Sunday 26 June 2011

Yesterday we went back to the 'Pick your own' farm to stock up on more strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.  We've had a fair bit of rain around these parts in the last week, although yesterday afternoon was wall to wall sunshine.  However, I learnt an important lesson.  Never assume that what looks like a muddy patch of grass is not a 6" hole full of water.  Let's just say that I did my fruit picking with one blue trainer and one muddy brown one, and as I walked up and down the rows it went 'step, squelch, step squelch ....'  Made me think of the Vicar of Dibley sketch where Dawn French jumps in a puddle

Think of me when you reach 1m 30 .....
Whilst picking raspberries, I overheard a conversation between members of a family in the next row.
"Mum, Ollie's eating the pink things"
"That's ok Alfie, why don't you try one?"
"It tastes like waspbewwy yoghurt"
"What do you think makes your yoghurt taste like that?"
"The pink?"
Guess sometimes we take for granted that kids understand about where flavours come from!

Friday 24 June 2011

A degree of success

I make no excuses for this quick post just to say how proud and relieved I am today. My son has just heard that he has got a 2:1 degree in Politics and can now accept the offer of a place to study for a Masters degree in African politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies which is part of the University of London next year.  He is absolutely thrilled and we are just so proud of him.  It hasn't been an easy journey for him, and it says so much about his determination to do well.
And the fact that he will be living 30 miles away from home instead of 150 is just icing on the cake!

Monday 20 June 2011

Blogaversary Blog-Hop

Sandie is having a big blog-hoppy party to celebrate the anniversary of her blog today and I am thrilled to be included in her list.  Now you may have come to me via Moira's blog, or Sandie's own blog or maybe you are one of my blog friends but however you got here I want to say a big HELLO and share a little celebration story with you.
Last year was my 30th wedding anniversary and as a special treat, we booked into a little boutique hotel in Bath.  It was a lovely weekend and I have shared many photos of it on my blog.  While we were away, our kids decided it would be nice to ring around our friends and see who they could rustle up to join in a surprise party for the day we returned home. 
While we were away, R sent me a text to say that her and J wanted to take us out for a drink on the evening we got home as a bit of a celebration.  We had a lovely last day in Bath, and came home feeling tired and to be honest, just wanting an evening in, relaxing at home.  I said to R 'it's a lovely thought, but maybe we could go out tomorrow instead'.  A look of horror crossed her face - 'No, it has to be tonight, come on, get changed, put some lippy on and let's go'.  At this point I have to say that R is not a lady to be messed with once she gets something on her mind.  So we popped into the local pub, and had a drink.  By which time I relaxed and picked up a menu and suggested that we maybe have something to eat there instead of cooking something when we got home.  Another look of horror.  No, we absolutely couldn't have anything to eat, she would be cooking for us later.  J kept checking his phone and at one point went outside to make a call.  Suddenly, R & J were drinking up and obviously thought I was taking too long to finish my wine as R said, 'Can I try your wine?' and practically finished the glassful!  In hindsight, obviously we had been rushed out the house so everyone else could arrive and J had had a call to say they were ready and we needed to go back.
We arrived home, walked through the front door and into the kitchen.  Then R opened the dining room door and we saw everyone there - it was an amazing surprise and totally made our anniversary complete. They had gathered together old friends, new friends, and family and it was just amazing.  For a Christmas present, they had one of the photos taken that night printed onto a canvas to hang on the wall, and it's a lovely momento of a surprise celebration
There's a few letters to find as you go around this blog hop, so this brings me to the end of my contribution to the Special Scrapbooking Special Celebration, hosted by Sandie and in true Sesame Street style - was brought to you by the letter
 Time for me to say goodbye now, and pass you onto the next lady on the list, Alexa.  Click on the link to travel to her blog - you're in for a treat!  And if you lose your way round at any time, here's a list of the people joining in today.  Have fun! 

Blog hop details
1. Sandie:
2. Ann:
3. Louise:
4. Angela:
5. Laurie:
6. Karen:
7. Moira:
8. Deb:
9. Alexa:
10. Den:
11. Lynn:
12. Ruth:

Sunday 19 June 2011

Father's Day

On Father's Day I thought I would share one of the last photos that I have of my dad, taken on his 70th birthday in 1988.

He hated having his photo taken and avoided having pictures taken whenever he could, so there are not so many photos of him around.  He found it totally impossible to smile naturally in front of a camera so this picture does not give any indication of his sense of fun or great sense of humour.  I was a real Daddy's girl when I was growing up and even though it is 22 years since he passed away, I still miss him so much.
But to compensate for this, I always made sure that my children  made a huge fuss of my husband on Fathers Day and even though they are grown up now, they still make him feel extra special on this Sunday.
Today we went for lunch to our daughter's flat where she and her boyfriend cooked a delicious barbecue with wonderful side dishes.  At this point, I should point out that he is Head Chef at a Michelin starred restaurant so you can imagine what a priviledge it is to have him cook for you!  Now we are home and he is watching the England Under 21s play football on the tv with our son, so I think it is fair to say that he has had a great day being spoilt and doing his favourite things.  And that's what Father's Day should be all about!

Wednesday 15 June 2011

EK Crop

Just to prove that I did not spend the whole day playing with soft toys and eating cupcakes, I'm sharing some layouts I made on Saturday

There seems to be a teal coloured theme going on here, and I have to say that each of these layouts co-ordinate with many clothes in my wardrobe this summer!  Right - off to blog hop!

