Thursday, 31 July 2014

A trip to Hailes Castle

We ended up having a super busy weekend, filled with BBQs, castles and mills, tea, sun, sand, rain, movies and FOOD.  It was pretty awesome.  On Saturday we went to Hailes Castle, where we found out it was build by Tam's ancestors (in that they shared the same name, so obviously he's descended from castle owners and I'm calling myself a Lady now...).  It was really warm day - after Hailes we headed to Preston Mill to use our rival National Trust card, which has probably paid for itself already, then to the beach!  Where it started raining.  But only after we'd paddled a bit and lay about reading, so that was considerate of the weather.

Sunday we went to the car boot sale then out for lunch with Tam's mum, then back to the house for much movie watching.  That makes me happy :)  There was even more movie watching at night when we headed to the Hippodrome for Jimmy's Hall.  It was OK.  I think it was one of the rare occasions I went into a film with high expectations (directed by Ken Loach after all) and so was left slightly disappointed.

In other news, I moved!  And today is my birthday!  I'm scheduling this a couple of days in advance so hopefully things went smoothly...  Also I'm planning to do another birthday themed Day in the Life post this year so look out for that!


Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Finished Knitting - The Tom Weir hat

First things first - I guest blogged over on Bryony's blog this week, all about my slice of seaside, so take a look if you want to know more about where I'm from.  Ah!  But not where I live now, because I'm moving tomorrow!  I'm gonna schedule a couple of posts for this week so I can concentrate on unpacking, my favourite thing...  Anyway, on to my main point.

I completed a nice quick knit this week.  Tam asked me ages ago to knit him a Tom Weir bobble hat but I slightly forgot about it until I entered a competition to win a Weir's Way DVD boxset and won!  Which was very exciting and prompted Tam to remind me of my promise.  So off I went.  Luckily I'd just bought some red wool and finding a basic rib pattern was no problem so it knit up really quickly.  

I used the St Mungo's Orange Bobble Hat pattern (PDF) with a couple of modifications - as I was using DK wool and knitting on the round I followed those instructions, but because my hat was for an adult man (the pattern claims to fit a child) I went up to 4.5mm needles and made the ribbing and stocking stitch sections longer by about an inch each.  It fit perfectly, which makes a change!  I did originally start on 4mm needles but after missing a section and having to rip it back, I checked the gauge and decided to go up.  

The bobble I made in two minutes with my trusty pompom maker (I used the Clover medium sized green one) and some leftover cream speckled wool - I had to go for cream instead of white to avoid any Santa comparisons!  Although Mother already got one in...  I'm doing more baby knitting now then some charity knitting - I want to knit more of these hats, plus some Christmas decorations and do some wee hats for the Big Knit this year.
Tom Weir picture from here
Who wore it best, me or Tom?!  There you have it, a Tom hat for my Tom :)

Friday, 25 July 2014

A trip to Aberdour Castle

Our latest stop on our Historic Scotland Summer of Castles tour (that's what I'm calling this summer now.  It's valid.) was Aberdour in Fife.  Fun fact - Alison was just there too, and she was wearing the top she made from fabric I swapped her!  I wish we'd timed it so we could have been there together, what a funny coincidence.  It was beautiful the day we went, so a picnic was in order.  It was the day after the photography workshop and I had my camera in hand the whole day, testing all my settings again!  I think Parsnip knew what I was up to because he normally hates getting his picture taken but he was being such a poser this day.  We had a great walk around the gardens and castle, one of the oldest in Scotland.  The gardens especially were lovely, really colourful and neat, and it was SO. WARM. which made for a fab time.  We only ended up here because we had plans to do a car boot sale then slept in - I very much support our tired bodies in this decision...

I'll leave you with a collage of what happens when you try to take a selfie with a restless dog...


