Sunday, 4 July 2010

Fresh Strawberries & Raspberries

We don't do much in our garden, much less grow things to eat but for some years now we've been lucky with a raspberry bush and some strawberry plants too.
Often we just pick and eat the fruit as it ripens (no.2.son is particularly good at this) but occasionally we get a large bowl of fruit and this weekend we were very lucky!
No.2.son whipped up a portion each of Eton Mess and I can confirm it was delicious!!

One of our friends has started a vegetable patch in her garden and has promised to bring us some of her vegetables and lately I've been thinking along similar lines - how to get the family particularly dh interested (in DOING the work) is uppermost in my mind though! lol!!

On the home dec. front, the living room is coming along nicely; our fireplace is now blocked off and the hole in the floor is filled in and we've moved some electric sockets and a pal is coming over tomorrow to put some plaster board up and next to be tackled is the ceiling.
The walls are stripped bare! and all the skirting boards are ripped off - its like living in a building site but will be worth it in the end I'm certain. We've certainly waited a long time for this redecoration!

The beading project is coming along well! I've finished the skirt front and just have the back to do and am thinking of further embellishment with embroidery - this skirt is looking fab and I'm pleased to report that its really getting me interested in sewing again which is no bad thing!

Knitting wise, I took along my ML 2xsocks 1xneedle plain socks to the local Hospital where I had an Echocardiogram this Friday and managed a few rounds while waiting for my appointment which thankfully was on time.
Annoyingly though I had asked specifically TWO people - the A&E Dr who ordered the test and the Nurse attaching the equipment IF I needed to cancel my appt for the 24hr monitor test or would THEY do it automatically I was assured that THEY would do it. I even reminded the Nurse when I returned the following day to have it removed and was, again, assured that they would do it. And what? did they? no! they didn't!
The Receptionist came out and rather rudely berated me for failing to attend for my tape appt the previous day! I went through the tale and explained, she went off to check and returned to apologise.
I can understand why she was initially annoyed. Obviously my failing to attend meant that the equipment and staff were not put to good use to another patient who might be waiting for an appointment and have been glad of it.
I have now had both my tests and am currently waiting for my review in a few weeks time.
Meanwhile, the Nurse spent several minutes looking at my socks and my needle in particular and all ended happily after a pleasant discussion about the pleasure and usefulness of KNITTING!

The socks, btw, are fast approaching the toe section!

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

TIME I thought to get my bead box out!
Last week I bought two inexpensive skirts from a popular shop and after seeing two other ladies wearing the same denim skirt decided that now was the perfect opportunity to make my mark on MY purchase!

Its been good for me also to get back to my sewing room and start mooching about my boxes and sorting through my bead and thread collection again and dead easy as the skirt already has an embroidered pattern just asking for some embellishment to be added! what could be a nicer and easier project than to fling some beads at an appropriate pattern?

I decided to stick with a blue theme although the greens came a close 2nd and I've still got half a mind to add some little shisha mirrors just to be complete show-off!!

The shot is poor, unfortunately, but I think you can just about see the progress and the difference that the few beads have made already?

A close up reveals how suited this embroidered pattern is to some beads - the pattern extends all the way around the skirt on each panel and is actually quite a nice skirt and is a good fit too which is unusual for me - I normally struggle with RTW and my typical "pear shape".

Bertie, of course, has LOVED this project! If you've got cats you'll know that you simply cannot get out a sewing project without attracting the "help" from a cat! He enjoys, particularly, the "feel" of my bead mat which is soft and fluffy but is not altogether happy about "sharing" "his" room again .. (I think he's claimed squatter's rights!).

We've been enjoying lovely weather with lots of sunshine and its been too warm to knit! The needles and yarn feel uncomfortable when hands are hot and sticky - according to local weather forecasters it won't last, though! make the most of it while we can!!

My knit-pal-Sally and I have decided that we're going to set up a mini quilt-club! in her super new sewing room which she describes as perfect for lazy days enjoying some crafting in her new flat and in a fortnight we're going to meet and plan a project - that should be fun!

