Mrs Gran E. S. Quare

Mrs Grann E.S. Quare goes 50m under.

Yes Mrs Grann has been on her hols and has a story or two to tell. After thinking about it we have decided to tell you about the trip to the Marble Arch Caves and surrounding geo park. We were going to tell you about Mrs Grann E.S. Quare surfing but after an incident with a crocheted bikini we have put that off untill Mrs Grann has recovered and can bring herself to talk about it (the less said about that the better, for now)!!! We hired out a cabin by a river for a few days and invited Grann to come along (no persuasion needed, as it was free for her). On the Monday morning we set off for the Marble Arch Caves for an 11 am tour around them. Mrs Grann had a great time, we all did. Unfortunately the boat part of the tour was not available for our tour so we had to walk it.

The Marble Arch Caves were spectacular and amazing as the photos will show (I hope). We had to walk down 150 steps to start our tour (and 150 back up at the end of it). Because of this, visiting the caves is not for everyone. We did not get the chance to take photos of Grann in the caves as we were on a time scale and did not want to hold the rest of the tour up, because there were features in the caves that were only lit up when all the tour were together. On coming out of the visitors center I forgot to take photos of Grann outside (silly me). We had a great day in the caves. There were lots of features not just stalactites and stalagmites. I do not think that the photos do it justice. At one stage of the tour we stopped in a big cave and told to look up, the guide said we had reached the deepest part of the walk which was 50 meters below the cafe above. It did not feel that we had gone that far down, but there you go. Things that you do not notice when you are enjoying yourself.

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I must be getting on a bit because when the tour guide introduced himself I thought he cannot be long out of school. The daughter thought he was cute. I am getting to old for that stuff (are you). Is it just me?  After the tour we went into the presentation room for a short film about the history of the caves and how they were discovered. This is where our trip hit a bit of a snag. When we went in we wondered why so many of the other people in the room were looking at us (we put it down to the fact that it was near the end)!! Too our surprise it was not in English but German. Shortly after that we left. There was a big group of German tourists visiting that day (2 – 3 coach loads) so they had arranged to show it German. We will have to go again to see it. There is a lot more to see other than the caves and a lot to do as well. Still it was a great day and Grann loved it.

It was also a great day as it got us out of the wife’s hair, which meant she could sit by the water’s edge and crochet to her heart’s content. I must at this point thank the people at the wool mill in the area for not keeping there signs up to date, because try as we might (yes I did try) we could not find it. Unfortunately we loved it that much we are going again later in the year. I think this time we will find it (better get saving for the yarn, it is going to cost). This would be a good holiday for you I think, because 1 – you get your other half out of your hair and 2 – you get lots of free time to crochet of course. What could be better? Right!!

While we were there she made a new Jute Bag Cover which of course has turned into a free pattern Blue Blocks Jute Bag Cover

Jute bag finished 1

What more can I say, just keep on crocheting. Till next time.

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