These days I spend a lot of my time needle felting.
I haven’t got a specialised work space. This is my computer desk and chair that doubles as a felting table. Sometimes I have wool lying around everywhere. This is a problem as our dogs LOVE wool. They love to rip it to pieces if they get the chance.
I’m supposed to put it up in the blue IKEA boxes at the top of the picture, but if I forget, and leave it out, THIS is what I come back to.
Guilty-looking dogs and woolmageddon!
So that’s our February half term over. It wasn’t the most exciting we’ve ever had but the weather wasn’t terrible. We even had some blue skies and sunshine.
And where there is sunshine, you’ll find children ( and swans) demanding ice cream…
These are our two rescue dogs. They are both from Ireland and were plucked from certain death in the dog pounds after their 7 days were up. They were bought to the UK by a small dog rescue based in Hertfordshire and that’s who we adopted them from. I would never buy a puppy or dog ever again as rescuing is the way to go.
They are now 3 and 4 years old, so are pretty well behaved, but the one thing that I can’t stop them doing is running off after squirrels/foxes/deer/ whatever. They never seem to catch anything, they just love to chase.
They always come back eventually, but sometimes I get very bored waiting for them to return.
This is them in the back of our car after they disappeared after something for 20 minutes on Tuesday. Happy, muddy and totally unrepentant.
DD3 turned 11 last week.
This giant Gummi Bear, weighing over two kilograms, was the only thing on her wish list we could afford. The girl has has very expensive technological tastes.
She’s eaten the feet and head already but the torso is residing in the only tupperware container in the house big enough for it. Every day she takes it out and has a chew on it.
Yes it’s disgusting, but it’s one of those presents that she’ll remember for the rest of her life. And so will we, for different reasons!
It’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime gift.
We are lucky enough to live near a so-called Lido. It’s basically a small valley that was dammed in the early 1800s as a reservoir for a nearby canal.
You aren’t supposed to swim because it’s polluted and there are no lifeguards, but it has an artificial beach, so of course people do.
In the winter it often has a bit of ice on it, but this year it almost froze entirely.
Last week there were foolhardy people out walking on it; some idiot was pushing their baby around in a pram. When I walked the dogs around it on Wednesday they were both very confused when we got to the usual dog beach.
You can see a small area that has been kept ice-free at the top of the photo below, so that the resident waterfowl have somewhere to swim and drink.
Now the temperature has risen and all the ice is melted, but it seems that 2017 will go down in recent history as ‘the year the Ruislip Lido froze over completely-almost’.
Who knows, maybe we will have another cold snap before the winter is over?
Ukuleles seem to be the next big thing in our household.
First our eldest got one for her 15th birthday, then DD2 got one for Christmas. And when DS turned 9, he used his birthday money to buy himself the one below. He was the only one who would let me get a photograph of him.
They are all learning chords and strumming/ singing away. Sometimes they even play together and learn from each other.
Ukuleles are a nice little instrument for kids. They are light, cheap ( although don’t get the cheapest as they go out of tune as soon as you look at them) and easy to learn. They don’t sound too horrendous when being practiced but shaping the chords does make fingers hurt a little after a while, so it’s usually self-limiting. Don’t bother with books, just go onto YouTube where anyone wanting to learn will find all they need to know.
Next week DD3 will be turning 11. (Yes, we know, our family planning regarding births around Christmas leaves a lot to be desired.) I bet you can’t guess what she’s getting…
This week we got some of our windows replaced.
Number one, don’t get this done in winter. Especially when snow is forecast. Luckily they don’t leave you with great holes in your house overnight.
Number two, bay windows are VERY expensive! Bear this in mind if you are buying a house with bays, and you think you might replace the windows at some point.
Never mind, it’s all done now but thank goodness we don’t have to do it too often.
DS turned 9 this week and so we had the annual hunt for a suitable birthday party.
Can I just say, I can’t believe my youngest is now 9? That means next year he’s 10- a tweenager!
It’s a PITA having a child born soon after Christmas. If you aren’t super organised, and I’m not, then trying to get together contact details for the children your child wants to invite to their party can be a nightmare.
And I’m always worn out after the festive season . The thought of organising anything vaguely celebratory once December the 25th has come and gone strikes horror deep into my soul. I needed a party idea where I had to do as little as possible,and after asking around someone suggested I look into hiring a Gamewagon.
A Gamewagon is basically a bus that is fitted out with video game consoles and screens, so your children get to play games of their choice with their friends for 90 minutes. Best of all they do this on the bus, OUT OF YOUR HOUSE, and under the watchful eye of a Game Experience Manager who makes sure no one gets left out or upset. It is an inspired concept.
We managed to scrape a list of avaliable friends together and thanks to the wonders of modern technology (aka WhatsApp), I was able to send out last minute electronic invites. And almost everyone came!
Here they are, lining up and ready to be entertained. I know the bus doesn’t actually look that big, but there was plenty of room for 13 8 and 9 year olds and two full grown men. The house was quiet for a full 90 minutes and they were not excessively hyped when they come in for lunch.
It was far and away the easiest birthday party I’ve ever organised, so I’d have to recommend it to the parents of any child who enjoys playing video games.
We’ve had some misty mornings here in the leafy surburbs of London lately.
I quite enjoy a misty morning, as long as it doesn’t drag into a misty afternoon.
My favourite thing about fog is how it shows off the spiderwebs on the hedges. This one was a veritable web gallery.
All the spiders are showing off their artwork; maybe it’s their version of Christmas lights?
Three weeks ago, one of our dogs had a pretty major operation to repair both his cruciate ligaments. These ligaments in his knees ( hind legs) had spontaneously ruptured, leaving him lame and in pain.
No one knows why this happens in some dogs but it’s thought to have a genetic component in dogs like Labradors. Our dog is part Labrador. Anyhow a big operation means big costs and when we were presented with a bill of over £5K, we were very pleased that we were insured with Petplan.
Costs aside, our dog is doing really well. He’s had to be confined to a crate for a time and he is only allowed short lead walks, but he’s reached the stage where I can walk him into the woods a short distance, so he can have a bit of a change of scenery. He’s walking well, weight bearing on both legs although still sits rather gingerly.
You can see he’d really like to be out there, running free and ‘following’ squirrels. I wish we could explain to him that one day he will be able to again.
But in the meantime he looks just a little silly with his shaved legs, epidural and pain patch sites. I’m hoping his fur will grow back about the same time he finally gets off lead, so the squirrels don’t risk falling out of their trees laughing at him.