Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

Another Jigsaw Puzzle Finished June 15, 2018

IMG_1973  A work in progress 1000 pieces Shakespeare’s Britain



IMG_2152  Completed puzzle – very enjoyable to do, the pieces were of excellent quality, however one needed super duper eyesight to read place names etc – I no longer have super duper eyesight





Keeping An Eye On Russia June 15, 2017

Filed under: Climate Change,Geography,Military Activity,Norway,Russia — Janet @ 5:56 pm

Norway in the news – on the front page of the New York Times yesterday there was an article about a surge in demand for electricity in the far north of Norway.  Specifically on the Norwegian island of Vardo, which is within sight of Russia’s expanding fleet of nuclear submarines armed with ballistic missiles.   The extra electricity is needed to power a radar system to keep track of this increase in Russian military activity  in that part of the world, the Barents Sea.  Russia has increased its activity there as climate change is happening and new shipping routes are opening between Asia and Europe.  There are also prospects of new finds of oil and gas resources.  President Putin has his eye on this joint American-Norwegian funded radar project!

For generations Vardo was sustained by the fishing industry but that industry has mostly collapsed and the population of Vardo has shrunk accordingly.  But now there’s renewed hope for Vardo.



Map Of Somerset September 13, 2016

Filed under: Ancestors,Cathedrals,Dorchester,England,Festivals,Geography,Maps — Janet @ 9:34 pm

somerset     My latest genealogy research has me wondering about Somerset – a part of England that is not very familiar to me.   Ancestors in the 16th and 15th centuries lived in Barton St David.  Looking at the map I see Glastonbury and Wells.  Ah, I’ve been there once years ago en route to Dorchester in Dorset.  We weren’t quite certain of the route and a very impatient speeding and rude driver nearly slammed into us at one of the roundabouts.  I would have liked to stop in Glastonbury but that experience put me off and we just kept going.  Pity, what I did see of it looked lovely.

That memory aside I looked up Barton St David in Wikipedia and found the following entry

“Barton St David was the birthplace of Henry Adams (1583–1646), who, after their marriage in nearby Charlton Mackrell, emigrated with his wife Edith and nine children to the new colonies in Massachusetts. He was the great-great-grandfather of John Adams, the first Vice President and second President of the United States. He was the great-great-great-grandfather of John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States. There is a plaque in the parish church which commemorates this link between the village and the United States.”

Reading the above, now I have even more reason to explore Glastonbury and nearby Barton St. David.  My link to the famous Adams family is remote at best but it would still be a good excuse to visit that part of England.




Early Map Of Massachusetts Bay July 28, 2016

map Mass Bay 1630-1640    Early map to help keep things straight for my collection of early immigrants


Beautiful College Campuses September 13, 2011

Filed under: Architecture,Geography,Houses,Knitting — Janet @ 12:52 am

I started the day with a review of 14 college campuses.  These campuses were highlighted by MSN.  I didn’t get beyond campus no. 7 – yes you can guess – it was Middlebury College, Middlebury Vermont.  I perused numerous photos of the campus and activities related to Middlebury.  Then I just happened to find a couple of my old photos from 50+ years ago.

  my Aunt Libby, my cousin Betsy (class of 1960 to be), the proud graduate Class of 1958, my mother,  my sister-in-law Lil.  My brother Bob must have taken the photo

And then I carried on looking at the list of 14.  Much to my surprise I found Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois. 

  a photo from the internet, Deering Library, Northwestern University     I spent many hours in that library but my eyes were blind to the architectural beauty of that building.  The Northwestern campus was so different from Middlebury.  I can only appreciate it in retrospect.

And more recently I have been admiring the beauty of the buildings on the University of Washington campus here in Seattle.

  the scale of the buildings on the UW campus is so huge – my photo can’t do justice.  This photo was taken on a lovely evening in May of this year.

I don’t know if UW made it to the list of 14 – I stopped at Northwestern and now that list seems to have vanished from the MSN selection.

A footnote to my comment about Northwestern – I attended 1958-59 and lived in a private house on Sheridan Road.  I was within easy walking distance of the the campus and particularly the building where the Geography Department was located and Deering Library was not far beyond that.  The campus extended much further north along the shores of Lake Michigan and I didn’t wander in that direction often enough to have any memory of it.  Quite by chance I was talking just a couple of days ago about that house on Sheridan Road.  I’m told it’s still a private house – my source of information is Franklin (of The Panopticon blog) with whom I did a couple of knitting workshops.  Franklin used to work not far from that very house but when I was living there Franklin hadn’t even been born.


Learning About Canada August 1, 2011

Filed under: Canada,Geography — Janet @ 7:18 pm

As readers know I have recently returned from a trip to Victoria British Columbia.  Just a short  2 3/4 hour trip  by catamaran, the Victoria Clipper, across the Straits of Juan de Fuca.  We had been once before 7 years ago at Christmas time.  A wonderful trip then, and a wonderful trip again this time.

