Tuesday 31 March 2015

Weather is happening

We haven't had the rain and possibly even a smidgeon of snow that has been forecast yet but the wind is howling around.  Even though we are incredibly sheltered it is still fierce.

This is a bit unfortunate as Nice Mr Next Door still hasn't moved out.  He was supposed to vacate the premises on 20th March.  When I went out to the bin just now there were six vehicles, the box from a lorry, at least a dozen old tyres and a spotlight on a stand still around, along with miscellaneous junk heaped in the garden.  It now looks like the rain is ready to start and nothing has been done this morning.  It could be some time yet.  Still, I think most of the house is empty.

I am devastated that he is moving.  I am also worried.  Our next neighbours are going to be people who don't mind the kitchen ceiling falling in.  That means desperate people.

STOP THE PRESS I have just received a text telling me that my J & S Appliance delivery will be tomorrow.  I haven't ordered an appliance.  I haven't ordered anything like that for ages.  I confess to a bid on a ridiculous amount of curtain fabric (still not outbid, still keeping fingers crossed).  However there has been no appliances.  Seriously, no appliances.  What am I supposed to do if a spare washing machine turns up?  I mean, I've just picked up a cheap chopping board from ebay, but seriously, it cost £1.98 inclusive and I got it because my wooden ones were cracking to splinters.

I shall see tomorrow what turns up.  

Monday 30 March 2015

Bear continues with a spider

Bear and school were both very clear.  The school are expecting bear to turn up tomorrow with a decorated egg, 50p and parental involvement expected.  Bear is expecting me to decorate the egg, provide 50p and stop nagging about homework.  In a few years time, bear will be on his own with homework.  However as he is still eight I will remind him, though I refuse to do it for him.

I decorated the egg.  It looks like this.

The glue is drying nicely and bear condescends to admit it is adequate - just.

Bear is coming down with something gruesome and green nosed.  He is very pink cheeked and is doing a very good impression of a teenager, which is not welcome.  This morning he carefully placed his dirty underwear all bundled up ready to go for the wash.  I watched him walk away, all in his uniform and ready for school.  Then I told him to put his clean socks on this time.
'How did you know?'
'The sticker you refused to take off your sock yesterday is still there.  You haven't changed your socks.'
'Awww muuuuuum...'

He's advanced in reading, he's advanced in maths, I suppose we just have to deal with him being advanced at being awkward.

Ebay is not my friend

In many ways I had a grim weekend (though bear was a darling!) but I did hope I had dreamed my bid.

In fact I did dream of a bid on ebay, when pallets and pallets and pallets of curtain fabric were arriving at my door for 99p plus postage.  In reality it is not likely to be more than one pallet.  To be precise, around 17 metres for a very small outlay.  But I didn't really mean to bid.

By the end of the week I should know if my prayers that someone will outbid me will be answered.  I wonder if by then I will have found some way of coping that doesn't involve spending money on rubbish.

Saturday 28 March 2015

And then the light fell off

DH tried to change the light bulb in the living room and the whole fitting came off in his hands.  He got a new set installed today and so we have light, but we talked about light fittings.

We talked around it a bit, but at the end of the day the best thing we can do is perhaps get matching lampshades in the living room and study, nice and long to hide the bulbs and deflect any glare and probably plain and magnolia.  There is no urgency.  However it was a chance for me to have a quick word with my friend ebay, just for information.

There are some dreadful things done in the name of lampshades.  I'm not copying the pictures as I don't want to infringe copyright, but dearie, dearie me.  Some have feathers on them.  I have never known a lampshade that didn't need dusting at least sometimes, so what is the point of putting floaty feathers on?  How on earth are you supposed to get the dratted things clean?  I know a lot of people redecorate a lot, so I suppose buying a new lampshade every time the feathers get encrusted is possible, but it seems a bit of a waste to me.  And here is a link to one which is a puzzle.  You get some plastic shapes and you are supposed to fit them into a shape!  I am not up to that!  Here's a picture of a lampshade from WikiCommons

Thank you for the lovely comments on bear, he is the light of my life.  I hope he does enjoy the fencing.

Friday 27 March 2015

Bear in all his glory

After a phenomenal battle, bear went into town, reluctantly allowed himself to be measured for new shoes, agreed that actually he would pay for the fancy pen in WH Smiths himself - and then convinced the lady at the checkout he was starving.  He looked piteously at her as he made a pitch for eating a cream egg on the way to the bus as he hadn't eaten since lunchtime.  He had only failed to eat since lunchtime because he had utterly rejected food before we got to the shops.  Sigh.

