Thursday, 27 June 2013


I have finished my Palmette Shawl this evening.  It is being blocked at the moment.  Technical glitches prevent images.  I have really enjoyed doing this project.  It has been a lovely break and simple to do.  On the lace part, the lace pattern is in sixteen row repeats.  There is only one actual row of lace in four rows.  The actual stitches that repeat the pattern are the same, so once you've got your head around that, which to me is an easy to remember formula.  This may well spur me on to do more shawls and shawl like things.
All this and on the eve of the Woolfest.  I should be swinging from the rafters, but this years Woolfest is going to be a 'Seeing Only', not buying, for me.  I know that will rankle me, but that is how it is.  Ha, otherwise I would spend a fortune on exquisitely gorgeous yarns to make upteen shawls and other beautiful goodies with!  It will make next years Woolfest all the sweeter.  In the meantime I shall go stash surfing in my SABLE Stash, for scrummy things I have put by to use.  Even stash surfing is making me excited.  Never Mind!
We had another disturbed night.  Not quite as disturbed as the others.  I think HK had a much worse night than me to be honest.  I woke up feeling rather grotty.  My guts have been playing up, in a way they were over the winter, a tad worrying.  They have improved as the day has gone on, but they still don't feel quite right.  HK insisted that I go back to bed again after breakfast, which I did, and had a good sleep/rest.
Poor MJ has been very tired, and not overly full of beans.  Even she has tried a few times to take a nap and get cosy comfy to close her eyes.  She hasn't been successful with this.  She has asked to go to bed a few times in the day.
I didn't get to do any baking.  I didn't feel up to it at all.  Doing a mashed egg sandwich at lunch time was enough.  It was nice to have a relaxing day.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013


Mary-Jane woke up as I was getting into bed last night.  We bit the bullet and kept her in with us - or did we try her on her own bed, but started screaming as soon as the bedroom door was shut?  Each night is getting a bit samey samey at the moment!  She did try to settle down, rather than be wide awake and bouncy.  Initially she clung to me, really nestled into me for quite a while.  Although she is a cuddly child, her need to be held and to be close to me, was quite intense.  I did wonder if she had been dreaming about falling out with me - shouting and screaming and having a tantrum - and wanted lots of re-assurance.  This is the sort of thing she would do.  We cuddled for ages, it was lovely I must say.  I could feel her breath on my skin, so gentle.
When it was finally time to get up, I was still tired, weren't we all.  MJ wanted to stay on the bed and have snugglebugs.  I felt a bit run down, as if I was getting the start of a cold.  A while later, HK sent me off to bed to have a lie down and a sleep, to help me feel better.  I didn't need to be told twice.  I had a sleep for nearly an hour and a half and felt a lot better for it. 
Nothing much else was done this morning.  MJ and I had some time out in the garden, trying to ignore the strong breeze.  The sun was lovely though.  MJ was thoroughly delighted when Daddy came out.
This afternoon, HK had to sign on.  Off to Whitehaven.  We did our weekly shop early to avoid going again tomorrow.  I can't go Friday as it's Woolfest.  I am lucky enough to be a Volunteer again, so I get to help out and get in for free.  Usually there is a complementary yummy ice cream as well into the bargain!
I have applied to CCFWI - Cumbria Cumberland Federation Womens Institute - for a Bursary to go on a course at Denman House in Oxfordshire.  I suppose I have as much chance as anyone else of winning the bursary.  Attending there is not something I can do under my own steam for quite a few years with the way things are now.  My app will get there at the last minute, the end of June is closing date, so fingers crossed!
My provisional start date for work is July 5th.  With all the business of having to send off for my driving licence, I have convinced myself that I won't be starting then.  I have recieved an email this evening from my boss-to-be telling me that I will be kept in the loop over the next few days.  It does make me wonder if strings are going to be pulled for me to start on the 5th.  I am not quite mentally prepared for this.  I guess being thrown in the deep end is something I have got used to.  I am better swimming there than at the shallow end.
I am hoping to do some baking tomorrow.  Not decided what yet, key lime cupcakes, a rhubarb cake, rhubarb curd and maybe either baileys scones or mincemeat scones are all vying for my attention.  I suppose a lot if it depends on what tomorrow brings, and tonight for that matter!
My knitting is flying.  I decided to do an extra set of pattern repeats on the Palmette Shawl.  I have another six rows to do before doing a crochet cast off.  My goodness - does that mean I could get it done and blocked, ready to show off at Woolfest on Friday?! Maybe a tall order.  Or less potential baking  teeheehee!

