Saturday, 14 October 2017

Padraig and friends

 Perhaps a more hopeful and pleasant post than last week where I was rather down, to say the least.  Lots of family problems all pressed in at once.  I have done some more exercise, walking as much as I can, eaten well and early to bed.

I have also indulged in a little retail therapy.  This lovely yarn is fingering weight and has 10% nylon in it so used for socks.  I am planning on finishing the never ending ten stitch blanket in the next few days and these beauties are to be Christmas presents, possibly cowls.

I bought them online from the Convent and Chapel Wool Shop in Rylstone in the Central west near Mudgee.  Much of my family came from the area and it feels like home to me.  Margot and Gemma have beautiful yarns in the shop which is housed in an old hotel in Rylstone.  Their service is good and prompt.  I now get any purchases sent to my son's work because of the problems associated with this area and he brought my purchases down last night.

This is Three Irish Girls yarn and it feels as if it will be beautiful to use.  The light in my lounge was not really bright enough to show  the vivid colours well.  From the left are two skeins of Hydrangea, and intense blue/purple.  The green is lighter and very intense.  It is called Padraig.  What else for green and Irish girls?  Next is delphinium and last is purple rain.

I have been digging around in Ravelry and pulled out a few cowl patterns to consider.  The first is the Irish Mesh Cowl, an appropriate choice for the provenance of the yarn.  The second is a textured Project Peace cowl pattern.

I have also bought some clothes.  I keep mine for a long time but have had the combination of some that have worn out to the point of being truly threadbare and also are now far too big since losing 25+ kilos.

This is an interesting top.  I like it but am still unsure of it.  The sleeves are batwing but from elbow to wrist, they are snug.

The neck is fairly wide and I am wearing it in the house as a test before going out in public.  I did not want to find that movement caused it to fall off my shoulders or to have the V-neck gaping so I felt uncomfortable out in public.  So far today it seems fine.

I bought a skirt of an unusual design  long but with two side panels which wrap around and are tied at the waist.  That one would be better with some more weight gone.  Then a fairly prosaic shirtwaist dress in a denim blue which fits well.

Spring has sprung here this week, although we could use a week of rain.  2 mm in six weeks is all Sydney has had. These two photos are from my dwarf kaffir lime tree. This is used by shredding the leaves very finely and adding to Thai green curries, along with Thai holy mint which I have in a planter box. I like the curry without these ingredients , but adding them produces an entirely different flavour and the lime leaf gives a wonderful aroma as well.  The leaves all grow as the photo shows , with a tiny join between each pair.  The tree was growing  reasonably but has suddenly made use of the fertiliser I gave it, coupled with the spring weather.  It has taken off with a bang and the leaves which spent much of winter fairly yellowed are now glossy deep green.

It comes with good protection against raiders.  There are many thorns along each branch.  Thorns are exceedingly sharp and are about 2 cm long. The red flowers on the right are diplodena/mandevilla given to me some fifteen to twenty years ago by my mother.  It has been repotted several times and almost always has some flowers on it. The small purple flowers are nodding violets, no perfume, in fact a different plant to violets altogether.  This was grown from a cutting purloined from a holiday home about twenty years ago.

My granddaughters gave me some herbs for my birthday in August.  I had a few, including some basil which amazingly survived over winter.  I now have another half dozen herbs and they are all thriving too.

Lunch beckons after an early breakfast.  Breakfast is usually eggs in some shape or form, sometimes with bacon or tomatoes and mushrooms.  Lunch will be protein of some sort and a huge salad which takes ages to eat. Dinner is again some protein and vegetables, usually a big pile of assorted green vegetables. I eat quite a lot of fish.   I now bake not just asparagus which I have done for years, but also a wedge of cabbage or some flowerets of cauliflower or broccoli. I am rarely hungry and hardly ever have bread in any form.    I have not bought biscuits for at least a year, no longer cook them.  Some vegetables  with carbs are eaten, new potatoes which are low GI, carrots, sweet potato and pumpkin are also on my menu.

I use lots of butter, make sauces with cream and use sour cream on curries etc.  Cholesterol is not a problem.

Cold meat for lunches is expensive.  I now plan ahead.  Yesterday I cooked a piece of corned silverside.  I let it cool in the water and when it was cold, I sliced it so it is ready to just take from the fridge for lunch.  When I went to cook it I had the brown sugar but could not find any ordinary vinegar in the pantry at all.  That situation has now been remedied.  I used some good red wine vinegar in the meat and wondered how it would go. It was that or raspberry vinegar from a winery in the Southern Highlands.  The raspberry is beautiful but I did not fancy it with corned beef.  I can tell you red wine vinegar was really good.  I will do it again . The corned beef went well with the red wine vinegar.

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