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Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...

22/09/2016

Things as they stand

I feel to have dropped off the blogging radar recently. Sorry. Hopefully have my blogging mojo back.
Those who know me, know I recently have been through a rubbish time. It has taken a bit sorting out in my head and I've made some changes. On the positive side I have rediscovered my love of crafting and have picked up both the crochet hook and knitting pins again, fallen back in love with gardening and have started volunteering in a walled garden, all this plus the incredible support of my family and friends - I am starting to feel whole again. Thank you x

With my new found crafting drive and a birthday gift to make, I roped Himself in and asked him to cut four slate mug mats (bless him - he does put up with a lot!)
 He not only cut them (with the noisiest stone cutter imaginable) but he rounded off the corners and bevelled the edges too!
A morning mug of tea with a friend and her visiting pheasant family supplied the inspiration...
Sitting at my table, listening to music,
I found time soon flew by 
... and by the end of the afternoon, 
I had four little slate mug mats,
ready for a special friend's birthday :)
 

Oh yes, the little 'anti-scratch-feet', they just had to be heart shaped :)

Was she happy?
Oh, I think so:)

Happy Birthday WildaboutWorld!
xxx

14/09/2016

Tales from a hot day

The angle of the sun forces me both to squint and revel in the unseasonable heat. Sweat runs quietly down the side of my face taking me back 'home*' where the day's heat seeped through to my very bones, warming me both inside and out.

The moorland spreads out before me disappearing into a heat shimmer and molten sheep. They pant and cough harshly with an uncomfortable mixture of warmth and a heavy lung worm burden hindering each breath.

I am walking and waiting and filling my time while Eldest volunteers up in the Dales. I can feel warm air filling my nostrils and lungs and it is only 9am.

Boots on and haversack shouldered, we - Moss and I, set off towards a small village down in the valley below. It appears we are the only ones on the hills as we walk along a quietly babbling stream. The sound of the water on the rocks calls to the dog who gratefully throws herself into the tepid flow. Our walk all the way down is punctuated by watery stops and a swimming dog.

The sky lark, meadow pipit and the occasional screaming swallow are the only sounds around me as we follow the path. I am warm - not in a I-can't-cope sort of way, but in a warm-and-defrosted-at-last sort of way where I can feel my bones are no longer chilled and my skin prickles under the fierce autumn sun.

Moss - who failed as a sheep dog - still has residual aspirations to be the working border collie she thought she was ...  In sheep festooned fields I have to be careful either to have her on a lead or be ready with a sharp word. If they suddenly bolt - it triggers an automatic rounding up response.  Today is different, the sheep are too hot to care and Moss just chooses to look at them sideways with head held low as we pass by.

The path runs on and on, over styles, through gates, round hills and most importantly - alongside streams. I don't run, I plod. Moss pants and wallows.

Strange. This late heat, it is September now and as I walk I can see sweltering red and dripping faces and sun-seared pink shoulders of hot fat women and their thin baggy trousered sweaty husbands.

We reach the village - it is full of day trippers in shorts slapping on suntan lotion. It is busier than I like and we leave as soon as we can. Our path turns upward on to an old drovers track, I can feel the rise of the road as I shorten my step and deepen my breath. Moss' tongue hangs down thick and pink almost to her knees as we both notice the distinct lack of water in this half of our walk.

We trudge on, the busy day trippers are left behind as they all stay in the village by the cafes and river. We on the other hand wade through airless air, shadeless sun and up a steepening track.

Finally the track ends, I spy a thin and hard hawthorn providing meagre shade in the field ahead, we are not fussy - this shade looks luxurious and deep and cool. It is not but is still wonderful.

We sit, share water - Moss is not keen on lemon flavoured tepid bottle water - I muse I'd never had her as such a connoisseur... I knit. She sleeps. We sit for an hour. Only one other pair of walkers trudge by, I can feel their pain as they pass - their shoulders are boiled lobster pink and their faces shiny and flustered. I knit a row or two more - time to find Moss a stream to wallow in.

Shouldering the haversack again - it feels heavier as do my boots. My feet had been let out and my toes dug themselves into the grass, being re-shod doesn't really agree with them today.

The sun is still fiercely shining as I think I catch the sound of distant thunder ... I stop - listen, thunder? Not sure. We carry on, the dog is hot, her paws are heavy and her head down. I offer her my water again and this time she drinks.

We trudge up and over the crest - finally we can see the tarn where the outlet stream calls us to cool off. The last three quarters of a mile seems so very slow and long as we approach.

