Monthly Archives: November 2013

greetings from Christchurch!.


i’m here!!.

i’ve been back 48 hours, and am still knackered!. goodness knows why!. my flight from London to Singapore was empty, which was brilliant!. my suitcase was heavy and i’m sure if it had been full i’d have been stung for excess baggage!. i had a row of 3 seats to myself, so spent most of the flight lying down, incase i didnt have that luxury on the next flight!. i had about 5 hours in Singapore, which allowed me a chance to have a good wander around. there was a butterfly house which i would have liked to have a look through, but my bags were heavy and there was noone i could leave them with!. by the way, it was 33 degrees C there!!.

the next flight was fuller, but i was still able to have an empty seat between myself and the other woman on my row. that flight went pretty quickly – i read alot which helped.

i havent ventured far yet since getting back – taken my mum to the supermarket and the casino!!. tomorrow morning i’m going to Riccarton Market – somewhere i havent been for over 10yrs!. i’m looking forward to having a nosey around and see what the prices are nowadays!.

i havent stitched since monday in London because i’ve been preoccupied with my book. its called ‘Parkland’, about the days following the Kennedy assassination from the points of view of various people involved in some way. i watched the movie on monday afternoon and found it interesting, but left me with lots of things i wanted to resolved, so i checked amazon to see if there was a book and sure enough there was. i checked the Waterstones website and they carried it, so on tuesday morning i went to the local one, 5mins away. they didnt have it, but said it was up in Barnet. i went and checked WHSmith, and they had no record of it on their system, which meant i wouldnt be able to find it at the airport, so i made the decision to go to Barnet, instead of spend some time stitching!!. i jumped on the bus and headed up there. the whole trip took me about an hour and i was able to get the book and get back to the flat with plenty of time to get organised to head to the airport.

then!!!…..when i got airside at Heathrow, what did i find – the book!!. oh well never mind!. i’m enjoying reading it.

i have a few pictures to share –

a couple of shots out the window above Thailand or Malaysia

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Changi airport has something on to do with Italy


my treasure from Geneva filled with roses from mums garden.


my favourite rose, Abraham Darby


it must be Christmas time!.



and the vegie patch, i’ll be spending some time dealing with!!.


the the furry member of the family.



i’ll be back in a couple of days with a stitching update, if i’ve managed to put my book down!.




Just thought i would share how i ended up finishing Patience for LM. i started to stitch it onto a backing, but wasnt liking what i was seeing, so decided to go to IKEA and see if i could get a frame. i found the Ribba frame that was square, but i couldnt get one open to check sizing, so, after lying the piece over the top and taking a guess, i decided it would be ok. i could only choose white or black. i felt white would be better in fitting in with future house decoration!.

once i got the frame back i opened it and tried the piece, and phew!, it fit with a nice edge.



i gave it to LM yesterday as i said goodbye to her and her parents (*sob). i told her when she looks at it she is to remember all the times we joked about her lack of patience, which brought a laugh from everyone. it was very well received.

tomorrow is departure day!. today i plan to stitch a little this morning, go to a movie this afternoon (Parkland), and have a quiet evening. tomorrow morning i will post an update of the neighbourhood project before its time to pack it into the suitcase and head off to the airport.

it’s cold!


Yesterday for about 5 minutes it snowed here in north London!. i should have left last week, not next week!. i have no winter woollies, other than my cozy alpaca shawl i brought in Geneva. i’d sent my winter clothing home back in May when i left my flat, thinking i’d be there by now!!.

not having any of my woollen clothing here has really brought it home to me how much warmth they provide. i’m freezing when i go out – the wind is rattling my skeleton!.

i already bore people about the benefits of 100% woollen clothing, but i reckon its going to get worse now i’ve experienced this weather without wool!.

i remember when i trained and first worked as a nanny in NZ, we always used woollen vests in the winter. the baby wore a cotton vest first, then a woollen one over the top, then the rest of their clothing. i really believe we need to bring wool back into children’s clothing as so many children are getting ill, from being cold. and, have woolly blankets on beds. all this cheap cotton and man made material items are not providing the warmth that’s required.

even though i already have a pile of woollen blankets waiting for me in NZ, i think i will crochet another one next year as part of my projects for the year. or maybe a shawl, as i love this alpaca one. decisions decisions!.

now then – its 5 sleeps till i move back home to NZ. i will probably do a cross stitch update or 2, but other than that, there wont be a lot of posts over the next few weeks while i settle in.

keep warm everyone!.



