Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Welcome to Little Whingeing.

We are due to go camping this week - to make up for missing out last time. But here's the rub, firstly it's an abysmal weather forecast (hurrah!) not that the weather wigs me out too much but secondly my period is due. I have raging PMT today, headache, grumps, cramps etc. The thought of trying to camp whilst on fills me with dread. I have periods from hell! On a good night I need to use the bathroom at least 4 times - without being TMI - this isn't a quick wee in a bucket, this is a visit to Sweeney Todds - and if it's pissing with rain and blowing a hooley - well fun it ain't! Last month my period was a week late, I think I am perimenopausal, my dates are getting less easy to calculate. If I'd been on time I'd be due today, going on last months late date I'm due on Sunday - but it could arrive at anytime between. So I'm torn - I am at this time still planning to go - but must also think that if it is bad weather etc and it does arrive early then I'll have to stay home......again!

I've said to M that if he still wants to take J, I'm cool with that (I'm not really - but don't want to disappoint J again) he's kind of OK with it but as we have only ever been apart for 6 nights in total since we got married almost 20 years ago *gulp* neither of us is truly happy (4 of those nights were when I gave birth to J).

This could also mean that my attending the Big Knit In 03.06.2007 is jeopardy *big fat sigh* sometimes I hate the mechanisms of womanhood.

What should have been a blinding week may turn into a washout....am I a happy bunny? Not really.

On a more positive note. This morning J stripped my Mums bed ready for her to change her sheets, thinking that it was Monday (yesterday was a bank holiday so his week clock is out), poor Ma came in from the garden, he greeted her with his helpful news......she'd changed her bed etc yesterday and had to remake again from scratch. J is still saying sorry. Lucky Ma found it funny. Sometimes the 'Helpful Harry's' make more work than help. Still his intentions were sweet!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Llama-drama and Alpaca-tastic mate!

Today we toddled off to Ashdown Forest Llama Park http://www.llamapark.co.uk/ . We had a great time oodles of lovely animals. The baby Alpaca above had just been sheared and looked kind of cute with his poodle hair style. He was still quite small and rather shy.
This is a young llama who is getting used to people, being handled and led on a rein. You can book and do 'llama treks' -we didn't but I'd like to. Look at his two bottom teeth. He was quite friendly.
Another lovely Alpaca - I think is was a 'suri' all the others were sheared by not Mr Shaggy here. We could hear their teeth tearing at the grass. Though all of the Alpaca stopped munching and stared as M walked by.....wonder why?
This lovely Llama kept staring but every time we put up the camera he looked down and started munching again - we caught him out eventually. The rain held off for us and we took the long route around the park. Wonderful views, lots of great trees, adders (but we didn't see any), sheepies and their lambs. Interesting museum and J and I did the quiz sheet.

They also have reindeer - very cute - may post a photo next time.

Anyway after a nice walk we adjourned to the lovely coffee shop for a little indulge in tea and cake - one of the best chocolate Floretines I've ever had - so big I couldn't eat all. M had a enormous slice of Victoria Sandwich, J opted for choccie milk and a llama shaped biscuit. Then we had a good look around the shop - lots of lovely stuff and a small boy and 1/2 his pocket money were soon parted (the other 1/2 he has decided to give to charity this month after seeing a TV appeal).

A good time was had by all - would happily go back again!

We will round off the day with a lovely curry,a bottle of plonk and Dr Who.......perfect.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Just because.

It must be totally blissful to spend your Friday mornings like this. He's in such a deep snooze here that he didn't even react to the flash.
He stretched out a little more and started to knead his duck. The ratty crochet square blanket he adopted when he moved in with us. It is fondly known as 'Mr Heaty' - Spongebob fans will know where the name comes from. I combed him whilst he slept and he rolled and purred. Then he stretched a little more and went back into deep sleep mode. Oh to be a well loved and spoilt kitty!

