30 July 2014

L...

...is for Lonicera...


...more commonly known as Honeysuckle, two huge plants blooming and filling my garden with its heady scent.  I have no idea what variety they are as they were in the garden when we bought our house.  They were looking a little sorry for themselves as they were being continually nibbled by rabbits, we have fenced them out and now they are both huge.  One sneaked into my photo shared for the letter H, rambling wildly over an arbour.

Joining in with the Alphabet Photography Project.  

28 July 2014

Moments....


....this week of...

...happiness swimming in the village pool, harvesting 9lb of blackcurrants from one bush, a family film night, finding caraway seeds in my garden, rain, bird watching with the children

...sadness at the continued loss of life in the world

...creatingproject off the needles, another cast on, strawberry peg people, blackcurrant pie

 ...reading finished The Year of the Flood and now reading the last book in the trilogy MaddAddam by the wonderful Margaret Atwood one of my favourite authors, to the children The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, and these picture books* you can read a short review of them here, 183. Don't Spill the Milk by Stephen Davies, 184. The Goggle-Eyed Goats by Stephen Davies, 185. Oso en un cuadrado by Stella Blackstone, 186. The Enormous Turnip retold by Cristiana Cerretti, 187. Owl goes to Town by Jenny Brown, 188. Beauty and the Beast retold by Michael Dahl, 189. Abigail by Catherine Rayner, 190. The Mermaid's Treasure Hunt by Dereen Taylor

...learning about buoyancy, gases, sonar, warriors

...thinking about fun things to do in August

...hoping to have time to do some sewing soon

...wondering whether I am going to enjoy being in the company of a few thousand people at the end of this week

...looking forward to catching up with a friend I haven't seen for ages at their birthday party

*as part of the 300 Picture Books Challenge

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I hope you have had a lovely week too......................enjoy the one to come!

26 July 2014

Lately...

...I have had another madly busy week.  Days when I have felt like I have met myself coming back.  My head is full of lists of food for meals that I won't even cook.  My car is sat waiting on the drive packed with enough food to feed 22 people for four days, poised to be dropped off later today.  Once again my time is being given to volunteering and this week has confirmed to me that a decision I made a few weeks back is absolutely the right one.  I have been tasked with sorting out the food for a group attending a week long, international Scout camp.  I myself will be going for the second half of the week and will take another car load of food for those days.  By the time I do go I know that I will have had enough of shopping it is my least favourite activity at the best of times especially when I have to to into shops I wouldn't normally, but six hours of food shopping is enough to tip anyone over the edge, right?

My busy week has been interspersed with quiet days.  Days when I had so many offers I could have visited four or five different families.  Offers that I, sadly, had to turn down knowing that if we did too much we all be tired and crabby and that would not be good for me or anyone else.  It is hard, this saying no business but it is the right thing to do.  Honesty is a good policy.  There was a time when I would have felt that I couldn't say no as I would damage my relationships or there would be no more offers in the future and I always had those memories of my early days of home edding in my head when we didn't see anyone from one week to the next.

Being at home a little more this week has meant that the radio has been on more than usual.  I have forced myself to sit still to relax and rest, and do a bit of knitting, oh how I have missed that these past few months.  But the radio has not been relaxing these past few days, or weeks when I have listened for that matter.  There is much conflict in the world, conflict that we don't always hear about that rumbles on continuously and then it gets much worse and it makes it into the news.  News that is difficult to stomach and hard to comprehend when you live in a country that is at peace and has been for a very long time.  Fingers are pointed, trust has all but gone, fingers are pointed and blame is apportioned before evidence has been gained, it makes for very difficult listening.

My own conflicts that I have wrestled with these past few months are not over yet.  The decision I mentioned before may have been made but my commitments are not over yet, one next week, one at the end of the month and another in October.  The time they take is time I am not spending with my children, and theirs and my friends but it will end, unlike the conflicts elsewhere.  So whilst I look a the detritus littering my hall, bits of food labelled and ready to be taken with me next week, shoes in abundance, a folded laundry box, my knitting, it is the same in the rest of the house, I know that this time will pass.

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Blogger has informed me that is my 600th post!  Can't quite believe it :)

23 July 2014

K...

