Friday, 30 June 2017

To varifocal or not to varifocal!

Well, as the title of the blog suggests, today's appointment was for the annual eye test - since I've had the problems with my eyes I have to get them tested every year.  Fortunately they were happy with me and there was no change in the prescription - but I had decided to get new glasses anyway.  I normally take advantage of their buy one, get one free offer and have two sets of reading glasses and two of long distance ones for driving - I was down to my last pair of each - and one of them were quite twisted!  Having discussed it at length with the optician, I decided to brave it and go for varifocals - and even chose the expensive lens to give myself the best chance of adapting to them.  My reasoning was simple - it's an absolute pain to keep swapping glasses over all the time (try crafting and watching tv!), plus they offer a replacement service - if I don't get on with them they will swap for two sets of normal glasses - so I can't really lose!  Remind me of this when they arrive in a week or so's time and I am all over the place!

Whilst I was getting measured for the glasses, I was aware that I was being stalked - by my mother!  Mum and Dad were shopping in Tesco's as well so we met up for a catch up and a coffee ( see TT&T we can still do coffee!)  They moved out of their house on the 1st June and here we are - one month on!  I'm threatening to go round tomorrow and tackle "Bedroom 3" - the dumping room (now come on - we all have one room that the moving boxes gravitate to and take ages to escape from!)

Back home, and with the start of another Scamblesby block under my belt, the yawning just couldn't be ignored (I hadn't slept well last night) so I put my head down for 40 winks.  Daisy has a cute way of curling up with me and keeps me warm - too warm as it turned out and the 40 winks turned out more like 80 winks!

Back in the land of living, it was time to start thinking about tonight.  It's the book club's monthly meeting at the pub - the dieters nightmare pub with beautiful hand made puds!  they are, however, indulgent of me taking something in for my pud so I have made two slimming world friendly trifles for my friend and I - using TT&T's idea of jam jars!

Dogs walked, block finished and a cardboard pattern cut out ready for another sewing project - its not been too lazy a day (even if I did lose a good hour or more!)

Thursday, 29 June 2017

oh er mother - I'm on a roll today!

Isn't is a great feeling - feeling well that is?  Suddenly all of those tasks cry out to be done and you have the energy to do them!

First up was a few finishing touches on my Lynette Anderson workshop project.  We have been sent this pattern to handsew - which then has to be made up into a mug rug and will be swapped with another participant at the workshop.

Then there was the bunting to be posted in aid of the Grenfell Tower residents.  I managed to post this on the way back from my blood test appointment (it still seems strange to see the nurse that I taught as an 11 year old!).  Once home, and a small amount of tidying up, it was then off out to a WI committee meeting (avoiding the Harrods sparkly biscuits I might add) before coming home to a long overdue sewing project.  This twiddling piece was from a Jenni Rayment workshop several months ago and it has been waiting for the past 4 points to be added.  Now that they are there I can spend some time tonight sewing the binding over.

After lunch, and a wet dog walk where Daisy did her best to avoid the puddles (princess picky toes!), I then settled down to another long overdue project.  I had done the applique and embroideries for this Lynette Anderson scissor case some time ago but had been putting off finishing the case.  All that is left to do now is to complete the binding, add a zipper tab and then give it a press.  Phew!

With just some embroidery to trace for the next project (well I do like to have some handsewing on the go as you know) today has felt like a really productive day - not bad for only 4 hours sleep after the noisiest storm last night!

On a more positive note Mum and Dad now have their car back - I am officially standing down as their Chauffeur!

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

An "up" day .....

Well, that doctor knew her onions!  After getting in from the doctors yesterday, I took the increased dosage of steroids (to get a head start) and work up this morning headache free - oh the relief!

I had set today apart to drive over to a sewing shop -yes I hear you tutting but wait just a mo!  I have enrolled on a year's course to make this stunning sewing box.  As you open each layer there s something else to admire and is right up my street.  Today was the last class for this year's group so I was invited along to have a look at their work and perhaps decided on a  colour scheme.  I actually came away having spent very little (go me) but with a good idea about what to expect in September.  Mission accomplished.

Back home, and having tackled the conservatory, it was time for lunch before settling down to finishing that Christmas present I mentioned yesterday.

Mind you - talk about Christmas presents - this box arrived today and contains a present for someone in my family - ooh er!

