Saturday, 20 August 2011

school hols

Hi there.  I'm aware that I haven't been doing my blog as often as I planned to so now that I have some free time I thought I'd share some news with you.  

I so look forward to the school holidays as I love having the children home.  I love the relaxed starts and the various day trips.  This is the first summer holiday that I have found myself feeling slightly redundant though - the children are now young adults and don't want to go out with their 'old mum'.  I am sad that their childhood days are now fading and I do feel we are moving into a new chapter of our lives.  MrG tells me I should savor the peace and enjoy the extra 'me' time.  I do have plenty of hobbies -  I find that I start lots of crafty projects but don't always manage to complete them so now I have no excuse not to get them all finished!  I have managed to make 24 cards today, I've started a new tapestry and I'm revamping some old furniture!  I have also taken some photographs to add to my blog (they were taken on my mobile so I'm not sure what the quality will be like - I hope they're OK).

I've been out in the garden taking some photos while the sun is shining.  We've had some terribly wet days this last week so it's so uplifting to draw back the curtains to see some sunshine! This is a new climber I planted just a couple of months ago and it's covered in the most gorgeous purple bells.  I wish I'd planted it closer to the house so that I could see it from my kitchen window.  Perhaps I'll buy another one!





My tomato plants are covered in tiny tomatoes but just a handful of them are turning red - we need a little more sunshine please!

My peppers that have been grown from seed on the windowsill in my craft room are doing really well and have produced lots of tiny white flowers.  I have only one green chilli pepper so far.  I have taken them outside for a shower in fairy liquid today as they are covered in greenfly.  I wasn't really sure what to do with them so I hope the fairy liquid shower works and the mass of white flowers do manage to turn into peppers!

I have enjoyed sitting in my summerhouse even on cooler or rainy days - I love the sound of the rain on the roof. It's a lovely place to relax with a cup of tea and a good book!  My newly finished rug looks so good doesn't it?


 And the view from my sofa....


 I also took a photo of some of the cards I made today, the others need a few finishing touches.  I used the sewing machine to sew onto card for the first time - to sew the grass and stems of the flowers before adding paper flowers.  I'm not really into making cards but I was inspired to buy some packs of cards, envelopes and cellophane wrappers after seeing some lovely handmade cards in a craft shop in Penrith.  I'm quite pleasantly surprised with the results.


Here's a photo of my new tapestry.  I bought the frame on ebay for just £2.20!  I've made a start on this one and it's coming on holiday with me.  Oh, I can just see myself sitting    relaxing with my tapestry in one hand and a glass of vino in the other!  I can't wait.


And another new tapestry - I saw this one in the sale and so had to have it!  Goodness only knows when I'll get round to starting this one as it's quite time consuming and it will take me ages to finish the one I've started.

I am also the proud owner of two new toys!  The first one I'm going to tell you about was just delivered yesterday so I haven't had a 'play' with it yet.  It wasn't really something that I wanted to purchase but I was forced into it by my son's new puppy!  I'm sure it will be very useful though and I will get pleasure from having clean carpets!

My other toy is this.... can you tell what it is? 

It is an absolutely fabulous toy!  It was a present from my hubby and I love it, love it, LOVE it!  It's the most fantastically brilliant present and I'm sooooooo pleased with it.  I was able to take it to London with me to 'play' with and it was a joy to have for the train journey - I was able to do crosswords and solitaire while listening to podcasts of Desert Island Discs.  Brilliant!  The three hour journey flew by.  I can get my 'home' and 'work' emails on it and can check out my favourite blogs and websites.  It's my very own iPad.  Isn't the cover fab too?  It's from Cath Kidston, no less! 

Of course, I had to order it to match my keyring!  Very funky.

I thought you might also like to see my son's new puppy.  The reason for my VAX purchase!  He's three months old and we've had him for almost three weeks.  His name is Sonny and he is lovely.  I wanted to call him Mr Whippy because he's a whippet but it didn't go down well - I think everyone thought I was joking!  I wouldn't say I was a 'doggy' person but somehow we've now got three!


We are lucky that my parents 'dog sit' while we are away on holiday so I'll have to break the news that there's an extra one to look after this summer!  Saying that, it will be my Mum and Aunt dog-sitting this time as my Dad had just got himself a little puppy.

My Dad lost his beloved doberman 'Cito' to old age.  I know doberman and rottweiler dogs are thought of as quite aggressive but Cito wasn't - he was a lovely dog and a real pal to my Dad.  They went everywhere together and my Dad was quite lost without him.  So along comes little 'Duke'.  The most cuddly little chocolate lab - he's like a little teddy bear!

I am so looking forward to our summer holiday.  We've got another week and a half to wait but I feel the countdown has already begun.   I can't wait to get away! 

