Thursday, 26 June 2008

A dried herb and wonderweb day

This is a book cover I made; I started last night with the embroidery, my first ever. And, today I made up the cover, with a lining and everything. I did this at the same time as making a Cranks' Crecey Pie (Carrot and Onion) for our crafter's group competition lunch.

I didn't have time to go pick the thyme and parsley for the recipe so used dried - I knew the ladies would know, but what the heck I was running very, very late.

After turning the cover out the right way I, of course, needed to sew up the turning-gap and just didn't have time for that either, so Hurrah for wonderweb!

It was also our friends' daughter's first birthday today and her parcels needed wrapped and delivered, so the long-suffering Mr T managed this for me. Phew! and I was only about 25 minutes late for the noon lunch. I didn't win any prizethis year, but the standard was extremely high and I was pleased we all came up with such different ideas, after we'd all been given a piece of fabric and told to make of it what we would. There were bags, a glasses case, a book, needle-case and pincushion, cafeitierre cover, an art piece, the start of a lingerie case and a beautifully embroidered circular box. Some of the group have completed City & Guilds and Embroiderer's Guild courses, and I do envy them. I am thinking of joining an Embroiderer's Guild later this year, but I do wonder if I would have the time. We also had a very delicious and lively lunch and, though I wasn't very impressed with my wholemeal pastry, the pie turned out to be my best one ever!

Ah, well. I have to go to my bed now as it is tomorrow that nanny's best girl and I are off on our travels for an adventure! Back next week.

K xx

PS. Flick, I will complete your elephant case, as soon as I can find it! We had visitors last week and it got put away. somewhere. k xx

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

You know when ... ?

You know when you eat a whole quarter of toffee bonbons, your teeth feel squeaky and you wake up with a headache and feeling sick, just like a hangover? That was me this morning. Why don't I learn?

You know when you are spending time doing something you enjoy, like being at a local friend's business helping out with their accounts, which is usually peaceful and enjoyable, with lovely company? And, you know what somebody scratching their nails down a chalkboard sounds like? That was somebody who was there too, but has verbal diarrhoea, with a strident voice and just will not shut the fuck up? Well, that was the situation this morning. Best thing was, I did get all the work done that I wanted to do.

And, you know when you should've telephoned somebody, just to see how they are and how they're doing? But, you don't because life is busy and the days slip past, and you don't pick up that they are in fact seriously ill? Guilty, m'lud. My uncle John, Moreen's husband, is in the process of finding out he has cancer.

But, you know when a pal was in need and you responded and, though you may not have done much good, you were there? And, you know when they need you they can find you, because they know they are in your thoughts? Yes, thank goodness for something, eh?

Sunday, 22 June 2008

A day in the life of...

Lovely but strange day today. Our spare room has the best views from the window, it's over the kitchen, and it has a nice 'feel' in there. We occasionally like to spend the night in there, but the spare bed does not suit us at all. Though all our guests assure us that the wonderful king-sized bed, with its wool mattress atop a sprung slatted, leather-top and toe base, as well as the White Co. bedding is just sweet and comfy, we wake up with a back-ache; but maybe we're just used to our tempur foam mattress. We have considered making this our room, but cannot move into there as the room is just too small for full-time living. Ah, well.

I spent most of the morning putting pictures and movies of dolly-lolly pop's first birthday onto discs for her mummy, before collecting nanny's best girl for her riding lesson. NBG had a brill lesson as the new teacher is really creative for the girls and there were only four of them on horseback today. I also got vid of NBG so we could show her step-dad and mummy. Step-dad is wanting to come to the lesson as he's a keen rider, but has been just too busy lately, and mummy is banned, I'm afraid, as she is scared of horses and NBG can be put off by this!

I also put some piccies onto disc for a pal who had several things to celebrate this last week or so - her baby's first birthday, her own fortieth and, as if that were not enough, the opening of her holiday cottages. I took a few pictures at the party on Friday evening, where we had a fab time at the bar-b-q, in a marquee, with lots to eat and lots of people milling around.

Unfortunately, we had to leave early. My brother, who had given up the demon drink, has fallen off the wagon of late. Mr T and I have a signal we give to each other when it is time to vacate, which we did, thus saving face. He is off to holiday in Australia for a few weeks and has vowed to stop drinking for the duration. I do hope so, for his sake.

And, today, Mr T went on his own holiday! He and his motorcycle friends are meeting up somewhere in the Lake District - they from middle England and he from middle Scotland. They'll bike around for a couple of days together during the day, and catch up with each other over a beer in the evenings. Fingers crossed that the weather, ie the rain, holds off for them to have a good, jolly time.

Meanwhile, I have lit the log burner, cooked a lovely dinner, bought a magazine and some chocolate and aim to get an early night. In my own bed.
(Though, I do generally leave the landing light on all night when Mr T is away from home - just makes me feel better. And, my neighbour is very kind and rings me each day, to see that I'm okay.)

Friday, 20 June 2008

Well ... what am I Thankful For?

