Thursday, 31 October 2013

Nature in the home

Linking in with Lou's Nature in the home series
In amongst the rain drops
I couldn't resist
putting on my wellies and
picking the last few almost dried out
lavender flowers and popping
them into an old bottle for all to admire.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Postcard #5 My last meal

This is what I am doing here
My last meal, hmmm, now let me think....ok here goes...
Mixed olives stuffed with garlic and almonds
Bruschetta with olive oil
Avocado and mozzarella salad
and a bottle of South African 5th Avenue Cold Duck pink sparkling wine (cheapo stuff but I always loved this when I lived in SA)to have throughout my meal

A goats cheese and caramelised onion tart
Side salad of rocket & asparagus with parmesan dressing
Tofu Thai curry and rice
Pecan pie with dolloping's of freshly whipped cream
and a pot of English tea
What would yours be?
ps. Having written this I can think of loads more food, it's almost impossible for a foodie like me to choose! Oh, and I am greedy for delicious food, hence all the courses.


Friday, 25 October 2013

52 Weeks of happy 43/52

What craziness...this week has crashed, bammed and boomed away. I felt miserable for a couple of days, tearful and emotional, but all is better now and I can focus on having the next week off work with Alice and Andy during half term hols. Yay. We have plans to have fun as well as relax next week.

So, I did manage to capture my less miserable moments this week, here goes

My woodland lunch break and a row or two of crochet on my new blanket with my internet ordered Drops Paris cotton. It suggests a 5mm hook or needles but I chose a 4mm hook to make it a bit more tight. It's a little "splitty" when you crochet with it, but generally I am happy with the resulting crochet. I'll show you more as this progresses hopefully this coming week.

I treated myself to a new Moleskine address book. A sweet little red one this week. I don't know about you, but I have had quite a few address books in my adult life and they kind of represent a history of my life so far and whom I've met and whom I've stayed in contact with and people who have flitted into and then out of my life during my adult years. I feel a new phase coming on with culling my current address book to the people that I currently love and keep in touch with.
On a side note my poor mum still has all the trillions of addresses I had in my first year and a half of working after University and then during my travels for a year thereafter. It's a nice bit of history is what I tell her :o) and she did once tell me to "keep moving till you are happy"!

Look! I finished crocheting a large granny square blanket for one of Alice's friends who will be 13 in November. The colours were chosen by Alice and the border was her choice too. Emily will be getting some paint brushes and a cheap baking book we found here. I don't mind indulging a wee bit for Alice's 2 close friends and they seem to like getting a little hand made something from me too which always makes me happy. Emily and Alice are baking buddies and have already arranged an afternoon of mess fun this half term to bake up a storm.

Aahh Autumn, you little beauty, how I love thee.

Last, but not least some very moist and very delicious polenta and lemon cake topped with raspberries had with a big pot of tea from here.
Now that was comfort food if ever there was.
Happy days to you and yours
see you all soon


Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Nature in the home

How beautiful, if not a bit blustery has our Autumn been so far? I was out in the countryside visiting patients today and the sun was shining a glorious yellow through all the countryside autumnal coloured leaves, I felt like I was on a bit of a nature high :o)

When I stopped to have my sandwich at about 1pm I pulled over and found a pretty woodland spot to potter around in and found these pretties to contribute to Lou of Little Green Shed's new season Nature in the Home series. I have loved seeing the previous series on various blogs and have been waiting to take part.

As you can see my crochet goes out in the car with me. 10 minutes to eat my sandwich, 10 minutes to potter about in the woodlands and fresh air and 10 minutes to do another row of the new cotton baby blanket I am making for my sister-in-law who is expecting her second baba in March next year.

I do hope that all these beautiful days of the earth changing her colours is inspiring you whether it be Spring or Autumn. Enjoy!

See you all soon

Monday, 21 October 2013

Postcard #4 What I've learnt from life so far

This is what I am doing here

Hello, it's postcard time again. I chose this title because I am hoping it will be a good conversation piece in the comments below as there are loads of things I am yet to learn from my funny old life and I hope you may be able to add one or two of your things that you have learnt from your life so far?

