Studying (apparently)

Hello again!

Thought I’d make a quick blog post (not a crafting one this time. Still need to take a picture of the hexies!) telling you what I’d been up to.

Yesterday was a very excitable day. Like, really exciting. So much so that I got extremely tired because I was so excited. You’ll probably find it very geeky, but please don’t judge me? Where to start . . . At the beginning of the day I s’pose!

In the post yesterday morning (after answering the door to the postie looking a bit like I had just stumbled out of bed and not bothered to do anything to my hair, which I had) were two workbooks. They were for citizenship and history. Can you see where I’m going with this? Mum and I looked through the citizenship booklet and it looks really interesting, I seriously can’t wait to learn more about the law, human rights, the UN etc.. Very exciting stuff. Then we looked through the history book. I fell in love. We looked through the first module and I think I nearly squealed. From that moment on I grew more in love with the modules and the sections and well. I could go on. xD In my excitement I have nearly finished one of the “challenges” from the first module today! Four more to go and I have my first credit towards a shiny certificate. I have chosen to do 6 credits (which is 60 hours). I’m sure I’ll regret this at some point but for now I am very happy. Yay!

Now to the next thing that happened yesterday. Dad came home from work and said “I’ve got you some strings. Look.” and I could have done a dance. New violin strings for the win! I’ve said on here about wanting to re-learn my beautiful violin and now that I have new strings, I can! While dad was helping me to tune it up (and re-string them as I didn’t put them in very well), I practiced my bow work. Basically that means using the technique my teacher in Year 3 taught me. Practice writing your name with it and writing numbers etc.. Then it was tuned up and I got straight into learning it. I obviously started with Beethoven (read as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star), but got frustrated as I still can’t use the bloody bow right. I’ll get there though. I did some practicing today and will do a bit more in a minute. This means business, I never practice my instruments!

I don’t think I ever showed you my violin! Here it is!
Crap lighting but ah well. ‘Scuse the mess as well, please! It is a metallic purple violin, not very big (my arms are strained because I’ve obviously grown since I got it!). My grandparents bought it for me in I think 2004/2005 for Christmas, probably one of the best presents ever! It still has its tape on it from my lessons in Year 3, it’s been with me through a lot. Quite a few orchestras (if you want to hear those stories you can comment and I’ll tell you all about them. I won’t be offended if you don’t!), many classes (including getting to intermediate strings. Oh yeah) and zero practicing. It’s my buddy and I love it. Even if it’ll take a while to remember how to play it. xD

Well, what was to be a short post ended up being a long one, sorry about that! I will come back soon with another post about my adventures in geek land soon!
Jess x


Liebster Award

Hi all! 😀

I’m here today bringing you my post, I guess, on the Liebster award. I hadn’t heard of this before so I’m a bit new to it all! I was nominated by the lovely Libby over at Beauty Locket (you need to go check her out. Okay, go on now, do it!), so thank you Libby!

The point of the Liebster award is to discover new blogs, which is a fab idea! You are given questions that you have to answer by the person who nominated you, then you have to nominate between 5-11 blogs – who have under 200 followers – and mention them in your post.

Anyway, on to the questions from Libby!

Q1. What is the weirdest fact about you?
I have a lump on the back of my head. Apparently carpeted floors and grass isn’t the softest thing to land on . . .

Q2. Who inspires you most?
My great-grandparents, on both sides. They may be gone but they inspire me so much to do what I love and make myself a better person.

Q3. On a scale of 100 to 100 million, how awesome is cake?
Depends what cake, but it is probably about 500,000 awesome points!

Q4. Why did you start blogging?
It was kind of as a documentation for myself, as I do have a journal but don’t write in it very often so a blog was like that, but shared with people. I like using it as a way to express myself and raise awareness of my illness. It’s also is quite fun if you’ve been doing something that you find interesting and want to share it with the world!

Q5. What is your favourite thing to learn about?
History, definitely. I would say space as well, but it hurts my head a lot. History has something about it that just captures me. I love it 😀

Q6. Most interesting fact you’ve ever heard?
Mars has dust devils (dust tornadoes). 😀

Q7. If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be?
Hmmm, I don’t know. Can the person be fictional? ‘Cause being Sherlock Holmes for a day would be pretty damn cool.

Q8. Who is your favourite clothing brand?
Alchemy England is pretty awesome! 😀

Q9. Favourite genre of film/book/TV show?
Rom coms probably. Although I do like a bit of a mystery book.

Q10. Where is your ideal place to live?
Yorkshire maybe? I don’t know. D;

Q11. Out of the places you’ve visited, which has been your favourite, and why?
Well, I haven’t been to many places but when I went York, I loved it. We (mum, dad and I) went to Jorvik Viking Centre and it was so interesting!! Plus it was really pretty and I loved the journey up into Yorkshire so yeah!

