Made from scrap

Made from scrap
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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Farewell January

The Months

January brings the snow, 
makes our feet and fingers glow. 

February brings the rain, 

Thaws the frozen lake again. 

March brings breezes loud and shrill, 

stirs the dancing daffodil. 

April brings the primrose sweet, 

Scatters daises at our feet. 

May brings flocks of pretty lambs, 

Skipping by their fleecy damns. 

June brings tulips, lilies, roses, 

Fills the children's hand with posies. 

Hot July brings cooling showers, 

Apricots and Gillyflowers. 

August brings the sheaves of corn, 

Then the harvest home is borne. 

Warm September brings the fruit, 

Sportsmen then begin to shoot. 

Fresh October brings the pheasants, 

Then to gather nuts is pleasant. 

Dull November brings the blast, 

Then the leaves are whirling fast. 

Chill December brings the sleet, 

Blazing fire, and Christmas treat.

Sara Coleridge

Am I the only one to be disappointed there has been no January snow here?  It is threatening it though.  Tonight it is already well below freezing.  Should be a f f f f fun day in the Forest tomorrow!  Thank goodness for the fire and the kettle.  Last week I already saw some tiny baby lambs and the Daffodils in the garden are in bud.  Sadly the Snowdrops that my Mom planted as a surprise for me  have not survived, the chickens appear to like playing 'football' with Snowdrop bulbs!  Everything including me seems to be getting a bit confused with the seasons.  The days are certainly getting longer though.  I can't believe the first month of the year is already at an end.  Come on February, bring it on!

Monday, 30 January 2012

Do you know what these are?

I can't just leave you with a 'Monday' picture for the whole of Tuesday.  That will just mess with my melon maaannn!  I am very sleepy and trying to spin without nodding off, it can be a bit too relaxing you know!   I am starting to think about what to grow in the garden again.  It is all quite exciting.   I could really do with another bumper glut of turnips!  Then I need to turn the vegetable beds into something resembling a high security prison to keep the Chicken Girlies off!  They are so helpful in the garden.
            We are 'Living off the fat of the land.'  Currently up for harvest is good old Sage, Parsley, Thyme, all good for a 'Garden Herb Omelette'. Spinach and Artichokes (but I am afraid the artichokes have stayed in the ground this year, they are not called 'Fartichokes' without good reason) and 'these' little beauties in the photograph.  Euan and I love them.  I don't think I have ever seen them in a Supermarket.  So I will leave you with a little quiz.   'What are they?'  Answers on a Postcard please, oh yeah I forgot you can just leave a comment!   If you know what they are and eat them I would be interested to know how you eat yours.  I am very impressed with their hardiness and I am amazed my garden is producing anything edible at this time of the year.  I am still getting a kick out of collecting three eggs a day too!  Not quite self sufficient but I do like to pretend.    

It's Monday

Too Cute.  Have a Good one! X

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Bloggies First Birthday and 'Give Away' Winners

A Celebration is in order and every celebration needs a special cake.  Bloggies Birthday Cake is in honour of my first ever post, one year ago, 'When Life Gives You Lemons-Make a Lemon Drizzle Cake'.  This is no ordinary 'Lemon Drizzle Cake'.  It is complete with Lemon Icing and Popping Candy!
Even the candle is no ordinary candle, only the best for my Bloggie Birthday Celebration, a Number '1' Sparkler!  Very cute but it smoked the kitchen out just a tad!  The kids think I have gone mad but they tucked into the cake any way and enjoyed the Popping Candy.  I love Popping Candy.

Give Away Winners
Drawn by Random Number Generator

1st Prize - Rachel
and three Runners up
(As long as I have your address your prizes will be posted out at the end of the week.)

Thank you to everyone for entering and being my Super Duper Blog Buddies X 

A Picture for each Month of Bloggies Existence Collage

Friday, 27 January 2012

Birthday Bloggie and Blog Awards - Yeah!

