Wednesday, 28 November 2012

It's Baltic

Blue skies - that was yesterday when there was still some cloud. It was very clear and consequently quite chilly today.

There's snow on the hills to the north, as you can possibly just about see on this picture, but there's been no precipitation here.

Sun setting on the way home from school. As the weather's been so good I've been making the kids walk. I've no objection to driving them on wet days as we're not that close to the school but on a good day it's a nice walk.

It's worth it for some fresh air and to appreciate a bit of nature, or such as we see.

The huge advantage of cold clear weather is actual sunlight shining through the freesias on my windowsill!

Apologies to anyone flooded in England but we did have the horrible weather last week - got to enjoy the nice weather when we can!

It's knitting group night so I'll be wrapping up and heading out in a bit - plenty of knitted warm things to choose from, shame none of them match! One of these days I'll be co-ordinated (don't hold your breath).

Monday, 26 November 2012


 This was the sky just as I picked the kids from school at 3 o'clock.

And this is the sunset just before we set off for Miss M's dance class, so at about 4pm.

We don't often get beautiful sunsets here as cloud tends to be the dominant feature, but tonight's was a cracker - it got even better, and at one stage the horizon was a really delicate apricot colour, but obviously I was driving and couldn't take any more pictures. But really, driving into a beautiful sunset made up for not being able to take pictures. I should have had some kind of stirring soundtrack, but actually it was the usual low-grade bickering from the back.

Success! Tonight, while I watched I'm A Celebrity and had my feet numbed by a sleeping cat*,  I have Turned A Heel, having done some arithmetic to get it right as I'm doing a 72-stitch sock and the pattern is for 64. I'm perfectly capable of arithmetic, it's just I'm still at the stage of thinking that turning a heel is Magic, so working out what the decreases and turns are actually doing is a bit... intimidating.

 (Dubiously) But it looks as if it's worked.

I have no idea what the next line of the pattern means though. I keep re-reading it, hoping that the meaning will jump out at me.  I'll have to dig out the pattern I usually use and compare it.  I really do need a pattern that's written for the completely clueless. But, the rest of the foot should be pretty quick and easy anyway!

* You should have heard the cracking noises as I walked upstairs after having had Small Cat sitting on my ankles for two hours. Quite alarming really.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Eye of partridge

Oh blimey, I'm so slow on these socks! And this is only the first one.. But I'm onto the very lovely eye-of-partridge heel now.


I'm liking the effect it makes with the hand-painted wool. Only trouble is not sure which slip-stitch row is next. Best leave it to the morning and daylight I think.

Here's Larger Cat burying his nose in the blanket last night. My feet are just below his nose so that's okay then, vote of nasal confidence from the cat.  Both cats love this blanket. It's Small Cat's turn tonight. Larger Cat just tried to pick a fight with her but the lady wasn't for budging.  My spot of an evening, like that of Sheldon, is one end of the settee.  But mine is better because on the small table next to me is my 'puter.  My feet are on a foot-stool, there is a  blanket on my legs (I get cold) and a cat on the blanket  - because I am the cats' spot. Decadent eh?   I can write my blog, watch television and be a piece of furniture for my pets all at the same time. On that comfortable note, good night!

Friday, 23 November 2012

So I failed

I missed a day's blogging.  I just couldn't manage a post without a picture, not two days running!

But I've sorted out the thing with the pictures, and in no particular order as Dec would say, here are some for you.

The ghostly galleon, the picture I was going to use on my last post. Bit wobbly and blurry but surprisingly good given the low levels of light.

After the kids went to bed last night, instead of blog-posting, I spent a lovely evening with my cat and My Beloved (that's in no particular order of course). We watched I'm A Celebrity (naturally), we debated who we thought would leave the jungle, who we think will win, and of course who we'd send into camp. I'd send Ray Mears and Brian Blessed and Hugh Fearnley-Whatnot and similar people, and watch Ray blithely ignore the Snake Rock and Croc Creek camps and lead his Merry Men and Women (though I haven't thought of any suitable women yet) off into the (actual) jungle with the panic-stricken production crew and Ant and Dec trotting behind.

After that we watched an episode of Castle (love this), then an episode of Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated. The latter is an overlooked gem. The kids love it so we've seen quite a lot of it but it was good to watch it without them for once. Really a programme that produces a horror-writer character called HP Hatecraft who has taken to writing teen supernatural romances, well that's got to be good.

