Thursday, 21 December 2017

First Ted

I've been working on amigurumi again for the last few weeks, by making some teddies for my lovely colleague Adrienne! This evening, I have finished teddy #1, and he is so cute!

I have used a pattern by Elif T, which I downloaded from Ravelry. Isn't he gorgeous! It's a lovely, lovely pattern to work with, and really well written. The only thing I have changed are the facial features - I've decided to leave them out, because I couldn't get the mouth looking how I wanted it to. I think he's still super cute though, and I really hope Adrienne likes him!

I worked with Caron Simply Soft Tweed in Taupe for this teddy (and off white for the second one), and made his scarf out of some Sirdar Crofter in Seagrass, which I think brightened him up a little, without going mad. I've also stitched on a cute little fabric button as well, for a little detail. 

I was hoping to have his friend finished this evening, to give to her tomorrow, but unfortunately I have run out of time. At least she can have one before Christmas though, and I'll try and finish the other one before we go back to work on Wednesday. 

It's felt good to do some more amigurumi though! I've managed to make a real mixture of different projects this year, so it's good to finish on an ami, and such a cute one! 

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Glitter Everywhere!

...and I mean everywhere! I finished wrapping Christmas presents today (except for the last couple that are in the post) and it took ages to do the clean up. Glitter on the carpet, on the table, on the chair, all over was a big sparkly mess. It's a big weight off my mind to have (almost) everything wrapped now though. It feels like such a pressure every year, to have all of my gifts looking special and perfect. It isn't a case of just stopping and wrapping normally - I don't think I can do it. Anyway, I hope people appreciate the effort and enjoy their presents. I have suffered not only from the wrapping madness, but also from the glitter overdose, so you're welcome!

Finished putting our other decorations up today, and decided that we really don't have enough. It doesn't feel especially festive in here. Maybe next year I will get chance to crochet some bits for the house, if I get through my to-do list! Above is just a small selection from our Christmas tree though. I really like how it looks this year - baubles from a variety of places: top to bottom are Sainsburys, handmade by my Mum, and B&Q, and then middle and right are Haskins, and lace from Italy. The large pic is from John Lewis.

I've put my crochet wreath in the hall again, in the same place as last year, with the "snow" and lights to match. It looks pretty! I want to add more to that area though - maybe I'll find something in the sales. In the lounge I have moved our "Christmas" garland to underneath the tv, and put lights in the recess where our sound bar sits. It's hard to describe but I will try and take a proper pic this week so it makes more sense. It looks cute though! Gurpriya's fruit wreath is on the coffee table, with a candle in the middle, and next to my funky ceramic snowflake lamp. It all looks very pretty - just a bit sparse. More next year!

I forgot to say, we had our Christmas lunch at work on Friday, which we tied in with Secret Santa. I got some really cool gifts this year - a pencil case and a really cute pair of owl earrings! Everyone seemed to get really nice thoughtful gifts (bar a couple of joke presents) so that's a bonus too. We had a super yummy fish and chip lunch from the amazing Chez Fred's in Westbourne. If you are local and haven't had fish and chips from here, you are seriously missing out! So in all, it was a really great day! The only down side was having to open the doors at 2pm and go back to work for a few more hours haha!

How have you spent your weekends? Are you all set for Christmas? I'm quite looking forward to four days off, to be honest. It'll be nice to have a little break from things. Always great to spend quality time with family as well. We are planning a nice New Years Eve with my brother and his girlfriend as well, so that is something else to look forward to. For now though, time for bed and to get ready for the start of what I think is going to be a manic week!

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Christmas is Coming

Sorry I've been quiet - I have been a little bogged down with work, and getting ready for Christmas. I thought I'd pop by for a little festive update though!

I put our Christmas tree up at the weekend! Still working the white and turquoise to match our lounge, and I love how it looks this year. I bought a couple of new baubles from John Lewis and they look so pretty! It looks even nicer now that there are a few presents underneath it.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the Christmas Market in Winchester with friends. It was chilly but fantastic, and I will definitely go back in the future. It's such an amazing setting as well. I bought a couple of bits, and was given a beautiful fruit wreath by Gurpriya! It really put me in the festive mood.

