Sunday, December 31, 2006

Appy New Year!

Today is M's birthday - we are a celebrating and a merry making. Have a jolly time seeing in the new year - lets hope 2007 is a corker.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Xmas round-up.

It came, it happened, it was Christmassy! Nuff said.

A hint of sadness.

I read in the local paper yesterday that someone I knew as a kid passed away just before Xmas. I haven't seen this person since my Dad died 15 years ago but he was a family friend for a long time.

It's strange but only a few weeks ago he cropped up in a conversation with J. He wasn't the kind of guy that was sensitive but when I was 12 he gave me an act of kindness that I have never forgotten, and it was this I told J about. For that, and that alone I feel sad that this person has died so young. I feel for his sons (who I was quite friendly with when we were younger and for his daughter that I hardly knew.)

His kindness to an upset 12 year old girl - probably not even remembered by him, will always be appreciated.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Monday, December 18, 2006

All P.C puppies look away NOW!

I love non-pc humour. I enjoy the odd sick joke (not racist or homophobic etc ones) but just kinda old fashioned risque/taking the piss humour.

Last night we went to see the 'D' (Tenacious D) in concert - they rocked! But they had on a warm up guy - the audience hated him, they pelted him with stuff, booed him and heckled. That said, M and I had read about him online, understood what he was about (which the rest of the audience obviously didn't) and found him funny. He was meant to be the worst comedian, with the worst jokes - that was the act. They say Americans don't get English humour/irony - well last night was role reversal. Anyhoo here is his opening joke - I roared.

Those of a PC disposition - look away - and why did you ignore the warning and read this far - you goons?!

What do you call an OAP who displays their genitalia in public?


Thank you and g'night.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Beany goodness and other tales.

A little while ago I sent the effervescent and delicious Bean some Opal dye-your-own sock yarn. This week she sent me some wonderful Knitpicks sock yarn in return. She also sent a groovy card, a cute book mark and a heavenly smelling apple and cinnamon candle. One thing I love about being sent sock yarn is the colours that people choose for me, Beanie chose a colourway that I might have overlooked but you know it is absolutely gorgeous (picture does not do it justice at all). I can't wait to knit it and am exercising huge self control not to ball it up and cast on TODAY!! So a humungus Big Up to LaBean - thank you - you rock!
Ok do you ever have those knitting moments when you just need to knit something instant and maybe just a bit different? I jokingly offered to knit J an nose warmer and he said "Yes!" So yesterday after lunch I spent 30 mins on this, never dreaming he's actually wear it. During the evening I glanced across the lounge to the computer, where J was surfing for yet more info on anything James Bond, and almost spat my coffee across the room. He was wearing his nose warmer - it looks even funnier/cuter from the side. The nose warmer also got used as a kitty hat by Conkers who sadly decided against posing for a photo as it might ruin his street cred. J has no such pretensions - lol.

Other stuff.

We lost one the dachshunds this week. Ma's baby - Blossom - fondly known as 'The Bog-eyed Jog' or 'Boggle' or 'Rat' or 'SB' (spoilt bastard). She'd been rather poorly for about 10 days or so - the vet tried everything but on Friday 15th decided they could do no more and she was put to sleep. Ma is bearing up well. Winnie, Blossie's brother, who we thought might pine hasn't really noticed she's gone, he's blind and deaf and in his own little world. Boobles has looked for her a couple of times where her bed used to be. It was a tough call to make but sadly one that was needed. We have lost 4 pets this year, Busters, Pixie, Phido and Blossie and we lost same amount the year before, Poppy, Kodo, Fudgie-wudgie and Fluffy. Sometimes I wonder why I put myself through this, then Boobles wags and Conkers purrs and I remember that on many levels it is worth it.

I have had two chest infections. Am finally getting over the 2nd one. J must have cabin fever because I've been so ill this week we only got out once. Mind you it was to his favourite Indian restaurant for a meal so he didn't mind too much. He's been a good boy about it and very understanding - sometimes I feel blessed - just because he can be so adult and caring and totally unselfish.

Bah Humbug - that's all I can say about Christmas this year - M's family - nightmare!!!

Knitting - not as much as I'd like considering I've been stuck indoors. Would you believe my luck? But last Sunday I strained my right hand and wrist - loads of Tiger Balm and pain killers and 48hrs+ rest and could knit again. So apart from the nose warmer, I've managed 1 wash cloth, 1 pair of mittens and 1/2 a sock and that's it.

Tomorrow we're off to see Tenancious D at the Centre - really looking forward to it.

Next week is busy but at the end of it - M is off until the New Year and NOT on call for Xmas - first time that has occurred in years - and that is the best and only Xmas pressie I want, a whole 10 days of me darlin man being at home. Mind you, now I just have to work out what to do/buy for his birthday on 31/12 *sigh* I am stumped this year.

We also have booked to go away 'en famille' in February for my 40th - just what I wanted. Not presents and party but a relaxing break with my 2 best boys - am looking forward to it very much.

To cap it all off - this mega catch up post - here follows a handy tip from that ole book again.

Picked at random.

Linen: - To remove iron-mould. Spread a thick paste of salt and lemon over the stain and put in the sun to dry.

There you go - simple when you know the way - WTF is iron-mould?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

One word MeMe. No Exceptions. No Cheating.

1. Yourself: Contented.
2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend (spouse): Funny.
3. Your hair: Tousled.
4. Your mother: Mad.
5. Your Father: Dead.
6. Your Favorite Item: Wool.
7. Your dream last night: Lost.
8. Your Favorite drink: Wine
9. Your Dream Car: Expensive.
10. The room you are in: Airy.
11. Your Ex: ????
12. Your fear: People.
13. What you want to be in 10 years? There.
14. Who you hung out with last night? Hubby.
15. What You’re Not: Insincere.
16. Muffins: Blueberry.
17. One of Your Wish List Items: Storage!
18. Time: When
19. The Last Thing You Did: Ate.
20. What You Are Wearing: Clothes.
21. Your Favorite Weather: Overcast
22. Your Favorite Book: Clever.
23. The Last Thing You Ate: Smoothie.
24. Your Life: Good.
25. Your Mood: Happy.
26. Your best friend: Here.
27. What are you thinking about right now? Questions.
28. Your car: Invisible.
29. What are you doing at this moment: Procrastinating
30. Your summer: Grumpy.
31. Your relationship status: Blissful.
32. What is on your TV? Nothing
33. What is the weather like? Bright.
34. When is the last time you laughed? Then.
35. Who do you tag? You

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

No, no! Where's my face?

Shades of 'The Wire' from Dr Who - now own up - who's got it? I know it's not all that but I'd like it back.......pleeeeaaaasssse!

The last of the Xmas knitathon!

So the slog is (almost) over. Here are the last two to be completed. Ma's Mono scarf - knitted in Rowan Tapestry.
A snakey mate for J - as requested by himself way back in the Summer. I thought he'd forgotten but no - subtle hints etc have been dropped for the last few weeks. It's made from scraps - acrylic no less ;0)
A distance shot of Ma's scarf. You can see the colour repeats much better.

So I have now knitted - 2 pairs of child socks, 1 pair of adult socks, 1 pair of pomatomus, Ma's scarf, J's snake, two hats, and two pairs of gifty fuzzy feet. Along with this for myself I have finished my ripple socks and completed Shedir. I also have 2/3 of a wavy and 1/2 a pair of lace socks to finish off. I am so looking forward to just knitting for pleasure again. Just a couple of last minute wash cloths and I'm free!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Xmas meme

NAME: Peri
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot choccie

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Wrapped please ;0)

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope cos of the animals - berries aren't good for puppies and kitties

5. When do you put your decorations up? Normally Xmas Eve - but since having bratling the weekend before Xmas and they are down again before New Year!

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Cold meat, pickle and salad on Boxing Day

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: It snowed when I was 5 - we went for a family walk with the dog up on the local golf course and my sister fell into a snow hidden bunker and the dog jumped in on top of her to rescue her - it was a truly slapstick moment

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I was about 7. My parents got me an electric organ. I awoke about 11pm to a huge amount of swearing and got up to see my Da trying to assemble it - I knew Santa didn't say words like that.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Nope

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? Mainly with homemade decorations that we add to each year as J grows up

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Now I don't have to go out to work in it - I love it. Though I worry about Hubby driving in it

12. Can you ice skate? Yes - quite well actually

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? A beautiful wooden dolls house when I was about 6. As an adult being successfully pregnant at Xmas after 9 years od miscarriages and trying to get pregnant

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Xmas morning seeing J and M open their pressies - the being together all day sharing the whole experience

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Toss up between my Ma's homemade lemon souffle or mince pies and cream

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Buying the real tree

17. What tops your tree? A pig hanging from a star

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? I'm partial to a bit of both

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? The Boars Head

20. Candy Canes... Yuck or Yum? Yuck

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

In praise of the hand knitted sock!

