Perfect Sunday

There was some destruction in our house on Friday, as Sam – Mark’s younger son – was having a 15th birthday House Party in the downstairs of our home. All breakables and valuables were packed into boxes upstairs, and – considering the sound, (like herds of screeching rhinos, stampeding to the Dance Charts and occasionally interjecting with shouty swearing) and the numbers of YOUTH involved in the celebration, (30-ish) – we escaped very lightly indeed, with just one broken light-fixture, a smattering of who-knows-what on the ceiling in the living-room, something sticky in the downstairs bathroom which is attracting many ants, and a broken deck-chair. 2 bright-pink bra-straps turned up in the washing machine for which nobody has any explanation, and some obscenely HIGH high-heels were discarded by someone who sensibly realised she would snap her ankles in two if she tried to move in them. The no-football rule was upheld, and so my BEANZ (of which I am maternally protective) are still alive, and so is my Madder, and for the fact that none of the plants in my care were destroyed during the party, I am profoundly grateful.

Thank You Sam & buddies.

BEANZ!

MADDER!

Really, Sam’s PALZ were extremely well-behaved, when I think back to what I used to get up to at the age of 15. We did have to confiscate a litre bottle of straight vodka that suddenly materialised in the gang, but everyone left at midnight, and the sterling efforts by Sam & Co. to restore the house to its former glory on Saturday mean that the entire downstairs floor is now cleaner than it has probably been in years (we are no good at housework in this house, normally).

Today I had a nice gathering of my own, which involved no random pink bra-straps, no discarded high-heels, and no dance music. Tom and Anthony came for a visit, which was a great excuse to make a tea-brack, to try out a new sausage-casserole recipe, to get some knitting done on the listening tunic, and to share some of the wonders of ESTONIA with KNITCOMRADES.

Tom and Anthony in my living-room!

Here is the listening tunic so far… I am experimenting with dramatic decreases to go from the wide-hips into my waist. I will let you know how that goes. Hopefully it will be as pleasing as THE POCKETS!

Each pocket is a deep, double-sided pouch, which I will stitch together with the main body of the garment after I have woven in all the ends on the colour work. I did a three-needle BO along one side of the pouch, and then picked up the other side of the pouch to continue the garment. I like the sturdy, three-needle BO as a pocket-edging, and the pouches are large and sturdy enough to fit a great quantity of recording stuff.

Here is the pocket, inside the garment. The RS shows when you are looking into the pocket; the WS will be stitched to the WS of the main tunic, if you see what I mean. There are also some bits of waste yarn which I will take out at the end and add tabs to. These openings will allow the wires of my recording gear to be trained inside the tunic, as one thing I detest about field-recording is all the dangling wires getting in the way when I am trying to climb over stiles etc.

Tom is knitting a very nice V-neck pullover in Excelana!

As well as knitting together, we opened the package containing my broken suitcase containing all the yarn I posted to myself from Estonia. We admired all the shades achieved through plant-dyeing, and Kata’s MUHU-PINK!

Then we made a sausage/ginger-beer/rhubarb/apple casserole with rhubarb from the garden, and marvelled at the difference between the photo in the recipe book and the thing we created, which was extremely tasty in spite of being extremely pale.

Recipe book version.

Reality version.

Anthony and Tom’s visit was also a perfect opportunity to bust out last year’s home-made cider. Mark is a bit disappointed in this cider, as he was aiming for a sparkling cider, so we added extra sugar after the first fermentation stage. The idea is that some of the yeast stays live, giving a wee sparkle to the beverage. The sparkle is extremely faint, and it definitely isn’t what you’d call fizzy. However, it has a superbly crisp flavour, and tastes to me somehow more apple-y than apples. I love the simplicity and clarity of the cider-making process; the lack of additives, (really it’s just apple-juice, yeast, sugar and time) and the way the process seems to condense the flavours of apples and the wonderful character of apple-trees into a single, simple, refreshing beverage. Made properly, it shouldn’t be too sweet or too strong. It should be like this.

Golden delicious, made from Bramley apples.

Characterful, verdant apple tree in our garden – the source of all our tasty cider!

I am of course totally biased about the success of our cider-making venture. However our guests seemed to like it, too.

You may notice the beautiful bit of embroidery on Tom’s T-shirt in that lower photograph? He created it himself, as well as the INCREDIBLE darns which adorn the elbows of his cardigan (sadly out of shot). The cider-drinking rather clouded my ability to remember to take all the right photos for this blog-post (ahem) but if you check on his own amazing blog in coming weeks, I am hopeful he will write about this latest bit of darning. I love Tom’s ability to mend in style.

Mark was also busy today, mostly clearing the patio of all the brambles, bindweed, hedgerow trimmings (from last year) and other gubbins which accumulates. I don’t know what it is, but a patio seems to act like a clear table i.e. as a dumping ground or crap-magnet for, well, everything.

I wish I had a before photo so that you could appreciate the miraculous transformation effected in our back yard today; just imagine this photo, but without the paving stones that you can clearly see and you will get the idea.

Wow! There were STONES under there?

We have big plans for this patio… including a large rabbit hutch, some chickens, perhaps a shed/hang-out area for the TEENAGERZ… and maybe even a bench from which to enjoy the beauty of the Walnut Tree which is beginning to show promise of actual NUTZ.

Can you see the BUDZ which may well become the NUTZ?

Today has felt like the first day of being really at home since returning from Estonia. I have loved being with my friends, and my partner, and his children, and our garden; I am so happy to have eaten some things we grew ourselves, and I’ve made it to the waist of the listening tunic! Thank You to knitting, to ginger and sausages, to friends, and beanz and nutz and CIDER and rhubarbz and madderz and boyz. Thanks Tom and Anthony for making the journey to visit me, for your mending inspiration and tea-brack/cider-appreciating SKILLZ! Come again anytime.

I hope you all had a Perfect Sunday!

RHUBARBZ!

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