Friday, 8 November 2013

Blogging break

High blood pressure and a turbulent time on the domestic front have led me to decide to take a blogging break. Things are troubled here, they have been before, but this time is not good. I have no mojo left, for crochet, knitting, blogging, anything really. Time now to just try and find some inner peace. To think and to get on with the things that have to be done and those alone.
I will be reading though and I will be in touch with JG and Jay by email, but now I just want to take some time.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Knickers for Gambia

Today is a sick day, not a good day, but I had to see the doc so on the way home popped into the Cancer Research shop and found 12 pairs of brand new, with the tags on, kids knickers...for £3.00. They are going to The Gambia with us. Everyone needs knickers, so let's hope these get to cover some little bums. 

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Windy weather as The Storm approaches

The Storm, The Storm, is it coming. A tree is down in a neighbouring village. There are about a dozen leaves left on the neighbour's maple.
This morning we walked the dog on the farm. Around the fields, the sky sometimes black, sometimes blue above us. Lots of chestnuts to be found, they go in the oven this afternoon....Keisuke loved the open space, and the wind just lifted everyone's spirits.
We visited a dog kennel as well today as Juno has to stay somewhere when we are away at Christmas. Not bad, a bit whiffy, and for some reason I though it should be cleaner? Having not seen one before it is hard to judge. I will compare a few I think.

Now I am about to start the traditional roast dinner thing with yorkshire puds for our Japanese guest.....he is watching football with Big J. Nice for Big J that he has someone to share that with. 

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Harry Potter lives here!

We have just collected a young man from Heathrow, a young Japanese man who went to school with the girls when we lived there. What an enthusiastic person. He is RARE among the many, many Japanese students of English that I have come across in that he WANTS to speak in English. 

He has asked me what he can call me and seems happy to use my first name..... He has asked me to correct everything he says, not necessary, he is doing very well and he has asked me to tell him if his behaviour/language is inappropriate or odd!!

But the best thing is that he is seeing all we take for granted about our town with fresh eyes. He thinks our neighbourhood looks as though Harry Potter should live here.... and that the town itself is like a 'Disney movie set'.

It is so refreshing for me to see his reaction. Just off a 12 hour flight he is in town now with Hannah and we are going to watch the local rugby team a bit later on. He reckons he will be up for Match of the Day tonight as well.... 

Could be an active week.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Outdoor therapy

Walking the dog is one of the best forms of therapy I know. When we are out in the field or on the bridle path, I make an effort to engage my senses. I love to smell what is going on. Right now it is that gorgeous damp earth smell of autumn when some of the leaves have lost their crispness and are being trod underfoot.
I look both up and down. I like the little details in the undergrowth as well as the big skies, be they blue, grey, or like today with huge clouds sweeping across them.
I am no twitcher - so bird song is trickier one. But I recognise the chirps of the robin and blackbird,  the call of a local squirrel which has a very unattractive voice...the pheasants that screech when disturbed and the woodpecker's drumming, to name a few.
The wind gets me though. In the trees and grasses, and blowing on me. It feels almost cleansing.
It is also good to touch things in nature (within reason folks...). Today we (Juno and I) found some fabulous chestnuts, to be roasted soon. Their spiney cases seriously hurt, but wellies are good for splitting them to get the nuts. All manner of little seed heads, leaves and other flora end up in my pockets on every walk we go on. It is a bit like being a chipmunk. I come home bulging sometimes!
And of course there are things that one can eat. The soft berries are all but gone. However, there are rosehips and if you read this lovely blog  there is some great stuff about rosehips on it. Elderberries, sloes, damsons, apples, there is so much out there.
But the walk is also exercise, me time and I can talk, shout, sing, cry or laugh and only Juno hears me.
If you don't have a dog, that shouldn't stop you. Get out there and be good to yourself. 

Monday, 21 October 2013

Rude awakeing gives way to slap in the face!

So, after a weekend in which we drove to PRESTON and back in pouring rain to see the University of Central Lancaster and to find out about their great Chinese program....and one hectic day at the office, my blood pressure has shot up even higher and the doc is not a happy bunny. Nor me. I have long believed I am invincible, fit, energetic, an out there getting on with life kinda I feel a bit frumpy and tentative.
Well I did, until I thought bugger it, I am not going to let this get me. We discussed life style changes....oh yes...the hard bit. Effort required and WILL POWER, in spades, but essential.
First thing was a healthy meal tonight and I have made some Bircher Meusli (with no added sugar or salt) for breakfast, and there is a very green salad in the fridge for lunch tomorrow.....
There is no incentive like one's own health.
The other thing is to have a week of quiet nights in. No Book Club tomorrow. It is just too much fun! Too liquid at times and very noisy. Calm is the thing.
Bit of blog reading and backgammon tonight and no study. Bed early too.
Beetroot soup on the menu tomorrow - with maybe only a tiny bit of feta....
Dog walks for exercise and to enjoy the autumn smells and colours. Doable even in the rain - although Juno seems to think it a bit much.
Bed time now so sleep tight all. x

Friday, 18 October 2013

Rude awakening?

You know I love my job. Yesterday was no different except I was feeling a bit headachy. That had started the night before and I had a burning feeling in my chest....dutifully ignored by moi.
The Princess Royal visited in the morning to open the new theatres, but apart from a fleeting glimpse in the car park, there was not much for the rank and file to see. I thought it would have been a good idea to walk her round our offices so she could see how the rest of the population of the hospital works....HA!
After lunch I got a chance to go into the new theatres and talk to some patients recovering from their ops. Part of an inpromptu inspection which I volunteered for. It was great. Those nurses are fab, and the patients were all happy and I felt very privileged. Then the chest pains came back and to cut a long story short - my manager walked me to MIU. There they did an ecg, took my blood pressure which was way, way up and I usually have low bp, and sent me off to the GP....Looks like, seems like, may be stress. To be honest I do not feel stressed. I eat, drink, do my things and am crazy busy all the time. I love my work and friends and the buzz of helping people. But the man said to stay at home today and relax. Que?
So after some mad texting and phone calls I am officially not working and am relaxing. I will do some reading of my course material. (I WANT to do this), some crochet, Thomas Henry's blanket is coming together nicely, walk the dog and have a big fat siesta. So with the kitchen clock ticking, the dog and cat asleep beside me, I will have a little blog browsing session.
Have a great day folks.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Job(s) done

The room has been stripped of many of the knick knacks and trinkets of Adam's time here. None of it has been thrown out. It is all in a box for him. Two more shelves to go and it is done. The bed is falling apart but the mattress is very good, so out with the divan and in with an internet sourced bed frame with cashback and free delivery at more that HALF the price I would pay for the ones I priced locally. Sadly our local ebay and for sale mag has not produced a bed for me to even ring up about let alone buy. But I do want a wooden framed one.
I also did the test and it was not brill. Not terrible but not brill. Never fear, there is always another test!

we all need a FQ style kick up the butt from time to time

Like many of you, I read Frugal Queen's blog ALL the time and am wowed. But this morning I read this one.......... and thought how apt. How true, how REAL. How is it that I can drift along wishing for things to be different when I don't DO ANYTHING about them?

