27 August 2010

Fickle Friday ...

Ooh, I could hop, skip and jump today!!!  Yes, I admit, I'm a fickle sausage - yesterday I was as grumpy as grumpy can be and, given the opportunity, would have hopped on a plane to sunnier climes and not come back.  The incessant rain has been drowning my joie de vivre I don't mind telling you and I'm not at home to all this 'summer is over' talk.

Today the sun is back!!!  And ... I am totally alone ... without blondies!!!  For the first time in nearly two months I have a day to myself.  I love my babies to bits and back but, oh, it feels so good.

The first thing I do?  Make a cup of coffee and come and see you of course!

How are you all?

I've nothing particularly interesting to report but, bugger it, I shall just regale you with the mundane!

We've been school uniform and stationery shopping in readiness for the new term.  Ordinarily, I loathe uniform shopping.  In my experience, the people who work at schoolwear supplier shops are either biding their time 'til something better comes along or are too thick to pronounce "customer service" let alone know what it means.  Though, this time, it has to be said, we had a really rather lovely plump and jolly chap by the name of Jason look after all our navy and grey needs.  Don't get me started on the cost though. :-(

(If I were in charge of deciding a uniform for a school, I would opt for floral tea dresses with a lavender or primrose cardigan for the girls and coffee-coloured cords with soft white brushed cotton shirts for the boys.)

Stationery shopping I love though!  Brand new packets of sharp colouring pencils, rainbows of felt tips and pristine rubbers really float my boat!  I could almost go back to school myself if only to choose a pretty pencil case and fill it with essentials!

Blondie son has been braving the bloody awful weather and playing cricket all this week.  He's been coming home tired with his wet hair plastered to his head but a sparkle in his eyes and a flush to his cheeks that he doesn't get from sitting watching Aircrash Investigates or playing computer games with friends.

Blondie daughter has had a few play dates (one of which she's on today) but has otherwise been quite happy pottering with me.  She had one of her dearest little pals to play yesterday; we played beauty salons for a little while - I gave them a strawberry face pack, applied cucumber slices to their eyes and then painted their toe and finger nails in different colours - but they were busy for the rest of the day making dens, playing make believe and decorating picture frames.

Thus affording me a little time for a fiddle in my craft room.  A little much-needed rosy sunshine for my t-shirt ...

That is what I do in my craft room now - 'fiddle' at my desk.  I can no longer 'potter', which would suggest wandering around, because blondie daughter and I have swapped rooms!  She now has the larger room ("But I need the space for sleepovers and handstands mummy") and I am all compact and bijoux in the smaller room.  I do love it though.  I'm on the third floor and at the back of the house so get the sun - if there is any to be had - all day.  This is the view from my window.

I'll show you some more piccies of my dear little room sometime soon.

Ooh and another thing, I've joined Facebook!  I've never been tempted before (being put off by horror stories of inboxes full of unwanted emails and pestering approaches from blasts from the past [shudder]) but it really is the best way to keep tabs on my little brother who's relocated to Sydney.  I'm still tentatively finding my way around but quite enjoying it!

That's it for now.  I must love you and leave you and go and revel in my brief freedom.  A slow browse around Waitrose is what I am fancying so that is what I shall do.

If I don't speak to you before, do have a lovely bank holiday weekend.


17 August 2010

Four Go To Foxton Locks

Hallo!  (Isn't that just so Enid Blyton?!)

Hope you all had a super weekend.

Saturday was an absolute washout here so we only ventured out to collect a curry in the evening!

The sun came out on Sunday so we hotfooted it down to the Foxton Locks Festival for a meander.

Foxton, which isn't far from Market Harborough, is on the Leicester line of the Grand Union Canal and home to ten tiered canal locks.

There were stalls as far as the eye could see but, other than buying a little salt dough necklace for blondie daughter, I kept my purse in my pocket.  I enjoyed the browse but, rather unusually for me, just wasn't in the mood for buying.

This was my eye candy.  Don't you just love the vibrant colours?

This seafaring chap looked very nonplussed as people streamed past ...

I couldn't resist snapping this feisty alpaca.  "What are you staring at?"

