Friday, 29 January 2010

Spring Cleaning.....

I really want to spring clean my blog, but I am useless at coding bear with me whilst I have a go. I would like to put a photo on my banner that is landscape, and maybe customise the side bars etc. I will also update the sidebar info...

BUT I have a really busy week ahead.

I am off tomorrow HOORAY!! back in work on Sunday thru to Thursday. I am attending a course on Thursday on merchandising which is being held in a hotel in town, so the team and I are busy doing the store remerchandising before Thursday. I had it planned for after half term, but it was suggested that we get it done before the visitors descend - not cos it needs it, it is looking ok, but it would be good to get our 2010 mojo on before everyone troops through. A bit like polishing your brass letter box just before Christmas I guess, it doesn't really need it but it will make you feel so much happier if you do.

So Sunday I think I will be in work from 8am til 6pm, so a slightly shorter day than normal, which will be lovely, though Monday and Tuesday I will be in 7.30am til 10.30pm at the earliest!! The online grocery order is in progress so DH and DD get fed, always a good thing. I might get the chance to change things a little tomorrow, but I think the main will happen when I am off over half term between watching the Winter Olympics, of course.

Have a lovely weekend x

PS Off to order some wallpaper as DH has said he will do the bathroom for me over half term - more hoorays for a floraly kitsch bathroom - swoon.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Thank you so much Mummy Boo Bear...

You have made my day! What a fab ray of sunshine and happiness on a grey day. I am delighted.
Thank you x

I got my first award ever from Mummy Boo Bear

Doing very happy dance :-)

And this is after an hour of Just Dance on the Wii with DD - I whipped her butt!!

Sunday, 24 January 2010


At work this afternoon, I met a nice family from I wish we were off to Lisbon next week for a pastel de nata

Saturday, 23 January 2010

My Granny Squares...

I think I am doing them right. I am really pleased with them, I do need to start using some of the brighter colours too, but I think I have 100s more to do yet, so plenty of opportunity. Looking at how many I am doing a night I do need to start sewing as I go, otherwise I am going to have a job ahead of me that I won't fancy doing. I am very excited by this new found craft, and am already planning a ripple in cotton for the beach in summer - no pressure then!

And just a few photos of things that make me very happy:

The rain has finally stopped so the girls are happy, foraging amongst any shoots that are coming up for some tasty snack, ocassionally tapping on the dining room window to say a quick hello!

My beautiful bag that DH gave me for Christmas - I love it, red seems to be the colour of 2010.

Edvard Aardvark in Paris in the Sprintime - this is Edvard Jr, E Senior is sitting on a pile of Country Livings, bum-stamping them, he has obviously been talking to the cats!!

And my radio has been rescued from the patronising repair agent, and will be boxed up next week and sent to the very good people at Roberts to be repaired so I can catch back up with Eddie, Evan and John.

We are off out to friends tonight for good food, lovely company and probably a few hours on the Wii. DD is staying at home and watching a film with a friend.
Back to work tomorrow.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend x

Friday, 22 January 2010

A day in which I start looking for my mojo.....

it went a long time ago - not just my knitting mojo, but my whole life mojo. It has come back for short periods at various times, but overall it hs been very sadly lacking for at least 7 years. I have done various things to sort myself out, in fact you name it, I have probably tried it. It disappeared so slowly I didn't really notice it go, it seeped out of my life and it felt too late to try and get it back when I woke up one day and noticed it had gone.
This morning I decided to get it back, no more messing around. It struck me that it wasn't going to come back unless I go out there and grab it by the scruff of the neck. I guess it feels a bit like trying to stroke a timid animal - if I sit still and keep very very quiet, it will creep over out of curiosity, sniff around a bit but flee as soon as I even try and make eye contact. I have tried this technique with no success for too long a part of my life - I am now going to start being more proactive. So today I have done nothing other than what I wanted to do.

So by 9am I had made some cookies.

I feel this is verging on healthy as the mix contains oats AND raisins, and Amelie and Audrey eggs.

The finished article - yummy.

I have challenged myself to one recipe a week from this book:

Last week it was the chocolate cupcakes. Not sure about next week this space.

Anyway, a cookie has been eaten, a cup of tea has been drunk, granny squares have been played with and lots of blogs have been visited. I have enjoyed today. 

