Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Extraordinary 59+1

I'm not having an extraordinary sort of day- would love to go and curl up somewhere and ignore the world!

The tv was on earlier and they showed a clip of people trying to set the human domino record- extraordinary and why?!!!!!!!!! Emma woke us up at another unearthly hour and I couldn't get to sleep until around 3am this morning anyway- by smashing one of my new bowls in the bathroom sink. She'd used the last of the milk on the cereal and had too much. I haven't seen a crack in the sink but must check it again. It's extraordinary just how many of the new bowls and side plates Emma has managed to break this year. Think she must have some sort of target set. The other extraordinary thing in this house is just how quickly the pile of mismatched socks builds up.

I uploaded the photos to the computer and found it had some photos from our holiday and the series really made me smile!!!!! (extraordinary today- I'm a right misery!). My mum used to love making sandcastles with the girls- and she was saying that she missed it. So we treated her to a mini 99p set with a bucket and spade and sand moulds etc (no expense spared!) and she had a wonderful time on the beach!!!!!!!!! It's extraordinary how much fun you can have for less than a pound.She'll probably kill me for putting that photo on facebook- so might go with the one of the socks!!

It was a friends sons birthday yesterday- and he was so very nearly a Leap year baby. He was born at a couple of minutes to midnight and Tracy says the midwives were urging her to hang on a bit!!!!!!

It's a bit of a sad day today- one of Guy's great uncles funeral. He had late stage Parkinsons and he just didn't want to fight anymore. He was an extraordinary old gentleman. He flew out to stay with my inlaws in Zambia at the same time as my sil. He was the oldest person EVER to have gone white water rafting on the Zambezi and he also enjoyed the safari. He also loved painting until he became unable to hold the brushes. Goodnight Uncle Les.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Grey 59:365

I've used grey skies a few times- so tried to think of something else to use today. Grey isn't my favourite colour- just brings back memories of school uniform. I remember reading 'Jackie' when I was young and my colours were grey and navy blue- where other people had fun colours!!!!!!

Anyway- this is the latest 'grey' item that has joined the household. The tv advert makes me smile every time I see it. I'm more of a tea drinker than coffee- but this is very nice!

lol- two other ideas immediately sprang to mind aswell. Poor old Holly is getting on in years now- and could do with a bit of Grecian 2000. She doesn't think she's getting old- but the signs are there!!!!! Her muzzle is greying. The other item is the 'grey switcher'. We seem to have millions of switchers- but the one you want is usually the one that is hiding somewhere else- probably under Holly on the settee! But we often get 'Where is the GREY switcher'- as it controls dh's hifi and therefore the 'sound' for films etc!!!!!!!!!! It could do with a noise limiter as I am assured this one only uses VERY high decibels!!!!!! I can see after studying it today that it is WAY overdue a little spring clean. It's because it's the one dh uses!!!!!!

ooooh- Postman has just delivered my 'new' camera- unfortunately it's black not grey so can't use it for today. I ordered a second hand version of the one that broke- on ebay, because I just feel lost without a compact camera around all the time. I WILL use the dslr- but I'm not comfortable taking it out around here!!! So we will have spares for all the cables etc and more importantly I now have a spare battery aswell- so should be able to cope with any day out!

Monday, 27 February 2012

It's Monday - what are you reading?

I really enjoyed Before I go to sleep and couldn't put it down towards the end. I wasn't so keen on the next book I picked up - another Richard and Judy read. My Dear I wanted to tell you- by Louisa Young. I didn't really engage with any of the characters although I thought I was going to love this one!
I also read the third in a Nora Roberts series- Inner Harbour. This one followed Phillip and Seth's aunt Sybill. I did enjoy this one- but it wasn't the strongest in the series.

Im not sure which book to pick up next. I did buy Poppy Day on my kindle after I saw the author interviewed on tv. All the proceeds go to the Royal British Legion- and she's an army wife herself. It's quite a promising read from the first few pages. The other one I need to read is by JoJo Moyes- and the UKS book of the Month- Me Before You.

