Category Archives: Daughters

Happy Anniversary To Me . . . and Postal Votes!

I had a notice from WordPress today and, apparently, it’s been 4 years today, since I started Blogging on here.

It actually amazes me that I’m still doing it 4 years on, especially when I think of all the times when I just wasn’t well enough to come on here and whitter away, as is my habit!

The irony that today is the anniversary hit me when I saw it as, apart from checking my emails, I’ve been avoiding any kind of media today that I can, as I can’t bear the suspense with all the general election furore going on. Not because I don’t care, but because I care too much, and the results mean far too much to me, and many thousands of other disabled people.

Talking of which, I spoke to my daughter on the phone earlier on. She lives in Bristol, and we live in west Wales, and so we spend a lot of time either on the phone, or chatting through Facebook, especially when she works abroad.

Anyway, she was telling me of the hoopla she had to go through today, in order to vote – and that she was very nearly tempted not to do so, but for her strong sense of fair play, and even stronger stubborness of character – which she insists she inherited from me – as if!

My daughter works all over the place as a fire performer, and she also helps to manage and direct other stage performances, with other performers, too, and so she travels a huge amount, all over the UK, and the EU, with the occasional trip to the USA and, as she wasn’t sure where she’d be at the time of voting, she had applied for a postal vote. She was accepted for this, but her voting pack hadn’t turned up by the time she had to go off to another festival, and so she assumed this meant that she wouldn”t be able to vote that way.

As as it happened, she ended up back in Bristol a couple of days ago and so, after catching up on everything, and everyone, she needed to, she decided to stroll down to her local voting station, with plenty of ID to prove who she was, to ask if she could do her vote that way.

She arrived, and spoke to one of the helpers, who checked her ID, then checked for her name on the list, and was told she couldn’t vote, because she had a postal vote. My daughter explained that she hadn’t received it in the time needed before she had left for her work at a festival, and that it still hadn’t been there when she checked her post on returning home. She also had to explain that she hadn’t been informed by anyone that this precluded her from voting in person. The lady asked her to wait while she found out what my daughter needed to do to be able to vote.

A few minutes later, she was told that, in order to do be able to vote today, she would have to travel right across Bristol, opposite to her present location, and go to a particular building, and register to vote with them. As it happens, my daughter had a friend with her, who had a car, and her friend offered to take her to the place – an hour and a half away by foot, 30-40 minutes by public transport, or 20-30 minutes by taxi – always supposing she had the money spare for a taxi, of course.

They managed to find the building, and my daughter went to the office she was supposed to, then explained the situation to the people working there, who were puzzled that she was sent there in the first place, as it was the wrong building, and also puzzled that nobody had rung them up to check with them, before my daughter started out to them. They then told my daughter where she should actually have been sent – and it was, once again, right across the other side of Bristol!

My daughter’s friend offered to take her there, too as, by now, even she was angry at the runaround my daughter was being given, and was determined she’d be able to have her vote, and so they set off again, and eventually got to the proper place where, once again, my daughter had to explain why she was there.

Fortunately for everyone, this was the correct place at last, but my daughter then had to fill in all the same forms she had filled in when she first applied for a postal vote then, once they were signed, she was handed a printed-out postal voter’s form, which they then asked her to fill in, fold, and put into the sealed envelope, and then to place in the ballot box.

All-in-all, what had started out as her idea to take a leisurely walk down to her local polling station to vote, actually took her over 3 hours, a lot of petrol and miles, and a couple of arguements – in fact, the final lady to speak to her, thanked her for persevering in the face of everything being put in her way to trying to vote!

If my daughter wasn’t the determined woman she is, she might have given up in the face of all these obstacles in her way and, as we chatted on the phone, and I congratulated her for her perseverance, she was sat in a cafe, having something desperately needed to eat and drink, as she’d had nothing since her morning toast, and we both wondered how many more people were put off voting today,ย  by the same kinds of things happening to them?

To be fair, it probably was just a concatination of events, totally out of everyone’s control but, with so many postal votes not turning up where they should be in this election, we did have to wonder whether my daugher’s postal vote was one of these, or not?

Neither of us knows who it is, in charge of the postal voting system, nor how partisan they may be with one party or another but, for people like me, who are disabled and unable to leave the house to vote, or people like my daughter, who work all over the place, and can’t guarantee getting to their local polling stations, that postal vote is a necessary thing for us to be able to express our decision on who we want to represent us in Government, so to have it being abused, or even just not being correctly used, is an attack on our very democracy!

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Filed under Anniversaries, Changes, Choices, Daughters, Democracy, Disability Issues, Family, Ideology, Politics, Postal Voting, Proportional Representation, Self-interest, Travelling

I, Daniel Blake . . .

