A Game of Life and Death · WIP SEWING · Writing

Chapter 3 – No Coffee

(a/n: In an effort to get this ‘out there’ as quickly as possible, and I don’t have a lot of time at the moment. I’m going to just focus the blog on getting this up and updating on my WIP progress for a while.)

No Coffee

Novel had only just arrived in the office and already his day was ruined. He glared at the flashing device in his hand as if he could scare it into submission. Predictably, that did no work and the message remained annoyingly unchanged on the brightly light mobile screen.

Missed booked flight home. Organising alternative. Will update you when I know more. Can you feed the furball tonight please?

She had promised him that she would be back in the office tomorrow. Now she might not be. He needed her here tomorrow. The office had already descended into chaos without her. Someone had attempted to reorganise the filing system on the computer yesterday – a phonecall confirmed that this had been IT – and now none of his desktop short cuts worked and he could not find a single thing. If Cassie had been here she could have fixed it – made them change it back.

But she was not here and the chaos had continued on. To make it worse, he would have to go and feed that stupid feline on the way home.

Unlocking the screen, he typed out a reply:

The cat will be fed. What is your flight number?

With this information he could at least keep track of her now.

He called HR to let them know that he has authorised an additional day of emergency holiday for Cassie. Then he started reading through the report he had been sent through.

When Novel arrived home – after surviving another ordeal with the cat – he pulled his mobile out from his pocket again. Cassie had sent him through the required flight number and he used this to check details of her flight. Apparently it had landed over an hour ago – perhaps she was still stuck waiting for her luggage?

It was almost time for the mid-week briefing by the time Novel realised something was missing. He check his phone again, there was still no message from Cassie, so the only conclusion was that she was already in the office…. But why had she at not at least apologised?

He stood and walked out of his office. Then he asked the room, “Cassie, can you come to my office please?”

There was no reply except for a few strange looks from the other officers. After meeting the stares, daring them to comment – no-one did – he stepped back inside his office.

His first action was to call the reception to see if they had heard from Cassie – they had not. The HR line was also similarly lacking in information. His gut was telling him that something was seriously off. But it had been feeling like that since Cassie had initially gone off on holiday – so a complete sense of trust could not be completely provided to him gut today.

He pulled his work mobile (only mobile) from his pocket.

“Call Sarah Lucas,” he told the phone slowly.

A non-descript silhouette of a person with the words Sarah Lucas appeared on his screen. The word Dialling… quickly followed.

It was answered after a few rings, “How can I help Assistant Chief Inspector?”

“I need you to see if you can trace someone for me please?”

“Yes Sir, who?”

“Do you remember Cassie?” there was an affirmative noise though the speaker, “she was due to return to work today after some delayed flight. I know her plane landed in Northern Ireland, can you access the database to make sure she went through passport control please?”

“Text me the flight number, and her passport number if you have it. Try calling her again – because I’m guessing you haven’t yet?”

“I’ll do that now.”

This was a number he could speed-dial. However, while Sarah’s suggestion had been a good one, it did not produce the results that he had been hoping for. The phonecall went straight to voicemail. Cassie either had no signal or her phone was off. This was not helpful and entirely out of character.

After leaving the message, he hung up. The phone started ringing again about 30 seconds later.

“Any luck with the phonecall?”

“Straight to answerphone.”

“Well she definitely landed in Northern Ireland. I cannot find any details of any flight or ferry crossings, so she is definitely still in the country.”

“Any other details that might be useful? I really would like to be able to get in contact with her ASAP. This is completely out of character for her.”

“For some reason she appeared to be traveling with some guy named ‘Mohammed’. He’s got a different surname to her – any thoughts?”

“No. But she left me an emergency contact number at hers. I’ll give her family a call and see if they know anything. Can you check any CCTV from the airport? I could do with a lead as to where she went from the airports. Can you put an alert on her passport? I need a warning if she leaves the country.”

“Get me the paperwork and I can have it with you in 30. I’ll email it over to you.”

