Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Family Nest

I went into the new charity shop in the village and was a little disappointed but am hoping they will get more stuff in soon. I wasn't thrilled with the layout or the staff if I am honest but I am hoping it is just early days and things will pick up.

While in there, I bought these salad servers for my sister Anna and her hubby Danny. They are zebra mad and weirdly both had an obsession for the black and white stripy horses before they met each other. A bargain from Age Concern £1.95!

"ere sweetheart, wanna fork?"

Oh get a room. Or a stable maybe.
And I was able to give them to Anna in person as I went home for the weekend! I went home a day earlier than planned as my Dad offered to give me a lift on the Friday rather than lug 5 bags, two crazy kids and a pushchair on the Saturday with two platform changes (gulp!).

He is such a star and always goes the extra mile for all of us kids and we appreciate it Dad (if you are reading).

I went home to see my parents but also to see my oldest friend in the whole wide world Becks. She was due to be induced and indeed gave birth on Sunday night to Amelia Elsie. Elsie is her Gran's name, who sadly died a few months ago. Becks has wanted this baby for a very long time. In the end, I was unable to see her due to the awkward and late hospital visiting times and her baby was much later than expected (they gave her a C section as she was 15 days over and the baby showed no signs of getting herself out).

I am so thrilled she had a girl. This is the first time ever I've predicted a baby's sex correctly. I know she will make a great mum and will hopefully see her in the next few weeks while Milly is still tiny.

Anyway, on the way home Dad and I spotted this. How dinky is that?!

How snug at night! 

Might get claustrophobic after a while though...
And we arrived home (I will ALWAYS call my parents' house home, even though they only moved into it four years ago) to my favourite things: seeing Mum, a pot of tea, cake, Prima magazines, the local newspaper, oooh I love it. I don't get to see much of my mum these days and I really miss her and Dad.

And what did we do at the weekend?

I captured a cheeky money

I gave my lovely mama that heart
We had Anna and Danny over for a huge Sunday lunch. Mum made two fruit pies and Anna brought a rice pudding so we were vaguely stuffed afterwards.

Full to the brim with a roast dinner and berry pie

I got the whole "Oh here we go, another photo for the Blog" comment.
Anna is going to buy Mum and I the necklace she is wearing. LOVE IT.

High 5 time with Uncle Danny

Very excitable little girlie with her Daddy who she hadn't seen for days
After a huge Sunday lunch (the husband drove down in the morning to join us, after working hard), Mum, Anna and I went for a bracing walk in the countryside near her home. The men and kids stayed at home and it was bliss not to take a pushchair or wait for a moaning, tired Princess to catch up with us.

The hills are alive.....
(whenever we do this walk, my mum ALWAYS says "this makes my heart sing")

Strike a pose

The English countryside is stunning on days like this

Then on Monday we went to a country show in the village. There were masses of stalls selling vintage items, a  few fair rides, ice creams, a cider tent (of  COURSE we made a bee line...), vintage vehicles, crockery smashing, and I bumped into two old friends who I met when the Princess was a newborn and we all got our babies weighed. I miss them loads and couldn't believe I'd bumped into them both individually at the show.

I stupidly left the camera at home though so no nice shots of me scoffing a cheeseburger and slurping cider in my wellies. Shame.....

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Food for thought

Today I did something that I have never done before in my life. I went to a McDonald's Drive Thru....well, what a weird experience that was.

Firstly, I must apologise to those who do this on a regular basis, but this was a whole new world to me. And fast food? What a load of old.....(to quote the Nan from the Catherine Tate Show). It took ages to arrive!

A bloke in a fluorescent jacket (so I mistook him for a workman as there were builders in the vicinity) knocked on the car window and asked what I was ordering. I nearly told him to mind his own business and get on with his brick laying but then realised he was actually taking my order and was actually an employee of Ronald McDonald.

Then I went to the window, waited ages (I've renamed it Slooooow Food) and then someone took my money and shut the window. This threw me. I couldn't fathom whether I'd just been McMugged or not. So I knocked on the window and called out "Um, where's my food then?" and the girl behind the glass pointed further down, looking at me as if I was nuts as I'd obviously NEVER done this before.

Ah, I had to drive down to another window to actually get my box of grease. OK, bit awkard. I then picked up two Happy Meals for over excited bairns in the back and drove off home to fetch myself a far healthier type of fast food - salad. 25 seconds to sort my salad, six minutes for the Drive Thru. Are people mad?

Rant over, the kids loved it but that's going to be the rarest treat for them, sadly.

This week has been really busy. Monday was nice and hot so I took the kids plus a friend of the Princess's to a local outdoor paddling pool. It was free, with parking and park. We took a picnic and had a lovely time. The three kids splashed all afternoon while I sunbathed. Then we came home and had tea in the garden.

