Monthly Archives: April 2013

No3 son is 16 – I must be old!


Where have the days/months/years gone?  And what happened to that snuggly little baby?  He refused to sit on my lap this morning, for fear of damaging my poor, elderly knees (sarcastic little sod).  And he’s having to spend his birthday revising for his chemistry standard grade tomorrow.  Into each life some rain must fall, but this seems a bit of an unlucky downpour, to me.

I am contemplating contacting the choir’s conductor, and asking him for some help and support – but as he is a student himself, coming up to his end of year exams and recital, and much younger than me, I am not sure it is fair to dump all my angst on him.  I already had a mini-meltdown all over No2 son last night – and he was an absolute star and did a wonderful job of being comforting, supportive and a bit bracing at the same time.  But it’s not really fair for me to dump this on them, is it.

I did try to tell N about it on the phone last night – he’s away on business again – but he didn’t really seem to get how upset I was, and passed it off then went on to discussing today’s meeting and travel arrangements.  But maybe he is more likely to be supportive in person.

No3’s birthday cake is in the oven, and then I have to make the butter cream to fill it.  Unusually, he doesn’t want butter cream all over the cake, just on the top and in the middle – this is a departure from previous years, when the rule has been as much butter cream as the cake can possibly accomodate.  Maybe it’s a sign of maturity – who knows!


Tired and disheartened.


Choir rehearsal didn’t go too well tonight.  I am struggling to sing C above middle C – which should be within my range as an alto, and certainly used to be well within my range, as a mezzo soprano, but my range seems to have dropped, and no matter what I do, I can’t sing those notes and going further up to E natural is even worse in some ways.  I know I am tensing up when I see them coming, and either nothing comes out, or the most horrible, strangulated sounds imaginable.  I used to be a trained singer, and range-wise, I am being totally outsung by amateurs with no singing training at all, and that is intensely depressing.  To the extent where I am seriously questioning my future with the choir.

I don’t know what to do.

Other than that, today was pretty good – knitting group was fun, as usual; I remembered to go to the Post Office and post a couple of parcels, and then got supper organised in good time before choir.

I did go on to make the red velvet skirt yesterday – and it is the worst piece of dressmaking I have ever done, because I had to bodge it together.  There wasn’t enough fabric in the skirt to make a separate waistband, so I pleated it to fit me, zigzag edged round the top, and then just turned it over once, before hand stitching it down.  That, plus the fact that I have never actually used my sewing machine for doing any dressmaking before, and I didn’t bother to find the instructions before I started sewing, means I made a total lash up of this skirt.  But all the lashed up bits are on the inside and don’t show, and the skirt fits and stays up, so I am counting it as a success.  And I have left the machine out, so I may go on and make something else this week – perhaps cushion covers, or perhaps one of the skirts (a cotton one, I think – one that I don’t need a pattern for).

Oh dear – I missed Saturday this weekend.


It was a good day, though.  It started with a long lie-in, with coffee and dogs to cuddle, and then N and I went into Glasgow, for a browse round the new Paperchase on Buchanan Street. I have a mild addiction to stationery – I suppose that, like yarn, fabric, paints and craft supplies, it represents the potential for creating something new and lovely.  And Paperchase was full of colour and gorgeous patterns, as well as so many pens – I love pens in different colours, but I did restrain myself, and didn’t buy too much for me – and I remembered my friend’s birthday is coming up soon, so I found her a lovely felt-covered notebook and some other pretty stationery, and a card and paper – so I feel very organised!

Today also involved a lie-in, but this time with coffee and toast, and no dogs, because they’d been out for a run and were too wet and muddy to come upstairs, despite N’s best efforts at drying them.  Then a bit more shopping – at Braehead this time, where N and No2 son bought part of No2’s birthday present (a suit), and I bought books and more stationery, and then treated myself to coffee and caramel waffles in Starbucks.

Now I am at home, watching Johnny Wilkinson play rugby.  Oh, and before we went out, I went searching for my red, velvet dress – the one I want to make into a skirt, and found not only that, and the purple needle cord skirt length I thought I had lost, but also a length of red corduroy and 7 balls of Debbie Bliss yarn – so a very good day indeed!

Still positive.


Yet more domestic achievements yesterday – I cleaned the front door, and the windows beside it (a rude bird had pooed on it – how very dare), tidied and cleaned the kitchen surfaces, and put all the parts from the cooker hob, and all the implements and the jars they stand in, through the dishwasher.  I even went and washed up quite soon after supper, instead of leaving it until I wanted to go to bed, and having to drag myself into the kitchen and do it then – and I dried it all up and put it away, so the kitchen looked really good when I went off to bed.

Sadly it looked a bit more untidy when I got up, but that’s due to two teenagers having their breakfasts and just dumping the plates/bowls by the sink.

I am feeling reasonably positive today – I slept fairly well, though I wasn’t able to use the mouthguard I’ve bought myself – I worry that I grind my teeth in my sleep, because my jaw aches when I wake up, and that, plus the headaches I’ve been getting, could be signs of grinding my teeth or clenching my jaw in my sleep.  I bought a cheap boil and bite mouthguard from amazon, but I couldn’t tolerate it in my mouth even for a few minutes, so that was a bit of a wash-out.  I’m going to google, and see if there are exercises I can do that might help solve the problem.  The dentist did suggest a proper mouth guard, but that would cost £50, and that’s too much.  Neurofen is cheaper.

I’ve written next week’s menu, and shopping list, so that N and I can go to Tesco either tonight or tomorrow – this is a bit more organised than I have managed in previous weeks, so that is a good, positive thing.