It was never meant to be easy. I am finding the study a challenge. My lovely, lovely girls are having tough times. They need me and to know that they have it in themselves to get through it. This house pees me off big time and the only one who can change that it ME. I have been battling a slow increase in weight for years despite my gym going and dog walking and finally after some EFFORT to eat less and move around more it is coming off. But it is not easy. I have also been saving. Little bits here and there from my leftover pay packet. I hate not saving. I was always so good at it. Now there is no excuse. I might not be working in less than a year if I do go to uni. Time to knuckle down and be sensible.

I have been to town today to spend time with the lovely Cliona B and we charity shopped. A cardi for me, £4.50....would have been £40.00 new.  We had a coffee, and I am home and I am about to finish my first exam for the course. It is far harder than I thought it would be, at least the exam questions are!! But I am going to do it, then I am going to start gutting Adam's room. We have a Japanese kid from the girls' old school coming to stay and he will sleep in there. It is time I realised that I hold the key to how my life will pan out and it is time I got off my butt.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Jersey - Les Ecrehous

We are back from a great few days in Jersey. One of the most thrilling things was a trip to Les Ecrehous on a RIB. The sea was calm, the sky was blue and this group of little islands and rocks revealed itself to us with the rapidly ebbing tide. The huts on the rocks are owned by those who like to get away from it all. There is no running water, no electricity and no loos!! But there is pristine seawater, fresh fish and shellfish, beaches at low tide and the area is full of wildlife and seabirds.

We were there at a particularly low tide, so our intrepid guides took us to some sandbars that only appear for half an hour - 30 mintues as the tide goes out and 30 minutes to come in. We all got our toes wet here, on a really hidden beach. 

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Love is a sock!

Big J and I are off to JERSEY tomorrow for a few days. Since leaving work on Friday the slow releasing of my shoulder muscles has started.  My mind is happy that I have a week off to do me/us things.
Today Hannah and I walked the dog. The sun was out and it did not feel autumnal, it was very warm. There are however, sloes, acorns and conkers everywhere as well as the displays of red berries that seem to be all around and I have no idea what they are. Rosehips, yes, but there are many others.
I have been wearing my walking boots of late, and they get pretty wet. Here's what happened when I left them at the back door to dry out a bit.

Anyway, I digress. Substantial time has been spent this evening clearing all the photos off my memory card - some were quite old. It was this act that discovered the photos above, taken by one of the girls when I was not around.

I hope that Jersey provides a lot of subject matter to photograph. It looks interesting. 

Monday, 30 September 2013

Birthday Dog

Juno is 1 tomorrow. The girls want to make it a special day. Special to Juno is a lot of ball throwing, a WALK, a few cheesy sausages cut up into treats, a cuddle with mum or Big J on the sofa at night. We do most of these things most days.

I am sure she will get extra cuddles though. Love that dawg.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Bendy Carrots

There was a bag of bendy carrots in the bottom of the fridge and it worried me that they had not been used up.  It is a battle, but I have been trying to use all the things in the fridge and reduce the amount we throw away. So, the bendy carrots have been converted into Carrot and Coriander Soup for Sunday lunch. Thanks to BBC Good Food.
It does not really classify as frugal food, but at least it is not a waste.

On a knitty note, I have now finished the 5th cardi for charity and am on to the second hat. We want to get them sent off this week. Em has been crocheting 6 inch granny squares, and it all helps.
I am going to put a pic up when I have sewn the last one together.

Good way to get rid of those bits of wool after a project.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Cake pops

Em is 17 tomorrow. My youngest, the baby, taller than me and beautiful.

Today her sister and a friend made her some CAKE POPS.

They are really yummy and in fact a cool way to eat cake as they are small.....(fewer calories???).

Today we did some birthday shopping and have had the lovely Cliona and Cillian over to play.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013


In the sun this morning trying to get in on the photo I was taking of the cardigans......she has her little bit of crochet at her feet, she sleeps with this and behind her is her humpy koala. Just like the name says.....


Less cross now the NHS rant  is all over the 'net! 
On a happy note:
I have been working on little cardigans using the 5 hour baby boy sweater pattern from Ravelry to give to charity. Too many babes will be cold somewhere this winter. The pattern is identical, I have just used different ply yarns and needle sizes to get these three. I think they will go without buttons as they are really for wrapping the baby and the pattern has no button holes. I added them for Thomas's cardi but that was because it worried me not to have them. Having seen loads of other photos of it buttonless now, I am happy with the way it is. They all need to be blocked and the ends sewn in, but they are at least done!

The lumpy thing at the top is a 7' scarf for Big J using the Eton's scarf pattern, also from Ravelry. It is great to knit and has a beautiful texture. I used a super giant ball of Aran wool bought in Hobbycraft and there is a lot left over, for more cardis and some beanies, which I also want to add to the donation pile. 


I have been ironing and going through the motions of domestic calm this morning but am BOILING inside.

As you know I work for the NHS and love it, but, it is annoying and frustrating to read and hear constant stories about death rates, poor performance, safety issues, bad management and all manner of gross failure and negligence in the press. Yes there are issues, no denying it, but only bad stuff makes the news.

What about the public and their role? It is OUR NHS, we pay for it, but we expect so bloody much.
It is a privelege that we have health care in this country and it would please me no end to see people stop treating it like a RIGHT.

Like the person who turns up for surgery, two and a half hours of allotted time, a full team of aneasthetists, a surgeon, nurses, technicians, and the ward and its staff on standby to care for them in recovery.....not to mention the numerous appointments, letters and phone calls, to agree the date, then the changes, cancellations, and all that. To have that person say that they refuse to have it done because it is not the surgeon they expected is beyond belief. We have waiting lists MONTHS long for elective surgery. We have people who would give anything for their turn. They then went on to demand a new date, with the person they want AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

There are no guarantees in life. That surgeon was called away, it was his team, his registrar in charge that day, with the surgeon's blessing. A phone call was made to the surgeon off site who again reiterated he was more than confident his team could do it. But no. How many thousands of pounds went down the plug hole because of one person? The really sad thing is that we are duty bound at the point of booking surgery to tell them all that we cannot guarantee the surgeon, we do our best, but if there are cancer cases, or joint ops, or even if the poor creature is off sick, someone else EQUALLY QUALIFIED will take care of them. It makes me sad and cross.