They do not eat chips every day I promise!

Evil Tuesday came and went. I survived it rather nicely (although I did have to phone the police at one point after watching an old man savagely prodding three kids with his umbrella and then throwing things at them from across a busy road) . Oh, and then got home to find the Prince had scribbed all over a wall upstairs with a bright red pencil. It took me an hour to remove the lot. Grrrrr. Pesky kids.

Wish you could see the full damage but it's not clear here!

Yesterday I took the children to see my gorgeous friend KMMMS. I gave her this name at Sixth Form, where we met.

We had such a lovely, if slightly hectic day yesterday. There was lots of shouting - some from us, mostly from the kids, lots of mashed fishfingers, loads of devouring of Kinder Eggs, loads of mess. KMMMS and I drank tea, chatted, she helped ease me back into crochet (I got bored and gave up), and I spent most of the time wandering around her new pad with a dropped jaw. It is fabulous and she has masses more space than before.  We spent lots of time in the communal garden (a dream) and she has some lovely neighbours/friends. She seems very happy and settled with her lot and I am delighted!

On the train on the way home, the Princess played up. A lot. She kept sitting legs akimbo (knowing it was irritating me as there was a man sat opposite her and she had a dress on), then as another man got out of his seat she pulled a very animated face at him for no reason at all. She was uncontrollable. I got cross with her, then she got cross with me and then the Prince decided to play up. I hate journeys with kids at times!

I gave KMMMS the following clothes for her girls from a cherry tree shop. All for under a fiver from Helen and Douglas House Hospice ( although last skirt from Oxfam), what's not to like?

This reminded me of the skirt Cuckoo made me

I've decided to become more like a friend of KMMMS's who is a mum of 4 boys. She detaches herself from it all, gives them more freedom to make their own mistakes and deal with the consequences. Hmmm, shall see how long I last. Otherwise I spend my life nagging and shouting. Bad for all involved.

Princess was winding Prince up....

I shouted. Very loudly..... they were shocked.

But not for long. So it's a waste of time!
 Going to Somerset for the weekend as my dearest, oldest friend Becks is having her baby either today or tomorrow. I was going to go home on Saturday but four bags on a train and two or three changes at various stations is too much like hard work, so my lovely dad is collecting us tomorrow and then the husband will drive home to us on Sunday when he finishes work.

I am looking forward to country walks, seeing the zebras and giraffes, my mum's cakes, and then my sister and Danny join us on Sunday too. Can't wait. Been really missing my mum lately and as she no longer has immediate family nearby after losing both her parents last year, I know she can't wait to see her grandchildren.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Cherry tree bargains and an award

As I mentioned in a recent post, I received an award recently which I was delighted about.  Thanks for giving it to me, Grateful4Crochet! She is a love, and a very talented one at that.

 Not sure if I have to write ten facts about myself for this one, but its a rainy day and the children are busy playing so I thought, why not?

1. I always wanted to live on a hippy commune when I was a teenager and have dreadlocks. The closest I got was getting my nose pierced and wearing tie-dye smock tops.

2. I have a Teeline shorthand speed of 90wpm although I imagine it is small slower now as rarely use it.

3. When I was a toddler I poured a teapot of boiling tea over my head.

4. I was bottle fed as a baby and my siblings were breastfed. I am frequently ill and they ALWAYS say "it's because you were bottle fed Gem"...grrrr!

5. I have a secret penchant for the gypsy way of life. I love the traditional bow top wagons, the close family "togetherness" attitude and the outdoor living. My friend married a Romany traveller and she is one of my happiest friends in the whole world.

6. My two and a half year old son is still breastfed, purely because I simply cannot remove him from the Bap of Nutrition. He asks very loudly in public for "Booby please" and if I say no, he says "Oh pleeeeeeeeeease." It freaks me and my sister out. I need to end it soon, before I end up in one of those documentaries. I call "Time at the bra" every night as well. Makes everyone chuckle! (I have breastfed in random places including during a funeral ceremony and during a Karaoke - just as the microphone was handed to me...and the Prince pulled away to see what the fuss was = awkward)

7. Lots of people say I look like Margo from The Good Life. I am offended. Even the husband can see the resemblance.

8. I was completely addicted to the Made in Chelsea series. I dislike people who are materialistic and who demand the best of everything and who show off about what they have. We should all be grateful for the small things and consider those who live their lives hand to mouth. BUT god I love this show!

9. I once ate three full size Toblerones in two days. OK, this was in May, not that long ago. I could have managed another two...

