Friday, 22 June 2012

A letter to my Dad....

Dear Dad,

I have such clear and vivid memories of you from when I was a child, I can play each and very one of them in my mind like a film reel and recapture the sight, sense and sound from those times.

Some of my first memories are of our trip to Poland when I was 3, we went with Grandma and Granddad and spent a month driving there and back. I remember being car sick in an orange bucket; the red squirrels dropping nutshells in my dinner; the huge frog we saw that I named Kermit and the crayfish we caught (in the same orange bucket!!); constantly calling "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!!"....

Back home I remember "helping" you in the garden; you pretending a woodpecker lived in the hole in the tree; Halloween when you came down the stairs with a sheet on your head and your glasses over the top being a "ghost"; being taken to your work and allowed to play on the electric typewriters; you building a rabbit hutch and a sand pit....

Holidays in cottages in Wales with you fishing and us having days out in the rain; picnics we ended up eating in the car; you and Mum surprising me with riding lessons (which I had begged for for years)....

Being woken up to watch shooting stars with you; spending the day making fruity mocktails, homemade toffee, barley sugar and other goodies.

I felt so loved.

But it was a childhood of two halves and this letter would not be honest without acknowledging that - it was a wonderful, simple, loving and demonstrative early childhood followed by a much more reserved and complicated teenage hood and beyond.

When I was 15 we moved down south and that's when things changed - I lost you for the first time when you and Mum sadly separated.

It felt like I had a new Dad, someone different from the loving, open one I had known - it was a gradual process but one I have never quite gotten over.

But I never stopped loving you.

I have regrets and unfulfilled wishes - I regret not spending more time with you before you got sick.

I fear that we were at cross purposes, with you not wanting to pressure us to visit and me thinking you didn't want us to.

I regret that I didn't feel so loved in those later years.

I wish I had felt that you were proud of me.

I wish the Stepmum and little brother also left behind lived nearer so I could be closer to them....

It was three years ago today that I lost you for what felt like the second time when you lost your 18 month long battle with lung cancer.

I hope that wherever you are you know how much we all loved you, despite sometimes difficult circumstances and that we miss you every day....

With love always,

Sarah xxxx

Monday, 18 June 2012

Birthday Boy....

Hello all!!

This weekend has been H's birthday - as we are off on holiday soon and we have W's birthday next week we had to think of an inexpensive treat and so it was that we had not one, but four teenage boys on Saturday night:

Aren't they just so BIG?!! 

It seems impossible that just 14 short years ago H looked like this:

Look at all of Mr G's hair!!

In both of the above pics H was still in hospital - there was a bit of hoopla when he was born, after a 23 1/2 hour labour & forceps delivery it was discovered that H had an abnormal red eye reflex and we had to wait 24 hours to be sent to another hospital for the eye specialist to tell us if the problem was just confined to the eye or was indeed more serious (rubella or toxaplasmosis during my pregnancy being possible).

It was the longest 24 hours, but luckily it turned out to be cysts on H's pupils which gave him no trouble and he grew out of. The next day we took our baby home but two days later we had to return as H was very poorly with what turned out to be a urine infection and jaundice. He was in hospital a week and the pictures were taken in the newborn unit as H got better.

Of course now he is a strapping lad, taller than me and eating us out of house and home:

H and his friends were very good - we thought we were going to be in for a long night but despite playing xBox & PC all night (fortified by pop, Haribo and Pringles) they were very quiet. We moved the computer and console into the boys room for a treat - we normally insist on having all those things downstairs so we can keep an eye on what they are up to.

On the craft front, I've finished a few things this week:

Embroidered cardi shamlessly copied inspired by the lovely Cuckoo

Funny looking terrier made from a vintage pattern and my old jeans....

Machine & hand embroidery of our house....

Travel wallet for our hols (I did rotate this but Blogger doesn't want to play)....

So that's all I have to report this week - next weekend it's W's birthday and so we have more boys for a sleepover, presents and cakes to make (W has requested a chocolate hedgehog again!!)

I've realised I am only managing a blog post a week at the moment, which is a bit rubbish - it's not so easy to blog now I have an iPad - my laptop is painfully slow and so I have to wait for Mr G to let me borrow his laptop.

Does anyone else blog on an iPad? I have used the Blogsy app but am not very impressed with it - any other suggestions would be gratefully received....


S x

BTW thanks for all the lovely comments about my sewing room - you lot really are lovely!!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Sewing Room Tour?

Hello my sweeties!!

As I had a tidy up in there today I thought maybe you would like an official tour of my sewing room?:

For ages the spare room was a junk room - a dumping ground for all things we couldn't find a home for and the ironing mountain pile. The room would more often than not would look like we had been burgled!!

The boys shared the bigger room and quite adamantly didn't want their own rooms (up until H being about 11 they even shared the double bed of a triple sleeper, bless).

So, I took over the room to be my girl cave. It's only small, approx 8' square but I have crammed a lot into it:

Unfortunately, the tumble dryer has to live in here as Mr G has banned it from his garage so I've put a cloth on it and hidden it behind the ironing board.

