Monday, 31 December 2007

2007, certainly an interesting year.

During the summer of 2006 I thought it would be a nice idea to get an allotment. (a small patch of land that is generally used to grow your own vegetables) so I put my name down at an allotment that is very near to me. There was a waiting list, which to be honest is quite normal. I believe the waiting lists in London can be as long as ten years. Okay... so whilst waiting, I became a member of a group on the net who grew veg and generally looked on life in a non consumer way.

Shortly after joining they began talking about hand knitted socks. Oh, how the love can develop so quickly. A very kind lady knitted me a pair on her flat bed knitting machine, mostly powered by a wind turbine and posted them to me, (I did pay her) Ooh, when I put them on my cold little tootsies I immediately realised that I would have to learn how to knit these wonderful creations.

I had learnt to knit as a child, I will get back to that later, but it was a very long time ago and all I could remember is as my grandmother would say it plain and pearl. I just about remembered how to cast on, I had to check on the net how to cast off.

I knitted a scarf, I still have it, it was my pride and joy last winter, I didn't know how to join wool, so I just knotted it. I can feel your pain from here :)

I discovered there were sock knitting kits on the net, but to be very honest, they seemed very scary. During a ramble around the net I discovered Web of Wool, who were in spitting distance. Shortly after this discovery, I cajoled hubby to take me to this mysterious place. I chose wool and needles, I was very nervous, yet determined and went off on my merry way.

It took me two months to knit my very first pair. With the help of a knitting forum on which there was a very kind lady who befriended me whom I'm ashamed to say I badgered to the enth degree. She was very kind and really did have the patience of a saint. I also used "socks 101" a very useful link indeed.

After an eight month wait, in February we became the proud owners of our own allotment. Boy did we work, firstly a greenhouse had to go up, three weekends of tough weather to dig out, get concrete footings in and erect a greenhouse.. which was second hand so had no instructions.. I do realise, but never more than then just how clever my hubby is.

Quickly followed by my potting shed, mine all mine.. :) Again, dreadful weather, footings were dug out and concrete hand mixed by hubby were laid. And then as if by magic, a shed that had already been painted twice in a weather proof paint was in place.. I will never see that shed so spider free again.. Infact, I have a very large spider that uses the window as his lair that I call Henry, I'm hoping he's made it through the winter.. :)

April came and you'll never guess, I actually got sun burnt. I'm fair, with a few freckles, blue eyes and a touch of red in my hair and we had a roasting weekend, the like of which I have never seen in April before. I was actually burnt on my shoulders and had a rather pink nose. Along with lines of a tan.. Oh,, how we thought that this was going to be a wonderful summer... how wrong could we be,,, there was an awful lot of rain for months after this, even now in this country there are people still suffering from the results of the floods.

Then we dug and dug and dug to the point that I could barely walk down the stairs in the morning without my muscles screaming at me. But it was all good. Plants began to grow, it was terribly exciting.

I was never so happier.

And then at the end of May.. I began to lose my hair very rapidly. I don't normally talk very much about this, but it was the year of 2007 and so should be recorded.

I launched into despair, whilst at the same time trying to be strong so as to minimise the effect that this was having on the people that I love in all the world.

I needed a wooly hat, I really did.. I was cold, shivery most of the time.

During my wanderings around the net, to find me a wooly hat and my new found love of knitted socks, I found some lovely blogs that mentioned the word Ravelry...........

I didn't take much notice the first time Ravelry was mentioned, but then after a couple of mentions, well, I thought I would register. I'd lost hope of being able to buy a hat (it was high summer) and had tried to knit a couple of hats by this time, of course my knitting skills were not very good at this time and not only did they take a long time, but they did not fit my huge bonce.

I became a member in August and to my shame, one of my first postings was to request if anyone could knit me a wooly hat... Two lovely American ladies replied, took my measurements and within less than two weeks, the first hat landed on my doorstep. Oh bliss, it was the first time I had been warm in ages. I will never, ever forget their kindness, it really saved me.