My Blog is having a very Happy Birthday Week.  It has been lucky enough to have been the proud recipient of not one but two Fabulously Flattering Blog Awards this week.  Blog awards are a great bit of fun and they do wonders for fluffing up the Ego of the average blog.  It is like receiving a sticker at school for 'Good Work'.  They help me to stay motivated and to keep trying with my 'Blog Writing' it is super duper to know that my ramblings are appreciated/ enjoyed by others.   I am very grateful to Hippywitch Crafts for awarding me 'The Versatile Blogger' Award and I would also like to thank Kashi's Corner for my second 'Liebster' Blog Award.  I feel a bit under dressed for a grand award ceremony, so I will quit with the delusions of grandeur and get on with the business of accepting my blogging obligations that go with accepting the awards.

The Versatile Blogger Award may keep me busy for a while....

Here's the rules,

After receiving the award you then need to:
  1. In the same post, add the Versatile Blogger Award.
  2. In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog.
  3. In the same post, share 7 completely random pieces of information about yourself.
  4. In the same post, include this set of rules.
  5. Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.
  6. ooh and forward it to 15 other bloggers.
Seven Random pieces of information about myself, huh, Random is my middle name!  How Random can I be!   I did something similar for My First Blog Award, I will try not to repeat myself, but really my life has not been all that exciting (well not the bits I am willing to share with you!  lol)

1)  My Favourite animal is a dog.  (chickens are a close second, and hamsters and budgies and cats and alpacas.)   More specifically a 'Sausage dog' is my favourite sort of dog.

2)  I am the proud owner of a 'Barking' Budgie!  He is barking mad, but he does actually bark, multiple times a day.  My old Sausage dog taught him!

3)  I have been to quite a few 'Rock Concerts'.  I never grew out of my passion for 'Heavy Metal'.  I can't decide if I would like 'Led Zeppelin's' Stairway to Heaven or AC/DCs 'Highway to Hell' played at my funeral.   I am assuming I will have a while to decide!

4)  My first car was one of these:
A Mini Countryman.  Writing about it makes me want another one.  It was a beautiful old banger!  It had fungi growing around the window and a hole in floor that you could see the road through.  When it failed its MOT the list of faults was tragic.  I miss him!

5)  My Mother was a Music Teacher...but I can't play a note.  I have tried the recorder, the guitar, drums, clarinet and the oboe...all to varying degrees of non success!  To be honest I would have trouble playing a triangle but I can remember being enthusiastic about the tambourine when I was a child.

6)  I once met Van Morrison.
He looked a bit like this, because this is him!

7)  The person I would most like to meet is:

If anyone could arrange it I would be awfully awfully grateful.  I Love Ozzy!  I actually would like to Marry him!  Don't tell Sharon.  Ozzy and I would be a match made in Heaven.  He would fit into this house perfectly!

Blimey that is random!

Now I have to forward 'The Versatile Blogger' Award on to 15 other bloggers!  There are a lot of us little Bloggers out there!

These Fifteen are in no particular order but I do recommend you pay them each a visit.  I am sure they will be very pleased to see you.

1)  Kashi's Corner

2)  According to Matt

3)  Simply Life

4)  Teresa Kasner

5)  A Trifle Rushed

6)  Grateful for Crochet

7)  Lally Lou Lou

8)  Mina and Me

9)  Cherry Heart

10) Smile at the Flowers

11) The Smiling Robot

12) Bunny Mummy

13) Chalky's World

14) Nicole and the Bee

15) Knits and Crosses

The rules for accepting the 'Liebster Blog' award are simple and a great way of networking through the blogging community. You link to the blog that gave it to you. You pick 5 blogs of your choice to pass it on to, (they have to have under 200 followers for The Liebster Award). Share a link to your chosen blogs. Then finally, display the "Liebster button" on your blog. Simples.

My Liebster Blog Nominations are:  ( I have done this once before!  here ) 

1)  Daily Dose of Deuce
2)  Gothy and Her crafty Stuff ( a great new Blog, I love Kat's Knitting and Spinning)
3)  Eggbird Designs (Lovely Knitting and Crochet site and a talented 'new' designer.)
4)  Aurora Blythe ( A very pretty blog) 
5)  Knitting nix (More great knitting and other stuff and to prove I have not fallen out with her over the squidgy Cinnamon Rolls! lol)

If I were you I would bake a nice cake and find some time to relax with a cuppa and your feet up so you can peruse these lovely bloggies!  Enjoy.  X 