Then there is the patient who DEMANDS transport. This is such a tricky one. There are strict criteria for getting transport now, out of the hospital's hands. However, it was agreed that a taxi would be sent to collect the patient for an appointment. Maybe 60 miles all told. The patient said a cab would be fine. However, it turned out that the patient could not get into the vehicle without a two man crew, so a new appointment had to be made and an ambulance arranged. All lost money. The patient then phoned again and again to accuse the team of their maltreatment, the stress they had suffered, their inconvenience......what does one say to someone so selfishly convinced of their RIGHTS? The irony is, the patient has family and refused to ask them to help.

So do me a favour, turn up for your appointments, or call and cancel them. Be flexible if you can, you can bet your bottom dollar we will do our best to accommodate you, and I mean that for my team, but if on the day things are not exactly as you would have hoped, remember being told that it might be so and have a little faith that the people there to do your op are people trained, experienced, willing and happy to help.

Pass it on to others too please. The NHS would work a lot better if we ALL made an effort.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

It fits

 This is young Thomas in the cardi that I made for him. It arrived in Australia in the nick of time, he looks like he is about to out grow it. But, I am very happy and proud that he is wearing it. 

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Big changes

Every day I check a certain web site to see if the information I am waiting for is posted on it. Not yet. To be fair it says mid September and we are a still a few days off. In the meantime the Open University course starts next week, although there will be reading and things to do from TOMORROW. I am so ready for this course and so nervous about the next step.

I mentioned a while ago about going back to universtiy. I want to study adult nursing. For a long time this has been a dream but now, with the blessing and encouragement of the family, I am going to give it my best shot. There is an intake in February which I would LOVE to be on. Like my lovely Hannah who is researching courses now,  I will be going through UCAS, writing a personal statement, collating old results -----very old, ancient results----- and one of the lovely consultants at work has offered to write a reference for me. 

It is all here on the blog for the world to see, but I have not talked about it openly at work yet. Better not rock the boat until it is sure. I love my work, but want to do more. I have constant interaction with patients but want to be involved in hands on care. I also want a skill that is portable and that one day can be taken to places where people do not have much in the way of medical care. My dream has always been to volunteer in a developing country and maybe, if I work very, very hard this dream will come true. 

In the meantime, I need to keep focused, to study and to keep my eye on the UCAS web site so that I can get my application in as soon as possible....

Monday, 9 September 2013

Christmas is booked

Against my natural instinct to stay at home, again, Big J has rallied us all into thinking beyond the box and we are going to The Gambia. I spent my early childhood in Nigeria, which is also in West Africa, and even though they are different countries, I am ridiculously excited to be 'going back'.
I plan to take something with me that is useful, well we plan to take THINGS with us. I am now looking into what we can carry that can be donated. Pens, books, clothes? There are lots of folk who need things that we just take for granted. Tis the season and all that, but I am starting now.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Bird in hand - berries too

Big J and I took Juno for a long walk this morning. Along the farm tracks. There were blackberries and some early sloes so we used one of Miss Juno's poo bags to collect the harvest, how handy! I also found by the track a lovely but wounded female blackbird. She was a warm brown colour and very soft and surprisingly calm in my hands. I so wanted to bring her home and try and nurse her back to health. But with a cat, dog, and a noisy house what could we do? In the end, I put her in a small hidden hollow on the bank and hoped that she would find the energy to get herself home.

There is also a field of these flowers which the bees adore. Phacelia tanacetifolia, it is a green manure and is grown to boost the soil (it is dug back into the ground at the end of the season) and to attract bees.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Gin and knitting

The lovely Cliona was beside herself in the wool shop but, after some Q&A we decided to have a coffee and just practice a few stitches on the yarn and needles I had in my you do...just to make sure she was ready for the sweater....

Not really, not yet! So, next best thing, a scarf for her son. Using plain and purl to get really good at the two stiches she needs.  Off to a very enthusiatic start, but a day later we had to regroup to check out a hiccup or two. This we did on the patio, in the very cool air, with a gin/tonic/bitter lemon to take the edge off. And now, she's got it. Her other half has it too. Apparently they were both up til midnight knitting!

This week was tough so a bit of gin and yarn was nice. Nicer still was a run at the gym on Friday night and some knitting of my own. Secret, but will post it soon.

The girls flew off to Amsterdam this morning just after 7:00 to see their Dad who was in Germany this week on business. Great that they could catch up with him.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Japanese giveaway winner is

GILL. Thank you for commenting and I would like you to have both items. Please can you send me your address and I will pop them in the post for you. You can email me at


Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Island Wool

Tomorrow my lovely Irish friend and I are off to buy yarn for her to make this. It is her first jumper, in fact as I discovered today, her first knitting project....Could be a challenge, but between Celia B and me (I know it is not right!), we should get her there. Her aim is to get it done before Christmas for her little boy.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Zen and knitting

Knitting is really zen. It is the now. Every stitch on every row has to be worked. I love it. I love the rythmn and the slow growth and the tiny click of needles. It relaxes me as much as crochet does.

It has a stimulating side too. Instructions can be complex, confusing and often it is like working out a puzzle.

This is what happend at first with the CHILDRY SCARF.  A friend gave me a copy of this pattern months ago and I loved it, but really struggled with the first few rows. (The pattern is on Ravelry too).  Placing markers was hard. After about 5 or 6 attempts, I looked at some finished works on Ravelry and saw how it was done and from there, I was able to work the pattern, without place markers.

It looks like this:

The yarn is one from the Knitting and Stitching Show last year in Harrowgate, sock yarn and possibly not drapey enough but it is worth perservering for now. The ball of yarn here is small, the rest is in a terrible tangle behind the sofa because Juno got to it about 6 months ago.....Part of the challenge of this piece is to get the mess unravelled.

