Friday, 6 January 2017

The ties between charities......

Yesterday was our first of the year visit to Acorn Villages for crafting and lunch. As I've mentioned before it's mainly a residential community for adults with learning disabilities and totally funded by charitable donations and they also raise funds by selling hand crafted objects the residents have made.

Our neighbour-friendsP&A and their church are also very involved in another charity in Romania and taking lorry loads of goods out to them. Recently they were given a huge amount of brand new school ties which unfortunately would be of no use to the orphanages or very poor in Romania.

How lucky they mentioned it to me, just in idle conversation. Well as a crafter I knew there were lots of possibilities and we all loved the idea of passing on a charitable donation straight on to another charity that could make good use of them and hopefully make some money too. I had about 40 here of three different patterns.

So far I made two prototype sample cases, for specs or mobile phone and a pen or scissors etc.

 I took them yesterday to show the other crafters and staff. The member of staff thought they were definitely easy enough for some of the adults there to make. The other crafters all loved the idea and a few came up with lots of different ideas and said they can make for Acorn to sell or make for themselves and make a donation to Acorn instead. As they are bright colours we've decided to keep all scraps too for making rag-rugs and rag-wreaths for next Christmas.

So I've now told P&A I can make use of them all, so think I've some huge boxes of ties coming my way.

2016 reading.........

It's been a dreadful year for reading, seems like I'm not sitting still long enough, or crafting and playing online Words With Friends is taking preference, or I haven't found the right book to grab my interest. So here is the meagre list......

Hardback. Bought used from Amazon with Christmas gift voucher
Started  11/1/16 - finished 21/1/16
An excellent and very entertaining read. So refreshing that it wasn't the usual rags-to-riches celebrity autobiography as Michael was born into wealth and privilege but of course privilege is relative as his parents divorced and he passionately describes his relationships with family members, teenage angst, finding love and the huge struggle to work his chosen career to success. It's so funny.

eBook. Paid for download to Kindle reader with Christmas gift voucher.
Started  22/1/16 - finished 3/2/16
This had been recommended to me by SisterS and I'm just about to thank her as I've thoroughly enjoyed it. The twists and turns of emotion and comparisons between how the generations grew up and how it had influenced their relationships with each other. Secrets and lies and how the truth unfolds. I highly recommend it.

eBook. Free download to Kindle reader.
Started  4/5/16 - unfinished
Carrying this forward to 2017

THE ART OF BEING NORMAL by Lisa Williamson
Paperback. Lent to me by GranddaughterE.
Started  14/5/16 - finished 16/5/16
A brilliant look at teenage peer pressure, bullying and support when there is added pressure of gender issues. The families were described so well that it showed why the teens had some of their problems. For all the young adult readers I'm pleased it ended on a positive note.  Highly recommended.

NORWEGIAN WOOD by Haruki Murakami
Daughter read this and recommended it,  I found it as an audiobook on YouTube.
Started 1/10/16 - never finished, seems my lifestyle doesn't go well with audio books.
A little bit odd as this book is very Japanese but is read by a young male American. No heavy story but all mixed relationships well implied without being totally described (does that make sense? ). Yes enjoyed as far as I got but easily picked up and put down.

*THE WOMAN IN WHITE by Wilkie Collins
eBook. Free download to Kindle reader. Another that Daughter had recommended.
Started 26/11/16  - unfinished
Carrying this forward to 2017

Friday, 30 December 2016

A Real Mixed Bag.....

The week before Christmas our Son was unwell enough to be rushed into hospital and kept there for four days so we did a dash from Suffolk to Wiltshire then Bath and back to Wiltshire then home to Suffolk all in a day. We'd packed a bag to stay if need be but in the end it worked out best to come home. Happy to report Son is fine just needing lots of rest now to recover.

Nine Wednesday-friends had a lovely Christmas meal out, with friendsT&F producing funny photo props out of her bag lol.
Then back to BfriendM for drinks and a late night.
I left a few bags of gifts with people that night and came home with lots more bags for us to put under our tree. 

Daughter had been in and out of our house with various children for days, glazing and firing clay gifts and wrapping here out of sight of recipients etc. Bringing bags in and taking bags out. 

Christmas Eve our favorite neighbour-friendsP&A came in for drinks and nibbles (P is also unwell so taking it easy, not that we do anything strenuous here lol).

Christmas day was lovely. Daughter came with children, M came later on his motorbike so he could leave when he needed to. Son and fiancé came too, so nine of us at the table. Dinner all cooked really well (surprised me too), including options for vegetarians and a vegan. Only realised two days later that I'd forgotten to put the cranberry sauce on the table oops.

