Monday, September 28, 2009

A bit of crafting

A card for the wedding we went to.

This was from a sketch but I cant remember where from. I did it about a month ago and it has been sitting on my camera eversince.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


of missed blog posts that is. I kinda got stuck because I needed to download the photos to go with the posts and couldnt find the lead for the camera.

Now I have to relly on my poor little brain to remember all the stuff we have been up to. Oh well.

First off, a hot tub arrived!

Not ours, not the one we have ordered and paid a deposit on. No this is the one normally sent out for hire. Ours is still (apparently) in the middle of the Atlantic, making its way here from Texas. The company making them had run out of the colour interior we had ordered but forgot to tell our supplier. As a gesture of good will, our supplier have let us have the hire tub for free until ours is finally delivered. Hopefully within the next two weeks.

Ours is way better, ours is bigger, square, has a waterfall, more jets, a better light system, diverting power and heaps more extras. Still this is still fun. It took a day to heat to temp, and I am having fun playing with the chemistry set to keep the water clean and clear, and we have been in it every day (sometimes more than twice and sometimes very late into the evenings.

That was even with me spending 3 nights at my parent's house sitting and dog watching while they went to Woburn on their Tesco vouchers. They didnt have a really good time as mum was ill and the hotel was pretty dire.

I also got two days work at a new school to me, with lovely staff and a delightful class.

Last Saturday we had been invited to one of Laura's mate's wedding reception. Suddenly we are the cool parents and getting invites left right and centre. Very odd. We had a great time though. (I think the kids were kinda dissappointed they didnt get me drunk this time).

Wayne having fun at the reception

We scrub up ok for old wrinklies!

Not as well as Gemma and Laura though!

I invited the kids over for a play in the hot tub and dinner on Sunday. The two Auzzies, Mike and Gemma opted out completely, not even bringing their togs, Wayne had bought his but after sticking his hand in the water, claimed it was too cold and wouldnt get changed. I did finally persuade Laura to get in but she didnt really enjoy it, claiming she couldnt see the point and that she was cold. Mmm, yet already Martin and I are feeling the benifits, aching backs and knees way better and a new energy seeping into our old bodies. Maybe its an age thing?

Kelly and Ollie are still busy readying their house to sale. They had the outside painted (all the previous owner's rendering was flaking and falling off) and they were doing a final push on the painting inside when I went over yesterday to help out in the garden. I got a fair bit cleared but they are not gardeners the pair of them, the garden is like nearly 150 yards long and it is totally overrun with weeds. I managed to sting my hand on a rather vicious stinger nettle hiding in the lawn and had to call a stop to my efforts after 3 hours work.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New? Maybe not .....

Saturday our new(ish, they have been there 4 months now) neighbours invited us round for their housewarming party.

Now you know what its like, you dont get any social life for months and then you get heaps of invites and they are all for the same day? Kelly had also invited her dad up to hers to watch his team play on the new replacement channel for Sananta.

I quick chat with our neighbour (Dave) and it was agreed that there was no need for us to turn up at 4 pm when the 'do' started, we could easily do both and attend the party after the footie. Infact the couple seemed really keen for us to go, asking us several times, and even at one point inviting Wayne and Laura who had popped in for a cup of tea with the dog.

After the footie (which we wont talk too much about since Spurs lost) we took a stroll around the wall into the neighbours garden. They had a brilliant set up, fairy lights in the trees, a tent at the end of the garden for the kids, a wheelbarrow full of ice and water for the beers, and enough food to feed an army. Strangely there didnt seem to be many people there, only about a dozen or so. Even more strange - and maybe even freaky, were the number of co-incidences we incurred. . . .

As we walked in, the first person I met I knew, she had been a parent of three children who went to the school I used to teach at, and had even done some part time mid-day supervising. I knew her by sight and to talk to but still dont recall her name. She remembered me though and we chatted pleasantly for a bit.

Then a young girl came up to me and said 'you dont remember me do you' But I did, she had been good friends with Laura when she was at Primary school and had even had sleepovers in a tent in my garden, something she recalled with joy. So we chatted aimably and I asked about her sister, Caroline, who had been good friends with Kelly.

I was already blown away by how small the world was really, when Liane, the lady of the house, overheard us talking to Dave about our previous address, and suddenly declared that she had grown up in the self-same road, and that her parents lived there still!!

Then to cap it all, it turns out Lianne is a card maker and stamper!! Happy days!

