29 February 2012

Suitcase of Memories

Since my parents packed up and moved into one of those giant American RVs, things have slowly been making their way across the ocean. Last week I had to meet my Aunt at the airport to collect the latest delivery. I was expecting this innocuous blue bag to be filled with photos, but I found even more treats inside.
Highlights include my old Canadian brownie uniform. It's so tiny! I even still have the pencil on it's special belt clip. I especially loved the scarf which is printed with maple leaves. When Mr Goldfish spotted my Leprechaun six badge he declared it a ninja in a bobble hat.
Even though I continued with Girl Scouts when I moved to the States, it was a completely different experience. In Canada we had a large group with at least six sixes, while the Ohio had small independent troops of about eight girls. I went from a brown and gold Canadian uniform I loved - to just the bright and colourful Girl Scouts sash. I wish I could remember what all the buttons and patches meant.
I also found a envelope of loose patches from Girls Guides, Girls Scouts, swimming, bowling league, and roller skating lessons. Hopefully I'll think of some craft project I can use them on!
Digging deeper, I found a collection of coins: a set of Britain's First Decimal Coins, a set of Canadian coins from the year I was born, two Silver Jubilee crowns, a Queen Mother's 80th birthday crown...
and a gorgeous vintage map of Canada!
And finally in addition to the expected family photographs, there was also my parents wedding album.
A treasure trove of nostalgia and vintage treats, now I just have to find homes for it all!

28 February 2012

BlogCamp 2012

Tots100 BlogCamp parent blogger eventsI'm really excited to be going to my first blogging event this year. I've watched with envy as other people shared their experiences of BlogCamp Manchester & CyberMummy. So this year I set my alarms early so I'd be sure to claim one of the BlogCamp 2012 tickets.

The organisers have asked bloggers to introduce themselves before the event, so we can get to know each other. This might be a bit tricky as I'm slightly anonymous, but I'll see what I can do.

Name: Kate

Blog: Another Goldfish

Twitter: @AnotherGoldfish

My Blog's About: Our journey towards low-carbon living, trying to start a family, crafts and life in general.

Likes: Clever designs, procedural cop shows, Starbucks soy-lattes, Emma Bridgewater tableware, Doctor Who, cross-stitch, crochet, organising, and sleeping in.

Dislikes: Tea, coffee, anxiety, Artex, eBay.

To see who else is going, head over to BlogCamp UK.

27 February 2012

Killing Time

Waiting at Manchester Airport

Since we were given the referral to IVF - we’ve done virtually nothing. We have filled in yet another questionnaire asking about weight, alcohol consumption and smoking, but that’s it. Otherwise it’s just been more weeks of waiting, wondering when we’ll finally get the letter that starts the whole process.

Oddly enough, the referral has given us an odd sense of peace. While we are still trying each month, we also know it’s not going to work. This has allowed us to step off the emotional rollercoaster. We’re not even hoping we’ll get pregnant, so the two week wait isn’t tortuous anymore. It’s also stopped us from feeling so guilty if we can’t try on every one of our most fertile days. As long as we try once over those days we don’t worry too much.

Even though we’ve accepted not getting pregnant - when it comes to IVF, it still feels like it’s happening to someone else. Turns out one of Mr Goldfish’s work friends is currently pregnant after having IVF, so she’s shared some practical insights. But even as we discuss these fine points - of needle types, injections and suppositories...I don’t quite believe this is my imminent future. Sure IVF is more common these days, but I still want to believe it is something that happens to other people. Something in my mind is reluctant to link all this medical intervention with our dream of having a child.

When we started this journey a family seemed an easy and natural plan. Even as years have passed, we always hoped that this month would be it – just a delayed start to our perfect pregnancy. I know there is no guarantee that any pregnancy will go smoothly, but when so much in life has been a fight - we hoped this might be at least be typical or average. As IVF approaches I need to let these hopes go. I have to face my fears and resolve my doubts so I’ll have the strength and assurance to carry forward.

The letter finally arrived this morning, our IVF information evening is booked for Feb. 29th.

This was originally written for the Emma's Diary Blog.

