Sunday, 22 January 2012

On My Radio

vintage 70s transistor radio from Wayside Flower on Etsy

A recent trip to the supermarket was transformed when the music on my radio was of an unexpectedly top quality. The husky welsh tones of Cerys Matthews, standing in on Radio 2, introduced this outrageously good selection: a 13 year old Michael Jackson singing the Bill Withers song - Ain't No Sunshine, James Blake covering Joni Mitchel's - A Case of You, and The Rolling Stones' inimitable - Gimme Sunshine.

This is music to make you feel something, to make you swoon. Cerys also usually has her own show on BBC Radio 6 Music. My life has been considerably enhanced since I realised I could listen to digital radio through our television. Instead of being spoon-fed somnambulising mush I can start the day with Shaun Keaveny who respects his listeners enough to treat them to Public Image Limited, Radiohead, Stevie Wonder (and I don't mean Ebony and Ivory). He chats clumsily about the universe with Professor Brian Cox most Fridays, and finishes the week with a poem written and performed by stand-up satirist, Murray Lachlan Young. You won't get any X-Lobotomy-Factor porridge here. Instead of anaesthetising the nation, 6 Music stirs and awakens.

Commenting on a trivial news item about the changing of rules on the wearing of fascintators at Ascot this year, Shaun's take was that a fascinator isn't really a hat, "... more like an emerging idea, or a mood." Profound genius, and all during breakfast.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Feeling Frosty

At last, some proper wintry weather. A bit of frost anyway. Until now I haven't needed to wear my woolly hat, not once. Usually it is fixed to my head for the whole winter. In the last few days though everything has had that twinkly dusty covering. I have gone out of my way to walk on the grass just to feel that crunch. I was beginning to feel robbed of a decent winter. What's the point of a mild winter that's barely discernible from the rest of our temperate year? 

Our bird feeder is the busiest attraction in the area. We always have a pair of woodpeckers (Greater Spotted, I think) as well as the usual selection of chaffinches, green finches and great tits. In the sunlight today the pheasants look like they're plumed in copper and gold. Last year one or two of them figured out how to perch on the top of the feeder and reach down to the seeds with their tail feathers raised for counter balance, but this year's population is still scratching around on the ground. I can be pretty certain that they are not the same birds since there is a lot of shooting in this area, although our 'landlord' doesn't allow any hunting on his land. Weirdly though, I have seen a shady character in full camouflage, including his green-splodged rifle, cutting across the camp site at dusk to get to the woods, only to return some time later, dragging a deer carcass behind him. I happened to have just stepped out of the Airstream one evening and, perhaps sensing my surprise and suspicion, the hunter tried to put me at ease by engaging me in conversation about how the local roads were less icy than earlier in the day. Phew! That sure did distract my attention from the fresh corpse on the ground.

My formerly-broken ankle is causing me less jip. I felt like there was a plateau in the process recently. I was expecting or hoping for steady and tangible improvement but I was still frustrated with aching and fatigue. Now I've reached that stage where I can be out and about and forget all about it. I do still feel tentative on potentially slippy or uneven ground though. A few  walks to the pub helped me turn the corner. I can remember feeling chuffed that I could comfortably stride out rather than take shorter, safer steps. Thank God for the incentive of real ale.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Spiny Critter

Here's a new addition to my shop. He licks envelopes and shop windows.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

And So...

Right, that's that then. It's quite hard to pick up a blog when it's been left for a while, as many of the blog writers I read point out from time to time. Is there a bloggers' protocol out there, whereby we just type in a codeword and everyone understands the futility of trying to make up for the un-blogged weeks or months. That would be handy.

Plus, of course, there was that December festive stuff that seems to have been building up since about October, so let's not mention any of that. We survived. Nuff said.

So what's new, apart from the year? Well, we trundled around and up and down the country throughout December for friends' big-birthday and getting-hitched celebrations, as well as the family visits at the end of the month for you-know-what. Now we're happy to be tucked up once more in our Worcestershire hideaway.
And I just posted some Sock Critters from my Etsy shop to someone in Niagara Falls! I know that's probably exactly the whole point of being part of the Etsy handmade hyper venue, but it's still blooming marvelous to think that I can sit here in our Airstream in little old Blighty, knitting and sewing daft bits of loveliness, and someone in Canada (and Australia recently too) stumbles across my stuff and decides it's just what they need or want. Brilliant! Now the Little Tin Hut shop is looking a bit depleted so I have another Critter on the go and a tea cosy, of course.

Here's a cosy which I should have shown off proudly some weeks ago. It was made for Carl and Gaynor's 1959 Tradewind, with some of Gaynor's wool left over from her crocheted blanket. Her sister-in-law started her off this summer and I don't think she's stopped since. Dare I say she's hooked? No, I'd better not.

I've also been inspired to pick up the crochet hook again. I recently bought this pattern from Wonky Zebra's shop of vintage crochet and knitting patterns, and I have started working on the array of granny squares. The colours will be different of course, because I'll be wading through my stash as much as I can without making it fit-inducing.

From Wonky Zebra on Etsy