Monday 20 November 2023

October Firsts

 The leaves on the trees seem to stay green for longer and frosts are happening later each year.  Our garden is lush from all the rain, but it is time to start tidying up in readiness for winter.  Our pumpkins and squashes have been picked and we are enjoying butternut squash soup with homemade cheese scones.

On a walk around the village we spotted some fly agaric. The first time we have seen them growing there.

This year was our first time growing Polar Bear pumpkins.
I carved an owl for Halloween.
The seeds, I roasted and salted.  They didn't last long! :) The flesh I cooked and froze until required.
I like to put up a few decorations for Halloween.  These are a few items I have made in previous years.

Another first, our daughter has started to cross-stitch.  She tried it as a child and has decided that she would like some stitched pictures for her new home.  She asked me to dye some 40 count linen black and is stitching 1 over 2 in a mix of her own colours and called for DMC.

October is the start of Knitvent, a series of mystery designs by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade.  I stash dived and found this 4ply Ethereal by Fyberspates that I had purchased a while ago.

I cast on the Trifle Wrap, but I am knitting it in stocking stitch rather then garter stitch as the pattern calls for.  I changed it to better show off the colours in my yarn.

Thursday 9 November 2023

Celebrating Our 35th Anniversary

 Mid October it was our 35th wedding anniversary.  We planned a mini break in Tromsø, Norway to celebrate.

Day 1 Heathrow to Tromsø

Our hotel was by the harbour,

with amazing views across the fjord.

That evening we walked across the bridge to see the Arctic Cathedral when it was lit up. Tromsø is built on an island in the fjord.

Day 2 
Our first full day in Tromsø dawned bright & sunny.
After breakfast we walked through the city 
towards the botanical garden for alpines that will grow in arctic conditions.  The first snow of the season had fallen the previous week.

We then walked back to the city centre, through the suburbs.  We walked everywhere on this holiday as it was all within easy reach.

A light lunch and then back out for more exploring.

The Domkirke

In remembrance.
Fika; coffee and cake was a reoccurring theme of the holiday.
That evening we had two trips planned.  The first was to the Magic Ice Bar.

The second was to see the northern lights up in the mountains.

These photos were taken with my iPhone, without a tripod.

Our guide took some photos with his camera.

Day 3
-4'C and everywhere was icy first thing in the morning after the clear night.

We walked to Polaria, an aquarium of local sealife.

We decided to lunch at Polaria.  I have to say the coffee was awful, but the pastry was delicious.
Afterwards, we headed into the centre of the city to look around the shops.

Yes, more cake! Fika at the hotel.
Then onto the Polar Museum.  We wanted to learn more about the area, but knew that some of the exhibits wouldn't be easy to view considering the area's history of sealing.  The exploration part of the museum was more interesting to us.
That evening we took a silent cruise around the fjord in an electric boat.

Day 4
After breakfast we explored more of the harbour area.

Then walked over the bridge again to the mainland.
Our destination was the cable car, Fjellheisen, to go up Mount Storsteinen.

We played in the snow at the top. ;)
Before warming up in the cafe.

An anniversary selfie.  Hat hair, don't care! :)
Time to go back down.

The Arctic Cathedral we open to visitors.

That afternoon we walked up through the hilly suburbs to a nature reserve.

Almost back at the hotel, we popped into the wool shop to purchase a holiday souvenir.

Day 5
Time to head home.
We had a lovely holiday making memories together.

Just time for one more treat! ;)