Thursday, 24 July 2014

Loving him was red...

blazer - Long Tall Sally
vest - charity shop
jeans - Long Tall Sally
shoes - Converse
I've been wearing this style a lot lately - skinny jeans, vest, blazer.  It's perfect for going to work early when the weather is still cool but means I won't overheat when I'm leaving in the hot afternoons.  I found the top in a charity shop for £1.50 a few weeks ago - I've been looking for the perfect black vest for ages, and this reminded me of my favourite white vest so I had to have it.  Although my bargain of the week/month/year has to be Saturday's top find.  A navy cashmere jumper for £1.85!  If you've been around here long enough you'll know half my wardrobe is navy, and a large part is menswear and/or oversize.  This ticks all the boxes!  I can't wait to wear it with my new red jeans in the autumn.  Mother's been on washing duty and she did a great job (I can't be trusted around anything out of the ordinary...), so I'll definitely be modelling it here soon.


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Replenishing the bookshelf...

I'm moving in one week.  To a CITY.  Where I have never lived before and barely know my way around.  I'm very excited!  But.  This means I've had to surrender my beloved library books, since I don't really want to drive back down here to return them.  Last week I popped in to the library to pick up a book or two anyway, thinking I'd be finished reading them in time, and lo and behold, they had a book sale on.  Problem solved!  Well, to an extent.  There was a good choice but I really had to dig to find anything interesting enough to spend a whole 40p on.  I think I did ok though.

I picked up Watch Me Disappear, The Palace of Strange Girls and The Glass House in the library book sale.  I'd heard of none of them before but they all sound interesting from the blurb.  The Palace is set in 1959 which is when Mother was born, so I liked that.  I found the other two at the charity shop on Saturday.  My friend was buying Circus Shoes and couldn't believe I'd never read Ballet Shoes, so when we found a copy I had to get it.  I also found one of my favourite books to make her read (Oystercatchers by Susan Fletcher, since you asked), and since it was three for £1, and since I was all 'Richard Madeley wrote a book?!', I chose Some Day I'll Find You to round off my pile.

Has anyone read these?  I need opinions!


Sunday, 20 July 2014

A trip to the fair

The day after the photography workshop, Tam and I went to the fair at Burntisland.  (We also went to another castle, look out for those pics soon!)  I was dying to try out all my new skills and the bright, bustling fairground seemed like the perfect place.  It was pretty busy but I think I managed to get some cool shots.  And yes, Tam won a minion!  Not one of those ones though, they were impossible...


Friday, 18 July 2014

Recent Awesomeness #4

I was killing time waiting for Tam's train to get in last week and accidentally wandered into the Clarks sale.  I don't think I've owned shoes from here since I was a kid but I was delighted to find these brogues reduced after hunting all winter for the perfect pair.  They were there all along!  And at half the price too.  I also picked up some black loafers (here - now £20!), another thing I struggled to find last year thanks to my fussy feet and fussy taste in shoes.  I'm on the fence about these ones - I love the style but they're very flat, rather unlike most of my other shoes...

I just rediscovered this picture - I totally forgot to share it before now.  It's a knitted haggis!  Spotted at a local fair.  I really want to make one...

Speaking of fairs...Tam had his birthday a few weeks ago and it fell on the local fair weekend, so it was balloon central at his house.  Especially after Tam's mum bought me this minion one...  We decided the tiny knitted mouse at work needed an accessory, so the Lego folk kindly shared a top hat.

 I'm still on the bruscetta kick!  It will never end!

The ultimate bargain last week - five issues of The Knitter for £1 in the library book sale!  Considering these usually retail at £5.99 EACH, you can guess how quickly I snatched them up...

I got new red jeans (here) in York's Long Tall Sally.  I've wanted red jeans for as long as I can remember and I'm so pleased to finally have a pair.  They're the same style as my polka dot ones but in a slightly stretchy fabric, so no losing their shape...hopefully!


Thursday, 17 July 2014

A trip to Yorkshire

The weekend before last saw me heading to Yorkshire again to hang out with my oldest buddy Mhairi.  She's getting married soon and moving to Ireland, so it felt like it might be my last chance to hang out with her before the wedding.  I got the train down, always an adventure (long story short - I booked the quiet coach, it was not quiet, I tweeted them to complain and they responded saying the quiet coach no longer existed as of the week before.  Good to know, Cross Country, good to know.  I obviously wouldn't have just driven down if I'd know about that in advance and saved myself a headache.).  After a tedious four hours, I nearly cried with happiness when Mhairi said on arrival 'Do you mind if we go to Long Tall Sally to pick something up?'  Great minds.  I de-stressed by buying jeans and bonding with the sales girl over our shared love of Hoxtons skinnies.  Lovely.

