Saturday, 27 August 2011

3 years

Feel no guilt in laughter, he knows how much you care
Feel no sorrow in a smile that he's not here to share
You can not grieve forever, he would not want you to
He'd hope that you carry on, the way you always do
So talk about the good times and the ways you showed you cared
The days you spent together, all the happiness you shared
Let memories surround you.

A word someone may say
Will suddenly recapture a time, an hour, a day
That brings him back as clearly as though he were still here
And fills you with the feelings that he is always near
For if you keep these memories, you will never be apart
And he will live forever, locked safe within your heart.

My dad will always be in my heart.
Miss you every day, love you forever.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Holiday Catch up

I have a fair bit of catching up to do. I've hardly been near the computer, except for a quick peek at emails each day and haven't had time for any dedicated blog reading so am way behind with everyone's news.

Before I do start wittering on I would like to say a MASSIVE thank you for all the lovely comments that were left on my last post about our wardrobe make over. As I'm sure you gathered I am thrilled with the end result and it was wonderful to receive so many messages saying that others liked what we had done too.

Along with the general busy-ness of the school hols I have been somewhat distracted as our sweet Melvin went missing from Saturday night to Monday morning. He has never done anything like this in the 18 months we've had him and due to his very timid nature we did fear the worst. We were over the moon when he came home on Monday, but then he did the very same thing again and wasn't seen from early Wed evening until very late last night. We're now thinking he's found himself a second home to visit when the fancy takes him.

So now to catch up with the school hols we have to go back to Sunday 14th and into the town centre for the family Sky Ride.

We didn't take part in the first one last year but everyone was raring to go for participation in this year's.

Lots of roads were closed off and so thousands of cyclists had a traffic free route through the city centre. G said the best bit for him was being able to cycle through the fruit terminal at the docks, somewhere you don't normally get to go.

An extra surprise to our day was being spotted by Clare whilst we were sat lounging around listening to the live music in the park, meeting her husband and having a quick chat before they cycled off.

Monday was very quiet for me as the children had both been invited round to friend's so whilst they were away I did a bit a couple of very small decorating jobs I really wanted to get sorted.

Tuesday we went to the cinema and saw Cars 2. They both loved it but I think I preferred the first one.

Wednesday we were back into town but for slightly less adventurous time task of school shoe buying and optician appointments.

Then in the afternoon we hopped on the train to Fareham to meet G from work. Since he moved office the children have been very keen to see his new place of work so after a quick scout around and introduction to his new colleagues we went to a local pub for something to eat.

The place we chose was a converted church and it was so beautiful inside. The picture below doesn't really show the interior decoration very well, but it was busy and I didn't want to use the flash on my camera and draw attention to myself!

You can see the pattern much more clearly in this photo. T and S picked this spot for us to sit in in the middle of the room. A huge curved, high backed booth which could have easily seated another few people

and right above us was this chandelier.

Thursday poured and poured with rain but we still ventured out as I needed to buy T's school jumper from a specialist uniform shop which tied in incely with a visit to friend's we had arranged a couple of weeks ago.

Friday afternoon was our turn to have a full house as T and S both had a friend over although as you can expect their chosen activities were very different!

We had a fairly lazy on Saturday (I even had time to bake some banana cakes and make use of my new cake stand)

as on Sunday we had arranged to go out with friends down to Bournemouth for the Air Show. I have to say I was in two minds about going after the dreadful accident involving the Red Arrows pilot.

But go we did and I have to say the skill of the pilots gave us a show which was nothing short of spectacular. And the girls who do the wing walking on the Breitling bi planes were utterly amazing.

I don't have any photos of the planes just two lions which are part of a Pride in Bournemouth art initiative.

As soon as we arrived at the beach and S had eaten her lunch she was in the water, followed shortly afterwards by T. They spent practically the whole afternoon in there playing and swimming which I think was probably the reason why S didn't wake up until 10.45 on Monday morning! With nothing planned I was quite happy for her to sleep in and catch up on her rest.

We did go down to the park in the afternoon where a game of T and S pretending to be babies got out of hand and I ended up soaked from the contents of T's water bottle but for once it was a hot afternoon and I didn't mind too much.