So, here goes...

Be kind
It just goes without saying really, just be kind. It doesn't cost you anything and seems to have a ripple effect on those who you show kindness too, for they in turn will hopefully be kind to the next person they encounter.

Have good self worth
Knowing the truth about myself and that my self worth is not wrapped up in what other people might think of me. It's not always easy as doubt can creep in and sometimes it's easy to let someone make you feel like poo. I try not to let people whom I have just met or people who barely know me make me feel self deprecating thoughts about how I look, act and am. I like to turn things around and if I feel someone is doing this, I ask myself Why? They must have some deep seated reason or insecurity for looking at me like that or treating me like that. That makes it their problem, not mine :o) Sorted! As long as I am not offending or hurting anyone who matters to me then I can't see why I would let someone affect me this way.

My goodness this is a life long lesson, I just love it though. Forgiveness frees me from carrying any anger or hurt or pain that I feel someone has done unto me. I love that I can search in my heart and forgive them and pray that if I have done any of the same things to anyone else that they can forgive me.
By me forgiving I feel like it stops me from holding a grudge which is so easy and tempting to do at times. It ends at forgiveness and we move on. I'm not saying that I am perfect at this, oh is a lesson that will test me for the rest of my life, but so far from what I have learnt I think I am reaping the benefits.

Don't stop learning
I love learning, I am a real nerd when it comes to learning. Mind you this only happened to me as an adult, if I could do the bare minimum at school I would. I only started loving learning at University doing subjects that mostly thrilled me and thereafter.
I just LOVE books and English literature and poetry. I love learning new things everyday in my scientific job and not only am I always learning new facts in my medical world, but I am also learning from all the patients I see, that human kind of learning that books can't always teach you.
I get bored easily and have to be stimulated with either written words or listening to interesting and topical programmes. I cannot image what it must feel like to stop learning, this is a gift that we have been given. I never want to take it for granted.

Keep my ego in check
I make mistakes all the time, I can be clumsy, I mess up, I fall short of what people might expect of me, but I hope that I admit this and pride doesn't get in the way. My ego is something I have to stop and have a giggle at, it needs to be put in it's place and can sometimes have a wild overinflated personality and hyper inflated view of itself. I have to laugh at it and pull it back in line before it gets out of hand. I hope that I am self aware enough to do this before it's too late.

Eat well and sleep lots
Ok, not always possible , but I know that everything is 100 times worse when I am tired and grumpy and a moany pants. Having had a baby made me very aware of this, how on earth did I survive on so little sleep in the early years? Alice slept through the night for the first time when she was 3 years old and then again at about 5 when she started to sleep much more consistently. I love my bed and sleeping is like a ceremony to me. I am a bit of a night owl and have to curb this habit during the week when I am working.
Eating yummy food is so important to me. I love food and am even more grumpy if I don't get it on time :o)

Why do clichés always come true as you get older? Yes, laughter is the best medicine and especially when I can laugh at myself. I love people with a good sense of humour and dry wit.

Being a parent is good
I never thought I would have a baby. I'm so glad I did as it's changed and enriched my life in countless ways. It's better than I ever expected and my maternal instincts were there all along. Now that did surprise me as I never gravitated towards babies or little children. Now I love them. It's not always good, but hey any heartache or difficult times are so far outweighed by the good ones.

Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you
Another cliché, but jeepers it's so true. I won't say anymore, as it's self explanatory. Its a tough learning curve and one I want to always be working at.

 I can choose my happiness
I have realised that over the years I can control how I deal with my emotions which are usually automatic and out of my control. How I choose to feel about how someone may have treated me is up to me.
You can’t change others, but you can change your expectations and your reactions to their actions. It's hard work and will be an on going journey, but I think I am learning more and more about this as time goes by. I wish I had known this when I was younger.