I've been wrapping like a lunatic! This years paper and tags are courtesy of The White Company, and I have matched it with mix-and-match washi tape, gold bakers twine and little star charms. I'm finishing each present in a different way, so they look pretty cool! I love that I decided on washi tape to try and save myself some time when it comes to tying ribbons and bows, but it's still taking me just as long to wrap anything haha! I do think that I'll have to go for some colourful wrapping next year though - it's the second year in a row that I have opted for grey stars! It looks nice though.

Another recent festive moment - we had elf day at work to raise money for Alzheimer's Society. Quite a few of us dressed up (albeit just an elf t shirt and plaits for me, but others went all out!) and we had a real laugh whilst doing it. Tomorrow is Christmas Jumper Day to raise money for Save The Children, so that will be great fun too! It will also be fish and chips, and secret santa day. What an exciting couple of weeks!

Crochet is progressing well since finishing my blanket too - these are teddies for my colleague Adrienne. She asked for them a year ago, so it's not taken me too long to get to them on my queue! I'm loving how they look so far! It looks so funny having a pile of limbs on the table next to the sofa. I'm hoping to get them done before Christmas, but we shall see. I need to try and finish as much of my wrapping as possible this weekend, to give time to deliver them to friends! Another priority is posting Dave's Gran's presents to make sure they arrive in time for Christmas.

Anyway, time for work! I will try and put some teddy progress photos up when they are looking a bit prettier!

Sunday, 3 December 2017

My Summer Mosaic

I have just finished my Summer Mosaic blanket! Well, technically I made the last stitch last night, but this evening I crocheted in the ends and tidied it up - I am so happy with it!

Photo courtesy of my lovely husband! One positive about this blanket - if people ask how big it is, I can answer 5'6" haha! I'm so pleased with how it's worked out. The colours work nicely together and I think it'll compliment the bedroom really nicely...when I actually get round to sorting the bed out anyway.

What can I say about the pattern? I bloomin' loved it! There were a few tricky moments, and I did have to restart one of the octagon blocks from scratch, but otherwise I didn't find it too bad. The errors were mainly down to my lack of counting, than the pattern itself. So Julie Yeager, you get a big thumbs up from me!

I still have a reasonable amount of leftover yarn, so I am intending to make a matching mandala and then frame it somewhere in the bedroom. Just to tie everything in together. I think that would look nice. It's good to have a project where the yarn measurements come out so nicely as well - I hate getting near to the end of a ball and panicking that it won't last! Anyway, the mandala is something for the future. No rush, don't know exactly when, but I have requests from people that I have been putting off for ages, that I really have to crack on with now. They've all been super patient while I indulged in my blanket, so now I really need to make their bits. First on the hook (and already started) teddies!

Anyway, if anyone fancies trying out this amazing pattern you can find it here on Ravelry. It's only $7.99 (approx £6.13) which is an absolute bargain, for the amount of effort that has gone into writing it. I have really enjoyed making this one!

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Week 47

Loads of crochet progress!

19th - 26th November

From left to right: finished my square blocks, found my friend Kelly on Pocket Camp!, finally put my hen do into my photo album, hoisin meatballs and noodles, wine and a good book, my first triangle edge piece, nearly finished our wedding frame, Dave the festive grumpy elf, and Thai chicken burgers for dinner!

Week 46

New hair!

12th - 19th November

From left to right: Autumn leaves, our bathroom orchid is flowering again, bought some new baubles, dying my colleagues Movember hair moustache, toad in the hole, had my hair cut!, finally photographed Dave's blanket (2 years later), sunsets at work, and adulting by cleaning our drains haha!

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Square and Triangle

I have finished my two centre squares!

They're so cute! You can't really see in this picture, but there are three little popcorn stitch bobbles on each corner, which adds a bit of texture.

I've also finished my first edge triangle. These were a bit more fiddly - I found the main colour row after the light pink a bit of a struggle, but winged it and it looks right so I'm just gonna roll with it! I have decided to make the other 5 triangles in a batch, colour by colour, to try and save some time/sanity. They're currently complete up the to turquoise row, so they should come together quite quickly now - I'll see what I can manage this evening, after work.

