Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Embarrasssssing or What?

So, the nice lady from the place where I've submitted a grant bid came to see me today. She asked loads of questions, which made me go somewhat pale. Thankfully, I had another lady with me, my predecessor (of the Grants Application person type thing) who, thankfully, knew all the answers. But, even she couldn't stop herself from a dig or two of

'Oh, when I put in a grant application I...' and 'Ah, isn't that information in there?' and 'Didn't you bring ... ?'

They weren't complicated questions, fairly simple really, that anybody would be able to answer quite easily. If you know the answers, that is.

Put quickly some of the Q's were as follows:
(and none of which there was space for on the form. And, the nice lady just wanted to come and see where the money might be going etc)

Who uses it? (the place)
Where do they come from?
How often do they use it?
How many people on the committee?
Do you have trustees?
Who are the trustees?
How many of those on the committee?
Who are on the committee?
Can the committee make decisions without the trustees?
How much money did you make last year?
Why do you want this grant if you've got that already?
What work did you do (to the place) last year?
How did you pay for that?
Oh, you've got all that in the bank?
What are you going to do with all that?
How much money do you need to run? (the place)
How do you raise your funds?
When are you going to do this work?
Who is going to do it?
What else are you applying for?

Simple who, what, why, where, when and how questions really. That I could not answer - except the last three.

I was actually asked if I would stand, in this role, on this local committee. I didn't push myself forward, and only agreed to step up, thinking it would be a good way to get to know some more local people, and be part of the local community. However, I do get weary of being the 'new one,' of 'being polite' especially when there are Assholes who couldn't run a tap, let alone a local hall committee, and want to show me how hard they are, and be, quite frankly, Obstructive. And What the hell for? Just to resist any changes I, as a newbie, might want to suggest? And, no I really haven't waded in, like a lot of newbies have been wont to do; I've tried to fit in, do my best and work hard at whatever I've been asked, or volunteered to do.

But, hey, Mr T and I are new here. Only been here for nearly four years. Five minutes only. So, not a local yet then.

(We have a committee meeting this week. If I don't get the info I need, I shall give up. There, I've said it, so therefore it shall happen. Fuck 'em, I say.)

Monday, 21 April 2008

Um, more crafting ... and that

Yep, I've been at it again. Can't seem to stop myself, can I? With crafting that is. I bought this lovely fabric, from somewhere and decided that the thing I most wanted/needed, was a cover for my sewing machine.

So, I asked my bro', wicker man, to make me a pattern out of newspaper, which he did, with all the measurements and everything. Then, star that he is, he cut it out for me, both the top and the backing fabric (a sheet from a charity shop) and left me to it. I then decided that I wanted to pad it with wadding, and then I needed to do my first machine quilting. The lines came from the way I pinned it out and are not equal in width or anything, but I'm pleased with it.

And, it covers my sewing machine and keeps it nice and clean.

This is all I did all day, apparently. Apart from washing, drying, sorting laundry, making soup for lunch and pasta for dinner; took parcels to the post office, made some phone calls and did some emails etc. And, collected my assignment score from the OU and got a very low one.

Um, I'd best do some Proper work for the next one, then. And stop fecking about with bits of wool and fabric. Surprising what you can do when procrastinating, isn't it?

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Who'd a thunk?

Just a little time waster, but a bit of fun at Are You An Optimist or Pessimist?
Here's mine,

You Are an Optimist
You definitely see the sunny side of life, even when things aren't going so great.And while you may not be a realist, your optimism has really improved your quality of life.You have the energy to take charge, solve your problems, and enjoy life for what it is.Optimists are happier and healthier - so keep thinking positive!

That's good to know, eh?

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Pleased? You Bet!

I am rather chuffed with myself this week, as I have been very busy on the craft front, as well as having a ball, making friends and well, just making a mess everywhere.

This is something I 'knocked' up, that took me a full 7 hours from start to finish,

I can't remember what the term for this kind of applique is called, but I had to place each piece of fabric onto a printed pattern (that I had already transferred) and stitch that in place; then stitche the next one to it, and so on. Then, I had to add on the two side (top and bottom here) panels, and then do the machine embroidery, embroider over the red and gold braids. And then, dear reader, I had to hand embroider the other stitches on - seed, lazy daisy, pistel, french knot and fly stitch, phew!

