Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A pin cushion

So why the photo of the Robin? (snapped outside Charleston Farmhouse in early June btw).

Ah well, it's because the next photo shows what's commonly known as a Robin's Pincushion that I spotted on a Dog Rose when out running last week!

Time travelling

Earlier in the year Mike and I walked through the woods and I took this snap of the bluebells.

I think it was around the middle of May.

Last week we walked the same route and I managed to get the same shot and it's really interesting to see how it's changed.

I must make a mental note to take the same shot in Autumn and then in mid-winter and then compare them all.

The next photo is of a plant that has become really invasive in many of our waterways - Impatiens glandulifera aka Himalayan Balsam.

It has the most amazing mechanism for spreading its seed around. There is a coiled spring-like growth within the seedpod which throws the seed far and wide.

You have to admire a plant like that even though it's a complete thug! I think it looks lovely and it is loved by bees and other insects but the problem is that it shades out our beautiful native waterside plants such as marsh marigolds.

Also, it has a very pungent smell which I dislike intensely.

Have a heart

So here it is, the finished heart stuffed with lavender (which you can see poking out of some of the gaps!).

A quick and easy project to make as a gift and it smells divine.

I think I might make some more as Christmas stocking fillers.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Time for a bit of an update!

There has been so much going on recently and so little time to write about it that I'm taking time out to cover it! It isn't all about knitting, although some is, and there's also some news about the Alzheimer's Research Trust and a Ministerial Summit I attended. Plus, I've been mulling over some ideas for my fund-raising stunts for 2010 - all exciting stuff of course!

First of all I must again thank Sue from Kangaroo who so kindly donated this wonderful purple (colour of the Alzheimer's Research Trust and my favourite colour to boot!) yarn for me to knit with on WWKIP day.

I shall be knitting up a lovely stripey scarf from this which I will use as part of my fund-raising activities later in the year.

Also, not only did Sue hold a collection for the Alzheimer's Research Trust at the Lewes Carnival, she has also offered to do some more collections for them in the future. Thank you so much Sue, your generosity is much appreciated.

What else? Well, a few weeks ago I was invited to attend a Ministerial Summit on Dementia Research at the Royal Society London. The Summit brought together a wide range of experts to help shape the future direction of dementia research in the UK. It aimed to identify gaps in existing knowledge and prioritise new areas for research investment.

I was afraid that it would all go right over my head but I found most of it very accessible - well except for when they started using jargon and talking in TLAs - that's three letter acronyms!!!!!

I had never been inside The Royal Society before and it is a glorious building, steeped in history.

There were numerous paintings of the famous scientists who had connections there and I found an exhibition of Darwin's studies on the lower level.

I picked up these postcards from there. The first one shows an illustration from John Lindley's book 'Ladies' Botany' (1865)

The next one is a photomicrograph of plant sections by William Fox Talbot (circa 1839).

The final one shows 2 illustrations form Charles Darwin's 'The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals' (1873). I love those 2 poses!

I just started this earlier today. It's the beginnings of a heart sachet and I'm whipping it up for a lovely friend from work whose birthday is next week. I shall fill it with home made pot pourri.

I've got to get poor old Oregon finished soon as I want to display it at the Autumn Show of our local Horticultural Society. Having a deadline is just the kick up the backside I need!

On the fund-raising front there's something exciting bubbling away in the background but I don't want to reveal it just yet. My training for the Abingdon marathon is still going strong despite a recent knee injury. Fingers crossed it holds up to my 15 miler tomorrow.