Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Monster to-do list

I've been feeling a little hassled of late. Too much to do, not enough time. Not enough time to spend pottering about at toddler pace. My bank account likes the fact that I'm working four days a week, but the rest of my life doesn't. I'm tired and stressed and I keep getting colds. Here's this week's to-do list, much of which probably won't get done and not much of which is much fun:

Get some adhesive stuck in my tyres to stop them going down all the time.
Stick my rear view mirror back on.
Top up my screen wash.
Find the right payslip to complete my holiday pay form.
Find the bits of paper I need to do my tax return.
Order some pix from when the photographer came to Jo Jingles.
Change my bedsheets. And little man's.
Check how I'm getting to Manchester for a Biffy Clyro concert on Friday.
Return my library books.
Make a Christmas card list.
Find the slip of paper that tells me when in December my dental check-up is.
Get little man's hair trimmed.
Put some more of little man's old baby sleeping bags and a couple of under-used slings on eBay.
Buy some kind of packaging for the ones I've already put on.
Rearrange a missed delivery of a component of little man's Christmas present.
Persuade the ex to come round with a long ladder and investigate why there are damp patches on my ceilings and walls.
Get the picture I bought on holiday framed.
Get a quote for the removal of my gas fire monstrosity.

Edited to add: Chase up the nursery that was supposed to send me an inquiry form.
Collect another missed delivery from the sorting office.

Edited again to add: Find a new telly as mine is refusing to stay switched on.
Work out how to empty the vacuum cleaner as I accidentally vacuumed up a pair of knickers! (I must add that I have done it before, I can just never remember how.)
Swap plants round in my pots.
Buy an external hard-drive before my overloading laptop seizes up and also back up all my photos.

And again to add: Remember to re-read the book Timeless Simplicity by John Lane (highly recommended), go outside, hug a tree and stop letting all this shit get on top of me.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Learning stuff

Whenever I head into the kitchen to do any cooking, little man immediately drags in a dining chair, places it right in my way against the only useable bit of worktop space I have in my tiny kitchen and demands to take part.

So in the space of about an hour today he has peeled and chomped raw carrots as well unadulterated coriander and cumin seeds and we have talked about where the seeds might come from. We have confirmed that little man is right handed when he tried to stir a pan using his left hand and quickly realised it didn't feel right. We have learnt about how cogs work by mucking around with the tin opener, reinforced with a demonstration by mummy's fingers. We have discovered that fridge magnets don't stick to the plastic part of vegetable peelers, but do stick to the metal parts.

The fridge magnet in question was brought back from Cuba by a friend and has a picture of an old car on it. I shied away from explaining why this would be. Oh, and in case you're interested we were cooking roast salmon and squash with lentil thing.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Little man's holiday report

Mummy and I spent a week at a hol-da-day home in Betws-y-Coed. I was a big strong boy when we had to unpack the car and helped by carrying in one book. Well, I carried it halfway up the steps to the front door anyway. For the rest of the week I had to point out that I was a 'big strong boy' every time we went up and down the steps. Mummy was a big strong girl when she carried a sack of logs back from the shop whilst also holding my hand next to the busy road. I liked watching mummy light the fire, but she kept telling me not to lean on her while she did it.

At first I had a little friend there with her mummy and daddy. Then, grandma and grandad came for the second part of the week. It was fun playing games with my friend and, for once, I didn't mind sharing my toys with her. Then it was fun going and climbing into grandma and grandad's beds in the morning to wake them up with a tickle. Although one morning I decided to go downstairs and hide under a blanket on the settee instead. It took them ages to find me.

We visited lots of tea shops, which always sounds like a good idea and I do like saying 'tea shop' and 'tup of tea' but it tends to get boring after a few minutes. I particularly liked the tea shop that came with a view of a working loom at the woollen mill. In most of the other tea shops I decided to go exploring, particularly under the tables.

I threw stones into the river in Betws. And the river in Beddgelert. And the sea in Llandudno. I thoroughly tested out how waterproof my winter boots are with the conclusion that they would be ok in a rainshower but can't stand up to ten inches of Afon Glaslyn swirling around them. Speaking of winter clothes, I happily wore my hat without tearing it off and mummy bought herself a slightly ridiculous Nepalese bobble hat.

Chips, with or without fish, also turned out to be a recurring theme, with impromptu picnics by the river in Llanrwst and by the sea in Conwy and Llandudno. I like chips. Yummy, just like my mummy, who has taught me to say the phrase 'yummy mummy'.

There was an initial hitch in our steam train plans, when gales blew branches onto the line of the miniature railway in Betws. But it was rectified with a trip down the lakeside in Llanberis pulled by a little engine called Thomas Bach. The driver let me and mummy stand in his cab and he showed us his firebox. Then we went to the slate museum and I was fascinated by the big water wheel that turned dozens of different machines.

It was all very exciting but I kept waking up at night and having to climb into mummy's little bed for a cuddle. I also missed my daddy and sometimes I just wanted to go home.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Holiday scenes

With apologies for the point-and-shootness of my camera and photographic skills, some pix from our hols in North Wales:
 'Mummy, it's bumpy, mummy.' The tide had just gone out at Llandudno's West Shore. And little man likes to make sure you know he's talking to you by putting your name at the beginning and end of every sentence.

View to the mountains from the RSPB reserve at Conwy. I'm sure there were lots of rare and interesting birds there, but this is the one that came close enough to snap:

 Flowers in November. Gotta love gorse, even if it does smell of coconut.
A typical bit of damp autumn riverbank, just over the road from our holiday cottage in Betws-y-Coed.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Bean bags and other gubbins

In a sudden flurry activity I got these beanbags finished. I started them ages ago and floundered at the stage where I decided to do a little running stitch round all the numbers. The tutorial is at Chez Beeper Bebe.

I have also finally made the dining room curtains to match the living room ones. (It's all one room but it makes it sound bigger to give them separate names...) So I have made it just in time to beat the first anniversary of moving in. And there was only one major cock-up, where I managed to cut one curtain about 20cm too short. This is the sort of thing that always happens when I get my sewing machine out. Anyway, better get on to my bedroom curtains soon, and something to replace the hideousness of the grubby nets in the meter cupboard.

I also have a cabled tank top half knitted and a cross-stitch alphabet sampler about two-thirds done. On my crafty would-like-to-do-list are: a cabled jumper for the boy, hat and gloves for the boy, tea cosy, pretty fabric bunting, wrist warmers for me, possibly a scarf and hat for me, a crocheted granny square blanket (this will probably take me until I am granny age), a mini quilt for the Ikea dolls'/teddy bed I've bought little man for Christmas (sorry to mention the C-word but everything I buy for him now is getting put away until then. By 'put away' I mean left in the boot of my car, which might be a problem when we go away next week), a wall hangy thing I started about two years ago which is a hotch potch of sewing and knitted bits and buttons and beads and stuff, some freezer paper stencilling (although by next summer little man will have grown out of the t-shirts I was going to try this out on), a mini ring sling for the boy to carry things in (probably cars) and a cross-stitch picture of Noah's ark for the boy (I'm hoping it will not yet lead to any deep theological questions; he likes boats and animals).

This list may be slightly over-ambitious. I'm off to do some knitting even though it's the sort of day where you have to put lights on to knit at 2pm. If only I had a cosy wood-burner to sit in front of. Unfortunately, any money I save at the moment is going into the replacement car fund.