The weather threatened to ruin our plans for Tuesday but thankfully it didn't. Clare had invited us over to see her and although we didn't get to go blackberry picking or full the full walk she had planned for us in the New Forest we did manage to squeeze in cake eating, lots of chatting, a sit inside their fabulous camper van, a tour round her beautiful garden and I got to see her totally gorgeous patchwork quilt in all it's splendour. It really is an absolute stunner and she is extremely talented.

We did manage to squeeze in a little wander down a lane before it was time for the train, although we cut it a bit fine with our timing and had to run a fair way back in order to not to miss it. Goodness me how unfit I am! It took me the journey back to Southampton to recover!

Thank you Clare for a really lovely afternoon and for our jar of homemade raspberry jelly.

Seeing S's smile I really should mention that there has been siginifcant tooth loss this summer hols. 3 teeth have fallen out and so the tooth fairy has been finding this summer quite an expensive one!

Speaking of teeth another reason I haven't been on the computer much these past few days is a headache and jaw ache which progressed to an infection and swollen gum and toothache for which I now have anti biotics. Ugh, not nice.

Nearly there and if you're still here well done, but as this blog is (hopefully) a diary for the children to look back on one day, I want to make sure I get down as much about our time during these holidays as possible.

Wednesday was a trip to Netley Abbey with a friend and her 3 children. We have been going there together during the hols for a few years now and the children always play together so well and enjoy each other's company, it's a delight to see.

Yesterday G was off and he took them all off to the cinema to see the new Spy Kids movie. This one they all thoroughly enjoyed which is more than I can say for The Incredibles which we all watched last night, it didn't really keep anyone's attention throughout, I don't think that's going to become a family favourite.

One more week to go and then it's back to school, what will this week bring?

Friday, 19 August 2011

Another Furniture Ta-Dah

A couple of weeks back I shared the photos of our newly painted and dressed up dresser. I'm now sharing photos of another new piece of furniture to our dining room.
A wardrobe.

Yes a wardrobe, in our dining room.
Except I'm using it as a larder type arrangement.
Our kitchen is tiny and we only have a few wall units and even fewer base units.
So to increase our storage space which will also hopefully mean less shopping trips we hit upon this as a solution.

I found the wardrobe locally in a secondhamd furniture warehouse which was closing down. The measurements are perfect for it fitting snuggly into our second alcove and it was reduced to £65.00 which seemed like a reasonable enough price to me.

So here it is au natruel with it's mirror

and this is how it looks painted in a shade called Ruby Fountain along with a gingham covered corkboard.
I know some may well prefer it in it's original plain pine state, but I love the way it's turned out just as much as I love the dresser makeover.

G shelved out the interior (although he left the old hanging rail in place) and I covered the shelves in our old oilcloth polka dot tablecloth so they will be easier to keep clean with a wipe over every now and then.

Did I mention that I just love it?!!!!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Cake Stand

Amongst the fabulous present I received for my birthday last month were 3 cake stands.
One from G, one from my friend T and another from my friend G.

The other two I haven't photographed as yet, but this is the one I wanted to share as I thought some who call by here would find it inspiring. I actually meant to blog about it much sooner, but heigh ho that's the summer hols for you, I'm even more disorgainsed than ever!

So anyway here's the cake stand.

My friend G said she saw a photo of one somewhere, decided she wanted to have a go and thought it would make a good gift.
Two ordinary plates, one dinner size, one dessert sized with a glass vase glued between them for the stand.
What was that noise? Is it the sound of Diane's glue gun being plugged in?

Friday, 12 August 2011

Blog Anniversary

Let's pick up the summer hols at last Saturday.
One of the projects being undertaken in the dining room needed some cork tiles to help it come to completion. We decided to pop over to the other side of town where there are a few shops likely to stock such an item and combine it with a visit to a newly opened and quite fantastically redeveloped play park.
No cork tiles were purchased and within about 10 minutes S was in tears because things at the playground weren't going her way and was having a bit of a hissy fit. This isn't normally in her nature and so we concluded she was probably over tired and we cut the trip sort.

