Wednesday, 30 December 2009

New Year, New Decade!

So, I hope Christmas was lovely for everyone? I was thoroughly spoilt, was given lots of lovely books (which I seem to have added to in the last few days, darn sales!) and Benn took me to see Breakfast at Tiffany's in London, starring the lovely Anna Friel. It was based on the book, which I love- although the film has its charms too. A lot of people were moaning, but I went and bought the novella to re-read.

This time around, the Christmas/New Year gap has not been as hideous as last year. This time last year I was low, very low. I wasn't happy, I felt numb and I couldn't do anything. I dreaded work and I lost interest in doing anything fun. What a difference a year makes! I've loved the time off and I've just been kind to myself, something I should have done this time last year.

I've finished all my school work and have been happily knitting an Ishbel shawl (the Travelling Woman did not work out. I guess these things sometimes happen), watching Dollhouse on DVD and reading about the 1930's War on Crime in the US. Totally fascinating and some ideas there for some writing next year, which is exciting.

So, next year. A decade is a long time and I think I've really grown up, especially in the last five years. I wonder what the next year has in store? I've decided not to make resolutions, as such, but goals that I aspire to. I won't beat myself up if I don't get there, but will at least try and work towards them.

So, in 2010, I'd like to:

- Complete at least ten knitted projects (one of which should be a hat, I lost my favourite one!)
- Work on my writing- both for publication and private work
- Grow some interesting vegetables
- Find something to smile about everyday (corny, but I want to keep the positivity going!)
- Be punctual in replying to emails/texts/letters

Have a lovely new year! x

Tuesday, 22 December 2009


I really don't like snow. Maybe it's being a northerner and seeing so much of the stuff growing up and knowing that snow is only pretty for about 12 hours before it decides to become a death trap, but I really can't bear it. (However, we did have a robin in the garden the last couple of days.. how Christmassy! It would have helped had Bronte not realised that to be an almost black cat on a white background is not the most successful-bird-catching-camouflage. Very funny though!) And we did get a snow day on Friday, which was nice.

I've spent the last few days mostly sleeping, which I take to mean that I actually needed it. I've also spent the time starting a Travelling Woman shawl in some Three Irish Girls yarn, which is lovely.

Oh, AND my Irish women article is out if you want to buy a copy. Mine is 'Irish Rebel Women' on the cover, yay!

Friday, 11 December 2009

Catching my breath...

So, the autumn term is nearly over and I can't say I'm not glad- it's always the longest (and hardest) of terms. The darkening days, the stress of Year 11 preparing for their mocks, kids getting hyper at the mere whiff of Christmas and the fact that the staffroom is bitterly cold don't help. Anyway. I've decided to have a marking blitz this weekend and so have a restful Christmas break. I've not managed to do as much knitting/reading/baking over the past few weeks as I would like, so I want a complete wind down.

I'm really looking forward to Christmas this year- last year I was a bit ill and down and this year I'm much more positive. The festivities kicked off on Tuesday, when I hosted a Christmas pub quiz, which despite the lame heckling attempts, went rather well. Then on Wednesday it was the SnB Christmas party. This year, for the first time, I organised it. It was great and I had a fantastic time. I also got some lovely sock yarn in the Secret Santa, hurrah!

Ophelia has settled in... she has a habit of following either myself or Bronte (although Bronts is not thrilled by this) I think she thinks we are rabbits. She is lovely and very easy to live with- not a chewed skirting board in sight!

So this next week, I intend to get all my admin done, sleep and look forward to the 18th when school finishes!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Meet Ophelia!

Originally uploaded by Brighton Belle
Long time no post, but just thought I should share a picture of my new rabbit :)

Monday, 19 October 2009

My cat is giving me evils...

...well, we did de-flea her about 20 minutes ago and she's refusing to have anything to do with either of us. Literally, we're getting the cold shoulder at the minute. If she will insist on going out though..

I think the meds have kicked into gear again; I'm more positive and less stressed- even getting up this morning in near-pitch-black-ness didn't get me down. I'm taking everything in my stride and, whilst I wish I didn't have to rely on the tablets, at least I'm a functioning human being. I've been getting a lift to and from work too, which is probably helping loads in that area.