I also painted my nails - I have always wanted to paint my finger nails red, but have always waited for them to be long enough!! WTF - if I wait for that I will never have red nails - how ridiculous. I also think I can't have red nails for work - I am not at work today or tomorrow, so why not!! They have given me so much pleasure already, love 'em!

I also did 40 mins on the Wii on Just Dance. Again, if I wait to be a size 12 again, it will never happen if I just wait for it to appear.

I am starting to find my mojo.


Thursday, 21 January 2010


I have been feeling very much like this

I think it is because it is winter. The exciting snow has gone, and we are left with grey nothingness - bleh! Getting up in the dark, going home in the dark. There are some good things going on: the birds are starting to sing so Spring must be on the way, but goodness it is slow. I just need to step off the wheel. I am off work for a week in the middle of February, but I need to do something positive, to have something to look forward to - so I have booked our Summer holiday.
Can't wait - now I just want it to be August.

Other news: well got to be another shout out for Stash Fine Yarns and their fabulous customer service. They replaced my broken crochet hook, and the on-going results will be posted tomorrow when I have recharged the battery for the camera.

And the radio manufacturers have come up trumps. If I send them my "little pink radio", they will repair it for a price including parts, labour, VAT and return postage all for £50.55 - isn't that fab! I am delighted, and look forward to getting it back and saving my sanity in the kitchen.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Some good news...

I emailed the company I bought my crochet hook from to tell them of it's sad demise and they have very kindly put another one in the post for me. Let's hear it for Stash Yarns. Lovely people!! Fantastic customer service!! Will I use them again? Of course I will!

Pity they can't help with my radio - which has been condemned today. Apparently it isn't worth repairing!! No, of course it isn't, that is why DH paid £100 for it expecting a life times service from it, not 4 years and a sucking in through the teeth. The "repair" agent who called me asked if it was my "little pink radio", that it wasn't the adaptor or the adaptor socket (I could have told him that!!), and so it must be the "mother board" which is very expensive to repair so not worth it. I pointed out that I expected more from something with such a good name and that was expensive, that I actually expected life from it, especially when it never left the kitchen window. He said (and I can't believe this) that "it is an electrical item and that I shouldn't expect any more from it nowadays than the 4 or so years I got".
I have contacted the manufacturers.

Also first thing this morning DD's key broke off in the lock - I dashed back from work and I tried to get it out but couldn't so had to call a locksmith, who got the piece out in less than a minute and charged me the callout/first half hours fee of £58.75 - yes, I did ask if he couldn't have made it look more difficult to fix than it was and make it last 29 mins...he looked really sheepish, and I know its his job, but it did hurt to pay it...BUT he did sort it out, in the first time slot and I didn't have to buy a new lock so really it wasn't too bad.....

Today I just felt like going back to bed and pulling the covers up and that was before I got the calls from DD and the radio agent....

So I booked a holiday - a week in Cornwall is now written in big letters on the calender - I am so excited and can't wait to go....but will have to contain myself for at least 6 months!!!!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Very sad news......

My new crochet hook has broken.
It is/was a symphonie - I bought it because I like my DPNs so much!

This one felt a bit "lumpy" just under the hook, not smooth. But I figured it was ok, and it seemed to be, until just I am hookless, and there is nowhere in town I can get one from! Unless I order one from t'internet I can't get one until Saturday at the earliest!!
I am not happy - I was so enjoying doing this........and I still can't find the hook!

I have emailed the people I got it from, I am hoping they can help.
Night x

Is it really 17th of January already??

And so much has happened already. We had snow. If it snows here, it is really snowy everywhere else...we NEVER get snow here. So when it started snowing the other week, we pulled on our wellies, wrapped up well and went out for a wonderful walk. It was absolutely beautiful.

This is the house across the road from us.

DD is very excited about the weather!!

These just prove that you shouldn't breathe out through your mouth when taking a piccie of snow!

And despite all of this cold, cold weather, the girls continued to lay. I was putting hot wheat bags into the Eglu at night, to try and stop them from freezing to death, and most nights I lay in bed worrying about them. DH wouldn't let me bring them in! It is a good job I am not a farmer - we wouldn't be able to move around the house as we would be up to our knees in sheep as soon as the weatherman said it was going to be below zero.

Bless 'em!

Today the weather is positively Spring-like. It is warm and sunny, and showing huge amounts of potential for the year ahead.

