This weekend saw some delightful weather in Yorkshire which prompted me to get busy in the garden. Actually something else prompted me- apart from my love of gardening. Little person number 3 who is 4yrs old had to have his tonsils and adenoids removed. The operation was on a Friday in March. It went well and I had to stay overnight with him as they needed to monitor his oxygen levels. Being in a hospital for 48 hours and surrounded by illness especially in young children (the ward we stayed in had quite a few long-term patients). It gives one pause for thought to appreciate how lucky one is to have healthy children and indeed to be healthy enough to not be in and out of the hospital. It’s something that is easy to take for granted. During the night as I slept on the cot bed next to my son’s bed, I couldn’t help but think of the stress and anxiety I felt in the lead up to, during and after the operation – seeing your little one  knocked unconscious and slump down as if all life has been snuffed out of them is a test of fortitude. Readers I am not a crier (except when I am pregnant and hormonal) but I did in that moment. As I was struggling to sleep, I kept thinking how incredibly privileged we are here in the UK to have the NHS. The mere fact that I didn’t have to worry about whether I could afford for my son to have an operation for his sleep apnea shouldn’t be taken for granted. I was vigilant in thanking the staff for looking after us and wrote a letter saying as much. I am proud that my taxes and National Insurance contribute to such a vital service. It’s not perfect but still worth it. Thinking about it while I was there I see it like this – the NHS is like a firefighter who saves you from a fire but while he/she is carrying you out of the burning building your head gets bumped against the door frame; yes your head hurts but at least you didn’t die in the fire. With that in mind I left the hospital with a firm resolve to involve myself in any Save the NHS campaigns.


In other news Brooklyn Tweed  released their Winter 17 lookbook a while back and I am smitten with the Kirwin here. Perhaps it is the colour that calls to me but I think it’s a lovely design. When I get round to it, I will probably try to go for the same deep red the model is wearing.


Wish List

I also came across the McCall Pattern YouTube channel and saw this video with some of their winter releases.

Isn’t it funny when you don’t notice a pattern until you see it on someone in motion? The Paco Peralta long tuxedo jacket appealed to me. They are now on my wish list for when Vogue next go on sale in the USA. I am lucky that my FIL visits us twice a year and he is happy to be a sewing pattern mule 🙂

TV Shows

….well The Collection was a major letdown and that is all I will say about that. Thank goodness I was always knitting when I watched it otherwise I’d feel like I wasted my time. I have heard good things about The Crown – and though I am not a fan of the monarchy – I think I will use a Netflix free month to watch it , then cancel Netflix. If there are any other good things to catch on Netflix please let me know – because I intend to ‘sweat the asset‘ as they say in accounting speak. In more distressing news – I heard that GBBO is moving to Channel 4 and apparently there is a strong possibility that Sewing Bee will go as well since it’s the same production company that makes both shows. Only Paul Hollywood is  moving with the Bake Off – apparently the others have decided to stay loyal to the Beeb. Though Bake Off was getting a tad annoying for me – I am not sure I like the idea of it moving to C4  – can you imagine all the product placement and the sponsored weeks? Things change I suppose.


I have been reading Outlander again – the first time I read them I  was in a (Jamie) frenzy so this time I am taking my time with it and savouring it (Jamie). I have decided to be more proactive with my reading list in 2017 and will be making a list of 12 books I want to read. I have been wanting to re-read all the classics I love like Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre etc. I think I will make 2017 the year of the Classic book for me.

Loosing it

My oldest started high school in September and its been hard to realise that I have very little control over what he does. High school is so different to primary school  and I am finding navigating it quite challenging. I have joined the PTA and a couple of parent organisations there so I can learn what’s what in high school. In fact, I recently went to my first ever parents evening in high school. It was chaos of the first order. To start with my darling hadn’t bothered to make any appointments for me (their system has the kids collecting the appointments) so I had to wait till a teacher had a free spot. Each slot is 5 mins in theory , however I discovered that on average it took about 15 mins each so all the teachers were so far out of schedule that it didn’t matter anymore. I also found, much to my amusement as I had to wait for 3 parents ahead of me to see the Math teacher, that the teacher more or less repeated the same stuff to each of us. I went by myself to the event, whereas almost everyone else had brought the OH and high school child in tow. Hence I had the luxury of listening in on conversations in a quietly unobtrusive way. It was fun – I havent had the opportunity to people watch in a long time. Anyhow  – patience is not my strong suit so I abandoned it all after seeing 5 of the 11 teachers. I figured if there was something very wrong with my son’s progress they would get in touch with me. I nearly fainted though when I got back home and was mulling over the fact that I will have to do this every year. Then it hit me. My other 4 are 3 years apart. So there will come a time when ALL 4 OF THEM ARE IN HIGH SCHOOL at the same time!!! And I will have to do parents evening for the 4 of them. 4 kids x 11 subjects = 44 x 5 minute (in theory but really closer to 15 minutes) slots!!!! I had to sit down when it hit me. Many choice swear words swirled about in my head.

