Thursday, 28 July 2011

We're All Going On A Summer Holiday

We're going on holiday on Saturday for two weeks and I can't wait. We're spending the first week in a lodge near Bude in Cornwall and the second week in a cottage near Exeter in Devon.

I'm looking forward to seeing gorgeous scenery like this.

Daniel and Eleanor are looking forward to doing some rockpooling.

There is fishing on site at both properties so Mick is looking forward to that.

Archie is looking forward to coming with us. How could we leave him at home? He hasn't been to the seaside before but I'm sure he'll love it.

We've never stayed at the property in Cornwall before, but it looks really nice, whereas we know what the cottage in Devon is like as we stayed there last year. There's a swimming pool at both places.

We're setting off very early on Saturday morning, hoping to miss some of the traffic. It's a long way down from Leeds, and will take a good few hours, especially with lots of convenience stops for Archie.

We've got gorgeous weather here today so I hope it continues for the next two weeks.

I haven't started packing yet, in fact I've got lots to do yet before we go, so I'll say goodbye and see you in a fortnight, though we do have internet connection whilst away so I just might see you before.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Knitting And Crochet

I've had another spending spree where yarn is concerned, this time I've made a purchase from Wharfedale Woolworks and I'm pleased as punch with what I've received.

This is 75% British Bluefaced Leicester wool and 25% nylon, making it ideal for sock knitting. It has been dip dyed and hand painted with iris blues and purples, yellows and greens.

One skein contains less green and more purple than the other.

It's amazing what you can find online these days. Look at these cute little Hand Made charms. I bought a few so that I could sew them in to my knitted garments, especially those I make as gifts.

A couple of posts back, I showed you the socks I had started for my mum for Christmas. After nearly finishing the first sock it became apparent that they weren't going to fit my mum, and rather than finishing them off and giving them to Eleanor, I decided that I would pull it all out and use a different pattern.

I'm not the fastest knitter so it was a bit of a wrench having to pull out all that work, but I'm pleased I did now as I've found a lovely pattern, Waving Not Drowning, and it looks lovely. My photo doesn't really do it justice. I hope these will fit my mum.

I'm still plodding on with my crochet granny squares which will eventually be sewn in to a blanket, but it's going rather slowly at the moment as I'm back to my knitting. I've done forty six squares so far, there's still many more to go but there's no rush.

It's certainly going to be a very colourful blanket.

Friday, 22 July 2011

School's Out For Summer

It's been a funny last half term of school this year as Daniel has been at home since the end of May, having finished his GCSEs. Eleanor breaks up today, and is now at home until September, when she will return as a year 9. No more uniform to wash and iron until then.

We've got our fortnight holiday booked, a week in Cornwall followed by a week in Devon, but other than that I've nothing planned. It gets harder thinking of days out as they get older, though they're happy to spend time with their friends rather than having me plan too much for them.

I'm hoping that without the hustle and bustle of the school routine, I'll manage to find time to read some of the many magazines which are piling up waiting to be read. If truth be told, I've got a bit of a weakness for magazines, I love them. I never seem to find time to read a book these days, but magazines are different, they can be picked up when you've got a spare minute and be just as easily put down again. This is the pile of magazines at the side of my bed, though I have to admit that a lot of them have already been read, I just haven't got round to passing them on yet.

Since I stopped working last year, I've had to curtail the amount of money I spend on magazines, some of which are very expensive. I'm always on the look out for offers.

I used my Tesco Clubcard Vouchers to subscribe to Gardeners World Magazine. The vouchers are worth three times their value when used in exchange for deals, though when I took out my subscription they were worth four times their value, so the annual subscription was only about £10 in vouchers, not bad when you consider each magazine is usually over £3 and I get 12 issues in my subscription.

I get The Garden magazine sent to me monthly as part of my RHS subscription, which was a prize in a competition I entered.

There was an offer in a recent edition of Gardeners World Magazine for a free copy of Olive. I enjoyed reading the magazine, but it's not one I would usually buy.

I often see buy five magazines for £5 or buy three magazines for £3 offers. I took out subscriptions to The English Garden and Homes & Antiques using these offers. They take the payment out of your bank by direct debit, you just have to remember to cancel the subscription and direct debit before the end of your trial otherwise your subscription continues at the normal price.

I do occasionally treat myself, the last full price magazine I indulged in was Let's Knit. I'm planning on using a couple of the patterns in the magazine, so I can justify the spend.

I always pass my magazines on to other family members who enjoy reading magazines, and in turn, they get passed on again, so they're well recycled.

I wonder if anyone else enjoys reading magazines as I do.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Stash Building

After reading about Laughing Yaffle yarn on a number of blogs, I decided I had to try it for myself, so a couple of weeks ago I placed an order.

