Wednesday, June 10, 2020

A little catch up

Been pottering about, doing bits n pieces, sowing seeds, now we have been able to get some compost, some crafting, renovating, reading. We have been having more low pressure and torrential thunder storms, it always exacerbates the fibro, especially any added stress, so I have been struggling a bit.

Been a bit Eeyoreish too with the pain, and found I didn´t have any thing to say,
 which as they say, if that´s the case then don´t say anything at all lol.

I found an old bar stool looking very much worse for wear so after rubbing down all the peeling varnish and getting it back to basics, I painted it a nice bright colour.

It´s hard to believe that its been a year since we had to pack up the family home and move MiL to her care home. We did it on the back end of the visit for her 90th birthday and managed to collect bygone treasures and childhood memorabilia. One of the treasures she said I could keep was a  wood and wire Victorian bird cage. We had the stuff shipped back in February, so why I had a sudden whim to sort it out I don´t know.
I think I used several pots of elbow grease as it was so rusty with layers of dust and grime.

Wirewool, a soft dremil wheel and beeswax.

I haven´t decided what to put inside it yet, a nice candle maybe, certainly not a bird thats for sure.

Whilst sitting quietly and trying mind over matter, I started on some coasters for the courtyard table, made 3 so far

I was given an old pair of riding boots, so after Chris drilled some holes in the soles, put some gravel in the bases for drainage and stability, topped up with compost and planted them up. They fit in nicely with the theme

Theo has been enjoying his toys, especially the crunkly book, so I´ve added to his collection by making the fins of the fish crunkle, with a couple more pentagon balls.

Then made up my own pattern for a little owl

I thought I would start another book, maybe with little pockets to put shapes in, but I wasn´t in the right frame of mind so instead I went through the materials stash, folding, straightening and even ironing, it was a win win because I have ended up with a neat and tidy cupboard and found a few long forgotten treasures along the way.

Been taking cuttings from various established plants, honeysuckle, jasmine, geraniums, rosemary, they have 2 chances lol, then I did the trick with the end of the celery, it worked lol

A gentle day today me thinks, we have a skype call later this afternoon to wish MiL a happy 91st birthday. Then to morrow is Rebecca´s birthday, so although we speak or video call every day it will be lovely to catch up with her on her special day.
take care

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Toy making

Trying times, we have had a couple of scares, firstly with MiL who is in a care home. We were told by the home that she was not well and they suspected covid, they told us they had given her antibiotics but she was confused.
I immediately rang Mum and had a lovely 37 minute conversation with her, perfectly lucid and perfectly normal.
24 hours later we find out that there are 3 Joyce´s in the home and even though we identified Mum and the family connection, they got the wrong one.
Terribly unnecessary worry and we complained about the lack of attention and questioned their policies.
Then Shine (DiL) was sent home from the care home where she nurses as her immediate colleague had contracted the virus and she had similar symptoms.
She self isolated whilst waiting for test results, which I´m happy to say proved negative.
Phew, and breathe!

I have continued to make toys for Theo, he has grown and changed so much and it´s been so difficult to contend with the fact of not being able to visit. 
I tried to incorporate lots of different elements, such as rattles, crunckles, plush, colourful fabrics and different shapes.
Chris made the support for the mobile using dowl, which he sanded and polished and made it in such a way the arms can be dismantled for posting.

Such a difficult thing to take a good photo!
I used pentagons to make another smaller ball
and a squishy cloud that rattles, a plush butterfly and one that crunkles

A cloth book, using wadding to give it some thickness and the (washed) inside packaging from a box of cereal, just the right sound

The material was a mix of dolphins, cat, ducks and dragonflies, so I added some shapes to match the pages

These multi sensory toys seem very expensive to buy, so I was quite pleased to use items from the stash to give him a variety.

In the meantime, I finished off his hooded jacket, but I wasn´t very pleased with the result, especially as the hood seems to be rather big, but at least it will give him another thing to wear. This jacket was from the same pattern as the last one that just had a collar but it seems to be a little too short. Don´t think I shall bother with the pattern again. Have to have a look through Revelry and see what I can find.

There was enough yarn left to make a pair of bootees too.
One of Rebecca´s friends is expecting a little girl in a few weeks, so I sent along a lilac pair and a light grey with sparkly speckles
The first parcel took nearly 2 weeks to arrive, but the second only took 4 days, I also popped in a bar of dark chocolate so Rebecca had a little something to open too.

