Monday 31 October 2016

Good News

I had an appointment with the consultant today and I've been discharged.  It was a basal cell carcinoma, or a very non scary form of cancer.  They've completely removed it, there is a 2% chance of it recurring and there is no more treatment necessary.

I did some pootling around the shops.  I felt too underdressed and scruffy for the new John Lewis store, but I picked up some stuff for a project in the far less expensive The Works.  I'll share if I ever finish it.  Bear had his first afternoon football game with the new football boots this evening.  He had taken his kit in a carrier bag as he utterly rejected the sports bag I dug out as too big.  I'd been reluctant to buy him a new kit bag, but I can't bear the thought of him carrying his stuff into school in a plastic bag so I am going to have to work out what bear will tolerate, what I am prepared to spend and see what I can come up with.  I didn't see a decent bag anywhere in Leeds.  I'll try and make time ot go on the market later in the week.

On the way out I was passed by some moterbikes.  They were very loud, very smelly and a nuisance but they weren't too bad in the centre of Leeds.  They were wearing helmets and they looked relatively okay - more like Heck's Angels.  Unfortunately it looks like they got worse later and the police were involved.  It looks quite dramatic on the BBC.  I don't like to copy the pictures because of copyright, but there were definitely a lot of bikes.  I saw at least fifty or sixy revving through Leeds and leaving smoke behind them (they obeyed the red lights there).

Saturday 29 October 2016

Paw Prints

I don't know whether anyone remembers, but a huge, massive, enormous black tom cat used to live next door.  Occasionally he would use father's carefully tended flower beds as a litter tray and father would make the most bloodcurdling threats - all the while giving the cat a cuddle.  Father was a softy.

The garden is nowhere near as nice as Father kept it and the vast expanse of cat has moved out from next door, but there is currently exposed earth around the pansies and a new cat two doors down.  DH interrupted mid scrat and the cat raced off.  The poor thing seems a little timid.  It needn't be.  Like father, I can talk a good talk about what I would do to a cat destroying my garden but in reality what I would do is cuddle it.

We managed to exchange bear's football boots this morning.  Sports Direct were not as helpful as they could be.  I had to be quite assertive.  I'm trying to model a good way of approaching things when bear is around.  I'm not actually sure of the best way, but I started off very polite and friendly and ended up firmly reminding them that it wasn't just an exchange but the issue of mis-selling.

It's been a good day to hang around.  I've reached the armholes on the first side of the slipover for uncle, but I really want to crack on.

Friday 28 October 2016


People have very kindly left comments and I accidentally deleted them.  I'm really sorry.  I love getting comments, thank you for leaving them.  Hester mentioned that I would need to buy bear a 'box' soon.  DH can definitely deal with the fitting of that!  Sharon sympathised with finding boots the right size - I hope your boys enjoyed it.  Bless made a very useful suggestion about making sure bear was wearing the socks before he tried on the boots and also was sympathetic about the homework struggle.  I felt hugged as I brace for the homework wars.  Thank you for leaving comments.

It's normal here anyway.  We went to York with DH's cousin and had an amazing time.  It was just great to wander around and see some of the old buildings.  We were stuck for time so really didn't see all we wanted, but we did manage to get to the Lakeland shop.

Lakeland is awesome.  It is the most amazing firm.  It has the best customer service ever and has lovely, sensible, knowledgeable staff.  It also has the best kitchen gadgets and gizmos.  I love it.  Cousin had never encountered Lakeland so while she had an amazing time seeing it all, asking questions and deciding what she was going to get, bear was icing cupcakes.  It was great - there was someone there who helped him copy a pumpkin or a pig and he rolled and squished and piped and had loads of fun - and they didn't charge!  Of course that did give cousin more time to shop, but still.

Braced for a quick dash into town tomorrow to exchange the boots and then hopefully a quiet weekend.

Thursday 27 October 2016

Fail in Soccer Boots

I've watched a lot of football in my time, but I've never played it.  Bear will be starting extra football training after school on Mondays and for the first time needs proper boots and shin pads.  I am sort of aware that if you have shin pads then you really need the proper socks to go with it.  Father's old football socks were sturdy and thick and we used to have them for our Christmas stockings.  So I dragged bear out of the house to go and get kitted out.

