Sunday, 27 March 2016

Lucky Easter Sunday!

Happy Easter! Hope you've all had a lovely day.

Mine started even later than usual. I got up at 10am which was actually 11am so a very late start even by my standards.

We started the day with a typical Easter Sunday breakfast of chocolate eggs. No smile from Thomas this time, his mouth was too full of the good stuff. 
We were going to Aunty Edith's for tea which meant I didn't have to cook, so I made a brew and picked up my knitting. I've started a little jacket with a hood for the baby. 
Then it was time to pick Amy up from her friends, go and visit Joan, then head over to Aunty Edith's for tea.

We've not been in long and I'm on here trying not to think about all the packing I need to do tomorrow. 

And look at this. As Mark drove onto our drive there was a lucozade bottle rolling around and when he went to pick it up he spotted a wet and crumpled £20 in the corner. There was nobody around to ask if it was there's so it's now on Number 38's radiator drying out nicely. 
It'll be a busy day here tomorrow but I'm hoping to do a quick post and catch up with what you've all been doing over the weekend. 

Until then. 


Thursday, 24 March 2016

Random numbers in my week

1 - Leaving gift for Thomas' teacher who's moving to a new school. I wish her the best of luck in her new job but from a purely selfish point of view I could do without her going. Thomas takes ages to settle with a new teacher and I'm not looking forward to the next few weeks. 
34, 8 & 2 - 34 hiding places to find for the Easter Egg Hunt. 8 chocolate eggs and 2 cute chicks ready to be eaten. 
500 - Steps. No photo I'm afraid as I can't walk and take a snap at the same time but I've been on the treadmill.  I thought I would replicate my walk around the lake and did 500 steps. It took 5 minutes and burned 18 calories. I've been doing 5 minute stints and although I've not got any further than 3000 steps per day, at least I'm doing more than I was.

9 - Pom-poms used for the egg decorating competition at school.
2 - Scrambled eggs, made by the boy himself. You're never too young to learn how to cook, even if it is just scrambled eggs. And best of all he ate it with 2 pieces of toast.

4 - Days to the Holiday. The heebie jeebies have well and truly set in regarding the whole travelling thing with the news this week.

10 - Toes. A visit to 'The Foot Clinic' before the holiday. It definitely isn't a beauty parlour pedicure, there is no pampering, (I put the nail polish on), but oh my goodness, I feel like I'm walking on air.
60 - £'s. Allowance handed over to Amy who admits she's disappointed with how it's just disappeared over the month with nothing much to show for it. I think we can all relate to that. She has paid for her haircut, eyebrows waxed and given me money for tights, cosmetics and a couple of other bits so she's keeping to the rules of play and learning it doesn't go very far.
2 - Treats. A box of champagne truffles and a box of rose lemonade tea. Bought by me, for me. Both delicious and highly recommended.
3 - Tickets for the school show. They're like gold dust, so the fact we got one for Amy was a real bonus. Thomas' class did 'Singing in the Rain' and 'Thriller'. The whole production was fantastic with a grand finale of the teachers dancing. Brilliant.
1 and 40 - 1 prom ticket given to Amy today. There's no automatic right to go, it depends on several things, like attitude, unauthorised attendance, effort etc. There are 210 pupils in her year and 92 tickets were given out. I don't know whether that's it or if the rest of the pupils have a chance to redeem themselves. 40 - £'s to be paid for the ticket. And that's before we start on the dress, shoes, hair and make-up!
4 and 2 - Recycling pledges. Thomas' school is vying for 1st place in the borough's recycling pledge competition. The prize is £1000 for the school and a visit by Bake Off winner, Nadiya. We've already filled in our quota of 4, but in a final push to secure 1st place the children have all been tasked with finding 2 more adults willing to pledge they will do their bit for the environment. 

And that's it for numbers this week. The kids finished school today and are de-mob happy. Hope you all have a lovely Easter Weekend. See you Sunday.


Monday, 21 March 2016

Boating at last

I made the most of the weather yesterday and planted the Dutch Iris bulbs. I need to buy 2 more pots for the freesia and begonias.
We also took some flowers to the cemetery, said 'hello' to Tom then had a walk around to see how old the gravestones were. Something Thomas and myself find interesting, Mark and Amy not so much. He particularly liked the ones with poppies on dotted here and there, showing the resting place of soldiers.
Today, I've finally managed to get out and go boating with Mark and Ken. This lake is in a park in Bury and here's our little tug chugging along nicely.
I had a go and managed to ram a bright orange buoy much to the amusement of the menfolk, who then proceeded to give me chapter and verse on the mechanics of steering. Yawn!
After 5 minutes of nodding politely, a little bit like a News of the World reporter, I made my excuses and left. I decided I'd have a walk around the lake. I actually went round 3 times which was a grand total of 1500 steps. I might possibly go again, just to do the walking. 
This afternoon I made a start on the holiday preps. I printed some paperwork we need to take with us and put a load of holiday clothes in the washing machine. I probably won't pack until Monday. I know we have everything we need somewhere in the house, it's just a case of gathering it all up in one place to be put in the cases.

