Friday 31 August 2018

Scavenger Hunt link up number 3

The post in which I show my last photo - every single one ticked off the list!   I had shown all the others already here and here.

So without further ado I would like to present to you the one which caused me the most trouble to find and yet appeared under my nose when I went to the hairdressers

No 17 - Repurposed

An old cable drum being used as a table in the waiting area of the salon.  I was sitting on the sofa waiting to be called and had one of those 'light bulb' moments when I realised that the table in front of me perfectly fitted the last category that I had been searching for.

It's been such fun to join in with this project again.  Thanks a million to Mary-Lou for hosting it and prompting me to keep my eyes open for the unexpected during the summer.  I cannot wait to see what everyone else has found!

Wednesday 29 August 2018

Caption competition

On Bank Holiday Monday we went round to our daughter's house for some early birthday celebrations for a certain young rascal who is two today.

He is currently obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine so it wasn't hard for his mum to find inspiration for the cake she decorated for him!

Of all the photos that my daughter could have included in her Instagram post, why on earth did she include this one

Which I have entitled 'Does my bum look big in this?'


A couple of people have asked about the egg free cake recipe I mentioned in my last post, so I have included it in the recipe tab - even if you aren't looking for an egg free cake, it really is the most delicious and easy cake to make.

Monday 27 August 2018

Me on Bank holiday Monday

Hello there! 

It's Bank Holiday Monday here today - although since I gave up work it just seems like any other Monday!

Last week was pretty busy, my daughter's birthday was on Friday and they came for dinner the day before.  My trusty egg free cake recipe came in handy again!

They haven't tested Leo for his egg allergy again yet so we're sticking with safe food.  I think they do a skin prick test once a year to see if the reaction is reducing or staying the same.

I realised it was 10 weeks since I went to the hairdressers so a good cut and a few highlights were definitely needed. It also gave me the opportunity to find the last photo I needed for the Scavenger Hunt but you'll need to see the official link up post for that later this week!

The weekend was also time to celebrate our son and daughter in law's first anniversary and housewarming.  Let's just say it was much warmer, drier and sunnier a year ago!  And last Bank Holiday Monday was spent dismantling a huge marquee and waiting in a field for tables chairs and porta-loos to be collected before taking the hired suits back to Moss Bros. 

So what does today bring?  Well, my daughter thought it would be a good idea to have Leo's birthday celebrations this afternoon, even though it is not until Wednesday, as no one had to work today so we'll be popping over there later to watch him blow out the candles on his birthday cake.  Two years old - that time has flown by.  He's such a little character, he gets away with murder with his cheeky grin and sparkly blue eyes!

I've started knitting a blanket for when his little sister arrives, it's coming along nicely and I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed having a knitting project on the go.  It's so easy to pick up and do a couple of rows every evening and I think I'm about a third of the way through it now.

I decided that I would try and find a new box set to watch while knitting.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  I loved The Crown and can't wait for the new season and I am watching Stranger Things with my husband in the evenings so I've looked through the lists today and found Alias Grace.  Just watched the first episode and I think it could be good.  Anyone else out there watched it?  Or have any recommendations for me?  As you can see from the three I've mentioned, I don't really have a particular genre that I like to watch - variety is the spice of life eh?!

Monday 20 August 2018

Reviving Me on Monday

I'm trying to get my act together to get back into blogging and remembering how I used to join in with a group of bloggers to write 'Me on Monday' posts.  Just a way of checking in and catching up on the past week.  So I'm rewinding time and hope to re-introduce that.  It will also be an incentive to actually add a few self portraits into the mix as if I remember correctly, a Me on Monday post used to always include a photo.

So here we go ... Me on Monday!  

And looking at this I am mighty glad I have a hairdressers appointment coming up tomorrow 💇 haven't had it cut for 10 weeks - good grief, even the dog has her hair fur cut more often than me!

But ignore me photobombing the real star of the photo - the newly painted balustrade.  When our house was built all the wood work was stained dark brown.  We have gradually replaced doors and window frames but the staircase has always been deemed 'too much hard work'.  However, spurred on my our offspring's efforts on the decorating front we finally bought the paint and this weekend my husband sanded down every single spindle and we jointly painted them. I am so pleased we have finally done it - it makes the landing look so much brighter - especially with all the newly painted doors.  Next we have to choose a colour for the walls - watch this space!

You'll note I'm wearing the same old glasses.  I did come home from the opticians last week with some new eye wear but it wasn't a pair of frames.  Seems that the sore eyes I have been noticing are not due to a change in prescription but a patch of dryness in one eye. When I blink, there is a patch which doesn't get lubricated with tears.  So I have an eye mask which I have to heat up in the microwave then lay down with it over my eyes twice a day and then I have to massage my eyelids.  So I saved myself some money {actually quite a lot of money}  but am stuck with these old frames for another year 😎

This weekend was our son's first anniversary - where did that year go?  

