Sunday, 20 July 2014

Pre-Birthday

Bunting quickly cut from sheets of coloured paper and strung up in the garden this morning in readiness for pre birthday celebrations .

Due to work commitments tomorrow I won't be seeing my mum and sister so they came over today.
After a party food laden lunch it was time to play a couple of games, some of them using water pistols, one of which G enjoyed playing with!

See those straws? They are stood in sand and have ping pong balls balanced on the top which had to be shot off their perch with the water pistols. 

I volunteered G and my mum to play the next game. They each held an empty plastic cup with a ping pong ball in. S and her friend D then stood a short distance away and by aiming a squirty bottle, supposedly, at the cups they raced each other to see who could fill their partners cup with water the quickest so the ping pong ball rose up and fell out. 
Of course G and my mum ended up getting soaked but seeing as it was so incredibly hot they didn't mind.
In fact we all ended up pretty wet. 
There were plenty of water pistols to go round and everyone joined in with squirting each other and some even tried to employ the trampoline as a form of defence.



Once we had all dried out it was time for me to open my presents. Amongst those from my mum was this fantastic plastic apple necklace


and a jam pot which is a pretty new addition on my dresser.


My favourite pre-loved present from my sister, modelled here by S, was this CK cherry patterned umbrella. I can't believe someone was selling this at a car boot! Why wouldn't you want this?!



As well as the brolly I had lots of other goodies. There are two cardis, one in black and one in blue, plus a knitted brown skirt, a navy jumper, a green tshirt, a cotton  shopping bag, 3 photos albums, birthday paper chains, a wicker heart, a scarf, a home sweet home decoration, a Christmas candle holder and owl Christmas tree decorations. Oh and a pink star patterned bangle which I'm wearing and forgot to photograph!



Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Consuming

Let's start with something that is undoubtedly good for you.
Just look at all that veg.
I was very taken by how vibrantly colourful an evening meal I was cooking one day last week looked, the red onion and the peppers against the white rice.
It's a meal a probably cook once a month and can vary depending on what is in the fridge. Bacon, chicken, sausage or pepperoni is added, but whatever the combination it is enjoyed. Usually with a slice or two of garlic bread.


Something else very delicious but probably not quite so good for you is the shortbread, cream and strawberries we enjoyed the other Sunday when we went to a Mela festival. For happy picnic guests start with a shortbread or shortcake biscuit, top with squirty cream and finish off with a strawberry or three. 





From food to drink. Here is R, G's niece, (her dad behind here) celebrating her 30th birthday with a sweet martini cocktail. Food was also consumed during a very relaxing family lunch at a pub in Salisbury.



Food for thought this time in the shape of a trip to the theatre for myself and G quite a few weekends ago when we saw Catch 22. I remember John Sargent championing this book in the BBC series The Big Read and it's always been one of those books you think 'Oh I should read that' but you just don't.
Last year I did read it because one month it was designated as the choice for our book club. I ploughed through the first 116 pages thinking what on earth is going on here and then I got it. I loved it. I couldn't wait to finish it. So when G noticed it was coming to the local theatre we booked tickets. It was excellent. There was a small cast each playing multiple roles and they were superb.



Another recent trip to the theatre could have seen me being consumed by jealousy if I had been so inclined! G suggested we go and see a Shakespeare play, like the opera and the ballet, this was another new experience for me. We chose As You Like It and in the epilogue spoken by the pretty and very talented actress who played Rosalind she says 'If I were a woman I would kiss as many of you as had beards that pleased me'. With that she fixed a bearded G with a stare and a grin and made her way off the stage to where he was sat and came and planted a big smacker of a kiss on his cheek. He was delighted. My first Shakespearian theatre trip isn't one we'll forget.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Hyde Park


We met in Hyde Park on Saturday.
Different strands from the same family.
We looked at photos taken in the exact same spot 7,8,9 years ago when no-one could have known what the future held.
It was unbearably sad.
But there was lots of laughter too and comfort from being with those who understood.
A special place to hold in our hearts along with our love for Liam.

Friday, 11 July 2014

A Prickly Visitor

We have had hedgehogs in our garden quite a few times over the years, but none of them have arrived late afternoon and stayed for a two hour feast.
Initially when this little chap appeared one Sunday afternoon we all kept quiet and kept our distance but it didn't seem at all bothered by our presence.



