Sunday, 30 March 2014

Happy Mother's Day

Hope you've all had a lovely day. 

Thomas bought me a DVD (with some guidance from Mark).
And Amy bought me this lovely bouquet of flowers.
At the back of the book I've just finished reading, 'The Language of Flowers', is a list of flowers and their meanings. In the bouquet there were Pink Roses: Happiness in marriage, Pink Carnations: I will never forget youColumbiana Asters: Patience and Tiny Chrysthanemums: Truth.  As lovely as these meanings are, Amy will have chosen them purely for the colours.
This afternoon I was treated to a lovely afternoon tea.
With a special cake chosen just for me.
I love Mother's Day. It's one of my favourite days of the year.


Friday, 28 March 2014

Just another Friday

Amy played squash with Matthew last night. She got up this morning and could hardly lift her arm. Reminds me of an aerobics class I went to years ago. My legs felt like concrete for days and sitting on the loo was agony. 

Dropped Thomas at school this morning and went straight to Lidl. Spent £76 which included a bunch of flowers for Mark's mum and these lovely pink roses for me.
Got home to a text from school saying Thomas had won a class award and we were invited to celebration assembly. He won one a few weeks ago but refused to go up on stage. He's more settled now though and aware of what goes on, so we were really happy when he went up this time. His award was for improved handwriting.
Mum came back from my sister's today. My niece and partner brought her home. They're leaving early tomorrow morning so we had a get together this evening. A chinwag a curry and a glass of vino - lovely.

I'm down to one book left to read. The smoking stories were ok but had the sort of endings I could have come up with at O'level English. I really enjoyed the language of flowers though. I've decided my next book purchases will be:
Weather has been cool but sunny here today. Hope it's like this tomorrow. I really fancy a drive out somewhere for a change.


Thursday, 27 March 2014

Biscuits and Buns

I did a spot of baking this afternoon. Some biscuits and buns. The word 'bun' takes me right back to my Nanna. She'd never had said cupcake or fairy cake or even just cake. It was always 'Do you want a bun'.

The biscuit recipe is really easy: 225g butter, 110g sugar, 275g plain flour. Put everything in the bowl and mix together until it looks like breadcrumbs. Then get your hands in and bring it all together. Roll into little balls, press down and top with mini chocolate beans. Pop into oven on 170C for 12-15 minutes. I managed to get 24 out of the mixture.
It's the first time I've tried this recipe and they're more like a shortbread than a biscuit. I'd probably look for a different recipe next time. But Amy and Thomas seem to like them. 
The cake mixture was simply 4ozs sugar, butter, S.R.flour, 2 eggs and a dash of vanilla essence. I don't faff around creaming and sieving. I just throw all the ingredients into a bowl and get mixing. 
I made 16 cakes, iced 8 and froze 8 for lunchboxes next week.

After my baking session, I went round to the hairdressers for a wash and cut. I'm sure I was born with a bob and a side parting, so I've had a change and gone short.

Maybe I'll get down with the crowd and post a 'selfie' in the next few days!


Wednesday, 26 March 2014

My Sewing Saviours

Thomas' school is putting on a show next week. His class are singing Do Re Mi and It's a Hard Knock Life.

For the song from 'Annie' the teacher has asked for patched trousers, t-shirt,waistcoat and flat cap - the latter two being optional. The problem is Thomas doesn't do optional and although Mark has a flat cap we don't have a waistcoat. 

Now, one of Thomas' quirks is whatever the teacher says is Gospel. Another is, there are no grey areas in his life, only black and white. 

So, when the teacher read the list out in class, the fact that she said "waistcoat and flat cap" means that in his mind it's now set in stone that he needs these and no amount of explaining he doesn't is going to change this.

