Sunday, 27 September 2015


 Yesterday morning we were at the park, just as we were last Saturday.
We parked up by the tennis courts and walked across the cricket and football pitches until we arrived by the river.
As per last week there were people out on the water, but they weren't getting travelling under their own steam, these were taking a more leisurely option.

Talking of taking things in a leisurely fashion S decided a little lie down was in order, not that it looked like the comfiest of spots, but she was happy enough.

The swans and gulls were out in force and gobbling up the bread which was being thrown for them

Whilst in the vicinity last week I had spied a notice for the re-launch of a local cafe.
Our afternoon was spoken for as S had been invited to a birthday party so we needed something to do which was local and would get us out and enjoying the surprisingly warm day.
Popping down to the park for a little walk and then visiting the cafe seemed like a good plan especially as part of the re-launch day there would be free ice cream tastings.
Loved the ice cream balloons they had as part of the decorations inside the shop. 

The new name for the cafe is The Songbird and with our hot drinks we were all given one of these sweet little bird shaped biscuits.

S had a great time at the party later in the day but unfortunately my day went downhill. A bout of IBS which had started on Friday just got steadily worse through Saturday. I went to bed early and even though I slept through until gone 9am this morning I still felt tired. Thankfully but mid-afternoon the pain had eased but I do find that it just whacks me out and today I achieved very little.
T went to the charity shop for his two hour Sunday stint and G went into work to build up some flexi. Not the most fun packed weekend but that's just the way it goes sometimes.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Busy Week

There has been a lot going on this week, we've all been busy in various ways.
S has been busy at school.
Last week she came home with a certificate to say she speller of the week for always putting her words in her spelling log

and then to top that she was given the Super Star of the week award for all the effort and hard work she has put in to her work and her name appeared in the school newsletter published on Monday.
What a great start to the school year for S, that deserves a little treat I reckon.

Since the children returned to school my days off have been filled with necessary appointments, things such as the car MOT, this Monday it was the dentist for a root canal. Nice.
On my return I found the postman had been and in among the boring stuff was something really quite exciting.
A letter from T's school inviting us to an awards evening.
It said T had been nominated to receive an award, although we won't find out what for until the actual event itself in a couple of weeks time.

As an added extra to liven up the day even further the toilet became blocked. 
To cut a long, and very yucky, story short the problem turned out to be with the main sewerage pipe. Thankfully after a call to the water company it was confirmed it was one for which they were responsible and we were told an engineer would be sent the next morning.

Next September S starts senior school (can't believe I'm typing those words) and Monday evening me, G and S went to visit the first of three local schools we are considering as they were holding their open evening.
The school is a recently established academy and in a building which is only a couple of years old, everything is very light and spacious and a huge improvement on the facilities previously on the site.

            DVDs bought for 10p each at the car boot on Sunday.

Thankfully Tuesday morning the promised engineer turned up bright and early, the blockage was cleared and the toilet was soon in full working order again.

G finished work earlier than normal in the afternoon so he could go and watch S's class assembly. This is probably the last class assembly we'll be attending. There's the Christmas production and probably a leaver's assembly and then that's it.
Strange to think.
Anyway, S's main activity in this assembly was to tell everyone about the sweet potato cookies she had baked as part of their project on Zimbabwe. G said she delivered her speech very clearly and did a great job.

I was having to work until 8pm that evening so was unable to join G and S at the second senior school open evening. 
As this was held at T's current school I didn't mind so much as we already know a great deal about the school, but T had volunteered to help out in one of the Science classrooms and was helping the younger children conduct a very simple experiment. G said he looked quite the part in his white lab coat and was good at communicating with the children.

The final open evening is next week and then a decision will need to be made.

                       pretty floral top, 50p

Wednesday involved another dental visit, but this time it was for S. 
I had to take her to the orthodontist to see if she was ready for the brace the dentist had referred her for.
The answer was a no, we need to go back in a year and she'll be reassessed then. 
Next year when she'll be at senior school.
Oh my.

So that's been our week so far.
School and dental based.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Saturday - start to finish

It was whilst I was looking for details for our day out last weekend I found something which we could go to this weekend.
We left the car near one of our favourite parks and took a stroll along the river. This was busy with people in kayaks

and when I saw this chap all I could think of was the theme tune to Hawaii Five-0.

When the children we younger we would come to this park and feed the ducks and yesterday we saw a new sign advising other items which are better for them to have.

It's good info to have for a future visit but we weren't at the park to feed the ducks or any of the other birds we saw.

 Our destination could be seen just over the roof tops 

 St. Denys church was the venue for a new art exhibition
Outside the church was a colourful display by a group of primary school children. It was all about the rights of children. Access to food and clean water, a safe place to play and being able to go to school were all mentioned.

Also outside were these faces cut from plastic bottles which reminded me of boggarts.

The art work on display ranged from paintings and sculpture to stained glass. I liked the way these flowers were displayed entwined around an old metal gate.

We visited this church a 4 years ago on a heritage open day and it was the stained glass windows which caught our attention then. I couldn't get a good photo of them yesterday. This was because of the sun, so I'm not complaining, so I concentrated on some other smaller features.

Back home in the afternoon I spent some time in the kitchen baking Dalek shaped biscuits to go with our

Dalek straws. All of this was in readiness for the start of the new Dr Who series which we all sat down and enjoyed together. 

I thought we needed something to go with our biscuits and as it was butterscotch pudding day there really was only one contender. I could have spent longer in the kitchen and made something from scratch but decided on the trashy option instead. 