Friday, 25 June 2010

Made with Love

This week I've been messing around with odds and ends of yarn and making some crochet flowers using the Rowan Crochet Workshop book as guide. Building myself up to working on a crochet project "proper" the flowers have given me the inspiration to try and progress my crochet a little more robustly!

The circles are knit with a view to possibly making a necklace - not sure yet, though.

A little bit of yummy Rowan baby alpaca and KSH finished with one of the little charms I'd bought at the Sewing for Pleasure show this year, it says "Made with Love".
I'm squinting a bit on the pic on account of not yet used to the glorious sunshine we're enjoying at present! hurrah! summer, its seems is HERE! .. bliss ..

Did anyone catch the Wimbledon epic match? Phew! I seriously worried that at least one of them would surely come down with something dreadful or have a heart attack as a result of it all but what can one say other than marvel at all the records they broke between them!

Monday, 14 June 2010

Knitting Progress

A few months ago I loaned a book from local library which had some lovely scarf patterns, this is three parts finished and will match my gloves knit earlier and go well with my winter coat. The pattern is a little tedious and is more than 20 rows but am nearly finished so will proceed!
The yarn is the fabulous half price Rowan Scottish Tweed 4 ply and I am enjoying knitting with it. (which is just as well given I've got a huge stash of assorted colours!!)

Here is Cloud! as promised! above is the hem that is knitted separately and below is the completed parts of the cardigan from Rowan's Calmer Collection and just requires sewing up.

I like this yarn and am pleased I picked up another half price pack at the same time in brown - there is another pattern from this book I have my eye on, as well as a couple of choices from knitting magazines too.

This month's Simply Knitting arrived this morning. Handy, as I've got another Hospital appointment for tomorrow and Wed - that will sort me out through the tedium of it all!

The football is on, but I can't be bothered with it. The noise from those dreadful noisy blowy things are putting me off even attempting to feign any interest, one would think in these days of modern technology that the television coverage could offer some sort of special effect to filter out the intrusion of the noise, don't you think? I'm all for a bit of atmosphere, but really THIS is just mind numbing NOISE!

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Well there is promising signs of activity going on today! dh has at last started knocking out the brickwork in our lounge in preparation for a grand makeover! Very overdue, our house is a shambles and it will be fantastic to have a nice room with a new carpet and furniture!!
My brother came round and got roped into chipping some of the trickier bricks but hopped it quick when I mentioned stripping the paper!!

The family have all gone out tonight to watch the first England match - vs USA at the tennis club so its peace and quiet for me and a chance to catch up on some KNITTING!

Yes! I promise I am still knitting. I need to take pics and prove it!!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

More baking - white choc chip brownies

This white choc-chip brownies mixture is cooling along with another batch of rock cakes. I am assured from the book that these are more gooey and fudgey the day after baking. We'll see (if they last that long)!

Delicious smell of baking, fruit and chocolate is wafting throughout my house! bliss!

Plans are underway to redecorate our lounge. A friend has come round to disconnect our gas fire, dh is set to dismantle the horrid and terribly old fashioned brick work around the fireplace and whole side of our room and we've had some switch sockets moved too.

The cats are not happy and both sense that things are afoot! no.1.son had to rescue Bertie who attempted to squeeze himself through the gap in brickwork and got stuck after dh did an experimental removal of a few bricks to "see" what is inside!

I anticipate a lot of mess and upheaval but it will be good to finally get work underway. We will need new furniture and carpet - basically everything needs replacing; whether I'll make the soft furnishings I'm undecided at the moment - will review nearer the time!

Our son has almost complete his A Level exams and will break for the summer in a few weeks time, he has decided to look around and do some voluntary work during the summer (paid work seems non-existent at the moment, here at least).

There will be knitting pics and posts, soon! I promise! I am getting on with Cloud my Calmer cardigan project and will blog progress along with photo's.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Another glorious day! & yarn sort out

Another glorious sunny day! and as dh tidies and sorts the room out in preparation for no.2.son's gathering of pals this afternoon, I take myself upstairs with my knitting stuff well out of harm's way and sort it out.
Above is my stash acquired early this year in a half-price sale of Rowan Scottish Tweed 4 ply which is now sadly discontinued; I like this yarn very much and took advantage of being one of the first through the door in picking a selection of colours destined for fab fairisle gloves and mitts and handwarmers!
the laundry tin they are in was also a "bargain" and lifts atop to reveal my stash of KSH! bliss!

