Important questions

This week, I have been pondering some of life’s important questions* like:

Why is it that when you wash any clothing that has removable padding, such as a sports bra or a bikini, the padding from one side always ends up on the other side?  I never take the padding out myself because the hole that’s been created to do that is usually so small and fiddly that it’s not worth the effort – but somehow the pad manages to remove itself and not only that, find its way into the very small hole on the other side so that you’re pad-less on one side and over-padded on the other until you realise why your clothes feel peculiar.

On the left, an egg-shaped padded shape which has come out of a small hole in a blue-patterned sports bra next to it


Why is it that even when you think you’re perfectly capable of counting the rows of a heel flap, you end up pulling it out three times to re-do it because it turns out that you can’t?

A partly-knitted purple sock rests on knees against a car steering wheel

I’ve been doing a bit of driving around this week so I’m back on with the Emergency Sock, the one that usually lives in the car for when I’m waiting to pick not so small daughter up or I’m stuck in a traffic queue.  I first wrote about it back in August last year and I can’t quite believe that these socks have taken me nearly a year to get finished!  Anyway, I’m well on the way with it again now and if I can manage to keep up the round-counting success, I’ll be nearly finished by the end of the weekend.

The yarn is Pleiades sock yarn from, a blend of bamboo, cotton and elastic, and the shade is Purple Reign.  It’s quite different to woolly sock yarn to knit – that elastic makes for a super-stretchy yarn!


Why is it that the dog feels the need to wallow like a hippopotamus on a walk even when the watering hole is a tiny puddle in a gloop of mud that smells like a swamp monster’s armpit?

A black dog wallows in a muddy puddle next to a footpath

He knew exactly what he was doing too – look at that grin!

A black dog is standing in a muddle puddle grinning at the camera


Why is it that these beautiful poppy (Papaver somniferum) flowers only last for a day?

Groups of poppy plants with flowers in shades of cherry red and lilac

At first, I wondered what had happened to them when they bloomed in the morning and they had all completely gone by the evening.  I couldn’t even seen any petals on the ground so I couldn’t think what had happened to them!  The next day, the same thing and now I think that’s all we get.  A succession of beautiful flowers and then they’ve gone.

Oh, the bees absolutely love them, they’ve abandoned the foxgloves for the poppies completely and sometimes it’s a two-bee job to gather the pollen …

A cherry red poppy flower with a bee inside gathering the pollen and another been approaching the flower A collage of three papaver somniferum (opium poppies) in shades of pink and lilac

They shouldn’t really be growing in the veg garden but they are, and I’m so behind with my gardening this year that I’ve left them to it.  One of them, a huge pink poppy that I’ve never seen before, has come from my Dad’s garden, I think, because I remember them being there.  Poppies don’t like to be moved so I knew when I brought one of the plants over here when we cleared his house, but I was hoping for seeds.  I didn’t think I’d got any but 8 years later, here they are.  I know it’s just how Nature works, but it always feels like magic to me!


Why is it that on the hottest days we’ve had so far, our pets insist on sitting in the hottest rooms of the house?  Hattie could go outside (I’ve cleaned out the water butt and have stopped the use of the hole in the lid as a post box for dead furry things and feathers), but Astrid has been lying next to the Aga (I’ve been taking her out into the garden in the evening when it’s cooler) and even the dog has been gently cooking himself when he could definitely be somewhere not quite so hot.

Yes, that is swamp monster mud in his fur, even though he’s had a wash.  I think it must have some kind of swamp monster glue in there was well. And he’s moulting. What a great combination!

A ginger, black and white cat is stretched out on a red rug on a wooden floor

Astrid spent some time in the dog’s old puppy crate outside yesterday, just to try to stop her overheating.  (If you’re new to the blog, Astrid is now a stay at home cat after being hit by a car last year.)  She wasn’t too impressed at first, but when we put her back in the house, she wanted to be outside again and by the end of the day, seemed to be quite comfortable in her restricted outdoor space.  I’ll only be putting her in there for short bursts of time and I won’t be leaving her unattended, but it seems to be a good way to have her outside whilst the weather is nice and she can at least feel the fresh air on her fur.

A cat is lying in a large wire crate in a garden


Why is it that dandelion and burdock tastes sooo much better after a long walk on a hot day?  I went up to Skipton to see my friend Lucy on Tuesday and we went out to Bolton Abbey to walk … and we walked … and we walked … and it was just lovely!