Anyway, after the battle the reward was this...

Bear had his first fencing lesson.  He liked it.  And we don't have to buy any kit unless he gets really into it.  At least for a while.

He paid attention.  He watched and tried it carefully.  He listened to what he was told.  I was so proud of him.

Thursday 26 March 2015

First Sewing Lesson

My first sewing lesson.  We got sewing machines out of the cupboard, I plugged mine in, tried to raise the presser foot and it fell off.

Then we watched a dress being laid and cut out, with all the notches and tailor tacks.  I was intimidated.  The selvedges had to be folded in to the middle and some bits were to the fold and others were just two pieces and it all looked very bewildering.  Afterwards I managed to sew a (very nearly) straight line in a piece of paper.

The thing is, I've watched loads of bits about sewing over the years, so I know the theory about sewing with the nap and pattern repeats and all sorts.  I've just never actually done it.  I am confident that it will be harder than it looks.

I've also sort of got onto Pinterest, under Lyssa Medana.  When I work out what to do with it, I'm sure I'll have loads of fun!

Wednesday 25 March 2015

Under the Influence

I've just received an email inviting me for rehab for my alcohol problems.  Father definitely thought I had alcohol problems - the half bottle of rum I finished off last night has lasted three weeks.  He would have insisted I drank more.  Interestingly, DH has cut down without any effort as father is no longer pouring the drinks for him.  The bill for alcohol in this household has all but disappeared.  Mind you, I am expecting small boys to be running in and out of the house all Easter, including bear's worst enemy/best pal (same child, it depends on the most recent argument), so I may purchase some cooking sherry just in case.  Actually, there is some sherry around somewhere...

I'm definitely under the influence of stress.  Father was not well this morning.  The nurse was joking and coaxing the medicine into him.  He is refusing to eat properly.  This could go on for a long time.  I am not safe to shop under the influence of stress.  Fortunately all I purchased today was a bulk buy of Pringles (half price, bear loves them but they are so expensive!) and a copy of the New Scientist.  It could be worse.  My track record says it could be a lot worse.

I'm off to have a talk with my friend ebay about theoretical purchases.  And drink lemonade.

Tuesday 24 March 2015

Time to Watch TV

I don't get to watch much tv, with one thing and another.  However I have just found that there is a craft show, called 'Craft Daily' (on twice a week) and the linky is here.

I have just watched someone crocheting and for the first time ever it made sense.  On the site there are instructions about how to make a bag out of a pillowcase.  A few years ago I sort of accidentally bought 50 pillowcases (you wouldn't believe how useful they can be) and I was playing on ebay, so have some bias binding, and that is all you allegedly need.  There are no pictures, but that doesn't mean I can't have a go.  It looks a perfect starter project...

I suspect that it is linked to an American site that charges you to watch craft videos, but I can see me enjoying the programme.  The only thing is, please don't let it divert me to yet more projects.

Bear is not puzzled.

As we were finishing up bedtime bear pulled a puzzle book towards him.

"Bear, you should at least look at the questions before you look for the answers in the back." I said as DH tried not to laugh.
"I'm just checking I'm right." Bear said indignantly.

Bear has a very clear view on what end results he wants.  Today he wants finished puzzles.

Ravylesley - I shall definitely look at doing that.  Thank you.

Sunday 22 March 2015

Sometimes I struggle

DH visited father today and called me from the nursing home.  Did I know father was going in to hospital tomorrow for an outpatient appointment?  I didn't.

From what we can work out this is the same procedure that I went with him to last week.  It is to try and work out if anything can be done about his ability to eat.  At the moment he is having a lot of trouble talking and it is only because he spent fifteen minutes struggling to ask DH about this that we found out.

I have told the nursing home that I need a fortnight's notice.  I just can't drop every thing.  There are reasons I don't want to put in the internet why it isn't a good idea for bear to go to after school club, and now my neighbours have moved I have no-one to lean on at short notice.  DH is upset at the whole mess, and I am once again caught between the welfare of my father and my son and my poor husband is stressed beyond belief.  DH's blood pressure is a steady 170 over 140 and he needs to be fussed over, not stressed even more at this.  The staff couldn't find the details, and of course the hospital admin are not in until tomorrow to find out what exactly is going on.  It may not even be necessary.  There has been a lot of confusion over the whole thing.  I just wish father could get better.

The sun is shining and my new iron is working particularly well.   Time to hold on to the good stuff.

