Thursday, 30 June 2016

Meet Sienna

Another very quick post tonight as we've just got in from visiting Sienna.

And here she is. Our first grandchild. Sienna Maggie. Born last night at  9.28pm weighing 5lb 1oz. Isn't she gorgeous. I think she's a couple of hours old in this photo.
Her blood sugar has been a little low today but the past two tests have been fine. If she gets a hat trick tonight she'll be given the all clear to go home tomorrow.

No doubt we'll be seeing her again over the weekend. Can't wait :)


She's arrived!

Sienna was born at 9.30pm last night, weighing 5lb 1oz, so a little heavier than expected, which is good. Mum and baby are fine and Dad is over the moon. 

Sophie has already text me this morning and we're hoping to see them all this evening.

On the sweep stake front Thomas guessed 5lbs so won the weight and Amy guessed 11pm so won the time. Matthew is a winner all round. So today we have 3 very happy children.

Back later on tonight. 


Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Too Excited to Blog Properly

I'm too excited to blog properly tonight, but didn't want to leave anybody wondering about whether pink baby had arrived.

The short answer is no, she's not put in an appearance yet, but after being induced this morning, Matthew rang a couple of hours ago to say waters have broke and contractions seem to be coming thick and fast.

So, we are just sat here waiting for news. We've had a sweep stake on time and weight. I think Thomas will be the time winner, he's guessed 11pm and is excited not only about the baby coming but the fact he's looking good to win a fiver!

Right, that's as much as I can manage. I'll pop on tomorrow morning to update you and blog as normal tomorrow night. 


Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Worried but excited

It would have been Tom's birthday today, so we took a trip down to the cemetery with some flowers. The grass was covered in this fluffy white cotton looking stuff that was falling from the trees. In fact it looked like it was snowing. I think it comes from the aptly named cottonwood tree, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. 
The cemetery is probably only one mile from Manchester City Centre so I asked Mark to drop me at Abakhan to see if I could find any fleece for the quilts. I've never bought from the shop before and didn't know they worked on a 'buy by weight' basis. They were happy to cut metres for me but these pieces were just over the measurement so I had to take them as they were which wasn't a problem. There's 2 kilos of fleece here and this lot cost me just over £22 although this included a 20% discount at the counter plus a further 10% because I picked a red button from a bag.
Thomas went to school in his Sunday best this morning. They were off to church today to take part in a mock baptism and were asked to dress formally so he chose to wear a shirt and his jacket.

Amy is in college this week. All new students have been invited in for the week to attend classes to give them an idea of what the courses involve. The subjects she's definitely chosen are English Literature and Creative Writing but she's torn between History and Psychology for her third A level so will be attending both classes to see what she thinks. 

And Matthew rang us tonight. Sophie had been for another scan, there have been concerns lately about the weight of the baby and they've decided they are going to induce her tomorrow, which is 3 weeks earlier than her due date. Guesstimate for baby's weight is 4lbs 6ozs, so if they are right she's going to be a little tiddler. 

Feeling worried and excited for them at the same time. 


Monday, 27 June 2016

Happy Days

A little posy of flowers from the garden to brighten up the start of the week.
The beginnings of another small quilt using up the cut offs. I'm so glad Catriona asked if they needed quilting in the traditional way as when I asked the co-ordinator, no they don't. They're quite happy with fleece just being sewn to the back, a bit like the taggies I made, which were easy enough to do. 
Amy wanted to go to The Fort for a DS game and while we were there I picked up this fleece for a great price which will be ideal for backing the girl's quilts. It's quite thick and really soft and snuggly. In fact I'm tempted to wrap myself up in it. 
It's been a slow easy day here today. Lately I seem to be pottering from one thing to another in a bid to try and slow the pace of life down a little. Some days are just good for no reason whatsoever and today was one of those days. 


Sunday, 26 June 2016

I never knew I was....but apparently I am

I never knew I was, but watching Sky News at the caravan last night, it would appear that I am. If you're wondering what I'm on about, it would seem when I voted on Thursday I also took part in a survey and I am now one of the millions who are considered to be bigoted, racist and uneducated. I supposedly do not hold a passport, have never travelled abroad, live in a house worth less than £££ and earn less than the average national wage of £££. I think the only thing they missed out was obese!

