Thursday, 28 June 2012

Quick , Quick ! It Might Only Last A Day .


The parents all bustled in this morning . "They've said it's going to be 24C this afternoon !!! ", off-loaded children and rushed off .

There were paddling pools to be filled , barbecue -able things bought , summer tee-shirts excavated from backs of wardrobes , legs shaved . Everyone was pink with excitement at pick-up time .

I shoved a huge pile of dressing-up clothes in a bag and cycled home as fast as I could to shove them in the washing machine and out on the line . Back out on the bike , sandwich in hand , to the Thursday fleamarket

Bought two ( more) vintage postcards ( why?) and finding two ancient cobwebby stencils , which happened to be my grandsons' initials , bought those too . Found the redcurrant woman and bought a big punnet for 2 Euros . Got home , admired the almost dry flamenco dresses and firemen tunics

and started tomato hunting . Five ! tomatoes ... each one the size of a pea .

Celebrated with a watermelon smoothie . Listened to the evening news ...... storms and hail forecast . Relieved that I'd managed to fit Summer 2012 into one day .

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Plus Fours , The Showgirl And The Elephant


Saturday included all these and more but it started with a paperboy and a cat .

I was going to Den Haag early and , given the rain , I waited for the bus rather than cycling to the station . As I waited , I watched a young paperboy sort out all the paper's weekend supplements on the bench in the bus shelter opposite , under the supervision of a very fine black and white cat . Once the boy's bag was repacked , he pulled a little bag out of his pocket and put some cat treats down . The cat wound his way twice round the boy's legs and started eating . The boy went off on his round . Cat went back into his garden . A ritual , obviously .

At Utrecht , a middle-aged man got on the train in corduroy plus fours . Unusual in Britain , never seen in Holland . I pondered on how young people can wander round dressed as vampires , princesses or 1940's Land Girls and no-one blinks but how the middle-aged wearing anything "different" are gawped at .

Den Haag , it turned out , was celebrating Classical Music Day and the city was filled with musicians . Whole orchestras offered open-air Beethoven and Strauss , churches had small choirs and chamber music and there was an unusual combination of opera and mime on a small lake . And buskers everywhere .

A Rasta , dreadlocks whirling , danced to a Rumanian trio , a violinist played The Birdie song to an entranced tiny girl in a tinsel crown and , of course , someone had a didgeredoo .

The showgirl stole the show at the wonderful Isaac Israels exhibition in the Historic Museum and the elephant looked very at home in the Rainbow Nation Sculpture exhibition in a nearby park .

All in all , a very good Day Out . It even stopped raining .

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Gearing Up For The Ice Age

Given the ghastly weather and my impending retirement , coupled with a new tendency to creak when cold , I've been looking for a knitting pattern . A while ago , Friend , having discovered that mohair made her sneeze , passed on a couple of big bags of Phildar Phil'Douce that she'd found when clearing out her attic . Two sweaters worth !

Now I can , at most , knit a scarf unaided but this naturally has not stopped me collecting a large number of old knitting patterns over the years . So this afternoon I hauled them all out and started hunting for a simple pattern for a warm jumper . Preferably one that I could finish in a couple of weeks .... or sooner . Something basic with sleeves long enough to keep my wrists warm but loose enough to allow for movement . There was this

although I was really looking for something more dignified and less mohairy . Finally narrowed it down to these ....

a couple were even in something called Fuzzy Wuzzy that sounded like mohair and used the same size needles. Promising .

So I think I've settled on this ....

though it seems to have seven buttons , which seems to indicate the need to knit a button band and seven buttonholes .

On second thoughts , it might be easier to try to remember my Ravelry password .

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

My Cup Runneth Over .... And Not In A Good Way


Work this week has included three lessons on dental hygiene ( " Toddlers Floss , Too" ) for our different groups and their parents , one sudden Fire Drill and one break-in . And it's only Wednesday .....

P.S. In the interests of blog(sister)hood , I'll share my top tip of the week . When someone jemmies open your door and leaves lots of jagged edges at child's face height , just cover up with brightly coloured , left over paper napkins

and everyone will avoid said jaggy edges till the handyman comes , when the children will transfer their attention to the open tool box and power drill left temptingly just by the door .

Friday, 1 June 2012

A Jubilee Baked Item


Having wrestled for the last few days with the chemistry , physics and alchemy involved in making a cake , I've finally managed to produce a baked item . So yesterday it was finally time to make it look festive and Jubilee-ish .

After accepting that my patisserie skills were only going to run to sandwiching it with cream and a rather superior raspberry jam , I decided to continue in the same understated fashion .

Stash was raided for red and white polka dots and some flowers were whipped up from one of those Hawaian leis from a party shop ..... and TAH Dah !!

Smitten Kitchen's Everyday Chocolate Loaf Cake has become our Diamond Jubilee Cake .

Rattling On ( see our sidebar ) will be providing a link everyone who's joining in as well as producing something very stylish and delicious herself .

SmitoniusAndSonata hope you all have a wonderful weekend , wherever you are . Meanwhile I'm going to make some reviving soup and maybe a "cup cake" or two .