Friday, 16 December 2011

Dear So and So...

Dear Unborn Child

Please, please, don't come before New Year.  This is the first time I'll have had both Christmas and New Year off work and I don't want to spend it in hospital.  I spend enough time working in one. 

Love, your expectant mother.

Dear snow,

GO AWAY! It's my work's night out tonight and wellies do not go with my outfit!

Yours, snow hater.

Dear Dairy Milk that's sitting in the fridge,

Stop shouting my name! I hear you!

Yours, really trying to resist (but one square won't hurt).

Dear everyone,

Why not have a look at the host of Dear So and So's website?

Love, LA xx

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Monday, 12 December 2011

36 weeks

My bump seems to have just grown magically since I finished up for maternity leave.  Whether that's due to the baby taking a massive stretch over the last week, or very forgiving work uniforms (may be the latter, as some of the doctors I work with still hadn't realised that I'm pregnant by the time I left).  Little Bean likes to move around, a lot, especially in the evening/night time.  Sometimes it feels like it's trying to make an escape by stretching into my ribcage, which is quite irritating, but in a nice way.

I've had a relatively uneventful pregnancy so far.  I've had no sickness, in fact I've not been ill at all, and I've had no days off work.  I finished up last Friday for maternity leave, and only now am I beginning to feel glad that I'm not there.  I feel slow and heavy, and I get tired easily, which isn't good on a busy ward.  I've had no cravings.  I've not even been that hungry, and when I do eat I feel full so quickly, but I'm making sure I eat small and often.  People keep asking if I'm nervous, or excited, or panicking, but to be honest, I'm as calm as a Hindu cow.  Nothing seems to be phasing me just now.

Leggings are my wardrobe staple at the moment.  I've never been a fan, but I am so grateful for them just now, as they're the only item of clothing I am comfortable in. 

And it's the work's Christmas night out on Friday, so I'm using it as an opportunity to get pampered, and may even get my hair cut... But we'll see.  I bought a nice maternity dress from New Look so I'll just dress it up with some sparkly accessories and shoes. 

Hubby is beginning to stress ever so slightly.  He thinks we're not organised, mostly because I haven't packed a hospital bag yet.  I have bits and pieces but not all together.  I don't see the point because the things I'm yet to put in are things I need just now!   But we are more organised than he realises.  The cot and stuff are at his mother's house, our gorgeous pram is getting delivered on Wednesday, and there are bits and pieces scattered around my parents house too.  My lovely colleague gave us a moses basket that her daughter had bought but didn't want, so all wee need for that is bedding. It's all coming together. 

We had our last ante natal class last week too.  This was the only one that the partners were allowed to come to, and it was good, we could have done with having the partners there for the previous three classes too.  It was great as it taught hubby how to massage my back and shoulders, which I definitely need to get him to practise, you know in preparation, not purely for my benefit (hehe).

So, we're getting there.  Will we be this calm in 3 weeks time? Who knows...

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

The Gallery: My Awesome Photo

I'm not in anyway a professional photographer.  I have a very basic Kodak digital camera, and have only recently discovered the Micro function on it... So I don't ever expect my photos to be anywhere near awesome. 

This weeks Gallery theme is My Awesome Photo.  I've never really taken "awesome" photos, but there are a couple of photo's which I'm proud of.  Most of them are scenic, but this one is my favourite:

I can't tell you if it is technically awesome.  But here's why I think it's awesome:

It was taken in my favourite place in autumn time. The colours are just magical.

It has my favourite tree in it.  It looks like a hand, bending its fingers, beckoning you onwards.
The Tree is bathed in lovely afternoon sunlight.
The path looks like it goes on and on forever.
Every time I look at it, it takes me back to the day I took it, and makes me feel peaceful and calm.

So that's my photo.  Why not check out the other entries over at the Sticky Fingers blog?

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Old Photos

I love old photographs, and recently my mum acquired my Grandad's old slides.  My dad bought a fancy, shmancy device that we can use to put the slides on to the computer. 

So my mum and I have been faithfully transferring the slides onto the computer.  I estimate we have transferred around 400 so far, and there are 4 or 5 boxes still to go.

It's amazing being able to see family who I'd heard about, but never met, and to discover those we didn't know about.

So far we've found slides from when my mum and Uncle John were very young, lots of photos of when my aunt was a baby, a trip to Germany in 1974, when my mum and dad got engaged, their wedding in 1975, my aunt and uncles wedding in 1980, and my grandparents trip to Hong Kong when they went out to visit my aunt who was working with the Hong Kong Symphony Orchestra.

