Friday, 29 March 2013

A Very Good Friday

Today we hopped on the train and went to Winchester. On a recent trip to the art gallery I picked up a leaflet about the Lego Trail. In each one of 7 museums across Hampshire until early June there will be a large Lego model on display. When you visit each one of the sites you get your trail stamped and if you see them all you can enter a Lego competition. I don't think we'll manage to see all of them but we decided to kick off in Winchester.

The model is housed in the City Museum and whilst there S also did a Lego mini figure trail.

S was very pleased to find free colouring in sheets dotted around the museum too.

And here is the model constructed totally from Lego, a life sized Roman banqueting table complete with bunches of green and red grapes, bread, meat, oranges and apples and pitchers for wine. What a shame we didn't have this before S's Roman feast day at school yesterday.

The Second reason for choosing Winchester was so S could do the Winchester Bunny Hop trail. 14 letters were hidden in 14 different shops across the City centre and when you found them all they spelt out 3 words.

Back to the museum now. Each floor has a small selection of dressing up items. The hats on offer were too good to pass up and so here we have G in a top hat

and a bonnet. I love this so much!

G says I look like a member of the audience from The Good Old Days and that this hat went particularly well with my 'old granny coat.' Nice.

We both loved this display taken from the interior of an old chemist which used to trade in the City

and there is also the whole interior of a tobacconists to marvel over but I couldn't photograph it as it was so full of mirrors and glass I made do with a little snap of one of the elegant adverts. How sophisticated this makes smoking look.

No trip to Winchester would be complete with a little wander around CK and I knew exactly what I was looking for. I had recently received a mini catalogue in the post and spotted this plastic strawberry brooch. I remember having plastic dangly ear-rings like these back in the 80's which I loved wearing even though they made my ears itch!

On completion of the Bunny Trail we had to take the sheet to the tourist info centre to be checked and to claim S's prize. Whilst she was handing it in I had a mooch around and found these little brooches made from scraps of fabric and beads. It's the kind of thing I would like to have a go at making.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Roman Times

Another dressing up day at school for S today.
This half term the history topic has been the Romans and the Celts and so costumes had to be along this theme.
For the last couple of costumes we have been able to raid S's wardrobe and dressing up box to cobble something together but this time we needed to head to the charity shops for inspiration.
The first 3 shops didn't have anything remotely useful but the fourth came up trumps with this size 10 ladies tops.
It's a sheer top with camisole attached and as an extra little embellishment it has gold buttons. It makes the perfect length dress. 
I have stitched a plain white vest inside as it would have been too cold without!
I don't know the proper name for this type of open sleeve but it's made from another charity shop buy. A floaty scarf held in place with a few stitches at the back and on each sleeve of the white top.
With a pretty hair slide (and white woolly tights and gold glitter pumps which you can't see) S has gone into school as Flora the Roman Goddess of Flowers.

I wasn't blogging when T was at the Junior school and had his Roman day and I can't find a photo of it either, but I do have a photo of him aged 6 wearing the outfit he wore to school.
This one was made by my sister for her son and passed on to us. T wore this to a fancy dress competition at local regatta. We made the shield from the side of a cardboard box and the sword came from his dressing up box.

Nothing to do with dressing up, but I just had to include a photo taken this morning of Melvin, stretched out on our bed enjoying the fact there was actually some sunshine streaming through the windows. Cuteness.

Sunday, 17 March 2013


Way back in November a small spot appeared on S's top lip. During December I had to take T to the doctor as he had hurt his ankle and S had had to come along with me and so I asked the doctor to cast her eye over the spot as it had begun to grow a bit bigger.
A small cyst which would probably burst and sort itself out she declared.
Slowly it continued to grow but it didn't burst. It was uncomfortable but not painful. I took S back to the doctor in February and he said he would refer us on to a maxillofacial specialist at the NHS hospital.
A few weeks into waiting for the initial consultation the spot had turned into what looked like a huge blood blister and one day it burst and bled. And boy did it bleed. G rang the hospital to see how the appointment making process was going only to be told they hadn't received the referral letter from our surgery. Although for the majority of the time all was ok, occasionally S would scratch her lip, or catch it when she was changing her clothes and the bleeding would start again. I was called into school twice in 3 days because of it.
G decided that we needed to take the situation into our own hands and he made an appointment at a private hospital. Let me say at this point we don't have private health care.
On Tuesday last week G took S for her consultation where he was told she had an  oral granuloma. Since the bleeding it had dramatically reduced in size and swelling but the doctor assured G that without treatment it would grow again and then burst and the cycle would carry on repeating itself.
On Thursday I took S to have the very quick freezing procedure she needed.
On hand to help during the procedure was Nuffy Bear and as his t-shirt shows he is a Very Important Bear as he sat on S's lap and she held onto him very tightly indeed.

I am grateful for the fact that although in this instance we didn't get to use the facilities of the NHS hospital, the option was there. The health care that S has received (and will continue to receive) since we became a family has been incredible.

