Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Painting and Embroidery...

Today I am going to paint a large picture for the Church's light party.
This is me painting, can't you tell?

I have always been really good at displacement activities; you know, the things you do when you have something you need to do and you aren't yet ready to settle to it. My bedroom was always neatest just before a big essay was due in, while I could always justify starting another glove/toy/book when I had to cook (BC that is... children won't let you displace for too long before yowling with pain)

So, for the past few weeks I have had a job to do; to produce a large painting to cut up as a jigsaw for the Church Light party (a Christian take on Halloween. We don't do witches, ghosts or ghouls, but we do do fairies and superheroes, with dressing up and an emphasis on Jesus as the light that saves. It's cool, because my kids get to go out on Halloween but not to trick or treat which I hate when there is a trick element to it) I have the card, I have the paint, the brushes, Halloween is tomorrow......
And I'm displacing. I know I should be painting and I'm here posting. I would rather communicate with my pals on the ether than paint a simple blooming picture! AND I NEED IT BY TOMORROW

I like painting.
I like the light party.
I don't want to Procrastinate

But I do.

And now I know I will spend the afternoon in a mad rush to paste and paint what I need to, drying the paint with a hairdryer so that I can chop it up into pieces and take it tomorrow. I know that I will be cross and make a mistake with no time or resources to correct it. I know this.

And I'm still here typing.

Actually, I'm considering watching my new DVD which has arrived today, what do you think?

My sock drawer needs a sort out.

I could alphabetise my CD collection.

The cutlery drawer is messy.

I have to make my presents for Christmas.

I have to find a picture of Sean Bean. (No reason, just personal)

I have to find a picture of Daniel Craig (same reason as before)

You do know I have to go and paint, don't you? So WHY ARE YOU STILL KEEPING ME HERE?

I'm off really I am you can't keep me here this time I have to go now........

Well, OK, time for a cup of tea, then.
I bet you don't procrastinate, do you?

Monday, 29 October 2007


So, after the stress comes the spend (my life is a little like that)

I went to Borders and got swayed by a little (!) book called 'Home'

Aside from the cute pink binding, it was the pictures that won me as much as anything.

The little girl's room.... look at the dress hanging up and the dotty suitcases for storage.

We used to do this with the Princess.... the sink was just about big enough, the bathroom was too small to fit the baby bath in, and with a 4 year old and a 2 year old to bathe too, the less stress the better.

And one of those artfully artless photographs that probably took hours to set up and look like it's permanently like that.

The book is divided into sections; Start, Live, Share, Nest, Bare and Find, but essentially runs you through the house and suggests things to do/have/live with. It's bigger on pictures than text, and the text strives for a poetic quality rather than a straight narrative approach. I actually like this, as I don't need always to be told "This chandelier has fairy lights on it from Habitat". Especially in a book, where the photos may be older, the details aren't available or (I hope) my daughter will be reading this in 20+ years time as she plans her own familial base.

I especially love this section about the lounge.

A dictionary definition reads 'to pass time
lazily or idly', and this is something we should all be able to do well in
our own home. As satisfying as it is to make rooms tidy and beautiful we all
need our portion of comfort: a soft chair or sofa (and if we can jump on it, so
much the
better), cushions on the floor, or a really squishy rug that we can
lie on to do puzzles or read the paper by the fire. Everyone has their own idea
of the perfect place for doing nothing,and.... it should be one that invites you
to switch off and just

Already making space in my lounge for a basket of lego (again) so that JW doesn't have to feel excluded when he needs (his word, not mine) to build a space port.

A list of shops and websites provides enough ideas for a few computer sessions, so I am looking forward to the freedom to browse... after I've tidied the living room, reorganised my kitchen and done all the things that a new book usually inspires me to do.... or I may just go for a cup of coffee and a lie down until the dizzy spell passes.

*apologies for the pictures. I scanned them & my 'puter wouldn't let me crop. Technology. Great when it works ;op*


Thanks for the kind thoughts.... a scan in January & a follow up consultation are the result today and either "just heavy periods" or fibroids was the decision that the very nice lady doctor came to. So, roll on January, and only 2 periods to go before then. And after that, the most likely result is a coil or hormones. I'd just be glad to get them done now.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

What do you mean you have homework?

Or, how life with Children is all swings and roundabouts.

