You're thrilled aren't you? It's another round up post. You'll have to do what Australian women do (this is a reference to that old joke: Q: 'What is an Australian man's idea of foreplay?' A: 'To say 'Brace Yourself, Sheila''). Right - are you braced? Because I have a zillion things to mention.
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The month began on a shocking note when I opened my quarterly gas bill from British Gas. This was the first gas bill I've had since we moved here, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I knew what my bill was for the same quarter last year, in our old place. I had budgeted for a rise on that because as we all know, gas prices have whooshed up. However, I was quite unprepared for the amount they said I owed. Are you ready for this? It was ...
... My reaction went something like this:
Call me naive, but I hadn't expected the rise to be quite that steep; and consequently spent an unhappy day wondering what on earth I'd do if it was correct and they really wanted that much money. Christmas would have been very bad, that's for sure. I rang them as soon as their customer care line opened the next day. The woman conceded there must have been a mistake, very probably due to the fact that all but the last reading (taken in the last week of October) were estimated.
Eventually we discovered they'd made a mistake in recording the meter reading when we moved in here. Once that was put right, I was issued with a new bill, which was actually less than the same quarter in the old property, even with the gas price hike. Phew - I was mightily relieved. I have to say British Gas were helpful, polite and very efficient in sorting the matter out, and you can't ask more than that, can you?
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I now have a small crop of awards to display. I know some bloggers don't really 'like' these awards, and have seen posts about the fact in the past. They (the bloggers concerned) wonder what the awarding of one really means (if anything), and seem to have a general antipathy towards them. Speaking personally, I feel it's a part of the 'culture' of blogging. If someone is kind enough to award me with something, I am going to blog it and thank them publicly for passing it my way. I won't always follow the 'rules' about passing it on, but I really do appreciate that someone, somewhere has thought 'I'm going to give one to Kitty' ... thank you. If I pass an award on to someone who doesn't really want to accept it, or wants to accept it, but not blog it - that's fine; I don't mind in the least. But I hope they'll know that I was thinking of them, and feeling them noteworthy enough to mention, and to link to. Linking takes time and concentration, lots of linking sometimes makes my hair hurt! Through clicking on such links on the blogs of others, I have found some really lovely blogs which I continue to read and enjoy. So ... I shall carry on with my awardage habit.
Here ends the party political broadcast by the Bloggy Bits Party.
I need to say thank you to Jill of Another Day in the Same Life, who passed this Kreativ Blogger Award my way. Thanks Jill - x - coming from someone as 'kreativ' as you, that is a great compliment. It comes with a tag (these awards are much harder work than they used to be - I remember when you just got the award and that was that!) to complete the following:
6 Values that are important to me:
- Love & friendship
- Compassion & kindness
6 Things I don't support:
- Cruelty & bullying
- Ignorance & rudeness
- Abuse - Physical, mental or emotional
- Bigotry & prejudice
- Mindless violence
I suspect I'm supposed to pass this on to 6 other 'kreativ' bloggers. I can't possibly choose 6 - there are so many talented bloggers out there who are, in so many fields, producing creative work that is fascinating, stunning, beautiful and inspirational.
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I need to say another thank you; this time to Josie for this 'Gift of the gab' award. Thank you Josie - x - I think it's a compliment?! I'm supposed to pass it on to 10 bloggers I consider to have the gift of the gab, so I'm passing it on to some gabbers who never fail to exercise my titter muscles. Thanks for making me smile guys - some days you've made a difference to my whole day. (I don't generally 'do' rules, so I'm passing it on to 13, not 10):
If anyone reading needs a smile in their day, I recommend all of the above for their very humorous writing.
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Another lovely award - 'The Marie Antoinette Award' came my way via two different bloggers: Yvonne at Country Bliss and Kim, at Heart In The Country. I haven't been reading either of these blogs for that long, but can heartily recommend them. Thank you both - xx. Yvonne is a crafty type, who also happens to have four - yep, count 'em - daughters. In a few years, there are going to be lots of hormones, hormones, hormones in that home!! Kim is another of a crafty persuasion. She has teenage sons, and get this ... one in particular likes to cook. He makes such things as fresh lemon meringue pies! Can you imagine what sort of magical properties she must possess to be able to mother a teenage boy so that he grows up (a) capable of doing such things, and (b) wanting to do such things. I take my hat off to her, I really do.
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Now I need to thank the lovely (and talented) Suzy B for this award. It obviously originated in a Spanish-speaking country, and since I don't speak the lingo, I have no idea what it says. It might say 'your blog sucks like a Dyson' for all I know. However, Suzy did leave an explanatory paragraph on her blog:
"This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award"
Cleverly written text? If you say so. But the words above do (I think) illustrate my point about these award thingies, in that they can help foster a sense of community in the Blogosphere, and perhaps a way for relatively new bloggers to get involved. I know I felt a
lot bit like a spare part when I first started blogging, so something which welcomes new friends into the fold is a helpful thing in my book. Thanks for passing it my way Suzy - x - I appreciate it.
