Friday, 27 February 2015

Birthday weekend Finale

When I asked my daughter some months ago what she wanted to do for her 21st Birthday
 she announced she would like a weekend away with her Mum. 
Isn't that lovely.
We don't get a lot of time together now she is at Uni but I thought she would more than likely want to spend it with her friends.
Well she has indeed celebrated with her friends too in fact she's had a week of celebrations.
So the Birthday Finale is here.
and what are we doing for the Finale?


The hotel is booked....

Train tickets have been purchased.

and we're off to London

 What do we have planned

She is a BIG Mamma Mia fan, it is her favourite film and she is the first one up at Karaoke to belt out Mamma Mia, this is something I have never witnessed but I have it on good authority that this is the case,
and we have tickets for tonight.

Tomorrow is a dayout around London. I was born on the outskirts of London but when I was a teenager it was at the height of the Troubles as they were known and we were not allowed to go into the capital unless our mother was with us. I was 16 before I went into the capital with friends.

We have a table booked at one of Jamie's Italian restaurants for tomorrow evening before we head off to

War Horse tomorrow evening.

To say I am a little tad excited would be an understatement.

I best be off now things to do, things to do

Hope you have a lovely weekend whatever you are doing.


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

21st birthday Ta dah

When I finished my post on Monday I was about to rush off and pick up flowers as one of the gifts for my daughters 21st Birthday. These are her flowers aren't they beautiful.

I Just wanted to say a very big thank you to everyone who left comments on Monday wishing her a happy birthday. As you know she had 21 gifts to open. Now you may think this very extravagant but to me she is worth it and it is a bit of a family tradition. Her presents ranged from a fridge magnet up to a Radley handbag. She is a bit of Radley girl. 

It has to be said that she is also rather partial to cushions that she has on her bed so I couldn't resist having this one made for her through Asda Photo. I was very impressed with the quality and it was very reasonable. Best of all she loved it.

Now for my birthday Ta Dah moment

Over the last three months I have shown you snippets of how this blanket was progressing

Well here it is in all it's glory......

The wool is Drops Big Delight which is an Aran weight wool. It's made using one ball of each of the 14 colours stocked by Wool Warehouse and edged in Drops Alaska shade Navy blue.

This gift was a personal one from me to her. Her Dad gave me this set of Amerthysts for my 21st, they should have been garnets and even though we are no longer together I kept them safely put away till the day I could pass them on to my own daughter and Amerthysts are the birthstone for February so may be his mistake was made for a reason. 

The birthday celebrations started last Friday and I believe there were a number of sore heads on Sunday morning. We had a lovely day on Monday rounded off with a meal in the evening which finished off with blowing out of her candles......  

The celebrations are continuing over the week and I will be back on Friday to tell about the celebration finale.....


Monday, 23 February 2015

It's the big one


Today I am just a little bit excited and a little giddy for it is my baby girls 21st Birthday and I am going over to spend the afternoon with her when she has finished her Uni lectures for the day (fancy having to go to lectures on your 21st birthday).

Her birthday celebrations started on Friday when a couple of her friends from our old neighbourhood drove over to spend the weekend with her and her old school/Uni pals, I am led to believe that there were a few sore heads yesterday morning.

She has just a few presents to open 
21 to be exact 

and a cake adorned with the required embarrassing photo's of her childhood.

On the day she came into this world it was snowing, her two big brothers spent the afternoon having snow ball fights in their grandmother's back garden.  
I am pleased to see that today is beautiful blue skies.

Right just one more thing to do and that is to collect her flowers from the florist, what girl doesn't like flowers on such a special day.

Have a great day one & all and I will share some more photo's from this special day later in the week when I shall also reveal what I have planned for her for this coming weekend.


Friday, 20 February 2015

A quick catch up.

Firstly I hope you all had a lovey Valentines what ever way you celebrated it.  Our plans went well until we went to get our takeaway meal only to find that both the takeaways in the next village (and the only one's around for miles) were both closed for the week. So plan a) was the Chinese and plan b) was the chippy and plan c) ended up being the pizza out the freezer how romantic was that.  Still we made up for it by having a nice meal on the Sunday that we cooked ourselves. Best made plans eh. 

Earlier on I was catching up on my blog reading and I had to smile at Jo from  Through the Keyhole's post entitled 'How Did That Happen'.  It is Jo's son's birthday today and he is 20. It made me smile as last month my eldest turned 27 but still thinks he's Peter Pan, 

and this week this cheeky young man turned 24. I certainly never dreamed when he was this size that he would be signing up for the RAF and going off to Afghanistan. Out the three big kids he was always the clingy one and the one that would suddenly put his little hand in yours when you were walking along.  Where did those years go you may well ask Jo and the answer is I just don't know. 

As I shared the card I bought number one for his birthday last month I thought I would share the one I bought for number 2.  He loves his car which is an Alfa Romeo something and very fast is all I will say especially with him behind the wheel.  I wrote inside 'I bet you wished my savings went as far as buying you one of these for your birthday, but unfortunately they don't. Not unless a matchbox version will do'.

