Thursday 31 January 2019

Today was a Good Day

Thank you for the kind comments.  They are very much appreciated.  I hope that it is a good place to stop by.  I always feel honoured that anyone reads this.  Thank  you.

Today has been a good day.  I may not have got much done, but I went back to bed after bear left and slept for hours.  It was wonderful.  I am still shattered going up a flight of stairs, but I have done slightly more ironing than was necessary, which is a win.  My ironing pile is still visible from space, but it is smaller than it would be.  I also successfully collected bear from climbing, which is a plus, as I have massively failed until last week.  I am feeling smug.  The climbing teacher reminds me of DH when I first met him, back in 1985.  I want to snuggle with DH more than ever.

This is unfortunate as DH is feeling under the weather.  There is a very good chance that he is starting a variant of what I have suffered.  This is not good news.  I have been very poorly.  On one hand, DH doesn't suffer when he gets a cold or flu like I do.  Everyone's system is different.  I get badly hit by colds and flu, DH suffers from anything stomach related.  On the other hand, a minor cough for me is major problems for him.  My notoriously anti antibiotic doctors gave me antibiotics for my chest.  I'm really hoping DH is going to miss out on that.  I am standing ready with honey and lemon as DH will not be easily able to take time off as his work is not only very busy but has people on leave.  I shall make sure he gets a lot of fuss.

Bear is also suffering, but he isn't poorly enough to keep off school.  I have just worked out that his last session of climbing coincides with the House Drama.  I am not exactly sure what is happening with the House Drama, as everything bear brings home seems to be drama of some kind, but it is important.  I will let bear sort out how he is going to work out that clash.  On the one hand, he is sort of committed to the House Drama but he loves the climbing.  I'm encouraging the climbing as it means that bear may, at some point, actually leave the house voluntarily and go into the countryside. 

We haven't been affected by the snow yet, but tomorrow may change that.  I put bear in a school that is eight miles from my home and now I have to worry if there will be a problem getting him home.  There are various plans in place.  My brother lives relatively near the school and bear has pals who will help out and I know a parent who has family nearby, but even so, it is quite worrying.  Walking is theoretically possible, but he has to cross roads that are slip roads to motorways, so not terribly safe.  It is worth it, however.  I listen to bear's pal, who is going to a failing school, and the added riches in bear's school are worth a lot of inconvenience.  Bear has chances to get into spelling bees and drama and rock climbing (very basic stuff at a local indoor wall), and they are keeping parents updated with what homework is outstanding (I didn't tell bear, but I can see the gap between what he says and what the teacher has logged lol).  There is just so much going on.  Bear is very lucky, even if snow is a major issue. 

I'm off for an earlyish night.  If tomorrow means I have to somehow get a stranded bear back from miles away, I need to be rested.  Also, thank you for the kind comments.  They are very much appreciated. 

How Real?

Susan Zarzycki of Living an Ordinary Life and YumYum Crochet left a lovely comment.  She said that my blog sounded homey and realistic.  I felt hugged. 

Then I started thinking about the 'realistic' bit. 

I never needed to make stuff up.  In fact, there have been times when I have toned things down when I've wittered on about my life.  I said as much to the driving examiner the last time I failed my test, just after telling him the story of when psycho cat ripped the head of a mouse (while he was strictly an indoor cat and had probably had to send for the poor thing mail order) while we were watching Cinderella and paused the video (it was a long time ago) on the frame of a dancing, cartoon mouse.  The driving examiner was actually quite nice, and I don't blame him for failing me, and we had quite a good chat as we went around.  I don't know if that is realistic, but it happened.

In my experience, reality is far stranger than any fiction.  I write novels about werewolves and vampires and I wouldn't even think about putting in some of the crazy stuff I had seen in real life.    Last summer I had a scare with two separate types of cancer within a week or so of each other.  It sounds so full of drama, and it did seem unbelievable to me, but it was real.  To be honest, I felt in my bones that they were just scares and nothing serious, but I begrudged the appointments I had to go to at a time when I was sinking, even though they were necessary.  If anyone thinks that I made up that story, I don't blame them.  I would think that as well.  I certainly wouldn't put it in a novel.  I get that blogs don't always sound real.