Misty/Tree 58:365

I've tried to combine the two this morning. It's not really misty- just very overcast at the moment. They are saying it's supposed to be a lovely day today. This tree is right by the bus stop where I stand to meet Emma every afternoon. So I tend to study it in great depth whilst waiting for the bus- it's not the greatest of routes! There is a line of trees all the same down the road. This one creaks a bit. It's funny- but this one tends to be later coming into leaf- but he also holds onto his leaves just that bit longer than all the others too. So I like to think he's a bit of a maverick!!!! I told you I spend a lot of time with this tree~!!!!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Light 57:365

We're a couple of recipes behind on our 52 new recipe challenge- so today we chose a 'light' lunch to use the mackerel waiting in the fridge. I'm not a huge fish eater- and tend to stick to the safe white fish that looks like the inside of a fish finger! I'm trying to increase my exposure- so we've had fish pie this week and today Smoked mackerel and potato salad. Part of the reason that I'm reluctant to eat fish is because of the possibility of tiny bones- so unfortunately although dh prepared all of this for me, I won't try it again!!!!! The dog was extremely keen on the left over mackerel- I think fish is her all time favourite treat!

Also- a VERY tenuous link to 'light'- we went to see my niece in a show called Dazzle last night!

She'd love to be on the stage one day and had one of the bigger roles this time round. They are a lovely bunch of youngsters. My cousins three girls all went to SOS- which is how Kimberley got a place. Sophie (the youngest) still goes.

It was a bit like a musical Star Trek. As you went in you were issued with a space pack to help with the launch later in the performance. The actors were all showing people to their seats- in character.

We went with my sister and mum- and my aunt and my cousin and her family were there- so a nice chance to catch up with everyone.

I'm still suffering with a cold- so I'd gone prepared with cough sweets and a bottle of lemonade. Unfortunately on the way there it leaked- and my new handbag was swimming in about an inch of liquid which leaked all over my trousers. I had to empty everything and try to mop it up!

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Saturday 56:365

It's a really lovely sunny day today- with perfect clouds!!!!!!!!! So I'm not going to wait for rainclouds to appear- going with word 2!!!!! Saturdays.Now Saturdays normally mean work for me- so not my favourite day of the week. But when I have a week off and the sun is out like today- it's a lovely day!

I have to say thank you to who ever has tyrozets in their handbag(previous theme!)- my throat is really sore and I used to use those years ago. I've been to Boots this morning and my throat is soothingly numb- bliss!!!! We also popped to Costco to get some boring essentials- potatoes and stuff for packed lunches next week. Then these cakes and the recipe tin also leapt into the trolley. Every weekend we have to buy a 'pudding' for Emma- Sunday is pudding day. The initial idea was to 'bake' with her- but it's almost impossible to get her to co-operate. But maybe she'll try some of these new recipes. So tomorrow we'll be having one of these sweet little cupcakes! Think we might manage one for lunch today aswell.

But the "grandma's recipes" tin made me think about the way I used to spend Saturdays as a child. It was always supermarket day on Saturday- but the supermarket was in a shopping centre. I'd wander round WH Smiths and would probably buy a new book or notebook. We'd usually pop to my nan's at lunchtime and she'd have cooked my grandad braised steak, Which we'd share when he got back from his bowling. He'd ALWAYS have a penny mix bag of sweets for us- which had such delights as flying saucers, fruit salad and other yummy sweets. I don't think it was the sweets as such that are the biggest memory. It was the anticipation of my grandad coming home and us clambering to sit by his feet whilst he had his lunch- knowing that he'd have been to Woolworths to buy sweets for his grandchildren. I think I was only 10 when he died- but he was such a special grandad that the special memories were stored forever! I will always remember one holiday and I didn't have enough money to buy the two animal pictures that I want to take home. I had such a job trying to decide which one I wanted the most. I decided on one- only to find my grandad secretly went to buy the other one aswell so I could have both! I wish I still had them!

After he died- we started to take it in turns to go to each aunts house in turn - and we'd go to pick my nan up on the way. Then the men would go to the pub and the aunts would make a Saturday spread- cakes, bread and cheese etc! So Saturdays have always been a 'treat' day!!!!!

Friday, 24 February 2012

Clouds 55:365

Unfortunately I waited most of the day for the sky to show some of the pretty clouds we had yesterday. But it's been a grey sort of day and took this one this afternoon. This is next doors tree which has some video tape trapped in it's branches that is driving Holly potty. She hears it rustling and catches the fluttering from the corner of her eye- and thinks someone is invading her garden.

We didn't even have dramatic black clouds- just lots of grey and more grey!

I was rather hoping todays theme might be ground level. We went to start off this morning to discover that the car had a COMPLETELY flat tyre. Emma and I had to fly up the hill to make sure that we got there before the bus guide. With my nasty cold that was a struggle- Emma kept telling me to hurry up. I think I might have been lynched if I'd stuck around to take photos of him changing the tyre. Especially as it wasn't coming off without a fight. He was half an hour late for work!! It had a nail in it- and he got it repaired at lunchtime. HE did think we might need to change all four tyres soon- but they didn't suggest it, so think we can wait a little longer on that!

