Monday, 13 September 2021

And the winner is ...

Emma Raducanu! It was unusual for us to sit and watch a tennis match on a Saturday night but how could we miss the final of the US Open when one of the finalists was an 18 year old British girl?  It was such a good match, both girls were equally talented but oh how happy we were when Emma won that final point.

There was one other English 'lady' who was not quite so happy that day.  Coco.  It was time for her annual check up and vaccination.  Last time we weren't allowed into the surgery with her and she got herself so stressed they queried if she may have a heart murmur.  This year Paul was allowed in with her and she was much calmer and they said if there is a murmur, it is very low grade.  But then they looked in her mouth and the news was not so good.  She needs a tooth removed so we've had to book her in for day surgery in a couple of weeks.  She's a devil for letting us brush her teeth, and we've hoped that dental chews would help keep her teeth clean but apparently they haven't done the job.  

As if that wasn't bad enough, Paul asked if we should be giving her any vitamin or mineral supplements now she is over 10 and they said she should be on Senior dog food.  Senior! She walked in a sprightly lady, and walked out a senior in need of dentures.

Needless to say she will be getting lots of extra cuddles and walks over the next couple of weeks leading up to her operation!

This Monday finds me about to load up the car and pop to Rachel's to give a hand taming her front garden; they really aren't gardeners and now we are heading into autumn it's time to deadhead and cut back the undergrowth and someone needs to go and show them what needs to be done.  

Yes I think it's time to acknowledge that autumn is well and truly arriving.  Despite having a lovely sunny day yesterday where we even ate our Sunday lunch in the garden, the solar lights in the garden are switching on earlier and earlier every evening, the mornings definitely have a chill to them and I'm thinking about packing away my summer dresses.  It's almost time to have that 'chat' about whether or not to switch the heating back on or just wear a thicker jumper!

Have a good week x


Monday, 6 September 2021

Me on Monday

 I'll let you in on a little secret - I was very apprehensive about last week!  But we survived to tell the tale and it is done and dusted now.  By the end of it I felt every single one of my 63 years old!  

Within the space of ten days we had babysat twice, had Max for his first sleepover, had all three grandchildren here for childminding at the same time, and had Leo and Rosie sleepover at the end of the week.  Rosie had never spent a night away from her mum ever and she is quite a determined young lady, it could have gone very wrong if she had suddenly wanted Rachel who was by then 109 miles away.  In addition to that it was Leo's third day back at school and he'd been apprehensive on both previous days so the prospect of dealing with that and trying to get them both breakfasted, washed and dressed in time to be out the house and take Coco for a walk was a little daunting.  However, it was all fine, there were no tears and no last minute worries. (From either of us 😉)

Back home for our Covid and blood antibody tests - Rosie was intrigued as to why Nanny and Grandad deliberately cut their fingers and caught the blood in a test tube, and was insistent that she chose a 'nice' plaster for me rather than the one the NHS provided.

 Yes that is Iron Man, strangely enough my box of Superhero plasters doesn't include any Superwomen.

I am hopeful that this week will be more relaxed - Max will be on holiday in Wales, there is no Zumba this week as the teacher is on holiday and there are no sleepovers planned.  

Forty one years ago today, I was all dressed up in a long white dress, holding a beautiful bouquet of flowers, standing in a church saying 'I do' - where did those years go?  

We decided to have an early anniversary meal out, it felt like there would be more atmosphere on a Sunday lunch than a Monday evening and went to a local-ish pub that Rachel and Jon had recommended and the food did not disappoint - they had me at 'shredded slow roasted lamb'.  

The sun is shining, exactly as it was 41 years ago but instead of walking down the aisle, we are taking Coco to Hatfield Forest for a walk around the lake and through the trees, followed by a cup of coffee at the shell house

Have a good week!

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

A sentence a day in August

 The first day of August was autumnal in feel, I hope that the whole month isn't like that!  (Spoiler alert - it was)

Day 1 Rachel, Leo and Rosie came for Sunday lunch as James is still with his mum sorting out paperwork and arrangements for his Dad's funeral

Day 2 Went to friends in the afternoon for tea and cake, it was even warm enough to sit outdoors.

Day 3 Would have been my Dad's birthday today, had Leo and Rosie here, went into town then made more slime in the afternoon

Day 4 Max came for the day, had a crafty morning with him too, this time gluing googlie eyes on a card for his mum.

Day 5 Busy day! Had our ONS Covid and antibody tests, Zumba in the hall, hairdressers appointment, went to collect new glasses but the lenses didn't seem right so I didn't bring them home.