I was delighted that the parcel arrived quickly, and look at the lovely confetti sprinkles which were included in the package, a lovely touch. The yarn is 4ply 80% wool and 20% nylon and so it's ideal for sock knitting.

I chose Moonlight Sonata, a mixture of deepest plum, crimson and dark teal. The colours look gorgeous together.

I'm a bit of a sucker for orange so the second skein I chose was Mango Tango. These shades are ochre, golden yellow, pale orange, burnt orange, scarlet and all the shades in between.

A loyalty card was included in the package, so I'll definitely have to pay the website another visit. The yarn is so lovely that I would purchase more whether I was being rewarded for loyaly or not, I just need to save my pennies.

I decided that I would use some of this yarn to knit a pair of socks for my mum for Christmas. I haven't yet knit any socks which have a pattern to them but after seeing so many Monkey socks on blogs, I've decided to give these a go.

The socks seem to be knitting up rather small, so I'll just have to see how they turn out. Eleanor has already staked a claim in case they turn out too small for my mum.

So far, the pattern is going well. It makes a change from knitting plain socks.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Teenage Dream

It's hard to believe that thirteen years have passed since I gave birth to my gorgeous little girl, or that she's turned from my curly haired baby into my grown up young lady.

It's also hard to believe that I'm the mum of not one but two teenagers. Our house is already awash with hormones, I suppose it will only get worse now.

She's been given some money for her birthday. I'm sure she'll  enjoy spending it tomorrow as she has a shopping trip planned with her friends. Our present of a session in a recording studio to record a CD went down very well, she was thrilled to bits with it.

School calls for her today, but we're going to spend a family evening together with a take away and DVDs, her choice.

Happy birthday Eleanor, my gorgeous girl.

Monday, 11 July 2011


My mum and dad have sold their house. They've been thinking about moving for a few years and have finally taken the plunge.

They put the house on the market at the end of April and within six weeks they'd had an offer which they accepted. They've found a two bedroomed appartment which they like and have put in an offer for it which has been accepted, so they're just waiting for a moving date now.

It's quite ironic that they chose the time they did to put the house on the market. They've been thinking for a while that the house is too big for them now that they're on their own and not getting any younger, and the upkeep is getting too much. The week after they'd instructed the estate agent to put it up for sale, my dad had his heart attack.

The appartment they're moving in to is within walking distance of my house, which I'm really pleased about, and it's in a complex for the over 55's so they shouldn't have any rowdy neighbours.

It's quite sad that I won't be able to visit the house anymore though. Our family moved there when I was two and I lived there until I was twenty, so it holds all my childhood memories.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

21 Years

It's 21 years ago today that Mick and I got married. I've now been married for half of my life.

When I look back at the day, it seems like only yesterday, yet so much has happened in those 21 years.

We haven't got anything planned for the day, though who knows, Mick might surprise me.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Gala And Pet Show

It was the local gala on Sunday, and one of the attractions there was a pet show. Children were invited to bring along their pets and show them for a chance of winning a voucher to be spent in the local pet shop.

Eleanor decided she would have a go at showing Archie. He actually came from parents who are shown at Crufts, and his sister has also qualified for Crufts, though we don't intend on showing him at all, he's purely a pet and this show was just a bit of fun which Eleanor wanted to take part in.

There were all sorts of pets there, from a tortoise to guinea pigs and rabbits, and all breeds of dogs, including cross breeds and mongrels. The small pets were judged separately from the dogs.

It was a very hot day and there was a bit of hanging around while the judges made their decision.

Archie didn't get a place. Two Rottweilers which were dressed up as a lifeguard and a shark (though it wasn't fancy dress) came third, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier came second, and the first place went to a little curly haired black dog, I'm not sure of the breed (if it had one), but it was very cute. Archie did win a rosette though for taking part.

We didn't stay long at the gala, the sun was beating down making it quite uncomfortable to be out, especially for Archie. This was in sharp contrast to some previous years when the field has been a quagmire due to presistent rain, something we're certainly not getting this year. I do enjoy attending and supporting local events though.

Friday, 1 July 2011

More Socks

My knitting was put on the back burner for a bit whilst I taught myself how to crochet, but once I picked it up again I realised how much I'd missed it.

It didn't take me long to finish these socks which I started back in March. These are for my dad for Christmas. I know I'm starting early but there's a few presents which I want to make this year and as I'm not the quickest knitter in the world, I don't want to be at the last minute.

These were made with Regia World Circus Color which I've really enjoyed using. The colour is great for my Dad as he wears a lot of browns. I really must put some sock blockers on my Christmas list. I see gorgeous pictures of socks on other blogs and they look really professional on their blockers.

I'm still enjoying crocheting though, and I'm making at least one granny square every day so that I keep on with my blanket.