Wednesday 1 June 2016

Parkanaur Forest Park Parasol Beech Trees

The other day I dragged my mum, Emi and the WonderDog off in search of a couple of freaky beech trees. I had a vague recollection of having stumbled across them on my travels a lifetime ago in Parkanaur Forest Park, here in beautiful County Tyrone. I'd bored my family with stories about how these trees grew the wrong way up, and were a definite rarity in the world of all things botanical.

I'll admit that I got some of the story twisted. They've got roots at the end of their branches, I'd said. And they grow upside down, and back to front. 

So, okay, I'll level with you: they don't exactly grow back to front or upside down, but they are genuine 24-carat freaks of nature.

Parkanaur Forest Park Parasol Beech Trees
Parkanaur Forest Park Parasol Beech Trees

Tuesday 31 May 2016

Conwy - a perfect stopover

On Friday morning Emi, the WonderDog and I blew town super early (in the wagon and rolling by 4:15 a.m.) on our way to Ireland. I’m not sure when super late morphs into super early, but I'd wager that a number of the folk we met in the early stages of our journey were on their way home after a fun night out. 

My cunning plan - that involved getting up at such a demented hour - was to try and get past Birmingham and the M6 before the traffic got ugly. I’ve been scarred by the traffic in that neck of the woods before, which is saying something for a Londoner. But I’m happy to report that, this time, my cunning plan worked brilliantly. So well in fact that we were on schedule to arrive 4 hours early for our sailing, which is just a smidgeon too early, even for a control-freak like me.

So I started casting around for other things to do, and hit upon the idea of a short detour into Conwy. My travel buddies were more than up for a little unscripted adventure that took us off our normal route.

Conwy Castle, Wales
Conwy Castle, Wales 

Sunday 29 May 2016

Squirrel Nutkin goes a roving and a pillaging ...

The other morning I had a troupe of acrobats in my garden. They really ought to have been performing in a circus. 

As I poured my first coffee something caught my eye. I glanced out the window to see the peanut feeder arcing through the air as though it had been catapulted out of the laburnum tree. Slinky Paws and his missus sat high in the branches, watching me, watching them and wondering whether they could safely harvest their bounty on the grass.

Thursday 26 May 2016

Carry on rocking that spring bunting ...

The other week I started making spring bunting. Well I've carried on down that route, and now I've got quite a merry little string of contrasting patterns and textures.

Spring Bunting

I used my basic pattern, but played around with it to mix things up and add variety.

I'm using Costa Brava Knitting's 4 ply organic cotton range - colours Rose Blush and Honeysuckle, and I'm knitting on size 11 (3 mm) needles to a tension in stocking stitch of 26 stitches x 36 rows on a 10 cm x 10 cm square.

Tuesday 24 May 2016

Step into my office ...

I love, love, love the month of May - especially when the sun puts in an appearance. My kitchen door is thrown open, and I live on the terrace. How do you like my office? Please do step outside ...

I come out here on sunny days during the rest of the year - often wrapped up warm with coats and scarves against the elements. I leave the parasol in situ all year round - just on the off-chance,  although it's sometimes more of a rainy day umbrella. It feels fabulous to be able to take up my al fresco lifestyle every time the sun comes out and there's just a smidgeon of blue sky.