Thursday 19 January 2012

Swine and dine

A while ago I went to jewellery school and I made a friend there. We decided that we needed to set up a crafting group as so few of our day to day acquaintances were into crafting and we wanted to have a monthly get together so we'd be inspired and bounce around ideas. I'd not long fallen into the world of blogging and I was desperate to have some buddies to craft with. We decided to set up our own group called Swine Club as we intended to sew and drink wine. SEWine Club

The inaugural Swine Club was at my house and was a huge success, there were about 15 of us and no one got anything done as we were all so excited to see what everyone else was doing. The numbers quickly dropped to six as is the norm with any new group but we were rather pleased as we realised that we had a special thing going on and we didn't want to mess with it nor dilute it nor change the dynamic. The monthly gatherings became fortnightly and we frequently have an interim Swine if one of us can't make it but feels they need a Swine session. It's very special. It does me good.

I had the Swine Girls over last night. It was fun as usual, we laughed a lot and had a lovely time. I cooked a fish pie and we sank a bottle of prosecco that Princess brought with her as it was one of the girl's birthday.  I feel a bit shabby today that's for sure.

I'm just going to have a little think about what nicknames I'll give the Swine Girls. Ok, thought of a few, now I can introduce you to Pookamook which was her nick name already, she is the friend I made at jewellery school. Jasmine, as she looks like the heroine from Disney's Aladdin. Bubble, because she's as funny and scatty yet intelligent like the Absolutely Fabulous character. Bambi because she is doe eyed with the most gorgeous laugh, she's going to hate that nick name. Last but not least, Princess, who you have already met.

So the girls came over last night and it reminded me I hadn't shared the photographs I took at our last Swine Club gathering before Christmas. I'm quite pleased that I am sharing this with you today in the middle of January as I am still missing Christmas to the point that I have put up three more sets of fairy lights in my kitchen to try to bring back some of the magic I felt this year.

Pookamook, Bubble and Jasmine

Princess, Bambi, Pookamook

Swine dog, Bea

The only photo of me!

Thai prawn curry from Nigella Express

Christmas Swine was wonderful. I enjoyed cooking a Thai prawn curry, I enjoyed making my secret Santa gift, I loved jazzing up the dining room and digging out my gold rimmed glasses that I bought for a song at the local auction room. I had fun tinkering about to make things lovely. 

I'm still a bit odd in the head if I'm honest, still not quite found my way back to normal yet. The anti depressants are working well and I feel pretty good but I can't cope with crowds at all, I'm spooked by strangers at gatherings, I'm scared of going out somewhere unfamiliar with out Mr C. I went to WI last Tuesday and I forced myself to enter alone even though I could feel the tears prickling behind my eyes. I'm not quite myself so I am getting much more comfort out of my home than ever before. I loved entertaining my Swine Girls as we are like therapy for each other. There's a wonderful dynamic amongst us. The girls have all led such diverse and amazing lives, there's probably very little that life can throw at a person that one of us hasn't experienced from the good to the most awful. One of us left home aged 16 and put themselves through law school whilst living at the YMCA. One of us is a young widow.  One of us built up a business and sold it on and doesn't really need to earn a lot now, two of us are foster carers, two of us are  career girls, one of us made the hats for the drama series House of Elliot, one of us longs for a baby but the baby wont come, one of us is very poorly, one of us has a brother with the same condition Big has (such a comfort to hear great stories about him), two of us can speak several languages....I'll stop there as I've noticed that most of these revelations are not about me as I have lived a wholly unremarkable life......! A valuable life, but little to report, which could be seen as a good thing.

We all gave each other hand made secret Santa gifts that were totally appropriate for the recipient. We were all thrilled to bits with our gifts.

Jasmine received this amazing bag from Bubble

I received this stupendous bag made by Jasmine who has only just learnt to sew

Princess received an oil cloth peg bag and fudge from Bambi

Bambi received a crochet hook roll from Pookamook

I gave Pookamook the jar cosies I showed you the other day.
Don't you think Pooks looks like Adele the singer?

Princess gave Bubble a knitted dahlia corsage, hard to see here as it's a
gorgeous aubergine colour

In other news, my pink hair washed out far too quickly so I didn't get any decent photographs. These iPhone pics will have to do.