The bus didn't come.  Neither did the next.  The buses are supposed to be every ten minutes and it was at least thirty minutes so I missed church.  When we finally got into town we had a lovely snack at the cafe and then braved Sports Direct.  I was very clear that I was clueless.  However when the nice man started on the football boots I asked again and again and again whether the socks would make a difference.  He assured me that it would all be fine so we spent just under £38 for boots, shin pads and two pairs of proper socks.  We got home and it wasn't fine.  The boots are too tight with the socks, which are more substantial than I thought they would be.  I would be more likely to see if the boots would 'wear in' and stretch if bear wasn't overdue going up a shoe size.  As it is, they need to be changed.

We are visiting with bear's cousin tomorrow so we will have to brave the town centre on Saturday with all the crowds and try and sort out an exchange.  

I'm really, really glad that bear is getting keen on football.  It will be great for his health and probably his social life.  I'm just bracing for the muddy kit.  I'll be so proud, though, that I have muddy kit to wash.

Wednesday 26 October 2016

Wonderfully Quiet

I don't think we've had the heating on all day - long may that continue!  Bear doesn't feel the cold and I put a sweater on.  I also lit some candles in the living room this evening, but that was it.

I have failed on an epic level to get bear anywhere near doing the homework set for the holidays (a few paragraphs!) and any piano practice.  However he has spent most of the day sprawled out on the sofa, 83% leg, reading the 'Heroes of Olympus' book 3 by Rick Riordan.  They are chunky books and he has just enjoyed them.  I'll take that as a win, especially as I didn't ask him to spend time reading.

I've not got much done myself but we had a lovely dinner with home made soup.  I had one of those casserole veg packs from Tesco and with three rashers of bacon and some gluten free stock powder it became a very pleasant soup.  I am definitely going to be doing more soups this year.  We all like them.  If I add something like a crumble or apple cake afterwards, or even a magic cake or milk pudding of some sort, it's not a bad meal nutritionally.

I do need to get more organised.  DH is feeling low and full of cold which will almost certainly come out over the weekend so I need to get the house nice and cosy for him.  We're looking forward to picking up some stuff on Saturday then settling down and just enjoying the calm.  We'll have candles on, perhaps a film or we'll just all be in the study, on our separate computers or reading and taking it steady.  I'll make sure we're stocked up with cuddle food and I'm aiming to get the back of uncle's slipover finished.  I also really need to get the jacket sewn up now it's finished.

I am very much enjoying the calm.

Tuesday 25 October 2016

About Bear

Bear is very bright.  Even if you take away my bias, he is very, very bright.  He has an incredible memory and can work stuff out very quickly indeed.  Once again the teacher was telling us that bear was easily picking up stuff outside of school and once again the teacher said that they were going and checking on the facts bear was using and finding he was right.  Hazel this is the first time he has not had a reward for parent's evening.  I have always rewarded effort, and he hasn't put in the effort.

The awesome tutor was here yesterday, being awesome.  For the first time I have said she can go beyond the curriculum.  They were doing triangles with all the angles and Pythagoras etc.  It was too advanced for me.  Bear was loving it.  However he kept skipping steps and while he was getting the right answers the tutor kept going back and making him work it out properly instead of just 'knowing' the answer.  One day he will get it wrong and he needs to have the right habits to find the mistakes.

I don't envy the teacher.  This is one of the best primary schools in the area and the teacher is very well thought of.  However he has to try and juggle the needs of thirty kids of very different ability. Fortunately there are quite a few bright kids in bear's class and the teacher is hoping to push them as a group and they encourage each other.  The parents try and fill in the gaps.

I feel very underequipped to make sure bear is pushed and stimulated enough.  However I am very grateful that this is my problem.  It could be a lot worse.

Now all I need to do is learn to deal with enforcing piano practice and dealing with the eye rolls.

Sunday 23 October 2016

So Much For Sunday

I'm frantically trying to get the lower floor fit to be seen as bear's awesome maths tutor comes to teach him tomorrow at 4:30.  It's a big deal.  Now she has a car she is likely to be coming to us instead of us going to her which will be an excellent reason to keep things sparkling.  Obviously I have to get things sparkling first, but I can aim high.

