Sunday, September 28, 2008

Thank you

thanks for all the nice comments about Shaun in the last post. I. has made him a sign to hang on his neck, saying 'For sale: Shaun the Sheep'. Both I. and N. are quite keen on having one for themselves, so I may have to knit a couple more for Christmas...
Somebody in the comments asked where I got the kit from, and after a bit of Googling I got back here: Shaun the Sheep knitting kit They're a nice company to deal with, not necessarily rock-bottom prices but good customer service - their stuff usually arrives in a day, and I've bought quite a bit of stuff from them over the past few years.

I've got a few other projects on the go now, so check back in another 6 months' time or so for another finished object ;-)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

We present a Finished Object

Meet Shaun the Sheep:

'Say hello, Shaun':

What adventures can I get up to?

O he's soooo cute mamma!

She hasn't said so, but I think she would love a Shaun of her own... And I hate making things twice. It may well become a Sinterklaas/Christmas present. This one's going to a colleague who's due with her first baby in a few weeks' time and who loves Shaun as much as I do. Let's hope baby will share this enthusiasm!

Exclusion zone

You wouldn't say that this boy has a superbout of tonsilitis would you? He came home on Sunday with a very blocked up nose. By Tuesday evening his breath began to smell. By Wednesday morning his glands were as large as golf balls. Needless to say he's now on penicillin! This photo is from yesterday afternoon and it was the first time he got off the sofa (apart from the visit to the GP) to do a little playing. I'm getting slight cabin fever and thoroughly fed up with Cbeebies... Looks like he'll be off school rest of the week too. I've instated an exclusion zone around the house and hope that the rest of us don't get it - so far, touch wood, we seem okay!

Spot the supply of Calpol and penicillin in the background ;-)
This seems to be our favourite meal at the moment: homemade burgers, homemade rolls, homemade chips. It's my version of McDonalds, but then cheaper and healthier. That is, if I manage not to pinch the kids' leftovers...

To prevent the onset of boredom I've been reading blogs here and there, and came across this website which shows name trends. You put in a name and it shows you when it was popular. When I put in my own name, the result made me laugh:

I've been getting on with Shaun and all that's left is his ears and then his head needs to be sewn on. I've been procrastinating as I was scared he would turn out not looking like Shaun at all, but he looks very cute so far. And not before time - the baby who he is meant for, is due in the next three weeks!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Photo post

In the absence of time, let pictures do the talking!

A weekend away at Vanfest. This was driving back home again in an impromptu convoy of about 11 other campers, all from different eras.

Echt Hema. (magnetic week organiser - kids are having a whale of a time with all the magnets for different occasions).

Mouse with a death wish (found this morning in the kitchen).

Dutch appeltaart for B.'s birthday.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Three things challenge

Lena sent me a challenge - it's great to discover that your blog is being read by people you don't know! And to discover another 'small' blog. I keep this blog mostly as a bit of a diary for myself, but I enjoy hearing from others and finding other blogs to read. Lena's gone in my blogger list.

As for the challenge...

What are the last 3 things you purchased?

O I have to think about this one - now that the kids are back at school, I don't go out and spend much apart from petrol and food! Probably the fat quarter for I.'s fabric cuff, some filling for Shaun the Sheep who's nearing completion, and a couple of fuchsia plants from the local cat rescue place.

What are the last three songs you downloaded?

Not something I've ever got into. I mostly listen to the radio and am a huge Radio 4 fan.

What are the three best places you visited?

