Monday, December 31, 2012

I don't do......

resolutions or regrets. I don't do if only and I should haves either. I don't live retrospectively or in the future. I want to enjoy this moment right now.Yesterday is a done deal and tomorrow is only a possibility.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Time for another?

Been busy knitting for others and the whole time I was, I felt an overwhelming need to start some crochet. This is weird because after finishing two fairly long term crochet projects earlier this year, I had had enough of hooky stuff. But I have this lovely colourful collection of Rowan Pure Wool DK from a frogged project and I love this particular square and  the rest as they say "is history." I made the first two squares yesterday and my fingers are itching to make a third.

The block is called 'Square Target' and comes from this wonderful book by the lovely and talented Jan Eaton. The book has wonderful suggestions of colour and design, a great 'how to' section and really easy to follow clear instructions. It is a book that I go back to time and time again and is a worthwhile addition to any yarn crafters library.

I'm sure that my initial enthusiasm will wane and it is my intention that this will be a long term 'pick up and put down' project but at the moment I am loving it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

Tucking in the blog for Christmas

Time for the blogs Christmas snooze. See you the other side.

Here's a bit of traditional Christmas lyric for you. Enjoy!

The boar’s head in hand bring I,

Bedeck'd with bays and rosemary.

I pray you, my masters, be merry
Quot estis in convivio

Caput apri defero

Reddens laudes Domino

The boar's head, as I understand,

Is the rarest dish in all this land,

Which thus bedeck'd with a gay garland

Let us servire cantico.
Caput apri defero

Reddens laudes Domino

Our steward hath provided this

In honor of the King of Bliss;

Which, on this day to be served is

In Reginensi atrio.

Caput apri defero

Reddens laudes Domino

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Christmas Story

A group I'm a member of is having a Christmas story writing competition - this isn't my entry, this is my first attempt that is about 300 words too long. I liked it too much as it stands to try and cut it down, so I decided I'd post it here instead.

Old Mrs Brown had a Christmas tree of sorts. It was small, a little bent and a little bald on one side and the tinsel that its boughs were made of was less silver and more yellowed through age. She had found it on one of her rummages at the back of a local charity shop and had bartered with the lady, a robust W.I type behind the counter, down to a price of 75p. Which was a bit of a bargain.

She placed the tree on her small occasional table which stood before the bay fronted window of her little house. It leaned slightly to the left and had a drooping appearance but it was a tree and she felt that they had a lot in common. She was past her prime, had become stooped with age and her hair was now more silver than the gold it had once been.

She felt quite tired out after her excursion into the busy high street so settled down in her favourite chair with a nice reviving cup of tea, and as she sat there, she looked at her little tree and sighed. Once her Christmas Eves’ had been filled with family and bustle. The comings and goings of groceries being delivered, the last minute baking of mince pies and sausage rolls. Ferreting around in all the nooks and crannies of their little over crowded family home, trying to remember where all the carefully hoarded presents were hidden. The twins had been devils for finding them and as money had always been tight, it had meant buying little bits throughout the year when she had some extra pennies. Gifts often were so well hidden they didn’t get found until Easter. Even the twins failed to find one present that to this day had eluded detection. Still, she thought, it was easier to buy for one, and although the high street had been busy today, she had managed to stretch this weeks money to include a nice breast of chicken and a packet of cranberry and chestnut stuffing, which would do her a meal with a Christmassy feel. A small individual Christmas pudding she could microwave would round it off nicely. She sighed again, drank the last of her tea, and with a little effort and a groan got to her feet. She wanted her tree, battered as it was, to have at least a few lights and some decorations before the evening was out.

The box with the her few remaining decorations was like a trip down memory lane. There were the paper bells that folded out, the colours now faded and dusty but she remembered the twins being fascinated by them throughout their childhood. The glass baubles with their names written on them, one for her, one for Fred and one each for the twins. Her Mother had bought them the year they were born. Each carefully tissue wrapped parcel uncovered another memory. She found the small string of lights at the bottom of the box, small plain white ones. After checking they still worked, which amazingly they did, she slowly wrapped them around the tree which bent even further under their added weight. Next, on went the tinsel, she only had one piece of faded red and silver but it looked very pretty against the lights. A few baubles and a rather dilapidated fairy who only had one wing and the tree was done. Poor fairy, she thought, another Christmas relic who had seen better days. Still, that fairy had been bought over 40 years ago.

Mrs Brown stepped back and admired her handy work. She smiled with a childlike joy brightening a face that normally looked tired and aged. It was Christmas Eve and she had a Christmas tree of sorts. This was the first time she’d bothered with Christmas since her Fred had died 7 years ago, and she didn’t know why she had suddenly felt the urge to have a tree this year, but it felt like the right thing to do.