It was fascinating being so close and watching him/her find it's dinner in the grass as it began scrabbling away in the earth.





This is my favourite photo of it, just look at that face!




As well as eating two slugs it also enjoying chomping away on a worm which you can see here.


The hedgehog appeared the next day too whilst I was hanging out the washing but we haven't seen him since and this was about a month ago now. Maybe someone else's garden has tastier treats.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Preparation

What does a biscuit maker, a paper flower kit, sponge cleaning cloths,



 red poster paint, colouring posters and glue have in common?


They have all been bought by me during the past week and stowed away together to be used for various activities over the summer holiday. 
I've compiled a list (no surprise there!) of things we can do both indoors and out. From this I have made a shopping list of things I need to buy so everything is on hand. No point saying let's make a bubble snake if I haven't got everything we need. 
Here's hoping that a bit of prep will lead to lots of summer fun.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Blog Hop

I have been nominated by, the very talented at many crafts, Angel Gem to take part in a 'Why I Write ' blog hop. It's doing the rounds and is a fun way to find new to you blogs and maybe make new blog friends too.
Here goes....

What am I working on?  I have a list of things I would like to try and make, mostly thanks to being inspired by Pinterest and other talented bloggers, and my most recent make is a felt rose brooch.
 It's actually quite a deep red and I think it works well with the black.

Something else I am working is on is reading these two books by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
I have had the Simple Abundance book for years. As the cover says it's a daybook and I have read the first quarter of the year many times but I have never read it all the way through. Reading an entry a day just doesn't work for me, there are too many distractions. I can't read it like a normal book either as I find her writing, and the quotes she uses from other,s give me so much to think about. So I read it as and when I can, making notes along the way. Romancing the Ordinary is divided into months and provides ideas for enjoying each month as the year flows along. Again I read this with a notebook by my side ready to jot down ideas and thoughts as they come to me.
It's a similar idea to the puttery treats which Alison posts on her brocante home website. A simple idea to bring a little bit more prettiness and happiness to each day is the ultimate goal and I don't think you can argue with that.

How does my writing differ from others in my genre? Simple answer. It doesn't. Apart from the fact that I write about my life and my home and my family, I do exactly the same as everyone else and record life as it happens.
This little piece of Blogland started off as my online diary nearly 6 years ago and that is how it remains and will continue to be so.



Why do I write what I write?  The last answer links into this question. I blog because of a need to record our family as it grows. When we became a family of three I kept a diary for a while as I wanted there to be a record of how it felt becoming parents to a three year old. Five years later we became a family of four with another three year old coming into our lives and shortly afterwards I discovered the world of blogging. My children have a limited amount of information and very few photos from the first three years of their lives and so this is a perfect way of making sure I record as much of their childhoods as I can.
How does my writing process work? Process? Is there supposed to be a process? Maybe that's where I'm going wrong?! Perhaps I should be more methodical about posting. When I began my blog I was at home on adoption leave and when I did return to work after 18 months away I went back two days a week. I had much more time to blog and we did lots more as a family because the children were younger. Little ideas for posts would pop into my head and I would be able to grab the camera and take a few photos and hey presto there it was on Jumble and Jelly. Over the years my time at work has increased which in turn has resulted in less blog time and less energy for thinking about it at times too.


Where do I go from here? In 2013 I posted the least amount of times ever. I wanted 2014 to be more productive. It started well enough but as so often happens, and it's something I get really disappointed in myself about, I allow work and personal issues to pull me down too much. And then of course we had the shattering news in May about T's brother. This turned life upside down. For the first few weeks it was all about just coping with the day to day. Occasionally I would think about an idea for a post but it all seemed so trivial compared to what was happening. I considered stopping altogether. I considered stopping this blog and starting a new one. In the end I decided to carry on and have been giving some thought to how the posts may look in the future. Times change. 
One thing I am planning to do over the summer holidays is attempt an online course which will help me understand and use my bridge camera more effectively. As my free time lessened and the post ideas dried up so I was using my camera less and less too and my enthusiasm for it diminished. I would love to know how to do something other than use the auto facility.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Thank you Angel Gem for the nomination, it's taken me a few days to actually get this post to the point I could press the publish button, but it made me get out of my head and into words thoughts about blogging. So if you are reading this and feel like you want to have a go then please do, it's always interesting finding out more about you all.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Weekending

A huge and heartfelt thank you to each and everyone of you who left messages on my last post. 
The kind words were so very much appreciated. It was very touching that those we have never met, but through the wonders of this blogging community have shared so many of our family times over the years, took the time to leave a caring message for us all and especially T.