Talking of functioning, I've been knitting up a storm; a surprise for a swap I'm participating in and Colonnade from Knitty. It's unusual for me to have two projects that I'm working on simultaneously. I'm pleased with the progress in both, but I have to stop the total perfectionism from ruining items that are, really, OK.

Bunny planning is going well, I've picked out a hutch, researched all the bits and pieces and getting everything ready. The only problem is, I lost my debit card last week, so I can't buy anything :( I'm an idiot, but at least it means I'll have to wait til payday on Friday!

Sunday, 11 October 2009


My article about Irish women's role in the independence struggle is going to be published! :D I can't believe that it's actually going to be printed, I spent so long writing it.

Also, in other news, I went to pick my rabbit yesterday! I picked the runt of the litter who is mostly brown with odd splodges of white. He/she arrives on November 14th. Benn is still being Mr Indifferent about it all, but those baby rabbits were SO CUTE, I think he will fall in love. Eventually.

Also, we went to a paella night last night and this morning I remembered why I don't drink. Let's just say that I've discovered how evil gin is and I don't want to revisit it any time soon.

Saturday, 3 October 2009


So today really feels like autumn has hit and I'm loving it. It's getting dark out, the wind is howling and I just cooked roast chicken and vegetables for the first time in months. Lovely. It also means I can now justifiably wear hats and scarves :)

In other news, I'm back on the meds :( I have been for about two weeks and things are much better. If I'm honest, I just wasn't coping very well with being back at school and it was the sensible option. I'm not thrilled, but I'll deal with it. The upshot of going back on them has been some *very* vivid dreams, which stay with me for whole days. I'm keeping track of them in my (sometime) journal.

I've also persuaded Benn to let me get a rabbit! I've wanted a house rabbit forever, so I'm planning on putting a deposit down on a chocolate otter mini lop. The vet said, rather ominously, that Bronts and the bunny will get on rather well as "The rabbit always wins..." The rabbit will live in the sheltered part of our garden, but will come into the house when I'm home. I can't wait. I'll post pics asap.

I need to catch up with emails and letter writing- the last two weeks have been...odd, to say the least, for obvious reasons.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

New (academic) Year Resolutions

So, school started today and I've decided to make some positive changes. September is a good time to change things and lay down the ground work for semi-hibernation. My plans are as follows:

1) I am going to grow my hair a little.
2) I will try (for the next week to start with at least!) to not buy anything that is not essential. I have had a bit of a splurge recently and I want to try to rein it in a bit. I hope that this way will mean stash yarn will be knitted and my ever growing book collection will be read.
3) I will be finishing things! February Lady Sweater, socks, Hypoteneuse, that article...
4) I will take care of myself. It's almost a year since my health went a bit skewiff. I don't want to go back to that. So I'll take time to do things, eat well and sleep. I've started using Lush hair and skin products to look after the outside as well as the inside :)

Monday, 31 August 2009

I really shouldn't...

...write when I'm tired. But I can't help it. I've been working on my Irish women article for an actual magazine for a while now. I've had some inspiration and have been pootling merrily along, trying not to completely plagerise the books I've been using and then it hits me.

This article is probably rubbish.

The little demon of doubt comes into my head and goes "but should you just focus on this area? Won't it be rubbish if you go on? How can you go on? Aren't you jumping from paragraph to paragraph? Call yourself an English teacher with THAT grammar? Oooh, do you think someone will sue you for this article? Are you ripping off someone else's ideas?" (Actually- the answer to the last two is no.)


And then, I'm not helping myself by realising that if you go on Ravelry and look up 'yarn', the first listings of a particular type are ones available for trade/sell. Let's just say I'm obviously helping an economy somewhere with that one.

I should go to bed. Even the cat is snoring.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Looking Ahead

So, I've entered the last full week of the summer holidays and, as much as I have enjoyed the break and fully relaxed, I'm feeling ready for the next few months. I think this is because I'm entering my third year of teaching. I'm also entering it with some ideas for where I plan to be this time next year.

