Thursday, 29 March 2012

Thou art more lovely and more temperate

A few pictures from the last few days, which have indeed been comparable to summer's days. I haven't done any knitting for days - I've been pottering around the garden, stalking the cats (long story), and sitting in the sunshine reading mysteries! I know, I could have been knitting in the sunshine, but I've been on a reading binge instead. Reading Kate's blog (blurofwoodsmoke) on the topic of Reading Groups the other day got me thinking about my reading habits. I have quite lowbrow tastes in reading and I sometimes think that a book group might get me to read things I wouldn't ordinarily choose, something a bit more literary. But I think I would find it too restrictive, too worthy, too much like doing homework! I'm too lazy and too protective of my own free time at the moment for that!

The nights have been as beautiful as the days:

Apologies for the fuzziness of this one - longish exposure and unsteady hands. I could have done with using my good camera and a tripod but it was the Horrors' bedtime so no chance.

There has been al fresco coffee - oh, so many mugs. Bliss bliss bliss..

There has been lounging around. Also chasing of flies (by the cats, not me).

The paddling pool has been out and I've had a lot of use from my ridiculously pink mock Crocs.

Homework has been finished outdoors! In March!

It's been a wonderful interlude but the weather is supposedly to return to normal over the weekend. It's a bit of a shame for the kids because school finishes tomorrow afternoon, but at least it's meant outdoor PE and eating their packed lunches in the playground this week - rare events in our climate, and they've loved it! And truth be told I've enjoyed some peaceful time in the garden while they're at school. The new flower bed I created last year is free of weeds much earlier than I expected and my Dyer's Chamomile (anthemis tinctoria) is looking well.

I have been sticking to the shallows. Hello feet!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

I got sunshine

We've had sunshine for two days! Woohoo! I have had coffee outside two days running! Some weeding has been done! *happy sunshine dance*

There is a little colour in the garden - well, two dandelions and a ladybird.

Doesn't this look weird?

It's the flowers of this plant (the one whose name I always forget) photographed from below.

This has been a very mild winter so far. We often get some snow in March but it's not looking likely this year. I don't think this sunshine and warmth will last though - in fact the forecast is for rain tomorrow - but it's been a lovely little interlude.

I am beyond tired so will leave it that for today, but I'll end with this picture:

I took it on the way home from walking the kids to school. I like it because it looks almost fake somehow!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Nice things

I've just got round to transferring my recent photos from memory card to computer and discovered that between the 7th and the 13th of March I took no photos at all! This is very unusual for me. I must have been feeling rough! In fact my cold didn't last long at all though I've a slightly sore throat that's lingering, but I've just been so tired - maybe a post-viral thing? It's the first time I've used the state of my memory card as an indicator of health! When I'm tired and feeling a bit below par (odd phrase - surely below par is good?) I just don't notice things as much and when I don't notice things I don't photograph them.

Anyway here's something I saw on Saturday which I did notice and made me chuckle - here's where we find out if anybody has the same sense of humour as me:

It was in the loos at a local sports centre where Miss Mouse was attending a birthday party. This was the second party she'd been to that day - I'm not doing that again, she was hyped up and I had a thumping headache..

Should it just be my sense of humour and you're scratching your head, it's the 'entirely male' bit which makes me laugh - maybe I've spent too much time on a farm! The poor writer probably spent ages trying to compose that to get the meaning across clearly, and here I am sniggering!

Yesterday was of course Mother's Day (Mothers' Day?) - here anyway. And according to Wikipedia also in Ireland, Nigeria and Bangladesh, though in true Wikipedia fashion it contradicts itself regarding Bangladesh further down the page. And having previously never wondered when, or indeed if, Mother's Day is celebrated in Bangladesh now I must know. Google seems to think it's in early May. Right. I'm glad that's sorted.

But back to Mother's Day here. Like Mother of Purl I'm not usually really bothered about Mother's Day, but yesterday I was truly pampered and it was lovely. And it's occurred to me that as I don't bother much with my birthday (it's my son's birthday too and since his birth I've always thought of it as his birthday first and foremost*) it was actually really lovely to have a day that was about me. The kids had made cards at school, the Boy and My Beloved had gone shopping while Miss Mouse and I were out birthday-partying the day before and got me flowers and chocolates, and I was given a cooked breakfast in bed (by the Boy with Daddy's help).

Then they all went out! The kids were going out with their grandma, My Beloved was off on a ride-out (motorbike trip with like-minded nutters) and as the sun was shining the cats scarpered too. So I did two loads of washing, a supermarket shop and some gardening. Hmm.

