::That holiday feeling::

I’m feeling refreshed and beginning to get that holiday feeling now: the one just before we go away. We’re preparing for a three week holiday in France- yes, that’s right three weeks! I am so happy to be rested and ready with my holiday feeling just about peaking ready for the off.

poncho edgeOver the last few weeks I have completed many projects that have prepared me for that holiday feeling and in readiness for the new term in September. Here are a few peeks.

20140726_21153920140726_230441Oh those ends, they always take ages and I dread starting them but it looks so much better once they’re done. This is just a sneaky peak at my completed Poncho- I’m taking it to France to photograph in the beautiful and abundant sunflower fields surrounding the house we will be staying at (once we’ve left Paris!) I think having spent  months on this project and taking so much care and attention of it that it’s only right for me to do it justice in a proper photo shoot! YaY! I do looooove this project so much- it really does make my heart sing just to look at it and feel it’s glorious textures! Ahhhhhhhh… (sighs wistfully).poncho finishingI’m hoping that I’ll be able to wear my poncho on those dusky, sunset evenings when it is feeling a little chilly in the air. Oh happy holiday! Next there was the arrival of some beautiful Drops Muskat cotton- well I had ordered it so it was expected. But how soft, luscious and lovely this yarn is – waiting to be whipped up into some beautiful blankets and cushions me thinks!

muskatThen there was the completing of my classroom- having moved classrooms again. This is a huge job, files, resources, relabelling drawers (which my amazing class partner K will do this time) and then the reorganising, re-theming and sorting out of everything from bookshelves to backing paper. As we’re doing a terms topic on The Victorians, we decided to go with a Sherlock theme for the first half term (and a Charles Dickens one for the next half when we do Oliver Twist). Also a bit of a school room feel. What do you think?20140804_13003420140804_130055

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And then there are my garden projects. I’ve never been able to grow Clematis before, they’ve always wilted, dried up, died or just never done anything. But look..

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A proper flower and seed head! I love how this looks so spiky but it’s actually really soft and fluffy! Then there are my geraniums and nasturtiums ditto for them too- it must be the weather we’ve had this year. I know, back in June,  when I see summer blooms that the holidays are not far around the corner.

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So we are getting packed and ready to load up the roof box, pack those bags (including suncream and aftersun, of course), crank up the bike rack and of course the crochet bag. I’ll be working on my kaleidoscope blanket whilst I’m away- lots to catch up on and it’s quite portable and not so big and warm to sit under! Hey ho! That holiday feeling- ready, steady, we’re off!

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::Moving on:

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It is always with a mixture of emotions that I approach the end of the school term as a Deputy Head teacher, a year 6 class teacher, a parent and just as me! In all aspects moving on is a key theme.

The changes happening within school, moving classrooms for September, moving files, records and handing over to the next teacher, transition for the children, the emotional last few weeks for the year 6 children as they begin their moving on journey mentally for secondary school, all bring their stresses, strains and emotional roller coasters. Especially in this hot and humid weather!

20140531_142114In addition there are my sons own transitional journeys: one moving back home from first year at university and the entering of his final GCSE year for my youngest. And then there is me. The ending of another year brings home the knowledge that I know I have made a difference to the children in my school, class and my boys; their outlooks, self-belief, confidence and resilience to move onto new challenges. Moving on confidently is the aim in every sense. I believe I achieved it.

I spent Friday, our last day of term, in a parallel world. On the one hand I marvelled in the joy and knowledge that the year 6 children have the ability to put together a leaver’s assembly that represents their journey through our changing school. The reminiscing, laughing, crying and togetherness of a shared journey through their childhood, supported by dedicated staff, challenged by their peers. I continue to learn from them. It was wonderful to drink in the amazement, wonder and pleasure they had in this their final event in our school. It brought them a mixture of emotions: some they couldn’t contain. Those recent, quiet moments at home, spending a little bit of time on myself, have helped me to get through.

