Sunday, 30 April 2017


I started the day sat with a cup of tea in the garden. I should really do this more often. It was a bit breezy but I felt better for an early morning blast of fresh air.
I've been steadily working my way through the house this week sorting through drawers and wardrobes and getting rid of what we don't need. There have been 2 trips to the tip, although the second was only necessary because Wendy peed on the duvet for some reason, plus a trip to the charity shop with books, clothes, bags and other bits and bobs Amy and Thomas no longer want or use. 
I pulled everything out of Thomas' wardrobe and asked him what he wanted to keep, which was everything apart from a few broken guns. But even getting rid of those and sending the helmets into school has made a big difference and we're down to one toy box now. He'd quite happily throw Woody and Buzz away but they were Amy's and I have a soft spot for them so they always go back in the box. 
What was obvious while I was going around the house is that a lot of the bits and bobs I put in their Christmas stockings have never been used or opened and were sat gathering dust, so I've decided this year they will take on a more boring but practical theme of underwear, toiletries, books, magazines and chocolate. Amy won't mind and Thomas won't care. As long as he has a new Xbox game he'll be happy.  

Looking after Sienna this week was a lot easier. I decided not to bring the travel cot down and to only give her a quick dip in her baby bath. Small changes but they made a big difference. 
We missed the library sing song because she had a long sleep after her lunch and if there's one thing Granny's do know it's to let sleeping babies lie. So while she had a nap I put my feet up with a brew and visited a couple of blogs. When she woke up I bounced her up and down on my knee for half an hour and sang to her so she didn't miss out! 
Amy has been passing me books to read lately which I've enjoyed - the trials and tribulations of being a teenager is very interesting and it's always good to get an idea of what's going on in their heads although it can be quite draining. I'm not sure we had so many issues and were so full of self doubt back in the day, but maybe I've just erased it all from my memory. Anyway, after working my way through 3 of them I was ready to revert back to my lighter reads so bought my usual 3 for £5 from The Works. 
Speaking of Amy, she's spent most of the week tucked up in bed with a sore throat, cold and a chesty cough. We live in a modern age so instead of shouting down for tea and paracetamol she's been texting me :)  Thankfully, she seems to be on the mend now although it's been a slow recovery. This was her 'get better' stash.
And this was mine, because very kindly she decided to share her germs with me. I don't catch colds easily but when I do they can linger for weeks so I took immediate action on Friday when I started with a sore throat, sniffles and sneezes and dosed up on whisky, lemon, honey and hot water. Three good doses and an early night saw me up and feeling fine Saturday morning although I seem to have woken up with a tight chest and a cough this morning. The silver lining to this cloud is of course taking more grown up medicine!
Flowers from Lidl this week were these gorgeous roses. There's absolutely no fragrance to them though and after a google as to why, it would seem roses, along with a lot of other cut flowers, have had the scent bred out of them in favour of making them disease free and longer lasting. Such a shame. I wonder if this is the case with garden roses as well? 
It's been a while since I've baked so I decided to make a cake yesterday. Chocolate cake is probably my least favourite because I find it rich and can only manage a small slice whereas I can quite happily wolf down a big slice of any other cake. This may look like a typical afternoon tea but the rest of the table holds samosas and bhajis for Mark, BBQ ribs for Amy and crisps and sausages for Thomas. I have much more decorum and this is my patch :) Every time I look at this photo the upside down hearts drive me mad!
I've done no knitting, crocheting or sewing this week and the break has been nice. That's not to say I haven't succumbed and bought more wool for some projects. This women's institute wool is lovely to knit with. I intend to get on with some more angels and try and get 2 cribs fully finished this week. 
My Avon order arrived and this oatmeal and chamomile body wash is a favourite at the moment. I have really sensitive skin on my face and can only use a certain Nivea cream - even some of their stuff can cause me to come out in blotches - but from the neck down anything goes so I like to buy different shower gels and cremes. 
I've also stocked up on tea. I'm not precious about teabags although if I'm buying Earl Grey I usually buy Twinings, but this box was pretty so I got these instead. I don't know if it's because I'm still a bit sniffly but they don't taste or smell of anything.
Another disappointment this week were these Walnut Whips. These are definitely in the category of cream eggs in that they used to be twice as big. The box and the packet haven't shrunk, just what's inside. To add insult to injury Amy stole one, (and I have no hesitation in using that word where my chocolate stash is concerned), so I didn't even get to scoff them all. 
I really enjoyed The Durrells last week and Grantchester is an easy going favourite so that's my TV sorted for tonight. Tomorrow I will be watching Little Boy Blue. I cried through most of it last week probably along with everybody else who watched it. It's a long time since I've watched something that's really touched me. Some of the scenes were heartbreaking; even more so because they're true. 

