Thursday, 31 December 2009

Boxing Day

Just a quickie as we're about to dash off for the seaside. But I fogot Boxing Day. Usual walk around the lake although the higher we climbed the less snow there was and, consequenlty, the larger the lake. The path was quite flooded at times.
Always a lovely walk though espescailly with a break for turkey and stuffing sandwiches

And December continues to be dedicated to accessories.
Purple flouncy scarf, a bore to knit by quite effective with ready made frills
Flamenco Four Seasons Grundl
Storm Cloud Shawlette by Hanna Breetz
in regia sock wool
Both scarves with matching alpaca gloves of course

Sunday, 20 December 2009

In the bleak mid winter

With temperatues reaching a record low (-11°C) I didn't leave the house with the intention of getting to the castle, but the roads were clean and that's where I ended up.

The dog at the bar so wanted to play in the snow but his mum obviously thought differently.

And I had new mittens to keep me warm
Drops Carisama gauntlets
Lucky Horse by Jorid Linvik
PS Answer to tree test. Kangaroos by Bellarine Queen/ Cute crocheted critter by Ambra

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Spot the difference

A little bit of fun for you all.

Can you spot the difference between this week's tree and last week's?
Two new decorations have been added. One from my Rav friend who lives farthest away (and that's a clue) and another from my nearest pal from Italy.

Thank you both so very much, works of art.

For the rest of you answers next blog.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Poor puss

One cold puss in the dog/cat house.

Serves him right for peeing on the Christmas tree!

What a lovely surprise - a christmas card from Jack in Wales, now he always behaved himself!

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Promises of a Crafty Christmas

OK I admit it, I do go rather overboard at Christmas.
The first thing to go up is the advent calander. Cross stitched by me years ago. The chocolates tend to get eaten and replaced several times before Christmas day actually arrives

Remember the knitted Alan Dart tree? It promised to be a disaster back in the summer. But with a gather here and there the branches looked pretty effective in the end. Here it is loaded with crafted ornaments from new friends made over the year at ravalry. I have been so lucky and got pressies from all over. Kisses to you all.

And as temperatures dropped icicles formed on the windows. Knitted of course by mum.
(that sellotape gives the game away)

Lindy stole my first rasta hat so I had an excuse to make another in chocolate and cream coloured Schoppenwool. I adore this yarn.

Friday, 4 December 2009

I'm dreaming of a white birthday

Isn't Nature wonderful?
From yesterday's blue to today's white.
And if you look carefully in the middle of this photo (click on it for an enlarged view) there is a little lost deer obviously nipped down from the hills in search of a bite to eat.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Blue skies

Blue skies smilin' at me
Nothin' but blue skies do I see
Bluebirds singin' a song
Nothin' but bluebirds all day long
Never saw the sun shinin' so bright
Never saw things goin' so right
With apologies to Bing, Frank, I have to say this was the only song that came into my head this morning

After a month of rain I just had to whizz up to the castle where I woke the lady up at the bar and she came down to make a coffee in her slippers. Well it was gone 10!

I swear i haven't touched up that blue.
But even as I write the clouds are gathering.....

And one last reason for feeling happy. Got the last Chrissy pressie sewn up and posted off.
Which one of my lucky friends is going to get this?
Modelled by Marco with thnaks

Monday, 30 November 2009

Day out for Anna

After a bit of hinting Victor finally got the message and we took Anna out for her birthday on Sunday.
Mum and son

Destination: Garda on Lake Garda set in the centre stretch of the Riviera degli Olivi. They'd convieniently set up a little Christmas market and as the sun set the lights were very pretty, reflected in Mermaid Bay.

And two of her three granddaughters: Linda and Alessia

As we left the first drops of something hit our cheeks...Is snow finally on the way?

Monday, 23 November 2009

Grey days

Unlike the UK, lashed by wind and rain in this period, it has been very foggy around these parts, much worse than London, although Italians raised on Dickens and Sherlock holmes might disagree.
Fortunately Mother Nature manages to cheer us up a bit. As other trees are stripped bare of leaves the persimmon comes into its full glory.
There are plenty of these rustic trees in local gardens.
The bright orange globes appear to glow like fairy lights on an otherwise dismal evening.
I'm not too keen on the fruit, all jelly inside but I bet Ambra can come up with a recipe for them !

Monday, 9 November 2009

It's raining again

It's raining again........who sang that song?

With Saint Martin's day falling on 9th November, it nearly always rains on our local Saint's day.
After a half -hearted attempt to visit the local market I retreated to the warmth of the wool shop and spent the afternoon working on this year's decorations

Theme: gingerbread.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Burn the Guy

This year I was overcome with nostalgia. I wanted to return to The Uk on Bonfire Night.
V came with me
We went to Newick where I spent my first ten years. I hadn't been back for forty years but Guy was the same

Pity I couldn't say the same about the costumes. The amazing Zulu warriors, Mexicans complete with hats and Indian cheifs were replaced by rather unmemorable sailors dressed in what looked like rugby shirts.
These Romans were an exception and easily walked off with the fancy dress prize

At the end of the parade were the barrel men picking up the dropped burning torches.

