Friday, 31 August 2012

The Hunt is On

It's nearly the end of the School holidays and we're running out of activities you can do for free, today we decided to go Enid Blyton and have a secret club. It varied from the Secret Seven to the Famous Five and at some stages down to the Troublesome Three.

A club house was built, complete with posters on the walls, comfy chairs and a table.

A password was decided upon and a sign was made for the garden gate to keep out non-members... there weren't many of those.
It says "VIP Club"

Then all that was needed was a Mystery to solve..............

The Hunt took them about 35 minutes, long enough, but not so long they got bored and gave up. 

When the secret message was found, the treasure was scoffed in less time than it took to think up all the clues.

It was then back to the clubhouse for lashings of ginger beer........ well Blackcurrant squash anyway!!

Only four more days to go and someone else will have to think of how to keep them occupied, hurrah.

Until then, anyone else got any suggestions?

Lots of Love Arwedd xx 

Welsh Poppy, I still need your details to send your consolation prize, so hopefully you will let me know soon, as I can't contact you.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

A Wedding and Signing

I went to a friend's wedding this evening and it was so much fun. There were only 30 of us in the Church, but as every Bride does, this one looked absolutely gorgeous.

Apologies, I didn't have my proper camera so my photos really don't do all the beautiful dresses justice. The happy couples combined four girls looked stunning as the Bridesmaids and their son was the steal of the show in his mini Kilt to match his Dad's.

It was definitely a Wedding with a difference, so relaxed, and definitely the first time our Minister has ever stood up front and done all the actions to "God made the Chickens and the Cows and the Bees", hopping around on stage like a Kangeroo at a Wedding. And probably the last time, he'll get that song requested, too.

My only sadness at the Wedding was my inability to communicate properly with the Bride's Sister and Brother in Law, both of whom are profoundly deaf. Anyone who read my little info bits on my recent award, will know I would love to learn BSL (British Sign Language) and that desire was never so prominent as it was tonight. In fairness to them both, they are both excellent lip-readers, but somehow that makes me feel more guilty. It's feels like not only are they deaf, but they have to find a way to adapt to us, when we should surely be making the effort to adapt for them. It strikes me as similar to the way in which we Brits are so poor at learning languages because "surely 'they' should all learn to speak English". I've heard that so often from the older generation in my family and it makes me mad. We no longer rule the Empire, you know, and even when we did, we didn't make a brilliant job of it. 

I tried my best to "chat" with them as not many others were, but I felt a bit of a chump, trying to mime things they couldn't get and would have loved to be able to include them in a way that was best for them, not me. Resolved to find a way to learn, if that's possible without any expense, as Bank Manager now not speaking to us!!

May all God's Blessings surround the happy couple and their family as they go forward as man and wife.

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The Winner doesn't necessarily Take It All....

10 for a 100.

There were ten lovely entrants for my 100th Post Giveaway and I like the symmetry of those numbers.

Number 1 Son, in the time honoured tradition, squawked, "Wha.?", "Why?", but stuck his hand in Nanna's old bowl.

..... and the Winner is?

Jane and Chris, I won't spoil the surprise of what's in the parcel, but it will soon be winging it's way to The Maple Syrup Mob. Please email your details and I will get it straight in the post. Congratulations!!

and from a great Abba song (Meryl Steep acts it beautifully in Mamma Mia!) to an oldie but goodie Hot Chocolate song.

Everyone's a Winner, baby

As there were so few entries, I have enough 'bits' to give everyone a small consolation prize. So could the other entrants above let me have your names and addresses and I'll send you a little something a.s.a.p.

With the exception of Amanda, (Crafty in the Med) and Frugalmummy (aka Fostermummy), I have your details already. 

Congratulations everyone, the Winner may not be getting it all, but hopefully Jane will be happy with her prize when it gets there.

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

Monday, 27 August 2012

Pin It

I'm not overly into social media, but having said that, I do use Facebook. This became a necessity in order to "talk" to my nieces as it seemed the only way I could communicate with them. I then joined Twitter because I wanted to message someone on there to find out how someone was. It was quite sometime later that I was encouraged to Follow this up with starting my own Blog, (a little Follower) joke there.

