Thursday, 30 October 2014

Already the idea of the Blanket of Hope is feeling full of positivity.

I promised an update about my " Blanket of Hope" and this is a happy post.

The idea of this blanket for Fund Raising to help the abused women and children working in the horticultural industry in Almeria came from the Treasure Hunt stalls that are often to be found at fetes.


William is very much into pirates,treasure maps and the suchlike so I think they have been on my mind too!

He is growing so fast and wants a pirate cake for his 3rd birthday. I shall enjoy making that special cake when he arrives home on his actual birthday from Dubai for Christmas! I can't wait to see this cheeky smile and have a cuddle!

It's hard to believe how fast he is growing!


Anyway as you can see he is very close to my mind. This post was supposed to be about the blanket!


I cut out 25 pieces of card. I numbered them from 1 to 25. I then attached one to every square.



My yoga teacher chose the winning number and it was tucked away in an envelope to be opened when all the squares have been sold for 1 Euro each.


I always worry about bothering people for money but I have been brave and also overwhelmed by the support I have received already. Everyone sees it as a brilliant fund raising idea and really they really want to support such a worthwhile cause. The blanket is receiving lots of admiration too. So it's a winning combination on all counts.

I added a little silk bag to pop in all the Euros and it is filling up nicely.


And I have not even been to my next a Yoga lesson yet!

And added to that little bag I have been incredibly touched by the generosity of friends I have made here in Blogland and my online knitting thread. 13 Euros have been sent to me via Paypal already and 25 Dollars donated to the Red Cross in honour of this appeal to help abused women and children.

I am a very happy lady just now.

Thank you for every kind word of encouragement and penny sent.

I ,of course will update you all again soon.

Love Linda x x x



Tuesday, 28 October 2014

25 Squares of hope. Please read about my latest Afghan.

It is always so hard ... Maybe the hardest part of donating anything to Charity is to know if your efforts actually make the slightest bit of difference. YES, I do worry about that. But I have come to the conclusion that too much thinking could equate to........ too much of nothing.

I just want each stitch that I make, each stitch that I crochet to count. And this last week while I have been counting stitches to make my latest Lappycuddlyghan I have been thinking about finding a way to make each stitch really count.

A while back I made an Afghan blanket for a charity, and later when visiting that same Charity shop I found my Lappy in a horrible wire basket with a £2 ticket on it. I picked it up and thought of how I had dreamt it might make a difference. So, quietly i picked it up and took it to the till . The lady serving said... " a kind lady is making these for us,but no one wants to pay any money for home made things" Surely in anyone's language this Lappy was worth more than £2 !

Thankfully this was only one experience . My efforts with ' share a shirt for September " were greeted with sensible pricing strategies and a sense of acknowledgement of the work that goes into hand crafted goodies!


I felt sorry that in a Charity Shop no one would even want to pay the costs of one ball of wool, never mind the love. Or maybe the person setting the prices have never crafted themselves.

So, after paying that £2 myself and buying that Lappy back I sent it on to another charity and if nothing else changes it has doubled its value!!!

So, with a new autumn in Spain and another cry for help concerning the atrocities surrounding Female abuse and Human Trafficking in the Almeria region.I have made another blanket. And as I was hooking I thought about each square. And I came up with an idea.


25 Squares.



25 squares of hope.



I wonder if anyone would be willing to donate £1,1 Euro or a Dollar for one square.

I promise that if such a sum is donated I will give every penny raised to the charity helping these unfortunate women enslaved in Almeria.

Added to that I will donate the blanket to the fund raising efforts at my Yoga Class and then this lovely Lappycuddlyghan will make a difference.



If you feel able to donate a few pennies ,a pound, a euro or a dollar please look at my email address on the top of my sidebar. Using that email address as a contact to my PayPal account. PayPal itself will will do the rest of the magic making a little pile of money.

I would hate to mislead anyone. Any donation will go to help swell the charity funds and the blanket itself will be donated to the Yoga Centre which is collecting money by selling such donations to help these poor people.

And I promise to update you all about how much this little bit of woolly love generates..... Surely more than £2... I do hope so.

