Monday 15 July 2024

Me on Monday

 This Monday finds us in a bit of a flat mood.  Despite reaching the finals of the football Euro 2024, England lost to Spain.  I think there are a lot of disappointed fans making their way back from the host nation (Germany) today. Let's not dwell on it!

We did enjoy the mens final at Wimbledon though, what a good game it was and I was happy that Alcaraz won.  How lovely to see Princess Catherine enjoying the game with her daughter too.

I enjoyed my Knit and Natter on Friday and I've been added to the WhatsApp group so I think I am accepted as a regular now!  I need to crack on with my blanket so they don't think I'm always on the same project.  I was sitting next to someone who was knitting a lovely cardigan and I am inspired to swap crochet hooks for knitting needles and start a new project for a bit of variety.  Hopefully summer will arrive soon and the thoughts of needing clothes to keep us warm will fade into the distance!

We’ve decided that quite a bit of decorating needs to be done this year and I have started the process by looking at paint charts. As it is hall, landing and stairs plus lounge and dining room, we need to be sure we are happy with our choices.


Neither of these match pots have made the cut. At least we’ve narrowed down the decision, but I suspect there will be several more match pots before a final choice is made!

So where does today find me?  Well, we have a new cafe that has opened in the town park which is dog friendly.  Rumour has it that they bake delicious almond croissants so I think we will be taking a little trip down there later this morning 😊

Have a good week!

Monday 8 July 2024

Me on Monday

 What a week!  A new government and England won a quarter final football game on penalties!

Our son came over to watch the game with Max and Olive as our daughter in law was at Wimbledon on a work event - how lucky was that?  Centre Court as well!  I was supervising a lot of colouring and drawing in the dining room and I could hear Jon talking to Paul and listing every England game they had watched together and it made me smile so much to realise how precious those memories have become for him.  How do some people remember dates and results from so many years ago?  I guess those memories are very strong!

When I left here last week I was going to a trial pilates class.  It was 'ok' but not something I will be signing up to.  I didn't enjoy it as much as I do my Zumba Gold, which is run by the same instructor.  I liked the first half which was standing up and using weights to strengthen your upper body but once we moved to the mat work I got cramp in my toes and couldn't relax to do the exercises properly!  I am prone to cramp so I think this could be an issue if I decided to sign up for classes.  Oh well, at least I tried!

The other big event of the week was Coco celebrating her thirteenth birthday

We have entered the teenage years! 

 I am supposed to be meeting up with a crowd of old school friends on Wednesday but guess when the England Semi-Final game is?  Yes.  We have a clash!  I'm wondering if the guys are going to want to postpone!  We shall see.  I don't mind missing the game but I know there are some that might.

I have another 'knit and natter' lunch time at the end of the week so I need to gather my wool and crochet hooks ready for that.  I am still working on the same blanket that I was last time, I'm determined to take this project slower than I normally do so they aren't going to see much progress!

I’m going into town this morning to find a present for Max as he’ll be 5 at the end of the month. At the moment he is very keen on Minecraft but I’m tempted not to go down that route as their interests can change so quickly at that age and by the end of the month he could be into something totally different!  Wish me luck!


Monday 1 July 2024

Me on Monday

Last week contained  ‘Splosions’ and ‘Vegetables days’

On Wednesday Olive couldn’t wait to tell me ‘Nanny, we had a splosion outside our house yesday’ and indeed they did! A bus caught fire and exploded just two doors along the road from them. 


You can just see the skeleton of the bus in amongst all the smoke. How scary, but thankfully the driver quickly evacuated the passengers when he noticed smoke coming from the engine and no one was hurt. Jon said their house literally shook when it exploded into flames.

Then when I picked Leo and Rosie up from school the following day Rosie excitedly told me (or so I thought) they were having a vegetable day on Friday. Vegetables Day? I said.  'Yes, we can wear what we like'  I couldn't see how on earth they would dress up as a vegetable and felt sure that if a broccoli costume was likely to be needed, I would have heard about it much sooner!  I should point out that at the time she was skipping away in front of me and chewing on a sweet (It has become a tradition that I take a small treat with me when it's my days to pick up and chewy 'randoms' are a favourite!) It turns out she wasn't saying 'vegetables day' but 'break the rules day' "Nanny, you are silly' I was told in no uncertain terms!  She had already planned a sparkly dress, glitter in her hair, sequinned shoes and some lipstick.

We've had a full on weekend.  Rachel and husband were invited to an adults only wedding on the south coast so were staying overnight.  We had Leo, Rosie and Daisy here from 9am Saturday to after lunch on Sunday.  They are little bundles of whirlwind energy and I was exhausted by the time we waved them goodbye in the afternoon.  They do not stop.