Which is why I found myself in Bury today buying material from the market stall.
Now I'm not very good at sewing. I can hem and do straight seams, but that's about it. So very early on in Amy's school life I came to realise my sewing saviours were pinking shears and wonder web. I can't tell you the amount of times I've used these over the years. They are without a doubt the best two pieces of equipment any parent could have, especially for those last minute school letters where 'your child needs a costume in 2 days'. 
Back home I started on the waistcoat and made a 'pretend' one out of a piece of old material. Using rack of eye I cut out 2 front panels and a back, then tacked them together.
As soon as Thomas came home from school I tried it on him and I have to say it wasn't a bad fit. Which meant that I could get on with the real thing.

On went the iron and out came my trusty pinking shears and wonder web. A quick lop off the bottom of some old school trousers and some nifty sewing on of patches, (thankfully in the name of art, the messier the better ....) 
And hey presto we had a waistcoat and an orphan boy.  
I have to say the finished product wouldn't win any awards but for a 5 minute stage appearance at the school show I think it will do us all proud.

And if I was choosing an orphan to give a home to, this little man would definitely be first on my list!


Monday, 24 March 2014

Full Fledged Mum

I know I'm a fully fledged Mum when ...

My Jean Paul Gaultier is hidden by calpol, a thermometer and a sock on my bedside cabinet.
A line of washing drying in the sun fills me with more joy than a line of vodka shots on the bar.
I'm more than happy that a toothbrush and toothpaste have stood next to the fruit bowl for the past 5 years because not sending Thomas back upstairs to brush his teeth saves me 5 minutes in the morning.
I proudly display an aborigine style finger painting done in Year 2 next to a Bob Dylan on the living room wall.
The thought of lying on chocolate rice crispies tonight in bed doesn't bother me as this is the first thing Thomas has eaten in 36 hours.
A lego magazine drops through the letterbox instead of Cosmopolitan or Marie Claire and I find myself flicking through it! 

I wouldn't change it for the world - most of the time!


Sunday, 23 March 2014

Hot Stuff

Thomas woke up this morning with 2 flushed cheeks and a temperature. A dose of calpol and within 30 minutes he was much better, which was good as his friend was coming to play for the morning. However, by 1pm his rosy cheeks were back again and he took himself to bed complaining of a sore throat and headache. The calpol seems to be keeping it all at bay, but I have a feeling he won't be in school tomorrow.
Mark's mum & dad came for lunch. It all seems more trouble than it's worth at times, his mum can hardly bend her legs and struggles to get into the house. But it's a change of scenery for her and it means his dad gets a meal made for him for a change. After lunch his dad spent the afternoon watching motorbike racing while his mum, bless her, stood leaning on her zimmer frame repeatedly asking me where the children were. 

Thomas came down early evening and we cuddled up on the settee watching The Witches. He's eaten nothing all day and I couldn't even tempt him with his favourite cookies - a good yardstick for how ill he really is.

We watched this film last night. It's based on the story of Paul Potts, the opera singer who won Britain's Got Talent in 2007. I absolutely love British Films and this one didn't disappoint.

I'm a sucker for a rags to riches story.


Saturday, 22 March 2014

The Book Thief

Me and Amy went to the cinema to see The Book Thief last night. I read the book ages ago and Mum text me to recommended the film. She's staying at my sister's at the moment and her grand-daughters took her to see it.
We decided to make a late night of it and went to the 9.40pm showing. It was gone midnight when we got home and I was shattered. We both really enjoyed it even though it made us cry. 

It's ages since I've been to the cinema and paid the normal viewing price and I couldn't believe it when they charged me £17.10 for the two of us! Amy then spent £7.50 on a small slush drink and a bag of sweets. In future I shall order my Friday Night Film from Virgin in the smug knowledge that watching one film a week at home is still cheaper than going to the cinema once a month.
It was worth every penny though. The film was good and it was lovely to spend some time with Amy. It's a rare occurrence these days for just the two of us to do something together.

A bit of mother and daughter time is always a good thing isn't it.


Friday, 21 March 2014

Puppy Love

Thomas is on a mission. He's saving up for a puppy. So far he has the grand total of £18. In his quest for funds he keeps asking if he can do jobs for me. Trouble is he's expensive. I let him sweep and mop the floor at the weekend and he charged me £2 for sweeping and £2 for mopping. In future I shall negotiate prices beforehand.

