Dreaming of travelling

Lagoon Sunrise

Just dreaming of a calming holiday just now. Of course, we can’t actually go anywhere at the moment because of hubby’s illness, but I can still dream. So the theme of today’s images is going to be calm, relaxation and travelling the world.

So how are you all? Hope you’ve  had a good week. I went back to work this week and I’d forgotten how tiring it can be. Here was me  thinking it’ll be quiet what with it getting closer to the summer holidays, but no such luck. I’ve spent all week going to bed early I’ve been that tired! But my body needs the rest, so I just go with it.

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Just finished Chris Guillebeau’s The Happiness of Pursuit which is inspiring tales of people who have gone out and pursued a quest of some sort, whether that’s travelling to every country in the world (as Chris did) or knitting 500 hats for charity. I read his Art of Non-Conformity book recently and I really enjoy how he writes. It’s a light easy-to-read style that makes you feel he’s talking to just you and that you and he are now friends. I also like his books because of the stories he tells of his own travels and the experiences of other people. It’s really, really interesting, often amusing and very refreshing to see that people are bucking the norm and just following their hearts. I kind of yearn to do something myself, go on my own quest, but I don’t yet know what that will be.

I haven’t yet finished Gormenghast, but I’ll get back to it soon.

I’m trying to think of something exciting to tell you that I’ve done this week, but as usual my life has been relatively quiet. We had to attend two appointments at two different hospitals on Wednesday for hubby. He’s doing well, which is a relief. He’s going to start chemo in about a month’s time. Things are looking good finally. Long may that last! We were both exhausted afterwards…it was a very long day. I’m afraid my plans to have a healthy diet went to pot on Wednesday because we were out of the house for so long, but we’re getting back into it.

Now I’m starting to feel a bit normal after the difficulties of the last couple of months, I’ve been thinking of getting back into writing. I had started writing another novel for children, so am planning to go back to that soon…probably tomorrow. I will get a plan started (I work when I have a plan) and then just write. I’ve got a couple of ideas mulling around my head for two other stories, so will get those ideas down too. My plan is to have my children’s novel finished by Christmas.

I’ve also started knitting again. I’m thinking of starting my Christmas knits now so that it’s not a mad rush in December. Will start browsing the web for ideas for gifts, although I have quite a few lovely knitting books that will also give me ideas.

My other plan is to get to grips with my camera. I got a lovely camera a few months ago and I’ve done nothing but take pics on auto. Maybe that’s my quest – something to do with photography? Who knows!

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Anyway, am away to start my planning for writing, knitting and general life. I’m such a list maker! I love it!

Til next time!

Dawn xxx

PS before I go just one thing to say about Game of Thrones (apart from this series being superb!) : Jon Snow….NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

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Stripes and Burns

A couple of wee snowy pics from earlier in the week...

A couple of wee snowy pics from earlier in the week…

Had a really busy week this week. Firstly, I attended our local school’s Burns event…the kids (including my two) sang Burns songs or those written in Old Scots (loved the rendition of The Welly Boot Song…reminded me of my early childhood, we used to sing it at school on rainy days when everyone wore wellies), poems (again Burns or other poets’ work, well done P7 for their Address to a Haggis) and Scottish country dancing. Was a lovely event and we even got haggis, neeps and tatties at the interval (washed down with Irn Bru of course)…delicious! I love haggis. I don’t care what it’s made of, it’s sublime! Our school started the Burns event last year and invites parents, grandparents and carers. It’s a good way of getting the community together and I find it’s a chance to not only see my weans perform, but to catch up on folk I haven’t seen for ages. More importantly (because when I was growing up we celebrated everyone else’s culture except our own – my first Burns supper was in sixth year at high school!) I like the fact that they are celebrating the Bard and being Scottish…it’s important.

...These were taken about 3.30pm in the afternoon. Look how dark it looks.

…These were taken about 3.30pm in the afternoon. Look how dark it looks.

