Monday, 30 May 2016

Time to be here!

I didn't think I'd have time to blog today with getting ready to go away, but here I am. 

Mum came down this morning with part of my birthday present. She'd ordered it online and it came yesterday so she wanted me to have it. I chose it myself and I can't wait to get started on it. There's not been a jigsaw on the table for a few weeks now and this one is perfect for summer.
My s-i-l also popped down with chocolates and a book. The eagle eyed amongst you will notice 3 have gone already.
I've cut and pressed 25 pencil cases ready to be sewn sometime next week.
We also managed to squeeze in a shopping trip to Middleton for some caravan necessities. I don't want to have to remember to take half the kitchen with me every time we go away, so we're buying everything we think we'll need, although no doubt the first thing I do need will be something I haven't bought. 
I've made our packed lunch for the journey tomorrow. It's a job I don't particularly like doing but I dislike paying for overpriced rubbish at service stations even more. I'll add some crisps and drinks tomorrow morning and that should see us through when we get the munchies.
First job of the day tomorrow will be dropping the dogs at the kennels. Then it'll be back home where hopefully Mark will have packed the car, Amy and Thomas will be dressed and we'll be ready to go. 

Not sure if I'll blog tomorrow or not. Sometimes I like to write about what we've been up to on the actual day, other times I prefer to leave it until I get home. 


Sunday, 29 May 2016

Slow Sunday

Today has been the sort of day I've been craving for a long time. Slow, gentle, steady and full of nothing very much. 

A morning trip to the shop with Mark for some boating necessities.
A new notebook and pen chosen by me, for me at a grand cost of £1 for each item.
Tea and cake in the garden.
And an early evening glass of rose.
We don't BBQ at Number 38 but our neighbours do and the aroma of burgers and sausages has been wafting around all afternoon. I love the sound of summer as long as it's gentle. People chatting in their gardens, music drifting through open windows, children laughing, birds singing and even the sound of lawnmowers (although these are on a time limit before they start to annoy me).

Last night we were sat out at 10pm watching the bats fly backwards and forwards and it's certainly warm enough to do that again tonight, wrapped up in my housecoat with a cup of tea. 

Hope your Sunday has been a long one as well for all the right reasons. 


Saturday, 28 May 2016

Not quite what I had in mind

It's my birthday on Tuesday but as we're going away we decided to 'do it' today instead. Mum always comes for a brew on Saturday so cake needed to bought for the celebration. Mark asked me what sort I would like. Just a plain sponge one will be fine I said.  This is what he came home with. I admit, even at very nearly 49, I was disappointed. Quite a lot actually. It didn't even warrant an "it's the thought that counts". Plus I didn't need to taste it to know I wouldn't like it. 
This morning he took me to Sainsburys and I picked my own small cake, came home and decorated it with ribbon from my stash and dried roses from my vase. Now doesn't that look more like a birthday cake and at £4 it wasn't even expensive. 
He redeemed himself on the present front though. I got a charm for my bracelet, (homage to all the knitting of teddies, dolls and babies I've been doing), a bottle of perfume and a voucher for The Works that'll keep me in books for weeks to come.

And the cake Mark bought? Well, he's eaten it of course to prove a point. Just like I would have done!


Friday, 27 May 2016

Confessions of a bad mum

Today was non uniform day for Thomas, only when he put his jogging bottoms on they didn't fit. Neither did the other 3 pairs he had in his wardrobe. The only pair I knew fitted for definite he wore yesterday for his show and were in the wash basket, so my confession is, I had no option but to delve in and retrieve them. A quick iron and a spray of deodorant and he was good to go. It does mean I'll have to go and buy him some more though. I don't think he's worn any of them more than half a dozen times and no doubt the same will be said of the next lot I get.

Mark usually picks him up on Friday so I thought I'd get a full day in the house today, but alas it was not to be. A text came through saying he'd won a class award so this afternoon I had to trot off to school. At least the teacher remembered to send him in this time which was a bonus. 
I did have the house to myself though which hasn't happened in quite a while and I really enjoyed the peace and quiet and the stillness. Sometimes the constant movement and chatter can jangle my nerves and lately I find myself craving solitude.

