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all the small things

(I defy you not to have that song in your head now!)

I've missed this space, one that gets neglected too much as being something I can't waste time on.  Amazing how much telly I can waste my time on, but headspace clearing by writing my blog, sewing by hand, reading, baking or generally creating something or chatting with Simon seem to be ok to sacrafice to telly, but not anymore!

It's halfterm and my birthday is about 6 weeks away.  My beloved has already bought me my birthday present though, a second hand (note we are happy to buy second hand and enjoy thrift shopping or charity shopping together - hoorah a man who understands my desire to go back to good quality items, not just brand new sparkling items that might last a couple of years!) cross-trainer that looms next to me in bed and I have used 3 of the 4 days I've owned it.  For the cost of one month's gym membership I have my own exercise demon, I mean machine and I'm hoping it will change my body shape if not my weight.  I cried the first time I used it as I was so depressed at how I'd let myself get so massive and unfit,  No more anyway.  As my lovely friend Rah said - it will get easier every time!

Anyway I'm writing to tell you about some of the small things that are rocking my world currently:

My polka dotty umbrella - so much polka dotty goodness for under £4.  So much practical polka dottiness.... *sigh*

I finished a beret - a project for me, just me!  I'm too scared I look "special" to wear it and that the dye will run in the rain, but due to my lack of knitting mojo I'm keen to show you as it might pick me up...

I love this plug.  It may look like any old gangway plug to you, and Sim is as confused as you as to why I love it so much.  He mounted it on the desk I have taken over my own so Tony wont nibble the wires too much and I can be chopping and changing my plugs for my laptop without scrabbling on the floor. and it's just so darned neat and practical.  It makes me smile.


Also on my desk is this gorgeous computer mouse that was a christmas present from Mr loveliness -  No more RSI for me!

I've also been given a cheap as chips polka dotty mug for valentines day - he is so good to me!   I have, however failed to photograph that. 

Simon is currently loving the greenhouse that is small enough to fit on our diddy balcony!


As usual everything is super sweet at the moment.  I just need to remind myself that when I get snide comments and demanding shouts from my gorgeous mother about the wedding....

Oh and I've sold a few skeins of yarn to raise some money, ostensibly for the wedding, but I've had a cash flow crisis and it's gone to my credit card, but hey I'm just happy it's gone to good homes where it will actually be used and help me feel more in control and less overwhelmed.

I'm leaving you with the bonkers bunny investigating the view from on top of his cage!


like, dislike, like, dislike

Things I dislike:

waste: excess food that has gone rotten, excess belongings that aren't utilised properly, just waste!
Simon going away to sea for weeks at a time, though I love and support him as it is his job and whilst he dislikes being away, he loves the job that he does.  Going away on the day after term ends in the summer and not coming back to august bank holiday is a big dislike currently!
twisted seat belts
feeling incompetent
cooked egg white
not being able to fall asleep
people eating with their mouths open
pungent smells
forgetting things
feeling hemmed in by belongings
not being able to get my chair under the table

Things I love:

hot buttered crumpets
early nights
the sound of a teapot pouring
vinyl records
wearing my pyjamas from 7pm knowing I'm having an early night
making stuff
waking up next to my fiance and thinking - this is the one forever
polka dots
watching my niece play (especially when wearing or using handknitted items by me!)
fish finger sandwiches with lots of ketchup
watching Simon play with his son and the same intense look of concentration appearing on their faces
unique hand crafted one off pieces
the children saying "I love/missed you Miss Headstrong"
the first sip of a much needed cup of tea
the feeling of completing a knitting project
then picking the next!
looking at wedding venues
handmade gifts
fabric bunting


honesty inspiration


When things are perfect you try to ignore the niggles, but the niggles keep niggling til one night you're due to go back to work and you end up crying on your pillow upsetting your beloved fiance because - woah - where has that come from?

I absolutely adore teaching.  Working with the kids, and seeing their responses to me warms my heart and makes me smile, even typing that made me smile.  The adults, however, need some serious lessons in people management, priorities when looking after children and the ability to ignore common sense and anything a teacher asks.  One in paritcular needs to stay in the classroom and not disappear for 30 minutes at a time, and another needs to take a serious look at the way she snipes at me and chips at my confidence totally utterly and often.  When you combine this with a sympathetic, if as yet unproven how to deal with the situation head, and lots of stirrers on the staff my adult relationships are tangibly strained.  When an adult uses a piece of information to tease you and slowly reveal things so she has control - like a fishing rod toy with a cat that you use to make them jump and grab for it - you realise that the children don't need social skill teaching - the adults do.  The TAs went in on mass to complain about the way i'm treated in november, but still nothing has happened and that was abolsutely nothing to do with me or my asking.  It's draining.  Especially when no matter how bright and cheery I am someone immediately bashes me down in public.  Then she's nothing but sweet and light to me!  In isolation I could have coped, but combined with my long commute it makes for a heavy load to bear. 