I'm spending this week tying up a few loose ends, such as The Hardest Article That Was Ever Written, which I intend to finish by the time I go back next Thursday. The deadline is the third week of September, but I want to be done so that I can focus on school. Despite the fact that it's a subject I'm passionate about, it's really, really hard to write. Sigh.

I'm also planning on sewing this week- I've promised my aunt a cushion cover and Jan has helped me cut out the fabric for my first skirt, so please keep fingers and toes crossed!

I'm also feeling positive, as I love autumn. I'm looking forward to wooly tights, gloves, getting out my cookery books for comfort food, smoky air, fireworks and hot chocolate. I planted some late cropping peas, which should be ready late autumn and my baking mojo will come back.

It's a good feeling.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

What a week

This week has been a bit mad, so I'm going to break it down.

Good things:

- The family came down for five days and we had a jolly time. I also met my mum's dog, Sam, who is actually OK for a canine. However, am still fully a cat person if I may say so (which I can, because it's my blog...!)

- Em brought down the entire box set of Buffy. Result!

- I discovered that I am happy just knitting 'plain' socks, as I like the ways the colours work. What's the point in distracting myself further?

- I made a pair of respectable looking cushion covers- my one sewing lesson so far has paid dividends

- I have fully come off my meds and finished my CBT. Hurrah!

Bad bits:

- I fell in the middle of Brighton, whilst wearing a skirt. Thankfully, a gaggle of Spanish students came to my aid. I may have accidentally flashed my pants. Oops. I have been hobbling round in pain since Friday, but it's getting better. It's amazing how many muscles hurt.

- I am feeling that I am becoming increasingly anti-social. I'm not sure why, but I find it hard to be around people at the moment. I'm forcing myself into social situations, but I'm also fighting the instinct to curl up and hide.

- There's not long left of the holidays :(

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Excitement in an envelope

I love getting post. So much so, that I think I do a lot of my shopping online just to get some mail when I get home. Sad, I know.

However, on Saturday, I got a rather unusual piece of mail. When I was in Ireland, I searched in vain for information about my great grandfather and his activities. A lady at Cork City Gaol suggested that I write to the local paper with information. I did so and forgot all about it.

Until Saturday. When I got home from having my hair cut, I noticed an airmail letter with handwriting I didn't recognise. The handwriting was that of an older person. Then I saw that the stamp was Irish. Confused, I opened it.

The letter was from a man who lives in the same village as my family and with the same surname. He talks about my great-great grandfather smoking outside the dispensary on a summer's evening as an old man and about how my great-grandfather may have had six daughters (he did). He apologised for his vague memories and wrote his mobile number on the letter.

I wrote back, asking questions. I find the whole thing very, very exciting. I hope that he writes back, as I'd begun to despair over the lack of information I was finding. I'm reading lots and lots about the Irish fight for Independence, but I want to connect it to what I already know.

I hope he writes back...

Wednesday, 29 July 2009


So, school broke up last week and I have been mooching around. I've eaten a lot of fudge, discovered I really love playing a particular game on my DS and knit a pair of *really* offensively bright socks. I've walked to and from town everyday apart from today, I've read two books and I'm finally getting my bum into gear with regards to the research I intended to do over the summer. I also wrote a few letters, sent a couple of parcels and slept a lot.

The reason I'm sleeping a lot is that I am coming off some medication that I have been on for about nine months. I made a decision with my doctor that I wanted to see if I could cope without it. Upside- I seem to be getting my creativity back. Downside- the physical symptoms I had before have come back. So we'll see how it goes. I'm trying to stay positive, although that's quite easy when I spend a large proportion of my time asleep! It'll be interesting to see, once the first three weeks of the holidays have passed, how I feel. I'm teaching four days of a summer school next week and I have a sewing lesson on the Thursday (I will master my sewing machine!)

In other news, I got commissioned last week for an article in a magazine that I'll actually get paid for! It's based around my Irish research and I have about six weeks to write it. I'm quite pleased that I had the guts to finally email someone with an actual idea and that it paid off. Let's just hope someone somewhere likes what I'm doing and wants to keep paying me to do it! I have dreams of one day owning a house somewhere where I hide away for months at a time in order to write. Very Virginia Woolf/John Steinbeck... In these dreams though, being a hermit also appeals, so I'm not sure how feasible as a daydream they are..