Whilst I have cats on my mind. Can I give a 'Big-Up' to Theoni Pappas and her Penrose the cat mathematics books. Some people can't cope with letters and words - dyslexic - I am the math equivalent, if such a thing has a proper name I don't know it. But numbers make my brain freeze up. If I want to teach J something beyond basic arithmetic, I have to learn it first - this week I learnt to add fractions with differing numerators - I could never do this at school. I found an online guide and after a bit of sweating managed to get my head around it. I know to many I may sound as thick as a brick - but no-one ever helped me with my fear of maths so it's become a deep ingrained phobia. But Penrose the cat is great - I'm learning with J and getting a handle on stuff I didn't even know existed and at the same time am not passing my phobia on. J doesn't like math all that much but he likes Penrose and enjoys the sense of achievement from solving the puzzles. The stories that illustrate the math problem/type are amusing too. There are still some things that I can't 'see' and will ask M to help me. But I feel not only proud of boy (as always) but a little proud of me too.

Home education is always a challenge in some way or another. Most stuff I'm OK with. I'm good at english, geography, history, arts etc and even music but math and science throw me - even though I did O'level chemistry (which I did flunk at). M deals with the Science but the math falls on me and sometimes my lack of understanding is scary. We use sites like CoolMath and BrainPop which help but anything like these books that helps is a boon.

We are coming up to our equivalent of a summer break - when home-ed becomes totally autonomous with very little input from me. It's our deal. I hate the heat in the summer and get brain fug so trying to get my head around stuff like math is doubled in horror. So our deal is - that from Sept-June I set/direct a certain amount of work for J. This works for us - he needs some directional help or it would be all day, every day of pure Lego, Dr Who and computer games *sigh*. From June-Sept he is totally self directed. The only 2 rules are, he must read at least 1 chapter from his chosen book a day (no problem there - takes after his Ma and is a book worm) and he is not allowed to watch TV, DVDs or play computer games until after lunch and then for no longer than an hour. The rest is up to him. This works well and also as we go out a lot more in the summer and go on impromptu midweek camps, we can enjoy the sense of freedom that summer seems to bring to kids.

Wow for a short post - this is a long-un!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

More pretties on a pretty!

Here we have the delightful Conkers McBonkers modelling some lovely sock yarn from Posh Yarns. Very pretty colour way and soooooo soft - almost as soft as Conkers belly fluff.
He he is again in a saucy little combo called Mist in Colinette Jitterbug. This lovely silky yarn has a lustre but is not as shiny as Conkers ebony velvet coat.
Close up of yarns. Posted to make up for previous complaining, moaning post. I think I have now just about replenished my sock yarn stash......mmmmm maybe room for a couple more ;-)


There is twaddle and there is pretentious twaddle. I seem to come across a lot of the latter. Perhaps I am as guilty of twaddle as the next person, if so I sincerely apologise to anyone who feels they need an apology.

I feel a sense of dissatisfaction that is hard to understand. I have an overwhelming feeling of intolerance too. Why?

Because of all the pretentious twaddle in the world. Good honest opinions rock but mealy mouthed, p.c spouting, vomiting of popular 'right-on' opinions well and truly suck.

Please stop looking and agonising over layers of meaning. Read, digest, understand and move on people. Regurgitating twaddle is bad for your inner-self, soul, karma, spirit - choose one that works for you.

Finally, whilst still in 'moan up' mode.

Children are children - they are not a blank slate (tabula rasa), it doesn't matter if its nature or nurture or both, what they are 'in to' today most likely will fall by the wayside by adulthood - love them and let them be children. Free to grow, play and be where they need to be now. Seven years of studying childhood and children, their society, their psychology, their worlds and I now realise that 'smother love' and 'prodigy love' are such dangerous things. Parents need to let their kids have time to be, in an environment where they are content. They have their whole lives to charge around and fit stuff in - adult lives. Now is the time to be.

This is my one and only or maybe final piece of pretentious twaddle - now I need to go stick my head in a bucket of cold water before the infection spreads and I find myself going all pc *runs off screaming*

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Seven random things about me -wtf ?!!

I can't think of one let alone 7 *scratches head & looks pathetic*.

1) My Dad built and drove race cars all my life, M raced too and trained as a driving instructor but I can't drive!

2) I'm scared of flying.

3) I am an atheist.

4) I don't actually know/remember what my natural hair colour is - last time I saw it I was 13.

5) I get very annoyed with the use of the phrase 'at the end of the day' I always interject with the retort 'it's night!'

6) I hate cooking and hardly ever do - but actually can cook and am quite good at it.

7) I am probably the most bad tempered person I know.

