Monday, December 29, 2008

Chillout



Hope all have had a good Christmas and you are enjoying this season of love, joy and eating chocolate! We have been 'offline' for several days, enjoying the B&B Chez Noble in Lisburn which has been highly relaxing. We're both amazed how quickly time flies when you're chilling out and doing quite a lot of not much :)

Christmas itself was great (apart from a nasty Christmas Eve cold) with a goodly amount of scrummy turkey with all the trimmings and then some compliments of L Noble chef extraordinaire! Gifts included a lovely watch from the ever thoughtful Stu, Bake by Rachel Allen (drool) and some gorgeous clothes in those very thoughtful packages that arrived from Canada a few weeks ago. And yes, as if all that was not enough, I am now trolling the internet for a January sale on a sewing machine (advice gladly accepted!) and looking with great aspirations at Amy Butler patterns. Boxing Day (and truthfully, the few days following it!) was traditional in that fantastic all-day pjs and watching tv kind of way.

We grudgingly decided we should eventually go back to being grown up so today made the long trek back to East Belfast in time for the highlight of meeting up with some of the Belmont Road Bloggers for lunch! You might think seven people who have never met getting together could be slightly awkward, but it was really good fun and conversation. This afternoon we ventured into town (humming with credit crunch shoppers greedily pilfering the sale racks) and I picked these swishy new specs (purple!) to replace the ones that I broke with impeccable timing right before Christmas.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hitting the highlights



Can you believe Christmas is in five days!?!?

Sometimes I go quiet on the blogosphere because I feel like nothing has happened in my life that's worth sharing but my most recent silence is explained by a wholly different situation - believe it or not, so much has been going on that I just haven't had the time (or perhaps the ability to focus) to sit down and post! I must also admit to falling to the hurdle of trying to cover too many topics in one post and then giving up because it's turns out to be just a big jumble - Stu insightfully likened this to the 'Christmas letter syndrome' which afflicted my dear dad one year when he tried to write a Christmas update on our family and felt compelled to go back to 1980 - needless to say he didn't really get past the first paragraph!!

So then, what's the story? Brief re-cap is that we had a fantastic, if somewhat exhausting, time in London last weekend - shopping, catching up with lots of dear old friends and eating scrummy food was on the agenda. Extra unexpected highlights included happening to meet Cath Kidston (yes, the Cath Kidston!) at a book signing for Make. This was quickly followed by a sighting Gok Wan (yes, the Gok Wan!) who was shopping for baby clothes in House of Fraser. I got a picture with Cath (evidently we're on a first name basis now) and we did our darndest to snap a sneaky pic of Gok on the mobile but we gave up after we saw shop security closing in (and we realised that maybe, just maybe, we were being a bit sad!)

Later that evening I recounted my brushes (plural!) with celebrity to two different male friends who looked at me blankly without the faintest hint of recognition on either count but I was not dissuaded, knowing my story would make for hot news on APYOC! Other London highlights included ogling sewing machines in John Lewis (I think I want this one but am still researching), some mean burgers and fries from Ed's Diner and a visit to the fabled IKnit. You can see from my description that big chunks of our weekend were driven by yours truly and here's where we all pay tribute to Stu for being such a good husband!

Okay, so what else has been going on you ask? The other big news in my world is that last week I passed my driving test!!! This folks, is a BIG DEAL!! I was surprised and super pleased to have succeeded on my first attempt (brag brag) as, truth be told, I was bracing myself for a few go's. But miracle of miracles occurred in the season of advent! I felt relieved and pleased with myself, although in practice I will likely continue doing a lot of busing, walking and availing of Stu's taxi as that's just the way my life is structured.

So, that's the scoop with me. This weekend we have been getting organised for Christmas and basking in the thought of only two more days of work before a nice break. To get into the spirit, today I channeled Nigela and made multiple batches of chocolate chip banana bread, fifteens and rocky road squares and tomorrow I intend to crank out some gingerbread loaves, all to the chilled rhythms of Merry Mixmas which I downloaded on Dooce's recommendation and have been love love loving.

