best in show

We watched Best In Show at the weekend.

It really is a great film but probably only resonates down deep in your heart if you have a dog and especially if you, like us, own a pedigree dog.

We were amused much by the film's brilliant comedy moments and it made me go all smoochy, pooch proud of the girl.

We are extremely lucky with Tilly.  She is a sweet natured beautiful girl and so well behaved, putting up with the arrival of Elizabeth (or as Tilly calls her, the usurper), really, really well.  The only time I have to declare loudly that I'm taking her to the pound is when we have guests.  Oh lord when we have guests she is a nightmare.

She gets incredibly excited, does full body wag, whines and shakes with the sheer joy of someone coming to visit her!  We always let her come and say hello and then she is supposed to calm down and go back to her bed.  Yeah, doesn't happen like that.  She always takes it a step too far, a nudge, a lick, a molestation too far and ends up getting told off, shouted at and straight off to the dog house.

It's really horrible and bloody annoying and I wish she wouldn't do it.  We have certain guests (you know who you are), who encourage her and that just makes it worse for those other unsuspecting visitors who don't in fact wish to be covered in dog!

This post has ended up being a bit of a whine, I'm not quite sure how that happened.  I am in fact a bit partial to the odd dog related item, these are all lush one, two, three and four and now I'm going to watch a bit of telly and get an early night.


does listening to Radio 4 make you more intelligent?

I've been listening to Radio 4 a lot recently and I swear I've upped my smarts.

I told Mr P that I was definitely getting cleverer via the medium of Woman's Hour and he coughmuttered something along the lines of 'feminist claptrap' and said it wasn't possible to be made smarter just by listening to intelligent people speak.

Yeah, well I disagree.

Studies have found that listening to Mozart makes you cleverer so why not listening to the dulcet tones of John Humphries first thing in the morning?  Especially Mr Humphries because he questions everything and we are (I am) so often lulled into a state of, fairly happy, inertia that is in direct opposition to challenging everything we are told.

Perhaps it won't be long before the so called 'Mozart Effect' is attributed to other forms of media as well because lets face it, we are surrounded by noise now more than ever before and the choices we make about what/who we listen too must influence our brain's ability to store or learn new things? 

Mr P says that it won't make you more intelligent but it will possibly make you better informed.  I agree but being better informed surely equals a short-term boost in the smarts?  And surely if you do this every day then you will eventually be turned into a smart arse?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

This article details eleven ways to boost your IQ although I have to say I'm not keen on IQ as a measure of intelligence and I'm also not keen on some of these measures (erm, drugs people?) but it does say that whatever you do, you must do it often so Radio 4 every day it is then.  I am also claiming the title of head brain in this house because item number five clearly states that vegetarians have higher IQs - ha! Beat that thicky meat eaters.

So that is the sum of my argument!  I reckon listening to Radio 4 does make you more intelligent and my husband thinks it doesn't.

I do hope you weren't expecting some cleverly constructed debate for and against the subject.  Come on loves, I'm a forty-something stay at home mum whose brains were all sucked out by pregnancy and anything left up there gets pickled by my weekly catch-up with the Kardashians!

See ya.


crochet love for your ears

So that's it.  After a hugely weird crochet and knitting block over the summer, I've picked up hook and needles again and have already got, um, three projects on the go.

Of course I'm looking for a fourth, because clearly three is not enough and I saw these earmuffs and fell in love, love, lovey, love.

They're retail items, nearly one hundred of the queens pounds!! Spluttered my tea all over the place and that was just at the sale price of fifty quid!  They might be the prettiest ear-wear I've ever seen but I'm not parting with that amount of cash just to have gorgeous ears.

Instead I think I'll make myself a Morning Walk earwarmer, been meaning to for ages anyway but I think the time is nigh.  I'm still gutted I had to give this beauty away.

Then I saw these ah.mazing earmuffs from Madrid based crochet queens Lanusa.  How. fricking. cool.

They have got so many cool designs, go and have a look at their beautiful blog right now.  I want one of each colour please.

I think 2013 might actually be the year of the earmuff. Yeah, I do.


autumn boots

Oh yeah, you know it baby.

The best thing about autumn is buying your new boots, that and the smell of hot dust when your heating comes on for the first time in months!

These are my favourite lovelies of the moment one, two, three, four, five and I must be really loving number four because I'm sure I've featured them already - maybe I should take my own hint, or else try to be a bit more original.

I got my new boots in.  Check 'em.


How nice are they. Boden Boho Boots are mine, well they will be once they bloody well arrive.  Hurry up Boden, my feet need these boots.


vintage black crochet collar

I had to get my crochet groove back on because I lost it.

It suspiciously disappeared when the sun came out, refused to return all summer and then abruptly came back last week on the first chilly day of September.  How people who live in hot countries can crochet is beyond me.

Not one to let a groove moment pass me by, I got busy, dug out my favourite vintage collar pattern and hooked away happily in black for a change.  It's not the easiest of colours to crochet with, in fact it is downright bloody difficult to crochet with, I forgot this and only remembered halfway through a row of single crochets into a chain, my eyes felt like they were on stalks by the end of the row.

