Monday, 6 June 2011

things about me & blog awards...

This has taken some musing over! I was very excited to receive this...

from Andrea at Apples & Pears last week! Thankyou Andrea! And then I realised I didn't really know what I'm supposed to do quite but having had a bit of a look around I think I'm meant to tell you some things about me and nominate some other blogs...

So here goes...

1. I can't bear things that are tight around the neck! Polo neck jumpers in particular! The 70s were, for me, a traumatic time of homemade jumpers and sensible shoes. I'm sure this must have been one of my Mum's patterns...

Now, of course, I can appreciate the amount of time my poor mother must have spent making these things but I think she scarred me for life with the polo neck ribbed jumper! I started secondary school in 1977, the year lots of schools were becoming 'Comprehensives'. My sister, 11 months older than me, was at the Grammar School and had a uniform of a fetching combination of shirt, tie and blazer. When the Grammar and Secondary Modern combined in 1977, the girls were allowed a 'much more progressive' uniform with an 'open-necked blouse' instead of shirt and tie. Mum, concerned about the possibilities of a chilly neck, insisted that I wear a navy skinny rib under my light blue my intense embarrassment. I hated the feel of that jumper then and still don't like high necks!

2. For my 40th birthday, I jumped out of a plane!

When I was offered the chance to do a tandem skydive, I jumped at it, spurred on by the incredulous looks of my kids who didn't think I'd do it! I was strapped to a very nice, calm man, went up in a little plane to about 15,000ft (about 2 miles) and jumped out into the bright sky above the clouds. You free-fall to 5,000ft in about 40 seconds at a speed of 120mph - believe me, that was the longest 40 seconds ever! It literally takes your breath away as the air rushes past, then there is a jolt as he parachute opens and about 6 minutes of floating silently down. It was at once the scariest and most exhilarating thing I have done and I was on a high for days. Plus I raised over £1000 for Breathe Easy, which is the support group part of the British Lung Foundation, a charity that provides information and support for people affected by lung disease.

3. I love the colour purple...

I always have, from lilacs to deep purples, and zingy mid-range shades like these geraniums. I will definitely be wearing purple when I am an old woman! (Jenny Joseph, Warning! When I am old I shall wear purple...)

4. I think I may have finally, and unintentionally, kicked my coffee habit!

I don't think I drank loads of coffee but I did like it strong! But when I was in Morocco earlier this year, the main hot drink was mint tea, so after 3 days of terrible headaches and craving I had to admit to myself a degree of dependency! And so when I came back, I kept off the caffeine and discovered that I was getting way less headaches than I used to do. I still love the smell of 'proper' coffee and have an occasional one as a treat but probably no more than one a week. Has made no difference to my insomnia though...

5. I find it next to impossible to name a favourite song or band. I was never really clever about music as a teenager - our house was a pretty quiet one and my cultural exposure until I discovered radio 1 and the chart show, was limited to my parents selection of LPs - Simon & Garfunkel, Pete Seeger and Glenn Miller. There were a few I liked in the late 70s and early 80s - Dire Straits, Electric Light Orchestra, Eurythmics - and sometimes I like to listen to these 'oldies' but I really enjoy some of the newer artists coming out and son 1 regularly introduces me to 'New Music' - the CD in my car right now is a playlist he has put together for me, entitled 'Mum's CD - a smorgasbord of musical delight'!! So right now, I am enjoying Laura Marling, Frank Turner, Regina Spektor... amongst others!

6. In the same vein, I have (a bit late!) discovered festivals!

Latitude is not far from us and was my first festival experience three years ago. I love the relaxed atmosphere and the chance to see people you may never have heard of and might just love. This year I have day tickets lined up for Cambridge Folk Festival and Latitude and might try to get to Harvest at Jimmys later in the year. The camping bit is fun but the 'bathroom facilities' require a certain strength of character...!

7. I am fascinated by my ancestors.

These are my maternal grandparents and both died when my Mum was a child, she of TB aged 39 and he of heart disease (in every photo we have of he is smoking!) when Mum was 15. Mum was brought up by her step-mum, my lovely Nannie - but I have always been curious about this side of my family as I think I probably have a lot of them in me. One of these days I will have a really serious go at doing my family tree...

8. I collect serviette rings.

These are just some of the many I have picked up since I started collecting them as a child. My parents were teachers then but always loved poking around in 'junk shops'. We spent hours in these places as kids and I think encouraging us to collect something was a way of keeping us entertained there! I have over 100 of these and still love to have a little nosey around shops full of bits and pieces looking for treasure!