On that note..thanks for coming by.

Peace and love,






29 thoughts on “Ramblings….

  1. Good to hear that your child is well and has been treated well by the NHS. I have always thought that much of what is best about Britain is embodified in the NHS – you are doing a good job making sure that the pencil pushers and penny counters don’t get to destroy it.
    I have taken a different approach to high school parenting. My thinking is that as long as it works there is no need to get involved, so apart from the introductory parent’s meeting for Child 1 and 2 I’ve never been to any parent’s event (kids have 1/4/7 years to go to A-levels) and I’ve saved myself the energy of sucking up to the teacher and it’s all been fine. There must have been a few garments that I sewed in the time I saved myself (and the teachers, who, if my experience as a teacher is anything to go by) will be happy to go home earlier 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Fold Line instragrammed that the Sewing Bee will be back next year – although not had chance to read their link yet.
    I agree about the High School parents evening, we call it the Cattle Market. Mine makes appointments, (we go from the first appointments which start at 4pm (which is not so bad as the working parents go later)) but we always just jump in if we see any teacher without anyone. It’s one of the times I’m thankful I only have one!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I never saw the point of parents evening – like you said, if there were something serious they would let the parents know. Plus the fact that every single teacher at every single parents evening, from primary school to university, said exactly the same thing about me: “Excellent work, but needs to speak more”. It’s amystery to me why my parents kept going to them!

    I’m glad the operation went well for your little one. The NHS really is such a good thing, I hope we can keep it going 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As a teacher, I can tell you that we can’t stand parents’ nights either lol. The number of times I’ve had to explain to a dotingly over-supportive parent that their little love is not doing fabulously well in maths BECAUSE THEY DON’T TRY HARD ENOUGH is beyond counting. ‘He used to be so good at it at primary school’ ‘yes, well this is A level, and he isn’t working hard enough’ [probably because you think the sun shines out of his little bum]
    And of course the ones we really need to see don’t come, and the ones who we have nothing to say about suck up all our time making us repeat the same stuff. Gah. All that after a full day, and another to follow. Very inefficient. We should stick to emails!
    As a parent, I soon realised I could skip them, as all mine did well. Traditions eh?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I got the impression that teachers werent thrilled at the prospect either during my silent observations. The main thing I wanted to find out from the Math teacher was whether they thought he would benefit from tutoring. She said no and I said ‘Thank you. Goodnight.’ And that was that for me. I shan’t be going again as I felt like it was an exercise in futility.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It really is! I remember wishing I could just hold up a placard with the appropriate rote comment…save my voice! No to tutoring other than exactly 6 weeks before major exams, or for very nervous kids. In my opinion of course!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The parents of the children who are doing well, tend to show up and worry about how their child can raise their already high grade even higher. The parents of the difficult children, who do not work in class, do not read their books, nor do they turn things in on time, or at all…. those parents don’t show up until there is a real risk of the child being told not to come back. Make space for a family that appreciates education. (private school obviously)


  5. Sorry your son had to have surgery. I hope he recovers quickly. You are very fortunate to have the NHS. We have nothing like it in the US and it’s a travesty. Also I am reading the Outlander books! Some are better than others. I just finished “Written in my Heart’s Blood”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He is fully recovered and thriving. Some of the Outlander books are fillers and could have been tacked on to other book. I didnt enjoy Heart’s Blood that much – not enough Jamie and Claire for my liking. My absolute favourites are Outlander and Voyager. Have you watched the TV series adaptation ? They have made 2 seasons and I cant wait for season 3 which will be based on Voyager.x