We were walking by Bettys the same afternoon and did a double take when we realised the usual round-the-building queue was practically empty, so we raced to join it.  My third time in York and I finally got in there!  The tea and cake was very good, but I'm not sure it's worth the incredible hype...  That night we went to see Walking on Sunshine (SUPER CHEESE ALERT) and delighted in learning that Willoughby was part of the cast.  The next day involved a trip back to Bridlington, and chips and ice cream and peanut covered fudge.  OMG so good.  I love a tacky seaside town so I love Bridlington.  I even found the perfect house for me and Tam to move to...  Then on Sunday it was home time!  I was dumb and didn't realise the Tour de France was going on in York that morning (cause France = York apparently...?) but we managed to avoid most of the crowds by getting there after lunch.

The trip home was slightly more pleasant owing to the conductor also thinking the quiet coach was still a thing, plus my seat buddy was the same guy as Friday so it was a nice peaceful journey.

(see more Yorkshire adventures here and here)


Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Work pyjamas...

blouse - Gap
jeans - Long Tall Sally
loafers - Converse

This is a typical work outfit for me - comfy, but not quite looking like I just rolled out of bed.  Our lovely lack of dress code means that's not totally unheard of though...  Mind you, this Gap pyjama style top does need a fairly smart bottom half to make it passable as daywear!  I found it in an outlet in America last year for something crazy like $8.  The Converse loafers also came from an American outlet (the same day if I remember right...) but they've only just seen the light of day owing to the terrible weather we've been having.  Aren't they fun?  Silver!  Loafers with laces!  My new favourite.


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Finished Knitting - #worldcupcraft challenge!

The World Cup is over, and so ends Jenny's knitting challenge.  I'm pleased to say I got my blanket done in time (a few days early in fact!) and the evil scarf is also complete and at it's new home.  I'm afraid I had to wrap it up in a hurry after I finished it so there's no 'completed' picture, but I'm sure you can work it out from the original one...  To be fair, I came into the challenge half way through, but I also had both items well in progress, so if I hadn't got them finished I would have been pretty disappointed with myself.

The baby blanket is for Tam's cousin's new baby - she was born two months ago, I'm dreadfully behind with this one.  I used the trusty Purl Bee Chevron Baby Blanket pattern.  Everyone, when they see me knitting this, comments on how complicated it looks - it's literally two lines of pattern, the easiest thing to knit ever! (Besides the obvious K1, P1 of course...)  I just found out a guy at work is expecting a baby with his wife, but rather than just default to this pattern again, I think I might use the Seed Stitch Wrap pattern as a blanket.  Another super easy make for the future!

Leanne seemed to like her scarf - I also got her Laura's This is 30 comic and that went down very well at the dinner table, although everyone was a bit somber after reading it, perfect party atmosphere...

Who else did the challenge?  Leave me a link!


Monday, 14 July 2014

#toastofthetown Photography Workshop

On Saturday I attended a fab blogger workshop about learning to use my camera properly.  Considering I mostly just pick a setting and hope for the best, it was great to have the chance to learn what 'iso' and 'shutter speed' mean and actually put it into practice.  Throughout the day we were taught in stages, with some technical info then picture taking.  In the morning there was helicopter pictures and photographing another person (I teamed up with Amy and Mairi who are now my new best friends), then after lunch we headed out onto the streets of Glasgow to test our skills on the surrounding area/poor unsuspecting shoppers.  I normally hate Buchanan Street on a Saturday but it was the perfect place to play about with my camera and try out different effects.  In fact, that picture third from the bottom with the Commonwealth flags - there was an ambulance passing right when I clicked the shutter, so I got a cool flash of blue lights!

Thanks to Millennium Hotels, Joe Blogs and Dreghorn Photography for hosting the event.  I learned so much and went right out the next day to take a ton of shots with Tam and Parsnip.  I've never had so many great shots of the dog!  Thanks also to Sarah, who actually got invited but couldn't go, so let me go in her place.  I owe you one!

(Jules and Breige already have their posts up so click over if you want more info on the day!)

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