Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Christmas knitting and reading


I'm knitting myself a Christmas hat. It's not going to be finished in time for most of the Christmas events I'm going to - I've already had my book club Christmas meal (in November, so a bit early for Christmas hats anyway!) and the WI party is this evening - not much hope of completing it in four hours. It should be ready by Christmas Day though, and possibly for the craft group Christmas meal, if I am brave enough to wear it in a restaurant! The yarn doesn't show up well in the picture, it's very sparkly and Christmassy.I can't find the link to the pattern online anymore, but for fans of the Big Bang Theory, you will have seen Penny wearing something similar. 

I've gathered together all my Christmas themed books and I'm going to read at least some of them during December. I also have a novel called Comfort and Joy by India Knight, which didn't make it into the photograph, and I have to reread the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for book club. 

I'm already making plans for next year's knitting/sewing - a friend and I have decided to work our way through our yarn/project stash. The rule is one project finished for every new one started, and minimum new purchases. I have an array of unfinished projects as well as numerous unstarted ones, I'm sure I have plenty to keep me busy all year.... 

Joining Ginny for Yarn Along 

Monday, December 02, 2013

that was the weekend



I had fine plans for this weekend, for getting the tree and decorations down out of the loft and decking the halls. Just one time it would have been nice to actually do it on the 1st December, the date I usually aim for and I don't think have ever achieved. It usually ends up getting done around the 12th, and one time a few years ago it didn't get done at all! Life always seems to get in the way. 

The Prof had a sore throat on Saturday morning, but felt alright otherwise, so we ran some errands (including some Father Christmas stuff which the Prof went off to do and wouldn't tell me about, ooh exciting). In the evening we drove over to Kent for dinner with friends. By the time we came home his sore throat had developed into a full blown nasty cold, so today consisted of a lie in and then a quiet and lazy day. 

We had boiled eggs and toast soldiers for lunch, there's nothing like nursery food when you're feeling poorly. We ordered in Indian for dinner this evening, with enough leftovers for tomorrow's lunches. I did some laundry, watched some television and worked on a Christmassy hat I am knitting for myself. 

Fingers crossed that I don't catch the cold, and for getting the tree up next weekend! 



weekending with Amanda

Sunday, December 01, 2013

grey days


Waiting for my bus outside the Tower of London one day last week, it occurred to me to take a photo of myself to show you my progress with growing out my grey hair. (Apparently 'selfie' is the word of the year, don'tcha know). I coloured my hair for the last time in mid August, so this is just over three month's growth. The first few weeks were the hardest, actually - I had a  very definite white line along my parting, which I have always hated and is my reason for going natural now. In the last couple of years, I've had a really noticeable stripe within 10 days of colouring, and I figure if I'm going to spend several weeks of every month looking like a badger, I'm fooling no one and I might as well be grey and honest. 

At first I wore a wide headband a lot to cover the stripe, but I have been surprised to find that as the grey has grown out more, it is bothering me less. I think because it's not just along my parting, but showing here and there through my hair in different places.  If I put my hair up in a kind of messy piled up do, it doesn't look too bad at all. I do wonder sometimes, though, if people are looking at me and thinking I've let myself go. I have to admit to feeling a bit unkempt, as I would if I had chipped nail polish, or had visitors turn up during the day and find me in my pyjamas.   

I like the colour of the hair that is coming through, I also think it feels softer than my coloured hair, which definitely has a coarser feel. I've been colouring it to cover my grey since my mid twenties, so I really have no idea what colour my hair will actually be when it grows out. I'm rather looking forward to it. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Finished Object! No, not the poncho


I've been knitting a lot lately. I made a red headband kind of thing - still finding new ways to cover up/ distract from my growing badger stripe of grey hair. Can't show you a photo as I'm not sure where I put it! I finished the Purl Ridge Scarf, just have the ends to sew in. I still have a baby washcloth to finish (baby due any moment) and I made myself a second wurm hat, pictured above. My first wurm hat was a bit too baggy and slouchy for me, this time I paid more attention to getting a yarn with a similar gauge to the pattern and it paid off, I like this one much better. I have a skein leftover, so I might buy some more and make wrist warmers or a scarf to match. I'm still putting off finishing the poncho I've been working on for the best part of this year. 

