Tuesday, 29 June 2010

A happy weekend...

And wishing for plenty more like that...

I mean what more could you want (apart from firemen at 9am on a Sunday morning of course!)? Beautiful flowers everywhere, gorgeous sunshine, tasty barbeques and signs of delicious fruit to come...

Monday, 28 June 2010

How I helped to save 9 lives...

Sunday morning, 8.30am. Boyfriend comes into the bedroom to wake me up. I'm not impressed, it's really quite early and I'd be more than happy to stay in bed for another couple of hours. But he tells me he needs my help, we have a duck incident going on outside. A duck incident. Those last words make me jump out of bed, slip on a dress and run outside. I know what he means. The same thing happened last year. But last year, things ended rather badly.

The scene of the crime.

Well no crime as such, but you know what I mean. Not one, not two, not three, but nine tiny little ducklings had fallen through this drain cover. Last year, it had just been one, but I can't tell you how disturbing it is to see a mummy duck going round and round in circles quacking, with her poor little babies squeaking back. One or nine, it's just heartbreaking. You feel so utterly useless and blame the fact that you're big boned and can't slip your hand down the drain cover.

Anyway. So last year, we tried to save that little duckling. We called the RSPCA and they send the local officer around. But by the time they arrived, the duckling had disappeared and gone down a pipe presumably. We still can't sleep over that. This year, we were determined to be more proactive. There were 9 of them in there after all!!! I called the RSPCA, explained the situation and waited for the local officer to call back. Only we couldn't wait. They were all quaking so loud, it just tore my heart. All we needed was something to lift that drain cover. And who would have something like a crowbar at that time on a Sunday morning? The local fire station perhaps... So yes, I called them up. The first words I uttered were "this is not an emergency!!!" - I explained the situation, feeling a little silly, these people save (human) lives after all and surely had bigger fish to fry. Well, not at 9am on a Sunday morning apparently. A massive fire engine turned up 5min later. All five firemen got out, got their tools out and proceeded to removing the drain cover in about, hmmm, it must have been a whole 5 seconds! We then proceeded to scooping out these teeny tiny little balls of fur - they couldn't have been more than a couple of days old - and helping them find their mummy who was standing a couple of meters behind, looking on.

Want to see the happy family reunited?

There you go. My good deed for the day. And the amazing feeling of having made one mummy duck immensely happy for about 2min (how much of a brain/ memory do ducks have after all?!) And I won't go on about how another duck then tried rather hard to drown one of the little ducklings once it was back in the water. But what can you do, you have to let nature take its course. But let them die down a drain, no way Jose!! This gave me butterflies in my stomach for a few hours I can tell you that :-)

Friday, 25 June 2010

More red? Oh yes.

Because it's Friday. Because I get to leave work early today as it's the last Friday of the month. Because that means I can go make the most of the nice weather. Because I've taken risks but I can't seem to make my mind up and I'm finding everything very confusing (sorry about being so elusive, more details will follow!). I hope you enjoy these photos of beautiful fields and poppies taken last weekend. Not quite as amazing as Sue's photos, but pretty nonetheless! xx

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Calendar crafting

We've had a calendar hanging around the flat for 3 years. 2007 it was for. But we couldn't get ourselves to throw it because you know what, it was just too pretty. When I was at university, I'd cut out the cute photos (think baby animals!) from the previous year's calendar and stick them on my wall (yes I was a rebel, using bluetack when it was explicitly forbidden in halls of residence - rock and roll I say). Anyway, the days of sticking things on walls with bluetack are well and truly over. We try and be slightly more elaborate and grown up these days. We use nails. So a couple of weeks ago, we got the ball rolling. I bought a few frames, the all glass type, no actual frame around it if that makes sense. Because this is what we wanted to frame:

Maps. 1800s and early to mid 1900s. And I thought these looked nice enough on their own, finding a frame that would compliment them would just be too hard if not impossible. The next step got delayed somewhat, what with my mum coming over to stay and utter laziness. Yeah I can be lazy sometimes, no big deal, I put my hands up. Anyway, back to the frames and the maps. Last week, I decided it was time I jumped right in. So out came the newly purchased guillotine and a pair of scissors. And there we have it, nine framed maps.

Ah, what you can do with a little imagination and some simple tools, rather cool don't you think?

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Busy hands

That's me. Well, that was me, last weekend. Boyfriend was out for a big chunk of Saturday and I had the flat all to myself. And what is a girl to do in those circumstances apart from doing all the things she enjoys? Well just that of course! So I finished off some things I'd been thinking about making for a while, and jumped right into others. Wanna see?