At four o'clock on the last Sunday of half term, with tea to make (granted, a large pan of scouse and I know the hardest part is the peeling and then it's a matter of a quick stir now and again, but even so!) How am I supposed to help with homework and cook for ravenous hordes?

Well, once I was free to concentrate, I spent 2 hours (count them!) helping my DP write a story of his own. Chapters 1 to 5 (and a prologue) with a cliffhanger and the promise of "Oh yes, I'll sit next to you tomorrow and help with the next mission. Cool story, though. DP is my literate child who even in ordinary speech uses such beautiful narrative language that I just stand amazed. My language has simplified over the years (children do that to you, I understand) and it seems amazing that I can look forward to resuming my degree-level conversations again. My worry is that when I do have Adult children I won't be able to catch back up with them, that my brain will have been permanently mushed from wine and too much Blyton and that I will just have to sit and listen, nodding in pride and pointing out the philosophers as 'my children'.

But before then I have a hospital appointment tomorrow at 9.30 with a gynecologist. My periods have become increasingly heavy (sorry for the details) and it has Got Too Much. I've tried tablets, I don't want to have a coil fitted, I'm not too into hormones, so tomorrow will be my chance to ask someone what the best of a bad bunch is. At the moment three days of my life a month are wiped out by the damned thing, I flood and leak out every where (tres embarrassing) and I am sick of it. I will be going solo, too; DH has a delicate constitution (read;haemaphobic. So haemaphobic I just sent him out of the room when any children were about to be born so that the middies could concentrate on me and not the husband in a dead faint I know I would have had) and my mother (whose advice would be to just rip it out) is on holiday. My greatest fear is that there is something bigger wrong. (Mum and great grandma both had hysterectomies at 30+ because of cervical cancer) So, as you value our friendship, please think of me tomorrow. I will, of course, share any news when I return. Love, XXXX

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

We have got season tickets to our local Safari Park again! (also here)
We had them up until about 6 months ago, when they ran out & we didn't bother renewing (swimming on Sundays meant we hardly got out this year) Well, swimming is now Saturday morning so we bit the bullet & went for it.
I think a person's favourite animal says such a lot about them. My youngest son loves Rhinos. He is slightly built and shy, doesn't say boo to a goose and has a thing for the biggest of everything, cars, animals, dogs. He has the biggest personality I know, such a happy smiler and I have watched him lean out of the window to stare at the rhinos for quarter of an hour at a time.
DP, he loves the monkeys. He tells stories and one of his favourite characters is a vandalistic monkey called Punkey. He loves to watch and decide which monkey is Punkey and then regale us with long and complicated stories of how Punkey breaks out of the enclosure and causes havoc wherever he goes. So far he has caused mayhem in the hospital, the school and the supermarket. I just know that in December he will join forces with our other long-standing story personality, Norman the Naughty Elf and do something to Santa's workshop. Mmmm
The Princess loves all the animals... of course. But today her attention was captured by the sight of 4 little lion cubs, still small enough to be kept on one side with their mother, and therefore a captive exhibit.
But it was the discovery of this part of the park, new to us today, that caused the most excitement. Two out of my three want to go on it. Me, I would love to have a go......... but I'm scared of heights. Having seen it, I could try the bottom layer ..... and then move up. Does that seem too far out of my comfort zone?

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

More planning....

This time of nights out at the cinema.

Firstly, today's treat.

I really enjoyed it, but then the whole 'star fallen to Earth, wall betwixt one world and ours' premise has never been far from the surface with me. Just imagine them finding the wall at last? Who'd have thought it? Highlights of the film include when the hero drops Sienna Miller on the floor and tells her to get over herself (Yo! Go boy!), Robert De Niro acting camp... and I mean dressing for the can-can! and the race-to-save-the-girl-that-you-know-will-succeed-but-there's-always-a-chance-that-it-won't-isn't-there? moment. My niece (11 and sooooo cool) was banging her feet on the floor in excitement (Hi Roobs, you were, you know! ;) )

And then there were the previews; A few good nights ahead.

How about;

Even if I haven't particularly flipped for the books yet, this looks sumptuous and the presence of *sigh* Daniel Craig makes it eminently watchable for some of the time even if it turns out to be a dud. (Daniel in tweeds... is there no end to this man's versatility?)