Of course I understand that maybe you already give to your favourite charities. In this case could you just send a thought,a wish or a prayer for these poor souls.

Thank you all my lovely followers for so generously supporting me in thought and deed xxxx

Ps. I am feeling very nervous about posting this. But after the generosity displayed by my lovely blogging friends in support of my September Challenge I have decided to give it a whirl.



Saturday, 25 October 2014

Let's eat that elephant one bite at a time !

Now to be fair I would never want to eat an elephant.... A species too special and too precious.

Thank you for all the kind and supportive comments about my latest charity initiative. To try and spare the effects of the trauma of human female trafficking. It is not only here in Spain. And not only females but whatever the nitty gritty details .. It's wrong. So today I have been chutney making!!! The house now stinks but it it surely tastes good! Just a little bit of yummy goodness to help swell the funds.


These pretty jars should generate over 30 Euros.


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

The Good,Bad and the downright Ugly....

I hold my hands up high. I love the special things in life. Travel,good food,good wine,money in my purse.All the things that most of us think of as normal. Then the coin is flipped and I am reminded of the darker,more evil side of life.Our time in Spain often seems simple,somehow gentler,less materialistic ,less hurried than our life in the Uk. And yet when I I walk into the simplest white Cortijo for my weekly Yoga class and I am confronted by their next charity push I am driven to research three simple words....... Female human trafficking .

In the greenhouses in Almeria in the Southeastern part of Spain, illegal migrants live in shacks made of old boxes and plastic sheets without sanitation and access to clean running water, receive less than half the minimum wage, and harvest vegetables sold in supermarkets in other European countries.1


These are a few examples of the criminal exploitation involved in the trafficking in human beings ("THB"). The crime is severe and widespread, evoking violations of multiple fundamental rights. THB can take place for the purpose of sexual exploitation,labor exploitation, or the removal of organs. All these different forms of THB have their own dynamics, relevant actors, and stakeholders, and to some extent need to be addressed differently. Reliable figures are hard to come by, and there is no clear-cut line between trafficking and non-trafficking cases. Estimates on the number of trafficking cases vary,but the most recent estimate by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) claims that there are around 20.9 million victims of modern slavery worldwide at any time.2 The ILOestimates that 55 percent of the victims of forced labor are female, but in the case of victims of sex trafficking, that figure reaches 98 percent. The ILO figures also show that in Asia and the Pacific region, the number of trafficking victims remains high and that the number of victims from the African continent is on the rise.


Not so long ago I watched a programme where Ross Kemp was describing the same problem in the Uk. He had worked undercover to research how women in particular were being exploited and described his findings as " the tip of an iceberg"

That programme left me with a sense if disquiet and it often seems that unless you address a problem,even in a minuscule way, that problem will keep rising up to meet you.


It is hard to know whether anyone or anything can change such exploitation.... And it has to be in every persons " back yard"

But " here we go again. ..... Surely 1 person can make a difference." Well,I hope so. Anyone following my blog and my September challenge will know that I feel, I must believe even the smallest act can make a difference. My hook will be smokin' I would love to be brave enough to stare these evil people,who simply use women as commodities,in the eye and challenge their values. But, that will never happen. However, I will not ignore the plea from my yoga teacher to make a difference. I just hope it does.

In a few weeks time there is going to be a Yoga Open Day where all the money raised will go to help these women. So, I have made a start. Organic bamboo washcloths I crocheted when I was travelling with an organic tablet if soap tucked into their soft folds.

Some cotton Mandalas and 2 blankets I made during my last visit to our house in Spain. I did not have enough room to take them home in my suitcase and now they will provide some well deserved euros for such a worthwhile cause.

Just before I go and on a lighter note. Thank you so much for all the lovely comments welcoming me back to Blogland after my trip. It really is what makes blogging so special.

Love Linda x









Tuesday, 21 October 2014

It's hard to dip my toe back into the Blogging stream!

We had such a wonderful time in Italy. The last time I went was over forty years ago. And, aged sixteen I probably enjoyed the good looking Italian men more than the history or architecture!


