Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Photo an Hour l 21st March

06.35 : Up frightfully early for a weekend because I was about to embark on a huge journey. Not before fuelling up with Marmite on toast & a cup of tea though.

07.20 : In the car and ready to drive down the M5 to Somerset to visit my Dad. The prospect of a 3.5 hour trip down there was not making me feel excited.

09.25 : No photo for 8am as driving (safety first everyone!) But I did have a stop off at the Services after hitting a stressful diversion on the M5 which was closed for 4 junctions due to a lorry overturning and spilling about 600 litres of fuel all over the place.

11.10 : Destination reached! Hurrah! Cup of tea for the weary traveller.

12.30 : Oh no I'm back in a car again! But luckily not driving this time. Instead we were headed for an adventure...

13.30 : To the sea!! I love the sea! Technically not the sea, but the English Channel. And a stroll along the beach at Burton Bradstock. It was beautiful and there will obviously be a separate blog post devoted to it where I will spam your face with pictures of it.

14.30 : Some people go to the beach and have fish & chips - I do it in style baby. Messy style, but style nonetheless.

15.40 : Back at home and Shadow is not a happy girl. She did not enjoy the water and did not enjoy the sand. It's safe to say she's not a beach fan.

16.30 : Sat down to do a spot of crocheting, obviously there's something new on my hook...

17.30 : Dedication people. I will get back into running, I will. And so determined was I that I brought my stuff with me to go for a run at my Dad's. Not one of my best decisions, Crewkerne is absolutely littered with hills. They are everywhere. And because I was just aimlessly running I didn't know where I was going and I swear at one point I thought I had devised a route which only contained uphill streets and I was never going to make it back down again. Still. Felt smug at the end of it though.

18.30 : Back crocheting and admiring my awesome stitch markers.

19.40 : It's starting to take shape - but can you tell what it is yet?!

20.15 : Late dinner of breakfast. Obviously.

21.20 : What? More crochet? Oh go on then.

22.30 : BED. Too much adventuring for one girl to take.


Thanks as always to Jane and Louisa for hosting. Check in with them to find out the date for April's Photo an Hour post and don't forget to join in on Twitter and/or Instagram using #PhotoAnHour

2015 Photo an Hour posts

Friday, 20 March 2015

Edward's Menagerie - Rufus the Lion

Never one to leave my hook idle for long, and hot on the heels of Caitlin the Giraffe came this fellow...

I know. I could die too. 

That face.

Rufus worked up incredibly quickly, especially compared to Caitlin the Giraffe as there were a lot less colour changes happening and it was almost before I knew it that I was on to his head and that amazing mane of his.

The mane definitely requires a closer look...

It's so clever (and simple) although time consuming and a bit of a yarn guzzler. You just make a simple chain and then slip stitch the end of it back into the head, make another chain, slip stitch it back into the head further along, and so on and so on until you have lots of chain loops which look rather marvellous once you're all done.

At the beginning it does look strange and doesn't look as if it's going to come together and look right, but carry on with it and trust me it all starts to fall into place. But definitely leave time to do it - I spent a couple of evenings working on this fabulous mane of his.

I'm annoyed I didn't take a closer picture of his tail which is also worked in a similar fashion to the mane, with chain loops stitched back into the base of the tail.

He does have a very long snout which I've gone back and forth about whether I love it or not. It looks completely right when you see him in real life but I don't think that profile shots are his best angles. But then I could say the same about myself.

My love for all things from this book continues unabated, so much so that I have already completed my next item from it and hopefully by the time you are reading this, it is with its new owner and ready for a reveal on the blog.

Now if only I could make something from this book for myself...


Pattern from Edward's Menagerie. My review of the book can be found here.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Discovering Instagram...

I do enjoy being extraordinarily late to a party you know.

For years and years I have resisted the lure of the iPhone. Mainly because I'm the only person on the planet who doesn't find Apple technology intuitive to use at all, and also because there was a little bit of the twat in me who wanted to be a bit different.

I caved.

When it came to upgrading I didn't like any of the Android offerings so I decided to take the plunge. I still don't find the technology intuitive but the good thing is that in this day and age you're never more than 2 foot away from someone who can show you how to use an iPhone.

One of the first things downloaded on to my phone?


I've had a Windows Phone for 2 years and I have been one of their biggest supporters for a really long time. Or I've tried to be. But the total lack of access to Apps was just slowly killing me. And especially killing me was the fact that I couldn't get on Instagram - I was stood with my nose pressed up against the glass watching everyone else have fun with their selfies and their filters whilst I stood out in the cold.

The forward facing camera is also a new revelation in my life. My old phone didn't have one, selfies were either an impossibility or an extreme pain in the backside involving a lot of guess work and a steady hand. I always thought I wasn't really a selfie person but the sheer number of photos of my face in the below collage seems to indicate that I was just looking for the right means...

1: My first Instagram photo. A family portrait of me and the gerbils. Thank goodness for the forward facing camera or this photo would have been too difficult to capture.

2: Telecons that go on for 2 hours should be banned

3: But tea and knock-off jelly beans can make everything feel better

4: Me and my bestie, Rowan. I love that face so much, I can't believe she is 9 already

5: Some people are culture vultures, I just have culture gerbils. Here is Tyrion Lannister catching up on some reading. (Yes he did later start to eat the book)

6: My first food photo on Instagram. A killer bacon sandwich with spare sausage to help chase away a Saturday hangover.

7: I've been crocheting - what's it going to be, and more importantly, who is it for? All will be revealed.