I worry less
It's weird, but I know that I worry a lot less than I did when I was younger. I once saw that poster saying "worry is like sitting in a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but gets you no where" and I think I like this a lot. It might also be to do with my faith, when I know I can pray and hand over any worries, it helps me tremendously.
When I went travelling in my early 20's I used to think to myself if I was worried about something "What's the worst thing that can happen to me?" The answer was that I would have to use my 1 year return flight ticket to go back home. If that happened, so what? It would not have been that devastating.

You are not responsible for someone else's behaviour
I learnt this lesson very painfully in my early 20's with a rather awkward boyfriend I had at the time and kept making excuses for his (in my parents eyes) weird behaviour. He thought he was much more of an intellectual than what he was and thought of himself as a bit of a nihilist and was into existentialism in a big way which irritated my parents somewhat. How I fell for him I don't know, but you know what they is blind!
I learnt not to be responsible for his behaviour and it was painful believe me. I told myself to try and carry on thinking like this in the different circumstances that life would throw at me and it has helped not to be embarrassed about someone else's behaviour. Long may it last :o)

Be very silly at times
We all have a little child inside of us and sometimes my little child likes to come out and play a little too often. It's a good thing I think and it helps when you have children I think. Being silly and a bit of tom foolery never go amiss in my life.

Make stuff
I just can't help how important it is to me to always appreciate the beauty of human hands and how very grateful I am that I have them and can use them to make stuff. I adore hands and would have paintings of them all over the house if I could, old and young. The incredible gifts of creativity that we can use our hands to make always overwhelms me. The passing down of skills and craftsmanship from generation to generation by using our hands is a supreme thing of joy. I love that life in these 43 years has taught me how valuable my hands are and the occupation of making is one I hope to enjoy for many more years to come.

There are so many other things that life has taught me so far, my goodness I could go on and on and on....but, my bubble bath awaits. So farewell for now and have a great week ahead.

Let me know a secret or two of what life has taught you thus far, I'd love to know (I'm nosey like that!)



Saturday, 19 October 2013

52 weeks of happy 42/52

Hello again, it's that time of the week to gather some of those sweet little happy things from my week.
First up was the fabulous news that I had won, not 1 but 2 giveaways! My goodness how did that happen? I love both the blogs that I won them on and just comment anyway because of their beautiful content. My first win can be seen here on Jen's lovely blog Hand Knitted Things. I am so excited to knit up these sweet houses. Thank you so much Jen.
My second winning was from lovely Gillian's blog Tales from a Happy Home which can be seen here. Oh golly gosh, its a stunner and is on it's way to me as we speak. I'll show you next week. Thank you so much Gillian. What a lucky girl am I to win 2 special gifts, Christmas has come early this year :o)

We have been pumpkin and squash shopping in the rain to make some soup and I just got a thrill from seeing these beauties. Their colours, shapes and textures. Gorgeous!


I came home to a home made Tiramisu made from this recipe. Alice had the day off school on Thursday due to Teacher strikes and so she decided it would be good fun for her and Daddy to bake. It was a delicious and very indulgent way to end my day!

We have also been crunching through the fallen leaves and nature table collecting. I wanted to collect some rosehips to make some rosehip oil from this recipe. It sounds like it could be great for those mid-winter dry skin spells.

Last, but not least I have been crocheting a blanket for one of Alice's friends for her 13th birthday. Colours chosen by Alice.

Such a pleasure to go round and round a large granny square, easy rhythmic crocheting to soothes the days stresses away.

Thanks for all those who visited and commented on my last postcards post. I really appreciated it. Have a great (looks like wet where we live)weekend everyone and see you all soon xox Penny

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Postcard #3: The hardest thing I have ever done

This is what I am doing here

Ok, so I don't want to get too heavy here on this old blog of mine, but I did commit to doing 10 postcards and this title out of the 31 titles of confessions jumped out at me this evening.

