The dogs had a wonderful walk yesterday in the cool but lovely spring sunshine. I try and vary the places I take them for my sake as much as theirs. I’m not great at repetition. This walk is a short drive away, down a few country lanes and far away from all civilisation, only a few barns can be spotted if you look for them. I park up, we walk as far as I can see the official footpath route, if we come across roads or the footpath becomes obscured we tend to head back the way we came. I’d love to take a map one day and cross roads, walk down country lanes and do big circular routes but Harvey is really not the kind of dog that likes being on a lead.

We are having to watch Harvey closely at the moment. I’ve mentioned his shoulder injury before, he slipped some years ago now on wet decking when M heard a loud yelp. He seemed to get over it but lately he’s been limping a lot after walks and refusing to jump down from the boot of my jeep. Eventually I decided to get him checked over and as I suspected we can either spend a huge sum of money finding out what is going on internally (x rays are into the hundreds alone) or we can try anti inflammatories and see if he improves. She did say that it looks like it might be a cartilage problem. Having torn the meniscus in my right knee last year I know how he feels and it’s still a big nuisance a year on. The difference between human ibuprofen for thirty days and dog ibuprofen for thirty days is about £60! He’s worth it of course. I don’t like to think of him in pain. He is actually in that top picture, if you look past the dopey thing running the wrong way you’ll see a tiny black and white splodge. Miles ahead of Riley and I as usual.

I would have returned to that lovely green and lush footpath (with it’s random lone red tulip) if the weather had been favourable today. Unfortunately dark grey skies and hail storm upon hail storm did not appeal. M and I popped out for coffee and a chat this morning. Without any cue from me he volunteered an apology for general grumpiness lately. Just to make sure we were singing from the same hymn sheet I mentioned driving grumpiness (every other driver in the road is a moron), household grumpiness (it would take too long to go into detail here) and public grumpiness (B&Q, M&S). He agreed and apologised some more and said I should remind him of this conversation when he lapses. He then sprung B&Q on me. Once parked up it decided to hail very heavily so I said that if he didn’t mind I would wait in the car because it didn’t need two of us to buy a few lengths of baton. Thence followed a whole stream of ‘I have to do everything, grump grump’. His resolve had lasted all of half an hour.

I figure that putting up with some of this is par for the course, no-one is perfect, I don’t always make sense myself. In fact it turns out that M had taken my earlier glazed over, far away look as one of unhappiness and that prompted his apology. He was right in one sense, I sometimes feel overwhelmingly like I don’t belong in this part of the country and it’s almost impossible to discuss or explain this to M who was born and bred here, so I keep my mouth shut and inevitably the feeling passes.

E has been busy at her school and returns each day with very funny stories. She’s got amazing comic timing and could easily be a stand up comedienne if she ever chose to. Unlike me she would have no qualms about standing up in front of any number of people. Teaching makes a lot of sense for her range of skills and attributes. Today they made snozzcumbers from the book Revolting Recipes. She’s a big Roald Dahl fan so this was her idea of a good time. Never mind the stench of cooked courgette, tuna and vinegar all mingled in together! Popcorn and poppy seeds were also liberally applied. Gross!

In other news we had a landmark occasion here today. I know it’s not much but it just seems to symbolise another letting go kind of thing. J had his first ever cup of tea! Woohoo! He’s so minimalist with his conversation that it’s often hard to tell what he thinks. OK was as much as he volunteered. I told him I thought he might make a tea drinker yet. I think I was probably about sixteen when I tried milky sugary tea for the first time too. Ugh. I can’t stand sugar in it now and drink it much stronger. In fact rooibos or redbush is my preferred tea these days. M can’t stand the smell and even I didn’t enjoy my first cup but somehow I persevered because I wanted to cut down on caffeine and now it’s my every day tea. Only time will tell if J sticks with tea. He says he wants extra caffeine for staying awake at school. Naturally I told him that going to bed earlier would be more reliable!

There has been a small amount of crocheting going on too. After faffing about with granny squares and bobble squares combined E and I decided that the blankets (visualised in an app) were looking too disjointed. I said I’d make a series of just bobble squares and intersperse them with plainer squares and see what that turned out like. We ended up liking bobbles for every square. So we now have the heart square because she really liked that one in my Last Dance blanket, a cactus because she has a huge collection of the plants, a zigzag that is the closest thing to an Aztec feel I could find and a pink flower because that’s the most commonly used flower colour for the cactus themed bits and bobs E has acquired. I had to figure out the flower design on graph paper myself because I couldn’t find one I liked. It’s a little more tricky than it looks because you need to leave a line of plain stitches/graph paper squares in between bobble rows. It took a few attempts.

Even though these squares are roughly eight inches square I’ve calculated that for a single bed size I’d need to make about 64 squares! That sounds like a huge task so I might just revise that a bit! I’ll have to get out my yarn weighing scales and do some maths. I’ve got a 400g ball in five colours which sounds like it should be enough for a decent sized blanket. I’ll have to use the same number of squares for each design to make it work and possibly buy extra yarn for a border. I will definitely appreciate all the effort that goes into producing a commercial pattern in future!


4 thoughts on “Bobbles

  1. I’m not english. I am from english stock but born elsewhere. I find it difficult to reconcile the fact I live and love here but it is not my home and the heart ache, the deep deep longing I have for a country that no longer exists as I knew it and I can never return to. So, my home is wherever my husband is. I still get dreadful homesick phases for something I can never have. Fortunately my husband knows how i feel and he, some years ago,took me back home and we managed to stay for a few years before it became too unsettling. I avoid watching wildlife programmes based around my home continent as it only sticks pins into my ache. So, I have learnt to love the rain, the small grey sky, the damp and cold, the mild wet climate, but I miss the space, the heat, the dust and the rawness of Africa. On a different note, my boys are dedicated tea drinkers – managed to get them weaned off the hot chocs and sweet milk when they were about 5 or 6 (yes I know, bad mom!)


    • I can understand this. I’m able to return to ‘t now and then but it still isn’t home as I knew it. Life moves on. I’m over the moon if I just hear my own accent now and then. I’ve got nothing against other accents but they just serve to remind me where I am! I had relatives who had to return from SA, it must have been hard for the children for whom it was all they ever knew, but safety comes first. I had heard that some families start their children off on tea very early. Secretly I’m hoping it will make J join us socially a little bit more!


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