I forgot to mention that bear had a parent's evening last week.  I took away two things.  The first thing was that bear's teacher is scared of me (and I've actually been very moderate with the school).  I suspect that part of the issue is that I use reasoned arguments and put things in writing.  The second is that bear is not really trying.  I've asked the teacher nicely to push bear.  The teacher seems to think that bear is engaging just fine and he is top of maths.  Unfortunately I suspect that bear could do a lot better but is happily coasting.  I would say that the evening was a moderately to limp awesome.  Bear is doing well but he is not putting in the effort that he should.  To be honest, I don't really blame a teacher that has to look after thirty pupils of varying abilities including at least two pupils that have serious issues.   I'm just trying to keep bear up to the mark.

I also want to say that the teacher is very awesome in general and gives up a massive amount of their free time for the school, and bear will be benefiting from the football club he will be running.  I suspect, however, that bear is getting away with, well, if he isn't getting away with murder he's at least getting away with loitering with intent.

By the way, bear is not just advanced in maths.  This afternoon when I suggested that he put his clothes away I got an eye roll that was up to teenager standards.  I'm not looking forward to the full show!

I found this on Facebook.  Unfortunately it was on the page that I do for father's church so I couldn't really share it on there and I haven't been on either of mine, so I thought I'd share it here.

I want one.

Saturday 22 October 2016

Saturday slips by

It's been an okay day.  I surpassed myself - I ended up getting a Tesco delivery and then going to a Tesco store straight afterwards.  I'd bought a vacuum online for 'click and collect' as I wasn't sure when I would be in.  I'd ordered it when uncle was in hospital.  He is now safe in the care home.  DH very kindly gave me a lift to the store and I walked in, picked up the vacuum plus one pack of bacon that I had forgotten to put on the delivery and nothing else!  It's the only way.  If I don't focus then I would spend a fortune.  Shopping online can save me serious money.  I can look at the total and then remove anything unnecessary.

On the other hand, I bought the wrong vacuum.  I had a choice of two in the shopping basket and I deleted the wrong one.  As I said, it was when uncle was in hospital.  The very nice man on the helpline said it was okay to return it.  This means that next Saturday we will be once again going to Tesco, probably after having a delivery from Tesco.

The rest of the day I spent hanging out with DH and watching Sleepy Hollow.  It's sort of okay if you don't mind someone making a theological dog's breakfast of the Bible, a plot with more holes than a string vest and the sense that they had found a cheap forest to film in and some smoke machines on clearance.  There were some very good lines, some interesting history and an occasional inaccuracy.

We had cheese soup for dinner tonight and bear checked in the pan to see if there was any leftover (there wasn't).  I need to do more soups.

Thursday 20 October 2016

Stealth Postman

We have a new postman who is not used to my little ways.  If he sticks around then I'm sure he'll get used to it with my eBay habit, but there you go.

The first time I realised that we had a new postman that wasn't used to me was when he pushed an oversized packet through the letterbox with such force that it broke the little draught excluder thingy on the inside of the door.  Then it got stuck so I had to go to the door anyway and he raced off with a furtive expression.

The next incident was a week or so ago.  I was waiting in for a parcel and was downstairs in the dining room, facing up to the awful truth that is the sewing machine.  The layout of our house is unusual in that there is no back door, but there is a top door that goes into the porch which has another shut door before going into the living room with the study off that and a bottom door on the floor below that goes into the kitchen and the dining room is the room off that.  I can't always guarantee to hear the top door being knocked if I am in the study or kitchen, especially if the porch door is shut.  I have no chance of hearing the kitchen door being knocked unless I am in the kitchen without any appliance going.  Knowing this, I left the bottom door open so I could hear anyone trying to deliver and so the postie would see the open door and hopefully know to call down.  I heard some rustling and left the sewing machine (I hadn't even plugged it in at that point) and found the postie writing a 'we tried to deliver' card after gently tapping at the top door.

I know that postmen don't have much time so it's easy (I suppose) to miss a wide open door and some people don't notice as much as others, so I just politely asked him to ring the bell next time, I'm usually in the study, and told him that I hoped the weather held up for the rest of his round.

Yesterday I was in the study when I heard a clunk at the door.  The stealth postman had (apparently) tapped on the kitchen door and was now writing a 'we tried to deliver' card.  I opened the door, took the parcel (socks for bear), smiled nicely and demonstrated the doorbell.  I may have demonstrated the doorbell several times.  He was very hurt as he had remembered to go to the bottom door this time.  I smiled, said I could be at all sorts of places in the house and he could use the doorbell.  The doorbell would wake the dead and I can definitely hear it all over the house, but the postman has to press it first!