Christmas Windows and displays


Yesterday i took ‘LM’ 8yrs into central London for a spot of sightseeing and general noseying around. she wanted to go to M&M World!.

we got the bus in and had to change at Selfridges. we spotted their Christmas window displays and they were fantastic. luckily i had my camera with me as was able to take quite a few photos.

i wont add many captions – feel free to add your own – there’s plenty of options here!!. forgive reflections – its not easy photographing thru south facing windows on a sunny day!!.

a gingerbread town – it is amazing!.

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these Santas are having a few drinks!.

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then we headed to Covent Garden and they had this lego display encased in a plastic sphere. a couple of photos are slightly blurry as children were inclined to push on the plastic just as you were trying to take a photo!!.

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9 sleeps left!.

my simple crochet cowl


Back in October i went to the Stitch and Knit show at Ally Pally. i brought a beautifully soft skein of soft pink wool. i really wish i’d brought more its so snuggly!!. at the time i had no idea on what i’d do with it, but over the weekend i decided a would make a cowl with it as i’d sent my woolly scarf back to NZ in my 1st box shipment in May. i searched Raverly, Attic24 and pinterest and realised that i could make this without the need for someone elses pattern. so i started a chain of stitches and carried on until i had a tight fit round my forehead. then i did row after row of trebles until i came to the end of the wool, joined up the seam and it was done!. a couple of hours of stitching and i now have a lovely snuggly cowl to help keep out ever increasing cold here!.

so my lovely wool went from that devine pink wool….P1100271

to this cowl


and doing its job!.



this appears to be the only bit of crochet i’ve done all year!!.

Tower of London


yesterday was a lovely sunny, albeit cold, day. so i decided i would go to the Tower of London. i last went about 20yrs ago or more!. there was one tower i wanted to see the most, as well as the Crown Jewels and a general nosey around.

i had wanted to go to the Beauchamp Tower the most to see the 500 yr old graffiti. i find it fascinating that there is an 800 yr old tower with 500 yr graffiti in it. NZ isn’t offically 200yrs old yet.

my trip seemed to coincide with every classroom in England having a field trip to the Tower!. it was madness and more than a little annoying if i’m honest – not a brilliant comment from someone who works in the childcare field!!.

despite all that, i enjoyed my time. i was there about 3-4hours slowly strolling round. i saw the Crown Jewels which are incredible, the thickness of the walls of the White Tower are amazing. this tower was begun in 1080.

heres a few photos of the trip…..

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Queen Victoria asked that the spot where previous Queens had been beheaded be commemorated. this is what’s currently there to mark the site. when i went 20 odd yrs ago it was a small wooden box/plaque.


the Beauchamp Tower


the first floor room with most of the graffiti

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66 is Thomas Abell, Chaplain to Catherine of Aragon

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below is by the Dudley Brothers, who had links to Elizabeth 1st.


below is by Saint Philip Howard, who also had links with Elizabeth the 1st.

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below, this was in another tower by Hew Draper in May 1561 and it relates to the zodiac.


commemorating the location of the bones of the Princes in the Tower were found under a stairwell in the White Tower.


a fine young man in the White Tower!.


on the way back to the bus, i went and had a look at the Monument to the Great Fire of London – here’s a photo of the detail on the base of it.



i’m sharing with the ‘we call it olde link up party

in 2 wks time i’ll be back in NZ!.

pictures from today


while tomorrow is officially Remembrance Day, today centres around the country held their own parades and services. I was sitting watching the national commemoration from the Cenotaph in Whitehall when i became aware of drums. so i went out onto the balcony of the 15th floor apartment and saw the local parade was taking place below me.

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with no work on at the moment, i’ve been stitching alot each day. i have got all the middle panel complete, with the expection of leaves and flowers on the edging vine. the vine is joined all the way round the bottom half of the piece and i’ve begun the house at the centre of the bottom panel. i can tell you, there was a huge sigh of relief when the vines joined up perfectly!!.



i have 2 and a half weeks left in the UK!. time is flying.