Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Faleminderit, Andrew

These are Albanian men in their national costume. The picture below is Andrew, an English Baptist Minister in Beckenham, Kent. Our families have been friends for over 30 years. 
Our families have much in common [ministry, teaching, maths, bicycles...] About 20 years ago they generously let us have a week's holiday in their house whilst they were away. 
There are quite a few Albanian people living in Beckenham.  So about 10 years ago,  Andrew decided to spend a sabbatical in Albania,  learning their language.  He has grown to love this nation and goes back every year to visit the 10 Baptist churches there. He is fluent in Albanian. 
His wife Eleanor reads the blog,  and emailed to suggest I rang them last weekend. 
So now I can say "faleminderit" "ju lutem" "si jeni" "shume mire" and "Zoti ju bekofte"
That is thank you,  please,  how are you? Very good,  and God bless you. 
Also" nuk mund  te ha djathe ose gjize" which is I cannot eat cheese. 
That last phrase is quite important for me. 
Thank you Andrew and Eleanor,  for all the information you shared with me.  I  wish you could both come on the trip.  Zoti ju bekofte! 

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Bowled Over

I think I may start a Pointless Gadget of the Month post. Bob and I both admit to a fondness for useful gadgets. But they must be useful and earn their keep. I was interested to read about the Full Stop Bowl which is supposed to help dieters. The idea is that it represents a normal human stomach.  So you fill it with food and that regulates the size of your meal.  You just eat enough to fill your stomach, and aim to take around 20 minutes over this. You are allowed 3 meals a day. No more. 

There is an explanatory website here.  I looked at the empty bowl 
The website says it is 24cm in diameter. I've estimated the volume to be around 950ml. A normal stomach-full is reckoned to be about 1litre. The review in the Guardian was not very complimentary  -  read it here
Personally, I don't see the point of spending the best part of twenty quid on a plastic dish with its own sphincter.
Our day-to-day crockery is IKEA Dinera. The cereal bowl holds 450ml, and the shallow large bowl holds twice that. 

We frequently have our meals in these bowls,  and I am happy with them and their capacity is usually appropriate for our needs.  I do not need to be reminded of my innards quite so graphically. Furthermore,  that large flat rim of the Full Stop Bowl is just crying out for a triangle or two of bread and butter,  or fingers of toast, or a small banana,  or pot of fromage frais...  Which rather defeats the object of the exercise. 
The bizarre shape would not accommodate certain foods very easily. A Cornish pasty, large pork chop, slice of pizza... 
I  am choosing the Full Stop Bowl as my January Pointless Gadget of the Month
What would you choose?

Monday, 16 January 2017

Dolly Mixture

Do you know about American Girl Dolls? 
Unlike Barbie,  who is nearly 60, these girls have only been around for 30 years or so. They are intended to represent girls aged between 8 and 11. Their wardrobe reflects that. No stilettos or bras,  just wholesome childhood playmates.  Originally the dolls wore costumes from various points in American history,  but then the range expanded with lots of contemporary outfits and a wider choice of hair colour and skin tones, enabling girls from all ethnicities to find a doll just like  themselves. 
The pukka AG dolls are carefully made, with prices to match.  Even the similar ones do not come cheap, and their outfits are also beyond the range of most girls' pocket money. 
These dolls are collectibles in the USA and Canada, and increasingly in the  UK.  Many adults collect them, dress them, and fill their houses with them! 
But that doesn't help a little girl who has just one doll and would like to build up a wardrobe of clothes. 
One of my young friends at church had a Doll like this for Christmas.  She brought her to church on Christmas Morning.  I asked if she'd like me to make a her doll new outfit.  It's ages since I did any doll's clothes.  
The Internet has dozens of sites.  I found a good cardigan knitting pattern,here, and made a simple elasticated skirt to match. This could be the start of a new project for 2017 I suspect! 