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But on the other hand, I also spent Friday consoling, reassuring and sharing, time, hugs and experiences with the children who have been a huge part of my life this year. This was a special year group for me – they were my first Reception class in this school seven years ago and it has been such a privilege to watch these young people grow over the years, from curious, exploring, exuberant infants to confident, open-minded, responsible juniors. I am extremely proud of every one of them.

Now I say changing school, because we also had the challenge of Ofsted this week. Yes the last week of term. It was both unexpected at this late stage and also a blessing in disguise – I no longer have to worry over the summer about a first week Ofsted in September. It is done and dusted. It went well. We have all worked so very hard. I am so very, very tired. I have spent my evenings snuggled under my growing ripple stitch blanket trying to stay awake to communicate with my family!

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Moving on for me over the next few weeks involves a substantial amount of rest. Sharing my life with a large primary school is a huge commitment for me and my family: their patience and understanding are what gets me through the months, weeks, days and hours that I spend in this highly intensive, challenging and immensely rewarding job. I love my job. It is a privilege.

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My many craft, crochet, baking and sewing projects will help me along. I will be spending lots of time with my family: holidaying in France (Ulcot actually- here on the map and below in the picture), walking up fells, lazy days at home, and we’ll be sharing experiences, laughs, love, kindness, challenges and time.

beckermondsThe surrounding sunflower fields of our holiday destination.

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Then there are my copious gifts. Many, many beautiful and generous gifts from children in the school, not just my class. But also colleagues.

20140720_111154This one just about sums it up. Its a beautiful vase from my colleague by Rob Ryan and it reads, ‘There is no such thing as spare time. There is no such thing as work time. There is no such thing as quality time. There is no such thing as free time. There is no such thing as down time. There is only time.’

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Over the summer months, I will be preparing my boys for their next journey through life, moving onto pastures new. A new shared flat for E as he enters his second university year and the final year of GCSE for Little J (although he will be JP from now on- he is much taller than me!) He has many ideas, hopes and dreams for his future yet to unfold and it never ceases to astound me how much I admire my two offspring. It catches me unawares sometimes and I have to take a moment to compose myself as it overwhelms me. As new parents J and I always joked that our babies didn’t come with a manual, we would always do what felt right for us, they would be treated as individuals and although we would make mistakes as parents, we would make them together and with the very best intentions, always. They are so very different, yet so similar! ( I pinched the eye idea from Lucy@Attic24).

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In our summer of moving on, I couldn’t be more filled with pride, love, joy and delight at my wonderful sons. I don’t mind saying, I feel we have done an awesome job so far. My heart is full and overflowing; it swells every time I think of the independent individuals our boys have become. As a Mum, I am also moving on.

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::Liebster Award nomination- woohoo::

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I have been lucky enough to be nominated by Amanda at Amjaylou for a Leibster award. This is a fabulous idea; you can get to know a little bit about your favourite blogs and also to find new blogs. I love it!

So here are the answers to Amanda’s questions, some random facts about me – (steady now!) and my nominations for awards of blogs I love, love, love.

1. How many WIP’s do you have at the moment?
I currently have 3 wip’s that have actually been started, but many many more in my head! Cushion love, blanket love, and bunting for my new nephews bedroom is a must before christmas!

2. What are they?
I have my kaleidoscope blanket Cal from The Natural Dye Studio ( christmas present from my lovely Hubby) which is coming along nicely, but takes lots of 3mm hook size concentration!20140510_094442

My ripple blanket for Doris Caravan in style craft DK Attic24 pack – which is a great pick up and carry on project.CAM00359

My peruvian poncho in Cascade 220 – which is a joy at 5mm size chunky, fabulous colours and grows so quickly.20140526_094026

I’m currently catching up with the May section of my kaleidoscope blanket (yes I know we’re in June, hence the reason for catching up!)

3. Regarding days out what would be your idea of heaven?

I love to visit the seaside and collect shells, stones, sea-glass and just to breath in the salty fresh air. Lying on my back on a beautifully crocheted blanket, guessing the shapes of the clouds, with the warm sun an a gentle breeze. We live 20 mins away from the West Cumbria coast so it’s great on a Sunday morning to plod along the beach, collect the Sunday papers and sometimes have a cheeky ice-cream in the local shop!20140615_113954

4. What would be your idea of hell?
End to end football, cycling, rugby- or actually Golf. I cannot stand Golf! Having to go and watch it , a whole day or more of it (the TV is bad enough) would be absolutely awful! Yuck! Argh!