And the Princess and I have a date with;

Just watch the animals cleaning the loo with a toothbrush and the Prince singing as he jumps down from the bridge. Tee hee hee. I am looking forward to seeing how many references to other Disney movies I can pick up.

The princess also really fancies this. Dustin Hoffman as a toy shop owner? That's almost as incredible as Robert De Niro as a cross dressing sky pirate.

I found quite a long list of release dates on the Imdb site which has links to pages and trailer details. A very happy way to waste an hour with a couple of children....

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me....

A notebook to write everything in.

I love lists at Christmas. I write everything down and tick it all off. For a few years my Christmas notebook was a plain red one, which is unfortunately looking rather battered and worn now. So, this year I treated myself to a new one from Paperchase. It is A5 size, lined and full of thick, good quality pages. I am a pack-rat and I don't throw out Christmas notebooks so it might as well be good quality and act as a memory book, too.

So far, it has all the lists I need each year, having spent a happy two or three nights writing them out (again).

Yes, I know I could store them on the 'puter and just print them out and stick them in, but I like something about the way a neatly written page looks enough to make it worth the effort. I have my presents list, my cards list (including addresses), the list of things to buy, make and bake, a calendar for December listing all the dates that I need to know, some of my favourite poems and quotes about Christmas and a full set of my yearly Christmas recipes.

It also has pages full of my favourite decorating ideas and inspirations, some I already do and some I intend doing. I don't like changing all my decorations every year, for me part of the joy of Christmas is that the place looks the same apart from tweaking & additions, so I can probably tell you what will be on my mantlepiece now.

Christmas countdown for me really starts now, when we have under ten weeks to go and keeping count of how many days are left becomes easier. Knowing that I have 63 days left today means I can really feel the need to get organised! I always think it takes about 12 days & nights of work and preparation to put Christmas together, so I plan accordingly. Between now and Christmas I will spend time on writing cards, wrapping presents, decorating the house after a thorough cleaning and, of course, baking ahead. And the first day of my Christmas preparations is, of course, the planning day. Hence the notebook, hence the lists and hence the time spent looking into a (very pretty) monochromatic control journal.

I like getting things done in November, so that when December comes I can sit down a little and relax, or concentrate my efforts into building happy memories for my three.

I want them to remember the videos by candlelight, the everlasting supply of tangerines and the advent traditions we have as they grow older so that, hopefully, the magic will never disappear. I am the Christmas Fairy, and I love to make their Christmas dreams come true but I need to be professional about this, too, otherwise the trick just doesn't happen..... so, unromantic as it may seem, this is probably the heart of my Christmas.

The Page Headings in my Notebook (so far)
Calendar Dec 2007-Jan 2008
Presents 2007- immediate and extended
Things to Make
Things to buy
Childrens' presents to each other
Christmas Countdown; 22nd Dec to the Big Day!
Decorating Ideas and Inspirations
Crafting rundown to Christmas 2007
Alternative Gift ideas
Christmas House Clean Up
Nearly 100 Stocking fillers
Christmas Card lists
Shopping list; through the year
In October
Early December
The Christmas Shop
Christmas Day Menu

Monday, 22 October 2007

14 years; You get less for murder.

That's a family joke when it's time for an anniversary. (Two doctors, two nurses and two teachers in the same house = sick sense of humour)

And this is my own dearest darlingest man.

I have known him since I was 11. (he was 15)

I have fancied him since I was 16. (he was 20)

I have loved him since I was 22. (he was 25)

I have been married to him since I was 25. (he was 28)

I have been co-parent with him since I was 30 (he was 34)

and I have been thinking about him since 9am this morning. We (that's all 5 of us) are having spaghetti bolognese and garlic bread this evening with sparkling wine to celebrate 14 really fun years.

There was the first anniversary when his firm went bust the day before (he was an employee not a boss, so it wasn't too bad)

There was the anniversary with DP when the 'candlelit dinner for 2' didn't quite happen (imagine someone soft and cute trying to smile a very bad tempered Mother into happiness. When he patted my arm and reached over for a kiss, me and DH ended up laughing at DP.)