I just finished reading Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths, no picture as it went back to the library Tuesday evening. I read it for book club, not sure I would have picked it up otherwise. It's a psychological thriller, based on the salt marshes area of Norfolk. What I found most interesting was the details of archaeological finds in the area, the author obviously has an interest in the subject and the main character is an archaeologist. I find prehistory fascinating, so I enjoyed it, but probably not enough to read the next in the series. Next up is Homeward Bound: Why Women are Embracing the New Domesticity, by Emily Matchar, and recommended by Cameron



Joining Ginny (and wishing Ginny and family all the best as they wait for the imminent arrival of number seven!) 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Being Boring

I've nothing much to write about. Things have been quite boring lately. I could write about my health, but that's a constant and depressing annoyance that I do my best to ignore. I could tell you about my current favourite TV programmes, but that really would be scraping the barrel (though since you asked, Under the Dome and The Wrong Mans). So, today I was thinking how nothing exciting is happening, but actually I'm quite happy for the moment watching TV and knitting and reading, and not doing very much of note. Then serendipitiously, over at Wartime Housewife I came across this poem. I have read it before, but had forgotten; it sums things up for me quite perfectly.

Being Boring - by Wendy Cope


If you ask me 'What's new?', I have nothing to say
Except that the garden is growing.
I had a slight cold but it's better today.
I'm content with the way things are going.
Yes, he is the same as he usually is,
Still eating and sleeping and snoring.
I get on with my work. He gets on with his.
I know this is all very boring.
There was drama enough in my turbulent past:
Tears and passion - I've used up a tankful.
No news is good news, and long may it last.
If nothing much happens, I'm thankful.
A happier cabbage you never did see,
My vegetable spirits are soaring.
If you're after excitement, steer well clear of me.
I want to go on being boring.
I don't go to parties. Well, what are they for,
If you don't need to find a new lover?
You drink and you listen and drink a bit more
And you take the next day to recover.
Someone to stay home with was all my desire
And, now that I've found a safe mooring,
I've just one ambition in life: I aspire
To go on and on being boring.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Learning curve




I'm making a Purl Ridge Scarf, though in a different yarn than the one specified. I chose Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend in shade 7164. It is a gorgeous hand dyed wool-silk blend. It's my first time working with such a lovely yarn, and my first time having to wind a skein into a ball. Now that was a challenge. I managed on my own with the back of a chair and then got the Prof to finish it once it got tangled - I have zero patience with knots! I didn't do a gauge swatch - yes, I know, I but I thought being a scarf it wouldn't matter. Then I realised in a cowl it did matter, as the specified 200 stitches and the 4 mm needles specified for my yarn, was going to be much shorter than the pattern. I had knitted an inch or so by then, but I ripped it out and started again with bigger needles. I didn't like the effect I was getting after a few rows,  the knitting was too loose, so I ripped it out and started again, this time with 4mm needles again and 300 instead of 200 stitches. A couple of inches in I realised that I had somehow managed to have my rows not lining up. There is a purl ridge in the pattern and on the circular needles I am using, the ridge ended a row above where it started. I was initially baffled, but now I think that after I cast on, I began to knit with the needles the wrong way round. Would that produce the effect I got, Experienced Knitters? Anyway, I ripped it out and am just about to start again. Good job I have until Christmas. 

I am reading The Knitting Circle, by Ann Hood, and am really liking it so far. It is as it sounds, about a group of women who come together once a week for a knitting group. Each of the women have their own story, and these unfold through the book. It is making me think of the craft group I go to, the other women there and how much we learn about each other incidentally, whilst working alongside each other. Often when I get home I have to undo what I've done, as I have been concentrating on the conversation and not my knitting, but that's another story. 