So nice, in fact, that these 2 were just about happy to share a window cill. They both enjoy sitting watching the world go by, though I think the birds in the trees have something to do with it too.
Another sign that Spring is on it's way - lovely narcissi from showing their pretty faces already. And hyacinths given to me for Christmas by my friend Linda. And my latest acquisition from Ebay - the Eiffel Tower, Springtime in Paris!!

My name is Maryannlucy, and I am a Yarn Addict!!

But LOOK!!! I can crochet!! It is so addictive too. I am not sure I am doing it quite right, but it looks alright to me. I love the colours, and once again have to link you to my source of inspiration Attic24. Please go and have a look at her work, it is so colourful and happy, you can't help but be inspired.

Finally...baking was done yesterday...but a lot have gone already!!

MMmmmmmmm, yummy!

going, going....


Have a good week x

Friday, 15 January 2010

I have...

....crocheted my first square, and it doesn't look too bad even if I do say so myself...........bloody hell, I think this huge yarn purchase is not in vein/vain (never sure which vein, hey ho!)

Piccies tomorrow - can't wait to blog 'em...

Lucy/Attic24 - thank you so much for the inspiration x

Thursday, 14 January 2010

It's here, it's here!!

Doing very happy dance!! Yay!!

What time am I picking everyone up at the airport??? The beds are made! Be good to see you too Lulu, you know you love this town!

I have a sheep's worth of beautiful yarn AND THE HOOK!!!

So I am off now to "have a go"....see you all soon.

In the meantime I have a spare copy of this month's Country Living, if anyone would like it, please email me to let me know. Claimed already - sorry people, but if I get any others, I'll let you know.

Night night x

ETA: ok - after 4 hours I have managed the centre circle of the granny square - I have done "tr" and "bobbles" as well as chains and joining a chain to form a ring - goodness this all sounded like a foreign language earlier. Actually it still does, but what I have done looks right although a little chewed from being crocheted, frogged, crocheted, ripped, crocheted, pulled - BUT I HAVE DONE IT!! I can't wait to get home from work tomorrow - I have got the weekend off!!

Also, even if it is a little wrong, if I continue to work this way, it will look right but with my own little twist.

Oh and good news, I have found someone to fix my radio.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

The challenge is on...

Bezzie, how quickly can you and the boys get over here?? conversational crochet sounds like a fantastic idea. I can do hot chocolate, snowmen and a trip to Shakespeare's Birthplace, as well as a visit to the Butterfly Farm and Fish n Chips...see you Saturday????? Wouldn't that be great?? I promise to stand in the Arrivals area at the airport sporting curlers and gum so you'd recognise me ;-)

The wool has arrived, but only as far as the front door before being carted back to the postal depot because there was no-one in to sign for it :-( so it is being redelivered to work tomorrow. I know I will not be able to resist an open and fondle before bringing it home - my resolve will weaken as soon as I have the box in my hands - I am so excited!! So excited in fact that I have forgotten to describe the snow!! One week on and it is still here, being topped up - it is like living in a real snowy place. It is so unlike this area to have snow, let alone constant snow - if we have snow here, it is really bad everywhere else. One of the joys of living in the Midlands, that and the fact that we live the furthest from the sea - oh well.

Still no photos to post as it is constantly dark at the mo, so any photos just look crappy. I have asked DD if I can borrow her Canon thingy 1000 at the weekend, and she said yes, so I will be able to emerge from the darkness and take some photos.

In the meantime I will post a photo of my radio which appears to be dying - photo borrowed I'm afraid. It makes a really bad electrical crackling noise after being on for a few minutes. Hopefully I can get it repaired. I am really missing the 6.30pm Comedy slot, the Archers and most of all Eddie Mair, Evan Davies, John Humphries et feels as though something is missing from my life. Over Christmas I had the Christmas crooners playlist on the Ipod to keep me going, but even I can't listen to Bing and the Andrews Sisters sing The Twelve Days of Christmas so late into January (though I have tried)...I will keep you posted. If it has died, then it will be replaced as soon as poss, and in this colour as I painted the kitchen to match it.

Other things that DD and I did today (apart from get excited about snow and yarn - more me than her admittedly), was to pop to Poundland where we purchased this little beauty.