Also purchased recently, above half price Rowan Kid Classic and below some more Rowan Calmer.
I have patterns in mind for both yarns and will blog details when I start!

Friday, 4 June 2010

Shopping! (with teenagers for clothes)

THAT is about as close as we're likely to get with taking a picture of my no..2.son in his new clothes.
For some reason he has decided he doesn't like his photo being taken and I find myself having to sneak crafty photos and hope have remembered to remove the flash and silence the bipping noise my camera occasionally makes when pressing the button!
I expect its his age.
At nearly 15yrs he's now wearing adult clothes in the smallest size and is apparent he does NOT want "mum" clothes shopping alongside, but while I'm paying, I'm coming shopping!!
Two other "mums" and I stood at an agreed distance from the changing room and gradually edged ourway closer until two of us were practically IN the outer doorway before being scolded by our teens who emerged moodily half an hour after going IN with an armful of EXPENSIVE clothes they declared "fitted" ..
I managed to get the attention of a passing sales assistant to check that I could under their terms of agreement, return any clothes - to the embarassment of my son .. but I need to be SURE they fit!!
Gulped a bit at the cost of the white cotton mix shirt, but I have to say that it did look particularly smart and will be nice for both a forthcoming family wedding and our summer holidays!

Tomorrow, I am informed, there will be a few more people arriving.
I may have mentioned?
No.2.son had asked that we vacate the house in order for him and "a couple" of friends to watch a dvd?
Casually he let slip it MIGHT be a bit more than 5. 8 in fact. Well more. but managed to shriek at him that EIGHT is absolutely the limit! and that has to include him!
I'm not personally concerned about his friends individually, rather the idea of friends-of-friends turning up. He is told FIRMLY that is his responsibility to make it clear who IS invited and the rest, unfortunately, on this occasion are NOT!

Its not easy balancing the social lives of your growing teens and your own desire for a quiet and peaceful boring middle-aged life, franklyI shall be relieved when it all returns to "normal" with School and College from Monday!

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Rock Cakes & afternoon tea

This afternoon no.1.son decided to bake rock cakes. And very scrummy they are too! Usually its his brother that bakes and I had to remember this while quietly "assisting" (ie nagging!) in the background; he did very well, though, and this is one recipe I'd repeat. (love rock cakes! always have!).

Settling down and getting cosy

One thing our cats don't have a problem with - settling down and getting cosy!
Now the weather is brightening they are much happier and spend considerable periods out enjoying the sunny garden.
I don't generally have a problem, either, with settling down - indeed I sometimes feel I live in my comfy chair and one or two rude comments from the family suggest they think this too!! However it is hard to accept that though you feel "better" in fact you are not.
I plan to spend my time more creatively this coming week with planning some knitting; I've given myself "permission" to sit and rest and am feeling much better as a result and am now fast becoming a fan of the afternoon nap! Lilly, one of our cats, is having to compete with me now for the best spot on the sofa around 3.00pm!

As well as pacing myself with physical activities and building in rest, I need to plan some projects to keep my hands busy and my mind active and switched on! The television is way too addictive and I am resolved to switching it OFF and picking up a few more books instead.

A fresh project is just what I need and surely what the Dr would order?

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Getting Organised

In an effort to become more organised in my crafty pursuits, I set about sorting and tidying my yarn stash which is now worryingly growing into a sizeable yarn mountain not helped by recent 50% sale on Rowan Scottish Tweed 4ply (more on that/gloves later).

I kept these handy Body Shop containers as I felt they'd come in for some useful purpose eventually! and they are currently housing my cheapie Lidl sock yarn - and very tidily too! Still undecided upon the yarn - if it really doesn't machine wash well, then I may use it for handwarmers and gloves as I don't mind hand washing those but really I like my SOCKS to wash regularly and behave well in the machine.

