Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

I was going to make this a catch-up post but I like my Daybooks too and as I haven't done one for a few weeks, I think I'll try and combine the two this week.

For Tuesday 30 November

Outside my window... the curtains are drawn as I'm writing this in the evening, but if I opened them, I'd see snow. We've had snow since Sunday evening, not enough to disrupt our lives (although the media would have you believe otherwise), but still enough to make it look pretty.

I am thinking... that we had an adventurous weekend. B. bought himself another tractor back in the summer. Only it was on Ebay in America... It's taken till last weekend for us to be able to collect it, as it had to be taken from Iowa to a port in New York, then came over on a container ship to Kent, and then it had to clear customs. We set out very early on Sunday morning with the lorry (with a short delay as the lorry had a puncture - ever tried to change a lorry wheel in the dark on a very slippery driveway covered in snow and ice?) and a few hours later this was B's new toy:
It's 55 years old, it has a few dents but nothing that you wouldn't expect from a vintage working tractor! and we're now debating which one to take to Wales next year for the National Vintage Tractor Road Run...

I am thankful for... the kids.

At 11 and 8 they're becoming better company all the time. We had a lovely time in Holland, it was great having three days with all the time in the world just to be with them and enjoy them without the distractions of everyday life. In a way I don't want them to get older, but on the other hand, I can't wait to see what they're like as they get older.

From the kitchen...have been rubbish meals lately. I really must start paying a bit more attention to my diet, as I'm eating anything and everything in sight. WeightWatchers have introduced a new system but I haven't dared to go back to the meetings as I know I'm way over my goal. I have cooked some lovely meals at the weekend though, as very often it's just B. and me and we enjoy a good meal on Saturday night while watching the X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing.

I am wearing... lycra trousers, a stretch tshirt and a pink fleece top. Soon to be changed for flannel pjs and furry slipper boots, as it's cold here! I'm having a relaxing evening by myself and nothing feels more relaxing than putting on my pjs. Have to finish this post first though and quickly clear the kitchen before I let myself get changed!

I am creating... a little present for a Secret Santa I'm taking part in at work - but can't say too much as I'm not sure if anybody from work reads my blog! Also really into dishcloths. I take part in a monthly dishcloth swap over on Ravelry, and last month this is what I got:

I know it may sound silly, but it's such a joy to wipe my surfaces with something that looks so different from what you'd buy in the shops! I also finished my Scroll Lace Scarf but haven't done any photos yet, but that's been in constant use since it finished blocking at the weekend.

I am going... have a long, hot bath this evening. I rarely have baths as they take much longer than a shower, but when it's cold, nothing beats a long soak and then straight to bed.

I am reading... Delia's Christmas book that I got for my birthday from the girls at work last year. I made her Christmas pudding last year which was declared the 'best ever' by several people. I have been looking at the mincemeat recipe too, as I love mincepies.

I am hoping... for a fairly quiet weekend. Have no real plans apart from making some more dishcloths, finishing off my present for my work Secret Santa, hopefully some fresh air exercise as nothing, nothing beats running outside...

I am hearing... the adverts on Channel 5 - I just finished watching EastEnders and was flicking channels on the telly and landed on Channel 5 about seaside rescues.

Around the house... I have been doing more cleaning than usual. My laptop went wrong last week and I had I. off school for a few days, which meant I couldn't do much work. So I used my time productively and there are several places in the house which make me go 'oooh it's clean in here!' That doesn't normally happen very often ;-)

One of my favourite things... is closing the curtains as it gets dark, lighting candles, lighting the fire and snuggling up on the sofa. I don't think I could ever choose a favourite season - even when it's dark and gloomy and wet outside, it's still cosy.

A few plans for the rest of the week... library visit tomorrow afternoon, with possibly a stop at Costa's if we have enough time... work at the office towards the end of the week... and lots of sleep at the weekend!

A picture for thought I'm sharing...

Last Saturday morning, photo to show the kids that we had snow in Norfolk (at the time, we didn't have any in Suffolk yet).

Instructions for the Simple Woman's Daybook can be found here.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Tuesday 9 November 2010

Outside my window... the trees have lost most of their leaves. A week ago we still had glorious autumn colours, now we have lots of bare trees. It looks very different outside all of a sudden, just these dark skeletons against a grey sky.

I am thinking... that I really ought to start my little list of things to take to Holland this coming weekend. And that I should get my packing done tomorrow evening.

I am thankful for... the big pile of wood that B. and I cut and stacked a few months ago. I had the woodburner lit all afternoon yesterday and it was cosy and warm when the kids came in from school.

From the kitchen... pasta salad at lunchtime, that is, if I feel like it - I may just hunt around in the freezer for a soup as it's quite cold here and I'm constantly craving warm food. Supper is those butternut squashes with ricotta again.

I am wearing... jeans, short sleeved blue tshirt and very thick pink fleece. It came from Land's End almost 2 years ago, is extremely warm and comfy, as it's lined, and is standing up very well to being worn a lot.