Her stomach rumbled and she checked the parlour clock. Goodness it was way past tea time and she had been too tired to bother with lunch. Time to get something to eat and then maybe to watch a little TV before bed. She picked up the last thing to make the tree look perfect, a small brightly wrapped gift that had come in the post that morning. Sent from so far away, it was a little battered in one corner, but it had a ribbon and matching ribbon curls and the label that swung from it read “To our Mum, Happy Christmas, love from ‘The Terrible Two’ xxxx” Christmas tree and a present - perfect.


They didn’t find Mrs Brown, until after the New Year. She hadn’t been missed by anyone over the holidays and as she didn’t have a phone she couldn’t have called for help if she needed to. The notes made on her post mortem stated that she died of natural causes and that she looked at peace.

Copyright P Lainchbury (2012).

Please remember to keep an eye open for your elderly neighbours this winter. xxxxxx

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tis the season to be.......

Grumpy with a side order of sarcasm. In other words, in my book, tis the season to be the same as usual. A complete stranger wished me Happy Christmas the other day and then added 'Cheer up love it might never happen' I refrained from replying 'It already has with a complete tosspot like you speaking to me just because it is Christmas this month.'  I find it very difficult to do the fake smiley happy thing at the best of times, but at this time of year it becomes nigh on impossible. I try, I really do. I creak my mouth upwards and kind of grit my teeth into a cross between a rictus of a smile and a grimace, but then I feel the muscles at the side of my mouth tremble and quiver, and the default setting of bulldog chewing on a wasp falls back in to its usual position.

I just don't get why people have this overwhelming need to be nice and smiley and friendly and jolly now. What difference does one day make? (The above statement does not apply to those moments of trolley wars and check out queues on Christmas Eve.) If you have the ability, and not all of us do, to be that nice and pleasant why not attempt it all year round? I am sure it would make the world a better place, unless you stumble across people like me, it would just make me want to punch you.

As Christmas and New Year approach, I find it harder and harder not to say 'Fuck off' to every wish of a Happy Christmas/Happy New Year that I get when I am out and about. And don't even get me started on the fake kissy-kissy hugness of New Years Eve (I need to carry a bucket with me on that day.) I don't mind a hug and a 'mwah' from people I know and quite like but from turds on legs, slightly pissed full of fake bonhomie, it is just a massive mistake if they to try and get close to me. M reckons I pull a face like a frozen fart and that scares them off a twenty paces, I should hope so, I've been perfecting it for about 40+ years.

I just hate the assumption that jolly becomes the norm at this time of year. I'd much rather people were just themselves all year round or that they could be that 'nice' at other times not just because it is seen as the right thing to do. Buck the trend, go against the flow, join with me and yell that resounding 'Fuck off!' You will feel better for it.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Reading continues - booktastic mate.

Since hitting my target of a 104 books in a year I've continued to read and list them. So here, for your delectation are books 105 to 115.

Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars and The Chronicles of Avonlea - by Lucy Maud Montgomery.
Format 3 - Audio Books/ 1 Kindle

I love these stories. They are lyrical, funny and wonderful. They make me feel good as I read them because they lift my spirits but don't tax my poor brain. I can drift off to a different time and land and just relax.

Loki by Mike Vasich
Format - Kindle

I will admit to struggling to get into this book. I did put it down and walk away a couple of times. But I am glad I went back and gave it another go. It was worth it and is quite an epic read. I love any mythology and have dabbled in a couple of other books that use Norse mythology as a theme but this was the best by far.

The Lady of the Rivers by Philipa Gregory
Format - Book

I have mixed feelings about this author. Some of her stuff I have loved and devoured, others have left me cold. I didn't realise this was part way through a series but it worked OK as a stand alone read. I really enjoyed it, liked the setting, found it really interesting and will read the others in the series.

Kiss of Midnight, Kiss of Crimson, Midnight Awakening and Midnight Rising by Lara Adrian
Format - Kindle

Very similar to the Black Dagger series. OK reads. More vampire tough guys seducing human women - very good sex scenes (if a little samey). Quick to read, non taxing in any way. I think these type of books are like breakfast cereal - they do a quick fix hunger fill but an hour later you start to feel empty again. For what they are they are good but they do not sustain. Sometimes that is all you need and I use these type of books as a de-stress tool but they do always leave me wanting something with a bit more substance.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

This had better stop now

Where did that third one come from?......Mr Wilbur Woot.

Then there were two....

introducing Cedric Hoot-a-nanny!

A wol called Tufty.

Inspired by Bezzie's blog post. I remembered that I had this pattern by Ana Clerc in my Rav queue. And as I needed no encouragement to put off other stuff I should be getting on with (tries to look innocent and fails) I decided to whip a quick stocking filler for an Owl mad buddy.....and Tufty was born. He is almost beyond I want to make one for me!