So with all these diffferent online ways to occupy my endless (NOT) free time, I wasn't really interested in yet another new kid on the social media block, that is Pinterest......... and yet. I keep being pointed and drawn in it's direction and am trying to find out some more about it before I go ahead and join.

I thought I'd share what I have learnt so far.....

This virtual pinboard allows you add photos, recipes, knitting patterns etc to personal mood boards, you can have it seems a limitless number of boards. These can then be shared with other 'pinners' or across social networking sites, such as Facebook or Twitter, so that your friends and followers can see the things you love.

Someone planning their wedding, for example, might collect images for hairstyles, colours for their bridesmaid dresses or spot the perfect idea for favours. Crafters can create boards for different projects and because the pictures you pin link back to the source of the photo, you can easily re-find instructions for a pattern.

It seems simple enough, you create an account, then add a Board, follow the instructions to download the "Pin It" button on your browser's toolbar and getting 'pinning'. You can then invite friends to join.

However, I'm still undecided and would like to hear from others, what you think? Is this a useful way to bookmark things or just another way to waste time I should be using to do the ironing?

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Water off a Duck's Back

Every child has a favourite toy, that goes with them everywhere and they can't do without. My advice if you're having a new baby and you'd like a particular toy to be IT, if you possibly can, buy two. The heartbreak if this particular toy gets lost or broken, is enough to make a grown man cry. The trouble is you can't quite predict which one of the numerous soft toys they are given when they are born, will become the ONE.

With number 1 Son it was a Winnie the Pooh his Dad bought him the day he was born without my knowledge and brought in to the hospital later that day. He couldn't even "bear" to be parted from him for a quick photo. I'm sure he would hating me putting this photo up, but still....

Wow, where have those 12 years gone?

Number 2 Son is always trying to do things bigger and better than number 1 and so he has two special 'friends'; an elephant and a duck. They've both slept in bed with him every night for years, been thrown around all day, gone out on picnics, walks, the whole nine yards. Ellie is lucky because, as long as you take his wheat bag out, he can go in the washing machine.

Ducky, unfortunately, says surface clean only. He is fraying a bit on the feet and he has beads of an indeterminate nature inside, (possibly polystyrene), as well as stuffing, and a metal bell. All this means that Ducky is looking rather worse for wear. He has now reached the point where I have insisted either he has a surface clean or he goes and finds somewhere else to live. So today was the day I started. Oh, the fuss, the sobbing, the accusations that I had ruined his fur. If you've ever heard a small child having a bath and screaming blue murder well this was worse. You would have thought I was mutilitaing a living being in the worst possible manner and how much did I manage to clean.........

.......... well can you tell me?

 Now I'm waiting for M to fall asleep and Ducky is going to get the works, a premium wash and wax service, and hopefully it'll be water off this Ducky's back.

Reaction to my difficult texts of yesterday was rubbish as expected, DH said it could have been worse, but I am very cross that he has been given the 'blame' for stuff that has happened to me. It is grossly unfair that he has been accused of having what he wanted, when all he has done is support me with what I wanted. Shame I'm not a Duck!! I'm so lucky to have him here at all, and to have his love and support. It's a pity I can't have the same level of support from others who should be providing it.

Ssshh, Can I hear M snoring?...............

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

PS. Can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong here? After numerous compliments on my tension when crocheting, I am having trouble on my next project. I have only used a size 4 hook before, my latest project calls for granny squares made with a 5.5mm hook, (to make them more drapey!) and I just can't get it to be square, it just pulls in at the sides. I have tried really hard to leave it loose, but I can't get it right.
What Should I do?

Friday, 24 August 2012

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Sadly it's been a rainy day today, so the boys have watched a bit more telly than I would have liked them too. However, I was amused and interested to note how his thinking has changed, when 8yr old M, said "Mom, all these adverts are about money". Hooray, the kid has spotted it for himself, well done, Son.

Source =

I was slightly dismayed though when he said " You should go for that child, she costs less". Apparently, the first advert wanted me to sponsor a child to have clean water for only £2.00 per month and the second for £1 per week. However, I was quietly pleased that he had worked out the difference.