We're on a strict economy drive as of now in our household! This last couple of years of me not working is starting to show and as I feel less confident of a return to gainful employment, we're looking at ways to make our single income stretch that bit further. Time, I think, to start looking at what I've already got fabric and patternwise and start making it work! I need some new summer clothes, skirts and tops in particular and really can't afford to buy if I can make "for free" from stash. This might be the incentive I need to finally get my sewing machine buzzing again!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Simply dreadful weather - knitting goals

The weather is simply DREADFUL today! Raining heavily since early morning I fear its set in for the whole day. Which rather makes my plan for a brisk walk look decidedly unattractive. With luck it will brighten up and I shall look for a slot later on and take advantage of a swift round the block walk to get in my advised quota of 30mins walk am and pm as per instructions from the EP following my recent ablation for AF.

No.2.son has been brewing a head cold for the best part of a month within the family - HE has had it in full including earache and now both no.1.son and I are starting to feel it too. Typical as we launch into the better summer months, that we all come down with some dreadful annoying cold managing, as we have, to avoid them this past couple of winters! They arrive at the worst time - no.1.son is still in midst of important A Level exams and I am recovering and feeling decidedly dodgy without addition of a cold and dh is tremendously busy at work and under pressure of scrutiny at work with whisperings of "redundancy" hanging over their department generally.

With this in mind, its TIME I feel to look afresh at my craft goals and plan to start with KNITTING first!
I have three or four projects currently on the go :

  • Kai Mei sock 2 about half way through completion - if memory serves me right, I've stopped right bang at the TRICKY part and I shall need to concentrate hard to pick this one up but am resolved to getting around to it not least because I've done it once! with sock 1 so ought to be able to repeat it again?
  • Scottish Tweed lace scarf is three-parts complete! tempted as I am to abandon it due to summer I know that this will accompany my gloves in same yarn and complements perfectly my good winter coat and if I don't complete it SOON I'll either lose the pattern or the will to finish by next winter!
  • KSH shawl - I've been knitting this for ever! I love the pattern. I want to finish this. I can't seem to get INTO it sufficiently to just KNIT IT and get it over and done with. this disappoints me, but I've nearly complete it and to abandon it would be a waste not to mention a personal disappointment.
  • Plain socks on ML - not long to go, I am approaching the shaping for toes. I want to finish this for two reasons: firstly because I need to measure and wash and compare the socks in order to evaluate the usefulness of the "cheapie" sock yarn before committing to future projects the rest of my stash! and secondly because I just LOVE the technique of ML'ing two socks and am keen to try it out with a more ambitious pattern than just plain st st! (and I've run out of needles given the other one currently has Kai Mei on it!)
  • Rowan Calmer cardigan - I've nearly complete this! just need to sew it up and finish the knitted hem. This is my priority. I've decided! I need to finish this as its fantastically wearable at the moment! I love the pattern and the yarn and will take pics of progress and blog again in due course.
Additionally, I am keen to progress with my crochet. I need to find a proper project and just get on with it! I thought I'd start with some accessories and have a crochet book with ideas that incorporate beading too. I will blog that too.

Temporarily I have decided to abandon Portree and the fairisle goal. I need to get other more established knits finished and as I've only started the hem and not quite started the exciting bit of the fairisle, I shall put that aside for now. But this is just temporary! (remind me of this if you like, later!).

My very sensible and lovely PT'ist advises that DISTRACTION works best in coping with pain and recuperation, and with her other piece of sensible advice too, of little and often every day NOT one mad rush to do EVERYTHING in one go, I am aiming to spend a bit of time working a balance of domestic stuff and crafty stuff inbetween "resting" and recuperating.

I'd love to hear how others manage to balance their goals.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Belated Review (sewing for pleasure)

Bit late for proper review, I know, but in March my good friend Ann, her daughter and group of friends and I decided to have a day out at the Sewing For Pleasure Show. We used to go to each one but lately combination of unwellness and decline in show appeal plus expense of it all we've been giving it a miss.
This year, however, Ann telephoned and announced we were to have a grand day out! hurrah!
We thoroughly enjoyed the day and found it to be very good value as there appeared to be three sections to it this year - the addition of "embroidery" which was very inspirational and welcome too.