The hardest thing I think I have ever gone through was a weekend of seeing my husband (to be at the time, we were not married yet) having a breakdown and entering into a psychotic episode of delusions and paranoia in 2005. Convincing him that he needed to go to hospital and be assessed was heartbreaking and because we were living in separate towns at the time he had to be 
transferred to where he lived as he was registered with his GP there. I don't want to go into all the details and immense emotional roller coaster that ensued, as I have compartmentalised them and they are safely dealt with and we have moved on. I just remember eventually after a whole day in A & E being transported to a mental health unit in Brighton where I had to admit him and then helped him settle into a room with an en-suite. He was so unwell and very delusional, a 6'4" man standing like a little boy lost. It was so frightening and shocking to witness someone you love going through such torment and in such a vulnerable place. 

The hardest part was walking away.I broke down in what felt like primal sobbing at the time and have never felt so alone.

Alice was 5 at the time and she spent the day and night at a good friends home and remained none the wiser. My priority was to protect her and keep things as normal as possible for her. 

The shock of it all caused me to stutter for about 3 weeks.

Months went by and slowly Andy got better having been diagnosed with schizoid affective disorder, I learnt about what his triggers were and we have managed well with various strategies to help reduce the triggers. He had done so well up until last year when his work became so stressful he had another breakdown and had to be admitted to a mental health unit locally. Unfortunately, extreme stress is a massive trigger for him and we were aware of this, but some times it just takes one tiny extra drop of water into the cup to make it overflow and this is what happened. I felt more prepared and coped a bit better I think, it was still shocking and extremely distressing especially for Alice who was almost 12 at the time. That killed me not being able to fully protect her, but we have had lots of time to talk things through and I hope and pray I have been able to support her as much as possible and that Andy will remain well.

Life is so precious my friends, so delicate and fragile. I believe in love and this is the most powerful thing for me during these very hard moments in my life. I do believe that I am richer for these experiences and more wise about mental health. Life certainly has it's challenges, all relative to each and everyone of us and I wish you all very good health.

If you like TED talks there are some great ones on mental health, I especially liked this one and this one.

Thanks for stopping and see you soon

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Nine things I just can't handle

This is what I am doing here

Ok, so there are plenty of worldly things I just can't handle like injustice, greed, suffering, lots of isms like absolutism, sexism, racism, classism, ageism etc. I cannot handle loads of human traits and behaviours like arrogance, rudeness, unkindness, cruelty, ignorance and stupidity. There are 101 things I could list here and bore you with, however I promise not to. This post of 9 things I can't handle are going to focus on the more "everyday" things that I just can't handle, so here goes.... :o)

1. Pressure on women to be a certain size
This seriously freaks me out, I meet women who are wracked with so many negative emotions that cripple them on a daily basis. What on earth is going on here? All those hours, days, months, years wasted on obsessing about punishing themselves to follow poorly balanced restricted diets that do so much more harm than  good in the long run.  I am a Dietitian specialising in oncology care and in 23 years of working in this profession it still hurts me inside when I see/hear women who have partners/husbands who want them to be a certain size. The other day I saw a beautiful and wonderfully brave woman in one of my clinics who has survived a cancer and is really struggling with her weight as she is about 4stone overweight from her treatment and comfort eating which she freely admitted to. She said her husband can't cope with her current size and is too embarrassed to hold her hand or show any affection in public. This reminded me of how much I can't handle this kind of behaviour, it hurts and infuriates me too much.

2. Orange and chocolate combination
Oh my goodness, who invented this hideous combination? Sorry I know that it's a very popular choice here in the UK and I don't want to annoy those of you who love Jaffa cakes and Terry's chocolate orange, but please I just can't handles this. If Jaffa cakes ever make an appearance in our kitchen cupboards you can be assured that they will remain just as you left them for I would never be tempted. Ever!

3. People who don't wash the bath out after having one
Ok ok this is just the most super gross thing, not only am I going to relax in my own dirty water, but PLEASE can I not have yours to relax in too.

4. Fruit and veg that is the wrong texture
I am confessing to being that very irritating person in the supermarket who lightly presses all the fruit and veg I buy. I cannot handle soft, floury apples eeeeeuuugghhh they give me the hebbies and over ripe tomatoes eeeekkkk they have to be firm please. Any hint of a fruit or veg not being the right texture they get cooked and included in a pudding or sauce which helps me cope with eating them.

