Aug 7


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Lovely weekend visit from Emma. Much wine, wii, and, sadly, whinge from the smaller members of the family.

I am now half way through completing challenge No. 15 by taking Rhys and Emma to Haile’s farm for fruit picking. Black currents for Emma, rasps for everyone. Oh and a poke around the farm shop revealed my favourite chunky oatcakes, never before seen south of the border, venison sausages and meringues. Oh happy Sunday.

Only half way through the challenge though, next year I’ll complete it by taking Meredith too.

May 8

No. 31 – Fear the fear and do it anyway, the sewing machine

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08/05/11 by Stripyzebra
08/05/11, a photo by Stripyzebra on Flickr.

I greatly admire people who can use a sewing machine. I often think of things I could do if I could use a sewing machine. I even went so far as buying a machine from a friend who was emigrating.

And then I stalled. I remembered the disaster that was my HE lessons age 13. Being banned from using sewing machines after causing a major threading incident that took the teacher a week to unpick the machine.

So, No. 31 on my Mission list is within the Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway section – Learn to use my sewing machine and make a pouch sling for Merri.

Truth be told, I was given some lovely fabric by my sister to make a sling for Rhys. And shamefully it has sat sadly in the bedroom ever since. I couldn’t sling Rhys now even if I wanted to.

Luckily for me and the fabric, I have a lovely friend called Rachel – aka HaloHoney – who is not only talented enough to sew for a living but sometimes runs classes for the sewing machine deficient.

Today she was passing through Cheltenham anyway, delivering curtains to a friend, and she came past to give me quick lesson. Before I knew it, she had even talked me into taking the machine out of its box.

I can now thread the machine and know where the spool goes and even press the pedal and make the thread go in and out of fabric. Astonishing!

My plan is to use these new found skills to take part in a lovely project Rachel is organising and then I shall work on the sling idea.

Wish me luck…

Mar 28

Mission update

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Busy week!

As well as updating No. 33, I can cross off No. 99. Last week, after a slight hiccup, I finally met up with neighbour Kay and her gorgeous little boy Reuben. And also her neighbour and beautiful daughter Charlotte. Reuben is a day younger than Meredith - and so will be in a different school year – and Charlotte is 4.5 months old.

We walked down to the health centre and had the babies weighed – Meredith is now the Devil Child as her weight was exactly 6. 66 Kg. Or 14 lb 6 oz if you prefer. She had her first trip in the buggy and seemed to enjoy it. There’s a photograph of her lying back in my sunglasses for the March Scavenger Hunt because it was a lovely *warm* spring day.

After we walked back and had a cold drink at Kay’s and a good chat about slings and real nappies and what horrors the small ones are up to. It was a lovely afternoon, and I’m sure we’ll meet up again soon. It  was only a little shocking to discover how young Kay is and that I’m closer to her mother’s age (42 years old) than her own! *denial*

9. When we got back from the speech therapist last week, Merri was sound asleep so I took the opportunity to get Rhys out on his bike again. The previous attempt he refused to even put his bottom on the saddle so it was a relief that he got on and did a little peddling while I held his seat with my finger tips.

Really and truly there are only two things stopping Rhys cycling away. Confidence that he can do it – which we know he can, because he can balance, pedal and steer his balance bike beautifully. And keeping his concentration so he doesn’t wobble or cycle straight into a street lamp. Watch this space…

56. Two lovely ladies (Legless and Little Peanut for those in the know) came over to discuss books and setting up a book club. Typically, Meredith was on a rare sleep refusal jag so my participation was rather curbed but I am  hoping we’ll repeat soon and have the lovely Esklisa and perhaps others next time.

75. I started to get my driver’s licence updated but met a beaurocratic nightmare online so I’m working on it. Weep.

89. I haven’t posted about this incredibly dull Mission but I can report that I am pretty much clutter clearing the table weekly. The fact the clutter is mostly redistributed into the study is another matter.

Mar 17

Mission update for March

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I have been remiss about updating in March, we’re half way through and no blog post. Doh.

So here’s a quick Mission update and a more philosophical post to follow later.

4. I’m still PADing to my surprise – I can’t say I’m anything of a photographer but I do seem to have found a new hobby. What I didn’t expect is to really enjoy the community aspect of the HPAD group – there’s a great mix of ability and styles without offputting competitiveness and there’s a lovely pool of photos to browse each day. On bleugh days there’s challenges to inspire you and the skilled photographers seem happy to help beginners. I feel really very lucky to have such an amazing community to share pictures with and learn from.

25.  Book has been read and I’m trying to put the advice into practise as I can see that it does work even though I have a ridiculous way to go.

The thing that really seems to work for Rhys is the idea that rather than saying “no, you can’t fly to the moon”, you can avoid getting into an argument over the ridiculousness of the request by saying “yes, I’d like to too. And go to Mars and meet the Martians. I wish I could do that.” 

My description is  pants but somehow it works for things like “I want to stay and play longer” – “I wish you could too, it’s a great toy house, but Jenny needs this room to help other children and we have to catch a bus.”

56. Hopefully, illness, work and race course willing, we’ll have the first meeting of a new Cheltenham book club next week at my house. I forsee wine, olives and Kindles at the ready…

72. I’m back to work at the start of May and I should be picking up a shiny new laptop before hand so I really really do need to do this!

