Minding the shop

Sandwiches… check; knitting… check; mittens… check; shawl… check; woolly socks… check; thermal undies… check; keys… check.  It’s an odd combination of things to need for work, but I think that covers the most important stuff. And so, yesterday, I set off for my day in charge of Red Apple Yarn.

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a woolly tribute in the shop window

The loss of our friend Pauline has left a hole in our little knitting community. Whilst Red Apple Yarn is owned and run by Jude, it was Pauline who looked after the shop when help was required. Minding the shop this week was already in her diary and no one expected that she would no longer be with us to do it. The Knit Nighters, however, were determined to fill the hole and so we volunteered our services to keep the shop open this week so that Jude didn’t have to close up for her holiday… and yesterday was my day.

I should explain that Red Apple Yarn lives in the old Post Office in Lampeter and it still has many of the original features – wooden doors and window frames, the old counter (now L-shaped rather than running across the room), the wooden panelling and, most importantly when you’re sitting in there all day, a very high ceiling. It’s very difficult to keep warm, and the big, heavy outer door needs to be propped open otherwise no one would dare venture in, but it makes for a chilly work place… hence all the warm clothing.

Despite the temperature, I loved my day there. I settled down to knit and talk about wool. I found chatting to the gents whilst the ladies browsed  a good ploy. Of course a wool shop on a rainy Thursday is not the busiest place in the world*, so I had time to make use of the huge swift that Jude has in the shop and wind a couple of skeins that were too big for my antique one (skeins must have expanded in the last 100 years!). I cast on for my new top-down jumper and drank a lot of tea. I failed to locate the gift vouchers and a specific colour of yarn, but on the whole I think I had happy customers. In addition, I didn’t break the till – which I was slightly intimidated by. So, I’m hoping that I’ll get the chance to help out again in the future… it is a very happy place for me!

-oOo-

* Apparently, however, Sainsbury’s was heaving as people stocked up for the Easter weekend, when no food is available in the UK**

** No, really… we may all starve

Three Things Thursday: 14 July 2016

Joining with Nerd in the Brain (and others) for Three Things Thursday’. As “Nerd” says…

*three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy*

Bear with me this week… I’m just recovering from my first cold in about eight years, which explains the lack of posts in recent days.

First… the big pile of cotton hankies that belonged to my dad. Mum gave them to me when he died and they have been of enormous value this last few days.

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Just a few clean ones left!

Second… the beginning of the courgette glut. I know I’ll be sick of them by the autumn, but it’s lovely at the moment to have such an abundance… and to know that the financial investment in seeds and compost has probably already paid off, not to mention the absence of packaging.

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Just five, and I’m trying to harvest them before they get too big!

Third… locally produced tonic water. I spotted these drinks mixers the other day and couldn’t resist: glass bottles and no artificial sweeteners. Hurrah for Llanllyr Source.

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Yum!

So that’s it for this week. What are you feeling grateful for?

Never satisfied

The British are well-known for their obsession with the weather… and we do deserve this reputation. We have been grumbling for weeks now about how cold and miserable it has been and that we haven’t had a proper spring and we can’t transfer our plants outdoors because the risk of frost is not over Then – WHAM – suddenly we are having a heat wave and we’re all complaining that our seedlings are dying of heat stroke. In addition to this, it’s windy today, so they are all dehydrating too. As a gardener it is easy to focus on the adverse effects that the weather is having, so I though that I would try to look at the positives of this massive swing in the weather…

First, we are suddenly making up for the poor electricity generation last month… the solar panels are working at peak efficiency, especially with the wind to cool them down a little.

PHOTOSYNTHESIS! All the well established plants are really building up their resources… potatoes and rhubarb, raspberries and blueberries, redcurrants and sage, chives and willow… and we’re chucking the washing up water on them in the evening to help them along.

Lorna and Gytha… not complaining about the weather

All the washing is drying in double-quick time… and it smells so fresh when it comes in off the line.

Gytha is recuperating in the sunshine… although she hasn’t started laying again, she’s bright and perky and enjoying sunbathing.

The wood for burning is seasoning well and drying nice and quickly with the wind… Mr Snail-of-happiness was hopeful that he would be able to light the Kelly Kettle by directing the sun through my hand lens onto the kindling, to minimise the resources used when boiling the water. Sadly this didn’t work, but it was worth a try and we’ll have another go on a less windy day.

And, of course, we feel bright and cheerful on these lovely sunny days and get to drink our tea in the garden… so, let’s count our blessings not complain about the weather!

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