Last night I was unable to sleep, because the pain in my body has become unbearable recently, and so I decided to watch a new DVD delivered to me yesterday, in order to get my mind off of the pain for a little while. The DVD is: ‘I, Daniel Blake’.

. . . and now I sit here, many hours later, with red eyes, and cheeks sore from the tears I shed watching it, while trying to put into words what I need to express after seeing it.

I wonder how anyone who has an iota of fellow feeling in them, can watch something like this, and not feel sad, or frustrated, and also totally furious, at our government – and the people they employ – who follow every machiavellian rule they can make up, without thinking of the consequences to the real people they are doing it all to, and I wonder, who can put people through all these kinds of hoops, purely for an ideology that seems to drive them into schemes that are making the poor even poorer – as the richย  get ever richer?

Ken Loach’s film has shown so clearly what is happening every single day here in the UK, and it is happening to too many people innocent of the accusations being thrown at them by their own government, as well as by their many right-wing media outlets.

. . . . and I’m one of those people. I, too, am Daniel Blake and, because of the injustices I saw in the film – while knowing they were just characters playing their parts, I also know they were based on real people going through the same, crazy, soul-destroying, routines – I want to tell you what is happening with me at the moment.

I’ve been worried for a couple of years now, about the changeover this government is making, from DLA to PIP, as I’d heard that so many people on Indefinite awards of DLA, like I am, have lost their benefits completely – including people with terminal cancer, or MS, or Parkinsons!

I have, unfortunately, developed many health problems over my life, which had basically starting from a messed up immune system, brought about by the Thalidomide tablets that my Mum took while she was around 6 months pregnant with me, as it was thought the tablet would ease the terrible morning sickness she continuously felt throughout this pregnancy. The tablets actually made Mum worse, so she didn’t take them as long as she might have but, unfortunately, she took them long enough that they affected the development of my immune system and so, although I was so very fortunate to have been born with allย  of my limbs, I have been prone to bouts of ill health for most of my life, and this gradually worsened, to the point that, right now, everything wrong with me is based on a screwed-up immune system, and everything I suffer with is without a cure, and will only get worse, to the point of death – hence the Indefinite award.

I’m basically 100% housebound, and 95% bedbound, and was eventually sent the changeover form from the DWP, which arrived on 23rd December 2016, asking me to fill it in, and to send it back by 16th January, 2017, at the latest. With what I’ve recently learned about the processes put into place with the new PIP, I’ve no hope that I will get the equivalent of my DLA award with this new PIP award, and will be amazed if I’m fortunate enough to get anything at all.

Due to my illnesses, I have great trouble focusing on anything nowadays, let alone long, and very complicated, forms such as this one was. I sleep more than I’m awake, and the strong pain meds I have to take (or end up screaming with pain), leave me unable to formulate thoughts and ideas in the way that I used to be able to do, before my illnesses got as bad as they are now. I struggle a lot to find the words I need, as my short-term memory is badly affected, too, which makes it very difficult for me to be able to express how I feel, or how my ailments affect me, especially if I’m under any kind of stress – me, the calm, unflappable, total wordsmith, who used to read continuously, and delighted in learning something new every day – until my illnesses took all that away ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

The day after I received the PIP form, the 24th December, 2016, I received news that my Mum was seriously ill in hospital, and wasn’t expected to live.

As you may imagine, this knocked me for six, especially as I’d only lost my Dad the previous year, and had been too ill to be able to travel the 365 miles between us, to go and pay my last respects to him. Anyway, from the moment I was told about Mum, I spent all the time I was able to, keeping in touch with my siblings, and trying to find out how Mum was – while desperately hoping, and praying, that she would rally – as she had done on previous occasions – but, on 1st January, 2017, Mum slipped away in her sleep and, once again, I faced the fact that I wasn’t well enough to be able to travel to say my goodbyes.

In those 10 days, I’d not been well enough to be able to try and even start to fill in the DLA-PIP form. The stress and grief I felt had seriously affected my already appalling health, and I was unable to think, or to understand, anything written in the form. I’d not been able to get hold of anyone at the DWP to explain my situation to, because I’d received the form the day before christmas eve, and so everyone was now on holiday, and there was nobody available locally to help me with the forms.

On 4th January, I finally managed to get somebody at the DWP, and explained my situation, and was given an extention of 14 days, until 30th January, to give me extra time to get the forms filled in.

A few days later, fortunately for me, our daughter came to visit and, over the next few weeks, she helped me with both my grief at losing Mum and, more importantly for my health, she helped me to fill in the forms, which wasn’t easy even with her help, especially as every question asked on the form made me have to face up to everything I had lost of myself, and the life I used to lead, at a time when grief and loss of my Mum was making me so depressed I could barely cope.