Mum gave me a jar of rhubarb yesterday so I started the day with a big spoonful in my porridge. 
Fajitas were on the menu so I popped a chicken in the oven and prepped the extras I throw into the sauce.
Then I got down to the serious business of 'doing my own thing'. I read, knitted and pottered about the house and garden thoroughly enjoying every moment of my own company. 

I've also spent some time sorting out my pieces of knitting bringing them together to make these Bedtime Babies. They're just a rectangle and are based on the finger puppet dolls only slightly bigger. They're easier to do though because instead of hair they wear bonnets which I adapted from a pattern for a boiled egg hat. I still have to confront my nemesis of faces though. 
They're really soft and snuggly to hold and are just a little bit smaller than my hand. The idea is they look like babies covered with a blanket. I thought the girls might like these as a change from the teddies that get sent out. 
And that's it really. The day to myself couldn't have come at a better time really as it's half term next week. No chance of any peace and quiet then but I wouldn't want it any other way. Which leads me neatly into my 2nd confession that I've just blatantly lied and I wish half term wasn't here just yet. 


Thursday, 26 May 2016

Clip of planet show

This is my side table next to where I sit. If I'm being totally honest, I'd have something to say to Mark if his table was such a mess, but as it's my stuff it's quite acceptable.
Still popping in and out of the house 'doing things'. Today's jobs were taking Sparky to the groomers, buying bedding for the caravan, PJ's for Thomas, popping to school for the planet show, then back out again to pick Sparky up. The PJ's are size 10-11. The bottoms are for Thomas and I usually just give the tops to charity but Amy has claimed them this time as they fit her.

And the rapping planet was an absolute star if you'll pardon the pun. In fact all the children were fantastic. Thought you might like to see a clip of dance they did at the end. Before anybody mentions children's privacy the dancers are all wearing alien masks and the planets sat down at the front aren't that clear. Plus, I might only have just mastered posting video clips myself, but I'm well behind other parents. Before the day is over proud parents will have posted this all over social media. 


Wednesday, 25 May 2016

An average day in photos

Another late request from school. A black cap for the rapping planet. Luckily it was Bury today so I picked one up there. 
Roses for the windowsill. We went shopping tonight as I've got a couple of things on tomorrow.
Knitting rectangles which are slowly being turned into an idea I conjured up while lying awake in bed one night.
Flicking through the NT magazine which arrived today, trying to marry some caravan sites with some places of interest to visit. 
Breakfast sorted for me at the caravan.
I seem to be chasing my tail this week, can't even say why really, I just know I don't seem to have time to scratch the old proverbial. I'm falling behind with all my favourite blogs as well which just isn't cricket. Hoping to rectify that very soon and come and visit you all. In the meantime, hope you are all well. 


Tuesday, 24 May 2016

All Is Good

Amy's exams are well and truly underway now. Yesterday was English, specifically 2 written pieces on Of Mice and Men and An Inspector Calls. Today was Food Tech followed by Geography. She's doing OK and seems glad that they're underway. It's a bit sad that all these geography notes she's written and used for revision over the past weeks will be of no use any more. It's only me that feels like that though, she's glad to see the back of them.
Every day Thomas takes a sandwich, apple and a biscuit or packet of crisps to school in his lunch bag. Every afternoon this is what he brings home. Exactly what I packed less 2 bites of his sandwich which is only bread and butter as he doesn't like any fillings. Tonight I will put in fresh water and butter a new slice of bread. Tomorrow he will bring it all home again. He won't eat at school because the dining hall is messy and it makes him feel sick. I don't worry too much anymore. He's made it to 10 and is a sturdy chap plus he eats 2 slices of toast, 2 sausages and half an apple for breakfast every day.
Here's the boy himself, doing what he does best. X-boxing on line with his friends. They were playing FIFA 16 and I've come to accept the fact that Thomas would rather let his fingers do the work than his legs. 
I went to Middleton with Mum yesterday but had to go back again today for a black t-shirt Thomas needs for his planet show. Another late request from school, something they seem to excel at. Anyway, while I was there I picked up some wool for another knitting fest I have on the go that requires me to make these super cute little bonnets. 
I've been disappointed with the stocks I bought. Apart from 3 stems which I've had to cut down the rest only lasted about 3 days before drooping and going soggy. I shall be reverting back to roses this week I think. 
The weather has been lovely today and all the doors and windows have been open to let the fresh air in. 

