Thursday, 30 December 2010

Post post

I don't know how it's happened but, Christmas is over!  Done.  Gone for 2010.  All that's left now is the overfull fridge, some snow with lots of ice covering the ground, and the memories.

We did have a lovely time - full of noise, wrapping paper, a bit more noise, family, food, fun, photos, yet more food, visits and leaving.

As my lovely son and his family left on Tuesday morning, only he ventured into my darkened bedroom to kiss me farewell due to the rampant germs swirling about the place.  I had contracted gastric-enteritis on Monday, ugh!  As I had done/eaten/been nothing or nowhere different to my husband, except visiting a cafe loo, it must have been something I picked up by hand, at that place.  My constitution is rubbish (I would have said 'shit' but that is a pun just too far) and I catch this kind of thing so easily.

Lately, I have found that I can no longer take coffee, butter, more than one or two pieces of chocolate or anything too fatty, at all.  I put it down to either the 'old age and poverty' my ma-in-law has always quoted, or possibly the amount of medication I still have to throw down my neck several times each day.  Lord, just never let it be tea, or I will slit my throat.

Anyways, back to those lovely children of mine (who, by the way, I still blame for the baby fat I carry around.)  They give me such pleasure at the way they are.  I was going to elaborate.  To tell of the way they parent their beautiful children; the way they make the effort to travel to see us; the way they care about how we are, make sure we're not over-doing it.  But, you'll realise I don't even need to put it into words.

Don't get me wrong - they are not perfect, by any means, they are human, as we all are.  And, this has never been a space where I just write the sugar-coated stuff, that is the stuff of those 'round-robin' Christmas letters!

But, we've just spent some time together, all cloistered in our too-small home, some on z or camp beds; some who will only eat 'nanny's soup' believing it is just made of tomatoes, when in fact it has bacon, lentils and good-for-you vegetables, whizzed up and hidden in it (this said person does eat meat, including pork); all the 'adults' go outside for a fag (cigarette) in the snowy, foggy weather, despite my admonitions about the filthy habit, that will surely kill them off yet none of us drink alcohol, and all eat too much chocolate (except me now, bah). 

I am enjoying this break between Christmas and New Year, if only to catch up.  As ever, I have knitting and sewing to do, and ideas to get down on paper for my course, a dreaded tax return, some reports to complete, as well as professional registration and checks I have to do every three years.  So, I shall be stuck to my desk for a few of those days, at least!

Ah, there is also the necessity for a hairdressers appointment for a three year old who, left in dad's care today, found the baby nail scissors and cut off some of her hair!


Friday, 24 December 2010


Nearly there!  Only a couple of hours 'til the day arrives.

We've had the visit to Santa ...

... and, our son and his family arrived safely from England-shire, together with our baby grandson ...

... who loves to play with nanny's magazines!

Yesterday, our two eldest grand-daughters decorated our Christmas cake, and  all six of us girls went to the panto at the Festival Theatre at Pitlochry, to see Cinderella.  It was the first time they had put on a panto, and what a great job they did of it!  From the youngest (aged 3) to the coolest two (aged 13) their mums, and me, their nan, we all thoroughly enjoyed it, and if they do it again next year, they've already sold six tickets.

Yes, I already have my Christmas here, with my lovely family around me.  I don't need anything else - what bliss!

Here's wishing you all you wish yourself, this Christmas
with loads of love from the tea house

The Cake
Made by Maura (and brought up to Scotland from Cambridgeshire!)
Decorated by Ash and Coo

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

marmalade attack

Mr T has nagged me for ages to clear some of the [bloody!] oranges out of the freezer. 

As I ran out of Seville oranges last year, I bought a whole box of them in January this year - 19 kg of the lovelies.  But, obviously, I didn't get to use them all.  All right, I did a couple of batches throughout the year.

It's Christmas this week (in case you hadn't guessed, that is) and we have our family arriving for said holiday this Thursday. I therefore decided to bugger all the other stuff I still have to do, and make some marmalade. 

Talk about a marmalade attack!

But, look at the result! and, yes, that is a bottle of 12 year old, single malt, Highland Park in the background, that just happened to be in the cupboard. Well, Mr T did say to just open whatever was there!

I was going to get on and give the mess a scrub, but as Mr T was bored, he scooted me off to visit a friend.

Sometimes the snow has it advantages, especially when Mr T can't get out to do anything in the garden!

Monday, 20 December 2010


Awe!  We met nanny's lolly-dolly-pop and her mum on they way to nursery, this morning.  Where we were informed

           'Nanny, we're having a school play!'

Off we skidded across the slushy snow of the school playground, where grandad and I were led into the depths of the overheated school to the hall.  We sat down as close to the front as we could.  I say sat down, but ye gods those wee chairs are only suited to the children's sized bums!  Rather, we perched and saved a seat for mum to join us after getting our 'star' settled in her costume.

