I've had a funny old week, kind of slow and fast and busy and lazy all at once. I've been here and there, pottering about in my local environs as well as heading further afield for both work and pleasure.
I have been enjoying my town very much recently, opening my eyes wide and truly appreciating living in such a beautiful, vibrant, historical, rural little market town. I felt a bit disloyal when I returned from Dorset with my heart full of the sea, yearning to be there and not here. But the post holiday blues soon dispersed and I have fallen back in deep love with this place I now call home. I really do love living here.
The waterways are busying up again now that Spring has sprung, and every day the boats come and go along here providing a wonderful changing scene. I fell in love with this gorgeous wide-beam canal boat which arrived last week, it looks so homely and cheerful with it's traditional painted pots full of colourful flowers. I really love seeing the traditional "canal folk art" alive and kicking, and if the fella hadn't been sitting inside his boat when I walked past, I would have got up right up close and personal with my camera and those lovely decorated pots!
Last Tuesday I delivered the Little People to school, then made my way onwards to my picturesque local train station. It's been a while since I travelled by train and the ninety minutes seated next to a window looking out onto a changing landscape was very enjoyable.
I travelled on three different trains, journeying into rural West Yorkshire.....
....to the land of ever-so-very-large textile mills. Oh these buildings are something else - ancient and humming with history, industry and creativity, they are absolutely wondrous places to visit.
I spent the day bent over this table of glorious colour, umming and ahhing and stretching my brain (and my heartstrings) as we deliberated over the endless possibilities of the glorious Pantone Index. I was in good company, judging the Stylecraft/Lets Knit colour competition with three other wonderfully talented yarny peeps. It was a fascinating day (you can go read Phil's amazing blog about the day here), and I'll be updating you about the competition as soon as I'm given The Colouful Nod to do so.
We're having some gloriously sunny days right now, and yippeeee I've painted my toenails turquoise and have donned my flipflops!!It's still a tad chilly around the nether regions at times but my flip flops are ON and my toes are OUT regardless of the odd frosty start to the days.
I've unexpectedly felt the need this past week to be away from my desk and out in the open. So I've trusted my instincts and allowed myself to spend time pottering and mooching at home and out and about, taking in my surroundings and practising a kind of meditative mindfulness. I'm approaching an extremely busy few months and I guess this is my way of preparing myself? I'm not sure really, I don't think there is any need for me to analyse, surfice to say it has felt wonderful to feel free. I am very, very blessed to be able to do this wandering, pondering thing from time to time, believe me, I am full of gratitude for the freedom I have in my days.
On a whim, I took a walking tour of my town one warm, sunny afternoon last week, Wednesday I think it was? I had in my mind that I wanted to photograph the rows of terraced streets that make up a good portion of the domestic housing in this old mill town. Again, I'm not sure why this impulse came upon me, but oh it was fab to just walk, observe, take pictures. I'll share them with you in a few days.
I found myself right across the other side of town, high up near a large area of allotments.
I have a real nostalgic soft spot for allotments, having spent a lot of my childhood weekends hanging about on our family plot(s) with my Mum. I enjoyed nosing about a little up here, inhaling the scent of wood smoke from a nearby bonfire and admiring the neat veggie beds. It's reminded me that we have our name on the waiting list for a small plot near us, we've been waiting for seven years and still harbour some hope that one day, one day we might get lucky....
Blossom is blossoming around here too I notice, although the exuberant frothy pink cherry trees that line the path to the park are still in bud and not yet in full flower. Can't wait for those beauties to put on their annual show.
On Thursday I had a coffee date with a friend, and after a minuscule amount of deliberation we abandoned the cosy coffee shop in favour of an al fresco option. It was the weather you see, such glorious sunshine and blue skies were just too good to waste. My lovely friend has wheels at her disposal, so we motored out of town and landed at Bolton Abbey, just as the Cavendish Pavillion cafe was opening.
Of course we both had a bag of hooky with us ( I try to never travel anywhere without it) and enjoyed a fabulous morning of sunshine, crochet and coffee, interspersed with chit chat and the odd duck.
My Harmony blanket is progressing beautifully and I'm now over half way with the blocks. I have this desperate urge to finish it within the next three weeks or so just so that I can photograph it in a bluebell wood. I'm thinking we might possibly have a spell of severe chill which might delay the bluebells and I might also stop needing to sleep in order to crochet through the night. Not likely, but you never know.
I can highly recommend a spot of riverside crochet, if you can make it happen at a scenic location near you. It's a very therapeutic way to spend a morning.
From peaceful riverside to the hustle and bustle of city centre, yesterday I took my second train-ride within a week. This is Leeds, more precisely the amazing Trinity shopping centre with it's spacious pedestrian streets and glass ceiling (lots of pictures here). This was a special Girls Day Out, a Birthday trip for my beautiful Little Lady who turns 11 this week. She has been asking for us to make this simple trip together for a good many months (much to my shame I kept putting it off) and yesterday we finally made it happen. A train ride, some clothes shopping, lunch at a funky restaurant, more shopping, a very special Birthday Purchase and one super-happy, unexpectedly emotional Little Lady. It was a wonderful day. She is wonderful.
And there endeth my rather rambling weeks summary, I hope you've not nodded off. This week I need to be rather more squarely positioned at my desk, doing the things I should have done last week. I need to work that list, tick those ticks. Wish me luck.