Weekend Trip, Pt. 2, Edinburgh


After checking into our hotel Friday night, we had a bite to eat at the bar. It was a nice hotel, but the dining areas had pretensions! There was almost nothing I would want to eat on the menu in the dining room, the bar menu wasn’t much better, but we settled on a bagel sandwich with barbecued chicken and cheese, surprisingly it was excellent, it all stayed together and the bagel was very fresh!
We then went up and watched a bit of telly and then went to bed. We had to have breakfast and be on the bus to Edinburgh the next morning!
Breakfast was nice, a buffet type affair, so you could pick and choose what you wanted, bacon and eggs, naturally! I made the mistake of having a thimbleful of orange juice, I hadn’t had juice of any kind for over 2 years, the citrus made my tongue inflamed and sore for 2 days, won’t be making that mistake again, even though it did taste nice!
It was a gruelling 3 hours to Edinburgh from Middlesborough, but at least we got a glimpse of the Angel of the North statue along the way, too far away to really get a picture through the bus window, but very cool to see!
The staff on the trip were excellent, two drivers and the tour manager. They were kind enough to stop for some people who wanted to take pictures at the border. I couldn’t be bothered to get off and snapped this from the window! It was a dreary day already!
We got to Edinburgh around 1 ish, and it was even drearier. It rained off and on all afternoon and we spent a large part of the time ducking into places to have coffee! There is a large department store called Jenner’s that had a most excellent strawberry/champagne scone. (no dieting was done on this trip!) We had lunch at a little place on a side street, very expensive..but much better than McDonalds!
And the crowds! Unfortunately, the Military Tattoo runs the same time as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, so there were people there for both things and I do think its probably like that anyway. It was as crowded as New York or London. And did I say how dreary the day was? We got some souveniers in the little shops, my personal favorite was the shortbread shaped like Scottie dogs!
This is the castle from town, hard to tell with the fog!


A few dark pics, the art museum and Edinburgh Eye, Sir Walter Scott memorial and Sir Walter Scott himself. I’m told you can climb a spiral staircase to the top of the memorial. herbertgull
And this is a little friend I made along the way!
Before the afternoon was over, we also stopped in Costa and had a delicious mint mocha, highly recommended, and then it was time to meet the bus to go up to the castle!
To be Cont’d…


Weekend Journey, Pt. 1, York


We went for a weekend coach trip, headed for the Edinburgh Tattoo on Saturday night. We had to get up and get the local bus at 7am to meet the coach in the next town. The coach was late, combination of traffic and mix up. But we finally got on and got settled, its not a short trip from Gravesend to Scotland! We weren’t actually staying in Scotland, but 3 hours away from Edinburgh in Middlesborough. On the way there, we stopped in York, which is a lovely city, famous for the York Minster, a lovely cathedral.  I’m sure my picture doesn’t do it justice! We had a lovely Cherry Crumble at a cafe called Wacker’s!


minsterfromsquareIt was a pretty day, and I would definitely want to go back there and hang out for a couple of days!


The architecture is interesting and there are lovely statues all around, this little figure of Minerva is on the corner of a building, at the juncture of the ground and 1st floor! You have to look up a lot!


My husband, Sid is in the lower left of this photo, I hit the auto sharpen to make him less fuzzy and it makes the cathedral look like its outlined! I didn’t realize he had wandered into the photo until I was “fixing” them up for the computer! I didn’t have the heart to crop him out!

This square is to one side of the Minster and on the other is a lovely park, called Dean’s Park with a war memorial to the 2nd division. There is a big statue of Constantine who was actually made Emperor here in York. (many years ago!) And a Boer War memorial just down the street which is quite nice.

I highly recommend York for anyone visiting England!

We finally made it to our hotel around 6:30pm. They had free WiFi, but for some reason, my phone didn’t want to know. I had my Kindle with me and was able to connect and check email, but didn’t feel like messing around with the internet after all that bus riding!

To be continued…..



New Boy In Town, Meet Alister!



Here is my newest doll, Alister. He is a Kidz n Cats doll from Germany. I have another boy doll named Josh who is a Designa Friend from Argos, I have two of their girl dolls in this size as well, and one of their 14″ little sister dolls. But Alister is one of a kind, he is the same height, even though he does seem to be just slightly shorter, and his head is smaller, more in keeping with his slimmer body style. He has elbow, knee and wrist joints, even though they are a bit stiff since he is so new. 


Here he is next to Josh, part of it is a perspective thing, I took the picture from an angle, but you can see he does look smaller and I checked with the tape measure and he does seem about 1/2 inch shorter. Mostly the big heads on the others I think! 

He came in a beautiful outfit, so well made, but so hot! And everyone else was in their beach wear! LOL! I had made an outfit for him in anticipation of his arrival, but the top was way too big. Kit is standing next to him wearing it and its even slightly big on her! The shorts fit him fine, so I had to get busy and make a new top!


