Playing with needles

SNOW! Ok, only a pathetic sprinkling, but beggars can’t be choosers. The microbe has been DYING for snow since December. On Christmas Eve he really believed, with all his heart, that it would snow and he’d make a snow warthog and it would come to life magically at midnight, just like Raymond Briggs’s Snow Dog. I’m afraid he was sorely disappointed on every front.

This morning there wasn’t really enough of the white stuff for belated warthog purposes – but it cheered him up nevertheless on his way to nursery.


In news of extreme wintery badness, our boiler is officially buggered. A freezing weekend with no heating or hot water was as much as we could endure before we had to hide in a gastropub to thaw out. Thankfully the plumber came on Monday and managed to get it working again – but it is being held together, literally, with gaffer tape. Hence G and I have gritted our teeth and accepted that we’re going to have to fork out £3k for a new one. “UGH!” to tedious and unexpected expenses.

On a cheerier topic, despite my sporadic moans about bump pains and heinous maternity jeans and the hell of tights, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m one of those weirdos who actually rather enjoys being up the duff.  Not that I’m planning to do it again after Thing 2, I hasten to add, it’s just that there’s something so pleasing about resembling a huge, round, hillock of flesh – not to mention having extra-thick hair. It’s so much better than afterwards, when you resemble nothing more than a partially deflated bouncy castle, with only scars and eye bags to accessorise.

On the clothing front, I’ve given up on jeans and procured two pairs of leggings for the first time since the mid-1990s. Because everyone loves a middle-aged woman in leggings, yes?Alas, my legs aren’t quite what they were in the ’90s but never mind. Leggings are far better behaved than tights and you don’t need to bother with maternity ones – the ordinary ones seem to work well enough with a bump band on top to keep the midriff warm. I’ve even started wearing them to work. (Sorry colleagues.)

They’ll only have to put up with me until 17th April anyway. After that I’m planning to spend my 9th month using up annual leave until my maternity leave kicks in. G and I are still debating how long I should take off but I imagine it will be close to a year. (Yes, our bank accounts are going to take unbrage this year.)

Last week I took the Microbe for his pre-school boosters, which included MMR part 2 and miriad other vaccinations wrapped up into two jabs. I prepared him in advance for what was going to happen – but I didn’t mention that it would hurt. He should have guessed that something was up when I took him to the shops to choose a chocolate treat for afterwards, but no. He skipped happily and obliviously all the way to the surgery and chattered away at the nurse… right up until the moment when she stuck the first needle in… at which point he wailed.

But he got a leopard sticker and a Kinder egg for his pains, along with a reassurance that he won’t need any more boosters until he’s 15. The next day and a half were spent cuddled up at home and mainlining Nurofen. We actually had a nice couple of days together, just Jimmy and me.  Among other things, we got out some little animal-shaped sewing kits that I’d made for him from scraps of felt and Pound shop wool. A perfect activity for a sick boy.

Amazingly, I also managed to get on with some sewing projects of my own. I’m not sure whether this is the nesting instinct kicking in or just me being a mad-craft-lady. But I seem to have spent the last few weeks shunning society in order to produce a succession of tiny hats, mittens and other nonsense. I might just have got it out of my system now.

The production line has included…

This tiny fair isle hat for Thing 2 (a variation on the stripey one that I created for J before he was born)


These Nordic style mittens for Thing 1 (remind me next time not to include an angora blend in microbe mittens – the white bits have already started shedding fluff onto his coat)

IMG_7739 IMG_7750

These Liberty Tana Lawn Spring bonnets for Thing 2. They’re lined with a super-soft organic fleece and are SO snuggly inside. I can’t wait to see what they look like on.

pink bonnet 4


Here is yet another woolly hat for Thing 2. This one was purely a bit of fun. I wanted to design something with sheep and geese and piggies on it. I’m not sure the geese turned out as well as I’d like and I found myself regretting the pink halfway through – but it’ll do for next winter.


Last, but not least, my favourite! A fat, floofy patchwork quilt for Thing 2. I made this using double-thickness wadding because I just can’t fight my nostalgia for the big puffy eiderdowns of yesteryear. My plan is to use it as a floor/play quilt during the summer and a cot quilt in the winter. I am planning to make some matching pillows and I think I’ll make something similar for the boybot when I get a chance.

IMG_3257 IMG_3260

On the topic of cots, a few people have asked me where Thing 2 is going to sleep. The answer is in the same place that her brother did – a co-sleeper crib by the side of my bed. That should do us until next Xmas – but after that we’re either going to have to move house or do a loft conversion, because J’s room isn’t really big enough for two.

If only our flat were not utterly decrepit and in need of a colossal amount of decoration and DIY before it will be fit for selling. The very idea of it all makes me want to run for the hills.  And it’s complicated further by the fact that the boybot starts school in September. If he manages to get a place at our lovely favoured school, it’s going to be a wrench to move him out of the area.

On the other hand, a loft conversion doesn’t sound much better to me. The options seem equally groan-worthy either way, so I think our best approach is to continue to ignore the topic entirely and do nothing at all, yes? Jolly good! Glad that’s agreed.


I have loads more rambling to do on the topic of children’s books and dodos and other random nonsense. But I seem to have waffled at length already so perhaps I shall save it for next time and say bye bye for now.


About Susan Flockhart

Bonsai lady-geek and blogger. I can hardly recall what I used to blog about pre-microbes, but these days I generally ramble about motherhood, nonsense and whatever's going on the world of tiny people
This entry was posted in Crafty Rambles, Pregnancy & Birth. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Playing with needles

  1. Margaret Masters says:

    Hello dear Sue…..I’ve so enjoyed reading all this and marvelling at your amazing talents. You will be plagued with orders I’m sure. Lots of love MargaretXXX……x

    Sent from my iPad


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