Monday, 16 January 2017

Memos, mail and me

I knew that there'd be a twist in the tale for Sian's Memorandum Mondays in the new year.  And there was - the plan is to share our favourite piece of post from the previous week.  A great idea - except - this was probably the only week of the year that I didn't receive much post!  This was the week where the only mail addressed to me was a credit card bill (definitely not my favourite) and a bank statement.  Even Coco got more interesting mail than me - Pets at Home sent her some vouchers to spend on food.

Which makes me think that it's time more happy mail was circulating - but happy mail is not a one way street, in order to receive, you have to send so I have a cunning plan.  Last year I took part in Liberate your art and received these lovely cards through the post

I've signed up to take part again and am in the process of choosing my postcards to have printed.  Minimum print order is 20 and I only have to send 6 for the swap ... I think that's the perfect excuse for sending a few random 'hellos' through the post in the near future. 

I bet I'm the only person who only received boring post since Sian's Memos, Mail and Me idea, so I'll be popping over there to see what exciting things have dropped through the letter box for everyone else in the last week.  Surely I'm not the only one to only receive bank related items

But wait!

Look what's come through the post box
Now that's more like it !


Monday, 9 January 2017

Memorandum Monday

Thought for the day

As normally happens at the start of a new year, the press is full of what is, and what isn't, good for us and the more I hear, the more I realise that that old saying 'a little of what you fancy does you good' is more true than we realise.  You just need to make sure you put the emphasis on the word 'little'! 
I've written this post to join in with Sian in advance to publish on Monday morning because I won't be near a computer then as I will be

at the dentist 😢

Yes, that same dentist that text me on Christmas Day, emailed me on Boxing Day, made me feel guilty enough to make an appointment the following day, emailed me to confirm the appointment, and then text me on Friday to ask me to confirm that I hadn't forgotten I had an appointment today.  He's very keen to see me it would seem!  This will be my second visit to this dentist.  My previous surgery stopped offering NHS services and so I had to move to a brand new practice.  It's all very high tech, brand new building, super smart surgeries, all manner of services offered, on line booking and open 7 days a week.  Doesn't make me look forward to going any the more though - I'm a bit of a dentist phobic and it's only the fear of something going horribly wrong and causing me pain that makes me go every six months.  Let's hope all the biscuit eating hasn't taken its toll ... (Yes that tin in the photo is now empty)

There is something new going on today though - this is ...

... the first week of my new reduced hours which mean I don't have to work on a Monday any more!

Oh happy day.  And where better to spend  the beginning of that lovely extra day off?  Needless to say I have something much nicer planned for later on, lunch out with a friend!

I've also

signed up to Liberate Your Art 2017

Are you in too?  Check it out here.  I joined in last year and received some lovely postcards from all over the world.  It is so easy to do and costs very little, even for people not living in the US (people from 12 different countries took part last year) Kat makes it really easy to pay postage fees via paypal.  It's fun and you can interpret the word 'art' in so many ways. Don't be put off if you aren't an artist in the traditional sense and don't know one end of a paintbrush from another!  I'm concentrating on using photos that I have taken this year, but your art could be collages, sewing, knitting, words, scrapbook pages, cards - all you need is a little imagination!  Just look on it as releasing 'happy mail' out there and making new connections.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Memorandum Monday 2017

I've kind of got into the habit of blogging on a Monday as part of Sian's Memorandum Monday and I'm not sure if that is continuing into the new year but I'm here anyway!

Not that there's been much new happening around here, in fact it's quite the opposite - continuing the normal post Christmas activities.  Today is the day I've earmarked for taking down the Christmas decorations.  There goes my excuse for not dusting regularly!  As I'm looking around the house I realise that my favourite parts of the decorations this year were the more simple ones

and whilst I'm not planning any New Year resolutions, I do have a New Year intention, and that is to try and make things more simple in a general way.  I guess I'm planning to embrace my inner 'Hygge' - I know it's a bit of a buzz word at the moment but it's true that we should make the most of the little things that we take for granted a lot of the time.  And just to take time.  I'm sure I make life more busy than it needs to be sometimes.  A little more forward planning may be in order.

