Category Archives: Holidays

A Trip to the South…

Flagpole at Bexhill South England

Well, the south of England anyway!

I’ve just had very much needed mini break by the sea, courtesy of my lovely son and daughter-in-law who live a stone’s throw from the sea front.  I’ve just been going through my photos, and I’m wondering just how many pictures of the sea you actually want to see, I’ve taken so many!

I know I must have sea water in my blood because my family on both sides go back hundreds of years as merchant seamen, Master Mariners and very probably, pirates!  Both my father and my paternal grandfather became Bristol Channel pilots after years in command of their own ships, so I’m really not surprised that when I want to relax my mind and body, my thoughts turn seawards.

After all the stresses and strains of the last few months, worrying about my dear mama, and battling with my M.E., no exotic holiday destination anywhere would have been more relaxing than sitting in the little seafront cafe, Hughies with a big cappuccino and a bacon sandwich on a bright and sunny morning! (Hence my last Happy Friday image)

We had a little potter around Bexhill-on-Sea and found an exceedingly PINK shop, I do love the radio…pink radio

…and a bargain lampshade for which I have a cunning plan!

lampshade(because brown/beige is so not my colour!)

Lunch in the Little British Tea Shop which was delicious in more ways than one.

Little British Tea ShopThe next day was misty and murky so we headed inland to Lewes.  Last time we tried to go there,  the queues for the car parks seemed to start two miles out of town, so we reckoned on a damp Tuesday in February we stood more of a chance.  Lewes is very pretty, and full of interesting little shops and it was lovely to just womble about with no real plan in mind.

River at Lewes, E Sussex


There were an awful lot of extremely tempting things in this shop window…

Leadbetter&Good…but if you ever find yourself in Lewes, do make a point of visiting Abigail’s Drapery

AbigailsDrapery…and don’t be like me and only discover it ten minutes before closing time!   These beauties fill the back wall…


..and the shop’s just filled with all manner of beautiful craft materials, sewing sundries, yarn and handmade goodies.AbigailsDraperyInt

The next day it poured!  St Leonards

So we went to St Leonards to do some mountaineering in the rain…

St Leonards steps…up to Norman Road, the home of what is described as the most extraordinary haberdashery, probably in the UK where you will find…

“…vintage lace, antique buttons, espadrille canvas and more. There is an old iron tub full of random vintage buttons, sold by the cup. A fantastic and unmissable shop with a core of devotees, Wayward has slightly eccentric opening hours. Even for Norman Road.”

So worth getting wet for (and it was open!)!

The next day was glorious…

Bexhill sea

…but sadly, we were going home.

Bexhill Beach

But we’ll be heading south again before too long.beachBexhill

And I’ll be back here on Planet Penny very soon…x



Happy Friday Number 8

Here we are again for Happy Friday… I hope you’ve had a great week with many cheerful moments to report!

Happy Friday at Bexhill on Sea

It’s been all rather lovely here on Planet Penny because we’re having a little mini-break by the sea.  This means this will be a very short post, I’m saving all the news about where I’ve been (and lovely crafty shops) until my return when I can properly share my photos.  If you really can’t wait, come and follow me on Instagram!

To join in with your own Happy Friday post use the Linky below.  If you haven’t done it before you can find out all about it here but please DO remember to link back to this post so that others can find the Linky Party going on right here…

Perfecting the Art of Procrastination…

…or  indecisiveness…

Which is it?  I can’t make up my mind!

So here’s the problem.  I have done quite a few things over the past few weeks, have LOADS of photos and I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few days being completely unable to write a blog post about anything because there’s TOO MUCH STUFF…

Which means I either never write another post, or I just metaphorically throw everything in the air, grab some bits here and there and see what happens.

We went to the Knitting and Stitching show a couple of weeks ago.  So much to see, and some amazing exhibitions.  I hope to follow up on some of the interesting stalls at a later date but in the meantime, well, I did treat myself.  Last time I went, a couple of years ago I fell in love with the wonderful Throw kits on the Colinette stand but there was such a huge choice I just couldn’t make up my mind, and have been kicking myself ever since.  I don’t know when I’m going to get time to make it, but this time I did buy one at the special show price  I wish you could feel how wonderfully soft and warm the yarn is, and the colours are fabulous…

perugino skylark throw Colinette

 My other great buy was a pinnie from Alison Hulme Textiles

Alison Hulme Pinnie

Hand printed by Alison on denim, it’s almost a dress!  It’s a good extra layer, will fit over a woolly jumper and has two big deep pockets so it’s a perfect work uniform for me when I’m in the studio.

