Granny Square

Mrs Grann E. S. Quare is off again

Many people think because Belfast is the capital city of Northern Ireland it has always been the center of power and commerce etc,. It has not always been so. When Grann learned about this she went off to explore and find the truth. (just like Miss Marple in an Agatha Christie novel). Where did she go? I hear you ask.  It was a place not to far from were we live and that is Dungannon which now has a big visitors centre and viewing tower which gives you great views of the area and shows you the remains of old buildings and the history of Dungannon.

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All did not go to plan (it never does with Grann!!). You will see in the photos all that is still left of the great buildings Just a few towers and try as she might she could not force the lock or get through the railings to get inside of whats left for a good old nosy (health and safety whats that?). It was no surprise to me that the security guards kept an eye on Grann. It is a good job that I am there to try to keep her out of trouble. In the end I had to pull Mrs Grann E.S. Quare away with the promise of tea and something to eat (always does the trick). It was a nice sunny day and we all enjoyed our visit. We did not have time to look at the museum today,  we will be back.

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The history which Grann learned on the day of our visit to Dungannon was it was the home of the Red Hand of Ulster – the walled town of Dungannon on the hill was the strong hold of the ‘O’Neill’ clan which ruled large parts of Ulster from the 13th to the late 16th century until the English gained control of Ireland, Hugh O’Neill had built a castle here but burnt it so the English couldn’t use it.

In 1602 Dungannon was captured by Lord Mountjoy and in 1603 Hugh O’Neill, The Earl of Tyrone was regranted his lands and castle. He fell out with the Crown and in September 1607 after the nine years war, fled through counties Fermanagh and Donegal for Spain hoping for support to recapture Ireland from the Protestant planters but ending up in Rome under the protection of Pope Paul V.

This was the end of the O’Neills reign in Ireland. In 1610 during the “Plantation of Ulster” Dungannon was granted to Arthur Chichester who built a new castle that was briefly seized by Phelim O’Neill in 1641 and 1646 before being rebuilt in 1689. In 1692 the site was sold to Thomas Knox (later Knox-Hannyngton) who built a “gentleman’s residence” around 1790 but was abandoned in 1856. The two towers you see today are all that remains of this building. Now this is the place Mrs Grann E.S. Quaire went to investigate. If you look on YouTube you will be able to find a program when the Time Team visited and did what they normally do.

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Now to change the subject and bring you a bit more about crocheting or should that be yarn. We (the wife and I) leaving Mrs Grann E.S. Quare at home went shopping for tiles. Did we come back with tiles? No we came back with four balls of yarn instead!! Four balls of Giga cotton four ply no less (got off lightly) to help the wife plan a new set of graphs an idea she has been thinking of for sometime (watch this space).

I should have known when she said she had come across a new wool shop in town (Love Wool in Portadown), and we can call in while we are there that we would be spending sometime in this new shop. Anyway while there and the wife was admiring all the lovely yarn one of the conversations I over heard reminded me of a previous blog I had written about the secret stash you all seem to have and I quote ” I am not buying any more yarn untill I use all the yarn under my bed” (reminds me of what my wife says on a regularly basis). Just be careful what and were you say things you never know who is listening.

Keep on crocheting, keep up the good work.

Canada’s Birthday (and Rachel’s too)

This weekend Mrs Grann E. S. Quare is helping to celebrate two birthdays. The first one is in our home the 21st birthday of our daughter Rachel. Yes the banners are up!! So that every one knows that Rachel is 21. Like most of us at that age she is a little embarrassed, but likes the fact that we care and remembered. We will be out later with family and friends to make a fuss of Rachel. I am sure Mrs Grann E. S Quare will be in the middle of it.

Rachel Ballydougan Mrs G S Quare

To think that twenty-one years age my wife gave birth to our wonderful daughter. Where has all the time gone? What were you doing twenty-one years ago? Were you even born then? Lots of thing have changed in those years. I have not got any taller, but I have got a little bigger around the middle. I also know that a lot of you out there have been crocheting for all those years. Go on tell us how long have you been crocheting? Do you still have the first thing you crocheted? Do you remember what you crocheted? Was it a granny square? Most people start there, or are you a bit different and started with something else. As for Grann she was in the thick of the action at the meal for the birthday girl!! Grann enjoyed her meal of roast chicken breast on a bed of mashed potatoes with seasonal veg and thick onion gravy (left nothing). Followed by the birthday cake , not a small piece but a great big chocolate fudge cake. We ordered a cake for ten, but after everyone got a piece (served with ice-cream) there was enough for about twenty more servings. What are we going to do with it??

Cake Mrs G S Quare

Then it was on to opening the presents, which of course Grann was in the middle of (you would think it was her birthday). I forgot to mention the fact that the owner of the restaurant sang happy birthday to Rachel the birthday girl. This did embarrass her a little (but that is what parents are supposed to do right?).

