Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Start of the celebrations.

As part of starting to celebrate that both Martin and I will reach our 60th year this year, we went with all the family for a meal at the beautiful old pub in the woods, The Rose and Crown. 

Before the family arrived, and since Martin was still having his round of golf before joining us, Laura Wayne and I took the boys up into the woods for a bit of a walk first. They both had a fab time climbing hills covered in roots, shuffling along huge fallen tree trunks and even stepping up into the wide branches of an accommodating low slung tree.

Although the service in the pub was a tad slow the meal was very tasty and there was plenty of food. A great start to all to come.


We continued to celebrate Martin's birthday with an overnight stay in London. We chose the Kingsway Hall Hotel in Covent Garden and Kinky Boots from a deal on Groupon. 

Not having used Groupon before we were unsure of how or even if it would work but we had a great experience. We included train travel in the deal so we wouldn't have to worry about parking, our upward journey covered by the high speed rail due to engineering works. We arrived in good shape (even though we had forgotten to bring our Oyster cards) thanks to Laura giving us a ride to the station, and had soon covered the underground transfers and walk to our hotel. Situated between the Strand and Covent Garden the hotel was although a little tired, very comfortable and the staff very pleasant.

After dumping our luggage we decided to walk back to Covent Garden but found (as usual) little going on there and continued walking to the Adelphie theatre to find out where it was for later. As we were standing outside a political protest march organised by the trade unions passed us so we spent some time watching and waiting to be able to cross the road. A little unexpected show for us while we were there. 

We treated ourselves to a meal in TGI Friday (our fav. place to go when in London as we don't have one near us and got the taste when we were in Florida) before wandering over the river and checking out the London Eye as we had booked to have a ride on it the following day. We also  finally find where all the eating places are (in the past I had bemoaned the lack of restaurants around theatre-land). We had always headed to Leicester square and made our way to Covent Garden but it seems all the eateries are on the other side where we had never walked before. Now we know and will be having lots of gastronomic choices next time we are up. I was a bit disappointed that there didn't seem to be anything going on to celebrate May Day. I had thought the place would be full of morris men and may fairs but it may as well not have been a bank holiday. Oh well.

We had no idea what Kinky Boots was about having chosen a musical at random, but it was really good, some fantastic singing and we had a wonderful evening. 

After a Full English the next morning at the hotel, we followed up with a stroll through the sunshine, over Waterloo Bridge back to the London Eye. We walked along the river for a bit and had a drink in a pop up open theatre/bar. 

It was only when we joined the queue for the London Eye that Martin spotted we had booked the tickets for the previous day. I had bought them on the 2for1 railway deal online and had had trouble with the site timing out. At one time I had spotted it had changed our booking time but did not notice it had changed my chosen booking date!!! Martin, who had not been on the Eye before and was looking forward to it, decided we would stay in line and bluff our way on.  Surprisingly our tickets scanned, no one noticed the date and they didn't even check we had rail tickets to confirm the 2for1 deal. So Martin got his ride 

and really enjoyed the views. 

Our trip did not finish there though as we had decided to pop over to Camden Market for a look around there. The contrast between Camden (North London) and the West End was very noticeable and from quiet strolls along the river bank to the vibrant and colourful Camden High Street was an exciting shock to the system. I was fasinated by the decorated shops. 

The market was huge and like a rabbit warren, we aimlessly wandered up and down various alleyways, enjoying the sights, sounds and smells. Although we had hoped to find a watch for Martin we eventually only ended up buying a new hat for me! 

I reckon we walked around 8 miles in the two days so exhausted but having had a really good time, we returned home. More celebrations to come.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Ice cream and other ramblings

I have just made a delicious batch of ice cream and stored it safely in the freezer. Is this a big deal? well yes. Back end of last year having done nearly a term of full time and four day weeks of work, I decided to treat myself to a new Kenwood chef mixer and then went a little mad buying all the add-on applications as well. One of these was the ice cream maker attachment, but lack of time, suitable ingredients and then later, inclination has left it all sitting gathering dust (although I had at least put the ice-cream bowl in the freezer).

Well no more. Today, as I browsed Morrison's for my weekly shopping, I had a sudden thought. Why not make some ice-cream rather than buy it? So I scurried back to buy some cream and some vanilla extract. It was brilliant. using this recipe which demands no eggs, and bunging all the ingredients in to mix, the ice-cream was finished by the time I had put all the groceries away. it was so amazingly easy and tastes fantastic. So many more flavours to come me thinks. 

Oh by the way, hello blog reader. i am finally back with my all new singing and dancing laptop so am wasting no time getting my bloggy back up and going (see  previous blog post.). I have been very busy installing all the replacement software and sorting out 10 years worth of photos. Sadly the new laptop refuses to talk to poor old cricut so still that problem to overcome but other than that this is one happy lady as this new monster is soooo  super duper fast and whizzy!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Shock treatment

Shock treatment

A little shock treatment is sending me scurring back to ressurect my blog at long last. A ransom trojan crept in under my very good anti-virus software and locked up all my files. Now as a fairly tech savy person most of everything was backed up onto my external hard drive, but in a miserable turn of fate, that happened to be plugged into my laptop at the time of the attack as I was trying to organise the files on it to free up space for a bit more backing up, and many of the files on that were also zipped up into password protected files with no way to get them out again. LUCKILY most of what I deem important still seems to be there and all my more recent photos are backed up on the internet. 

Some stuff has been lost though so I thought using my blog as another fairly safe place to back up my important and precious memories would be a good idea. So here I am, back writing down my thoughts and recording my life events to bore the internet once again.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Not the best of starts.

