2018 / 2019 – Week 5

Sorry, no quilt. *sigh* Oh, wait – hello my dears, how are you? As you can see, it’s socks again this week. I did manage to cut some more squares for the quilt but then the heatwave got the better of me, and I spent most of my time reading („The Guernsey Literary and Potatoe Peel Pie Society“ – I’m madly in love and cannot recommend it enough), and more or less unable to move a muscle. Fortunately, we had a fabulous thunderstorm over the weekend, and temperatures did cool down a bit. Not for long, though. Ah well, before we know it, winter will be here, and I’ll be complaining about the cold. Might as well enjoy the warmth and the sun while I can.

As for the socks, these are going to be a present for a very good friend, and I just hope they’ll fit. I don’t usually knit socks for anybody other than Steve and myself because I’m afraid I won’t get the size right, and honestly, why bother with all the work and effort if they don’t fit in the end? The friend these are for has almost the same size as I have, so if they end up being just a tad too big for me, they should be perfectly right for her. I hope she’ll like the colours. (Actually, I know she will. She’s one of the few people who are absolutely knitworthy, and she’ll be so happy and grateful to receive something handmade.)

Other than that, all I did this week was change the blog template and layout. I do like to work with WordPress because it’s easy and fast, and there’s a ton of free themes and plugins out there for practically every kind of website you want to design. Some of these themes and plugins come with a price, though – and I’m not talking about money. I found out that the theme I used made six (!!!) duplicates of every photo I uploaded, in just as many different sizes. And the plugin I used to make those lovely tiled galleries even added a few more duplicates in even more sizes. I found as many as fourteen (!!!) duplicates of one photo that I had used as a featured image as well as in a gallery. Maybe I’m weird but that was something I wasn’t prepared to live with. I self-host my blog and pay for my webspace, and all those duplicates were using up an awful lot of that webspace. So I went back from my fully responsive, retina ready, mobile friendly theme and fancy tiled galleries plugin to an older theme that is much more webspace friendly and still very adjustable, and a gallery plugin that allows me to add photos from URL and still open them in a separate lightbox window. It might not look as modern and en vogue as before but it’s much more me.

And then, there’s this:

Our very first self-raised bell pepper. It’s still pretty tiny but hey, it’s a start! We also have teeny tiny tomatoes on one of our plants, and snacked on the blackberries for the first time today. This is all so exciting! If I’m not careful, I might be turning into a good housewife with all the gardening and vegetable growing, and the ironing I did today …

The Shed

Look look look, this is THE SHED aka Lillys bedroom. It’s still not finished but isn’t it lovely? Steve built it all by himself, it was hard work since he had to dig lots of holes and move an awful lot of dirt (and fell my dear old apple tree and comfort his cry baby of a wife who, as it turns out, is severely allergic to tree felling), and I’m so proud of him.

Those funny looking leafy sticks on the left are actually forsythias. We had this huge mess of a forsythia in front of the house, and when Steve removed it, he cut some stems to plant in front of the shed. They seem to be doing great, here’s hoping they’ll survive the winter. (By the way, the mommy plant is coming back as well. Apparently, forsythias are extremely hardy plants, if you don’t uproot them completely, they’ll be back! Did you just read that in Arnies voice? If so, brownie points to you.)

The apple tree had to go because it stood right in the middle of what has become the new driveway. The red currants were destined to share that very same fate but Steve managed to rescue them and find a new spot for them at the side of the shed. And mind you, they even produced some few berries!

Speaking of berries …

Can you tell what this is? Those are our very first blackberries. So our pick and taste garden is taking shape, if ever so slowly.

Yummy! Well, not quite, to be honest, even though they have this beautiful colour, they’re still rather sour. A few more days in this heatwave, and they’ll be fine, though. Speaking of heatwaves, here’s a fun fact for you: did you know that chilis get even hotter if you let them ripen in the sun for longer? I’m a little afraid to try the habaneros and chiltepinos we’re growing …

Week 20/18

Wow, so this is week 20 already! It’s been a while since my last weekly post. Now on the plus side, I finished the socks I started at the beginning of the year, started another pair but frogged it almost immediately because I didn’t like the yarn, and bought this lovely ONline merino yarn in those beautiful pinks that you see above instead. I’m still on my first sock, though. I keep dragging my knitting around, determined to sit and read or watch TV and knit along but somehow I hardly ever do. Life is just so full of amazing things right now, and somehow, knitting gets pushed to the back burner all the time.

Among the amazing things is this:

We built a raised bed last year – or rather, I kind of requested it and Steve, kind as ever, did all the manual labour that I wouldn’t know how to do – and planted a few herbs. Parsley, basil and chives, to be precise. When winter came, I totally forgot to take them out and pot them to take them inside. The basil and parsley did not make it, but just look at the chives! Growing strong, about twice as much as I planted last year, and blooming so beautifully! Every time I walk past the bed, I stop to admire them.

Then there’s rosemary, we planted it this year and it takes much longer to grow. I have no idea if it is as hardy as the chives, so I’m definitely going to bring it inside when it gets cold (would somebody please remind me in, say, November? Thank you so much!). We also planted mint that has grown into quite a bush already, and Steve added a bell pepper plant yesterday. I have no idea if bell peppers will grow in a raised bed but I’m all for trying. Steve also bought three tomato plants, a cherry tree and a peach tree. The plan is to grow some kind of „pick and taste“ garden all around the house. We already have five varieties of grapes and a yellow raspberry in front of the house plus the wild raspberries and strawberries that self-seeded a few years ago, and let’s not forget the elderberry bushes the former owners planted many, many moons ago.

So while I’m not exactly a successful knitter / crocheter at present, I have rekindled my love for photography. My Canon DSLR is still the love of my life but just recently, I decided to give snapping away with my cellphone another chance. The main purpose was to take photos of the shop and post them to Instagram, and one day while I fiddled with it, I discovered that my cell actually has „professionel“ settings. It’s no comparison to my DSLR, of course, but the more I try, the more comfortable I become with it, the more I realize it’s a nice tool and just as easy as shooting a polaroid, but with better quality results. So I’ve started taking one photo per day to post on Instagram and share on Facebook. It’s quite an exciting learning curve for me, and I’m so curious to find out where it’ll lead me in the end. You can find the link to my Instagram account in the footer if you’re interested. I’d be so honoured if you followed me. As for Facebook, I only share things with my friends, and I don’t accept random friend requests, so if you’d like to follow me on Facebook, please PM me first.

So much for this week. I still owe you the list of books I’ve read in the meantime but I’ve decided to write an extra post for them to catch up, and get back to posting them in my weeklies from next week on.

May Showers Bring Lots Of Flowers

Hello my lovelies, is it just me, or does anybody else feel like you’ve just come out of hibernating? March and April were so dreadfully cold and wintery, I was seriously beginning to fear for my plants. I’m pleased and relieved to report that not only did they all make it through, apparently they are also trying to make up for the lost weeks by shooting out of the ground. Just see for yourselves:


I love to stand under the lilac tree and just breathe in that heavenly perfume. May definitely is my favourite month of the year so far. Last Sunday, I sat outside in the sun, knit a few rows on my seed stitch blanket, and when that got too heavy and too warm, switched to knitting a new sock, while listening to an audio book („Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy“ by John Le Carré, in case you were wondering). It was the most hygge thing I had done in ages, and I thoroughly enjoyed that day. Here’s hoping the weather will be just as brilliant for Pentecost – I have a shawl pattern, matching yarn, and determination ready to go.