Pandora Mrs G S Quare

The second is the 150th birthday of Canada. 1st July is Canada Day, the national day of Canada, celebrating the anniversary of the British North America Act, an important step on the road to Canada as we know it today. This year marks the 150th anniversary, If you’re wondering why we should celebrate Canada then just imagine what your life would be like without the likes of Shania Twain, William Shatner, Pamela Anderson and, erm, Justin Bieber…According to the 2017 World Happiness Report, Canada is the 7th happiest country in the world. Canada has the most doughnut shops in the world per capita. Maybe this is why they are so happy? Over 200,000 pancakes are served during the Calgary Stampede. Perfect to go with all of the pure Canadian maple syrup, after all, Quebec is the top producer of maple syrup in the world. Did you know that? Mrs Grann E.S. Quare has visited Canada a few years ago now and loved it. Well I think that is enough of Grann’s adventures for now. there will be more on another blog (if you want it). Keep on crocheting.

Canada Day Mrs G S Quares

Mrs Grann E S quare goes to Narnia (Belfast)!!!!

When Grann said she was going on a trip, I was not that bothered about going untill she said she was off to Narnia. That defiantly got my curiosity and interest going. What! Where did you say (the ears these days can miss hearing things). Getting on a bit you see. I said I am off to see Jack (C.S. Lewis to none locals) in Narnia. Have you got the wardrobe then?? No we are going in the car to Belfast. Belfast is not that magical to me, but to smaller eyes at certain times of the year it can be.

We arrived in Belfast early afternoon and parked up close to C.S. Lewis square When I say we I mean me, Grann, Ginger (the blanket thief) and the wife (who did not need much persuading after the mention of cappuccino and ice-cream). It was a nice sunny afternoon which was a nice surprise in its self. As Grann can get a bit excited when she goes out (she does not get out that much these days), there was no time for sitting around so off we went to explore. The first thing we saw was the big man himself (Aslan), keeping a watchful eye over all the visitors.

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For those of you may not know Grann much, she is one of those people who does not go looking for trouble, but trouble always finds her. After warning her about who to trust and who not to trust, also warning about the turkish delight Grann went on ahead. Around the corner she went and bumped into Mr and Mrs Beaver, when we caught up Grann insisted that we take a photo of her with them both. The smile on her face was like a Cheshire cats grin. So far so good I thought, Grann was managing to stay out of trouble (a first for her), but the day was not over yet. On she went right into trouble!!

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The next time we saw her Grann was eating from the palm of somebody’s hand none other than the Snow Queen (curse the pull of Turkish Delight). Grann had just ignored all we said, she does act like a child.

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We ran to her rescue to no avail, it was too late she had been thrown to the wolves. The next thing we saw was Mrs Grann E. S. Quare flying through the air towards the open mouth of the wolf. To find out what happened to Mrs Grann E. S. Quare read the next blog!! (cliff hanger).

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Now on to my next topic?? Only joking. As the picture shows Grann ended up in the mouth of the wolf, what could we do? We started waving our arms about and shouting (we looked a pair of eejits). This was part of the plan, to distract the wolf so Mr Tumnus could rescue her. It worked despite our best efforts. All ends happily as in most stories. We had a great time at C.S. Lewis square – a nice place to visit. There was a coach load of tourist visited while we were there.  If you are ever in Belfast why not call in?

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Mrs Grann E. S. Quare goes traveling

Yes you heard me right Mrs Grann E. S. Quare goes traveling or should I say where is the most interesting or strangest place your crocheting has been? You are going to see some of the places that Grann has been with me these last few weeks. You will also hear over the next few months about some of her exploits and about some of the funny or strange places she has been.  Do you take your crocheting with you? Has it been by the pool?, or on a stunning beach? (please let us all know).

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I have been thinking about this for a few months now, about writing something different to hopefully keep you all reading and looking at the blog. To give you something that is out of the ordinary to think about, so you don’t get bored with some of my blog posts. I heard recently on Facebook or was it a craft channel ( I cannot remember), to always have a crochet hook or two with you just in case an opportunity arises to crochet. I thought wait a minute, what planet is she on? Why?, because I know of lots of crocheters who would never leave the house without the latest project or THE CROCHETING BAG.

I don’t need much room for Mrs Grann, she fits nicely into a pocket or bag and can go anywhere.

Where has Mrs Grann E.S. Quare been recently? Mrs Grann has been on her holidays to beautiful Donegal in the south of Ireland. Which she thought was very strange, because we had to go north from where we are in Northern Ireland to get to the south of Ireland  (only in Ireland). The photos show Grann on the beaches on top of mountains or hills. She also visited the site of a Wellington Bomber crash but it was too windy  for her to get out of her mode of transport (my bag). Which left her thinking are we wise??  You have to go to these out of way places for the spectacular views. One of the places Grann visited is a place called Malin were part of Star Wars VIII was filmed, with more being filmed later this year. It is a lovely place as you can see from the photos.

Summer is on its way, the weather is getting better and the sun is coming out. It is time to get outside and take your crocheting with you. I hope your tension is always right and you get as much praise and appreciation as you deserve.

Hopefully there will be more photos of Mrs Grann E S Quare soon (she has even got her own heading on the pages for you to go straight to so see where she has been).

Before I go I better mention the wife did of course take at least one crochet project with her on our holidays to Donegal (notice I said at least 1, I think there was 3 that came with us).  Anyway as some of you know and have been waiting patiently for our return and to get back into routine the Art Nouveau project is now in full swing.  The pattern for the Iris cushion is now on sale and she is busy crocheting the Tulip, she has made a page under patterns to keep you all up to date when the next block is done.  Art Nouveau Project

I think that is all for now, hope you are all having wonderful weather as what we are having.

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