Canada is our near neighbour but really I know very little about its geography and politics and history.  I think my first awareness that there was such a place as Canada came in third grade where the required reading was Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling – Miss Sawyer was our teacher.  It was a beautiful book, published in 1941, so my third grade required reading followed not too long after it was published.  I can still find this book on Amazon today – I asked for it recently in Magus Books here in Seattle.  I was told that they often have it but not at the moment.  The illustrations were memorable – moreso maybe than the text.  But we read it all year – that wasn’t so satisfactory.  I finished it well ahead of the posse and wanted to skip on to something else.

here it is, still with the dust jacket as I remember it.  The story is about a little canoe that makes its way through the Great Lakes.

image from Amazon,

At my Early Music Workshop down in Tacoma at the University of Puget Sound, there were 10 people who had come south from Kelowna B.C.  Where was Kelowna?  I had never heard of it before.  One of the bellmen at the Chateau Victoria where we stayed in Victoria said he was a college student at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George.  Where was that – I had never heard of it before.  I have a high school friend who has lived in Vanderhoof for many years – at last I bought a map of B.C. to get some idea of where these places are.  For some years now I have been reading the blog of sockladyspins – I know she lives “up there” somewhere and I really enjoy her tales of seeing bears practically on her doorstep.   Then there is “Kristie in BC” – she is in Kamloops North of 49 – the 49 being the 49th parallel, the boundary between the U.S. and Canada.  Kamloops, a point on the map when we have flown between Dublin and Seattle.

Then there is one of my Dublin friends whose daughter has a home on Vancouver Island – now I will have to find out more exactly where.  And our nephew and his family who live in Victoria and  have their cabin on Lake Cowichan.  Again a search of my new map – I now have a better idea. Friends in Edmonton, a great niece-in-law who used to live in Campbell River and now lives in Calgary, a brother-in-law and an Online Guild textile friend in Winnipeg, a friend from Berkeley days who grew up in Saskatoon, a visit a few years ago to Toronto where one of our sons and his wife were living, a post-college trip to Montreal.  Well, I think I have just scratched the surface and there is so much more to learn and do.   I’m just eager to take another trip and go further afield to visit these places in real time and not just on the internet and the map.


Geography Lesson June 24, 2011

Filed under: Geography,Seasons — Janet @ 4:53 am

Now that we have passed the Solstice and the days will soon start to get shorter, I am curious as to the differences between here and Dublin.  It is getting dark around 9 p.m. here now – in Dublin in late June and early July one is able to play tennis until after 10 p.m., maybe even as late as 10:30.  Not so here in Seattle it is dark earlier.  So what are the sunrise times?  I’m not so good on those.  According to this website sunrise in Seattle today June 23 was at 5:12 a.m. and sunset was at 9:11 p.m.    In Dublin today sunrise was at 4:57 a.m. and sunset at 9:57 p.m.  I had sort of thought that Dublin and Seattle were similar in latitude but no, Dublin is positioned about 6 degrees further North.  Hence the longer hours of daylight at this time of year.  According to this website I am located at approximately 47 degrees 41 minutes North.  Dublin (Wicklow)  is located at 53 degrees 4 minutes North.

I have rather mixed feelings about the longer hours of daylight.  On the one hand I love it – particularly the long evenings.  On the other hand, it makes me miss the lawn bowling and the tennis that one play in the long evenings in Dublin.  And with so much daylight I feel I should make the most of that time, both in the early morning and in the evening.  Sort of compulsive behaviour I admit.  When we have lived nearer the equator there was a sameness in the length of the days and we missed the seasonal swings.   I don’t think I would like to live much further North than what I have been used to in Ireland.  And Seattle is more similar to what I grew up with in Boston.


The Lure of the Sea June 20, 2011

Filed under: Geography,Norway,Norwegian language,Scenery — Janet @ 2:39 am

Join me on a voyage up the coast of Norway.  It’s all being shown live and it is so interesting.  The ship is now in the Lofoten Islands, wending its way ever North.  This is a cruise that my sister invited me to go on this coming September.  Well, if I were to go – and I would certainly like to – this live video is certainly whetting my appetite.  Here are several images I found on the internet.


Reviewing some of my books April 10, 2011

Filed under: Book buying and selling,Books,Geography — Janet @ 8:33 pm

Just going along sorting through my books and pulling out more volumes to pass along to the Buzzard, or Ophelia’s Books, or Magus, or Mark at Fremont Market, or the Seattle Public Library Book Sale.  I’ve been doing well this past week and have managed to shift quite a few books, one way or another.  Still hardly a dent in the total.   Here’s a book I found this morning.  You can guess why I liked this dust jacket.  This particular edition was published in 1979.  But the stories it contains were originally published in the 1930’s.

And here are some of my books lined up in our hallway.  

  just a few of the 300+ books ready to go.

Another statistic – on my side bar you might note the number of flags representing countries which have visited my blog.  Next to the flag is the number of times visited by a reader from that particular country.   Visitors from 167 different countries have visited my blog.  Yet I’m told I have 230 flags – I don’t quite understand that discrepancy.   For a long time I had only been visited once by a reader from 9 individual countries.  I now see that that number has been reduced to 8.  I want to figure out which country has leapt to 2 or maybe higher?  And which are the countries from which I receive so little traffic?  I receive the most traffic from readers in the U.S., followed by Great Britain, and Canada.


Language and Geography Lessons April 9, 2011

Filed under: Geography,Language study,Norwegian language — Janet @ 5:33 am

My Norwegian language classes have started up again – I was a beginner for the Autumn term, then our whole class was promoted to no longer being beginners for the Winter term, and now we have the Spring term.  I’m not sure what we are called now – maybe continuing learners – or collectively we are called “norskis”.    Most of my classmates seem to have known each other for a long time and it seems like a bit of a social club – as my Irish class became over the years. 

 During the break our teacher went on holiday to Guatemala and Columbia – Central and South America.  A part of the world I know very little about.  But now I am trying to learn about it via the Norwegian language.  Hmm.  The parts of the lesson that are in English I can understand, the parts in Norwegian I can sort of get the meaning, the parts where we have to translate from English to Norwegian are laboriously difficult.

  Map showing both Guatemala and Columbia – very far south from Seattle.  Guatemala in fact lies on the equator and Columbia lies even further south and east.