I love hand knitted socks. Why? They are so comfortable, they are so warm, and they look cool and feel wonderful.

I knitted my first sock about three years ago. I still own them and wear them occasionally, even though the toe is twisted on one of them. They are my first hand knit socks and I am proud of them. I do, however, remember the despair and agony of knitting them.

I had returned to knitting on a regular basis after a few years of knitting in spurts. I had mainly knitted chunky stuff on hugmungus needles for years - quick fix knitting (stuff I never wear). Then I discovered loads of new yarns and funky patterns and kind of rediscovered a passion. Everything I read online and in magazines mentioned sock knitting. I had always belonged to the school of thought that believed that 5 pairs of socks for £2.50 was the way to go and at that price and ease of purchase what was the point of knitting them. Then whilst browsing an online forum I found this whole sort of sock knitting subculture - weird - right? Nope, I was curious. Why the fascination? How do you knit a sock?

A couple of weeks later, wasting time (yet again) I was perusing an online knitting store (a new hobby at that time *sigh*) and lo and behold they had self-striping sock yarn in cool colours and even more cool they had a sock knitters starter kit - everything you need to make socks including an easy pattern. Sold to the lady in the pink hat.
I spent the next couple of days laying in wait for the mail delivery - poor Plod didn't know what had hit him (these were early days in knit related postman stalking). Finally, it arrived. Ok so the size of the needles shocked me and the yarn was like four ply and I was used to virtual woolen rope. But what the heck, in for a penny. I scanned the pattern - checking the abbreviations first to see if there was anything I didn't know how to do (my own method for seeing if a pattern is do-able), it all looked ok.
Time to cast on. Now my Ma can knit - really knit, so after 3 attempts of casting on over 3 needles - I asked her, she couldn't remember and the pattern did NOT explain how. Trial and error allowed me to stumble upon casting on onto one needle and then divvying up the stitches. Next how do you join the round? *gulp* Do you know after 20+ pairs of socks and numerous other knit in the round projects - I can still f***k this up. And again Ma had forgotten how she used to do it, but between us and six attempts we got there in the end. Now it should be easy right?

Hahahahahahaha! First row horror - vamps, werewolfs the work, for gourdness sake. A women who learnt to knit over 30 years ago and her Ma who learnt to knit over 50 years ago - it was like two chimps with a biro. I truly believe that that lunchtime I reinvented the 70's dance craze the funky chicken. I appeared to grow extra arms with giant elbows that had a mind of their own to learn Ashanga yoga. I must have unpicked that row numerous times.
I didn't give up though. I took myself off with a "Thanks for nothing Ma - some knitting guru you are" attitude and persevered. Bingo - by Jove I got it. Round followed round from rib to just knit - bliss I could see the attraction. But fate had in store another horror - heel flap -great! I got that, turn the heel - yep doddle. Gusset-what did I ever do to deserve that? Funky chicken mark 2. I did actually throw it across the room - needles catching the light and glinting malevolently - knowing they'd won. Pah! Eventually, after a prolonged rant against the stupidity of sock pattern writers and a sulk. I went on-line and found an on-line sock tutorial from a very clever lady - Terry Royea - she saved me that night -thank you, a million times, thank you.
My sock groweth. I reached the toe - I understood the decreases, I can do the stitches - I just did them in the wrong fricking place, which I discovered after I had mastered the horror of grafting with Kitchener stitch, and was trying my first ever sock on. Did I unpick it? Did I ell. Nope I still have and sometimes wear that twisted sock. It is A) an object lesson (sock 2 was straight) and B) I think my own anger and angst probably mentally scarred and damaged that sock, and to ignore it after such a traumatic birth would be heaping cruelty upon cruelty.

For all the trauma that my first sock caused, I was bitten by the sock bug. None of my family, who knit, knit socks - I infected my Ma and Sis to some extent though the madness doesn't run as deep in them. I now always have 2 or 3 pairs on the go. I have never suffered from 2nd sock syndrome and have no odd lonely one offs laying about the WIP pile. They sometimes have wait a couple of months for their mate to turn up, but they are always at least cast on and in progress. I have balls of sock yarn in waiting as I can't bear the thought of not being able to have a pair of socks on the go. I have needles of differing sizes and woods, Ebony, Birch, Rosewood and Bamboo, stitch markers, 100's of different patterns and a busted sock drawer cos I can't fit any more in it. The boys have socks as well but 98% I knit for me. Now I just have to find room for a new chest of drawers just for my socks.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Ripple-rib sockie-wockie-do-dahs.

This is my first go at designing a patterned sock. I've already got a plain sock recipe that I wrote for my own use, but have always balked at translating this to pattern. But this idea came to me one Sunday morning, I played around with a swatch or two, took a deep breath and cast on.
The rib travels in a wave down the leg and along the top of the foot. The heel has a garter stitch edge and a moss stitch centre. The sole is plain st-st.
I know I need clearer photos of the ripple-rib (tomorrow - light permitting).
They are knitted on 1 skein (my tension and foot size) of LL in Irving Park on 2.5mm dpns and are quite a quick knit - though some concentration is needed to keep the ripple rippling.

Anyway - I likes them and am quietly pleased with myself. Can't wait to wear them now.

(Ta to Ma - my No 1 foot model.)

The 48 ? Meme



WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Sometime earlier this year but can't remember exactly when

DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? My handwriting is very organic and changes with my mood - so it changes almost daily



DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Only this blog


WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Maybe...........not!!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Porridge made with organic oats


DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Very - physically, mentally and emotionally


SHOE SIZE? UK 4 (Euro 37)

RED OR PINK? Reddish pink

WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I can be moody and I have fat thighs




LAST THING YOU ATE? Thai chilli prawns

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The wind howling outside


FAVORITE SMELL? Warm kitty fur



DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON YOU STOLE THIS FROM? Don't know her - but she seems pretty cool from her blog


FAVOURITE SPORT? I don't do sport - but I like to power kite

EYE COLOUR? Greyish/blue




SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Bit of both would be good


HUGS OR KISSES? From strangers - neither. Otherwise hugs.



IF YOU DIDN'T MAKE THE DECISION TO GET MARRIED AND HAVE A FAMILY, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING TODAY? How the hell would I know this? I cannot enter the other dimensions that I exsist in.

WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Bourne Trilogy (very slowly), Eldest and The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins - I read according to mood.

WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? It's blue and has a wrist rest

WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? Strictly Come Dancing Take 2 & Coast

FAVORITE SOUNDS? J's giggle, M's snoring and Conkers purring - all let me know that all is safe in my little world

ROLLING STONE OR BEATLES? I don't like either much but if my life depended on it ............Beatles


WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? I'm an optimist and an arsehole - both are talents that I have nurtured



Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Lt Pigeon, reporting for duty, Sir!

I love obscure titles. This one comes from have the tune 'Mouldy Ole Dough' by Lt Pigeon in my head for the last 10 days - tres scary. Even scarier I can visualise them on TOTP all those years ago - must have caused a blip in the grey matter.

Other waffle - I have a bloodshot eye - goodness knows how but I have. Colemans is all sorted by is still too difficult to photograph. Xmas knitting continues. I have designed an amazing monochrome embossed style scarf for Ma - if i say so myself - it is so cool. Now I just need to tie my ass to a chair and knit.

To finish off here are a couple of handy hints from my current favourite book.

Breath, offensive, or onion tainted.
In case of offensive breath from stomach disorders take 6 drops of concentrated solution of common salt in a wineglass of water during the morning toilet.
If the cause is decayed teeth, rinse mouth well with a teaspoon of salt solution in a tumbler of water.
For breath tainted after eating onions, eat a few leaves of parsley dipped in vinegar.

Iced Cherry Soup.
1lb of cherries
1 pint cherry jelly
1/2 bottle of Chablis
1 grape fruit

Stew cherries gently to draw out the juice which pour over the cherry jelly, hot, not boiling. Add the Chablis and the juice of the grapefuit. Mix well. Stand on ice. Serve in glasses.

(You have to wonder what this would taste like!) attention...this is a recipe from 'the book' that we do actually use!

Rock cakes.
(Honest my Ma has made this since time in memorial and they are wonderful - I just never knew they came from this book.)

1/2 self-raising flour
3oz (butter/Stork) the actual wording says - dripping
3oz sugar
3oz currants
1oz peel
1 egg & a little milk
pinch of salt

Rub butter (dripping) into the flour; add all the dry ingredients. Beat up the egg (lol) with a little milk and mix to a very stiff dough. Place in rough heaps on a greased baking sheet and bake in a quick oven about 15/20 minutes.

For quick = hot = 180c or there-abouts.

Bon appetite.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Household encyclopedia.

