We’re going on holiday!

Have you noticed the adverts on telly have switched from toys and food to holidays and diets? This is inevitable for this time of year, I think, but it really does show how consumer driven we all are.

I include myself in that. I’m back on my perennial January diet (New Year’s Resolution numero uno – a la Bridget Jones, obviously will lose half my body weight!) To aid myself in this endeavour I have purchased the aria Fitbit scales that I’ve wanted forever! These are the ultimate lazy scales! You don’t even have to log your weight, it gets sent straight to your Fitbit app and charts your progress.

They do, of course, allow for non Fitbit-obsessed husbands to also use them (after all, it wouldn’t be the best marketing strategy if the whole household had to have a Fitbit now would it?) It means his weight is also transmitted to my Fitbit, but he doesn’t care about that although I would be mortified if it were the other way round. He can eat cookies and crisps and down gallons of sugary drinks 24/7 without a murmur from the scales let alone a full on groan of squished pain!

You can imagine my surprise when I checked my Fitbit app yesterday and found this ….

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Now, slender as hubby is, 10.1 lbs he is not. What has occurred? thought I. Curious! Then, this morning whilst in the shower with the scales residing at the end of the bath I noticed a little furry white face looking at me! Olive has obviously become health conscious and decided to monitor her weight! Goodness! Have I passed on my somewhat unhealthy obsession with my weight to little Olive? She’s perfect as she is!

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Anyhow, the motivation for the weight loss regime (mine, not Olive’s) aside from the fact that only one pair of my work trousers fits comfortably at the moment, is a couple of upcoming holidays.

As we flumped our way out of the festive period we had two holidays planned for 2019, however, as is my wont, I have now booked another, rather more imminent holiday. I have to do something to make January less Januaryish (and preferably, February less Februaryish too) and more often than not, that involves booking a holiday.

I did briefly toy with the idea of splashing out on a short break to Iceland so that we could hopefully get to see the Northern Lights. However, the old purse would’ve been considerably lighter in this case and there’s obviously no guarantee that the old Aurora Borealis would play ball and show up on cue (how gutting would that be?) Then two people who know me better than most both looked at me in something akin to amazement crossed with horror when I floated this idea and said ‘but you hate the cold!’ There has never been a more true statement!

So, I decided we should make like geese and fly south. The obvious choice is the Canaries for Winter sun, but I just couldn’t seem to get excited by any of the islands. Don’t get me wrong, I like the Canaries (or the three of them that I’ve visited at least) but I was craving something a bit less Katie Price and rather more Victoria Coren Mitchell.

So, we’re going here ….

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Just over three weeks and off we’ll go. If you look at Malta on the map, it’s in line with northern Africa so in theory the weather should be pleasant. Not as warm as the Canaries admittedly, but we should get to feel the sun on our skin (hopefully, please oh sacred God of Sun). Whatever, it would be a sad day for Malta if it was ever as cold as the UK!

We’ve booked a really cute little studio apartment in the capital, Valletta, through Airbnb. I was sold by this picture of the view from the Juliet balcony.

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Doesn’t it look pretty?

I love love love holiday planning. I adore leafing through a guidebook to find the best things to do, the scrummiest food to eat, and the secret hideaways that only locals know about. I get to write lists! What to remember to do before we go, what to pack. Ooh ooh ooh and an ITINERARY! I get to make an itinerary! What to do, when to do it, how to get there, what to take, how much it costs, what to wear. Oooooooooooh! It’s exciting!

I almost hate to tell you what the downside of all this is. Ryanair! That’s the downside! I hate giving luggage charging, strictly one piece of hand baggage, general money grabbing Michael O’Leary any of my hard earned cash, but he’s got you by the short and curlies (and he knows it!) It’s best for my blood pressure if I don’t talk about Ryanair any more, but, just to cheer up anyone else who has the same aversion to hearing that flipping bugle toot as you land on time (mainly because they didn’t clean the plane from the inbound flight leaving you to extract the sticky sweet papers from your own seat, and then bullied you down the aisle so fast that you tripped over the person in front’s cabin baggage (40 x 20 x 25cm and not a millimetre more) which would’ve been checked in and out of the way if they didn’t charge you for the pleasure and then don’t let you get up from your seat to speak to your husband who’s sitting three rows behind you because you refused to be forced to pay to choose seats together) here’s a link to a hilarious Fascinating Aida song which is completely based on Ryanair (it’s got to be!)

