Sunday, 23 February 2014

Babying Around

Firstly, the Hyacinths are coming along marvellously, you can practically see them growing and they smell amazing. They're on the kitchen table, which is where I spend most of my time, and they are brilliant. 

They are a bit squinty though. 

That yellow thing in the background, that's Perfect's float because we took him swimming this week. Because I'm the most neurotic person in the world, I was really worried about him getting cold, so we splashed out (hahahaha) and got him a wetsuit. If there is anything nicer in the world than a baby in a baby wetsuit then I don't even want to know about it. He was ADORABLE, as you would expect. And, big news, he's now brilliant at sitting up. What a total, total ledge.

Oh, he is wonderful! We've been taking him to baby things recently. Baby Sensory first, which was dire - you basically sit in a circle with other people who don't want to be there while someone blows bubbles at you. You're supposed to sing along to songs but the one who was running our session didn't want to, so she put on a CD and we all mouthed along to Row, Row, Row Your Boat. My boat was not happy AT ALL. Also, Perfect HATED it and screamed with his all every time I put him on his back. I don't think they were sad to see the back of us. 

Then Husband decided he wanted to take him to a song-session baby-music thing, and I mooched along too. They made us sit in a circle (why is it always a circle? I always wear dresses and I'm constantly worrying that folk can see my breeks) and we had to sing and shake tambourines at the babes. I was fine at that bit, and was half-heartedly getting into a bit of rhythm when they...and I can hardly bear to relive this...turned the music up and we had to dance around in the circle. Oh man, it was EXCRUCIATING - have you ever seen a roomful of adults dancing around a circle of couldn't-care-less babies? Believe me, you don't even want to. Awful. And the lady taking the class was all zany and clapping and all 'let's go faster! Hold hands with the person next to you!' and I was all 'No chance pal!' It was grim. I am not the right person for this baby lark. Husband really got into it though, one of the other mums even congratulated him on his singing. Crawler. 

And that was this week. 

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Bumbaleerie Mansions

Evening all.

So I've been promising you a tour of Bumbaleerie Mansions for a while now - sadly, due to the arrival of the Perfect, the Mansions are never tidy enough to get a decent picture of. So instead, here's a wee bit at a time. Here's some things you oughter know before we get started:

1) The Crib was built in 1932.
2) It has a bomb shelter in the garden, that I would've taken a picture of today but it was snowing, and I couldn't find my shoes.
3) The people who owned it before Husband and I rescued it were bonkers. They superglued light fittings to the ceiling, shelves to the wall and floor tiles to the..em, floor. Quite, quite mad.
4) I love it with my ENTIRE FACE.
5) It has three original fireplaces in it.
6) The kitchen, where I spend most of my time, used to be the kitchen, dining room and pantry, until the Bonkertons knocked through - so the kitchen is montagonous. We're spoiled if we ever have to move though because I love the kitchen the most.
7) When we came to view it, I loved it so much that I did a wee dance in the kitchen and Mr Bonkers saw me and immediately added more Scottish bucks to the price. Husband was delighted! (False).

There's more here, if that ol' list wasn't enough.

So! Here's where I am right this very now!

This is our kitchen table, which is splendid and also ginormous. It can fit twelve people around it once it's extended, here's what happened when we bought it:

Me: Husband! That table fits twelve people around it once it's extended!
Husband: It's ginormous.
Me: And SPLENDID! We can recreate Downton!
Husband: Why do you always want to recreate Downton?

In the middle of the table is my most recent purchase - Hyacinths! I planted them today, here's hoping they survive. I seem to have this think called 'Killeverything-itus' where nothing green can live in my house. I've been given so many fecking Orchids and they last about nine seconds before sadly passing on.

FUNNY STORY I'VE JUST REMEMBERED: In Dobbies today, a man standing next to me said to his wife 'Look, they've got orchards!' and she said 'Not orchards, darling, ORCHIDS' and he said 'No, they're definitely called orchards' and she said 'no, they definitely aren't' and he wasn't having ANY OF IT. I'd just pushed my sleeves up my arms ready to get stuck in and RIGHT THIS WRONG, but Husband pulled me back and said I wasn't to get involved. They're probably still at it. Very funny and pointless, which is my favourite kind of argument with Husband.