Last night I managed to sew up the hearts that I am making for Grenfell, and will crochet a hanging rope tonight with a view to posting it tomorrow so that it is ready for Monday evening.  Time has only allowed me to make 5 hearts but I seem to recall that a family of five was amongst the missing people presumed dead, so it seems all the more poignant.

So, all in all, a much better day than yesterday, thank goodness.  Not only that but the doctor I saw yesterday has asked me in tomorrow for another blood test (I guess its to check the levels for my Temporal Aerteritus) so you do feel that she is being thorough which is a huge relief!

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

A "down" day.

I woke up this morning to the most painful eye imaginable.  It is something that has happened before and usually clears after a couple of painkillers and some nose blowing - it feels as if I have blocked sinuses.  Today, however, was different - nothing was shifting it and I was beginning to feel quite sick! (sorry if that's too much detail).  I had been due to take the car in to have the seat belt mended, walk home and then walk back later to collect the car - that was just not going to happen as I played the dying swan on the sofa (along with a hot water bottle because i felt so cold)!  Instead I made an appointment with the doctor - and managed to get one today!!

After being prodded and poked, blood pressure taken, stroke ruled out etc (yikes - its a headache!), she decided that I had to up the steroids back up to 40mg again (I had got down to 5mg a day -boo hoo!)  Ah well, if it stops the problem then back I go!

So, long story short, I have achieved nothing of note today - apart from catching up on The Real Full Monty - well worth watching - thank you Wendy for the heads up - and starting a Christmas present.  Not one of my finest days!

Monday, 26 June 2017

Past the halfway point!

The textile group, today, was due to start making fabric flowers for our fabric festival next year and I took this picture of our starting supplies so that you can see our progress. TWO hours later!!!!!!!!! I had managed to stop myself junking it in the bin!  Let's just say that I have learnt what not to do!!

After a return home, some housework, 15 mins trying to tidy the craft room (hardly made a dint) and wrapping up of wedding bunting ready to post, it was then onto Slimming World.  After a couple of "so so" weeks I managed to lose 4 1/2 lbs - taking me past the halfway stage for my first target.  I have set Nov 9th as my target date and have a couple of trips away so I am trying to build up some wiggle room!

The journey home took a slight detour (well,I had to pick up tea from Mum now didn't I - would be rude not to surely?)  before settling down for a quiet (hopefully) evening!  Oh - and I mustn't forget that luscious chocolate cake now must I?  I reckon that I have deserved it!

Sunday, 25 June 2017

My first!

Today, apart from some humble household jobs like mowing the lawn, was another sewing celebration day.  This time it was a visit to a local quilt show - held every other year.  When we last went we were bowled over by the exhibits - this time we were a little more critical.  Not I hasten to add in a bad way but just because we know more now than we did!

On our way in we were given two cards - one for a free coffee and piece of cake (they wrapped mine up to take home and eat after weigh in tomorrow) and one tovote for the best exhibit in show.  I will divulge my vote at the end of this blog but thought that you might like to see some of my contenders and choose for yourself.

 I liked this bag - styled to look like a Lincolnshire scene

Then again this view through a window caught my attention

As did this Klint inspired piece.

Quiltwise this woodland scene was striking

and I could only admire the hours of EPP involved in this quilt and table runner.

Once home I was out in the garden, mowing the lawn as I said, and I passed by the bucket of potatoes.  They fascinate me - how, on earth do you know when they are ready to pick?  So I took a sneaky peak - and look what I am having for tea!  My first home grown potatoes followed by home grown raspberries - I'm living the good life!

On a different note I have mentioned an outstanding birthday present that I had been working on.  well I can now show you since I have given it to Wendy - it was a Lynette Anderson Mushroom    Tri-fold organiser - she was quite pleased!

And my vote?  Well it went to the view through the window - the embroidery was stunning!

Saturday, 24 June 2017

"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee!"

Today has been a lovely, and very self indulgent, workshop day.  Wendy and I headed off to Lincoln to do some needlefelting - a day of stabbing wool fibres into some form of shape!

We started with some red fibres and, after several hours, managed to produce this!

Many hours later - not to mention a lovely lunch(yes Sewingbuddy, I did not have the cake or the pudding!) - my toadstool was complete.  The bee hangs over the flower in the meadow and is quite sweet.

Wendy opted for a smaller jar and made a lady bird on a leaf in her meadow.  I also discovered an intriguing idea for a Christmas present - its useful to meet new people now isn't it?

