Monday, 26 November 2007


I recently received two damaged bean bags from a fellow freecycler, Beth had been wanting a camouflage bean bag for a long time and as we are trying to save money I wanted to make it.

These bags hung around the house irritating Bruce for far too long until I decided that I had to bite the bullet and buy some material and get the job done. The cheapest fabric I could get was a double duvet set, which simplified the sewing somewhat as I just cut off a corner and pleated the top before sewing in the zip pocketfrom one of the original bags that stops all the beans from falling out when you open it. I then cut up the button fastening from the duvet and attached some of it to fasten the bean bag. It was quite simple and quickly if untidily done, it is good enough.

Good enough is all my sewing ever gets as I am fairly dyspraxic, but it is a useful skill if you are not perfectionist about it. Beth has inherited my dyspraxia and that is my excuse for the state of the living room as we worked

I used my lovely old Bernina and as I did I realised it must be nearly 30 years old, how did that happen. It is still a fantastic and reliable machine only having had to be repaired once in all that time .

The result was very satisfactorily received, Beth said 'We make a good team, I have the ideas and you do the work'. Duh.

And Beth is not the only one to appreciate it.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

To the park

Beth loves the park, still! I blame myself, by the time she came along I had put in 20 years of parenting. Don't get me wrong she was very much wanted but on the playground front I was burnt out, so she missed out a bit when she was younger.

But it's not too bad doing the park scene with a child this age, apart from a very short session of pushing a swing and the obligatory continual looking at the clever things she is doing (which never quite work when I am watching) I am more or less allowed to entertain myself.

Here I am well wrapped up and reading Eat That Frog a book that tells you how to stop procrastinating and achieve your goal. I can always hope!
I also get a little bit of exercise on our trusty tandem, which can't be bad.
And the views from Beth's favourite play park are stunning.
And on the way home we indulged in some leaf play for photographic purposes.

I can't remember what I bribed Beth with but I definately had to bribe her. She very scathingly accused me of treating her like a toddler although claiming that she would not have wanted to do this at any time in her life. I had fun though.
A much better examples of this can be seen here on

Friday, 16 November 2007

Asbestos in the floor

We have been having a lovely mild and prolonged autumn but we had the first severe frost of the season in Loughborough today so I was very glad that I didn't have to be anywhere early. I wasn't too happy though that it was because the older two were ill and still in bed so didn't need a lift to school.

My eldest daughter Jo and her husband Nick are in Australia on an extended honeymoon and the day they were due to go the ceiling of their kitchen collapsed under the weight of boiling hot water spurting from a joint in a pipe above. This meant they had to delay leaving and also that I have been popping in every now and then to let various tradesmen in to deal with the damage. Today it was the turn of the asbestos tile removers as tiles under tiles under the ruined laminate had been found to contain asbestos. They were quick and efficient but could not remove three of the tiles as the kitchen had not been removed as it should have been.

However, when they had gone I discovered that these tiles were underneath the washing machine and could easily have been removed if they had just moved that. Maybe they had their reasons for not doing so but I can't think what they could have been. They had come all the way from Essex to Nottingham for this job and were being put up in a hotel as they had another job the next day. They were rather bemused by this as they thought it likely that people from Nottingham were working in Essex as we spoke. So much for saving the planet. As they explained it was the disposal of the tiles that was problematic will they have to come again for three tiles? This is something I should probably try and find out. But as they found it very surprising that I could have a child old enough to own their own house they can of course do no wrong.

It was absolutely freezing in Jo's house and I was very glad to get into the car, turn the heating up full blast, and head for home. However the waning light on the way home forced me to stop and try and capture the beauty of the scenery. It is a lovely drive from Nottingham to Loughborough and I have often wished I had my camera with me when making the journey and luckily this time I did, and only two young children as passengers so I could do as I wished. Older kids and husbands are often not too keen to humor my wish to interrupt journeys to take pictures.

I absolutely love the way the light was hitting the trunks of this hedge.

We had a friend of Beth's with us and they had a sleepover that night. I had to take this picture as I was so amused by the way Beth's friend was managing to sleep soundly with her knees in the air while Beth hogged the bed.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Fun at Home

After the fiasco of Sunday I managed to buy some decent fireworks on Monday, I went for quality over quantity, a personal indulgence as I love the more spectacular fireworks.
The older two were happy as they had some control over events and took turns lighting the fireworks and running away before they took off. Having only attended large organised events before they were amusingly but reassuringly cautious about the whole affair.
Although I had intended that Beth and I should make toffee apples in the end Bruce went and got some from Tesco. If only all my plans (or even most of them) came to fruition the results would be amazing. There were no complaints however.

The display was satisfyingly dramatic and lasted longer than I had expected it would and being in my own garden made it easier for me to get decent pictures of the event.

The kids all enjoyed it and Beth said it was the best firework night ever. All in all a satisfactory outcome and one that may become a family tradition.

To add to the exitement a friend rang and asked if they could set off their firework cake (what!!) in our garden as it contained 48 fireworks and needed more space than they had.

It added a final flourish to the evening.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Nowhere to go but home

The incompetence of Leicestereshire County Council once again astounds me. Yesterday I spent some time looking for the start time of the firework display at Beacon Hill, an event held every year, so not a suprise to the people at the council. It seemed easy to find, first entry on my google search but on closer inspection this was a press release for 2004. Oh well go the the County Councils web sit and search, oh dear the info on their website is about 2004 too. Look a bit closer, find a small bit of text, time undecided please email or visit web site for more information. This is Saturday the 3rd and the event is on Sunday so I wonder when they are going to decide about the time? So I email, then for good luck I visit the web site, wait a minute that is where I have just come from, we could go round in circles here. So now it's Sunday, no reply to my email. Bruce is better than me at reading websites and links etc so he looks, its at 7 O'Clock. We are trying to save money so I make hot dogs for everyone packed in silver foil in an insulated bag and Bruce makes flasks of hot chocolate and coffee. I am very pleased with us, we are efficient and Beth is excited so off we go. Get to the site and the display has just finished. What a pity the person responsible for publicity for the event wasn't available to share my feelings with. I had set my camera to iso 1800 to photograph the fireworks to share here but I am afraid the crossroads on the way home will have to do.

And the reflection through the window as I went back on the computer to try and find out what had gone wrong. It seemed that Bruce had been deceived by the 2004 press release, but 10 minutes searching could not find the time of this years event, this new fangled internet and web site stuff, must be beyond them! Beth was of course very dissapointed but we will buy some fireworks tomorrow (hope we can get some), make our own toffee apples and have our own bonfire night. But doesn't it just make you want to spit or blow someone up.

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