I also had a hermes driver grumbling because he couldn't deliver my parcel yesterday as his van was being serviced.  'That's okay,' I said, 'no problem.' 'Because I don't send out the emails,' the driver with extreme grumpiness.  'It's not my fault.' 'Absolutely,' I said, 'Stuff happens.' I just kept nodding, smiling and holding my hands out for the parcel (yarn) while he ranted away that it wasn't fair that I was complaining (I wasn't).

I'm considering buying less online.

Tuesday 18 October 2016

Looking Up

It looks like uncle will be going back to the care home soon.  The tummy infection that was sorted, the warfarin settled and he's eaten stuff.  That is a load off my mind as the bus situation has been driving me crazy.  He's still sleeping all the time, which makes me worried, but at least he's happy when he sleeps.

Of course, it is never that simple.  Almost exactly four weeks ago I had an operation to remove a rodent ulcer from my nose and to graft skin over the hole that was left.  Today I start with one of those colds.  I get them now and again.  If DH or bear are out of sorts they get tummy problems.  I get a runny nose, and when I say 'runny nose' I mean, 'a snotfest that gets through a large box of tissues in less than twelve hours'.  I have never blown my nose so carefully in my life!  It's doing okay, though, and I'll wait for the first flush of infection to go and then take anti histimines.

And in other good news, the covers I made for the sofa cushions on the back of the sofa fit.  I haven't got the fastening on, I thought I would just go for it.  When I feel ready, I'll glue on the velcro.  Until then, they're fine.  The fit is baggy, but that's better than too small and it's done.

Overall, I would say that today was pretty good.  Tomorrow I am going to rest my aching bones (feel quite poorly), knit and catch up with tv.  

Monday 17 October 2016

And That Was That

Today should have been a chance to attend a writer's circle.  I sit uneasily between professional (I have books on Amazon) and amateur (they're self published).  It had taken all my courage to sign up.  I have had some tough experiences.  However I thought it was important to do something for me as I gave up the chance of the sewing course when father became so ill.

I rang the hospital.  They said he was just sleeping and that they couldn't tell me anything unless I came in person.  Due to various constraints, mainly the care of bear, I could only visit at the same time the writer's circle was on.

As I stood at the bus stop I honestly didn't know which stop I would get off at.  If I got off in one place I would get to the writer's circle.  If I got off in another I would visit uncle.  If I visited uncle then it was extremely likely that he would sleep through the visit and not remember I had been there.  Last night I was told he was just sleeping and refusing food and drink.  It didn't sound like much change.  But do I really deserve to indulge what is a 'want' when my relative is in hospital?

It didn't matter.  The bus I needed to get to make the timings of either the circle or my uncle was cancelled.  A lot of the local buses have been cancelled over the last few weeks.  There is a service where you text the number of the bus stop to the area transport authority and it tells you which buses are due.  It brought up the buses for the next few hours and three were cancelled.  It's making life interesting.

I'm going to look into alternate buses.  There is a bus almost direct from the nearest bus stop to the hospital where my uncle is, but if that isn't running then I am going to have to work out different ways of getting there.  It's possible.  It just needs a little planning and I hope that my uncle will be discharged shortly.

Edited to add - the one day that I really want to get into Leeds to attend the lunchtime communion service is Thursday.  I may not be able to take part in communion (gluten issues) but it means a lot to me.  This Thursday the roads that take the buses that I would normally get will be closed.  The following Thursday I am unlikely to be able to make it as it is half term and bear is not keen on church.  I'm beginning to feel a little grumpy at the buses.

Saturday 15 October 2016

It's On the Label

In my cupboard there is a spray bottle containing some green liquid and labelled 'weedkiller, poison'.  It's sort of true.

I was dipping into Astar's Place YouTube channel and found this.  She mixed white vinegar and lemon juice and used it as weedkiller.  I found this intriguing.  I am nervous around 'proper' weedkillers.

