Friday, 27 January 2012

Teresa Mary R.I.P.

Today is the 4th anniversary of my mums death.

She was a mother of seven, district nurse, farmers wife and formidable character.
She could frighten a police horse!
My husband has just told me that our dentist told him, she put the fear of God in him the first time he met her, but he grew to really like, appreciate and respect her.
She was the most compassionate person you could ever wish to meet. Her concern for the disadvantaged, suffering or just generally down-at-heel, in everyday life encounters as well as in the news, was genuine. Her  selfless charity , care and going out of her way to help others would astound us if we knew the true depth of it. As it is, we had first hand reports from countless people we didn't even know on the occasion of her death.

Underpinning all her good works was her profound and unshakable faith. Those two qualities of faith and compassion made her the woman she was and moulded us, her seven children, into the people we have become. Sometimes I stop mid-sentence and think, "I sound just like my mother."  At one time that  thought would have horrified me, but now I'm rather proud of it.

I only hope I turn out to be half the woman she was.

God Bless you Mum.
We  love and miss you every day.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Knitaholic Child

Well, 11 year old has duly knitted and pom pommed and produced what I would describe as a smurf hat.....

and here is the side view......

It is from the "knit it stitch it"  book mentioned previously. There were a lot more stitches at the end than at the beginning (17  more to be exact) but who cares?  We think it looks pretty cool regardless.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

A Monthly Make progress.

As you may have seen on my side bar, I have committed to the monthly make for 2012 project hosted by the felt fairy, well here is my progress on my second project intended for a one year old niece......

...actually, I am quite well on with this as I did start it before Christmas. I hope that still counts. And I am not sure if I finish it in January, will it count for my Feb project?? Do you think I am cheating? Either way, it is certainly giving me a shove in the direction of a greater turnout of  handmades so it's all good.

The pattern book is kids in cotton by Sirdar which I bought approx thirteen to fifteen years ago. I have certainly knitted this cardi before for both my own now eleven year old as a baby and one of my sisters too. I also knitted a couple of other things for my oldest girl now eighteen, then approx age four, including the one on the cover if you have clicked on the link. Furthermore, that particular one was handed down and has been worn by her younger sister, now fourteen, and at least two other nieces and is waiting in the wings for youngest niece(currently 12 months)'s that for thrift? It is a great booklet as the patterns are not in the least dated.
I am knitting it in some stash Wendy baby cotton purchased before I was married (that's twenty years) from an old fashioned haberdasher who was closing down. A true vintage piece, wouldn't you agree?

Friday, 13 January 2012

Sunsets and Sisters

Had two gorgeous days here. The sunset last evening was beautiful.  I know it's only January but you cannot deny there is a little bit more light at each end of the day (approx 15 mins per week I am reliably informed by dear husband who is a science teacher,) and I for one feel spring is just around the corner, don't you? This is my bedroom window view.....

..a bit blurry but I love to sit on my bed, knitting in hand, staring.

These are my eldest two. The big one has been home from university for Christmas (1st term) and there has been a fair amount of bickering. They are as different as chalk and cheese. However, she passed her driving test (1st time) two days before Christmas and this evening she took her sis shopping. I think they are pals really. And she is off back to uni on Sunday, so we will all miss her. They grow up so quick.
Ours is a busy household as the youngest is only five and there are six of us without the biggest, but we still feel incomplete when one is missing. I wonder when you get used to that feeling if ever?

I don't think we will ever be without children  though because by the time the youngest is eighteen, the eldest will be thirty one and maybe we will be grandparents by then. Who knows?

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


2lbs lost at weight watchers.......RESULT.
Any old excuse for a drop I say, (it's vintage cider, not bubbly, by the way.)

Monday, 9 January 2012

Books for Brothers

They are just loving the beast quest series and can't get enough of them.

And big sis is very obliging.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Hope for the Future.

