Monday, 18 September 2023

Me on Monday

This Monday finds me a bit bleary eyed after a disturbed nights sleep.  We had a humdinger of a storm which felt directly above our house in the early hours of the morning, which disturbed Coco who could not settle anywhere between the flashes of lightening and cracks of thunder.  The only place I could convince her to lay was on the bed in the bedroom which used to be our son's.  Even then she was not staying anywhere on her own and I realised that the only way both of us would be able to get back to sleep would be for me to be in the bed while she slept on it.  Then she wanted to lay full width across the bottom so I had to sleep diagonally across the bit she had left for me.  

I think the storm is a sure sign that our season has tipped from summer to autumn.  We have a few plans for changes in our garden; we have a tree which has died and needs removing and we have been clearing space and thinking about how we will redesign that area.  There's still colour in the borders though and this little fellow spent ages flitting from one head of sedum flower to another as I was weeding beneath the plants.

The lake looked lovely on the early morning dog walk and we made the most of the dry weather as the forecast is far more unsettled for the week to come.

At the moment I don't have too many plans for the coming week apart from our childminding routine and that feels nice.  We are out for dinner with friends at the end of the week to a restaurant in town we haven't tried before so that will be interesting.  

I have actually done some crochet this weekend and finished all the individual squares  - so it was time to join them all together.  It now looks like this

And so begins the border - not to mention finishing off all the ends on the reverse side.  I had good intentions to do that as I went along but you know how easy it is to forget good intentions 😉 

Tuesday, 12 September 2023

Me on Tuesday

 I'm a day late this week, due to our long weekend in Norfolk!  

We enjoyed sunset walks on the beach

Sunshiny days 

Trips to Cromer Pier

Seeing goats grazing on the hillside going down to the pier

And trips out to National Trust property, Blickling Hall

All in all it was a lovely weekend, weather was perfect, our Air BnB was in a good location as a base to explore that area of the Norfolk coast and everywhere was 'dog friendly' - what more could you want?

Back to 'normal' today, catching up on washing and drying and a return to school day childcare.  But first, I have a lot of blogposts that I need to read (the lengths I go to to avoid ironing all that washing that is now ready to be de-crumpled!)

Monday, 4 September 2023

Me on Monday

 I realise as I get older that the more I think I know what my plans are, the more likely they are to change.

I thought we had a quiet weekend ahead.  We were having Daisy here for a few hours while Leo had his birthday party at their house.  As soon as I received a message from Rachel just saying 'Nightmare' I held my breath waiting to hear what had happened.  It turned out that the bouncy castle they had carefully chosen had been delivered, only to be told that you shouldn't have them on top of artificial grass.  (Just for the record, Paul and I are VERY against fake grass and tried hard to dissuade them from having it laid when they had the work done on their garden!) Of course we have a natural lawn and so with Leo worried about having to change all their plans, we offered for them to host the party here.  

So much for an quiet afternoon! To be fair he only chose six friends to come and they were all well behaved but my neighbours must have wondered what we were up to.

This Monday finds me thankful that the sun has returned and looking forward to a few days away at the end of the week. It also finds us looking around do-it-yourself shops looking for a small basin and unit to put in our downstairs toilet as our existing one has developed a crack. Paul is confident that this is a job he can tackle himself 😬 Time will tell!

Back to school this week for the children - I think grandparents all over the country are breathing a sigh of relief just as much as parents.  I'm still not going to tempt fate through by pretending I know what I'll be doing with my extra free time!

Have a good week!

Friday, 1 September 2023

Let's have a cup of coffee - 1st September

 Come in, sit down, I'll just put the kettle on.

You will notice that Olive has set the table for us with her toy tea set! We may need more than one cup to quench our thirst 😉

It's been a busy month since I last saw you, with lots of childcare going on - not to mention a bit of 'hamster care' as well!  

I honestly don't know how working parents manage to get through the long holiday if they don't have family nearby to help out with childcare.  I know we aren't alone in looking after the grandchildren, all the grandparents I know are in the same boat!  It would be SO expensive to have to pay for childcare for six weeks.  Added to all that both our children have wedding anniversaries within 6 weeks of each other plus Rachel has a birthday so our offers of babysitting while they go out to celebrate are quickly snapped up before we can change our minds!  Schools are back next week so some kind of normality will return.