And, never having had an embroidery lesson in my life, any and all of these have been learned from a leaflet, this week (apart from the french knots.)

I did receive 'joint third' with this wonderful creation at the SWRI meeting this evening (mainly, apparently, because my sewing up after stuffing was iffy) I just don't mind!

I am now the (v.v.) proud owner of a fabulous 4" x 2 1/2" pincushion, which I just happened to need.

Tagged! Again!!

Hiya, I've been tagged by Dusty Spider again! Well, I was tagged again the other day, with several questions. One of which was,

'What were you doing 10 years ago?'

I found this very awkward, mainly because several people in my family were having a very shit time around then. This affected me quite badly and I was quite ill for some time. Thankfully, all have recovered, and grown.

And, I was only aged 40 then, with ne'er the menopause within sight of the horizon. That was a blessing at that time! Had they invented HRT by sticker application then, I wonder? Thank goodness I am my age, in the time I am now in. Gone, hopefully, are the days when girlies of a certain age were just expected to 'get on with it,' and just thought to be hysterical. Hasn't it? Ah.

Anyway, back to today's tag, which is what is on my Desk Top, ta da

Thank goodness that my bro', wicker man, was here to tell me how to do it! The tree picture is owned by Jason Evans, over at Clarity of Night. He is a great writer himself, as well as a photographer and, erm, a lawyer, I think. This was the picture he used for inspiration to the entrants to his last 'Comp' entitled 'Whispers' I didn't manage to get my entry in on time, so missed out again. My last two entries are over on my other page, 'Pushing Pencil' (ooh, advertising as well!)

Sorry for staying away, by the way. I have been busy with craft competition thingies, of which I shall post again soon - even if I don't win! I am rather pleased with two of the projects I have done that involve knitting and sewing. I am and always have been a knitter, but sewing is now creaping in a little bit, so I am pleased with my efforts.

Now, back to the studying as well. This is really interesting, as we're learning all about the French Revolution at the moment - which is all news to me, I'm afraid. I never listened at school and always felt I'd missed out on a proper education. However, I am just as convinced that learning later in life has the big compensations of a) at least I can understand and put into context just what I am reading and b) I want to learn now, and can choose just what I want to learn about.


Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Meme - 7 things about moi

Well now, ages ago Dusty Spider included me in a meme of Seven Things About Me and I've only just gotten around to doing it! I am reminded of it as she has also given me the Award, over there --> for the Good Chat Blog Award, Thank You!

So, seven things (those I can at least share here, anyway!)

1. I have always been a feminist. As a small child I questioned my mum as to why it was only men who read the news. 'Because ladies might get upset by some bad news,' was her reply. Which I never believed.

2. I love the skills I have of typing and driving. They give me such freedom to be able to firstly, write quickly and secondly to go where I want and go home as soon as I want. Independence.

3. The best job in the world for me is being a grandmother. Nanny's best girl is/was the 'third child' I always wanted. Mr T says he is too selfish to have had any children let alone the two we have. Pah! He is a wonderful father and grandfather - generously giving his time and is a wizz with tickles that make children laugh. I love the fact that I now have the time, money and sleep to enjoy my three grand-daughters.

4. I am such a klutz at taking on too much and never quite achieving all that I want to do. Fer'instance, I do believe that I am still aged 30 and have the energy of that age. I just wish I didn't have to spend time sleeping, then I could fit in all that I want to do, every day.

5. I experience depression, periodically, though not suicidal. I have to work quite hard for it not to affect my family and those around me. Having back problems doesn't help with this. I used to hide under the covers for days, whilst eating. Then, I would feel drunk and have to take time off work. Menstrual migraines didn't help either. However, I have found that bosses, once the circumstances were explained, were great at allowing me to take time off in lieu instead of sick time.

6. I loved being 30 - now that was when 'my' time began, as an adult, with children now in their teens. I hated becoming 40 - ugh! that's what your aunties, mothers and grandmothers did - I didn't feel 'old' enough. Now, 50 has been a breeze, especially as I have a best friend in her 60's and nothing stops her!

