Thursday, August 25, 2005

August Bank holiday weekend

We're going away tomorrow morning to Buxton for a long weekend with our caravaning friends & their 3 children.

Because of the awful weather we've been having (where is the summer????) we only decided to definately go tonight so I've been racing around getting things ready. So no photos yet I'm afraid. I want to do the gifts from my Secret Pal justice so you'll have to wait a bit longer - it's worth it

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Swimming progress

I learnt to swim when I was 9 & have always been a breaststroker. I can swim for an hour or so in breaststroke & backstroke but never front crawl (don't even go to butterfly). Because DD is such a good swimmer she now THRASHES me & I am determined that I will learn front crawl for my own self esteem & standing in our household.

I bought the floats a couple of weeks ago & have been worked hard ever since. I know the theory as I watched DD being coached for 2 years but couldn't put it into practice. So I've been doing lots of kick using a kickboard, pull using a pullbuoy & tonight for the first time put the two drills together.

I swam 12 lengths of Front crawl for the first time in my life!

I'm really chuffed with myself & intend to get stronger & faster. I'll probably never have the style that DD has but at least I won't be so embarrassed if we go swimming together - it's a weird mix of pride & shame when you're beaten so profoundly by your 9 year old daughter!

To make this knitting related I've been receiving parcels!!!

A HUGE parcel from my Secret Pal, a package of goodies from Laughing Hens for my Knitting Group & am expecting another parcel from from Tess at Angel Yarns also for the group. DH will be taking photos tomorrow night but I'll be posting about each parcel separately to do them justice.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

No spam please....

I've just had to delete a spam comment - I don't want to restrict the comments to regisitered users but will do it if this persists....

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Purple pics

My DD is back!!!

She missed us too had a bit of a cry & a cuddle when DH left us alone. She was with my MIL, SIL, BIL, their 3 children & my other niece & nephew who are siblings. So she was the only child without a sibling or parent with her which I think she found hard.

She did enjoy herself as they went to lots of good places including Lightwater Valley & Mother Shiptons Cave.

She's also knackered as the two cousins that she shared a room with both need the light on & she likes TOTAL darkness at night plus she was on a sofa bed. So she's had a bath & is in new PJ's ready for her favourite meal - lovingly being prepared by DH as I write!

I've made some progress on the Entrelac Shawl & have regained the panels that I had to frog plus more.

Entrelac Shawl in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino
Entrelac shawl

I'm now on the second row, only that row plus another six to finish before the top triangles. It's definately not a quick knit and I need the pattern with me but I'm enjoying it.

However I wanted a more mindless knit & found two 100g balls of Pattons 100% Cotton yesterday for £1 each! So Daisy was cast on yesterday as I didn't want to add to my stash

Daisy in Patons 100% Cotton
Daisy in Patons 100% Cotton

I like doing moss stitch (seed stitch to US knitters) in cotton as the stitch defination really stands out. It's knitted in once piece until you reach the arm holes so will mean less sewing up - Yay!!!

I've found another pattern which I want to do after the Alphabet Blanket in silvery grey Wool Cotton

Satin-edged blanket
Satin-edged blanket

It's in baby bloom by Erika Knight & will be beautiful in purple Cashmerino superchunky edged with a deep purple satin ribbon.

DD bought me a present whilst she was away which is now hanging up in the kitchen window - isn't it beautiful!


The last purple photo only has a little bit of purple but is gorgeous so qualifies:

Badge from Little Lixie
Badge from Little Lixie

It's a knitting badge from Little Lixie being modeled by DD - she's coverting it! Thanks Lixie.

Tracy hoped that we'd managed to get away - we didn't. The weather forecast had promised lously weather with loads of rain. We've been away 5 times in the caravan this year & each & every time it has rained. No not just rain, torrential rain, gales, falling trees & mini rivers through the awning. so we chickened out & stayed at home. Sods law that apart from one overnight occurance we haven't seen any rain!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Cheese on toast anyone?