Although it was the end of Christmas on Friday, the Epiphany, the catholic church in the UK (unlike the rest of the world apparently) celebrates it on the nearest Sunday, which means today. Another excuse for delaying the diet till tomorrow then!
Our priest gave a very succinct and short (for him) sermon. (As an ardent Manchester City fan he was off to see the F.A. cup tie against Man Utd.)
However, it was very uplifting. He talked about going to see a poorly parishioner during the week and it was a grim, grey, damp, dark and drizzly day. As he drove away from her house, there was a very brief break in the clouds with a glimpse of clear blue sunlit sky. He said it made him feel happy and hopeful.
He likened it to the three wise men making a long and arduous journey, not knowing what they would find at the end but hopeful. And their hope being rewarded when they gazed upon the divine child. Then they made their long and weary way back home, back to everyday life but uplifted by what they had seen.
That is how I feel today, uplifted and hopeful for the future, better able to carry on with the humdrum normality of daily life.
I am not overtly religious, indeed people who are full on about Jesus scare me a little but I do have faith and am a practising RC and not afraid to say so.
My own parish is a good community with strong links between church and school. Our church is a beautiful place,

and I have enjoyed going there over the holiday period. It has been a place of peace and sanctuary and I have been able to ponder, pray and give thanks in a perfect setting. I only wish now I had taken some photos of the interior whilst it was attired for Christmas.
I hope the priest was as uplifted as me because unfortunately Man City were beaten!

On to other things, I have completed my first  knitted project of the year.....

.. a chunky scarf in King Cole that was in a bag of yarn given to me.

Eldest daughter is very pleased with it.
So I am tentatively dipping my toe into the a make a month 2012 pledge. (see side bar.)
Wish me luck.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Hearty Fare

This evening we ate "bacon and lentil soup for lots of people," from the River Cottage Family Cookbook.

It is a stupendous amount of food. Great for gatherings like bonfire parties, (which is the last time I made it) and simple to make.  This book is brilliant for children to use as the recipes are very explicit in terms of instructions.Today I had a bit of willing help..... the form of a five year old.

And this afternoon we enjoyed delicious cake (and I mean DELICIOUS) at a six years old nephews birthday party. Oh the joys of a big family. We are truly blessed.

Friday, 6 January 2012


Today is the feast of the Epiphany and marks the end of the Christmas celebrations.
As children, this would be the day we took down the decorations and dismantled the crib.
For the last few years we have created a largish stable scenario outside our front window made from old pallets and a couple of old calf hurdles from my dads farm. The figures are rudimentary shapes from chicken wire. The donkey is a hobby horse.

Passersby have stopped to admire it.

Anyway, the Epiphany is an excuse for one last feast in my book!
So a Happy Feast Day to you all.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Here Kitty Kitty

Aforementioned 11 year old craft/art loving daughter received a book from Father Christmas entitled knit it stitch it by Jane Bull. It is a super book with loads of  simple but effective ideas that are relatively easy to achieve once the child has the hang of basic knitting and stitching.
She has just got stuck in and at the weekend made this little critter,

his name is Pudding. And now she is cracking on with a bobble cap. I am very impressed with her diligence.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Aga Trouble

This is my beloved Aga who is only a baby, being 13 months old. She has been misbehaving a little of late but happily has been returned to full form today.

I am scraping the barrel really for a photo today and I failed to take one at all yesterday. I am hopeless!
I did work two jobs though yesterday and didn't get home from the second till 10.50pm (and I'm not even counting my paper round!)

Monday, 2 January 2012

Christmas Wishes Do Come True.

All her chums thought she was mad that she didn't want a new phone for Christmas.
She was adamant about a pogo stick.

And what joy it has brought her.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year

I've forgotten what to do it has been so long I have posted. But new year, fresh start and all that.
I have been inspired by domesticali who has done the 365 photo project last year and they are brill.
Here is my New Year photo of yours truly....

Here are my tentative resolutions:  less alcohol, less profanities, try and write at the very least one sentence a day in my woefully thin diary/journal,(saw that advice somewhere on the internet and thought it a good one,)  try to keep up the blog if only as a family archive. Think that's enough for now.