Now this is an optional bit, you can add 11 random facts about you, so I’m going to do it!

1. I really want to learn Hebrew. Like really.
2. I listen to pretty much all types of music, I just don’t get all of them.
3. I play violin, guitar, bass guitar and keyboard.
4. I’ve never been abroad.
5. As mentioned above, I have a lump on the back of my head.
6. I love to read.
7. I used to go to Stagecoach.
8. I write songs (sometimes).
9. I really hate bugs, especially buzzing ones. No idea why.
10. I’m awful at using make up.
11. When I was younger I wanted to be a shopkeeper because I thought you’d keep all the money.

Okay, on to the nominating time!

1. Nellie’s Niceties
2. Isisjem
3. Di
4. Lynz
5. Sarah

Now for the questions they have to answer!

Q1. What’s your favourite genre of music?
Q2. What’s your favourite fabric line?
Q3. Where in the world do you want to visit?
Q4. Which celebrity would you most like to meet?
Q5. What was your favourite subject at school?
Q6. Do you dance even if there is no music playing?
Q7. What was the first album/single you bought?
Q8. Do you play games (video or board)? If so, what’s your favourite one?
Q9. What is your favourite type of weather?
Q10. Do you scrapbook?
Q11. Have you played/do you play an instrument?

If you could leave a comment down below when you’ve done your post, it’d be great. I’d love to see your responses. 😀

Family history afternoon

I honestly couldn’t think of a better title. Sorry about that.

Yesterday my great-aunt and nan came over for a few hours and my aunt had brought up some things that I’d asked to see. First of all I showed my aunt and nan everything we’d found out on my great-granddad’s side (their dad) and then so far what we’d found out on my great-nan’s side (their mum). We then chatted and looked through old photos, and my aunt showed me one of my great-aunt Louie (Louisa). I know she has furs on her (ugh) but I was so happy to put a face to a name that I could look past it. Here she is:
It’s not great quality as I took it on my phone but there we are. Next came my favourite bit (or *cough* the bit that my followers on twitter are sick of hearing about but is my favourite part because family history + WWII knowledge = happy Jess). My aunt had brought with her, two war diaries that her dad wrote and a book about his skills at arms. I forgot to take a picture of the 1940 diary but here is the 1942 one. 🙂

The cover of it ! 😀 I felt really weirded out. I’m not sure whether the thought of it being in the places he was at during the war or that I could read what happened from a soldier’s view. So interesting.
Inside 😀
Then the Skill at Arms record book. I couldn’t really understand any of it, didn’t really have a proper look to be fair but I’m sure some of my military interested friends would have loved to read it!

So, last night, after my aunt and nan and gone back home, mum and I scanned the 1940s diary then started to decipher my granddad’s writing. We managed to complete April, May and June, as obviously Dunkirk happened in those months and then he went to Iceland so we thought it was important to get that done. Mum finished January as I was tired and ended up going to bed. Took over two hours, nearly three, I think, to get those four months done. It was fun though. 😀 This morning we did February, March and July of 1940 but that’s all we could do for that as mum wanted to try to decipher a bit of 1941 that he had scribbled in the back of the diary. That was a bit harder but we got January 1941 done and dusted, as mum was too tired to carry on. So, that was our time deciphering my granddad’s 1940 diary. This evening (after delivering transcripts to my aunt, nan and great-aunt) I have started work on the 1942 diary. He wrote most of it in ink so it’s a little easier to read than in pencil. I thought I’d take a break from doing that, though, to update you on it all, as I did promise!

I must say, there was one funny (awkwardly funny, in terms of it would probably have been one of those “oh really, oh god it’s scary. I laugh looking back at it” moments at the time) moment. My granddad and several other people were in the baths when a bomb dropped 20 yards from them, luckily it landed in a river (not so lucky if that was the only water supply though). We all had a little giggle at that, just because it happened at an inconvenient time. S’pose the war was all about that though, eh?

I really do love reading his “adventures” and I’m so glad that we didn’t let my nan get rid of them. It’s quite nice to see it from the perspective of the soldier. 🙂

So, that’s all for today folks! 😀 I should hopefully write soon, maybe more about the diaries or something else, you may get bored if I keep waffling on.
See you all soon!
Jess x

A very 40s day

Hello again!

Well, I was supposed to write up this post on Friday, when it actually occurred but I uh forgot. Actually, that’s a bit of a lie. I couldn’t be bothered on the Friday so I said I’d do it on the Saturday. Now it’s turned into a Tuesday and here we are. xD

I felt very 40s all of a sudden (or it was a continuation of the 40s mood I’d been in with all the crafting. Can’t quite remember) so I got me ‘air washed and mum helped me to put it in bendy roller things. Now, I wasn’t expecting very good results as normal rollers do nothing for my hair, apart from frizz. Either way, I put them in, donned the headscarf and tried to get in a comfy position so I could sleep.