Day 6 We should have been seeing friends for drinks this evening but they are in isolation since their son tested positive at the beginning of the week.

Day 7 Treated ourselves to a Thai takeaway tonight - it was SO delicious

Day 8 Sunday lunch, invited Rachel and children round to join us - they were pleased to hear that James was coming home in the afternoon

Day 9 A day of sunshine and showers - a lot of crochet was done in the afternoon and I'm now ready to start the border around the edge.

Day 10 Took Leo and Rosie to a local park which has a Pet's Corner, they loved it

Day 11 Jon and Max came for the day and Jon had his second vaccination, we had friends over for drinks in the evening as they have now finished their isolation.

Day 12 Zumba - we have a new routine which includes the song Jai Ho and I am now happily singing it to myself all day (Paul not so happy!) picked Max up from nursery in the afternoon, it isn't local and we hadn't been there before so good to do a trial run in case we are needed when his little sibling arrives in a few months.

Day 13 Met up with ex-work friends in the garden in the morning and caught up with some crochet in the afternoon, I'm now on the border rows and SO close to being finished!

Day 14 A dreary day so baked rock cakes and spent the afternoon crocheting.  Blanket is nearly done!  

Day 15 Paul and I visited my cousin and her partner with my sister and brother in law - it was 2 years since our last Sunday lunch get together!

Day 16 Finished my blanket ....

Day 17 Took Leo and Rosie to Paradise Wildlife Park, we had a really lovely day

Day 18 Had Max here, and also Leo and Rosie in the morning as their childminder has been near someone who was diagnosed with Covid and is waiting for the results of a PCR test. 

Day 19 Zumba in the morning which always lifts your spirits, then went into town in the afternoon to pick up my new glasses - they had 'tweaked' the prescription and now I can actually see clearly out of them!

Day 20 It was a Friday which felt like a Saturday which is weird because when you are retired surely all days are the same?

Day 21 Leo's party - what an afternoon, he had so much fun!  We had friends over for a curry night in the evening who didn't go home until almost midnight so we were VERY tired when we went to bed.

Day 22 Sunday started very early for me, 4am to be precise, what a thunderstorm!  So much for getting a good night's sleep after a very busy day yesterday.

Day 23 Made birthday cake for Rachel's birthday tomorrow, started a new crochet project, a baby blanket so much smaller than my previous ones.

Day 24 Paul and I went to Anglesey Abbey in the day and then I babysat in evening while Rachel and James went out to celebrate her 35th birthday.

Day 25 Max came for the day and wore us both out

Day 26 Zumba in the hall and it was also National Dog Day, although to be honest, every day is Dog Day in our household!

Day 27 Caught up with chores around the house then went to friend's for dinner in the evening, it's nice to be socialising again although we are only seeing people indoors if we know they are being as cautious as we are in going out and about!

Day 28 Went out for a delicious Italian meal at lunchtime, babysat for Leo and Rosie in the evening 

Day 29 Leo's 5th birthday - he was one very excited boy when we popped round to wish him a happy birthday

Day 30 Max arrived in the morning to spend the day - and night - with us, he'd never come for a sleepover before so we were a little apprehensive but he was a very well behaved house guest

Day 31 What a busy day, Max, Leo and Rosie all here in the morning until Jon and Sophie came to collect Max at lunchtime, then a busy afternoon with L&R clearing up the pond area in the garden and discovering lots of newt babies.

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Monday, 30 August 2021

La Dolce Vita

 Ah, the restaurant table beneath the shuttered windows with lights strewn between olive trees

The happy faces, the aperol spritz and the glass of negroamoro red wine

The pizza with burrata, mozzarella, mortadella and pistachio pesto, fresh from the wood burning pizza oven, the hand made rigatoni in a nduja and tomato sauce

We must surely have jumped on a plane to Sicily for the weekend.  Or did we?  

Sadly, no.  But we did the next best thing and went for lunch at a lovely family run Sicilian restaurant in town. It was absolutely lovely, and only the second time I have eaten inside a restaurant since last December.  Well worth the wait, and it gave us sustenance for the evening when we were babysitting for Rachel and James again while they went to a friend's wedding reception which had been postponed twice last year.

As for Me on Monday today, it's Bank Holiday Monday here and our son and his wife are going away overnight to celebrate their wedding anniversary.  Guess who's looking after Max tonight?  Wish us luck ...

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

An unexpected day off

We normally have Leo and Rosie here on a Tuesday but as it was Rachel's birthday, they decided to take the day off work and have a family day together so we had an unexpected Tuesday to ourselves.  We didn't get off scot free though, there was an evening of babysitting instead while Rachel and James went out for a meal.