I was just about to start making chili when Amy walked in from school and asked if she could do it. I happily handed the kitchen over to the other woman of the house and left her to it. A mighty fine job she did as well. 
I have lots to do again before my next update on Thursday. There's a show at Thomas' school, a foot appointment and a hair appointment for me, the barbers for Thomas, a meal out with friends, Bury, shopping, bulbs to plant, and anything else that crops up in between now and then.

I'll be very glad when I'm on that plane next week. 


Sunday, 20 March 2016


A is for abandon

I couldn't think of anything I'd done to start with this letter so I abandoned the idea.

B is for Bulbs

Took Mum shopping on Friday and she treated me to these bulbs. Dutch Iris, Freesia and Double Begonia. I don't usually have much luck with bulbs, no idea why, so we'll see what happens this year. Mum prefers white in her garden, I prefer a blast of every colour under the sun wherever I look. 
C is for Cakes

Dropped Mark in Manchester Saturday afternoon for some sort of watch meeting/drinking session. Came home and decided to make lemon drizzle bundt cakes. I love these little cases with their designs and they only cost £1.99 for a box of 6. I'm going to fill the remaining ones with mixed berries and we'll have them with a cuppa this afternoon.
D is for DVD

I've treated myself to The Lady In The Van. I never did see it advertised at the cinema, but I really enjoyed the book so I'm looking forward to watching this.

E is for Easter

My brother, s-i-l and niece are visiting Mum next weekend for a couple of days. I don't usually bother buying Easter Eggs for his family as they live in Cheltenham and I don't think they'd survive the post. But this year Little L, will be getting a Thorntons Butterfly one. 
And talking of Easter, I've been getting prepared for the Easter Egg Hunt.

F is for Floricide

Which actually means killing flowers, but you get the idea. I'm sorry to say I've managed to kill off the rose Thomas gave me for Mother's Day so I've replaced it with this little Kalanchoe. It's a succulent and apparently needs very little care so hopefully it'll last longer than its predecessor.

G is for Getting Ready

This week my reading book is 'Elizabeth is Missing' which I'm really enjoying. My book choice for the holiday is 'My Mother's Secret'. I really need to start getting organised this week. We usually go away in the summer and I keep thinking I've got weeks ahead of me to get everything ready. I've done my 'pool' bag today. Beach towel, pool dress, book, sunglasses, lotion. It's a start.
The weather is lovely today. This afternoon I'm going to plant some bulbs and we're going to take some flowers down to Tom's grave.

Only 4 days left before Amy and Thomas break up for Easter Hols. I really do love Easter and all it stands for. It's just very early this year but there's nothing to be done about that, so I'll have to get my Easter head and Holiday head on this week. I'm sure I'll cope. 


Thursday, 17 March 2016

Three Days

Day 1

Treats: I asked Mark to bring me some Rose Pouchong tea back from London for me to try. It must have been a good day business wise as I also got some Assam tea, a box of pink champagne truffles and a tea for one F&M teapot, cup and saucer. Lucky me!
Relatives: My Dad's sister and her husband came to visit. They're both in their late 80's and still going strong. It's ironic really, as my Aunt was the eldest of 4 children and all 3 of her siblings have passed away. Her brother was in his 20's and her sister and my Dad were in their 40's. We spent a lovely couple of hours chatting over tea and cakes and discussing their favourite subject - their ailments and all the doctor and hospital appointments they've been to. Bless them. 
Middleton: New Tins. Thought they might be useful for my knitting, crochet and sewing bits and at £1.69 for the set they were a bargain.
Day 2

Bury: A new swimming costume with tummy control. I still haven't lost that bag of potatoes that seemed so do-able all those weeks ago, so I've gone for the cheats option. Plus a pack of canvases and some embroidery thread for another project I have in mind.
Henna: The Elephant in the Room! Drawn freehand by a student under the watchful eye of a tutor. Cost £4. Rather sweet actually. Thank you for all your comments about this :)
Moving On: From tattoos to eye make-up. It's becoming obvious Amy is ready to leave school with all its rules and regulations and get to college where there's more freedom with clothes and make-up.

Day 3

Knitting: Purple hat. 