Friday 20 March 2015

Bear is Eggs-cited!

Well, better than he was.  He brought home the letter telling us that he was to decorate an egg.  The letter states, and I quote, 'All eggs will be judged as having had adult assistance.'  Darn.  This means I will have to have a go.

Bear utterly rejected the entire concept of Easter Egg Decoration.  It has been an epic fail every time he has tried to do this, it isn't fair.  Why does he have to do it?  He would even do extra literacy homework instead, it just isn't fair!  I have let him off the 'design a Christmas Card' treadmill as it was traumatic for everyone concerned, but the wording of this letter didn't leave much wiggle room.


However, when I did a bit of googling I found some interesting ideas.  On YouTube there was a tutorial for making a spider out of a piece of egg carton.  This can be adapted and I can see, well, realistically it is going to be mainly either me or DH, us dyeing/painting the egg black, sticking on pipe cleaners for legs, sticking on the goggle eyes, cutting little paper fangs and setting up an awesome web with yarn over an egg box.

Also, you can apparently wrap an egg in an old tie and boil it in vinegar and water.  The suggestion is number five on the list here.  My tie stash includes some storming patterns and it is very tempting.  I have so many, including these...

 ... but as they are polyester I don't think the 'boil in water and vinegar' trick will work.

Bear is now satisfied that this time it will be okayish and tolerable and he will concentrate on delegating the work (or trying to - I have Views as well, and that includes him pitching in!).  Besides, the poor lamb is about to get a headache.  I am about to insist on piano practice.

Just passing through

Thank you for the lovely comments.  I suspect that the real problem with altering the curtains is lack of courage.  I have also come to my senses (no doubt briefly) and decided bear does not need a red fleece blanket to go with the absolutely humungously huge tiger throw, the fleece snuggle throw, the duvet (with Tardis duvet cover), the dalek fleece blanket and the cyberman fleece blanket.  That child is not short of warm things.

DH was an absolute hero and bought an iron for me.

I have bought the flowers that father instructed poor DH to get me for Mother's Day.  I feel it is important that bear sees the right things being done.

Nice Mr Next Door was supposed to move out today.  There are still six cars in the street belonging to him, not including the one he drives.  The garden is also still overflowing with 'things'.  However as Nice Mrs Next Door has already moved out, the landlord will now have to speak to the lovely man next door.  The landlord doesn't speak to men unless he really can't corner a woman.  I don't know how the landlord is going to go on now.  Even though Nice Mr Next Door is really lovely and not a problem to talk to at all.

The eclipse was okay but I probably won't put it in a book.

The bees are back.  They looked very busy but I don't know many flowers out at the moment.

Bear's report at parent's evening was storming.  I am incredibly proud of him.

Thursday 19 March 2015

Excuses, Excuses

Witch Hazel - I have looked at doing it that way, but there are still just too many layers for the machine to deal with easily.  I was considering either hand sewing or glue.  I haven't bought ready made curtains for the main rooms before, and with them having to be so big they need a big space to lay out which I don't really have.  I mean, it isn't impossible, but it is easier for a professional to get it right.  I know many households where spending @ £200 on curtains for two rooms isn't considered a lot but it is a fortune to me.  The curtains they replaced cost less than £50 for the two rooms!  The new ones look a lot better and are lined and a much nicer fabric.  Mind you, it does depend on how much it costs to get them altered...

Wean - don't think curtains made of ties haven't been considered.  Years and years ago we stopped in a place where the lady had not been sure about what curtains she wanted, so she sewed quite wide curtains in four inch strips of different colours, dozens and dozens of strips.  It looked amazing.  I am tempted...

Another random purchase has arrived and bear has claimed a piece of bobbly fleece.  He loves it soooo much he wants to cuddle into it.  I'm tempted to speak to my friend, ebay, and get him some, I can sew some bias binding around the edge and it will be cuddled into, slept on, in and over, used as camouflage, a tent, a cave and possible a magic carpet (going on past experience).  Fortunately I can't find his favourite colour and I am not looking too hard.  I need to STOP BUYING STUFF.

The iron wasn't delivered with the groceries.  I am not particularly surprised that it had sold out as it was better than half price.  I don't feel like dragging myself out as my bits are not being nice and it is a training day.  Besides, bear had a spectacularly wonderful report at parents' evening and was promised to be allowed to do nothing all day.  My current alleged iron that is limp and fading will have to do tonight and I'll look at getting another tomorrow.

I think I'll just pop back to my friend and have a look at the fleece again...

