Search this website

Pink

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

2015-08-16 14.00.45

I’m not really much of a pink girl, but I’ve been working on this pink lady for a good while now – economy blocks in all the Tilda fabric in my collection. Very girly, very pretty….but I underestimated how much work all those teeny blocks would be.

Never mind, they are done now and this is heading for quilting. Maybe this weekend.

2015-08-16 14.00.54

 

I’ve been wiped out with a summer cold/flu virus, so I’m at home lying around and once I get rid of the headache that goes with this lurgy I feel a little sewing may be just the thing!

Hope you are feeling better than me!

Helen

Back at the machine

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

I finally got back to some sewing in the last few weeks. I have two dressmaking finishes that I’m really pleased with.

This….

2015-08-16 14.05.58

2015-08-16 14.14.46

 

is Simplicity 2648 made in lovely lightweight denim from Merchant and Mills (swoon!). This is the second time I’ve made this pattern. The first was made in thick textured jersey, so about as far away from fine denim as you can get, and the pattern works just as well with non-stretch. It is one of their amazing fit range, which I think is fabulous if you are a little on the curvy side…

I love this pattern, but then it’s my sort of dress, so I would. It’s a really comfortable dress up or dress down USEFUL dress. Tick.

I’ve also made this….(apologies for the lack of ironing but I’ve been wearing it non-stop!)

2015-08-16 14.15.19

the Camber Set from Merchant and Mills (are you seeing a recurring theme), made as a tunic in Nani Iro Pocho Soda cotton double gauze in pale aqua, possibly my most favourite colour in the world.

Girls, this is like wearing a cloud. It’s that good. A little tricky to sew because you are dealing with a double layer of gauze, but it feels so good on. If you can find any (it’s Japanese), buy it!

The Camber Set pattern looks super-easy – and for the most part it is – no zips or fastenings – but as I’m learning with Merchant and Mills, their patterns often have a little sophisticated twist – in this case it is the neckline and back facing. I was a little baffled at first but actually it’s all very logical and gives a lovely finish (once you get your head round where you are going).

2015-08-16 14.15.24

 

On that happy note back to the machine – I will have more for you soon. The girl is on a roll!

 

Helen

 

Early morning

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Good morning ladies

We are mid heatwave here in Zürich and to be honest I can’t remember it being as hot as this in ages. I probably notice it more because the office I work in is verging on the unbearable with no air conditioning, being surrounded by building sites and a main road, so opening the windows is a bit of a no go ….and about seven million computer screens happily exuding heat. My ladies don’t like having the fan on (because of draughts), so there is only one thing for it…..sitting and melting (or sweating excessively!). But as it isn’t raining and the sun is shining I’m not going to complain.

Last week I finally made it to my goal – and can now happily tell you thatI have survived moving mum to her new home and the audit at work and I’m off on a (very well-deserved) holiday soon.

We have however had a little more drama on the way.

Last Monday I spent the evening trying to reach mum in her flat – no joy, but I thought it was unlikely she was out. The manager of the senior living facility went to check that she hadn’t collapsed or anything…nope, no-one there. By 11.30 English time I realised that no, she couldn’t possibly be at a church event and that something must be wrong.

So I started the lovely task of ringing round the hospitals in the middle of the night….

I hit the jackpot first time. Yes, at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle…’she’s in Ward 22, but they are very busy. Can you call back in half an hour?’. (It’s already 12.45 my time and I have to get up at 6….). I spend the time googling and giving myself a shock when I realise that Ward 22 is the ward for major orthopaedic trauma. Broken hip anyone?

The minutes tick by. At 1.30am I finally make it through the ether and reach a lovely nurse, who tells me that mother is fine. She tripped over in Northumberland Street and landed on her face. She may have broken her nose and she is a big mess, but essentially she is fine. Nothing majorly orthopaedic is broken. She is drinking tea and happily chatting to the nurses and I am able to talk to her and she seems fine (but unfortunately less than beautiful). They are keeping her overnight for observation and to run some more tests.

I am relieved but there is so much adrenalin rushing through my blood that I can’t sleep and end up heading off to deal with the auditors on 2 and a half hours sleep. (Not recommended).

The next morning I ring the senior living facility to keep them in the loop and speak to the hospital again. Mother is fine; she is a trooper and must have very good bones as yet again, nothing is broken; she will be taken home in an ambulance. I talk to her again and she is quite jolly (enjoying the attention?) and full of praise for the kindness of the nurses and their tea-making ability.

I speak to her again once she is back home – a delicious salad is waiting for her as she has missed lunch – the facility are really very good. (It helped that I primed them to do this). She is fine. Battered but fine and not in any pain.

The next morning I receive a concerned phone call from the centre manager who has just returned from holiday. He is letting me know that my mother has had an accident, but is fine……? I tell him that I know this and I am the one who informed them….

