Saturday, 27 February 2010


There are times when a rejection letter gets tossed aside with nary a care and times when the 'not this time' sits heavy in the air for an hour or two.
The latter this morning. Another no to a job application. Not the end of the world...after all I do have a job. I think it is a combination of things. The 'no' I can live with, but I am increasingly more frustrated that I am not able to make more of my creations and write more patterns for crochet. If I am honest, I am not making more time for this so maybe it is time to start being ruthless? I am saving up to have a web site designed for me. Sounds extravagent, but I want to sell the things, the patterns and other stuff and think a web site will help. Who knows.
I worked on something new this week and should get it up on Flickr over the weekend.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The Emerald Isle

I was born in Ireland, but have not visited since 1990.....until this year. John, the girls and I are off for a week at Easter to see the old country, to visit some of the places I remember from my childhood and to see some family. We will be sailing into Dublin, staying in Newcastle and I hope, covering some ground. I also want to climb Sleive Donard - Northern Ireland's highest mountain at 850m!!

Monday, 22 February 2010

Crashing Start

John and Adam went and collected Adam's new (to him) car on Friday. A red Fiat Punto in great condition. John took me for a spin to Lingfield in it on Friday night. Fun thing, but would not like to do a long distance drive in it.
The sad part of this story is that before Adam even got into the car for the first time on Sunday afternoon, a neighbour came out of her house to say that she had reversed into in and dented the front bumper and cracked a light. It was a big shock, and it will be repaired, but poor lad was upset.

Other news is that Alice in Wonderland ended with standing ovations and the girls are now talking about auditioning for next year's show, even though they don't know what it is yet.

Finally, we are planning a trip to Ireland. More later!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Musical Debut

Tonight is the first night of the musical Alice in Wonderland at Chequer Mead with Hannah in the role as the punk card and Emily, the bear. (Yes, bear, this is an extra special version of the story). They have worked hard to learn their songs and dances and last night came home with remnants of make-up on from the first on-stage run through. They have a list of things to buy and take with them today, hair nets, hair pins, make-up wipes etc. John is in charge as I am at work till 1pm. He is coping with all the girly stuff very well and has been sending them off to rehearsals with great packs of healthy food to keep them going.
Sadly, rumour has it that sales of tickets are low, but I am sure the weekend performances will have good turnouts.
We are going to get them a bouquet of flowers each. We want them to feel like stars.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Sisterly greetings

My youngest sister lives in Darwin, NT, outback Australia. It is a pretty coastal town and she lives across the vast harbour in a smaller quieter settlement. She commutes to town by ferry.
She sent an email with photos and I thought they would be of her sons. But as you can see here, this one is of a huge saltwater crocodile being fed by boys at one of the stations in the Territory.
Crocodiles get to be this size as there are no natural predators, (except when they are eggs and small enough for birds, pigs, dingos as well as fish and other crocs to take them). Over a certain size it gets harder. Hunting them is banned as they were once hunted to near extinction. Now there is talk of introducing game hunting and or a cull.
They have always caused a tiny element of terror in me. They can jump almost as high as their body length, can out run a man, stay underwater for 30 mins and swim extremely fast. No getting away!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Insects standing?

In the old Japanese lunar calendar there are some lovely dates. One is called Standing Insects. Early in the year, as the soil warms, insects begin to move about. As we just had Setsubun.... the beginning of the Spring...we threw peanuts out into the garden along with all the bad luck and chucked a few back in with some good luck, for a good year...there is bound to be the odd insect stirring!
Me too, my gardening bug is stirring as well. Despite the flurry of snow we had last night, it is clear that things are happening out there.
Daffodils and crocii shoots, buds on the hydrangea and other plants. It makes me want to start digging. I have my eye on some seed potatoes and need to cut back the Autumn Bliss raspberries. These are amazing things, we had so much fruit from 4 skinny canes last year. There are still berries in the freezer.
Longer days and more digging time, What will happen to the amigurumi and quilting?

