Posted by: brendaintheboro | November 29, 2015

Cleaning up x2

After a reasonably quiet week weather-wise, we had promised to go and help the volunteers clear the cycle tracks over in Stockton on Tees on Saturday.  We checked the forecast and it wasn’t good, so making sure we had packed our wet weather gear, we set off the quick way to the meet up point over near Holme House Prison. There were quite a few volunteers gathered and I donned my over trousers as the mizzle started. Fortunately, it was short lived  but offered protection from the cold wind. There was a 6C drop for Friday

Y organised the event very well and asked if we would ride off to one of the bridges.  A volunteer had told her it wasn’t too bad along there – it wasn’t if you rode past quickly, however , on closer inspection , there was loads of stuff dumped there. I think it is just thrown off the bridge but why is a bit of a mystery to me.  A decided to join us and the 3 of us set to and started the cleaning near to the bridge. It is amazing what gets thrown away and between us we found 21p hehe. DH and I got a system going. He went to the top of the bank and started throwing down  bottles and cans which I picked up. Conveniently, some person had pre-packed their  own rubbish bags before throwing them away , so they came down too.  Y had brought her cycle trailer and rode up and down taking away the filled bags  to the pick up point.

The most sad find was an old sewing machine that really was beyond repair. C and I pretended to fight over who was taking it home.Facebook-20151129-065412 I think it was a Singer 99.

There were 12 of us volunteers in all and we did a good job amassing a good load of trash.Facebook-20151129-065438 Facebook-20151129-065504

Thank you to Sustrans and Y for a lovely light lunch at the River View Café at the Barrage. It was on our way home , fortunately, as the rain started down very heavily and the wind was howling all the way back. Another satisfying day.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | November 21, 2015

Cleaning up

Last Saturday, 14th November 2015, we were supposed to go and help clean up the local cycle track but it was postponed. So we had a ride along the river, but only had time for that and not a longer ride. However, it was relatively mild but over cast and not windy.IMG_1894

Hear is a photo of the replica Endeavour that Capt James Cook sailed to Australia in and a lone rower.

Today, was the day for the clean up. Guess what? The weather was awful with the first snow flurries of the winter and the wind blowing a hoolie. Still, there were 5 brave (bonkers) souls who turned up to clean the track beneath Newport Bridge. In the past couple of years the bridge over the Tees has been refurbished and it took a lot longer and more money than was expected. The workmen left a couple of weeks ago but left a lot of rubbish and there had also been fly tipping.

DH took the trailer with a spade and brush and cleared the wet slippery leaves off the track at the bottom of the ramp which will make it much safer. It was getting to be a bit scary getting across this bit.IMG_1899IMG_1900

We collected a big pile of rubbish and left it ready for collection by the local refuse workers.


DH and I didn’t bother to go and have lunch with the others as it was quicker for us to ride straight home which is what we did.

I spent the afternoon  stitching  away on a quilt I am working on. I hope to get it finished before Christmas.


Posted by: brendaintheboro | October 31, 2015

Cycling and Stitching

The past week has been wet almost everyday, at least for a large part of the day, so I only had about 30 miles in for the week. Not good. I don’t know about you but while I don’t mind if it rains while I am out , I just get on with it , but if the rain is teeming down, then it puts me off going out . So the forecast for today was reasonably good, DRY and a little sun but unseasonably warm for the time of year.

So by 9.30 am  , Dh and I were on the road but where too.  The wind was coming from the SW so we decided to head into it . I always think it is better to go into the wind and then hopefully have it on your back going home.  Heading up on the  good cycle track, we called in at the Parkway centre so I could buy some of my favourite liquorice tea  and then headed along through old Nunthorpe village and on to Great Ayton. The  Cleveland hills could be seen but there was a lot of cloud spilling down into the valley. It would have been difficult walking through it.