Here's a close up of the, and I think you'll agree wholeheartedly with this, EXCELLENTLY planted Hyacinths:

Next, my second-newest kitchen purchase:

CHICKEN EGG CUPS! From the 70s, so VINTAGE CHICKEN EGG CUPS! Brilliant, although they caused a slight altercation when I bought them. I said to the lady 'I must have these, they are magnificent and a wise addition to any home, including those modelled VERY CLOSELY on Downton Abbey. How much, please?' and she said '£2.50'. There was a brief pause until I yelled 'WHIT? MARVELLOUS BARGAIN!' and grabbed the lot. Turns out, they were £2.50 each. But, as I said to Husband, shouting in a sales lady's face is practically a signed contract, so you can't just change your mind like a total mind-changer. Anyway, still worth it because they are wonderful, and not 'hideously tacky' or 'a total waste of money' OR 'literally the worst things I have ever seen'.

Lastly, here's a picture of my knittingsewingcrochetjunk stash as it is now that we had to clear out my sewing room for the Perfect:

There's so many of my favourite things on this bookcase - a photo of Perfect, right at the top, when he was seconds old. My Govencroft jugs, my tangled knitting, my sewing maching, my jelly mould of Betty. Lovely, and kept so tidy! Also, some of my least favourite things - the iron, lurking sinisterly in the foreground. Husband's unfinished jumper. Some minging rip-offy wool that I was conned into buying, and is a source of everlasting regret and anguish. I won't point it out, it makes me too angry. And I've just realised that Perfect's blanket isn't even in this picture but if it WAS, if I was tidier and it WAS here, instead of on the couch in the living room, I could gracefully and beautifully link into the next picture, which is progress on the ripple blanket, but since it isn't there, I'll just have to do it in a CLUMPY WAY:

Here's how I'm getting on with the ripples! At this rate, he should have it in time for his own children.

Pip pip!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

What I Did at the Weekend

Evenin' guv'nors.

Lads, for the first time in LITERALLY A HUNDRED YEARS, Husband had a whole weekend off. This is a very, very rare occurrence for us, so we made the most of it yesterday by doing nothing until 3pm, then going out to buy some new binbags for Perfect's nappy bin.

So today, we put our feet down with firm hands and DID SOMETHING. And we have had such a fantastic day, it's been so, so nice.

We went out for Dobbie's Garden Centre in Livingstone. It was BRILLIANT! You get more breakfast than you can shake a hairy stick at for like, four Scottish rubles and it's braw (if it helps you, like it helped me, don't think about how they can charge £1.90 for tea, but only £3.99 for six different types of meat because it really does taste good). We decided on Dobbies because Perfect loves the fish, especially those giant gold-fishy looking ones with the brains.

We then went outside to look at the chickens. Oh, fellas, how I would love chickens! I'd love to watch them run around, and me and Perfect could feed them, and sit in the garden reading stories while the chickens pecked at our feet. Oh! Brilliant. Unfortunately, Husband is extremely short-sighted on the chicken front, and point-blank refuses to engage in conversations entitled 'Why We Need Chickens and an Eggloo' (that's what the chicken huts are called, is that not the most wonderful thing you've ever heard? I love a good pun).

Anyway, none of that matters because it turns out, Livingstone don't stock chickens. So we went over to the shops instead.

Quick aside chums, but recently I've subscribed to Bloglovin' which has saved me many, many seconds of time finding new blogs. One of them (and I know I'm so late to this) is Caroline Hiron's blog on Skincare (available here but I'm not taking responsibility for you going over there) - honesty, that woman knows her stuff. Sooooooo in a never-ending attempt to turn myself into a grown-up, I've grasped the opportunity to buy more skin junk. This'll surprise you, but I'm extremely suggestible to new skin stuff and makeup, and chickens - someone only has to wave a pot under my nose and go 'this'll make you thinner, funnier, brighter and more lady-full' and I'm on it like a car bonnet. So today, I bought this:

I haven't used it yet, but I'm expecting it to change my life! And my face. I'll let you know.

