Wicked Books!

Huzzah, have found a new favourite author!

It`s been a while since I read a book and thought “Wow, I must have MORE!” and I have to admit I started to miss that feeling. Now usually I would condense my stories down over fears of boring my audience, but seeing as this is MY blog and everybody has the option to click away from this page if they so choose, im going with the long version.

Actually it’s not that long a story.

Basically amongst the masses of inane posts and useless bits of advertising I get on my Facebook news feed I saw a quiz from Bookbub entitled “which new book should you read?” So this was a quiz about BOOKS, and with the potential for buying a new book at the end of it . . . . I just had to take it.

So I waded through the handful of questions, and my book suggestion was . . . . `Wicked Charms by Janet Evanovich` ooooh! The title was enticing and I`d actually heard of the author too (I used to have a work colleague that got rather excited about pre-ordering her new releases) So I did a little research and discovered that ‘Wicked Charms’ is actually the third in a series.

I’ve made the mistake before of reading books out of sequence, I actually read the whole of Elizabeth Haydon’s ‘Prophecy’ really enjoyed it, then found out that it was the second book in a series and, as you can imagine, after reading the first book ‘Rhapsody some bits ofProphecy’ did make a lot more sense. Anyway, I digress.

So yes, I discovered that ‘Wicked Charms’ was the third in the series which was a little disappointing until upon looking at the rest of the series I found that ‘Wicked Appetite’ the first in the series was 99p to download to Kindle. Yippee! Now don’t get mad at me all you purists out there, I know you can’t beat the feel of a good paperback but there’s something exciting about having instant access to a book, and for that I do love my Kindle.

So downloaded ‘Wicked Appetite’ and instantly started reading . . . . and just kept on reading. This book had so many key points for me.

  • Set in Salem – I love books with a slight mystical aspect
  • Kooky and not quite with it main character. You know the kind of person, she may have a life that you wish you had but deep down she’s as confused and slightly crazy as the rest of us.
  • even kookier side characters. The nuts and slightly quirky side kicks. better known as ‘the comic relief’
  • lots of madcap antics.
  • a potential love interest that the main character ISN’T fawning over for most of the book

I wont ruin it for anybody and spoil the plot, but this book had me chuckling to myself quite a lot, and if this is that standard of work Janet Evanovich usually kicks out she’s got a keen follower in me now.

The times they are a changing

Have you ever looked back at something you’ve written and either wondered “Who is that person?” or possibly like me “What happened to that person?” I know they say we do change as we grow older, but some things I’ve been looking at are from as little as 5 years ago. Can a person really change that much in such little time, and is it possible to get back to who you once were, or is that the point of growth, there is no going back?

Through the power of ‘Timehop’, a time travelling Apple app that shows you what you posted on facebook on the same date in previous years, I’ve been reading a lot about who I once was, well the last 7 years of who I once was at least. Now whilst i’m glad that a certain part of me has moved on (the part that stayed out partying til 4 in the morning had a couple of hours sleep then went to work, knackered and a little hungover) I do miss certain other things and wonder where they went, or if they’ll ever come back. This part of me is particularly apparent in things I used to write, I was quite articulate and word creative, and as my mother used to say “She never uses just one word where ten will do”

This past me always carried a notebook in her pocket and would frequently scribble down thoughts and ideas even in the middle of work. I even have shoeboxes filled with old notebooks. The current me still does carry a notebook, but mostly for working out what we’ve spent, reminding me to do things I know i’ll forget, or making a note on who’s been toileted (that last ones for work, that’s not a general day to day musing) And the amount of notebooks I’ve used in the last 5 years couldn’t fill a matchbox let alone a shoebox. (ridiculous comparison I know but THIS IS WHAT I MEAN!!)

I don’t know what to call that part of me that’s lost, it’s not my creativity I still have that in abundance, although mostly in physical crafts now.

Is it just a simple case of ‘use it or lose it’? Five years ago I had my dream job at Waterstones, became reaquainted with a very good friend, we started seeing each other and shortly thereafter moved in together and got married. Did I reach the pinnacle of my bliss at that point and just stop trying? To quote the eagles “Did she get tired or did she just get lazy” Did I become the human equivalent of a contented house cat? I no longer hunted for my words, I just lay back and waited for the words to come to me.