Also, apart from seeing friends, piano lessons and the kids’ stuff, I’ve been writing up the knitting patterns for our new project at Yarntastic (the knitting group we started at the school). I give to you little bags (for use for tablets or just to put your stuff in). Last time, we concentrated on casting on, casting off and garter (or knit) stitch. Now we are moving on to purl stitch and shaping. So the girls who returned again and are now fluent in garter stitch can move on. The newbies, including I was pleased to see, a young gentleman, can knit the same bags in garter stitch. Feels good to be passing on a skill such as knitting. I think it’s really important particularly when, having talked to the kids, I found out that if they could knit before it was their granny and not their mum that taught them. It seems that knitting missed out on a whole generation (mine). I was lucky, my mum knitted, my grannies knitted, it was normal in our family. It was my mum who taught me to knit and I took it from there. I don’t think I’ll ever be as lovely a knitter as my mum, but I try my best.

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Just finished reading Molly Keane’s Time after Time. Loved it. She’s such a vivid, perceptive writer. It is a lovely, humorous book about an elderly brother and three sisters whose staid lives are completely thrown into chaos by the arrival of their mischievous and equally decrepit cousin Leda. Really enjoyed it. Now I can’t decide whether or not to read another of hers or something else…does Terry Prachett call? Hmmm…maybe. Or what about another Claire and Jamie story courtesy of Diana Gabaldon? Decisions, decisions. Still reading Nora’s book…it’s one of those books you can pick up and put down. Still enjoying it. I think Terry wins out just now. Now…which one???

Right, I need to be off. Til next time.

Dawn xx

The fox, the hare, the robin and the pop up shop in Glasgow’s Finnieston area

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Hello. How are you? How’s it going? I’ll bet you’ve all had a really busy week getting ready for Christmas. Over the last week-and-a-half I’ve attended the boy’s nativity (which was a hoot), got an excited girl ready for her very first ceilidh, took her to her ballet exam and went to the school’s Christmas church service which was held in the school hall this year as the church is full of the Christmas tree exhibition (trees decorated by local groups and very good by all accounts). I also met friends for lunch at Jam Jar, one of our local cafes, and had the best cheese on toast I’ve ever had: sour bread toasted and topped with crispy bacon, ham, cheese and cranberry sauce all served with a lovely salad and crisps. Oh it was to die for!

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Today, I met up with an old friend I haven’t seen for years and it was great. We went to Finnieston in Glasgow, had lunch and wandered about. We also dropped into a pop up shop called Veneer which is a shop run by Bespoke Atelier and filled with some lovely items all designed by Scottish based artists. My friend picked up a beautiful silk scarf. I now have scarf envy. The pics in this blog are all from the shop and are really lovely. My favourites, however, are these…

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They are by a company called. Joy Collection and are tree ornaments. I love all three animals – I have a bit of thing for all of them, particularly hares. Unfortunately, Veneer is only open until tomorrow, but if you go on the Bespoke Atelier website, you’ll get the names of all the companies involved.

Anyway I had a good afternoon. We ended the afternoon with tea and canoli for the first time (the pistachio one is amazing) in Panevino. I returned home to find my front garden filled with twinkling tree lights courtesy of hubby who put them up in my absence. Looks great.

Right, am going to leave you now. I will try and do another post next week, but in case I don’t get round to it, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.

Dawn xxxx

Riverhill, Crafting and Back to Writing

Can’t believe how much the weather has changed since yesterday. It’s so wet I’m considering building an ark!! It was lovely yesterday too…perfect for Bonfire Night. We didn’t go to any displays – our local one is on Friday – but instead went to Riverhill Courtyard in Helensburgh to meet up with friends. George and Raymond (hi guys!) have been travelling around Scotland visiting friends and reacquainting themselves with the Old Country. They live in London now, but both are from here. Anyway, it was great to see them and the meal we had was lovely. I’m just sorry we didn’t have more time with them, but it was an evening meal on a Wednesday and the kids got tired and needed to get to bed. Was great catching up! We were working out how long we had known each other and it’s not a kick in the backside off 20 years! God that makes me feel old!

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Thought I’d show you some of the things I’ve been working on. Above are two baby Yetis and a Purple Jungle Bear (my own pattern – made from fleece and felt to be extra snuggly)  – the Yetis are for my smallest niece and nephew, the purple is for my oldest niece.

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The knitted hat is for my oldest nephew who is into rugby – I thought if he wanted to wear it he could wear for training, but it’s up to him. It’s a WW2 Watchman’s hat pattern which I got from Ravelry. I have something else I’m making for him too as a bit of a laugh.

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The knitted Tardis kindle case is from this pattern and is for my friend’s daughter who is a major Dr Who fan. Am also planning to make my own two. I love making things for other people. Hope they like them.

