Saturday, 3 October 2009

Well, my family are going to benefit from my slightly foul mood this afternoon if nothing else. Normally, well no actually, not normally these days (as I have kids, who hamper my mood loosing abilities these days) but in days past, when someone has aggravated me enough to get me into a bad mood, I've been known to go and stomp the hills for a few hours/miles until I'm feeling fresh as a daisy again, full of lovely clean (ish) air and nature and its wonderful calming effects. This afternoon however, as I have the kids in tow, I cannot do that, (if I did it'd be fruitless, as the whinging a 3 and 5 year old can produce when being asked to walk up a hill to admire a view, is beyond the limits of comprehension) so between random shouts of 'mummy' and screams of 'she did this, she did that' I've attempted to therapeutically bake my way to sanity.

This has mainly worked, bar me just attempting to have 5 mins with the cat on my knee to write this, during which time I've upset dd1, as I asked her to leave me alone, just for a few minutes, so she's now stomping about upstairs very loudly.....

So what's put me in a mood, my dearest daddy of course. The only person in the world who can possibly wind me up so much (although dh comes a close 2nd some times, but I can divorce him right? so he's never managed to hit the mark quite like an errant parent can, dd1 is possibly thinking this about me right now too....) Anyway the issue arose, when I asked my dad to meet me at the hospital and look after my kids for 15-30 mins in the canteen, so I could go and see my gran, his mother, who I've not seen for a week, due to visiting hours starting at school finish time and ending at the kids bed time (which is just about when dh gets home, if he's not working an evening) He said no to meeting me at the hospital............he did say I could travel an hour to his, drop the kids, go to the hospital (half hour back where I'd come from, then back to his to get my kids, then an hour home) surprisingly I said no, or should that be NO!

He is now going to the hospital to visit her, himself with my mum, but has refused to look after my kids for half hour when he's there, so I can see her too. I tell you, WTF is that about then? other than him behaving like a child? a very selfish one at mum tried to offer to have them with him, but he's told her she can't? I don't want to cause WW3 between them, so I've just left it and come to grrrrrrrrr at home on my own.

The result of my Grrrrrrrrr so far has been Apple and Blackberry Crumble for dh, Apple Muffins for the girls and I (and Richard if he wants some too) plus a now rising loaf of bread, which needs another kneed soon, before it hits the oven. (I'm gonna kneed that Grrrrrr right out of my hair)

The house smells lovely and Autumnal now, lots of cinnamon spice (which incidentally was the first smell to hit me, when I got to Meridians this am) The girls had fun baking the muffins with me and coating them with cinnamon sugar, so its not been all bad for them either, particularly as they get to feast on them shortly too!

We also picked up some Pumpkins for carving today too, although its a bit early for that, on Meridians recommendation we went to the farm that sells mainly apples and 'woot' only £1.00 per pumpkin, so we have two adorning the fire place now, I guess its a spot of crafting next then, after all October is the month to 'do' Halloween.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Tis the season....

Tis the season to purchase new PJ's is what I say! well it wasn't exactly what I went out for initially, but you know, a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do right?

My day started ominously enough, with tummy ache, so I ignored the fact I'd pledged to my fattening tummy that I really would attend body combat today and instead accepted a cup of Earl Grey tea in bed, which promptly went cold as dh let me sleep for another hour, 9am wake up bliss! but I have kids, so cold tea is really not a problem, kinda the usual really (Mondays in case you hadn't guessed are a day off work here, and with the kids being off school an excuse not to shift!) I eventually surfaced, fed the kids and dunked and de loused them. (Yes folk's! we're a nit free house once again, stage 2 treatment complete 'salutes the air', well until summer club tomorrow again anyway, when I swear I will kill someone if dd1 brings them home again.....)
then I promptly left dh with the kids, as he'd kindly offered to 'look after them' whilst I went to meet my old friend Sue for lunch and a natter.

Obviously when girls get together, we can rattle on a bit, which we duly did whilst working our way around several home stores (including Ikea and Starbucks twice!) as we both needed a few ideas and bits of storage stuff, then it all kind of went awry when we just popped into Next for a look around and I remembered I needed some tights (its nearly autumn right) and then I saw some lovely new slippers, and well the PJ's next to them did match, so......gah! I brought them....after all the nights are drawing in and it was kinda cold last night, so surely I can't begrudge myself new PJ's eh? I did stop short of buying the hoodie top to go with them, I figured I may let myself have that later in the year, when it gets truly freezing......the good news is I didn't buy any actual clothes from there, as the only top I liked looked horrible on!

I get home to the ominous sound of dh exclaiming 'what have you been doing down here!'
'ah' thinks I before opening the door, classic absent parenting must have been going on whilst I was away (the sort that involves an X-Box for the man and the house and contents for the kids) ....I didn't stay long, just long enough to admire the mess, the kids in swimsuits? and a harassed dh, whilst saying 'I'll go to Sainsburys to get something for tea then dear' whilst he looked disgruntled.

When I got back again, the place was tidy with grovelling kids :-) So I coerced them into baking a lemon cake with me, which might yet be a drizzle icing one, as we've not gotten that far yet, because its still baking. I've even rustled up some chicken and Mediterranean vegetables now ready to cook for tea, not sure what's come over me? its the most domesticated I've been in weeks! maybe its the seasons running two weeks early (according to the BBC) is making me go all Autumnal and nesty now?

