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. 




  1. A lovely catch up with you.
    There were 8 rose bushes at number 9 but only 2 had any scent, I'm waiting to see if the ones here will have perfume.
    Hope the cold stays away

    1. A neighbour has a rose bush and when you walk past her garden it smells divine but I think that's the exception rather than the rule these days which is a real shame. I'd go for scent any day rather than looks. We tamper too much with nature as it is, the least we could do is leave the flowers alone.

      Hope all is well with you and Col. xx

  2. I shall be quick as it's nearly 8 & I need to switch off,but didn't want to leave without saying hello.

    It's such a shame roses don't smell any more. The ones I grow in the garden do, which is probably why I love them so much. But shop bought? Never.

    Glad you are fighting off the cold. Hope Thomas doesn't catch it. Loved the snooty and slightly stupid newsletter from school on Friday, droning on about SATS again, and saying how 'all Year 6 are expected to be in that week'! Seriously?! Aren't they expected to be in EVERY week anyway?! Twits. They've really been piling on the pressure when it comes to SATS with after school lessons and the week of them a 'free breakfast club' from 8 a.m!!!! I really want to shake the head teacher and remind her these children are 10 and 11, so ease up a bit. School had a crappy ofstead report, so she's narked about that too.

    Anyway, I digress.Sienna looks happy ,and not bothered about sleeping through the singing library thing! I agree, when babies are asleep never wake them. I used to hiss at people 'never wake the beast' when they suggested waking Violet up! You just don't do it!

    I'm not watching Little Boy Blue, because I know I'd cry. I'm not surprised you were in floods of tears, having a son of the same age must make it doubly awful for you to watch. Those poor parents.


  3. I'm going to the garden centre tomorrow, I think I'll add a rose to the list but only if it's a scented one. I like the big billowy ones, I'll take Mum with me to help me choose - she's the family garden guru.

    It's all been very low key here since Easter regarding SATS which I'm glad about. There's been no homework, no breakfast clubs, after school clubs have stopped (Thomas went to a maths one) and we've had no letters apart from one telling us they start on 8th May. However, during school hours they seem to be doing nothing but tests, although they had a couple of nice activity afternoons last week as a treat. I'm beginning to wonder who worries about them more, the children or the staff. I feel sorry for teachers to a certain extent because the goalposts seem to change so often, but I think everybody needs to lighten up about them.

    Little Boy Blue was heartbreaking and yes, Thomas being the same age made it even harder to watch. But some of the scenes made me so angry as well, especially the one where his Mum was cuddling him in the hospital the morning after he'd died and the policewoman said she'd arrest her if she touched him again as they needed to preserve evidence. Honestly, so many people had touched him trying to help him and keep him alive that I've no idea why a kiss and cuddle from his mum would have made so much difference at that point. Heartless. Welling up again thinking about that scene.

    Well done on sticking to your 8pm deadline - I'm very impressed. xx

  4. Waving hello from the sofa! I cheer and applaud scentless flowers - the stinky things! Although my blue rose at the front smells like Parma violets and is heady and sweet.
    I laughed at Thomas wanting to keep everything. I remember going in the kids rooms armed with Black bin liners and having to wrestle the absolute rubbish they wanted to keep out of their hands! Lesson learnt - I see to do it when they were out!
    Your chocolate cake looks lovely. My baking mojo seems to have done one lately, though I did make Mr 20's birthday cake.
    It was a good drying day today but I didn't sit in the garden as the grass wants Cutting and I could not be arsed!
    Happy Bank Holiday weekend xxx

    1. A parma violet scented rose sounds lovely - I'll have to look that up. A rose is a rose because of its fragrance - scentless roses may as well be weeds.

      I'd already thrown some things away I knew Thomas wouldn't miss but I daren't touch his weapons without his say so!

      I've not baked for ages, I should get back into it again - trouble is I end up eating more than my fair share.

      I do like a lawn but only in other peoples gardens simply for the reason you say about cutting grass.

      Hope you're having a lovely long weekend. Boxes will be in the post to you on Tuesday. xx

    2. Squeeee! How exciting!!
      The rose is
      Rhapsody in blue
      If you can find it. I've looked online and they are available. I solved the grass problem by making Mr 20 cut it!!
      Now the kids are grown up, I'd get rid of the lawn all together! I think the HG protests because he says all my plans and ideas include hard work for him!!

