Thursday, 31 October 2013

Halloween Half Term

We've had a good half term so far.
Sunday morning I took S into town with me as last weekend was the last chance to see a photography exhibition housed in a historic building called The Wool House. This was formerly the home of the Martime museum and is now being used as a venue for exhibitions and workshops. The event we went to see was part of Black History Month and the information said that items were chosen from events from over the last nine years and unfortunately some of the pieces did look a bit old and tired. 

Laid out on a big table underneath the right hand window on the first floor was a roll of paper and a lots of felt tip pens. Next to it was a sign saying 'draw what you can see out of the window'.
This is S's interpretation of the Tesco lorry she saw waiting at the Isle of Wight ferry terminal opposite.

On entering the Wool House one of the first things you see is this big clock from the Docks. I'm not sure where it was originally hung, but as my Dad worked at the Docks for many years I did wonder if maybe it was something he would have seen on a regular basis.
I love this dress which is made from plastic, so intricately cut, the bugs are cut from old plastic milk bottles too.

It was very windy on Sunday and so we didn't stay in the park for very long. S burnt off some energy on the swing, slide, climbing frame and finally the trampoline before we headed home. 

Monday morning the three of us went to the cinema to see Despicable Me 2 which we all really enjoyed and in the afternoon S and I cut out some pumpkins and bats to be used as part of our Halloween decorations later in the week.

On Tuesday we put on our wellies and went to the country park for the Halloween trail. We found a fabulous den which had survived the stormy weather, a couple of others were looking a bit worse for wear.

No words needed!

No photos of the trail pictures as they were all the same as last year so instead we have one of S sat on a badger.

After we do the trail we go to a garden centre for hot chocolate and a mooch around their Christmas department.
We liked the display just by the entrance, a shed with stag head over the bright red door a mini stack of pumpkins and the children patted the head of the dog sat behind the hedge!

We have eaten quite a bit of Halloween themed foods this week. Mainly junk I have to admit. The treat tin has snack sized packets of biscuits in, for lunch we have had eaten crisp webs and there has been potato pumpkins and Halloween shaped pasta for tea. 

Today we have been busy putting out our decorations for Halloween. A ball of bobbly black wool from the 99p shop was wound around tent pegs to create a spider web on the gravel in the front garden.

S made a wonderful Hello Kitty pumpkin. I found the idea ages ago on Pinterest and S loved it when I showed her. She did loads of it herself, she painted it, cut out the ears and stuck on the eyes and nose.

When G came home from work he got busy with carving the other two pumpkins we had bought. Both look great

but this one is a real triumph. We heard lots of our 50 plus trick or treat callers squeal with delight as they spotted it and said 'ugh look that pumpkin's been sick!'

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Birthday Time

It was my sister's birthday on Thursday which can only mean one thing. 
I spend an age wrapping up all the bits and bots I have accumulated for her all year. 
For those that don't already know, for our birthday and Christmas gifts to each other we have a budget of £10 and the presents have to come from a car boot, a charity shop or a jumble sale.
Sometimes this rule is broken because we find 'just the right thing' in a shop.
That's why I gave her this CK Christmas sack. I found it reduced way back in February for £3.50 and I knew she would love it.
The look on her face when she opened it confirmed that

The bodywarmer she knew about as we were both at the same jumble sale. It looks brand new and cost 30p, the blue bowl was also 30p, as was the heart patterned dish. The mini mugs were 20p each and the heart shaped dish the most expensive of this lot at 50p.

Unintentionally I had a bit of a colour theme running through some of the clothes I bought. From left to right they cost 30p, 50p, 50p and £1.00 each. The crocheted bag was 50p.

Finally we have a stripy knitted hoodie for 30p, a jigsaw for 50p, a black and white top for 30p and a tshirt with cute little birds on for 50p. I also bought a really pretty navy dress patterned with red and white bows for 30p which I somehow managed not to photograph. I am disappointed about as it was my second favourite thing after the CK deer present sack. I shall just have to try and get a photo of her wearing it instead.