Bridgewater Diamond Jubilee Open Day

I love Emma Bridgewater tableware, so when I received an email inviting us to Emma Bridgewater's Diamond Jubilee Open Day I absolutely jumped at the chance. On previous factory tours I've been able to take some gorgeous photos, so another chance to snap away while also getting a sneak peak at the new Diamond Jubilee collection was too good an opportunity to pass up!
It's no surprise that I'm a fan of Emma Bridgewater tableware. Though they are expensive, these gorgeous pieces are hand made in Stoke-on-Trent. This commitment to local manufacturing means pieces don't need to be transported as far, thus reducing their environmental impact. Bridgewater are also supporting local skills, and creating British jobs. The factory also includes a small garden, chickens and green houses on the roof. The green houses make use of the kilns excess heat, a really clever idea that reuses this wasted energy.
The new Diamond Jubilee Collection marks the 60th year of Queen Elizabeth's reign. Persinally I love the detailed illustrations on the Jubilee Teapot (£75), but there are pieces for fans of both Bridgewater's spongeware and lithograph patterns.
I love the vintage feel of this tin Jubilee Tea Caddy (£10)
Another new Bridgewater pattern on show was the popular Sweet Pea, which has been causing quite a stir amongst the Emma Bridgewater collectors. I love the busyness of the pattern which captures the wild beauty of gardening.

To join my mini Bridgewater tour follow the read more link:

26 February 2012

Step Down Sunday - Baked Gifts

Over the last few weeks we’ve had a few last minute gifts to buy. One was a birthday that snuck up on us (oops!) and the other was a hostess gift. For the birthday present it was tempting to go with the old stand-by of a cheap romantic comedy on DVD with some high-street nibbles, but it’s really a disposable present that doesn’t help to reduce our carbon footprint.
Farm Shop Cakes
Instead we decided to go to our local farm shop for ideas. There we bought a freshly baked Victoria Sponge, some lemon biscuits and two small jars of homemade jam. The cake was heavenly, fluffy moist and delicious! And the rest of the bits went down a treat (at least as well as a random DVD would have).
Kenyon Hall Victoria Sponge
So after the successful birthday gift, we knew just where to look for a hostess gift a week later. We found a gorgeous Lemon Drizzle cake which trumped even the Victoria Sponge!
Mrs Williams Lemon Drizzle Cake
So for small treats and last minute gifts, our local farm shop helps us spend our money more responsibly.

Step Down Sunday Have you made any Steps Down this week?

If you'd like the code for the Step Down Sunday badge or to learn more about it, go to the Step Down Sunday page.

23 February 2012

Great Busyness

The last few weeks have seen me go from one or two days out of the house a week to a full and bustling calendar, which been an unexpected drain on my physical strength and energy. In some ways this is a terrifying prospect: a real concern that I may be cashing cheques my body may not be able to pay.

In meeting the last few weeks a quote from Quaker Advice and Queries keeps coming to mind:
Every stage of our lives offers fresh opportunities. Responding to divine guidance, try to discern the right time to undertake or relinquish responsibilities without undue pride or guilt. Attend to what love requires of you, which may not be great busyness. ~ Advice & Queries 28 
The last few years I’ve held myself back, avoiding commitments so I’d have the energy to commit to our happily anticipated child. As that anticipation turned into resignation I began to feel guilty for shirking my share of responsibility.

So when it became clear that one of our Quaker meeting clerks was unable to continue, it felt right to step-up and replace her even though it was an important role. Unfortunately in Quakers there is always another job that needs doing, and I’ve felt guilty as I’ve turned these positions down...but unlike the clerk position I didn’t feel called to fill them.

When I joined the WI I wondered why I quickly volunteered myself for the committee; for someone who’s been avoiding responsibilities and commitments it seemed like utter madness. Though I was able to rationalise it, I’ve also realised it was something I felt drawn to. Even now with my calendar so busy, I think I can glimpse a greater plan that is moving me forward.

Though my new commitments are challenging, I feel reassured that I’m right where I should be. It may have taken years to find my path, but I think I’m now moving in the right direction.

19 February 2012

Step Down Sunday - Car Pool

For this week’s Step Down Sunday I had a bit of help. As I mentioned the other day, since joining the Women’s Institute I’ve had a very busy schedule. Dragging Mr Goldfish out every time I want to go somewhere just doubles our car mileage and our carbon footprint.

The lovely @Chouxchouxbedoo who blogs at the identically named Chouxchouxbedoo, lives nearby and offered me a lift to this week’s WI meeting - pointing out that it would help towards reducing our carbon footprint. It's been so long since I had local friends it had never really occurred to me to car pool.

I still plan on taking some refresher driving lessons, so I can do my share of the driving, but I’m going to make more effort to offer people lifts and reduce our environmental impact.

