Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 22, 2017

A bit of sewing.

Sorry folks , still know cycling. I am recovering well and can move my arm up to shoulder height and with a bit of help can get it almost straight above my head. It still hurts a bit  but is much more manageable and I have been able to do some work for my professional life.

I have been working on a couple of pieces for a local ecology group to do with an orchard. These are only small manageable pieces but I am pleased how they have turned out. I still haven’t done any binding and rather have used a backing that is mostly machine sewn.


Magpie one has a background using Brusho paint/ink that I sprayed onto damp fabric. This fabric was previously a piece of scrap fabric that I had used to take a second monoprint off from another project I will show in  a few weeks time.

The magpies were painted onto heavy weight iron on interfacing before being heavily thread painted in both cotton and rayon or poly threads. Then the back ground was  quilted in variegated threads . It is 8″x 10″.


Magpie 2 is a bit bigger at 14.5″x 15″. Again I used the interfacing to draw the magpie in flight and then coloured with Fabrico markers before thread paining. The background is much lighter, again using Brusho but painted onto damp fabric using greens and browns. I got the idea to put in dandelions from a book by Ellen Ann Eddy and the heavily quilted again to show the leaves and pebbles on the ground. Around the magpie , I echo quilted to try to show the movement  of air around the bird.

Both pieces have a cotton/poly wadding ad then I put in a piece of very heavy interfacing so that they can stand or will hang nice and flat on a wall. I am so pleased to have done these and intend to do a kingfisher next as I love the colours if these little birds.

Hopefully,  by next week I may even have had a tandem ride. Look back to see if I have. Thank you to those who have liked my blog. I love it when you leave comments




Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 15, 2017

Small wheeled bicycles

Gail at Abike4allseasons has recently acquired a Brompton and asked how I used my small wheel folder. Now , I don’t have a Brommie, I have a larger 20″ wheeled Dahon Speed TR which I purchased a few years ago. It isn’t my go to bike but I have used it a fair bit in 2016.


The things I like about it are that it has 27 gears unlike the 6 on a Brompton. This is achieved using a 9 speed derailleur mechanism and a 3 speed hub that replaces a 3 ring front mech. I like it because, if I stop and am in the wrong gear , I can use the 3 speed mech and drop down while at a standstill.

The pedals are very easily removable when I want to fold it up and while not as compact as a Brompton , it is still small enough for me to fold and put into a carry bag and get on a bus with it. I know that some people use small wheeled folders with full size panniers , I haven’t found it so easy. Not because they don’t fit, but I use them with my Koga and it’s a mess on changing them about. Mind you, DH’s front panniers fit on Speedy without any alteration so I do pinch them sometimes.

Last summer , I hurt my knee and used Speedy when I was riding after a couple of weeks rest as it is about half the weight of the Koga Randonneur. Both bicycles have steel frames which I like.

I mainly use it when I want to visit someone – I occasionally use it for home visits for my occupation – or for when I want to  make a solo trip. I usually am only away for less than a week but because I can hop on a bus or a train without having to book. Using a free OAP bus pass with local buses  makes this a very attractive option particularly getting to a start point without cycling on well known local routes.


My favourite “accessory” is a Radical Designs trailer. This is a Dutch company who make durable, well constructed trailers that track beautifully behind the bike. I have hitches on both of my bikes. The above photo shows the yellow waterproof cover. This has faded with use but is still doing its job well. It keeps the rain out along with the cordura that the trailer bag is made of. There is an option, the Chubby, that a Brompton will fit inside when folded. Useful, if you fly with your bike.

I can’t ride at present but when I do, it will be Speedy  that I start on. At present I have begun physio and did some sewing but I think I have overdone it and am experiencing quite a bit of pain. It will pass though. I just have to be patient and remember that I am 66 , not 16 that I am in my head heehee!

No miles cycled so far this year 😦





Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 2, 2017


Well, I finished these socks last night and wore them when we went for a walk.

