Monday, 29 September 2008

Back, safe and sound from shoe-ing around

As you'll have seen from one of my previous posts, Mr T has been trolling his way around Europe on his motorbike, with his mates. This was namely France, Germany, Lichtenstein through Switzerland, Austria and Italy, and from Italy, he returned via Switzerland and France, with this company (there is sound!) He went with several of the mates with whom he used to work, and this trip was to celebrate the last one of them having retired. So, a bunch of hairy-arsed retired police officers were let loose on a boys' jolly, which has been years in the arranging. Well, as I understand it, all the 'meetings' that were held in various pubs here in middle Scotland and in middle England were 'planning meetings', apparently. Yeah, right.
Anyway, he has arrived back today, k-nackered but having had a ball, on the holiday of a lifetime. It has done him a power of good and we missed each other so much. This is despite talking on the phone each day, as well as sending texts night and morning. We have been married well over thirty years and, apart from a few days at a time when I was in China last year, we have spoken to each othere every day, from the day we became a couple, aahh.
And, he was well impressed with the shoe bag I made for him to take his 'evening shoe attire' with him (his trainers) which is pictured above. I printed a photo of his motorbike onto trasfer paper for fabric, ironed it on so some lining fabric and then stitched it onto a denim shoe bag and voila! And, it made a change from doing girly, pink stuff for my granddaughters!

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Those who know me ...

... know I am a sensible woman. One whose feet are firmly on Terra firma, despite flights of fancy and, well eccentricity, sometimes. Yes? Quite.

So, when grand-daughter number three, 15 month old nanny's lolly-dollypop, had failed to git hersen onto her feet and walk, nanny wasn't really too worried, despite, lots of jokes and pushing, nay just encouraging, her to Walk.

But, I have now changed my mind. Since the other day when, lolly-dollypop took up a crayon in her right hand. She didn't like holding it upside down and in that hand, so she put it on the floor and, turning it round to the right way, picked it up in the fingers of her left hand and DREW with it!!!

Well, you don't need to be walking about to draw things, do you?

Saturday, 27 September 2008

and it's bezzy mates and blog-swaps for me!

Yep, I volunteered myself to get involved in a Christmas Blog-Swap. My first - o0h, how exciting! It is being run by the lovely Jo over at French Knots and I have been paired up with another Karen. As I've said before, all my life, there are usually several Karen's around me, which is brill as I, unusually, love my name! I am just waiting for Jo to send Karen's details to me, while I have a little think-y about what to make. Brill.

And, Brill is just the word for the time I have just been spending with my bezzy mate, Flick! Mr T is currently away overseas in Europe, trolling about the place on his motorbike, with his bezzy mates for a well-earned holiday. So, Flick and I took the opportunity for her to come up and visit and have a great 'girly' time.

And, what a time! We both, ahem, have a little plumpness to wish away, so we decided (rather Flick suggested and I agreed!) that it would be a good idea for us to use the Low Gi Diet and to take out the dog for daily walks. This firstly involved us getting dressed and supping some tea first thing, even before washing, but of course, getting dressed! Our daily morning walk grew longer and longer each day, in my local, beautiful countryside, as we became fitter and, yes, slightly thinner, wow! It has done us both a power of good. It hasn't helped my back though, and made it quite sore. I have gone back to taking my pills 4 x per day and that seems to be helping.

We also had a time which we called 'First choose your Wasp!' after another pal had a glut of plums, which she allowed us to go round and pick. We then spent the following afternoon making our 'Plumtious Plum Jam.' Which tastes absolutely delicious but, as we didn't bother to peel the plums (perleese, life is just too short) when cooked, the skins could be mistaken for dead wasps! But, my aren't we clever?

Also, of course, we had to partake of lunches out, didn't we? Well, one of the best we've ever had was at the Lands of Loyal Country House Hotel where we chose to have the Stuffed Sole thus,

We just kept saying 'Yum. Yum. Yum!' All through such a beautiful meal. Sadly, Flick has returned home, but thankfully, plans to come back again next Spring. Yay!

Oh, and Mr T will be home again with me on Sunday!

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

I thought I would be 80 at least

I always knew that I would someday be disabled by my back. I just thought it would be when I was a least 80 for some reason. But no, it's here already. I've had the diagnosis from the specialist, well his underling at least. The problem appears to be that two discs are permanently out, and further pressure is caused by the build up of scar tissue from the two operations I've already had (I actually saw the MRI scan pictures on the screen.) This is what is causing my left foot (wasn't that a book and a film?) and the toes joined to that foot, to be numbed.


