Tuesday, 30 March 2010

First date number 7 - The cop out date

This a bit of a poor excuse of a date - although it was a very fun night. Since Friday I've had a stinking, feeling sorry for myself, big red nose, blurry eyed, rotten cold. Being a true woman and not liking to moan (really!) I've carried on and we've still had action packed days but by 9pm (even though the clocks went forward) I've just wanted to go to bed. Well there's my excuse for the cop out date - so onto the date.....

My sister, the lovely Ba Bags, visited for the weekend. I managed to book a babysitter and we hit the heady heights of the pub at the end of the road - a good 100 metre walk! The pub has just reopenned after a re-furb, by re-furb I'm meaning it's been painted. However - through the bottom of several pints of cider it looked perfect (for those of you from the USA - this isn't just apple juice, but apple juice that makes everything seem good).
The night included sending drunken texts, tears, a bevvy of bar snacks, kisses and very loud laughing - generally acting like teenagers on a first night out, so probably with a sister dragged along, a proper first date then! Next week it will be dry (maybe?).
Project 52: Date Nights logo

Friday, 26 March 2010

You're a hit and you know you are (or something like that)

Anya went to her first football match with her Dad, Ja Jax and bestfriend - she was so excited she could talk about nothing else for days. She had every detail planned, snacks every 15 minutes, paper towel to dry the seats incase they were wet, two hats if it rained, hand warmers, hot chocolate to warm her up at the end and a hotdog at full time. Unfortunately Aston Villa scored an own goal so the score against Wolves was 2:2. Tim was happy with this as it meant that Spurs stayed above Villa (competitive dad?!). Most of these photos were taken by Anya - they got to their seats an hour early so there were lots of chances!

While they were at the football the boys and me went to Snibston Discovery Centre. It was brilliant with loads of interactive (mainly science) displays - they ran from one to the next pressing every button they could see. My camera died after a couple of photos - ruddy technology!

Sunday brought sunshine so the perfect excuse for a bike ride to get an icecream (yippeeeeee - nearly summer!)
Quote of the week - "When I grow up I'm going to be Saint Patrick" ~ Patrick - he may be (very occassionally) Mummy's little angel but not sure if this is a realistic one - still it's good for a boy to have ambition.

Mummy guilt of the week - The following conversations left me feeling like the worst mum ever:
Me: Can Anya's friend come and play after school on friday?
Friends mum: No he's at the theatre thing that everyone's performing at in Town
Me: Oh I didn't know about it.
Friends mum: The whole class have been practising for it for ages.

Me: Anya, why aren't you doing the theatre thing?
Anya: Because you didn't send the letter back.
Me: What have you been doing when everyone else practises?
Anya: Me and one other girl with rubbish parents practise our spellings.

I so can't remember getting a letter, Bucks is going to play at a friends on Friday - I will be trying to make up to Anya for being an incompetent parent.

Thought for the week - "Guilt is anger directed at ourselves" ~ Peter McWilliams

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Skywatch Friday - a host of golden daffodils

Spring brings amorous ducks out from where-ever it is they hide themselves over winter. They seem to take over our village, last night a pair were nosing around our patio. However, they are normally to be found wandering backwards and forwards across the busiest road in the village (without stop/look/listening), in a few weeks with a brood following. This sign appeared at the end of our street recently - I hope the ducks pay attention to it!

My daff hunt this week was very successful - the warm(ish), wet week with hints of sun has brought them out everywhere. Spring is sprung. I also spotted my first bee of the season.
The photos above were taken in a church yard in a tiny village I was driving through for work today. Behind the church was this amazingly spooky tower (ravens and all).
A quick google search shows that it is Hamstall Hall watch tower, which was a place from which the lord of the manor could survey his estate and the lands beyond. It is said that four counties can be seen from the top. It was built in the late 15th or early 16th century. What ever did I do before t'interweb?

A bit of a rambling post again - feeling a bit tired and fed up therefore not brief. To see some beautiful succinct skies from everywhere possible go and visit Skywatch Friday

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

First date number 6 - Candlelit dinner for two

Everything looks good by candle light and our old fashioned romantic evening was a perfect one. Tim spent the week in Eygpt so wasn't in the mood for anything too hardwork. So we spent three hours putting the world to rights, while munching on smoked salmon and crusty bread. Still yet to manage a dry date - we had plenty of wine. 

As we were both pretty beat we were only going to put in a token hour date but this dating thing really is fun. For one night a week we seem to have reconnected - sometimes this even spills over into other nights of the week.
Project 52: Date Nights logo

Almost forgot that the twist in the romantic evening tale was the music selected by my lovely husband. Tim put a 'genius selection' on the ipod - good selection but there were several of (to quote Tim) "your shouty sweary music" tracks - I seem to remember Rage against the machine playing. Didn't spoil the mood - I just thought he was sweet for picking music I liked (yes it was an accident).