Without wanting to tempt fate it's good to be able to say "all is good at Number 38". 


Sunday, 22 May 2016

Running out of titles so.....Sunday!

We've been having problems with the laptop for a few weeks now. The fan has been overheating and whenever it's been on the noise has been horrendous. The technical department finally decided to do something about it this morning and after a visit to Maplins and an £8 purchase it's now running perfectly.
I popped into Asda while we were there and picked up this glass bowl. Remember the roses I wanted to dry out and use for something? 
Well here they are. I'm aiming for a vase full over the next few weeks. 
I haven't done any reading for ages and have a stack of books to work my way through. I chose this to start me off. Nothing too taxing, just a light frilly read, that I'll probably finish in a week.
And I've just ordered a takeaway. We've not had one for weeks so this is a nice Sunday evening treat along with a glass or rose and an episode of Peaky Blinders.

Hope you've all had a good weekend. 


Saturday, 21 May 2016


Took a snap of this snail today making it's way slowly up the garden chair, while thinking I could do with taking a leaf out of his/her book (they're hermaphrodites), and slow down a bit myself.
So far we have booked weekends away at Blackpool and Southport in the caravan. We decided this morning that our first 'long' holiday will be Moreton-in-Marsh and we'll be going for 5 nights. As it's in the Cotswolds we should be able to squeeze in a visit to my sister in Cirencester and brother in Cheltenham. And it's only a half hour drive away from Stratford upon Avon as well so a visit there will be on the cards.
Please, somebody tell me they're as untidy as me when crafting. I start off all neat and tidy but within minutes I'm surrounded by mess. 
Not wanting to leave the boys out I'm knitting up a few Crazy Critters for them.
Amy went to Manchester with her friend and came back with Hama beads. This is the sort of craft I'd have loved doing with her when she was little but she didn't have the patience or the ability to sit still for longer than 5 minutes back then.Finally, at 16 years old she seems to discovered both, particularly excelling in the not moving department.
Thomas is different and spent quite a while stood next to her making a man holding a sword. Then his friend called for him and guns and gel pellets took over. During one of their running in and out sessions, the front door got left open and Wendy escaped. Thankfully Amy managed to catch her but it was a mad 10 minutes of the boys running around shouting her name at the top of their voices, shoes on to try and help get her back, plans of you go this way, I'll go that way, coming back for chocolate drops then back again because we needed her lead. 

And it doesn't help that she's got nothing between her ears. I don't even think she knows her name yet and she's 2 next month. Never mind, she's sat here next to me now fast asleep as though nothing ever happened. 

I think maybe of glass of rose may very well be on the cards tonight. 


Friday, 20 May 2016

My Rapping Planet

This is my rapping planet.

Just in case you can't tell what he's saying his lines are:

I'm Uranus, I say that with pride
OK I lied
I'm embarrassed because I'm the only planet 
Lying on its side.


Thursday, 19 May 2016

Normal is good

Today has been a pretty normal day, the first in what feels like a while, although I'm sure that's not the case. 

Lidl had stocks in this morning and I couldn't resist. At £4 a bunch they're at the top end of the market price wise but well worth the money. The look and smell lovely. 
Our Caravan Club site book came today. It's full of beautiful places to visit and I can definitely see us getting our monies worth of out Glug Glug II.
And while Mark is up to his eyes in the boring stuff like wheel clamps, hitch locks, tow bars, and nose weight gauges I get to do the frilly bits. First purchase was this jug and tumbler set. It's plastic which is ideal for young people. Friends are easily made on caravan sites and after a good bout of playing drinks and treats are given out by all and sundry. Plastic is definitely the best option. 
The best bit of the day was Amy went into school and stayed there until home time which these days makes the day a good one. 


Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Appointments and Knitting Project

An appointment came through today for Thomas' leg. Well, when I say appointment it was a telephone appointment for me to ring and make an appointment which seems to be the way the system works these days. It came in the post at 1pm and I had until 3pm today to call them! Typically, the first available one was when we're on holiday in Ireland. The next one was in September. As he's hobbled around for the past 7 years I don't suppose waiting another 16 weeks will make much difference. 