5. What book are you reading at the moment?
As a year 6 teacher, I am constantly looking for great inspiring rears for my class and to motivate my reluctant boy readers to get into a good book. I have just completed Mortal Engines by Phillip Reeve ( it was fabulous) and I am currently reading The Knife of never letting go by Patrick Ness and I LoVe LoVe it. My favourite personal text favourites are Tess of the D’Urbervilles and anything else by Hardy. Carlos Luis Zafon’s The shadow of the Wind is a firm favourite as is The Book Thief.

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6. What is your favourite tipple? ( can include non-alcoholic!)

A Mojito Mocktail – complete with lime juice, elderflower cordial, soda and a secret non-alcoholic ingredient from a bistro I love in my nearby town.

7. What’s been the best holiday you’ve been on so far?
A few years ago we took the boys aged 15 and 11 to Barcelona- it was amazing. I had been before 20 years ago and desperately wanted my family to see this wonderful city. It didn’t disappoint and they all loved it too. The Sagrada Familia was still unfinished and just as spectacular as I remember. Gaudi has always been a design inspiration to me and I felt quite emotional revisiting these beautiful buildings, Parc Guell and the amazing mosaics. The boys were thrilled to visit the Football stadium. Later, we travelled by hire car to a quiet fishing village up the coast and holidayed there with the french and spanish holiday makers. It was wonderful. A close second was our family holiday in Rome and Pompeii last year. As you can see- I love architecture!

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8. What is your dream destination?
I really want to visit Sydney, Australia and walk along the harbour, visit the opera house and take in the sights before travelling up to Cairns to the rest Barrier reef. We’re hoping to go next year.

9. What would you put into Room 101?
Tin openers and garlic presses. They never last very long, always break down when you need them, and become worse than useless right at the wrong moment!

10. Do you have a favourite TV chef?
I don’t have one chef that I like in particular- they all get a bit samey after a while I feel. But I do absolutely love watching MasterChef- the normal ones not the celebrities or the chefs one. Also, I’m a real Saturday Morning Kitchen fan- I rarely miss it.

11. What is your all-time favourite cake?
It has to be a good old fashioned lemon cheesecake- it just can’t be beaten. My mum makes an amazing cheesecake with preserved lemons chopped up into the creamy mixture and it has chocolate digestives for the base. It is divine!! (Note to self- get the recipe from my mum!)

Now to the 11 random facts about myself.
1.I am a trained textile designer and worked as a textile designer for The Burton Group before my children were born.
2. I play the cello and all three descant, treble and tenor recorders.
3. I love tulips- very, very, very much.
4. My favourite chocolate is Green and Blacks 75% dark- closely followed by Lindt salted caramel.
5. I run- and completed The Cumbrian Run in 2011 a long 13.1 miles in 2hrs. Very proud.
6. I have raised just under £5000 for Cancer Research in the last 4 years.
7. I have cycled the Coast to Coast cycle route- 142 miles in 3 days.
8. I have been a teacher for 10 years and a deputy Head for 2 of them.
9. I am still best friends with my child hood best friend who I met when we were 12.
10. I drive a VW Beetle.
11. The first album I bought, aged 14 was hatful of Hollow by the Smiths- I still have it as a very treasured possession.

My chosen favourite blogs.

Loopy Freak with a list
Little Room of Rachel
Fox’s Lane
Little Red Squirrel
Little woollie
Lulu loves Crochet
Haken en Meer
Eclectic Gypsyland
Little Tin Bird
Betty and Annie
Poppy and Bliss

My 11 questions for them
1. When and why did you start to craft (crochet, knit, sew, make?)
2. What are your favourite colour combinations?
3. What have been the last 3 things you have made?
4. What would be your dream holiday destination and why?
5. What is your favourite food?
6. Who do you most admire – past or present?
7. Who would be at your dream dinner party?
8. What advice would you give your 10 year old self?
9. If you could live in any country which one would it be and why?
10. what would be your favourite film?
11. What will your next project (s) be?