It was a beautiful sunny day and DH suggested going for a walk. I fancied going up near Osmotherly and having a walk around the reservoir. Well , we left the Boro where it was cold but not freezing but by the time we drove up to Stokesley we were seeing slush on the road and cars coming towards us with snow in the roofs. Oh oh! We were going up via Swainby and there is a steep windy bank. Well, as we approached we could see a car trying to back down the road. DH got out to investigate  and the surface was covered with black ice. He had trouble keeping on his feet. The other guy got out of his car as he was up on the grass verge and when he got on the road , he too started to slip. He was on a bit of a slope and it almost looked as if he was surfing down the road.

Even though we had hazard warning lights turned on, an old red transit van zoomed past us. I don’t know if he got up the bank as we turned on the local road back into Swainby.

So, where to walk? We drove over to Saltburn and had a walk along the prom and then down the cliff steps to the lower prom. The fish and chip shop was doing a roaring trade with a huge queue waiting. No one was queuing at the ice cream café though. It was too cold.  I did get a photo of the pier with a lot of people on it and the beach. The tide was out but the waves were rolling in.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 1, 2017

Collarbone update

Happy New Year to you all. Lets hope we all achieve all we want to.

Just to update you. My left clavicle is healing if a bit deformed. The pain levels are much reduced and I have even been able to finish knitting some socks I started before Christmas. Its only been in the past couple of days that the mobility in my arm and hand has begun.

This coming week I go to hospital for a physio assessment. I hope to be cycling again by February , even if its on a tandem at first. So I don’t know if I will achieve 4000 miles this coming year, but I sure will try.

Have a great 1st week of the year.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 28, 2016

New Year is coming

Well, I have put in a painful week or so but am pleased to say that the pain level is diminishing and I cam move around without the bone ends crunching. That was most unpleasant but bearable.

I can’t cycle or sew yet and will be starting physiotherapy in the new year. I have felt a bit better in the past couple of days and have spent time rearranging my work schedule. Today, DH took me out in the car, as it was a beautiful sunny but frosty day. I took a few photos.

hope you like our beautiful North Yorkshire.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 18, 2016


After a lot of deep therapeutic massage , I got back on my bike this week. On Saturday , DH and I went for a ride along the Tees as I wanted to see if the fly tipping has been removed. It hasn’t.

however, I wasn’t very fast and DH was cold , so he started to push me. Something, he has done many times. he forgot that DS1 had attached another  rear view mirror to his handlebars and that intertwined and before we knew it, we were both in a pile up. it could have been worse as at least it was a fairly soft landing in grass and mud but I knew something wasn’t right. DH was ok and he untangled me from the bikes but I was in no condition to ride. this has never happened before. we started to walk but decided it was better for him to go home and get the car and pick me up. he suggested the Lidl carpark.

so I carried on walking along the river, up the ramp to Newport bridge and then to the car park. I waited and waited, no sign of him and no answer on his phone. eventually I rang home and DS1 came out for me and picked me up on Union street as I had to keep walking to stay warm. DH didn’t think I would make it that far so he had gone closer to the river and walked along as he couldn’t see me.  Turns out , in his concern to be back with me, he had left his phone in his handlebar bag , so didn’t have it.

anyway, the upshot was, I had to go to hospital and I have broken my left clavicle (collarbone) so no more riding for 4-6 weeks. YTD mileage 4150 miles.

Today Sunday, we celebrate 45 years of marriage. I have sewed him a waistcoat and bowtie.


so I might not have much to post about for the rest of the year, have a lovely Christmas season however you do or do not celebrate.




Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 11, 2016

Saltburn by the Sea

Again, not much riding this week but Saturday was dry and the sun even peeped out for a short while. It’s funny old weather though – cold and frosty one day and then the next day 10C more and the rain comes down in torrents. So make the most of each day.

