Thursday, 28 July 2011

Thrifty Thursday

This weeks thrifty buys aren't ones I have bought, but are ones given to me for my birthday.

If you've been reading for a while (well done for bearing with all this nonsense!) you will know that my sister and I only buy each other's birthday gifts from jumbles, car boots and charity shops. More recently my mum has got in on the act too.
This little selection of goodies came from her. The yellow bag, necklaces and vintage brooch are all pre loved items. The badges I fell in love with when I spotted them in a shop whilst we were on our day out in Swanage last month and so were added to my present haul.

The next two photos are the items my sister bought with our £10 budget. There was a pink smock top which wasn't flattering and 2 pairs of trousers neither of which fitted so she took them back to resale when she does her next car boot. One pair were M&S Autograph trousers with the tags still on them!
So here we have 2 cardis, 5 tops, a skirt and 3 pairs of trousers

set of Eco hangers (they are made from recycled cardboard), a Denby mug, a purse, a notebook, a fleecy nightshirt, a linen jacket and 2 glass dishes decorated with sweets. There was also a bangle which I was wearing and forgot to take off to photograph.

Didn't I do well?!!!!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

School's Out

Today was the last day of term for my two.
The school hols have now begun.
'Show me how you feel about having 6 weeks off' I asked them and this was the reaction I got from each of them.

It's not just a case of coming to the end of a school year for T.

It's the end of junior school.

In September he's off to senior school.

I can so very clearly remember when he left infant school. It's like it was only last year that happened and yet so much has gone on in our lives since then.

In the middle of year 3 we became a family of 4 and at the very start of year 4 we lost my dad.
Then there was a spate of bullying which T didn't speak to us about for a while and when it was made known to the school the teacher was extremely ineffective in dealing with it. We had higher hopes for year 5 but it soon became apparent that things weren't much better and when the teacher went off on long term sick the class had a variety of teachers which was quite disconcerting. T also began to receive extra help and support to help him socially and emotionally.

T was thrilled when he found out Miss S was going to be his teacher in Year 6. She had been a support to him in year 4 and was involved in getting the extra support he needed in year 5.

When I went into the school to talk to her at the start of the year 6 she told me that she had given up certain other aspects of her learning support role at the school to concentrate wholly on her class as she felt they lacked cohesiveness after the choppy year they had just had.

Since being with Miss S T's confidence has grown in leaps and bounds. His junior school experience has been made so much more positive because she took the time to understand T and 'got him'.

On Monday the whole year took part in a performance of The Lion King. T was on stage dancing with his class but he was also in charge of making sure the right song was played at the right time. There had been an issue with the music during the rehearsals and T had taken it upon himself to sort it out at home. After the performance on Monday evening (which G was at) the head teacher made a special mention of T and asked that 'everyone give a cheer for T as without his computer know how there may not have been a show.' Children and parents in the hall cheered and gave T a round of applause. It was such a thoughtful thing for Mr W to do. After the turbulent time T has had at junior school it was a wonderful gesture which will give him an enduringly special memory and will (hopefully) help to create a much more positive attitude when he recalls the years he was there.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

History Lessons

We've had a really good weekend. The only downside is that G hasn't been here to enjoy it with us. He's been in London at the High Voltage rock festival with his brother indulging in copious amounts of cider and loud music.

As you may well remember I'm never one to pass up on a free walking trail and yesterday as part of the city's Hidden Treasure's weekend they were offering a Treasure Trail for children. This turned out to basically be a walk around some of the Walls, which we did just a short time ago with Diane and Clare on our bloggy meet-up,

but on return and full completion of the trail the children were given a bag of goodies. S was very taken with the bright orange water bottle.

Here she is hard at work writing down one of the answers. We had to count the number of steps on one particular section and I let them do it a few times before letting them in on the fact that it was written on the information board at the bottom. But it was good exercise anyway!

I told them I was going to caption this photo as 'T and S on the loo', much to their disgust. This part of the old walls was actually the toilet which was 'flushed' when the tide came in.

This walkway has seen a lot of activity through the centuries. Here's G's mum walking through it into the town, but marching the other way Henry V led his troops to do battle in Agincourt and it was also from this spot that the Pilgrim father's left on the Mayflower.

Down near the docks we were able to walk along the top of the walls where soldiers would have once kept watch and had a good view of one of the very much larger (and friendlier) sea going vessels which visit our city these days.

Once the prizes were claimed we headed to Hoglands park for a well earned picnic and a sit down before escorting Grandma back to her bus stop for the journey home to Salisbury.

