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 ...

Sunday, 2 July 2017


1st July was the designated day for starting Sanditon.

I'm immediately feeling an infinity with the main characters.  I too got lost along that coastline several years ago when an incident at home meant that instead of being the passenger of the car driving us down to the south coast, I ended up being the driver.  Let's not go into details but just say that my husband will never, ever be allowed to try and 'fix the roof of the shed' singlehanded on the day before a family weekend away.  One emergency paramedic visit later and dosed up on painkillers and anti spasmodic medicine to try and relieve the muscles in his back, I was unexpectedly promoted from co-driver to 'person responsible for getting us to the south coast and back'.  With no sense of direction, no Sat Nav (they weren't available to your average family back then!) two squabbling kids in the back seat and a husband who had fallen asleep due to all the medication in his system, it was hardly surprising that I drove all the way, parked up in a sea front car park in a wonderfully triumphant manner, woke up husband with a 'ta dah!  we're here!' comment only to be told we weren't in Eastbourne, but Hastings.  

So, you see, after just a few pages, I'm already sympathetic to them.  I love the way that all these years since it was written, the circumstances behind their initial misfortune is still being played out nowadays.  So many stories of people typing the wrong name into a sat-nav and ending up at the wrong end of the country without realising it - technology may be here but the same old mistakes are still being made!  

It's been a while since I've read a book from this era, I've been avidly reading mysteries and psychological thrillers recently so this is a huge culture shock but it's good to shake things up a bit and it's really obvious how much styles have changed over the years.  Jane Austen certainly did love her commas and long sentences!  

So, even though it's given me flashbacks and stirred up the whole family joke of my awful sense of direction, I think I'm going to enjoy it.

Thursday, 29 June 2017


I mentioned a while ago that I was joining in with the photographic scavenger hunt that I saw mentioned here on Mary-Lou's blog.

Now I do love a challenge for the summer, so immediately knew that I would be joining in.  I was on holiday in Croatia when it started and was thrilled to start ticking things off from Day 1.  

I've tried to keep the ones I have found in the order on the list but blogger doesn't always put photos where I want them so bear with me if we get a bit out of sequence!

3 A web
4 A Zig Zag

5 A seasonal relaxing space/item

10 Something yellow

11 A toy only found out during June to September

14 Someone fishing

15 Something crafted from wood

17 Circles in architecture

19 Feet

21 A plaque

23 Something powered by wind

24 Seasonal food

25 A hat

Monday, 26 June 2017

Memos, mail and me

Was it Groucho Marx who said they didn't want to belong to any club that would have him as a member?  

Well, that's what came to mind when I saw that Julie and Ruth had serendipitously found themselves in possession of the same, unusual, book.  As often happens in blog-land, one thing leads to another and then all of a sudden the 'Sanditon-along' book club is born.

Now, I've always fancied joining a book club.  I like the idea of seeing how other people may interpret the same novel.  But years of A Level English Literature made me a bit dubious in case the analysis became a bit deeper than I expected.  I remember having to write an essay on why D H Lawrence chose particular flowers in Sons and Lovers.  I also remember thinking that he possibly just looked out of his window and chose things he could see in his garden.  How was I going to turn that into something meaningful that would fill 4 sides of A4 paper?  No, let's think of why he may have chosen sunflowers over delphiniums.

Then someone I worked with had a book published.  After years and years of submitting novels to publishers, suddenly she had an offer to publish two books.  Then two more and needless to say, she no longer sits next to me in the office doing the administration of work experience for Year 10s, she's busy being wined and dined in fancy restaurants and slaving over a hot laptop on her next best seller.  One of the things she has to do before the publication date is to go through a series of questions that book clubs may discuss.  Now, she'd never been part of a book club, and neither had I so I was of no help to her and she had to ask her publishers what kind of things people may want to know.  It was a bit of an eye opener, and you suddenly realise that readers may put a lot more importance on things that were just chosen on a whim!

So yes, I had considered joining a book club; I love reading, and in fact they started one at the school in which I work.  That would be handy.  I'd know everyone there, it would be hosted in a place I knew, nothing too scary there.  And I was on the verge of saying 'yes, I want to join' when I discovered that the other club members included the head of the English faculty, an ex-teacher of English, the Head's PA and an ex-Deputy Head.  Scary flashbacks of being picked on in class to answer questions on Joseph Conrad's 'Nostromo' came back.  Scary because after a couple of chapters I decided I didn't like the book, so I hadn't read the book, and my only knowledge of it came from a revision booklet I'd found in the library. 