Sunday morning we were all up bright and early and headed of to the car boot.
Here I bought the cork tiles we needed (and a few more besides) and all for a £1.00. Cue happy face.
From the same lady I bought these ice skates.

I have seen lovely photos of skates used at Christmas time in door and window displays and seeing as she just wanted a £1.00 for them I snaffled those too.

I haven't spent much time on the computer this week and because of that I missed the 3 year anniversary of me starting this blog. The first photo I blogged was on 11th August and it was taken in this exact same spot at a local country park.

I had a bit of an emotional day Monday.

I was kind of expecting it to happen at some point, but it just leapt upon me on Monday. Whether it was going to the country park that topped it off but it's at this time 3 years ago we found out just how poor dad's health was and within a few short weeks we lost him.

Tuesday brought another emotional meltdown.

This time it wasn't from me.

It involved and Ipod and to be honest it's better best forgotten.

An afternoon spent down at the water's edge in Hamble with a bucket and crabbing line got us all out of the house.

Not a single crab was caught but the sun was out and ice creams were eaten and our spirits were refreshed.

I thought the parking for bicycles in the car park was very inventive.

What a day we had Wednesday.

Each month I receive an email from the county council informing me of exhibitions and talks, ideas for days out and details of cycle rides and walks to do. It was in the email I found deatils for a nature walk around Bishops Waltham. As it's not somewhere we've been before and is very local it was decided to head there.

We started at Bishop's Waltham Palace. The medieval remains are owned and maintianed by English Heritage and are free to visit. The Bishops and senior clergy of Winchester would stay here as they travlled through the diocese. Famous visitors include Henry V and Richard the Lionheart.

It was enjoyed for it's hide and seek qualities before we found our way to the central car park as this is where the walk starts.

We walked for about 45 minutes before we stopped for our picnic. We had read there were Highland cattle grazing in the fields but hadn't seen any until we went to the very next field. Most of them were sat in the shade offered by the trees at the edge of the field.

Then a little further on we came to the most lovely view. It was such a treat to be able to walk in such living countryside.

This field of wheat was divided in two and through the middle were lots of wild flowers, mostly pretty red poppies. You couldn't help but smile.

The very best view was saved until last.

We sat here for a while just gulping in the fresh air and savouring the summer sun.

That leaves us Thursday and Friday which have mostly been spent indoors.

A little decorating project finished, test match cricket listening andsome reading for us and friends over for both T and S.

This evening the plan (courtesy of T's idea) is to open some popcorn, get snuggly on the sofa and watch a movie. Sounds good to me.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Royal Arcade

When we were in Norwich last week we wandered through the bea-u-ti-ful Royal Arcade.

Apparently the lanterns which you can see here were only added during the 1980's when the arcade under went restoration.

The colour, pattern and artwork of the tiles is stunning.

They were designed by W J Neatby who also designed tiles for Harrods food hall.

And if they weren't enough just look at this delicious Art Nouveau stained glass window.

The view from inside

and outside

It knocks spots of modern day malls don't you think?

Friday, 5 August 2011

Swanwick Lakes Nature Reserve

Week 2 of the holiday's started wiith G and S going up to Salisbury for the day to visit his mum and dad whilst T and I stayed at home. T had invited a friend over for the afternoon and lucky old me got to spend nearly 4 hours ironing.

For today's adventure we had to keep things fairly local as G needed to be back mid afternoon to ready himself for a trip to London to see Iron Maiden.

We have only very recently become aware of a nature reserve very near us, it's a 10 minute train journey and then a 20 minute walk away and yes I could have driven there quicker but this way we are out for longer and the exercise is good for us.

It's a really beautiful place. There were slippery banks to jump to and fro from

ready made dens to explore

art work in the wildlife centre

and outside on the trees

lots and lots of ducks

stunning views around 4 different lakes

lots of plants and fungi

strange woodland creatures who quickly turned from this

to this!

We had a lovely few hours exploring and look forward to our next trip there.

An added bonus was finding a playground on the way back to the station to while away the extra time we had before our train was due. Much more fun than standing around on a deserted platform for half an hour.