Pie Day Friday - Cheese, Potato and Onion Pie Mmmmm

I like the left over pastry snacks on Pie Day Friday sometimes more than I like the pie.  These are Cheese and Marmite Pinwheels.  (The little Bart Simpson plate says 'I do what I want, when I want!'  Very apt!)  I topped the Pin Wheels with a three seed mix and they were delicious baked.  Enthusiasm is certainly dwindling for 'Pie' in this house.  My brood are fussy little 'so and so's'!    I took it upon myself to consume almost the entire 'Cheese, Potato and Onion Pie' single handed, it does keep for at least three days well!  It is also delicious cold.  I love the simple combination of cheese, potato and onion. It's a good job too when you are eating it for breakfast, dinner and tea, for three days!)  I am amazed three simple ingredients can make such a delicious flavour.  Obviously I am on my own in that opinion in this house. They thought that it was an 'Apple Pie' and never got over the shock or disappointment.

I made a batch of Shortcrust Pastry.
Ingredients for the Filling:
200g of Grated Strong Cheddar
2 Onions peeled and Finely sliced
3 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
200ml cream
1 egg

Line a pie plate with half of the pastry.  Layer the base with the potatoes, onion and cheese.  Beat the cream and egg together and pour it carefully over the filling, reserve a tablespoon of this mixture to brush on the lid of the pie before baking.  Put the Pastry lid on the pie.  Brush with remaining egg and cream mixture.  Bake in a medium oven for 45 minutes.  Voila, one magic pie, made from very simple ingredients.

I am sure these boys would eat my Pie!  They don't look fussy!

Hope you are all set for a relaxing weekend.  X 

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Forest Dwellers (2)

Today I survived the second of ten 'Forest School' sessions.  It was great fun.  The crackle of a camp fire and the sting of it's smoke in your eyes.  The children lit their fires first time this week.  They must have wanted the Hot Chocolate and cups of tea pretty bad.
'Our' camp is just for us, one day a week for ten weeks.  This week was spent on home improvements.  A rain shelter that got called the 'annex' or the 'extension'.  The children also wanted to build a tree house off the ground.  Today they got the base/floor made and attached to the trees, they also made a ladder to climb up to the house.  The tree house doubles up to keep the wood supply dry underneath.  It is all getting pretty sophisticated.  The kids use saws sensibly and really get empowered with the freedom.  They loved the rope swings again and enjoyed tree climbing.  My photography was hopeless this week I will try much harder next week. They spent a good couple of hours pretending to be Ewoks.  A couple of boys role played magicians around the fire conjuring flames.  One boy tried to get comfortable under the 'table' for a sleep but the others were making 'too much noise'!
We all ate an 'Al Fresco' lunch and then we made toast on the fire, which tastes much better than toaster made toast of course.  I had just finished my second coffee of the day when I took the most spectacular fall.  Somebody put logs all over the floor in the forest!  I trod on one, it rolled and I went flying.  I did not hurt anywhere in particular because it was one of those falls where everywhere hits the floor at once.  Due to the unexpected nature of my tumble, the speed I was travelling and momentum I rolled too.  I came to a stop at the feet of a small, shocked looking boy!  I was really pleased that he didn't laugh but immediately and out of genuine concern asked me if I was ok.  What a gent!  I got up rather quickly and still had my coffee cup in my hand!  My trousers and coat were pretty filthy though!  I am really getting to old for this falling over at speed lark!  I am definitely too old for rope swings!   I think I am also too old for ladders and tree houses.  I am not to old for sneaking up on unsuspecting Ewoks though and scaring the daylights out of them with a loud roar!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Ta Dah 'Par rappa ta dah!' Ripple Blanket!

