Sunday, 20 January 2008


It's that time of year when it does nothing but rain here in the north west of England. Time when you dream of somewhere warmer. Well warmer than it is now at any rate - we've had cool damp holidays abroad as well! I have pointedly refused to even contemplate booking a holiday until we have cleared debts & saved money for the last two years, so we didn't go away at all last year & only had a week in October in Cornwall the year before. Well this year we're going back to France, staying where we've been before, I do hope it is still as we remember it. Not our ideal holiday destination I may add, at least not mine or the anoraks, but it has something to occupy all of us for all the holiday so on that basis it's worth going. ie if the kids are happy then we're all happy! Fishing for all of us, horseriding for me & loads of stuff for kids.
Now all I have to do is book kennels for the dogs & save for that expense. They go to a wonderful place that they love so it's worth the extra.

Saturday, 19 January 2008


Tigger cat!

Why is driving so tiring? I drove to Manchester today & spent the day on foot at the museum of science & industry. It was well worth it but I am so tired now I'm back, I'm having an early night!

Friday, 18 January 2008

Organised for once

I prepared tea before I went to work. Not something I manage to be awake enough for most mornings but this morning I prepared the stewing steak & veg & put in the slow oven to be ready in time for tea. In fact when I came in from work at 2.30pm I put the potatoes in the microwave for 7 minutes & then put them in the oven to crisp up. We had lovely tender steak with carrots & chopped up broccoli stalks (how's that for being clever using up veg?) & onion in gravy with jacket potatoes. Tomorrow I may just get a takeaway as we're going to Manchester & the realtree anorak will have to fend for himself at teatime. I'll be tired as I rarely drive longer than an hour anywhere & will otherwise be on my feet all day. Look out Museum of Science & Industry!

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Unexpected hiccup!

So much for thinking I would post most days. My daughter rang Monday to say she couldn't move her leg. At all. She doesn't live far from us so I picked her up & took her to emergency. I work at the hospital & so does she so I could say I took her to work! They x-rayed & found a fracture, put her in a splint & booked her in the fracture clinic for Wednesday & sent her home. I took her to fracture clinic & thanks to my other half ended up having to pick youngest up from school at the precise moment DD had to see the consultant. Typical. The outcome - probable hairline fracture but worse - further ligament damage. This has been a problem since a skiing accident five years ago when the original injury wasn't correctly diagnosed. Result - another keyhole camera job but later they may rebuild her knee which we wanted doing 12 months ago but they didn't want to know. She's happy signed off work for two weeks as she hates it anyway but her contract ends in March & she has to find another job before then. There's an interview in Manchester on Saturday & she's determined to go. Great! This also means son & I get to spend part of the day exploring how the buses operate into the city centre to visit the Science & Industry museum. Son can't wait, he's been before & loved it.
As for me well I have to see the doc next week as a rather yukky looking warty type growth has suddenly appeared & it's not comfortable.
On the bright side I received my copy of Workbox magazine & found inspiration for a scarf that belonged to my Dad. Not sure exactly what I will do but the ideas are coming. Must find the other scarf I held onto, maybe I could incorporate that as well.
I finished my assignment Monday night & realised that actually I had another two to do! So Tuesday I finished those. Last night, Wednesday, I went to class & handed the lot in. next week is the final lesson so I just need to make sure my file is in order & I've finished. But what am I studying? PTTLS! "Preparing to teach in the lifelong learning sector" A City & Guilds qualification. In other words working in Adult Education. Not only do all teachers now have to have a teaching qualification so do those who teach in a voluntary setting. And now the government also want a register of all qualified teachers, free registration before the 31st March 2008 but will we have our results back by then? No one knows. I decided to get the qualification so I had another string to my bow if my job disappears under a local NHS trust shakeup. It proably will I fear, not many hospitals have a sewing room any more. Of course whether I can look for a teaching post is up in the air as much depends on the hours the other half works as well. Still it's an option.
Must stop referring to my beloved as the other half, I think I'll use the phrase "realtree anorak" instead. That's another story!
The dogs! Sindy coming up 15 years old at the top & Jess the nearly 10 year old here. Sindy became "my" dog when we got Jess & she attached herself to the realtree anorak. Hopelessly devoted to him she is.

