Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Knitting again

I've started knitting again - hurray! I'm still quite a beginner, so every project I take on has some element of new learning in it. This time round I'm knitting a cardigan for my friend's new baby boy. It's in a lovely blue cashmerino aran yarn by Debbie Bliss. I'll post a photo when I've finished it.

The problem with knitting is that it makes me want to buy lots of yarn! Look at this beautiful yarn - aren't the colours amazing?

Yarn and Photo by yarnwench on Flickr

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Book of the decade!

If there's a book that sums up the last few years or so for me, it's How to be Free by Tom Hodgkinson. I re-read it regularly, and it's great to just dip into. It's anarchic, humourous, warm, and makes a whole lot of sense to me. It's a current read right now and partially inspired the radical move I've just made. Now all I have to do is dust off my ukelele......

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Free at last!!!

So... I quit my job!!! Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Hooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!

Honestly, I can't tell you the liberation! And actually the prospect of frugal - and more mindful - living is kind of exciting me too.

Why I'm pleased:
Not having to do the 9-5 grind, not having 'an office'. Not having all those associated office politics (of which there were A LOT in my place). Not having to travel on trains and buses for hours and hours to get there to do something I don't even really enjoy.

Focusing on my family, creative pursuits - knitting, drawing, playing, learning - just living life at a more local level, a slower pace. Yes, I'll still be doing the lecturing, with it's associated piles of marking etc. but that's something I can control. I can choose which days I want to work. I can choose how many hours I want to take on. I can take on more one term, less the next. And if I run out of money I have to be creative about where I find some more.

I'm thrilled!!

Picture by Picasso, which I'm thinking of having as a tattoo to mark this occasion!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Life on the edge

I'm about to take a big leap of faith. After being fed up of my job for some time now, I'm thinking of handing in my notice to spend more time at home with E. I will still need to do my part-time lecturing, but as that's neither all year round nor totally reliable that they'll have hours for me, it's a big risk. Particularly in these financial times. I'll have to find some bits and bobs of work across the year to make sure I can pay for E to go to nursery one day per week.
But to be honest, even if I end up selling all my stuff, busking in town every day, trying to live more frugally and carefully, I think it will still be a reaaaally positive thing.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Down by the river

E hasn't been swimming in his life, as I can't swim and am pretty scared of water. But this weekend we went with his (half) brother Jake, myself and the woodsman down to the River Itchen, near Itchen Abbas, and paddled in the shallows. It was such fun! E needed some persuading to get in but once in he didn't want to get out. Another family came for a paddle with their dog, who was *very* excited about the whole thing, and E kept shouting 'woof woof'. All great fun. We then popped in to see a friend who gave us a big bowl full of home grown raspberries. Jake - who is now 12 - said it was the best Sunday he's had in ages, much better than sitting and playing X Box!

Photo by sandlings on Flickr

Saturday, 10 July 2010


E constantly amazes me! He's just about to turn 19 months this coming week, and his talking is really coming on. His words aren't very clear but he's starting to put together more and more two word phrases. This morning I could hear him chattering away in his cot, and then clear as day he said....

'one, two, three, four'!

I had *no* idea he could count! I mean, we do count things in books but not in a hardcore teachy sort of way... they just pick up things like sponges, don't they.

So, I think we might get him this funny, stylish print from sugarfresh just to celebrate his new counting skills!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Book of the week

I've just started this book and, oh my word, it is wonderfully poetic. It's an absolutely thrillingly page-turner at this point too. Something terrible has happened on an ordinary street, on a summer day, but we don't know what. McGregor builds the suspense through tiny details and images. Amazing writing

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

'Late Summer' by Lyndn Gauntlett

Here's a pretty tune that the woodsman wrote, with woodsman on piano and me on bass. We need to sort out our camera angles more so you can see us both.

Summer projects

I love to have fun projects for the summer and am feeling the need to make a list. Listmaking is also something I love to do! Above is a photo of me with E (busily munching on rice cakes!) and his super fun cousin, doing some drawing. This summer we've done lots of drawing - E drew a lovely spider this morning, which he was pleased with as spiders are his favourite thing at the moment.
Here's some ideas of projects that I'd like to do - I shall keep you posted of my progress
  • plant up some herbs (we were given some very garish coloured plastic plant pots and some seeds, so I may as well plant them up for us to use)
  • make a hula hoop
  • learn to juggle (the woodsman is an excellent juggler and I'm sure could teach me no problems)
  • sew something (but what?? to decide - I'm a total beginner)

Let's see how I get on - can I stop procrastinating and actually do some fun stuff?

Sunday, 4 July 2010


I'm loving the creativity of toddlerhood and I'm really starting to think about unschooling as an option for us, as I want to keep this exciting/excited way of learning and exploring for E.
Not sure I could cope with some of the negative reactions I know we'd get, but we'd find ways to cope with those over time I think.

I've been doing a lot of blog reading recently and am finding more and more wonderful blogs that show really creative families and people living outside of the more accepted ways of living. You might say outside of the 'system'. Travellers, unschoolers, anarchists, deworkers, idlers, crafters, bloggers.... Gives me inspiration to read such things.

(Photo by the brilliant Amanda Blake Soule of Soulemama)

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Cute boys tops

Aren't these boys tops from Danefae adorable? I can see E roaming about and causing havoc, whilst looking super cute in one of these.

(Photos via Nordic Kids)