I'm sure I'm not alone in having been bombarded with emails from companies I've bought through on line this year, amazing discounts and bargains and I must admit to being guilty of having clicked on some of their links to see what wonderful things I need to buy in the sales.  And here's the thing.  I don't need to buy anything.  It's always nice to have a few new bits and pieces in the wardrobe, but I don't desperately need anything.  I'm planning on waiting a week or so until things calm down and then if I go into town, and I go into a shop and I see something I really like, and it's in my size, and it really is a bargain, then it's meant to be and I may buy it.  But if one thing comes into the wardrobe, one thing has to go.

I'm really happy to be able to say that as of now, I do not work on Mondays anymore!  I've been wanting to cut my hours for a while now and due to someone else part time leaving, I was able to ask for my Monday hours to be tacked onto their new job description and for me to only work Tuesdays, Thursdays and Friday mornings.  It's all part of my master plan to retire at 60.  My line manager doesn't seem to think I'm serious but I am.  And now we are in the new year, I can say that 60 will be next year! 😊

My other intention is to get back into the blogging habit more often.  I've become very lax about that this year and I want to get the blogging mojo back, because the blogosphere is full of lovely people.  This year is going to be so busy, I know it already.  Two weddings to plan and more to the point, two wedding outfits to buy!  Any recommendations on where to start looking for Mother of the Bride outfits will be most gratefully received because as soon as the sales are over, I'm going to be a mother on a mission!

Happy New Year to everyone and thank you for your kind comments over the past year.  I wish everyone good health and happiness with time to relax and take care of ourselves, not just everyone else.  OK 2017, let's see what you've got in store ...

Friday, 30 December 2016

Post Christmas round up

Have we all recovered?  All that shopping and wrapping and cooking and entertaining, all done and dusted for another year.
Is it Thursday or Friday?  I have totally lost track of days and times.  When you take away the structure of the days I seem to lose all direction!  Weekends merge into week days and here we are hurtling towards 2017 at breakneck speed.

It's been a bit of a year though hasn't it?  The number of celebrities that have passed seem to be increasing daily - and we have lost some great talent along the way.  On a personal level the changes our family have seen are crazy.  And 2017 looks like it's going to be eventful too with two weddings within 4 weeks of each other.  As soon as the sales have finished I will be in true Mother of the Bride/Groom shopping mode!

It was so much fun to have a baby in the house over Christmas.  He was determined to get as much wrapping paper in his mouth as possible and entertained us all with his cheeky smile and cute little ways.  His Uncle Jon is absolutely besotted with him and it was hard to prise him out of his arms - I suspect that once he is married, a little cousin could be on the cards before too long! 

I had the weirdest text message on Christmas day - from my dentist, reminding me that I was due a check up in January.  Well that took the shine off my enjoyment of the Quality Street I can tell you.  And he was determined I shouldn't forget, as I then got an email the following day - at which point I gave in and booked an appointment on line.  That seems to have shut him up, or maybe the auto-reminder service has been silenced by the booking software.

Once again I am ending the year by singlehandedly doing my best to rid the house of all chocolate before the healthy eating regime kicks in on Sunday.  Not to mention the dentist appointment on 9 January 😉 

I shall be popping round the blogosphere whenever I can but in the meantime wish everyone a peaceful, happy and healthy new year.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Memorandum Monday

I've seen and heard many a carol singer, and I've heard of the word 'wassaill' but up until this weekend I hadn't actually seen a 'waissaller'.  This has now changed as this weekend

I was serenaded by a group of wassailers for the first time.