As the ad break continued I realised I could also sponsor a Guide Dog Puppy for another £1 per week, adopt an amur leopard for only £3.00 per month, donate £2 per month to put a Stop to child abuse and help another child regain their sight for £15.

In addition I could take out life insurance, buy a sofa with 15% off, or even better a stair lift, or an armchair which will electronically tip me out when I want to stand up. Then there's a new kitchen, specially designed for me, plus new windows and doors, suplemented by a quick trip to B&Q for some reduced prices on overly inflated initial prices and if I've got any money left I could save myself £200 by buying a laptop for £600 (!!), a new bed with a special 'comfort zone', a very clever vacuum cleaner that actually goes around corners, YES!!, and an ISOrocker to increase the circulation in my feet and ankles if I use it for just 20 minutes a day.

Instead of all this spending what have I been doing, handmaking some goodies for my Giveaway. Yes, I survived without all those things and made something myself. Now don't get me wrong, I do give to several charities, but I'm afraid if I sponsored the world and his wife, I'd have to start making an advert. In fact today I took four bags of shoes, now too small for M, and coats to the local hospice charity shop. A couple of things I had tried to sell on eBay, like the genuine Heeley's, with no luck and the rest I knew wouldn't sell on there either, but still has life left in it. My understairs cupboard is now tidy again.

I'm not saying too much about what is in my Giveaway, as it will change depending on who wins it, but I hope this doesn't put folk off entering. Some things would be repeats for some and some things will change depending on what country it goes to, but I can say that there are several lovely things in it and hey, it's not often you get something for nothing. 
I have done something today, that I have put off for a very long time, far too long. Now I am hiding from any possible repurcussions, so my phone's are off. Sorry to be a bit vague, but I wanted to be able to look back and give myself a pat on the back for doing it, it was hard, but it needed to be done. The fear hasn't gone away now I've done it, as I'm on to the next fear, but I did it anyway. Whatever happens next is not in my hands, but I hope I will have my friends to help me deal with it.

Now I'm off to make some cards, could be one or two of those in the Giveway.......

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

100th Post Giveaway

I have noticed something of a trend in my journey through Blogland, and that is the tendency to mark significant numbers with a giveaway. 

Always one to follow a tradition, I didn't want to disappoint, so for this my 100th Post, it's all about giving something back to you wonderful folk who have given so much to me.

I've had enough rules, in various parts of my life, to engender an extreme dislike of them for life, so no rules for this one. You don't have to wait until I reach a certain number of Followers, you don't have to post about my Giveaway on your Blog, or link back to it, unless you feel like it. Or put up pictures of what you receive, unless of course, you want to. You can live anywhere in the World as long as the post can reach you. All you have to do is leave me a comment to say you want to be in it, to win it!

You may have to be a little bit patient before receiving the goodies as I would like to include some handmade bits and pieces that aren't ready just yet. A week should give us all time, so a Winner will be picked next Wednesday.

Best of Luck.

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

One Lovely Blog Award

Thank You very Much

Feeling Stronger today. No particular reason. The problem that caused this latest "downer" hasn't been resolved and yet the black cloud feels as if it has moved slightly from over my head. It's probably not noticable to those around me, but I have had more energy today and done a few jobs. I actually left the house to get some shopping and I made a couple of cards. (They're at the bottom if you'd like to see them.) I looked out of the window and thought how lovely next-doors flowers looked in the sun. I know to those of you who think thoughts like that every 5 minutes and who have the energy to plant and tend and paint and mend, this must seem like nothing, but to me it's quite something.

And so.... it's well overdue that I thank both Mrs Thrifty (who tried to give me this award an embarassingly long time ago) and (more recently) Thifty Mummyhen for thinking of me in connection with this award. As always I'm quite convinced it's not justified, but I am extremely privileged that you thought of me and send you many thanks.

Finding 7 things about me I still haven't told you baffled my brain for a little while, but I came up with these, and then I got real nervous about sharing them. I may need more therapy if the reaction to these is too adverse.

1. I just lurve country music!! I think Dolly Parton's voice is amazing and the woman herself is pretty remarkable too. I love how she doesn't take herself too seriously and my all-time favourite song is Jesus and Gravity. My pipe dream would be to go to the Grand Ole Opry, Nashville, Tenesse, it's on the bucket list!!