For T, as you can imagine, losing his brother has been devastating. 
We are trying to support him in every way we can whilst we all work through the emotions associated with our grief.

We have muddled through the weeks since half term when Liam's funeral took place and we have relished the weekends when we can all relax a bit and try and unwind.

S and I spent some time blowing bubbles, such a soothing thing to do, and she was fascinated by a bubble which moulded itself into the shape of the leaf it sat on.


We tipped mixture into small bowls and added a couple of drops of food colouring to each and then blew bubbles at sheets of paper to make some bubble art.



During a conversation with my sister one evening she asked if we had ever done the walk from Swanwick Shore Road. No we hadn't I replied and made a mental note to check out the details. A local walk we hadn't done before definitely needed to be investigated. There was a tiny car park just to the left of these houses although next time we are thinking of taking the train as later on in the walk there is the opportunity of taking a water taxi and then we could complete the journey home by bus.


So with two attractive(!) walking companions





and new star patterned navy pumps



 off we set for our stroll along the waters edge.






When G and I took the train to work the line ran along the opposite side to our walk. It's just behind the row of hedging you can see in the centre of this photo.


I don't know the details of this wreck but on recent reading it would appear there are a few on this stretch of water, maybe something to read up about before our next outing along here.


We spotted a pale blue phone box sat on the pier at the marina, looking a bit Tardis like.



I loved the simplicity of this little wooden boat sat moored on it's own away from the bigger ones.


An unexpected sight was a field to our right which was home to some donkeys and three alpacas



We didn't make it to our intended destination as we turned off the foot path and went into Holly Hill Woodland Park to find a spot to eat our picnic. We did a spot of exploring whilst there and found a rope swing.
A split second after this photo was taken S had fallen flat on her bottom as you can just see in the picture that the wooden handle snapped in two.


We decided to halt our day out shortly afterwards as we realised we didn't have enough time to reach the end of the walk as we had side tracked ourselves with unplanned exploring and we also needed to make a quick dash to Tesco and buy S new trainers for school.

There was some extremely childish giggling done in the supermarket as another customer had clearly decided that the shop models looked a little over dressed!



The following weekend we took ourselves back to Holly Hill as we decided we wanted to see a bit more. It was whilst we were walking down to the sunken garden I remembered that I had been there once before with my dad, the year before he became too poorly to go out. T and I had also visited here with my aunt and two youngest cousins, he had only been about 5 years old and he couldn't remember when I mentioned it to him. You can just see him, the dot of red!



There is a huge lake with picnic spots situated all round it, another visit is due in this summer holiday I reckon.



These stepping stones were met with much laughter, something a bit different to try out.


And finally we are at last weekend. We took ourselves off to Eastleigh for a day of street art events. The young girl who hula hooped with several at once was very impressive and S enjoyed watching her. G enjoyed eating his enormous ice cream! He bought it whilst I was off watching the drummers and when I took the photo he said it had actually been twice that size to start with!



The Wheelhouse was definitely our favourite of the day. The performers acted out their little journey as they propelled the wheel up the road, us audience walking alongside them. The 'house' had windows and doors and cupboards and all manner of odds and ends attached. Some ornamental and some used as props to tell the story of their journey.
Should you ever be at an event they are at make sure you make the time to watch them. S was totally captivated as she watched I was just as absorbed by her concern for the female performer 'fell out' of the wheel and was nearly run over.


There was so much we didn't get to see as well and some of the shops had displays in them. I fell in love with this red, white and blue dress in the window of Oxfam. Unfortunately it wasn't for sale but I really like the simplicity of the design and the big pocket which had a big red button sewn on to it. It had the look of a patriotic deckchair and I wouldn't mind one for the summer.