As a home educator a good 80% of what we end up doing springboards from passing questions and conversations for example, J and I spent a happy morning last week reading and finding out about the history of Easter Island, both of us had fun and came away knowing more than previously. This leads to this post by way of explanation. Picture the scene - family sitting around the table letting a delicious M cooked Sunday roast go down and J pipes up "What disgusting things did you used to eat that you don't eat now?" Now as a lapsed veggie I do consume meat but never offal *blech* so that is where the topic started - I haven't eaten liver since I got pregnant 10 years ago, but as a kid loved liver and bacon for see where I'm a headin? No?

Well it got a bit more disgusting and then M mentioned 'dripping' (beef fat) and the discussion moved to why people eat this type of stuff and issues of poverty and cost of food joined in. This led me to mention 'brawn' (never eaten it but read about it) "What's brawn?" asks J "Aha!" says I "I bet it's in this very old household encyclopedia that belonged to my Nana." See, it's starting to make sense now.

I love this book. It's old and smelly but it reflects bygone age when thrifty was a way of life. It has recipes (including brawn - which is gross and follows in a bit) household hints including how to make yourself vomit following mercury poisoning, guides to veggie growing and how to clean your windows and so on. The section on enemas made even me squirm though! We found many (what we consider) gross recipes like calves foot jelly and stuff using brains and other bits - J turned a bit green - but I think he was even more grateful for this Sunday roast.

The conversation was very interesting and J was having a history lesson that was fun and informative and he never even twigged. I spent the rest of evening dipping into this book and have it beside me now. Some of the tips like how to keep flies out of your home in summer are eco friendly and sound and I've actually found more useful stuff than I ever imagined.

Now for you peoples of sound constitution here is a recipe for 'Brawn'.

1 sheeps head
2 carrots
2 turnips
1 onion
1 oz flour
1 oz butter
1 gill milk
3oz rice
chopped parsley
salt & pepper

Thoroughly cleanse the head, take out splinters, wash in salt & water, put the head in cold water and bring to the boil; pour away the water, add fresh water, boil removing the scum; cut up vegetables and add rice, simmer gently for 3 hours or till meat will leave the bones. Put brains into a small piece of muslin and drop into the the stewpan about 15 minutes before head is done. Cut the meat off the head, place in the centre of a hot dish, put a border of rice and vegetables round; slice the tongue and chop the brains; make a sauce with the butter, flour and milk adding some of the liquor; season well and add the chopped parsley. Coat the head with with this sauce and garnish with sliced tongue and chopped brains. Et voila! (I also have a pigs head alternative brawn recipe - but this one was grosser!)

I know what we WON'T be having next Sunday.

Now I'm sure that there are those among who will thank me for this culinary delight and dash off to try this recipe and it may well become a firm family favourite - well you are a better man than I Gungadin!

I may make this this a regular blog feature - tips and recipes from a bygone this space.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Colemans has moulted (safely) - he's quite a lot bigger but not easy to photograph. He's a lovely fluffy, mustard yellow and browny colour. He's still pumping himself up - they kind of deflate when they moult. Their exoskeletons and fangs are all soft and it takes around a week before they are hard and hungry again. But I'm so relieved he's OK - he took us by surprise and made a huge web overnight then crawled under it, flipped onto his back and BINGO!

Wouldn't to be wonderful to just shuck off an old tired skin as the seasons change - get a thicker one for winter and when that was all weatherbeaten and knackered - shuck that off- for a fresh shiny new lightweight one for summer. Spiders are just so amazing. I feel honored to share in their strange world.

Right-E-O - teatime at teddies - mmmmm homemade chicken pie, mash tatties, greens and gravy. I love traditional stylie winter food - so does the size of my arse ;0)


Thursday, November 16, 2006

A sort of post script.

Of other stuff knitted and dyed etc mentioned in an earlier post - the piccies of them are on my flicker thingy - so you can go looksie :0)

Lets get fuzzy.

M's fuzzy feet pre-felt.
My scrap fuzzy feet pre-felt.
Mine after felt.

M's after felt and soled *woohoo*

All I have to add is this;

Oh Theresa, you're such a pleaser
A diamond geezer of fuzzy feet.
My feet are toasty
And I can boasty
It's cos your pattern
Is so dang neat!

It's all down to you dear,
That chilblains can't get near
And that my tootsies are warm
And sweet.

So cheers Theresa
A knitting Caesar
I thank you for
My Fuzzy feet.

(Fuzzy Feet are a pattern published in Knitty and if you haven't made them should!)

Knitting news.

Well, knitting has been occurring in tits and farts ;0)

Ma's Xmas Pomatomous socks - completed *yay*
J's 2nd pair Xmas socks - 2/3 done.
M's fuzzy feet - completed just awaiting suede soles from Get Knitted.
My fuzzy feet - will be completed by end of today.
J's knitted snake - hum about 1/2 done.

Of the Xmas knitting if I have time - I want to make Mike a new Chullo and a scarf for Ma.

Other knitting;

My own sock design - 2/3 done - they are so lovely.
Wavy scarf - 1/2 done
Own design lace stole - 1/3 done.
Secret lace - hardly touched cos of all the Xmas knitting!!!

Yesterday I dyed some Debbie Bliss 100% Merino DK weight - trying to replicate some favourite colours ways from other yarn houses (which I managed quite well). The best bit was the use of some wonderful beetroot juice - thanks to my SIL. I diluted this and added a good drop of vinegar and got the most delicious bluey light pink - just the tone I needed. I had such fun - I love to dye.

Piccies of stuff to follow - when I can do a bonanza of all the FO's at once.

Have a good one.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A lightbulb moment.

I realised yesterday, whilst sitting in the Brighton equivalent of a Mall, that it's not that I'm strange or different to everyone else it's just that I walk to a different rhythm to most people. The world plods on, happily blinkered by consumerism and materialism, whilst I am samba-ering to my own internal music. When did the majority of human society morph into sheep? Actually, that's an insult to sheep! People do so such much stuff because it is expected - my question is - by whom? No-one really judges us, the judgments people seem to worry about are in the mind.

I like to people watch in places like this - being agoraphobic - a trip to a Mall is a novelty - I normally avoid them like the plague - they give so little and want so much. But yesterday needs must etc - a trip to the Mall was needed. As I waited for M - I sat and watched the world go by. I am definitely not in tune - it stands out a mile and more - and that made me so happy. People scurry and hurry and spend on stuff they think they need. It's even worse cos it's near to the dreaded 'C' word. Gosh an eye opener indeedy.

I noticed another strange thing. I was watching this middle aged, obviously (by dress style) middle class, Mum stylie woman shop in a Xmas shop - she dashed in, pick up a berry wreath, looked at it, put it back and dashed out of the shop. I noticed her because she looked well groomed etc. It wasn't until later that I realised whilst I was assessing her that I still look at older people through teenage eyes (so to speak) and that I was probably the same age as her if not older - bizarre - I forget that I'm middle aged so often on the outside because on the inside I still feel so young. It was a very strange thought process and a bit disturbing - perhaps that's why I can feel intimidated in shops - I feel young and inexperienced inside so think that is what people see - hmmmm maybe. Other days I feel like Methuselah - ancient and on a good day all knowing ;0)

Anyway - I like lightbulb moments - these gave me cud for the next few days - I do so enjoy a good mull.

P.S - The trip was worth it because I got an amazing knitting book in Waterstones (I love book shops - they are the only reason I really ever go into to town, I can spend hours browsing and now they have squashy sofas - there is no reason to leave) this book has over 900 knitting and crochet stitch recipes - I am so inspired and excited I might have to break my yarn diet, face the world and go to Shoreham today - I need to experiment before all the designs and ideas in my brain fog out.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Poor little Phido (Fifi - that was) has shuffled off this mortal coil. Here is a photo of him in his prime, it bears no resemblance to what he became. He lost most of the hair on his abdomen, a complete leg, his abdomen shrunk and became withered and his wonderful colours faded away. This is, sadly, the fate of male spiders. In his prime he was magnificent, he was quick and to crickets - deadly. I know lots of people don't/won't understand attachment to something that doesn't even know you exist or much less care, but I loved his wildness and detachment. I am honored to have shared my time with such an awesome wild creature and that I've been able to see how they live - fascinating.

I have lots of other spiders but Phido was bought for me and was the 2nd spider we owned (Fluffy already passed away was the 1st), so he has a special place in my affections and will be missed.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Is it November?

I know 'with all theeeese posts I'm really spoiling you' but *sigh*.

Well is it November where you are? Because it sure ain't down here. Today is a day of fairly warm hazy sunshine. I have all the windows open - including the large one in the lounge. There is NO wind at all. Yesterday was a day of brilliant sunshine and it was so warm I wore a vest style top and had to take my socks off cos my piggies got too November!

I've checked the BBC weather for the next 5 days and until Saturday they are giving temps of 50 to 59f, sun and hazy sun with light November! Most strange.

I saw a butterfly yesterday, a couple of bees, the trees are still leafy and the gulls are still singing like it's summer. Most bizzare!

