No photos with this post, sorry. Just a catch-up . . .

Hello everyone; I’m quite frustrated with trying to use a tablet that’s a combination of touchscreen and keyboard. It’s a great idea, but the technology sure needs a lot of work.

Anyway, I thought I’d touch base here, at least, as it’s been so long since I posted. Uploading photos is very challenging, so I finally decided to just write and to post photos once I’m back in BC and can use the laptop.

This trip has been pretty amazing, although I’ve done little in the way of ‘touristy’ things. Instead, I opted to save up and visit Norway for three weeks. Definitely worth it, as I was able to stand in front of the house where my Mum’s grandfather was born and spent a couple of nights in a bed and breakfast that was the old Priest’s House at that time. He was likely baptized there, as the church burnt down the year before he was born.

In August I moved north from Surrey to a room in Heaton (part of Bradford, Yorkshire) and have been quite happy there ever since. The woman who manages the renting of rooms loves to cook the way I do (meaning that we use recipes as general suggestions and then just ‘wing it’ ) so we take turns cooking and share the meals. We both like spicy middle Eastern flavours, too, so there is often a lot of that going on. I’ll be sharing some of the ‘recipes’ I’ve concocted and some of Karen’s, too, later on. And I’ve adapted a vegan recipe for almond flour chocolate fudgy brownies that are possibly the best I’ve ever made. And a frittata and a couple of varieties of houmous, too.

Just a few days after I arrived here, Karen loaned me a tent and sleeping  bag and one of the owners of the house loaned me a sleeping mat and an emergency blanket (just in case) and I returned to Scotland to see Runrig for the first and last times. Yes, I said ‘times’!! I had a standing/camping ticket that included a campsite and free entry to a Ceilidh on the Friday night plus entry to the last-ever concert on the Saturday night.

My camping neighbours helped me figure out how to set up the tent (no time or space for a trial run beforehand) and then we helped other campers and made new friends as we did so. Then one of their friends came along and they brought him over to meet me. Colin had an extra ticket for the Friday night that he said someone had given him and he was looking to give it away. So yes, he gave it to me!! I gave him a donation for a cancer charity he supports, as I didn’t feel right about having a ticket for free when others had paid so much to be there. And it was worth every minute! So I missed the Ceilidh, which I heard was fabulous, but I got to see Runrig twice!! Something that’s been on my ‘bucket list’ since I first heard them perform on youtube.

The final concert was exactly eleven years previous, to the day, and I’m happy to say that while it did rain a bit, it was nothing like 2007, when it rained all day the day before, all night and then through the day of the concert. People were up to their ankles in mud, although no one left . . .

Anyway, it was all my heart desired it to be. I took photos on the first night with both my ancient iphone (4S, I think, and now they are up to 10 or 12 or something like that); the second night I couldn’t find the iphone, so only used the camera. I found the phone on Sunday when I was packing up, though, luckily for me.

I mention this because at the end of September, I went to Yarndale in Skipton, Yorkshire. I took plenty of photos the first day with the same camera. On Sunday, as I was sitting on the train heading back again, I was trying to reset the time so it would be accurate. I have no idea what I did wrong, but suddenly  the camera ‘ate’ all the photos on it; over three thousand! Shocking, at the time, as I’m sure you will understand. I had copied some of my photos onto a data stick (the terabyte sized external drive that I brought with me for storage worked perfectly in BC with the laptop, but refuses to talk to the tablet. So I bought a data stick. Downloading three days worth of photos took me nearly ten hours, tying up both the device and the tablet for that time, so I’d been putting off downloading more. Lesson learned, I tell you!

Now at first I was a bit down, to say the least, but then I heard that our friend Wendy’s grand-daughter had passed away and that’s a real loss. I have not felt down about my photos since. I figure that I have my memories and also whatever is on the iphone and that is more than I ever expected to have in this life, so I’m not going to be whinging on about losing my photos. I have felt quite wary ever since, though.

Well, Yarndale, too, was more than I’d hoped for. I met a couple of the bloggers I follow and that was a huge thrill for me. Christine from Winwick Mum and Lucy from Attic 24. Both were beyond kind and took time to chat a bit. I was lucky to meet them at the end of the second day, when the crowds had thinned out. Lucy invited me to attend some of the coffee and handwork meetings that occur at Cooper’s Cafe in Skipton and I will be doing that during the first two weeks of November.