Been mucking about with my iPhone apps

I had my skull x ray on Tuesday evening. They were so efficient I didn't even have time to get my knitting out. I parked up at 6.25pm and was back in my car by 6.37pm. I didn't owe anything for parking as you get the first 15 minutes for free. Never known such efficiency in the NHS. I know we all moan about our health service but it is flipping good really, over all it's amazing that we get such a high level of care for free (more or less). Anyway, I have gone off on one of my tangents. I asked the Xray technician if I could have a good look at my Xray. I'm a bit weird in that I love anything like that, I even have my long deceased cats Xrays from when she was knocked over by a car. I should have been in the medical profession properly. I used to be a medical rep in days of old and I loved the clinical side of it all. I was obsessed by clinical papers and trials to do with the drugs I was peddling. I was so interested in all the patient case studies these Doctors were trialling my drug in, I used to get really involved, they never divulged personal details but they'd tell me what they though was going on with patient x. I loved that side of it. There was a time when I really felt I should work out a way of retraining to become a Doctor. I would have loved to have been an orthopaedic surgeon. But several things stopped me. I was a bit too old to embark on a 15 year retraining program and I had a mortgage and, this is key, I didn't quite have the brain power to do it either. Maybe next time!! Ha! Oh gosh, gone off piste again..... I had a good stare at the Xray of my skull, I wish I'd taken a photo of it now. It was amazing. All the stuff you can see! I have HOOOOOOGE sinus cavities. That explains my neolithic brow (there's a story behind that description I'll share one day, quite insulting and hilarious at the same time). Pearl earrings show up very well. My chin isn't just a fleshy architectural feature but has a big old bone in it. My brain didn't really show up, it looked like a big vacuous space to me. (No silly jokes thank you very much Mr C, I know you are reading this). There is an obvious mass in my skull bone. It sort of looks like a fried egg attached to and growing out of the skull where my lump is. It's a white coloured mass and I *think* that's a good thing. I've googled bone tumours and they appear as dark grey so I'm hoping this is a nice bump to have. I think we should name my bump. What shall I name it? Actually, lets have a laugh with this and leave your name suggestion below and I'll do that random number generator thing.

Right it's late and I haven't done half the things I was planning this evening as Bubble arrived unexpectedly and stayed for supper. It was really really lovely. I hardly ever have friends just drop by unexpectedly as we live out in the sticks up a spooky country lane.

Night night,


ps. Am silently laughing so that I don't wake up the sleeping beauties of the house but spell check wants to change Pookamook to pock mark and it's tickled me! I must be tired.


  1. Oh my!
    I want to move to England and be your friend and come to your dinner parties (and I mean that in a NON stalking, non creepy way!!!!)
    Your table looks amazing... Like a decorators magazine. Wow.

    The lump? Eggbert.

  2. Ooh lovely photos!! Had a right old mosey around your dining room, I did. Am so nosy, love it... So pretty!! What an ENORMOUS table!! Candles look gorge, so does the food. (although your friend in the 6th photo down -Bambi?-doesn't seem to be enjoying it!!! Ha! Made me laugh.

    It's quite odd to hear you say you feel anxious in unfamiliar places and with strangers because you are truly great at making friends. Nice to hear you're enjoying being home though.

    Take good care, lovely. Fab post xxx

  3. Oh gawd, I meant to text you today to see whether you'd had your lump checked out yet, and I forgot, I'm sorry - I was thinking about you. I've got my fingers crossed that it's all okay.
    Your crafty gatherings sound brill - I keep thinking about starting something similar here, but am just too scared! What if noone came? It would just be me and my cupcakes all on our own...
    Pock mark? Brilliant. I used to work with someone whose surname always came up as Baldy on the spell checker.
    I really must get off the bloody computer now, Mr N's upstairs and it makes me anxious when I'm downstairs on my own...
    Big hugs x

    1. Ha! Baldy! Don't you just love spell checker.

  4. Your lump: Novelty Bobble. You are a Novelty Bobblehead. Ha! (they are funny little collectible toys.... Google em.) the name cracks me up.

  5. Bobblehead! Ha ha! Am still giggling at that word.

  6. Oh god and now I feel guilty for giggling at your lump name. You know I'm super worried about you and waiting for more news when it comes. Xxx night doll face xxxx

  7. What a fab night - I wish I knew lots of clever crafty gals to do the same thing with! Loving your pink hair madam - very funky. As for the lump - I'd call it Larry. Have a wonderful weekend hon.

  8. Oh Cuckoo you are such a dag.......refer bag/bib photo...

    So glad you have founded the Swine Club, I think it sounds wonderful. It's always fun sharing your crafty ways with friends and your dining room looked lovely and sparkly for the special event. It's amazing listing the things that everyone has done through out their life.

    Glad to read you are feeling better and I love the pink hair too.