Maybe it’s my inspiration that I’ve lost, my muse. Maybe she’s not even lost, maybe even as I write this is she sitting in the back of my mind giggling to herself, thinking ‘just a little longer’ lOST

Hug my Mug!

I am, I believe, quintessentially English. There is not much I love more than coming home at the end of a long day and settling in with a nice cup of tea. In fact it has been scientifically proven through a series of experiments (totally involuntary I may add) that I am an absolute nightmare if I don’t have my cup of tea after work.
So yes that’s me, the epitome of a cliché hot beverage advert, snuggling down with my oversized mug . . . ah but here’s where I frequently encounter a problem, because the adverts have lied to me! I know, absolute shocker isn’t it, but yes as I said the adverts have lied and my snuggling down with a cup of tea is not forthcoming as this sort of behaviour . . . .
. . . is liable to cause third degree burns.

So unfortunately due to the fact that i’m not an advert actress and, as a consequence, not in possession of a pair of asbestos hands I am unable to hug my mug and have to wait until it has cooled to a sufficient temperature, which takes half the fun out of it.
That was until some genius came up with the idea of ‘MUG HUGS’ (or Mug Cozy as they’re sometimes called, but I think Mug Hug is much more fun) a simple piece of knitwear designed especially for the mug of your choice enabling you to cosy up to your desired hot beverage without the risk of permanent skin damage.
I love them, and have designed and knitted several of my own (very quick and easy to do)

My own Mug Hugs 'inspired by nature'

My own Mug Hugs ‘inspired by nature’

Google mug hug and you’ll find all sorts of weird and wonderful hugs for your mugs, just . . be careful what you google . .

Batchelors hug in a Mug

Batchelors hug in a Mug

New Beginnings

Oooh I’m such a bad blogger. Well ok not a bad blogger, just an inconsistent one. I have my reasons.
It’s been a busy few months, not only did we move in November (a month before Christmas, very bold) but after two months of suffering the trials and costs of public transportation I’ve left Waterstones and got a job a little closer to home.
It was a bit of a leap, moving, but the fact that a house in Felixstowe was put up to let by an agents we’d been itching to get a house with, around the time that we’d just about had enough of our rather loud inconsiderate neighbours seemed to say something so we snatched it up.
So new house, that we loved, in an area that was perfect and with such lovely neighbours too. The only downside was the epic trek into work each morning, so only one solution to that, get a new job. Easier said than done on the run up to Christmas, so for some unfathomable reason I found myself applying for a care job . . . and getting it!!
In the craft world I’ve been thoroughly enjoying myself coming up with some new and funky designs. My brother has even set me up a website for selling some of items, so hopefully as I add more items to my inventory that may take off a bit, till then here’s my latest tricks . . .

Really nice, really simple pattern for a cardigan you can knit up in one go (only seam is up the side) unfortunately pattern only comes in preemie size, so shall have to do some jiggery pokery to work out larger sizes.

Really nice, really simple pattern for a cardigan you can knit up in one go (only seam is up the side) unfortunately pattern only comes in preemie size, so shall have to do some jiggery pokery to work out larger sizes.

Simple mittens, simple pattern, simply fun (especially the twist cord) . . .

Simple mittens, simple pattern, simply fun (especially the twist cord) . . .

. . . then playing with some fun colours.

Hobbit Feet sock/slippers requested by my younger brother . . .

Hobbit Feet sock/slippers requested by my younger brother . . .

 . . . which led to experiments for a baby version . . .

. . . which led to experiments for a baby version . . .

. . . and then to the final decision, with or without toes?

. . . and then to the final decision, with or without toes?


Playing with a pattern I found for a 'Snuggie'. Love them! The big one takes a while, so i think i'll stick to the little 'un (although i will definately be rething the facial features)

Playing with a pattern I found for a ‘Snuggie’. Love them! The big one takes a while, so i think i’ll stick to the little ‘un (although i will definately be rething the facial features)

Sister-in-law asked me to make a felted cushion like one she saw in John Lewis for £70 (on the left) Worked out the design myself, the ratio may be slightly off but i'd say it's close enough. I used acrylic for this as it's cheap wool and it was just a test item. Unfortunately acrylic doesn't felt so i'll have to buy some 100% wool to complete this

Sister-in-law asked me to make a felted cushion like one she saw in John Lewis for £70 (on the left) Worked out the design myself, the ratio may be slightly off but i’d say it’s close enough. I used acrylic for this as it’s cheap wool and it was just a test item. Unfortunately acrylic doesn’t felt so i’ll have to buy some 100% wool to complete this

CAPTAIN AMERICA! I'm sorry, was just so chuffed with this jumper.