Wednesday 18 March 2015

Bear will be pleased

I was sitting and looking at the curtains.  They really need shortening, which was the point of me getting the dratted sewing machine last year.  I've thought long and hard, and I don't think I can do it.  I suspect that the layers of lining, fabric and heading tape will be too thick for my machine.  I am sure there are ways around it, but I have a strong feeling that my skills aren't up to it.  I had considered hand sewing and fabric glue, but I think I will be better off getting them professionally shortened as (for me) they were so expensive.

But what would I do while they were away being shortened?  I went to talk it over with my friend ebay.  I couldn't find anything I either liked or could afford in the fabrics, but have you seen the selection of duvet covers?!  Some of the inexpensive ones are quite mouth watering.  At the rock bottom, if I just used the very basic cheapo ones I could curtain every one of the nine windows in the house for £50 including thread, heading tape, post and packing.  They wouldn't be lined, but they would cover the window for the summer while the expensive curtains were being shortened.  I mean, I could even do it by hand while watching tv.  It would be easier than buying ready made because of the awkward size of the various windows.

And then I realised that while the sort of chalky blue and faded beige that I was looking at would look brilliant in every room, bear would not be impressed.  However, and this is a big deal, while they do not make Doctor Who branded curtains in a size that fits bear's room, they do make single duvets.  Single duvets that are 78 inches long can very easily be converted to curtains for a 76 inch drop.

I'm not considering even purchasing the duvets/fabric or whatever until some conditions have been met.  I will have been to at least three lessons on the sewing course I have enrolled in.  I will have made at least three successful tote bags which are supposed to be so easy - using the sewing machine.  And I will have made bear his curtains.  Bear will be pleased.


My latest iron is coming over all faint at the thought of getting hot.  It is very irritating.  I'm getting one with my grocery order.  No matter what it is like (and it is expensive enough to be £50 off!) it cannot be worse than the Tefal Maestro I have been struggling with.  Not only is it incredibly lukewarm but I can never tell where the water level is, as the gauge is opaque.  And I haven't even dropped it.  That's how I usually finish off an iron, but this one is all limp by itself.  I have far too much ironing even now father is elsewhere without worrying about an iron with work ethic issues.

On the bright side, whenever I get a new iron I usually have a massive burst of ironing so I am optimistic that the pile will reduce.

Tuesday 17 March 2015


I've spent this morning being not particularly active but in a thin top, no sweater and no heating on.  The heating was on this morning for a few hours but goes off before nine and here it is after lunch and I've not yet put on my sweater - or the fire!  At last the weather is warming up enough to leave the heating off.

And I saw a bee hovering outside the window just now.  I hope that means that the bees in the chimney are waking up.

I definitely feel more springlike.

Monday 16 March 2015

Shopping Shopping Shopping

 Ebay is my friend.  What with one thing and another I have been leaning on my friend quite a bit.  This is not good.  I got the above fabric very inexpensively indeed, even including postage.  There's about two or three metres of heavy, silky fabric that's about thirty inches wide.  It came with some rather odd sort of bronze coloured voile that I think had been a curtain that has been packed away many, many years ago.  I don't need this fabric.  I still haven't threaded up my sewing machine.

I don't know what to do.

There is the issue of money, less than you would think, the issue of space, the issue of lack of logic - 90 ties! - but really it is about finding comfort in shopping.  In and of its own that is a bad thing.

My name is Sybil and I am a compulsive shopper.  When I work out what is going to happen next, I'll share.

Old Woman in a Leopard Print Hat

An old woman, looking eccentric and wearing a leopard print hat, got on the bus today.  One day I hope to be an eccentric old woman and there is a very good chance it will involve something equivalent to the leopard print hat, so I was not paying particular attention.

I didn't get to not pay attention for long.  At a high volume she gave her views on nuns, Catholicism, priests, abortion, the stoning of Joan of Arc (she was actually burnt at the stake), and had got on to how gay bus drivers won't stop for women by the time I fled the bus.  Alf Garnett would have looked a little askance.

I think I will just aim for the look and not the content.

Sunday 15 March 2015

Mothering Sunday

Grumble, grumble, grumble.

In the Middle Ages a parish church was a piece of property.  It generated revenue.  There was a constant stream of tithes and payments to this church.  In the darker days of the history of the church a barely literate placeholder (vicar means, though a long route, working in the place of someone else, vicarious has come through the same route) went through the service by rote for a subsistence wage and most of the money went to the local lord of the manor.  Even worse, the barely literate place holder who could not properly read and certainly was not fit to preach could be standing in for a rich bishop or abbot.

