Thursday 30 June 2011


I'm in the club, I'm no longer green with envy, I can talk the language, I belong...

I  can  crochet!!
Ok, I exaggerate somewhat. I had one lesson and I've added 4 rows to a granny square.

What's more, my friendship with Jane survived (I hope?) and I'm allowed back for another lesson next week. Yippppeeee....
Thank you lovely and generous friend.

So, I'm taking a quick break from my crocheting (yipppeeeee) to have a quick blog surf, then back I go, with my little porky fingers weaving away like Edward Scissorhands! (I can't tell you how slow and cack-handed I am!)

So, what else?
Well, firstly I'd like to add this to my list of things I'd like for Christmas
available here
Isn't it amazing? and best of all there's only room for two - so the boys would have to be in the tent. Shame.

I also thought I'd share some pictures of my little nephews Sonny and Luca taken at the weekend. Sonny had a big balloon from the church fair and played catch for (what felt like) two hours!
It was so hard to capture in a photograph but you get the idea...
I love the over dramatic hands on head when he didn't catch it!

Meanwhile little Luca is such a quiet, gentle soul. He was mesmerised by a bead on granny's bracelet...

We love seeing them.
We also love our Mabel around - and tonight she's sleeping over! (downstairs with Granny)
I stupidly didn't take any photos today but can confirm that she LOVED my rendition (complete with an impressive dance routine) of Beyonce's 'If you like it then you should have put a ring on it'! Nelly laughed so much she nearly wee'ed.

I've also managed to put in some hours in the workshop over the last couple of days - making tons of teachers blocks

My friend Alison asked me to make her a little box for Evan's baby teeth. I did - and now feel guilty that I have no idea where any of my boys teeth are...(bad mother)

To be honest if I had a good root round the bottom of any random drawer I'd no doubt find them....

I also made this big block for my most regular customer (thank you Paula!) I hope Mrs Townsend likes it too...

That's it - as random as ever.
Before I go (back to my crochet!) has everyone else been getting the weird comment from the man who hates American women? I've left it in my comments from last post so you can share the craziness! (then I'll be deleting it)? My - he has some beef with you lovely ladies. Fortunate for us foreign (non American) ladies there are still such amazing men out there for us....! What the heck?
fee x
ps just to be clear - I don't actually get things like caravans for my Christmas!!! just in case you were wondering...

Tuesday 28 June 2011

Favourite waste of time

Thank you so much Jenny and Cuckoo for bestowing on Chipper Nelly the Kreativ award  - I love reading your blogs and still think its funny that anyone (other than Granny) reads mine!

Last time I divulged some of my dreams...this time I'm going to  share 10 of my favourite things/to do, in no particular order;

  Can't imagine life 
without them. 
Currently reading 
Tracy Chevalier
'The Virgin Blue'. 
Favourite book = Wuthering Heights.

 I could happily read a good one 
all day. 
I Enjoy them as much as eating. (almost)
Favourite food writer = Nigella

Toulouse, 2010

Planning holidays

Don't have to be planning on going on one to enjoy random planning! 
Favourite place = France. (or South Devon...)


 Just love them
Favourite brand = Irregular Choice

Freshly laundered bedding
That moment when you jump into bed and it's all neat and smells of clean washing
Favourite fabric smell = lavender
I don't own this PIP bedding.....yet!

      ♠Card games
MUST add remembering how to play poker to my list of things to do before I'm 50!
Favourite card game = canasta

LOVE a fact, especially a 
random one. 
Favourite = animal groups eg: 
a mischief of rats, a crash of rhinos, a tower of giraffes...
I could go on!

 When I had a real job I spent much of my hard earned salary on products! Now I have less disposable money, or rather 3 children, I think I appreciate a good product more than ever. I especially love how make up can transform you, even when you feel rubbish.

Favourite product = Bobby Brown concealer

A good TV series
I like when we're right into something, so we always have something to watch if we find ourselves with a free hour (both awake!). Enjoyed 24, Dexter, currently working through Chicago Code and Mad men.
Favourite = The Wire (genius)

I Can't believe I've only been partaking for a few short months - have met so many lovely people, been so inspired, happily wasted so many hours!
Favourite blog = all of them!!!

Ah, done! Now to pass on the award....and I know lots of people already have it, so I'm giving it to Bee, who is the only person I know is newer than me, and we need to know more! 
Fee x

Sunday 26 June 2011

Winning... and other (very) randoms!

