Thursday, 28 February 2013

What is the plural of T A R D I S

Is it TARDI?
Or is it TARDIS'es?
Or something else?

Which ever it is T has one of them and they are now (relatively!) dust free and are  sitting on top of a dust free wardrobe as part of my on going Spring cleaning.

I wonder if the Doctor would like to pop round and inspect me them?

Monday, 25 February 2013

Our Half Term

We had a really lovely half term. It was a busy week with lots of time outdoors and even once indoors there wasn't much free time to go online so I need to do a marathon post to catch up.

Let's go back and start with Sunday 17th. T decided he would like to go and see his Grandma in Salisbury so he went off on the train and me, G and S went to the Common for a short walk. The sun was out and there were lots of others having a gentle Sunday stroll too.

Monday was a bit of strange one. I normally work 4 hours on a Wednesday fitting in with school hours, but last week decided to swap days and do the 4 hours on a Monday afternoon instead. The theory being that that way a whole day wouldn't be lost as I knew the children would appreciate a lazy day to the start of their week off. So I was up early doing as much housework as I could (part of my normal Monday routine), then there was a bit of shopping to do and then a trip to the church to leave some Spring flowers I had potted up for my dad as it would have been his 72nd birthday.
Then I picked up my mum bought her back to our house and left for work.
Half an hour later I was home again as my train had been cancelled!
I tried for the next train (they go hourly) and that was delayed and when eventually information came through it was to say it would terminate at a station before my stop, therefore I couldn't get into work. A little frustrating!

Tuesday was the best day of the week weather wise. T was making arrangements to meet up with friends so S and I took ourselves out for a walk. We walked along the shore

which leads to a playground but once there found that she has really grown a bit too big for the equipment!

S wondered how it was decided which house was painted which colour in this neat little row just opposite the park. Would they agree amicably or would there be wrangles over who got the blue?

The reason I chose this walk was so we would end up in Netley where we could have lunch in a little deli/sandwich shop which had opened last year and which we yet to try. Well worth the walk I'd say, I had the most delicious egg mayonnaise sandwich I have ever eaten, chock full of filing, and S was chuffed with the amount of chocolate sprinkled on her babycino.

We had a little mooch around a second hand furniture shop and I found this (new) cute little cushion which I am going to give my mum for Mother's day, a bargain at only £3.00. 

On the way back to the car S walked along by the water, throwing stones and jumping into the rippling waves as they broke.

Wednesday morning we had to go into town for eye tests. T 's vision remains good and S didn't need a change in prescription so that's us all done there for a while.
Back home in the afternoon the children had more fun than I would ever imagine they could have when they washed, tidied and hoovered out the car. THEY WANTED TO DO THIS! It was me that had to be persuaded to get out there and do it. A jolly good job of it they did too.

Thursday it was perishingly cold but we went out for the day anyway. A friend had told me about the offer on at Monkeyworld for half term whereby the child's entrance fee was just £1.00 as long as you donated a clean piece of old bed linen or an old towel for each child you took along.
I shared this by emailed with other friends thinking it may be useful as a day out for them, it's not easily accessible by public transport so it was a no go for us.
Until one friend got in touch and asked if we would like to go with her and her son as she was happy to drive.

It was a really fab day. We didn't get to see very many of the larger monkeys, for some reason they preferred the indoors to the cold wind which was blowing.

but lots of the smaller monkeys were busy scampering around and playing.

Here are my two very own moneys on the spectacular climbing equipment in the play area. It was a shame it was so cold as I think they would have played on it for ages. Let's face it if T was enticed on at his age it must be good!

Friday I did manage to get into work and G was at home. In the evening I got off the train and he got on as he was off out to see a band with his brother down in Boscombe.
Once the children were in bed I settled down to making up paper chains.
I hung these from the door frames to their bedrooms along with lengths of ribbon and banners so that when they woke up the next morning and left their rooms they were greeted with a curtain of birthday wishes.

