Thursday, 1 May 2014

What's The Gist Physicist?

We have just returned from our Easter week in Philadelphia, visiting one of our two sons, so perhaps a better title for this would have been Philadelphia Here I Come. Indeed, we went to see a production of this play by Brien Friel in our local Lyric Theatre earlier in the year, excellent production but not the most cheerful of plays. Brought a tear to my eye.

self and said son, a proud mother

What's the gist physicist? Penny teasing Sheldon in the Big Bang Theory which I absolutely love. Ian is physicist and we went to the Natural History Museum in New York which had a Big Bang Theory exhibition. Unfortunately for me, it was on the real big bang and not the show. If it had been the show I  might have understood  it. Hoards of little kids running around reading the boards and looking knowledgeable, I think we started at the wrong end!!

Anyhow, we had a great week in Philadelphia, catching up with the son and seeing the city. As he will be there the next couple of years, I was glad to say we loved the city. There seemed to be lots to do and everybody was very friendly. Philadelphia is just far enough south to have the courteousness that comes from the southern states, yet not so far south to have the sweltering heat. The old town was very interesting, of course we went to see the Liberty Bell. And went to the Museum of Art to see the Rocky steps, did Rocky really run up and down all those steps? I could hardly wheeze down them never mind run up them. The museum was very interesting. Lots of great art old and contemporary.

the most romantic spot in Philadelphia?

Rocky 1 and Rocky 2

There was absolutely no sewing done, but a little purchasing. I had intended to sew some Liberty hexies, but of course left it to the night before and couldn't find all the Sissix bits etc etc etc. I brought a couple of the free gifts from magazines, but frankly couldn't be bothered to sew them. Best laid plans etc etc.

I did manage to get a little fabric. My son had very kindly advance ordered it from Lark Cottons  for me and it was there when I arrived. I hadn't wanted to take too much of an advantage, didn't want such a big parcel the postman would need him to be in and sign for and  sort of thing. It worked brilliantly though, so no doubt I will be doing it again. I got some bright chevron fabric in different colour ways, some comma fabric which I loved, I  don't have much in that yellow mustard type tone. The favourite is a few half metres in Wee Wander which I adore. I ordered half metres of everything to keep it simple for my son, though I dare say he could have coped if I had ordered differing amounts! But, the fabric with the girl on the horse has a large pattern repeat, there are only two and a half girls on the horses in a half meter. A whole meter would have been better. But a bit more about learning from your experience later.

I also went to a lovely wool shop called Loop Knits. When Ian first mentioned going to Philadelphia of course I was straight online checking out the wool and fabric shops. He ordered me a kit for a cowl for Christmas and I was really pleased with it. So, I was very anxious to see the shop for myself. As any mother/wife knows, a lot of a holiday is spent doing what the general consensus of family want (no offence meant if my family read this) so I thought, this was something for me. Kathy in the shop was so lovely, very friendly and very helpful. I bought some gorgeous American wool,  hand dyed in Philadelphia , called Black Bunny Fibres, apparently a lady called Carol does this and Loop Knits is the only place she supplies apart from her online sales. This is for my other son's girlfriend, I imagine she will knit a shawl with it.

My daughter then asked would I knit her some socks, she was very taken with all the gorgeous wools and colours. So for her it is Tosh sock wool, a south African wool hand dyed in the USA. As she asked me, I thought I would take advantage of her wanting her mum to knit her something!

We then decided I  should knit something for myself, so I ended up buying some merino wool, Koigu wool, to knit myself a cardie. I was going for black or grey and decided to live dangerously and knit with colour.

Then I thought I had bought enough.

We spent the last 3 days of our trip in New York and had a great time there too. I will never tire of Central Park and we fitted in a trip to the Natural History Museum which Hazel loved and a trip to the MOMA which we all enjoyed. Now I have the High Line to love as well. Unfortunately, or luckily Hazel would say we were all too knackered to go to the promised jazz club. Everywhere we went in both cities we seemed to be followed by jazz, in the parks, the bars. I never realised America had so many second hand record shops, I think we were in all of them.

Things I love about America:
Philadelphia Cheese Steaks
Frozen Yoghurt
more frozen yoghurt
the friendliness of the people
the cleanliness of the cities
the smells of the city, roasted nuts, spring flowers etc
the sounds of the city, the jazz in the park, music from apartments etc

Things I hate about America:
the offer in the restaurant, buy 2 fillet steaks and 1 bottle of wine and get 1 steak free.
we ordered, we drank, we had to pay for the $195 bottle of wine
enough said
next time ask the price of the wine!!!
a sneaky unethical bit of marketing though

All in all a good trip, even though in security at Heathrow we were rushing between flights and one of the large party in front of us had no boarding pass, a lovely elderly man kept insisting he was going to Brisbane and yet he was flying from Brisbane to Edinburgh via Heathrow. (worried dreadfully about him, but I am sure the airport man had it in hand) and got stuck behind all the people in transit who didn't understand their duty free from other airports had to be in "sealed bags" to get through as hand luggage. Despite this and with us running we arrived with loads of time to spare and got home safely.

Now just to use the stuff I bought and not hoard it!

My books for USA were 12 Years A Slave and then some Rumpole of the Bailey short stories.
This week I hope to read Longbourne by Jo Baker, it was a gift from a good friend and comes highly recommended. It is set in Pemberley, home of Elizabeth Bennett and Darcy and is the story of below stairs.



  1. sounds as if you had a lovely trip.....such unusual fabrics and such yummy yarn!

  2. Isn't it great when you go somewhere new and find lots of new yarn and fabric shops and buy lots and lots of stuff.....I love it!
    So glad you had a lovely trip Helen,
    V xxx

  3. Oh wow, how exciting and a lovely trip. Hey I love your fabric and yarn shopping :) x


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