    3. I remember you blogging about the rose last year. Had a look at the garden centre but they were quite limited in what they had so I'll have to go online and have a ganders.

      Love your problem solving re. cutting the grass. The only bonus to little boys growing up is their muscles! Mark fancies artificial grass for the colour but not the work. I'm undecided although my sister has it and it looks really nice. xx

    4. My neighbours have it and theHGhas lawn envy though he says he's quite like a putting green!!

    5. Our next door neighbour has just had his done but there's a little ripple in it which would really annoy me if it was mine. That's the sort of thing that puts me off although my sisters is like a bowling green. xx

  5. Ooooh I will be glad when our garden is fit to sit out in for a cuppa in a morning. Still a bit to do though but we are getting there.

    I only have Ruby's toys here at the moment and they are taking up more than their fair share of room. I don't know what we'll do when Marlowe wants to start keeping things here to play with.....we might need a considerably larger

    Awww little Sienna is just such a gorgeous baby.

    There are still lots of colds and bugs around aren't there. I hope that is not what is wrong with me. I've felt proper grim today.

    Alhough I am not awfully keen on the smell of roses they are just not right without any smell at all. We have a beautiful climber in our back garden and it would be even lovlier if it had a bit of scent to waft around on a summers day but it smells of absolutely nothing.

    I must go and have a look at the books at The Works. I haven't been for ages and could do with some more reading material.

    Have a fabulous week-x-

    1. Gardens are hard work aren't they but worth it when they're done - although I've come to the conclusion there's always something needs doing even in the easy ones.

      I was thinking about Sienna and her toys as I was clearing Thomas' stuff out. All her other grandparents don't have any children at home and spare bedrooms so toys and equipment isn't a problem for them. We're in a different situation here so I'm not encouraging any 'extras' lol.

      Hope you don't get what Amy had, it's really floored her and she's still not 100%. My cold hasn't developed but I've got a stupid cough so there's definitely something going around.

      I like flowers that you can smell as you walk past them but there don't seem to be many of those around these days. You have to stick your nose right in there to get any scent and only then if you're lucky.

      Hope you're enjoying the Bank Holiday weekend. Have a lovely week. xx

  6. Hi Suzanne-what a lovely long post today. I've managed to comment on Instagram again-one of lif's mysteries as to why I couldn't for a while. Sienna looks so cute in all her photos and she certainly looked as if she had a good day with you this week. Can't believe April is nearly finished-the weather up here is still quite cold although the grass got scalped today and it's bone dry underneath. My neighbour has lots of old fashioned roses and the perfume is very strong. My own favourite plants are sweet peas for perfume but find them too strong indoors now. Ispent most of today doing laundry and mending-I really need to stop letting it pile up but I've been busy this week with my voluntary duties which are more worthwhile! Enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend and look forward to hearing about your activities and seeing the photos. Catriona

    1. Hi Catriona, hope all is well with you. Sienna was a happy girl this week which always makes things easier. It's the old fashioned type of rose I want, I'm taking Mum with me this afternoon to help me find one. I love sweet peas and like them in the house, but I know a couple of people who don't like the scent of them.

      I don't mind doing the washing it's the ironing I'm not keen on. I'm sat here looking at a big pile of it. I suppose the fact half of it is school uniform spurs me on to do it otherwise I'm not sure I'd bother!

      You're very good doing all your voluntary work, I'm sure it's very much appreciated by everybody although I don't think people realise exactly how much of their own time people give and quite often it carries on at home as well.

      Have a lovely week. xx

  7. It's always reassuring to read things are ticking along nicely over at number 38. I do hope you are not suffering too badly with a cold but just enough to ensure you require your medicine. 😆
    A toy clear out and sort through is required here too. Lily does favour being outdoors though so I don't feel too guilty. It's her birthday this month and I've been wracking my brains as to what to get her. She's not very demanding where toys are concerned which is no bad thing I guess.
    Your cake looks delicious. It made me feel hungry when I saw the picture on Instagram. Chocolate cake was always my favourite (the Bero book recipe) but I must finally be growing up as I have now branched out to enjoying lemon or carrot cake now.
    Enjoy the rest of your weekend Suzanne, and by the way, I would seriously consider not feeding Amy for the rest of this week as punishment for stealing that walnut whip! 😉

    1. The cold seems to have been held at bay but I have a stupid cough now Jules. The grown up medicine is a bonus though and is going down rather nicely.