As the population expanded, particularly in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and the energetic work of the monks and friars reached more and more outlying places, more churches were built.  However, when a new church was built it meant that all the fees for the funerals and wills and confessions (marriage in church was not usual until a lot, lot later) were suddenly lost to the church that had previously had charge of that area, and nobody wanted to lose money.  However it was plainly wrong that in the days of muddy tracks and no transport someone would have to travel thirty or forty miles to hear the Word of God.

A deal was struck.  A new church would be founded, so that the serfs and cottars could hear mass, and once a year on the fourth Sunday in Lent the congregation of the New Church would take the loot back to the 'Mother Church'.  Incidentally, the Lent fast was relaxed on this day, so meat, milk and eggs could be eaten.  They probably needed a good feed for the journey.

As people became more mobile this became the Sunday that a servant would have leave to go and visit their Mother Church, though it was a good chance to call in on their family and bring their mother a nice present to show how well they were doing.  After the Reformation when the whole 'Mother Church' thing disappeared, it was much more about visiting the family.  And it was a lovely tradition.  Then Hallmark found it.

It's always been about money.

(Bear has been, of course, wonderfully and I made sure he knew how ecstically grateful I was.  And I am, he is the light of my life and any cuddle is a wonderful thing.)

Friday 13 March 2015

So Sad

Sir Terry Pratchett, rest in peace.  You will be so sadly missed.

Bear is inconsolable

I picked him up from school.  He had hoped he would be going to stay with a friend of mine.  I had gone with father to a hospital appointment and was worried that father wouldn't get back in time for me to pick up bear.  I was frantic, on pins, then dashed back in a hurry - and bear was devastated.  Why was it only mother that picked him up, why was life so unfair?  Bear sat at his computer and sobbed.  He is now comforting himself with hot chocolate.

You can see quite a bit out of the hospital transport ambulance windows, and the dark, black lace curtains are no longer hung at one particular window.  I'd quite admired them, thinking how quirky.  However white curtains with exactly the same unusual pattern are hanging there now, and I wonder if someone has had a sudden attack of housewifery, whether there has been a really bad dust problem or if someone has added a bit more bleach than planned.

I bought a magazine for the potential looong wait at the hospital, which I was glad of.  It was a home decorating magazine.  This may as well be fiction for the chances of it happening in the next six months, but I got it anyway.  I flicked through with limp interest, but then I saw it, the most wonderful idea ever.  Someone had painted their stairs and then pasted wallpaper on the risers, the upright bits that look at you as you go upstairs.  It looked awesome and how much easier to just wipe over painted steps instead of brushing the carpet hard?

Obviously it is never going to happen, as the noise issue would be horrific.  Just one eight year old lad stomping up stairs causes massive noise even with carpet.  But I can't help but think how marvellous it would be.  Thank goodness DH is a voice of reason.

Thursday 12 March 2015

Bear has a New Skill

Bear has learned how to tie a tie.

Please see post below.

My Sins Have Found Me Out

This is what 90 ties look like.  The man knocked on the door and I wondered what would happen if I hid behind the sofa.

I've had a bit of a brief rummage.  Some of these are glorious.  This one has a pattern of daisies on it.

Then this seems a bit more heraldic, though still floral.

The ties seem to be from the lower end of the market like Asda or Matalan.  Some seem to have been there for the sort of man who is very confident.  Some are definitely low key.  Some are the narrow ties you got in the eighties and I swear there are some real kipper ties in there.  There are some stonking patterns, like these

And some masculine stripes

So all I need to do is get going, right?

I saw daffodils on the way to see father today, and he has taken some of his medicines.

Wednesday 11 March 2015

Unexpected Fail

Tonight I made (well, got out of the freezer and put on a tray some ready made) fish in rosemary and lemon sauce.  Bear disapproved of the sauce.

I had planned to do ribbons of carrots with the fancy new thingy that is supposed turn a carrot into decorative shreds.  By the time DH and I had sworn, fiddled and grumbled, all we had was a squashed and unappetising mush of carrot that had epically failed to be decoratively shredded.  This sort of thing happens to me all the time.  I could always microwave a tin of mushy peas.  At this point they were more solid than the mashed raw carrot.

The totally unexpected fail was when I went to put on the pasta that was supposed to go with it - and I had run out!  I never run out of pasta, just never!  I always have a stockpile that looks like I'm preparing for a siege.  How can I run out of pasta?!?  I never run out of anything!  DH went to the chippy for chips.