Oh Ravelry, its wonderful, I love it. Hours, no days can pass whilst looking at the wonderful FO's. Visions of colour and patterns bounce around my brain whilst looking through all the wonderful knitting. It really is lovely.

At about the same time, I decided that I needed to knit yet more hats and went back to Web of Wool, I had a pattern in mind, which I had printed out but had no idea what it actually meant. (my knowledge of wools, needles, tensions etc was non existent at this time). I think I may have been bald by this point, I was wearing something I have no idea what, when Rachel came over to me to give assistance. I do believe that during the conversation about hats, which was lovely and that the feeling that she knew and would cope,,, I whipped off my hat to try one of theirs on, therefore showing my bald bonce, which was the first time I had shown my head to anyone.. She was sooo as my sons would say it. cool.. it was brave of me and it was very brave of her.

During the next month or so, rather irregularly I used to pitter-patter around the shop, During one of these visits, Anna suggested I should come to their knitting group. I wasn't quite ready, but bless her, once I got my wig in place she repeated it again and yet again. I thank her and Rachel very much for that, they both got me through the first couple of tough weeks. Anna taught me how to cable, which opened up another world of possibilities.

Time ticks on, I've learnt so much, I love every new adventure, my latest adventure is learning how to knit short row wraps. That took me quite a while to get my head around, but now I have managed it, I love it.

I'd like to mention this, I know its bizarre, there probably aren't many people reading this at this stage, so no matter.

I said at the beginning, that I learnt to knit as a child, but only could remember plain and pearl, but I would get back to it later on. My fathers mother was an avid knitter and I can remember her knitting throughout my single years. It must have come to a point that I was interested, but time was limited for my grandma. I didn't know, but she sensed it. Firstly I now know its not pearl but purl, and I know its knit not plain... she also taught me kitchener stitch, I still have to look at what the pattern says, but I have an abiding memory of standing behind her whilst she was teaching me this. A memory I wouldn't have remembered without picking up knitting again.

She also taught me how to join wool by splicing it and spitting onto it and also how to work through where exactly you wanted the wool to change and unravelling to get exactly the right space to change.. and most memorably for me anyways...... she always used her front right hand finger to flick the wool, which is what I have learnt to do.

There was also an attempt at socks, but I was hopeless, I twisted the wool, it was getting near her time and we lost sight of each other. It really has been amazing to remember those times with her, which I had forgotten.

I wish I could show her what I am doing, I know she would be very proud.

Oooh dear, what a state to get into,

2007 wasn't a "bad" year, interesting yes and in many ways a very good year.

I hope that 2008 keeps us all together, that would be my wish.

and may I wish everyone A happy and healthy New Year.

Sunday, 30 December 2007

I'd just like to talk about pens...

To clarify I have teenagers in the house.

Pens, I have bought about fifty cheap biro's in the last 6 months to enable me to write on paper in the study. Its a simple thing really isn't it, the phone rings, you answer it and may need to take a message. Aaaah, where is a pen.... nowhere to be seen. Okay there is normally a pile of clutter on the desk so I may need to wade through that just to check, but nope even after a quick shufty, nuffink.

I even bought myself from my local supermarket a pack of three roller ball pens, which is going up in the world really, when you know that they are going to disappear at the speed of light. I managed to keep a firm grip of them before Christmas, mainly because I hide them. I was then able to write Christmas cards with something other than a charity biro thats so graciously posted to me at regular intervals even though I have never made a contribution. I sometimes feel quite guilty about that, because those charity biro's have often got me out of a tight spot.

On opening the coveted pack of three roller balls, I made a fatal error, the teenagers saw them. There was three, then it went down to two, then hubby tried to take the last one yesterday and I managed to claw it back out of his grubby mitts just before he walked out of the room. Then there was an argument with son no.2 (who wanted to walk off with the last one as well) who exclaimed that I had bought them for him, which I flippin' hadn't. So I had to outline to my darling son that I had bought them for ME so that I could write Christmas cards, etc, etc, along with just how many pens had been purchased over the last few months. I could still see the greed in his eyes, I knew that the pens days in my company were numbered.