I will post about some of the exhibitors I met (and a couple more bloggers, too) once I’m back in BC. I was very much looking forward to meeting the folks from River Knits UK, but although I visited the booths beside them and across from them, somehow I missed them. I was quite disappointed about that. They are a small family that hand dyes British wool yarns and until recently lived on a narrowboat. Now they have a house and the narrowboat has become the dye studio. I’ve been following them on Instagram for a while and wanted especially to see a couple of delicious-looking green yarns.

I’m having a hard time believing that it’s mid-October already and that I have just over three weeks left of this amazing adventure! I will have been here six months less a day when I get back. It hasn’t always been easy and there was a long list of things I’d hoped to do that didn’t materialize, but that’s because I chose to do the things that mattered most to me, which certainly included the time in Norway with my cousin and on the island of Leka (where my great-grandfather and one of his sisters were born). I rather think there will always be items left undone on a list like that and the positives have been so wonderful that I really have few regrets.

I shall be returning to my cousins’ for the rest of the winter and looking for a place of my own, hopefully by late spring or early summer. I hope to buy a second-hand caravan but failing that, to rent something affordable where my storage items can be brought and then gone through. I won’t be keeping most of it, but I do want to enjoy the things I collected for my retirement, at least for a while. And there is plenty of crafting supplies, so life will not be the least bit boring.

I am quite sad to be leaving the UK; it’s been one of the best summers of my life, and I’ve had quite a few great summers in my 70+ years! Just living an everyday life here has been exactly what I both wanted and needed. Time out from all the stresses of the past couple of decades and nothing familiar to trigger sadness, nostalgia, etc.

I’ve made some new friends here and that has been so good, too. I wore my Runrig jacket to Yarndale and met three different people who had been in Stirling for The Last Dance and who stopped me to talk about Runrig. That was most exciting!!

I’d love to return for another visit and next time I’d plan more and have a larger budget. But really, for me the experience of living in another country and just savouring the days and everyday sights has been the best thing ever! I had a similar experience in Mexico City back in 1987, when I was there for a week on my way back from a work-related trip to Costa Rica (the world’s first all-organic foods and products trade show; my boss and I represented four or five Canadian growers) and so I learned that for me, living like a native of another country is one of the most exciting things I can do.

I haven’t done much here, either, but did go with Karen to Saltaire, a World Heritage Site, and that was lots of fun, too. I particularly enjoyed the David Hockney exhibition at Salts Mill, The Arrival of Spring.  That was especially interesting because the paintings were all created on an ipad, then printed out, five feet tall. There were signs saying it was ok to take photos so long as we didn’t use a flash, and I checked and it was true, so I have pictures of some of the images that most spoke to me.

There are a few sites here to visit still, like Lister Park and the art gallery there. So I shall have plenty to write about once I’m settled in BC again. I’m feeling ready to post regularly again, which I think is a good sign.

The other two things are Guy Fawkes Night, or Bonfire Night, on 05 November and the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day, a very important day for me. When I made Peace Poppies for the installation last year, I kept one for myself and I shall be wearing it this year and attending one of the ceremonies, most likely in Bradford.

I haven’t forgotten my 500 winners, either, although I’m sure they think I have. I started and then scrapped several ideas and now I think I’m going to go for something more simple and just get it done.

I’ve been working on a crocheted string bag for Karen these past weeks, I’ve finished my second pair of socks and have decided I like them so much I shall frog back the two pairs of Fair Isle style socks (three of them are up past the ankle, too). But re-making them on 2mm needles will make them both more attractive and longer-wearing. I like darning socks, but have no intention of making it a weekly event! 🙂

I’m knitting a sort of hat now, mostly because I know the cold weather is on its way; we’ve already had one fire and I’ve been using a hot water bottle for weeks now. And two thick duvets! I’m lovely and toasty warm at night, though. So nice!

I’ve done some rock painting and some watercolours, nothing wonderful but plenty of fun as I can sit at my lovely tall window and enjoy the view as I work. I shall be taking a teacher’s advice from when I lived in Victoria, BC. He said to never throw out a watercolour you are not happy with. Instead, cut it into small squares and sort them by colour into envelopes. Once you have enough, use them in collages. I’ve been doing some writing again, too, but nothing spectacular; just that I enjoy the doing.