Feels quite good, actually, to know that I am not irrationally stocking up.

Now all I need to do is try and hide from ebay, who is currently not very friendly.  Please let me be outbid.

Pride Goeth Before a Fall

Please let me be out bid, please let me be outbid, please let me be outbid...  Ebay is not my friend, it is leading me down paths I shouldn't go.  Amazon isn't that nice either.

On the bright side, my Psychedelic Salad kit came today, with seeds for lemon cucumber, red lettuce, rainbow radishes, yellow beetroot and purple spring onions.  The veg kit that I also ordered has come with seeds for purple carrots, yellow courgettes, striped tomatoes, red brussels sprouts and some multi coloured Swiss Chard.

I am not entirely confident that my brown thumbs can get seeds to grow without some upset, but bear and I should have a lot of fun with them.

I'm hoping we'll end up with something like this with the Chard

Image from WikiCommons, taken by Doug Noon and used under Creative Commons

But I'm not ruling out this...

And I suspect this is entirely possible...

There will also be purple tomatoes - probably.  I'll just get past Easter then start planting.

Tuesday 10 March 2015

Wean - I know exactly what you mean!  The first piece of flat pack furniture DH and I ever assembled was a very iffy diagram which had no actual text and it was only after a great deal of in-depth discussion we worked out the bookcase should be assembled upside down!

It's one of the things that depresses me about Jocasta Innes.  She happily tells you to paint flowers or designs, and I haven't a chance of managing that.  I could fail finger painting.

To be honest, I've not done too bad with written instructions.  I have taught myself a lot from books - how to knit a cable, most of my cooking skills were acquired from books despite my mother's claims, all the acres of cross stitch and the hand sewn curtains (scared of sewing machine).  When I watch the Great British Sewing Bee I know about a lot of the techniques in theory.  I've read stuff, or seen stuff and it has stuck.  I used to be much better at just having a go.

Today I have made a very, very, very, very small dent in the textile mountain.  You know those huge kit bags that a small child could comfortably lie in, the comparable one on ebay is described as holding 200 litres.  I have already half filled it with DH's office shirts, and I have many more to go.  I did look for a picture of a Sports Bag on Wiki Commons but a picture of Paris Hilton came up, so I am putting up a pretty picture instead.

Christine - thank you for your comment.  I am really glad that the cake worked, I've been pleased with the results - it was a lucky find!

For anyone wanting a smile, here's my favourite Morecambe and Wise sketch on YouTube with Mr Andre Previn.  

Monday 9 March 2015

Shopping may be stopping...

Okay, my shopping is out of control (again) but I think there are hopeful signs.  I got a small shop in today because I was down to my last two rolls of loo roll.  That is unheard of!  I normally start to twitch when I am down to my last dozen.  Perhaps I can start to finally run down my freezer (which I have been trying to do for years)

I have also looked at scented candles.  I haven't seen any deals that I like online.  I may just buy the candles one at a time from the very nice lady in the florist at the end of the street.  That is another thing that is unheard of, and it is a very nice feeling.

I like Wean's suggestion about the ties.  I have the sewing machine finally out of the box. I am thinking about it.  There seems to be a scary number of stitch options.  The instructions are headed 'Important Safety Instructions, Warning, Danger'.

Image taken by Lyssa Medana and in the Public Domain (and I may use it for the writing challenge)

This does not reassure me.  I am going to make some time and watch the instruction dvd (though I usually work better from written instructions).

Tomorrow may be a day to thread the beast up.  Then I have a lot of stuff going on to the end of the week, but I will see what happens.

What do you get if you cross Godzilla with a parrot?  I don't know, but if he asks for a cracker, give it to him!

Sunday 8 March 2015

I only went and bought the ties

Why did I buy 90 ties?  Why?  I know part of it is that I have seen that thing about ties years ago and I have been intrigued ever since.  But what the actual am I supposed to do with the dratted ties when I haven't even got my sewing machine out of its dratted box?  While the money was a comparatively small amount, though not that small, I can think of lots of other things I could have done with it - like save it for some serious counselling!

Last night I dreamt my father had died and I had to tell everyone.

So I want to link to this - cats who have made poor life choices.  I laughed and laughed and laughed.

Overheard on bus

'What kind of chicken can't fly?'
'A roast chicken!'

The two lads, around eight or nine, fell about laughing while an older sister was saying, 'Wait, that doesn't make sense...'