Once we were all in with coats off and babies grizzling, or noisily eating grapes, we waited with bated breath, with cameras and videos poised - it started.  Humph the Camel was performed, except the bits that were forgotten; especially by the main star who cried and wanted her mammy.

I, alongside most of the other audience attendees, took many photos and some video, but, luckily this one is blurred and, as such the children cannot be recognised - so I can share it here!  However, if you do think you can identify any of the children, please do let me know and I shall delete it.

We did shed a tear or two, as they were all soooo sweet!  Their teachers did so well to have gotten all the children so well organised, together with songs, costumes and words.  Bravo! to them.

Afterwards, we were all invited to have a cuppa and mince pie, and our star was adamant she would only drink her red juice from a cup, with a saucer.  Hmm.  Meanwhile, we chatted about the school play, and I asked her about the special baby. 

To which she replied

     'Oh, yes, the baby Cheesus!'

I think Christmas has now officially started. xx


Saturday, 11 December 2010

My Happy List

I've just seen this idea over on Curly Pops' blog, and liked the idea.  Especially, on a day like today.  The snow is melting, leaving everywhere appearing a bit grey and dismal.  And, after a week of some people being both rude and spiteful, the shocking death of our lolly-dolly-pop's previous child-minder ....


the red bucket in our landing window is collecting water
from the melting gutter ice, that is coming through the window frame - eek

1.  We are here, no more heart attacks in this house, thank you

me and ash off to see some animals . . . .

. . . . . including her all time fave, the 'polo' bear
which we saw at the HIGHLAND WILDLIFE PARK

2.  We have healthy children and grand-children

. . . . who, despite the 'face' love to help nanny at her work

3.  By the gift of our childdren we have lots of contact with them, and our grand-children - and, lately via that wonderful invention Skype

4.  We are happy together, and love travelling

the ship we boarded in Venice, to go around the Mediterranean this year

 5.  We're lucky enough to be working, so that we have a comfortable way of life, and can afford those 'extras' which includes travel

6.  It's Christmas in two weeks from today, and we'll have our family with us.

I could stop there, but I am so grateful to have all of this, that I don't have to be spiteful or rude to people - and I haven't lost anyone of mine.  Thanks be.

A Happy and Peaceful Christmas to you

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

living in an igloo

Well, this is what our igloo looks like from outside and up the hill.  Sorry for the gratuitous 'snow' picture, but I thought this one, that Mr T took with our new SLR camera, the other day was superb.  Isn't it?  The snow is actually another foot deeper now.  But, I've just checked the storecupboard and found another six packets of tea - so, we're not running out of supplies just yet.

We have been stuck indoors for a couple of days now, and are really enjoying it.  Seems like a holiday at home to us.  I've got all the hoovering and ironing done.  Loads of knitting and will get set to and do some sewing tomorrow.  Then, I've got some stuff to catch up on for college - mainly getting my scrapbook up to date, and starting on my project.  It is on - guess what? - kintting! I've to gather images, samples, ideas and some knitting designers and put them into a sketchbook.  Fun, eh?

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Yet again, gah

Yes, yet again I have a stinker of a cold.  I have had to cancel three meetings - yes, three! - for today, again.  And, with this 'cold' I have not been sleeping, just a couple of hours a night.  This will just not do.

I am due to be going to Harrogate tomorrow, to the Knitting and Stitching Show which I am really excited about.  Several friends have been going for years, and one in particular - I shall call her Jean, as that is her name - sends me a copy of the leaflet each year.  And, this time another crafter and I are palling up to go there.  We went through the Twisted Thread site and found a great deal on the hotel and travel.  Let's hope it all goes smoothly ..... After attending the Pain Clinic I bought a folding chair thingy, that I'll be able to take and use in the exhibitions, etc.  Usually, I am unable to go to exhibitions due to the pain of walking and then standing about on hard floors.  I let you know how I get on - I know you are gagging for information, haha!

My family are all well at the moment, except for nanny's lolly-dolly-pop, who very generously gave this current cold to me.  She loves being called nanny's lolly-dolly-pop

              ** we interrupt this broadcast to let you know it is SNOWING! here in mid-
                    Scotland, yay! **  (deffo worth staying home and knitting socks by the fire, eh? )

and we have movement on the childminding stakes. We had the sad news, recently, that nldp's childminder, S, is very sick.  Her cancer has returned.  So, there was a mad rush to find a good next one, and in the meantime, granddad and I stepped in to help.  A new childminder has been found, vetted, and given the approval of nldp, but is more expensive.  The solution we came to was for granddad and I to have her on one day each week, so bonus for me!  Daughter and nldp have been to visit S, and taken her a 'birthday' (according to nldp) card, that is a Get Well Soon one.  Our thoughts are with S, who is bearing up but very scared.  Kind of puts any cold a person may be suffering from into perspective, doesn't it?

