Tuesday 26 November 2019

Last Christmas ...

... I gave you my heart ...  

Oh how sad I was when I heard that George Michael had died - I absolutely loved his music.  So when I heard that there was a film that had all his music for the soundtrack I was definitely going to watch it.  Even though it got terrible reviews in the press!

Yesterday I went with a friend to see it and even though I have to admit it wasn't the best film I had ever seen, we both really enjoyed it.  Naturally the soundtrack is fantastic and at times brought a tear to my eye.  I did actually get to see George in concert once and it was absolutely the best concert I have ever been to - what a voice and what a performer.

It's been a busy few days over here in Deb's World.  On Friday I went to a wedding as baby Max's 'plus one'.  Our daughter in law, Sophie, was bridesmaid at her sister's wedding so I went along to look after the littlest best man so Jon and Sophie could relax and enjoy the festivities.  It all went remarkably well!

To say I was apprehensive is the understatement of the year.  Not about looking after Mr Adorable, but the actually getting to the venue and then getting home again in the dark.  You see the venue was quite literally in the middle of nowhere.  Here's a google map as proof

See that little dot in the middle of all the farm land?  That's it.  It was in a village called Shingay Cum Wendy.  There must be some history behind such an unusual place name.  I say it's a village, but I'm not sure if a few farm houses and a wedding venue equal a village!  I freely admit that I have no sense of direction and a deep distrust of sat navs so we had to do a couple of trial runs beforehand so I knew where I was going.  Trial one was a disaster.  The sat nav took us deep into farm land along single track 'roads' with railway crossings in the middle of nowhere.  When we finally got to the venue, we sat in the car park and Paul looked at a map to see how he would have gone without technology getting involved.  The return journey was better.  So a week later we did the trial run again, ignoring sat nav, with me driving and him just being there for moral support.  It was much better and I felt reasonably confident that I could get there and back in one piece.  So imagine how I felt a few days later when I saw a road work message on a Facebook page that said that a road which formed part of my journey would be closing at 10pm Friday evening and the detour would add another half hour onto my journey!  Fortunately, on the night the roadworks were rescheduled so the road was open - phew!

Then Sunday I had my pre-Christmas Zumba party lunch at a local golf club.  It was really good and naturally with 52 'midlife' ladies who enjoy a bit of Zumba, there was no room on the dance floor once we had eaten our meal.  I think the singer performing the after lunch show could hardly believe his luck getting such an enthusiastic audience!

From there I had to quickly get to Rosie's first birthday celebration.  Leo was naturally the most excited person there and monopolising all of Rosie's new toys.  Rachel had spent so much time on the birthday cake

So that was why things have been a bit quiet on the blog front - I've either been out celebrating, or recovering from it all!  This weekend looks like being a bit quieter.  Watch this space ...

Saturday 16 November 2019

Can you Caboodle?

Attention all book lovers!

Have you seen the annual book challenge on the National Book Tokens website?  They have a picture that includes clues to 20 books.  It's compulsive and challenging and good fun.  There's a mix of children's books, adult best sellers and classics - you just have to guess the book by the drawing.  I'm only up to 10 of the 20 so far, I need to get my thinking cap on!  Let me know if you decide to join in too, and let me know if you can work out what the blue car with the white wedding ribbon refers to!

It's been a busy few days here, we decided to decorate our dining room and am pleased to say that the paint is dry, the curtains are back up and all the glasses are back in the display cabinet.  We'd emptied them all out onto a kitchen unit and when I came down to make a cup of tea this morning it looked like we'd had a massive party the night before.  It's freshened the room up and whilst it's been a busy couple of days doing it non stop, it's nice to know it's all clean and tidy in time for the Christmas festivities.

Talking of which ... I ordered my turkey today - which means it must be getting closer! When I start my proper 'to do' list I will be happy to be able to tick one thing off straight away.  Well, two things actually as I have bought some Christmas cards too - this year I decided that instead of adding to the profits of one of the department stores who give about 5p per pack to charity, I would buy direct from one of the charity shops in town where the charity gets 100% of the cost.  

There's someone else in the house who's getting ready for next month, Coco had her official Christmas photo taken when she was at the groomers on Thursday

This is a bad time of year to have a white dog - those paws won't stay that clean for long!

Thursday 14 November 2019

Six degrees of separation

They say that we are only six, or fewer, social connections away from anyone else.  I'm beginning to think it is true!  It always seems that whoever you meet knows someone that knows someone who knows you.  

Today a lady who I've never spoken to before came up to me in the Zumba class and said 'oh, I found out at the weekend that we have a mutual friend, you used to work with her at the school' and this happens so often.  The town we live in isn't particularly small but it does seem that we all have a lot of mutual acquaintances.  

On Saturday the leader of the volunteer group that Paul works with at our local Country Park invited all the committee and their wives for dinner at his house.  I was seated opposite a guy who is new to the committee and I've certainly never met him before.  We were chatting about where he had lived before he moved to Stortford and he said he moved here from Broxbourne.  "That's a coincidence" I said, "I used to work in Broxbourne".  I had worked for a travel tour operator called OSL and Wings and we were based in a large tower block on the High Street there so I knew he would have known about the company.  He was describing where he lived in relation to the OSL building and it sounded familiar.  Very familiar.  Turns out he was the neighbour of the lady who was our office secretary who was, and still is, a very good friend of Paul's cousin.