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

50's B Movie Craft Swap

This is what arrived in the post this morning from for the 50's B movie craft swap that Meridian sorted out for us all. Do you like my gwibbly blob monsters? the kids do, and guess which one they've been fighting over! that's right the Pink one, dd1 has won so far and its in her bedroom. I've also got some lovely choc to scoff whilst watching the enclosed DVD 'The Vampire Bat' eeeeeekkkk!!!!! plus a lovely eye mask to help me get some decent rest and more thread for stiching yay!

Here's what I sent to Miya, A Were Rabbit Tea Towel, some evil mushrooms to hang, a booklet for the warding of vampires, some knitting needle bracelets, plus yarn for knitting and some scrummy choc and choc covered popcorn for watching B Movies with!
What a cool swap, wonder if I can create the time for another one this year?

Monday, 6 July 2009


What on earth did I just do???
I've entered an online writing competition, yikes.....good news is its an American thing, so I won't even be keeping tabs on it, just waiting for the rejection email instead! still at least it means I've written something! gotta be in it to win it as they say.
Its all Meridians fault, she decided that we'd do something slightly different for the book and writing group this week and she found the competition! I'm hoping she's submitted her Poision Apple Tree story as its rather good, will beat my pathetic entry by far! mind you they're also two totally different types of fiction anyway!

Other news this week, Loki our new cat is settleing in well, he's got a reprieve on the VET for his injections until next week, as they want to be sure he's 9 weeks and cat rescue weren't sure if he was 7 or 8 weeks when we got him, so he's up for jabs next week instead. He's been shockingly using his basket, which in my experience cats just don't do, I mean come on, they're usually 'better' than that right, you know, entitled to use the bed/best seat they can find in the house, but hey I'm not complaining. He's been a star with the litter tray, no accidents so far and is slowly learning to jump from sofa to sofa and up onto the chairs. The table has been attempted a few times, but he's been immediately lifted to the floor, so has given up until we're not looking. Other news is, smoked cheese and curry are a must attempt to get to eat, no matter how much dh and I say no! thus he's generally spending mealtimes in a different room to us, as we hate to see him so disapointed! He's currently sitting on my tap as I type, trying to chew a bangle I crafted yesterday round at Meridians, I'll post pictures later, as I don't want to spoil my craft swap for the 50's B Movie swap, that Meridian has organised, as I've just posted it today, but its off to the states, so will take around 2 weeks to get there! keep your eyes peeled on these here pages!

Monday, 29 June 2009

Our new addition

Meet Loki, our new addition to the family! We've been expecting an arrival for a few weeks, and on Sunday got the call from the Cats Protection League to say that they'd found us a suitable young man and I have to say I think they got it spot on.
He's 7/8 weeks old and has lost his mummy to a traffic accident........not that he's bothered now, as he's getting lots of fuss and attention here, let me tell you this is not a timid cat. The current reciept of his attention however appears to be the patio window blinds, a source of much amusement it appears, good job his claws were snipped this morning before we got him, so at least he's not climbing them today at least. Dd1 has so far drawn him two pictures of himself and re allocated her toy dog kennel for him to sleep in, dd2 is still at nursery so has yet to meet him, no doubt that will keep us amused until bedtime!

Monday, 22 June 2009

Strawberries Nil

This year I've been attempting to grow various things in pots. We've not got much border in which to do growing left, as I seem to have covered it all in bushes and herbs! So in an effort to show the girls how to grow their own food (like they paid much attention really) earlier we sowed a few trays of seeds, plus a few outdoor pots and now here are the results starting to come through! The pot above contains spring onions, I nibbled two for a taster with some sausages yesterday lunch and they were lovely, although they could do with another week or two to grow a bit more yet, so I shall refrain from harvesting any more just yet (Richard its a good job I forgot to send you home with some!)

The pot garden in all its glory.
The Grow bags contain far too many tomatoes, so I'm expecting a bumper chutney season in Autumn, although I may loose one plant yet, that is growing sideways mainly I assume due to the wind, but its stem is getting rather waterlogged, so may rot......
You can also see (left to right) Spring Onions, (back pot) Strawberries, 2 x Carrotts and finally Peas! Hopefully we shall have good crops from all, but we shall thing I have learnt is that the table could do with moving, as whenever I put up the umbrella, it puts half the pots in shade....sigh.

Here's a photo of my fantastic strawberries. Well they were fantastic, we've had some very good eating off them, right up until the point that a small rodent, I think its a vole, has decided to start nibbling them.......we saw it bold as brass yesterday, running through the patch, taking a nibble out of each of my lovely ripening ran away for all of 10 seconds when it realised I had spotted it, then it crept back.....I need to borrow my friends cat.....or get one of my own, dratted vermin. So yesterday it was Strawberries nil, invading nibbler 6........I was going to get netting, but they tunnel right? (the strawberries are in the remains of the border) sigh, moggy it is. I really wouldn't mind, but these strawberries did nothing last year, bar chucking off other runner plants, so to get all this lovely fruit this year, was something amazing! yet now I'm foiled again, who'd have thought gardening was so painful?

