Monday 29 October 2018

Me on Monday

Oh I'm in a dilemma this Monday.

I only have 24 hours to sort myself out something to wear for a Halloween themed Zumba class tomorrow.  I thought I was sorted.  I'm not really a fancy dress kind of person so didn't have anything to hand.  But when I was shopping last week, I had a look through some accessories and picked up a couple of things.  

Exhibit A

A witches hat headband.  Nothing too exciting there eh?

And then my 'seemed like a good idea at the time purchase'. Let me know when you notice the big mistake.

Exhibit B

Skeleton leg tights.  I thought I could wear one of my husband's black t shirts to wear with them.  They do look fun when they are on but first mistake I noticed was that for Zumba I obviously have to wear dance trainers.  Which will totally cover up the bones of the foot which is the most interesting part of the tights.  Then the most potentially embarrassing mistake is that these are tights.  Not leggings.  And not even very opaque tights once you put them on.  So when I reach up and the t shirt moves up with me, whoever has the misfortune to be in the row behind me will have a grandstand view of {ahem} my behind.  And no one wants that I can assure you.  So, how do I fix this?  Do I wear leggings under the tights to obscure any unfortunate views?  Can I even get the tights on if I'm already wearing leggings?  Should I start the class barefoot so people can at least see I have some novelty tights on rather than just a pair with silver stripes down the front?  Help!

So what else does this week hold?  Well, tomorrow my daughter will be given the date that they will deliver her baby - that seems so weird.  I had a planned C section with my son and remember being booked in for 5 March and driving home feeling very strange that I actually knew the exact date.  They still haven't decided on a name which is crazy because they've known since 20 weeks that they are having a girl, it shouldn't take that long to come up with something surely!  Any suggestions?  

Right, time for me to get to grips with those skeleton legs, I think it's time to take a pair of scissors to them and see if I can unpick the toe seam and then just pull them further up the leg so the toe bones show above my trainers.  Sounds like a plan ... watch this space ... 

Tuesday 23 October 2018

Tasty Tuesday - A souper blog hop

No doubt about it, there is something very comforting about a steaming hot bowl of homemade soup, especially if you're feeling under the weather or if the weather has taken a turn for the worse.  Leslie has organised a blog hop for people (Did you arrive here from Lysha's blog?  If so - hello and welcome to my blog!) to share super soup recipes now that Autumn is here - so this is my contribution.

I have a few favourite recipes but thought I would choose something that people may not have tried before.  I must admit that this recipe comes from my friend Julia; she invited me for lunch one day and when she told me what we were having I was a bit dubious but pleasantly surprised!  This recipe is for 

Courgette Soup 
aka Zucchini Soup 
(for those on the other side of the Atlantic!)

Now bear with me as I know it doesn't sound very exotic and maybe a bit underwhelming but please give me the benefit of the doubt - it's easy to make, doesn't cost much, cooks quickly and tastes delicious.  Are you ready?

What do you need?

2 medium sized courgettes
2 small onion or 1 large one
1 clove garlic 
1 small potato 
about 1/2 litre of either chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and black pepper
Cheese - grated 

How do you make it?

  • Chop onion and slice courgette, make stock with boiling water
  • Fry onion until soft and translucent 
  • Add courgette and crushed garlic 
  • Peel and chop potato into small cubes
  • Add to pan along with stock
  • Simmer for about 20 mins.  Have a coffee, read a chapter of a book, browse the internet while you are waiting.
  • Blitz the mixture until it is smooth, if you think it needs a bit more liquid add some boiling water until it is the consistency you like.
  • Season generously with salt and black pepper.
  • Pour into bowl, with a large handful of grated cheese on top (I use Cheddar or Gruyere)

It is pure comfort food and while you'd think courgette soup would be a bit bland, the skins of the courgettes give it a lovely peppery taste.  And as the cheese melts into it - oh yum!  I like to eat mine with a hunk of sourdough bread or a crusty roll.

Please do follow the links to learn some new soups - rumour has it that the cold weather is returning this weekend so I think the timing of this blog hop has been perfect!

Monday 22 October 2018

Me on a Monday

And this Monday I'm going on a bear hunt.  Or so I've been told.