I hope my nominees enjoy this as much as I have! Wishing you all the very best of weekends. xx

::Returning::

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It is always with a hint of sadness when returning from a holiday or short break, such as the one we have just had in Wasdale in the South West Lakes.  It feels strange to be travelling back home, without the excitement and anticipation that I left home with, but with my mind wandering to the jobs, ahead. Maybe not travelling so far away, only 50 minutes, makes the journey home, which never seems long after a holiday, seem returning that bit shorter. Wasdale and Eskdale were breathtakingly beautiful, the above picture, taken from the window of our new-to-us caravan Doris, really doesn’t do it justice.

Returning always has a tinge of wistfulness.

Returning with the thoughts of the unloading of the car, the bags and the caravan this time, and the umpteen loads of washing! It seems to happen every time, I have romantic notions of savouring the time away but end up returning with more work than when I went. It always takes me a few days to settle back into the swing and flow of home life again, to get back to normal.

Returning to work. It has been such a short holiday, not the usual 2 weeks at Easter for the children and for me as a teacher. It is a much needed time for recharging those tired and worn out batteries, and the main reason for getting away is to have that mental break. I don’t suppose anyone reading this thinks that teachers have a dreamy amount of time off, or an equally easy working day, especially we are now into report season and planning classrooms and classes for the next school year. I must admit, but very quietly, to gazing off out of the car window, thinking about how I’m going to theme my classroom before the return to school with children present. We’re doing a topic on Australia. My thoughts also return to planning for work, before I return to work!

Returning to Wasdale. Who knows? i usually have an unwritten rule about not returning or going back to somewhere as there are so many places to discover. But, J and I were at the very same spot 20 years ago, (wow that makes me gel old), and we climbed Great and Green Gable then. It is such a beautiful place, how could I not return?

So, I have lots of pictures to sift through and ideas and notions about our next caravan break. It’s so lovely to deck her out with homemade cushions and blankets for now, and to up and off. I’ll show you a few pictures now, but the rest will follow in a proper post about the adventures of Doris and the South West Lakes.

Here are a few to enjoy. :O)xxx

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Can you see the beautiful Scafell Pike over there? At 978m high, its the highest mountain in England and was first ascended by the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge.. how about that! I love the way the light and shadows play.

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The seaside at Seascale on the West Coast.ImageImage

Seaside ripple inspiration.

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My new crochet ripple blanket for when Doris has had her makeover.

:: Year End Review: 2013: Part Two::

So here it is… part two. In some words (but mainly pictures). It took me so very long to get the pictures sorted I have resolved to organise my photo library for the new year!! A New Years resolution I hope to keep! Enjoy :o)xx

•∆• July

July 2013

Camping at the Cambridge Folk festival, finishing my Sunshine Granny Square Blanket, Ta-Dah post here, and new yarn arrives for Festival granny stripe blanket!

•∆• August

August 2013

Rome and Pompeii was AmAzInG!!! Amazing weather, amazing sights and history and amazing company. Our first family holiday without E was a bit emotional but we moved on and we're ok! Plodding on with new projects.

•∆• September

September 2013

E went on his way to Leeds College of Music and so so so proud we are, you can read all about it in my post here! My studio in the HayLoft was finished. School started back and the old routine of life springs back quickly. Weekends are taken up with visits to Leeds while E settles in. We all miss him. :o( However a super special trip to Yarndale cheers me up no end with my friend Fi!

•∆• October

October 2013

Tutti-fruity lampshade is finished see the Ta-Dah post here. J and I have our birthday, and we splash out on a night at the malmaison in Leeds and visit E at the same time. Half term visit to Saltaire was wonderfully relaxing and a bonus visit to E too! :o)

•∆• November

November 2013

Cold, cold, cold… wet and windy too. But beautifully Autumnal, see here for an autumn walk. Bonfire night, busy with my Autumn Wreath and the little details for that. So happy with it's completion- a new challenge having never made one before.

