Friends for life

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When we left Brighton over a year ago Jo and I were concerned about the girls would react. Other folk gently advised that at the tender age of 3 it was unlikely that they would remember or be particularly bothered.

The photo above was taken yesterday and the girls would still identify as best friends, proof that some friendships are strong from the earliest of years with the potential to last a lifetime.

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(The girls 2 years ago in Brighton)

For some reason, them leaving this time was especially hard. Silly really,  in the 14 months we’ve been gone we’ve been back to Brighton three times, had four visits from Brighton friends and even gone camping near Gemma’s family in Dorset so we could spend some time with her and her boys.  So it’s not like we’re not seeing them much!

I guess it’s just because we had such a lovely few days with them. The kids played harmoniously, we knitted and talked off grid dreams, we paddled in our stream, explored Haldon forest and our local park and the adults even managed an evening of eating cheese and playing the BN1 boardgame. Just perfect.

We love our life in Devon, especially now we’re in the Barn but the friendships we’ve left behind make it hard not to have a sense of longing to return sometimes.

Some friendships come and go, some are casual, some are through circumstance and then there are those rare but special friendships that run deep and true, where you’re as close as families. Jo, Gemma and their associated menfolk and kidlets are like that to me-love you ladies! Thanks for coming Jo, until we’re all living in the woods we’ll make do on snatched days every few months.
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Winning worst ever blogger award is….

Probably me! Over a month since my last blog…that is very bad form.

We’ve been busy; being ill, having friends to stay, being ill and visiting friends in Brighton.

I feel like I have both everything and nothing to say. My head is spinning with things at the moment; whether we can get a mortgage, whether to continue down the home ed route, whether doula training is the right option for me right now, music, the garden, mild nostalgia for being child free (don’t get me wrong-I love life more now than ever before, just getting a bit wistful for not being able to up and go with just Dan) and why do we all keep getting ill?!

Probably better just to spam you with pictures rather than ramble on too much more tonight.

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How do we have 6 children between us?! Madness!

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Transfixed.

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1st and 4th birthdays! Beautiful dress made by the lovely Mama Jo for Sez face and I just about finished my cardy for Thea (don’t worry, I re did buttons so ribbing matched!)

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General ‘it’s been summery and gorgeous but we’ve been poorly so just chilling and enjoying being outside in our shady garden’ pictures.

So…not my best post. But I’ll endeavour for a thought provoking, meaningful jobby soon.

A sedate Christmas, flat-sitting and an ambulance

After the excitement of Sophia’s birthday died down the anticipation and run up to Christmas was slightly marred by everyone getting sick. An odd bug whose main symptoms seem to be extreme fatigue, loss of appetite and a nasty cough. Everyone came down with it bar me so I’ve been pottering around looking after everyone.

However we still managed to have a lovely Christmas spent with friends up the road and I don’t think I’ve ever felt so calm and relaxed at Christmas! Church was attended, presents exchanged, good food eaten and mandatory viewing watched…and all in the company of dear friends.

Said friends headed off to visit family on Boxing Day and kindly let us flat sit until their return which was a blessing as everyone was still poorly and recovering is much more comfortable on dry land with a big sofa, proper beds and a bath (and far too much TV for when all too tired for anything else)!

The calmness was briefly disrupted by the out of hours GP calling an ambulance for Isaac last night after he had a very high temperature and laboured breathing but paramedics declared a trip in wasn’t necessary. I’m pleased to report that he’s looking better today already and our gentle end to the year has resumed.

Oh…and my wooly challenge? Not a complete success! I knitted (and really enjoyed doing so!) both the big girls ballet slippers and was really pleased with the result but faltered when it came to the babies. The pattern had some incorrect instructions and to be honest, when it came to the cabling was beyond me. Luckily Mum came to the reduce and knitted some for Thea using my wool for me-thank you again Ma! She also showed me another pattern and have me some wool to knit some felted slippers for Isaac which will hopefully be done before his birthday (the 18th). So I didn’t quite get there but 3 out of 4 had slippers in Christmas Day and I’ve learnt my lesson about giving myself enough time and not worrying about changing patterns if needs be.

So there you have it, a brief round up of the last two weeks for us and I’ll leave you with some photos for your viewing pleasure.


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A wooly Christmas challenge

Where has the last week gone?! I think another round up would be in order but last week was a quiet but social week with lunch with friends a few times, dancing and the Breastfeeding peer support group I volunteer at so nothing particularly noteworthy to blog. Although at the weekend Sophia surprised me by writing M’s, i’s, a’s, o’s and b’s on her etch-a-sketch. Amazing what they pick up without you knowing! And yesterday I took Sophia and her friend to our Monday home ed group where they found a game in which you have to match letters to the picture cards and they both impressed me with their sounding out skills. Good times!

But enough rambling and onto the main reason for this post…

We are spending Christmas Day with some friends who live just up the road with their daughters; Sophia’s best friend S (same friend as above) and her baby sister T (who Isaac spends his time trying to poke and grab-but with love I’m sure!)

I decided a while ago to adopt the following adage for Christmas:

‘Something they want
Something they need
Something to wear
Something to read’

And as such had decided to knit slippers for my kids and S and T (to fulfil the ‘wear’ element for mine) for Christmas gifts. However it is the 27th November and I haven’t started so my challenge is to knit all 4 pairs before Christmas. It should be doable especially as the baby ones are small but there are a few things on the patterns that I haven’t done before (cabling and I cords to be precise) so am hoping I master them quickly.

I am doing these for Isaac and T; both using wool from my stash- some pumpkin worsted weight for him and a variegated DK for her with pinks, blues and yellows. The pattern calls for DK so hoping that using worsted weight for his won’t be a mistake!

For the girls I have chosen this pattern to tie in with their love of dancing. S’s will of course be done in pink (her favourite colour!) and I haven’t decided what colour for Sophia yet-she claimed blue was her favourite colour the other day but do I risk choosing blue and then her wanting pink like S?! We’ll be in Exeter next week (Dan has to work there for a week so we’re going with him) so I might actually get her to choose some wool from one of the wool shops there and just not tell her what it’s for!

So I have made this challenge public in order to give myself extra motivation to get it done in time. I’ll keep you updated.

I’ll leave you with a few pictures of my little man-Sophia is at her friends today so I’ve an afternoon just me and the boy which is lovely and relaxing-especially as he’s napping right now! (I hasten to add that he is asleep in his bed now…not pinning me to the sofa!)

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Finished it Friday

Ever since I saw it on Soulemama I’ve wanted to knit a pebble, or to be more accurate ‘Henry’s Manly Cobblestone-Inspired Baby Vest’. (The pattern can be found on ravelry here). I actually finished it last weekend but wanted to show it off as it is such a cute knit!

I bought some Wool of the Andes Worsted Weight in Pumpkin from Great British Yarns and found some very cute little light green animal farm buttons on ebay. It was a quick, easy and fun knit but I was dismayed when I had finished and it looked far too tiny for my hulk of a little man! However, after some fairly vigorous blocking it now is of a suitable size for him (although I don’t know how long for!)

Anyway, on to the pictures!