Also, there are only five more squares to do on baby Tom's blanket before blocking....feeling good.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Sarah Lund, The Killing, THAT jumper and my Faroese yarn

Did you love 'The Killing'? We did, although I did worry about Sarah Lund wearting that jumper all the time, until my good friend took off to the Faroe Islands for a short break. Then it all became clear. That jumper is made of Faroese wool, hand made, and the islands are dotted with sheep and knitters! My friend wants to knit for her son, so we found a pattern and we are going to work on it together - she looked for yarn on her trip and only came away with a lovely skein of this:

for me! I am thinking something with a fair isle pattern. This week we are going to put our heads together and chose yarn for her son. And I am going to ask her to help me with my Open Uni course and UCAS. What a nightmare. I feel so out of date.

I now have an android phone, gone is my little Nokia that does nothing. I can FaceBook and use google and have something called LINE which Hannah uses to text me. It is a constant source of amusement to my family that I am so archaic in my ways......

Reminding you all about the giveaway which will close on Tuesday.

And finally, so excited to show you the lastest knit,  it has not even been blocked cardi #2. All I need now is a girl baby, or someone wanting a cardi for this is a lovely heathery tweedy soft natural wool.

Thursday, 29 August 2013


OK, we have budding buddhists and almost vegetarians in this house and we are trying Quorn tonight. So very sorry that I read about it on the 'net before buying it. Produced in sterilised VATS, the words fungus and single cell really did not appeal at all. The only thing I want to consume that is produced in VATS is wine....But, in this brave new world, we must embrace change. Hope it is tasty.

Parcel in the post

Yesterday the text book and DVD for the Open University course I am about to do arrived. Very exciting and a little bit daunting. 'Understanding Cardiovascular Diseases'. Riveting stuff.

This morning, very, very early, Juno and I went for a run. Shorter than our usual course, but invigorating non the less.

Exercise is good for the soul.

Please don't forget the giveaway....

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Give away x 2 - with a Japanese theme

Although there are not that many readers of this blog...bless you all who pop in from time to time....I am going to have another give away.

In the purge this little item turned up.

It is sashiko, and many moons ago I did a fair amount of it. These are five indigo coasters with backing fabric. The instructions are in Japanese, but for any crafty soul out there, they are not hard. For more information on how to, this is a very good web site:

I also want to give this away: Two fantastic Japanese fat quarters.

The awesome lady Katie from Japan Crafts very kindly sent this to me for returning the lost Japanese fabric to its rightful owner. The owner also gave me something so I thought I would share my bounty.

Please just put in the comments box whether you want the sashiko kit or the fat quarters. If enough people want them, there will be a draw.

Autumnal weather and sweeping away the gloom

The sun shines and the air is cool. The raspberries bushes are drooping with their heavy harvest....and today is about purging. (Not the body, just had a small death by chocolate  gluten free brownie!!). First is the crafty STASH. Already much reduced, out it goes. Out it all goes if I have not seen it for the last year....Charity shops here we come.
I suffer from time to time with a real sense of gloom and when that strikes the only way I think I can deal with it is to simplify life. But I don't. I get waylaid, distracted, disheartened and demotivated. Then things pick up and I look around and see that nothing has altered in any way. This time the gloom bug caught me unawares. From happy to somewhere in the depths literally overnight.
So, this time I thought that I would at least have a go at streamlining to see if there is true sense of order in my surroundings if it will make any difference.
Am having a second cuppa with Em before going back in to tackle stage two.

There will be a giveaway as well.

Watch this space.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Swimming in the Solent

Yep, in for a dip today. Not at my most glam either. Funny how for trips to foreign shores one prepares and has pretty toe nails and has been waxed smooth. Today it was sadly, moobs and pubes for Big J and myself. Fortunately I had a nice little sarong thingy to drape about my hips both in and out of the was bracing and I loved it, just love the sea.

Hammering away at another tiny sweater and keep having to unpick it. It has been an odd day, very gloomy start for me and for Em. We just get the blues really badly. Off to watch what we call 'crap TV' - it takes the edge off.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

TA DAH!!! Cardigan complete.....

Have FINALLY finished something. This is for Thomas and I hope it fits.....

Why is it in one's mind's eye things are always just so and in real life they are just a bit wonky? Anyway, I am really proud of this wonky little jacket. The buttons were in my stash and the perfect size, small enough to allow them to pass through the knitting without having their own holes.

We are back from Heathrow having taken granny there to catch her flight back. A few little tears.

Now it is time to bake. We are going on a picnic tomorrow and I want to have all we need in the hamper.

Casting off

Baby boy's cardigan is about to be cast off. The East West cardi went south and try as I might, I could not get it done in the fine wool. I tried it again in Rico Baby, but it started to look pulled and sloppy and not like anything that could be given as a gift.

A good hour on Ravelry (don't you just love it?), got me a couple of free patterns. The one I chose seems incomplete in its directions. There are no button holes and sometimes the stitch count is given and at sometimes not. Fortunately we have a nice knitting shop in town with a very nice lady who helped me out. I popped in to buy some stitch markers and she told me to use those tiny hair bands that can be bought at Claire's or Superdrug instead as they are cheaper, or just a bit of thread.....which I did in the end. She is also very patient at answering questions. So with her input and a lot of thinking, there is now a tiny wee cardigan on the needles waiting to be cast off.

Photos tomorrow. x

Friday, 23 August 2013

Way in the night

It is nearing 2:30 am and the pressure of work keeps me awake. There is so much sickness and leave at the moment. Four of my secretaries are not around, leaving moi to fumble around with things. Love it as I do, I feel tired. Another three or four weeks of this to go, it has been about 4 already.....

But, good news in abundance.

First, the arrival of Thomas Henry David Haslett in Newcastle, Australia. A new nephew. He has not made his Face Book debut yet, but soon will.

Some very, very good GCSE results.

My sister's exhibition opening here tomorrow....

and the lady who lost her Japanese fabric has sent the loveliest letter to say thank you for returning it to her.

Sunday, 18 August 2013


Lovely day in Lewes, pottering at the rather small boot fair, then some charity shops.

At the BF, someone had a big pile of old crochet and knitting patterns. They were fantastic. Great ideas, just some of the colours looked odd - well let's be honest, some of the photos were odd too. What kids had to wear 45 years ago. Poor little being one of them!!!!

 I got very excited but ended up restraining myself and buying only ONE. In the back of my mind was the question - where is this leading? Crochet is my thing, and apart from that, FINISHING something off before a new idea takes hold is something I really, seriously need to work on.
So tonight, I have done some rows on the East West cardi  and will do some rounds on the crochet blanket.

Girls squabbling, things are back to normal!!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Coming home

The girls are on their way home from Japan today, with Granny S. (Mum to me even after all these years). House is sparkly, some beds to be made yet, but it will get done. Happy.

