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Monday, 13 August 2018

The Fairies are Staying, Birthdays and Burglaries

 It's been a quiet week for us, Imogen was away for the week in the Peak District having fun with the NCS (national citizen service), which I heartily recommend for any teenagers who are 15 to 17. Adam and his family were also on holiday for the week near Great Yarmouth, so no babysitting duties for us either.

We had a lovely day out during the week, went for a drive to Scarborough. We visited the most enormous fabric shop, which left me feeling very spoilt and went for a lovely stroll to breath in all that good for you salty sea air. The views are amazing in both directions.




We passed this rather large gentleman on a bench looking out to sea.


Andy posing for scale
I tried to take a photo of the information next to him, but you have to enlarge it to read it. It tells you a little of who Freddie was, born in a mining village, went to war and how he went into Belsen concentration camp on his 21st birthday and saw horrors that we can't even imagine, how every year he cried on his birthday as he remembered those poor souls and grieved for their dreadful suffering.



It's also been a big week for our little grandson, not only on his first holiday, but he also celebrated his first birthday... gosh that went quickly! I embroidered a bib for him to wear while eating his birthday meals, but we saved his presents for when he came home so parents wouldn't have to take them all the way there and back in the already packed car.



Little Zack had no idea of course that it was his birthday, but had a wonderful day playing with mummy, daddy and his big sister and was exhausted by bed time.


Unfortunately on Friday morning before leaving to come home, my son had a phone call to say they'd been burgled during the night. We're so upset for them, they came home to the whole house being upside down from all the cupboards and drawers being emptied out. All their electrical goods were stolen, but the worse thing was Holly's jewellery. It's probably worthless as it's mainly costume jewellery, but it's priceless to Holly as it belonged to her beloved nana who sadly died last year. What an awful end to their lovely family break, but they're going to remember it as the holiday that Zack turned 1 rather than the holiday when they were burgled.

I've had time to spend in my craft room and made a little toadstool house for the fairies to come and stay in when they visit. After baking the clay, I glued it on a large stone from the beach. I did enjoy making it and definitely want to experiment and make more.


Also a little seahorse (I do love seahorses), just need to thread some of my gorgeous velvet blue ribbon through it so it can be worn as a pendant.



 I'm so glad the weather has cooled down a bit and we've even had some rain which we badly needed. It's been a funny summer, but a good one.


Take care
xxx

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Birthday Lap Quilt and Slimmer of the Month

I've noticed there are a few of us out here in blogland following the Slimming World plan to lose weight and adapt to a healthier lifestyle. I thought I'd share with you my latest success as I joined Slimming World at the end of April and have been following the food plan since then


I go to a lovely group with really supportive people and I have to say a rather wonderful consultant who always fills me with inspiration each week. This was my third slimmer of the month award, I'm getting a wardrobe full of certificates!



Thank you for all the kind wishes for my parents. Mum's home from hospital and trying to take it easy while also caring for my Dad, if you ask them, they say they're 'muddling through', it's not easy, but they're coping.

On a lighter note, it's Dad's birthday today so I thought I'd show you the lap quilt I've made for him.






It's brushed cotton so lovely and soft. I bought the fabric in a pack from Hobbycraft and thought it would make a lovely lap quilt for my dad when it gets cooler. I sandwiched a layer of light wadding in it so it's not too heavy. It was posted at the beginning of the week so arrived in plenty of time for Dad's birthday today and he says he loves it. We also sent him the full box set of The Detectorists, a lovely gentle humoured series set in the English countryside that I know he'll enjoy.

Take care
xxx




Monday, 23 July 2018

An Evening of Felting

Thank you for all the lovely comments on my last post, especially the ones about my lovely girl in her prom dress and our gorgeous grandson.

It's been a worrying week. Regular readers will perhaps remember me saying last year about the dreadful time my parents were having. Dad had endocarditis, which put him in hospital for a couple of months (after being ill for a few months, but just thinking he was tired because mum had had a hip replacement and he'd been looking after her). He should've gone to have a leaky heart valve replaced, but while he was in hospital they discovered he had cancer and that needed to be addressed straight away with surgery. Poor dad has been waiting over a year now to have his heart operation and meanwhile my poor mum has had appendicitis last summer and is presently in hospital having had 3 hernias repaired. Goodness me! I ring dad every evening to see how his managing, but it's so hard for them having so much illness to contend with while also waiting for the call for heart surgery, I do wish we lived closer.

