Showing posts with label snow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label snow. Show all posts

Sunday, 5 December 2010

End Of Journey! (Photo Heavy)

 We were so pooped when we reached Inverness, we decided to stay the next day and not move on until the following day. Our first port of call was Leakey's Bookshop and cafe. This is an amazing place, an old church converted into a bookshop, with over 100,000 books in it! You can see the history below. 


This is taken from the cafe in the gallery, looking down on the stacks.
 The sides of the galleries have old maps and Victorian prints for sale. The pulpit is where the owner checks books and does business away from the public.

 The building is heated by and absolutely immense wood burning stove. The flue can be seen in some of the photos, going up through the ceiling.
 The cloth covered pile and the boxes in this picture are books waiting to be sorted and priced.
 The spiral staircase leading to the cafe and galleries. A glimpse of the owner at the cash desk. The service here is so friendly and welcoming (and the cakes are good too!)

We continued our journey the next day. The roads were really good, but we could not get up to the ferry at 1.30pm. We missed it, so we had a break and got the later one at 6.30pm.

Because we missed the lunch time ferry, we had to stay overnight on Orkney Mainland. The Sanday ferry had left at 3.20pm. The roads on OM were really bad. We saw a lorry trapped gong up a hill, and we had one bad skid.We could not go back home on the early ferry. We had one sad task to perform. During our visit away, we got a phonecall from the person who was caring for our animals to say that our cat had broken its leg and had to be sent over to the vet. We spoke to the vet, but she recommended we put the cat down. We saw the vet and paid our bill. 

We got home just after five, after a calm crossing. I can honestly say I was never so glad to get home! We have both been sitting, doing nothing, for the past two days and it has been wonderful! Hope you are all warm and cosy wherever you are!
Till next time.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Snow Upon Snow Upon Snow!! (Photo Heavy!!)

My new granddaughter, Annabelle, was having her dedication service last Sunday, so we left the island on Thursday amidst weather warnings for the whole of the north of Scotland, going right down the east coast to Edinburgh. This was slap bang in the route we would be taking, but we wanted to be at the service and see the little one and the rest of the family, as we had not seen them in person, apart from Skype, since the summer. There was lots of snow at the side of the road, but the roads were black all the way down, thank goodness. 

We went to Glasgow first, to see my father-in-law, who has Alzheimer's. He remembered my name eventually, but could not remember his son at all. It was so sad, as they were really close. We went back over to Penicuik, and despite a bit more snow, we were able to go shopping for party shoes for the girls. The shops were not busy at all, and a lot of them had sales on already. The recession seems to be biting. 

Overnight, there was a huge change. When we looked out the hotel window there was at least ten inches of snow, and we did not know if we could get out of the car park! We were supposed to give a lift to my daughter's friends, but we could not get to my daughter's house, so they had to walk down to us. The main roads were not bad, but the side roads were terrible. Seventy people were supposed to attend the dedication, but only fifteen arrived. We had a lovely service and a nice bowl of hot soup and homemade treats afterwards. You can see Annabelle in our heirloom christening gown with the rest of the family. The gown was handsewn by nuns in Madeira and was bought by my grandmother's first husband, who also bought her another gown and her wedding dress there too (I have the skirt of this). Unfortunately he was lost at sea, before they had any children. I am guessing the gowns are about 100 years old.
 I went in my jeans and wellies (new ones from my daughter), but I changed into a nice outfit for the ceremony. As usual, I forgot to get a picture, so here you see me below, with the rest of the family, all dressed up to face the elements, with boots, layer upon layer of clothes, body warmer and scarf.

We were warned by the congregation not to go north, but it was just as well be did, because a lot of the roads closed after we left, and Edinburgh had a dump of snow, thereafter!

The next part of the journey was HORRENDOUS!!!! We were trying to reach Inverness, which usually takes about 3-3.5 hours. We finally made it eight hours later, but how we did, I'll never know! Some of the photos are taken just holding the camera out of the window, but for the most part I was too scared to do anything but look at the snow, driving at the windscreen. The first two photos below show the M9 motorway, heading towards Perth. On our side, there was only one lane open, and it had a two inch crust of solid ice on it. When you stopped, which was every two minutes, the car just slid sideways. If you look carefully at the other side, you will see the cars are completely stopped. There was a fourteen mile tailback (including the snow plough!) and people had been in the queue for so long that they had built five feet high snowmen at the side of the carriageway and walking their dogs - on the motorway!! 

We waited in the queue for over thirty minutes and decided to take a diversion to Perth. We just got on that road when some cars got stuck. Fortunately, a snow plough came up and we managed to bypass the worst of the traffic.