This time what a balance.

Sightseeing in Rome and Assisi.



Countryside in Umbria


The coast of Leguria.

Wonderful markets.



And to top it off plates of beautifully cooked pasta,the odd glass of Chianti and Prosecco and wonderful company.The men were absolute stars cooking wonderful meals.



And here we have our very own characters of our Marigold Hotel.

Lifetime friends and family.

All ready for an evening of Murder and Mystery!



And our daughter who travels for a living managed the best surprise. A fleeting visit to spend time with her Dad for his birthday celebrations.


So, I am still feel on cloud nine and enjoying such wonderful memories.

But, normal life is calling and the gentle rhythm of Crochet and yarn will soothe me into an Autumn of happy hooky time.

Before I go. I am also looking forward to catching up with all the lovely blogs I follow and am so inspired by. Your friendship and support brightens my days.




Friday, 26 September 2014

Off to do some celebrating.

Andy is 60 soon. We met when he was 19,,,,! Where have those years gone? So we are going away to celebrate such an important milestone . We are going to eat pasta,pizza and gelato and sample the odd glass of vino collapso ! So excuse me for leaving you and I send my love to every follower I have. The comments of late have warmed the cockles of my heart.

Happy Birthday Andy!




Wednesday, 24 September 2014

What I have shared and learnt this September.

I vividly remember my upbringing. It was far from perfect but my goodness it has equipped me well for life.

I look back and realise that as I was making my way through my early years I learnt so much. Not necessarily in a prescriptive way. Because the freedom I was given meant I had to make decisions early on. One of those decisions involved what to do with my time. There was plenty of it in the 50's. We did not even have a TV until I was 11. One of the greatest lessons was that you soon realised that you gained nothing by moaning or whining. Such miserable behaviour was totally ignored. In fact in many ways I think my brothers and I were often ignored. Very much loved but expected to get on with things. Not at meal times,bath time or bedtime but for most of the day we were expected to have a plan ! A plan which involved entertaining ourselves and keeping out of the way!!


And in my adult years I have come to realise that my brothers and I live like that. We always seem to have a "plan." All kinds of plans. But we are never bored . And this has been so true this September. This project to " Share a Shirt" has been brilliant. I have loved having a focus. It has been fun and rewarding. And whilst I have been sewing I have been thinking.


Questions... Can 1 person really make a difference?



Is such a small contribution going to be any more than a drop in the ocean?



Of course I do not know the answers to these questions, and others that have been whirling around in my head. But I have not been alone. I have not been the only person dropping goodness into this ocean of humanity of ours. Help has come in so many ways. Friends have been inspired by the idea of sharing goodness this September. Shirts have popped onto my mat, friends have delivered them, people have sent pennies to buy thread and pillow pads. Zips have arrived and mandalas worked. Friends have cut out fabric,made labels and tea! And the sweetest little gifts have been sent just for me!

And I have enjoyed every minute. The charity shops have been delighted with the parcels arriving. One day I was waiting to give my Gift Aid Card with my last delivery and I heard people talking about the little handmade things I had delivered the week before. The lady in the shop agreed it was lovely to see "Hand Crafted " goods made from such pretty materials and I was thrilled when she declared " they have been selling like hot cakes!


So, I do believe 1 person can make a difference and if that 1 person is supported by a network of loving people that circle of goodness will grow and grow.


So, "Thank You " one and all for your support,encouraging comments and gifts of love. September is coming to a close but I shall tuck away all the pieces of beautiful fabric until the next challenge. Who knows it could be January Joy, June gladness or another September Challenge.

There is only one real question left to ponder on. What shall I make with this beautiful shirt. Every time I hover close by with the scissors I look at it and think it too pretty to cut. But, something inspirational will come one day. Until then it is still complete. Completely beautiful.



And as Autumn marches forwards the same Charity shop was talking about changing its window display.
I could not resist making these little hedgies for the shop yesterday.
I tucked them on a bed of leaves and popped in some nuts ready for their long winter sleep.

A perfect way to end this September.