5. Getting dressed up
I love going to special parties, celebrations, occasions etc but am absolutely pants at getting dressed up. It's got worse as I have got older, the most posh frock I have is my wedding dress and that was plain and simple £140.00 from an Oxfam wedding shop (it hadn't been worn before,lots of dresses are often donated to Oxfam from wedding shows). I don't own silky, velvet or Lacey things. If I had my way I would wear jeans and a hippy shirt with flowers and accessories. I feel so much more comfortable like this. I get really anxious thinking of what I can wear just for a simple Christmas party. How I wish I was girly and good at this kind of thing, but alas I am who I am.

6. People looking in disbelief when I tell them I go to church
Ok, so I love God and love going to my vibrant and spirit filled church. I don't know what people who go to church should look like but, I guess I'm not it ? Does make me smile x

7. The telly being on unnecessarily 
Who is with me on this one? It's an absolute pet hate, I really think that the tv must stay off until someone is actually going to watch it. I was lucky enough not to get a telly until about 1977/8 when TV first came to South Africa in 1976. I have very fond memories of sitting around the wireless with my family listening to radio programs and as we moved into the 80's our family time declined as we started watching tv more and more with our dinners on our laps. It was the beginning of the end for me in many ways, we communicated less and became more disjointed I think as a family. I therefore have a slightly love hate relationship with the tv.

8. Waste
I don't like anything to be wasted, paper, food, cosmetics, scraps of yarn, electricity, gas, energy etc. Sorry, but I just can't handle waste.

9. Coffee
Yep, that's me, coffee makes my head buzz in a bad way. I can just about cope with a cup of weak instant coffee, but the strong stuff in cappuccino's and espresso makes me dizzy :o) if I meet up with someone for "a coffee" I always choose the softer option, tea. Tea tea tea how I love thee, addicted to you I am.

Thanks for visiting and welcome to new followers too. 
What can't you handle? 
I'd love to know :o)

Friday, 11 October 2013

52 weeks of happy 41/52

Hello there

The weather has turned somewhat in the past 24 hours and I was very surprised when Andy put the heating on for an hour yesterday evening as he normally likes to avoid it until we really need it. Must be getting old! Have you put your heating on yet? It's a sure sign that Winter has arrived in my mind. Pull our extra thick feathered quilts and blankets from the attic time. Yay, I love a candle light home with cosiness as the season changes.

This week, I've had the displeasure of a head cold and had to have Wednesday off work, which did me the world of good, just resting, snoozing and reading. I need this weekend to fully recover though. I have, however found some sweet moments of happiness, mostly of the yarn here goes....

I finished crocheting these DIVINELY WARM bobble fingerless gloves and wrist warmers. Oh my goodness, this yarn that I bought from a local lady (link) who dyes and spins her own yarn, last December in a Christmas market is gorgeous and so my colours and so warm and so cosy its like wearing a sheep on each hand :o) The pattern can be found in this favourite Erica Knight book I bought a while back now. It's a lovely book full of delicious pictures and colours of earthy yarn and inspiring easy makes. (Excuse the hand poses, this is always a weird thing taking photo's of one's hands)My hands will be as warm as toast with these this Winter, yay.

Autumn is all about Apples for me in England and I picked some apples and made a heart warming apple crumble last night, lots of cinnamon and mixed spice too.

We have an "outhouse" loo downstairs, lovely old fashioned loo with ball and chain type flushing mechanism. We tend to use it in the Summer as its not heated in the Winter and I have waited rather patiently for Andy to finish painting it this Autumn and the wooden door which I bought a door knob for years ago. This week of extended warm sunshine inspired him and he did it, so here is my pretty birdie ceramic door knob made by Judith Rowe, a local ceramicist. Her work is gorgeous and she sells it here.

I have drooled over these 2 books in Waterstones but didn't have the pennies to purchase...bring on Christmas lists!

