Hot, hot, hot!

Phew, it’s going to be a hot one again today!  The rain has moved on and we’re now into a mini heatwave which is set to bake us for the rest of the week.

The dog and I were out early as he doesn’t cope very well with the heat and even before 9am when we were on our way home, he was flagging.  Mind you, he had been running around like he was in the final furlongs of the Grand National and skidding in the wet grass like a small boy on a shiny wooden floor, so I’m not surprised he was tired.  He’s in his favourite place under the stairs at the moment, absorbing the breeze from the open front door – although one of our cats has started to bring small furry friends into the house, releasing them to a new life under the book case, so the door isn’t open as often as the dog would like it to be!

We walked through the woods this morning as I thought it would be cooler for him.  

A woodland path with sunlight coming through the trees

The leaf canopy is much thicker at this time of year so you don’t get the same dappled shadows from the sunlight filtering through.  We did see that there are some new residents living amongst the trees, though …

A small blue fairy door against a tree trunk.  There is a stripy windmill and a painted pebble next to the door.

A red fairy door against a tree truck. There is a painted pebble in front of the door.

A small blue wooden elf door against a tree trunk.  The words on the door read "Keep Out.  Grumpy Elf home"

The last one made me laugh – judging from the way the dog was sniffing around the tree, I think it might be one where lots of dogs stop for a leg-lifting break so it’s no wonder it’s a grumpy elf living behind that door!

There are no fairy doors in our garden (we used to have one in the house when big daughter was very small but I’m not quite sure where it is now – the fairy must have moved on!) but there are some new flowers to brighten my day.

This is another climbing rose, it’s called “High Hopes” and although it’s not quite as vigorous as my “Emily Grey”, it flowers a bit later so there are still roses growing across our arch.  The arch itself is looking a bit worse for wear (thank for the comment about a video tour of the garden, but it looks far better with these curated photos of the best bits!) so I will have to do some repair work or possibly even replace it once the roses have gone over for this year.

Two pink climbing rose flowers, hybrid tea shaped flowers

Another day-lily (Hemerocallis) is out – I can’t remember if it’s this one or one I showed you last time that’s called “Chicago Sunrise” but they’re both lovely.  I nearly went a bit click-happy on a garden website recently and bought more varieties but managed to resist.  They’re big plants and I’ve already split these ones a few times so I’m not sure I need more day-lily plants!

Yellow day lily flower against a background of green leaves

Remember the clematis that I showed you in my last blog post which was doing very well after the heavy pruning it got earlier this year?  This is it now – wow!  It’s absolutely smothered with flowers and is constantly a-buzz with bees making their way from flower to flower.  The jasmine that is intertwined with it is making slow progress but the new leaves are looking strong and healthy and although I won’t get any flowers this year, I’m still glad that I cut it back.

Clematis plant covered in large purple flowers, with more unopened buds

There’s been a development inside too.  The need to declutter that some people had straight away evaded me completely for the first few months of lockdown, but now I’ve started to look around and see what could be cleared or perhaps just run more efficiently in the house.  As we’ve all got used to living and working indoors, we’ve gone back to our more regular ways of living and the rota we had for cooking, cleaning and walking the dog isn’t really in use any more.  That’s not to say that nobody else is helping with any of those things, just that we are feeling comfortable enough to be more flexible with it all – in the beginning of lockdown, everything felt very unsafe and having the routine to cling to helped enormously through the first few weeks.

Big daughter, who’s been here since the start of lockdown anyway, moves out of her student flat at the end of the month and will be officially living with us full-time.  She had planned to go travelling for a couple of months in September but all of that is on hold now so instead she’s going to take up the place on a Master’s course that she was intending to defer and just see how it all goes.  She’s an adventurous cook and likes to buy lots of unusual ingredients, so I’ve been looking to see how we can re-organise the kitchen cupboards to make more space.

One of the things that has niggled me for a while has been the inefficient use of space in some of our cupboards.  We’ve got some tall thin ones which came with shelves, but we could have done with some more shelves.  We found that we were particularly good at piling boxes and tins on top of each other and then not quite knowing what was in the cupboard, so I finally bit the bullet and bought some baskets.  I’ll admit that in the beginning, I had just planned to put the baskets in where I thought the problem was worst and be done with it, but the more I looked at the effort involved (I was going to need to use a drill and a spirit level!), the more I thought that a re-organisation of the whole cupboard space was in order.

