Thursday, October 29, 2009

Somehow, it's got to Thursday

Which seems slightly faster and odder than usual, because the DSBloodyM passed his cold on to me. So I bailed out of the last day of my workshop, and spent the time either sleeping or whining. Worth it, though, as I feel much better today and have managed a first foray to the market. The other two have gone off in a jolly party to the High Desert Museum, which I would have liked to have seen, but I deemed it wiser to stay here and recover a little bit more, as well as doing their laundry.

We are staying in a mini-palace. Supposedly a condo, a holiday home, it is larger than our regular abode, and very well appointed.

We even have a garlic press.

And a washer and dryer, which is so much cooler than hunting down the resort facilities and feeding them with endless dimes.

I digress. Just to prove I actually did spend some valuable time in Judith's class on Spinning for socks....

JMM demonstrating

I took some more photos, but was already feeli8ng pretty seedy, so nothing all that noteworthy except for

Bohus sweater

A glorious 1950s Bohus sweater someone brought in to show us. And

Noro vest

Diane, a long time SOAR friend graciously posing so I could photograph her lovely Noro vest.

Oh, and by the by, just look what we woke up to on Tuesday morning!


It didn't last all that long, and was actually colder yesterday. But today has warmed up again and is a rather nice autumn day, gently sunny, slightly crisp and very pleasant all round.

Except in the market, which was crammed with people and a lot of very hot lights, and so rather overwhelming. I have been, so far, fairly restrained. Only one spindle (this may well change....) a very pretty purple striped Graftonfibres medium weight, some books and a dvd, and less usual fibres - yak and silk, pygora, dyes suri alpaca.

However - there are two more days of marketing to go. I somehow doubt that this will be it.

Meanwhile, I continue to chug the Emergen-C and other necessary stuff to appease the cold, and am glad to be back in the ongoing tide of catching up with good friends and talking about fibre, fibre tools and so on without being looked at pityingly by the rest of the world.

I'm quite tempted to get my borrowed Lendrum out and spin, but if I do I will have to finish whatever by Sunday morning, so on balance, knitting is better. My befuddled condition led to a few mistakes in "Birch", but I think I recovered them. Oh, and perhaps not too surprisingly, this place is full of loads of lovely lacy shawls! I have to say, I was glad of my purple one last night, it was chilly!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Knitting on the dock of the bay

As I type this, the wind is howling and the rain lashing down on to the window. Ordinarily, I would be plunged into despair at such weather, at home. But somehow, here, the proximity of the ocean makes it dramatic and interesting. And there is always knitting to be done.

Knitting on the dock of the bay

I cooked us pancakes, served with a lovely raspberry sauce made locally for breakfast this morning. That makes the world seem a good place, too!

Yesterday wasn't so bad, and we had a good tootle out, doing a loop drive back from the coast along the Siletz (?) River, and back down to Newport. We went down to the "historic" district, which was actually great, a working port as well as excellent tourist shops. Plus a very good coffee and pastry stop.

And then, as I promised, more sealions. Lots and lots of sealions!

Sealions at Newport

Please excuse any fuzziness, I used the digital zoom for this. Here they are against the backdrop of the Newport bridge.

But when you get down to the harbour, it is all set up for them as a tourist thing - floating platforms and so on. At least, I assume that is what it is.


Strange creatures. And extremely noisy!

So, today, we shall have to wait and see. Any plans for boat trips of whatever sort are right off the table, the weather is pretty grim. If it clears a bit, we will go out and potter a bit more - at the very least, we need a veggie or two for supper (fresh coho salmon.)

Meanwhile, we are not short of occupation.

Birch in progress

Birch is making good progress. Really nice pattern - even I can learn it. I'm enjoying it!

Tomorrow, on to Bend. Dunno when I will be back.......

Now, where were we?


Don't ask me where we saw these elk, I can't remember....just that they were posing very prettily by the roadside all waiting to be photographed.

Next stop, Bandon. The DSM had fond memories of a magnificent breakfast had here fourteen years ago. We didn't find the cafe in question, but very much enjoyed the town. We hadn't booked a motel ahead, and serendipitously found an absolute humdinger, really comfortable and right on the shore. So there is some justice in the world.

