Thursday, April 29, 2010

LEGOLAND gets political

LEGOLAND Windsor have got on the political bandwagon. This is 10 Downing Street in London miniland. Nick Clegg and David Cameron are carrying Gordon Brown out of No. 10 towards a 'Brown's Removals' van.
I wonder what the scene will be after Election day on 6th May?

the preparation phase

Before I take the world by storm (I'm feeling quite ambitious!) I'm doing lots of preparation. That preparation is currently taking the form of an overhaul of the spare room, because I can only work in there if I actually like being in there, and at present it looks like a junk room, cum spare room, cum office.
The start of the preparation is the filing cabinet - which frankly we have just been stuffing things in for the last 5 years. It was bulging and fit to burst, so for the last 2 days I've been sorting and shredding, and re-filing. It is truly tedious but so necessary. A clean start and a fresh palette is what I need. I think it's a mental clear out as well as a physical one. 
I now have enough shredded paper to sort out any hamster or gerbil for at least a year - shame I don't have one but I think I'll offer it up on freecycle and see if anyone wants it. It might be good for paper making too.
I have kept all the envelopes though - there are hundreds of them. I have plans for these involving stitchery

I've been making some use of the new wool I purchased on holiday last week. I'm actually making something for myself for a change - just a simple crochet scarf.
The good thing about this, is that I have forced myself to look in my crochet bible and find out how to do edging. I'm happy with it, despite it not being strictly scarf weather at the moment. I might not actually have enough of the wool to finish it off - so thankfully I found some more online here. What a fab wool shop.

I also wanted to show my lovely leaving gifts from my former work colleagues. I was asked (on the quiet) if there was anything I especially wanted, so told them I'd be happy with anything Cath Kidston (well you would, wouldn't you). I received a lovely new bag, a pretty stationery box, pencil case and note paper.

I also received 4 Martini glasses and a bottle of tequila - my cocktail reputation clearly precedes me.
My quite unexpected present was a magnolia, called Eric apparently, after the variety (although I can't remember his full Latin name). I'm going to re-pot Eric into a bigger pot so if I move he can come with me.

Such lovely thoughtful gifts.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

a highland holiday

By way of explanation of my absence here, I've been on holiday this past week, up in the Scottish highlands. The plan, before the volcanic ash is that we would fly from London to Inverness, and hire a car for the duration of the 2 hour trip to our destination. With flights, airport parking and car hire all cancelled at the last minute, we got in the car and drove for 12 hours to get there instead (a 12 hour drive!). We had a great week - the weather on the whole was good, one day we had thick heavy snow and bright sunshine within about an hour of each other! Despite the lovely sun, it was chilly up there, and we were thankful that we'd chosen to take plenty of warm clothes and waterproofs/wellies etc, and for the underfloor heating in the lodge we were staying at!

Somewhat naively, I wasn't prepared for the stark landscapes, main roads which were single track and like a roller coaster, towns which had one or two little houses and the odd shop, and  no mobile or internet connection. Oh and millions of sheep!

It truly seems like a different way of living, and is maybe what appeals to the many artists and crafts people who work up there. We were just a few miles away from the Isle of Skye, so spent quite a few days driving all around and exploring the little villages and hamlets, and sometimes the only thing at the end of road was a loch and a little artists studio/house/workshop, or a tea room which was the annex of someone's house, or a little shack/shed in their garden. We were visiting out of tourist season, so all of these places were quiet and it's difficult to believe that the artist can actually make enough money, but having spoken to one ceramicist, she told us that she spent the majority of the out of season months making, as she doesn't have the time for making during the busy summer season.

One of the little places I visited was a hand spinner of wool and silk. The lady who owns the shop dyes her own wool too. I felt it was only right to support a local crafts person, so spent a silly amount of money on wool. I now just need to think of something to do with it all.

 Our little cats missed us this week (and we missed them). When we got home last night, mellie came to meet us on the path and was literally yelling miaow's as us, and little stevie will just not leave me alone today - here she is just lying behind my laptop, sticking a paw out to touch my hand every few minutes

Also, it's official -  as of 16th April, I am unemployed. This feels weird, but exciting all at the same time.
My work colleagues got me some lovely and very thoughtful gifts and I had many emails from people wishing me luck and telling me they would miss me. I had a leaving speech from the Snr. Director of our department and I had prepared a few words to say also, but when the time came, I just had such a lump in my throat and couldn't say anything.
I'll pop back in a couple of days to show you my leaving gifts and tell you a bit more about my plans for the next few months.

The plan for today is to have a TV day - we're both totally shattered after the drive home yesterday. If you've emailed me ( I have loads in the space of a week with no internet!) I'll get back to you soon.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Lovely things

Do your feet need a treat? Mine did, so I purchased these for them:

from here. Go forth and treat your feet! I can't wait for mine to arrive.
I went for the cream and pinky coloured ones. I do like the yellow and grey, but I don't own much yellow so I didn't have much to co-ordinate them with.

You might also want to treat yourself to a little bit of Cath, with 15% off anything on Wednesday, if you buy online using this discount code: SPRM

Sunday, April 11, 2010

around these parts

This last week has just zoomed by so quickly - and when I think about where the time has gone, the majority of it has been spent at work. I have been putting in some long days these last few weeks, because despite the fact that I am leaving, I want to get a lot of things tied up before I go - and I don't want to leave and have people confused because they can't find things when I've gone. I've been busy filing and writing handover and process documents. 
I'll need to spend some time this week clearing my desk, packing the things I want to take with me and filing the rest under B, for bin! It will be strange to walk out of the door on Friday. I have no idea how I'll feel - probably a mixture of sad and happy.

Springing up around these parts, ever so quickly I might add, are some golden tomatoes (seeds from the ones I grew last year), courgettes and rocket:
 I have some sugar snap peas, cucumbers and spinach seeds still waiting to be planted - I've just run out of window sill space!

One of my favourite expressions at the moment, when talking to Mr Monda is 'when I haven't got a job, I'm going to ...' and this is usually followed by some ambitious plan to do something or other. I have so many thoughts and ideas about what I'm going to do 'when I haven't got a job'.
I'm itching to get stuck in the fabric I've been collecting (ok then, hoarding). I have a whole load of Mr Monda's old cotton shirts which will become a quilt, and so many bits a bobs of vintage and recycled fabrics and findings - like this little lot of recycled zips, napkins, pillowcases and old lace, just waiting to be turned into something lovely:

Sunday, April 04, 2010

spring is hopeful

If I was to say I had a favourite season, I would err towards autumn,  or even winter. I wonder what this says about me as a person? Anyway, I digress. I've realised just recently that there is much I like about spring also. Perhaps this has lots to do with the changes happening in my life at the moment too, but it all feels very hopeful, and I'm looking forward to my new beginnings and the changes that will inevitably result. More about that later - plans are afoot!

 a spring/easter palette found around these parts today:
roses still look beautiful and soft even when they are decaying 
mmm easter eggs