Saturday, 24 December 2011

This time of year

I just want to wish you all a peaceful and loving holiday season.

And thank you for all your support.

You are wonderful.


Sunday, 18 December 2011

Five good things

It's been a week of breakages one way or another:

Ray's computer, his very expensive self-built computer, blew up with an almighty POP.
A sneaky virus on the little netbook.
The extractor fan blew up.

Good things?

The internet shop was very reasonable and sent a courier for the offending power supply unit.

I rid the netbook of the sneaky virus thus earning heroic geek points.

The extractor fan was stomped to death in the garden by a frustrated poppet who "got it out of his system".

Finding the perfect parka for Ray and it arriving in time for christmas.

A very nice Indian takeaway that didn't play havoc with my interior.


Please join in: what good things found you last week?



Sunday, 11 December 2011

Five good things

I solemnly promise to write a proper blog post soon. Really I will. Definitely. Maybe.


Taking my mum out for a "posh" cup of tea and seeing her delighted excitement when talking about our wedding.

Ray. Um, have I mentioned him before?

New twinkly fairy lights on the mantel.

Last Wednesday.

Sweet kitteh devotion.



Please join in: what good things found you last week?


Sunday, 4 December 2011

Five good things

New socks for winter.

Global Aroma cafe in Teignmouth. Never before has a vegetarian had so much choice and an omnivore had a bigger breakfast.

Marrying into a really great family.

The wind and the rain and being warm in the car whilst the wind blows and the rain pours.

Chips by the sea.


Please join in: what good things found you last week?


Sunday, 27 November 2011

Five good things

Must blog more often. Must blog more often. Must blog more often. Must blog more often. Must blog more often. Must blog more often. Must blog more often.Must blog more often. Must blog more often. Must blog more often. Must blog more often. Must blog more often. Must blog more often.

Seven good things:

A bargain electric blanket with dual controls.

Watching North by Northwest on the macbook in bed with the electric blanket on, a kitteh on either side and a cup of fruit tea at 9pm while Ray was out.

Car insurance for Ray sorted. Finally. And without going into debt.

Chocolate wedding cake. Oh. Yes.

Talking about moving somewhere new. Maybe this time next year.

Ray's wedding "jokes" eg. "I expect all my washing to be done for me when we're married you know..."

Crystallised ginger.


Please join in: what good things found you last week?


Sunday, 13 November 2011

Five good things (bad blogger version)

I know, I know, it's been ages. Sometimes I wonder at how fast time speeds by. It really does speed up as you get older you know. Whoosh. Just you wait. Unless of course you are waiting for something important and then it drags along at a mind numbingly snaily slow pace.

So, five really rather good things:


My Dad being mostly ok with a week in a care home while my Mum got some much needed rest.

Taking my Mum out and about to do the things she can't easily do with my Dad.

Booking our wedding ceremony. 19th May 2012. Only 7 months to go!

Finding a most marvellous and, most importantly, very-tight-budget-friendly wedding reception venue since we think May might be a bit chilly for a beach party.

The support of friends.


What good things found you this week? Please join in!


Thursday, 20 October 2011

Dear George

We think about you every day and we miss you dearly.

Your little body lies decaying in the damp earth in a cardboard box that I soaked with tears but you are not there, little boy, you are not there.

You are in every breath that I take, in every laugh and sigh that leaves my lips, every thought that crosses my mind, every thump of blood through my heart, every kiss and hug I give and receive. I breathe you in and out of my lungs each day. Every moment of love is filled to the brim with you.

You are everywhere I go, everywhere I have been and everywhere I will go. You are in the wind and the sea, in the rain, the earth and the clouds, in the trees, the grass and the flowers. You are in everything I touch, smell and taste. You are in the feathers that I find and take home to put in your box and in the silver I wear around my neck and wrist.


In the last three years I have cried for you, longed for you and I have shouted and stamped my feet at the universe with impotent fury on your behalf. I no more accept your death today than I did the moment we knew you had died. I will always rail at the universe for it's wrongness. It is still wrong. It still shouldn't have happened. You should be here. 

My dear little boy, you should be two years and seven months old and this day should mean nothing more than, oh it's only five days until your Granddad's birthday let's go and find a present for him. Today should be an ordinary day.