8: I got my paintbrushes out and started making over a pretty boring side table. And nearly killed myself with paint fumes in the meantime. Why is DIY never straightforward for me?

9: I am determined to get myself back into running. I am. It has been a bit faltering this year but I took myself  out after work for a little 3km stumble and it wasn't all bad. Did I run the whole thing? No I didn't. Do I care? No, for the first time ever I genuinely don't. This revelation needed to be recorded.


Do you like photos and vidoes of gerbils? If so do feel free to give me a follow @Shippers1983

Monday, 16 March 2015

Tinder 101

The funny thing about being single is that everyone wants to live their lives vicariously through you. People are desperate for me to go out and get dating - I'm not entirely sure if they are more interested in seeing me meet a nice man or in me having some terrible dating experience which they can dine out on when sat around with their other coupled up friends.

I don't think I am quite 'there' when it comes to having a relationship but I am willing to try and dip my toes in the water. The modern internet dating world is a complete unknown to me and I feel bewildered at the prospect of it.

But on a night out with a couple of the girls I was persuaded to download the most ubiquitous of dating apps....Tinder.


So for the uninitiated here is a quick run down of what it's all about:

1. You connect through your Facebook account (it doesn't post to Facebook, but if you don't have a Facebook account, no Tinder for you)

2. You say what aged men you're looking for and you set the radius that you're interested in looking in.

3. You get swiping!

4. A picture of a boy comes up - you like it you swipe right, you don't like it you swipe left

5. If you're not so sure you can tap on their picture and look at some other pictures they have uploaded (max. of 6) and also see if they have written a description (500 characters max.)

6. If you swipe left and reject them you'll never see them again

7. If you swipe right and it turns out that they've also swiped right on your picture then you get this message...

8. And you're free to start messaging that person.

9. You decide you don't like them after all, you can un-match from them and can also block people who you feel have been inappropriate.


Let's all face it. This is not the app were you are likely to meet your future husband. But there's no pretence about it - it is based on looks only, that's why your picture comes up first and you are not required to put any information about yourself. And like the picture above says - it's a game. 

And it really is a game. And it's also oddly addictive. It became something that I was just doing when I was bored and watching TV. Swipe, swipe, swipe, judge, judge, judge.


As a first step into internet dating it's actually great. The rejection aspect of it is minimal/non-existent - if people aren't interested in you, you'll never know about it because they just won't appear in your feed. You probably swipe right to loads of people that don't ever swipe right to you but you can't remember them because you have been swiping so. many. people. that they all blur into one.

And when you match with someone it's the best ego boost ever ("I am fanciable! Someone does like me!") and it is like winning. I described it as similar to winning on a slot machine, but without coins falling everywhere.

Even better than all of this though and the potential of finding a nice guy there is the chance to find some absolute gems from the guys out there.

For instance...

Check it out. This guy dislikes "Inappropriate use of grammar " and likes "Tattoo's"



Or this little gem...

Excuse me whilst I heave.


It also important to go back to your profile after you've set it up and check the photos that it has pulled through from Facebook. It will automatically pull through your first few profile pictures. Which is great, as long as you remember what your profile pictures have been in the past. 

For instance...

You on your wedding day. Lovely.


People will use their 500 characters in a myriad of ways. Some guys will be pretty open about the fact that they are looking for love. Some will be pretty open that they're looking for fun. Some will come laden with their own baggage, like this guy...



The best thing about Tinder?

I think it's going to provide me with a lot more blog fodder in the future...

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Can't blog, reading

I seem incapable of focusing on more than one thing at the moment. Once life starts happening, blogging stops happening, which shouldn't really come as a surprise to me.

Anyway, I've been reading and then talking about said reading for Alex's March Blogging Good Read and you can go and read about what I read by clicking right HERE.

Go get some book recommendations.

Monday, 2 March 2015

The Weekend in (not real) Verbs


Lots of debating happened over #TheDress - pretty much anyone I've come across since Friday has asked me this question. I am well in the gold and white camp. It doesn't change colour for me like it seems to for others, my jaw actually dropped open when I saw a picture of the actual dress. A friend who sees blue and black said to me that she wished she could take out her eyes so that I could see what she sees. As a less violent offering I can show you this photo - these are the colours that I see the dress...

Dog Petting

I went to visit Mum's friend to help her learn how to use her Smartphone. It was every bit as painful as it sounds. But the upside is that I got to see Ozzie with his floppy ear, whom I love very much.


Not just any kind of shopping but my particularly favourite kind of shopping. The kind that involves you not actually spending any money. I have some vouchers from Christmas and I ran round Matalan like a whirling dervish trying to pick up as many things as possible. Including this bedding which I came home and put on my bed immediately; a testament to how much I love it because I really hate making the bed.


I had an urge to go to the sea whilst I was vaguely near it. Living in the Midlands is nice for access reasons, lots of things aren't too far away, unless you want to get to the sea. Then the sea is far. Very very very very far.

So Mum and I headed to Hornsea for the most typical English visit to the seaside ever in that we ate fish & chips, bundled up against the howling wind and looking at very ominous grey skies.

In other words, it was brilliant.

Fred and Lily-ing

You didn't think I'd forgotten about them did you? Obviously not. Fred and Lily were in true crazy Fred and Lily mode. Just look at the photo of Lily's completely manic face at the prospect of being in the vicinity of crisps and dip. And Fred has a fun new trick - jumping on top of the door and then trying to get you as you walk past into the kitchen.

When they are not being totally mad, they are still mostly fond of relaxing, something which Lily is particularly good at doing...