Monday 28 May 2012

Fun in the sun. And cherry tree bargains.

Ahhhhh, it's been a totally relaxing weekend. Just for once, there were no child-related dramas, no car sickness, no night terrors, no sleepwalking, and no cooking.

We spent the whole weekend in Whitstable where we were looked after beautifully by my friend Sharease. She and I met in the late 90s and have been firm friends ever since.

She and her beau live RIGHT on the seafront. You literally walk out of the front door and you can see the sea. It's magic.

When we arrived on Saturday we indulged in a little afternoon tea in her garden.

The hostess with the mostess

The children love visiting Sharease. She doesn't have kids of her own, by choice, but she is a marvel with mine and they love her and enjoy their time at the house.

Once the kids were in bed after playing for hours on the beach, we moved onto cocktails (I've discovered a fondness for cherry brandy) and a wonderful spread which we sat and devoured for what seemed like hours, under the wisteria of her beach cottage. L.U.S.H.

Whitstable is very quirky and quaint and famous for its oysters (gip......retch, no, I couldn't bring myself to).

The beach huts are all different colours, where as where we live, they HAVE to be boring white. It is the law. In Whitstable you can do what the heck you like, it seems.

 We passed one beach hut which was kitted out with a 1950s kitchen, gingham bunting, seaside pictures on all the walls and a cosy sofa. How blissful. Couldn't take a pic as all the family were in there, and it felt intrusive.

I went into seven charity shops but didn't find a single thing I liked, shock horror, I am normally very lucky in Whitstable. I also kept an eye out for Noo Noo, the rabbit comforter that we lost there last July but alas, he didn't turn up. I had hoped he might be at the bottom of the toy baskets but alas...

We spotted various birds on our walk into town:

"You lookin' at me?"

Not sure why, but this IS quirky Whitstable after all!

Eat your hearts out The Hoff and Pammy

The shops are gorgeous despite being a little pricey. This shop is one that Sharease and I love:

A bit contrived but still eye catching and cute

I have the "wanties" Nicki! FINALLY!!!!!! Too expensive for my wallet though...

It was a feast for the eye and for Pip fans (nice mugs!)

Thought these were cool and a bit different from the usual stuff
 Then we ate fish and chips in the heat of the sun, watching the yachts and enjoyed a spot of people watching.

My boys

 Les Dawson's love child, wearing his "gobbles"

This morning the lovely Sarah from Annaboo's House fame came over for a spot of crochet and some tea and cake. It was fab to catch up but it's safe to say she achieved more crochet than I did. As standard!

We are planning a few hours charity shopping and veggie cafe cake eating (where I've tasted the best carrot cake ever) soon.

Working on her CAL monkey

Ah, look what I bought for the sitting room, from the West Sussex Horse Rescue Trust cherry tree shop.....isn't it divine?

Of course I didn't buy it, you nutters. Isn't it vile?!
I did get this one free of charge though....not sure why it was free, the lovely lady just said I could have it! Nice!

And I got this one for 25p. I need wet myself with excitement. No, really.

Isn't it just brilliant? Check out those aprons.
I nearly bought this coffee set as I love sunflowers, but then realised that I have no storage space for it. I do love the kitsch design though. Happy flowers, they are.

And that's me done. There's a bar of Galaxy Crumble Cookie in the fridge which I am desperately trying to ignore, but I am not holding out much hope. I've got to take the Prince to Jo Jingles tomorrow morning and I need something just to feel better about going........(have any of you ever been??? Just WHERE do the women get their energy from?)

It's like watching Mr Tumble on speed.......

Friday 25 May 2012

A totally wizard day

I took the Prince to the children's centre today as West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service were going to give a talk to the children (are they nuts?! They are toddlers!) and let everyone have a look inside the fire engine.

Now, those who know me are more than aware that I am a little partial to fire fighters.

So when the above fire fighter Tim had let a few of the children try on his helmet, he asked the crowd if anyone else was interested in having a go. It all went quiet. "No? No one else wants to come up here and try anything on?" he asked again.

Dead quiet. Tumble weed...

And I felt sorry for him....


"Yes, do help zip me up. Oh, these wretched boobs....such a bind"
The confused Prince is now crying.
 I am beginning to sweat... that's more than 4 stone of hero clothing you know

Pretending he is my new best mate
while I blatantly ignore my sobbing Prince  (bad mother)

Could my smile actually get any bigger?

Anyway enough of firefighters and their massive hoses, look what I bought, look what I bought!!! "Vintage" Harry Potter bedding for the biggest fan there could be.

Of COURSE I don't iron, you freak...
It cost me £2 from the West Sussex Horse Rescue Trust! My daughter loves me for it (although it probably won't last long!)

I then happened to stumble across these two little beauties, 50p each. Ah wonderful!

I have also acquired an Accessorize necklace free of charge. I found it in the street, still with little tag on. I can't return it to the owner so am giving it some Gem love. It's so light to wear.

Bling it on

 After befriending fire fighters today, I went on the beach to meet up with my beachy girls. We all moved to the coast within the past six months and hooked up on Netmums and we've been friends ever since. We are all addicted to the sea so it's a good arrangement.

Can't flipping think why we love it so much! 4pm today

I am the old granny in the friendship. I am 12 years older than one of them and six years older than the other. But we all have a laugh, we oogle the kite surfers, we enjoy picnics with our children and age is no barrier. We are planning wine on the beach one evening soon, sans enfants. We have 7 kids between us and it can get busy.