After disconnecting the phone, he left the room and headed down the corridor. He needed to ask for some time off and to explain what little he knew about the situation.

Within 15 minutes he had the equivalent of a blank cheque for resources he needed – providing he got a sanity check on anything that involved foreign governments. He forwarded the confirmation email to Sarah and headed out of the building.

Within half an hour he found himself staring at the Cassie’s white plastic front door. He hovered there for a few minutes before eventually knocking.

No answer.

He knocked again, louder his time. Then shouted a greeting through the letter box.

If in the increasingly unlikely event that she was in he would have to re-explain basic etiquette to her. This was just rude.

After a pause, he wondered how she would have got in anyway. He had new locks put in after the break in…

After using the key to let himself him, he scanned the small entrance hall. It was as he had left it.

There was a small black folder on the left side of the desk labelled ‘travel papers – Novel’ on the spine. That would be a good place to start.

He picked up the folder and made himself comfortable in the lounge with a coffee. Flicking through the folder, he quickly found a printed itinerary of her trip. A neatly typed page of emergency contacts was next.  Her place of accommodation – the house of a cousin – would have to be his starting point for intel.

After deciding to use the landline, the phone was picked up after a couple of rings.

“Hi Cassie,” greeted a woman, “how was your trip back? We were expected to hear from you yesterday.”

“This isn’t Cassie. I am her boss, Chief Inspector Novel. I’ve been looking after her cat while she has been away.”

“Chief inspector, may I ask why Cassie isn’t calling?” the woman on the other side of the phone was starting to sound worried.

“She has not made it home yet. All I know is that she missed her initial flight, took an alternate flight home to Northern Ireland and I can’t trace her from there.”

“The last time I saw her was when she left from here with her cousin, Mohammed, he kindly agreed to escort her to the airport.”

“He was still with her in Northern Ireland. Can you think of any reason why?”

“Perhaps he was still escorting her? He did promise to keep an eye on her…” the voice was sounding less than convinced at this point, but she would not elaborate any further. However, she did make him promise to make Cassie contact her once he had found her.

Upon returning home, he gave his mother a summarised version of events so as to explain why he would be leaving.

Her only reply had been an enigmatic smile combined with a set of twinkling eyes. However, she did offer to make him a sandwich for the road – so he presumed she understood.

Within an hour, there was a taxi by the front door. His passport was tucked safely in a hidden pocket in his backpack – along with his credit card.

It was the middle of the afternoon when Novel arrived at the airport. The driver handed him his backpack and received his payment before driving away.

After moving into the airport, he walked purposely over to the ticket desks. After reaching the front of the queue, he inquired as to the availability of tickets.

“Good morning Sir, how can I help you today?”

“I could do with getting to Northern Ireland as soon as possible. Do you have any available seats please?”

She smiled politely and did a quick search on the computer in front of her.

“We have a spare seat in business class on a flight leaving 3 hours from now. How does that suit?”

“That would be ideal. I’ll pay by card.”

After the payment had processed successfully, she handed Novel his newly printed ticket. “We hope that you have a pleasant trip. Please take the time to enjoy the airport’s duty free facilities and the executive business lounge.”

“Many thanks,” he replied, carefully storing the ticket in his jacket pocket and moving in the general direction of Check-in.

“Holiday Sir?” asked the man at the check-in desk. He paused briefly to peer over his glasses at Novel to compare to the unflattering passport picture.

“Just meeting up with a friend.”

After receiving back his passport along with a bright pink stick emblazoned with HAND LUGGAGE he headed in the direction of security

Eventually, Novel emerged into the brightly lit shopping mall that was the duty-free area. It was packed full of items he would not normally buy and people he did not have any inclination of speaking to.

He had some time before his flight, so he headed into the calmness of the business lounge. Once he had found himself an armchair, he settled himself down with a coffee to wait.

After the customary safety talk, the plane took off without incident. Once the seatbelt sign had been switched off, Novel reached into the back and retrieved the paperwork Cassie had left for him.