So today finds me trying something new.  I have booked myself onto a trial pilates class.  My husband regularly does a pilates class and really enjoys it so I thought I would give it a go.  I figure that the relaxation part at the end is well deserved after our busy weekend - not to mention the stress of the England football game last night!

Have a good week x

Friday 28 June 2024

#WBOYC in June


 It's the last Friday of the month so time to have a quick round up of what's been going on over here.  The month of June should surely have been the start of the summer shouldn't it?  Blue skies, warm sunshine, long days, meals taken outside ... let's see what really happened!

J

Just managed to sneak in a trip to our nearest beach at the weekend.  I do love a walk along the sand and the sight of a line of beach huts.  We have friends who moved to a village close to Frinton on Sea and they invited us for Sunday lunch last weekend.  The weather was glorious and when they said 'do you fancy popping into Frinton for a seaside walk?' I was quick to put on my sandals and sun hat.

U

Unknown local vineyards.  England is not famed for its wine industry so you would have thought I would have known we had a vineyard less than an hour away wouldn't you?  However, it wasn't until we were gifted a vineyard tour as a Christmas present that we discovered it.  I booked the tour for mid June, assuming that the weather would be nicely warm, but as the date approached, and weather forecasts still showed the likelihood of rain I wondered if the tour would go ahead! luckily the rain clouds blew away before the tour and we had a really interesting tour followed by a rather delicious tasting 😊



N

Nuptials! My cousin got married and it was the first wedding we’ve been to since our children got married seven years ago. They make a perfect couple, they had met at school, lost touch, both married and had a family with other people, both divorced and then found themselves working at the same company. The rest is history, they lived together for years then when it was a leap year in 2020 my cousin proposed to him! It then took four years to decide on a date. 

E

Excited to feel the sun on our holiday to Mallorca, it was absolutely glorious there.





So it was a busy month and happily the British sun finally made an appearance ... how long will it last though?

Let's take a 1 Second Everyday look at how the month unfolded.  Then please pop over to Australian Deb's blog to see what's been happening on the other side of the world!





Monday 24 June 2024

Me on Monday

 We had a belated Christmas present this weekend. Our son and daughter-in-law gave us a voucher for a vineyard tour and wine tasting and the summer tours officially started in June so we booked ourselves in as soon as we had a free Saturday. 

Now we had no idea we had a vineyard 35 mins drive from home, what a lovely discovery. The weather forecast was for light drizzle but it stayed dry for the hour we toured the vines and listened to the history of the vineyard and how the soil and weather affect the grapes.  It was really interesting and I learnt a lot.


As our climate is changing and temperatures are rising the conditions for wine in the uk is becoming very similar to France which means that we will have a larger wine industry.  Saffron Grange only make sparkling wine (I have no complaints about that 😊) and we tried one white and two rose


I had already drunk half of each glass before I thought to take a photo! We then had a cheese platter of a variety of cheeses that I hadn’t tried before and all in all it was a great way to spend a morning.  Naturally we brought home a bottle of their sparkling rose even though it was a bit more than we normally spend on wine, but it seemed much so more of a bargain when I checked how much they charged for it at one of the big hotels in Cambridge ... £80! How can they justify almost doubling the price? 

The logo for the vineyard is a woolly mammoth.  Apparently when the ground was excavated, evidence of woolly mammoths was discovered. Hard to believe they were roaming the countryside near us all those years ago! 

We ended off a very busy weekend (meal out with friends Thursday, friends over for the afternoon Friday, Vineyard tour Saturday ...) with a trip to visit our friends who live about 5 minutes from our favourite nearest beach.  The weather was glorious and after lunch they suggested a walk along the seafront.  A lovely way to end the visit.  As we had Coco with us it was a perfect excuse to walk on the sand rather than the hot pavements, it was quite busy!  Obviously we weren't the only ones to head for the nearest coast when they heard the weather report.



This week will be a little less busy than the last one although it ends with a sleep over for Leo and Rosie (and of course Daisy) as our daughter and husband are going to a wedding which is adults only.  Wish us luck!



Friday 21 June 2024

What I've been reading in June

 I've read a variety of books this month, so shall we start with the one that my daughter lent me as she hadn't started it and said I could take on holiday?

This was a very unusual book.  Broken Light by Joanne Harris.  It took me quite a while to get into it and there were a few times in the early chapters when I wasn't sure I was going to continue with it as it was a little strange!


Bernie Moon is a woman going through the menopause and blaming her hormones on some of the weird sensations she is having.  A young woman is murdered in a park near to where Bernie lives and it reignites a 'gift' that Bernie discovered when she was young.  She can enter people's minds (she refers to it as looking inside their house) and change tiny things that have life altering consequences.  