The next morning (Friday morning), I left them in for a bit longer (i.e I was dithering over what to wear), just to see if that would help. I got dressed in this:
A top from my nan’s collection of 40s style clothes and my lovely handmade skirt. The top wasn’t fitted around my waist so I added a belt that came with another skirt to wrap round me middle and it looked good.

Now the hair. It amused me greatly, as I unrolled the bendy rollers. I had a bit of a tough time getting one of the usual rollers out of my fringe (much tears in eyes and swearing) but the rest were very simple to get out . . . Even if I was looking in the mirror while doing it and getting confused as to which way to unravel them. xD As soon as I unrolled them it looked like I was from the 1700s. So I brushed it out.
Yes, very blurry but I don’t have the steadiest hand! It still looked a bit weird, but you can’t have it all. I’m not used to curly hair! I then styled it with the help of a handy video on YouTube. I did my own take on it as I couldn’t quite remember what the lady did but there we are! So, this happened:
Yes, yes I know I can’t smile for anything but yay! I felt pretty for once (apart from said dodgy smile) and I also felt happy as my mum said I looked like my nan. Maybe if it was from the side it would be a better resemblance? Anyhow. I felt very 40s and felt I needed to get a basket and get the rations. Instead I went to the supermarket with dad and got smiles from people. That works. xD

Apart from that not a lot as been happening here. My aunt has come up to visit so we’re seeing her tomorrow, with lots of questions about my nan’s family. Mum and I got very confused as to who all the people were, so more asking is needed! I’m hoping to write another post tomorrow but we shall see how I feel after my aunt and nan have gone home.

Well, I’m off to play some video games (it feels like forever since I’ve played them!) so hopefully see you guys tomorrow!
Jess x

Crafty times ahead

Hello all! 😀 I’m back with another post, with a cuppa. I’m well prepared for this cold weather. 😉

You may have noticed I’ve changed the appearance of my blog again, it will become clear soon. By soon I mean next year at the earliest. Just cross your fingers that it all works out, okay? 😀

Anyway, this week, while mum has been recovering from her op, I’ve spent more time downstairs than up here in my little den. I haven’t wanted to disturb mum, so I took down my hexies, C-word presents and knitting to entertain me. It’s been going quite well! Where do I start first . . . Let’s start with the C-word presents! 😀
This is how far I’ve gotten with one of the presents, as you can see to the left is a bit more of it but I decided not to show you in until it’s December. Sorry! 😀
Then we have this. 😀 This is going to take a bit longer, as I had to cut the parts out, I’ll also need to machine sew it and well hm. Thank goodness it’s 3 months until December, plenty of time. xD

Next on my list would be hexies but I forgot to take a picture of them. I’m bad at that, aren’t I?! I’ll say this, it’s progressed a lot since I last showed you. It’ll still be a while before it’s big enough for a double quilt!

Then we get to knitting. On my twitter I have told everyone about the fun awful adventures I’ve had with it. Let’s just say, at the time I took this picture, it was all going really well. I mean, really well. Better than my knitting had ever gone before.
Then I was like “You know what, it’s quite cold so I’m going to get my blanket and snuggle up to continue my knitting.”. I think that’s where it all went wrong. I somehow managed to drop a stitch, attempted to pick it back up again and increased my number of stitches to 31. I had started off with 30, so it wasn’t too bad but oh I could have cried. So I undid it all (again. For the 13th time) and tried again. I dropped yet more stitches. Now it is downstairs, on the windowsill probably wondering what it did to offend me. Maybe I’ll pick it up later. It’s highly unlikely though. xD

I also promised pictures of a certain skirt I finished. Here y’are!

Mum did the hem for me, as it was a bit tricky and she probably didn’t trust me to do it very straight. xD
I bloody hated doing the hook and eye. So wonky. xD

Today I’ve taken a quick break from all this creativity by visiting my aunt and cousin. It was lovely to catch up with them. 😀 I have no idea how kids have such energy, it’s crazy! We did have fun playing with blocks, using golf clubs as walking sticks (I think he’s watched my mum and nan too often! :D) and playing with the noisy books. Lots of fun. 😀

As I’ve mentioned a couple of times in this post, the weather is getting colder here in jolly (heh) old England and it is currently raining. All our weather reports at the moment are “You’re going to get rain, sorry. Oh, and tomorrow a bit more.” which is lovely. xD It’s not too bad though, it means the jumpers are back out from the depths of the wardrobe and my comfy knit dress comes back out. It also means lots more soup and more roasts. Oh yes, I like this weather, even if I will complain about it. 😉 It does also mean my Goth music gets more use and the candles are dusted off. Yes, I do like this a lot. 😀

So, after rambling on, this is already over 600 words long now. xD My plan for the rest of today is hexies and maybe knitting. This could change, of course. I might get distracted by Animal Crossing. That’s quite likely.

