Friday, 26 October 2012

Hope , Holidays and Hemingway

A month since my last post. Doesn't time fly!. I'm a lot happier this month for a number of reasons. Firstly, my clever brother managed to find some wonderful sheltered accomodation in Lincoln for my mother.I drove her over to get her settled in and I wanted to see for myself what it was like. As expected she was anxious and apprehensive but she wanted to be back in Lincoln so she got her wish.
The very good news is that she has settled in well, has lots of company and we don't have to worry about her welfare as she is well looked after. All food is provided and there are only 12 residents in total, so it's not too large and the staff are very caring. Great result for everyone!
Secondly, we had a brief holiday in Florida.

This is the sunset in Key West, which is a magical sight, if not the most magical place. It is a very strange mixture of glorious wildlife and landscape, wonderful food , lovely buildings including the hotel we stayed in (which was listed as a historic inn but was in fact younger than our house at home)..

and tacky tourist shops. Duval Street , the main thoroughfare in Key West, is the longest, tackiest street full of tee shirt shops, cigar shops and bars.Although, you have to admire a place that has a shop selling only pirate costumes all year round.

We took our daughter with us as she needed a break andto celebrate the fact that she has been offered a proper job as a journalist with Pulse magazine. Both she and Mr Hare love the heat ( I'm not  good in heat and tend to wilt like a delicate flower!)
Mr Hare's other obsession (apart from heat) is sailing, so we saw a lot of sailing boats. We even had to take a diversion to Fort Lauderdale to look at some catamarans. Fortunately. there was a very nice quilting shop nearby for me to visit! I asked one of the ladies in the shop why they needed quilts in Florida and she said that they all have their air- conditioning so high that the quilts are used! She did also say that they are put on beds/walls as decoration. 
Which brings me to Hemingway. Quite by chance, Mr Hare and I have visited the 3 places that Ernest Hemingway had permanent homes-Cuba, Key West and Sun Valley, Idaho ( in fact he lived in Ketchum which is the town next to the Sun Valley skiing resort.)
We did not visit his house in Key West which is now a museum but did walk past and visit 2 of the bars that claim to be where he drank. After we got back , I looked him up on Wikepedia and he was a notorious drunk but also interestingly ( and unknown to me ) suffered from haemochromatosis  which along with the alcohol led to his unstable state of mind and subsequent suicide, just like his father.
It is many years since I read any of his work but I am planning to revisit his novels because he was a very great writer if not the nicest of human beings.
I have had a reasonable month  sewing as well. I have signed up to the Scrappy Swap which I'm really looking forward to. Still waiting to see who my partner is.I also had to make a mosaic for this which was a great learning experience for me, but I managed it!
I have completed the October blocks for the Star Block Bee (Amy's month)
Amy is also the Queen Bee for October in the FQR Kinky Bee and she chose wonky log cabins which I love to do.
I also managed to piece together my Sparkle Punch top which has been hanging around since February.
I also have made several Japanese + and x blocks which I'm going to make into a quilt for Lois. She has asked for a quilt for her 60th birthday which gives me a little time!. She didn't give me much to go on, just that she liked red and grey. So I have chosen Oakshott reds from my colourbox mixed with some of the Ruby reds for the front. I have added in some other brights and greys and aqua. I will use a darker grey on the back, but haven't decided on that yet.
I have also had my new Handiquilter Avante installed. Oh boy, such a daunting responsibility. I'm going to have a very steep learning curve on this one. The possibilities are endless. So exciting, but also so scary.
Anyway, overall, a more positive month.