Thursday, 21 August 2008

Results Day

A couple of months ago I was writing on here about my GCSE pupils and their exams. I was worried because I wasn't sure if I'd put them in for the right exams or not and I spent sleepless nights thinking about all of this.

Last night was also sleepless. I felt nervous in the way I did all those years ago receiving my own GCSE results. When I went into work I felt physically sick, but the deputy head was there and gave me the good news that the pupils had done (largely) well. I had put them in for the right exam. A couple didn't reach their targets, but you win some, you lose some.

I'm off on holiday this weekend and I really do need a break before the busy term begins again. I've been working quite a lot during the last couple of weeks but I have managed to tick everything off my list so I feel I can go away and relax. Ezzie and I desperately need a break and we are looking forward to spending some time together.

During the last week I have been on a big decluttering mission. So many books have gone. I'm naturally inclined to hoarde things, but it has been so liberating to get rid of things which I really do not use or need anymore. I found it difficult initially, especially all the university books, but I don't write essays anymore and they need to find new homes. It's helped me think things through and Iput great music on in the background to motivate me. It has been so satisfying.

See you in September.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Where to begin?

For the last week or so I've wanted to blog most days, but then something has prevented me so I do feel quite out of it with regards blogging. I am feeling exhausted at the moment and emotionally quite fragile. Be warned!

Firstly I need to thank two knitting friends. Thank you to Mara for the lovely book which she bought Granby. I have read it to him and he loves it. I love it as well. It's as if it were autobiographical because that cat of mine does love to hide in boxes too.

Secondly, thank you to Caroline who has helped me get my spinning mojo back. Last week I went to her house and we spent the day spinning. It was great and we used the drum carder to put different yarns together. The drum carder was fun! I love the colours here and I am producing a nice sock yarn from it.

I also had the great pleasure of meeting the adorable Pebble and I even got to take him for a walk.

Since last Wednesday's spinning it's been noticeably more hectic. On Thursday Ezzie's mum went into hospital so we ended up looking after her dog, Pippa. Pippa and Granby spent all the time eye-balling one another and playing psychological games. Granby is an incredibly affectionate cat, but he is also insanely jealous. If Ezzie and I are being affectionate he has to interfere. When Pippa's here, he's even worse and he colonises all of the house. Poor Pippa was evicted from her bed and kept having her food stolen.

On Saturday we went to visit my family and came back with Shona and Sienna. This was the first time Sienna had stayed with us and I was a bit worried about whether she'd be ok because she is only three, but she had a great time and was crying when I took her home on Tuesday. On Saturday night she didn't hardly sleep. It wasn't because she wanted her mum but because she was excited; it was like Christmas Eve for her. The next two nights she slept brilliantly. We made marmalade, baked cakes, walked greyhounds, went to the park, went around the charity shops, went to the library.

As nice as it was to have the girls, it probably wasn't the best time to have them because of the dog and Ezzie's mum being in hospital, but on the way to picking up the girls Ezzie received some very shocking and upsetting news. It would be completely inappropriate to go into it here, but it has been deeply distressing and it was tough having the girls here in the midst of all that. The intention had been for them to stay longer but in the end it was best for them to be back home.

Then Ezzie's grandad has not been well for some time. We went to visit him on Tuesday and we thought we'd see how he gets on.

Yesterday Ezzie took Pippa back to his mum's as she was now out of hospital. I decided I needed to go to work and do some bits. On the way home I saw a little terrier dog running across the dual carriageway rather aimlessly. It had no collar and looked doomed to get knocked down. I pulled over, managed to coax it into my car and decided I'd take it to the RSPCA. At this exact moment Ezzie phoned me and asked me to take Grandad to A & E because he really wasn't well. So, I went across town with the dog in my car. I needed a lead but had nothing so nipped into a pet shop. I had no money, just my card and the lady wouldn't help me at all. I explained that I needed to get to Grandad's and that I would give her the money the next day, but all she did was give me a lecture on how I shouldn't have picked up the dog because it would have found its own way home. I offered to give her my watch, my phone, possessions, but she wouldn't have it. I was quite angry about that.