Thursday, 15 August 2013


You will remember that I posted here about the stash of Japanese fabric I found in the coffee shop after the Festival of Quilts. I wrote to the shop and they put it on their Face Book page and the owner has come forward....fabulous. She is a relatively local girl and I will be posting the bag off to her tomorrow.

What a good ending. 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

1 Jack Russell pup x 1 ball of wool/knitting = DISASTER

The East West cardi very nearly came a cropper this morning when I was out doing errands. Juno took it out onto the lawn (she had to get onto the dining room table to do this) and shredded the ball of yarn. I could hardly bear to look as the trail of wool lead further into the garden. There, under the washing line was the little cardi, on its knitting needle, not a stitch dropped. It did look a bit mossy, but the wool.... Talk about tangled. After an hour of diligent unravelling I have three mini balls of wool and a long way to go. Juno spent some time reflecting on her actions in the cage....
Fortunately I am a few rows off finishing the first sleeve and will be able to get the second one done with what has been salvaged.
For some reason this afternoon, I have a very attentive little dog.

Here she is trying not to look as if she would rather be chewing the squares.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Festival of Quilts II - LOST FABRIC STASH - is it yours???

On the way home from the FofQ, in a coffee shop at the Birmingham International Station at about 6:30 pm, I picked up a bag of 12 fat quarters that some tired shopper obviously left behind, under the table. The cafe was closed so I brought them home.

I have contacted the shop the fabrics came from to tell them, have put it on Face Book - not that my page is widely read, and now here.

I hope that the six degrees of separation make it possible to track down the lady who lost her stash.

Please put the word out.


Festival of Quilts - I

The Festival of Quilts was really something, and the quilts that I liked most were upcycled/recycled ones like this lovely re-worked old wool blankets one: If you zoom in you can see some simple but great stitching which gives it texture.

Real life images like this one:

and this one:

Some were just sweet and appealed:

And one or two really made me think. About caring, proctection and being a woman.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

east west cardigan by Ruth and Belinda

The Festival of Quilts was just brilliant, but did not ignite the sewing fire in me.....however this lit a big one

In the finest marino, it is heavenly soft and so nice to knit. I am about to divide for the second sleeve....

Mine will not be as neat, but for an Aussie baby about to be born in Australia, who will live in Hong Kong and whose Auntie Lizzie is in England, it is the perfect little garmnet.

I will post my own work when it is done as well as some of the quilts that moved me.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

I've lost that quilting feeling.....

and in fact it has been astray for some time. However, Celia B and me (dreadful grammar but it rhymes) are going to the NEC in Birmingham on Saturday for the The Festival of Quilts . Just love textiles and looking but the days of cutting up fabric have gone.

Maybe there will be a lone yarn stall there and better still, one selling patterns for baby clothes. In the wee small hours when sleep was not to be had last night, I got all thingy about tiny little knitted baby clothes. This is what a granny must feel like.....

Crochet is going with me on the train to keep my hands busy. 

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Crochet and chocolate muffins

Tonight I made a dozen gluten free chocolate muffins just because I felt like it. Not bad flavour-wise, but they could have come out of the oven a few minutes earlier. They would be less dry.

Celia B and I ate one while working on our crochet.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

West Wittering

A lovely, sunny day with (sandy) Dog and Husband.

And a new blanket in peaceful, natural colours for the new baby Haslett on his way in Australia. I am doing it in Sirdar Crofter, Rico baby yarn, a German make which feels and works a bit like Debbie Bliss's Baby Cashmerino, only nowhere near as dear.... and a good old Double knitting acrylic... Note the new ergo handled crochet hook. Loving it. 

Sunday, 21 July 2013

All this sun

is making me happy and wanting to get out there. But, I have the type of skin that does not respond well to rays. It goes red, blotchy, sometimes little bite like things appear and the freckles come back.

My granny always said 'freckles never lit on a dim skin' I am happy with them, but oh for an even colour. Still, I admit if I did have a golden toned dermis, I would probably keep it covered like I do now.
Too many bits have had to be frozen or cut off!

So, when I do go out it is with 'that hat', a scarf, long(ish) sleeves, a ton of sun block and glasses. Not a good look, but there is no sunburn.

Today, suitably attired, we took mum in law and little dog to Cuckmere Haven. Juno has a new halti, this is to stop her from pulling and straining at the lead while grunting and choking. Such a disturbing sight. A mad, thrasing dog at the end of a small lead....ugh! She is maintaining a brilliant display of resistance to the halti and will frequently lie down without warning, or scrape her entire body along the ground to get it off. This latter tactic backfired a bit today when she was thrashing around on the bank of a small river, when PLOP, in she went! She is not a water baby. The sea was not fun for her later, her toes were in, but she was very worried to see me and Big J paddle. She was trying to herd us back to shore.

Life with a dog is a good life, in all this sun....

Thursday, 11 July 2013


It is a learning curve this leadership thing. 5 months into the new post and it is beginning to make sense. It is not easy being the hard one ( I am a big softie actually), the nay sayer and the one to deal with problems. It is however, incredibly rewarding and nice to know that I still love what I do just as much, even though I am slightly out of the gang so to speak. All I hope for is the the women in the department share the passion. We would be AWESOME.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Silver is the new crochet!

Hello lovelies. It has been a very long while since the yen to blog has gripped me.

There has been much to share and tell, trips to France, both the south and to Paris. A trip to Edinburgh to see the university with Hannah and to catch up with a friend from my uni days in Australia and his fab family.

There is still too much going on in life to really allow the blogging to blossom in full, but things are on the up and it seems I have dealt with a mammoth mid-life crisis in my stride. Having said that, I think that mid life crisis is a dreadful expression if you take the words the way they read. We are all in mid life if you think of it, in the middle of living it every day, not half way through it. And crisis, it has a dozen synonyms, but only a couple of antonyms, PEACE and CALM. So in the process of living my life, I had a sort of epiphany about it and how I want to use it and, I feel relatively calm!
It is still being sorted out, but it has given me such a boost of purpose, of focus and a stronger sense of self. All good things.

Then the absolute icing on the cake. Last year Big J gave me the coolest birthday present, a session with the incredibly talented and lovely EMMA at SILVER PEBBLE in one of her silver workshops and I used it in June.

It is a long time since something has been so exciting to do/learn. She is a very thorough, patient teacher and her own work is just lovely. It was such fun, and for want of a better word, interesting, fascinating in fact.