I want my winter! I like cold, windy, wet days - I want frosty mornings. I want it to get cold NOW! I like to snuggle under the quilt with a hottle-bottle and sip hot choccie whilst the wind howls outside. I wanna wear my thick pulleys and handknitted socks. It's sooooooooo not fair. I've suffered all the summer, longing for winter and winter isn't here yet. Get me some winter! Please, pretty please with sugar on top.

*big sigh*

Monday, November 06, 2006

Tweek and Twonk

I told J the story of my cousin and how when we were kids he had this stylized bird thingy called Crow and that Crow used to attack stuff and have all these adventures. I described what it looked like and J was desperate to obtain one - but we're talking 70's stuff and I'm sure Rob found his in junk even then. I promised ages ago to attempt to make something similar - and today I finally got around to it *sigh*.

So here are Tweek (the blue one) and Twonk - J helped in their creation and they are currently perched on the bookshelf waiting for their glue to dry. I just hope they are not as naughty as Crow was - he regularly wrecked my dolls house! OK I no longer have a dolls house (well I do - the same one but that's in the attic) but I have other stuff and these two sure look naughty to me.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

November sunset.

Sometimes Brighton can be a beautiful place to be.

Bonfire night

15 years ago today I lost my Dad. I miss him still. He'd been ill for a few years - but I don't think any of us expected him to die so quickly and at that moment. I didn't get to the hospital in time. I never got to say goodbye - he never told me he loved me and when I told him, the previous night, I don't know if he heard.

Every year on Guy Fawkes we send up a big firework for him (he loved fireworks and bonfires) last night (a day early) we sent up a 48 shot firework and I took the time to think of him.

We had a wonderful firework celebration, J and the cousins helped stoke the fire, played with sparklers, cooked marshmallows on the chiminea, ate home-made soup and sausages and generally 0hh-and-ahhed at the wonderful explosions. The adults ate too much, 3 of us drank to much, we made very merry and laughed loads. I think my Dad would have had a blast. I'm sure he was there in spirit.

Rocket's Tail (For Rocket).

That November night, looking up into the sky
You said "Hey wish that was me up there-
it's the biggest rocket I could find
And it's holding the night in it's arms
If only for moment
I can't see the look in it's eyes
but I'm sure it must be laughing."
But it seemed to me the saddest thing I'd ever seen
And I thought you were crazy wishing such a thing -

I saw only a stick on fire
Alone on it's journey
Home to the quickening ground
With no one there to catch it.

I put on my pointed hat
And my black and silver suit
And I check my gunpowder pack
And I strap the stick on my back
And dressed as a rocket on Waterloo Bridge
Nobody seems to see me
Then with the fuse in my hand
And now shooting into the night
And still as a rocket
I land in the river.

Was it me said you were crazy?
I put on my cloudiest suit
Size 5 lightening boots too
'Coz I am rocket
On fire
Look at me go with my tail
On fire
Hey, look at me, look at me................

(Kate Bush - from 'The Sensual World).

Monday, October 30, 2006

Spooky spiders - mwahaha.

Yes I know - two in one day - I spoil you. But what could be better for Halloween than spiders - big hairy spiders? Here is the newly moulted Humbug - in all his stripy legged glory - Pippi Longstocking eat your heart out! M had great fun moving him to his new tank - he's an aggressive little fucker.
This is our 1st picture of Tiny - the spider with the potential to grow to 10 inches. At the moment he's about 2 inches across and very hairy. He has a voracious appetite and looks for a 2nd helping almost straight away. I shall be watching this ones growth rate with great interest.

Colemans - the other new spider is a bit small to photograph yet - but never fear- the minute he's big enough he will make a grand debut.

Now sleep well on on all hallows eve - no nasty dreams about gert big hairy spiders crawling up your legs under the bed clothes now.

Things that go bump in the night!

So, we love Halloween. J and I have been making scary pictures all day. The spider cake is cooling in its tin as I type.

We, as a family, are also all writing scary poems and stories to tell each other tomorrow tonight, after our special ultra scary tea. J sneaked a peek at my poem and wants me to share it with the world so here goes........enjoy.......remember it was written with the idea in mind to entertain a 9 yr old (ghoulish) boy.

Supping on little boys is what I like to do,
Crunching on their knobbly knees and skinny elbows too.
Custard mash made from their brains and strain their innards through,
Washed down with a pint of blood mixed well with snotty goo!

I quite like a brekkie of little girls as a cereal that is sweet,
Their flesh is soft and tender as are their cheesy feet.
Their long hair makes spaghetti of which I am quite fond,
It tastes even better after a soaking in the pond.

My mid-day snack is normally quite light
If I spy a passing Granny - then I might just take a bite.
Although they are more chewy and their bones more brittle too,
Where their brains are old and soggy makes a lovely soupy goo!

Oh yes, I do like human food, it tastes so very nice,
Who'd want to eat Chinese food, all bamboo shoots and rice.
I'll stick to little humans and the odd Granny too,
There is no waste, so good they taste, I even eat their poo!


Friday, October 27, 2006

Chock full of yarny goodness.

I kind of broke my yarn diet (oops) but my Darlin man said "You've not bought much yarn lately. Why don't you treat yourself?" And I wasn't about to decline that kind offer now, was I? So here we have some Handmaiden lace weight silk in Rose Garden. I bought to make a shawl - the pattern for which I also purchased but it's a secret at the moment ;0) I still have a passion for pink and green colour mixes - the pinks are really dusky edging more toward a minky beige than pinky pink - very subtle.
Here in some yummalicious LL sock yarn in one of my fav colourways Irving Park. I made a curly-whirly scarf in this colour last year and the mix of the purple, red and orange has just grown on me. I love this sock yarn - it keeps it colour and is so very soft and I've found durable.
Two skeins if LL DK weight merino wool (superwash) in my all time fav colourways Sherbet. I made a wrap using this in Worsted (Aran?) earlier this year. It is soft and snuggly and always makes me feel warm and cheerful. So this is destined to become a scarf (for me) a thick snuggly scarf to warm and cheer me through out the winter. My passion for these colours all stem from having Gundel - as my SP - she mentioned she loved hot pink and orange mixes - I initially thought yuck - but when I started shopping for her - well the rest is history - I was completely hooked. I have dyed and bought so much yarn using this mix of colours - I loves it I do!

I shall be employing my winder today and will no doubt have a severe case of start-it-tis over the forthcoming weekend. Which will be spent predominately at home because on Sat M has a studio booked and is off jamming with his band until the evening and as I have Aunt Flo visiting I will be taking it easy at home. Sunday - well we have plans but it's all dependent on how my body behaves etc.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Our household includes my Ma and her animals as well. As I posted earlier this year she lost here old cat Pixie. At the time she felt she didn't want anymore cats. Well, time moves on and she read about the Brighton & Hove Cats Protection League needing people to offer homes to older cats (people don't want to adopt older cats for some reason). She met a lovely B & W boy called Rufus who she wanted to home....but sadly Rufus became unwell and needed further vet treatment and to stay where he was. So, Ma offered a home to..........

Jasmine or Miss Fluffy Pants aka a Tribble on legs or possibly a Wig-wig. She came to live with us on Saturday and she is a lovely, gentle, friendly, fluffy (did I mention she was fluffy?) girlie of 10 years.
She is settling in well. She has met Ma's dachshunds and tolerates them but has yet to meet Loobles (she has seen her through the patio doors) or Conkers properly (Conkers did get into to Ma's lounge the other day - his tail fluffed and he peered over the sofa at her and they have conversed briefly through a glass door - he mews, she hisses!) We are doing the introducing slowly as I don't want a repeat of the Kodo/Poppy warfare and the Buster/Pixie swear-scratchathons this time.

It seems a shame that this little girl was going to be put to sleep by her owners (allegedly) because she no longer fitted their lifestyle. She has so much love to give as do so many older cats who need homes. Anyone thinking of getting a kitty or if you know someone who is....please think about/get them to think about adopting an older cat. I know our local cat rescue is full to the brim -and is trying to squeeze in emergency rescues and has to put cats in need on the waiting list. They never put healthy animals down - but because of people breeding kittens for sale and then not being able to sell them and then dumping them on the rescue people, people kicking out pets they've grown bored of or are too old etc - the older cats people don't want are taking shelter places and the shelters are out of spaces. Just think about it - older cats are loving and full of fun too.

Friday, October 20, 2006

"Beret good, Mr Bond."

I love my Debbie Bliss beret and wear it loads - so I decided to make another one in a different colour. Sweetie boy - unhappily agreed to model this so I could get a shot of the stitch definition. He'd just woken up and agreed to this picture before he realised it would go on my blog...haha!
Loobles wasn't much happier about her modeling assignment either but ever hopeful of some of Conkers dried cat foot as a reward, she posed - briefly - she didn't get any fud either!

The hat is made in Alpaca silk (Aran weight) and is knitted back and forth in moss stitch - and can be completed in an afternoon. The cravat that goes with it - I never wear - so made a pair of Fetching instead to match this, as I am more likely to wear gloves than a scarf.

