Friday, 30 December 2011

2011 - A Review

Here goes ...

Caught the train up to London to see the Gaugin exhibition at Tate Modern and meet up with an old friend and her daughter.  There was the customary visit to Wagamamas!
Took part in No Impact Week to assess my consumption of natural resources and the damage I'm doing to the environment.  A useful exercise with which to begin the New Year. 

Attended a college friend's 50th birthday party in Horley.  Drove through with another friend, got horribly lost, arrived late but nevertheless spent a lot of time laughing.

Finally lost the campaign to prevent Sainsburys building the largest superstore in the southwest on the Bristol City football ground.  Realised the Labour Party no longer reflects my vision of a socialist society, renounced my membership of 20+ years and joined the Green Party. Also vowed to try never to darken the door of the Big Four ever again.

Went to my first pop up restaurant - All Things Pig at St Aldhelm's Church where we did eat practically everything except the oink!
Was back in London to see the Elgin Marbles for my daughter's A level course where we also took in a visit to the V&A and, you've guessed it, Wagamamas!
Walked from Freshford to Bradford on Avon with a couple of friends to avoid 'The Wedding'!  With the exception of a brief glimpse of proceedings while ordering our pub lunch at the Cross Guns in Avoncliff, we succeeded.

Joined the Greville Smythe Bowling Club and played our first match.
Knitted a flowery liana to wind round a bench on North Street as part of the Southbank Arts Trail.
Sang with the Gasworks Choir in St George's.

Had a basal cell carcinoma successfully removed from the bridge of my nose under local anaesthetic.
Heard my hero Peter Owen-Jones speaking at St Stephen's Church.

Sang for Water along with several hundred other singers at the Lloyd's Amphitheatre and then went for a sail around the harbour on The Matthew when we serenaded the unsuspecting public with an impromptu rendition of our repertoire.
Went to my second pop up restaurant - All Things Italian at St Aldhelm's again, where we were entertained by opera singers.
Helped to mosaic a bench in a local park.

Joined group of knitters/crocheters at Paper Village and started a number of projects.  I've even managed to finish a couple of them.
Went on holiday in Porec, Croatia, with my family and my younger daughter's friend and enjoyed the luxury of not having to shop, cook or wash up for a whole week.
Crocheted a budgie, Bojan, for the Bert and Bessie's Budgie Banter project.

Apart from returning to work under a new Headteacher I can't remember anything of any significance this month.

Won a prize for my North Street yarnbombing collage at the Best of Bedminster Show.
Helped yarnbomb Gaol Ferry Bridge and hopefully brightened up the journey into town for a number of pedestrians.
Accompanied Eilidh to art college open days at Falmouth and Glasgow.

Sang excerpts from the Messiah with the Bristol Choral Society in the Colston Hall.
Went on strike to protect my pension.

Started swimming once a week with a friend.
Sang with the Gasworks choir in St George's and attempted my first advanced song - a 14th century French madrigal.  A scary ride but very rewarding.
Spent my first Christmas by the seaside, at St Ives.  Walked across deserted beaches, quaffed mulled cider in the Sloop, was almost blown of my feet on the Island, feasted on mulled wine and mince pies as the tide came in on Porthgwidden beach, watched dolphins feeding off Porthmeor beach, was out early enough to catch the first surfers riding the waves and spent hours knitting and looking out over the harbour.

That's it folks.

Happy 2012!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

A Cornish Christmas

We're just back from St Ives where we spent Christmas this year.  We haven't been away from home for Christmas since my elder daughter (now 19) was a year old.  Our families lived in Scotland and the prospect of lugging cases full of warm clothing and Christmas presents on and off crowded trains never appealed.  However, now that they are older and able to cope with pared down celebrations, we decided to get away from it all in one of our favourite places in the whole wide world.

The memories I will treasure for many years to come include:

  • standing on the Island with arms stretched out being buffeted by gale force winds
  • downing mugs of mulled cider in the Sloop before proceeding to ...
  • midnight mass at St Ia's church by the harbour with all the candles and incense I could desire
  • Iona writing Merry Xmas in the sand
  • sipping mulled wine and eating Mrs Ferrell's mince pies while sun went down and the tide came in on Porthgwidden beach
  • watching a pod of dolphins feeding off Porthmeor beach
  • dunking biscotti in my early morning cuppa at Carrick Du and watching surfers ride the waves
  • knitting by the window looking out on this view ...

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Week Ending

This weekend I ...

... worked too long on Friday afternoon
... watched The Way on Movies on Demand
... wondered if I'll ever achieve my dream of following the ancient pilgrim way from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago di Compostella
... visited a Christmas craft fair at the Southville Centre
... bought some Christmas bunting and a few stocking fillers
... did some housework ... but not nearly as much as I should have
... enjoyed an excellent belly pork roast dinner cooked by my husband
... went for an early Sunday morning walk at Ashton Court with a friend and her two dogs
... attended a practice for the advanced song I'm singing at next weekend's Gasworks concert
... did a bit of Christmas shopping in Broadmead
... listened to my younger daughter play Sibelius' Symphony No 1 with the Bristol Schools' Philharmonia in the Victoria Rooms

Inspired by littlegreenshed 

Friday, 2 December 2011

Virtual Advent Calendars

It's been a while since I had an Advent calendar to open, probably not since the girls were born, but this year I have three 'virtual' Advent calendars to count me down to Christmas. 

The first, and only overtly religious one, is a joint project between Ian Adams, who wrote the text, and Si Smith, who drew the pictures.  Advent is traditionally a season of prepration and I can't think of a better person to help focus the mind on what is to come than Ian.  It is available to download, for £3.50, at Proost.

The second is a very bright and cheery one designed by Hannah Broadway and can be found on her blog, Hannah's Pictures.  I love her insights into the wonders of everyday life.

The third is the most original, featuring photographs of celebrities wearing knitted jumpers!  Pop over to Twee as Volk and be prepared to be entertained.

Have you come across a virtual calendar that you'd like to share?