As I leave you today, little tiny flakes of snow are wending their way down from the sky, to join up with the hard frost to be found covering everything.

Friday, 5 November 2010


Well, we're back from a most smashing holiday, over one of the most awful of virus-y colds ever, and well, back to the usual stuff of course.

The holiday was 'really fun' to use an American term I heard quite a bit.  The Royal Caribbean cruise line is US owned and patronised; though altogether there were 62 different nations aboard.  There was everything you could want aboard, including two swimming pools, various bars, lessons in painting, dancing and languages, as well as how to fold the towels in the cute way the stateroom attendants did it to amuse us.  Deck games plus a climbing wall, plus 3.5 x around the ship = 1 mile - or you could run it, either in company or alone.

The food was impressive. Not just beautiful, well cooked food in such a variety that you couldn't get bored, but consistently good if you were partaking at 6 am or 2 am.  Doubly impressive when you consider they were catering for 2,500 people for all those hours. And, the staff were at all times, pleasant and polite - and with a genuine smile.

We needed to return from one trip due to a stonking migraine I developed.  Not only was the taxi fare refunded, but I was able to see the doctor, and enquiries were made into my welfare with real concern.

We visited Venice (stunning) Egypt (smelly and dirty, as usual) Israel (clean, friendly and efficient) Athens (gorgeous - with the Amphitheatre, which was cool) and Croatia which had oranges and pomegranates growing on trees (which a young, New Yorker thought might be tomatoes (!)) and an, as yet, freshness that appears to be unsullied by us rotten tourists visiting.

As it was a 'Holy Land' cruise of course there was a visit to Jerusalem, to see Jesus birthplace.  The manger in a stable turns out to be a cave down several lots of steps, (which I didn't venture down as a) I am claustrophobic and b) not religious) instead of a wooden stable that all kids in a Christian world have been fobbed off with.  It was also not very 'godly' for those who were expecting that, apparently, due to the sheer volume of the crowds.  Which is a shame if that's what you've actually paid all your money for.

The ship is the holiday itself with, as I say, everything you could want and is very comfortable.  The visits to the various countries involves getting off the ship, onto a coach, visit something in that country, and return back to the ship. Which does give you a flavour of the various places, and we have definitely decided we will return to Venice. And, there is a but.  Which is that we like to visit a country and see more than just the sight it is famous for.  So, I don't think that cruising on a big ship is for us in the near future.

We did return, as said, to the usual bugs picked up on the journey home, usually, which does detract somewhat from the relaxing effect of the holiday. So, we'll be planning the next one soon, I'm sure.  I will post up piccies soon. Promise.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Well, it's still all happening here

I was very excited about our forthcoming holiday, possibly a bit over the top.  But, we've worked hard to earn the money to pay for it.

I was simply over the moon about my new embroidery/textiles course.

Until my bro was here to visit, that is.  He was here for three weeks which isn't usually a problem.  And, he was here while Mr T was away for a few days on a motorbike trip with his mates.  Not usually a problem.

Except that I came home from an evening at the rural, to find he had downed a bottle of Jack Daniels.  A medium bottle of 40% proof, of my JD.  He wasn't too bad when I left him to go to bed as my back was very sore. (It had been my turn to do the supper and it takes it out of my back)

I had to come downstairs again and ring my daughter, as I was scared bro needed an ambulance - that he would die, or get up and hit me if I said the wrong thing.  He can be violent in drink.

Daughter stayed on the 'phone while son-in-law raced up in the car.  He helped me to aid bro while he was being sick.  I was so worried and angry, as well as embarrassed for s-i-l, that I took some video.

Next day, he stayed in bed for most of it.  I went off to wherever I needed to go and Mr T returned home. I kept thinking 'Oh my god, some people have to put up with this on a daily or nightly basis!'

Then, the next day, after I had been in a daze of upset, nearly bursting into tears while shopping in town, I vowed that he needed to go.  However, I couldn't send him away after he has been rejected by our mum, for no good reason.  I decided I needed to at least say something to him.

He told me that I was over-reacting.  I dared him to say such a thing, how dare he?!  I know he is an alcoholic, he doesn't know it yet, it seems.  I offered to take him to AA, but he said he wouldn't do it until he got home.

He has now gone home, under a cloud.  We looked into the drinks cupboard and have found, unsurprisingly, that all the bottles are somewhat lower.

I am so upset at the prospect of what might lay ahead for him.  We have always looked after each other.  I cannot look after him, there is nothing I can do to make this better for him.

Sunday, 5 September 2010


Yes, very busy lately.  And, I was quite poorly with a facial neuralgia, that was bloody painful I can tell you.  Then, the meds given for it make me drunk.  All day.  I told the doc that, when this is over, I may take up drinking!  I am getting used to the drugs (Gabapentin) now and the effects are just that I am fairly lad back, can sleep at night, and the symptoms of tingling in my face, are greatly reduced.