It was evident from the paperwork that she have planned to return on the booked flight. There was a clear travel timetable typed up, along with the confirmation email of her flights. It was unclear how she could have missed her flight from the plans – although the escort of her cousin could have thrown her initial planning.













BABY · Knitting · My Finished Objects (F.O) · My WIP Projects · sewing · Uncategorized · Updates · WIP SEWING

Christmas Knitting/Knits of the year


So I’m not going to lie… Pretty much what got me started on this post of this GIF that a friend posted on Facebook. It’s so cute! (Original source)

So this year, for obvious reasons I won’t be getting any Christmas knitting done (trying to limit my WIPs in the beginning of 2017). However, I thought this would be a great chance to have a look through on my craft pieces so far this year and see what I’d actually manage to do. I seem to have this general feeling that I don’t get much done…


  1. Camo Blanket. This FO has been super useful and super warm. I’ve been sleeping a lot on the sofa now that bubs is making sleeping difficult. This was a project I really enjoyed knitting – it was fully in Garter Stitch and knitted up really quickly as a result. I also loved the texture mix.


2. Baby Booties. I finished these about 2 months before we became pregnant – I think that was probably a sign of how this year was going to go! These booties are huge though…. so I don’t think bubs will be wearing them for a long time…


3. Necklace. I haven’t had a chance for much beading this year. So this was a nice change in pace. This is made from 3 chains made from the same beads but with different designs. Each is removable and so can be worn independently.


4. Nursery Artwork. This has been in the planning for a while. Eventually I finally had the time to put everything together.



  1. Bubs. I definitely count bubs as my favorite WIP of the year. Unlike most of my WIPs, Bubs should at least be finished in the next couple of months (I’m getting kicks in agreement as I write this!)


2. The Nursery. This is, obviously, another exciting WIP. We want this done by the beginning of December. The cupboards need doors, but we have the carpet down now!


3. Sewn Patchwork blanket. This one seems to make leaps of progress and then stall for a while. But it probably only needs another power through to get this done. Fingers crossed this might happen in the maternity time off after xmas!


4. Knitted Patchwork blanket. As you all know this is a long time WIP. But definitely progress has occurred this year (I have a planning spreadsheet now and everything!)


5. Knitted socks. Trying to get these finished ASAP now. I’ve literally only got the end of the foot section of each sock to do.


6. The fluffy hedgehog. Haven’t made much progress on this one. I think it needs frogging and a start over. I’m pretty sure I messed up on the counting….

Hedgehog 2

Fingers crossed I can actually shorten the WIPs list before bubs gets here.. I have about 8 weeks…

Baby brain signing off

Mrs Kirsty Holl




BABY · My WIP Projects · sewing · Updates · WIP SEWING

W.I.P. Week 26

So progressing onto week 26. We had a lot of progress this week. Bubs is really wiggling and kicking lots now. Cannot believe how much its grown!! 

We went to a 2nd hand baby market on Sunday. Between my mother in law and us we brought enough stuff to keep the baby amused and clothed for a long while. 

I’ll update you with some buys later. We’ve had the gas man in this week replacing the boiler this week. We realised that with a baby a reliable source of heating and hot water would be useful. But it also removes the hot water tank from the nursery and frees up a huge amount of cupboard space. 

It does mean that we can get started on the decorating now! 

After my post on Sunday (thank you for the responses!) I promptly lost my notebook. This notebook stays with me almost permantly. Its probably in our bedroom under all the stuff from the spare bedroom. But it does make me feel a bit lost. 

So I started on another quick project. I need some new belts as the leather belts are now to solid. So I thought I’d make some fabric ones. 

I went to fabric land on Sunday afternoon…. I got a vareity of materials to see what works best.

With the fabric I have left I’m going to make scarves 🙂 

But I’m hand sewing these. I can pick up this project and travel with it. The material is to slippery to be able to cope with this in a sewing machine. 

But thats the plan for this week while I turn the house upside down looking for the notebook. 

