Sunday, 30 September 2012


A few years ago I wrote about a lady who gave me two quilt tops to finish off for her as she was losing her eyesight. With the best intentions in the world I took them on. I cut and sewed hexagons for one and made it bigger and brighter but I did not finish it because  I discovered CROCHET and all my patchwork templates and fabrics were left languishing, ignored in the basket from that day forward. I felt very guilty.

But I hung on telling myself that there will be time to work on them one day, all the while building my yarn stash and because frankly it was so hard to admit that these projects were not going anywhere under my watch.

These hanging on feelings clash directly with the desire to have fewer objects (especially unfinished ones)  and even though it might seem a bit pitiful to the organised and productive folk out there whose blogs I drool over and whose work and homes I aspire to, it can be very emotionally draining.

So today - while doing more decluttering, I decided to offer the big project to one of you lovely people out there. You may be a quilter, you may be part of a group who quilts, a teacher, someone on a budget - let's face it, quilting fabric can cost A LOT - or just someone with lot more get up and go than yours truely.

IF anyone is interested, just let me know in the comments bit. If a few of you are interested a name will be drawn out of a hat.


This spectacular quilt top is not complete - there are some spare squares, but you may have to make up more.

There are 35 squares (approx 12.5" x 12.5") The border is 2".

18 of them have been sewn together and some have been pinned.

It is HUGE.

It is ALL on backing paper - the traditional quilting method, but with careful measuring and sewing new blocks can be added without paper.

There is no template, although I do have the pattern (not to scale).

There is no spare fabric - all I got was the quilt top.

I will post it to you - anywhere - 2nd class in the UK and standard international anywhere else.

Here it is lying out on the (clean) kitchen floor- 8 loose squares on the quilt and some pinned.

Any questions? Fire away.

As for the little quilt, it has gone to someone local. x



Friday, 28 September 2012

Finger bunting

The finger became fingers and were going to be part of a hand, but tiredness won over and in the end Han did some of her nail art for me and we decorated 4 fingers and a thumb and made


true it is a little creepy, but at least they have nice nails!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

The finger

Tonight I am crocheting a finger for my fab friend ANN who is celebrating a birthday on Saturday and who works in the hand team (reconstructive surgery). I am winging it as there is little time to get it done and there is no real design in mind. ANN is a very colourful lass and loads of finger images spring to mind.....but this one needs to be able to appear in public and not be noticed too much, which means it needs to be a polite finger!!!

At the same time thoughts are with another friend in Japan. She helped me find some of the items that are up on ebay this week....fingers crossed (LOL)!

Piccies later.


Wednesday, 26 September 2012


Our beautiful youngest is 16 today. I love it that she is the girl she is. She has been through some very tough times but has come out the other end and it gives us great joy to see her doing her thing with her friends, volunteering, drawing and all the things she loves.  It is an inset day so she is off to have pizza with her friends and I think a movie is planned.

Last night a friend delivered this

huge OWL cake. Here he is missing a bit of his perch and a wing. We are a bunch of cake enthusiasts, but as we rarely eat it, we were all feeling a bit green. We now have plans to divvy him up between friends.....

Sunday, 23 September 2012

This week

We had a graduation. Adam got his degree from the Brighton Institute of Modern Music. How proud and happy were we.  A rare shot of us, am still in two minds about appearing in my blog!!

My Dad underwent surgery down under (in Australia) and came out perky and pleased. Still waiting to get results, but he remains positive and that is important. Mum sounds tired. She worries for all of us I think.

My nose got the all clear which is a big relief. How would one get used to a face they have known for 50 years that suddenly changes?

We went to see a David Bowie tribute band with the girls, who were the youngest members of the audience by MILES. Loads of nostalgic fun.

I have been ebaying all day - the weather demands it - and the fact that it is a free listing weekend! Hoping to make a killing, but will be happy just to get rid of things.

A roast is underway in the oven....something warming for this cold wet day.

And, it has been ages since any crochet (apart from the boob) has been on here, so here is the WIP that is Han's blanket. She choses the colours.....

It is so wide it takes ages to finish a row. I think I need to learn how to measure up my projects before starting them....


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Growing up very fast

My girl Han told me today she would like to go solo to Italy. She is 17, she will be 18 in January. She has applied for a job that she can work the hours that suit her, she has her plant nursery seasonal job at Christmas and she wants to head off to Italy in the New Year to see an old friend. (Someone from days of yore in HK who is now studying there). I was amazed. At her age,  it never would have crossed my mind to save up for a trip to go away alone! She makes me proud. They all do. No decision has been made yet, we have to see if she gets the job and do a bit more research. I am still learning, as a mother, to listen to ideas and not decide right away. Things need time to gel, to be thought over, to be discussed. Solutions do have a way of presenting themselves if enough work goes into working out the issue.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Cuckmere Haven

It is very important to have couple time so this weekend we had some. We were in this area last weekend and loved the view and the fact that there are lots of different walks to go on. There was no time last week but we said we would go back one day and do the walk down to the beach and we did. What a lovely piece of England. The chalky cliffs are beautiful and the water runs so fast beneath them.