We set off for Saltburn as I knew there was a Christmas market on and wanted to have a look around. Actually, all I bought was 2 scones and 2 pieces of ginger cakes spending £1.70p. There was a knitted necklace for sale at £18.00 which made me chuckle. It looked like I could have knitted in in about 10 minutes but people have to make money if they can.

While I was looking around , DH was spotted by an old Sustrans colleague C so they were having a good chat. When I joined them I told C about my solo trips this year and DH says my blog should be called psychointhesixthdecade. Haha!


We then rode around the promenade and we stopped near the cliff lift as I wanted to take a photo of Huntcliff.


I noticed that the lift was working so went to have a nosy. There was a chap dressed as an elf and apparently they were running a Santa’s grotto type of thing in one of the cars.


This is an old Victorian lift and has been beautifully restored. The power comes from water and as one car descends the other is pulled up. The black “box” is where the water enter and when filled starts  its journey to the lower promenade. I did see a Santa in the car just before it descended.

We cycled back along and stopped to picnic in the grounds of Kirthleatham Hall. I young woman with a little boy asked us if we knew where the Santa and his reindeer were? we had no idea and turns out , that event had been the previous week. I told her about the cliff lift so after the boy had played on the adventure playground , that is where they were headed. So my bit of info was of use to someone.

It did turn decidedly colder as we were headed into the wind on our return journey so I was glad we had stopped and I put on my  Paramo jacket and didn’t take it off until we got home.

On the sewing front , I have almost completed a quilt made from ” orphan” blocks donated to me. I have regarded this a ” sacrifice quilt” , as I have practiced my ruler work on it. Not fantastic  but it will keep someone warm.

Here is some of the ruler work from the front and the back.  not brilliant stitching but a learning experience.

The other is a quilt top I have just finished. It was made from a monthly instruction on the quilt show, an online quilting magazine over the past year. I will NEVER do another. It is lovely but not my style  but it has made me understand that 1. I am much more improvisational than a planner and 2. I prefer to free machine quilt.

I use ideas from Philippa Naylor’s book on appliqué for the centre. It is very loosely based on a quilt stitched  by convicts being transported to Australia on the ship Rajah. It  is half the size of the original  at about 70 inches square  .

So sewing has been going  well and my cycling is coming on YTD 4130 miles


Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 4, 2016

Dark days

tI haven’t done much cycling this week because my leg has been painful again but we did get out yesterday – all be it I was riding stoker on the tandem.

We didn’t leave until 10.30am and rode along the river towards Stockton. The mess is still on the track but I spoke to Environmental Services and it will be shifted , when resources are available. In the mean the meantime more gets added and it looks so unsightly.

However, yesterday we rode past where one of the pylons was, and hey presto  during the week, its gone. They were clearing up the last bits of it.

So from here , we rode along the north bank of the river and passed the barrage which was really busy with kayakers. Once in Stockton , we crossed the market place which was extra busy as there was Ferris wheel and a carousel which were both doing good business.

We followed our usual route out of town, up through Hartburn and then across the A66 approach roads. Its a bit tricky here , at the best of times, so we dismounted and walked across the junctions. I feel a bit vulnerable stuck out the back as we wait for the cars to pass.

Once we got near the Whinneys Nature reserve, we didn’t go through as it was too wet. So it was down the back and then back up into Middleton St George. We also avoided the old rail track and headed up to the A67. I didn’t realise there is a footpath along there which then becomes a shared path. We followed the cycle route and came to Moreton Park. I am the only person who when approaching somewhere familiar, from a different direction, tales a while to realise where they are. I had to turn around and look for the way we would normally come if in a car, to get my bearings. The route to the town centre is a bit circuitous and added on a few miles too.

I went to buy some fabric and here is the first one – a nativity scene. DH wants  waistcoat  making up in it. Sorry it isnt the right way up but you get the idea.

I also spotted this one and as we had ridden on the tandem, I couldn’t resist a bit of it too.


