Blog Archive

A visit to my daughter

I've mentioned before that my Darling Daughter is at Oxford, studying for her PhD (or DPhil, as they call it there).  I went down last week to spend a few precious days with her, and we had such a wonderful time.  We ambled around, treading the cobbled streets that she now knows so well.  DD took her Masters there, so is in her 5th year of being an Oxford resident.  

The Radcliffe Camera

Jesus College

The Shaldonian Theatre - DD's Masters graduation ceremony was held here

DD spends many hours in the Bodleian Library

The scene of many a crime in Lewis or Endeavour...

...but in reality a quiet, leafy street

On Sunday evening I went to Choral Evensong in the college chapel.  The choir were sublime, and it was a wonderful hour spent.

Afterwards we flopped in her room and watched reruns of Endeavour, eating chocolate covered nuts and raisins.  It's wonderful having all the family together, but sometimes just being the two of us is magical beyond words.

We spent a lovely day at Blenheim Palace and Woodstock.  Winston Churchill spent a lot of time here as a child, and there were little glimpses into history everywhere, The scenery around the grounds was pretty spectacular too!

Another blissful, pyjama clad evening watching Endeavour (we're almost word perfect with the scripts now), reading, crocheting (me) and making cups of tea.  We have simple needs.

We paid a visit to the new shopping mall that was opening up in Oxford.  Excitement was all around, and I have to admit I queued to be one of the first to visit the new John Lewis!  I wasn't sure if they were going to have a haberdashery department, as rumours had been rife that this was to be cut from some stores, but I was delighted to see a busy haberdashery, albeit a little small.  

I purchased 2 metres of spotty dotty navy and white stretch fabric for a dress.  I  wanted JL to feel it was wise to keep haberdashery!

Before we knew it, it was time for me to board my train and head home.  However, the happy memories I brought home with me will last a lifetime.

Donna x 

Sewing Miette - Part 3!

I made another Miette skirt! (See my previous posts here and here.)

I used the cotton Chambray that I bought at Cool Crafting in Skipton.  It's buttery soft and a lovely, deep blue.

Using the modifications I worked out on the last two Miettes, I cut the back a size larger to get a bit more coverage.  I cut the front on the fold, to eliminate the centre front seam, and have the straight grain running up the centre.

Wearing my Miette Part 2, I twizzled it around and placed a line of pins down the centre front.  I then lined this up on the pattern and drew a grainline.  I now have the centre front and backs on the straight grain and I much prefer it.

I must reiterate that there is nothing wrong with the original pattern, these are just changes that I prefer.  That's the joy of dressmaking; you can alter and adapt to your heart's content!

Miette Part 3 is finished and I LOVE it!  In fact, I do believe it is my favourite EVER skirt pattern!  I've already bought some wine red fabric to make the next one...

I can't wait to make the Rosa pattern too!  I'm a bit in love with Tilly and the Buttons :)

Donna x 

Perfect Peak District


My Patient Other Half celebrated a Significant Birthday earlier this year and part of his present from me was a surprise mini holiday or weekend away every month for the whole year!  It's been great fun planning them, and he has no idea where we are going each time, as all I tell him is what sort of clothing to pack, and then we pop Daisy Dog in her booster seat (she's too little to see out of the window otherwise!) and I hold the Sat Nav, so he can't see which direction we are taking. We've travelled all over the country and it's been really lovely.

Two weeks ago we set off on a Friday afternoon, and it was only when we were ten minutes away from our destination that POH guessed we were going back to the beautiful and peaceful cottage we stayed in for May's holiday! It's in the Dovedale area of the Peak District, and so perfectly peaceful.  We had a lovely time when we stayed there in May and I thought why not go back?!

This is the view from the window. Isn't it glorious?

I'd planned for us to go to Chatsworth on the Saturday, but the weather turned a bit overcast and damp, so instead we went to Bakewell (one of our favourite little towns) and had a happy wander around the shops and the Rutland Antique Centre, and treated ourselves to morning tea and cakes at the Lavender Tea Rooms, which is tucked away in a quaint little courtyard.

After that we went to Hardwick Hall (Bess of Hardwick fame) had a lovely picnic and then went around the Hall (separately, as dogs weren't allowed in, of course).  It was a fascinating house.

I love peeking inside linen cupboards!

On Sunday, the colds we had battled all week got the better of us, so went spent the morning lounging and napping, and by the afternoon felt a bit better so we headed off for a short walk around Dovedale.  Its dramatic beauty is beyond photographs, but I tried to take a couple, in case you haven't been there:

I love my Muck boots that I bought at the Tatton Flower Show!

On Monday we were feeling a great deal better so we went to Chatsworth.  I'd just bought tickets for the gardens, as they are dog friendly, whereas the house, obviously, isn't.  But my goodness, what spectacular gardens they are! We spent hours there, until closing time in fact.  It is wonderful to find such beautiful places to visit that are dog friendly, as Daisy is such a big part of our family, and makes holidays so much fun.  She loved it there, and found lots of other dogs to make friends with.

We sat in the sunshine after lunch and I produced my crochet from my bag and did a few rows.  The pattern is 'Your Mileage May Vary' by Joanne Scrace, and is included in the fabulous book 'The Shawl Project- Book One'.  The yarn is by Knitglobal, and is 4ply 75% Superwash Merino and 25% Nylon yarn.  The colour is 'Summer Berries'.

On Tuesday we packed up our little cottage, and said 'see you soon!' and then headed off to Eyam for lunch.  Eyam is famous as the 'Plague Village' as when the deadly plague took hold in 1665 the villagers took the brave decision to isolate themselves to contain the disease.  Tragically, about 260 of the villagers - in some cases whole families - died, and there are little plaques outside some of the original cottages detailing the inhabitants at the time of the plague along with their fate.  It makes for sobering reading.

After a delicious lunch, complete with a holiday cake, we made our way home.  What a wonderful weekend that was.  

October's trip?  Well, I can't tell you about that quite yet, as POH reads my blog!  

Have you been anywhere Perfectly Lovely recently?  Or even Fairly Reasonable?  Please do leave a comment below.  I promise to answer each one!

Donna x