Village Life

Random | Saturday October 9 2010 | 10:25 pm | 1 Comment | Tags: , , |

I thought I’d share a few things about where I grew up as I am here visiting family at the moment.  I’m in a village in western central Scotland called Strathaven, about 20 miles south of Glasgow.  My family came to live here when I was 6 months old and I haven’t actually lived here since I was 17 and moved away to go to university.

Fact Number 1:

You don’t pronounce the ‘th’ in the middle of Strathaven!  You say it like this ‘Str’aven’

Fact Number 2:

Strathaven has a castle!

Fact Number 3:

A Strathvonian invented the purl knitting stitch!  Well this has been alleged!  It is reported in many sources, such as here and here, that Purlie or Pearlie Wilson invented it.  But it is also reported, here, that:

‘James Wilson redesigned the structure so that the purl stitch could be utilized to eliminate the need for a seam. Local weavers bestowed the sobriquet, ‘Pearlie’ or ‘Purlie’ on him because of his clever modification. Long after his demise people wrongly assumed that he had earned his nickname by being first to introduce the purl stitch.’

Fact Number 4:

Harry Lauder, famous for songs such as ‘Stop yer tickling, Jock’ and ‘Bonnie Hielan’ Mary’, lived out his later life in Strathaven!

Fact Number 5: (this one’s my favourite!)

The local newspaper, Strathaven Echoes, has a column in every issue detailing ‘New Books in the Library’!  Yes, really!!!  Have you ever seen that before?  Even more interesting… the newspaper office also doubles as an ice cream shop!!!

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The Butterfly and the Pig

Tea | Thursday October 7 2010 | 10:03 pm | Comments (2) | Tags: , , , , |

As if by magic I’m now in Scotland to visit my family.  OK I admit it, not by magic, by car power!

I arrived here about lunch time and within an hour of being here I was off out with my sister in law, her mum and my mum for afternoon tea!  How perfect an arrival that was!

We went to The Butterfly and the Pig in Glasgow!  Great name yeah?!  I’d not heard of it until recently and what a find it is!  The tearoom is an absolute delight and the afternoon tea well, let’s just say we were all very full for a long time.

My favourite things about it were the mismatched crockery and old linens on the tables.  The decor and accessories are just my taste and I could have happily had all of it at home, although I probably don’t need that many tea cups!

 

The tearoom itself has a great mix of dressers, wooden chairs, pews and mirrors.  We sat in a window seat under a sash window, with tweed cushions – a great place to watch the world go by too!

And what was the afternoon tea itself like, you may be asking!  Well, I think these two pictures answer that question!

 

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High teas and happy days

Craft,Tea | Wednesday June 23 2010 | 4:15 pm | Comments (3) | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

I’ve just had one of my very favourite sorts of weekends: family, kids, cake and crochet!!  Caveman and I went to Scotland for my new(ish) niece’s christening so it was a busy and tiring weekend.  However, in between the travelling and the cake I managed to get come crochet done in the sunshine which was a joy, as I am normally just hooking away indoors in the corner of my sofa, in front of the telly and / or laptop.

Anyway, after the church bit of the christening, which I guess IS the actual christening!) we went to the Strathaven Hotel, (Strathaven is where I grew up and some of my folks still live there) for high tea.  I spent a good hour thinking, out loud much of the time, ‘now, why have I never had high tea before’.  My sister insists that I have but I really can’t remember.  High tea consisted of a main course (gammon steak in my case, other options included fish and chips), served with a cake stand full of little slices of tray bake cakes, scones, pancakes and bread and butter all washed down with lots of tea or coffee. 

Then came the pièce de résistance!  A plate groaning with homemade meringues sandwiched with fluffy soft whipped cream!  My sister and I managed not to resist several of these (each!!).  Be honest, could you?

I am ever curious about traditions and etiquette (particularly of ‘polite’ society) and had to look up the origins of high tea and found that the UK Tea Council describes it thus:

For the working and farming communities, afternoon tea became high tea. As the main meal of the day, high tea was a cross between the delicate afternoon meal enjoyed in the ladies’ drawing rooms and the dinner enjoyed in houses of the gentry at seven or eight in the evening. With the meats, bread and cakes served at high tea, hot tea was taken.