 Do not adjust your sets!  I have been really looking forward to this post.  It felt like I had bitten off more than I could chew at times.  Completing this ugly ahem unique ripple has been quite a task.  I do love it.  Like I would love a three legged dog or a one eyed cat!  Anyone who knows me would know that means I love it a lot!  It is not everyone's 'Cup of tea' but for months I have become very fond of it, it has kept me nice and warm while I have worked on it.  I have made this analogy before, these blankets are like our children, we all love our own!  I finished it at 11pm last night, sewing in the final end.
Triumphantly I lay it down on the floor to photograph, to 'show off' and I had to laugh out loud in a hysterical, ironic sort of way.  Being the first time I have lovingly 'straightened' the blanket out to view it as a whole, I discovered something I did not know about my beloved blankie!  It is in fact the most fantastic Trapezium shape!  Yep that's right!  Not a rectangle, I squished it for the photograph, I did not want you to laugh at mine or the blankies expense!  Not rectangular but a great fat Trapezium!  Darn it!  Where did those stitches go?  I must have lost some along the way and did not notice!  Doh!  Will I frog?  Will I heck.  I can learn to live with a Trapezium.  It was just a nasty little surprise but now I am over it!  I will be blankies forever home and it will always be loved, by at least one person.  Moi!
Lacey had been for a long walk and was very tired, she would not move for the photograph and her bewilderment at my late night photography is apparent in her expression.  She had just woken from a deep 'Rabbit Chasing Slumber' and I think the bright wavy lines triggered her a migraine!  Jeepers I would just love to have a proud, trouble free 'Ta Dah' moment.  Is that too much to ask?  This is my first finished item of the year and I sincerely hope things improve from here on in!

Monday, 23 January 2012

Tea Time Treats - January 2012

This months 'Teatime Treats Blogging Challenge' theme over at Lavender and Lovage is sweet pastries and breads.   'The Tea-time Treats Blogging challenge' is hosted on alternate months by Kate at What Kate Baked and Karen at Lavender and Lovage.  Any one can enter and at the end of the month there is a 'Showcase' round up of everyone's delicious contributions and ideas.  I will be entering  'Cinnamon Rolls' this month.  I have blogged about these beauties twice before Here and Here.  If you haven't made them yet, I strongly recommend you give them a go.   


  • 15g (1/2 oz) dried active baking yeast
  • 7 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 450ml (16 fl oz) warm water (45 C)
  • 800g (1 3/4 lb) plain flour, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 8 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 dessertspoon ground cinnamon


(I put the dough ingredients in my trusty old Bread Machine and let him do all the work.  Then I have time to write my blog!)  
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and 7 tablespoons sugar in warm water. Stir in salt and half of the flour. Beat mixture for 2 minutes. Beat in eggs and oil. Stir in the remaining flour, a little at a time, beating well after each addition.
When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together remaining sugar and 1 dessertspoon cinnamon; set aside.
Divide the dough into twelve equal pieces. Take each piece of dough, roll into a log and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture. Then roll up the log into a pinwheel. Place the pinwheels in a lightly greased 23x33 cm (9x13 in) baking tin. Cover the rolls with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180 C / Gas mark 4.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until golden.
For a delicious addition, you can add sultanas, Craisins, pecans, or walnuts to the cinnamon and sugar mixture just before you make the dough into pinwheels.  I have also left mine over night so they are ready to bake in the morning.  You are hard pushed to find a better start to the day than a warm Cinnamon Roll and a house that is filled with a sweet cinnamon aroma.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

One Week to go! 'Great Blogiversary Give Away'

There is one week to go until my 'First Blogiversary'.  How quickly the time flies.  One year ago since I posted my first post When Life Gives You Lemons.  My philosophy has not changed.  I still think 'When life gives you Lemons you should make a 'Lemon Drizzle Cake.'   I love the way cake solves everything!  (If only the politicians ate more cake!)  In fact I have plans to make a 'Lemon Drizzle' next week to celebrate a year of blogging.  I hope to make a beauty with a candle and everything!

In a year I have posted over 300 posts, phew don't I have a lot to say for myself!  I have made loads of 'Blog Buddies' and to date have 174 followers from all over the globe.  I am very grateful to you all for joining me in my madn adventures.  I have fun joining in with yours.

I have a small obsession with my 'Flag Counter' (a bit like stamp collecting) and check it a couple of times a week.  I have had visitors from 121 different countries with Qatar being the last new country.  (I still have to look up where that is!)  Fancy I have had visitors from places I have never even heard of!  My Geography knowledge must be bad!  We must not forget the 'Extraterrestrial Visitor. (Hello, smiles and waves - we know you are out there).