I might have been offended but by the time I was listening to this I'd had 2 G&T's and found it all quite amusing even though I expect the tipple I enjoyed could lead me to also being labelled an alcoholic. Ah well. 

I might have only been away for 24 hours but it was definitely worth the effort. The journey from Manchester took 90 minutes and Mark and Thomas were waiting for me when I arrived in Blackpool.

As I thought, there was no lunch prepared, I think Mark was fed up of cooking, so we went to the garden centre which is just a 2 minute drive from the caravan club site.
It's a lovely place and as well as plants, there is a gift shop, food store, butchers, cafe and a caravan and camping section.
Mark wanted to treat me to this lovely candle lamp and after a lot of umming and ahhing I finally chose violet.
Then we bought steak and burgers for our supper.
And some ham from the deli counter plus a toffee cake to go with our afternoon cuppa. I'm not a fan of bought cake but this was delicious.
I also managed to sit down and do some knitting and now have a little stash of dolly bonnets. In the evening we had a drive over to the arcade at Lytham and a walk along the front. 

This morning Catriona and her husband came to 'visit' us. What a lovely couple they are. We were mid 'packing up' so they saw us in all our glory. Myself with no makeup (aargh!), Mark in his shorts, (think knobbly knees) and of course Thomas in his PJ's. We had a long easy going chat and being able to put a face and voice to any future comments will be lovely.
Glug Glug has been put away now for a couple of weeks. Next weekend Thomas has a birthday party to go to and we are going out for a  meal with Matthew and Sophie.

After a few weeks of excitement and unforeseen events, touch wood everything seems back to normal now and this week my main priority will be catching up with some housework, my fave blogs and of course a little bit of quilting may well be squeezed in.

Hope you've all had a lovely weekend. I'll be popping by to say hello to you all tomorrow. 


Friday, 24 June 2016

Prom Night

Mark and Amy came home this morning. They'd taken a few photos for me of their week together and from the look of things they fared pretty well. 
As well as burgers they'd also cooked fillet steak, chicken and had a kebab. Plus a rather delicious salted caramel cheesecake had been purchased. I've told Mark I shall expect him to look after me just as well this weekend. Sorry, I can't rotate the photos. 
The day has been mainly focused on Amy getting ready for her prom night which started with her painting her nails silver to match her bag and jewellery.
After spending well over an hour in the bathroom, she then toddled off to have her hair and make-up done. Thankfully, although it was quite by chance, she wore a blouse, otherwise I'd have been cutting her out of the t-shirt she usually wears. 
Then it was time for the dress and shoes. It was a bit tricky to get on over her hair and I ended up standing on the bed to help her. 
There was talk of limousines a few weeks ago, which Amy wasn't too bothered about. Just as well because it never did materialise, so we took her and her friend in Mark's car; well the hire car. 
I was all set to have a ganders at the other girls when we dropped them off, but the traffic was horrendous and we couldn't get anywhere near the school. 
After dropping me back home Mark and Thomas headed to the van. Amy is staying out at her friends so I'm on dog sitting duty. 

Tomorrow I will be getting a train to Blackpool. Mark will pick me up and although it will be a flying visit as I won't get there until early afternoon, I'm still really looking forward to it. Plus I'll get to meet Catriona who always leaves me lovely messages and who will also be on the caravan site. The world is such a small place isn't it. 

And because I'm not sure I'll be on her until Sunday evening, 

Hope you have a lovely day 


Thursday, 23 June 2016

Voting and Quilting

I went to the polling booth this morning. We're registered for postal voting but I decided I'd deliver our votes myself this time. I went straight after dropping Thomas at school and there was already a queue. There was a girl at the front probably in her mid 20's and they couldn't find her name on the list. Turns out she'd not actually registered to vote. I wonder how many times that will happen today. 

Voting is a funny thing isn't it. People come over all MI5 about it for some reason, but you know me, I'm happy to spill the beans about most things, and without turning this into a political post I don't have a problem telling you I've voted Out. However, regardless of the outcome tomorrow, I will always be proud that we live in a democratic country and grateful for the fact that we're able to vote.  
Unlike the south who have had terrible weather, we've had blue skies and sunshine today and I spent 20 minutes in the garden dead-heading and tying up the climbers. 
And this is my third and final quilt for the time being. Another red border and patterned border has been added since I took this photo and it's finished now. I've thoroughly enjoyed all the sewing and mess making I've done this week but Mark and Amy will be home tomorrow and I want the house back in some sort of order. 
Plus I really need to stop making the tops and find the courage to get on with the actual quilting!