•∆• December

December 2013

With a deeply satisfying sigh we reach the end of the year. E home from College, end of a challenging school term and a joyous time making and creating presents for friends and family. Chilly hands dug down deep in pockets for a head clearing Boxing day walk.

It is so lovely, happy and satisying to look back over my year – finding crochet again around late spring and beginning my blog and Facebook page. It felt strange 'talking' and sharing my life with the great wide world, but that has now become such a blessing when I look back over my year in print and photos.

Thank you to anyone and everyone who has supported me, with comments, likes, and shares- they mean a lot!

I look forwards to finding new 'friends' and learning more, trying more and challenging myself to even greater heights!

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favourite MixTures from the year 

::2013: Year end review: part one::
::Transition::
-Lovely – Sunny Festival Granny stripe blanket!-
- Whilst the weather…-
::It's great to have a catch up…::

::Saltaire and Salts Mill::

Hello blogland!! I'm back from a very hectic first week back to school after the relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable half term holidays. We went to Saltaire, near leeds, which of course is where E is at University.

What a beautiful place it is too.

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I have wanted to go here for some time, as I have heard so many wonderful things about Salt's Mill and the history of the area, so it was great to be able to go with all of my little family. E got the train in Leeds and met us at Shipley station, before we walked along the canal towards Saltaire. It was beautifully autumnal and quiet.



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Fabulous barges, house boats and lots and lots of ducks!!!


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Lots of strolling, running and dog walking going on and it was lovely to greet and acknowledge people going about their business.


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There is also a lovely art work trail; we saw two of them on the route we had taken.


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In the mill itself it was fabulous to see the permanent Hockney exhibition, the amazing array of books in the bookshop and the textile exhibition current in residence. I browsed through all of the lovely books.


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I loved that they have used throughout the site, lots of the pieces of furniture and equipment to display things. 

It is such a beautiful place.


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There was a textile Exhibition running  and it was fantastic – so much talent, interpretation and beautiful work. It took me right back to my textile student roots and made me feel all emotional and warm to look at them and think about the qualities in the variety of work. Just beautiful. Cloth and memory 2, you can check out the webiste for this here.


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The mill has an amazing roof structure that provided the most fabulous backdrop for these installation pieces.


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These next pictures were my absolute complete and utter favourite – they brought tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat. Totally beautiful. They are by Jeanette Appleton her website is here. The description read…

"A highly experienced artist, her response for Cloth & Memory will use the 'silencing' context of felt as a metaphor for the absorption of sound and memory. Intimate works based on the original ledgers and sample books are placed in the wall cavities originally used by workers to store bobbins."

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A spectrum of colours.


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The idea that all of the muttering, conversation and productive noise that occured when the women were spinning the cloth and winding the threads on their bobbins really resonated with me. I loved the idea of them being silent recorders in the gap where the bobbins should be. Evoking many ideas and thoughts of working conditins, hours worked and expecations unsaid.

You can tell I loved it can't you! Well I did.

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We lunched in Salt's Diner, which was InCrEdIbLy busy but I had a gorgeous chestnut and butternut squash rissotto. J, J and E all had soup and a sandwich (but no gluten free food so I plumped for rice). Coffee was very good, and then we went to see the Hockney's. WOW!! Loved The Rake's Progress prints – so much we bought one.


David hockney print

Loved the humour of this, and the referrence to Hogarths work  fromthe original series he did. So it now needs a frame to grace the walls of my currently being decorated hall and stairs.

I totally loved my visit to Salt's Mill and having a gorgeous family day with my little guys (well ok they're not so little now!) It fed my textile creative, artistic brain. It filled my family bucket of love and hugs to the very top seeing all of my boys together. I loved that they enjoyed my glee, delight and giddiness at being a textile nutcase again, if only for a day – surrounded by art they didn't understand and explanations they weren't sure they agreed with.