CAPTAIN AMERICA! I’m sorry, was just so chuffed with this jumper.

and finally my 'Piece de resistance' and my proudest achievement of the year.

and finally my ‘Piece de resistance’ and my proudest achievement of the year.

. . . on a lighter note

Haven’t shared my projects for a while . .and there’s a lot of them . .so here’s my ‘gallery’ in the style of  ‘Vision On’

a-one a-two a-three a-four

Doo dobe dodo dobe do

Shawl from ‘Lets Knit’ Magazine, went slightly wrong, but still looked good.

do be do bedo



 dooby dooby do

A little experiment gone well, with lots of different styles in my head now.













do be do do be do do do do

Cardigan for my little neice

do do dooby do do be do

Berry Hats. Lots of fun and easy to knit up

do be do be do








dooby dooby do

the ‘hey look I can crochet!’ hat

do be do do me do be do

Had a request from Baby Ben for a hat . . .so of course i went a little nuts with it









dooby do dooby do do do

Adult Bobble hat inspired by the baby bobbles

do do be do be do

Another fun onesie (panda and reindeer also on the way)

bedo be do be do do be do be










do be do do do be do be do

Loving these onesies!

do do be do do be do do








do do be do be do

Reindeer hat, debating on whether would be better or just a little freaky with eyes

do do be do be do

Very very happy with how this turned out, too cute for words











do do doooooooooooo

Iron Man gloves! Also designed by me at the request of a co-worker












And just because it’s too cute for words . .

Baby Ben in one of my hats

Eli’s Coming!

Apologies yet again for lacking in updates, I could blame a busy schedule, high demand for my knitting skills, extreme nonchalance, or maybe it’s just that our Tablet is broken so husband has been hogging the laptop.

In all honesty though there hasn’t really been much to report, physically I’m still struggling up that metaphorical hill. I’d like to say that every day gets easier, but some days get easier, and some days I’m exhausted before lunch time and can’t explain why. I hit my 12 week post op mark next Wednesday, so I think perhaps going to the gym again might be the best idea . . . I’m just terrified I’m going to knacker myself out before the day has even started!

Then we move smoothly on to my mental/emotional state which, to be quite frank, is quite a bit worse than my physical state. I’ve recently found myself to be quite prone to tearful outbursts, even a rather unproductive attempt to book a doctors appointment recently left me wailing like a banshee. I’m not even going to attempt to justify it all by delving deep into the psychology of the emotional ramifications of the events of this year. Justify to say that it’s a bit bloody annoying and has led to people around me thinking that there’s more wrong with me than there actually is! Did that make sense? Hmm, how to explain that. Basically, yes I’ve had a hell of a crap year, and yes it all does rather upset me, but I’m dealing with it and moving on in my own little way. Unfortunately when I end up bawling like a two year old each time somebody asks me “Are you OK?” (complete with sympathetic head tilt) it looks like my body is making a liar out of me and nobody believes me when I tell them I’m fine. I’ve never really liked my body anyway, and if it continues with this sort or outrageous behaviour me and it are going to be having severe words!

So yes that’s my life at the moment, busying myself with various knitting projects as I physically and mentally struggle up a metaphor the size of Mount Everest. However, I can feel a change in the wind. I used to watch a TV show which I think was called ‘Sports Night’, and one of the characters in it misunderstood the lyrics of the Three Dog Night song ‘Elis Coming’ he thought it meant that something big was on the horizon and you could feel it in the air. So throughout the episode when something a little dramatic happened you just heard a little of the intro lyrics “Eli’s coming. . . “ well that’s what I feel at the moment, every now and again something in my head whispers the lyrics “Eli’s coming . . “ (that probably makes more sense if you’ve heard the song)


I do actually have a lot to look forward to at the moment, whilst we are effectively having to cancel Halloween (my favourite holiday, but unfortunately the endless stream of little kids it cute costumes would just be too much for me) we’re popping down to Wiltshire to see our brand new nephew the week after. We’re being kept updated with a continuous stream of cute pictures at the moment, so really can’t wait to see him. Then we have a trip down to London for some Christmas shopping and to visit the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park (Christmas wouldn’t be the same without it), there’s also a potential visitation with my Dad and Step-mum in the works, just got to figure out who’s working what and when, and also who’s visiting who. I’m also thinking about selling my crafts, making myself a little business. I really love making all the little things that I do, and if I can earn a little money from it even better! Then of course there’s Christmas and all the potential that a New Year has to bring.

