Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Long summer hoidays part 2

Laura and I had made a whole long list of things to do and places to visit with the little lad, but before we could start in on it, Martin insisted on a bit of sun and sea abroad to enjoy some R&R.  He had a week off, we had money in the bank, but we just couldnt decide where to go.

What we ended up doing was booking a place that looked wonderful in the photos, all swimming pools and activities, but we did it at 1 oclock in the morning after a meal out with Kelly and Ollie, half asleep and without the benifit of researching TripAdvisor, BIG MISTAKE!

Too late to back out having paid the full price, I discovered it had some mighty flaws and when we arrived found out that all the moans were no exaggeration. We had a clear flight and landed in Majorca at 2 in the morning, finally arriving at the 'site' at 3. The reception looked fine and then we were shown to what became known as 'The Shed'.  Honest, if I hadn't been so tired I would have cried, and it didn't look any better in the morning. It was like sleeping in my dad's out house with room for little more than the two single beds, a table and a chair. The tiles were cracked, the paint was peeling, the built in cupboard was so musty smelling we left our clothes in the suitcase or hung them from the curtain rail, the bathroom door wouldn't open if shut, and the shower turned the whole bathroom into a wet room.

The food was plenty and passable - like going back to the 60's when the Spanish had been told the Brits liked chips, boiled to death veg, and angel delight - yes we had angel delight of various flavours on offer ever mealtime!

On Monday we tried to upgrade to a superior room but were told they were fully booked, on Wednesday I told Martin I was so depressed by  the room he took me more seriously and tried to upgrade again, again he was told no chance before Friday. At this point I told him it would at least help if we could open the window shutters (I was sure he had said they were stuck and we had lived under a single light bulb for 4 days). Once he had realized the problem he opened up the shutters so letting light flood in, and also cool air (we had hired a fan because the box had been sooooo hot inside it.

Anyway the 'camp' itself had plenty of facilities, 3 pools although 1 was very crowded, 1 had no shade and only a little snack shed, so we spent the week, literally sitting by the smallest pool but nearest the best of the bars, drinking sangria and reading our kindles. Not the most exciting of holidays but at least Martin got his sun and relaxation.

Photos of Sun Club Eldorado, El Arenal
This photo of Sun Club Eldorado is courtesy of TripAdvisor

During Martin's second week off it was back to playing with our little lad, and a trip to the zoo is always in order during our times off. This time it was Howletts. Now I much prefer the sister zoo at Port Lymphe as I feel it has more interesting animals, but it is a much longer and hillier walk, and us old crock grandparents with our dodgy knees were not up to the hilly landscape. I always feel that the animals are too difficult to see at Howletts, and to be honest, they did not dissapoint us in that respect. I think we saw about seven animals all told, even the zoo's famed gorillas were all asleep and well out of sight. Not that this little one minded, he got to enjoy a good picnic and a fun crawl around the picnic area.

There are a great number of seaside towns very close to where we live as we are close to the Thanet coast, and through the summer each town has its own summer festival. Although we are closer to Whitstable with its two week long Oyster festival, Ccarnival and Rregatta, I much prefer the show that Herne Bay puts on, which I think is less arty and more for the common man. In the past we have enjoyed some really great events and listened to some fantastic live bands. This year the whole shebang was started off by the lighting of a huge effigy of a pirate ship on the beach, which was packed full of fireworks and pyrotechnical stuff. It seemed like it would be fun, but a bit of a booboo by the organisers meant the ropes were far too close and those of us at the front had to retreat early or be in danger of being roasted.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Long summer holidays part 1

I usually advocate that teachers dont really get those famed long summer holidays that everyone seems to think they do, that actually all they are doing is working from home, cleaning up their classrooms and grabbing a small bit of much needed destressing time before going back to the fray in September. As a supply teacher though, I dont have to clean up a classroom, make a zillion new labels for drawers, pegs, or books, or  write a terms worth of plans, neither (since most of a teacher's stress comes from the admin and paperwork side of stuff) do I need much in the way of destressing.  So this year I have been able to concentrate on just packing a lot of stuff into those few weeks.

Usually one of the first things I have to do when the holidays start though, is to catch up on all the housework I haven't done during term time. It usually means a deep clean and can take all the first week. This year was really no exception, it still needed doing but we were having builders in to put a new door/window in the front porch, and plaster it. No good cleaning if there was going to be brick dust all over the place.