Alas, they have all gone now, but the teenagers have had the good grace to leave me the empty packet on the desk, just to remind me that it wasn't my imagination.

I have no idea what happens to them, they never come to light, teenagers deny all knowledge, as does husband, personally it wouldn't surprise me if son no.2 is making a thrifty profit out of them at school.

thats it really, pens.....

the milk, cereal and bread stories are very similar...

Friday, 28 December 2007

Dads socks

Phew, just finished. I've been knitting since 7.30 a.m. They are now wrapped and ready to take around to him, lets hope he likes them. They are made from Fortissima Socka Mexiko Color 6ply in colourway 0025

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Its Christmas..

These are part of mum's christmas presents, a pair of Fetchings knitted with Louisa Harding Grace wool and silk. It really is lovely to knit with.

This is the pair of socks I was working on whilst hubby was in hospital, they are made from Fortissima Socka Mexiko Color 6 ply in colour 0027.

I do like the thickness of these socks and when I get a chance would very much like a pair for myself. At the moment I'm knitting a pair for my Dad's birthday which is in a few days. Its going to be tight. I was knitting him a cable scarf but I realised that it was going far too slowly for me to stand a chance of meeting the deadline. Also Dad has now got a date for his knee replacement operation, which will be in January, I thought a nice warm pair of socks would be more useful in hospital.

Hubby's is improving. At last the infection is starting to go down, I can't actually look at it, its quite gruesome, but at least its going the right way.

Hubby likes to potter in the kitchen and did a fabulous job of cooking Christmas lunch. I realise in this photo what a motley crew we are, I was the only one that dressed for lunch and you can't see me!!

Lastly, a picture of our Christmas tree with treasures from years gone bye.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Sequoia Cable Scarf, finished.

I'm really pleased with this scarf, I think it suits son no.1 very well. This is the best piccie I'm going to get as he's already earmarked wearing it tomorrow morning, so I don't think I am going to get a piccie in daylight.

I knitted this in Rowan Yarn, soft tweed in Sprig, it took four balls. I changed the pattern slightly so as to make it slightly wider by adding 6 stitches, three on each side.

Friday, 21 December 2007

Knitting Resolutions 2008.

I noticed this idea on another blog, links in the title and thought it was a good idea.

My Knitting resolutions for 2008 are,

1. Learn to knit the Fiber Trends Felt Clog pattern.

2. Knit two jumpers for hubby. (one is already started)

3. Knit chemo caps for Warwick Hospital. (or whoever would like them locally) I have bought some extremely soft yarn for this already. I found it impossible in high summer to find anything to keep warm my bald bonce and a couple of American ladies very kindly knitted me something to keep warm. I'd like to return the favour to someone.

4. Learn to read charts.

5. Try to learn to knit a bayerische sock. I am totally in love with this design.

6. Knit 6 pairs of socks for me, just me.

7. Organise my printed out patterns into a folder.

8. Start Christmas knitting very much earlier... I don't think starting in February would be too early.

9. Learn how to knit toe up socks, so that I don't have the same disaster as I had earlier when I ran out of yarn on a pair for my mum.

10. Learn short row wraps.

I think thats enough for me.

He's home..

Hubby is home :)

He's doing very nicely. It is slightly painful especially so just after the wound has been packed, but he's okay. They gave him a nice dose of morphine to take the edge of the first packing. He is looking so much better though, I'm very pleased.

We managed to make a sideways sweep towards home via Web of Wool to pick up my Debbie Bliss Donegal Aran Tweed in colour 14. It is everything I wanted it to be. So I must finish the cobblestone jumper to start another jumper with this beautiful wool for hubby.

Might even get the Christmas decorations up tomorrow.. famous last words..:)

The ironing has been decanted from the sofa into bin bags and then tucked away. Ssssshhh, don't tell my mum, she would have the horrors!!!

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Hubby and his abscess.

