Tuesday, 29 January 2013

January round-up

Well, it's almost the end of January and this is only my second post of the year...very shoddy!

January is always a tricky month, and this one was no different, the after Christmas/birthday/New Year hangover lingered a while, the coughs and colds have done the rounds and the money was spent before the end of the month!

On a positive note though, we had snow! We often miss snow even when it's been forecast as we're on the coast, but this month we got it! It came down thick and fast in the early hours of Friday 18th, and there was enough for Amy's school to be cancelled in the morning. I still went to work, it's only a 20 minute walk on the flat from home to work, so we all walked into town along the beach, which looks really bizarre covered in snow. I took lots of pictures as the snow makes everything look so nice!

The Front Garden as the snow was falling thick and fast

The Front Garden

The Back Garden

The Beach!

Snowball attack!

Weston Beach Friday 18 January as I walked to work, the pier is just about visible!

You're never too old to make a Snow Angel...

...or build a snowman!

I got a 'fit bit one' for Christmas, a computerised pedometery thingy. I love it! I'm aiming to walk 10,000 steps a day, and on the whole I'm managing it. I no longer take the car to work if the weather looks a bit iffy, I just change when I get there. At weekends and my day off I've been going out on different walks in and around town. It's been really good to get out and I've enjoyed it lots.

Brean Down from Weston Beach

Grove Park

Chris in Grove Park

Beautiful snowy trees in the park

Looking upwards at the snowy branches

Weston Beach a line of snow left after the tide!

Never seen so many shells on the beach before

Lots of shells on the beach

I've now finished the baby pram blanket I was knitting, and with perfect timing (for me that is, not his parents as he was 13 days late) baby Xavian arrived this weekend. Chris will take the blanket when he sees them all next week. I'm now knitting a little rabbit to match it.

Knitted in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in white, blue and green with a grey edging

Amy took part in a lovely gym event 'Gymfusion' which was held in Taunton. It's not a competition, more of an exhibition by different codes of gymnastics all together. Amy's club did three routines, she was in one of them. They were all routines I've seen before, but I never grow tired of them. They all worked really hard in adapting the routines to cover for absences and if you weren't aware of that fact before, you'd never have guessed. The other clubs were amazing too, lots of tumbling and acrobatics from a wide range of ages of gymnast. As if that wasn't enough, there were also 4 gymnasts from the GB 2012 Olympic teams there, and Amy (along with lots of other eager gymnasts) got their autographs to finish up a great afternoon.

Book-wise, I've been reading 'The Fellowship of the Ring' and 'The Two Towers' this month because of my Tolkien phase, also 'The Greatcoat' by Helen Dunmore as my work's bookclub pick. I was supposed to read 'Rebecca' this month too, but that's been slightly delayed as I went to Middle Earth! Next month I'm doing the pick for work and it's going to be 'The Art of Fielding' by Chad Harbach and I also have 'The 100 year old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared' by Jonas Jonasson to read. Should keep me busy for a while....

That will do for now...off for a hot Ribena, the best cure for the common cold!

PS: I'm not talking about the football, so don't ask...

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Happy New Year!

Is it really 2013 already?!

I'm not sure where the last month went, but it's gone by in a flash. So much preparation for Christmas and Amy's birthday, and then before you even realise it, they've happened already!

Amy blowing out her birthday candles

Amy with her favourite Christmas present, a signed Louis Smith photo!

Christmas day: Dad, my brother David, Amy, me and Mum

We were fortunate this Christmas to avoid the sickness bug that was doing the rounds, so just had the obligatory coughs and colds. We had a lovely break though, and for the first time ever I took holiday from work just before Christmas and didn't go back until January 2nd, so had a lovely long break.

I was busy on the knitting front in the run up to Christmas. I made three stockings in the end, Chris had the traditional one, Amy chose to have a pink/deep purple/blue one and I had mauve/pink/blue one made from the remnants from my Debbie Bliss blanket. They looked lovely haging up on the fireplace!

I also made a 'Hampstead Wreath' from a pattern I found on Ravelry(http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/hampstead-wreath) I was really pleased with how it came out, and it was a very quick and easy make.

My final Christmas knit was a Suzie Johnson house for my lovely friend Jill. Instead of stuffing it as a doorstop/ ornament, I filled it with choccies! This is the 6th house I've made but the first where I've done it properly and used the intarsia technique for the windows- such a proud achievement!

I also made a start on a Debbie Bliss baby blanket in Baby Cashmerino. It's for Chris' work friend, Christos and his wife Yvonne who are expecting their first baby, a boy, this month. I'm now half way through it, so am hoping that the baby stays put a little bit longer! Photos will follow when it's finished.

For Christmas I was given a lovely little gadget that I asked for, it's called a 'Fitbit 1' and is a clever pedometer type thing! It measures steps, distance travelled, calories burnt and floors climbed each day and downloads the data for you, sets you challenges and encorages you to be a bit more active. It can also monitor your sleep patterns, but I haven't fathomed that yet. I'm trying for 10,000 steps a day, which is a bit of an ask most days working in an office then knitting/reading when I get home, but I am making the effort to walk more, which is the whole point! We've had some nice family walks already:

I've sorted myself a new reading challenge for this year, and will be starting with 'Rebecca' by Daphne Du Murier. I have to finish reading 'The Fellowship of the Ring' first though...I went (twice) to see 'The Hobbit' before Christmas and have fallen head over heels in love with Middle Earth again, re-read 'The Hobbit' then went straight onto Fellowship...and I'm off there again now!