made by me: february

When I set out my goals for 2015, I set myself the challenge of making at least one thing each month. I find creating things is good for me, and I need to make more time for it. I haven’t sewn for months, and I am beginning to twitch about it. Maybe now spring is on it’s way I will have the motivation for a new wardrobe…

In the meantime I have taught myself to crochet. I have discovered I like it waaaaaay more than knitting for several reasons, but mostly because

  1. it is quick (turns out I have the attention span of a goldfish and like a project to be finished quickly)
  2. I can still do it after a couple of glasses of wine.


So this month these things were made by me…

At the beginning of the month I made a Romantic Robot for Mr TOPP’s valentines present. It was the first proper crochet pattern I followed, and although he’s not perfect I’m super chuffed with him.


Keeping with the romantic theme, I made some crochet hearts.


I used this pattern and they were so easy to make I just couldn’t stop. Soon I had made 10 and I decided to string them together using this as a guide. They need a bit of spray starch to get them flat, but I think they look pretty cool.

So that’s what was made by me. What have you made this month?




quotes of the week

Me: I was just like you when I was a little girl.

Little M: Mummies can’t turn into daddies, and daddies can’t turn into mummies.

Mr TOPP: That’s right. But little girls can turn into mummies, and little boys can turn into daddies.

Little M: So one day I might be a mummy with big…fat…BOOBOOS?!!!!


Mr TOPP: Have you had a good birthday?

Big M: Yes. The best.

Me: Shall we have some garlic bread with tea?

Little M: No, I don’t really like garlic people.


Today my biggest M is 7.


I’m not even sure how that is possible.

But, apparently it is, so as is our tradition, last night we had a little chat.


Me: Evening Big M.

Big M: Hi mum,

Me: So, how old are you today?

Big M: Six.

Me: And how old will you be tomorrow?

Big M: Seven.

Me: SEVEN?! How is that possible… Ok, what has been the best thing about being six?

Big M: Um…ummmm…ummm I don’t really know.

Me: Well, just think of all the things you’ve done since your last birthday. What was the best thing?

Big M: I think being in year 2 and getting grown up.

Me: That’s cool. What’s your favourite colour?

Big M: Pink.

Me: And what’s your favourite number?

Big M: Eight.

Me: Oooh, so you’re getting closer then! What’s your favourite thing to do at school?

Big M: Umm… I think Topic.

Me: What’s your topic at the moment?

Big M: Well we were doing Islands but we’re changing it.

Me: So what will your new topic be. do you know?

Big M: No. I think it’s Living Things.

Me: Sounds interesting. What did you learn about islands?

Big M: Ummmm….Nothing.

Me: Oh. Who loves you?

Big M: You.

Me: Anyone else?

Big M: Daddy. And Little M.

Me: Anyone else?

Big M: Granny. Grandpa. All  my family.

Me: They do. And probably some other people too. And who do you love?

Big M: You and Daddy and Little M. And Granny and Great Gran and Granny Mum. Grandpa, Grandpa. And my family.

Me: That’s lovely. What’s your favourite food?

Big M: Um, I don’t really have a favourite food. I like all the foods.

Me: *chokes* nnnnyeah. What are you having for your birthday tea then?

Big M: Meatballs and sauce and mashed potato and sweetcorn.

Me: Yup, that’s what you ordered. Nice. What’s the best thing about Daddy?

Big M: He’s funny.

Me: What about me?

Big M: You’re friendly.

Me: And what’s the best thing about Little M?

Big M: She is KER-AY-ZEE.

Me: Ha! Yes she is. What’s the best thing about you?


Me: That’s true. You are awesome.

Big M: *laughs*

Me: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Big M: Well, I’ve been thinking maybe a teacher or a pilot.

Me: Interesting. Why a pilot?

Big M: Because I really like flying and I’d like to do it more often.

Me: Well, maybe we will. What do you want to do when you are seven?

Big M: Go on more adventures.


That’s it my girl, aim high. Happiest of happy birthdays Big M.






quotes of the week

At the Necropolis in Glasgow

imageLittle M: I wonder what all the people are doing.

Me: What people?

Little M: The people that live here.

Me: Oh no sweetie, people don’t live here. This is a place where people are buried once they die. It’s a place for dead people.

Little M: REALLY?!!! That’s crazy crackers.


imageLittle M: Who’s in that one do you think? A wizard?


Little M: Mum! Mum! Come quick. I think I’m standing on a tummy.


Not in the Necropolis, and some days later

Big M: Mummy I can’t get to sleep.

Me: Why not?

Big M: I keep worrying about you dying now you’re getting older.

Me: But I’m only 37.

Big M: But you’re nearly FORTY *sobs*


quotes of the week

Little M: Shall we play school’s Big M?

Big M: Yes, ok.

Little M: Mummy, can you pretend you’re the Mummy?

Me: Um, yes, I think I can pretend that…

Little M: Because you have brown hair. That makes you a mummy.

Me: *nods*


Big M: Mummy, I’m practising for my dance (lies on her stomach and stretches her feet towards her head)

Me: I used to be able to do that. (lies on stomach and stretches feet towards head)

Big M: You’re about a metre away Mum. But well done. And I love you anyway.

Me: *can’t walk for a day*

now we are (not) six

Yesterday, while I was washing up Big M was practising moves for a dance she does. She asked me to watch, so I did.

She lay on the floor and bent her legs trying to touch her head with her toes.

It was at this point that I heard myself say “I used to be able to do that. Let’s see if I still can…”

I lay on the floor, and tried to touch my head with my toes. Because it seemed like a good idea. At the time.

Big M looked to see how I was doing. “You’re about a metre away mum. But it’s ok, I still love you.”

I got up, a little deflated, and got on with the washing up.

Today I have barely been able to walk thanks to a bad back. If you could see me going from sitting to standing it would be like watching the evolution of man. I get upright after approximately 9 steps, much to the amusement of year 11.

And so, I have learned a valuable life lesson: Do not attempt to do something that you could do when you were six when you are very much NOT six.

You live and learn.


don’t take a chance

Two years ago today, as I pulled out of school my phone rang. It was my mum. She’d been in hospital for a few days because she was jaundiced. As I said hello, she told me to pull over. Stop the car.

She had cancer.

By 8pm we knew it was terminal.

We didn’t realise then that the cancer would take our mum from us in just ten weeks.

It was, quite simply, the worst phone call of my life. I can’t even begin to think how my mum must have felt, phoning each her children to tell them she was dying. She was brave, she was strong, for us.

The next ten weeks were horrific. Watching my strong, powerful mum become sicker and smaller. Trying to keep life “normal” for the Ms when my world was falling apart.

Mum was 62.

She should have had years left to play with her grandchildren, take well earned holidays, retire.

Today is World Cancer Day.

If cancer is caught early your chances of surviving are greatly improved.

Please, please take five minutes to check your breasts/book a smear test/book a mammogram/send off your stool sample/book an appointment to get that cough checked out.

Chances are it’s nothing, but is it worth taking the chance that it’s not?




birthday greeting, bottle of wine

My mum would not have described herself as musical. But she was. She was an amazing singer, and sang alto in the Bristol Choral Society for many years.

I am musical. I’m a music teacher by trade. I am not an amazing singer but I can carry a tune.

When I was in the juniors I was in the school choir. I was only in it because I was able to read music (I played the recorder, piano and cello already). I remember coming home one day and telling mum we were learning a song by her favourite band – The Beatles.

She was so happy and we sang it together.

I now sing it at school with my own pupils. They love it. Every time we sing it I think of my mum.

I wish we could sing it together, today.

The day when she should be 64.


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