So once again I've been talked into going to pre-school today.  I'm too soft for my own good - I'm sure Grandads are allowed to go, maybe we could take turns?  

Why am I going in Leo's mummy's place?  Because this week they are going on a nature hunt which could, apparently, turn into re-enactment of the story 'We're going on a bear hunt'.  Dress code - wellington boots and coats. Accessories - bag to fill up with leaves and twigs.  Environment prediction - muddy.  Now why on earth wouldn't a 33 week pregnant woman wouldn't want to go on this trip?  All the slippery, squelchy mud with accompanying slip hazard, the constant bending down to pick up leaves and sticks, the possibility of having to suddenly run after a wayward 2 year old who goes off in pursuit of a squirrel ... I can't imagine why she asked me to go in her place 😉

Still, at least it will get me away from the decorating for a couple of hours eh?  I've been wittering on about the landing project for weeks now and finally we have not only started it, but almost finished it.

The walls are very neutral and we just have the contrast dark blue wall at the end which needs one final coat.  We're then planning to reupholster the chair that is usually in the corner to give the whole area a focal point.  

Right, my partner in crime will soon be dropped off, I've got my wellies and bag ready 
Wish me luck!

Monday 15 October 2018

Me on a Monday

I'm actually writing this post on Sunday as I know I'm not going to have much time to myself on Monday.

You know by now that the person using up much of my free time at the moment is a certain young munchkin called Leo.  Well, Leo's mum has two hospital appointments on Monday which will take up much of the morning so guess who has been invited to accompany Leo to his pre-school morning? Nanny Deb.  Must remember to wear appropriate clothing that is suitable for sitting on the floor and a bit of messy play (not my normal Monday wardrobe)

So last week you saw me trying to understand the plot of a Shakespearean play.  I didn't have high hopes for it bearing in mind it was being performed in a school hall (not always the most atmospheric of places) and it was not one of the plays I ever studied at school so I wasn't totally sure of the story.  Well, thank goodness I was wearing waterproof mascara because I honestly had tears of laughter rolling down my face at times!  It was so good.  The cast were brilliant and added in just the right amount of modern drama and improvisation.  If you ever come across The Pantaloons I would really recommend you see a performance.  I think their next shows will be A Christmas Carol and we probably all know the storyline of that one!

Last week I took a little time out for myself in between all the Leo time and had a much needed hair cut and colour and then a manicure.  I don't often have a manicure but I am so pleased that I did, I think my own well being has been taking a bit of a back seat recently and I needed a little bit of pampering.  It's very easy to overlook yourself when you are busy taking care of others.

It was unusual for me not to be in the kitchen serving up Sunday Lunch to four generations of family this week.  Our daughter in law had to work this weekend so our son rang and asked if we'd fancy going over to their house and he'd cook lunch.  Well, I did not have to think twice over that one - yes please!  

Will we ever progress with the decorating of the landing?  Who knows?  Now I've got gloriously manicured nails I can't see me doing much without the aid of a pair of rubber gloves so it's down to my husband to get his hands dirty now.  We have the paint.  We have the brushes/rollers/masking tape.  We just need to have some time when there isn't a little two year old running around trying to 'help'.

We also need the enthusiasm.  I had some spare time yesterday when in all honesty I could possibly have painted another skirting board but instead I got out the sewing machine, chopped up some fabric and made a little bag for Leo to keep his random treasures in.  All those bits and bobs that are essential to take out with you when you are two.  A conker, a Thomas the Tank Engine, a car, crayon, ball ... When he knows we are about to go out, he goes round gathering up all little things to take with him.  And then drops them one by one when we walk to the car.  Now he has a bag to put them in.  (And I still have unpainted skirting boards!)

Have a good Monday!

Monday 8 October 2018

Me on Monday

You'll find me this Monday morning doing what I did 45 years ago, desperately trying to do my homework before a lesson the next day.

For all the world's a stage and the men and women merely players. 