I am so pleased that they have moved out of London and returned to this area - I love knowing that they are only half an hour down the road.  I also love the fact that their enthusiasm to decorate their new home has spurred us on to do some jobs that we have been putting off for far too long.  

On the crafting front I have started knitting again! When Leo was born I knitted him two chunky blankets - absolutely plain garter stitch with blocks of random stripes.  So many people asked Rachel where she got them from and she used them so much but of course the new baby won't want a red, white and navy blanket or a bright blue, cream and grey one.  So I've taken delivery of some graphite grey, pale grey and pink wool and have started work.  It's nice to have a project to work on in the evenings while I'm watching TV.  

I realised today that I have something in common with Madonna.  We both had our 60th birthdays this year.  One of us appears to be ageing more than the other.  One of us definitely has more lines and grey hairs.  I wonder why that may be? 😉

Sunday 12 August 2018

Who knew decorating could be contagious?

I've mentioned in previous blog posts that my son and his wife have recently moved house and after years of living in rented accommodation where they couldn't do anything to the decorations, now they have a whole house they can work on.  They haven't wasted a minute.  Within 2 days of moving in they had painted the dark wood spindles on the staircase white - what a difference that made!  Then they painted the lounge, had a week's holiday and have now painted the hallway and their bedroom.  Not to mention looking at revamping the kitchen.  They've changed all the door handles from white china with painted floral design to modern brushed chrome - they are certainly modernising it!

Then my daughter started to redecorate the upstairs in her house.  Leo is moving into a big boy's bedroom with a proper bed (he's managed to escape from his cot even while wearing a Grobag sleeping suit so it's obviously time to move into a bed) and his current bedroom/nursery will be prepared for the new baby.  Without giving away too many clues (who am I kidding?) it needs to be painted a different colour ... 😉

So naturally (and with deep sighs from my husband) it's got me to thinking about our house and how it's been a while since we decorated.  When we first moved here 27 years ago one of the first jobs we did was to change all the old fashioned dark wood doors to white painted four panelled doors.  Little did we know how much extra work we were giving ourselves!  Because one white six panel door painted back and front takes a fair bit of time to rub down, prime and paint, so when you consider that upstairs we have 7 doors leading onto the landing, that's a lot of painting.  We've been talking about painting the walls up there for a while so in a rash moment of decorating envy I said that I would start the make over by freshening up the doors.  I even bought new door knobs and am replacing the tatty gold coloured ones with brushed chrome.  Enthusiasm was high for the bathroom door then it got too hot to paint and I had a day off before doing our bedroom door, boredom is now setting in until my husband said, 'if you do the study door, you'll be almost half way done'.  So I did.  And in doing so, used up all the rest of my enthusiasm.  I have set myself a target of doing a door a day so tomorrow's door of the day will be the one to the airing cupboard.  The one that, when I look closely, appears never to have been painted on the inside - well if it's lasted 27 years, could it last another one?  NO - that is not the attitude!

In other news, I'm off to the opticians on Tuesday.  It's my annual check up and I'm wondering if not working at a computer screen 3 days a week will have any effect on my eyesight.  I'd really like some new frames as I've never been totally happy with the ones I chose last time but they are so expensive; I'm not changing them until I need a new prescription.  So, top left is me at the moment, if I did need a new shape I thought I'd look on Snapchat and see what they could suggest   What do you think?

Tuesday 7 August 2018

Me on a Tuesday

I saw something on Facebook this morning that really resonated with me; it was a quote that was along the lines of remembering that every situation in life is temporary so when you are going through good times, make sure you enjoy them fully and when life is not so good remember it won't last forever and good days will return.  

We've had some sad news this weekend but it isn't my story to tell so I can't really say any more.  I hate to be so vague but am a firm believer that social media shouldn't just be about advertising when things are going well, we should be open and let people know that everyone has times when they aren't so happy as you may think.  I can't just happily blog about things we've done and places we've been when behind the scenes things aren't as rosy as normal.  Rosiness will return, this is temporary and life will move onwards and upwards.  I saw first hand when I worked at the school that teenagers judge their own lives by comparing things with what they see others are doing and they forget that people often only post photos of fun things or when they are looking at their best.  (If you have younger/teenage children there's a very interesting article here about 'Life in Likes'.)  Us grown ups need to remember too that life is a real mix of ups and downs and we can't fully appreciate the ups if we haven't felt the downs too. 


