B is for Baking

Ok, so there’s an NUSU baking society so these butterfly cakes count! I made them with Toddlercub and enjoyed opening her eyes to the heaven that is buttercream icing, even if that meant she absolutely refused the tuna and three-bean lunch I offered her afterwards. Hmmm, Toddlercub refusing things is becoming a bit of a theme here.


I made something: toddler owl hat

Wonky but finished, I made this lovely little hat from the Penguin Purls pattern ‘Who?’.
I have greater hopes that Toddlercub will wear this one. She’s asked to try it on as I was knitting it. I’m concerned that it may be a little large for her at 2.5 years — I followed the Infant size using 6mm circular needles. I may have another go with 5mm to see if it comes out smaller. But a great pattern and really fun to do.
It’s quite possible that this will turn into an exclusively craft-based blog if I don’t make an effort to get out and do some of the other activities I promised (enjoyed this Guardian piece on weird fresher societies). I’ll definitely get to some less cosy activities next month. And it’s not that I don’t love craft blogs; I’m just an amateur in this field.

I made something: toddler tank top

I finished this yesterday, after seeing Sam Lamb’s excellent free pattern. (Reading Sam’s blog also gave me the final push to start this one: it felt so nice feeling kindly towards someone I’d never meet.)
I’m quite pleased with it and amazed it was so quick to finish (started Tuesday, finished Saturday morning, and not a quiet week). But Toddlercub has refused it so far – “I don’t like it! I don’t want it!”. Doesn’t she understand that Mummy is on a self-actualisation jag at present and needs encouragement?
Never mind. Knitting is such a pleasure for the knitter, it seems selfish to demand that anyone actually wants to wear the output. But one day I hope to coax her into it. With a plain undershirt and some jeans I think she would be desperately cute.



Fifteen years ago, at Newcastle University, I flunked joining any sort of club or society that would have broadened my interests, mainly so I could moon after my first boyfriend at the uni just down the road. Boo!

Amazingly, the boyfriend didn’t last, and I left university with a reasonable degree but without ever having left my comfortable pursuits of reading (alone!), watching films (might as well be alone!) and going for long walks in the company of my personal stereo (it was the 90s).

I’m not quite such a sad sack now. With two exquisite children (Toddlercub, 2.5, and Babycub, 5 months), a top-notch husband and a pleasant career on hold, I’ve lucked out. But I am still very low on the old hobbies and interests, and always needed to get very creative when doing that part of a CV (erm, learning Japanese/Spanish/Portuguese = just bought the ‘teach yourself…’ tapes; squash/khai-bo/football = went once; web design = just a lie, actually).

With 6 months of maternity leave left and a little more free time than hitherto, I’m going to put this right. I’ll take as inspiration the list of Newcastle University societies and add in a few other ideas as they occur. The idea will be to have some kind of experience of these clubs, either locally or by researching at home, and blog the results. And maybe add craft projects/other cheerful things.

The blog is for me primarily, but might also help people who are interested in making better use of their spare time and developing a hobby, or people in the Hitchin/Herts area who want to explore extracurricular activities in their environs.

Signed up for life-drawing classes at the Victoria barn and am investigating A Cappella and CAMRA. Internal battle being fought over pole dancing, sorry, fitness classes. Is it an empowering piece of gymnastics or the equivalent of becoming a sexual rotisserie? Or would I have the core strength to stay up long enough to navel-gaze about it?

Oh, and it’s ‘late-blooming’ because I’m getting round to this a bit late. And ‘Leo’ because I’m a Leo. But truly it’s because I could have spent the next 6 months trying up to come up with something cleverer and never posted a thing. Ta-ta!