We had a brilliant time at our second WI meeting. We're still in the early stages, which comes with a fair bit of paper work, but I've already signed up for a quilting workshop. I really appreciated the chance to chat over a quick crafty ice breaker. We made these cute origami bookmarks for Valentine's Day.
Origami Heart Bookmark
Going back to our earlier Step Down Sunday on Tetra Paks, we’ve also found a local place to recycle them! Turns out that the large Tesco in Warrington still has a Tetra Pak collection box, so we won’t need to post them any more.
Tetra Pak Recycling Box @ Warrington Tesco

Step Down Sunday Have you made any Steps Down this week?

If you'd like the code for the Step Down Sunday badge or to learn more about it, go to the Step Down Sunday page.

14 February 2012

Driven to Drive

Our Focus
Since joining the WI I’ve suddenly I’ve found myself thrust into a busy social life, and it’s become clear that I need to sort out my driving.

Because I lived overseas I started driving at 16, but only automatic cars. When I moved to the UK 12 years ago I didn’t need (and couldn’t afford) a car so I stopped driving.

In 2006 my Mum paid for me to take some UK driving lessons so I could drive her around when she came to visit. It didn’t take me long to pass my test, but virtually all the cars I drove after passing my test were automatic. So when it came time to drive Mr Goldfish’s car I was already rusty.

Mr Goldfish had an old Fiat Bravo that had seen better days. It would clatter and shake and absolutely terrified me. I was always convinced it was in the wrong gear and I would completely ruin the clutch. The experience was so traumatic that it’s been difficult to get behind the wheel since.

We bought a new Ford Focus a couple of years ago, and I know I can drive this car...but I can’t. I even have trouble starting the damn thing! The resulting panic is nearly paralysing.

We’ve tried to find empty industrial estates where I can practise without the stress of other drivers getting irritated every time I stall the car, but none are especially close. I’ve been getting better each time, but with months in between sessions it's like starting over each time. We’ve been planning to book some refresher lessons, but money has been so tight it always seemed a luxury.

I’ve decided I have to bite the bullet and get it sorted. I can't keep dragging Mr Goldfish out every time I want to go somewhere. (And all the extra driving to pick me up and drop me off also doesn't help our carbonfootprint!) I have a bit of birthday money left and we’ve had a small windfall which should be enough for a few lessons.

Now I just have to overcome my social anxiety long enough to find a driving instructor....

13 February 2012

Something I Love

LAB and Albelli This week Mammasaurus from Love All Blogs has asked us to share a photo of something we love for her Valentine's Day competition.

I’m sure some people will think me shallow or even pathetic for listing my weekly Starbucks latte as something I love, but it's truly the highlight of my week.

My Favourite Starbucks Besides the fact they serve fair trade coffee and make soya lattes, I go to Starbucks so I can curl up in their big comfy chairs and relax. It’s a chance to feel normal, a place where I feel like everyone else. In a way it takes me back in time, to when I was young and life still was full of possibilities.

I went to my first coffee house when I was still in highschool, it was a small independent place called Trivium. It was one of the few places teenagers were welcome to gather and chat. Ironically it was Starbucks’ heavy handed tactics that forced Trivium to close, and I boycotted them for several years as a result. When I went to University the local coffee house was an escape from the long hours in studio, where we went to chat, gossip and relax.

Back them my drink of choice was an Italian Cream Soda, an odd concoction of plain soda water, flavoured syrup and milk, cream or half & half, but since moving to Britain I’ve come to appreciate the lovely warmth of lattes.

An oasis of calm that comes with a sense of independence and freedom, curling up with a Starbucks latte is something I love.
Starbucks Mount Street, Manchester
I am sharing an image of something I love with Love All Blogs and Albelli

12 February 2012

Step Down Sunday - Center Parcs

We’ve just returned from a lovely five day holiday at Center Parcs, and while I sat in Meeting on Sunday I had chance to think how our lives have changed.

Growing up holidays always required a driving for days or an international flight, so I acquired a sense of wanderlust at a young age. I aspired to explore and see the world, and I did tick many of the European destinations off my list with my three month backpacking trip. But as I think back on it, the cities were nearly identical. There are wonderful things you can only see in person, but I’m not sure I really need to see them.

When my health deteriorated travel became more difficult - suddenly busy holidays and sleeping in cheap & lumpy hostel beds seemed unbearable. These days I can barely carry a handbag much less my own luggage, so something at a slower pace is more appealing.

