Sunday, August 29, 2010

Change of scene

For the past few summers we've spent a week with the in-laws in a farm cottage in North Cornwall. After disappointing weather last year, father-in-law convinced us all to head east this year, as (and I quote) 'it never rains in Norfolk'.

This year, we've disproved this 'fact'.

We had some blue sky. We even had sun. We also had 50mph winds and driving rain.....lots.

It wasn't all gloom. We still had fun and spent time exploring this beautiful county, soaking up a bit of history along the way.

Felbrigg Hall was well worth the visit - a fascinating 17th Century home that has undergone many alterations, extensions and improvements throughout it's life. It's final owner, on handing the property over to the National Trust, stipulated that the property be left exactly as he left it, so it's more of a home than a museum.

Another cloudy day led us to Blickling Hall, a beautiful Jacobean manor house with the most beautiful gardens and a very cute house-cat called Meg.

Of course, no day out is complete without a game of croquet.

Whilst they got sporty, I wandered round the herbaceous borders, making plans for the grounds at Moogs Hall.

I totally fell in love with the villages in Norfolk, with their flint cottages, tiny lanes leading to the prettiest houses, and lovely gardens.

Mr Moog and the beasties got active on the water at Wells-next-the-Sea.

One fine and sunny day was spent building sandcastles....

.....and catching an eel!

In all, considering the fact that it apparently does rain in Norfolk after all, we had a great week.
As if that wasn't enough, we really rounded our holiday off in the best way possible - with a visit to my lovely blogging friend, sock knitting partner in crime and knitting guru, Mrs Stashbasket.
I met the Golden Wedding blanket and the Mystery Blanket in person and believe me, they are totally stunning. We also met the very gorgeous and bouncy Harvey puppy and the very relaxed Mr Stressy!
Now, as luck would have it, Mrs Stashbasket is my swap partner in Trashy's As You Like It swap, and presented me with quite the most amazing package you ever did see. Mrs Stashbasket took my theme of Birds and Bees and just look what awaited me:

Isn't this the most fantabulous cake? Just look at all those perfect tiny flowers and those gorgeous little bees!

It was almost sacrilege to cut it but we did have a slice earlier with a cuppa and the inside is every bit as lovely as the outside. According to Monster it's the best cake ever - and he's an expert!
That wasn't all though - there was this beautiful soft and squishy Martha Posh sock yarn...

.....and Colinette 'Toucan'.....

.....and all these goodies too!!

Thank you Michaela, for the lovely cup of tea and cake and most especially for my wonderful gifts :o)
I'm now going to empty and refill the washing machine for the gazillionth time and then I plan an evening of knitting as I have a lot of catching up to do.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Summer fun

As always the summer holidays seem to be shooting by but so far nearly every day has been packed with fun and sunshine. Right now, the beasties are away at camp with Cubs and I actually have a little time to visit my poor neglected blog.

Last week we packed the old Moog off to stay with grandparents and Mr Moog, Monster, Minx and I headed eastwards along the south coast to Pevensey. We squeezed a lot into a few days, with early morning swimming in the sea, pain au chocolat on the beach for breakfast, and visits to Scotney and Bodiham Castles.....

......and a quick trip across the channel to French France! We had a very lovely and sunny few hours in Dieppe, admiring the window displays, soaking in the atmosphere and trying out our pitifully poor French on the locals.

With the children safely packed off at camp, Mr Moog and I had a rare day alone together yesterday. So, what could we do? Have a long romantic day out, with a candlelit dinner? Mr Moog wanted to go to 'Blast from the Past' - a whole day of living history displays and re-enactments at Broadlands, the home of the late Lord Mountbatten.

Mr Moog had a great day. Loved every minute. Revelled in the historyness of it all.

Me? Well, after wandering round for a bit, watching a load of red-faced paunchy men in costume pretend to kill each other in the hot sunshine, I took to the shade of a chestnut tree and cast on a sock!

The romantic meal? A roast pork and stuffing roll and a pint of beer.

Now, we get onto the important stuff. Today I'm home alone - for the first time in weeks and I've done something very exciting!
I've finished my 'Feeling Good' cardigan and I'm so excited! It was beautiful to knit and it fits, which is more than I dared hope when I set out on such a big grown-up piece of non-sock knitting.

I'm also one down and one to go on my circle socks and they're so pretty :o)

The yarn is ready for the next projects. Some gorgeous green Araucania sock wool for the Nutkin socks that Mrs Stashbasket and I have chosen for our August Sock Challenge, and a lovely deep turquoise for my next cardigan project - Minarets, from the cover of issue 21 of The Knitter.

I think I'll go and make a cup of tea and start casting on.

Happy knitting!