As I was looking at the video, another one came up in the list at the side, and I had a look.  It was a video from Revolutionary Gardens comparing home made weedkillers to Roundup in a scientific way, link here.  It was quite interesting and it showed that actually Roundup probably was the best but white vinegar wasn't too bad.  So I got one of the stash of spray bottles (they were on offer from Approved Food and I bought a load) and filled it with white vinegar mixed with a serious dollop of washing up liquid (dish soap).  On Thursday I went out and had a spray.  It's rained a lot since then, but the weeds are definitely looking battered.  Even the dandelions are looking sorry for themselves, and they are robust.  I had another spray just now as it was looking clear.  It has, of course, started to rain, but I'm hopeful.

I think the vinegar squirting, if it works, will have a lot of advantages.  I am pretty confident that the vinegar will do no permanent harm to the garden, which is a state anyway (washing up liquid has strict rules about how quickly it has to break down).  It is relatively inexpensive, especially if I can get five litres for under £3.  Also, while it smells a little peculiar in the garden, it will keep the local cats away.

I've labelled the bottle 'weedkiller, poison' to make sure it's not squirted around.  A blast in the face would be unpleasant.  Besides, while it isn't the same as cyanide, drinking a glass of vinegar and washing up liquid probably wouldn't be very good for you.

Thursday 13 October 2016

Plans? What Plans?

Thank you so much for all the kind words for bear.  I am so proud of him.

Bear has the most vicious upset tummy today, so I couldn't send him to school.  It was grim.  So my plans for today have been shelved.

Also uncle is in hospital.  It may be something or nothing.  He's had a bug of some type and now his kidneys aren't as well as they should be.  He must be terrified.  He has vascular dementia and can't remember what country he's in at the best of times.  He's going to be so confused.  I'm waiting for DH to get home and hopefully I can visit.

I am sure it will be alright.  

Wednesday 12 October 2016

Bear Finished the Race!

Bear finished!  I am so proud of him.  It was a mile race, which I think is a long way for nine year olds, and he finished.  He was 38 out of 40, and I said he was awesome for doing his best.

As for my plans, as usual, they didn't last more than a day.  I didn't make it to the greengrocer or the dry cleaner.  Instead I went back to the sewing machine and sewed the covers for the back sofa cushions and the heading tape on three curtains (well, duvet covers that are now curtains).  I need to glue/stitch some fleece inside the pair of Doctor Who curtains so we can hang them this weekend to keep bear's bedroom warm.

Then I watched bear race and tonight, well, I think I'll take it as it comes.

Tuesday 11 October 2016

I Felt the Fear

I spent the morning in the bathroom with awful stomach cramps.  No idea where they have come from, but they were unappreciated.  Once they had gone, however, I got out the sewing machine.

There is no way I am posting pictures.  For one thing, the results look like a right dog's dinner.  For another thing, the background would show how desperately my house needs a clean.  But I sewed some stuff.  I feel like I should do a lap of honour.

I decided to sew the seat covers of the sofa.  The sofa is around ten years old.  It looks older.  I am not a brilliant housewife, and then you add that I've slept on it, bear's slept on it, bear was a toddler on it and the cats happened on it.  Now the fabric covering the cushions has disintegrated and it looks dreadful.  The frame is still sound, though, and I'm reluctant to get a new sofa until bear stops leaping on it.

The sofa seat cushions are 32 inches by 26 inches (@ 82cm by @ 66cm).  I don't have a place to easily cut that size of fabric.  I ended up using a combination of ironing board and bumpy dining table and cutting pieces of fabric on the fold.  A few years back I sort of accidentally bought half a dozen single duvet covers and I'm using those, so I used the seams and folds to help get pieces the size I wanted.  I did all three seat covers, but none of them are the same.  One has the seams of the duvet side seam in the centre, one has a side opening, one has an end opening.  I need to glue on the velcro at the entrance and see if they fit.

I cut out the pieces for the back cushions.  They may not be full of holes but they look very well worn.  They are 28 inches square (@ 71cm) and I got them all ready to go but it was time for bear's pick up so I'll have another go on Friday.

It was scary.  The seam allowances are all over the place, I had a serious problem trying to thread the needle, even using a needle threader, and the thread kept coming out of the needle so I'd carefully sew a seam only to find that nothing had happened.  But I did it.

