Sunday, 16 June 2013

A puddle of black

On a dull, dreary day in Wales, Poppy decided to spend her time cuddled up in her box :-)

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Four squares and two books

As it says in the title :-)

Four squares to be sent off to Turkey to make up blankets for Syrian refugees in the Turkish camps. Just a little something that I can do to bring a little bit of comfort. If you can make some 8" squares please do - I can't imagine the experiences of these poor people who are homeless, scared and scarred - a blanket won't change that but it might bring a modicum of cheer to their lives. For further details please go to Lily

I'm reading two books - not something I normally do - but as one is non-fiction and one is a futuristic detective story they're so different that it's not a problem.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

I have been a bit busy...

stitching and reading...

I'm on course to read a lot more books this year than for a long time which isn't really saying much :-) Recently I've finished A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy, The Perfect Husband by Lisa Gardner and Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness to name just three. I don't know why but I think the Kindle helps with reading more, maybe because I take it with me more often than I would a book.

I'm currently reading What to do When Someone Dies by Nicci French which is a hit so far.

I've done a bit of stitching - finished Mrs Duck, a few cards and a square for my Aunt's quilt which is being made by SOLAK.

I'm currently making a couple more squares for SOLAK as I haven't stitched for the group for a while but I really need to get back to doing Jackie's Mum's piece which I'll take a photo of in a couple of weeks.

I can't believe it!

It's been four months since I posted last - time really has flown!

There have been a few changes at work with my line manager Dave leaving though as he's gone to work for the company which provides our highways systems we still see him pretty often.

Friends will be welcoming two new babies in October and November so I really should be knitting for them but at the moment I'm concentrating on knitting 8" squares to make up blankets for Syrian refugees via "Lily". I can't imagine the fear, loneliness and heartbreak that these refugees feel, especially the children so any small thing I can do, well, I'm going to do it.

I'm also trying to help out people closer to home by giving food and clothing to a local food bank. Every time I shop I just buy one extra of certain food items to go into a box to donate. I've also lost weight over the last year or so so my larger clothes are going there too - I just hope that I don't put on weight again!

The really good news is that I've adopted a cat - Poppy.

I got her from Llys Nini in Swansea and though she's not a very cuddly cat, she does sleep at the bottom of the bed at night and wakes me up with a nose bump :-) The house was so quiet after losing both Toffee and Pepsi last year that I only lasted about 6 weeks before starting to look round for another pusscat. Poppy is all black, loves washing my hands and arms and is incredibly chatty which makes coming home a pleasure again as she's here to welcome me.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013


I've just entered a giveaway at Heather's Stitching Story blog:

Chart Giveaway

I've never actually stitched a LHN or CCN chart so this seemed to be a good giveaway to enter :-) Good luck to everyone and thank you to Heather for her generosity :-)

Another great book

It's been a good start to the year reading-wise. I finished Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes over the weekend.

I'd give it a 9.5 out of 10 - the characters were so well drawn, from Cathy in the throes of her OCD, to the lovely Stuart and creepy and controlling Lee. I had a pretty good idea what was to come but the tension built up slowly but surely; it was very hard to turn off the light at night, not because I was scared but because I wanted to carry on reading!

It's so easy to forget about stories in the papers which briefly mention a woman being beaten or stalked but this book goes "behind the scenes", showing how fear can affect people's lives for ever.

The book skips from one timeline to another but after the first few chapters it isn't at all confusing and in fact made me want to read more, to see how the 2003 Cathy was compared to the 2007 version. It was a clever way of telling the story, keeping both timelines fresh and very real.

This was a debut novel and I've already got her second book, Revenge of the Tide on my TBR pile. As I said, a really great start to 2013, with many thanks to Deborah Harkness and Elizabeth Haynes :-)

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

A bit of knitting

Well, quite a bit of knitting, but all very simple. I sent these scarves off to a group helping homeless people in Edinburgh - hope they helped keep someone warm over the last few weeks. I've got a couple more scarves and a couple of dog jumpers part-done as well but I've been cross-stitching a bit more recently.

Mrs Duck is nearing the end with just her jumper and a couple of arms to finish, then I'm going to concentrate on Jackie's Mum's design, which I'll take a photo of once I've done a bit more.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Blogging resolution

I know I say this every year but I really do want to write in this blog more often. Admittedly, I'm not doing much knitting or stitching at the moment but I've already read a 10 out of 10 book this year!

A Discovery of Witches was recommended to me by my friend Jackie and as I decided to treat myself to a Kindle (not the snazzy Fire, just an ordinary bog-standard one!) I also treated myself to ADoW. It's a brilliant book, certainly not to be confused with the Twilight series, which I've never read but as the first film made me want to shake the main female character, I'll probably never read the books :-)

Although a love story at heart, A Discovery of Witches is so much more, full of wonderful characters and though there are obviously supernatural elements with witches, vampires and daemons, it all somehow seems very real. There's danger, mystery and love for Diana, the main character who just happens to be a witch, and I especially enjoyed the parts where Diana's powers grew and developed. I loved Deborah Harkness' writing and I flew through the 700-odd pages. This was one of those books which I really didn't want to end, though luckily it's the first in a trilogy :-)
I've still got Mrs Duck to finish and I've finally started a design for Jackie's Mum. Although I'll keep doing cards throughout the year, I've promised myself not to start a medium or large piece until I've finished at least five UFOs! Let's see how long that lasts...
It's been snowing virtually all day here but I've made sure that the birds have got plenty of food .

Sad end to 2012

My last post was to do with losing Toffee in September - this one is about losing Pepsi just after Christmas :-(

He had congenital heart failure and went very quickly in the end, with my lovely vet coming out to the house to put him to sleep. He slipped away very quickly in my arms and though I had tears streaming down my face (and do now, typing this) I know that I did the right thing. He had less than two hours of discomfort - I don't think he was in pain - but he was also quite scared and tried to hide away but then came out to lie by me on the floor. He's buried in the garden, which is more than I could do for Toffee, so is still very near to me.

He had over 10 years with me of eating, cuddles and purring. Pepsi was a very chatty cat - he quacked rather than miawoed - and just looking at him would start him purring.

The house is so strange now, there's no-one to welcome me home or give me cuddles on these cold evenings. I've decided to adopt a couple of cats around Easter so that I'll have a long weekend for us to settle in together but Pepsi and Toffee will have a very special place in my heart for ever.

Love you Peps, hope you're now cuddled up nice and warm with Toffee.