I am, by nature, a story teller.  Whether it's the time I put hand wash liquid in the washing machine (seriously, don't do this, the foam gets everywhere) or my fail at making ginger beer, or my trials with the sewing machine, it may not be a success, but they are good stories.  I am still scared of the dratted sewing machine and if that changes then I will share - especially if there is a good story in it.  That is my real life and I enjoy finding the stories in them and sharing them.  If I can find the story, then I can keep going.  So what you read here is me talking about my life but knowing that I look for the stories.  I don't lie, but I do try and find the humour and the silver lining.  And when I tell the story, it helps me make sense of things, especially when times are tough. 

I think I get what Susan means, though.  I hope I am not putting words in your mouth, Susan, but some blogs are so full of successes that they are depressing.  I have actually unsubscribed to some blogs, as I read them and felt that I could never achieve their pinnacle of perfection.  I would read about their effortless budgeting, cookery and housekeeping, look around the ruins that are my living room and feel worse about myself than ever.  I hope I never do that to anyone.  Life can be awesome, and tough, and complicated and it's never as straightforward as a story where you have control of what happens, and hugs to anyone who is struggling at this moment.  My experience is that if you can find the story and find the humour, then you can get through almost anything.  When I look at those blogs that show how wonderful and perfect the blogger's life is, I wonder what story isn't being told.  I wonder where the surprises and the unexpected are and, I suppose, where the reality is.  Also, I usually feel a failure.  Just to add - to the right you can see a list of the blogs I follow.  I think they are awesome and I don't feel a failure after reading them.  I thought I ought to be clear.

I'm rambling, and what I think I mean is that, sometimes there is a better story in a real fail than a fake success.  And sometimes it's okay to admit that things have gone wrong and that everything seems dark.  Because that means that people reading can feel that it's okay not to be perfect (heaven knows, I am far from perfect, and it encourages me to know that others also face the same struggles) and it's okay to try to keep going and it's okay to get it wrong.  And when things go right, it is absolutely okay to celebrate the good because sometimes real life is good.  Sometimes I get it right - my home made soup is awesome!

Some of the blogs I follow have people struggling through the most dreadful circumstances, but they keep going, they find the positive or the humour, or even the defiance that they need to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  I find people like Bless and Hester incredibly inspirational, even though they have had their dark times. 

I started blogging when bear was little and I was very isolated.  I wanted to be able to talk about my life, and because I didn't have anyone to speak to face to face, I started this.  In this blog I have made many friends, and I have had some amazing advice that has been incredibly useful and supportive, and you are all awesome.  I haven't got anything profound to offer, just the stories of what happens day to day, pretty much as they happen, and I hope that I can share the humour if nothing else. 

In the interests of real life, I am up far too late.  Last night I worked until the early hours trying to get a fiction submission sorted, and then I was up far too early to get bear ready for school  However I am currently up far too late again as I forgot to take bear's dratted kit out of the dratted washer and it doesn't tumble dry so I am keeping it near the fire to try and get it fit for his rock climbing tomorrow.  I shall probably crawl back into bed after bear leaves tomorrow morning as I am still flattened by the flu.  And, for the sake of being realistic, here is a blog post from 18 months ago.  It tells about broken appliances and a lost grave.  It is all absolutely true, some of it is unbelievable and it is a perfect example of why I never need to make anything up.  I've included a pic from that post below.

File:Churchyard of Christ Church, Rossett - - 1469672.jpg
This is the old part of the churchyard, where my great grandparents are buried, taken by John S Turner and used under the Creative Commons Agreement.  They made a quiet space for people to think in the place where the graves were so old that most were untended

It's been a rambling post, possibly due to sleep deprivation, but I want to say sincerely, thank you for stopping by and thank you for all those who have given advice and support over the years.  Thank you for letting me share the real stories in my life.  I am very grateful.  Hugs to all. 

