Monday, 16 July 2018

News on a Monday

I can't believe it; it's been a year since our daughter's wedding 

I love this photo of her, she looks so happy and it just about sums up the atmosphere of the wonderful day that we all had.  Look how little Leo looks in this next photo!

This year has flown by and I've just realised that there is some big news that I don't think I've shared on my blog - Leo is going to be a 'big brother'.  R is expecting another baby in December which is very exciting.

My retirement couldn't have come at a more convenient time eh?!

Friday, 13 July 2018

La dolce vita

How does a week go by so fast?  One minute I was setting my alarm clock for 4.30 am ready for a taxi pick up at 5 and the next we were asking the hotel receptionist to arrange for us to have an early morning wake up call for 6.30 am for our return flight home.

But in between we have had a fab week of sunshine, fabulous food, I've developed a real taste for rose prosecco, acquired 6 mosquito bites, swam every day and practised our Italian whenever we could.  

But a few too many of these amazing gelato desserts ...

... means that my husband is currently at the dentist having root canal treatment.  He had to go to the dentist the day before we went away and although the dentist filled his tooth, he said he wasn't convinced that was all it was and that if it got worse, he would have to have more drastic treatment.  Fortunately it didn't get worse until the day before we came home so he was able to have 5 days of gelato gorgeousness and ice in his aperol spritz!

We stayed in a resort called Desenzano which is on Lake Garda and is absolutely beautiful.  Such a lovely atmosphere, and plenty of interesting things to do.  We didn't venture far afield once we were there, only a couple of ferry rides across to Sirmione but I am happy to say that I've checked off quite a few of the photos needed for the scavenger hunt which I will share soon.  

Back to reality now, suitcases unpacked and washing done which can only mean one thing - that ironing basket is full to overflowing 😓

Saturday, 30 June 2018

A sentence a day for June

Joining in again with Leslie and recording my days, a sentence at a time {not always as simple as it sounds}.

Day 1:  For someone who gets anxious at the thought of dentists, what do you think would be the absolute worst place for me to spend the first day of the new month?  (Even if it was just for a six monthly check up which revealed nothing needed to be done?) 😬

Day 2: One of the bonuses of having people over on a Saturday night is that the house is then super clean for the next few days (well, the downstairs is - I always assume guests won't be venturing upstairs to see where I've hidden all the mess)

Day 3: A fun afternoon/evening at Paul's cousin's house celebrating a big birthday, they had booked a guitar duo who played music from the early 70s and it was great to relive our youth. 

Day 4: We are having the front garden landscaped and today is the first day that the workmen are here - must remember to stock up on milk, biscuits and tea bags!

Day 5: Ventured out to the exercise class I discovered last week and although I still feel like the only new girl there, they seem a friendly bunch and next week maybe I'll be brave enough to introduce myself to some others.

Day 6: Builders have left, which gives me plenty of reading time for the online book club Leslie is hosting - it's a cracker of a book and I am constantly wanting to pick up my kindle and read just one chapter more!

(Paving complete, now to put down gravel and plant up the bare bits!)

Day 7: It was hard to get Leo to say bye bye to the bunnies in the local pet shop but I had a feeling his mum wouldn't be too happy if she came home from work and found that he'd acquired a pet.

Day 8: A brief visit from our son who'd been to buy a car ready for his return to a more rural location after 6 years of living in cities where it's easier to jump on a bus/train/tram than own a car.

Day 9: A lovely sunny day meant an impromptu trip out to the local 'Pick your own' to get some fantastic strawberries - why do they taste so much nicer when you've picked them yourself?

Day 10: My friend's daughter who was the UK Eurovision singer is back in her home town as part of a nationwide tour - of course I had to go and see her!

Day 11: Sun was shining, time to tackle the overgrown flower bed in the front garden!

Day 12: Another day, another Zumba class, the instructor had us all laughing as she told us about her trip to London at the weekend where she came across a group of naked cyclists 😱

Day 13: A trip to Cambridge where it felt like us 'locals' were far outnumbered by Chinese tourists!

Day 14: We went in search of boxes that our son can use for packing up his possessions ready for their move to their new house .. in 18 days time ... not that I'm counting 😉

Day 15: Paella night at our friends' house - this has become quite a tradition to celebrate the start of summer, they cook the most amazing paella! {and serve it with generous amounts of gin and tonic}

Day 16: A quiet day after a late night (see above!) involved a bit of internet shopping as the summer sales have started in almost every shop now and I have the perfect excuse for 'needing' new clothes as we have a holiday coming up very soon.

Day 17: Father's Day and both 'children' came to visit in the morning followed by a meal of his choice with a nice bottle of wine and then World Cup football all afternoon - his idea of a perfect Sunday!

Day 18: Football.  Harry Kane.  Nothing more to say.

Day 19:  Coco and I both had a hair cut, one of us also had our 'colourless' hairs tinted.

Day 20: Pub lunch in Widdington, why does a gin and tonic at lunchtime make you feel so sleepy in the afternoon?

Day 21: Leo's childminder is away this week so we have extra babysitting duties

Day 22: Leo has a party to go to at the weekend and has to go in fancy dress, here he is dressed as everybody's favourite man in uniform

Day 23:  Went to Trinity College, Cambridge to listen to a friend performing in a brass band concert - was such a lovely afternoon.

Day 24:  Football.  More football. Apparently we are now guaranteed to be in the next round.

Day 25: Shopping in town for last minute holiday essentials - almost time to get the suitcases out the loft and start making lists.

