Monday, 7 August 2017

Through the keyhole

Remember that tv show where they showed you round the inside of someone's house and you had to guess who lived there?  Well, as I typed 'what does a hornet look like' into a well known search engine, I wondered what people would think of me if they just looked at my recent search history.  Trust me, it is completely random! 

Why was I looking for hornets? (although I was not really looking for them, we suspected we had one in our conservatory) My husband is not bothered by any flying insects.  I, on the other hand, am a wasp magnet and they will find me wherever I happen to be, and no amount of flapping around with my arms will get rid of them.  Apparently, this is lesson one in the how to avoid wasps manual.  Flapping gets them all riled up and makes you more attractive to their vicious little stinging machines.  'Just ignore it, it will go away' says the husband.  'Easier said than done' I yell as I run off in the opposite direction.  He calmly stays where he is, waits for the stripy enemy to land and with a flick of the thumb and middle finger, swats it into submission.  So, when he appeared perplexed by an unwanted visitor in the conservatory last night, I knew it was time to really worry.  He's never phased by anything like that so when he said, close the door and don't let Coco out here, I knew it was more than just a wasp.  It was still there this morning, twitching it's stripy body and flickering its wings.  Once we had formally identified it (neither of us like to kill any insect and prefer to simply re-home them elsewhere) the step ladder and rolled up newspaper was moved into position and a few minutes later we were hornet-less.  Now we can all relax.

Talking of ladders, last night I was also looking for this

It's known at the 'milk ladder' and is a method for introducing milk into a baby's diet when milk intolerance is suspected.  At the end of last year, Leo was failing to put on weight and certain evidence in the nappy department (I won't go into details, some people may be reading this while eating their breakfast) suggested he had either allergies or intolerances to something that Rachel was eating which was coming through in her milk.  The likely culprits were either egg, milk or soya so she's been on a restricted diet and he's come on in leaps and bounds.  About 3 months ago they had to challenge the egg aspect and give him some cake which had cooked egg in it.  He had a bad reaction, so much so that he now has an epipen just in case he is accidentally given something that has egg in it.  She's introduced soya into her diet and that hasn't had any bad effects. The next thing to challenge was milk and he's started on a 12 step programme to introduce egg.  First thing is malted milk biscuits (which he loved) then digestive biscuits (which he loved) and tomorrow he can try mini muffins or cupcakes so I've been searching for egg free recipes.  If there is anyone out there who know of a good recipe, let me know!  

Another recent search was for this
Rachel had a couple of hydrangea heads in her wedding bouquet which led me to eye up the shrub we have in our garden but I wasn't sure if we would ruin the plant by cutting some to bring indoors.  Some flowers prefer to be left where nature intended.  Fortunately, all seems ok and I love the way these look in the dining room.

Other recent searches include Lyme disease (hypochondriac in me suspected a random insect bite on husband's leg) Wedding readings (R is doing a reading at J's wedding and still hasn't decide which one to do) Online take away menu for our local Thai restaurant, (friends came over on Saturday night) Lightroom tutorials (just downloaded the programme on the computer and tendonitis exercises.  This gives an impression of a limping, hungry, health worried, speech giver who plans to take pictures of her dinner at her son's wedding.  What does your history say about you?   

Thursday, 3 August 2017

There under false pretences

I did something I never thought I would have to do yesterday, which resulted in a shopping trip today to buy something I wouldn't normally buy.  Yesterday I found myself ringing up a local physiotherapy practice to book in for a ...

Sports therapy massage.

Yes.  Me. The most un-sporty person I know.  Turns out the sports masseur is on holiday but before I had chance to put the phone down, I found myself being booked in with an osteopath.  That morning.

On arrival I thought I was bound to be discovered as a fraud and marched out with a 'you've never seen the inside of a sports hall, go on, be off with you' but I meekly took my clipboard with questionnaire attached to it, rated my pain between 0 and 10 and circled an outline of a body to show where it hurt.  

Before the ink from my signature was dry I was called into the treatment room and asked to describe why I was there.  I wasn't limping, bleeding or bandaged and there was no obvious injury on show.  Because, in my unprofessional opinion, I am suffering with 'flip flop ankle'.  Happens from time to time when I'm on holiday and living in flip flops all the time or if I've been walking the dog in flat soled shoes with no cushioning in the foot.  A lady I work with snapped her achilles tendon a couple of years ago and I wondered if that was preceded by an incident of flip flop ankle so thought I should get it checked out as I cannot get out of bed without ouches, groans, limps and moaning about excruciating pain.  After an hour or so of walking around it goes completely but apparently this can be a bit annoying, so I was marched (delicately) to the physio. 

