Wednesday, 26 November 2014

CROCHET at last

Celia B asked me to make her this for Christmas. I have worked various body parts to see how it looks. The ears are not nice, so I will be adapting them as well as the feet.  Today the yarn arrived as did the eyes...mmmm so not my thing, BUT, I am hoping that the bunny that is born is beautiful because Celia B has been such an amazing friend over the years and I want her to be happy. 
It will be nice to have the old crochet hook going again......

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Another little cull

Another one for the Charity Shop
Today has been slow, but productive. Tough too. I parted with some ancient items of clothing, one a coat that I bought just after Em was born.....about 18 years ago. I loved it. An elegant swing coat, in wool with deep, deep patch pockets and I wore it until about 4 years ago. I still got comments then on how nice it is, but it drowns me a bit now and just does not fit in with my current needs. 
So it went. As did other clothes, even some I had earmarked for ebay....just not enough time and I am fed up with the guilt of seeing the bags of stuff lying around that have to be listed. One or two have been kept, but most have gone. 
Some forgotten items from a life and country long over, dust covered on top of a wardrobe have gone too.
One or two things that I thought would look nice in our new home - before we left Hong Kong - but that never made it out of the bag. All gone.
The load is lighter. 
Tomorrow we get new windows at the front of the house. The current ones have blown and this should insulate us better this winter. We have had the heating on about 4 times this season. Em and I rug up when we are here on our own. It seems a lot to heat a 4 bedroom house when there are two of us rattling around. (Big J is in I write).
Off to walk the dog...such a lovely afternoon. 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Happy Twitcher

Juno and I did a four mile walk this morning, through mud and wet leaves and it was lovely.

The highlight was a little goldcrest in the hedgerow. The tiniest little bird, hopping cheerfully between the branches. It was great to be able to see it so close. It was a female, with a yellow strip on her head. 
I like to see birds and try hard to remember details to look them up when I get home, but unless you can see them in their entirety, it is easy (for me) to convince myself they are actually something else! 

Friday, 14 November 2014

Theatre, Scrubs and death

 Yesterday. I spent about 3 1/2 hours in theatres watching two operations, an ankle being pinned and a half hip replacement. Wowser, just loved it. The scrubs are a dark cranberry colour and I wore white plastic clogs that made my feet look like a duck's bill. I had to wear a different coloured hat to the team so they knew I was a student, but they were all so helpul. 

Is is odd that when I got home I watched '24 Hours in A&E'? Maybe I am the nursey equivalent of a train spotter!! But there is another side too. 

I helped perform the last service on a patient who died. It was so moving, so dignified and so very human. The lead nurse talked to him and told him what we were doing, we washed and wrapped him and at no point did it seem macabre, scary, odd or even, heaven forbid, awful. The nurses were so kind and caring. The porters too. When they came to take him from the ward, they asked that we close the curtains around the beds of all the patients. That way there was no distress and no staring and whispering. My very young colleague was equally moved and we were glad to have been able to share the experience. 

Sorry if this stuff offends folk, but I have always felt we need a much more honest approach to death in life. We are rather ignorant about what happens in the end. All I can say is that if my loved ones were treated that way, I would be really happy to know it. 


The pets are both snoring, it is such a foul day, but there are things to do and people to see.

Have a good one.. x

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

A Wet Wednesday morning with a Warm Dog on my lap

I have been reading all the blogs I follow and thinking of how mine has changed of late. It is still a record of life, but a different life.
Mainly because all yarn related activity has taken a mahoosive back seat and in one tiny way I am fretting. Not because I miss it (which I do) but because I have a deadline to make a bunny for Celia B for Christmas and it is looming. I keep looking for a block of time where I can JUST DO IT like the ad says. I have one pinpointed next, next week! 
I tend to spend free time on house things, dog things and when that is done, a quick flick through the anatomy and physiology stuff that I must know like the back of my hand. 
I do tend to procrastinate horribly on everything though and then feel bad and beat myself up. That must stop and I am working on it. (Blogging is not procrastinating...)
Today it is pouring. I have the lacrosse lot for dinner tonight, that makes me happy. 
I am going to pop out and get some new nursy shoes. My feet hurt. My current shoes are lovely and comfy, but my feet still hurt. I will use my student card to get a discount and when I have two pairs will alternate them. 
Once that is done I plan to put in some time swatting, to move slowly, to enjoy my solitude and then my mum job of driving folk around. 

