Sunday, 28 May 2017

The Big 50

On Wednesday I will hit the big 50! Half a century old, I can't quite believe it. No complaints from me though, I'm just happy and grateful to be celebrating another year.
I do remember thinking when Amy was a baby that I'd be 50 when she turned 18 and it seemed ages away, so I'm not sure how it's arrived so quickly but it has. Here she is with her first wage slip.
When Thomas turns 18 I'll be 56 - bet that's here in the blink of an eye as well.
I'm not even thinking about how old I'll be when this little lady hits 18. 
My celebration request was afternoon tea at Nutters which was lovely. I'm definitely a lightweight where drink is concerned these days. After 4 glasses of champagne I went straight to bed when I got in. 
Today we had a little get together at home with a few sandwiches and more cake.
I'd asked Mum for a book and a vintage china trio tea set which was produced the year I was born.
I had lots of other gifts as well. Some were requested, others were surprises and all were lovely. Champagne, truffles, a jigsaw, perfume, a voucher and a knitting bag. 
Tomorrow we are off to the van and on my birthday I'm off to win my fortune at the casino! Coincidentally my 40th was also spent in our first van at Chatsworth.

If anybody wants to drop by for a peek I've decided to do a little project during my 50th year, which will start on Wednesday. I'm going to post a photo a day with just a few lines to go with it and continue with my usual weekly blog on a Sunday. I really liked the idea of starting a scrapbook but I know I won't keep that up so it seemed a better option to do it blog style. 

It's been a truly awful week in the UK for everybody and I can only hope we never have to go through anything like that again. Hope the coming week is a good one for all of you. 


Wednesday, 24 May 2017


Like many people I've been left reeling this week after what happened at Manchester Arena on Monday evening.

I'm sad and I'm angry and as names and ages are being put to such young and beautiful faces, I'm left wondering why in the aftermath of such horrific events it always comes to light that the perpetrator is known, yet has been able to walk around freely choosing where and when to unleash such catastrophe.

Each person feels and deals with things like this in their own way, but this time the candles being lit, self-serving poets reading their work and political and religious leaders standing together spouting forth about the community coming together isn't cutting it for me. 

Up north we're known for calling a spade a spade but the truth is we're all wearing gags for fear of being branded racist and politically incorrect. 

If there ever was such a thing as a terrorist crossing a line then that happened on Monday when children were specifically targeted. Sadly, I know my hope that this terrible act might just be the turning point in how we deal with these monsters, will eventually turn into the realisation that yet again, we'll choose to remain a country who would rather bleat on about the human rights of these cowards, at the expense of the lives of innocent people. 

Our children are growing up in a country that is incomprehensible to me. Letters are being written encouraging them to live life to the full .... because well, you just never know now do you. No child should be brought up with that ethos. As a mum I don't find that outlook on life inspiring I find it sickening. We shouldn't be allowing our children to do what they want and go where they want because in the back of our minds we're thinking they could get shot or blown up any day. 

Rightly so, everybody who responded to the incident should be proud of themselves. I hope none of them ever have to go through anything like that again.

Me? Personally, I'm finding it hard to feel any pride in my country at the moment because of the choices it makes on how to deal with certain people and situations for fear of repercussions. 

It will be hard to do because we've become conditioned, but we need to get back to calling that spade a spade again. 

Thoughts and prayers to all the families affected.


Sunday, 21 May 2017

May - Week 4

I've thoroughly enjoyed this past week at Number 38. There's been baking, crocheting, shopping treats, lots of home loving, good exam vibes, pretty flowers in the house, candles and the garden is blooming.
It's not been without it's little hiccups though. I sat down yesterday afternoon with a piece of cake and cup of Earl Grey all set to spend a couple of hours with Miss Marple, when the washing machine decided to play silly beggars and wouldn't drain. It's happened before but several flicks of the power switch seems to eventually sort it out. Not this time though. In the end there was no option but to open the door and let the water flow out. Turns out the drain was blocked with a tiny piece of metal. We spent nearly 2 hours faffing around with this. I started watching Miss Marple at 3pm and eventually found out whodunit at just turned 7pm!
Then, at 10.30pm we got a text from Matthew. They'd just got out of hospital with Sienna. Even though she's had the MMR vaccination she's got measles, bless her. Funny how things can come on so quickly isn't it. She was bouncing up and down full of the joys of spring when she was here on Thursday. 
Anyway, here are some of my enjoyable moments from the week. 