It's fascinating to look how different life was, what fashions were like, even the old buses are amazing!! I'm desperate to get copies of all the photos, but I was able to email myself only a few of my favourites last night:

My "old" Gran and Grandad.  This must have been at a Sunday School trip. They are our "old" Gran and Grandad because they were both over 75 when my sister and I were born.

My "young" Gran and Grandad.  It's this grandad who the slides belonged to.  This is in the back garden of their house.  My gran is so like my mum.

My Mum with her little sister.  There were 15 years between my mum and my aunt, which caused many people to assume that my mum was her mum!   My mum looks very like my gran here.

Young Gran and Grandad again, this time at a family wedding.  I love my grans coat. They always look so smart! 

And again, this time in Germany in 1974.  I LOVE my Grans dress here, so 70's!! And I think she made it herself. 

All the grandparents together, at my mum and dad's wedding in 1975.  My Old Grandad was always that dapper looking. He never left the house without a shirt and tie on.  And my sister still covets my Old Grans coat.

And lastly, one to embarrass my sister and my parents.  This is my Mum, Dad and sister at my Uncle John's wedding in 1980.

Thankfully, we've not come across any of me, but I expect there are a couple somewhere. I can't wait to be able to make an album out of all of these!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Little Pink Blanket

A work colleague asked me to knit her a pink dolls pram blanket to give to her niece for Christmas.  It had to be pink because Katie does not entertain anything if it's not pink.  Pink clothes, pink shoes, pink pink pink!!

I found a lovely little pattern here, and used just 1 skein of Stylecraft Special DK in Fiesta.

Here are the results!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Christmas Items

I've updated my Folksy shop with some new items for Christmas.

My favourites are these miniature Christmas Stockings:

I've also listed some knitted Kindle covers

Please check them out here:

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

The Gallery: T is for...


And just for Tara, trees!

This post is part of The Gallery.  Please hop over to Tara's Sticky Fingers blog for more amazing Gallery entries.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

A-Z of Me Meme

I noticed a lot of people taking part in the A-Z of Me meme and, although I've not been tagged, I though it looked like lots of fun, so I'm giving it a go.

ANORAK…Do you have a sad side?

I love historical documentaries and non-fiction books.  Anything about a by-gone age, especially the 1st and 2nd World Wars, and the Titanic etc.  

And I love to knit (although I don't think that's terribly sad!)

And I quite like Country music... and Gospel... (digging myself a hole here...)

BODY…What physical attribute would you most like to change?

I've always been on the heavy side, but since I'm pregnant just now I'm not bothered about it.  Will work on it after the baby's born.  I used to hate my nose.  It's got a funny shaped bump and then goes straight down (looks weird in profile) but then I realised it's really the only physical attribute that I inherited from my dad, so I've grown to really love it.

CELEBRITY…Which one would you most like to date and why?

My 13 year old self is shouting Jonathan Taylor Thomas!! (hey, he was, and still is, very cute)
His posters were plastered all over my wall when I was wee :)

DEBUT …Tell us about your first ever blog post. What made you start blogging?

My first blog post was on the 28/5/10 and it was about a blanket that I'd just finished knitting.  I started blogging to document my knitting and to get in touch with other knitters, and generally just to have a wee place to rant.  I then started taking part in The Gallery and Silent Sunday.

ERROR …What’s been your biggest regret?

Hmm. I have a few, and most of them boil down to trusting people too much, taking them at face value and not finding them out sooner. 

FUNNY – who’s making you laugh?

My husband. Sometimes he's unintentionally funny, sometimes he's just plain silly.  And also my sister and I have a good giggle together.

GRAND…If we gave you one right now what would you spend it on?

Oooh, I'm gonna be totally boring and say put it towards paying some bills.

HOLIDAY… What’s your favourite destination?

I love love LOVE Florida.  There's something about it, that magic-make-you-feel-like-a-big-kid atmosphere about it, especially at Disney. 

IRRITATE… What’s your most annoying habit?

Quoting TV shows.  I even annoy myself.  It's hard to explain what triggers it, but sometimes in a conversation someone will say just a word, or a phrase, and it will trigger a memory in my brain of a line from Friends, or an old episode of Dads Army or something really silly and I'll say it out loud.  No one ever has ANY idea what I'm on about, and I'll need to explain what show it's from and what character said it.  I still maintain that if my school exams had been on obscure TV shows, and lines from them, I'd have got straight A's.
(that may even qualify for the Anorak category of this A-Z...)