And there have been anniversaries when we went out for dinner a deux. Now, we like to include the kids in the celebration. After all, they help keep the marriage full of interest (we always have something to talk about) and we can always celebrate alone later. (The bottle of sparkly wine, two glasses next to the bed and something short and slinky... Mmm-mmm)

I know he never reads this, so I can say what I like about him. If you don't mind, I'd like to be really soppy and say he suits me better than anyone I know and that I just love him absolutely, body and soul. *sigh*

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Night Night, Garden, sleep tight.

Today I put the garden to bed. I cut the grass for (hopefully) the last time this year, I brushed up all the fallen leaves so far and collected all the kids toys into boxes and plastic baskets ready to go inside the little house and stay there all winter. Although the children go out and play, usually they like playing running games rather than sitting and drinking pretend tea, so they don't need the teaset or little chairs. I put away the washing line, tucked the chairs and table against the wall . I put the barely used parasol into the garage. Hopefully no mice will find it and chew it. And then I sat on my blue bench and drank a glass of cool water and sat down to enjoy the low afternoon sunshine. I know I'll need a warm bath later, but for now the knowledge that my garden is fit for 4 or 5 months will keep me warm.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Handkerchiefs at Two...

After a Friday morning spent taking the Princess to speech therapy (we now have 'cats' instead of 'tats' and real 'cake', not 'take') we went to Morrisons, where for the princely sum of £2.50 I got one of my favourite films of all time on DVD. I said I never would buy all my best videos on DVD, but the quality of picture and sound is so immeasurably superior that, as long as they fit within my £5.00 treat budget I don't see why a little judicious replacement is bad. So, armed with some chocolate and a drink, I settled down, alone, this afternoon to watch it.

I think, sometimes, that my Ma knew what she was doing giving me 3 first names.... Joanne Elizabeth Mary. No good when you're 5 and some clever dick asks you to write them all, but wonderful when you're 13 and seeking a true identity. In my time I have been Elizabeth, Joanne, JoJo and Jem, but the name I come back to again and again is Jo. It is the name I give people when they ask what I'm called by friends. And I love it. It is (as the film puts it) such a little name for such a woman.

So I bawled my eyes out this afternoon. Oh! The tears when Beth is ill, the tears as I recognise Jo's frustration when everyone else has someone and she has not (Been there, got the boy in the end), the tears when Beth *gulp* 'goes ahead', I cry at the start and by the end I'm a quivering wreck. This is definitely a solitary film. I know my DH would just sniff in disgust and ask why I would want to watch something I know makes me cry. My usual argument is, can he name any films where I don't have a cry? Sometimes the mark of a good film for me is that it touches me, not that it's impressive and spectacular, but that I feel a connection. And there are days when I need to sit and cry at a film, because I can't sit and cry at real life, (rejected for a job again, can you tell?) without feeling guilty. I need to weep at LoveActually, to let tears of joy escape me during Scrooge, to wipe away a quiet tear as I watch Maximus Decimus Quintus float away back to his wife and child. Perhaps I like to cry at situations I hope never to face, perhaps it's a place I've been and never want to go back to again. Either way, the cathartic effect of a good cry cannot be underestimated. I've finished the film now, so I can wipe my eyes dry, drink a pint of water to replace fluids lost and settle down to clean my kitchen and living room. My soundtrack of choice? Well, this;

The sing-along version with words and, I hope, a bouncing ball to keep me in the right place. With my orange scented woodcleaner and a few judicious drops of pot pourri refresher my living room will be clean, neat, tidy and ready for A Quiet Night In. Think of me, and imagine me in a Nun's habit as I dust along to 'Maria'.
Handkerchiefs at two next Friday? What's your favourite cry-along movie? Leave a comment and let me know!

Thursday, 18 October 2007

The Diary of A Domestic Competent.

I thought of the name, I'm darned well going to use it so, for those of you in shock and wondering where Angel Jem is... it's still me, just a new improved (I hope) and little sexier me. Domestic Competency. Just good enough, the mantra of my life. Some people strive for excellence, me I strive to be good enough.

And I fully expect a TV series to follow. A combination of Anthea and Nigella, with the decent cooking taken out but plenty of finger licking, a white glove test, but only on one perfectly polished table, and a lot of scenes of gratuitous sleeping. Just good enough.

Post script; I didn't like it; I prefer to be Angel Jem. She is me and I am her. Good to be back. The DomCom was too bossy!