Sunday, 12 July 2009


Well, not massively, as not a lot has happened (well, it sort of has as well, but not) I'm just in one of those moods where all my emails and letters are getting answered, I'm feeling really positive and things are getting done. I think I'm preparing for the 22nd when we break up, which is actually three teaching days after the rest of the country, which is quite irritating. Swine flu has also hit school, but as far as I know only one pupil has it. So, we'll see how many don't come in... there are always a few.

So, I've been knitting away at some bog-standard socks, a Hypoteneuse shawl and ignoring my February Lady Sweater and my blanket. The hot weather has been too hot for big projects. I must admit that I much prefer the stormy weather we've had of late. I love being inside when the thunder hits!

Massive news: I finished my CBT :D So I'm beginning to feel better again for the first time in months. Yay!

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Longest Day of the Year...

So, it's 9pm and I'm sat here with a cup of tea, a burning candle and Bat for Lashes on the stereo. It all feels very.... ethereal, I guess. I don't feel depressed when the longest day has been and gone; I quite like the nights slowly drawing in. I'm not genetically built for summer- pale skin, red hair and freckles equal sunburn paranoia. I love autumn. But I guess by November I'll be wishing for summer again. I'm never happy with what I have..!

Benn is due back from cricket soon and I'm glad. The intense pain I get in my side is back and I hate being on my own when it hits me :( Seriously, it's like being stabbed in the side and the pain is so intense, I go all hot and cold. It's worse when I'm teaching and it happens; it's hard to keep my face straight. Thankfully I'm going to the hospital to have it checked out on Wednesday. I'm a bit nervous, as I don't know what they'll do. *Sigh*. The pain has been with me on and off for nearly three years and it's only now it's being taken seriously. We'll see.

So, I spent the longest day of the year knitting and watching season 2 of Buffy. I like to say it's for the new unit I'm writing for Media Studies (a study of how the changing faces of Batman/the Joker or the presentation of Buffy show changing attitudes of society) but who am I kidding? I want to finish my socks and relive my teenage years.

Oh, and my sweet peas have flowered! I don't know if you remember the fiasco of last year, but today a bright red/pink flower bloomed and cheered me up no end. I need to get a little posy vase to put them in. I'll have a look when I venture on my hunt for tea caddies at the weekend (don't ask!)

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Well, I'm back!

I suppose I better un-neglect my blog! I don't know where the last two months have gone, life has been both hectic and dull... School has been very busy and I have been just using my downtime to knit, read and potter.

However, on the other hand, I have actually been on an aeroplane! We went to Ireland for five days back at the end of May. I discovered an *amazing* tea shop in Dublin: One criticism I would have of Dublin is that, despite its literary heritage, there is a distinct lack of good bookshops.

Whilst in Ireland, we visited my great grandad's home town, Cork, and I did some very interesting research about his life there. I found out about the Irish War of Independence and the Civil War and I'm chasing his involvement in the latter and WWI. It's absolutely addictive and brings out the history geek/journalist in me. It was even worth the 4 and a half hour coach trip from Dublin and back again. We visited two prisons and I now have a collection of books on the Irish fight for independence... I'm so rock n roll!

My knitting and reading have been steadily pottering along, I've been working on my blanket, I finished a pair of Hedera socks and now I'm knitting some hot pink ribbed numbers.

I also had a piece published by the Bookseller and it's looking like a website I've been working for might be going online soon, so my writing is coming on. Hopefully I will get more and be able to build my portfolio (and who knows, maybe become A Real-Life Writer!)

Right now though, I want to sit down with my knitting (after nudging Balders out of my place on the sofa..) with a cup of tea and the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I should be working on some Wuthering Heights stuff...

Thursday, 16 April 2009


I am an avid reader; I have probably read about twenty books this year and (much to Benn's chargrin) I keep adding to my collection. The oldest book I own is a 1902 Haworth edition of Mrs Gaskell's Life of Charlotte Bronte (which unfortunately was the only book to be damaged in the collapse of my bookshelf). My collection of Bronte books is getting to be quite considerable, actually. Oh well.