7. Still on the age thing, having gotten married at age 17, I've never felt old enough to be entitled Mrs ... and, have always preferred to be addressed by my first name. This is, as well as the feminist Ms. I know I shall get screams of 'Ms, ugh' But, I really do prefer this. (I am still married to the same man, poor thing he is. I tell him 'If I was normal, you'd be bored!)

Ooh, I hadn't planned what to write, and I wonder if I wrote this on another day, would the seven things that I've highlighted here be different? I think so, though the basics would still be there. Thanks, Dusty for asking for this.

Now, I have to nominate 7 others for this, hmm, who shall I choose, oh I know:

Carenza at Lightly Done
Lisa at Primrose Hill
Karen at Breezy Break
Graeme at grumsworld
Ali at schoolathome
Jude at whitevanwoman
Mornev at bugglesbalhamhighroad

I shall look forward to reading what these lovely people will write about themselves.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Family extensions and full up hearts

Nanny's best girl has been thoroughly spoilt this last week. As well she should be.

Now, we all used to live a long way away, down in middle England, but we (me and Mr T) moved up here to the highlands of Scotland. Even though we saw each other three or four times as year, including Xmas, mine and nanny's best girl's hearts were fair broken by the distance. But, late in 2006 she and her family moved up here to be nearer to us. Hurrah! We have the best time and she, thankfully, loves to come and stay with us, learn knitting and crochet and helping granddad.

However, she does miss her father's side of the family, and this left her other grandmother quite bereft, all that way down in England. Her daddy also misses her, despite that he has often let her down in the past and still does sometimes - all due to the misuse of alcohol, shall we say? We know he does love her, just doesn't seem to be enough to come off the booze, somehow.

But, anyway, big, big news! Daddy and Grandma made a booking to stay in a holiday cottage quite close by, Just So They Could Spend Some Time With nanny's best girl! How wonderful is that? I am so impressed by this, especially as grandma has a disability with her movement. They spent the week with her, took her out either together or just daddy, or just grandma; quite sensibly didn't shower her with presents or money, just had quite a 'normal' time really.

And, nearly as wonderful, is that we went and had a cuppa with them, as well as them coming here for a cuppa. So, nanny's best girl, was the centre of attention, with a whole host of her own family around her.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

'Wear an extra cardi and fingerless gloves, Harold, we're skint.'

We've just converted our tea house to those everlasting bulbs. You know, the ones that take ages to turn on after you've flicked the switch to on. On! It's ON now! I tend to moan when, after I have fully obluted, and I'm half way out of the door of the bathroom and it has finally given up the ghost and switched to 'Bright' mode.

Honestly! It's like living in the dark ages. I think 'they' do it on purpose, to make us feel smug that we're doing our bit to save the world, by living by bloody candlelight. This is no fun when I'm on spider-watch while on my way out of my bed, across the landing and using the bathroom. Harrumph.

I think we are now needing to go onto living as if we are on a pension already. Our oil and electricity bills at the moment are horrendous. Mainly, I suppose, because I have been indoors over most of the winter, due to my back and sciatica problem. So, I have finally succumbed to turning off radiators and closing the doors of unused bedrooms (all two of them); buying cheap, but dead fashionable glasses off the shelf from Boots; using up the stuff from way down the bottom of the freezer; religiously using up leftovers from the fridge instead of throwing away the salad as most of us are said to do; making sure my 24 mile round trip into town is 'necessary'; having a shopping list; using any and all coupons kindly given by T£scow (spit) and from magazines. All this as well as the middle-aged-going-on-old, habit I seem to have gotten into of collecting string and elastic bands!

And, we spent our Friday evening this week scrupulously checking through the £628 bill for the 32,000 mile service on my car. Oh yes, it was, madam! I think I am deffo in, and always have been, the wrong kind of business. At 61 whole pound coins of this realm, Per Hour the garage have charged for labour, we think we have paid someone's wages for a whole week somewhere. Either that or they are just taking the piss.
Weather watch at 6.22 am: It is snowing heavily outside, and it looks beautiful.
Love, Karen x