Anyway, I went to Grandad's and kept the dog in the car. His neighbour was outside and helped me out with a collar and lead so I tied it up outside. Once at Grandad's he refused to let me take him to hospital so we had to wait until Ezzie turned up sometime later. He had to finish work and then sort out football because Wednesday is football night in our house and Ezzie sorts the money, bibs, ball so he had to go to one of the guys house to pass on everything. They went to the hospital and I went with the dog to the RSPCA. This is a photo of the dog. Not a great one, admittedly, but it was all rather chaotic. They reassured me it would not be put down and that as it was so cute and affectionate it would most likely be claimed or easily find a new home.

It was a really difficult situation yesterday and I do feel that certain nearest and dearest do not realise how busy we are and that everything cannot always fall to us. There are other people around. That's all I'm saying there.

I then joined them at the hospital and after lots of tests and stuff they gave Grandad some medication and we took him home. We were there hours and home just before twelve. At least I am not working at the moment and can recover but poor Ezzie is at work again early today.

I'm sorry that this is a miserable and moaning post, but I feel so drained. On a positive note I have finished Grandad's next socks. This is from the Regia Nation series and I still love this yarn. Jill told me that it has been discontinued so I bought some last week to make myself some socks in this. I think she is going to order more whilst she still can and I've asked her to squirrel some away for me. This is surely the best sock yarn ever. Why would you discontinue it? If it's not broke, don't fix it.

My highlight amongst all this chaos has been getting on national radio this week. Did you hear me?

Monday, 4 August 2008


It's now week three of the holidays and I just cannot believe how fast the time is flying. I've not done anything amazing, but I do seem to have been busy and up to all sorts of things.

Since the car passed its MOT I have been interested in buying myself a ring. My friend Catherine is getting married at the end of the month and I have bought a lovely green dress and shoes. I would like to have an emerald ring to match. I don't own any rings but I do have a lot of costume jewellery which I enjoy wearing. I was thinking that at my age I should have some nice rings so I have been visiting lots of jewellers. Lucy Littleblue has been helping me to choose and I think I have made up my mind now. I could pay for it on interest free credit over twelve months, but I could also pay for it in one go, but if I do that I think I'm going to ask for a reduction. They can always say no.

I've been to the allotment a couple of times and it was nice to show the place off to Lucy. The vegetables are doing really well at the moment and it's been nice to cook with so much of our own produce. This evening, for example, I cooked with four of our own vegetables and the taste was brilliant. I'm now waiting for the tomatoes to start being abundant because I'm going to make chutney. More Christmas presents, I'm afraid.

Ezzie and I sold tip sheets at the greyhound track the other night to earn money for the retired dogs and we had a really great evening. We picked up a couple of dogs from the kennels and they were fantastic. Even Ezzie completely fell for them. They are a brother and a sister, faun coloured and just so friendly. When we'd finished we took them for a walk around Hillsborough Park and pretended they were ours. We were sad to give them back at the end of the night, though it was nice to see Granby when we got back home.

I have been knitting, but I don't feel I have much to show for it, and some of these are from ages ago. I made a couple of leaving presents for colleagues at school. The first is some Regia stripy yarn and was made deliberately in Sheffield Wednesday colours. Ezzie was most put out that they were not made for him, but I'm sure I'll make him for his birthday later this year.

These leaving present socks were made from Knot Another Knitter sock yarn in High Voltage, and I really enjoyed knitting with this yarn. The colours are great!

I have made my sister her first pair of knitted socks. They are Monkey socks in a yarn by Natural Dye Studio. I forget the rest of the information. She assures me she will look after them. I'm quite surprised by her because she is not into traditional and crafty stuff at all, but she has hassled me sufficiently to prove she really wants some. I only hope the other two do not start nagging as well. You may have noticed I have only one sock photographed here. I left the other one at my mum's the last time I saw her, but there is a pair and it is a completed project.

On the forum there is a selfish knit along at the moment. I've not started anything new. Instead I'm going to finish the Rowan Twisted Jumper and have it ready to wear in September. Kidsilk Haze can be a tedious job to knit with, but I think I am making some (albeit slow) progress. The throw has been put on hold for a bit.