And so to today.

Another day, another city centre park.

This time our choice of place to picnic was Queen's Park. The reason being the city was holding an information gathering event with added entertainment in the form of 'Horrid History' being played out.

The park actually belongs to Queen's College and is leased to the council who maintain it. They are looking to redevlop the site and make it more user friendly and wanted input from the public as to what we would like to see there.

It was such a shame this string quartet were sat a little way away from where the main action was taking place, they played beautifully but couldn't really be fully enjoyed.

Whilst we were sat eating the chap seen here on the left with the bucket came over and introduced himself to us. He told us he was our local nightsoil man. S didn't have a clue what he meant until he clarified his employment as the man who takes away 'your poo, your chocolate logs, your excrement, whatever you might like to call it!' Cue loud 'yuck' noises from us all! He told us that the food we were eating looked like it was good quality and that 'the people who lives round here eat good quality too you know.' He then put his finger in the bucket and pulled out something very brown and lumpy looking which he proceeded to sniff and then lick off! Cue even louder yuck noises and lots of giggles.

We were then visited by this dashing man in green who told us that a show was about to start so

we trundled over and watched these 4 girls perform a skit to music which was really funny. The tallest one appeared to be a very stern cook and the others her kitchenmaids. There was lots of flour throwing and one of them ended up face down in a plate of whipped cream.

It was then over to a Victorain melodrama where extra cast members were plucked from the audience and T was chosen to play the part of the wicked Squire. We had to boo and hiss him each time he did something nasty. Although he wasn't overjoyed at being chosen he did all that was asked of him and really entered into the spirit of it.

Next was a WW2 playlet, but I couldn't see this as S needed a wee and by the time we returned it was just coming to an end.

The final performance was set in Tudor times with a fabulous looking Henry V111.

Before he came out to dine with us at the banquet his Queen chose children from the audience to act as dancers, musicians and artists. S was chosen, but wasn't at all keen, she tried to hide behind me.

T was also chosen again, along with me, to be presented to the King as Lord and Lady something-or-another. Can't remember the name as we were laughing too much and making sure we performed our bow and curtesy correctly so as not to get displease His Royal Highness!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Birthday girl

It was my birthday yesterday (patch courtesy of my sister) and what a lovely day it was too.
Breakfast in bed followed by cards and pressies from my family and friends. A trip to Gunwharf Quay for a spot of mooching in the CK outlet shop and lunch with G. Home again for cake, visits from friends bearing gifts and then finally more cake when my mum and sister popped round with yet more gifts. I shall photograph other gifts to share another day but I wanted to show what G had bought for me.

Last month whilst visiting a local museum I was looking through a bunch of old Ladybird books and saying how much I loved the illustrations, especially in the Going to School one which I used on my last blog post.
Well G bought a copy, which was in a very state of disrepair as it's spine was broken and the pages were falling out, for 1p on Amazon. He then searched the shops high and low for suitable frames and this is what he made.

To say I was thrilled would be an understatement!

He wasn't sure which pictures I would prefer to use so nothing has been permanently put in place and we may have pictures in all of the aperatures rather than some with text, we need to have a play around with them to decide.

G said he was so relieved I liked them as he wasn't completely sure on the idea.

But I do love them ever so much (as I love him too) and they are going to look fabulous in our newly decorated dining room.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

School Uniform

During June as July as the summer term winds to a close some of the shops start to put up advertising for 'Back to School' items such as pencils cases, lunch boxes and uniform. I remember this happening when I was at school and getting very indignant because the school summer break hadn't even started and already we were being encouraged to think about September!

Each year I have taken the children out during the 6 weeks to kit them out with new clothes. The school colour for jumpers and cardigians for their junior and infant school is burgundy. It's the most difficult colour to buy for. Lots of choice in red, green and blue, but burgundy is hard to come by.

So whilst I was scouring the shops in early June for a suitable waterproof jacket for T to take on his school trip I found myself, in desperation, in Tesco and lo and behold there with the school uniform were acres of burgundy tops.

I am now feeling just the tiniest pleased with myself to have got most of S's uniform sorted for her IN ADVANCE of the summer break.

I just love a pretty pinafore and I got these for £1.00 each in a CS. They are originally from BHS and look like they have hardly been worn.

Now I only have the polo tops and the new shoes to buy.