I think it's about time I wrote something nice. I have been feeling sad and fed up lately, since my auntie Moreen's death, and am taking myself and Nanny's Best Girl off down to Seaburn, in Sunderland for a few days next week. NBG will finish school at noon on Friday (Scotland schools finish the year in June and return in August.) When I informed NBG that I shall pick her up as soon as she finishes school, she wondered if she should take her suitcase to school with her! But, we will have a cuppa with mummy before setting off on the four hour journey, aided by sat nav, to my brother's flat to stay for a few days of rest, walking, reading and no t'internet access at all, as well as limited phone access. I just feel I need to blow away the cobwebs and refresh myself. Also, to spend some 1-2-1 time with NBG who has been overshadowed by her baby sister's arrival one year, one week and two days ago.

This got me to thinking about all the things I have to be thankful for, especially after reading some blogs where others have lost people, such as Julia who also recently lost someone very dear to her.

So, not only do I have to be thankful for the following, but I am very, very thankful for the following, in my usual, dis-organised and random fashion, here goes;

My husband - we celebrated 33 years of marriage yesterday. This is a marriage of love, companionship, arguing, need, want, being cherished, hating one another at times, being very irritated by each other, laughter, comfort, delicious sex, big hugs, support, care, games, discussion, agreement, disagreement, full on just love spending time together, holding hands, growing much older together than we ever expected to (having both come from divorcing families) grey hair, drooping bodies, my experimental cooking, etc, etc. We've made it this far, thank goodness.

My children - both are lovely, lovely people, who weren't particularly hard to bring up, she says crossing her fingers behind her back! They've both made choices that have had us pulling out our hair, biting our nails and depleating our bank balance, but they are adults and are well equipped for 'getting on with it.' They both have partners they love and who love them, and beautiful, adorable children of their own, and allow us to interfere not only in their lives, but the lives of their children!

My brothers and sisters - we don't always get on, but we love each other and, when the chips are really down, we defend and support each other to the hilt. My sister and I fell out, big-time, some years ago and didn't have good contact during this time. It was very upsetting all round but, we recently met at auntie Moreen's funeral and have spoken since. Slowly, slowly I think we are both hopeful that we will get back to where we are both comfortable again with each other. I am hopeful as I have missed her, and I believe she's missed me.

My best friend, Flick - who loves me, despite that I can be a horrible person sometimes. She knows all my secrets and is a very wise woman, who will give advice, so gently at times that I don't even know she's doing it! But, mostly we are honest with each other and I value her greatly.

My extended family - these are the only people who remember me growing up. One auntie ruffles my hair! Others just treat me as an equal, keep me informed and listen to me. They love my family, remember birthdays and anniversaries and all are surrogate mothers to me, as mine is less than able. My uncles all persuade me to give up smoking and tell me stories of when we were little. They all have the key to our family history for me and my family. Irreplaceable.

I live in the countryside in the country I wanted to be in. Every day I wake up thankful that I am here. It is blimmin' cold with heavy snow in the winter and the summer temperatures never get that high, especially as we are a great deal higher than sea level. I see deer and pheasant on a daily basis and rabbits are pests as well as making good eating.

I am becoming part of the local community, with voluntary and paid work that involve me with local people.

Though I'd love to be rich money-wise, I have enough to live on and the capacity to earn more as/when I need it. We don't have a mortgage to worry about, having bought a house to move to on our retirement in about 15 or so years' time, which we currently rent out.

My health will never be as well as it might be, but I am still able to get about and do most of what I want. I am back to cooking and doing most of the household tasks, which Mr T did, as well as all his own work while I was poorly. My sister recently remarked that I am usually either ill with my back, or recovering. Though these spells are moving closer as time goes on, I'm still able on the in-between times.

I now have the time to persue the hobbies I've always wanted to, such as knitting, sewing and taking up embroidery as well as writing.

I do have a lot to be thankful for and I am. Sometimes, obviously, I also have too much time to be irritated and shout a lot!

Thank you for listening.

Karen xx

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Waving, but still drowning somewhat

Yep, there's my hand in the air, waving to you. I did it - the Race for Life, on Sunday! I had a wobbly tummy before we went (Mr T says I had a wobbly tummy before last year's race, too) so I didn't take my painkillers, oops. And, I was okay until we had a 30 seconds' silence, to remember why we were there, but then I couldn't stop the tears from flowing! I had to go and find Mr T, have a cuddle, and then I could start proper. Anyway, it was still enjoyable and emotional all at the same time. And, reading the people's messages on their backs just says it all for the reason we're all there. Then, at the end, my family were all waiting for me and we had more tears and smiles.
Since then we've had my out-laws to stay. These are the 'footballers wives' people I have written about, some time last year. Women who don't earn their own living, but drip in gold, diamonds (oh yes a different set for each day of the week) blond highlights and genuine designer bags. I am not allowed to say anything because it is Mr T's sister. But, we all know that saying no is a red rag to a bull, don't we? So, here goes. Ah, I can't really be bovvered, except to say that when someone insults you, minutes before they are leaving, by telling you that you (me) are the most 'Opionated person I know.'
When I queried what she meant, and that we all have opinions, don't we? 'Well, yes but you give them, even when they are not asked for.' And that now I was being over-sensitive, implying that I shouldn't give it out if I can't take it. Oooh!
Well, that takes the fucking biscuit, dunks it in your tea and then chokes you, rather, doesn't it? Especially as I hadn't asked her for her fucking opinion of me in the first place!!!! So, I reckon that she has just done what she accuses me of, doncha think?
Well, let's hope they don't visit us in our peaceful, Scottish haven for another six years or so. Grrr!
Best of it is that, I was a bit miffed and slightly tearful myself so I went off to town to spend some time on my own and calm the seething me somewhat, so as not to upset anyone else. While in a fabric shop I asked the woman there for 'Some of that stuff you stick to the back of fabric to stiffen it, please? But, I can't remember what it's called.'
'Ah, yes this is what you want isn't it? It's called blah blah.' And, I still can't remember what she said it was! Bah, just getting forgetful in my old age!