Joining Ginny for Yarn Along

Monday, September 30, 2013

That was the weekend



This weekend, I

:: visited the Estuary exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands with the Prof and two of my friends from the WI. It consists of paintings, photographs and films made by twelve artists, inspired by the outer limits of the Thames where the river becomes the sea. In particular I was fascinated by the work of  Stephen Turner, a slideshow with photos and diary entries from the 36 days that he spent living alone in the derelict searchlight tower of the Shivering Sands Seafort, a series of military platforms several miles off the coast, which were used during the Second World War.  

:: spent a happy hour or two with the Prof driving around in the Essex countryside. I really do find it so relaxing.  Not feeling so well lately, my two favourite comforting and relaxing places seem to be my bed and the passenger seat of our car. 

:: felt very fed up when the washing machine inexplicably stopped working and none of the lights would come on. 

:: felt very happy when two days later the Prof switched it on and all the lights came on and it appeared to have spontaneously fixed itself! Keeping a wary eye on that one...  

:: had a lovely lunch on Sunday. The Prof had meat pie and all the trimmings, while I opted for a delicious homemade carrot soup.   

:: spent a happy hour with tea, cake, and my lovely man, doing the Telegraph general knowledge crossword. Doing that on the weekend used to be a much more frequent occurrence in the past, and we don't find the time so often these days. Mind you, I live in hope of us one day having enough general knowledge between us to actually finish it, but we don't do too badly.  

:: delighted to realise that the '£2013 in 2013' saving challenge I set myself is doing so well! I am approaching £1000, which considering I've only been doing it a couple of months and it is just 'extra' money I have managed to make by selling things and doing a very small amount of part time work here and there, I am very pleased with. I think it might be a bit of a stretch to get to £2013 by the end of the year, but I'm hopeful, especially if I can manage some ebay selling or a boot sale. 

:: loving the last of the morning glory, flowering by our street door. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Yarn Along



I started reading The Horse Boy by Rupert Isaacson this morning and I am finding it very interesting. I've been reading a lot lately and wish I had made a list of the books I've read as I did last year, because I forget things. People ask for a book recommendation and I can't remember the name of anything I've read! I definitely will implement the list again next year, I might even do the odd review here.    

I'm on my sixth baby washcloth for my two friends who are expecting babies next month. One friend knows that she is having a little girl, so that's where the lilac and lemon cloths with flowers on are going. The other couple prefer to be surprised, so the white and yellow are for their baby - I will add flowers at the last minute if it is a girl. I am going to buy some nice baby soap and a little bath toy for each baby to go with them. 


I met Curly Girl for lunch today and took a picture of her jar cover, as I forgot before I gave it it to her a week or two ago. She's off to University again this weekend, and she says she will use it on her desk for her pens and pencils. 

I've also been working on the poncho again, just borders at the neck and bottom edge to do and then some fringing. It would be good to be able to wear it this autumn, it's been hanging around unfinished for too long. Hopefully I will have the finished object to show you in a Yarn Along post soon. 



Joining in with Ginny

Thursday, September 05, 2013

right now

Everywhere online it seems people are talking about autumn, I can tell you it does NOT feel like autumn to me. The weather is still hot, hot, hot and I am feeling it. I am spending my days mostly hiding in the house, except at weekends when the Prof and his air conditioned car are at my disposal! 

I have a few current knitting projects. I'm currently making some baby wash cloths for two friends who are expecting in October. I thought it would be cute to package them up with some nice organic baby soap. I am so over knitting these things! (I am on the fourth). The yarn is so splitty it is taking twice as long to knit with as it should. I also have still not finished the dreaded poncho. I have to finish sewing it up, then add a border and fringing. When I have finished the wash cloths, the poncho is next, it's been hanging around too long and I am determined to be wearing it this autumn. I've put the other things aside the last day or two to work on a jar cover for Curly Girl, she requested blue with clouds, so I've knitted it, attached clouds from white sparkly felt with wundaweb and now I want to sew around the edges of them, I think I have some blue embroidery thread that will suit. Oh and while we were in Canterbury I made a little mini version of my Dad for his retirement! I used this pattern and customised it. Here he is, in his work uniform, and complete with little glasses that the Prof fashioned from some wire. 



