Monday 28 February 2022

Me on Monday


Well it seems that there may be a pot of gold in the garden of one of our neighbours! I took this photo last week when we had a day of every type of weather imaginable.  It's not often you see both ends of a rainbow is it?

What a week of news it has been.  It seems so hard to believe that while we are living peacefully and making plans for the coming days there is so much trouble and heartache overseas.  

We are planning to go to Cambridge today, the weather is sunny, our favourite place for lunch has reopened after refurbishment and I have a birthday coming up and Paul is worried that I have not given him any ideas for gifts! 

Tuesday and Wednesday will be our usual childminding days but on Thursday it will not be a normal Zumba class.  Oh no, we are going to be filmed by a professional videographer for a promotional video.  No pressure to remember the steps this week then 😳 One of the ladies who used to come to class is an amazing fundraiser for a local hospice.  At the age of 85 she puts the rest of us to shame.  To give you an idea of her escapades, 4 years ago the local paper ran a story about her entitled 'Super-gran Georgie takes on the zip wire'  when she did the 490m zip wire challenge in Cornwall.  Over the years she has raised £13,000 with her daredevil sponsored challenges, including walking over the roof of the 02 arena and sliding down the Stratford Orbit Slide.   Georgie has attended our Zumba classes for many years until a fall last year left her in need of a hip operation.  Did this stop her coming to class?  Not at all, she still turns up, full make up on, dressed to the nines and joining in while seated at the side of the hall.  Her grandson is a videographer and wants to record the amazing life that his grandmother leads and the fantastic fundraising that she still does culminating in a Platinum Jubilee Coffee Morning after one of our classes at the end of March.  So we will be polishing up our belly dancing coin skirts, shaking our maracas and generally putting our best feet forward on Thursday.  Wish us luck!


Monday 21 February 2022

The apple of our eye

Back in the summer, Leo was in our garden eating an apple while supervising Paul mowing the lawn.  When he was down to the core he asked Paul if he could plant one of the pips so he could grow a tree, like he had grown a sunflower from seed.

We explained that growing a tree is a little bit different and would take a lot longer than a sunflower did.  (Also, if I'm honest, I wasn't sure how well a fresh pip would take)  Well, you know how enthusiastic a five year old can be and he assured us that if we planted it well in a pot of soil, left it in the sunshine and remembered to water it, it would grow.  So in the interests of encouraging his interest in nature we followed his instructions.  Sis months later, guess what ...

We should have had more faith!  I can't believe how well it has grown.  I think it still has a long time to go before it is a tree but every plant has to start somewhere!

I love the fact that our grandchildren enjoy being out in the garden, searching for creepy crawlies and taking an interest in nature.  Our grandson Max even goes to Forest School one day a week.  It's a group of pre-school children who have nature lessons in the forest, they even build a little bonfire to toast fruit loaf over and of course marshmallows - standing well back and carefully supervised! 

So the major topic of conversation this weekend has been the weather - we have certainly had more than our fair share of rain and the wind speeds have been awful.  Let's hope that this band of stormy weather has passed by now.  We had Leo and Rosie stay overnight on Saturday as Rachel was taking James up to London for the weekend for his 40th birthday celebrations.  The problem was that when they woke on Saturday they found that there were no trains at all on our line into London.  Debris on track, overhead wires damaged, dangerous weather conditions etc etc.  Fortunately we are only about half an hour drive to our nearest underground station so they got a taxi there but they could have done without the sudden change of plans. 

As you can imagine our weekend was dominated by looking after two very excited children - they do love a sleepover!  When R&J came to pick them up to take them home Leo said 'thank you for letting us come Nanny, next time can we stay for three nights?'  I don't think I have the energy!

Monday 14 February 2022

Me on Monday

Last weekend I learned a couple of new things and it happened again this weekend too.