And then I went off to the seaside…

Just a few days on the South Coast and it was lovely.  There was lots of weather…

Bright and breezy…


IMG_2310Wild and windy…



…and peaceful.



A teachers strike meant I had a precious day with my grandsons, a trip to the Observatory Science Centre which I enjoyed as much as they did!  I was allowed to have ago on all the scientific apparatus and no one told me I was too tall, or old to join in, and a tour of one of the telescopes.  A great way to entertain a granny!


Now I’m home I’m gradually unpacking all the things put away to make way for the decorator and seeing them in a fresh light.  It’s so easy to stop actually ‘seeing’ things, isn’t it. when you’ve had them a long time in the same place.  I’ve got shelves in a redundant fireplace which is ideal for china and other small and fragile pieces.  It spent several years with a perspex sheet screwed to the front when the boys were small, so with another little one coming along in the New Year, I need to make the most of it before we have to replace the perspex!



It’s all been a bit slow on the making front, alas.  I’ve been suffering from RSI in my elbow and operating the mouse and the crochet hook seems to be the culprit, which is so frustrating.  I really want to write a pattern for the Christmas balls I’ve been making with the Planet Penny Cotton which requires lots of crochet experiments and ‘mouse work’ for the photos, and rest is really the only answer for RSI.

I’ve been good though and have only done a bit here and a bit there so I hope it won’t be too long before I’m back up to speed.

crochet Christmas balls Planet Penny Cotton

 Christmas crochet  balls Planet Penny Cotton

crochet Christmas balls -  Planet Penny CottonGetting my rainbow colour fix is always good for the spirits!

Well, I have both Henry and Higgins telling me it’s teatime and although they are an hour too early I won’t get much peace right now!

If you are in the UK and are watching out for the weather warnings for tomorrow’s predicted storm as we are here, keep safe and warm.

See you soon…x

To the seaside…with cat…

Hellooo and Happy Sunday!  I’m here to tell you all about our adventures returning the Mad French Cat to his family, and also fitting in a couple of relaxing days out of the Planet Penny orbit (mostly!)  I think you all know from past posts that I do love to be beside the seaside but the South coast is very different from our wild windswept beaches here in Norfolk.  Very genteel and civilised, no need for wellies or anything…

Except, except…

Except the day we decided to travel.

There isn’t a lot of scope for spontaneity round here because as well as having to fit around Tim’s work patterns, Higgins has to be booked in with a family for a holiday (ensuring the continuation of all home comforts) and I have to arrange cover for my Mum’s care.  Also we had all been bolstering ourselves up for weeks for relocating Clovis.  Although he was not a suitable pet for a old and disabled lady ( think Kato in the Pink Panther!) he’s beautiful and affectionate and we knew he’d be much missed.

So a little bit of snow wasn’t going to stop us.  Clovis was actually very good in the car, after mewing piteously for half the journey he gave up and slept.  We drove in and out of snow showers all the way until the last 15 to 20 miles when it was really snowing in earnest. If we’d left home even half an hour later it would not have been nice.

Having unloaded Clovis into a quiet bedroom with a bowl of food and litter tray to settle down we ventured out to experience snow at the seaside.  I’ve never seen snow on the beach before, have you?

It was getting dark, and snowing heavily but the snow reflected an eerie light.  The tide was out, and the sea was foaming away at the edge of a bank of cloud and snow just beyond the rocks…

seaside in the snow

snowy rocks at seaside

starfish at seaside

snow at seaside Bexhill

By the morning the snow had stopped, but two small boys were delighted that their schools were closed and we ventured out once again in the freezing wind.  Quite the wrong snow for a snowman alas, but perfect for snowballs!