I hope you are all enjoying the half term holidays.  They seem to vary all over the UK with some being off last week and some this.  My number 3 is off this week so I took the opportunity to take some time away from the office.  As per usual the weather has been a little interchangeable but we did manage to get out in the sunshine with the four paws for a walk around the village.  It was very entertaining as D & number 3 were in charge of the Rufus and Romeo who it has to be said misbehaved for most of the walk messing about and barking.  I was in charge of Monty and Buster.  Monty always behaves he's such a laid back dude and just saunters along.  Now it has to be said that in the past Buster who we were lead to believe was lead trained when we got him at the age of 2 nearly 3 has had issues in the past of crying and barking and jumping up and down (due to over stimulation and excitement of going on a walk), which means I normally walk him on his own or just with Monty and not with the other two.  But on this occasion I was very proud of him.  We had a little bit of crying when we set off which was D's fault as he set off at such a pace that he'd left me behind shutting gates and therefore Buster cried because he could see D and number 3 a head and wanted to catch them up. After that he was so good and didn't even cry or bark when we got to the duck pond.  He wouldn't hurt the ducks but just gets so excited when he sees them. This is such a vast improvement but it has taken just over a year to get him to this point and I was beginning to wonder if we ever would.  I normally get back from walking with him so stressed and in need of a cup of tea but hopefully we have turned a corner. I have come to the conclusion that his previous owners should never have had or should ever consider having  a  dog again. It does make me cross when people take on an animal without thinking about the impact they will have on your time (OK I'll get off my soap box now). 

I am as ever making my way through a vast number of books again this month, finishing my return to child hood read of Anne of Greengables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery last night.  I read this version on my Kindle and at just 99p for the complete collection of around 8 books I thought that was a bit of a bargain.  In the first story we see the arrival of Anne at Greengables  aged 11 as an orphan girl taken on by Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, you get to follow Anne's journey as she blossoms into a young women aged 16. Which is where I have chosen to leave Anne at this time.  The subsequent books take her from age 18 up to a middle aged women of 53 (can we call that middle aged I think we can seen as that's how old I will be next birthday) I have never read any of the later books so this will give me the opportunity to do so at a later date. Needless to say I enjoyed it just as much this time around as I did all those years ago. 

I am going to leave you now with the beautiful skies from this morning as I was making my way to the office.


Have a lovely weekend one & all.


Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Peregrine Falcons

This pair of Peregrine Falcons have been nesting on the top of a building near to my office  for several years and successfully raised their chicks. Around 24 have fledged including 4 from last year. 
They have just returned again in the last week.
The male arrived first (how do you know this you ask) well typical male sat on the ledge for most of the day waiting on the female to arrive.  He's usually the one to the back. 
According to the website the female is also around a third bigger than the male and has a longer beak. 

When she arrived the following day she gave the nesting site a thorough inspection (so that's why I'm thinking this one is the female) and she is normally sat at the front. 

So how did I get these photographs you ask? Well I'm afraid I cheated. Nottingham University/Wildlife Trust have set up cameras so that you can follow/monitor the birds on a live stream and I took snap shots with my iPad from my computer screen so that I could show them to you but you can actually follow them yourselves here. if you are interested  They are completely left to their own devices and there are times that once the chicks are hatched you will see the parents bringing in pigeons and the like that they have killed in order to feed their chicks so I thought I would make you aware of that especially if you are thinking it would be nice to show your children. It would be best to log on and see what if anything that the birds are doing before showing them. So far every time I have logged on with number three they have been away from the site. I think he's beginning to think I am imagining them. 
According to my colleague who has followed them for the last two-three years, the young are usually in the nest for about six weeks and each chick is ringed before they fledge by the the Wiildlife Trust.. 

Just a little something I thought I would share with you on this Wednesday.

Back at the end of the week


Saturday, 14 February 2015

Happy Valentines Day


Who says romance is dead.D & I have been together 15 years this August. We are not the most romantic of couples. These days everyday life tends to get in the way, but just every now again he will still surprise me. It's been a busy old week at work so it was a lovely surprise when I got home and there waiting for me were these beautiful roses. 

When I first met D he soon  realised I loved anything to do with Myth and Legend especially Unicorns, Pegasus and Dragons (well I am a Celt after all). I was surfing around blog land and when I read House with hearts.blogspot five on Friday yesterday it got me to thinking about the first gifts we bought each other all those years ago. At the time we lived some 300 miles apart and only met up every couple of weeks and it was usually D that made the trip as I was a single mum raising three young children at the time. I can remember being really excited as I finished work for the weekend as I knew D would have arrived by the time I got home and the children were staying with their grandmother for the weekend so that we could have a nice weekend together.   D had already sent me a dozen red roses to my office, which was a little embarrassing as I hadn't told anyone at that point that I had met someone. 
When I arrived home there sat on the table was a box all wrapped in pretty paper with a ribbon tied into a bow. Which was funny because sat in my bedroom was an identical box for D. When I produced my box we both had a little panic that we had actually been out and bought identical gifts.