Anyhoo, we came home from the shops and had a lovely cup of tea. Aw! And then I made hummous! What?! I did! After seeing a recipe on Eating With My Fingers, another wonderful blog, very sad but very funny. Here's an arty photo (ha!) of the twenty-million chickpeas I had to shell.

and then, after a bit of kitchen magic, they turned into this:

Yum yum yum! It's so delicious and easy, honestly, give it a go. This is the one with Tahini, but there's an even easier recipe with peanut butter. If you try that one, please let me know how you got on! Anyway, it's so good that I've been digging into it all afternoon. Oh, skinny-ness! Why are we never to be friends? The only downside, and it's a very little downside, is the recipe makes enough to feed a thousand people, so we're going to be eating a lot of it over the next few days. But! It's probably very healthy.

So, I started a square-a-day blanket for Perfect, as you know, which was going ok-ish. Then someone on facebook linked to Attic24 (I know I'm so late to this too) and I was hooked! I'm SO FUNNY today, it's like I'm on FIRE! But really, she's awesome. So, I've changed my mind, decided not to fret about the wasted hours spent on the sqaure-a-day, and I'm doing a ripple instead. But guess what? I love it!

It's handy doing crochet because it's so portable. It's only one hook, one ball at a time, and the pattern is stored in my mega-portable brain. It's so easy too, once I got the hang of it, and it's very soothing to do the same thing over and over. Like cleaning the kitchen! (False, that was a wee dig at Husband, who seems to not notice junk lying about in the kitchen. Sorry for bringing marital discord over here, he really is the jewel of my face, apart from Perfect). This blanket is quite wide though, so it takes a wee while to do a row, maybe forty minutes? But I'm not a very quick crochet-er yet.

So that's me! A lovely day doing things I love, with the people I love most in the world.

Oh! It got a bit soppy at the end there for a minute. I think it's passed now though.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Tea-ing It Up

What-ho chaps! So I'm using this blog as a bit of a skive tonight, unfortunately. My friend is having a baby, and I said I would knit for her (I've made it sound like she asked but she didn't - I FOISTED myself upon her Chums, FOISTED! I don't know if you've ever been foisted upon. It is unpleasant, but my friend didn't seem to mind). Anyhoo, turns out she's having a lady baby! Now, you might not remember, but I was convinced that Perfect was going to be a lady baby. So I, in an uncharacteristic burst of madness, bought what could only be described as a 'room full' of girls' knitting patterns. Perfect, as you will remember, is a gentleman baby. So sadly, I room-filled in vain (but fear not, Chinas, we've now got what Husband calls 'a house-full' of gentleman baby patterns, so all's well). SO when my friend said she was having a girl, I leaped at the chance to knit a pattern of the lady persuasion. LEAPED! And that's not easy after having the Perfect, let me tell you.

Sadly, I have picked a very complicated stupid, lacy, ass-face pattern, and I've just had to rip it back for the fourth time. 'Right Eilidhbelle, girdle your loins! Start again!' said my Heart. 'Don't Eilidhbelle, there's internetting to be done!' said my Soul. 'Have we got any Ben and Jerry's left?' asked my Chins. 'I think we're standing on a piddle-patch left by the perfect...' said my Feet.

And that's how we got to this point.

So instead, I thought I'd tell you what I got up to today. Not too far from McDonald Mansions is a brilliant place called the Tilly Tearooms (not too far, but far enough, Burglars) - and it's the best place in the world. Now before we start Lads, I'd just like to say that 1) my photography skills are, at best, sketchy 2) I never want to be that person who is taking pictures of their surroundings instead of living in the moment and d) I accidentally ate my cake immediately. Here's their website (Tilly Tearoom) where, believe it or not, there are some better pictures!

Now, as you know, I'm not prone to flights of fancy but Tilly Tearooms is a cavern of WONDERFULNESS, and that's not an exaggeration. It's not the biggest, granted, but it's cosy - and how could you resist anywhere with a gingham tablecloth? Not easily, that's for sure.