I originally wanted to write this post to recommend a book I've just finished.  I saw it reviewed on another blog and thought it sounded intriguing.  And it was!  The book is Our House by Louise Candlish - you can find it here - you won't regret spending 99p on downloading it!  Oh my goodness.  The story is written in the form of the wife taking part in a podcast and the husband writing a word document so you see both sides of the story.  The plot line is that the wife comes home one day to find strangers moving into her house.  All her furniture is gone and her husband has disappeared.  It is a story with a true 'domino effect', how one incident becomes a tipping point for so many other things going wrong.  The last chapter, where you can see that something well meaning is going to have disastrous consequences had me muttering at my kindle, not wanting the ending to be how it looked it would be and as I read the last page I couldn't help saying 'NO!!!!' out loud!  If you decide to give it a go, please let me know if you enjoyed it.  

So that's it for today, I'm just off to my Zumba class - that'll be a shock to the system as I haven't been for a month - I was away on holiday and then the teacher was away, but I'm sure a bit of a dance to some 'cheesy' disco classics is just what I need to lift my spirits.

Wednesday 1 August 2018

A sentence a day for July

Another month bites the dust!  Joining in again with Leslie's idea to sum up every day of the month in one sentence.  Sounds simple eh?  Not always the case! 


Day 1: Another hot sunny day, these continuous blue sky days are taking us Brits by surprise - we do not cope well in heatwaves!

Day 2: Moving day for our son - which naturally involved all the family helping out, went to bed tired and needing a holiday.

Day 3: Emergency dentist appointment for my husband, they have done some work on the tooth but if it doesn't improve it will probably mean root canal work (spoiler alert - it only improved for a few days)

Day 4: Alarm set for 4.30 am ready for our flight to Verona

Day 5: Well hello Desenzano del Garda, you are looking particularly beautiful today, climbed to the top of the castle, certainly meeting any step targets today

Day 6: Got the boat to Sirmione in the afternoon, but after we had been there about an hour the skies darkened and rain threatened so we got an earlier ferry back where we found Desenzano was still enjoying the sunshine

Day 7: A day spent reading, eating, drinking, swimming and doing very little else

Day 8: Boat trip to Sirmione in glorious sunshine, another climb to the top of a different castle but worth the aching legs for the views

Day 9: Husband woke up with toothache, he must be feeling poorly as he's refused my offer of going to get a cone of ice cream

Day 10: A day very similar to day 7!

Day 11: Arrivederci Italy in the morning, friends over to watch the football in the evening so it was also arrivederci to the World Cup 😓

Day 12: Back in the old routine - looking after Leo all day - unpacking the suitcases may have to wait until tomorrow

Day 13: Husband off to dentist for root canal work - he may have had one gelato too many while we were away

Day 14: Our daughter's first wedding anniversary - boy has that year flown by.

Day 15: St Swithin's day today, legend has it that whatever weather we have today will last for the next 40 days - looks like this heatwave is due to continue!

Day 16: It's very exciting to be packing up your holiday clothes into a suitcase, but not quite so exciting to be washing and ironing them after you're back home.

Day 17: Spent the day catching up on chores - thank goodness that's out of the way!

Day 18: My little mini went in for its first service - the garage send you a video of your car up on the ramp to show you all the things they checked, that's definitely something new I've never seen before.

Day 19: Returned to school to celebrate the retirement of one of my work colleagues, seemed strange to be back, but very nice to have people tell me that they miss me!

Day 20: As a thank you for helping on their moving day we were invited over to our son and daughter in law's new house for dinner - they both love cooking so we were well and truly spoiled.

Day 21: Marks and Spencer have a special meal deal on at the moment so it's a lazy night tonight and a tasty Indian meal for dinner.

Day 22: Lazy sunny Sunday - this heatwave is starting to take its toll on my energy levels.

Day 23:Helped my daughter take her son to the hospital for a check up - she wasn't sure why he'd been sent the appointment and neither did the consultant who commented that 'he's full of beans and is bright as a button - why are you here?' 

Day 24: Our son and daughter had stayed here overnight as they had an early flight to catch this morning from the airport near to us - good old Dad's taxi service is free and reliable when you need to leave home at 4am 

Day 25: Coffee with the lady I used to work with in the Exams Office at school - haven't seen her for ages so the time flew by with catching up on all the gossip

Day 26: Dentist day for my husband to have the final bit of work done on his tooth

Day 27: Out for a pub lunch with friends, fantastic food but I think that there was more garlic in my lamb kofta than I realised - at least I'll be safe from vampires tonight 🦇

Day 28: Is this fair?  My son and his wife are in the South of France for a week, and we are in the garden of their new home cutting down overgrown shrubs - although to be honest, we did offer to do it!

Day 29: Rain - oh my goodness, I've never been happier to see rain and temperatures in the low 20s - we have needed this, us Brits are melting in this heatwave.

Day 30: Returned to tidy up our son's garden - ten bags of garden cuttings waiting for his return!

Day 31: There was an activity day over the park and Leo particularly enjoyed trying out the police quad bike for size - thankfully they hadn't left the keys in the ignition! 

So with the heatwave returning, it's time to start the monthly notes for August - are you joining in this month?  Please do!