84. Task completed!

94. I have an idea for my Woodmancote news article and a deadline for submitting for the summer publication… Would help if Merri hadn’t chewed up the current edition though.

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Feb 2

PAD January 2011 and a quick Mission update

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PAD January 2011
Originally uploaded by Zeb2007


On a more positive note, I successfully completed my first PAD month and here is the evidence.

I’m stupidly excited at having a mosaic for January 2011. I hope I’ll have at least 11 more to add to this blog and perhaps beyond.

There’s not much update on the other tasks though.

No. 25 – Well, Matt bought a copy of the book as we couldn’t sit on the library copy forever but my reading is at an all time low. I need to invest some time to this book and a few others.

No. 37 – Um yes, I need to actually work at that one. No. 60 is going fairly well though, I mostly manage six portions a day at the moment, so I suppose that’s something.

Of course, no. 86 isn’t helping no. 37 because we’ve made leftover bananas into muffins (see Rhys in the mosiac) and also banana honey cake (which is way too good to share wtih children).

No. 87 – The Onya veg bags have had several trips to the greengrocers now and damn useful they are too. Here’s what Onya Weigh look like for anyone who wants to see what they are.

And that’s pretty much me for up to the end of January and into the very start of February…

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Jan 20

Two thirds through January

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And I’m being a bit slow on the move through my Mission but…

No. 3 and 4

Well, I’m still PADing and enjoying it and I’ve completed two challenges for the month – a nine-item scavanger hunt and a self-portrait – so go me!

I guess I’m a natural attention seeker but I’m really loving the PAD group’s feedback on my attempts at photography and even more so, looking at other people’s pictures. There’s so many talented people taking amazing and imaginative photographs, it’s inspiring me to read the book that’s sat on the shelf for a good few years.

It’s also terrible for making me think ooh I want one of those lenses! This could make for an expensive hobby.

No. 20

Done – Merri has a bank account in her own name. Was only mildy traumatic taking both children to the bank and balancing a clip board on my knee to fill in the form, writing around Merri in the sling and herding Rhys up and away from the wiring. The patient customer service manager laughed at Rhys demanding to know what the tiny door in the wall was for but then he did go on to ask if I’d seen “Outnumbered”…

No. 24

I haven’t gone to Monkey Music  but I did take Merri to the Bumps and Rhythmes group at our local library this morning. A short session of singing and I was surprised at how much she enjoyed it – probably about as much as she needs music-wise for now and it’s free.

There’s a class for 6+ months babies in the community centre next door but  by the time she’s old enough I’ll be close to working again and she’ll be at nursery.  Sadly I’m not seeing how I’ll be able to keep up a music group for her once I’m back at work as the Tuesday Monkey Music group isn’t suitable for an exuberant 4-year-old.

No. 37 and 60

Figuring I’ll probably need a bit of help on losing weigh, I’ve decided to join Weight Watchers online – it seems fairly sensible and do-able which I guess is the main thing. As I am breast feeding it won’t be a speedy loss but we’ll see how it goes.

I figure eating extra fruit and veg is only going to help with the above anyway, and they are mostly “free” on the plan anyway.

No. 90

I’ve texted Kay and there’s a plan to meet some point soon. Must chase up and make cake. On a similar front, I’ve made a playdate for Rhys with another neighbour for next week which should be fun.

No. 100

Ditched a stack of stuff – old crockery, soft toys, clothes – to the local charity shop. Was too lazy to count so I’ll estimate that was at least 40 things…

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Jan 14

No. 86

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I thought I should explain no. 86 of my mission because it’s not one other 101 in 1001 lists seem to have.

I love bananas but only when they are just ripe – once they have a few brown spots I can tolerate them only covered in yoghurt, and once they are any darker, I cook with them.

There’s a limit to how many banana muffins, cake, smoothies I can make so I’m currently failing task no. 86. I have at least half a dozen frozen bananas and another half dozen that should be added to the freezer.

So if anyone would like to recommend a non-muffin, cake or smoothie recipe, I’d be grateful. But not curry because that’s just Wrong.

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Jan 10

First task completed

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The list has been written and posted on blog so first task is complete. Hurrah!

And a few more ongoing tasks have begun.

I have joined a photo a day (PAD) group, full of lovely and talented women whose pictures are a real inspiration to complete tasks 3, 4, and 5.

My pictures can be seen here. If I fall behind kick my butt.

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Jan 5

The Mission

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I’ve written my 101 List , I’ve kept my PAD up to date, and I’ve made a start on the first few other missions.

Just need to get the husband to free up the various tools on here and I can go go go…

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Jan 3

Hello world!

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Hello world seems an appropriate title for this first post.

This is a small stripy place for me to scribble and also a place to write a journal of a project I have started, 101 tasks in 1001 days.

I’m working on the first task – composing The List of tasks – and it’s already harder than I realised as I’m only up to no. 60 and a few of those will probably be transferred into a separate Not Yet Achievable list, I think.

In the mean time, I’m working on the Hitched/DW Photograph A Day (PAD) project and that’s a good start.

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