Saturday, June 30, 2007

Birthday Booty

So, it was my birthday last week. Thanks everyone for your kind wishes (and for your kind wishes on my health too - I'm fine now, I think!).

It was distinctly un-yarny this birthday, but I am not complaining in any way, I was thoroughly spoilt. James gave me some beautiful earrings. Long and droopy and made from smokey quartz. He knows I 'love brown'. I haven't taken a pic, as I don't have a very good zoom on my camera and I wouldn't do them justice. To give you an idea, they came from Stoned, an independant jeweller in Nottingham. What a great name for a Jeweller, eh? Here are some pics of a selection of th ewonderful goodies I received....
My work colleagues (including best friend Karen), gave me a bottle of perfume, which I just love. Nina by Nina Ricci. Isn't it just the most gorgeous bottle? Great design. The girls also satisfied my love of chocolate (the stash will keep me going for a while!!!). Speaking of girls, my other close friend Sarah and her hubband, Duncan are taking us to see the Scissor Sisters as my present. End of July, I cannot wait.

My sister and our mum came and took me for lunch at the Cast Restaurant at the Nottingham Playhouse on my actual birthday. I had smoked haddock lasagne. Sounds horrid but was actually very light and delicious. My sister gave me a great selection of crafty papers. Gorgeous.
Also arrived, through my door, on my birthday was this character.

The label read...
'Baaaa- I wonder if a kind, clever lady who lives here would look after me? I was found in Ashbourne but originally I came from Peru. Could ewe give a home to a sheep?' How cool is that! Of course, I took her in. Thanks to my great friend Pat, the founder of our group, who has introduced me to so many great people over the last few years, and helped make Nottingham home for me.
Last but by no means least, James' mum gave me these roses. I love flowers, but I don't buy roses, as the good ones are so expensive. Thanks Joan!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

We had a bit of a panic here last night. I was eating supper last night when I had some unbelievably excruciating chest pain. The long and the short of it was an ambulance (although no trip to hospital, thank goodness), two extremely nice paramedics, a cat chewing a heart monitor, a trip to the GP, two EGCs and a blood test. And absolutely nothing is wrong with me. But I tell you, it was frightening. It was so painful that James couldn't get me out of the door and into the car to take me to the hospital. Anyway, I've slept today and feel much better so don't worry. Anyway, in some ways it has been positive. I had a blood test. Remember my meme? I'm terrified of needles and have avoided blood tests thus far. When the GP told me she was going to take blood I burst into tears. The poor woman looked so hurt and assured me I needn't have it if I didn't want to! But, I composed myself and for some reason found myself telling her to just do it. I hadn't had a week to build myself into a spin (what usually causes my fears to be at their worst). I think I surprised myself. She was very kind, was really quick and assures me she took as little blood as possible. Well, anyway, it wasn't nice, but then I suppose it wasn't going to be was it? But it was OK. Believe me, the stabbing pain of last night was far far worse.

So, I've come some way to conquering my fear. And once again I find my self feeling unbelievably priviledged to have the NHS. How fortunate am I to live in a society where an ambulance (and two cheerful paramedics) turn up in just a few minutes, when you're struggling to breathe, and then spend half an hour or so making sure you're OK. I appreciate lots of people in the world are not this lucky. I then get to see a doctor and a nurse within half an hour, the next day. Not to mention the fab dental treatment I've also had today (I know, all in one day!Woe is me!!).
Thank you too for everyone's kind birthday wishes on Monday. Here, on facebook and by email. More about that later!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Daphne is an Amy Butler ho!

Our cat has taste. Check this out. Some of you will remember that she lurves Lorna's Laces, but she also loves Amy Butler. And she managed to choose a fabric that co-ordinates with her tabby stripes!! Clever cat.

I have been meaning to post these for ages too....... gifted to me by the lovely Linnea. They're very accurate too, just like the real thing. Bay with a tiny white star on their faces. Thank you Linnea!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


If you're going to a wedding soon and need a handmade card, check out the etsygreetings (a group of etsy card makers) wedding promotion here.

Seven Things

I was tagged, ages ago, and I can't even remember who by. Sorry to whoever it was, but I finally have some time whilst some samples are cooling (from 580 degrees c!) in the lab. I hope these are things you didn't know....
1. I am relatively interested in cars. I have to qualify that, I am not a weekend machanic by any stretch! I have a vague knowledge of how they work, but, my interest is purely an aesthetic one. Many people would sniff at that, but I think it's a totally fair standpoint. Nothing beats a well designed German classic for example. James an I aspire to have one of these one day. I'll let him worry about the specifics. I also saw a Bugatti Veyron in the village where Mont lives at the weekend. Apparently you can count on two hands how many of these are in the UK. When I left uni, I bought this beauty. In all reports, the Vauxhall Calibra (A Cavalier underneath) was not a great car. But I'll gloss over that. She is a thing of beauty. I no longer have her, she slowly disintigrated. However, every time I see one on the road I pine. My totally reliable VW pales in comparison, in terms of looks.

2. Following on from that, I enjoy a weekend at the touring cars. We live near one of the best circuts in th UK, Donington Park.

3. I really enjoy dressmaking. I haven't done any since starting this blog, but I made this one. Just mine I hasten to add, not all 5! It also became a tradition to make my balldresses whilst at uni. I am an impatient seemstress though, and I am keen to improve the quality of my finishing.

4. You probably know that I am a PhD student, I work in poultry nutrition. However, I also have a BSc in Nutritional Biochemistry.

5. Although I work in agriculture and live in the midlands, I am, technically, a Londoner. I am fiercely proud of my background, the way and place I was brought up taught me many wonderful things. Just don't expect me to ever go back and live there.
6. When I was 19, I spent two months on a whistlestop journey around the world, with my first love, Mackenzie. We spent our gap year working hard, and carefully saving. We then went to Thailand, Indonesia, Australia and then America on the way home. These are some of the happiest memories of my whole life and will stay with me forever. They make up for the holiday we had the year before in Mexico where we had dyssentry and were then nearly killed in a minibus crash. Yes, that is a story for another day.
7. Between the ages of 20 and 23 I wore a fixed brace on my teeth. This was all done free on the NHS and I am eternally grateful. For that (and the fact that breast screening and immediate action by the NHS saved my mother's life, again another story!) I will not hear a bad word said against the NHS (although, let's not get into that arguement here, I know they have their minuses). The reason I had to wait until I was 20 is I have an irrational fear of needles. I had to go through careful sedation and all sorts to have teeth removed.
So there you go, I hope you now know 7 new things about Nell!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Sewing Practice

I'd like to have more sewn things in my shop, but I worry about me skills being upto scratch. I'm not sure my items look professional enough - I'm a bit of a perfectionist! So I've been practising!!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Thesis here I come...

So, I really have to get my thesis written and submitted soon. Why? I've got a job! Hooray! And guess what? I'm am lucky enough to have gotten my dream job. As of September the 3rd I will be a Lecturer in Equine Science at Hartpury College, the University of The West of England. I can't tell you how excited I am! It has really motivated me, I was so productive the end of last week. It will mean moving away during the week, and going home at weekends, which James and I are not happy about, but for this job, we'll cope. 170 horses, on campus, international competing arenas, and research facilities that I couldn't even imagine. And, as a bonus, this man, my idol Carl Hester is a guest trainer. Wooo!

Sorry, I'll stop gushing now, just thought I'd let you all know.... :)