I came away with these beauties:

which I physically made myself. Yes, Emma helped, but she is very hands off and encourages everyone to do their own thing. Since then, my own Em and I have tried out some of the techniques with Sculpey, with some good and some wonky results. Can't wait til I have the time and dosh and feel brave enough to try silver on my own. I have a ton of ideas and have been collecting lovely shaped objects to use.
It is not the new crochet really, I still love the feel of working with yarn, it is just new and exciting.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

are playing at the Haunt in Brighton on 31 May....and the support band is Machine People
Go Adam. The gig is nearly sold out. 


What, still no crochet?

Really missing the whole hooky thing, but can't reach for it just yet. It does not help that my lovely cushioned handled 3.5mm hook was found with little chew marks in some small dog's bed recently. That grip will never be the same!

But other very good things have happened to someone very near and it has been such a boost to the spirits today. Someone I love dearly has let me know that in their senior years they decided to have a chat to their doc about something that had bothered them for a long time, since their youth in fact. They felt that now, we are much more open about issues and they had long suspected that things were not quite right. It turns out that they did need a little help and from family history it became clear that depression was an illness present in a number of the members. One sadly, even took their own life. That person is now stronger and happier with treatment and all around them say the change is palpable. How very brave and how much braver still to tell your own daughter. 
I have my demons too and have been dealing with them actively for some years now. It has never been a secret in my generation but it is something for the older generation to reach out. Odd how the knowledge makes sense of so much and a relief in a way as well,  but the best thing is that the suffering has been reduced. 

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

mid life crisis

Suddenly our street has a rash of new cars. A BMW next door, a Mercedes in one forecourt and a Porsche in another. Our old beast got us to France and back last week and then promptly called in sick. Many hundreds of pounds later it is ready to be collected and brought home tomorrow. I have always thought that cars were a thing of the male mid life crisis and given the age of the men who have these new cars in our street, it stands to reason. But what do women do?

How about a radical career change and heading back to university....?  Is it time to answer that call? Lots of thinking, asking, researching going on.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Slow roast

Up with the birds 'redding up' as my mother calls it. Guests tonight for a slow roast beef a la River Cottage..... Lovely chat with long lost cousin and brunch pencilled in for next Sunday. The house smells of beeswax furniture polish - delightful and fresh.

I had a long talk to my mother this morning, a real talk. She lives so far away, and with my dad having treatment for bladder cancer, one tends to avoid anything serious. She was wonderful. It did me the world of good.

On with the work now....six for dinner and one brand new vegetarian!

Sunday, 26 May 2013


Some soul soothing grubbing in the dirt today. Lots of seeds experimented with, shiso, mizuna, daikon, basil, lettuce, and rocket. Small quantities of each and some are old, so the success rate may be low.

Hannah and I walked Juno across town to see Celia B and hubby. Juno still pulls and chokes on her lead a lot of the time, but we have some lovely moments when she trots alongside very nicely.

We saw The Great Gatsby this evening and it was spectacular but it felt as if the story had been padded out. Great music.

The sun has been shining and things are better when the sun shines.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Tough one

This is a tough one to write. It is like when you mean to catch up with someone, you promise to do it, and time keeps slipping away. Then you hit that awkward point where it is almost too late to get back in touch because it looks like you've not really been too bothered all along, so it can all sound insincere and not just a little sheepish. But this is where I am with my blog. Not wanting to abandon it, but feeling like letting go!

A few things have caused some deep thought on what it means to me and how I want it to be. It began as a report on life in the UK, then started morphing into a record plus a sort of  attempt at being more expressive through crochet/making. In behind the scenes, like most of us, if we are honest, life in all its messy big fat hairy way was going on non too smoothly. Big J and I have been having a very rough time, we have reached some spectacular lows. But what to do? Abandon us or keep at it? It is clear as I write that it is worth the effort, only for all of us, it takes up so much energy.

In the meantime, blogging and crafting sort of lost their breath and lagged along the way. Now I think that it is not going work for me to blog as if things are fine, but the blog is not a space to dump either, some things are not for world to see. It just needs to be my blog, about my life really and just a bit more honest.

I think I wanted a blog that had loads of followers, but now, love the ones I have, don't get me wrong, it is not about recognition and comments.

So friendly folk, it is gonna get duller around here. Thanks for popping in. x

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Eyore syndrome

It is getting so that I am not even looking at the blog, let alone writing it. Despite some of the lovely things that have gone on that normally would be shared.

Currently, my mind is so distracted with issues that are not suitable for open discussion, that just getting my day job (read that as life) done is tough enough.

Not helped by the fact that there is a foreign body lodged in my right ear and I am deaf there.....completely. It is true, nothing bigger than one's elbow should go in an ear, but a cotton wool bud tip is in there...due to be removed tomorrow at the swanky new Pembury Hospital.

Issues and deafness aside, it is good to report that the sewing machine has been out and my friend's bag revamp is nearly done.

A Japanese doll has been commissioned - yay!

Bro in Hong Kong's baby on the way is a boy and the blanket for him has formed perfectly in my mind.

On a roll here peeps, flooding out now....

A cousin and I met up after THIRTY EIGHT years (we were practically babes in arms last time we met LOL), and had a great time. It is like meeting a new friend.

Phew, feel better already.

Apologies for the lack of photos. That requires a bit more effort and I am not there just yet.

Monday, 1 April 2013

April already

Here are the little kokeshi made for a raffle for a fund raising friend. They stand up but in order to get them in any decent sort of light, they had to loll drunkenly on the window ledge! The little pale blue is the one that was bought by a friend whose daughter was expecting.

Remiss I have been at posting, but it is not easy to do so if one is not in good spirits. Australia was awesome, but this weekend brought a rare bout of homesickness. (Bearing in mind I have not LIVED there since my twenties - it is rare that it gets bad, but it did this week). It was probably to do with distance and lack of seeing my family and of course the wonderful sun. It is true that the sun makes one feel better.

But, Big J and I ventured out in the icy cold to Hastings one day over the holiday and went to the Jerwood Gallery. We loved it, small and beautifully laid out, it has some pretty impressive works in it. We pottered onto the beach where the snow came blowing in, so the remedy was a plate of hot fish and chips.....

I have not touched my crochet hook since getting back and feel a bit stalled. The project I started when I was at home, all from my head has taken shape nicely, but the motivation to go on has gone, for now.

Mojos return and mine will. No point in pushing it. Em and I are off to Belgium on Friday and the crochet will come too. Some quiet evenings in the country might help focus my mind a bit....