Feels good to get caught up!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Market Mania




A big thank you to everyone who came down to the Market on Saturday to visit Knitwear Deli!! We had a really fantastic day with a unexpectedly high volume of sales (hurrah Christmas cash) and lots of very positive responses. The Market was absolutely packed with people and there were lots of interesting stalls with some really beautiful crafts. For us, the satisfaction of selling our wares was added to by opportunities throughout the day to catch up with all the friends that came by for a visit!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Be there or be square!

At the risk of invoking the wrath of the lurgi gods, I am willing to declare myself pretty much . . . cured! Well, my head still feels like it's stuffed with cotton balls and I'm tired (what's new you say?!) but other than that I'm aight. I even enjoyed being in work today - a surprisingly welcome change from mooching around the house in my pjs feeling completely miserable. And with that, I'm sure you (or at least poor Stu) will be relieved to know that I have resolved to stop all this whinging and complaining (at least for now!)


So then, I promise not to sneeze on you if you come down to what I'm confident will be an amazing Christmas Craft Fair at St George's Market tomorrow 6th December! The Knitwear Deli elves (all two of us!) have been busy busy busy knitting, cutting and gluing in anticipation for the big day and we have some pretty nice stuff, if we do say so ourselves. Even if you don't fancy some of our fine wollen goods, hopefully we'll see you there for a chat!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Deck the Halls

I think it's safe to say that APYOC's new look makes me appear more than slightly obsessed with all things Christmas. After getting my oh so nifty Christmas countdown widget, I came this close to getting one counting down to Baby's arrival but thought that perhaps it's a bit early, or perhaps just a bit intimate (still not entirely accustomed to talking about activity inside my body!) Watch this space.

I set up our Christmas tree on Sunday night (30th November yes - but at least it was after American Thanksgiving so I think I'm okay!) Being only three feet tall, the whole process took all of four minutes.

When I was young we always went and got a real pine tree from a stall outside Safeway or the Co-op (don't worry, I'm not going to pretend we were uber-Canuckian and chopped it down in the forest ourselves.) Following the exciting occasion of picking the tree - and the mostly stressful experience of bringing it home and getting it to stand up straight (no mean feat) in the wonky tin stand - there was always the agonising experience of waiting for it to warm up and spread out so the decorating could begin. You see, a tree that's been bundled up in minus 30 weather does need a chance to acclimatise before it will spread its boughs. I remember this day long wait (yes, a whole day!) as being more than a bit torturous. You probably won't be surprised to read that I was an impatient child.

Converse to my happy childhood memories, our modelle plastique was purchased at the soon to be no more Woolies a few years ago for the admirable sum of £2.99. We sortof contemplated upgrading to a bigger one this year but then credit crunch sensibilities prevailed. Ended up sticking with the mini tree because we like the cosy glow it casts across (let's be honest) our small room and also next year we'll have a wee Kidney Bean crawling around (well, maybe not quite crawling) but no doubt at least threatening to pull any tree over no matter the size and we'll probably have to put all decorations up on a table anyway. (Interesting to note how my pregnant brain cannot stop planning/obsessing about life in the baby era!)

Oh, and I'm still sneezing, in case you're interested.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sniff

I think my recent baby announcement has saved APYOC! Haven't had this much traffic in ages.

I am home sick today (that's sick at home rather than sick for home, but come to think of it, that too.) Along with growing a human being, my body has been busy busy busy working overtime fostering a diabolical new hybrid strain of stomach flu and head cold, which I think is pretty innovative. I'm doing my own small part during these dark economic times by purchasing an unholy amount of Canada Dry and Kleenex. And all this without resorting to my usual beloved cocktail of Lemsip and cocodemol!

Okay, back to bed.