Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Bits And Pieces

Well, since my previous post, I'm happy to say I'm feeling a lot better, both physically and emotionally. Today is the first day of spring, and this coming weekend the clocks go forward, and there's definitely a feeling of brighter days ahead. I can't wait!

As I haven't been blogging much lately, I feel like I've missed out on so many things that I wanted to write about, so this post is going to be a bit of a mish-mash of some old stuff, and some more recent.

Firstly, I have been working on my ripple blanket lately, but I'm a bit annoyed because I forgot to take a photo of it earlier when I had my camera out, so that will have to wait till next time. It's coming on ok though, slow and steady. Also, as an 'inbetween' project, I've been crocheting another dishcloth, but I might as well wait till that's finished to take a photo. Not that it's anything exciting! We'd been using one that I'd actually knitted, when I was still dabbling in that, but it finally started looking a bit worse for wear, so I threw it out and started on the bobble crochet one (can't remember if I ever showed you that). Chris likes it, but I think it's a bit 'holey' - I think I used trebles, and it's kind of stretched now, so when you pick it up, your fingers come through the holes. I mentioned this to Chris and his answer was to just make another, but I said I didn't have any cotton. I never thought any more about it, but then a few days later he came home from work and he'd bought me two balls of cotton, specifically for dishcloths! I was a bit amazed that he'd remembered, and got the right yarn (although he did ask the lady in the shop). So no excuses now, I can make a few more cloths.

Changing the subject! Chris's mum and dad have got three dogs - a terrier called Jack, a German Shepherd called Sam and Bess, who is a cross, but we're not sure what! She's got the colouring of a German Shepherd, but quite a small, lean frame. Anway, a few months back, Bess was in season, so they were making sure that they kept Sam away from her. Chris went over to visit one day, and his mum and dad were just popping out so he was under strict instructions to keep Sam and Bess seperate. Well, you can guess the rest, can't you? Chris got a bit distracted, probably went for a wander in the garden or something, and he came back to find Sam having his wicked way with Bess. Oh dear. Let's just say Chris is not too old to still get a good telling off from his mother!! So a few months later, what do we have? Four adorable little puppies! I tried to take some photos but I only had my phone with me, and unfortunately they all came out a bit dark. This was about the best one - there are three of them here (I think!), all attacking his mum's slipper:

Think they were 5 weeks old when I took this

Two have since found new homes; the other two are still at his parent's house - if they can find a home for one more, they might just keep one for themselves. Next time I go over I'll see if I can get a better photo, although they'll obviously be a lot bigger now. Sam is huge, so I think they're taking after their dad!

I had a bit of a tidy up yesterday in the spare bedroom. Over time it gradually gets very untidy, and I'm afraid to say it's all my stuff, I have to take the blame for it all. Last time I tried to have a clear out in there I discovered that I owned nearly every plastic carrier bag in the known universe, or at least, that's what it looked like. I tend to hang on to them, just in case. You never know when you might just need a carrier bag. But maybe three black bin liners full of carriers was a bit excessive. Anyway, Chris got rid of most of them, and only allowed me to keep a small selection. My other big problem is paperwork. I've always described myself as someone who likes organizing, but I think I've just been lying to myself, because I'm rubbish at it! Maybe if I had loads and loads of space, with drawers, shelves, files etc then I might be better, but in the limited space I have, paperwork just piles up. It's mostly just certain things that you get through the post, maybe from the bank or somewhere like that; you don't really know what to do with it, but you feel like you shouldn't throw it away. So it gets filed. In a drawer somewhere. And the other thing I get a lot of now (I'm sooo turning into my mother) is catalogues. Not the big fashion ones, but the ones from places like Lakeland and House Of Bath, because I once ordered something from them. I admit I quite like looking through them, but then it just seems to take me ages to get around to throwing them out. So yesterday I filled two carrier bags (you see, they do come in useful!) with old paperwork and catalogues that were to throw out. It felt good.

