Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Freezing

Wow, 30 days in a row!  Not much crafting done this month but I have managed to blog every day.

The Runner has just been up to the attic to get down the Advent Calendar, I've found the chocolates (Thorntons) I bought a month ago to put in each individual pocket and Scary says that she wants to fill it this year.  I still cannot comprehend how it's December tomorrow!

And, wey hey, The Newly Married Boilerman is due tomorrow!!!!  Not sure what time to expect him as we haven't heard anything so I suppose I'd better get up early and tidy the utility room, so that he can actually get in the door!  We probably won't have any heat until Thursday or Friday but at least the process has started.  Even with the open fire in the living room, I don't think I have EVER been so cold.  We have several electric heaters but unless you are actually standing right beside them, they don't seem to make much difference.  And certainly, as soon as you turn them off, you are freezing again.

Poor Starfish has moved into the small office on the put-you-up bed because her room is so cold.  (It's the biggest bedroom at the front and has three outside walls.)


Oh I am so looking forward to being warm.  Having a shower without shivering all the way through.  Washing my hands without them freezing.  Being able to wear less than 6 layers of clothing.  Maybe even having a bit of hanky panky because I can bear to take my clothes off!!!!  Shhh don't tell anyone.

And Having A Bath!!  Do you think I might persuade Eric to share it with me?

Monday, 29 November 2010

I Love Eric

OK, OK, I think I'm obsessed.  A while ago, by mistake really, I found this programme on Channel 4 late at night which caught my fancy.  True Blood.

My girls go all goo-goo eyed about vampires but they've never really tickled my fancy until Eric (and maybe Bill a little bit to start with).

Please don't watch it if you're at all offended by sex, blood, drugs, devil worship, swearing, gay relationships; well, just about anything really.  But it is such a good story.

And Eric is so gorgeous.


I'll grant you he's a bit on the skinny side; nothing a few good pies wouldn't sort out.



I suppose they would have to be blood based.  I could do that.  I can cook.

The books are a rollicking good read too, although not very much like the tv series.

Give it a go, if you're not easily shocked.  I'm sure you'll find someone to fancy on there, even if you don't like My Eric.  No more wishy washy vampires.  These vampires are dark, evil and sexy as hell.

Sorry, it must be my hormones!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Slowly But Surely


The progress is very slow but at least there is progress and I haven't managed to mistakenly unravel it again!

I do hope she likes them!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

What's Your Widget?

In East Devon we woke up to a very light smattering of snow this morning but the sky has been very snowy all day and the hills surrounding us are white.  I intended taking some photos but somehow I just couldn't drag myself away from the fire!

I am surrounded by sniffing wimps!  Everyone has a cold (well, man flu in The Runner's case!) except me, so I guess I'll be going out for sudafed and paracetamol tomorrow!

The Runner has a new phone (LG GM360 if that means anything to you).  Now, I may have mentioned before how technologically phobic he is.  So you can imagine all the questions we have had this afternoon whilst he was trying to work out how to use a modern touch screen phone.  'What's a status bar?'  'What are SN updates?'

Scary has helped him as much as she can bear with a teenager's short attention span.  We did both laugh out loud when he said he had an 'idle widget'!

We have put in his old sim card so that he doesn't have to change his number but this means that he cannot access some of his old pictures and files.  The one he is most concerned about, however, is a recording of Terry Wogan reading out his poem on Radio Two before he gave up the Breakfast Show.

You can tell we are a certain age, can't you?

Friday, 26 November 2010

Christmas Fair

Thank you for all the good wishes for the Fair.  It went very well, thank goodness and was certainly worth doing.  We made a reasonable profit, which always makes you feel better, and our stall seemed very busy.


I knew I'd forget something and I did.  I left behind all the signs and price tags!  Duh!  So our stall looks a little bare.

Scary and Starfish helped out as well and a good time was had by all!

Now I'm pooped!  Night night.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

One Month To Go

How did we get here so quickly?


The other day I mentioned I was going to try some wrist warmers for Scary from this magazine:


I was doing quite well, then I rushed to answer the phone and realised too late that my foot was wrapped around the wool and some of it had unravelled!


Anyway, here's one motif and the pattern is basically six of these joined together (I think!)


Back to my fire now.  I don't stray very far from this at the moment!


Wish me luck at the Fair tomorrow!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Bah Humbug!

Well, I suppose I'm going to have to think about Christmas soon.  Maybe tomorrow.  I guess it will have to be tomorrow because on Friday The Runner and I are doing a Christmas Fair!  Ooops, better get going then.

I'm feeling very lazy tonight, having spent the whole day trying to gather together every little scrap of money to pay for our new boiler next week!  Finances are so wearing!  I've even been trying to sell a few things on ebay for the first time ever, but perhaps I'm doing it wrong because no-one is bidding!