Anyway! I’ll leave you with this for today, I’ll try to take some more pics of all my projects for another update either this week or next week. 😀

See you soon!
Jess x

Life update

Hello readers! 😀

I promised an update and here it is! I’ve sort of had a little (really tinsy) relapse with the M.E, I’m just tired all the time and nothing is really fixing it. To be fair, I’ve done loads this past year than I have in the last 5 years! I am still moving about, going out and all that fun stuff, but I’m just shattered.

My mum had an op on Wednesday so I’ve been helping her a little bit with dad (as she’ll be bed bound for a while), but the stress has worn me right out! I’ve had loads of early starts all week so this morning – when I had what I’ll class a lie in – was lovely, having slept all the way through as well! I went out today as I was feeling cooped up so that’s made me feel better too. Mum is doing okay, just tired and sore. Hopefully she’ll be feeling a bit better next week!

I have some good news! I finally finished my skirt! There was much swearing as I attached the hook and eye but it’s finally done! I’ll try to post pictures next time, remind me? xD I’m attempting to make a start on C-word presents for my cousins as it will take me a while to do, without the help of my mum so that’ll be fun. I’ve also tried knitting again but hmm, maybe I’ll do that when my mind is a bit clearer so that I don’t swear all the time or attempt to throw it out the window. 😉

Right, quick update over. I need to get back to sewing and sorting things out with some of my friends. I’ll see you soon blog!

Jess x

Introducing . . . Part Two

Hello again! Sorry that it’s been a while, life happened. I’ll probably do an update later but first I wanted to finish the tale of my great grandparents. Today I am introducing to you my lovely nan, Nellie. She was my mum’s nan. 🙂
This was her in the early 1940s, I should imagine. 🙂 Probably 1942. She worked at Guest, Keen and Nettlefolds during the war, and I think for some time after, but I’m not entirely sure. Apparently in 1942 there was a bombing raid that targeted it, not good at all. But anyway on to her beginning!

She was born in 1919 and died in 2007. I had ten lovely years with her. 🙂 Like my great-grandfather she was stubborn and cheeky, I have no hope then!
We visited her quite a bit and you could definitely see she was raised “properly”! In her kitchen she had jars for all of us and would put a bit of money in it each month (maybe a week not sure). I found out that she’d go to each different store in the city centre to see which things were cheaper and shop at all the different ones if something was cheaper. You’ve got to be thrifty!

When I was really little (and to be honest up to when I was 9) she’d give me the ladles and spoons and old plastic jars or things like that to play with. It was the first thing I did whenever I went to any of my grandparents’ houses. It was entertainment! ;D She’d bought me a colouring book which sat on her record player so I’d make my way through the vast pile of books and records (it wasn’t that big but to me at 4 years old it was massive. ;)) to colour in peacefully.

She got to know my childhood friends as their mum looked after my mum, so my nan would buy them Easter eggs, which I’m sure they loved (free chocolate after all!). My friends loved my nan, it was kind of like they were part of the family a bit!

I went into one of her rooms when we visited her at the flat one day and saw a box thing. I asked her what it was and she told me it was picnic set and that one day we’d have to go on a picnic to use it. After that I was completely in love with that picnic set and after she died I got it. I am so happy to have that piece of her with me and I can’t wait to force my family/friends on a picnic now. 😀

At one of my birthday parties, my great-aunt and I did a show (this is what we always did at family do’s. We’re great performers. ;)) and I think my nan humoured us. She always did. But if she was in a mischievous mood she’d laugh away at us!
This was taken at my Nan’s (her daughter) house. I think I had chocolate at some point and got it all round my mouth and she chuckled at me. Cheeky so and so!
One of my favourite memories of her is when mum and I were staying at her house (mum was looking after with my nan and aunt towards the end of her life) and I had a chocolate egg/person thing. We were waiting for tea to be done and she goes to me
“Are you going to have some?”
“No, nanny, I’ve got to wait until after tea.”
“Oh, go on. Can I have a little bit?”
“Nanny you aren’t supposed to.”
“Oooh.” and she got all annoyed with me because I wouldn’t rebel. xD

My mum and my nan set up Nellie’s Niceties in 2007, a few months before she died. She knew about it and was very proud and happy that there was something named after her.

She was a lovely woman, I loved her so much and it’s sad that she never got to meet my cousins. She would’ve loved seeing them run around and cause mayhem. I can only imagine the trouble she’d cause with one of my cousins!!