Monday, 31 March 2014

Amsterdam etc

 A week yesterday we went to Amsterdam in the Netherlands.We love art and one of the main reasons for going was to go to the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijks Museum to see great art.We were very well organised and booked our tickets ,on line, and in advance.Unfortunately our plans were scuppered because President Obama was in town ,en route to The Hague for a Nuclear Conference.He was visiting the museums on the day we had booked our tickets and all the museum area was closed!Much  panic followed but we did manage to go the following day.The van Gogh museum was interesting but a little disappointing as most of his famous  works are elsewhere(all his sunflower pictures are in London).We were more impressed with the Rijks Museum especially the Night Watch by Rembrandt.There were more works by him and also Vermeer.
We had a hotel just  off Dam Square which was very handy but in an expensive area.Two glasses of lager were 9 euros!
Above is a photo of me with the famous "tulips fromAmsterdam"
 A typical Amsterdam scene.
 Looking the other way from the same bridge.
Typical houses and bikes everywhere.I tried to upload more photos but they disappeared.
While in Amsterdam we visited Anne Frank's house.This is a fascinating story and so humbling to read it and see where they hid.Anne died in Bergen Belsen just before the end of the war.Her father,Otto,survived and in 1947 found a publisher to print the diary.If you havn't read this you should.
We also visited Rembrand's house.This was so interesting.It is a three storey canal house built in 1606.He bought it in 1639 using money from his wife Saskia.The top floor is dedicated to his etchings and there was a man there demonstrating how it was done,also someone showing how he mixed his paint.You see his living quarters as well as his studio and get a real"feel" for Rembrandt.
It was a great trip.We walked miles and miles and my knees were great(thank you Mr Wooton for my replacements).We got back on Wednesday evening at 10pm and on Thursday at 11am we were off to Cambridge but that is a story for another day.............

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Happy St David's Day.

It's March 1st today-St Davids Day.So Happy St David's Day from North Wales.Lots of daffodils in evidence around town today,Welsh cakes being given out,choirs singing etc
.Last night we went to Theatr Clwyd to see Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas.It was a Terry Hands production so we knew it would be good.It was originally written for the radio and as such is quite difficult to transfer to the stage.Terry Hands did a great job.How do these actors remember such long speeches?It amazes me .The Guardian gave it 5 stars.It was good to see the main theatre full.It holds 550 people and we are only a town of 10,000 population.Under Milk Wood is on for three weeks and has been a sell out most nights.We are so lucky to have this theatre five minutes from our house.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

I have had a review published in this magazine.

I subscribe to newbooksmag which is a magazine for readers and reading groups.I have reviewed books for them before but havn't had the chance to do one for a while.They e mail to say what is coming up but I seem to get pipped to the post as I only tend to read e mails in the evening and by that time others have got in before me!!However, this time I hit lucky.The book I reviewed is The Ruby Slippers by Keir Alexander.It is to be published at the end of March.I get an uncorrected proof copy.You are asked to be totally honest and if you don't like it say so.Luckily I really enjoyed this book.It is set in New York and includes a number of fascinating characters- bag lady Rosa originally from Latvia who owns the ruby slippers which were worn by Judy Garland for the Wizard of Oz,Mr Markinkus of the Sunrise Deli,a bitter old billionaire and lots of others.I do recommend it.
It is quite a buzz to get your copy of the magazine and see you name in print.I really enjoy the magazine.It contains interviews with authors,reviews and every time there are free books on offer.You just pay the postage.I have had some really good reads recommended in the mag.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Scary weather

Scary weather here in North Wales.Gale force winds are battering against the back of the house.I could hear something banging outside ,went out to investigate and two fence panels are out.We drove back earlier from our daughter's in Cheshire and what a hairy drive it was.Fallen trees,branches and debris in the road and as well as the wind ,torrential rain.It seems to be easing a little now but who knows what we will find in the garden tomorrow.Living in the flooded areas of Britain must be an absolute nightmare and no sign of it getting better.We should be driving to our son's in Cambridge on Friday(three and a half hours away) but the forecast is terrible and the river cam is rising!!!Roll on Spring.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Show and tell.

 While I have been "projectless" I have been making some of these for a hospice in Manchester.You send them in and they put a creme egg inside and sell them.I have made about 20 so far.
 Another thing I have made is a lap blanket from bits of wool left over from other projects.this will go to an old people's home.
 In one of our spare bedrooms we have two single beds with these duvets on them.Whenever our two local granddaughters come to stay,especially in the winter,I wish I had matching blankets.So you know I have an addiction to making blankets,out comes my Stylecraft Special DK colour chart.I bought this chart from Afan Crafts for £1.99 and it has been invaluable.Yarn colours on the internet can't be trusted.I have been disappointed so may times.This Stylecraft yarn comes in 55 colours,yes 55!So I chose my colours to match the duvet covers.
In this photo the colours look darker than they really are.They are a pretty good match.A new colour palette for me as well.On the other side of the covers there are stripes for when our grandsons come to stay..So I am happy .I can indulge my obsession with two more blankets.So snuggly to do in the winter watching TV.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

A week in Tenerife

We have just come back from a week in Tenerife.It is the first time we have done a Winter Sun holiday.How bizarre and almost surreal.At 7pm on Sunday evening we were in Tenerife and the temperature was in the 70's /25c.Four hours later we landed at Manchester Airport and it was 3 deg and the gritters were out!!We were very lucky in that we had great weather,a great room and a great hotel but would we do it again.I am not sure.C started with a really bad cold on Friday(his first for 5 years) which freaked him out a bit as he has no spleen and has to be very careful not to get infections.If he hadn't started there with a cold then he would have caught something coming back on the plane.Everyone was sneezing and coughing.You get people from all over Europe all bringing different bugs so perhaps we shouldn't risk it but I did enjoy a week of sun with no cooking,cleaning ,shopping etc.We did all inclusive for the first time which was wonderful until i got on the scales  this morning.far too much eating and drinking!!!The diet has started.
 This is the view from our terrace out to sea.The beach was below our room and all you could hear sitting on the terrace was the sea crashing onto the rocks and the birds singing.
 This is looking the other way towards the mountains.
                                         Hibiscus(I think)

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2014

A Happy and Healthy New Year to everyone around the world.Hope it is a great crafting year for you all.I need a new project.Must get my thinking cap on.Perhaps some charity knitting to use up my stash.Any suggestions welcome.