Award' for his year as House Captain. The guest speaker (which is the reason I mention it) was Gervais Phinn. The former school inspector & now writer and presenter. He finished off his speech which really was a celebration of teaching, by reading a poem he wrote for his son's wedding called 'when I am old'. It had us rolling in the aisles as he vowed to come & live with his son & lovely new daughter in law & do all the stuff that teenagers so! I promise not to leave my undies on the stairs! He is well worth listening to/ reading if you get the chance.
I shall be able to knit what I fancy knitting. I shall take my emossed leaf socks to finish I think, maybe something else???? Need to do the ironing first. Mr J has a cold (or is it 'man-flu'?) so has to be treated gently! Merry Christmas!

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Interesting buys!

Yes you have arrived 'On the Hill'! I have had a little play and I am trying to load a 'winter' template'. Not quite there yet!

Despite been underwhelmed by the Winter Interweave Knits I found a copy of 'Holiday Knits' on ebay & decided that I would bid for it. Won the bid for a little under the cover price, inc. postage & I am pleased to say that it was £4 well spent. The 'Socks for Veronik' by Mona Schmidt (designer of the much loved Embossed Leaf sock pattern) are great & just fit the ticket for an interesting but quick Christmas knit. I would never wear shoes like this, let alone with lacy handknit socks but the pattern is great. I will include pictures after Christmas! Other interesting patterns include the Koolhaas Hat by Jared Flood (Brooklyn Tweed), a lacy scarf, more nice socks and the Huckleberry Ascot which might get some needle time for my Mum IF I get these socks finished and best of all..... the mug cosy!

This should solve the works 'secret santa' annual dilemma. Buy a mug, knit a cosy & stitch an appropriate selection of letters on, depending on how well I know the recipient! I have 100 letter beads bought on ebay to make stitch markers for when I get cracking with my 'new pathways for sock knitters'. I calls for individually identified markers & I don't trust myself to remember a colour sequence!!!!! The beads cost &3.49 inc. postage & when threaded onto a couple of little rings should do the job. I hope I draw a mate in the secret santa otherwise I will just have to spell out their name or staff initials!!!!!!! Hmmm!

Sorry if the last post was a bit of a moan about teaching! I survivied the parents evening, done all the reports, am planning the remard event, can laugh about the fact that Christmas has been cancelled until the children leave the building. Just take no notice, its been a long term!!!!!!

Saturday, 1 December 2007

From the hill

Loads of knitting going on here but its christmas knitting so shhhhhhhhh! My copy of

has arrived an is fascinating, however for the sake of speed and sanity it will have to wait until the Christmas socks are done! I am going for interesting yarn & simple or well tried & tested patterns at the moment. I could be on for a record of a pair of socks in a weekend! Double knit & garter rib make for an amazingly quick knit! The Regia yarn that I bought last weekend is an absolute delight to knit with.

Its hard to believe that it is December already & with just three weeks to go to the end of term the pace at work is pretty ridiculous. Yet more reports to write, senior leadership monitoring the department (i.e. dropping in unannounced & checking up that all appropriate policy boxes are ticked), Sixth form parents evening (I have 3 A level groups), exams in January to prepare for, reward events to plan &..... oh yes keep teaching till the bitter end! On the positive side, I have some great groups, the geography that the students need to learn is good stuff & suited to raise flagging spirits. Topics such as 'Antarctica', 'Glacial Landforms' & 'Volcanoes and Earthquakes' lend themselves to great learning activities & I don't find it difficult to be enthusiastic about them! Where is my copy of 'Dante's Peak'? My photos from our trip to Mt St Helens in 2001? 101 pictures of glaciated landscapes?.....