I think that, if the questions I was asked had had any real meaning, it might have been a little easier for me to do, but they were so formulaic, so loaded, so unreal to the life I actually have to live, that I couldn’t relate to them at all, and it took four different people to explain to me what the questions were actually trying to lead me to say, before I realised that they weren’t being asked to help me in any way, but I really felt as if they had been written, even designed, to trip me up in someย  way – as if I were living a lie, and claiming these benefits unlawfully because, of course, everyone who claims benefits of any sort are lying through their teeth, right? Wrong!

Anyway, with lots of help, the form was filled in, and I stated at the end, written in red, bold, type – in the section asking if there was anything I wanted to tell them, about coming to a face-to-face assessment – that I wished for a Home Assessment, and for this assessment to be recorded. A friend then posted it all off for me, recorded delivery, and I checked online a few days later, and saw that it had been received. I then waited a couple of days, and phoned them up just to check, and reassure myelf, that they had actually got it – they had.

After I sent off the form, I looked through the paperwork again, and saw that, if I wanted a Home Assessment, then I needed a letter from my doctor, to prove that I was ill enough to need this!

I was fortunate that my Doctor was willing to do this for me, as he knows my many limitations well and so, on 6th February, a friend posted his letter for me, which included a cover note of my own, to the DWP then, on the 13th February, I phoned to check that it had arrived. To my horror, they said that it hadn’t, but that I was to ring back in a few days, in case it was waiting to be scanned, then uploaded onto their computer system. I waited anotherย  week then, on 22nd February,ย  I phoned the DWP, to be reassured that my doctor’s letter had appeared on their system on the 14th February, which was a huge relief for me.

On that same 22nd February, I had also received a letter from Capita (Capita do the assessments for the DWP in my area), dated 7th February.ย  The letter basically told me that they had received my form, and were now looking at my claim, and that someone would contact me about arranging an assessment for me. I didn’t do anything about it that day, as I was too unwell to cope with any more phone calls then, 2 days later, on 24th February, I had 2 more letters from Capita dropped in my letterbox. The first, dated 13th February, telling me that they had looked at my application for PIP, and that they had arranged an assessment in my nearest large town, 14 miles away, to be done on 2nd March. The 2nd letter, dated 21st February, and also arriving on 24th, was a reminder of the appointment.

I phoned Capita straight away, and explained to the lady who answered that I had just that day received the two letters, and asked her why they had made an appointment away from my home, after I’d already requested a home visit. I explained about the doctor’s letter taking time to be shown on the DWP’s computer, then asked, once again, for a Home Assessment. The lady said straight away, ‘Well, I can cancel this appointment, but you do realise that you are only allowed one cancelation, don’t you?’ I pointed out that I had only just that day received both the letters they had sent me, so hadn’t even known an appointment had already been made – and that I had clearly requested a Home Assessment on my form – but the lady was adamant that this would be the only cancellation I would be allowed, so I had to accept this, and go to the appointment already made for me, or risk having my money stopped immediately I didn’t turn up.

As I had no choice, I had to cancel the appointment, and the lady assured me I would hear from someone within 2-3 days, letting me know when the new appointment would be. While she was on the phone, I made sure to ask her if recording the home assessment was permitted and, after she had gone away to check, she told me it was, but that they would only allow cassette tapes to be used, and that I would have to tape 2 identical copies at the same time, one for me, and one for the assessor. I would be allowed to use ordinary cassette tapes, or even the micro tapes used for dictaphones, but I was not allowed to use any kind of digital recording.

Fortunately, I’d seen this written on a website, so had already bought 2 identical recorders, and the tapes to go with them, so am prepared for that, at least.

I hadn’t heard from Capita by Thursday, 2nd March, so I phoned them to see what was happening. Nothing was happening!

Once again I had to tell the person I spoke to what had already been discussed and, fortunately, he then wrote in my notes that I wished for a Home Assessment – he then promised I’d be hearing, by letter, to let me know the date of the assessment . . .

I’ll be letting you know what happens next . . . .

________________________________________

12-03-17. 3.41 am.

Thought I’d let you know that my home assessment is due on 21st March, at 11.45 am. I just hope that I’m actually awake, and my brain is in working mode when the assessor gets here! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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Filed under Benefits, Changes, Daughters, Death, Disability, DLA, DWP, Ill Health, PIP

A Few More of My Crocheted Pieces

It’s been a while since I posted about my crochet, probably because I’ve been so busy either trying to finish Crochet-a-longs, or CALs as they’re known as in the crochet world, and also because I’ve been desperately trying to learn what I could about British Politics – I’m not sure whether to laugh, or cry, that I’ve become involved right at this time, but I’m going to persevere, which means doing an awful lot of reading!

Fortunately, there are some wonderful Bloggers around, that lay out what’s happening, and what it means for us all, so I’m now slowly begining to understand where the UK stands politically – and, boy, it’s frighteneing!

