Sunday, December 31, 2006

Looking forward to 2007

I've been inspired today, as on so many occasions since I began this blog back in April (has it really been so short a time?). I have made friends, learned to do new things and best of all, appreciated my own life so much more. I don't do it often, but it is nice to know I can read back over those little snapshots of my life this year and enjoy things all over again.

When I read Beki's post, I wondered if I might also be able to use the blog as a catalyst for getting things done this year. She set herself a whole lot of goals and has been re-visiting them. I'm so impressed, partly by what she's achieved, but more by her courage in committing them to 'paper' in public. In the hope that fear of failure will keep me focused, here are mine for 2007.


  • Make Tiny Happy Bag

  • Paint CD storage shelves

  • Get back to walking - in the summer, my friend Sarah and I had a great thing going with an hours walking-for-fitness a couple of times a week. We stopped when the evenings got too dark to go after dinner, but I want to go while Johnny's at pre-school. it's a great excuse to chat, nose round the village and you don't even notice that you're exercising - multitasking, love it.


  • More inspiring cooking - I've been lazy recently, too many ready made items, too many same old dishes.

  • Fix up the new office - oh yes, another post in itself. Johnny swapped bedrooms to get away from the noise of the central heating and lo, I have a new bigger office cum craft room. Yippee.

  • Sell some things on eBay - got to fund this crafting habit somehow...

  • Find us a project house - this is hubby's mid-life crisis project! Perhaps it would be cheaper to buy a motorbike (but less fun I suppose).

  • Be more mindful about how I spend my time - books to read, children to nurture, stuff to make, life to live - if only I had more hours in the day. This is my resolution not to waste those I do have.

Happy New Year to you all and thank you for everything this year. Your comments, your friendship, your inspiration.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Sa-sa please.

Today, the boys had carrots for lunch. This is not in itself a blog-worthy event I realize, but it did help solve one of Johnny's mystery sentences.

He'll be 3 in February and like many small children, has a lot to say for himself. Unfortunately, his speech, though full of amazing vocabulary, is still extremely unclear. Usually I can understand and translate for him, sometimes Mark steps in, but occasionally he has us both stumped. Today was one of those.

Mama, can ree have sa-sa tooo deee?

I got most of it (Mummy, can we have ..... today?), but sa-sa had me baffled. I tried all the usuals - is it something to eat? Is it somewhere you want to go? Is it something to play with? What colour is sa-sa ... Bingo! Sa-sa is red, but unfortunately I am no closer to figuring out what it is.

Very solemnly he takes me by the hand to the fireplace where a piece of carrot has been carefully placed. And the penny drops - Mummy, can we have Santa today? He's luring him back. Think it will work?

I could re-use my gift bags then! Tutorial from Amy, blue elastic (VV Rouleaux) and matching jingle bells (Paperchase) from shopping trip with Caroline.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Special delivery

At the end of last term, Mark told me he needed a new school bag. He was very specific in his requests so I had him draw what he wanted.

Hmmm. Would it not just have been easier to mug a postman? Probably, but a whole lot less satisfying. I used a pattern people!! Yes, me, self-confessed patternaphobe. Simplicity 4391 if you're really interested. And here's the finished article, complete with reflective tape (the best bit as far as he's concerned).

I know it looks huge, but it has to accommodate an enormous book bag, plus lunchbox, plus extra water, plus all the other small boy requirements for the day. At least his hands are free now.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Reminders to self for the festive season
breathe deeply::relax totally::walk humbly::indulge completely::read quietly::sing lustily::give generously::sleep sufficiently

Hope yours was utterly fabulous.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Who ate all the shortbread?

I made another batch of macadamia and mandarin shortbread tonight intending to take it along to my book group Christmas get-together, but hubby has requisitioned it for work. Those colleagues had better be grateful...

We are discussing Fear and Trembling by Amelie Nothomb. It is the story of a Belgian girl who spends a year working for a Japanese corporation in Tokyo and I absolutely loved it. But then, I don't know how much of that is because I have worked in Tokyo and found it hugely familiar to read about. I'm looking forward to seeing what the others thought.

It may be tempting fate to say so, but I think I am finished with Christmas shopping (at least on the present procurement front). Now I just need to attend to a couple of wrapping dilemmas (rugby ball ideas anyone?) then it's food food food! My favourite bit.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Someone's idea of a joke?

