Archive for ‘family’

December 7, 2014

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

My sister and I booked seats on a coach to visit Winter Wonderland in London, not really knowing what to expect. Stupidly I didn’t look on line to find out. It wasn’t til we were on the coach when my sister told me that some of the attractions needed pre-booking. Not desiring to ice skate, or sit in an ice village, I wasn’t too distraught.
We queued for about 15mins to gain entry and headed straight for the nearest loos (obviously). First queue of the afternoon. Bought some tokens at the kiosk and waited in another queue for our first ride (santas sleigh, for those over 5yrs). Then some food and a hot mulled wine, hoping the warmth would make it to my toes. By this time you couldn’t actually see the ground for feet and legs or see over the heads, keep walking head for the big wheel, keeping to the left as we were directed.
Spot it in the distance, amazed at the sights of the other rides, all brightly lit, sensory overload, ears in shock. Eventually we found the end of the queue, jostling commenced,stamping of feet trying to stay warm. Almost an hour later it was our turn and in we stepped, sharing our pod with a lovely lady with her niece. My sister was rather panicky, being as she didn’t like heights very much but since the wheel hardly moved and you only did one rotation stopping and starting as people either got on or off it was a rather forgettable experience. At least by the time it was our turn it was properly dark so we could see a beautiful full moon, the London Eye, Harrods and a few other famous landmarks.
Also from our advantage point in the sky we could see the throng of people still waiting to come in. We then joined the shuffling snake of people to get back to the loos. More queuing, another hot drink then to the finale- the Helter Skelter! Amazingly no queue, we could have just used our tokens for this all afternoon and avoided all the waiting, if it had it’s own loo it would have been perfect!
Needless to say I screamed all the way down and then couldn’t get up again, that was the best fun EVER.
So lessons learned- Check what/where/cost of attractions. Be prepared to queue endlessly for toilets.Wear even more clothes.
If you are looking to buy presents in the market, forget it. Re my previous post on stuff, all imported, useless stuff! (IMHO)
Feedback to Winter Wonderland-Provide more toilets!!! with all the millions of visitors they had last night I’m sure installing a few more portakabin loos won’t break the bank and it will make visitor experience much happier.
To families with small children-take a blanket or two to wrap them up, hats/mitts/warm boots essential.
My thanks to the gathering of santas, the coach driver and my big sister for a memorable (31)photo (30)

March 29, 2014

Vacation Florida style part 1. Knitting and the seaside.

I have only been to Florida  once before so this trip was to be a sightseeing and trying new things visit. My son has lived here for a while so he knows his way around and is patient with me wanting my daily brew (coffee) and as many yarn stores as we can find. Between us we compiled a list of places and restaurants to visit, where the best yarn shops are and what we’d both enjoy doing, sometimes with my grandson too. We are almost there. I’ve eaten many different foods, drunk different beers, seen new places and made new friends. We’ve been on a ferry, a boat tour to see dolphins, eaten great sea food, fried green tomatoes and fried chicken. Spring rolls, the best biscuits I’ve ever had, (not cookies), shrimp, crab and possibly the best French fries. I’ve cooked for my son too, tonight it’s shepherds pie. Still have to eat some kind of pie though! 

One yarn shop was like an Alladins cave with very helpful staff, we’re patient with me and didn’t mind how long I browsed the floor to ceiling shelves. The other was the complete opposite, with no prices on shelves or yarn bands so when I asked she had to look on computer. There was a workshop going on and I was obviously in the way. I think that is the only time I’ve left a yarn shop empty handed!

I’ve experienced torrential rain, scorching heat, cold, humidity and high winds all in a two week period.

when you go to the beach in England you drive to the coast, park, carry your bucket n spade to the (mostly) pebbly beach, hire a deck chair and wind break and hobble down to the sea. Eat your sandwich and warm lemonade. If you’re lucky you may need to apply a sun hat and lotion. 

We cooked a dozen or so hot dogs, stuffed them in the buns, wrapped them in foil and put them in a thermos bag, wrapped ham in tortillas, grabbed a few bottles of water, cartons of juice, hats, sun cream (factor 60) towels and toys and off we went. Stopped at gas station to buy ice, filled cooler with ice and off we went again. Arriving at the beach we paid our entry fee and drove on, and on….. To the beach. Tide was out, we parked in zone 10, stripped off, and ran over sand to the ocean. Again and again. The only trouble was you had to watch out for the other cars and trucks that kept arriving (then leaving) throughout the day. Part of the beach is a nature reserve and is roped off, much farther along the beach was accessible to 4wheel drive vehicles only due to soft sand. I did fret rather when it was high tide and the car was only a foot away from the waters edge but my son assured me we’d be ok.and we were. 

At home I don’t do the whole sitting on the beach thing, I can’t sit anywhere doing nothing so I had to keep paddling and wandering off. I was very brave too and went in the sea up to my hips all the while wishing I was enjoying it. My son was slightly braver but not much! 

Thankfully much of the afternoon was overcast so it made the walking in the surf a bit more comfortable.ImageImage


August 5, 2012

Introducing Stumpy the octopus

As a special favour to my eldest son I created this second octopus for someone he knows in Florida. It will be part of a nautical inspired and themed nursery for a special little boy.
Over 80 buttons are sewn on to him so he’s not a ‘toy’ suitable for a little one but future mini octopi will be.
I called him stumpy because one of his legs is shorter and fatter than the others. He is sitting on my handmade rug/chair cover woven with Cheviot fleece.

July 18, 2012

Life without a car

Looks like the relationship between me & Betty has come to an end. Betty is a 12yr old Nissan Micra that my dad bought new in 2000. She never missed a service and has only clocked up just over 60,000 miles.Dad never drove very far in her, she made it to Yorkshire last year, the furthest she ever went.

I don’t understand cars, can’t even change a tyre, I know where to put oil, screen wash and petrol, that’s it.

The man at the garage was very kind explaining this & that trying to make me understand that Betty was defunct and was not worth the cost of repairing, there would be no guarantee that she would last very long even after the repair to get her through the MOT.

So now I’m coming to terms of losing Dad’s car and my independence. I’m lucky to live in a village with a frequent bus service which will take me to Hove so I can look after my grandson ( double the time it takes to drive), get me to Lewes to do my shift at Oxfam and to Uckfield to see my mum. It will enable me to do 2 of my Lets Get Moving jobs but one will have to be dropped, too far & no bus. It won’t get me to Forest Row to sell my wares at Mansion market or to the shows I do every year. I will miss them but I’ll have to adjust.

Life changes all the time, throws up new challenges. Now I have to be positive and move on. I shall make the most of Betty til the end of the month then wave her goodbye (after removing the AA badge from her front).

She may go the Fire service or the police, but I’d quite like a few pennies for her to put toward a shopping trolley and an annual bus pass!


Tags: , ,
July 28, 2011

Bored kids? busy hands make happy kids

I have just started to put together some needlefelting kits which are suitable for youngsters and adults. The kits contain all you need to make a unique piece of felt, either flat or 3D. The needles are very sharp so I recommend adult supervision and to have a box of plasters handy. All the fibres are washed and clean and dyed by me.
Make someone happy this school holiday when the weather is not nice enough to go outside. The kits are small enough to take on holiday too.
reds and gold kit
watermelon goody bag