10. I was once featured in Mizz magazine (I think Cuckoo was responsible for this as we'd got drunk and she talked me into doing the article). The magazine ran a double page spread on holiday romances and I'd had a fling with a Turkish waiter. Unbeknown to me, a teenager went to the same hotel on hols and bought Mizz magazine to take with her. She recognised the waiter, showed him the article and he framed it and sent it back to me with the longest love letter ever. By which point I was over him and dating someone else.  Whoops.

I would like to hand over this award to http://mummymojosmemoirs.blogspot.com

It is a new blog and I think she deserves an award for many reasons, including the fact I MADE her write a blog in the first place!

I have just bought this cherry tree top from Barnardo's. Originally from Marks and Spencers, it is a nice blouse for less than a fiver. Can't go wrong...

I also bought this book for £1.50. The Princess and I are often away with the fairies so it seems to be right up both of our streets.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Wedding anniversary

I got married nine years ago today. I can't believe how time has flown. Therefore I am blogging about this milestone, cherry tree shops will have to wait.

Nine years ago today was the absolute happiest day of my life. I married The One with all my loving family and friends surrounding us. I knew he was The One from the moment he walked into the pub in Oxfordshire in 1995. Yet he wasn't my usual type at all - I always fancied muscular, bronzed surfers with long blonde hair. A pale, skinny Yorkshireman with mousey short hair wasn't quite what I imagine myself falling in love with. But I did.

It's been a rollercoaster ride, we've gone through the ups and downs, trials and tribulations like any couple but I am pleased and so proud that we've reached our Tin Anniversary. A long way before our Ruby Wedding though!

I didn't look my best when we first met, I was quite grungey, smoked like a trooper and NEVER brushed my hair. I tried to play the didgeridoo (very badly) and was really into indie music (all the reasons he fell for me, the weirdo!)

A BAD hair day in 1996!
But trying to impress with my blowing techniques. Ahem...

Romance just outside Paris, Oct 2002

With my beloved Nan and Bamps. Rest in peace, both of you.

Can't believe my bridesmaids are now well into their teens...I feel old.

Spot KMMMS and Cuckoo either side of me!

Man from C&A!!!

A gust of wind caught his hair, bless him (note old fashioned oval frame!)

This was a pic of us when we lived  in Darwin, Australia. We would sit and watch the sunset and dream.
The husband used this photo in a gorgeous photo album he had printed for me at Christmas.

Our anniversary is always tinged with sadness for me though, as it was the day Soham victims Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman's bodies were finally found. I remember arriving at our evening do on a high and ready to party, when I overheard the news. I will never forget that feeling of utter emptiness, we'd all prayed they would be found alive and well.

Also I am thinking about the poor bride out in the Seychelles at the moment. How can her husband be dead? They only married ten days ago. Things like this make me feel very fortunate for my lot. She must have been so happy on her wedding day, planning the future.

I am celebrating our anniversary on my own tonight as the husband is working, but I am counting my lucky stars at the same time.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Back Once Again (with the ill behaviour)

Bonjour. Or should I say Bon Soir.... Always makes me feel like Delboy Trotter, that!

Going on holiday is mental, is it not? All the items on the To Do Before Going Away list are obscenely impossible to complete but returning home is even more hectic.

We returned home yesterday from two lovely weeks in France to scenes from Great Expectations. The interior of the house was like Miss Haversham's gaff, decorated in cobwebs left, right and centre and dust piled high. I'd forgotten to wash two cereal bowls before we left, so there were green trees growing outside of the washing up bowl.

The garden was either overgrown or dead. It was stressful as I didn't want to come home anyway, I love being abroad too much, especially when there has been so much unrest over here with the riots.

Our car was a "Bitty Car". This is a phrase that me, my brother and sister used to use to describe holiday cars that are so packed you can barely see the people inside; you know, completely covered in sand and filled to the rafters with all the randomness of holidays; suitcases, fishing nets, crabbing equipment, box of Cornflakes, croissants, the odd nappy, various shoes, a wetsuit, wine, a sick bag and a towel that wouldn't fit in the cases.

Was it worth going away?

What we saw

What we read

What we ate

With plenty of this

Say Cheese

We got plenty of sleep (note the duplicate Noo Noo)

A view fit for a Prince

Sun tan for the Princess

What we spotted

And this one

Love it!

The kids got on well...most of the time anyway!

The Prince scoffed his own weight in ice cream

Stunning scenary

Dreamed of living in a place like this

Watched the Princess bodyboard 1,000 times

Enjoyed croissants every day

Shopped. They do tattoo sleeves in Brittany!!!

Hit the beach

Loving the Victorian look!
 Yes I'd say it was definitely worth it. Now I am shattered after a rather hectic day back at work, endless washing to do, clearing up, unpacking, de-sanding everything. No rest for the wicked.