I enrolled onto the course last week, and hadn't realised I could stay there all day, gah!  But, I had delayed taking my meds so that I could understand what was being told to me, and was ready to go when Mr T collected me a couple of hours later.  He had been to the hospital physio for his back problem - that still hasn't been diagnosed.  He has been given some exercises to do that may or may not work. 

However, the course seems absolutely brill, and we have two women from India giving us a workshop on Indian embroidery in the few weeks.  Whoop Whoop!  I had to stop myself from weeping with joy, that it just gets better and better.

I went to the UK Knit Camp, Stirling at the beginning of the month, and took a workshop with Carol Feller, on the magic loop.  Now, I am hooked!  And, it's so easy.  I showed it to people at my craft group on Thursday, and one actually had a go.  Though, they all had a reason for not trying it, but there you go.  I treated myself to a deluxe set of knit-pro interchangeable needles and am finding them indispensable now.  It certainly removes my propensity for ladders. 

There was a lovely atmosphere at the camp, especially with the spinners, who were making an attempt at a Guinness Book of Records sheep to jumper (or yarn to garment, or sheep to shoulder, I don't know and can't seem to find out!) challenge.  Unfortunately, they took nearly six hours, so didn't beat the 4 hour record, but they seemed to have a lot of fun.  I could only go there on the Saturday due to work commitments, but if it comes up again I shall try to get there.

My bro is up visiting at the moment and he loves to look at arty exhibitions, so I took him and Mr P along to the Salutation Hotel in Perth to look at the  Prestonpans Tapestry.  This is an embroidered panel telling the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie's attempt at gaining back the Scottish throne, and the great battle at Prestonpans in 1745.  The panel developed from an idea to make a tapestry similar to the Bayeux, and was completed this year, and is now the longest tapestry in the world.  Do have a look at the site and go along, if you can, it is a wonderful piece of work.

I do have some piccies of bits that I have made, and will post up soon, promise.  Have a good week.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

'If you think I'm sexy ....' tra, la! and All Sewn Up

Wow, what a week this has been!  We were invited to a friend's 50th birthday party on Saturday, which we were intending to go.  But, then I was informed by my daughter that, as it was my birthday on Saturday, I needed to cancel any plans I had made as she had a surprise present for me.  Hmm, it was quite hard to telephone my friend to let her know we weren't coming.

BUT!  what was the surprise? You've guessed from the title of this post, right?  YES!  tickets for a Rod Stewart concert at Inverness, yay!!!  What a performance he gave - it was brilliant!  All the old favourites - 'Maggie May', 'This old Heart', 'I am Sailing' and two hours worth of more.  It was fantastic to be singing the songs wot he wrote, alongside him, and that we've been singing since he first wrote them.

And, the icing on the cake was that our original tickets were for on the pitch (Cally Thistle Stadium) and behind the tent covering the light and sound equipment, and protecting it from any rain.  Yes, blocking our view but, we weren't going to let that spoil our evening.

However, the tent was being pulled down as the night was clear.  While this was happening I was talking to a young woman about the tent being there, blah, blah.  I mentioned that I had been anxious as it might have spoiled our view, it was my birthday and this was my birthday treat.  We sat down and the young woman came over and asked us to go and follow her.  So, we arrived down at the front of the pitch, four rows from the front .... and she says 'I'm **name, the person in charge**, have these seats with my compliments, and Happy Birthday to you!' 

Just how flipping cool is that?!!  And, I am now more in love with Rod Stewart than ever.

AND - a Textiles Course

I recently applied for a place on a City & Guilds Creative Embroidery course.  When I spoke with the person who runs this course she ran through the course details and it turns out that it is much more to do with textiles, art and design, was I still interested?  I was biting my fist as she was speaking, of course I would love to do the textiles side of it as well as the embroidery, felting and machine embroidery.  Who wouldn't?!

So today I have received the offer letter.  I need to return the acceptance form within 7 days. 

Whoo, Hoo!!

So, perhaps being the ripe old age of 53 won't be so bad, eh?

Wednesday, 14 July 2010


We have just had an exhausting time of it lately.  We had friends come to stay for a week.  Then my bro' came to stay for two weeks.  Then, last week, our son, his partner, and our two grandchildren came to stay for a week.

Don't get me wrong, we love to see them all; and are very grateful that they make the effort to come all the way to the Scottish highlands to see us.  We have had a lovely time of it, as well.  Just being with friends and family who know us, love us and we have a history with - is relaxing in a way, too.

But, I could do with a rest, now!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Commission # 3 some bags, and some paintings

These are some of the bags I make for our knitting group.  These ones have a drawstring and, if they don't get sold at our flower festival, will go into Christmas boxes that are donated to the Blytheswood charity, and may go anywhere in the world, for people who need them.

