Tis the season to finish all the WIPs!

Hi everyone and a very Merry Christmas for those of you who celebrate!  Well of course technically its Boxing Day today - which is a very British tradition, and I think probably only invented so that we could take an extra day to eat up all the leftovers!!  Of course our family are no exception, and even though we are spending Christmas here in Abu Dhabi we still had turkey with all the trimmings (well courtesy of the chef at the Golf Club - since all I had to do was turn up and put the box full of pre cooked goodies in my car!!)

We tried to be a little more 'low key' this year since we are moving house in the New Year and there were several reasons to play it cool:

1.  We need to keep some money by for moving expenses
2.  Certainly do not need any more 'stuff' to pack - we have quite enough 'stuff' already!

On the same theme, I have been extremely proud of myself in terms of finishing up WIPs and using up some stash!  I will still have a craft room/office in the new place but not as much storage space - mind you I will have a spectacular view - which might be a little distracting when it comes to office work - crafting not so much......

So firstly.... (from left to right)


These were originally for me but I decided to make them smaller and give them to Flo - honestly the pattern made my eyes hurt since the needles were more like toothpicks!  Yarn was Dubai Knits squishy in a fab turquoise.  Its a lovely yarn but can be a bit splitty when your DPNS are wooden and getting in need of some filing.......  Anyway again they were gratefully received - Flo loves hand knit socks.  These were toe up, although I did a much stretchier bind off on one than the other!

Mini Harry Potter Socks

These are made from leftover yarn from my own Harry Potter socks - started for Fred about 2 years ago and then abandoned because I ran out of yarn - duh!  So I have been thinking about adding the toe in a different yarn (yes thinking about it for 2 years!) so I actually did it (took me about an hour ...... why oh why did I procrastinate so much!).  Socks turned out really cute, but of course now they are a bit small for Fred - he's still cool with them though!

Pink Wurm

Well this was not really a WIP but it was a stash bust.  I had forgotten to cancel my Plucky Knitter club and the yarn was going to my old work address!  This was the last one I think  - Lollipop Guild - and I adore the colour.  I made it for my ex-boss who moved from Dubai to Milan. I love the Wurm pattern - it comes out so well and the band looks so professional, even though its so easy!

Tigger Socks

These are orange stripy socks made from Lornas Laces sock yarn I bought with the idea of designing a shawl for Halloween - hmmm well that was a disaster - completely the wrong dye pattern for a shawl - it looked hideous, so I frogged that and made Fred some socks which actually fit this time,  Did top down, and I really prefer toe up......although with all the praise for the 'afterthought heel' I am hearing, I might do that next time!  Anyway Fred is very happy with these since they fit and are in his two favourite colours - and it was a stash bust to boot!

So what else......... well my Arrowtown shawl is nearly finished and I will show you that next time.  I love it but its taken a while as its all garter stitch and I wanted a really big cosy shawl and I think this really fits the bill!

I have also started an Adrift from Carol Feller - this is as part of a KAL with the Playful Day podcast group on Ravelry. I am also stash busting this one with Malabrigo lace in a lovely lilac colour which was a present from a former Amira - Lindsey - who has since moved from the UAE back to the US.  Cast on was on Christmas Eve and I did about 2" yesterday whilst watching 'The Great Escape' which as all British people know, is very much a Christmas film!!

Well thats all for now - seems my mojo is back!

Louise x

Yay - Knitting on the BBC!