I have other projects in mind - a Christmas present or two, another wurm hat for me and maybe some more head wraps (I've officially coloured my hair for the last time so there will be much covering up of the badger stripe to be done soon!) 

In other news, the Prof has a new job! He has to give two months notice, so won't be starting until the end of October. It might be a longer journey, we're not sure yet, but it's a higher salary so we are very pleased about that. 

Another thing I am thrilled about is that the Young Philosopher is starting college next week! It certainly is all change around here. Since he came home from university two years ago after deciding it wasn't for him, he has been working part time in a local cinema, but he has decided to go to college and study for a Level Three Extended Diploma in Music Technology. I am really proud of him.

As for me, I am on a mission to find some vegetarian recipes I like. When I was vegetarian for several years a long time ago, I still used to eat fish which I am not going to this time and I think I used to eat quite a lot of Quorn and fake-meat type things, and I mostly don't like those these days, with one or two exceptions. I've been almost-vegetarian for a few months now and I want to stop eating meat and fish altogether but I am lacking in inspiration. What I'd particularly like are dishes I can make for all of us, and just cook a chop or something for the menfolk. It's further complicated by the Prof not eating carbs at the moment, so any carb for me and the Young Philosopher needs to be cooked separately. I don't want to be preparing two totally different meals every night. At the moment I seem to be cooking for them and grabbing whatever for myself. One night this week I just ate a bowl of mashed potato and another a Pot Noodle. This is Not Good. All ideas gratefully received! 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Friday, August 30, 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

twenty three, four, five, six, seven and eight!










I'm cheating a little today and counting several days of August Break for these photos I took on Sunday of Postman's Park in London, another of my favourite places in the City. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

twenty two

The Prof has been sharing my camera a lot lately. To be honest, I am not sure who took this one, it may well have been him. Maybe he will remember! We need a camera each....

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

twenty one

I rather like this bunting idea!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

eighteen, nineteen, twenty



Chilham, Kent
We've been away for ten days, house sitting for friends who live near Canterbury. You may have noticed the Kent bias to my photographs recently. We had a really nice relaxing time and now I am pretty much exhausted. How come a relaxing time doesn't leave me feeling relaxed?

We arrived home on Sunday, and I spent Monday unpacking and working my way through Mount Washmore. I am busy every day this week, never a good thing for me, I seem to need a day or two in between to recharge. I have a hair cut scheduled, a days cleaning for my Auntie, a WI coffee afternoon. I need to colour my hair, too - I am still planning to stop colouring it and see what colour I actually have underneath but for now I'm using semi-permanent instead of permanent. It has no ammonia, smells nicer and I don't notice a difference from the permanent dye. I have white roots in 10 days whatever I use. I am still mulling over how to tackle growing it out but it's my Dad's retirement do at his work this week and I'm not turning up to meet all his workmates looking like mad badger woman. 

I've been making progress with my £2013 in 2013 goal. My earnings each week from the bit of cleaning and ironing I am doing is going in the pot, along with any cashback we earn here and there when we buy things online. I still need to get going with ebay. I do have some things here I know I could sell, but working out how to do it all just seems overwhelming. We have so much decluttering to do and really, right now I feel like just taking everything down to the charity shop and being done with it. That won't get to me to my £2013 goal though, and neither will it pay for the house renovations we're planning.