Cleveland Hills

Cleveland Hills

DH and I had different ideas on which way to head but I thought of a previous ride this year and led the way up through Little Ayton and on to Kildale. At the junction in this little village we turned up  right and along to Ingleby Greenhow. We got quite a surprise here as there was a hunt meet on. Obviously, they don’t hunt foxes but it looked like the traditional hunt and the landlord form the local pub was handing out food and drink – but not too us!!


I was surprised to see many of the lady riders in full makeup. It must not be as ” glow making ” as cycling. I must be a horse as I definitely sweat. The riders allowed us to pass and were very friendly getting the dogs out of our way so we could get through and not be held up.

Again , shortly after we turned right and rode along through Great Broughton , crossing the B 1257and on to Carlton in Cleveland and Busby.  Once at the A172 , we decided to ride the main road into Stokesley  where we had a brief stop. A young family man , who is obviously and keen cyclist , was having a look at our cycles and was asking about the stuff we have. He had never seen a Zounds3 horn and DH showed him how it can be recharged just using the inflator that is used for inner tubes and then demonstrated the loudness of the sound.

We cycled out and along to the bank at Tanton but instead of taking the main road home , we turned off at the bottom and rode along to Newby. Another chap was coming up to the junction and called out to us. He caught us up just outside the village and rode along chatting for a while. He was headed for Thornaby and hasn’t cycle camped for many years but did love it.

We headed in different directions after a while and we turned off for Stainton and then along towards Hemlington lake. The autumn colours are so good at present, despite the wet leaves being a slip hazard.IMG_1887 IMG_1888 IMG_1890

It is interesting to note the different colours presented by the different trees from shades of deep copper through lemon gold.

We got home having cycled about 32 miles by 1.30pm.

With all the wet weather , I have completed a quilt top and got it prepared to quilt. I have been doing a Craftsy class about using rulers to help with free machine quilting.  While its not perfect, I thought I would share one of the blocks that I have completed.

IMG_1891 This is just with the ruler work.

IMG_1893 IMG_1892

I hope you can see the FMQ fill in. I deliberately didn’t use a high contrast thread  to disguise mistakes. I really am enjoying creating this quilt and learning new techniques. A perfect day for me.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | October 20, 2015

Tuesday Twirl

Being self employed has its advantages,  and today was one of those slack days that happened to coincide with decent weather – little wind and dry. Yiphee!!

DH was busy as he is building a counter for a friends new toy shop venture and he needed to go and do some measuring up so we cycled along to Stockton together  but by the shortest route. However, eager to get on with the project, he rode home alone leaving me to make my way back along the river.

I was going down towards the river and came across these knitted and crocheted bollard covers, similar to things we had seen in Germany and Holland.IMG_1876

Just along from the Tees rowing club , I came across this. Don’t look if dog pooh offends you.IMG_1877 Neatly encircled by red paper cups to make it stand out, the offending pile was clearly demarcated  to stop anyone getting messed up. However, what I found incongruent was the pile of rubbish left not 15 feet away,IMG_1878 It annoys me that people just leave their rubbish  and dog pooh wherever they feel like. ggggrrrrr!

However, riding on downriver, I was so pleased to see this heron and even more delighted that I had time to get out the phone and get a few photos before it flew off upstream.IMG_1880 IMG_1879

It started to get a bit cold and I thought it might rain but I continued along into town and up through the park before returning home.

Then I spent a bit of time cutting fabric for another quilt and then the sun came out. Well, I didn’t want to miss out so I went off again accompanied by DS1 and got a few more miles in. DS1 came in useful when he looked after the cycles while I did a bit of shopping too. Only about 18 miles but I feel like I have got a lot done today.