Bless wrote an amazing quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, '"It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan".  I nearly gave up loads of times today, especially when I couldn't find the right way to cut the pieces out.  I may may not have achieved much, but I achieved not giving up.  I'm feeling good about that.  

Monday 10 October 2016

Feels like Autumn

Thank you for all the supportive comments for bear (and in general, I love hearing from you).  We are incredibly proud of him - of course! - and your encouragement means a lot.  Bear has spent the weekend conserving his energy (watching YouTube) and keeping up his protein intake (scarfing down mini sausages).  He is fretting and talking about training in his lunch hour (running around the field).  I keep looking at him and wondering where this growing lad came from.  Suddenly I blinked and now he's definitely not a baby, and looking more and more grown up by the day.  I've had to get bigger socks for him.

It feels like autumn here.  A lot of leaves haven't changed yet, but it's in the air.  I picked some lavender today and there were no bees as it was too cold.  We had the heating on again last night.  I'm also feeling the urge to nest.  I start pulling out blankets and I feel an unaccustomed urge to get the house clean.  Last night I downloaded a load of free kindle books on housekeeping.  I don't expect much from them, and one was from the 1920s, but it's something.

On the back of actually getting out last Thursday, I've set out my week.

Today - I want to try and get my laundry under control and chase up bear's tutor who he hasn't seen since July and the electrician that should have sorted things out in June.

Tuesday - I need to wait in for a parcel, so I am going to face my fear and do it anyway - I'm getting the sewing machine out.  I need to sort out linings for curtains, covers for cushions and to do something to cover the torn sofa cushions.  I expect to achieve at least 10% of this.  Bear has football training.

Wednesday - I plan to investigate the small greengrocer that is around half an hour's walk each way.  It will be great to get into that.  I get get healthy food while taking healthy exercise.  I will have to walk very briskly past the 'antique'/junk shop that's on the way, but that's okay.  It is the day of the Cross Country and Parent's Evening.

Thursday - Roundhay Park and church

Friday - a visit to uncle and Round Two with the sewing machine.

I picked some lavender for a friend's little girl, just a few sprigs held together with a loom band.  Next year I'm going to re-plant the lavender as it's getting very leggy, but I'll be getting the same sort of bushy, rampant lavender that has filled up the border.

It's lovely stuff.

Saturday 8 October 2016

A Thing I Shouldn't Do

I shouldn't go shopping in a real shop.  I should absolutely stick to shopping online every time.  This morning I called into Aldi.  Some cheap cola for me, some snacks for the men of the house, gluten free cornflakes - they were all fine.  The shirt for bear and pyjamas for DH were much more of an impulse and, while nice, were not needed.

Then we went along to the Food Warehouse that has just opened.  I had a £5 coupon off.  It would have probably saved something if I hadn't bought an electric spiraliser.  I don't even want to think about how much it cost.

I should stick to shopping online.

Friday 7 October 2016

Still Doing Okay

I achieved a major breakthrough in not giving up yesterday.  Today was not so good, so very little to blog about.

I am pleased, however, that I have finally finished the dratted ruffle on the jacket.  I couldn't do the last increase row as the stitches wouldn't fit on the needles.  This was incredibly frustrating because the pattern called for 100cm circular needle so I made sure I was using a 100cm circular needle but if I had known then I could have got a longer needle as there are some out there.

I haven't sewn that up yet.  I'm bracing for that.  I made a bit of a mess of the shoulders, but as it is just for the house then I'm not too stressed.  I'll post a photo as soon as I get finished.  The good news is that I can probably use left over yarn from it for the detail on the jacket that I really, really, really want that uses the incredibly chunky yarn.  I suspect it will feel like knitting barge rope with telegraph poles, but I do love the look of it.

We've finally put the heating on.  I suppose autumn is here.  I have a list of things I ought to do as long as my arm to help get the house ready for winter, like sorting out linings for curtains and having a good clear through.  I'll worry about that tomorrow.

Thursday 6 October 2016

A Big Step

Over the last few years I've found it harder and harder to get out of the house.  I've been getting better recently, but it's still a struggle sometimes.  All this week I had been planning to go out today.  All the way through breakfast and dragging bear to school I was making sort of apologies to myself and little excuses.  I had planned to pick up a house warming present, walk in Roundhay Park and go to a service at Leeds Minster.

