Sunday, 27 December 2009

Baby + Work + Christmas + Stuff = No Blogging

Eek, I am such a bad blogger. I know there are literally thousands (in my dreams) of you out there in Blogland waiting with baited breath for the next installment from little old me, and here I am keeping you hanging on and hanging on. 'Tis true to say that blogging has slipped a little on my 'To do' list; what with having a small child to look after, working 21 hours a week, and doing the other 'stuff' that constitutes having a life (watching tv, cross-stitching, going on holiday, getting ready for Christmas) I seem to have little time/energy left for composing witty little postings for all my fans (snort.) BUT, my New Year's Resolution (never a good thing to have) is to be better at keeping in touch with people, and this blog is one way of doing that, so I will do my utmost to keep it more up-to-date. Starting now.

So, let me go back to where I left off with my last post and tell you a little about our first family holiday...

It's fair to say that this trip to New York was very different than any we've undertaken before; clearly having a small child limits what can be done and when, but it also opens up a whole new world of possibilities. For instance, without DC we would never have paid a five-hour long visit to the Pediatric ER of New York Presbyterian Hospital.Yes indeed, DC decided that the first time he was ever going to need medical attention (apart from the day he was born when a man with a pair of VERY large salad servers grabbed him by the head, but we don't need to dwell on that) was while we were on holiday. You don't need the details, especially if you are a gentleman, as a certain amount of leg-crossing might ensue, but suffice to say a certain part of DC was larger and redder that it ought to have been. Two triage nurses, three doctors and five hours later, a diagnosis of balinitus was reached; DC was dosed up with some antibiotics and we were issued with prescriptions for more antibiotics and a topical cream which we picked up the next day for the princely sum of $49 - let us never complain again at the NHS prescription charge of £7.60 (or whatever it is.)

DC also took us to meet Santa Claus, twice. Once in Bloomingdales and once in Macy's. He cried both times. Good thing Santa only makes an appearance once a year, giving us all a chance to recover. Hopefully Santa No. 1 (Bloomingdales) will find stronger glue for his beard next year.

Aside from catering to DC's every whim, we were able to go ice skating in Central Park (hubby)go to an ice hockey game at Madison Square Garden (hubby) take in a performance of The Nutcracker by the New York City Ballet (me; no photos inside unfortunately)do lots and lots of walking (both), lots and lots of shopping (both) and plenty of eating (all three.)Despite the fact it was a little chilly (only to be expected in December), and aside from the trip to ER (Clooney-less), we had a very enjoyable first family holiday. DC was also a complete star on the flight there and back, sleeping nearly the entire way. He also managed to charm the air hostesses, not to mention nearly everyone he met while in NYC; although my hopes that he might be snapped up by a modelling agency, thus necessitating a move (for all of us), to the Big Apple, were unfulfilled.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

And We're Off

Yay! Today we are off on our very first holiday 'en famille'. We're off to New York for Arthur's first trip overseas. His suitcase is resplendent with a Cath Kidston luggage tag, and his passport in is a matching CK blue spot passport holder; not sure he appreciates it, but I think it all looks rather spiffing.

Hubby & I got married in NY very nearly four years ago, and we'll be there for our wedding anniversary, which is fab. We also spent a month there on our travels last year, and between us we've been there over 20 times so we sort of know the place quite well. We are, it might be true to say, a bit excited to be going back!

So, I may not be blogging for the next week or so as I shall be busy shopping til I drop, supping lattes in Starbucks, getting throroughly emersed in the Christmas spirit in a truly American fashion, oh, and eating hotdogs on street corners (well, there's worse things I could be doing on street corners...)

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Something Beginning with 'B' (and CK)

It was my Birthday this weekend just gone and the family W made a bit of a weekend of it. On Friday we travelled down to stay with friends just outside Bridport; we had just the loveliest time, being fed to bursting point with all of my favourite foods (the belly of pork with crackling was quite possibly the best I have ever tasted) and nattering to our hearts content. Not to mention the handmade birthday cake which was awaiting our arrival.

On the Saturday morning I was even lucky enough to have a little while wandering round the vintage/textile fair going on in St Mary's Hall, having found out it was on from reading the Vintage to Victorian blog.