It’s not often we get to see a programme on our favorite craft on TV – so I was really intrigued when I saw that the BBC was showing an episode from The Fabric of Britain, called Knitting’s Golden Age.
The programme attributed the rise of knitting in fashion to Price Edward in the 1920’s and for sure he did have a big influence on knitwear as a fashion statement.  However there was surely more to study about knitting’s heritage – for instance knitted stockings both woolen and in fine silk had been handmade for centuries before then.  But that said, I really enjoyed looking at the rise of knitwear in the 20’s and especially beyond to the Second World War and the post war boom.  I loved that Susan Crawford got involved – I love her take on vintage knits.
 There were many memories of patterns that were, for years, in my mother’s collection – think Poodle bottle covers and the ubiquitous knitted toilet roll holders made to look like Barbie in her best prom dress!  I am also sure that in terms of the baby matinee jackets, my mother had knitted every single pattern which exists (she still knits them today, aged 84 – although to try and get her away from white, pale blue and pale pink acrylic is simply wasting my time!).
What was disappointing though was that the final 10 mins of the programme seemed really rushed and barely touched the surface of knitting in the 70s and 80s (when I was setting out on my knitting journey!).  Yes we saw the monstrosities jumpers worn by  Gyles Brandreth, but this was the time when Rowan was starting out with designers like Jean Moss etc and high fashion was still showing hand knitwear – revivals of 50’s ski jumpers for instance (I knitted one from the Phildar Magazine – gorgeous mohair in shades of pink!) were very popular.
Again sadly, the ‘new revival’ of knitting was noted – this revival must be 10 years old now, surely that makes it an integral part of society, like playing poker or watching football?????
Don’t get me wrong – we need more programmes like this, knitting is creative, social and keeps us (mostly) away from rack and ruin!!! Perhaps next time the fine art of yarn bombing can be discussed – bring on Deadly Knitshade!
If you have access to BBC iplayer then I would recommend a watch - the BBC are pretty hot on security of their programmes, so I doubt whether it would be on one of those dodgy TV streaming services......... (I need to have a VPN here in the UAE - which is quite ironic since I do still pay my licence fee back in the UK!!)

Cupcakes and Possum

So I am finally getting to grips with my holiday sickness..........aka home sickness which manifests itself as chronic misery that I am not living in my latest holiday destination!  I have had this a lot over the years....Scotland, Italy........ but never as bad as New Zealand.  I have spent hours on the net hoping to find the perfect job in the perfect place, read NZ literature, bought NZ apples, watched every film and TV programme I could find with NZ as a backdrop (Top of the Lake - just fabulous!) - looked up any Kiwi acquaintance I could remember and suddenly sent them chatty emails - seriously I have had it bad, very bad this time!  Although K is no better - I swear he is at the point where he would seriously struggle if he had to watch England against the All Blacks - especially if Rory McGraw was playing (remember our camper van......!)

Will we emigrate again?  Well lets never say never......... but we are now at the stage where we have been in the desert coming up 5 years and this time of year is particularly hard - we have not been able to go outside for any significant length of time for 5 months now and September promises so much - yes its cooling down a couple of degrees but its still F* Hot!!  I know that in a month or so the fun will begin with the F1 and I will start to enjoy it again - but the thought of too many more summers here is beginning to weigh heavy in my heart when I so love walking in the woods with a dog or two......... The kids too are asking more and more to go 'home' wherever home will end up being - who knows!

Anyway, moving away from the philosophical...... I have been knitting and baking - mainly to take my mind off work, which is hideous but I wont bore you with the gory details!

Firstly I have cast on a shawl from the gorgeous possum yarn I bought in Arrowtown, in a little shop called Woolen Sttitches.  I wanted a big warm shawl and this yarn is just so soft and a gorgeous variagated autumn colour way!!  So I am starting off with just a garter body - the colours work so beautifully together that there really is no other need for anything fancy!  Once its big enough then I will put quite a simple border on it and just let the yarn do the talking!!

Gorgeous Touch Yarns Possum

This photo is probably a better idea of the colour way

So watch this space for an update........

The other thing I have been doing is to try cupcake making - but this time rather than guess what to do, I decided to look at some tutorials on You Tube.  These were my first attempts and although you can't see on the photos, I even made the sponge on the inside multicoloured to reflect the icing - yes yes I know thats probably a bit anally retentive - but what the heck thats just me!

They tasted fab (recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery book Cake Days) even though I think they were 15 points each on WW!! Until next time.................

Photo is not great because we were desperate to eat them!!

Follow me on Bloglovin!

So I have been trawling around the net ever since Google Reader's demise and my Mac is now deemed to be 'old' so its been difficult to get new feed apps!

Then I found Bloglovin so I thought I would give it go! I use Pulse on my ipad but sometimes its better to read on the laptop!