And if you order tea, it comes with its own knitted tea cosy!

and with a little cup and saucer (and none of them match!)

 and with a little dainty silver spoon! I didn't get a picture of mine, because I lost it. I had a lot of Perfect's junk with me. And the other best thing about the Tilly Tearooms is....they have the best cakes in the universe. Here's the Hummingbird cake (again, sorry about this):

(I think Hummingbird cake is made with pecans and magic, but I wasn't really listening when the waitress was describing it. I DO know that it's three tiers of delightfulness that disappear surprisingly quickly). They have a LOT of cake:

And the other best thing is - the lady who owns it is lovely if you go in with your twenty week old baby who screams BLUE MURDER for no reason. She even offered to hold him for me while I ate my cake! But the Perfect is like that, people are drawn to him because he's wonderful. But still. Total legend. Oh man, it's just  the kind of place where you want to take your knitting and sit all day and drink tea, and eat cake, and knit, and it's brilliant.

Go! Go now! Phone me first though, I'll meet you there.

And finally, because it wouldn't be worth it otherwise, here's a picture of the Perfect. Chin chin!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

I'm a Fanuary of January

Chums! So I made a New Years resolution to post on my blog weekly. Sadly, New Year was many, many weeks ago and I am yet to update. So I've changed it to monthly. That sounds about do-able, doesn't it?

So! How was your Christmas? All was good here, we were spoiled rotten, the lot of us. Husband got me the best thing in the entire universe (obviously apart from the Perfect) -

S'an Ali Miller teaset, what was featured in episode three of season two of Sherlock, when Moriarty comes for a visit! Oh! I can't even tell you how much I love it Chinas, there are very few material things I would save in a fire - my engagement ring and some 1930s glassware - and now this! I'd probably have to do two trips actually. As I type, me and Husband are enjoying a cup of Sherlock tea while the Perfect refuses to sleep. He's just too delighted that we've got a Sherlock teaset, I think.

Right, so making! Lads, I've been knitting up a STORM! Here's the blue one, unfinished in my last post, modelled here by the Perfect and Arm of Len:

Then I knitted a cable cardi for him. Oh man, have you ever knitted a cable knit? It takes a hundred thousand years, it takes so, so long. I was so grumpy by the time I'd finished knitting it, the Perfect had already graduated from Uni and had a promising career in Astro-physics. Here he is in it anyhoo:

It's not a brilliant photo, to be fair. Next, I knitted this amazeballs, textured green one in Sirdar baby crofter, which is my very favourite:

(You might have to zoom in a bit on that one) AND ANTHER BOY AT BABY SENSORY HAS EXACTLY THE SAME ONE! This is not as big a coincidence as it seems, since I saw the boy wearing it and thought, I've got that pattern at home, and promptly knitted  the same one. But! It's a bit of a coincidence.

So I'm still knitting away Chums, but I've got a bit of another project on the go at the moment. Actually, two. Actually, seven, and I'm wanting to do a bit of quilt-making cos it's been so long since I revved up the ol' sewing machine. It'll be missing me. Most of my projects (ha! check me out! I'm using 'projects' in place of 'bags of junk cluttering up my living room'. Got to add a bit of class, know what I mean?) involve knitting but one involves cross stitching a SAMPLER, oh yes, which is massive and the other...

Did I ever tell you that Roy is a photographer? I honestly don't know how mine are so bad, it's in my blood! Anyway, I'm doing a crochet-a-square-a-day blanket for the Perfect. It's not going well, I started it a fortnight ago and I've got six squares. But here's a thing nobody tells you about having a's quite hard to get five minutes to be creative.

The squares are crochet-ted in shades of grey, dark in the middle, then light, then a blue-y one, then the same again, finishing with a round of dark grey. I've done granny squares before but I wanted a simple pattern, which I found here, after getting inspiration for the blanket from here. I'm totally blown away by the talent of those two, you should definitely go over for a rake. When the blanket is finished, probably in another eighty days, I might do a border of little pom-poms to finish it off. 'Oh that's a lot of effort to go to' you cry, 'you must be superwoman!' Stop it now, I'm blushing! It's actually a piece of cake because Len bought me a pom-pom maker! Go and buy one right now, you can make a perfect pom-pom in about eight seconds and then you can leave them around your house to create a fun conversation with your significant other! It's brilliant! Here's my pom-pom selfie:

Quite, quite brilliant photography. I've made loads of pom-pom bunting but I've not taken any pictures of them yet, you'll be delighted to know. This is the face the Perfect made whence I showed him the bunting:
For he is his father's son. Sadly, he is also his mother's son, so he's just going to have to put up with it.