Monday, 24 June 2013


We all had a good nights sleep last night - bliss!  The bad nights are catching up with Mary-Jane, with avengance.  Withing two hours of getting up, MJ was wanting snugglebugs and trying her best to settle down and have a sleep.  That was after she threw the biggest tantrum of her little life.  The day has been interspersed with her admitting that she is tired.  Another good night or two will get her (and us) back on her feet.  I wasn't at my best as I have had a singing headache all day from her high pitched screams.
Once things had calmed, we took a trip to the Library and to do the recycling in Gosforth.  MJ picked two books, one in particular she has had before, and really took a shine to it.  She has looked at this at bedtime, as well as a new favourite library book - one that helps you learn the time (only the 'on the hour' time) with a story of Merlin the Dog and what he does from 7am and each hour from there till bed time at 6pm.  She is quite taken with this.  She is getting familiar with o'clock times already.  This book has a built in clock face with hands that you can move around, which she is delighted with.
This afternoon we went into Whitehaven to do a spot of shopping with Granma and to go to The Cafe For A Coffee.  After the cafe, MJ wanted to use the toilet, got there just in time, good for her.  When we came out of the loo, she headed straight for the Peppa Pig Ride and got on.  Things went rapidly downhill from there.  As soon as she was on the ride, it started interacting with her - talking to her and flashing lights etc.  She was hooked, excited and thrilled.  I was not.  I did feel a bit mean at asking her to get off, which she didn't.  I don't want to start a thing where she thinks she can go on a supermarket ride everytime we go shopping.  As you can probably guess, the situation didn't end well.  I had to lift her off there, against her will, with her screaming and shouting.  Of course she didn't want to walk with me through the store, back to Granma in the cafe.  So I got her by the hand/wrist and off we went.  I have never had so many people stop and stare at me before.  Her screaming was deafening.  She did begin to calm after ten minutes or so, but as soon as I wanted her to do something she didn't want to do, like walk with me, the screaming started again.  In the end I picked her up and carried her.  This did have a calming effect on her quite quickly. 
When I said to her that I was going to put her down, she asked me very politely for pick ups as she was very tired.  Can't argue with that.  She snuffled in for a few minutes longer. When she got down she was good, only for a few minutes.  The whole situation culminated in me taking her by the wrist after the checkout and walking her briskly to the car.
She admitted on the way back that she was still sulking (always makes me smile when she admits this!).  She has apologised a few times since.  She even asked Daddy if he would take her back to the shop so she could say sorry to the lady in the shop.  By the time we got back, she had pulled herself around, and was looking more than tired with very puffy dark eyes.  Between then and bedtime, we have only had the odd squalk.  Since bedtime I haven't heard her at all, only the throbbing of my temples!
Several rows of knitting later and I am headache free.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Of Rhubarb, Cheese and Yet Another Sleepless Night

Another fairly sleepless night had by all again last night.  Before the screaming got to fever pitch, HK bought MJ through to our bed.  We did not attempt to take her back to her room, this is futile when she is as she is at the moment.  She did try to settle in fairness, but just couldn't quite catch her sleep.  After about two hours and two trips to the loo, we took Mary-Jane downstairs around 5.30.  HK insisted that I go back to bed and rest, so I did for an hour and a half.  I have protested at this point and stayed up, much to my later fatigue, so I didn't argue this time.  I did, however, nag the beejaysus out of HK to do the same.  He gave into my nagging at mid-day, and went to bed for a few hours.  Fingers and toes crossed tonight that Mary-Jane is that tired that she sleeps through.  I did wonder if she is going through a growth spurt, as she usually can't sleep well when she is.  The high winds don't help either, and they are still up.  I have heard her murmer twice this evening so far.
We did get a brief time out in the garden.  The winds were a bit strong to stay out long.  I had primarily gone out to pick the rhubarb and to let MJ have a bit of fresh air.  The rhubarb patch is doing really well.  I have about stripped it bare now, it was all ready for picking.  I have bagged up five pounds of rhubarb, 3 x 1lb bags and 4 half pound bags.  I want to use it soon, to do some kind of rhubarb cake and maybe some rhubarb curd - a recipe that I briefly came across in Sean Wilson's book today.
Talking of which, I am warming to him a little more.  In his very lenthgy but informative introduction of his life up to now, he seems more passionate about food and cheese than of his 21 years as a celeb on 'Corrie'.  It made me sit up a bit more and take notice, and realign my thinking.  I haven't looked at all the recipes yet.  I am inspired to make a fair few things.  And cheese, it has fanned my flames further to make cheese .  I am aware that things aren't quite in the right place for me to have a go at making cheese, but I will in the fullness of time.  It's going to be a thing I want to research a little more, and start of with something really simple.  Posh cheeses, as I call them these days, are beyond my current budget, we make the most of 'value' cheese and get along very nicely.  I do look longingly at posh cheeses, and in true Wayne's World admiration I think - one day you will be mine, oh yes you will be mine!  And I shall savour every single morsel of it.  It will be like rediscovering cheese.  Now I am more Foodie orientated than ever and I know I shall appreciate, critique and develop my taste for cheese and all good foods.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Sleep With The Lark, Rise With The Lark

