Monday, 19 October 2009

I had to share my Christmas cooking with you. The mincemeat is in jars, the puddings are steamed and stored away and the cake is currently cooling down. It smells gorgeous and I am regretting making a round cake - if it was a square one we could have cut off a bit to eat now and no one would ever know!!

Delia recommends feeding the cake weekly with brandy - I’m not sure I have enough left to do that and we’re not going to buy any more. Plus, I need to remember to keep a bit for setting fire to the pudding.

I feel really pleased with myself for getting it done this year. I can’t remember the last year that we did this, it was definitely before we moved here. I don’t remember doing it when we lived in Wiltshire, and it was possibly before we moved to Amsterdam in which case it would have been Christmas ‘96. So it was a tradition for 5 years and then for one reason or another it just didn’t happen (new babies, depression, whatever). I really want to get back into the tradition of making them from now on. I’ve enjoyed it, it wasn’t as much hassle as I recalled, and well, it makes me feel like a better housewife in a small way.

Mind you, I may not be saying that after the 10th batch of mince pies - I vaguely recall making about 144 mince pies last time. Not all eaten by me - they’re handy to take to friends houses when going round for coffee, Craig used to take them into work with him and there’s always something going on where they appreciate some home baked goodies. I just hope my friends like mince pies!!

Did I mention the Mermaid socks I’m making? The second one went slightly wrong, not sure what happened, but it got thrown into a corner in disgrace. I just couldn’t face picking it back up again and fixing it, but tonight I did. I’ve ended up undoing almost all of it - I decided it was easier to do that than get frustrated at trying to fix it. So, off I go with it again. It’s fairly quick to do so it won’t take too long to get back to where I was and then hopefully it will behave itself when I turn the heel.

I’ve got lots of knitting projects I want to get going with but I like to only have one WIP at a time. I’ve got two at the moment so really shouldn’t start anything else. But maybe just one more….

I’m hoping I’ve got my exercise mojo back. Last week I really could not be bothered and the diet went out of the window - it doesn’t help working with lots of gorgeous cakes and Panini’s either. But this week I’m back on track, totally motivated and while I probably will have the odd cake at work I will be figuring it into my daily allowance. I’ve upped my step target to 9,000 a day which does usually mean jogging on the spot through the nightly CSI advert breaks but it’s good for me. Isn’t it?

I think we may have the start of something going round the children at the moment. Poor Ellie has a high temp and Alfie seems to be developing one. Hopefully it will pass through quickly!

Saturday, 17 October 2009

We finally bought the ingredients for the Christmas baking yesterday. I’m hoping to get it started tonight - the fruit for the cake needs soaking overnight, the mix for the pudding needs to sit overnight and the mincemeat is best left to sit overnight too.

The wine is coming on ok. We strained it yesterday to get rid of the sediment and they smell lovely, although the apple and elderberry has a very slight vinegar smell so that may end up being given away as a nice gift of homemade vinegar, lol I have discovered that muslins are excellent for straining - at last, a use for them!!

Is anyone else finding it getting really cold? We had the heating on for an hour last night just to take the chill off. Brrrr! Actually, now I’ve written that I’m thinking of putting it on again just to warm me up slightly.

I bought Jack and Alfie those fleecy suits you put on them over their Pjs. They love them and the other children have decided they want them too. I think I will do some stash busting and make them for them with the metres of fleece under the stairs. I might even make myself one too, lol Has anyone seen a pattern for them anywhere?

Talking of Alfie - I put in his school admission application in the other night. It seems way too early, he’s only 3 and not really ready yet. I know a year is a long time in the life of a child, so maybe by next year he will be more ready for it.

Robbie recently applied to become a teacher at his school’s “Take Over Day” where the pupils and staff swap places for the day. He got accepted and is going to be an English teacher which he is really looking forward to. I am really proud of him. He wrote the application himself and I was surprised at just how good it was (if I was recruiting staff and I got his letter then I would definitely give him an interview). I’m not just saying that because I’m his mum, I genuinely was impressed.

I started writing this about two hours ago, and it’s now half eight so I’m guessing the Christmas stuff will just have to wait until tomorrow because I’m about to eat my dinner.

Hope you have a good rest of the weekend whatever you’re doing, and if not, then {{{{hugs}}}} if you need them.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Is it just us or do other people try and keep their central heating off for as long as possible?? I have to admit that if Craig didn’t work from home I would probably switch it on much earlier than we end up doing. I think last year we were aiming for the 1st November but had turned it on by now. I can’t see us lasting another two weeks but we’ll see (mind you, I am sat here writing this in short sleeves so maybe we won’t give in).

Work is going well. I am now able to use the tills which is great as I now feel more useful. I’m really enjoying it and starting to get to know some of the regulars

Not a huge amount is happening at home beyond the usual. The baby is fairly mobile now, he can roll and turn himself round when he’s on his tummy. We have a multi plug thingy under the TV and I said the other day it will have to move as he’ll be straight in there when he can work out how to get there - today was the day. It’s surprising just what we have at his level that isn’t safe for him. None of the others were this mobile this early apart from the eldest so we didn’t really need to worry. Once they could get about they were old enough to know that the TV and DVD player were out of bounds.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who isn’t very good at getting the Christmas baking done early. Some years I’ve been so lax that it hasn’t been done at all. I made the shopping list for the mincemeat, cake and pudding about a month ago but we still haven’t got round to getting it. I have to admit I don’t even know where the list is now…

After talking about people from the past in my last post I found an old friend via her son on Facebook. I’m so pleased to be back in touch with her. It’s been about 12 years since I saw her and her son was only about 5 or 6 so I did wonder if she would remember me but she does and was really pleased to hear from me. I remember loads of people from our days in Braintree but think that most of them probably don’t remember me. Maybe I’m wrong.