Well first there's the birthday cards. I'd made one a few weeks ago for Boyfriend's dad and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed cutting out all the necessary letters from old magazines. Guess it was a little bit of a flash back to childhood crafting! So I made my scissory way through an old magazine, and here you have it!

Then, I decided it was time I tried out this recipe I'd seen in a Good Food magazine not long ago. Rhubarb and vanilla jam. Now, I can't tell you if it tastes nice because I haven't had any yet, but I can't see how it could have gone wrong. Ah, actually, thinking about it, I've just realised I forgot to add the lemon juice. Oops. Oh well, three and a bit jars of it, I'm a happy bunny. This is the official start of my preserving effort for 2010!! (Hopefully I won't forget any ingredients next time...!)

And finally, there was a lot of crochet action. Here's a photo of Caerphilly I took on Sunday. There are now 80 squares. 80!!!! Wow, that's rather scary I think, don't you?!  I have to admit, I'm dreading the assembling process... I couldn't do this join-as-you-go thing, because I wanted to explore all the colour combinations methodically first.

So there you have it, a rather nervous Petit Filoux with jammy fingers and a rather large collection of birthday cards.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010


From this...

Via this...

To this...

Equals one very chuffed Petit Filoux. My very first elderflower cordial. So ridiculously easy to make, it's silly. And it tastes rather wonderful. Yum!

(recipe from the River Cottage preserves book)

Saturday, 19 June 2010


Because it's Saturday. Because England didn't win last night. Because the sun is being a little shy. Because the possibilities are endless and things might be moving a little around here. I leave you with these white flowers, symbol of simplicity, perfection, calmness, purity and hope. Happy Saturday to you all xx

Friday, 18 June 2010

My favourite colour

Thanks everyone for your very helpful comments to yesterday's post! I am now the proud owner of Compeed plasters (I'd never heard of them before, I've got great hopes though!) and I guess it'll be a change at work solution for me then. I'll have a look at all your suggestions as to which type of shoe I'll buy for my daily walk and keep you updated! Now, normal posting service can resume!

My favourite colour has to be red. It just has to be. Not because of its connotations (think love/ blood etc), but just because. That's it, just because. I like it. No, I love it. I find it lifts up your mood, and a touch here and there just brightens things up. A red cushion, a red scarf, a red serving dish, red nails, it just makes me want to smile. And honestly, don't get me started on red dots. Anyway, in the meantime, let's have a look at some lushious red (and pink!) flowers. Hands up who prefers yesterday's purple ones? I think my heart is leaning toward the reds...

ps: I have meant to ask this for a while now, but what ever happened to MelMel and MaddyMakes? Those two blogs are nowhere to be found :-(

Thursday, 17 June 2010

This is a shoe announcement

Hello everyone.

This is a special post. I'm afraid the red flowers will have to wait until tomorrow. I need your help and it just can't wait. Please read on and give me your opinion. Every single one of you. Pretty please!

So here it is. I must have very delicate or sensitive feet because I just can't find any shoes in which I am comfortable. My problem is that I like to walk to work, which is about 4km a day. It's not that much, but a fair more than the average person in London I guess, who probably just jumps on a tube or a bus. So I need comfortable shoes. But hey, I'm in my mid-twenties, so I don't want granny shoes right? Well that's where it gets difficult. So far, the only shoes I have which don't give me blisters are my trainers (which I like to save for when I'm doing proper exercise) and my walking boots (which I like to save for when I'm doing proper walking).

Running through the other shoes I own (no pun intended here), here are the problems that I have:
  • heels hurt the balls of my feet and are generally a big no-no if I intend to do more than just stand pretty in a corner;
  • pumps give me blisters at the back;
  • sandals with straps just generally rub wherever the straps are, resulting in yet more blisters.

So there. I need shoes I can walk in. Is that too much to ask? And I need to be able to wear those at work please. Because I can't be bothered with the whole changing shoes when I arrive at my desk. And it would be quite nice if some were nice enough to wear with skirts too. Because hey, it's getting quite warm out there.

I'm asking for your help today because yesterday I wore what I thought were innocent little peep toes/ pumps. I came home with two blisters, had to get a lift home because I couldn't walk anymore by that time and had to take the bus into work this morning. It hurts. Please if you have any suggestions, any shoes that work for you, let me know.

And if you have potions and lotions that you use that could make my feet behave like they're not baby feet anymore, but in their twenties, strong and resistant, let me know too. I'll be forever grateful.