I am back from my sojourn, my absence.  I needed a break.  The last nearly two months have been tiring and stressful amongst other things, and I was already sick of saying all too regularly that I was tired.  Not tired of blogging, mind!  
The lighter evenings and especially mornings have had Mary-Jane waking early, seeing the day light and thinking that it was morning and time to get up, even when she was really tired and wanted to go back to sleep, she fought it.  A very common thing apparantly in young children!  Sleep with the lark, rise with the lark.  She has been waking anything from 3.30 am, averaging around 5.30.  It is getting better now, although the last two nights she has awoken in the night and refused to come anywhere near settling until she is esconced in our bed.  The recent heat has been effecting her (and HK) too, we are so not used to it, it has knocked the pair of them about.  I have found that I can't tolerate the heat as much as I used to.  It is absolutelty pickling it down outside now.  I wonder how long it will be before I'm moaning about the rain!
On the work front - I still haven't started yet.  I have a provisional start date, but I can see this slipping away.  The amount of (justifiable) security checks I have had to under go are like nothing I have undergone before.  The thing that is holding the works up now is that the Establsihment want to see a particular identity document, which has been long since lost.  I have now had to send off for another, but with change of name and address (don't worry, its a change to what and where I still am now!).  That may take a few weeks to come back, I have to send a copy off to the Establishment and they will inturn send it off for their checks.  My provisional start date was the begining of July, I think it will be more like the start of August.  I have had to do a lot of leg work and running around to move things along, all adding to general stress levels.  The interview now seems to be the easiest part of the whole process.  I am sure it will all be worth it in the end, hopefully.
Mary-Jane is now two weeks into potty training.  I thought she would have had this sussed a long time ago, but the time couldn't have been right for her when we have tried her previously.  She is doing very well.  I'll try not to go into too much details!  She now wears knickers during the day, and is able to tell us she needs the loo before she actually goes.  We've not had any wet knickers for quite a few days now.  This afternoon was the first time she has been out and about with out her Dora's on (pull up training pants).  Even when in the garden she will run inside when she needs to go. 
Enough of that for now!
I have started the Clandestine Cake Club Gosforth Cumbria.  We had our first meeting on Thursday.  It was small and successful.  I am planning on having another one in September, once I know what it happening with work and get the main holiday season over with etc.  I will tell you lots more about this as time goes on.
Whitehaven Maritime Festival is on this weekend.  I ventured into Whitehaven this morning to Tesco for a book signing by Sean Wilson, more of that another day.  I got my book signed and found that Tesco were selling jars of Robertson Mincemeat for 20p, with a use by date of somewhere well into 2015.  I only got five jars.  Same as last year strangely enough.
HK isn't too bad at the moment.  He has all his usual aches and pains.  This was added to when he dropped a 3' x 2' paving slab on his foot.  Nurse Me was there on hand to bandage up his foot.  Mary-Jane wanted to learn to bandage and help Daddy, so she has had her first lessons in such matters.
I'm still knitting, needless to say.  I'm working on a shawlette KAL at the moment and quite enjoying it.  And yes I am still baking.  I made a five layer orange and chocolate cake for the CCC.  It would have been six layers but...  again more later, I'm trying to catch up at the mo.  I have also cut a pattern for a skirt for me, based on my actual measurements rather than copy a standard pattern.  I am fired up and confident to cut more patterns.  However, I do want to physically sew something before I get too carried away, got to make sure the garment construction and fit are good to go.  Oh and there is the small issue of acquiring fabric, that will probably be in a few months from starting work, when life is more settled, when I am more settled.
Yesterday saw HK and I's 7th Wedding Anniversary.  We kept it very low key.  I hope we continue to have many, many more x