Monday, 28 May 2012

The Olympic torch visits West Wales

I'm a bit excited that the Olympics are in London this year and, although we haven't got tickets, I'll be glued to the TV when the games are on. I was very keen to see the torch too - we already met it in Cardiff when I ran the half marathon last October and I've had the date it was due to pass through Pembrokeshire written on the calender for months.

Then we found out that Caroline - H10's guides leader - would be carrying the torch into Cardigan. Cue scenes of great excitement. She was due to arrive with the torch over the town's old bridge at 3.44pm on Sunday, so we assembled an hour in advance with the other guides and brownies. There was a happy buzz of anticipation as the torch relay procession approached.

H10 and her fellow guides made banners at guides on Friday. They all adore Caroline which was clear from the posters and the air of general excitement.

R8, H10 and grandma were interviewed for the radio on their thoughts and feelings about the Olympic torch relay.

Caroline enters, torch aloft, huge smile.

Big cheers go up as the guides spot their leader.

One of 8,000.

Caroline hands the flame over to the next torch bearer.

What a fabulous day - it's something I won't forget and I hope H10 and R8 remember the sunny May day they saw the Olympic torch relay too. Knowing one of the torch bearers made it even more special too.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Drama queen

We're very fond of our little dog. On Wednesday he wasn't quite right. He leapt as if electric shocked. He ran as if chased by demons. He panted. He sweated. He was hot and damp.

He looked at me with white-rimmed eyes. I am a poorly dog. Brace yourself, I may be dying.

He didn't bark at the postman. He didn't even look out of the window. He just lay, rigid, in his bed, eyes wide. I'm not well at all. I'm a very sick doggy.

At lunchtime he sat, sorrowfully, in front of his bowl of doggy dinner (he has such a sensitive stomach, he has to be fed three times a day, yes, I know, spoiled, anyway...) he sat sadly looking into his bowl of untouched lunch for 20 minutes. I'm far too poorly to eat. I'll just fade quietly away.

When H10 and R8 got back from school Scamp had a bigger audience. He threw himself to the carpet like a swooning Victorian maiden in too tight corsets on a hot day.

He shivered. He shook.

"Aw! He's cold!" cooed the girls, wrapping him up in fleecy blankets. Outside the thermometer hit 23 degrees Celcius on the hottest day of the year so far.

The dog shivered pathetically from the depths of layers of fleece.

"Is is like Lucky (recently deceased guinea pig) is he going to (gulp) die?" The girls were worried. I reassured, not feeling terribly confident. Things did look bad. Had he eaten poison? Caught a virus? What was it?

Brian came home from work. The dog threw himself at his master's feet, rolled over onto his back, legs in the air. Sorry master, this is it.

"Hmmm," said the Boss, reaching down onto the dog's pitiful belly and plucking something small and hoppy from it. A flea. A flea? Is that bad? Is it the end? Goodbye, I've enjoyed being your dog will you miss me?

"You big wuss," we chorused. Disgusted. All that drama over fleas?

Fleas is not fatal then?

He was bathed in anti-flea shampoo. All bedding has been washed and both dogs have had flea drops applied. He's right back to normal now, eating like a horse and barking at the world. What a drama queen!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

We love May because...

We love the sun on our whiskers.

We love to sit on the wires and chatter.

We love the flowers on the wild plants in the strawberry garden because it means lots of lovely juicy white (not red) strawberries.

So that's why we love May. What do you love about May?

Monday, 14 May 2012

Bags of May

I don't just do sewing these days but it seems to be all I'm taking photographs of at the moment. I've finally perfected my own pattern, designed by me to my own (and my friend Jo's!) specifications. It's a shoulder bag with a flat base which is big enough to carry a book or an A4 file, a bit of shopping and the things your kids (and husbands) ask you to carry for them, with a pocket and either a button or a magnetic snap closure. I've never designed a pattern before so I'm rather pleased with this one.

I also finally finished my The Great Getaway Bag which is from Lisa Lam's The Bag Making Bible. I've had the fabric for this one since last summer. The outer is a PVC coated fabric from Laura Ashley and the inner and trimming is made from a rather expensive bit of woven gingham. But it's a bag made to last so it was worth spending a little time and money on. I used the handles and fittings from my old overnight bag and bought it a new strong zip (which is why my old bag bit the dust). It has a big outer pocket, an inner pocket and a zipped pocket. I can't wait to use it!

Having practised my PVC sewing skills I then made a Magatha Bagatha bag in this lovely beach huts print material. I've got this in the fabric version too but I wanted a bag for me (to carry around like an advert). It has a gingham lining too - red gingham and heart-shaped buttons are a Magatha Bagatha signature thing.

Another thing I've been meaning to do for a while is a cushion with an appliquéd dog design. For this I chose a picture of my late corgi Poppy which I posterised on PicMonkey, printed out and made into shapes for the appliqué. I used some corgi-coloured velvet for the main part of the dog with mercerised cotton for the details.

The finished cushion.

Finally, after a cold and wet April, we had a weekend of sunshine. Brian took this with his new camera with Bullseye demonstrating just how sloping our fields are and how close the hills are too. I love the shades of green in this shot. I meanwhile wasn't sewing (for once) but was finally getting rest of the early (late?) spuds in by making a lasagne bed which is a no-dig method of growing them - more on that in a future blog.

This week we also had visitors in the form of my cousin Keith, his daughter Claire and her delightful children. It was lovely to see them and hear some proper Midlands accents for a change. The sun came out to smile on them too just as it did for the barbecue in Llysyfran that we went to on Saturday night. After weeks of rain it was lovely to eat delicious food outdoors with some good company.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012