9. I love to walk in the hills and have a secret desire to move to somewhere with hills on the doorstep (you have to go a long way from Norfolk to get to anything resembling a proper hill!). We have walked in the Lake District, Wales and a bit in Scotland and Derbyshire. There are so many places I still want to go but I think one of my favourite days ever was a walk I did with son 1 several years ago in the Lakes when we climbed up from the slate mine on Honister Pass, across Grey Knotts, Brandreth and Green Gable before coming down through Windy Gap and down to Seathwaite. It was a beautiful bright blustery day and just a great way to spend the day. There are so many more I would like to do...!

10. I could get a degree in distraction! I get very easily sidetracked from what I am supposed to be doing and then completely caught up in my 'thing of the moment', be it a book, a crafty project or t'internet - how many hours is it possible to lose in bloggy land???!!! But, and don't tell the family, I have become a dab hand in achieving a lot in a very little time when I suddenly realise I have frittered almost a whole day and am about to be found out...!

So, enough trivia about me I think, now the really tricky part - there are so many lovely blogs out there and I enjoy all those that I read but far too may to mention. If these awards are not your thing, then please don't feel obliged to join in - I won't be offended!

Jacquie at Bunny Mummy
Alice (& Raymond) at Crochet with Raymond
'The Girl' at Just Me
Heather at Little Tin Bird
Kathy at Postcards from the Paradise Peninsula

Thanks again Andrea, and I could have listed a lot more of you out there but think five is probably enough for now!

A couple of other quick things I wanted to share with you today...

I have finally finished the socks I've been making! I am quite pleased with them - for a first attempt they are not a bad fit and they are certainly cosy (not summer socks really).

But they were a bit of a steep learning curve and I think next time I would use a finer yarn and maybe try  DPNs rather than circular needle. Need to look out for another pattern and may take inspiration from Alice at Crochet with Raymond who has some fab socks on her blog.

And, for the time being (until I get distracted again!) I am back on the Big Ripple Blanket - so thought I would just give you a quick update...

This is very slow progress and I have a long way to go yet but it was nice to get some sneaky outdoor hooking today!

Although, in spite of the sunshine, is was not exactly hot out today so I was glad of a bit of snuggly blanket-in-the-making to sit under!

Finally, I just wanted to say hello to everyone who pops over here to have a look at my little online space - you are very welcome and I do like to read the comments that people kindly leave.

Til next time then,



  1. Hello Sandra, I have seen your comments on a couple of blogs I read, so thought it was about time I popped in and said hello....'hello' :)
    After much procrastinating I started Lucy's Granny Stripe blanket and love watching the colors coming together. I am a knitter but took hook in hand last year and taught myself to crochet (it took a while, I want to do a ripple next time and can use the same yarn/colors as the granny.
    Take care x Sandi

  2. Crochet with Raymond6 June 2011 at 02:41

    thank you Sandra for passing on the award to Raymond and me! I always feel really spesh when people like my blog enough to award me something!

    your first ever socks, WOW, great stuff! they do look lovely and cozy definitely!

    Have an awesome week XXXXX

  3. Hi Sandra , thankyou so much for the award . I thought your facts were very interesting. I can identify with you on the insomnia and the distraction things :0)
    Also the school uniform traumas..we are the same age . I was made to wear a home made "new uniform" ie open necked blouse and pinafore when all my freinds wore a blazer and tie . I hated looking different .
    Jacquie x

  4. Thanks so much for the award.... I love it when people take the time to read my ramblings! I'll have to have a little think and see if I can come up with something new to tell you about myself.
    My children were always introducing me to new music when they were teenagers and we had some pretty strange stuff going on for a time. My husband became hooked on Razorlight!!! But now they're older we've pretty much returned to the safe stuff!

  5. I loved reading this. I too HATED polo necks and do to this day ! and I can't pick a favourite song ever. I leave the festival going to my daughter but i DID GO TO THE iSLE OF wIGHT FESTIVAL A FEW YEARS AGO. ops sorry about the caps !

  6. Ha thank you very much - do you know how spooked I was when I got to the end of this post?

    Check out this photo I took on Saturday - - almost identical to yours!!!

  7. I'm with you on the high necks and the walking up hills - I'm on a one-woman mission to do all the 214 Wainwrights in the Lakes - Currently standing at 13 down, 201 to go!!

    Your grandparents look like real characters, what a fabulous photo!


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