Friday 30 March 2012

What a complete beach...

Being at a lost end on a Friday afternoon when the kids break up early for Easter is LETHAL in this town. It means all the mums are kicking their heels and wondering what to do.
It then means one of the mums invites everyone to hers and it means everyone drinks Champagne and chardonnay all afternoon from 3.15pm onwards.
It also means I am now squiffy at 7.25pm and my typing is all to pot so I need to keep re-reading what I have written...just in case.
Eight children played in the garden while the mums all sat around the table sipping. Then slurping. It was like a cliche.  We were celebrating the fact our kids all got into the desired middle school. A good excuse.
Yesterday, I pulled an alcoholic tramp on the prom. He told me I had the loveliest smile he had ever seen. He was very drunk so it was hardly a compliment. At least I can still pull, I told myself, as I sauntered past him and flashed him another grin.
Now I feel like a true contender for his wife. All tipsy and ruddy and light-headed - but I have at least showered today...
And today is my anniversary of getting together with the Husband. Sixteen years ago tonight, we "copped off" (as he so politely puts it) in an indie nightclub in Oxford. The following day he came over to the house I shared and everyone was out so we spent all day (and I mean ALL day) snogging on the sofa.
Sixteen years seems such a long time. A milestone. Glad we've made it!
Anyhoo, this week has been pretty dire on the cherry tree front, I've been on the beach basking every day, like a leathered old hag. But thanks to the glorious Sarah at Shabby Chic Sarah, I now have this Ladybird book to add to my collection.

Thanks my shabby pal. 

See the reason I've not been cherry tree shopping is because the sun had his hat on all week didn't he?! So not only did I not set foot in an Oxfam, I also achieved NO house work.

No siree, I was way too busy strolling along the prom prom prom..

Resting my hot, weary (and scarily veiny) feet on the beach...

Can't get over how weird my feet look in this pic.
 Spending precious time watching the Prince adapt to his new life by the sea...

Reading my new library book by Jojo Moyes...

I am really enjoying this. Think it's going to be sad though

It's a quick choice seven day loan though. Pressure's on!

Setting the scene. A book, some peace, utter bliss.
 The Prince has had umpteen picnics this week too. But has eaten more sand than food (yet it's a mainly shingle beach)...

 I cooled those veiny feet in the sea, in a bid to make them look less veiny...

Everyone hates Crocs. But you know what?
I walk everywhere and they are very comfy so I couldn't care less!
And I have decided to try another giant granny square blanket. I have started a couple but never get far in before putting it down. This time I am going to mention that I am starting a new one in my blog, so that I will hopefully keep going with it. See how I get on. I am hoping it will motivate me a little.

The Blanket of Glory that Julie made me has become part of the family so I felt I needed to give it a sibling.

It will be finished when the Prince reaches puberty but hey ho!
We have been busy watching a few people brave the sea for the first time this year...

Took another pic of myself, like a weirdo, on the beach. The Prince lacks the essential photography skills you see, so I have no choice...

 On Wednesday, the husband had the day off, after working six days in a row (including the entire scorching weekend) so after school, we headed down to the beach. It was bliss. The kids went off and played and we sipped coffee in the blazing heat.

It hasn't all been fun of course. I've been fighting a virus for the past week - aching limbs, sore throat, sinus trouble and feeling drained. This means I missed Book Club which I was gutted about. Apparently they carried on til 2am (on a school night!) so it's just as well I didn't go.

I think a few early nights will sort me out.

Finally (still with me??? No? Oh......) the husband is running the Reading Half Marathon on Sunday, to raise money for the Brittle Bone Society, a horrible condition that one of my best friends was born with. Seven of them are running for the charity while dressed as Superheroes.

If anyone would like to sponsor these brave, good-hearted souls, please click on this link:  it really is a very good cause.

Monday 26 March 2012

Not another Manic Monday

Only in my town can you find:

* A seagull shouting at a crow over a chip

* A scary tattooed obese man in a over-sized saggy tracksuit with shaved hair, whiskers and plenty of piercings...and then realise on closer inspection that it is actually a woman (let me tell you, my eyes were on stalks!)