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Small Fry

How are you getting on with the new plastic £5 notes? When my word for the year is Hope, I find it vaguely depressing that on the reverse Winston Churchill is offering me nothing but "blood, sweat toil and tears." I am rather fond of the older note, bearing the portrait of Elizabeth Fry, and the picture of her working with the prisoners
Born Elizabeth Gurney, to a Quaker family, she grew up in Norfolk. Her mother [part of the Barclay's Bank family] died whilst she was quite young and she helped care for her siblings. She had a strong faith, and a love of needlework. [Norfolk, Nonconformist, Needlewoman...definitely one of my heroines] Elizabeth married another Quaker, Joseph Fry [from the chocolate family] and moved to London, where they had 11 children.
She is perhaps best known for her sterling work in penal reform, and especially care for women prisoners. She taught the women incarcerated in Newgate to read, write, do basic maths, and to sew. Thus they were able to find gainful employment on their release. She arranged special bags [containing fabric pieces, needles and threads] to be given to those facing Transportation to Australia. On the long voyage, the women could make themselves a patchwork quilt. On arrival the quilt could keep them warm, be sold to buy food, or used as a proof of their skills so they could obtain work in the colonies. In 1840 she opened a Training School for nurses- Florence Nightingale took a team of "Fry's Nurses" out to the Crimea. She seems to have spent her entire life in going about doing good. 
I found some extracts from her journal - one is a simple prayer appropriate for anyone [like me] with an apparently unending to-do list
O Lord, may I be directed what to do and what to leave undone
The other quotation seems particularly apt for these days when people refer to "post-truth" and nobody seems quite sure whether those in power are 'being economical' with their words
I give myself this advice - Do not fear truth, never give up the search for it - and let me take courage and try from the bottom of my heart to do that which I believe truth dictates
For number of years, I have kept a folded up fiver in the back of my diary, as "emergency cash" in case I ever find myself in need of a little cash when I am out supply teaching. This tiny packet has been my 'Small Fry'. It's never been needed, but I have taken it out now, to make sure it is spent, before these notes become obsolete.  But Elizabeth wasn't small Fry, I think she was truly great. 

Saturday, 14 January 2017

RIP Mr Jones

Yesterday the death was announced of Lord Snowdon - born Antony Charles Robert Armstrong-Jones in 1930. You can read his full obituary on the BBC Website here. In his teens, he developed polio and had to lie flat on his back for a year. His Uncle, theatre designer Oliver Messel, helped alleviate the boredom by arranging for visits from celebrity friends [Noel Coward, Marlene Dietrich] and also getting Tony interested in photography.
By the end of the 1950s, Tony was acknowledged as one of the foremost photographers of his generation, taking pictures of the rich and famous.
Through this, he got to meet our Queen's sister, Princess Margaret. Both possessed a strong rebellious streak, and they got engaged, and then were married in 1960.

This is the first "Royal Wedding" I remember - it was so exciting seeing this glamorous princess in her elegant gown. I'd not been at school very long, but avidly read newspaper reports. And wished I could be a royal bridesmaid like Princess Anne [and I pitied Charles and his awful haircut]
Sadly the wedding ended after 18 years and my Mum always maintained that if Margaret had been allowed, back in 1952, to marry her first love [Group Captain Peter Townsend] then life would have been very different for them all. Who knows?
I imagine the media will have much to say over the next few days about the behaviour of Margaret and Tony - they did not always conduct themselves with the decorum expected of Royals. Maybe they wished they could be ordinary 'Mr and Mrs Jones'
But that could never be. After the divorce, Lord Snowdon married again, twice, and had many other relationships - lasting happiness seemed to elude him. But he was undoubtedly very skilled with a camera
Because of his polio, he was trouble by a limp for the remainder of his life - and did a phenomenal amount to ensure good facilities and proper access for disabled people - including a famous row over the Chelsea Flower Show which resulted in admission for guide dogs, and eventually a purpose built garden for those with mobility issues.

He leaves five children - siblings and half-siblings 

David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl Of Snowdon 
Lady Sarah Chatto
Lady Frances von Hofmannsthal
Jasper Cable-Alexander and Polly Fry

Friday, 13 January 2017

Ang Is Off On A Lek Trek**

I dropped hints recently on the blog about something exciting happening to me in this new year. 
Well it's this...
I am going to Albania!

No, I still cannot quite believe it either, but in two weeks from now I shall be starting my journey down to southern Europe, for a weekend in this small country about whose history and personalities I know very little [other than King Zog, Mother Theresa and Norman Wisdom.. I shall speak more of these three later]
Our WWDP here is twinned with the Albanian WWDP, and I am going with another committee member at the invitation of the ladies there, to join them for a special weekend conference.
If you have ever visited, do please share any useful travel advice ASAP!!
[**the lek is the main unit of Albanian currency]

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Oh My Darling, Oh My Dahling, Oh My Dhaling, Clementine...