I walk up to the allotment every few days, taking the bucket of compost material as a contribution. Karen’s friends have the allotment and during the summer we would find a bag of some delicious treat or other on the front door. And so I made the acquaintance of English runner beans . . . I shall be growing these next summer, even if I have to plant them in pots or buckets! Huge and delicious and wonderful in a frittata as well as on their own. If you’ve never tried them, do!

I bought two fresh mackerel when Karen was in New York for three weeks and the new room-mate hadn’t moved in yet (so the fishy smell wouldn’t be a problem; smells from the kitchen rise to the top of the house and we all know how fish lingers for ages . . . I stuffed them very lightly with chopped garlic and basil and fried them in a cast iron pan. Oh my word!! I would eat them every day if I lived here on my own!! And they were quite large, but only one pound each, so a real bargain. It seemed a shame to live here, where fresh fish abounds and in such variety, too, and not to try some at least once. I’d almost forgotten how much I love fresh fish.

When I was in Surrey, a new friend and I drove to Littlehampton and I bought fresh cod fish and chips and we ate them at a table by the beach. Unforgettable!

When I was a child, Dad and sometimes my brothers would bring home brook trout for supper. And when I was a very young Mum, living on South Pender Island (in the Gulf Islands that lie between Vancouver on the mainland and Vancouver Island, the Big Island), we would fish for rock cod at least twice a week (successfully, too!) and bake them whole in a cast iron frying pan. We dug clams and pried mussels off the rocks, too, and those went into chowders that we would eat three meals a day until they were gone, then we’d make another one. Somehow, I have never tired of any food that I love.

I had some excellent fish and chips at my host’s in Surrey, too, and before I go I plan to try a place in Shipley, where we do our grocery shopping. It was highly recommended to me by one of the lovely taxi drivers.

You know, I was warned several times about Bradford before I moved here, but my experiences have all been most positive. Everyone I’ve met has been friendly and helpful and interesting to chat with. So sometimes I think it’s what we bring to an encounter that defines it most.

Well, it’s late now and I’m tired of fixing the typos that occur in nearly every paragraph. I hope I’ve gotten them all out; if not, please forgive me.

I’ve dropped by the blogs written by many of you, sometimes leaving comments, more often just a ‘like’ to show I’ve been by.

I’d love to tell you about this house and the neighbourhood, and so much more, too, but I’ll leave all that for another post. In the meantime, stay warm (or cool, if you’re on the other side of the world). I’ve missed blogging and am really looking forward to resuming on a more regular basis.

Love and Light to each one of you, my friends. You are in my thoughts every day.  ~ Linne

For music, I have only one piece to offer. This is the Tweed Ceilidh band, who played at the Ceilidh I didn’t attend in Stirling. Everyone who did see them loved them!


12 thoughts on “No photos with this post, sorry. Just a catch-up . . .

  1. Linne, I had not stopped by your blog in so long and I’m just so delighted for you to have completed such an amazing trip and to be able to realize so many of your dreams. How wonderful!

    • I hadn’t been to your blog for ages, either (been a bit busy, as I’m sure you’ve gathered). However, just popped over and was so pleased to find we share some interests. I first found you when looking for ideas on wardrobe planning ages ago. Now I’m excited about your financial ideas! Thanks so much for your applause; it was such a great trip, in spite of no budget to speak of, and I got to do not only things on my ‘bucket list’, but also things I wouldn’t have known about in advance to even put them on a list. Sometimes it pays to just jump off a cliff . . . I’ll be in touch again soon. Have a great week! ~ Linne

      • I’ve just been catching up on your other posts now I’m on sabbatical and hope you could feel your auntie was with you on your trip. Greetings from Ko Samui, Thailand!

      • Thank you for taking the time to catch up here. I haven’t posted for a long time, but there’s been a lot happening at this end.

        I did feel my Auntie with me, and at times her brother (my Uncle, of course) and the others in their family, too. I’m sure my Mum and Dad came along at times. Mum would have loved to see Norway, esp Leka (we didn’t know about Leka until shortly before I left Canada), so I like to think of her seeing it through my eyes.