Anyway, how about this heat, it's getting quite smothering, we just aren't used to it in this country and I don't know anyone who is enjoying it anymore. The poor garden has suffered and chores around the house have been prioritised to what needs to be done and what can wait until it's cooler. Still time for a bit of felting, can you guess what it is


Nice and firm, ready for some legs and a bit of colour


At this point, Imogen thought it was going to be a panda bear


Some face markings


A pair of little ears

A little badger






I did enjoy making him, haven't done any felting for a bit and forgot quite how relaxing it is.


Take care
xxx


Monday, 16 July 2018

Afternoon Drive

I can't wait for tomorrow to arrive as I haven't seen our beautiful little Zackary for over a week and I'm missing him terribly. We didn't look after him last week as I wasn't well, but back to normal tomorrow so I hope his prepared for an extra smothering of kisses and cuddles!

Last time we had him for the day, we took the little man out for a drive in the country in his new big boy car seat. So nice that he can look forward now and see what's going on, much better than his baby seat that he was fast outgrowing.






We went to have lunch, but all Zack is interested in is what everyone else is doing, fascinated by other people


I must comment on his little cup. I really wanted Zackary to have a cup to use at our house and was thrilled when I discovered this one, (those of you with young children or grandchildren will probably know all about these cups) it's virtually spill proof! Zack holds it upside down and I carry it in my bag all without any leaking... wish these were around when my children were babies.

I think I'll have that

On the way home we came along the coastal route, slow and meandering along so Zack would have time for a decent sleep



We knew he'd wake up as soon as we arrived home and he needs about an hour or so.




Andy's been busy working on his jigsaw from the charity shop. It's a Wasgij one where he had to make up the picture as if it were 10 minutes in the future. Here's the box


and the completed puzzle (minus the couple of pieces that were missing).


We'd found 2 when we were charity shopping. Andy's started on the next one which is even harder, he has the picture on the box, but the actual jigsaw is meant to be a picture of what the people on the box can see... quite hard, but he really does enjoy a challenge. We always look to see if we can find any more of these puzzles, but no luck yet.

It's been a big week for Imogen, she had her school prom at the end of last week. I do think she looked absolutely gorgeous, she has grown into such a lovely young lady, brought a tear or two to my eyes.





I haven't spent too much time in the garden the last few days, just far too hot. We are so desperate for some rain, really we need a good down pour. Here's one of the small roses from the patio rose, pretty and perfectly formed.



Take care
xxx

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Summer Reading

Our grandson is the absolute light of my life, I love the bones of him and love being a nanny, but phew... I think I must have forgotten about littlies and all the germs they like to share around! Zackary goes to nursery the days we don't have him and has just had a nasty cold and chest infection. While I'm sure this is boosting his immunity being exposed to these nasties, it isn't doing a lot for me as I appear to be his favourite person to share them with and have been laid low recently with a bad chest, temperatures and cold.

It means I get some time to sit and read though, so I thought I'd share a few of the titles I've read recently with you.

I'm probably very late to the party here, but have discovered Marian Keyes. I picked up a copy of 'The Break' and just couldn't put it down.




It's not a book I would generally pick up, but fancied something a bit different and while it didn't make me laugh out loud, I did find it amusing in parts. I think what I enjoyed so much was the way I felt that I got to know the characters and felt caught up in their world. This is the blurb on Amazon about it

If only.
Amy's husband Hugh says he isn't leaving her.
He still loves her, he's just taking a break - from their marriage, their children and, most of all, from their life together. 
Six months in South-East Asia. And nothing she says can stop him.
But when does a break become a break up?
For a lot can happen in six months. And it's enough to send Amy and her family of gossips, misfits and troublemakers teetering over the edge.

When Hugh returns if he returns, will he be the same man she married? 
Will Amy be the same woman?
Because if Hugh is on a break from their marriage, then isn't she?

I actually felt a bit lost when I finished it and wanted more. Off to the charity shops where I found this



I didn't enjoy it as much as 'The Break', but 'The Other Side of the Story' was a good read and I shall now keep my eyes open for any more Marian Keyes books. Here's the blurb for this one from marian's site
The agent
Jojo, a high-flying literary agent on the up, has just made a very bad career move: she’s jumped into bed with her married boss, Mark …
The bestseller
Jojo’s sweet-natured client Lily’s first novel is a roaring success. She and lover Anton celebrate by spending the advance for her second book. Then she gets writer’s block…
The unknown
Gemma used to be Lily’s best friend – until Lily ‘stole’ Anton. Now she’s writing her own story – painfully and hilariously – when supershark Jojo stumbles across it …
Three girls hoping and sometimes needing to make it big in the publishing world. But did anybody ever tell them that there’s always another side to every story?