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Great News

John set up his own limited company last week and yesterday landed his first consultancy job. This is very exciting news for all of us. Making the decision to leave a life time job to go it alone is a big one. Both of us felt it was right, but one does have to have nerves of steel and a lot of determination to get out there and market oneself. Well done dear!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Smelling the roses

Feeling a little flat today. Like a balloon that has lost some air. It was a common feeling before the diagnosis and even though I think the medication is really helping, some days just take more energy to get through! I am not wearing the hoodie of gloom though. My mood is fine, I just want to be at home resting.
All my life I have been told that I need to slow down. Parents, friends, colleagues, John even, think I race around and would benefit from dropping a gear or two. In some ironic way, my body has put its foot down and just will not let me get as crazy as I used to! (Well, I am still fired up all the time, just not as quick!!)
In some way I quite like that I feel slower. I notice more and fret less. I love my life more and get so much pleasure from the girls and Adam, not to mention John.
It can't be a bad thing to learn to slow down and take more care and to live a more in tuned life.

Monday, 8 February 2010

The Hoodie of Gloom

The Hoodie of Gloom is worn a lot at our place at present, mostly by our youngest. She is often tired, down, apathetic and overwhelmed by tasks like tidying her room, (the mess has to be seen to be believed), practising the clarinet, or even calling up a friend to hang out with.
My take is that she is a teen, a girl and moody and I do all I can to reveal the child of joy that lurks under the hoodie.
John has been getting worried though and today we called the school to see if they could give some advice, and maybe even get the counsellor to talk to her. The head of year says that it sounds like a teen thing, but she will put feelers out and do what she can to find out if all is well so that we can take it from there.
I still like to think she is a teen and that her life is full of angst that is big and scary and relevant to her and hope that she will find the inner strength and confidence to put it into perspective and realise how lovely she is and that life too is not that bad.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

craft bee

Celia came last night for our Wednesday night session and everyone got into it.
She is knitting clothes for a doll, little red leggings, which are very sweet. Em decided to make a mouse with blue and brown felt and Hannah revealed that she is working on a cushion cover at school with a complex design based on the frog in the film Spirited Away. She drew a picture of what it looks like and between her and Celia, they worked out how she could embellish it. This meant raiding my box of Japanese fabrics that I love so much and never use. She has found two pieces to add to the cushion. Can't wait to see it.
I started work on crocheting PLASTIC SHOPPING BAGS, lovely orange ones from Sainsbury's! I am making a shopping bag...anyway, it is interesting doing something with a thick hook and with a texture that is new. I am convinced it will work but at this early stage it looks like a tacky place mat!
On a more humble note, while researching how to do this I found a video on the 'Net about a group of women in Africa who make bags the same way. They were poking through their local rubbish for filthy old bags and even scraps of plastic. They took them back to the village, washed and dried them on a line and then made some wonderful totes, bags and purses with beautiful designs. Since seeing that one I have seen a lot more about communities who recycle waste to make the most beautiful, practical items.
Humbling indeed and a lesson to be learnt.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Awe and admiration

Amigurumi are fine for what they are, and are fun to make, but I only want to make them to sell, give away or as a teaching aid if ever someone wants me to teach them how! I would not want my house full of the things. Crochet too still has the tendancy to make me think of doilies. In my research (pouring over images on Flickr and reading craft blogs...i.e. hours on the 'Net) I sometimes come across blogs that blow me away.
My favourite one is Dragonfly, see the list of blogs I follow. It is beautiful to look at and the author comes across as someone I would like to know. It is odd reading a stranger's blog, but then again, they are out there to be read. Yesterday I found another one called Gooseflesh The range of her work is astounding, and the colours give me thrills! Have a look and see. One thing about her photos, before I discovered that she is based in Sydney, is the light in them. I kept looking at them, thinking she was an American artist, but the flora and even the fauna (a brahmin bull?) were so AUSTRALIA. And on her profile it says she is from Sydney. I was pleased. I love the light in Australia, and maintain it is like nowhere else. My sister is a landscape artist, based there and she agrees.
Enjoy these two blogs. I do. Just wish mine was as inspiring. That sets me a challenge.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Less TV although not none!

Last night after dinner I sat in the kitchen and assembled some of the amigurumi. A rabbit (ugly thing), a bee...(very nice) and a penguin which was a disaster and which I unpicked. Oh, and a cup cake too.
I was determined to do something with my time and not waste it in front of the box. Good call as Em stayed with me the entire time and we played with Bosley and had a good evening.
I am still bursting with ideas and must just get on and do them, so less TV if not none. (I sat and watched The Wire with Adam and John that show, but felt as if I deserved it).
The images are on Flickr and I was pleased to see that there were 2 views on two of the animals. No comments, but it is a start.
Tonight is trampoline...I am loving this.