Thursday, 18 December 2014

Yarn Along

Joining in with the Yarn Along, but the book I have just finished was so epic that I have given it its own post here. The knitting at this time of year is typically vague. My siblings have decided that we should exchange gifts on Sunday, so I'll be knitting through the night until then I guess! Bob is a big fan of pulling needles out of knitting, so I've got to be a bit sneaky about it.

This sweet little Aviatrix is off to its new home with a special new lady, after I finally got a button on it. I hope it keeps you warm over your first winter, sweet Lily!

Sausages and I are still crafting away. I found a box of salt dough shapes that we failed to paint a previous Advent, so we had a go at those. Sausages went for a minimalist look...

And he refused to co-operate over paper plate angels, but I think they are sweet!

My candy cane star fell down in the night. So we ate it! Nuff said, really.

I hope you are all having a lovely festive time, whichever winter festival you embrace, even if it's the secular one of spending time with family and treating each other. Wishing you all peace and love in your lives.


Dr Jack Newman's Guide to Breastfeeding: a review

The boys are keeping me in my toes at the moment. I think they're both going through developmental leaps and growth spurts all at the same time, plus Bob has his first proper germs, so I'm a pretty tired mama and just dipping my toes into blogland at the moment, while I do a bit of hibernating with my boys.

I finally finished Dr Jack Newman's Guide to Breastfeeding, which I have been reading for two months now, so here's my review.*

This book is divided into clear chapters by breastfeeding subject, but unlike many other books I have read on the subject, the book has a definite medical focus, and the more social aspects of breastfeeding, such as sleep and duration of breastfeeding, feature in more brief chapters at the end of the book. As a breastfeeding mother, I think I came to this book with a natural skepticism about what a male doctor has to say on the matter. Wherever mothers come together the tales of bad advice and incorrect information from health professionals make your hair curl! Dr Newman runs a prestigious infant feeding clinic in Canada, and his co-author is a La Leche League leader who has written or co-written several other books on breastfeeding, including a personal favourite The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.

This book offers great practical advice for breastfeeding mothers and their supporters in the form of clear step-by-step guides to techniques and photographs, but also by giving links along the way to further information and especially videos from Dr Newman's website. This means that the book provides a larger amount of resources for dealing with problems than many other books. Where lack of experience is the problem, this is often the difference between breastfeeding and not breastfeeding for a mother and child. For example, this book offers several pages on recognising and dealing with post-birth oedema in the breasts, a problem I experienced and none of my midwives recognised. I had a nasty bout of mastitis before I stumbled across Dr Newman's resources. This book is committed to the La Leche philosophy of "breastfeeding solutions to breastfeeding problems," and recognises that not only is artificial milk deleterious to the breastfeeding relationship, but also bottles, because of the harmful effect of nipple confusion to the breastfeeding relationship. This is an unpopular point to make. but the authors combine it with a range of practical suggestions for alternatives. One slightly controversial suggestion they make is that in the case of low supply, it might be better to introduce solids alongside breastfeeding from an early age, such as 4 months, rather than introduce a bottle of artificial milk. This is an interesting proposition, and weighs the risks of early weaning lower than the risks associated with artificial milks and the use of a bottle. It follows Newman's commitment that the breastfeeding relationship should be preserved at great lengths, and his understanding that the relationship is about more than nutrition, immunity, or future health: it is an essential feature of the relationship between mother and child.

One of the rather brilliant results of the medicalised nature of this book is that it deals with the instances where mothers are sometimes unnecessarily urged by medical professionals to give up breastfeeding. In the chapters on medication, maternal illness, and children with special requirements, Dr Newman gives a rough guide to these instances, and when if ever breastfeeding should be discontinued for the benefit of the child. So many mothers are advised to stop or suspend breastfeeding in order to take a medication for themselves that would not actually harm their child through breastfeeding, and the breastfeeding relationship is lost through the ignorance of the person supposedly giving care. 

One theme that recurs throughout this book is the conviction that low supply is common, and the true cause of many breastfeeding problems that are commonly misdiagnosed as reflux and other conditions. The authors attribute any fussing or pulling off from the breast to reduced flow. This book suggests that breast compression to speed up flow, and immediate use of domperidone (a drug that can boost milk supply), are the best options. To my mind this neglects the important relationship between the baby and the breast, and the supply-and-demand nature of breastfeeding. Although Dr Newman's solution is no doubt effective, I believe that if we can trust the mother's body and the baby to work it out between themselves, they usually can. The problem lies in the fact that our society does not allow them the space and time to do so. New mothers feel that they should be up and doing housekeeping, back at school or work, and should not spend the day topless with a naked baby, letting the breastfeeding relationship regulate itself.

