Friday, 29 January 2016

January offerings's seemed quite a long month; the build up to Christmas and over indigence of rich foods now a distant memory.

I've not posted on here recently. Life has just meandered along at a rather relaxed pace, it's been so lovely that I haven't wanted to 'pop' my little bubble.

Small Boy and the Little Lady thought they'd embrace fitness for the New Year in pursuit of a six-pack. One sessions was enough!

Look closely. Can you spot him??

Rather sad really. Two beautiful big beech trees blown over in the wind. Great for climbing on though :-)

I haven't had any particularly wild adventures of late but what I  have been able to do is have time to think and do my own things - it's been lovely, truly it has. I've slept in when I've wanted, pottered about at home and enjoyed my immediate surroundings. The children and I have had time to sit and read and play games, plus I've actually had the opportunity to finish a few creative projects.

I'm most proud of this one...

When it comes to following patterns, I'm not great - it's the same with recipes, I just like to find my own way and put my signature on my work. So when Lucy at attic 24 inspired the crochet nation with her harmony blanket, I decided it might be a rather 'jolly Winter project'.
I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed creating this blanket. It's made up of a total of 126 squares all in rather scrumptiously harmonising colours. The pack arrived from the Wool Warehouse in one large  see-through bag - how exciting to have a bag filled with beautiful colours and a new project to start.

I started way back in October when the children and I took off for a few days in Yorkshire. What was handy about this project was how easy it was to transport around. I worked just one colour at a time so at most I had to carry around nine little squares, a ball of yarn and my crochet hook.  I completed each square one teeny section at a time - so all the centres, all the second row and so forth. That way I didn't have to keep track of too many different stitch combinations and could literally whip my little squares out and hook them together at speed. When you're working on the larger stripy blankets, you have to carry the whole darn thing around. It's not too much of a problem in the early stages but later on, it does become pretty heavy!
So here it is, my finished blanket and mostly all completed according to the pattern. I did re-arrange the squares just a tad when I sewed them together :-) and I omitted the final row of the border - the final colour brings the blanket together and I rather fell for the sage green.
Unlike the ripple blanket I made last year, this one has turned out well and is symmetrical! :-)

We've spent quite a considerable amount of time messing around outdoors. Hasn't the weather been mild! The snowdrops are already in full bloom in the garden and a few daffodils are dancing in the wind too!

These guys were thrilled to have their remote controlled speed boat returned after dad had taken it off to 'check it out' some four years ago. Poor dad was rather fed up with the constant pestering in the finish so gave in and returned it. Small Boy was convinced he had taken it to play with it himself! (he probably had!)...anyway, despite being told he was too young for such a super powerful toy, Small Boy made it his mission to prove everyone wrong and like a duck to water sailed and controlled that boat perfectly both on the flood on the field and in the stream :-)

Early in January Miss P had to attend a workshop at the Science Museum in London. It's hard working going to London with three children in tow and it I'm being honest I didn't really look forwards to the journey. However, in true positive spirit I made it my mission to prepare for the event and enjoy it at all costs. We took the Oxford Tube up and leisurely strolled across Hyde park instead of using the city transport system. What a pleasant decision that was.

The Princess Diana memorial fountain

The mild temperatures have also seen us venture outside for some Spring garden clearing. Firstly the wood shed needed a little re-organising in order to get to the dry wood that was stacked at the back. Then it was all change and the wet stuff (that remains wet) was stacked at the back for next Winter. You have to think ahead when you live a simple life :-)

Small boy took it upon himself to chop up some kindling. He's quite capable in his use of axes and saws and happily told be (when I reminded him to be careful when using the bill hook), that he's fine and has been using one since his was in my belly! That explains a lot!

The water meadow in Wootton

Loving the light for taking photos.

Hope your January has been filled with love and laughter too XXX

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Festive shenanigans....

Ed Note:
I just discovered this little post in my 'to go' box and realised that I never actually got around to posting it! Rather late now I suppose but for the record and to look back on how incredibly disorganised I can be, here it is!

Well that's it! The festive season has finally come to an end. I cannot believe the number of parties we've been to this year! There was a period when the kids were small when I didn't get invited out at all and now....I'm feeling like 'Little Miss Popular!'
I can actually say that this Christmas has been perfectly lovely. A success!

Yesterday, whilst my Small Boy was busy creating a whole fleet of paper aircraft, I discovered a copy of our Christmas news letter from 2007 in the pile of scrap paper. I don't send newsletters any longer as I simply don't seem to have the time. This one did make me chuckle's also funny (and a little sad too) to note how life has changed.

Here, I'll share a few snippets....

'.....I no longer look at hedges and bushes in the same light but find myself considering their 'hideout' potential'. (That was something that Poppy was very much interested in back then, of course now I look at them as food sources!)

'Ruby is almost three and is growing fast. She currently has a strong interest in anatomy, particularly 'willies', I guess promoted by the arrival of Fenton'. (Thankfully, Ruby is now disgusted by her brother's genitalia and any 'wiggling' is considered perverted!)

Fenton was just a baby back in 2007 having only arrived that year!

Jenny (our hound) was a year old and this is what I wrote about her.....'Our dog Jense whom we purchased as a puppy last year whom you may remember we reported as 'not being our best idea yet', continues to be so! Although she no longer mass shreds everything in her path, she is still challenging. We had to part with three of our newly covered cushions earlier this month as I felt I could no longer continue to tie the corners with rubber bands following her constant chewing episodes! A carpet of fluffy feathers is not too easy to clear up on a daily basis. Perhaps her fascination has come about as a result of gaining a taste for the local pheasants!'

Mr Keeper, you'll be glad to read that my now darling old lady no longer feasts on living local delights of the feathered kind but instead is rather partial to raiding the neighbours compost heap and sniffing out rodents! She's also the most loyal and obedient of creatures although not when it comes to greeting people in tights!

When talking about my life in said 'old' newsletter, I merely mentioned my craft circle and the small amount of charity work that I engaged in back then. We still coordinate the sponsoring of a child (that's been lost eight years!!) I would actually be way too embarrassed to talk about all the things I'm involved with now (I find it hard to remember myself!)....but the most dramatic changes are that 'Mildred - the Morris Minor Traveller' we purchased as a pre- 40th restoration project for Tim had to be sold in 2011, Tim is obviously no longer here and we no longer reside in Kiddington.

Such radical changes when you look back at life. When I look at the big picture like this is highlights the importance of truly LIVING.....walk away from negativity and relationships that aren't healthy and truly make every minute count.
This New Year my promise to myself was to 'remain true to myself' and of course LIVE (that means 'have fun!' :-) :-) :-))

I invited my family over for lunch yesterday; hospitality and friendship. We had a lovely afternoon of feasting and games. By nature my folks aren't into organising social gatherings, in fact, I have realised over the years that it's not just them. Many folk are happy to go along to the party of others but prefer not to entertain themselves, and that's fine. As a single parent with three dependants, getting time off is not easy. So this year, I'm going to make the events happen! Not to say that I don't do that anyway; I'm often seen to be hosting ad hock jaunts of the funniest nature :-)

Look at these guys snuggled my bed!

My dear sis and I cracked this bottle of champagne that I had been saving for a special occasion for was off!

So wine it was.........just the one glass........

and then this......!!!


Happy New Year to you all my friends, make every moment count, 2016 has to be a good one!