Anyhoo, I thought I’d get away from that for one evening, and continue showing you all the things I’ve been crocheting over the last year or so – I believe my last post about it was on May 3rd – here’s a link: A Few More of My Offerings

The last project I showed you wasย  two shrugs I’d made for the daughter of a friend but, after that, I went through another awful patch of ill health, and so couldn’t do any crocheting ๐Ÿ˜ฆ


The next project I finished, was a Wrap, designed by a wonderful crochet designer called Annelies Baes. You can get the pattern free at this link: Flight of Fancy.

The CAL was called Scheepjes Flight of Fancy Wrap, and it was done in weekly increments. I started the project on 10th June, and finished it on 1st September.

I was really taken with the wonderful yarn used here, by a company called Scheepjeswol . With this CAL, I was using one of their yarns, called Scheepjes Linen Soft , which comprised of 47% Cotton, 27% Linen, and 26% Acrylic, which made for a strong, and durable, yarn to use.

Here’s the Project page I created on Ravelry, which gives you the details: My Flights of Fancy Wrap The colours used were gorgeous, and reminded me of peacock feather, which I love ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s my finished project, which I gifted to a dear friend:

2015-09-01 - Scheepjes Flight of Fancy Wrap CAL - Start-10th June


The next project I made, was finished on 19th September, and was something that I made for my daughter to give to a friend. Her friend loved kooky presents, especially if they had something to do with the body, so I crocheted her two seperately coloured, and sized, eyes – including the optic nerves, too ๐Ÿ™‚

I had come across the pattern by chance, at this link: Crocheted Eyeball by crochetninja, and just loved the idea of it – and making it was fun, too ๐Ÿ™‚

I used various yarns from my stash for this, mainly acrylics, if I remember true ๐Ÿ™‚

2015-09-17 -The Eyes Have It

I’m told the recipient loved them ๐Ÿ™‚


My next project took me a bit of time, as my health was becoming quite dicey again, and I was still working on another CAL, too.

A friend was making up a package to send over to her grandchildren, a young girl and boy, and I offered to make them something. I showed my friend some of my patterns, and she found the one she wanted among one of my favourite Amigurumi Designers – Moji Moji Design or Janine Holmes, using her real name ๐Ÿ™‚

Janine had recently released a new design, called Katie the Caterpillar – so how could I resist? Lol

I started making the two caterpillars, and managed to finish them by October 12th, just in time for them to be shipped to their new owners in the USA ๐Ÿ™‚

2015-10-12 - Suzanne's Caterpillars
I used acrylic yarn from my stash again, and I think a lot of it was Red Heart yarn, as I had so much of it in my stash. I used the same colours in both, but just used them in opposite ways, as you can see in the pic. That way, we hoped the children wouldn’t fight over which one owned which caterpillar ๐Ÿ™‚

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My next project, was the CAL I had started on August 2nd. I didn’t actually finish this until October 31st. This was another Scheepjswol CAL, designed by another amazing Designer that I love: Julie Yeager.

The design was called: Summer Mosaic Afghan, and you can buy the pattern from Ravelry, using the link provided ๐Ÿ™‚

This time, the yarn used was Scheepjes Stonewashed XL, a wonderfully soft, but strong, mixture of 70% Cotton, 30% Acrylic.

Here’s the link to my Ravelry Project Page, and the colours and amounts used for it:ย My Summer Mosaic Afghan.

This was a pattern I loved, with a yarn I fell in love with, too. I made this CAL for Mr Night Owl, and it was fun and games trying to crochet it, where, and when, he wouldn’t see it all, as I wanted it to be a surprise for him, for our wedding anniversary that year. It was a couple of weeks late, but he forgave me when he saw it ๐Ÿ™‚

2015-10-31 - Summer Mosaic Afghan


I have to admit to being totally exhausted by the time I finished the Afghan, and it wasn’t until almost mid-November before I took up my crochet hooks again, and that was because I had received my first box, from a company called Little Box of Crochet.

I’d come across them via my monthly crochet magazine, and the story behind their starting caught my attention, so I decided to subscribe for 6 months, to see whether I would enjoy it.

The first Box came with everything needed to make my first Little Box Project, and this was 3 different types of toadstools:

  • The first was Aminita Muscaria, or Fly Agaric. I finished this on November 10th.
  • The second wasย Stropharia Aeruginosa, or Verdigris Agaric. I finished this on December 12th.
  • The third wasย Hygrocybe Persistens, or Wax Cap. I finished this on January 15th, 2016.

ย 

2016-01-15 - LBC - Fly Agaric, Verdigris Agaric & Wax Cap

These were designed by Kate Bruning, of Greedy for Colour, and were made using Scheepjes Stonewashed, with a small amount of silver yarn to give them a christmassy feel – and enough to make them into tree decorations if I’d wanted to ๐Ÿ™‚



My next project was one I made for fun. My husband, and a good friend of his, have a running joke about Wood Nymphs – and, no, I’m not getting into that, as it would take an entire new post of it’s own! Lol

Anyway, we had been invited over to his house for a meal and, as a joke, I decided to make him a Wood Nymph hat, and this was the result:

2015-11-18 - Wood Nymph Hat!

