Yet another work in progress..

Here I am being ably assisted by Harry, assembling those crochet granny squares that were my first foray into the world of hooky.

Someone's up to no good..

Someone’s up to no good..

It was much easier – and quicker – to assemble this little project than I had anticipated.  Phew!  I made two panels of nine squares each, and joined these panels at three sides with another row of three granny squares.

Watch out, here comes the scarlet woman..

Watch out, here comes the scarlet woman..

That leaves one side open like so:

Can you tell what it is yet?

Can you tell what it is yet?

And finally, I made two long strips in the same colours, which look suspciously like they might turn into handles..

Have you guessed yet?



A bag!  It’s a project bag!  But it’s not quite finished yet, because I’m going to line it.  And for this, I need to learn a New Thing: namely, interfacing.  So not quite a finished object (you know I’m not very good at those), but it’s definitely on its way, and I’m very excited!


Mother’s Day: homemade gifts with heart


Happy Mothers’ Day!  Did anyone else get some delightful homemade presents?

Clockwise, from right to left (in case you didn’t guess) are a ‘beauty bug’, a ‘flying chicken’, a ‘fimo ring’, a ‘ring pouch’ and a ‘mouse crochet hook holder’.  And there, on the card, is a lovely picture of me next to a love-heart.

I’m so immensely spoiled, and very lucky to have my two gorgeous stepgirls in my life.

Every mum needs a flying chicken on a piece of string.

Every stepmum needs a crochet hook holder in the shape of a mouse.

Unfortunately before I took this photo one of the offerings (a red ladybug to match the ‘beauty bug’) was destroyed by an errant Harry Cat.  Never mind, there’s still plenty to demonstrate that these two girls seem to recognise my love of making things..


Now, how can I keep them out of reach of a predatory Bengal cat?

Eleven Questions..

Yesterday I had the pleasure of a visit to UCLH for my pre-operative assessment.  I’m heading up there in July for a PAO (peri-acetabular osteotomy), which is quite major orthopaedic surgery with the aim of correcting my hip dysplasia.  My surgeon’s website has lots of good information – you can find it here.

This entailed a 5 hour car journey to London and back, with plenty of hospital waiting time in between blood tests, CT scans, MRSA nose swabs (nice) and occupational therapy assessments.  For those of you who are reading this to hear about my PAO story, my message is PLEASE don’t worry about the pre-op assessment.  If you don’t need a scan, they can sort it out over the phone and via your GP’s office.  And if you do need to attend in person, it’s good because you can familiarise yourself with the hospital, ask as many questions as you like, and so on.

Which brings me to the issue of questions.  I was tagged  in a meme the other day by Recipe Junkie, with a set of 11 questions for me to answer.  I’ve had plenty of time (see 5 hour car journeys) to think about these, so here goes!

Wham! or  Frankie Goes to Hollywood?  It’s got to be Wham! It reminds me of childhood roller discos *sigh*

Dog or Cat? That’s harder.. I love dogs, but I don’t think I could live without a cat.   Here’s another gratuitous one of my gorgeous Harry ‘owning’ our front drive..

Kid Got Swagger…

Nigella or Delia?  Eek, this is harder than I thought!  I do love Nigella’s recipes, and Delia’s TV presenting style makes me wince a bit.  She looks so….uncomfortable.  Can’t beat her chocolate fudge cake topping though, way better than Nigella’s. Which reminds me to blog about it very soon..

Silent Witness or CSI?  Silent Witness, every time.

Thomas Cook or Internet?  Thomas Cook, ever since a terrible holiday we booked via which resulted in Irish swearing never to book the ‘cheap option’ ever again.  Irish swears quite a lot, but this was extreme.

TV or Radio?  TV!  I disagree with the notion that it addles your brain.  I have it on in the background ALL THE TIME, and I have a PhD.  Harrumph.

London or Paris?  It’s been ages since I visited either properly.  Irish and I have decided that when I can walk again after my PAO ops, we’ll make sure we do both of them justice.  Until then, I think I’ll have to reserve judgement..

If you could choose any 6 people to come for dinner with you (living or dead) who would you choose and why?

Miranda Hart – because she’s so lovely

Mark Watson – saw him on his last tour at a really small venue in north Devon, and he was lovely.  He had a pint with the audience before the gig got started.

