An elegant sufficiency

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Taking my picture of the day I stumbled across this site shortly afterwards

53 words

Touch Typing

A fun challenge!


Saturday, January 26, 2008

In the pink

Mark suggested we get ourselves out today and spend a morning pottering about Cribbs Causeway, our local shopping centre. I had a couple of things to return to M & S and I agreed, a browse around now the sales are over might give us the diversion we need.

I caught sight of myself in the mirror as we were about to leave and noticed the grey sweater, the grey trousers and grey check quickly grabbed my fuchsia pink scarf and tied it hastily around my neck. (I'm not sure it's quite that shade of fuchsia btw).

In the last couple of weeks, my knitting mojo has disappeared. Hardly surprising really, though also due to the fact that the current project is a pair of black "Dashing" mitts for Edward. These are awful to work on in anything but the brightest of daylight, and that's been in pretty short supply of late. I'd bought (not quite enough) yarn in Paris to knit "My So-called Scarf" and mooched over to the yarn dept in John Lewis to see if there could be anything suitable. Not only was there something which caught my eye, but when I took it over to pay for it, I felt there must have been some mistake. This was Debbie Bliss yarn, when all is said and done. Four balls for £7.80? Sure enough, it had been reduced in the sale. What a bargain!

It's pink.

I completed the morning by making one more pink purchase. The morning might have started out grey but turned out rosy in the end!

Whilst in the garden to take a photo for my 365 blog, I spotted my favourite feature of the large phormiums - nature's own pleating. One plant in particular seems to do this from time to time and I'm fascinated by how regular the pleats are and how they switch from side to side.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Further to my last post

How ironic that immediately after my last post about the photo a day, life dealt a blow which means that we are in Hull. Whilst not totally unexpected, it's taking time and clearly my priorities lie elsewhere.

I have taken a photo each day, as much for my own record of the year as any other and will post in due course. In the meantime, your kind thoughts and prayers for my dear, dying Mummy would be greatly appreciated. Up to date news is on our family blog, link on this page somewhere.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Photo a Day

I referred a few days ago to my new "Elegant Suficiency 365" blog, strangely titled bearing in mind this is a leap year - but never mind, eh?

So far, I've found no problem at all taking and uploading a photo each day and thought how the project is encouraging me to look at things differently. I drove to Abingdon today, to a meeting at Denman College, along a road I drive farily frequently. Twice in the first part of the journey I spotted things which almost had me screech to a halt to turn around and take a photo, though fortunately good road sense prevented me doing anything of the kind and by the time I made the homeward journey, it was dark.

That's not to say these things would have passed by unnoticed, but somehow I appreciated them all the more than before. I would have loved to have a record of the half dozen or so polystyrene sheets, caught at odd angles in the bare trees having been blown off building site or truck - clean white rectangles in all of that dark twiggyness. And it was such a pity that I couldn't capture the surprisingly bright red of the cleanly cut branches of hedgerow hawthorn, recently laid in the traditional hedging style and so sharply contrasted in the wet, muddy grass of the verge.

I did, however, stop by the roadside between Lechlade and Buscot to take a photograph of the fast running water of the Thames - which of course is difficult to capture in a still photo. So, I uploaded trollies outside Millets Farm Shop instead - the others will stay in my mind and your imagination I'm afraid.

The photo a day is made all the more interesting because I'm juggling cameras. I have the old, familiar Sony Cybershot which has never failed me on several long trips, the bright new Sony Cybershot I had for Christmas which has the fancy touchscreen controls, 8.1 megapixels and a 5x optical zoom and the shiny new Sony Cybershot in the photograph above, which I'm using for work right now (hence the labels I daren't take off!) Love them all!


Friday, January 11, 2008

An appropriate city to visit today

Well, if we'd jumped in here, we couldn't have been wetter and at least we'd have been warm!

Yes, today we decided to visit the city of Bath, to do a little shopping, have a wander around and go somewhere nice for lunch. As you will gather, it rained.

And rained.

And then rained some more.

And when it had finished raining it snowed.

But more about that later.

It never really got light all day. I looked through this fuchsia pink window around 10.30am - yes, the street lights were still on.

At least there were no pesky tourists to get underfoot. In fact, there were very few people about at all. Sensible folks stayed home today. By lunchtime, we were soaked to the skin even though we were wearing wet weather gear, strong shoes and had darted in and out of shops all morning.

Even the Pump Rooms were practically deserted at lunchtime, though the musicians played on.

and the water continued to flow, inside and out.

Whenever I'm there I like to go and look at the panel of English Kings and Queens, embroidered by Audrey Walker in 1973 because it was one of the pieces which inspired me when I very first began to stitch creatively. Sad to say, one or two rust spots are beginning to appear, but the colours and the overall design never fail to win me over.

We braved the wind and rain and headed back to the car and drove home through sleet. Once back home, the sleet turned to snow and within an hour, the garden was covered in a thin white blanket.

I came to upload photographs and read email around 6pm, but shortly after I did, the lights went out and we were without power for two and a half hours - a major overhead power cable had failed in the area and all the surrounding villages were affected. As usual in a local crisis, we turned on the BBC local radio to hear that once more, Gloucestershire is hit by floods, though thankfully, not so badly as in July. Several roads are closed due to snow or lying water and we are thankful that we are at home and do not have to venture far tomorrow.

41degrees in Australia, so Sue tells me. Hmmm.....right now, that sounds pretty nice.

Labels: ,

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Not Art

I've mentioned before how I like to make small books after a special day out and often give them to friends and family after the event. Last Friday, we took Bettine (Mark's mum) to the V&A, to the Couture Exhibition and then went on to have lunch at Bibendum with Edward to celebrate his 23rd birthday.

