Sunday, 18 September 2011

Cambridge blues

Goodness, the last week has gone by quickly! I hope you've had a good one! Mine has been busy, busy, busy, with not enough knitting time! I'm still working on my Longshadows scarf. I have made some headway with the second half, thanks to some train travelling yesterday (more of that later), but I still have almost 5 repeats left to knit, plus the grafting and blocking. It WILL be done by next weekend! My Rene jumper is also progressing. I'm almost at the armholes now. I love the cosy, dense fabric that's being created. But it doesn't look tremendously different to the last photo, so I'll save it for another blog post.
I have done some spinning over the last couple of weeks. I spun up the Cormo fibre that I received from Briar Rose Fibers. It was a delight to spin - really soft and very easy to draw the fibres. I decided to spin it as a single since I only had 1.5 ounces, and I have ended up with just over 300 metres. I'm thinking some sort of neck warmer at the moment. The colours are so deep and atmospheric, I love them.

Deep blue Cormo

I also received the second installment of the Fall in Full Color club. It's a wonderful springy yarn from Shalimar Yarns- a blend of sw merino, cashmere and silk.  When I first saw the colourway, I wasn't bowled over by it - it's a mix of sage green and greeny yellow, called Hazel Leaf. Whilst I would probably never have picked it up in a yarn shop, it has grown on me, and I like the way it looks in the pattern - a pretty shawlette with a leaf motif. I think it's quite a good idea to try new yarns and colourways that might be out of my comfort zone, so I am looking forward to casting on, once Longshadows is finished. (I need the needles for this project too, haha!)
Anyway, here's the yarn. How do you like it?

Hazel Leaf FIFC September yarn (1)

Mr JK and I decided to take a trip to Cambridge yesterday. It's less than 3 hours away by train; much easier than driving to let the train take the strain! So before long I was all set up for the journey - knitting, tea and stroopwaffels!! I was delighted to spot these at the station!

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We spent a most enjoyable day in Cambridge, doing lots of touristy things. First on the list was King's College.

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It really is breathtaking when you step inside the chapel and look up. The roof is so, so high and has the largest fan vault ceiling in the world. It almost makes you dizzy just looking!

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The chapel was started in the 15th century when Henry VI laid the first stone. The wooden screen which houses the organ was given by Henry VIII while he was married to Anne Boleyn, and their intials can be seen covering it.

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I think the letters look more like an H and an R, but it must be the way the Tudors wrote their A's!! It's incredible to think that this screen has survived through so much history. I bet it has a good few tales it could tell!

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If you listen to the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on Christmas Eve each year, you will know that it comes from King's College Chapel. I'd love to be there one year. People start queueing from very early on Christmas Eve. If you get in the queue much after 9am, you're unlikely to get a seat apparently! And it doesn't start until 3pm! That's a lot of waiting around on Christmas Eve when you could be peeling potatoes, stuffing the turkey and wrapping last minute presents!!

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We got caught in a shower when we left the College, and sheltered under a tree by a bridge overlooking the River Cam. Some brave people were having a punt on the river! The rain was pouring down at this point, and we did feel sorry for the poor souls in the punt. They can't have seen much!!

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Luckily the rain didn't last for very long, and the sun was soon shining once more. This was the courtyard of Gonville and Caius College. There was a huge wisteria in one corner that must look stunning in bloom.

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The Colleges are all extremely well maintained with beautiful gardens and perfect lawns. The reason for that is that no-one is allowed to walk on the grass. And just in case tourists aren't sure, the message is loud and clear in a choice of languages!!

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We also looked into the courtyard of Trinity College. There is a race held annually around the courtyard where competitors try to run the 341 metres around the courtyard in the time it takes for the clock to strike 12 o'clock. It inspired the film Chariots of Fire.

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We also stuck our noses into the courtyard of Sidney Sussex College, so I could show Mr JK where I almost ended up! I had an interview for a place to study Natural Sciences many moons ago, but eventually took a place at Bath University instead. I think it would have been a great place to study (although Bath was a lovely city to be a student too!)