Monday, 15 October 2007

Fairy cakes? Or cupcakes?Not by Mr Kipling, actually.

I made some more cakes with lurid green icing. It's very therapeutic, with measuring, mixing and a time of patience. I like the alchemy of cooking when you take flour, eggs and sugar and change them into fluffy gold balls of fun. So do my children, a plateful never lasts more than a day.

Making cakes (whatever you call them; unhappily, 'fairy' has overtones nowadays that I am sure would have horrified Fanny Craddock so that the simple epithet has the power to elicit a nasty giggle off older children. Perhaps the magic of life truly has disappeared for them) is such a simple activity, yet it is one of those activities that Others seem to regard as 'odd'. Why would you want to bake cakes, they seem to say, when you can buy them for pennies? It's the same argument as when I tell them I'm crocheting a blanket, or making a bag, making clothes for myself or a child, planning to make seat covers, re-painting a desk or rescuing something that someone else has deemed unnecessary or unusable because it needs repair. Why bother?

Well, it is possible that economically there is an argument to be made that to have handmade can cost more than to purchase cheaply. Especially material for clothes, which in recent years seems to have increased in price as supermarkets have flooded the country with cheap clothes so that it is more expensive to make a skirt than to buy one from Tesco. But I never liked the idea that I would go for handmade just from economy. I make what I can because I like to make things, so I see it as a good use of my skills. I like the individualism of a homemade creation; no one else will have the red, orange and yellow patchwork skirt I will make for the Princess next year. Mind you, possibly no one will ever see hers, because she didn't pick the colours and would have had pink and orange from choice, so that I either leave the skirt untouched or take it to pieces and start again.

I like making things because I can. It is one of my talents, and not to use it for reasons of economy or conformity would strike me as a waste. I like sitting in the evenings and fiddling (all my life I have fiddled... I should have learnt the violin, instead of the saxophone) and not to have a project on the go somewhere would be, well, boring. I breathe, I read, I craft, my great trilogy for life.

Making things also grounds me. I can buy materials until my house overflows and the bank manager coughs politely as I go past (head down; avoid eye contact and keep away from the telephone banking; you don't need an extension on the overdraft, just an extension on the wages you don't get during the summer) but to make the things means I have to slow down. Even a small flat doll can take a couple of hours. My blanket (I must show you my blanket) has taken me about 2 1/2 months of evening crocheting (not all at once, I hasten to say, but spread out and separated by about 5 months off for the summer) and now is ready to warm my feet and my heart as it lies (with tuck in) on my bed. I know it doesn't have a 'name' attached (apart from mine) and I know that, come 40 or 50 years time its resale value will be zilch in a charity shop, but I hope that my descendants will not idly pass it on, but will stick it in a chest (cedar wood, lined with ticking and with heirloom lavender hearts, of course) and pull it out to use now and again or that, when the next passion for vintage comes around, it will have a resale value on the next generation of ebay. Perhaps I should attach a label to it, in case Angeljem ever hits the headlines as a name, but I doubt it. That's the other part of handmade by me that I like. It doesn't pander to names for names sake. I don't need a label to show that I like the lifestyle, it's not a manufactured idea of life promoted by any magazine editor's personal image of a rosy, fire-lit country life. It's my life and I make what I think will fit into it.And that is, of necessity, limited by what I think I can make. Three years ago I would have loved to be able to crochet... now I have three blankets under my belt (no, not literally... although that would be a very good excuse for my waistline!) and a dream of two more (one for every bed we use everyday) but even as I plan my next ripple or granny marathon (for December) I know I want to make a rug for the living room..... a length of Christmas bunting.... a selection of hearts for the tree and a patchwork cushion from the squares that didn't make it to the stockings.... I know that I will be able to do something next time I have a spare ten minutes and the inspiration strikes, and that I will probably this year try something new. I really fancy ceramics... or rug making... quilts.... or ( which I actually used to do in my twenties) fimo clay modelling.

Or perhaps I'll just get the extra wool and begin my stripy blanket.

Who said coward?

Thursday, 11 October 2007

when your mind is away....

am knackered today, can't think straighet and my fingwers are runnins skightly wonkey. 4 hours is not enough sleep fir anuone an dseepecially not on a day when She is going to Rainbows and ha spesetered me since 4 for a thinh tha startrs at 6!!!!!!