I got bear some click and collect red jeans from F&F, to be picked up at Tesco.  While there are many, many, many Tescos around, there is none near me.  I had to get two buses.  I went for click and collect because not only did it make sure that they arrived on time but it meant no postage charges.  Bear is not impressed.  He loves red and he approves of their colour.  He is a bit lukewarm about their length, which isn't ridiculously long but could lose an inch or two.  They are twisted fit chinos like these

They conveniently have a turn up at the bottom and another turn up with the aid of a bit of sellotape or a few stitches wouldn't hurt.  Bear isn't too worried about that.  He is mainly concerned that the jeans are about four inches too big on the waist.  Despite bear's best attempts, there is more meat on a butcher's pencil.  He is skinny.  There is no waist on him.  He will probably wear these jeans (which I really, really don't like) for years.  That is, once he gets over the issue of needing a belt.

I bought DH some tracker bars.  He really likes trackers and I thought it would be a nice treat as they hadn't been available online shopping for a while.  It was only on the bus back that I spotted the salt content.  It's a learning curve.

Saturday 7 March 2015


Wean - thank you, I really appreciate that.

I've not been helping myself.  I've been reading a decorating book by Jocasta Innes.  She can airily re-stitch antique rugs and use artist colours to restore furniture.  I can't even keep furniture dusted.  However one thing she suggested was using old ties for patchwork.  I remember seeing this on tv once, where someone got the old men's ties from charity shops and made a quilt out of them after carefully unpicking them and pressing the material.  They got quite a bit of fabric and a lot of the ties were silk.

To cheer myself up I had a quick look on ebay (my friend) to see what ties were there.  There were quite a few bundles of ties that could be unpicked, washed (very carefully), pressed and cut up.  I decided I had enough problems without adding a tie stash to them, but then I had a think.  I found this listing for sale, a job lot of 90 ties for a total of £16.99, including post and packing.  The seller also has a shedload of absolutely gorgeous waistcoats as well, at the time of typing.  Looking at them, they look fine, probably not a lot of silk, but they would be generally the same weight and could probably look good as a patchwork bag.

I don't need 90 ties, honest.

But, but, but, if you look at the fabric, which has, to be honest, been cheering me up with the possibilities, you can find things like this listing, a 'vintage' sari from India, which is sold as suitable for craft projects.  It is probably well worn, but I am sure that some fabric can be used from the gorgeous, silk, patterned length - which is marked as 3.5 ft by 15 ft - that is a lot of fabric, even if you have to work around the holes!  That comes in at £8.49, though there are some dearer ones.

Thank goodness I don't need to worry about working with silk for a while, it looks far too tempting.

btw, Knock knock.  Who's there? Lettuce. Lettuce who?  Lettuce in, it's freezing out here.

How do I do it?

Looking back, this blog seems to be a trail of good intentions and little achievement.  I don't even want to look at my New Year's Resolutions.  But I have to step up and I don't know how I'll do it.  I have a very bad track record.

DH is now seeing the Doctor for high blood pressure.  He has got a home monitor on the Doctor's instructions to keep taking the blood pressure and the lowest reading this week is 161 over 143.  This is not good.

I need to change a lot.  There is a lot happening that I don't post so there is a tip of the iceberg when I say that there are obstacles.  I feel like I could sit down and cry.  But that would make a rubbish blog and a pretty poor life.  So I am going to steal a picture from I Can Has Cheeseburger to cheer myself up, and I am going to try and think of the best knock knock jokes.

I recommend a visit to to anyone feeling low.  They rock.  I think that is a good start to 'Operation Hyacinth'.

Friday 6 March 2015

This link is not suitable for work.

It really isn't suitable for work

It is not suitable for those who are easily shocked by adult content

It isn't me.  After everything else, this isn't me.

It really isn't suitable for work but it made me laugh until I cried.

Trundling on

All continues normal here.  Bear went into school with the trainers for the lunchtime games.  I have no idea what's going on with that.

I have actually ordered some red jeans, rather against my better judgement, but bear has promised he will wear them.  I did mention it to the teacher who looked bewildered that I needed time.  I am not looking forward to trudging half way across Leeds to get the the click and collect point which was the best way I could work out to get the stuff on time.

I think I need some hibernation time.

Thursday 5 March 2015

School Dress Up

We had six days notice that bear had to dress up today.  I have just noticed on the school website that he has to dress up again next Friday though I haven't had the notice through.  Where the heck am I supposed to get red trousers for bear?  And will he ever wear them again without looking like an idiot?  I haven't really enough time to get stuff online, so it will be a trudge around the shops with everything crossed.

