Sunday, 16 April 2017

April - Week 3

Happy Easter! 

Hope you've all had a lovely Sunday. In a little nod to the holiday I bought some decorative eggs and hung them on my flower lights...
...filled the dish with mini eggs then removed them pretty much straight away as Wendy discovered them.
....and put out all the eggs for Amy and Thomas plus the Magnum one I bought for Mark.
This year we went to Aunty Edith's for tea. We invited her over to us but she insisted it was her turn and there's no arguing with Aunty. Looking at this photo Thomas is ready for another growth spurt. He grows round first, then shoots up.
Thomas is quite happy to leave the Xbox and visit as Ken has a garage and they take themselves off into it banging and sawing and making whatever men make in their man caves. 
And very occasionally as a special treat there is a bike ride, although not today as it was raining, so he just wore the helmet instead. 
We've been to the van and very enjoyable it was too, even though I spent Saturday sweltering in a long sleeved top and knee high boots.  I could have put my 3/4's on but hadn't taken any shoes to go with them so had to suffer - but not in silence as Mark would testify!
Although the bacon butty he made for me kept me quiet for a while.
Random photo of the facilities just for interest because if you've never been caravanning before you could be imaging all sorts. 
You've all been to the Fylde coast with me plenty of times by now so instead of waxing lyrical I'm just going to post a few photos for you to look at.

Tradition dictates we cross the stepping stones and back again. I can tell Thomas desperately wants to accidentally fall in every time.
Matthew and Sophie came over on Sunday and we took Sienna on the little train and she had her first donkey ride. We then retired to a hotel for grown up activities of a long lunch and drinks.
We had plenty of walks along the front and although it doesn't look like it, this evening was a very windy one. It certainly blew my cobwebs away, so much so I bought a jar of hot chocolate on the way back to the van to warm myself up.
I think it's the first time we've been to St Annes without going on the pier - Thomas wasn't interested in the arcades this time. Instead a lot of our time was spent at Lowther Gardens where we played tennis, also known as 'whack the ball as hard as you can, get Mum or Dad to chase it and bend down to pick it up, then repeat'. To be fair by the time we came home he could hit the ball over the net to the person on the other side - admittedly after a few stern words from the red faced, sweating mother about looking where the other person is before hitting it.

We had a walk around Lytham which is very nice but my preference is St Annes mainly because it suits our shopping needs/activities better.
Although when strolling around shops is on the agenda Thomas' preference is neither, but he puts on a brave face.
Should you ever need a flamingo umbrella then Lytham is the place for you.
While Cleveleys is the place for bright red boots, which Amy says I should have bought for her.
Thomas' bravery scale is measured in how high up he'll go on the swing and I think he definitely achieved a silver this time.
While the more sedate activities of Connect 4 took place in the evenings.
In other news. Middle age has taken hold of Mark. This week he bought a work bench and he's ordered some shelving for the shed. 
Nothing to do with DIY around the house though. After buying another boat he's been evicted from the house with his toys.
Plans for this week include a trip to Hobbycraft and a haircut. Although there won't be much cutting as I've decided to grow it a little bit. This is what I'm aiming for - a choppy bob. Of course, when I don't come out of the salon wrinkle free and looking 20 year old I will be sorely disappointed.

And official baby minding begins this Thursday. Sophie returns to work this week so our weekly routine will now include Sienna. I'm looking forward to having her for the day even though it will be along one. A 7.15am drop off and we'll take her home at 6.30pm. Thursday is shopping day so she'll come with us to do that. Then in the afternoon I'm planning to take her to story telling for under 5's at the local library. 

And that's about it really. It's been a lovely 2 weeks of late nights, late starts and no packed lunches to make. But come Tuesday and we'll be back in our school/college routines. This term is the dreaded SATS although Thomas doesn't seem bothered by any of it which is a relief.

Hope you're all keeping well and as always, thanks for popping by. 


Sunday, 2 April 2017

April - Week 1

It's April already which means one quarter of the year has been and gone and there are only 267 days until Christmas!

I'm loving the new season. Blue skies, light nights, gardens coming to life, it's hard not to enjoy spring.

