Friday 29 October 2010

Half-term Slobbery

The kids and I have had the most lovely, relaxed half-term: they've had friends round to play most days, yet the house only got trashed once - note to self: of Destructo Boy's friends, only ever have ONE at a time to play.

We stayed up late at night, and got up late in the morning. We averted the crisis (but not the drama - she isn't named Mini-Diva for no reason) of unexpected glue-lessness by an emergency trip to the pound shop. We ate junk food (I can only eat hotdogs if I don't think about what's in them). We left our hair unbrushed.

We sloughed around in our scufty clothes. We had a magical film marathon: every DVD we watched involved magic of some sort, although Destructo Boy doesn't understand why (a) not all witches are bad (b) I don't have purple eyes.

Anne Lambton in 'The Witches'

Juice was spilt all over the floor only once - and, for a wonder, not by Destructo Boy - and nothing is broken except for me: but the amitriptyline should take care of that.

And right now I am feeling very positive about the Sweater of Doom Mark II: I made a start almost as soon as the yarn was delivered, and after 1 ball, I have this to show for it:

It takes nearly an hour, I think, to complete the 8 rows of the pattern repeat. I don't know whether I might have bitten off more than I can chew, in terms of size .... I'm so much more used to baby and children's knitting, that this seems a giant, mehusive project, even if we don't factor in that I'm knitting the 48'' size - the largest. I just need a place to hide it, and something else to knit that will be convincingly slow so that he won't comment on the lack of progress on it during the week.

It's just over 6 weeks until the Xmas school holidays ...

Monday 25 October 2010

Family Time

Mini Diva having fallen out with her best friend, and it being the 1st weekend of half-term, she didn't go to dancing on Saturday. Instead we all had a lazy morning, not getting up until around 8am - and even that was because we could no longer deny the pangs of hunger.

A quick tootle into town for fresh fruit and a visit to the library was our only outing this weekend; as the weather has been sunny (cold, of course, but sunny) the kids were out on their bicycles playing with the other kids in the neighborhood: this, to me, is what it's supposed to be like when you're a kid.

On Sunday, once the chores were done, we spent the rest of the day playing on the Playstation 2; I had only seen one of Destructo Boy's 4 birthday games in action, and I wanted to see a different one ... preferably that did not involve cars.

So we ended up playing this:

It was great fun, and DH displayed a hitherto unsuspected gift for being able to achieve the really difficult bits - spinning Melman round his enclosure cleaning up rubbish and tranking the psycho-guard/hunter and sailors whilst simultaneously cooking superb omelettes for dinner; the kids were particularly good at King Julian's dancing mini-game. I was especially fond of attaining Gloria's Double Butt-Bounce ....

Thursday 21 October 2010

Sweater of Doom Mk II ?

Since lovely people keep paying me to do readings for them - brilliant, since I am a tarot reader, after all - I blew some of it on some Stylecraft Life Aran. Quite a lot of Stylecraft Life Aran, actually, since it is to attempt a sweater for DH, who is nothing at all like a shrimp in size. No matter that this is the yarn - and even the same color (charcoal) - that the Sweater of Doom was made with: I know no fear, and try to ignore jinxes.

The pattern is a cabled shawl-collar sweater which looks straightforward ... can you see the stockinette stitch sections ? On the stick-boy mini-model they used for the photo, it amounts to mere inches; for DH, that will become acres. I have two possible deadlines - his birthday (the big Four- Oh this year) and/or Christmas. I shall cast on with good intentions (and we know which road is paved with those, don't we ?) when it arrives.

In other news, I have another doctor's appointment scheduled next week, as the results of my thyroid test were in the low part of the range, and I'm increasingly aware of how uncomfortable I am with the emotional un-inhibitedness which is becoming slowly harder to control, as I realized when facing Destructo Boy's frumpy, smug school receptionist yesterday: I only just kept it together without swearing or smashing something. I feel like I'm simmering all the time, and it takes nothing at all to make me boil over: Rage is becoming my middle name.

Today I talked my father through setting up an account on Facebook, cleaned the bathroom, kitchen and windows - while saving the thrills of hoovering and mopping for tomorrow; unedifying, you might think. But I was speaking with a friend of mine who is still in the career I left - and I am grateful to him, because it reminded me why I left, and that when I feel a pang, that's all it is - a pang.

And I've been asked to do a test knit, read someone's novel to check technical background, review a tarot book, and an interview ... which is really exciting, for me. Watch this space ....

Tuesday 19 October 2010

At Last

Well, I haven't had anything much to say recently; I've been preoccupied with just the simple day to day aspects of living ... get up, make packed lunch, wake the kids, feed them breakfast, get them to school ....yanno, boring routine stuff.

Which tells you how well-organized I am, and how well Breakfast Club for Destructo Boy is working: thanks to the intervention of his teacher when she heard about the 2 kids, 2 schools debacle, she made space in the Breakfast Club so that I can take Mini Diva to school at least 3 days a week; the other two days, she walks with her friend Regan and his Mum; and because she has an extra-curricular activity almost every day, Destructo Boy and I get to go and collect her 4 out of 5 afternoons too. I don't know whether she will be able to stand the pace as the school year lengthens, especially as the days are getting to be as dark and dreary as the nights .....

Fortunately I've managed to get over my knitting hump - thanks to Film4 running a Star Trek weekend: all 10 films (but not last year's release) over the course of two days was a great help; I managed to finally complete Mini Diva's school cardigan for this year:

The lacy cables are quite pretty, but the yarn (Patons Fab DK in Jade) is quite harsh and stiff until it has been washed and fabric conditioned.

