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Monday, 20 December 2010

Simple woman's daybook written 20th December

FOR TODAY Monday 20th December

Outside my window...cold, grey, icy, messy.

I am thinking... about writing the last few Christmas cards to be hand delivered, already temperatures are dropping so won't be till tomorrow.

I am thankful for...being able to stay indoors, but have missed church, Nine lessons and carols and a party yesterday but just know it would not be wise to venture forth on the ice and in such low temperatures.

From the kitchen...haven't done so much Christmas baking this year. Ian for some reason I cannot fathom doesn't wish me to make mince pies so he has bought them instead. Will make trifle, brandy butter but they are not really baking. Only made cake, and that was Waitrose's Delia Smith with all ingredients ready measured. The banana loaf I made Saturday was a great success, added sultanas to recipe from my mother's All colour Cookbook. Such a classic, with lurid colour illustrations. The index is good, it is by recipe number rather than page number.

I am wearing...old warm grey trousers; blue striped Thomas Pink shirt, navy blue round neck M & S jumper and blue, pink and white socks. One day I may wear socks I have knitted myself, well that's the plan.

I am beret with Rowan alpaca yarn left from jumper.

I am be helping with Christmas lunch at our church hall for guests who would otherwise be alone. Either I or daughter will collect and return a client; Ian will drive a lady who will be happier in the Picasso, easier to get in and out rather than in a 14 year old Corsa.

I am reading...nothing at the moment, took two days to read the Saturday papers.

I am hoping...the temperatures will rise suddenly and so all those who wish to travel may.

I am hearing...husband talking to son on phone. Son's business closed early at 3pm, he works in a hilly area, transport is difficult.

Around the house... tree up and decorated; lights on when curtains are open.

One of my favourite things... yesterday evening as Ian out singing at church so it was a Mummy-and-Martha evening. She looked after me very well, we drank tea, she made toast from home made bread which we had with home made jam and watched TV including the tear jerking Noel Edmond's Christmas presents. Not my usual viewing, but loads of feel good factor and do gooding. Could knit at same time too. A good, relaxing evening.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Gas fire to be fitted tomorrow then tidying up and preparing for Christmas. Plans depend on the weather.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

View from back bedroom window, shows the pruning our trees had last week, completed just before the snows came.  Does make the downstairs lighter.

May I mention the Simple woman's daybook blog and offer a link back to the main page of this blog. 

Christmas greetings to all, PixieMum

Sunday, 12 December 2010

A week just gone.

Just a few thoughts about the past week as it has been a good one.

Good because the weather, although cold, was not bad enough to keep me indoors so have been out and about.

Tuesday was an Advent Quiet Day spent at St. Michael's Convent, a place of retreat and reflection where our group joined the Sisters in worship, we thought about St. Ambrose whose saints day it was and we had opportunity to walk in the garden or find a peaceful area in the house or library to reflect, plan, or prepare during Advent. should give more information.

Next day was such a contrast, but no less enjoyable for it was a Christmas lunch with a group of fellow librarians all of whom at some time have worked at MOD library in Whitehall. Lots of frivolity, chat and laughter, I didn't stay long in town, emerged from tube by St Martin in the Fields and returned via Piccadilly station. Didn't feel like facing shops, crowds or cold.

Whilst away further progress was made with fireplace when the chimney was lined; we look forward to Tuesday when work will be completed, I hope. Am a little weary of the muddle and untidiness.

Out again to knitting group on Thursday and for birthday and Christmas shopping on Friday, our son's 30th birthday was yesterday and we had expected to see him today. Instead we had an extra visit yesterday evening as his wife was at her works 'do' and we were able to give him gifts then and chat with him.

They both visited today, we took them out for lunch, came back here and it was apparent he was tired so they had cake and tea before departing early. Fortunately both of them have this week off from work and they need the rest. It has been a busy time, their marriage, other friends and family weddings and all the adjustments of setting up home together. It all seems good vibes though.

At church was relieved that my decision to relinquish my sidesman role had been accepted without acrimony, it helped that I will assist in an emergency. Even now not sure why I wish to stop, just that I do and that is my way. Instant decision, if it is a wrong one I worry after, if right, I don't.

Oh, other good news! I have finished pink jumper, it's a little more fitted than I may have liked, perhaps up the needle size. The up size of this is I have yarn left over and am attempting to knit a beret with it. Promises have been made to daughter never to wear beret with matching jumper. Fashion suicide.

Picture taken by Ian shows jumper looking more mauvy pink, not a dusty pink, not sure about colour on his camera!

