Monthly Archives: October 2012

More missed days.

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It is half term here, and I have been unable to prise my children away from the computer for long enough for me to be able to blog here – for some reason my iPad really doesn’t like this blog site, and whilst I can, with great difficulty, write a post, it won’t let me actually post it – grrrrr!

Wednesday and Thursday were pretty quiet days – though I did get a goodly amount of crocheting done.  I counted up the number of hexagons I’d completed last night, and although I can’t remember the total, it was pretty impressive, and hopefully enough for me to start hooking the blanket together.  When that’s complete and ready to be sent off, I will put a picture on here, and that really will be a Positive Thing!!

I’ve also bought some pale pink striped ticking fabric to make the backs of my cushions, and that arrived today, which is a Positive Thing.  Apart from that I am not feeling very positive – it is cold, grey and rainy, I have a headache brewing, the house is a mess and I don’t have the energy to tackle any of it.

My long weekend.

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Friday and Saturday were my Knit and Stitch show days – I travelled down to London on the sleeper on Friday night, and went to the Knit and Stitch show at Alexandra Palace on Saturday.  I really have no excuse for not blogging on Friday, as I didn’t do an awful lot – I had planned it that way as I wasn’t sure how much actual sleep I would get on the sleeper, so I wanted to make sure I had some energy for the show on Saturday.

In the event, the trip down was quite good – I was much more comfortable this time than I had been the last time I went on the sleeper, and did manage to get a bit of sleep – probably 3 hours proper sleep, and some dozing as well – before my breakfast arrived, and I disembarked into London at 6.45am – a time I do not usually see on a Saturday morning (or indeed any morning, if I am honest).  It was just light in London, and I walked slowly down the Euston Road to St Pancras station, enjoying the cool morning air.  N had told me that I’d be able to find somewhere nice to get some breakfast at St Pancras (my breakfast on the train had just been a croissant, and I was looking for breakfast No2 partly as a way to use up some time before heading out to Ally Pally).  I ended up at a french chain restaurant, where I had porridge with honey, and a pot of coffee – that came with a bowl to drink from, in the proper french way – which I very much enjoyed.

After breakfast, I hit M&S to buy my picnic lunch, and headed for Kings Cross, and the train to Ally Pally.  I shouldn’t have been surprised to see so many women on the train, who were clearly headed for the same place as I was.  And there were even more of them on the shuttle bus up from the station (a shuttle bus that was free, which was a nice surprise, and which was driven by a lovely man who saw me walking up to the bus stop, clearly recognised that I was headed for the Knit and Stitch show, and waited for me).

I got to the show half an hour before it opened, so I found somewhere to sit and have a drink whilst I waited for the doors to open, and then tagged onto the back of the queue to go in.  It was an amazing show, with an almost bewildering array of craft supplies, stalls and beautiful quilts and embroideries to see too.  To be honest, I found the walking all a bit much – I regretted not checking my backpack and cardigan into the cloakroom – and my wanderings and browsing were punctuated by frequent rests when I found a bench or chair.  

Initially it was easy enough to move around the show, but by midday, the halls were very busy indeed, and it became much harder to see what was on the stalls and to walk around the show – but this didn’t stop me finding some wonderful fabric, a beautiful skein of Colinette yarn, and some crochet cotton – though surprisingly, this was all that I purchased.  Maybe there was too much choice, and whenever I was tempted by something, there was the thought at the back of my mind that there might be something even more tempting on the next stall.  But shopping was only part of what the show had to offer, and I enjoyed looking at what other crafters have done, and hopefully have some more inspiration for my own crafts in the future.  Below is a picture of the fabric and yarn I bought, so you can see how lovely they are.

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At 1pm, I met up with a group of Mumsnetters – it was a thread on mumsnet, suggesting a meet-up at the show, that made me first think of going, and in the end, five of us met up and had lunch together – four mumsnetters and one mumsnetter’s sister.  We sat outside on the steps and had our picnics – and one lovely lady had brought cake to share – and talked about crafts, children, firstborns leaving for university, and many other topics.  Every time I have met up with Mumsnetters, I have found an instant bond, and people whom it has been so easy to talk to and enjoy spending time with – and these ladies are definitely my Positive Thing for the day.

After lunch, I decided I had seen enough of the show – and couldn’t face fighting my way through the crowds any more – so I headed for the shuttle bus and the train back to Kings Cross – where I treated myself to a taxi back to Euston, in good time for the 15.30 train – something I was to regret, as the knock-on effects of a dewirement the previous week, near Carstairs, led to the cancellation of our train at Preston – so a journey that should have had no changes ended up with two, and a long wait in the cold at Carlisle (because I didn’t want to do the last hour plus of the journey on a sprinter train packed full of people many of whom had been on my cancelled train).  I ended up on the 16.30 from Euston, and had I known what was going to happen, I would have sat down in a cafe at Euston and had something to eat, and caught the later train – but my crystal ball was on the blink (as, it would appear, was Virgin Train’s).