Sunday morning (my actual birthday) saw us take our leave from our dearest friends GR & GG, and head up to Mum's in Bristol. I was then taken out to lunch at Hotel du Vin - yet another food-based treat. Lunch was delicious (and I chose belly of pork, again), and the building was a lovely conversion of the old Sugar House. We were there for nearly three hours in all, taking our time over lunch and then relaxing on the squishy sofas in the bar area. Bliss.
The rest of the afternoon/evening was spent at Mum's house where I was surprised with a birthday cake and was then able to cross-stitch away whilst watching the Antiques Roadshow - rock and roll!

Monday morning we headed over to Bath for the annual Christmas Market. After finally hunting down a parking space, we spent about 4 hours wandering round the stalls and shops, with a couple of stops for coffee to fortify ourselves and warm up (by golly, it was chilly.)Then, finally, we made our weary way home where I was greeted with lots of lovely pressies.

Arthur surprised me with two lovely gifts; surprising a) because he spent his pocket money on them, apparently, and I didn't even know he got pocket money and surprising b) because for one so young, he chose such fabulous things. I think the Ladbird Shopping With Mother notebook is my absolute favourite gift of all.
Hubby bought me the most excellent pine shelf which I had spotted in the antiques shop in Henley and had been umming and ahhing over. I was also lucky enough to get a new Cath purse from sister-in-law and a new (old) Cath bag from mother-in-law in the green spot oilcloth that I love - the bag is in the older shade that you can't get in the shops anymore.Not to mention plenty of other wonderful things. Deserving of a mention I think is the Knitted Icons book which you can just see the spine of next to the Emma Bridgwater tin - I shall soon be able to knit my very own Gandhi, Mr T, Madonna, and many, many more... Watch this space.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Updates and a Warning To Domestic Goddesses Everywhere

Update No. 1. The D.I.E.T.

Nothing to see here, move along, there's nothing to see. Well, clearly there's too much to see, but that's a whole other story.

Update No.2. The M.A.G.A.Z.I.N.E.S.

Plenty to see here, roll up, roll up. Although actually, unlike with The D.I.E.T., there's less to see than previously.

See how the pile shrinks faster than you can say 'Preparation H'? I'm now down to somewhere in the region of 60 magazines in the house [let's not count the 34 which I presume are still in a crate somewhere in the shed - unless hubby has thrown them away], which is waaaaaaaaaaay better than the 107 we were looking at back in July time...

Oh, except that I haven't included the Christmas magazines in that total, as they don't really count, do they?...

Update No.3. Crafty Corner.

Look! I've actually done something crafty! Determined to have this cross-stitch finished in time for Christmas, just so I can prove hubby wrong.

And the Warning for Domestic Goddesses Everywhere?

This is what happens when you don't clean the filter in your tumble dryer; teaspoon for scale.

Let me just point out that I didn't fail to clean the filter on purpose; as far as I was concerned I was heeding the red warning light and picking out bits of fluff from what I thought was the filter. That'll teach me to read the instruction booklet.

But, oh, the resulting 'mass' was so soft and lovely that I could happily have made it into something (tea cosy? hat? duvet?) if only had the requisite skills. I wonder if there's a book on how to turn tumble dryer fluff into beautiful objects? Might be a gap in the craft market there.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Didn't Quite Get Round To It...

I was looking through my camera recently, downloading all those hundreds of photos of DC that I've managed to take (my attempt to take at least one a day to document how he has changed makes for a full memory card on a regular basis) when I came across lots of photos I'd taken with the express intention of using in blog postings. However, time has slipped through my fingers and the postings have never been written; still, I thought I might share the photos with you anyway so they're not totally wasted!

Interesting garnish on my lunch

New (old) bureau to replace hubby's less attractive IKEA desk

bought at an auction in Reading

Hubby's jam/mess-making

Flying visit to St Paul's Cathedral while in London

Visit to CK shop at Bicester Village for some bargains!

Visit to Windsor (where hubby works)

A day at the races (work summer party)

Interesting spot of walking at a 45 degree angle by the man on the left

Opening of gardens just across the river from our house

Henley Farmers' Market - basket-weaving stall

The River Thames at Henley

Monday, 26 October 2009


I don't even know where to start with this one. The most difficult blog post I've ever had to write. My father passed away two weeks ago. I didn't get there in time to hold his hand as he went. I was an hour too late. He was still warm when I got to the hospital and stroked his hair and his cheek; I even shook his shoulders and asked him to wake up. But he didn't. His heart had stopped, worn out by giving away so much love I suspect.