Despite these small reservations I think every Health Visitor and General Practitioner should read this book. They are on the front line of supporting breastfeeding families and their education on the subject is patchy at best. This book makes a fantastic reference guide to solving the most common, and some less common, problems encountered. The photographs and linked videos are an incredible resource for supporters of breastfeeding families. It is a real shame that the photographs in this book have to be in black and white, because I squinted at a few and still couldn't work out what I was supposed to be seeing, so I hope that a hard backed, colour photo copy is available for medical reference. And I hope that a few people read this review and go on to use these resources to improve their care giving.

Thanks for reading, I know many friends and family don't know why I prattle on about supporting breastfeeding families, but the reality is that there is so little good support out there, and it is so difficult to access, that if we could make it more mainstream then so many mothers and children would be better off. 

Take care!


*I did receive a no-strings review copy of this book

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Advent Yarn Along

Well 'tis the season for gift knitting, and I'm still working on this cabled beast. I've ripped and restarted it several times, but I have high hopes of finishing it today or tomorrow. Now I'm close to the end I'm seriously considering a matching something, but I presume I won't have time, since it will have to go on the end of the list.

As for reading, I'm nearly at the end of my proper book and am planning a review for next week, so do come back if you're interested in breastfeeding and supporting breastfeeding families. Mostly what I am reading comes from the boys' Advent book box. Below are this year's additions, featuring a photobomb from Bob, who is VERY into books all of a sudden. He's a page-turning pro! I loved the That's not my... books when Sausages was little, but he doesn't like to be encouraged to do things, and never felt the pages as we read. Bob has no such reservations and LOVES to rub the pages with those soft, plump, sticky little hands!

The Dinosaur That Pooped Christmas is actually very good. Which is for the best, since I am required to read it about ten times a day. J R R Tolkien's Letters From Father Christmas is a little gift for Sausages and I to share. We had the picture book version at home when I was a child, and he will read it when we go there over Advent and Christmas, but I'm sneaking in a couple of letters a day during "quiet time" in the afternoon.

Sausages' Advent calendar is up. I wanted to find a different set of text to go in the pockets, but ended up using the same one as last year because I didn't really find anything else I liked as much. If you like them, you can find the free printable here. If you'd care to comment on what colour we should paint that wall, feel free! (I hate red)

We've been crafting away during quiet time. Sausages loved making these icicles. Mostly he wanted all of the sparkly and star shaped beads to himself, and was disinclined to make his wiggly, but that's fine!

Similarly he followed his own path with these reindeer! I feel strongly that children should be allowed to find their own creative path. I know that if I try to influence or even engage with Sausages on how to approach a craft he will refuse it. I have been delighted to craft a bit more with him recently, it's been a while and I've missed it!

Don't forget to pop over to Frontier Dreams and Small Things to check out what others are crafting and reading. Try not to add to your Christmas to-do list though, I'm sure it's long enough already! Let me know what you're up to, I love to hear from you!


Sunday, 23 November 2014

Mindblowing Bread!

We finally have our oven in the new Wailliewaillie home, but it remains unconnected for various boring reasons. We've been buying our bread, but it's not like real bread. This weekend I decided that surely there must be a way, made up a batch of basic dough, and bunged it in the slow cooker!

Please excuse the hole in the top of the loaf, I was testing to see whether it was baked inside. After the first rise I kneaded the bread and put it in the well-oiled slow cooker. I turned the slow cooker straight on to high, so the second rise happened while the slow cooker was warming up. I left the bread in until I could clearly see the golden crust forming on the bottom. It was about 2 hours, but all slow cookers are different. I know one of mine runs hotter than the other, so watch your bread if you're having a go.

In a predictable outcome, the (very soft) crust of this bread is on the bottom. It is beautifully baked, not doughy on squidging, and not at all crumbly. I did use conventional yeast, since I do not currently have a starter culture on the go, and I have never made such a beautiful loaf from conventional yeast. The softness of the bread makes it perfect for sandwiches. Husband and I couldn't resist trying it as soon as it came out, and it made a great toastie too! Home cooked ham from the slow cooker, of course.