Anyway I have added Dropped Stitches - so please follow me over there :)

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Day 19 - A Sad Farewell

So with very heavy hearts we got up on our last day and packed our bags.

The lovely people at the camp had said we could stay as long as we liked on our last day - so we took advantage and had a fantastic last walk along the beach.  The day was glorious and we stopped for - yes you have guessed - a lovely coffee and of course a cake!!

We then made the last journey back to Auckland where we made a very tearful farewell to our trusty 'Black Beast'.  Can't understand why I would be tearful about leaving a motor vehicle - but I was.  We had shared adventures together and due to the fact that the livery was certainly unusual, we had met lovely people who commented and smiled when they saw it!  I wonder who is now driving No 7 around - I hope they have as much fun as we did!

From the drop of point we went to the Novotel at Auckland Airport - yes reality was kicking back in!

Our flight was early in the morning so we settled into bed - none of us said much - our thoughts were back at the beach..............

Without a doubt this was the best holiday I have ever taken and I am totally and completely in love with New Zealand.  My first thing to do when I got home was to Google how to emigrate!  Of course its not that easy - but I would live there tomorrow if the opportunity arose; absolutely fantastic people, stunning scenery, fabulous wildlife and a way of life which is unpretentious and in line with my values...........well lets never say never................

Goodbye New Zealand - we promise to come back some day soon and thank you for the blast..........

Day 18 - An expected 'Unexpected Journey' to The Shire

We left Waitomo and headed to the destination I had secretly been most looking forward to when we were planning the trip! Matamata!

That probably means very little to most people, but it was the location of 'The Shire' from both the Lord of the Rings and of course now The Hobbit!

The countryside became more and more lush on the way and really began to feel like the right setting!  Eventually once we had gone on a very long and winding road (not that comfortable in a camper van!) we arrived at the 'Set Tours'.

Well we had a great time, as usual very well organised without being regimented and we got to spend a couple of hours in the set - Fred was in his element.  This was topped off by a drink and snack in The Green Dragon - probably the best pub in the world!

We left Matamata with a heavy heart - but we were not to be disappointed - we were on our way to Waihi Beach and when we got there we had a pitch right next to the beach!  The vast expanse of sand seemed to go on forever, and it was just what you would expect of a slightly wild and pretty beach!

All in all a pretty good day - even though we were all feeling the impending doom that was leading to our return home.........

The Shire!

Bilbo's House

Fred checks out Samwise Ganges' house

The Green Dragon - probably the best pub in the world!

Day 17 - Lake Taupo to the Waitomo caves

We started off the morning by going along to a dam to watch the release of the waters.  Now I thought that this would not be particularly interesting, but I went along with it!  So first we climbed up to the upper viewing point and waited for 10.00am patiently..........

When the gates opened up it seemed like a slow trickle at first, but then the water came down in heavy torrents with its energy being captured by the power station at the end of the gully - just goes to show that its quite possible to harness natural power!

We then headed off to Waitomo where we visited caves.  My personal favourite was the Glow Worm cave where we lay down in a boat and went through an underground river with the twinkling lights of the glow worms overhead - simply magical.  Sadly of course, we were not able to take photos - but I will remember the experience for a long long time!

We spent the evening in Waitomo itself and walked up to the old hotel on the hill - although when we got there it looked a bit spooky and deserted so we turned on our heels and hurried back down again!

Gushing down the Gully!


Day 16 - Whanganui to Lake Taupo

So we left our friends the Ducks and the Goat and headed off to Lake Taupo.

Again this was a long journey, but we always had the scenery to accompany us!

Fred had become a bit travel sick by always sitting in the back - so I offered to swap places with him!  Sitting in the back gave another perspective - but it was not the most comfortable - its really a place for children!  On the bright side I did not have to worry about navigating - even with a sat nav, somehow i need to reassure Keith we are going the right way - and of course I am not always sure myself!!

Lake Taupo turned out to be yet another lovely lake and we spent a few hours in the small town.  The people of New Zealand really are exceptionally laid back and friendly - we had coffee in yet another of the many excellent coffee shops - I am an absolute convert to the 'flat white'!!

Parked up and replenished our booze stocks - row of Gnomes in the off licence......well why not!