Reading is perhaps my first love. I've always enjoyed a book and it's the one thing that has always been constant for me. No matter where I am or what I'm doing or what's happening, I've always turned to a book.

This week I got two new ones, which have cheered me up no end:

The Virgin Gardener is a beautiful book and is great for a lazy gardener like me :) Lots of indoor projects and stuff suitable for flats etc. I got a good deal on this second hand from Amazon and it came on a day when I was feeling particularly low. It made me go out in the garden and get on with working. We've had fantastic weather this week.

I also got Cookie A's new book from an Amazon seller and when it arrived, it was signed! There are loads of excellent patterns in there, so I think I may be knitting socks for a good long while.

Right, I have to sort myself out; I have lots of marking to do!

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Je suis un blogger terrible


I have been a rubbish blogger and I haven't really had an excuse as to why, except that my life is not terribly interesting and neither am I :) (See my tweets for the evidence of that- and the stalking of Stephen Fry..)

So, in the last month, the following events have happened:

1) My birthday. Which was very good and involved a HUGE cake. I was very spoilt overall.

2) I finally finished a project! Woo! Think it's the first one of this year- my mum's shawl. Shall post pics soon. Have nearly finished my February Lady too. Woot!

3) Baldrick was left by my neighbour as he went on holiday. We vaguely knew that he was going away, but didn't know where or for how long, until last Wednesday I found a note and some cat food outside our door. The cat has now moved in (we don't have a key to upstairs and we didn't want to force him outside all the time), has been deflea'd and claimed a place on the sofa, much to Bronte's disgust. I have found out-finally- that the neighbour is coming back on the 24th. Whether Balders will go back upstairs on this date is debatable. Benn is still not happy about the additional cat, but yesterday I caught him stroking Baldrick on his lap. Benn then spent the rest of the evening apologising to Bronte. *Sigh*.

5) Work has been exhausting. As it usually is at this time of year.

6) I visited the Tower of London. Again, I will post photos soon.

7) I have read all four of the Twilight books. I look forward to normal service resuming in terms of my literary pursuits. And I may just send Stephenie Meyer a thesaurus, so that she can find another word for 'smug'. Seriously, I've never seen a word so overused in all my life. Has she not heard of 'self-satisfied'? 'Pleased with oneself'? (Goes to thesaurus..) 'Pompous'? Arrrrrrrrrgh.

Sunday, 8 March 2009


Today has been a weird day. I think that may be on account of me not quite being sure whether I took my medication (mum suggests I should buy a caddy with the days on it. I think I agree) or just because it's actually starting to feel like spring.

I woke up very early and did my usual thing of reading the papers online and then decided that 8am was *the* time to have a go at potting up my tomatoes in a second attempt, fix the greenhouse AND plant some herbs. Oh, and a bit of garden design. I think because the day was so beautiful to begin with, I was inspired to plan where I'll be planting sunflowers and poppies (I can't wait for the summer and the fruit of my labours).

I then marked a whole class worth of exam papers, which wasn't as hard as it sounds, as they were year 7. Although that doesn't stop me from doubting whether I marked them correctly.

We were invited to a first birthday party and service of thanksgiving. We turned up to the pub suitably underdressed for those who hadn't known everyone else had gone to church (we'd assumed that it was a family thing. Evidently not.) And watched toddlers beat each other up, play with a Tigger that for some reason did handstands and do that slidey thing across the floor on their knees that every small boy thinks is essential for a good family do. All of us childless misers were stood by the bar eating Pringles and watching events in bemusement.

After I got home from that, Benn chased Baldrick out, I baked some cookies for work and made a bolognaise. I'm looking forward to an evening of knitting and Flight of the Conchords.

I'm not quite sure how I feel about today...

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Ever feel that your life is one bad sitcom??

I'm having one of those weeks. Let's look at the evidence:

1) I fell over in front of a student I was telling off yesterday and nearly smashed my glasses (I mean I went RIGHT over. Thankfully the student was actually concerned)

2) I got home to find my new mini greenhouse had blown over taking out my entire crop of tomato seedlings. All 19 of them. I was able to save four sweet pea seedlings. I am gutted.