As you can see there are other crafts that go on sale here as well.  Unfortunately, people seem to not want to pay 'real' money for them - eg these gorgeous granny square blankets only raise about £4 or £5 each.  Somebody had hand painted some ceramic tiles and was going to price them at 50p!  However, was persuaded to price them at £1, which is still far too cheap.

Ah well, the cash raised here and at another craft fair in August, will all go towards the boxes.

Also at the festival was an opportunity for local crafters to have sales tables, or just display their work.  I had recently taken a short oil painting course and decided to display some of my paintings.

 the city scape is Mr T's fave

the two on the left were my son's fave

It was scary to put myself  'out there' as it were!  But, some of my bags were sold - a lot before they reached the stall, which is gratifying.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Children's clothes

What a joy it is to be making stuff for little people!

Oh dear!  I made these for our baby grandson orginally, but the sizing was well out!  So, miss aged three has them, with a couple of yo-yos added for effect. (ps they do look better when the shoes are on, too)

The was the pair of trews he ended up with - in the new born size, despite him being a large size five months worth!  Nanny added the appliqué car with buttons.  The pattern for these has been in my cupboard for over twelve years, as I first did them for nanny's best girl, who is now aged 13!

These were made from vintage sheeting. 

 As is the next item - aged three's dress, here -

How cute is that, eh?  This one is the first of two I made from 'Weekend Sewing' which I just love, and will be using again and again, I'm sure.

Something that was promised a while ago is the cooking/painting pinney, so ta da!

She will grow into this, I'm sure!  This is nanny's own pattern.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Commission # 2 ta, da!

Another exciting project has, at last, been finished!

This dress began life as part of a huge pair of curtains, with pelmet, rescued from the charity shop where my brother works.  The manager, a lovely woman who, like me is rather addicted to vintage/retro clothing, wanted a dress made from the curtains and, would I be able to use a vintage pattern to do it? 
'Yes,' I said 'no problem!'

Except, I was busy and would become more so over the following months, oh dear.
However, as I wound down some of my work comittments, I found the time to just get on with it.
I first washed the fabric as I didn't know how old or how long it had been hung as curtaining.  Then, cut out the, very flimsy, dated 1959 vintage pattern pieces.

Some of the terms were new to me, such as binding the sleeve edges, adding tape to the sleeve seams and how to add the skirt to the bodice, while adding tape for strength.  However, I have some very old sewing books, which were so useful, and made it very enjoyable to be learning new stuff.  Though I machined the bottom of the skirt I didn't actually hem it, as I don't know the height of the woman who will be modelling it at a future vintage show.

I wish I could have repeated this, but in perhaps a retro sheeting, but the person wanted the pattern back, as well as her dress.

My thanks to J who was my super model, and I've stuck to my word and not shown her face here!

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Commissions #1 Boat Curtains

Last year I was given three, yes three commissions for my sewing.  I was happy and pleased about this, but was so busy with 'work' stuff that I simply didn't get to them.  Yep, I felt guilty, really guilty actually, and stressed.

But, voilà!  I have, at last, completed all three.  The first of which I will show you the pictures of here today, and will save the others for the next few days, as I take photos of them.

The first is the boat curtains for my bezzy friend's lovely little boat.  What she wanted was me to decorate the curtain linings so that it brightened up the boat when it was out of use during the winter - what a brilliant idea!

Don't they look splendid?  Poor old little bruv had suffered a bit of damage on this trip, but is soon mended and they are travelling around in it for a whole month, soon.

I am really pleased with how they came out, and may be taking orders from her friends, who are very jealous, apparently!

More soon - about the dress from curtains, made with a pattern from 1959, and the charity bags.


Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Blog Workshops

I have recently had the pleasure of taking a couple of 'Build your own Blog' workshops, and have been so impressed with how well the people have learned.  Now, some of the people in the two groups just flew.  One called herself 'click happy' but others, looked, learned, took notes and best of all just played around with it.

Some were literally scared of what might be involved when they pressed a button on the keyboard - though all were guaranteed they would not blow anything up!  All were wary about what information they wanted to share with the Whole Wide World, and quite rightly one of the first things they wished to be shown was how to protect themselves and their family, friends or clients' confidentiality, while knowing how to get viewers to see their pages.

A few were very confused about the process, but I found that as each person thought about what they would use a blog for, they could apply it and so it would make sense.  Whether it was to be used for their business, a diary, or listing dates or recording events all found their own way to get the most out of their blog.

Welcome to our world, new bloggers!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

A quiet den

A quiet sit down, with some sock knitting, a cushion and a book about caravans

some tea making stuff, an apple

and a view from the window.

Such peace.

I shall miss our old caravan, now it's been sold.  Ah well, it was great for the short time we had two caravans about the place.

