Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Three years on!

When I started this blog, I was on the verge of retirement.  It happened quicker than I thought and so I hadn't had time to prepare myself - both practically and mentally - and had no idea about what was ahead of me.  Three years on, and with the anniversary of my last day being today, I can look back with pride about what has been achieved.  I sew for England, my parents have moved closer so I see them weekly, I have lost 75 pounds in weight, lost Katie - my Golden Retriever - and Daisy has bounded into my life .....in fact it has been a real roller coaster.  Now, however, all good things must come to an end.  I have decided to end writing this blog (it was only meant to last the first year of retirement anyway) and so wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who has read my ramblings and taken the time to comment on them.  It's been a blast!

Just to take us back to the beginning ..... these were the first two posts.  It seems such a long time ago now!

Well - here it is. After nearly 50 years in education - both woman and child - the alarm clocks can be turned off at last.  So - what happens - Katie ( my golden retriever) wakes me up at 5:30am!  I have no idea what awaits me on my final day at work but I guess it's bound to be an emotional one.  I guess that curling up into a ball and falling asleep isn't really an option?

Well yesterday went well - got through loads of tissues and was genuinely moved by the wonderful words expressed by staff, students and parents.  I have never had so many hugs, flowers and chocolates.  In fact I am still on a high!

So far I suspect that I am not giving retirement the thought that it needs.  The next three days will see me in church at their yarn bombing fund raising event - selling raffle tickets as usual.  Tuesday is a free day and then I am in school for two days revising with the students.  But I shall then hand in my keys and walk off into the sunset.

Scary but exciting!

Monday, 21 May 2018

Well Sewingbuddy - it's time to face the music!

At the usual Monday Morning Textile Group, we were all doing our own thing before the half term holiday.  It was lovely to see Carine complete her second retreat bag (and her first large one). She had taken my advice and given it some handles - looks cool doesn't it?

Back home for a couple of hours and it was time to do some weeding.  I do find these two hours tricky since I don't allow myself to eat or drink - for fear of putting on weight - silly I know!  However it was then son time to set off for slimming World and find out what damage Sewingbuddy's cake did yesterday.  Well, as it turns out, not too bad - I lost 1lb and can therefore see the back of any possible holiday weight gain - result!  If you look back at this week -with all of those meals out - than I can feel proud of that achievement.

Today I also received my shipment from Approved Foods. Truthfully I was suckered in with the promise of a lucky box for a pound - inside were a number of useful items, plus a number that weren't and so I gave them to Jean for her gandchildren. Still, it was quite an exciting reveal!

Tonight I really need to finish that embroidery homework - but have booked to see the local Am-dram production of Annie!  Hopefully "The sun will come out tomorrow"!!

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Blame Sewingbuddy - it's her fault again mum - honest!

Today Wendy, and her sister in law, took me to a local quilt show.  There were lots of lovely quilts on display and many wonderful ideas for using up your scraps (of which I have a few!).  My eyes were particularly drawn to this red quilt - only to find that it was designed by the sewing teacher at my monthly sewing class!!

We also bumped into Sewngbuddy and Ev - which is where my tale of woe starts!  As we perused the stall selling fabric, I decided to buy some pink fabric to make another clutch bag for the wedding in Tuscany.  After I had paid, Sewingbuddy found some fabric which the stall holder then took out a matching piece to complement it - AND Sewingbuddy found another contrast as well - so I had to have them - now didn't I?   They will make a stunning retreat bag after all.   THEN, as we sat down for a cuppa, Sewingbuddy INSISTED that I try her cake - I ask you!  Any weight on tomorrow is completely and utterly down to her!  On the way out I bought some tombola tickets and won this bag - talk about "coals to newcastle"!

We came home via a craft show where I bought a wooden key ring to act as a zipper pull for the aforementioned retreat bag.  After a lovely sunny dog walk you would think that I needed the proverbial lie down - but nope, it was off out into the garden to mow the lawn - only to find that I hadn't charged the battery up and so could only do a third before putting the battery onto charge.  Lie down time then?  Nope - weeding the side border and releasing the rhubarb!

With an indoor break to catch up with The Archers and prepare for the Textile Group tomorrow, it was then off outside again to finish the lawn before settling down to start on side 4 of the embroidery box.

I will finish my homework in time.
I will finish my homework in time.
I will ....

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Royal wedding

I could try and convince you that I didn't watch the wedding and complete some more embroidery homework - but I did so all I really have to say is What a wonderful wedding!  Let's all join together in wishing Harry and Megan a long and happy marriage!!

I did manage to plant up some hanging baskets and pots but, in truth, my day has not been such an active one!

Friday, 18 May 2018

It's all about choices .....I guess!

Last night, you may recall, I went out with the WI for supper to a fish and chip restaurant on the pier at Cleethorpes -and had a fantastic time.  whilst others were enjoying their fish and chips (this was a portion for senior citizens - HUGE!) I chose griddled salmon and new potatoes.  There was a tad too much hollandaise sauce - but this was a third of the dish!!

