Blackberry and Crumble are the dogs, not a comment on baking. These are, as we always tell people, great names for dogs until you have to stand in a field shouting them, and then you just sound like a bit of a wally...

Welcome to my thoughts, ponderings and crafty adventures.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

a creature of habit...

Timehop has just pinged on my phone and shown me my Christmas Eve Facebook status's for the last five years. We have traditions without my even noticing.

Every Christmas Eve, I count down the time until HWMBO(I) gets home from work, I watch A Muppets Christmas carol, Carols from Kings, we have fish pie, wrap presents, drink cocktails. I knew we'd done that last year but had no idea we had essentially been replaying the same day for half a decade.

I often wish I'd kept a diary. I start one fairly frequently and see it as essentially a stationery buying opportunity. Facebook has inadvertently become my diary. Its probably slightly more optimistic and positive than a diary written for personal rather than public consumption would be but I don't suppose it's any worse for that. I know it wastes an inordinate amount of time, and if you're not careful you can live in the virtual world and miss the important stuff in the real world but I love it.

I love blogs and the internet - I love this blog and writing it... must try harder.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Blink and you'll miss it...

I seem to have misplaced February, March and April... It's all going by too fast. Life is busy, there are exams to revise for and blogging, along with cleaning, leaving the house and some days getting dressed has taken something of a back seat.

I hate exams, they are a rubbish way to test my knowledge. In casual conversation I could tell you all sorts of things about standard deviation, variance, outbreak control, labelling theory and the epidemiology of e.coli but put me under exam conditions and everything I have ever known appears to fall out of my head. HWMBO(I) and Bob are being very understanding, and cope well with the random reading out of infectious diseases flashcards and occasional sobbing. HWMBO(I)* has also taken over all cleaning and ironing duties and as such we have hoovered skirting boards and an ironing pile that is no longer a danger to passing small children.

I'm trying very hard not to endlessly procrastinate because it's my own time I'm wasting** apparently, although having said that I made a tea cosy yesterday.....

* he's very good at taking on domestic duties. The obstetrician who delivered Bob told him that women who had had a section shouldn't Hoover... Luckily for me he didn't hear the "for six weeks after the birth" bit and I think Bob was about four before I vacuumed.

** although I am becoming something of an expert on American politics, thanks to re watching the West Wing, and not only the soppy Josh and Donna episodes

Monday, 3 February 2014

I’ve started, so I’ll (almost inevitably not) finish…

This poor blog. Like so many before it, begun in a flurry of enthusiasm and high expectations has experienced something of a slump. I’m not up to my eyeballs in  a Masters anymore and the real revision for the frightening next exam hasn’t started yet so I not in any great need of procrastination. As such (apart from a slightly manic crocheting session just before Christmas when I HAD TO crochet mistletoe and stars in every colour I possessed (embarrassingly many)) both the blog and crafts are neglected. I am making myself finish works in progress before I let myself start anything else, and am now bored with all of them and not doing anything.

Works in Progress

  • Rainbow Quilt for Bob – I have a front, a back, wadding and I have even basted the sodding thing. Feed dogs on sewing machine stuck in down position and there is no way on earth I can bring myself to hand quilt it…

  • Baby Quilt – its ready to be backed and quilted… just need a) motivation and b) someone to have a baby

  • ‘French Quilt’ – enough patches made for a double bed quilt… they just need sewing together, backing, basting, quilting…

  • William Morris Quilt – see above

  • Rowan Wool Swing Jacket – back, fronts and ¾ of one arm done. Can’t find pattern, don’t know where I am up to. May have to frog the whole thing.

  • Crochet cushion – front done, back 5/6 done. Just need sewing together.

  • Crochet blanket 1. Approx. 80 granny squares done. Need crocheting together and a border. I hate crocheting granny squared together. I currently have a huge number of coasters.

  • Crochet blanket 2. Large granny square for Bob. About 4 foot square. I have told myself it will be ready for its border when this last ball of yarn runs out. IT IS THE LONGEST BALL OF YARN IN THE WORLD and I don’t think it will ever run out.

These are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head (oh, no – and the English paper piecing purple monster).

I have a shopping basket full on of lovely style craft Aran just waiting for me to press go… and when I do the lovely owner, noticing it is me and I live down the road will come and deliver it and we will drink tea and talk about wool but I really should do something about the on going projects before I start a new one.

There is a business opportunity out there for someone, finishing projects I have started… honestly there is a fortune to be made.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

It just goes so fast...

It just all goes so fast (in fact it all goes so fast that it was in fact Bobs' birthday on Friday and now it's Wednesday but the thoughts below are still valid)

Bob is 11 today. It’s a funny day, his birthday. He is absolutely celebrating getting older, wiser, taller. I struggle with the day a bit. Of course it’s celebratory, there are cards, cake, presents but always at the back of my mind that awful fear that I felt when he was born. He wasn’t very premature by comparison to some of the real teenies that are born, and in fact at 4lb4oz at 33 weeks he’d have been enormous at term but still, he was a tiddler.

We’d known for a couple of weeks that it was unlikely that we would make it to 40 weeks, but really didn’t know how close we would get. I had a fabulous south African obstetrician who came and sat on the end of my bed the night  before Bob was born and asked me what HWMBO(I) was doing the next day, and suggested that he might like not to do it, as he’d probably want to be there for the section I was having in the morning. From then on, to be honest it was all a bit odd. I remember lying in bed that night listening to the woman in the next room who NEVER SHUT UP and hearing the already-born-babies on the ward crying but not a lot else until being in theatre the next day, bang on 12.00pm and the same obstetrician telling HWMBO(I) to stop telling me the joke* he was telling because we were going to miss Bobs first cry…

We held him for a few minutes and then he was wheeled away to  the SCBU where he spent the next 4 weeks alternately breathing, or not until he finally got the hang of it!