Tuesday 29 January 2019

Sort of Excited

I would be more excited if I had more energy.  I have just made some soup as the men really need some good fuel in this weather (though we haven't been too affected here).  When I say 'home made soup' I mean I tipped some oil in a pan, added a large amount of lazy garlic, a bag of frozen sweet potato chunks, a bag of frozen chopped onion, a bag of frozen butternut squash, some lentils, some curry powder, a couple of stock cubes and a lot of water.  I left it to simmer and then DH blitzed it with a hand blender and I'll freeze anything left for later.  I am now barely able to move - I'm flattened!  And it's not exactly haute cuisine. 

However on the bear front, he got good marks for his pizza (the egg arrived in one piece!) and some of the pizza even made it home!  What is even better, he came top in the first round of a spelling bee.  I am so proud of him.  In the interests of being fair and not trying to present a false picture, we are glossing over a lot of not so good stuff in French, but I'm proud of the spelling bee.  I'm proud of bear in general.

I need to get moving more. I nearly died of shame when the piano teacher turned up.  Bear's lesson has switched to Tuesdays and I had forgotten.  The house is a pit.  I really need to get it sorted.  All I need is the energy...

Writing stuff - This is also sort of exciting and if I had more energy I would be a lot more excited.  The vaguely exciting news is that I have volunteered to be a very minor part of OWS CyCon.  You may not have heard of this, and that's okay, because until last week neither had I.  There is a big cyber convention of authors and readers every year (this year it's May 17th-19th 2019), where wonderful, convention-type stuff happens.  It looks like there will be discussions, giveaways, and all sorts!  And it's all online so those who can't travel much, for whatever reason, can mingle with authors and readers, even those from different continents.  If you are interested in this, the website is here, but I will be posting snippets as it gets nearer the time. I know the people at Our Write Side who are running it this year, and they are awesome and I can't wait to see what goes on. 

And what is exciting right now is a guest post on my writing blog by Jennifer Zamboni about her journey towards writing 'Beauty is a Beast' (and she's a knitter, which is also awesome). 

I plan to be back tomorrow with more energy to be excited!

Sunday 27 January 2019

50ml of Milk

Darn it to heck!  One of the ingredients bear is taking in for this dratted food tech is 50ml (@ 2fl oz) of milk. 

DH asked, very sensibly, why we just didn't get a carton of milk and he could drink or pour the rest away (except neat milk makes bear throw up).  This is the best idea, and bear is taking in small jars of garlic and garam masala rather than a small pinch of each in a bag.  However today is also the day of double games, so bear is carrying in football boots, shin pads, shorts, jogging bottoms, two types of top and the school's special socks.  I'm trying to keep the load light.  Adding another half kilo with potential to spill everywhere in quantity is not top of my list.  I put the milk in a small bag, inside a small glass jar that used to hold Morrison's Italian Herb seasoning, inside another bag, and hopefully that will limit any damage. 

The egg is in a small plastic box which has been well padded with kitchen roll.  The small box is in the bigger box along with the cheese, flour, garlic, tomato paste, margarine, coriander, red onion, milk etc and it is a snug fit.  Hopefully it won't get too bashed around.  I am going to call the office and ask that they consider getting a 'class jug of milk' for situations like this.  There is just so much potential for things to go wrong.  Mind you, I suppose it's a learning experience - the trouble is, it's me who's learning how to pack 50ml of dratted milk.

Saturday 26 January 2019

Fusion Food!

Bear has decided that the pizza he is making on Monday in Food Tech (or whatever the latest name they use for basic cooking) has to be 'innovative'.  If he just slaps on some cheese and a few slices of pepperoni, he doesn't get a good mark.  Bear cares about getting a good mark.  So he decided he is going to make a pizza based on Indian cuisine.  Then he sits back and looks at me expectantly.

So we are going with the pizza base recipe that is given in the booklet which is flour, milk, egg and butter.  Then bear is going to add tomato puree with garam masala, garlic and possibly some pizza herbs with the topping being chicken tikka slices, red onion, fresh coriander and cheese.  I don't think it's very authentic, but it's very British and it's relatively light for him to carry, especially once I persuaded him that olives weren't common in Indian cuisine. 