Instead I spent a lot of time with Finley and Laura (although Laura, as a teacher, was doing all those things I meantioned in the first paragraph) and we did lots of fun stuff.

Here's what we packed in:

Laura and I took Finley to Westgate for his first ever experience of a sandy beach

Whats this strange stuff on my legs?

Why is Nanny burying me?


Ahh! Water, that I understand!

And my verdict?

Of course during August, as a country, we played host to the Olympics. Despite my total disgust at the ticket fiasco, and being adamant that I was not going to support it, I was hooked at the opening ceremony and wished I had got tickets. Kelly and Ollie had managed to get some for the Archery and the football, but despite bidding for just about everything that moved, Laura and Wayne had not won a single ticket. I was pleased to have Finley for them when they managed to get tickets to the Athletics when the gov. forced all the corp. seats to be re-issued and in tears when it turned out to be a 3 British Golds evening for them. 

 They got to explore the Olympic park

and generally have fun

before taking their seats

which offered them a pretty decent veiw of Jessica Ennis celebrating gold in the heptathlon

Gregg Rutherford making the longest jump to gain a gold medal

and best of all Mo Farah making his amazing gold winning  run in the 10,000m

Sunday, August 19, 2012

So far

Since I have not been blogging too much this year I thought now we are about to go into August I would do a quick round up of this year's highlights just to get bloggy back on the right track.

So highlights


*     Spent lots of time with Laura and Finley. He is a delight.

*     I joined the WI and started going to the craft evenings being run by the lovely Jane Dean. So far this year I have tried my hand at cake decorating, card making, scrap-booking, sewing with scraps, as well as meeting some lovely ladies.

Two roses and a lot of grass icing

*     Upgraded Martins car on his 3 year payment plan. 

*     Thanks to my new Collette sewing handbook have got heavily back into sewing my own clothes. Learning lots about fitting stuff properly and altering patterns to my shape/size.

Me made skirt from Colette sewing handbook

*   Went for a not so lovely meal (service and food naff company great) to celebrate Ollie's 30th birthday.  

*     Fed up with signing on as my agency was not giving me any work and hadn't since last September I finally plucked up the courage to sign for another agency. 

*     We had a fair bit of snow this month so Laura and I couldn't spend so much time together

Finley does his first ever snow angel in his snowy garden

My new hat for the snow

*     We went to see Treasure Island, the panto at our local playhouse. V good as always.

*     Desperate to be out and about doing stuff with the little lad, Laura and I took him to Bybrook barn garden centre to see the fish tanks. He was totally besotted.


*     I took up crocheting again and made Finley a blanket

Enjoying his Nan made blankie
*     I spent a morning in Dunelm picking out all new bedding right down to the pillars.

*    Laura and I took Finley to the mother and baby showing at the Odean in Canterbury to see The Tin Tin Movie. He was really good and watched most of it before falling asleep.


*      Got lots of work from my new agency, so much so I was almost working full time, missed Laura and Finn though


*     We had a wonderful mid week break at Centre Parc with Laura Finley and Wayne plus Wayne's parents. We even took the dog. Very relaxing, we did have to make quite a few cups of tea between the lot of us whilst there though. 

*     We discovered that just up the road from us the Hornby company have a museum so we took FInley and Grandad Martin and had a wonderful morning.


*     I got taken to the final Spurs game, being played at home. The last time I went to a league match was way back in the '70's. Things have changed somewhat as now its seats only when before it was all standing. I could actually see the pitch now.
View from my seat at White Hart Lane. At half time I got to see
the great Martin Chivers and Ray Clemence walk onto the pitch

*     Kelly and I got to spend another terrific weekend with the ladies from the Pad at a scrapping weekend at Debden House.

Lots of crafty stuff was happening!


*  Laura and I took young Mr Finley to Wingham Wildlife Park. He had been the week before with his other Nan but I had never been so Laura said she didnt mind a second trip to take me along. Typical, Nan no.1 had brilliant sunshine, we had torrential rain, so bad even the butterfly house had rivers of water flowing through it. But we still had a great day and Finley was so taken with the animals.

That little goat had had a good chew on my skirt as well as escaping into the airlock gates just before this photo was taken.

