Friday, 30 September 2016


Goodness September, have you really been and gone already? I shall be sorry to see you go this year. You've brought an autumn nip to the air over the past couple of days but for most of your stay you've given us plenty of warm and sunny days. But it's time to move over now for October, so until next year.....

So, what did September bring to Number 38. 

Well, torn between missing posting little snippets of my day but not wanting to get too tied down to the laptop, after my last post I decided to have a go at Instagram. Mark set it up for me as I'm rubbish at things like that so all I do is take the photos and post them. In fact I've accidentally managed to 'Like' some of my own posts which looks very narcissistic! Anyway, if you look on the right hand side of this page you'll see photos. I'm not sure if you have to officially follow me or whether you can just look at them on here but I put 2 or 3 up on a day if you fancy popping by to have a look. 

Thomas went back to school quite happily. I can't believe he's in Year 6, I want my little boy back right now! He's settled in really well, in fact it's the best start to a school year we've ever had. The first few weeks can often be fraught for both him and the teacher while they get to know each other but touch wood, so far we've had no issues.
He seems to be getting more independent as the days go by which is a good thing and one of his requests has been to walk home on his own. I'm not prepared for him to do that because it's too far, but I've signed a form which allows him to leave the playground unattended and walk down to the corner where one of us waits for him. He loves doing this, it makes him feel really grown up and I think it's a good step towards getting him ready for secondary school. 

One day he staggered down with this pile of books from Year 5, every one filled to the brim with work. The orange are English, blue are maths and the rest are made up of science, learning journal, spellings, dictation etc.  No complaints from me about teacher's not putting in the effort. 
He may have got a tick for his use of alliteration, metaphor, simile and onomatopoeia, but I don't mind admitting I had to look up the last word. This past month he's been focusing on verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbials, determiners, modal verbs etc. etc. Thank goodness the lad knows what he's doing, because I certainly don't.
Amy is enjoying college. Her timetable is pretty good, the only full day she puts in is Friday, the rest of the days are made up of late starts, early finishes and on Tuesday just one lesson in the afternoon. The classes are small, less than a dozen students in each and she's made friends with a few girls. There are some gaps between lessons but she quite happily takes herself off around Manchester for coffee, shopping and has even visited a couple of art galleries.

There was a bit of a gulp when we realised her travel card was going to cost £225 but having looked into it, it's actually a really good deal. For this price she can have unlimited travel, 7 days a week covering a huge area. Compared to paying £3.20 for a daily ticket the major outlay makes it worthwhile. 

Sienna has had a few sleepovers during September including a 3 night stay while mummy and daddy went to a  hotel.
I think she's slowly moving in with us actually. Matthew and Sophie have bought a few things for us to keep here and we provide the nappies, wipes and milk when she stays which means they don't have to bring everything with them when she comes. We've not really got the space for all her stuff but it didn't stop me from buying this vibrating musical bouncy chair mainly because she now weighs 12lbs and my back kills me from holding her all the time.
We've had 2 birthdays this month. Aunty Edith turned 93 on the 14th, although I don't think she looks anywhere near that old. We took Sienna over one evening and even though she was a bit grouchy Aunty wasn't for letting go, eventually rocking her to sleep. 
And Joan also celebrated her 86th birthday. We took Sienna to see her as well but she struggled to understand the Great Grandma connection and I think she thought the baby was Mark! She kept asking if 'he' was OK and did 'he' have everything he should have, bless her. Here she is eating a piece of birthday cake with not a care in the world. 
Thomas has been to the physiotherapist to have his heel lift fitted and he now has one of these inserted into his shoe. Thankfully it doesn't seem to bother him. The physio seems to think that he may be able to 'train' him to walk a little differently so we have around 6 weeks of appointments, twice a week ahead of us starting in October. In the meantime he gave Thomas a simple exercise to do, which is to walk on an imaginary tightrope with his foot straight in front of him rather than out at an angle.
 I went back to the Docs about my blood results and kidney function to be told quite matter of factly, "one of the tablets you take is known for causing kidney damage". I always choose this Doctor when I actually  need to know something important because he's like Doc Martin and just comes right out with it. Anyway, my BP readings were fine so the dose has been lowered from 8mg to 4mg. As long as my BP remains OK I can stick to the lower dose and he's pretty sure the next set of blood tests will come back normal. I don't think I was in there for more than 3 minutes!