As for the rest of my knitting - well my mojo has been a bit underwhelming this week. I have had the time to knit but have chosen not to - I have been so tired in the evenings that early nights have been the order of the day. I am working on plain socks for J, a lace shawl, a silk version of Cozy and Ma's never ending Pomatomous sockies. The beret was a quick fix knit for me - that hopefully will re-spark the ole knitting juices back into overdrive.


Humbug is right in the middle of his moult - as I type this. It is exciting when a spider moults, much like the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly. The spiders colours will be brighter, the spider will be bigger and there is always the possibility that we will be able to determine their sex. There is also the moment of dread when you see them still on their backs, unmoving, the fear that the spider may be stuck in its exoskeleton and will die. The relief when they start to move and slowly emerge - is like letting go on a long held breath. So we are being quiet, no loud noises, thumping around and subdued lighting - until little Humbug has re-emerged. He will be fragile for a while. They need to harden and to pump themselves up as they shed everything when they moult - their fangs and even the lining of their mouths. No food for him for a while either. Though unusually for a spider he ate 48 hours before he started his moult. I post piccies of him once he has obtained his full moult.

The two new babies have been re-housed and fed and are now tromping about exploring their new domains.

I know people find spiders scary - I understand - I used to be terrified of them too. But they really aren't anything to be scared off and are fascinating creatures. Like any creature that has venom - if you scare them or encroach on their territory - you could get bitten and some give very nasty bites - but if you are careful and respect them then you should be ok.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Ahhhh babies.

I was attempting to put up a picture of Conkers loving his cuddly duck but Bogger (no spelling mistake this time) is giving moi gip!

I'll put them on Flickr - looksie at the box thingy a bottom of blog.

We've got new babies - cute ickle spiderlings.....ahhhhh.

We've bought a Salmon Pink Birdeater currently about 2" across with the capability of growing to 10" - J has christened it 'Tiny' - great name or what :0) - for those of you who like proper names this tarantula is known as lasidora parahybana.

Whilst there M also acquired a tiny (less than an inch) Chacoan Mustard Tarantula - also known as Chaco Goldenstripe/Golden Knee - proper name grammastola aureistriata. That one can grow up to 7.5 - 8" leg span - so another weeny one. This one has been christened 'Colemans' - yet another great name!

So we now have 6 eight legged babies - the family just keeps on growing.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Oo-Oo just found these.

Firstly 'Ha' this illustrates some of previous rant re word meaning

Far more humorous than my OTT rant (I feel better now, by the way) but very interesting and in its way illuminating.

Secondly, if you don't already read this blog - you should - one of the best on the web.

Todays post made me laugh out loud - which I needed.

Read, enjoy, revel!

NB: Blogger (I just typed Bogger - whoops) spell checker is not working on this post. I can't spell for toffee. I have attempted to check my spelling the old fashioned way - using a dictionary - but excuse me if I've fluffed up - thank you.

Face flannels.

Wet, soggy, overused and washed out face flannels (wash cloths for non-UK folk). That is what so many people are. So PC that they are scared to speak up, out and voice opinions - for fuck sake - where is individuality? Where is the freedom to be and say what the fuck you want?

I hate living in this PC world - with all the boobies and scaredy cats. We might as well all be mice or frightened little bunnies - GROW UP.

Stop all the PC crap and be a PERSON (I know I'm shouting - so what - I'm a shouty sort of gal).

The next time I get hauled over the coals by some up tight PC fuckwit for saying something - I think I might just burst. It's a free country. I can say what I want. I can think what I want - that's the thing about freedom ------- 'you are free.'

I heard myself today, at breakfast, jump on the PC wagon. M said something totally non-PC to J, and I picked him up on it, told him that his attitude would not help J understand and fit in with society now etc. OMG - I became one of them. J must realise freedom of expression and learn to judge for himself. Not from a load of PC gobbledy-gook and waffle from rim wearing hyprocrites. I became a hypocrite - because I agree with what M - but mouthed the PC stuff - I am so angry with myself.

I pledge I will not brainwash my child with PC jargon-neese. I will be honest to what I believe and let J have the freedom to form/change/develop his own perspective on contentious issues.

Finally - why are issues contentious? Because of how we interpret what is said. If you call someone a 'wanker' who has never heard the word before, they do not know it is insult and will not be offended. It's not the person who says the word it is the person who interprets it.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Short n sweet - not.

This is Bumhug the Giant Brazilian Black and White Tarantula - who technically is still a baby...after me now everyone - 1, 2, 3 ....ahhhhh. No? Diego has made his 4th sperm web and is currently resting on it, exhausted from all that spinning. Phido - is thinner, weaker and balder everyday but is still tromping about looking for lurve and the Boris/Doris combo is very big and fluffy and full of fun.

Other stuff....well lots of playing with the 'GND' (girls next door), a play date with G (hmmm I think J was being difficult that day from what M said), swimming, walking, arguments, some learning - you know family stuff.

We did have a bonfire the other night and sat out with hot drinks and choccie bikkies in the dark - very enjoyable. M had a terrible week at work and needed his first weekend off call - chillin - but aforementioned family stuff (boy being total arsehole) kind of put the kibosh on the relaxing bit.

I've hurt my back and hip and spent the last few days drugged and uncomfortable - it's slowly easing but is still waking me up and disturbing my sleep patterns.

Knitting - not as much as I'd like. I can't settle cos of the pain. I have finished one Pomatumas - or whatever they're called - for Ma. Work continues on other secret projects. I also have been spinning - no piccies yet.

Conkers and Loobles are well - though how an indoor cat manages to get fleas in October - after being regularly Frontlined - is beyond me. Loobles has none - her coat is not good for fleas. And as her hips are bad we've been limiting her walkies to a couple of miles on pavement a day - to stop her running. So where is an indoor cat getting them from? I ask you - 5 fleas in 24 hrs I got off him...uggh! The whole house has been treated - he has no flea eggs - the remaining carpet and all soft furnishings have been done and he is flea combed everyday....yet still he has fleas. I hate fleas! I am now itching as I type this and I bet you are too.

We have a quiet week planned this week (fingers crossed). I intend to knit loads. The marathon cleaning also continues - it's all those horrible jobs that get put off - almost finished now. M even cleaned out his side of under the bed (picks self up from faint) and .... wait for it......he....threw....stuff ....out *gasp* total shock, horror, he never throws out anything....ever. Once it's all done it will be lovely to sit back and enjoy it for 5 minutes before we need to start again, this house is like the Forth Bridge.

My agoraphobia is very, very bad at the moment- so if people are wondering where I am and why I'm not seen, well now they know. I can't face calling or visiting anyone at the moment. Apart from the music concert the other week - I haven't seen anyone outside my immediate family for weeks. It got so bad that I have decided to defer my exam as I can't face sitting it - in fact I may never get to sit it. I can even face places like the public library at the moment, J and M are very understanding....but I am very fed up with 'me'.

Ahh well - we just have to sit it out and wait for it to pass.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Whoosh...there it was..

the last week that is.

Choccer block of stuff. Here is a round-up.

Went to The Cats Protection League with Ma. She is looking to adopt an older cat as she feels enough time has elapsed since Pixie died. J fell in love with every cat there but especially with a little white 6 month old boy called Monty, who was very friendly and playful and a large fluffy tabby called William aka Squeak. He wanted us to have another cat but I feel at this time we have more than enough to care for and pay out for. Ma looked at a little B & W boy called Rufus, he's recovering from surgery at the mo but she's hopeful that she can adopt him.

On the boy front we had a upsy-downsy week. Some of his reactions to requests and his behaviour has left a lot to be desired. He would have tested the patience of a saint so I didn't stand a chance. We had a week of Shakespeare and times tables - odd mix - but there you go. There was a bit of physics and chemistry thrown in as well (boy did not know that's what he was doing - but if the mountain won't come etc, etc). He also did quite a bit of knitting - making little knitted fish for his friends who live next door. Yep, we now have neighbor's with kids. A friendship was established through the hedge, gifts exchanged and much playing in each others gardens and houses ensued. Add in a giant play with cousins on Friday and boy was well socialized and satisfied.

We had a couple of social evenings - very nice.

Knitting has occurred. I have so many finished items that I haven't photographed - I just haven't had the time. But in the past week I have completed some plain socks for me, a pair of cabled gauntlets and some mittens. I have also tidied my stash and 'frogged' all those WIP's that I started in enthusiasm and now know I will never finish. I now have a workable pile of WIP's and a couple of old UFO's and neat stash. One gold star for me ;0)

I've also gone back to using the treadmill now the weather is cooler and the garage is less of sweatbox. I enjoy getting puffed and sweaty in private - can't stand the gym environment.

M and I have been jolly bunnies and life is smooth and sweet - we have been busy on separate stuff so quiet evenings (after J is in bed) are being relished.