Anyway, tonight I just thought I would mention a lovely little Christmas project I found on a blog called Crafty Helen @ Home.  I have been trying to post a picture of the really simple but effective Christmas puddings made out of felt but for some reason, it won't, so you'll just have to go and have a look yourself!

Grrrr; what's the matter with Blogger?  It won't link or preview!

Crafty Helen

Hopefully the above link will work!

Humph!  I'm in a huff now!  Going to bed!

See you all tomorrow.  Bah humbug!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

'Oh Dear, I seem to have dropped Something on my toe', I said

Work was so busy today, I've been trying to catch up with myself all day.  I had intended taking a picture of the wrist warmers I have started to crochet for Scary but I think that will have to wait until tomorrow.

If you have been reading this blog for a while now, you will know that we have no heating (or hot water) at the moment.  Of course, everybody keeps telling me it is going to snow.  Thanks a bunch.

We have an open fire in the living room but we live in a cold house and it is chilly in here even when the heating works properly, so you can imagine what it's like at the moment (lovely in a hot summer though).  Various electric heaters are spread around the house, so I dread to think what that bill is going to be like!

Whilst I was fetching some logs this evening, I dropped a log on my toe.  Hope my neighbour wasn't the other side of the fence because I might have taught him a few swear words.  My poor toe is so sore but, even worse, it looks perfectly normal!  At least if I am going to go through all this pain, it could at least LOOK as if it's painful!  A bruise or a little swelling would be ok; perhaps even a drop or two of blood.  Nothing.  Humph!

Well, I think I will go and put a few more layers of clothing on and go to bed!  Maybe tomorrow I can take some pictures in the daylight. 

Also tomorrow, I have to get myself organised for the fair on Friday.

If it wasn't for The Last Minute, I would never get anything done!

Monday, 22 November 2010

Overkill

I got a parcel in the post today.  That's funny, I thought, nothing I've ordered is as big as that!


Another photo with one of my magazines to show you the scale.


'Not very heavy' says The Runner.  What have you ordered?  'Nothing that big', says I.


Doesn't look like there's anything inside.


Oh look, it's a poster!  (For Scary, for Christmas)

Fancy putting it in a box that big!!!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Rocky Road Muffins


Do you fancy a rocky road muffin?

Yesterday Scary and I were in a coffee shop and had a rocky road muffin; we weren't too greedy, we did share it!

Well, I must admit I missed the nuts in it.  To me, rocky road has to have some crunch.  They did have some little crunchy balls on top but it wasn't quite enough for me.

So I tried my own today. 

DRY INGREDIENTS:
7 oz plain flour (sorry I don't think in grammes!)
1 oz cocoa powder
3 oz castor sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
4 oz/100g/one packet of white chocolate chips
big handful brazil nuts, chopped
(I also put a few chopped cherries in, but Scary said they didn't 'go')

WET INGREDIENTS:
1 egg (decent sized one)
2 fl oz oil (I used sunflower)
8 fl oz milk

Prepare wet and dry ingredients separately and mix at the last minute very quickly.  Don't worry too much about getting it smooth, just make sure there are no major lumps of dry ingredients.  Don't overmix and get it into 12 muffin cases as quickly as possible.  Cook for 20 minutes at Gas 6.

I made a small amount of chocolate butter cream icing and dolloped it on top and then scattered with mini marshmallows and drizzled over some melted chocolate.

For the buttercream I used approximately 4 oz milk chocolate melted it in the microwave.  I cut up 1 oz butter into small cubes and mixed into the chocolate whilst still warm.  It didn't melt, just softened and I beat in sifted icing sugar with a wooden spoon until it was the right consistency.  Sometimes a little milk helps it come together.  Sorry I didn't measure any of these ingredients so this is just a guess!!!  (Like most of my cooking!)

Eat up quickly because they are made with oil so won't stay as fresh as cakes made with butter or marg.

See you tomorrow!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like the 'C' Word!

Look what it was doing in Exeter today!


Sorry, no, it's not real!



Looked quite pretty though!

After a little light Christmas shopping (rude boxer shorts for tall boyfriend and running gear for The Runner), it was off to Harry Potter.  The cinema was packed but nobody tall sat in front of us thank goodness.

I can remember struggling to keep up with the plot in the book, and I did find it a bit long (mainly because I got cramp half way through!) but it was very good and it is rather irritating that we now have to wait until next July for the second part!  I think I might need to read the book again in the meantime!

Anyway, better go to my cold bed now.  The Runner is away tonight so will have to go and make a hot water bottle!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Looking forward to Harry

We've had beautiful weather here in Devon today and it was lovely walking through the town, wandering around the shops trying to get some inspiration for Christmas presents.

I'm not feeling at all Christmassy I'm afraid but I guess when we do the Christmas Craft Fair next week, that should wake me up a bit.  I've been making badges this afternoon in a small effort to get ready for next week.