School uniform off, cossie on in 30 secs!!!

PS The husband can't fathom why bloggers are taking photos of their crocheted blankets and taking umpteen photos of them in different positions. Well sweetheart, look at this WIP and weep, baby...

Not so much a granny blanket yet but a giant hankie

Using the wool my mum gave me as a gift

Friday 18 May 2012

Dishes, boobs and cherry tree items!

Well, the dishwasher man came and went with a spring in his step this afternoon. Must be over excited because he's got that Friday feeling, I thought to myself. Then I realised five out of six of my blouse buttons had sprung open without me realising.

Talk about making a tit of oneself. A true wardrobe malfunction that only Judy Finnigan would relate to.

We've not had a working dishwasher since we moved here in January, so I was thrilled to see the electrician (although as it transpires, not as happy as he was to see me). I think I realised we had problems with the machine after two weeks of living in the new place and discovering a large salmon skin in amongst the dishes and plates which hasn't come out clean....and realising we hadn't actually eaten fish since moving in. Gross.

So we get a new dishwasher sometime soon and because we are currently renting, we don't pick up the bill. Ka-ching! A definite upside of being a tenant.

OK, who else is pig sick of the weather? It is making me fed up and gloomy. The kids are ill today (nothing major - the Princess saw a doc as she has tummy pains and the Prince is a snot-fest) so while they languished watching all kinds of drivel on the box, I baked a lemon drizzle loaf, made a quick keylime pie (how easy is that dessert?! Me likey) and made dinner for tomorrow (we have friends coming for the day and the husband is working so I actually have to do all the entertaining alone).

Then I cleaned the entire house. Hoovering, dusting, washing floors, clean bedding.  I am knackered now, let me tell you. I had to resort to eating fishfingers and chips for tea, I couldn't be jiggered to do anything else.

But this hopefully means my crochet blanket will grow a little tonight. I really refuse to do anything else tonight now. The kids have been scrapping all day and I am wrung out!

Onto the treasures from the cherry tree this week. I have found an epic charity shop called the Sussex Horse Rescue Trust. Oh lordy it's awesome. The women who run it are very sweet but maths is perhaps not their strong subject as they often don't bother pricing stuff, they just pluck a figure off the top of their heads.

Like this pair of Start Rite shoes that I spotted. Brand new. 50p, they told me. Was that ok, they asked!!!! Ha! Too flamin' right it was! They are lush and the Prince is chuffed.

And the winner of the worst toddler hairstyle goes to...

Yes we get it already. You are VERY PLEASED!
Then I saw this tin and was hoping the mug was inside. It wasn't. Some lucky so and so had already snaffled that and the ladies in the shop were using the tin as a sweetie tin for their elevenses. Never mind, they sold it to me for 50p and chose a cut crystal bowl for their candy instead. Bless their cottons!

Getting slightly bored of Kidston but loving this design

Handy for storing "ladies' things" in the bathroom

I also bought this for my sister Anna who adores all things zebra. I was 70p short so the lovely cherry tree ladies let me have it for £2.30. What a steal. I shall be bunging lots of donations their way.

And lovely Gem at has awarded me the Sunshine Award. How lovely of her. Now, I have a confession, I think some other lovely lass awarded me this a week or two ago but I forgot who......HELP! Makes me look dead ungrateful but I'm not, honest, I am just a scatterbrain of the highest denomination. Soz, like.

Apparently I need to fill in the following facts: And it's doing a weird white block which I can't rectify and am too tired to faff. Forgive me.

1). Favourite Colour?  Pink to make the boys wink, natch. 
2).  Favourite Number?  I don't really have one but I will say 4 and 9 because they are connected to me and the husband. When we first exchanged phone numbers after copping off at an indie disco in 1996, we very nearly didn't hook up again. His written number 4 looks like a 9 so for days I dialled the  number. Then assumed he wasn't interested. Finally phoned the operator who confirmed I'd been phoning a sewing machine shop......I then realised the 4 may actually be a 9 and bingo! Snogs galore!

3). Favourite Animal?  Goat. Actually, before I had my tonsils out, I could do the best goat bleat ever. Fact. I am also partial to a black Scottie dog.

4). Favourite Non-Alcoholic Drink?     Gin. Tea. Me and the husband drink oodles.  

5).Do I Prefer Facebook or Twitter? I came off Facebook as found it a bit soul destroying. Then Twitter beckoned. But I dip in and out and am not addicted. Yet.

6). What Is My Passion?  The sea. The fresh air. Cake. And lots of it. And Bon Jovi, although not a lot of people know that...

7). Do I prefer Giving Or Receiving? Are we talking about presents here????!??!?!!?!? If so, giving. Everytime. 

8).Favourite Patterns?  Anything with a bit of chintz. 

9). Favourite Day Of The Week?  Friday, the best is yet to come. 

10). Favourite Flower. Sunflowers and roses. Mind you, the smell of sweetpeas melts me every time too.

I would like to pass that award on to five blogs I love:

1. Rachael at
2. Missy at
3. Marina at
4. Tracy at
5. Fee at (she is nearly on 200 followers, so hurry up and follower her as she's promised a giveaway and I for one am excited).

Ooh and on a final note, the lovely Anita at Castles Crowns and Cottages  is hosting a Paris link party on June 8th. Hop over to her stunning, delightful blog to get involved.