OMG Autumn Watch - I love nature programmes and J loves this (and Spring Watch) but will someone please gag Bill Oddie! Doesn't he ever stop. He can be interesting but it's all the waffle. Also I wish that they would stop putting human emotions and reactions on the animals - that is such a load of bollocks.

Got another busy week ahead - need to knit - but may not have much time:0(

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Let us rock!

M, Big Sis and I went to see Breed 77 last night at the Concorde 2 - did they rock? Oh yes, oh yes indeedy - they rocked big time.

Loud and wonderful - a mix of ethnic, flamenco and heavy rock all rolled into one cool package - and their lead singer is easy on the eyes - BONUS!

If you've not heard their stuff check it out - it's different but in a good way - they are a band that are so accomplished as muscians, doing something really well that is a bit different, they deserve to make it really big.

Beer was quaffed, heads were banged, ears rang....we rocked out.

A great evening!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Secrets, squirrels and Socrates.

It's that time of year when secret knitting commences. You will find me knitting at odd times when normally I'd be engaged on other tasks because gift knitting needs to occur when the recipient isn't likely to walk in on you. Even the normally most unobservant boy will always pick up on it when I'm knitting for him. I have bags stashed in odd places with projects started and then hidden as the thump of feet heralds small person approach. I have stuff started for M whilst he's at work, my secret knitting isn't even safe from Ma - she takes it into to her head to pop up for a chat (she's requested a pair of Pomatumus socks - just a little job then). So to find me knitting at 10.00 am instead of completing chores etc must mean the start of the pre-Christmas knitathon. I have so many things I want to make and now feel I have so little time. Ah well such is life.

M cooked up a storm the other evening. We were all sat in the kitchen, scoffing happily. I don't know why but I glanced across to the window and there on the wall that borders the side path sat a grey squirrel looking straight me. Now I'm sure he wasn't after my Shepherds Pie and I don't think we'd make interesting viewing for squirrel TV, but there he sat, it seemed for ages, watching us, watching him, watching us. I haven't seen a squirrel in our vicinity for over a year. Hopefully he'll come back for another visit. I don't care if people think they are vermin, I like them.

I am not a morning person (understatement here) and the other morning at about 7.30am J bounced into our room and onto the bed with a "What's philosophy?" Now I did study philosophy (briefly) in the 1st year of my degree but I've forgotten more than I learnt. But between M and I and brief visit to 'Sophie's World' by Jostein Gaarder we managed to answer his question. He loves these early morning, in bed, conversations (which always make for a late breakfast and M being late for work). But they are a good thing, because they really make us feel blessed that we home educate, because those kind of chats are what home-ed are all about. Not going to groups, not having every minute of every day filled with activities - the path of so many other home-edders - but as a family - being and learning together. For me it is 'HOME' education, not group, park, activity education. Each to their own, and we do do stuff a bit like that, but less now than ever and it suits us all. So thanks Socrates you made us have a really positive moment and to embrace that we're OK and happy and that learning is taking place all the time - just differently from others.

Now it's time to get back to those secret needles - 'Housework.....hoovering....what's that?'

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Wings, wool and wicker.

Here is J at the controls of a Red Arrows Hawk afraid, be very afraid... I've seen how this boy flies on computer games ;0) I really think this made his day. Especially after we had watched a TV programme on the Red Arrows, he was awestruck at what they do.
I didn't break my yarn diet, M broke it! On our anniversary he drove me out to our local lys and bought me yarn - better than flowers any day! This this Rowan Tapestry (I think the colourway is Antique) destined to be a multi-directional scarf (all thanks to Shona) she knitted a beautiful one on her blog.

The other yarns are RYC wool and silk and Rowan 4ply cotton. I was very good and spent under £30 but I could have spent much more if I was a rich girl.
These wicker dragons and their egg live a Groombridge - they are very impressive. The skill that must have gone into making them. They also have a wickerStegosauruss. I remember being forced to make a wicker litter bin at school - it was hard on the hands and keeping an even tension was more than a little difficult - so I raise my metaphorical hat to whoever made these big beasties.

Today is the last day of our hols. It's been different having a holiday based at home, something we have never done since J was born. It has its pros and cons. It has been nice not to have to plan and pack, unpack, pack, unpack. It has been nice to sleep in my own bed (I always have problems sleeping in strange beds - it takes me days to get used to it and by then it's time to come home). I didn't miss the long journey and getting lost and we have had lots of camping trips this year so we have been away. On the down side - I seem to have had less mental rest - still had phone calls/ post/ bills to deal with. I've told M that next year we should plan to do longer camping trips throughout the spring and summer and not bother with a 2 week break and to also try and get a short-break trip for just him and I. Anyhoo our plans for today....who knows? I'm happy to read, weave and knit but I need to canvas popular opinion of the boys.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Firstly, ta to glittr and Purlpower - you cheered me up. Yep I am tosser-a-phobic.

Well we've been busy bees. Miles too much to blog it all, so here are the edited highlights. J loved the Enchanted Forest at Groombridge. The swing is one of many in the wood attached to giant trees. M and I enjoyed them too. Groombridge is an amazing day out. Huge wicker dragons and dinosaurs, raptor centre demonstrations, we saw the owl one and the falcon one - all included in the price. The recent film of Pride and Prejudice was shot there - Groombridge house is Longbourne - wow amazing. We played giant chess, got lost in a maze. Climbed an aerial walkway, squatted in a Teepee, took over a fort, fed enormous fish and generally just got lost in the magic of the forest. We stayed all day and was well knackered by the time we got home. So much so we couldn't cook and had to get the best fish n chips in the world from the chippie in Rottingdean...yum!

J in an egg at Drusillas. Now I hate Drusillas - but we had half price tickets and J loves the place so we had a day there and to be honest (as it was quiet and term-time) it was good. Baby meercats added to our general delight as did the close up of the Serval below. A stop off at Middle Farm on the way home added to a our merriment - mmmm yummy St Illtyd cheese and a large quantity of scrumpy - made a good tea!
We also took J out for his first proper restaurant curry. Oh boy was that a hit. He loved the atmosphere and ate all of his Kurma and onion bhajees. He struck up a rapport with the waiters and was so good and polite - M and I managed some Cobra beer and lots of yummy grub.

We went fossiling at Bracklesham bay. I don't know which I enjoyed more the fossiling - they were just everywhere you pick them up on the tideline or watching the surfers as it was a good rough day and surf was up. We had a lovely picnic and then went off to visit Clayman as M needed supplies.

This deer was at Groombridge - they did actually come closer. The Mum has this years and last years fawns with her. The Stag was more stand-offish but they showed no fear. We also saw a Zeedonk (zebra donkey cross breed) J thought we were joking.

We visited lots of parks for biking, picnics and play but I think the favourite was Tilgate - they has month old piglets - adorable. We also got up real close with their beautiful shire horses. Another great day and all for the total price of £5.50. Another maze, another picnic and heaps of fun. We saw 8 magpies all together and they were trying to outwit the squirrels - I think it was a draw.

We also took the time to visit the Beacon and have the compulsory (rip-off unhealthy) ice cream - but you can't go there and not have a large Mr Whippy with a Flake. The views were breathtaking, the walk enjoyable.

Some days we did nothing at all - but just be as a family - which was also nice. Just lazing and chatting and enjoying having M at home. I literally haven't stopped but have achieved little.

The boys had a lads day (with the cousins) at Shoreham Airshow - J sat in the cockpit of a Red Arrow (Hawk) aircraft. Explored a Chinook helicopter and went on a simulator of the Eurofighter. He and M love planes and came home buzzing from all they had seen and done. I had a quiet day and finished off a sock and shrug I was knitting - very peaceful.

Today we re-visited Middle Farm for some organic sausages, a pork joint for Sunday and more cider - the rest of the day we are spending doing what we each like best - J is building with Lego, M has clay and I shall knit.

No plans as yet for the weekend -though we might go back to Bracklesham for more fossils.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Vent, rant, rant, vent.

I am very tolerant of peoples choices. Living all my life in Brighton (gay capital of Europe) I see people as people not as labeled by their lifestyles/choices. I abhor homo-phobic attitudes.

Today I was subjected to a verbal abuse because A) I am a women, B) I am a Mother and C) Because I am heterosexual - this abuse came from two homosexual men. Two adult men who chose not to or couldn't control their dog in a public park and when I asked them to control it because it as A) Harassing my dog and B) Chasing my child (who is nervous of this breed of dog and who had just fallen off his bike and was crying anyway). They then accused me of being hysterical....yes hysterical. I admit I did speak sharply and I had to repeat myself. I was also hugging J and was concerned as M tried to keep our elderly and lame dally away from their marauding Boxer (our dog was on the lead and we were using a halty - we don't let her off near other dogs as she goes lame so easily these days). Then the more senior of the two gents (probably in his 60's) squared upto me and approached me in an aggressive manner, whilst his partner repeated that he should leave it as it was clear I was hysterical (still?). Neither had at that point realized the possible danger they were in....because I can look after myself and basically could have decked the pair of them and by that time M (who is not as tolerant as me and is highly protective of me and J) was getting extremely angry. He then asked them to control their dog and they replied we should control ours (the one on the short lead and halty - who was yelping and trying to dodge their dog). They then informed us that in a park they DO NOT need to control their dog or use a lead (really - I suppose it can just shit anywhere as well and the fact that there are sports facilities and playgrounds confirms that this park is solely for dog walking...yes?).