    Have a fab weekend,

    Claire :}

  9. The Swine Club sounds wonderful, loving the funky pink hair too. Wish I could carry something like that off but suspect it would look nowhere near as chic on me! As for the lump, how about Casper - an amiable white ghostly mass which only shows up under certain circumstances? Lame I know, but like you I'm feeling a bit 'delicate' this morning!

  10. How about Mabel?
    My Additional Benign 'Ed Lump
    My Additional Bumpy Eggy Lump
    My Absolute Bugger (of an) Extra Lump

    My name on spellchecker is Heavier. **** off.


    PS. I want to go to a Swine Club.
    PPS. Give yourself time. x

  11. Like everyone else, I wanna be in your club! It looks like you have a lot of fun.
    I'm glad you're feeling a bit better... good on you for getting to the WI on your own... small steps!

  12. Your home looked like a posh restaurant and it looked like you all had such wonderful fun. I'm curious as to what you did with Mr C and all the boys... Lock them in the garage?
    xXx Helen

  13. Swine club sounds great...combining creating and drinking...sounds like my ideal club. :) Your dining room does look like something out of a lifestyle magazine, stunning. Glad the x-ray went well. I'm useless at thinking up names, the only thing I can think of is my daughter always calls a bump, a "button" (bouton in French). Told you I was useless! Well done at the WI, one day at a time...
    K x

  14. Oh I want to be in your Swine Club! Do you think a four hour drive to and from your house would be worth it?!!!!!! ha ha!

    Loved your pics, loving the bokeh of the fairy lights too. Looks like you all had a great time in your gathering before Christmas. Thai Prawn Curry....heaven on a plate. I've been surviving on soups and fruit these past few weeks.....could do with a prawn curry.......and desperate for plonk! Loved all the gifts exchanged. I was admiring Princess's dress and then realised I have it! Have no idea where it is though, in the depths of some wardrobe. Must get it out!

    Give it time, and you'll be feeling yourself again. Though, how you feel now, sounds like me on a good day. I seriously think I could be happy as a recluse. I need to get out more and face the fear!

    Glad the X-Ray went okay and oodles of positivity that everything is fine with the results. Clinical things like that fascinate me too. When I was 32 weeks pregnant with Baby Bear I had to have a cardio angiogram. It was really fascinating being awake and watching what they were doing inside your arteries on a screen. I mean scary, but fascinating! I always thought it would be great to be a doctor, sadly, the brain cells thought otherwise also!

    Right, school run calls.............xxxxxxxxxxx

    P.s I think Heather had the right idea with MABEL!

  15. Glad the x-ray was efficient and that the tech let you have a look at it and didn't treat it like a huge secret...hope you get the results soon and that they are all fine and dandy. Struggling to think of a name for your lump but if inspiration strikes I'll pop back! And go easy on yourself about the whole crowds, etc. thing, it'll get easier if you give it time and keep trying (rather than avoiding it, which might make it better in the short term but worse in the long term...). Take care x

  16. What a lovely post!! Gorgeous photos!!

    Swine Club sounds fab, *Iwanttojoin*

    Love, love, love the pink hair!!

    My sis is just the same as you re: fascination with all things medical, in October she started Uni doing a health science degree so she can be a cardiac physiologist (she too wanted to be a doctor) so at least she'll be doing something in that area.

    She comes home with all manner of tales involving bits of cadaver and a low point was this week when she had to shop for shoes for her first hospital placement and was instructed to ensure they are wipeable "in case someone vomits on them" *shudder*

    Glad the X-ray went smoothly, fingers-crossed for quick (and inconsequential) results!!

    I think you should call the lump Ludwig - you know after that funny egg cartoon thingy from the 70's (are you old enough to remember I'm now wondering?!!)

    Have a lovely weekend....


    S x

  17. Swine club sounds a hoot , you have inspired me to do the same with a group of crafty friends i have met over the last few years , i think it would be good for the soul !!!! and if it means i get fab secret santa pressies like that then all the better !!!!

  18. Your Swine club sounds fabulous!!! I keep thinking about trying to get a group of crafters together for monthly meets, but keep talking (well, thinking) myself out of it. Perhaps I should go for it - it sounds as though you lot have a LOT of fun!!!
    I'm glad that the x-ray wasn't traumatic for you. Keeping my fingers crossed that the results are good.....
    P.S. Those pink hair shots are gorgeous - you are a very beautiful lady indeed! :-)

  19. You are so lucky to have such a great group of girlfriends to hang out with! Looks like you have loads of fun. I always ask to see my x-rays too, sometimes they don't like it, but hey, it's my body! How about calling your bump Pinky (like your hair).