Wednesday, 17 June 2009


Monday late afternoon was a day for some good storms in the UK it appears! Although we didn't get a direct hit here, due to being up a huge hill and thus having some weird weather conditions at the best of times, this photo shows the storm front approaching from the west. It was a rather weird evening in all, as we could see the storms swirling around our house from all sides, but mainly we stayed in the 'eye' if you like (except it wasn't a hurricane, so surely can't have an eye?)

I wish I had a better camera, these photos do not do the cloud formations justice really.

What dh and I were seeing was 'proper' cgi, classic end of the world clourd swirls here, but sadly my little finepix camera, didn't quiet get the formations right.....I did call Meridian to get her dh to go out and take better pics with his mega equipment, but not sure if he got anything much from where they live? I'll wait for the rsvp on that one!

Anyway thought you might a like a few cloudy photos for a change, I may have to ponder on getting a better camera though (expensive hobby alert!)

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Vive la France

Well, after the week of rain we've had here in the UK, I thought I'd cheer myself up (and anyone else whose reading) with a couple of pictures of lovely sunshine!

The Marina at Frejus, Cote D'Azur, France.

So we're back from our jollies to lovely, sunny, warm France, straight back to torrential rain in the UK, nice to see some typical British Summer Weather again......very tempted to get straight on a plane back down there again, I'll tell you!

We had a lovely time, splashing in the 6 pools on the caravan/camping site we were on (yep 6!) This is where we stayed and I'd recommend it to anyone whose looking for a great cheap getaway for themselves or their family. Their photos are lots better than mine too!

As we'd hired a car whilst down there (lovely Toyota Corrola Verso, want one!) I managed to drag the horde off camp a few times, so we enjoyed perusing the 'local' supermarket 'Carrefour', who are about as local as Walmart these days.....but they had some nice goodies in there, so no complaints here! was particularly impressed by the range of Graphic Novels and Manga in there, you wouldn't get that in UK supermarkets.

We managed a trip into Frejus, the local town, although I don't have any digital photos of that to share, which is a shame, as its a lovely old place, with an assortment of Roman ruins dotted throughout. I did remember to take a camera to the Marina and beach though, so you can enjoy a spot of summer sunshine through those.

This is the view towards Saint Raphael.

We also managed a visit to Port Grimaud which again shows the place far better than I can, lovely little purpose built little venice, opposite Saint Tropez, which is the otherside of the bay. We didn't go into Saint Tropez, as its a one road in, one road out town, and the queues are huge. Most people recommend a ferry across, but with 5 of us, it was a bit too pricey for our cheap holiday! So instead we sat in Port Grimaud, admiring the lovely boats on display, whilst ponder exactly how many millions they cost! As usual a week away wasn't long enough, but hopefully we'll get longer next year.

I came back to find that Meridian had sorted out the 50's B Movie swap and I have my partner! so now I have to get crafting, hmmmm what to do.......

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Vive la France

Says it all really, tarra, as they say round here, see you in a week or so, when I may finally have something worthwhile to post about, ttfn.

Monday, 11 May 2009

OMG its May!

Sorry for the delayed realisation that its May and I haven't posted for nearly a month, I seem to be having a rather busy time of life, but I promise you I will be posting more shortly! decorating is now all done (for now anyway) so definately will post again before the week is out, promise!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Easter Weekend

Sorry my posts have been missing for a while, I was rather poorly last week, unanticipated as these things always are, a quick two days in bed with the worst case of D&V I've had in years.....not recommended during your kids Easter holidays.........but I was better just in time for the chocolate and had obviously a huge excuse to eat my fill and gain the weight I'd lost being poorly!

However Easter came and went with a calculated lack of chocolate in our household. I'd anticipated the possibility of chocolate overdose, and worked around it, so the kids only ended up with one egg and a few mini eggs each, hurrah, a less fattening Easter all round. The pictures below show a few painted
eggs by dd2.
This one is by dd1.
On Easter Monday we managed a day out at Papplewick Pumping Station (with the Grandparents) as they were having an open day, which also involved Egg Rolling. dd1 a surprising hit there, she got the hang of it and came 3rd, much to her and our surprise! The Pumping Station itself is a fantastic grand venue and I'm sorry I only had my phone with me, so my photos are still on it! It opens its door to the public every now and again, and they had the old Victorian steam driven workings pumping away for all to see, quite a sight, when you consider the effort put into building such a structure in the first place. I think it took 6 boilers to keep it stoked enough in the days when steam did the trick on a local level, rather than the huge power stations and the grid that does the trick now. A great little site for the kids to see though, and it had some nice play areas, both park and science based, so the girls now know a bit more about the water cycle, getting water out of underground reservoir's, to houses etc.
Our back garden looking slightly more spring like.

Ok so here I attempted to show the Cherry Blossom in full swing, but the photo sure doesn't do the view from our garden justice. What a week its been in the garden......RAT is the main cry, we'll actually it went 'mummy, is that a squirrel hanging off the bird feeder?' to which I replied, yuk, no.......and thus the catcher man from the council is coming around tomorrow sometime to sort out our lovely row of houses, as it appears that our neighbour has the actual nest, whilst the rest of us, have a run through our put paid to me doing an egg hunt in the garden let me tell you........