I've barely cried since he went, although the tears are there. There's not much time or opportunity to feel sad when there's a seven-month old who needs (and deserves, it goes without saying) all your time and affection. At the funeral I needed to be strong for Mum, although a tear escaped when hubby read out a message from one of my cousins in Canada and his voice broke at the end. I think I cried most when I went to see Dad at the chapel of rest. I had ummed and ahhed about going but in the end I was so glad I did. It literally felt like a big weight had been lifted from my shoulders and I felt like I had said a proper goodbye; strange to say, I almost felt happy afterwards.

On reflection, one of the things that makes me most sad is that Arthur will never know his Grampy. The man who loved to show everyone a card trick or two, who loved his football, loved his allotment - all things that a small boy would enjoy doing with their Grampy, but this my small boy will miss out on that. Lucky that his Daddy enjoys at least the last two of those and, who knows, perhaps will one day perform the old 'ten pence piece behind the ear' trick. Thank goodness, then, that Dad got to meet Arthur. People have told me how unbelievably chuffed he was to have a grandson, something he thought would never happen since I had never been a big fan of children and, hence, never wanted one (how glad I am that I changed my mind).

Now that I have written this post I feel like I can get on with blogging as I used to, although maybe not straight away. I don't think Dad would mind.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Remember the Pongs?

Remember the posting I did recently about the Pong quintuplets? Well, I think you'll all be very pleased to hear that it was a wind-up of sorts. I was in the pub the other night with a couple of friends and happened to mention it, and one of said friends told me that apparently the 'Katie' in question who gave birth to Beyonce, Tyra, Bobbi, Barack and Earl, was in fact a dog and, hence, the quintuplets were her puppies.

You might not believe how relieved I was to learn of this momentous news.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Like a Child in a Sweetshop

Talk about making a show of yourself. Hubby and I were in Waitrose and I nearly wet myself when I spotted this next to the till.

As the young girl who was serving us passed it over I heard myself saying 'Gimme, gimme, gimme' out loud - eek, thought it was just in my head. She gave me an odd look and said 'Ah, is it baby's first Christmas?', to which I replied 'Oh, I'm not worried about him, this is the first Christmas catalogue I've seen and I'm really excited. Can't wait to get my pen out and start circling things'. And then, as an after thought, 'Oh, yes, it is his first Christmas.'

And then, through the post came this little treat for the eyes (but not for the bank balance.)

Saturday, 26 September 2009

The Opposite of Crafty

That's what I am. I spend a not inconsiderable amount of time reading the blogs of uber-crafty types; people who seem to be able to whizz up quilts, stuffed toys, entire three piece suites, mobile homes and the like in between their daily blog posts. How I admire them and covet their craftiness. However, I am the opposite of these talented bloggers.

I bought these counted cross-stitch kits at the end of June. Both are samplers for DC's nursery - one has the alphabet and the other has name/date of birth/weight. Or at least that's what they will be at some point in the future should I ever get my finger out and get out with it.

Then on our visit to Burford a few weeks back I bought this Christmas kit thinking to myself how very organised I was to be buying something festive with so much time in which to get it finished. Hmm, not quite so much time now. Tick tock, tick tock, I can almost hear those jingle bells a-jangling.

To be fair to myself, I'm not a totally hopeless case as I am part (perhaps even half) way through knitting this cushion cover. Think I bought it about three months ago. Should be ready for next winter.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Where's my sushi?

Hello, me again. Mummy is too poorly to write anything; heard her say something about having swine flu, although I thought that had gone out of fashion now. Typical of her to be behind the times. Daddy thinks Mummy is just laying it on a bit thick, or something like that. Anyway, despite being poorly, Mummy was able to drag herself out with Daddy and take me to Yo Sushi.

Tell you something though, they were very slow at getting Mummy's favourite Pumpkin Korroke on the conveyor belt.

I nearly had to get on board and go through to the kitchen and give the chef a piece of my mind. But Daddy stopped me. Spoilsport.

By the way, are you impressed at me doing standing-ups? Mummy says I'm a big grown-up boy now, although my legs don't want to do standing up all the time and they fold in half and I have to sit down again.