It's starting to look like I may have this project done in the next couple of weeks though, which is exciting! Just means I need to crack on and get the bed painted and finished, so it's ready for it's lovely new blanket! My project after this are a set of teddies for a colleague. I already have the yarn, so I can start those straight away!

Monday, 20 November 2017


I've just finished my six octagons!

I'm really pleased with them! Im so thrilled with how the colours have turned out - my favourites are bottom middle and bottom right! I'm super excited to be able to start the squares now. Despite only having had to make six of these, they are large and quite labour intensive...not helped by my massive mistake whilst making the last one (if you follow my Facebook and Instagram pages you'll already know about my "octagons don't have nine sides" fiasco!).

Anyway, time for bed. I haven't been at all well over the last couple of days and work was a real struggle today. So I'm glad I've ended the day nicely. It's always satisfying to finish something (although I have technically only finished a's the largest stage though right?).

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Dave's Blanket

So, I recently realised that I finished Dave's giant blanket 2 years ago, but never actually got round to taking proper pictures of it. The size is an issue, so I just never bothered. At the moment, it is downstairs in the spare room though, so I took the opportunity to snap a few pictures this morning! Long awaited but here we go!

For those who are new to my little world, the pattern is the Sherbet Dip Blanket pattern by Nicki Trench, which featured in one of the early issues of Simply Crochet magazine. It was great fun to make - or would have been, if there weren't 361 squares! I really wanted to make something big enough for a double bed though, so it certainly manages that!

It took me 2 years to make, with a few breaks in between. By the end of it, I never wanted to make another square again haha! I do love it though, as does Dave. He chose the colours, and I positioned all of the squares so that no colour is repeated next to one of the same colour!

Anyway, it only took me 2 years to bring you this finished project update - sorry about that! I just thought you'd all like to see how it eventually turned out!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Week 45

Lots of food and crafting!

5th - 12th November

From left to right: a yummy cake from Steve, reading time, my lovely new drawer knobs, sending silly pictures to Ruben, palak paneer, yummy chicken for dinner, my second finished set of drawers, frozen food instructions for Dave, and crispy beef!

Week 44

Time for colder weather!

29th October - 5th November

From left to right: condensation on my windscreen, time for candles, purple car, our fish have found a spot to hibernate, spots!, scarf time, a massive full moon, herbs, and sunlight!

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Second Cabinet Finished!

It's taken me a few weeks, but I have finished my second bedside cabinet for the spare room. Hoorah! It looks awesome - especially with it's funky drawer pulls!

The distressing came out really nicely on this one. I only did one coat of white, which made the sanding process way quicker than the last one. I also think the overall finish is better. Still happy with my first attempt but this is definitely my favourite of the two. The drawer pulls were the absolute perfect colour as well!

I opted for a crackle glaze ceramic finish (it was one that Dave hated the least!!) and the colour is spot on. After looking all over the place, I finally bought mine from Knobbles and Bobbles on eBay - you can visit their shop here. They've got some lovely coat hooks that would match beautifully as well, which I may buy for the back of the door once I've finished work on the bed. We shall see!

A little before and after for you!

Whilst talking about the spare bedroom, I made a massive mistake on my blanket last night - actually a few days before, by the look of it! I somehow managed to make a 9 sided octagon, which I think is a really special skill. Not so much when it comes to crochet though. I obviously got complacent, wasn't counting properly, and bodged the entire block. So I frogged the last cream section last night, and have started the block again this evening. I will frog the rest of the previous one another night. It's so frustrating though, as it's actually my last block of the set! Onwards and upwards though, with lots of careful counting from now on!

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Week 43

I missed cooking!

22nd - 29th October

From left to right: finished my malaria tablets, walks to work, new earrings, poached eggs for breakfast, blanket block pile is growing!, came home to find Dave hanging fairy lights, my first apple strudel, eggs from Fiona's chickens, and a "lobster pie" for Emma (chicken and leek...haha!)

Week 42

More amazing sights in Kenya!

