Tuesday, October 29, 2013

More please

I know, you want more pictures of London.  Well here are a small selection of the shots daughter no1 took which are much better than mine.

And these from the Harry Potter studios were taken for me, because they are knitting

the needles move by themselves - if only!

Monday, October 28, 2013

We have pictures

Yeh, husband has returned.  Now the whole house has jetlag instead of just me and the kids.  Return of husband means return of the camera - although I was a little peturbed to discover it was in the pocket of his golf bag rather than in his  luggage!  I should just be happy he didn't misplace it. I had a phone call at 1am as he was boarding his flight asking for reading glasses on his return as he lost two pairs last week.  This is why we now buy the over the counter readers for $50 instead of prescription at $400!

A selection of photos. The cupbaord under the stairs at the Universal Harry Potter Studios

 The Great Hall and headless costumes. The level of detail on the props is amazing, hogs heads on top of the water jugs and so on.

Diagon Alley

The wand room,

And then Ravenscourt Park.  I used to take Daughter  no1 here all the time when she was little, before the move to Singapore.  Here is daughter no2 looking the happiest she did on the whole trip

Swings always mean smiles

The Glove Theatre, please say this in a suitably theatrical voice - thank you.  It's made of 800 oak trees from the Queens estates

And how much fun we had with stick on mustaches at Pizza Express on the South Bank.  The smallest, cheapest things are always the most fun

Just a small glimpse.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Re-entry to life

I know I have not been here for a little while but I am back.  My exam is done with and I will not think about it until the results come in.  At this point I just want to pass so I can move on.

Excitingly (is that even a word?) I have been to London. Yes, all the way to London to be a tourist in my own country.  The last time I was there I had a broken hand and had a rather grim pin and a nasty compression glove to contend with, this time I only had an overly ambitious husband and two children.

How much can you cram into 9 days you ask?  Here is the quick list:

  • Tour of London on an open top bus (red of course)
  • Chinatown - including aromatic crispy duck (not available here in Singapore really, they have Peking which is just so fatty!)
  • Covent Garden
  • Soho
  • A Tour of the Houses of Parliment
  • Westminster Abbey
  • Big Ben
  • Downing Street
  • Les Miserable
  • Chiswick
  • The Science Musuem
  • Warner Bros Harry Potter Studios (awesome)
  • Chiswick
  • Ravenscort Park (the kids just love the swings)
  • Matilda the musical
  • Churchills War Rooms
  • Chiswick
  • The South Bank
  • Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
  • Borough Market
  • Liberty (the mothership - I used to spend so much time there)
  • Hamleys
  • The Natural History Museum
  • Patisserie Valerie (yum - but I still prefer Betty's)
  • Liberty (who can make just one trip?)
  • Hamleys (Hell on a Saturday)
  • John Lewis
This does not include everything but this seems enough. DH has the camera (he is in Scotland golfing) so I can post some pictures when he returns.

There was knitting though:
On the plane

The progress
And then this pair

I think I prefer them to be slouchy like this:

And then a little progress on this

It's the palessie-shawl in some Twisted Fibre Arts Warlock colourway.  The rows are already very long.

Right, the kids are due home any minute. TTFN

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pink sparkly rainbows

When stressed eat chocolate ( and also wasabi peanuts but not at the same time) and cast on.

It helps if it's a pink sparkly rainbow.  I love this yarn, it is from the amazing FabFunkyFibres on etsy.  I have a few skeins of her yarn including the infamous 15 colour rainbow.

And I got mail from HD Yarns again on Etsy and then a surprise parcel from the lovely Louise at CaithnessCraftCollective - you really should listen to her, very funny and crafty.

Tomorrow the exams will be over until next year.  And on Thursday.....watch out London, here we come!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Just when you need a curve ball

So, assignment was done, I started my revision.  I always pour over past papers and work out was is likely to come up.  I think I can get it down to 3 topics.  I start revising the first topic and then.... daughter no.2 isn't well, she is "hurty" and needs to go to the 24 hour walk in clinic.  So at 11pm off we go.  DH has just arrived back from a trip to Australia and New Zealand so he is frankly useless.  She has a urinary infection and needs antibiotics.  That means the dance competition she's supposed to be at the next day from 12 - 8pm needs notifying first thing on Saturday.