My washing machine has chosen today to give up the ghost.
I have many words to describe this, and all of them have 4 letters.
I know what Santa's bringing ME this year.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Teacher treats

Thanks to a great packaging idea from Joanna at Stardust Shoes, we got all the teacher Christmas Goodie plates to school for Mark today. He stencilled christmas trees on the top plates and we tied them up with stripey string.

You'll have to excuse the exceptionally dodgy photo, but I was running out of time and at almost 3pm the natural light in my kitchen is non-existent. The goodies are the fruits of a lovely Sunday, spent baking Macaroons, Cinnamon Cookies, Mandarin Pecan Shortbread Sticks and dipping dried apricots in chocolate and pistachios. Yum yum - the boys were in bowl licking heaven.

Now we just need to deliver 4 for Johnny's pre-school teachers and that's another thing ticked off my list. Johnny and the other teeny-tinies are meant to be doing a performance of festive songs tomorrow - he'll belt out Twinkle Twinkle but flatly refuses to join in with Jingle Bells and denies all knowledge of a bizarre little ditty called Plum Pudding. Tomorrow should be fun...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Trans atlantic meet up

I met Tasha earlier this year through a kids cooking swap, but I never thought I would get to meet her in real life, what with Minnesota being some way from Oxfordshire. Then she e-mailed to say she was going to be in the UK. An opportunity not to be missed....

I'm often quite shy with new people, but somehow blogger meet-ups are different. Tasha is such a lovely, serene person and chatting with her was a wonderfully relaxing interlude in the midst of the hectic Christmas run-up. It made me think how important it is to make time for the people in our lives, to really listen to them. I'm often guilty of having so much on my plate that I forget that the whole point of what I am doing is to make the people around me happy. Perhaps sometimes I need to do less and sit and talk more. Sounds good doesn't it?

And do you want to know why there are no Tord garlands left in Target? It's because we in the UK are benefiting from personal deliveries of all known stock!

Thank you so much Tasha for that and the gorgeously soft alpaca, which far surpasses the standard of my knitting. I hope to do it justice. And if I ever find myself in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, I will be sure to e-mail and let you know.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

My meme innocence, lost

I was happily reading a meme over at Little Cotton Rabbits today, when I found myself tagged by Julie. I am stuck somewhere between flattered and embarrassed, but here I am, baring all - my love of almost any form of food, my puerile taste in TV and films, my nomadic youth. Stripped down and exposed, so think kind thoughts as you read. I'm feeling fragile.

4 jobs I've had
1. Management Consultant
2. Teaching English as a Foreign Language (the hardest job I have EVER done)
3. Dry Stone Waller (yes, I can lay hedges too - many hidden talents, me)
4. Obligatory barmaid/shelf stacker in supermarket/market barrow sweetie seller student jobs.

4 movies I could watch over and over
I don't like watching films over and over- is that weird? But here are some I have enjoyed more than once.
1. The Snowman - have to cry quietly, so as not to upset the children
2. Howards End (Helena Bonham Carter is practically my neighbour - amazing, but true)
3. The Sound of Music - for sing-along-ability
4. Speed - sorry, Keanu Reeves.... Had a bit of a thing about him.

4 places I have lived (apart from where I am now)
1. Yokohama, Japan
2. Nuku'alofa, Tonga
3. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
4. Georgetown, Cayman Islands

What can I say, I like to put myself about a bit.

4 TV shows I love
1. ER (CBC, Chem 7, type and cross for 6 units, stat - I could be a doctor)
2. Nigella Lawson on any cooking program - she's so GREEDY! I love it.
3. X Factor - I'm addicted, I apologise, but I HAVE to watch.
4. Charlie & Lola - doesn't everyone?

4 places I have been for a vacation
1. Yacht charter in Greece - can't wait for the kids to be old enough to do this again
2. Canal boat on the Kennett and Avon - I defy anyone NOT to be relaxed puttering along at a maximum speed of 4 mph.
3. Camping trip across Germany.
4. Numerous holiday cottages in the UK, Cornwall, Suffolk, Somerset, Northumberland (our preferred holiday with kids option)

4 websites I visit daily - sorry nothing very exciting.
1. Bloglines
2. Hotmail
3. The site meter on my blog - you think you're watching me, but really, I'm watching you!
4. Google

4 favourite foods - do I have to choose?
1. Fruit - I never met a fruit I didn't like: mango, cherries, strawberries, satsumas, raspberries...
2. Seafood - lobster, cockles, clams, whelks, crab, shrimp, fish
3. Nuts - favourite is a dead heat between brazil nuts and walnuts
4. Meat - steak, bacon butties, roast chicken, spare ribs - we're a pretty carnivorous family.