We hadn’t left until mid morning and by the time I had made my purchases it was already 1.30pm and the sun was beginning to drop a little. We decided to use the muddy rail track and get back in a shorter distance than the 20 miles it had taken us to get there. So by 3.30pm we were home having ridden 37 miles so that brings my YTD total to 4101 miles – don’t forget that 1.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | November 27, 2016

Storm Angus

Well we had our first of the winter storms , named Angus, and it really did bring a lot of rain. In the south of the country , there was really bad flooding but it wasn’t too bad near us. We did see some trees that came down near a beck ( stream) and you could see just how high the water came up. The rains lasted for 2 days and nights so I didn’t cycle in them but I know a man who did!! He was out with Sustrans checking a route so well done Andy.

On Thursday, it was dry and sunny but with a bit of frost to start with. Good fortune  meant that a had a few hours during the morning and early afternoon so we could go for a ride. We decided to ride to Marske by the Sea and headed off along NCN1, after calling at our chapel to drop off some stuff, and were soon in South Bank and Grangetown. After that it was along the trunk road and into Redcar. We were going to cycle along the prom but when we got there it was fully covered in sand, no doubt due to the recent storm bring it up off the beach. So we stayed on the road until we reached the other end and then got on the track into Marske. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to call on a friend so headed back along the track to Kirkleatham.


20161124_121249667_iosI took a photo of the Alms houses there and then on the news we heard that some Anglo Saxon bodies that had been excavated when the primary school was extended, were reinterred at the local church.  There is just so much history that we are unaware of. Then it was on through Eston and Normanby to home. 27 miles.

Friday, was a special day for us. My brother and I were sealed to our parents in the Preston England Temple so there was no cycling.

Saturday started with freezing fog so we didn’t leave home until 10.00am when the fog started to lift. We actually used the tandem , as my right knee has started playing up again so we only rode 11.5 miles. Actually, we used it as a way of getting some shopping and combining it with a check on the river path. The rubbish that is partly blocking it has still not been removed, I am sorry to say. We are contacting environmental services again this week.

I have had time to finish my Kaleidoscope quilt and have enjoyed the actually free machine quilting but I haven’t made it too obvious as I done want to fight with such a bright coloured quilt. Hope you can see some in the close ups.

so miles cycled this week 38.5 mls and YTD  4064.3 miles




Posted by: brendaintheboro | November 20, 2016

Goal !! 4000 miles

Looks like something went wrong with last weeks post but I was nearing my cycling goal and this week the super moon appeared on Tuesday early in the morning as I completed my 4000 mile of the year.

To say I was pleased, was a bit of an understatement. I was also very pleased because there was no rain either. As the week progressed we had more and more wintery weather with rain and frost every day. But it I the past mid November so we shouldn’t complain.

On Thursday evening DS1 and I went to the local cycle touring groups evening meeting and watched a video presentation of about 10 years ago when some of them went across to France. They were staying in chalets and went out cycling each day. The highlight for them was cycling up Mont Vonteux .

One of my goals this year was to cycle every day , but as I had passed 4000 miles , I decided I didn’t have to ride in the rain now. A few months ago, when my knee was too painful, that goal was dropped. However, on Saturday morning, we decided a ride was in order. Due to work commitments we didn’t set off until 11.00am. DS1 had been out in the car and told us that only 20 miles away, there was 4 inches of snow so a flat ride was needed. So off we went to Saltholme via the amenity  tip where I got ride of shoes I wont wear again. Fortunately, there is a charity box there, so they aren’t just dumped.

It was very cold and there was ice on the paths.

So when we went to the reserve, we went into the café and had jacket potato and beans and  hot chocolate to warm up.  I was also pleased to see there was a knit and natter session going on and one of the volunteers is knitting woodland animals and while chatting found we had a love of quilting too. I could see that DH was getting a bit edgy to be underway again so had to leave but not before showing one of the ladies how to knit continental style.

So YTD I have cycled 4025.8 miles.

DH has asked if I have a revised goal but I don’t. I will just keep cycling and see how many I achieve.




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