Sunday was a very lazy day – I slept the clock round, and didn’t get up until the afternoon (shameful), and N and the boys looked after me as I sat on the couch and crocheted.

Monday – knitting group again – and a beautiful, crisp, frosty morning – the sort of Autumn/Winter weather that I love the best.  I’d rather it be below freezing, but sunny and crisp, than warm, grey and rainy.  The sunshine lifts my spirits.  Knitting group also lifts my spirits – the enjoyment of creating something, the pleasure of the company of such lovely people, and the amazing things that other people are making.  My crochet blanket is coming on – I laid the hexagons out to see if I had enough for a blanket – which I did, but only for the smallest size, so I have decided to do more blocks and make it bigger – I have plenty of yarn, so that’s not a problem.  My Positive Things for Monday are that I can crochet the block from memory, and that, when I laid out the blocks, the blanket looked as good as I hoped it would.

I thought I didn’t have a Positive Thing for today – but actually I do.  No1 son actually rang home this morning – I had sent him an email last week and a text yesterday, neither of which got a response, so I sent him another text today saying, simply, ‘Are you dead?’ and he rang me less than half an hour later.  He sounds to be having a great time – he got 90 out of 90 on a quiz, is keeping up with the work, has a visit to the Inner Courts in London planned for Thursday, is making friends at University and at the bike park he goes to, is eating well and is staying within budget. Oh, and he’s joining the Sub-Aqua club – he feels a diving qualification will be an asset to his CV.  I’m not actually sure how many law firms look for a diving qualification in their new hires, but I am sure he will have fun!

Felt making and crochet.

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I could have titled this ‘Wednesday and Thursday’ – but that seemed a little unimaginative, so instead it is titled for the activities I did on those two days.

Wednesday was feltmaking group, and I felt very uninspired indeed, so spent the day footering around with needle felting shapes using cookie cutters.  In the last hour and a half, I made two larger flowers, using a small fondant cutter to make the petals, then needlefelting the whole thing together, and I am quite pleased with those.  I might put brooch pins on the back, and see if anyone will give me a couple of pounds for them at the craft fair.  Or I might sew the whole lot onto the piece of felt fabric I made a couple of months ago, line it with some bright pink shot silk fabric I have, and make a bag out of it.  Decisions, decisions.  Anyway, here’s a picture of what I made at felt group.

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The positive thing was that, even though I didn’t feel very inspired, I went to felt group anyway, stayed the full time, and had a good time with my friends there – and did manage to make some attractive things, even if I had no real purpose in mind when I made them.

Thursday was a very quiet day – I was very tired, so didn’t do much at all, apart from crocheting more hexagons for my mini-hug, writing the menu and shopping list for next week, making a chicken curry for tea, and then going out with N to do the weekly shop – which was knackering.

I do have a Positive Thing, though – and that is that I have pretty much committed the pattern for my crochet hexagons to memory, which makes me feel very efficient and crafty as I crochet away.  I think I may have enough, or almost enough, hexagons for my first mini-hug, and I will have a look at what I’ve got on Sunday, and see if I can get one made.  Then I am going to go on and make another one, as I have loads of yarn left I may have bought too much but don’t tell N I said that!!

I am off to London on the sleeper tonight, to go to the Knit and Stitch show at Alexandra Palace tomorrow – I am going to be there early so I can have a good look round, and then I am meeting up with a bunch of mumsnetters, and we are going to have a picnic lunch and a good gossip, and then maybe look around a bit more – though I want to be on either the 4.30 or 5.30 trains out of Euston back to Glasgow, as I don’t want to be back too late, and I think I will be pretty knackered by then!  The positive thing is that, even though I am rather nervous about the whole thing – will I sleep on the sleeper, will I get a sore hip like last time, will I get lost in London, will I have enough energy to walk round the show, will I find the mumsnetters and will they like me, etc, etc etc, I am not having the ‘I just won’t go, I’ll make an excuse and cry off’ feelings that I would have had not too long ago.  And would probably have given into, too.  So that is a good thing.

Another positive thing, that crops up time and again, is my mumsnet friends, especially the wolefs (misspelling intentional) – they are inspirational, funny, intelligent, caring women, and I am privileged to have them as my friends.  And I am learning to believe the nice things they say about me, too.

Monday and Tuesday.