Today isn't a celebration of your birth and in this house there are no happy birthdays, cards on the mantel or presents to be unwrapped. Today is the day we go on an adventure in your name and celebrate the love that made you, keeps us together and holds us to hope.

Today we are going to catch the sunrise for you.


We wish you could share in our adventures, they would be so much more with you two singing, laughing and dropping crumbs in the back seat of our battered old car. For as long as we live we will always be sad that you are missing from your lives. We fill our life up with love as best we can but there will always be George and Little Poppet shaped gaps that can never be filled.


My dear son,
Beloved son, be love, be light, be free. Scatter you atoms around the universe, zoom along on the tails of comets, swing from stars, whoosh along the rainbows with Little Poppet and maybe think of us from time to time.

Every day I say your name out loud and every night I whisper a bedtime story to myself,

"Once upon a wonder time, through the clouds, in a parallel universe far far away on the other side of the rainbow, there lived a little boy. There lived a little boy. A little boy who lived..."

I kiss you goodnight in my mind.


I love you George.




Sunday, 16 October 2011

Five good things


More good news.


21 lengths of this swimming pool. (Which is rather tattier these days than this just-built brochure shot)
25m x 21 = 525m = pleased with myself. It may only be a third of a mile but when I started a few weeks ago I could barely manage 4 lengths without gasping for air. Next week 25 lengths. Attainable goal attained = feeling good about self = good thing.



Being held really tight while I cry.

Snuggling with a kitteh and a blankie.

Autumn leaves.


Saturday, 15 October 2011

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Five good things

Your comments on The Great Wedding Fabric Hunt. Thank you! (Well no, of course I haven't decided yet!)

Taking Ray's mum for a cup of tea somewhere local she had never been before.

Saving a butterfly from the evil claws of a kitteh who knows no better.

Beautiful words: solipsism, turgid, diaphanous, insidious, ailurophile, fury, repose, circumlocution, ecstasis, hubris... I could go on.

Kitteh bookends keeping me warm. Or rather, two kittehs trying to get a piece of the snugly blanket action.



Please join in, what good things found you last week?


Thursday, 6 October 2011

Wedding dressing


Dress inspiration.

While mooching about the internets for some wedding inspiration I came across this dress... ooooohhh gasp!... THE dress. I wanted it, I needed it, I must have it... hmm... expensive = bad. On sale = good/bad still expensive but my credit card would take it (badly). Tiny sizes only = bad bad bad! (credit card breathes sigh of relief)

www.libelula-studio.com
After seeking high and low for another similar/secondhand dress I determined that I must make my own wedding dress. I used to make lots of clothes but not for many years now... I hope I still can.

As you can tell I'm not looking for a traditional white wedding dress; no no not me at all! What I  really I want is something cheap and cheerful that will stand up to a beach picnic and is likely to be worn again either shortened to day dress size or long top/tunic size.

I love the style of the Libelula dress, it is made of beautiful hand painted bias cut silk georgette and if you know where I can get some just like that I will love you forever and ever!

And so I began the Great Fabric Hunt, ably assisted on the other side of the pond by dear Danielle.

Please tell me honestly what you think of the patterns and these fabrics. I will probably end up with a franken-pattern made up of two or three others since I can't seem to find THE pattern either. And if you have any suggestions please let me know.

Top middle: must have sleeves. This dress would be made of any of the georgettes or non-stretch cottons.


Also for georgettes, the red one but long.


For any of the stretchy fabrics, love the drapy sashy tie, would make it long with short/cap sleeves.


Wrap type dress, also for stretchy fabrics, but long.



The Fabrics so far.