Saturday, 23 March 2013

Back from the Outback

Friendly people, I am home in wet and snowy England after two special weeks with loved ones on the other side of the globe.
In 14 days I flew in and out of Hong Kong with an 18 hour stop over to spend time with bro, sis-in-law and the lovely Ava Eloise, then on to Sydney for a weekend with Artist Sister and her partner.
A whole week in the Sunshine State with my parents, back to Sydney for two nights and one day and then the long trek home.
It was just lovely seeing everyone and being in Australia. How I love the place. How hard it is to come away.
It is good to have learned that that long trip is totally do-able in two weeks. So the plan is to do it again - one day.

I took loads of photos and did a lot, including some pretty nifty crochet, so will put a few pics up to share with you all the beauty of the places I saw.


Monday, 4 March 2013

Still here

Despite the lack of posts, I am still here. Occasionally reading up on all the news and latest creations. Truth is - the job requires loads of learning. I take it seriously. Lots of people now come to me with their issues and it is important they get the help/support they need. By the end of the day I am fairly wiped out.

The kokeshi dolls are all done and have been handed over to be raffled. I was so very proud when someone said they could not wait until the raffle and bought one outright for £10.00!! I don't think my work has been paid for before. That money also went to the Ethiopia fund, what a feeling.

J and I have been swanking it up in London with an overnight stay in a friend's flat in BELGRAVIA....Such fun! We went to the London Eye, the cinema and walked our toes off. The girls joined us the next day, when we parted with J to go shopping. Em got a dress for the Boat Party, discounted and cashed back.....and we picked up some items at Uniqlo for my artist sister.

In TWO DAYS I will be flying home via Hong Kong where I get to see my brother, sister in law and the lovely Ava Eloise.  Dad has had his op and is doing well and I will in Cooran on Monday next week after a couple of days with my sister in Sydney.

So, things are busy. Very busy and there is lots to do.

I imagine my next post will be from Australia.

Have a good week you lovely people. x

Wednesday, 20 February 2013


I seem to be lurching through the days at present. The new job is busy and quite a challenge. I have been having the horrible old crocodile dreams, always a sign that my head is full of stuff and some of it is not easy to process.

My laptop is in the repair shop getting a new keyboard as someone left it open on the kitchen table - just after the cookie theiving incident, and 17 keys were chewed off it.

In two weeks I fly to Australia to see my parents, sister and en route my brother and his family. I think I am a little nervous as well as being excited. Seeing them all is lovely. Leaving them all is very hard, especially as my parents are getting older. They all seem too far away.

Today is a domestic goddess day. Ironing well underway. Gym at lunch time and my little charity crochet project to work on.  Photos of this will be up soon.

It will be good to get my laptop back. Nothing seems quite right without instant access to the world and other people's keyboards don't feel like mine!!


Sunday, 10 February 2013

Munched Up Hearts and Puppy Farts

Hannah spent hours in the kitchen yesterday making heart shaped cookies, little fluted biscuits and initials, all lovingly and painstakingly piped. In Japan, girls make biscuits and chocs to give away for Valentine's Day and she has done this most years since we got to England. 

Biscuits need to cool and they were duly left to do so in a kitchen empty of PEOPLE. Tragically the kitchen had in it, one OLD CAT and one GREEDY PUPPY. Some time later, Hannah went to box up her biscuits to discover that 16 of them had GONE.

Meanwhile, back on the sofa, the above mentioned puppy was lying motionless, comatose really between her unknowing parents - sad really, I am Mum to the dog... with some rather strange gurgling sounds coming from her very round belly.

Hannah flew into the living room to point her finger and the dog sat bolt upright, a look of absolute innocence on her face.  The movement stimulated something and she produced the most unladylike, very long, whoopie cushion like sound, which actually worried HER. She kept trying to look for the source of the noise. Too much for the rest of the family though. The noise was the least of our problems!! What a smell.

What a blow for Hannah though. And we have all learnt that our little girl really can jump quite high. Time to reconfigure some of the kitchen areas.

Monday, 28 January 2013

A little bit of love

A friend gave me a big bag of tapestry wool and some of the skeins have been cut - which makes crochet tricky in that there are lots of joined bits, but I managed to make this little heart. Lucy at Attic24 had it on her blog, with a link to the designer. I have just had a laugh at how finished and professional Lucy's looks and how beaten up mine is........But beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I was happy to give it away today to a lovely friend in the office. What is more, someone else wants one AND, I have been asked to make some of my little Japanese dollies as well for a charity fund raiser. Woopee.
But before I get carried away and abandon family, home and hearth to crochet with a goal, there are other things to be done.
At the quilt fair, some of the fabric was very, very appealing. I was so tempted, but the only things that made it home with me were some quilting betweens (needles) with large eyes, so that I can thread them without cursing too much. I have a plan to work on an old project and have pledged NOT to buy more fabric/yarn until some of the WIPs have been dealt with.
Off to do some chores....ironing in front of the TV. Miranda is on tonight. Such fun. x

Sunday, 27 January 2013

It's been a while

as things have not been easy here for some tine now. As the sun streams through the window, spirits have been lifting and with lots of wonderful friends to talk to  and have a laugh with, (you know who you are) and some expert blogger's advice, things are looking a bit brighter!!

What has happened? A friend died young, of cancer. My Dad's cancer is back. Family life has not been running smoothly and much reflection has been necessary. However......

Doggy training continues. 6 visits to the tent of shame yesterday for barking at her classmates! But she is not a barky dog, it was all just so thrilling. Manners still an issue, again, she is little and she is learning. Love her to bits.

Socially very busy. We went to this:

New Brunswick Battle Of The Blues:
Crows Parliament + 3am

Friday 25th January 2013 from 7:30pm, until 11:30pm

About this event

Second stage of the The New Brunswick Battle of the Blues to find Britain's best emerging Blues talent, run in conjunction with the Canadian province of New Brunswick. Unsigned UK blues bands, duos and singer/songwriters were invited to enter. Winners will showcase at the world-renowned Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Sept 2013.