I was sort of wondering if I could just get something from Amazon for the housewarming, but it would have been too late.  Then I thought I could wander in to Leeds, pick up a candle for the housewarming present but perhaps just come home.  Or I could go in later and pick up the candle and then go to the service and come home.  I actually went to Roundhay Park.  I actually followed through.  When I got there I was thinking I could just go on this little path and then back to Leeds centre, or just do this little walk and then back.  I walked, albeit slowly, for a good hour.  I saw a tree carved into a totem pole

I walked through woods like cathedrals

I also walked through a fake ruined stone keep, built at the beginning of the nineteenth century

All the above pictures taken today by me.

I got to the service and everything.  I'm concerned that I am aching.  I shouldn't be.  I am seizing up from lack of movement, so I plan to do more.  However it's one of the biggest wins I've had for a while.  I planned something, didn't feel like it, did it anyway.

Bear is worried about the cross country.  Thank you for listening to me boast and the messages of support.  It's really apreciated.  He is not sure he can manage it.  I have told him that it doesn't matter if he comes last as long as he does his best.  I'm sure he'll be fine.

Wednesday 5 October 2016

Boasting about Bear

I'm really careful about what I say in the playground.  Bear is doing really well with the academic subjects and any hint that he may be even slightly better than certain kids is met with utter outrage and fury.  Bear once dropped a homework book in the playground and one of the dragon mothers swooped in before I could move to check how far bear was behind her precious bundle.  Except bear was actually quite ahead.  The mother complained to the school.  This is the reason I do most of my boasting on here.

Bear has made the cross country team!  I am so proud of him!  I really am!  I feel all giddy with pride and I have told him so.

In reality, bear has made the team because someone else got injured and it is very likely he will not have an awesome win, but he's made the team!  I rang DH at work as soon as bear told me.  We are so proud.

DH and I are both quite academic.  We both were top set/top class all the way through school.  We can easily model being academic.  We are, however, both couch potatoes, and modelling good exercise habits for bear is a lot harder.  This makes me even more proud of bear.  I wish I could tell more people.  As it is, I'm sharing it here.

As I'm swapping phones, I'm going through a lot of the pictures on there.  Here is a picture of bear trying out medieval arms and armour.  I am so proud of him!

Tuesday 4 October 2016

Life continues Uneventful

Life continues uneventful and I am glad of it.

Bear actually practiced the piano without being forced!  We have had an ongoing battle.  I am determined that bear continues to do the only thing he currently finds difficult.  Bear is determined that he doesn't want to learn the piano.  However the amazing piano teacher said something to him on Saturday and practice has happened without complaint!  I hope this will continue.

It is lovely and quiet at the moment.  Last night there was a real racket as the water company dug up the street at daft o'clock at night.  They left a big hole and a lot of signs and barriers and haven't been seen all day.  There was a leak, a trickle of water trundling down the slope next to our house and down the street.  It wasn't a gush, more like a tap had been left on.  Whatever the problem, the water people think it's worth digging a very big hole and then leaving it.  I have no idea what is going on, but we are still getting water so it isn't that bad.

Saturday 1 October 2016

Excuse the Typo's

I can't wear my glasses at the moment, as they keep sliding onto where there are sore places.  It isn't too much of a problem with the blog, I've just increased the screen resolution, but in other places it makes it more hit and miss.  

This makes me even more smug - I've started on the ruffle for the jacket.  I'm on around 700 stitches.  I'm not counting exactly how many.  I picked up the correct 302 stitches and then made an executive decision that I wasn't going to count the stitches as I increased.  It would be great if I could get it right, but if I was out by one or two it wouldn't matter, it's a ruffle that doesn't need to be attached ot anything.  So I'm increasing every fifth stitch as the pattern states, starting at different points as I go in.  And I joined the shoulders and picked up without my glasses!!!  I feel so relieved I've started.  I expect it will take me most of tomorrow to do the final 10 rows and I'll wait until I can wear glasses before I put it together properly, but I am quite proud.  

For those who want a corrected copy of Digging up the Past please go to Smashwords here and use Coupon Code LJ27J at checkout.  You should then get a free copy.  The coupon is only valid until 14 October 2016.  And in another smug moment I'll add the picture for the cover again by Melissa Alvarez because I can't quite believe I have such amazing pictures associated with my stuff.