Oh well, at least that means I don't have to be in 3 places at the same time and we don't have to sit through 2 hours of dance competition on a Saturday night.  Saturday a.m. DH goes to see his doc and they decide he needs a small, delicate operation before Christmas.  But we are all OK about that. Saturday evening daughter no. 1 suddenly takes herself off to bed because she's not feeling well.  So this morning at 7am she staggers in, burning up, sore throat, sore neck.  Of I go to the 24 hour walk in clinic at the hospital again.  She has mycoplasma, also called walking pneumonia, and needs antibiotics for weeks and no school for a week.  She is really unwell and I have spent a large part of the day rinsing her down with cool water, when not looking after daughter no.2 and taking DH to the airport for a trip to Korea.

My revision is now a little behind.  I still have 2 topics to revise and then need to look at all three again before my exam on WEDNESDAY MORNING!  Oh, and we are going to London on Thursday morning for a week,so I have packing to do, for 4 people (DH is really crap at packing!) and we don't really have cold weather clothes as we live in Singapore.

Time to cast on a new project I suspect.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Chocolate was required!

Yes, the assignment is done. Woohoo. It took staying up until 4am and a packet of chocolate eclairs, Cadbury of course.  I need to find a way to write assignments without the drama and the late night. Now, I have to start the revision.

I'm going to have a break though and finish DH socks.

Actually, I'm almost at the last toe, so close to being finished.  I love the feel of the Lorna's Laces Soulemate but the colour is .......boring to knit with.  I have another ball but I think I'm going to have to put a neon strip in the rib or something to make them more interesting. I need colourful knitting, the penny dropped this week.

LAst week I made the mitts for Emily and they made me happy.

So this week I will continue to work on mum's cardigan but I need to cast something colourful on.  I'm thinking I'll use my Twisted Fiber Arts Tasty in Warlock.  I was thinking a Citron but it wasn't doing it for me.  So I think I'll go with  the palessie shawl which I think will be lovely. Airy, light with a colour change.  Yum.

Now, I better get out of my pj's.  Maybe I should reward myself with a little cast on action.


Monday, September 30, 2013

Too embarrassed to blog!

Well ok, my assignment still isn't done. nut boy I have been very competent in the kitchen.  I know, it's displacement activity, the panic has not set in yet, and baking is fun and makes me feel like a competent mum - so there!

Friday, chocolate crinkle cookies, one of the kids favourites.

Saturday it was madelines but I don't have a picture of them. Today, my first attempt at chocolate macaroons.  I have a lovely pictue of them but the pc is being funky.  Not sure they would pass muster on the Great British Bake Off but the kids loved them with peanut butter, nutella and at one point both.

I need to focus on this thought

and might stay up all night to get something achieved. There is lots of knitting going on too - but I'm not sharing that until my assignment is done.  In fact NO MORE KNITTING UNTIL THE ASSIGNMENT IS DONE - well maybe a little bit jut to keep me calm, but no more than 10 minutes.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Start as you mean to go on!

Yesterday was.....a little unproductive ahhum, to put it mildly.  Post migraine hangover and academic work are not good partners.  But not today.  Today I will be very productive.  I was showered and dressed before I put the kids on the school bus and my list is already made:

  • this weeks menu and shopping list (including all the ingredients for the Christmas cake)
  • weekly shop
  • meet a friend for a quick chat
  • assignment
  • assignment
  • assignment
  • my day 4 getsomeheadspace.com meditation
  • assignment
  • knitting only on mum's cardigan (the never ending project of light fingering cables)
  • kiss the kids and chat when they come in
  • assignment
  • wrap birthday present for bestie
I am trying to convince myself that yesterday I was marinating my assignment and tryong to fully recover - worst migraine in a long time.  Still couldn't really eat either so good, small heathly meals today.

Ok - a picture of mums cardigan, the back to the armholes is done and I have started the left front

Not loving my knitting at the moment, then I realised that I have a grey sock, a dark blue nuvem and mum's cardigan.  I think I may need to cast on something colourful........after my assignment!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

One person's pleasure is another persons pain

Singapore is a buzz this week with the F1. It's great for Singapore as a whole, but as someone who lives here, and close to the track, it's a pain in the patoupie.  Forget going into town if you need anything, the roads are closed. Even worse, those who work in the Central Business District (CBD) can't get road transport to work.  This has forced by DH to use the MRT (underground).  The first day he got off at the wrong stop on the way home and after walking for 30 minutes called me to come pick him up - he was sweaty (it is Singapore), grumpy and he'd broken the strap on his briefcase.  Two days later and he knows the way but the grumps continue.