It says to pass it on to 8 others. I'm not going to do that. I have made so many lovely Bloggy friends, I'd like to pass it on to all of them - if you're in my sidebar, you're awarded. I have added a few new good blog finds to my sidebar recently; if you see some names there which look unfamiliar to you, go and check them out.
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I was in the kitchen the other day, making lunch. The kids were in the sitting room. No.1 was doing some homework, and No.2 was playing chess with himself. They didn't know I was listening.
No.2: I'm missing a pointy one
No.1: That's a Bishop
No.2: Oh bums, I've dropped a pawn
No.1: Isn't that a rude word?
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This month saw Herbie Hamster's first birthday. We celebrated by cleaning his cage out and giving him some dried apple pieces. We wanted to buy some fresh peanuts, but they didn't have any at the garden centre, so we got dried apple pieces instead. Turns out Herbie loves them - not as much as peanuts, but he does love them. Here are some pictures of the birthday boy:
And of course, being the polite and caring cat that she is, Georgie wanted to deliver her own personal 'Happy Birthday too:
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Also on the animal front, I must show you a picture of a little terror we went to visit recently:
Who happens to have a twin brother:
A friend of mine (and her kids) were at the vet with their old cat, when a man came in with those two fluffballs. He'd found them dumped at the side of a road in a nearby village. My friend's kids of course immediately appealed to their mother - who did what most mothers would do and said 'no ... we already have a cat, and anyway, your father would never agree to it'. The kids worked on their dad, and hey presto ... two new additions to the family. They are so cute and will, I'm sure, get up to all sorts of mischief. Isn't it nice to think that they'll have a lovely, comfortable time after their rather unfortunate start in life?
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I haven't posted for ages about the searches which lead people to The Bloggy Bits. Have a look at these from the last few weeks:
- World record for unfastening bras
- Why did Herbie Stewart die? (I didn't know he had! :-O Mind you, I'd never heard of him before, so I didn't know he was alive or that he'd died. Poor Herbie Stewart - that is sad)
- Snog tutorial
- Policeman's socks
- Men's nipple distance
- Mad gab answer for indeed all cows (Pardon?)
- I had a lovely dream about a Daniel Craig tea towel (This made me laugh so much ... THANK YOU to whoever googled it and landed here!)
- Roy Castle - Record Breakers Theme Tune
- Free knitting pattern for Bertie Bassett (Gosh, Bertie is this anything to do with you? :-O )
- Kitty Brosnan ('Oooh, that's me with Pierce Brosnan's surname' I thought. But no - turns out she's a real person: she works in global communications)
- Cousin with nice bum in a good year (Does the cousin not have a nice bum in a bad year?)
- Is No.2 bad? (:-O No! He's not!)
- My red hair is turning blonde (You and me both, sister)
I just love the keyword analysis part of my stats software - it amuses me a whole lot. (Oh and Suzy? The 'milky tites' person is back again. :-O)
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I shouldn't really mention it, because if I didn't I'd stand a better chance of winning, but Joanna at SummerSadie is offering a gorgeous Christmassy cushion as a giveaway over at her blog. You've got to be in it to win it!
Joanna was my partner in Indigo Blue's Christmas Decoration Swap (and Indigo Blue is herself having a giveaway at the moment ... click over to read and enter!) I didn't know the SummerSadie blog before, but I'm glad to know it now - she makes some fabulous stuff (check out her latest quilt). We agreed to post on the same day last week, and each got the other's swap item this week. This is what she made for me:
This year the Wrinkle Crimble tree is to have a pink and green colourway. How did you guess it's No.1's choice? (We have a different colour 'theme' each year - keeps it fresh and interesting and gives us an excuse to make new 'stuff'). Anyway, Joanna's decoration is going to fit in SO well with our tree this year. Check out all those wonderful folds and layers in her handmade ornament - so clever! Her fabric choices are wonderful too - but then I tend to like almost all the fabric she uses in her creations. She also sent a really cute gingerbread card, inside which was a little handmade dangly ornament. I asked her how she made it, and it turns out it's tatted. Amazing - I've seen people tatting, but it looks so complicated, and the potential for much tangling looks huge - especially with kids and a cat in the house. It's so intricate, and very beautiful. Thank you Joanna - x - I'm really glad to have 'met' you, and discovered your blog.
I didn't know what to make her for my side of the swap. In the end I plumped for an appliquéd picture as a decoration. Her preferred colourway was green and red. Here's what I sent:
I used a figure from the mini quilt pattern entitled 'Joy to the World' which I took out of the box when Trashy's box swap reached me. I embellished it with sequins, beads, ribbon, thread and yarn: it worked out ok in the end.
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I'll end this post with a photo I took of a particularly beautiful sunrise one morning this month:
Pretty, isn't it? Taken from No.1's bedroom window (she has the best views from her room).
Phew - that's it. All my November bits and pieces safely wrapped up in one post.