Friday, 22 April 2011

Meet Mr Frog

He took less than an hour to make, which is a nice contrast to the fiendishly complicated cable pattern jumper I'm knitting for the little man and has been on the needles for months. Now that I'm looking at these photos on screen, they are also reminding me that I want to replace the covering on this kitchen stool. But first, I'm gearing up for front door painting. Today is sanding. Tomorrow, after daddy has picked up the boy, is painting time. I'm also feeling a strong urge to declutter my cupboards. Must be something in the air this spring. Other than pollen.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Bad parenting at the forest

I'm a bad mother. We went to The Forest today. That's Delamere Forest, although anyone who lives in Cheshire just calls it The Forest. It was about 7am when I decided we'd go. I thought we'd go early while it was still quiet. Just after 10am, we actually left the house, packed lunch in tow. But it seems I do not observe proper parenting practice whilst in the great outdoors. I did not, for example, expect him to stay clean. I did not tell him off for sliding down sandy embankments on his backside. I did not tell him off for getting green, mossy stains on the knees of his trousers. I did not tell him off for using his fingers to gouge interesting stones out of the earth. I did not tell him off for straying off the path to inspect every unfurling fern frond, every potentially climbable tree, every perfectly seat-like tree trunk, every half-nibbled pine cone, every mysterious rabbit hole. I did not warn him every five seconds about the nettles. Somehow, he managed not to get nettled. Somehow, we managed to have fun. Somehow, we managed to walk a couple of miles. Or so. I wasn't measuring. Another parenting fail. I had no buggy (it's been relegated to the loft). I couldn't pick him up due to the hernia op recovery, hence had no sling either. And I had only a vague idea of where we were going and how far away from the car park we were. Although I do have a tried-and-tested good sense of direction.

So now I'm raising a glass to my parenting failures, and to fresh air, and to dirt, and to exploring. Must do it more often.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Discoveries whilst on the sick

I'm back to work on Wednesday after almost three weeks off with the hernia horror. Fortunately, the infection seems to be finally clearing up, halfway through my second week's worth of strong antibiotics. So what have been the big revelations of the past three weeks?
  • I like work.  Conversation with a three-year-old is a little limited, although my language has probably been a hell of a lot cleaner for three weeks. Also, getting paid is quite nice, whilst statutory sick pay is not.
  • Work would have been a lot easier than looking after a three-year-old when one is supposed to be resting. At least at work I get to sit down for more than two minutes without being asked to get up and get someone a drink, snack, toy, teddy, book, clean underpants, tissue or spiky fish. Usually.
  • On the other hand, I find sitting down for more than two minutes difficult anyway unless I have embroidery, a book or knitting to do.
  • Plus, spending four or five days in a row together with a three-year-old can be good fun when you're not in a rush to be anywhere and have nothing in particular to get done.
  • Sunny Sunday afternoons were made for drinking real ale in beer gardens. So I guess I can also sit down for more than two minutes if I have a pint.
  • There's always something more important to do than put away the mountain of clean clothes piled up on my bedroom drawers.
  • Aftercare for day case surgery is virtually non-existent. There is no such thing as a district nurse in this area who you will ever be able to actually get an appointment to see when you need to because the primary care trust has reorganised services so that everyone has to go to the walk-in centre, which isn't even in this town.
  • Not being able to lift anything heavier than a kettle is a metaphorical ball-ache. No, I can't just shift that bag of compost in the back yard. No, I can't dig or rake at the allotment. No, I can't walk to the shop because I won't be able to carry everything home.
Edited to add: Felted bowls! Okay so my first effort is pretty small because I ignored all instructions as to needle size and wool gauge. But it's a bowl. And I hand-felted it in the kitchen sink in hot soapy water. And it's in gorgeous undyed eco wool. This may be the start of a new addiction.

    Wednesday, 6 April 2011

    The off switch

    A ten-minute car journey has now become an opportunity for little man to make all manner of preposterous requests and to question the very fabric of reality until my brain goes 'pop'.

    On the way to and back from Speke Hall near Liverpool it was 'Where are we going mum?', 'It's on that bridge?', 'What are those cones doing?', 'Where have the cones gone?', 'Why?'. And 'You sing, mummy,' when I put the radio on. I don't know the words. 'You sing mummy.' I'm just a teenage dirtbag baby. That's the only bit I know. 'Why?' And 'A toadstool, mum, you eat the toadstool,' proffering an imaginary toadstool.

    Then his plastic box, now emptied of strawberries but speckled with strawberry juice, became his little friend, who had to be hugged because he was covered in spots and obviously wasn't well. 'Mummy, you hug him.' I can't while I'm driving, little man.

    Both journeys ended with his neurons overheating and initiating emergency shutdown. In other words, asleep.

    Incidentally, the gardens at Speke Hall were pleasant enough, he actually admired the house (from the outside, I didn't fancy chasing him around the antique-furnished interior), the odd stone or hedge archway was fun, but the playground was by far the biggest hit.

    Sunday, 3 April 2011


    This is the sort of thing I got up to last week whilst recovering from my hernia op. I started this sampler months ago and finally finished it off. And yes, I really did miss out a 'Y' and have to add it in at the end. And yes, I should have done it in the centre of the fabric so I had enough to wrap around a mount, but I'm too stingy so I'm going to botch it and have fabric left for some other designs.
    Noah's ark is also coming along nicely. This is one for little man's room. I still have snakes, penguins and zebras to do, along with a bright, zig-zag border. 
    The op itself seemed to go fine. Unfortunately, the wound then got infected a few days later and I've been on strong antibiotics which seem to finally be doing the trick. The surgeon's sewing skills seem a little hit and miss. It's all very neat at one end, but a bit raggedy looking at the other.