The big issue is whether we have a box big enough to carry the dratted thing home.  I ended up adding a plastic box to the Morrisons order and I'm hoping it will all fit.  I told bear that if the pizza was too big for the box he could eat around the edges. 

No snow here, but cold and wet.  I'm feeling a lot better but staying strictly indoors.  Bear and DH went out to meet with DH's friends and they brought me back yarn.  That's a man who understands me!

Friday 25 January 2019

Meh Continues

I think I can call it flu.  I'm over the worst of the yeurk and the cough has died down.  I've finished my antibiotics so I'm going with honey and lemon for now.  However, as most people do, I feel like I've been hit by a truck.  It's not serious, but it is inconvenient.  I'm taking the rest of the day as a pity party then I'm getting on with things.

Apparently the people next door (who are utterly lovely) have seen rats going into my kitchen.  I'm working up the energy to go into the kitchen and start sealing things up.  From what I have heard, the only truly ratproof supplies are tins, but boxing stuff up won't hurt.  There are no traces and I have those rat sonic things plugged in, so they may only be getting in so far, but I'm so unimpressed.  It's a great boost to clearing everything out, though.

Also I need to scrabble around as I need to find a container for bear to carry pizza in.  I checked with bear and he said he needed to be creative.  I have no idea what that means, and neither does he, but I imagine it's going to be fun.  One of the things I need to send in is an egg.  One egg.  In a backpack that is going with bear onto a bus full of kids.  What could possibly go wrong?

Good things do happen for me, though.  DH has some friends visiting from the Netherlands and they sent me a lovely hat and scarf set and some gorgeous gluten free cookies.  I'll share a pic when I'm fit to take one, but they have definitely made up for this week!

Writing stuff - I have a guest post on my writing blog coming up on Tuesday, by Jennifer Zamboni.  She is pretty awesome, and a knitter like me.  I'll link when it comes up.

Monday 21 January 2019


Bad cold continues.  

Here's some info from Cherie that may help on the generic front The active ingredient has a registration number and this will be printed on the packaging... It is an identical number whoever makes it. If the number isn't the same then it won't be the same... we saw that on TV last year and have saved a small fortune.

I am feeling fully meh, and I will be glad when at least the cough has died down.  

Writing stuff - keep an eye out next week as I will be hosting a guest on my writing blog, Jennifer Zamboni, who has recently released a novel, Beauty is the Beast, which I haven't yet read, but looks awesome.  

Gretchen is a 24-year-old-hairstylist with secrets: She likes to chase squirrels and howl at the moon. She’s also not really 24. When one of her coworkers turns up dead in the salon, she suspects that the murderer isn’t entirely human. When another stylist is murdered, and then another, she goes on the prowl. A circus with a secret side show catches her attention, as does her former pack, and a group of visiting vampires. Her only outlet is her music, but that will only keep her wolf on a leash for so long with a killer on the loose.

Sunday 20 January 2019

I'm Totally Generic

I feel like I've been hit by a brick today, but I thought I would share something. 

I was looking for different antihistamines from the ones I got from Tesco (something beginning with L, don't quote me, but they're not effective for me at the moment), and thought I would get some from Amazon as there is no way I'll be out of the house tomorrow. 

Did you know that a lot of over the counter medicines have big brand versions and generic versions.  My brother knows about this sort of thing, and I vaguely remember seeing something on tv, but apparently you can check the packaging and see what the active ingredient is.  So, a cough drop would not be equivalent to an antihistamine, but piriteze allergy tablets and allacan certirizine both contain 10mg of certirizine hydrochloride (I really hope I'm spelling these right, but I'm still running a temperature so please do your own checks),  Piriteze is £4.70 for twelve tablets and allacan is £4.69 for 180 tablets.  There may be a glitch going on, but as far as I can tell, if you order the allacan, that's the price for the quantity. 

The 'fillers', which are the stuff that takes the 10mg of active ingredient and makes it into a tablet, can vary which is why you should always check before switching down, but it is worth knowing about it, if you do all the right checks.  However, if there is no issue, then both types have identical active ingredients but at very different prices. 