Monday 13 June 2011


I have to apologise that I have not been around much for blog-hopping-commenting over this weekend - I will get back on track and catch up with everyone's blogs in the next couple of days I promise! 
After the busy day cropping (and tending to traumatised penguins) on Saturday, we had a day of double celebrations yesterday.  It had been my sister's 40th wedding anniversary last weekend and she had gone with her husband to Italy for the actual anniversary date so we had a 'surprise' lunchtime meal yesterday with all the family before going to the church for my niece's daughter's christening where I had the privilege of being one of her Godparents.
Such a little cutie - be prepared for some Christening layouts in the near future!

Saturday 11 June 2011

An eventful crop

I knew I shouldn’t have made that little penguin the star of yesterday’s post, there was no peace until I agreed on taking him to the Eclectic Keepsakes crop today.

He was quite well behaved, and enjoyed making himself at home and having a good look round.  He was particularly interested in Jane’s new tote

P1020589well at least until the cupcakes were handed outP1020586 Hmm – that’s a mighty big cupcake for one little penguin.  After tucking into it, he needed a little napP1020587 but then disaster struck!  An evil scrapbooker came and kidnapped him,!  Luckily he escaped and managed to get our attention by tapping on the windowP1020590  He was in a state of shock – good job both Karen’s are highly trained in first aid and knew how to put him in the penguin recovery position, P1020594

administer a cup of hot strong sweet tea P1020591

and cheer him up by offering him chewy sweets


After some investigations – we suspect we have discovered the identity of the kidnapper

P1020595and could finally get on with completing the lovely layout that had been designedP1020593   then it was time to pack everything up and take one tired – traumatised – penguin home.  I don’t think he’ll be coming with me again …


Friday 10 June 2011

10 things on the 10th

Ten places a penguin can hide in my home

Wednesday 8 June 2011

Thinking outside of the box

I had the email from Shimelle yesterday which was the last part of the Beyond Blogging for Scrapbookers, and I really like the thought of the '10 things on the 10th' link that she has planned.  But you know, TEN things?  That's a lot of things to find to link up. 
But I've been giving it some thought and I think I've come up with something.  Something a bit different.  Something that no one else would be stupid enough to  think of.
And I know I run the risk of people thinking I am crazy, but I've kind of enjoyed gathering together these 10 things so I am ready to go!
Didn't an amazing amount of people take part in Sian's Sunday Stories this month, it was such fun to read them all.  I just wish that blogger would let me consistently leave comments for people, I did read them all and tried to comment but some of them just took me round and round in a loop from commenting to having to retype my log in details, typing in code words, then back to log in page again.  Is anyone else having this problem?  So annoying, and I hate to think that people aren't getting the comments that they should have.

Sunday 5 June 2011

A story with a sting in the tail

Hands up who likes picnics.  Hands up those who love sunny evenings when you can eat your dinner on the patio.  Hands up those who like to take a drink outside in the evening and sit on the swing chair in the garden and watch the sun go down.  I had my hand up for all three of those, but with a proviso.  Only until the end of August.  Because what happens in England in September?  Wasps.  Nasty, malicious creatures that hunt me down and terrorise me.  'Keep calm' says The Husband.  'Flapping your arms around and getting agitated only attracts them more'.  He calmly sits there, a wasp will settle by him and with the flick of middle finger and thumb, he's stunned it and moments later it is gone.  He cannot remember being stung by a wasp - I can.  For it has happened more times than I care to remember.  And where does this deep seated hatred of wasps come from?  Let me tell you the story of when I discovered my fear of the nasty black and yellow monsters, and divulge who is responsible ...
So, it's late summer and my big sister has offered to take me to the park to keep me amused.  I am probably about 3, which makes her about 11.  'If you come home via the cricket field, don't go near the trees at the end, there are wasp nests in them' warns my mum as we leave.  So we head off for the swings, me probably skipping along happy to be out on my own with my big sis, and her probably a bit sulky as there would be a million other things she would rather be doing than entertaining her little sister.  After a lovely time at the park, and a treat of a lolly from the ice cream van, we head for home.  Me, tired and happy with that lovely strawberry stickiness all over my face because let's face it, at that age you can't eat a lolly cleanly and wet wipes hadn't been invented yet.  Her, anxious to be home.  I obviously wasn't walking fast enough because she decided to put me on her shoulders so we could walk home faster than toddler pace.  And what way did she decide to go home ? - under the trees where the wasp nests were.  With me on her shoulders, head brushing along the lower branches of the trees, covered in sugar.  I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions to the story but suffice it to say, she was in trouble and I was in pain.  And they wonder why I'm scared of wasps!

Friday 3 June 2011

Pick of the crop

Not a scrapbooking crop you understand - a 'pick your own' strawberry crop!  It's another gloriously sunny day here, last day of half term and so the husband and I drove out to a nearby farm and picked ourselves
some strawberries
and some gooseberries

The strawberries were sweet, juicy and delicious

and the gooseberries were not

So, the strawberries will be cut up and added to bowls of meringues and ice cream for dinner tonight and tomorrow and the gooseberries will be made into jam, gooseberry fool and gooseberry crumble.  It was so nice to be out in the sunshine, in the middle of the countryside, picking healthy, wholesome food.

Then home to finish off the May page of Shimelle's 4x6 Photo Love project.

These are photos from a trip to Southwold that we took in 2008.  On the Tuesday before we left, The Husband tore his calf muscle while playing badminton so had his leg strapped up and was on crutches the whole time we were there.  Men!  It didn't help that we were renting a flat in a converted school house that was on the first floor and there were no lifts to get upstairs.   I'm really enjoying this project and can't wait for the June pages to come round!