Sunday, April 29, 2007

Our weekend

DD & I spent a nice weekend in the company other other like minded fiber enthusiasts at the Parent & Child Rowan Workshop. It was our second time & after the fun we had last year we were both looking forward to it. DD was much more pleasant to be with & we both had a good time. However I don't have any FO's to show yet as they've gone home with the multi-talented Ari for the finishing touches.

I resisting buying yarns or patterns for myself apart from 4 odd balls for small projects but did treat DD as she wanted to make herself a jumper. She's halfway up the back now as Big Wool has a habit of growing rapidly & she's very pleased with herself.

Whilst we were away DH took advantage of our absence to start the work on our bathroom. Unfortunately he didn't take any pictures before he did any changes but you can probably still get an idea of how foul it is/was. The house originally had a separate toilet & bathroom but at some point the two rooms were made into one which left a room with two windows. Not a problem apart from the fact that neither were in the right place! The one above the loo needed to come out as we want a cupboard above it & the other above the bath is too close to where the new shower will be so he moved it in between the two.

bathroom window
Newly positioned bathroom window

bathroom window
Newly positioned bathroom window from outside

Until last weekend we had a separate shower cubicle but this leaked within a few days of us moving in & DH has decided to build a cupboard in it's place as we're desperately short of storage.

I was really pleased that I'd given DD a second chance after her behavior in the hotel last year & stayed away last night as I didn't really fancy bath full of rubble. That's all out here:


Poor DH is absolutely worn out & has to go back to work tomorrow. Luckily our BIL helped him yesterday as it was an awkward job so at least the house is sealed up & secure now.

I think DD & I had more fun this weekend than DH don't you?

Friday, April 27, 2007


Yesterday I read a something that really struck a cord with me. For the past few months I've been rambling about the house & the grease as I can't reveal what I'm knitting. I started something back in February for DH which got put on hold big style due moving house but it's back on track & will be finished soon. I've also got another little something going on as well & yarn & patterns were purchased on my birthday but I kept quiet about it. It's something small as the recipient hasn't been born yet but it couldn't be a total surprise as Mum-to-be has a 'thing' about some fibres & I had to check that it wouldn't make her skin crawl before I cast on. Luckily my chosen yarn Bergere de France Ideal was acceptable & as it's machine washable I thought it be a good choice for a baby.

So there will be some more FO's on here at some point as knitting is taking place but just not yet.

Now if you've just come on here to read about knitting please click on the sidebar & go & visit another blog. What follows isn't about knitting in the slightest but about what's happening in my life 'beyond' the needles as it were.

I had a bit of a stressful afternoon/evening today & arrived at Knitting Club an hour late because of it all Firstly DD has/had a problem with Verrucas for a long time. I blame it on the fact that she's been swimming for nearly 6 years & spends a lot of her time walking barefoot in showers or on a poolside. Our Doctor disagrees with the association but even he was shocked when he saw the state of her feet as she had 33 verrucas on the soles of her feet & toes & even 1 on her hand. I've been trying to arrange Cryosurgery for her for a while but the receptionists kept fobbing me off due to her age & referred me back to the chemist for more cream. But last week I stood my ground & got stroppy with them so got an appointment for her to see the Doctor. I had thought he would kill them off over a number of appointments but no he did them all in one session. Poor DD was nearly climbing the walls with the pain & was screaming with tears running down her cheeks. I tried to distract her by suggesting a special pudding after dinner & asking would she prefer chocolate cake, cheese cake or ice cream. It didn't really work as a distraction as her feet were so painful & as she had so many he just kept going with the liquid nitrogen. It seemed to me that he was enjoying himself in a perverse way. However she did manage to hobble into the supermarket afterwards & choose a cream cake with strawberries on top WITH strawberry ice-cream.

Then it was back home to collect the dogs as now it was Annie's turn. I've been worried about her for a couple of weeks & had my fears confirmed at the vets. She has gone blind in her right eye due to a Cataract but as she has severe von Willebrands Disease surgery isn't an option for this dog.

Annie - an old photo but one of my favourites

I'm not concerned about caring with a blind dog as I've done it before as my first Airedale Libby went blind when she was 3 due to PRA, Instead I feel sad as she's already been through so much in her short life & has just recovered from another nasty disease that I didn't mention on here. She's such a sweet shy dog who just wants lots of cuddles & is insanely greedy. She'll still have a great life even if she loses sight in her other eye as well but she could die any time due to the blood disease so every moment is precious.

