Tuesday, June 14, 2022

While Miz Kittling Knits: Escape to the Country

 


I am now almost halfway done with the afghan y'all chose the color for, so I'd better get myself in gear and show you the last afghan that I completed. I'm rather pleased with myself because it's the final one of my planned three Christmas afghans. It feels a bit strange-- but very liberating-- to be using yarn that isn't red or green, and I'm looking forward to more afghans and more color in the months to come. 
 
I've also completed a few small projects for the kitchen, and it looks as though I'll have to replenish my stock of scarves and cowls. Justin, the young caregiver who comes every Friday for a few hours to help Denis and me, loaded up a large white trash can liner with goodies from my stash to give as gifts to his friends and family. The look on his face made my heart smile.
 
The third Christmas afghan isn't anything earth-shattering. I used one of my go-to patterns for variegated yarn-- Garter Stripes-- and a double strand of Red Heart's "Mistletoe" on my size 13 circular needles. (By the way, if you'd like to have the Garter Stripes pattern, just leave me a comment.) 
 
Garter Stripe Christmas afghan in "Mistletoe"

 
Garter Stripe detail

Now... what was one of the programs I was watching while stitching away like crazy on this afghan? Since there's a new season available on Britbox, I thought it was time to share a program that's a top favorite of both Denis and me. I fell in love with Escape to the Country on my very first visit to the UK. I think it reminds both of us of some of our favorite places in England, Scotland, and Wales. (And the accents don't hurt either!)
 

It's a reality TV show in which someone in the UK wants to make the big move from city life to country life. They're shown three properties in their target area, two which conform to their requirements, and the third a mystery house which is a bit "outside the box." 
 
Of course, Denis and I always choose our favorite, and we usually agree on which one it is. However, our choice seldom coincides with that of the property seeker on the program-- possibly because I tend to steer away from chocolate box thatched cottages with low, heavy, concussion-inducing beams. It's also interesting to watch people when they've chosen to move to a part of the country in which they've never even visited. That often brings about a change of heart on just what those all-important requirements for their dream property are.
 
I think my all-time favorite episode so far is the one in which I actually knew the identity of the property seeker. Imagine my surprise when the writer of the Brontë Sisters historical mystery series, Bella Ellis, appeared in an episode looking for the perfect Yorkshire property for her family! 
 
Escape to the Country lets me daydream about things that will never happen-- like buying a second home in England or Scotland and what that home would be like. It's also taught me a thing or two about the differences between homes in the US and the UK, and how the UK's real estate market reacted to the pandemic. Some folks might call this program a guilty pleasure, and it certainly is a pleasure to watch. However, I refuse to feel guilty about it-- not one little whit!

16 comments:

  1. I do like that afghan, Cathy - it's very cheerful! And I've often wondered what it would be like to move out to the country like that. The closest I've ever lived to 'country' was a small city.

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    1. I think I've come a bit closer than you-- cornfields were on the other side of the street where I lived.

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  2. The afghan is so Christmasy and cheerful! I love that your caregiver is going to be blessing some of his friends and family with your handiwork. I like the sound of Escape to the Country, however, we will be staying in the city. When lived in the country for five years and realized we were really city people and preferred to have sidewalks.

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    1. I've found that I'm very adaptable. There are advantages to both. Right now, I'd love to move out in the country, but common sense tells me, with our health, it's something we simply cannot do.

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  3. Such a lovely, cheerful afghan. And it's so nice that you gave Justin all of those gifts to give out. His smile must have been a big one ear to ear. That program sounds interesting. I love to look at country houses and surroundings. But I think I'm a city person. Grew up in New York and Chicago and I've been back in the Big Apple for decades now. Nothing like petting the dogs outside and having food and everything else delivered. However, if I could look out my back windows and see mountains and a lake, and then walk out my front door into Manhattan and its people, I'd be totally satisfied. I went to college in Vermont and loved the greenery all around. But it was isolating.

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    1. I have a tendency to be a hermit, which is a good thing. I've only been off the property twice since January 27, and both times were in the last two weeks, five blocks away to my doctor's office. I've learned how to keep myself distracted if I start experiencing cabin fever, but sometimes it's not easy.

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  4. Lol! My husband and I have watched every episode of Escape to the Country we can find. Nicky hates it when the prospective buyers want enormous kitchens, and when they all seem determined to remodel perfectly good houses to suit themselves. The episode where the lady seemed to want a kitchen the size of an entire restaurant drove him nuts. Which series are you on?

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    1. I wouldn't know without going down to the other end of the house and turning on the TV, The latest one available, I think. Season 22?

      I think I know the episode that drove your husband nuts. It drove us nuts, too. I love the people who want a character property with all the quirky old features, but they also want the barn-sized open-plan kitchen with all the mod cons. Or when they say they want to live out in the middle of nowhere but when they get there, it's too scary. City folk. Gotta love 'em.

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  5. Britbox/Amazon calls it season 22, it's from 2021-22. Freevee (was imbd) has a single 25 episode season they call season 22, which is from 2014-15. No idea which of them is actually right.

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  6. I can be a hermit in NYC. I live in an apartment building with humans around and sounds of life. And I have a TV and phone and computers, so
    I can see and hear people whenever I chose. When I lived in Vermont during college for awhile, I was in an attic with no means of communication, no TV, no radio. My roommate was never there and the faculty family we lived with didn't relate to us. But in the dorms we had fun and enjoyed the woods and meadows.

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    1. Whereas I like being left alone. Going out to be with people when I'm in the mood to be with them suits me best.

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  7. Yes. And I used to go out and pet dogs and talk to their owners pre-pandemic. Now hardly anyone is out and I stay home most of the time. But I miss that bit of socializing and also talking to workers in stores was nice, too.

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    1. With my current forced isolation, I probably talk both arms off the caregiver on Fridays, poor soul.

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  8. I know what you mean. When I talk on the phone, I sound like I have had five cups of coffee as I can't stop talking, and I'm not calling many people. Forced isolation creates a lot of reactions, as we are social beings, even though some of us are hermits sometimes.

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