I thought I'd blog a picture of this fantastic Owl carving that we saw last week whilst away in Staithes, available from the local gallery there, although sorry folkes, I don't recall the name, but I'm sure if you search you'll find it! I also quite like the metal shoal of fish to the left of Owl, although you can't see them as clearly.

Monday, 13 April 2009

A trip up North

Fishing Boats moored on the river.

The harbour is just around the corner.

Where's the pirates?

Ah there they are!

A view to the beach at Staithes.

Ok I'm working backwards here, because I did the stuff in this post at the Beginning of the kids Easter Holidays, but here goes!
Friday 3rd April, kids break up from school, dh and I do the decent thing and promptly take them to the grandparents for the weekend! Oh, I know this sounds callous, but this was to be our wedding anniversary weekend away, ok so it was a few weeks late, but better late than never and the kids got spoilt with a trip to the seaside whilst they were there and anyone who know us, will know the GP's (as we shall call them) didn't have the kids at all last year, so this year, they're unwittingly making up for it!

Dh and I made our way to York, to the lovely Premier Inn and had a lovely night, eating and drinking in the pub next door, followed by wonderful sleep, not disturbed by anyone or anything. Shame we couldn't say this on the next evening, when the bit of the pub we were in got invaded by 5 families (count 'em) of loud Liverpudlians, who proceeded to sit, women, kids and blokes across the whole area on seperate tables, then shouting across to each other........they also set the fire alarm off at 7am the next morning, not impressed. But anyway I digress.....

Saturday was spent wondering around Harrogate first, with dh and I miss timing breakfast at every cafe we attempted to go into, ie they'd all just stopped serving by 5 mins.......teach us to be leisurely in our all day breakfasts up there! that we found anyway. So we browsed shops and book stores, then bailed out back to York for the afternoon, where we made ourselves at home in Borders, Neros and several other random stores, as we pootled around savouring the atmosphere.
Sunday we headed upto Redcar to see Mark and Amanda. As it was Marks 50th Birthday, we all headed to Staithes, on the Cleveland Coast, for a spot of lunch, at a fabby proper music and local type pub, that M & A have been gigging at recently. All lunched out, we headed down the hill to see what the village was like, and boy is it lovely, as the photos will attest to. A 'reete' good piratey place, if ever I saw one, which has been turned mainly by the looks of it, into holiday lets or gift shops, galleries and restaurants. Beautiful all the same, as I hope you can see from the pictures above.
I'll fill you in on the rest of Easter later on this week, but sleep beckons for now and work has to be done for rather a long time tomorrow, so until the next time, adieu.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to all, been a bit weird here lately what with hols, illness and then Easter, but will post properly to catch up with you all soon, some nice photos too I hope!

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Creative day

So with Mothers day gone (for the UK at least) and Easter approaching, what better thing to do on a Saturday afternoon with the girls, than create an Easter basket, in which you can store a multitude of things! These baskets were courtesy of Home Bargin's, cause I'm a busy mum! and they had a fab selection of quick things to do for Easter, so for about 79p each, we now have these all made up. There's an Easter Hen stuck to each side of the basket, with lots of great ready to stick eggs, eyes, beaks, which is fab, as it means dd2 doesn't need to be let loose with glue, always a good thing. So whilst the girls decorated their hens, I made the baskets and handles for the middle (i.e. I stuck them together). Everyone is pleased with the end results though, will be good for Easter Egg collecting, should an egg hunt arise?

Keeping with a crafty theme for the afternoon, we decided to make chocolate cup cakes (I tried to sway the girls to lemon, or vanilla, with no success) here's our recipe if you get the urge to try it.
8oz Self Raising Flour
8oz Margarine/Butter
8oz Sugar (in this case not caster, but brown, as it was all we discovered we had left! if you find this, I recommend extra beating)
3 Eggs
and around 6 teaspoons of Green & Blacks Coco Powder. (its an add to taste thing)
Oven 180 degrees, for around 20-25 mins.
We then waited for them to cool and iced them with Water Icing (icing sugar and water to desired consistency for those of you who aren't at all familiar with this sort of thing) and decorated in an assortment of ways (I did mine with just jellybeans, but as you can see the girls let rip!)
Dd2's cake

DD1's cakes
We had a lovely afternoon creating these cakes and can all testify they are yummy to eat too!