Or so William Shakespeare tells us.  And this week the stage in question is the one at the school where I used to work.  The Head of Drama also runs a performance company called The Pantaloons that is putting on a comedy Shakespearean production of 'As You Like It' to raise funds for new equipment in the drama studio so I thought I would channel my inner A Level English Literature student and get a ticket.  But although I read many a Shakespearean play in my school years, this is one I never had to study so I'm having to do a bit of background reading/homework.  (We once had a wonderful teacher in about the second year who told us that if we ever found William Shakespeare a bit intimidating, to just think of him as Billy Waggledagger.  A silly anecdote but one which sticks in my mind!) 

After a bit of culture I did some more painting on our upstairs landing.  Only one door frame and a few bits of skirting board left and then we can actually do the fun bit - painting the walls a different colour!

Last week involved a lot of babysitting for Leo while his mum went to the hospital for monitoring - every time he's here I'm reminded that I'm not as young as I used to be!

I started this blog post with memories of my school days and that's how it will end too.  One of the highlights of last week was a meal out with a couple of old school friends.  We've known each other since we were 11 - which is very scarily almost 50 years ago 😱 It was so good to meet up with them, we try and get together about 4 times a year and as soon as we get chatting the years fade away and it's as if we were back in our old needlework classroom gossiping away.  It is good to make new friends throughout your life, but just as good to keep those lifelong friends close too.

Tuesday 2 October 2018

A Sentence a Day for September

Ah, September.   At the beginning of the month you found me in sunny Southwold - oh how I love that town.  But let's not jump ahead.  What does September mean to me? Well ...

Not only is it one of my favourite Earth Wind and Fire Songs ...


... but the month in which I got married in 1980.  Before you do the maths, yes looking back on it, I was very young!  But back then, we were just the average age, how times change eh?

So, what did September 2018 hold in store for me?


Day 1 Bags out, clothes sorted, all packed and ready to go for our long weekend in Suffolk

Day 2 Drove to Orford, for our first Airbnb adventure - the accommodation was absolutely lovely, stopped off on the way at Waldringfield for a delicious Sunday lunch at the local pub. 

Day 3 Visited Southwold in the morning, coffee and cake on the pier then travelled down the coast a little to Aldeburgh for the compulsory fish and chips out of a bag sitting by the sea wall.

Day 4 A leisurely journey back home stopping at Woodbridge on the way - all in all, our first weekend away with Coco was a great success, now where should we go next?

Day 5 The lady who owned the studio in which we stayed had left delicious homemade cake for us and inspired by this I checked out her blog when I got home and found a recipe for lemon and poppyseed cake - next thing you know - tah dah!!!

Day 6 Our 38th wedding anniversary - wow that sounds a long time ago, who am I kidding is WAS a long time ago!

Day 7 After a day of doing a few diy jobs over at our daughter's house {helping prepare for Leo moving into his big boy bedroom} we had friends over in the evening which was the perfect excuse to crack open my 'souvenir' from our weekend away.

Absolutely delicious served with ice, lime, fresh raspberries and a sprig of mint

Day 8 A day of tidying up the study which had become a bit neglected (my husband cannot be trusted to keep on top of filing paperwork, that in tray was overflowing - not any more!)

Day 9 A traditional roast lamb for dinner followed by apple pie kind of day; added to two dog walks and a lot of knitting.  

Day 10 Over-enthusiasm resulted in a secateur related accident in the garden which curtailed my front garden pruning ... for today - in the words of Arnie "I'll be back"

Day 11 A meal out with friends I used to work with about 8 years ago, how time flies when you have lots of news to catch up on {healthy eating intentions went out the window when I found myself ordering the cinnamon dusted mini doughnuts with warm chocolate and salted caramel dipping sauces 🍩}

Day 12 The follow up optician appointment shows that the patch of 'dry eye' that I had has gone - that warm eye pad must have worked a treat.

Day 13 The gardener has arrived to dig up our front lawn to replace it with new turf - we had a very excited young grandson come to inspect the digger.

Day 14 Front garden all re-turfed and looking tidy again - now let's try and keep it that way!

Day 15 Went out for a Tapas lunch - so delicious 

Day 16 Family here for Sunday lunch, love having everyone here for dinner even if it does mean a lot of cooking.

Day 17 Decorating at my daughter's house - even though I was working on my own I managed to get the whole nursery done.

