Blue Coppice Blatherings

Blather and balderdash about stitching, design and domestic life.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hurrah it's raining!!

Finally! There's been too much heat for my liking and Manchester has now returned to the cooler, damper place we all know & love :-)

After a deeply relaxing two weeks, A & I have returned to the real world, switched the phones back on & gone back to work...much as I enjoy my job, there's nothing like knowing all your colleagues are sitting in the office while you luxuriate in bed at 9am with nothing to get up for but the pitiful mews of a woebegone cat (telling me she hasn't been fed for WEEKS, nobody loves her and what does a cat have to do to get some attention round here?)...

Since we're saving for a certain date at the moment, we decided not to go abroad this year but instead planned to spend some time relaxing with my parents, then coming back home to tidy up the garden, and do a few odd jobs round the house as well as catching up on stitching and reading. Well, as usual, plans never quite work out.

My parents returned from their holiday (a few days before we were due to travel down) to find their rather large & well-stocked pond had been plundered by the local foxes! Unfortunately, with the heat of recent weeks, the water level had been rather low which made it all too easy for the foxes to grab the fish as they basked in the sun...even worse, in getting back out of the pond, the foxes evidently tore the pond lining so the majority of the water drained away leaving the remaining fish to be almost poached by the sun in the shallows :-(

So, instead of a few days relaxing in the garden with appropriate iced drinks, A & I were drafted in to help re-line the pond before the surviving fish also succumbed. As the pond is nearly 5ft deep at its deepest point and approximately 5ft across, with lots of shelves and marginal areas, this was no mean feat!! I seemed to spend most of Saturday either crouching in the bottom of the hole under the footbridge (feeling rather like a troll from a Grimm fairytale) or cavorting in the water pressing down the creases as the new liner was refilled (would like to think in the manner of a water nymph, but have a horrible feeling it bore more resemblance to a hippo from Disney's Fantasia...).

I cooked a huge chilli the day before driving down so we had a Mexican feast once all the heavy work was completed - chilli, nachos, rice, refried beans, cheese, salsa, guacamole and sour cream with a rather good bottle of fact, it went down so well, A requested it for dinner the following weekend!

On the Sunday, A & I were somewhat redundant as the major work had all been done the day before so were able to relax on the patio in the shade while my mother ummed & aahed about where to replant iris clumps, waterlilies, primroses....etc...etc....

Before driving back home on the Monday, A & I went to see Superman Returns at Bluewater - the local shopping mall which has not only the best doughnuts in the world (my waistline is very thankful Krispy Kreme haven't arrived in Manchester yet), but also the most comfortable cinema seats and the fluffiest cinema popcorn! I'd been looking forward to the film but while the effects were good, it wasn't as innovative as I'd hoped. To be honest, I much preferred Pirates of the Carribean 2 which we saw a couple of weeks ago - I really enjoyed the first one but this was sooooooooo much better! Casting Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow was just inspired...

Back home, it was far too hot to attempt too much gardening and as A & I are blessed/cursed with stereotypical British complexions, we decided the best plan was to stay out of the sun as much as possible by going on a few day trips to take advantage of the air-conditioning in the car! Getting lost in the Derbyshire dales and Welsh borders in glorious sunshine with our favourite music playing and air conditioning blowing....bliss.... :-)

(Now I had planned to put some pictures here of some of the places we'd been, but once again Blogger is playing silly devils! Maybe later...)

As for stitching, well I didn't get quite as much done as I'd hoped but that's always the way! The sampler is coming along nicely & I even started a couple of other little things whilst travelling about :-) Mirabilia's Halloween Fairy is looking rather lovely - the earthy tones of the dress with the vivid touches of orange and peacock green work very well, A prefers her to the Christmas Elf Fairy so far but I'm torn between the two! :-)

I've also made a start on Shepherd's Bush 2000 Years Ago, a collection of the first ornaments that were published in the Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornaments magazines. I've been getting the magazines for the past couple of years so have the later designs but was very pleased to find the early ones in one leaflet! The delicate, natural tones tie in very nicely with the colours I have round the house at Christmas time and as they're small and straightforward to stitch, are good for travelling or when your brain has decided to take a holiday too... ;-)

Mind you, it could take a few years before I get round to deciding how to finish them...and then another couple years to actually do it...

On a completely different matter, I returned to work to find that we'd blasted our targets for the last two months so we each have £400 in holiday vouchers to spend!! Woohoo!! At the moment I'm thinking about splashing out on a weekend in a really nice country house hotel, complete with spa treatments, sometime in early 2007...but then flights are so cheap, maybe we should go abroad instead...decisions...decisions....

Oops...I've just realised how long this is...well done to all of you who have made it this far! Time for me to vamoose....byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee