Sunday, 29 July 2012

Gardening time

Big J and I went to the plant nursery this morning and bought some trellises, a salvia called Hot Lips, a Veronica Red Fox and a Clematis, Hagley Hybrid. It looked a pinky peach colour with my sunnies on but is a lovely lilac. We have planted it against a very bare looking bit of fence, behind a ceanothus. With luck it will bush out and spread to cover some very ugly laurel and evergreen bushes.  Currently it is about five thin stalks!
It has been a while since I have dug a hole and shifted plants around - it felt amazing even though the old muscles will not agree tomorrow.

PS This outdoorsy post does not reveal the regular popping in and out of the house that has been going on to catch up with the Olympics throughout the day! How can one not?

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Sharing the moment

Loved that so many people were part of it. The forging of the ring, the NHS....long may it survive. The parade of nations, large and small. My proud, proud husband who glowed and whose eyes welled up at various times. My girls who cheered every country that means something to them. Their birth country, the countries that we have all lived, the places that folk we love come from.

Ads shared it with his mates and he and his dad texted back at forth at points that they really enjoyed.

Talk about sharing a moment.

How do you feel about it all?

Friday, 27 July 2012

We'll be

settling down infront of the TV for the Opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic games tonight. I am so rubbish at these things. I get choked up no matter who does it, or where. (Well North Korea is the exception - everything is on an Olympic scale there - tragically, the 'ceremony' as well as the brutish dictatorship.)  I just love to see all the people doing their bit to showcase something they are proud to be part of.

Will you be watching?

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Starting the day a little flat

is sad as the sun is shining and it is a perfect summer's day. Big J is not sleeping well, neither am I.
It takes its toll.

The bike ride to work went well yesterday, but my ability to use the roads as a cyclist is bad at best, downright dangerous at worst. We have so many junctions and one way roads and I fear to join the traffic so spend the first part of the trip like a half biker half pedestrian. A new route - longer but safer is called for.

Today I walk to work and believe the sun, green, flowers, birds and folk living their lives that I pass on the way will lift the spirits.

I want to sit on the patio and crochet my new little project. To plant out the new lavender, to harvest some raspberries, to chill. But summer hols are only just around the corner.....

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Pleased with progress

Things are looking better, clearer and calmer in various spots around the house. There is still a long way to go, but tonight I will sleep knowing that a good job has been done.

The sunshine and cool temperatures were absolute crochet bliss today. I took the opportunity to start something that has been hankering to be made. Not to distract from Han's blanket, which is being worked on in bed...

Big J is home from a four day trip to Ireland where much fishing and imbibing of Guiness went on. He is looking incredibly chilled.

Rising Tide played at Redfest today. The gigs are getting bigger.

My girlies have been around all weekend and we have had some good laughs. Han has had a migraine though.

Tomorrow I plan to ride the bike to work....

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Blue and white porcelain - sayonara

Really should but probably won't post a photo of the conservatory. Just can't bring myself to bear all that exposure.

But today two BIG bags of items went to the charity shop. The dinner is on, it is late afternoon and I am going to pack up my entire collection of blue and white porcelain that I have carried with me around the world, and put it away. It does not work in this house. There may be a place for it one day, but not now.
Later in the evening:
Here it is on the patio table, just before it was packed. The truth is there is more, but it is used regularly for eating off, serving food etc.  It is now in two boxes in the loft.
I spent time unravelling and winding up a huge tangle of yarn. It is all packed neatly in a ziplock bag now.

There is a UFO in there too, a crochet one, and today it struck me that it can be salvaged. Still working on Han's blanket, so not yet, but it lifted my spirits to think that something that had been given up on completely could be finished and used and loved and NOT WASTED.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Little steps

How many times has this blogger moaned about 'stuff' and 'clutter' and having too many things? About getting the house sorted and freeing up space, not just physical space, but emotional space. Things weigh us down.

Well today she came home from work feeling rotten. A powerful headache and a bit queer. A short siesta did little to take the edge off, and rather than sit in front of the TV she took herself off into the conservatory and took those first few steps. I like to think they are the first few. This weekend, Big J is away and it seems kind of nice to use the home time for creating space.

Loads of magazines have gone. Why do I hang on to them? (To be honest - I rarely buy them, too extravagant for me, but I like hand me downs from friends). Sometimes it is one tiny article/picture/idea that appeals in one, but the whole things stays, curling at the edges and fading, eventually becoming so sad looking that it eventually ends up in the recycling along with the 'I could make that' plan that will never come to fruition.

I dream of a more simple home/life. I believe fewer things will mean less stress and maybe less to do (less tidying). I am not a natural at order, but space speaks loud and clear to me. Over the next few days I am going do something about it. Just watch!

I am in deep now!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

A day away from work

The dentist has been at me again, bless him! Indeed, bless him. He is great, careful and thorough. AND he is off to Morocco (again) to treat kids there with dental issues. He is raising money for a dental bus, they will be able to treat 600 kids from it, so he got some help from me.

I then found an Orla Keily skirt in the charity shop for a song - truly a song.... it is lovely. Her designs really appeal to me - but the prices do not!

Sadly, one of the older clothes traders in town is closing down, another lovely family business going. They sell jeans and for the first time in many, many years, I bought a pair of real jeans that are CUT FOR MY SHAPE...Whoooppeeeee. At half price too. Then Big J met me for coffee and I took him in to the shop and he got some trews.  We found out that the owner is in a BOWIE tribute band and they have a show coming up soon in our town.  We are signing up for it with our teens who are so into his music.

Both girls are in London today, Em for her final work experience day (she made shortbread to take to the office) and Han who is catching up with a friend she went to school with in Hong Kong, who lives in Canada, but is visiting his sister in the UK this summer!!

Ads is working long hard hours and needs to be fed large amounts of good food. That means time to don the pinny!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The Olympic flame has been and gone

This morning we stood outside the hospital and watched the Olympic torch pass by. It was fun, more fun than expected. I thought it would be a loan runner with the flame held aloft, but there were sponsors vans (OTT all of them) and lots of police on bikes and occasionally a completely confused and embarrassed looking cyclist that had wondered onto the road at the wrong time who got a huge cheer!! Bet they have made a mental note to check the route of any future flames!!
The athletes are gathering and London is being watched by the world and tested on many levels. The folk in and around the city are being tested too, with major disruptions to work and travel.

My other half is beside himself with excitement. He loves sport at the best of times, he LOVES the Olympics, and is very proud that they are being hosted here. I like many of the events, I love to see athletes from very far away, small countries who may have a lot less than we have. They look so proud, and it really moves me.

If it was really, truly all about sport and being the very best one can be - nothing would be better. It is not great that only certain food and drink sponsors can ply their substandard excuse for food and liquid refreshment at the venues. It is not good that a drink or a bank or a burger gets to share any moment of glory. I guess they paid for the priviledge......pity.

Sunday, 15 July 2012


Biggest ebay day ever! Goes to show you never can tell who wants your stuff!!

Sunny Sunday

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Toys of old

Barbie has never really done it for me. Sindy was nicer, a bit safer looking, and in my era, dressed like my mum! All above the knee, geometric shift things. Even so, the outdoors was a heap more fun and pretending to be a DAKTARI vet in the African bush, the best of all! It was ironic that we did live in the Nigerian bush for many years on and off, but it does not have the Noah's Ark of safari animals found in the east and south. Why the pondering on toys and games?

This week on E-Bay I have listed a Barbie doll dressed as Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady. It has been with A for a long, long time, in a cupboard, unopened. Never Removed From Box!! Some research on this wet afternoon tells me that there are lots of folks out there who LOVE Barbie and all her bits and pieces, Ken included. Each to their own. The 'winner' of this delightful creature will no doubt be pleased and so will A, as he gets some dosh.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Stormy skies

Two big rumbling storms have streaked through the skies this afternoon. There were rather beautiful.
I rushed out to get a shot before the heavens opened but feel that these do not really capture the energy.

Now the sun is shining and everything is glistening.
It has been a good day, only my big girl (who is the smallest in the family) is not well.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Coming and going

Tonight we are going to look at a holiday for two. In a place where Big J has friends so we may have a few days on our own and a few with them. While we are away the girls will be in Japan. I have some pretty stressy butterflies in my tum about that. I love that they still go back, love that their granny comes to stay, love that all things Japanese mean so much to them, but I hate being apart from them and the cautious mother in me wants to wait for them safely at home while they take off across the world - not take off herself....odd that.

It must be a form of separation anxiety. Love my girls.

