Mammy B and the Scarf of Sheer Determination…AKA How to produce Crap Crafts

Mammy B and the Scarf of Sheer Determination...AKA How to produce Crap Crafts

Man, I know exactly where Joss gets that steely look and determined ‘NO’ from, it’s all me!

I decided to crochet her a scarf for winter forward thinking I pinned ideas to my hearts content, starting in August, you know, so it would stand a chance of being ready on time.

I now have three unfinished and very crappy scarves at my feet, the perfectionist in me said oh just try another pattern and you’ll get it right, the lazy get-it-finished quick me said keep going and it’ll all come together…it didn’t. I am not very good at crochet and I have spent quite a lot of money trying to realise my dream.

What I have achieved is something that fairly credibly passes itself as a scarf, in that it is soft and long, but beyond practicality it truly has no redeeming features!  And it’s orange, not the mustard yellow I hoped for, but orange.

I’m currently making some flowers to ‘Jazz It Up’ and I think here my crochet journey will end.

I am however clearly good at making gorgeous babies, not 100% my husband will agree that I’m so good at it we should do it again, but look what we made!



*Sings* “Hello, hello, how are you?…” Mr Tumble, not now, please I’m having a crisis!

It’s 10pm, I’m reading about post-structuralist feminist theory and the theme tune from Mr Tumble’s Something Special randomly jumps into my head…”it’s good to see you, I say hello…”

ARGH! I think I might be going slowly mad!

Through a mix of determination, counselling and some hilarious failed attempts at mindfulness and meditation (what? you’re not supposed to just crash out asleep on the sofa listening to the CD, it doesn’t work like that, really!?) I had reached a point where most people I met might consider me to be relatively sane and in control of my OCD.  Just blogging about this I’m aware of the stigma, what if someone who doesn’t know this about me reads this?  A few years ago I’d have been mortified, last week I cheerfully told a lady at the swimming pool I had recovered from postnatal depression, didn’t die from embarrassment when Joss threw my knickers at another child and sang the loudest and tuneless of everyone in the group, it’s good for the soul, just putting yourself out there, I’m a while away from donning a ‘I have OCD’ badge but don’t mind so much being honest about my mental health, after all we all have mental health, whether sunny and delightful or occasionally we get a visit from The Black Dog.

So I was starting to feel a bit unhinged, a bit ‘uhoh it’s back’ and a bit anxious, which tends to make me feel hot and ill, nice!  I thought of Mr Chartwell, Rebecca Hunt’s brilliantly conceived of metaphor for Churchill’s depression, creeping Black Pat.  She captures the weightyness so well:

‘I understand that we share a wicked union, and I know the goblin bell which summons you comes from a tomb in my heart. And I will honour my principles, labouring against the shadows you herald. I don’t blench from my burden, but -‘ here he let out a deep breath, laying the glasses down gently – ‘it’s so demanding; it leaves me so very tired. It would be some small comfort to me if I could ask how long I must endure this visit. Please, when do you leave?’

“It’s hard to explain. With Churchill we know each other’s movements, so we have a routine, I guess. I like to be there when he wakes up in the morning. Sometimes I drape across his chest. That slows him down for a bit. And then I like to lie around in the corner of the room, crying out like I have terrible injuries. Sometimes I’ll burst out at him from behind some furniture and bark in his face. During meals I’ll squat near his plate and breathe over his food. I might lean on him too when he’s standing up, or hang off him in some way. I also make an effort to block out the sunlight whenever I can.”

I know why it’s back, trying to do too much and the old rusty brain thinking, hang on, can’t catch up, too many thoughts so it just grinds to a messy halt.  In short, I get a bit lazy, the fight to keep the lights on gets tiring.

A call to self-refer, the words relapse and  obsessive and I’m feeling like I have a safety net in place again.  Mammywoo blogged about the turning on of a light earlier this week, flickering through the dark, ironically I bought a S.A.D lamp later that afternoon fearing the return of winter, dark nights and the dark places we sometimes go to, my brain and I.

A few days on I feel a bit better again, Joss has enjoyed a bit of TV, the world didn’t come to an end because she watched a bit of ITNG whilst I took a few deep breaths, a bit of time with Daddy and the revelation that even if I feel really really shitty her grin stops me in my tracks is a relief, it’s really life enriching this new family life and having someone else depending on me is a huge relief, it’s easier to ask for help and easier to seek support when you have someone so dependent on you that you can’t go off the rails, however tempting.

So for today I feel OK, a good coffee, a spot of retail therapy and a grin from my man and girl are keeping me going.


Fabulous Fashionistas

“Just don’t wear beige, it might kill you!”

I would have totally discounted this TV show, it sounded like it was going to be one of those reality TV fashion shows but I did a double take when I saw the listing and am really glad I did!  Did you see it?

I think Channel 4 do some really promising documentaries, and this was definitely substantial as well as stylish.  The notion that you have an identity and a valued sense of self at 70, 80, 90+ has been quietened in favour of the ‘little old lady’ and these feisty ladies were keen to campaign and fight back, they have a voice and they want to be seen as well as heard!


Jean’s turn to working in fashion at the age of 70 was so refreshing and I loved that Channel 4 let this play out without seeing these women as eccentric or kooky, they were simply loving life and embracing all of its colour instead.  Gillian’s wise parting words on ageing…”Don’t let it in!” was triumphant, spirited and left me feeling uplifted, inspite of lifes knocks and turns all six women were determined, words like campaigner, artists, fashionable and humourous are not only the domain of the young, and this programme was a breath of fresh air.



Early evening walks

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I love where we live, lots of greenery and the nicest walk, a 25 minute round trip at its shortest, part of a coast to coast route at its longest,taking in a pretty little marina with small boats and lots and lots of wildflowers.

I always like to stop and look at the big colourful cable wheels, and recently we picked over 1kg of blackberries, now frozen, over a week of evening walks.

We try to do this every night, and twice a day at weekends, this walk is where Alex proposed, where we’ve planned, sometimes rowed and dreamed.

It’s at the top of our street, we live in a small flat – but look at our garden!

I honestly wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in the world!

Nappykind Boutique Baby Legwarmers Giveaway!

It’s really taken a turn into Autumn this week don’t you think?!  We’ve been digging out some of the warmer clothing and winter woolens and I have started to pick up Joss’ crochet scarf again in the hope I’ll have it ready for her to wear when it gets really cold!  Legwarmers are a must under trousers on the colder darker nights too, especially as we’re still doing our early evening walk and noticing the leaves are starting to turn.


Following my post earlier this week reviewing Nappykind Boutique’s baby legwarmers they have kindly offered three lucky blog readers a pair of babylegs each.  You can see more of the funky designs on offer at Nappykind Boutique on their website at 


To enter the giveaway do the following to obtain entries:

1.Follow Nappykind Boutique on twitter for one entry
2. For a second entry like their Facebook page
3. For a third entry leave a comment below to tell me what you would use the leg warmers for (eg to wear in a sling, protecting knees when crawling, arm warmers etc) and say whether you’d like leg warmers for a girl/boy/or unisex (leave your FB and Twitter name so I can check if you want extra entries too)

Entries close at Midnight on 30th September and winners will be informed via the blog on 1st October (and by email)

Open to UK only

Winners will be selected via and Nappykind Boutique are responsible for delivering the prize

What’s the story?

What's the story?

Paris 2011, on honeymoon, I have long been a lover of French Macarons and we set out to find one of the many Laduree shops in Paris. We actually saw four in our time there, each one more luxurious than the last, all pastel colours, rose fragrances and pretty boutiques, it was pure Paris to me! I was restrained and bought just a small box, my favourite is the salt caramel, mouthwatering, I thoroughly recommend the Earl Grey too though, and the strawberry, and the coffee, the pistachio and the…

Ok, ok, I want ALL the sweets!