Dave and Lianne are lovely people and although younger than us, we hope to get to know them well.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Catching up

I couldnt be bothered to unload my camera and so I have got behind on blogging. The photos are of the BBQ we had a week ago last Sunday to celebrate a joint Happy Birthday to Kelly, a congratulations to Kelly on passing 3 more of her accountancy exams, and a bit of a belated Happy Wedding Anniversary to us.

Kelly had invited a few of her friends - the ones who would never come to us for her parties as she was growing up as they were scared of me. This was because of an incident when she was fairly young and had dissappeared into the funfair with her friends instead of meeting back up with me as arranged. I thought I had lost her and after an hour and a half of searching was on the verge of phoning the police. So when I did finally spot her, I over-reacted and shouted at her very loudly in public. Since then though her friends have finally got to know me better and agreed to come over. That meant we were 13 adults and 2 small children. We had heaps and heaps of food, and a really good afternoon.

We only have 2 months left on our English Heritage membership before it runs out, so we decided to try Dover Castle one more time. The last two attempts at visiting had been only half successful and they had just finished refurbishing the main tower, so we were expecting the last attempt to finally get it right, we were expecting great things.

It was with trepidation that we arrived to discover the car park was shut then, and that we had to park further away and catch a minivan to the visitors centre. However since this went smoothly our hopes again were raised.

Sadly I was not impressed with the new tone of the castle tower. Before, the interior had been an atmospheric walk through darkened rooms lit at intervales by interactive videos explaining the history of the castle. With our free audio guides we had quite enjoyed it. This time, the whole tower has been given over to the medieval period, and the rooms have been lit with modern lighting to reveal Ikea type furniture painted in glaring medieval colours (and I am pretty sure medieval beds were not painted garish colours of red, yellow and blue, and were heavy peices not lightweight Ikea rip offs. I guess I will be paying more attention to the new series of Merlin to see what the BBC think.

They also supplied very little in the way of historical facts. One short vid and a wall display in a seperate part of the castle was it. The only other thing they did include were three second rate actors who took the part of Alys (Richard I betrothed) Richard's brother John and an obscure french poet. Part of the show was to drag two blokes out of the audience and subject them to stupid tests of love - with no prize other than to be allowed to kiss Alys' hem!! Of course Martin totally embarrassed me by being one to the two blokes on show. Thank goodness I had not taken my camera and so was not obliged to take photos!

The redeeming feature of the day was that on the way back we stopped at Elham for a lovely ploughman's lunch in a pub.

Kelly and Ollie had been off all week to do a final push on their house decorating before putting it on the market. On Friday Mum Dad and I went over for a cuppa and to see how they were doing.Really well we were impressed to see, so we carried on a little further up the road to visit my cousin and his wife. We sat chatting in the sunshine in his garden and before we knew it three hours had passed. I really must meet up with my cousins more often so we dont have so much catching up to do each time.

News on our hot tub - it has got held up for another two weeks so the company supplying are letting us have one of their hire tubs for free - it is arriving on Friday.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hop Fest

Normally we go to the Hop Festival with our friends but this year everyone was otherwise occupied. There was a change in the format this year anyway, 3 big stages were being set up for daytime gigs rather than squeezing into pubs in the evening to hear local bands. I wasn't so sure on this, as part of the atmosphere is squeezing in the pubs, but I suspect it is in an effort to cut the binge drinking - as if!

So I wasn't
going, until Mum and Dad called round to collect me.

It was rather strange holding the hop festival in the day and in brilliant sunshine but the Indian Summer has hit Kent hard and temps were hot enough that we could have all done with our sun hats. Instead we purchased hop hats!

The smell of hops took us right back to the '60's when we used to go hop picking.

The bands were still all setting up, but there were plenty of street walkers to keep us entertained, and some of the stalls were quite interesting.

Dad liked the look of the hog roast but we felt £4 for some pork meat in a small bap rather expensive.

I would have liked to have gone back in the evening, the last couple of times we have been have been really good, but by the time Martin came home and we had eaten we were both too tired.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Midnight crop

Last night Kelly and I went to Pickleberry Crafts for what was advertised as a Midnight Crop - well obviously us lightweights couldnt manage until midnight but we did get home pretty late, because we had such a fun time. It even included fish and cheaps (way too much for us to eat) and cup cakes (supplied by Kate's lovely husband - thank you)

I spent the entire day making up kits although I only managed one complete LO and had just started on my second when Kelly said it was time to get going.