The weather has been horrible this 'summer' and it's hard to believe that other places in the world are sweltering in heat waves.  A lot of my summer clothes haven't seen the light of day since we went to Sicily.  There's a definite chill to the air now in the mornings and the nights are definitely drawing in.  How are things where you live?

I'm looking forward to some continuity in my Zumba classes as a new term approaches.  Our instructor took a holiday and the hall was then closed for redecoration for two weeks so there have been more classes that didn't happen than those which did!  I need to get back on the straight and narrow.  The results of the Dexa scan I had earlier this year showed the start of osteoporosis so I need to be mindful of trying to strengthen my bones.  I'm taking alendronic acid tablets and calcium/vit D tablets to help slow the process down, but weight bearing exercise helps as well.  Plus an hour of Zumba has no nasty side effects!

Even though I don't have children of school age any more, September always has me feeling like a new start is happening.  Not so much new pencil cases and lunch boxes but clearing out the garden and planting bulbs!  Do you still get that feeling of a new chapter starting?

Thank you so much for stopping by; I hope to see you again, same time, same place, the first Friday in October!

Thursday, 31 August 2023

#WBOYC in August


This month could be a little more challenging, with more letters to use, but let's have a go


Another pet comes to stay, smaller and less sociable than the last visitor, but noisier at night - my niece's children's hamster.

Advance booking for tickets to see Average White Band in their farewell tour in April next year! I've liked them since I was at school in the 70s and this will be the last chance to see them in concert again.


Untidy hair be gone!  Time for a hair cut


Getting together with myself sister and brother in law and cousin and partner is such a lovely thing to do.  My mum and my cousin's mum were very close.  Out of a family of six siblings they had a special relationship so it is so nice to know that our generation are keeping in close contact.  

Grandparent duties have increased since the start of the six week school holidays!


Unusual amount of celebrations this month (yes I am struggling to find two things to start with U) Jon & Sophie's wedding anniversary, Rachel and Leo's birthdays too.

Upgraded my phone.  The battery on my old one was not lasting long at all so I decided it was time to upgrade. This new one has face recognition rather than fingerprint to open which I feel sure is going to take a while to get used to! 


Smoked slow cooked pork ribs and salad - we were invited to my cousin's for a barbecue with my sister and brother in law and it was my turn to choose part of the menu.  They have a fab outdoor cooking area complete with smoker so instead of the actual BBQ grill I asked if we could try something smoked instead.  Oh my goodness, I have never tasted spare ribs so delicious 😋


Trying to find a date to go to our nearest seaside resort for the day was tricky due to the changeable and very wet weather that the beginning of August brought with it.  We trusted the weather app which assured us that while it was raining at home, the weather on the coast just an hour and a half away was dry and sunny - fortunately they were correct!

I wondered if my 1 Second Everyday app would transfer nicely to my new phone and it did, so here is my video for the month

Linking up with Deb's World in Australia!

Tuesday, 29 August 2023

What I've been reading in August

 The first book that I've been reading is Unholy Murder by Lynda La Plante.

I saw this book on a display in our local library and decided to borrow it as I've always enjoyed dramatisations of Lynda La Plante's books.  It's hard to read a book where the main character is DI Tennison without thinking of Helen Mirren playing that part in the TV drama 'Prime Suspect'!  This book is set in the late 70s and it makes you realise how life has changed in the intervening years.  A woman's place in the police force was very different then!

Builders working on a development in the grounds of an old convent dig up a coffin which contains the body of a young nun.  When the coffin is opened they find scratch marks on the inside of the lid indicating that she was still alive when put in the coffin and so begins a murder investigation.

DI Tennison's superiors seem reluctant to take on a cold case where the identity of the victim is unknown and the church seem keen to conceal any information which may help her solve the mystery.

I had high hopes for this book but I'm not sure it lived up to my expectations.  It's not that I didn't enjoy it, but it seemed to drag in some places. Just my opinion but don't think I can offer a 5* review.