4 places I would rather be
1. In bed - I have new flannel bedlinen - it was VERY hard getting up this morning.
2. Boston
3. Starbucks - preferably the concession in Borders so I could read all the imported magazines with my gingerbread latte.
4. Living in my dream house, Georgian/Edwardian/Victorian, walled garden, gigantic kitchen, craft studio, cleaner, money in the bank. Good think dreaming is free.

4 people I am tagging - sorry if you hate these, pretend you never saw OK?
Caroline (Dolliedaydream)
Tiel (Tsk-tsk)
Kirsten (Kirstencan)
Soo (My little space)

Monica, you got off lightly on account of moving! Count yourself very fortunate. The picture is a hi-jacked attempt to show you my new fuzzy socks, someone just can't resist the lure of a photo opportunity.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Dreaming of a White Christmas

I love snow, but we had none last year and just enough the previous year for one night of snowball fighting. I love the strange muffled silence when it falls and the way that the ugliest corner, where the bins go, suddenly becomes quite magical.
While I'm unlikely to get any round here any time soon, I can at least indulge myself with this magical snowflake generator. I'll wait here while you play.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The third stocking

The final stocking in the trilogy is done - thanks for the blue motif suggestions. I worked on a dove for quite a while, but it just looked odd, so a snowflake it is.

Can you spot the not-so-deliberate mistake? But I rather like it that way, so it's staying. Now I really have to get to work with the stocking stuffing part. What are you hoping for in yours?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Rug, spuds and book

Sorry, just had to hi-jack the blog to show a picture of my new rug to my mother. She's not good with e-mail, but blog surfs like a demon! Like it Mum?

I've had the boys hard at work today. Putting them on spud peeling duty pretty much ensures I can get the rest of lunch prepared in peace. If I teach them to peel chestnuts, I could keep them fully occupied between now and Christmas. I feel a new tradition coming on...

I've been so absorbed in reading about everyones Christmas traditions recently. Particularly the seasonal kids books, and I'm not the only one interested, judging from the response Amy got to her post. Today Simmy, with a stroke of genius, has set up a Flickr group to show your favourite Christmas books for children. Take a look, it's going to be a great one I'm sure.

My contribution today is this. With a chapter for each day of Advent, it tells the story of Joachim, who is lucky enough to obtain a magic advent calender. Hidden inside it, is a secret story, which unfolds each day. For the first time this year I am reading it to Mark, who is loving it as much as I do.

And thank you so much for all the wonderful Birthday greetings - made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Friday, December 01, 2006

First of December

Can you believe it? December already! Let the preparations begin, only, not today, because it's my birthday so I'm allowed the day off. Especially since my truly wonderful sister-in-law sent me this.

It would be rude not to sit down and have a good look through, don't you think?

I had grand ideas for a thirty-something fascinating things about me post, but after my friend Sarah fed me a delicious lunch, I discovered that I have become sadly unaccustomed to daytime drinking. I can only think of half a dozen mildly interesting snippets, and I probably shouldn't share half of them. So I shall remain silent and enigmatic.

Happy Advent one and all.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


Christmas stockings weren't a major part of my family Christmases growing up, but I do think they are a lovely idea. It's the thoughtfulness of those little bits of something and nothing that I like best about them.

So I wanted to make 3 this year for my Mummy-chums - the people who will have the kids for me in emergencies, babysit, drink tea and natter with me and water my plants when I'm away. Here are the two which are done, but I am struggling with the third.

I need another motif - maybe using blues?

The fabrics on the cuffs are bits left over from Caroline's contribution to the mini moopy love experience. She told me to go ahead and use them up. I have quite a bit of fabric left, some in small pieces, but others in larger bits. They have posed me with a bit of a moral dilemma. I don't feel right about using them for my own projects because you guys gave them to me as a charity donation. But I don't want them to go to waste either. If you sent me some fabric and have thoughts on the matter, please let me know. Maybe someone else needs fabric for a charitable purpose and I can help out?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tweedy pie

Look who flew into my shopping bag today! I like to add a couple of new ornaments to my collection each year, and this little robin called to me. I was in town with no kids this morning, so I had the chance to go into a tiny shop named Eben Lark. Usually I daren't venture in there with a pram and grubby fingered boys, so I console myself with lusting through the window.

