Verb: pootle
poo-t(u)l To move in a leisurely unhurried way,
with no real purpose

Sunday, 25 May 2014

10 things that made me smile this week and one that made me cry ....

Thing 1.
My Victory wrap is finished - and I love it.
I think it is my favourite of all the wraps I have made.
It was so simple to make, growing very quickly, and the way you add the border is so clever.
I will certainly use the pattern again.
The pattern is by Erika Flory and can be found here in Ravelry.
Thing 2.
When we were staying in Fowey with friends last weekend a fair bit of retail therapy was undertaken.
One small purchase was this beautiful little peg doll that just caught my eye.
She now sits happily on the shelf in my kitchen.
Thing 3.
This is the view from our bedroom window and I am loving looking out each morning and seeing how everything is flourishing.
We even have a flower on our Wisteria for the first time, and very happily, it is white as hoped.
Thing 4.
On Tuesday my bestest friend in the whole wide world came to stay for a few days.
Jane and I worked together for 18 years and when she left Bradford-on-Avon last year on her Narrow boat to head off on her travels with her husband it was one of the hardest things ever.
My blog was started as a way of continuing all our day to day chats.
We have been through such a lot together over the years from working together, to raising our families, and best of all we share the same passion for all things yarny ( as well as passions for tea, chocolate, shoes, a good chat, laughing etc, etc )
Before she left we both had a little rebellion and decided right there and then that matching tattoos would be the coolest thing.
We designed one together and decided the words 'Best of Times' just said it all.
The dandelion clock symbolises the passing of the years, and consequently became my main reason for including it in my Just Pootling header.
( so as not to confuse with random body parts... mine is on my foot and Jane's is on her arm.)
Thing 5.
Whilst she was here we treated ourselves to a bit of pampering at a very gorgeous new
hair salon that has just opened in Bradford-on-Avon.
Thing 6.
I have a new little pile of squares getting ever taller.
The plan is that when sewn together they will become a baby blanket for a soon to be
new arrival.
Thing 7.
Very contented animals on a wet and rainy Saturday morning.
Thing 8.
One warm Chihuahua, who kind of wants to know what's going on outside of the blanket.
Thing 9.
A naughty Saturday evening treat.
Thing 10.
I am having so much fun putting together my Bloggy Birthday Giveaway.
Here's a very little sneaky peak - not quite there yet but all will be revealed soon !


Those were the happies.
The one sad is that our beautiful cat Angel was run over this week.
It was right outside our house.
 He was a real homecat and very rarely went out the front, but for some reason that day he did.
Its not a particularly busy road being in a small village but he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I have friends who are going through some awful times with their families right now and I do keep telling myself that he was just a cat, but he was our cat and a part of our family for the past 11 years and we loved him very much.
He had a very big character, always head-butting you when you least expected it - usually when you had a cup of tea in your hand, he kind of quacked instead of meowed and he snored as loudly as any person. He also had a habit of doing 'bunny legs' on the kitchen table,
and stealing Lilou's bed.
He had a particularly special place in our hearts because he was from a litter of kittens that belonged to my Sister-in-law, Tracey. We lost her in a car accident a week before the kittens were born and we were determined that we would have one of the kittens and call it Angel.
In actual fact, because the girls managed to persuade Dave that there was no way we could have one and leave the smallest one behind all on his own we actually had two...
 Cosmos and Angel.

Having lost Cossy last year I have absolutely no doubt in my mind at all that they are now both
 sat on Tracey's knee, purring very loudly and happily.
Angel will almost certainly be snoring a bit too.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Would you like a cuppa ?

 Having really enjoyed reading all the 'Randoms ' posts lately it got me thinking
about all the little quirks and foibles that make us us.
The little things that make up our everyday, whether its things that make us smile,
 things we couldn't do without, or things that day in day out are part of who we are.
 I don't mean the big things like our families and friends, jobs and hobbies,
none of the big things that define who we are
but rather just those little things that are unique to each of us.
My thing, without any shadow of a doubt would be tea.
Its my constant, my default setting, the thing that makes each day tick along as it should,
from the first cup in bed before getting up to the last one of the day before going to bed.
As a child many an hour was spent playing tea parties, and dad has an amazing very flicky and jolty Cine film of me and my sister when we very, very little utterly engrossed in pouring tea for our teddies, all very properly sat around a picnic table in our garden.
Even now I am all grown up I still enjoy a good game of 'making tea' most days at Nursery.
It starts right down in the baby room and continues through to the rather more sophisticated
 role play in the pre-school room.
It would just seem to be part of our make up.
And to this day I just cannot resist a good toy tea set.
Whilst not being alone in my passion for tea , with several other million joining me in this love affair , I think its a fairly safe bet to say that every single one of us will have a
particular way we like our tea and that's where it becomes unique to each and every one of us.
And oh boy I am no exception to that rule as my husband will readily
 ( and probably rather long sufferingly ) attest to.
Rule 1:
 It has to be in a cup.
No saucer necessary , but definitely a cup, not a mug.

