February 4th

Good news!  We are going to collect Otis on Friday rather than Saturday!  I shall be able to see the Servals that Jackson’s breeder has too. They are to die for but very expensive. You can see them here. It is about a hundred mile drive – I am going to take a good look at the map so that we do not get lost yet again!

The new Debbie Bliss Delphi has arrived along with the book, also ten new shades of Louisa Harding Noema and four new shades of Debbie’s Rialto Lace.

I have the last packs of Angora Haze in Nest on their way to me. This was by far the most popular shade which I find strange as I much prefer the stronger colours.

Slip’s paw is healing. She wears a polythene bag over it when she goes out so that it keeps dry. John fusses over her – keeps bathing it and applying Germolene!

It is still cold here but no more snow. I am bundled up in an Alice Starmore fair isle sweater and a Kidsilk Haze Stripe scarf.

Got to pack parcels now – I am trying to wear gloves but it is slow progress trying to extract balls of wool from packs whilst wearing them.


February 2nd

I have purchased a new bed for Otis. It is like a sleeping bag. I can fold one end under to start with if it is too big for him


I have  also bought a new scratching post and several toys.  So I think I am ready!

Slip has an injured paw. She must have cut it whilst shooting on Saturday. There is a deep gash across one of the pads on her right paw. We have bathed it and put a sock over it. She also ripped a dew claw off on Saturday and so has a sore place there too. However, she insisted on going pigeon shooting this afternoon and so cannot be in too much pain.

We are going to Scotland in May. John is fishing for a week and I can have a rest. I like the hotel – we stayed there last year and I enjoyed it. I have not planned a Caribbean trip yet but am thinking  about Barbados or Antigua.

The new Debbie Bliss Delphi is due tomorrow along with new shades of Rialto Lace and Pure Silk DK. Plus books! Don’t think John will be too pleased at the sight of yet more yarn!

January 31st

It is snowy here today. Not actually snowing but there is snow lying around. I hate to think that Jackson might be out there somewhere – cold and hungry. So what do I think has happened to him?  He went out at usual at 10.00pm on Saturday 20th December and did not return at 7.0am the next day. His  usual pattern is to be at the patio door when we get up.  At first I did not worry unduly but by the next morning I was frantic.

We telephoned all the vets, animal rescue places and the council. We stuck up posters on lamp posts and walked miles and miles. There is nowhere near my house that he could get shut in.  I think it unlikely that he was stolen as who is going to be up a country lane in the middle of the night looking for a cat to steal?  I am sure he would not go into a strange house willingly. He hates cars and would not get in one. So where is he? My gut feeling is that he was hit by a car and either crawled off somewhere to die or a fox found him and ate him.  There is one more scenario which does not bear thinking about.  There is an Indian restaurant at the bottom of the road and John found some snares tied to the wire that surrounds a field next to the restaurant. We assume they are for rabbits – but who knows?

Here is the last photo I have of him


But I have to move on.  This time next week I shall be collecting Otis.  Slip is missing Jackson and so I hope she will take to Otis. We will have a very large pen in the lounge to start with so that Otis can see Slip and get used to her without feeling threatened. I shall let him out of the pen when I am in the room and put him back when we go out. I remember the damage Jackson did when he was a kitten – absailing the curtains, unrolling the toilet paper, getting into cupboards etc etc.

Eventually Otis will be allowed outside but not until I have a live tracker for him.    There is one coming to the market early this year. You fit it to the cat’s collar and you can see where he is on your PC or iPhone at any time.  You buy the tracker and then pay so much a month for the service.

I am going to be stocking Jo Sharp yarns and patterns.  I have always liked them, the colours are so nice.

Now I am going to make a Smokey Pork and Bean casserole for dinner tonight. John and Slip are out shooting and are sure to be ravenous when they get home.

January 30th

Yes, I am still alive. I have decided to start posting again.

For those of you who do not know, my Bengal cat, Jackson went missing on 20th December and has not been seen since. It is a complete mystery as to what has happened to him. As you can imagine, I was heart broken but I have had to come to terms with it and accept that he is never going to come back.