Anyway, have started writing again as part of Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) and am doing okay. Missed a couple of days, but hopefully I’ll get back on track over the next couple of days. The one good thing I’ll say about it is that it’s getting me writing!.

On that note I have to say adieu for now. Sorry for cutting this short, but have to go. Til next time!

Dawn xxx

Making Christmas presents and Halloween bags

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Oh it’s getting really autumnal outside! What a week we’ve had weather wise…heavy rain, high winds. Nasty. That was the start of the week. Yesterday the weather was beautiful and today it’s overcast and rainy. It’s dark too. Sigh. Winter is coming!

So how have you been? I’ve been working hard on Christmas gifts. I will show you pics of them soon. Just need to set them up and take them!

 

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Tonight the kids and I got some sweet bags ready for tomorrow night. I’m not bothered about Halloween, but the kids love it. I like to get bags ready so that I just hand them out when the guisers come round trick or treating.

autumn 2This weekend I’ll continue on with the gifts so that I have them all ready by the end of November. Fingers crossed all the recipients will like them!!

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Anyway, I’m going to stop this post here. Got to get on. Am off to take up the knitting pins again!! Til next time!

 

Dawn xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hedgehogs, flowers and quiet times

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Hello! How’s things? What’s been happening? Life has been trundling along nicely…can’t believe another week has passed so quickly! I have started my making for Christmas. I like to make the kids and some family members and friends little gifts for Christmas. I love doing it and I hope they like receiving them. Last year I made nearly everyone lap blankets for cosying up under during the winter. I also made some toys for the kids. This year, I have a few wee things in mind to make, but I’m keeping it under my hat and I’ll share with you at another time.

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In case you’re wondering, the photos for this week’s blog have absolutely nothing to do with what I’m writing about. I just like them. They are pretty or cute or cheerful.

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I love hedgehogs. We have a hedgehog who visits our garden. I haven’t seen her or him for a while, but he or she enjoyed the Guinea Pig nuggets that were left on the grass after the outdoor pen had been put away.

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I’m sorry I don’t have a lot to tell this week. The kids have been off for the October holidays, but I’ve been working so I’ve not managed to get anywhere interesting of late. To be truthful, I’ve just wanted a quiet life lately. Sometimes it’s nice to have nothing planned.

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Of course, the days when I’m not at work it has to rain. It’s been dry all week and sunny and lovely, but today – the day when I’m not working – I woke up to rain. It’s stopped now, so hopefully it’ll stay off. We have a friend’s daughter here this morning and I was hoping to take them out for a walk or something this morning. We’ll see how it goes.

Anyway, I’m going to go. I have the house to clean and some night’s out with friends to organise for November and December (I might like the quiet life, but I like to go out too!).

Til next time!

Dawn xxx

 

 

Am totally addicted to Firefly and other stories…

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Hello! How are you? What’s been happening in your life?? Well, the biggest thing that’s happened in my life is that I’ve become addicted to Firefly. I’m a Nathan Fillion fan anyway being a huge fan of Castle, so it was not difficult to move to Firefly. I couldn’t get into the series when it was on tv, I don’t know why. Maybe I didn’t give it a long enough go. Anyway, I’ve been watching it on Netflix and loving it. Been using it as the background to my knitting my friend Laurina a hat for her birthday last week. I haven’t quite finished the hat, but it’ll be ready by the time I get back to work on Monday.

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Still reading The Fellowship of the Ring. At last the Hobbits have met Aragorn. There was an awful lot of shilly shallying around and getting caught by this danger and that danger…things that would probably have been edited out in a modern book as being blocks to the story. However, I finally feel we’re getting there…thank goodness. Still enjoying it.

Picked up my Christopher Brookmyre book last week…the one I won. Well I won up to £10 to spend on a book of my choice. My husband’s response: “Oh just what you need – another book!” 🙂

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Been a bit lazy on the writing front this week. I just can’t be bothered, so I decided to take a small break. I will do a bit this afternoon and tomorrow. Those books won’t get written by themselves so if I really want to get them finished I need to work on them!!

The weather here has been terrible this week: one minute bright sunshine, the next hail and rain. I don’t think the weather knows what it’s doing!! The frustrating part is that I’ve been unable to get out walking. Hopefully it’ll be dry next week.

Ooh, before I forget…just a quick Happy Birthday to young Eva L!! She’s nine next week. Hope you have a good day.