I've been baking again. It seems I don't make anything for weeks then suddenly a cake is coming out of the kitchen every other day. This was an orange and lemon drizzle. It was good on the day but even better the day after. Yummy.
While at the range I remembered Sadie mentioning burger and fries boxes so had a look and found these. Thomas has never eaten a burger but I thought he might try one if it came 'burger bar' style. I didn't hold out much hope actually, but you know what, it worked. He ate his first ever burger and asked for another one which typically I didn't have. He'll eat broccoli until the cows come home so it had a sidekick of greens as well. 
I bought fruity candles for the kitchen. The lemon & ginger will probably burn out today. The next one I'll light is the raspberry. 
And I couldn't resist these cute little houses for the shelf which look lovely lit up at night. 
I also bought myself this book. The information is really interesting and the pictures are lovely. However, as I can only confidently identify daisies and dandelions I've decided for the time being I'd best not mix a potion in case I poison everybody. 
Just out of interest here's a list of all the good things I can't use. Garlic, ginkgo, echinacea, St John's wort, green tea, ginger, bilberry, ginseng, grapefruit/juice, hawthorn and licorice root. Most of them are good for thinning the blood and keeping the heart healthy but because I take aspirin any of these could work adversely with the tablet thinning the blood too much and possibly causing internal bleeding. Obviously I wouldn't refuse to eat garlic mushrooms or drink a ginger beer but taking a supplement every day would be out of the question. Thankfully dandelion and burdock isn't on the list because I want to try making cordial and the ginger is negligible. I absolutely love D&B.
My first ice-cream of the year. A Mr Whippy. Love this type of ice-cream. In fact I love any ice-cream. This was another first for Thomas as well. Usually he buys one, has a lick to show willing, devours the chocolate flake then gives it away. But this time, he ate it all. I think we might be slowly turning a corner regarding food. 
And our first asparagus. Rub in olive oil, grind some black pepper and sea salt over, pop in the oven and roast for 15 mins. Delicious.
A blanket is on the hook for Sienna. Hoping to have this ready for her birthday.
And a request from Tigerlily Trust for some padded crocheted hearts. I've been asked to make 20 if I can so I need to whip up 40 hearts and embellish them with ribbons, beads, flowers, etc. 
Today, is carrying on in the same vein as the rest of the week. Quiet, feet up, each doing our own thing. Amy is working overtime, she did her 4 hours yesterday, came home, went to bed and slept for 3 hours! Thomas is laughing his head off in the Xbox room with his friends. They're on some mission or other which keeps going wrong. Mark is watching TV and I'm just about to make a cuppa and crochet a few more hearts. 

Hope your week has been a good one although I know that isn't the case for a couple of blogging friends and hugs and prayers are winging their way from Number 38 to you and your families. 


Sunday, 14 May 2017

May - Week 3

This week saw SATs come and go with Thomas taking it all in his stride thank goodness. It's funny how much he's come on confidence wise these past 12 months and how things don't worry him half as much as they used to. The only downside to the week ended up being the result of a treat for the children. Staff let them play out all afternoon on Wednesday so including their lunch time this meant 3 hours in the sun resulting in Thomas coming home with a burned face. I was pretty annoyed actually. They're always reminding us to put suncream on them, especially for sports days or school trips so why it's acceptable to let them play out for so long on one of the hottest days this year with no protection is beyond me. 
I'm really careful with them in the sun - apart from Mark none of us are lovers of being out in it for any length of time and any holidays abroad are mostly spent under big umbrellas in the shade. We usually come back as pale as when we went. I spent all evening applying after sun and making him hold wet flannels over his face. 