In other thrilling news I've bought some beads for the ends of my scarf. Aren't they pretty? So far they've been used to help Miss M with her maths homework (division! They're onto division already!), but one day I'll get round to sewing them onto the scarf and all will be pretty.

Right, must finish. Celebs and bugs and rats, oh my, in five minutes...

Wednesday, 21 November 2012


I've run out of picture space apparently so I need to upgrade before I can add another picture. So a pictureless blogpost, blimey that's a bit tricky.  I find it really difficult to write without a picture to focus my thoughts.

Tonight's post was going to be about a photo I took this evening while waiting for the train home from my knitting meet-up. The half-moon was visible through the bare branches of a tree and looked, well, quite spooky (don't worry, the picture's not great, you're not missing much). And as often happens the words 'the moon was a ghostly galleon' popped into my head. They're from the poem 'The Highwayman' by Alfred Noyes which we studied at school once when looking at imagery and creative use of language and stuff like that.

There are a set of gloriously creepy illustrations for it by Charles Keeping, who coincidentally taught my dad at art college. It's funny how you get an impression of someone from their work, and I always imagined him as an austere sort of person for that reason, but no, Dad says he was far from it.

An entertaining pastiche of The Highwayman is The Highway Rat by Julia Donaldson - yet another book I enjoy reading to my daughter, and worth a look.

And that's all folks! Good night :-).

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Being Katie Morag

Do we all know who Katie Morag is? Ah, good :-). I enjoy reading Katie Morag books to my daughter - they're a bit of nostalgia for me as I was once a child who stomped around beaches in my wellie boots. Now that my brother is scanning the old slides I'm entertained to notice that actually I'm more Katie Moragish than I'd remembered.

I had Big Boy Cousins:

That's me, my dad and my little brother with them.  Looks a bit steep doesn't it?

Granny Island is a brilliant tractor-driving character and should I ever be a Granny I'll model myself on her (yes, I can drive a tractor), but I didn't have a Granny Island or a Granma Mainland myself.  I had just the one Granny who lived in Ireland (Granny Ireland then?)  - here she is visiting us:

That's me and my brother with her on one of the beaches (for there were several) in the immediate vicinity of wir hoose. When I think of myself as a kid I mostly remember wearing trousers, which, so I thought, makes Childhood Me different from Katie Morag with her stylish skirt-and-wellies look. But as you can see I obviously did wear skirts some of the time. Just not with wellies in this case.

The picture below is possibly not that clear but if you click on it you'll see me striding purposefully around in my wellies. Clearly a child on a mission.

Brr, looks chilly.

And finally, just for the fun of it, here's a picture taken on Victoria Pier in Lerwick, looking inland obviously. I don't know what year - late 1960s? Early 70s? Mid 70s?  Anyone know about cars? I'd ask My Beloved but he's gone to bed.  I am of early 1970s vintage but I wasn't paying that much attention to cars as a kid, and I'm not enough of a car buff to guess. Great cars though - they look the way cars look when they've been drawn by me. I never could draw cars.

What's interesting about this picture is that from that angle, aside from the cars not much has changed about this view since then, or hadn't last time I was home. If you have a look at the Lerwick Harbour webcam, one of its angles is not dissimilar to this one. Don't look too closely at the zoomed-in webcam shots of the boats in the harbour swaying up and down and side to side.. you'll get queasy. Or is that just me?

Monday, 19 November 2012

Strange missives

A curious little message that came home in Miss M's schoolbag. To explain, school lunches run in a 3-week cycle and the kids are given a menu showing the options for each day of the three weeks. It all works very well and my kids are happy to have school lunches when they like something on the menu and packed lunches the rest of the time. It certainly makes things easier for me.  But when the new winter menu started a few weeks ago we were slightly mystified by one of the choices - 'savoury cheese sandwich'.

'Savoury cheese?' we thought, 'when is cheese not savoury..?'.

All became clear when this note came home - I can imagine there have been some complaints from outraged six-year-olds who were expecting a normal cheese sandwich! Sounds mingin'...

Talking of food, I should be writing a shopping list. Instead I'm typing this with the small cat stretched out on my legs. We're watching the highlights of yesterday's Grand Prix and she appears fascinated.  While we've been watching tv this evening I've also been knitting my Circles socks but I'm fairly sure I've just gone wrong somewhere so I'm going to leave it for tonight, in case I mess it up even worse.

This is a very tedious post isn't?