Saturday, 8 November 2014

New Slow Cooker - wooohoooo

The last one did not last 3 years and it was very disappointing. I do love a slow cooked meal to come home to as well as the convenience of tossing everything in and then just twisting the knob. 

Today I splurged at Argos and bought a nice, modest, white one. 3.5 litres. There are only 3 of us here during the week, if that, so I went with a smaller one than before. 

With my early starts and late finishes having something warm to eat for Em and Big J when they get home, then me later, will be brilliant.  I do worry about Em especially coming home to a cold empty house and having to cook for herself. The guilt of a mother. 

It is doing its thing now and the best part is that all manner of bendy veg can be popped into it and used up without wasting them.
Tonight we are having bendy celariac and bendy carrots with beef, shallots and garlic....

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Sad and mad

Communication: talking, emailing, asking questions, LISTENING, not projecting what one thinks someone is thinking. It is all so very important.

Today I got an email from someone who was obviously displeased and maybe felt a bit unsure so they went ahead and did something that scuppered a plan long talked about and worked on. The rationale was that they were WAITING to hear from me and one other on the details and as they had heard nothing, felt they should take things into their own hands. It hurt, because we are all struggling to juggle dates, people, and countries even and it hurt because they never once tried to find out the latest. The honest answer was that I still do not know, but we are narrowing things down. They did not communicate with a significant party either but somehow the message was that it was my failure to communicate that brought all of this about. 

I thought about it for about 15 minutes and for the first time in a very, very long time, I responded as I felt and thought, not as I felt I should....Time to be honest, time to be adult, time to say that the decision made was theirs, the decision not to talk to us was theirs, the outcome is a result of their decision and not because of me or anyone else. 

I spent the day with Celia B. I had promised her a trip to Greenwich to see the Queen's House among other things. It was lovely, but all day I felt sad and mad and really bad. 

One little email could have prevented all of this. How awful. 

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Forgiving Paul Hollywood

My Granny McC was a great baker and would literally toss together cakes, scone and soda farles without anything more calculated than flinging the ingredients into a bowl with her finger tips. 

Remember the days of high tea? A slice of ham, tomato and some lettuce, always the bland bit to me. Followed by wheaten bread, cakes, biscuits and other delights. 

Over the years I have had many scones and even have (had?) a signed copy of Lady Flo Bjelke-Petersen's cook book with her world Queensland famous pumpkin scones, so that I could make my own. 

But all attempts to make the blighters have been awful. Little compressed pellet like things. No fluffy rise, no sheen on the surface.

The most recent attempt was a Paul Hollywood recipe for wholemeal cheese scones when some Aussies came to visit. That was about as appropriate as serving chicken tikka masala to Indian friends...Cringe....and they were like bullets. I endured a long walk with the lovely visitors fretting about the things...and then decided not to show or share them when we got back and fed them cake instead. I was not impressed with Mr Hollywood at all.....

Then today I thought I would have another go. Not for private pleasure foolishly, but because Em's lacrosse lot are coming here after school and I had visions of welcoming them with warming scones.

Back to Paul and this time a bit more of a rise...quick squizz through the web gave me guidance on how long to knead the things...I know not to overwork my dough, but I think it wasn't worked at all so the sloppy, lazy things that went into the oven just lay about and hardened.

Batch two is in there, batch one is a little lacking but this skill is worth working at. 
Nothing nicer than when folk show up and one can produce warm scones in about half an hour and what a good way to use up the MANY jars of jam we have been given. 
I forgive Paul, this time.