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Skywatch Friday - shedding the coat weather

The clear blue skies have gone but have made way for warm and almost dry days. This is the start of spring proper - the kids played outside all weekend (on our newly constructed enormous bounceoline) and we even managed to make it to the park after work/school. This photo was taken at hometime immediately before the cries of "just a little longer". Another couple of weeks and we'll be able to do picnic teas in the park.

Have a look to see if the rest of the world got to see wide open spaces at Skywatch friday.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

First date number 5 - having a cracking time

I can pretty much guarantee that this weeks date is a one-off. It was Tim's turn to organise, I was given a bit of notice because it required some thought and pre-planning.  The concept was egg night. Everything was egg based we had Snowballs to drink (NB for future reference these are very filling and give killer headaches the next morning), egg pasta and Cadbury creme eggs.

But the main event was the egg throwing competition. We each had £1 to buy equipment to protect a regular chickens egg so that it wouldn't crack when thrown out of our bedroom window.

So the results (we had three chances each) were one cracked, two whole to Tim. Two cracked, one whole to me. However, I have to say that my sponge design was amazing and the egg would never ever break, ever! As strange dates go this was a fun one xo

Project 52: Date Nights logo

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Today's flower - making mums day

My lovely children woke me up this morning with these roses - it's mother's day in the UK and I have been really spoilt. Bucks made me cheese and pickle sandwich for breakfast in bed (it's his favourite and he wanted me to have it - not my normal choice for first thing in the morning but I could get used to it). Anya brought me up a bottle of wine (it worries me that she knows me so well).
A knock on the door later brought these unexplained flowers. They were from my Mother-in-law as a thank you for her grandchildren. Completely not needed but a lovely thought - I now need to think of an equally thoughtfully lovely thing in return (any hints gratefully received!).

While taking these photos I looked out of the window and noticed that the trees had catkins on - aren't these tree flowers? Another sign that spring's here (YIPPEE). I have enjoyed my trio of flowers (I so promised myself I wasn't going to get sucked into another meme - I already have neckstrain from looking up and am fed up of spending so much time with my husband, due to Skywatch and Date night. But thanks to Arija I will now be obsessed with flowers), now go and smell the worldwide blooms at Today's flower.
While on the subject of Mothers - Euan has this week stop calling me Mummy and has started with 'Mum' - everyday he's discarding his babyhood and becoming a real big boy, a huge part of me is sad but there is a bit of me that can't wait to lose the nappy bag!

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Skywatch Friday - my field of dreams

This terribly twee photo is the 'cow field' at the back of my Parents house. When I was 13 I tended to come here and mope, normal teenagers experiment with boys and alcohol - I was a bit of a geek and just took our dog for long walks. I was a late bloomer and it took until University to rebel - luckily that was 100 miles from home, so I never did get in too much trouble with my parents. Any way after that ramble, this week has seen lots more lovely crisp blue skies. 

This was on our trip back home - Gloucester is the closest city to my Parents house, from this distance it looks quite pretty.
Go and see some lovely skies from around the world (most without the personal histories) at Skywatch Friday.

The view from up here

We loaded a car with excited children and headed south for the weekend. Its the first time for ages that the complete set of Aunties were together, GG was looking really well and on good form.  The new boyfriend, Bill got bombarded with the whole force of the family (I don't think that his family is quite as full on - I hope he hasn't been to put off a return visit). The baby Jacob has got huge already, we all managed to grab cuddles and were loathed to pass him on.

Mean while GG got excited about easter and handed out the eggs early - Euan got his first whole egg and wasn't quite sure what to do with it - he went for the all in the mouth at once technique. He did eventually work it out and shared it with Beeba.

I need to put in this photo too - a good nearly whole family shot, Euan was asleep in the car, may cut and paste him into the photo!
Having children really makes me examine my own beliefs. This weeks examination was on religion. Tim's view is not to rock the boat and to let the children follow what they've been taught at their Catholic Primary School (which they happen to go to because it's the closest and I'm innately lazy!). I'm not so sure and think that they shouldn't blindly accept everything they are told without question.

And so after that pre-amble, Anya was talking about a new topic started at school. They had to name famous people, Anya said Roald Dahl (my little book lover!), she said others had thought of David Beckham, Jesus and was laughing because someone had said Robin Hood. Her direct quote "fancy saying Robin Hood, he's just out of a book". Well, now this is the bit that made me think - without rocking the boat - to me Robin Hood and Jesus are both characters from legends, both of them seem like they would be nice people, but the scientist in me needs more proof than is available to bring them to life.

So, we had a conversation about there not being photos of either Jesus or Robin and that some people aren't sure about either of them being a famous person, oh and to ask Grandad about it (the cowards way out!)