The first year the F1 was here everybody got tickets but as the years have gone by the enthusiasm has waned, now the people I know only go when they have to - when they have to go and do their corporate duty and smuuze - it's a hard life!

I work in the opposite direction to the F1 so it really hasn't interrupted me so much, but work, assignments and an impending exam have got the better of me and on Friday at 3pm the worst I've had for a long time descended.  I still had course participants for another 2 hours, I think adrenaline kept me going, but when I called mum on the way home she had to keep me busy so I didn't vomit.  As soon as I walked through the door I could hold it no longer and gave in.  I've slept through I good chunk of the weekend and still feel grotty, like a hangover but without the fun the night before.  Knitting, no not much.

This week is going to be a productive one though.  My migraine will have left, no work for the next 4 weeks whilst I finish my assignments, sit my exam and then as a reward....... I get to go to London for 10 days.  So first the pain and then the pleasure.

Right now, off to bed. x

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Messy can be good!

I am an organised person.  I write a menu for the week and my shopping list from that.  I know what activities the kids have on a daily basis and which days homework needs doing.  I don't like mess, I just don't.

So when the kids want to bake on their own I agree, reluctantly and I try to smile through the mess and the inadequate washing up.  But today, today I decided instead of staying away from the kitchen I'd join in, if they'd let me (both fiercely independent).  Thankfully they said yes.  SO I am celebrating the mess and the end result.

 The biscuits aren't perfect, but they melt in the mouth and I have a cherished moment with the monsters.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Time wasting

It's been a funny week so far.  I haven't been at work this week and I had put aside the whole week to work on my assessed assignment.  It hasn't worked out the way I thought.  I find I have to have a few days fannying about, messing around, and procrastinating before I can sit down and even do the reading.  So baking, knitting, spinning, becoming obsessed with the book I'm reading (NO - not my textbook). It feels like I need the adrenaline rush of a tight deadline. This is NOT always positive, last week I had an assignment due (as I did the week before too) and was convinced it had to be in on Friday.  So I kind of worked and procrastinated until Thursday when I suddenly was mega motivated - I worked and worked til late in the night and posted it first thing Friday morning.  Imagine the scenario, I waited for the electronic confirmation that it had sent when I got the message saying:

"your assignment has been submitted after the deadline, your tutor does not have to mark it"

To say I was upset was an understatement (think hissy fit, tears and 'woe is me' wailing).  It was my fault, it should have been in the day before but I had so much going on. I emailed my tutor (Joe has agreed to mark it - he's a realist, he understands that real life, kids, work and study is full on and sometimes life gets in the way) and waited.  Then I decided this was useless - would I still be able to pass even if this essay was a 0?  The answer was YES.  So I calmed down, disappointed but pragmatic.  My tutor is going to mark it, but it was a life lesson, try to reframe and look at reality.  So yes, I am suddenly up for this assignment.  I have set my own cut off date (it's not due until 7th October but I also have an exam on the 9th October).  Next Tuesday.  It has to be done by then.  I have no doubt I will spend the weekend and, Monday and Tuesday in a blind panic!

The 3 good things:
  • I have set my own deadline and am attempting to get ahead
  • I have exercised every day for the last 10 days
  • I am going to LONDON on th 10th October - wheeeeeeee
Where I need to do better:

  • I ate chocolate yesterday and one of the cupcakes I made the kids.  Still, it was only one and they did look like this

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Been a while

It has certainly been a while since I posted here and yet there is so much to say.  I'm starting small. 10 minutes everyday, some crafting, then 3 things I'm pleased about and where I feel competent, 1 thing to think about or I wish was different.

I knitted on mums cardigan. I may have wanted to knit her something DK or thicker but she wanted light fingering, long and cabled.  I am working on it every day and actually I like it a lot.  Let's hope it will fit. And I finished my stripey socks - love, love, love stripey socks.  You have to feel happy aout stripey socks.

Three Good things

1. I shared with a friend today.  It was hard and I cried but it helped. It's positive to let it out rather than holding it in and being very self controlled. I find this hard to do.

2. I really enjoyed my spiced hot chocolate.  It was an indulgence, rich, deep and probably (definitely) fattening but it was worth it.

3. I made an effort with what I wore today, not in a fancy pants way, but in a "yes, I too can look co-ordinated and together even if it's jeans, expensove shoes and a fun handbag. Win!

Something I would change

1. I wish the friend I cried on wasn't leaving at Christmas.  Someone I can really talk to and she can talk to me.  Very sad.

That's it - 10 minutes