Sunday, 31 July 2016

Psyching Myself Up Sunday!

Thank you for all your comments about housework. It appears the general consensus is that it's a necessary evil that nobody particularly enjoys, which makes me feel better. 

According to my 'room a day' rota, Sunday is a day or rest. How lucky is that! So, I've taken today to psyche myself up for my new routine which starts tomorrow with the lounge and dining room. They're open plan so I've lumped them together because I have more rooms than days in the week, which threw out my carefully devised plan of action. 
I haven't been sat on my bum all day. I've done 'the usual' chores and I've also sorted through all the stuff that I'd put to one side for a car boot, although there wasn't that much really, just clothes, books, 2 glass tables and a few odds and ends. It's not worth getting up at 5am for as I doubt it would make much more than the £13 it costs per car, so it's going to the charity shop instead.
Amy has been posting leaflets for Matthew this afternoon. She loves walking so she may as well get paid for it. He's always asking her to do stuff for him but by the time she rolls out of bed there's not many daylight hours left. She should definitely think of a career that involves working nights. Her body clock seems that way inclined. 

And I'm missing something good to watch on Sunday evening. I used to enjoy settling down to Call The Midwife, Home Fires, Poldark or Last Tango In Halifax. There doesn't seem to be anything like that on at the moment unless I've missed something, in which case will you let me know. 


Saturday, 30 July 2016

How Do You Do It?

No, I'm not looking for you to tell me about your steamy boudoir secrets, although if you'd like to, go right ahead. It'll be much more interesting than this post which is so boring I'm just going to put random photos throughout that have nothing to do with it. 

Aunty Amy feeding Sienna
I was in bed at 10.30 last night and slept the clock round, not rising til 11.30am! That's what getting up with a baby for 3 hourly feeds does for you when you're pushing 50!

Scone Cake - because I was too lazy to cut out individual ones
At 12.30 I was still in my PJ's trying to muster up the energy to do something productive, like cleaning our bedroom. Lately all motivation for housework seems to have disappeared and although I'm keeping on top of things it's certainly not done with the enthusiasm I once had.

Another pair sewn, 31/2 to go!
Which leads me on to my question of, how do you do it? Housework that is. Do you have a big splurge and do it all in one day, do you split downstairs and upstairs over 2 days, do you do one room a day or do you just turn a blind eye? I've done it all ways over the years, my most recent way being splitting downstairs and upstairs over 2 days but I think I'm going back to one room a day and then one extra job in that room every week, like sorting a wardrobe or washing cushion covers. 

A cheeky 3 night break booked here for this week

Anyway how boring is this post and I didn't even run out of time typing it, so I ended up having to do the bedroom after all! I pushed the boat out though and did 2 extra jobs this week, washing the light shade and the voile.  

Clean and sparkly light shade
Must try harder to think of something more interesting to blog about tomorrow :) 


Thursday, 28 July 2016

Photo vs. Reality

The photo: A cup of Earl Grey, a danish pastry and a glass of fresh orange juice. 
The reality. I'd just got in from shopping and rummaged desperately through the bags for this because I was starving. I was also dying for a brew and had forgotten to take my tablets. The dog was scratching at the patio door to be let in and Thomas wanted cocoa pops, toast, a sausage and a packet of crisps.
The photo: Beautiful flowers.
The reality. In between cutting and arranging the roses I was texting somebody, trying to make an appointment for Amy, pricked myself twice on the thorns and Mark was muttering in the background about lazy kids and dramatically dumped 5 of Amy's hair bobbles in front of me that he'd picked up off the floor. 
The photo: A quiet 5 minutes knitting with my shadow.
The reality: My wool bag is in a right state again and I have tangled balls of it spilling out onto the floor. I've unpicked one of the crocheted squares twice now, for some reason it just will not stay in shape. I had no idea what I needed to make for each bundle so sorted it all out into piles only to find I've knitted 3 blue bootees for one set!
The photo: Our beautiful grand-daughter.
The reality. As small and cute as she is she's taken over the house. This is just the food paraphernalia she's arrived with. There's also a pram base in the lounge, her carrycot and car seat are on the dining table, there's a bag of clothes on the stairs, a bag of nappies, wipes and muslin cloths on the chair and a going out 'emerency' bag filled with everything you could think of on the counter.
This is the real side of blogging from Number 38 :) 


Wednesday, 27 July 2016

One Year Already

For some reason after a couple of glasses of wine my sleep isn't that good and I always wake up earlier than usual. Which is why at 6am I was sat in bed with a brew and my crochet.
It's a year today since Tom passed away. We didn't go to the cemetery but we did go and see Joan, who is fine. I did have a look through his box though and this is a photo of him when he was about Thomas' age. Can't see any similarities between the two of them but maybe others can. 
My savings jar got a boost today. I saved £1.48 by buying Pringles from the £1 shop rather than Tesco, £2 on dog food and £5 because we passed on our usual nightcaps in the pub last night so the bill was less than normal.
I dropped Mum at the dentist this morning. She was there for one hour and came out with a filled tooth and a much lighter purse! And I finally got through to my surgery and made an appointment for a blood test next Monday. Then I rang the hairdressers for my usual cut and wash next Wednesday.

