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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


Tuesday, 26 June 2018

What's on my Needles?

What amazing weather we're having, the sun in shining and the garden is in full bloom, I think June is the best month in our garden.



I love all the colour, I think it's impossible not to be out there and smile with gratitude for how beautiful it all looks.



Thought I'd show you today what's on my needles... sometimes it shouldn't be... look at this cheeky little boy, he often comes and perches on the needles or my fingers, bringing any knitting to an abrupt halt.



I'm currently knitting a cardigan for Zackary. It's age 18 months to 2 years, so will be ideal for the autumn as he is growing at such a rate! I'm using Knit craft 'cotton blend plain' from Hobbycraft, it feels lovely to work with, 50% cotton and 50% acrylic. I'm using Denim and Light Blue and there was quite a few different shades to choose from.



I also have some crochet on the hook too. I don't know if you can tell yet from the shape, but it's going to be a budgie!


I've posted this next picture on Instagram, I absolutely love it. Adam and Holly were going to a wedding and popped in on their way to show us little Zack in his suit. Isn't he a little stunner the little darling  with his little dickie bow and quiffed hair, I love this little man so, so much.


As I've been posting dog and budgie photos, I thought I should show off Mitzi too, but she was too shy to turn round for the camera.




Take care
xxx





Thursday, 21 June 2018

Firsts and Lasts

It was Father's Day last Sunday and it was our sons first one! I bought some light air drying clay during the week and managed to get Zackary to press his hand into it (the hard part was to then distract him with something else as he thought it looked like fun and wanted to play with it). When it was dry I popped some backing paper behind it, Zack's name and into a shadow picture frame it went.  Adam was very happy with it and Holly made sure he had some other lovely things too.



We decided to all go to the coast and had a lovely walk along the front followed by fish and chips sat on benches looking over the water, so no cooking and no washing up to be done, so both fathers (Adam and Andy) had a lovely day. I managed to get a quick picture of Holly holding Zackary, no one else stayed still long enough to get any more pictures.


I've been spending some time playing with my sewing machine. I think I've got the hang of using the inbuilt alphabet, I do need more practice though to learn how to change the sizes of the font and position on the fabric.


I really enjoyed playing with it, found it quite exciting, so many possibilities.


As well as Adam having his first Father's Day, Imogen had her last day at school. Exams are finished and she is now officially on holiday until September when she goes to sixth form. I'm going to find the photo of Imogen's first day at school and put it next to this one taken on her last day, what an amazing young woman she's grown into, it's gone so crazily fast!



Still my baby girl though, falling fast asleep in the car on the way home from the seaside on Sunday after all that fresh sea air.



Just to finish off, here are a few photos I took this afternoon when we drove to the coast again. Zackary was so tired and past himself, but just wouldn't or couldn't get to sleep, so we put him in the car and went for a drive, he ended up sleeping for an hour and a half and was full of smiles when he woke up.





Take care
xxx



Friday, 15 June 2018

Lunch Out with an Unexpected Guest

Our routine has changed, we were having our little grandson Zackary for 3 days a week, but now that mum and dad are both working full time, little Zack has been enrolled and started going to nursery and we now have him twice a week. Poor little Zack is not impressed with nursery and makes his poor dad feel awful in the mornings when he drops him off by screaming his little lungs away, though is usually playing happily when mum comes at the end of the day to pick him up, little rascal. It has made him very clingy though, when we're doing our babysitting duties, Zack doesn't like either me or Andrew to leave the room and is wanting extra cuddles (which I have no problem providing at all).

It's a long day for such a small person, from 8 till 6pm, so when Zack has his days with us we try to go out for a while in the afternoons to break it up a bit for him. We had some lunch out the other day, a nice cup of tea



and a healthy salad with a baked potato, simple and very tasty.


Zackary enjoyed sitting outside, watching people come and go.


We were being watched while we ate by this little robin red breast, perched on a chair looking for scraps.



When the person next to us left their table, he swooped straight in there, picking about to see what he could find.


Quite a tame little fellow, I caught this picture just after he'd been on the floor between Andrew and Zack, an unexpected guest picking at Zack's dropped pieces of food. He seems to be on a good thing here and we'll be looking out for him next time we go.


It's funny as it's only an extra day a week, but we seem to have more time and it's been nice to spend some of it outside in the garden when the weather was a bit warmer. I found a comfy seat with a cup of tea, good book and some hexis I'm working on.

The book is Into the Water by Paula Hawkins. I really enjoyed her other book, The Girl on a Train, and this one is just as gripping and written in a similar way, from different peoples perspectives.


Little hexis waiting to be made into something glorious....


I wasn't the only one enjoying the new free time, Gary stretched out and caught some ZZZZZs


I had to show you little Alfie too, what a face he was pulling at me here, another one who likes lots of extra cuddles!



Take care
xxx