This was at Coquille Point, and we spent a long time the next morning walking on the beach, which was extensive and lovely. As in....

Elephant rock

Known as Elephant Rock. Yup, I can see that.

CA1 116

Face Rock. That, too. (Lots more - they will all go up on Flickr eventually, but not yet. Watch this space, or one very similar.)


And driftwood like no other I have ever seen. Quite wonderful. In fact, a beautiful place all round.

Then on the road north, we stopped at an overlook. I could hear this weird sound, which got louder as I walked in a certain direction. Looked over the cliff and saw....

Sea lions

A beach full of shouting sea lions. Seals I am accustomed to. Sea lions, - not so much! There will be more on these strange animals later.

And now we are safely ensconced in our condo in Depoe Bay. Which is everything that it said on the tin and more, and more. OK, right by the 101, but difficult not to be. But also right on the cliff edge, overlooking a little cove, and with a vista to die for over the bay. We have been pottering gently - any hopes of a whale watching expotition are fading, the weather is on the wild side, but we might take a boat out on a nearby river instead. Meanwhile, we have been exploring the little towns in the neighbourhood - faded seaside resorts out of season, just what we all love, especially as tow of us were brought up in same. Some might consider this an odd sort of holiday, but it suits us down to the ground.

One more day here, and then over to Bend for the madness that is SOAR. It seems strange, not sure why. The poor old DSM has a honking cold, which I am hoping madly will not cross the divide to me, having been through all of that last year. We shall see, and we shall survive. So much to look forward to.

For now, it is my turn to cook supper (having rented a condo with an excellent kitchen, we feel it incumbent upon us to cook in it, and the local restaurants don't particularly appeal, although the Chinese take out on our first night was quite good. I'm doing faux Mexican - black bean enchiladas. We have the wherewithal for margaritas and we have beer.

O, yum.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The story so far..........

A foggy day.......

Well, look where we are! And it's foggy, too.

Actually, not any longer, we have been travelling up country for a few days already and are now in Oregon. Of which more later.

There have been a few minor alarums and excursions along the way. The flight was ok-ish, but not unmixed - a two hour delay because the incoming flight was delayed by bad weather was not good news, and meant that we arrived in SF very late and very tired. We cancelled our dinner reservation and got a take out pizza (which was delicious) but fortunately were able to remake the aforementioned and enjoy a meal at the vegan restaurant that we had liked so much before.

SF was grey, but pleasantly warm, and we tootled around in a sightseeing bus very happily. Until, trying to return to our hotel, we found ourselves in the middle of an enormous police operation and crowds of kettled demonstrators and a positive throng of media vans and reporters. Turned out that the President was in town for a fundraiser at a very spiffy hotel two blocks down from ours,. We would have loved to have hung around to see the great man and waved our greetings, but didn't know when he was actually expected (despite the DSM practically climbing inside one of the media vans in an attempt to find out....) so we went back to our own hotel and crashed instead.


Next day we set off north, over the Golden Gate bridge again.

And on a clear day......

We easily managed as we had hoped to get to Point Reyes Station for a lovely lunch stop, and then to Point Arena overnight.

Oops. The website of the motel had most definitely been economical with the truth, but we had no alternative but to bite the bullet. Best we can say is - we survived!

Next day made up for it with a magnificent breakfast in Mendocino and a lengthy stop at the Mendocino Yarn Shop, a true delight. Pennie has yarn!! And needles, and a pattern!! And has cast on a swatch already!!! And that is all I am going to say thus far........

That afternoon we stopped at Founders Grove to pay homage to the redwoods.

Redwood still spiral

Fallen redwood

We hightailed it for the relative safety of a Motel 6 for that night, which worked out ok, if nothing itself. Unfortunately, the adjacent electricity substation (?) decided to blow up or short out twice during the night, with attendant loud noises and glaring green flashes. Such fun for the kiddies!

I realise sitting here that I am feeling very tired and I promise it isn't the gin (much....) I'm going to continue this tomorrow when I don't keep tripping over my own fingers and can actually remember what we have been doing when!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Not my usual view of myself......