Only, ours is more classy as it has 2 elephants under the palm tree, and a flock of velocoraptors (sp?) in the sky, and all this for just £1!! DH has a "thing" about the loo seat, we are not allowed to sit on it (closed, obviously), or stand on it (helps with removal of cobwebs from the ceiling), so we thought we would treat him. We figured if it went on the outside of the lid it would be upside down, so we stuck it to the underneath of the lid, closed the top and waited til he came home. Well the shout was hysterical - DD and I laughed so much. He thought it was stuck permanently to the seat, but even I am not that silly, what would happen if it had a strong adhesive? A little joke could cost me the price of a new loo seat, and the agonising from DH - really not worth it. god old Blu-Tack....ha ha! But it does mean that some people make money from these things, and other people must buy them seriosuly.....whilst browing t'internet, I found a site that will make personalised ones from your own photos and the example they give is of a wedding. Shocked??? Just slightly! Worth a quick google, look under "personalised toilet seats", please just take a look. Could certainly give you some ideas for next Christmas gift giving.

Talking of gift giving, we also spotted these at Poundland, something for Bezzie's Booby Bar - a pair of nipple tassles for £1, or as DH said, "not bad, 50p each!".

I will leave you with that thought. Night night x

Tuesday, 12 January 2010


There are so many things I would like to try/tackle/achieve/enjoy in 2010....I am going to start listing now, and probably add to it as the year goes on. I will have the chance to review as I go along and add things that have been lurking in my subconscious but don't immediately come to mind:
- I would like to wrestle some of my garden back from the girls. As much as I love them, the garden does look as though a plague of locusts have been through. It is currently still covered in a blanket of snow and ice, so doesn't look as bad as it actually is. I am sure Amelie, Audrey and I can reach a agreement that will suit everyone.
- Lose some weight - I know this is January and is a cry that goes up from most people after the indulgences of Christmas and New Year. My plan is to be sensible about it (and realistic), eat a little less and move around a little more.
- Learn to crochet - this is a must! I have been inspired by this wonderful blog, Attic 24 and her beautiful creations. Please go and have a look at her blog, you probably already know it, I can't believe it is such a recent discovery for me - so inspired that I am expecting a delivery of yarn any day now complete with a crochet hook. Having talked it over with DH there were 2 ways I could go after being hit by "I really must create something as beautiful as that!!!". I could either order 1 ball of wool and a hook, and try and learn OR order all the wool I need and then learn. DH reckons this will be enough of an incentive to learn - how could I possibly not learn with that amount of yarn sitting in my living room. So watch this space for photos any day now.
- Redecorate the bathroom - I have found some lovely Cath Kidstonesque floral wall paper. The bathroom is tiny, so DH...the challenge is on!! He has 2 weeks off in February, so this one could be ticked off pretty quickly.
- Get something done with my hair. It is kind of curly, but mainly frizzy, hangs below my shoulders with no fringe (it is too frizzy for that kind of thing), and I generally always wear it scraped back in a tie, severely scraped back off my face. I love the curliness of it esp when I have taken the time to dry it properly, but I keep catching my mother in reflections and plans are afoot. I like straightening it but this means a bit of high maintenance (well, in my life that is high maintenance!!), it would mean getting up at 6am every morning and it is all I can do to fall out of bed to fall into the shower at an appointment has been made for a discussion with Marianne, and perhaps we can find a suitable cut that will suit straightening it fairly quickly in the mornings, so perhaps I can get up at 6.30am (it is a doable compromise), and that will look ok if not straightened. I guess I am looking for a hair style that I feel suits me.......can't go on with this scraped back "do" for much longer though.
- Slowly bring DH round to the idea of redecorating the living room. Decorating isn't something that happens much in this house. As we both work full time, and don't get the same days off finding time for this kind of thing is difficult. I know the arguments that if we really wanted to, we would find the time - we just aren't way round that really........give it a go!! Had I started doing yoga 6 years ago when I first thought about it I would be pretty proficient by now...pity I didn't start ;-)
- Get off t'internet!!!! How will I get anything done if I sit blogbrowsing all night - you all write such lovely blogs, take beautiful photos and inspire me, but I need to shorten my browsing time. This crochet thing has got to happen!!!!

Well, DH has gone to pick up DD from a night out, and I guess it is time for bed. Now we have this new toy in the house - wireless broadband - I guess I can just pick this up again tomorrow....

If anyone knows any tips for learning to crochet, I would really appreciate them - the pressure is on, but in a good way :)

Night night x

Monday, 4 January 2010