I fell in love with Center Parcs the first time we were invited along on a big family trip with the in-laws. There was no pressure to dash around doing things, yet there was an amazing pool I could spend hours in! So for the last few years we’ve gone on a mid-winter holiday (when Center Parcs is at its cheapest). We knew about the money and time Center Parcs invests in the forest and wildlife...but I’ve been a bit worried about that giant heated pool I love so much!
Since returning home I’ve investigated further and been pleased with what I’ve found. Center Parcs is one of the leaders in eco-tourism. They have a solid commitment to the environment and were the first recreational sector organisation to earn ISO 14001 standard, which requires a company to assess all potential environmental impacts and demonstrate active management to prevent negative impacts. (TreeHugger)

Practical ways they do this include:
  • They don’t use chemicals for pest control
  • They use grey water recycling
  • They use electric vehicles on site (25% of fleet)
  • Upgraded all diesel vans to efficient E4 rated engines
  • Staff use video conferencing where possible
  • Old bicycles are refurbished and donated to charities worldwide
  • They encourage guests to recycle and aim to produce zero landfill waste by 2015
  • Once guests have upacked, their cars are returned to the parking lots for the duration of the holiday.
  • They aim to reduce their carbon footprint by %20 over the next ten years
  • Any new facilities or expansions will be carbon neutral
  • They’re even assessing the sustainability of their supply chain to ensure all vulnerable raw materials come from sustainable sources.
Each village has an Environmental Action Team which involves staff in environmental initiatives. It’s estimated that each village implements 150 initiatives a year!

They’ve also recently invested £1 million in replacing the Winfell boilers with new more efficient boilers and a new Combined Heat Power (CHP) Unit which is the first of its type in the UK. Recent refurbishments of the Lakeside Inn have used LED lighting and kitchen extraction to make a 15-20% savings in energy.
In addition to reducing their carbon-footprint and energy usage, they also invest in wildlife conservation and biodiversity effort. In fact one of the highlights of visiting Winfell Village is watching the cute red squirrels, which are a native species struggling to survive.
Red Squirrel
So when it comes to environmentally friendly holidays Center Parcs fully receives my endorsement. It’s a wonderful holiday that combines relaxation, nature, and swimming, while making a stunning commitment to the environment and our future. Granted we’re lucky that we can go in the off season when it’s cheaper, but I hope we’ll still be able to support these good works even if we have a family.

Step Down Sunday Have you made any Steps Down this week?

If you'd like the code for the Step Down Sunday badge or to learn more about it, go to the Step Down Sunday page.

10 February 2012

Three Little Letters

It’s funny how your perspective changes over time.

Even before we went to the GP to say we were having trouble conceiving, I told Mr Goldfish that IVF wasn't an option. Of course at that point all I knew about IVF is what you see on the news, cases where women are having quintuplets - but that wasn’t my only reason.

I believe things happen for a reason and that trying to fight fate just brings you pain and heartache. My health is already quite poor, and I worry about passing these conditions on to a child. If my health stops me from being a mother, I can’t help but wonder if that’s for the best. I was also concerned by the cost. In a time when medicine has a treatment for everything, I wonder where we start drawing the line; when are the costs for society too high? And finally I have a serious phobia of needles. This doesn’t mean I avoid them though. I was on Depo injections for three years and have had more than 17 blood tests in the last twelve months, but - no matter how often I face them - the phobia doesn’t budge. I’ve worried many a doctor by bursting into twitchy hysterical laughter when faced with needles, to the extent that several have refused to even try. The idea of weeks of needles, full of hormones, bound to make me even more irrational, sounds insurmountable. I worry that I won’t be able to follow through. That I may get two or three weeks in and have a complete breakdown – refusing to have anymore. It’s not that I don’t think the cost is worth it, but I’ve been paralysed by anxiety before and, like depression, it’s not something you have control over. So for a multitude of reasons I didn’t think IVF was for me.

Then we got Mr Goldfish’s test results back. Those first results were so poor, that our GP suggested that IVF would be our only option. Suddenly the landscape changed, instead of it being my health that was causing the problem it was the hardy Mr Goldfish’s. Where I had the final choice before, this became a decision between both of us...and Mr G wanted a child of his own, he wanted to try the IVF.

Since then things have continued to change dramatically. Vitamins improved Mr Goldfish’s tests results, but we’ve still been on this conveyor belt, marching ever closer to IVF – and I’ve still not been convinced. After Christmas I seriously considered giving up. The Clomid hadn’t worked and I was draining the last of my reserves, I didn’t have much fight left - but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t change my heart. When I spoke of having children it was when, not if. I’d catch myself each time, but couldn’t convince myself we were done.