Sunday, 18 November 2012


It's getting gloomy now, there's no getting away from it. So I bought myself some flowers for the kitchen windowsill - freesias this time, and as luck would have it, we had some sunshine today, bouncing on to the kitchen windowsill at just the right angle. There's nothing quite like sunshine on yellow freesias for cheering me up. Except perhaps daffodils of course..

I had a bit of time to myself late this afternoon while the rest of the family communed with computers and the like, so I lurked upstairs reading and knitting for a bit. The restarted sock is coming along nicely now though it's hard to see at this stage as it keeps rolling up. Quite fiddly to photograph, I could do with an extra hand.

If you're curious about my reading matter, I'm re-reading Ben Aaronovitch's Moon Over Soho for something like the third time.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

What passed for normality

My brother has been getting back into scanning The Slides - mysterious chronicles of our childhood and other parts of the olden days. The picture above more or less summarises what passed for normality when we were kids.

Peafowl are forest birds - they like to roost. Obviously roosting places were few and far between round us - we lacked jungliness somewhat. Percy liked perching at the top of my swing, occasionally on the car and sometimes on the garage roof. The wall would do at a pinch.

*sigh* Talking of jungles, sort of, oh dear. I love I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here but I'm despairing at the uselessness of Helen. Somebody put a lot of time and effort into designing and constructing those trials and their genius is going unnoticed! Actually I despair at the idiots who are 'phoning in and voting for her to do the trials - where's the entertainment in it? Really? Even Ant and Dec look despairing..

Friday, 16 November 2012

A little music

I bought some piano music today (in Lidl of all places) and spent ages tickling the ivories, rediscovering things I'd played years before, like the C.P.E. Bach piece in the picture above) or bits of music I know but had never played, like Easy Winners  (Scott Joplin). I always forget how much I enjoy playing the piano.

Do you like the unicorn on the piano? Miss M painted that at a ceramic-painting place. It adds a touch of psychedelia to our house..

Hmph, I posted this at 11.59 on Friday  but it came out as 00.00 on Saturday. It's my Friday blog, really it is!  You know what, it's bugging me - I'm going to change the setting.

Thursday, 15 November 2012


Back to the knitting! I finished my Spoots scarf (razor-shell lace - pattern here) a couple of weeks ago but I didn't ta-da it because I was going to add beads to the 'points' and hadn't actually bought any suitable beads yet.

 the points during blocking

But actually I've been wearing it on and off and I'm wondering whether to bother after all. This could partly be laziness, but also the knowledge that, pretty though they are, the beads will almost certainly catch on things. Like my hair. And the cats might think the scarf is an exciting new cat-toy.  So here's a picture of the scarf while I have a think:

Whatever I decide I'm glad I stuck it out with the soft-as-butter Shilasdair Luxury 4-ply. By the end I was making far fewer mistakes and wasn't un-knitting nearly so often so the wool was up to the challenge, and the end result is soft and warm and just really nice. Oh, and long - I may have been bored to tears for the last 20, ok 30cm, but it was worth it!

Blimey, I'm getting the hang of this lace thing! Quite slowly, admittedly...

Random Thought of the Day: I'm curious as to why the spell-check red wriggly underlining thing in Blogger doesn't recognise 'blogging' as a word. It takes me back to the olden days when Word suggested 'interned' whenever you typed 'internet'!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

A snake saw the mouse

"Come for a feast in my logpile house."

I'll freely admit I have nothing to say today. Writing doesn't come naturally to me anyway and I am tired, slightly grumpy and feeling unimaginative. In short it's the kind of day on which blogging every day for a month seems a bit daft! So I've had a rummage through my photos and found this picture of my parents' woodpile which makes me smile because it makes me think of Snake's logpile house in The Gruffalo.

You know, I actually physically write things so rarely these days (just shopping lists and notes in my diary) that my handwriting is appalling. It was Parents' Night at the school last night and the Boy's teacher commented on what nice writing he has. Doesn't get that from me.. Last week I was reading my shopping list, in my own writing, and misread 'cocktail sausages' as 'celestial sausages'.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

"The ball of wool miaowed, most piteously"

While I was visiting my parents I bought a couple of kids' books in a second-hand bookshop. I bought Ronnie and the Great Knitted Robbery by John Antrobus (illustrated by Rowan Barnes-Murphy) mostly because of the title. I've been reading it to the kids and it's wonderfully surreal. Ronnie is a boy who is thrown into an oven by a witch who lives on the 12th floor of a high-rise.  Things get weirder from there, with the characters knitting themselves from scene to scene with magic knitting needles. There is a knitted cup of coffee and a knitted kitten. The kitten gets unravelled at one point and Queen Victoria finds herself saddled with a mewing ball of wool who wants milk:

I can't help but feel that I missed out on this book as a kid. I'm of the right vintage, but I never read any of John Antrobus' books though I remember the title Help, I'm A Prisoner In a Toothaste Factory - well, who could forget that?