Great art does that; it makes you think, wonder and even disagree. Having an opinion is what counts!

A lovely, lovely visit.

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::This week so far…::

WOOOHOOOOO it's the half term holiday!

Lots of jobs and bits and bobs to tick off my list!

Well half term in my house generally involves lots of sleeping (me), eating (me) and catching up on housey type jobs (everyone) that I either can't be bothered to do or haven't time for in term time. These include (in no particular order):  pulling out the sofa for hoovering, refolding the towels in the airing cupboard so that they all fit in again, putting back the increasing pile of shoes, boots, scarves, hats and gloves that pile up on the hall settle, moving winter clothes out of storage and summer ones back into for another year!

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The half term week started for me in Edinburgh!! Yes, I went with a couple of work friends and we ran the Race for life twilight around Arthur's Seat.


EdinburghIt was amazing and we LOVED it. I have done many runs but not one in the dark- the atmosphere and the twinkly lights were fabulous. But we did get VERY wet. 
Really enjoyed the weekend and pootling around Edinburgh on Sunday morning – christmas shopping in Jenners is always a treat.

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I went into school at the beginning of the week to get a few bits and pieces done, and it's so much easier when there are no children around – although they are kind of the point of it all anyway!!! You know what I mean!

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That done, time to concentrate on recharging my batteries and doing some family things.

With all of those jobs done and dusted (yes I did that too), time to snuggle down and get on with some crochet. The weather has been very hit and miss- in fact more miss than hit!


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Lovely coffee ( a Starbucks Christmas blend – I'm testing it out you see!!), walnut whip (oh how I love a walnut whip from M and S), candles, a warm glow, gorgeous yarn and lots of ideas to get on with!! Heavenly!


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and with a few more leaves and a marigold…


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Tick! Tick!

Then the task of cooking and making and with an Aga that decided to get hotter and hotter yesterday – lots of cooking, baking and making was needed to cool it down and regulate the temperature again.

So here you go, as you can see the oven was very hot as a couple of the next items got a little 'flashed' as Mary Berry says in the Aga cookbook!!


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 Yorkshire puddings LOVE a hot oven, but it was even a bit hot for these little guys! Still they'll freeze well enough.


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The choclate cake will get icing, and a chocolatey top in time for tea! Also made HUGE pans of chilli, soup and a very large ginger parkin ready for bonfire night.

Tick! Tick! Tick! Lots of jobs done there then!

My favourite though is the cherry, gluten and diary free flapjack- Yes I can actually eat it!


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The recipe is here if you would like to make a gluten free and diary free person VERY happy!

350g (12oz) sunflower margarine

3 generous tbsp golden syrup

175g (6oz) light soft brown sugar

1tsp valilla extract

75g (3oz) Doves farm plain flour

375g (13oz) Gluten free oats

Mix marg, syrup, sugars together in a pan and melt until smotth, add vanilla. Add to the flour, oats and stir to mix. Pop into a lined swiss roll tin, 25x38cm and into the oven for about 20 -25 minutes. Cut into squares, fingers or triangles – what ever you fancy whilst it's still warm and allow to cool completely on a wiire rack. I add 100g of natural glace cherries into mine but you can add 100g of banana, sultanas, chocolate chips. Anything at all!! 

Enjoy with a lovely cuppa!


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Oooooh forgot to tell you, my new book arrived. I've been following Arne and Carlos for a while and their book came out in English!!


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So what's next for the rest of the half term week.

Well we've booked a lovley hotel in Shipley, you can have a peak here. We're going to visit E in Leeds and I've wanted to go to the lovely and exciting sounding Salts Mill for AgEs and so we're heading there on Friday together. E will get the train over from Leeds and meet us there, we'll have food, look at the exhibition, hopefully have a wander around and genrally relax! Phewwww. Deep breath! There is an exhibition of Rock and Roll music etc that will appeal to my two big boys VERY well, and even to J too.

There are the Hockney paintings which will appeal to me VERY much and lots of things to pootle about at. I'm really looking forward to going.

Then we will be visiting my Brother's new little family and Baby M before we travel home and back to the prospect of getting back to school. 


