Sunday, February 4, 2018

City Views, Country Dreams

Good morning from New York.

Yes, it has been a while since I last posted.  There have been several reasons for that long pause.

With no further ado, I would like to wish everyone a belated Happy New Year.


I will now backtrack a bit to let you all know that I had a lovely trip to London back in late November and early December, and was also fortunate to fit in a Cambridge visit.


I was mostly fortunate with the weather, experiencing only one day during which my umbrella was required.  My hotel was near the glorious Victoria and Albert Museum, and it was grand being able to visit its marvelous exhibits often during my holiday.


When I returned home to New York, I jumped right back into intense Santa's workshop mode, with days filled with baking, knitting gifts and even painting Christmas tea cup cards.


The 2017 cards featured a green cup against a red background.  The leaves on the cup were based upon an interesting plant called ivy leafed toad flax.


Midway through January, my laptop encountered difficulties, which have taken a while to be sorted.  During the interim, I have once again concentrated on my Instagram posts.  You could click here and see more of my photographs from November, December and January.


However, mid-January, I regret that my own life changed when I learned that my 99-year-old Mom had passed away.  It's been difficult to think of blogging, and even what to blog about.


Instead of my usual colorful fair isle knitting, I have turned to the serene comfort of this simple, soft alpaca scarf.  This sort of knitting allows my mind to remember the most important person in my life in a very quiet, calming way.

It may be a while before I will be posting again, but as always, thank you all for your visits and kind comments.

51 comments:

  1. Dear Frances, I was very sorry to read about your loss. I hope you find as much time as you need and the peace of mind too, to gather your thoughts. I'm glad you had the opportunity to visit the UK before Christmas. I hope your laptop is better now. As you know, I had the iMac fixed... but I'm still keeping a wary eye on it just in case. Thinking of you, Cxx

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    1. Thank you, dear Chris. I am definitely in a very contemplative mood, and it is quite a relief to now have my laptop's health restored. xo

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  2. I'm so sorry to hear that, Frances. Our mothers are such a part of our lives aren't they. It will be a hard time for a while and you will want to phone her, talk to her and you will of course, miss her. I'm sure you will have many memories to dwell on.

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    1. Very true, Elizabeth. I appreciate your words very much. xo

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  3. I'm so very sorry to hear that. My husband also lost his mother recently, and it's a terribly hurtful thing.

    Wishing you peace and comfort, and sending a big hug your way.

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  4. I am so sorry your Mom is gone. I do need to tell you how I enjoy the little vignette you compose for each photo, and how lovely and soft that alpaca seems.

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    1. I appreciate your comment very much, Joanne. xo

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  5. I am so sorry to hear about your Mom.My Mum died when I was 24 and I always feel I have missed out.It was so good to see you blogging again.I have missed you and was worried you were ill.What a shame that I didn't know you were going to Cambridge.My son lives there and his wife runs a really successful coffee shop.I could have come to meet you!!Blog again soon.

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    1. Perhaps the next time I am able to travel over to the UK, we might at last be able to meet. Meanwhile, thank you so much for your comment. xo

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  6. Glad you enjoyed your Uk visit and the weather was good. Saw that NY had some terrible snow this winter. Sometimes you need to do something gentle and restful. Scarf looks nice and angora sounds like lovely wool! Best wishes.

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    1. So far, this winter's NYC snow has not been too terrible, but we've still got two months to go.... The yarn I am using is a very fine alpaca, very soft indeed. Thank you so much for your comment. xo

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  7. A sad and thoughtful post. The scarf looks about the right way to go right now...

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. It was difficult to think of what to write. Promise to be in touch with you soon. xo

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  8. A long life for your Mum - mu sincere sympathy on her passing away. A good idea to knit and soothing scarf which needs little following of a pattern and a gentle, soothing colour so that you can concentrate on thoughts and memories. I send you my love - I shall be thinking of you.

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    1. Pat, your thoughtful words are much appreciated. I promise to stop by your place soon. I have sadly neglected blog land for too long. xo

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  9. I have missed you terribly Frances, but what a trip you must have had. Please share more of it. Loved that you got to do your baking and painting and also love the scarf. Sorry about your Mother. Please keep in touch.

