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Wednesday, 7 March 2018


It snowed last Tuesday.  After waiting all winter, the white stuff finally arrived in Winwick and I was a very happy Mum.  We didn't get as much as other parts of the country (I'm starting to become convinced that Winwick is situated over a hitherto-unknown volcanic hotspot and not, as was suggested, that it is anything at all to do with the fumes from our poorly Aga) and my heart goes out to those who are still recovering from days of being snowed in, water stand pipes and lack of heating.  However, we did get enough to properly walk in rather than just admire from the window so I was straight outdoors with the dog.  

I've seen from the Winwick Mum Facebook groups that our sudden snowfall has caused no end of amusement to those of you in other parts of the world where snow is commonplace in winter, but here in the UK it's enough of a novelty to want to take countless photos and be the first to leave tracks.  Clearly, the dog thought so too.

That was the extent of our snow; by Tuesday afternoon it had started to melt and we didn't get more than flurries for the rest of the week, much to small daughter's disgust.  She was most disappointed not to get a snow day and even on Friday when there was another snowy blast forecast, it managed to miss Winwick as it swirled around the rest of the country instead.

Luckily for me, there was still enough left on Friday for the dog and I to enjoy it for a bit longer as we walked at Culcheth Linear Park ...

and by this time the earlier snow had frozen into ice so it was quite slippery in places.

There wasn't much of it, but I loved it.  Has it scratched my snow itch?  For now - and it's probably as much as we're going to get this year so I'll be satisfied with what we've had.  Before I move on from the snow, I must show you this.  I took this photo to post on Instagram last Tuesday and ozice173_lisa commented that she loved the face on the right near the middle.  Face?  What face?

Oh yes, look at that ...

Who's that then?  Jack Frost?  William Shakespeare?  Winter magic!

Today, the dog and I actually saw that elusive round ball called the sun that sometimes appears in the sky.  It was warm, it was bright and I wanted to show you a picture of it and I would have done except that I kept my mitten over the camera lens.  You'll just have to imagine what the sun looks like - I'm sure there'll be a picture from olden times around somewhere in a dusty old book or you could try the internet archives.  You can find anything on the internet.

Thank you for all your comments about my Aga.  I'm happy to tell you that it's back on again and the house has warmed up nicely.  And as much as a few days of being all Famous Five and cooking on camping stoves was fun, I am very glad to have my ovens back.  Bums have been warmed, dinner has been cooked and the dog has snored gently on his bed in front of it.  Normal service has been resumed.  A few people asked what an Aga is, and this is what it looks like:

I wrote a post about it in February 2015 (I can't believe it's that long ago!) and if you didn't see the link in the Monthly Musing post and would like to read it, you can find it by clicking here.  

We had our chimneys swept on Monday and I never get tired of seeing the brush come out of the top!  Our sweep was able to clean out the Aga flue too so that's another thing that we've been able to tick off the list.  I'd never thought of having to have that flue cleaned but as both our Aga engineer and the sweep pointed out, it collects soot just as much as any other chimney - and boy, was there plenty of soot!

I've finished my socks in the new West Yorkshire Spinners Florist yarns (these are Foxglove and Violet) and just in time too as I'm about to put my toes through the end of one of the pairs that are in my drawer.  These will save me having to do any darning!  They came out much better matched than I expected, I have to say, and although they're not exact they are close enough and won't make me twitch every time I put them on.

It's been really interesting to see pictures of this yarn start to be knitted up as the socks are coming out quite differently.  This is a proper mystery sock yarn!

You've seen this one before, too.  This is big daughter's Christmas IOU sock, a well-travelled sock which has been on the London Underground and should really be finished by now.  It would have been too, had I remembered that big daughter's socks are a 64 stitch cast on and therefore the heel flap is 32 stitches and not 30.  Those two extra stitches meant that my toe decreases were out of line and it wasn't until I tried to Kitchener the stitches together that I actually twigged what I had done.  Yes, I could have fudged it; no, I wasn't going to so this sock has gone back to the heel flap which I've re-knitted with the right number of stitches and is now back to the toe decreases.  I took it with me when I went to see Lucy yesterday (told you it's a well-travelled sock!) and got plenty done at the knit n natter which, for once, didn't have to be taken back when I got home because I'd been too busy talking and not paying attention.