On my searches for suitable patterns etc, I came across a site suggesting making toys using household items, some are not suitable at the moment, but one was taking an empty tissue box and stuffing either light scarves or little socks inside that can be pulled in and out. At the end of the day he doesn´t know what toys are, just wants different stimulus.
Thought I would try an owl next, so off to look for some patterns.
take care

Monday, April 20, 2020


Gosh, I´m slacking, didn´t realise it was so long since I last posted.

We have been having inclement weather these past few weeks, but we have managed a few garden days when the rain has stopped. Never seen the Bernia mountain so green or the grass on our terraces so long. All our efforts on taming the wilderness are still happening but you turn round and a tiny green hue of weeds are back again. 
The roses seem to like it though and the Iris I planted a couple of years ago actually flowered this year.

The daisies in the courtyard brighten it up, some of them had self seeded in strange places so I repotted them together to make a nice splash of colour

Unfortunately some of the rain has been ´dirty´so the pool is in need of some tlc and the courtyard became a skating rink as green algae coated the tiles, yuk!!
There was nothing for it but to scrub it off

This area is about 84 sq ft, took me 2 days to complete it but so much better

I am trying not to look at the rest of the courtyard, it´s a much larger area, probably 5 times the size,
little by little I suppose.

I have been doing all sorts of different projects, Chris wanted a face mask, I found a pattern which incorporated a pipe cleaner for the nose piece which made it quite a snug fit so he was happy.

Rebecca wanted some wall stickers for the nursery and decided on a dinosaur theme, so running with that I thought a mobile would be nice.

Searching through the stash I found suitable colours of felt

They are all about 3.5" with this larger one for the centre

I embellished them with components I wouldn´t normally use, ie buttons, but thought it would be ok as it will be well out of Theo´s reach.

Then decided to make a couple of larger ones

Whilst on a roll, this cube was next but I added a rattle inside
Each side has a different motif

Chris is hoping to get to the post office tomorrow as we haven´t collected our mail for several weeks, so hopefully they will accept a parcel and it can make its way to Theo.
Got a little jacket to stitch up now.
take care

Thursday, April 2, 2020


I know I´m saying and feeling the same as everyone, gosh it´s hard not being able to be there physically for family and friends.
Finding positives, however small each day is a way of getting through this nightmare.

Rebecca is on the severe, high risk register so they are both isolating for the 12 weeks, luckily Antoni was working remotely anyway, only travelling into the office once a week, which of course has all stopped now. Rebecca has just received a second food parcel with all sorts of essential items fresh veg and a few treats. The 2nd one also included personel wash items , little bottles of shower gel, shampoo, soap etc, including 2 toilet rolls! As she hasn´t been able to get a supermarket delivery slot until 12th April, she was so surprised, but delighted and felt quite blessed as this has not only helped and take away some of the worry, but has given her a lift. Our heartfelt thanks go out to all those who are helping with this service along with those who are donating.

We have daily video time which is helping both of us and she sends daily photos and video of Theo.
He is growing so fast and is quite free with his smiles and gurgles, although he also likes exercising his lungs which is a little daunting for a new Mum trying to figure out what is wanted.
During one of our calls, Theo was intrigued by the video and hearing my voice, he started smiling at me as I was talking to him, we thought it might be a fluke, but no he did the same the next day, aww bless.

We have also been extremely lucky in that our neighbour asked if we needed anything from the supermarket so we were able to top up with some fresh veg and a fresh chicken. I have been quite inventive in the kitchen and managed to get 7 meals out of the chicken, plus making fresh stock from the bones. I have been experimenting with different spices to ring the changes and give different tastes to the dishes.

We have been quite active in the garden, taking advantage of the very rainy weather we have been having, it has made weeding possible having loosened the soil from being like concrete.
I think we may be able to tame the jungle wilderness. Its raining again today so hopefully with better weather tomorrow we can do some more.
A couple of weeks ago I saw a 5 minute gardening video suggesting that you take the whole seed compartment of a pumpkin, loosen the seeds a little and plant it in its entirety in a pot. Well, give anything a try, this is the result, they need transplanting now.

Something has already had a nibble though

When its been pouring, I have taken the opportunity to just sit, recover a bit from the gardening and
make a jacket for Theo with little cat buttons. 

