Monday, 30 September 2013

California Dreaming

Just got back from our ‘trip of a lifetime’ riding round California and Oregon on a Harley Davidson Electraglide motorcycle.  We picked the bike up just south of San Francisco just over 2 weeks ago, and rode south along the pacific coast highway to Morro Rock (pictured here with Maurice on the bike), just south of Cambria.  We then headed inland to Yosemite, up to Lake Tahoe, and then way up north in Oregon to just south of Portland.  Then back down the ‘PCH’ to San Francisco.  We rode 2,326 miles in all, and saw some wonderful sights and stayed in some interesting places!  We had the best time ever!  So watch out for more details here over the next couple of weeks.

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Wednesday, 25 September 2013

TV Crafting

I like to sit and watch telly at about 9pm for an hour before going to bed.  I find it relaxing, but I need something to do with my hands! A bit of crotcheting, knitting or hand stitchery is best.   Here’s my latest ‘in front of the tv’ crafting, a Nancy Nicholson embroidery.  I fell in love with her drawings and embroideries as soon as I saw them.  This ‘love birds’ picture comes preprinted on good quality linen, needle and threads, with stitch instructions printed around the edge of the picture.  It all comes packed in a sweet little fabric bag with more preprinted stitchery!  Now what to do with it?  Shall I make it into a table runner, or a cushion?

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Now that autumn is just around the corner and the weather is getting cooler, I will finish my granny square crotchet blanket. Inspired by Lucy at Attic24, I started crotcheting squares in all sorts of rainbow colours.  Now I have enough to make a 9 x 9 blanket.   I have tried laying them out in a random fashion, but have to say I much prefer a more organised rainbow pattern!

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Do you have a favourite craft to do in front of the television?

Friday, 20 September 2013

Last few items for Scavenger Hunt 2013

Rinda set us another fabulous Summer Scavenger Hunt this year.  I have posted most of my photos already, but here are the last few:

A Fisherman.  Driving home this afternoon I noticed that the tide was high so parked my car to go and see if there were any fisherman.  Here’s one lonely chap!

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Someone taking a nap.  Here’s Maurice on Highcliffe beach a couple of weeks ago.  We took a day trip to our favourite ever place!  It’s just south of the New Forest and where we’d like to retire to.  We can but dream!

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An airplane.  Mum and I went to a garden last week, which is right next door to a gliding club.  There is a tiny glider in this picture, I promise!

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A Windmill.  I wanted to do something a bit different so bought this child’s windmill at the garden centre.  It now sits cheerfully on my kitchen windowsill.

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A sunset.  Not my best sunset photo!

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Me with a craft tool.  Here I am at my sewing machine, a much used craft tool recently.

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1. Open air market
2. Theater for performing arts (not a movie theater)
3. City Hall, Capitol or other similar civic building
4. Airplane
5. A sunset
6. Someone or something taking a nap
7. A sign that is intentionally or unintentionally funny
8. A tower
9. A photo with someone or something that is clearly out of place or doesn't belong
10. A bench that is outside
11. An animal in a zoo, aquarium, nature preserve, etc.
12. A cloud in the shape of something (please specify what you see)
13. A fence
14. A stained glass object or a mosaic
15. A fire truck or police car
16. A windmill
17. Candle(s)
18. Your local pub/bar, coffee house or tea shop
19. A fisherman
20. A dinosaur
21. A photograph of you with an artistic tool or craft supply (you cannot substitute for this item)

So I finish the challenge 1 photo short.  I have not been able to get a photo of an animal in a reserve or zoo.  No zoos around here for miles!  But thanks Rinda for such a lot of fun, and I look forward to next summer’s challenge!

Monday, 9 September 2013

A weekend away

Last Christmas, our children bought us tickets to the MotoGP for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.  It’s the ‘formula 1’ for motorbikes.  You should know by now that we’re motorbike nuts!  We have been to motorbike races before, but not the MotoGP.  Maurice avidly watches every race on the tv, so was thrilled with this gift!

Silverstone race track is about 2.5 hours ride away, so we decided to go for the weekend, stopping off at a stately home, Blenheim palace on the Saturday and going to the race on Sunday.

Blenheim Palace is one of England’s treasure houses.  It is a magnificent house set in acres of landscaped gardens.  It is the home of the 11th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and the birthplace of Winston Churchill. 

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The day of our visit was gloriously sunny and warm.  We had a very informative guided tour of the state rooms which included lots of history of the family.  The highlights are the wonderful tapestries that depict the story of the first Duke’s success in the battle of Blenheim in 1704.  Here’s the wonderful library.

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We took some time to wander around the magnificent gardens, landscaped by Capability Brown in the 1760s, and stopped for a cool drink on the water terrace built by the 9th Duke.  We then visited a very strange exhibition, called the ‘untold story’, which consisted of actors on film pretending to be ghosts of previous occupants of the house. Very odd!  It was an enjoyable visit but not really worth the £22 each entrance fee!

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After a not very comfortable night in a rather scruffy and old fashioned B&B in the little town of Banbury, we set off for a day of racing.  Wow!  Don’t think we’d ever seen this many motorbikes together!  blenheim and silverstone 003blenheim and silverstone 004blenheim and silverstone 009

It was much better than we expected, in that we could see the racing quite well, and were able to follow what was happening in the race on the big screens. 

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The atmosphere was great – lots of oohs and ahhs from the crowd as the bikes jockeyed for position.  Of course, we all love Cal Crutchlow, our GB rider!  There were lots of people wearing his Tech3 team colours.  He came 7th, but, oh! how we’d have loved him to be on the podium!  But when Valentino Rossi rides past, and especially when he manoeuvered for an overtake, the crowd roared!  We love you Rossi!  Marquez did not disappoint, with an epic battle for 1st place between himself and Lorenzo.  (This is the first year of Marquez MotoGP career and he is already leading the championship!) Scott Redding, our Moto2 rider won a brilliant race, and it has been confirmed that he will be racing in MotoGP next season.  The last race we watched was the Moto3, with lots of young riders.  It was very exciting with the 4 riders out front changing the lead every few minutes! 

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