Now, it hadn't crossed my mind that the examination may include looking in depth at my feet and I'm not a great one for having my feet touched - especially by strangers.  I felt ridiculously proud to be told that I had 'good arches' only to then be told that he could feel a real tightening of the muscles there which may mean plantar fasciitis is about to start.  That sounded much worse than flip flop ankle.  Further examination of my calf confirmed that the muscles which lead to the achilles from there are really tight too and he wanted to concentrate on deep tissue massage there.  Whilst doing that he mentioned that he also liked to include acupuncture in treatment as it speeded up healing and was good for pain relief.  Would I be willing to have a few needles put in, just for a minute.  My brain screamed 'no' but my mouth said something along the lines of 'if you think it will help, then that's fine'.  Stupid mouth, it should wait for the brain to catch up sometimes.  A 'few' apparently means two rows of three down each calf and four around the edge of the achilles tendon.  TEN.  On each leg.  Well, the thinking about it was worth than the actual doing it and a minute isn't that long is it?  

So I'm trying not to wear completely flat, uncushioned soles but obviously need something suitable for walking other than my tatty 10 year old trainers so today I've been out to buy some smarter lightweight trainers.


They are extremely comfortable, with memory foam insoles and it's like walking on a springy mattress.  Let's hope my ankles appreciate them.  We're off to Rome in September and there's a lot of walking to be done, I need to be fixed by then.  It'd be awful if I had to be seated in a bar somewhere for a couple of hours every lunchtime while my feet recovered wouldn't it?

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

The Hunt goes on

So here we go with the next batch of Scavenger Hunt photos in the challenge set by Mary-Lou 

1 Fuzzy

8 Rust or derelict

9 Kite or balloon

12 Wedding

18 Fan

22 Dial

So that leaves me with just 6 to find, of course it means that they are not the easiest ones but things like 'pipe' or 'inside' which makes me want to think outside the box - but I know I will get there by the end of the time scale!

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Farewell to Sanditon

I've finished it! 
Now, I'm not going to lie.  At the beginning I wasn't sure I was going to like it.  It took me ages to get into the Jane Austen style of writing and at times I found myself quite impatient with her.  So many commas and long winded sentences.

Ironically, the point at which I found myself relaxing into the story and looking forward to the next chapter was at a point in the story where a group of visitors to Sanditon left the resort to visit somewhere else.  As the plot gathered speed and a few twists and turns appeared I felt myself mellowing to the style of writing.  But it may have also been because the 'other lady' had an easier style to her narrative.  I was wondering who she was and a little google research suggests it was Marie Dobbs. Apparently early works by Jane Austen were attributed merely to 'A lady' rather than naming her properly and this is why the actual name of the person finishing the book is kept secret.  Anyway, it's done - all pages read and I'm ready now for any probing questions and homework Julie and Ruth may wish to send my way!  

So the first week of the summer holidays has gone in the blink of an eye.  The days have been full and we're another week closer to wedding number two.  I've sewn all the table runners for this one now and on Saturday Rachel and I went to the UK hen do for people who didn't go to the overseas rave up.  Sophie's mum had found photos of her growing up and we all chose a photo to replicate so the afternoon could be themed as Sophie growing up.  This led to Rachel looking a bit like Britney Spears in the infamous school uniform and me looking scarily like Harry Enfield's character 'Kevin'.  It was a fun afternoon which included having to make a wedding dress out of 4 rolls of toilet paper.  Hopefully, the real thing will be slightly classier 😉 not to mention a little more hardwearing if she should spill anything down it!  

Monday, 24 July 2017

The week after the week before

I'm exhausted.  Proper 'just need to sit down for a moment and close my eyes' exhausted.  

What with the emotional lead up to the wedding, followed by the brilliant day itself and then a little house guest coming to stay.  This picture of him sums it up nicely.

R&J weren't going to have a honeymoon, but at the very last minute they wondered if perhaps we may have L for a couple of nights so they could have a 'mini moon'.  But if you're going abroad, it's silly to just go for 2 days isn't it?  And so his reservation was amended to Wednesday to Saturday.  While mummy and daddy were posting Instagram pictures of champagne glasses clinking in classy restaurants in Palma, or views from their sun loungers at exclusive beach resorts, we were sitting at the dining table at home, slightly spattered with chicken casserole and trying to convince a small grandson that he really didn't need to hand any of his dinner over to an optimistic dog who had set up residence by the side of his high chair.