Right, I’d best be off. Got another exciting episode of Firefly to watch! I know! I’m so sad, but I just love sci-fi!!

Til next time

Dawn xxx

Cold Weather – Must be Blanket Crocheting Time!

riverside 'sculpture'

Hiya. How’s things with you? Hope you are all well. So what have you been up to? We’ve been busy at Nelson HQ enjoying our time off, seeing friends and family and generally trying to relax. NB the pic above was taken by my beloved hubby during a walk along the Clyde a couple of weeks ago. I liked it so much I decided to use it in this blog…no other reason. I’m not going to talk about walking along the Clyde because we haven’t done it this week – the weather has been cold, wet and windy and you do not want to be walking along the exposed side of the Clyde in that kind of weather unless you are dressed head to toe in super warm waterproofs.

Anyway, I haven’t totally done nothing this week. I’ve gutted the house, had my parents over for lunch (with two nieces and a nephew…my kids had a ball playing with their cousins whilst me, mum and dad caught up), took my kids to the westend to return a jacket and have lunch, and I’ve been busy stash busting by crocheting the blanket pictured below.

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Hubby thinks I should have turned it into a cardigan or something, but I like it as a blanket. Will come in useful over the winter months ahead when I’m watching telly…me and the kids just love snuggling under a blanket on the sofa. Besides the yarn was bought to make the boy a cardie, which I did and he won’t wear it because he says it’s ‘scratchy’…he chose the yarn, I spent ages knitting the flamin’ cardie and HE WON’T WEAR IT. Sigh. No more knitting for him methinks!!

Anyway, just wanted to check in and say hello. I must fly. Til next time!!
Dawn xx

Long lies, stunning views and ‘there’s been a murrrderrr’

Ah the wonders of a long lie and not having to get up early for work. I woke naturally this morning – well that’s not strictly true: my husband nearly gave me heart failure kissing me goodbye earlier on (I got a bit of a fright – then enjoyed the kiss!). However, once my heart stopped racing I went back to sleep and then I woke naturally about an hour later. So nice. The kids and I are off this week – their October break – so we’ve got a few wee things planned, but not a huge amount. I always book too many things in and then don’t get the break I need, so I’ve got a couple of things planned and the rest of the week will be spent chilling out.

This is just one of the lovely views I see on the walk.

This is just one of the lovely views I see on the walk.

So how are you all this week? I’ve surprised myself by going out walking again last week with the girls (some of the mums I know from school). I did it, enjoyed it and didn’t find some excuse to miss it! Result! The walk is at least four miles up in the hills overlooking the River Clyde and it’s stunning no matter what the weather. However, I managed to get a great pic on a lovely day (see above). Stunning.

I haven’t been writing much this week. I just can’t seem to get into it. I know I should, but I’m doing everything but. Sigh. Instead, the knitting needles are back out and the crochet hook and I’m sitting watching Miss Fisher Investigates, The Glades and reruns of Murdoch Mysteries clicking away on the sofa. Ooh let’s not forget Downton Abbey. What did you think of last week’s episode? Bit of a shocker, eh? Poor Anna. Can’t wait to see this Sunday’s episode! I just love a good period drama and if there’s a detective and a murder thrown in there (not Downton, but Miss Fisher, Murdoch et al) then I’m all the happier!! I think that’s why I attempted to write a wee romantic crime adventure through Dusting Down Alcudia. I’m thinking I may throw in a murder in the sequel…we shall see (she says mysteriously).

Currently reading Diana Gabaldon’s Dragonfly in Amber, the sequel to Outlander. Oh it’s good. Am totally hooked. Bang goes my plan to spend autumn reading Game of Thrones. So many books, too little time!!

Right, I’d best be off. The girl is twitchy. She’s going to spend tonight at a friend’s house and has already packed. She’s desperate for the girl’s mum to come and get her. It’ll be strange not having her in the house tonight…strange, but very quiet!!