I think all mums, and possibly dads feel sadness at time passing and I truly wouldn’t change any of it for the world, he’s fine, we are fine and the whole experience is something that makes us who we are, but still I spend most of his birthday with a bit of a lump in my throat.

*said joke is repeated often. A man sees a penguin standing at the side of the road and thinks, well I can’t just leave him there, he might get hurt, so he pulls over and puts him in the front seat of the car. A little later, he stops for fuel and the pump attendant says “why have you got a penguin in the car you should take him to the zoo” and the man says “yes, you are right, I should have thought of that” pays for his fuel and drives off. A few days later the man stops again for fuel, and still has the penguin on the front seat of the car, only this time he is wearing sunglasses and has a towel over his shoulder. The pump attendant says “I thought you were going to take the penguin to the zoo” and the man replies, “I did, and we had such a lovely time that today we are going to the beech”.

Monday, 21 October 2013

the internet

I know that there are all sorts of things on the internet that are scary, mean, rude and sometimes just alarming (seriously, the person on pinterest collecting images of sex swings...) but I do genuinely love the internet - I love blogs, facebook, shopping without even needing to get dressed.

Today I particularly love the fact that sometimes the internet is not quite as clever as it thinks it is.

I subscribe to a google news feed for 'crochet' stories. Through this service I have found new blogs and all sorts of interesting projects to add to my things I would like to make one day list. Today however, thanks to a glitch in the system I learnt that a man I have never met in New Iberia died on Friday. His name was Elie Crochet and somewhere thousands of miles away a rosary is being said for him and prayers offered. He was 90 years old, he leaves a widow, the wonderfully named Edmae Romero Crochet - they had been married for 71 years, 6 children, 17 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren, 10 great-great grandchildren. I have found myself thinking about that  enormous family this morning and wondering how they all are. I hope they are not too sad. Elie sounds great. He welded tractors for a living and his hobbies are listed as making things for his wife, helping others, playing the guitar, watching wrestling, singing, western movies and television evangelists. With such an eclectic mix of interests I can only imagine him to be a good chap to have around. RIP Mr Crochet.

Sunday, 15 September 2013


Bob attended a birthday party today, at Bradford Ice Rink. I attended parties there as a child, and then later in the (hideously awkward) teenage years I remember hanging around while a friend snogged, enthusiastically and trying not to a) cry because I'd never snogged anyone and b) watch too closely because I couldn't work out where you would put your nose to prevent suffocation. The ice rink hasn't changed at all - I'd say it was retro cool but actually it was just a bit grotty (children had a wonderful time and Bob has requested lessons). I have changed more than the rink in the intervening years - I have now snogged, I get where you put your nose and frankly I have improved with age, where the rink has not. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to tell your younger self that you really didn't need to worry so much and that things would come good.

We left the rink to howling winds and a beautiful rainbow...

Just before we left for the party, HWMBO(I) called down the stairs, "there is a great tit in the spare bedroom". Is it really bad that my first thought was not a bird but wondering if someone had stayed the night and I'd forgotten...
It's been a good weekend!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Jack of all trades, master of one...

I’m back, thank you for all those who have enquired as to my whereabouts – I haven’t fallen off the world or under anything heavy. I developed a significant aversion to my laptop after submitting my dissertation and the twitch only subsided after I found out that I had passed! Hoorah. Having every word you write scrutinised doesn’t half take the pleasure out of writing!

I’ve missed this space – missed the thinking positively that comes with it and the comments from other bloggers. I’m also way behind on keeping up with the blogs that I read – although people do all seem to slow down a bit over the summer.

I’d join in with the ‘I’ve sewn 100 name tapes in’ comments, except I didn’t (black sharpie pen, initials on the label) or the ‘100 creative ideas for packed lunch’ comments, except Bob has school dinners or the ‘I’ve put away my summer wardrobe’ comments except I pretty much wear the same clothes year round – just more or less of them.

I can tell you that I made jam (blackberry) which was lovely and have eaten this with scones, toast, cake… (all clothes a little snug  - winter layers are my friend) and raspberry which was nearly as good and reminded me of my Granny.

I made place mats, with pockets for cutlery. These immediately had jam spilt on them, I nearly broke my neck running across the kitchen to soak them in cold water to avoid the stain (successfully, I know you were wondering)

I made a cushion cover… actually I made two because Bob *needed* one to go on his bed with the other lovely things that mummy has made (manipulated by a 10 year old, moi…)

I decoupaged a cardboard deer head (obviously)… sticky, messy – fun though!

I’ve started a crochet blanket – I am on a mission to use up what I already have (how much is too much yarn… discuss). 12 squares down, 88 to go…

I’ve comfort read old books that I have read 100 times before (the little princess, the secret garden, the alexia tarabotti novels – steam-punk, corsets, vampires, werewolves)

I’ve attended the wedding of the year… fabulous mojitos (and pimms, and champagne, and gin, and wine) and watched the railway children with my parents (daddy, my daddy… sob)

I’ve spent time with friends and family without my dissertation playing on my mind… it’s been wonderful.