I had an Avon order for the first time in years today. A young girl has just started a round with her dad! I almost took my new eyeshadow clouds- with the alluring name of 'gleams of gold'- my new lipstick is called sparkling nude!!!!!!! Thought my greyish pallor this week needed a little help!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

In the details 54:365

We had a nightmare when replacing our bathroom- as the old bath waste had rotted the floor boards and joist underneath. Unfortunately the insurance company took 5 weeks to let us know that they were turning the claim down- because we hadn't kept the old bath as proof that it had leaked. They had staff on holiday due to Easter and the Royal wedding- so it was over 2 weeks before an assessor even came out. Then the building society and the insurance company were disputing where the paper work was at any point- even though it is all done online!They did offer to pay for a small section of the work - but we decided to just go ahead without them! We had to get the floor and ceiling done professionally- but dh and a plumber friend did the rest of the bathroom. Unfortunately- although he starts projects he runs out of enthusiasm way before they are ever completed. As a result at the moment I cringe every time I open the bathroom door.It only needs the final 4 tiles fitted and grouted and then the bath panel fitted properly! To get over this I try to add pretty details to draw the eye away from the unfinished work. So when I change the bath mat and towels- I change the toiletries and flower to match. We have a range of colours to choose from- this weeks is a pretty denim blue!

I've just heard that one of my sisters best friends was on the coach that crashed at the weekend and is quite seriously injured. He's a ski instructor and the school took the 2 instructors with them. Apparently the emergency exit door came off and the bar on it smashed into his chest- and he woke up with luggage and children on him. He was hoping to fly back with the teachers wife yesterday- but he has an injury to his lungs that they want to keep an eye on, and don't think he can fly. The parents of the schoolkids who are still in hospital are coming to see him aswell and keep him supplied in Mars bars cos he doesn't like the food. One of the ladies at the crop I went to knew the teacher that was killed- and one of my god daughters went to that school and says the teacher that was killed was such a lovely person.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Ordinary 53:365

My mum calls every morning when I get back from dropping Emma at school. So an ordinary day starts with a cuppa and a chat! The book is the UKS book choice of the month and I am just about to start it. I never go a day without reading a few pages- so that qualifies as ordinary aswell!!!!!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

sky high 52:365

I wasn't sure what I was going to take today. THe sky is a bit grey here and I wasn't too keen on taking the dslr out with the dog. Amy took her camera back! I had the same thought as Michelle- but using the electricity statement!

But then I thought of the canvas Emma has in her room. She has such wide ranging interests that her room is a real eclectic mix. She loves pink and pretty, she loves anything beach themed, she loves techy and she also loves this picture. She's always loved it and this is the 3rd version she's had up in her room. I must admit that this photo always makes my tummy flip upside down. I am not great with heights if I feel I could fall- and with my natural lack of grace there is no way I could get anywhere near a steel girder suspended over the city!

My dad was a builder in the days before Health and Safety existed- and often tells tales of builders climbing huge cranes- and then walking across the arm to the bucket thing on the end and walking across girders like this one. All this without hard hats- which he maintains cause accidents because you can't guage where your head should be! I'm sure , my dad being my dad, he did things that others might have thought twice about. Not sure where I got my fear of falling from heights- maybe from listening to his stories! I used to have panic attacks walking along the cliffs in Cornwall. I do force myself to do that- because I love the views.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Fragile- 51:365

I thought I had the pefect subject for this prompt. I have had a little glass mouse with a curly tail that contains a Half pence coin on the year that they were discontinued. He's lived in the same place since we had this house. Now I obviously don't notice him every day- because when I went to collect him for his photo, he wasn't there.

So someone has obviously had an incident with the fragile mouse and he is no more!

THe only other thing I could think of was the way I feel today. I've woken up with a streaming cold and sore throat and trying to get rid of it before it moves in for a while!!!!!!

It's Monday - what are you reading?

I read another Agatha Raisin from the collection I had at Christmas. It's lovely to curl up with a cosy mystery book!

I am really looking forward to reading 'Before I go to sleep' by S J Watson

Christine wakes up every morning in an unfamiliar bed with an unfamiliar man. She looks in the mirror and sees an unfamiliar, middle- aged face. And every morning, the man she has woken up with must explain that he is Ben, he is her husband, she is forty-seven years old, and a terrible accident two decades earlier decimated her ability to form new memories.