Tomorrow we are going to do a little shopping in Exeter and then we are going to Harry Potter!

See you soon

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Crisis Averted

He's back!  Woo hoo!

I stayed up til way past midnight trying to find Mintoe, the hamster, to no avail, but left his cage open on the floor and this morning he had crawled back in and gone to sleep in his bed!  Thank goodness for that.  He seems a bit shaken by his ordeal; a bit jumpy and nervous but generally well.

See you all tomorrow!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

AWOL

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS HAMSTER?


Oh no!  Mintoe has escaped!  I know I've talked about Flump, our younger hamster, but I don't think I have mentioned our other elder statesman whom we've had for nearly two years.

Unfortunately last night his cage was fastened but as the catch is not very tight, a peg is needed as well, and Starfish got distracted and didn't put the peg back on after feeding him.

Now, we've had hamsters escape before.  In most cases, I sit up for hours in the night and catch them again.  Unfortunately we never found one, but I must admit I was almost glad about that because I didn't know how I was going to catch her without getting bitten.  Notice the 'her'.  We have a lot more trouble with the ladies I'm afraid.  All the ladies we have had have been quite vicious!  We have had loads of boys and all but one have been really friendly.

Earlier on I thought I'd done him a mischief.  I was in the kitchen and so cold, I thought I would put the oven on.  I've had this habit lately of putting the oven on and leaving the door open a little bit because our house is truly freezing without any proper heating at the moment.  I went to answer the phone (maybe ten or fifteen minutes) and came back to a burning smell.  Oh hell!  I must have left the oven door open and he's crawled in and now I've cooked him!  I was envisaging the conversation with Starfish: "The good news is I've found your hamster ...... the bad news ......"  I opened the oven door and found The Runner had left a croissant in there!!!

So think of me tonight in our cold, cold house, sitting up waiting for the hamster to appear .........


PS Just thought you'd like to know that the cider is bubbling away nicely in the corner of the kitchen, making lovely farting noises every few seconds!


Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Stressed

Well, I'm feeling a bit of a fraud today as I have really have nothing to say other than all the things that are going wrong at the moment!

I think we've all had times when every electrical/mechanical/inanimate device seems unwilling to co-operate.  I asked the Boiler Man the other day if it was possible to hate inanimate objects.  'Oh Yes', he said with feeling!  OK, so I hate my boiler (defunct), my dishwasher (doesn't wash anything unless you use the dearest tablets), Scary's laptop (won't work tonight), back door (sticks), front door (has gap underneath that lets in the cold), television (picture disappears when you change channels too quickly and you have to turn it off and on again at the wall), digibox on Starfish's tv (missed the last ten minutes of Kirsty tonight because trying to get it to work so she could watch Vampire Diaries)(didn't succeed), my new laptop (cos it's male and can't do two things at once), Jimmy Carr (I know he's not electrical, mechanical or inanimate but the Runner is watching him on tv and he's very distracting; not in a good way), upstairs toilet seat (wobbly and impossible to mend), downstairs toilet seat (one of these soft close things that the lid won't stay up and whacks you on the bum just as you're sitting down), the cash point that told me I'm overdrawn already this month (I mean it's only the 16th, how can I be overdrawn already?), the electric heater in my bedroom that I keep banging my toe on; I'm building up into a rant so I'll stop now!


ALL STRESSED OUT AND NO-ONE TO CHOKE

DESSERTS IS STRESSED BACKWARDS

THERE ARE ONLY TWO TIMES I FEEL STRESSED: DAY AND NIGHT

I TRY TO TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME, BUT SOMETIMES SEVERAL ATTACK ME AT ONCE

Shall I go on?

Monday, 15 November 2010

Manic Monday

Well, just another manic Monday!  I work on Mondays and Tuesdays so not a lot gets done other than that.  Today I had to take poor Starfish to the chiropodist again (remember she had to have two operations on her right toe earlier in the year?).  Well, now she has to have the same operation on her left big toe!  She's not impressed, to say the least, especially as it will probably be scheduled for just before Christmas so that she doesn't miss any school!  Poor love! 

I have been frantically trying to finish the Bright Ripple Blanket for Scary for Christmas.  I know she's gone off the colours but she's always cold, so hopefully she will be able to make some use of it.  I worked out that I needed 90 stripes (2 rows per stripe) and I've done 73 so I might just be finishing it on Christmas Eve!  At least I am warm whilst doing it!  I've also been taking the time to listen to my Sookie Stackhouse books on my MP3 and they are soooo good.  Crochet and a good story - you can't get much better than that!

Well, I'm off to make myself a hot water bottle (can't wait for the heating to be fixed!) and to jump into bed as quickly as possible!

See you tomorrow!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Dragonflies

Just a quick post tonight.  I just wanted to share with you something I heard Richard Madeley say on the Radio Two Breakfast Show last week.