Wednesday, 22 June 2016

That Was Wednesday

A bit of a nothing day today here at Number 38. I dropped Thomas off at school then went into Middleton and picked up a couple of things I'd forgotten for the caravan. Nothing very exciting, a drainer, some polish (to make the awning slide through it's ridge easier a top tip from veteran caravanners), a hairbrush and of course the extremely dangerous nail clippers.
I had a stroll around the garden, which took all of 2 minutes. Two flowers have blossomed overnight, a pale pink one.
And a yellow one. I can't recall the names without looking them up.
But I do know this is an iris which is about to open any day now.
It was another easy tea tonight. A portion of chili from the freezer and a baked potato, microwaved for 10 minutes then finished off in the oven alongside Thomas' staple diet of oven chips.

Mark and Amy took themselves to Lytham today. I'm sure if it wasn't her prom on Friday Amy wouldn't come home at all. She loved the caravan when she was little and it would seem that love hasn't diminished over the years.

And that was Wednesday. 


Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Murder Most Horrid

Today started much better than yesterday with a bowl of porridge and strawberries.
Followed by a quiet 5 minutes with my Angels, who tell me that I am to forget about time. Which is all well and good but that dratted 3pm school pick up doesn't half put a spanner in the works. I have redeemed myself though because I never wear a watch, so I was one step ahead of them today.
We all know what this means don't we.
Hobby time! Which this week means more quilting. I've done the front of the brick one. It wasn't too difficult as it's just straight seams.  I also had an email from Dress A Girl and the pencil cases and dolls I sent will be on their way to Uganda next week.
If I was in the business world I'd have 'touched base' with Mark, but as I'm not I just phoned him for a chat instead. He'd  just got back from an afternoon in Cleveleys. Amy had been shopping again as she needed some nail clippers, but the shop refused to sell them to her because she was under 18. I'm not sure what they thought she was going to do with them and I'm pretty sure they wouldn't be classed as an offensive weapon by the police, but who knows, maybe I'm out of touch and death by clipping is a murder most horrid these days. 

One of the things I'm really enjoying about just me and Thomas being here is the lack of cooking I have to do. Tonight, I made a salad, popped some bread in the toaster and spooned some smoked salmon pate onto a plate. Perfect.
And apart from a bit of pottering around doing this and that there's really not much else that's happened today. I'm enjoying having the house to myself, the peace and quiet is lovely and Thomas is no trouble at all. 


Monday, 20 June 2016

Beeping Dogs AGAIN & Quilting

Life at Number 38 is nothing if not real, which is why my first job of the day was to clean up dog sick. The mutts are driving me mad lately, if it's not coming out of one end it's coming out of the other, although to be fair the rear end problem seems sorted now. The thing that really annoys me is that 70% of downstairs is wooden flooring so why do they always head for the 30% carpet to be ill?

After taking Thomas to school I came home and did a couple of hours of housework then sat down to some quilting. The hexy flower one is going quite well, if you don't take into account I sewed a strip on upside down so the pattern wasn't right and I had to unpick it and start over. One more row to go and then it's the bit I can't really do, the actual quilting part, although maybe because it's not too big and I've managed to line it up better this time, it won't be as difficult as when I last had a go.
This is the material I ordered last week before I went away which was waiting for me when I got home last night.
I've decided to do a brick style quilt with blue 'cement' and this is where I'm up to so far. Because I'm only doing small quilts I'll definitely get another two out of the material left over, possibly three if I use a block of colour as well. The 8 fat quarters cost me £7.92 plus £3.70 for postage so 3 or 4 quilt tops for £11.62 is pretty good I think. If I had to choose a favourite panel it would be the cowboys. We were brought up on John Wayne and I love a good old fashioned shoot out. 
Mark and Amy are having a great time at the caravan. Amy has been into Blackpool this afternoon to do some shopping and Mark has been faffing around replacing the jockey wheel with one that is more up to his exacting requirements!