Moss does not need inviting twice to lie in the stream. She stays for 20 minutes. I wait with her as I watch hot sheep cough and as equally hot walkers plod along the track I have just left.

The sun blazes down as huge heavy thunderous clouds built up. I still need to meet Eldest - another hour away. Reluctantly we leave the languid stream as Moss recovers her bounce and wag.

☼ ☀ ☼ ☀ ☼ ☀ ☼ ☀ ☼ ☀ ☼ ☀ ☼ ☀ ☼ ☀ ☼ ☀ ☼ ☀ ☼ ☀ ☼ ☀ ☼ ☀ ☼ ☀ ☼ ☀ 

Later, as we drive home Eldest and I listen to the thunder as the clouds boil and grow hiding the sun. Moss sleeps on the back seat.
In the absence of the video I took of the dog wallowing 
(blogger grrrrrr keeps inserting it upside down?!?)
Here is a screen shot of her the correct way up
(from the same video - explain that blogger ...)

*I was born and grew up in southern Africa



11/09/2016

In which I waffle about felt, feet, baking and friends

Remember these?
After they'd sat around a little while,  I thought it would be prudent to add some felt 'feet' to their bases so they wouldn't scratch the table surface.
Snip-snip-glue bosh! Job done.

Then, inspired both by my mini success and by my friend -Angela, who is crafting wonderful goodies for her daughter while she gets ready for uni, I did this ...
 
Eldest found a simple slip of sea-washed wood whilst we were on holiday and decreed it to be used as a mug mat and he'd take with him to uni.
He dried it off and used it daily until it mysteriously disappeared ... I may have been responsible  ...

I am the first to admit I am not very adept with hand sewing but managed to do a wobbly outline of the Outer  Hebrides,  dated it 2016 and glued a small star indicating the spot (Balranald Bay) where the driftwood was found.
When the drift wood mat 'reappeared' in time for the next tea break he was initially a little flummoxed at it's added base, however when I explained what I'd done, he seemed genuinely touched.

I do have a plan for something else he can take with him while he is in halls of residence.  Just need to get started!

In the meantime, I must get baking - I've got visitors tomorrow  - it promises to be a bloggy-filled afternoon as Susan from Granny Smith's Quilting, Jak from Jak's Tales , hopefully Lovely Lady from Threads through my Life and I are getting together and will no doubt  there will be an awful lot of nattering and nibbling :)

09/09/2016

September's Scavenger photo-challenge list


Scavenger photo-hunt BIG REVEAL for AUGUST is...

I thought that this month I'd try something a little different and invite August's photo contributors to suggest a word or two and what an amazing and varied selection you supplied!

I'm SO glad I did! 

Not every one replied in time but don't worry -please still send your suggestions in and I'll add them to November's hunt .

I have omitted 'My own choice '  due to such a goodly amount of new words to hunt, this option may make a return in November. Without further ado - let me introduce you to this month's words to hunt ...

A photograph inspired by a word, words inspired by the photos - Sepember's Scavenger photo-hunt list - enjoy!

  1. Web
  2. Blade
  3. Filigree
  4. Travel
  5. Bright
  6. Asleep
  7. Float
  8. Autumn
  9. Fur
  10. New
Remember to think laterally, interpret as YOU fancy, be it a current photo or a favourite one from your past. We'll reconvene and post our words and photos from Friday 30th September -  have fun!

Last month's link up tool worked beautifully so I will be adding that on Friday the 30th too, so don't forget to add your link once you have posted your photos - it is the best way share the fun of your pictures and stories 

Scavenger photo-hunt BIG REVEAL for AUGUST is...

07/09/2016

Sunday ramblings and meanderings and wafflings

Sunday was a strange humid day with a sluggish breeze and heavy clouds when we set off for our walk. It  was a 'fall-out-the-back-door-and-on-to-the-hills' kind of walk. Our village shelters in the lea of a large soggy lump of a hill and our path traversed it's boggy moorland shoulders. The 'water engineers' were keen to release the trapped puddles from the rutted path, encouraging them to flow down towards to the stream.
video

 
Mud and moorland made way for dark forests and secret pathways. We stepped into the gloom and had to wait for our eyes to adjust and as soon as they had, we could see it was a place where fungi and spiders quietly hid.
 We burst out of the forest into a marshy glade and followed the free running stream that flowed along our path, all the time being watched  by careful eyes.
And, you might wonder, what would be the best way to conclude the afternoon?
Lemon shortbread - steaming hot and straight from the oven, mugs of tea and my boys 'n me of course.