JOKER…Whats your favourite joke {the one that makes you laugh everytime you hear it}?

I'm stealing my dad's favourite Bob Hope joke here:

"My wife asked for a new chair, so I bought her an electric one"

KENNEL… Do you have any pets?

No pets.  :(

LOVE…Are you single, married, engaged, living with a long term partner?

I've been married for a year and a half now, and loving it. We're expecting our first child in January.

MEAL… Whats your ultimate starter, main and dessert?

Ooh,  Starter: Bruschetta Pomodoro with lots of balsamic glaze

          Main:  Spaghetti bolognese

          Dessert: Raspberry Sorbet

NOW…If you could be anywhere right now where would you be and who with?

Standing in Main St, USA at the Magic Kingdom with my husband and my sister, watching the Wishes fireworks show.  Brings a wee tear to my eye every time.

OFF DUTY…What do you do in your spare time?

Hehe, off duty to me means the rota at work.  But in my spare time I knit, read, and try to spend as much time with my family as I can.

PROUD MOMENTS …What are you most proud of?

Graduating with a degree.  Never thought I'd ever have done it, especially as I went to College 3 years after I left school.  Never thought I'd get back into the habit of studying.

QUEASY …What turns your stomach?

As a nurse, not a lot.  I have a very strong stomach.  But I will say, the smell of blood isn't very nice.  Especially old blood.  I'll not go into gory details, but it's not very nice.

RELAX…How do you relax?

I knit. I watch silly TV and movies and read.  And I'm quite partial to reading in the bath too.

SONG…Whats your favourite song of all time?

FAR too many to choose.  But Lady Antebellum's Need You Now is up there.

TIME …If you could go back in time and relive it again, when would you choose?

High school.  I wouldn't be such a self imposed loner, and I'd be more sociable and I'd sure as hell pick Music over Home Economics for Standard Grade.  WHY I didn't do that in the first place, is beyond me.  Music would have been the easier choice, since I'd been reading music and playing brass instruments since I was 7 years old. 

UNKNOWN…Tell us something about yourself that no one else knows?

I'd love to be in a Broadway show.  Even just to sing in the chorus.

VOCAL…. Who is your favourite artist?

Too many to choose.

WORK….. What is your dream job, and are you doing it now?

I'd love to be a district nurse.  Currently just a Staff Nurse in a hospital ward.

XRAY…Any broken bones?

Broke my wrist in Primary 6. And my (nurse) mother didn't take me to hospital until the next day.

YIKES…What’s been your most embarrassing moment?

Primary 7 Christmas show, I raise my trombone to start playing a duet with a classmate, and my slide hits my music stand, knocking it over, which knocked the next one over, hitting parents sitting in the first rows.  Couldn't play for sheer embarrassment.

ZOO…. If you were an animal, which one would you be?

Hmm I want to say a penguin cos they're my favourite animal, but I'd probably end up being a Sloth!

Monday, 17 October 2011

In which I attempt pockets.

The great thing about being able to knit, is being able to knit things for children.  Being pregnant, I'm loving looking at all the little baby knit patterns available.  My only trouble is I'm not that experienced a knitter, and many of the patterns that I love are quite complicated! 

However, after a browse through the free patterns available on the Lion Brand website, I came across this one.  Fairly easy looking, although I have never attempted a cardigan which I have to sew up.  I'm used to picking patterns that are knit all in one go.  This pattern also has pockets, which I have definitely never tried.  I had some left over Robin Aran with Wool in oatmeal, which I thought would make for a lovely chunky warm cardigan.

It turned out a little bigger than I expected, but then, I never checked my gauge (silly I know!). But it still looks quite good. 

All ready to be sewn up

And with buttons!

What do you think?

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

The Gallery: Colour


I know the theme for this week's The Gallery is colour. Just one colour. And I did have a picture in mind.  However, it's my birthday today, and I woke up to the most lovely present from my husband, and it changed my mind. 

So I hope you forgive me, because it's not one colour. It's black and white. And written all over.

And I love it!!

Now check out the other entries over at Tara's Sticky Fingers blog.

Monday, 3 October 2011


I am aware that it's still only October, but last night my husband broke the news to me that he's going to participate in Mo-vember this year.  In case you don't know, Mo-vember is where men are sponsored to grow a moustache (and keep it) during the month of November, to raise awareness and money for male cancers, specifically the Prostate Cancer Charity. 