Monday, 7 October 2013

3 weekends

Well here we are in October.
 September was a blur. 
Every weekday I had off was spent going to appointments, such run of the mill things like the dentist, hospital, doctor and car MOT.
Then there has been the time hanging around the house waiting for workmen to turn up. Initially to lay new lino in the bathroom and then again because they had done such a rubbish job having to go through the whole thing a second time.
 Frustrating to say the least.
As for work, that's all changed.
 I've been doing the same job for the last 7/8 years but now I have been moved to a new role on a newly created section. 
This could be seen as an exciting new opportunity and I really am trying to be positive about it but I can't help feeling that in reality I am totally unsuitable.
 There are big changes at work involving many staff being moved and the truth is I wasn't chosen to do this role for any other reason than my working hours are a better fit here than elsewhere.
I felt pretty tired for most of September.
 I started the month with the worst bout of IBS I have ever experienced and finished it with a stinker of a cold, one which completely knocked the stuffing out of me. I took Tuesday off work sick and really should have taken Wednesday too but as I was starting my new job last week I went in and then spent just about all of my day off on Thursday back in bed again!
BUT, before I sound like a completely miserable moany old bag, there has been some fun stuff too, especially at the weekends.

S and I finally managed to complete the Rhino trail.
I was a bit concerned we weren't going to get to see this rhino because we read he was one of three which had been removed due to vandalism. Thankfully he was still on show at an indoor location. Love the hard hat over his ears.

Love a bit of bunting.

This rhino was sponsored by the Mayflower theatre and the decoration relates to loads of different shows which had been staged there. It was fun spotting ones could recognise.

Two of the baby rhinos S liked which had been decorated by local schools. She liked the glitz of this one

and the recycling of old plastic toys on this one.

On our way home we stopped in the Guildhall Square. There was an all day music event and although S wasn't impressed I had to stop and listen to this Ska band for half an hour. Shame G was at work, he would have enjoyed it too.

This is a bad photo of S's very good school project we made the same weekend. She had to make a sculpture out of things which would normally be put in the recycling bin. We made a bird cage from a Whiskas cat food box covered it in wrapping paper and strips of cardboard packaging. S cut a bird shape from a cake box to which she glued some shredded paper. It was topped off with the lid of a shampoo bottle.

Now on to the next weekend. Last year I went to the Tudor house for amongst other things a talk on Tudor fashions. This year the Tudor revels took part in a different location and there were quite a few things I was interested in seeing but unfortunately the timings of some of them clashed with each other.

I needed to pass some time in between events and so I went for a wander along part of the old City walls which run alongside a big brown brick office building owned by BT. I have seen this building hundreds of times but I had never seen these tiles. I liked the carving round the edges on these top two panels.

The walls, or specifically the Friary Gate, was used as a back drop by two actors talking about the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII. The Friar at this time was Friar Peacock who made a speech against the King and not surprisingly ended up being thrown in jail.

The talk I was most interested in going to was by Sarah Morris. Sarah was there to talk her new book In the Footsteps of Anne Boleyn and the time she and King Henry spent in Southampton whilst on Royal progress in 1535.

Sarah looked fabulous in her tudor gown and I managed to have a quick chat with her afterwards as I wanted to tell her how much I had learnt from her in such a short time. Sarah was so enthusiastic during her talk, the passion she has for Anne Boleyn was so clear to see. The book is definitely on my Christmas list.

Having a go at Tudor dancing was also on offer. I didn't have a go, but everyone who did looked like they enjoyed it.

Baking biscuits with S rounded off the weekend. The Minnie and Mickey mouse looked a little deranged in some of them but they tasted pretty good.

Saturday was a beautiful day and just right for the Autumn day in the local park.
We started off wandering around the stall selling old English varieties of apples and left with a big bag full of something juicy both S and G liked.

The ferrets were back again and here they are raring to go. The darker one is called Ferris but with the marking over his eyes I thought he should be called Zorro.

G has fallen in love with another. 
They cuddled for ages.
Her name is Boots.
She is a skunk.
In case you are wondering she has been descented.

To console G after he had to return Boots to her owner we made our way to the ice cream van. G and S's friend L chose a bubblegum sherbet dipped ice cream. G thought it looked like Papa Smurf had been frozen and stuck in a cone.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Gingerbread family

Sometimes my children say things which just make my heart go squeeeeeeze with love.
Whilst in TK Maxx S pointed to this pack of cookie cutters and said 'Look mum, a family just like us.'

Adoption is the way G and I chose to make our family.
We have been parents for 10 years now and consider ourselves incredibly lucky to have our little happy family.
BUT there have been various issues from what I think I shall term as outside influences, which have made things decidedly more bumpy along the way tahn anyone could have imagined.
So when S said that, it just reminded me of what we have and how far we have all come. Together.