Category Archives: Life in General


I’m in Leeds after a day of lectures today, being plied with tea and cake by lovely people.

Thank you lovely people!

I think I was writing about the view from my desk a few days ago.

Here it is.

You can just see the sea behind the trees.


Is this sudden deluge of posts after a long silence surprising? I’ve fallen out of the habit of blogging at all, so this is a last ditch effort to test if I want to stay with it or stop for a while.

Deeleea inspired me to join in with NaBloPoMo – National Blog Posting Month – and post every day of November. Following somewhat the dictates of William Morris, I’ll see whether what I manage to write by the end of November is either known to be useful or believed to be beautiful. If not, or if I don’t get a reasonable distance into the month, probably best to stop. Good thing you can schedule posts to publish ahead of time or I would have already missed a couple.

I’ve been away this weekend on a training course, learning more about preaching. They introduced us to some ideas from NLP (neuro-linguistic processing). I found it fascinating, but since it was the second session, I then spent a lot of energy during the rest of the weekend analysing the communication preferences and styles of the speakers rather than paying too much attention to the content. There were handouts, however, so I can go back and read them if I need to.

Unintentional Blog Fast

What do you mean its November?

I’ve not been paying much attention, so it seems that I have neglected the blog for a couple of months. Sorry.

To start the ball rolling, a few snippets of life.

  • Rusk (now age 2 and 5 months) can talk in sentences now, and does so constantly. Phrase of the week is “What’s that noise?”.
  • The leaves on the trees have gone, so I once again have a sea view from my desk.
  • I may be able to see the sea, but I can’t see my desk because of all the things piled up on it.
  • We only have one cat now (Seph). Esme had acute kidney failure and died a couple of weeks ago. Sad. Seph seems to be over it, since she has started hunting again. Yuck.
  • Knitting socks is taking over my life. Photos to follow.
  • Handwashing all the knitted socks is becoming more of a chore. It really isn’t easier to knit another pair instead, but it sometimes seems that way.
  • Anyone got any ideas for an advent beach hut? I’ve been offered a night in a beach hut in December, but I don’t have any ideas of what to do with it.

And relax

It has been a very relaxing couple of days.

Yesterday included a trip to the beach, meeting up with some people from college. They kindly took over the sandcastle building duties and kept Rusk busy for a couple of hours. Sensible boy: he point-blank refused to paddle in the North Sea. I had thought that this week might be my only chance of a warm day on the beach and a swim in the sea, so I tried. I really tried, but it was just too cold. My friend who had accompanied me corroborated my story of only intending a paddle (to mid-thigh) in the first place. At least the Irish Sea feels warm after a little while – I knew it was a mistake to come East.

Checking out a new tea-room came next. Three Cheers! There is somewhere to buy fairtrade, decaff coffee within 2 miles of home, and they do take-away. We admired the piglets and pigs who were sunning themselves in their enclosure, then headed home to play Bananagrams. This is a totally addictive game and I recommend it to any people who like to play with words.

When I got up this morning, Mr F asked me why I hadn’t gone out last night. Oops – funny how meetings just slip your mind when lovely people spontaneously come to visit. I discovered subsequently that the meeting had just assumed that because it was my day off I wouldn’t be there. Normally I wouldn’t have, but having had the rare occurrence of a week without evening meetings, I had planned to go. No-one (except you and the person I talked to about it this afternoon) need ever be the wiser.

I had book group this morning. I think we talked about books only a couple of times in the hour, but very much put the world to rights. I’m currently waiting for the second Steig Larsson, having devoured the first one a couple of weeks ago.

This afternoon I took Rusk to a parish coffee afternoon. He was at his most charming and spent a good half hour climbing in and out of the patio. He collected half the toy stall and put it ready for us to take home, but then changed his mind and put it all back on the stall. He also became fascinated with the tombola drum – this got quite expensive and we didn’t even win anything!

Finally, after Rusk was in bed (his big bed for only the second night), we settled down to watch the finale of Doctor Who with home-made curry and a cold beer.

Phew! This relaxation lark is tiring.

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new…


I often wondered how I would feel about turning 30 and now I know. Any possible distress at no longer being in my twenties has been assuaged by lots of goodies and a really nice day (so far).

Rusk gave me a new mascot, but seems a bit confused about who actually owns it. We may have to share. Still no name for it. I’m sure it will come. Rusk has been lobbying for it to be called ‘doggie’, but there are several items in his possession already called this so I’m holding out for something else.


There were lots of knitterly goodies:


Including lots of reading material. I’ve already read most of Yarn Harlot, laughing out loud many times, but only being reduced to tears twice. You thought knitting was dull? Seriously, it is an emotional roller coaster at times.


This evening I am off on a diocesan training course. A compulsory one. Don’t worry, that is not how I would choose to spend my birthday evening. I’m going to take my knitting. Cue – “It’s my birthday and I’ll knit if I want to”.


I had my first piece of election info/propaganda yesterday in the form of a letter from my (Tory) MP, welcoming me to the constituency (I moved 10 months ago). Very helpful it was too.

My MP is apparently in favour of faster broadband and roads (to the point of receiving an award for his campaigning about a road that is a good 20 miles from where I live), and against wheel clamping. Are these really the major political issues of the day? Not in my life. Not to worry – there is another policy mentioned that is really very important to me.