This evening we're having a rare treat, the Young Philosopher wants to watch a film with us - Cloud Atlas, which he's seen already and loved. I'm making a sit-in-front-of-the-film pizza and salad dinner and I have to have it ready for the minute the Prof gets in from work as it's a three hour film and otherwise we'll be falling asleep. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

seventeen

 We strolled into Canterbury town centre from a different direction than usual, I'd not seen this building before and had to take a photo 

Friday, August 16, 2013

fourteen, fifteen, sixteen

 
The view from our friends' back gate

...and at night. We saw several shooting stars, but no photos. Did you see any?

Bunting in Rochester, against a lovely blue sky.  I think every town could be improved by a bit of bunting. And every house, but the Prof doesn't agree


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

thirteen

Spotted in a front garden near Lenham, Kent: the strangest garden ornaments I've ever seen

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sunday, August 11, 2013

eight, nine, ten, eleven

My favourite Valerian, seeing it everywhere at the moment. 

Memorial in the church at Chilham, Kent. Apparently the only memorial in England to depict children's toys - a battledore and shuttlecock, and the book they are reading has a picture of the Babes in the Wood

The bees love the passion flower in our garden

Above the doorway of a lovely little shop in Chilham, reminding me I have Thoreau's Walden on my Kindle still to read

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

seven


A rest and a cool drink after foraging in the Oxfam shop. 

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

six


This year, Susannah has provided prompts for the August Break. I've been doing my own thing, but when I took this on Sunday in Hackney, it occurred to me how it would have fit the first three prompts in one: breakfast, circles and yellow.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Five


A much younger woman stopped alongside me to take photos of this unexpected splash of colour on the dingy wall behind the train station. We chatted for a few minutes. She said I'm new to  photography. I said oh, me too, I'd really love to do a course. We snapped away alongside each other for a couple of minutes. Good luck, she said over her shoulder as she walked away. You should go for it. 

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Four


Boris Bikes. I'd like to ride one sometime, but I'm too scared to in the crazy London traffic.....

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Three


I took this photograph while waiting for a bus one day last week. For once I took photographs of the other side of the street instead of the Tower of London, which was behind me. Here you can see the new  building under construction, which people are already calling the 'cheese grater' and in the background the 'gherkin', with other less iconic modern buildings surrounding them both. There is the end of a building which looks Georgian and was obviously bigger in the past, possibly a consequence of the bombing during World War Two, road building or dereliction. In the bottom right hand corner,  one of the remaining parts of the London wall, dating from Roman times.  One of the things I love about my city is this juxtaposition of the old and the new. 

Friday, August 02, 2013

Two


Today: thunder, lightning, hailstones, torrential rain, soaking jeans, squelchy sandals and the perfect excuse to use my favourite frilly umbrella.  

Thursday, August 01, 2013

One


This garden belongs to a ruined church in London, two walls of which still stand. It is situated in a very busy street near St Paul's tube station and I pass it every time I go to Bart's hospital. I always think how charming it is, a little oasis of calm in the midst of the City, people and traffic rushing past and office blocks all around. Often when I go up to Bart's I stop on the way in a coffee shop for a drink and a snack. It was only yesterday as I passed, that I paused to take a few photographs and noticed the benches all around the garden, and I thought how lovely it would be to sit there in the garden for a while instead. I think usually the weather has been bad and I've been rushing by to get out of the wind/cold/rain but this time I stopped for a minute to look and thought to myself, next time.



Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The August Break


For the past two years I have taken part in Susannah Conway's August Break and I am joining in again this year.  During the month of August, lots of bloggers all over the world will be taking photographs and posting one on their blogs every day. 

This year in particular I am looking forward to it as an opportunity to use my camera, as I haven't been taking as many photographs as usual for a long time. I hope the plan to post one here every day will help to inspire me. 

I'll be posting a photo every day, probably mostly without words, but I might write something now and then too. See you back here on Thursday with my first picture! 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Five Years On: It's a Wonderful Life, or The Best £23.50 I ever spent

Debbie's Story




Sunday was the fifth anniversary of the day the Prof and I became a couple. These photos are the first we ever saw of each other, on a dating website.