15th - 22nd October

From left to right: pied kingfisher on Lake Naivasha, boys fishing on the lake, travelling to Amboseli, amazing encounters with elephants, pelicans, back home to crochet again, snuggling under my shuka, roses from our wedding photographer, and my new coat from a trip to Glastonbury!

Week 41

Off we fly!

8th - 15th October

From left to right: amazing views from the plane, we've arrived in Nairobi, baby elephants at the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, views over the Rift Valley, lilac breasted roller, visiting the Masai, weaver bird building a nest, baby zebras are so cute, and massive views full of wildebeest!

Week 40

Getting ready for the holiday of a lifetime!

1st - 8th October

From left to right: yarn for my Summer Mosaic blanket arrived!, cinema with Gurpriya on a last minute day off, sanding detail on my bedside cabinet, Kenyan shillings arrived, finished my rooster, progress on my first blanket block, packing for Kenya, nachos for dinner, mocktails to go with them!

Monday, 30 October 2017


Ok, it has taken me a couple of weeks to finish sorting through all of my photos, but I finally finished this evening! I took about 1600 in total and have managed to cut that down as best I can - I find it so hard to let go of pictures though!

We spent our first day on a plane, so I'm counting the start of the holiday as the Tuesday! We went to the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in the morning, which was absolutely incredible. They basically have a couple of pools set up, and the babies come and have some milk and then play around in the mud and water, getting you covered in the process! Genuinely a once in a lifetime experience, and I feel so privileged to have been. We were even lucky enough to touch the elephants.

After our excursion we went back to our hotel and relaxed for the afternoon, before having dinner in the African BBQ restaurant. We got to try all different kinds of meats, including crocodile (which was so yummy!), ostrich and camel! Following dinner, we had an early night to prepare for travelling to the Masai Mara in the morning!

We set off for the Masai Mara first thing in the morning, via the Rift Valley. The journey lasted about 4.5hrs, the last 1.5hr of which was on an unfinished road. We arrived in time for lunch and took a few hours to freshen up, before heading out for an evening game drive (between about 16:00-18:30).

We saw some absolutely incredible things, initially getting stupidly excited by some wildebeest, but then going on the see elephants, zebra, ostriches, giraffes, and finally a cheetah eating it's fresh kill! It felt amazing to see something so unusual, though not for the faint hearted - lots of blood and guts! Both Dave and I were really surprised at how many amazing things we saw on our first game drive though. We literally expected to see a couple of zebra and that be it, so we were really excited for what the rest of the holiday had in store!

Our first full day in the Masai Mara. We went for two game drives today, starting early til lunch and then going out again in the evening for another couple of hours. Again, we felt so incredibly lucky. After finishing the previous night with the cheetah, were really weren't expecting our first sight of the day to be not just one but two cheetahs! We followed this with some awesome bird life, leopards (again, not just one but TWO), giraffes and later on some lions. The amount of wildlife and the diversity of it is incredible. With the leopards, we saw the first one whilst it was hunting wildebeest and thought that would be it, but after a close encounter with some elephants we saw the second leopard sleeping in a tree! Definitely a strike of luck! Dave made a good spot with a pool of hippos on the evening drive, and I managed to take a picture of two lions mating (again, apparently not usually seen that often).

After being blown away by all of the wildlife, we returned to the hotel for a really great dinner, and then dancing from some of the local Masai, which was really awesome to watch.

Another full day in the Masai Mara. We had some massive storms the night before, so our guide Frank suggested we drive over to the other side of the park to see if we could find any crocodiles - success! It was a long drive but we saw several crocodiles on the riverbank. We then made our way back to our side of the park and passed cheetah, lions, and lots of wildebeest (literally millions) and visited the local Masai village. It was approximately 3 miles away from our lodge, tucked away behind some trees - you'd have never known it was there, to be honest. We were shown around by a really lovely guy called John, who made us so welcome. Dave got to dance with the men, and they showed us how to make fire. We also got to look inside one of their houses, and met family members. It was a really amazing experience and I feel really privileged to have met them.