My DD is away for a week - the first time she's been away that long since her birth nearly 10 years ago. I know that I should be appreciating the time she's away but I'm missing my DD like mad. She's away for a week with her cousins & is having a fantastic time.

I'm not.

I'm returning alone to an empty house, empty that is apart from two bouncy dogs. I work part time so I get home earlier than DH, part time as I look after DD but not this week.

For the last two days DH has rung to say - don't do any dinner for me as I've had a big lunch / I'm not very hungry, blah blah blah

What's the point cooking for one???

I certainly can't be bothered.

DD & I normally eat together as she needs to eat early with plenty of time clear before she swims. So she's around chatting (constantly) & watching TV whilst I'm cooking. Normally the noise drives me mad but I'd rather have that than an empty house & nobody to eat with.

The peace & quiet is definitely nice but I miss her. It's really weird having a quiet house - this is what it would have been like if we'd not had a child. There's a lot less washing, dirty pots & general mayhem.

You'd think that we'd have made the most of it & gone out at least once, especially as baby sitters are rather thin on the ground in this household.

We haven't.

It rained all weekend (no news there) & we couldn't agree on a film on Saturday night. Then we've both been at work & I've been swimming or washing the dogs the past few nights & we're both skint.

It's great not having to tell her to go to bed yet AGAIN & just do my own thing in the evening, but I'd rather have it all back than cheese on toast for one, again.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Urgh... (don't read if you're squeamish)

We're hoping to go away again for a few nights on Thursday & the dogs were stinking, so off into the garage I dragged them for a quick wash & blow dry.

Blue first, up on the table being brushed out whilst her bath was running. Quick trim of the feet & URGH I snipped through an engorged tick just above her foot!!!

I briefly wondered what the black crud was on my fingers & scissors before I realised what it was. Of course once the blood had left the tick's body (no way it'd stay in as I'd sliced it in two), the body sack is the same colour as her leg hair so I can't see it now.

She now smells nice & clean but has half a tick embedded in her leg. I've got to find it soon otherwise it'll get infected.

Annie also hummed but is now nice & clean.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Lazy Sunday

We're having a lazy peaceful & quiet day. The house is so quiet without DD here - this is what it would be like if we didn't have children! I love her to bits but am really enjoying the peace. I woke up this morning & lay in bed just listening to - nothing apart from DH breathing next to me. So far I've tidied our bedroom & cleaned the bathroom. Next a quick tidy up downstairs & then I'm sitting down for the rest of the day with the Entrelac Shawl.

I sent an email to Monkey World this morning offering them the photos in the post below if they were good enough and received this reply:

"Great photos! We would love to be able to use them for the park -
educational material, adoption photos, post cards, etc."

So DH's photos are going to help raise money to aid these beautiful primates which is fantastic! If any of you are ever in that part of the world make sure you pay a visit as it's a wonderful place & such a great cause.

On the knitting front I finally frogged the Entrelac Shawl last night back to the beginning of the cabling & am starting again. To ensure that I don't gain any extra rows, I've separated the stitches to be picked up by markers every two to ensure that I get 11 cables using two stitches each. Previously I had 1 section with 12 cables, 1 with 11 1/2 & 1 perfect 11. The perfect set was annoying in the middle of the other two so had to be frogged.

The French Market bag has been felted & is currently blocking stuffed full of towels. I had been a bit worried as it was HUGE prior to felting. It has felted wonderfully & I can't wait to use it. No photos yet as I need to get it lined. The friend who is a whizz with a sewing machine is away for a week so it'll be a bit delayed. I'm debating whether or not to insert some plastic mesh into the base to give it a bit of stability & shape - what has everybody else done? Please let me know via the comments.

Finally a photo of a mug I bought last week which just had to come home with me:

Big Dog
Big Dog

Blue is known as Big Dog as she's half an inch taller than Annie & is the alpha bitch. So from that Annie is known as Little Dog:

Little Dog
Little Dog

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Photos from Monkey World

DH took these photos during our visit to Monkey World

Chimps first...