Here he is when he arrived, see, he does look hot! Isla took an instant liking to him and even managed to fall right on top of him while I was putting his beach clothes on! She always was an assertive one! 

I’ve waited for Alister for a long time. By the time I decided I wanted him last year, he was sold out. I was happy to hear that he was being made again this year, and pre-ordered him immediately! The boy dolls are hard to come by, they sell out quickly and people just don’t sell them on that often! I’ve also pre-ordered one of the new girl dolls in this range, Miu, she isn’t due out till August, but because she is different looking, I wanted to be sure I got one! Each of these dolls come with a little stuffed cat, you can see Alister’s in his bucket! I call him Oliver! 


Picnic on the beach


Picnic on the beach

My favorite colors for the summer are red,white and blue, they are also my favorite colors, period! For those who don’t know, I am orginally from Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. I moved to the UK in the year 2000. I’m happy both my countries have these colors as national colors…I can seem patriotic on both sides of the Atlantic! LOL! Actually my love of these colors has to do with the nautical connotation more than patriotism. I love nautical themes in clothing, housewares, etc. Can’t say I’ve spent an inordinate time on a boat, but I love the sea!
So, I’ve combined my love of these colors with my love of knitting and my doll collection…which I also love! So, I’ve been making things and redressing my many dolls in red, white and blue!
This picture is of my 18″ dolls, I have American Girl, Gotz, Designa Friend, Madame Alexander and Sophia dolls in this size. They are celebrating all the summer holidays for the US and the UK! (and any other country that has these colors…) We are a multinational household.

Playing Catch Up!


I have been quite remiss, I am now trying to get it together! My life is going along, nothing that interesting or exciting, but nicely! 

I have been having problems with Yahoo, so have gone to Google Mail for my main email address now, its already attached to this blog. I have unsubscribed to the Chrome forum that used to fill up the inbox and make everything else camouflaged! I cleared out over 200 messages and only about 10 of them were from somewhere else! 

So, I will try to keep up with the blogs I follow and to write something halfway interesting more often! 

I’m still trying to get the hang of the new system here on WordPress! As I grow older I like change less! 



Attention Knitting and Craft magazine editors!


Alright already, enough with the mug hugs, cowls and fingerless mitts! And the toys…..I would rather have sensible, stylish knits and maybe some doll clothes! And the free gifts! NO! Make the magazine cheaper and forget the extra patterns for mug hugs, cowls and fingerless mitts…oh, and the lacy shawlettes that barely cover your shoulders, or the capelets that barely cover anything. 

One or some of these things once in awhile is ok, but several in each issue. I have the feeling that there just isn’t anything new for you to publish. 

I mostly buy the magazines (and I buy them all!) to see the new yarns and gadgets. I rarely read the history of knitting articles, I like pictures of sheep and alpacas, but rarely read the articles. I like some of the columnists, the ones with a sense of humour! 

I now have a retractable tape measure for every room and every project bag. I have row counters for several projects, but only two of them work properly. (one works properly, but the holes to see the numbers through are so small one would need a microscope to see what the number is) Also, the cheap plastic and warped bamboo needles are not necessary. Thanks to your magazines I have discovered the ultimate joy of knit pro needles! 

I also don’t need parcels of small balls of cheap acrylic yarn. I’ve got a whole storage bin of it. They are not even enough for doll clothes, unless I do a lot of stripes. 

And please don’t show me the god awful things they put on the catwalk! They mostly look like the cat shredded them. I guess its good for a laugh, but nothing that anyone would actually wear out shopping!

I keep thinking I will cancel my subscriptions and save a lot of money…money I could use on yarn!  But there is that feeling that something really good will appear in a magazine and I’ll miss it!

But as the prices go up, I see less value in the magazines. There are so many ads, and I don’t mind that, but I’m sure they must pay the actual cost of printing. I’m also sure most of the patterns are given to the magazines to print as they are good advertisements for the yarn companies. I hardly even actually knit anything from the magazine, but often buy patterns that I see in the advertisements! So, I pay for the magazine and then pay for patterns that aren’t in it but are shown in the ads. 

Methinks I must rethink my magazine purchases!


The little sisters!


The little sisters!

Yesterday I posted my 18″ dolls in their Easter outfits. Now its the little sisters turn! Holly, in the centre is a Designa Friend 14″ little sister doll. The other two are Simba Madeleine dolls, also 14″. I have a 13″ Les Cherie doll on her way to me. They make a nice addition to my dolly family!
I’m not entirely sure how WordPress is working now. Its so different in the few months that I have been ignoring it! (well, not on purpose, just didn’t get around to it!) I used to be able to write a blog, and put several pics in it, but not sure if that can happen now, or how much I’m really allowed to write in this description space!