This has all stemmed from the fact that Sparky won't play with him. He's Amy's dog and would much rather follow her around the house or snuggle up on the bed with her than play fetch with Thomas.

So Thomas has decided he wants his own 'forever friend' dog. There are certain stipulations though. It can't grow very big because it has to sit on his knee and sleep in his bed. It's got to be a girl. It has to love him more than anybody else in the family and it has to be called Nina, Fleur or Misty.

The dog he really wants is a sausage dog, but I'm not too keen on them. I find them strange looking dogs with their elongated backs and stumpy little legs. 

I'd really like him to have a King Charles Spaniel so I'm using my powers of persuasion to guide him in this direction. Not sure whether it will work though. He can be quite determined at times and hard to sway from original plans.
But, whatever he chooses, it won't be arriving until after our summer holiday, which gives him plenty of time to do more jobs for me and to save up some more money.


Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Wednesday Snippets

The sun has been shining here all day, although it's still too chilly for me to sit out in the garden just yet. Here's our 'new' shed and decking. The colour on the shed is Willow and the decking and fencing have been painted in country brown. Total cost of garden spruce up £35, a pulled back muscle and an aching arm from painting.
I won't be buying any plants this year with going to France in Summer as they will probably only die. Instead I'll buy some outside lights to string around the shed.

We went to Bury today and had a wander around the market and shops before stopping for some breakfast. Full English for Mark and a home-made Eccles cake and cuppa for me. Lovely.

We bought Mark's Dad some honeycomb tripe and black pudding (Yuk!). Then I had a look in the book clearance shop. They were having a massive clearance sale and everything was priced at £1. I bought these. Total RRP £40.67. Normal Book Clearance price £6.97. Total paid today £4. Not bad. The one by Celia Rees is for Amy. She's in top set for English and achieved the highest mark in her exams (proud mum moment), but the teacher told us at parents evening that she needs to broaden her choice of reading material. Not sure if she will like it, but I'll read it anyway.
I bought these last Friday from Lidl and they look and smell wonderful. At £1 per bunch I splashed out and bought myself 2 lots, one for the table and one for the windowsill.
We're in the process of sorting out a new passport for Mark. We were very modern and filled in the application on line. Just need to have some photos taken now and it'll be ready to go. It'll cost £72.50, a bit of a surprise really as I thought it would be well in the £90's.
I'm reading this at the moment - The Roundabout Man. Another bargain purchase a couple of weeks ago. I'm actually beginning to think that living in the middle of a motorway roundabout in a dilapidated caravan sounds like heaven!
It feels good to be blogging again. I've been flicking through all my previous posts and although it's all pretty mundane stuff, it's nice to look back on what we've done.


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Hello Again

It's been a fair few weeks since my last post and I didn't really expect to be away this long. Thank you very much for the comments you've left - they were really appreciated.

So, what's been happening at Number 38. Well Amy has chosen her GCSE's. She's gone for History, Geography and Cultural Studies. Her career choice of the moment is teaching history in secondary school. She also has to do the usual maths, English and science along with a tech. She's chosen food technology, the thinking being that at least she'll be able to feed herself at Uni.

I'm reading in school 2 mornings a week which I'm really enjoying. I read with Year 1, 2 and 3. The children are lovely and one of them always has a tale to tell. 

We've been busy in the garden, painting the fencing, decking and the shed. Can't wait for the sun to come out again so we can sit out and enjoy the fruits of our labour.

We went to London at half term which was brilliant. We did the dungeons, a river cruise, a bus tour, saw the usual landmarks and best of all went to see The Lion King which was absolutely fantastic.

We've booked our holidays for the rest of the year. Wales over the Easter break. Cirencester for Spring Half Term and France for 3 weeks in the Summer. It's nice to have something to look forward to.

Everything in the family seems settled at the moment. Mum is doing well, Mark's mum and dad are plodding on and Auntie Edith is looking fitter than ever.

As they say, everything in the garden is looking rosy, so I'm hoping to be posting more regularly from now on.