My banting also seems to include dhal-ing. Lentils are a very good part of your diet if you want to eat foods with a low Glycaemic Load. GL is a measure that takes into account the amount of carbohydrate in a portion of food together with how quickly it raises blood glucose levels. Dhal, made from lentils, is a nourishing, sustaining food - as people in the Indian Sub Continent have known forever.
Do not confuse Dhal with Dahl! The first is the lentil dish, the second is the Norwegian surname of Roald [the writer] and his granddaughter Sophie [the cook] She has actually published a recipe called Sophie's Dhal. The clementine** is simply there so you can look at the pictures and sing the song!
On Monday I cooked up a batch of green lentils and kept them in the fridge. That way I could sprinkle some into a salad and serve the remainder with chicken breasts and green beans for our evening meal. I have green lentils, red lentils and yellow split peas in the pantry [all dried] My new Fresh India Cookbook has a number of lentil recipes - as does the Ottolenghi 'Plenty More' book which I gave Bob.
Did you know that the word lens comes from the double convex/circular shape of the lentil?
In Italy and Hungary they eat lentils on New Years Eve - their round shape is reminiscent of coins, and symbolises hope for a prosperous year ahead.
Jewish people eat lentils as part of their mourning tradition - for them, the shape is symbolic of the cycle of birth, life and death.
**I just realised whilst singing 'Clementine' to myself that I took a photograph of "Herring boxes without topses" last week.
In a cavern, in a canyon,
Excavating for a mine,
Lived a miner, forty-niner
And his daughter Clementine

Oh my Darling, Oh my Darling,
Oh my Darling Clementine.
You are lost and gone forever,
Dreadful sorry, Clementine.

Light she was and like a fairy,
And her shoes were number nine
Herring boxes without topses
Did for shoes for Clementine.

[In another interesting plot twist, I have just discovered a friend here in Ferndown is actually a descendant of Mr Banting!!]

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Thank You And Goodnight!

Well,  today anyway... I was in the classroom by 8.05 and left,  after completing a mountain of marking,  at 16.50. I was on playground duty at break,  and spent half my 50 minute lunch break marking and preparing for the afternoon.  But they were a lovely class,  colleagues  were supportive,  and everything went surprisingly well. So this is a good sort of exhaustion. So exciting to realise I CAN still do it,  and teaching still gives me a buzz.  Thank you to everyone who sent me such kind words of encouragement. 

Feeling Classy...

No time to blog today.  For the first time since December 2014, I shall be back teaching in a classroom.  Excited and a little apprehensive.  I will report later...  

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Underground Adventure

We finally caught up with Alexander Armstrong and Michael Scott and their latest TV series about Italy's Hidden Cities [Here] I really enjoyed the one they did from Rome last year, and was surprised that the reviews of this one have been quite so sniffy. Last week's episode featured Naples,   and we have  Venice and Florence yet to come. 
Scott is from University of Warwick  [my Alma Mater] and I think he is fun to listen to.  I don't think the programme is meant to be a heavy historical lecture,  and so I'm happy to be gently entertained.  Maybe it's because I just enjoy random trivia,  and odd little facts about abandoned subterranean scooters, and  bottles of hair lotion  fascinate me.  I have learned an Italian Phrase,  noi vive ,  we're alive! Have you watched this series,  what do you think?  Or do you find anything with AA in it to be Pointless?  

Monday, 9 January 2017

Time And Tide...

