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Saturday, 22 July 2017

Book Review and some Pom Poms

Thank your all the well wishes, my teeth are sorted out, hope that doesn't happen again in a hurry! Big yea here, the school summer holidays have begun and I have my girl at home for the next 6 weeks... well I say at home, but I'm sure she'll have plenty of things planned independent of 'the 'rents' (that'd be parents to the rest of us) or sometimes 'the parental units', oh they grow up so fast. We will have lots of family time too, days out together, family evenings and of course the welcoming of our grandson and Imogen's nephew in the next couple of weeks.

The latest book I read was called 'The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox' by Maggie O'Farrell, not my usual thriller, but just as enjoyable. I picked it up in the clearance section at the back of our WHSmiths in town, they have quite a decent size selection of clearance books priced from 50p so it's often worth a look through.




Esme (how I adore that name) has been a patient in a psychiatric hospital for over 60 years and is being discharged due to the closure of the hospitals. I know when many of the old psychiatric hospitals closed in this country, there were many older people (particularly women) who had spent their entire lives in them, sent away as young girls for being 'difficult' or perhaps for getting pregnant. Such a travesty, their young lives stolen away from them and many endured many horrors in these institutions.

Anyway... Esme has been away for a long while with no visits, forgotten by everyone, her only sister now an elderly lady with dementia and just a great niece left in the family. Her story is told through fractured memories and is quite a story. Well worth reading.


I've finished knitting my latest baby cardigan, it just needs buttons then I shall take a quick picture and show you. I'm having a break from baby knitting and crochet for a while, I've started making pom poms.





I've made about 24 so far and still have a great deal left to make. I think I'm getting pom poms wrist, shoulder and even fingers from snipping them, so may need to slow down or have a day off



I am glad I have my trusty pom pom maker, it definitely makes it much easier than when I used to cut circles out of cardboard and have to squish the wool through the hole that I'd cut in the middle, remember making them like that when you were a child? I won't show you what I'm making just yet, but wait till it gets a bit further along.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend

Take care
xxx




Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Split Tooth

Thank you for all the lovely comments about my bunting and supportive ones about my tooth. I don't know how, but I was complaining about the wrong tooth! It wasn't my baby tooth at all, or even the one next to it, but the one next to that. It broke in half, vertically... I didn't like it! I managed to get through Imogen's performance, Chicago (which was rather fabulous) then took to my bed for an early night. Luckily the emergency dentist fitted me in at 1 the next day, it was very busy there. The dentist was lovely, he said it needed extracting, gave me the necessary injections and pulled out the first (broken) half of my tooth. He then spent a while examining it and decided to give me a temporary filling to tide me over and a prescription for some antibiotics if it starts to get more painful (I haven't needed to take them). As the nerve wasn't exposed, the dentist said we may be able to save the tooth. I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon with my own dentist to have a proper filling, so fingers crossed all will be well.

After the grey skies in my last post, it's back to blue skies and sunshine again. Andy harvested some carrots... not looking forward to peeling the twisty ones.




Our kitchen has been hotter than the conservatory today. I've had a gammon joint roasting away, phew. I'd already taken it out of the freezer yesterday to have for tea today, we had it with boiled potatoes and salad from the garden, so that was rather lovely.

I thought as I showed you it last year, I'd take a photo our lovely Hydrangea bush, it's covered in glorious bright pink blooms and I love it.




The heat isn't bothering the cats. Mitzi has been spending her time curled up asleep on cosy throws and cushions, doesn't she look sweet and oh so very relaxed.




Take care
xxx


Saturday, 15 July 2017

Bunting in the Garden

I haven't felt like doing much today as one of my teeth is playing me up. One of my canines is a baby tooth that never fell out when I was young, I think it's lasted very well, but is perhaps coming to the end of it's life? I clench my teeth very hard (and unconsciously) when I sleep at night so wear a guard over my bottom teeth to try and save them from wear and tear from the crunching (ouch, sounds horrible). I have been very lucky and only experienced toothache for the first time a couple of years ago and then had to have one of my back teeth removed as it'd cracked from the constant pressure. I went from being terrified of having an injection in my mouth and a tooth removed to being desperate for it to happen (anyone who's had toothache will relate to that I'm sure). I digress... really I was just having a moan about my tooth hurting.

I popped into the garden for a bit, it's very grey out there and we've had some rain on and off (the conservatory has the airers up with washing drying on them). I took a quick picture of the bunting I put up on our small pergola.




I made it from some oilcloth offcuts, some cotton tape and a highly technical piece of card from a cereal box.



There was quite a mishmash of cloth to look at and it all needed to be smoothed out so I could find pieces to fit my template.




I had a collection of a few different pieces, this patchwork style one had some pretty patterns in it




With it being oilcloth, there was no hemming or fraying to worry about. I cut my bunting out with pinking shears to give it a more interesting edge.



My piles waiting to be sewn onto the tape.