Now, I should like to tell you that we all had a wonderful time.  The children ran ahead, flushed and excited, eager to explore.  Onlookers smiled at them, vicariously enjoying their pleasure.  Bertie spaniel pottered happily alongside us, pausing only to sniff and wag his tail his tail in greeting to the different animals we encountered.  We had a delicious picnic of fresh bread and cheese, fruit picked from the garden, my homemade cake and lashings of ginger beer.  The blondies chattered gaily as we ate and the sun shone.  We returned home in silence, each of us tired, glowing healthily from the sun, and enjoying our own memories of what had been a truly lovely day.

What actually happened was ...

It was heaving and there were wasps everywhere.  Blondie daughter kept moaning and hanging back because her suddenly-too-small Crocs were rubbing, blondie son pestered to have a go on the inflatable horizontal bungee thing and a goat tried to head butt Bertie!  We hadn't taken any food and so queued for twenty minutes to buy an over-priced minging roast pork and stuffing cob - uugghh, it was foul.  I got stung by a nettle and handsome hubby was in a grumpy mood owing to work pressures.  We returned home in silence after I swore I'd never go out anywhere with any of them ever again!!!

Tee hee, happy days!


13 August 2010

Feeling Blue ... And Pink And Green And Yellow!

What to do when you're feeling a little blue because it won't stop raining, the house is a tip and your littlest brother (middle) has jetted off for a new life in Australia?
A little colour retail therapy, that's what!

Softest rosy pjs ...

More eye candy for the arm ...

Matryoshkas made for crochet needles ...

Total price = £11.00.

Cup of tea in a spotty cup ...

and random crochet brights ...

Aaah, that's better.

Have a happy weekend!


8 August 2010

Yoohoo! I'm Back! (Part 2)

... continued from previous post ...

(My two blondies and my 4 year old nephew.)

(Last but by no means least, the beautiful bride and groom.)

I wish them all the happiness in the world.  They were made for each other.

We came home via Brussels where we stayed for a couple of days and it was my most favourite city of the whole trip!

Moules et frites and ice cold wine in streetside cafes surrounded by beautiful buildings, people-watching, street artists and handmade chocolate sellers as far as the eye can see ...

My idea of bliss!

So dear friends, that was a condensed version of our holiday!

I've been picking my way through the latest blog postings to catch up on your doings - it's been like having a delicious book to read!

I'll leave you with a couple of piccies of my mini-me blondie daughter which made me chuckle - check out the Cath Kidston! ...

Speak soon.


Yoohoo! I'm Back! (Part 1)

Hey there!

How are you all?

Well, 2000 miles, 3 countries, 5 different hotels and 350 photos later, we're back!  Tee hee, don't worry, I've not included them all; I've diarised our trip using just a few of my favourites!

The journey ...

We took a train to St Pancras, the Eurostar to Brussels and then hired a car.

We spent a day in Berlin which, frankly, isn't anywhere near long enough to visit all the landmarks.  As our hotel was situated in the Tiergarten area (German for 'animal garden'), our first stop was only a short walk away - Berlin Zoo, which is one of the most popular in the world ...


Berlin is a fascinating city.  If you get the chance to go, do take it.  It is steeped in history, particularly 20th century, and you can't help but get swept up by it all.  Our whistle-stop visit included the Reichstag, the German parliamentary building ...

The Brandenburg Gate ...

(The first picture shows the Brandenburg Gate in 1989 with East German soldiers on the Berlin Wall.)

(Poignant memorial to those who lost their lives attempting to climb over the Berlin Wall.)

Next stop was Poland, or Wloclawek to be precise.  The reason for our trip, of course, was to attend my little brother's wedding to his Polish girlfriend.  The general standard of living seems very low in the parts of Poland we saw.  The buildings look neglected, people tend to live in ugly high rise apartments and most of the roads are in a terrible condition.  We must have passed a dozen 'ladies of the night' sitting, smoking at the roadsides in broad daylight!  I think there is a lot of EU funding money being spent on the main road network though as we got held up in so many roadworks.

(These pictures were all taken within a stone's throw of our hotel.)

There were pockets of prettiness though and our destination, the Hotel Aleksander, was one ...

The wedding was simply gorgeous.  There were about 50 guests (mostly English).  It was a short Catholic service followed by a reception at the hotel.

The whole thing was wonderful but quite emotional; the newlyweds are emigrating to Australia this week. :-(

My brother is ten years younger than me; he is the youngest of the four of us and I am the eldest.  He's always been a baby to me and I shall miss him terribly.

(Me with my 'little' brother, the groom!)

(My lovely little family.)

Blogger is not letting me load any more photos, maybe it has reached saturation point!  I shall continue in another post ... x