Our cats have had a lot of toys bought for them over the years, but one thing that they seem to get a lot of enjoyment out of is the simple ping-pong ball. Every now and again, they have a mad half hour, chasing one around the living room. A few months ago we were in the supermarket and noticed a pack of 'reduced flight golf balls' - they're made of foam rubber so they don't go as far, presumably they're for practicing with. As they were a similar size to the ping-pong balls, we thought they'd be perfect for the cats so decided to treat them. When we got home we basically emptied the whole packet out. Another game that the cats enjoy is if we throw the balls upstairs; they chase them up and either catch them at the top, or if the ball bounces off the wall, they chase it back down again. Eventually, there are balls scattered all over the house. Millie is especially fond of the foam rubber balls, because she can pick them up in her mouth. She's been known to carry them upstairs, and from room to room. Occasionally they end up under my wardrobe. Yesterday it occurred to me that I hadn't seen many of these balls around, so I thought I'd check if there were any under there. I've got a long piece of wood that I use to sweep them out. Guess how many I found? This many:

12 'golf balls' plus a stripy one which was her first favourite
I left them in the middle of the spare bedroom floor, and we were woken in the early hours by Millie chasing one around our bedroom. The little angle.*

A couple of months back I was having a bit of a crisis about what to do with my wool stash. I had a lot of yarn that I'd been given, but then I bought all that Stylecraft and didn't have anywhere to put it. So we re-jigged a bit of furniture, and moved a spare set of drawers which weren't really being used, into the bedroom. I managed to cram all my yarn into them, and decided to try and keep them as my little crafty area.

I didn't take a photo of the drawers open, but trust me, they're full!

 For Christmas and my birthday I acquired quite a few books, to the extent that I now have 'a collection'. The knitting book at the bottom was given to me by my auntie a while ago, who also supplied me with most of my knitting needles and crochet hooks. My mum bought me the Sewing Bible a few years back, probably in the hope that I'd get a sewing machine and learn to use it so that I didn't have to keep asking her to alter clothes for me. It hasn't happened yet. I bought Knitting In No Time myself, from the book club at work, but all the others were presents this Christmas/birthday. I'm really pleased with my collection, so far.

 Next to the books is a tin that once contained a Jeremy Fisher ornament, from Beatrix Potter (I collect frogs, and have a few Jeremy Fisher items). Inside are all my crochet hooks, although I had to stand them in a pen pot otherwise some of the shorter ones were nearly lying flat across the bottom of the tin.  

 Next to the tin are some jars and a fancy little box with a fluffy lid. Chris went through a phase of collecting jars, so a colleague at work used to give me her used coffee jars for him. Then he decided he didn't want them anymore, so I kept the last few for myself. My mum gave me the box, I think it might have once contained talc with one of those 'powder puffs'. In one jar I'm keeping all my snipped-off ends - I don't really know why. I think I've seen other people do it and it looked nice. The other two jars, and the box, contain hundreds of identical buttons in a kind of brownish-purple colour. Chris found a box of them at his mum's and brought them back for me (she didn't want them), probably because I once said I wouldn't mind having a button collection. If you ever want a brownish-purple button (or several) let me know.

Button, anyone?
So there you go, my crafty (but mostly yarny and crochety) drawers!

I popped out into the garden this morning to take some photos of the buds that are appearing on the fruit trees, because they've really started to open up just in the last few days.

A peach tree - Chris is hopeful he'll get fruit off it this year
Plum tree
apple tree
We've got another plum tree which had amazing fruit on it last year. It was in a tub, but Chris planted it in the garden a couple of months back, and I forgot to take a photo of it, but I think it's got loads of buds on too, so fingers crossed for more delicious plums this year.

When I was taking my garden photos last year, do you remember the big tree at the end of the garden? I made a collage of it in this post. Well, in February, it got chopped down. Can you see the stumps?

Pic wouldn't upload properly for some reason
 It's not actually in our garden, but in the one behind ours, so obviously they can do what they like with it. I'm just glad I got to finish my monthly photos of it! I think Chris is kind of pleased, because it lets a bit more light into his greenhouse.

When I came back upstairs after taking my photos, look who'd made himself comfortable on my camera bag!

Cheeky monkey!
Anyway, I think that's all for now. I told you it would be a bit all over the place! I'm glad I've finally caught up on some of the things I wanted to blog about though.

Bye for now!!

* I once came across a tribute page on Facebook (or somewhere like that) to a young person who had died (I didn't know them). The girl's best friend had set it up, and had tried to write a moving and heartfelt message about her friend. She'd written something like "now there is one more angel up in Heaven", but unfortunately she spelt angel wrong, so it actually said "now there is one more angle up in Heaven". I know you shouldn't laugh really, but it kind of amused me, although I did think it was a shame that the message had been spoiled slightly by bad spelling. We used to refer to the cats as 'little angels', usually in a sarcastic way when they were being naughty, but ever since I saw that, we always call them 'little angles' now.

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