By the third day the sun was out, the snow was melting and it was perfect weather for a stroll along the front.

sun at the seaside

wood and pebbles

boats and snow at the seaside

And Clovis?  Well even though he’s been away from his proper family for a couple of years he slotted straight back in as though he’d never been away.  Despite the new house he seemed to remember the furnishings (especially the soft furnishings, in particular the hand knitted wool bedspread!) He had a little problem with the stairs – my mum lives in a bungalow – but was soon thundering up and down with his mouse.

cat on stairs

….and he found the bannisters a particular source of delight.

tabby cat montage

Back in Norfolk I’m missing the family, the cat and the seaside but it’s great to be able to pop to our new shop for milk and a Sunday paper.  Thanks so much for all the lovely comments about our new community Shop last week.  I will announce here that despite my reservations I have volunteered for staff training and I will try very hard not to destroy the till!

I’ve rambled on for quite long enough so I shall save the crafty bits for the next post but if you need reminding about Kato and the Pink Panther I will leave you with a little clip…

See you soon…x

Edited to add, if you want the other side of the story, check out Thomas’s blog right here

Bexhill, Hastings…and a little bit of knitting!

After last week’s London adventure you’d think I’d retire for a rest, but no… the very next day we were packing the car to set off to the South Coast for a couple of days in the Bexhill/Hastings area staying with elder son and family.  It was an eventful start.  While I was away Higgins had tried out his ‘Super-Dog’ impression, leaping off the arm of the chair shouting at a passing jogger and landing painfully hard on his little stumpy legs and pulling a muscle.  This involved a trip to the vet before we set out, a rigorous examination to check nothing desperate had been done, and instructions to make sure Higgins took things easy, and No Running About…

What?  We were on our way to stay with his favourite little boys, who live in a house with a garden full of squirrels….

After a long day driving, Friday is not a good day to travel, Higgins had had the equivalent of 24 hours bed rest and was even less likely to do what the doctor ordered when he arrived, but a lot of effort was put into nursing care…

small dog having a cuddle with a small boy

We had a peaceful morning on Saturday, with a spot of craftiness…

hand made birthday cards

and a trip to the park in the afternoon…

learning to ride a bike Bexhill Park

but the next day it was pouring…

Not a day for the beach for anyone.

We spent the morning with a  little bit of knitting…

small dog helping small boy to knit

you just see how helpful Higgins was being!

In the afternoon however, we donned waterproofs and headed to Hastings…

Rainy day in Hastings

I love the area around Rock a Nore in Hastings with it’s strange black fishing huts, and despite the rain found Claire Fletcher‘s great little studio opened for the afternoon full of beautiful bits and pieces, and one I had only that morning been reading about in a copy of Coast magazine…

When the big black doors in the photo are opened, you see this!

Claire Fletcher Open Studio, Hastings

After a little wander around in the teeth of the wind and rain…

Rock a Nore Hastings

Half Sovereign cottage Hastings

Fishing Boats, Hastings

….we reached the Jerwood Gallery which I’ve wanted to visit since it opened.

It’s an amazing exhibition space, and although it is controversially built next to the fishing area of Hastings on The Stade , the sympathetic design means it sits comfortably alongside the black sheds.  Inside, the large plain windows frame the surrounding views, making the town part of the exhibition…

Black sheds in Hastings, seen from Jerwood Gallery

Inside Jerwood Gallery, Hastings

Gary Hume exhibition, Hastings Jerwood Gallery I now wear the badge I bought in Claire’s Studio with pride!

I love Hastings badge

And I did manage a little bit of creativity of my own…You don’t think I went away without my knitting did you?  Unable to find the pattern I made my fingerless mitts from a couple of years ago (if you remember, Higgins ate them!) I devised a new pattern of my own.  Very simple, (and I could knit in the car too, obviously not while driving!)

knitted wrist warmers

but with lots of scope for embellishment…

embroidered wrist warmers

…and so good I made them twice!

I’ve written the pattern, and it’s available for free here, if you’d like to make some too.

So I’ll leave you for now with the link to Handmade Monday over on Handmade Harbour, and I’ll be back soon…x

2011 – A Year in Pictures

It’s the end of the year, so I thought I’d do a recap. It’s been very interesting trawling through the archives and seeing how things have developed over the months and I thought I would share the experience…













It’s already giving me lots of new ideas for the next twelve months, so I hope you’ll drop in again to see how it’s going!  In the meantime, I wish you all a very Happy New Year, where ever you are….see you in 2012! xxx

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