Friday, 3 October 2014

Friday Happies

1. On Monday, something truly amazing happened. Something rarer than than an eclipse of the sun, less likely that the sighting of a unicorn. At about 2.30 pm, my washing and ironing basket were both completely empty. Yes. At the same time. We've had one but not the other before, but this, this wonderful and marvelous This has never happened before and probably never will again, but I had to keep walking past it and looking in, checking it was still empty. Yes, still empty. For about two hours I was a domestic goddess and in a state of bliss. Until John ruined it by putting his work shirt in, but still.

But, remarkable as this may be, it makes for a boring photo, so here's a picture of this morning's sunrise taken from the landing window.

2. Another exciting thing to celebrate: I crocheted my 200th square for my blanket. This blanket has felt at times like it will never, ever be finished, so this milestone was welcome for my mental health as much as anything. 200 down, 25 to go. Then I just have the, ahem, minor task of sewing it together and crocheting a border.

I think I'm going to feel like I've practically given birth to this crochet project by the end. It's a crocheted gestation. I'm not sure if I'm cut out for blanket making. By the end of this I will have darned in 1800 ends. I feel a bit sick now I've typed that. 

3. A new shopping bag. 

4. My parents are staying and we spent a lot of today gardening in the sun which was pretty lovely, I have to say. I found this huge pine cone and am honestly baffled by it's appearance as there are no pine trees anywhere nearby. A mystery. And also, spending time with my parents make me happy. Ever since I moved to Leeds, and especially since we had the children, they have made time in their lives to visit us as often as they can. (They live on the South Coast.) There is never more than a couple of months between them coming here or us going to see them. My mum recently retired and my Dad still works so they are busy people, but determined that their relationship with their long distance grandchildren would never be lesser than the one they have with their four other grandchildren who live ten minutes away. I appreciate it, hugely. Also they are really good at gardening. 

I feel tonight that life is sweet and good. I am content and have a lot to be thankful for. I wish you all a happy, restful weekend. I think this unseasonably warm weather will break tomorrow and it will feel cooler, more like autumn. More like it should do at this time of year. 


  1. Hey Gillian,
    You found the holy grail! I had an empty washing basket yesterday. I thought something was wrong. My recent state of crapness has seen me do very little in the garden, which is ironic as it usually lifts my spirits. And now I fear I've missed the good weather window, so I'm glad you've managed to take advantage of yours. Have a lovely weekend with your Mum and Dad.
    Leanne xx

  2. Hi Gillian, your blanket squares are gorgeous. I love your happies every week.
    Jacquie x

  3. oh wow, your blanket is going to be wonderful :)

  4. That's a lovely thing to say about your parents & I hope their latest visit is enjoyable for you all. Gosh your crochet squares & all of those ends, wow oh wow! I thought I was super on top of things too! My colour wash was whizzing around in the machine, only the whites to do I thought! My husband then returned from work & put his colours in the basket! Oh well. Have a great weekend.

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  8. Loving your photos. I'm amazed at the laundry achievement, I've never managed it myself, but good to know someone has!!! Maybe as the weather looks wet for the weekend, I too could achieve laundry heaven. Sarah

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  10. Sounds wonderful I hope that happens to my washing basket one day! I love the nextaag by the way.

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  14. Ha Ha you made me smile-there is something quite satisfying about an empty washing and ironing basket, not a regular sight chez Helen's house!.
    25 squares to go-yay, keep going lovely, it will be fabulous and looking forward to seeing your blanket soon.
    Have a lovely weekend.

  15. Love your happies each week. Those squares are an absolute labour of love which is why I only ever get as far as a cushion cover!

  16. The laundry basket is never empty for longer than two hours here. Sometimes it fills completely in two hours. It's quite a thing to behold, after a day spent slaving over a hot washing machine. The blanket is going to be fantastic. I love the pale main colour. Glad you managed to do some gardening, it's always nice to have company when you work outside. Maybe the children brought the pine cone in. Or an exceptionally large squirrel. I hope you have a lovely weekend with your parents. CJ xx

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  30. Congrants on your empty baskets! And crocheting 200 squares is a huge goal too! Hace a nice weekend, I look forward to see the blancket finished :)

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  39. After reading your post, two words stick in my mind. 1800 ends. Oh my. Sheer terror ;-)

  40. Such a joyous post lovely Gillian x
    Empty laundry basket bliss ..... did you do a happy jig?! that indeed is a miracle, I remember an odd day in the very distant past of gazing at empty baskets of my own again and again, sadly it was VERY long ago!
    What wonderful parents you have ..... I think I'm in love with them x
    Happy weekend to you too
    love Jooles x x x

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  47. what a lovely week of happies x I feel the same way about granny squares. I never want to do one ever again.....

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  52. I've never had both laundry and ironing baskets empty so very well done to you!!! I'm very impressed and a little bit envious! I also love your new shopping bag and well done, too, for persevering with the crocheted blanket. Hope you're having a nice weekend! x

  53. Enjoy the time with your parents - a wonderful time of year for a visit, especially if they help you in the garden! My Dad made a visit with his electric trimmers last weekend and tackled a beastly bush for me!