Following on from last weeks post, sure enough on Monday a parcel arrived from Amy with my Mother's Day present in. I think the clue that she'd actually forgotten and it was a last minute buy is in the title. Great choice though. It made me laugh when I opened it and I've already read it. I'd have been able to tell you the names of the Famous Five but I'd completely forgotten about Aunt Fanny and Quentin. Took me right back down memory lane.
When Thomas got out of the shower on Sunday he was covered in a rash from the waist up which was really rough to touch and he said he had a sore throat so I kept him off school Monday and Tuesday to see if anything developed. I don't like rashes especially as they've both been vaccinated against all the usual childhood illnesses. Anyway, Tuesday evening it had pretty much gone and he was all set to return to school Wednesday, but woke up and was promptly sick. He was also complaining of earache so he's not been in school all week. He's no trouble though even when he's not well and I'm glad he's not been sick in his holidays.

I went out with friends for a meal on Wednesday and I'm ashamed to say we managed to get through 3 bottles of wine which was one each! I don't think I've ever worked my way though a bottle of wine to myself before, but it's obviously not strong stuff as I felt perfectly fine. My only saving grace is it was consumed over 5 hours which makes me feel less guilty.

Thursday saw me at the Doc's having my 6 monthly blood test. My heart sank when I walked in and it was a new nurse because I knew exactly what was coming and I was right, only it was worse than I expected. I have no idea what she did but I actually yelped when she stuck the needle in. They've struggled in the past but I've never been hurt like that before. She called for back up and my usual nurse came in. I didn't feel a thing with her. Trouble is I'm not sure if taking blood is her job anymore, so I'm already worrying about my next tests.

It has been a very quiet week, I've hardly taken any photos and in between looking after Thomas I've been knitting.

This mock cable stitch is really easy to do but very effective. 
Easter Eggs for Amy and Thomas. 
Cake for Sunday tea.
And new toys for the dogs. All under the sofa waiting for me to retrieve them yet again.
The week ahead won't be as relaxed. I'm looking after one of Thomas' friends on Tuesday. He goes to his grandma's in the holidays but I always offer to have him round for a day. It makes a change for him and it's company for Thomas.

Wednesday is Bury but this time with Amy to do some shopping. That could go either way - will we speaking or not on the return journey!

Thursday we're having Sienna for the day which I'm looking forward to. In a couple of weeks Sophie goes back to work and then she'll be coming every Thursday.

And then Friday we're off to the van. This is the first outing since we packed her away last year, so lots to organise and take with us. From then on the rest of the outings will be pretty straightforward. 

I'm going to have a break from blogging next Sunday while we're away but I will be posting photos on Instagram. 

Hope you all have a lovely week. See you all on Easter Sunday. 


Sunday, 26 March 2017

March - Week 4

Once again I find myself at Sunday with no idea where the week has gone. I usually pick up the laptop once a day to catch up with all the news but bits and bobs have been going on and there doesn't seem to have been time even to do that this week. 

I'm not up to speed where annual events are concerned either and didn't even realise it was Comic Relief this week, although they didn't do anything at school this year which is usually my reminder. I think the reason they've not bothered is because a pupil is very poorly in hospital so they're doing some fun things next week to raise money for Royal Manchester Children's Hospital. 

Mark has been itching to get out and start on the garden and has been keeping an eye on the weather forecasts. This weekend was decreed 'G' Day and by the time I got up Saturday morning, he'd tidied the shed, emptied and washed the storage units and was just about to start jet washing. My main job was to  point and say 'keep or throw'. I'm very good at this job as I can't be doing with clutter and we ended up with several bags of rubbish that we took to the tip.
I love it when the garden has had its annual clean up. The patio gets a good blast and the summerhouse and decking get a lick of paint and every so often we put new gravel down.
It's 2 days well spent as it always looks good when it's done. All I need to do now is wait a few weeks until it's a little bit warmer then buy some plants for the tubs. My nephew is painting Mums fencing for her at the moment and is doing a grand job so we may ask him to come down and do ours for us. 
Bury was definitely on the cards this week, there's only so long I can go without truffles and wool. I'm knitting up a baby boy set with the a ball of Navajo in between carrying on with the cribs and angels. 
My sister went to the Docs this week with high BP, so high in fact that they sent her straight to A&E for an ECG. Worryingly it wasn't normal and shows something not quite right with the left hand side of her heart. She's waiting to go for a scan but with my history it's left me feeling jittery on her behalf, although she's carrying on regardless.

Amy isn't too well. She's had a sore throat for a few days and spent Friday in her PJ's curled up on the sofa. I bought a bottle of lemon barley water yesterday mainly because the sun was shining and the gardening was hot work, but also so I could add some hot water to it for her to drink which seems to be giving her a bit of relief. 
And today is Mother's Day. Matthew came with Sienna yesterday and brought me a lovely basket of flowers and Thomas bought me a huge box of chocolates.
The boys did good but I'm afraid the same can't be said of Amy. She can't find my Mother's Day card in her pit of a bedroom - she's possibly thrown it out by mistake and she's ordered something on line that hasn't arrived yet. I'm not bothered. It's just a day isn't it although after the events in London it seems more poignant this year.