Hubby went to the docs at eight thirty this morning as promised to get his swap results. They weren't there, but when the doc had a look at his abscess which had continued to grow, she sent him straight to hospital. Fortunately, I had already mostly packed his case. I knew that this was on the cards. To cut a very long story short, he's fine, he's had an operation to remove it and come out the general anesthetic remarkably well, I'm very pleased with him.

The slightly lengthier version is just about to follow..

We got to the hospital at nine, got invited to wait in a "interview room" at ten, then saw a junior doc at one thirty, placed on a ward at about three and then saw surgeons and had ECG tests etc and then hubby went down to surgery about seven thirty.

Which to me is flippin' marvelous. Okay its a whole day, but I didn't have to walk for four days to the next village, or worry about the cost, thank doG for the national health thats what I say.

The abscess had grown to a six to seven inch ball of poison, with a good three, to four inches in parts of infected skin surrounding it. They Pumped hubby full of antibiotics, I can't remember the names I'm sorry, but he had a bag full of antibiotic dripping in slowly, plus three huge vials pumped into the, what do they call them, the plastic tap they leave in your wrist. (technical terms!)

The boy did good. He looks really well after the op. It may need packing for several weeks and I'm really not sure when he is coming home as the days have ranged from tomorrow to next Monday, so I'm just going to play that by ear.

The other plus points are, I took my knitting and managed to knit a WHOLE sock............ I think I went into some sort of robotic person whilst he was in surgery, he was in surgery for an hour and I managed to knit 53 rows in forty five minutes. I've never knitted that fast in my life and when hubby came back and noticed my knitting he was flabbergasted at just how much I had achieved.

and off course, cause there always is one... Mandy plays the fool. When the junior doc was taking blood tests I got out of her way, as you do and just casually leant on the wall. I noticed an alarm sounding and through the glass in the door I could see the accident and emergency staff RUNNING into rooms and the general feel of a panic situation. I thought, "Oooh, whats happening here then". When another doctor comes charging through the door, Yep, its Me, leaning on the panic button..

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

What a lowlife, how do they sleep at night?

Firstly, hubby is still not feeling very well. We are now waiting for swap results on Thursday. Its starting to get to be a bit of a worry. Enough said. He is working though, which is where hubby is most definitely happiest. (I know my place in life!!) He had his tonsils out a few years ago, which is quite a painful op for an adult. As soon as he came out of the general anesthetic and was able to utter a word, it was, "laptop, laptop, bring me my laptop". I refused for a few hours on the basis that he really should rest, but he was so miserable I had to give in :)

Onto other things.

My parents are back from their winter jaunt to Tenerife, so I can talk about this now. Dad rang me last week and I asked how things were, he said, "Well, we are okay now". Which sent a shiver down my spine and he went on to tell me that he had been pick pocketed. When he told me what had happened, red hot angry tears spurted from my eyes. My folks are 70 odd, Dad is registered disabled, uses a walking stick and is awaiting a replacement knee operation. He and mum were boarding a bus and Dad was distracted as he was trying to get onto the bus when a big man barged Dad, you know the rest, his wallet containing 200 euros had been removed from his person. They were very upset about it, fortunately they have good friends who helped them to get over the shock of it. I knew exactly how they felt as a few years ago, I was barged in Yates's wine bar in Leamington and my purse was stolen. But to pick on old age pensioners.... I can only hope that this gentleman lives an extremely long life which will give him plenty of time to reflect on his actions when he too is vulnerable.

Ladies watch your handbags. I was targeted in Benjamin Satchwells in Leamington yesterday. After a quick trip to see my friend Anna at Web of Wool, she who supplies my fixes of beautiful yarns. I only needed needles, I came out with a bag full... you know how it is.. friends rang and it was decided to meet at Benjamin Satchwells for a quick drink before going home. They would be there in twenty mins, so I got a drink, settled myself on a sofa, picked up a newspaper and started to read. When an Indian gentleman came in, I could tell that he had clocked me... call it instinct. I might look like I'm reading but I do know that I am on my own and am therefore more vulnerable. He wandered around, did not buy a drink and then plonked himself on the sofa opposite me. He actually sprawled... I realised my handbag was within reach of him and was not firmly attached to my knee. Before then it was safe as no one could get to it. He was watching me like a hawk, then said to me.... "Oooh look at that, whats happening on the parade". To look would have required that I turn my back to him...