On the last day of our holiday we were determined to get out and do something interesting. So we drove to Yarmouth and visited the wonderful Time And Tide Museum.
This is located within one of the old curing houses, where the herring were brought to be cured. The Museum tells the story of Yarmouth - but cleverly maintains the original features of the building, so you can look up and see 1000s of herring curing on racks up in the roof space [these are replicas- hung there by teams of volunteer Boy Scouts] and occasionally you come across a brine tank, or stack of crans [the baskets in which the catch was brought ashore] 
Many of the rooms are still redolent with the smell of fish - which adds to the atmosphere. This is a genuine smell- the industry only stopped in the 70s - unlike the fake 'old' smell you find at Yorvik and other museums. 
There is far too much for one post - it was the sort of place where you found something new round every corner. 
As well as the permanent display about the history of the town and the fishing industry, there are temporary exhibitions- currently one about the 1950s. But you begin by entering the Yarmouth Rows. Until the 19th century, building was only permitted within the mediaeval town walls. The limited space dictated that houses were built as closely together as possible, which led to the development of The Rows. Unique to Great Yarmouth, these were a network of 145 very narrow  parallel streets. Charles Dickens said of them: "A Row is a long, narrow lane or alley quite straight, or as nearly as maybe, with houses on each side, both of which you can sometimes touch at once with the finger tips of each hand, by stretching out your arms to their full extent." The Rows were all given names derived from local characters or prominent buildings. 'Kitty Witches' running from King Street to Middlegate Street, was the narrowest row at just 27 inches wide in some parts. Sadly many were destroyed in WW2, or in the postwar clearances - but here in the Museum is a wonderful reconstruction.
Shops and homes nestle together - and you can see a mother rocking the crib, an old seaman on a bench, his net hung by the fire to be mended, a chemist's shop and much more. I loved the goods on display in the chemists - maybe the celery pills might help my knee? Not so sure about the 'occasional pills for ladies' [for period pains I suppose] made of steel, penny-royal and bitter apple.

After the Rows, we went across the courtyard, where there were some boats moored [and a play one for the children to clamber over] into the area which focussed on the fishermen and the herring.

It was a hard life, out in all weathers working long hours in the wet and cold, to bring home the food. The whole process of curing used techniques learned from the Dutch [initial treatment of the fish on board when they were caught] and the Scots [smoking the herring once they were brought ashore] Many folk from both these nations brought their skills to Yarmouth, and signs of their influence remain in the town.

The use of life size models - such as the man standing in the brining tank - gave you a clear idea of what it was like. The displays were set out with clear information panels, and there were optional audio guides [adult or child] explaining everything.
The Scottish girls were renowned for their speed and efficiency at gutting the fish, but whilst waiting for the boats to return, they could often be seen sitting round the town chatting and knitting.
"Whan dey wir nae herring in, dan wid sit on da swills an knit"
I was surprised to discover that much of the herring brought in at Yarmouth was destined for export - the best quality fish destined for Italy. They were very carefully packed in their boxes, head to tail. In 1888 the Italian Consulate actually prepared a document about this, stating that "The Italians are an artistic people, and like things not only to be good, but to look pretty" 
Herring boxes were stencilled with the names of the company, and the lids carefully nailed down on the fish - 40 in each box.  The logo of the museum shows that space efficient head to tail packing pattern. 
 I felt overcome with the urge to do some craft - but couldn't decide whether I wanted to knit a Scottish Hap [as per Kate Davies' fabulous designs] or embroider some little fishes! I was amused by the person who complained on the Museum Website comments page, that some of the rooms smelled [what did she expect in a curing works?]
There were other rooms to see and lots more to learn - but I shall save that for another day. This is a great museum and worth visiting [and there is a convenient car park right opposite. Allow yourself at least an hour on your ticket]

Sunday, 8 January 2017

A Different Way

We're in the season of Epiphany, when it is traditional to remember the wise men who came to visit the baby Jesus. The Bible account records that after they had seen the child, God warned them in a dream not to report back to King Herod - so they returned home by a different way.
This phrase has challenged me a lot in the past week, since I heard it read last Sunday in church in Norfolk.
Having encountered Jesus, their lives were changed - forever. They understood things which they had never grasped before. The dictionary definition of the word Epiphany is; 
A manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something, an intuitive grasp of reality through something simple and striking, an illuminating discovery, or realization.
They went home by a different way. OK, I know that means 'by another route', but I suspect it also meant that ever afterwards, maybe they saw life in a different way, and their behaviour was changed because of their Epiphany.
For me, personally, I believe this applies in two ways - when I first truly encountered Jesus and became a Christian, my life was turned round, and I started living in a different way. But also, my daily experiences of God's grace should also affect the way I think and act. I need to be constantly re-evaluating things, asking WWJD? 
Sainsbury's tagline 'Our values make us different' applies just as much to those of us who claim to be walking the path of faith s it does to supermarket operations. 
Even with my strong Nonconformist heritage, it is not always easy to be different - sometimes it is tempting to just shut up and blend in with the crowd.
But this year, 
I want to have the courage to speak out for what is true and just
I want to have the strength to stop and help those in need, not pass by on the other side
I want to have the faith to say 'this is wrong, and we can work to change it for the better'
I want to have the hope that believes things will be different
and above all
I want to have the love that says 'OK you are different from me in some way - but I still care about you, and want the best for you'

