I can't believe that the holidays are almost over. Tomorrow sees the start of the new school year and I don't feel ready to go back! Considering that I wasn't looking forward to the summer break that much, having found previous holidays quite challenging emotionally, I had a pretty good holiday. I tried to keep myself as busy as I could, visiting friends, learning new things, days out here and there. Yes, there were a few tough days when I felt sad and restless and found it hard to focus on anything at all, but thankfully these days were few and far between.
I've been busy over the last few days too. I went up to Glasgow to stay with one of my fellow Blogstars Lucia. I was made to feel so welcome by Lucia and her whole family and we had a lovely time. The day I arrived we went for a stroll around the centre of Glasgow before enjoying a delicious pizza in town. Then it was home for an evening of crochet and chat. I took my Opal Advent calendar yarn with me with the aim of finishing off all the little granny squares to make my cushion, as well as the crazy socks. Sitting in Lucia's fabulous yarn room, it was hard not to get distracted!
Lucia's gorgeous Maine Coon cat Thorin was a huge snuggly boy who made himself at home wherever we were sat - usually on the sofa! It's funny how cats just love to be where the yarny action is.
The following day, we went to West Kilbride, Scotland's first accredited Craft Town, as we wanted to visit the dyeing studio of Lilith from Old Maiden Aunt. Lilith was busy dyeing, but was very happy to let us browse and made us tea while we pondered over our yarn choices. I was also on a yarn-buying mission for my pal Snoopydog - it's always fun buying a little extra! Lilith's dyeing is absolutely beautiful - she has an amazing sense of colour. So hard to pick just a couple of yarny souvenirs! Take a look at all the temptation that lay before us...
We were able to take a look at where Lilith does her dyeing too - there were lots of skeins headed for Loop in London (I think!) drying on the racks as well as lots of skeins in the dye pots.
Of course you'd like to see what I bought wouldn't you? As well as a copy of Lilith's book, I settled on three skeins for myself. I don't have them with me at the moment as my suitcase went awol on the flight home (really, really hoping it shows up on tonight's flight!) so you'll have to make do with a quick picture I took at Lucia's.
After inhaling all those yarn fumes, we popped into a couple more of the studios before heading up the coast to the seaside town of Largs. Lilith suggested we visit Nardini's for an ice cream. It's in a fabulous art deco building and you can imagine just how grand it must have been back in the 1930's when it first opened. It was very hard to choose what to have, but eventually I plumped for a toffee fudge sundae. Mmmmm, it was lovely!
We attempted to walk off our ice creams along the seafront at Largs, but the weather wasn't playing ball and the heavens opened not long after we started. Of course we didn't have coats with us and joked that we needed those plastic rainhoods that you sometimes see old ladies wearing - ours would be accessorised with crochet flowers of course! These photos were taken about 5 minutes apart!
So back to Glasgow we went for another evening of crochet and conversation. I was really pleased that I managed to finish making all my granny squares for the cushion so I really hope that my missing bag turns up! I have everything crossed!
On Friday we drove to Loch Lomond. The weather gods were really on our side as we had blue skies and sunshine all day long. The whole area is stunning with the hills/mountains/munros making the perfect backdrop to the clear water of the loch.
Just breathtaking views, although I can imagine that on a dreich day, it's nowhere near so picturesque. Lucia already has things planned for my next visit, so I'm sure I'll be heading north of the border again, despite the luggage trauma!
Since getting home, I've had Flo virtually glued to me. She was so happy to see me on Friday evening and had a mad half hour chasing about the house like a cat possessed!
And before I go, I have to say a huge thank you to those of you who have donated to my Just Giving page after my previous post. I have been completely overwhelmed by the generosity of people I've never even 'met' before, but who have come to know me through my blog and online presence. This time next week, the race will be over and I hope that I will be a half-marathoner! I promise to tell you all about it. If you'd like to make a donation to help support the work of the British Heart Foundation, then there's a link to my fundraising page at the top of the blog. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I did a 5.5 mile run through the woods today and it's a little bit scary to think that the next time I lace up my running shoes, it'll be the day of the Great North Run. With your support and encouraging words, I know I can do it! xxx