Well for 48 hours anyway... The boys and I will be flying to Tuscany tomorrow for the annual two week stint with the 'nonni'.
I think I'm packed. I think they're packed.
Most of the stuff has done a quick circle suitcase-washing machine-drier-suitcase.
And I've added lots of fabric and a couple of indigo dye kits which I'm hoping are going to make it through... I've no idea if 'spectralite' is allowed in the hold and the bags of soda ash look suspiciously like something else with a much higher street value... if you know what I mean.
If you see me on the news.... you'll know why. Call the police in my defence.
These incredibly showy-offy lilies are in my front garden. They'll be dead by the time we get back so I must immortalise them here.
Another day another boat. Today we hired one of those enflatable dinghies with hugely powerful engines that go way too fast and might scare some people. Not me of course. Never. Nope.
We roamed the seven seas... (Ahem...ok, one) and had great fun. If you weren't one of those people who feared speed, which wasn't me of course.
We even found a shipwreck and had a snorkel around it.
The water was... refreshing shall we leave it at that?
But of course when you're in the middle of the sea with adrenalin junkies (and like I said I live for being bounced around the waves holding on to a small rope) it's obvious what the next step will be...
Not a boring gentle swim in azure waters...
We would much rather jump off high places... Except some of us have to make the sacrifice for the greater good to stay back safely and look after the boat and take pictures instead of following their heart's desire and climb on sharp rocks scraping hands and knees with the aim of plummeting in the deepest coldest waters where as yet undiscovered sea monsters may lie in waiting... Right?
Today we explored a little; we drove North to the town of Pulau where we boarded the ferry to Isola Maddalena and then drove across the bridge the island of Caprera.
The Garibaldi museum turned out to be closed... (Which was very annoying on two fronts: Giseppe Garibaldi is one of my favourite characters in Italian history and I would have lived to visit his house AND I had been listening to almost an hour of why-are-we-going-to-a-museum-I hate-museums-we-are-on-holiday-i-want-an-ice cream-and-swim-in-our-pool-not-going-to-a-museum in order to get there, even the ferry ride had left them fairly underwhelmed.
So it was a good after all.
We also took a quick stroll around the uber resort of Porto Cervo... omg the size of those 'yachts', check them out in the background of this rare photo of me and the boys...
Proof that I am indeed on this holiday... I'm normally invisible behind the camera!
Time just... disappeared... you know what they say.. days are slow and years are fast? Well, it's not true. Days sped by like bullets not leaving much proof that anything concrete happened...
Today we wrapped up another school year and we're all frantically trying to get ready for our holiday tomorrow.
I say 'we'... but it's a bit like the royal 'we'... A part from Mr M who is genuinely incredibly busy, the boys are taking the 'sloth' approach to packing. I'm currently sitting at the kitchen table willing the drier to work faster. When No 3 told me that yes, he had enough underwear for next week he forgot to add the 'but it is all in the laundry basket' part. When No 1 told me his new sweatshirt was clean... I should have checked.
- I can't believe I have only one child left in primary school.
- We celebrated No 2's leaving yr 6 with the customary 'jumping into the local swimming school with your uniform'... I think the lifeguards have given up on trying to stop the children from doing it year on year...
So what else... well, I've spent more times in school listening to other people's children playing instruments that I would have liked
- I've hurt my other elbow playing tennis and I now sport two extremely bright pieces of tape on both arms which are going to give me a very dodgy tan if I don't remember to take them off. (Am I the only one that is scared of ripping off plasters and such like in case it hurts? I've been through childbirth for crying out loud!!). So much for sport being good for you.
- The local council has planted thousands of poppies in the local parks to commemorate the dead of the first world war...
I find them incredibly beautiful and very moving.
- I'm reading the latest Galbraith/Rowling novel. Very good story, like the other one, but I have the impression that now that the cats out of the bag about who the author really is... she's letting the 'voice' slip a little. I'm hearing more than one JK tones in this one, whilst the first one was... I don't know, tighter. Different. Some of the descriptions could have been lifted from one of the latest HP novels.
Still, I'm really enjoying it and can't wait to be tucked up in bed and read some more.
- And now that the drier has stopped and No 3 can sleep happily in the knowledge he won't have to go commando during our holiday... I'll bid you good night, sleep tight and if the brochure didn't lie and wifi is available... I'll speak to you next week!
- First things first many thanks for all your advice on egg keeping and juicing, I mean fruit and vegetable juicing... not egg juicing. That would be disgusting. I mean... do you remember the scene in Rocky (can't remember the number) when he drinks that glass of raw eggs before he goes out running?... makes me feel weird just thinking about it. Yuck.
- Also it makes me feel old.... that was a loooooong time ago.
- We're entering the last two weeks of school.
- It takes dynamite to get No 3 out of bed in the morning and I'm sure that by the time we get to school his neurons still haven't all re-connected... He's a zombie. (Apparently, though, he's NOT TIRED, he just doesn't want to go to school...)
- AND my diary is insane... two sports days, a swimming gala, one athletic meet, two archery competitions and two training sessions, a cricket match, 4 cricket trainings, 4 tennis lessons, a rugby day, a leavers' disco, one birtdhay party, two end of year assemblies.... and THAT is just the boys.
- I might not survive.
- Goodbye, it was nice knowing you all.
- Also, I read the most horrible book... it has had great review but all the characters are mean and pompous and superficial snobs, alcoholics or taking drugs, unspeakably cruel...
It's a 'mean' book. Sad.