I’ve also signed up to Pinterest, and just spend a happy quarter of an hour going through other people’s images of crochet, knitting and patchwork – and I thought I’d pinned a number of them on my board, but they don’t seem to be there – I must be doing something wrong.  Never mind, I will get the hang of it.

Edit – apparently all I needed was a bit of patience – I’ve been back and looked, and all the pictures I’d pinned are there now.  Isn’t it dreadful how impatient I was – it took a moment or two to copy all these pictures across, and I was disappointed because it didn’t happen NOW!

I did see a picture of a gorgeous patchwork skirt – full and floor length, from a wide waistband – I would love to own something like that, though I suspect I’d look like a perambulating sofa.  It would be fun to wear, though!

Completing tasks.


Yes – I actually ticked something off my ‘To Do’ list yesterday – I not only vacuumed round downstairs, but I also treated the hall floor with a carpet cleaning powder, to try to restore it to closer to its original colour.  The powder was an absolute mare to vacuum out – whether this was due to the consistency of the powder or to the efficiency (or lack thereof) of my vacuum, I am not sure – but I filled the vacuum up completely, just vacuuming the hall, and it took ages!  To be honest, I am not sure it looks massively better, but maybe when N comes home (he’s off on another work trip – left yesterday at sparrowfart, and isn’t back until tomorrow night), he’ll notice a difference.  It did smell very clean and soapy, so I suspect it has freshened up the carpet, even if it hasn’t made as big a difference to the colour as I’d have liked.

I need to buy more of this powder, and have a go at our bedroom carpet.  Cream was an OK choice for a bedroom carpet until we got two dogs, with black and brown fur, and now it is not as cream as it used to be – even when vacuumed – so I think I will try this cleaning powder there – and maybe because it has a more open pile than the hall carpet, it will do a better job.

There are still plenty of jobs on my ‘To Do’ list – hopefully today I will get to the kitchen, and give that a sort-out and a good clean.  I’d also like to get the sewing machine out and do some sewing – I’ve been watching The Great British Sewing Bee, and it has inspired me.  I currently have the material for some cushion covers and three skirts, and I’d also like to take apart a red velvet dress I made for myself when I was pregnant with No1 son, and make it into a skirt for me – and maybe a cushion cover too, if there is enough fabric.  I have probably mentioned this before – if so, apologies.  Clearly I am far better at planning projects than at actually completing them (or even starting them, to be honest).

I’m also thinking about having a look through my wardrobe, and getting rid of some things I never wear – I have a couple of skirts that I might be able to sell on ebay, which would be good, and the rest can go to the charity shop.  It would be a good idea to make some more room in there before I make myself four new skirts!

I also did some knitting yesterday – whilst watching the Sewing Bee – and that is a positive thing too, because I haven’t been doing much (or indeed, any) work at home on the cream tunic, and that’s a shame because it is aran weight wool, so it does grow fast, when I do actually work on it, and I think I could get it finished quite soon, if I got my finger out.

The last two balls of yarn for my crochet scarf arrived yesterday – a warm, deep yellow, and purple – and the colours all look good together, so I think that will be my next project.  I’m either going to do classic granny squares (with three colours per square) or I might try a flower granny square pattern I saw on FB today, with a Ravelry link – it is very pretty indeed, so if (and it is a big if) I can learn how to do it, it’d be a beautiful scarf.

Domestic achievements and tasks.


This week is going OK so far.  Yesterday, I managed to get all of the dogs’ bedding through the wash – the hall was starting to smell very doggy, and I knew the job needed doing – and I did it!  Five loads of washing done, dried, and the dogs’ beds made up again, and sweet smelling – that is a pretty good achievement, I think.  I’m not sure the dogs agree, though –  Coco, the brown lab, was very suspicious when I put the first lot of her bedding back into her bed – it was all warm from the tumble dryer, and I thought that would be lovely for her to snuggle up in, but she got in, had a suspicious sniff or two, and then went to lie in the den!

The next job that really needs doing is vacuuming through the downstairs – there is a coating of dog hair everywhere, and it shows up especially badly in the kitchen and utility room, where some kind person decided white would be a good colour for the tiles!!  It’s not a good colour – it shows up every single dog hair and mark – and I am not a good enough housewife to keep it looking clean.  I do know, though, that I can vacuum through the downstairs pretty quickly, if I don’t bother too much about the little out-of-the-way nooks and crannies – and I know I ought to do it today.  We shall see.  The kitchen needs a clean too, and that is still waiting to be done.

I don’t think I am ever going to be a domestic goddess!

Another box ticked.


Two, actually.  Not only did I get up at 8.10am, but I have also got going on washing No1 dog’s bedding.  The first load is washed and dried – although it clearly smells completely wrong, because she had one sniff of it, and went off with Sad Face, to sleep on the den couch.  No2 dog is in her bed, looking smug because it still smells of Eau de Chien, not laundry detergent and fabric softener – little does she realise that her stuff is next!!

The main reason I had to get up early was because N is expecting a delivery today, of a new motor for the shower in the main bathroom, and he was told the delivery would be some time between 7.30am and 6pm!!  Frankly it is just as well that I don’t work, and can easily wait in for deliveries like this – it must be very difficult for people who work.  Oh – and as of now (11.59am) the delivery still hasn’t arrived.  If I had stayed in bed, it would have arrived when I was fast asleep, and I would have had to tear into my dressing gown and rush downstairs, of course.

I have had a delivery of my own – some yarn I ordered a couple of days ago.  I want to crochet a granny square scarf, and I’ve bought six balls of yarn – of which four arrived today – pink, orange, turquoise and teal – with a rich yellow and purple arriving soon (on back order).  I think that, together, these are going to make a gorgeous scarf!

Here are the yarns I have so far: