1. This morning I woke up and went to find a jumper. Pip was snuggled up in his winter Gro-bag and H appeared to be wearing wooly socks. Despite the fact that it is not actually raining right this second, where oh where is the summer of sunshine we dreamed of. Somehow whenever I imagined our summer as a five, it had long hot days spent under the trees at the park and in the splash pool, not curled up at home because it’s too wet even for us fresh air fiends to get out and about.
We’ve been contemplating a trip to Europe this summer for a while, but last week’s weather sealed our fate and we came home from the Library with a massive bag of travel books. So far our plans are, tent plus camping gear plus family in the car, drive to Portsmouth/Poole, ferry to Cherbourg to avoid the chaos at Calais, and then…. Well then we’ve thought of Paris, Normandie, Brittany, Spain and there’s an outside bid from Switzerland. Personally I’m championing anywhere that speaks French because that’s the only European language I can manage more than “I’m English, do you speak English, where is the …?” and if we could make it that far south I would love to take a selfie outside the swimming pool in La Rochelle (which will only make sense if you too learned your French from Tricolour 4).
So as I know there are lots of wonderfully well travelled people who read, where would you go on holiday in Europe for a little summer sun?
2. I’ve just finished my free trial of Mummy Workouts. As a Mama to three little ones, two of whom are breastfed, and one of whom wakes up again during the evening and scream at anyone else, I don’t really get to do much exercise. I also don’t have a huge amount of motivation to do any exercise, I like cake and blogging and knitting and sewing so much more. Actually leaving the house doesn’t work for me because I can’t guarantee that I can get out with any regularity, and while I’ve tried exercise DVDs I just found I got cross at them, firstly because they got boring, and secondly because I am spectacularly inflexible, and rather lanky so I can’t touch my toes, or anywhere near. Anything that says “just put your hands on the floor and….” has a tendency to be growled at.
(picture clearly not me! I could show you me but I just look hot and sweaty and I think you can imagine it)
Mummy Workouts is different; it’s actually a live class. It means that the instructor can see me and hear me if she wants and so when my downward dog in the yoga class was nowhere near downward or dog like, Tina could give me some tips about what sort of shape to make and how to get the right sort of movement, working with what I’ve got. I’m far from perfect but I’m a lot nearer than I was and that makes it all the more fun.
The classes also change. Even if the routine you’re doing is exactly the same, the talk through is always going to be slightly different and that makes a huge difference to my motivation/boredom levels.
It’s Body Workout and Yoga tonight and I’m signing up again, and hopefully my dog will be ever more downward!
3. As well as raiding the library for travel books I’ve also had a little influx of new cookbooks (thank you birthday bunnies), including this one, The CSA Cookbook. I found out about it while hunting for advice on when to harvest garlic, and came across the wonderful Garden Betty blog (which does include advice on garlic!). The cookbook is about making use of veggies that you find at the farmer’s market, grow yourself, or get in your veg box, especially the ones you might not recognise or be quite sure what to do with, and it takes a ‘nose to tail’ approach to veggies (borrowing from the idea that if you’re going to eat meat you should have a use for every part of the animal and not waste it). Did you know that you can slice up the pale green section of a watermelon rind and put it in stir-fry for example? It’s been eye-opening, and yummy, and there’s a very pretty trailer here:
4. Did you know Oliver + S is having a pattern sale? This only makes sense if you like making clothes for small people but if you do – run there now. They have a number of paper patterns at 60% off which makes them spectacularly good value and a small (see H, small) number may be winging their way to me just as soon as I can decide which ones! It finishes on July 31st, hence the running!
5. Kitty and I have a new project. We discovered The Bramble Patch on the way home from an adventure this week and as well as adding to my stash of books, fabric and tiny rulers, she is now the proud owner of five fat quarters of batiks with a plan to turn them into a quilt.
I’m thinking of doing a sort of subway tile pattern. Initially we thought squares but I’d like her to have a go at sewing on the machine (with me in control of the foot and going very slowly) and as I find it hard enough to match points as an adult, I think it could be frustrating to do it as a four year old, hence the change to something with a step out so we’re not trying to match things up.
But am I missing something obvious here, is there an ideal pattern than only takes five fat quarters and is perfect for small sewers? I’m not averse to adding a contrast neutral but while I have more batik in the stash that I’d happily contribute, I’d actually like it to be all Kitty’s fabric because they were her choices.
And they’re rather gorgeous choices too; just look at that lovely orange!