But it’s the phone call from a Dr. Nash, a neurologist who claims to be working with Christine without her husband’s knowledge, that directs her to her journal, hidden in the back of her closet. For the past few weeks, Christine has been recording her daily activities—tearful mornings with Ben, sessions with Dr. Nash, flashes of scenes from her former life—and rereading past entries, relearning the facts of her life as retold by the husband she is completely dependent upon. As the entries build up, Christine asks many questions. What was life like before the accident? Why did she and Ben never have a child? What has happened to Christine’s best friend? And what exactly was the horrific accident that caused such a profound loss of memory?

Every day, Christine must begin again the reconstruction of her past. And the closer she gets to the truth, the more un- believable it seems.

I know there is a twist in the book and at the moment I can't wait to find out what it is!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

fashion 50:365

We're not followers of fashion here unfortunately! Just got back to my lounge completely rearranged by dh- who obviously fancies himself on the interior design pages of the magazines. He waited until I was out- because he knows I think it won't work this way round. None of the seats face the tv!

Well- he's back at work tomorrow and one of the settees WILL be changing position!

I'm drawing a blank on fashion- can't see past the mess dh has made in the lounge. So borrowed one of Em's magazines (unfortunately not one of the high fashion glossies) and have taken their fashion page!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Domestic 49:365

I've just got back from work- and this dishwasher has been loaded by someone who really DIDN'T want to load the dishwasher. There are as many mugs on the counter as inside the dishwasher.I imagine we must be almost out of mugs now! DD2 is supposed to cook a 'new' recipe every Saturday- and she's still sat with her laptop - so I guess we aren't eating any time soon either! So I don't think anything too domestic has been happening around here today!

Good news today is that the car 'abandoned' outside our house has been taken away by a pick up truck. Apparently 'grandad' lives 2 doors down and had kept quiet about who's car it is. The lad is in the army and not home very often- and his car must have broken down when he visited 'grandad' a few weeks before Christmas. On his next visit the car wouldn't start and it is uneconomical to repair- so he's had it towed away to be scrapped. Bliss to be able to see OUR car outside the house!

Friday, 17 February 2012

Britains Got Talent auditions 17th February 2012

We've just had a lovely day out at the Britains Got Talent auditions at the ICC in Birmingham. I noticed it on Facebook earlier this week and applied to go into the draw for tickets. We had to take the email to the ICC after 11 this morning to get the tickets. They then told us that we could 'roam' around until 2. They gave us a couple of 5 pound gift cards for Starbucks. So Amy and I went for a drink in the cafe. I took a photo of Amy's wrist stamp- thinking it might do for the abstract photo today!

We had a walk along the canal at Brindley Place and saw some of the contestants doing interviews for their piece to camera! We had lunch sitting by the canal. Birmingham is a truly fascinating city- there is soo much to see that we take for granted a lot of the time. I spotted an Italian restaurant I can visit later this year!

We went back inside to use the second Starbucks! We heard lots of cheers and Amy wanted to go outside and see Ant and Dec. They are really tiny weeny!

We were still waiting for the 'studio' to open- so saw the judges arrive aswell. Amanda Holden was looking stunning so soon after the terrible time she had having her baby recently. Alesha Dixon was a sweetheart with the fans waiting for her and was like a whirlwind of exuberance going past. Simon Cowell is quite a slight man aswell. He paused directly in front of us- but we didn't get brilliant photos.

They had a warm up man who kept everyone informed about what was going on and how many acts to the break etc! Stephen Mulhern and Ant and Dec came on stage to chat. THen the judges arrived- David Walliams was quite amusing. The buzzers were SOOOO loud I almost jumped out of my chair when they were pressed.

Virgin Media gave an ipad, Selfridges vouchers, a playstation and something else to people who 'tweeted' the warm up man.

They brought one lad down to meet Alesha Dixon and he presented her with a ring and a proposal and all the judges gathered round and had photos taken.

One little girl had been on stage with Whitney Houston a couple of years ago- and I was expecting her to go through because it was so topical. I don't think that many of the people we saw will make the final shows- although it was enjoyable. Apart from a little boy called Malachi- he could make the final shows. He was so sweet!

On the way out they were giving out goody bags which included juggling balls, a lit yoyo, a handwarmer, a pack of cards in a tin and sweets!