Mention of the London Underground brings me nicely to this yarn, which the postman brought for me today.  It's the "Mind the Gap" yarn that my husband took a fancy to when I told him about it whilst we were in London at half term.  I've always been tempted by this yarn so having the excuse of knitting it into socks for him is just what I was in need of.

Each of the colours represent a different Tube line in the London Underground system and I am so looking forward to knitting up these bright stripes.  

But not yet.  I've had to put it away so that I am not distracted; I've got big daughter's socks to finish and then her boyfriend's Christmas IOU pair (they'll be the size 14 ones) plus all the socks I'm knitting up for the book ... oh, they're coming along very nicely and I can't wait to show you!  "Mind the Gap" will be my treat for getting them all finished and if I can't see the yarn waving to me (it can wave all it likes in that paper bag) then there's a good chance I'll have something to show you at Yarndale other than my husband's feet!

I'm off to do some more decluttering now; I'm quite pleased with how much I've managed to clear out or re-home so far this year so it's encouraging me to keep on with it - and it means that I don't feel guilty at all about my recent yarn purchase!

Have a lovely week!


  1. Love the yarn for hubbies socks, can’t wait to see it knitted. X

  2. I made socks with Mind The Gap yarn, it was fun. Then I washed them on a hot cycle and ruined them... We still have snow but it is patchy now. I am glad you enjoyed your snow walks, it is fun to make the first prints. x

    1. Oh no, what a shame! Thanks for the heads up, though, I'll remember to be careful with them! xx

  3. I always enjoy your blog. I particularly enjoyed your half term outing to London, and what your girls had picked to see in London. I am in the process of deciding where we will go. (I'm originally from the UK living in Winnipeg, Canada) We have a holiday in the UK roughly every other year. We often stay in Hertfordshire at a bed and breakfast we like and also last time we visited the National Trust site at Sutton Hoo and stayed at a bed and breakfast near there. I was struck by you mentioning you had rented an apartment. Something I've never thought to do. Could you tell me how you found your apartment and what location it was etc. Thank you. I am a knitter but have not tackled socks yet! Jean/ Winnipeg

    1. Hello Jean, thanks for your comment! We use the website to book our apartments; they're not used in the UK so we've booked apartments and villas abroad too and haven't been disappointed. The apartment we booked in London was in Shoreditch, 10 minute's walk from Old Street tube station, and down a quiet street in a residential apartment block. If you're going to be staying for a while it can be nicer to do that than stay in a hotel but may be a bit more out of the way depending on your budget xx

    2. Thank you so much for your helpful reply. I will have a look at the booking site. I love the idea of staying in Shoreditch.

  4. When my toes (or heels) poke through my socks I reknit them - sometimes in a contrast which used to be quite brave but is now very commonplace - I don't think I have ever had to throw away any hand knitted socks yet - apart from growing out of the first pairs I knitted when I was ten!!
    I love the colour of your Aga!! Gorgeous!
    Looking forward to the Mind the Gap socks!
    We were lucky not to be caught on Dartmoor or in Wiltshire a week ago now driving back from Cornwall and my mother's - nightmare - far too much snow - we could have lent you some!

  5. Oh no, I feel for your daughter. My boys would've been furious if they missed out on the 3 snow days. Though I have told them, be thankful, in a work situation you may never get any. It's tough isn't it sometimes. Love the face photo, spooky! I'm looking forward to seeing your Mind the Gap socks. The colours are so good together, bright, bold and cheerful. Cathy x

  6. HI Christine - you should have made your visit to us in Durham over the past two weeks as we had enough snow to satisfy any snow cravings! It's still hanging around in clumps through the village but at least we can walk along the streets now without the threat of being "slumped" on by snow sliding off the roofs! If you need anybody to knit up sample socks for you for the book, give me a shout. Am always happy to help and then you can crack on with those size 14 specials!!!! xxxxxxxxxx


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