And here’s the result of my handiwork!  Not too much mess, hardly any swearing, no physical injuries of any kind … I was very proud of myself!

Three images showing a chrome basket fitted inside a cupboard.  The left image is the basket pushed into the cupboard, the centre image is the basket pulled out of the cupboard and the right image is the basket filled with baking ingredients.

To change the subject and use one of my tenuous DJ links, I’m also very proud to say that I have been nominated for two categories in this year’s British Knitting & Crochet Awards – thank you very much to everyone who nominated me!

Winwick Mum is named in two categories this year – the Greatest Knitting Book and Social Media Superstar – neither of which I would probably have put myself forward for so thank you for doing it for me!  As usual, there’s a prize draw for entering (1800g of yarn, subscriptions to My Weekly and People’s Friend magazines, knitting and crochet books) and the closing date is 26 August 2020.  You can only vote if you’re in the UK so please don’t spend your time on it if you live abroad.  Thank you very much if you are able to take the time to vote for me! xx

British Knitting and Crochet Awards 2020 logo

Finally today, I have just uploaded the next Sockalong video to YouTube and the link for it is below (just click on the picture).  This is to go with the Matching Yarn tutorial and I hope that it is useful if matching the yarn for your socks is something that’s been eluding you!  The newest Sockalong videos have updated captioning if you prefer to use subtitles; I’m working my way through the older videos too but haven’t done them all yet.

That’s me about done for today.  Thank you so much for keeping in touch with me via the comments, it’s lovely to hear from you.  I haven’t mentioned the shortie socks today and I am working on them – I hope to have more to show you and give you an idea of when the pattern will be ready next time I speak to you.  Until, I hope you have a great – and safe – week xx

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12 Responses

  1. Lenore says:

    Flowers beautiful. I voted in the British Knitting and Crotchet award and when I got to the end it said it was open to UK residents only 😢. 🤞 you receive a well deserved award(s). X 🌺

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Thanks for letting me know, Lenore – it would be helpful if it said that at the beginning! I'll update the post now – I'm sorry you had wasted time! xx

  2. Susan Rayner says:

    A lovely blog! Great photos on the woods – we don't have any Fairy Doors but one tree with photos and notes about loved dogs who are no longer with us – it moves me every time I see it! Love the High Hopes rose!! And the cupboard – my sort of thing! Have a good weekend and hope it gets cooler very soon!

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Oh, what a lovely idea for the tree – I would probably have to avoid it or I'd spend my walks in tears! xx

  3. Chris Knowler says:

    Children decorated one or two trees at our local community centre when the lock down first started, I've not walked that way for a few weeks so I don't know how it is getting on!

    I love the baskets for the cupboards. We have a similar cupboard that I have to find things in as it means moving other items. Hubby doesn't do moving of tins and packets! hopefully when we eventually get out new kitchen built we have this sort of solution!

    • Winwick Mum says:

      At first, I thought it was just my husband who couldn't find something if it wasn't right in front of him but now I realise that it's probably most husbands! It's become a joke in our house now if we want to hide something in the fridge – we just put it behind something else as we know he won't move anything to find it! 🙂 xx

  4. happyneedles says:

    Enjoyed as always your posts. Lovely flowers!!!

  5. landscape says:

    Am enjoying the blog and have just bought super socks 1 & 2 .Am a bit concerned about Lucy at attic 24 . Have you heard anything ?

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Thank you very much, I hope you enjoy the books! Lucy is doing fine and I have let her know that you were thinking about her. She suffers quite badly with hayfever at this time of the year and it tends to wipe her out for a few weeks if the pollen count has been high, as it has this year. I do know that she's been working on future projects whilst she's been indoors though, so that will be something to look out for when she's able to share it on her blog 🙂 xx

    • landscape says:

      Thanks for this .Went to one of my favourite wool shops yesterday . How lovely to go back . I treated myself to " essential " supplies !!

  6. selina says:

    lovely post as usual, always great reading!
    i saw some very short ankle socks that were shaped around the cuff so they fit better but could never find that pattern, the socks i made for my daughter were quite loose around the cuff but fitted nicely on the foot, she was still happy with them & i said she could try threading hat elastic through the cuffs if they get any looser; these were my first pair for someone else, usually i just make socks for myself (still practising to get the sizing right) looking forward to your tutorial (all my kids want ankle socks!)
    thanx for sharing

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