Tuesday, 24 February 2009

What a Roller Coaster!

Firstly a big thank you to everyone who sent me hugs etc, I didn't actually feel that bad about the events I described in my last post. The last few days however have been a roller coaster of emotions.

On Friday morning Husband's car wouldn't start, after jump starting it later with Son's assistance we thought maybe it would be OK but no, the next day the same thing, so there goes £50 on a new car battery. Not too happy about that but put it down to just being one of those things.

Thanks to Husband's assistance the weekend saw me catch up with the dreaded housework and washing so yesterday it was out to write-up the route for one of the walks I have published in a local magazine. Now it's close to the deadline and it turned out that I couldn't actually walk much of the route but after an initial panic the walk was done and the relevant notes were made. Husband had spent the morning meeting with a client, who is also an old friend, and secured some more business and was about to go into another meeting with a potential new client. Another successful meeting and another website secured, so we are both on a high.

The high lasted all of 10 minutes, when I discovered that I'd lost my camera case whilst out on the walk. Now whilst it didn't have my camera in it, it did have the spare memory card, spare battery and two lens caps, so there goes another £100+. As I knew there were only two possible places it could have been lost we dived straight into the car and headed up there to see if it was still at either of them. The answer was no. Upon returning home Husband starts dinner only to find out that the oven has blown up again, just like it did three days before Christmas.

This morning after very little sleep I start ringing around police stations to see if anyone has handed in my camera case but no-one has. After knocking up a few posters we head up to the village where I lost it and armed with our staple gun but a variety of posters up around the village with our phone number on them. This afternoon the pone has rung and somebody has it and I'm collecting it later tonight. Then life gets even better, Husband gets another lead on a website from a flyer he posted out last week. Now if Husband's cousin would just come round and fix the oven again I could make the wonderful person who found my camera case some muffins as a thank you. Mind I think she will also be getting something stitched as a thank you later in the week.

You know the best think about all of this, is that when I lost my camera case, I just kept telling myself most people are honest and I'm so pleased I was proved correct.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

A Week Late

It has been one of those weeks. I have struggled to get to the computer, failed to keep up with the blogs I usually visit on a daily basis and not even had time to dream about picking up a needle. The main cause of this chaos has been the fact that Husband's partner has decided to leave the business. This has meant I have had to sort their accounts out and take a more active role in promoting the business. None of which I mind, but it does leave me short on time for doing other things. It also doesn't help that yesterday was the 19th anniversary of the day my first husband was killed and the week between Valentines Day and yesterday is never a good one. Anyway, hopefully the chaos is calming down and a more normal routine will start to develop over the next few weeks.

Last Sunday I was meant to announce the winners of my PIF, as only two people entered they are both winners and I shall pick someone else at random to receive something stitched by myself. The two winners are:

Rachael and Kath

Congratulations ladies please can you send me your snail mail addresses you can email me at angela at hillwalker84 dot fsnet dot co dot uk Please delete the gaps and fill in the dots and at as you would expect.

With everything that has been going on this week I have also been struggling to sleep so it will come as no surprise to regular readers of this blog that I have been reading late into the night and finished another book.

The latest book 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' by Khaled Hosseini is set in Kabul and is a stunningly good read.

Through the eyes of the two main characters, Mariam and Laila, you see so many different sides to Afghanistan and watch how it is destroys and then starts to rebuild itself. The story grips you throughout and has twists and turns in it that you simply don't expect. The author, who is probably better known for his book 'The Kite Runner', was new to me and so I wasn't at all sure if I'd like the book or not, but it is a great story that has you living every moment with the two main characters.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Green Shoots, Brownies and Valentines.

A funny week, with a lot happening, that has nothing to do with the blog but stopped me doing any real sewing or blogging.

Last week I had a go at making Chocolate Brownies, it's a good few years since I've made them and having tasted them I now know why.

To say they are rich and sweet is an understatement, even Son commented on how much chocolate there was in them. I hadn't actually put in the recommended amount and had to mix dark and milk chocolate just to make up the amount I did put in. I think they would have been untouched if I'd used the recommended amount of dark chocolate.

After nearly 3 weeks of checking on them everyday my sweet peas are starting to have green shoots.

I lost all of the geraniums, which wasn't really a surprise, now I just have to avoid killing the sweet peas. As the snow is going and the weather is maybe going to start to warm up I shall turn my attention to sewing some more seeds.

The only stitching I have done this week is the Valentines' Day card I made Husband.

Be Mine
18 count White Aida
DMC threads

It's based on a design Rachael did, although I changed the lettering to some I found in one of my cross stitch books. I received a card from Husband and a bunch of flowers which he gave me on Thursday. Tonight we are treating ourselves to a take-away and a bottle of wine, a real treat these days as the last time we did this was the night before he lost his job.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Humble Pie

Quite unexpectedly I found myself spending yesterday evening reading Gordon Ramsay's autobiography 'Humble Pie'.

I had absolutely no plans to read this book, in fact, when it was released a couple of years ago I had absolutely no interest in it at all. Yesterday however I visited our local library and took out a few books, of which this is one. I only went looking for an autobiography because the selection of novels was so pathetic. To be fair to the library it is far too small for a town the size of which I live in and is trying to move to bigger accommodation. I guess if I want to read a particular book I'd better reserve it on line first.