Monday, 12 November 2012

It's that time of year again!

Well, I am sticking to the shallows!  Ah, Ant and Dec, celebs and bugs, what more could I want? It started last night but My Beloved recorded it for me so I didn't have to inflict it on my parents and brother. I got home this afternoon after a four hour drive - probably not long to the likes of Mrs Micawber and others of you from BIG countries, but a Very Long Drive indeed to me. On the subject of big countries, I've been amusing myself looking up countries in the CIA World Factbook to see how they relate in size to US states. I've long been entertained by the way they do that - it adds an amusingly parochial note to their statistics! It won't let me search the other way though - I want to know the names of countries which are 'about as big as Wisconsin'. The UK is 'slightly smaller than Oregon' apparently. Australia is 'slightly smaller than the US contiguous 48 states but has more spiders than you can shake a stick at'. Okay, I made the latter half of that one up - all I know is I once flew across part of it and it took ages.

How on earth am I going to 'label' this post? I think 'it's a bit random' about covers it.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Silentish Sunday

I may not be at home on Remembrance Sunday but I've found some poppies on my memory card.

Snow on the hills today.

Saturday, 10 November 2012


This sheep just stood there with a jackdaw (I think) on one of its horns and another on its back. When we got a bit closer to them the birds flew off and the sheep came out of its reverie and wandered off. I'd love to know what it was thinking.

In other thrilling news, my brother has been channelling his inner lumberjack and has been chopping wood, and I knitted backwards and found the Sixteenth Stitch (it was a rogue and nearly invisible k2tog).  Then I tried the sock on my foot and decided to frog it and start again with more stitches. It was perfectly fine on my ankle but just too tight to get over my heel easily. I think it's the slip stitches that are affecting the tension - make sense really.  It feels stretchy, just not stretchy enough.
So I've cast on again this evening and have just started the first set of circles. At least it grows quickly!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Norther than North (actually not *that* north)

A sample of my dad's sense of humour!

I'm in the Frozen North having driven up today - my longest drive to date, quite proud of meself really - to be with my parents for a few days as Dad is just out of hospital. We're all quite tired so it's a short post today, but then I did know there would be short posts on occasion. I've brought my knitting but am rather kicking myself for having brought the circle sock as I still haven't figured out where the sixteenth stitch went. Possibly into an alternate dimension. The Sixteenth Stitch sounds like the title of  a short story doesn't it? Or possibly something Catherine Cookson-esque..

It's not a Frozen North at all, it's  a Bucketing Down North.

I'm off to read this:

There is always intriguingly obscure reading matter in this house!

Thursday, 8 November 2012


Do you ever make mistakes that you just can't figure out? I have fifteen stitches on this needle when I should have sixteen. I can't see any dropped stitches. Or an inadvertent k2tog. I'm going to have knit backwards again and find the mystery error. I like this pattern very much but honestly I'm spending as much time knitting backwards as forwards! Good job I love those teeny tiny circles so much :-D.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


I think if I made these mitts again I'd move the cable/lace panel over a bit, or perhaps move the thumb further round - they have to be adjusted into the right place rather than sitting there naturally. Perhaps I just have oddly shaped hands.  The interesting thing about the wool is that it looks quite different colours in different light. In daylight it looks red - not scarlet, but more to the orange side of the range (tomato red perhaps). By the light of my bedside lamp it looks rusty which is why I didn't like knitting them in bed.  When I was out for a walk today they looked quite autumnal, as if they could almost, almost, have done for the orange project too.

I don't knit with a lot of red or orange, or warm colours much at all come to think of it - until I started Project Rainbow this year had been all about the blues and before that there were more greens (and I'm just remembering a Far Side cartoon of a frog in sunglasses singing 'I got the Greeeeeens, I got the Greens real bad..'). I'm not sure warm colours suit my peely-wally colouring - would my fingers look less blue with blue mitts?

