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Saturday, 31 March 2018


According to the Greek philosopher, "Nature abhors a vacuum"; in other words, an empty space will always be filled.  I'm not so impressed with this in my garden when a recently cleared border is suddenly full of weeds, apparently overnight, but it does work very well in other situations.  Situations such as the Lyme and Wood Pits Country Park in Haydock, for example, where the dog and I walk every now and again.  It's been created on an old landfill site and now, instead of lorries and rubbish, there are paths, woods and fishing ponds.

Part of it is still a landfill site, although apparently it will be brought into the country park in the future when the works have stopped.  Those big hills in the background are topsoil, part of the current landfill, and presumably will disappear over time as the soil is removed by the big lorries that still come in and out of the site.

Lyme and Wood Pits Country Park

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Monthly Musing - March 2018 - Spoiler alert

I spend a lot of time on social media, in my own Winwick Mum Facebook groups (here and here) and in others, and also on Instagram where I love to see the stream of photos of socks (what else?) and other crafty creations.  It’s definitely a time-stealer, but also an educator, a communicator and an inspiration.

What I have noticed recently, in all the social media groups I follow, is a lot of “spoiler alert” postings.  This is where someone talks about or shows photos of something that will potentially spoil the surprise for someone else if they look at them.  Sometimes the photos are in the comments so that you can only find them if you go looking, but sometimes they are part of the post and you can’t avoid them.  I have mixed feelings about these: on the one hand, I absolutely understand the excitement of someone who wants to share something and has no one else around them who will appreciate it, but on the other, by sharing their photos or comments they are taking away that moment of excitement from somebody else.  Of course, by writing “spoiler alert” in the post title then it means that people don’t have to read if they don’t want to, but not everybody remembers to do that when they are posting or to hide their photos in the comments, so that option is not always available.  It’s a tough one and I can appreciate both sides of this argument – and sometimes it does cause an argument as people can become upset by seeing something that they didn’t want to see.

Saturday, 24 March 2018


Phew, what a busy week it's been!  I was away for a few days last weekend and as much as I loved and appreciated the rest, it does take a few more days to get back into the swing of things, doesn't it?  This week seems to have passed by in a blur of laundry (why does it seem to be a rule that however long you go away for, there's always six weeks' worth of washing to do when you come back?), dog walking (he was sulking when I came home so I've needed to make it up to him), knitting (because four days away with nothing else to do other than knit just isn't enough time) and planning (there's nothing like a bit of distance to give you perspective!).  

This morning, small daughter was out at an event so I decided not to waste my time driving home and back and instead sat with my knitting in a cafe and watched the world go by.  I had a lot of practice at doing that last weekend but it's one of those skills that unless we work on them, it's easy to lose and we get fooled into thinking that we should be rushing about instead.  I'm doing quite well at not rushing so much this year, although it is only March (nearly April) so I'm going to reserve judgement on whether I've really got the hang of it or not.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Yarn Shop Day and British Knitting & Crochet Awards 2018

I've got a couple of exciting things to tell you about today ... firstly Yarn Shop Day is going to be on Saturday 12 May this year and it's not far off!  Things are really starting to get into gear now for the shops themselves and also for Let's Knit magazine who organise Yarn Shop Day.

Yarn Shop Day is an annual event which celebrates our bricks and mortar yarn shops.  There is nothing wrong at all in online stores - indeed, where would we be sometimes without them - but this is a day to celebrate all those who get up in the morning, battle to work in all weathers and open up their shops so that these little havens of wooliness are available for us to squish all kinds of yarny goodness, learn new skills, meet up with friends (some of whom we haven't met yet) and generally fill up our well-being tanks without the obligation of emptying our purses - although you and I both know that it's an unspoken rule that you never leave a yarn shop empty-handed :) 

Wednesday, 14 March 2018


The snow came out of nowhere last Thursday; we opened the curtains and there it was.  It may have been on the weather forecast but we hadn't listened to it so it was quite a surprise to see the snow falling heavily and what's more, sticking to the ground.  Small daughter kept checking the school website but much to her disgust, the school was open.  I think it will take a lot more snow before she gets the day off!

The dog and I headed out for a walk at a different park - Lyme and Wood Pits Country Park at Haydock which is a short drive away.  It's been created on a landfill site which in turn was created following the closure of Wood Pit, the last colliery in Haydock, and although it's not a huge site, it's a good place to take the dog for a change.  I discovered quite early on that it's good to vary the time and place of our walk each day otherwise he gets a bit over-confident and tends to make up his own route - often without checking that I'm following!

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Mother's Day 2018

"Mothering Sunday is about love, so today is a day when we give thanks for those who have loved us, who love us still and care for us, whoever they are.  It can be a day of happiness and sadness, but always it is about love."

Canon June, St Oswald's Church, Winwick

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.  

Friday, 2 March 2018

Magazine knitting patterns

Have you ever wondered about the knitting patterns that you see in magazines?  About who the designers are, how they get their patterns into the magazines, who actually chooses which patterns are published?

Sometimes you open the magazine and you want to knit everything that's inside.  Sometimes you don't, but more often than not there are a few things that will catch your eye from a wide variety of projects that make it worth the trip to the shops to buy the magazine.  I've heard people muttering about the price of magazines but when you think that you'll pay anything from £3 for an individual pattern (and considerably more, sometimes, if you have a look around the Ravelry store) then a magazine is very good value.  You might not like every pattern every time - but then you might not win with every lottery ticket that you buy and it doesn't stop you buying more, does it? ;)
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