Saturday, 18 December 2010

Let it snow

This is more like it.  Let it snow and the whole world becomes a friendly place, where people talk to you, very britishly about the weather, then invite you back to theirs for tea to admire their wallpaper.  I kid you not...

So, I had had about three hours sleep, Jam said he would take Rowan for a walk and when he looked outside there was a gorgeous blanket of snow everywhere. 

The child inside yelled 'get out there girl, sleep shmeep, plenty of time to do that when he's left home'.... so we togged up and skipped, well trod carefully outside, over the stile, onto the circuit that takes us to the farm, through the field, up the hill to the church then back down through the village. 

We crept through the fields, stopping for a quick photoshoot, guessing which animals had made their tracks in the snow.  At the top of the hill by the church we met a local man and pondered whether there were cows or not in the field in the distance, he was convinced they were a shed of sorts but on his zoom lens of the camera they were definitely two cows, looking frozen around a bale of hay. 

A small crowd of people were out sledging, I guess that will include us in a couple of years, everyone was smiling and laughing. 

In the local shop we bumped into a lady we'd met in the lane when we had first moved in and she invited us back for tea. A cuddle with Rowan, a spot of piano playing by Jam and...

 the wallpaper...

What a treat.  What a day.  We got home, kindly turning down more offers of tea from more neighbours in need of getting home to change the babe's nappy and make some lunch, have a nap, make some gifts, have a laugh and look at the sunset...

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The Wallpaper Strip - Part 4

This week finds us in the hallway and stairwell.  Now if this wallpaper was in a room where you had to sit down and look at it, it wouldn't work.  One wouldn't work for sure, one would be far too busy looking at the wallpaper itself.  One would also pass out after half an hour.

This wallpaper is 3D.  I all sticks out.  All the wallpaper throughout the house has been put up meticulously I must add.  Not even a millimetre out of place.  That takes some doing.  I remember as a child helping my Mum do the wallpapering and getting into a bit of a muddle when it came to lining the drop up properly.  It's quite a messy job too.

Tuesday's Tantrum - 3

I knew it.  Stuck already.  I mean, what have I got to grumble about really?  I have a gorgeous husband, a beauty of a baby boy, a roof over my head, a great bunch of friends, good health and I am sitting by an open fire, with a glass of ginger beer.  Pushing the boat out I know.  What can you do?  I even had a scone earlier.

Ok.  Perhaps I'm going to have to rethink Tuesday's posts in future.  Maybe it should be Tuesday's Tickle?  Maybe I'll just go back to the days rolling into one and not give a hoot about what day it is.  Maybe I'll have a tantrum about not having anything to have a bleeding tantrum about.  Actually I really ought to take a deep breath.  I'm beginning to get palpitations...

...and in fact I have got something to have a tantrum about - my shoulder, it really hurts, from lying stupidly on the bed whilst feeding.  But that's not really a tantrum.  Oh I give up.  I'm going to have a strop instead.  No, I'll write a quick off the cuff poem, that usually works.

Grrr, Brrraaaa Grrrr.
Shouted really loudly.
It's not fair cried the silly little girl inside me
The days are too short
The nights are too long
I can't even remember my favourite song!
This lack of sleep is making me weep
Oi, let me out here in this field of sheep
I'll count them forwards and backwards
And side to side
If it will only make the days seem wide
For wide days could make sense of this
Leading to a life of ignorant bliss
Where silly little girls sleep all day
And when night falls come out to play.

Slightly random, but that feels better, time for bed, good night zzz

Hmm - I had scheduled this tantrum to post automatically last Tuesday and it didn't, or did it, I'm not sure now. I can feel a technology tantrum coming on!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Make Monday

Gosh! Is it Monday again? How on earth did that happen?  That was incredible.  The days must be getting so terribly, terribly short, surely I missed a couple?  Well, all I had time to make today was a list...