Tutti swinging hanging by one finger!


the sun is in my eyes

Tutti hanging upside down

Peggy munching on apple

Johni crunching carrots

playing with a Kong

Semach - it's all gone!

Carli in the nursery

Wooly Monkeys next...

Willy the female Wooly Monkey

close up

Ring-tailed Lemurs...

group hug

Lemur crossing

must everybody watch me..

sat up high

steppin out


Hsiao-quai and her son, Kai

Other unexpected sightings...


& finally...


I've been tagged

I've been tagged by Little Lixie & Noo

I have to reveal 5 of my idiosyncrasies to the world and then tag 5 others to do the same - if there's anybody left!

Here goes...

I HATE ironing so do everything I can to reduce the need for it. I peg washing out with clips under the arms of the clothes, smoothing them on the line, place things very carefully on the raditors etc. DH dumps things in a heap on the radiator & I hate it as they end up a crumbled mess.

When I make the bed I always face the opening of the pillow cases inwards, facing each other.

I always stop & talk to dogs if I see any when we're out - it drives DH barmy! Unless they're Yorkshire Terriers, Staffies or GSD's - I'm not so keen on these breeds. He even tries to cross the road now to stop me saying hello.

I don't like tea or coffee - I drink herbal teas or hot chocolate.

I am a hoarder, from yarn to cookbooks - it drives my DH mad but he also hoards things so can't go too mad at me. It might be useful one day!

In turn I tag:

Eye Knit, Kids and Knits, Knit and Tonic, Library Girl Knits & Xtreme knitting

Secret Pal 6

I've signed up for Secret Pal 6 - I'm getting excited already!

Mass update - long post

It's raining hard here today - it's hard to believe that it's the middle of August. We've planned to go away again for 4 nights at the end of next week but I can't face another wet caravan holiday so it's totally weather dependent. On every single trip we've had this year it has rained heavily but that's a danger of going on holiday in England I suppose. I just wish that we could go away & have sunshine, rather than wet weather & soggy awnings.

I forgot to mention in my last post that the rain was so heavy one night,that a corner of the awning collapsed early one morning with a very loud crash - the rain had collected on the roof & brought it down. I also found a toad underneath the ground sheet when I packed everything away - toads love wet weather - I don't.

DD has gone away without us for a week - the longest time we've ever been apart. The house seems SO quiet & she's only been gone a couple of hours - it's amazing how much noise one small person can make. We're both looking forward to waking up tomorrow morning to peace & quiet. She can never sleep in & come downstairs & puts the TV on LOUD (normally leaving the door open so we can hear every word). She's gone my with MIL, SIL, BIL & 5 cousins to Harrogate. I'm sure she'll have a fantastic time but not much sleep. If the weather improves & we do go away she'll be dropped off to our campsite on Saturday afternoon & will have another 2 days away.

Knitting group was great fun last night - 9 people in all but a floating 9 as 3 new people came. If everyone came on the same night I'd have over 20. Lots of different projects from blankets, baby Cabled coat, crocheted hat & I finished my left over Chunky project. Photos will be posted soon.

Fred asked re the Entrelac Shawl in my comments. I'm afraid that I haven't touched it at all. Partly because I'm annoyed I've got to frog the cables that I've done & also because I wanted to finish the French Market bag. I've decided that I am a one main project person - I had to complete 1 before I can carry on with the other. That however DOESN'T extend to sewing up as the awful cardigan is still partly sewn up. It's still too big so I've got a bit of time to look at it before I finally give in. Or maybe I should just do it anyway to get rid of it. I hate sewing up!