I didn't quite realise that my hair was so long at the back, or so short on top! This isn't quite what I had envisaged, but I like it anyway - I think.

Back view!

Packing half done - ironing not. Tomorrow will be quite a busy day.

Birch started, seems easy enough to do (only four false starts!) And I like the look of it, too.

So, off we jolly well go.........

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I have been trying for several days to actually get to writing a blog post. But life this week as been a bit more hectic than usual, at least in terms of my social life!

Viz: cinema, lunch with Friend, dinner with DB/SIL, day out and lunch with another friend, Coven, coffee with another friend, visit to mama, opera, and finally - Bear Knitters.

Pauses to draw breath....

It has been a good week. I even managed quite a bit of knitting (although much less spinning, which I must try to remedy today, before I get withdrawal symptoms.) And - reason for wanting to blog , well, at least one among some.....I finished my purple shawl.

purple shawl

purple shawl

purple shawl

It's nice. Lots of mistakes, but it looks ok, and is lovely and soft, and for all the small size will, I think, be cosy. It seems - if I stick with relatively straightforward patterns, I can just about manage something approaching lace. So, next up, and for a travel project to boot, the bottom up version of "Birch". (I was going to put a link, but they all seem to be to unknown personal blogs. If unfamiliar, it is easy to google.)

I had intended taking some nice, easy fingerless gloves, shamelessly ripped off from one of the friends I saw during the week, but they are such a fast knit that they will be sone before I go. So, I need to decide on a fresh sock to cast on, and should that be plain or fancy......dunno, guv. I have to take sock needles for my workshop, so I could even take the wherewithal for two - depends on how+999999999 - well, whatever I was going to say has vanished because of the (obvious) interruption by Neelix. Who was desperate for a cuddle, and who could refuse?

Anyway, I have carved out a little time from the necessary rounding up of equipment, clothes and so on that has to start now, really, to avoid any last minute panics on Tuesday. We need a calm, quiet, early night if I have to get up at sparrowfart on Wednesday and then be in a hot sardine can for twelve or thirteen hours. Is it worth it? You bet!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Fly away and home

We had a lovely - well, few hours, really - in Cornwall. DMIL was looking and seeming very well, if somewhat curmudgeonly about modern life (I forgave her) - otherwise full of good humour and very welcoming. We spent time happily chatting and doing puzzles - I was in excellent form with the crosswords, surprising myself more than anyone.

We went out to lunch on Saturday to one of our regular pubs. This one, in fact. We all of us felt like going to the sea, even though it wasn't quite the nicest of days. And they do good fish there.

Plus they even supplied a cat immediately adjacent to our table!

pub cat

After returning DMIL for her afternoon zizz, we went to all the usual places.

sea & rock

sea & rock

weed writing

There was a lot of this weed on the beach, making interesting shapes.

You should, by virtue of my having played around with Photoshop, be able to see that these are cormorants.


There were maybe half a dozen of them luring by the harbour entrance, because there was a shoal of fish there. And of course, being a Saturday afternoon, several fishermen on the harbour wall. One of them managed to hook not a fish, but a cormorant, and we stayed for ages in the biting wind watching as several men extremely carefully caught and disentangled the hapless bird from hook and line, not a particularly easy task. It was seen for several minutes looking considerably agitated in the harbour, and then it headed out to join the rest, who had been hovering in a rather anxious way just out in the open bay.

I took several other photos, but not surprisingly most of them are variations on a theme. I did take one indoors - DMIL has always picked the last of the summer's hydrangeas to dry for winter decoration, and this one was such a fabulous colour I couldn't resist it.


I also spent quite a lot of time knitting the border on the purple shawl and have only a very few inches left to do. There will be photographic evidence shortly!

And now, a busy few days before we leave for SOAR. Not just the washing, ironing and packing, but also socialising and even organising a little business - no details as yet, but I'm hoping a couple of new things will open up.

And tonight - The Time Traveller's Wife. I'm nervous! I really liked the book, and one can never just tell with a film!