But then I saw Julie and Ruth's blog posts and it seemed an interesting book.  Half written by Jane Austen and finished by 'Another Lady'.  Now, Julie and Ruth don't seem to be the kind of people who would pick on me in class, and unlike Nostromo, it seemed like the kind of book I might enjoy reading and it would be interesting to see if the 'other lady' managed to seamlessly finish the book.  

A quick visit to the internet found that it was possible to find a second hand copy and I ordered one before I had chance to change my mind.  The photo on the web page showed a different cover to that which the others had found but I ordered it just the same, hoping that the ending in that edition would be the same as it was in theirs, so was very surprised when this arrived ...
Exactly the same edition.  You see, some things are just meant to be!

So that's me sorted then.  How about you?  Are you going to join in?  My only problem at the moment is not opening it properly and starting to read before the start date of 1 July.  Not long to go ...

Monday, 19 June 2017

Monday and Me

Old habits die hard.  I'm so used to joining in with Sian's Monday posts that I automatically head for the computer on a Monday, even though she isn't hosting her normal Monday groups for the summer.

My husband should have know that once I had decided to join in with the Scavenger Hunt being organised by Mary-Lou , walks out were likely to be punctuated by random comments being shouted out as I noticed something that needed to be ticked off the list.

Last week, for instance, while walking past the play equipment at our local park, I suddenly shouted out 'Web!'.  I had thought that at this time of year it may be hard to photograph a web, as my plan to take a picture of a large web which had formed on the swing chair in the garden was thwarted, you couldn't actually see it through the lens of a camera unless there was dew or raindrops on it.  Typical.  Just when you need rain, the UK is sweltering in 'hottest day of the year' temperatures!  So I was thrilled to notice that the climbing wall in the park was actually designed around a spider's web.  Another one ticked off the list!

Likewise, a dog walk around nearby farmland resulted in me shouting 'something crafted from wood'!  My husband looked around at all the trees and thought I was perhaps choosing something a bit too obvious.  And then saw me sprinting through the farmer's garden to take a picture of this amazing wood sculpture.

So, thank goodness I have the Scavenger Hunt to take my mind off the fact that it is now less than four weeks to the wedding 😳  Rachel is now back from her hen weekend and there really is nothing to stop her tackling that 'still to do' list.  Which is one and a half A4 pages long apparently.  So much for her saying 'don't stress Mum.  It's all under control'. Clearly it isn't!  I wonder how many things on that list have my name by the side of them ...

Monday, 12 June 2017

It's all in the timing

In an effort to distract us from the chaos that is taking place in our country at the moment, let me share what has to be the luckiest timed photo I have ever taken.  

It was our first night in Croatia and we chose to eat at a seafront restaurant as we thought it would be lovely to see the sun set over the sea.  All the tables along the seafront wall were taken and we had to have a table one row back.  We had noticed that the seagulls were lying in wait along the wall and I mentioned to my husband that maybe we'd had a lucky break as I didn't fancy eating my dinner under the beady eye of a huge seagull.  Add to this, a local cat catching the last few rays of the sun.  This particular bird had been getting closer and closer to the cat and I thought it would make an amusing photo of the two of them staring at the table, both hoping for scraps.  As I held up my phone to take the picture, the gull swooped across the table, grabbed a chunk of fish from a plate and flew off.  In that split second, I took the photo and here he is, greedy gull!

What are the chances of getting the shutter to close just at that moment?  What a lucky shot!

On a different photographic theme, let me share another of my pictures for the Scavenger Hunt being organised by Mary-Lou .  I do hope that you will be joining in too!

Number 23 Something powered by wind

I wish that I could feel that sense of calm relaxation at the moment.  Now we're home I've realised that it's now just 5 weeks to the wedding and there are still things that haven't been done.  As I sit here typing this, my practice largest tier of the wedding cake is baking in the oven and I'm just hoping that the recipe I've found works for this size tin because I don't have much time for more experimenting!  Although the people at work are enjoying being my taste testers every Tuesday, because if I want to fit in my dress, I can't keeping having 'just one more slice' !

Friday, 9 June 2017

Photo hunting resumes!

For the past few years now I have enjoyed joining in with Rinda's Summertime Scavenger Hunt, but it seems that it isn't going to happen this year.  So I was thrilled when I saw the post from Mary-Lou to say that she was organising something this year with Lady Ella.