I have finally found a solution to my lack of exercise - I'm over weight & hate it. Two years ago I was happily going to a private gym, taking DD with me for the kids club thus gaining some freedom to go the gym & then a quick 20 lengths in the pool. But then she started swimming competitively & my exercise stopped as she swims so frequently. She's moving up to a new squad in September & the sessions are either 1 1/2 or 2 hours long so I've said that she can only do 3 sessions a week for the first few months as I don't want her to get burnt out. The sessions are also on different nights & mean that I can join the adults swimming club!!! I went on Wednesday for the first time & loved it. I'm determined to learn front crawl as I actually avoid swimming with DD now as she totally thrashes me & loves doing so. I'm strong on breast stroke but she's a hell of a lot faster. My front crawl technique was ok (too many hours sat watching DD being taught) but I couldn't get the breathing right - I kept swallowing mouthfuls of water & spluttering. So I've ordered a pullbuoy, a kickboard, goggles & a cap & intend to sort it out. I'm going to use the floats & break the stroke down & master bits at a time, breathing first. I want to lose weight & get fit & feel that swimming is a good start. I also love it so will keep it up - I hate aerobics or step classes - can't think of anything worse! I lost loads of weight when DD was young dieting & going to circuit training 3 times a week as as I get fitter I may start that again. DD is keen to come with me if she's not too young but surprisingly DH isn't keen!

I've been tagged so must get on & write my answers - coming soon.....

Monday, August 08, 2005

We're back

We actually got back last night but I was too busy & tired to post an update.

We had 15 days in Dorset/Devon but for the first 10 days in rained everyday. We had 3 dry days in total & the whole of the South West had a severe weather warning for the first week - joy - not!

We didn't end up moving the site near Dorchester which was really good & stayed put for the whole holiday. My Dad's house was only 3 miles away from our campsite which I hadn't realised when I booked the site. DH & DD had never met him before as he's normally overseas but has stayed in England for the past year so I pleaded for him to be around so that we could visit him. It was fantatic to see him again & DD adores him. DH is very happy to go back to that part of the world again soon which is very unlike him (normally he likes to explore new places) so I can see that we'll go back again soon.

We visited some local attractions including The Donkey Sanctuary, the Wildlife Park at Cricket St Thomas and Monkey World. They were all fantastic but I only have photos for Monkey World as DH didn't go to the others and he's the photographer in the family. Hopefully I'll be able to put some photos up in the next few days.

The Donkey Sanctuary and Monkey World are both rescue santuaries and the treatment that some of these animals endured before being rescued is horrendous. If we lived closer or if I have a windfall I would/will definately adopt a Primate and will be adopting a Donkey on DD's behalf for her birthday in a couple of months.

I didn't get much knitting done but did finish my French Market bag. I need a photo of it before I can felt it - coming soon. I had 140g left of the purple Jamieson's Chunky Shetland left & as I'd already balled it up felt that I wouldn't be able to return it so I've used it to create something else - more info when it's finished.

DH & I didn't really get on during our holiday & we've got somethings to sort out but will hopefully sort it all out soon. No more details I don't want to share that much information with the knitting community!

To top off this near disaster (awful weather & rows) - we had to be towed home via the RAC!. Another local company did the actually towing but it was free on my membership - thank god. The driver was a lovely guy which made it far more bareable & he even let the dogs ride in the cab - they didn't appreciate this btw & spent the whole time freaking out under the back seat amongst jump leads & other recovery essentials. This was all because DH sprained his ankle on Thursday night playing 5 a side football with Dad & his friends. We spent the best part of Friday twoing & frooing between the Doctors & the nearest hospital for x-rays & luckily were able to drop DD & the dogs off with my Dad. She would have been a nervous wreck & the dogs too hot in the car. As it was she had a fantastic time painting & learnt to blend colours - I can see lots of painting happening here soon.

I've just found out tonight what DH's boss is pregnant & she's lovely so I'll be doing something for the baby to be - probably the Alphabet blanket as knitted by Knitternatter in Wool Cotton - I've got some sandy yellow & silvery grey in my stash.