I didn't buy much this year, mostly bits and pieces; some labels and charms to sew onto handknits and a couple of pins to make brooches.
Very little in the way of wool, Black Sheep were there with their usual mountain of bargain bags of yarn - they had balls of Noro yarn slightly reduced and I picked up a sock yarn and rather wish I'd picked a couple more! (having found, since, some patterns for accessories using this that look rather yummy!).
Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn. Col S92 Lot E - price? can't remember!

Brighter Weather, Day Trip Out

The weather brightened yesterday afternoon and we decided to go out to a local country park for a walk. Probably a mistake, I returned home feeling considerably tired and with an onset of my AF which lasted all evening and night too. The leaflet is misleading; it suggests that one might care to refrain from vigorous actitivity for a couple of weeks but then - hurrah! one is back to "normal" as though nothing has happened! This is absolutely NOT my experience!

On a brighter note, the weather was gloriously sunny and the family as co-operative as a bunch of males can be when "forced" to enjoy a day out when there is FOOTBALL on the tv ..

No.1.son is rather better at accepting his fate and getting on with it ..

No.2.son - isn't ..

Things brightened considerably after I announced that perhaps it was a bit too much and over ambitious to expect a weekend of day trips out - tomorrow (today) we shall STAY IN!
As its a Bank Holiday Monday dh is home and normally I would drag everyone OUT to take advantage of this, as it is I shall rest and do some knitting! (and they can watch football - assuming there is any to watch!).

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Bank Holiday Weather

Typically the weather is dismal! for the Bank Holiday Weekend the forecast is generally poor and certainly today its dull and raining! If the weather does brighten up, we plan another outing to use our new membership for English Heritage and hope for a picnic somewhere nice!

Earlier this year a new lady joined our weekly Craft Group and shared with us her delightful handmade books and duly offered to make us each a "kit" and teach us how to make them for ourselves!
Above and below are photo's of the sample book that I made on this day!
I'm extremely impressed with it! and thrilled at the result too and was keen to share with my cyber-sew-pals; it seems this is very popular too and I'm looking to expand my interest further!

I have three more books on the go, and have looked for something to use for stiffening the covers and found a product that looks promising! All I'm waiting now is for inspiration to strike for finishing them!

"Finishing" along with "Starting" is proving to be the hard part for me at the moment and I am resolved to putting a little more effort into this process as I fear if I don't I shall lose my craft incentive and as a lot of who am I is wrapped up in my previous passion for craft (and sewing in particular!) I feel I shall have an identity crisis!
Losing my job has not helped! Both in terms of the craft input and the relationships with both fellow crafty colleages and crafty customers and its now as I approach one year on that I am realising the true impact of losing my job! It was more to me than "just my job"; I feel its time to admit I'm sad about it going, mourn my loss but time, too, to move on!

This week is half term, no.1.son is half way through his A Level exams and has just 3 more weeks before breaking for the summer. He is expressing some interest in finding some voluntary work - possibly with animals - and I've promised to help him look for opportunities. He also wishes to take up driving lessons! After some consideration we have agreed that he can start lessons after his exams.
I'm not sure I'm ready for my "children" to grow up and move on toward full adult independance but I know its inevitable and I'm trying to prepare myself to be a supportive and encouraging Mum in this respect (very difficult when basically I want them to remain "children" for just a while longer!! but its not easy, is it? when I asked my son yesterday would he like "jelly and ice cream" for pudding his face lit up like a 5yr old!! - he's rising-15yrs!).

Friday, 28 May 2010

English Heritage (we joined!)

Last month we joined English Heritage and have enjoyed 3 or 4 lovely days out and plan some more this summer. In particular in the Northumbria region as we've booked a week in a cottage during the summer.

Luckily our lads are still of an age where they'll come out with us and we can enjoy a few family days out.
With half term and a bank holiday this week, we plan to make another trip - weather permitting!

Scarf and Socks

Picked up some Rowan Colourscape yarn and knitted a scarf from my book when an opportunity came for me to purchase it with 25% discount. The scarf is super! the yarn is seriously YUMMY and one ball did me just enough to satisfy while keeping within sensible budget!
I've worn this scarf practically all winter!

