Sunday, 26 February 2012

This Baby.... smiling, blonde, blue eyed boy, is now a handsome 9 year old.

Where did that time go?

When I was pregnant, with three girls already, I was hoping for a fourth. I could not imagine having a boy. Well, we had an abundance of girl toys and girl clothes. We were well versed in girl habits and likes and dislikes. We were well and truly in girl mode.

So when he was actually born, I was overwhelmed with the force of my feelings about him. I wrote in my diary at the time that "he is an undemanding happy baby. I am consumed with a passion for him. I am intoxicated by the aroma of his skin. I want to envelop him, drink him into myself so as to hold these moments forever. I am blissfully happy."

And now he is a quiet, gentle boy, with a  wonderful sense of humour.

Gabriel, my own sweet angel.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

More Knitting

 A stripy balaclava for little sis to keep ears warm when mucking out.

It is a revamped WW1 pattern found on ravelry knitted in stash debblie bliss cashmerino DK.

These are some of the critters...

and the rest of the knitting....

.... on a startled looking just awoken baby. (Actually she is 13 months old but as the youngest of our collective 20 children will probably always be thought of as the baby of the family.)
The sleeves are a little long, but as it is a cotton spring/summer cardi, will probably fit her perfectly at the appropriate time.
This week has been half term here. I do love the school hols and the break from the routine, particularly not having to make half a dozen packed lunches every morning. And this week I have reflected on the joys of being part of a large family, as there has been sharing out of the children at various sleep overs and shared outings, to the cinema to see Warhorse and Puss in Boots, and the Imperial War Museum. As well as just getting together to gossip, drink tea (or hot chocolate) and eat cake.

This pair of cousins are particularly pally at the moment...

and the one on the right (mine) actually knitted the scarf she is wearing herself. It is in big wool fusion from Rowan and cost £1 per ball in a sale!

Monday, 13 February 2012

A Project a month February.

Ta dah.............

It's a balaclava from a vintage pattern that came out far too small for the intended eight year old head.

So here it is on a  nieces petite seven year old head.

Perfect for winter hacking out don't you think??

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Eric Tomlinson RIP

It was a gorgeous February day just like today, one year ago, when I met my Dad after dropping the car for its MOT. He took me to buy a washer as mine had broken down, I was waiting till payday, he was doing my washing (seven in my house!) and I think he was a bit fed up of it.
He was wearing his overalls, flat cap and wellies. He looked (and smelled) every inch the dairy farmer he was.
The washer was duly purchased and being a farmer, he negotiated a discount. As the man from the shop lifted it singlehandedly into the back of my dads vehicle, my dad regaled him of the tale when my mum was in labour at home, complications ensued and she had to go into hospital. When the ambulance arrived, in dads words, they couldn't put daylight under her! (She being approx 16 stones at the time.) He, however, in true Charles Atlas style, picked her up like a baby and carried her to the ambulance.
At this point in the tale, I am standing behind dad raising my eyes skyward to the washer man who just chuckled.

On arrival at my house, we carried the machine into the garage between us. He had a brew of tea with me, declined lunch because he had had a bacon and egg breakfast and was on his way. As he stood at the door before he left, he reminded me he was going to a funeral a few days later and was, I think, looking forward to it as he would be meeting up with a few old farming contemporaries he had not seen for a while. We were due to have a bit of a knees up that weekend for a sisters 40th and it was on the same day as the funeral. "Let me know what you want from the butchers for the party, but you might have to start without me if I end up having a pint with some of these lads."
We did indeed have to start without him because he went home, got his dog, set off for a walk, stopped for a chat at approx 4pm, about 30 minutes later collapsed and died. Just like that.

And now a year later we still can't believe he has gone. It has left a big hole in our lives. He loved life and he loved people. He liked to know a persons story and he had a great knack for finding it out without appearing to be nosey, (which he was,very...)

He had three great loves in his life, farming, faith and family. Or as he termed it, cows,church and children.
Here are a few of the things he liked/enjoyed.......

thick slices of good bacon,
boxing...particularly Cassius Clay,
haggling over a price.....anywhere,
Kate Winslet,
snoozing after lunch,
a broadsheet newspaper... but not paying for it,
strong, thick, well defined eyebrows on women,
Mario Lanza singing The Rose of Picardy,
guiness original in bottles,
political biographies,
shapely legs,
silver birch trees,
Lancashire dialect.

So in his words again, "put the cat out, shut the door, pull the curtains, it's goodnight Vienna."

Goodnight, God bless Erk the stirk.
I hope that I, too, die on a sunny day when I've had bacon and eggs for me breakfast!

Friday, 3 February 2012

Feast of St Blaise

Today is the feast of St. Blaise, a 4th century Armenian ( I think) bishop and martyr for his faith.
He is the patron of afflictions of the throat and my father, being afflicted with sore throats, promptly named one of my brothers Blaise!

If you attend Holy Mass in a catholic church today you should be given the blessing of St Blaise by the priest with crossed candles held at your throat. I went, and was duly blessed.
I am rather proud of my brother Blaise. He is a very successful dairy farmer with an award winning herd of  Ayrshire cows....

...this is Sandyford Clover.
Our dad who died suddenly almost a year ago (more about him next week I hope)  and a farmer too, was so proud of him as are we, his six siblings.

Happy feast day Blaise.