He is happy to support Cameron in his campaign to opt out of the Human Rights Act. What? Did I read that right? Apparently I did. My MP ‘welcomes plans from David Cameron to consider getting rid of the Human Rights Act and replacing it with a British Bill of Rights’. This is in response to the European Court of Human Rights questioning the validity of an election where those in prison are banned from voting. Well, I’ve thought for a while that prisoners should vote – part of being a member of society despite what you have done to hurt that society. There is no conceivable way that a British Bill of Rights would do a better job of protecting vulnerable people than the Human Rights Act. Besides, what example would it set to other countries? Oh, just opt out of the bits you don’t like…

My mind is made up – despite the fact that he will win anyway (this is rather a blue area) it will not be with my support. I am writing to him to let him know.

Practically perfect?

On two occasions in the past week, I have attempted to be extremely practical and fallen at the final hurdle.

The kitties had finally destroyed the old catflap so I bought a replacement then discovered it needed new holes drilling in the door. We bought a drill* and I set to work. The varnish on the back door is very dark so I couldn’t get a pen to make a mark on it. There was no masking tape in the house so I couldn’t use that. In the end I measured  from the other side and figured out roughly where the holes went. Holes successfully (well almost – there are two holes on one side – oops) drilled, cat flap inside part wedged into pre-existing hole, cat flap outside part lined up outside and screws ready to screw in. 20 minutes later, I still can’t figure out why the screw won’t catch on one side and I have to call Mr F. Turns out screws are too short. Why couldn’t I realise that? Then I would have actually managed some solo DIY.

Today I tried to change the windscreen wiper on the car. Again, after several minutes struggling with it I had to admit defeat. Turns out I was pulling when I should have been pushing, or something. Ah well.

On a practical level, I am doing better than the other female occupants of the house. The cats have not taken to their new cat flap at all. Seph will come in, but not go out. She has spent most of the day standing by it in the hope it will magically change back to the old one. I guess they will get fed up eventually and just decide to use it.

In other news, Rusk has FINALLY cut the tooth that has been causing him bother for 3 weeks.

* mmmmm a power tool of my very own

New Year

While it might appear that my resolution for 2009 is not to blog, I can assure you that it isn’t. Rather, I have been so busy doing bloggable things that I have not had time to set them down.

Will I remember what they all are? Probably not. I’ve set up some draft posts to try and inspire me. We’ll see whether that works.

This week is going to be busy. I really, absolutely, must finish an essay by Tuesday, then learn ridiculous amounts of Greek for later in the week – I’ve made flashcards. Amongst all of that, I’m taking a BCP matins tomorrow, preparing for my sister-in-law plus husband and daughter visiting next week and trying not to knit when I should be working. I also have much admin to do and must hand over the details of two jobs I have delegated, else I’ll end up doing them anyway. Oh heck that sounds like even more when I list it like that. I’m off.

Various happenings

Various commitments are taking my time away from blogging. The essay writing has now reached the turn-the-internet-off-and-write-400-words-an-hour stage. Mr F has had a week off work and has been looking after Rusk. Much more exciting spending time with them than with my laptop! Oh and Christmas appears to be upon us. Hurrah!

This evening I have been sitting and watching the snooker, having wimped out of a 60 mile round trip to my current placement church’s carol service. After my fortnight of enforced rest I am trying to be a little more realistic about what I can achieve.

One of our achievements in the last week has been to move Rusk into his own room. It was meant to happen at half term, but we thought we would wait until he was well. Seven weeks later… it has been quite an ordeal, even if nothing more than the usual routine stuff of childhood illness. I have tried to explain to him that the list of illnesses with which he is banned from nursery is not a tick-list.

Anyway, other than that I have been gradually sorting out food for Christmas. The fruit for the no-fat Christmas Pudding has now been steeping in Brandy for 2 days. I do wonder if no-fat pudding is a bit of a hollow gesture, but it is the traditional family recipe so that is what I am going with. Definitely helps making your own puddings and cakes when there is a nut allergy around.

I am looking forward to meeting the turkey on Christmas Eve. I managed to go with my principles, curb my astonishment at the price, and get a free range turkey from the local organic butcher. It had better be good… Nice to know that the meat you are eating has had a happy life.

Right on cue,* the little one is stirring ready for his late night bottle. I had better go and see him.

*yeah, that is a snooker pun, sorry

Not a lot

Ellen pointed out that I must have been having an extremely long shower since I haven’t posted since announcing my intention to shower last Wednesday.

So what have I been doing? Not sure actually. Thursday was a day of seminars, including preparing for them in the morning. Sadly nothing from the Journal of Men, Masculinities and Spirituality this time. I found an amazing article from that particular Journal when I was preparing the seminar I was supposed to lead. I’ve no idea what I did on Friday and then the weekend was spent doing not very much. It was an unintentional blog-fast due to me never turning the computer on.

Rusk now has an eye infection so is banned from nursery until it stops oozing. Hmm there is a nice image for you. This means that I have had an unexpected couple of days with him – lovely, but I really should be writing an essay. Mr F is taking over tomorrow so I get at least some of the benefit of reading week. I had forgotten that I was on music group this morning in Chapel, so we had Rusk as an extra member. It was noted that he spent a lot of time waving his hands in the air. Perhaps he really is going to be charismatic.

So, in short, there has been no blogging because there has been very little to blog about.