Monday, 11 January 2016

A Sad Day......

At Christmastime 42 years ago, I started a relationship with a man. Today it ended. Or rather it didn't. We never met, although we were in the same place at the same time on a handful of occasions. So much of what he did was the backdrop to my formative years. From questionable taste in fashion in an attempt to emulate him, to the amount of time I spent in my bedroom, not quite alone (he was always there), to the future musical choices I would make and therefore find myself amongst like-minded people.

David Bowie

The first album I actually owned.
R.I.P. Mr Bowie.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Sunday Evening Wind Down

Sunday evening feels quite different to the rest of the week. The TV on offer is at a slower pace, you vow to get an early night and probably spent some time getting things ready for the morning.
Starting with getting the washing done and dry. No chance of putting it out on the line at the moment, so it's artistically arranged around a radiator.
I've got a week's worth of work clothes all clean and ready, I know what I'm wearing tomorrow and the packed lunch (leftovers) is safely in a Tupperware box.
My plans for the rest of tonight are a bit of telly, an hour with a book and 8 hours sleep. I can hope.
I have lots to do in the coming week, both at home and at work, but tonight is for relaxation.
Feel free to read this with a smug grin if you are retired.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Charity Shop Bargain

My latest charity shop haul included a Lifemax lamp, bought for £6. I thought it looked a bit like those hideously expensive craft lamps you see at quilt shows or possibly one of those S.A.D. lights. Either way it was a bargain. It looks as though buying one new is best part of  40 quid / $58!
It works and has been tested for safety. However, a quick look at Amazon puts a replacement bulb at around £11. I'll have to source a different supplier when the time comes.
It gives off a daylight type of brightness and, as such is ideal for use when sewing.
When I bought my current sewing machine, it had almost all the features I was looking for , but reviews pointed out that the light wasn't very good. I went with it anyway, but that one point remains a little disappointing, especially when spending hundreds of pounds.

I quite liked the book I read earlier in the week, so looked at my library's online catalogue to see if there was anything by the same author. The book above was available, but at another branch to my local one. I reserved it and in only two days, I had an email to say it was ready for collection. Aren't libraries brilliant? I don't think the service would be that fast if I'd ordered and paid for it from Amazon! It's simplistic to say that libraries are free - they are not, of course. However, unless they are used, the risk of even greater cuts is inevitable. I'm lucky to live in an area where this service is still very good. Although I do have to put up with unrepaired road surfaces full of potholes. I suppose you can't have everything.

Friday, 8 January 2016

A Slip Up!

We went out to eat last night. Only to a nice pub - nothing too fancy.
I had the vegetarian fish and chips. It's made with halloumi cheese, fried in batter. It's a long time (at least 35 years) since I ate fish, but I think this replicates it quite well.
The dish gets a bit of a mixed press, but I like it. It is, however, about a million calories, so a treat once in a blue moon.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

He's Behind You!

My nephew and me went to a pantomime. His first and my first for a great number of decades.
We stopped off at a coffee shop before going in and I ordered him a glass of milk. I don't think this particular chain is geared up for children, unless they're having over-priced fizzy stuff which he doesn't have. I was a little concerned about the size of this and the fact it was in a (breakable) glass.

I shouldn't have worried. The milk was dispensed with in one go. Hope he doesn't take to drinking pints like that in later life.
The afternoon went well, although he was extremely frustrated by the main characters who took no notice of him or the rest of the audience, when he quite rightly pointed out that the skeleton was behind them. He was really quite annoyed.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Fabric Purchases

Do I need anymore fabric? Probably not, but I was short of light colours for my string quilt, so bought 2 metres. Also bought 2 metres of other quilt weight fabric. The check material is a stretchy one, bought with the intention of making PJ bottoms - you can't have too many of these. I don't like buying pyjama sets as I have tons of t-shirts that work perfectly well as a top for sleeping in.
Before you ask - I have never been out in public wearing nightwear (maybe to the wheelie bin).
All bought from Abakhan of course. I occasionally buy online, but you can't beat a trip to and actual real live fabric store.
Abakhan is unusual in that it has lots of bins with different fabrics in and they are priced by the kg. I just head for the craft cottons bins, usually priced at £19.99 a kg. Once you get your head around this being about £6 a metre, it's easy. If you find a big piece of something, they'll cut it for you as long as there is at 1/2 metre left for the next customer.
I haven't been for my walk yet, today, so off out in a minute to clock up some miles. To hit target, I need to do a minimum of 20 miles a week and tomorrow is the 7th. Don't want to fall behind on week one!