I have a new Bengal kitten coming. I am going to call him Otis and we collect him on February 6th.
He will have his own blog called Observations by Otis. Here is a photo of him

August 7th

Just had some rather depressing news. A surveyor came to see us about applying for permission to develop our land. He said that there is no chance – the land that our house and our neighbours house stand on is green belt.
So that means we either stay here and hope we are dead before the development gets to us or try to sell the house and land now. Because the development will be all around, the value of the house and land will be much less than it is at present surrounded by open fields. Any prospective buyer will be told about the future housing estates that will surround this house. Not quite sure what to think – I will have to let the news sink in.

On a brighter note, there are six new shades of Kidsilk Haze Stripe coming in September

John found a heap of mouse carcasses in the greenhouse – just bones and the odd eye. Mr. Jackson has obviously been taking his catches in there and eating them.

Going to cook a Paella now!

August 3rd

At last I have sewn the Rowan KAL throw together – what an awful task! I still have some ends to darn in plus I have to finish knitting the cable trim and then sew that on. Here it is so far:

Yesterday John noticed a lot of dust on the roof of his car in the garage…like fine wood. He climbed up and looked at the rafters and we have woodworm. He is now dressed in his bee keeping equipment and spraying the infected wood.

Today I am cooking sliced potatoes and onions in garlic and cream with giant prawns in olive oil and garlic. For pudding I am making an apple and blackberry pie. As John still has gout he does not want to eat any meat at the moment.

My local Waitrose tell me that they will no longer be selling cooked fish – prawns, crabs, kippers etc on the fish counter. This is because of an EU directive which says cooked and raw fish cannot be sold together! I buy a lot of prawns and crabs and so will have to send away for them.

Ian from Designer Yarn is coming to see me tomorrow. They are going to start selling KnitPro needles…..not sure quite why as there are already 2 or 3 UK distributors.

Now I must start cooking and then get on with knitting the trim!

July 30th

Here I am, as promised!
My arm gets a little better each day and I can do most things. Taking clothes off over my head is still hard and painful and I often get stuck halfway. Driving is OK as is carrying light bags or boxes. I can now sleep on that arm too. The surgeon said 6 months and it is nearly 5 and so I guess he was correct.

We are going to Ireland for the day on August 14 to look at a house – see http://www.formerglory.ie/property-rathclare-house.html. it is a large house – lots of empty rooms for me to store yarn in plus outbuildings! We ccan do the trip in a day if we catch an early flight to Cork and a late one home. Jackson can stay here and Julie will have Slip for the day.

I have been knitting the Rowan Pure Wool Worsted afghan as part of a KAL. The knitting was OK but now I am sewing the thing up! 48 squares to join. As some of you know, I am hopeless with a needle and am finding it hard but am gradually getting there. Then I have to sew on a cable trim. Not sure what on earth I shall do with the blanket…maybe Jackson will like it!

I have been buying clothes ready for St.Lucia…..only 5 weeks until we go. I thought I had better buy a “formal” dress for the gala dinner that is held on Sunday nights and ended up with this


It is black crepe and swings out from the waist. I thought I could dress it up with one of my Artyarns shawls.  I also have a very pretty cardi that one of my customers knitted for me

ayjacket ayjacketa

I have also bought sundresses and shorts.  I bought the shorts online from Gap and got confused between US and UK sizes. On checking the confirmation of my order, I saw that I had bought UK6 when I wanted US6. Oh well, I could send them back if needs be. They duly arrived and I can fit into them fine.  I have lost weight since my fall principally because I am not drinking so much.  John keeps an eagle eye on my consumption and I am only allowed 2 glasses of wine with 3 at weekends.  No vodka at all!  But I still look longingly at it in the supermarket!  Wait ’til I get to St.Lucia – I shall make up for lost swallows!

Jackson is well. Unfortunately he has been catching birds – mainly baby robins that have just left the nest. I have found 3 recently and have managed to dispose of them before John saw them.  Reminds me, there is one in my kitchen waste bin right now – I must empty it.

Slip has been swimming a lot. It has been very hot and so we take her to the fishing lake most days and she has a swim.  This weekend there is a big music festival in the fields around the lake and access to the lake is closed. Details of festival are here : http://www.standon-calling.com

Must go and pack parcels and then get dinner prepared – Toad in the Hole for John and a crab for me – I have to dress the crab!