Sunny Seven

I DID IT!

I had my birthday and had a wonderful day out at Blists Hill (Read more here )

I had lunch out on Sunday with my family, and then been back to the grindstone at work.

I’ve tracked, and tracked, and tracked.

AND…..

I lost 1/2lb this week. A small drop, but a significant one.

I got my 3rd silver seven – which means I’ve lost 21lbs or 1.5 stone.

This is the equivalent of an automobile tyre and guinea pig. MASSIVE!! (If you want to read the list of equivalents they are here )

So I’ m going to enjoy the feeling of my sunny, shiny, silver seven – and work towards my next mini goal – 10% of my body weight – another 2.5lbs to go!

Wish me luck!

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Blissful Day At Blists Hill

For a birthday treat, my family and my parent’s met up for the day at Blists Hill Victorian Village. This is part of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums near Telford, in Shropshire.

We were running a little early, so stopped off in Ironbridge to walk along the Severn and see the bridge itself.

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As you can see, besides the engineering genius that created it, it’s a spectacularly beautiful place.

Then off we went to Blists Hill.

What a place! All of the buildings are original Victorian buildings rebuilt for historical preservation. They’re all staffed by volunteers dressed appropriately and undertaking crafts, trades and activities that would have happened in that building.

My daughter was fascinated by the bank where she could change her money into old coins and spend them around the museum (mainly in the sweetshop & bakery!)

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I loved the chemists & drapery shops and could have chatted to the shop keepers endlessly.

We had fish & chips from the Fried Fish Emporium – so tasty (not great for the diet but hey Ho!).

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The children adored going in and out of the houses and were full of questions, that the volunteers were brilliant at answering.

I watched the carpenter carving rocking horses, and chatted to the chandler about candle making for ages!

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There was a fairground with rides and games – my other half won a coconut!

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My boy was rather taken with the ‘drunken soldier’ who informed him he could sign up to the army when he was 8, and no girls allowed!

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I was fascinated by the squatters cottage. These were cottages built by people who worked on the estates in any land they could find, as they couldn’t get married without a home for the girl to move into. They were built with stone left from the mine, and wood chopped from the nearby wood. The one I saw had 3 rooms – a living area/kitchen, a bedroom and a pantry. At one point 9 people had lived there. They were fined by the Earl for ‘stealing’ the land. This was approximately 2 weeks wages, and as long as they paid up twice a year for 60 years they would own the house & the land it stood on. Of course, 60 years was well beyond life expectancy, but very often the houses were handed down to children who kept paying.

All around the village, people were preparing for the diamond jubilee – Victoria’s! I love the newspaper bunting in the houses.

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We all got into the spirit of the museum, and treated ourselves to a dressing up & portrait session. I think we make quite a decent Victorian family!

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We had a wonderful day, I’d go back again as there was so much I didn’t get to see.

Bliss!

Bumpy Birthday

Well it’s week 20, and I’ve had a loooooooooong week.

Been working to a deadline that wa going well until some technical issues meant that at 6.15pm last night I realised I was still 2hrs away from finishing. I dashed home, kissed the ids good night, shoved a ready meal in the oven and finished work at 9.15pm.

Hey Ho! Today is my birthday, and I was hoping to get at least 0.5lb off to hit my 1.5stone mini goal. It was not to be.

I’ve stayed the same. Which still leaves me with 20.5lbs in 20 weeks gone.

My family have bought me some very thoughtful birthday presents – mainly the components to make my own hazelnut lattes. Yum!

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So down to earth with a bump, but onwards towards next week with a determined face!!!

Knot Sew Easy

I enjoy attempting to make things with my children, unfortunately, I take after my mother and do not find crafting things comes naturally.

I have to work quite hard at things like sewing, and even if I follow instructions to the letter, the end results very rarely match the example that caught my eye!

My grandma tried to teach me to knit as a child, however it’s a skill that unless practised, can be lost – and it’s well over 25 years since my lessons, and I’ve recently found myself wishing I could still do it.

While meandering around a homewares shop the other week, a set of knitting looms caught my eye. If you ever had a knitting dolly as a child, they are larger versions of these. And the set I found had ‘simple’ instructions in how to knit a beany hat.

So I thought, let’s give it a go!

I started on the smallest of the four looms, and created a hat.

It was tiny. So I gave it to my daughter’s doll. Within 2 hours it began to unravel.

Dolly Hat

More research about finishing off was required.

I found some great websites with ideas, so attempt number 2 was a snood/cowl for my daughter on the next sie up loom.

It was too small.

Can you see a pattern forming? (No pun intended!)

I went back to the hat idea, and went up to the next largest loom.

I finished the hat for my son today. No problems with unravelling this time. Just size,

Yes, it’s too small again! I think I’m doing something with the tension in the wool, that means that when I finish off, it pulls the hem tight. More research required.

Having said that – my boy seems quite happy and has been wearing it to play in.

Hat Front

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More research required, I’m not downhearted as each attempt has been more successful than the last.

Any tips welcome!

Tiptoe Along the Towpath

What a lovely afternoon.

On Good Friday, I wrote about a walk we took along the local canal network. (read more here)

Today, we took a slightly different route. We got the train from Dudley Port up to Coseley. Then walked back.

The weather was glorious, although plenty of muddy puddles were left from the recent downpours.

We saw some barges and picked flowers. It was just a lovely walk in the fresh air

It really blew the cobwebs away after all the recent rain.

Here’s a few pictures to remember the day.

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My husband took some 360 degree pictures that you can view:

360 degree (1)

360 degree (2)

And here’s the map of the route we took:

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Hard to believe we live in an urban area!

Knit One, Drop Two!

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I’ve worked from home two days this week. I like the freedom of it but I do miss the company.

One thing I have found, is that I’m really having to make an effort to have a proper lunch. It is far too easy to graze or skip meals – which is NOT what I’m trying to do with my lifestyle – the idea is to learn healthy habits.

I’ve also found I’m not snacking/getting TV munchies as I’m trying to learn to knit. My hands and brain are distracted, and I’m quite enjoying the challenge. I managed a dolly hat for my daughter’s doll, although I’ve still got a lot to learn, it can unravelled 24 hrs later – but it’s a start!

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I’ve just been for my weekly weigh in, and I’m delighted!

I’ve lost 2lbs this week, which means I’ve lost 20.5lbs in total.

Just 0.5lb to go to my next mini target of 1.5 stones.

So let’s hope this week I don’t drop any stitches – only pounds!

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Walking & Working

Well this week has been uneventful!

Been working as usual, but lately I’ve started walking down the 7 flights of stairs at work, so I can ratch up the steps on my pedometer.

The one I’ve got is the WW one. It’s expensive but I like the fact it tells you when you’ve reached a healthy number of steps for your height/weight. After that, it converts your steps into activity points.

My main aim is to hit ‘healthy’ everyday as my job is very sedentary, and I’ve achieved that everyday this week.

On Wednesday, I worked from home, do spent the day on the couch! So I made a point of going for a walk at lunch time – just to get some fresh air & notch up the steps.

I even walked to the polling station in the rain to make sure I got up to healthy yesterday!

So weekly weigh in has shown a 0.5lb weight loss, which brings my total up to 18.5lbs in all.

So I’m striding off into the distance with a smile on my face!

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