3) This morning, whilst faffing around with my headphones on the way to the station, I stepped ankle deep into a puddle. *Sigh*

4) I was given a technology cover.

5) I had a lunchtime meeting.

I am so over feeling cheerful about spring. I think I'm going to hibernate until July.

I have, however, discovered an amazing website for UK readers. I'm currently trying to get the second book in the Twilight series (I know, I know, don't hate me for it! I tried to resist, I really did) and I've got rid of quite a few of my own. Benn is not pleased, as it means that although I am getting rid of books, they are being replaced. He didn't see my helpful argument that at least I'm not *adding* to the total as a helpful argument at all.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Half term

Things have been massively busy in the last few weeks; quite a lot of work drama (thankfully nothing to do with me) meant that we all had to pitch in and I was exhausted by the end of it. I did get that promotion though! It sounds fun, but I will have so much to do between now and Easter (various reports, exam marking, sixth form coursework, parents' evenings... joy) but it'll be fine.

I started cognitive behavour therapy this week. This is all very well and good, but as soon as I'd made my second appointment, I started worrying that I would make it. *Sigh*. I have to keep a worry log, which has been quite revealing if I'm honest.

I finished reading 'Gone With The Wind' which, aside from the portrayal of the slaves, I loved. I watched the film on Saturday and now have an all-out obsession with Scarlett O'Hara. I want the dresses and I don't care if they're a) impractical, b) expensive or c) prevent me from actually getting into my flat. It's all irrelevant.

I went on a dyeing expedition yesterday (before what seemed to be my annual bout of dental work) and Emma and I had a go at various dye techniques at Jan's. Lots of fun and I actually produced a blue I liked. I'll post the pics when it arrives dried and ready! I'm not usually a fan of blue, but my ENTIRE FAMILY seems to want anything I make them to be blue. I may go back at Easter and dye up some yarn for my log cabin blanket. I want to knit it in violent shades of pink, turquoise and (possibly) a dark purple. It sounds hideous, but I don't care!

I also planted five varieties of tomato seed and two of sweet peas, which are now in the bedroom (to save them from the cats) in makeshift clingfilm green houses. Hopefully this year I'll actually get something to survive. I'll be planting poppies, herbs and sunflowers in a couple of weeks. It actually felt like spring today. Yay!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Let it snow..

Let's start with a gratuitous picture of Bronte and Baldrick before we start:

So, I've just had two snow days- a very rare occurrence in the south of England (not so rare when I was growing up 'oop north') and it's been a very welcome break. Admittedly, I haven't done that much, but I've enjoyed the time off.

Benn had never built a snowman until yesterday (he's 26!) which shows how unusual the amount was that we had. It was quite funny; all I could see of Bronte at one point were two ears and a tail! Can I just point out that I knit the scarf in the photo? I do occassionally finish things, y'know!

The irony is that on Sunday I went to an event which was aimed at getting people to grow their own plants. I'd got all excited about spring and then, overnight, we got a foot of snow. However, I have used the time wisely. I've perfected two cookie recipes (double choc and ginger), although I need to stop eating the fruits of my labours.. I've also knit quite a bit on my February Lady Sweater, which is fortunate, as I had to rip back the whole thing back. Fingers crossed, I'm back on track AND I have 1940's buttons :) I've also decided to knit a log cabin blanket as an on-going project. I can't decide on red or green as the main colour theme? Has anyone knit one of these before? Is it annoying or satisfying? I need something to knit whilst I'm watching Judge Judy (yes, I know, I can't help it!)

Benn is in Cambridge tonight for a course. I'm a bit worried, but I'm hoping the snow will hold off until the weekend. I quite like this nesting lark. I'm getting through Gone With The Wind like nobody's business. AND it'll be half term in a week and a half- bonus!

The really annoying thing about the snow? There's been no post for two days! Some of us are waiting for letters!

Monday, 19 January 2009

Blue Monday....