Next door there was a group of people intriguingly using their sewing machines to draw and colour in some fabric pictures - something to try next time perhaps?

Tonight is my monthly stint at selling ice creams at the local theatre - so its a quick turn around!

Friday, 23 June 2017

Waynetta returns!

Another day for chauffeur Dobbo - first up was a visit to the local doctors surgery so that Mum and Dad could sign on - it takes 3 weeks after submitting the form!!  Then it was on to an Oak furniture shop (after "donating" two large bags of towels and sheets to a charity bin!!) where Dad ordered the bookcase that he had seen last week.  Normally they would deliberate and then make a decision - not this turbo pair!  Not only did they order a bookcase, but also a cupboard for the bathroom, a toybox to store games and puzzles in the study and a side cabinet for the lounge to help keep it clutter free.  Everything is being delivered next Tuesday.

Worn out by this unusual spending spree, they walked back to the car past an appropriately named lawnmower centre.  Let's just pop in to see what they have on offer (their current one is a cheap non self propelled version- apparently).  They came out having bought a machine which will be delivered and set up next week - the company will also collect and return the machine every year when they want it to be serviced.  I was not sure how to cope with all of this impulse buying and it didn't bode well for our next stop off - the Hyundai garage!

Fortunately the car Dad was interested in was too low (they are used to a higher car) and we left the garage with just my seat belt!

Next up was lunch at the garden centre and the cause of the title.  Some years ago Harry Enfield did a sketch with Kathy Burke - Wayne and Waynetta - the slobs.  Since then if Mum has dropped something down her top she has laughed and called herself Waynetta - modesty prevents me from taking photos and recalling the incident details but I guess that you are ahead of me here!

By now we were flagging and so popped over to Morrisons - only to be met with a blue light ambulance screeching to a halt.  Clearly we didn't stop to gawp and just got on with the shopping (Mum is relishing having a fridge and adores her ice cube maker - small things I know).  With an additional stop off at B & Q for shelving and coat hooks (don't ask), I had time to take them home, unload the car, have a coffee and put a duvet on one of the spare beds, before turning round and picking Jean and her husband up from the train station.  Phew - its good to be home!

Thursday, 22 June 2017

A new seat belt - on order!

Let's start with the good news - Daisy slept through last night.  Or, rather, I didn't hear her whining until I got up around 7:45 am -what a result!  She then proceeded to turn on her "aren't I beautiful" look as she went straight back to sleep as I had breakfast!


A couple of weeks ago, I took the dog guard out of my car so that we could take some tall step ladders up to Mum and Dad's new house.  BAD IDEA!!  Several days ago, Dad sat in the back of the car and noticed a rather dog eared seat belt - Daisy had clearly been attacking it - the dog guard had kept it away from her before!  So, the first job today was to visit my friendly garage and arrange for a new one to be bought (I'm picking it up tomorrow) and then fitted - next Tuesday.  It's a good job that no one has been sitting there!  The garage suggested that I bought a muzzle as well!

After that excitement, it was on to Lidl (which has just been rebuilt) to buy some of this week's special offers for Mum, before coming home and walking the dogs - dodging the shot outbursts of rain that have come our way today and are much needed.

This afternoon was really indulgent -working on that birthday gift (the end is in sight now) - whilst nipping out to the garden to pick a bowlful of raspberries for tea - mmmm.

Tonight I plan to start knitting some yellow hearts - the WI near Grenfell Towers has asked for knitted / crochet hearts to be sent down to them so that they can surprise the local residents (yellow being the symbol colour for missing people).  I thought that I would do my bit.  Although I would normally do a link at this point, it occurred tome that you may not be able to see the request if you are not a member of the WI page - so please forgive me for pasting the whole message below.  If you can help in any way then please contact the organiser for an address to send them to.  Alternatively I do have it so please contact me if you are able to.