Thank you for all your lovely comments, they do mean so much to me, xxx namaste 

04/09/2016

August's photo round up

I started this post yesterday, sitting slumped on the settee having made the most of a wet and miserable Saturday.  We'd been on a major 'get-stuff-ready-for-school /uni' drive as well as buying a wardrobe for  Youngest.

That turned out to be a full on tetras-style-shifting up two floors which culminated with finding the wardrobe was 10cm too tall for his pitched roof. Gah.

Himself managed to correct the situation which required a close encounter with a circular saw. It still took some very careful manoeuvres to get it to fit ... and if we were ever to move - we would definitely have to leave the wardrobe in situ!

Any hoo - back to the photos.
You lovely lot have done me proud again! Such a wide range of interpretations and stories - you keep getting better and better :)

Wild About World - a late entry (but if she wasn't,  I would think something was amiss!) had a glorious selection and my favourite was her 'Blue', I fell in love with the evocative shades of faded blue wooden panels.

Susan - Granny Smith's Quilts - certainly thought out of the box. I loved her 'Green' she made me smile with all her road signs. I thought the UK has quirky place names but she found some really interesting ones near her home in Australia.

Tess from Driftwood also had a brilliant selection and my favourite was her final offering - My Choice - ethereal and mystical,  while Jak's Tales once again had a lovely collection featuring her very beloved 'Jak-the-cat'. My favourite was her 'Favourite', I was there to help to polish off that delicious feast! I know a lot of work went into the preparation and it was a real visual feast too:)

Fil produced a cracking list of photos and stories - I was intrigued by her image for 'Eye' of the Janus Figure on Boa Island, County Fermanagh, looks almost 'Easter-Island-ish'.

Lovely Lady of Threads through my Life definately takes the 'award' for the most thought-out-of-the-box pictures and I fell immediately for her 'My own choice' - of the heron on her porch - AmAzING!
Julie also had aN excellent selection and I loved her clever way of combining two choices with one image  ... Blue and Feet -nice one!

Sadly missing this month was my Eldest - his mind is on other things - like uni and volunteering.

And on another note ... I've reached for my paints recently.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I'm bit rusty, will need more practice - yay!
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to watch Poldark  .. yum



02/09/2016

Weekend Warriors


Although planned (for almost a year) this weekend nearly fizzled. Nearly was forgotten, nearly faded away .... then at the last minute the troops rallied and in a flurry of madness and almost slap-dashery, we were ready and off as soon as Youngest had stepped out of the shower.

And*I*am*so*very*VERY*glad*we *did.
There has been a lot going on in the hawthorn household and this was the very break I/we all needed. We were up in Dumfries and Galloway specifically to see the final hurrah of the Kirkcudbright Summer Festival which we'd caught last year and vowed to return. 
The weather was glorious, despite dire warnings by the met office of wind and rain, we were only rained on once. We'd sat beneath two huge golfing umbrellas drinking tea and munching on ginger biscuits and watched the rain splatter on the silky grey tarn turning it from mirror smooth to a gun-metal grey textured surface.

One of our evenings we had a 'braai' (BBQ) along side a forest river. There is a 'wild' road rambling through the forests known as the 'Raiders Road', half way along an area has been opened out to allow wild camping, fires and river swimming. 
We love going, the boys have fond memories of swimming in the waters, to me it reminds me of Africa and Himself loves the scenery and the access to the river and Moss - well Moss thought this was ... ThE BEsT PLacE in ThE WorLD' as it had a RIVER right next to it and she could SWIM SWIM SWIM when ever she wanted - we think the dog has webbed feet (webbed brain more likely...)

We ate 'hobo-packets' - a delicious combo of vegetables wrapped up in foil and cooked on the coals, salmon with basil and mushrooms, the obligatory meats for the carnivores and bannock breads wrapped on sticks .... they were a bit hit and miss, something to do with cooks I suspect ... some concentrated more than others.... 
It was a fun and laughter filled evening apart from the midgies (which were very playful as tried to eat us whole - we did fight back ... almost lost but survived long enough to eat our smoky meal and take loads of photos before retreating to the car smelling of incense/midge spray/fire smoke).
We walked and we talked and stared at the sea. 
It helped clear my head - this precious weekend and my treasured gang of four 
filled my heart with sunshine and love.
It certainly helped me practise gratitude and made me feel stronger.

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