I was on holiday in Croatia when I saw it on the first day - June 1st and immediately started looking around for things that fell into the catergories.  I do love a photo scavenger hut!  The first one that I set my mind to was Something Yellow .  After my last Monday post, you could probably guess that this one caught my fancy!

Now this was fairly easy as there was a Yellow Submarine boat trip that left the harbour in Porec every day.  They also run a taxi service to the nearby islands and guess what?  The awning and seats are yellow!  But I didn't want to just use photos from Croatia in my collection and looking around the garden today I noticed that the yellow poppies have come into flower in the week that we have been gone.  My friend gave me some seeds a few years ago when I admired them in her garden and she handed them over with the warning that I may be cursing her in years to come as they multiply and appear in the most random places.  We haven't yet reached that point!

I'm not planning on taking more than one photo for each category but it's good to have a choice for when you get to the end and decide which one will make the final cut.

I should warn you that you may see a few Croatian photos in my finds - we had a fabulous week and would recommend it if you fancy trying something different.  We stayed in Porec which has a UNESCO World Heritage site.  So much character.  We have a special place in our hearts for anywhere Italian, and Porec is so close, there is much Italian influence there.

Time to upload camera photos and sort through our pictures to find more to share with you next time.  Thanks, Mary Lou for picking up the Scavenger Hunt baton - it's going to be fun!

Monday, 22 May 2017

Memos, Mail and me

It's happening again folks.  I'm being 'taken over' by a colour.  It's subtle, it happens gradually, it lies in wait and sneaks up on you.  Before you know what is happening, you've 'accidentally' bought three new things in a 'totally different colour to normal' only to find out that you may be hatching a new 'normal'.  

Exhibit A

A new top, a new long sleeved t shirt and new dress.  All of which seem to have tones of the same gold/yellow in them.  How long have I liked yellow for goodness sake?  It's really not my kind of colour at all.  

And yet ...

Exhibit B
A quilt I made a couple of years ago which has been on the grey sofa in the lounge.

And then ...

Exhibit C

Where on earth did that dog find a gold cushion for 'her' armchair in the conservatory?  

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago how while tidying out my wardrobe I realised that I could date clothes by the colour tones in them and how I obviously have favourite colours every year.  I'm guessing this is my golden year then!


So, let's move on to things that arrived in the post this week.  Well.  I was lucky enough to be a randomly chosen winner of a pack of postcards from Kat Sloma following the Liberate Your Art project and a beautifully stamped envelope arrived this week containing all these beautiful pieces of artwork.  Definitely great inspiration for when I'm trying to find photos to use for next year's 'Liberation'.

There's half term looming - and a trip overseas planned.  Possibly the chance to get some photos to use for LYA2018?  Somewhere we've never been before, but somewhere that people say is beautiful.  Somewhere with Italian influence but not in Europe.  So I'll be AWOL next week for Sian's Memos, Mail and Me but that doesn't mean that I won't be checking up on the rest of you if I find internet connection.    

Monday, 15 May 2017

Memos, mail and me

My posts for Sian's Memos, mail and me theme seem to sometimes mimic those 'What am I?' puzzles in  magazines.  Here's this week's offering:

There is a lot of silvered glass appearing in our house.  (and someone in the house is muttering about 'where is this all going after the wedding?') This week - tea light holders.  To go either side of 10 small silvered glass mason jars which will have flowers in to form a row of prettiness along the top table at the wedding.  They don't look too attractive from this perspective but when they are out of the box they catch the light beautifully.  I think I have now officially ordered all the 'bits' that we need for the reception, now to start pulling it all together!  

I did actually order something totally non wedding related this week too and it's not often that my husband takes much interest in what I buy 7 year old relatives for their birthdays but as a keen nature lover, he thoroughly approved of this present.

It's such a good idea whilst helping children learn in a fun way and increase the butterfly population.  You send away for a cup of caterpillars and watch them go from caterpillars to chrysalises to butterflies in a little pot, then you move them into the pop up 'garden' to mature and when they are ready you release them into the garden. Now it's met with adult approval, I hope that my great niece finds it as interesting as we all think she will!

Hoping everyone had a good weekend - don't they go by quickly?  My Sunday started with being woken up by someone sticking her thumb in my eye.  Followed by drumming their fingers on my nose and finally pulling my hair.  This was a first for me to report back on for the Monday project.  

Leo came to stay overnight - without his mum and dad.  