I'm feeling a bit 'stressed' this week as it's A'level results week for Son1 then next week Son2 will collect his GCSE results.  We have school uniforms to purchase and appointments at the Vet, Orthodontist, Optician and the Doctors (for yet another blood test) - all to do before we go away. 

MrG is working hard (far too many hours) to try to finish projects before we close the office for the week.  I think we all need to have a well earned rest.  My books, iPad and tapestry are going with me! 

My sister took her children camping last week and the rain didn't let up for days so she ended up coming home early - there's only so much wet mud you can take.  We've enjoyed lots of holidays in our tent - camping is great if you get the weather.  We booked a holiday cottage for the first time about ten years ago and enjoyed it so much that we have booked one (or two) each year since.  I don't enjoy roughing it anymore - I like my creature comforts. Maybe it's an age thing!  We've stayed in some cottages that have been so nice that I could have moved in permanently.  I think we've only been disappointed once and now I only book one if I've seen internal photo's (appearances can be deceptive!).

Talking of houses...

Welcome home to my friend Ginny.  She and her family have just moved back to the UK this month after living in France for the last five years.  Woohoo!  Before moving to France they lived in our village and our children went to the same primary school.  Although she has moved back to the UK she hasn't moved back to Cumbria, she has settled down south in Somerset.  We have kept in touch via email over the  years and I'm so looking forward to making plans to meet up.  Welcome home!

Well, I'll close now.  I've been writing this post for a couple of days and didn't realise just how long it is.  I will write again when we get back from our hols - I will take lots of photo's while we are away to let you see. 

Happy holidays to everyone - hope you have fun!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

august already

Isn't it amazing - it's August already!  Doesn't time fly when you're having fun?  I'm sorry I haven't written since MissG's birthday (almost a month ago) - time really does fly by.

Well, what have I been up to?  Quite a lot as it happens.  The children finished school on 22nd July so it's been nice not having to be tied to doing the school run.  The days seem so much longer when you don't have to down tools at 3pm.  I try to take off as much time as I can over the school holidays so that we can have days out so I tend to go into the office for a couple of afternoons a week but stay until 6pm to catch up!

It was MrG's birthday at the end of July and our 25th Wedding Anniversary at the beginning of August so we had lots to celebrate. 

We took ourselves off  (just the two of us!) to London for a few days and although we had a fabulous time, I can't believe that we visited the Capital during a heat wave - it was incredibly hot, hot, hot!
We took the train on a grey Monday morning and arrived at sunny Euston by lunch time.

A short walk found us at Pret A Manger for a yummy lunch.

Then we set off to find our hotel - an elegant 4 star boutique hotel known as The Academy, Bloomsbury.  As we were celebrating we booked a hotel suite!  It was beautiful.  It was a lovely large room with three tall windows, tastefully decorated and one of the biggest beds we've slept in!  We had a large sofa, desk, stereo plus the usual TV, mini bar etc.  How romantic!

We walked miles and miles.  On the first day we visited China Town

We saw some amazing shops

We had a tasty Chinese banquet

...and some Chinese beer!

We bought MissG a very colourful bag (photo to follow)

We sat on a bench to watch the world go by and to appreciate the cooler air of the evening. MrG bought me a red rose from a Spanish street seller - how romantic!

Next day - Tuesday 2nd August.  Our 25th Wedding Anniversary.  On this day 25 years ago we were a mere 21/22 years old and were just setting out on married life.  We've been together longer than we were apart!

Breakfast that morning - a hearty one to set us up for the day!  Full English for MrG and this glorious fresh fruit and croissants for me.  I only wish I could have this prepared for me every morning!

..and then off we go - a walk to Camden Market

...then to the Thames where we watched all the boats coming and going.  We saw the London Eye but didn't go on as MrG's not keen on heights and I wasn't sure about the heat -  do you think the pods are air conditioned?

...then we got a taxi to the Tate Modern.  It was the one place I wanted to visit while in London as I hadn't been before and I thought I'd love it.  I'd like to say I did but... I was very disappointed. There was only this one piece that I really liked -  it lit up the room and made me smile.

A walk over the millennium bridge past the fantastic street musicians playing beautiful  classical music - amazing.  Then we headed back to the hotel for a very indulgent afternoon nap - bliss.  The temperature reached 31 degrees so we had a siesta and waited until it cooled a little before heading back outside. 

We found a Turkish restaurant for our evening meal - Tas in Bloomsbury.  We sat outside between the pots of bamboo grasses to catch the evening breeze and to watch the world go by.  The food was delicious - we couldn't have chosen a better place to enjoy our anniversary meal.

We had a thoroughly wonderful time - it was so good to be together.  Relaxed, happy and all loved up!  Here's to us growing old and grey together.