Five reasons American low cost airlines* are better than ours…

Apparently the garish colours are universal
Apparently the garish colours are universal

1 – They don’t charge you for having the audacity to take a change of clothes. In fact, each passenger can check two pieces of luggage for free.

2. The boarding is civilised, unlike the cross between a rugby scrum and the Boxing Day sales we get in the UK. When you check in (online, up to 24 hours before the flight time) you’re allocated a number. Everyone then lines up and boards the plane in that order. Most importantly, this is actually enforced. (I’d love to see those rude people who charge forward at the first call regardless of their loyalty card status / row number etc get sent back.)

Bonus reason - their logo is a heart
Bonus reason – their logo is a heart

3. The drinks (non-alcoholic) are free.

4. The crew smile, are kind to children and have a sense of humour: “Sit back and relax….or lean forward and be tense. Either way we’re about to take off. “

5. They land at the place you want to visit, rather some previously deserted airport that’s  a 50 mile bus journey away from anywhere.

However, one thing is no better – luggage reclaim is still marred by the idiots who insist on standing (and parking their trolley) right next to the carousel, because that will somehow ensure their bag comes out first. Perhaps there should be very basic written instructions for those who find it too difficult:

Stand BEHIND THE YELLOW LINE so that everyone can see the bags.

When you see your bag, walk forward, lift it off the carousel then carry it back to your trolley / spouse / family.

Wait BEHIND THE YELLOW LINE for the next bag.

When you have all your bags, leave the luggage reclaim area.

If anyone still insists on standing immediately adjacent to the carousel, there could be some kind of cattle-prod enforcement device…. (I admit that my irritation with these people is disproportionate to their offence, but after twelve hours – or one hour – in a metal box with them I just can’t help it.)

* I’ve only flown with Southwest, but I’m told our experience was typical.

Reblog for CHD Awareness Week 2014

Important information for all parents-to-be. It seems appropriate to share this in CHD awareness week. The image doesn’t seen to be appearing here so please follow the ‘view original’ link.


We count ourselves so very lucky that Erin’s complex heart defect was picked up at a 20 week scan.

In fact, only around 35% of CHDs are picked up by scans. Many little undiagnosed babies are born and become suddenly poorly – resulting in an emergency situation.

Do you know anyone who is expecting a baby soon? Please share this image with them – it highlights some key signs of CHD in newborns. Please don’t think it can’t happen to you… CHDs affect 1 baby in every 100!

For more information please visit


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Just to say…

Lots of love

…that I don’t know how much I’ll be posting over the next few weeks. The Jam will be having his Fontan procedure on Friday (with pre-op admission on Thursday) and I don’t know if/when I’ll have internet access and/or feel like writing. Thank you to everyone for your kind words and support, actual and virtual, over the last few months and in the coming weeks – it all helps. Over the next few days I’m hoping to finish off a few very belated (but much more light-hearted) posts about our adventures last year so look out for those!


I’ve finished a few knitting projects recently but haven’t got around to taking decent photos. However, I couldn’t not have a knitting post during National Wool Week so here are a couple of snaps of the winter hats I made for myself and the Jam.:

Best cure for dark circles? Photoshop....
Best cure for dark circles? Photoshop….

My hat – knitted in Rowan’s Thick ‘n’ Thin merino wool, which is great fun to use due to the unusual texture and beautiful jewel hues, some almost solid colours and some lovely combinations – I fancy trying a scarf in the purple/green basalt next. I rarely use chunky yarns, but it was very satisfying to finish something in just a few hours. The pattern is from the accompanying book, but it’s just a basic ribbed hat, knitted flat then seamed.

IMG_1891The Jam’s hat – a variation on the crown hat I knitted for him a few months ago. That was a little small, so I used slightly bigger needles and knitted an extra 1.5cm before decreasing. (I also remembered to strand the yarn really loosely this time!) Instead of the crown pattern, I made my own chart with his name and a little heart. This took rather longer than mine, but I’m proud of the results.

More Little Hearts

Over the weekend FFF sent me a link for another pattern for knitted hearts. They’re slightly bigger but because they’re knitted all in one piece, the edges are neater. At first the increases confused me as you knit into the front, the back and then front again of the centre stitch on every row. In the end I had to write it out in full for myself, so I thought I’d share it here:


  • Cast on 9 stitches
  • Row 1: K1, yo, K3, KFBF, K3, yo, K1
  • Row 2: K1, yo, K5, KFBF, K5, yo, K1
  • Row 3: K1, yo, K7, KFBF, K7, yo, K1
  • Row 4: K10, KFBF, K10
  • Row 5: K11, KFBF, K11
  • Row 6: K12, KFBF, K12
  • Row 7: K13, KFBF, K13
  • Row 8: K14, KFBF, K14
  • Row 9: K15, KFBF, K15
  • Row 10: K16, KFBF, K16
  • Row 11: K17, KFBF, K17
  • Row 12: K18, KFBF, K18
  • Row 13: K19, KFBF, K19
  • Row 14: K20, KFBF, K20
  • Row 15: K21, KFBF, K21
  • Row 16: K2tog, K20, KFBF, K20, K2tog
  • Row 17: K2tog, K20, KFBF, K20, K2tog
  • Row 18: K2tog, K20, KFBF, K20, K2tog
  • Row 19: K2tog, K2tog, K18, KFBF, K18, K2tog, K2tog
  • Row 20: K2tog, K2tog, K17, KFBF, K17, K2tog, K2tog
  • Row 21: K2tog, K2tog, K16, KFBF, K16, K2tog, K2tog
  • Cast off and weave in ends