I passed my exam in swotty style

I do apologise in advance if this post is a bit show-offy but I'm just bursting to share my exam result news because I got a completely unbelievable DISTINCTION!!!!  Yes I did, a DISTINCTION!!!!! A few more exclamation marks might make it sink in a bit, however I have checked and checked and checked again in case they've made a mistake and it does indeed seem to be my actual result.

The reason for this very un-British and unashamed glee is that I have never, ever, EVER received a distinction in anything and I was so overwhelmed when I got this email that I cried.

So much time and effort goes into sitting exams, endless hours of revising and wondering when I'll be free to go and watch Ice Road Truckers again like a normal person..... and I usually do just alright (which is fine by me) but never better than alright and never proper swotty.... so this came out of nowhere and made my day...sod that, it has actually made my year!

Right boasting over, I'll squeeze my ginormous head out of here now and calm down a bit eh..maybe a nice cup of tea.

Toodle-oo for now..
The very brainy and swotastic me.


Tilly attempts to break both legs

Gorgeous T-dog pictures courtesy of Mr P

Tilly is nearly nine months old and so far we've only had a couple of scares with her; once when she was tearing around the garden she banged her leg on a bench and screamed her head off.  The other time resulted in an expensive trip to the vets after we got up to find her bed completely filled with puke, lovely.

So we are most certainly not used to drama, she's quite a hardy young pup.  But then, last weekend she properly hurt herself whilst out walking with Mr P and she has the scars to prove it!  Poor Mr P was devastated and sought solace in the gin....which, as I'm sure you know, just made him even more miserable!

Here's the story then....they were out walking and it got dark just as they reached the last stretch which happened to be the cemetery.  She started to do her loopy running around thing (she just runs round and round in big circles all excited like!) and the next thing Mr P heard was her screaming.  He ran over and she was crying and unable to walk so he picked her up and carried her home.

When he got home he discovered that she had obviously run straight into something because both of her legs were cut (oh sad face).  We went back the next day and one of the graves has a low, wire fence around it so this was obviously the offending article..tsk.  It would seem that the force of the impact had literally ripped all the hair out of her legs in two little patches, like violent threading. Oh my!

"Look at my bald spots Mummy and ooh haven't I got a shiny coat (and really weird eyes...eek)"
The good news is that she is okay, Mr P made sure she could walk (she could virtually straight away) and then checked her legs to see if they were broken or if they hurt her, she didn't seem bothered when he touched them so we are pretty sure they aren't busted real bad.  In fact by the time I got home she was all chipper and running around pleased to see me, poor Mr P was sitting gutted on the sofa.

The skin was all sore and weepy - as you can imagine it would be after having all the hair ripped out with force and so we've been bathing them with a weak Dettol solution and checking them a lot.  Unfortunately she is quite happy to sit and lick them all day long so every time they scab up and get ready to heal she dutifully picks them off and makes them red and sore again....so they still look quite bald a week later but she's absolutely fine, she even managed to pose for Christmas photos on Thursday so she must be okay ;o)

"WHAT? just what is this hideous thing doing around my neck"?
Whilst we are sure she's okay, she is her normal self and running around like a lunatic most of the time after all, we are a bit worried about her hair growing back.  I really hope it does otherwise she is going to look a little odd....although (and Mr P won't be happy with me saying this), it does give her a distinguishing feature ;o) we googled it and apparently sometimes the hair grows back white!!  She'll be our Cruella Deville doggy then won't she!!


the week I learned how to crochet

lulaveggie on Etsy
I have long been a fan of crocheted blankets in particular the so called 'granny blankets' made up of small crochet 'granny squares' that are usually brightly coloured and crocheted together to look really pretty especially when made with bright colours and edged in black like these examples.

lulaveggie on Etsy
So, I decided in my infinite wisdom, that I was going to learn how to crochet so I could make my own granny blanket! Nothing like starting small and working your way up huh?  Off I went to get a crochet needle, a book and some practice wool in green and blue, sat down and started trying to crochet.

Have to say, easy to do a stitch...hurrah!  Anyone can do it, just put a slip knot on the needle and pull the wool through the knot.  Ta da!

Not so easy to get the hang of stitching, double stitching, treble stitching etc and all the other stuff you need to do in order to be able to create the pretty squares you see above...much respect for the crochet genius like lulaveggie above.

Not easy peasy at all, I sat for hours trying, trying and trying again until my fingers were hurting (seriously), but I was determined - with furrowed brow and everything - to get it. 

Well after three days of practice, intense scrutiny of various excellent YouTube crochet teachers and sheer determination I created this....

Whoohoooooo..I danced about a bit, much to Mr P's astonishment but the relief at finally 'getting it' was huge.  I then immediately started learning how to change colours, create borders and everything, well not everything but you know what I mean.