When I read on Ravelry that Lidl were selling cut price sock yarn and selling out FAST I got down to my local store and found that either no one was rushing HERE or no one knits socks here! I was able to pick up squillions of balls of assorted sock yarn/colours - sadly I discovered the following day that the yarn is not guaranteed machine washable without a bit of felting!!
oh well!

Worth a chance, though, on knitting a pair to see for myself the results! So far the socks are knitting up nicely and you can see from pic below that I'm on the foot section fast approaching the shaping for toe! AND that I have TWO socks on ONE circular!
hurrah! yes! another technique mastered! and ticked off the list of things I simply NEED to learn!!
For some time now I have wanted to explore different methods of knitting socks and have been impressed with the 2 x socks x 2 circs and then the WHIZZINESS and excitement of knitting ML on one circ, I simply HAD to master two on one!!
It took me ages to "get" it! particularly the cast on bit - inspired by an article in a copy of Yarn Forward that seemed to indicate on one page of photo tutorial is EASY-PEASY-LEMON-SQUEEZY I set to and spent a whole DAY thrashing about and generally threatening to stab anyone who approached and ripped off countless attempts before finally through excellent tutorial on the web WORKED OUT HOW TO START OFF!

The starting point - the cast on is a nightmare! but once you've passed that bit, and have your socks ON the needle, the rest, I guarantee IS indeed a doddle! and well worth the initial stress for the satisfaction OF a pair of socks safely on one needle!

Mitts, Gloves, and Fairisle

Earlier this year I attended a super Fairisle class tutored by the fabulous Sarah Hazell who always manages to both enthuse, inspire AND encourage to pick up needles and try something out! The added value with Sarah is that she always puts just that bit extra into her classes and I learned this time, how to crochet an edge and bead too! easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy! hurrah! I need to do this more!!

Using the scrummy Rowan Felted Tweed our workshop included a bundle of assorted colours and I managed to make a few pairs in the weeks after using this selection to give me a whole winter's worth of handwarmers!!
A simple pattern designed to work in the flat a mixture of techniques necessary to work Fairisle we added beads and learned how to cast on in contrast colour and looked at picking up around the thumb to complete. All in all a lovely day and one that inspired me to purchase yarn and look to knit a project!

The pattern was a general one size fits all and proved to be a little large for my hands, but I found it a useful addition during colder weeks to overlay them on gloves - my hands were warm and toasty all winter!

I continued to pick up an interest in glove knitting and when the opportunity came up to purchase half price Rowan Scottish Tweed 4 ply, I bought a whole batch of yarns of assorted colours and loaded some books from the library on glove knitting and Fairisle and had resolved to knitting something colourful, challenging and pretty spectacular!
In the end, however, I settled for a pair of plain gloves!
The colour is actually a sort of blue! the light is poor! and the shot unclear!
I've mislaid the link to the pattern - pretty sure it came from Knitty but it features a different way to knit and sew up across the palm (or crochet). At the time I tried both but found I prefered the seam sewn.
Sadly I had to return the library books but would consider buying at least one of them and shall definitely look to explore further the glove knitting.
I have a pattern in The Knitter bookmarked for when I'm feeling brave!!

But its a proper Fairisle project I want to get my teeth into!
I have purchased the yarn as recommended and in the featured shades, too, from Rowan magazine 46 and have cast on for Portree and hope to have enough for Baxter Mitts too!

With that in mind I've also had another go Continental knitting! as doing it two handed is definitely the way to knit!!

Hurrah! I'm back! and what better way - cake!

I can't think of a NICER way of announcing am BACK! than with a couple of pics of yummy CAKE and FRUIT PIE! yayyy!! (and very yummy they both were too!)

Victoria Sponge with raspberry jam and cream on the occasion of no.1.son's 17th birthday March '10 and Fruit Pie baked in School both made by no.2.son who continues his interest in cookery and has taken it up as a GCSE option even!

Family news first: no.1.son is halfway through taking his A-Levels and doing very well at his 6th form college and beginning to look at Uni to progress his interest in Politics.
(slightly screechy moment of hysteria when I completely misunderstood and thought he was looking to become the next PM and I'd picked out the front room at Number Ten for a sewing room and resolved to change a few things namely to include yarn & knitting lessons on the Nhs by prescription for freee!). Its not, apparently, to do with any of that and I can, he said, get OUT of my head any thoughts in that direction. Oh well. friends. I tried! I really did!