I said.. "Mmmm" raised one eyebrow, gave him a bit of a paddington bear stare and casually carried on reading in such a way that it was obvious that I could see him and what was happening, then I put my newspaper down, and reattached my handbag to my knee and hand. (ladies will understand the knee attachment of handbags whilst sitting) He harrumphed, got up and walked out the front door.

So watch your handbags my loves..

latest news on the Warwickshire Police website.

warning to shoppers

It must be Christmas...

Monday, 17 December 2007

A Post script to Sunday..

Hubby has come home looking quite poorly again. Back to the docs tomorrow me thinks.

Sunday, 16 December 2007


I was going to blog about my usual Sunday adventures, silly observations, huge parsnips and the like, but then, just as I'd loaded in the piccies I wanted to use, hubby plods into the study and asks me to look at his back again. He had seen the doctor on Friday and was given a huge dose of penicillin for an abscess on his back, which I have been checking reasonably regularly but this time when I checked it, it really had changed into something quite nasty looking, the abscess is now four to five inches across, starting to leak poison and changing to a darker colour, with the infection in the skin having spread down the back and across the shoulder by two to three inches since this morning. "Mmmm" sez I. And then I look at him sat on the chair.. and he's sat there with a light film of sweat on him, feeling cold with the occasional shiver, but to me he feels hot. "Oh right", me thinks. I broach this carefully... "well I think, you might need to see a doctor". "Oh" he pipes up, "The doctor said that I might need to go to the emergency doctor if it got worse, they'd give me an extra dose of antibiotics" I'm thinking, "that needs lancing", but I say nowt. I grab my knitting on the way out the door and a hat, as I didn't have time to mess around with the wig.

Now I'm very cynical so you will have to excuse this next paragraph or two.

Fortunately we get to the hospital at about six o'clock which in my eyes is the perfect time on a Sunday in the winter. Its been dark for a couple of hours, so the children and accident prone adult people who have broken/sprained limbs etc during their Sunday outings have generally been seen and sorted and the after tea/dinner brigade where the children's temperatures have soared in the evening, have yet to be worried enough to get an appointment.

However, there are still five children ahead of us. Now I personally have nothing against children, I even managed to have a couple of my own. But, are children really that ill that they need to be seen by an emergency doctor if they manage to run up and down, screaming and laughing. Three out of the five children look in rude health, with one boy aged about four, when he was called through by the doctor, ran up to the open door at considerable speed, dropped to his knees and skid into the doctors room with a huge laugh on his face. Is it me... is it?!! I can only say there must have been something wrong with him as he came out holding a bottle of that vile tasting yellow antibiotic medicine, waving it triumphantly he was, it was as much as I could do to stop myself leaning over to him to tell him quite how vile tasting it was..

So, I'm knitting a scarf, which I'm getting towards the end off and I'm thinking, "Well, if hubby does have to have surgery, I should be able to get this finished".. as dreadful as that sounds, he's chirruping similiar comments to me, so its all good.

We've been there for an hour, its hot, I'm hot and a couple of the children have taken to running to the bin, which happens to be by me and back again. Its really putting me off my knitting. And not only are they running backwards and forwards they are getting applauded by their parents every time they do so. Hubby's looking knackered, but not quite so hot as he's taken paracetamol so his temperature is coming down, but he looks reasonably poorly and still the children run up and down....

So,... I take my hat off.

Its amazing how quickly a noisy room can go quiet, isn't it?

They stop the children running, bliss.

Half an hour later we are called in by the doctor, the doctor and I admire hubbys abscess, it has nearly become an entity in itself, a truly wondrous thing. "Well" says the doctor "I think it needs a" and he mimes a slashing movement. I agree. So we both agree, but off course hubby has no idea as he has his back to us. So we tell him. Then we have to wait for the surgeon. We are ushered into another room. And we wait and wait a bit more and then a bit more and eventually I get my knitting out again. We comment about how I really am going to finish it and I say in a joking manner, "Do you think the surgeon would mind if I knit during the procedure" and then a light hearted conversation ensues about what did the French women knit whilst they watched the guillotine, we agree it was most probably socks.