At 5am Sunday morning I learned that the garage were wrong in saying there was nothing wrong with the alarm on my car because guess what?  It went off again.  For no reason at all - again.  Then wouldn't turn off - again.  My neighbours must hate me! Fortunately the roadside assistance turned up within half and hour and the recovery vehicle took it away.  Let's hope they find something this time!  I had a feeling that when they said they couldn't find anything wrong it would happen again and I've learned that my gut reaction was right!

I also learned that I have been mishearing the lyrics of a song we dance to at Zumba.  My Zumba teacher is from Venezuela and she loves latin style dance.  She often uses latin based music and frequently uses songs which are in Spanish.  There's one routine that I really like and I've kept meaning to ask her what the music was.  I knew it had the same kind of feeling as Camila Cabello's 'Señorita', which we use as a cool down track and after a bit of investigation I found the elusive song on Youtube.  I was convinced that the main part of the song was in English but the chorus was in Spanish with the words 'Dongo, dongo yay' (although I have no idea if Dongo is a Spanish word!) But on Sunday I learnt that I was completely wrong, it was ...

'Don't go yet'.  Oops!

Have a good week!

Monday 7 February 2022

Me on Monday


Don't Mondays come round quickly?

We had an early start to the weekend as we had friends coming for dinner on Friday evening and that always makes Friday feel like Saturday!  Paul was supposed to be spending the day out walking with a friend but we woke to rain, which turned to snow (briefly) and they decided to postpone.  So I had someone in the kitchen to help clear up the mess that I inevitably make :-)

I learned a valuable lesson that evening - that melted sugar is about the same temperature as molten lava.  I had made some raspberry creme brûlée for dessert and was melting the sugar with a blow torch to finish them off.  I thought to myself 'I'll just check my portion to see if the melted sugar has started to harden' I could have used a spoon to see if there was a pleasing 'crack' to confirm it was ready to serve couldn't I?  But instead I tapped it with the tip of my index finger.  What a mistake!  Yes the sugar had melted nicely, but it hadn't yet cooled down and set in that lovely crisp layer.  As my fingertip reached the sugar it brought tears to my eyes and I now have a rather lovely blister to teach me never to do it again!

One of our Christmas presents from Jon and Sophie was a voucher towards a hotel stay and I have been determined to use it as soon as possible so I have been checking out places to go and organising somewhere for Coco to stay overnight.  It felt so nice to be booking something to look forward to after so long.  We aren't going until after Easter but it's lovely to have something in the diary - now we need to decide what to do about a 'proper' holiday, dare we risk booking something? 

It's our son in law's 40th birthday in a couple of weeks time and they are having a couple of celebrations with various friendship groups and this Saturday we were booked for babysitting.  They went to a new restaurant in town which has salsa dancers performing in the bar area and of course after people have had a couple of glasses of wine and a good meal, they are encouraged to join in the dancing.  Of course if your friends make it known you are celebrating a milestone birthday, you are the first to be invited to the dance floor!

That evening I learned another new thing.  Which I probably should have already known but have never seen!  We live in an area which has a lot of trees, and Rachel's house backs onto an area of woodland.  I opened her back door to let Coco out into the garden and as the security light switched on I could see dozens of shapes up in one of the trees.  As my eyes adjusted to the dark, I saw that they were all woodpigeons, all asleep on the branches.  Honestly, I was so surprised! I don't think I've ever seen birds asleep in a tree before.  I don't know where I expected them to sleep (in nests probably) but definitely not perched on a branch.  Have you learned anything new this weekend? 

Tuesday 1 February 2022

A sentence a day in January 2022


Well, I wonder what this year has in store for us!  It's started off with Paul in isolation and me having to do daily tests so that's not the best start is it?  I know it is ending with a dentist appointment so let's see all the bits that happened in between ...

Day 1 It was a bright, mild day today - perfect conditions for having a bit of a tidy up in the garden, it was so good to clear up out there and see the shoots of bulbs coming up through the soil.  Still negative.

Day 2 The twice daily dog walks are making no impact on the scales, I think the extra exercise is just giving me an appetite!  Still negative.