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan


I haven't been reading so much in recent months, but have decided I should prioritise library books over the rubbish TV on offer.
I started this a couple of days ago and the fact I have already finished it suggests it wasn't a particularly difficult read. It's set in 19th Century China and references a culture I know almost nothing about. The descriptions of foot binding are horrific, but confined to the initial act as if the issues weren't there for the rest of the lives of these women. I think I'll find out some more about this subject.
My copy had a different cover to the one above (obviously, I just pinched the picture off A*****n), I notice it says it's been mad into a film. I'll have to watch out for that.
Unfortunately, the time spent reading should have been at the sewing machine, so no progress on string quilt. However, colour scheme for baby quilt is sorted - turquoise, red, a bit of yellow and lots of white. Decision made!

Monday, 4 January 2016

Logcabin Block Baby Quilt

Having decided to make a quilt for the impending arrival of a new baby in the family, I looked to Pinterest for inspiration. The only problem with that is the information overload. I needed to go for something that was within my skill level. The pictures on Pinterest can make you feel quite inadequate.
Next decision was about colour. Despite alleged sexual equality and all the politics around it, the adage 'pink for a girl and blue for a boy' is still firmly entrenched.
So, do I wait to find out what flavour she's having or go for a gender neutral colour (that'll be yellow, then)?

I like the look of this one. (It's not mine - credit to Anna Levengood)

Yesterday's walk was a bit rubbish, only a couple of miles, but redeemed myself today with 3.5 miles. Almost enjoyed it. I went out after work. Had quite a busy day today, which was fine. Less fine was listening to a grown woman listing every gift she got for Christmas. Surely the question, "what did you get for Christmas?" is a bit like "how are you?" No-one actually expects a detailed answer - it's small talk.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Thank You

Image result for thanks for the gift
How quickly would you wait to thank someone for a gift? What methods are acceptable?
As you can guess, I'm asking from a personal point of view.
I wouldn't expect a letter in this day and age, but maybe an email or a text, preferably within a day or two. For me 9 days and a FB comment just seems a little less than polite. Still better than no acknowledgement at all, I suppose. Or am I over-reacting because it doesn't matter anymore?

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Roll On Monday

Image result for walking in the dark

Well today's efforts were a little more productive. I managed to log 3.58 miles, most of it in the rain. I had no choice other than to walk after it had gone dark. This restricts my route as I feel I must avoid  being in certain places, like the park for instance.
When the nights are lighter, it will be more interesting. Spring isn't that far away, is it?
Image result for back to work

I'm not wishing the year away, but will be glad when it gets to Monday. I know a lot of people are probably dreading going back to work. I've had enough of not being able to work out what day of the week it is! Not looking forward to the increased traffic, though.
We still have tomorrow and aside from fulfilling my walking goal, I'll be mainly driving a sewing machine.
I've started a string quilt, requiring 72 blocks - I've done 15. Tomorrow's plan is to make a bigger dent in this.

Friday, 1 January 2016

A Challenge

Image result for walking pictures

Ilona over at Life After Money set herself the challenge of walking 1000 miles in a year. Read about it here.  She also suggested that others might join her - lots of people have, including me!
I started today, (clich├ęd, yes, but who cares).

Image result for walking pictures
Well today I managed 2.9 miles. It's a start and I've only to do it another 364 times to hit the target. Good job we have an extra day this year.
I completed a 10k 'Fun' run last year and was painfully slow, but I did cross the line and raise a few hundred pounds for my favourite charity. The anticipated fitness levels di not materialise unfortunately.
At the very least this challenge will see me getting my money's worth out of the hideously expensive trainers I bought for last year's event.
Let's see what I manage tomorrow!