I had found some Red Heart Camouflage yarn in my stash, and so added some flowers and bells to it, then made it a caveat that he had to wear the hat whenever he went hunting! ๐Ÿ™‚
I don’t know why, but he tells me he hasn’t been hunting ever since! Lol


On the 19th of November, my Dad died.

I was devastated, as I was too ill to travel the 360-odd miles needed, to get back to my family home, to attend his funeral.

I really didn’t know what to do with myself, and felt helpless that I couldn’t say my goodbyes to him, nor comfort my Mum the way I wanted to. I spoke a lot to Mum on the phone and, wonderful woman that she is, a few days after Dad’s death, she suggested that I crochet something that reminds me of him, and send it to her, so she could put it in the coffin with him, and so that I knew there was something of mine with Dad in his rest.

My first thoughts were of his being Irish, and that special humour he had, that every Irish person I’ve met seems to be born with, and so I decided to crochet symbols of his Irishness – one for me, one for Mr Night Owl, and one for our daughter.

I looked through all my thousands of patterns, and settled on a combination Shamrock/Four-leaved Clover for myself, a Leprechaun for hubby, as he’s as mischeivous as one himself, and a Pot-o-gold, with rainbow, for our daughter, as she has always been our symbol of wealth, happiness and joy.

A week had gone by this time, and I worried about getting them done in time for the funeral, but I managed toย  finish them, one each day, by the 29th, where I then quickly packed them up, and a friend sent them, post-haste, to my Mum. Fortunately, they got there in time, and that’s where they lay now, keeping my Dad, that funny, chronic, joker company.



I have to admit to finding it hard to concentrate after that but, in early December my Little Box of Crochet, for that month, arrived. Purely for distraction, I decided to give it a try, and the design came from Heather Collins, whose Blog, Pink Milk, was one of the favourites of the Little Box team, and was something that caught my fancy, too, and so I thought I’d give it a go.

The pattern, this time, was for a wonderful pair of Wristers, made with Debbie Bliss’ Baby Cashmerino. As soon as I saw the pattern, I knew I had to make these for my daughter ๐Ÿ™‚

Fortunately, we have the same size hands, so I was able to make them to fit her easily. I also made her a second pair, but this time with yarn from my stash, in Black and White, as she loves monochrome, too, but more to my own design ๐Ÿ™‚

I finished making them on the 5th and 6th of December ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ll tell you about the rest in another blog ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Filed under Crochet, Daughters, Death, Disasters, Family, Friendship, Health Issues, Humour, Memories, Politics

And so the wanderer returns . . .

It’s been an age – again – since I blogged anything, as I’d promised to in the new year, so, as I’m actually feeling almost human today, I decided to use what energy I’ve got to make good on that promise ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been keeping all the pictures of my crochet projects in 2 folders – one folder being of the things I’ve already posted on here, and the other folder, of the things I’ve yet to post.

I had a look at the latter earlier, and couldn’t believe just how much stuff there is in there!

I’ve got nearly 50 items I’ve made since 2014 – including some large projects – and it amazed me just how much I’ve been able to do, despite my health problems getting worse.

Because of the time since I made them – and not noting down all of those impportant details for everything – I can only give you the details I can recall, so do please forgive me?

To start, I want to show you a picture of a shawl I made for a dear friend – I think the pattern I used was ‘Coraline in the Wine Country’, which I found on the Simply Collectible site, here: Wine Country Shawl-Wrap Crochet Pattern
I used Red Heart Unforgettable in Stained Glass – one of my absolute favourites ๐Ÿ™‚
I made this in 2014, sometime in the late summer, I think, although I forgot to put a date on it ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

2014 - Helen's Shawl

The next thing I made, was still in 2014 – a little hat & Jacket set for a friend’s doll – I’d made other outfits for her in the past, so this was no problem. I don’t remember what yarn I used, as it was a remnant from my scraps, and I made the outfit without using a pattern, so I can’t help there – I wish I’d written it down as I went along, but my memory failed me again ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
I used tiny pearl beads as the buttons on this – I think they really set it off nicely ๐Ÿ™‚

2014-12-27 - Hat & Shrug for Gill's Muriel Doll

My next project, was a headband for my daughter – with her wild and long dreadlocks, she uses headbands a lot to keep her hair away from her face, and I just love making diferent ones for her ๐Ÿ™‚
For this I used a gorgeous DK yarn, a silvery-grey shimmer yarn, though I don’t remember the make of it – and have none left to have a look at the label. For the decoration, I used a lovely button/brooch thingy I bought from eBay – I got 10 of them as, although I didn’t have a project in mind when I bought them, I knew they’d look great on something – and I was right ๐Ÿ™‚
2015-01-26 - Headband for Brex