In the foreground is a slice of lemon cake with a fork on a white plate on a mesh table. Behind is a bottle of brown drink, and next to it a bottle of yellow drink and a triangular slice of cake on a plate. The table is outside a cafe in the countryside

We were very glad of a sit down with a drink and cake after our 5 mile-ish walk from Bolton Abbey up the River Wharfe to Barden; it was mostly in the woodland shade so it wasn’t a tortuous slog in the heat, and we did have an ice cream half way round as well 🙂


And how about you?  Have you had a lovely week?  I hope so – and if you’ve been pondering any of the Big Questions too this week, do let me know!



* totally important-to-me questions, that is – nothing that’s going to solve the world’s problems 🙂



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30 Responses

  1. Audrey says:

    Not worth trying to solve the world’s problems .Don’t think there ever will be a solution .Dandelion and burdock havnt seen that for a long time .by daughter’s dog loves lying on the garden pebbles .

    • Julie Kelshaw says:

      Hey, Dandelion & Burdock!! Memories of the Corona Man’s weekly deliveries! Remember those?? (It was a UK thing in the 60’s & 70’s). My burning question is – why is there never enough tea left in the pot for a second full cup of tea? I think it could be because hubby has seaked his second cup when I wasn’t looking. 😄😄. Have a great weekend all. xx

  2. Ven says:

    so with you on the bra pads 🤣🤣

  3. Angela says:

    It’s good to know that it’s not just me who has so many “why is it questions”
    They’re so important and what makes us all individual, I think it actually helps us understand much more than we will ever know too 💕

  4. Tineke says:

    Life is filled with magic and black holes, making things pop up on the other side of the universe. I can’t post a picture, but my sweet floofer Mishmish is lying outside at 30 degrees Celsius in my wicker shopping basket. He is a Persian aristocrat, and very, very floof. In my humble opinion, it is not a good idea to go outside with a thick fur coat, but who am I?

  5. Caz says:

    We have one that finds all the muddy puddles too!!!
    Loved the poppy photos 🥰
    Now I have a craving for D&B…haven’t had any for years!
    We had a couple of days away….but came home a day early as the Air BnB place wasn’t ‘heat friendly’ and we decided we really are homebodies that prefer our own bed and would rather just have days out….Meghan is a lot happier in familiar surroundings too….we did find some nice woodland walks for her though that were cool and shady….and she found the only mud puddles! 🙄
    Definitely sock knitting in the garden weather!

  6. Christine Anderson says:

    Totally with you on the heel flap counting. I have to write the number of rows on a note pad and tick them off as I go. It seems like two rows are too many to count. Happy Knitting.

  7. Carol Smith says:

    Have been wondering why one of my sports bra pads keep folding in half 🤷🏻‍♀️there isn’t even a tiny hole so am sat in the heat of the day pulling and tugging to get it to lie flat. Not had dandelion and burdock since childhood.

    • Terry K says:

      I’ve had luck spraying a touch of spray adhesive (not the wash-out type) in the bathing suit bras: find the little side holes and open up as far as you can, then spray a bit into the back side of the foam insert, then let dry. The tackiness of the adhesive will hold just enough through several washings and wearings. My sister’s foam insert came out in a swimming pool — don’t even want to think how that happens. But I’m old and at the stage where I’m not shopping for males and can use the excuse of age to do odd things, so I just pull the pads out. No one is checking out my tata’s any more!

  8. Chris says:

    I LOVE your newsletters they make my day. I don’t have any pets anymore and I’m disabled now so sadly can’t go walking ( that’s the biggest thing I miss out of everything is lovely walking) I LOVE LOVE LOVE Poppies but sadly I haven’t got any this year as my husband accidentally pulled them all up in his rampage of trying to get rid of the wild garlic!!!!! I forgive him because we think he’s started with dementia.

  9. Sharon says:

    ok, living in the US, I have no idea what dandelion and burdock are. I see it’s a drink, but what is it made of and how does it taste? 🤔

  10. Cathy says:

    I’ve never commented before but love receiving your cheery news and lovely pics each Saturday here in the US. Sorry to hear about your recent run of hot weather in the UK – hope it lets up soon. We had very bad smoky weather from the Canadian wildfires over a week ago – very glad that let up. I’ve not attempted sock knitting yet but love seeing yours as an incentive – will definitely use your basic tutorial as I’m very much a visual learner. thanks so much for all you do!