Sometimes I think my bread might be a little too crusty for the boys, so I think this might be a good option for them, and next time I might try rolls. I'm so pleased that it worked out so well! Have you ever tried this? Will you be giving it a go now? I suppose there's no reason to unless your oven is broken or you are worried about your bread burning...because you might get tied up feeding a baby or something. Do let me know what interesting things you've had in your slow cooker lately!


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Pre-Advent Excitement

A busy week here! The Bun Hat for Husband is finished and looks pretty lush, if I do say so myself. I changed it a little by not reading the pattern and carrying the garter brim for 4 inches rather than 1, but the garter looks rather lush and I'm not bothered. I also added an extra inch to the flap, and just under an inch to the height, because Husband has big hair. He gets sore ears in the cold and wind, and this shape is going to cover his ears beautifully! The yarn is Twilleys of Stamford Freedom Spirit Chunky. It's 100% wool and 100% gorgeous! So soft, and it's going to be so warm. Sausages chose it for Husband quite some time ago, so I might see if I can manage a little bun for him with the leftovers. He has a massive head, so it might not be possible. 

This is only the first piece of Christmas knitting I have managed to finish so far. I think I might be in trouble, since it took me nearly a week to knit one little hat! Time is in short supply with two active boys to run around after. Bob in particular requires ten hands and ten eyes to manage!

I'm still working on what I was reading last week, and I've slipped in a few distractions. In my Christmas box, along with the decorations and wrapping paper bought last January in the sale,  keep a stash of Christmassy craft magazines. This year Husband has treated me to a couple more for the stash, and they both have little decoration kits on the front. I'd love to make these at some point! I love Advent, it's absolutely my favourite time of the year. I love the cold and dark, the preparation for Christmas, the sense of waiting. Last year we spent Advent waiting for Bob, which was rather magical. This year we are starting the prep early, and it's really making our new house feel like Home.

Christmas crafting with Sausages has begun. This week we made snowflakes by gluing sticks together and covering with glue and glitter. I also made a couple of Christmas tree shapes, and they look lovely together, balanced on or fanlights.

Sausages was the self-appointed guardian of the glitter. He measured every speck I used, while pouring entire pots onto his own snowflakes. He's the boss!

Have you started your Christmas and Advent prep yet? Do you have any craft suggestions for Sausages? Pop over to the Yarn Along and Keep Calm Craft On to see what everyone else is working on this week.


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Snatching Time

Just a quick post to share what I've been knitting and reading this week with the Yarn Along and Keep Calm Craft On.

The desperate attempt to knit more Christmas gifts than I have time for has begun with this hat for husband, after a fruitless evening recently spend frogging the back of his Christmas jumper. It was supposed to be for last Christmas. Adult sized garments are a bore!

I'm reading the Newman/Pitman Guide to Breastfeeding where I can, and will post a review when I'm finished. It has quite a different layout to other breastfeeding books I have read (probably more than most!), and I'm interested to see how this works throughout the book.

I am keeping the Yarn Harlot in the car for sleeping child situations, but have only just read a couple of pages, because it is so rare that both boys are asleep at the same time. My, this woman is funny! I must pass this on to my mum to read when I'm finished. But she'll have to give it back afterwards! We finished listening to Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom in the car and Sausages has chosen Ngaio Marsh's Opening Act next, which we are enjoying a lot. Mr Fox is Sausages' favourite character, although I don't really know how much he is taking in. He requests it, anyway. I do like the gentle, dated style of Ngaio Marsh's writings, along with the other Queens of Crime: Agatha Christie; Dorothy L Sayers; and Margery Allingham.

What are you reading and crafting this week? I'd love to hear from you! Let me know if you have made the recipes from this week, I know some of you have through personal messages but I'd love to see the evidence!


Monday, 10 November 2014

Spicey is Nicey!

Autumn is such a richly sensory time; there is a panoply of sights, sounds, scents, textures and tastes that make the season. When we lived in the fens we had the ethereal mists, Ely Cathedral rising from a whitewashed landscape. Now we live by the sea we have sea fog and wet wind.