Children have lost parents, parents have lost their sons and a daughter and there are many families affected by what happened. It puts everything into perspective doesn't it and the best present I have is that we're all safe and together. 

My heart goes out to everybody involved and sadly I'm once again reminded how fragile life is. 

Have a lovely week. 


Sunday, 19 March 2017

March - Week 3

Well, it's not been entirely uneventful here this week. Wendy has had a little accident, bless her. She was jumping up at the french doors to go out like she usually does and as I opened them she was mid jump and managed to pull one of her claws out on the locking mechanism. Thank goodness Mark was here because I don't deal with blood very well and there was quite a bit of it. I phoned the vet and they suggested I dip her paw in flour to stem the bleed. Credit where it's due, if I ever ring them they never automatically say "come in". Anyway on the third dip the bleeding finally stopped. It completely knocked her for six though and she spent 3 days literally licking her wounds on Amy's bed. Last night she seemed to come round and today she's bouncing around as usual and begging for food again - a sure sign she's on the mend.
Not long after posting last weeks news, the washing machine got stuck full of clothes and water. It does get stuck sometimes but usually only when the cycle has finished, never halfway through. After switching the power back on and off which generally works but didn't, we then spent half an hour pressing buttons trying to re-set it. Eventually it just seemed to rectify itself and touch wood has been fine since. 

I did a bit of baking this week mainly for Thomas who always comes in from school hungry. I bought some Mr Kipling Angel Slices one day and the little monkey came in and ate 4 of them straight off. Mind you, there's nothing to them, 2 bites and they're gone. I find homemade cake is more substantial and cheaper!
My first batch of 10 angels have been knitted up and 10 sets of wings have been crocheted. I just need to stuff their heads and sew on the halos.
Mark needed some acetate so we had a trip to Hobbycraft and I naturally gravitated towards the wool section but was very good and didn't buy any. When I got home though I could have kicked myself because I completely forgot to look for some sock wool while I was there. 
My Avon arrived today which was a nice surprise as I'd forgotten I'd put an order in. I really like their room sprays. I'm not a lover of air fresheners, a lot of them get up my nose and give me a headache, but these are really light. I chose Cherry Blossom and it smells lovely.
We didn't go to Bury on Wednesday so truffle stocks are dangerously low. In fact there are only 2 left and they're rum truffles. I'm not keen on them so I'll donate mine to Mark. The problem is there are Easter Eggs in the wardrobe and it's going to take a lot of self discipline not to crack one open tonight while watching Vera. 
Amy was bored yesterday so I asked her if she wanted to sew a taggie for Sienna. She started off OK and sewed the 4 floral pieces together and pinned the ribbons on that she chose. 
Then she got fed up so I ended up finishing it off for her. She likes the idea of sewing and knitting but it doesn't come that naturally to her. 
Yesterday marked 23 years since Dad died. I always put his anniversary on my calendar and every year I think "I don't know where those years have gone". So many lovely things have happened that he's missed. These days, after having a near brush myself around about his age, I also think how young he really was when he died. When we were looking at photos last week I came across a few of him and as strange as this might sound to a lot of people, I find it hard to look at him. It's just too sad. A quick glance and then they get put back in the box. 

And that's about it again for this week. My days are full of routine which I think is why they sometimes all blur into one and the week is over before I know it. 

I spend my mornings doing the housework, followed by a couple of hours of knitting, crocheting or catching up with blogs in the afternoons before school pick up time. When Thomas gets in, I make him something to eat, sort his school bag, make lunch boxes, tell him off for leaving his uniform on the bathroom floor and his socks in the sink and threaten him with no pocket money if he doesn't hang his clothes up. 

Then I sit down with a brew for 20 minutes before getting started on making tea. After eating, clearing away and tidying the kitchen it's usually about 6.30pm. An hour on the laptop followed by a couple of hours watching something on TV, takes me to supper time for Thomas, where I find myself in the kitchen making toast and warm milk and probably telling him off again for raiding the crisp box when I wasn't looking.  

Then after chivvying him upstairs at 10pm to brush his teeth and get into bed  (late I know, but that's his routine and he's fine with it), me and  Mark do a house sweep which is basically all last minute pots in the dishwasher, let the dogs out, let the dogs in, check the cars are locked, lock the doors, lights off and bed. 