Looking back, I seem to have crocheted rather a lot this month. Another 3 jumpers have been sent off to Knit for Peace. My favourite is definitely the bobble one. It's such an easy stitch to do but really effective. 
I've also mastered shaped crocheted long sleeves at last! Knit for Peace sent a lovely e-mail acknowledging receipt which is really good as sometimes you do wonder if things arrive. 
I may also have purchased even more wool during a trip to Bury for a little bit of blanket making.
I've tried to master this stitch before but for some reason I couldn't. No idea why because now I've got to grips with it, it's very simple.
My new found skill means I've also been able to make a bunny cuddle/comfort blanket. I've got a blue one on the go which will have a teddy head.
And here has also been a little bit of doll making going on, so as well as all the above a few of these will be in the next package I send. 
After a few weeks of not reading my bookworm seems to have bedded in again. The nights drawing in and the school routine means we are all in bed at a decent hour and for me a couple of chapters of a book is an excellent way to wind down at the end of the day. 
My daily housework routine has been fairly easy to stick to. In fact only having one room a day on my list means there's plenty of time left and I find myself doing extra jobs that I would normally turn a blind eye to. Of course not being on here as much helps as well. 

There have also been a few save the difference opportunities this month, mainly on end of season sale items and I've been able to add a few £'s to the jar, although I seem to be the only person who doesn't have a new £5 in my purse. 

Shopping sprees have been pretty sparse this month with my main purchase being a new pair of ankle boots. I've also welcomed Autumn with a shelf re-vamp courtesy of The Range.
Mark went down to London to do something with watches and brought goodies back with him.
The little box was full of Turkish Delight which I absolutely love, but although the colours were pretty it was disappointingly tasteless. Never mind, the hot chocolate more than makes up for that.
We didn't manage to get away in the van during September and the sites we wanted to visit at half term are fully booked which is really disappointing. Never mind. We're going to Blackpool for a weekend in October and I've also booked Chester for a weekend in November. I'd really like to take the van out at Christmas, maybe to Bolton Abbey, but I think that will be a last minute booking depending on the weather. 

And I think that's about it for September. Next time I post it will be Halloween which is scary - in more ways than one! 

Hope you've all been keeping well. Do drop by for a chat and a catch up. Look forward to 'speaking' to you. 



  1. How lovely to hear all your news, & to see your brilliant photos. I'm so glad the start of term has been so good for both Thomas & Amy,and that Thomas's heel supports are fine to wear & that the physio has plans for Thomas. All is looking good.
    I love your craft creations, your crochet is very neat & so pretty. Have a great October!
    Vee x

    1. Hi Vee, yes the start of the term has been the best yet. It makes such a difference to us all, teacher included, when Thomas settles into a new routine with no problems.

      Thomas doesn't even know he's got the heel lift in I don't think which is good because I was worried it might feel odd. Hopefully the physio will be able to help him, our first appointment is next week so we'll see what happens.

      I've had to write a list of all the crochet I've got on the go. I tend to flit from one thing to another. It all comes together eventually, but I can lose track of where I'm up to.

      Hope you have a lovely October as well :) xx

  2. Great to read your round up of the month, I'll have to read it again to take it all in.

    Hope you enjoy your instagramming but I'm so glad you come back here, a picture may speak a thousand words, but I like the words anyway!

    Have a good month.

    1. Haha, yes it is a bit long isn't it. A lot of the pictures I've used are the same as the instagram ones but I like to put a story behind the photo and that's where the waffling tends to take over!

      Lovely of you to stop by. We are off to your neck of the woods again in a couple of weeks and then again in November. xx

    2. Oooh, have a lovely time, it's still so busy at the minute here, it's really nice - we're refusing to give up on summer!

  3. ah, a lovely long post! So good to read your blog again. I can't help it, much as I understand, I really miss you not blogging during the month. There. I said it. And I'm not sorry! ;o)

    Your crochet work is so good. I am jealous. I tried to teach myself to crochet a flower last year. It all went horribly wrong and I haven't even tried since. Am resigned to the fact that I can't do it, and will continue to be in awe and slightly jealous of those who can.

    Sienna is gorgeous! I don't blame you for buying the bouncer thingy. I remember very well the weight of Violet when I was holding her all the time. It really does hurt the back.

    Glad that both T & A are getting on well in the educational venues. And that Thomas is getting more independent. Seems that 10 really is that age for finding their feet and finding their confidence.

    Will try to email over the weekend, but Violet has a friend coming round on Sunday, so if I don't do it tomorrow, it'll have to be next week! Ah, I am rubbish. .


    1. I'm sorry you miss my daily posts Sadie, but I think I might have to up the ante anyway because this one seemed to take most of the day to do! Think I might try a fortnightly one and see how that goes.