Change of pace now, after reading Paula Hawkins' 'Girl on a Train', I was keen to read her next book 'Into the Water'. 

Again, a thoroughly enjoyable read, page turner and told through different view points the same as her last book. Here's the blurb bit

Just days before her sister plunged to her death, Jules ignored her call.


Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules must return to her sister's house to care for her daughter, and to face the mystery of Nel's death.



But Jules is afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of this small town that is drowning in secrecy . . . 



And of knowing that Nel would never have jumped.


Another author I hadn't read before, Camilla Way and 'The Lies we Told'


A novel with lots of twists and turns, here's the blurb to entice you
A DAUGHTER

Beth has always known there was something strange about her daughter, Hannah. The lack of emotion, the disturbing behaviour, the apparent delight in hurting others… sometimes Beth is scared of her, and what she could be capable of.

A SON

Luke comes from the perfect family, with the perfect parents. But one day, he disappears without trace, and his girlfriend Clara is left desperate to discover what has happened to him.

A LIFE BUILT ON LIES

As Clara digs into the past, she realizes that no family is truly perfect, and uncovers a link between Luke’s long-lost sister and a strange girl named Hannah. Now Luke’s life is in danger because of the lies once told and the secrets once kept. Can she find him before it’s too late?


This next book I read was called 'No Escape' by Lucy Clarke, but the same book is also under the title 'The Blue'

I enjoyed it, but it wasn't as exciting as the others I've mentioned. Here's the amazon info on this one

When there’s danger in paradise, will you be the one to stay alive?
With a quick spin of the globe, Kitty and Lana escape their grey reality and journey to the Philippines. There they discover The Blue – a beautiful yacht, with a wandering crew.
They spend day after languorous day exploring the pristine white beaches and swimming beneath the stars, and Lana
drifts further away from the long-buried secrets of home.

But the tide turns when death creeps quietly on deck.
A dangerous swell of mistrust and lies threatens to bring the crew’s adventures to an end – but some won’t let paradise go…whatever the price.

They were a few I've picked up recently, still a big pile of books to read, isn't there always! Let me know what you think of them if you've read any.

Off to make a hot drink and open a fresh box of tissues



Take care
xxx






Wednesday, 4 July 2018

My Time in the Sunshine

I feel like I'm getting back in the swing of blog writing and have been posting on Instagram regularly, look at me getting all on top of everything! I've noticed I have a couple of new followers, I'd like to say hello (waving), please leave me a comment so I can come back and say hi to you to if you have a blog, and please come and say hi on Instagram too if you have an account

Wow, the weather has been amazing here in our little piece of England, until today when the clouds came. A bit overcast, but perhaps can be welcomed as a break from the intense heat we've had (we're just not used to it). It's due to return by the weekend, though we could really do with some rain, perhaps during the night when we're all in bed.

We've been eating outside and I think salad has become a staple in our diets, it's just been too hot to spend too much time in the kitchen. It helps that we have our own cucumbers from the greenhouse to add to them



I've been spending an hour or two reading in the garden on the days we don't have Zackary (impossible to do on a Zack day, far too much playing for us to do). I'll do a separate post about the books I've been reading recently on another day




A tub of sunshine, these Marigolds are really coming into their own now and are good for keeping little midges at bay as they don't like their scent.



This clump of Californian Poppies are from last year's crop, they just appeared at the side of our pond and look lovely they way they've naturally sprung up next to it. I may have to keep my eye on them next year though, don't want them to take over the area. I love watching how they change through the day, slowly closing in their petals as the day wears on.



The city centre looks quite beautiful in the sunshine too. This photo looks like it has a little statue of a child playing in the fountains, as lovely an idea as I think that would be, it's even better to watch the real children running back and forth and screaming with joy as the fountains change their patterns and soak them.


 There are seats all around too, and I you can see people smiling as they watch and listen to the little ones running about.



It's been so hot that the garden pond has needed topping up as it's level got lower and lower. We use water from the water butt as it's the closest type to what's already in the pond. It's a good job it's only a small pond!


I hope everyone else has been enjoying this glorious weather, I know it can get a bit much at times and we're just not used to it. I have felt sorry for Alfie and Honey with their thick coats (Gary's less dense, smooth white coat means he can enjoy the heat a little more). We put ice cubes in their water to help them keep cool and they sit in the shade away from the hot sun.




Take care
xxx