I've also bought school trousers for Thomas. I already have his shirts so all I need to get now is a winter coat and his shoes which I'll leave until nearer the time. He's only just gone from a size 2 to 3 so I doubt he'll grow, but you never know. Over the holidays the shirts and trousers will be washed several times so they don't feel new and he's comfortable wearing them.

Sienna is sleeping over tomorrow night so it's an early night for me and hopefully a lie in tomorrow morning to compensate for the night feeds I'll be doing. Mind you, as Amy seems to be in a routine of going to bed around 4am and not rising until gone noon, she could fit the midnight and 3am ones in no problem!


Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Off Out

I'm off out with my two amigos tonight. It's an early start at 4pm. We'll have a drink or two, probably more, a meal and a right good catch up. The early start does not mean it will be an early finish. We've been known to sit there for 6 hours chewing the cud. In Mum time, that's a full school day!
Off to get ready now. Speak to you all tomorrow.


Monday, 25 July 2016

A New Skill

It's far too easy to get back into routine after a holiday isn't it? The washing had all been done by last night which meant this morning a stack of ironing was waiting for me. Rather than do it in one go, I've left the board up and done 20 minutes here and there throughout the day. 

I've also been putting my new found skill to use. At the van I learned how to crochet a ball and a circle. Took me a full week to get to grips with this but I got there in the end and I can whip a circle up in no time at all now. Which got me thinking, could I use them to decorate a little comfort blanket. A quick look on the web and hey presto, I now have a little collection of motifs. I still can't follow a pattern so I tend to make the extras like ears, legs, fish tails up as I go along. There's been a lot of undoing and starting again going on today but I'm happy with how everything looks now. Not sure I could replicate any of it though!
Anyway, here's the first one I've done. It's probably just a bit bigger than a flannel. I decided to undo the yellow border and replace it with blue. Just need to wash it, pin it out and lightly steam it and it's ready to add to the pile of things to go.

Really I should stop adding new things and finish off what I've started. But I'm not too worried. No doubt by the end of the holidays everything will be done and in the post. 

How's that for positive thinking.  


Sunday, 24 July 2016

Holiday Mode Continues

Apart from bunging several loads of washing in the machine, I've still been very much in holiday mode today, which basically means I've not done anything I didn't really fancy doing.

This morning I managed to get in the garden for an hour to tidy up the pots and deadhead the geraniums before it started to rain. The honeysuckle is coming on a treat and the jasmine has blossomed while I've been away and smells wonderful.
Then I confess to pretty much sitting and crocheting for the rest of the day. This is going to be a small comfort blanket to go in with the bundle. Just need to crochet a border and sew the motif on.
My Avon delivery arrived. I don't buy much in the way of make up but I always put an order in for shower gel or bubble bath. I think I've said before my Avon rep is definitely not your stereotypical one. For a start he's male, definitely over 55, hardly a hair on his head and probably only half a dozen teeth. In winter he wears a big yellow flourescent jacket and in summer always a shirt and jacket. He lives just across the way from us and takes his job very seriously and is very thorough with his orders. I know a lot of neighbours buy from him just because he is who he is. 
At the moment me and Mark are sat watching a film called Real Steel. It's about a young boy and fighting robots. It's definitely aimed at kids but ours are nowhere to be seen and I'm not ashamed to admit me and Mark are totally enjoying it. 


Saturday, 23 July 2016

Back Home!

A quickie tonight. We're back home. It's a day earlier than we thought but the weather wasn't looking very good for tomorrow and there's nothing worse than putting an awning and a caravan away in the rain. If that's what we have to do then so be it, but if we can avoid doing it then we will.

We made the most of our time there though and didn't get in until 8pm.

There's a load of washing in, most, but not all of the things we took are put away and Mark has just nipped out for a Chinese.

I'll be catching up with you all over the next couple of days and replying to the lovely comments you always leave. 