  20. Im so glad to all went well on Tuesday i think itds interesting to looking at our bodies via xray. When i had one of hip ones taken i had a skirt with a huge button on the front it tiggled my surgeon when he saw it on the xray ;-) Your group sounds fab i started up a bitch and stitch sewing group with my friend and we meet up once a week and its great. We have all bonded and become great friends, so i know just what you mean. Have a lovely weekend, dee xx

  21. Wow, I go away for a holiday and look what happens!!!
    You get a bump, my suggestion is to call it Hieronympous Bump!!!
    Seriously you must be scared about this, sending lots of love and positive vibes to you.
    Love your pink hair, I along with everyone else want to join the Swine club, sadly I have sunburn on the back of my legs at the mo, so don't think I could sit still on a plane for that long............unless you wangled me first class with one of your old contacts from when u were a trolley bird???
    So, catching up on your last couple of posts- love the mural!!!! So much, and love the story of it too. And Little's new cushion, and his cake!!! You are one amazingly talented pink haired lady!!!
    And the Savoy post!!! I loved the pictures, I loved that you took the pictures, I loved that that very nice sous chef took even more pics for you!!!
    Anyway, take care, and I'm thinking of you, and hoping all is good. Which it absolutely will be.

  22. Humphrey. That is my bump name suggestion.
    You are going to have to get your hair done again as Brooke is expecting to see you all pink on Sunday!
    This post is lovely but is making me v jealous. I want to hang out and make stuff!
    Can't wait to see you on Sunday. :oD

  23. Love the idea of the Swine and dine, I wish there was one near me;) It must be great finding real life crafting souls... Love the pink hair so rock chick,really suits you. I hope all's well with the bump,I feel really worried about you and hope all's well with the results.take care ,lovely ,xxx

  24. Pleeeeese don't call your lump Mabel!!! (hope you are reading this Nelly!)
    Glad it's a good lump. Kenzie once had a lump his Dr presumed was a new tumor (quite likely) and it turned out to be an absess. He called it Bob and still talks about Bob 5 years later! (he's proud of his Bob scar!)

    I'm suggesting Bertrude. Or Maud.

    I am SOoooo green not to be in your club I can't tell you. I'm now considering asking Emily if she want to be a club with me....! We could get together and be convinced it's not as good as your club! (she's just down the road)

    Have a good weekend Wonky
    fee x

  25. Looks like you all had the best time. Lovely to get together with friends and have a good old natter. Hope you are feeling ok. xxx

  26. What gorgeous photos! I think we need to see more photos of your house. Looks lovely. Hope all goes well with your test results. Stay positive as you are. Glad your feeling a little better. x

  27. Hello my lovely! You never stop amazing me. YOU are my anti depressent..hope I spelled that right but don't think so. LOVE THE PINK HAIR! I had mine pink too..but with blue at the not me at all! So awesome..I hate that a million miles seperate us! Peas in a pod girl! So glad to hear the get together went so the pics. Got the lighted hook email..I'd say I'd mail you one but it would prolly sit in my office for 6 months before I mailed it! We shall see..did you start your UK blanket yet?? My US one is about done! I may start the UK one next...still debating. Take care..thanks for ALWAYS putting a smile on my face!xoxoxo

  28. I think Bernadette is a lovely name!

  29. Sorry my lovely..maybe this should have been an email instead of all these comments!!! I just reread your post as I often do, and caught all your "undertones" this time. I think I look for the funny cuz you are so funny and I don't see the rest..You don't give yourself credit girl! Look at it this've been ALL OVER THE WORLD..and I've never been more then a few hours from where I was born! So even though you may THINK you fall short compared to some..your actually VERY intersting compared to OTHERS..namely me! lol Not to mention your raising 3 beautiful boys..which is by no means an easy task! Also..being a drug rep you know that those types of meds( I know..I'm bouncing!!) can take 6 up to 8 weeks to be fully may still help with the group issue...I'm rambling me email to you soon! xoxox lol

  30. I left you such a long old ramble of a comment on Friday and then it just deleted when blogger went bad tempered on me so I gave up. Here I am again to say glad to hear you sounding positive about Tuesday, I was thinking of you.

    Great idea your girls crafty group - sorry with the three day interval can't remember name of.

    Here's to a good week.



I L♡VE your comments. Thank you ever so for taking the time. I do try to get back to everyone but I am rather scatty and I have these 3 big distractions....(and I'm just generally a bit rubbish lately, so please don't feel obliged to leave a note) Sorry about the word verification too, too much spam.