Saturday, 7 January 2017

More Paneer In 'Ere

They have had to withdraw this ad, after complaints to the ASA. But this post is not about VENeer, it's about PANeer, the Indian cheese. I had never eaten this, not being a cheese eater. Liz suggested I try it, because it is very similar to cottage cheese, which I can eat. For Christmas she'd requested "Fresh India" by Meera Sodha, the follow up to her first book "Made in India". But Liz ended up with two copies, so I said I would keep the one I'd bought for her, and gave her an alternative gift instead. 130 quick, easy and delicious vegetarian dishes for everyday says the blurb on Ms Sodha's book.
On Thursday evening, I made Meera's Paneer Butter Masala - Jon had made this one in London earlier in the week, and they had enjoyed it. It was delicious! not too spicy but a really good flavour.
It is always satisfying when my attempt looks very like the one in the book!
In case you are wondering, this is Bob's portion, served with regular rice, but I did low-carb cauliflower rice with mine.
The recipe serves 4 [I halved it] and you need a heavy lidded frying pan.

rapeseed oil
500g paneer cut into 2cm cubes
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 onion finely chopped
4cm ginger, peeled and grated
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
800g tomato passata [I blitzed a can of chopped toms]
1 tbsp fenugreek leaves [sainsburys had none, I used 1tsp ground f. instead]
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
½tsp chilli powder
2 tbsp honey
1½ tsp salt
250g peas [fresh, or defrsted]
100ml double cream [none in house, I squirted some from can]
handful of toasted flaked almonds

  1. heat 1tbsp oil, fry the paneer cubes till golden on all sides,  put on a plate
  2. in same pan melt butter, cook onion for 10 mins
  3. add ginger and garlic, stir fry 5 mins, then stir in passata
  4. cover with lid, cook 12-15 mins till reduced
  5. stir in all spices, honey and salt, add fried paneer, replace lid, cook 5 mins.
  6. add peas and cream, cook further 5 mis
  7. scatter with almonds, [optional, drizzle with more cream]
  8. serve with steamed basmati rice.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Out With The Bunting, On With The Banting!

Back from Norfolk, and busy with the job of taking down the decorations. Like my bunting [which I made in 2012 according to the handstitched label]
The garland on the staircase came down too, but there was a slight disaster
The little wooden motto which said 'Have Faith' broke.  It came with one saying 'Peace on Earth'  - from a Poundshop in 2010. 
I am obsessive about labelling the date of acquisition of decorations, no idea why.
But anyway, it snapped.
Have Faith has become Have Fat
It's a sign!! I know I need to lose weight - the GP and Physio both indicated that my knee pains are exacerbated by the excess pounds I have been carrying since moving somewhere beset by regular Church Lunches and Cream Teas.
Did you know that the victorians referred to dieting as "Banting" ? William Banting [1797-1878] was a very overweight undertaker in London, who went to his doctor because he was conscious that his size was making him ill.
His medic put him on a strict high protein/low carb regime.
Breakfast, 9am: 6oz of either beef, mutton, kidneys, broiled fish, bacon or cold meat of any kind except pork or veal; 9oz of tea or coffee without milk or sugar; a little biscuit or 1oz of dry toast.
Lunch, 2pm: 5-6 oz of any fish except salmon, herrings or eels, or any meat except pork or veal; any vegetable except potato, parsnip or beetroot, turnip or carrot; 1oz of dry toast; fruit out of a pudding, not sweetened; any kind of poultry or game; 2-3 glasses of good claret, sherry or Madeira. Champagne, port and beer are forbidden.
Tea, 6pm: 2-3oz of cooked fruit, a rusk or two, tea without milk or sugar.