Someone else from my past very kindly sent me a photo she took about 20 years ago. Now that was really embarrassing. I’m not sharing it here (it’s that bad, lol). How on earth could I walk around looking like that????? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to have the benefit of hindsight when you get dressed in the morning?? To be able to flash-forward 20 years to the future to see if you think you look as good then as you think you do now if you see what I mean?

I think we’re going to get rid of the chickens. Not by way of cooking them, but maybe sell the chicken house and include the birds with it. I couldn’t eat them. Not because they are pets but just because having seen them wandering around the garden etc I just couldn’t bring myself to eat them. I know that the chicken you get from the supermarket is exactly the same thing but you can pretend it isn’t when it comes frozen in a bag can’t you? I really should be a vegetarian. When I actually think about what meat is I don’t want to eat it anymore but then I forget. I was vegetarian for a few years (I go through phases of it on and off) but then during one of my pregnancies I really wanted a steak sandwich….

I’ve almost finished Amos’s blanket. I decided to do some crochet round it - one row of treble crochet looked really nice but as I have so much wool left I thought I’d keep going but now it looks a bit frilly and girly (not helped by the amount of pink in it). I can’t decide whether to keep going or to pull it back to just one row of treble. If I do that what will I do with the leftover wool? There’s not enough to do anything with and I don’t like have odd balls in my stash.

We also had a result today - I made Jack a lovely jumper last year (I think the photos are here on the blog somewhere) but he refused to wear it. Alfie refused to wear it too. But today he did wear it - he loves stripes - and when I told him I had made it specially for him he said “oh, I do love you mummy”. How sweet!

Anyway, that’s it for now. Hope your week is good so far.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

I know I’ve been slack at keeping this up but things are just so busy right now. I’m still surprised by just how much working a few hours a week knocks the rest of the week out of kilter for me. Will it get better?

Despite being busy there isn’t a lot to report. Life is moving on at a fast pace, we’re already nearly at half term.

The internet is an amazing thing isn’t it? I’m part of several groups of women (that makes us all sound old, which I guess we are to our children but I bet we all still feel really young) who would never have known each other without the internet. Some of us have never met, and maybe never will, some of us have met only once or twice yet we call each other friends, we’re there to support each other, will do anything we can to help each other, feel each others pain and joy and share it with each other.

Sometimes I’m amazed at just what you can find out fairly quickly if you know where to look. Information about people from the past who you may never see again, old friends that you’ve moved away from. “I wonder what so and so is up to nowadays”. Where people live, how much they bought and sold their houses for, where they work, what looks like evidence they are involved in yet another con, what they look like now, what they’ve been doing. It’s all out there. Despite moving house at lot over the past 16 years and changing our names we’ve never made any effort to hide ourselves on the internet. Anyone from our past could very easily find out where we are now, who we are now, what we’re up to now. Who knows, they may even be reading this right now - why not leave a comment to say hello?? I don’t for a minute think that we’re immune from being searched for and having the details of our life pored over. If we wanted to disappear we could, if we could be bothered. I’m not stupid, seriously, I may not be a high flyer, I may not have a high powered job, I may have spent the last 16 and a bit years “just” being a wife and mother, but I’m not nearly as thick as some may believe me to be.

What am I getting at here? I don’t put anything on here that I don’t want everyone to know. Nothing you read is worthy of getting excited about discovering if you’re just looking for info on me and the family. But, y’know, if you have looked me up because you remember me, please do leave a comment with some way of contacting you as I’m always happy to hear from people I used to know. I've set comments to moderated status so if you want to leave your email address but don't want the world to be able to see it, don't worry, I won't publish it to the blog.

Ok, I’ve rambled enough. I sound like I’ve been drinking don’t I?? lol I havent. Sometimes if you just let your fingers do the talking you get some rubbish out of them. Normal service will resume very soon. I promise.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

I’ve now done three days at work. Today, instead of working through my training manual at work I got stuck in to doing practical stuff such as actually making drinks, clearing the tables etc and not waiting to be told what to do. Hopefully I did a good job. I really enjoyed myself, the six hours flew by and I feel like I learnt loads. Dare I say I think I have the knack of frothing the milk perfectly??

I’ve hardly been to the gym this week. I’ve been so tired and just not in the mood. I suspect the motivation may be waning slightly so I am going to be really strict with myself next week and make sure I go every day. I’ve got back into the bad habit of going to bed at midnight too so that needs to be addressed again.

I have nothing else to report really. Yesterday it was the harvest festival at school and they also did an auction of all the food donated. One of the local veg growers donated loads and loads of veggies and we bought a big bag of potatoes, a big pumpkin and a box of broccoli and caulis for about £10. Bargain!!

The wine is still bubbling away nicely. The pear and apple both need straining again to get rid of the sediment. The elderberry is coming close to being ready to bottle which is quite exciting.

Craft wise I have done almost nothing. I’m knitting a cot blanket for Amos from lovely soft merino yarn which is about half finished. Sadly there isn’t enough wool to make one big enough for my bed, lol My socks are hiding in the corner after I threw them in a temper when they went horribly wrong and I haven’t been able to fix them. More undoing is in order but I cannot face it at the moment.

I am loving Autumn at the moment too. The trees are changing colour now, the days are getting shorter and there is that lovely chill in the air. The Uggs are back in service (did I ever say how much I love my Ugg boots????) and I don’t feel so daft wearing my scarves now either. We have a large bag of conkers and pine cones waiting to be put into their baskets and played with for the next year until we can replace all the ones that will go missing or get squashed.