So we wait for another three quarters of an hour and I'm just casting off when the surgeon arrives. Now what is a true knitter to do. Yep, I carried on... So there I am, standing in the corner, bald as a coot, casting off, whilst answering questions from the surgeon about the abscess. You couldn't make it up if you tried. Fortunately, in the time it takes to go and get the supplies he needs for the minor surgery, I finish casting off and am able to give my husband my full attention.

Those of a slightly sensitive disposition do not read the next paragraph.

Oooh, it was a bit gruesome, hubby was a very brave soldier, the best bit was when the surgeon called me over to have a look and he said, "Listen" and he then inserted the scalpel back into the open wound and moved it around and you could hear a faint click, click, clicking... it was where he was popping the pockets containing the poison.

Hubby looks alot better this morning, so that is good news.

Back to my usual Sunday blog.

Little Robin Redbreast singing for his supper at the plot.

I feed the birds at the plot, I'm not allowed to feed them at home. Firstly because in the back garden we have a few chickens so it could encourage viruses or lice etc from the wild bird population and the problem of feeding birds in the front garden is that we have three cats one of which is an extremely efficient hunting machine. Much as Willow might like me to put up a feeding station for the birds for her enjoyment, my conscience won't allow it.

Little Robin Redbreast enjoying his supper.

In late summer we planted some King Edwards we had found at the bottom of the fridge that were making a bid for freedom. We dug up a few to see what they were like, they look like tiny new potatoes although quite a few have been eaten from the inside out. We should get enough for a nice little addition to the Christmas lunch though..

And look at this for a Parsnip. There is no skull duggery involved here, it weighs 4 pounds 4 ounces.

Christmas lunch is shaping up quite well, we should have home grown carrots, swede, brussel sprouts, kale, potatoes and monster parsnips.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Phew, panic over.

Normally I have some sort of inspiration during the year for my parents Christmas present. Not this year. I am normally quite smug by mid November that I have found and bought, but not wrapped (I'm not that organised) something which I know will make them smile and something that they would desire. Even if I've had to badger them into it, like the year that they received the mobile phone, which Mum now loves.

The last couple of months my poor little tootsies have suffered, I've shopped all over, Coventry, Birmingham, Kenilworth, Leamington Spa, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick and even Hatton Country World, with no luck whatsoever. I could feel the panic rising as each day has been ticked off the calendar. I even had the "I'm in utter crises", and "If I hadn't lost my hair, I would be by now" conversation with hubby, his reply, "You'll cope, you'll find something, I have every faith in you" before wandering away to his own little world again. Christmas you see for I suspect most husbands is just something that happens and is put together by the Christmas fairy, they close their front door on Christmas eve, having just come home from work, possibly with a bottle of Whisky in hand given to them by the boss and everything is magically prepared, the tree is sparkling in the corner, with a huge array of beautifully wrapped presents carefully placed underneath it, the cake is iced, the smell of oranges and cinnamon waft through the house, everything is polished and sparkling to within an inch of its life etc. etc.

I digress, sorry,,,

I did yet another round on foot of Leamington Spa yesterday, with no luck. I always have luck for myself though, :) A pair of boots and some gorgeous wool, magically found themselves in bags, carried by me!! But, nothing for my parents.. (actually there was one small stocking filler,,, but not the main event). Exhausted, I go home. Panic rising. Son no.1 comes home as does hubby, at gone four in the afternoon, I say to son no.1, come on lets go to Birmingham, (I'm loving my new found freedom) and off we trot.

This time we have huge successes. I find THE present and other presents for son no.2 for Christmas and his birthday, which is shortly after Christmas.