*     So discussed with the total lack of anything organised for the public happening locally (not even any ticketed events) I decided to hold our own jubilee event at home. 

Look at the VIP's that turned up at our jubilee tea party!

*     On a whim I got my hair cut short (well actually it was seeing just how bad it looked in our Jubilee tea party photos.

*     Laura started back at work, so I thought I would get two days a week looking after Finley. Unfortunately Wayne pulled lots of tendons in his ankle and was off work for 3 weeks while it healed. I still got to childmind Finley for some days and we got to take him to the play park.


*     Finley was christened. A bit of a family do at Herne Church. It was a lovely day and the service was really special, made more so by Wayne also being christened alongside his son. In our usual tradition though, it turned out like another Eastenders Christmas special because no sooner where the final words out of the vicars mouth, than my dad hit the floor in a dead faint!! An ambulance was called while Martin administered first aid, and then dad was hauled off to the hospital for tests to find out why his heart beat and blood pressure were dangerously low.  The spread Laura had put  on back at the house was wonderful and only slightly tainted for us few waiting on news from the hospital but seems dad was ok, it was all caused by his tablets and as soon as he came off them he was fine again. 



A bit of a major month in the life of little Finley.

*     Finley finally mastered the crawling lark - a tad late in life but once he grasped it he was well away and it was baby gates all round!

*   Finley reached his 1 year milestone.  Another lovely Muppet themed party at Laura and Wayne's and lots of pressies for the birthday boy. 

*      We took Finley to watch the Olympic Torch being run through Canterbury. Run being the operative word here, can you see those guys on full sprint? After nearly a 4 hour wait in the road being steped over and pushed and shoved by really rude people, we didnt actually see the torch at all. It was only the split second timing on our cameras that actually caught any action because the torch was past us in literally the blink of an eye as the bearer sped past. I am pretty sure we should have been using him as one of our Olympic middle distance runners!!

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Scraplift the DT

Number 6 challenge at ATDML asked us to pick a LO by one of the DT team from the May or June DT gallery. It was a bit of a no brainer really. I had spent only the previous weekend watching the lovely talented Ann Freeman make some of her beautiful Layouts and admiring not only her talent but the time she manages to finish her layouts in. In fact I spent quite a bit of time ribbing her that she had completed three times the amount I had, (mainly out of jealousy since they were still better than mine).This is the LO I chose to lift

And here is my take on it. Thank you Ann

Challenge 3

I all but finished this double LO at the weekend. It was for the Read all about it' challenge at ATDML. The challenge was to make the journalling the focus of the LO. The problem was that although I knew exactly how I wanted the LO it involved the use of a white gel pen, and hunt high or low I just could not locate mine. I thought I was going to have to go out and buy another one before I could complete the challenge but making a card yesterday I decided to use my old zip-e-mate to cut out some nestabilities and as I moved the machine, there was my gel pen staring up at me.The LO still isnt as I really wanted it, I had originally ment to have the players names in line with the photos but unfortunately just as I went to stick them on I knocked my can of 7UP all over the desk, so in the words of 10 cc, the name card 'hides a nasty stain thats laying there', as does the last min addition of the guiness world record symbol.

Stamp your feet

I am just finishing off the rest of the challenges from the cyber crop at ATDML last weekend. This one asked us to use our stamps on a project. I used my very old (actually the first ever set of stamps I bought) stampendous alphabet stamps to make the title page of my mini album to house my jubilee photos once they are through processing.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Challenge 4 Sketch it

I was getting on really well with this challenge until I stopped for a quick drinks break and knocked half a can of 7 UP across the scrapping desk!!!  I saved most of it, and some wet patches had to be covered with extra labels but I quite like the way it has ended up.

Oh and I am really loving this bluetooth lark. Taking photos with my phone is way faster than messing about with the scanner even if the end results are not quite so great.

Olympic challenge

3 photos
2 sheets of pattern paper

1 sheet of cardstock

This was way harder than at first glance, because having used my sheet of cs as my background I suddlenly realised it would then be cheating to use any more white card to cut out embellishments and alphabets on my cricut. So 3 photos, check (that was the easy part as its the first time I actually took more than 1 photo of an event). 2 sheets of pattern paper, (1 sheet of autumn leaves superstar, rockstar, and one sheet of WRMK, stitched flowers/denim).1 sheet of cardstock, (white bazille). I just added a bit of bakers twine and some white rub-on letters.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


This week ATDML are hosting a cybercrop with lots of classes and challenges. Still caught by the bug from last week, I managed to do the first class in under an hour. Mind it has taken me another hour and a half going though all my fonts and stickers trying to find enough letters for the title!