Big J's friend is in 3am. They did not win, but it was a good night.
We went to a friend's 60th and had a great night meeting new folk and catching up with old ones.
Off to see quilts at Ardingly today, and have been MADLY exercising....such a good thing to do when one is down....and every muscle aches, but that is good.
Have discovered MYFITNESSPAL as well and have been very good about food this last week. With only 51/2 weeks until I return to Australia - it was Australia Day yesterday good people - to see family, this great tool should help me dump a few pounds before getting there.
I have a crochet heart to finish for a birthday girl tomorrow and a little doggy coat nearly done....
But it is on with the wellies and off to the quilt show now.
Ciao x

Thursday, 10 January 2013

18 Today

My beautiful Hannah is 18 today.  She is bright, funny, outgoing, driven, thoughtful, creative and kind.  Happy Birthday sweetheart.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Groucho Marx

This morning the door bell rang at exactly THE WORST moment. I was towel clad, and was colouring my own eyebrows. There was enough goo on them to make me look like Groucho Marx. There was NO WAY the door was going to be answered, but I did poke half my face out of the window and asked politely if I needed to come down stairs or could he leave his bits of paper in the letter box.....which he did. Phew!

Once restorted to my usual self, Juno and I paid a visit to the vet to be weighed, (just her thank heavens), she is now 3.6kg. We went for a walk after that. She loves her walks, but hates, hates, hates having her lead put on and or her collar touched. She bites very hard. This is something for the puppy class ladies to help us with. We have been doing lots of the training from last night's session and she is tired tonight.

The charity shop got a huge pile of things today as well. I did say it was time to get off my butt and the result was four bags of unwanted items.....

My gym buddy and I had our first lunch time session today and despite the whinging about being there, we had not caught up with each other since before Christmas so we managed to talk and work out for an hour. Boy do bits hurt now. An older gym member said he thought we were going at '45 chats a minute' when we were on the bikes. Very sweet.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Pink Clouds

are in the sky this morning, and there is BLUE SKY. Oh how we need to see the sun. I am pack-lunched up and almost ready to go to work.

It was a big day yesterday. My boss was lovely about my departure, but equally lovely about me being missed. No start date yet, so things continue as normal until then.

Tonight though there is something special. The first Puppy Class, this time for owners only. I will be able to sit and lie down and respond to my name by the end of it!! I just don't want to have to eat kibble and cocktail sausages when I am good.....

Puppy is on my lap - yes, indulged and ruined already - trying to snuggle in for a snooze. Time to shake her up and get on with the day.

Enjoy it everyone.


Monday, 7 January 2013

Goodbye to Christmas

All the decorations are down, boxed up for another year. I have to say it is nice to have the house back - feels as if there is more space for us.



Sunday, 6 January 2013

Wise words from Frugal Queen touch a nerve

This is our home and we jointly fund it. This is our life and we jointly fund it.

For the LONGEST time I have struggled with joint accounts, pooled money and in fact pooling in general. This is not the same as sharing, if that makes sense. Big J is a pooler. It is all for us, for our lives, for our future. I have clung on to the old ideas and ways and it has been a struggle for both of us. I always want to have my own money (i.e savings) in case. In case what? Rarely does this money get spent, it is squirrelled away and kept. My pay goes into my bank account, then I transfer the overpayment for the mortgage into our joint account.... Other income comes into my account and again, I transfer that into a savings account in my name, although that money is without question 'ours'. By the end of the month after my humble outgoings, there is little left, and that goes into savings too.
All this reveals an independent streak that is very wide, but on the down side, it maybe shows a lack of faith in our shared values or is it our sharing values? I don't know.
We have a good life, a very blessed life. We have a comfortable home, want for nothing and most importantly are all in good health. BUT, I feel unsettled a lot of the time. I thought for the longest time that I wanted change. That I wanted the things around me to change. They aren't going to.

I am probably not going to either. Let's face it, at this age with all these weird habits it is probably impossible, but I think that what FQ said in her longer blog about budgets really hit a nerve. It is time I started to think more we and us and less me and I. It is time I started to accept that we both work our long, long ours for us and the kids. It is time to accept that if I am not happy with the way things are, I can get off my butt and have a go and get them the way I want them.

What a waffle for a Sunday morning, but the reality is, FQ, who is wise and lives her words, has inspired some serious self reflection and not a moment too soon.

It is not the 'what might happen' that counts, it is the 'what we are doing now FOR now and the future' that does.

Off to dismantle the Christmas tree and collect my wee girls, who will be a bit sad because Dada flies home today.


Saturday, 5 January 2013

By George she's got it!

I got the job. Despite being very ill in the wee hours (still suffering today) the interview went well and a phone call last night confirmed that it was mine.

It means change. A move to a new office away from my fabulous friends/team. It means a lot to learn. I will be working with the Breast Cancer team, clinical and non-clinical staff. It means more responsibility and the challenge of that appeals. It may be a few extra hours a week, but the day off is not lost. The day off could become flexible, quite a nice thought.

Today I am alone again. The girls are in London with Dada, he flies back tomorrow. Adam is out. Big J is in Whitley Bay, catching up with work and friends.

I am not socially presentable in any way today. I have a nasty stomach bug and I need to be at home. Juno and Bosley are here with me. I would rather they see me than anyone else!


Thursday, 3 January 2013

Home alone

Big J has taken his Mum home, Adam is out. The girls are with Dada on the South Coast. I am alone, swatting for an interview and wondering if I have bitten off more than I can chew.

Juno is running wildly around the kitchen and in and out of the cat flap and poor old Bosley has slipped away for some peace.

Back to the notes.


Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Birthday Boy

Big J celebrates his birthday today. He has had messages from friends in 17 countries.....quiet exciting that....We went to Devil's Dyke, as and we got nearer the weather got worse and by the time we got to the pub, there was  no view to speak off. We did have a nice meal though even if we could not walk.

He and I met with Dada this morning in town and had a catch up about the girls. Hard to believe that in a week Hannah will be 18....

Tonight is another chill session. I am making banoffee pie. We all say we like it, but one slice is usually one too many!


Tuesday, 1 January 2013

The New Year

is here.  It slipped in while I was asleep. I did not celebrate with my family. I took myself to bed, cross, teary and feeling sorry for myself. Sometimes a big weep just clears things up.  This morning the sun was shining and the sky was bright blue. It has been beautiful all day. 

Big J, his mum and I took Juno for her first walk on the farm tracks. People greeted us and we them with 'Happy New Year'. Many stopped to pat Juno, puppies are hard to resist. Lots of dogs gave her the once over too. It was a very happy walk.

Right now there is a goose in the oven, occasionally spitting and popping and sending out worrying clouds of smoke. Thank goodness a recipe on the 'Net did say they tend to be smokey, or I would have given up by now, convinced the kitchen was about to go up in flames.

Dada is here from Japan - he arrived this afternoon. The girls will have a week with him and we are all hoping that this weather continues for a few more days.

Tempting as it is to think about the year to come and to plan and hope, the best thing I can do for myself and all my lovely family is take one day at a time and make it count.