As you can see Malcolm made use of the present box as it was emptied and a bit of room was created!

T had tried to arrange a trip to the cinema with friends for his birthday treat which didn't happen for various reasons and so he had to come along to S's birthday treat at the soft play centre with 3 of her friends. The four of us went bowling in the evening and I had to snap S's score on one of her goes as she managed to knock down the number of pins the same as her new age.

The closest I could get to T's age is his final score in the first game, 103. Remove the 0 and you'll see that he is now a teenager!

So here is the birthday girl with her new pillow pet, a pastel coloured unicorn

 and here is the birthday boy, resolutely refusing to be photographed, with one of his presents. 

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Over This Past Week

We are starting with last Sunday, apparently it was Umbrella day as well as Chinese New Year. The rubbish weather put paid to our plans of going into town to watch the Chinese celebrations but as it was pouring down S was able, quite fittingly, to make good use of my dotty brolly.
At home we put up our Chinese lanterns but we had to delay our planned Chinese meal that evening as G came home early because he had been ill at work.

So it was Monday night before we tucked into prawn crackers, rice and a small selection of Chinese chicken dishes, but it was enjoyed and worth the wait.
With G ok again it was T's turn to be poorly. He has been off school all week after being sent home mid morning on Tuesday. Whatever cold bug he has it has really knocked the stuffing out of him. We knew he must have been really suffering when he turned down pancakes on Tuesday as the three of us made busy with the sugar, syrup and lemon juice. Thankfully he is much better now, he really needed a lot of rest.

My achievement for the week is completing this scenes of London jigsaw which my sister gave me as part of my Christmas present.

On Thursday S's year could go into school dressed as a character from Charlotte's Web. S chose Wilbur the pig because it meant she could dress all in pink! We already had the mask and trousers and so all I needed to do was buy a plain pink top and then I attached a small length of pink felt to the back of her trousers with a couple of stitches so she had a tail!

Of course Thursday was also

and I wore the other gorgeous heart patterned piece of clothing my sister had given to me for Christmas.

Down came the Chinese lanterns and instead I hung up a heart garland and some heart shaped balloons. I tied one of the balloons onto the dragonfly knocker on our front door but when I went and collected S from school it had disappeared. I'm not sure if bobbing around in the wind had somehow loosened it so it flew away or if someone had seen it and decided it would be suitable for their Valentine. Either way I hope it made someone happy!

When G and I had our day out in Basingstoke a couple of weeks back I bought these ginger biscuits for us all to have as a little Valentine's treat. Beautifully thin and crisp they fit the bill perfectly.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Bees Knees

It would seem I wasn't the only one to be happy with being able to have a line full of washing out today. Someone found the combination of the sunshine and my pillow case irresistible. 

Monday, 11 February 2013

This morning

This morning it was just cold, then it was cold and rainy, then cold and sleety and this is what it has been like for the last half an hour.
Hot chocolate all round I reckon.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

This Week......

.......I baked these Nutella cakes for World Nutella Day. The recipe gives the cooking time as 30 minutes but I found they were done after 23 and my oven normally takes longer than most recipes quote. Eat the same day for optimum tastiness, would be good eaten warm with ice cream or custard.

.......I read the book chosen for our reading group this month. It isn't a scary ghost story, if it were I couldn't read it! It's just over 150 pages and so I read it very quickly, but I am now re-reading it as I need to see if I can pick up on subtleties in the story I may have missed the first time. It's a good read though.

.......I was the very lucky recipient of a give away prize. Simone had very kindly offered to send one randomly picked comment leaver one of the beautiful hare and moonstone charms she had made and I was fortunate enough to be that randomly picked person.
The box it arrived in was so lovely in itself, wrapped with the palest purple ribbon complete with the sweetest heart charm

and nestled inside was the moonstone and hare charm. My photo is quite rubbish, but if you click on Simone's name above it will take you to her blog where you can see a much better photo. Thank you again Simone for this and the chocolate which accompanied my prize.