2.  I'm all about pastel colours, me. My favourite of which is a nice pale lilac colour. My previous house was pale pink and pale blue in EVERY room. Sadly, my current house is Magnolia throughout.

3. I was totally upstaged on my wedding day by Mother Nature, but I didn't mind as it was the most beautiful Rhododendron I have ever seen, before or since.

4. I like Chinese food, a little too much, well a lot too much if I'm being honest. I could eat this kind of food every day and quite happily do without your traditional English or Italian or French food. DH and I don't have the same kind of affinity with Indian food though. Much prefer a Won Ton or Sesame Prawn Toast to a Samosa. I tried to make Prawn Toast once. The recipe called for a lot of lard and the result was horrible. Sadly takeaways are out of our budget at the moment. Maybe I should look for a better recipe!!

5. I would love to be able to "speak" BSL. I have tried and can sign things like the alphabet, "My name is" and days of the week, etc, but not really enough to string a conversation together. It's really difficult to learn when you don't have anyone to practice with.

6.  I was going to make number 6 my favourite book, but there was just no way I could pick just one. The Bible's a great book, but so is " Tess of the D'ubervilles" or "The Name of the Rose" by Umberto Eco, if you haven't read it you should try it. Oh and then there's "Life of Pi" or a Dick Francis novel or a brilliant children's book called "I am David" by Anne Holm, which is suitable for adults too! I could go on, and on, and on, but I won't.

7. I'm quite frightened of cats. Sorry lovely friends with lovely cats if I haven't been entirely honest with you about this. I would never harm a cat, and I know they're "so friendly", but I'm just a bit scared of them. I was attacked by a pack of cats when I was 3yrs. I'm told this is extremely rare but they jumped on me from above, off a wall I was passing, and there were 2 or 3 in my hair and some on my back...... and I can feel the panic just typing this.... but they are just scary. There I've said it.

Passing on the Award to 15 more Blogs is a bit too much like a chain letter for my overworked brain right now and I'm never too sure how it will be received. Besides which, most of the Blogs I like, have been passing it on already. Apart from the ususal suspects a lot of the Blogs I follow are craft ones and some are Award free. I can say, that a couple I like which you may not have come across yet are:

Loopy Lous Loopy Thoughts
Getting Hooked
Aloha Cards

Thank you once again for the Award

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

You were there for Me

Words escape me at this moment, when I want to express how very grateful I am for your support, despite the fact that our friendship is so relatively new. I know that, if you could've you would've used your arms around me as a shield. I hope you know, that when you too are hurt, I feel it aswell, and I too would, if I could.....

So this is for you, by way of return.....

A Friend Indeed

I have the greatest friend on earth
Sisters by god but not by birth
I owe her a lot for all she has done
Without her in my life I'd surely be gone
If we live to be 103
We'll still be friends, she and me
Together we're sharing our life story
We look for good in others glory
She is amazing each single day
I admire and look up to her in every way
She understands me and I don't have to explain
She brings her sunshine to my rain
Someone sent by god to do great things
One of heaven's angels with no visible wings
If you ever meet her then you will see
Why she is the definition of the greatest friend to me.
So, thanks for those times you've been there for me
You have shown me just how best friends should be!

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

Thursday, 16 August 2012


Thank you very much Mummyhen for the One Lovely Blog Award, although I think you may have the wrong Blog, as it's not a word I would use for mine.

Will complete the tasks for the Award when my equilibrium has returned.

Arwedd xx

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Misery loves Company

Do you think that's true? I'm not sure I do. Surely real misery justs wants to be left alone to hide in a corner. I don't think that's what the phrase is meant to mean though, is it? It's more like saying a sad person wants everyone around them to feel equally sad and I don't really think that's true either. I don't think when I'm feeling bad, I really want to make everyone else feel bad aswell.

