Who can we trust? The Honorable Woman

Gripping, intriguing, interesting, knowledge advancing, thought provoking. All adjectives which bounced around my mind when I settled into bed after the final episode of Hugo Blick’s enthralling series.

I do not know a lot about cinematography but the techniques used were captivating. Obviously artistic elements without being overly descriptive.

I adored the following of the characters thought processes, the twists and turn and unexpected corners.

It required a lot of concentration, and carried a lot of discussion in our house both during and afterwards. It encouraged me to learn more about the middle east, Gaza and the West Bank

Part way through I thought had lost the plot, truly! and I was left just enjoying watching Tobias Menzies as Nathaniel. Alison Grahams comment in the RT felt like it may ring true; Would the badgers have done it?!

However I joined in reading the guardian blog http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2014/jul/03/honourable-woman-recap-episode-one-maggie-gyllenhaal

And devoured the thoughts from the blog and comments alike.

Nessa was a most intriguing person. But it was Hugh that I liked most. He connected in my mind more with Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy in 2014 than Spooks and I liked that. He was very believable. That this is maybe how the service works. Old ways and new ways covered over with a dry sense of humour.

Gabriel Tate raised the question “should there be another series?” I think not. There were loose ends but to my mind it doesn’t matter. I have enjoyed it as it is.



A Novice Sewers Guide to Bunting


I first made bunting for my children’s bedroom and thoroughly enjoyed it. The walls were plain lemon and it brightened them nicely, we can change it easily as they grow up for example incorporating loved cartoon characters.

I have now made lots of lengths for parties and most recently a friends wedding (they needed 250m in total!).

Here is my guide for any other novice sewers like myself.

Assorted fabric

Card, ruler and pencil


Bias Binding (10m)

Scissors (2 pairs, one for paper and one for fabric – Golden rule! Never use fabric scissors on paper!!)

Iron and board

Chopstick/knitting needle


Choose an assortment of fabric maybe with a theme running through it, for example children’s story characters. Cotton is the easiest.

For a 10m string you need 36 flags. This will drape across a wall just over 7m long.

Draw a triangle template. Draw a line 17cm across and from the centre of this a line 21cm down. Then a line from here to each end of your first line.

As my bunting was going up permanently I washed and ironed all the fabric first. You must do this if any of it is natural fibres e.g linen but I didn’t bother for the wedding bunting.

Fold the piece of fabric in half, right sides together, and cut out 36 triangles of double layers. For speed you can use a rotary cutter and board. The cutting doesn’t need to be pristine!

Again for speed I didn’t bother to pin these together, they were flat enough to keep their shape.

Choose a thread that compliments most of your fabric. This is usually basic white unless you are using very dark material.

Slide the fabric triangle under the presser foot to start sewing from one end of the 17cm side sewing along the long side to your point. Insert the needle. My machine has a button for this or use the wheel to wind it down. It will mean whenever you stop, for example at the point of the triangle to turn the needle stays down.

Set off down one long side. Choose a guideline on your presser foot to run the fabric along for a straight line (mind you, that depends on how straight your cutting was!).

When you reach the point (don’t travel to the end) again use the guides on the presser foot to work out the best stopping point to turn and travel along the next side (just put a little wiggle in if you don’t get it right the first time!).  Stop. Your needle should be down through the fabric lift the presser foot and spin the fabric around the needle to set off along the next side. Lower the presser foot and continue sewing along.

This is great repetitive straight line sewing that you can learn to build your sewing speed up on!

Once all the triangles are sewn. Trim the point of each close t the stitching to reduce the bulk of fabric when you turn them right side out.

Turn each triangle correct side out and carefully push the point out neatly. You can use scissors but be careful not to push through the fabric. A Wagamamas chopstick is best! Iron flat. Trim excess material and threads from the top of each triangle.

I use bias binding as the ‘string’ around 1 inch (2.5cm) wide. Fold it in half and press all the way along.

Measure 12cm from the end of the binding, mark with a pin. Slide the top side of a triangle into the fold of the binding and hold in place whilst sliding the binding under the presser foot, starting at the very beginning of your tape.

Sew along a few mm from the edge of the binding catching the triangle as you go. When you reach the end of the triangle stop and measure 12cm more, mark again with a pin, insert a triangle and continue sewing. Carry on in this pattern all the way along sewing the entire length of the binding across the triangles and in between.

And that’s it finished! Hang in a swag pattern held with tacks or drawing pins.




How to pack efficiently for a holiday (or two!) with young family!

This weeks challenge: Packing for a long weekend in London visiting family followed swiftly (6 days later) by a week in Dorset!

My spare bed is completely covered in the paraphernalia required to somehow ship the four of us including two little girls on holiday..twice!

My way through this jungle, a list. I am, for my sins, a queen list maker. I have for sometime written lists for holidays. A trusty notebook has now been replaced by Evernote. If you have any sort of computer, never mind ipad or smartphone, try it. It’ll sync between all three so when you remember something on the train you add it to the same note/list. When I need I hit print or tick the boxes on the device as I go. (I’ve not got been paid to say that, I really do love it!).

I am however second division as on discussion with my mother in law this morning, I have one holiday list, she has four! Beach, Self-catering, sailing and city break!

I’ve added one, all the girls stuff, so I’m half way there.

If the holidays go well, I shall share my lists. Why reinvent the wheel?


Speedy bunting for a friends wedding

This weeks challenge is to finish, and begin for that matter, at least 10m of bunting for a friends wedding! Mine will be added to many other pieces of 10m to decorate their reception venue.

Thankfully I have made bunting before, for my girls bedroom. However they take so much of my time I am left to sew at 9pm at night. Oh the look of disappointment on my husbands face when I declare I’m off up to the snug (attic room; completely child free zone!) rather than snuggle up on the sofa with him. Tough but the solitude for two whole hours is so precious!

I shall post my novice sewers guide to bunting soon!