This afternoon, with my Mum very much on my mind, I needed a distraction so set to and made two small books, quickly, without too much fuss or faff.

I used cutouts from the exhibition leaflet and photographs I'd taken whilst there. I printed out "typewritten" captions and stuck them in higgledy-piggledy. The end result was fine and the rubber stamp I used on the back cover particularly apt on this occasion.

Of course, there was considerable "fall out" by the time I'd finished.

But now I'm getting used to working in my new studio, in just five minutes, look!

I think that's a record.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

At home

A day at home and I'm taking a chance to potter around, putting things away, sorting out a pile here and a heap there.
The pile of Christmas books is there on my worktable and I wonder, should I put them away or leave them a while? Which one to start? So many goodies, I think I shall take one at a time and enjoy it before putting it away on a shelf where I'll forget all about it. Once it gets up there with the others, it'll blend into the background, just like my copy of the Vogue Knitting Handbook.
You wouldn't happen to know where I put that, would you? I now have a list of lost things, including my Oyster card, a bank card and my jewellery making tools. I did find the other slipper yesterday though...
Book details on my LibraryThing page, if you're interested.

Labels: ,

Monday, January 07, 2008

At the Pier

For reasons too lengthy to go into here, Edward's muse has always been Minerva. So, it was apt that today, on his 23rd birthday, we should find ourselves spending an hour at the Pier in Hull and the Minerva. The weather was amazing - bitterly cold but clear and sunny.

The kind of day we always think of as a "New Zealand Day", in fact.

The long slope in the photograph is the old "horse wash" where working horses would be taken at the end of the day, for a bit of a splash.

This is the pier from which the ferries used to depart for "New Holland", that mysterious place on the other side of the River Humber, where the yellow bellies live. Not many people from Hull used to take the adventurous journey, so it was quite an occasion when I took the 32 small girls in my class at Tranby Croft on one of the last crossings.

Of course, there's now the Humber Bridge, just visible upstream in this picture.

Part of the old wooden pier still stands however and there's still an ice cream parlour - albeit a new one - and the ticket office is converted into flats.

And there are fish underfoot. Love them!

On the other side, downstream of the River Hull on Sammy's Point is The Deep, quite remarkable architecture and still attracting the crowds, which is a huge relief to the city. Further on, the ferries which depart for Zeebrugge and Rotterdam are berthed in the Humber now they are too large to go through the lock gates into King George Dock as they used to do.

Tied to the fence are some sad reminders of the close seafaring connections here, for this is about the closest place to those cold, muddy waters.

This amazing sculpture "Voyage" and a sister sculpture in Vik, Iceland, symbolise the bonds between the two countries and those who have lost their lives in the North Atlantic.

Time for a pint and some further reflection in the Minerva pub then. Cheers, Edward! Happy Birthday!


Thursday, January 03, 2008


Heard at my local GP surgery this morning:

"It's well worthwhile coming to wait here simply for the quality of the magazines on offer"

Only in Gloucestershire...

Hope the quality of the shared viruses and other lurgies is of similar standard.

Labels: ,

New blogsib

I've just opened another blog for a daily photo project to share with a few friends. I'm not going to write anything there, simply post a photo each day on "An Elegant Sufficiency 365"

Watch for a new blogring appearing soon.


In the park

A couple of hours in Hull across lunchtime yesterday gave me a chance to take a walk around some places from my childhood. I enjoyed looking around the area where my great-grandparents lived and worked and trying to identify the site of the chapel on the steps of which my Great Grandmother is said to have died! I made my way up good old Stepney Lane, where I'd walk to school and back and was surprised to recognise so many small details considering I left there when I was just nine years old. Much is changed but a good deal is exactly as I remember - except for being so much smaller, of course!

At the top of Stepney Lane, on Beverley Road, is my old school, now Stepney Primary School (renamed from Beverley Road Junior School some years ago) Such a fine building, I tried very hard to place exactly what was where and have only just worked out where the entrance I can picture in my mind is!

Across the road is Pearson Park, one of my favourite places and somewhere which seems to feature at regular intervals in my life.

I braved one of the coldest days of the year - in Hull the Northeasterly wind really doesn't have anything to stop it and I'd forgotten how bitterly cold it blows! I walked past the bowling green where Daddy and Grandad both feature on the honours board (if it still exists) As a small child, walking through the park on the way to my grandparents' house, we'd stop to see if Grandad was playing bowls and stay a while for a chat. Daddy felt proud to follow his father's footsteps and play there too and was particularly chuffed to win the competition which meant that the Boyd name was engraved twice on that trophy.

Here's Grandad with other members of the Pearson Park Veterans bowls club in front of the pavilion, in the 1960s (I think) He's standing, wearing a pale raincoat, fourth from the left.
Here's the path along which I took my first wobbly solo bike ride - I can remember shouting out "I can't stop" and then falling off, laughing!

Pearson Park was also the site of my nursery school - Miss Dolman's. I'm there on the right, holding on to the waist of the girl in the dark blazer in front of me. Can you imagine what Health and Safety issues would arise from this scene today?

The large house with two gables and a grand front entrance has long been developed into an hotel and in the garden where the seesaw photo was taken there now stands a modern house. I seem to recall this was a prize from a competition on a cornflake packet but quite how true that is, I have no idea!

In the far corner of the photo there's a brown stone house, which, like many of the large properties around the park, is converted into flats. Guess who just happened to be living there when I first met him?

Over the years, we've fed the ducks and fished with a net and a jamjar for all kinds of creatures. I've played in the playground myself and then sat on a bench with my Mum watching Edward play on rather safer swings and slides with softer landings than I had.

Thank you, Zachariah Charles Pearson, for a special place indeed.