I read a blog that I follow the other day and the lovely lady was talking about the posts that made her cringe. This did seem to encompass pretty much every type pf post, nearly all I am guilty of and there didn't appear to be much left to safely Blog about. However, Number 5 on her list was:-

The fishing post

Possibly not intentional, probably intentional, the 'woe is me' post that includes a dissection of your lack of self-esteem and general unworthiness is heart-breaking, but cringe-inducing. Especially when 47 people comment on the post to tell you how wonderful you are and yet, there you are again next week with a new post about how un-wonderful you are. Yep, there you are.

She's going to really hate my post today, still she doesn't follow me, so she should be fine. I do a lot of "woe is me" type posts because a lot of the time I feel woeful and my Blog is a reflection of my days. 

Today, my struggling turned into a full blown melt down and I turned to a good friend I knew would help me. In amongst other texts I sent her this, "I'm just fat & stupid & useless and I'm making my family's life worse. Everyone would just be better off without me!" 

Wow, a real big "woe is me" moment, but I didn't say it because I wanted her to contradict me or for affirmation, (although it's always good to hear they don't think that's true). I said it because it was an outpouring of my 'reality' today and it somehow lessens it, if it's effectively said "out loud". If I had kept that 'truth' to myself I know it would grow inside me. That may not make sense anywhere other than in my own brain!!

Her excellent advice was to open my Bible and read it, but I just couldn't. I picked it up, I turned it over and over in my hands for at least half an hour, but I couldn't open it and I wanted to understand why? I've thought about it long and hard all day, partly because it helped keep my mind off the other issue that caused the melt down, but mainly because I wanted to know the answer. I'm still not sure I really do, but  I think I'm getting nearer to it.

(sorry, there's a lot of very circular thinking in this one.)

It's something to do with the fact that when I feel useless and a failure, that seems utterly true to me, it is real and nothing anyone says to the contrary can really change that reality or dissuade me from believing it because that can't fit with my truth.

Therefore, if I were to read something in the Bible to the contrary, which perhaps told me that I was very precious to God and "the very hairs of [my] head are numbered. Therefore have no fear; you are worth more than many sparrows" Matthew 10 v 29-31, I would have to reject it as untrue. As rejecting the word of God is a total anathema to me, better surely that I not read it, then I won't upset Him or me.

Does all that fuzzy logic make your brain ache?, it does mine, but then my brain turned to mush long before today. 

To be perfectly honest, I'll be glad when today is over, you wouldn't believe how hard I've found it to send two simple texts. I've cried and hyperventilated myself into a state of exhaustion today and I knew my brain had finally given out, when I went to get ready to take number 1 Son to a cricket match tonight and I sprayed hairspray under my arms instead of deodorant! 

I need a lie down in a dark room and hopefully my Bible will be open in the morning.

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

P.S. Please feel free to ignore my "woe is me" post and not tell me how wonderful I am, I'm just exuding my gunk!

Monday, 13 August 2012


Welcome to new Follower Justine. It's lovely to have you here, but apologies, struggling the last few days.

Normal service will resume shortly.

Still lots of love Arwedd xx

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Crochet the Day Away

The sun has been shining here all day. I've sat in its wonderful rays topping up my Vitamin D and happy endorphins. But the best bit has been the time to work on my current Crochet project, which I still can't share, but will give you another (deliberately blurry) sneaky peek.

Hope you all enjoyed the sun too!

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Diolch yn Fawr

or Ta Very Much

source =
Just to thank you all for everyone's comments on yesterday's post. They have really lifted me. I appreciate all your support and on your advice have disabled anonymous comments, (I didn't realise I could do that!). Strange because from the outset I didn't want to censor anyone, as after all, we all have a right to our own thoughts and opinions. Hopefully people can still put whatever comments they want, just named, right?

In return, I will continue to try and turn any negative ones into positives, but just remember I'm still learning!! I can't guarantee getting any Faster or Higher, but maybe next time I will be Stronger!!

Thanks again.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

If you Can't say anything Nice (part 2)

In my little Profile paragraph, which appears in the right sidebar, I did write that I am still quite fragile and anyone who has read my Blog, from the beginning, will have a little insight into why I might have said that. Maybe then I was a bit too eager to race ahead with my Blogging when I decided to start a second Blog about my dieting progress on Stepping Out for a Bite.

