Thursday, June 21, 2012

Family Friendly

You probably won't be surprised to see how much stitching a person can get done while sitting and waiting. Over the course of ten days and on two six hour flights I managed to add a few threads to two projects. Our trip to England was, as you can imagine, fraught. It was wonderful to spend time with family even though it was "under these circumstances." On our second day, the dude abandoned me to (begin to) sort out his father's flat with his brother and sister. (I then convinced my brother-in-law that I could indeed watch two kids while he went for groceries. Seriously, do people think I've reached this advanced age and am unable keep children from harm?) (When he asked if I had any questions, I just said, "It's 999 instead of 911, right?"*) In fact, I spent a lot of time sitting and waiting.

My FIL was without religion, so his children had to make up the funeral, and by all accounts they did a great job. They seemed to please everyone, including the GF who spent the weeks between the death and the funeral emailing the siblings (when she remembered the dude was one) with demands that she pretended weren't demands. Ah, family! Right?

We stayed with the dude's sister--she has two boys, seven and five. The seven year old has done a stitching project and he was very interested in my work. But he wasn't sure how I did it because the holes were so small. I showed him the things I brought, including the marquoir (sorry, I didn't work on it). When I opened it up, he said, "Wow." It does make me want to finish it before they visit (possibly next summer). And I did wish I had a project with me that I could share with him. As for the five year old...gorgeous. He will break a lot of hearts in his time, no doubt.

The boys have been encouraged to remember us by my BIL saying in a bad American accent, "See you in the morning for juice and coffee," which is a little saying we picked up from my cousin when we were living with her family. On one of our first nights there was a special request for me to say it. So I did. And I was told I was saying coffee wrong. It's "Cawwwfee," which I decidedly do not say. Later in the week, the younger boy asked me "how do you say that in your language?"

On the Sunday before we left, brother, sister, husbands, wives, and children went for a picnic on Box Hill. You may remember it from Emma where she disses Miss Bates. It was a gorgeous setting, and after lunch we set out on a nature play trail. At the end of the walk, when there were fewer "play" aspects, one of the boys asked, "where did all the nature go?" LOL. Still, by the end, I needed a stiff drink because well four boys will be four boys. Add Asperger's to the mix and you get a cocktail for...well, a large cocktail!

I'm over 400 posts behind in my reader. I will get back in touch. In the meantime Keep Calm and Stitch On!**

* As it turns out, so many tourists dial it wrong when they are in the UK, they've made 999 and 911 and 112 all work.

**My SIL works at the Imperial War Museum and one of her colleagues researched the original "Keep Calm" poster. Never used. So the whole thing is bullshit based on an imagined past. The current trend for it really pisses her off. So that's for Kath. ;)


C in DC said...

I think that it gets assumed that childless persons over a certain age, while capable of keeping children from harm, are completely uninterested in being the one responsible for doing so. :-)

Nice stitching. What's the blue project? The bubble gum colors have me curious.

How cool that your SIL works for the IWM. Love the story about the poster!

doris said...

I've just returned home, Anna, and I'm sorry to hear about the dude's dad. It seems that everyone, except maybe the GF, made the best of a difficult time.

Your stitching progress looks great. When I'm in sit-and-wait mode, pulling out my stitching makes me so happy!

Kristen said...

Belated condolences to both you and the Dude.

Maggie said...

How cool that the boys were interested to see your stitching :-)
Glad you managed to have some good times too while you were in the UK.

The Antiques Roadshow (here in the UK, not sure if you are familiar with the programme?) had someone bring in some of the original 'Keep Calm & Carry on' posters on the show a few weeks back. They were supposed to be put up in shops and such should the German invasion ever succeed, to keep up moral, they were never used. Everyone seems to have jumped on the bandwagon with no end of variations on the original.

Chris said...

It sounds like a difficult time went well.
The outing to Box Hill looks lovely.4 boys would wear me out.
Great stitching progress. I hope that you have a nice weekend :)

Giovanna said...

How cool to read about the 7yo and stitching :-) Glad you had a good time in England. If Box Hill is where I think I've been too (more than 30 yrs ago...), it's definitely a beautiful place.

Donna said...

Welcome back! I'm sorry for the reason you had to make this trip.

How did Stella fare in your absence?

Donna said...

Welcome back! I'm sorry for the reason you had to make this trip.

How did Stella fare in your absence?

Anna van Schurman said...

Stella ended up with limber tail. She must have spent a lot of time wagging for attention! She's fine now. Loves sleeping near the a/c register on days like this. :)

Daffycat said...

Glad you had a good trip...if things of this nature can be "good."

I'm fine with children old enough to understand the phrase, "Sit down and shut your mouth before I strangle you and hide your body in the freezer." But I don't really care for children on the whole. I know, I know...I raised one and did a damn good job of it! ROFLOL

400 posts. LOL could be worse!

Catherine said...

Glad you were able to have a nice time even with the circumstances for your trip.

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

Welcome back! 4 boys, no matter the age, would wear me out too.

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Glad the trip went well, despite the reason behind it.
I did not know that about 999 and 911. I also did not know the poster was never used. I do know that they lied about the railings being needed to make tanks and ammo. Many of our lovely Victorian houses are still missing metal railings because they comandeered them for the War Effort.
It's nice that the nephews enjoyed your stitching too. My Large Boy is not alone in his appreciation of the craft!

Charlene ♥ SC said...

Welcome home!

Jennifer said...

I will be remembering Daffycat's sit down statement for future use on my niece and nephew.

Your SIL should stay off Pinterest, or her head would explode with the Keep Calm stuff.