Saturday, 22 December 2012

Winter Solstice

I love it. It marks the end of long dark days and the very slow beginning of more light. We are a long way from having more warmth, but cold and bright are fine by me.

Big J and I took Juno for a walk last night. There was a hazy moon and the occasional fuzzy star.

This morning it is pouring, but we have been out in the garden. Juno scratches the door to be let out now. She is on my lap growling quietly as a plane flies out from Gatwick (about 10 miles away.) I suspect the plane is less interesting than her own little growls and half hearted woofs. It seems like a practice session really. It now seems to have kicked off hiccups!

Today is about cooking, last minute shopping, gift wrapping and cleaning. EVERYTHING needs a good going over.

Big J has suggested a morning meeting to plan the day....hope he is feeling energetic.

Enjoy your run up to the holiday.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

It has been a while

Just not up to blogging at present. Too many things going on in my head and heart. What really helped this morning was taking Juno for her little walk. Around the close, across the road (she sits before she crosses the road but has NO idea why she is sitting!!) and across the green. That is usually enough. She gets jumpy and wants a carry....just like a toddler. But she has to walk, and on the home stretch, she gets excited and perks up no end.

In that very short space of time, it was nice to see berries on the winter trees, to speak to a neighbour I have never met and her little boy, to hear all the birds, it has been so long since I have been out in the morning and actually heard bird song. In those moments it struck me that taking time out is so very important and just being outside is wonderful.

Juno is now in the cat's basket, (he has a back up basket under the radiator in the dining room which is toasty and away from the antics of the dog and which he seems to prefer) chewing on a plastic spool. Her other favourite at the minute is a whole walnut. Small things!

Hope you all enjoy your day.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Selling my self

Don't you just hate trotting out all the old cliches when describing ones own work talents?  How dull, dull, dull, for the prospective selectors. I have been working at the application on-line today.  The section for talking about what I do now is taken verbotum from my current job description with one or two additions. Apparently, unless the format is used, one scores badly in the selection process. I am now onto the bit WHY do I want the job? It is hardly an all singing all dancing career move, but it is a very interesting job, to me at least. Do I come across as burning with passion and fire for it, or just point out why it appeals and why I think having me in the hot seat might not be such a bad thing? Tough call. This is only being advertised internally so that means that the interviewers will already know the interviewees - you'd think they would all like to forgo this hooha. Still...

It is so bitterly cold today that resume writing seemed almost like a nice way to spend some time. Does not help that Juno is killing her floppy dog that smells terrible on/at my feet with great relish and noise!

She had her last injection today. What a star. The clinic was packed and we had old wiry men and ladies with giant German Shepherds all cooing and clucking and aaahing. Even the vet gave her a little squeeze! She was on her lead and very keen to get to know one and all. But the trip home was a bit much excitement and I am afraid the rug in the back of the car got pooed on - just a tiny bit!!

Here she is this morning having attacked my gym bag and heaven knows where the stamps came from.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Social life spins out of control!

It feels like it. Or maybe just life is spinning out of control!

For the birthday bake I made a dozen lemon and poppy seed muffins, a dozen carrot and ginger muffins and some chocolate beetroot brownies. Note the theme....yep... 5 a day. With all the mince pies and other stodgy rubbish some of us will be filling our faces with in the weeks to come, I thought we could do with more veg!!

Then is was all hands to the crochet hook and trimmings to finish up the decorations in time for Book Club on Friday night.

As mentioned before, the pattern came from lovely MATT and the yarn is Planet Penny's Cotton Club. The embelishments are my own and I was very pleased with them as I am not a naturally gifted embelisher.....

They were stiffened with glue and everyone got one to hang on their tree or where they see fit...
Tis the first time I think I have really made anything to give away like that.

Book club was a challenge. We all came dressed in the clothes of a country of our choice, with food and drink from that place. It was such a riot. We had French, Chillean, Greek, Scottish, Egyptian, Spanish, Japanese, Italian, Chinese and Russian party goers.  I got to wear my yukata (summer kimono) and took along some yakitori (chicken on a stick!!), some sake and some plum wine. There was so much yummy food it ended up being a rather decorous affair - for Book Club.

We have done some Christmas shopping, the tree is up and thrilling things like home insurance has been renewed at a saving on last year's.

This is a big week for me. I am applying for a new job in the same department. It is making me feel very nervous. I think I would like it and even be good at it, but the whole CV thing gets me tied in knots. I just hope I get an interview.

And finally. In the new year, I will be going back to Oz to see my dear old dad and mum. I think I need to see them soon.


Wednesday, 5 December 2012

White Birthday

It is my birthday and it is snowing and I love it. Snow is beautiful - to me. I love walking in it. Out come the purple Hunters and the thick socks, the fluffy hat, gloves and my warmest coat. Today I have to bake lots of goodies for the people at work - the birthday girl has to provide. I will take them in tomorrow. I have also finished my little snowflakes and am really pleased with later as the camera battery is charging now. I plan to make more....
Juno starts puppy training tonight and we are all going to be there so that we can be consistant in her teaching and Big J is coming home from Wales. How lovely.


Sunday, 2 December 2012

Making Christmas crochet pressies

Thanks to Matt at his great blog and the lovely yarn from planetpenny, this evening I am making coloured snowflakes as tiny gifts for our Book Club annual Christmas bash.....

I have done five so far, one in white but the yarn splits a lot and does not have that smooth twist of the PP cotton club version. The plan is to embelish them a little with beads once they are stiff. I will post a pic of the finished versions before the end of the week. Maybe!

So nice to be back in the crochet zone.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

and the frost lay all around

this morning it really is deep and crisp and even. The sun is not up yet, but Juno and I have been out on the grass twice. She is a funny thing. Despite being an outdoor dog at birth, she has taken well to a heated bed (hot water bottle with fluffy cover) and the living room carpet is her favourite place to roll around. This morning her bedding and hot water bottle cover went into the wash and new bedding was used. Well! She was not a happy girl. She 'dug' over the bed, completely rolled it and would not accept any of the covers on the bottle. They were all undone and discarded. In the end I found an old t-shirt to wrap it in that obviously smells just right as she is snuggled up having a snooze.

She is a lovely addition to the family. Despite the trail of wicker she has chewed off Bosley's bed, the blackened carrots she loves to bite, bits of loo roll centre, sticky tape, the mouse toy and her fluffy dog she leaves in her wake....