Now I love me a good 'Blog Give Away'.  I won't be celebrating for my birthday this year with a 'Give Away'.  I may celebrate '200' Followers at some point in the future, and '100 000' hits feels like it will be a benchmark, I still have a long way to go for that though (currently I have 67 000 hits).  If you can't celebrate your 'First Blogiversary' what can you celebrate?  It is not just a 'Big Year' for my Blog it is a 'Big Year' for Britain!  (Though most of us would not know it with the state of the economy!)  Her Majesty will be celebrating her 'Diamond Jubilee' in June and we will get an extended Bank Holiday weekend.  I am all for those!
Ooops Sorry, wrong picture!

Here she is in all her Glory

We are also proud (but very poor) hosts to the 2012 Olympics.
What a super 'Official Logo' It looks even better if you wear your sunglasses!

I thought it befitting that my 'Give Away Prizes' should have a touch of Great British Patriotism about them.  I will have One 'Lucky first Prize Winner' and Three 'Runner Up' prizes for the 'Grand Blogiversary Draw'.  I have a selection of these fine 'Tea Towels' to give away.  The first prize will be the much sort after set of all three.  The runners up will win 'One Randomly Selected' tea towel each.  They are sure to add a touch of glamour to your daily drudge!  I know they do it for me!
My Personal Favourite paying homage to The Great British Egg!
(I am sure you get eggs in the rest of the world though?)

My Day would not be complete without the Great British Cuppa.
(All the way from India!)

Doesn't the Union Jack look much better in Pink Patchwork.  I may write to Her Majesty and The Houses of Parliament to start a campaign to get it officially changed to this.  Much much prettier, don't you think?

I can't promise to iron the prizes but I am sure the 'winners' could do that for themselves.  To be in for your chance to win one of these fantabulous 'Tea Towels' you simply need to be a 'Follower' of  'Lucy In the Sky' and leave me a comment on this post.  I would love it if your comment could explain why for you, 'Britain is Truly Great'.  I will draw the 'Winners' by 'Random Number Generator' on my Blogiversary Day, 29th January 2012.  You need to have entered by 28th.  Let us eat 'Drizzle Cake' and be merry!
Good Luck and thanks again for following and all your lovely comments  X 

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Would you like a Pretty Crafty Home?

I have lifted the 'Cherry Heart' 'Mission Staement' for a Pretty Crafty Home from Sandra's Blog:

"This is what I want to do:
1.  Tidy, tidy, tidy and clean, clean clean!
The first step for me is to get rid of the junk and de-clutter.  It's time to get rid of the stuff I don't want, don't need and can't use or re-use and tidy up everything I'm keeping.  As I'm doing the tidying and de-cluttering I'm going to be giving this house the 'Spring clean' of it's life.

2.  If it has to live here, it should be pretty.
With a tat loving daughter and a husband with no thought for how things look, it's going to be tough to keep new ugliness and junk coming into the house, but I'm going to try hard.  If we do need something new, it should addto the home, not detract!

3.  If I don't like how it looks, and I can change it, I will.
I'm not planning on re-decorating the whole house, this is about finding the bits you don't like and changing them into something you do.

4.  Thrift, re-use and recycling are my watch words.
As it stands the budget for this little project is practically zero, so I'm looking for cheap solutions here! (Although there may be the odd exception, knowing me!)

5.  Crafting is king!
The most important thing thing of all.  This project is all about home improvement through crafting.  If it's home made and it makes me happier about my home then it's part of the project.

Now, this is just what I'm setting out to do.  If you'd like to join me you can define the challenge however you'd like to so it works for you and your home.  The principle is, if you're doing something crafty to improve your home, make it a more pleasurable environment to be in and look at then, it qualifies.  If you can thrift and recycle your way there - so much the better! "

There is a Flickr Group Here so we can see and share what each other has been up to.  I am on board with Sandra as my home is in desperate need of some Tender Loving Care.  There is no fun in 'Crafting in Clutter', I should know.  I find the blogging community very helpful and motivating where craft is concerned so I really like the idea of joining with others in a 'Mission' to have a 'Pretty Crafty Home'.  I am a little slow off the 'starting block' but today I have made some progress.  At least it is a step in the right direction.  I think I may be in 'Phase One' for quite some time.  'Tidy, tidy, tidy and clean, clean, clean.'  It isn't fun, it isn't glamorous and it sure is not pretty.  Euan has a physical reaction to de-cluttering his belongings, it ranges from going quiet and pale, to getting fretful and tearful and at all times there is the danger of a full blown meltdown of a tantrum!  I have made the mistake of tidying and de-cluttering his stuff when he is at school and the results were ugly!  I mentioned it this morning and explained it is getting a little out of hand and to enjoy our 'toys' we have to be able to have room to play with them.  He really really didn't like the idea.  Miraculously though he did get on board and we tackled his territory under his bed.  I have never known him willingly part with stuff.
Poor old broken sword!  My brother made 'Excalibur' for Henry and Euan inheritted it.  I think we will need to ask for another one.  We had a pile of stuff for the 'Tip' and another pile for the 'Salvation Army' shop.  It really feels like a result!  I felt guilty chucking stuff into the 'For Landfill' skip at the dump but needs must.  I hate going to the dump!  Usually you have to queue for ages and it is really busy but today the 'Declutter and Dump Angels' looked kindly upon us and we drove straight in.  We then went to the Barbers, for Euan not me!  After the Barbers we drove to the Salvation Army Shop with toys, books and clothes that would be good to re-sell.  Euan rescued one crocodile puppet that he decided he really did not want to part with.

It doesn't look much in the two photographs but it has really cleared a 'Play Space for Euan under his bed.  I have to go and do the 'Clean, clean, clean' part with the vacuum this afternoon as it was very dusty under there.  We found some Easter eggs that had been squirreled away!  Tut tut tut, shame on me!   Euan has a natural eye for a 'Pretty Craft Home' and said 'Do you know, I have always wanted curtains under here!' 

This is really the tiniest tip of the iceberg.  I have the whole house to work my way through.  Rome was not built in a day, and neither was a 'Pretty Crafty Home'!  I will just keep plodding in the right direction.  I will try and do a weekly update on my progress, it is rather like hanging ones dirty linen out in public though.  'My Name is Lucy and my house is a shocking mess!'

Friday, 20 January 2012

Ye Olde 'Coconut and Raspberry Tarts' ;) 'Pie day Friday.

It is lovely to see new followers on this Happy Pie Day Friday.  Hello (Waves), Happy Pie Day Friday.
Here is a bit of a twist on Ye olde 'Bakewell Tart'.  I made these Coconut and Raspberry tarts.  Bakewell Tart traditionally has ground almonds in the mixture, I didn't have any almonds but I did have desiccated coconut, in true 'Inthesky' style I made a substitution and even if I do say so myself they were quite agreeable on ones palette.  These were a thrifty nifty little bake as they use the homemade Raspberry jam that I made in the Summer.  I didn't fuss too much with the quantities, they are basically a Jam tart with a Coconut Sponge topping.  I can make these by guess work and live with the imperfections.

Pie Day Friday has been scuppered with lack of enthusiasm of the family front.  Henry is in his fourth week of being a vegetarian.  The other half has given up red meat.  I am using meat from the freezer but have not bought any and Euan is trying very hard to remain an omnivore.  We have been eating a lot less meat as a family.  Nut Roasts on Sunday, Vegetable curries, Vegetable stew, Vegetable soup, Vegetarian Lasagne, Vegtable 'Shepherds' Pie, Falafel,, Bean Burgers and other concoctions.  I wonder how long we will keep it up?

The Hairy Bikers like meat in their Pies!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Birmingham Children's Hospital

'This is a great building and is really interesting and ornate inside, it was built in 1862 in Steelhouse Lane Birmingham