I still have quite a few bits cut out so I can make some more bunting for the fence to brighten it up a bit.




While I was out there, I had a quick check on our little apple tree. I planted the seeds from an apple core about 3 or 4 months ago not really expecting anything.




One of the seeds grew and just went from strength to strength.




So this afternoon I repotted it to give it some more growing room. I shall be watching it with interest.




That's me about done for this afternoon. Imogen is in a play tonight so I'm going to pop a couple of painkillers, get gussied up and off we go. We shall be dreadfully early as Imogen needs to be there about an hour and a half before it starts, so I think we'll drop her off then wander around the area for a while. She's very nervous because her knee still isn't 100% so she probably won't be able to take part fully in the dancing (they're performing Chicago) and she worked so hard on them. Imogen is playing Mama, the prison warden, so even if she doesn't dance, we'll enjoy her singing.


Take care
xxx



Monday, 10 July 2017

Joining a Seam, Stars and a Good Book

Thank you for all the lovely comments and good wishes for Imogen. Her knee is still swollen, but so much better than it was and she's getting round with more ease now. Also some good news for my parents, the operation my dad had to remove his cancer, though it was very intrusive has actually removed all the cancer with no need for follow up radio or chemotherapy. With his leaking heart valve, this is very good news indeed. Dad still has to have a scan to check out the mass on his adrenal gland, but the consultant said it isn't linked to the cancer he has had removed as it doesn't travel that way through the body. We're all hoping it may be a fatty mass and nothing to worry about, this will leave the open heart surgery then hopefully good, steady recovery and life resuming as much back to normal as is possible, onwards and upwards!

On the grandson countdown, we have under 4 weeks now until the due date. I crocheted a little blanket (the idea was from the blog Just Pootling) and knitted a little hat to match.



I love the off white stars against the dark grey background and I thought the pom poms gave the hat some more personality.





Andrew very kindly laid them out and took photos before they were added to the pile of goodies for Imogen to take to the baby shower on Saturday. I think one of my favourite things was a very soft, pale blue bunny with long floppy ears that I picked up one day in a garden centre, but I forgot to take a picture of it.





I thought as I've just sewn the pieces of the hat together, I'd quickly take a couple of photos to show how easy it is to sew knitted items together in a seamless way.




In the photos above and below, I've taken the needle and picked up the tiny stitches from 'inside' the larger 'V' of the knitted stitch. I then did the same on the opposite side, taking from inside the 'V' stitches again.



After working my way down both sides and pulling the thread, it looks seamless. It would be better if I'd shown you in a contrasting colour, but I just took the pictures as I was sewing it together.




The top of the hat is sewn in a similar manner and makes a neat seam.




When the knitted fabric meets end to end like this, I take my stitches by pushing the needle under both posts of a 'V' stitch (photo below).



I then too the needle under the 2 posts of the 'V' stitch that lays directly opposite it




Again, it makes for a good, smooth join.






I mentioned in my last post that I had a good book on the go. I See You by Clare Mackintosh. It was my first book from this author, but I shall definitely be picking up another of her books, I thoroughly enjoyed it.



A thriller (my favourite type), which kept me turning the pages from beginning to end. Set in London, an 'ordinary' woman spots a photo of herself in the classified ads in her local paper, very unnerving, yet her family think she's paranoid and it isn't her. The next week a different woman's picture appears and people start dying...


I'm having a declutter this afternoon, so back to the cupboards for me.

Take care
xxx

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Return to Sender, Temporarily Damaged not Broken.

Not quite gone to plan, though we're calming back down now. It was supposed to be a bit of a break this week as Imogen went away with her school on Monday and wasn't due home until Friday. Imogen went to Malham Cove in beautiful North Yorkshire, a place full of stunning views and walks with lots to do and see, meanwhile Andrew and I thought we'd have a couple of day trips away.

We didn't get far! On our way home on Monday, Andrew's mobile kept ringing with an unknown number. Every time I tried to answer, it cut out. Concerned that there'd been several attempts, Andrew found somewhere to pull in and he managed to hear enough of the call to understand what was happening. It was one of the teachers on Imogen's trip, he was in the middle of nowhere so phone reception was quite poor, but he managed to explain that Imogen had dislocated her knee, they'd wrapped her in blankets and were waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

We hotfooted it back home and the teacher was able to call us on our house phone from the phone in the centre they're staying in. Unfortunately because the place they were staying is rather remote, they'd had to wait an hour for the ambulance to arrive by which time she'd started shaking so they wrapped her in blankets. The paramedics gave Imogen plenty of gas and air before trying to move her, then fortunately, as they turned her to stabilise her leg, her knee moved back into position. They still took her to hospital (with a teacher) to x ray the knee and check it was back in place properly. One of Imogen's teachers decided she should have a picture to remember the visit (I don't think she'll ever forget it) with some of the lovely scenery in the background.