I also finished off a little vest top

It has a moss stitch at the top which gives it a different look

Well take care everyone, stay safe

Tuesday, March 24, 2020


We had a reasonable day weather wise last Thursday and with the two of us pulling weeds out for 2 hours we managed to fill a huge building sack up. Lots still to do though
Since then it´s been raining, heavy, drizzle, huge showers, but wet, wet wet, great for all the plants but not so good being holed up and the furries are using the house as a race track or finding themselves little hide aways to snooze.

I decided to make some soft toys for Theo
I don´t have many childrens fabrics in the stash, but I thought as long as they were bright, colourful and cheerful they would do the job

pentagon patchwork balls

A toweling softie with different textured ribbons, felt features and a little rattle inside

building blocks

It always amazes me just how much stuffing these little things take. I like to use just little pieces at a time as I find it prevents them being lumpy

Just have to continue making for now, saving them up ready to post.

We have just been locked down for a further 15 days, our kind neighbour ventured into town for provisions this morning and managed to get us some potatoes, broccoli, sprouts and spinach. But no cat food was to be had, luckily we had bought a huge bag of a cheaper version we don´t normally use
so they will have to put up with that for now.

take care

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Back home

Well that was a bit of a panic
With impending lock downs in Spain and conflicting information, I decided to cut short my visit and head for home.
I managed to book a flight for Saturday afternoon, although they wouldn´t allocate me a seat until check in
There were a few trains running direct to Gatwick, without changes, couldn´t deal with 2 changes.
Reading town was almost deserted and the train had few people traveling,  likewise the airport was very quiet. 
It was rather stressful not knowing if the flight would be able to take off and land, as earlier in the day flights from another airline had turned back half way across France.
Despite my late booking, I was allocated special assistance, such a brilliant service, and a window seat, the plane was only half full so obviously there wasn´t a problem.
On approach to Alicante I could see that there was hardly any traffic on the roads and again the airport was quiet.

The cloud formation was really interesting

But I was back and before the final lock down which is supposed to be tomorrow at 8am.

Such a wrench to leave so suddenly, but it seemed the best option. We had hardly left the house during my stay, only to go to a baby massage class which Rebecca had been going to and a supermarket trip, otherwise we relied on home delivery and the bonus of having Amazon prime.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time together and it was wonderful to help and look after Theo leaving Rebecca to catch up on some sleep and catch her breath.
We put some time saving ideas into practice, chatted and generally had girls time together.
Poor Theo had to have his first round of innoculations last Thursday and he has been under the weather since, although they were warned it could happen. 
Does make you feel a little helpless when he was being so upset, but we took it in turns to comfort him with lots of cuddles, nothing like it when they fall asleep in your arms.
In the last week he has began to really smile and interact as he begins to focus properly on his surroundings.
Such a joy to share those moments.

Everything here is shut and travel restricted to visits to pharmacy, post office, supermarkets (one person from a family only) work, hospitals or emergency visits only.
We don´t go out that often normally so it is really no different, apart from the need to go to the supermarket, and being quite isolated up here in the mountain it will only be the residents of the village that would have a need to come up here.
We have plenty to do around the place, especially the garden, luckily Chris managed to get veggie plants before the restrictions so they need to go in and of course we have our hobbies. The bonus we have is it is quiet warm and the sun is out.

Where ever you are, take care and be safe.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Over here

Well would you believe it, I
have been over here for over a week and it's all going at a fast rate of knots
Chris came over too but only for 6 days. Although he did manage to fit in 2 football matches with Reading playing at home.
We had arranged to meet MiL and SiL for Sunday lunch so they could meet Theo and we could have family photos, but it wasn't to be as Mum wasn't feeling well and not up to it. Such a shame.
I arrived to find a beautiful vase of daffodils in our room and Antoni bought me this pot of teeny tiny ones. So pretty. 
I'm doing this on my phone and that photo went in the wrong place, never mind!
I'm doing lots of Grandma duties, so Rebecca can catch up on some much needed sleep, and just have the pleasure of having an uninterrupted bath etc.
It's so lovely to share these precious moments, Theo has changed in the last few weeks already. He is quite strong in his neck muscles, holding his head up and he is a wiggle bott. 
Rebecca has joined in a couple of the local baby groups, including one for baby massage. I'm so pleased she took up my suggestion to get out of the house and meet other new mums, so good to talk and swap ideas and not feel isolated and realise they are saying and experiencing the same things you are.
I think I have managed about 3 rows of knitting so far and Rebecca had seen something she would like crochet for Theo, just need to find the time lol

Take care