Now just when you're all totally grossed out by DD's feet & then if you're an animal lover feeling sad about Annie, something to make you smile:

Grey squirrel
Grey Squirrel in our Ash Tree

Monday, April 23, 2007

Happy Birthday to me!

Today in England it is St George's Day & more importantly, to me at least, it's my birthday. I don't believe in working on 'my day' so took a days holiday from work & planned to just chill but it didn't quite go to plan. The requirements of a new bathroom interrupted so some time was spent ordering building materials as DH is starting the job this weekend but it'll be a long time before the new suite will be seen as the preparation work involves bricking up two windows, creating a new one & lots of other wonderfully knackering jobs that DH just hates to do & that we didn't anticipate on having to do just weeks after moving in.

However back to the case in point. We had a day out on Saturday in my honour & I chose to go to the Open Day at The Knitting & Crochet Guild. When I say we I mean DD & I as DH escaped to walk the dogs & they all wore each other out. DD & I had fun learning how to knit a square made up of lots of triangles but mine isn't finished yet:

triangle swatch
triangle swatch

I was lucky in that I was able to chose my own presents

sock knitting books
birthday books

I also got a few odd balls of yarn from the Yarn Mountain but there wasn't much left after the latest Skip North Trip but that's not necessarily a bad thing especially in DH's opinion.

stash from the Yarn Mountain

However DD is taking on her role as a junior member of the guild very seriously & raced back to the Yarn Mountain after the workshop to buy various balls of acrylic in shades of blue to finish her square & some needles so she could continue in the car. I offered her some 4mm needles when we got home but no she had to have them there & then - that's my girl!

From there we then went to Coldspring but were too late to have the wonderful chips in the cafe next door So DD had to do her usual trick of stropping as she was by this time very hungry hence I didn't get much time to chose the rest of my present. I did however find something very nice indeed but am going to be a total tease & make you all wait as I also bought some for my friend CL in Canada who has a birthday next month & she reads this so I don't want to ruin the surprise. All will be revealed at the end of May I promise. But non present shopping I can reveal: I managed to get some more of the beautiful chunky in various shades of brown last seen here plus a 500g bag of Debbie Bliss Soho which will be felted in the not so distant future.

A lovely pub meal sorted DD's mood out & then we both knitted all the way home whilst poor DH drove. Knitting has been taking place here recently but I'm not yet ready to reveal what I'm working on. However it won't be long as I seem to be nearly there or so I keep thinking. Has anybody else noticed that even though you're doing loads more rows the last small ball of yarn hardly seems to be shrinking?

Tonight DH & I escaped our parenting roles & went to the Theatre to see The New Statesman which was fantastic. Well worth it if you get the chance to see it.

So I'm now another year older & closer to 40 but DH will get there before me

Thank you very much for the birthday wishes - I'll reply to emails asap.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Continuing our quest

to decrease the house & today we tackled the carpets. All are pale shades of cream & heavily marked with ???? which has caused black marks. We bought a carpet cleaner last week & today was the day!

dirty carpet
Dirty carpet in the conservatory

The instructions to the carpet cleaner said to pretreat the stains but we saw so many that we didn't know where to start apart from just doing the whole carpet.

cleaner carpet
Cleaner carpet in the conservatory

Much cleaner but still some black marks. We'll do it again in a few weeks but this time the marks will be pre-treated so hopefully they'll go soon. Mainly I've noticed the difference in smell, the carpets smell pleasant now rather than greasy.

I also cleaned the living room carpet but DH forgot to take an after pic so there's no point in showing the before. Plus just to demonstrate part of what we're trying to get rid of, a quick photo of a corner of the living room:

scribble on walls
pencil scribble

Plus the living room door:

Scribble on the doors
Scribble on the doors

Some knitting news tomorrow I promise as we had a day trip yesterday in honour of my birthday tomorrow

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


We've been hit by a very unseasonal heatwave & it feels like mid summer at the moment. Very odd for mid April but we haven't had any rain for weeks & it's very hot indeed.

I spent last Saturday afternoon having fibre fun turning skeins of sock yarn into knitterable balls of yarn:

Winding yarn in the sunshine
Winding yarn in the sunshine

Monet did her usual & cooked herself:

cat sunbathing
Monet enjoying the sunshine

Whilst Pam decided to take the cooler option & sat inside on the doormat:

cat on doormat
Sensible cat

The huge tree at the bottom of the garden now has a trunk & the creeper is starting to die:

Tree with an ivy free trunk
Ash Tree?

