Monday, March 4, 2013


Something odd is happening to my weekends. I mentioned in my last Post that my weekdays were finally looking a bit more civilised with a good mix of activity and much needed down-time. The weekends, however, seem to be getting busier and busier. Instead of Friday night being a time to celebrate in preparation for a weekend of relaxation and restoration, it now consists of an early night so that I have the energy to get through the fun but busy weekend. Every week we hope for a quiet weekend but it just ends up being the opposite with sports, birthday parties, social events and farm chores. By Friday, both Saturday and Sunday as well as Saturday evenings are all booked up. All self-inflicted obviously as we could decline invitations every now and then. But then we'd miss out on fun things like dressing up as Kiss and Cyndi Lauper like we did on Saturday night. But seriously, I'm contemplating pencilling into the Calendar a weekend every 6 weeks or so where we do absolutely nothing and say no to everything. This would mean the kids would miss out on things like birthday parties and that doesn't seem fair at all. It's a bit extreme and goes against my normal 'go with the flow' attitude but I feel I need to keep the odd weekend sacred for quiet family time. Or do I just accept the new status of weekends and try to recover during the week? Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

Anyway, while I ponder how to fix a likely unfixable situation, let's talk about more important things like Downton Abbey. Sunday evenings have become my "Friday Night"as I can look forward to a more relaxing week ahead by comparison to the hectic weekend. Sunday evenings are spent watching Downton Abbey while the Pianoman is playing with his Band up in the shed. It's just me, my glass of wine and the knitting needles. The Pianoman doesn't understand why I love the show when I can't get through an episode without bawling my eyes out. Sometimes he walks in after his Band rehearsals and I need to 'workshop' some of the issues with him. I'm still recovering from last night's episode by the way. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone who may not have seen episode 4 of Series 3 but it was a tear-jerker - mothers giving up their babies just kills me! Anyway, it's fair to say I'm slightly obsessed with Downton, so much so I just had to knit myself a Downton-inspired Cloche hat. Knitted while watching the show no less.

I finished it last night. It is the gorgeous Nola Cloche by Hillary Smith Callis and I am completely in love with it. I wasn't sure whether I could manage it so I just used some wool from my stash but I am going to make it again in something a little more decadent. It was my first time doing a cable, provisional cast-on, grafting and working in the round with 4 double-pointed needles so there was a lot to learn for such a wee little hat. However, the pattern is so well written that is was a fun, quick, easy knit and I love the vintage-y look of it.  Details ravelled here

I hope you all had a lovely weekend and if anyone has any thoughts about how I can get my weekends back I'd love to hear.


  1. Ooh, ooh, ooh! Lovely! (By the way, your weekends sound like ours, except for the Cyndi Lauper and Kiss bit...)

  2. Oh, last night was traumatising! I was bawling like a baby. Beautiful hat x

  3. Oh how I hear you. My whole life feels crazy at the moment with far too much needing to be done and we do not even have kids or a new born so I can understand how you feel. Love the hat too and I am right there with you about Downton.

  4. I totally get what your are saying about weekends - I kind of long for those days pre school, when we (the parents) set the pace for the weekends. We had a similar feeling of being 'taken over' a couple of weekends ago when Andy had the time off and wanted to take them for an impromptu weekend away camping. Sadly, this had to be canned when one of them desperately wanted to go to a very special birthday party! It seems we have farewelled the days of always having the family together time that we want (what is adolescence going to be like??!!)
    Love your hat xx

  5. It's a gorgeous hat, beautiful lady :)

    Weekends ... I think I got mine back around about the time elder daughter gained her driving license ... she rather enjoyed providing a taxi service for her siblings! But we did, if we had a weekend free of those things it didn't seem fair to deprive the children of, refuse or even cancel everything else so we could enjoy some downtime together sometimes. Sadly the more children you have the more frenetic life gets! Four was definitely enough for me when it came to keeping them all occupied!

  6. Hi Mel, I am flat out with four - how on earth do you do five? The only regular weekend activities are a 1/2 hour of swimming lessons - hate to think what it's going to be like as they get older? Do mothers actually ever get a weekend off? xx

  7. Mel, I am so with you on weekends! No down time at all. I need Monday to get over the weekend and try to have no commitments then just so I can! I don't know what I'll do when/if I ever go back to paid employment!