It's hardly exciting stuff is it. But it is what it is and for the most I love my days. Routine also makes anything out of the ordinary quite exciting! Like Mum buying me a packet of Pontefract cakes.
Or deciding on a danish instead of a vanilla crown and pale pink tulips instead of daffodils! I am a simple creature indeed. 
So, whether your days follow routine or you lead a devil may care exciting life, I hope you all have a lovely week ahead of you. 


Sunday, 12 March 2017

March - Week 2

Well, it's been totally uneventful at Number 38 this week. Usually something or other happens that is slightly out of the ordinary but nothing of any consequence has taken place since I last blogged. We have all plodded on each doing what we do best and here we are again at Sunday. I only hope this isn't the peace before some sort of storm. 

You'll be pleased to know I've kept grumbling about housework to a minimum, mainly because I haven't done very much! I've kept on top of the basics but jobs like wiping down door frames, lifting the suite cushions to hoover underneath, cleaning all the mirrors etc have been left. These things have all become part of my weekly routine and I feel guilty when I don't do them but really they don't need doing every week.

For a change I've cleaned behind the scenes and the kitchen cupboards were first on the hit list. Our eating habits have changed slightly over the past few weeks but I've still been buying the usual things so a good sort out and stock take was needed. I've discovered I have enough tinned tomatoes to see me through any tomato looming crisis! Looking at this photo I've decided fajitas are on the menu tomorrow night. 
My wardrobe was pretty messy with wool that I'd just shoved in there so that got sorted out as well and I feel better for doing it. I've come to the conclusion I don't mind any housework that leaves me with that satisfied 'before and after' feeling and my cupboards and wardrobes certainly filled this inner need.

A couple of days have been nice enough to have the windows and doors open which has made me less hemmed in. It's been lovely hunkering down over winter but I'm ready to let the outside in now. We tend to do the big garden clean up in April ready for summer but I'm going to try and get out there this week and tidy some pots up. My bleeding heart and clematis are growing and there are trees around us with blossoms on which makes me feel very happy indeed.  
I've been knitting and crocheting and the sleeping bag is finished. I didn't work to a pattern I just made it up and it was a bit annoying to discover I needed to buy another ball of wool for the sake of a few rows on the chest panel and the straps. Never mind, it'll get used for something. 
I forgot to buy flowers on Thursday. Lidl is being extended and it's throwing  me off a little bit, so I either walked past them or they didn't have any. Either way none came home with me. But the daffs from last week are still doing strong. 
The smell of daffs always reminds me of primary school. I was 6 years old and we were allowed to go outside and play in the garden which had 2 old rowing boats in it. The teacher let us all choose something out of the dressing up box - nothing like the dressing up boxes of today with princess costumes and superhero outfits - these were just old clothes, hats, handbags and shoes. Anyway, I chose my outfit and me and my best friends Andrea and Gillian rowed ourselves to the seaside. Daffs were growing out of the grass hence the connection. Funny how some memories always stay with us isn't it. 

I tried to find a photo of myself aged 6 to show you but couldn't but I did come across this one of Amy and it always makes me laugh. This ended up in the Middleton Guardian and I was mortified at the time; now I love it.
She'd be equally mortified to know I've put this one of her on here. She'd pin curled her hair and wrapped my scarf around it to keep the pillow dry.  A few pieces of fruit and she'd look like Carmen Miranda. Sparky loves sleeping next to her. No wonder he suffers from anxiety separation when she goes out, they're like an old married couple. 
I've not seen her for most of the weekend, she's been staying with her friend but she's not been far away. Mark went into the back garden this morning and heard his name being called and there she was, leaning out of his window waving to us. 
Chocolates were on the shopping list again this week and we decided to break with habit and go for strawberry creams. I used to love the cream chocolates when I was little, not so much now, but these are divine and not sickly at all. The idea was to give up something every week during Lent and the first thing was chocolate.  Unfortunately, I can't think of anything else I want to give up so I've failed miserably. I might turn it around next year and instead of giving something up, make a point of doing something instead. It's a much more positive outlook and I'm all for the positives in life.
One person who won't be giving up chocolate is Aunty Edith. It's still a pleasure in her life and at 93 years old why shouldn't it be. She's invited us all around for tea on Easter Sunday so we'll take this egg for her. Thomas loves going over to visit. Him and Ken always end up in the garage sawing and knocking pieces of wood together to make something or other.  
And that's about it for this week. Just a quiet 7 days of life ticking over as normal. But normal is good.

Hope you've all had a lovely week and if anything out of the ordinary has happened it's been 'good' out of the ordinary.