      I taught myself to crochet after the HA. I can clearly remember as well as craving grapes (I couldn't ram enough into my mouth?) I also had this urge to learn how to crochet before I popped my clogs haha. Mum taught me the basic stitch and I spent hours just sat recuperating and making a blanket. It's really just gone from there. I can't read a pattern but I can follow and understand somebody on youtube, with a lot of pressing of the pause button! I can also make things up as I go along although I then struggle to replicate it.

      Sienna weighs a ton, it's like carrying 2 bags of spuds around with you and my back is rubbish anyway. Thankfully she seems to like the bouncer.

      Thomas has come on leaps and bounds over the summer, and I know Violet has grown in confidence and independence from your posts. It must be an age thing and maybe the fact they're the big fish in Y6 :)

      Hope Violet and her friend had a lovely day together. Thomas has played out loads this weekend although it's been long joggers and a jacket as it's getting nippy out there even if the sun is shining. Autumn is on her way albeit without the rain xx

  4. What a lovely long post, Suzanne! I wish I could comment on each and every part, but we'd be here all day if I did! Love seeing little Sienna! What a darling baby! And those elderly ladies, too. And Thomas, making good progress at school. What are modal verbs when they're at home? I'm a journo, and write for magazines but believe me, I've never heard of them. Has a teacher written the note "Absolutely fantastic use of vocabulary ..."? That looks like a child has written it. Perhaps they write like this so a child can read the comments. Our teachers had no truck with that, they scribbled comments and we had to learn how to decipher them! It's good training for a career in MI5 or MI6 I suppose! Cracking the Teacher Writing Code!
    Those baby clothes you have made are a delight. I am totally useless at making anything other than a mess.
    Margaret P

    1. I know what you mean about commenting, it took me ages to write this post. Might have to re-think that this month.

      Sienna is so cute, lots of smiles now, especially when Mark is bouncing her up and down on his knee.

      Modal verbs are must, shall, will, should, would, can, could, may, and might, although I confess I had to look that up. The amount of 'names' the children have to remember these days borders on the ridiculous and I think at the expense of learning to write a sentence correctly, but I'm not a teacher so what do I know.

      I really enjoy making the baby things. I get bored quickly so little things that can be whizzed off in a few days are perfect for me. xx

  5. Lovely to catch up on your month's activities. Love all the crochet you've been doing. The pink and white sweater is darling! My granny used to make Turkish Delight; wish I had her recipe. Hope you have a wonderful October.

    1. Hi Bless, lovely of you to pop over and say hello :) I seem to have spent a lot of time crocheting this month but it's addictive. I do make sure my housework is done before I sit down though, then my treat is to pick up the hook. Never thought about making my own turkish delight, will have to google a recipe and see if it's complicated. It's really a Christmas treat but Mark surprised me which is why I was disappointed when it didn't taste of anything. Never mind at least I can buy the rose & lemon from the £1 shop which is lovely. xx

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    1. Hooray it's the end of the month! Payday and a catch up with no. 38 blog! I wondered if you managed to get away, this weather has been crazy warm.
      I've fallen in love with Sienna. She's so cute but I chuckled at the generosity of her parents sharing her with you! I don't know how they can! Three days - I used to struggle to leave mine for three hours - especially when so teeny - and your first!
      Glad to see your two are happy with the new schooling year and massive husband points to Mark for the posh gifts!
      Beautiful crochet.
      Well, I'm voting for a bi monthly blog please! I cannot wait until 31st October! X

    2. Haha, I'd forgotten about the excitement of payday. Has it gone already? Mine never lasted very long.

      Sienna is cute but the overnight stays can be a bit epic at times. The 3 day stint was tough, you forget how much hard work they are and I'm prepared to admit how selfish I've become with my time.

      The school year has been the best one we've had so far. No problems, no talks with teachers, no sorting anything out. A sure sign Thomas is getting to grips with things eventually. And Amy has settled into college really well. She especially likes the mammoth 12 hours of lessons she has to do each week!

      Yes, top marks for the presents but he's going again this week and I've told him not to bother this time. I'll have some chocolates from Thorntons instead.

      Think I may have to up my game with the blogging. The monthly idea is good but it took me ages to do. xx

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  8. Hi. I'm new to reading your blog and I like your idea of monthly posts. I guess you have to keep a diary as you have been very busy. I can't believe that you had the baby for three days. I foud it difficult to leave my baby for a day to return to work. She is now 17 and I hate it still if she has overnight stays with friends or a school trip. I miss her. Auntie looks amazing for 93. Your crocheting looks fab. I'm not too good with shaping either.
    Enjoy October and my home town of Blackpool. Are you coming to see the Illuminations?

