Thursday, 19 April 2012

Time out, blankets and snuggling...

Where is this month going?!

I feel hardly able to keep up with myself at the moment. Sometimes I think its a good thing, as keeping busy limits the time I have to overthink things (I'm a bit prone to this...not always a good plan, I realise but if you have a compulsive need to 'make sense' of everything, what are you to do?!!) but sometimes, I just feel I want to stop the world and get off! You know, just draw breath and feel as though you can stand still without dropping the gazillion plates that you are trying to keep spinning...

Well, my early morning walks are the one time when I feel that, just for a bit, the frantic stuff recedes a bit. I don't go out every day by any means - work days are a bit of an impossibility as I am usually in so early but at the weekend, given my body clock seems to refuse to recognise weekends, I often do get up and out before the world really starts to wake up. And I really love this time of day. I love the fact that the city is still largely behind closed doors and curtains. Feels a bit like that feeling you get from walking in new snow or across and untouched beach - like you are the first person to see things that day.

Don't know if that makes any sense at all but its why I often have early morning photos! And today no exception!!

Last Sunday, I was out of the house by 7.15. It was bright and crisp and cold, with all the promise of a new day. I try to vary my route a bit but, to be honest, there is a limit to where you can get to differently from my house and I am finding my trip across the nearest city park towards the university is one of my favourites...

This park is really changing as the year progresses - the beds are filling up as the new growth comes through and I was a bit surprised at just how green the trees are already. The blossom is already beginning to drop and looked a bit like snowflakes across the ground...

The university park was deserted at this time in the morning - with the exception of the odd runner or dog walker the first hour or so was just tranquility itself!! Not a student in sight of course!

The broad in the university grounds is very peaceful and such a contrast to the concrete campus that is UEA. From this spot in the other direction you see this...

I think I've mentioned these before - they are not everyone's cup of tea and I must admit I find the other side of the buildings a bit grey and depressing but these striking glass fronted buildings quite fascinate me.

They were built in the late 1960s as student residences and are known as the Ziggurats (I should probably know why but I've no idea!!). They have attracted a lot of interest over the years as iconic modern architecture and are now protected as Grade 2 listed buildings.

I quite like the shape of them and the way the light bounces off the windows. I have never been inside but imagine they must be full of natural light.

There is something about water too isn't there?

The sun was still quite low in the sky and the clouds reflected in the broad. If it hadn't been so cold (it was really cold! About this point I was wishing I'd picked my hat up!!) I could have stood and absorbed this view for ages.

I have done this walk from the other direction and was trying to retrace my route but on the other side of the broad are some woods and I got a bit misplaced there! (Usually my sense of direction is ok but somehow in woodland I get completely disorientated!) I spent a pleasant hour wandering through the woods before realising I was back almost to where I had started!

Undeterred, I thought I'd keep going along a different path and I found myself walking through more woodland. This wasn't quite the riverside path I thought I was heading for but was very pleasant all the same! The ground was covered in bluebell plants - I need to come back in a couple of weeks as they are not quite out yet...

I found just the odd one beginning to flower...

I think it will be lovely when they are all out.

And lots of fresh green leaves unfurling in the spring sunshine...

I have to confess at this stage I was a bit clueless as to where I was going to come out so when I spotted a road I headed for it and realised I was about 3 miles or so from home!! I had emerged in a very posh suburb of Norwich - lots of beautiful houses, landscaped gardens, electric gates, very nice cars in the driveways - you know the kind of thing! 

Ridiculous, I know, but I felt a bit inhibited about taking photos here! There were a few of the good folk in their Sunday best heading (I presume) to church and I thought they might think I was a bit suspect in my scruffy trainers taking photos of their lovely estates!!!

There is definitely more colour appearing in the gardens and hedgerows now... more pinks and purples replacing the bright yellows of the daffodils and forsythia. This purple honesty was just growing alongside the path...

And the scent of lilac made me look up and spot these...

So pretty. Made me feel a little wistful for my old garden as I had/have a small lilac there that I have been nurturing for the last 18 years or so and last year it had the best show of flowers yet. Never mind. I am fast realising that all these 'things' in our lives are a bit transient and it is the recollection of them or the 'sense' of them that is really the thing that stays with us. Maybe a smell or an image - something that triggers a memory or a whole series of memories of an experience or feeling that is just as vivid as if it was infront of you.

In my current little patch, the little flower borders are filling up with bluebells and the wallflowers that I planted early on are just beginning to flower. Plus I bought some brightly coloured pots that I have planted up with my sunflower seedlings, onion sets and marigolds! I'm going for the mixed pretty and functional look! Space being the essence here!!

I found a great little book at the library called 'Patio produce' and felt inspired to have a go so I have a few potatoes in bags under the kitchen window, carrots and onions in pots at the other end of the garden and french beans and courgettes in the utility room beginning to show signs of growth.

I'm hoping to squeeze in a few tomatoes and salad leaves later in the year too. Watch this space, could be like the good life before long!! There is just something so satisfying about growing and eating your own food. 

Indoors, I have been busy with woolly projects too! I was given, by the elderly mum of a friend, a huge bag of odds and ends of yarn. Loads of it! Mixed colours and weights, some of it that has been stashed away for years I should think!