The boys and I met up with my parents at Hinton Ampner this weekend for a stomp, although it absolutely chucked it down and we ended up spending most of our time having a picnic and a cuppa under their giant umbrellas.

Their kitchen garden was a visual feast, and a testament to many hours, nay years of hard work.

At this time of year a hot drink can be a special experience. It highlights the contrast between warmth and the cold and wet outside. I have two favourite autumnal drinks to share with you: pumpkin spiced syrup; and mulled apple juice.

Above is a batch of cheat's mulled apple juice: a carton of apple juice heated with one of those mulled wine spice sachets, like a teabag. Obviously you can also make this by heating your apple juice with a cinnamon stick, a star anise, and a few cloves, maybe a teaspoon of mixed spice. This is one of Sausages' favourite treats, and, following the example of the forest school we used to attend before our move, we often take a flaskfull out and about with us. When you have adventurous children it always pays to have ways to warm them up when it's cold, especially if puddles or the sea might be involved.

I love the pumpkin spiced lattes you find at high street coffee shops at this time of year, but I haven't bought one since I made my first batch of this syrup last year. The recipe comes from Hannah at The Knit, and is delicious in coffee, hot milk, on pancakes etc.

2 (UK) cups of water
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 tsp mixed spice
3 tbsp pumpkin puree

Reserving the sugar, mix everything else in a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer to infuse for about 15 minutes. Strain the liquid into a clean pan and stir in the sugar. When it is entirely dissolved return it to a low heat and reduce to form a thin syrup. Pour into sterilised bottles and seal.

In my chaotic style I couldn't find a sieve (I suspect it may have disappeared into the attic with the homebirth kit, despite not being used), so I wrapped a clean muslin around the pan and used that instead. When I had finished there was so much sediment in the cloth that I decided to make a second batch. Unfortunately I am still waiting on my new cooker and cooking on a camping stove in the interim, so inevitably the gas ran out while I was making the second batch. It was perfectly syrupy, so I bottled it up, but you can see in the picture above where one jar contains half thick syrup from the first batch, and half thin syrup from the second. Are other people's lives as haphazard as mine? Husband says not. Please tell me things like these happen to you too?!?

Chaos notwithstanding, it was lovely to spend a little time in the kitchen making up these drinks this week. Without an oven and proper hob so much of what we are eating at the moment is a lot more processed than we are used to. Thank goodness for the slow cookers, which are doing tremendous service! I have to share with you a comment passed by a friend of mine this week, that she joined a facebook group for slow cooker recipes, and the first post she saw was of a vibrator in a slow cooker. I think this can be understood as a commentary on contemporary domestic glamorous cooking shows and gluttony are our pornography? Perhaps the person in question was too busy for either cooking or a sex life, hence their being in storage together? Perhaps they were just using it as a steriliser...whichever way, the juxtaposition is certainly unusual! I hope you have something more conventional and autumnal in your slow cooker this week. Can I recommend a squash or pumpkin curry? Delicious!


Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Getting Into the Groove!

Hurrah! It's nice to be doing a yarn along with Ginny again! It makes me feel like we must be getting into our groove! It's half term here and Husband is home doing a lot of jobs in the house that need more than one hand. Right now he is swearing at some plumbing while Sausages helps him with his sonic screwdriver. Bob is doing this:

So I thought I'd seize the moment! The boys are starting to go to bed before us, so I've finally been able to knit a little. This is an Aviatrix for the expected baby of a dear schoolfriend of mine and his lovely wife. You know when you're just so excited for a friend on the brink of parenthood, because you know they're going to be a wonderful family? I'm using some lovely baby yarn left over from a cardi I made for Sausages before he was born and was saving for something special. If I have enough left over I might even manage a little Milo to match.

Not that I can really afford the knitting time, because the Christmas knitting rush has begun and I'm not really knitting at all. This tiny hat has taken me several days so far! I'm really hoping to finish Husband's Christmas Jumper for this Christmas, but he has such complicated ideas of the design on the front that I find it a bit intimidating.

As predicted I had an awful book hangover after The Politics of Breastfeeding, so I went for something to completely cleanse the palate. I really really love Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, and Jingo was true to form. The stories are so clever, and have so many different layers to them. it breaks my heart to know that this amazing author is in the throes of early onset Alzheimer's disease. His mind will fail him over time, but it has left a dazzling testament. This book features the night watch characters from the city of Ankh Morpork, and deals with xenophobia and just war theory in a humorous and clever way. I needed something totally releasing to read because I had the updated versin of Jack Newman's Guide to Breastfeeding lined up to read next. It's proving quite interesting, but slow going at the moment. I'm hoping to write a proper review next week.