I am grateful that although we had an eye watering bill to settle, in this instance, we were able to go with an option which has meant that since G made his decision everything was dealt with swiftly and S is now happy to look in the mirror and hopefully won't have to sit out of class or be sent home and miss school which she loves.

And after watching Comic Relief on Friday and the horrendous health issues for children and their families in Africa I was incredibly grateful again and again and again. 

Here is the girl herself all dressed up for school Friday morning complete with red nose. The theme was 'go dressed 1980's style' so we decided bright colours was the way to go. We had gone through S's wardrobe earlier in the week and chosen what she was going to wear but that morning she asked me 'Mum, could you help me get dressed for today like the olden days.'
Olden days!!!!!!!
The 80's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Surely the olden days should be something more like the Victorian era, not when Wham! and Culture Club were doing their thing!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Love Apple

The bag of apples I bought this afternoon contained not one but two slightly odd shaped apples which when viewed one way made us go 'ahhhhh' as they looked heartshaped

and when viewed another way made S shriek with laughter as they looked like a pair of very pert buttocks! This was the best photo I could manage to capture the description, I'm sure you get the idea!

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Mother's Day

I have been given the most beautiful bunch of tulips today. Apparently S wanted to give me some colourful flowers and these certainly fit that description, they really are stunning.

Along with the flowers S gave me the 'mum' chocolates.
T spent a couple of hours in town on his own yesterday choosing me a heart shaped box of strawberry champagne truffles and an oh so pretty Paperchase notebook because it looks like it could be a CK pattern and he knows I like making lists.

My sister was bringing mum over for lunch today so in preparation I baked a chocolate cake and inspired by this picture in the latest Co-op magazine I topped off my cake

with bunting made from cutting up a floral page from an old CK magazine.

I received high praise indeed from T who declared this cake with added grated apple (although he doesn't know about the apple) as delicious.

Along with the cushion I found during half term I gave my mum some tete-a-tete daffodils planted up in daffodil patterned mug which I found last year at a fete. The words on the front say 'A mother's love makes all things bright and beautiful.' A perfect gift for my daffodil loving mum.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Meow Pussycat

This Thursday was World Book Day and at S's school children were invited to go into school dressed as a character from one of their favourite books.

S wanted to go as the cat from the excellent Julia Donaldson book Room on the Broom. This decision was only made on Monday evening.
Cue finding items to make the outfit.
Luckily she already had some cat ears in her dressing up box, result.
Next was a pair of brown trousers from her wardrobe.
To finish off we needed a brown top so we went hunting in charity shops and found a plain brown t-shirt for 99p. A great find which pleased S no end.
I cut up an old work top of mine which days before I had popped into the bag of clothes ready to go to the recycling and then stitched this to the front of the t-shirt so she had a paler 'tummy'
Finally G went hunting in the loft and found the broom which normally only comes out at Hallowe'en.
I'm afraid I failed on the tail, for some reason I didn't give one a thought, perhaps she was the Manx cousin of the witch's cat!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Foxy Chick

My new necklace.

T and S each received one of these chocolate cuties on their birthday.

Monday, 4 March 2013

History on Our Doorstep

My reading group book of the month is The Life of Pi.
 G read this book ages ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, I've never been drawn to it and when it was announced that it was to be our next book I inwardly groaned at the thought of having to read something I had deliberately avoided.
I'm half way through the book and I have to say that if it weren't for the fact it was for book group this may have become one of only a handful of books I have started and never finished.
I'm not spoiling things for those who haven't read it by saying that the name of the tiger in the book is Richard Parker.
This led us to the start of a little history jaunt around the area we live in yesterday morning.

Our first stop was Peartree Church which is the oldest Anglican church in the world 

and where there is a memorial to the (part) inspiration for the tiger's name.  Richard Parker was a Southampton boy who was killed and eaten by his shipmates in 1884 when they were the only survivors from a shipwreck. A very grisly business indeed.

With the aid of a local history book I bought last year we then wandered along to Bitterne Way where Captain Haddock lived. Not the character from Tintin, but the real live Captain of the RMS Olympic, sister ship to the Titanic. We don't know which house he lived in but wondered if this gate held a clue or if it just belonged to someone who likes sailing.

Just around the corner is Chessel Avenue where there is a house which was lived in for 7 years by Roy Chadwick who, as the blue plaque explains, was the designer of the Lancaster and the Vulcan aircrafts.

As you can see by this plaque the main road we were walking along to get us to our various destinations has been used for many, many centuries.

These pillars were once part of the main entrance to Chessel House, I would have loved to have seen it in all it's glory, and it's most famous visitor was Jane Austen.

The guide book I was using was produced by the local history society and they have a shop housing their collection which I haven't visited but really, really should.
I must admit to exclaiming very loudly when I saw this collection of yogurt pots amongst their window display. Does anyone else remember the Mr Men yogurts? I do, especially the Mr Lazy fudge one.

Another thing which caught my eye was this old till, I don't remember these though!

It was quite chilly by the time we were back home again a hour or so later and we were pleased to be back indoors enjoying tea and one of these coffee cakes S and I had baked on Saturday.