Supper, 9pm: 3-4oz of meat or fish similar to lunch. For nightcap, if required, a tumbler of grog (gin, whisky or brandy, without sugar) or a glass or two of claret or sherry."
It was so successful [he shed 3 stone in a year] that Banting publicised this, with a "Letter On Corpulence" sent copies to the hospitals and did all he could to help those afflicted with obesity. 
The diet is very like the Atkins Diet - high protein/low carb, but unlike Dr A, Mr B did not seek to profit from his discovery.
The word 'banting' meaning 'dieting' remained in the OED until the 1960s.
I have decided not to go on a very strict diet regime. A couple of trips away this month will mean there are some days wen I will not be able to diet easily, as others will be preparing/providing my food. But I am trying to cut down on bread, cakes, pasta and puddings. That at least is a start...
I am certainly not planning on following the Banting diet- I couldn't face mutton and kidneys for breakfast, and I certainly couldn't manage all that alcohol.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Wildlife Alert ; A Croc Has Been Spotted On The Marshes!

Last Friday Bob declared himself free of the virus, so we decided to go and see the sea. We drove to Burnham Deepdale and began walking along the raised path across the marshes. We saw nothing except fog in all directions. Bob was glad of his super new Headlight Hat [Christmas gift from Adrian and Marion] and I loved my new SeaSalt jacket [a joint gift from the girls] 

We heard lots of geese, and at one point, a woman coming the other way called out "Look!" and pointed upwards. We, and her companion, looked up. There was a patch of blue in the sky, and across it flew a skein of dozens of geese in a V formation, then disappeared into the clouds again. We walked for quite a while, there were others on the path - huntsmen with rifles, a middle-aged jogger in unflattering shorts, and a cheerful family spanning three generations [the youngest clearly feeling she had walked quite far enough, thank you] 
There was a small, battered rowing boat, and the children had fun playing in it [you can just pick out the Grandma's bright blue jacket]
And a larger barge - is it deserted? or does someone live there? There were no lights on, and no curl of smoke from the little chimney, and the door was securely padlocked. I enjoyed myself splashing in the puddles, just because I could. Oh Rosie, when you are a little bit older, you and Gran will have such fun together...
But we did see a croc. Just the one...
Such sightings always intrigue me - how did they come to lose just one shoe? 
And is there a damp footed Norfolk Cinderella hanging about somewhere waiting for her Handsome Prince?

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Dark Star

We went to see Rogue One. It was that or Eddie Redmayne in the HP spin off, and I said I would prefer the Star Wars saga. This is [if I have got my head round it] the 4th one, chronologically - set immediately before the original Star Wars - A New Hope [1977]
Vue Cinemas Norwich is an excellent venue , you can buy tickets, and prebook seats online, and you get free parking.
You pick up tickets very quickly from the machine on arrival - BUT then you have to join the massive regular ticket queue to get your car park ticket stamped and qualify for free parking. Bad planning imho!
But back to the film - good points

  1. good acting, great special effects
  2. lots of reference, obvious and oblique, to the other films in the SW oeuvre.
weak points
  1. very dark - both in terms of the way the set was lit - in places it was gloomier than BBC's Jamaica Inn!! - and also in terms of plot.
  2. Unnecessarily high body count, I thought
  3. That CGI Peter Cushing was rather strange
two other things
WHY haven't we got more females in important roles this film? There were 5 females who had speaking parts in the entire film, and possibly [not sure, their hoods were up] a few peasants in the market who were not blokes. I guess that they would have to redesign the Storm Trooper Uniform to accommodate boobs, if there were going to be 'bad' girls. But we could certainly do with more feisty rebel 'good' girls.
FINALLY I spent a lot of the film feeling sad about Carrie Fisher. 

I thought it was infinitely better than Revenge of the Sith.
But I will not give 5 stars without either Harrison Ford, Euan McGregor or Alec Guinness on the cast list
I cannot give 3½stars out of five, so will be generous and say ****

... HOPE is a good an appropriate theme, for the film, and for this New Year 

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Britches, Bandanas And A Sinister Badger

It would not feel like a proper Norfolk trip if it didn't involve some mending and this week has been no exception.  I fixed Jon's trousers and mended Rosie's badger puppet.  That included transferring the squeaker from right to left paw for the benefit of the left-handers in the family. This  makes him truly sinister. 

My final sewing was a request from Liz.  She gave me one of Jon's old shirts and asked for some bandana bibs for Rosie   Using a scrap of blue flannel  and a pack of poppers [hammered in place]  from John Lewis,  l made these using the great pattern here. 
These never got into the end of year craft round up,  but never mind. 
I don't know what you think,  but the baby is certainly drooling over them!