I'm just about to make a brew and watch The Disappearance, then it'll be shower, PJ's and bed. 


Sunday, 19 June 2016

I LOVE caravaning!

I don't want to bore the pants off you all, but here's a flavour of our first weekend  as returning caravaners. 

We collected her Friday afternoon and after a very thorough handover we finally hitched her up ready to go. Yes, she has a gender :)
The handover actually lasted well over an hour so to pass a bit of time Thomas went into role play mode and 'drove' me and him to Blackpool, using the key fob as his radio.
Being a taxi driver is obviously exhausting as after 5 minutes into the real journey he was fast asleep and catching flies.
The caravan site is exactly as I remember it and this was the view from our pitch. We always went to this end of the site so that we could keep an eye on Amy when she was playing in the park. The only difference I could see was the park equipment has been updated and there is a fence around it now.
Thomas didn't feel like socialising this weekend and it was only a couple of hours before we came home that he decided to have a go on the swing. He can be a bit accident prone in the outside world so it really came as no surprise that when he sat on it and leant backwards he fell right off! Didn't stop him having another go though. 
We didn't arrive on site until gone 5pm so by the time we'd unpacked all the boxes and set up most of the stuff we were pretty jiggered and decided to leave the awning until Saturday. We have a bit of a love/hate relationship with awnings. We hate putting them up but love them when we've done it. This is a new fandangled blow up awning which still took a while as we needed to figure out exactly how to do it, but next time I don't think it will take more than half an hour to set it up. 
So, are you ready for a tour? The caravan is a tale of two halves. This area at the back is perfect for Thomas to sit at and play his Xbox.
While we get to sit at the front or in the awning watching the world go by.
I wouldn't normally show you the inside of my fridge, but the amount of food and frozen stuff you can get in here amazes me. And there is a built in microwave above it.
This is the sink and brewing up area. There is a lift up shelf so that there is more space to work on and there are cupboards and drawers everywhere you look. Whoever designs caravan interiors really puts a lot of thought into it.
There is absolutely no need for daily ablutions to fall by the wayside either, much to Thomas' disgust, showers are available on site or at 'home'. 
And unless you're particularly partial there doesn't have to be a pot noodle in sight.
We knew we really wouldn't want to come home but of course Thomas has school so after some discussion we came up with a plan which sees myself and Thomas back at Number 38 while Mark and Amy stay on for a few extra days.

I'm quite happy with the arrangement. I'll be caravaning again next weekend which will be here before I know it. Although what's the betting the next 5 days will really drag by now I'm looking forward to something. 

Hope you've all enjoyed your weekend. 


Friday, 17 June 2016

Two for the price of one

Oops! Forgot to post this yesterday so you get two for the price of one today. Not that there's much to report really.


No flowers from Lidl but the roses from last week are still looking good. These will be added to my dried flower vase in a couple of weeks. 
An hour or two spent on the quilt. I've hand sewn the hexys but machine sewed them onto the blocks. I thought this would be harder to do than it was, but it went well. You just need to be light on the foot pedal so it doesn't run away with itself.
I've sewn together 2 sets of 4 blocks. I need to make another 3 flowers then buy some more material for the extra 4 blocks I've decided to make.
I also faffed around with washi tape. Really I should do something more productive, but I couldn't think what. I did do some ironing though. It's my fail safe guilt free job. A pile of ironing always means I get to do anything I want to for the rest of the day :)


Is the day we pick up the caravan! It's also non-uniform day for Thomas and Amy's final GCSE exam - physics.

We've spent the past couple of hours loading up the car which finally arrived yesterday. All of this will stay in the van, so in future all we'll have to take will be food and clothes. 
I've cooked a pile of sausages for Thomas and we've managed to find a second hand Xbox for a decent price to take with us so he should have a perfect weekend!

As much as the idea of an Enid Blyton style weekend of picnics and country walks appeals, in reality it's not going to happen and as much as I love him, I don't want to spend the next 48 hours entertaining him. So although there will definitely be a walk or two and a board game, cards and dominoes, at some point we all need to do what we enjoy and if that means turning the Xbox on for a while then so be it. I'm happy to accept it will be part of our caravan life and really it's no different than me reaching for the things I've packed that I like to do.

Have a great weekend. Will try and pop by at some point if possible.