Tuesday, 30 September 2014

September Catch Up

At the beginning of September I showed you this photograph of my Autumn reads.  As you will see from  the list below I have already made great headway into my selection together with a few additions from my Kindle. .  Each of the books listed below has a clickable link to my Tea and Biscuits and A Good Book blog where you find out a bit more about each one and what I thought of them.

The Memory Book - Rowan Coleman - Fiction

 If You Were the Only Girl - Anne Bennett - Fiction

Whilst we were watching Downton Abbey - Wendy Wax

Will You Remember Me - Amanda Prowse - Fiction

Keeper of Secrets - Amanda Brooke - Fiction

Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts - Lucy Dillon - Fiction

Mrs Sinclairs Suitcase - Louise Walters - Fiction

My return to school read challenge for this month was 

To Sir With Love - E. R. Braithwaite 

It was such a long time ago since I had read this book that I had actually forgotten that E. R. Braithwaite's memoir was written about his time working in an east end school not an american one as portrayed in the film starring Sidney Poitier.  Still it was a very good read and one of my colleagues in the office having heard me wax lyrical about it has downloaded it to her kindle (I just hope she finds it as good as I did). 

Although I had completed my Yet to be read bookshelf challenge, which was to have read 13 out of the 26 books sitting on the bookshelf last Christmas by June this year, which I completed in May.  I have continued working my way through the remaining 13 books on that shelf and Don't want to miss a thing - by Jill Mansell  is number 25 leaving just one more on that particular shelf.  If I had stuck to just reading these books before I allowed myself to read or buy any new books I probably would have finished it before now, but I have allowed the odd new one to jump the queue.   I should also confess that I have not been able to resist stocking up the shelf below and down loading some must reads from the Amazon sale ready for the forthcoming Autumn/Winter months, all will be revealed.   

My old film must see for September was Twelve Angry Men from 1957.  It had many famous stars, Henry Fonda, Lee J Cobb, Jack Klugman, Martin Balsam, Jack Warden. Joseph Sweeney, Ed Begley, John Fiedler, E.G. Marshall, Edward Binns, George Voskovec and Robert Webber.

For anyone who doesn't know the synopsis of this film, it is  about a court case where a young man is accused of killing his father.  Essentially the film is about the 12 jurors and there deliberations as to whether they find the young man guilty or not guilty.  Should they find him guilty he will face the death penalty for sure.  It is quite simply one of my favourite films.  They did make a remake in 1997 and ordinarily I cannot stand the remakes but actually this one kept very close to the original film, but as always I do prefer the original.

My little hats for the BIG KNIT are already to be delivered to our local Age UK charity shop.  They had set themselves a target of 4,000 so I am intrigued to find out how they have got on.  

And finally I have 40 of my poppies all ready and I will be attending a couple of craft fair in the next couple of weeks where I am hoping that some of them will be bought to help raise money for charity.  

I heard that a number of you ended up with THAT song stuck in your heads having read my harvest time post.  I do apologise.  My daughter sent me a text today to say she had the music from Willie Wonker and the Chocolate Factory stuck in her brain today.  

I know which one I prefer. 


Saturday, 27 September 2014

September - A Time for change

 I know we all celebrate the coming of the New Year every January but, September always feels like a New Year to me.

With the changing of the season

With the changing of leaves to those gorgeous golds, reds & browns 

with that little nip in the air when you go out of a morning and even the smell of autumn
and mother nature preparing her natural food store lots of berries and nuts for our wildlife to share during the winter months.

As September comes to a close I think about all the other changes. 

All our little one's going off to nursery and school for the first time, our bigger ones moving up to the juniors and on to secondary school.

Massive changes for our teenagers who will have waited nervously throughout the summer to get their GCSE, AS and A level results and  I hope all of yours got the results they wanted or needed.
For some of our teenagers they will have gone on to sixth form and college and some they will have left home for the first time with going off to University or out into the big world of work 
(all of which can be a bit scary).

But as number 3 is always telling me this is just part of our life cycle.

Thank you to all of you who left comments about number 3 going off to his new school. So far he tells us that he's loving it and it's better than his old school and he has even been selected to join the after school sports club which is fantastic for a young man that has many challenges ahead of him as he goes into adolescence. He had a fantastic birthday and I think there are going to be a lot of interesting times ahead for us all as he starts this new chapter in his life.


Friday, 19 September 2014

Harvest Time

I make no secret that this time of year if my absolute favourite.

All across the Fens in the past few weeks the Combine Harvesters have been out in force.

Bales of hay dotted across the landscape as I drive through the county.

But of course the one thing that springs to mind when you see the Combines out 

Courtesy of the internet not my personal collection.

You guessed it 

Again Pic courtesy of the internet not a poster on my bedroom wall

I have had this song whizzing around my head for weeks now and I thought it was time that I shared this experience with you.