But it was bliss - I was only doing things I felt like doing. It was sunny so I wanted to hang washing out for the first time this year, so the washing, though needing doing anyway, was no chore. The gardening was just pottering around, doing minor pruning and weeding and enjoying being outside in the sunshine. Granted the supermarket shop was a bit of a necessity but apart from the usual 'bread, milk, stuff for packed lunches' I decided to get the various things I needed for roast chicken, my favourite dinner, as a treat to myself. It turns out my Beloved had the same idea - he shopped on the way home and we will be eating chicken for a fortnight at this rate! Here's the little cat pretending she's just idly stretching a leg or two while I eat my dinner (and read):

She was doing the Bambi eyes too a moment earlier but got self-conscious when I switched the camera on.

So I'm a late convert to the whole Mother's Day thing - in a low-key sort of way of course.

Today is Making Monday but my only plan so far is to make a cup of coffee then, taking advantage of being a housewife, go back to bed for a nap to try to catch up on some sleep after a rather fractured night - my Beloved feeling sick, Miss Mouse having a nightmare, cats convinced it's morning and TIME TO BE FED!

*yawn* Normal service to be resumed sooner or later.

* He absolutely loves that we share a birthday!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Some brightness from last week

Because this week I have a cold and a cut on my thumb (so I can't knit) and I'm feeling less than bright. I know, small worries eh? Anyway, last week! Miss Mouse loves playing snap and though I am not a gamer at all (whether computer games, board games or card games, I'm pretty much bored by them all), thanks to our very pretty wild-flower playing cards Miss Mouse and I have spent the odd peaceful half-hour here and there playing Snap. A very quiet, sedate game of snap - I am uncompetitive in the extreme and Miss Mouse is not one for shrieking 'SNAAAAP!' (don't get me wrong, she shrieks other things at other times but Snap is quiet, thankfully).

Last Sunday we took the kids to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow:

- this is where we went with the Boy's class on their school trip and he was keen to go back. Miss Mouse was just keen to go somewhere she hadn't been before. It isn't really leaning, it's just my weird photograph. We ended up spending about three hours there and had only just got to the 'art' side so we'll go back another time. We had a lovely time and saw all sorts of weird things, like this:

Isn't it fantastic?I don't know what it is really - it was part of an education display about industry in Glasgow I think, and there didn't seem to be information about this particular item, that I saw anyway.

I particularly liked the Viking section further round - aside from the displays there was an audio presentation about the Viking influence on place-names, read out by a very familiar voice. It sounded an awful lot like Mary Blance who used to be a presenter on Radio Shetland, so I half expected the thing about place names to drift into an account of what the various SWRI* groups were doing. It was rather pleasant hearing a familiar voice and accent. Down here I'm still having to think when people talk to me, even though I've been here years now.

Cheap daffs, for the win.
Can't go wrong with cheap daffs! Instant sunshine in a vase (or jug in this case), especially if the actual sun deigns to shine!

And this is what I bought in the shop at Kelvingrove:

This makes me laugh every time I look at it. I have had so many unpleasant experiences camping (-3C at Barnard Castle and a puncture in our airbed, for example) that really I'm more inclined towards, you know, actual comfort. And warmth.

Indicative of which are:

Pretty new tea-towels and pink spotty bowl. You should see some of our tea-towels, there's one that is absolutely shredded. I keep it though for the Boy to wipe water off the edge of the trampoline. He'll go out on that trampoline in any weather provided the trampoline is dry - and a good thing too. He has So Much Energy he's (occasionally literally!) bouncing off the walls. Just too much energy.

Before cutting my thumb - it's very frustrating trying to knit with a plaster on the tip of your left thumb - I'd been making coasters. Just a mitred square in some leftover wool but good for knitting-while-watching-telly. And I needed a couple of coasters anyway. As much as anybody actually needs coasters that is.

I might try felting one of them and see how it looks.

And there we have it, a colourful week.

*Scottish Women's Rural Institute, or 'the Rural' - an equivalent to the English WI, i.e. Jam but no Jerusalem.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Ruby the Red Fairy and Hiccup

The Boy decided not to wear the helmet but he looks pretty good anyway. He's not usually a dressing-up sort of kid so I was quite surprised at how keen he was this time.

I was very lazy about Miss Mouse's wand (having only remembered about it late last night - d'oh, what's a fairy without a wand?) and it's a clear perspex wand from a toy she has, with red ribbon tied onto it. You can't really see it in the picture because she's waving it, but it looks surprisingly good! Yay, lazy can be effective too!

I started saving bits of ribbon last year and have a coffee jar full now - it comes in quite handy sometimes. You find ribbon in all sorts of odd places, like on tops - those annoying bits to hold them onto the hangers in the shops but which which always sneak out of the shoulder and look ridiculous when you wear them. I hate chucking them out so now I save them for craft projects of my own or for the kids. I expect we'll have some in the Boy's Ancient Egyptian tomb project which come to think of it we really need to get a move on with. Somehow it didn't occur to me after I left school and university that if I had kids I'd end up spending significant amounts of time supervising or helping with homework - I thought I was done with it all! Ha! Tell you what though, I've learnt an awful lot about ancient Egypt in the last few weeks..

I'm off to do the washing up now, and then some knitting I think. My thrilling life!