Anyway, Ryanair excepted (or should that be, accepted, through lack of choice?) I can’t wait! I’ve got a lot of crochet to get on with, and a lot of gardening ideas fizzing away in my head that need refining, but I’m planning to spend a good proportion of tomorrow devouring my guidebook and starting to play with my ITINERARY!

If anyone’s been to Malta and has any tips, I’d be really grateful to hear them, but for now, have a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

Little Box of Crochet Advent Calendar

A really quick post this evening because I want to share the fact that I actually managed to finish all my Little Box of Crochet advent calendar before Christmas is officially over!

I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up with one a day throughout advent, but I’ve got the finished articles now for Christmases to come. Some of the days decorations were quicker than others, but I was so busy in the run up to Christmas that I think I only managed to stay up to date until 4th December. I’m not the only one though – I’ve been following #lbcadvent on Instagram and other people are still posting their makes now. As they say. It’s not winning the race that matters, but taking part.

Anyway, here they are in all their glory.

I bought a special little tree just for these lovely little home makes.

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I think I should apologise for my dubious attempt at the baby Jesus (the one with the bizarre yellow bits sticking out that is actually supposed to be straw in the manger). It really did look better in the book.

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I’m not really sure where I went wrong!

Anyway, must dash – have a very important CAL (crochet-a-long) from Attic24 to get going on. I’ve been impatient to start all weekend, but needed to get these little Christmassy makes done first.

 

Six on Saturday 5th January 2019

I think that’s the first time I’ve typed 2019. Feels weird!

I’m currently sat in the hairdressers waiting for my hair to ‘cook’….

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….. so I thought I’d take the opportunity to do my Six on Saturday. Note to self: don’t ever grow your fringe out!

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Callicarpa Bodinieri. This doesn’t look like much at the moment, but it will. It will have small lilac flowers in the summer but its USP is its purple berries that appear in the Autumn. You can see the last vestiges of them still clinging on for dear life. When I first saw these in Notcutts before Christmas they were covered in dozens of bright purple berries and they clean took my breath away as I rounded the corner and saw them! I love purple so what could be better? It’s going to grow pretty big so I need to decide on where to plant I carefully.

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This was a sale table find. There have been slim pickings on the old sale table since we’ve left the summer behind us, but I spied this beauty and had to have it. At half price (plus my 10% Notcutts discount) it would’ve been rude not too! It’s a Euonymous and it will grow to about seventy five centimetres. It will have white leaf tips in the summer which has earned it the nickname white candle. I had the perfect spot in mind for it as soon as I saw it!

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This beautiful sempervivum pot was also on the sale table. I’ve been eyeing these up all summer but didn’t want to pay full price for it so imagine my glee when I spotted it on the sale table. I have a place in mind for this as well, but I need to do some more preparation first. All will be revealed at a later date.

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Meet Cyril the one eyed snail. Due to his disability he was also half price. I think my husband has rubbed off on me. He’s a sucker for all things disabled or disadvantaged. I saw Cyril slithering around on the sale table on Wednesday and didn’t buy him, but when he was still there on Thursday I decided to take him to a good home in case he got resigned to the rubbish heap otherwise!

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I’ve already written a post about my lovely new greenhouse (check it out here) but I couldn’t do my Six on Saturday without mentioning it. It was a Christmas present and I built it on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. It took longer than anticipated, and I ran out of light on the first day! I’m so pleased with it, and I have big plans for it – watch this space!

Staging! The staging was also a Christmas pressie but it didn’t arrive until this week. I put them together this morning – dead easy, just slotted together. Don’t they look the part in situ? Can’t wait to get sowing and put them to good use.

Did you spy Cyril and the Euonymous beautifying the outside! I put Cyril with his good eye facing out so he can see! This is going to be the prettiest greenhouse ever by the time I’ve finished!

There you have my Six for this week. Do pop over to the Propagator’s page to check out his six and check out the comments for more people taking part.

Happy Saturday all!