There is an amusing side to how her husband's creepy friend from the gym views women after Bernie has been inside his 'house'.  Of course none of the strange things that that happen to him is his fault, clearly women are secretly slipping some kind of drug into his protein health drinks!

Although there were parts of the book I enjoyed, I'm not sure that I will recommend this too highly as it really did have some strange chapters!


Next up was The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)




I had watched a season of the Strike tv series so could easily visualise Cormoran Strike and Robin.  I really enjoyed how their relationship grows and how they complement one another in solving the crime.

A model falls to her death and it is widely believed to be a case of suicide.  But her brother approaches Strike with the belief that she had not taken her own life and asks him to investigate the case.  As he carefully unravels the last moments before she died it becomes obvious that things are not as they seem and this is quite likely a case of murder.  But who is the murderer?  There are plenty of likely suspects and the characters are so well described, from the eccentric fashion designer, to the jealous members of her family and the 'bad boy' boyfriend who has a tempestuous relationship with her.  However, when the true murderer was revealed, I was more than a little surprised!

A good read, and I will probably soon download book 2 in the series.  


Then onto my next holiday read, Game of Lies by Clare Mackintosh.



This book is set in the Welsh mountains and revolves around the filming of a reality TV show.  Seven contestants compete in what they think will be a survival challenge with the winner taking home a life changing amount of money.  However, the premise of the show is not what they have been led to believe.  Every contestant has a secret, one which will affect them and the lives of those they love if they are made public.  Each night, someone's secret will be revealed.  

Anxiety levels are high with people's lives being turned upside down as secrets are revealed and contestants leave the show. Then the producer of the show is murdered.  Each contestant has an alibi, and each has a good reason to want to silence Miles for good and ensure that their secrets are not revealed.  

It is easy to visualise the format of the show, kind of 'I'm a Celebrity ...' in a forested area by a Welsh lake.  So many suspects, but who had the opportunity to carry out the crime?  

I enjoyed this, it was easy to read and I liked the characters of the police force who struggle to put all the pieces together.  It wasn't until the end that I realised that I had already read the first book that introduces the detective Ffion Morgan so I should have recognised her earlier!


Finally, the third in the series of Housemaid books, The Housemaid is Watching by Freida McFadden


I was waiting for this to be published as I’d enjoyed the first two books so much.  We find Millie and Enzo twelve years after we last saw them.  They are now married with two children, Ada and Nico, and moving from their city apartment to a house on Long Island.

A nice house in a safer environment, what could possibly go wrong? Well, the neighbours don’t seem to be particularly friendly, with the strange anxiety ridden lady opposite watching their every move from her windows and the wife of the neighbours next door who seems rather too interested in Enzo. Add to that mix a cleaner who Suzette from next door insists they employ but who acts very suspiciously.

When someone in the street dies the evidence seems to be pointing towards either Millie or Enzo and Millie discovers things about her husband’s past that he had kept hidden.

Although you can read this as a stand-alone book, it is better if you know the back story of the two main characters and the return of someone from book 1.  I did enjoy this but I felt it was the weaker of the three books.  That said, I found it hard to put down at times and am pleased to have read the final book of the series!

So there we go, a mixed bag this month! 





Monday 17 June 2024

Me on Monday 17 June

 Hello, it’s been a while since I was here on a Monday!

Since my last Monday post I’ve spent a week in the sunshine in Mallorca and it was glorious 😊 A bit of a surprise to return to such unsettled weather back in the UK. I think we need to try switching the weather off and then on again to see if we can reset it!

Let me share a little taster of our trip


A lunchtime sangria in the sunshine


View from our dinner table on the first night


You can't go to Mallorca and not try a paella!


Sunset over the bay


Took the tram to Soller


Little bit breezy on the bridge overlooking the sea!


That's our hotel right behind me


Sunrise from our hotel balcony

I was happy to tick off a few photos from the list of prompts for this year’s Photo Hunt which is being organised by Ruth this year. I will share those at the first check in.

It’s been a busy and mixed week since our return, normal childcare duties resumed straight away on the Tuesday and Thursday, and we had a funeral to attend on Wednesday which was very sad. Our neighbour was diagnosed with cancer four years ago and has left his wife and 10 year old son after much gruelling treatment. Then on Friday a much happier occasion when we went to my cousin’s wedding. 

We had no plans for the weekend which was a relief as it felt like we needed a couple of days to relax back into normal life.

We have a quiet start to the week and then busy again at the end with friends coming for afternoon tea on Friday, a tour around a vineyard on Saturday then visiting our friends who moved to the coast on Sunday.

All I would really like now is a little bit of sunshine and some warmer temperatures!