I resisted the puddings - in favour of a coffee and biscuit - but didn't they look tempting?  The one on the left was an unusual way of presenting a trifle!

Today after, erm, a little lie in ( I woke up at a shocking 9:15am - but don't tell anyone) it was off out to Mum and Dad's to admire their tiled conservatory floor - just the skirting to go now and the job is finished.  We decided to go out for lunch and I had a jacket potato with a mince n veg filling - whilst they tempted me with their choice of Steak Pie (Mum had chicken pie) and veg.  Truthfully Steak pie is my favourite and I could have tried to justify it ......but I am glad I didn't.  My Slimming World consultant came in and sat at the next table - oops I swerved that one then didn't I?

After buying some plants for the hanging baskets, it was back home to take advantage of this lovely weather and walk the dogs up at the beach.  It's real T-shirt weather!  I will admit, then, to sitting down and watching the final instalment of "Innocent".  We had discussed who had "done it" last night and I won't reveal the murderer - suffice to say I got it wrong!

Tonight I am out again (I know I know!) - this time its the book club meeting at the local pub - more food choices then! This time we are discussing "My Cousin Rachel" by Daphne Du Maurier but I am not sure how many have read the book.  I suspect that most of us (yes me included) have cheated and watched the film!!

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Heavy going .......

Let's start with last night and An American In Paris - it was simply wonderful.  Glorious dancing, wonderful Gershwin music and live stage - what's not to like?  the only problem is that I couldn't sleep - the music was going round and round in my head! Bliss and torture all in one!

Consequently today has been rather like walking in treacle - heavy going!  I couldn't have a lie in - Daisy was at the groomers (yep - she had a "daisy" bow in her ear!!) - but, by coffee time I was back home, feet up and catching up with last night's "Innocent" whilst trying finishing side 2 of my embroidery and with Daisy on my knee!  Truthfully I was tempted to do some more sock knitting and got a few rows in!

After a "bracing" walk on the beach to wake me up, lunch was a healthy one before retreating to the couch with some more embroidery and Coronation Street on catch up.  Suffice to say that my eyes may just have closed for a while!!  After which it was time to put the large suitcase in the loft, get the small one out for Mum and Dad to borrow and find some wool for Mum to do some charity knitting - is this the life I dreamt of? - before popping out into the garden to finish tying up the new raspberry canes!!  At least I have managed to take advantage of a Sainsbury's coupon and ordered my online shopping for tomorrow between 5 and 6pm!

Tonight I am out again - this time it's the WI supper club and we are going to a fish and chip restaurant!!  I have looked at the menu and have decided to choose grilled salmon, new potatoes and peas - bless!

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

The drought has ended!

Well, the weather may be gloomier today, and a little chillier, but today was a special day!  After two weeks of no machine sewing - I started making some small cable tidies - not the greatest of projects to start sewing again - but I thought that I'd make some for the forthcoming craft fair.  Today was also the day that I started my sock knitting experience - but more of that later!

Of course there was also the normal housework, and my return to serious star climbing (I am behind schedule to climb Mount Everest in a year!), but my next sewing machine project was to sew the pennants for the WI bunting.  The theme was "All the fun of the fair" and I even embroidered two of the pennants whilst sunbathing on the cruise!  I can't finish the bunting until I know the exact dimensions so that I can space the flags - but it's a huge step forward.

Wrapped up against the cold, we braved the beach for the dog walk before setting off to the Knit and natter group - and it was time to tackle the socks!!  This was my nemesis and something that I wanted to master.  My cousin had given me some wool, needles and links to patterns.  I just needed to be brave!  Several of the group were also trying their hand with Carol having mastered the knack!  After two and a half hours I managed to get past the awkward stage and have now completed the rib and two rows of knit.  Eighteen rows down, another 55 to go before I turn the heel!  My cousin was right - the first few rows are particularly awkward but it does get better!

Tonight Jean and I are off to the cinema to watch the musical "An American in Paris" beamed live from the Dominion Theatre in the West End (it's their last night tonight!).  I had a slight panic when I checked the time on the website and saw that the tickets were all sold out - yikes!  For once I was going to pay on the door and so hadn't pre-booked!  However the Louth branch of the cinema chain was also showing it tonight so I booked tickets there as well - this is clearly going to be popular!  Ah well - at least I have saved some syns for my magnum!!

Meanwhile, I must just share with you - it's not as if Sewingbuddy doesn't get me into enough trouble now is it?  Now there is a second contender for the office of "temptress" - Wendy!  After one phone call, we have both ordered this pattern!!  Any hope of extending daytime hours and never sleeping?   I will get my own back - the shop that sells this designer's pattern is near to our Lynette Anderson workshop - it would be wrong not to pop in - surely?