      Amy had loads more bits and pieces than Thomas ever did, little pet things, dolls, beads, dolls furniture etc. etc. In contrast Thomas hasn't been half as bad but his guns and swords are big so they take up loads of room.

      It's my birthday this month as well. Is Lily a Gemini? How refreshing to hear a child isn't demanding in the toy area. If she likes the outdoors what about a bike or something to do with gardening which I know she enjoys. Or a rabbit or a guinea pig. Enough Suzanne!!

      I think I've grown up where cake is concerned as well lol. I much prefer lemon, carrot and coffee these days.

      Can you believe Amy stole my walnut whip - if ever there was a case of a mother/daughter falling out that was it! All she did was grin while licking the white fluffy stuff off her lips :) Kids.

      Hope you have a lovely week. xx

    2. I must be a bad mother as I've just checked to see what her star sign is. I had no idea! It would seem she's a Taurus.
      No more animals in this house, thank you very much. I don't think Mog would be impressed with any additions and George the fish still seems more than happy taking up about half of my kitchen work space in his tank. We've settled on getting Lily a swing for the garden and another small gift she can open. She will be more than happy with that. Two of her favourite toys were actually free gifts with a magazine!
      I don't think you can ever forgive Amy. X

    3. A bull! Stubborn but reliable and they're supposed to be good with money as well :) You are a wise Mummy with the 'no more animal' rule. I think half of ours ended up here because of me rather than the children! A swing sounds a perfect present for a little girl who likes being outside. Bet she'll be thrilled when she sees it.

      All I can say is there'd better be walnut whips from Amy for my birthday :) xx

  8. I agree with you it is a shame about the lack of smell with shop bought roses, that is why I like to have some growing in the garden sop that I can enjoy the scent. That chocolate cake looks good! x

    1. As lovely as they are there's something not quite right about roses that don't have a scent. I bought a climber today from the garden centre. It's called Compassion and apparently has a strong fragrance so as long as I don't kill it off that should fill my need. If not, I've got the sweet peas on standby :)

      Hope you've all had a lovely Bank Holiday. xx

  9. Sorry to hear that Amy got sick and then, you came down with it, too, although you seem to have found a very effective cold remedy! LOL. Those roses are beautiful! I don't mind if roses don't have a scent; I like how they look. Good job decluttering! I am going to declutter at least one item a day during May! Hope you have a lovely week, Suzanne, and May will be a wonderful month for you and your family.

  10. Hi Bless, lovely to hear from you. Amy's still not 100% and I seem to wake up not so good, get a little better during the day then go downhill again at night. The worst part of the coughing is it hurts my back - talk about an old crock!

    I'm not keen on overpowering scent from flowers - my sister once bought me some lilies that were beautiful, but I had to put them in the garden because they were so strong they gave me a headache, but I do like a gentle waft of fragrance.

    De-cluttering is a never-ending job isn't it. Your one item a day sounds a good plan. Still totally impressed with your massive de-clutter last year - it should go down in history lol.

    Have a lovely week and keep well. xx

  11. Starting almost at the end of your post, Suzanne, Walnut Whips take me right back to childhood when I lived with my parents in our newsagent's shop! If Mum and I were going out anywhere, say to the pictures (as the cinema was called in those days) we would sneak one each before we went out. I swear to goodness they were larger in those days, too! But oh, the taste was divine!
    Oh, Don't throw Woody and Buzz away! My daughter in law has hers from when she was a child! One day they will fetch up on the Antiques Roadshow - well if they are in mint condition and in their boxes, which totally defeats the object of them being toys, doesn't it?
    Ooh, please save me a slice of that chocolate cake!
    Margaret P

    1. Yes, I always refer to the cinema as the pictures as well, Amy laughs at me and Thomas doesn't know what I mean. Walnut whips are definitely smaller than they used to be. In fact nothing seems to be standard sized anymore. It's either gone jumbo or shrunk.

      I will never throw Woody and Buzz away. I often list Toy Story (the first one) as one of my favourite films ever! They have both been well played with and the boxes have long gone so these definitely won't be featuring on The Antiques Roadshow :) xx