Abstract 48:365

Luckily I saw the prompt before we left this morning and looked around Birmingham for something abstract. This is a section of the brand new library due to open next year. Last time I was up in this part of Birmingham- they were excavating for the foundations!!!! It certainly looks as though it's going to be an interesting building. The current 'central library' is a 60's building- and there are rumblings that the council shouldn't have spent so much money on a new one. At least they are planning for libraries to be a part of the future!

We have had a fantastic day at the Britains Got Talent audition- a free day out. I think I'll be doing a blog post about it later. Amy really enjoyed it- and think one of the little boys we saw today will definately make the tv show. Let's just hope I won't appear in the audience shots! I did wear a stripey waterfall cardigan in the hope it would confuse the cameras!!!!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Inside your handbag 47:365

Hands up- today my handbag broke and I bought a new one whilst I was in Birmingham. These items have been pruned from the other assorted leaflets,letters, etc that I have been meaning to sort for a couple of weeks. I have a printable housework rota and this weeks did include to clear out the handbag. So it's now done. My kindle doesn't always live in my handbag- only if I'm travelling by bus, which I was today. Not included and being reported as AWOL is my cinema card. I took the girls to see Journey 2 today- and thought they wanted me to pay for the entire screening. I couldn't believe how much it was. I did used to have a carers ticket for Emma- must look up to see whether you can still get them and also need to get students cards for the girls!

So the edited list!
Brand new hairbrush (also purchased today!).
Autograph New York perfume- think I need to buy the handbag sized version
Handbag mirror
coffee loyalty card from New Street Station (never used it before)
New Purse (also bought today to go inside the brand new handbag!)
Work id badge and keys
Headache tablets
Hobbycraft voucher that I've stored since September
Camera (shhhh- borrowing dd's until she 'needs' it)
Also not included - a pot of 1 pound coins that we took to Wales at the end of January. No wonder my bag broke!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Around the world meal 2- Caribbean and African

We went out to our second 'Around the world' meal tonight at a Caribbean/African restaurant in a rather dubious quarter of the city! When we walked in- it was totally empty (not a great sign). The lady asked if we'd booked- um- think you can probably fit us in!!!

Guy got chatting to her and found she was from Nigeria- she lived in the same part as he did at one point. He found it fascinating to chat to her. They'd owned the restaurant for nine months and are trying to establish a good customer base.

He chose from the African part of the menu- but I don't think a lot of the choices would have appealed to me. His starter was called MoiMoi- but I'm glad I didn't choose it! His main course was Palm Nut Soup wth semolina. He thinks the meat in his might have been goat- but because the meat was fatty he couldn't eat that. He couldn't process fat in food as a baby- so still can't eat it on meat.

I chose from the Caribbean side and tried something I've wanted to try for years- Ackee and Saltfish with rice and peas. It was absolutely delicious. I would definately try it again. I had chicken wings for starter- which were also delicious- but made for a very filling starter!!!

She said she'd love to see us again- and I wouldn't mind eating fish there again. I don't think Guy will be choosing a meat dish again though!!!!!!!

Next month will be Tapas. I think we might have another meal to add this month- as we are going to a beer and skittles evening- and they have a mobile fish and chip van - which must be a British type of meal!!!!!!!!

Bloom 46:365

I've had a real game trying to get a photo for today. We have no flowers in the house even though 2 weeks ago we had vases and vases of them for the girls birthday.

I decided to stop being lazy and walk up the hill to our local Tescos to treat myself to a few flowers. Anyway- they had one really bedraggled bunch which I wouldn't part with 3 pound to boost Tescos coffers! I wish I'd had my camera with me- because the empty stand itself told a story - that lots of lucky ladies (or maybe judging by the standard of the bunch left- not so lucky) had flowers yesterday. On the way back I went past a car that always catches my eye- a little silver Herbie with a pretty pink hibiscus flower on the side.

I got back and was scolded by dd because my fil and dh had been calling me on my mobile (still on the coffee table) whilst I was out to invite me to lunch at Costco (the social whirl I lead!).

I decided to ask Amy to raid her wardrobe to produce this photo.

I knew these sweatshirts had a flower on the back and would fit the theme. Unfortunately as it's half term and we weren't seeing anyone today- she hadn't straightened her hair and wasn't prepared to actually feature in the photo!!!!!!!

Then I thought I'd take the poinsettia on the kitchen window ledge. I always have a vase of cheap and cheerful flowers on the windowledge. At Christmas my dh's contribution to the decorations is to buy a Poinsettia- which I usually manage to kill by early January. This model is a particularly hardy individual- so I don't have my usual 'pretties' above the sink.