So I went off to Hobbycraft to buy some paper to make a new mini album. Happy with my meagre purchases in there (they never have what I want but I always seem to come out with a few bargins) I trundled off to buy a spot of lunch in Greggs. However as I walked down the steps to get there I found myself completely missing the bottom step, sliding on my hands and landing heavily on my hip and knees (to say nothing of my poor boobs :( ). Two lovely ladies paused and asked if I was ok and of course I muttered yes and struggled to my feet so as not to look like a complete idiot, but I was rather sore and buised which put paid to the rest of my shopping expo.

Then first day back at work on Monday it would seem my blood pressure tablets reacted with the one mouthful I took to taste the smoothie I was making for my lunch and I was sent home in excruiciating pain where I was violently sick and spent the rest of the day in bed.

The week can only get better.

Actually it already has as my new strong hold cricut mat arrived in the post and I can not believe the quality of the cuts I have got from it. I hadn't tried out the super hold mats before and they really do seem, on first inspection to be much better than the medium hold ones. I know there are lots of tutorials on line to show how you can lengthen the life of your mats but I think sometimes we hang on to them for too long when really the cost of a new one is not that expensive. So I must remember that the quality of a new mat is well worth forking out a little bit of cash.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Oh Gosh, as I dust off the dust and open up the windows for an airing!!

I cant believe how long it is since I came visit this little place, and how sad I am that I got out of the habit of blogging and recording bits of my life. 
We have been in the bungalow nearly 3 years now and have finally renovated all the rooms and almost finished the garden. Obviously there are still bits we want to do, and bits that need to be done but in general they are snagging jobs or general maintenance so at long last I can finally start playing with bits of paper in my very own scrap room again.

Yes finally I have my craft room back.

Last week Martin was off and we took a day out to go hit up Ikea. I bought a set of Alex drawers so that I could get rid of the two very old bookcases full of boxes housing all my tools. 

I got a couple of Moppe chests and some more wooden magazine racks 

and then we bought a table top to play hack the Ikea furniture and turn my old expidit into a desk and get rid of my big dining room table that was taking up far too much of the space in the small bedroom. 

Finally a shelf to put all my stamps and embelishments and I have enough room to scrap and to sew.

At the moment I am working three days a week in a local school covering until they appoint a full time teacher, and looking after my youngest grandson Beckett for the other two days of the week. He is a totally different barrel of fish to Finley and is in to everything. Last week he went from refusing to letting go of the furniture or even making any attempt at steps, to walking across the whole room in one go, so now everything moves up another level out of his reach.   

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Shattered screens

It seems that teachers must be a robust lot as I have only had half a day's supply since the begiining of term and with no decorating to do, and little to do in the garden, I am getting a little bored. Still fun things still come along to make life interesting. We had the pleasure of the boys for a sleep over at the weekend which kept me on my toes, and a trip to B&Q to choose the tiles for the bathroom.

Everything is on track to start that final room at the end of this month. We have now ordered the bath and suite from a local bathroom supplier, the taps and the shower from the internet (a bit of a result there because I completely forgot with the boys visiting to order the shower we had chosen. It was in the sale and I was sure when I woke on Monday morning it would have reverted to its full price now September was over. I was more than pleasantly surprised to discover it had actually been reduced by a further £20). We also chose and ordered our bath screen from a well known catalogue company. On Monday that too arrived ... well a screen didnt arrive but a very bashed box containing a bubble wrap bag of tiny bits of glass arrived. On the phone at once for a return and replacement I waited in all day yesterday for the collection and another half day today for the new one to arrive. It has and I am too scared to open it fully (having peeked enough to check it is a whole screen) in case it collapses on me.

Anyway all this time at home has allowed me to complete another two double layouts and also finally take my hand to attempting to draft up a Lutterloh system sewing pattern.

The pattern is a 1939 top which does have a matching skirt but since the top of me is where I have the most problems with fit I thought I would have a go at that first. I didnt have the special tape measure that should come with the system but I have managed to find one that can be printed off and have afixed it to an ordinary tape. It all seems to have worked quite well, and with only a miniumal full bust adjustment, a tissue fit seems to fit in all the right places. We will see. i hope it does work because I have full pattern books from teh 1930's, '40's, 50's and '70s with a couple of 1960's supplements which could keep me garment making for the rest of my natural!

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Its a Craft Room!!!!

Hurray! Finally following the packing into boxes of all my stash, storing it in the attic and returning the craft room to a bedroom to dress the house for the sale, selling, moving and two years plus in renovating the bungalow, last week I finished unpacking the last of my bits and bobs, and moved into my new craft room. Ok its not quite what I envisaged when we moved here as our lovely new addition Beckett came along and the front small bedroom is not big enough for two little grandsons to spend their sleepovers, so I have the smaller room and the boys have nabbed the larger double which was intended for my crafty creations. But hey! Who cares? With a bit of a squeeze and some careful organisation I am in (with the added advantage of a front window looking out on the world).

Already I have completed 2 double layouts and made a name banner for little Beckett. If I can get my laptop to co-operate with the bluetooth software I may even be able to start uploading photos again!

Yesterday was Wayne's birthday, and despite him never wanting much fuss it seems we all had the same thought and supplied him with cake. Not that he is ever one to refuse cake, but 6 cream assorted delights from me, plus a choc gateaux, a cream vicy sponge and a few more cream delights was rather going over the top. A good job we were all there to help him munch them. And we had great fun watching Beckett racing up and down the kitchen in his walker. With only 9 months behind him, the boy has no fear and goes for it hell for leather.

Happy birthday Wayne, hope you had a great day.

Tomorrow Martin is having a rare Saturday off as it is the autumn golf meeting. I hope to get him along to order our new bathroom, booked to be started at the end of October - the last room! Then the plans are to finish off the garden (including the front this time, clad the attic and then..., we will be done!!