Yet more holiday

I've had a few days off during the February half term holiday and been able to spend some time just doing stuff; some baking, some chilling, some walking.......and I've had some new binoculars. Admittedly, these are for my birthday, even though it's not my birthday for ages, but well, I needed them now whilst I was on holiday. Anyway, this is how we spent our holiday at home:-


I've been trying to eat more greens and have been experimenting with adding spinach to, well, almost everything. A very colourful breakfast ensued with green sourdough pancakes (with spinach) and purple smoothies with blackberries, banana, avacado, yoghurt and coconut water. It was quite a substantial breakfast and so needed a walk to work it off. I should probably say that the pancakes did taste much nicer than they looked.


A spell of nice weather (and a huge breakfast) meant that we needed to be out and about so we went to Crich for a short but glorious walk. We parked near the purple dot below and set off along The Tors which is a ridge with a great view over Crich and Amber Valley to one side and views over the hills towards Matlock and Crich memorial on the other side. The main objective of the walk was to investigate some building works at Ambergate reservoir (marked 'Resr' on the map). The underground reservoir was built 100 years ago and was in need of rebuilding and extending, although we didn't know all this until we reached it. We skirted around the reservoir,  and up through Bilberry wood, climbing up the steepest bit of hill to get back onto The Tors and into Crich. It wasn't a long walk, but it certainly gave the lungs some exercise.

Bird Watching

We are not very good at bird watching, in fact binoculars are usually called 'bird scarers' in our house. This does not put us off from watching the birds if we can find any. In our quest to try out the new binoculars, we made a visit to a nearby reservoir at Ogston. Disappointingly, there doesn't seem to be much access to the reservoir unless you are a member of the bird club, so we zoomed up to Carsington reservoir which is a much bigger (blooming huge) reservoir near Wirksworth with a visitor centre and loads of public bird hides.


A final baking extravaganza for Sunday family tea included a mixed seed sourdough loaf and a marzipan and mincemeat tea loaf. Plus of course, I've been waffling for Britain as described on a previous post.

Bakewell Wool Gathering

It's hard to believe that a year has passed since I went to the Bakewell woolly show last year, but it has come around again. This year I managed to get a place on a 'Freeform Crochet' workshop  with Pauline Fitzpatrick. I mostly follow patterns when I'm making anything, usually because I don't have time or ingenuity to make up my own. I have a few notable exceptions such as Wendy Wensleydale, but on the whole I tend to use or adapt someone else's pattern. I've wanted to have a go at freeform crochet for a while but have not made the time to play and research how to go about it so took the plunge when I saw that there was a place left on the workshop. It didn't disappoint. The pieces of work Pauline had brought were quite stunning and she was wearing a marvellous freeform crochet cardy. I'm not sure I will ever manage anything quite so detailed, but was quite pleased with my effort on the day. I took some photo's of Pauline's work at the workshop, but the photo's really didn't do them any  justice so haven't included them.


I have a bag of crochet motifs that I have been building up on a periodic basis. Most of them I've done when I've been away on holiday as it is really easy to just pick up a ball of wool and a hook and do a motif or two and then pack it all away after the holiday. I made a start joining them together to make a funky wrap or poncho, but there are some odd shaped gaps so thought that I might learn some techniques during the workshop to fit them together better. I've certainly got a few more ideas on how to finish it now. The only problem is that I haven't an excuse for not finishing my wrap thingy apart from the old lame excuse of lack of time!

freeform crochet

I have been very productive this week on the crochet and knitting front. I wanted to use up the left over super chunky wool from the fox cowl, plus a ball I bought on holiday, and I found a fab free pattern for a headband for using it up. It took a while to work out the pattern, but once I'd sussed it there was no stopping me. I found that I could easily make one an evening, and on Sunday I made two! The last two were in black and I don't have a photo of these as they have already been despatched as birthday presents. Anyway, it was really satisfying using up all the wool. I also made a pair of chunky mittens to match the fox cowl and these would have been made in an evening as well except that I inadvertently made two right mittens and had to re-do one as a left mitten! 

I'll finish with an absolutely stunning sunset. Our temporary accommodation might be bijou but it has a surprisingly lovely view. I say temporary, but we've been there a year now and it's beginning to feel quite permanent, somewhat disturbingly!


Ooh, I nearly forgot. We had a lovely walk at Carsington water last week. It's just stunning driving through the Derwent valley on the way to the reservoir, but it was equally beautiful there too.

I just can't are a couple of photo's from the barns. It's turning very autumnal everywhere. I really love autumn........ when the sun is shining, and absolutely hate it when it's foggy and dark.