Yesterday evening a change of plans meant Husband was cooking dinner and as it was tea in the cricket I picked the book up just to look at it. It was such a good read that, accept for when I did the washing up, it wasn't put down again until I finished it about 6 hours later. The cricket wasn't that exciting anyway so I didn't miss much there!!

Now you might not like Gordon Ramsay as a chef, you might well find his swearing offensive, but read this book and despite that you will be full of admiration for the bloke. Whenever I read an autobiography I'm always a little sceptical about how different events are portrayed, because, obviously, your only getting one side of the story, but this book can't fail to leave you full of admiration for the author. His childhood wasn't great, he worked damn hard to get where he is today and he wasn't afraid to make sacrifices. If he's well off now, make no mistake about it, he deserves it.

As you might have guessed with my nose stuck in books I've not done any stitching this week. I'm really fed up of being stuck in the house and want to get out walking but first of all with my back and now with the snow it's just not happening. However today my exchange arrived from Thread Bear so I now have the Cirque Des Triangles chart, which I will hopefully start later this year when I've finished Love Songs.

I don't want to have too many big projects on the go at once so I shall try to be good and not start it until then. That's quite easy to do at the moment as I need to get the linen and threads first. Under our present financial circumstances they will probably end up being birthday presents which isn't until the end of June. I guess that gives me an incentive for finishing Love Songs by then.

Just in case you've missed the post earlier this week I'm running a PIF, for more details click here.

Friday, 6 February 2009

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

I wasn't sure I wanted to read this book but I'm glad I did.

There is no doubt that by anybodies standards this is a quick read. It took me an hour and a half to read it from cover to cover last night. Whilst it's in essence a collection of bedtime/fairy tales, that may have been mentioned in passing in the Harry Potter books, it is a very different style of writing. There are effectively two sections to the book, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, along with Dumbledore's thoughts and research on the history of each of the tales.

I loved each of the tales although 'The Warlocks Hairy Heart' is a little gruesome to be considered a fairy story, a fact that Dumbledore does point out. Whilst reading Dumbledore's research was interesting, I'm not sure I'd bother reading this part of the book again, although the tales themselves are so delightful that I can see them being read again and again. In fact, possibly one book to store away for the time when I possibly become a grandparent and have a young child to read a bedtime story to again.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

A PIF & An Award

I have edited this post to add the award given to me on one of the post's earlier comments.

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be picked as one of the lucky recipients of the PIF that Sally ran on her blog. As it isn't that long since I ran a PIF on my blog and in an attempt to avoid loads of them running at once Sally agreed to me delaying passing the PIF but now it's time for me to pass the PIF on.

If you would like to receive something handmade by me within the next 365 days, please comment on this post to say that you are interested. If there are more than three takers I will draw three names. If, like the last time I've offered this, there are not enough takers or there are none at all I will pick people at random to receive something made by me. I will do the draw on Sunday 15th February (GMT). If you are one of the chosen three, in return, please post the same offer on your blog.

This PIF is open for everyone!

Chris has given me an award. Thank you so much Chris it's nice to know people like my blog enough to give me an award.

Normally I'd give an award it's own post but I don't want anyone to miss out on the chance to sign up for my PIF so I'm tagging the award onto the PIF post.

As part of the award I have to list 5 of my addictions and pass the award onto 5 other people.

My 5 addictions are:

Hills - I never tire of looking at them, no matter how small they are and always want to know what the view is from the top of them.

Walking -
I need to walk, when I don't get out walking I get depressed.

Books - I love the anticipation of opening a new book and the joy of revisiting an old favourite. Husband never worries about me going in clothes/shoe shops, they hold no interest for me, but he knows I can spends hours and a small fortune in a book shop.

My car - It means I have the ability to go and do what I want, when I want and don't have to rely on others.

My computer - It has brought many wonderful people into my life and enables me to stay in touch with those that matter to me.

The recipients of the award are:






In selecting the blogs I'm passing the award onto I have tried to pick blogs/people who haven't yet received this award in order to spread a little happiness, a little further. If your not on my list please don't be offended, I love all the blogs I follow and comment on.

Monday, 2 February 2009

A Walk, A Book and A Pass

Saturday finally saw me pulling on my walking boots and heading , along with Husband for a walk on the edges. The route was selected because I knew it was easy terrain, fairly flat and just long enough to justify taking my small rucksack. It's also a route that Husband hasn't done for a good few years as I usually do it during the week when it is much quieter. We started at Curbar Gap, headed up to and along White Edge, down past the Grouse Inn and then along Froggatt and Curbar Edges, which at that time of day (lunchtime) were probably as busy as my local high street.

Looking along White Edge from the trig point.

The good news is that after 5.75 miles with a light rucksack there were absolutely no after effects with my back so once the snow has stopped I can start getting out walking on the hills again. I avoid walking in snow as much as possible, especially once it has frozen and become very slippery. More pictures from the walk available here.

Saturday night, or should that be Sunday morning , saw me burning the midnight oil as I was reading The School Run by Sophie King.

It's a book that I read a couple of years ago and I found it just as addictive second time round. In fact when I turned the light out at 2:30 am I still hadn't finished it. I actually finished it Sunday morning before I got up, although I only had a few pages left to read and the main plots had all been resolved by then. I'm sure when I first read it it had only just come out in paperback so I think I'll now go and read some more of her books.
So what's the pass, well its my car, it passed its MOT today, with only the bulb above the number plate needing changing. A big sigh of relief as I really couldn't afford for it to fail on something expensive.