  6. One of my girls had sleep apnea due to enlarged tonsils and adenoids. I didn’t think I’d break down as she went under, but she was terrified and screaming… whew! All came out well, and I hope your little one is sleeping better and well rested. The surgery made such a huge difference for my daughter. I don’t understand why so many Americans fight having a fair healthcare system here. Sigh. Someday… And the teacher conferences sound like a nightmare! So far my kids’ schools have been very diligent about keeping to the assigned times… haven’t experienced high school yet… I’ll have 3 in HS at the same time, so I totally feel your pain!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad to hear it all was well in the end with your daughter. It made such a huge difference to my son as well – he is much calmer and his behaviour issues disappeared overnight . I have travelled quite a fair bit in my time and lived in different places but I must say that I dont understand the reasoning behind objections to universal healthcare – especially in a developed country. It boggles the mind that a poor sick person who lives in Rwanda is possibly better off than a poor sick person in such a great country like the US. Your kids school sounds like its only the ball – certainly not the cattle market I experienced 🙂


  7. Parent/teacher night is such an overwhelming experience when you have one child…I can’t imagine it when you have more….it’s nice you have NHS, wish we had it in the US!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I thought the collection was pretty disappointing too. I really enjoyed the Crown. If you are able to get ‘the time in between’ in your region and have the time to watch subtitles, I can highly recommend that (spanish language drama based on a book set in the Spanish civil war, with seamstress as the heroine). For drama I also liked ‘the get down’ which is about the birth of rap in the Bronx in the 70s (it’s Baz Luhrmann creation) and Top of the Lake (Mad Men actress Elisabeth Moss, set in NZ) and both series of Fargo (S3 about to start). Our favourite comedy is Brooklyn nine-nine (American cop comedy)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I dont mind a subtitle and I am reasonably conversant in Spanish so it sounds like a good opportunity to brush up on my language skills. Will check out “The Time in Between” – the Youtube trailers were impressive. Fargo has had quite a few recommendations too. I LOVE Brooklyn Nine-Nine . My favourite character is Gina Linetti – she slays it!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for posting your.support for the NHS. I couldn’t agree with you more. My twins were born very prematurely and owe their lives to the NHS. I don’t know how we would ever have afforded all of the medical treatment they had when they were small.
    They are both at university now thanks to great teachers, especially at secondary school so I would like to thank them too. Just wait until you have a double parents’ evening for your girls.
    One a lighter note, we really enjoyed watching The Crown. I thought Mat Smith was a great Duke of Edinburgh!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have twins too! Did yours go to the same university? I hadnt known any twins before having mine so I am always curious about what it will be
      like as they get older. The Crown is on my list – I am only worried that I may have built up my expectations too much now 🙂


      1. Hi Hilary
        Sorry to have taken so long to reply. Yes, my twins are now at the same university. They spent their time at secondary school trying to be as different as possible, one took arts and the other sciences. They set off on different paths in life but fate took over and they are back together again. They have found out that they are more alike than they wanted to believe.
        It has been a fascinating journey bringing up identical twins. They are very close. They speak on skipe every day wherever they are and I am so proud of them both. Enjoy all of your children, you are amazing!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Our NHS is far from perfect but we’re lucky to have such a system and it’s good to hear that your little one is recovering well, traumatised though you may be! Although parent’s evening is a useful thing at Primary level, I don’t think the same applies at Secondary school as a child will either work hard or not – there’s no forcing them. It is interesting to see the teacher’s point of view though, as they perceive your child differently.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was interesting to hear the teacher’s perceptions of him. I did find it strange to hear the teachers I saw say things like ‘ he is a lovely lad’ , ‘engaged’ , ‘participates’ etc. I just kept thinking “Really?”.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. There’s nothing quite so scary as seeing your child in hospital – I’m glad all went well.
    I hated parents evenings especially since moving to France when I had to tackle the language barrier too.
    I love Netflix but that’s partly because it’s hard to get English T.V. since they shifted their satellites over a bit and plunged the South of France into a BBC free zone. It’s possible with a bit of a struggle which I won’t go in to but Netflix is a lifesaver sometimes. I love House of Cards – Orange is the New Black – Fargo – to name a few. I think it’s well worth the subscription which isn’t much in the scheme of things.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I binge watched the first 3 seasons of HoC a couple of years ago and fell hard for Clare’s wardrobe. Love OINB as well. We have similar taste so I am putting Fargo on the top of my list :-). Looks like I will be knitting up something while watching stuff 🙂 Will let you know how I get on with Fargo.x


  12. Glad your littley is well again. They are a worry. My boy had a burst appendix followed by a post op infection earlier this year and it was horrendous. You feel so helpless and seeing your baby in pain is just the worst thing ever. I shifts something in your soul. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. And I wept too when he went under the anaesthetic. Like my heart would break.

    Gah! They don’t warn you about how much this mothering malarky hurts your heart. Thank goodness there is so much joy and love to counterbalance it.


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