Last, but not least I've been enjoying the therapeutic rhythm of knitting with Drops yarn to make Alice's requested scarf. I love knitting with old fashioned plastic needles, they remind me of my childhood knitting attempts.

Thanks for all of you who have come to read my  first"confession postcard"(and for your lovely comments which I loved reading)WOW...what was I thinking? Oh well, I must be brave and press on with the next one (watch this space).

Happy days to you and yours lovely bloggy friends

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

My first kiss {postcard #1}

Here is what I am doing

Ok, so here goes my first postcard and why not start with number 7 on the list....the story of my first kiss. 

It was the November of 1985, the beginning of another hot Summer in Durban, South Africa, I was 15 and a half and was in Standard 8 at school. My mum and dad sent my sister and I to a private catholic school called The Holy Family Convent and you may have guessed it, it was an all girls school and went from infants aged 5 to matriculation age 17/18 depending on what half of the year you were born in. Not a boy to be had in sight. I wonder now if my parents purposefully considered this when they sent us there despite saying it was for catholic pastoral reasons, they knew they were safe with my clever, studious sister who was 2 years ahead of me at school, but with me there was a streak of rebellion, mischievenous if you will. I thought all work and no play made me a very dull girl. When I say play, I mean anything else but homework and reading, not playing with boys as such!

The fact is that I never really had the opportunity to meet boys other than at house parties that the cool girls would have in their garages magically transformed into disco's over night with glitter balls and a DJ. If my mum was able to convince my Dad that I could go  (he was the stricter one) I enjoyed spending time messing about, dancing and checking out the boys with the other wall flowers and cringed or almost peed in my pants with embarrassment when the end of the night slow dances would come where most girls were partnered off with a boy who fancied them in a slow dance embrace (yeah, George Michael and Careless Whisper you have a lot to answer for!). It was always excruciating and I always vowed never to go to another, but usually forgot about these feelings the next time a party came round.

Anyway, I digress. So, you may have gathered by now that boys were not something my fairly strict but always fair parents approved of. Looking back now it was almost as if they were in denial about teenage hormones and feelings and experimenting in affairs of the heart. However, come the Summer of 1985 I found myself in a pickle as one of my mum's work colleagues son's had spotted me at a family work gathering I think, or when we both seemed to have gone to our mum's work place after school one day, I can't exactly remember. His name was Francoise pronounced FRUN-SW-AAS, say it quickly and you'll get it :o). I think his mum was of an English background and his dad Afrikaans. he was the middle of three boys and I felt like I knew him already as my mum was good friends with his.

He decided to ask me to his official school dance, black tie and all that. His friend needed one of my friends as a partner too and so i roped in Lisa to help out, she was rather keen on his friend called Shane and her parents didn't seem to protest. Mine didn't either for that matter because I think they almost thought that it was like me going to the dance with a brother, so nothing could happen or could it?

I loved getting dressed in a black silky shoulder padded 80's dress borrowed from one of my sisters friends and despite my hideous braces(or railway tracks as we called them then), my shimmery "ice-pink" lipstick and eye shadow looked good in an 80's kind of way! He wore black tie and had a new romantic type massive fringe like the lead singer from Human League (he he it's cracking me up just thinking about it now)which always got in his face and had to be permanently flicked back. I was so nervous and weirdly excited, it didn't really matter then.

I can't remember the full dance experience, we had our photos taken in a booth (I never got one, but have snaps my mum took before I left to go), had something to eat (I was on the verge of becoming a vegetarian) and danced the night away without alcohol which some of the older teenagers had obviously sneaked in.

Lisa and Shane hit it off a little too well and ended up snogging for most of the night. It fascinated me, how did they do it? God only knew that I had practiced kissing my mirror a good few times before and this also lead to my first experience of "not knowing where to look when you best friend is snogging right in front of you and feeling highly anxious that you might be next" feeling. And boy was I right to have those feelings.