Rule 2:
 Depending on the time of day that may be a small cup or it may be a big cup.
But always best to ask first just in case, as of course its a woman's prerogative
 to change her mind at any time, right ?

Rule 3:
Its got to be a teabag.
Tea leaves just don't cut it round here and there's nothing worse
 than rogue tea leaves in your brew.
( Could I just add a little proviso here that if I did use tealeaves I would definitely have to purchase this little chap - how sweet is he ? Just lying there chilling in your cup of tea. )
Rule 4:
Nothing wishy washy or wet and warm,
and certainly nothing of the herbal,
peppermint or anything else variety.
Good strong Clipper English Breakfast every time please,
 although having said that I'm rather loving
a Teapigs Morning Glory too at the moment.
Rule 5:
And this is quite possibly the most important one - 
it absolutely has to be the right colour.
We haven't quite resorted to a colour chart by the kettle
 but its been touch and go at times.

Five quite simple rules but ones that must be strictly adhered to,
as I'm sure you can understand.
But it doesn't stop there you see because then there's my love of cups, 
and that's not just any cup.
Oh no -it needs to be a good solid china,
no dainty tingy porcelain or rustic pottery clay.
My absolute favourite ?
T G Green Cornishware.
Always has been, always will be.
Striped or spotty, doesn't matter, but always blue.
And those three little cups that you can see piled up on the shelf below,
 I might have just had to buy those this weekend.

A LOT of tea is drunk Monday to Friday at work.. its a very necessary cog in the
 wheels that run the Nursery,
and would you believe it, Mr.Sainsbury only went and designed a mug that completely
 matches our Nursery logo didn't he ?
Thank you very much Mr.Sainsburys - we love them !

They make me smile when I drink my tea at work.
As to teapot versus teabag in a cup I'm a bit on the fence with this one.
Usually the teabag in the cup option wins because its quicker but you know, there's a lot to be said for a teapot . I was brought up with teapots, different sizes for different occasions, always warmed and always with a tea cosy.
 We bought this one for my Dad a couple of Christmas' ago and it still makes me chuckle.
I recently treated myself to a very lovely spotty teapot, and I do rather enjoy the feeling
 of grown upness it brings to our house.
( Still haven't got a teacosy, but one step at a time. )
It does however have a special teapot mat to stand on.
I really like this picture from Pinterest because if you're anything like me sometimes only tea will do.
It makes things better, it picks you up, and truly makes you ready for anything.

My most memorable cups of tea ?
Well, this one at the weekend was pretty amazing, out of a cardboard cup
( yes, that's ok for when you're out and about, )
 sat on a bench in Fowey next to my other half, just watching the world go by.
But, hand on heart the three best cups of tea I've ever had were the cups of tea I was given on the Maternity ward after having just had our three girls -
 I can't even begin to put it into words how good they tasted.
Anyway ... I'm off to put the kettle on, mine's strong with a dash of milk, no sugar.
Yours ?
Thank you to Pinterest for pics 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 13 and 14.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Catching up ...

As much as I love going away for a few days doesn't normal real everyday life have
a nasty habit of pushing its way back in too quickly ?
We were only away for a week but as soon as we got to Nursery on Monday morning it was non-stop, feet not touching the ground manicness until pretty much the end of the week. Probably my own fault for saying I was ready to go back to work as we were driving in - I should know better.
But in amongst all the invoices, database, registers, new enquiries, fire drills, nappy orders and three year old funding forms ....... big, big excitement on Wednesday afternoon when the postman delivered a parcel from Australia.
It was the Giveaway prize that I won from Jules at Little Woollie.
Once I had stopped squealing and calmed down a bit there was a very reverential opening of the parcel, making sure I remembered to take photos to show you all of my lovely Jules goodies.
It was all beautifully wrapped up and whilst the Giveaway prize had been for some gorgeous balls of wool Jules had sneaked a couple of other things in too...
... some beautiful, tiny crochet flowers ...
... and one of her much coveted Star kits.
As you may know, having made no secret of it on my blog, I am such a huge fan of
Jules' work and to find all of this inside the parcel was beyond exciting.
I am a very happy bunny.
I am also a tad nervous that I shall not be able to do Jules' Star pattern justice,
but I shall have a damn good try !
I'll let you know how I get on.
Having not really given Giveaways much thought up until now I cannot tell you how lovely
 it was to receive such a generous and special parcel through the post.
It really made my day,
and for this very reason I immediately made the decision that I too would put together a little of box of Giveaway Goodies on my first Bloggy Birthday which is coming up at the beginning of June.
I am already having lots of fun thinking of things to include.
Of course having had such a busy week at work my top priority when I got home was a bit of crochet and for some inexplicable reason I suddenly had an overwhelming need to make a mat to put my teapot on.
I don't know why, I didn't really need one, haven't ever missed not having one and could actually use one of the table mats we already have, but there you go.
An hour later, job done ! Ta-dah !