Both of us led busy, active lives, though quite different ones. I had been single for years and so had he, though not as many as me. I had dated a little on and off over the years, but mostly didn't bother. In fact for many of those years I barely went out socially. I was a single parent and spare money was mostly non-existent. Added to the mix was the fact that when my son was eleven he left school to be educated at home, so life was busy and there wasn't much spare money for me to have a social life of my own. Even when I went back to work, there was barely enough money to cover the bills, so I didn't go out very much. Meanwhile, The Prof had an active social life. He was in the fifth year of his part time BA in History, as well as working full time. In his spare time he did a lot of historical re-enactment and belonged to an art group, as well as having lots of friends, but he had never met that special someone.

A friend of mine persuaded me to join a dating site. This site was unique in that your profile had to be written by a friend, not by yourself. I remember being quite flattered by what my friend Darren said about me, though I wasn't sure what to make about his 'Debbie is as scatty as a box of coathangers' comment. I'm still thinking about that one.

It was his photograph that made me contact him. He looked kind, funny, open, honest, all those things I now know he is. Despite the fact that his profile said he was into historical re-enactment and architecture and that he wanted to meet somebody creative, I sent him a message. I was completely uninterested in the first two and quite alarmed by the last! I spent the first few weeks of our relationship worried that he would find out I wasn't creative. Of course, he says I am and I will (now, after trying a few things and forgetting to be so hard on myself) concede that I might be, a little bit. He says that as soon as he saw my photo he knew he was going to like me.

We sent each other messages through the website for a while, then exchanged email addresses and eventually telephone numbers. Several emails went back and forth, we both had a similar sense of humour and I know I looked forward to his replies very much. There was an alarming few days when I didn't hear from him, until he realised he had got my email address slightly wrong and had been emailing me and thinking I wasn't replying to him. We used to text back and forth a lot too, I remember I would always get a text from him as I was waiting at the bus stop at 7.30 am to go to work and used to think it so sweet that he was thinking of me first thing in the morning. We became quite good friends before we even met.

After a few weeks we arranged to meet, locally to me as I don't drive. I chose a local pub and we met at 6pm, knowing it would be quiet, one Sunday evening at the end of May 2008. We spent four hours together that evening and got on extremely well. We agreed to meet up again, but during the next couple of months events conspired to keep us apart. Both of us were ill, various things came up, but eventually we saw each other again in July, and after another couple of evenings together, we were an item. 

The five years since have been interesting, to say the least. In those five years the Prof has had a cochlear implant operation, redundancy followed by 16 months unemployment, two graduations (BA History with honours, MA Medieval History with merit), five days in hospital with septicaemia following a wisdom tooth extraction. I've had two bouts of severe anaemia, years of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a diagnosis of arthritis, I've sent my son happily off to University only to have him come home again a few months later less happily. 

We've had several lovely short breaks away. We've had too many times when there was too much month at the end of the money. We've spent many a contented hour driving through the countryside of Essex and Kent and many more contented hours just sitting together at home. A hundred caf├ęs have seen us doing the Telegraph general knowledge crossword and we live in hope that one day we might have enough general knowledge between us to finish one. 

We had a wonderful Humanist wedding ceremony that we wrote ourselves and I still mean every word. 

We have a wonderful life, he's a wonderful man and it's been a wonderful five years. 

Happy Anniversary, Philip. I love you.

Friday, July 19, 2013

news from the heatwave


It's very hot here. Indulge me while I behave like the English person I am and complain about the weather. Why do we have to have such extremes? More rain than Noah had to cope with, weather so cold my central heating was on from last September up until about three weeks ago and now this heatwave.

It is nice to see the sun though. Last year we didn't have as many drives out in the countryside as we like to, the prospect of grey cloud all day doesn't put me in the mood for a day out. We did more popping out locally instead, usually to the craft shop followed by the coffee shop. This summer more country time is definitely on the cards.