Professor Mary Beard – hooray for Mary!  I loved her TV show on the Romans and I want to ask her lots of questions.

Jilly Cooper – I am fascinated by her.  Also Irish is hoping that one day I’ll come up with a million-pound selling bonkbuster, so I could do with the tips.

Buck Brannaman – renowned horse whisperer.  I’ve been having riding lessons for the past few months and I love it.   I love the freedom it gives me when I’m using my ‘spare legs’!  And even more thrillingly, I’ve turned out to be quite good at it, and horses seem to just ‘like me’.  I’d love to get some tips and listen to some stories from an expert.

Stephen Fry – I like his voice, and I really respect his ability to swear and still seem polite.

So nobody dead (corpses would put me off my food) and nobody contentious (I don’t like arguments).  I suspect they’d all get on rather well, don’t you?

What would you cook? Hmm.. maybe a tomato and mozzarella salad to start, followed by Beef Bourgignon and Irish’s delicious gratin dauphinoise, followed by Key Lime Pie.  I am the queen of Key Lime Pies.

Favourite Book as a Child?  There are so many. I was – am – a total bookworm.  I’ll put Tom’s Midnight Garden for now – I love how gardens are places of magic and strangeness when you are a child.  I’ve never grown out of watching a garden come alive.

Foxgloves – quite tasty actually, if you’re a bee.

Earliest Memory? My parents took me on holiday to a hotel in Brittany when I was 18 months old.  I remember being fascinated by the cage of canaries in the reception area.  On the last day, my parents were checking out at the reception desk, and turned around just in time to see me open the door of the cage and let the canaries fly out.  They never managed to catch any of them. Two years later, my uncle visited the same hotel and the cage was empty.  The staff were still talking about ‘the little English girl who set the canaries free’..

And that, is the end of my questions..and it’s over to you!

Here are my 11 questions…

  1. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
  2. What skill, talent, or ability would you most like to have?
  3. Where is your favourite place in the world?
  4. What is the strangest thing you have eaten?
  5. What are you wearing RIGHT NOW?
  6. Who was the last person you told  ‘I love you’?
  7. What is your favourite opening line of a novel?                   
  8. What does the last text message you received say?
  9. Town or Country?
  10. Audrey Hepburn or Marilyn Monroe?
  11. Cinema or Theatre?

I don’t want to impose the meme on anyone but if any bloggers would like to join in, please comment below and I’ll link your blog to this post!

Guess who’s coming to live with us?

Some happy and exciting news today to take my mind off the pre-operative assessment for my Peri-Acetabular Osteotomy (PAO) this week.  We are getting a gorgeous Italian Greyhound puppy!

This is Juno – she is currently 4 weeks old and living with her mum and breeder in Yorkshire.  She will be arriving with us in mid-August after both vaccinations have kicked in and we are all very excited.

We have been debating getting a pup for a while  – good company for Irish (people with head injuries often have ‘support’ or ‘companion’ dogs), but also for our Bengal cat who by far prefers dogs to cats.

We chose an Italian greyhound because we wanted a ‘velcro dog’ which would stick to Irish like glue and give him companionship when he’s suffering with his head injury.  Italian Greyhounds are speedy, but gentle and loving dogs, so perfect for us! We have plenty of enclosed space to exercise her and are looking forward to giving her lots of cuddles and to having her as part of our family.

Lots of people with head injuries find that dogs are tremendous companions and support – some dogs can even provided as ‘assistance’ dogs in the same vein as guide dogs for the blind.  You can find more out about this via Canine Partners or Dogs for the Disabled.

The breeder is giving us weekly updates on Juno’s progress, and she seems to be turning into a happy, sociable and very loving dog who has How cute?!already learned to give kisses! To give you an idea of size, here she is fast asleep on her breeder’s wrist. She really is tiny!

When Juno arrives in August, I’ll be a few weeks past my operation but still on crutches – so house training will be interesting! We have tried to tell (or perhaps warn) Harry, our cat, but the wood burner is still the focus of all his attention.  Here he is worshipping at the altar of lovely woody burny goodness.  I must confess that with all this awful wet weather, I can’t really blame him!

Life’s hard when you’re a Bengal cat..

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