Thursday, 24 September 2009

Being left with a good thing

A few weeks ago my friends and I got together to knit some squares to make a blanket for a cancer patient as part of the Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning. It was a lovely way to spend a day (and a great way to use up odds and ends of wool) but I have to admit I have been feeling a little fed up that not only do I need to sew all 40 of the squares together but, as we were a few shy of 40, I have been knitting square after square after square each evening.

Today I got all the squares out and laid them on the table ...

... and I came over all proud. We have done a really nice thing and, once it is finished, I hope it will keep someone nice and toasty. It was knitted with love and kindness in mind and that is what I hope it brings to its new owner.

Along the way I have learned a (relatively) quick way to join the squares using crochet. You can read the technical stuff here but this is how it looks -

I haven't updated on my weight loss lately - 11 pounds gone. It feels sooo good!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Seasonally affected

a) Woke up to power cut, not a problem but then power went off once more when I was making a much needed cup of tea which was a little annoying - however my friend's house alarm went off when the power did and it took him 15 minutes to stop it. This was at 4am, so can't really complain.
b) We are trying to go out for breakfast on Tuesday mornings so we braved the rain to try this new (independent) cafe that my friends were raving about. Apparently they don't serve breakfast (even though they are open at 8.30am) and the scrambled eggs that I had heard were so nice she only makes for friends .... honestly, that is what she said. So, we were damp and very hungry at 9.30am.
c) I got drenched walking home. So wet I had to strip off in the hallway. Scarlett was wet from the knees down as I have no idea where the cover is for her pram. Any bit of me that was dry soon became sodden when I decided to grab our cat who was sitting hunched up in next door's lavendar. Obviously I did this before I stripped off. The cat, incidentally, ran out of the door back into the rain.
d) All I want to do is eat stodge, even though I am not hungry. I am not eating anymore calories than I am supposed to have but I am not losing weight like I was. So I think this might be a kickback - although it could just be that it is suddenly cold and my body wants to get ready for the change of season.
e) I would quite like to have been pregnant this month (yes, that feeling suprised me too).
f) I had planned to meet my friend for tea, without Scarlett, but I spent so long sorting out Scarlett's clothes and bedroom that I didn't leave enough time to go and get back before Dan went to work so I accidentally enforced a very long day at home with a lunatic daughter who seems to think throwing herself off the furniture is hilarious whilst it has poured with rain.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Up to my armpits in flour and dirt (but not at the same time)

There was a moment today when I thought I felt bored. The moment came after a really busy morning. Firstly the three of us went for a very nice breakfast at Couture (where I came over all wistful about education and pondered going back to college), then Scarlett and I fed the ducks and wandered around Christchurch Park with Mum and Archie. Once home, with Scarlett napping, I thought I would explore the idea of (more) education but was thwarted at the first hurdle - subject - so gave up, felt cross and then diagnosed bored as a long afternoon of very little stretched ahead of me.

Thankfully a little voice in my head reminded me 'only the boring get bored', just in the nick of time. As it was a really lovely day today we headed off to the allotment to check in on the desert landscape.

I love squash so am very excited about this little fellow (and his two small friends).

After we were both covered in dust, dry grass and green algae (from the water trough) along with a thistle scratch or two we headed home to do a spot of baking.

I just love my elderly Good HouseKeeping book. It belonged to my grandfather, so is highly sentimental, but it also offers up the simplest, easiest and (most importantly) reliable recipes.

I'm not going to bang on about the delights of kneading dough or the wonders of seeing your doughy dumplings turn into scones and rolls as I have found a lovely quote that says it all (see below) but look at my rolls proving in the summer sun - all that growth in just ten minutes.

Today I truly embraced being a stay-at-home Mum, perhaps for the first time, and although there was paid work to be done, I found peace in some dough, a baby squash and rolling around on the carpet tickling my little girl.

“Breadbaking is one of those almost hypnotic businesses, like a dance from some ancient ceremony. It leaves you filled with one of the world's sweetest smells...there is no chiropractic treatment, no Yoga exercise, no hour of meditation in a music-throbbing chapel. that will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread.”M. F. K. Fisher, The Art of Eating

Friday, 4 September 2009

Breathing space

We need a holiday.
I need time to reflect, Dan needs time to think.
We need a change of scene, a break from routine and a chance to appreciate what we have.
I need time to focus on the big things, Dan needs to realise he can't always change them.
Most of all we need time together as a family.