Friday 7 June 2013

Lost a pound and gained a year!

Last week I thought I was turning 43 - turns out I was 'only' 42! 

Maths has never been my strong point but I was thrilled to find myself younger than I thought! 

Most bizarrely when I went for my annual eye test my eye sight had improved too...
what are the chances??
(apparently reasonably high - the lovely optician told me it was fairly common in one's 
'middle age'. Goodo)

Naturally my day was special as the boys all still love making cards and helping to wrap presents. Well, they love it for 5 minutes, leave Cleggy locked in the dining room for hours... then take all the glory during the grand opening!

Cleggy has earned himself the unenviable reputation of being a 'good wrapper of presents' (see here, herehere and here and here for wrapping ideas!) and this year was no exception. It was an eclectic mix of print and charms finished with my new obsession - little vintage ceramic dolls called 'frozen charlottes'.
Apparently so called because Charlotte refused to wear a coat when going out in bad weather and froze...a lesson in vanity. 

(Little bit sinister)


We did of course manage to sneak off for a cheeky night away (thanks Granny) and drove further South into our own county (Cheshire) to part of the world we don't visit often enough. It's a very pretty part of England and has castles galore.

The weather was less than promising but who cares...a night away is a night away right?!

We stayed at The Cholmondeley Arms, a converted school with a separate B+B in the original Headmaster's house. 

I chose it for 2 reasons...the garden (complete with games) and the gin. 

The weather was SO grim we didn't even see the garden but the gin was brilliant. They have 130 different types and do a 'gintroduction' which is three very different varieties with a range of mixers and garnishes. I had no idea they would taste so different - lush!
Rubbish photos - had drunk a little too much already!
It's a great place to stay and the pub is lovely - 
good food and service too.
I share my birthday with Cleggy's Dad who turned 70 this year! 
As a surprise we all travelled to The Lakes to spend a day together.
The village was called Wasdale and it was 
THE most beautiful scenery.
We found a good spot for a picnic and a couple of hours of football, Frisbee (natch) and paddling in the stream.
 It was lovely to catch up with everyone - 
the boys love seeing their Edinburgh cousins....
  ...and Cleggy doesn't see nearly enough of his big brother.

We have made some big decisions recently 
(around swapping work for time!) 
and it was really good to discuss it with him and my sister-in-law Alice, who then posted me a book about 'finding time' (which I haven't had time to read yet - ha ha)
Thanks for organising us all Alice - you are a very special lady.

THEN, as if that wasn't enough excitement for one week we celebrated The Granny's 67th birthday with a family tea in the garden. I can't actually believe we had 2 sunny days in a row!

This time all the little local cousins came...Cleggy had made some dens and created some 'water exploration stations' 
(you can take the man out of teaching.....) and it was lovely to see them all playing together. My big boys even managed to part with their screens for the day!
 WHO in their right mind would give a hose to a 2 year old!!?
GB still loves bubbles...who doesn't?
My little brother and his wifey Janet
On the work front I've been back in the workshop for real for the first time in months. Unfortunately I haven't yet tidied it but I have found my desk...a good start.

Here are some of my recent makes:
crochet coasters for Teachers 

some 'words to live by' blocks
 Single blocks for teachers using Cath Kidston papers
 Christening blocks using Beatrix Potter images
 Lots of wedding blocks
A christening box
(I no longer make these :(  
The blanks and postage are just too expensive)
Some blocks for a little girl called Emily Brown, using images from an Emily Brown book!
and some new designs for the shop when it reopens next week
Lastly - the couch-to-5K run update. I am on run 11 and can't believe I'm still doing it. 
Any hopes of losing weight have been dashed by....THE SHEER AMOUNT of food and drink I've consumed over the last fortnight!  But I have lost ONE POUND!
The runs are now much harder (intervals of 5 minute runs) which I'm finding very challenging - but still kind of enjoying it and hoping to see some results in the reduction of my lardy arse in the near future. 
Thank you again for all the encouragement (and on Instagram) 
I'm glad I went public!!
fee x


  1. Gorgeous post....LoVe all your pictures. Happy Belated Birthday! I too mix up how old I am! I have just been photographing some of your blocks this very morning (I still adore the ones you made me!)....and just popped in here to find you've been busy again....wonderful new blocks and sweet coasters, Fee!
    Well done on keeping up the running....losing a pound after all the celebrations you've been having is a real success....carry on!
    Sending love.
    Helen x

  2. Happy Birthday Fee :) And congrats to all the other folk in your family with something to celebrate. We're about to hit the week with my eldest son's, my Mum's and my sister's birthday in it ... busy days.