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Changing Rooms

As you can see the Buzz Lightyear orange has disappeared and we're now looking at a rather pink and purple room! Grandad came over today to paint the bed white at dd1's request and I think its looking quite good, although it needs another coat yet, and there are still all the skirtings to do and the inside of the door, plus windowledge to paint and re seal (inside and out, damn the poor quality of our houses windows/the people who put them in, but that's another story) Dd1 is very happy with the quality of things and is looking forward to choosing her new curtains, lampshade and no doubt other adornments.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Owl Swap

WOW! How fabulous are these goodies? Can you tell I have a very big smile on my face! They arrived in the post today from Naturegirl in USA.
I have to say I'm very chuffed, as are the dd's. As you can see we have two lovely crafted Owl bags, an owl oven glove, A little blue owl, who is hanging up in the kitchen as I type, some lovely green owl fabric for me to craft with, and some funky napkins and owl and heart chocolate lollies, which I have managed to stop the girls all eating in one go.
I'm now hoping my swap was ok, as I'm sure there's more here than I sent to Naturegirl, which is a bit embarrasing, ahem.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Dora Birthday

Dd2 was 3 on Wednesday, so as she was faced with a mid week birthday, which is always rubbish by celebratory standards we had a party on the Sunday before, so ss could join in too.
We didn't have anyone round really, just family, plus Auntie Lizzy and two of dd1's friends! We didn't invite any of dd2's nursery buddies, as she can hardly name them, or at least she didn't bother to name them until the morning of the party, when she suddenly started checking that a naughty boy she doens't like, wasn't coming! yikes.........I explained that this year she's just having a small party, she gets a bigger better one next year, once she knows who her friends are.

So Dora the Explorer was the theme, so I made a cake and cheated, by purchasing Dora figures and sticking them on top, well at least you can play with them afterwards right? Underneath the icing was a scrummy chocolate cake, in fact it was that lovely I'm debating replicating it this weekend so Richard and Dave can take some home with them (as Dh informs me they are visiting Saturday night) after all you can never have too much of a good thing.

Dd2 got lots of lovely presents, including a lavender wheat bag, which can be viewed on Meridians blog. Her actual birthday on Wednesday saw an additional glut of goodies including a fabby hobby horse from Auntie Liz, which I have had to extract from bed again tonight, as it appears one should sleep with ones horse and not put it in the stable, as I keep insisting!
In fact I'm that worn out by this week of partying I can't wait to slow down a bit on Saturday, I'm just hoping I've not accidently arranged to do anything? I think I need a day at home in peace and quiet.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

OWL Swap

Finally I can blog my little owl!
I stitched and sent this cute little fella across to Nature Girl in Meridians owl swap the other month, but it took slightly longer than the stated 7 days to get to her! She finally received it last Wednesday, phew! so now I can publish the picture for the world to see. Its not too bad for only my 2nd attempt since school! from Nature Girls blog, she seems to like it too, hurrah.
Also included in the swap were chocolate for mum and Nature Girl herself (though I think dad got the choc!) and some wool (or yarn if you prefer to call it that) but silly me I forgot to take a picture of it all together, doh, well it was my 1st swap, can't get it all right eh?
Will post more in the next few days, as have been very busy with dd2's 3rd birthday, but more on that tomorrow.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

A glimpse of spring

So I went into the garden today to play ball with dd2 and we finally spotted some new life emerging from the ground. Eventually the above photo will contain some lovely yellow daffodils, but at present, ours being the most forsaken garden on the planet, a few shoots is all that's being managed.
The crocuses are making headway here though! (although I did find a poor purple specimen elsewhere that couldn't support the flower head on top, poor little weakling)
Finally a little fairly lonesome snowdrop, I don't know why these don't grow so well in our garden, maybe the grubs or squirrells eat them?
My quick look around the garden did set me thinking though. I do think a bit of remedial work is needed out there, I can see certain weeds getting a good foothold already and the grass is starting to escape the lawn in places and invade my border, so I guess that needs a dig.
Next doors bamboo invasion needs sorting out too, before it reaches our lawn, as that stuff digs in for miles if you let it. I'm also debating getting a small greenhouse, but as I'm sure I've blogged before, those cheap ones, just blow out of our wind ridden landscape.
This year I'm fancying growing more of our own veg, but without a greenhouse it takes far too long to ripen. We managed carrotts and spring onions last year and the usual tomatoes, but they all took ages to get anywhere compared to my friends with the glasshouses, who kept donating me courgettes, tomatoes, potatoes etc, so as I like growing things, I figure a small investment will be worth it in the long run.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Goodbye L'Orange

Specifically Buzz Lightyear orange. As the photo demonstrates, it's out with the old and in with the new, 1st magnolia, minimum of two coats, to prevent those orange undertones, then pink or purple to suit dd1, whose room it is becoming. SS in the meantime is heading into dd2's room and dd2 into dd1's (did you get that?) as too swap just two rooms about would be far to easy eh?

Sunday, 15 February 2009


Well dh outdid himself yesterday, not only did I get the huge bouquet (pictured above) I also had a lovely morning out with him. Baby/child sitting was arranged and off we went. 1st to Belper, breakfast at Fresh Basil Dh had a fry up, I had Eggs Benidict, yummy. Then we popped over to the chocolate shop, as dh hadn't been in there before we the sauntered down the main street, until we got to the newish alternative store there, which has some lovely clothing, shoes etc and they're planning to expand into all sorts of things, including Comics......well the more the merrier is what I say!
We then sauntered upto the farmers market and perused a furniture shop that just wouldn't be done with the kids. Some time left enabled us to drive out to Scarthin Books, where we did coffee, cake and perused for a while. Lovely day.

Thursday, 5 February 2009


This is the 2nd snowman of the day, the first we made round at Meridians with her ds too, but then we got home and decided we needed a proper one in our back garden too.

More Snow!

