Monday, 28 November 2011

Meme

My sister Jen tagged me in this one. So thank you Jen and here are seven things about me (that she may already know, being my sister, but the rest of your possibly don't).

1. I have grapheme-to-colour synaesthesia. Numbers and letters have a clear colour that doesn't change. I think it helps my spelling, among other things (for example, definitely is clearly not spelt definately, because that A is a big splash of red in the middle of the word).

2. I've seen the musical Starlight Express more than sixty times on stage - 52 in London, twice on tour in the UK, the rest in Bochum in Germany.

3. My middle name is the same as my sister's married surname (well, spelt differently).

4. I'm very introverted and need a certain amount of time a day in a room by myself or else I feel like I'm going mad.

5. I don't drink fizzy drinks, alcohol or coffee as they all taste very bitter to me. I don't like alcohol-flavoured anything (chocolates, sauces etc) because of the taste.

6. I'm a humanist.

7. I know the full English lyrics to It's A Small World.

I'm supposed to tag 15 (!) people but it's late and I'm tired. Maybe next time.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Recipe: Gingerbread Biscuits



Laura loves making gingerbread. Our gingerbread family cutters are in a box in the garage so I gave the playdough cutters a good scrub and we made different-shaped gingerbread biscuits, and then decorated them with Smarties and chocolate buttons. For gingerbread people we usually put chocolate drops on the cut-out biscuits before baking to make their eyes and buttons.

Anyway, here is the recipe.

8oz/225g plain flour
4oz/110g caster sugar
4oz/110g margarine
3 tablespoons golden syrup
1 tablespoon ginger
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Preheat oven to 180C/360F. Mix together sugar and margarine, then add remaining mixture. Mix together well, using hands if necessary. Roll to a thickness of about 5mm and cut out. Bake on a lined baking tray for about 9 minutes, until brown but still soft. Cool on a rack.

(They turn out very gingery - much gingerier than gingerbread you buy from the bakers. Yum!)

Saturday, 12 November 2011

It'll be lovely when it's finished

Up until about last week, the building of the new extension was mainly something that was happening in the garden. But now the walls are up, the roof is on, the windows are going in, and the walls inside the house are coming down.

The back wall upstairs has now gone, and now the girls' bedrooms are rather open plan:



The downstairs is worse, the kitchen and dining room have been knocked together and through into the new extension. Everything in the entire house is dusty. Fortunately I have lovely in-laws who live nearby and are happy for us to turn up whenever we need to hide out from all the dust and noise! I have been taking my crochet so I can work on Emily's blanket while she sleeps and Laura climbs all over Grandad. That's pretty much the only crafting I've been getting done, though, as everything is packed away and there's barely enough room in the usable parts of the house for eating, sleeping and keeping two small children out of trouble. I'm trying to write my winter BJD book, and there's a cardigan I want to make for Laura, and I want to get my sketchbook out, but at the end of the day I'm tired and stressed and I can't find anything.

But it'll be lovely when it's finished.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Favourite Colours

Laura has a different favourite colour every day. Today it is red, and she is wearing her red top. Yesterday it was green. Sometimes it's blue, or orange, or pink, or purple. She asked me what my favourite colour was, and I told her it was yellow, but it isn't really. I don't have a favourite colour. I like bright colours, and I like pastels, and sometimes I like jewel tones. I don't like dark colours or earth tones or neutrals. Probably you can get the best idea of what colours I like from my colour and pattern board on Pinterest, here's a screenshot of the most recent things I pinned there:



But also my blog banner is a good place to start! I like cheerful colours.

The husband says his favourite colour is blue. Always blue. What's your favourite colour?

Friday, 4 November 2011

Meme: Music as therapy

My sister Jennifer tagged me for this meme, the Music as Therapy meme started by Mammywoo.

It's very simple, you just have to pick:

3 beautiful songs
3 different bands
3 sets of lyrics that touch you in any way you want to show

So here goes.

1 - Falling For The First Time, Barenaked Ladies
In early 2002 I was in my second year at university. It was a bit of an odd time in my life because my grandma had just died, and it hit me hard, and I felt very alone and a long way from home. But it was also around then that I met my husband and started getting to know him through email. He copied two Barenaked Ladies albums for me - Maroon, which this song is from, and Stunt, and I listened to them round and round. It was hard to choose a specific song but I chose this one in honour of Mark and just because I've always loved it.

I'm so cool, too bad I'm a loser
I'm so smart, too bad I can't get anything figured out
I'm so brave, too bad I'm a baby
I'm so fly, that's probably why it feels just like I'm falling for the first time

I'm so green, it's really amazing
I'm so clean, too bad I can't get all the dirt off me
I'm so sane, it's driving me crazy
It's so strange, I can't believe it feels just like I'm falling for the first time

Anyone perfect must be lying
Anything easy has its cost
Anyone plain can be lovely
Anyone loved can be lost
What if I lost my direction
What if I lost a sense of time
What if I nurse this infection
Maybe the worst is behind
It feels just like I'm falling for the first time
It feels just like I'm falling for the first time

I'm so chilled, no wonder it's freezing
I'm so still, I just can't keep my fingers out of anything
I'm so thrilled to finally be failing
I'm so done, turn me over 'cos it feels just like I'm falling for the first time

