Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Beanstalk and bag

2 sewing makes.
Finally, a picture of the beanstalk I made for the school panto:

and a photo of a bag made for me by my secret Santa on

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Been and gone

That's Christmas over again for another year! It was very quiet here with only Craig home. I'm sure the end of January will be noisier when David and Kirsty come home for Up Helly Aa and David's Ruth comes here for the first time too. John, David and Craig are in the jarl squad this year.

We spent time sitting chatting, Mum and me on our DS's, lol! We also played Canasta, a new game to John and Craig. Mum and John won, Craig and I will get our revenge!

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Hug your kids

I heard yesterday that the younger brother of a child I used to work with had died on Saturday. He had cystic fibrosis and although his parents had done their best to give him as normal a life as possible within the constraints of the disease, cf beat him. He leaves a brother and 2 sisters as well as his parents.

I can't imagine how they feel, my sister lost her 6 year old son to a brain tumour and it was awful, but I was not the parent. Spare a thought for this family and others in the same situation this Christmas. Give your kids a hug, even if they are being awkward/ hyper/ noisy/ fighting/ messy - there are worse alternatives.

Friday, 19 December 2008

End of term

Finally reached the end of term, been a long time coming! I feel a couple of days hibernation coming on. Done the food shopping on the way home as we have no boats (therefore no stock for shops) coming in for at least 2 days due to the windy weather forecast.

The beanstalk worked and the school panto went well, 14 kids can put on a great show! Got a photo of the beanstalk to post when I get it off my camera.

The show raised money for Kiva and the school fund. Pupils spent a lot of time doing research and then choosing the people they wanted to lend money to and 8 people will get loans from their efforts. They are logging onto the site in their own time already to see what progress is being made for their choice's fundraising. Hopefully this will be the start of a long term project as they can relend the money as it is repaid to the account.

Christmas feels under control - got to be something I've forgotten! Cards were written and then sat for 3 days before we remembered to post them! Parcels have been sent and received. Tree is up and presents under it. I must start putting the cards up tomorrow before the pile topples over!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

A Big Beanstalk!

Last night I cut a green curtain into 3 lengths and sewed them end on end and then into a tube. Today at work I laminated photocopied leaves (A3 size) and cut them out to fix onto the fabric with the help of safety pins and a stapler! Voila! One beanstalk! I also altered a Santa costume and a wedding dress for the panto dame - who said working in a school was boring!

Oh no it isn't!

I'll be glad when Tuesday is over and Panto land disappears back into storage for another year! Doing Jack and the Beanstalk with 14 primary children is hard work!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Chutney and the Light Fantastic!

Last month I made some Red Tomato Chutney which now that it is ready to eat is being very well received. I was in the supermarket one evening and they were selling organic and on the vine tomatoes for between 6p and 12p as they were going out of date! Needless to say I bought loads - in fact I made double this recipe! Here's the recipe:

Red Tomato Chutney
A fruity chutney to complement cold roast meats, mature cheddar cheese or grilled sausages.
900g (2lbs) Tomatoes skinned and chopped
450g (1lb) Cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
450g (1lb) Onions peeled and chopped
225g (8oz) Sultanas
225g (8oz) Sugar
5ml (1 teasp) Mustard powder
10ml (2 teasp) Ground coriander
5ml (1 teasp) Ground ginger
Salt and pepper
280ml (1/2 pt) Vinegar
Small tin tomato puree
Mix the tomatoes, apples, onions and sultanas in a large pan. Stir in all the other ingredients, add a good sprinkling of salt and pepper. Bring slowly to the boil, cover the pan and reduce the heat, simmer gently for 1-2 hours or until thick. Stir during cooking, then pot and cover in the usual way.

Hot Tomato Chutney
Use 2 red chillies chopped up and 5ml (1 teasp) cayenne pepper to make a hot version of the above chutney.

I made mine hot and added a few green chillies. The recipe comes from this website: with many thanks to the contributer.

Other news. I have today finished the unit on Light and Energy in my OU exploring science course. I had to do an experiment on light diffraction and managed to get this photo along the way:

Interestingly I didn't see the leftmost line with my naked eye - apparently our ability to see the violet decreases with age! Hmmm!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

So much for good deeds!

I noticed that Craig had left his fly-tying kit behind this morning and he had an after school club today. I picked it up to drop off on my way to work and dropped it. Now he keeps his feathers in small jam jars .... I had to pick out the glass and clear out the bag. I have spare jam jars in a high cupboard in the utility room. Stood on a low stool to reach up, tilted over and twisted my ankle. Been hobbling all day, got a puffy ankle which I've now strapped up. and am now sitting on the sofa with my foot up - while HE makes the tea!

Oh, and he decided not to go to the after school club after all!

Saturday, 29 November 2008

So far today I have:
  • completed an experiment for my OU course - but I am still running behind on the course work
  • cut my dad's hair, designed and printed some Christmas cards for him based on a photo of his neighbours' dogs (don't ask), sold him some eggs (chickens are starting to lay again! Hurrah!) and I helped him fill in a questionnaire about the future of Shetland's school service sent to each household.
  • turned a charity shop bought curtain into 2 baby slings made to measure for friends with a new baby, one for her and one for him! They are in the wash at the moment, hopefully I'll get a pic tomorrow when they visit.
Other news - the dental service here is a joke. (OK - that's not news!) Turned up on Thursday to be told the dentist was ill (again) and they would phone me with a new appointment once they had been through the book. Gave them my work number. Phoned them from 9-1 on Friday to get answering machine every time. Eventually they phoned to say they were training on Friday, interviewing on Monday, could I phone them on Tuesday? I've now lost the filling that was in the broken tooth, think I'll have a tooth by the time I see a dentist?