I am unimpressed.

Thanks for all the good wishes.  Father is unlikely to immediately affected by the lack of medication.  I am asking whether he wants to go for the follow up to his cancer scare, as it will mean taking a lot more medicine.  He is still thinking about that.

Today I signed up for a sewing course.  I am not entirely convinced, but as bear is so dubious about me going outside the house I think it is necessary.  It doesn't start for a few weeks so it gives me some time to work out how to thread the dratted sewing machine.

No, I really don't feel like sewing bear some red trousers.

Wednesday 4 March 2015

Father is refusing all medication.  It is not immediately serious, but the medication includes treatment for his blood pressure and his heart.  There is nothing we can do.  Father has the capacity to make decisions and I understand why he is making those decisions.

Hopefully a chirpier post tomorrow.

Tuesday 3 March 2015

Fitting it all together

Father was supposed to have a hospital appointment today.  The nursing home didn't tell me it was cancelled and rearranged - and now I have to arrange a pick up for bear on 31st of March.  DH took this afternoon off, but he can't keep doing that, and the neighbours who I would unhesitatingly relied on will have moved.  I am trying to work stuff out, how to fit stuff in, and I am panicking a bit.

Mind you, I cheered up a bit later.  I was looking up a link to 'Digging up the Past' (available here for a very reasonable outlay) when I found this - a cure for, among other things, meteorism.  I assume it is a poor translation rather than protection from being hit by meteorites.  I had been so careful choosing a name that had no associations, but apparently now it has.

It seems a useful product, though I currently do not suffer from any of the ailments it is designed to alleviate, I shall definitely bear it in mind.  

Monday 2 March 2015

Things Children Say

I've just had to explain to my eight year old son that perhaps it isn't a good idea to describe himself as a kerb crawler, even if he is utterly amazing on the particularly brilliant piece of kerb on the way home.  I said it was something that adults sometimes said about rude things.  Bear was unimpressed, but more concerned about his chance of doing sport on Friday lunchtime.

Thank goodness.

Failing at Sherry

I don't know if it is this particular brand of sherry but in future I will have to stick to one very small, ladylike glass.  To put this into context, I used one of those nutella jars that turn into glasses and I had two sherries, both of them about a quarter of the glass.  I am such a lightweight.

I am relying on a bought costume for bear on Thursday.  As I haven't worked out how to thread up the sewing machine, a costume may be a bit ambitious, especially as I am out all tomorrow with father at hospital.  However, after looking with appalled attention at the costume, I aim to have a go before the Easter Holidays.

Approved Food parcel came today.  I've had some sweet potato gluten free crisps.  I've handed over a large amount of goodies to next door.  I am going to miss them so much when they move.

I'm feeling maudlin,  I shall have to switch back to a nice cup of tea.

Sunday 1 March 2015

Disappearing Dog

Witch Hazel - ice in sherry sounds nice, but I would have still been hungover.  Though I may take the risk tonight.

Sarah - bear has been learning the piano on and off.  At first we went to a teacher that didn't really challenge him and we had to travel.  Bear was awful, really awful, and after he was rude to the teacher in front of DH we abandoned those lessons.  I should add, the teacher let him get away with it.  I was mortified.  Bear is very, very rarely rude, but he was getting away with murder and I think he thought his father would be less likely to raise hell about rudeness.  He was wrong.

So since September a lovely piano teacher has come to our house on a Saturday morning.  Bear has already learned more with this new teacher in six months than he did with the old teacher in over two years, and is having a good go with two hands and doing okay.  The teacher seems happy enough.  Bear does try on the 'can't remember what to practice' and 'confused about what I am doing' which the new teacher seems to have rumbled.  Bear forgets nothing.  I have just been clear, piano is not negotiable.  I had to abandon martial arts, I could no longer physically drag bear along to the sessions across town and the teacher wouldn't allow him to just do one session so with a sigh of relief I abandoned that.  Bear has to do at least one thing that he isn't brilliant at immediately.  I think the new teacher will be putting him in for grading when appropriate.  Bear actually quite enjoys it, but has times when he can't be bothered, and I don't let him off the hook.

My brother visited with his dog again today.  We were leaving when suddenly we couldn't find the dog.  All the doors were shut, the little sweetie could only be in one of two rooms.  Despite my poor housewifery there aren't that many places to hide, even for a little dog.  We turned the rooms upside down and inside out.  She had wedged herself at the back underneath a chair.  She didn't want to leave last time either.  It may be a sign.