Wednesday, 18 September 2013

My next big project; ready to hook

Look what my postie brought!!!

He has a cheery knock, he rat a tats with rhythm and smiles when he sees me. He knows it is my Amazon love affair that KEEPS HIM IN A JOB!!!!

And the parcel came from....
I only ordered it off Ebay at the weekend, so I'm happy it came so soon. Do you want to see what's inside?

What you want a better look?

It's an Attic 24 pack of Stylecraft wool. I can't find the exact pack at the moment but there is an alternative colour way here and another pack with brilliant colours here.

I've never used Stylecraft before, but read a lot about it. And I have a big plan for it.

It's packed and ready to start, only a free night lies between me and the first few rows of a lovely granny stripe blanket. Hopefully by the time the bad weather really starts in earnest, it will be big enough to snuggle my feet under while I play hooky. And since crochet becomes a matter of rhythm and repetition I can watch a few favourite things.
Strictly returns on the 27th. I'm hoping that my daily dose of Strictly gossip, It Takes Two, comes back as well.

Downton is back on Sunday. After a marathon three series catch up in the summer, I am ready for whatever the storyline brings. Except perhaps more Shrimpy.
 And the countdown is on.....

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

A Dark Day in Mid September

Wow! There goes summer and here comes Autumn almost full blast and with a drop in the temperature that has been shivering; partly with the cold but mostly with the worry that, having had the heating STILL on in June (seriously folks, June!) it may not be October before it goes on again but SEPTEMBER!!! (yes, I am shouting a bit. Shock! Horror! OMG! I pay the bill!)
And I was dreaming of a golden Indian summer, sharp dry mornings kicking through leaves leading to warm days kissed by the orange rays of a falling sun and crisp evenings watching as the candle-lighting time creeps earlier every night. Forget the evening. I feel like lighting the candles NOW and it's only just 10 in the morning!
So on a day when I have an office to clear, the washing up to do and detritus of the family life to tidy, what shall I do? (after I finish my blog entry, of course)

I may read this book, Homemade Winter by Yvette Van Boven.

I bought this as my holiday present this year and it is a lovely collection of recipes designed for Winter.

Soups, stews, bread, biscuits in a style that combines Yvette's Dutch heritage with the influence of her childhood home in Ireland. I have several things that I'm planning to do from the book, including the show stopping front cover recipe.

 I love the fact that Yvette has drawn some recipes because, as she says, it's quicker than writing and she's impatient. For someone who struggles to read, like my daughter, diagrams are easier to follow so I'm sure the princess will be dipping in to this book!

 Yvette writes small pieces about what different days and festivals mean to her, how they were celebrated and what happened in Holland or Ireland. They add a lovely personal touch in a book that is very personal any way. I'm definitely keen to buy her other books, Homemade and Homemade Summer.

 Probably when I sit for lunch I will do another couple of rows for the Christmas Donkey Giveaway at church this year. The under 5 team at my church try and give a soft toy or decoration, a card and an invitation to a party to every family with an under 5 in the parish. That's about 200 in total.

Last year's project was felt stars to sew up and decorate. This year it is donkeys based on an Alan Dart pattern. A little more complicated. I am going to do my best, but it actually takes more time and effort to knit than to crochet and it's been a while since I bothered with a pattern. I may get my WI to help. I know we have some really good knitters in there!
And of course I'll need something good to drink, something healthy to eat and something to watch while I finish off. In an ideal world it would be chilled white wine, smoked salmon and blinis and a copy of Iron Man 3 fresh through the post. But the world is far from ideal so I'll settle for second best.

Hot chocolate with mini marshmallows, a few easy peel citrus fruits (oh good, you didn't notice that I can't remember which sort we bought!) and possibly a sneaky episode of House of Cards. Loving it, absolutely. West Wing gone bad, and how bad!!! I understand there is a second series in the works. Can't wait (although obviously, I will)

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

As the children return to school...

I breathe a sigh of relief.
This is the first time in three years that I haven't started with a full time cover position and, although I know I will miss the money, especially since day to day supply is as rare as rocking horse droppings in September, this year I feel the need for the break, the time at home to set up a workable system and to get my life in order.

You see, Mr Angel Jem has decided to jump off the corporate ladder and go freelance. OMG.
And I get to be his IT lady.
Apparently 6 years blogging gives me experience enough to set him up and deal with his day to day problems. For anything bigger, there's still the Big Guns.
Who knew?

And from October 9th our guaranteed income drops, yes, that's right, em, zero. Don't ask.

So making it work, that's like, really crucial to me, ok? I will work whatever whenever to make sure Mr AJ gets his dream of autonomy. So if you need a good personal injury lawyer in the North West or North Wales, get in touch, OK?

I'll be watching past epidodes of this, just to see what I've agreed to.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013


First tooth
First steps
First day at playschool
A few more years of firsts that you sort of let slide because life goes by so fast
First day at senior school.


What did you say?

What? The Princess at senior school?

But she's my baby. You know, my little girl.

Good grief, no. Look at that young lady. When did that happen?

And she had a brilliant time.

Guess I'd better learn the words. It won't be long til I need this one.

Monday, 2 September 2013

114 days to go....

The unofficial (ssh! Don't tell anyone!) countdown begins; 115 days from the 1st September so today is 114. And the last free day of the holiday, so it was just the right time to settle down and watch a Christmas special and, since Princess has decided that we MUST watch all of the previous series before we can watch Downton 4 later this year, we are happily ensconced on the settee watching the 2011 Christmas special (hoping for happiness, rather than 2012, which I understand was rather less joy for the season!) and thinking how lovely the tree looks. And I'm thinking we will have to build up to last year's special slowly.....

Ta Daa!

No sooner finished than in use...

Sunday, 1 September 2013

When the bathroom is clean, I take photos...

Is that so strange?

I spent a day this week cleaning bathroom and ensuite from top to bottom. I did everything I could possibly do to make them shine,

washing shower curtains, polishing scales and tiles,

 clearing out toiletries and throwing away the detritus that gathers in bathrooms (well, mine, anyway) and coralling my cleaning equipment in pretty dotty boxes.

And I am proud of my work. I'm not a natural housekeeper. Life is too short to have a clean bathroom everyday and as long as the toilet is clean the rest can go hang, but I like having a clean room now and again.

And perhaps I will try Flylady again. Not to see dirt ever would be fun, for a while at least.