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    1. Many thanks, dear Donna. It has been far too long since real life sort of swept me away from blogging. I will soon be visiting your site to gat caught up. (Meanwhile, do click on the link in this post of mine to my IG page where you will see lots of London photographs.) I do look forward to getting properly caught up. xo

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  10. Simple repeated stitches in a gentle colour seems a good interlude while your minds resets itself after hearing of your dear Mom's passing.
    xx

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    1. That's it, Celia. Thank you so much for your comment. xo

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  11. Firstly Frances I was so sorry to read about your Mum and hope she did not suffer at the end. Pleased you managed to get a trip to the UK and it was lovely to see a photo of the tree at the V & A first year I gave missed it fir a very long time but I have now moved to Buckinghamshire so I guess I won't be seeing it again. Cambridge is a lovely city. Your scarf will be so soft and warm and a nice memory of your Mum. Be kind to yourself Frances. Special thoughts, Hazel c uk

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  12. Hi it's me again, your cards. Are beautiful and Ivy Leaf Toad Flax was one of the first wild flowers name that I learnt has a guide, so pretty clinging to an old wall. Thank you for sharing and bringing back some good memories.
    Hazel c uk

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    1. Thank you, Hazel, for all your kind words. It's good to know you are also a fan of the Ivy Leaf Toad Flax. xo

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  13. It is a time to be kind to yourself Frances. Thinking of you xx

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  14. What a sad and yet lovely post at the same time.
    Thank You for sharing the last few months in your life.
    Love the way you stared to knit a lovely soft scarf, something to work on while you remember.
    Beautiful.
    Big hugs from Tucson.

    cheers, parsnip and mandibles

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    1. I appreciate your comment very much, dear Parsnip. I wasn't quite sure what or whether to write. xo

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  15. Dear Frances, I am sorry to hear about your mum, you often spoke of her and your brother and your regular telephone calls with him. I hope you are taking care of yourselves together during this time. I have not been on Instagram quite so much recently due to lack of new drawing material to publish so have been a little out of touch, but should be back with something later this week. My blog has changed since I last saw you and the old one closed. The new address is www.racheldubois.blogspot or click on my name. Rachel xx

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    1. Thank you, Rachel, for your thoughtful words. I will be looking in on your new post before too long. xo

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  16. Dear Frances, I was so sorry to learn the sad news! Hope you have friends around to make you go easier through this painful period... I believe there are many happy memories about your mum that appear now, strong and full of joy and love!
    ...
    It's wonderful that you made that trip to London, I know that you like England. I like it too, and Victoria and Albert museum is a place I hope to visit again soon.:)
    The cards are lovely! I came back to blogging, so when you are ready to post again, I'll be here. Hugs!!xx

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    1. Dear Rossichka, I really appreciate what you have written. Yes, lots of memories will be floating around in my mind. I will miss my Mom's letters and also being able to write to her. In recent months, her sight and hearing were failing that that made that really affected that special regular connection between us.

      I promise to be visiting your posts again soon. xo

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  17. I m very sorry for your mum...she is always near you in your heart and mind!!
    Love to you...

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    1. Gabri, what you have Kindly written is very true and goes straight to my heart. Many thanks. xo

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  18. While I was delighted to see a new post - I am very sorry to hear about your mom's passing. I know that some may think - well 99, she had a good run - but it must still be so difficult for you. Your needing time to yourself to regroup and to just deal with things is completely understandable.
    February is a good time to just hunker down and stay cozy. I hope that your memories bring you comfort and that your artwork & knitting bring you cheer. Take care.

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    1. Thank you so much, Margie, for your lovely message. xo

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  19. Hi Frances! I´m so glad you are back again! I heard that you met Ingrid in London, I wish I could been there meeting you. Maybe next time? Hope so!
    Have a great weekend, take care...
    Titti

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    1. Thank you, Titti. Yes...it would be grand to meet you next time in London. xo

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  20. So sorry to hear that your lovely Mum has passed away, Frances.. Mums are irreplaceable and leave such an enormous hole in our hearts. My own beloved Mum died more than 40 years ago but she is still always in my thoughts. When I see a small patch of violets, I remember how I used to pick a tiny bunch of them to take home for her - and as I get older, I seem to dream about her a lot, too. I hope your memories comfort you now and in the future. (((((((Hug))))))) xx from Rosemary.

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    1. Thank you so much, dear Rosemary, for those very kind words. Like your memories being awakened by violets, many sights, sounds, even scents remind me of my Mom. xo

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  21. Deepest condolences on your loss, dear friend. Lovely blog as always. I love the look of the alpacha.

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    1. Many thanks for your lovely comment. The alpaca scarf grows longer and longer! xo

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  22. I look in regularly here and was pleased to see a new post but so sorry that it brought the sad news of your mother's passing. It takes time to adjust to the new normal. I hope that you are staying well yourself and can be consoled with happy memories and gentle pastimes. x

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    1. Dear Lucille, thank you so much. I so appreciate your kind wishes. Yes, there are lots of memories rolling round my head. xo

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  23. Just checking in here. Was so sorry to hear of your mom's passing. Hope you are doing better.

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  24. I’ve only just found this post Frances so am behind with the news. I did wonder if something was happening in your life and I understand why you have been quiet for a while. So very sorry to hear you have lost your beloved mother. No matter how old you are when it happens, it’s always a major bereavement and a huge adjustment. Thinking of you xx

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  25. Hi Frances! So sad about your mum...
    Love from Titti

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