I think we were all a little apprehensive!  His parents had been invited out for a birthday celebration night in London, their first 'proper' nightclub evening in the city since he was born, and originally I was going to babysit at their house.  But it was going to be a late night and I didn't fancy driving back from theirs in the early hours so at the last minute we changed our plans and he came to us.  We don't have a cot so we pushed a bed up against the wall so he couldn't fall out that side and then I slept beside him.  I'm not going to lie, it wasn't the most relaxing, refreshing night's sleep I've ever had, I kept waking and being aware of him being there and a couple of times he cried in his sleep as he changed position but he didn't actually properly wake up until 5.10.  Which sounds really early but apparently, he's never slept through from 8pm to then before so we all marked it down as a success! 

Now, I believe that Sian is super busy learning exciting photography related things on a course and won't be hosting us today but let's all put our alarms on early to check her blog out first thing on Tuesday.  Or, if you don't like waking to an alarm clock, can I suggest borrowing someone's 8 month old child for the night? 

Monday, 8 May 2017

Memos, mail and me

We lead a very glamorous life over here in Deb's World.  I mean, how many other people can join in with Sian's Memos, Mail and Me posts by recording two bags of diamonds being delivered?  Oh yes, diamonds, dozens of them.  Real ones?  Sadly not but hopefully they'll look pretty scattered on the wedding tables.

Talking of wedding tables, I'm now up to 60 paper flowers - the end is in sight!

I've now resorted to making them while watching episodes of Grey's Anatomy from a DVD box set season 12.  I can make 3 per episode so only 5 more episodes to go!

A few other purchases have made their way into the house this week too.  Only three weeks until our holiday and I thought it was time I reviewed my summer clothes.  Some of those dresses have been in the wardrobe for far too long and are looking slightly dated and 'well worn'.  So I've been through everything, donated a fair few things to a charity shop and replaced a couple of bits.  It feels like you can date my clothes by their colours, I seem to have favourite colours each year, do you do that? I've just removed several pieces from my 'mauve' years, and I think that the next ones to go will be from the 'blue' stage!  So I am trying hard to buy things unlike anything else in my wardrobe for a bit of variety.

A new stage in our life is starting this week - the interim 'looking after Leo stage'.  R's maternity leave is coming to an end this month and she definitely didn't want to go back to commuting into London every day.  So she gave her CV to a company who got her the last local job she had and was sent the following day for an interview for a part time local PA job - and was offered it there and then.  Too good to be true, a reasonable salary, flexible hours, some working from home and 10 mins drive max to the office.  Only he needed someone to start now, and she hadn't got childcare set up, thinking she had time to arrange.

So for the next three weeks we are going to be doing a bit extra babysitting while she gets her childminder in place and negotiates the working from home day.  It's going to be different and I'm sure it's going to be tiring because he's a little bundle of mischief.  

So by the time you are reading this, I'll probably be on my hands and knees chasing him around the lounge and trying to keep him out of trouble - Wish me luck! 

Monday, 1 May 2017

Memos, mail and me

There's definitely no excuse for not joining in with Sian's 'Memos Mail and Me' club this week.  In fact, a certain husband of mine stood at the front door with a pile of packages all addressed to me on Saturday and said the immortal words:

Have you been browsing eBay again?


Maybe ...

Because a wedding is rapidly approaching and when you're trying to do as much as you can yourself, 'things' have to be bought.  Lots of things.  And things that need to be crafted together in some way mean you need more than one thing in order to make the final thing.  I've lost you haven't I?

So, in order to answer his question, I have to admit that maybe it was a little bit more than just browsing ...

May I share Exhibit A.  Organza bags - will eventually hold wedding favours.  And have little tags attached to them with the bride and groom's names printed on them.  
Exhibit B - candy striped sweet bags.  To go on the sweet trolley.  See those empty jars behind them?  They won't be empty forever.  Just wait until my husband discovers large boxes of sweets being delivered to him due to the fact that I accidentally ordered them from his Amazon account and not mine.  Oops!
Exhibit C - Confetti.   To go in the confetti cones that Denise is very kindly making for me.
Exhibit D - can you guess what these are?  That sounds a bit like a competition in a magazine doesn't it?  Little silver table number holders.

And so we take a step closer to the big day.  I now have a complete outfit, hat and all.  Flowers are ordered, suits have been bought, photographer booked.  I'm just wondering how foolish it was of me to offer to make the cake ...