They advised we didn't come to pick her up as it would be so late by the time she returned from the nearest hospital and as the worse was over, Imogen wanted go back there for the night. She was x rayed, put in a brace, given crutches and strong painkillers and was tucked up in bed by 2am. Imogen had hoped to be able to stay the rest of the week, but her knee is so swollen and painful that she needed to come home... if only for lots of mummy cuddles of which I have an unlimited supply.

Our sister in law just happened to be nearby in Otley and was returning home that day, so Imogen was able to travel back with her. Her poor knee is very hot and swollen, but a little better by today.



Hopefully by next week it'll be much better and Imogen can start some physiotherapy to restrengthen her knee. Also another referral has been made to the specialist, perhaps it's time to think about surgery, we'll see.

My dad has a follow up appointment at the hospital today. It's quite a day for them as they live in Ipswich, but the cancer specialist working with my dad is at Norwich hospital and they're relying on ambulance transport. When he has his heart operation that will be at Papworth hospital, which is in Cambridge so there's a great deal of going to and fro which is the last thing you want to do when you feel so ill, but at least it means he is getting very good care (admin problems aside). I shall be ringing mum tonight for an update, fingers crossed for some good news!

Sorry that wasn't a very upbeat or creative post. I shall have to pop back soon to catch you up with my knitting and the book I've just started that is a 'cant put down' one... I love how excited I can feel from a book.

Take care
xxx



Tuesday, 27 June 2017

For the Boys

Thank you for the lovely comments regarding my dad. After the dreadful mix ups by the hospital last week, the lovely Macmillan nurse has taken it all in hand and has it under control so my mum doesn't have to worry about ringing around trying to sort appointments out or chase things up.

Time has gone by in a flash, as it often does. It's only 5 1/2 weeks until our grandson is due to arrive in the world, although I think that has passed much quicker for us than it has for Adam and his girlfriend, isn't that usually the way though! They spent last weekend decorating the nursery, I haven't seen it yet, so I'm looking forward to seeing some photos when it's finished.

My latest make for the expected arrival, is a cardigan. I really enjoyed making it as it was a pattern I used when I was expecting my own son. I hadn't realised I still had the pattern, but found it when having a bit of a declutter!




It's a nice simple pattern and didn't take long to make in some soft, double knit yarn I already had.


I think it's quite sweet and I also have the memories of Adam wearing the ones I knitted for him many years ago.




Here's a picture of Adam in one of the cardigans I knitted with the same pattern. I remember making them in lemon and a mint colour as I didn't know if I was having a son or a daughter. I can hardly believe this little baby is 29 and about to have his own baby!



I forgot to show the card I made for my husband, Andy the other week. I haven't made a card for a while so thought it would be more personal if I did. I've had these marker pens for quite a few years and some are past their best now, so thought I should get some more use from them before they give up on me.



A rubber stamp of a little boy going to play cricket, just as Andy did when he was young.









I enjoyed making it. My craft room has had a transformation and is a pleasure to be in, but I think I'll save that for another post.

Take care
xxx

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

A Bed of Roses and a U.F.O.?

Thank your all the lovely positive comments about my dad it's very appreciated. My parents are having a terrible time that is unfortunately being exacerbated by my dad's hospital notes being mislaid and the wrong appointments being given as well as other administrative errors. As a patient with grade 3 cancer and an urgent heart condition, this is very upsetting.

How is everyone managing in this not very British heat? Despite hearing on the news today that it's been the hottest June day since 1976, we in East Yorkshire haven't had the sunniest of days. Cloud cover arrived yesterday with a drop in temperature, still a bit humid, but not really sunny and now it's raining... I hope that wasn't summer!!

This is becoming my go to place when I need to identify a plant, thus the title referring to an unidentified flowering object (my U.F.O.). I picked up these little beauties in Lidl, they weren't labelled and I have no idea what they are.




 My other strange plant could be anything, they seem to have appeared in the last few days in a few different places, but don't look like weeds?





I would be so grateful if someone could identify them so I have an idea what to do with them.


I'm so thrilled with my climbing roses, 'Compassion', it's so fragrant and there are so many blooms on it. My other rose is a rambler, 'Albertine', no flowers this year, but it's grown much more than the climber has.









The Californian Poppies are starting to flower, beautiful cups of orange sunshine.





There are pretty, little flowers on some of the pond plants too and the fish are definitely thriving, nearly doubled in size since we bought them. I love how they come up to say hello and eat their food when I feed them each day.






The sweetcorn is growing well, there are a few 'corn on the cobs' wrapped tightly under their leaves, so hopefully we'll be eating fresh sweetcorn by the end of the summer.



Our first potatoes, there's about 4lb here.




I hope we get to spend some time out there tomorrow. We're picking our DILs daughter up from school and I'm hoping we can play in the garden and maybe eat out there too, we'll have to see what tomorrow brings.


Take care
xxx