We took Sienna vintage shopping this week - also known as charity! We went to the YMCA where they had a really good selection of baby toys and picked up this lovely bead maze for £3 which I didn't think was bad, although I'm well out of touch with toy prices.
When Granny takes her outside she definitely makes sure she's covered up. 
I've put a couple of finishing touches to the garden this week and added two more tubs and a little watering can. 
And we've also replaced the lights on the summerhouse as they'd stopped working. The garden is definitely done and dusted for the year.
There's a nice little stack of angels building up nicely for the Tiger Lily Trust. Each one takes about 30 minutes so a good little project when I'm sat down with a brew. 
And I started a poncho for Sienna which was on and off the hook pretty quickly. That's the beauty of crochet, it grows a lot quicker than knitting. I bought the dress from Peacocks as a spare for when she's here. Sophie puts her in lots of pretty colours so I think the poncho will match quite a few of her things. 
Amy started her job yesterday. It was a 2 hour induction session and she really enjoyed it. She said the staff are really friendly and she was shown how the stockroom works, how to re-stock the shelves, how to label and how to use the till, which I think pretty much covers the job. She starts her exams tomorrow, 5 in total over the next fortnight. She's been a little stressed lately about them which is only to be expected but thankfully, she's very much in a "let's do this" frame of mind now and is ready to get on with them. 
I haven't treated myself to anything 'frilly' for a while so I bought this melon and rhubarb candle which smells lovely. I really need to do a bit of shopping and change over a few things in the house but what with one thing and another there never seems time to think about it properly. 
And apart from the usual bits and bobs that go on every day, I think that's all the news from Number 38 this week. 

Hope you've all had a lovely week. I've some catching up with people to do but it's been a funny weekend extended family wise and my time has been taken up with other things so I'm hoping to stop by and say hello to everybody over the next couple of days.


Sunday, 7 May 2017

May - Week 2

I had lunch with this little lady this week. Avocado on toast for both of us although I managed not to smear mine all over my face. I love feeding Sienna. After the fussiness of Thomas it really is a joy to be able to put pretty much anything in front of her and watch her eat it. 
My mission this week on the crafting front was to finish 4 cribs for The Tigerlily Trust. They're easy enough to work up and this time I decided to knit the blanket and pillow rather than sew them. Next week I will be cracking on with the angels. 
We went to the garden centre on Bank Holiday Monday to buy a few things for the garden. I came home with a clematis, a climbing rose, sweet peas, petunias, bizzie lizzies, lavender and Scabiosa Butterfly Blue. The lavender is to encourage the bees to visit and the scabiosa is for the butterflies. I like to watch bees busy at the work in summer and who doesn't like a butterfly in their garden.
My go to bedding plants are always pansies, petunias and bizzie lizzies and this delicate pink petunia caught my eye this year. 
Amy had some good news this week. She went for an interview at Shoe Zone on Tuesday and the Manager rang her Friday to offer her the job. There's nothing quite like getting your first job is there, even if it is just a few hours work at the weekend. I remember mine was at a newsagents and I loved it. Still at college and living at home I worked as many hours as I could and was pretty well off. I used to cycle down to the village post office every week to bank my wages - after I'd bought myself some new clothes and make-up of course! 

Thomas has started to show an interest in other things apart from the Xbox. He's been boating with Mark this weekend and is also learning how to fly a racing drone. I think the drone in particular will be a hit because it involves manoeuvres at high speed which is just the sort of thing he likes. This is a little practise one and it's been whizzing around the house all weekend. 
I've had two lovely deliveries this week. Completely out of the blue Mark sent me these flowers which was a real surprise. 
And Sadie saw this cute little crochet project in a magazine and thought of me - thank you for sending it :) I'll be taking it to the van with me at the end of the month. I like to do a project or two while I'm there and this will be a perfect way to while away a couple of hours. 
Yesterday was freezing, the sort of day for staying indoors and baking so while Mark and Thomas were boating I decided to make scones from Mary Berry's cookbook.
Then I whipped up 6 vanilla buns and 6 chocolate buns. Delicious even if I say so myself. 
Today we woke up to glorious sunshine and warm weather so we decided to put a couple of finishing touches to the garden. The bottom area was looking bare and after discussing a few ideas  I thought a bench would look nice. We used to have one years ago when Amy was little and trying to remember what it looked like I went on a photo hunt and found this. I look at photos of Amy as a baby and have no idea where the years have gone to. 
Anyway, we bought a bench, we made it (we're still speaking!) and it's now in the garden. We also bought some decking tiles to dot around which Mark has painted up. 
Tomorrow is SATS week for Thomas. Like a lot of schools there is a free breakfast club for all Year 6's, probably to make sure they've all eaten and are in school ready and raring to go. Obviously Thomas doesn't eat anything at school so he's decided he'll have his breakfast at home as usual then go in a bit earlier to meet his friends and try a bacon butty. No idea where he's got the bacon butty idea from because all that's on offer is cereal, toast and juice! Bless him. 

Hope you've all had a good week and good luck to any children/grandchildren/nieces and nephews who are taking their SATS this week.