The collective views from our house this morning.
As you can see, its a snow day here! wooo hoooo, the kids are very happy, dd1 in particular, as its her 1st snow day this year :-)
There a bit upset that Grandma isn't coming over to see them, as she's been on hols, so they've not seen her in a whole two weeks. I'm guessing they're also hoping she's brought them something back to eat or play with, so they're probably more disapointed that they have to wait for that. Fickle kids hmmmmm.
Dh says I'm happier than the kids and that I'm a total weather geek, so Karma got him back on that one, when he fell over half way down the road this morning, he did a fantastic sideways fall, in an 'argh did anyone see that, quick pick myself up and dust myself off before anyone spots it' sty-lie. Poor mite didn't have any gloves on either, as he left his with me, as we cannot find my ski gloves anywhere???? I may well have to go into the loft and get my ski trousers in a mo or two though, rude not to use them when you have chance.

Monday, 2 February 2009

The day the world went upside down!

Sunday started happily enough, I ran Pokemon Platinum pre release, a well attended event, where everyone had fun, walked Gabe back home afterwards, then left dh handling the kids, whilst I went back to store to run YuGiOh! with Mike. All was going swimmingly till it started to snow. SS had to go back to Leeds. We rang his mum, no answer.....she never rang by the time it came to take him home as originally arranged in early evening, the weather was making things slightly tricky. So we braved it. The M1 north of Sheffield turned out not to be gritted (despite signs saying gritters were out, we saw none and it was obviously not gritted, a fact Ken Livingstone has suggested on the news this evening, was due to overtime costs on a Sunday, why do anything prior to midnight eh?) Thus, when the snow got heavier, the 3 lanes, turned to one, being tentativly driven by a stream of cars. We were however still moving, unlike the opposite side of the Motorway, who just past the Barnsley turning had a bus, on its side to contend with. We viewed the que and the weather with interest as we continued north.
SS was duely dropped back at his mums, who apologised for not ringing back earlier. We were then left with a choice. Go and sit in que from hell and wait in the increasing snow for the upturned bus to be removed (with two small children in the car) or attempt to find a hotel. We did the latter. The lovely people at Premier Inn at J39 had no room, so they rang the other local ones for us until a room was found at J41. We got back in the car and headed north.

I have to admit I do like Premier Inns, we don't stay in them often, as we usually have 5 kids in tow, the last time was when dd2 was still in a travel cot, they allow 5 in a room then! Most hotels don't do 5 people to a room, more's the pity. The kids got given some goody bags, with stickers, colouring and a bedtime story in them, which made them very happy. Then we dined in the oddly named Rhubarb Triangle pub next door, prior to retiring to our room, where upon I found Elbow in Concert, ideal for persuading the kids to sleep :-) although I have to say I quite like Elbow, but with the BBC Concert Orchestera in tow, it had the edge for getting the kids to sleep.

This morning dawned with someone thumping about in the room above us (5am to be exact), although I was the only person to notice this. Dh checked the snow at 6am, which was about 6" deep! So we decided to get up and risk the drive back to Ripley. We made it for 8.15am, just in time to change the kids, particularly dd2, who got travel sick 5 mins from home, bless her, she didn't know what was happening, having never thrown up since she was a baby, her face was a picture. Ripley didn't have lots of snow when we got back, but its sure made up for it since.

We were supposed to go to Spring Fair at Brum today, if the roads are ok, we may go tomorrow, am praying school doesn't throw a snow day.

Anyway I should post some snowy photos so here they are, complete with my snowman envy, the HUGE snowman is not ours, it belongs to a family down the road who've not long been living on our street. Dd1 goes to school with their little boy, though he's two years older, I think she may have a slight crush on him :-).

Our poxy snowman (I only had fleecy gloves, nearly lost my fingers)

The fantastic Snowman down the road (I hope you don't mind me blogging this! in fact this photo doesn't do it justice)

Our snowy street, I'm loving this weather, hasn't snowed like this in years, I fetched dd1 from school on the sledge! how fab is that :-)

Friday, 30 January 2009

Media Rant.

Argh, this country is truely going down the pan.

The BBC are currently hammering the state of the economy home again, like we want to know, how much doom and gloom they can possibly spin. Yes, we know its rubbish out there, but the media aren't exactly helping the sitution are they, christ, they've even whipped up a few frenzies and put otherwise stable companies out of business. Look what happened with Northern Rock, a slight wobble, made massive by the media and poof, nationalized to save its ass. Same thing has happened with several shops, poor old Land of Leather only stopped taking cash deposits over Xmas, as they couldn't bank the money and you don't want large cash deposits hanging around to get stolen (can anyone tell me why no banks have night safes any more?) then the media whipped up a frenzy and now they're out of business....I saw a good quote from the boss of River Island today the best thing the government can do for UK retail is "stay in bed all day and leave us all alone" I have to say, I agree, they don't have much idea about running a business at all, otherwise they wouldn't have arsed around with the bloody vat rate in the 1st place. Much better to give all businesses a years council tax break, now that would have helped us all out, particularly small businesses.