Day 26:  Very grateful for the fact that the Zumba instructor worked out how to use the air conditioning unit at the Rugby Club hall this morning.

Day 27:  Chilled by the paddling pool most of the day - well, I was by the pool, someone else else was hogging it to themselves

Day 28: Took Leo to Little Monsters House of Fun, a soft play area, where we both tired ourselves out chasing around the slides, tunnels, climbing frames and ball pits. 

Day 29: Took delivery of my niece's dog who will be staying for the weekend while they go camping - I wonder why they didn't want to share their tent with a 12 year old Tibetan Terrier?

Day 30:  Our guest, Ozzy, has made himself so much at home that he has taken some of Coco's favourite sleeping spots.

So that's it for June - half way through the year!  How did your month look?

Friday, 29 June 2018

Scavenger hunt - 1st link up

I've mentioned in previous posts that I'm taking part in the Photographic Scavenger Hunt organised by Mary Lou over at Patio Postcards.

Quite often I find that over the course of the summer I take more than one photo for each category and then choose my favourite so just because these ones have made the cut so far, they may be replaced by the end!

The Rosiness of Red


 A framed view

 A pile of

A field of plenty

 Something that could be from a favourite book/movie/song


Mellow Yellow

Are you joining in too?  It's not to late to start!

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Holiday shopping

Our holiday is getting closer now and I'm starting to make packing lists and gradually move clothes and toiletries into the spare bedroom ready to be packed.  

'Do you need anything else for the holiday?' my husband asked when I mentioned I was going into town yesterday.  'No, I've got everything I need' I replied.

And then I went into town.  And I just popped into Accessorize to see what they had in their sale.  And then I suddenly realised that maybe there was something else I 'needed'.  Well I mean, how could I resist this?

The perfect size to take out in the evenings, so pretty, and all those beads, mirrors, shells and tassels definitely make it a holiday bag.  And half price.  How could I resist?

Sunday, 24 June 2018

An afternoon at Trinity

One of the jobs that I had when I worked at the school was Assistant to the Exams Officer.  It was one of my favourite jobs and I worked with a lovely lady who, in her spare time, played 1st Horn in a brass band.  I kept saying that I would go and see them when they were in concert locally but am ashamed to say it never happened.  We've kept in regular touch since she left the school and earlier this year she mentioned that it was the 50th anniversary of the band and they were having a celebratory concert in the building where she now works.  That building is Trinity College, Cambridge.   {A far cry from the local High School where we met!}

So the date has been in the diary for many months now and even though I'm not a huge fan of brass band music, I was looking forward to actually seeing her perform.  Paul and I met up with two other couples {us wives had all worked at the same school together} for lunch before the concert - a slight mix up in an offer the restaurant was offering meant that we were given one whole bottle of prosecco and 4 extra glasses free - I'm still not sure how that happened but I'm not one to turn down a free glass of fizz! 🍾

Anyone who has ever seen the film Chariots of Fire will know about Trinity College.  To this day students compete to see who can run around the Great Court within the time it takes the college clock to strike the hour of 12.  It's a distance of about 400 yards and the clock takes about 44 seconds to chime.  Apparently the clock sticks each hour twice, one low tone and one high so that gives you a little extra time!

So much history about this place,  it was founded by Henry VIII in 1546 and famous alumni include Isaac Newton, Lord Byron, Lord Tennyson, several British Prime Ministers and A A Milne, whose original manuscript of The House at Pooh Corner is housed in the library there.  

You may see from the photos that there is no one walking across the grass - that is absolutely forbidden unless you are one of the 190 Fellows of the College, there is a very strict looking man in a bowler hat keeping an eye on you at all times just in case you felt the urge to take a short cut between the buildings!  

It was a fabulous afternoon and I feel so privileged to have been able to see inside such a prestigious and historical building.  The acoustics in the chapel were brilliant and they played a wide variety of styles of music, finishing on Crown Imperial which sounded so majestic in those surroundings.

There is also a remote possibility that I may have found another photo to tick off the list - although Paul thinks I am pushing the boundaries a bit to think that the organ in the chapel could constitute  2 - Stripes.

And guess what?  I still didn't get a photo of Cambridge cyclists for Pedal Power!  

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Double takes

I know we are both retired, and that we now have every day free, but it seems that if we rarely have a spare minute.  People did warn me about this!  So yesterday I actually wrote on the calendar 'pub lunch' so that we definitely got out and did it.

It was a glorious day and we headed out to a little old country pub about 20 mins drive from here that has a reputation for good food.  Not a huge menu, and definitely not posh surroundings but a typical old fashioned British pub.  We had a fab meal and then went on a little drive around the area where we came across a little barn development which housed some random businesses.  An antiques barn, a cafe, a little deli and a shop selling random bits and pieces.  'There's got to be something here that fits the scavenger hunt photos' I thought to myself.  And then I saw it, something that fits two criteria in one.

8 A pile of and/or 16 Something that could be from a movie

Good old Harry Potter!  I still can't believe I made it home without actually buying one of these, I'm sure I could have found something to store in it. 

Carrying on with some of the memes I am joining in with this summer, I've just finished reading The Wife Between Us as part of an online book club.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, if you like a story that has a few twists and turns along the way this will definitely keep you interested.  I love it when I get a book that makes me want to read just one chapter more!  We had to vote for which book we would read and there was another on the list I liked the sound of so when I'd finished the book we were discussing I read Little Fires Everywhere.  This was one of those books that I didn't want to end, I want to know what happened to Izzy, Mia and Pearl next!  How's your summer reading list looking?