Another view. Plus is that it is very warm and if necessary can wear gilet over it without looking like michelin mum.

Well, I think I'm off to have another go at the beret, am using circular needles not 4 double ended ones. Meant brim will be stocking stitch not garter but it's an experiment. More info in Ravelry wip bit.

Byee for now, looking forward to reading your comments.

Will be back to let you know how pulmonary gym session goes tomorrow.


Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Books wot I 'ave read

"The Bookworm"  has seen this meme on both Facebook and the internet recently.Quote from Bookworm follows:-  "Melanie has done a bit of research and established that the list is an urban legend, but never one to miss a good book meme, I'm going to play anyway ...

The BBC claims (supposedly!) that most people haven't read more than six books on the list. How many of these have you read?

Instructions: Bold those books you've read in their entirety. Italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt. (I skipped the tagging bit - play if you want to play!)
Many thanks to Bookworm, I have emboldened, italicised and lightened my entries so will my readers add their twopennorth?

who has been out to play the last two days, both events so different. 

Instructions: Bold those books you've read in their entirety. Italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt. (I skipped the tagging bit - play if you want to play!)

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10.Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare 
15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18. The Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch – George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy 
32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens 
33. Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34. Emma – Jane Austen
35. Persuasion – Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere
39. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41. Animal Farm – George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50. Atonement – Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52. Dune – Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72. Dracula – Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson

75. Ulysses – James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal – Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession – AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94. Watership Down – Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

Monday, 6 December 2010

December morn


Simple Woman's Daybook: 6th December

Outside My Window ...a heavy frost. When we awoke about 6.40 it was green and brown outside; an hour later it was frosty, snowing very tiny icy flakes which have settled.

I am thinking ... that Adam will be 30 on Saturday, some how cannot believe that I have been a mother all that time. It is something that has not come naturally to me and I find very difficult even now.

I am thankful ... that Adam is not going to be deployed to Afghanistan. As ships are being decommissioned there will be enough regular RN personnel to go and do logistics rather than sending RN reserves. Good for a couple who have been married just 6 months yesterday.

Around the house ... we have had the tiles and all the surround to the fireplace removed in our front room/dining room. Yes, on one of the coldest days of the year. The surprise was how big the fireplace was once the tiles were removed, it would have taken one of those free standing stoves but it is too late to change as the new tiles have been fired. The chimney will be lined on Thursday and I'm not sure when the tiling and gas fire installation will happen.

A Picture Thought I Am Sharing ... 

I am wearing ... grey flannel wool trousers, pale blue polo neck, white quilted gilet and new  cosy slipper socks in pink, blue and white stripes. Two pairs for £7.00 in M&S, ok they are made from polyester but given my speed with sock knitting and price of pure wool they couldn't be bettered. The aim of the game is warm feet and according to Ian I have the coldest feet in Christendom.

I am creating ... still haven't completed pink jumper, but only a few more rows, cms, inches to complete.

I am going ... to Local history society tonight, subject to the weather. Health wise it is not good for me as my lungs are poor and the airways tighten up in the cold. Also worried about condition of the roads so will see nearer the time.

I am hoping ... I can somehow stop procrastinating. For example, for a few days we have had Whitton calendars to send abroad along with cards and in one case a letter. I don't know why but don't have the motivation strength of character to do it. We have the Christmas cards bought, I have listed recipients yet what has stopped me writing and sending them. I think it is because I worry my cards will not be suitable for the person concerned, or my words will not be adequate, interesting or funny enough. 

One distraction yesterday was my subscription renewal to Findmypast family history website so I was looking up family on 1911 census. Much more fun than card writing.

Another problem is sorting out, we need the study to be tidy as it can be a sitting room for us when Martha has friends here as well as being a bedroom when the futon is in use. I seem to have a blockage with clearing, chucking and putting away.

One of my favourite things ... watching the birds at the feeders. 

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ... tomorrow, quiet day and meditation at St Michael's Convent. Have been before, very good but a chilly venue; Wednesday is MOD Librarian's Christmas lunch in town when meet with colleagues from my very early twenties; Thursday is knitting group at Mrs Moon's, wonder if they have the knit-pro circular sock needles in stock.

Well things to do, including sending pictures to the fireplace shop, washing machine to empty and reload, send off the calendars and write the cards, knit and soon some lunch. 

Would like to hear from my readers, otherwise it is like talking to myself.

Take care Friends, Madeleine

Find instructions and links to other daybooks at The Simple Woman