LOVE winning something (who doesn't?) and today I won Vintage Vicki's giveaway - her spare copy of Mollie Makes! I scoured the shops for the first edition, scoured some more for the 2nd, then finally got my act together for the 3rd and have subscribed! I'm thrilled to get one of the ones I missed and vow here and now to make something out of it for a show and tell! Thank you very much Mrs VV.

Meanwhile, to give you a chuckle, I thought I'd share Cleggy's reading material...he gets it delivered each month! 
As you can see, this month there's a feature on keeping your birds safe and sound. Little late for that!!

Anyway, Cleggy has spent many (more) hours this weekend moving rocks to reinforce the fence in an attempt to keep the ladies as safe as possible - all we can do now is keep our fingers crossed.

STILL no sign of the ducklings - we can't locate the golf course pond but I'm going to presume they are both there living happily ever after. Apparently, since we now have a pond, we 'need' some more ducks! No doubt there will be a trip to the lovely duck lady again soon. I'm hoping that if I ever get off I'm not replaced so soon!

(Anthea - if you are reading this please can you stop telling Cleggy he needs more than 2 - he doesn't!!!)

Anyway  - can report that Granny's church fair was a lovely way to spend a saturday afternoon. 

To make it even better the boys were allowed to stay and help clear up (/eat the left over cakes!) so Cleggy and I went home for a little peace
the cakes weren't all for us! we had family guests!  
Can also report that the Lip Service theatricals were as good as ever. We actually had dinner with the stars of the show beforehand. To be fair, they weren't on our table, and we didn't actually speak to them, nor did they know who we were...but we were in the same restaurant! It was bizzare to think that while Glastonbury was going on we were swaying along to Doris Day's Que Cera Cera! We rock man...

Speaking of Glastonbury....I am in awe of Beyonce! I've just reassured Cleggy that she isn't real, and that what his eyes are seeing is infact a figment of his imagination. HOW is she doing that dancing, and singing, in those legs, ...and not having a good wheeze?! AM AZ ING.
check my bootylicious legs!!!
Anyway - it has totally distracted me from writing anything interesting in order to graciously accept my Kreativ Blogger awards... I'll be far more interesting tomorrow!
Happy new week - could do with more of this sunshine please.
fee x

Saturday 25 June 2011

I ♥ a night out

A busy weekend for us - but in a good way.
Last night I met up with some of my favourite people from my previous life - when I had a proper job and everything. 
In those days I had a (terribly current) bag full of products, a hairSTYLE, shoes with heels (and no socks!), a waist, some cheekbones (hoping to find them again soon), a finger on the pulse of fashion, music, current affairs, business... and clearly a huge (terribly current) pair of rose tinted glasses!!!

(Seriously though, in those days I could always find my purse/phone/keys and more importantly my car in John Lewis carpark. What has happened to me?)

Anyway - Nelly and I were meeting up to travel in to Leeds together and nearly didn't get there. We got stuck in a hotel car park in the middle of, what can only be described as, my big fat gypsy prom! I got my car wedged between a hummer limo and a london bus. If only my camera had been handy....

Although we're Northern, none of us is actually that orange!

We don't get together very often for boringly familiar reasons but always have a great big laugh - and last night was no exception. I wheezed all the way home and sound like Marge Simpson this morning. Even better that I share these pals with Nelly - so get an extra night out with her too.

 Tonight we are out again - what an absolute treat! We're going to see Lip Service - a theatre company largely made up of two very funny women. We've seen almost everything they've ever done (they have a cult following don't you know...and I think I'm in the cult!) Only recently did I realise why they were called Lip Service. Such an innocent. (doh!)

Anyway, their shows are clever as well as very funny. Our favourite is called 'Withering Looks' and is about the Bronte sisters. It's touring again at the moment so have a look at their website and see if it's near you - I wouldn't normally be so bold as to recommend something but I heartily recommend this. 

Tonight we're at The Lowry seeing 'Desperate to be Dorris' - can't wait. 

Cleggy and I are even getting out early (thanks The Granny) and having something to eat beforehand - why, I declare that a big night out! 

We're off to Granny's church fair this afternoon then making the most of the promised warm weather tomorrow with a family trip out. What a perfect weekend it's turning out to be.