...is for knitting


which I like to do when relaxing or chatting with friends.  I can pick it up knit a few stitches and put it down, depending on the pattern of course.  Like so many things it has its own language, I remember looking at the patterns my granny knitted when I was a child and could not make head nor tail of them, gibberish they were, now they make perfect sense.  This pattern is for a Langdale written by the very talented Lily Kate France who was just fourteen at the time.  I am so nearly finished, a few rows on the last sleeve, weaving all the ends in my least favourite job and a gentle blocking.  I told you knitting had its own language!  Blocking means shaping it after you have finished knitting to tease out imperfections and get it to the shape and size you need, it locks the stitches in place.  Whilst it is blocking (it takes a while) I will be casting on my next project using the stripy looking yarn one of these for my youngest as a Christmas present.  Yes I know it is only July but if I don't start soon I won't have everything made in time.........

Meanwhile head on over to see what others are sharing for the Alphabet Photography Project

21 July 2014

Moments...


...this week of...

...happiness watching my children playing with their friends, days spent outdoors in the wonderful summer warmth, harvesting potatoes for tea, knitting time, a quiet weekend at home

...sadness at terrible events across the world

...creating rows of knitting - nearly finished now, picnics, lego stop motion films, liquid soap, yogurt

...reading The Year of the Flood by the wonderful Margaret Atwood one of my favourite authors, to the children The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, and these picture books* you can read a short review of them here, 179. Alice the Tennis Fairy by Daisy Meadows, 180. Walking Through the Jungle by Debbie Harter, 181. L'Ours dans la villa by Stella Blackstone, 182. L'Ours a la mason by Stella Blackstone

...learning about whittling, bees, ants, adding, stop motion film making,

...thinking about blame and how it seems so many look to apportion this especially when trust has all but gone or broken down

...hoping to harvest my blackcurrants this week

...wondering about places to go for an overnight wild camp with the children

...looking forward to a quieter week this week

*as part of the 300 Picture Books Challenge

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I hope you have had a lovely week too......................enjoy the one to come!

19 July 2014

Messy

I grew up in a messy house, at least my memory of my teenage years is such.  My parents have had a empty nest for around eighteen years and moved into a brand new house recently and still their house is far from tidy so I feel I am safe to assume that my childhood home was messy.  I am not a fan of constant mess and clutter.

We used to spend time, every week, at a friends house which was untidy, no I am going to be honest, it was more than untidy it was cluttered, messy and dirty.  That is of course my opinion I would never judge anyone on the state of their house if I had I wouldn't have stayed friends or visited the house so often.  There were times, particularly in the winter when it was too cold to sit outside that I wondered what on earth I was doing there it was with mixed emotions that we stopped visiting a few months ago.  I felt relieved and slightly guilty.

In my own house everything has to have a home, a place it could be put away.  There is a finite amount of places that things can be put away in our house so usually, around birthdays and Christmas time we have to give something away when we receive something.  I was discussing this with some friends recently and the FlyLady came into the conversation, perhaps my friend and my parents need to heed her advice.

I have perfected worked hard at the art of decluttering my house but other parts of my life, well they are messy, not in a my life is a mess sense, but more in a disorganised, flitting from one thing to another sense.  I am easily sidetracked and very fond of displacement activities when I need to do something that I would rather not be doing.  I have come to realise I am hopeless at planning ahead and saying no, so I end up with too many things in the diary and not enough time to prepare for each of them, for different reasons I was in the exact same position last year.  Hmm perhaps I could do with learning from my experience.

Everything we do outside the house involves some form of preparation be it a few bits and pieces of clothing, a picnic or a fully packed car.  When I am planning what we will do I forget about this bit.  Over the winter we tend to do less outside or that involves lots of packing, but that doesn't mean we spend the whole time at home!  But come the spring and warmer weather and suddenly we are like caged animals and I go mad putting so many things in the diary that I forget the bit about preparation.   So in a need to do better kind of effort I have once again reached that time of the year when I feel like I am going mad and have backed off organising much for the rest of the summer to keep myself sane.  What I could with doing is remembering that in the Spring, keep the bigger picture in mind, and to remind myself constantly it is ok to say no.  I am not sure how I am going to remember this so if you have tips you can share.........

16 July 2014

J...

...is for Jam...


...strawberry, picked by me and the children at a local pick your own.  We have tried to grow them in the garden but they just don't ripen so we grow other plants instead.  We picked six pounds of strawberries and ate most of them!  We made just over two pounds of fruit into three pounds of jam, my daughter helped me, stirring the pan from time to time.  I hope she remembers it, in time, just as I remember doing the same with my mother, and she with hers the wonderful alchemy of jam.  Now I am off to make some scones, they are perfect with strawberry jam and cream don't you think?  In the meantime head over to PODcast to see what others are sharing for  the Alphabet Photography Project.