There are no plans as such for tomorrow but I think I'll go to the garden centre and if the weather is fine do a bit of planting. I want geraniums, sweet peas, some bedding plants and another clematis to replace the jasmine. I think that will do for the garden this year. We're away for 3 weeks again in Summer so I don't want to buy lots but it needs a few splashes of colour here and there. 

And that's about it. Hope you're all enjoying the long weekend and have found time to do whatever you like doing. Have a lovely week. 



Sunday, 23 April 2017

April - Week 4

It's been a lovely weekend weather wise. The sun has been shining, the birds have been singing, all the windows and doors have been open, there are buds on the clematis and the woman who lives behind us has been doing a fantastic impression of Barbara Woodhouse which as well as entertaining, has driven me nuts.
They've got a new puppy and the whole neighbourhood can hear her 'singing' at the top of her voice "wee, wees Barney, good boy Barney, well done Barney" along with lots of clapping. Bad enough during the day but at 11pm? Why anybody thinks clapping loudly when a dog pees is acceptable at 11pm is beyond me. The problem isn't that she's doing any of this - it's just the volume she's doing it at. People have no consideration these days. 

Not much has been happening at Number 38 this week. I didn't have my hair cut because as is often the case lately, I don't know what day it is, let alone what week it is and I'm not booked in until this Wednesday.

There are lots of appointments this week actually. Sparky is having his hair cut tomorrow, we have the opticians and the dentist on Tuesday, hairdressers Wednesday and Sienna Thursday.

Speaking of the little lady, our first stint at baby minding went quite well. It's a long day though. Matt dropped her off at 7.15am and Mark took her home at 6.30pm. The story telling session wasn't on at the library because some schools are still on holiday, so I took her for a long walk instead.
Sophie sent her routine over but of course, she's far more interested in watching us and the dogs mooch around than going to sleep. The hardest part of the day was tea time. Sophie asked if we'd bath her because it's part of her bedtime routine but to fit this in before taking her home meant it had to happen just after tea. To be honest this just about finished me off. In fact I didn't eat because I knew I wouldn't be able to bend over the bath afterwards. Plus she didn't enjoy it. She might love splashing around in her own bath with mummy - but she screamed the house down with Granny. I think in future it'll have to be a quick wipe down and PJ's on. 
I'm in sort out mode again and will be going through the house with a fine tooth comb this week making my rubbish/charity piles. The shelving in the Xbox room is my go to dumping ground and definitely needs a good tidy.
I did my wardrobe yesterday and have gathered all the bits of knitting I've stuffed into corners that I've done over the past few weeks which I'll post off to Knit for Peace.
Thomas' wardrobe and bedroom is my main priority though. I need to sort through his clothes and buy a couple of t-shirts for him not to wear this summer! He refuses to wear tracky bottoms any more, preferring shorts - no matter what the weather - so I need to buy a couple of pairs of those as well and of course re-stock the PJ bottoms. His helmet/hat obsession is also over and I've got his permission to donate these to school if they want them for their dressing up box.
I've just had a spurt of energy and done an hour of tidying up, made lunch boxes and wrestled Thomas into the shower. 

Now it's time for a cup of tea and a flick through a magazine. In a while I'll be watching The Durrells (didn't realise there had been a first series of this but hoping I'll be able to pick it up) and Grantchester - I do like a bit of Robson Green and his cheeky smile.

Then it's our bedtime routine and tomorrow we'll be back at Monday starting all over again.

Hope you've all had a lovely week and have enjoyed your fair share of sunshine. Thanks for dropping by, it's always a pleasure to read your comments and have a chat.  


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.