The owner is such a lovely woman and I felt good about supporting a local craftsperson. She was also very patient as I evangelized about getting herself a web-presence (it's the ex-management consultant in me, can't help spotting a missed opportunity).

I also stopped by Mostly Books (the bookshop with the blog, remember?) to pick up my next book group read. The last one was Beyond Black by Hillary Mantel. But that's NOT a recommendation - I hated it and am looking forward to savaging it next Wednesday. The next one seems much better, I'll let you know - need to settle down with my Mocha and enjoy it.

And thank you for all the kind Maths advice yesterday. It's one of those things which brings out strong feelings in many of us, it seems.

Monday, November 27, 2006

9+1, 8+2, 7+3, 6+4, 5+5

Gosh things were quiet in blogland with all you turkey-gobblers off celebrating! Glad things have perked up today, but if you're still in need of some uplifting, how about a little game over at compound word project? Shari has put together round two of this and I'm all excited because I'm one of the photographers this time round - go see if you can guess mine.

Guessing the diptychs reminds me of that awful 80's show, 'Catchphrase' with the incredibly annoying Irish host who kept shouting 'just SAY what you SEE' at hapless contestants. I was such a fan. It's a good thing I wasn't married to Andy way back then. We have always been really competitive with TV quiz shows - keeping a personal tally for University Challenge - looser washes up. He'd be at the sink permanently if we did it with Catchphrase - intelligent he is, lateral thinker he definitely isn't.

I've been thinking a lot these past few days about the ways our minds work. Specifically Mark's. His teacher came to me last Friday concerned that he wasn't grasping 'number bonds' or many mathematical concepts for that matter. She says he isn't listening in class, which I'm sure is true, but I'm not sure it's the root of the problem. He can do Maths with real-world examples and with props to help him, but when faced with just numbers you can see him starting to flap and he gets so flustered he can't figure out what he's meant to be doing. Then he makes a wild guess. Already at 6 he has decided Maths is not for him and I think his teacher's attitude is likely to re-enforce this.

It makes me sad, doubly sad because I was EXACTLY the same as a child. I have always struggled with maths - I can do it, but I am not confident about it and find myself easily flustered. Geometry and statistics are fine - I have something concrete to visualize, but plain numbers are scary. I know some of you who read this do homeschooling - any advice for me? How can I help this poor child before he gets totally turned off.

He needed some cheering up, so I freezer paper stencilled a dinosaur on his vest. Maths I can't do, prehistoric creatures I can.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The name's Bond...

Went to see Casino Royale this week, with the girlies. I had my doubts about the new Bond, but you can consider me converted.

I have to admit to being partial to the odd mindless explosion, car chase induced mayhem and shoot 'em up extravaganza. There's nothing better than a good action movie. With jumbo sized popcorn please.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Brown paper packages....

While I may have been quiet in blogland, there has been plenty of joyful whooping going on here in real life. Mostly at the appearance of an awesome series of packages from lovely blogging friends. The first, a Japanese Craft book called 'Fabric bag' from Soo, with cute buttons too. I am very inspired.

Then a Capello thank you special. Very handy seam ripper there - been used already. And chocolate - oh yes, and lovely fabric choices for the pincushion.

And a give-away from Michelle - a micro mini Santa hat which will be adorning my tree this year and some gorgeous handmade Christmas cards. This may be the start of a whole paper crafting obsession for me - I am very afraid.

Thank you so much. Partly for the lovely things you sent, but even more for the warm feeling that I get when one of these amazing parcels appears, put together with care, wrapped with panache and sent off to someone who would be a stranger if it wasn't for this crazy experience that is blogging. Sent for no reason other than knowing it will put a smile on their face. That's special - thank you.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Aaaaah - what a relief

Nearly two weeks without a blogging fix, and I think hubby has finally managed to sort out our computer. I missed you all, but I must admit, the enforced break was strangely liberating too. Eeek, does this mean I need to be re-thinking my blogging time allocation?

While we were away I scooped some irresistible cookware items - the snowflake cutter got it's first outing tonight with some puff pastry snowflakes. My boys are puff pastry addicts. In fact, I don't think I have ever met a child who doesn't like it. We don't even need to make a pie, they're happy to have it cut into shapes, brushed with milk and baked. Easy peasy.

The cake stand has yet to be christened, but it's my friend Sarah's birthday this weekend so you never know. I'll let you peek at her present too, but no telling OK?