* A leggy brunette with a sharp, glossy bob, wearing quite possibly the shortest skirt I've seen in a while...and then realise on closer inspection that it is actually a man (and this was ten minutes after seeing the lady above - I kid you not)

* A very fit shirtless surfer dude jogging past (and let me tell you, he was all man)

* A selection of the finest cherry tree shops I have ever come across

* OAPS whizzing past on their motorized scooters, gossiping and puffing on fags like they are going out of fashion

* A hungry seagull grabbing a bun from an even hungrier toddler's hand (thankfully not my toddler)

This place is growing on me. And not just because of the fit man. It's been an interesting seven weeks; not really forming friendships as easily as I thought I would, having no idea where to drive to the nearest supermarket, trying to remember where to go for the school run, standing in the park after school like a billy-no-mates, and sometimes (not always, but sometimes) feeling  unsure about what the hell we are doing here. It's been a roller coaster. I LOVE the sea but the other bits have taken a while to get used to.

But everyone who has relocated here has told me it takes at least a year to settle. I don't know why that is, but it's made me feel much better!

Today has been great. I left the house for the school run and was greeted by the neighbours on both sides (they are lovely, as is the wonderful Debs over the road....I know you are reading this, ha!) I then walked to school and recognised people on the way. After the school run I walked three miles to my favourite outdoor beach cafe and a jogger went past and said "Hi Gem!" and I felt a bit more like a local.

Was it just another Manic Monday? Hardly.  The Prince and I have spent ALL day on the beach. I haven't done a single chore and it feels gooooood.

Cherry tree top and bag (well, strap)

Overdid the sun cream on the Prince

My little beach boy

I do love the palm trees!

This makes my heart skip a beat. Eat your heart out Olly Murs,
 And it gets better. I found this book for 5p. FIVE WHOLE PENCE. I remember this book as a kid and got very excited.

So imagine my squeal when I unearthed these too. And I did squeal. A little too loud, some may say.

All of them. Five pence each. Oh my!

This one is the oldest from 1960.

Camera went blurry due to the sun cream I smeared on the lens. Whoops!

And I am thrilled that the bookworm gene has passed down to my lovely Princess. She has started keeping a diary and also I snapped a pic of her reading in the garden. Reading is such a wonderful past time and I hope this is something she will do for years to come.

Meanwhile the Prince was in the wooden playhouse singing the Harry Potter theme tune at the top of his lungs.

If only every day could be as lush as this. It's been the best Monday I can remember in a long time. And apparently the weather is staying put all week!! YIPEE!!!!!

Friday 23 March 2012

Friday I'm in Love

I am currently having a blub while watching Sport Relief so have decided to write a new post by way of needing light relief. Right now my heart is heavy - I hate to watch children suffer. It makes me want to physically offer help, not just the cash donation. I often think that if I was single with no husband or kids, I would want to go to third world countries and help out - although it would without a doubt be terribly harrowing. We are so lucky here, we are blessed more than we know.

Onto more cheerful things, had a lovely lunch with Sarah at Annaboo's House today, round her gaff. Spring was definitely in the air and we had a great time. The kids played well together again too which was a bonus.

Yesterday, the husband had the day off (as he is working ALL weekend - yes, he will be in London while it is El Scorchio) so we popped to the beach after school. We live a 20 minute walk from the beach but it's 5 mins by car. We went to the cafe on the sea front. Just because we could. It was lush.

And just look what I spied. A complete work of art. Quite possibly the best attempt for Movember that I've ever seen in my entire life.

Isn't it awesome?! Dog looks embarrassed though...
I guess he actually puts rollers in....

I never tire of this view

Before he fell in a rock pool and got COMPLETELY sodden
(thank goodness for a spare change of clothes)

My lovely family

I treasure this view so much
My beauty

A perfect moment for a change!
Oh and this week I bought this vintage book from the Debra charity shop which I've just discovered. So cute and old fashioned.

OK, and possibly camp. But cute.

75p if you will......
 And I saw this book which was also 75p.

Fee, this reminds me of you!

And now I need to sleep. I feel pretty run down at the mo, very tired, sore throat and aching all over. Not good. Especially when I am in sole charge of the bairns all weekend. At least the sun will help!

By the way, I used to follow Shabbily By The Sea, any idea where she has gone??!!! Seems to have been deleted and her email was returned too. I hope she is still around, I LOVE her blog.

Tuesday 20 March 2012


The Prince fell in the sea last week. It wasn't ideal. We'd just ordered  lunch at the beach cafe. It was stressful. The Princess was screaming "he NEARLY drowned. I nearly lost my brother.....he could have died" in front of, like, the whole cafe.  

The Prince was screaming, mainly because of the Princess's dramatics, but also because he was sodden. He didn't want to go home so he ate wrapped in my cherry tree red coat.


Then we came home and the kids treated me to a football performance. Spot the Prince doing his pirate impression.

 I then went into the kitchen to clear up and when I came back, they were doing this. I am not proud...

