>Hallelujah! We’ve finally got a move date- this weekend! We are therefore in the midst of packing before I escape to my parents with the babes for a few days to avoid the mayhem. Here (in no particular order) are just some of the things I am looking forward to about the move:
1. P having a safe room to go into his ‘big boy bed’. The quilt will finally get it’s proper use.
2. The kitchen will be warm enough to enjoy being in during winter and safe enough for children to share.
3. We will have an outside washing line.
4. We can try potty training.
5. We will have lots more space downstairs for P to run around in.
6. The garden! So big! So much potential!
7. We will have a house to make into our very own home again, rather than renting.
8. All being well we will be at the end of a rather tumultuous, at times very worrying and stressful time for our family.
Watch this space, pics will follow soon I hope!
The day began wet and dismal yet again, we didn’t have use of the car, P still has a cold and to top it off it was Wednesday. Should have been a recipe for disaster but actually, just as the afternoon brought some sunshine, so the day turned out better than it promised. Inspiration struck on a trip out to the greengrocers for grapes when we saw punnets of English strawberries on sale. Yes, we wanted- still want- to go to a PYO but realistically it’s not going to happen at the moment. I reasoned that it was feasible for a two year old to cut up strawberries with a dinner knife and therefore take part in at least some of the jam-making process. He duly proved me right for at least ten minutes before realising that eating the ingredients was even more fun than preparing them.
As ever, I enjoyed the alchemy of the jam-making, but I must admit that it didn’t set very well. Apparently this is often a problem with strawberries, particularly when they are ripe. I did add lemon juice, which is meant to help with the lack of pectin, but to little effect. Still, jam is for spreading, isn’t it?
A spectacularly rainy day meant that multi-tasking was a must for the rookie mum-of-two today. I braved the downpour in the morning, pushing the double buggy for a soggy constitutional into town. It was enough to convince me that this afternoon we were staying indoors, despite P’s suggestion of ‘garden’ and ‘walk’ (he might be okay in his rainsuit and wellies, but us girls aren’t so well equipped). Post-nap time saw me bringing out the home-made playdough again. At one point I was sitting on the floor, simultaneously feeding M and cutting out dough stars with P. Luckily, once M latches on she’s keen enough to stay balanced across my lap! After that she retired to the bouncy chair her brother is gradually conceding to her using and I continued my dough modelling activities while bouncing her with my foot. Somehow amongst my baby nursing/toddler entertaining duties I got some knitting done today too…including pleats! These were very interesting and not too difficult to do and means that the main part of Manu is done. I’m now at what I consider the tedious and irritating job of pick up and knit to make the edgings, but as my mind is already onto possible next projects- I want to restock my very neglected Folksy shop and possibly think about Christmas presents (in July!!!)- I’m quite impatient to finish now.
>I’ve had an ambition to go to an agricultural show for years and this year is the first time I’ve made it to one. Despite weather which ranged from heavy showers to to hot sun to gusty wind, we had a lovely time, seeing animals great…
and small… (we think there should be a new class for showing ‘Simultaneous Buggy and Dog Handling’)
Some lovely quilts- the circles one is my favourite and already has me thinking about a ‘big girl’s bed’ quilt for M (yes, she’s only four weeks old, but it might take me a while!).
Beeswax and honeycombs- have to show this to my sister, who has been taken on as an apprentice beekeeper at the media company she works at (it’s in London, they have a hive on the roof! And no, beekeeper is not her actual job)
And finally…my Fairisle pullover! All those months of fiddly colourwork, anguished frogging after I misread the pattern, re-knitting and then not being able to wear it because of the baby bump and finally it ends up winning first prize in ‘Garment Knitted in a Fashion Yarn’!
The week so far has seen weather forecasts whose bark was worse than their bite. Monday afternoon saw these spectacular clouds sweeping in off the sea, yet we managed an hour at Sandscale Haws with nothing more than a few spots. Yesterday was meant to be okay in the morning then awful all afternoon, so we duly dashed out with a lovely gang of friends for walking, play and picnic here in the a.m. only to find that the afternoon was also rain-free until 5-ish. Today, if the reports were to be believed, we would be deluged (we were during the night), so a blanket den was duly built in the living room and no promises of going outside were made. So far? A mere sprinkling, and that while out for a drive along the coast road, where the brunt of the weather hits.
Still, all this indoors time has meant more progress on Manu, which, now that the sleeves are finished and the yoke is in progress, resembles more of a garment. I made the sleeves on four needles as I couldn’t get the hang of them on a circular, but switched to a circular for the yoke. Hmmm…maybe a problem as my tension seems to be a little bit tighter on the circular. I’m hoping it won’t show up too much in the finished item- it certainly doesn’t on the pictures. The yarn is quite fluffy and the tension is fairly easy throughout, so maybe blocking will even things up a bit. Or I’ll pretend it’s a design feature! Looking forward to knitting the pleats soon…
So far, so good. There are some logistic puzzles to be solved when it comes to getting baby, toddler and buggy to and from the car/ up and down stairs etc. but we seem to be surviving. I know it’s not that big a deal, mothers have been coping with more than one child for a long time, but for me it’s a new challenge. Having friends has made a big difference to this- today we were up and at ‘em before most sane people would emerge unless they had to go out to work. We headed for Fell Foot for football on the grass and much fun in the playpark. You may remember a certain very smart pair of red sandals bought at the start of the summer- they are holding up in structure, but not in looks, especially with regular soakings under the tap in the back garden and in muddy puddles- today was no exception! Little M slept peacefully throughout these adventures, as seems to be the habit for this chilled little girl. And yes, I even managed some knitting yesterday, although the picture is a demonstration of how something very unpromising can become something lovely (I hope). From left to right is the unfinished Manu cardigan sleeve, the completed sleeve and the body. Honestly it is! If only you could reach out and feel how soft the yarn is, and see how nice the slight colour variation when it forms a marl effect. Oh well, maybe when it’s completed and photographed begin worn!
The novelty of a rainy day after all the sunshine soon wore off, so when the clouds parted just a bit this Sunday afternoon we headed out. Our first choice plan was PYO strawberries, but perhaps unsurprisingly we found the farm but couldn’t find the farmer. Plan B was Low Sizergh Barn, to walk their Farm Trail. The sunshine held, the baby slept in the front carrier throughout and it was felt that the most was made of our last day together before the end of paternity leave. Tomorrow its just me and the two babies- yikes! The benchmark for how well things go will be if I add a few inches to the second sleeve of Manu at some point in the day. Yes, that’s right, even with all the events of recent weeks, I’ve somehow managed to get the body and one arm completed. I’ll try and post some pics soon.