Many thanks

"Solidarity with Grenfell Tower Through Yellow Ribbons and Hearts
Thank you to all members of the UFWI page for their ongoing interest in the on-the-ground relief efforts for those affected by the tragic events at Grenfell Tower.
Many of you have contacted us to ask what you can do to show your support in these early days - especially when the call for donations of provisions has now ceased due to overwhelming response. Our time will come when we will be able to apply more practical support and we will pass on instruction accordingly, but until then…
As long-time residents of the area surrounding Grenfell Tower, we write to you as an appeal to direct as much light and love to our neighborhood in its time of need. At a peaceful protest yesterday we walked alongside victims of the terrible fire and representatives of every community to launch the Justice 4 Grenfell campaign. It was here that we were inspired to engage with you, fellow members of the WI, to show these very people your love and support through this dark time.
The yellow ribbon is internationally recognised as a symbol of the missing and many people in and around the Grenfell site have adopted this to represent those that they have lost in the fire. Local residents have started to tie ribbons around trees and fence posts to remember those of our community who we too have lost.
Our proposal is that we show our support in the form of crocheted/knitted yellow ribbons and hearts which can be added to this area to bring about a feeling of love and above all, support.
What's next?
You crochet or knit as many BRIGHT yellow hearts or ribbons as you can and post them to us by Sunday 2nd July. Go as big or as small as you like, as long as the finished result is made of yarn! On the evening of Monday 3rd July we will take everything to the Grenfell area and will work alongside volunteers from the local area to enhance the environment with everything you've sent to us so that when residents awake on Tuesday 4th July (nearly 3 weeks since the fire), they will have a sea of beautiful yellow yarn to make them smile. We will be attaching them to fences, light posts, trees and anything we can find. Please consider this when sending (i.e stringing hearts in to bunting or providing extra string for easy attachment to objects). We will take photos of the final results and post them here for all to see.
How do we get them to you?
Please drop either of us a message for the best postal address to send them to.
PLEASE BE MINDFUL - we are two people who would appreciate you to organise your collective efforts to donate as best as you can so that we are not inundated with messages. We are both dedicating a lot of our time to the relief effort on the ground at Grenfell so would appreciate your respecting that by getting together to donate if you are doing so as a WI or collective of friends.
We look forward to receiving your beautiful, handmade displays of love.
Joanne and Melissa
(Gothic Valley WI, Middlesex Federation)

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Take five phones - please!

Today was allocated as a day to help Mum and Dad unpack endless boxes - made all the better by taking the pooches with me.  So, after an early morning sewing session (things started to go wrong after yesterday's post!!) off we went.  Over coffee, the jobs started to stack up - starting with trying to solve their phone dilemma. They had a phone line, allegedly, and had bought new phones on Monday, yet nothing worked.  I think that its fair to say that Dad was at the point of throwing them out of the window!  Having been forewarned about this particular problem, I took my phone with me and plugged it in - nothing!  Then i took the front plate off which, I had learnt last year, has a test socket hidden inside.  Upon plugging the phone in everything started to work.  Brilliant - we had a line.  Yet, when we plugged their new phones in there was no signal and i could ring them but the phone didn't make a ringing noise. After a number of different combinations and endless reading of the user guide, I rang the BT hotline - who declared the phones to be not working, gave me a reference number and told me to return them to get the money back - cue a visit to Tesco's!  Long story sort, I have left them with my spare phone and their two old ones - every should be okay now!

Next up was Bedroom 2 - you could hardly get into the bedroom for all the boxes and bags.  After some judicious tidying away, not to mention filling a bag with enough surplus towels to supply a small army, it was then out to the car and round to their local recycling centre where a charity bin requested sheets and towels -amongst other items.

Then it was a quick phone call to the washing machine supplier - mum had lost the receipt and needed it for the 10 year warranty - could they email a replacement?  No sooner said than it was done!

Of curse the dogs had had a great day - playing and running around in the garden (Daisy chasing Maisie around the gazebo was a sight to behold) - with Daisy finding a hole in the fence to escape into the next door garden - not once, not twice but three times.  Fortunately (Did I really say that?) she came back each time and the hole is now blocked!

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Phew - made it! Bunting fest is over!

With the temperature dropping by 10 degrees overnight, it was a real pleasure to have to wear a jacket to walk the dogs today!  I don't know - we moan when its too hot / too cold / too wet / too dry!!

With a day at home planned, it was a quick tidy around and then down to some serious sewing.  My brother is getting married in the summer and they asked for 100 m of "bish bash bosh" bunting as my wedding gift to them -well, I kept going until I ran out of fabric but they should have more than enough - it was a relief to get it finished and will be posted tomorrow - hopefully.

With sewing dictating the mood, I then set to making an overdue birthday present - can't show you yet but it is coming along really nicely.   I also received a much waited for email from Lynette Anderson with a swap challenge for her workshop in August - an embroidery pattern which then has to be incorporated into a mug rug - which we will then swap with someone at the workshop - my mind is full of ideas at the moment!