Friday, 22 July 2016

Postcards from The Van Day 9

Another lovely day, spent mostly by the van under the shade of the tree. 

While everybody was still in the land of nod, I was up at 6am to walk the dogs. Then I sat outside and crocheted watching the world around me wake up.

Amy had a personal reading last night by one of the famous Gypsy Petulengro family. She told Amy a couple of things that were spot on and then some other stuff that's going to happen. I toyed with the idea of having one myself but prices are way beyond the 'piece of silver' they used to want so I passed! 

Thomas wanted to go and see The BFG this afternoon so we went to The Island Cinema. It's an independent and the prices reflect this, just £4 each for me and Thomas and £2 for a good sized carton of popcorn. 

While we were watching the film Amy, Mark and the dogs went for a walk then sat outside a put and had a beer and J2O.

Tonight has been spent back at the van, just chilling out. We only have 2 more days left but I could happily stay a lot longer. 

Wish you were here :) xx

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Postcards from The Van Day 8

A little bit cooler here today with a lovely breeze, so I'm not feeling as hot and bothered as I did yesterday.

We spent the morning by the van then in the afternoon we had a drive to Lowther Gardens. I've never been before and if you're ever over on the Fylde coast it's definitely worth a visit.
The gardens are lovely and according to their website it's the oldest park in Lytham St Anne's. There's tennis, pitch and put, crazy golf, bowls, a cafe and the Pavillion Theatre. Me, Amy and Thomas decided to have a round of pitch and put while Mark walked the dogs, who surprisingly are being extremely well behaved on their holidays.
Tonight a quick trip to Blackpool and Coral Island has been requested. There's a ghost train that Thomas has decided he wants to go on. There's no holding the boy back these days!

Wish you were here :) xx

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Postcards from The Van Day 7

Bit of a tetchy start to the day at The Van. After being woken up by the thunderstorm I was hopeful it would clear the air. Turned out that was just wishful thinking. It seemed to be as hot as it did yesterday and the fact that I had to put the oven on and the gas ring for Thomas' sausage and chips didn't help with heating matters.

Early afternoon we had a drive to Cleveleys where it finally started to cool down a little bit and with the added bonus of a breeze my temperament thermostat soon returned to normal.

Amy and Thomas wanted to go on some rides this evening so we went to the South Pier in Blackpool. This was a first for Thomas who's never asked to go on a rides like these before. 

I didn't think he'd go ahead with it but with Big Sis encouraging him all the way and more than happy to go on with him he chose The Sizzler (a spinning around ride) and the log flume (twice). He'd actually psyched himself up for a roller coaster but there wasn't one. 

We've certainly seen a different side to him while we've been here. 

Wish you were here :) xx

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Postcards from The Van Day 6

Phew! Today has been a scorcher. So much so that we made a family decision to just stay by the van. Fine by me.

So, what to do when you can't cool down? Strip off to your undies and pour water over yourself of course, although I should add it was only Thomas who did that! It wasn't long before the water pistols came out though and we were all wet. Great fun. 
This evening we all headed to the sea front for a walk and to try and cool down. It was still too hot though and we came back worse then when we left! The dogs enjoyed it though, especially the ice-cream part.

Wish you were here :) xx 

Monday, 18 July 2016

Postcards from The Van Day 5

Another beautiful day at the van. After a slow start we drove back to Number 38 to pick up Amy and the dogs. I was a bit worried about them travelling but Wendy was fine in her carrier and Sparky was happy to sit in the footwell.

Back at the van we had a saunter to the shop for ice-creams then sat out on the grass behind the van having a chat with the 3 of us taking it in turns to dip in and out of whatever Thomas fancied playing. I can’t believe how much time he’s spending outside. I love this photo. For a brother and sister and considering the age difference they get on really well. Amy has downloaded Pokemon Go, (you’ll either understand that or not), and they’ll suddenly jump up and go running around the site trying to catch them.
Mark has lit another BBQ and our evening meal is cooking as I type. We’ve thrown what we all want to do this week into the melting pot. The dungeons, the pier, the beach, the arcade, the park, Lowther Gardens, the garden centre and possibly a trip to the top of Blackpool Tower have all been mentioned. In between all that there’ll be plenty of evening strolls, playing in parks and van time.

Wish you were here J xx

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Postcards from The Van Day 4

Woke up to lovely weather again. We spent a quiet day at the van doing what we do best. Nothing very much.

I've done a bit of knitting and reading and played lots of swingball, football and badminton with Thomas.

There was cake and strawberries for afternoon tea.
Then a walk on the front to Thomas’ favourite park in the evening.
Sienna was a poppet and has been invited back to Granny and Grandpa’s caravan any time she feels like a break from mum and dad.