Yes, ok, it might be well written... but there are no redeeming features in it. Not one. And good writing alone... well I'm talking about it right? So maybe that's what the author wanted.
I'd like to hear what you think if you've read it... What did I miss?
After a long deliberation and a fair bit of research I went for this:
I wanted something that wasn't too big (you can end up with so many things on the counter... it drives me insane) and most importantly was easy to clean! And I have to say I can clean this little puppy in under two minutes. I swear.
The boys are not overtly impressed.
No 1 refuses point blank to try anything. No 2 is a bit more health conscious and has drunk the odd concoction. No 3 tries everything just to make me happy.
Mr M is my victim.
Today he drank the above green potion (kiwi, kale, avocado and a green apple without the celery as last time he wasn't overtly impressed with the flavour)
Yesterday he got an orange one (carrot, orange and apple)
Tomorrow he'll have a red one... (beetroot and apple... yum!)
I need a book on juices though... any suggestions?
It's time for a random catch up, what shall we chat about...
- Football? No thanks. England is out and the Italian team better pull their socks up for tomorrow's game or they'll be on a plane soon too. Jeepers, it's pretty depressing around here, we hardly got going... and, well, we're back already.
- Moving swiftly on... the weather has been glorious. Thanks to a welcome breath I didn't notice the sun so much last Saturday and managed to give myself a very attractive (not) red, triangle-shaped tan line in my back. Stupid woman. And then, I must have missed my right knee when applying sun-cream to my legs on Sunday because I not have a random shaped red patch right on the rotula. Which is why I'm wearing trousers today.
Seriously, you'd thought that by now I'd have it sussed.
- My ironing basket is empty. Empty folks. I thought about taking a picture but that would have been rude.
- I started playing tennis after - ahem, cough cough - 17 years and... well let's just say that a) my right elbow went out of action after 23 minutes and I'm now playing with my left hand (I'm sort of ambidextrous) and b) to add insult to injury it was very tactfully 'suggested' I might want to move a 'slighlty easier group... I might enjoy it more, I was told...
Basically I was total rubbish. But because there's no way I'm going to get beaten by my children yet... I'm perseviring... Tuesday morning 'beginners' here I come!
- And speaking of being beaten by the boys, Mr M and I took them down to the athletic track yesterday to let them ran around and blow some steam off. They had the best of time. No 1 wanted to practice his long jump ahead of his sports day... so that's what we all did.
Let's just say that when we all did a standing jump from the edge of the sand only No 3 was behind me... and only by an inch or so... and he's 8.
So then I rested and grabbed the camera, and I think I got it... sometimes all you need to have fun is jumping
(yes, No 1's feet are as long as they seem, longer than Mr M long feet)
(no, No 3 didn't know chop his tongue off on landing. He timely retracted it. Phew)
Last week I helped the boys art teacher to make some big shibory panels with a couple of year 3 (8yrs old).
We explained the 'theory' to somewhat sceptical faces, but when the marbles and elastic bands came out they were game!
I love how free and willing young kids are. Shibory? Japanese you're saying? Whatever, bring it on. Tyeing fabric? Sure, why not. I have no idea what's going to happen but I'm game.
We used Dylon cold water dyes and although the colour are a little more subdued that we'd wanted them to be... the results are great. (a vinegar bath after dyeing helped set the colours)
This blue one looks like a tank of jellyfish I think.
while the pink one is marshmellows, and the green one a field of flowers...
Anyway, I just thought I showed you. It's great fun, it's easy - all you need is a bucket of warm water, salt and a packet of dye and white vinegar for setting - I think it would be a great activity for the summer.
The panels will hang in school, but I think they'd make gorgeous table runners, or place mats, or napkins... or a really hippy quilt/picnic blanket....
I've turned 44. I've attended more cricket matches I care to admit. I've drowned in laundry and snotty children. I've climbed ironing mountains and started playing tennis. My car makes a horrible noise, my iphone died taking all my pictures away to the nether world. I have a sick child at home. And the dog hasn't been for a walk.
I'm also - slowly - working on this:
... using this yarn:
the colour is called 'faded'.
I won't lie. Mistakes have been made. There are lots of things to remember, charts to follow, increases to count... a pattern to maintain... but it's growing fast which is the main thing.
The simple fact that it's knitted in reverse stockinette stitch (purl side is the right side here)... was a really mental block for me. Doh.
When do you think the 'shawl bubble' will burst? I mean... there was the 'socks bubble'...(I think it was scarves before that, but only caught the end of that one), we were all knitting socks like crazy, more and more complicated socks, lacey socks, ribbed sockes, socks for boots and beds and flipflops, books about socks were sprouting like mushrooms, new tecniques... and then we all got drawers full of socks that will last us all our lives. And the next one probably too.
And now it's shawls. I have A LOT of shawls. I wear them all the time it's true... but when is too much too much?
In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy this one.
(yes it has two holes, no I don't know how it happened)
Classic shawl construction, start from the centre, increase 4 times on knit rows, only 2 on purl rows, change colour every 2 rows.
And then at some point, during a tennis lesson (No 2's not mine.. I can't play AND knit at the same time. In fact I can't really play at all, but that is a story for another day...) I had a brainwave and I started to crochet the edge instead... (it helped I happened to have a hook in my bag. Why, don't you carry around crochet hooks in your handbag? Shabby.)
And I have to say... I really really like how it turned out!
The crochet border stops the rolling and being 'yarn-heavier' makes the shawl hang nicely.
A mixed media stripey/stripy/striped shawl.
(white yarn is Trekking in 'natural' and the coloured yarn is the 'mind the gap' yarn from etsy).