Now, I'm not keen on being chosen from a crowd of people to have the chorus of a song sung to me.  I'm not one to seek to be the centre of attention (following an unforgettable moment when being captured by an Elvis lookalike many years ago) and this will teach me not to sit on the end seat of a table in a restaurant. 
But this was very festive and light hearted and the spotlight soon turned to someone else and it was a lovely unexpected start to a festive meal out with friends.  It did add to the atmosphere of the evening and after a swift gin and tonic I recovered from the embarrassment pretty quickly.  Why me?  Why do they always pick on me? 
So, I'm making slight, slow progress with arrangements for next weekend, and I know that once I finish work on Tuesday I will be able to get to grips with everything.  List making is happening with a vengeance here and I have to keep reminding myself that it is just for two days!  Last year I had 16 for dinner on Christmas day so in theory having only 7 this year should be half the stress ...
Time to pop over to Sian to see what she's been up to this weekend before Christmas.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Memorandum Monday

Well, Monday, you've sneaked back up on us again and just in time to join in with Sian's Memorandum Monday.  Do make sure you pop over there, especially if you're in the market for a traditional Christmas pudding recipe!

It's was the weekend before my husband's birthday (which is today!) and traditionally that is the weekend we put up our tree and decorate for Christmas.  So nothing new there. But ... I can share

Some new Christmas decorations!

I've been trying to incorporate copper into our colour schemes around the house and was happy to find a couple of new tree ornaments to sneak in amongst the existing ones.  The red glitter reindeer head was donated by our daughter as it doesn't go with her colour scheme this year.  I'm not 100% sure he goes with my tree either but he's hidden a little to the side and I think we'll let him stay.
The outside lights were replaced too - we'd had the originals for about 20 years so I reckon we've had our monies worth out of them.  Plus the fact that outside Christmas lights have definitely become more sophisticated over the years and everyone else has pretty small twinkly lights which made our chunky string of bulbs look very old fashioned.  Not wishing to bring the cul de sac into the bad taste books, we retired the old ones and bought some new beautiful small multi-coloured ones (which did not photograph well in the bottom left had picture of my collage).
The other new thing I did was
Buy a book from a new author
I've been following Julie Kirk's blog now for many a year and love her wit, her style of writing and her stories.  So when she published her first book (I say first because I am sure there will be more to come in the future!) I could not wait to buy a copy and am now hoping that she is already in the queue at the post office ready to send it off because I am longing to get my hands on it!
Is anyone out there calm and ready for Christmas festivities to begin?  Please say no because I hate to think I am the only one with a 'to do' list a mile long, nothing wrapped, still presents to buy and no cards written.  If anyone comes across one of Santa's elves with nothing to do, please send him round here - I could do with a bit of help. 

Monday, 5 December 2016

Memorandum Monday

Joining in once again with Sian's plan for sharing things we've learnt or done for the first time over the last weekend.

Well for starters, this is the first time

I've typed up a blog post with a baby on my lap

(And it's not the most comfortable of things I can assure you)

Young Leo is here for the day today while his Mummy and Daddy move house.  He was here yesterday too, with his mum popping back every couple of hours to escape the packing chaos feed him.  I had forgotten how totally time consuming a 3 month old baby can be!  And his Mummy and Daddy had slightly underestimated how time consuming packing up a house can me (of course the words 'I told you so' or 'maybe you should have started earlier' did not leave my lips'!)

However, the real first thing for the weekend was that we have

Booked a holiday for somewhere we have never been before

We've been trying hard to decide where to go next year - we totally love Italy and have a stack of brochures but we've been to several places in Italy now and our wish list of areas to visit has got smaller and smaller.  I'm not a great one for going back to the same place, no matter how much I loved it - I prefer to keep a happy memory and not risk a 'it's not as good as last year' comparison.

So we started looking a little further afield, somewhere near to Italy with Italian influences but somewhere we haven't been before.

So we investigated Croatia.  Everyone we know who has been there has said how lovely it is and so we've taken the plunge and booked a week at the end of May/beginning of June.  You can see that already the brochure is looking like it's been used for a lot of research!  (You may also notice a small person photobombing in the background.  We have his play mat inside a travel cot to keep Coco well away from him when he's here!) The hotel looks lovely and has good reviews and we're both looking forward to it.

Short and sweet today, a bit like my guest, hope everyone else has had a good weekend, I look forward to clicking on some links over at Sian's to read what you've all been up to.