In no particular order of belikedness:

1.  100% silk georgette, rather expensive, very lovely (I have a sample), very sheer and needing lining making it a complicated dress (for me) to make and, knowing me, not likely to be ever worn again! Oh but it's sooooo pretty!

http://www.quickfabrics.co.uk/printedsilkorientalflowersprint_p_4097.html

2.  100% cotton with bilateral stretch, maybe a teeny bit stiff (I have a sample, would wash softer I think - must go and do that) but oh so very pretty. I like it a lot and I could definitely shorten it for post-wedding wear.

http://www.calicolaine.co.uk/Dress-Making-Fabric-Summer-Prints-Floral-Summer-Prints-c566_579_597/Jardin-Summer-Print-4-%284131%29-p5072.html


Four lovelies found by Danielle:

3.  Silk georgette; ivory on tan but seems almost a nude colour, not what I was originally thinking of but I like it a lot and I think it would look rather elegant with darker piping around the neck/arms/sash and maybe even a bit of beading around the edges... not that I've ever attempted beading!

http://www.fashionfabricsclub.com/catalog_itemdetail.aspx?ItmID=8222

4.  Another silk georgette, I found this one during one of my searches too, summery and light, wide spaced pattern, again with one of the colours picked out in piping.

http://www.fashionfabricsclub.com/catalog_itemdetail.aspx?ItmID=JJJ078

 5.  Beautiful linen/rayon with blossom embroidery (needing a total rethink of pattern) but a teeny bit too expensive!

http://www.housefabric.com/Blossom-Horizon-P85719C679.aspx

6.  Japanese double gauze, lovely random print. There are other double gauze fabrics on the site which are gorgeous too and it's a lovely soft fabric to wear (especially for babies clothes :o/ ) Maybe the pattern is a bit too tiny for me.

http://www.hartsfabric.com/naomi-ito-japanese-fabric-floral61863.html


From my ebay fabric hunt:

7.  100% cotton lawn border print on pale blue, soft thin cotton with nice drape. Love the border print but not likely to be made into a shorter wearable version.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/190382425913?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

8.  Viscose georgette, very pretty, half the price of the silk Georgette. Love the wide spaced pattern.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/190504266080?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

9.  Another georgette, pretty but I think it might be a bit too much oh-my-god-she's-wearing-the-curtains.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/190504267577?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

10.  100% cotton jersey, like Tshirt fabric, I like this a lot, very pretty, very inexpensive and one of the few along with the next one that I would definitely wear again, shortening the dress into a tunic top and possibly making another top from the rest of the skirt. I like this one more and more and more...

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/190440360269?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

11.  Another 100% cotton jersey. I think I like this, not as much as the one above but I like the splashes of red, I think.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/190440348310?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

There you have it. Writing this post has been fun and has helped me narrow down my choices (so far).

Number 2 and 10 are my current favourites. Both would be suitable for beach or garden activities, both would look elegant but fun (I think!) Both would be very comfortable being stretchy. Number two would cost about £39 with postage. and Number 10 would cost about £25 with postage. If I decide to use piping then an extra £5. A bit more for cottons and machine needles specifically for jersey/stretch fabrics. All together that would make for a wedding dress costing under £50! Ideal! I also thought I might stitch on two tiny lace butterflies somewhere near my heart...


Any and all fabric or pattern suggestions gratefully received!



Sunday, 2 October 2011

Five good things

Sometimes it take ages for me to sift through the week for good things and sometimes I have more than five. Sometimes I don't think I will find any, but there's always something good, however small.



A 2.7K walk (1.7 miles) to get a cup of tea and a packet of crisps. Followed by a 2.7k walk back to the car. Ouch but in a (mostly) good way.

Unseasonable sunshine.

The last tomatoes ripening in the (unseasonable) sun.

Finally getting my boobs under control after about 4 months of, often agonising, fibrocystic breast pain after ovulation until my period (boo) starts. Whoop. (Definitely Vitex and taking my bra off at every opportunity and possibly DHEA if anyone is interested). I've been walking around randomly squeezing my mostly non-painful boobs: Ray finds it most distracting.

Having something to look forward to. It's been a long time. Hey, I'm getting married!



Pleeeeease join in. What good things found you last week?


Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Five good things

Pelargonium cuttings happily taking root despite the cooling weather

An afternoon out with Ray's sister.

Finding the book my Mum has been looking for in a charity shop for £1.

No insomnia for a whole week.

Good news from friends.



I'm a little bit late to be sure but if you're still out there please join in; what good things found you over the last week


Sunday, 18 September 2011

I need your help please

If you haven't already and you are on fac.ebook, please visit this link and vote for Kristin's story.

You can vote once a day, every day, until the competition is over.

I choose to fly

She's only a couple of hundred votes from winning! We can do it!


