Janet’s thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

The Ramblers Countryside Companion April 18, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janet @ 3:29 pm


More genealogy and hops.

Originally posted on Locksands Life:

I’m a very lucky boy at Christmas. As we reach February, I am still able to comment on presents I received back in December. This one is a book with the title I have also given this post.


The book is new but it has a period feel to it because it is a reprint of a book from more than 80 years ago.


Of course, back in the 1930s rambling was the thing to do. It was healthy. It got you out in the fresh air and away from the grime of the city. And a book could point out interesting things and events to see and suggest areas to go to for a ramble.

I was taken by a section on hops and hopping. Hops, of course, are used to flavour bitter beer. For me, Kent is the home of the hop although my wife, brought up for…

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Hop Picking

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janet @ 3:27 pm


An example of using a postcard to try to trace lost relatives.

Originally posted on Locksands Life:

By tradition, perhaps mostly of twentieth century origin, hop picking is associated with Kent. But it was once more widespread and certainly in the Worcester area a phrase lingered on. My wife lived in Worcester as a child in the 1950s and recalls that good autumnal weather was described as ‘proper ‘op picking’.

My own relatives in Sussex were certainly involved in the hop business around Uckfield into the twentieth century and a family postcard shows hop pickers at that small Sussex town.


I can bet there are family members amongst the folk in that card, but sadly, I have no names and can’t identify any.The photo dates from the nineteenth century. I know my great grandfather was deemed to be an expert hop dryer so he probably wouldn’t have picked. But surely others, in the labouring classes, would have done. And my ancestors and relatives were virtually all agricultural…

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Silhouette April 17, 2015

Filed under: ETSY,Handcrafts,Handwork — Janet @ 8:29 pm

IMG_6364  Does this inspire you to write a poem?  or do a drawing? or a painting? or create a sculpture?

I feel creative – I just bought some shares in ETSY.  Good luck to all my friends who sell their creations through this company.


Stamp Collecting

Filed under: Norway,Stamp collecting — Janet @ 6:20 pm

Norwegian Stamps  A set of Norwegian stamps I recently ordered on Ebay.   Every so often I go back to a hobby I’ve had for a long long time.  My latest foray was prompted by a discussion in my Norwegian language class.  We were talking about the upcoming celebrations of the signing of the Norwegian Constitution or Norwegian Independence Day.  On 17th May 1814, the Norwegian Constitution was signed at Eidsvoll and Norway became a separate kingdom.  Separate from Denmark and Sweden.  Syttende Mai.         1918812_174808520970_1123504_n   In 1905 Norway became an independent country in its own right.  That set me to wondering, what postage stamps were used in Norway as it transitioned from being a kingdom to being a fully independent country in 1905.   One of the very real practical transitions implicit in the fact of gaining independence.

According to Wikipedia:

The Constitution of Norway was signed at Eidsvoll on May 17 in the year 1814. The constitution declared Norway to be an independent kingdom in an attempt to avoid being ceded to Sweden after Denmark–Norway‘s devastating defeat in the Napoleonic Wars.

The celebration of this day began spontaneously among students and others from early on. However, Norway was at that time in a union with Sweden (following theConvention of Moss in August 1814) and for some years the King of Sweden and Norway was reluctant to allow the celebrations. For a few years during the 1820s, KingKarl Johan actually banned it, believing that celebrations like this were in fact a kind of protest and disregard — even revolt — against the union.[1] The king’s attitude changed after the Battle of the Square in 1829, an incident which resulted in such a commotion that the king had to allow commemorations on the day. It was, however, not until 1833 that public addresses were held, and official celebration was initiated near the monument of former government minister Christian Krohg, who had spent much of his political life curbing the personal power of the monarch. The address was held by Henrik Wergeland, thoroughly witnessed and accounted for by an informant dispatched by the king himself.

After 1864 the day became more established when the first children’s parade was launched in Christiania, at first consisting only of boys. This initiative was taken byBjørnstjerne Bjørnson, although Wergeland made the first known children’s parade at Eidsvoll around 1820. It was only in 1899 that girls were allowed to join in the parade for the first time.