No.2.son is halfway through his GCSE course and is looking set to achieve some good results if his teacher's are to be believed and this year's Progress Report is pleasingly positive with excellent marks and fab personal comments. In a few weeks time he will undertake 2 weeks of work experience and has arranged to work at each of his former infant and primary Schools and is looking forward to this. I was proud to get a telephone call from the infant school to say THEY were particularly looking forward to meeting up with him after this time as they remembered him particularly well. Afterwards, I feared, rather, that they'd MUDDLED him with his BROTHER! oh well. Lets hope they forget the kicking-teacher's-legs in the playground incident ..

DH has managed - touching wood and crossing fingers - so FAR to avoid dreaded threat of redundancy! Recently they have lost a large element of their work and indeed one of his longest standing colleagues of some 30+yrs service has been made redundant which is causing a few uncertainties.
This week he was called twice into a meeting with HR and other senior Manager and had to be helped back by the Secretary on account of grey pallour and faintness.
Apparently he is to be given a bonus and a pay rise!
I needn't, he said, get too excited and muttered about sorting me out a "fiver" ..
Oh well. Better though than notice of redundancy.

Understandably he is nervous about the future as I continue to be home and not yet seeking work due to ongoing health issues.

My final update is the matter of my health: My frozen shoulder which set off the whole chain of events - seemingly - continues to bother me from time to time but is considerably improved and I feel its reached the point at which I have to now accept that this is IT! I have a new Physiotherapist, a woman, at a local Hospital who is a lovely lady and worth the trek of getting to the appointment for the sympathetic approach coupled with some practical and no nonsense advice on COPING with pain and symptoms and MANAGING my pain and feelings.
DISTRACTION! seems to be the important thing! and LITTLE AND OFTEN too.
(and some PT exercises which I have to say DO work when followed correctly and consistently - the key to managing frozen shoulder I've found is to accept it will hurt for a long time and for a lot of time, and to get on with it as best one can).

My digestive problems are progressing and in the next two weeks I'm off for my "final test" of Oesophageal Manometry and 24hr PH Monitoring. Am assured by the Technician that neither will hurt! and am hopeful that it won't be yucky either!

My dizziness has proved not to be in my head! And has been flung into the lap of the Cardiologist by my Neurologist and isn't dizzy afterall - rather is faintness. In March this year I was booked in for an AF Ablation and am currently recovering from having had this procedure earlier in May. It seems that most of my problem are cardiac related and while I might be sat here thinking has all been rather a pointless and frustrating waste of time, at least I can't say I've not had a very full and extensive MOT - and all for free too! I've had exams at all ends and angles and some tests I'd rather not repeat and wouldn't recommend either! but I can't say they've not looked hard for something, for some explanation!
I am to continue with further testing on additional heart irregularities and might have a 2nd Ablation to be decided mid July.
In the MEANTIME am back on my meds - despite becoming sensitive to them and having unpleasant side effects, I have no choice at the moment and have halved my dose and switched to evening routine and am currently put onto Warfarin too which means lots of trips to the Hospital for blood tests.

Had I been a bit sharper I might have taken some pics of the rather spectacular bruises I've collected, but really that goes too far and dwells too much on stuff we'd rather not!
With that in mind, I've combined it all into this post as update and explanation as to why in part I've been largely absent from both blogging and crafting!

Its time! though! to move on! and in effort to get back to some sort of "normal" I've taken squillions of pics of stuff I've made or started this last year and yarn I've stashed! and will update both my Flickr and Ravelry accounts and hope to feel at least a bit more ORGANISED!

I intend to pick up my knitting and also to resume sewing! I am shocked to discover its two years since I last sewed with any real commitment and enthusiasm!
This has been the longest period and 2nd hardest only to that when I lost my parents, that has affected me personally and craft-wise and I really need to THANK with sincerity my friends - cyber and real life - that have largely put up with my screechiness and frustrations and accepted that I've been a rubbish pal for most of this time too! for all their support and encouragement and just for sharing this and being here for me.