Friday, July 24, 2015

this is what happens...

...when you let a three-year-old choose her own outfits.  I'd thoroughly recommend it!

Remember when I made this bee romper for Dulcie?  I thought she'd grown out of it ages ago.  Actually, she only grew out of it...six months ago?  Ha!  Well, she can squeeze into it still.  Just.  I'm happy for it to get one last outing/hoorah.  It's such a lovely romper.  I don't think I'll ever be able to part with it, but it's sad to think it will never be worn again.  Damn my sentimentality!  Damn it to hell!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

summer postcard club 2015

Graham and I have had a very productive day of wedding business today*, so I decided to take half an hour out this afternoon, to relax and write my postcards for Marceline's Summer Postcard Club.  I have a huge stash of old postcards (some that I've been hoarding for almost 20 years) and it was fun to pick a few out to send on to new homes.  I hope the recipients like them!

* I say this as if it was really taxing, but today's jobs involved hanging out in our favourite old-school cafe for a while and charity shopping for side plates and serving dishes.  Pretty much my dream day!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I might as well confess

I haven't been swimming since I completed the Channel challenge and I'm meant to be 160-odd lengths in to the four-month challenge by now.  I've decided to postpone, I'm afraid.  I'm so busy with the wedding and (even more so) getting the flat sorted in time for the wedding, and swimming is just too time consuming an activity at the moment.  I've been going on my exercise bike instead, though even that not as much as I ought to.  I'm cutting myself some slack.  I'll only get married once (hopefully) and (hopefully) I'll be a swimmer for life.  So, for now, I'm going to squeeze in the odd swim as and when I can and start the four-month challenge in September.  Phew, it feels good to confess that!  The blog is also taking more and more of a backseat for the same reasons.  Meh, blogging mojo comes and goes with me.  I'll come back to it soon, I'm sure.

The upside of all this is that real real-life progress is being made.  I'll try to share some photos soon.

Right, better go.  Dulcie came down with a stomach bug at about 1.30am last night, so we're both having an unexpected day off work/nursery.  She's being such a brave soldier.  I totally love that girl, smelling of puke or otherwise.  She's currently asleep on the living room floor.  I wrestled myself out of a two-hour long cuddle a little while ago, only for her to roll over on top of my feet.  Oh well, at least I'm on the couch now, with the computer and TV remote within arm's reach.  And we watched The Wizard Of Oz (first time for Dulcie) at 5am.  I guess tummy bugs do have their upsides if you look hard enough.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

what not to do on the hottest day of the year

Back when my wedding wasn't less than two months away (how did that happen?!) I had great ambitions for just how handmade the whole shebang would be.  That's why today, I find myself learning how to make felt balls.  Yes, I'm playing with wool and a hot kettle on the warmest day of the year.  Well, it's not THAT warm really and I am wearing shorts.  We've got workmen in today, building the bookshelves I've wanted for well over a decade and I need to be on hand for creative/design purposes (not really - I just need to choose what size of shelves my books need etc.) so I figured something like this was as productive a use of my time in the house as anything else.  I'm sure the joiners think I'm crazy.  I often get embarrassed when I'm caught making things that your average person (myself included) would think was a colossal waste of time.

Part of my reason for making the felt balls myself, when they're only destined to become one of very many garlands that nobody will particularly notice, was because I wanted to try felting, but another major consideration was cost.  Well, it definitely is working out cheaper to make my own from scratch, but not significantly so and I don't think I'll ever complain about the cost of pre-made felt balls again.  These little guys are way more time consuming than I'd imagined and much harder work too.  Thank goodness I did all that swimming to get my arm muscles ready for this!

Here's hoping my other decoration plans are a bit easier/more efficient.  And here's hoping the finished result is deemed to be worth the effort.  Oh yeah, and here's hoping we manage to get everything done on time.  Did I mention these felt balls are pretty much the only wedding-related thing so far to get beyond the imaginary stage?  Stress!

P.S.  While this isn't needle felting (I'm doing wet felting like a felting pleb) I'm going to tag this post with Craftathon 2015.  And I'm pretty sure I'm going to have plenty of wool left over, so hopefully needle felting will happen before the year is out.  The felting process is definitely weirdly satisfying, so I look forward to exploring some more.

P.P.S.  I really missed a trick by not including some variation on the hilarious, "I felt balls!"  Oh, wait, I just did :)

Monday, June 29, 2015

switch off your tv set and do something less boring instead

Dulcie and I took the bus to Edinburgh last week in order to find this house.  Do you recognise it?  It's Great Aunt Lizzie's house from CBeebies' Teacup Travels, a very old-fashioned show about ancient history.  I mistakenly thought I'd seen this house not too far from us in Glasgow and foolishly mentioned it to Dulcie before googling and finding out it was in another city entirely.  Well, Edinburgh is not that far really and is full of friends I've been meaning to catch up with, so we hopped on the bus and set off, meeting my friend Lorna once we got there.

We knew the house was somewhere in Princes Street Gardens, but where?  After a few hours' wandering, we had found some ice cream, an amazing play park, plenty of sticks and insects, a bench dedicated to Hugh MacDiarmid, a giant boulder from Norway...but no house.  Eventually we gave up and set off for home, only to stumble across the house right beside the gate we'd entered the park by!  Thank goodness, after all that, that Dulcie was actually suitably impressed and it wouldn't have been half as much fun if we hadn't had to search for it.  We squeezed in a quick cuppa (with Dulcie inexplicably stripping off in the middle of the cafe) before jumping back on the bus to Glasgow.

So a totally random daytrip, but very enjoyable nonetheless.  It's nice that Dulcie's getting to an age where she wants to go on these mini adventures.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

swim sunday #25


Lengths swum this week: 72
Target total this week: 1360
Total lengths swum: 1360

Je l'ai nage la Manche! (Translation: I've swum the Channel!)

I completed my Channel challenge on Monday, with an epic 72-length swim and 8 days to spare!  Yippee!  Given where I was at with this a few weeks back, I can't quite believe I made it, but I totally did!  I've been feeling very proud of myself all week :)

Swimming 80+ lengths a week now turned out to be easier than it was to swim 50+ lengths a week in the beginning, so I'm going to attempt to swim back in four months rather than six, meaning I should land in "Dover" by Halloween.  Yes, I'm doing it all again.  While it would be nice to think I could swim aimlessly and achieve the same result fitness-wise, I know I need a weekly kick up the arse to keep me on track and motivate me, so, in the words of Edith Piaf, "Je repars a zero," which (I think!) translates as, "I start again from zero." Quite a thought...but, weirdly, not a bad one.

For the swim back, my weeks are going to run Wednesday - Tuesday, so I'll be calling my weekly blog updates Wet Wednesday, unless I can think of something better.  If I've done my sums right, I need to swim an average of 80 lengths a week, but I'm going to try to bank more in the early stages in anticipation of the fact that August's wedding will likely throw a spanner in the works.  Watch this space/the horizon!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

keep smiling through...

I feel bad to post this since Dulcie's been close to angelic for the last 48 hours, but this photo does kind of typify life with this particular 3.5-year-old at the moment, especially life on nursery days.  She knows what she wants and she thinks she knows how to get it :)