But when I tried to use my camera I discovered a deep scratch on the lens. It hadn't been anywhere in between the two photos. But it has been playing up recently - and I've had a few blurred photos. I can only imagine that something must have become trapped in the mechanism somehow and managed to scratch it when I opened it!

It deserves a spot here because it is busy blooming away despite my less than green fingered approach to plant care.

I've had to borrow Amy's camera- which is exactly the same as mine to take the photos. I looked at the winter hanging baskets outside- but the recent frost has left them looking very sorry for themselves.

I was then too tight to treat myself to a bouquet from Costco- and too scared to take a photo in the shop. I did look at the latest panasonic on display and unfortunately can't justify getting one. So I'm a bit distraught at the moment. I feel lost without my camera especially now we're doing this challenge. I may try to 'borrow' Amy's until she gets fed up! But using hers has made me realise that mine has probably been struggling for over a week- hers is so quick and responsive.

I have managed to get free tickets to take Amy to the Britains Got Talent auditions at the ICC in Birmingham on Friday afternoon- so I'm in the good books at the moment. I also will be going to see Dirty Dancing with my friend- and have decided that I will treat her to a meal before hand for her birthday!

So I'm having to take a few deep breaths to try and cope with the stress of losing my camera. I suppose this means that I will need to start learning how to use my dslr now!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

52 walks- walks 4,5, 6 and 7

Walk 4- Mumbles
After arriving at the Log Cabin in the Goytre Valley we headed out towards the Gower. We walked around Mumbles. It was a bit of a grey day but enjoyed the walk along the beach. The threat of rain 'forced' us into a lovely cafe on the sea front. We did then drive towards the Gower - but it was getting very grey, so headed back.

Walk 5 Margam Park
We had an absolutely lovely day here. The sky was so blue. We saw a herd of deer in the grounds. I would love to go back here.

Walk 6- Port Talbot
After Guy's parents went home we headed off to Port Talbot. It was absolutely freezing and there were 2 people SURFING in the sea. Holly enjoyed her swim in the sea aswell!

Walk 7 Porthcawl
On our way home we stopped in Porthcawl for a walk around. The sea was a bit choppy!

Candle 45:365

Valentines Day isn't a huge event in our house- but we always exchange cards. This year I had a lovely box of choccies and this pretty candle. We've bought the Marks and Spencer Valentine Meal Deal for tonight- although I must figure out what the girls are having! Then tomorrow we're off for my challenge meal no 2! This year we're trying to eat at a different style restaurant once a month for a year. Last month was easy- Emma has a restaurant that she's happy to go to, as long as we go early, so any family celebrations are usually held there. That was Chinese! Tomorrow we booked a 'groupon' offer at a Carribean restaurant. It also does African food- so no idea what we will actually eat. Next month we've got another Groupon deal- in a Tapas restaurant. Might be scraping around for ideas around August time, mind you.

Oooh- my friends daughter has just messaged me. She wants to book her mum a ticket to go and see Dirty Dancing and wanted to find someone who would go with her. It's one of my ALL time favourite films and I know Karen loves the music. So that should be a great night out in the summer! I will pay for my ticket- but it's not something I would have booked on my own!

Dinner was delicious- will definately remember to check the Marks deals out more often! About to choose a film to watch!

Hope everyone has a great evening.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Friendship 44:365

Unfortunately I won't be seeing any of my friends today- so have raided facebook photos to add them here. I don't see our friends too often- but the first lady here with her lovely daughter is the sort that you could call any time night or day and you absolutely know that she would drop EVERYTHING and be there for you. No question about it. I have NEVER put that into practice - but know that if I text her or email her she will reply straight back with the right sort of advice! We last saw her on the girls birthday and she is an absolute wonder with Emma. When Emma was going through a stage of screaming all day long when she was 2 - pre diagnosis, Karen and another friend at the time were the only ones who kept inviting us over and were able to 'tune out' the screams, and kept us sane!!!!!! Only later has she ever said she didn't know how we coped through that year in particular. The health officials at the time said it was important that we kept taking Emma out- but you sure find out who your true friends are. We lost contact with a few 'friends' during that time- and for this reason alone (despite her many other qualities) she will always have my friendship!

Another close friend from schooldays is Yvonne. Again we don't see each other very often- but whenever we do we catch up as if no time has passed. She's another one that braved the tough years with Emma- and is actually her godmother and had said she'd take them in if anything ever happened to us. I last caught up with her in November/December as her mum sadly passed away. Since she split with her dh she works full time and her children have lots of activities- so we don't catch up as often as we should.