After a short break we went back out into the park again (staying a bit closer to home this time) and tried to find some rhino. We were unsuccessful but did spot loads of hippos, and some tiny baby gazelle, so all was not lost. We then returned to our hotel to pack and prepare for moving to our next location in the morning.

We left early for our journey to Lake Nakuru, stopping once on the way. It's approximately 6.5hrs, as you have to go back towards Nairobi before going along the lakes. After settling into our new lodge and freshening up, we went for an evening game drive in the national park - we saw rhinos! That completed our "big 5". Such a privilege to see. We were both a little gutted we couldn't get a little bit closer, but we saw them (bottom left). We also saw some of Lake Nakuru's famous flamingoes, a really interesting troop of baboons, and some different birds. Our guide, Frank, also got a picture of us infront of Makali waterfall.

We woke up to the most amazing sunrise this morning, but had to set off early to travel to Amboseli. Enroute we stopped for a boat ride across Lake Naivasha. I really don't like boats and was expecting to hate it, but it was so much fun! We saw loads of different birds! It felt refreshing to photograph something completely different as well. The pied kingfishers were absolutely adorable - I could've watched them all day!

After our boat ride, we made our way back to Nairobi and had some lunch, and then continued to Amboseli along the Mombassa road. We got held up by an accident on the way, but Frank decided to off-road past it haha! We arrived in Amboseli just before dinner, so that gave us opportunity to have a look around the lodge resort and then chill a little in the evening. We were both so tired after the long journey though, so it was an early night for us both!

Amboseli is so hot! Our game drive today went from about 7:30-2:00 and peaked at about 33 degrees. It was like an oven in the truck when we weren't moving. We did have an incredible experience with some elephants though, so it was totally worth it. We saw our first herd eating just inside the park entrance. There was an enormous bull elephant - I was really shocked at how big it was. Amazing how quiet these animals are though, when you look at the size of them. We then moved on and saw another herd making their way down towards the swamps. We sat for ages watching them all walk down, throwing dust at each other and playing. Then they went into the water to graze and cool down. We were so close. Definitely a highlight of the whole holiday!

After lunch we got an afternoon to chill out (which we really needed). We checked out the Masai ladies market in the resort and bought a few souvenirs. Their jewellery is so beautiful!

In the morning we managed to see Mount Kilimanjaro peeking out from the clouds before we left - I was so worried we wouldn't see it! We drove back to Nairobi, arriving at lunch time, and spent the afternoon in the tour operators lounge relaxing before our flight. Here we are with Frank and our truck!

The flight home was very long and very boring. It was overnight and I didn't sleep at I worked my way through 3 films and chatted with the flight attendants! We arrived back in London at approximately 6am and drove straight home, where I had a nap for a few hours and tried to work through our washing!

We had the most amazing time. Kenya is a beautiful country, full of beautiful people. Everyone was so kind and helpful, and it was incredible seeing a completely different culture. We couldn't have asked more from our guide Frank - he was super knowledgable and so lovely! The variety of animals was insane, as I'm so glad that we eventually saw some rhinos. We've both decided that we would love to go back one day! Hope you like all the pictures. I've done lots of crochet since getting home, so an update on that is on the cards for later in the week!

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Bedside Cabinet #1

Yesterday I finished my first bedside cabinet! After whitewashing the whole thing a few weekends back, I got the chance to sand it down, smooth it out and put a coat of finishing wax on over the top, and I am really pleased with the result!

The cabinet was originally a silk cream colour, which has actually shown through the sanding and adds a really warm touch. I painted over it completely with Rust Oleum Duck Egg, rough strokes of Dusky Pink and then the Chalk White (two coats) on top. Loving it!

Sanding took quite a while, and it's hard to know when to stop. I think I did just the right amount though - distressed without going mad. I tried to bring all of the colours through as well, and it looks as I intended. I just wanted a hint of the pink coming through! The cream was an added bonus.

This is my favourite bit of the whole cabinet. I love that I have sanded down to the wood, and have all of the colours showing. It took ages to perfect! I kept doing a little bit and then going back, but I'm glad I stopped when I did. I think it looks pretty!