I’m not 100% sure, but I believe it was the following pattern I used: Turban Knot Headband

My next project was for my hubby. This was now November, 2014 and, being winter time, it was really cold out, and he didn’t have a really cosy jumper to wear while out fishing, so I looked among my patterns, and came across one from the Red Heart site, called the Father Pullover. I’d only tried to make a jumper for hubby once before, and that was many years ago, when we first moved to Wales. I used to knit then, and I made him a jumper with the arms slightly longer than usual – hubby has long arms – but what I’d forgotten, was that the pattern was for a drop sleeve – so the jumper turned out suitable for an Orangutan! Lol
Anyway, I had some lovely Red Heart yarn, in just the shade of green that hubby loves, so I had a go – and I was very happy with the result ๐Ÿ™‚ Hubby still wears this, and loves how warm it keeps him. It’s also hard-wearing, and washes well (much needed after a fishing trip), so we’re both happy ๐Ÿ™‚
2015-01-27 - Bob's Jumper  (front)

The pattern can be found here: Fishing Pullover

The next thing I made was a summery chemise top for my daughter (I like to get things ready for the warmer season for her). I made a headband to match, using the same stitches as the top – unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of the pattern and, although I’ve searched high and low, haven’t found it, as yet. I hope I can find it again, as I remember enjoying making this – I think I had only recently learned how to make the popcorn stitch that was used in the pattern, and was having fun making them ๐Ÿ™‚
I’ve got hundreds of patterns just for tops alone, so I’ve given up looking for the moment – but if I do find it again, and I remember, I’ll let you know what the pattern’s called ๐Ÿ™‚
I also can’t remember the yarn I used – this was another DK shimmery one in a light silver colour, as you can see ๐Ÿ™‚

2015-01-27 - Chemise Top & Headband for Brex

At the same time of making the chemise top, I also made a circular shrug for my daughter, too. This was from a pattern by Rachel Choi, that I got from Crochet Spot while I was still a member. I adapted the pattern, as I didn’t have quite enough of that lovely shimmery yarn to make the arms, but it turned out okay, and my daughter loved it ๐Ÿ™‚
The fastening I used was one I found in my sewing box – I think it’s a cloak fastener, but it did the trick in keeping the two edges fastened ๐Ÿ™‚

2015-01-27 - Circular Shrug for Brex

The pattern can be bought from here: Circular Shrug by Rachel Choi

The next thing I made, was a gift for a friend who loves Geckoes. I found a pattern to use on Ravelry, by a designer called Ellie Skene. Her pattern was free, and was easy for me to make, so I was very happy with it – as was my friend when she received it a little while later ๐Ÿ™‚
There’s one thing I can see looking back on it now, and that is I’ve overfilled it, so the filling shows through the stitches ๐Ÿ˜ฆย  I know better now ๐Ÿ™‚

2015-01-27 - Gecko for Gill - top
2015-01-27 - Gecko for Gill - sideHere’s the link to the pattern: Gecko by Ellie Skene

My daughter’s boyfriend was complaining of the cold, so I then went on to make him some fingerless mitts. I used scraps from my yarn stash – probably red heart, as I’ve always got that in stock – and I used a pattern by HappyBerry to make the half-fingerless gloves he wanted.2015-01-27 - Fingerless Gloves for Eloy

 

The link to the pattern is here: Half-fingerless Gloves

This next project was, once again, for my daughter. I’d come across a wonderful pattern by Rachel Choi, on Crochet Spot, and I had a lavender DK yarn, Supersoft Baby Shimmer, that seemed perfect for the job, and just calling out to be used. I’d not made anything like this before, and was determined to give it a try. I was pleased with the result, and my daughter loved it. too ๐Ÿ™‚
2015-02-09 - Lilac Cross Top for Brex

Here’s the link for the pattern: Diamond Eyelet Wrap by Rachel Choi

In March, 2015, I came across an amazing crochet pattern, that I knew I had to make for my daughter. She is pirate mad, and it was if the designer had her in mind when she made it ๐Ÿ™‚
I got the pattern free, in an ebooklet with 10 other patterns, by Interweave. The Pattern was designed by Amy J. Shimel, and she called it Dread Pirate Sam (but, of course, it’s actually Captain Jack Sparrow by any other name!)
I had a lot of fun making this, and my daughter absolutely loves him ๐Ÿ™‚
2015-03-17 - Captain Jack for Brex

Brex @ Kelburn Garden Party, July, 2014

Captain Jack, eat your heart out! Lol

Here’s a link to the free pattern ebooklet: Pattern #2: The Dread Pirate Sam by Amy J. Shimel

Well, I think that’s about enough for now – but I do promise to come back and show you some more of my projects ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope you all have a great time with your crochet ๐Ÿ™‚

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Boomtown Arrivals . . .