I literally feel like I’ve lost a limb

Baby brain signing off



My WIP Projects · Patchwork Blanket · sewing · WIP SEWING

W.I.P – Patchwork quilt / curtain

So this project started off life as a planned set of curtains for a cupboard. Change of plan for the cupboard so we no longer need them. Thankfully I was in the perfect place to pause and alter the pattern when this decision was made.

This is the new plan.

I made use of the bank holiday Monday and set up the dining room table as my work space. Thank God for extension leads!!

All prepped and ready for some serious sewing. The sun was streaming in through the window and it was warm enough to have the back door open. So that makes a change for a bank holiday Monday!

The first task was to find a bit of fabric for the central panel. I was going to leave this until last as I wasn’t sure if anything in my stash was going to suit it. 

Fortunately my amazing aunty-in-law came to the rescue with new additions to the stash about a month ago so I ended up with 2 seperate options.

Option 1:

Option 2:

After a quick check with my husband (I really couldn’t make my mind up!), we went with option 2.

My wrist adapted pincushion was seriously useful with this one. Way too much fabric to attempt to have to reach for a pin cushion!

After finally getting the fabric cut to the right size I eventually get it sewn in.

Managed to get the new piece all sewn in and managed to get a few new square sewn in too. So some definate progress today. Going to leave the machine downstairs and hope to make some more progress this week. 

Then next month I can buy the stuffing and the backing for the quilt. Nothing can stop me now!

We spent the remainder of the evening in the backgarden with our new firepit. This fire habit could start to get expensive, but we’re starting to get the hang of it! Unfortunately, I had to make the call that knitting and sitting by a firepit would not mix 😦 so no extra knitting time for me 😦

So cheers to you all! Hope you all had a marvelous weekend 🙂 (that is a very non-alcoholic shloer in the glass with bubbles to make myself feel a little better for having no wine).

Baby brain signing off



My WIP Projects · WIP SEWING

WIP – Sewing Project – PATCHWORK Quilt

This is a project I started early 2014.
I’ve always fancied having a go at putting a quilt together. I’ve not done any sewing really since I was 13 – year 9 textiles class – so definitely out of practice!

Not quite sure where to start, I started collection designs on a Pinterest board. Then I eventually found this one and suddenly it all fell into place.

Cross quilt patterns
However, rather than being separated by white crosses, all of the crosses will be patterned. My thought was that this would be the best way of mixing the pattern fabric as individual squares might look a bit overwhelming.
Here is a quick sample of some of the fabrics that are going into my quilt. I’ve got a mix of fabrics I have brought and some that have been donated by friends and family for the project. The plan is to mix the block coloured fabric with the ones that have more white in the design.

Work so far…I have started sewing them into crosses and used a large white sheet to formulate my design. The plan is to use the sheet as an extra layer below the patched side between the stuffing. I’m hoping this will secure the patched design.

Fabric Samples
Samples of completed crosses
For the back of the quilt I have a red piece of fabric with a printed image of the Hindu God. I brought it in Portugal as I wanted something in the blanket to remind me of the holiday. It will also give me the perk of a reversible quilt! I’ll give you a sneak preview of it further into creation – so watch this space!

January progress…

So post Christmas work on the blanket has progressed from pieces to some of the crosses of the fabric actually sewn together! Originally I had began the design sewing together using invisible plastic thread. During this stage I discovered that that was not my best plan as some of that stitching is coming apart. So I am now using white cotton thread and make small repair stitches where necessary.

So here is a photo of my progress so far! I’ve given up on pinning them onto the sheet. This was manly because I was being an bit impatient. I really needed to see some progress to get my motivation going on this project.

Some of the more eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that my attempt at free wheeling this without a pattern needs more focus. The bottom cross with with flowers needs to be unstiched and moved across and up one square. Apparently spending a bit of time doing a line drawing pattern could be a good move.

Here it is (feel free to copy if you want to try the composition yourself. The squares are 13″ x 13″ inches.
Since I put the line drawing together, the blanket has progressed significantly.
Projects Update - Patchwork quilt
Projects Update – Patchwork quilt