Tuesday, 6 November 2012


Today has been a very stressful one but at the end of it My Beloved made his truly delicious oaty rolls - comfort food at its best.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Aching Monday

I did a Metafit class this morning. 'Nuff said.  It was a lovely frosty morning though. And now it's a lovely frosty evening. The Boy and I went out for a walk to see if we could see any fireworks - I tried to photograph them and got such gems as this:

Still he seemed to enjoy himself and it really is a lovely, if chilly night.  We'd thought of taking the kids to a firework display but they're on so late. Why? It's dark before six o'clock, they don't exactly need to wait until 8 o'clock.

So I'm doing a bit of knitting rather than trying to escape a crowded post-firework-display car-park. Hmm, I'm not too disappointed! Note the cat-hair in that picture - there is always a stray cat-hair in my knitting photos and I never notice until I get the pictures on my 'puter.

I'm so sleepy though, might not get much done *yawn*.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Autumn colour

 We had a lazy day today. We watched The Muppets on DVD (complete with microwave popcorn - bleurgh), then we watched the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (and I held my breath for whole chunks of it - blimey what a race), and then the Boy and I went for a walk.  Most of the leaves are down now..
 .. and the colours are in the copper-to-brown range, more muted than it was.

Back at home the less muted Circle Socks (what I eventually decided to do for my Project Rainbow 'Orange' item - not toe-up; top-down but with this fun slip-stitch pattern)  are proceeding. I've never knitted a slipped-stitch pattern before and it's a lot of fun - much quicker than I thought for a start. Actually the purl rows are much slower than the slip-stitch rows. I did have a slight issue of a dropped slip-stitch meaning I had to go back three rows. And then do the same thing again when I realised I'd dropped the flamin' thing again, but it's all sorted now!  It's looking lovely but I'm not sure it's going to fit over my foot - I have quite big feet and although I'm sure the ankle will fit my ankle, if you see what I mean, I'm not sure I'll get it to my ankle. Feet are so inconveniently shaped! So I may have to start again with a few more stitches - I'll do a few more rounds and see how it's doing. The thought did cross my mind that the slipped-stitch circles would make a lovely cuff for a pair of gloves/mitts but I really don't need any more.

Saturday, 3 November 2012


 Wool dyed with dyers chamomile (anthemis tinctoria), soaking in water.

 The same wool added to the slightly pongy black bean dye bath (black turtle beans soaked in cold water out in the garage for several days),

 The same wool after soaking for another couple of days out in the garage.

The same wool after washing and drying. It's green! Really green!

 The same wool shown with my previous Best Green, the drab one - photo taken with a flash.

For days after this I was waving the wool under the noses of my family saying 'Look at that! It's green!' That's how pleased I am!

Friday, 2 November 2012


Friday night is Pizza Night in our house. It started when we got the breadmaker - initially we made bread, then we discovered the pizza dough recipe, then we realised that while we were using the breadmaker regularly, we were only using it for making pizza dough.  And then the breadmaker blew up ceased to function and we've discovered that actually pizza dough is incredibly easy to make without it, so we've kept going minus the breadmaker.  The kids love it - they sometimes help with the dough (that's Miss M doing her best Paul Hollywood impression there) and they like to add their own toppings. The only downside is that it's rather spoiled them and they're inclined to turn their noses up at non-homemade pizza. Ah well, there's worse ways to be spoiled.

I don't really do anything doughy apart from the pizza dough. My Beloved makes incredibly wonderful oaty rolls occasionally, and sometimes bread. And I've been known to make soda bread in the past. But having watched the Great British Bake Off now I'm tempted to try a plaited loaf - I've done all sorts of braiding, how hard can it be...?

The Great British Bake Off was a surprise hit in our house - I hadn't seen the previous two series, and only started watching this year's about halfway through because people kept telling me about it and Funky Knitwear James is from the part of Shetland where I grew up so I felt obliged to watch. No, I don't know him - I'd headed off to university before he was even born (How To Feel Very Very Old) and we'd moved out of that area by then though I still had relatives there, but in the way of people originally from small places I can 'place' him in the community. Do you get that in other small places? In Shetland people like to know who they're talking about and if you don't you can place them by who they're related to or who they were at school with. I was just 'Peter's daughter' for years, probably still am to some.