I also took Amy to the Doctors. I won't go into detail but there is a plan of action in force. Interestingly, although we didn't ask for them, we were told that GP's can't prescribe anti-depressants to anybody under 18 unless they've seen a psychiatrist. You learn something new every day. School rang and have given Amy the OK to attend as and when she can. Knowing this seems to have lifted some of the weight off her shoulders and she's already said she's going to go in tomorrow and see how it goes.

So that's the kidlets sorted out. For now. As any parent knows, things can change at the drop of a hat. 

Other bits and bobs we've been up to include wrapping solar lights around the 3 obelisks. The photo doesn't really do them justice but they look lovely lit up at night.
Mark has been greasing his stuffing tube in preparation for boating tomorrow, (don't ask because I did and regretted it).
And I've been doing a bit of puppetry. I thought I'd show you how they're made just in case anybody gets the urge to have a go.

Cast on 15 stitches, knit 16 rows of dress, 8 rows of head and 1 final row of knitting 2 together.
Gather at the top and sew down the seam, then turned the right way.
They're addictive and before you know it you have a boxful. Since working in a school 30 seems to be my cut off point for a lot of things child related.
Stuff their heads and gather stitches to make a neck. Knit an i cord long enough to pass through the dress to make arms. 
Add hair, eyes, mouth and decorations.
Find a child to model them. Preferably one who doesn't moan that he doesn't like the feel of the wool. He still managed a smile for the photo though, bless him.
Just hope the children in Uganda aren't as quirky as this young man. 


Tuesday, 17 May 2016

No photos but ....

Thomas came home from school today full of the joys of spring. They're doing a class assembly for parents next week about the planets and he's been given a part. He's Uranus and he has about 8 lines to learn which he's been repeating over and over since he got in. It's quite a big thing for Thomas to stand up on stage and actually say something. He doesn't mind doing shows but he usually prefers to blend into the background. 

Amy on the other hand is not doing so well. She's been 'signed off' school for a couple of days for study leave which means she'll still get her mark even though she's at home. We're aiming for her to go in Thursday and Friday and then next week rather than staying in school in between exams, she'll come home to revise. I have to say, this is definitely not like Amy. She's usually so happy go lucky it's very obvious something isn't right, so I've made an appointment at the Docs tomorrow.

Tonight we had steak for tea. I felt in the mood for fillet and a glass of wine, plus steak is Amy's favourite. She also loves peppers so I made a huge salad and put plenty in. I love prepping colourful food, it makes me feel healthy before I've even eaten it. 

I knitted my last finger puppet dolly tonight. I've made 30 and tomorrow I'll be showing you a few of the finished ones. 

Until then. 


Monday, 16 May 2016

Quiet Weekend

Thankfully, the weekend was quiet and stress free regarding Amy. It's only when she's at school that she feels like she does which is difficult, because half the battle of anxiety is not putting yourself in certain situations, but what can you do when school is the problem. Ah well, only one week to go before exams and once she's started I'm sure she'll be OK. 

Saturday we went to the garden centre. I was looking for something with height and fragrance for the garden and after seeing Sadie's wisteria I thought that would be perfect, but her husband who's a gardener only recommended buying one that was in flower. Sadly, none were and they certainly looked very sorry for themselves, so I took his advice and steered clear. Instead I bought a clematis, honeysuckle and jasmine.
The garden centre isn't far from The Range so we popped in there as well. I didn't manage my rainbow theme but I'm more than happy with these bottles that add a splash of colour to the room. Just need to think about the fireplace next.
Sunday was another lovely day, so Mark made the 3 obelisks we'd bought, (described by me when shopping for them as 'tall thingys that plants climb up'), and we spent a couple of hours in the garden planting and soaking up the sun.
Today I've been to Middleton with Mum for some household bits and bobs, done some jobs and I'm hoping to squeeze in some knitting later on.  

And that's about it really. Hope you all had a lovely weekend and thank you for all your comments about Amy. I passed them on to her and I could tell she was really touched that people had replied. You lot are so lovely :)