But, all is not lost as we do have the newer 'van!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

My Creative Space (or, the mess I'm in!)

We were talking at the craft group, last week, about the mess our craft rooms are in and as each one spoke, it seemed the 'mess' was getting worse and worse!  So, we agreed to email pictures to each other of just what a state our rooms are.  One commented, ages ago, that it doesn't matter that you have a designated room for your crafting work, the mess will spill out to the other rooms in the house.  And, Margaret, you are so unbelievably right!

Well, this is walking through the door.  As this is next to our bedroom, I usually keep this door closed-ish, so Mr T doesn't see, and then moan at me.  This is just the start of it, I'm afraid.

I have recently had a bit of a tidy-up and moved from using this flap-table (behind the ironing board) and facing where the chair now is, but the light is awful here.  The view from the window is on to another building and so the best light now comes in, over my right shoulder.  I can also use the sewing machine or flap-tables for cutting out.  Though, if it's for a large item, then either the living-room floor or the dining room table work.  The fabrics on the ironing board are my latest charity shop finds - a lovely embroidered dress, of which I will be turning into cushion fabric for my bedroom overhaul, and a lovely length of curtain fabric, which I don't know what I'm going to be doing with - just yet, but,there are ideas afoot!

It now gets worse, I'm afraid, as we move towards the yarn cupboard as here you might notice most or any of yarn recently 'shopped' for within my stash, but said stash not returned to the boxes from whence they came.  And, rather a lot of WIP's which I will get to at some point.  In here, I also hit upon the idea of hanging some of my fabric up onto coathangers, which works so long as you do it!

And, now, dear reader, the worst of my messy crime is visible here.  Every nook and cranny is crammed full of the evidence of a hoarder of addiction level!  In front of the radiator is the tall pile of the fabrics I want to use next in my projects, including the tweeds you cannot see at the bottom of a very deep box.  The dressmaker's dummy was my last year's birthday present, which I hav yet to adjust to my own measurements.  However, the bodice in progress you'll see there is not to fit me, but a dress being re-vamped from a pair of curtains.  This is for a charity shop in which my brother works, and the manager there asked me if I could possibly do this for them.  Last year.  Ahem,  I am just as the stage of gathering the very, very full skirt and then I can get it finished.  Pics on here, obv., when finished.
The spinning wheel was purchased about three years ago, after doing a day's spinning lessons, but never again picked up.  But, it will be.  One day, soon, I'm sure!

Now you have it - my guilty secret, about the place where I work and dream.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

smoke and mirrors

We had a fright yesterday.  A 'friend' told my daughter something about the current child minder that deeply upset us, and I quickly went to fetch nanny's lolly-dolly-pop away from her.  We did enjoy her company for the afternoon, and, as I had to be away to work, grandad continued to look after her - taking her for ice-cream, yum.

We were then making plans for what should happen to nanny's l-d-pop when mummy and daddy are at their work.  All this while abstaining from confronting the child minder in any way, so as not to scupper (upset, put a stop to) anything.

Then, this morning, we hear that the 'friend' who had given us the 'information' that so upset us all, had been exaggerating!  What she had said she had seen was taken out of context, and out of proportion.  For goodness sake!  However, on thinking about it, she had previously told us untruths, and increased the drama of situations in which she had been.

The carer, who up until now has been entrusted with minding our little girl, and our little girl has been so happy with her, was nearly reported to the council.  This reporting would have been on her work record - forever.

Rightly, if it had proved the information was indeed correct, then swift action would have been necessary to protect, not only our nanny's d-l-pop, but other children, too.  And, we would have no qualms about doing so, at all.  Thank goodness we decided to investigate further.

It just goes to show - you can never really trust what someone says about someone else. Isn't it?  And this woman was just a drama queen, not even doing it in a spiteful, malicious way that some people delight in doing.

NB Pictures via Fotosearch, Royalty free 

Monday, 17 May 2010

When I 'come out'

Ooh, now it has happened.  I need to 'come out' locally, that is, to friends who I have been helping to learn how to start they're own blog. 

I have really been enjoying taking these workshops - and another friend has found others who want me to show them how to do this, as well! 

However, since I have the privilage of knowing others' blog details (though they can delete these and start new ones elsewhere, for privacy) it seems a bit silly to hold out the information about my own.  I have warned people, though, that they might see stuff on my own blog they may not like - such as swear words and/or views they may not agree with.  And, I suppose this goes for you as well, dear reader.  If you don't like it, you can use one of those little pinkies and click away from the page, ma'am!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

More knitting, sewing and some bloggers

I knitted my mum a pair of socks - which I think she has secretly been wanting for a while now, but as you might remember, she has recently been in hospital again.  This time not with her heart, though they did revise her medication and we found out that her GP should have been monitoring her, and hasn't harrumph.  Anyhow, she is now coming to realise that rest, sometimes, she must.  And, to assist her with this unwelcome pastime I have produced a pair of lilac socks, which I think she'll love.