And of course the PE kit, to avoid a pants and vest scene like this for S!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Dream Come True

Last year when we bought our little green sofa for the dining room, from a second hand furniture shop, we also bought a small pine dresser. I have lusted after a dresser for many years. It seemed too good to be true when we found this slimline one as it has the perfect dimensions for slotting nicely into one of the alcoves. It has been awaiting it's transformation for nearly a year now and although I still have the feet to complete, its so near completion, but I just I can't not blog about it, I'm so completely thrilled with the end result.

I thought I had a photo of it pre-op as it were but can only find this side shot. It was quite a shiny pine and it had glass doors.

This is how it looks now!!!!
It's blue and the doors have gone to be replaced with open shelving, courtesy of my very clever and wonderful husband who very patiently made my dresser dream come true.

I had so much fun unpacking my china and tins, placing them here and there and try to decide where each piece should live.

Here are the top 3 shelves

and then the bottom one.

This is a closer look at the top two.
My Haddon Hall coffee pot, Poole pottery jug and cherished Emma Bridgewater

and here's the next two shelves again.

My dad gave me the pink flower bread and butter plate with matching tea plates so they are extra special.

I think I'm going to need to put a few cup hooks up along the edges of the shelves so I can hang up the cups and jugs, I'm running out of room already!

Monday, 11 July 2011


For her birthday last year we gave S a bicycle.
She was initially very excited and enjoyed whizzing around on it and then over time it developed a problem with the stabilisers which led to a balance issue and the inevitable falling off.
So S has been bike less for a while. We had been keeping our eyes peeled for a replacement and last weekend G spotted one for sale at a local animal charity's fundraising day.
As you can see S is very pleased. with it.

Unfortunately I didn't have the camera with me whilst we were out last weekend so I couldn't record her first ride without stabilisers. On the way back to the car G asked her if she wanted to give it a try, she got on and was away. Simple as that. We were amazed!

Yesterday, after buying a bike rack from a work colleague of G's, we loaded up it up and went off to the park.

And here is S whizzing around loving her new bike. You can't really see the cheeky little grin she has on her face, but she was looking very pleased with herself! It was lovely to watch.

And here are my 2 men in green looking very sporty on their bikes too.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

What a Shot!

Here is G enjoying the fun on offer at a local church summer fete yesterday afternoon.

And the person who threw the sponge which was just about to land (not for the first time) smack on target ?
Why it was T of course!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Why if it's 7th July

did I need to wear my, £1.00 from charity shop, ankle length red wellies when I took S to school this morning

and not my pretty pink, £1.50 from charity shop, Dr Scholl's summer sandals?

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

New diary

Last week I went to one of my favourite shops to buy one of my favourite things.
I went to Paperchase and bought my new diary.
Up until a couple of years ago I had the regular January to December type and it was always a pain having to transfer all the school term dates and other school related info from the old to the new. Then I realised how much simpler things would be if I bought an academic diary which would run from July to July.

As I paid for my diary I confided to the shop assistant just how excited I was.
So many empty pages waiting to be filled.
So many possibilites.
I feel the same way when I buy a new notebook too.
I bet I'm not alone.

Monday, 4 July 2011

How long is

a piece of

My latest love.
Who knew a 50p round orange plastic box could make you smile so much.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Thursday Trip

G and I were planning a day out for the two of us on Thursday but with the school closure our plans changed and instead we had a family trip to

We wanted a trip to the seaside but also wanted not to have to travel too far so after some leaflet consulation and googling we decided on getting the train to New Milton and then walk down to Barton on Sea.

And this was the scene which greeted us on our arrival.
Just lovely.

A great clear view over to the Isle of Wight too.

The beach huts here aren't painted in the prettiest colours but I wouldn't say no to owning one.

We liked this jolly little sailing boat.

It was fairly breezey and this chap certainly made the most of that. He was up in the air for quite a while.

It was lunch time when we arrived so we sat on the grassy bank to eat our sandwiches and as our food disappeared so did the sun, until we had a canopy of black cloud over our heads.

G decided he woild try and make them disappear by dropping S into the pit of despair (just a small gap between 2 huge rocks, the other one is right in front of him, honest!) as an act of sacrifice to the weather gods. She wasn't too keen!

The children were desperate to get into the water but as it just got a bit too cold we kept busy playing different games of catch, until the clouds did disappear and they were warm enough to venture in.

They weren't the only ones to enjoy the water, this dog was having great fun running in to retrieve it's toy until it got lost. T very kindly gave his ball to the dog's owner so they could carry on playing. An extremely thoughtful gesture we thought.

There are plenty of other places (and beaches) to visit along this coast line and we hope to visit more of them during the school holiday.

This was a great start though, especially as it was finished off with an ice cream and then a quick trip round the charity shops before heading home again.