Lake Taupo - lovely vista for lunch!

Day 15 - Goodbye South Island

So today we said goodbye to the beautiful South Island!

Of course we had the fantastic journey ahead of us where we saw the Cook Strait from another angle - but there was still a tinge of sadness in leaving the South Island behind - we had seen so much, yet there was still so much to see!

The voyage was not quite as calm as on the way out and I was beginning to feel a little queasy by the time we got into Wellington!

Still - we needed to press on to get to our next campsite!  The journey to Whanganui was actually the first time we had encountered any traffic!  However there was of course truly lovely countryside to observe on the way!

The campsite was on the river bank and we had our own attendant Ducks and a Goat!  Although Fred was more interested in the 'jumping pillow'!!!

No snow on the North Island but this was a lovely waterfall amongst the green

Day 14 - Greymouth to Picton

Today was one if those 'utility' journeys - quite lovely scenery but our main job was to get to Picton so that we could catch the early ferry next morning.

After a quick walk around Greymouth (where precisely zero was happening) we headed out.

We passed though some lovely wine country including passing the Cloudy Bay vines - just a beautiful location! I might only ever drink Cloudy Bay in future - although it's a fortune in Abu Dhabi!!! 

We arrived in Picton much earlier than expected (there really is NO traffic on NZ roads!!) so went to explore....

The marina area is very pretty but nothing was open with only a handful of other humans wandering the town.  Amazingly the mini golf was quite popular and we played an exciting 18 holes! I won!!!

We frequented the local historic hotel for a few drinks before heading off to the Fish and Chip shop - where we met the loveliest old Kiwi guy who told Fred about all the local fish - he as a true gem and a gent!

After running home with our bounty we enjoyed fish and chips a la camper and the boys watched sport care of Sky Sports whilst I really got into my book about 2 gay Americanguys who buy up a small Olive grove in NZ - what an idyllic thing to do........ Just maybe I want to do that too!!!

Different vista - still as beautiful!

Day 13 Franz Josef to Greymouth

There is no point coming to Franz Josef without seeing the Glacier so we made the 90 minute journey up as far as we could to see the glacier. It was quite hard work- but plenty of calorie burning!!!

Alpine parrots greeted us in the car park - quite sociable creatures!

Back into Franz Josef we finally got to see some Kiwis in the wildlife sanctuary.  Bought Flo a 'talking' kiwi (which she did not appear to be impressed with when we showed her on Skype!)

Then went for lunch at the Speights bar where we sat outside in the chilly sunshine!  

Then it was time to move on towards Greymouth - a seaside location passing through fabulous woodland scenery on the way!

The beach at Greymouth could be described as wild but beautiful! The boys enjoyed skimming stones as usual!!!

More Top Gear on the iPad seemed to be the order of the day !

Hard work getting there but it was worth it!
Not able to take photos of the real Kiwis so this had to suffice!

Day 12 - Queenstown to Franz Josef

Today was a day for travelling but also  for some awesome sightseeing!

Originally we planned to get to Haast but we ended up getting all the way to Franz Josef!

We started by calling in at Arrowtown  - a cute little place we had seen on our 4x4 trip - not much for the boys but I found a great little yarn shop where I got some fabulous possum yarn! Still not too sure how they harvest it from the Possum!

Then we headed to Wanaka Lake which was beautiful and we stopped at an awesome little coffee shop for coffee and cake (banana cake, brownie and peanut flapjack!). The nice lady told us we should stop at the Blue Pools on the way to Haast so we set off!

The Blue Pools were a 30 minute walk from the road but they were well worth the effort! Secluded and just beautiful (not that everything in NZ is not absolutely beautiful!!!)

We then drove through the spectacular Haast pass - a wow at every corner indeed!

Originally we were going to stop at Haast but for one we were in plenty of time but for two, there is nothing at Haast so we decided to trek on to Fox Glacier - stopping for a quick picnic lunch en route!

We were running low on fuel so when we got to Fox Glacier we headed to the BP station -it was closed!!! So a quick decision was made to plough on to Franz Joseph - another 27km where we thankfully found a functioning petrol station!

Supper and Top Gear ensued in the van!!!  