Day 18 Despite having had a full body work out yesterday I still managed to get to my Zumba class and survived the whole hour.

Day 19 A productive day sorting and tidying around the house, not the most exciting way to spend a day but it felt good to have those jobs we've been putting off all done and dusted.

Day 20 Our day for having our grandson - he loves collecting conkers when we go out for a dog walk so if the 'old wives tale' that they deter spiders is true, we will be a spider free zone for the rest of the winter! 

Day 21 Fitted wooden blinds to our bedroom window - it's a bay window and it's 2 metres wide so definitely a two 'man' job - followed by a fab meal out to celebrate a friend's birthday.

Day 22 Our daughter has been diagnosed with Cholestasis caused by the pregnancy and will need 3 hospital visits a week from now on to monitor the baby and have extra blood tests; a hospital visit this morning confirmed that the baby will be delivered early at 37 weeks so our new grand baby will be here sooner than we expected.

Day 23 Four generations round the dinner table today with ages ranging from 91 👵 to 2 👶

Day 24 A sunny day trip to Cambridge today; it's my favourite place, I love the history and atmosphere of the town.

Day 25 Woke up with a very bruised ankle after stubbing my toe on the stair gate yesterday (not sure how a toe injury can show damage on your ankle!) but still managed to do an hour of Zumba class.

Day 26 Went 'scrumping' for apples and blackberries on our dog walk today

Day 27 Our day for having Leo here - his favourite game at the moment is either 'chase' - where he wants you to run around after him - and hide and seek, where he sits under a quilt in the lounge and waits for you to realise where he is!

Day 28 We had Leo here again in the afternoon while his mummy went to the hospital for blood tests and monitoring so we decided to go and feed the ducks 

(The heron didn't stay too long - an over excited dog and a small boy shouting 'feed duckies' seemed to scare him off)

Day 29 Got cracking on a blanket for the new baby - plush fabric is so soft and lovely to work on

Day 30 Popped over to our son's house in the evening - turns out they have just signed up for gym membership so he's trying to convince my husband that he needs to join him on the squash courts once a week!

Thanks to Leslie for introducing me to this fun monthly project!  Why not join in as well next month?

Monday 1 October 2018

Me on Monday

Well, Hello October!

So this is the first Me on Monday post for October and today sees me heading off to our local Hobbycraft store in search of fabric.  

At the weekend I decided to get a move on with the little cuddlesoft baby blanket I was making

Got it finished on Sunday (I do love a bit of hand sewing of binding while watching TV in the evenings)

And then Grandmother guilt kicked in.  Because if I've made something for one, I have todo something for the other.  My neighbour had given me an off cut of Thomas the Tank Engine fabric when she heard that Leo was a great fan of Thomas.  It was a full width of fabric but only about 30 cm deep.  I thought I could make something out of it but not sure what!  A nice simple cushion cover maybe for his bedroom?

Every time Leo comes here he gets the fabric out to sit on so he obviously likes it.  I showed Rachel the baby blanket at the weekend and she said 'so are you going to start on Leo's now?'  His little face lit up and at that moment I realised that it is now going to have to be a quilt of some kind!  He obviously doesn't remember that I made him a soft little cuddle blanket when he was a newborn ...

PS - now back from Hobbycraft - two hours later.  Well you know how it is, you go looking for some fabric.  You get sidetracked by the Christmas crafting shelves.  You mentally give yourself a slap because it is still only October and you do not need to be thinking about Christmas yet.  You walk out the store and instead of walking straight ahead to where your car is parked, you pop in Laura Ashley Home Store which is next door.  You wander around there, they have a 30% off sale, you stroke a beautiful fake fur throw and wonder how sumptuous it would look on your bed.  You then realise that the main person to appreciate said throw would be Coco as the end of our bed is her default position for daytime lounging.  You could still at that point cross the road to your car but no.  You head for Home Style to see what bargains they have on sale today. 45 minutes later you leave the store with 3 Christmas stocking gifts (having totally forgotten Christmas intentions in Hobbycraft) and a set of kitchen towels.  Me on Monday - turning a half hour round trip into a whole morning!