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In between all our College visiting, we wandered around a couple of markets and visited a food festival on Parker's Piece. It was a great day out, and we both agreed that we'd have to do it again. Next time, Ely perhaps? It's another city close by that I've never been to.
Florence is fine, really settled. She doesn't seem to be missing Elsie too much, so we are not looking for another cat at the moment. She has become my office assistant! She is completely fascinated by the printer and as soon as it clicks into life, she is up on the desk with her snout right inside it!! I have no idea what could be so interesting for a little cat!

office assistant flo (5)

A minute or so before these photos were taken, she was fast asleep! And I mean fast asleep in pussycat dreamland, with little paws twitching. The printer started and wham! There she was up on the desk, a little bleary eyed to begin with, but desperate to lend a paw! She really is a funny cat!

office assistant flo (6)

The garden is still providing us with lots of lovely vegetables and fruit. Mr JK picked this little lot last weekend. On the menu this week is potato, courgette and cheddar soup, with soda bread. It sounds delicious. I'll report back next weekend.

September harvest (1)

It's certainly getting to that time of year when I need to have warming, hearty and wholesome food. There's a definite nip in the air, and it won't be long before I'm back in socks! The leaves on our copper beech tree are starting to turn too. Autumn is definitely here! I'll love you and leave you with a photo of one of our recent food discoveries - Greek lamb with orzo. It is completely yummilicious! We found the orzo pasta in our local  supermarket. Go on, try it! We're going to make it with beef next time. Mmmmmmmmmm! XXX

Greek lamb and orzo


busybusybeejay said...

I'm glad you enjoyed Cambridge.Our son and his family live within walking distance,10 minutes,of the city centre.You go across Midsummer Common and Jesus Green and you are by Sidney Sussex College.If you go again the Wren Library in Trinity college is well worth a visit.Lots on Isaac Newton(a lock of his hair,walking stick and written work).Fascinating.We have never actually been in Kings but seeing your photos is something we should do next time we are there.

Denise said...

Love your pictures, I used to work in Cambridge at the DHSS, I'd walk in to town every day, wish I'd gone in to the college more often, it truly is breautiful

Vanessa said...

Great photos! The potato soup sounds delicious.

Northern Monkey said...

Oh my goodness, our tea is currently in the oven so I'm hungry and drooling over that lamb, it looks delicious. I love greek food generally though, so tasty!

Ozzy Blackbeard said...

What lovely photos, Cambridge is very beautiful. I love the photo of the vaulted ceiling, it making me dizzy just looking at it!

The photos of Florence are fab, they made me laugh. I take it she is Tech Support in your house?! ;)

snoopydog said...

Looks like a great day out in Cambridge. I love having a wander around the colleges and the Backs. I must say, I'm very impressed with MR Josiekitten's committmant to his garden produce this year! Give him a pat on the back from Snoops;-)Have a good week. Ros

Anonymous said...

so many things to comment on in this post...
first - oh my, the ceiling of king's college chapel is breathtaking!.
second - elsie and the printer is just too funny!
thirdly - that stew looks fantastic! i will have to give it a try.
and i'm sure there was more... your handspun is as amazing as always.
hope you have a good week!!

Helsie said...

What a lovely day. How lucky you are to live so close to this wonderful place. We've spent the day there but of course only scratched the surface. I need a guide and someone to explain the university system to me next time.It all seems so different different to ours.

Kat Jorgensen said...

When I visit England, I may have to apply for a visa to see all of the places I want to see. I've just added a bunch to my list based on your latest blog entry. Really beautiful pictures. And I'm so glad the kitty is settling in and comfortable. She's precious.

Jo said...

Awww, Florence has given me a chuckle, bless her, sticking her paws in to the printer. Glad she's not pining for Elsie, she seems to have settled in so well. Wow, the ceiling of King's College Chapel is breathtaking, I bet it's even more impressive when you're actually there. I really like the Hazel Leaf colourway, very autumnal. Your garden is providing you with some wonderful seasonal produce. I like the sound of the potato, courgette and cheddar soup. I've got some potatoes and courgettes to use up so I might give it a go myself.

GirlAnachronismE said...

Wow, I love the blue yarn, it looks amazing spun up. And it looks like you had a good time in Cambridge.

Also thought you might like this comic, if your cat likes the printer it amused me

Kim said...

Great photos Helen! Um, could you pass the stoopwaffles please???