OK thought of 7 - am not tagging anyone - cos all the bloggers I can think of have done this one. However, if you fancy it....fill your boots!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


I just love Lorna's Laces sock yarn - it is so pretty. The orangey colour (Neon) is already on the needles - I've worked out a groovy design for this yarn.
Am a bit better, but still feel weak. I have periods of feeling A-OK and them zammo I feel ill and washed out again and boy do I ache. But still it's better than it was. We have re-planned our camping trip to go in two weeks. Different campsite but still one that looks good. Our friends we camp with can make it (half-term) too so J will have buddies to romp with. Now just need to sacrifice .....mmmm a pigeon maybe......to the weather gods.
M took me yarn shopping on Saturday to make up for missing camp. Bought enough yarn to make Sahara by Wendy Bernard am at the waist shaping already. It's a great pattern very well written and clear to understand. Am caught up in sock fever today but may return to Sahara this evening.
Other knitting items are also progressing. Isabella is abandoned but not forgotten....I got bored *sigh* all the 4ply cotton st-st, but I will finish it. My rib cardi is progressing and am still enjoying the pattern but I am an unfaithful knitting and am flirting with Sahara instead.
Sock challenge - completed. 2nd sock took a bit longer (8hrs 20 mins) so total for a pair of Monkey socks 15hour and 5 minutes. Not too shabby I think.
Have plied a 2nd skein of Wizz....so pretty. Am spinning single for skein 3 already. Can't wait to knit with it now.
Secret boy birthday shopping is underway. No party this year (again) he wants to go camping and go for a meal in his favourite Indian Restaurant - my-oh-my is he growing up.
DON'T FORGET THE BIG KNIT IN - 03/06/07 - in Brighton - Art College @ Grand Parade - be there or be a big meanie!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Too ill to camp!

Pah and phooey!

The boys have elected to stay home with me - cos they're lovely.

But I am seriously peed off and fed up. I hate being ill.

Am going off now to sulk in a corner with my knitting - ah a little silver lining in an otherwise grim grey day.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A well deserved thank you and a .......

little moan.

But the 'Thank you' first ------------>>>>>>>> looksie at my new, improved and tidy sidebar. Isn't it lovely? Well, after my Luddite confession in a previous post Sandykins offered (most kindly) to do a spot of blog tidying for me. The new super whizzy sidebar is proof that some peoples understand how to use blogger! THANK YOU VERY, VERY MUCH SANDYKINS, YOU ROCK!

Now the little moan.....after getting blown out of our previous planned camping trip *mutter, mutter, grumble, complain* we are going camping this weekend *hurrah*.....NO! Not hurrah - firstly the weather forecast is terrible and secondly and more importantly (cos I don't mind the weather that much) I've got a terrible cold and chest infection and feel like sheeeeeeeet! Can you Adam and Eve it? Talk about sods law.

At this moment in time it is still my intention to go. But if this gets any worse then I may have to wimp out (I wanna go camping - 1st camp of the season - I wanna go camping) *stamps foot* the problem with me and colds is, that with having perennial rhinitis that colds hit me really bad. My ears, under my eyes, my nose and head pain are often inflamed by the rhinitis a cold doubles or sometimes even trebles what I normally suffer. I have a steroid spray (which I am always loathe to use) and can take pain meds etc - but colds still knock me really low. So I am not a happy bunny today.

We are meant to leave to camp tomorrow lunchtime, so I have a while to 'wait and see' how I'm doing........watch this space.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sock in a day!

The Knitty Board has a knit a sock in a day challenge (or within 18 hours spread across a few days) - this is the option I decided to try. Picture 1 - cast on and 1 row at 9.50am yesterday.
1 hour later the rib (12 rows of twisted rib) and 2 rows of pattern completed.
I decided not to make it easy for myself so I chose to knit another pair of Monkey socks with my jinxed sock yarn (every pair I've attempted with this yarn, I've hated and unpicked). So here is my sock 3 hours in 4 rows into my 4th pattern repeat.
6 hours - about 10pm last night. I mainly knit in 30 min intervals on and off the day with plenty of breaks. As it was belting down with rain a lot, it was a good day to sit and knit.
15th May - sock not touched until after lunch. 1 completed sock, total time 7 hours and 45 minutes. This is an adult UK size 5 sock knitted on 2.5mm dpns in Elan Sock it to me! Phew..... I had often wondered how long it would take me, now I know. I've cast on for the 2nd one and will attempt to complete the 2nd one in the 18 hour time limit.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Here is the Corriedale Wizz from Angela (link in previous posts). This is the 1st skein, still slightly damp but plied. I got 52g from my first bobbin of singles. I know it's not the best picture but it is pissing down and overcast so it's the best I can do in the circumstances.
I'm quite pleased with this as my 2nd proper spinning effort. The yarn is soft and bouncy. The colour blend is not well represented in the pictures - but I can assure you it is lovely and held completely true through a wash - so expertly dyed - well you couldn't expect anything less :=)