Posted by: brendaintheboro | October 17, 2015

Autumn is definitley here

Well, I recovered mostly from the head cold and so we went out for a short ride today. Firstly, we delivered the baby quilt to my friend and I got to hold her new born dark haired, dark eyed daughter who is just beautiful.IMG_1868[1]

From there we cycled across to Marton ( home of Captain Cook who sailed to Australia and New Zealand) and then down to the recently opened Cycle Circuit at Prissick base Middlesbrough. The trees  are really starting to show autumn colours and

IMG_1871 I hope you can see them here. DH suggested I take a selfie so here goes.IMG_1872

Sorry its a little misty but it was cold and I needed those clear glasses to stop my eyes running.

When we got to the circuit we were greeted by Chris , the cycle officer and we could see someone coming around the bend so I took a quick snap.


On closer inspection I realised it is a chap we call Davy Redlegs as in the winter he often wears red football socks. It was good to see him and all the more because he had been on a 3 mls park run earlier in the day,

The idea today was to get people using the 1km circuit and to see if cumulatively a distance of 200kms could be clocked up by participants. There were families and ladies clocking up the kms and as we were leaving 2 speedy road lads started whizzing around. I cycled 15 kms and DH did 20kms. The idea of the 200 kms is, this is the distance between the abbey at Whitby where St Hilda was and Durham catherderal where St Cuthbert was buried. Monks going between the 2 centres would stop at the Tees hence the old name of Middleburg.


Unfortunately, we were trying to support 2 different events and so had to leave to travel over to a celebration of the family at our church in Billingham.  There were lots of different displays from frugal cooking to scrap booking and family history to financial prudence. I have to say the cakes were delicious. yum yum.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | October 11, 2015

Textile work inspired by a cycling trip

You may recall , at the end of July I made a solo  bike and bus pass trip up to Northumberland. I used my Dahon Speed TR folding bike and my radical designs trailer. IMG_1695

It was a lovely trip and it inspired a couple of small quilts , A4 size and I used thread work and coloured pencils to make these pieces.

St Mary's Lighthouse, Whitley Bay

St Mary’s Lighthouse, Whitley Bay

I used photos I found on the net to make a composition that I hope has a look of an old postcard. This piece was on a blue commercial fabric and the lighthouse and the tiny island was appliqued on.

the Groyne, South Shields

the Groyne, South Shields

This was an old childhood haunt of mine. I used the same commercial fabric and I used lutrador, a polyester type non-woven fabric , to make the lighthouse using Brusho paint to get the colouring as close as possible. Again, I was trying to get an old postcard feeling.

I have been sick with a bad head cold so haven’t been out cycling much this weekend. Last weekend was very foggy but we have still got a decent few miles in.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 27, 2015

Quilting, Frugality and Cycling – all in one day

We have had a lovely day, combining all the things that are special to me. On Friday evening we went to help set up a quilting exhibition for Pieceful Day quilters , a group I attend the first Thursday of the month. Saturday saw us cycling over to Egglescliffe Parish Hall , about 8 miles from home, to help put the finishing touches to things. I will share some photos but hope this post isn’t too photo filled for you, dear reader- especially those who have no real interest in quilting.


These are quilts made for one of the local hospices and also numerous items made to sell for charity. Here are some of the quilts that I like.  First is my own Wheels quilt which was lovely to see hanging.


Then I was really attracted to this Baltimore style quilt, which I would never attempt, as there is just so much hand work in it.


Then , this odd shaped quilt was made from recycled shirts but it is for the cabin of a yacht , that D spends the summer sailing in and it fits into the shape of the cabin.IMG_1856 Sorry its a little blurred.

There were numerous other smaller and larger quilts too.

After this we cycled through across ” the hilly way” to Darlington through Middleton St George and on to Lingfield Point where the “Festival of Thrift ” was on. There isn’t really any secure parking but the lads from Bike Stop looked after them for us.

IMG_1846 IMG_1847

This is an organisation that recycles bicycles and a young boy was delighted that his mother bought him a reconditioned mountain bike for £50 as she had seen one almost the same in a big box store for 4 times the price.