My Arrowtown lovelies.....
Speechless beauty

Stunning Blue Pools
I am in love with New Zealand!

Day 11 - The Park and Ziplining

The boys decided that Zip Lining would be a good idea - I was not so sure but went along with it anyway! We started off with a walk in the park and watched frisbee golf!! Which seems to be a mad but hilarious local sport!!

We had a good walk around Queenstown - a great town and I guess an idyllic place to live! Then headed up to the Sky Gondola - once at the top we elected to have a buffet lunch in the restaurant before heading over to the Zip Line.

Zip lining was fun and took myself out of my comfort zone - we did 6 lines - with the last one being very steep! Fred and Keith were brave enough to go upside down and all ways - I just was happy enough to look at the scenery!!

Took us about 2 1/2 hours to get down so were quite exhausted by the end! But our guides Raul and Leo were great!

We then went for a drink at the Pig and Whistle before heading to the Botswana Butchery for a fabulous supper in a great location - a fitting end to our last night in Queenstown! 

Fred the Flying Fox!

Day 10 - 4x4, Jet Boating and Helicopter

So today was a truly exillerating day!!!

We got picked up at 8.30 for our 4x4 drive which took us up mountains, into rivers and discovering Lord of the Rings locations!  We even tried panning for gold but did not find our fortune.

After that we got dropped off at the Shotover jet station where we got kitted up to get into the scary jet boat!!! It was bitter cold!!!! The boat ride itself was fantastic - even though we did go quite close to the rocks which was a bit scary for me!!! Yes we got wet and cold - but it was great!!!

We got the bus back into Queenstown where we wanted to book a trip to Milford Sound for the next day - unfortunately  this was not to be as the weather was not going to be good enough for us to do the trip we wanted to do 😥 However we did manage to book a trip for the afternoon to take a helicopter to the top of the Remarkables so we then went to The Cow for lunch - boiling hot pizzas!!

After lunch we got picked up for he heli ride and went over to the airport.  The ride was great and we landed on the snow capped peak and had a fantastic view before flying around Queenstown and back to the airport.

Of course we had to go to The Lord of the Rings shop for a dwarf and then back again later for an Orc after Keith lost a bet with Fred - ending up spending a fortune!!!!

As this was quite enough excitement for one day, we naturally went to the Pub on the Wharf before heading back to the campsite where Keith cooked chilli in the communal kitchen whilst I supplied G&Ts!!

On Top of the World!!

Our chariot
Shotover jet boat!!

Day 9 - Scenic route to Queenstown

New Zealand is truly beautiful and we were seeing this day by day!

We travelled from Oamaru to Queenstown - stopping for lunch overlooking a fantastic dam at Cromwell.

Queenstown was buzzing and the campsite was actually almost fully booked with skiers and snowboarders as well as those who were there for the 'Extreme' sports!

We found of course 'The Pub on the Wharf' where we sat outside in the cold!! Keith looks miserable - but he was loving it!!!

Supper was at Finz where we had great fish and chips and of course more NZ wine!!!

Fred spotted The Lord of the Rings shop which was unfortunately shut!!!

Note the Declan Hat!!

Day 8 - Penguins and Steampunk

We left Christchurch and headed of Oamaru - not knowing quite what to expect!

What we found was a fantastic little town which seemed to have hardly changed since Victorian times - and that of course was the attraction!!!!

Naturally we found a pub - a stupendous pub. The Criterion Hotel - what can I say - a serious rival to The Bishop!!! I had Camembert melted with fantastic bread (have eaten so much bread this holiday) Service was slow since they had a group of OAPs in - but we did not care - could have stayed there forever!

But we did eventually leave to look around the town - and I bought the first of my NZ yarn stash!!!

We also went to Steampunk HQ - just a fantastical weird and wonderful gallery of all things Steampunk - fire, steam, skulls - was all there!!!

Fred then found a fantastic playground- still with a Victorian theme.

From there we headed on over to see the Blue Penguins come in. These penguins are the smallest and rarest in the world and live in this sanctuary in Omaru - we waited for quite some time to see them come in and eventually a group of about 40 came in - we could not stay to see them all come in as we needed to get to the campsite before it shut.