So now you too will have that song stuck in your head 

Cuz I got a brand new combine harvester
An I'll give you the key
Come on now let's get together
In perfect harmony
I got twenty acres
An' you got forty-three
Now I got a brand new combine harvester
An' I'll give you the key

Just thought I would share that one with you and if you're really sad here is the link to the Lyrics in full so you can get all the words right.


Wednesday, 17 September 2014

A small person's birthday

I say a small person's birthday but actually he's not so small anymore.

Number 3 had his 11th birthday yesterday and as you can see from his cake (not made by me I might add) he is a little in to Minecraft at the moment.

I can't believe he is 11 already the years just seem to of whizzed by.

He had an Xbox 360 and the Minecraft game for his birthday and a couple of additional games and bits and bobs from his siblings.

As the older three all live away from home now it was nice that he got a phone call from each of them last night wishing him a happy birthday.

I was reliably informed by D that he was met by a lot of his new classmates when he got to school yesterday morning all singing happy birthday.  Some gave him individual cards but the whole class had signed a card for him too so if he didn't feel part of his new class and school before I certainly think he does now. With living in a rural county and with his classmates coming from all over the county to attend his school it is always difficult to arrange birthday parties and in the past his school has always arranged a trip on our behalf so that everyone could go and this has always worked well. We weren't sure whether the new school would be able to carry this on but we found out on Monday that his teacher has also arranged a class trip for his birthday next week to go bowling which he will enjoy.  We rounded the day off by going out for a nice family meal just the three of us.
He of course had his usual favourite of fish fingers, chips and beans and shared deserts with D and I as he didn't think he could manage one all to himself.

I think the next few years are going to prove very interesting as we watch our little ASD man go through adolescence and into adulthood. Even though we have been through the teenage angst three times before I think number 3 will put a whole new spin on things.


Just a little PS from me to say I hope for any of you that were delivering your young people to Uni last week or this week hope all went or goes well.

Will be thinking of you all, try not to cry until you are at least 15 minutes down the road just in case you get a call on your mobile to say they have left something vital in the car and you have to go back. Not a good look blurry read eyes and panda eyes from mascara.

Take care one & all.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

University Challenge Blanket

Back in the Spring I started making lots of squares using Sirdar Sublime. 
It can be a little on the pricey side but it is really nice wool to work with.

I have spent the last week or two blocking out the 110 squares 
and crocheting them together.

For anyone who knows me they would tell you I struggle with random 

So the challenge element was definitely putting the blanket together without any order. 

 The only way I could cope was to put all the squares into a bag and pull them out 1 at a time 

If your eyesight is good enough you will see that the only place I ended up with two of the same colour was right at the bottom and I decided I could live with that in the name of random.

There are some gorgeous blankets appearing in blog land all of which have been made with lots of love ready to keep a love one safe whilst at University and hopefully this one will do just that.

So I give to you my 'University Challenge Blanket'


Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Here comes Autumn

I can't believe we are in autumn again already where did the summer go.
I don't know about all of you but it has certainly been feeling a little autumnal over the last few days.

By now all the children will be back or about to be in school. Some will be attending school for the first time others will be going back and moving up a year or up to secondary school. 

Then there will be those who have now left school and moving onto to either sixth form college or going out into the big wide world of work.

And lastly there will be those who will be leaving home for the first time to go off to University or returning to continue their studies.

And so another academic year begins. 

For us number 3 will be moving onto his new school.  He would of been moving on next year anyway as his old school only took him up to age 11 and as the school we had been looking at had a space to take him from this September as they cater for children from 3 - 19 years, it made sense to move him now.  
He has a diagnosis of autism and  although not all the children who attend his new school have ASD the majority seem to have this diagnosis and do very well there. 
I think interesting times are a head as we see him develop into an adolescent and then into adult hood. His previous head mistress used to tell us that most children with ASD will plateau at some stage but so far he doesn't seem to of reached that point.  
We have always talked to him about his diagnosis, especially within the last two years when he himself recognized that he was different to other neuro-typical children.
 He will tell us that his autism is being particularly bothersome when things get a little muddled.
 (which always reminds me of Winnie the Pooh)

The two big boys are back from the holidays with friends and are now settling back down into work and no doubt already planning where to go next year.
Oh to be young, free and single. 
Meanwhile daughter will be returning to her studies at University.

For me Autumn is my favourite season.
 I love the smell and colour of autumn. 
I also like the fact that when it's cold and wet outside there's nothing better than to curl up in front of the fire. 

As you can see it is Monty's favourite spot.

These are just a selection of my autumn reads with a little help from Romeo in the background, which includes the remaining 3 out of the 26 books, that were residing on my bookshelf last Christmas, together with some book swaps and some newbies, not forgetting I still have four more books to pick for my return to school read. 

And lastly with Autumn comes great food 

Beef Stew & Dumplings (YUM) one of my absolute favourite autumn foods. 
What we call in our house stodge anything that makes you warm and cozy inside after surviving on lettuce leaves all summer.

I'm sure you all have your own favourites too.

I hope for any of you that are starting a new and exciting  chapter in your lives in the very near future that all is calm and goes smoothly.

Big hugs sent to you all