  11. Ruth Howard says:

    Thanks Christine for your message- why oh why ? – I call it life !!
    Lovely to see your pictures – thanks for sharing

  12. Sue says:

    Have you tried putting your bras in shaped laundry bags, you can get them from Lakeland. Row counting of any type, even though I have a clicker row counter which is great, I still have my “back up” of postit and pen. If the numbers don’t match when I get to “the end” then I’m in a right huff!!
    My “why oh why” does my husband think he is helping by reaching things off the top shelf in the kitchen for me when i would be able to each myself if he returned it to its proper place on the lower shelf? 🙄

  13. michelle says:

    so because i don’t live in the UK please tell me what burdock is thanks

  14. Cindy Hart-Haggerty says:

    I don’t live in the UK but I can see your beverages. Just hoping there’s no alcohol in them, it tends to make you feel hotter I’ve found.
    You’re lucky you have some of your fathers poppies. It’s like he’s looking in on you.
    This past week was vacation for us. We belong to a vintage car club and in June we take a week and tour Michigan since that’s where most of us are from. This time we ventured over into Indiana. It was a fun time traveling the back roads, seeing small towns and they did enjoy our cars.
    As for heat, we’re having a cool spell and loving it very much.
    On my needles is a project I started awhile ago too. I do plan to finish it this week. It’s my third pair of socks. I find knitting socks so relaxing.
    Have a nice day.

  15. melindaj says:

    My mysterious question this weekend is What happened to the 1kg piece of cheddar cheese I bought on Wednesday? It is nowhere to be found, and I know no one has eaten it. Searched high and low and finally today I bought some more (carefully stashed in the fridge).

  16. Susan Rayner says:

    I love the questions and the ponderings – our last three dogs were all Border Terriers who hated the water (they were absolutely not typical in this) – so after a lifetime of Labradors and Labrador crosses were bliss to keep and the house was so much cleaner too.
    A friend has just treated herself to two Ragdoll kittens who are going to be indoor cats – she has aggressive foxes in her neighbourhood who have attacked her other cats – but the point is that there is a thing called a Catio – a large almost Aviary type enclosure for indoor cats to have outdoor excercise and air – room for climbing toys and even for a chair for a knitter.
    Thank you for another lovely start to the weekend.
    Glorious photos of the poppies and the drink and cake – we have done that Bolton Abbey walk many years ago and loved every mile of it.
    Have a lovely weekend everyone.

  17. Barbara Adamson says:

    During the lockdown summer I drew little faces on the poppy seed heads, family thought I’d finally lost it! And my sister gave me some stretchy bamboo mix sock yarn which is excellent for trainer socks…who knew I’d get nostalgic for the COVID years?!

  18. Sarah Murray says:

    Lovely post! I do love dandelion and burdock.

  19. Glenda says:

    Why is it you can lovingly nurture a plant, gently plant it in the garden, water it, talk to it but it still dies on you but the weeds you can almost watch growing and flourishing despite living in a crack in the paving?

  20. Jayne says:

    The plant identifier that we’ve been using says those pink poppies are opium poppies. My why question is why is our cat still sleeping on her heated mat? I’d turn it off but that feels mean. Aren’t labradors the worst behaved dogs ever ha ha? My friend had one as a guide dog and while she was meeting her new boss the dog had her head in his desk drawer eating his biscuits….

    • winwickmum says:

      Yes, that’s right, opium poppies. I just let them do their thing and collect the seeds for next year, you won’t find me trying to smoke them or anything like that! 🙂 Our lab would be a useless guide dog – he’d have the person under a bus whilst he chased down a banana skin (his favourite)! 🙂 xx

  21. Jan Bolton says:

    Hi- when do you use the sock holders on which you showed your purple socks please. They look great!

    • winwickmum says:

      They’re called sock blockers and I use them when I’ve knitted socks if they’re going to be gifts or photographed for the blog or for a commission. They help to stretch the sock out to its fullest size so that it shows them off properly – perfect if you’ve knitted lace socks as it stretches the pattern out. I’ve written a blog post about sock blockers if you want to read more 🙂 xx Blocking socks with sock blockers

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