Amy arrives tomorrow. She has plans to hit the rides in Blackpool and Thomas, who has overcome his fear of sandy toes, plans to buy a bucket and spade and go on the beach.

Wish you were here :) xx

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Postcards from The Van Day 3

The sun is shining and the site has filled up. Lots of families with children have arrived. Or rather lots of grandparents with grandchildren.

Thomas is spending more time out of the van than in it which is good. He definitely likes his first taste of independence and having the freedom to wander off on his own for a walk.

He wanted to go back to the park this morning and the donkeys were on the beach so he had a ride on Bobby.

This afternoon we had visitors. Matthew, Sophie and Sienna. Sienna is staying here with us for the night. Mummy and Daddy will be picking her up tomorrow, hence the no gin rule today. Although if she doesn’t sleep I’m thinking maybe she could have a drop!

I’m a great believer in lots of fresh air for babies. I used to put Amy and Thomas out in their prams in all weather. Same for Sienna. After a couple of laps of the site we parked her in the awning.
Later on we took her and Thomas to Cleveleys for a walk on the front and then the 3 of us with teeth had good old fish and chips. She's just had her feed. The next two are the killers. Midnight and 3am!

Definitely wish you were here :) xx

Friday, 15 July 2016

Postcards from the van day 2

Woke up to rain and a phone call from school asking where Thomas was!  The ‘sick’ child needed some fresh air and decided to play out but eventually came in when he got too wet. Nothing for it but to entertain ourselves in the van making a model aeroplane. While we were waiting for the paint to dry Thomas opened a tattoo studio. I ordered a flower. Thomas decided I needed roots and soil as well.

Just after lunch it cleared up enough for us to head into Lytham. Mark dropped me at Bizzie Fingers where I met the lovely Camilla and had a little chat with her. I bought a couple of sewing needles and a bell for a toy project I’m having a dabble at.

It started to drizzle while we were there but we still had a walk along the front and back through the gardens. 
In fact we pretty much had the prom all to ourselves. Perfect weather for these though.

Burgers are on the menu tonight and being the hardy British folk we are we're not letting rain stop play and Mark has lit the ‘BBQ’.

I’m going to have my first G&T of the holiday. I won’t be able to have one tomorrow for reasons which will become clear. So chin chin my good friends.

Wish you were here J xx

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Postcards from The Van Day 1

Arrived to sunshine and blue sky. The journey was good, we came straight from school and it only took us 45 minutes. Caravan was all set up ready for me to enjoy. Think Mark is moving here permanently, he's even bought a washing line for 'our back garden'.

Thomas has already made some friends and there's a group of them, boys and girls, running around the site playing with guns and swords. They've all shared what they've got but there's not enough to go around so a couple of them have improvised and are using fishing nets as their weapon of choice.

We've been to the shop/office to pay for our stay. £3 per night for Thomas and £8.40 per night for me. Mark has already paid up. We've had a stroll around the site. It's not too busy at the moment, I expect more people will arrive tomorrow. Internet is good but loading photos takes all day so I'll have to choose a couple to sum up our day. Plans for the next 10 days include lots of caravan time, knitting, reading and days out to our usual haunts. 

Wish you were here :)  xx

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Teeth and Tootsies

Thomas was still a bit under the weather this morning so he's been off again today. It feels a little bit like 'be careful what you wish for' with me thinking of taking him out of school tomorrow. Not that I will be doing. The whole school is having a party because they hit their attendance target so he wants to go in.

Mum had a dental appointment this morning. A filling came out a few weeks ago. She hates the dentist and it's the first time she's been in over 20 years. Today was just the check up, she goes back for treatment in a couple of weeks but apart from the filling and the usual scale and polish they always want to do, everything else was fine. She even got a sticker, although as she rightly pointed out at £265 it was an expensive one. Thomas gave her a big hug afterwards and said "I'm really proud of you Grandma". 
This is the little project I had on the go last night. A pair of bootees to keep little tootsies warm. They are super easy to knit and are done on 2 needles. 
I think I might make bundles up that include the blanket, hat, bootees and a toy. If I can find a quick knit jacket I might put one of those in as well. 
Mark made an executive decision this morning to put our trip to Morton on hold for a few weeks. Instead we're staying put at Blackpool. He said it was too much for me to do putting the van away then getting it out again 2 days later and he wants me to just have a week away without any work involved. Have to admit I'm more than happy with that. I do love it when he gets all masterful. It makes me go quite wobbly at the knees!