Onto other things, I have found a lush cafe that is my regular haunt. The Prince loves the hot chocolate and the carrot cake is to die for.  The cafe is amazing. They had a crochet lesson just before I moved here and do loads of other events so I am keeping my eyes peeled.

It is definitely taking me a while to settle here but I am totally in love with the beach still. Just still finding my way - it is a BIG place compared to the little Berkshire village we left behind. I have pangs for everything and everyone but am just taking it one day at a time here.

We went away for the weekend to Oxford for my friend's 40th. It's where the husband and I met 16 years ago. We went to a pub in the old part and spent the afternoon reading the pub quiz book and testing each other. The husband won every round damn it.

Makeup less and full of scampi!
 I walked to the house that I first lived in when I moved to Oxford after training to become a journalist. I lived here for about a year, before meeting the husband.

I shared it with four blokes at one point.
That was hell. Pubes everywhere.
 It does seem a long time ago that I lived here. A different life. Albeit a great one. I lived in the box room (top left window). It was so small that I could touch all the walls, my parents couldn't believe a single bed would fit in there, but it did. Just. The husband and I had many a cosy night in there!

Then we went to the party. I had to give myself a stern talking to and remind myself not to overdo the cocktails as we were driving back early to spend Mother's Day with the children.

My "not too many cocktails" disappointed face
 Naturally I had a little more than I intended but definitely needed a little pick-me-up. You see, we had also visited a friend in hospital while in Oxford who has gone into remission after nearly dying of cancer at Christmas. It put life into perspective. He is now ill with an infection, is in the rehabilitation unit as can't walk and had his bowel removed; it was a very sorry sight.

So I wanted to make the most of my rare night out with the husband. Life really is too short.

Got home and the Princess had decorated the lounge for me and bought me some ceramic white doves from the White Company, also a lush bar of soap from the same place. Very sweet!

And re cherry tree shopping, it's been a damp squib recently. I only bought this for the Princess, as we will need to talk about the birds and the bees soon...

A Cherrytree treasure!!
I have a banging stressy headache tonight. And feel very worn out. Not helped by a face which appeared in front of mine at 5am demanding porridge this morning.

I need a rest. Big time! I feel low on energy and need to get that sorted out.

Monday 12 March 2012

Thank the lord for lovely friends!

I am eating a sausage while writing this blog post and really regretting the fact I have tuned into Embarrassing Bodies. A dodgy willy shown in all its (non existant) glory, is not looking unlike my bit of saucisse that I was hoping to enjoy and I am feeling rather...pigged off, quite frankly.

Ah well, I won't starve. Not after the amount I've consumed today.

I have had such a lovely day today. I invited three bloggy friends over for lunch as we all live in the same neck of the woods. In the past I have been a little hesitant about meeting up, in case bubbles burst and it's not the same in "real life".

Oh how wrong I was. HOW wrong.

Left to right: Sarah, Ashley, Sarah and me!

I had met up with Sarah at Annaboo's House a couple of weeks ago and we had a laugh. So I invited her over to mine for lunch today, along with the extremely wonderful Sarah at Shabby Chic Sarah and the ever so divine Ashley at Country Rose.

Yes the gorgeous shabby chic one and her country bumpkin friend turned up about a zillion hours later than planned due to traffic trouble but we made up for lost time.

These situations are always met with a little trepidation. What if we don't gel like we do in Blogland? What if they had higher expectations than I could live up to? Well, I needn't have worried. The girls arrived, there were "gert" (I am from Somerset, this means  "massive") hugs all round and then we scoffed our way through lunch.

The Prince fell for Rose. Tonight he told me "I love that boy Rose".....I had to correct him, but I knew what he meant. She is adorable. And rather cheeky!

Up to no good. Again!

Sarah (of the shabby chic variety) had brought me these cheery daffs with a lovely hand-made brooch.

She also requested I made my Trifle Crawford desserts which I did.

I was worried we wouldn't have room, but let me tell you, we are HARD CORE at the dining table. Don't invite us four anywhere if you were hoping to keep some left overs for the next day...

I'd made a lemon drizzle cake too but we ran out of time (ho hum, I'll have to eat that tomorrow) as I had to scoot off for the school run and parents' evening.

Sarah (Annaboo) brought me some lovely tulips and these two Ladybird books. Praise the Lord for my lovely new friends. It was like we'd all known each other for years.

Apparently only 30p each! Bargainous.

Look at this sweet drawing found at the back!

Do not invite us to an All You Can Eat. Because we will EAT IT ALL...

And now I shall look once more at that sausage, get the horrid Embarrassing Bodies willy image out of my mind, and continue with my meal at 10.35pm. That programme really is TMI at any time of day.