Lunch at the Criterion - warm Camembert.....yum

Fred ponders Penny Farthings!

Steampunk HQ - Quirkfabulous......

Handspun, Hand Dyed and yes thats Roving!!

Day 7 - Bucket Listing

Got up very early again since we needed to be to Kaikoura for 10.30 for our Whale watching trip! 

Fantastic scenery on the way and NZ Fur Seals just lazing by the side of the road!

Arrived at Kaikoura in plenty of time for coffee and scones before heading onto the bus to go over to our vessel!! Fantastic boat and crew took us to see the awesome Sperm Whales and we saw 3 sightings - 2 of the same Whale 'Birdy' -  just awesome to be so close to these majestic creatures. On the way back to base we stopped off to see some more seals and then we ran across a pod of about 150 Dusky Dolphins! Absolutely fantastic to be so close to these - one of my very favourite animals (along with otters and Unicorns if they existed!). I was in my element - I could have died then and been happy!!!

From Kaikoura we travelled onwards towards Christchurch after stopping for a picnic lunch!

We parked up in Christchurch but this was a huge camp on the outskirts of the city so we stayed in and ate pork chops and watched pixelated Rugby courtesy of Sky Sports day pass!!!

Going down
Almost gone

Playful Dusky Dolphins

Day 6 - Long Drive to Wellington

Got up early and left for Wellington where we were getting the 2.30pm ferry

Managed to get to Wellington in plenty of time and boarded the ferry - very big trucks and lorries seemed to make even the Black Beast small!!

Fabulous scenic trip over the water - cold but fresh! Yet more ginger beer for me!

Arrived in Picton and went to our Top Ten Camp - had to search for some spuds at the local small shop and devoured sausages and mash for supper!!!

Too beautiful for words!
Beautiful BUT chilly!

Day 5 - Smelly Sulphur and injecting doughnuts

After our first breakfast 'en van' we headed out - I stopped off and joined the Top Ten Club (a useful discount card!). Then we headed over at speed to see the Wai-O-Tapu thermal wonderland where we saw the Lady Knox Geyser and spent a happy but smelly hour wandering around the thermal pools!

From there we headed to Napier - which is a seaside town sporting some fantastic Art Deco architecture. Town itself was not up to much and for once I was disappointed in the woolshop I found! However had lunch in Provedore which was a cool little place and where Freddie was able to inject his own doughnut!!

From there we headed to our campsite in Hastings - which was about the same as the UK Hastings - not too much to write home about! We went for a very long walk after walking in a huge circle! But we did buy the Beats Pill (forgot to mention the hideous whistling in the van which we needed to mask the sound of!) and found the New World supermarket which was fab!  

Supper eventually was in the van and we began to share the sleeping accommodation to make sure we all got some sleep - up in the bulkhead with Fred where there was loads of room or using the downstairs as a single bed!

Add your own custard!

Day 4 - in which we pick up 'The Black Beast'

Took a cab from the hotel to pic up the camper van from Britz - took a little while to get sorted and think we were there about an hour.

Ironically they gave us the All Blacks liveried camper van - McGraw - number 7 - which meant more to Keith than me!

We dashed off to find out that drawers were not closed - glasses smashed etc etc - there was much for us to learn in Campervanning!!!!!!

We set off and travelled up to Rotarua - stopping at some minor hot springs on the way - Pack and Save was probably not the best of introductions to NZ - but we got to food we needed and headed to the first of our Top Ten Holiday camps! Blue Lake - gorgeous views but we needed to unpack and sort out the van so did not spend much time exploring - we were starving as had no lunch but made spaghetti and tomato sauce - then managed to put the bed together and had an uncomfortable night sharing a very small space whilst Fred had a massive double all to his self!!

The Black Beast in all its glory!!

Day 3 - Around Auckland

Day 3 - Around Auckland

Breakfast at the hotel and then straight over the road to North Face to get some warm clothes!!!

Then warm socks and boots from Timberland!!!

Went to the Maritime Museum and took a trip (eventually, after the boat had an engine problem) - went around the harbour - was cold but lovely - began finally to wind down from work!