By the end of my sanding session I had white hair and paint coming out of my nose - all good fun! The garage is covered in dust but I'll clean that up after I've attacked cabinet #2 and the bed frame! No point at the moment.

Just need to get some handles for the drawers to finish this set completely. The old handles are nice but won't fit in with the distressed style, so I want to get something different. No rush though!

Overall I'm pleased with my first attempt at upcycling! It looks how I intended it to, so that's always an added bonus. I think I'll only do one coat of white on the next cabinet - I sanded so much off of this one that it seems pointless to add a coat that I'm just going to take off when it's dry. Learning as I go!

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Week 39

Lots of cooking, this week!

24th September - 1st October

From left to right: cooking up some steak stroganoff, baking funfetti cake for our Macmillan morning at work, sunset at the end of a long day, South African chutney chicken, finally getting to paint one of the bedside cabinets, duck egg and dusky pink, really pink cake, cooked my first casserole, and yummy mozzarella chicken for dinner!

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Happy October!

Today has been a good start to a new month!

Here's an up-to-date status on my reading project! I have now reached 12/18 books for 2017, so am only 1 book behind schedule at the moment. With our 2 weeks honeymoon approaching, I am hoping to get in some serious reading time (when we aren't out and about, obviously). Just the chance to relax will be so welcome, to be honest. I am desperate for a proper break now! Anyway, book number 13 has been started - gone back to a favourite author of mine; Paul Finch. He released a new "Heck" book in April, which I haven't gotten around to reading yet, so have made a start on that. Fab so far! Taking my Kindle with me to Kenya, and there are about 50 books currently sat waiting on there, so I won't be short of reading material while we are away!

On a crochet front, I have ordered the yarn for my spare bedroom blanket! That will arrive this week! I am about to order the yarn for Nurse Adrienne's teddies (which I promised her ages ago), so I will have two projects on the go at once. Unusual for me, but I will find it hard to concentrate on the amigurumi at work - NHS staff rooms are not the place to try and count rounds haha! So my blanket will be the project I take into work, and the teddies will stay at home. I'm excited to get started on both of those though.

I finished Sam's rooster this evening! But I can't share any pictures with you yet. I want her to be the first to see him, so I will post him this week and write a little bit about him once he has met his new mummy! I'm super pleased with him though, he looks fab.

I started painting the bedroom furniture today! This is just a WIP shot, but those are two of the colours I have gone with. The duck egg blue is divine! Dusty pink, it's pretty and will look nice once sanded back I think. The first bedside table is drying at the moment and I will sand and wax it during the week, or next weekend. Hopefully it turns out well though! Dave isn't too keen on the idea of the upcycled look, so fingers crossed I can prove him wrong and create something really special (no pressure then!).

Back to work tomorrow, after what has been a pretty good weekend. Had my last flu clinic yesterday morning, then went into Poole with Dave for some lunch and last minute Kenya shopping. Got home and made a delicious beef and ale casserole - my first attempt at making something like this, and it went really well! Yay! Today was a mixture of swimming, painting and chilling...mostly painting. Watched a film this evening while I finished Sam's rooster and will be off to bed in a little while, methinks. Maybe a cup of tea first. Then in the morning I am going on an ECG training course, followed by work. Can't wait for our holiday now!

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Bedroom Decorating

Since the wedding, I have been feeling a little blue - just posting wedding blues, where I was planning constantly for 8 months and then suddenly it's over! Honeymoon in a couple of weeks, but that was all planned. So I have taken it upon myself to decorate our downstairs spare bedroom!

From Design Seeds

This is the kind of colour scheme I am going with. The walls are already a cream colour, so I'm not touching those (just touching up a few scuffs) but I want to accent the room with these nice floral tones. It will only need a few accessories to look really pretty!

Our lovely friends Rich and Sarah have gifted us their old bed and bedside cabinets, which I am going to upcycle! I've bought some chalk paint and am intending to distress them, with hints of pink and duck egg underneath white. I'm hoping it looks nice, and if it doesn't I figure I'll just paint over it again! The paint arrived yesterday, so I might get a chance to try it out on a cabinet this weekend...if not, next weekend when I don't have a flu clinic getting in the way.