    I love Downton too but we're waiting for the next series. Do you have Call the Midwife? Such wonderful Sunday night telly xxxx
    Sarah x

  8. I Love Downtown Abbey, I goto my mums to watch it and we sit there with cups of tea and cake.

    At weekends I like to make sure we have at least 1 day or morn/afternoon at home. I put the boys down for sleep both days if I can. I like to be at home on Sundays so I can "prepare" for the week ahead and the kids can just play at home. Easy dinners too, Pizza and movie nights are good excuse to relax on the couch with the kids.

    You look so beautiful Mel in you photos. xo

  9. That hat is gorgeous! Hope your week is more relaxing than your weekend x

  10. You dressed as Cyndi Lauper & Kiss? Sounds like a good party! We tend to accept all invitations and book the kids on any spoty days or parties that get offered and then we struggle to keep up - maybe the answer is that quality family time at home is just as good as activities with friends and sometimes we should say "sorry , can't make that one"? The hat is adorable Mel, you look so pretty in it.

  11. Wow, the hat is amazing! It looks gorgeous, and so do you. Our weekends are often hectic (mainly with the kids social lives) and my favourite weekends are the ones where we do nothing except potter around the house, just the four of us, and do a lot of cooking and eating.

    I discovered Downton Abbey just before Christmas and watched ALL of it over a few weeks. If you think that episode was bad, wait till you see the most recent Christmas special...

    Gillian x

    1. I missed the Christmas one but will download it and watch it this week :-)

  12. I meant to say that hat is fabulous! Very lady Mary, Ethel or Sybil! Xx Sarah

  13. Your hat is fab....just go with the flow, when did our children get better social lives than us!!! I do wonder, but then just go with the flow......:) x

  14. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! I love the colour you used. I need to knit myself a few more hats.

  15. you did a beautiful job mel! beautiful hat and beautiful you! it is funny how the smallest things can sometimes take many techniques. i would love to not work full time outside the home, so weekends are very precious to me!

  16. Your hat is great! I'm a Downton Abbey fan, I just wish that channel 7 would stop the dramatic false advertising, and stop filling it with ads :-)
    I think you should take a weekend off now and then if it is what "clicks" with you can your family. It's important to have rest/relaxation time :-)

    Enjoy the week!
    Sarah xo

  17. Love the hat.
    Our weekends used to be busy affairs going here, there and everywhere and suddenly the children were grown up! I rather miss the buzz of it all, though not the hours spent on the side of a windswept hockey pitch.

  18. Oh just look at you, gorgeous thing! STRAIGHT out of Downton, no less. Clever clogs with those knitting needles Mel, you have taken to knitting like a duck to water, I SO want to teach myself some simple designs one of these days.
    Yes, the socialising conundrum, I can totally see how it happens that you no longer have a spare moment of family time... especially as the littles get bigger! Having 5 kiddies now also, I don't think you'll have a completely free weekend for approx 18 years, haha!
    I have always kept a lid on the socialising, because my two become particularly feral when they're over tired or over stimulated. I have a feeling I won't be able to keep this going for much longer though... as 5 weeks into school life and I'm finding there are just so many events to be involved in, in addition to our own circle of family and friends. Tough juggle Mel, but it is nice to feel popular too ;)
    And my word I love Downton too. Tears fell watching Sunday's episode here also, broke my heart thinking about that type of situation... and my poor Dad actually lived that scenario when his mother was all but forced to give him up when he was 2, she was very young and had no support. I just can't imagine that kind of pain.
    Have a lovely week Mel xoxo

  19. Sensational, Mel. And stunning photos, too. You inspire me. J x

  20. Wow: that hat is so beautiful and so is your blog. Have just popped by from Pip's Blog School: hello from the UK. Loving your photography :-)

  21. Just beautiful, really beautiful Mel! Suits you perfectly. I'm sure it will be a Winter favourite.
    I'm a big Downton fan too. Kicking myself that I missed 2 episodes, but caught up on Sunday night. How sad (and shocking) was that?

    Daniel always rolls his eyes when I say I'm watching it, but funnily enough he always watches it with me! Though he'd never admit to liking it of course. Our favourite character is Granny.
    The sets with the attention to detail are amazing.