I ordered the piriteze.  I'm only going to be taking antihistamines while the cold lasts and don't want hundreds of tablets lying around until they go out of date, and the piriteze will get here tomorrow and the allacan will be a few days - and I am desperate. I will, however, be checking active ingredients in future. 

I'm sure that most reading this will know, and I usually get bear the generic painkillers on the advice of the doctor, but I didn't realise how big the price gap could get. 

Saturday 19 January 2019

Officially a Bad Cold

The doctor listened to my chest, took my temperature, looked a little concerned, asked whether I had someone at home to look after me and prescribed antibiotics for the chest and a lot of rest.  He asked whether I had had the flu jab, and when I said yes, he looked doubtful.  I believe I have an official 'Bad Cold' with extra self pity.

Whenever I get something like this, my nose runs so much that it makes Usain Bolt look like a snail.  I've gone through boxes and boxes of tissues and three rolls of flimsy but soft toilet paper.  I can't seem to stop coughing, and I have such a pathetic croaky voice that I'd rather text than talk.  Total pity party here, so I'm making the most of it.  Yesterday I watched Iron Man, the first of the Marvel films, and it was amazing how many hints there were that things could get bigger.  I didn't keep much attention while I was trying to watch Iron Man 2, which is apparently a common problem, and tonight I may see if I can watch some documentaries.  I feel in the mood for dinosaurs.

Now the Bad Cold is slowing down, I may be able to get back to some knitting.  I randomly picked up a ball of Katia Warmy for probably a reasonable price.  I actually had no idea what I was bidding on but I got a huge ball of something extremely fluffy and a pattern for a blanket on the ball band (one ball apparently makes one reasonably sized lap blanket, 36 x 49 inches or @ 92 x 125 cms) and I liked the idea a lot.  I've got to finish up the yak blanket first, as they take the same needle size, but that's just an incentive.  Then I look closer at the pattern.  The pattern is in six languages, and the English version is obviously a translation, but it's all clear.  The actual pattern is a chart, and I'm not a fan of charts as I forget which way I'm heading and get cross, but it won't kill me and I can get over that.  The worst detail, however, is that it uses fisherman's rib as a part of the pattern.  I loathe fisherman's rib.  I hate it with the passion of a thousand fiery suns.  That way lies madness and a lot of dropped stitches.  So while I'm sniffing and finishing off the yak blanket, I have to make the decision - do I follow the pattern?  It will look awesome if I can manage the stupid fisherman's rib, but it's fisherman's rib

I found a pic of fisherman's rib stitch, knitted by someone who actually can do it on WikiCommons. 

Wikipedia does have a list of stitches, but doesn't cover the dratted fisherman's rib.  It does say that 'Mistake Rib' is also called 'English Rib' which is a perfect commentary on this English woman's knitting, so it has some insights.  There's a 'how to' for fisherman's rib here, by someone a lot more patient than I am. 

As you can tell, I'm feeling a lot better.  I hope that I can get this blanket knitted soon.  Hugs to all. 

Friday 18 January 2019


I have a bad cold.  When I told the doctor that I had had a flu jab he looked extremely sceptical.  He gave me antibiotics for the crackle in my chest (doing better, actually) and told me to take honey and lemon three times a day (haven't had the energy to make it, but fingers crossed for tomorrow).  Everything hurts.  Bear is being awesome.

Back when I have something interesting to say. 

Monday 14 January 2019


I have an incredibly minor cold.  It really is totally minor, nothing to be worried about at all, complete non news.  I'm on my second box of tissues. 

I've sort of bumbled around today.  Bear had a good time making crumble at school, but we decided to wait until tomorrow to taste it.  Apparently he went heavy on the ginger, but it could be worse.  I've been tootling around doing bits of ironing and a few phone calls.  I'm a little worried as my driving instructor has a frozen shoulder.  To be honest, I'm more worried about him as last time I saw him he was in a lot of pain, but it does mean he can't currently take me on lessons because he is on strong pain medicine.  My driving test is on 19th of February, but if worst comes to the worst, I can just have a go and see what happens.  My lovely instructor is really suffering. 

