Sunday, 28 April 2013


I have a work interview on Tuesday.  I won't say too much about it now, I'll wait till after.  I have a brand new outfit to wear and feel confident.  I am a little out of touch with what has been happening in the wonderful world of nursing in the last three years, and I'm panicing about that a little at the moment, mainly because I'm tired and I don't know where to start looking or to think of the right words to google to start looking.  I have only tomorrow now to swat up.  It is for a bank nurse, so I wouldn't expect I should know everything, I do want to come across pretty clued up as it could lead to a permanant post. Job description should help, I'll go and have a quick look.

All else is well here.  Mary-Jane has another cold/cough. HK has an achey back after mowing all the lawns.  Things may be the same or they may actually be starting to change for the better!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Playgroup and A Trip To A Nursery

We had a better nights sleep last night.  MJ did start crying but settled herself down before she woke up properly.  HK bought her into our room around half six (I would have and could have slept for longer!) as she was wide awake.  So far this evening I haven't heard a peek out of her since she initially fell asleep, and that was after she chatted to her bo-bo's toys and sang them a few songs.
We went to playgroup this morning.  Mary-Jane always loves playgroup.  There was a couple of older children there.  The singing time was very noisy, I couldn't hear what song was being sung.  Mary-Jane wouldn't sit or participate and screamed a few times then started crying till I picked her up and comforted her, sang to her and she smiled.  At bed time she said, without prompting, when Daddy was asking her about playgroup, that the she didn't sing because it was too noisy and she didn't like it.  Heartbreaking.
After playgroup, we walked over the the Nursery, with another Mum and child.  The nursery is across the road.  The manager was very friendly - we had turned up on spec - she spoke with us and will post out registration forms and further information to us.  There is plenty of spaces for September for Mary-Jane, which was my main concern.  I just need to arrange a time for HK and I to go and look around.  Mary-Jane seemed to like what little bit we saw.  She heard the children playing and said that they were her friends and she wanted to play with them.  I am so looking forward to her starting Nursery.  I need to contact one other local nursery to go and have a look there.  As well as to make sure that Mary-Jane will be in the catchment area for both schools that the nurseries feed into.  Then won't life change once MJ is in Nursery!!!
This afternoon I managed to get some down time, on HK's insistance.  Cups of tea, feet on the bean bag and knitting!  I must say that I was definitely ready for a bit of daytime downtime and was thankful for it.  I worked on my February Lady Cardi.  The rows are getting quite long now, only about seven before I put the sleeve stitches on holders and start the main body lace pattern.  This evening I have worked on MJ's blue cardi.  I have now turned the hem and am on the third row of fifty of the main body.  I think the next cardi I do, whether for me or Mary-Jane will have to be one that is not knitted all in one.  I am ready for a bit of a break from that technique.  Although I wouldn't say no to a proper yoke, maybe fairisle, but we will have to see about the latter!
I made a batch of Jackson Baked Beans yesterday - very tasty.  I put more Buffalo Wing Sauce in it this time.  HK suggested that next time we put in a touch of ghost chilli.  I suggested that that batch of beans would probably be for him and him alone!!
I have plans to do more baking, I'm still wanting to do two banana bakes to use up some bananas.  And I want to do sweet potato pie, as well as a quiche.  And some courgette and dolcelatte soup.  Busy, busy, busy!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Make Do And Mend

I am sick of myself bemoaning the fact that we are on a tight budget.  We are, there is no two ways about that, but that isn't the be-all-and-end-all of life.  As the song words go -
So when the pressures on
And there's nowhere left to go
You're gonna have to come to terms
To terms with what you know through
The challenge is to look for what I can use, what I can do, to create opportunities, rather than focusing on the negative - what I can't use or can't do or how bad things are.  It's not a new concept by all means, even to me.  It's just the practical application of it.  And finding the positive in any situation.  I've been spurred on a little in this line of thinking by the sheer practical-ness and resourcefulness of people - women - during the Second World War and the Post Year Wars.  Things were scarce or just not available, but they still made do.  It might not have been the most pleasant or endearing thing, but it was done, it was practical, it was creative and it worked.  I am not yet wholly fired up to go out tomorrow morning and seek out new to me fabrics and clothes that can be altered.  It is a thing that knowing me will probably happen quietly and creep up on me.  This sort of thing can take time, but also goes in leaps and bounds.
I am already making this philosophy happen within my cooking and baking.  And with my knitting, especially my recent knitting for Mary-Jane.  And most of all, I am enjoying it.  Hurrah for recognising self development.

The song is 'What you know' by The Levellers. 

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Sewing Bee

I have watched The Great British Sewing Bee tonight for the first time.  Okay so it was the second part, the first clashed with other things I was recording.  However I am quitely inspired - again - to get out my sewing machine and sew.  I know I have been part way down this road before and got all fired up.  Dressmaking is something I know how to do.  A big fly in the ointment is that I have not properly done dressmaking for more moons than I can remember, so I am very rusty.  I have a philosophy that it will be like riding a bike - you never really forget once you're there.  There are other flies in the ointment along side, lack of space and time - fabric is a major one.  Even if I could source good fabric locally, at the moment, it is not a thing that is within my tighter than A Gnats Cod budget.  I have been told of a pretty smart fabric shop in Ulverston.  I'd like to go and look.