Friday, 9 September 2011

Raindrops on roses

It's a soggy drizzly grey afternoon here. It's the kind of drizzle that blows horizontally through the town and doesn't feel as if it's going to get you wet until you are soaked. I've finished a jewellery order and Ray has gone to visit a friend.

*Drums fingers on laptop*

*Stares at rain through window*

When we bought our first car, not quite two months after George's death and birth, we went driving in the rain because it was raining and it suited our mood. Oh the freedom to run away from grief. We never got quite far enough away from it. We drove over the moors, parked and listened to the clatter of rain on the roof. We drove through puddles singing along loudly to songs from the 70's. It was exciting and a little scary. We found our happy out there. An odd place for it to hide.

Ray likes to drive through piles of animal poo up on the country lanes of Dartmoor, swerving across the single car lane to get a wheel in a huge cow pat. He paid for it this year when he had to change the brake discs on the smelly front wheels. We have been stuck in traffic jams of cows and sheep on the moors. In the spring there are signs reminding us to watch out for lambs on the road. Suicide sheep. They dart in front of cars to get to the safety of their mothers side. When it's raining the sheep turn brick red; the colour of Devon soil.

I used to search the sky for rainbows when the sun came out after the rain. I thought perhaps they were messages from George: a quick "hello" from his universe. Or a sign of good things to come. I never imagined they could be goodbyes.

One rainy evening we drove to the edge of the headland, made tea from our flask, put the cups outside to cool with rainwater and took pictures of the lights on the boats in the harbour blurred by the rain on the windscreen.

When it's warm enough and it rains at night, we open the bedroom window to listen. Pitter patter drip plip tink. When it rains during the day we sit at the bottom of our garden underneath the overhanging cliff and watch the plants being watered.

I worked in India for six months and left just as the monsoon season was beginning. It was lovely to sit under cover listening to the delicious warm rain. I never got used to the heat; air conditioning is the enemy of acclimatisation. I would leave the house and feel a wet towel of hot wrap around my head.

I lived in Geneva for five years. It rains for 181 days a year on average but the rain was cold. In the summer it was 40 degrees in the city and we took the cable car up through and above the haze of cloudy heat to the snowy mountains to breathe the cooler air for a while. It the winter it was -10 and rained when it wasn't snowing. Spectacular thunder storms crashed and bounced around the mountains above us.

I feel more comfortable with the rain than with the sun. Sunny days leave me sweaty and irritable and by the time Ray has warmed his bones in the sun I am boiling over: I think we run at different temperatures. We try to sit at cafe tables half in the sun and half in the shade. He wears two t shirts and a jumper and I am barefoot in a t shirt. Before we got together, when I had my own flat with sloping floors and a door to the roof terrace three feet up the wall, I would get home from work, close the curtains, take all my clothes off and be a nudist colony of one. At least until after my shower. We should probably live in a hotter country, where the expense of heating our house isn't frightening, so that Ray could feel warm more often than cold. I could get a very large fan.

We're planning an open air wedding party next year, most likely on a beach but possibly in our garden. It's a huge leap of optimism in temperate climes. But I don't think I'd mind too much if it rained.


Sunday, 4 September 2011

Five good things


Announcing our wedding plans at a (Ray's) family dinner for 14 to joyful squeals from him mum and sister.

Not running crying from above mentioned dinner when Ray's newish nephew was being passed around for cuddles (no, I couldn't) or when his step-dad was being lovely, thoughtful and sympathetic and I wished he would stop.

A really really really lazy Sunday.

A bit of passion at lunchtime.

Planning our cheap budget simple wedding for next Summer.
  • I'm making our rings
  • We're having a bbq/picnic party on a beach (if it isn't raining, goodness knows what we'll do if it is) 
  • Helium balloons, buckets and spades, rugs and bunting
  • No ties, trying to find a wedding dress that isn't a wedding dress...
  • etc


Please join in: what good things found you last week.





Sunday, 21 August 2011

Five good things

Juliet Lily safe and sound

Finishing a stupid government form

Mum's beetroot and apple pickle

Kittehs thriving on raw food diet

Setting a date... or rather, a month... thinking of a dress... beach picnic... making rings... teeny tiny budget... etc...



Please join in: what good things found you this week?




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