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Serves me right!

I'm on a low fat diet (or I get consequences from medication that you don't want to know about) but last night I decided to blow it - I wanted some roasted chick peas. Well I ate them, broke a tooth and suffered the aforementioned consequences. Anyone want the rest of the packet? I phoned the dentist this morning and actually got an appointment this week - Thursday morning. :(

Went to a public meeting tonight about education in Shetland. To say the consultation process is flawed would be an understatement, the questions are really biased. Got to fill in my own questionnaire now, will our small school be considered 'viable' at the end of it? Who knows?

Joined a new craft forum today, which I have on good authority is a nice and friendly. is the url. Somewhere else for me to wile away the time when I should be doing something else! lol!

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Got a matching pair!

LOL! That had you thinking!

I got my 2nd TMA back and it's also 84%, not sure I'll keep this level of results up but not a bad start!

Craig got his new script today - it involves him playing a boy who disguises himself as a girl. Here we go again! Brian/Brenda will be taking to the stage in March with rehearsals starting in January.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Oh no it isn't!

Oh yes it is! It's freezing, windy and there's white stuff blowing around - it must be Splinters' panto time! There are sons and there are sons - this one is a son to be proud of ... isn't he? (That's mine in the pink tights!) The only male dwarf out of 7 and the only one not dressed in red and yellow. Hmm. lol!

It was a really good show and the kids did their producers proud. It's a hard working group run by a husband and wife voluntarily - and they've been doing it for close to 30 years! I was one of the originals and there are several other families also into the second generation now.

Another show tomorrow then casting for the drama festival on Sunday before we get 7 weeks off the taxi service.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

How long until Friday?

Finished tweaking the school panto script today. Informed heady that we only have 4 weeks until it's on stage and we haven't finished read it through yet!!!!!! Oh well, casting done, props list done, songs written/ adapted, only need 2 backdrops painted - oh and some costumes and 18 pages of lines learnt! What could go wrong? (watch this space! lol!)

I've been asked by a friend to make her a baby sling so I'll have to go through my fabric stash. She's not a pastels kinda girl so will have to find something with some colour. I'm going to use the free pattern from Karma Baby as that is the type she wants and it looks easy too!

Saturday, 15 November 2008

There's a first!

Craig made his first lasagne for tea tonight - and it won't be his last - it was very nice! It even kept it's shape when taken out of the dish! No end to the boy's skills - well, there might be - picking up dirty socks from his bedroom floor seems to be a bit tricky for him!

Time for 'me time'

My head is like mush now - I've just sat and finished TMA 02 (tutor marked assessment) for my OU course. For those who don't know I'm doing S104, Exploring Science with the Open University and TMA 02 was on Earth and Space, 01 was on Global Warming and it's Energy and Light next! This is taking me right out of my comfort zone and I am learning lots of new things and look around me with different eyes!

However, a chick lit book and a cup of tea will be my reward. Will look over the TMA before sending it tomorrow - and then it's onto the next unit! Will have to fit some crafting in soon before I forget how - and I have a Secret Santa gift to finish!

Friday, 14 November 2008

Craft fair

Well we're just back from the craft fair - just went for a look, hmmmm! Spent 'some' money which wasn't difficult, there are some very talented people in Shetland. Can't detail what was bought - you never know who might be reading this!

Ordered some stuff from fellow crafters at last night too - so the Bah Humbug shopping is well underway. I love the internet, no crowds, easy to compare prices, can see if it is in stock and you don't have to carry it home! Just have to try to remember what I've bought for who now!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008


YES!!!!!!!!! We are now reconnected to the rest of the world! 3 phone messages before I got home lol!

Today I signed up to be a Kiva lender, helping people work themselves out of poverty.

My lender page:

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Phone angry!

Still no phone - have used £18 credit on my mobile since Friday - most of it on the phone to Tiscali! To put that into perspective, £10 usually lasts me about 3 months! (I know last of the big spenders - and my phone is a brick too, no camera, no colour pics - just phone and text!)

I give up on technology anyway - signed up to a monthly audio books site and then found out the software doesn't work with my Walkman MP3 player - not that I can work it anyway!

Monday, 10 November 2008

Phone angst

Is it too much to want to have a working phone line - when you are paying for the privilege? I didn't think that was an unreasonable thing to ask! Haven't had a phone since Friday which was when Tiscali were supposed to take over from BT. I've made lots of phone calls on my mobile to Tiscali and just needed to go ARGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Added to that my tutor hasn't replied to 2 emails I sent her over the weekend (because the broadband is still working?!?!?!) and I have to start writing my TMA.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Walking the dogs

John and I went for a walk with Jake(springer / jrt cross) and Loki (border terrier) today at Heylor in Northmavine \after dropping Craig off at Splinters. I'd been beavering away at Earth and Space for my OU course and needed a break! We saw this little fellow on the beach. Needless to say we kept the dogs well away! Unfortunately we also saw this one:

Jake and Loki had a great time however and after stopping at the Eshaness cafe for the humans to have afternoon tea, they are now both sleeping! Peace!

Well I decided it was time to do a proper blog - and try to keep it up! ~It is named Jaydee's Ramblings because Jaydee is the name I am known by on the forums I visit and I expect it to ramble!