22 June 2009

Bee Socks for my sister

Here is the pattern. Now, what to do with the rest of my rennie wool??

19 June 2009

How could I say no when it was only £59?

Yes, I went to Paris. For the day. I know, I know! It sounds decadent and like I have oodles of cash. And while the former may be true, the latter isn't. It's only £59 return by eurostar!!! So I went down for my aunt's birthday, and I'm really glad I did.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day. As soon as we got off the train, we made our way to Montmartre, where climbed up to the sacre coeur because Rog's sort-of-father-like-person (and sort of not, it should be added!), Geoff, had never been (in fact, the last time he'd been to Paris was over fifty years ago, when he was 15).

Like my skirt? It's the one and only one I've ever made in my life. I was so happy with the way it turned out that I thought it best never to attempt it again.

Geoff and Rog were both desperate for a coffee at this point, but I wanted to do a bit more than the obvious touristy bit, so I took them through some back streets, to the cemetary and the vineyard with the promise of a treat a bit away from the madding crowd. I was convinced I'd find some cute little cafe for them along the way, but... we didn't. They were both very patient as we wandered up tiny streets that looked like this (i.e. not a cafe in sight!):

Back closer to the places des abbesses, we finally had a coffee, and then we met my aunt and went to the Marais, where we had a lovely lunch to celebrate her birthday. I had lamb that came with its kidney; normally, I won't eat offal, but I'm always willing to taste, and in this case, I ate every last bit. And then we walked a bit more around the Marais, ending up at the Place des Vosges.

Before leaving, we of course popped into the monoprix right next to the gare du nord and got some super cheap wine and some very smelly cheese.

In knitting news, here's a blurry clue as to what you, Birthday Girl, should be expecting in the post any day now. Happy birthday! And let me know when you get it (link for you folks on rav), so I can post a complete picture!

10 June 2009

Adventures in Sunny Edinburgh

We went to Edinburgh for a few days last week - it already seems like a dream and so long ago. It was so sunny and warm that I - unusually unprepared for this - got a nasty sunburn on my face. I sunburned my eyelids - a first for me! Ouch. They're just about healed now, almost a week later. Here's some proof of the hot and sunny:

Neither of us had a lot on in the way of work, and I was definitely beating myself up about it. And as there was little we could do, it seemed like a good idea to take a quick break in Edinburgh, just so as not to drive ourselves mad. I'm glad we did.

We arrived on Tuesday, and as we always do upon arrival, we walked down the water of Leith. There was lots of wildlife along the way, and it was very green and tranquil.

The next day, we went a few miles south of the Edinburgh border to the Pentland Hills.

At one point, it seemed like the walk would be too easy, so we went off-path, following the sheep paths. We figured we had plenty of water, food, and since it stays light until 10pm, we had plenty of time in case we did get lost. We didn't get lost, but we had to take a detour around almost every ewe we passed - and there were quite a few - as they were so pregnant that turning around didn't seem to be an option for them. There were also lots of cute yearlings.

It was really gorgeous, and the best antidote to all the stress I'd been feeling. This was our view from where we sat down to have lunch:

The next day, we drove north to Perth. Rog parked the car and we went out for a little wander and for some breakfast. When we got back, I suddenly realised we were parked not 100 metres from a yarn shop. So we had to wait until it opened. It turned out to be Di Gilpin's studio and shop. She had the most lovely Rennie yarn, and I have to admit that I didn't walk away empty-handed. I had an interesting conversation with Di, about how she ended up in Scotland, and about her studio.

Then it was off to Birnham and Dunkeld, for another day's walking.

In Birnham, we found a grove of very old oak trees - and apparently we were in Macbeth land now ("Macbeth shall never vanquish’d be until /Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill /Shall come against him"). This is the Birnham Oak:

The 15th century Dunkeld Cathedral on the bank of the river Tay, and me enjoying it all:

We walked for hours, through fields of bluebells, and along little creeks, and then as we continued upwards, we walked on paths that bordered pine forest so dense it was as dark as night within.

And then, out of nowhere so it seemed, we came to an opening.

It was so stunningly idyllic that we decided to sit there and eat our lunch, just enjoying the peacefulness, broken only by fish breaking the surface every once in a while. We saw what I think were osprey, as were near the osprey reserve. We were going to go off-path here, but when we ended up ankle-deep in water, we turned back and followed the path.

It was really magical, and the only downside was how short the trip was.

I'll be back with knitting news soon.