Wednesday, July 28, 2010

For my Daddy

I'm sorry. I haven't been here in what feels like forever. The practical reason for this is that I have been without a computer for the last couple of weeks. The real reason though, the reason I have no words and nothing to say, is that my Dad died on Friday. I am numb, and I am wordless.

After a long and awe-inspiringly courageous battle against cancer, which began in his colon and spread through his liver, lungs, spine, bones, and finally his brain, he died peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of Friday morning, surrounded by the people who loved him, with my sister and I asleep on either side of him. He was sixty-one.

I can't imagine a world without my dad in it. He was the most generous, kind, loving, eccentric, wonderful man in the world. He filled a room. He made a party. He lived for music and beauty and family, and for each and every day. He will leave behind him an unfillable space, and a quiet to which we are unaccustomed.

Ruby understands, I think, in the way only a three-year-old can. She had a dream, a week or so before he died, about flying with her Baba, holding his hand. She says he can live in her heart, and that there are stairs in her body for him to get in. She blows kisses out of the window to him at bedtime. She reminds me that he is not ill any more.

It seems wrong, that these few sentences should be all I have to sum up my father, when I would normally find such comfort in words upon words, but for now I am mute. I could talk about the incredible things he has done, the funny stories and the cock-ups, the bravery and the reconciliation, but silence feels more fitting, more natural right now. The words will come, in time, I'm sure.

I love you, Baba. I will miss you forever. I am proud and thankful to have known you.

Always your daughter,

B x

Friday, July 16, 2010

A spanky new look for Ruby in Blue

...courtesy of the lovely people over at Shabby Blogs (yep, up there on the top left corner) and their glorious font of gorgeousness. And, get this, it's free to use.

Let me know what you think - are you a fan of the new look, or do you prefer the simple beauty of our former aesthetic? Leave a comment and let me know. This is a democracy, y'know.

I mean, I'm the boss and all, but I'll factor in your opinions... ;)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Rubyisms, for posterity.

Much to my dismay, Ruby's pronunciation of words is improving exponentially at the moment. I can see some of my favourite Rubyisms vanishing from use entirely in the not too distant future. For the amusement of you fine people, I thought I'd write down a few of my favourites.

Trickult [tri'-kuhlt] (adj.)
Not easily or readily done; requiring much skill or labour to be done succesfully.
[Origin: Compound word, formed from the synonyms 'tricky' and 'difficult'.]

Lilypaddling [li'-li-pahd'-ling] (noun)
The leaf of an aquatic plant, the water lily, upon which frogs may sit.

Swimsuitcase [swim'-suht-keys] (noun)
1. A usually rectangular piece of luggage used for carrying clothes whilst travelling.
2. A garment worn for swimming.
[Origin: compound word, combining the meanings of two related words into one convenient multi-purpose term.]

Annoining [uh-noi'-ning] (adj.)
Causing annoyance; irritatingly bothersome.
eg. 'Oh, that's very annoining!'

Upside-up [up'-side-up'] (adj.)
Correctly orientated; antonym of upside-down.

Boffum [boff'-um] (noun)
The buttocks, or rump.
eg. 'Mummy, stop pinching my boffum!'
[Origin: early mispronunciation, reinforced by sentimental parent and grandparents.)

Oboe [oh'-boh] (noun)
The bend or joint of the human arm between forearm and upper arm.

These are too precious to forget. I sincerely hope I never do. I know there are more, but it's late and I can't think of them right now. Plus, I'm in Cornwall with no internet, and this is turning out to be a fairly tortuous process on my iPhone (on which grounds I would appreciate your understanding as regards any typos). Will try to stop by again while I'm away, but in case the tempermental phone signal fails me, or I an just too busy having a good time, I hope everyone has a great week. Peace x

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

An age old tag, fulfilled...

Two posts in one day. I know, it's madness. Well, I was reading my lovely friend Skip's blog earlier, and I clicked on the label "happiness", as you do, and found this post. Seems I was tagged, and quite some time ago, and I never even knew it.

Here’s what to do:

1. Open the first (oldest) photo folder on your computer

2. Scroll to the 10th photo

3. Post the photo and the story behind it

4. Tag 5 or more people to continue the thread

I wasn't going to do anything about it, thinking it's a bit like realising you never paid your library fines, and that it's a bit late now, so the best thing to do is simply never to go back to the library again, but then I opened iPhoto, and I found the 10th photo in the first folder, and I thought again:

It's not one of the ten oldest photos on my computer, so I don't know how it snuck into that spot, somehow hoodwinking my computer and its grasp of chronology, but I'm kind of glad that it did. This is my Dad, and the picture was taken a couple of years ago, when Ruby was about five months old, on holiday in Cyprus.