There were street entertainers and food stalls – I bought a jar of gooseberry jam – and all sorts of goodies to see.IMG_1843 IMG_1845


The ladies were sitting in repurposed wheel barrows to have a cooling foot treatment.

People are very ingenious when it comes to recycling and repurposing items but I have to say that  some of the lovely things on sale were way out of what I would be prepared to pay. Having said that , I do understand the amount of time and effort that goes in to making things , so prices are fair.

We sat and had cheese toasties made on our camp stove – that’s frugal for you. Then we set off and rode a different way back as we needed to help dismantle the exhibition.

A lovely day out.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 19, 2015

Autumn equinox – almost.

Well, here we are  in mid  September and where has this year gone. I checked my bike computer and find I have cycled about 3200 miles so far this year.  We had beautiful weather today, in stark contrast to how it has been over the past week. We had been hoping to have a few days cycle camping but the weather scuppered that.

So today, we knew we couldn’t go too far as we had to be back to pick up DS2 who has been away in Spain with his autism group.  So last night we decided  a trip up to Saltburn would be on if the weather was dry.  Then this morning, R messaged me to ask if we could drop in as he needed some help with a cycle related problem.

It was a lovely ride up through Normanby and Eston and along past Kirkleatham  Museum in the unseasonably  warm sunshine.  We called in to see R and DH and DS1 sorted out his new cycle computer which was a bit difficult to set up as it had a full book to explain it!!! So after we sat in R’s garden sipping chocolate and eating biscuits until almost noon.

Then we cycled on to Saltburn, passing the Sustrans volunteers cutting down the wild flower meadow to get it to reseed for next year.  We stopped for ice cream and I chose a Whitby Goth – liquorice and blackcurrant ice cream – yummy.

Returning, we cycled along the coast and then called in to see Pip , who was in the shower, but called down for us to wait. He has had huge changes in his lifestyle after his wife’s recent near fatal  health condition which has resulted in him loosing over 4 sts. Well done Pip  and H , you are inspirational.

Recently, on the textile front , I have been inspired to work on a couple of pieces which I may enter into a competition next year. I have had great fun stitching and colouring. I have been influenced by my recent bike and bus pass trip, seeing various light houses , that I have loved all my life.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 6, 2015

Harrogate Quilt Show

This post is not cycle related so you can stop now if you aren’t interested in textiles.

Yesterday , I went off to the Great Northern Quilt and Needlework show in Harrogate. I was determined not to buy any fabric and did succeed but only bought things I really to make more quilts – wadding,  interfacing ,needles and some clips. So watch this space as I will be making in the next few months.

I want to show you some of the quilts that caught my eye. The , I think, best in show was this quilt called Perseverance and was stunning.IMG_1836 IMG_1820 IMG_1819

I hope you can see the free machine quilting . The maker also used paint and inktense pencils to colour the fabric. I was blown away by it and I heard a lady behind me, making a disparaging remark about – well its only machine quilting. Sorry but I couldn’t hold my tongue. I very politely asked if she machine quilted. No she did hand quilting only. I then told her she didn’t appreciate the amount of skill needed to produce such work. She very quickly scurried away.IMG_1837

Well done to the lady from North Shields.

There were also a few others I really liked and I will show them.


I loved this one by Sheena Norquay. The combination of white, greys and these colours in small measure.

There were also a few quilts by a duo of German ladies. They had similarities in the quilting which made me go and look to see if they were by the same maker. They were in different places but distinctive.

IMG_1830 IMG_1829 IMG_1823

It was a lovely show. Not too big to be overawing but small enough to let you see it all and gain inspiration.

In the evening , we went to a 70th birthday party and danced the night away. Well ,until just after 9.00pm when we had enough exercise dancing to a lovely folk band.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 1, 2015

August Bank Holiday mini-tour

Friday, 28th August 2015

Well, the weather forecast for the weekend wasn’t too bad , so DH and I set off and cycled our usual route to the camping and Caravanning club site at Boroughbridge. It was lovely and sunny and was so nice to see the fields being harvested. Make hay while the sun shines , is so appropriate this August, as apparently it is the wettest on record. As per usual, we were also into a headwind but I still made good time ( for me) and I found that pulling my Radical Designs trailer with my Koga  Randonneur , was as good as with the Dahon Speed TR.