and the commute is also affecting our happiness.  I thought we were fine, I thought we were coping.  But Sim is not.  His body does not seem to have adapted to our new sleep patterns and he gets increasingly tired and frustrated as the term drags on.  He says he is too tired to do anything of an evening and - to be honest - we are BOTH in mourning for our loss of evening time and hobbies.  I was chatting with a year 5 teacher yesterday and we both marvelled how one TA does 3 exercise classes a week and an evening class.  How does she manage it???  Well because it's the teachers who have this expectation to arrive before 8am, work straight through breaks and lunch to keep ahead of the children and stay beyond 5pm for staff meetings, parent meetings, running clubs or plain sorting the classroom and marking.  That would be fine if the work never came home, never strayed into the bag with the promise of well today I can do that in front of the telly, and not work tomorrow knowing full well how futile that promise is, how you will work all night singularly focused on making a revision of numbers to 20 stimulating, and how to get little johnny to see how exciting writing a letter to a dentist can be...  Fabulous holidays are spent with illness, catching up on sleep and doing the appointments you don't do in termtime, e.g. dentist, hairdresser, doctor, reminding your family you exist and cleaning the pit that has become your home.  You sleep for a minimum of half the holiday and spend half the rest of the time working, or making a classroom from nothing...

I think I am also a little sad tonight because I found out that the trade off for Sim only going away for one trip this year was that it leaves the day after term ends in the summer, not returning til august bank holiday monday.  RUBBISH!  But i totally support him for going and love him for his dedication.  If only the irony gods weren't so blimmin' dominant!!

So with a heavy heart and much discussion I am thinking of looking for a new job, that isn't quite such a commute.  It's not really my place to be selfish and make simon get up at 5.30 and struggle through the fog of fatigue all day.  If I could get to the boat easily independently things would be different, but there seems no other answer.  Sim even suggested going part time so we could at least enjoy the weekends more.  My favourite suggestion, however, was setting up an internet business so we could work together from home.  Which would be fabulous, if we could discover one that would be the equivalent of a teacher and an engineers' salary combined...

and so another year begins...

I cannot believe that 2010 is over - best year of my life I'll have you know.  I quaified as a teacher, got a permanent job as a reception teacher in a nation where job losses are more common and I'd say pretty much all my fellow trainees had to take maternity cover contracts.  I moved in with my beloved and he proposed!  I decluttered a bit (though post christmas, the flat is a tip and heaving again, how lucky I am to be swamped with possessions!) and used up at least 6kg of yarn, donating about 2-3kg to worthy causes such as new knitters and school!  I still have a basket of special yarn, abasket of miscellaneous odd balls, and a show storer crammed with yarn, and a growing fabric stash, but things feel good and under control.  Plus I am the luckiest girl because Sim's stepson has totally accepted me and at the grand old age of 3.5years old, I think that's a good sign.  I mean he could have easily taken against me for no reason.  He's gorgeous and intelligent and not quite cuddly, but beginning to get chatty with me now.  Things are a bit blissful.  Irritatiting really that the back to work blues have kicked off...

In a new year tradition I have made some resolutions, not too many though as I am a bit busy and don't want to set myself up for failure:
1. lose weight (18 months til my wedding!)
2. get some more activity in my day
3. plan my wedding!
4. save money

So I wish you a happy new year and may all your resolutions and dreams come true!

right royal roast

me again and before we go any further, I wish you all a very merry chrustmas and a most wonderful 2011!

My most favourite time of year is christmas, and my most favourite meal is christmas roast dinner.  Possinly those thigns are interlinked...  I love all the trimmings and the meat with veg and gravy... ooh I'm salivating.  I#m doing a turkey roast for simon and I tonight and even doing yorkshire puds (cheat forzen ones) and bread sauce.  I can't wait.  I wondered round sainsbury's this afternoon wanting the kind of abundance that is available (joints not normally available, or at a reasonable price, a wider range of veg and stuffings and sauces) at this time of year, to be avialable all year round so that roast lovers like myself can feed the need whenever required....

Another christmas treat which i traditionally have is tonsilitis, and true to form my left tonsil has engorged.  As a special treat my head is pounding and the blocked sinuses are making my ears hurt.  hmmm... right i'm off to have a snooze before my beloved gets home and i woo him with loaded plate of christmas cheer.

oh but you should meet my new friend Elijah - I made him for my niece and i think the number of times he's been squished under her arm means he's loved...


My view

A lot of people in Britain have been blogging about snow.  As Simon quite rightly points out it's a mega event here because of the arctic conditions, but not one I participate in because he has banned me from leaving the confines of the flat due to my incredible ability to be accident prone.  It's meant because of my two snow days, I've slept in, baked 18 mince pies and a fruit cake, and wrapped all the christmas presents that have arrived so far.  It also means we've watched DVDs under our hand crocheted blanket and danced like loons in the kitchen.  Not a bad place to be.  Oh and this is the view which sums up our happy place to be - a christmas engagement is a lovely thing and in the background are just a few of the lots of cards we have been blessed with (and some of my yarn stash and the poinsettia which makes me think of Christmas) and in the front a gorgeous felt christmas tree I picked up in M&S thinking, I could make this, and the candle holder we bought at the christmas fair.  I kinda like the view - do you?