He has spoken to mother who insists that none of her family know about the accident and he particularly must not tell me because I will worry and make a big drama out of it….

Er?????

Have I made a big drama????

Failing memory I can deal with (plus I assume in this case mixed with a case of good old fashioned shock), but I do have a problem with mother instructing people not to tell me what is happening…. That is not fair…

We had words…..

Several times….

I hope she now understands that this is not a kind thing to do or say….

Thankfully, as the manager happily informed me, he is happy to ignore her request as he is obliged to tell me. I’m rather pleased about this. It feels like I have a spy on my side.

Sorry about the length of this. I was going to tell you about spectacularly mis-matched socks, but I’ll save that for another day as the office is calling.

I hope the sun is shining on you, wherever you are!
Helen

Starting to get my life back

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Hello there. I’m still here. It’s just that life has been a bit hectic….

I spent this weekend in England visiting mum and checking that things are organised and running the way they should. They are. Mum is happy as a clam. Infact the manager of her assisted living complex said they should really use her for marketing purposes – she is always happy and smiling and chatting. In fact of the 70 people who now live there, she is the one who has settled in the quickest. Day 2 I think it was when she admitted that despite being dreadful for about 6 months and fighting every step of the way, sabotaging everything she could , her new home is actually nicer than her old one….

It couldn’t be better really, although I could really have done without those six months….(but she’s forgotten all about it, so I guess I should too!). I definitely see the advantages of living for today – yesterday is forgotten about and she doesn’t think about tomorrow, so as long as people are friendly and the food is nice today, she’s happy.

Now there’s just her house to sell and I have accepted an offer, so I really think we are into the final stretch.

My useless brother has been to visit from Canada but failed to do the odds and ends that I didn’t have time for last time (hanging some pictures and mirrors was clearly too strenuous), nor did he manage to take mum on a single trip out or eat a meal with her in her residence….On that front I have now officially given up. He did clear the garage of her old house, (which frankly was full of stuff he had dumped there 25 years ago), but also tried unsuccessfully to get me to pay for it. (Ha – no chance on that one matey!). I suppose I should be grateful for small (very small) mercies.

Otherwise life is starting to calm down a little. I had a day off today as the washing machine repair man was coming (to tell me the washing machine is officially dead) and I managed to finish a pleated skirt that had been half made for months, as well as even making it out for my first run (well, part walk) of the year. It was a lovely day, pottering and taking care of odds and ends. I’m feeling very contented…

This may change as the company I work for is organising to move to a town quite a way outside Zürich. I will have a two and a half hour a day commute on three trains each way. I’m being very open minded at the moment and will give it a try, but if it’s all too much then I shall say so and look for something else, which would be a shame as I love my job, but I have to be able to have a life too…

On that happy note I’m off to the garden to contemplate the small things of life, put my feet up and read my book.

Life is good ;-)

Helen

May news

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

 

1

Another month has gone by since I last wrote and spring has well and truly arrived here on the hill. For once I’m not going to feel guilty about my lack of posting because I’ve done more in the last month than I usually do in a year – and frankly, well, I’m cutting myself some slack because in my humble opinion I deserve it!

The big news is that dear husband (now elevated to dear saintly husband) and I were in England for a week and got mum sorted and moved and her house cleared and up for sale. I had been dreading the move, absolutely dreading it, but honestly it went way better than I expected. I was a bit taken aback when I arrived in the UK to find that while mum thought she had been ‘working’ for months to get ready, she had in fact being doing nothing much really….which gave me just two days to sort through the house she had lived in for 60 years to pick out what was to go with her. As she moved into a lovely apartment this meant about half of everything – so it wasn’t a case of packing a suitcase. Anyway, long days and a decisive nature got me through, we had wonderful packers and movers (thank you Pickfords) and the new home has turned out to be a huge success – flat gorgeous, village picturesque, lunches outstanding, people friendly and welcoming….I could go on…

(I always think it’s amazing what mountains you can move when the chips are down and you just have to do it!)

The only negative for mum in her new home is that having lived on auto-pilot for so long – knowing where everything is and how everything works – she is now having to actually use the old grey cells and work out how exactly the new shower works or how she gets to Waitrose. Having to concentrate is hard when you haven’t done so for a while – but I think she’s mentally much more alert as a result and actually has some conversation and can remember when she’s been and what she has done. She has only once said she misses her old house and I think it’s that automatically knowing things and places that she misses because she has also admitted that it’s much nicer where she is now.

I just feel hugely relieved that she is somewhere safe with people around and nice food and in a lovely place.

So I’m patting myself on the back (even if no-one else is!).

Other than that, there has been a wonderful trip to Morzine to quilt with Quiltova and Mrs Shark’s dinner, but I’ll save that story for another day….

So a big ‘phew’ and now I’m getting back to living my life!

Onward and upwards!

Helen