Sunday, 13 January 2008


Look - three have already gone from the tray!! Not sure who ate them!

I did wonder today if I should rename this blog to include the word frugal. I had £40 to do the weeks basic shopping. The couple in front of me with a toddler & a 6 month old spent £108. OK there were a number of organic purchases but there was also plenty of biscuits, cakes & jars of baby food. If it were me I'd be making the baby food from the organic produce - yes I used to buy jars of food for emergencies or days when I could be bothered but not in the quantity I saw today. Another retired couple had a trolley full of ready prepared meals & tins of meat, pop etc. Maybe they felt it was time to take it easy & not spend time doing the prep. Maybe I'm just jealous? No! I want to feed my family as well as I can but not at any price nor with a lot of junk. Which isn't to say I don't buy junk or ready prepared meals occasionally - everything in moderation I say. My purchases included meat & veg, washing powder, milk & yoghurt. I already have some basics in the house so it isn't the entire amount of food for the week, although my housekeeping varies between £30 & £50 at any given week depending on how much hubby earns a week so we have to shop carefully. But do we all use up the leftovers?
I started out with the intention of echoing the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle motto. I took my own carrier bags in a cloth bag I made specifically to hang on the trolley see Lakeland Limited's website for their eco bag. Lunch was homemade veg soup using the stock I made yesterday from the carcass of the chicken from the day before. Bread was a homemade roll topped with cheese. Tea was quiche with bacon & cheese, served with fresh green beans & mashed potatoes left over from yesterday but put in little pyramids, topped with cheese, on a baking tray in the top of the oven while the quiche cooked below. I used the left over pastry to make jam tarts as well.
So I reduced the waste from leftover food, was sensible using the oven for more than one thing & didn't take any new plastic bags from the shop by recycling the ones I got last time! I managed to fill us all up except for my son who is a lean mean eating machine at the tender age of nine. Well he's always been like this. I filled some more of the gap with cherry pie that Mum gave me a while ago that had sat in the freezer until today. Haven't we overdone the pastry today?!! Now I notice he's snacking on the home made choc chip cookies that I made today. I didn't mention that his late breakfast was homemade drop scones (Scotch pancakes) - a veritable bottomless pit! He'd be eating a banana as well but as per usual they were all green inthe shop today. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow I'll get chance to read & drool a little more over Kaffe Fassett. Joe badly needs some more trousers I'll have to have a look through some back issues of Ottobre to see which I (he) likes best, being a stick insect bought trousers don't necessarily fit, even with adjustable elastic in the back waist. Custom made look better!

Saturday, 12 January 2008

The first of many?

I've thought about doing a blog about bits of my life for a while now but as I have a deadline looming for an assignment I'm procrastinating & thought it was as good a time as any to start this blog! I already have a blog written in French though I haven't updated it for ever. Must get around to that soon too.
A bit about me. A wife, a mother, a daughter, a part-time worker, dog walker & so on. I sew for a living, for a hobby & as a distraction from reality!! I also own several knitting machines which I'd like more time to re-acquaint myself with. I like cooking sometimes, baking cookies often, eating chocolate always. I speak reasonably fluent French, love holidays in France & dream of moving there. I love my two dogs, go horseriding when I can afford to & dream of owning a touring caravan & driving a suitable car to tow it with!!
I live in a horrible 1970's plastic fronted terraced box which I hate but hey it's a roof over our heads so mustn't grumble. We recycle as much as we can. In fact our nine year old son & I have just started cutting up the last two years Christmas cards & folding card bought cheaply from the local paper mill ready for next year. I was inspired by Suse at peasoup.
she's waaaay ahead of me! Check the other blogs I happen upon from time to time, you'll find them all vaguely craft related.
Currently I'm planning to sew up a SWAP - Sewing With A Plan as per the Timmel Fabrics competition but I'm not entering, just sewing alongside. I have a "wardrobe" pattern & a few other ideas & even some fabric to get started but I will finish my assignment first. I also use pattern drafting software which I love - see Wild Ginger for more info.