I'm seriously thinking of withholding our TV licence fee, until the media actually find something nice to put on the news, surely at least one item a day could be vaguely uplifting, seriously they seem to have East Enders syndrome, doom, gloom and more misery. There are nice things out there going on, they're just choosing to ignore them, bah. Actually I take some of that back, as local news just reported something nice, 'The Rebecca Adlington Swimming Centre' hurrah, one positive thing in a whole half hour.

Ah yes Richard

Ah yes Richard, but when will I see you next??? we still have your copy of Munchkin Cthulhu! come and play it!

Thursday, 29 January 2009


It's all Meridians fault, I'm now hooked on Twitter......gah.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009


Oh yay, how fab, Shameless is back on TV, boy that show makes me smile.
If you didn't catch it last night I recommend you do, classic.
A baby talking via telepathy to its parents. A hit, that went wrong, love down the pan and somone not having a baby! Watch till then end of the credits too, for the very last bit, teee heee, classic British entertainment, superbly written.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Girls Night In

Well tea at Meridians last night was very yummy! Her dh can go away again :-)
Let me tempt your taste buds with the following treats.
Homemade Pizza (I had ham, mushroom and pepper) accompanied by homemade garlic bread and salad, with blue cheese dressing, very yummy.
Meridian then out did herself by producing a home-made chocolate cheesecake to die for.
Meri your a star!
Thus we chilled out and ate, whilst watching Pineapple Express on DVD, which if you've not seen it I recommend. A Lovely night in.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Sad Loss

Sadly this weekend I found out about the death of an old friend, back in Nov (I'd not been online to see any internet news, due to no home pc...... and we last saw each other about 10 years ago, so I wasn't on the list of people who would be told about these things) Plus the fact that he was moving in a different stratosphere to me now meant that I accidentally came across the news from a music article site I was perusing :-(
He was only 39, a sad loss to the music industry and to the world in general, for he was an effervescent chap, who lived life to the full, they do say the brightest stars burn out faster, seems true in this case.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Who moved relocation relocation?

What were Chanel 4 thinking, there was I looking to do my HUGE pile of ironing, whilst watching Kirsty and Phil and they've only gone and put stoooopid Celebrity Big Brother on in its place, grump, they could have shifted another programme surely, I have to wait for Heston at 9pm before I can iron, honestly, what's a girl to do. (ignore the ironing perhapse?)

I've utilized my time wisely mind. I've managed to reply to Naturegirl via email! as she's my swap partner for the Owl swap. I didn't mean to be rude, not replying quickly, but I've just not had time to get on the computer much. I've also dived on here to update you all too!

Meridian has sent me a twitter invite, so I will get around to that over the next few days too, argh where is my time going?

This morning, I dragged Meridian out for a Starbucks breakfast, thinking it would be a nice treat for us and dd2 as well, I think dd2 agreed, she seemed happy enough. We then mooched to Next Homestore, Laura Ashley, BHS Homestore and finally Ikea. The reason? I needed to check out curtains for dd1's new bedroom, (dd2 having dd1's room, ss moving to dd2's room, dd1 into ss's room, do you follow?) as she has requested Butterflies.......I now have several pairs that I can show her at some point. I also picked up a new trofast unit for her bedroom storage, plus a new bookcase on half price sale, hurrah! dd2 can have the old bookcase currently bulging at the seams in dd1's room. I got a few ideas for ss's room too, as dh wants to set him (read them) up with a 'media centre'( = computer gaming room/boys hidey hole) and thus he'll need new units to pop his stuff on, rather than the current status of stuff all over the place, trust me a hazard warning sign is required at the moment! Most of it is dh's fault however, as he keeps dumping his man stuff in ss's room. Most men have a 'man drawer', or desk or somthing, in which they chuck all their junk, dh has ss's of these days I will train him otherwise.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Momentary lapse in dieting

It was the damn Tirimisu, I tell ya, it didn't look 8.5 points, ahem.........but it was bloody lovely
:-) and as its the start of the dieting week, I'm sure I can work it off.......wanders off to find a carrot to nibble on or in fact do some Owly crafting as she should be doing!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Birdy Twitterings

So I got my Owl Swap Partner today I think her dd and my dd1 would get on great, we have gallons of fairy dust kicking around the house too :-)
The Owl swap can be found on Meridians blog, courtesy of my links page if you want more info, although in its basic form it is what it says on the tin, though not live ones obviously ;-) more of a theme there, just in case you were thinking of calling the RSPCA or the RSPB. Plus a few other goodies, as we all need a bit of cheering up at this time of year eh?
So I guess I'd better get crafting!

Today was a day off 'normal' work at the store as dd2 decided that I was her designated adult to go swimming with her! as its been dh for the past 4 months, I was rather shocked, but my hair needed washing anyway, so we had fun pouring watering cans over each others heads, her swimming has really come on and she transfers to water playgroup in March when she's 3, I have to say I'm sure she'll be swimming without floats very soon, she's so confident :-o, doesn't bat an eyelid at sinking or anything (reminds me of ss when he learnt to swim, drowning with style!) I did the school and ballet runs too, although dd1 only for ballet, dd2 and two older siblings belonging to other families played on my dslite (dd2 has her own, but it wasn't with us) happily instead!

