Monday, January 4, 2010

....and a very Happy New Year

I love New Year.

No matter what life has thrown at you in the past year, a brand new year can feel so full of promise - full of potential, new challenges, new adventures, new experiences.

I know 2010 will have some very difficult times. With several family members battling serious illness, we all have some tough times ahead but since losing my Mum nearly three years ago I have taught myself to take each day at a time.

It's the little things that help us get through the big things. I haven't made resolutions. I have lists of things I'd like to do - the majority of which involve knitting, sewing or crochet....and possibly a new kitchen extension (don't hold your breath on that one but suffice it to say that I think I've convinced Moogsdad to turn our tiny old kitchen into a craft room!).

To kick off our New Year, we saw out the old one with a lovely day out at Fort Nelson, sitting high on Portsdown Hill above Portsmouth. This amazing fort, built in the late 1800s, to defend against potential land attack, is now home to a Royal Armouries Museum.

There's a whole string of similar forts throughout Portsmouth and Gosport - with their lovely grassy roofs and forboding red brick faces.

Incredibly, the museum is completely free to visit - apart from a small discretionary donation....

.....and the odd £1 to try out the Bren gun. Very heavy according to my little soldier.

If cannons and heavy artillery (and huge sections of Saddam's supergun - made in the UK!!) are your thing you won't be disappointed.

Especially if you have a liking for pretty Turkish and Chinese cannons.

They even do mass destruction decoratively.

Minx and Monster took part in a great little re-enactment of Henry VIIIs life and loves, with two brilliant actors - the woman actor had made all of the fabulous costumes herself.

Here they are hamming it up as Henery and Catherine of Aragon.

Every day at 1pm, the Howitzer in the parade ground is fired - twice. Unfortunately, it was so VERY loud I jumped out of my skin and my shutter finger jumped too - hence the blur!

We rounded off our visit with a walk through the tunnels that run beneath the entire fort - and scared ourselves witless. They have Hallowe'en evenings down there but there's no bl**dy way I will ever go down there again. Walking up a spiral staircase behind Moogsdad, Monster and Minx, I am sure I heard the crunch of footsteps behind me!!

We talked to one of the staff who told us he didn't believe in ghosts but after a particularly terrifying experience in the tunnels - that he didn't give us the details of - was now less sceptical.


Onto slightly less scary things - here's a hat I knitted very quickly today and for which Anna is entirely to blame. She's also to blame for the fact that, as of about 20 minutes ago, I've also knitted a second one!

Neither hat was on my New Year knit list.

These were though.

Bonkers mismatchy stripey socks for the very naughty Minx.

It's shaping up to be a very knitterly 2010.

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy New Year.



trash said...

My word what a very knitty, forty, beardy beginning to the New Year. Good work on getting Mr. Moog to consider a craft room!

Thimbleanna said...

Holy Cow! That was FAST! I'm so impressed -- and your hat is beautiful! It is indeed going to be a good knitterly year.

And may I add -- as an artilleryman, TheManoftheHouse would be VERY proud of you for calling that "thing" a howitzer and not a gun or cannon or something else! Now...can you relay the caliber, LOL???

Guzzisue said...

thanks for the fort details, have put it on the 'must visit list'for next time we are down your way. Love the hat!

Gina said...

I have to confess forts and guns are not really my thing but I love those Chinese and turkish canons. I have one of a pair of socks finished in that very same yarn! (One of many odd socks finished)

Gina said...

I meant to say Happy New Year too!

dottycookie said...

Knitty is good - and I love that hat. I think I need one myself, and I have some very similar wool ...

Happy New Year!

French Knots said...

Happy New Year! Looks like a super day out, lots of history brought to life.
Hope 2010 is not too testing.x

wonderwoman said...

lovely hat - will have to pop on over and have a look at the pattern! socks are amazing - still have not finished one yet let alone a pair!!!


Emma said...

Right, first off that's the best beard I have ever seen. Ever ever in the world of beards.

Your spooky stair experience gave me the shivers! I have to tell you my ghost story. It's quite a blinder.

Erm, see that hat? As one of the dogs on 'That's Life' once said, in a gravelly whiskery voice 'I want one'.

p.s. my mobile died. I now have a new one but none of my fave mob numbers. How will I do without text flurries when Hugh's on? Drop me a beep Mrs Knit xxxx

Lucy Locket-Pocket said...

Oi! Why's my hat not working?

Julie said...

Happy New Year Lesley. A new craft room sounds wonderful! Very impressive hat knitting. I hope your family health worries have a good outcome.

JP said...

love the hat - what's the pattern if you can make it that quickly!!!!!!!!or isn't there one!

Dragonfly said...

Happy New Year to you!
No2 would love the fort, being gun mad, as he is (worringly).
Have picked up my sock knitting again today...

monda-loves said...

Happy New Year Mrs Moog!
Your knitty hat looks fab. In this cold weather a nice warm wooly hat is just the ticket.

I like the sound of your 2010 plans, esp. the bit about turning your kitchen into a craft room. I think I might just have to move house to get a craft room!


Jane said...

Happy New Year, i hope its full of lots of happy knitting and crafting. Perhaps the crunch of boots was the ghost of an old sergeant Major! not sure i'd have liked it down there either. I also had a scary experience once so now I have a healthy respect for the spirits of this world. Jane x

Angel Jem said...

That fort looks brilliant. We've been thinking about Portsmouth and related areas as a potential holiday place this year. That's another suggestion to remember... any more, Moogsmum?

And good luck in the year ahead. Lots of knitting & stuff.

quiltygal said...

ohhhh you have just brought back some memories for me I grew up in Rowner my dad worked at HMS Daedalus at Lee on Solent I did my hairdressing apprenticeship at Lafayette Gosport overlooking the Harbour!!!....will be back there in Sept when we visit for DD1s wedding would love to catch up for some quilty bloggy fun? will need some quilty/crafty talk by then Ill be having withdrawal symptoms by then !!

julie said...

happy new year to you all at Moogs house - glad to see it's got off to a good start with plenty of lovely knitting!

Miss Sews-it-all said...

I love the new year for the same reasons! There are all kinds of possibilities for the year to come.

Funny, that Howitzer is the reason my husband is half deaf. He manned one in the Marine Corps reserves for years!

Great hat, especially since it was such a quick project - sometimes those are the best kind.

Leanne said...

What a nice way to spend new year. I expect if you have to be shot by a cannon it might as well be a pretty one. LOL. Love those socks nearly to the heel here. 41C isn't exactly knitting weather. ooh a craft room sounds exciting.