Tuesday, 15 September 2015


Let's have a little catch up of things which have been happening chez J&J shall we.

From the kitchen we have produced three things never cooked in there before.
S made sweet potato cookies. She decided to bake these as part of her homework on Zimbabwe from a traditional recipe found online, earning herself some words of admiration from her teacher. Very nice they were too.
I made British style patatas bravas, which earned a mixed reaction. One loved it, one tried it but didn't like it, one refused to eat it. Sound familiar? 
The last new thing on the menu was a whipple-scrumptious fudgemallow delight for Roald Dahl day. Oh my. 

I was very pleased when Friday evening rolled around and I was home with my feet up. It had been a busy week. I really felt like a glass of wine but we didn't have any in. What we did have cooling in the fridge was a Snowball. I had bought them a couple of weeks ago as it was something I had wanted to try. Out came the very infrequently used champagne saucers, the drink was poured and very quickly quaffed. I thought it was delicious. This now begs the question, do I try Advocaat on it's own? Any advice? 

Whilst (kind of) on the subject of glasses I wanted to show one of my latest purchases. 
I had an afternoon out with my sisters at the end of August, it was to spend time together on the anniversary of when we lost our dearest Dad. 
We went to a vintage and antique emporium where I found this little gem. It's now my glass of choice for my morning orange juice.

I've been very organised and sorted out all of C's birthday presents from the stash of items I have accumulated for her. I have a fair amount of things towards her Christmas present and for her birthday in October I think I counted 15 items for our budget of £10. I shall be wrapping them soon and will make sure I photograph them as I go. I have also decided on the gift for my other sister T whose birthday is in November and I'm really pleased with the theme running through it. This candle is part of it and when I have bought all the items I'll share it here.

Last week at book club our read for August was given a thumbs up by all. Black Hills was something a bit different and an enjoyable read but I felt it was about 100 pages too long, I got a bit bored with the two main characters trying to sort out their relationship when you know how it's going to end. Also whenever I looked at the cover I started singing 'Take me Back to the Black Hills, the Black Hills of Dakota, to the beautiful Indian country that I love' from the film Calamity Jane. And as much as I love Doris Day and that movie I was getting fed up with it!
In contrast this month we have The Spinning Heart which is only 160 pages long. Or should that be short. This should mean I have some time to read another of the books G gave me for my birthday. 
I have read the Phryne Fisher one already. G bought me that because we were hooked on watching the TV series on Netflix which was hugely entertaining. My next one will be The Year of Living Danishly.

We didn't go booting this weekend and the weekend before we only went to provide a bit of support to my mum and sister who were there selling so I only had time to have a mini wander and make a couple of purchases. A checked shirt for T and a sequinned top for S.

The lady who was on the pitch next to my sister didn't want to take any of her things home and gave me this length of Christmas fabric which she said is used to hang from a mantle. She said it had originally came from Denmark. I think I may wrap it around the metal base of the tree to hide it's ugly legs.

We were hoping to go on a wildlife walk at a local nature reserve at the weekend but when we got there for the advertised time we found it had already started. Weekends over the next couple of months will probably be a bit quieter as there seem to be less events on as we head into autumn, so it was a little disappointing we had missed this one. 

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Pink Dress

I'm blogging much later in the day than I intended but it's been such a full on day that 9.30pm really is the soonest I am able to get out the laptop and let you know that today has been teddy bear day. And to mark the day I wanted to share this little bear of S's.
All those years ago when we were waiting to meet S our social worker suggested T send her a little something. A special gift from her new big brother.
She suggested a cuddly toy of some description, something to help make a connection before the face to face introductions.
T chose this littlest of all bears for S and her foster carers said from the moment it arrived it never left her side.
If they went out the bear went too, inside a tiny handbag which looked like a glasses case with carrying handles.
One day after they had been out food shopping they arrived home to find the bear had been lost. Cue tears. Lots of tears.
S's foster dad was immediately despatched back to the supermarket on a bear finding mission and thankfully she was found. Phew.
She is without a doubt one of S's tiniest and certainly most treasured bears.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Festival of Food

Saturday morning saw me, G and S hopping on a train and then hopping off again just a couple of stops along the tracks as we were going to Hamble for 
the Festival of Food.

We had a walk of a mile or so from the train station to get down to the quay and this took us along the Dani King Cycleway. Dani King was part of the Team GB Cycling team and won a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in the team pursuit. Because of this the post box situated in Hamble square was painted gold, I completely failed to get a photo of that.

Hamble has a long association with aviation, this is reflected in the naming of some of the roads and details of the housing within those streets.

Further along the road is a small statue dedicated to the Air Transport Auxiliary 

with a plaque explaining their vital part in WW2. Unfortunately the black engraving has started to fade which, out of respect, I think should be attended to.

S and G were sat waiting for me down at the quay, would you believe I was waylaid taking photos? Not of the gold post box though, how could I forget to do that?

Once back to being a band of three again we headed over to sample our way around the various food and drink stalls.
We needed to buy something tasty for lunch and after trying fudge, various cheeses, chocolate stout and ham we settled on a steak pie and another filled with egg, bacon and sausage

one of these sun dried tomato loaves (although I would have preferred the cheese and watercress one) and a chunk of nettle and wild garlic cheese.
All were delicious.

This was our view as we sat on the quay enjoying our lunch. All very pleasant sitting in the sun and watching the boats sail past.

S and I spent a little time watching one of the stall holders make apple and blackberry muffins before

we set about answering the clues to a quiz based on the houses, pubs and shops leading from the square down to the quay.