Saturday, 20 May 2017

Small person

My cousin and his lovely wife went away for a week to celebrate a significant birthday.  We looked after their daughter (T), who is 9.  

An interesting week followed.   School, or at least, school rules have changed quite a bit since I was T's age.  I had a pass to enter school grounds, the gate was not unlocked until 8.17,  and was open until 8.40.  I needed adaily pass to permit me to collect my charge at the end of the day,  and her mother and I had visited the school previously so this could all be recorded. .  Homework had to be downloaded from the school's extranet site.   The stuff T was allowed - and not allowed - to take in in her bag was very strict.

I made a spreadsheet to tell me what time to drop her off, what I had to make sure was in her bag for each day,  what time to collect her,  and what after school activities I had to take her to.

It worked well.

I was surprised at the school dress code.  They are uniformed, which is good.  What I wasn't too happy about is that the Girls have to wear skirts in the winter, and summer dresses in the summer/. They are not allowed to wear trousers, unless on religious grounds.  I really think this stinks.   Firstly,  why should girls have to wear skirts/dresses?  Why can't they wear trousers if they want to?   And secondly,  that just makes the girls who wear trousers on religious grounds stand out.   That's not right either.

Still, she's not my daughter, it's not my school, so I didn't say anything.

Getting up in time to be showered before making sure T was up was a shock to the system.  We knew the traffic was going to be bad (major roadworks) but we weren't sure how bad.  Day 1, we arrived and had to sit in the car for 5 minutes before walking to the school gate (there is no parking at the school), and then we still had to wait for the gate to be opened.  Day 2, we left 5 minutes later. Day 3 we intended to leave 5 minutes later still but accidentally left even later...we weren't late but we were later than we liked.     Day 4 and Day 5, we timed it perfectly.

I have no idea how her parents manage with all the after school activities.  We didn't even do them all! Her mum said we didn't have to do any of them, but we did take her to her swimming lesson one day,  and to her horseriding on another.

On the plus side,  my daily step count has been amazing.  And don't my poor feet know it!    I should have taken advantage of it,  but I didn't.. I just stuffed choccy biccies.   Next time, I'll make sure I have healthy snacks ready for me.

I made her a couple of bits while she was here.  Firstly, a little cross-body bag to hold her phone. It has a little zippered purse bit too.


Another day, when she had the sniffles,  I made her a matching zippered tissue pouch to match (but I failed to take a picture).

Finally, I made her a test pair of leggings.  They were OK, but not quite right - so we'll make another pair another time.

She's already invited herself to stay for part of half term, and I'm really pleased that she has.



Thursday, 11 May 2017

Prevention

We are so very late doing our first preventative spray of the coops for this year.

Things have been a bit up and down, and it's just got pushed back and back and back.  I decided at the weekend that today (Thursday) would be The Day, unless it was raining.

It didn't rain.  I donned my shower cap (to protect me from drip shilst spraying the inside of the shed roof). It took about 2 and a half hours, and the weather was kind to us.  The shed and the two coops were complely emptied, and checked for signs of red mite.  None, thank goodness.

I used the knapsack sprayer to spray everything with Poultry Shield.   While that was drying, I sprayed the nest boxes, and the bits of the Cube, and the roosting bars.  The poo trays were all cleaned and disinfected,  and the drinkers were sterilised too.  

It was non stop.

By the time I'd done my spraying,  and rinsed and refilled the drinkers,  two of the coops were dry enough to be Stalosaned.  WHile I left that to make sure there wasn't any unseen liquid anywhere,  I put the brushes into a bucket with some Milton.      The Stalosan stayed dry,  so I then Diatomed the corners, the crevices,  and all over the place.   Finally,  I put Aubiose in the poo trays and in the nest boxes (along with a bit more Diatom).   By the time that was done, the shed was dry enough, so more Stalosan,  then Diatom.   The nestboxes went back in (Stalosan and Diatomed),  and then the poo trays.  Then Aubiose.


Last year I bought a couple of powder shakers from Flyte So Fancy, and these worked really well for the Satlosan and Diatom.  I've tried numerous things over the years, and these have worked out the best.


When all was done, we hung up new fly papers in the shed.

I was covered in stuff, but I'm so happy its done.

Just the Garden Girls coops to do now.  Sunday.  Weather permitting.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

I've been trying to...to... sort myself out and give myself a bit of a kick to get moving instead of mo[ing.

I bit the bullet, and adapted the Blueprint (A1)  I'd made at my recent sewing retreat to make myself a top with a gathered neckline (instead of a bust dart).  I made it in a stretch fabric and, even  so,  I put the original waist and shoulder darts in.

My dart sewing was spot on,  I was really proud.  Unfortunately, I made a couple of silly errors, and I put it down and left it a day or so before I came back to it and attempted to salvage it.

It came out OK, definitely wearable. Bit baggy - or "tunic style" as I am callinh it - but that was to be expected as I didn't adjust the sizing.  The front , back and sleeve were stuck on to Tailor's Card (along with a fabric sample)  for posterity, and clearly labelled as "A2"

I immediately started working on another adaptation, this time removing the waist darts but to leave everything else the same. I then cut out fabric for a second version,  and waited a day to start construction.   I used the same fabric as the first so I could compare and contrast the fit,  without having different fabric potentially blurring things.

I used my coverstitch machine, and it did a grand job of the hems and the sleeves. 

It also came out well enough to be wearable, so I taped the pieces to card and labelled them as A3.

Of course I'll need to trace them off if I want to use them again,  but that's OK.  If I find a fit I really love I'll make a card template.

My next foray will be another adaptation. This time (probably) a sort of peasant-blouse-style neckline.  I'll use a less stretchy fabric, so I'll probably need to use the A2 version of the bodice and maybe just not sew the darts.  It depends how much ease there will be.

I might wait a day or two.

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