Apparently, it will never get better unless they operate to remove the offending scar tissue, but that is dangerous unless an emergency. And, it will only return over time. What it will do, though, is get worse anyway over time. They've sent me a follow-up appointment for next May.


I felt numb and tearful when the words were used, even though I expected it. But, when all is said and done, this is not life-threatening, is it? No. Life altering it is. So, we just have to get on with it, don't we?

So, the blue badge and DLA forms will duly be filled in and sent off. The DLA at least will be rejected, as par for the course, and then I'll duly appeal and see where we go from there. How this is going to affect my housekeeping work I'm not sure yet, as Mr T and our daughter already help me out. And, I've got new painkilling tabs that I'm changing to.

Anyone for shopping? I hope to be able to park quite close to the shops soon!

Sunday, 7 September 2008

The Gathering

You might wonder why my last few posts have seemed to have 'dotted about' a bit date-wise (or not!) Well, the reason is that I had so much to catch up on, that I didn't want to put all into one, long post, so I wrote some and post-scheduled them to appear. I just luv technology sometimes!

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago Mr T and I entered some of the categories in the home industries part of the local Gathering (Scottish Games.) Oh what fun! While Mr T was scrabbling round his veggie gardens for the produce of '3 potatoes,' '4 pea pods' and 'selection of 4 vegetables' for his entries, my kitchen looked as though a large explosion had taken place and left a right old mess in its wake! My entries were 'A border tart,' ' 3 wholemeal scones,' 'a gingerbread loaf,' 'jar of raspberry jam,' '3 peppermint slices,' 'a pair of knitted slippers' and 'a shopping bag for life.'

We both got in such a temper that it was lucky the weather and scenery were so beautiful in the morning of the show, it cheered us up and we laughed at all our worrying about 'Just a local show, for goodness sake!' We still revel in our luck that we live in such a stunningly gorgeous place, and can take the time to enter into the local community things.

Anyway, you will want to see some pictures and I shall try to oblige, especially as we did have some success!

Saturday, 6 September 2008

A Visit

What a wonderful visit we had last week, from our son, Mr T the Younger, and his step-daughter, our grand-daughter, Coo. She is such a smart cookie, and so much fun to be around. When we saw her last, in July, she wanted me to teach her to knit, so we found some needles and a ball of thick yarn and she sat, hunched and with tongue poking out and learned to knit. Within one hour she had learned to cast on and knit some stitches. Wow! I've never known anybody to learn knitting that quickly. By the end of our oh, so short visit, we had casted off the stitches after knitting twenty or so rows (with a bit of help from nanny) and voila! we had a coaster. She proudly placed it on her bedside table, ready for her night-time drink of water, and there it stays.

On this visit we decided to go a bit larger and wanted to knit a bag. However, the call of learning to drive the quad bike on her 10 year old own (with grandad in the vicinity) and walking our dog all around the grounds, as well as helping nanny with her cleaning work and grandad in the vegetable patch, And helping auntie C make scones in a baking session, scant time was left for the forgotten yarn still on the needles. Come the evening when they were due to climb into the car, which sported a cushion, with a new especially made cover, and she had no bag to go home with.

Aha! Nanny just happened to have one in amongst the yarn and fabric stash, (which grows by the eBay and charity shop day, but that's a tale for another day,) in somebody's favourite colour. And, together with some knitted flowers, left over from a knitted tie event earlier in the year, a plan was hatched.

So, after persuading me to knit a bee, to sit on a leaf, and attaching said bee, leaves and flowers to the bag, one very smiley girl went on her way home.

We don't get to see them very often, mainly due to Mr TtY's work pattern, which seems to be all the time. So, it was really good to have them here for the precious few days they were able to come up. I made sure I didn't do much of my own work while they were here, so that we could spend some time together. We didn't go out much, but did spend time chatting, and just being around each other.

His partner wasn't able to come up at this time as she was looking after the pups their dogs had a few weeks ago. Benson and Stella (the proud American Bull Dog parents) had 17 pups, of which 14 survived! The poor mum needed assistance, and Miss L was feeding by hand five pups at each feed, day and night. So, I think Miss L had a break from looking after Co and Mr TtY, and Mr TtY and Coo had the break of a full night's sleep for the week!

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Ladies wot lunch, if you please

On Tuesday I had the pleasure of having a lovely lunch with three lovely friends here. We four entered our ties in a SWRI (Scottish Women's Rural Institutes) competition a few months ago and, as I have found with these things, became friends during the process. Two of our group have businesses to run, so finding the time to meet up has been a long-winded affair, but we made it at last!