I am shattered but happy, now I've just got to sand blast the house, ice the christmas cake, find the sofa again underneath the ironing, which probably means having to do the ironing.. buy and decorate a tree, wonder whether the right course of action would be to clean the oven before or after Christmas, (I always hate the smell of oven cleaner), phone for a chimney sweep and off course, write and deliver cards, wrap presents and finish the Christmas knitting.... and I really need to pop up the allotment and do a few hours up there...

Oh well, Christmas as usual it is then. :0

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Sequoia Cable Scarf.

I'm knitting this for son no.1 and I'm very pleased with it. I must apologise for the photograph, I'll try and take one in natural light when its finished.

I started it this evening and decided to change the pattern slightly as I wanted it to be just a little wider but to keep the essence of the pattern. I think I have succeeded. Its a very quick knit and I'm into my second ball already. Son no.1, has approved the choice of pattern, yarn (Rowan Yarn, soft tweed in Sprig) and I believe is quite pleased with it. He is of course on a threat worse than death if when finished he loses it. Son no.2 huffed a little bit and wailed for a pair of socks, he has extremely wide feet that are a size 11... 'gulp'. The work of a knitter is never done.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Good grief, Is that a hair???

Naah, Its a rabbit. :)

I thought it was time for another self portrait. This my friends, is my regular morning garb when its flippin' freezing.

And if I get a pom pom tail off the knitting group to go with my bunny girl outfit...... well, there will be trouble!!!

Saturday, 8 December 2007

New adventures..

Such an interesting weekend. Firstly hubby and I decided to go to Birmingham on Friday afternoon to see the German market that Carie so vividly describes in her blog. It was wonderful, it has a really good vibe. The hot wine with rum was delicious. We ended up at Selfridges rather late and had a rather nice feed at Yo Sushi. I also partook of a couple of glasses of wine. It was late and the store was starting to close up, so I thought I'd just nip to the loo to powder my nose.

The loo was deserted so I'm humming happy little tunes in my head, along with wondering who actually chose that particular colour of yellow for the tiles. When I turn to leave and push the door, its locked. Locked. OMG !! They've locked me in, I start hammering on the door, with pitiful cries of help, help. No answer... Another spate of hammering with louder pitiful cries of help, help... I start to rummage through my bag for my mobile, knowing full well that hubby will have his mobile switched off, but at least it was a plan. I can't quite reach my mobile at the bottom of my handbag so I adjust my position to find somewhere that I can balance my bag to get to it... When I notice another door... I've only been hammering on the janitors door for the last few minutes. I'm so glad nobody walked in, whilst I was in the middle of my drama. Its a wonder they let me cross the road on my own, it really is.

The next day I was telling son no.1 all about our little trip to Birmingham and he looked quite wistful and had a day off. So as hubby was tied up with work all day I suggested we go back into Birmingham on the train. Now this is extremely brave of me, because a) I've never taken a train on my own before, I've always been with hubby who takes over and then I become the passenger and just do as I'm told and don't take much notice. b) I think you've worked out how daft I can be.. and c) I've only been to Birmingham a handful of times to shop and am only just forming a mental map of it. So the possibility of getting completely lost is quite high. Most trips have been straight to the restuarant/market/theatre and back out again, so not much traipsing around.

It was a lovely day, son no.1 enjoyed the German market especially the German butter cake and sausages. Considering it was raining hard and had been all day Birmingham was still very busy. Its quite hard for us country mice to adjust to such crowds but we managed.

Son no.1 was reasonably dressed for a change and looked quite smart and handsome, (I'm just setting the scene) I'd decided to treat him to a pair of shoes so we found some that he liked and asked to try them on. Now he is a big fella and he did look the part. This pretty little blonde girl serving us, certainly thought so, I thought she was going to swoon into a faint at one stage, she was absolutely smitten with him. Did he notice... naahh !! Typical bloke, completely wrapped up in his own world.

