Monday, 15 December 2014

Mind the gap

Mr FF took the 6 am train on Saturday back to East Lothian for a walk followed by a meal with his now ex Scottish walking group.  I thought it was all a bit ambitious myself, I think his return train left around 6.30 pm and he expected to be home around 11.  I have much experience of Mr FF and travel gone wrong so I wasn't that surprised to receive an email early evening saying he had missed the train, was staying overnight in Scotland and would speak to me later.  This is what happened.
He was at the station waiting for his return train, positioned on the correct part of the platform for his carriage when the train arrived, marked as destination Birmingham.  He wasn't 100% sure that this was the train he wanted and further confused when it travelled past him and stopped a good distance down the platform.  So he legged it to the waiting train by which time a couple of guards had appeared and they confirmed the train stopped at Leeds. Unfortunately the train doors had closed before he got down the platform, he explained it was his train and could they open the doors please.  No chance, once closed the doors don't open again so he couldn't get on board and the last train for his connections pulled away.
Mr FF asked why the platform was marked with waiting areas but the train travelled beyond them, it was a shorter train of course.  Apparently there were notices in the station explaining this could happen but because it was dark they were not visible.
But the best bit was when he asked why there had been no public announcement about the train's destination and stopping points when it arrived. It seems the station has had to reduce the number of announcements it makes as they are a health and safety issue.  This is somewhat beyond me but it does give me hope that the number of Christmas tunes playing in the shops might also come under the same legislation soon.
Poor Mr FF, totally unprepared for an overnight, stayed with friends and arrived home late yesterday afternoon, using a circuitous route with many changes whilst clutching a note from the station guard in Scotland explaining the situation and giving him permission to travel at no extra cost.
I have suggested he gives travel on public transport a rest for a while and consider more local walks, he's taking the bus for his walk next week but it's not that far away and if the worst happens he can walk home.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Our halls are decked

Yesterday morning there was much manly activity in the hall of our building as the Christmas tree went up.  Mr FF was there to give engineering input and very lovely it all is too. 
The final touches were added today, I am feeling quite festive which may be down to the lack of responsibility.  The decorations are excellent, completely in scale with such a grand building and can be enjoyed by all the inmates.   The tree can be seen from the entrance 

or looked down on from the internal windows and landings, 

and the basement decorations can be admired from above 
 or as you pass by on the way to the car park

There are two of these pretty wreaths in the entrance hall opposite our mail boxes
Its all quite magnificent, excellent work management committee and Santa's little helpers.

Monday, 1 December 2014

You haven't seen me

Spotted on one of our afternoon walks around the environs.  A heron in the Wharf, beautiful and so well blended.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore

I walked down to The Grove yesterday afternoon, its I suppose the main street in town and was closed to traffic on for various events building up to the official switching on of the Christmas lights.  Not as you know that I'm a fan of these things, in fact I left about 40 minutes before the big countdown and 20 minutes before Santa was due to arrive.  I'd really had enough of all those festive tunes that weld themselves inside my head and pop out when I'm ironing or dorissing. However the entertainment I saw was good but I did notice a big difference between a Yorkshire Christmas and a Scottish one.  I'm used to the stirring sound of the bagpipes, here we have a lovely brass band that delights me just as much.
Gone too are the Scottish dancers, no more strip the willow or dashing white sergeant, now it's Morris dancers with painted faces and strange costumes banging sticks, and sometimes knuckles. 

These differences really confirm that I'm in a new place and bring back memories of how we had to adjust when we moved to Scotland 26 years ago.
The Christmas lights by the way are beyond tasteful, mostly simple white strings of light in the trees and complementary features touched with gold on the lamp posts. Yorkshire is big but it isn't always brash.  So pretty that we finished our walk today back in town so I could take some more photographs for you.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014


The last week or so progress in the penthouse seems to have slowed down and life generally has stepped down a gear.   We've had a good number of wet days when the mist has been down on the hills, a day when I can't see Beamsley Beacon seems like a day wasted, we use it's visibility as our weather gauge.  
We haven't been sitting out in the communal garden or out on our balcony, which is a pity as we discovered we already had two of these rather nice chairs. 
I had intended to plant up my solitary pot with some interesting winter plants but that hasn't happened yet. 
There isn't that much daylight coming into the apartment, there isn't that much daylight anywhere I suppose, so the few house plants I brought here are struggling though every day I move them to the french doors to catch what light they can.
We've ordered a swanky new leather reclining chair for Mr FF but of course it won't be here until into the New Year.  We have people coming round to talk about fitted furniture to increase our storage. Nothing will happen until into at least January. It seems that this time of year is fit for nothing but Christmas shopping, you know my views on the build up to the festive period so you might be surprised to learn that I have made my Christmas cake.  It's waiting too, all wrapped up in a tin.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

WYS at my LYS

It's many years since I've had a local yarn shop but I have one now.  It's 10 minutes walk to this pretty little tin building housing Eme, cloth and yarn, a fantastic place for anyone interested in sewing or knitting.
I had lingered outside the shop a few times knowing that I have many unpacked boxes of yarn in the apartment but one day I just couldn't resist going in to say hello.  They have an amazing stock, Rowan, Regia, Noro, all our favourites, lots of books and completed samples to admire, everything I need except of course I don't need.  I explained to the lady that I just wanted a look round as we'd recently moved, big stash, not much space etc but then she told me that all stock was 20% off in October and suddenly I was grasping some lovely locally spun stuff.
OK I bought a few skeins of this Blue Faced Leicester which is so soft, for scarves or cowls, and a 100g of sock wool just to see how it worked. 
Then I decided the sale was too good to let pass without a few more purchases, so I went back and I bought more of the same.
The yarns are delightful, as the West Yorkshire Spinners website says locally reared sheared and spun in Britain, in fact spun not so very far from where I live, one has to support don't you agree.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Trick or Treat

You remember in the summer I inadvertently cooked one of Amelia and Esme's halloween pumpkins.  Well, there were still enough for one Peppa Pig and one Hello Kitty, carved by Daddy, lanterns.  I may be forgiven or have they put a spell on me to protect their crop for next year