So, what to do with a day off?  We decided to go to Anglesey Abbey, a National Trust property about 35 miles from us.  Nothing at all to do with Anglesey the Welsh island which is about 300 miles from us!  

It really is a lovely place and with much history stretching back almost 900 years.  Originally built as a hospital in 1135, it became a priory in 1236 until the dissolution of monasteries by Henry VIII. It became a private house in 1609 and has had many owners and alterations.  The last owners, Lord Fairhaven and his brother bequeathed the house and gardens to the National Trust in 1966. 

The gardens are extensive and exceptionally well maintained.  So varied too, with woodland walks and many styles of gardens and amazing statues.

It is certainly a place to come back to and we have decided that we will definitely return in the autumn when the trees are changing colour, it will look wonderful.  The house itself was not open to the public until September, so that is another reason to return!

Monday, 23 August 2021

Me on Monday

 It's been a busy week for Leo, and a tiring one for me, since I last wrote a blog post. 

Most importantly, he's had a birthday party.  His first 'proper' party with all his school friends instead of family.  Rachel hired a hall, booked a bouncy castle completely decorated in superheroes, and arranged for a magician.  It was wonderful to see his happy little face.  Thirty six five year olds, with assorted siblings, can you imagine the noise?  Instead of one big cake with a candle to blow out, Rachel decided for all the children to have their own individual cake rather than a slice of a large one - more Covid friendly, I mean how many potential germs can a five year old share while blowing out a candle?  So that was my job on Friday, I baked four dozen cupcakes and then handed them over to be decorated.

You will have to imagine a swirl of icing on top of the cake, I forgot to take a photo before the children were allowed to dive in and eat them!

The magician was so good and every single child went home with their own balloon animal - Leo chose a monkey climbing a tree.

At the end of the party, we helped clear up, came home and an hour and a half later four friends came over for a Curry Night.  Luckily we had ordered the food before we went out to the party so had to just sit down and chill before they arrived.  They stayed until almost midnight, we loaded the dishwasher and went to bed, it had been a very busy day.  

I'd like to say I slept like a baby that night.  Actually I did, but like a newborn I was sound asleep for four hours and then awake for much of the next four!  The thunder.  The lightening.  The rain lashing against our windows.  Somehow Paul slept through it but once awake, I could not get back to sleep.  So it was no surprise when I fell asleep for an hour and a half after Sunday lunch was it?

We finally made it to the zoo with Leo and Rosie on Tuesday, and had a really lovely day.  We went to a zoo we hadn't been to before and were so impressed.  The animals had lots of space and they have many conservation projects ongoing.  After a morning looking at the wild animals, we had our picnic lunch and then went to the other half of the zoo.  The world of dinosaurs. Huge animatronic beasts, set in a woodland area.  I think they were a little larger and a lot noisier than Leo was expecting and boy did they look authentic!

Also, I finally got my new glasses.  They had tweaked my prescription and this time I was able to see just fine.

So how is this coming week looking? Well, Paul is out with a friend today so I have plans to make a birthday cake for Rachel's birthday tomorrow and crack on with a new crochet project.  This one's going to be a LOT smaller than my previous ones!

Lots of babysitting on the horizon - tomorrow for Rachel when she goes out for a meal with James in the evening, Max during the day on Wednesday and again for Rachel Saturday evening while they go to to a wedding reception.  All good practice for the following week when we have several nights of sleepovers - I need to start taking extra vitamins now!  

Monday, 16 August 2021

Me on Monday

 Last week was a busy one yet I can't honestly pick out much to blog about.  You know that song 'Busy doing nothing ...'?  I think that sums it up!  

Monday was a wash out - literally!

However, this was the week where we took Leo and Rosie out for the day and discovered the secret of where Santa stables Rudolph in the summer

The end of the week was more sociable with us having friends round for drinks to celebrate the end of their isolation after their son tested positive.  I met with ex work colleagues for coffee in the garden on Friday and on Sunday we went for lunch with my sister and brother in law to my cousin's house who we haven't seen for almost two years.  You can guess why!  All times we felt we were being as safe as possible, keeping distance and being either outside or in a well ventilated room but it still felt strange.

So Monday this week finds me with a pile of ironing waiting to be done, hopefully a visit to the zoo tomorrow, Max on Wednesday, Zumba on Thursday, cooking cupcakes on Friday and Leo's birthday party on Saturday followed by friends coming for a Curry Night in the evening.  

I can put off that pile of ironing no longer - have a good week!