Lidl: Tulips, daffodils and these cute little bundt cake moulds.
Tea Drinking: Rose Pouchong has a delicious hint of Turkish Delight to it. Personally, I'd prefer more of that flavour than the rose petal that comes through but it's still a lovely tea. It's an acquired taste but one that I've taken to quickly. 
Retro Craft: I bought all this embroidery thread for £1 and thought I'd try sewing onto canvas. I painted the 4 mini canvases I bought from The Works and set to. I wanted the finished product to look like string art.
It was easy enough to do but the needle left quite big holes, so I bought some map pins and pushed them through just to neaten it up and to give it that finished string craft look. Because there's no thickness to the canvas the pins aren't secured in any way, they just sit there.
It's not a problem as even stood up they stay in place. I have 2 more to do. One will be a flower, the other a hot air balloon. Just in case you're wondering, these are a boat and the sun. My 'theme' is Summer and they're for my shelf when I next change it over.
It's quite therapeutic making patterns and I can see I'll have to control myself with this craft. 


Monday, 14 March 2016

Tea, Knitting, Arguments, Tattoo!

Started the day with a quick coffee with my friend. She couldn't make it on Friday because her daughter wasn't well so we re-arranged for her to come today. 

It was a quick coffee as well. Mark was off to London again so we only had an hour before I had to drop him at the station. I put a gift order in this time. Rose Poulong tea. Sadie mentioned it in one of her posts, I think it's Rose Poulong anyway, I'm going from memory which isn't great lately. As soon as she said it had a Turkish delight flavour it went on my list of "must try that".

I'm still busy knitting, in fact I confess to not doing much else yesterday. The blanket has come on a treat and I've only a few more rows to go before I cast off. We're going to see Matthew and Sophie tomorrow night so I'll take it with me then. I've also found a charity called Knit For Peace, so I have a hat on the go as well. If only World Peace could actually be achieved by something as simple as knitting.
Mark has been testing something with photos, the phone and e-mail and I found this in my inbox this morning. It brought back some lovely memories of Thomas when he was little and looking at this I don't think he's changed that much at all in the past 7 years. 

Amy has got another full week of mock exams. They seem to do them every half term in Year 11. I know when I was at school it was one lot of mocks then the real thing. If she doesn't pass it won't be down to lack of organisational skills. There are lists, timetables, dates and bullet notes all over her bedroom walls and wardrobe. 
She sounds a complete angel doesn't she, but she's not. She's come in from school in a right mood and picked a row with me, to the point where I've said "you'll have to go to your room". She's stomped upstairs to bed and is now fast asleep. She's shattered but that's no excuse in this house.

I could have rowed with her myself on Saturday, but took a deep breath instead. She went to an open day at her college then into Manchester with her friend. I got a text in the afternoon asking me if she could have a henna tattoo. Because I didn't know where she was having it done, what was being used and the fact she has sensitive skin I said 'No'. It turns out she didn't think I'd object and only decided to text me when she was halfway through having it done.

So she now has a henna elephant on her shoulder. I got the "well, I am 16" speech that seems to have been used a lot since 18th February! All I can say is thank goodness it's henna and not the real thing. I'm wondering if we've had it too easy with her and if this is her winding up for a couple of years of being a pain in the rump.

I can only hope not. 


Sunday, 13 March 2016

Spring is on the way

Rafia or Raffia that is the question. Both spellings are used but I'm old school and think a word should have one spelling only. Anyway, that aside here's the little project I decided to do. I came across it while mooching around the internet and I bet most of you have seen something similar.

You need rafia, water balloons, PVC glue, a paintbrush and a container. I bought the rafia from The Works and the packet cost £2 for 10 colours.
Cut about 2 metres of rafia and dip into the glue. Best to wind it round slowly rather than dunking it all in as it can become knotted.
As you pull the rafia out run your fingers down the length so that the excess glue is removed. Then wrap around the balloons.Place on greaseproof paper and leave to dry overnight. 
When dry, prod through the gaps with a pen to loosen the balloon from the rafia. Then snip the balloon so it goes down. Which leaves you with this. 
They're supposed to be egg shaped. I'm not sure it's obvious, but it's fine, they're still pretty. I filtered out the red and dark blue ones as they're not really Easter colours.
And there is my rafia project. Not as messy or as hard as I thought. 
I also did a button flower picture. This was a really quick project. Choose stems, print stems, stick on the buttons. Took about 10 minutes from start to finish. 
And you can't have a Spring/Easter theme without daffodils can you. For a bit of added colour I wrapped orange rafia around a tin.
And there you have it. The beginnings of my Spring/Easter shelf. Maybe a chick or a bunny and a few chocolate eggs and it will be done.
The call for decorated eggs has come from school, so that will be my next crafty thing to sort out with Thomas.

The weather is beautiful here today. Blue skies and bright sunshine. I shall be ironing the school uniform then I plan to spend the rest of the day drinking tea and knitting.

Hope you all enjoy your Sunday.