Posted in Uncategorized

Poppies for Remembrance Day

This November there have been some wonderful displays on our war memorials that reminded my of a project I took part a couple of years ago – the plan had been to decorate the memorial in Old Eldon Square but after being inundated with knitted and crocheted poppies this stunning river of red was created on the grass and the trees were decorated too.

All over the country statues and cenotaphs, trees and railings have been festooned with handmade poppies in a trend that I think began in 2018, the centenary of the end of the First World War.

In nearby Warkworth the bridge railings are decorated.

Here in Shilbottle this village sign at Shilbottle Grange has been decorated by a talented lady named Brenda who lives close by. She’s incorporated purple poppies to represent the animals that died in service during conflict.

Photo D Sanderson

Also in the village we have a community garden known as Green Hut Corner, which includes memorials to the war dead and also those who died in mining accidents at the two former collieries here. In recent months the garden was decorated with thank you messages to the NHS heroes of the COVID pandemic. The hedge here provides a wonderful backdrop to this year’s poppy display.

This year the gatherings, services and parades have either been cancelled or reduced so that social distancing can be observed, so by adding these poppies to displays over the last week or so people have been paying their respects in their own beautiful way.

But there are other ways to mark Remembrance Day with poppies. My friend Cal Boal posted this on her Facebook Page (where you can see other examples of her work). Cal is a a very talented quilter and I’m sure you will agree that her Poppy Portal quilt is stunning.

Posted in Uncategorized

Scone of the Week 12th March

It was a bright and breezy day in Northumberland when we set off today, so we decided to start by driving down to Alnmouth Beach to see the sea. it was very choppy with lots of white tops on the waves and spray blowing about, though not much surf.

The Aln estuary main channel has moved north over the winter as storms have shifted the sands. The wind had kept people away and there was only one dog walker in sight. Apologies for the marks on the car window!

We drove down the coast to nearby Warkworth. This historic village, which nestles in a bend in the River Coquet, has ruined castle and some nice pubs, cafes and shops. We decided to try Bertram’s.

The cafe is on the ground floor of a luxury B&B on the main road through the village on the right just after the bridge as you come from the north. It’s lovely inside, all duck-egg blue paintwork which looks perfect against the natural stone and scrubbed pine and it’s quite roomy inside. I loved the art on the walls, especially the pictures of hares. I took this photo of an empty table to show the decor, but it was soon occupied – the place was quite busy. They don’t take bookings. Tables are available on a first come, first served basis and a queuing system operates at busy times. It’s dog friendly too. I had to say hello to the Labrador that arrived shortly after us.

We sat at one end of a long table which was already occupied at the other end, but this wasn’t a problem as it was a very big table! Breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea are served and it’s a good menu with plenty of choice. Lunch includes hot and cold sandwiches, soups and quiche, with daily specials and preferred use of local produce. There’s a good range of cakes too…and scones!

The staff were pleasant and friendly and our scones and coffee soon arrived. Each of us was served two small cheese scones. These were at room temperature and came with a small dish of butter that was from the fridge and rather too cold to spread. The scones themselves had a good light texture but little or no cheese flavour apart from the crust. The coffee was good. Compared with other places we’ve visited, this was one of the more expensive ones. It was nicely presented and looking around at other tables all the food looked very appetising.

Bertram’s was buzzing, with plenty of atmosphere and lovely surroundings so we thoroughly enjoyed our visit.

On our walk back to the car we called in at The Greenhouse – one of my favourite shops, which is situated in a prominent position on the corner as you turn off the Main Street towards the church. It sells an eclectic mixture of gifts, tableware, ornaments, mirrors and cards. There are some fascinating and beautiful items – it’s well worth a visit.

All in all, we had a thoroughly delightful trip out for Scone of the Week.

.

Posted in Uncategorized

Knit and Natter Friday: 21 February (Part One)

It’s the third Friday of the month and that means I spent this morning at the Amble Pincushion. Recently completed work by group members includes a toy cat, a cobweb scarf and some baby blankets. There’s a lovely sweater on the go too, in pretty heather, pink and cream, being knitted in a lovely light, soft alpaca mix boucle yarn.

We all fell in love with the stripy cat, made with yarn and magazine pattern won in a raffle held at a previous meeting of the group. He’s a cuddly toy, but could have a weight put inside to make him into a doorstop.

There are some great courses coming up at the shop in the next few months: I’ve booked on to the mosaic one. We’ve also arranged a trip to a knitting-themed show at the Alnwick Playhouse next month.

After meeting K for a lovely lunch, I took a leisurely drive to Alnwick, so I could pop to the shops before the second knit and natter group of the day. The wind was really getting up as I was leaving Amble and I pulled in by the river Coquet as there is a great view of Warkworth Castle.

The birds had come quite a long way up the river where it is more sheltered. I watched a couple of cormorants feeding. There were mallards and black headed gulls too. Usually you can see herons on this stretch of the Coquet. Today I could just make out three of them sheltering among the trees on the opposite bank.

Pretty well hidden aren’t they?