I also completed another scarf for the Xmas stash; this one in Spider Stitch from the Barbara Walker Treasury Vol.II, using the softest Sirdar Blur in Lilac, on 5mm needles:

And I have started on my last ball of Kidsilk Haze ... another Xmas stash scarf ... I need to do a formal recce, to see what I have left to knit ...

Monday 11 October 2010

End of the Season

A fantabulous weekend was had by all, in spite of DH having read my last blog post; I told him he was free to start his own and say whatever he wanted about me ... within reason. It'll never happen.

Destructo Boy and three friends went to the matinee at the cinema to see Space Chimps 2; DH's bet was that there'd be a minimum of one poop joke: there were none. What a wasted opportunity. The tickets cost DH £5 all together; the popcorn and fizzy pop, over £16 ... but how can you not buy it for a bunch of 5 year olds ?

Nanny arrived, and took the kids to their favorite place, Christchurch Park, for the afternoon while DH and I ran up to B&Q for some winter bedding: a tray of 18 primulas, 6 cyclamen, 6 heathers, and an ornamental sedge (so potbound I could divide it into 3 plants), all for a mere £9: everything was in the reduced section, and at B&Q it usually means that either someone only forgot to water the plant, or it has finished flowering ....

Sunday, after Destructo Boy had ripped and torn his way through his stash of gifts, which included his tickets to see ITFC play, a pogo stick, a Kung Zhu Battle Hamster, a metal detector (a huge hit) and the Ferrari steering wheel for the PS2, we went to check out a potential place/group for Destructo Boy to go play football. We have 3 other possible groups, all kindly suggested by John Potter of Ransomes Sports Club, which we'll check out by phone this week.

I have planted the winter bedding, the summer bedding is all in the recycling bin, so now the patio is looking kinda empty and sparse ... a small trough of cut-and-come-again lettuces, a chilli plant, and the lemon verbena is all that remains of the summer ....

The sun is out, but there is a chilly breeze ....

Friday 8 October 2010

Bronze or Pottery

Today it is my 8th wedding anniversary, so I'm feeling quite celebratory that we've reached it: there have been a couple or three very tough times in there; we're both incredibly stubborn, which, although that can be detrimental to a relationship, can also mean that one doesn't walk out at the first hint of trouble.

Hypocrisy, you think ? After all, my first marriage failed: but you can't keep someone where they don't want to be, especially when they turned into a person totally different from the one you married, and refuse all help for their mental and substance abuse problems.

Anyway, never mind all that old poop, I'm happy to be talking about my current DH. He isn't, of course - he says I shouldn't write about him and give my biassed opinions about him since I'm not him, and it isn't fair as he can't put his point of view. He rarely reads this blog - he's an IT Luddite, he doesn't even have an email address - so I'm pretty much safe.

At the same time, I don't really do maudlin sentimentality - certainly not when I'm sober - so I'll just say that he's brilliant at cooking and fixing, a great Dad (most of the time) and even better at Other Stuff (I'm English enough to leave it enticingly at that); he can be very supportive and he usually knows when not to say anything rather than saying the wrong thing. He says he's romantic, but does nothing to prove it. In my opinion.

He kicks my butt when I need it, gives me unpleasant reality checks when I need it - and these are the things that make me occasionally contemplate divorce, or murder. Most likely murder, though, as it's cheaper. Then he smiles at me and I forgive him - again. Destructo Boy is also demonstrating that he has inherited this ability to charm his way out of trouble ....

Since the 8th anniversary is bronze or pottery, I found this lovely heart-shaped bowl:

Beautifully handmade by Susan, I got it through her Folksy shop, Caractacus Pots.

Here's a photo to show the color and glaze:

And here is what I have done with it - filled it with Hershey's Caramel Kisses mixed with Reese's Peanutbutter Cups:

It's also oven-proof, so it can be used practically and not just ornamentally after all the candy is gone's that for a definition of marriage. Plus, it's additional ammo to throw at him - and I do mean literally - during our next argument.

Tuesday 5 October 2010

Reminders of Yesterday

So rather than dwell on the weight-gain trough I'm wallowing in (another additional 14lbs in about 2 months!) which resulted in a visit to the doctor's today and a blood test for hypothyroidism, anaemia and diabetes, for the results of which I am waiting, let's talk about the blast from the past that Destructo Boy's upcoming 5th birthday has inspired ....

Today I tootled down to the ITFC shop to pick up Belo's birthday present to Destructo Boy:

Although not a footie follower, I do remember Ipswich being successful when I was young, with players like Paul Mariner and John Wark in the team.

Walking back up to the town - and incidentally noticing that the recession is even hitting the Aston dealer, since DH's dream car, this:

is now retailing for only a mere £166,995, about £12K less than usual - if we skip next week's grocery shop, we should be able to afford it ...... Oh yes, where was I ? Walking back up to town, wasn't it ? I passed a chap who smelled of this:

A fragrance that, for me, is inextricably linked to the 80s, along with Obsession, Opium and Poison. A chill breeze (not so much of a blast) from even further back is Destructo Boy's present from us, which reminds me of my childhood in the 70s ....

along with Chopper bikes and space hoppers; not that we had any of those. It just goes to show that things go round in circles. What is currently Cool will become very Uncool (Ben10, for us right now .... of course, just after we stashed a Ben10 hat, gloves and scarf for Xmas - so if you want them, message me to arrange a barter) ... repeat throughout history.

And luckily there was an extra-cheery lift to the day, from Tracy, who asked if she could feature my Aztec Queen vanilla/chocolate cocoa butter-laden soap in her chocolate-themed Misi Monday over at her blog: thanks, Tracy.