What a smashing afternoon we had, as well as a particularly delicious lunch. If you click onto the link you'll see the great hall, with sofa groupings and a large fire, well the group with the blue cushions, in the centre of that piccie is where we sat. We met just after 12.30 and had a drink while perusing a menu of local fare, then were taken through to the dining room, where we ate soup, melon, salmon, chicken, chocolate fudge cake and grape and ginger syllabub (between us!) while overlooking fantastic views, and then came back to the great hall for our coffee.

We spent the time gossiping, catching up on all our good, and less good, news, did some business,and generally enjoyed each others company. All of a sudden we realised it was nearly half past four and we didn't know where the time had gone!

All of us vowed to do this again, very soon, and I do hope we will. We're all going to be very busy over the next few months, and two of us are busy with the summer holiday trade, and another is off to travel backwards and forwards over the pond! But come the New Year, when we'll all need cheering up, I'm sure, we'll lunch together again. Maybe at the same place. I hope.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Knitting school!

I know, this is pretty addicted of me to be posting twice in one day, isn't it?

But, I have Breaking News! Of the, 'I'm telling you the instant I know' kind of News!

I have taught social workers how to social work, parents how to be good parents, others how to stop doing what they are doing to enhance their lives and, last year, English to Chinese people - and now - ta da! I am going to be teaching people to knit! Just how cool is that?!

Lisa, at Primrose Hill has asked me to take a workshop, showing people how to knit, on Thursday 16 October, at her studio. And yes, dear reader, there will be cake!

Do go and have a look at Lisa's site and blog, she makes the most beautful hand-crafted items (nope, she's not paying me to say this, truly!) and, if you are in the vicinity during that week, Lisa will be listing mine and other courses that are happening.

You'll need to contact Lisa by email to book a place as, if you mail me I can only pass it on. If all of us were to take bookings there would be even more confusion in the T house than usual!

Excuse me, I am a bit Excited.

Old friends

Just after my birthday (the day after) two very old, as in I've known them for over twenty years, friends made the journey up to see me.

We had such a brilliant time, as we never stopped talking the whole time, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We went out to eat, we stayed in and cooked something to eat. We experiemented with making mayonnaise, and made strawberry jam. Mr T was left out of it somewhat, but didn't mind.

They drank me dry (I can't take alcohol because of my painkillers, but that doesn't stop me enjoying others' drinking) and ate me out of house and home. We went visiting and shopping and all too soon, it was time for them to leave.

Just the same as when my bezzy mate comes to stay, and then leaves, there were tears.

The thing is, I suppose, is that these people know me, and have known me a long time - and know everything about me, and I just feel so completely comfortable with them. Don't get me wrong, I am loving my new friends, and am so grateful to them for their company and support. But, you just can't beat the people you can pull on and off, like a much loved pair of socks (!) can you?

Monday, 1 September 2008

Some catching up

I had my birthday in July, and what a smashing day I had. I felt spoilt and cosseted all day. And, what presents?! A beautiful bunch of flowers arrived from my bezzy mate, all dressed up in a lovely box - and the man who delivered them had his birthday on the same day, how spooky is that?! My friend, Sue, seems to know me oh so well, and bought me two of the most perfect books, one on making cards and another with 1,000 motifs to copy. Sue knows I like to make cards, but simply hate the current fashion for buying stuff especially to make cards with. Let me explain. What I actually mean is, there is a mega-buck business in selling papers and special thingies to place onto pieces of card, just using a bit of imagination, apparently. However, there are loads of different things you can do on a card, with stuff you already have, if possible, that is so much more personal. Fer'instance, a pal recently gave someone a card, made out of a little bit of yarn being weaved (the recipient recently won a prize for her weaving) which was a brill idea, and absolutely personal for that person. Back to the current list of my gorgeous pressies, and Sue also gave me a sheet with an Amazon order on it for a book I had been waiting for - this woman knows me so well!

I also got the pair of pinking shears from Mr T, that I so wanted, and they have been really useful for something, about which I will tell you in the future (NBG thought pinking shears would be pink - I remember thinking that at her age.) Another bouquet arrived from my step-mum; I had perfume and choccies from my daughter; my son actually remembered to send me a card; and Lisa sent me a lovely e-card!

And, yes dear reader, there was more.

One of my favourite-est presents was made by NBG, who didn't have any money to buy anything for nanny, so made me some shortbread!

How cool is that?