I am a really shy person- but for some reason a lot of my closest friends growing up at school- and with Karen, are very strong confident people and I often wonder what they see in a friendship with me!

Two of my friends from primary school have been back in contact through facebook- and although I haven't seen them in years it's lovely to catch up with them too. I was invited to Kate's mums 80th last year- but unfortunately I was at work. But Kate and Karen feature in this photo in the middle. All 4 girls went to my primary school.
My mum will always remember taking Karen to see Grease. She picked up a hotdog she'd found on the floor and had convinced my mum she was about to eat it- never seen my mum move so fast.
Kate now lives in Portugal and was always one to swap and change jobs. After she left school and I was taking A levels she worked for an airline company. We both loved Cliff music at the time and she'd got into a sound check the day before by chatting up the crew. She popped into school and told me I could 'don' her spare uniform and pop to the Odeon with her to see the sound check AND maybe the concert after. I didn't need asking twice. Luckily my form tutor at the time would ask us if we wanted to be marked in yesterday!!!!!! It is the one and only time I ever skipped a session of school- and in my defence I didn't have any lessons that day. But the call of the concert was stronger!!!!!! I have never told my dd this story of course!!!!!! Anyway- we did see the sound check and Cliff actually sang an Everly Brother song that mentions flying at the sound check. He'd met Kate the day before. Kate got us back stage afterwards and we saw a couple of the backing singers! We were actually invited to the aftershow party- but being a completely naive school girl I had to go and catch the last bus home!!!!!! Lol what a memory! Kate has since met Cliff at his vineyard- as she runs a pr company- and I have to get one of those photos to do a layout about that!

They are meeting up on Thursday this week at Kate's mum is having a small op today and she's back in the UK. Unfortunately I can't make it.

I enjoy catching up with people on line and have met some lovely people through scrapping.

But definately my very best friend (apart from dh) is my mum. She phones to catch up every day and is the sort of mum everyone says is lovely. She's another one that puts everyone before herself and if you needed someone to be there- she would be there no matter what she'd have to do to get there. Since my sister went back to work- she still goes up and tidies round and irons for her. I am very lucky to have her- and treasure her dearly!

This prompt has made me realise that I have very few photos of my friends- and none of me together with them. I must strive to be in contact more often and take my camera along!!!! Lacking photos of me with my friends is not really surprising as very few photos of me survive the 'editing' process- going through the delete bin usually! I must try to overcome that hurdle and take a photo or two with my friends. Friendship is really important to me even though I'm not a social butterfly. I really am a bit of a homebird- but I will try to make an effort to meet up more frequently!

It's Monday - what are you reading?

I was really disappointed with the latest James Patterson. I had felt the same about a lot of his more recent ones- until I read the last two which were page turners again. This one was like a mob story and I really wasn't eager to keep turning the pages.

I did read another lovely book this week. Letting Go by Pam Rhodes. It's been sitting on the bookshelves for years and thought it was about time it moved on!!!!!!! It was about a couple who seperate when a dreadful secret comes out. It follows their lives in the immediate aftermath.

I have a book due back at the library this week- so I need to try and get that read. I'm not really sure whether it's my cup of tea- it was one of the book club selections. It's about the author Ernest Hemingway and his first wife. I know little about the author and the reviews of this book don't make me keen to learn more! I think I will read the first few chapters and see if it draws me in.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Blast from the past 43:52

I love today's theme- I had two immediate thoughts and have gone with both. Then finally decided to add a third. I am really looking forward to catching up on everyone's blogs today.

My aunt bought my sister and I a money box when we were small - and we both still have them. Mine used to live on the bathroom windowledge or in one corner of the bathroom until we redid it last year and there isn't the right spot for him now. So unfortunately he's relegated to the toilet windowsill now- but he's still on daily display. I remember saving my pocket money weekly for holidays or to buy Christmas presents and the anticipation as the coins increased until they were needed. Could do with putting him back into service- I used to save!!!!!! I can still remember dragging my parents around EVERY gift shop in Cornwall and all the trinkets I used to buy.