Selfridges again provided endless fun with there flying toy helicopter and other toys. I saw a woolly hat that was simplicity itself to knit for £50.00 !!! I took son no.1 to the top floor to show him the expensive handbags.. Its an education in itself as to why you would want to spend that much on a handbag, after all its only going to end up on the floor. (I know that I probably sound like my mother at this point)

We then trundled off to the fish market to buy some oysters. It was at that point that my mental map failed. I must have come out of the wrong exit and had a rough idea where I was but it wasn't totally clear. We ended up at the back of the Palisades and had to climb up seven flights of stairs to get to the train station. For the people that don't know me, I am built for comfort not speed, to say I puffed a little bit is an understatement.

Overall it was a very successful day, there will be no stopping me now. Have ticket, will travel. :)

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Love is...

Hubby singing lullabies and nursery rhymes to me, along with a quick rendition of Zippity Doo Dah (his favourite) just to help me relax enough to sleep. After twenty years together that really is over and above the call of duty, thankfully it worked and I slept well last night.

It was the fourth night that I was having difficulty sleeping because of a waterworks infection, which may explain the kidney pain I was having. I have been to the docs (went Tuesday) and am on the required antibiotics.

I seem to have been moaning for the last fortnight, even I'm sick of hearing my grumbles. So apologies to you all.

Hubby helped me rip back Holly's coat so that I can change the pattern slightly to make it more comfortable for her. Well, when I say help me, he came home just at the right moment. I'd just thrown it onto the sofa in disgust as it had turned into a terrible tangled mess whilst I was ripping it back and he rescued it for me and then put it back on its needles. Isn't he clever, considering he doesn't knit. (his Mother used to be an avid knitter in his youth, so I think he must have picked up a little knowledge along the way)

Son no.2's mock exams are finished. What a relief that is, he may actually start talking to us in slightly friendlier tones. Yesterday evening we actually conversed for a full five minutes ( I think we even managed a giggle) without the raised eyebrows and stroppy attitude of a teenager talking to their mother who should obviously be in a home for the 'mentally deranged' as she has no clue about his world.

And because I think of son no.2's personality as something akin to Brain out of Pinky and the Brain.

Pinky: "what are we going to do tonight Brain"

Brain: "Do what we do every night, try to take over the World"

I shall leave you with this... :)

Pinky and the Brain

Monday, 3 December 2007

Ghostly Carousels!

The cold virus finally started to abate and I was able to spend an hour or so at Warwick on Thursday evening to see their Victorian Evening and the switching on of the lights. It was very nice, although the Warwick business people are certainly quite alot meaner than Kenilworthian business folk. They were charging, charging I tell you for a mince pie and a drop of mulled wine!!

I thought this was an interesting piccie, there must have been a traction engine behind the carousel and I managed to photograph the chimney spot on in the middle, billowing out clouds of smoke and a nice addition is being able to see the building behind it.

It was a very busy evening, I particularly enjoyed hearing the carols sung by St Mary's choir boys, I do enjoy a good descant. Reminds me of when I was in the school choir, oh so many years ago.

I've not had a very good week with my knitting, for some reason and I suspect its mainly that nasty colds fault, everything I touch there is some sort of problem with and I end up ripping it back. I'm not sure if its me or I'm going through a particularly strong learning curve, I am after all learning an awful lot about what not to do. I might as well not have picked up any knitting at all in the last two weeks for all that I've got done. I'm just about to do the same thing again tonight, I've been knitting a coat for Holly our Whippet for the last couple of evenings and I've realised there is probably a problem with it. So after a quick try on tonight, I may well be ripping that back too. See what I mean!!! If I'd understood the pattern and been able to see it in 3d I would have seen the problem. But as it is, I'm at the stage in my knitting where all I can do is follow the pattern blindly and then see the problem afterwards... Very frustrating it is!!

I have good news. (well for me anyway)

Sainsburies have put in a new frozen food section.... and... ..... ..... .... it has a gluten free section !!!!


Which means,, I can get frozen fish fingers and sausages and... yorkie puds... (and a few other things as well)

So tonight... we are having bangers and mash with a homemade thick onion and red wine gravy, carrots, brussel sprouts (I do need my veg) and a couple of yorkie puds on the side. Decadent or wot!! :)