I joked with HK that he better watch the bed linen - the cotton sheets and duvet covers may be re-cycled.  He was not at all impressed.  Must go now, Mary-Jane has woken up and is crying x

Friday, 19 April 2013

Early Nights

I've been having some early nights, this one included.  I do feel a bit better for them.  The nights haven't been all peaceful, and MJ has spent some nights in with us when she hasn't been able to settle.  I have been busier during the days, and have much to tell you about.  Nothing startling or life changing though, so don't get too excited!  However I do need to get back into the swing of blogging again and not feeling guilty about not blogging.

I have been busy knitting (as usual) and have finished Mary-Jane's Sweet Violet Cardi.  I have frogged my Tulip cardi that I started in February and started another last night, very similar to the tulip one.  I have nearly used the same meterage of yarn, so am doing well.  I have been continuing to enjoy baking bread and am showing improvement.  I have done some other dribs and drabs of baking.

We have spent a little time in the garden, spring is arriving at last.  I have found a new place for us to walk, just by Gosforth, at Ponsonby Tarn.  Although I must say that access will be a bit dodgy when it has been raining.

My Tea Bread won second place at our WI competition, yes I was chuffed!

Mary-Jane is doing really well.  She still has her cough.  I've yet to get her a place at Nursery for September.

HK has dug over the veg patch, so we should be planting soon-ish.  He has also started weeding and pruning the soft fruit bed.  He is also turning his attention to a second veg patch, that needs a fair bit of work on before we even think about planting.  The chooks are doing well egg laying what with the arrival of spring.  We have nine chooks now.

I'm off to bed now, I am tired - the last two nights have given HK and I little sleep.  We had MJ in with us from around 3am, and she chattered on and off until morning. Grrrr.  Happy days really!

Friday, 5 April 2013

Unsettled Knitting and Getting Better Garlic Bread

Mary-Jane has been a little poorly.  The night before last she awoke around 10pm, we bought her through to our room.  It soom became quite clear that she ahd every intention of spending the night with us.  Luckily she settled off to sleep very quickly and all in all the three of us didn't have too bad a night.  In the morning however, MJ woke up grizzling and quite cranky, she was out of sorts with herself.  This is unlike her.  And she was quite contrary.  I had about finished getting her dressed, after many many cuddles, she was sat on the edge of the bed, then she was sick, the poor little mite.  She seemed to be running a temp as well.  She did seem to perk as the day went on.  She tried her very best to be good and wanted lots and lots of cuddles.  She slept well that night and today  was pretty much back to her normal self, albeit a slight temp.  HK has felt a little off the boil and I have felt more tired than what I feel I should be.  Lets just hope it's a little bug we've picked up that passes after a day or two.
I haven't really been able to settle to much knitting either.  I finished MJ's purple ruffled top on Monday night.  At Kniterati on Tuesday I started a new project, a stripey one piece cardi, knitted from the top down.  I had found a bag of six yarns that were free with a magazine some time ago.  The colours were lovely, spring pastels.  I thought it would make a pretty cardi for Mary-Jane.  Once I started knitting, it was obvious that the yarn wasn't of the best quality.  I continued with it in the evening.  Then it dawned on me that I had not added extras stitches for a buttone band, so I frogged it.  I picked some different yarn - two pale purples left over from my EZ ASJ and one from the ruffled top.  I cast on a EZ TSJ.  Eight ridges in I made the decision that I didn't like the colour combination.  That got frogged.  I then picked out the white with purple fleck that I'd used for the Tango Top, and cast on another EZ TSJ.  I did one row before I was tired and went to bed.
Then this morning I had the bright idea of frogging that and using the pattern that I had originally started with.  It made sense.  I thought the yarn would look better in a smoother stocking stitch than a garter stitch.  I am thinking of doing the body in a light lace.  I've not even thought about what stitch yet until I know how many stitches I have to work with.  With all this unsettledness in my knitting, perhaps I was a little more off the boil than what I previously thought!

I have found a pattern, a Lion Brand one, for a big cabled aran blanket.  It has caught my eye.  I have printed it off an will have a more serious look at it, with needles in hand, when I'm more in the mood to do something like that.

I have also been busy in the kitchen (and I wonder why I feel a bit tired come evening).  I have made another key lime pie.  This time I used ginger nuts for the base and a better quality lime, giving a much tastier pie all round. And I was able to christen one of my new pie dishes.  I have also made two loaves of garlic bread, on different days.  The first one was quite a winner, but the second one was even better.  Initially I used one garlic bulb, roasted with a sprinkle of sugar, salt and oil.  the second time I used two bulbs of garlic.  Very scrummy.  We had the second one for tea tonight with home made macaroni cheese and breaded garlic mushrooms.  Delicious.

The weather continues to try and break into spring.  We have had a couple of not too bad days.  I have even pegged a load of washing out in the garden and it dried within a few hours.  Mary-Jane and I took advantage of this nice weather and went for a walk down Nursery Road.  It was lovely to walk and feel the sun on us.

I have contacted a local (ish) place of work for me, I think I have mentioned this.  They have requested my CV to review.  I have duly sent it off and am now waiting to see if I hear anything of them.