A Large Incinerator on the Edge of the Cotswolds

Haresfield Beacon

The Cotswolds is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) designated by the British government as an area that is to be conserved. Most of the Cotswolds is in Gloucestershire, under the control of the Gloucestershire County Council. That council decided to build a large incinerator, to process up to 190,000 tonnes of municipal, commercial and industrial waste per year, on the western edge of the Cotswolds, four miles from where I live, two miles … Continue reading

Fragrance-free Flights Please!

People packed together for a 10 hour flight in Business Class, which has a lot more room than economy

A fragrance-free flight would be impossible. How could you stop people from wearing perfume or aftershave, using scented soaps, body washes and hair products, or washing their clothes in strongly scented laundry products? You couldn’t. If someone is sensitive to synthetic fragrances, being on a plane is difficult. But several airlines have made an already bad situation much worse by spraying “signature scents” in their airplane cabins. This leaves us travelers sitting in a chemical … Continue reading

Daily Photo of the Cotswolds in 2014

Yew trees in Painswick Churchyard in October.

Near the end of 2013 I decided to take a photo each day for a year. We had been living in England for 3½ years and I wanted to get an accurate idea of the weather. I thought a photo every day with a note about the weather would let me see how many days with sun we get each year. It was an interesting time to start this project because a storm system was … Continue reading

Fragrance-free Vacation Rentals Please!

Scented Laundry Soap

We have been sold a false image of fragrance. Manufacturers tell us it is like a spring day, fresh flowers, lemon scented, but nothing about fragrances used in most personal and household products is natural. These are synthetic fragrances, full of chemicals that produce the smell, others that make sure the smell lasts and others that do who-knows-what. Fragrance is added to the obvious – perfume, aftershave, air freshener – and the not-so-obvious – soap, … Continue reading

French Kitchen Linens

French Tea Towels

Kitchen linens – tea towels, table napkins, table cloths – are my favorite thing to buy when traveling in France! They are beautiful, useful and easy to pack. They give me delight when I use them at home and they remind me of our trips. In France you will find shops devoted to household linens in most towns. Look for the window display of towels and linens or for the rack of tea towels hanging … Continue reading

Four Years in England

Pauline and Steve

Four years ago today we flew from Denver to Heathrow with our cat and a lot of luggage, intending to spend five months in a cottage in the Cotswolds. Four years later we are still here with no plans to leave, but we have not made the decision to stay either. As each year goes by, my memory of our life in the US fades. We returned to the US each of the first two … Continue reading

Summer is Around the Corner

Walking into Stroud

This winter was cold and wet, and seemed to go on forever. The storms started in December, just before Christmas and continued until the end of February. It seemed like it would never stop raining. There was bad flooding in areas near us, but not in our area this time. The main effect of the storms for us was that it kept us off the muddy footpaths and instead we walked on the lanes through … Continue reading

Knitted Log Cabin Rug

Small Log Cabin Rug

This was a quick project to make a floor mat with THICK wool and big needles. The mat measures 20 inches square. I am using it in a small spot in front of the sink in the bathroom. Using the log cabin technique, you can make it any size you want. Yarn: Brown Sheep Burly Spun, 100% wool, 8oz (226 gm) – 1 ball oatmeal, 1 ball wild oak Needles: 9mm (US 13) Notes: All … Continue reading

My Knitted Red Log Cabin Blanket

Knitted Red Blanket

After I finished my first knitted log cabin blanket, I started another version. This time I used DK wool instead of Aran. I took my ideas from Mason-Dixon Knitting Flying Geese Blanket. This blanket was very easy to make. Because it is done in garter stitch, where you knit every row, it goes quickly. Here is the finished blanket (which needs blocking, but I didn’t bother). It looks a bit like a flag, but I … Continue reading