Things in our kitchen are a bit crazy at the moment because we don't yet have a cooker. We were making do with two slow cookers, a camping gas ring, a sandwich toaster, BBQ and microwave, until this week when Husband somehow managed to explode the microwave! The good news is that we should have a new microwave and A COOKER by next week. Phew! It'll be good to bake our own bread again, but we have been making the most of slow cooker season. This week we had a rather good sausage casserole made with celeriac, sweet potatoes, and spicy sausages. Despite being quite spicy Bob woolfed it down. They never stop eating, these boys of mine!

I hope you're all having a good week. Are you enjoying warming autumn foods? What are you planning to get made for Christmas gifts? Please do pop over to Ginny's and Frontier Dreams to see what everyone else is making. I'll be back soon to tell you more about our new home.


Monday, 20 October 2014

Book Review: The Politics of Breastfeeding

I saw an advert on Facebook to download this book at a reduced price a couple of months ago, so I thought I'd seize the moment and try out the ebook format, especially since I have been keen to make better use of my tablet computer. I feel a bit guilty, like I have betrayed books, but I really enjoyed both the book AND the format. Because I am using my tablet to listen to podcasts in the car, as well as for knitting patterns, I usually have it with me, so it was easier to always have my book with me. Because the tablet provides the light it is easy to read when putting Bob to bed, or when I go to bed myself. It is easy to use single handed, so I am able to read while feeding Bob or letting him sleep on me. I think I definitely squeezed in more little reading sessions than I could have done with a book.

The book itself is a massive education. Growing up in a Catholic household and trying to live an ethical life, I have known about the Nestle Boycott since primary school, but I had sort of taken it for granted, not really learned the detailed facts and figures. This book lays them out clearly and with great explanations, case studies and evidence. The appendices provide further and more detailed information, such as the WHO code on the marketing of breastmilk substitutes. Even though I knew what was coming I was shocked to read the realities of the unethical practices of the producers of artificial infant feeding products. They are knowingly and willingly encouraging families to put their children's lives at risk. As a breastfeeding mother, I have never used formula, so I haven't really informed myself about it: on a practical level, it has always been sufficient for me to know how much more preferable breastfeeding is. This book taught me a lot about formula itself, and the risks associated with its use. I understood that formula was expensive, but I hadn't considered that families given free formula might water it down and sell what they could save that way on the black market. I knew that families in less developed countries didn't have access to clean water for making up bottles, but I hadn't thought about the practicalities of sterilising bottles and boiling water to make up feeds in parts of the world where there is no domestic electricity and fuel is precious. I also assumed that most of these problems are confined to the less developed world and families living in cash poverty, but the lack of regulation of artificial breastmilk substitutes means that children in affluent countries are at risk and their families exploited too, such as in the case of low salt formula which was advertised as healthy but was in fact harmful to babies.

While the subject matter of this book is incredibly emotive, I am very impressed by the author's ability to maintain an informative and measured tone. The information in the book is well supported and referenced, and the arguments well made. It was a joy for me to read something so well written, especially as I have recently struggled to find reading material pitched to suit my mood. I miss reading academic texts, and my day was absolutely made to find the development theory of Amartya Sen, one of my heroes from my academic life, brought into the argument of this book.

I honestly could not put this down, and cannot recommend it highly enough to anyone interested in ethics, development, globalisation, or health. This is not a book about breastfeeding or artificial feeding, but a book about how we behave towards our fellow human beings, and to inform our consciences. If you are interested in learning more about this subject, you might like to start with Baby Milk Action (UK), or IBFAN.

Have you read this book? Please do comment, I'd love to hear from you.


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

It's not the countryside, but it is the seaside!

The boys and I are making the most of being NEAR our new home, and have started all sorts of activities, including swimming and a LOT of forest school. One week we went four times. Today we went to the beach for lunch, just because we could!

Sausages and Husband had their birthday. I've probably mentioned it before, but they have the same birthday, and when Sausages was born Husband made me promise that there would always be separate birthday cakes. Husband's is usually Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake.