The Red Robin looks splendid as always in the sunshine:

Red Robin or Christmas Berry

And I need to find the sunscreen, which is hiding in a box somewhere, to halt the erruption of freckles

Monday, April 09, 2007

We've moved!

Well we're here at last. We survived the move & whilst stressful on the day it went without any major hitches. On moving day itself we still haven't finished removing our stuff from the old house by mid-day but we'd already completed & our buyer was screaming for the keys. As he's not due to move in for 6 weeks I thought that this was a bit unfair but we got them to the estate agent as soon as we could. However this meant that we were unable to wash the kitchen & living room floor but apart from that the whole house was left in an immaculate condition - I just wish our vendors had been so considerate.

When I opened the front door to our new home I made an unpleasant discovery - the previous owners had left the house in the most disgusting state The carpets were unhoovered & sporting huge stains, everything in the kitchen was wearing a thick covering of grease including the cupboards which hadn't even been wiped out when they removed their food & the oven was filthy & totally un-useable. The bathroom stank of pee, the basin still wore toothpaste & the bath with it's added extra colours of yellow, black & red where they'd washed out paint brushes & trays, has the lower level of tiles hanging off the wall & knackered silicon. All windows were foul & DH even discovered a trail of mold inside the conservatory window where food had left untouched for so long that the spores trailed down the glass.

A couple of friends had joined me to help & one quickly went out to buy buckets & we tried to tackle some of the grime before the removal men arrived with the contents of our old house.

Moving all our stuff was bad enough but the whole process was made far worse by the state of the house. Dinner that night was an Indian takeaway & DH managed to find the plates minutes before the delivery guy turned up at the door.

For the first few days I just kept thinking what have we done? Especially two days after we moved when we had water pouring through the kitchen ceiling as the shower cubicle has botch job plumbing. We knew that the kitchen was rough compared to our old house & had planned to replace it pretty quickly. However the bathroom is in a far worse state & as we're a shower family without a working shower this takes priority.

However the house has grown on us now. The area is lovely & we're now officially in a village although it seems a bit big to call it that to me. 10 minutes walk & I can get to a bank, chemist, hardware shop, fantastic deli & the most wonderful Italian bakery you could imagine. Our neighbours are both lovely & it's so quiet The garden is lovely but was VERY overgrown:

neglected garden
our new garden

This photo was taken before we did anything to it & it looks very different now. We're currently trying to release two trees at the back of the garden from the grips of a vicious creeper & crowbars have been employed amongst other tools as it doesn't want to let go.

front garden/drive
front garden/drive

For the first time ever we've got off road parking which is a real luxury. Especially when you arrive home with a boot full of shopping & don't have to park far from home. DD's feet can be seen on the left as she took a break from whatever she was helping with.

DD hated it at first due to the dirt & lack of a shower but she now loves it as well. Her room is a bit smaller but she's at the front of the house with her desk in the bay window & is enjoying being nosy & watching everybody as they walk past.

The cats have really surprised us both. They're both 17 next month & I was very worried about Pam. In our last house she lived in the garage & never came into the house. A week before we moved as we were rapidly dismantling her former palace she ventured into the house much to our surprise. But now she's totally transformed & loves the house.


and garden:

Pam cat

Monet has discovered a new lease of life & has made the most of the recent sunshine:

Monet cat

monet cat
Monet enjoying the sunshine

The dogs seem to like it as well but we're not letting them out into the garden as I don't want it ruining as two female dogs would destroy the lawn. So are having lots of walks & eventually DH is going to build a low fence across the patio so at least they can go outside & we can leave the back door open.

Knitting has taken a back seat over the past few weeks but is to be taken up again as I'm going away tomorrow for a few days as DD is doing some swimming workshops with a top coach and brushing up on her stroke technique so I'll be sat by poolside as usual knitting away.

Monet will no doubt still be enjoying the sunshine:

monet cat
Monet sunning herself

and I'll leave you with a photo of one of my favourite plants in the garden:

red bush
Red Robin


I can't believe I forgot to mention the most important thing when I wrote this post last night. DD has got a place at the school she/we wanted!!! The day after the move I spent some time sorting out the paper work & managed to get it faxed to the right department before starting on the massive degrease of the kitchen. The next day we got a letter confirming her place so the whole thing was worth it. She's really relieved that she doesn't have to go to the school she had been allocated & so are we.