Monday, 24 April 2017

Memos, Mail and Me

Joining in again with Sian and the Monday Memo Makers where we share our mail, our Mondays and anything new we have learned.  

This little beauty arrived with my mail this weekend which is the perfect cue to put the kettle on, brew up a cup of tea, dive into the cake tin for a rock cake and sit in the sun having a good relaxing read.  
It's such a lovely magazine, and about the only magazine I've subscribed to that I have found my husband looking at from time to time!  

So after a half an hour reading and relaxing it was with a relaxed sense of calm that I opened the other mail, that envelope that we'd both not bothered to open as it was simply addressed to 'the occupier'.  To discover that a house just around the corner has put in a planning application to change it from a mock Tudor red brick and timber frontage (in line with all the other houses in the road) to an ultra modern, white rendered, grey tiled property.  I think they've been watching Grand Designs.  We have no issue with them demolishing all internal walls, extending out the back, moving rooms around, and adding a huge glass verandah to run the whole width of the back of the house - after all, what happens indoors, stays indoors - but changing completely the whole style of the exterior?  It would look so out of place and completely at odds with the rest of the street, and so, for the first time ever, we will be objecting to a planning permission!  The design they've chosen is very modern, and would look lovely in the right location, but that location isn't in the middle of a row of traditionally styled houses.  Watch this space ...

Anything else new?  Well I've now made 30 flowers - yes I know that the number hasn't increased dramatically, let's skip over that.  However ... there is something new to report

I have finally got to grips with that hot glue gun ...

I can see me getting quite carried away with this new toy piece of crafting equipment.  So all 12 wicker hearts now have three little rose buds on them and look very pretty, and I am currently trying to think of what other projects I can come up with that may involve a bit of hot glue gun action. 

Talking of weddings, a new pair of shoes has joined my wardrobe.  Grey suede, rather gorgeous, and hopefully part of the MOTB wedding outfit.  I just need to have the bride give her opinion on them.  But they're staying whether I wear them to the wedding or not, because they fit beautifully and I absolutely love them.

So that's what is new in my world, I'm just of to Sian's to see what's happening with everyone else.  Happy Monday everyone!

Monday, 17 April 2017

Memos, Mail and Me

The very best of good intentions is my theme for my Monday post, linking in with Sian and the other Monday memo makers. Which has nothing at all to do with any intention to restrain myself from eating chocolate for breakfast yesterday.  But if that had been my intention, it is only fair to be honest and say I failed miserably.  No, this is an intention to dust off the sewing machine ...

"Let's completely refurbish the conservatory" said my husband, so we did.  New roof, new windows, new window sills. 

"As it looks so lovely and new again, let's replace the furniture too" he said, so we did.  

"That quilt that Coco likes to sit on when she's enjoying the sun on the sofa out there is looking old and faded" I said, "I'm going to order some new fabric to make a new quilt to pick out the colours of the buttons on the new sofa", so I did. 

"I'm going to make a start on that new quilt as soon as the fabric arrives" I said, but I didn't.  

Before I give you my excuses as to why I haven't even cut out so much as a square of fabric, let me first take your mind off the fact that I've not started what I promised by sharing with you a picture of the fabric that I bought.

I think it will look nice.  
When I get round to cutting it out and sewing it together.  
Which may not be any time soon.  

Because no matter how good my intentions are to get going on that project,  my other mail this week included the ingredients needed to make these ...

We're going to hang a little decorated wicker heart on the end chair of each alternate row along the aisle of the room where Rachel is getting married.  Which means we need 12. I thought I could get away with just winding the stem of each flower into the wicker but I don't think that it's going to be sturdy enough.  So it means that I need to get to grips with a hot glue gun.  Which I have never done before; wish me luck!

I also received the paper to make these ...

My dear friend Denise very kindly cut out the petals for me, and I 'just' have to curl and cut and stick them together to make flowers which will eventually be stuck onto ribbon (more hot glue gun action) to wind round serviettes on the dinner tables at the reception.  Since taking this photo I've done a few more and it total I now have 26 finished roses.   

I need 80.

You see my dilemma - there is no time constraint on making a quilt but I have a deadline for the flowers!  I know it seems like I have a long time but you have no idea how long it takes me to do each flower.

So that's me for this Monday, sitting amid a crumpled heap of metallic foil which once decorated an Easter egg, and trying to get rid of the crumbs of chocolate from the keyboard of the computer.  Let's hide the evidence eh?