Last year, I sponsored a few friends taking part in Movember and wrote about it here.  Male cancer is an issue close to my heart, because my dad has prostate cancer.  He's much better now, and he volunteers with the Prostate Cancer Charity to help raise awareness to other men.   

So I'm going to have to live with hubby's moustache for a whole month. Here's a photo of him pre-moustache. 

To ease my suffering, and that of prostate cancer sufferers like my dad, please sponsor him here, or to simply donate to the Prostate Cancer Charity, please click here.

And I will be posting regular photo's of his growing 'tache through the month of November!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Silent Sunday

Check out the other Silent Sunday posts over on Twitter, using the hashtag #silentsunday.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Pregnancy so far...

So I'm now 25 weeks pregnant, and it's all going pretty well so far. 

I still don't think I look particularly pregnant, only heavier, almost like I did before I lost weight. I've not stepped on the scales for a few weeks (what's the point really!) but I know I'm back over 13 stone. 

Those who know I'm pregnant tell me I'm getting bigger. Those who don't know can't seem to tell. It's weird, I don't have the obvious bump. Probably because I was kinda heavy to start with.  I can't fit into any of my clothes now though, and have ordered my maternity uniforms for work.  I'm surviving with one pair of maternity jeans, a pair of black trousers, and leggings and baggy tops.  I refuse to pay over the odds for maternity wear that I'm only going to wear for the next 3 months, and I'm just wearing bigger tops.  It's hard to find stores that sell maternity clothes that are just casual anyway, mostly it's things like skirts and shirts for work, or fancy dresses. 

Work is becoming a bit annoying because they won't let me do things like turn the patients, or anything that involves moving and handling in any way.  Makes me feel like I'm not doing my job.  So I've been relegated to the "easier" tasks like the ward rounds, the drug rounds, basically anything that doesn't involve physically moving patients.   I'm so easily tired now though, so the 12 hours shifts are becoming a bit of a killer.  Night shift is a bit easier, surprisingly.  On the plus side, my colleagues have stopped telling me I look pale all the time.  Pregnancy must be giving me some colour in my cheeks!  My maternity leave application is in, so hopefully will be finishing up at the start of December.  My colleagues are saying I planned this deliberately so I could get Christmas and New Year off, but this will be the first time in five years that i've not worked either Christmas Eve, Day and Boxing Day, or New Years Eve, Day and the 2nd of January.  So I'm really looking forward to it!!

Baby is moving about a bit, which still feels weird, and I keep getting a wee fright each time it happens. Feels like I'm being poked in the stomach from the inside. It must be doing somersaults in there!

I don't have any weird cravings and I've not been ill, give or take the odd migraine or two. 

We don't have any names picked out yet.  We've banded a couple of names about, and there's a couple that we agree on.  I guess we just have to wait to see if it's a boy or a girl and what name acually suits the baby.  The only thing we've agreed on is a middle name, which will be hubby's dads name (his dad died when he was young). 

(Although, I was watching Stephen Fry's Planet Word the other night and there was a little girl called Twyla on it.  Ruled that name out right away, it just doesn't suit a wee Scottish baby.  But then there was also a man on it who only communicated with his infant child in Klingon, so I wonder where they find the people to appear on these shows...)

So far, it's all been good (touch wood) and hopefully the next three months are as uneventful!!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Silent Sunday

Check out the other Silent Sunday posts over on Twitter, using the hashtag #silentsunday.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

9/11 Where were you?

My dad has always said, you will always remember where you were when you hear big, or shocking news.  He was in a Saturday matinee with his brother, watching a western no doubt, when he found out JFK had been assassinated. He had came out of the cinema and saw it on a newspaper billboard.  News travelled slower in those days. 

When Princess Diana died, I was still in bed.  It was a Sunday morning, and my sister was shouting that something must have happened, because she couldn't get any radio stations, they were all silent.  And then we saw it on the news. 

When the Dunblane massacre happened, I was in 1st year at high school.  I was in 2nd or 3rd  period maths, when I had to leave half way through for a music lesson.  Our school was split site, so I had a 5 minute walk between buildings.  When I got to my music lesson, my brass tutor told me he'd heard on the radio that there had been a shooting at a primary school, and that it was pretty bad.  We didn't know exactly how bad until later, but there was a horrible atmosphere in school that day. 