The bonfire was glorious but the fireworks?
There were plenty of them but whether due to cloud, smoke or simply standing in the wrong place we saw very little of them.
But some of the happy old memories were compensated by new additions. The beer, (definitly didn't drink that when young). The roast pork, crackling and apple sauce roll, (beats fish and chips anyday).
And the weather was clement, I remember one particularly freezing night dressed up as a Fry's Turkish delight belly dancer..
So the conclusion? I'll be back one day

Monday, 2 November 2009

Back again!

Even though I met up with Sylv for the first time last Thursday, I can't say that she is a new friend, after chatting away every evening for over a year on the computer we already knew everything about each other, that we'd be drinking coffee not tea for example, so time was not wasted on getting to know each other but straight down to buisness like shopping for wool in CH and chocolate in Tescos.
Naturally I can't wait to meet up again but until then I still have someone to moan, groan and laught with every evening!
For those in the know, Lessie on the left, Bettyboo on the right.

EASTBOUNE. I have always liked this town on the south coast, even in the rain, with the pier,

and promenade stretching round to the white chalk cliffs and Beachy Head

But now I have reason to like it more than ever. A new wool shop, Yarn Forward, Mum and I were in ectasy although V needed a coffee to get over the stress, but as I pointed out to him, now is the time to buy with the exchange rate in favour of Euros for once.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Friday walk in company

A rare treat for me today. Alla joined me on my Friday morning walk up to the castle and back.
And even though temperautres had dropped to nearly freezing over night we were not put off and pounded up the road, taking advantage of all the shortcuts. Got to the top (44ometres, 4 kns) in no time at all only to find that my favouirte bar hadn't yet opened.

So we took our life in our hands and had coffee at the trattoria. A restaurant which continues to get rave reviews but I can't understand why. Dank, dusty and smelly. But working on the theory that the scalding of the milk in the cappuchino would get rid of all known germs we tried their coffee and it wasn't bad.
Walking down took much longer as twowomen together we had to set the world to rights and covered everything from making bread, through muisc to , I admit, the locals!
There are four curves each way.
The ones looking north west look over the village and, on a fine day, glimpses of the Alps, Switzerland, France Uk and mum!!!.
The ones looking south and east offer splendid views of the castles. Rossena in forground, Canossa to the rear. With the Apennines to the back

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Out with the old/historic and in with the new

This Sunday we decided to patrol the river valley. We set off along what is shown as a Roman road on the map. The road ran alongside the river from Northern Italy to Pistoia south of the Apennines.
And at this point from 2 BC to 3AD there was an important town called Luceria. Old photos show that some of the forum was still standing in the early 20th century. This is the site of the modern digs, complete with sign warning vandals to keep out. I think the warning came too late.
Yet the Romans knew a thing or two about road building, in fact the new ring road picks up the old route and developes it out of all proportion. Ringroads should take traffic around a town but they've only planned the first part of ours, the part bringing it into the area, convieniently finishing in the newly planned agro-industrial area

Being divided by a scarp from the rest of the viallge, not everyone is aware of how this once 'protected area ' is being taken over.

This ditch is actually all that remains of the Canale Ducale built in mid 15th century to take water from the river out into the plain. There are still a few working watermills along its length, including one in our village for grinding animal feed. In another area it crosses the built up area on a medieval viaduct. In the summer it is full of rushing water.
After promises to build a bridal path our council took the easy way out and are systematically replacing it with pipes.
And last but definitively not least, the 'piece de resistance', the local sawmills located right in the center of the village.
And with this I think I've discouraged any wouldbe visitors planning to pop over to sunny Italy.
Next week I' taking to the hills again....

Monday, 5 October 2009

Coata del Sabbione/Tassobbio

If anyone ever vists me in these parts I shall take them to Sunday lunch in this restaurant on the banks of the Tassobbio.

A restored watermill where guests eat in the courtyard. Live background music (man with accordion) and even resident dog

Naturally we had our sandwiches outside on a convienient bench.
Can't say what I'm knitting. It's for someone reading this blog .
Note the new sticks. A bit dodgy to start with, I kept getting tangled up in them and my thumbs are all blistered.

Yet they came in handy by the time we'd walked along the top of the valley (700m), down, along the stream and back up again, passing the ancient church of Pianzo on the way

And what about that view!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

The city of bicycles (and balloons)

Ferrara is known as the city of bicycles and so when we visited Ambra and Paola there we had to get some too. With all the bike paths (often cobbled ...ouch!) and lovely weather it was the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

The old Jewish ghetto. The city had one of the largest Jewish communities in Italy reaching a peak of over 2,000 inhabitants. 96 were deported during the 2nd WW

Via Volta (archway)

And there was also a balloon festival going on in the skies above the city.

But the fun didn't end there . Ambra also treated us to a special vegetarian lunch of local specailites including farainata (chick pea batter), pumpkin souffles (recipe please) and even a cake without sugar, butter or eggs which still managing to be rather tasty (and probably just as fattening!).

We also had a bit of 'yarn' talk. Rav pals might like to visit her on the community. She does some lovely crocheting too.