Next minute I am in Francoise's arms doing a slow dance and then he went in for the kill, me with my braces and no doubt elastics between top and bottom jaw teeth. I was so shocked, naively I don't think it entered my head that he might want to kiss me. Maybe it was because I didn't really fancy him despite his reasonable good looks and Human League fringe and so wasn't really looking for a kiss. I pretended to know what to do, whilst not particularly enjoying the rather wet (cringe...sorry but its true)experience. I think it happened again a few minutes later, it didn't get any better and I think he must of known this too.

We were picked up at midnight, the boys dropped off at their homes and Lisa stayed over at my house and we stayed up chatting through into the wee hours of the morning. She was totally besotted with Shane and me, in the quietness of my mind was pleased I had had a first kiss experience and was even more pleased when Francoise didn't pursue any form of a relationship.

Writing this I'm wondering if he knew that he was my first kiss and secondly, I wonder if my parents ever found out? I must chat to them about this next time we speak.

So, how about you, do you remember your first kiss? Do tell x

Am I having a midlife crisis?

Dearest Blog

I'm feeling like I need to shake things up around here. You are becoming predictable, prescriptive and quite frankly I'm getting a little bit bored with our relationship.

Now don't get me wrong, I really do love you and all the visitors and lovely relationships you bring, but I am getting itchy pants to crank things up a notch or two. Lets talk about stuff, real stuff that I never really dare to confess or talk about here. Yes, there are many of your peer blogs that do do this and they are the ones to blame for inspiring me to getting down to some brass tacks...beyond knitting, crochet and sewing. Yes, you heard what I said, beyond those fabulous magical things I do with my hands.

You even admitted that you are getting bored with hosting my thrifty finds and creations of the yarn kind and that you were hungry for an interlude of different posts before going back to my safe usuals.

You see it all began when I discovered Veggie Mama's blog, she made me laugh and almost cry with her posts she has started this October called "31 days of Confessions" which was originally inspired by Fat Mum Slim's post on 50 things to blog about when you get writers block or in my case writers boredom!

So late into the recesses of last night I came up with my own version of "confessions" to shake you up a bit....

Look I made a post card for you on the white mosaic photograph I took at Park Guell in Barcelona this summer and this is what I going to do.

Every few days when I have the time I'm going to be sending you 10 postcards about some form of confession. Am I crazy lady? Yes! Am I going to reveal more about myself than what I publically should? Uum yes I think so! Will I regret having written this post in the morning? Probably! And last, but not least, Am I having a midlife crisis? I don't think so, but then again at 43 I might be and you may just want to gently tell me this in the comments below if my blog hasn't already sent me loads of emails with big warning notices!

Inspired by the topics that Veggie Mama chose, I will be choosing 10 of them to have some fun with here. Here are some examples:

1.The thing that happened in high school that pretty much changed
  my life forever
2. The day I left home
3. That lie I told that I got away with (or didn’t!).
4. The hardest thing I’ve ever been through.
5. 9 things I just can’t handle.
6. My most excruciatingly embarrassing moment.
7. The story of my first kiss (not skipping all the awkward  
8. The day I started blogging – what was I thinking?
9. The most difficult decision I have ever made.
10. 7 things I learned from being a kid.
11. The last thing that made me cry.
12. My earliest childhood memory.
13. That thing that really gets my goat.
14. The worst Christmas I’ve ever had.
15. What I am addicted to and why.
16. My obituary.
17. A DIY on something I know nothing about.
18. What I’ve learned about life so far.
19. Brain dump: what’s on my mind right now.
20. Something I lost.
21. My worst habit.
22. Thank you to a thing that I love.
23. What I want to be when I grow up.
24. Something I found.
25. A review on something I’ve used, watched, eaten, or read lately.
26. An update on my most popular post – where are we now?
27. Set a goal and a plan on how to get there.
28. Top 5 blogs I’m loving right now.
29. I ask advice on something that is troubling me.
30. A menu for my last meal ever.
31. I share a secret I’ve never told anyone until now.


Friday, 4 October 2013

52 weeks of happy 40/52

Happy end of the week everyone, we made it to Friday again, hooray!
Here are some of my little happies from the last week in September taking us nicely into October.