Its from this fortnights sketch on their blog. Please ignore the really bad photo. Its from Kelly and Ollie's engagement party, and my camera was really being stubborn about taking flash photography that evening. I didnt get one even half decent photo and even this one, the best of the bunch is appauling - I have done my best in photoshop but its still pretty naff. The trouble was, I was the ONLY one with a camera that evening and I so wanted to scrap the occassion as I was so happy for the two of them.

I also got to spend my £10 voucher that I had won in the Pickleberry Sketch competition. I bought a complete set of My Minds Eye Bloom and Grow stamps so there will be loads of LO's in the future with fluttery birds, leaves and beautifully designed floweres on them.

Its a fab place to go for a crop, in a brand new unit, beautifully decorated, tons of free supplies to dip into, a very well stocked shop to browse and spend in, and the company of either the lovely Kate, Jane or Jan to enjoy.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

'My parents are legend!'

This is a scraplift of a digi LO by and continues our adventures in Yorkshire. Its not like me to do a whole series of photos but I am so enoying using my blog to do the journalling that I have even cracked open a Boots album to fill with the LO's!

A small toot before I go on, I won the Pickleberry Crafts sketch challenge for week 3 and now have £10 voucher to spend on new goodies when I go to the midnight crop on Friday.

Of course this is a small drop in the ocean compared with our recent spending, and our poor friendly plastic is about on its knees. On Tuesday, as we sat quietly perusing the pages of our English Heritage book, contemplating where to spend Martin's day off, a horrible sound rent the air. It was the washing machine in its final death throws.

Martin did a quick post-mortem but there was no hope, and so it was off round the electrical shops again for the second time in a week to purchase a new washing machine. I admit it wasnt difficult (despite the mirade of models to choose from) since cost was our only real consideration, and an hour later we had a promise of a next day delivery from the lovely man at Curry's.

It arrived, Martin plumbed it in last night when he got back from golf and this morning I am going to try its first ever load to see how a modern cold fill washer does.

And all that has absolutely nothing with being legend parents. That happened on Sunday. The Old Etonians made their annual coach trip down from North London to play cricket with the club. As usual we went down towards late afternoon to see the end of the friendly and join in the fun. In past years this has been hit and miss, the first time we went,the Londoners make a day of it, hiring a coach, sending the rest of the family down the coast for a day on the beach, picnics, the whole shooting match. It wasn't quite the 'birds singing' 'sun shining' 'oh well played' afternoon you would expect as Bob Marley blared out across the pitch and those wonderful West African accents shouted out encouragingly with that wonderful humour these people have, the whole afternoon was magic.

Last year didnt have the same atmosphere, in fact we were a little bored, so we werent going to go, but we had a phone call from Laura to say that she had had a couple of drinks so couldnt drive home to let the dog out, would we do it for her. Well I couldnt as I had to go feed Kelly's cats, a journey in the opposite direction. Kelly and Ollie had gone off camping with Helen and Alan. Not a good move as Helen usually feeds the cats when they are away, so she had roped me into doing it for her. The upshot was that I would go feed the cats, Martin would see to the dog and we would meet back at the club house where someone could buy us a drink for our wedding anniversary!!

The plan worked a little too well, and soon one drink had become many and now there were 4 cars and only one sober driver. Martin and I were happy to walk home, but Wayne then invited us to go for a curry with them, and then to kip at their place, so Laura, the two lovely Australians living with them at the moment and Martin and I piled into the car.

After the meal, Laura and the other girls (Gemma and Colleen) skipped off without saying a word to go to the nightclub, leaving Martin and I to follow Wayne. We ended up at another cricket friend's house where the lads talked cricket until 3 in the morning (we would have left earlier but desperate to get to bed, since he had to go to work the next morning, Martin had finally decided to order a taxi home rather than wait for Wayne. However the taxi didnt turn up, then when it finally did, they didnt knock the door, so when we didnt come out, they drove off again and we had to re-order and start the wait all over again).

I think the kids were very impressed when the next day they spent the whole day in bed recovering but Martin was up at 8 to go reclaim his car, and I was on MSM to Laura not much after that, as I had left my handbag in Wayne's car the night before. I needed my keys from it to get my car. We are legend, the kids are lightweights Mwaamaaama!!