Thursday, 28 August 2014

Giving Something Back

I'm still here folks. Hope you are all well. 

Sorry for my absence; I've just had such trouble getting motivated to do anything for the past couple of months so my poor blog has been sadly neglected. Even crafting has been too much trouble; I just couldn't force myself to get off the sofa. In fact, some days getting out of bed in the mornings didn't seem worthwhile either.

One bright point has been our anniversary trip to Scotland which was a truly special week. We absolutely loved Oban and the Islands and had pretty good weather all things considered. The hotel was the usual Shearings cheap and cheerful, but had wonderful views of the Isle of Mull and we had trips included to Mull and Iona, and also Loch Lomond and the Isle of Seil. I loved Seil and would happily live there. I have some gorgeous photos but won't bore you with dozens of holiday snaps...well, maybe just a few at a later date.

A particularly low point was the 8 hours we spent absolutely terrified when we thought our youngest son had gone missing and might even have been the person killed on the railway line near Ashford a couple fo weeks ago. Fortunately it was case of an uncharged mobile phone making it impossible to contact him, a disagreement with his girlfriend, and drowning his sorrows in the pub. Thank goodness for his amazing friends and for Facebook which his mates used to contact each other and put out an alert to track him down, which they did eventually. It was also amazing how his sisters and brother rallied around, and their being so upset shows that they really love their little brother. There were lots of tears all round, not least from DS2 when he realised how much worry he'd caused everyone. We were just thankful to have him home safe and well, but really feel for the relatives of anyone who genuinely goes missing. I never want to relive the terror again.

Other lows include DH having bronchitis, and his 93 year old mum having a fall and breaking her left wrist...and she's left handed.  Being sick, DH had to wait until the antibiotics kicked in and he was not only well enough to travel to Wales, but was also unlikely to give his germs to any of the residents of MIL's nursing home. He did eventually get to see her for a few days and she's now doing quite well, but is starting to really look quite frail.

So, things have been quite eventful, and also this week DH started his new job teaching Maths at a secondary school where he did supply teaching last year. It's quite a lot more money than at the college and he will get the full school holidays off which he didn't get there, but unfortunately it is an hour's drive each way so he's been pretty tired this week getting used to the travelling. I'll be keeping a close eye on him as there's no way I want him having another breakdown. I'd much rather we scrape by on a supply teaching salary than have him working himself to death for more money.

Although my low mood is still hanging around, I'm having a few more good days than bad lately and I have a new project that has lifted my spirits and given me a purpose to get off my backside and do some sewing.

This is a syringe driver.

And these are handmade syringe driver bags.

The above bags were made by other people but the one below was made by me this afternoon using the pattern and fabric kit sent to me by a wonderful lady called Julie who co-ordinates this site -

The bags are super easy to make. This was my first attempt and took under an hour to complete using the precut fabric from Julie. I have already got 4 more cut out from my own fabric stash and ready to finish off tomorrow. The bags I make will go to the Pilgrim's Hospice at Margate which is where my mum, Maureen Beniston, was cared for until her death in July 2005. Although I have donated money to the hospice in the past and also funded a brick in a path in their garden with mum's name engraved on it, I am absolutely thrilled that I have found a way of using my crafting to help them out and giving something back for the care they gave mum. 

I will also be making tote bags for patients' personal effects, and I have offered to make other things such as cards or knitted items for them to use or sell to raise funds. I am waiting to hear if they will take me up on that offer.

Apart from all that, I am still trying to be frugal but not always succeeding and I'm cooking for 4 again with DS2 back home and probably living with us for the rest of this academic year. I'm also still trying to lose the last few lbs to get to my target weight but have been taking off and putting back on the same 1/2 lb for the past 6 weeks. At least I'm maintaining and not gaining. I have now notched up a 4 1/2 stone loss with about 5lbs to go to target, and I was voted Woman of the Year at my slimming club...although the vote was only between 2 of us as you had to have lost over 4 stone to be eligible!

I think that's all for now. Now I'm feeling a bit better I will try and update more regularly, at least a couple of times a week, and I'll start reading other people's blogs and commenting again which I haven't done much of lately. 

Goodnight everyone.


  1. Really good to hear from you, Helen, and so sorry to hear all your troubles. Hope that things pick up for everyone, and congratulations for your DH on the job - I do hope that the travelling isn't too much and he soon gets used to it all. Well done on the weight loss, and the bags look great xx

  2. Thanks for the good wishes, Morgan and I'll pass the congrats on to DH.

  3. Oh you poor love, how utterly harrowing to go through that with your boy, I'm so relieved he's fine. Old age is devastating and I wish you and your DH much love with his mum. Your holiday sounded perfect x Looking forward to seeing some snaps. I'm always only ever an email away x