A visit to Hoop in Tenterton on the weekend. Its a gorgeous new yarn shop just into Kent from where we live in East Sussex and sells the really reasonable Drops wool and alpaca yarn in divine colours. Don't you just love the doily with their name in the window and I took some close-ups of those autumn embroidered leaves too. Such an easy seasonal thing to do. I love clever window displays.

I made a little purchase with my WIP commander, Alice close by my side...she informed me that I could spend some money on yarn as long as it involved making something for her! So, with very little persuasion I bought some Drops yarn for her scarf she wants from this book I borrowed from our Library. She has chosen this yarn with a darker blue for the ends.

To add to the happies was the casting on of course. I'm loving how this very simple P1K1 stitch followed by a K row is looking, all waffle like.

We also had fun painting ceramics on the weekend for Alice's little party. I am picking up our creations this Sunday, always fun to see what they look like when glazed.

Oh and Alice came home with her choice of an Amazon book for up to £10 for winning the art prize in her class. We have to go to the prize giving mid-November. She tried her hardest to get an art related book for £10, but they were either £4 or £12+ so she chose a Mary Berry Baking book for £9.99 as she is a keen baker (I'm secretly pleased as her mama has been keen on getting one of Mary's books :o)

Loving mother nature's colours and patterns.

Less than half price Fat Face round neck jumper with diving swallows on for the Autumn always brings happies. I haven't bought myself a new jumper for years and this one, especially in the sales appealed to me.

I do really hope you have all had some little happy moments this past week? Thank you for telling me your head measurements from my last post, what a good giggle I had.
Have a groovy weekend everyone, I know I will
See you all soon 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

How big is your head?

Hello lovely bloggers, can I be personal and ask you if you have ever measured the size of your head? I know this might sound weird to some of you and quite normal to others of you, but I am having an irritating crochet week all based on the circumference of my head!

Now, I have to giggle when I remember graduating from my degree in South Africa way back in 1990. The story goes that when I went to hire my graduation gown and mortar board to wear on my head, the lady in the shop asked me my size and asked if she could measure my head size. I promptly allowed her and watched almost as if in slow motion how her facial expression changed as she revealed that my head size was one of the biggest she had had the pleasure if encountering in her jolly career! She eventually said that she would "need to go and look downstairs for a suitable one to fit my head". To this day I will never forget the look on her face and I always joke about it. 

The school I went to involved wearing a hat and blazer in the stinking Durban heat every time we were seen outside the school and my hat never fitted me and looked ridiculous for most of the time! I still struggle to the day to buy a sun hat in the Summer time and thank goodness for wool being stretchy to a certain degree otherwise I would suffer in the British winter for sure.
 Then came along a few years ago my rediscovery of knitting and crochet and the world felt good with me being able to create my own winter hats. Anyhow, I digress the purpose of this post is for me to be forthright and ask you how big is your head? I measured mine on Saturday (twice to be sure) and it measured at 61cm. It sounds normal to me but then again I have no one to compare it to other than poor old Alice whose head measures at 55cm at 13 years old and Andy's is 59cm. We laughed at this and I told Alice that mummy has more brains than daddy :o)

As you may well have guessed by now I attempted to make the pretty crochet beret from the September issue of Inside Crochet as seen in the first photo. I thought I would give it a go with some Debbie Bliss yarn I had in one of my baskets. Not only does it not fit me but I really don't like the variegated yarn for this kind of thing and wouldn't of worn it any way. I think this yarn will look good crocheted up as a hot water bottle cover.

I just thought darn, I really fancied a crochet beret for the Autumn and will not give up looking for one that will fit my um..rather large head!

So go on I dare you to measure your head just for fun, I'd also be curious to hear what your head circumference comes up as? Weird thing to talk about but hey ho.

Ps. Do you like my finished almost finished scrappy cardigan? I still need to add a button and sew in all those ends...
Here's wishing you all a great week, I'll see you soon xox Penny