When we got home we made some Bird Feeder cones, courtesy of Meridians ds's Cheerios Cookbook. Here's what you need to do if you want to make them:

1 x Ice Cream cone (we used flat ended ones)
Wild bird seed/peanuts without shells/sunflower seeds
Peanut butter

Thread your string through the needle, tie a knot at one end.
Take your Ice Cream cone and make a loop of string through the pointy or flat end (we only pierced the cone once, then made a loop above it, but you can pierce the cone twice if you like?)
You should now be able to hang your cone from a branch or hook.
Get your tray and cover it in bird seed.
Now open the peanut butter and spread the cone with it (I did this for the girls, as dd1 (5) tried it and her spreading lightly skills were not good on a wafer cone)
Now roll the cone in the bird seed and it should all stick to the sides. You can spend time merrily decorating it with peanuts, sunflower seeds etc in patterns and you can even add the cheerieos whose idea this whole thing was if you like!
Voila! Bird Feeder.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Brrrrrrrrrrr its cold/Home Shopping

Totally freezing here all day apparently -1 is the warmest its gotten. I'm really hoping this lovely cold winter, will bring about a proper spring and summer for a change too (or is that too much to ask of our knackered climate?)

In the spirit of a freezing Saturday, we have huddled at Meridians this am, the grownup's drinking coffee, whilst the kids played various ds games.....and watched some of Clone Wars, till they got bored. We've also crawled around Sainsburys, along with the rest of town, as it was mega busy. I don't know what the check out assistant made of us, but with one chicken (for roasting tomorrow) and rather a lot of soup (4 x tomato, 5 x dh for the week and 5 x weight watchers for me) plus bread and canned fruit, I'm sure she must have been giggling to herself in her head at my obvious health kick. There was a packed of chocolate biccies on there though, just because they we're half price and the kids nagged me, soft touch me eh!

Last night after work, I de-iced the car and Meridian and I popped over to a friends, who was having a Virgin Vie party, we were the last to arrive and things were in full swing, so we snuck to the back of the room and perused the catalogues, whilst our friend got her face made up and the products demonstrated. I've ordered ssomething that is supposed to diffuse light and make my eyes look human in the morning, plus some new foundation, as I'm not happy with some stuff I brought last year (not virgin product), not that I wear it much anyway, but I'm not getting any younger, so every little helps :-) They also had some facecloths on sale, at 2 x £1.50, which I thought was good, they're 99p each in Boots, so I got those too, if I don't use them, the girls will. So not quite a cheap night out for me, but good to see friends and get out of the house after my confined Christmas.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

How's the diet going?

Well Meridian asked the question, so I'd better answer it!

Yes, I've done the traditional new year thing and shoved myself onto a diet of sorts. I say of sorts, as actually this is how I should eat all year round, but living with 4 other people your eating habits tend to change, often for the worse. Thus I am attempting weight watchers once again. It worked for me after giving birth to dd1, when I'd put on loads of weight, mainly I think due to bagles in pregnancy (raisen and cinnamon ones to be precise) I didn't intentionally over eat them, just had one a day and well, you know what happens (kinda like Peter Kay says Chips = Hips!) It did take me roughly a year to loose the excess weight courtesy of dd1, it also took a lot of aikido classes and a spot of running too, once I'd had dd2, aikido became near imposible (sob) so I joined the local gym, which has pretty much kept me in trim (and it only took me 8mths to loose the dd2 weight) but I have to say over Xmas in particular, eating rubbish has taken it's toll, so its back on the wagon for me.

Thus we're now eating lots of healthy soups, which is good becuase dh likes those. I'm avoiding the really fattening things with mega points like bacon, (sausages not too bad they're even in the recipe book bit, that you get with the cd) and not having much pizza....can get away with a few slices and salad, rather than a whole pizza to myself, ahem (whispers, its living with dh you know!) There is some grumbling from dh's direction about, oh no, not roast veg again, which is silly, because its lovely, I guess that's just a man thing, most of the ones I know only 'do' peas.....

I've also been a very good girl and started using the gym more than once a week again (I missed it for the whole of Dec due to that row, see previous posts) I have advised dh, much to his glee (he can spend more time at work on online games when I'm not there to monitor him) that I will be missing from work for 1.5 hrs a day, due to excercise. (the benifits of self employment are finally being reaped 5 years on)

I managed gym yesterday, where I walked fast uphill (apparently better for you than running on weightloss stakes?) cross trained, rowed and weight lifted (are you feeling tired yet?) Today I did Yogalates, (Yoga/Pilates crossover), although I have to say I liked the look of the keepfit class which was on before too (another mum friend came out of that one and said it was good) So I will probably try that one next week. Tomorrow I have dd2 all day, so nothing going on, but Thursday I've scheduled a swim with Meridian and Friday its Yoga. Hopefully variation is the key to keeping it interesting and loosing my podgy middle bits, be gone muffin top, alakazam! we shall see?

Friday, 2 January 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all, although I've broken my resolution to write 1000 words of creative writing every two days (that can be 500 per day or 1000 in one day right!) but I have been at work 09:00-20:00 so surely that lets me off today, and yesterday I was hungover as hell, so you know...more on that tomorrow anyway as its late, goodnight all.