Writing stuff - I love the idea of YouTube videos as trailers for books.  Here is a link to one for Tattoos by Stacy Overby, which is a sci fi thriller.  I don't know how people even start with creating something like that.  And the latest from the White Hart is here

Photo by Ohmky on Unsplash

Hugs to all from a mound of tissues. 

Saturday 12 January 2019

Not a Good Day

I spent most of today trying to get out.  It is hard to explain the awful barrier that seems to be built between me and the front door.  Some days I can make jokes and share victories.  Today, my victory was getting on a bus.  I did it.  I got out, but it took nearly a whole day to get me through that door.  I need to find a way around this.  

But I did it, and it is a victory.  I got into town, where I took this pic, as proof to myself that I've done it.

There are a few places in Leeds where they have unattended pianos for the public to help themselves and enjoy  I must try and get bear here to show off, as if bear can show off then he is more likely to do his practice.  Also, I had forgotten that Love Aroma had shut down in Leeds, so I rattled around trying to find a place that sold Woodwick candles so I could give one to my brother, then on to Aldi.  

I've done a little this and that today, and I'm sure I'll get more done tomorrow, but I'm going to have to work out how to get out of the house.  I can usually manage to get out for medical stuff, and I can always get out for bear and driving lessons (and, to be honest, the driving lessons are so I can drive bear to school).  I am improving, but there is a way to go.  If I work out a quick fix, I'll share.  

Sending hugs to all 

Thursday 10 January 2019

Nothing Much Happened

I had a driving lesson today.  It was quiet and steady and I just did it.  There were no shocks or complications.  I had another go at the awkward junction and managed fine, practised the parallel park and three point turn, and just drove.  It was lovely.

Bear got points for his homework, which was a relief.  I also managed to pick him up without issue for the first time after climbing (there's this rock climbing thing...).  School is really hotting up for bear with clubs for drama and maths as well as the rock climbing.  I'm making the weekends as quiet as possible.

Mind you, this weekend involves getting bear new shoes.  He had the whole Christmas break to tell me that there was an issue but waited until the morning he went back to school.

Writing stuff - I dipped into flash fiction again here.  I'm getting back into the game.

I took this picture and it is a fake ruin overlooking a man made lake in Roundhay Park. I was surprised it came out so well

Wednesday 9 January 2019


I did the same junction again and again today.  It wasn't too bad, actually, but it was sort of tricky as the first part was going across a dual carriageway, with two possible landing spots in a central area and then finding the right lane afterwards while looking out for the three different places cars could come belting at you, quickly followed by a very odd junction where you had to change lanes, then change lanes again immediately after a pedestrian crossing and turn right.  I did it three times, and actually, it was okay.  I'm glad I practised it, though.

Two more knitting kits came today.  I have no idea why I picked them up, but I got them inexpensively on eBay and, to be honest, I'm really enjoying the first.  It's a small bag knitted out of eyelash yarn and I have no idea what I'll do with it once finished, but I love the colours and I'm enjoying the challenge of knitting the dratted stuff.  After that it's a pair of wristwarmers. 

Something interesting.  Last summer, my hands and feet were incredibly swollen and I had to drive in slippers as I couldn't get shoes on.  Now the shoes are fine, the slippers are a little baggy (possibly stretched) and my wedding ring is loose.  I've actually dug out a chain because I may need to hang my wedding ring on it.  I don't think I've lost weight, but I do think I'm retaining less water.  I hope that my feet stay down when the heat of summer comes back. 

In the background I've done a few bits that normally I would have avoided.  I've checked to make sure that we're insured, and chased a few bits from bear's school.  I'm making sketchy plans for the house and I've got some more laundry done, but I need to ramp up my game.  I'm feeling more positive.

Tuesday 8 January 2019

So Much for Today

I am TIRED!!!  It's ridiculous, because I'm only at home, but things keep going in and out of focus I'm so tired.  Also, out of alcohol (Hester - alcohol had nothing to do with the actual knitting of the hat but is a major suspect in the purchase of the yarn lol!)