By historical coincidence, the Second World War ended in Norway nine days before that year’s Constitution Day, on May 8, 1945, when the occupying German forces surrendered. Even if The Liberation Day is an official flag day in Norway, the day is not an official holiday and is not widely celebrated. Instead, a new and broader meaning has been added to the celebration of Norwegian Constitution Day on May 17.[citation needed]

The day focused originally on the Norwegian constitution, but after 1905, the focus has been directed also towards the royal family.




Filed under: Cats — Janet @ 4:57 pm





Performing in the Albert Hall April 16, 2015

Filed under: Folk dancing,Folklore — Janet @ 1:34 pm


Morris Dancing has always fascinated me. I like all folk dancing but Morris dancing especially. Old England an atmosphere of Thomas Hardy in Dorset or Constable in Ipswich.

Originally posted on Locksands Life:

Yes, I have been part of a performance in the Albert Hall. It must have been about 1959 and my junior school were invited to have a dance troupe to perform in the interval of an English Folk Dance and Song Society concert.  I was involved in a sword dance which, from our school was an all-male affair. The local press photographer came to the school to take a photo of us.


Maybe maypole dancing was part of the Albert Hall event as well, but I don’t remember that.

I’m the chap holding the star of swords (OK they were thin laths of wood in our case. I recall that the high spot of the dance was when we grouped in a circle and interlocked them and then danced around in a circle with me holding the assembled swords above my head.

Two of my best friends from junior school…

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Per Petterson April 14, 2015

Filed under: Authors,Book Reviews,Norwegian language — Janet @ 5:02 pm

I went to a very interesting event last night – an author, Per Peterson, reading from his own work.  It turned out that he read from his lasted novel to be published in English, I Refuse.  For those readers unfamiliar with this author, he is a Norwegian writer who has won many awards, including the Dublin IMPAC Award.  He is possibly best known for his first book to be translated into English, Out Stealing Horses.  I enjoyed the evening in hindsight.  At the event itself, I found Per hard to hear and hard to understand.  I was basically disappointed.  In the row in front of us (us  being daughter-in-law Susan and fellow norskis  Jill and her cousin Karen), a woman was knitting – I dearly wished I had brought my knitting as well.

Now this morning upon reflection I enjoyed the evening.  I looked up Per Petterson in Wikipedia and following is part of the entry:

Per Petterson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Per Petterson
Per Petterson vinnare av Nordiska radets litteraturpris 2009 vid utdelningen i Stockholm under Nordiska radets session (1).jpg

Per Petterson, winner of the Nordic Council Literature Prize 2009
Born July 18, 1952 (age 62)
Oslo, Norway
Occupation Author, novelist
Nationality Norwegian
Genre Fiction

Per Petterson (born 18 July 1952, Oslo) is a Norwegian novelist. His debut book was Aske i munnen, sand i skoa (1987), a collection of short stories. He has since published a number of novels to good reviews. To Siberia (1996), set in the Second World War, was published in English in 1998 and nominated for the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize. I kjølvannet, translated as In the Wake (2002), is a young man’s story of losing his family in the Scandinavian Star ferry disaster in 1990 (Petterson himself lost his mother, father, younger brother and a niece in the disaster); it won the Brage Prize for 2000. His 2008 novel Jeg forbanner tidens elv (I Curse the River of Time) won The Nordic Council’s Literature Prize for 2009, with an English translation published in 2010.

His breakthrough novel was Ut og stjæle hester (2003), which was awarded two top literary prizes in Norway – the Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature and the Booksellers’ Best Book of the Year Award. The 2005 English language translation, Out Stealing Horses, was awarded the 2006 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the 2007 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (the world’s largest monetary literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English (€100,000). Out Stealing Horses was named one of the 10 best books of the year in the December 9, 2007 issue of the New York Times Book Review.

Petterson is a trained librarian. He has worked as a bookstore clerk, translator and literary critic before becoming a full-time writer. He cites Knut Hamsun and Raymond Carver among his influences [1].

Petterson’s works have been translated into almost 50 languages.



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