And I think everyone who's old enough remembers where they were on 9/11.  I was working holiday cover on reception at a doctors surgery.  It had been a quiet day.  Late afternoon the phone rang, and it was one of the receptionists sisters, phoning from New York, to say she was ok and not to worry.  It was a short phone call, and we hadn't heard what had happened by this point, so we were wondering why she would randomly call.   She was a nurse in the Beth Israel Hospital in lower Manhattan.  It wasn't until someone came to the desk and told us to turn on the radio, something terrible had happened in New York. 

It was a weird day after that.  Some girls went home early.  I was walking to the bus stop on the way home, and it was just eerie.  Streets were silent.  People were looking up, suspicious of planes in the sky.  The bus was quiet, with people listening to radios.  And it wasn't until I got home, and saw the awful pictures on the news, that the enormity of it sunk in. 

I didn't know anyone directly affected by the tragedy.  But it still feels personal.  I think it's a little personal to everyone who remembers it.

Where were you on 9/11?

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Gallery: Shoes!

For my wedding, I was excited to ensure my bridesmaids had lovely shoes. I chose a kind of sapphire blue to match their dresses, a peep-toe with a silver heel.  Beautiful. 

My sister is a pro at walking in high heels.  She's only 5'0" so she's dealt with them all her life.  Ashley is a girly girl and loves her heels, so no problems there.  But Nicola, not so much.  Nicola is an Emo, tomboy, prefers-jeans-to-dresses kinda girl.  And she cannot walk in heels.

So she had permission to wear these instead:

This post is part of The Gallery.  Please check out the other entries at Tara Cain's Sticky Fingers blog.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

My Best Friend is Moving Away...

At 2.30 this afternoon, my best friend Ashley flies to Dubai to live and work for the foreseeable future.  And I'm sad. 

We've been best friends for 23 years.  We met when we started primary school, she moved to my street (4 doors down from my house) when we were 10 years old, and our friendship has grown and blossomed into our adulthood. 

We've been through a lot together. We started primary school together, and just about survived high school together.  But she and I are so different.  She loves drama, I love the quiet life.  She goes through boyfriends like sweeties, I married my first long-term boyfriend.  She experimented with life, shall we say,  whereas I remain very "vanilla".  And though we're best friends, we have two totally different sets of friends.  But we're always there for each other and that's what I love about us. 

She was there for me when my gran died, when my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and when my other gran took really unwell and had to leave her home and go to a nursing home.  She supported me through my nursing training, and was always at the other end of the phone when I was at my most stressed. 

 And, most importantly, it was she who introduced me to my husband.  She was dating my husbands friend for a few months, and thought it would be a good idea to set me up with his friend.  I was in my last year at Uni, completely stressed out my box!  She took me out for what I thought was supposed to be just a quiet girly drink in the pub.  And who should come into the pub but her boyfriend and my future husband.  I was set up by stealth!!  At first I was very annoyed, I didn't want to be set up, I really wanted to focus on finishing uni.  But for once she was wiser than I, and 5 and a bit years later, the man she set me up with and I are married, she was bridesmaid at my wedding and now hubby and I are expecting our first child.  So I can't really be mad with her.  

Despite there being lots of times where I don't agree with what Ashley's doing, or has done, I've been there for her a lot over the years.  Through the numerous break ups, and make ups.  Through her very questionable choices, and the subsequent consequences that followed. 

I nursed her grandad in my ward, from the start of his illness all the way through.  My only regret was not being on duty when he passed away.  It somehow didn't feel enough to just go to the funeral. 

I supported her decisions to quit uni, go back to uni, get a degree, then not use it, get a job selling insurance, then go back to uni to become a teacher. 

I've been there through her on-again, off-again relationships.  Through the one offs, and the fall outs, and the drunken phone calls. 

We don't always see eye to eye, but I wouldn't change her for the world. 

I'm sad that she's leaving, and I can't believe she won't be here for the birth of my baby.  It's not like she'll just be a short drive away, or a phone call away anymore.  She's going halfway across the world.  I can't just meet her for a quick coffee anymore.  Ashley has had a few opportunities to move abroad, namely to Bahrain, where she has family who emigrated over 15 years ago.  She never took those opportunities and regretted it very much, so I'm glad she's getting the chance to go and experience living abroad.  She needs to go to see if she likes it, and if it's for her.  If not, she can always come back to her Scottish life.

I'm really going to miss her....

no, I'm not crying, I've got something in my eye!!  Honestly....

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The Gallery: Animals

This weeks theme over at The Gallery is Animals.


Since we were recently at Blair Drummond Safari Park, I think these guys fit the bill:

Check out the other entries over at the Sticky Fingers blog!


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