Today we had an appointment in the morning at Birmingham Children's Hospital.  It was a check up for Euan with the Orthotics department regarding his insoles in his shoes.  Euan was diagnosed with a 'club foot', or talipes at a twenty week scan.  Talipes effects 1 in 1000 babies.  Before the scan I sat waiting and said to my partner "For some reason  'My Left Foot' has come into my head".   I know it is unbelievable but Euan's left foot is the one affected.   He was on the books at Birmingham Children's Hospital before he was born.  He made an unexpected early arrival in to the world, my due date was September the 4th 2004, he arrived 'Fit and well' at the beginning of July ( he has been in a rush all his life!).  He was in a plaster cast at five days old before he even weighed 6 pounds.  The cast went from his toes to his hip and needed to be changed each week.  He had this treatment in four week intervals, I cannot remember how many times.   Euan has been fairly regular at the 'Children's Hospital' ever since.  He had a series of plaster casts and when he was not in cast wore 'Boots and a Bar' for 23 hours a day until he was about two and then he wore them at night until he was about three and a half.  We had to shop for baby clothes that were easy to get on and off and my Mom would alter the legs in his clothing so I could still change him easily. He also had an operation at 10 weeks old.  Looking back it was all very stressful, but the Children's Hospital is a humbling place and I was always glad to be coming out with my own problems rather than other peoples.  At the same time Euan had his treatments Henry also had three lots of ear surgery and a 'Bone Anchored Hearing Aid fitted'.   We were always up to Birmingham with one or the other and by coincidence on several occasions they would have appointments on the same day in different departments.  We made a right family day out of it!  I have done a few over night stays on a children's ward.  Euan actually had his last surgery the day before his sixth birthday so we woke up to his Birthday on the Ward, he was treated like a Lord and remembers it fondly!   I always went overboard buying them presents when either of them went to hospital so they actually looked forward to going rather than dreaded it.  I am a 'Spoon full of Sugar' kind of Mom!  Many a tantrum has been averted with Cadbury Chocolate (another Great Product of Birmingham's Heritage) or a toy!
We did worry if our son would be able to walk properly and be comfortable.  In 5% of children the casting and boots treatment does not work.  Sadly Euan was one of those 5%.   He has had four surgical procedures on his bones, tendons and muscles.  These really helped him gain good structure and function of his foot.  He spent weeks in a wheelchair with us carrying him everywhere.  He will need further surgery at some point when he is older.  Currently he just wears insoles in everyday shoes and is fully mobile.  They take an imprint of his feet at the hospital and then it gets sent to the USA where the insoles are made and posted back.  He has been as 'Good as Gold' with any of his treatments, he is a very resilient boy.  He appears to have a high pain threshold and is a very active boy, he goes to sports club at school, and he likes walking and riding his bike.  If you watch him he walks with a slight limp to his gait.  Occasionally he will complain of pain in his foot or leg.  My parents take us to appointment and I am very grateful.  Birmingham is a big, busy city and it took us an hour this morning to get to the hospital.  We left home at 7.45am.  The city was a sharp contrast to the Forest yesterday.  Our appointment was an hour late, I grumble 100 X more than Euan.  He is a 'Mini me' sadly for him.  He really looks like me and has inherited several of my traits, including a fear of heights and quite extreme motion sickness.  Neither Euan or I can travel far at all in the car without feeling nauseous.  My poor parents have to suffer the two of us huffing and puffing in the back seat.  We do not make good passengers.  I am not sure crocheting Granny Squares in the back seat helped with my 'Motion Sickness' today!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

I survived!

I went prepared with 'The Spotty Wellies' of experience.  Thankfully the frost was all gone so it was not too cold for four hours in the Forest.
The first job was to set up a safe fire.  Each child used 'Fire Steels' to make their own fire which was then built into one large fire.  The children loved the challenge of getting sparks and collecting tinder, kindling, sticks 'the thickness of your thumb' and then bigger lumps of wood.  The ground rules were very clear and for the most part adhered to.  They have a clear understanding that if they follow the rules they earn the privilege to go again next week.

The Fire was the centre piece of the camp, the kettle was crucial to my well being.

 We could sit around the warm fire enjoying a warm drink.  We will return to the same 'camp' for another nine sessions.  Two of the more experienced members of staff set to work making a 'table'.  I thought they were slightly bonkers, but came to really appreciate 'The Table' when it came to lunch prep and washing up.

The 'sink' was a bucket, set into the table.  This was ingenious and very useful.  The table also doubled up as a cloakroom for hanging coats and bags up.  The children charged around and generally built up hearty appetites.  They ate like Hobbits, snacking regularly and even the fussy eaters suddenly became far less fussy.  They built two rope swings and spent some time working on a shelter.
It was all great fun.  I enjoyed watching the children interacting with us and each other out of the classroom.  They had a lot of freedom.  It was not until I got home I realised how exhausted I am.  I hope the children sleep well tonight, they certainly should.  All I am good for is sorting my own 'brood' out and plodding on with my crochet Ripple Mountain.  Aaah, the power of 'The Great Outdoors'.