THANK YOU very much to Jenny for my award yesterday, and Cuckoo for hers a couple of weeks ago. I'm thrilled with them, natch, and will do my little fact doodah tomorrow. I love both your blogs!
Hope your weekend is as cheery as mine,
fee x
(ps no sign of ducks. Cleggy reinforcing the fence some more this morning!) 

Thursday 23 June 2011

Sharing the crochet love

I was supposed to be having my first crochet lesson today  with my lovely friend jane (desperate to be in the girls who can crochet club)- but the lists got the better of me and I had to cancel. It wasn't helped by the fact that we had a wild duck chase this morning!

Just as I was leaving on the school run my pal Julie called to say she'd seen 2 little ducks being shepherded to safety on the other side of the village - and thought they might be ours. I hadn't finished my sentence before Cleggy was off to see if they were our runaways. On reflection I think he was thinking 'if they are ours then great....if they aren't ours I'm having them anyway!'.
I promised to meet him at the location of 'the sighting' and zoomed over as soon as I'd delivered the boys to school. Now, it dawned on me that the place in question was a very busy crossroads on a particularly busy road, at rush hour. As I approached I expected to see Cleggy in the middle of traffic chaos, stopping cars and wildly chasing two very speedy ducklings around. It gave me an instant headache - as I knew that, if this was the case, I'd have to get out of my car and do the same! (particularly since I wasn't completely what you'd call 'dressed'...)

Anyway  - when I got there it seemed the kindly (/crazy) lady in the newsagents had shooed them towards the safety of the pub car park. We spent a while having a good search (in the rain) but found nothing. Cleggy gave the newsagent his mobile number in case they ever showed up (for a packet of crisps and a paper?)

We got a call from the man at the golf course later in the day (crazy newsagent lady seemingly handing number out willy nilly) to say he thought they were on his pond - so we'll follow this lead tomorrow!
Anyway - I know some of you will have found this yourself, but the lovely Julia Crossland has posted an e-book on her site today sharing some crochet patterns/tutorials, including this beautiful bunting, a phone cover and cushion among others.

How lovely is that? Here's the link
I can't wait to crochet!!! (in my spare time...)
fee x

Wednesday 22 June 2011

Duckling update and other randoms

Thank you for all the lovely comments yesterday - we've searched (and listened) but can't find our little ducks anywhere. 

On a more positive note there are absolutely no feathers belonging to them so hopefully they have found somewhere new to live (with a puddle!) and will survive until they can fly away somewhere nice!

The boys are all fine with it - but then again we've had to do 'the circle of life' chat quite a lot recently. Soz to anyone who is now singing that annoying song for the rest of the day....

Our chicken area has been reinforced - with more big stones, more wee (apparently v good as a deterrent) lots of securing and THIS:

Then I had the brilliant (if I say so myself) idea to get rid of  make the best use of Bertha!
Cleggy said 'good idea fee [as always] and if you get me an appropriate outfit I'll sort it out'. 
What the heck is the appropriate outfit for #1 fox deterrent??? Anyway - here she is, in her birthday suit, arm missing and, for reasons only known to Cleggy, a black wig! thinking she has a look of Cher about her?

Meanwhile I have the longest list of jobs decided to make some bunting instead (I didn't like the look of the jobs)
I used the tags from my birthday presents and added some bits and pieces of fabric/ric rac/ribbon etc lying around. Hopefully it won't melt or catch fire!

Finally Cuckoo posted a funny weight watchers card over at hers yesterday and I promised one in return...
Fee x
ps apologies about the dodgy formatting - Blogger is being v v tricksy! AGAIN

Tuesday 21 June 2011

Poor old Florence and bye bye ducklings

 Yes - it's a sad day here. Mr fox has scrambled under the fence and (after a messy fight) taken off with poor Florence. To make matters worse, the ducklings have seemingly found the hole he left behind and got off! 

We've had a good search but no sign of them. Our garden backs on to a large embankment, then a railway line. At the moment it's fairly inaccessible due to nettles and greenery so Lola and Coco could be anywhere. We can't hear them quacking, and its possible they too have ended up in Mr Fox's tummy.

 We can't believe that the fox didn't kill all the ladies - which would be the usual story. And it's unusual for him to be hunting in broad daylight.
Anyway - we're sad for Florence, and gutted to lose the little ducklings (just finished their pond!) but know that it's the risk you take when you keep chickens and ducks, no matter how fox proof you make their home! (not enough weeing around the fence!)
As sensitive son #2 said 'Mr and Mrs Fox are just feeding their own family'. True. And here's a picture of a cheeky foxy cub to make us feel better...