Friday, 14 September 2012

On the nose - and my 500th POST - WOOOHOOO

This is it after the biopsy - sprung upon me without warning today as a patient cancelled. The attractive blue line is the bit that will have to come off if it is skin cancer, so most of the side of my nose. You have no idea how brave I feel sticking a photo of my snoz and my skin on the screen. It feels very up close and personal.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


There are two piles of clothes in our bedroom. One for ebay - very small, but hey! One woman's fashion disaster could well work for another person out there.

And one for the charity shop, which is big. A ruthless, speedy toss out from the wardrobe and my drawers. It is true - cleaning out a wardrobe is like losing weight. My load is lighter now.

The latter will be marched off to the shop where I donate tomorrow. There are so many charity shops, but there is one I favour and it all goes to them.

Feeling pleased.


Sunday, 9 September 2012

What a sunshiney day

We went to EASTBOURNE to meet an old friend of Big J's from his days in Hong Kong. Adam joined us as he was at school with her children. Han and Beth joined us, for the lift only, they made their own fun. Em stayed home and worked on her Picasso homework....

The sea was glistening, yachts were out and these trailers were lying on the beach looking a bit like abandoned space vehicles - to my mind...


And the pilons of the groins literally glowed in the sun. What a fabulous green.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

A taste of my own medicine?

For a couple of weeks now a little lesion on the side of my nose has been bothering me. It bleeds, dries but does not go away. Happily I work for a consultant plastic surgeon who specialises in skin cancer. He very kindly donned his loupes to have a look yesterday when we were at work. He then put a hand on each of my shoulders, looked me in the eye and said 'let's go into my office, we need to have a chat'.

My heart was in my boots. In his office he drew a diagram of what it is and where it is and that is why we needed the chat. It is not sinister. It is a tiny little wee thing on the surface, it will not turn nasty, but it does extend under the skin and at this stage it looks like part of my nose will have to go and there will be a bit of plastic surgery necessary to maintain its look!

Now, every single day I talk to folk who are having bits taken off. Sometimes they are innocent lesions, sometimes sadly they are terminal, and the bits are coming off or out as part of palliative treatment. I am always positive, kind, reassuring and tell them they are in the best hands.....they are, I truely believe that, but now I think I know just a bit more how some of them might feel. Noses are tricky things, love em or hate, no one wants to loose a bit of one. 

The hardest thing to come to terms with at this point about my own reaction is that I am really scared about the cosmetic effect of having this done. It makes me seem shallow in my own eyes, and maybe I am.  One good thing is that now though, when a patient is telling me how scared they are, I'll get it. And in a few weeks time when mine is done I can reassure them by telling them it will be fine.


I have for decades worn a hat out in the sun, sun block, a rash guard when swimming and do not lie out in the sun for more than a few minutes at a time if I ever do it.  Lovely as a tan might look, do look after your skin folks.


Thursday, 6 September 2012

Boobie crochet

Well, boob only. This is what I made tonight for a dear young friend who is moving from the plastic surgery industry to new horizons. It is rice filled and is to remind her of the work she did. It could be used as a paper-weight?

The idea had been in my head for some time and when I was dithering about making a spherical shape (stress ball) or flat backed one that could stand up and did some research on good old Google, it revealed a whole WORLD of boob knitting/crochet - for post mastectomy patients, for teaching about lactation and for new borns to sleep with - with their mother's milk expressed onto them to familiarise them with their mother's special smell.

I like my boob. Hope she does too.


Sunday, 2 September 2012

Slipping into September

It is now nearly Autumn. Japanese granny flew back to Tokyo yesterday with her FIVE jars of home made blackberry jam - all with the seeds squeezed out, and one pot of raspberry jam made with fruit from our canes. This year she did not get to pick sloes, so she preserved some of mine that were in the freezer from last year to take back to make a little gin! School and college loom (in good ways), big changes in the lives of some of us this Autumn. Adam in the recording studio, Big J in his new office and me striving for a sense of managable order in life!!  Hoping for more family time/meals and walks even!!
Back into training on the bike, although the gym workouts have continued and it is about time I charged up the camera battery again. This is a spectacular season for photography.