I had a few things to blog about.

I went to the Country Living Christmas fair and bought a few bits and bobs.  I was sorely disappointed about quite how manufactured it was - and how crammed.  Nevertheless we soldiered on and bought:


some sloe gin:    

a handpainted milk jug:   

some polkadotty paperchains:   

a cutesy star candle holder:   

some literature and washing liquid!   

and my beloved bought me a teeny heart:   

Then I made macaroni cheese - a pretty good one too!  

Then Simon went and blew it all out the water by doing something we celebrated with a roast and later an afternoon tea:


All because he had got down on one soggy knee: 
  and proposed! 



battle lines are drawn

I seem to be in the middle of quite possibly the best kind of battle.

I love my job.  I never would have thought 3 years ago that that would be possible, but I utterly do.  The days are long.  The paperwork is immense.  I get tired, and poor Sim puts up with my incoherent babble about ideas I could use, funny things the children have said (let's face it out of context so many jokes get lost in translation!) and that I love him and I'm sorry I have no free time.

I love my hobbies - knitting is an all-consuming passion that I can't get enough of.  I love the process of choosing a pattern, choosing a yarn, squishing so many candidates before a-quiver with excitement one calls to me (usually a sea green alpaca. but hey we all have a weakness - plus they all coordinate), the winding on my swift and cake maker, the pattern reading and meditative pace of the knitting.  The creation of a fabric from one long string of yarn, linking loop after loop until you cast off and really have something incredible (not necessarily because I've knitted it, but the magic of translating one thread into a fabric which is shaped or patterned and soft and luscious,,,

Knitting eats my time.  School eats my time.  Recently it seems to be that school and Knitting have decided to war over who gets my time and School is winning the long term battles but knitting tries to make a comeback when school lays low in the holidays.  Although this half term I managed a whopping 2/3 of a dishcloth...

I ache to knit more, but school eats time and my energy too.  But really when I enjoy it so much it's hard to be angry at school.  I do long for a little more knit time, but to do so much of everything I love feels almost to be giving in to hedonistic greed.

I ought to add that poor Sim has to fight for my time too, but he knows that I love him and that I am around, even if I'm exhausted.  He's fighting on the knitting side knowing my mental health will benefit, and he might get some more floor space if the knitting yarn is used up...  He must be tolerant though, today we celebrated 3 years together :-D

could it be?

Yes it could! Something's happenin' - something good. Maybe toniiiiight!   Couldn't resist a reference to one of my top 10 musicals - West Side Story, sorry! 

Yes here I am,   like that unpleasant damp odour that promises nothing but irritation after you fought so long to avoid encountering it again, littl' ol' me comes back and starts a tiptapping on her keyboard to witter away.  By now I imagine that it's just Sim who reads this, but no matter!

Of course lots has happened in the half term since I last blogged (can you believe it???  I was agog when I realised it was 3 september since my last post), but due to an overwhleming combination of 5.30am starts, 7pm finishes, 9.30pm bed times and an overwhelming desire not to be forced to look at emails by switching on my computer, I have not posted.  Bad me.  Not that I haven't thought of blogs I'd like to write - I have a whole list of ideas.  Just that time has been rather impatient with me.  For instance, I've knitted 3 rows since the knitting and stitching show on 10 October!  3!  So here are just some of the things that have happened - an edited flashback if you like.

  • I sold my flat and have used what little I had left to start an ISA - such a reassurance that I have some savings - all for my wedding.  Now I just have to use every bit of ingenuity possible to try and save as much as possible for a house deposit for when Sim and I move in together.  I also need to save for next year's Redjet ticket...  I'm now trying really hard to only buy things I've saved for and can afford now, rather than retrospectively.  I don't know how people afford everything this month I've had new glasses to pay for (£179), my credit card debt and gawd knows what else! and next month I have christmas to pay for, alongside of 2 nights in a hotel for a wedding and catalogue clothes ....
  • I paid off my credit cards with my back settlement money and my first proper teacher paycheque!  (It had gone up to £4432 due to my redjet pass costing £2012, and moving costs but all gone now - 2010 resolution number 1 gone!)
  • Despite some silliness   (of course), and a new haircut - Voila!     Simon and I are still blissfully happy...
  • ... so much so that we got a pet rabbit - Tony!  
  • I spent rather a lot (but in budget including buying me old mam lunch the first time that I ever had a budget that I could afford without using my credit cards)  I bought two skeins of gorgeous alpaca and one of Habu cotton - the most glorious cotton I have ever touched - and bought some fabrics - in the vain conviction that I will do more textiles hahahaha!
BC Garn 100% Alpaca:

Habu cotton:    

bunting kit from clothkits:   

A bundle of loveliness from the eternal maker:

A brooch kit from clothkits:  

A few christmas gifts for mummy (who doesn't read my blog!)    

So from me and him, tatataa for now - appreciate real pictures of us, normally unheard of, and remember to enjoy every bllomin second of whatcha got!    



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April 2011



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