It's a galvanized bucket, filled with goodies for the perfect fireside experience. A couple of logs in the bottom, some bundled kindling (ribbons obligatory), pine cones scented with cinnamon oil, herb bundles for burning and some fancy pants matches for lighting.

I read somewhere that pine cones are nature's own firelighters, being packed with resin which burns very hot. With some cinnamon essential oil, they smell incredible. The herb bundles are thyme, rosemary and bay, all from our garden and bound with stripy string. Yes, THE stripy string - do you think its sacrilege to consign some of it to be burned? I'm viewing it as a sacrifice at the altar of the Gods of Good Packaging.

Happy Thanksgiving to all you celebrators over the pond, may your turkeys be tender.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sick computer

Hi! Thanks for all the good wishes about our grownups-only jaunt. Bath was great, but I came home to a very sick PC. Hubby is administering first aid (and a new hard drive) so hopefully I'll be up and about in blogland soon. Don't forget me will you?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday wip - chaos control

It's that time of year again, the pre-Christmas cull of the playroom. Tossing all the broken toys, setting aside donations for the school bring and buy sale, hoovering the deep crevices in the sofa. It's not a pleasant job, but someone's got to do it.

My kids are so lucky to have a playroom, but at times it depresses the hell out of me. I turfed an entire bin bag full of stuff and STILL the room is groaning. And the silly season is about to start where we all rush about buying each other even more stuff, when actually what we all really want is extra time to enjoy the stuff we already have, which of course we would have if we didn't spend so much time shopping for more stuff for everyone else.

I'm sorry, I'll stop ranting now. But I do think that this year we might try some gifts of experience - some new food to try, a trip to the cinema - ideas folks?
But actually, the best gift would be for this amazing person to sort the room out for me. Look at hers.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Balancing Cats

Winter-mode seems to have struck our household - with the clocks going back, the playground after school routine has lost its appeal and we're ransacking the toy cupboard looking for amusement. This week that's been provided by 'balancing cats'.

You can pile grandma, her parcels and her cats into some pretty amazing structures I can tell you. The game is officially called Matoudematata and we got it last Christmas at an amazing toyshop in Bath whose name has slipped my memory.

Oh yes, Bath. Andy and I are heading off there, sans children, for a couple of days next week. Grandparents are being shipped in, copious notes on routines, swimming lessons and lunchbox contents need to be written, the fridge will be fully stocked and then we are hitting the highway to freedom! A hotel, grown up meals, the possibility of a lie-in - oh yes, it's going to be good. So if anyone has recommendations of not-to-be-missed places, tell me quick.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Sweater enhancing goodness

A happy parcel day today from Monica - very cute lollies (of course I'm going to give them to the children) and this lovely brooch.

She must have sensed that I was having a 'boring blue sweater' day which could only be brightened by felty goodness. Thanks Monica! I absolutely love it.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

String envy

Dreaming about Christmas is one of my favourite ways to spend time. The planning is almost better than the real thing (less work, higher likelihood of achieving perfection). Images often stick around in my head and this one of Alicia's packaging was one of them.

I thought about it long and wistfully and then it came to me - without stripy string my Christmas will never be perfect. And I've found some!! From a butcher's supply place on the Internet - yes, stripy string is for trussing joints of beef - at least red is, blue is for pork and green for lamb. I learnt a lot from the butchery supply site - very educational.

Monday, November 06, 2006

A foggy day, and London town (sorry Ella)

It's been a foggy day and I'm feeling like a real homebody. I think it's the backlash from my lovely Saturday in London with Caroline. It was the perfect Autumn day for strolling around the capital, shopping and yakking. I love walking in London - there is just SO much to see and take in, amazing architecture, great people watching, street vendors selling chestnuts, oh yes, and shopping (we did VV Rouleaux, Cath Kidston, Emma Bridgewater and a newsagent stocking Marie Claire Idees in a single street). Caroline is as charming in person as she is in blogland and I can't wait until we get together again.

I've also got a lot of stuff to play with at home, since a parcel came from Laura at the end of last week. The boys are busy with their new books. I am the proud owner of some original stamps and stamped stationary and the funkiest post-it's known to man.

We made a batch of leaf biscuits this evening for dessert and I'm cooking up some plans for this fabric.

And .... prepare to hyperventilate ..... this!
Thank you so much Laura - you've really hit the spot with these lovely goodies. I may not emerge for some time...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Last of the cupcakes...