I am creating... several fingerstaches still. I have made two for work colleagues, and 4 for I.'s friends at school. I'm getting a tiny bit bored with them, even if they're quick. It's also interfering with me finishing my Scroll Lace Scarf. I did the last lace repeat last night but have to unpick it as I made a mistake. I was hoping to have it finished by the end of this week but that doesn't look possible anymore - I still have to pick up over 200 stitches along the edge and knit the main body. Not sure what to take with me as knitting project in Holland either - I'll have a couple of train journeys in Holland but will be with dad and the kids, so it'll need to be something that doesn't require too much concentration.

I am going... to Holland this weekend and am really excited - can you tell...? We were last there back in August, as part of our summer holidays. The time before that was in April, and it took me a long time before I felt the urge to go again, but now it's well and truly bitten and the three of us can't wait. It doesn't help that there are two brand new ferries which we haven't been on yet, I'd be excited about that if I went just on my own, but because the kids are excited too, it's even more of an event. And we're not even doing anything unusual, we have a bit of a routine when we go there, but we're all very much looking forward to that. Hema, here we come!

I am reading... Wuthering Heights. I wanted to borrow Jane Eyre from the library but couldn't remember the title when I was actually there! (having a senior moment I think...) It's not a book for easy reading, but to my surprise I'm really enjoying it - the language is beautiful and as I've never read it and only vaguely know the storyline, I do want to know what's going to happen next.

I am hoping... that it's not going to be too windy on Thursday night - we have had strong winds and gales since the weekend.

I am hearing... Woman's Hour about dentures. That really is background noise and not a topic I'd choose to listen to!

Around the house... it desperately needs a hoover. Hoping I. will do it as she's trying to earn some pocket money, and I really don't know when I'll get around to it before we go.

One of my favourite things... is my slow cooker. I'm sure I've said it before! B. bought it for me for Christmas last year and although I don't use it much over the summer, it gets used at least twice a week during the winter. Yesterday we had rice pudding from it, and tomorrow evening we'll have beef stew with pasta and olives. Handy as I have to go to parents' evening for N. at 5.30pm, so when I come home, we can eat straightaway.

A few plans for the rest of the week... weekly shop which got 'cancelled' yesterday as the weather was so atrocious that we stayed inside in the warmth, off to Starbucks on Thursday to have a coffee to celebrate a colleague's birthday, a WeightWatchers meeting which I have to attend as they have completely revamped the system and it's not quite the same as I'm used to. I think this week will fly by!

A picture for thought I'm sharing...

One of B's cats who was quite ill this weekend. He'd been bitten on his back paw and it'd turned into an abcess. I knew he wasn't right when he kept sleeping in front of the Aga. One emergency dash to the vet's on Sunday and he's now firmly on the mend, but still enjoys the fuss being made of him.

Instructions for the Simple Woman's Daybook can be found here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Tuesday 2 November 2010

Outside my window... is wind, rain, leaves flying about. When I work from home, I use different places to work from. Sometimes I'm at my desk under the stairs. Sometimes I use the comfy chair in the front room. Sometimes I use our dining table in the conservatory - which is where I am now. I can only work there if it's not too sunny and it can't be too cold either, as it's the coldest room in the house. But at the moment it's enjoyable.

I am thinking... that I want the washing machine to finish so I can go and make the first coffee of the day.

I am thankful for... having an afternoon coming up with no afterschool activity. Tuesdays are manic and chaotic. Today's football club hasn't started yet, which means both kids will be home normal time and we can have a cup of tea and a chat before they go to see J.
Also thankful for the people who have listened to me endlessly wittering on about something that's going around in my head at the moment. You know who you are!

From the kitchen... egg salad bagel for lunch, and tonight is chilli fried rice with chicken.

I am wearing... jeans, black long sleeved tshirt and soft long grey cardigan. Could really do with another layer.

I am creating... still Ysolda's Scroll Lace Scarf. The lace pattern needs to be repeated 28 times, I think I've done 21 so far. I knitted for 2 hours on the train to London last Friday, but it is also a very quick repeat, so you can fit one in if you have a few minutes. I'd like to finish it by the time we go to Holland (in 10 days), but not sure I can make it.
As a joke, I also knitted this....

At I's school, some of the male teachers are growing a moustache to raise money for a prostate cancer charity. One of her teachers is very young and had joked in class that he didn't need to shave very often yet. So I knitted him one instead. Of course I. liked it so much that she wanted one of her own. I'm secretly hoping that her friends will want one too, I've said I'll knit some more for 50 p to go to the same charity.

I am going... to finish writing this post and pour my coffee!

I am reading... still nothing much. I've been leafing through a Dutch supermarket magazine but have really read it from cover to cover and back again. Time for a change. Library tomorrow.

I am hoping... that this week will end on a positive note.

I am hearing... the 10 am news on Radio 4, with constant references to the elections in America.

Around the house... it got messy within about 5 minutes of the children arriving back on Sunday!

One of my favourite things... is stews at the moment. Every Saturday night I make a stew for B. and I for supper. Last week it was a Dutch beef stew, which was very good. This weekend it's going to be pork with red cabbage.

A few plans for the rest of the week... nothing out of the ordinary - work, kids, library, kids on Saturday (my favourite time of the weekend).

A picture for thought I'm sharing...

Cathedral in Bury St. Edmunds. The spire is brand new and you can see it from lots of places as you drive around town. I always like the way it looks in the sunshine.

Instructions for the Simple Woman's Daybook can be found here.