......... I wore stripes with spots! I love a dash of red and if there are polka dots with it too so much the better.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

A Chocolate Gift

Tomorrow is the birthday of a very good friend of mine. The friend for whom I was putting together this pink champagne collection of goodies for Christmas. In case you were wondering I bought a little box of pink champagne truffles, a bottle of nail varnish named 'pink champagne' and I had to settle for a bottle of pink cider to finish it off, but at least it was pink and sparkly!

Anyway back to the birthday. I bought this bottle of wine in December as a present for a couple with whom we didn't actually end up exchanging gifts with and so it was surplus to requirements.
I know my friend enjoys a glass or two of wine at the weekend and so I knew this would be appreciated. The back of the bottle describes it as 'a deep, ruby red wine blended with rich and velvety chocolate flavouring. Inviting aromas of black cherry and dark cocoa combine in the glass and continue on the palate surrounded by hints of sweet vanilla. Nuances of creamy mocha linger on the smooth finish.'
Like the sound of that?
But what to go with it?

A little selection of other chocolately things, that's what.
A chocolate biscuit decorated notebook, a slab of ChokaBlok chocolate, a ChokaBlok spoon coated with chocolate and marshmallows for stirring into a mug of hot chocolate, cocoa and vanilla bath foam from Source and a tin of cocoa butter lip balm.

Perhaps if I was sending her a card through the post I could have used one of these stamps!

Monday, 4 February 2013


I feel asleep very close to midnight on Friday, much, much later than my normal bedtime but I just had to finish the book I was reading. It was Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris and was a cracking good read it was too. Definitely recommend this one.

 We had a parcel to collect from the local sorting office and as we did Nearly one year ago we parked the car and went on a bit of a wander.
First off we popped into a carpet shop as we need some new flooring for our bathroom. We saw this mosaic effect vinyl which we both liked, although we are probably going to go for it in a beige or cream colour way.

Near the park are two churches on opposite sides of the road. This one is where we used to go each December with the senior school for our carol service. We would always sing the same carols each year but we still had to practise them for ages beforehand in our music lessons. I loved this annual event and have very fond memories of it.
The other good memory I have about this church is taking T to a summer fete there one year where he entered the fancy dress competition as a dalmatian dog and was awarded the second prize (a cricket set) by wild life presenter Chris Packham.

As we were walking on the same side of the road as the other church I didn't get a full view of it but did snap the beautiful stained glass in the windows.

After popping into the bakers to buy hot sausage rolls and pick up a stale wholemeal loaf from the 'free bread for the ducks shelf' we made our way to the park.
There were lots of rowers out on the water taking part in a competition. Some of the spectators were wearing Bournemouth university sweaters so we guessed it must have been some kind of local inter university event.

The ducks and swans crowded around for the bread which G and S threw for them

and this flock of birds made a huge racket as they swooped down on to the crumbs emptied out by these two people from their bag of bread.

Of course we had to stop off at the playground for S to have a play and I can assure you she was having fun in this swing thing although it may not look like it! 

It was then a short wander back to where we parked the car in this road. I do like to know the reason why roads are given a particular name, is that starnge? Anyway this one was named after Sir Steuart Macnaghten, a lawyer and one time chairman of the Southampton Docks Board, who came to own Bitterne Manor (which you can see photos of in last year's post) and is situated very close by.

Plans for Sunday went slightly awry as we were all due to go to meet up with the rest of G's family down in Bournemouth. It would have been his dad's 83rd birthday and so they wanted to mark the occasion.
Unfortunately T was full of cold so I had to stay at home with him, but S and G took the train together and kept busy on the way drawing cats and butterflies.

They all went down to the sea front and let go of a balloon each in memory of Grandad B and then went to Harry Ramsden's for a much needed warming lunch of fish and chips.