Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Day Tripping

Yesterday G and I had a little jaunt out together on the train.
We went to Petersfield.
It's somewhere I've been waiting to visit for a while and G suggested he book a day off and we go on our own.

Just down from the station I spotted this sculpture and said 'oh look at that lovely sheep'. In my defense I was looking at it head on at first and it is only the size of a sheep, it's not proper cow size. When we got closer and I got my camera got G said 'here goes the start of many photo taking stops for the day'.

Petersfield has a very pretty and bustling town centre

and in the centre of the centre is a statue of William III dressed as a Roman Emperor.

One of the reasons I wanted to go to Petersfield was to pay a visit to the museum and the Flora Twort art gallery. I checked online at the weekend and unfortunately both are closed on a Monday, so I have to save these for my next trip there.

Snippets of things which caught my eye during the day.

After a brief stop for lunch we made our way to the Heath and then took a very slow amble round the 22 acre pond. 

The sun was out and the sky was blue and being in such surroundings made a perfect end to a relaxing day out.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

A Proper Day Out

Here we are at the end of the school break. It feels as if the children have been off for ages. 
Not much happened the first week. G and I had to work more or less our normal hours which meant S went and spent a couple of afternoons with my mum and in between times she had friends round to play and a sleepover. T met up with friends, spent some time plugged in the xbox and did an extra shift volunteering at the charity shop.
The second week was full of the same, the children saw friends when it was possible, we had to make an unscheduled trip to the vets as Malcolm was unwell and then magically better after two injections from the vet and as a bonus I had an extra day off and we had a day out.

The weather here in the South has been exceptionally warm and I thought a little trip to Lee-on-the-Solent would be ideal.
As I dislike driving we made the journey by taking a train to Fareham and then a bus to Lee. By buying the tickets online the night before I was able to add in the plusbus tickets which made it so much cheaper than purchasing the bus tickets on the day.

As a thank you to mum for helping us out over the holiday we asked her to join us and S was thrilled when T said he would come out too.
There aren't many shops in Lee and shopping isn't the reason we went, but it does have 5 charity shops which we had a very quick look in. One was another branch of the charity T volunteers for which he was keen to explore and then declared wasn't as good as his!
The next stop was the chip shop for our lunch which we took down to eat sat on the pebbly shore

looking out towards the sea which as you can see was partially covered in a hazy mist.

After eating S and I played catch with the ball she had recently bought with some of her birthday money. I love the look on her face in the top picture when she realised she had thrown the ball towards me with a bit too much gusto and it went way over my head.

There was much giggling when S filled up the back of T's shirt with stones and they began to trickle down the back of his trousers.

He got his own back afterwards though, pouring stones down the back of S's dress. So many were put down the dress that they bulged out and made her look as though she had a shell on her back like a turtle.

The water was chilly but it didn't stop mum, T and S going in for a short paddle. Just after this photo was taken T splashed S and got her dress very wet and although she complained loudly to him there was a big grin on her face too. 

I could have stayed for longer but by mid afternoon the children were ready to go home and so after we had had an ice cream we made started the journey home. A lovely highlight of the holidays.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Our Easter and S Day

 Today is the day 7 years ago we travelled home together from Norfolk and became a family of 4.
It's known as S Day (T Day is in August) and each year we try and mark the occasion for each child. Due to both G and I having to work today and S going to spend time with a friend we celebrated S Day over the Easter break. It started with a trip to the cinema to see Home, a new animated movie which she really wanted to see. Good family fun movie.
At home in the afternoon we set about prettifying the dining room for Easter, S decorated branches of forsythia with eggs

whilst I hung up our bunny mugs on the dresser.

We had invited my mum and sister over for a roast in the afternoon and to follow I made a hot cross bun treacle tart. I cheated and used ready made pastry but it was very simple to make and the recipe is here if you fancy giving it a go. The perfect accompaniment for a cup of tea I guarantee it.

Saturday was a mooching around the house kind of day and then Sunday we were all off to Salisbury for a family celebration. G's brother will be 60 tomorrow and so we all gathered together for lunch at G's mum's house for a birthday lunch. 
G and I had complied a little quiz about events, people, sport and film from 1955 and after lunch the family divided themselves into two teams and played against each other. I'm happy to report the birthday boy was on the winning team.

Yesterday we popped along to the car boot sale for an hour.
G came home with a couple of singles and an LP and my best buy was this Royal Albert milk and sugar bowl. There was also a smaller sugar bowl, for the coffee set I'm presuming, and for the 3 items I paid £2.00. I checked on-line yesterday and this shape and design are from the 1950's. It's been washed and packed away until December!
Our day was topped off with a Chinese takeaway, another part of our slightly early S Day celebrations.