Anything plain can be lovely
Anything loved can be lost
Maybe I lost my direction
What if our love is the cost
Anyone perfect must be lying
Anything easy has its cost
Anyone plain can be lovely
Anyone loved can be lost
What if I lost my direction
What if I lost a sense of time
What if I nurse this infection
Maybe the worst is behind
Maybe the worst is behind

2 - Five Years Time, Noah and the Whale
This song is the summer of 2008 for me, the summer Laura was born. I specifically remember it playing on the radio in the delivery room at the hospital (I told Mark we had to go to the zoo for Laura's fifth birthday - maybe we will, why not) but it was everywhere. It struck a chord with me I think because it's about looking at the future and not knowing what will happen but thinking that yes, it's probably going to be OK, and we'll all be here in five years. Having your first baby turns everything on its head and it helped me a lot to imagine a calmer time a few years down the road, when I knew what I was doing. Still waiting for it. Never mind then.

Well, in five years time we could be walking round a zoo
With the sun shining down over me and you
And there'll be love in the bodies of the elephants too
I'll put my hands over your eyes but you'll peek through

And there'll be sun, sun, sun, all over our bodies
And sun, sun, sun, all down our necks
And there'll be sun, sun, sun, all over our faces
And sun, sun, sun, so what the heck

Cuz I'll be laughing at all your silly little jokes
And we'll be laughing about how we used to smoke
All those stupid little cigarettes and drink stupid wine
Cuz it's what we needed to have a good time

And it was fun, fun, fun, when we were drinking
It was fun, fun, fun, when we were drunk
And it was fun, fun, fun, when we were laughing
And it was fun, fun, fun, oh it was fun

And I'll look at you and say it's the happiest I've ever been
And I'll say I no longer feel I have to be James Dean
And she'll say yeah well I feel pretty happy too
And I'm always pretty happy when I'm just kicking back with you

And it'll be love, love, love, all through our bodies
And love, love, love all through our minds
And it'll be love, love, love all over her face
And love, love, love all over mine

And though really all these places are just in my head
I'll be thinking of them as I'm lying in bed
And even though I know it might not even come true
But in my mind I'm having a pretty good time with you

In five years time I might not know you
In five years time we might not speak
Oh in five years time we might not get along
In five years time you might just prove me wrong

Oh there'll be love, love, love, wherever you go
There'll be love, love, love, wherever you go (x6)
There'll be love, love, love, wherever you go there'll be love

3 - Shine, Take That
It was about a year ago and we (me, Laura, Emily) were leaving the doctor's surgery. Emily had just had a set of jabs so she was in a foul mood. Laura should have by rights been napping so she was in a foul mood. And just before we stepped out of the door, the heavens opened and it started bucketing down with rain. The car wasn't far away so I went as fast as I could (heavy changing bag on my back, Emily in car seat in one hand with a blanket pulled over her, Laura on my other hand clutching her huge teddy bear) and got us all to the car. I put Emily down inside the car quickly, pulled Teddy out of a puddle, bundled Laura into her seat and clipped her in (while the car roof neatly funnelled the rain down my neck), ran round the car to clip Emily's seat in, and threw myself into the driving seat. Emily was crying and Laura was shouting about Teddy being wet and I was wondering why it was impossible to take both of them anywhere without everyone ending up miserable. I turned on the engine and my iPod started playing and Mark Owen sang 'Stop being so hard on yourself - it's not good for your health'. And it made me realise that it wasn't my fault it had rained, it wasn't my fault Laura dropped her teddy bear or that they both got a bit damp (while I got completely soaked) and that I was doing the best I could. Thank you Take That.

You, you're such a big star to me
You're everything I want to be
But you're stuck in a hole
And I want you to get out
I don't know what there is to see
But I know it's time for you to leave
We're all just pushing along
Trying to figure it out, out, out
Oh, your anticipation pulls you down
When you can have it all, you can have it all

So come on, so come on, get it on
I don't know what you're waiting for
Your time is coming, don't be late
Hey hey, so come on
See the light on your face
Let it shine, just let it shine
Let it shine

Stop being so hard on yourself
It's not good for your health
I know that you can change
So clear your head and come round
You only have to open your eyes
You might just get a big surprise
And it may feel good
And you might want to smile, smile, smile
Oh, don't you let your demons pull you down
Cos you can have it all, you can have it all

So come on, oh come on, get it on
I don't know what you're waiting for
Your time is coming, don't be late
Hey hey, so come on
See the light on your face
Let it shine, just let it shine
Let it shine

Hey, let me know you (let me know you)
You're all that matters to me (you're all that matters to me)
Hey, let me show you (let me show you)
You're all that matters to me (you're all that matters to me)

So come on, get it on
I don't know what you're waiting for
Your time is coming, don't be late
Hey hey, so come on
See the light on your face
Let it shine, just let it shine
Let it shine

Let me know you (let me know you)
You're all that matters to me (you're all that matters to me)
Hey, let me show you (let me show you)
You're all that matters to me (you're all that matters)

Oh come on, see the light on your face
Let it shine, just let it shine
Let it shine