Today is supposed to have been the most depressing day of the year. Recently, I've been dealing with my own depression and I'm trying to work my way out of the whole depression/guilt/anxiety cycle which I've been in. I'm getting there, slowly, thanks to the regular doctor's appointments and support from friends and family. But, today I decided to focus on things that make me happy.

We renewed the lease on the flat for a year. I love this flat. I feel happy here, I'm settled and I can't wait to get home on an evening. I love coming home and knitting, or reading or whatever. I love sitting down for dinner with Benn and talking over the day, seeing Bronte (and Baldrick!) and just generally pottering.

I'm looking forward to spring and growing things. I like that the days are getting longer by 3.5 minutes every day.

I'm knitting a cardigan that I like, in a colour I like and that doesn't make me feel thick.

I have an interview on Wednesday for the promotion. Even if I don't get it, at least I'll have had a go and shown willing.

I discovered today that there are St Clare's and Malory Towers box sets. Even if Benn can't understand why I want to buy books I've already read when I have so many yet to read.

The flights to Ireland are booked :)

I'm baking like a mad thing. Work are paying me and saying that they like the stuff (snickerdoodles today). Even if they're lying, I'm happy!

I bought a bike yesterday. It has a basket on the front (although I don't think Bronte will appreciate me sticking her in it, cycling round singing 'The Hills Are Alive') I can't yet get my balance on it, but I will.

I am extremely lucky and I know that I am, especially in these times. I just wish I didn't have a chemical imbalance in my brain right now!

What makes you happy??

Monday, 12 January 2009

Totally disappointed

I need a whinge. Back in September, I put a commission on Etsy's Alchemy for a ring to be made. I found the perfect jeweller, she had excellent feedback and seemed to know exactly what I wanted. I paid $30 deposit, with the rest to be paid when the ring was complete- by Nov 30th, by which time she repeatedly promised to have the ring made.

Then things started to go wrong. She was hard to contact, she never seemed to be able to tell me where the ring was in terms of progress. Time passed. She said she had family problems, but was working to get back on her feet. I said OK, I'm patient, no worries. I tried not to get in touch with her too often; I didn't want to seem pushy. Then the bad feedback kept appearing. People couldn't get a response from her.

Then she kept dis- and reappearing on Etsy. I finally report her to the Etsy team. The last email I had was from her on Christmas Eve, telling me the ring was still being made and she would get back to me with a picture. I emailed her last Monday. Last Tuesday, I got a response from the Etsy team saying that she had refused to confirm whether my order would be processed. She's been kicked off Etsy and isn't answering emails.

*Sigh.* Because of my patience, I lost my money and even more disappointing is that I trusted someone I thought I could work with :( I still love Etsy and crafters though- I refuse to let one bad apple spoil the barrel for me!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

A post in which I realise how much I miss Woolworths

I spent an hour and a half looking for a bun tray yesterday (the kind to make fairy cakes with) and ended up paying quite a lot for one :s Woolies, come back! My department have paid me to make them a batch of buns, so I made some very nice looking lemon drizzle ones which were a recipe of my own invention. I'm very proud!

I'm having a nightmare devising my snood. I've found that a scarf/hat combo is not always practical on the train, so I've been trying to knit one. Well, I did, until I realised it looked like a garish, flamboyant would be armed robber's balaclava. No cast off worked. So I've resorted to crocheting it instead. My yarn also arrived for my February Lady cardigan. Very excited about having a go at a cardi... I've bought red Freedom Spirit, which is lovely and I think will knit up well.

An exciting development- it looks like we may be going to Ireland in May. I am very excited, my mum's side of the family are from Cork and we will be staying there for a couple of days as well as a couple in Dublin. I can't wait!

I'm also waiting to hear if I've got an interview for a temporary promotion at work. Please keep your fingers crossed; it sounds like an interesting proposition and would mean a bit of extra money for a few months.

Remember Baldrick? We have now acquired him on a part time basis (despite what Benn says). He comes in during the day and plays with Bronte- they are very cute together and when I told the neighbour he was coming in, he gave me food! Benn doesn't like him coming in, but I don't mind him being here. I have a feeling that cats do what they please, regardless of what we think they should do!