Wednesday, 21 May 2014


I got the sewing-machine out again today. It had been lurking under its bin-bag cover (I really must get/make a proper cover for it) and the longer I left it the more I worried that it would revert to its non-functioning state or that I'd lose what little sewing ability I'd gained.

But today the sun shone (unconnected, but engendering a feeling of positivity - or perhaps recklessness) so I got the machine out, dragged the iron and ironing board out of their sabbatical and made another skirt. Actually the worst bit was cutting it out. I get really anxious about that. I had to use pages of the Scotsman sellotaped together to make a template as I knew I wouldn't be able to cut out a rectangle without something to provide right-angles. But once I got it cut out more or less rectangularly it all went quite well. I had to do a bit of arithmetic because the instructions are in inches and I don't do inches.  Nor does my tape-measure, more to the point. I've taken note of the metric equivalents for the various seam allowances and hems so that next time I won't have to frown and scratch my head. Oh, and I spent quite a long time squinting at the floral pattern trying to work out if the design had an obvious right/wrong way up. It doesn't seem to, which is quite clever really. It's quite reassuring that the things that slowed me down weren't the actual sewing.

The sewing-machine was behaving fairly well - some of the thread was bunching slightly at the start and coming through a bit green, so I suspect the innards need a clean again, but there were no major problems. And Miss M likes the end result, which is the main thing. And I got to take a picture of the finished skirt in the evening sunshine, which is always nice!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Happy feet, I've got these happy feet

Ta-da! These socks took forever to finish - by which I mean they were almost done, bar grafting the toe of the second sock and dealing with a gazillion ends (the downside of stripes), but it's been one of those weeks where I just didn't get the quiet time I needed for finishing them. But I got them done yesterday and now I've got happy feet!

I'd pondered various ways of doing the stripes but I'm happy with fairly wide stripes and the inverse colour thingy.

I think of them as my Fettes socks because they remind me of a university friend who'd gone to Fettes College (a private school in Edinburgh) and said their uniform was 'chocolate and raspberry'.  At this point another friend (also from Edinburgh) muttered 'pink and brown'. Yes folks, the uniform was pink and brown stripes.  Why not just give them a big sign saying 'Please mug me!' as well? Most odd.

And now by way of complete contrast with yesterday's pink and brown woolliness (incidentally the wool was two colours of Lang's Jawoll sock wool), today was much more green:

This should really be two separate posts but I'm not sure when I'll get the chance to blog again this week so you're getting two posts badly grafted together, to use a knitterly metaphor. So. Today we went for a walk in Pollok Park which is a large park in the southside of Glasgow.  It used to be part of the old Pollok estate and contains Pollok House (ancestral home of the Maxwell family, now owned by the National Trust for Scotland) and the Burrell Collection which is one of my favourite museums. Aside from that there are fields, Highland cows, walks, mountain bike trails, lots of trees and green stuff, and you get the picture.

Our walk was actually more of an explore. The kids were initially reluctant but after hiding among the trees for a bit and scrambling around on fallen tree trunks and waving sticks around and going squelch squerch through the mud, they were having a great time. Eventually we found the pond that we'd gone in search of, that my mother-in-law swore was there somewhere but we thought we'd never find.

Seventeen years I've lived in this area and I had no idea there was a pond in Pollok Park! It was very shallow and quite murky and stagnant-looking, but there were loads of tadpoles in it so obviously it was more inviting to wildlife than it appeared. My mother-in-law says that later in the year there are tiny frogs all over the path by the pond as they all set off to their froggy destinations, whatever they might be.  I took loads of photos in the woods and round the pond, but almost all of them came out really badly which was a bit disappointing, especially as there were a lot of bluebells under the trees. I think I might have pressed a wrong button at some point and accidentally adjusted the exposure setting. I'll have to mess around with it tomorrow and see if I can improve it. And possibly clean the lens too. It's only a little compact camera but I normally get a reasonable number of half-decent photos on a day out like that. So, weekend over and back to the frenzy but it's a short school week this week. (Actually I'm not sure if that makes it better or worse..) I hope my readers have had a good weekend too though!


On the subject of Happy Feet - just to spread a little happiness and because I love the Muppets and took the kids to see Muppets Most Wanted yesterday, here's a link to Kermit singing Happy Feet! Enjoy :-).

Saturday, 3 May 2014


I spent much of today sneezing. I was tidying Miss M's bedroom which is very small and somewhat cramped, and this necessitated wriggling under her bed to fight off hordes of vicious dust-bunnies. I am allergic to dust. However, the might of Henry prevailed and Miss M's room is somewhat tidier and very much cleaner than it was before (not that it was dirty really, but there were very dusty areas and as she's been somewhat hayfeverish recently I think she may have inherited my tendency to allergies).  My Beloved spent much of the day tinkering with his motorbike (sorry, fettling) and went out for a ride to check, I dunno, something technical. He shopped while he was out and came back with flowers for me.

Awwwwwww :-).

Unfortunately he stuffed them in his panniers, so I got five roses and five decapitated roses:

Never mind.