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Hopefully as ell as ticking off lots of jobs and things off my list, I'll feel refreshed and ready to take on the run up toChristmas in school – that's no mean feat I can tell you!

So, that's my week ahead and so far. What about you?

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::It’s great to have a catch up…::

Hi there, haven't had a chat in ages!! It's so good to get the time to catch up and tell you all my news and the things I've been up to in the last month or so. I can't believe it's so long, where does time go?

It is a bit like greeting an old friend and in some aspects feels just like yesterday that I was writing my last blog!

So Hooky wise catch up:

I started a Flower burst cushion using Lucy's blog and tutorial to help me.

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and it's coming along beautifully (I'll post my Ta-dah! for this cushion very, very soon.)


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Parenting wise catch up:

I've been back and forth to Leeds to firstly settle him, move him into his flat, he ahs a great view

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and then to catch up and fill the cupboards!! It takes about 2 hours 45 minutes to travel there and so we've stayed over the last twice. In fact the last time, last weekend, was on my birthdayand the grand age of forty four, so we stayed at the beautifully boutique-ified Malmaison hotel in Leeds as a treat! 


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It had the most beautiful stairs…


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I had such a lovely birthday, seeing my big boy, sharing food and then seeing my lovely brand new baby nephew too! Yum, yum, baby cuddles, with his new baby blanket.


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I added some edging to it at the last minute and I think it really finishes it off.


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I do miss Big grown up E, but he's settled, happy and beginning to mingle in the student musical world that he now inhabits so at least he's getting himself out and about, and he can cook all manner of things now!!  He has even got to grips with the laundrette, so all is good. Phew!!!

Yarn wise catch up:

Well of course I went to Yarndale with my friend Fi and we stayed overnight in a lovely Inn called The New Inn at Clapham near Skipton. They served delicious food: here was my small desert, chocolate brownie…


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It was deliciously HUGE!!! and I ate every bit :o)

We had a lovely evening and two days at Yarndale, despite the triple booking of the town over the weekend and the hoards and masses of hooky, yarny, crafty, knitty minded people descending on the little dales town! I have completed my special Yarndale post which you can see here! 

School wise catch up:

I have survived and recovered from my trip to London with my Year 6 children and the staff, however I did return quite sick (literally) and needed a weekend to recover. It was incredibly tiring and I didn't get any hooking done but I did see lots of inspiring sights, and have bonded and gelled well with my team, and the kiddiwinkles. It was amazing. A yarn bombed cab anyone!!


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How are things with you then, here's me chattering on about myself! Would be great to know what you've been up to as well. Drop me a line and let me know!

So now for more blogging and writing. Was great to see you and  have a natter. Must not leave it so long next time!! Take care xx

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::Summer holiday – part 3 Trip to Pompeii::

It's funny – I wanted to start this blog with something dramatic and Roman, almost Gladitorial, but it won't translate without the dramatic music so there we are!!

What a lot to write about on the Pompeii trip. We got the coach – and organised trip through Viator - at 7.30am in Rome and travelled to Pompeii in a scorching 38 degrees. We had a great bus driver Giovanni, bus guide  Inger and tour guide  Carmine at Pompeii, who took us around the main sights of the huge and amazing site. Strange and unnerving  to think that in AD79 it was all buried under ash from Mount Vesuvius.


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Little J had really wanted to go on this trip – it was the highlight for him apart from The Collosuem- so it was a must do trip. It was tiring, and extremely hot but well worth it, as the history, stories of the lives of Pompeiians which are well documented and the shear scale of the site was breathtaking. So I will just add the photos and see you at the bottom of the page!!


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Pooor victims of the eruption, preserved by the ash.


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Incredible mosaics at The house of the Faun.


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Amazing frescos in the Market.


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The bath house.


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The amphi-theatre.


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The bakehouse, where they found bread that had been preserved – they could figure out the recipe, method of cooking and grain etc AmAzInG!!


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This was the local pub, the vats are made of terracotta and were filled with wine. The marble counter was where people sat and drank and maybe had some food. 