        Lovely to hear from you all the way over in Thailand! Do come by again. And enjoy your sabbatical! Love and blessings to you. ~ Linne

    • Sue, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to respond to you. I didn’t do anything about Thanksgiving last year, as it doesn’t exist in England and I honestly forgot about it until a week or so later. But I like to cultivate gratitude every day. I started keeping a gratitude journal while I was in Heaton and that book is down to two pages now. But I’ll keep on with it.

      Last year was one of the most amazing, ever, Sue! I hope to get back again (and see other places, too), but even if I don’t, I’ve had 2018 and that will give me much joy for the rest of my life.

      Love and Hugs to you, too. Have a fabulous weekend and a joyful week after that. ~ Linne

  2. What a wonderful time you are having. Sounds like something I’d like to do but doubt that’s in the cards anymore. Just keep enjoying yourself. That’s all that matters. I’m ready to start giving things away as well. Just figuring out where to donate it too. Keep taking care. Sending love and hugs, M

    • Hi, Marlene! Yes, it’s been lovely, this time in the UK. Not ‘bump-less’, but when is life ever that?

      I really feel the time flowing by now, but it will be ok. I’ll be back with my cousins in less than two weeks, but there are still a couple of things to anticipate here.

      I’m glad I’ve had this rest as well as so many adventures; I think it will energize me as I begin building a new life. No idea what form that will take, exactly, but that’s ok with me.

      It’s too bad we don’t really have charity shops as they do here; it’s good to donate things and know they will help raise money for a worthy xause. I’ve done most of my souvenir shopping in them, too, because I like vintage things with stories behind them.

      More stories to come, my friend. You are in my thoughts and I find inspiration in you and so many others here.

      I’ve learnt from you, or at least been reminded, that it isn’t the amount of days in our lives that matters; only the amount of life in our days. I’m looking forward to packing in as much as possible from now on.

      I hope your weather ic autumn-cool but not snowy and icy. We have been down to plus 4C, and the winds can be fierce, but it’s also invigorating.

      Take care of yourself. Much love abd warm hugs to you. ❤

      • Weather here has been warm and wet which is much appreciated. We needed rain in the worst way. Yes, life is transitory. I’m preparing for another move myself. My daughter will find a place together closer to where she works and not so much work for me. We will share it and she will be there to oversee my care. I’m downsizing greatly so more will be going to charity shops. Who knows, after this place is sold, there may even be a bit of extra so we can take a little trip somewhere. 😉

      • This is extremely late, Marlene, and I apologize for that. I was busy the last couple of weeks of my trip and stopped monitoring the blog. And then after coming back, didn’t check for comments. (hangs head sadly)
        I know your weather has changed a lot since you wrote this, as ours has, too. I’m glad to hear that you did get rain. It makes such a difference. I’m enjoying our rather mild winter with not much snow and at the same time feel a certain anxiety about the coming fire season. Hearing about the fires in Australia doesn’t help, either.

        I hope that making that move will be a good thing; I’m sure that sharing with your daughter will be good for you both. Living with my Mum all that time was so good for me; I had the time with her that I missed out on as a child.

        I do hope there is enough extra to finance a trip or two (or more!! said the eternal optimist).

        Life IS transitory, but also such an adventure! I haven’t always enjoyed everything, but as I grow older I find it easier to look for the silver lining and all that.

        Have a lovely weekend, Marlene. Love ~ Linne

  3. Your post has made me smile 🙂 I am so glad you are having a wonderful time and have made new friends as well as linked up with the past. And you are 100% right – it’s what we bring to a place that makes it what it is, and has nothing to do with other people’s stereotyped ideas. I would have been very surprised if people in the north of England had been anything other than warm and lovely towards you! (not that I’m biased in any way, of course…)

    • Thanks, Jill. Actually, people everywhere here have been lovely. But, yes, especially in the north 🙂

      I like the way people greet me as I pass by on the street; it’s easy to forget I’m not from here. I shall miss everything so much!

      I do wish we had the drystone walls and Victorian and older stone homes.

      Less than two weeks left now, but I still have a day or two in Skipton to look forward to . . . and then the 100th anniversary of the Armistice; very personal for me and in part why I’ve stayed so long.

      Hope you are finding your way forward. I’ve not forgotten you or any of my other friends in this Virtual Village.

      I’ll be finding my own path, too, once I’m back in BC. You inspire me in many ways, you know, Jill.

      Take care, my friend and much Love and Light to you.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading your comments. ~ Linne

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