I keep writing and rewriting this, going into the backstory and and the now-story, but all I really want to say is that I love my Dad more than I can say. He is the most generous, loving, brave and inspiring man I have ever met, even if he does hide it pretty well sometimes behind the fact that he's from Yorkshire.

This picture sums him up for me. It is how I think of him. He's the best dad I could ever have hoped for, and I wouldn't trade him for the world. I wouldn't even swap him for Bill Nighy.

Coincidentally, that was also the week my little baby girl first stood up, sat up, crawled, and grew her first two teeth. Busy holiday for her, that was.

Don't feel in any way obligated to take up my out of date tagging, but here are my five taggees:

1. Pixie at I'll be Francoise

2. Robyn at Rose Lullaby Dolls

So, take it or leave it my lovelies, but I found something rather special doing this, so it might just be worth a shot. A big belated thank you to lovely Skip for that little nugget of love.

The Great Unveiling of the Grand Transformation

I have been threatening to do this for such a long time, and procrastinating so effectively, that I had honestly almost given up on it myself. I made flags for bunting, oh, three hundred years ago, and never sewed them together. I made a roman blind in the similarly distant past, and never hung it. But finally, with (almost) all the bits and pieces in situ, the Great Unveiling of the Grand Transformation can, at long last, take place.

Here, good people, is your before shot:

Not so awful, but just too girly for me, and it all just felt old and cluttered. It felt very much like a baby's bedroom, and my baby is very much a Big Girl now.

So, goodbye to over-saturation of pink and hello to clean lines and bright colours.

Goodbye to chaos and clutter, and hello to a well-stocked bookshelf and a sense of space.

Goodbye to poorly fitting blackout blinds and feeling like a long, narrow railway carriage, and hello to daylight in the day time, darkness in the night time, and a whole lot of feng shui.

The only thing missing is a shade for the ceiling light, which I am going to make out of the same fabric as the bedclothes when I next venture near an Ikea.

We're both pretty pleased with it. Here's to many happy nights' sleep.

Oh, and I'm going to tidy up the old bunting (which is not really 'old', just needs repressing and possibly topstitching because I was too lazy to do it the first time round!) and give it away on the blog, so watch this space.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sunday night refashion.

Not much to report here, except that the small girl did an excellent job as flower girl yesterday. So much so, in fact, that I am considering renting her out on a regular basis to wander round strangers' weddings holding flowers and being photogenic. Gratuitous proud-mummy-shot coming up.

Tonight's project was a simple refashion: a t-shirt I have never worn (t-shirts and I have never really got along) and a strapless dress I have never worn (ditto for me and strapless dresses) into a much more wearable dress.

I'm sure the idea of refashioning is not necessarily to reduce one's wardrobe by amalgamating two existing items into one, but, as far as I'm concerned, one item I am certain I will wear is better than two I almost certainly won't.

Also, this week I have mostly been laughing at these little gems. Happy sunday folks. Peace out.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Three times a bridesmaid

She's only just three, and already the small girl is on her third run of bridesmaid duties. I'm hoping that the old wives' tale doesn't hold true for her. Just in case it does, at least this time she'll have had a shot at walking down an aisle wearing a white dress.

She's wearing it with a little cardie and sparkly white shoes from her last outing as bridesmaid to her godfather, and is over the moon because we're spending the night in a real live castle, like real live princesses.

This silk was quite possibly the must frustrating fabric I have ever worked with. It was a challenge to get it sewn up before the whole thing unraveled, and I can't see it holding up particularly well in terms of washing, but its pretty and it only has to survive a day, so fingers crossed, hey? Also, I have learnt a valuable lesson: when sewing a white dress and wearing red lipstick, it is not advisable to bite off threads with your teeth.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Freshly picked pinny

We had a bit of an idyllic afternoon yesterday, the small girl and I. I spent an hour running up this dress, from a great tutorial over at Freshly Picked, and contrary to all precedent or character Ruby spurned Beebies in favour of watching me. "I love watching you sew, mummy," she said, heart-meltingly, whilst proceeding to observe me, chin resting on her hands, head to one side, for a full ten minutes, before getting bored and wandering off to get some crayons and sticky things.

This sweetness was only very slightly marred by the forty-minute screaming session that followed as a result of my tying a bow the wrong way. I'm willing to overlook it though, and store the little watcher in the memory banks instead.