Our book club's choice this month was The Last Lifeboat by Hazel Gaynor

This story is based on a true story.  Set in Liverpool in 1940, Alice King is boarding the SS Carlisle to chaperone a group of children being evacuated from London to safety in Canada.  Two of these children belong to Lily Nicholls who has reluctantly decided that they will be safer there than staying at home.  She anxiously waits for news of their arrival overseas, only to learn that the ship has been hit by enemy u-boats and has sunk.  The siblings on board the ship are separated in the panic to board lifeboats, and Lily receives news that one child has been rescued but there is no news of the other and after a few days, is missing, presumed dead.  But those in the last lifeboat to leave the ship are alive and surviving against all odds in treacherous seas.  For eight days they are at sea, losing hope of being rescued.

But Alice's sister is adamant that her sister is still alive and through her influence at work, ensures that the search is not called off and search aircraft return just one more time.

Such an emotional read when you realise that this story did actually happen.  How brave and desperate you must have to be to sign your child up to be a 'seavacuee'.  My mother in law was evacuated from the East End of London during the blitz and spent a couple of years on a farm in Devon.  I can remember talking to her mother about it and the anxiety she must have had to put her children on a train, not knowing where they would end up living.  No telephones to keep in contact, she had to wait days for a letter to give her the new address.  She was quite matter of fact, it was something they just had to do to keep them safe.

Would I recommend this book?  Yes I would!

I then read Three Sisters by O J Mullen.

A cold icy night in London.  Three sisters out on the town, one falls into the path of a car and is killed.  The surviving sisters cope with their grief in their own way.  One is dealing with the breakdown of her marriage and one is determined to have her revenge on the man driving the car despite the fact that it was an accident that he could not have avoided.  

Lewis Stone is distraught to have caused such grief, which impacts on his situation at work where the company that he co-owns with his friend Damien is about to embark on an exciting new chapter.  But Lewis cannot concentrate and steps back from the business for three months and returns to the remote Scottish family home, dropping his phone in the lake to ensure he has no distractions while he comes to terms with what has happened.

You may think that you know what is likely to happen and you may think that you understand the background behind that night but trust me, you don't!

So that's quite a wide variety of reading material to share this month - I would most definitely recommend the last two!


Monday, 28 August 2023

Me on Monday

 We had overnight visitors on Saturday.

Their luggage ticked off another photo hunt challenge - something that rolls! Our daughter and husband went out to celebrate her birthday and so we had the grandchildren here for a sleepover.  Not that much sleeping went on! It always makes me smile to see the things that they pack to bring here for one night.  My daughter puts in a change of clothes and a pair of pjs and leave them to do the rest.

Today is a bank holiday and we have been invited to theirs for lunch today which will be nice. I am taking a salad to go with the meal and also the easiest, yet tastiest dip to have with tortilla chips. You just mix together cream cheese with natural yogurt until it is soft and creamy then layer that in a bowl.  Then add a layer of sweet chilli dipping sauce, then a layer of chopped coriander.  So tasty!

Our son will be waking up with his family under canvas - they have gone on their first camping trip, it will be interesting to hear how it went.  They have gone to Holkham in Norfolk which has a fabulous beach but the weather forecast was for a little rain last night but dry from now on.  I think they have rented a beach hut in Wells-Next-The-Sea today so I hope they have a fun beach day.  Kids don't care about how warm it is do they?  Then home tomorrow, they thought two days might be long enough for their first tenting adventure.

So last week held a lovely meet up with someone I first met when we worked together back in the late 70s/early 80s, making a birthday cake for my daughter with Leo and Rosie, picking up my new phone with Olive on Wednesday, Zumba on Thursday then a nice pub lunch in a dog friendly pub on Friday.  A busy week which flew by!

It's Leo's 7th birthday tomorrow; they are taking him and some friends bowling as a special treat so no childcare for me, but it will be a normal week after that. Last week of the summer holidays so not quite so much childcare from here on.  Hard to believe that both Rosie and Max will be starting 'proper' school next week.  Even though Max is eight months younger than Rosie, they will be in the same school year. The start of a new chapter!

I guess I had better go and make that salad and dip - have a good week!