RaggaRory was getting really excited now. Gabba Babba had told him that they were almost at the Boomtown Fair, and had dug into his little rucksack to sort out the things he would need to show he was a part of it. RaggaRory really admired Gabba, as he had been part of the Slamboree crew for some years, so was an old hand at festivals. He knew the best places to pitch the tent, the best bargains where getting food and drink were concerned – and he knew lots of the groups who played at the festivals!

RaggaRory only hoped that he wouldn’t make a fool of himself, like he had at the Secret Garden festival, and he was determined to be as good as possible, so Brex would continue taking him with her – after all, he knew she was going to America soon, with the UK Fireworks Collective, to show their Pyrotechnic skills. Brex had told him about last year’s trip, and he was eager than ever to go there.

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Brex dancing in front of the Burning Man, 2012.

But first, he had all the excitement of Boomtown to look forward to!

Gabba handed him a ring of material, with the name Boomtown on it, and told him to put it on, so that the officials there would know he wasn’t a gatecrasher. RaggaRory wasn’t ย quite sure how it should be worn, and so put it over his foot, as he figured everyone would see it then. He couldn’t understand why everyone was laughing, and looked at Gabba, who sat there, Slamboree sticker stuck to his head, and with his shoulders shaking with mirth.

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Ragga wasn’t sure whether Gabba was laughing at him.

Brex leaned over, and gently patted Ragga’s foot, “Never mind, Ragga, you wear it whichever way you like.”

Ragga would have blushed if he could, but decided that he wasn’t going to let a little mistake like that upset him. After all, Brex had smiled so nicely at him when she spoke ๐Ÿ™‚

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RaggaRory shows off his Boomtown bracelet with pride ๐Ÿ™‚

Feeling really happy again, RaggaRory, looked around, and saw that they were nearly at the gates to the Boomtown site, and he started looking madly around, trying to see everything he could. It seemed as though, in no time at all, Brex had set up their tent, snuggled in among those of all her friends, and RaggaRory was getting more and more excited. He wanted to see how many people had already set up around them, and so Brex lifted him up to have a look around.

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RaggaRory was amazed at the sea of tents and vans surrounding them!

RaggaRory couldn’t believe how many tents and vans there were already – and this was days before the actual event would start! Brex told him that this was just the section for those taking part in the Festival, and that there were other sites for the public, when they arrived to enjoy the festival. RaggaRory couldn’t imagine how many people that would be – just the amount of people doing the entertainment alone seemed like a huge crowd to him. But, although he felt a bit nervous about that, he knew he had his friend Gabba Babba to guide him, and he was sure there would be others there to keep him company while Brex organised her part of the entertainments – both with Slamboree, and with the new group she had brought together, The Gutterstars Collective, whoseย dรฉbut performance of Gul Deguuย (Fire Sisters) would be performed at the weekend. RaggaRory loved the show that Brex had thought up, as he’d gone along to the rehearsals over the last few weeks, and he thought it would be pretty spectacular.

That night, RaggaRory settled down to sleep, full of excitement at what the rest of the week would bring and, as he fell asleep, he dreamed of Brex rising up into the air, just as he’d seen her do so often at rehearsals . . . .

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10 Things of Thankful . . .

ย . . . . are sometimes very hard to find, let alone think about.
When life starts handing you the pits, instead of the cherries, all the stuff that can weigh you down can get in front of what’s still good in your life.ย 

But, if you just take a few minutes, and try to think of the pluses, instead of the minuses, it’s amazing how many things you can come up with.
So here are my cherries:

I’m thankful that God had such a sense of humour that he made me. Iย know he has a sense of humour, because I do, too, under all the pits ๐Ÿ™‚

Start as you mean to go on? ๐Ÿ™‚



I’m thankful that I was given the gift of carrying a child for 9 months under my heart. Having been told I’d never have children, this was such a gift for me that I still thank God every day for my beautiful, amazing girl ๐Ÿ™‚

Hubby, & Brex at 1 hour old ๐Ÿ™‚



I’m thankful for a husband who is so unselfish that he always puts myself and our child before himself. My hubby is an amazing man, and we will be married for 30 years in October – and I love him even more than I did at the beginning and, even better, he loves me like that, too ๐Ÿ™‚

True Love ๐Ÿ™‚



I’m thankful for a warm, dry house. We lived in so many places that were falling down around our ears – houses that weren’t that old, but so badly built that we had to battle mould or drafts all the time. We now live in a 300 year old house that is as warm, and snug, as we need, and wanted ๐Ÿ™‚

Fred, guarding the house ๐Ÿ™‚



I’m thankful for the gift of love that our dog, a Jackย Russellย Terrier called Fred Barker, gives unstintingly to us. He will be 19 next march. He is as deaf as a post, and is so arthritic he has a job stepping over the tiny lip on his bed but, the minute he sees either of us, his tail wags, and he gives us that amazing doggy smile we fell in love with when we first rescued him 18 years ago.ย 

Fred, aged 10.