One gent dragged the other gent away and I asked M to leave it as people like that (I mean arseholes and aggressive) are not worth it. But why I ask myself did they choose me? Am I classed as hysterical because I am a women (who was more angry than any other emotion) or because I was comforting a balling child? Did he think I would be easy to intimidate? If his partner hadn't intervened and verbally insulted me - what would he have done?

I have never felt anti-gay but today I could empathise with some attitudes that other hetro people have exhibited. A hetro man/men would not have threatened a women with an upset child like that and not in front of her obviously well built hubby. They behaved that way and hid behind the fact they are gay because they know the law and society would favour them if it had kicked off.

They are low cowards who deserve no respect and like so many before them their hetro/sexist- a-phobic attitude is got away with because they have more rights as a minority than I do as a women and mother.

I don't care who this pisses is my blog and I am angry. I will be less tolerant and forgiving of rude people whatever their orientation in the future and next time I won't care if they are gay, push-bapist, 7th day advent hoppists or general wankers. I will not hold my tongue and give them the benefit of the doubt I will knock their fucking blocks off and take the risk of being accused of gay-bashing or whatever they may be.

PS - If you don't like this piss off elsewhere to a politically correct blog - because as of now the gloves are off! No more Mrs Nice and Tolerant who follows live and let live - fuck with me and I'll bite back.

This event also upset J - he was scared by this bloke squaring off at his Mum and also knowing that his Pop can be a bit feisty he was aware of the unpleasant atmosphere. M or I would not have acted in an aggressive or violent manner in front of him.

We cut our day at the park short, brought our picnic home and have all felt angry and upset since. I do allow/understand that all facets of society have prats and you can't blame the whole for the part - but this was hiding behind a label and was just downright nasty, bitchin old queens - shame on them for making me feel homo-phobic for the 1st time ever.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Just a quickie (hehe).

Still on hols..but, today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day - so 'Arrrrrrrrh Jim Lad, splice the main brace and shiver me timbers.'

Also 19 years ago today I became Mrs L and shucked off old Miss W. It's hard to believe we've been married that long and are still in love and lust (we've been a couple for 23 years). We are planning a day of good food, wine and some lovin (shame no childcare - so got little J for company until bedtime - ahh well you canna have it all.)

Raises your glasses to M and I - here's to the next 19! Lets hope we have as much fun :0)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Enjoy the view.

Something to look at -whilst I'm busy off enjoying myself. This a view across Brighton at sunset looking from Roedean, across the Marina towards the Brighton (Palace) Pier.

Where does it go?

Time that is.

This is a quick update - manic! Life has been full, busy and I can't remember a quarter of it all. But there has been playing (cousins), learning (long division), reading - J has been reading the 'Measle' books and together we've almost finished 'The Railway Children' next we're moving onto Willard Price's 'Adventure' series - we have 4 to choose from - me I have abandoned the 'Moonstone' at the moment because..... I am reading a thriller (never, you? - I normally can't abide the thriller genre) but have got sucked into 'The Bourne Identity' - which I am enjoying immensely.

There have also been experiments, discussions, the daily chore of chores. J has been practicing his laundry skills - kids need to know this kind of stuff - interspersed with fun and Spike Milligan!

Knitting - well I have almost finished 'Cosy' from Knitty - I intend to finish it this week - so it will have only taken about a year *sigh*.
I got an Addi turbo (via GetKnitted) that is 2.5mm (sock size) and really short - so I can knit sockie-do-dahs on ONE - repeat - ONE needle - mega whee and whoohoo! It's taking a bit of getting used to though - but I will persevere. So I have a plain sock on the go and a Jaywalker (Grumperina - MagKnits). I have 2 half finished pairs of mittens and many other projects - but his week I have shared the love and worked on lots of different ones.

I warped up my loom (nice big weaving yarn order from Texure received- weaving stuff is NOT part of the yarn diet). I am experimenting with a tartan style pattern - fun.

I have also started on a few knitted Xmas gifties. This year we are having a traditional Xmas with less expensive plastic crap from Toys-R-Us etc and more traditional gifts (small pressies) and homemade goodies. I'm also not sending cards this year - apart from immediate family - I just can't buy into it anymore - way too commercial (oops soapbox crept in for a moment).

Finally...from lunchtime today we are officially on a 2 week holiday. Not going away as such (apart from camping - weather permitting) but doing days out etc. So may be AFK-ish for a while. Be good while I'm not about and no rowdy behaviour peeps.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Spiders n stuff

Why does Blogger always change the order of my pictures? (rhetorical question - no postcards please). Here is the newly moulted Diego (Dolly as was). He is big leggie. As Dolly he was small, pink and fluffy and very cute. Diego gives off a different vibe completely. He is now less pink and fluffy and more big and menacing.
This is part of a Raku face wall hanging M made for our hall. It's amazing. I have requested a whole gallery full so I can faces the whole length of the staircase.
Here is Diego stretched out. One long spider!

So sad to read about Steve Irwin, he is (was) one of J's hero's. We have a talking Steve Irwin doll, we saw the film, have watched all the Croc Files and Crocodile Hunter programmes. I know it may sound trite etc - but my thoughts are with his family today. He made J love animals and animal conservation, he inspired many an H.E. project and he made us smile. Good on yer Stevo!

My light summer cold has matured into a rip snorter. I can't breath, I have an awful cough, I ache and in general feel like shit. My mouth tastes like the bottom of a parrots cage! On the upside - I finished Wilkie Collins 'Woman in White' - I was sure I had read this before - but I can't have - I would have remembered it. What a great book! I hate mystery/thriller types normally, but this was un-put-a-downable. So impressed am I, that this morning I started the 'Moonstone'. I also got lots of knitting done - but nothing finished - just progress on existing stuff.

Now here is the downside. Whenever I am ill, J is a pain in the arse. He takes the opportunity to play up, big time. He has made both of our lives hell this weekend. M is recovering from this bug, he's on call and has had a hectic week at work. Instead of a weekend of R & R he had to do the lot - as unusual for me - I was so ill I had to sleep. So J acted up. He was rude and obnoxious. He hit out at M - not acceptable. He wouldn't dare do that to me - so why do it to his Dad? I was so fed up, that I threatened him (this is rare) that if I caught/saw/heard act in a violent way to M again I would smack him and see how he liked being hit and then put him to bed. J is 9. We do not smack in this family, M has never smacked him, I have once about 6 years ago and swore never again - it felt so wrong. But I believe that if I make a threat and my bluff is called then I must carry it out - he would never take me seriously again if I didn't. (Can you see where this is going?) I thought this threat was soooo bad - he wouldn't dare...he did, the very next morning.
So yesterday, I had to smack my kids bum and put him to bed (feeling not only very ill but like the worse parent in the world). I smacked him on a buttock, firmly, in a calm rational manner. I didn't hit in temper or anger - I feel/felt awful. J is very challenging at the moment, he is pushing us, everyday has its moment of trial by parenting. I don't expect answers/sympathy/advice etc - just wanted to vent a bit. But I do wonder...what now? I hope the shock of it will at least make him stop and think if he ever feels like hitting out at M again. He's also lucky that M has such control over his temper and never lashes out but just walks away. Surely at 9 it's too soon to be hormones? - But his behaviour is very, very teenage - yuck!

So, today, I feel low. This bug is really taking it out of me. I need to rest and recover. I am going to be selfish and do just that. I have set J a load of math - no autonomous learning today - he can sit quiet and do what he is told - he is not happy but it is peaceful. I'm off to make some ginger tea and listen to an audio book and hopefully get some more sleep.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Of all the things..

here are two I didn't need.

1) We all have awful colds, with sore throats - but I have to get a stomach bug to go with mine. Never do anything by halfs, that's my moto! I feel totally 'blah' and 'bleh'.

2) Dolly (Dolores) moulted and is now the spider formally known as......another bloddy male one! So a 'Hi' to Diego. I know you can't sex a juvenile spider and this one hides its moults so we've not been able to check...but.... I thought this time. So that's 3 out 5 so far that have turned out to be male. The sad thing is once they're mature, all they do is tromp about looking for spidey sex until they conk out and die. It's hard to watch. I know that some spider breeders advocate euthanasia but I can't bring myself to put a tarantula into the deep freeze. Diego now has massive hooks or spurs on his front legs. Is bigger than Phido (Fifi - that was) and is probably not long for this world - we only got him as a juvenile in Jan 06 - oh well such is life etc and so forth.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Just because

Look at that big nose and little pink tongue - so cute!
One very worried looking Loobles - did someone mention she was a bit stinky and needs a bathy? Maybe.