On Sunday we drove to Maldon and had lunch sitting outside in a lovely sunny little courtyard. I made the effort and completely against my natural inclinations sat in the sun in an effort to top up the vitamin D. My levels were extremely low not long ago and having had mega doses of a supplement for the last few months, I am keen for my levels not to drop like that again. I've also been standing in the sun  when waiting for buses, instead of lurking in the shade of the bus shelter and sitting in the garden for the odd 10 minutes with a book or a cup of tea. I can't stand it for very long, but I am hoping that every little helps.

I'm reading a lot these days. I'm averaging a book every day-and-a-bit at the moment, while it's too hot to do much else. I just finished Perfect by Rachel Joyce, who also wrote the Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry which I also read earlier this year. Both good reads, but I preferred Perfect. It's quite a gentle read, in fact they both are, thoughtful and well observed, and with a touch of sadness about them. This week I also read Blindness by Jose Saramago, a much darker book, which reminded me of Day of the Triffids, although it isn't science fiction. It has barely any paragraphs, and no quotation marks at all, which I found off putting at first but after a few chapters I was fine and it was a really good read, with some food for thought. I've also read Midnight Cactus by Bella Pollen, a book about a woman and her two children making a new life in the Arizona desert amidst political intrigue and a quest for revenge, and After the Fall by Charity Norman, a chilling tale about what really happened the night a five year old boy fell from a balcony. For once, I have enjoyed all the books I've read, and read all of them start to finish - so often I start a book and abandon it after a few chapters, but all of these were really good reads. next up is Going Gray by Anne Kreamer, in preparation for my own upcoming No More Badger Stripe campaign.

I'm not doing so much knitting lately. The Purple Poncho of Avoidance is still lying on the table all pinned together and ready to sew up, I just Don't Want To  Do It. I wonder if my Mum would like to do it for me? (Now lets see if that forces her to leave a comment, I know she reads along!) I have a dishcloth on the needles, and also another head wrap. I'm considering knitting various head wraps and hats in preparation for the above mentioned campaign, as of course there will be the mother and father of all badger stripes going on for several months before I can say goodbye to it for ever.

In other news, my baby boy was 22 yesterday. Once again, I am putting this song here, my favourite song ever about being a Mum and what it means, how I felt 22 years ago and still feel today about being his mother.






Sunday, July 14, 2013

that was the weekend



            :: lazy mornings

          :: time with family

          :: rhubarb and custard pies

          :: driving in the Essex countryside

          :: lunch in a sunny courtyard

          :: Fentiman's lemonade

          :: the Telegraph crossword

          :: a field of sweet peas
          



weekending with Amanda

Monday, July 08, 2013

this weekend I've been




volunteering: manning (womaning?) the Women's Institute stall at a local summer fair.  I came away with rhubarb and raspberry jam I was very excited about and some lemon drizzle cake. We hopefully recruited some new members too, there were some very enthusiastic ladies there. 

eating: lemon drizzle cake. Rhubarb jam (very disappointing - expensive and I couldn't taste the rhubarb). Strawberries and cream - how else to watch Wimbledon? 

drinking: proper coffee from my cafetiere, with cream. We've only had instant for a while and proper coffee is just so much nicer. A glass of traditional lemonade with ice on a hot day, gorgeous. I must make it myself sometime. 

feeling: tired, but happy. I've been doing more than usual lately, and so far it is making me very tired, hence lots of extra sleep, but its not made me ill so that's an improvement and I hope it continues. 

watching: Andy Murray win the Wimbedon men's final! The first British male to win in shorts, that's how long ago it was that we last won, 77 years! I have to admit to falling asleep in the middle of the match, but I was awake to see the end and to eat the strawberries, those are the important parts! 

enjoying: the sight and smell of the glorious sweet peas I am growing on a wigwam by the front door. I have small vases of them on the mantelpiece and the kitchen windowsill and they smell divine. 





weekending with Amanda