Friday, 26 September 2014

retreat

Retreat

Origin
late Middle English: from Old French retret (noun), retraiter (verb), from Latin retrahere "pull back".
Verb
Move back or withdraw
Withdraw to a quiet or secluded place
Noun
An act of moving back or withdrawing.
An act of changing one’s mind or plans as a result of criticism or difficulty.
A signal for a military force to withdraw.
A military musical ceremony carried out at sunset, originating in the playing of drums and bugles to tell soldiers to return to camp for the night.
A quiet or secluded place in which one can rest and relax.
A period or place of seclusion for the purposes of prayer and meditation.
Synonyms
withdraw, retire, draw back, pull back, pull out, fall back, give way, give ground, recoil, flee, take flight, beat a retreat, beat a hasty retreat, run away, run off, make a run for it, run for it, make off, take off, take to one's heels, make a break for it, bolt, make a quick exit, clear out, make one's getaway, escape, head for the hills.

of all these definitions I like the last one the best.

head for the hills.

that's what I'm doing. 
to a quiet and secluded place. 
where there will be relaxing. 
but probably no rest. more likely late nights chatting.
or quiet.  see above.
I don't expect there'll be any bugles.
or any withdrawing military forces.
but there will be friends and sewing and laughter and cake and wine.

back soon. 



Tuesday, 16 September 2014

the slowest ever quick charm square quilt


quite some time ago (6 years..... maybe) I bought a little charm pack of fabric thinking it would be fun to make up a simple and quick quilt.


piecing the quilt took not much time at all, I went for the simplest design possible with huge areas of white sashing.


for a variety of reasons the quilting took rather longer......


my little helper for one.
and choosing a backing fabric.
oh and straight lines that weren't straight.
then once I'd finished it I decided the lines weren't enough and went back and filled in some more...


and then the next stumbling block. I'd used a charm pack. all the fabrics matched from one designer and colour range. I never work like this. I normally sew with the children's old pyjama's and random fabrics that I like/have in the house/got given scraps of by a friend....
I tried for months to find some more of the fabric, but could only find one of the designs and I didn't think it would make a good binding. I dithered about using a plain colour, or some of the backing, or just using white.



in the end I remembered the golden rule "when in doubt go for spots."


and finally it was finished.


just in time to become a birthday present.  I'm not going to admit how long it took me if I'm asked......

Friday, 5 September 2014

random things summer holidays weeks 5 and 6 and the start of a new term

week 5.

Five days at the Yorkshire Coast, walking, reading (August's #year in books - Life after Life by Kate Atkinson - I described the plot to the family who repeatedly asked "is she dead yet?" until I'd finished it.   Even without this I found the plot a little disconcerting.......) fossils, fish and chips, ice creams and wave watching,


then long drives on busy motorways, a day of wizards and witches and all things magical, then a day of cake and party clothes and champagne.


week 6.

More motorways, idle wandering through Cambridge colleges in the rain, friends and feasting, a cup of tea in the park with a lovely magical bean, more motorways, returning home with the Mount Everest of laundry, doctors appointments and shopping for school trousers,


then a coffee lady and some lattes, a magic bag of liberty scraps and some quilt planning advice, a huge chocolate cake with so much chocolate and sugar it could kill someone apparently, a party on the beach, wine, laughter, endless cups of tea, all in all the perfect end to the holidays.

new term.
new school for E, new uniforms (the new trousers are already too short, how is this possible?) new timetables and planners and satchels, new routines, newly quiet house.
It could take a bit of getting used to.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

holiday snap shots from the Yorkshire coast

Whitby Abbey. Standing proud on the cliffs overlooking the sea there are steep steps to climb to reach the Abbey, but it's always worth it. As a bonus the exercise makes you extra hungry for the annual gluten free fish and chips.


Looking north towards Saltburn.


Looking South towards Port Mulgrave.




























Stormy seas.
The rescue helicopter. Stormy seas and playing on the harbour wall don't mix, the lifeboat went out to rescue someone who was washed out to sea......... Broken bones but no lasting damage apparently, but the lifeboat crewman we spoke to thought they were very lucky.


There are blue skies in some of these photos, but the weather was described by the forecaster as unseasonably cool. I think I would have gone so far as to say it was cold..... 
Still wonderful though, relaxing, quiet and peaceful, with bracing walks and plenty of cake. Perfect.


Friday, 15 August 2014

random things summer holidays week 4

a quiet week in which several books are read,  siblings forget how to get along, and the "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" rule needed some refreshing.........

it was also a week of not enough cake, no early morning crafting - very remiss, of watching old favourite movies and old episodes of Dr Who as there is increasing excitement of the approaching new series.

a week of hairstyles as Miss K experimented with a curling wand, watching her get in a tangle trying to learn how to twist the hair round, whilst being confused by looking in the mirror was too funny for words, in the end I let her practise on me. I looked like a poodle by the end of it, lots of bonkers curls all going in different directions.............

a week of sorting out, of planning, of list writing, of making piles, of getting a suitcase to pack and finding there's a cat sleeping in it...........

ahead of us there are familiar places to visit, family traditions to uphold, new places to explore, family to see, friends to meet.

I'm taking some time off, I'll be back in a few weeks to catch up. x

Sunday, 10 August 2014

random things summer holidays week 3


week three of the holidays. 


I discovered that the quiet time in the mornings between J leaving for work and the teenagers dragging themselves out of bed is not for getting laundry done, or planning meals or heaven forbid housework. 
no, it is the time to squirrel yourself away and pull out fabric that you dyed years and years ago on a course, but never used, mostly because you bought calico to dye as it was cheap and then discovered that you don't like sewing with it, as it's a bit stiff and crumply....
it is the time to cut strips and sew them back together, and to experiment with wriggling lines and eek out the purple to make a border. One new picnic blanket ready to go away with us soon.


In other news we've been failing to spot film crews, despite the fact that town seems to be full of them as Downton Abbey is being filmed on location here at the moment and even the high school has been used as a venue. We did see evidence of the fake snow left on the pavements though.


We took a train and went to stay at my parents for a few nights. There's something about train travel that makes me feel like I'm on holiday, the excitement of going to new places, or rediscovering old favourites. Given the choice of all the attractions and museums that the city had to offer the children chose to go and spend time in the newly refurbished favourite bookshop.  
I didn't complain.

The week ahead will be all about list writing and getting organized. 
There are trips planned and places to go.
 I must remember to add picnic blanket to the list.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

special guests.


introducing the special guests. this is blossom.


and this is toffee.


both the children been asking for piggies for ages. having these two for weeks whilst their owners go on holiday is a compromise.
things I have learnt so far.


  • the cats are very intrigued. they sit and watch guinea pig tv. 
  • I sit and watch to be sure they're not in any danger............
  • you can sit and watch guinea pigs for ages, despite the fact that they don't do very much!
  • guinea pigs make cute little purring noises, when you give them hay, or cucumbers. 
  • they leave carrot till last. a bit like the children then.
  • E is allergic to guinea pigs. he sneezes and his eyes puff up. a lot..............