Til next time

Dawn xx

A pram, a snazzy bag and a bow

pram, bag and bow

I had to include this image as the inspiration of this post. I’ve not been blogging for the last two weeks for two reasons: I’ve been really really  busy and the main reason: I haven’t had a clue about what to write. So I was walking down the stairs about ten minutes ago and I came across the above ensemble. These do not, as you might think, belong to the girl. No, they are some of the boy’s most prized possessions and they make me smile. The pram he was given as a toddler along with a baby because my husband and I didn’t want him to feel left out when we bought our daughter a buggy and baby. He still plays with it although you are more likely to see Action Man or a toy car in there. The bow was given to him by his uncle. The snazzy evening bag was his gran’s. My mum lets the kids raid her jewellery box and dressing up bag. He came home with this about a year ago. He loves it. We just let him get on with it. We want him to have a happy childhood where he’s allowed to be himself so we just let him play with the stuff that makes him happy. He’s no less boyish and boisterous because he likes his evening bag. Also, this gives us great images to show his first girlfriend when he’s older or display at his 21st!!! Teee heeee…evil parent laugh!

Right, firstly I want to get something off my chest. To the person who sent me a message who said my blog was boring and that he could help make it more interesting…I thank you for being so blunt, but I don’t write my blog for you, I don’t want to be really clever with headlines and if I want to put film up on my blog I will. I suspect the message was from some company trying to get me to spend cash with them so that they can revamp my blog. I don’t need it. I like my blog the way it is. It may be boring to some, but I like it. I don’t live a pretentious, glamorous lifestyle. I’m a working mum who likes to craft and loves to write…that’s it.

Talking about crafting. Here are a couple of pics of the dresses I made my girl’s toys…firstly Elizabeth models a knitted dress I got from Ravelry. Thank you to the creator of this. This is the pink version. I also knitted a white one.

Elizabeth models a knitted dress in a lovely candy pink!

Elizabeth models a knitted dress in a lovely candy pink!

And Ruby…

Ruby, meanwhile, sports a lovely summer frock made from a free bag I got with a magazine. I like the material, but the bag was too wee to be really useful.

Ruby, meanwhile, sports a lovely summer frock made from a free bag I got with a magazine. I like the material, but the bag was too wee to be really useful.

Okay, apart from sewing and knitting, I’ve recently finished my fourth module of my Mindfulness course. It was great, I loved it. Mindfulness is great for just slowing you down, putting stuff into perspective and making you really appreciate life as it is. Am definitely going to keep my formal practise (meditation) and informal practise (being more mindful generally) up because I really feel the benefits: I am less stressed, happier, I sleep better and I appreciate things more. Totally win/win.

I’ve also been doing a lot of driving the kids around to parties. They had three parties this weekend alone! I dropped both off at a local soft play area on Friday morning (they were off school due to an in service day) and scarpered to my friend’s house for tea, cake and putting the world to rights! We like a lot of the same things so we spent a lot of time talking sewing, meditation and general life. The kids meanwhile had a great time at the party.

Yesterday, party number two, was my neice’s tenth birthday party. The whole family were there at my sister’s lovely 1930s bungalow. Her husband did the barbeque, the table was groaning with food and we had a great laugh catching up and playing with a £2.99 sheet that reminded me of the seaside boards where you put your head through the hole and have your picture taken. Much merriment was to be had.

Party number three was today at a local community centre. I took the boy, he was there five minutes and then refused to stay. It was the quickest kids party I had even been at. Normally I would have made him stay, but I couldn’t be bothered with the whining. We went to ASDA instead to buy milk. I’ve stopped shopping there as much because I find it quite expensive compared to Lidl and Aldi, but I sometimes drop in for the odd wee thing. As usual on a Sunday, it was packed. We left as soon as we could.

I’ve also been writing my books for adult. The first is now complete and with a couple of friends for comment. The second I’m still working on. They were both written several years ago, but I’ve gone back to revamp them with a view to selling them as e-books. We shall see if they are successful or not.

Right, I am away to sew up another dress for a dolly and three pairs of dolly knickers. I also have to cut a few patterns out for the boy’s doll Tom, including pants. I’m of a mind to make mini y-fronts for a laugh!

Until next time.

Dawn xxxx

PS Game of Thrones – Ouch…that was painful to watch Jaime Lannister lose a hand a couple of weeks ago, but what a wheeze when Cersei was told she would have to marry Loris last week. That certainly wiped the smile of her face. Saw the actress who plays Cersei – Lena Headey – as Mama in the new Judge Dredd pic. Wasn’t a bad movie and even with a huge scar running down her sneering face, Lena managed to look stunning.

PPS Currently reading: The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell. It’s excellent, especially for anyone with socialist tendancies.