Shop Update 25.04.10 – Part I

I meant to do a slightly smaller update this week, but it gradually got bigger and bigger! There were so many wonderful colourways that just wouldn’t wait quietly in the wings, but insisted on taking centre stage this week, and this week only. I think you’ll see what I mean when you see the shop preview! Here are some my picks:

Miranda 2ply Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Daisy 2ply Saved By The Bell

Daisy 2ply Wild Goose

Daisy 2ply Bunting

Miranda 4ply Dick & Jane

Daisy 4ply Free Spirit

Daisy 4ply Acapella

Nap Time

I’m not a nap person. But sometimes, just sometimes, a nap seems called for, especially when you’re feeling under the weather, as I was yesterday afternoon. Usually I would snuggle up on the sofa, but I was feeling particularly rough, and so I retreated to my bed. The cats were so excited, they were practically underneath the duvet before I was. “How sweet,” I thought, “they can nap with me.”

That shows you how infrequently I nap. That blissful forgetfulness about what two overexcited cats can do to naptime. It went something like this.

1.20pm: I settle myself comfortably, and Squeak curls up behind my knees. Lovely.

1.21pm: Pip jumps onto my pillow, stares at me very hard, stands on my hair, and then burrows under the duvet, where he commences jabbing Squeak with a paw, and retreating, jabbing and retreating, in the hopes of a scuffle.

1.22pm: Squeak finally retaliates, and they start pouncing at each other over my legs, scratching me in the process.

1.23pm: I throw the covers back and remove them from the bed. They both look very indignant. I settle back down.

1.24pm: Pip jumps back onto the bed, and starts pawing at the duvet, trying to find a way under it, first with one paw, then frantically with both paws.

1.25pm: I lift up a corner and let him in. He gets halfway, and then starts backing out as fast as possible. He settles back down on my pillow, staring at me.

1.26pm: Squeak joins him. I groan and turn over, making sure to tuck the duvet around my neck so there are no openings.

1.27pm: Squeak jumps down, and starts pawing at the bottom of the duvet, trying to get in that way.

1.29pm: He finally succeeds.

1.30pm: Pip jumps down and starts poking at Squeak through the duvet. Squeak pokes back. There is a lot of scuffling. I push Squeak out with my foot, and they start fighting on the carpet.

1.31pm: They chase each other around the bedroom, doing bouncy circuits over the bed, and most especially over my head.

1.32pm: I shout at them. They ignore me.

1.33pm: They stop fighting and settle down on the windowsill.

1.35pm: I start to drop off.

1.36pm: Pip brings me his favourite toy, a large and heavy stuffed hamster, and drops it on my face. I toss it onto the floor. He retrieves it, and drops it behind my pillow.

1.37pm: He starts frantically digging under the pillow, trying to get the hamster. I yell again. He ignores me.

1.38pm: I hurl back the covers, grab both cats, tuck one under each arm, and take them downstairs. I shut the door, and plod wearily back to bed.

1.39pm: I try to sleep. Pip howls at the bedroom door.

1.50pm: I finally give up, and trail downstairs. Pip hares upstairs to find his hamster.

1.51pm: I make myself a strong coffee, while wondering what made me want to get pets in the first place.

1.52pm: Both cats curl up in their basket, and instantly fall into a deep sleep that lasts the rest of the day…..


Now that the house is pretty much finished, we’ve started turning our attention to the garden. And boy, does it need attention. We only have a front garden, about 90 feet long, laid out as lawns at the moment. Tony has started a kitchen garden in part of the garden, growing lots of different fruit and vegetables and herbs. I’m more interested in the ornamental side of the garden. We have a wonderful growing climate in Pembrokeshire, mild, plenty of rain, very few frosts in winter (and rarely snow). Being right on the West coast of Britain, we get the very most of the Gulf Stream. Palm trees grow in many of the gardens around us.

So we’ve decided that as well as growing traditional cottage garden plants, we’d like to introduce a touch of the exotic into our garden, and to get some inspiration we took a trip to the National Botanic Garden of Wales last week. They have every kind of garden you can imagine there, but we were really interested in the section that had plants from around the world, in a giant glasshouse dome.

Walking from the entrance up to the glasshouse, everything looks like a traditional British garden, with spring bulbs and bare trees. But inside, what a contrast!!! Plants, trees, flowers, bushes, from every part of the world, in one glorious jumble of colour and scent. Look! (If you want to see full size pictures, the Flickr set is here.)

Monday Musings……

I don’t know what it is about Monday’s that make me come over all philosophical. Maybe it’s the result of a quiet weekend, with plenty of time to knit and run, and therefore lots of time to think about things. I don’t know. But I always seem to find myself in a thoughtful vein on a Monday, and so I’m creating a new category, Monday Musings.

I’ve been talking with some friends recently about the joys of saying NO. I find that the older I get, the more I value the ability – and the courage – to say no to things. It’s part of maturing, I think, to accept who you are, your limitations, your preferences, your needs. But in accepting that, you have to start being true to yourself, and that often means saying no to things, to people. It’s especially hard if you are the kind of person who thrives on people liking you, and approving of you. You might find yourself saying yes to things that you most certainly don’t want to do, just because you are afraid of offending, or upsetting, or letting someone down. I don’t find that personally, I have an independent streak that means that I don’t mind terribly if someone doesn’t like me. Tony, on the other hand, hates it if just one person, in all the many acquaintances that we have, doesn’t like him. He finds it almost impossible to say no. But then he has a great deal more energy than I do, mental and physical.

I’m certainly not saying that you need to be rude or ungracious in saying no to people, far from it! I think that if you are honest with yourself, and honest with others, saying no without giving offense or disappointment, is quite possible to do. Acknowledging that the reason you are saying no is because of your own limitations helps prevent feelings of rejection or hurt. Often, when we say yes to things we really want to say no to, we only end in disappointing anyway, by cancelling at the last minute, or going along with the plan in body, but clearly not in spirit, or by letting someone else down because we’ve burned ourselves out trying to be someone we are not. Honesty really is the best policy, but it has to start with yourself. And acceptance. Accepting your own limitations and needs, and accepting those of others as well.     


In a slightly different vein, a friend sent me a link to this BBC News piece about the effects of running on depression, which I found really interesting. There’s no doubt that it’s had a profound effect on my depression. This winter is the first one that I haven’t suffered a bout of depression and/or anxiety since it all started a few years ago. I am quite convinced that it’s because I’ve been running regularly since November. I’m sure of this because I only have to have a few days off for the black cloud to start seeping in at the edges of my world. I run, I feel good. I can cope with life. I sleep well. I don’t get anxious. And as a pleasant plus, I lose weight. If that was my only incentive, I don’t think I’d be able to push myself to go out. I’m naturally a couch potato, no doubt about that, and I’ve never been able to sustain a regular exercise regime. But when your mood is so dependant on it, it motivates you to get out there, no matter what.

This is a great time of year to start running (not like November!), so if you’re thinking of giving it a go, then do it! In six months I’ve gone from incredibly unfit, couldn’t run for even a minute straight, to reasonably fit, can run for 40 minutes straight. I truly believe that if I can do it, anyone can. Go for it!!!

ETA: Make that 45 minutes – 5 miles. WOOOO-HOOOOO!!!! 

Shop Update 18.04.10 – Part II

Elinor Jungle Drums

Elinor Portofino

Martha You Do That Voodoo

Sylvia DK Busy Doing Nothing

Sylvia DK This Time Tomorrow

Martha DK Sophomore

Elinor Aran Significant Other

Elinor Aran Bois De Boulogne

The shop preview is now up, see you Sunday at 7pm!