Another Pinterest inspired spring craft was completed at the weekend.
I have made a wreath for the front door using a ball of lime green fun fur yarn. It looks like lush spring grass. I am really pleased with the way it has turned out. Instructions are here if you want to give it a whirl.

I couldn't end this post without including a photo of S, after all it is her day, but as she has already gone out and I won't see her now until I come home from work this evening I will have to use a photo of her from January.
We are incredibly lucky to have such a beautiful, kind, funny and generous little girl as our daughter.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Nothing To Report

Last Tuesday morning I woke up with a sore throat. 
By the end of the morning I felt so cold that when I went to work I was wearing three layers of clothing.
As the afternoon progressed a cough developed and my head was pounding by the time I left at 6.45pm.
Once home I went straight to bed.
And that is where I stayed, more or less, until Saturday morning.
On arriving home from school on Wednesday T came into my bedroom to ask how I was feeling.
He shone the light from his tablet towards me and declared ' you look infected' and left me in peace.

So I don't have much to report really and certainly there aren't any photos of me looking 'infected' from last week to share either.
Hurrah I hear you say!
Instead here is one from February of me and my Mr A next to the Gainsborough painting of the (slightly!) more famous Mr and Mrs Andrews. Although you can possibly see the attractive swelling on my right eye lid from some kind of allergic reaction I had for 4 weeks.
Picture of health me aren't I?! 
Here's hoping to catch up with Blogland over the coming week and hoping all is well with everyone else.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Lampshade Love

When at the car boot I paid £1.00 for a very tatty old lampshade G thought I had finally lost the plot.
What he didn't know is that I had a plan.
A plan which involved double sided tape, lengths of fabrics and a little bakers twine.
I found two projects on Pinterest, here and here, which really caught my eye and I wanted to try and make my own version.

I have slow progress with it over the course of a few weeks, doing a little at a time, but by twisting double sided tape around each part of the frame and then used one of S's old summer dresses to cover it today I completed the first part of the makeover.
The dress I used had panels made from 5 different patterns, white with pink polka dots, pink with a darker pink rose, white with a pink rose, a pink embrodiery anglaise and a green gingham.

I'm not intending to ever use it as a lamp/light shade, I wanted it be a means of being able to display photos, pretty fripperies and ephemera and maybe change the items to reflect the seasons. So now I need to decide how to finish it off.
I like the idea of wrapping ribbon around it, I was considering using a pink bakers twine, but I'm not sure this would work as well on my shade as the frame is a different shape. It may work better with lengths of twine or ribbon hanging down from the frame as in the second picture.
Decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

And So To Bed...

March is the perfect time of year for buying new bedlinen.
Or so I read in one of the downloads I purchased from Brocante Home.
And who am I to argue.
Especially when I have coveted this pretty floral set from Ikea for the longest time.
It's the perfect mix of colours for our bedroom and I hope it'll give me the boost I need to get on and finish the update of the room we began and didn't finish.

Monday, 16 March 2015


Not only did G bring me breakfast in bed on Saturday morning but he also cooked breakfast for me on Sunday morning too.
We were up bright and early both days.
 We had planned a quick trip to town on Saturday as we needed to go to Ikea.
Would you believe we managed to come out of that store with only the things we went in to get.
That must be a first.
Sunday we planned to go to the car boot.
Our local one started up again last week after the winter break and proved successful even though there weren't many sellers.
This week there were so few sellers we didn't bother pulling into the field where it's held and instead went straight onto the second part of our Sunday plan.
This was meeting up in the cafe of a local garden centre with my sister and mum for us all to have a chat whilst enjoying coffee and cake.
I was lucky enough to receive two lovely cards from T and S, the things they had written inside made me cry.
As well as a beautiful bunch of flowers I was given a huge box of Maltesers, a miniature bottle of Tia Maria and a book containing all the Mary Poppins stories.
Last weekend G and I watched Saving Mr Banks and then spent another half an hour googling the life of P L Travers which in turn led us to finding a BBC documentary by Victoria Coren Mitchell on you tube about the author.

I always give my mum daffodils for Mother's Day, maybe my love of the flower comes from her. When I saw a link on Simone's blog for crocheted daffodils which were being sold to raise money for the Marie Curie charity I had to investigate and of course then purchase one for such a good cause.
A little piece of Spring on my winter coat.

After my breakfast of bacon and egg muffins I wasn't quite ready to eat a slice of cake but I did find I was able to manage a shortbread biscuit.
I just love shortbread.
But I've never made any, that is until last week when I made millionaire's shortbread. I cheated and used a tin of the caramel condensed milk which saved a bit of time and mine looked a bit more mis-shapen than the smooth and regular ones in the photo accompanying the recipe but they tasted pretty good.