Sausages had a knights and castles themed birthday this year, so I attempted a cake to match. I did the cake and buttercream, but I got Husband to do the finer decorating. I just can't decorate, see the Spiderman cake incident for proof!

I made some great sweetcorn muffins for snacks. I can't remember where the recipe came from, but they had cheese and spring onions and they were much better than the last batch. These are so handy for freezing and defrosting a couple at a time for afternoon tea. The little boys and I couldn't make it without afternoon tea!

These were another snack success: oaty banana breakfast biscuits. I found the recipe on this page and played with it a bit. I mashed three bananas with 1 1/2 (UK) cups of oats and some cinnamon and baked them for about 15-20min. I really couldn't tell you the oven temperature because I am not adept at using Mother-In-Law's oven. This made about 14 soft biscuits. We started eating them at breakfast, had some more for afternoon tea, Sausages might have helped himself once or bedtime they were all gone! Both boys loved them, and I'm sure they're only good for my milk supply. I'd really recommend them.

We have managed a little crafting this week, although more for Sausages than for me. I have finished clue 3 on my Follow Your Arrow and it looks lovely! I have an awful lot of yarn left, so I'm watching the last clues with a little trepidation.

Sausages recieved this kit for his birthday and was so excited to try it out.

These are his fridge magnets. I asked him if I could do one too, and when I put mine on one side to dry he gave me another to paint while I was waiting. He's such a sweet boy.

These are my fridge magnets unfinished. Sausages is excited to put them on the fridge in our new home. We're really hoping to be in next week, cross everything for us!

I'm still reading The Politics of Breastfeeding. My tablet tells me that I'm just over 20% of the way through. I'm only reading it when Bob falls asleep on me at home, so it's slow going, but I'm completely engrossed. Today I have been reading about breastfeeding and artificial feeding in relation to HIV. I'm learning so many new things every time I pick it up. If you are interested in infant or mother care, or the ethics or practicalities of infant feeding at all, you should read this book. I will post a more detailed review when I'm finished, but it may be some time.

Don't forget to pop over to Ginny's to see what all the other Yarn-Alongers are up to, and cross everything that we'll be in our new home by next Wednesday!


Wednesday, 3 September 2014

I'm Still Here!

Still here, but still in limbo. Husband has started his new job and we still don't have a home. No, I'm not happy about that. My poor children have had enough, and are in complete meltdown. In an attempt to help them to feel more settled I have started to fill our days with "normal" activities and spending time with other children. It miiiight be working...certainly the local natural parenting community have been very welcoming!

It's taken a very long time, but I'm finally at (three rows from) the end of clue 2 on my Follow Your Arrow. There isn't much opportunity for knitting while we are all out of routine. The boys need my constant presence and attention. I was really hoping to be finished clue 2 and clue one of my Family Tree, but I haven't even managed to cast it on yet. And besides, I have some doubts about my yarn choices...shhh...

I read The Body on the Beach and I Don't Know How She Does It while we were staying at Mammar and Bapar's. They were charity shop finds, since all of my books are packed away summer, including the ones I bought for summer reading. Doh! The first I chose because I like the radio productions of some of the author's other works. It was a fine example of the gentle murder mystery genre

I Don't Know How She Does It was suggested to me by a friend a long time ago, when I was deep in postnatal depression and still trying to do my PhD full time. I wept and wept all the way through this book. It totally reinforced my conviction that the sacrifices we have made are worth it for the lifestyle we are able to have as a family.

The Politics of Breastfeeding is what I have lined up to read next. I have downloaded it as my first ebook. I'm having a bit of a love affair with my tablet. When Husband bought it for me, when I was expecting Bob, I didn't really use it to its full potential, and I'm still not, but I have started to expand my usage. I'm using it for my knitting patterns, since we have no printer set up, and for podcasts to listen to in the car and while feeding at night, as well as for catch-up TV during night feeds and now for reading! My favourite podcast at the moment, should you care for a recommendation, is Radiolab. During a long, traffic-delayed drive recently we all enjoyed the one about the extinction of the dinosaurs!

I'm desperately hoping to claw a bit more time for knitting or reading soon, I really find that without it I am Not Nice To Know. I need that little bit of focus to keep me centred. What are you crafting or reading this week? Don't forget to pop over to the Yarn Along at Ginny's to check out what everyone has been making!