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Not a rant, or a moan, just a query

I am sitting here, quite quietly, while babysitting lolly dolly pop on the day after her first birthday. What a long, long day she had, lunching out with mummy and nanny, presents, cards, party and cake. She's exhausted and very sleepy today, especially as she awoke mummy and daddy a couple of times during the night, after a truly excitable day. Happy 1st Birthday to a beautful and perfect baby girl, who simply does not fancy getting up on her own two legs and walking yet. Ah well, she'll have long enough to do that, won't she?!

In the meantime, as I sit here quietly, I can almost hear myself breathing. Or, slightly wheezing in fact. While I was ill I was taking huge amounts of v strong painkillers that, quite frankly, made me queezy. To the point that, one evening, after smoking a couple of ciggies while phoning someone up, I vomited. I therefore decided that now might be a good time to give up the fags (cigarettes for any US readers) before they gave me up.

Over the years I have usually given up smoking at least once a year, usually just for a couple of months, and then back to it.

But, I gave up in January and haven't smoked since, which is the longest time for many years for giving up. And, I have to be honest, I don't miss the fags now, just sometimes the 'activity' of smoking - you know, going outside with rellies and/or others who smoke at a party or other such do. However, it does not seem to be missing me. I have what we call a 'soot-fall' every so often. This involves a taste in my mouth of, well, soot, as in chimney soot?! I also seem to have a smell of smoking in my nostrils, even at the moment when I am alone, with no-one else here who smokes - that is unless lolly dollypop is up there, hanging out of her bedroom window and puffing away. The other bit is the sore chest and throat, and wheeziness.

So, here's the query - how long will this go on for? And, why was I dreaming this morning, of smoking a fag? Weird I know.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Busy as a Bee

It's been a busy time since we returned from London on Friday, so I'm still knackered!

Saturday I took nanny's best girl to the Grand Opening of Lisa's studio here Primrose Hill Interiors and we had a wonderful, summery time whilst taking tea and cake, looking at the new fluffy ducklings who really are gorgeous, as well as meeting the geese and chickens; and meeting Rachel and Katy ... etc. Well done and the Greatest of Good Luck to Lisa and her endeavours. XX

After returning NBG to her mum and family, Mr T and I went on a walk with the Rural, in aid of McMillan fund and puffed ourselves out along a river walk. Mr T and just one other woman wanted a longer walk so they went off into the woods. Now, J is nearly 80 years old so I didn't get jealous of her being with him, just of her energy. When I told another elderly gentleman that my husband had gone off to the woods with another woman, he drolly remarked 'They do. They do.' Which I thought was hilarious. Anyway, J told me nothing had happened (!)

And, then we met an old friend of mine, well ours really. Sue is a girl I grew up with and we met again a couple of years ago after re-gaining contact via Friends Re-united. What a great site this is - I've caught up with loads of people and it's hard to realise at times that a lot of us are now grandparents, in our fifties, rather than the fifteen year olds of our memories. Anyway, Sue and her partner were up in Scotland for a few days and were determined to meet up with us. It was fantastic to catch up with all the gossip and, at times, the years just fell away as we giggled when remembering certain people, especially boys we'd gone out with etc. One of these is still with me, actually, as Mr T and I went to the same senior school, and he lived only two roads away from Sue and I! Now, we have both moved away from England, Sue to Wales and me to Scotland.

As if all that wasn't enough, Mr T and I were due down at the village hall on Sunday morning to help with clearing up the grounds, eg grass-cutting, planting pots etc and, well, having a good old chat with the neighbours! Me, in my infinate wisdom, decided to continue with the practicing for the Race For Life despite my back still not being up to it, and cycled the two or so miles to the hall! 'Only two and a half miles? That's nothing!' you might scoff. As well you might, but it was knackering though luckily mostly downhill! There were jibes that indicated I should also cycle the homeward journey, but of course Mr T had taken his car, so we squashed my bike into the back and I bagged a ride home.

I was feeling rather sore for the extra moving about after sitting for so long on the London journeys, but as the evening progressed I began to feel slightly worse for wear. Today, I have ascertained that I am either suffering a summer cold or the bloomin' hayfever has selected me again this year for a visit. Gah!