That's going to be hard to choose... Scotland has a warm place in my heart. I first went there with J. when I. was just a year old. We both loved it - the scenery, the people, the remoteness, the sense of community. We went back the following year and even toyed with the idea of moving up there. I have very fond memories of that first holiday there.
Rome was amazing too. I attended grammar school in Holland and did 6 years of Latin. As part of our education, all 17 year olds went to Rome for 10 days. Suddenly we were allowed to call the teachers by their first name and the whole trip forged a bond with the teachers which lasted for the next year when we took our exams. The trip was crammed full with visits, we had lovely weather, and the place is just steeped in history. Best of all, I saw a statue of the goddess with my name. Unfortunately, she was headless... ;-)

And then Zeeland must feature on my list. We took the camper over to Holland for our summer holidays last year and were planning to travel from the south coast to the north coast, ending up on the Waddeneilanden. But we never got that far. Our second campsite was brilliant, quiet and had a private beach. The other beaches in Zeeland were beautiful, the weather was great, all the kids (four of varying ages) were having a good time and mum came to see us for a day just before she became ill. I already knew Zeeland from my childhood, as we spent many summer holidays there, but could now see how beautiful it was there. Good times.

What are your three favourite movies?

Truly Madly Deeply
Witness (so I can drool over Harrison Ford)
Can't think of any more - I don't watch many films.

What three things can you not live without? (Other than family and friends)

Knitting/sewing/cooking - basically doing something creative
My bike and my running shoes and my swimming cozzie
The internet (having said that, two weeks on a camping holiday without tv/phone/internet is bliss!) Okay that means I get an extra one! The radio, and in particular Radio 4.

What would be your three wishes?

For my children to grow up happy and confident
For my parents to be around for a long time yet
To be able to stop always worrying about things which don't need to be worried about

What are three things you haven’t done YET?

Taken the camper on a tour of the Norfolk coast
Learnt to spin
Changed my career

What three celebrities do you want to hang out with most?

I don't think I'd ever want to hang out with any celebrities... Okay, maybe some lesser known celebrities: Charlotte Green, the BBC 4 newsreader, for getting a terrible giggling fit during a serious news item once; Melvyn Bragg for being able to make maths sound interesting, and Rolf Harris as he always seems so cheerful.
I had to think about this for a week!!

Name three things that freak you out.

Now that's easy:
Eating beetroot
Going on rollercoasters
Big spiders
(o and being late)

What are your three favourite dishes?

Zuurkool met worst (sauerkraut with smoked sausage)
Anything barbecued by B. (actually, anything cooked by him, as he's a very good cook but doesn't always give himself the time, so it's a real treat when he cooks for me)
My fish pie with smoked haddock and prawns.

Name three things you are good at.

Being a mum (most of the time!)

What are three things you are currently coveting?

Can I only have three? ;-)
A KitchenAid
A coffee machine
A redecorated house and revamped garden.

I have to pass this challenge on to three people: Lazy Seamstress, as I find her creations very inspiring and her blog honest and down to earth, Rebecca from Poshyarns for cooking things which make me want to run to the kitchen and pull out my mixing bowl, and the Intrepid Fibre Wizard, who's been through a tough time the last year but wrote about it in a very dignified way.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

September = school

In Holland, most children go back to school around the middle of August. In Britain, it's usually the first week of September. To me, this feels much more natural. The last week or so, there has been a chill in the air. All the hedgerows have red berries. In the morning, the grass is wet with dew. It gets dark a little earlier every evening and it takes me by surprise every evening. The weather is turning, the season is changing - a change in routine fits in beautifully.

For us this year there is a big change in routine. My nine year old is starting middle school. I know it's a cliché, but it is so true: she's growing up so fast. Last year I went to leavers assembly and sat there thinking 'but she's not ready for this'. But this past year, she's done a lot of growing up. She's becoming more independent, she has her own tastes and her own interests. She's discovering the world on her own, without having to have an adult hold her hand all the time, and it gives her a lot of confidence (more than I ever had at her age). She is fun to have around, to have a laugh with, to have a cuddle with. I can ask her for an honest opinion and know I will get one. Most of all, she's turning into a beautiful young girl.

Part of this stepping out into the big wide world is going to middle school. Going on a bus in the morning, instead of in the car. Having lots of different teachers instead of just the one. More homework. She was very ready for it. I'm not so sure I was.

What I am sure of though, is that she is my big girl. And I am more proud of her than I'll ever be able to tell her.