Thursday, May 03, 2012

It seem we have a new blogger dashboard which may not be news to some and probably shows just how neglected my little piece of blogland is. Still finding my way around is going to simply add to the fun and stress as I also find my way around m shiny new Dell TOUCH SCREEN tablet/pc!!!!!

My other Dell which has served me well for years died  on me last week. Wayne hasnt yet pronounced it dead yet but Martin said I should go ahead and get a new one anyway.

So its off to play with mynew toy and a huge thankyou to Wayne for setting it all up for me!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Coletterie mood board

Lots of work from the new agency means few (or no) blog posts. I have been off for two weeks for Easter but that has been mainly catching up with little Finley who is growing so fast, and is now attempting to crawl (although not that sucessfully yet) housework and gardening, plus sewing.

I am getting into altering patterns and sewing better fits, although my only finished article so far was a sorbetto top that first wear the cat managed to pull lots of threads on, so it is now filed neatly in the bin :( I have spent a lot of time researching altering methods and patterns though and I am now ready to plan out what I intend to make. Inspired by Coletterie I am making my 'mood board' here as my attempts in photoshop didnt work out too good.

My up and coming colour palette is based on fabric I have already bought for couple of projects and what is already in my wardrobe. Most of my summer clothes are dark blue, turquise or white, so I am adding a bit of red (to coincide with the Queens Jubilee this year).

I bought the Burda Sailor Pants pattern and my first pair fit beautifully so I now want to make a pair in red to go with the Sailor top that I have always wanted.

I may go with their newish version featured in the Burdastyle mag instead though.

I didnt realise until I was looking for something completly different that I actually had a pattern for a sailor top, tucked in the back of my stash of very old Make It Easy part work mags from the '80's

To make a bit of mix and match in the wardrobe, and because my much loved white denim skirt is starting to fall to bits, I want to make Simplicity 2499 veiw A in white denim. I have also bought Simplicity 4026 which I would love to make view A because I am in love with this top from Tess Designs.

I will need to do a muslin though as the pattern is really sized for knits only.

On to dresses. I started the Colette Handbook sew-a-long but realised that most of the patterns wouldnt suit my bodyshape. I was desperate to make a 1950's full skirt dress though but couldnt find a vintage one on ebay that I liked. Inspiration suddenly struck, why not use the top of the Colette Truffle but add the full skirt to it! I am halfway through a muslin, if it doesn't work I am going for Vogue 1172

as I found some beautiful light blue with darker blue poppies fabric in the thrift shop that is just right.

And the two items I already have sitting in my queue all ready to be started on. Two vintage dresses.

This in a lovely drapy type fabric.

And this in a soft cotton print.

We are off to Centre Parcs with Laura, Wayne, Wayne's parents and little Finley for 4 days as of tomorrow so only a bit of cross stitch is going with me.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Its so long since I logged on that blogger dashboard has been being particularly rotten about letting me in and its just taken me a quazzillion attempts to get passed the guys on security even though I had both my pass and my security badge! Anyway here finally.

TBH not a great deal worthy of note has been going on to put on the blog. For the past five or six weeks I have been ill, first with the sickness bug that was going round and then with a cold which has now developed into a particularly nasty cough. In fact this morning the coughing fit I had was so bad it reminded me so much of the hooping cough I had as a child.

So although I have bought patterns and fabric to make a few items, although I have been to craft show, Kate's demo day and had a couple of short trips to Hobbycraft, I havent actually produced any craftiness.

I've also done family stuff but not felt that well enough to enjoy it one hundred percent.

And I have signed on with a new agency who are now finding me so much work that I am virtually doing full time at the moment. The money isnt quite as good as it was with KTT but then with no work from them since September and none looking KTT's money drops to zero making anyone with vacancies look better paid!!

Finley continues to grow at a rate of notts,

I really miss him now I am doing so much work. I would much rather be playing with my grandson than teaching other peoples offspring but only one more week and I will get some time off with him and Laura.