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Yesterday, I woke up to a glorious autumnal day – blue sky, sunshine and chilliness, and as I was getting ready for the day, I noticed that the heavy, black feelings within me were not at the forefront – it was the sense of sunshine and light that was at the front, and the dark feelings, though still there, were nowhere near as important – and this feeling carried on throughout a lot of the day.

At knitting group, I got talking to M – one of the regular attendees – about this feeling (we got into it through talking about the antidepressants I am on, and their side effect of nausea), and she said some very powerful things to me – in fact, she was my Positive Thing for the day.  She talked about using Affirmations to combat the dark feelings, and advised me to look for them on the internet, write them down on slips of paper, and have one with me each day, to draw on if I need to.  I will most definitely be doing this!

Later on, at choir rehearsal in the evening, I offered a hug to one of the members who is the most friendly, warm and lovely lady, and she warned me to be careful, as hugging me is something she might not want to stop doing.  I said that my physique is well suited to good hugs, but she told me that it is what is inside that makes me so huggable – and that really touched me.  Plus I didn’t automatically dismiss what she said – another positive thing.

I didn’t manage to read any poetry, as I had said I would in Sunday’s post, but I will put it on my list of things to do this week.  The other things include sending our share of the lottery syndicate money to the organiser, emailing the choir AGM minutes to the secretary, for her to email to the members (instead of printing a copy for each member – I suggested to the President that we go paperless), and cold-soaking and breaking in some pairs of shoes that are lovely but not comfortable yet.  We shall see how much I achieve.

Today I allowed myself to have a long lie-in – and ohhh boy did I need and enjoy it!  It is another sunny day, and the lighter feelings are still more powerful than the dark ones.

I’m going to do some more crochet today – I managed to follow the patterns and make two crochet snowflakes yesterday, at knitting group (as well as three more hexagons for my mini-hug blanket), and am feeling quite proud of myself for starting to master reading crochet patterns.  I want to get more hexagons made today, as I am eager to get my mini-hug blanket made.  I do have a number of other projects lined up to do, and I do tend to add projects to the list faster than I complete them.  And I have felt making group tomorrow, so that is more crafting and creating to do this week!  Goody!

Up early!

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7.10am, to be precise.  N is still down south (work and university son related business), and so I had to drive the other boys to collect their papers this morning.  It is a beautiful morning here – blue sky, sunshine, but cooollld – we have definitely left summer (not that we were ever really there) and have arrived firmly in autumn.  “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, close-bosomed friend of the maturing sun…”  I am pleased that I still remember some of the poetry that I studied muttermutterthirtyonemuttermutter years ago for O level English Lit.  I should read more poetry – I have some books that I’ve bought over the years, and I will open one today, and see what I can find there.

My aim for today is to do some more crochet hexagons – I have ordered more wool (because some evil temptress told me that a website was offering 20% off the wool I am using, and so I had to buy some), and I should be able to make at least one hexagonal block blanket, maybe even two – but I do need to put hook to wool.

I also need a trip to a supermarket, as my Tesco order arrived without several items I had ordered.  I know I put them in the basket, but they seemed to have dropped out of it by the time it was being made up in the store.  I haven’t been charged for them, and they aren’t on the receipt, but it is a bit of a pain to have to go shopping when I thought I had it all sorted.  Hey ho.

Today’s positive thing – getting up as soon as the alarm went off.

Sunny and positive, though tired today.

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First positive thing – I slept quite well last night.  What is particularly positive is that I fell asleep pretty quickly – that is where I struggle the most with sleep.  I also managed to get up at 7.50 this morning, in good time to drive No3 son to his early dental appointment, and since getting home, I have done two loads of washing (my bedding), have one lot in the tumble dryer and the second load waiting to go in, and I have cleared the fridge of all the outdated and manky stuff that was in there, ready for the Tesco delivery this morning.  That delivery is all put away, so that’s another thing achieved.

Yesterday was pretty positive too.  The kitchen stayed clean and tidy, and I even swept the floor again, and I made a very tasty beef casserole for tea.  My Positive Thing for the day was making perfect dumplings to go with the casserole.  Other than using self-raising flour, I don’t know what I did differently, but for the first time in ages, I produced light, fluffy dumplings, rather than leaden lumps.  Perhaps I should have taken a picture!

Pride goeth before a fall…

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…And pride definitely wenteth before the fall today.  It turns out, when I read the crochet pattern properly, that I had gone very wrong indeed.  My ‘popcorn’ bobbles were all wrong, and I hadn’t read the last round properly either, so instead of being six-sided, as the picture in the book clearly illustrated, my block was twelve-sided.

But I can pull out the blue block and recrochet it, and I have done a new block (reading the pattern and following it properly this time), and have produced something that does actually look like the illustration!  That’s positive!

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