1) Get up and get Rowan and I dressed and out of the house before 10am, for the baby group
2) Eat and write shopping list for tomorrow
3) Tidy up
4) Make something out of the old jeans
5) Write my blog
6) Write at least one card
7) Stay positive
8) Help Jam with his work
9) Laugh
10) Sort out photos
11) Do tax and accounts
12) Phone a friend
13) Sort out clothes
14) Sell things on Ebay
15) Have a bath

Now lists are all well and good, but things hardly ever go to plan.  It was so foggy this morning and the neighbour told me that he'd seen cars wrapped around every lamp-post on his way to work due to the black ice, then Jam had a phonecall from the hospital to change his appointment for his shoulder to earlier, so we couldn't go to the group, so number 1 on the list didn't need to happen, although we were up and dressed and ready to do something by 10am, which is a great achievement in itself!

We did eat, the rest of the soup from the weekend, then a fabulous dinner this evening that I started cooking and Jam finished  - can't beat a spot of teamwork! I didn't get the shopping list done though, but who writes shopping lists these days anyway?

I did tidy up, but it doesn't seem like that now.  I'm writing, but not about the items I didn't get round to making.  I wrote two cards, double what I expected.  I helped Jam stay positive about his work, although I wasn't positive much myself, until I phoned a friend, laughed, then I was a lot more positive!  Photos and Ebay will have to wait until a rainy day and why does that naughty three letter word always seem to get onto any list I write?

Some tips for myself regarding lists ~
Lists should definitely not be longer than 10 items, but preferably be only 5 things. 
Items should be doable tasks rather than long term goals or desires. 
Items should not be things that you will definitely do for sure (like get up...) unless really struggling
At least one task must be something pleasant for you.
Under no circumstances must TAX appear unless it's the day it's due and it's not been done.
It would be much more satisfying to write a list at the end of the day of all things achieved, rather than have a list of things to do that don't get done.  Maybe then the tasks that don't get done might get done, in order to have the satisfaction of writing the task down on the list!

Well, the little nipper has settled, so I think I might go and have a soak in the bath.  Tick.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The Wallpaper Strip - Part 3

This week's 'Wallpaper Strip' comes to you live from the Snug.  A cutesy name for the dining room, the back room, the room where it all happens.  Indeed it's all happening here.  This side of the house is a little lower than the other side.  Jam has to duck to go through doors.  I can just about scrape through unless my hair is tied in a bun on top of my head, which it often is these days.  Well, nobody's watching...

So imagine this on every wall, in one of the smaller rooms of your house. 

Don't forget the border.

And the curtains with the boxed edge - not sure what the proper name for that is...

And the wall lights.

With second choice of shades.  Bonus!

These are the ones being used at the moment.  The lining has worn on the other ones.  So, there you have the Snug.  Next week, prepare to be completely dazzled with the stairs and landing area.  You may need your shades!

Monday, 6 December 2010

Make Monday

Forgive me if it is a little tedious for you, all this Monday Make, Tuesday's Tantrum, Wednesday's Wallpaper, but I find it useful to know which day I'm on.  So Monday's I endeavour to make something.

Now our house is a bit chilly at the best of times.  It's not insulated, it has lots of little extras built on to it from the outside.  So the entrance porch, you know the one with the cute window and the crazy wallpaper, was the outside and it's freezing out there.  All the heat from the fire was escaping outside through this door and so I decided to do something about it.

I found an old heavy looking blanket up in one of the cupboards.  Firstly I found a couple of rather fantastic curtains that are just so amazing I want to make a jumpsuit out of them and wear them always.  I'm quite glad that Jam thought they would clash with the wallpaper!  Perhaps this is another Monday's Make item...

I snipped little slots all along the top of the blanket, wide enough for loops of ribbon.  I have a great ottamon box with loads of odds and ends in and find it immensely satisfying when something I've been saving comes in useful, this time it was the golden ribbon.   I sewed the hoops by hand, then folded the ends back on themselves to create a fold that hangs down to try and cover up the slit in the blanket, not that anyone is going to come in and inspect the hoops but once a perfectionist it's hard to give it up!