As you can see there is also a cream sock on the blockers, and that is mine.  It is such an easy pattern of six rows that I can mindlessly watch the telly while knitting.

Both these patterns are from the Interweave Press 'Favorite Socks - 25 timeless designs' book, (you'll have seen the others, here)  and are the third and fourth ones I've done from this one. There are many more that I want to do, too.  The yarn is Patons Fairytale 'Dreamtime' and is lovely and squishy, soft, though a bit 'splitty' to knit with.

I got the sock blockers from eebaay, and they came from USA, though I'm sure I have seen wooden sock blockers available in this country, somewhere on the world wide net, but, sorry, can't remember where.

And, folks, I have also been sewing.  We had a local competition with our rural last week, with a 'Toyland' theme.  In teams of four we had to come up with a knitted, sewn, embroidered and 'own choice' of items.  My idea for the sewing was to make a nursery book.  I chose the pattern from Simplicity for 'Baby's First Book' number S3709 and, though there were eight pages to do, I only managed four - you guessed it, I ran out of time, because I started late, doh!

page 1

page 2

                             page 3
                                                                                    page 4

I really enjoyed making this book, and did loads of things never before attempted, such as appliqué, satin stitch, covering my own buttons (the flowers - how easy was that?!) and the button-holing around the MY BOOK words. But, the amount of times I was changing my thread and bobbins, it got a bit confusing at times!

Speaking of confusing - I took a workshop today, on 'Building your own Blog' and have now introduced three more bloggers to the interweb, folks!  I won't link them here at the mo' as they might not want me to, but will if/when they give me their permissions.  It wasn't until I was making the lesson plan that I realised just how much I have learned over the past couple of years in blogland, and to be able to introduce people, some of whom were scared (I have another five people attending for the evening workshop, next week.)  And, then to see the lightbulb 'ping' on was gratifying.  I didn't even need to tell them to play around on it, they just wizzed ahead and, exactly as I had predicted, one said 'That was so easy!'  Yessssss.

Monday, 10 May 2010


Yes, we had blimmin' snow this afternoon!  No, I don't believe it, either, but it was there - and, thankfully, gone again on this cold, but sunny day - bizarre.

I have been absent these couple of weeks as I've just been, well, busy I guess.  Just with work and stuff.  I didn't go to weight watchers this week, but lost a whole 2 lbs last week, yay!  So, that makes me 16 st 12 lbs, just 1 lb to go to get to my first stone, phew!  It just goes to show what can be done with counting points and sticking to the diet.

Anyway, must fly and will deffo be back this week, and with piccies - promise x

Thursday, 29 April 2010


I had a bit of a fright this morning, when I looked into the mirror.  No, not a bad hair day, though it is, but I am off to the hairdressers this morning (and the dentist :() But, I found two lumps on my face!!!

Further investigation revealed that they are the defining lines of my new Cheeks!  Yes, Hurrah, my face is now losing weight, too.  Just how blimmin' cool is that?!

My actual weight stayed the same last week, boo hoo, but obv. the inches are coming off somewhere - and now my face!

I had an appointment at the hospital yesterday, and they have decided that to operate further would be 'treacherous' for my spine.  So, it will continue to worsen and they cannot do anything further.  So.  They are making a referral for me to attend the Pain Clinic, which I'm pleased about - and then I can hope to manage this myself.  Meanwhile, I am cutting down on my 'physical' employment, and continuing to increase, rather 'cherry-picking' the non-physical work that I can enjoy.

That isn't so bad, really.  And, my chiropractor is pleased that I have taken up walking, and recommends I return to horse-riding.

If I could give up work altogether, and retire (be at least 13 years older, to be able to afford it!) then I could walk, ride and take up golf - now, there's a good thought!

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Strange times

I am still a lucky girl and lost a whole one and a half pounds this week - woo, hoo!  Which now brings me down to 17 stones.  However, I do realise that this means that I still weigh 17 stones. Hmm.  So, thankfully, my bezzy mate has been visiting, and as she's losing weight as well, I was able to stick to the plan, more or less, and Wrote Things Down.  Which has obv. helped.

In other news, my mum is quite poorly at the moment.  She was having more chest pains so went to the doc, who promptly sent her off to hospital, where they kept her in for tests.  I cannot believe the woman actually Drove herself there in her own Car, for chrissakes!  But, that's what she did, instead of ringing my sister, or getting a cab.  'Well, she was probably a bit worried' you might say.  Well, she had time to go home and pack a suitcase, ready for a possible admission.  Ah well.

She's been in hospital for over a week, where they've found she has Angina, her current medication is insufficient, and her GP should have made regular checks on her.  Then, she gets a cold the day before yesterday, so they couldn't do another Angiogram.  Now, she has pneumonia. So, she is really tired, and they are pumping her full of antibiotics.

My sister says it's not urgent enough for me to race down there from Scotland.  She would like one of my brothers to help out and pay a visit to mum, but, well, they're busy, apparently.  Now, my mother is an old fashioned woman, whereby men are gods, to be pampered and idolised.  For instance, they get their, larger, dinner first, and are consulted and revered just by dint of being male, grr.  But, these buggering brothers of mine - one of whom is a blimmin' Christian of all things, and the other has a disability that prevents him from working at a job, but not from visiting the pub or driving a car, are too busy.

I'm lighter, but no less bitter.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Phew! - Diet Update

Yes, it is a big Phew!  I lost 1 lb this week, hurrah!  I still have not been writing stuff down, or planning properly, but have been more conscious of what I've been eating and making the low-fat choices.  I cut down drastically on the chocolate - only having a half of a small Easter egg instead of several large ones.  And, not told myself that it is Thursday night, The weekend, boring Monday, or nearly at Thursday again as an excuse to scoff any and everything I might fancy!  Seems to work, though.

Also, I've joined up with several other women on a weekly, Friday walk.  I went for the third time this week, and walked at least four miles, instead of the two the route map said!  However, I woke up this morning and my legs weren't hurting - so another Yay!  I'm obviously getting used to it.  Oh, and I bought myself a new bike, that I am in love with, and have been out on it!  More than I did with the last one.
Me, posing on my bike, up the road, and with a waist!

Through the diet and exercise I am feeling a lot more positive in myself, and finding a lot more energy, as well.
I am keeping very busy with current work commitments, and negotiating more of the same, but different.  As my back is hurting more or less full time, I am having to switch away from the housekeeping, and looking at 'cherry picking' social work consultancy work.  This way, I get to choose the parts of the job that I enjoy most, such as making assessments and managing decisions.  Much less stressful than being employed full time, and being part of the rush and tear, methinks.

Hmm, perhaps it's the Spring finally making an appearance that makes a difference.  Certainly, my bezzy mate coming to stay for a week from tomorrow is a big boost, Hurrah!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Diet update -

...... - stayed the same last week.  Supposed to be writing EVERYTHING down, but not.  Trying to stick to it, anyways.  Bit more successful this week, so far.  Will weigh in again tomorrow.

Busy, busy, busy at the mo', with two country houses to get ready for Friday and Saturday, reports to write, books to update.  Luckily, I have been paid for one piece of work, yippee!  So, can pay my tax, Ni and credit card bills.  Ah, well.

Have my Bessy Mate coming to stay at the weekend woo, hoo!  Have NBG's birthday next week - a blimmin' 13 year old, if you please ... and lippy with it.  Ha, ha I always wished a 14 year old upon my daughter, when she was 14 years old .... mwaaa haaaaa!

Back soon. xx

Friday, 26 March 2010

Well now - diet update

I've had a lesson today.  I popped along to my WW class this evening, fully expecting to have put weight on.  Not a very good expectation, but not really a very good week.  I lost half a pound. Yep, a measly ½ not a good amount, and thankfully, off but ....... still, I am now 17 st 2½ lbs - a whole 8 ½ off altogether.

This is good, it is good, but as my school reports used to say 'Could do better!'  I was fairly okay this week, with doing the plan, but there is a difference between 'doing it' and actually 'sticking' to the plan, if you know what I mean.  This week I did plan a week's menu, shopped for it, and pinned it to the board, so that I and Mr T would know just what we were meant to be eating, what the POINTS value was, and what page to find the recipe.  Except, I had not planned in for the Indian takeaway meal after class on Thursday; chocolate M & M's at the cinema on Friday; the odd chocolate bar; the missed breakfasts; and the big meeting we had at the SWRI on Wednesday evening, where I downed not only a lovely meringue with cream, but several sandwiches, Victoria sponge cake, chocolate rice krispies I had made (you can guess the level of sophistication in this house!) and plenty of lovely quiche.

Now, looking back at that list, I cannot believe I lost any weight at all, oh shite.  But, this week I will be starting with a walk with friends in the morning, Mr T has been complaining about the lack of housework carried out in this homestead, so I shall tackle some of that, ahem, and I will be sticking to the plan and writing everything down.

That will be a good start.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Well, it's been a busy ....

... time, this last month!

We had a lovely trip down South, and our new grandson is very beautiful, of course; we also met up with some friends in Peterborough, then towed ourselves and the caravan over to Wales, to Cardiff, for my uncle's 60th birthday party.

  We visited Barry Island (of 'Gavin and Stacey' fame)

 and had coffee by the sea and in the sunshine, and then had a bike ride in the castle grounds in Cardiff.  Bliss.  All the washing is now done (tho' not the ironing) and we're back to work with a bang. Ah well.