 The rest of the journey was pretty bad, but Inverness was getting closer. Just as we got to Kingussie, we saw loads of flashing lights, and a fire engine blocking the whole of the fly over we were supposed to take. The police were flashing their torches over the fly over, so we wondered if somebody had skidded. We were told to take another diversion, and actually went past this, on the road below. A lorry had skidded off the fly over and rolled down the embankment to the road below. I copied the picture from the BBC website, but as you are allowed to use it on Twitter, Facebook and email, I think it is alll right to use it here -

We had a hairy drive on the diversion through Aviemore. This road closed soon after. When we got to the hotel in Inverness, we both had a strong drink and collapsed into bed.
I will tell you about us getting home safe and sound tomorrow!
Till then.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Mini Update

Well, here it is, finished at last! It is a wee bit wonky, but so am I, so it fits in fine! I really enjoyed making it, as I said in yesterday's post. I hope it will be the first of many. Below is a picture of some of the washers my husband picked up, for both of us. When he saw me taking a picture of them, he said, "I wondered where they went. I was looking for them yesterday!"
Thankful Thoughts
The snow (in Scotland) is starting to melt, so hopefully, my granddaughters will get up to see us for Easter.
Till next time.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

I'm in Love!!

I said in a previous post, that I had bought this book. It is WONDERFUL! I love it. I have been having great fun with it, and Terrie Sandelin is so nice!! I emailed her to tell her I was going to talk about the book, and she emailed me some tips! I have never had service like that before. What a great person!

I decided to try Trip Around the World. The instructions were good, and I actually enjoyed sewing the tiny patches together. Usually I worry like mad about sewing all the tiny patches together, and getting the corners to meet, but look at below -

My borders were a bit wonky. (Notice the material behind the mini. It is a nice cotton from Ikea.) Back to the mini. I took one of the borders off again, as it was a bit tight, so it looks marginally better, but still a bit wonky.

I marked the mini using a large washer. I sandwiched the mini, and then machine-quilted the centre, 'Trip Around the World'. I then hand-quilted the semi-circles, but when I was finished, I decided I needed a smaller circle within the bigger one. I used a smaller washer. To make all the semi-circles the same size, I mark the washers with black pen and then line them up. (you can see the lines in the picture)

I will show you the finished quilt tomorrow.

Thankful Thoughts
This is the fourth day of British Summertime. Yesterday, Scotland had gales, blizzards and huge amounts of snow. Thousands of homes were without power, and roads were closed, with hundreds of motorists stranded. I am sitting here, nice and cosy, with a cup of tea. The rain, which has been on most of the day, has stopped, and tomorrow it is supposed to be nice. Thank goodness we live here!
Till next time,

Thursday, 7 January 2010

January!! (Photo heavy)

As well as the excitement of a brand new year, with goal setting and aspiring to keep resolutions, I think the beginning of January can also be a little sad. All the colourful decorations are taken down, the tree is bereft (see above) and suddenly the house looks bare! The decorations have to be carefully packed away, but I promised you I would show you some of my ornaments, some hand-made by me or by special friends, or some really special ones, tied forever to loving memories. We were supposed to be going down to see my grandchildren, to give them their presents this week, but the snow is so bad in the whole of Britain, (the worst winter for 50 years, according to the News tonight) we have had to cancel our plans. I was going to show these photos on the blog, when I was away, but it looks as if we won't get down for some time, so Christmas ornaments in February would look a bit strange!! A lot of my ornaments are a little 'tired', but they will never be thrown out!

I think I have mentioned Santa below. He is my all time favourite. My Mum got him out a Cornflake packet during the war (before I was born, I hasten to add), painted him red, somewhat faded now, and he has been on the tree ever since.

The next eight photographs are of ornaments I made for a workshop I used to run. Every summer I used to hold a 'Christmas in July' workshop. In the morning the ladies would make a lot of small items in a variety of crafts. They would then be given a Christmas lunch, with turkey and all the trimmings, sherry trifle and cream, tea and mince pies, and in the afternoon they were given the choice between two patchwork wallhangings. It was great fun, and so I have a lot of Christmas ornaments I made for the class.

Very simple wreath wrapped with ribbon

Cross stitch, wrapped over thick card, with either cord on its own, or cord and lace. (above and below)
Mini patchwork squares (about 3" - above and below) and material scraps pushed into a polystyrene ball. I also used 3D paint to edge the sledge - yuck!!
Lace gathered into a wreath and then stiffened.

Paper mache heads made into Santas.
A bad example of Suffolk puffs.
I am really proud of these. I made these with the ladies, but years later, I got my pupils with special needs to make these for Valentines Day. Every one of them managed it, even the boy with cerebral palsy, and he gave it to his Mum!

A crochet stocking. You start off with a Granny square, but on the last row you do some extra stitches, fold it over, sew together and you have a mini stocking!

I also have had some lovely ornaments from friends. This was a gentleman, who knew I loved beading, as much as he did, so he gave me these for my tree.
These ornaments were made by my Mum, who died over 22 years ago. She got a lot of mini milk cartons (the one you get in a cafe for your coffee). She emptied them, washed them carefully, and then got my son and daughter to help her decorate them. I love them!

I got my son to wrap up a lot of matchboxes when he was wee. This is the only survivor!
Thankful Thoughts
The weather in Britain has been dreadful. Snow, snow and more snow! We have had some hail and a little furry here and there, but mainly it has just been cold. I went out into the middle of the bay this morning with our dog. You can see the water is slowly coming back into the bay, and in the other photo, you can see the sun shining on our house. Aren't we lucky? Thank You.