Day 3 Took down the Christmas decorations, it looks a little bare around the house but I was ready to get the house back to normal.  Still negative and I can now legally stop testing!

Day 4 Had Leo and Rosie here to help decorate the gingerbread men I made yesterday, it had been so long since they'd been here and they were so excited.

Day 5 Paul's isolation ends!  Who is happiest, me or Coco? (whose dog walks will now be longer and will cover more muddy terrain!)

Day 6 Blimey it's cold today, didn't get above 5 degrees, a good excuse to curl up with our bookclub's book of the month.

Day 7 Popped over to Jon's in the afternoon to collect some shelves

Day 8 Jon and family came for lunch, was lovely to see baby Olive again - especially now she has learned to smile

Day 9 Had a bit of a lazy day, did some crochet, read some of my book, cooked dinner, watched an episode of Stay Close on Netflix

Day 10 Went into town to print off some photos so we have up to date pictures in the dining room - the first time we have had four framed photos!

Day 11 Rosie was here for the day, we had a lot of fun making a den to play in, then surrounding it with stepping stone cushions and then playing 'the floor is lava' 

Day 12 Our day for having Max, he was in an energetic mood and Nanny was shattered by the time she took him home!

Day 13 First Zumba of the new year, was so much fun, then spent the afternoon spring cleaning the conservatory - I think it will be an early night for me tonight!

Day 14 Our first social event of the year - an Indian takeaway at our friends' house in the evening - it was actually a much delayed pre-Christmas get together that never happened

Day 15 Not sure where the day went if I'm being honest - catching up on chores and batch cooking for the freezer mainly!

Day 16 Rachel and family here for Sunday lunch, Leo had received a worm farm kit for Christmas and he was desperate to go digging in the garden with Grandad to find worms to put in it.

Day 17 Woke up to a very heavy frost - de-icing the car before I drove into town was not at all pleasant

Day 18 Had Rosie here for the day, whilst talking about birthdays I told her that I was 63 which sounds very old and I'll be 64 in March , 'yes Nanny' she said, 'first you get old, then you die' I have to admit it didn't make me feel too good!

Day 19 Max was here and is two days into potty training - I can't lie, things did not go well!  

Day 20 Today is the 24th anniversary of my dad dying - such a long time ago, but I still miss him

Day 21 Yesterday I had my hair cut - a lot shorter!  Took me by surprise when I saw myself in the mirror first thing this morning!

Day 22 What a day - started off by finding out that our central heating system wasn't working, then my car alarm went off for no reason whatsoever and would not turn off!  Roadside assistance couldn't fix it so it's now in the garage.

Day 23 Managed to get a heating engineer out and we now have hot radiators

Day 24 Out of the blue, Rachel was invited to interview for what seems to be her ideal job so we looked after Rose and Daisy so she could concentrate properly on her zoom call - she was offered the job there and then!  

Day 25 Had Rosie here as normal, most of our games now are imaginative play involving her being Mummy to her babies.

Day 26 Max came for the day and housework shamed me, "Nanny this floor needs washing" what a cheek! However he was happy to be the one who got the Flash Mop out and do the job.

Day 27 Zumba then a quiet afternoon - car is back from garage, apparently they could find no fault so I'm now just feeling nervous each time I lock it and set the alarm! 

Day 28 Met up with two ex-work colleagues for lunch out - was delicious

Day 29 Went to Jon and Sophie's with Rachel and her family to have the Boxing Day that we never got to have the day after Christmas - was so lovely to all be together and the kids loved having unexpected belated presents!

Day 30 What a beautiful, bright sunny day, was perfect weather for a dog walk this morning.

Day 31 So I thought I was ending the month at the dentist but the appointment ended up being cancelled as my dentist is unwell - so I'd spent the weekend stressing for nothing - however, it's just delaying the inevitable isn't it?  I'll be all stressed again in three weeks time when the new appointment comes round!

So that is the first month of the new year over, and here's the video to condense it all down to 31 seconds - 1 Second Everyday

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