Thank you.

Petit Filoux

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Purples and blues

We house sitted at the weekend and I went crazy. Living in a flat, we really miss not having a garden, and as a result, I tend to go a little mad when I see a beautiful one, especially at this time of year when everything is in bloom. So you will have to forgive me, but I've sorted out some flower posts for you. Today, we're starting with the purples and blues. Thsoe colours are so relaxing, some are delicate, others bright and 'in-your-face'. I think I love them all equally. Or maybe those little purple ones, they might be my favourites. You know the ones, one of the photos taken in that same garden last year is up as my banner. Yep yep yep :-)

Come back tomorrow to see some of my favourites, the reds!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Because it's not all about crochet still

Indeed, this little guy is coming along, slowly but surely. He was actually started over two weeks ago (when I was meant to be doing some cleaning before my mum arrived! Priorities you see!), but has been put to the side temporarily. That is, until I give myself a thumb injury from too much crochet-ing.

ps thanks Jill for this lovely pattern! It's superb and I hope I do it justice!

Monday, 14 June 2010

The start of my crochet mania

Yes, I think it might deserve that name I'm afraid. I'm going crochet mad. Honest. Even though it feels a little odd making a blanket at this time of year, it's getting warmer every day! But I don't care, I love love love love it!

The best thing I've found about crochet so far is the fact that you can stop and pick up anywhere - no need to finish a line like with knitting. So it's suited my life a lot better, in the sense that I can do a little bit here and there, and haven't had to sit down for official crochet sessions. So there, I love it. I hope you love it too! Well, all 22 squares for the moment!

As for the name of this blanket, well I'd like to thank those of you who came up with suggestions! And I think I've got to go with the first one, Go Caerphilly, because it was too funny, especially Jill's joke about the hedgehogs - that just did it for me!!

Friday, 11 June 2010

Last knitting action for some time...

I have indeed started my crocheted blanket. But before I tell you any more about it, or rather show you what I've done so far, I wanted to show you the last two knitted things I did. Nothing too big, nothing mind-blowing, just some simple easy knitting. It certainly made me happy and was done in no time (I was super eager to start on the crochet you see). But things had to be done in order, and those two little knitted projects appeared in my brain first. Want to see? Well here we go, two little cloths!

Made in 100% cotton. I'm in love with that colour (funny that, we call that type of colour a "non couleur" in France...). Can't say I've used them yet, I'm not in any hurry to do more cleaning after the cleaning marathon I went on before my mum arrived!

Details will follow on my Ravelry project page soon!! (one of them is a project which is up there already, the other I found the pattern in a little book I have)

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Random thoughts

No rambling though. It's about pregnant woman. Now, don't get any funny ideas, I'm not pregnant!! But something happened to me at the weekend and I've just read this article on the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8730106.stm) and I thought I'd mentioned what happened. The article is all about people being unsure about giving up their seat on the tube/ bus/ train for a pregnant lady, in case she just happens to be fat. Now, I'd always give up my seat if I saw someone who was obviously pregnant, no doubt about it. The article also mentions that perhaps men should just give up their seats for women, pregnant or not. I remember one of the first times my mum came back home with me on my evening commute and she was really surprised men  weren't giving up their seats to the very few ladies who were indeed standing. Now, this may seem rather old fashioned, but what do you think about it? We've fought for equality, so should we still expect men to behave as gentlemen?

Anyway, back to the pregnant thing. Let me tell you about what happened on Saturday night. We went to see Frankie Boyle in London and were waiting inside the venue for the doors to open. We were sat in a little two person booth and Boyfriend had just gone to the loo. This brash woman arrives and in the rudest voice ever, asks if she can sit down. She was wearing a black floaty dress (the 'fashionable' maxi dress type) and was probably generally plump to start with. I said that no, sorry, but my boyfriend would be coming back. She then went on to basically shout at me that she was pregnant. My reaction? I just looked at her and shrugged. She then went on to ask the person who was sat in the booth next to us if she could sit because she was pregnant (see the different approach here? she told them she was pregnant right at the start) and the person promptly gave up their seat. She then went on moaning at her friends who'd just arrived and called me various names. Not being in the mood for having an argument, I just took my stuff and left. Now, what do you make of this? I know a lot of bloggy ladies out there have children of their own, so they must have quite a different perspective, but honestly, is it any harder to ask politely? And was I meant to guess she was pregnant?! So there, I might have felt different if I'd been through a pregnancy myself, but I don't feel bad at all not having given up my seat for that stupid rude woman. She obviously was well enough to go to a busy gig in central London.

ps Frankie Boyle was brilliant. That is, if you have a sense of humour, get that he is indeed joking, and don't get offended easily - it was hilarious - and I'm so glad we weren't sat in the front row, those people got totally destroyed!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Normal posting...

