Saturday, 31 May 2014

The Garden

The sun finally came out today again for the first time in days so I rushed out and took some pictures of the garden before it went back in, which I'd been waiting to do all week. (The sun actually stayed out all afternoon though which was nice.)

The garden has been on the to do list for some time, if you remember it was nothing to be proud of...

 So after a lot of digging, shovelling and wheelbarrowing (yes I know that's not a real word but that's what we did), 

the garden is now far more respectable...

There is obviously far more to be done at some point but the garden isn't the top priority project at Vivod. For now we at least have a space that is far nicer to spend time in and very low maintenance!

(I'm also really impressed with the quality of those last 3 pictures which I took on my new moto x phone...not a bad little camera at all!)

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Tae Kwon-Do

I think I mentioned a few posts ago that I've found something new to occupy me in the form of Tae Kwon-Do. Now, in all honesty, if you had told me in January that this year I would be unable to resist joining a Tae Kwon-Do club I would of thought you were barking mad. I would of rolled my eyes in 'yeah...whatever' kind of way and muttered something about not know me at all. 

Well, I finally got around to calling the local club to see if my youngest could join, after he had been nagging me about it for weeks. Yes, he could, we just needed to turn up on Thursday at the local high school and he could have a go for free. Which we did. Along with many other parents I sat and watched while he made it through his first session with the aid of his 'helper' who showed him what to do and where to stand etc. I was pleased he seemed to like it and began wondering whether it would be wrong to sit there knitting each week to stop me being bored. 

So, the following week we went back and I watched more closely. I was quite impressed that during the warm up he had to do press-ups, sit ups, some serious stretching and a bit of running and wished that I had something similar to motivate me back into shape. I carried on watching the session and noticed that in places there was a lack of effort and seriousness and that I would need to have a chat with him about this later. At the end the kids session there is another session straight away which was attended, it appeared, by quite a mix of different people from young to old. Whilst Child #3 was getting his shoes on etc I watched their warm up, again wishing that I was as motivated.

Week 3. I watched, and after having a chat with my boy I was expecting great things. I didn't get it. He punched like a girl. In fact the girls were punching far better than him. He kicked like he couldn't be bothered. He chatted and got told off. He didn't listen and fell behind. We went home and I had another chat. A little annoyed with me he replied "I am doing it don't know about it don't do it!!' Hmmmm.

At the same time I was attempting to distract Child #2 with more planned activity in her spare time. We had a few issues with her being around the wrong type of people too much which was concerning me. Equally she hates just being on her own at home. I'd got her back to cadets at this point but could see it wouldn't last. Then I noticed that there was a mixed Tae Kwon-Do session on a Sunday tea time. I though she might like to join too with her brother. So I enquired. Yes, we could all go on a Sunday. Hang on....that wasn't quite what I was thinking....I meant her and her brother, not me too! 

3 days later I found myself running around a sports hall, barefoot, doing pressups (well attempting to), sit ups, stretching etc. Child #2 enjoyed this bit...kind of. We then moved on to learning a 4 Direction Punch. co-ordination needs work. I also need to learn my left from right! ('Put your right leg back'....'No...put your other right leg back'...) We did a bit of sparring...I didn't have a clue what I was doing but went with it and met a lot of great and very patient people that day. Child #2 was now checking the time and sighing lots. I knew she hated it. Child #3 thought it was just plain funny that I was there in 'his' Tae Kwon-Do class.

Class over, I was knackered, we left, and soon as we got out Child #2 announced 'Well that was s***, why did you make me do that??!' I pointed out that I didn't, I just offered her the opportunity. 'Well I'm not going again, it was rubbish.' Fine...don't. I, however, loved it. The following Thursday I watched Child #3 again. I knew then that I would be in that class again on the Sunday afternoon. I soooo wanted to join in there and then. 

So now I go at least twice per week. On a Sunday Child #3 and I go together and on a Thursday we watch each other (I go to the class after his). We are both a bit excited too at the moment because in 10 days time, on the day after my birthday, we have our very first grading. With a bit of luck we will be swapping our innocent white belts for ones with a hint of colour...just a yellow stripe but enough to prove that we are serious about this and we do want to stick at it.

So what's the attraction? Well for him I have no idea. I don't think its for the same reasons I love it anyway. I love it because we are reminded on a regular basis that, within the club, we are one big family. There is a real team work effort where the more experienced help the less experienced to learn. Its an environment where everyone wants everyone else to do well. I love that we have to commit to something that applies just as much outside of the Dojang as in it. Its about respect, and rules and its nice to be told what to do for a few hours a week and not have to make any decisions...just do as I am told. I love that to achieve each grading there is both a physical and theoretical element and that both must be perfected. I love that it's already made such a difference to so many areas of my life. I love that it's something the my boy and I can do and learn together, and that we are equal in this rather than mother and child. 

It never ceases to amaze me where my children take me and what they lead me to achieve. If it wasn't for them I think I would miss out on many great things in life.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

The Accident - C.L. Taylor

Time for another book review, although this one is overdue as I finished it about 3 or 4 books ago but I will do my best! 

The Accident was brilliant, and I think I read it in just over 24 hours. I discovered the book because I follow the Book'd Out blog and Shellyrae posted a review some time ago, I ordered it there and then and read it as soon as it was delivered. As it was published in 2014 I realised it could count towards the reader challenge too. 

Back to the's a psychological thriller based on a mother finding the diary of her daughter currently in a coma after walking out in front of a bus. Consequently she uses the diary entries to track down the events that led to the accident. It has a pretty gripping plot. It was slightly predictable once you got about half way through but that didn't make it any less enjoyable and there were still a couple of unexpected turns within the rest of the book. I'd recommend it to friends without a doubt. (In fact I already have...)

Monday, 26 May 2014

Granny Stripe Blanket

Hello! I know its been a while...bit of hectic month really but I have spent the last few days finishing off the Granny Stripe Blanket. It started it May last year (I can't believe its been around that long to be honest!).

It made another appearance in these posts...

And now its finished! 

It's made from James C. Brett 'Cotton On' yarn (50% cotton / 50 Acrylic), lots of but thankfully it's quite cheap. Apparently washable at 40 degrees so I think this may end up as a picnic/park blanket. It was a pleasure to make and its so warm and heavy it will be great in the winter months too, to snuggle up under on the sofa.

I just need to find a smaller project now for all the left over yarn!