27th is our extended family day (has been ever since my siblings and I set up homes of  our own). Hosted here as usual. This year we totalled 30 people, six of those invited couldn't come, two were too ill to come, for one boyfriend and one fiancĂ© it was their first time (hope we didn't scare them), we met a guest friend who was sharing Christmas with one of our families and we all had lots of cuddles with our two newest 2016 babies. So another big bag of secret Santa gifts very theatrically handed out by O with help from great-nieceE.

Thought I'd be finished with my knitting bag, but couldn't get it finished so the bag has been shoved behind the sofa. Actually just remembered I've two books unfinished on my kindle that I need to get back to.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Theatre: Pinnochio......

This was physical theatre, dance, human puppetry, clever light effects, with the only dialogue given by a six handed white gloved 'face' glowing in HV light. It was amazing!

Jasmin Vardimon Company presents a brand new adaptation of the classic tale, Pinocchio. Based on the original book by Collodi and performed by Vardimon’s multi-talented dancers, Pinocchio will bring to life the famous marionette as he embarks on a fantastic journey to become a human boy.

‘A conscience is that still small voice that people won’t listen to.’ – Carlo Collodi, Pinoccho

Showcasing Vardimon’s uniquely theatrical choreographic and directorial style, Pinocchio will combine physical theatre, quirky characterisation, innovative technologies, text and dance to examine the idea of what it means to be human.

With insightful humour, engaging drama and an acute observation of behaviour, Pinocchio will take audiences on a wonderful journey of discovery through the parameters of this timeless and beloved fable.


Daughter had a spare ticket so with her O, R and D we went to the venue Dance East on the Ipswich Waterfront. Not sure how many people this theatre holds but it was a totally full house. 90 minutes without an interval kept us all silently spellbound. D had said before he hated dancy stuff, R had seen it before as a trip with college and O is only seven. ...we all came out saying how much we enjoyed it.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Medical avalanche........

Been a very busy time of late and calander booked to stay that way till just passed the new year.

R and O performed for the last time with their Saturday drama group, a fun performance as always. Unfortunately this drama group has been ended by the County Council as they only want to run Saturday school for music in future so this was an emotional end of term and end of an era for the children and also for Daughter who started coming here for her own music as a child and now as a parent has helped with registration and tuck shop for years. Sad farewells all round.

Last week seemed to be dominated by medical things too, and none of them involved my health for a change.
     We are both fine, which has been no easy task in fact, as Daughter then O and now M have all been ill with a sickness bug and we haven't been able to avoid seeing them.
      Our next door neighbour has a very serious medical condition diagnosed 40 years ago (told back then she only had six weeks to live) and she now needs stronger magic so has been in and out of Papworth Hospital and sometimes Addenbrooks over the last few weeks. Her husband has been asked to take in various bits of her medical supplies when he visits every day but midweek he phoned Hubby urgently asking him to go into their house and find some tubes in her medical supplies and get them to Papworth as he was there already (as the hospital had the wrong ones) so on his bike more than an hour's ride away! The staff were so grateful.
     Wednesday night I was out with my friends and before dinner had arrived friendM had a really funny turn, acting so weird that we were all concerned and I thought she should get checked out so took her and her partner to the local A&E. They decided she needed an ambulance to the main hospital about 11 miles away. FriendsT&F met us at the local hospital then went to the pub to tell another friend we should have met what was going on, then met us at the main hospital. Meanwhile I took her partner home and we gathered up what she might need if they kept her in overnight, then as he hadn't even had time to finish his first pint we could take two cars and ended up following the blue lights into town. It was nearly 1am when I left them there as having checked her thoroughly they suggested maybe a CT scan, but by the time I got home they had text me to say "no scan needed on our way home" so I was relieved and slept well. The think she'd had a TIA or mini-stroke! Very scary at the time and there will be follow ups but thankfully she's feeling fine now.
     While we were in the hospital friendM got to see her daughter as she was there with a sick baby, thankfully they'd just been discharged and I caught her just in time before they left for home.
     Heard from friendLW too who is totally drugged up as she has horrid sinus problems so she can't breathe and makes her sick and made her eyes really swollen.
     Also I went to visit friendHM to tell her about friendM and she is still unwell having one infection after another and now has a nasty rash on her face and in her eye.

My mum always said that winter needed a really cold snap to kill off the germs but even that wouldn't help for most of this!

Friday, 2 December 2016

Advent better than chocolate.......

What a good idea.
See how many you can do.

Image looks unreadable to me, so here's the link