 As we had family to stay this weekend I probably should have been rushing around doing far more important things but you know what it's like, sometimes the world just needs to stop for a spot of calming crochet .
The rest of the weekend has just sort of flown by in a whirl of food, cups of tea, more food and more cups of tea but I did manage to sneak in a little bit of blocking while everyone was otherwise occupied.
Having originally been a little nervous about blocking I am finding that I really love
the whole process of it now.

There is something deeply satisfying about the soaking, the laying out and then the careful
smoothing and coaxing of everything in to shape.

It's really very pleasing.
I'm not sure I have blogged about this project but its a little wrappy shawl knitted
in Aran wool in a simple garter stitch.
Its called the Victory Wrap and is by Erika Flory
These pictures are from the pattern on Ravelry.

It knitted up so quickly and although it should be lovely and warm being made in this chunky yarn I love the way it also looks really delicate.
Mine is currently still pinned out like Gulliver after his encounter with the Lilliputians but I will make sure I take a couple of pictures when it's done.

And now, the other side of the weekend, guests having departed, I think a quiet evening of therapeutic double crocheting on Immi's Uni blanket should get me nicely set up and ready for tomorrow.

Monday morning ?
Bring it on !
Have a good week everyone.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Pootling away from home ....

Having just read the title for this post back it sounds as though I've been up to all sorts
of shenanigans doesn't it ?
 But at the risk of disappointing anyone, sorry I actually haven't...
I've just been away for a few days with the other half and the dog in our caravan.
See, told you, nothing that scandalous really.
Its our first proper get away this year and we headed to an absolute favourite
campsite of ours in The Gower, called Nicholaston Farm.
We first went there about 5 years ago with my brother and his family, who said we absolutely had to come and see this completely magical place they had discovered.
The campsite is situated at the top of a hill overlooking the sea.
The walk down to the beach from there is through the most beautiful natural
woodland and as you walk along the path you suddenly realise you are no
longer walking on soil and bark but sand. 
And suddenly you break through the trees and look...

 this is what you see !
I always think of it as like walking through the wardrobe door in The Lion, The Witch
 and The Wardrobe.
Its completely breathtaking.
( I should probably point out here that my photo's really do not do it justice at all - I am no photographer and all pics are snapped in the moment on my iphone. )
The beach stretches for miles and more often than not you can not see one other single person.
I think its safe to say that this is pretty much Lilou's most absolute favourite place - she loves it and charges about doing Zoomies as fast as she can, tail turning a full 360degrees as she runs.
The walks you can do are amazing, full circle coming back up the sand dunes, all along the beach to stop at the pub or back along the woodland trail above the dunes.

Its quite a hike back up the hill but so worth it for the view from the top, and then its just a little meander along the woodland path back to the campsite.
I think we caught the bluebells at their peak, they looked and smelt heavenly.
We even managed to persuade Lilou to sit still for two seconds to have her portrait
 taken in amongst them.
This was the view from our Caravan door ... unbeatable.
Also unbeatable ... one pooped pooch !
And so to the big question, did I take any yarny bits and bobs with me ?
Most certainly !
Three different projects infact.
But the one that took my fancy was the latest patchwork blanket I am making.
So crochet sorted for the evening it was time to snuggle down, put the Beach Hut fairy lights on
and stick the DVD in.
If you haven't seen it already this is a definite must see movie.
 Classic Richard Curtis from start to finish. I loved every minute.
Despite the forecast having predicted rain, rain and more rain we were so lucky with the weather and so decided to walk along the coastal path to Three Cliffs Bay.
This looked like the perfect place to stop for a cuppa ...

so out came our faithful Kelly Kettle

and within a few minutes steam was up and

tea was served.
Yup, that'll be a pooped pooch again, well till the next morning at least ...

We had time for one last early morning walk on the beach before heading home

and a much needed wash down for the dog.
We shall be back.
Back home the squares have been finished off, I am loving these little blankets, they are so quick to do and they use up all those odd left over balls of wool.

And yet more sun.
All sewn up, and with the second part of the border now complete
I would now like to very proudly reveal

one completely random blanket !

  Look , no particular patterns, no particular placing of squares
AND two different types of squares, some knitted, some crocheted.

I know !
Would you get me with my randomness !
Have a lovely week everyone.