Friday, August 25, 2006


I wish I had more hours in the day *sigh*

Here is a quick catch up.

Triopy - died on Wednesday. Their life span is 8/12 weeks - he lasted about 8 and reached a size of about 2". He went into moult and didn't recover from it. J & M were sad but philosophical about it. We have enough eggs to try again at a future date.

Big Sis has come up trumps. She has time off next week and has offered me a J break. Like most home-ed parents, child free time is a rare treat and she has my gratitude.

Finished M's socks (no piccie as I can't be asked) they are in Lana Grosse (?) monochrome stripes - bog standard manly socks.

Spinning continues - slowly.

I whopped the families arses at Monopoly - bankrupted the lot of em *hahaha*

Decided to re-visit my bookshelf - need some literature. So, am going to re-read a few old favourites not visited for a while. The problem is now....where to start? Have you seen how many books I have? Scary!

It's been math week (have no idea why) but this week has abounded with addition/subtraction, rounding, < & > and improper fractions. J has been up for it and who am I to dissuade him.

Yay! Wank holiday weekend. Love it. M is not on call either. Raku firings are planned. We wanna chill and chill some more. I fancy a night in front of the chimenea with a big glass of something red and fruity, toasting marshmallows.

M booked his holiday time for Sept. We're not going away as such this year like we normally do. I have a suspicion we may go off and camp though ;)

Loads of other stuff - too much to catalogue. It's been a good (so far) I feel a lot happier - all good babe!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Missing pictures

Here are the links - sod Blogger!


Puff n stuff

I have pictures to go with this post - but Blogger, yes s***t for brains Blogger will NOT upload them grrr.

Where has this week gone. Whoosh!

Here are a few highlights - too much to include everything.

Stephy from the Knittyboard phoned me all the way from the USofA. How cool - is that?It was her 21st birthday as well. She is a sweetie.

Blackberries and apples - yum. Our tree has moth again - but we managed to get a few gooduns from the top of the tree and I made a strudel style crumble - M loves crumble. Then the boys went blackberrying. In they came with long faces - telling me they hardly picked any, haha, they had picked loads. Says I, "What shall I make with these then?" The resounding reply was 'Crumble!" So apple and blackberry crumble with custard was the order of the day.

Inspired by the Daddy Long Legs and Volk, J and I have been looking at the history of Brighton. I remember doing a project on this at his age. He has all sorts of plans and ideas of places to go and explore..... I feel a busy week coming on. He finished his book and we finished the one I'm reading to him. We are now reading 'The Railway Children', I wasn't sure if he'd like this, but he's really enjoying it, which is cool. Friday he sprang an impromptu poetry afternoon on me. He read me his favourites and then I had to read mine to him. We ranged from Spike Milligan and Edward Lear to Stevie Smith and Wordsworth. He also wangled it that we rescued Monopoly and Cluedo from the attic - Cluedo has lost a lot of pieces - including Col Mustard - I am devastated. But the Monopoly is fine - he has yet to pin us down to play it. M and I always, always fight over it, hence it being put in the attic. I played the SpongeBob board game as penance instead. But I know we will not elude him for long!

Cycling and skateboards have played a large part of the week as has garden golf.

Knitting - Started socks for M. Completed one kiddie wristwarmer as a gift and that's about it.

Spinning - Yay! Got a new spindle (piccie to follow - when Blogger gets its head out of its arse). Got lots of new spinning fluff (fluff is not part of yarn diet). Spent good part of yesterday playing with aforementioned fluff and spindle. I can't wait to weave with this stuff.

Weaving - one reason for less knitting is I finished weaving a rug for the bathroom. Very plan and simple but perfect as a bath mat. I used dishcloth cotton and then starched it. I've never used old fashioned dissolve in the sink starch before, I can only say "Mundo weirdo". Gloopey stuff - but it did the business.

Animals - Poor old Phido lost a leg. He pounced on a cricket in an awkward position and off it dropped. Advice tells us to put Vaseline on the wound (which looked clean and is now healed) - no way Jose - he may be an old spider now but he is still feisty as fuck and I am not putting my hand in his tank!

Stick babies - we cleaned out all the eggs - but the buggers had hidden some under the greenery so we have another baby - and no-one wants them - so I now have (I think) 4 adults and 4 or 5 babies - how sweet.

Triopy has moulted again (really creepy picture to follow).

Today we are having a quiet traditional Sunday with a roast dinner (we don't normally bother with them in summer) but as it is cooler - it has to be done. I intend to eat enough that I have to waddle away from the table.

Well M's sock await my attention. Hopefully Blogger will stop being a fuckwit soon and I'll post the pictures that go with post.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Mittens and socks (again).

Sickie, sockie wockie doo-dah. Here is a close up (piccie courtesy of J) of my finished Pomatomus sock. The yarn is Opal dye your own - coloured with KoolAid.
J's wristwarmers/mittens made from scraps of Regia 4ply sock yarn.
One Geisha and one Pomatomus. Both are Opal dye your own - with KoolAid.

It's not that I'm sock obsessed or's just that I'm a sock-a-holic and I can't help myself!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Fruits de Mer

A bit of rock pooling seemed to be the order of the day. It was grey and rainy but low tide was just after brekkie and an expedition ensued. Isn't this pool lovely and clear - not really what you'd expect from a beach so near to Brighton.
Can you see the squarish slabs in the centre of the picture? Brighton used to have a kind of railway called a Daddy Long Legs (see link below).These are the tracks. It ran from the Banjo Groyne and the tracks were under water. It seems a weird thing to find when rock pooling. This is a view back to Brighton. The white cliffs are alongside the Undercliff walk, which runs from Brighton Marina to Saltdean.
Lots of lovely slimy seaweed.....yum. had dressed for Artic conditions (in August) I know UK summers can be a bit dodgy but this was a bit OTT. He had on joggers, waterproof trousers, socks and wellies. On top he had a long sleeved T, a fleece, a storm jacket, scarf and wooly hat!The view looks the other way and the buildings are Rottingdean seafront. We live 5 mins (by car) from this village and we love the beaches here.
Fruits de Mer. Crabs, Blennies and prawns - quite a haul. Rain eventually stopped play as it started to hammer down, but a good time was had by all. Today he has decided to research the crabs he found and to see what other crabs are native to the UK - that might keep him quiet.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Ahhhhh sweet boy.

I kissed his fluffy little belly - I just couldn't resist it.
Fingerless mitts or wristwarmers - (own pattern) HipKnits Cashmere sock yarn. Perfect for kite flying days!
A very superior looking kitty.
A lacey version of the wristwarmer - this is in Opal glittery sock yarn - courtesy of Gundel (Susann) from the Knitty Coffeeshop.

Feeling a bit more jolly today. I slept well the last two nights, which I'm sure has helped. I've also sorted out some stuff that was bothering me. I still feel restless and dissatisfied - but not as much.

On the knit front - I haven't knitted much in last 24 hours - but what has been accomplished has been sockish - a bit on my geisha socks and a bit on the lace ones - nothing earth shattering. Just ordered some sock yarn as well - starting to think of Xmas sock stylie presents.

Triopy has moulted twice again since I last mentioned it. We fished it out. It was all gelatinous.

J has been reading fit to burst this week - every time I turn around he's curled up with his nose in a book (I love it). He started this new book on Monday and by today he is on chapter 17 - which for him is brilliant. He also is reading a book called 'Oh Yuck' which is factual and covers everything from boggies to pus - lovely :)

We also say goodbye to the Russian girlies this weekend - the time has flown by. There was a tea party for them - which involved a lot of swingball. J and the cousins all made the girlies feel part of the family. I think it was good for him to interact with people who have such a different life/culture and to find ways to communicate without much spoken language.

M is on call - so we will have a quiet weekend - might toddle off to the farmers market tomorrow.

I'm enjoying having some quiet time (probably a good thing as well with the way I've been feeling) it's been nice but I'm starting to feel that I need more, just don't know what - I'd like a job but with M's call and J's home-ed finding one that fits with that might be a tad difficult. There's no particular hurry but still............I miss working sometimes.

Oh and I've busted another iron - how do I do this? What is it with me and irons? Married 19 years (almost) and I must have had about 15 irons - it's awful. This one was purchased in Jan this year and it's buggered! The steam system keeps disconnecting. It's not cleaning (I do that) I use proper ironing water - I coil the flex - I clean the plate. The plastic plate where the switches are keeps lifting and this disconnects the steam, Grrrrrrr I am fated to be the black death of irons. I have the receipt and warranty - but you have to post back the iron (with a receipt of posting) which will probably cost as much as the bloody iron itself. Why me? Why do I have bad iron karma?

Anyway better run - I need to find more electrical appliances to destroy on my mission to rid the world of ironing *insert evil cackle here*