Of course you have to have some background "noise" whilst sewing and normally I would have the radio on.  However, today I was watching (more like listening) a quilt version of the Sewing Bee.  I was both impressed with their ideas, relieved that my finishing seems to be better than theirs and appalled by the bitchy comments.  However it made interesting viewing and I certainly didn't agree with the judges decision as to who to eliminate - you can watch it here (well, the first three episodes anyway!)

The main event of the day, however, was not the copious amount of sewing, or even the finishing of the bunting, but the spotting of the lesser spotted council employee cutting my verge.  Never, in the 26 years that I have lived here, have the council cut my grass verge - yet someone does it today (three days after I had done it!)  Could this be a new service?   Doubt it - maybe Britain in Bloom judges are about to appear!

Monday, 19 June 2017

Cruella de Vil !!

Well, my crafty plan worked - sort of!   I slept upstairs and didn't hear Daisy until around 4:30am.  I then turned the radio on low and dozed for another couple of hours - by which time she was really giving it some welly!  I say slept - did anyone sleep last night. It was really hot - especially upstairs!

The first task of the day, after some housework, was another round of bunting - 90m down, 10 to go!  Of course both Daisy and Millie were in the craft room fast asleep at this point - great eh?  Then it was off to pick a friend and her husband off ad take them to the train station.  They don't often go away for a holiday together and it was cute to see her husband really quite excited!

After that it was onto Slimming world for a morning weigh in (stayed the same - Mum reckons its her fault!) and then onto Mum's via Tesco.  Mum and Dad wanted me to pick up some new phones and a fan (they literally only had 3 left!).  I also picked up a small gazebo that they were selling for £15 - it won't be the best but it will offer mum and Dad some much needed shade!  Mind you, its a good thing that no one was watching Mum and I put it up!

The main event of the day would be the delivery of the large fridge freezer (they have been using cool boxes for the last week and are getting fed up of things going off!), washing machine and tumble dryer.  As we chatted over lunch it was agreed that i should ring the firm to see what time they would arrive.  Er, they said that we were down for delivery tomorrow and not this afternoon - er, no!  I gave it to them with both barrels (politely of course) - I pointed out that we had agreed this afternoon and I was not prepared to see my elderly parents suffering in this heat for a day longer!  Everything arrived by mid afternoon!

Over an afternoon cuppa, we decided to try those fancy biscuits that I had bought them as a house moving present - they were very nice!  However when Mum decided to eat "Maisie" - and feed Maisie with a piece of "Maisie" then it all seemed a bit Cruella de Vil - hence the title !

With a kitchen emerging from the chaos, I am promised that my next visit on Wednesday will astound me!  Meanwhile I can start to focus on the much neglected hand sewing!

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Happy Father's Day xx

Today started far too early - Daisy was at it again - whining and howling, getting noisier by the minute, from 2:30am. She never wants to go out just to get up - so I did like the experts suggest and ignored her the best I could.  TWO HOURS later she was still at it but getting so loud I began to worry about the neighbours and so gave in.  Tonight I am planning on using the upstairs bedroom -Mum and Dad say that they never hear her so let's test that notion!

The plan, today, was to drive Mum and Dad to church this morning.  They had gone to a Jo Cox inspired afternoon tea yesterday and this is all part of meeting new people and, hopefully, making new friends.  After I had dropped them off, I popped to Morrisons and then found a shaded avenue to park on and wait.  My cousin would be proud of me - I even did some knitting whilst I waited!


With temperatures rising (the car read 30 degrees this afternoon!) we enjoyed a leisurely lunch with the arrival of one of my brothers, Graham, and his wife Janet.  Graham had bought Dad some cricket wickets and some special balls so that they could get some practise in before my younger brother's wedding in August and an inter-family cricket competition.  As Dad and Graham measured out the correct length for the wicket (22 yards we are told) we were all surprised at how long it was - mum said that it didn't look as far on the tv!  Dad plans to practise his bowling -although he may just regret that in the morning!

As the power washer emerged from Graham's car to clean the bench we all gave Mum and Dad for their 40th wedding anniversary, I took my leave and came home to open the windows and sort the dogs out. With a little breeze here, it was really nice to sit inside and sew bunting for the afore mentioned wedding - 70m down and 30m to go - I've nearly  cracked it!