Youngest is in London at an architect friend's office for the next two weeks doing work experience.
More growing up.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

You never can tell

After writing about sharing my day off on Wednesday - hubby threw a something into the mix that completely changed the day. He phoned from London to say he was finishing at about 4:30 so why not come up and join him for a browse in the sales and a film?? Well after looking at the ironing pile, the list of not yet touched chores and my youngest and telling myself that it was just not on, youngest said 'Go, Mum' and 'I will cook dinner for the others' and she did, and I did!!

So London on a sunny afternoon, no purchases, but that is fine by me. Then a tasty meal in China Town and a film, Your Sister's Sister:

It was a great film. Made me laugh and cry and wonder how I would have coped in that situation.
It was good to do something different and good to be with Big J on our own.
The kids of course, fared well and were none the worse for their mother running off for the afternoon.

Since then the tempo has upped a bit and we have reached the end of another weekend. The ginger Herman cake went down well at the office. Had a little chat to myself about MY SIZE and have been to the gym once and spin twice. It will be a long time before I have a butt like a beach volley ball players (women's people, a woman's volly ball player's butt) but I did the squats today.

 Lots of weather of course, anyone in the UK knows what I mean, but there were spots of sunshine and this evening is lovely.

Murray did not win the tennis, but love that he can be so open about how hard his loss was to him.

This evening will be spent listing things on ebay.  JOY (not). The best bit is the sale, it's getting there that is a drag!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Learning to share

It is my day off and it is so very precious to me. I like to be alone in the house, in silence usually, no music and NEVER the TV. I hate having the TV on during the day. Bosley keeps me company if he is not comatose, he loves a walk around the garden, sitting under the line when the clothes are being pegged out and the odd chasey game, weather permitting.

Things do or don't get done depending on need, urgency, mood, energy levels etc. Cooking is usually done, some chores and errands and often a lunch time trip to the gym with my spin buddy.

After school, when the first child appears, my solo day ends. But no more. I have to share the time now. Han has finished GCSEs and is at home. Big J works from home two or three times a week depending on his schedule. Em is on study leave and Adam lives with us again - although is working his socks off and we don't see him during the day usually.

Sigh. Love them all as I do, that slice of me time mid week was bliss.

Monday, 2 July 2012

As we speak

in the oven there is a ginger and pecan Herman, two mini banana and date Hermans and a chocolate, chocolate chip and sultana one about to go in....I added wholemeal flour this time and some yoghurt to moisten the mix.

Interesting to see how they all turn out - if they do.


The chocolate one had an almost moist bread like texture, good chocolate flavour, but the raisins and choc chips were thinly dispersed

The banana and date one is still in the freezer, (gave one away to a friend who gave it the thumbs up).

The ginger one sat for a few days to mature and it was YUMMY.

Herman's day has come

Who out there in blogland has NOT had a Herman - (German friendship cake) foisted upon them given to them by a friend?

We are onto number 4 or number 5 and today is the BIG day.... we (this means your humble blogger)  have to the bake the blighter and ideally find 3 friends to pass some batter mix on to! I have found one recipient this time, the delightful little daughters of my lovely colleague R. But the rest will be baked and time has been spent working out what version to go for.

We like ginger....the stickier and gingery-er the better.

Possibly banana and walnut?

Chocolate chip or good old fruit....mmm

Good thing spin is tomorrow and good thing some of it can go into the office with me as well. Off to put on my pinny!


Sunday, 1 July 2012

Not sure I am ready

to come back to blogging. Much as I love it. It takes SO much time. I have been working hard at my life, family and relationship with my ever shrinking Big man. (He has lost loads of weight and is looking fan-tas-tic).
I looked through all the Portugal photos today. It was the first time and they bring back great memories. Rather than put them all here, they are on Flickr and the link is here

Em did her DofE practice run this weekend and came back bouyed by the experience.

Han has been at a Japanese festival in Brighton in her Cosplay gear.  Here she is in a costume that is not hers at a recent London event.
And here she is in her hand-made costume.... the wig she bought!! She is the character Teto-Kasane.
I am crocheting another blanket. This one for Han. Em is using hers. I am still exercising like a mad thing and going to spin classes. I keep thinking of having to ride up to Ditchling Beacon next to build those thigh muscles.

I have been getting stressy at work, forgetting the mantra that 'it is a job not a life'.  I am reading '50 shades of Grey' and taking a while to get into it....Not a genre I am all that familiar with.

Roses have moved onto the patio. Patio roses. Something new. I usually like less pernickety plants.

My BFF is coming to the UK soon. Yip Yip Yippeee.

I do like blogging. See you all soon. x