I have decided I want to make a couple of special blankets to keep in there (I never make anything for me). I've had the Summer Mosaic Afghan (by Julie Yeager) on my Ravelry queue for ages, so have decided to make one of those to start with! I had loads of fun setting up a suitable colour palette the other night and have decided to go with this...

I'm going with Scheepjes Stone Washed XL, as recommended by the pattern. I've wanted to work with this yarn for ages, as I love the colours. I think it'll work really well in the room too! I can't wait to get started...just need to buy the yarn!

Week 38

Fun times with friends!

17th - 24th September

From left to right: new cactus socks, lovely blue lilies from Gurpriya, perks of the job - gp meeting leftovers!, espresso martini after a busy flu clinic, making sure Fiona is still alive on our new ecg monitor, wine rack for Roz, lots of pollen on my lilies, chicken with black beans, and the day the kettle wouldn't stop boiling...we had clouds in the kitchen!

Week 37

The start of flu season!

10th - 17th September

From left to right: herbs are growing!, first flu clinic, chilli chicken for dinner, paneer curry with Gurpriya, did my first ecg (on a piece of paper...he didn't make it...), shopping for Kenya, never had a cup of tea with it's own timer before, Wagamama's with Roxy, and a lovely message from one of our nicest doctors (don't worry, I'm not pregnant!)

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Week 36

Back to normality!

3rd - 10th September

From left to right: noodles for dinner, a chunk fell off one of our neighbours trees, kitty Shaz, drinks with the lovely pharmacy gang, bought myself some roses, go to work to scan...scanner breaks, marinated chicken before work, dinner instructions for Dave!, and our little herbs!

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Hekla's Children

This afternoon I finished my 11th book of the year - Hekla's Children. Just wanted to do a little write up, because it's completely different to anything I have read before, and I really enjoyed it!

Hekla's Children, in short, is about 4 children who go missing from a school trip, and only one of them returns (with no memory of where she's been). Years later, a body is found in the place the children went missing - fearing the worst, the police look into it, but it turns out to be a Bronze Age bog mummy. Upon archeologists removing the mummy, the child that came back at the time of the school trip comes back into the story, requesting they bury it again to stop evil forces from being let loose. As you can imagine...they don't...haha! 

I first heard about this book on a list that appeared on Facebook - something to the effect of "thrillers you won't be able to put down". I made a note of it at the time, whacked it on my Kindle a few weeks ago, and started it on our mini-moon! It definitely deserves a place on that list (whatever it was called!).

I absolutely loved the start of this - the bog mummy thing drew me in, as I've always found them particularly interesting, and I love that he had a bit of a back story as well. I honestly had no idea where it was going to go, and was surprised by the direction the story took! I don't want to give too much away for those who might read, so am being intentionally sketchy. 

The characters were well described (Scattie in particular is awesome) and easy to relate to, as were the settings. I really felt I could see the stream and wooden path that comes up on several occasions in the story, as well as the wooded camp. All of the "historical" parts (easiest way to describe them without spoilers) are excellent too - vivid and so descriptive, your imagination goes mad.

I did find myself getting a little lost and losing interest about 3/4 of the way through, but this soon picked up again. This may have been due to the end of a trip away (where I could read whenever I wanted) and going back to work, rather than a problem with the story though, so it doesn't really count. I did feel that the story ended rather abruptly though - I'd have liked a couple of chapters of build up and a bit more of a fight? But that's me. I loved it either way! 

Would definitely have a look at more of James Brogden's work, and thoroughly recommend this one to everyone. It's not horror, it's not fantasy, it's not's categorised like this on Amazon though. To be honest, fantasy is probably the closest you'll get, but not in a rainbows, unicorns and fairies kind of way. Some parts really are quite dark! 

Really though, give this one a go - it's fab!

Monday, 4 September 2017

Week 35


27th August - 3rd September

From left to right: little acorn, chilling in the sunshine, our little hideaway in Devon, herbs from Anna and James, hot air ballooning, go to the zoo - take photos of a sparrow, our weekend view, giraffe, and pretty wedding giftwrap