  54. What a fun post! Empty laundry AND ironing baskets? Nope, can't say I've seen both empty at the same time.
    I have never crocheted anything other than a few dishrags so I am in total awe of you... can't wait to see the finished blanket!
    Do enjoy your week-end with your folks. As predicted, I woke to the sound of rain - which it will do ALL day so I will jelly-make away!

  55. This comment has been removed by the author.

  56. Sewing in all those ends sounds quite daunting. I have to do mine as I go along otherwise I'm sure it would languish in the "to do" pile.
    Spending family time with parens/grandparents is special so enjoy!

  57. I'm so glad that you have such a good, loving relationship with your parents. They sound like such kind and caring people. I'm even more happy to know that you are so appreciative of it. I hope you have a nice weekend with them.

  58. Having both an empty washing and an empty ironing basket is definitely something to be happy about! Sadly, this has never happened to me, but I live in hope. Your crochet squares are gorgeous, love the colours and I just know the blanket will be stunning. On my current blanket I left the sewing in of all the ends of the squares to the end...864 ends! Not good! Hope you are having a great weekend.
    Marianne x

  59. An empty laundry basket and non-existent ironing pile: the stuff of dreams! It never, ever, EVER happens around here.
    Your blanket's going to be beautiful. The determination will be worth it - I hope you'll sit under it with a glass of something sparkly once you reach the end :)
    S x

  60. I don't think I've ever had an empty laundry basket ... too many children ... too many swimming and ballet and horse riding lessons, and rugby and cricket and hockey matches. Sigh.

    But I did knit a blanket once, with lots of little squares to join but far fewer ends to sew in than crochet, and I still never, ever, ever want to do that, ever again. You are a brave woman!

  61. Those squares have crept up on you, they are looking fantastic, here's to some cold weather to keep you inside joining them together!! Jo x

  62. Wow, you iron! ;-) I only iron on very special occasions (job interviews, weddings etc). Your blanket will look amazing when it's done. In fact, it already looks amazing! x

  63. That blanket is going to be absolutely amazing. You can 'savour' sewing in the ends over the colder months to come! x

  64. What is this 'empty' that you speak of? I've never seen anything like it, especially in my house!! Your blanket will be stunning when it's finished.xx

  65. I do enjoy your happies. I usually manage to clear the washing and ironing pile once a week - there are only 2 of us so it's easier to keep on top of - it's all the other household chores that depress me! Your blanket is going to be a real stunner, can't wait to see it. x

  66. Just love the sunrise pic, the colours are so wonderful. The blanket is epic, will you sew or crochet the squares together? Xx

  67. Yay, it sounds like you are winning this week! So impressed with your blanket perseverance too, it's those change colour every round, small squares that are just so much hard work. Far too high ends/crochet ratio, it makes for hard slog but you are almost there so well done. I did a 99 square one once that was bad enough and now I'm doing 5 round grannies with colour change each row and I've got to 63 and I'm done! Other styles of blankets are much easier though ;) Anyway, hang in there for the home straight!

    S x

  68. Isn't it funny, after all the years since female emancipation, how we can get such a sense of achievement from an empty laundry basket? I think it is because this is something, no matter how small, that is rarely achieved! I love it when all the washing and ironing and the putting away is done. And then I think, this is stupid, it's a continuum, like meals to get and dusting to do, always there! But for two hours you could smile at the empty basket, well done you!
    Indeed, now we're retired, husband does the lion's share of the ironing so I can't complain. It's a task I detest but, on the other hand, I love everything ironed and neatly stacked in the linen cupboard/wardrobes. And you can't have one without the other.
    But just think how lucky we are to have automatic washing machines and tumble dryers. For the first four years of marriage (1964-1968 ... yes, it's our golden anniversary this week) we didn't have a washing machine, I did everything by hand in the sink and very large things were taken to the launderette. How life has changed. I can remember the day our first washing machine arrived, an Indesit automatic, and we put two chairs in front of it and watched as the washing went around and around! I kid you not! It was better than telly because it was actually doing something for us!
    Margaret P

  69. A lovely 5 things! The blanket looks like it will be gorgeous :) I love the new bag as well! x

  70. I love your shopping bag! And I'm really curious how this blanket will look, once it's finished! I'm in the middle of crocheting 250 squares for a blanket myself, so I totally understand how you're feeling! ;-)

  71. Yes, the good weather has finally given way to the usual UK autumn weather. We had high winds and torrential rain last night, set to return apparently. Love your new shopping bag. You've done so well to get all those squares crocheted. Not many left now. I've crocheted half the squares I need for new blanket (and joined as I go). I still say I'm half way there even though I still have to sew in the ends and do a border!

  72. I loooooove the crochet blanket and I'm sure when it's all put together it will be one great pice of art. So if you think this way it didn't really take much time at all. You are making something unique and worth admiring as art. Can't wait to see the final project I'm glad you get to visit your parents so often... It's such a blessing. :)

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  74. I'm with Col. Only ironing when I can't possibly get away it. I hate it! Your blanket will be stunning. Just imagine the joy of finishing it. Bee xx

  75. Beautiful sunrise. Can't wait to see the finished blanket, all those little piles are gorgeous. Don't think about the ends. Ever.

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