Monday, 30 January 2012

January Photo Scavenger Hunt

Here are my photos for January. 

A scarf that I knitted a few years ago



In season
Frost, but there hasn't been much of this around this Winter

In my bathroom

Actually this was only temporary whilst I was tidying somewhere else

This is a sundial at New Mills.  It was difficult getting all of the stones in the photo and being able to read the sign as well

This isn't as companionable as it looks.  That's our cat Spaghetti on the left, and on the right is the cat from down the road, who for want of a better name I call Gingernuts.  He spends hours asleep in our shed while Spaghetti is out doing her own thing.  She barely tolerates him and ignores him if he goes near her, so I was really surprised last week to find her sat at the side of him.


The odd numbers on dominoes

In the distance

This is in Stalybridge and has two plaques on it.  One about the first General Strike in 1842 which originated here, and one for Joseph Rayner Stephens who campaigned for factory reforms.  
I thought it was a specially built monument, but it is in fact all that is left of the old Town Hall which was built in 1831 and demolished in 1989.  
It's just that one piece of wall standing there on it's own!

You can see other entries for the scavenger hunt over on Postcards from the P.P.  Kathy will also be putting up the list for February if you want to join in.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Not so blue skies

These photos were all taken this month on different days.
This is my very favourite type of sky when it's really dark but the sun's shining.    

but these are also interesting

I loved the bottom vapour trail on this one, it looked like it had a crocheted edging!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Day two

On Saturday night my daughter and I were thinking where to go the next day and had a couple of ideas, when my husband said "You ought to go to Stalybridge.  It's really nice around there with hilly scenery and a canal." 
He'd been there that day with a couple of friends on a kind of railway, real ale pub crawl round the Leeds/Huddersfield area. 

So Sunday morning we set off for Stalybridge.  It was minus two, frosty and very cloudy, I think the first day of the Winter when we'd had a minus temperature in the daytime.  
We had to change trains a couple of times and the second train (which we were on for over an hour) had no heating and was so cold you could see your breath.  It was getting foggier as we went along and I was beginning to think we weren't going to see much of the scenery, when just before we reached our destination the fog cleared and the sun came out!  The change was incredible.

There was indeed hilly scenery, but as you can see from this photo from the station platform, it's quite far away
This was taken when we were leaving so the sun isn't as strong.

When we came out of the front of the station it didn't look very promising as being picturesque, and we couldn't see any hills from that side, so we decided to find the canal and walk from there.  On the way we came across these two
The seated man is Jack Judge who wrote the song 'It's a long way to Tipperary', and he's with a WWW1 soldier.

You know how canals in towns usually run along the back, with maybe factories alongside?  Well here it went straight through the middle of town and it was really nice with lovely bright balustrading and even a lock (I love locks).  The best stretch of canal I've seen.  Unfortunately I somehow failed to take any photos to show you.  
Probably because I was too busy taking this little fella's picture.
There were all the usual types of ducks and then just one like this who was a lot smaller.  I think it's a Mandarin duck; isn't he cute?

After walking along the tow path for quite a while we eventually found a way to the hills

As we got higher up we came across two reservoirs.. There were four altogether, stepped up on different levels, but we didn't go up to the top two

We thought this looked like a monkey's face

After a not very hopeful start, it turned out to be a really good day after all, especially as on the way back it got foggy again and at home it had been cloudy and frosty all day, so we must have been in the only little area of sunshine.

When I was telling my husband about it later, it turns out that he only got as far as the station platform at Stalybridge as there's a real ale pub on it.   I asked him how he knew there was a canal there.  He said he didn't, the canal he was talking about was at another station!   In future I'll take any recommendations from him with a pinch of salt.

Monday, 16 January 2012

A jaunt or two

On Saturday my daughter and I went on the train to New Mills in Derbyshire.  It was a gloriously sunny day and the temperature was pretty cold at 4 degrees so was ideal for a good walk.  
Straight down from the railway station is Torrs gorge, with the river Goyt running along the bottom.  There is a footpath alongside the river but until quite recently it stopped when it reached the high retaining wall of the railway and you had to come out of the gorge, walk along the top and go back down further along.   Then the Millenium Walkway was built and opened in 2000.  It's quite an impressive steel structure 175 yards long.

 On the left is Torr Vale Mill which was built in 1788

Further along the river, this weir was created to run a mill 
The mill burnt down in 1912.  On the site is now Torrs Hydro which is the UK's first community owned and funded hydro electric scheme and started operating in 2008.

This is a view from higher up away from the river

We decided to have another day out on Sunday, but I'll tell you about that tomorrow ........

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

From drab to fab

I can't believe this is my first post of 2012, so let me take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year!

First off here's some snowdrops in my Mother in law's garden.  Mine aren't even poking through the ground yet but at least these are seasonal, not like the roses and such like I've seen flowering all winter in other people's gardens, it's been so mild 

I bought a dress on eBay last year but when it arrived it looked so drab it just went to the back of the wardrobe.  I got it out the other day and thought I'd have a go at making it more me.  This is the before picture; I look so frumpy

At first I thought I would add a Peter Pan collar in a light colour to brighten it up, but as I was looking through my stash I found a bit of blue fabric which was the exact colour of the flowers on the dress.  It was darker than I had in mind but I didn't have anything else suitable so I went with that

                            (this has come out brighter than it is in real life)

I made the collar the same way as the one here, but as I was attaching it to the already finished neckline of the dress, this time I made it as a separate collar.  To do this I stitched all the way round the edge, leaving a four inch gap on the back neck edge to turn it through.  I was going to slip stitch this opening up and hand sew the collar to the dress, but after I'd top stitched round the outer edge in black to tie it in with the background colour, I decided to topstitch the collar on, which closed the gap at the same time, and had the added bonus of making sure the collar laid flat.
The dress was a bit shapeless but it's got no zip (it just pulls over the head), so I couldn't take it in too much for fear of not being able to get in and out of it.  I just took the centre back seam in at the waist, tapering out to the top and bottom.
To pull it in a bit more I wanted to make a belt out of the blue fabric to go with the collar, but there wasn't enough, so I made a self fabric belt from the off cut from shortening the dress and added a narrow strip of the blue down the middle.  I've put some velcro on to fasten the belt.
And this is the result

Hopefully there won't be such a long gap to my next post!