After a small rescheduling panic last week we finally went back to the fertility clinic for the first time in nine months. The doctor greeted us with ‘I assume you’re here to tell me three letters?’ Within minutes we’d signed the papers and were on our way – We’re now IVF patients.

This was originally published on the Emma's Diary Blog.

8 February 2012

Family Mystery

My Grandmother
My Grandmother
One of the most thrilling things about genealogy is stumbling across a mystery. Ours starts with my grandmother's birth certificate.

When I started researching our family history my aunt sent me copies of my grandmother's birth certificate. I was a bit baffled at first as there were two forms. There was the normal birth certificate and a Statutory Declaration signed  by my grandmother saying this was definitely her birth certificate.

The problem: My grandmother's name was Nora Osborne and her birth certificate said Nora Locke.

I asked both my father and my aunt about the discrepancy, but they didn't know their mother had a previous name. So I started digging.

Paternal Great Grandparents
William & Fanny Osborne

These are my paternal great-grandparent, William & Fanny Osborne.

Fanny first married a William Skorrow in 1902 and had six daughters before his death in 1915.  My grandmother was born three months before William Skorrow was killed in a mining accident...but why was a William Locke listed as her father? All we knew about William Locke is what's written on the birth certificate, he was a Private in E Company, 3rd Battalion K.O. York Light Infantry, previously a Colliery Hewer (miner).

After the death of her first husband Fanny married again in 1918 to William Osborne. On their marriage certificate W. Osborne is also listed as being a Private in the Kings Own York Light Infantry, but that's probably not uncommon for the area they lived in. The only extra detail I could gather is that his father was named Thomas.

Another facet to this mystery is of course the first world war, which started the year my grandmother was born and finished the year my great-grandmother married again. So it's bound to have played some role in the drama, but unfortunately many of the WWI services records were destroyed during the bombings of WWII.

So I was faced with three Williams:
  • W. Skorrow - the first husband
  • W. Locke - on the birth certificate
  • W. Osborne - on the marriage certificate
For months I wrestled with the puzzle. Unfortunately 1890-1900 has been the at the very edge of recently released records. I could find absolutely nothing on Locke or Osborne, so I started searching out the people around them.

Of the six daughters I found birth certificates for the first four Skorrow girls and my grandmother, but I realised I was missing the second youngest Emily. I searched and search through the birth records with no luck. I scanned through every Emily born between the years of 1910-1914 to no avail. In the end I can't remember what trick I used but I finally found Emmie Locke born July 1913. My father had assumed it was a nickname my great-aunt went by rather than her given name.

Of course this brought up more interesting questions. Emmie was born two years before W. Skorrow died, and my grand-mother was listed as a Mrs Locke on the birth certificates - obviously something being hidden. As divorce wasn't really an option at the time, so it was probably and illicit relationship or affair.

My big break through came with the release of the 1911 census. I desperately wanted to see what my great-grandmother was up to just a couple years before my grandmother was born.  I discovered Fanny living with her first husband W. Skorrow in his mother's house.  Along with Fanny, William and their four daughters was an unexpected surprise, George and William Locke...W.Skorrow's cousins!!
William Locke Osborne
William Locke Osborne

Finally I'd found the elusive William Locke! Unfortunately I still couldn't find the brothers in an earlier census, but I did manage to find George's military records. Hidden in a faint faded script I found the answer to my second mystery.  George lists his next of kin as his father Thomas Locke, but the important detail was the address - the same address that W. Osborne listed on his marriage certificate!  So I finally had proof that W. Locke & W. Osborne are the same person.

So it looks like my great-grandmother fell for her husband's cousin while living in crowded quarters. I suspect Fanny and W.Skorrow decided to split up and she and W. Locke pretended to be married until W. Skorrow died and Fanny could legally marry again.

The mystery I'm left with is why did William Locke change his name? Were they hiding from angry family or maybe from the military? I'd love to know more, but for the moment I'm a bit stumped. Anyone have any suggestions?

Have you ever discovered a family mystery?

Emma's Diary Meet & Greet

As always I’m running a bit behind. The activity and stress of the last few weeks took its toll on both my immune system and my reserves, so I’ve spent much of my free time sleeping. This of course means I haven’t had opportunity to introduce you to the lovely bloggers I met at the Emma’s Diary Meet & Greet.