    Scary thought ... I was in Junior school when you were born! Also, should you ever get to Cholmondley again, maybe we could meet for that coffee we've promised each other ... you were a mere ten minutes from my house there as we are literally on the Welsh border!

  3. Love all your gorgeous phots Fee....and all your gorgeous blocks! Clever lady! I hope you had a lovely birthday...mine is next week and I will also be...42!
    Take care,
    Caroline xxx

  4. I have recently discovered your blog via a rambling network of 3 million other blogs... so please don't ask how I found you, but I am so grateful I did! Your posts are so funny and full of life and I love that you have retained your obvious joy despite some really hard moments in your life. As a cancer survivor and RN who used to nurse in Haematology... Well done to you and your family for laughing in the face of... You guys rock! x

  5. A happy belated birthday to you ... What a wonderful post full of love and happiness. I hope you find time to read the book. My hubby thought he was 50 for 2 years running and only actually hits 50 this December, it'll be a lovely surprise for him :) ... Sarah x

  6. Happy belated birthday Fee (wish I could forget what age I am !!!) Wonderful wrapping as always. :)
    You have been busy partying and block making. The blocks are all amazing and I so love ours! :)
    V xxx

  7. Congratulations Fee (you should have told us sooner, than we would have been able to congratulate you IN TIME!)!!! And keep losing weight like this and you'll end up a size 0 when you are... 50?

  8. A very happy post Fee and I am glad you have lost a year and a pound, how useful. Love all the photos especially the fab apple crochet clever is that. My fave tipple is gin and Bombay Sapphire is my fave brand I would LOVE to try all those others. Have a sunny weekend and run, walk , run girlie, keep going!!xx

  9. wow what a gorgeous post...don't know where to start...probably with the gin because it is now playing on my mind and i will immediately go and get one once i have finished writing this!That pub looks amazing....we are having a night away in a hotel tomorrow.....with the children! Not quite the same thing but we are all excited anyway :-)the pics of the lakes are are all of your lovely makes.....think you might need another getaway to recover! x

  10. Lovely, lovely post! Must find Wasdale next time I'm visiting the MIL. xx

  11. I do love your blog....Have been totally crappy at keeping up with everything, but having done a fly through the past month or so, I can't remember all the things I wanted to say. I love your appreciation of food, thanks for the sports-bra tip, taken note, dead badger pic (my boys found a dead sheep at the bottom of a cliff and felt the need to poke it with sticks - nice, in fact its still there months later and stinks to high heaven) food, holidays, your makes, your family time, running (we've had a running machine delivered today, and the only reason I smile is I think if I can get in routine I can eat some more cake!) we are doing a twenty mile mountain challenge in September and I'm rubbish going uphill!

    Anyway, I'm rambling....great post!

  12. Ooh, forgot, happy birthday and that doll story really is a bit creepy!

  13. Happy Birthday lady, your time away and family get-togethers looked like super fun. How wonderful to gain a year! I too have had an improvement in my eyesight and no longer need my glasses at all, although I've started making my own wine and the first batch will be ready this week so I may lose my sight all together on the first tasting! xx

  14. GOod morning precious fee!!!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY DEAR! So long since I've seen you,but everyone looks happy and healthy and you look stunning...42? Oh that seems so long ago now for me! HAPPY DAY Anita

  15. I love your bloks since I found them some time ago! I will never forget those of Alice in Wonderland (a give away) with that box...gorgeous!!
    My favorites today are Beatrix Potter ones (I collect vintage children's china, so I love those illustrations).
    Besos from Argentina! Silvina

  16. Loving those coasters, and all the photos as always. Frozen Charlotte you say - hmm I know a small madam that might just benefit from such a sinister tale. And unfortunately for you the reminder of that place in Cheshire has just prompted me to get a date for a wee babysit...
    Keep running, I am sooooo proud xxxx

  17. Congratulations on such a birthday tastic week!! You've certainly been busy. I've ALWAYS loved your blocks but the dream big blocks are screaming at me - I NEED THESE!! Any chance I could order a set for little old me?! I'm just trying to catch up on my blog reading so if you are still not taking block orders don't worry. Will check out your shop to see if those blocks are for sale or order. You are soooo talented!! Your kids teachers are sooo lucky!! Prompted me to think about crafting something too ;0) J9 x


Thanks for stopping by.
I LOVE reading your comments!
fee x