The Great British Bake Off entertained me greatly but I'm not entirely sure why, given that almost none of the baked things made me drool. Oh, I admired the skill involved in making them, but I'm not into pastries or puddings and not even particularly keen on cake. I have one friend who said the doughnuts episode made her really hungry but there was nothing I saw that I'd have wanted to eat until John's chocolate cake in the final. So it was a bit of an odd thing to watch really.  I think it's just the satisfaction of watching people who are competent, because even when they had disasters they were all much more technical in their baking than I'd ever be (or choose to be, if I'm honest).

But anyway, talking of cake and the Bake Off, may I recommend Mary Berry's Chocolate Sandwich cake? I love Nigella's Chocolate Fudge Cake but this one is almost as good, much quicker and less fiddly so it's what I use for the kids' birthday cakes. It's brilliantly easy, even with kids helping, and always gives great results.  I originally found it on the BBC website with their 'Recipe Finder' and normally I'd include a link but I can't find it there now so here it is, with the disclaimer 'This is Mary Berry's recipe, it deserves to be known and baked, often!'

Mary Berry’s Chocolate Victoria Sandwich sponge cake
Makes 20cm/8in cake
Preparation time less than 30 minutes
Cooking time 30 minutes to 1 hour

2 tbsp cocoa
3 tbsp boiling water
225g/8oz soft margarine
225g/8oz caster sugar
4 eggs
225g/8oz self-raising flour
2tsp baking powder
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease and base line 20cm/2x8in sandwich tins.
2. Blend the cocoa and water in a mixing bowl then leave to cool slightly. Measure all the remaining ingredients into the bowl and beat well until thoroughly blended. Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and level out.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until well risen and the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly pressed with a finger. Leave to cool in the tins for a few moments then turn out, peel off the paper and finish cooling on a wire rack.

Chocolate buttons optional.  Were there any chocolate buttons on Great British Bake Off? All a signature wotsit needs is chocolate buttons and gold star sprinkles! In our house anyway.


People often say that baking has to be really accurate and you should follow the recipe to the letter. Actually I take liberties with baking - my Christmas cake always has loads of extra fruit and I leave out things like glace cherries which I don't like. I've made mistakes with weighing ingredients and *whispers* it's not as critical as the books would have you believe (think about it, how long have really reliable and accurate scales been in existence? How long did people mostly measure 'by eye'?). And when I made Miss M's birthday cake last month I realised far too late that the margarine I had was 'light' and 'not suitable for baking', so I used mostly that with a bit of leftover butter from something else I'd been making and it was delicious.  There are occasional disasters of course, but not many.

Thursday, 1 November 2012


Apparently it's Blog Writing Month - NaBloNeeneeNoonoo or some such thing. I don't like Newspeak-style agglomerations, especially ones start with Na standing for National because there's never any mention of which nation exactly. So in support of the nation of Tuvalu who are fairly unlikely to be the nation in question, I'm avoiding the nasty word and I'm just saying that the plan is to blog every day this month. Last year I tried Advent Blogging in December - every day up until Christmas Day - and managed that so how hard can thirty days be? Well, the honest answer is that the some days it'll be quite difficult indeed but I'm allowing myself a few posts that are just a picture and a caption.

So we start with Last Night. That's a pile of bags of sweeties (also satsumas as a nod towards vitamins and stuff) I put together yesterday in preparation for hordes of kids at the door. In fact there weren't huge numbers of kids out and about, we always have too much (everyone does) and there are always leftovers.

And that's the Horrors dressed up for going out guising - the Boy is the classic sheeted spectre and Miss Mouse is 'Violet Vocabulary', a superhero known only to primary school-children so other kids her age thought it was cool and nobody else knew who she was.  The Boy, who is rather shy, had a completely fantastic time this year. As his face was covered he didn't feel nearly as shy as usual about telling his joke to people on their doorsteps ('How does the ghost like his eggs cooked? Terror-fried').  The rain had stopped by the time we went out and we met up with some other kids and parents to go round together - my friend's husband made a very impressive Darth Vader but nobody gave him sweeties, awwww....

And keeping up with tradition I made two small neepie lanterns. The neeps (swedes) I got this year were teeny which makes it a bit awkward but no skinned knuckles! One of my friends told me on Facebook this morning that she once ended up getting six stitches on her hand after a neep-carving accident, so I'm counting myself very lucky! We left one on our doorstep while we were out guising and I carried the other with me.

The aftermath - singed neep. Aren't tealights a brilliant invention?

My Powerhoop class has been cancelled this morning so I'm off to wind wool for my orange project - not really comparable exercise but it needs to be done!