5 things I liked this week – 31.3.17

1.

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Image credit: Radio Times

The new Top Gear I think is better than the old Top Gear or The Grand Tour, I know that may be controversial to a certain demographic, just as admitting to having watched the old Top Gear or The Grand Tour would be controversial to another demographic (I like the travel stuff!) but, to me at least, I think the new Top Gear is better (and we’ll just forget about the Chris Evans blip). Old Top Gear used to be family viewing in this house (one of the very few things we would all watch as a family), everyone bar me watched The Grand Tour (I watched the beginning, got fed up of their even more inflated egos and stopped watching except for their Christmas special, as it was another travel one), whereas now me and K will watch the new Top Gear but the kids won’t as it’s not the old crew. Having watched some of The Grand Tour, including that Christmas special, where by the end of it, it really did not look like they were just pretending not to like each other (which doesn’t particularly make fun telly), the new line up of Top Gear is really refreshing. Matt Le Blanc is just watchable, according to this website, he is ‘worth’ $10 million more than Jeremy Clarkson (not surprising, with all those Friends rerun fees) but Le Blanc wears his riches far more comfortably, I think, than Clarkson, when Le Blanc was filmed on a very high-end motorboat and a very high-end motorcycle, he just looked like he hops onto high-end vehicles all the time, whereas Clarkson just looks like he’s more likely to buy up an entire Cotswold village. Meanwhile Chris Harris just looks like he constantly can’t believe his luck to be driving these cars and actually get paid for it (and enthusiasm and genuine love for something is always watchable) and Rory Reid is there to remind everyone that it’s not just 50-somethings that buy cars. And of course feeling far more comfortable that the new crew isn’t going to say something offensive is a lot better too!

2. I managed to hurt my foot after my Tamsin Trail walk last week but it recovered enough for me to go for another, shorter walk this week (I’m currently trying to go for at least one 5km+ walk a week plus walking more instead of taking the bus). I decided to walk up to Ham House and then, instead of turning left, like I normally do, to walk back to Kingston, which is a long walk because the river gets inconveniently bulgy there, I thought I’d turn right and walk along the river to Richmond, which I thought would be less of a walk.

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Horse near Ham House

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And the path really was surprisingly short, as pretty much as soon as I turned right I could see Richmond in the distance.

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Petersham Meadows

So by the time I got into Richmond I was like, I wanted a short walk but not that short, so when I got up onto Richmond Bridge ….

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Aforementioned bridge

I was like, well to my right is the bus stop for the bus back home but to my left, across the bridge was brand new walking territory (and I’ve only been living here 12 years) and I was like, feet be damned, I crossed the bridge and started walking back the way I came but on the opposite bank, even though I knew that the next bridge across would be a long walk

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Walking somewhere new was lovely, the path on the north of the river between Richmond Bridge and Teddington Lock isn’t always on the river and some bits that aren’t on the river (*ahem* central Twickenham) aren’t that “ooh look at the view” lovely, there were other bits that were very nice, including a bit that was like someone had secreted a posh, out of time village into south west London.

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In the end the walk did come in shorter than my Tamsin Trail walk (which, including the bits walking to and from the park was about 15km) but only by about 3km.

3. This gorgeous weather.

4. Seeing Ten Days, Six Nights.

5. My ‘craft output’ has not been as high as I’d like it to be for a while now, I just haven’t had the mojo, the Diamond Hex quilt has been great at being a low key ‘something’ to do, something which requires very little thought and I have been doing a bit of cross stitching here and there but nothing much else. It certainly felt like ages since I’ve done any embroidery (my last piece was this one) but I got hit by the urge to embroider something this week and I wasn’t going to ignore that! I felt like doing something vintage but nothing particularly inspired me in the Hoop Love pool (my favourite place for vintage embroidery patterns), so on the verge of giving up I had a desultory scroll through my embroidery pattern collection and phew, found something that I liked, Sublime Stitching’s Shy Girl & Boy. Actually, I lie a bit, I had half-heartedly scrolled through my embroidery pattern collection, had got fed up of clicking on all the .pdfs to see what the patterns actually were and had gone to have a surf on the Sublime Stitching site, I found the Shy Girl & Boy pattern, remembered I already owned it and bingo! I like the Shy Girl & Boy pattern because it has that vintage feel I was after without being twee (which had been putting me off all the other vintage patterns I was looking at).

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And I guess you can say that getting back into embroidering something has made me more aware again about how much wonderful embroidery stuff is out there and now I want to embroider them all! I particularly love these new to me patterns from Thread Folk and Lauren Merrick; Be Kind and Floral Field.

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