Soon I had created two granny squares, edged them and crocheted them together.....phew.  Not long before I'm a champion crocheter, eh?...ahem!  I've spoken to my real life granny (aka Nanny) and she has also offered to help me out a bit with technique and stitches etc, which is great because it means I'll be learning from the best.

My next (aka first) project is taken from Nicki Trench's amazing crochet book Cute and Easy Crochet - I lurve this book and spend hours drooling over the cool and pretty things she's crocheted (I know, bit sad huh), and this blanket caught my eye.  Well its the first in the book and supposedly to be relatively easy so I'm giving it a go because its got me by the teeth and won't let me go.

Should be relatively okay, these are the squares I learned from so essentially I just need to crochet, oh, you know, 432 more of them (432!!  Blooming heck!)..ha ha.  Will keep you posted on my progress, wish me luck!


Tom Ford Black Orchid Lipstick

Oh my goodness I have been eyeing up this lipstick for ages and at the airport I finally cracked.  Seriously expensive though, gulped visibly when she told me how much at the till (note to Mr P, I will never, EVER tell you how much it cost), and sheepishly handed over my credit card.

Firstly let me tell you that I never usually buy dark lipsticks, they don't really suit me and I think it gets harder to pull them off the older you get.  But this one is quite beautiful and therefore needed to be in my life, well my makeup bag anyway, if only for it's sleek black case which whispers shut..oh yeah.

The lovely makeup artist Lisa Eldridge has created a great video on this lipstick showing all the different ways it can be worn and thankfully it isn't quite so scary if you just dot it onto your lips with your fingertip.  Applying it this way leaves a lovely little plummy stain on your lips - brilliant for daytime looks and lasts a long time.

Alternatively if you want to go for a full on goth look (note, this is what Mr P told me I looked like with it on), then apply with a lipbrush.  It is quite dark and very stainy so it's worth using a similar coloured lip pencil first to achieve a perfect finish.  Be warned though it is totally plumtastic and very mysterious and I'm certain that wild, adventurous things will happen to you when wearing it - so wear at your peril.

The final way I would wear it would be blotted - it's quite nice blotted - with a smear of clear gloss over the top, very nice look indeed and brings out a few sparkly hints in the lipstick too.

A lovely makeup purchase, if anyone tells Mr P how much this cost I will track them down and haunt them - maybe in the next life though, not sure I can be bothered to go to all that effort in this one!


all about San Francisco

So we are back from outer space (well that's what jet lag makes it feel like anyway!!), and loving being home in gorgeous, wet, orange-coloured England - love, love, LOVE this time of year!

So, it was a weird old trip because it was so last minute and not a holiday in any real sense of the word at all.  We were offered the chance to spend a week there so we could investigate the area to see if we liked it, to check out housing, residential areas and the cost of stuff.  Not an easy task but necessary so that Mr P could make up his mind about a job offer.  So every day was spent travelling around and house-hunting and boy was it tiring, the Bay Area of California is huge!

On the first day we looked to the east, visiting the beautiful leafy towns of Lafayette and Walnut Creek.  The next day we had a tour organised by a relocation specialist and we went into San Francisco and then out to Berkeley, which was really gorgeous and a great foodie haven.  We then went down south to Stanford and finished up in Marin County which is north of the Golden Gate Bridge.  Phew...!!

Obviously we found time to fit in some shopping, got my bro some Levis - which are so cheap, probably because they were invented in San Francisco (I never knew that...did you?), and Mr P got himself his longed for iPad even with me tutting, rolling my eyes and refusing to enter the store.  You know the store I mean, the one with all the hollering, crazy employees, makes me shudder even to think about it.

We also did some touristy stuff.  We went to Pier 39 and saw the sea lions, which just freaked me out frankly...bit like Blackpool with a heap of big lovely sea monsters crammed onto a floating pontoon....weird!

We also walked up the very famous and wiggly Lombard Street and that really was amazing.  So high and so steep, I never did realise how steep the hills are in SF, the films just do not do them justice, I mean you could see for miles at the top of some of the hills.

So we did it, we loved visiting but we ultimately have decided not to accept the fabulous offer of a job there and you know the main reason why??  Tilly pooh-face....that's why!

It isn't the most dog-friendly of places, lots of concrete and gazillions (I mean GAZillions!) of cars and we had to compare what her life would be like there compared to here where we have the gorgeous-ness of Swinley Forest right outside our front door and so much greenery that sometimes it makes me feel a bit dizzy.

So we did it for you pooh-face....you better love us forever now!

You know what as well, going out there to seriously consider moving thousands of miles away from home made me realise what a proper Brit I am.  I pined for home; single lane roads, left-hand drive cars and a nice cup of tea!  And I wouldn't know what to do without my family and friends, so hooray for us, lets celebrate gorgeous GB and finally making a decision after three weeks of stressing and worrying about it.