I’m thankful for our cat, Kushka, who was rescued as a tiny kitten. We took her into our home, and our hearts, when she was barely 6 weeks old, and had to keep feeding her replacement milk for a month as she had been in such a bad way. She’ll be 5 next birthday, and she is my constant companion, lying as close beside me as she can – she has always seemed to be aware that sitting on me would only bring pain. She purrs like an engine when pain takes me over, as if she is trying her best to soothe me, and she has always been there for me, no matter what.

Kushka, breaking in the new cover I crocheted ๐Ÿ™‚


I’m thankful for the gift of crochet. I hadn’t crocheted before I started to learn last July, and had got into a bad place in my head when I’d had to give up knitting and cross-stitch, as my hands couldn’t cope with either any more, so to find that I was able to hold a crochet hook enough to use it, was a fantastic thing to happen to me ๐Ÿ™‚

My Spring Fling cushion cover.


I’m thankful for the internet, as it took me out of myself, and brought a world full of the most amazing people into my life, and into my heart. After I got housebound, the world became a very drab place, as I had come from a large family, so was used to company, and noise, and all the other things that come with family life. I had always loved visiting all of our many friends homes, and going places and seeing people whenever I chose to, so to be housebound was a kind of torture for me but, once I had the internet in my home, it opened up a world ofย possibilitiesย I couldn’t have imagined – and also enabled me to keep in touch with my daughter, wherever in the world she goes ๐Ÿ™‚

Brex, in an Amazonian village, in Peru ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m thankful for the bounty of things that surround me, for internet shopping, for a free health system that is very much needed for me now, for the chance to be able to do what I can to stay focussed on the future, so that I can stay true to myself, and true to God.

Me, on our 29th wedding anniversary ๐Ÿ™‚



I’m thankful for the chance to have lived this life that I have – whether good or bad! To have been born in a time, and a place, where women are able to make whatever life they dream of, and for the chance to be able to have my voice heard all around the world.

 

Ten Things of Thankful

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Ragga Rory Goes To Boomtown

I’m not sure whether it’s good for a small lion to be going hither and thither only a few weeks from birth but, apparently, when Brex told him she was headed to Boomtown to do a stint withย Slamboree, and then make her maiden performance with her own group,ย The Gutterstars Collective, Ragga Rory told her that, if she didn’t take him, he would hitch-hike by himself, until he got there, too!

Brex wasn’t too pleased at having such a young lion threaten to go out into the world on his own, so she told him he could come – provided he didn’t misbehave the way he had at the previous festival!

Ragga Rory had the grace to look slightly ashamed at that, though Brex still wasn’t sure whether he also had a guilty look, either. After all, she hadn’t heard yet whether Australian piggy had been seen since ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

But, after promising to be as well behaved as he could be, Brex took Ragga Rory along with her. She was going to Boomtown early, as her group had to rehearse on the stage where they were doing their maiden gig, as they’d been rehearsing in all sorts of warehouses, or places where they could use fire. So Brex and Ragga Rory set off to join the rest of her crew, and her Slamboree pals.

Brex had warned Ragga Rory that she was going to be particularly busy over the next few days as, rehearsing with two separate crews, with one of them her total responsibility, wasn’t going to be easy for her. But Ragga Rory promised he would behave himself, and stay in their tent being a good little lion.

On the journey to Boomtown, Ragga Rory had been really pleased to make a new friend – a chimp called Gabba Babba – who kept him entertained throughout the journey with all his tales of the festivals he had already been to.

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Ragga Rory really enjoyed the tales, and hoped that he could behave himself this time, so that Brex would keep taking him with her wherever she went. Gabba Babba was really up on all the latest music, so he spent a lot of his time while they travelled, bringing Ragga Rory up to date, though Gabba Babba found that Ragga Rory was a little tone deaf – but he figured it wouldn’t notice with all the crowds that would be at the festival.

After a while on the journey, Gabba Babba felt tired, and went to sleep, so Ragga Rory asked if he could come forward, so he had a better view of the countryside around them as they travelled.

Much to his horror, everyone insisted that he wear a sun hat, as the sun was quite strong at the front of the van, so Ragga Rory reluctantly put on the strange garment they came up with.

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He wasn’t sure why there were so many muffled giggles, and got a bit upset that nobody would share whatever joke was going around but, very soon, all the road signs indicated that they were nearly there at Boomtown, so Ragga Rory forgot everything else, and looked forward to whatever was going to happen in the week ahead . . .

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August 11, 2013 · 4:24 pm