Do you want to see what was inside.

This was my gift from D. Yes they are both Unicorns but whilst dusting a little while ago one lost his horn. I do have it (somewhere, that darned safe place is keeping it safe I just have to remember where that safe place is believe me I searched high and low last night as I had the glue at the ready you watch by the time I find it I won't know where I've put the glue).

But I digress...  In D box were these two dragons

So we hadn't bought the same gifts but nearly.

Fifteen years on they still reside on my dressing table along with a few others.

So how will we celebrate this year?  With a nice takeaway and a bottle of something nice and maybe a box of chocolates for after.

Have a lovely Valentines how ever you will be celebrating.


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Power Surges & other ramblings.

From time to time D will send me little emails with attachments. Today's email contained this image. 
For those of us of a certain age will know only too well what it is like to be freezing cold one minute and suddenly get a surge of heat that comes up from your toes and ends at the top of your head. You end up standing with the back door open in order to cool down in the middle of Winter. D will tell me the bedroom is freezing when to me it feels a nice ambient temperature and I still end up kicking of the quilt during the night. .  This I have to say has been happening  a lot of late.  Now why I couldn't have followed in my mother's foot steps and be done with all this by now seems quite justly unfair.  I can't quite decide which of the seven dwarves I am supposed to be today may be a mixture of all of them.

This weekend was a quiet weekend after doing all the usual of catching up on housework. Sunday we decided to go out for breakfast. Fortunately we timed it just right. Just after we had found a table and placed our order the local MG club poured into the car park for their local meet.  They were meeting at the garden centre for breakfast and were then heading off to a micro  brewery.  D and number 3 managed to have a walk around all the cars before we left whilst their owners were still tucking into their full English. 

I spent the rest of Sunday doing more of my Cross Stitch.  I managed to track down the bead for her wand only to find I couldn't find my bead needle and had to search through the rest of my needles to find one with a small enough eye. As you can see I succeeded.  I was very pleased with the progress I was making only to realise about an hour later that I would have to unpick a section as I had used the wrong number floss.  D said you would have to be a blind man in order to notice but you know what it's like. Once you know something you can't un-know it can you. So I spent the next hour unpicking and resewing in the right colour.  Still The Dark Sorceress is making good progress but continues to be a WIP.

Did you all tune into the new series of the Great British Sewing Bee.  As lovely as the person was who went home (no names just in case there are some of you still waiting to watch on catch up) I think they made the right choice.  Nice to see there are a few more males this series too. 

Then this week we also have the start of the Celebrity Great British Bake Off for the next four weeks don't we.  I haven't mentioned that to D yet, he can only cope with so many of my must watch programmes and he's doing quite well with The Voice this year.

This week we also have another birthday boy when our Monty will turn 7.  He still thinks he's a pup and for the most part can keep up with the younger ones.  He is definitely getting into pipe and slippers mode. These days he sleeps most of the day away and is definitely going a little deaf, unless of course you rattle a dentistix packet and he can still manage to hear one of those and be first in the queue.

Hope you're all having a good week


Monday, 2 February 2015

Snow Watching & Make & Bake February

This weekend included some serious snow watching

and what else do you do when it's snowing apart from stay in the warm and start on some of those jobs you keep putting off.

This weekend I decided to pull all the cookery books off the shelf give them a dusting and put them back in some sort of order. 

In doing so I picked not only a make but a bake for February.

I started with baking some dinner rolls. I hadn't made any sort of bread for a number of years. I had forgotten what a work out you get from kneading bread dough. And what else do you do whilst it's proving but have a cup of tea and biscuit and sit and sew the ends in on your latest project.  
One and half hours later these little rolls were the result.  Now I know they aren't necessary conforming to shape and I doubt they would pass Paul Hollywood's density test but they were my little rolls and even if I do say it myself they tasted very nice. 

and for my make I picked Butternut Squash soup.
So many of my colleagues come in with all sorts of soups they have made at home and I always turn up with the can of Heinz 57.
A friend of mine had made Butternut Squash soup some time ago and it was delicious and I always meant to ask her how she had made it and never got round to it.  I then found this recipe in one of my books. 
Ordinarily I put all my vegetables in stock and let it bubble away until ready but with this one you had to cover with a dressing of olive oil, dried oregano and garlic and  cook in the oven for 1 1/2 hours first. Our oven can be a bit temperamental so I did cover it with tin foil as if any of it had got a bit crispy it would of tasted bitter in the soup.
After you have baked everything then you add it to stock and bring up to the boil for 10 mins before blending.
I was a little apprehensive as to how it would taste but I needn't of worried especially when number 3 (very picky with some foods especially if not tried before) gave it the thumbs up, so now it can be added to the list of soups in my repertoire .
Needless to say I have some in a little pot to take to the office today and there was a little bread roll left over to go with it. 

Here's hoping the fluffy white stuff stays away now as lovely to look at as it is, it's no fun driving in it.

Have a good week one & all.