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!