Okay, I promise this is the last of the Halloween baking, but these went off to school for a coffee afternoon fundraiser.

Apart from 3 reserved for 'the boys' at home. Johnny, what happened to the cupcake?

He's pleading innocence, but I spy evidence to the contrary.

And a happy post day today, with a little parcel all the way from Old School Acres. Don't you just love that blue fabric? Thanks Laurie!

I'm still struggling with a little thank you mail out of my own to all you lovely folks who helped me out with Minimoopy Love Experience fabrics. Here's a sneak peek... Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Chicken Palm Pies

Okay, you asked for a recipe and I aim to oblige so here (from Family Food by Silvana Franco) goes.

For 12 pies you'll need:

3oz pancetta or streaky bacon in small bits
4 chicken thighs (skinned and boned)
1 tsp cornflour
1 onion chopped finely
1tsp chopped sage
100ml chicken stock
500g shortcrust pastry
1 egg yolk

Cook pancetta in a frying pan till crisp and golden (you bay need a little olive oil if you use bacon), remove with a slotted spoon. Cut thighs into 1cm bits and toss with cornflour.

Cook chicken and onion in the bacon fat for about 10 mins till browned and cooked through. Add sage for last minute of cooking time, stir in stock and bring to the boil, season. Return pancetta to pan and allow filling to cool.

Preheat oven to 200deg C. Roll out pastry and cut 12 discs to fit in a 12 hole muffin tin - allow excess pastry to overhang the edges. Cut out discs for lids.

Divide filling and put in pastry cases. Dampen each lid with water and place on top, sealing the edges by pressing them together. Put a small hole in the top of each pie to let the steam escape while cooking.

Brush the tops with beaten egg yolk and bake for 20 mins until pastry is crisp and well glazed. You can eat them hot, or leave them to cool when they become great lunchbox food.

And for typing all that out, I think I deserve a sit down with some of the Halloween biscuits I made yesterday.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Pies and pumpkins

The beginning of dark nights always marks a step-change in the food I feel like cooking. Soup, stews, sponge puddings, pies.... I have a weird fondness at this time of year for institutional food - you can probably trace it back to boarding school. So today was chicken palm pies. You do them with shortcrust pastry in a non-stick muffin tin with a filling of chicken, pancetta, sage and onion.

Mark loves them cold the following day for packed lunch, when, as the name suggests, they fit perfectly in your hand. but he's going to be sadly disappointed tomorrow, because we have scoffed the lot.

Chef Johnny got very engrossed in his rolling. And why, oh why did I bother mopping the kitchen floor this morning? Never mind, by candlelight the dirt doesn't show.

Happy Halloween everyone.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Oh, what a perfect day....

Forgot the clocks were going back today - this morning started very early and I am predicting tears before bedtime, but strangely I don't care. I am in a little bubble of happiness after having one of those great, life enhancing days yesterday.

I went to Cheltenham to meet Monica and passed the day in a pleasurable haze of chatter, eating, drinking, wandering and shopping. I discovered that Monica is one of those people with flawless style and taste, so I was really pleased when she helped me pick out some fabric for a bag I have been meaning to make for ages.

I saw these amazing shoes which I probably should have bought and may have to go back for.

And I returned home to two happy little boys who had the best day with Daddy. They had a picnic (with boiled eggs - which entitles him to a 'Father of the Year' award in their eyes). And he swore to me he didn't keep them in the linen hamper ALL day.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Just checking in...

And the winner is Lesley (who Blogger didn't give me an e-mail OR a blog address for so Lesley, you'll have to e-mail me with your details - my e-mail is on my profile).

I've been a bit quiet for a few days as it's half term this week, so things have been busy on the kid front. We went to the "shee shide" to spend a few days with my folks. It was wet and cold though so no piccies, unless the ones I took of my Dad's saxophone count. He wanted a photo shoot for e-bay purposes, as his sax tally is currently 6 - they are taking over the house.
So no crafting done, which is bad news as I owe parcels to half the blogging universe - I'm sorry, they are coming! But I did finish my book club book The Secret River, by Kate Grenville. The book club is a new thing for me - I have the first meeting next week and to be honest I am feeling a little nervous. It's with a group of people I don't know and I don't want to come across as talkative and opinionated. This is tricky as I have a tendency to be both.

Meeting new people is always a bit anxiety inducing, but I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to lunch with Monica on Saturday and shopping with Caroline the following weekend. Meeting bloggers seems more like a reunion than a first meeting if you know what I mean.