Monday, 30 January 2012

Whoa there January ..... where have you gone???

I think I must have blinked and missed it!    January is almost over and I notice I missed my 3rd blogiversary and this is my 301st post.  Must admit that it has been tricky because my DD2 has commandeered the lappy to do her college work on and I have had to put up with my eldest daughter's IPad which I think I hate with a vengeance, so uploading photos etc has been a nightmare.

Life at Lala's is about to turn upside down, albeit temporarily, as my DD2 and her family move back in with us for a while.  They have been renting privately for a couple of years now and with trying to juggle working, college studies and two young children they have absolutely no cash left to save at the end of each month.  On top of that the boiler in the property has been playing up since before Christmas leaving them with no heating or hot water and the landlord just seems to be ignoring the problem .... most unsatisfactory and the littlies are suffering because of it with coughs and snotty noses that don't seem to clear. They will be able to save enough for a deposit on some new shared ownership houses close to us hopefully.

So phase one of clear the clutter has begun.  Several bags of excess crafty bits and pieces have been freecycled and good old Fleabay has been used again today.  Still got loads more but hey ho tomorrow is another day!   I still have stock for the Vintage & Handmade fairs ..... my next one is booked for 10th March in Northampton and a new venue for 1st April in Buckingham.

Country Matters at Hexton is going from strength to strength and another bag of handmade stock will be making its way down there at the end of this week.

I can't look too far ahead at the moment because it looks like my husband will be having another spell in hospital .... he has had problems with his replacement knee and is being investigated for a bone infection .... x-rays, blood tests and radio-isotope scans have been done and we wait for his next consultant appointment on 23 February to find out how they are going to proceed.

To make me really feel my age my eldest reaches another milestone birthday in 5 weeks time .... how did I get to be the mother of a 30 year old????  Seems like I was only 30 myself a few years ago ;-)

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Such a perfect day .....

 ............ well actually a perfect weekend !

Yesterday was the first Northampton Vintage Jumble organised by Ann & Trevor .... the buyers were certainly champing at the bit and when the doors opened at 11 it was manic.  A bit of post Christmas vintage shopping withdrawal I feel and they were certainly quenching their thirst (in the tea room area too ... it took me an hour before I could battle my way through the crowds to grab a cuppa !).

Not complaining though as a lot of old stock was snapped up, did a spot of bargain hunting myself and had catch up chats with the lovely sellers.  Here is a collage of the day ...

On our way home we stopped in Great Doddington to visit Poppy Patch .... a little bit of fabric retail therapy and of course to spend some of my cash

The weekend just got better when I awoke this morning to another beautiful sunrise and sharp frost and trotted off to Hitchin for the Sunday car boot sale.  There I was ambling along having just bagged some vintage cotton reels for a pound when I heard a voice beside me say we will wait 30 seconds.  Wait for what I wondered ..... then it dawned on me that the church bells were ringing and when I turned to my left there stood Eric Knowles and a BBC film crew.  They were filming the next series of Put Your Money Where Your Mouth is.  Just around the corner by the river was another crew with John Cameron.

So good readers if you watch this autumn's series look carefully for a daft old bat in the background with a pink flowery shopping trolley and a sewing box tucked under her arm ;-)

All in all a great weekend doing what I like best which was a great pick-me-up as my OH starts a three day week from tomorrow into March with a whole week off at half term.  He also had a return visit to hospital last week about ongoing problems with his replacement knee .... looks like Mr Surgeon messed up and there is nerve damage so now he goes back for blood tests this week and a biopsy in February with the possibility that they will have to operate again to sort it out.

Keep smiling :-)

Friday, 13 January 2012

On your bike British Gas ....

How very dare they !!!
I had an e-mail this morning to inform me that my annual statement was ready to view online and that they had very kindly estimated my consumption for the next 12 months. For this privilege I was to be charged another £15 a month and they would be contacting my bank to amend the direct debit.
Whoa there ..... what the .... been here before
I simply replied that I would rather turn my boiler off than pay them another penny and if they dared to increase my direct debit I would cancel it and transfer to another (rip-off) provider. I would be the judge of how much I would consume. I am being as careful as I can at the moment because Mr Lala is about to be placed on another period of 3 day weeks and as we are £160 in credit I thought they had a bloody cheek.
Well what do you know ..... a response this afternoon with the usual diatribe but a result as they will not be increasing my payments. So if anyone else out there experiences the same thing with these overblown utility companies just get on your high horse and sort 'em out.
I really don't think they need to antagonise their already disgruntled customers any more do you?

Friday, 6 January 2012

Back to life .... back to reality

Well that's the festive season over and done with for another year .... all packed away till next time.

The children were back to school on Wednesday and husband back to work to be given the wonderful news that he will be on a three day week again from 16th January .... he does get paid at basic rate so mustn't grumble but then will have to pay back the time on a Saturday when it suits the company of course.  They seem to be gradually working towards an 'on demand' workforce that they can pick up and drop when the fancy takes them .... the permanent workforce is dwindling and being replaced with contractors at a much cheaper rate (no surprise there!)

Good job I sneaked a visit to the Cath Kidston factory shop at St Neots last weekend ..... or Kid Caffrey as Ellie is calling it ..... she is getting to be quite a CK officianado having visited the St Pancras store last week too.  She really needed a new school bag and pencil case apparently so soft touch nanny got caught again!

We had just stepped in the door and who should we bump into ..... Tilly Rose ..... also having a bit of Cath retail therapy.  It was nice to have a chat and a little catch up and I really must get along to her new venture this year .... I just ran out of time towards the end of 2011.

They had a good range of fabric and I also treated myself to a little spring loaded tape measure and a glasses case.

New Year ..... new start ..... I am going to concentrate this year on the Vintage & Handmade Fairs run by Ann & Trevor and my little outlet at Country Matters in Hexton.   Unsold Christmas stock has been retrieved from Hexton and I am pleased to say that there wasn't a lot left and I will be joining the Vintage & Handmade Jumble in Northampton on Saturday 14th January with lots of clearance items including fabric, textiles, books, ceramics and some handmade items.

Do please come along to this great event if you can.

I have been stashing away blue fabrics for ages in the hope that I could get around to making a blue & white themed quilt for myself and this week made a start on cutting out the squares for the first blocks.

There is a mix of modern prints together with vintage Laura Ashley and other vintage cottons. 

The first little bargain find of 2012 ..... a green leaf design Carlton Ware cup from the charity shop for one whole pound

and finally a little collage of my previous quilt makes

Happy New Year all x