After all that food we crashed out in the lounge of the hotel where thankfully there were no other customers as 20 of us, including 4 excited children, would have soon scared them away.  We spent the rest of the day catching up, playing with the kids and taking lots of pictures of Erin in her christening gown with various family members.  I still can’t work out why she vomited on me 3 times over the weekend though!  I’m not that scary!

The rest of the weekend was spent hanging out with my folks, watching some football (yes, really, I watched some of the World Cup) and getting some of my hook-a-long blanket done.  In the process I competled my first full cycle of all the colours!  Yee ha!!!

I read a lot of crochet and craft blogs and often people refer to it being too dark to take pictures of their works and waiting for an opportune time.  I am no expert in photography so wasn’t too sure what this was all about, thinking hte flash made up for it – until I was able to take the pictures below in my sisters garden.  Don’t the colours look great?  Don’t I wish I had a garden and didn’t live in a flat?  Yes to both!!

I have now started on the second round of each colour now and I am jolly well delighted with it; the neatness, colour order (despite all the pondering).  Can you spot the little mistake?  I am going to handsew two little imitation crochet stitches in to put it right.

Now I’m back in Manchester to the same old wondering, as I sometimes do, why I live so far away from the people who are most improtant to me!!  Ah well, such is life!

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It’s a GIRL!!

Craft | Monday March 1 2010 | 4:57 pm | Comments (2) | Tags: , , , , , |

Remember way back early in January when I said I had lots of babies to make for…  well the babies are all here now and the makes are all completed! 

My friend had Jimmy last week and I can’t wait to see them to give them the blue blanket.  The day after Jimmy was born my lovely sister in law brought us Erin!  We were all so delighted, and in truth a bit surprised, to have another girl in the family as there had been some of expectation of a boy (I already have 2 nephews and a niece).   We all love the name Erin, which we didnt know was in the shortlist, and it is particualry appropriate as my sister in law is very proud of her Irish heritage and Erin means Ireland.  However, my nephew James won’t accept he’s got a new girl cousin and insists on calling her Tom!

I had been in Scotland all week waiting for her arrival and she came the day before I had to come back to Manchester – good timing as I was getting twitchy I may miss her altogether!

My sister in law really loved the blanket I’d made Erin and it has been much admired.  I do love that thrill when people complement my work!  It makes it worth all the hours of work that have gone into it.

Erin's blanket folded

Erin's blanket close up

Erin's blanket edging

We didn’t know Erin was going to be a girl so I erred on a neutral coloured and I am really pleased with the finished result.  I know my family look at this site and I wanted the blanket to be a surprise, so I am very excited about posting the pictures now.

A few days before Erin was born I had saw three magpies, TWICE!  I am not superstitious, but we all notice things like that don’t we?!   I was looking up the full words of the magpie rhyme and found a few versions, but I liked this Yorkshire one best (sorry, last line is a little cheeky):

One for Sorrow
Two for Joy
Three for a Girl
Four for a Boy
Five for Silver
Six for Gold
Seven for a tale never to be told
Eight you Live
Nine you Die
Ten you eat a bogey pie!

Anyway, if Erin’s Mummy and Daddy say it’s ok, I’ll post a pic of her snuggly wrapped up in her wavy crochet cuddly blanket!

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A wee film about wooly jumpers

Craft | Thursday February 4 2010 | 10:29 pm | No Comments | Tags: , |

I saw the film below on Meet Me at Mikes and it’s brilliant!!  Pringle of Scotland has had a fairly ‘traditional’ reputation and this should really give a new twist to that. From the look of their website at the moment it looks like they are really challenging that reputation and good on them!

For me one of the funniest things about this film is the ever so polite Scottish accent saying ‘it totally does your head in’ and ‘manky wool’ and ‘they should just make socks, because they’re crap’.  You may not know that but I’m Scottish, and I speak just like that… OK that’s not totally true!  Well, the Scottish bit is true!

I love it when people (and organisations) can laugh at themselves and this does that in a brilliant way.  Enjoy!

“>

Pringle of Scotland Animation by David Shrigley

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