"Are daytime quizzes too easy?

a.  Yes.
b.  Red.
c.  Paris"

!!


And look what Marathon Runner made for me today!


(Sorry it's not a very good photograph!  It is actually turquoise and purple.)

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Friday, 12 November 2010

Heirlooms

I know I promised craft today, but my friends have conspired against me and have been visiting! 

However, I thought I would just show you Scary in a dress we found in the attic the other day.  It was my mother's and it was her 'little black dress'!



She must have had it in the 1950's and somewhere I have a photograph of her in it (not to be found today though!).

It fits Scary very well, although she could do with a little bit more bosom!

Although it's a long way off, she has decided that it might do very nicely as a Prom dress.  I'm sure my Mum would have been pleased; unfortunately she died before I had even met my husband, let alone had my children.

Anyway, this weekend I will be mostly making cider!  What are you up to?

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Bumbling About

Well, I have been doing this NaBloPoMo thing and I've been desperately trying to get some crafting done so that I could take some lovely photos and show you how productive I've been.  Hmmmm.  No chance just lately.   Even if I do get some time, you can't sit down for long because the house is so cold you'll get frostbite!  The boiler man has very inconsiderately decided to get married and go on his honeymoon, so the new boiler isn't going to be installed until the beginning of December!  Brrrrrrr!

I think I'll call it a night now.  Not much today I'm afraid but I have the day to myself tomorrow (hopefully) so perhaps might get something done.  Might just be cooking; at least then I can put the oven on!!

Going to put my thermals on to go to bed!  Sexy!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

A Bogging Nuisance

Starfish is reading a new book called 'The Merrybegot' by Julie Hearn.  It is set in Devon and seems to be mainly about the conflict between the old religion of paganism and Christianity.  I picked it up to have a look and read the following:

A SPELL TO SOOTHE A TRUCULENT PIG


First, catch your pig.  Do it on a Monday, on a waning moon, when the time be right for healing.  Point him to the north, and hang on tight.


Rap his snout three times with a wand of oak, and call: "Powers of earth, tame and soothe this creature that he may become docile and no longer a bogging nuisance."


Wait seven beats of the heart, then let him go.


So mote it be.


Don't you just love the word 'truculent'?

I wonder if it works on humans?  How many people do you know who are 'a bogging nuisance'?

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

A Warning

Whilst we were away in Blackpool, unfortunately Scary left her handbag behind somewhere and even though we returned ten minutes later, it was gone.  Now Scary as a rule is very careful with her things and was very upset.  Because we were away, there were lots more things in it (thankfully not her phone, which was in her pocket) but she lost her ipod nano, new camera which she had for her birthday with really large memory card (and irreplaceable photos from her birthday), make-up, £50 cash that she had saved from her wages to spend on holiday, bank card, her sister's umbrella, her pills that she takes every day, purse (new), various other little bits and pieces, some of which we have only realised since and the bag itself I had paid £35 for only a couple of months ago.  You just don't realise how much you carry around with you and how much it is to replace it all.  It cost me £18 on the day just to replace the make-up!

Anyway, this is not the point of the story.  The Runner managed to wangle a refund from the hotel because of a draughty window (!) and so when we returned, we promised Scary that we would replace the ipod, which she listens to all the time, so I went online and started to have a look.  Now, they have updated the ipod nano since we bought Scary's and the new one is touch screen.  Surprisingly she didn't want this and much preferred the one she had before, so I searched for the slightly out of date one.

Although I looked on Amazon and ebay, I found a website that was selling new ones for a discounted price (£89) and so ordered it.  I received an email straight away saying that my order was being processed.

Since then, nothing.  I have been on the website several times, looking for a way to track my order to no avail.  So today, I decide to have a serious look at this website and did a search to see if anyone else was having problems.  Oh dear!

Poor Scary has been checking the post every day, desperate for her ipod to arrive and now she's upset all over again!

Thank God I paid by credit card.  I rang the credit card company and although I have to wait a requisite number of days, and fill out a form, I will get my money back eventually.  They actually charged me £91, not the £89 they said.

Now, I have edited the rest of this blog post because I had the name of the company and lots of details but whilst speaking to Trading Standards this morning, they have advised me to take it off until the matter is resolved.

But if you are buying (or think you are) an ipod from Apple, just make sure that you are actually dealing with the reputable company called Apple Store and not somebody else.  Check and double-check.

Then you won't be stomping around the house swearing all the time!!!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Too Much Choice

The Runner is at work. 

I have control of the remote. 

Spooks is on the telly.

I have two new magazines.



I have downloaded a new book in the Sookie Stackhouse series.


I have an impossibly hard game of spider solitaire to win.


Or shall I do a bit more crochet?


Life is hard sometimes.

Sunday, 7 November 2010