Sarah - I admire the Norman's energy and organisational skills.  They got all over the place, including Sicily, and caused utter havoc.  I can't recall the full details, but I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't have a large contingent in early crusades.  I can't imagine they made good neighbours.

Hugs to all who commented. 

I knew that big oven + anything and washer + dryer + iron cause all the plugs in the basement kitchen and dining room to go off, but now I know that washer + dryer + kettle also trips the fuse. 

I am on my knees.  Everything needs clearing or sorting or cleaning or washing or ironing or something and I feel like I'm drowning in stuff but I have to get it clear soon, no matter how big my pity party because we need to get that re-wire done soon.  I feel overwhelmed.  I will get over it, but I'm taking this evening to have a moment before working out what to do. 

Tomorrow I'm going to be awesome. 

Writing Stuff - the more writing stuff I do, the more I manage to do in real life, so watch this space as anything could happen.  I'm looking forward to Stacy Overby's guest post on my writing blog later in the month (image below).  She's the author of an exciting sci fi thriller and I feel quite giddy hosting for her. 

I've also written a book review, 'Smoke and Summons' by Charlie N Holmberg.  It's a fantasy novel, beautifully crafted and a little darker than the Paper Magician Series that made me a fan of Ms Holmberg's work. 

I will be back tomorrow, hopefully with a little more optimism.  Hugs to all.

Monday 7 January 2019

Accidental Knitting

I was feeling stressed after Christmas (that Bailey has a lot to answer for) and I went on eBay under the influence of drink and bought a ball of Katia Polar yarn.  It is normally quite expensive, but I got a good deal.  It arrived this morning.  I tried to resist knitting it up.  I failed. 

It feels soooooo gorgeous, very soft and warm and squishy, a little like evil cat's fur without the fear factor.  It looked a little like Igor's eyebrows, and it was very thick.  I knitted on 8mm needles. 

When I saw the pattern, I wondered if it would be big enough, as you only cast on 38 stitches, but it's fine, and because it's sturdy needles and thick yarn, it only took a few hours to knit up, and to be fair, I knitted on breaks between other things.  You have to concentrate on every stitch, though, especially as the yarn is black, and you have no chance of spotting if you make an error, but I enjoyed it. 

Bear managed to get the dratted Bailey into school okay, and there has been no drama at school so far.  It is only the first day of term, but I'm cherishing what I can. 

Sunday 6 January 2019

Finished the Bailey

I took on a lot of the detail after bear got one too many glue stick injuries.  I swear I have now burned my fingertips.  Bear supervised, however, and this was the result.

Bear now has to get it into school in one piece to be attached to the tower which one of his pals are building. 

I've also been frantically trying to sort out the washing.  It's fallen behind over the last few weeks and now I feel like I'm neck deep in miscellaneous laundry.  The washer and dryer are going but I can't start ironing yet as if I have the iron and the dryer on at the same time, all the plugs downstairs blow.  I really need to get rewired.

Tonight I am doing the bare minimum and then tomorrow I will have the space to get moving.  I can't move for boxes, papers, rubbish and stuff and it needs to move soon!

Saturday 5 January 2019

So much pizza!

Bear had a few pals around to celebrate his birthday.  I tucked myself in the corner for the last time as they are just about young enough to be better for having an adult around.  I had already decided that this was the last year I would do this, and now I am making it a promise.  I was surrounded by young teen lads talking utter rubbish for five hours straight.  I don't know how teachers do it, although they probably don't have to sit through half an hour of whether snakes lay eggs or have live births (a little of both, actually, but I kept out of it) and strange things to do with iPhones.

Some of the healthy fruit and veg stick snacks were eaten, as were vast quantities of pizza, chocolate biscuits and pringles.  Fizzy pop was briefly available but didn't last long. 

I am so beyond exhausted that I can barely move.  Tomorrow is the final stretch of the dratted castle thingy.  Then bear goes back to school, DH goes back to work, and I plan on doing some serious spring cleaning.  Tonight I am doing nothing more strenuous than knitting. 

Wherethejourneytakesme - that made me laugh! They are indeed the perfect colour for Cadbury's chocolate fingers.