I love this pattern though and glad I stuck with the black because it looks divine, I love this collar colour combination (say it quickly ten times, bet you can't).

Much as I love it, I can't keep it.  I want to but I made it for my Aunty Andrea for her Birthday, which is today.  Happy Birthday lovely lady.

I think I have now made four of these collars, might be time to try something new huh!


well that was summer then

I'm not going to complain about autumn's official arrival this weekend; gloom, rain, a chill in the air.  Nope, not complaining at all because we actually had a proper summer this year with heat and sunshine and everything.  I was inclined to not quite know what to do with myself most of the time.

The sun seems to have made Elizabeth grow like a weed, she is now so tall and is a walking, talking ball of bright sunshiny energy, super quick and apt to climb at a moments notice.  No is the word of the moment in this house and I am just run ragged!

The summer has seen her say her first and most favourite word buh bye, breaks my heart every time, especially when I'm going out the door to work...gulp, hold back tears, be brave, walk away from the small person.

I'm working again, which is brilliant.  Part time is good stuff and I feel very lucky to have found something that lets me work just 8 hours a week, it wasn't easy finding it but so worth the wait.  Elizabeth gets to spend those 8 hours with her grandparents and she has found them to be most willing servants to her every need and thus is happy as Larry every time I walk away. In fact I'm pretty sure I saw a flash of irritation in her eyes on Friday when I still hadn't left the house and was coming in for yet another kiss goodbye!

I missed my two year blogversary in August and so now found myself to be a blogging old hat with the scars and everything to prove it.  I'm still in love with this online world, so much has changed, I've changed, blogging's changed but I find that I've mellowed into it and have more of a flow these days.  I have been going back over old posts in a re-labelling exercise, my labels had gone a bit squiffy, and had to tidy up lots of broken links, deleted images and poor, poor ass spelling.  It appears that I really do not know how to spell definitely as have had to amend it at least five times.  I am ashamed.

I've also finally figured out how to use twitter.  Yes.  Ahem.  It took, um, a while to figure it out.  I'll leave it at that but don't be surprised if I turn up on your twitter doorstep all of a sudden, gushing with the tweets.

I am typing this in bed at 7am with a cup of tea, my new blog work hour.  I used to go back to sleep after the morning bottle but now I need the time to mull and muse and get some shit done.  I'm so excited about autumn's arrival, especially after having a proper summer and I've got lots of ideas and plans for the coming months, yes, yes, really.  So all is good in the hood yo this Monday morning, hope all is good with you too.  Have a good week everyone.


orange is the new black

If you haven't already heard then let me be the one to tell you, you absolutely must, you have to, it is imperative that you get yourself some Netflix on your tellybox and you must watch Orange is the new Black.  It is a crazy hoot and the only thing keeping me from dying inside from the knowledge that Breaking Bad is coming to an end, oh Jesse, my lovely deep voiced telly boyfriend, how will I ever live without you??

In honour of my new banged up best buddies, I was cruising for some orange pretties to go with my Dad's gorgeous pom pom dahlias and I found this lovely lot at John Lewis.  I know the bag isn't strictly orange but heavens it's a beauty and too much orange in one image sure does make your eyes go funny!

I think I'm so fond of OITNB because it reminds me partly of boarding school; dorms, enforced servitude, bad food, crappy discos, standing in line and rules, rules, hormones and rules.  It also rather scarily reminds me of a job I once had in deepest, darkest Dudley where I, a solitary southerner amongst a whole company of brummies, walked in to my own personal "don't go on the moors" moment that sadly lasted for two whole freaking years.  Watch it. You will love it.  I promise.

Yeah and don't ever go to Dudley, like ever.


how to make paper pom poms

Yeah you want some of this in your life don't you?

I know you do, how could you resist the pom pom goodness in all its papery glory.

I am making a ton of these bad boys for Betsy's first birthday party which is in just over a months time, yep in just over one months time my wee, tiny baby will be one, yikes!  I swear I'm going to blink and she'll be stroppy and sixteen!

Here is a very speedy blooming guide on how to make these lovely, big paper pomdepompoms.

1.  Get a load of sheets of tissue paper in a colour or colours of your choice, I used eight sheets of girl pretty pink.  Start folding them concertina style into a narrow strip as if you were making a fan.

2. When you have finished folding get a piece of string or yarn and tie a knot in the middle.

3. Flare the fans out either side of the string and start pulling each separate piece of tissue paper down, scrunching and placing it as you go.  An option at this point is to cut a curve into either end before pulling and scrunching to create a more flower petal look, see the two images below.

I personally prefer keeping the edges straight as I think it gives a better looking, peony style pom pom.

Do it however you like it, I find it easier to do one side first and then the other.

4. That is it, easy huh?  Fluff it all up and out et voila!  Paper pom pom loveliness for your house.

They look nice hanging together in colourful pom pommy clumps.

Freaking awesome huh?

I love them and think everyone should have some dangling around their living space - these are up at ours already and I suspect they won't be coming down anytime soon.

Happy pom pom making yo!