Although some of it is definitely not my 'natural' choice of colours, I thought I ought to make something to use it up - partly because I can't bear to see things go to waste and partly to occupy my time (I have no money for new yarn at the moment!!). 

It is mostly old acrylic which definitely does not have the lovely soft feel of the newer stuff. I made a little ripple blanket...

I had intended it to be a bit bigger but I got a bit bored with it. The trouble is I wasn't really enjoying the colours at all and it felt a bit of a chore. I think I will probably put it onto the Breathe Easy (the charity I'm involved with) sale table - you never know someone might like pastels and it might raise a few pence for the group...

I have decided I am definitely not a pale colours girl - they just don't do anything for me - but I did quite enjoy the process of rippling and it used up a few balls!!

My other little project was this...!

I have been so cold getting into bed at night and I thought I could use up a few more donated bits with this. I picked the softer yarns and colours that are nearer my sort of thing (although given that it will be largely in bed probably shouldn't have mattered!!) - the buttons were some I already had in my button jar.

Is it a bit sad that I'm looking forward to cuddling up with this tonight?! Oh god, old lady lifestyle, here I come...!!!

Til next time then, and thanks, as always, for your comments - lovely of you to drop by and say hello!



  1. Morning Sandra thanks for sharing such a lovely walk with us, what I was wondering was if you walked back the way you came or went the road way to travel the three miles home! What a great way to use up all that yarn, I can't bear waste either which is why I have a workroom full of stuff given to me by others!!! Perhaps I should take a leaf out of your book and make up a few things and donate them to charity x take care and have a lovely day x

  2. I love your water bottle cover ! What a lovely walk especially the parts with water tho the woods are lovely & will be a picture when the bluebells are out.
    I used to wonder like that with Jess aged two & our retriever Sam ( long gone ) when we first lived here - quite exciting ! I didn't know anyone then.

    You sound very positive. I over think everything too and yesterday I realised I was getting low. Blogging too much & not getting out enough so will change that !

    Great photos x

    1. Thanks Penny, getting out definitely helps me - although I must admit the bloggy world has given me lots of distraction (mostly good!) too. Something about just striding out in the fresh air - especially if there's a bit of sunshine - that feels good. And capturing a snippet of it through the camera lens is a simple pleasure too xx

  3. Hi Sandra, I love your hot water bottle cover the colours are perfect . Your walk pictures are really lovely too. I haven't been by here for a while and I'm just realizing you have had a lot to deal with lately. Hope 2012 is kind to you.I have waste as well and am currently using up my horrid yarn on a project that is supposed to be bad taste....will blog about it when I can force myself to finish it.....hard going . I think you pastel ripple is sweet and it's great that it will raise money for a good cause.
    Jacquie x

  4. Ooops , that was supposed to sat "hate" waste :0)

  5. Ooops , another typo...I give up !!

    1. lol...sometimes typing correctly at 1.40am is just impossible, isn't it?! Thanks for your kind comment - I think I'm getting there, trying to be positive about things and bloggy contacts definitely help! Looking forward to the bad taste 'show & tell'...;-) xx

  6. What a wonderful post. You really cheered my afternoon break at work up :/) I just love the water picture I really enjoy the pictures you take on your walks. I so wish I had a beautiful are to walk!
    I love that you are making the most of your veg growing. I love growing veg.
    I do like your ripple blanket but like you pastel colours are just not for me.
    Thank you for this lovely post x
    Shelley x

    1. Hi Shelley, I think the water picture is my favourite, there is just something about the light and reflections, love it! xx

  7. Hehe, Old Lady Lifestyle....I'm already there, I love nothing better than sitting at night, feet up and crochet (a glass of vino on the coffee table) with a good program on TV. Lovely walk, your posh Norwich area reminds me of Ferny Creek, near to where I live, up in 'the hills' actually my mum lived there when she was little. It is very 'English' The bluebells are going to look amazing when they all come out. I love the hot water bottle cover!!!
    Xx Sandi

  8. Your walk looks lovely and I loved the photos. The glass buildings are really different aren't they....I wonder if it gets hot inside and puts all the students to sleep! Maybe not now there is air conditioning. Looking forward to seeing all the bluebells in flower :-)

  9. Hi, I came over from Kids, crochet cake and chaos, or probably a different combination of those words. I'm in Sydney, New South Wales and loved your photos. So different to down here.

    I'm a good bit older than you but took much the same step just a few years ago after years of various kinds of abuse, affairs, broken promises and more. My former home had to be sold as part of the settlement and I have bought a small apartment about 20 minutes walk from where I lived for many years. Can I encourage you by saying that things will get better. For me, they could hardly have become worse. It's autumn here now and I arrived home from shopping on a chilly wet day last week. I walked inside and my first thought was how cosy the little nest seemed. I've been here just a year now. So I am settling.

    Like you, I have three sons, who have been very supportive of me and who subtly and sometimes not so subtly keep an eye on me. I don't mind as I know they do it from love. I have five grandchildren whom I love dearly. Life does improve. It took me the best part of two years to get things moving but I couldn't have done it sooner.

    Anyway, I'm rambling. Encouragement to you.


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