I've already started my 2nd bobbin of singles and am not really even 1/2 through plait number one. It spins like a dream.

Knitting is occurring too - socks - what a surprise! 1/4 of Isabella's front and a front from a rib cardi about 6 rows from completion.


I've finally typed up the pattern - I am LUDDITE! I can't hyperlink etc but if anyone wants a copy email me - or if you're on the Knitty board - pm me (user name lainch) and I will email copies to anyone who wants it.

Please don't try and explain how I can link to it or post it in sidebar etc - although it is helpful (I do appreciate helpful gestures normally) every time I tinker in anyway with this blog - I f**k it up big time - I can't get my head around this, I'm too old to have learnt it at school and I'm a dumb ass with computers!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Poor J.

He is a little sad today. Due to an amazing drop in overnight temperature last night, the Triops (Biggie-smalls and Smallie-big) are no more as is David the Fairy Shrimp. I left the heat lamp on until 11.00pm and when I woke about 6.30am there was no sign of life. M (big brave male) investigated and found we had deceased weird things on our hands. They have been flushed to a better life, with dignity. J hummed the funeral march then kasploosh, gurgle and they were gone.

Yay! I've got my bedroom desk back - now I can use my sewing machine and hopefully next week can put that dress (I cut out ages ago) together.

Weird thing is, I said as a joke to J yesterday (he did know I was messing) that I wished the Triops would hurry up and die. He now thinks I hexed them *rolls eyes* as if.

M is off call and has a few days off - as it's a bank holiday - he took a couple of extra days - we plan a weekend of 'dossing' - so hopefully lots and lots of time to spin and knit. But before all that I must away with a smoothing iron and do the dance of drear with the Dyson.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A weird mix.

This is the Corriedale roving that I got from Angela at http://www.fairislefibers.co.uk/ in the colourway called 'Wizz' (pictures of roving plaits on a previous post). I couldn't wait to start spinning this and as my knee felt better today.......well this is it so far. It spins like a dream, absolutely gorgeous. The colour blend is lovely and not quite a bright IRL. So if you are in need of delicious roving in the grooviest of colours may I suggest you talk to Angela - her stuff so rocks! I can' t wait to carry on spinning this just so I can see what it's like when it's plied.
As the title suggests a strange mix of subjects - but hey who cares? The boys went off for some 'man' time at the weekend and here they are in front of a Spitfire at http://www.tangmere-museum.org.uk/ they had a great time. J loves planes and M said the displays of WWII stuff and the stories connected to them was extremely moving.
The boys agree this place is well worth a visit. One of the museum staff (who also gave J a couple of aeroplane magazines to bring home - what a nice person!) let him behind the barrier for this picture. J was totally made up.

On the way home they detoured to http://www.bairdsfarmshop.co.uk/ to get the meat for Sundays dinner. The piece of beef M chose was the tenderest, nicest piece of beef I have ever eaten. We have also sampled the South Downs Lamb - lovely, local bacon - delicious, local eggs - amazing and one of their home-made steak, mushroom and Guinness pies - wonderful!

Thinking of wonderful and food in one sentence. M made his own recipe stuffed mushrooms for dinner last night - truly they are like angels crying on your tongue - I still adore veggie food even though I am now a carnivore - and these mushrooms had all that is best about vegetarian cookery in them.

Lastly....almost.....finished some socks yesterday but they are a gift so no piccies - apart from that no other new knitting news.

And now really, finally - still have two Triops and one Fairy Shrimp - they just get weirder. The Triops are really big and the bigger they get the stranger they are!