DS1  took a train to Northallerton and joined us later  in the day.  The site managers remembered us from previous visits and  gave us a nice pitch near the riverside.  DS1 arriving later was about 30feet away.IMG_1790 IMG_1785

He camped in his tarp and added the front piece from the  first tent I ever sewed back about 25 years ago. He took off the piece and uses it to add space  to sit under while he cooks. DH started to feel chilly so he thought he would warm up under the quilt. Guess what? He was asleep in seconds.



He hadn’t even taken off his spectacles and was snoring away so I had to snap this of him. You can see the mesh inner tent and the home made quilt too.

Saturday, 29th August 2015

The wind blew all night so the tents were bone dry in the morning , so we had a lovely easy dry pack up and set off along quiet country lanes through Aldborough with its small Roman remains museum, to Lower Dunsford and Great Ouseburn before crossing the toll bridge at Aldwark. DH stopped and the tollman said there was no charge, but we knew that having used the bridge quite a few times this year. We called at friends in Linton and were surprised they weren’t away canoeing but it was lovely to see them. Then it was on to Newton on Ouse and through the grounds of Benningborough Hall.IMG_1792

It was quiet but no doubt would   be much busier later in the day. There were a lot of black cattle in the fields. Then we had to follow a diversion and ended up having to cycle a couple of miles on the A19,which on a Saturday of a holiday weekend , was not nice.  I was glad when we got into Shipton and were able to get back onto the cycle route.


Then it was on through York and down the track to Riccall. DH finally got his birthday treat, a chocolate covered ice cream lolly!! but a look alike of a famous brand at a third of the price at 60p.

We had a lovely welcome from Peggy and Rod at South Newlands Farm and enjoyed sitting in the sunshine well into the evening. There was a beautiful sunset.


Sunday, 30th August 2015

The day dawned fine and sunny but the tents were wet with condensation as there was no wind. We packed up and left out bags at the farm while we cycled into Selby and enjoyed a church service there before heading back up the track and picking up our gear.

Then it was back up through York, but we were headed for Sherriff Hutton which is North east of the city and not on a cycle route, so cycling in the traffic was a bit fraught for a while. However, we made it out of the city in one piece and then the sky clouded over and we felt the odd drop of rain. Luckily, it held off and we pitched the tents and the run reappeared.  I spotted a coral coloured bell tent and went over to talk to the owners and have a look.


Isn’t that just lovely? Much too heavy for cycle camping but I have a hankering to try making one. Yes , I could always buy one, but where is the fun in that.

During the evening, we saw a paraglider with a small motor and a couple of hot air balloons.


Monday, 31st August 2015

About 1 am , we heard a pitter patter on the tent and very soon it became a splish splash and continued steadily for the rest of the night. Oh well, 3 out of 4 days isn’t so bad, so it didn’t matter too much  that it was a wet pack.

We set off about 8am and headed over to Easingwold, via Stillington and had a brief stop. We could have taken a slightly shorter but hillier route, but I vetoed that. So from Easingwold it was off through Raskelf, Brafferton, Cundall and Asenby. DS1 said he was enduring the ride , not enjoying it and he said he would be hopping a train in Northallerton, if the rain didn’t stop. On along through Topcliffe , and although it looked brighter in the west, the wind was freshening from the north and it continued to rain. DH asked if I wanted to get a train. NO WAY! I had started so I would finish the ride. I am a WOMAN not a wimp hehe!

So DH and I continued on , instructing DS1 to put the kettle on for hot chocolate and cake when we got home. We got home about 3pm having completed 164 miles.






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