 And to think it was such a lovely day until that point!
On a positive note Cleggy got the go ahead from the publisher for 4 education books (SO proud!). 
I had coffee with my oldest friend Gail. Not oldest literally you understand. (don't see you often enough my lovely friend)

I even got some work done...

a little heart shaped box for Paula:

a sign for Cathie (think I might like Ava's room!)
( I no longer make these signs for my notonthehighstreet shop  - but happily make them, at a much cheaper price, for friends!)
another baby boy block
(available here)
and lots of happily ever after wedding blocks. Lets hope the recipients do indeed live happily ever after!
(available here)

Now, before I leave this most random of posts, I must mention that today (because I was meeting lovely friend Gail) I wore a little dress over jeans:

However, on account of the horrible rainy weather, I also made a decision only a woman in her 40's would make (surely?)
I put comfort and warmth before style. Then I left the house.
Yep - I grabbed a pair of Cleggys stripy socks on the way out and WORE THEM, like so. Is this the start of the end? Have I no shame? Am I one step away from a sensible anorak? (and divorce?!)
I feel better for admitting it!
fee x

Sunday 19 June 2011

Random weekend round up

My weekend started perfectly when I caught up with Hannah and Cameron - my (some kind of) cousins from down south. Cam is 13, super cool, and building a successful career as a model - so far he has contracts with Ping, Clarks and M+S (good start eh?) and was up here for a shoot. Hannah is preparing to move to Australia in a couple of months with her Ozzie partner Wade. They are getting married next year - so if anyone has any recommendations for good wedding blogs then let me know! It was lovely to catch up with them both.

Along with their sister Chloe they are an absolute credit to their Mum - who sadly died last year. I love spending time with them and wish they all lived closer.

We spent the rest of the weekend pottering in the garden - whenever it was dry.
The ducklings are happily settled in with the chickens - although I wouldn't go as far as to say friends! Night times are a little tricksy...unlike the chickens, who put themselves to bed, the ducklings are a nightmare to catch. Cleggy was spending an hour a night chasing them round the garden, but now leaves them out. 

There are foxes around but so far they don't seem to have attempted to get over the fence. It was built to be fox proof, and one of the things that is supposed to put foxes off is weeing around the perimeter. As you can imagine, we have no shortage of offers to help with this!!!

 Cleggy is currently building a pond for the ducks (who were supposed to be temporary residents...mmmm!) more pictures on his progress to follow.

All the feathered friends are great fun to watch - especially the rescue chickens. Today Gladys discovered a pepper for the first time:
(yes Granny - that's the red pepper you gave us! soz)

Today we somehow ended up with a boy free afternoon - and took ourselves off to an interesting place called Willowpool in Lymn.

Its a kind of reclamation yard come antique shop come garden centre with loads to look at as you mooch around.
But to be honest our main reason for visiting was the cafe! Part of it is inside and the rest is spread outside, in vintage circus tents, under gazeebos, in little rooms made of old furniture and in these little willow huts...
It really is quite quirky - and they do amazing cake!
Meanwhile Geordie had been at a science party where, amoung other things, he made his own slime. How much do you not want this in your house?
(Oh no...too late...)
As it was fathers day we made Cleggy's favourites for dinner - Jamie Oliver's slow cooked, spiced lamb shanks (recipe here)

and for pudding white chocolate and strawberry cheesecake - which I saw someone making on 'Lorraine'!

Can't believe I've just written that...

The biscuit base was with ginger and lemon - and man it was
gooo - ood (Recipe here).

Happy fathers day Cleggy - we all love you very much.

Speaking of himself - I've been nagging him to move Bertha (the transvestite mannequin)from the utility room as she has given me so many frights - especially since he's been away half of the week (and I'm such a feardy)
Walking into our bedroom to find THIS...
...was abso bloody lutely hilarious. Yet another big fright and a laugh for all at my expense! (what kind of sicko goes to such effort - pillow body and everything?)

And now it's sunday night already - how does that happen? As I started writing this post the sun was just about peeping through the trees - and the dancing shadows playing on the hall walls were really beautiful - it was like being under water.
Obviously it doesn't translate well on a photograph - but here's my best effort at sharing...
Healthy eating plan (#387!) starts for us tomorrow so I'm raising my (last for a while) glass of rose to a good week all round...fee x