    1. Hello Carol and welcome to Number 38. The monthly post is great as I don't spend half as much time on the laptop which was the aim, but it took a long time to do so I'm thinking maybe a little bit more often. I know what you mean about leaving the baby. Mark was always happy for Amy to sleep at his mums but I missed her even though I enjoyed the break. Both Sophie and Matthew are happy to hand her over though, which is nice because they obviously trust us but the 3 day stint was pretty hard going. I'm definitely out of practice.

      Our girls are the same age, well Amy is 17 in Feb. She'd rather stay in than sleep out, she likes her home comforts :)

      Ridiculously pleased with myself about the sleeve shaping, it's taken me weeks to figure out how to do it.

      Ooh you live in Blackpool! Yes we are coming to see the illuminations but we love coming over to your neck of the woods anyway. People always look at me as though I'm mad when I say we're going to Blackpool, but behind the main drag there are some lovely places aren't there? xx

  9. Hi Suzanne....lovely to catch up with you today.
    Glad the children have settled back into school/college life after the long holiday.
    Your crochet is amazing. Love those little jumpers and the blanket with the rabbit head. I really must pull my finger out and get something done along the crafty lines. My mojo keeps going off on one and leaving my brain completely empty of ideas although I do have unfinished things I need to get done. The Fortnum and Masons packaging is very pretty.....pity the Turkish Delight didn't taste of much.
    Looking forward to a catch up again next month-x-

    1. Hello Sheila, hope you and all the family are keeping well. I have a bag of unfinished projects as well, it would seem that's pretty standard in the crafting world haha. After a week of playing dollies I suddenly got fed up of them on Friday and returned to the blanket. So there are doll pieces everywhere but only one still properly made up. Yes 10/10 to F&M for packaging but truthfully the turkish delight from the £1 shop is tastier. I'm such a heathen lol. xx

  10. What a lovely catch-up, sounds like it has been a good month. Lovely photos, glad to hear that T & A are getting on well with the new term. Sienna is gorgeous! Lovely crochet - as always, I love those little jumpers. xx

    1. Hi there MMC, lovey of you drop by. Hope you are all settled into your new home. Sienna is lovely when she's not crying which she's very good at! I've just rammed a bath, bath seat, bouncy chair, changing mat and a load of bits and pieces into the airing cupboard. Next on the list will be a travel cot and then a high chair. I was so pleased at mastering the shaped sleeves. I'm a self taught crocheter, can't read a patter and make things up as I go along so to be able to figure that out was quite something for me. xx

  11. Hi Suzanne, Great to read your new post. Sounds like September was a busy month at No. 38. Nice to see Thomas becoming more independent and both he and Amy doing so well. We've had a terrible summer, nothing but rain and they are forecasting frost for Monday. I agree with some of the others above, by weekly posts would be great!!!lol. Take care.

    1. Hello Janice, hope you are keeping well. Yes, September has sped by and no doubt October will do the same! Thomas has certainly changed over the summer holidays. More confident, more independent, more cheeky lol. For once, I can't complain about our summer, we seem to have had our fair share of sunny day. In fact we were talking the other night about going abroad (not that we are), and Thomas said "but I don't want it to be Blackpool hot" haha. I'm re-thinking the posting. This one took ages to do so maybe every 2 weeks would be better. xx

  12. You manage to fit an awful lot into your months Suzanne. It's lovely to catch up, it has gone quickly. I do miss your more regular posts but am enjoying your instagram snippets. X

    1. Hello there Jules, I really need to go and visit that gingerbread cottage sometime soon :) I love September, it always feel like a New Year to me, probably stems from working in school, but it always goes so quickly and then I just seem to be on the treadmill of days merging into one again. I like the monthly post but it took a lot longer than I thought it would. Might have to re-think that and maybe post a little bit more. xx

  13. New reader as well. You have a lovely family and I will need to back read some posts. September sure sped through days.

    1. Welcome to Number 38 Sam and thank you for your lovely comment. I have no idea where September went. It doesn't seem 2 minutes since Amy and Thomas went back to school/college. I have to confess though I've spent a lot of it sat here crocheting. Add to that all the other bits and bobs that happen here and the day is over before it's begun sometimes. No wonder we're in October already. And the 3rd at that! xx

  14. Suzanne, my husband has been given the opportunity to transfer to the UK, and I have some questions that I would like to get your insight on. I thought I'd seen your email address somewhere on here before, but I cannot seem to find it. Would you mind if I contacted you somehow? Our kids are the same age, so you might understand better than others the issues we will be dealing with. If you are too busy, or are uncomfortable with this for any reason, I totally respect that! Thank you either way!

    1. Hi Lily, that sounds really exciting but also a time where big decisions need to be made, especially if you have children to consider :)

      I've never put my e-mail up but you can contact me any time at Look forward to hearing from you. xx