Sunday, 31 March 2013

Chicks and chocolate and eggs, oh my

I didn't knit these - I could of course, but I'd never get round to it... There's apparently a knitting group at our local library and they knitted a whole load of these little chicks with creme eggs inside, and the library sold them on their behalf, proceeds going to a cancer charity.  The kids were delighted with them!  They are very cute.

I'm going to admit something here - I used to read on parenting fora and the like about uber-mummies doing Easter Egg hunts for their kids, and thought 'Aye right' (useful Scottish expression suggesting extreme disbelief). Today though I sat down and wrote clues (in rhyme) and hid eggs and clues around the house. And the kids had a wonderful time racing each other round the house, bickering about who got to read the clues and so on. And eating the chocolate. And I got an uber-mummyish glow. It was a sublime moment. However it kept them occupied for maybe five minutes tops. I think you can work out how long it took me to find suitable hiding places and compose the clues!

In another supreme parenting moment, yesterday I made chocolate nests with the kids, though mostly the Boy actually.

 And oooooh, they're good. Mmmmm..

That's one sitting on my keyboard this evening, half devoured. It didn't last much longer.  Miss Mouse won't touch them because they contain corn flakes, which she likes as cereal but apparently is disgusted by in combination with chocolate. Does that sentence make sense? Ah, you get the gist. Nor does she like mini-eggs, weird child. So all the more for the rest of us, eh :-D.

Enough chocolate (never!) - here's a small cat watching us play a game:

I've just realised I've already used this picture on my 365 blog. Hmm, never mind. That was the scene yesterday, and actually this was the scene today, as we set up for a second go:

Yesterday was Table Top Day, a day invented by the Geek & Sundry Youtube channel people (so Wil Wheaton and chums) to get people playing games together and tweeting about it.

Now I'm not a gamer. Computer games very rarely grab me and I hate most board games (Monopoly - spit spit..). My Beloved is, naturally, a gamer's gamer  - he has been a games programmer, he plays computer games, he has a past involving role-playing games, war-gaming and once even LARPing.  He gets all the gaming jokes in Big Bang Theory. I fear I am a constant disappointment to him. All that I have going for me, in a gaming sense, is that in the early days of our relationship we played Day of the Tentacle and the various Monkey Island games together, collaboratively - he was the mouse-clicker, I said 'No, try clicking the  flag/pirate ship/whatever' and we both tried to figure out how you win a pirate spitting-contest. So I have no real history of gaming but in the interests of family something-or-other I bought Forbidden Island which has (phew) no board so is not technically a board game. Instead it has cards which form the game board. And there are no dice of any size or shape. And best of all it's collaborative - the players are not competing against each other, they're working as a team to achieve their goal which is to, er, nick the treasure before the island sinks. The treasures that were hidden on the booby-trapped sinking island to prevent their catastrophic misuse by thieving imperialists. Yeah, shouldn't have read the back-story, should I? Yesterday we won, but today we failed, which made me feel a whole lot better!

So that was fun. No, really! We haven't yet managed to persuade the Boy to join in which is a shame because I suspect he'd figure it out a lot quicker than me, but Miss Mouse is quite happy to join in. Three out of four (plus interested cats) ain't bad.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The widening gyre

A bit of Yeats for you there, because I'm still spinning and because Chinua Achebe, author of Things Fall Apart, died this week, which made me think of the poem.

So, yes, still spinning. The doctor says it's labyrinthitis which is what I suspected.  It comes and goes. And is particularly bad in supermarket checkout queues! I think that's because that's the only time I'm actually standing still. The rest of the time I'm either moving or sitting down, and it's manageable then. In fact it's not really bad, I'm functioning, getting the kids to and from school, doing most of the usual things, though Powerhooping is out for the moment - the sight of all those hoops is just too much!  I've been using the computer less and for shorter periods of time which is why I haven't been blogging - I'm a s-l-o-w blogger,  it takes me a while to find the right pictures and write a post!

So what have I been up to? Well I did do another loaf of bread, following an actual recipe this time and it turned out ok:

 Then My Beloved made some of his wonderful oaty rolls using his usual method of haphazard measuring and, as far as I can tell, minimal kneading, and they were amazing!  Hmph.

 I've made choc-choc-chip cookies with Miss Mouse:

And apple and blackcurrant crumble just for me, 'cos nobody else likes it (but no picture of that because the ones I took looked too visceral).  Comfort food? Oh yes! It's been grimly cold with a really biting wind. I've just been watching the snow falling again. It's been snowing a bit every day for days - mostly tiny pebbles of snow, not hail because it's too light and soft for that, but not flakes either, more like very small polystyrene beads. Today it was back to real flakes though briefly. I'm not looking forward to going out to get the kids. This time last year it was like this, which was nice but weird.

Today I mordanted a skein of wool - that's the first mordant this year, we're getting to dyeing season, yay! I might even invest in a bigger pot so I can do more than one skein at a time.

And that's all for now. It's taken me two hours to write this post because it all got too spinny and I had to go and lie down in the middle, so if it's incoherent don't blame me, blame my inner ear!

Monday, 4 March 2013


 I woke up on Friday morning to discover that my sense of balance had stepped out for a bit. I assume it's some kind of inner ear thing - I didn't feel light-headed, faint, sick or anything like that, I just wasn't clear on what was up, down or sideways. I found myself clinging to the floor, thinking 'the enemy's gate is down' which isn't much help when you're trying to get to the bathroom. I'd be rubbish in space.

It eased, and sleep helps, but I'm still a bit off-balance and spinny. It's all very odd, and has meant I haven't done some of the things I've meant to do over the last few days.

However I have made bread (above) - on Saturday, from a packet mix admittedly, but it was quite nice and I feel inspired to make some more, this time not-from-a-packet-mix.

Today I did some spinning.

I've had a spindle or two since my re-enactment days. The light one got sat on by somebody and snapped but this one, my 'good' spindle survives. I don't know if it's 'good' in a spinning sense but as an object it is lovely. However I've never really got to get grips with spindling. Somebody kindly showed me the basics at a re-enactment event years ago - at Scarborough Castle actually, after a largely sleepless night in a tent pitched in the castle grounds. Scarborough Castle is on a headland sticking into the North Sea, and the wind was quite 'fresh' that night. So I didn't take it all in that day. But I've had a go a few times since and yesterday I actually got round to looking up a helpful Youtube video, which has helped. As you can see the 'yarn' is quite lumpy but believe me it's way better than it was. It suddenly started getting almost even instead of insanely thick immediately followed by insanely thin. I was quite proud of myself and went downstairs and said to My Beloved 'I've been spinning' and he looked confused and said, 'What, your head?'  Actually my head was surprisingly unspinny while I was spindling. The same cannot be said for the Powerhoop class I was at this morning - all those hoops spinning round and round and round did not help my balance issues :-D. Apparently I looked like a rabbit in the headlights. Hmm.

This evening, while watching last night's Top Gear, I've been going on with the yellow stripey thing, which I should have finished by now as we're onto Green (March/April) in the Project Rainbow spectrum, but there you go, these things happen. I should never have tried to knit it while watching engrossing subtitled Danish crime drama last week!  Talking of which, slightly tangentially, the next thing to get excited about is Shetland (showing next Sunday and Monday), which I am so looking forward to, even if Douglas Henshall is nothing like my idea of Jimmy Perez. I shall be squeeing at familiar places though, and looking out for one of my friends who was an extra for a day. And no, on a clear day you cannot see Norway..