He is a little pocket rocket.  From the moment his eyes open in the morning until they reluctantly close at night, he's on the go - every. single. minute.  At that stage where he desperately wants to walk but doesn't quite have the balance skills but boy is he fast at the 100m coffee table cruise event.  Now, we're not as young as we were and we don't have those same energy supplies so we ended up feeling absolutely exhausted. In a lovely way, but boy did we collapse in the armchair once his mum and dad had come to pick him up!  Swiftly followed by a 'isn't Carluccio's doing a free G&T with every main course this weekend?' last minute table booking for that evening.

All of this is really leading up to me ashamedly admitting that I haven't finished reading Sanditon.  The spirit has been willing, but my tired little eyelids are weak.  I normally read every night before going to sleep but it's just not happened recently.  I have got as far as 'the other lady' taking over the story after Jane dying and I don't know if it's because I've got used to the style of writing or not, but the chapters seem a little easier to read now.  The sentences not quite so convoluted and certainly a lot less commas being used!  There's a fair amount of 'eye candy' appearing on the scene for our heroine to admire although I'm not sure a seaside resort aimed at the injured or infirm is the best place for a young lady to find true love.  

So, one wedding over and a brief interlude before the next one arrives.  This week's task involves making table runners for 13 wedding tables.  I can never say I'm bored can I?

Monday, 17 July 2017


Spoiler alert - this post could quite possibly be all about the wedding.  Actually, who am I kidding?  It will be all about the wedding.  Did it go well?  I'll let this photo of Rachel give you a hint

I have never seen her so happy!  100% can't stop smiling happy.  The day was just perfect, I can't think of a thing that we would have changed.  It was a little bit cloudy, but warm enough to have the ceremony outside.  

Which is a bit of a novelty here, I've never been to an outside ceremony before and none of their friends had been married outside so it made the day even more special than it already was.

The cake which had stressed me out so much looked fine

And the happy couple/trio had the most amazing day of their lives

As you can imagine, Leo managed at times to steal the show - when he came down the aisle in the arms of the chief bridesmaid with a sign saying 'Daddy, just wait until you see Mummy'.  Not to mention when he went up to the ceremony table to have his photo taken with them after they had signed the register. And the time that he showed impeccable timing in cuteness.  He had been a little overwhelmed by the noise and amount of people in the room when we first sat down for the meal and someone had taken him just outside the room until it quietened down.  When his name was mentioned in the Father of the Bride speech, she stepped back into the room with him, he grinned at everyone and gave a little wave.  One of those totally unscripted brilliant moments.  What a superstar he is.  

We are still on a wedding high, and my Facebook pages are full of tags from people who have uploaded photos. So I'm spending much of my day just refreshing my feed!   Normal Monday morning service will resume as soon as possible!

Saturday, 8 July 2017

It's getting closer

The wedding is now THIS Friday!  Oh my goodness!  I'm pretty sure we've got things under control but I still wake up with an anxious feeling in my stomach every morning, wondering what it is that we have forgotten.

We had a 'hen meal' out at a local Turkish restaurant on Friday night where I discovered the joys of the Espresso Martini, and also discovered that it best not to drink one after midnight if you want to get off to sleep easily when you get home!   The bride-to-be had a lovely evening, she has such a great group of friends and they have truly sent her off in style.  Next week I shall share pictures of the real thing but for now I can only share a snap of her in fake wedding dress and veil.

I'm starting to get emotional at silly little things now.  A kind email from a friend who was a huge part of R's life growing up brought tears to my eyes, proof reading Paul's speech had the same effect and just looking through the reading that her brother will be giving during the ceremony had me in pieces.  She told him he could choose the reading himself - could have been a bit of a risk as he's not known for being conventional - and he's come up with something so touching.  Now look what you've done, I'm all misty eyed just typing this up.

So this week my main project is cake making.  Three tiers of madeira cake to be baked and iced.  This may be contributing to that anxious feeling inside!  I'm sure it will be fine.  Maybe if I have one of those cocktails to calm my nerves before I start weighing out ingredients?  Maybe not a good idea!

The countdown begins ...