After the boat trip went over to the wharf and had lunch - I had seafood chowder and the first of many ginger beers - which they do very well in NZ! Mac is the name - so wish we had them in Abu Dhabi.

We also saw a Batman Lamborghini - which was extremely cool!!!

After a long walk around Auckland getting a few things liked bigger memory stick for the camera - we headed back to the hotel where for some reason Keith and I drank 4 bottles of fantastic NZ wine!!! Then ate in the 'Kitchen' - the hotel restaurant ( well at least we think we did!!)

Fred was a bit chilly on the Wharf!
First of my many Mac's!!

Day 2 - Arriving in Auckland

Day 2 - Arriving in Auckland

Plane late from Sydney to Auckland- good flight with fun attendant - Alan- Kiwis seem to like pinstripes!!!

Arrived in Auckland and had charming taxi driver to take us to th DeBrett Hotel - lovely boutique hotel right in the centre of Auckland!

Auckland fantastic - sort of like SFO.

Supper in pub on the front - Northern Steamship Company - YUM !!  Lamps upside down on the ceiling - all very tired and were very thankful for a comfy bed!!

Fabulous Sky Tower
Panoramic courtesy of iPhone 5

Day 1 - 21st July 2013

So we had such a wonderful holiday in New Zealand I thought it only fair to share........ Have tried to keep it short and sweet but you can see how fantastic it was from the photos!

Day 1 - 21st July 2013

Left Abu Dhabi an hour late at 11.30 am

It was Freddie's Birthday - big fuss made of him by Hien the Etihad Steward - gave him a present of an Etihad plane for his birthday - such a nice gesture!

Arrived Sydney at 6am their time - so glad we scraped the barrel to upgrade - 14 hours is a long trip and it was great to be able to lie down!  Watched The Hobbit in preparation for Hobbit spotting!!!!

Guess Who's Back!

So after spending about 3 hours redesigning the template of this blog (ha ha it does not look very much different!) I am ready to be back to blogging!

I could have put loads of different news in here - but after all yesterdays papers tell yesterdays news hey and I think that its more interesting to go forward rather than back!

So I have been doing some cool knitting and even some sewing - but I think this blog will also now include stuff that I love :)

So..... things that I am loving at the moment!

Gone Girl

Listening to this via Audible and I have to say I am hooked!  Not finished it yet - but boy oh boy this has kept me gripped.  Ok its perhaps not the most literary thing I have ever read, but its certainly a ripping yarn!!

Nail Varnish

Oh boy I am very much into different nail varnish at the moment - especially loving Bourjois quick drying and OPI - could not make up my mind which one to use - I went for the blue in the end because it matched with my new Tiffany glasses (yes finally sucumed to reading glasses - but if you have to do it - at least do it with style!


What can I say - I love this brand - especially the Honey products - just adore them! We don't always get a huge amount of choice here in the UAE but my local Boots (yes we do now have Boots!) have started stocking them and they are fabulous quality - mid price range.  www.nuxe.com

In terms of knitting I have made Freddie a hat for New Zealand (Declans hat on Ravelry) as well as finally finishing off some of my other WIPS!

To keep her warm in NYC is a top down raglan I made for Flo for her trip to New York - she is seen here with Lady Gaga - ok NOT the real Lady Gaga!!

Reveurs Cowl was part of an 'along' with the Playful Day podcast group and I released the free pattern on Ravelry (see previous blog post)

Rosebud in Teal is of course a lovely Brooklyn Tweed pattern - comes up very big - but great for a cold winter day in the UK - and I needed it when we went back at Easter because it was FREEZING!!

Grey Skies Wingspan was started on holiday in Lagkawi last year!! Grey skies fitted the colour but also we had afternoons of torrential rain!!

Zig Zag cowl was a travelling project which I finished in the UK and then had a million kitchener stitches to do when I got home (well not quite a million, but it felt like that!!)

Woolywormhead mystery 2012 hat pattern was a bit of a labour of love, and when I was half way though I saw loads of FOs so it ceased to be a mystery and therefore I lost interest!!!!!

Well thats about it for now - I will have more to share after our trip to NZ - so excited!!!