I was inspired by Sue's How Low Can You Go Food Diary and Mrs Thrifty's New Beginnings With Food to try the Harcombe Diet  and like these two lovely ladies I wanted to be quite honest, if I didn't stick to the plan or didn't lose any weight. 

I should have been prepared, therefore, for the comments that I received in response, however I have to admit to being very upset by two in particular and apologies to my 4 Followers, I haven't been able to post on that Blog for sometime. However, I do recognise that I did set myself up to receive comments and to make myself "accountable" for my actions in regard to my Food Intake.

Therefore I would also like to apologise to both anonymous commenters for not publishing your comments. I can't find a way to reinstate the comments, which I deleted, and can only remember one of them verbatim, so Anonymous 1 here is your comment, "A few too many Oops moments, you'll never be anything but a heifer unless you change your attitude!". Anonymous 2, I don't want to paraphrase, but if you send your comment again I will post it and thank you both for trying to help me stick to my guns.

Whilst I am not necessarily any less fragile emotionally, I will be trying to add some posts on my Food Diary Blog for those who were kind enough to Follow me, but it will probably not be daily and is likely to only be a celebration of successes, rather than a no-holds barred account. I hope this is Ok.

For those who wanted to know about my next Crochet project, this is all I can show you for now, but it has definitely started in earnest.

Mummyhen can you tell me more about Ravellry. Is it easy? Useful? what do you use it for?

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

Saturday, 4 August 2012

My First Ta-dah!!!!!!!!!!!

I may have over-used the exclammation mark in my title there, but I've noticed I tend to do that in lots of my Posts, however I am thrilled to be revealing my first Ta-Dah moment.

The long awaited Crochet Blanket #2 with all it's holey glory. Apologies, that I am not a very skillful or arty/creative photographer, so these photos aren't all that stylish.

It all started back here in April and it is called Blanket No 2, because it was the 2nd one I started, although it's the first one I have finished.
Just a very long strip
It was probably too big a project for my first ever crochet make, but it seems I can't do anything the easy way. It grew very slowly.

My blanket and I had some difficult moments along the way, especially regarding the holes. Can someone tell me, do I absolutely have to do turning chains at the edges?

However, we made friends again thanks to Fostermummy and the frilly edge is definitely a distraction.

This is it laid out fully on a bed, again apologies it doesn't exactly go with my colour scheme, but it is designed to suit a friends house.
I timed myself at one point and a row took me 35 mintues to complete. There are 190 rows in the blanket so that makes 111 hours of work, plus crocheting around the complete blanket 4 times, so maybe another 10 or so hours.

and so my first Ta-dah moment is complete.... and yet, now it has come to the end, I find I can't quite put my blanket away and move on. I'm missing working on it already.

There's only one solution, start another blanket, yay!!!!

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

Friday, 3 August 2012

If you can't say anything Nice (Part 1)

I have a Twitter account and whilst I don't Tweet much, I do Follow several celebrities, including Jake Humphries (mainly for the F1 updates), Stephen Fry, and in particular Tom Daley. I have followed Tom Daley on Twitter for a couple of years now, as he is a Devon lad and we loved his performances at previous Olympics and Championships.

I therefore saw the comment within minutes of Tom receiving it after missing out on winning a medal at the 2012 Olympics when they finished fourth in the 10m synchronised dive on Monday.

Picture from
Initally after the event I saw Tom had tweeted "#gutted so sorry everyone but we tried our best and we can't afford to miss a dive at this standard... bring on individual!"

Daley then retweeted a message which said: "You let your dad down i hope you know that."

Apparently, the internet troll went on: "hope your crying now you should be why can't you even produce for your country your just a diver anyway a over hyped p*****."

I am uterly appalled by these comments and whilst I read that this youngster later tried to apologise and said he was a supporter of Tom's who had just wanted him to do well, in my opinion this is not born out by his actions. Surely being a supporter is about giving "support". I can't begin to imagine how hurtful the suggestion regarding Rob Daley was for Tom.

Whatever happened to "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

As far as I am concerned Tom, if you put all the training and preparation effort in you could, and on the day you have done your best, then no-one can ask any more. You'll always be a much better diver than 98% of the population and your Dad would be very proud of you, as any parent is of a child who has done their best.

Lots of Love Arwedd xx