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Bittersweet trip of the year!

May has been nothing if not eventful!  Just so I can post a bunch of pictures, I’ll fast-forward to my 9-day trip to Jamaica.  It was a much-needed break but was nearly derailed by the explosive situation in Kingston.

There I was having a grand ol’ time in Negril with Dad when we saw the news… to everyone’s horror the Hannah Town police station was engulfed in flame.  Arson by molotov.  It was the Labour Day weekend.  Clearly the stand-off in Tivoli was at a head, so we headed back to Kingston while the heading back was good… It’s entirely possible to be road-blocked out of Kingston.

Thankfully, the situation did not tip over.  Mostly I think because civil society recognized the danger, and came together in support of the security forces’ operation to restore order.  It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t pleasant.  Life was slowly returning to normal when I left but the city is tense.  People were stocking-up like a hurricane was about to hit.  Businesses were open but closing early.  Soldiers and heavily armed police were on the roads.  All told it was a bittersweet trip.

Out of sheer luck I caught Rootz Underground playing at the Red Bones Blues Cafe in Kingston… these guys have a full touring schedule!

Sorry for the poor pic quality… my little Canon wasn’t up to it…

Here are Jeff & Colin rocking out!  The band gave an amazing set & encore for the crowd!

We stopped at Bamboo Walk on our way down to Negril… one of my favourite spots on the island!

Looking up:

My no. 1 restaurant recommendation in Negril is for:

Go in lobster season & you won’t be disappointed!  Plus, the sunsets are to die for:

The view from my room wasn’t too shoddy either:

That’s one magnificent cottonwood tree, and there are many more on property.  Here’s the same view, looking left:

Spindling this gorgeous roving by the sea was divine.  It’s a 100% Rambouillet braid from Dyed in the Wool Handmade that I got at the Knitter’s Frolic in Toronto:

I’m spinning singles in tandem on the Ray Turkish spindle shown there, and my Kundert.  Of course it wasn’t all spindling… had to swim too…

This cove was so much fun to explore – so much coral down there!

Now that the hotel is closed, we practically had the place to ourselves.  Just us & the dude who owned those white t-shirts!  This is the cave on the far side of the cove:

Two upsides of a quiet property – a) many shells for the taking; and b) “clothing optional” beach was mine for the enjoying:

I was trying not to look left over at the Hedonism II sunbathers…  The obligatory hibiscus pic (if you are me):

So happy to see all of the Poinciana trees in full bloom as we drove along the country roads:

It was lovely but I stayed close to the radio/ internet when we got back to town.  The gallivanting was officially over, and I didn’t get to see some key friends…  I’m very glad I was there (turmoil or no), and am now back feeling rested & somehow focused.


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Appreciating life

As of Saturday the Mach II spinning wheel is officially mine.  DH wasn’t into the country drive vibe, so it was a bit of a quickie trip out to the Fibre Garden in Jordan.  Unfortunately, FG is no longer a dealer for Spinolution’s wheels.  This would be under warranty but I’ll have to source any bits & bobbs elsewhere.  Now that he’s mine, I can show you The Indomitable Earl:

Check out Toby… not being cute – he was royally annoyed that I put the wheel in his morning sunshine!

Either that or he was combining his love for attention with his love of sunbathing…  Don’t you think that the words, “My name is Earl,” would look cool arcing under that logo?  I do but don’t worry, I probably won’t act on that there impulse.

The yarn on the bobbin is the Louet Shetland wool top 3-plied.  I spun the singles on the Wee Peggy spinning singles, and took advantage of Earl’s mighty bobbins for plying.

Even I am starting to get confused between all the natural white handspun/ fibres in the house.  Note to self… label!

I know that I’ve been massively silent about the finished baby blanket.  Pictures are taken, and I am sending it to my friend, today.  Pattern is still in the offing…

On Monday, I casted-on for another Anthropologie shrug.  The best I can say for attempt #1 was that it was a swatch.  A very time-intensive, handspun, itchy swatch.  Shrug #2 is way beyond that.  It’s in the ever-yummy Colinette Iona in dusk (colour 77).  It’s about time that I used that yarn… stashed it almost a year ago…  Almost a skein in:

Very relaxing.  This time I am using the border from Sandi Wisehart’s Comfort Shawl.  It really is one of my favourite borders, and I’m a happy camper.  Here’s to hoping I have a shrug before summer hits…

On Monday, I got the sad news that a friend & former co-worker passed away on Saturday.  Sharon had a long battle with cancer, and passed peacefully.  Her service was yesterday, and I was able to go.  She had worked with the firm for 25+ years.  I was lucky enough to sit beside Sharon for an entire year.  Once she decided that I wasn’t fooling around behind the partition, we became good friends.  She was a huge support to me during & after my articling, and hilarious to boot.  I hope she rests in peace.

This morning, I am just appreciating life a little bit more.