The table was my Dad's and is a good size as I have one of the "leafs" up so I have room next to the machine and also plenty of space around the corner.

The chair was a cheapy from eBay which I re-covered and the wheels make it easy to whizz about my little room without even have to get off my bum!!

FIL made the thread holder for me but annoyingly the cats keep putting their feet on it when they go out of the window (to sit on the garage roof) so keep breaking pegs off.

I have some Ikea pots hanging off a rail that have scissors, pliers, spare feet and other odds and sods in.

On the windowsill is my cute vintage Jones sewing machine, I need to get it looked at as it refuses to sew properly:

Hung above the table you can see Mr G's family christening gown, H and W both wore it as did Mr G and other members of the famly. Next to that his my Dad's clock - I need to paint the inside of it.

The glass dresser was another eBay bargain and houses all my fabric and books. The top of it is a bit of a mess but I have nowhere else to put that stuff so it'll have to do.

Here you can see Dolly my duct tape dressform (yep, I really am that size/shape!!) Above is a shelf with little scrapbooks, the boys Thomas set (kept by me for sentimental reasons!!) and their handprints.

The other side of the room there is my inspiration board and above that a recycled DVD rack that makes a fab shelf to hold my jars of ribbons and buttons. 

At the top left of this pic you can see my wedding shoes!!

The cupboard below houses misc craft items and was a fiver (again eBay!!):

On top are more jars of bits and bobs and my little collection of vintage thread:

So, that's my little room!! 

Typically, since I've taken it over the boys have now decided that they would like their own rooms, so I have been feeling a bit bad about having this room to myself - for years it was free and H & W were happy sharing and then six months after I claim they decide a room each would be better!!

Mr G tells me not to be daft, as its not even as though the boys spend lots of time in their room - they literally just sleep in there as the PC & xBox are both downstairs as we don't want the boys shut away - it's bad enough the amount of time they spend on their without them being shut upstairs too. So I guess they have missed the window of opportunity!!

We've had a quiet weekend, mostly spent indoors due to the yucky weather - we're very glad we have a proper holiday booked this year!!

S x

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

The Jubilee Weekend....

Hello dear girls!!

How has your Jubilee weekend been? Has the weather held for you?

Our started with a bit of a palaver - I booked my groceries to be delivered on Friday from a very large and well known supermarket, they were meant to come by 1.00pm.

The shopping was delivered at 6.40pm!!

Normally this wouldn't have been too much of an issue, but I had the afternoon clear so I could do some serious baking for our Jubilee picnic on Saturday. As it was I had rush about doing it all in the evening:

Chocolate cupcakes; (very) pink coconut cupcakes and cheese & onion pasties - also made chorizo puffs

We were finally all set and on Saturday I dressed in my red, white and blue and did Victory rolls in my hair as we were going to the Vintage Victorious festival at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard:

Using Gem's patented method for taking a self portrait (when we got back, hence no red lippy)....
BTW how freckly am I?!!

We picked up my Mum and then went down to Southsea common to meet my Sis and family for a picnic before the festival. 

Naturally, as soon as we alighted from the car it began to rain. I was not a happy bunny. It was also freezing. We managed to find a sheltered spot and sat down to picnic in the spitting rain. Very British.

I put a neckerchief on my head to keep of the rain:

Won't part with my shades though....

We spent too much time eating our goodies than taking pics:

Pimms from a teacup, anyone?

However, soon enough the sun made an appearance:



Mr G and our brother-in-law took the kids (except H, who decided it was "for babies") to the fair for an hour or so and after that Sis and family went off whilst we headed to the vintage festival.

The Victorious Vintage event had been billed as a mixture of music, vintage stalls and traders and other entertainment and had the historic dockyard as it's setting:

HMS Warrier

Of course there were plenty of photo opps, but all done by phone I'm afraid as we had gone and left the camera in the car:

Eeeeeek!! My waist is not quite that wide, silly belt slipped!!

HMS Victory

It was very pleasant in the historic dockyard - its one of those places you live near but rarely visit, but we pledged to return another time as Mr G and the boys rather fancied going round the ships themselves.

Victorious Vintage was a wee bit disappointing, there were very few stallholders or visitors dressed up and only a handful of true vintage stalls - the rest were selling handmade jewellery, etc so not even vintagey at all. And only one stall selling haberdashery items - no vintage fabrics to be had.

As one of the few attendees with the necessary Victory rolls I was complimented on my hair which made my day!!

Soon we had weary feet and so it was time to head home but not before a picture with my Mummy:

Just before I took my hair down, I remembered to take a pic of the back:

A bit fuzzy by now....

I had slept the night before in rags (actually my socks!!) to achieve the required curls, and when I took Victory roll 'do out that, combined with plenty of teasing, gel and hair spray resulted in BIG hair:

Sunday was spent watching the flotilla on and off and complaining about the great British weather!!

Phew!! This has turned into a mammoth post!! Thanks for reading!!
Until next time....


S x