For sale or loan; pretty princess, one careful owner. Tendency to run slightly fast but good service history. Would prefer something silent.

Or a decent nights sleep.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

When life gives you lemons....

You make lemonade.

When you have a little girl off, you make a dolly.

It wasn't until after the Princess had put a jacket on her new friend that I realised that the colours were the same as The Book's cover. The colours of Tuesday; turquoise blue and cerise pink. Cute.

Mind you, she wasn't staying still.....

My little one is ill...

She has a cold and is feeling dismal. I, too, am not exactly brimful of life. This is my third child off in three weeks. Work is a distant memory and, with Christmas under 11 weeks away, my budget is assuming supermodel thin proportions. Oh, that I could sell my ideas or buy presents with the honesty currency of my childhood... alas, nobody pays for my thoughts and I have dismally forgotten to plant any money plants in my back garden. Next year I'll remember.

However, to brighten my darkness the courier brought this....

three days early and just before lunchtime. I have read five pages, scanned the rest and I pronounce it acceptable. As a Domestic Competent, I salute the Artist! Thank you, Jane, for a read suitable for my Earl Grey tea.... and I have to go compile my Christmas present wishlist... just how many Persephone books can one girl have?

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Cherry Choc Chip cookies

No, I don't usually do recipes, but these proved such a hit with the children, as well as being so virtuously Domestic Goddess/Artist/Competent to serve with cold milk after a day at home that I had to share it with you.

My trio of hungry mouths love cookies and one of their favourite weekend breakfasts (the time of the week when healthy eating means they haven't got a cold, rather than a meal that would fit onto any food triangle I've ever seen) is a cookie. Tesco and Sainsbury's cookies are well over £1.00 for a bag of 5.... these were pennies, literally (less if you leave out the cherries, but life is too short)

You will need;

100g butter or margarine, room temperature

175g caster sugar

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 egg

1 1/2 tablespoons of golden syrup

250g plain flour

1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

A pinch of salt

50 to 75 g glace cherries

55g chocolate chips, or smarties, M&M's or other small sweets. I understand Milky Way Stars are lovely, but I have to try them yet.

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 or the equivalent.

Cream the butter and sugar together (by hand if you need the exercise, by hand held electric whisk if, like me, time and patience are unknown gifts) until they are pale and fluffy.

Add the egg, the vanilla and the syrup and beat until well mixed.

Sift the flour, bicarb and salt into the bowl and fold in gently.

Add whatever extras take your fancy (obviously not anchovies, but they could be interesting!) and stir.

Take little balls of the mixture about the size of a walnut and place on a well oiled baking sheet. they do spread out a tremendous amount, so leave plenty of space. You should get between 15 and 24 balls, it rather depends on the size of your walnuts.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the top is golden. Don't test by squishing as they will be incredibly soft as long as they are hot. Leave on the sheet to cool for a while before removing to a rack, or a plate on the table. Hide any you want in a sealed biscuit tin. They will last for 4 days, but only if you have more will power or less children than I.

I haven't tried to freeze the dough, but I do know you can (if necessary) freeze the biscuits for up to a month.

Put the kettle on, make a decent cup of French Vanilla coffee, and read the November edition of your favourite magazine.

What's your best cookie recipe? With the imminent holiday season, I always like to have a few select offerings to make and give, and I'd love to know yours! E-mail or leave a comment to let me know what you do for a little sugar burst! Happy Baking!

BTW, I think I should adopt the Label 'Domestic Competent'. After the success of Nigella with 'Goddess' and Yarnstorm with 'Artist', I might even get a book deal ;o)

Thursday, 4 October 2007

See, look what you're missing....

See, chocolate cupcakes with mint green icing...

Homemade cookies with chocolate chips and cherries....

Mamma's best meatloaf with baked potatoes, gravy and carrots....

A ripple blanket that's a bare 6 or 10 rows away from completion (and then there's only the ends to fix in and a single border to do....)

My fireplace cleared of the summer stones and shells and surmounted by red candles ready for a chilly evening when I need to pretend my fire really works an dto knit by candlelight....

Casino Royale, my treat for being a good Mummy this week...

No, don't scroll any further, there aren't any photos today because He is still off and I can only get to the 'puter long enough to post (barely) let alone upload photos (and I do want to show you them, I do, I do.....