Blue and yellow bikes of all sizes, along with colour coordinated banners and strings of bunting, have been popping up across the town in readiness for Stage 3 of this. I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of cycling, doing it, driving round it or watching it, but the race is passing the end of our road and, well, large numbers of fit men in lycra might have some appeal.
The cherry blossom on the tree in the front garden finally put in an appearance.
Shortly followed by a bitterly cold wind and fall of snow. No wonder I'm dreaming of dumplings.
I visited our local university the other evening. There have been quite a few changes to the campus since I worked there, not least this new gold building, The Curve. In a town that has had more than its fair share of knock backs over the years, it's good to see signs of significant investment at long last. (We're also getting a vegetarian/vegan restaurant. Who'da thought.)
The reason for the visit was to attend an event as part of World Book Night, with crime writer Helen Cadbury talking about her novels (I haven't read them but they're now on the list) and the process of writing and getting published. From what I could gather, there are no easy shortcuts to either. The evening ended with the library service dishing out free books and bags to everyone, both of which were most welcome.
The new addition to the book pile will have to wait a little while (and, of course, once I've read it I'll be passing it on) as a re-read, To Kill A Mockingbird, is currently on the go. This is an old favourite and oh, so very very good. And also the reason the dog here is called Boo (full moniker on high days and holidays only).
I'd be the first to admit I'm no crafter (and so in awe of my favourite bloggers who sew quilts, knit socks, produce their own soaps, crochet baskets, make dresses out of pillowcases for charity and bake gravity defying cakes). A lot of my forays into crafts of various sorts have resulted in me being (politely) asked to leave in the interests of safety or in some sad looking item being deposited in the bin and I can't even guess the number of times my crafting ventures have left me requiring first aid.
One of the items I brought from my late aunt's house was a little wooden stool. She'd had it for as long as I can remember, probably going back to the days she was still living at home with my gran. It was in a sad state, with a grey coloured mock fur glued to the seat, but a coat of white paint (yes, there are the trademark drips), some padding and a new cover has improved it a tad. It's now waiting for the littlest to perfect the art of sitting.
The renovation involved the purchase of an upholstery stapler. The Boy, who was roped in to help hold the fabric taut, demanded control of stapling just as I was getting into the swing, with accusations of highly dangerous practice and muttering something about fingers coming far too close to being stapled to wood. Honestly, some people. Sheesh.
A knitted cardigan proved slightly less challenging, although it took four attempts to knit the button band before the penny dropped that it was the pattern at fault rather than yours truly.
Finally, I've become a member of the Yellow Waterproof Jacket Owners club.
So, apparently, has someone else.