Saturday, 28 June 2014

A road trip...

I really should have been the founder of, it's how I do things. I prefer to call it spontaneous rather than disorganised. We can always be spontaneous with the caravan if we suddenly find that we have a cricket free weekend. I can pack and be in the car in less than half an hour. So our family holidays have been in the UK and usually based where the children have had their cricket festival weeks. This year, however, we found a little gap in the cricket calendar.

So our holiday this year will be a spontaneous road trip through France to Italy, through Tuscany and as far south as Rome, perhaps. We shall see how the time goes. We've got road maps for both countries as we will be taking my car (a jeep) and it doesn't have satnav (quiet whooping of joy, I hate them!). We've booked the ferry and we've booked our first night in France, after that we will be booking the day before using an iPad, based on where we think we might end up that night. There have been a few murmurs of surprise about this method but our Italian friends (two different families) assure us this is entirely possible.

I am doing a little research. After all, we all have different requests for this holiday. Jake wants to go to an Acqua Parco. Ella wants to visit markets. I would like to swim in the sea. M wants risotto. Easily pleased aren't we?

M will be doing the lion's share of the driving and following an incident when he declared that we were all selfish passengers for not offering to drive and he always had to do the driving (the kids are 13 and 16 and I offered to drive before we set off). He is banned from saying anything like that regardless of how much his back hurts or how tired he is. I have had to order a replacement driving licence which had been lost and it came in the post extremely quickly. I'd rather admire the scenery really but in case of hip and back emergencies I thought it wise to be the back up driver.

So, after several evenings of surfing the net about all things Italian (you should hear M with his Italian language app!) I decided to dig out some green, white and red wool and crochet a small backpack. I may have to line it for it to be any use, it's a wing it and see kind of project. Failing that it could just hold all the stuff we've had to buy just to drive in France and Italy; four hi vis vests, breathalyser, warning triangle and first aid kit. Just hope we don't have to use any of it!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014


It's ironic that I crave silence but I do. It's been weeks since I had a morning, let alone a day, of quiet. Just me, the dogs, a mug of Rooibos tea, a book, wool, a crochet hook.

I switched off this morning while J was at the Lincolnshire Show, E was with a friend sleeping in after a sleepover, M was in Birmingham. I don't need real sound. My brain fills in what might be audible, much like phantom pain or feeling in a missing limb I imagine. As soon as I step out into the deck my brain fills with imaginary bird sound, the sound of a tractor ploughing, the odd car perhaps, none of which I can actually hear. Most pleasant though is the absence of conversation. 24/7 it is a tiring activity, especially when it's mostly one way :-) ie. he talks but he doesn't listen, not often anyway.

I need quiet time to just think. The last few weeks or is it months? have been a complete blur of travel and cricket matches. I promise myself some thinking time when I go to bed but by then I'm too tired for coherent thought.

So this morning I had my think and in amongst the more serious thoughts was crochet. How can I cram it in when I'm enjoying my books so much? It seems to be all or nothing, all crochet or all reading. I dug out this little textured left over ball and a hook and started making up a simple motif. When I've arrived at a motif I like and can remember I'm going to use up all my DK leftovers. Nothing taxing, just something to ease me back into it.

Monday, 9 June 2014


As I write this blog post, with one hand, I have a shivering wreck of a dog on my lap. Why? There's an almighty downpour which is making a racket on the conservatory roof. Actually it's the mother of all downpours but really, he shouldn't be so nervous, it's rained on the roof before. He's got one paw either side of my lap and is clinging on for dear life. Have you ever heard of such a wimp? Yep, Riley.

There have been a few brief opportunities to pop into charity shops lately. A quick half an hour and I came home with a Mason & Cash mixing bowl (been wanting one of these for a while but they are usually a tenner, mine was £3.50). A pot for utensils, we can never have too many 'cause M likes to have all the tools of the trade! The cute little cheese board and good as new cheese knife cost just £2. I applied a bit of walnut oil to bring it back to life.

I've also got a pile of books (of course!) and some colourful shorts for E; how great are the crochet waistband and ties? I didn't do badly for half an hour and I had change from a tenner.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

It wasn't me!

Riley is a rubbish liar. When he's stolen something this is what he does. Tries to hide his face! Meanwhile, 'Angel-boy' sleeps peacefully and innocently. You've got to wonder who really is to blame?

I guess the ultimate clue is in who pukes first? Half a tube of IKEA chocolate disks says one of them will!

My money is on Riley. Harvey has never been a thief and Riley's first week with us involved me emptying his basket of various items, Nutella, a packet of bagels, squirty golden syrup, oats, rice cakes... none of which he chewed or ate. Strange dog.

It's raining cats and dogs here. Ha! Greedy cats and thieving dogs! No really, it's been several days of torrential rain with short breaks in between downpours. It's a miracle that we managed to play a County cricket match this week, though the pitch wasn't in good condition due to the rain.

Today I'm about to pack up yet another picnic for yet another cricket match. The weather forecast isn't too bad but I'm packing thick hoodies and rain coats just in case.

I've barely done any or blogged about crochet for what seems like a long time. The desire to crochet is creeping up on me again. The rain might be responsible for this! I'm looking for inspiration and I'm also mentally trotting up what needs to be finished first, preferably of the portable type so I can while away the hour and a half at the beginning of matches while the team do drills and warm up.