My grandad couldn't make it to my wedding due to ill health. But he gave my aunt (the same one that bought the frog money box) strict instructions that the money he sent was to buy a clock. He had a wonderful collection of chiming clocks and I will always remember going to see him every Easter in Southend and waiting for every quarter of an hour to come round- because different clocks would start chiming. They really were beautiful. I gained my love of clocks from him I think - and one thing I would dearly love to own is a grandfather clock. My great aunt had one that was passed on- before I knew it might be available!!!! Unfortunately by the time my grandad passed away, all of his clocks had disappeared. He did have a very confused time where he thought his home help was stealing things- and at times I'd get phone calls from the police to report something. Why they had my work number I have no idea- apart from the fact that he had accounts there - and maybe it stuck in his mind. My dad would have to drive down to check he was ok. He refused to come back to live in Birmingham. He lived by the coast because he had emphesemia(sp?)and said that the Birmingham air wasn't great for him. In fact in Southend it NEVER rains- they only get sea mist, sometimes it can be torrential sea mist! So although this clock from our wedding day doesn't often have a battery in and the top was snapped off by two very inquisitive toddlers- it brings memories back every time I look at it. We'd travel down to Southend and my mum would have packed a goody bag for the car- with a colouring book and crayons along with other things to keep us quiet. After lunch Dad would take us for a drive with my grandad to the coast and ALWAYS a trip on the funfair.

This one just had to be included at the last minute. I have ALWAYS been an avid reader. Enid Blyton was an early favourite of mine and this particular series of books captured my early imagination. Imagine a tree that has magic lands arrive every day- where adventures happen!!!!!! This copy was actually the one that I bought for my girls when they were tiny- but the 'magic' didn't transfer to them!!!!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Portrait 42:365

Afraid this is as good as it's going to get today. Dh posed for a couple of shots- but Holly moved and she's blurred. But he then quickly got irritated- because there's an IMPORTANT rugby match on- and can I get out of the way!!!!!!! So here's today's shot. Camera is still playing up- taking blurry shots (more than usual) and delaying the shutter way longer than usual. WIll have to try charging the battery with a different charger. Dh is also sporting his weekend face- no shaving!

The next one is Holly's- 'Do we have to let Dad watch Rugby' face. When she's not happy- her ears go back. She doesn't like 'annoyed' or 'raised' voices- and apparently this English team is the worst he's ever seen in his humble opinion!!!!! He is a closet sports coach- any sport he's an expert on!

I'm not brave enough to go and ask the girls whether I can take a photo- I will get an even worse response from them. So we'll leave today's portrait attempt!

One great piece of news today though- Severn Trent have made a compensation payment. We had decided against making an official written complaint in the end. By the time the drains were finally fixed we'd run out of steam. But the verbal complaints to the higher level management obviously were taken on board. Makes me wonder what we might have got if I had sent the itemised catalogue of contact with what seemed like every member of staff from Severn Trent and Enterprise. It took being escalated to the operations manager to get the problem sorted- but was pleased to get the compensation!!!!!!!!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Heart 41:365

One of the people joining in with the photography challenge has a HUGE heart and I'm using her blog header as the photo of the day for me. She saw that my daughter was 'distressed' (read in a bad temper) because her Amazon parcel hasn't arrived. She asks daily when she gets off the bus and goes into 'meltdown' every time I have to say it hasn't arrived.

Anyway- Michelle sent me a message and said she'd like to send her something in the post. The parcel has arrived today and as soon as Emma gets back from school I will add photos of her opening it.

She has made my day- and will make Emma's day aswell- so a huge thank you from both of us Michelle!

Just back to add the photos. Emma was absolutely thrilled and you have really spoilt her Michelle. She absolutely loves pink and things with her name on- so they were a real big hit- and she has taken the dvd straight upstairs to watch. I am absolutely overwhelmed and touched by your kindness. The photos have come out a bit blurry- not sure what I did although think I must have left it in macro!

We had smiles when she got home for the first time since her birthday and she's written a little thank you for you.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Compact 40:365

This is the 'compact' little guide dog in training that we are sponsoring to celebrate the girls turning 18. This is the third photo we've received and he's definately growing- but he's still a puppy. So he must qualify as a 'compact' little dog!!!!!!

I want the photos to be a record of our year as much as I can- as I'll do a layout every month. So Rudolph is an important part of this year! Rudolph is with his puppy walker Samantha and he goes to the coffee shop and the supermarket twice a week (lucky boy!). He meets the children from school and goes on the bus! He has a best friend Westie at the park.

I am adding another photo that was taken today so that I have taken a photo every day this year! For the last couple of years I've bought a lovely collection of Soap and Glory toiletries the week before Christmas from Boots - as their offer of the week. I love the smell and they make me feel great!!!! Well for Christmas I also received a smaller version- which contained 'compact' handbag versions of the same toiletries. You can't really guage the size from the photo-but they are cute little bottles and tubs!