... will resume shortly!!! Sorry about this little absence, but you know how it is, life just gets in the way!! Well actually on this occasion, you can blame my mum really! She's been staying over for the last week or so and I just haven't had the time to post as a result. Or to be more exact, I haven't had the time to download photos on the main computer, which just happens to be in the guest bedroom/ computer room/ craft room/ library (who hasn't dreamt of having a room used solely as a library?!)/ dump basically. So there. But guess what, I have LOADS to tell you about. I've been keeping those little fingers of mine rather busy, with some bits and pieces of knitting and of course some crochet. I started my blanket!! Guess I've got to give it a name so that you know what I'm talking about when I start rambling on about it. Since it's being made with Welsh wool, any ideas? Maybe I could just call it my welsh blanket ;-)

Anyway, got quite a bit of work to get on with so must dash!! Hope you've all had a nice week so far xx

Friday, 4 June 2010

Mid-season present

My mum arrived yesterday for a week. What perfect timing with the amazing weather we are having! I think her plan for today is to enjoy the outdoor pool we have in our little town. Wish I could join her, but unfortunately work has got in the way!!

It was her birthday last month and I decided to make her something that she'd asked me for a while back. Back in the day when I'd just started this little blog, I told you about this scarf I'd made for myself (if you go to that super old post of mine, do click on the photo to see it in its full glory - back in those days I didn't know how to make the photos look bigger!). It's done on size 15 needles, which gives it a nice lacy look without the hassle of dealing with a difficult pattern. Actually it's dead simple! Only I found it in a book from my local library and I've lent the pattern to a lady from my knitting group, so no pattern just yet! If anyone's interested, I'll post it here when I get the pattern back. Anyway, here it is!

She loved it so I'm really pleased! I got the little beads at a market stool and I think it finishes it off nicely. What's nice about this scarf is that it can be really quite warm if you wrap it tight around your neck, but it can also be more relaxed and less about keeping you warm if you put it on loosely. Rather nifty don't you think?! Anyway, it's always nice when someone appreciates a little knitted gift, makes me very happy indeed!

Hope you have a lovely Friday wherever you are - and fingers crossed the nice weather carries on during the weekend!! xx

Thursday, 3 June 2010


The table runner is finished!! Hooray!!! And I think I like it very much indeed!! Worth those crippled fingers and the feeling that my left hand had morphed into a claw. Anyway, here it is, in all its glory!!

I'm so pleased with it, it looks so pretty, and it was actually super easy. Easy in the sense that it was a pattern that had to be repeated over 20 rows. Not so easy in the sense that I couldn't quite remember it all off by heart but that was ok. And if you can knit, purl, yarn over and knit two together, then this pattern is for you!!! Easy peasy my dears, but oh so very effective!

And the beauty of it is, it used up two balls of cotton, 100% unbleached English cotton at £2.20 a ball. Bargainous me thinks.

For those interested, I found the pattern here on Ravelry (or here as well).

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Better late

Than never.

Now, you might not really care about these photos, but since they remind me of my wonderful holiday in the Brecon Beacons, I'd like to round it off nicely and have a final peek at these lovely flowers I spotted while out and about. And flowers make me smile, I hope you like them too :-)

Happy June to all of you! xx

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

A weekend in L

Lost - spent quite a bit of time watching (pretty much starting and finishing) the final series. Can you really blame me, the weather was rather poor to be honest. But to be fair, I wouldn't bother if I were you, totally disappointing, such a cop out. Not impressed to say the least.

Lots of ironing. Not exactly my idea of fun either, but what can you do. My mum is coming over later this week and the pile of clothes to iron was as tall as me. Not jocking. I like to pretend that I live in a perfect house where there is no such thing as an ironing pile when she's around ;-)

Lush food at a posh restaurant on Saturday due to various family birthdays. Spent a fortune (well not me personally thank goodness!) but it was delicious. Not usually a great fan of lamb, but that 7 hour lamb was to die for. Yum.

Little bit of snooping around. There was an open garden day in a nearby village and my oh my, the gardens were superb and the houses even more stunning. Was quite shocked and totally envious!

Lack of photos I'm afraid because spending so much time watching Lost on the computer meant there was simply no time to download any photos!!