Time is obviously of the essence here, losing the heat so quickly and wondering when the next feeding frenzy will be.  I was amazed that it took me less than an hour start to finish and the little boy slept through it all.

Now for my next trick, I'm doing something with a bag of old jeans...

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Saturday's Snack

Jam made some porridge for our breakfast yesterday, he made enough for 6 hungry people and piled it high into two large bowls.  I ate as much as I wanted, then said ~ well there's only one thing for it - Muffins!

I looked in the larder and thought hmmm.  After consulting my favourite 'Muffins Galore' cookbook, I found a lovely looking recipe for oat and cherry muffins, then followed it very loosely, for we didn't have half the ingredients and I never really enjoy following recipes much anyway.  Why is that?  It's so much fun wondering if it will turn out edible or not I guess! Maybe I should do an experiment one day... so...

In a bowl I put half a bag of bread mix (that was the only wholemeal flour or near to that I had), some brown sugar, gave it a stir.  Then added sunflower oil, about 6 dessert spoons to two eggs and beat.  I combined the egg mix with the oats, the oats had milk, apple and dates already added.  This I then mixed into the dry ingredients.  I spooned it all into a 12 cake tray and baked in the oven for about twenty minutes, probably a little too long.  Obviously I put the oven on first to warm up and greased the baking tray.  I mixed some icing sugar with a little water and some hundreds and thousands and spooned a little on top of each muffin.


Jam thinks they look like meatballs and are too burnt in the photograph, but was amazed and thinks they were very tasty ~ the best use of leftover porridge!
I even surprised myself.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Little Miss

Oh I miss my friends. 
I miss having fun. 
I miss Friday nights out. 
I miss lots of things beginning with 'F' - family, fish from the fish market, feeding the ducks, my feet being tickled, feeling sexy, fu**ing without worrying about waking the baby or squirting milk everywhere, fu**ing generally, farting, errr actually I don't miss that, in fact that was the one thing yesterday that made me realise how much I miss everything else!  It made us laugh so hard like we'd not laughed in a long time, tears were rolling down my cheeks, I nearly dropped the baby!

I'm not complaining here, I'm fully aware that I've chosen this path and I am very grateful for everything I have and don't have, I am just having a moment of missing.  Missing the boat and all our beautiful neighbours up there.  The ones that would just give a nod as they walked by, shout a greeting and make you smile.  There's none of that down here.  We're locked up in a little house now, without hoards of people walking by asking how much it costs to buy boats these days or whether or not they can have a ride. 

No short walk to the market to catch the latest bargain or the weeks fresh vegetables, or to meet a friend for a cuppa.  Nobody calling to say hey, what you up to, I'm in your area, fancy meeting up?  No crawling in at 4am after a crazy night out. No lie-in.  No good night's sleep. 

Ok enough of that! No need to dwell on the negative here.  I'm going to start sounding like I'm suffering with post natal depression, maybe I am?!  I'm not. Don't worry. It's just a moment.  It's that time of year too.  Silly season.  I accept that I am a grown woman now, with responsibilities.  My mispent youthfulness can be channelled into something else more productive.  It's fun to have new and interesting projects.  It's fun to not get much sleep and see how crazy it makes you.
Life is fun.
It's Friday night.
It's time to... oh, the baby's woken up...

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The Wallpaper Strip - Part 2

I hope you enjoyed part one!  Today we are heading into the Living room.  This wallpaper is interesting, it has a stencil etched panel that changes in the light.  Again it is hard to photograph, if you're ever passing this way in your motorcar you should pop in for a look and a cuppa, you'll leave with your senses invigorated and inspired and maybe even with some home-made goodies to boot.

Quite something hey?  Can you imagine how long it must have taken to put that border up - the walls aren't straight and the border is cut down from another style of wallpaper.  The main pattern running vertically along has the stencilled effect running next to it, then when you tilt your head slightly the whole wallpaper has another shiny, sparkly effect across the whole of it.  Special.  Not my favourite, I'm saving that for another week...