Sharon - it was good spending time with bear, and if I am honest I'm looking forward to spending time with him tomorrow as well, but sooooo many lollipop sticks!

I Failed Friday

It's more a minor fail than a fail on an epic level, but my house needs to be totally cleaned and vacuumed and bear still has to finish off the dratted castle.

I had set today aside for cleaning, but bear suddenly decided that he was devastated that we had done so little together so today was taken up by a lovely walk in a nearby park (I forgot my phone, otherwise there would be plenty of pics) although it was very cold, and then the rest of the day seemed to be filled with lollipop sticks.

We haven't even finished yet!  But bear has done most of the thinking, painted bubble wrap blue to show water in the moat, designed the platform on which the palisade is to stand and delegated the painting of the sticks to me.  All I can say is that thank goodness the sticks were unfinished, drank up the paint and dried quickly.  It's going to be interesting getting it all together and I'm still not sure about the drawbridge idea.  Also, tomorrow is going to be busy as someone with an allergy to dust is likely to be turning up around midday tomorrow and our house is like a set from a Hammer Horror movie. 

Writing stuff - finally back at the White Hart here.  I hope you like it.   

Thursday 3 January 2019

The Wrong Bin

I ordered a new kitchen bin online and got it wrong.  I should really have just gone to the shop, but getting out is an issue and getting out when the men are home is impossible (apart from driving lessons, and they are very good about that).  On the one hand, the bin was getting rusty and could do with being replaced.  On the other hand, I am struggling to lift the bin when it needs emptying.  It made sense to get a smaller new one.  I ordered that day when eBay had a sale on and you got 15% if you ordered before 8pm.  I picked up one or two things, as I didn't really need much.

I ordered through eBay but it came direct from Wilko.  It's a bit of a blow, as I paid £21.10 for it, after the discount, but it's on Wilko's website as being originally £25 but now at £16.  Well played for the seller, but not only could I have got it cheaper from Wilko, with money back from Top Cashback, but I also got one identical to the one I was replacing - when I needed something smaller!  I'll just have to make sure that I empty the bin before it gets full.

I just had a quick rummage around Wilkos site.  Did you know that they sell six packs of their spray cleaners, including the vinegar spray cleaner.  Their six pack of 750ml spray cleaners is £7.20, or £7.20 for 4.5 litres.  I can get five litres of white vinegar that's suitable for cleaning for around £3 from Makro, or £3.50 for five litres from Tesco, but split into little bottles.   Even if you buy a £1 spray bottle from Wilko instead of re-using an old one, it still pays to mix vinegar 50/50 with water and use that.

All the above sums just show how much I'm trying to avoid thinking about the awful fate I have tomorrow when I am going to be helping bear with his homework.  He needs to build the outside of a Norman castle, the spready out bit around the keep, called the bailey.  We have cardboard, we have lollipop sticks and I have some bubble wrap to paint and use for the moat.  Tonight I will be ironing Amazon paper ready to cover shoeboxes.  Tomorrow morning will be hell with a glue gun.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Writing stuff - I'm afraid it's back.  I've done a little flash fiction here, just to get me going.  It's called Just Coffee, but in real life I never drink the stuff.  Writing what you know happens somewhere else.  I'm hoping that the writing gets me through the craft session facing me!

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Wednesday 2 January 2019

First Driving Lesson of the New Year!

It was great fun.  We drove around all sorts of places and I ended up coming back through the tunnels of Leeds' inner ring road

There are some tricky routes in Leeds centre, but I did okay, no casualties.

I slept really late this morning, and felt much better afterwards.  Now all I need to do is get things straight before Saturday, when there will be a few lads around eating pizza and hanging out. 

Tuesday 1 January 2019


I have a headache.  It isn't a hangover.  I would have enjoyed getting a hangover, but instead it's something I have eaten/drunk this afternoon as I was fine this morning.  I also have a very upset stomach.  It isn't fair.  I should have got this way through abuse of drink.  Instead I suspect that something gluten free doesn't like me.  Meh. 

I'm going to hunker down and knit.  Back tomorrow with hopefully something more interesting.  Hugs to all and may 2019 be awesome to you.