 Eli’s Coming!

Happy New Year!

I’m Back!

Yes, for those who haven’t noticed, I’ve been away. Well not exactly away but convalescing and as a result rather disinclined to blog. It’s also been quite an intense couple of months with a lot going on, but maybe I should just stick to my operation news for now.

As I mentioned in a previous post my operation date was August 1st, it was a pretty nerve wrecking day made so much easier by the fact that the day before I had become an auntie!!  My older brother and his wife had a gorgeous little boy called Benjamin Nevis William Johnston (Benjamin Nevis because my brother proposed to his wife on top of Ben Nevis)

My little nephew Benjamin and his toy ‘daddy’ that I knitted him

and even though I’m an auntie already to my husband’s three nieces this was the first niece/nephew on my side of the family so I went into hospital with a very happy ‘proud new auntie’ glow about me. This was a good thing as the next week would prove to be absolute hell for me.

To start with I arrived at the hospital at my appointed time of 7:30am after 12 hours of being ‘nil by mouth’. It was a busy day on the ward so I had to wait quite a while before I got a bed and even longer to be taken up to surgery. It was 4:30pm by the time I was finally wheeled up to surgery and after 21 hours with no food and only the occasional sips of water I wasn’t in the best of moods. Then I was subjected to the worst pain imaginable, and without wishing to scaremonger, I wouldn’t wish what happened to me next on my worst enemy.

Because my surgery was going to be quite intensive and in the abdominal area not only was I going to have a general anaesthetic but also a spinal anaesthetic which would doubly anaesthetise my lower regions and it also would take a little longer to leave my system making it unnecessary for me to have a lot of pain relief after the surgery, which sounded nice. The reality was a lot more unpleasant, due to the size of my stomach I was unable to sit in the proper position for the spinal injection to be administered so I had to have it whilst laying on my side which made it tricky for the anaesthetist to get the right spot. After about three attempts and the most unpleasant pain I have ever experienced, which I was rather vocal about, they had to up the dosage of my general anaesthetic to knock me out to do the spinal.

My surgery took a few hours, during which they removed the cyst (which measured 32cmx30cm and weighed 2 stone!) my ovary and my appendix, and left me with a scar roughly 12 inches long.

My scar with staples, there were lots of them!

Staples out. . . and healing quite nicely

The next day, I was amazed at how much better I felt. Gone were the constant stabbing pains in my shoulder and my side, I could also now breathe properly and stand up for longer than five minutes without being in agony. It just showed how bad things had got, that I’d literally just had quite intensive surgery and had a very large incision in my abdomen and I felt much better than I had for months.

The ‘before’ picture was actually a few weeks before, I had got even bigger by the time I went into hospital.

My hospital stay ended up being a little longer than expected due to some complications caused, we think, by the excessive amount of spinal anaesthetic I ended up with. But the details of that are a little bit icky and unpleasant so I won’t subject you all to that.

Today I’m exactly seven weeks out of surgery and even though the first few weeks were really tough (and quite often had me in tears) things are gradually getting easier. My first attempt at stairs was slow but rewarding. My first walk into town, with a stick, was exhausting.  Since then, however, I’ve had a holiday on the Isle of Wight, a birthday, and gone back to work, so things are slowly but surely getting back to normal.

Whilst we were on the Isle of Wight the husband and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. We both agreed it’s been a hell of a year, (with somebody wording it quite succinctly that it’s quite harsh to lose your mum and find out you can’t have children all in the same year) which has only served to make us stronger and closer than ever, and we now intend to make the most of the coming year.

So here’s to new beginnings!

My birthday outing to Carisbrooke Castle. I got to play ‘dress up’ with my little niece.


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