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This street is 2km long – the site is huge and you could easily spend days here and still see something new.


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So ok, I did interject and add my little comments along the way… ooops!! :o) I hope you like my little snapshot and our little holiday to Italy.

The following morning we packed up our little bags – only took hand luggage so was quick an easy, no baggage to wait for – and we set off on our way back to sunny England. I've loved this trip – Little J enjoyed having us all to himself and despite feeling sad about leaving E in the Uk, it wasn't so bad, and of course we brought him presents back. Well, we just had to visit the Ferrari store, but could only afford a mouse mat (well he needed one anyway!)

On Saturday, staying at Towcester wirh D, K and little Em, we nipped into London town and visited this amazing exhibition – artefacts straight from Pompeii and the Naples museum. Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum is well worth a trip if you're in town.

End of our holidays and back to work for J on Monday – me I have lots of projects to catch up on and a studio to sort out!! Watch this space!

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::Summer holiday part 2 – Roman Holiday::

::Summer holiday part 2 – Roman Holiday::

Roman Holiday… one of my favourite films starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn, great film. Well I wasn't expecting quite so many Vespa's, comedy  or indeed and Gregory Peck lookalikes!
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But the hustle, bustle and energy of Rome… OH Yes!!

Vespas!!


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In adundance, buzzing, chugging and whizzing around the city, they even have a museum. Lots of lovely sugar almond colours, very stylish and so iconic! Buzz, buzz…


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This is such a lovely city. J and I had our honeymoon there 21 years ago!! (My feeling old now!) and this years holiday destination requaest from little J was Rome, of course without E, as he was being all grown up and 18!


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The view from our 6th Floor room terrace on the Via Nationale, great hotel would recommend to anyone visiting Rome. Drop me a line if you want to know where.

So the usual sites were to be seen, but not before lunch. So many gorgeous gelateria's serving sandwiches, coffee, etc and they were so friendly Ciao bella!! People were keen to know where we had travelled from,a nd gave us advice on where to go and what to see. Rome seen by the Romans.


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Then off to the Collosuem – for anyone who has seen Gladiator (the movie with Russell Crowe not Ulrika Jonsonn!) we just had to do the "Are you not entertained?' bit standing on the edge of the arena!! What a phenominal place! Goosebumps, shivers and wide eyed wonder! I absolutley love it! Ooooh feeling all shivery again, it has such a power this place, can't really get that across in pictures.


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There were many other views of this amazing feat of engineering – Nero was of course crazy but what a visionary of town design and architecture. Bonkers though!


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 Just look at the size of it!


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We then ventured around the other sites and sounds of Rome: the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Forum, Palatine, Senate etc So much amazing architecture, history and art.


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Many many views of the city, but these are my favourite happy bits. Hope you like these images.


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The sheer scale of the city is quite overwhelming, everything built so big and grand.


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 Of course we visited the Vatican City, Trastevere and whilst the weather was crazily hot – 38 degrees before lunch – it was an easy amble, and lots of delicious ice creams before we got to St Peter's square and the Vatican itself. Very busy, and needed to make sure my bare shoulders were covered before entering the building, but what a beautiful building, the decoration was breathtaking.


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Lots more to see in Rome, on day two.


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The Spanish steps and fountain.


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St. Peter's Square. The happy little designer in me saw patterns and shapes everywhere, in the flooring, walls etc where pattern was intended but also in the cobbles, how they fitted together and the brick work. Always looking for ideas! :o)

The food, weather, company and sights were all amazing in these first two days, I felt so happy: Little J thoroughly enjoying himself, loving the history, gruesome tales of Roman Gladiators, heroism, evil Emporers and Caesers, there is really something for everyone. He even met a real Roman soldier…..


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Well, when in Rome!

It has been lovely spending time with J and little J, I did miss E but understand that at 18 you want to earn money and get ready for University, and he has a Roman trip of his own planned anyway. It was fantastic weather, accomodation brilliant,and the sights, smells and sounds were unbelievable. Now for Pompeii…

Part 3 soon.

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