I really love travelling, though I think that’s due to the fact I also love planning! Before I left I’d plotted two potential train journeys down to High Wycombe and another three for the way back - all saved on my phone in a handy spread sheet. Then by checking out the hotel website I discovered the local Park & Ride service could take me straight from the station to the hotel, avoiding any expensive and frustrating cab journeys. (Why do I always get the creepy cabby who doesn’t know where he’s going?). So other than one close call when I nearly missed my connection due to a delayed train, my down trip went flawlessly.

Unfortunately I didn’t survive the night so well. Sleeping is always a problem when travelling, but there was no way I could carry my extra bed padding with me. I’d rung the hotel and asked for an extra duvet, which I hoped would help, but it wasn’t enough. Even after taking pain killers to get to sleep, I awoke at 4am convinced I was sleeping on a wooden board. After that I only managed a couple hours sleep at a time, so I’m afraid I wasn’t at my best when I met everyone the next morning.

It was lovely to finally match some faces to the stories I’ve been reading on the Emma’s Diary Blog.

Representing the Baby Bloggers were @TheRareBitBlog  and her daughter Elle from The Rare Bit & @ellatamsen and her son Oliver from Bell's Little One.

@JumblyMummy from Mellow Mummy & @liveotherwise from Making It Up are Emma's Pregnancy Bloggers. I met @liveotherwise and her adorable Smallest child at dinner the night before. (Turns out Smallest and I share a love of cats.)

New blogger @JamieLeighSS and I are the trying-to-conceive bloggers, and poor @kiphakes from Kiphakes.com was the sole daddy blogger (though he did bring his wife @LozzieHakes along for support).

Sanatogen Pregnancy Supplements
& Palmer's Tummy Butter
While there we also had opportunity to meet several of Emma's brand partners. We chatted to the lovely people from Philips Avent, Avon, BambinoMio, Aldi, Tena, Bonjela & Karvol, Palmers and Sanatogen. After writing about how much TTC has cost us so far we really appreciated the complimentary Santogen supplements. We also got a lovely goody bag from Palmer's which Mr Goldfish appreciated. He's hoping I get pregnant soon just so he has an excuse to use the Palmer's Tummy Butter, apparently it smells delicious!

So after a busy day of chatting and making new friends, I started the long trip home. Unfortunately the way back wasn't nearly as enjoyable. I had much longer waits on cold stations and never really found opportunity to get dinner. Plus someone took my seat on the main train, leaving me to sit across from the creepiest toff I've ever encountered, which I may have posted grumpily to twitter at the time. Overall it was a fun mini-adventure and a brilliant opportunity to meet new people.

5 February 2012

Step Down Sunday-Make Do & Mend 2

My mum has an amusing story from when she was young, when my grandmother decided their duvet was in desperate need of a clean. My grandmother unpicked the stitches and pulled out all the feathers out of the duvet so she could put the cover through the wash. When she returned, she found her impish daughters jumping in the huge pile of feathers, sending them everywhere!
Shredded Polyurethane Foam Pillow
Last week I took that story as both inspiration and warning when I decided my pillow was in desperate need of a clean. One of the irritating side effects of my Fibromyalgia is that I’ve turned into the 'Princess & the Pea'. Even a fold in the sheet can keep me awake, so mattress springs often feel like cheese wire cutting into my skin. I’ve also discovered normal pillows are a problem. If I accidentally put my hand under my pillow in my sleep, my ear wakes me up with maddening pain. I found my salvation in a shredded polyurethane foam pillow from Muji.
Shredded polyurethane foam
Unfortunately it’s an oval shape and I never got around to making a cover for it, so it’s in desperate need of a wash. I unpicked the stitches and pulled out all the foam – but learning from my grandmother’s experience I decided to pack the foam into giant Tupperware boxes first!

For such a small pillow there was a surprising amount of filling! This is just what could fit in the box, and I needed to find a second. Once the cover had been washed I spent ages trying to get the filling back in evenly. I was tempted to put in a zipper in case it ever needs cleaning again, but I didn’t have time to plan it properly. So instead I stitched it back up with some heavy duty thread.

For now I’ve stuck it in a normal pillow case, but my next challenge is to make a suitable cover that won’t get wrinkles. Over all it was quite simple, if a bit messy, and I'm sure it will last me a few more years.

Step Down Sunday
Have you made any Steps Down this week?

If you'd like the code for the Step Down Sunday badge or to learn more about it, go to the Step Down Sunday page.