It's quite an interesting thing to think about and I have two rather famous connections which are both less than six people away!  My son Jon went to school with a boy who used to live opposite a family who had a son who was very keen on football.  In four small steps I can link myself to David Beckham!  

But possibly one of the most unusual short connections is this one - my son is married to Sophie, whose dad designed a website for the Dalai Lama.  How obscure eh?

The lady who lives opposite me has a granddaughter who goes to a local gymnastic class and when she went to watch an end of term display, she was chatting to Rod Stewart and his wife who were there as their son was in the same class.

Do you have anyone famous within six social connections to you?  Think about it, I bet you do!

Friday 8 November 2019

One photo -Twenty words

Just when I think I know Cambridge really well, I turn a different corner and find a new quirky place.

Saturday 2 November 2019

A sentence a day in October

I'm always a bit early to the SAD link up which should be on the first Tuesday of the month but I like to post it early in the new month so please excuse my impatience!

October did not have the best of starts so let's see how the rest of the month unfolded shall we?

Day 1 Seem to have woken up with a cold but still had fun with Rosie at Cowboy week at Baby Sensory but the day ended with me having to go and interrupt Paul's badminton game in the evening as we had a call to say his mum had had a fall.

Day 2 Went to visit a friend in the afternoon to hear all about her recent holiday in Corfu, also baked a lemon and poppyseed cake.

Day 3 Back to Zumba and it felt so good!  Oh I had missed having a good dance to some cheerful 'disco' music (I'm talking about you Justin Timberlake and Pharell). A phone call in the evening to say Paul's mum had fallen again.

Day 4 I spent the day knitting a hat for Max.  

Paul spent all morning at his mum's with the nurse and doctor visiting and they agreed she needed to be admitted to hospital.  Fortunately the one closest to where we live, about 15 mins drive away from us) not the one closest to her (about an hour's drive away from us).

Day 5 Now in addition to a cold and cough, I also have raging conjunctivitis 😒 Paul visited his mum along with Rachel and Jon and I kept my germs well away.

Day 6 Jon brought Max with him for Sunday lunch as his wife had to go into where she used to work for a 'keep in touch' day.  Never one for missing out on a get together, Rachel brought her family round too - it was lovely to have them all here to take our minds off the problems with M-I-L.

(Snuggling with a warm sleepy baby is good for the soul)

Day 7 Feeling poorly myself but visited Mother in Law in afternoon, she does look very frail

Day 8 My childminding day - brilliant aerobic workout swinging Rosie around at Baby Sensory

Day 9 Opened the wardrobe in Rachel's old bedroom and found a jacket I had bought in the Spring Sales and then forgotten about - result!

I had also forgotten that the sleeves were about 2" too long so spent the morning with my trusty sewing machine making it good to wear.

Day 10 Took my car to the tyre shop as a warning message came up on the dashboard and discovered that a nail had punctured one of the rear tyres

Day 11 Went to friends for dinner in the evening - left earlier than we would normally stay as I wasn't feeling brilliant.

Day 12 Woke at 3.40am feeling very poorly

Day 13 Woke at 3.10 am and went downstairs to try and sleep on the sofa so I didn't wake Paul with my coughing

Day 14 Enough is enough!  Woke at 2 am today - went to the doctor's sit and wait clinic this afternoon and got medicine

Day 15 Only 24 hours into the antibiotics (I have chest infection and sinusitis) and I feel horrendous

Day 16 Had to give up on antibiotics as the side effects were worse than my original symptoms

Day 17 First day of new antibiotics - please let these ones be kinder to me.  Mother in law discharged from hospital, Paul very involved in trying to organise the right timings for her care visits.

Day 18 Daughter rang to say her washing machine has broken, can she bring her washing round as Leo has developed a sickness bug and there is a LOT of washing to be done

Day 19 Should have gone to our daughter in law's surprise 30th birthday lunch in Cambridge but I am still too poorly

Day 20 I think I may be starting to improve - knitted the green version of my Traffic Light hats for the NICU at Addenbrookes hospital

Day 21 Actually left the house and drove into town this morning - something I would normally take for granted becomes the highlight of the day!

Day 22 Our first Christmas invitation - Boxing Day lunch at our son's house - yes please!

Day 23 Looked after Rosie and Leo as Rachel has caught a horrendous sickness bug

Day 24 Caught up with the housework I haven't felt like doing - everywhere feels fresh and tidy again

Day 25 Went into town and bought myself some fab patent leather loafers

Day 26 Finally uploaded our holiday photos to the Photobox website to make a photobook of our stay in Dubrovnik

Day 27 Sunday lunch at my cousin's house - what a treat!

Day 28 Met Jon, Sophie and Max for brunch in Saffron Walden - good to catch up on a few Max cuddles

Day 29 Childminding day so lots of Duplo games and puzzles 

Day 30 Hair cut - boy does that feel better

Day 31 Zumba with a halloween theme - you're never too old to dress up!

Here's a 1 second a day version of the month

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