Thought of the Month - "March is a tomboy with tousled hair, a mischievous smile, mud on her shoes and a laugh in her voice" ~ Hal Borland (this quote reminds me of my own tomboy - maybe she should have been born a bit earlier?)

This is Miss March modelling her new coat - apparently this is how models stand?

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

First date number 4 - Doing the funky Steamchicken

This weeks date was the best so far, it was not at all romantic and was a whole family affair (no kids so we stuck to the rules).  The source of all the excitement was a ceilidh with the fantastic Steamchicken playing. It was our first ceilidh so a lot of the fun was trying to work out the steps to the dances. The room was pretty split with those that could dance and those trying - those that could were very kind. 

Our favourite steps were:
  • heel, toe, heel, toe - this was nice and easy, does as it says on the tin.
  • circlely thing - there were various sizes but all involved holding hands with other people and going around in a circle 
  • galloppy, galloppy, galloppy - this was really good - hold hands with your partner/a partner and run in a horse style down the middle of the other dancers
  •  gypsy - we were instructed that this was an intensely romantic move, our interpretation was wiggling hands in the air while shrieking gypsiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii
It may have been our first but won't be our last! Thanks must also go to my lovely Mum and sisters who were willing to dance with me while Tim went to the bar for a breather (next week we will have to try a dry date?).
Project 52: Date Nights logo
PS - I had to add this at the end as I was so amazed by it. I still am, can you tell I don't get out much? This is a pop-up urinal in the middle of the town, next to the taxi rank. During the day it goes back into the path, where I must have walked over it without ever noticing. The things they have now-a-days.

Monday, 8 March 2010

99 things for 99 posts

I'm celebrating my 99th post! Stolen from Influenced by Skirts and Wellies. Here's a list of 99 things. Bold the ones you have done and post on your blog! =)

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightening storm
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Got a tattoo
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
I think that's about 41, some of the answers might be stretching a point. Some of the answers made me remember too.
No.5 - We watched a meteorite shower about 7 and a half years ago in our back garden.  Tim and I both made wishes (as in wish on a shooting star) - about nine months later when Anya was born we both admitted to making the same wish which worked quicker than we thought it would. Maybe we should have called her star!
No 12 - we visited Paris last August by mistake when the Satnav got us lost, we had a crash, spent 5 hours in a manky garage and I can say that I'm not in a hurry to return.
No. 41 - I have only ever sung karaoke once - it happened to be the entertainment at our wedding reception. The first song (instead of first dance) was Wham! - Wake me up before you go-go (selected by Tim - always the romantic!)

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Skywatch Friday - spring has (maybe, hopefully, possibly) sprung

In the UK spring officially began on Monday - the weather appears to have noted the date on the calendar. We've had lovely crisp blue days.
The spring flowers have started popping out - stopping the kids picking them has become a challenge. Our neighbour very nearly lost his whole crop of crocus. Until I took these photos I didn't realise how yummy snowdrops smelt.

And finally - I really wasn't going to put a black bridge photo in this week but the sun rays through the trees were just beautiful so.....

Spot seasons changing all around the world by visiting Skywatch Friday

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

First date number 3 - turning back time

Date night this week was a blast from the past - Trivial Pursuit 1980s edition.  We both agreed that this was a great way to spend an evening because we could chat while playing. I have to admit that there were loads of witty stories I was going to write about but they've all gone a bit hazy (we had the odd glass of wine while chatting - seems to be a common theme to our dates, nothing has changed in 16 years!).

Despite a good amount of cheating by Tim, I emerged victorious! (and I should have got that ponk piece of cake for the John Cleese answer too!).  We topped off the night with a fab Indian take-away (yummy but not so good for the fighters of the fat).

A very important thing to remember for future nights is to ensure that all telephones are turned off (by all telephones read Tim's mobile) - we had two conversations about hire cars (SiHo - leave us alone!!) and a call from Tim's sister who got the hump when we said we were on a date and hung up (oops).

Thanks again to Tiffany xo
Project 52: Date Nights logo

Chocolate in the post = good day

I recently won my first ever blog giveaway run by Linnykins.  Today my YELLOW chocolate arrived.
It took the New Zealand designers 9 months to produce the taste of YELLOW (spot YELLOW flavour in the ingredients?!). So what does YELLOW taste like?

Anya says like our lemon cake (that would be lemon drizzle cake to the rest of the world).
Euan was to suspicious to try any.
I thought it tasted like pineapple.
Patrick thought red.

Thanks Linnykins - it made our whole day better xo

Monday, 1 March 2010

Shiney glasses

This week life feels good - my rose tinted glasses have been given a polish while I spent the weekend at a posh spa hotel near Chester. I have to mention Bec, Nina, Sarah, Beth and Mrs Nic as I drunkenly admitted to this blog (not many real-life people know about it, I feel a bit weird telling people about it. Although have no problem someone on the other side of the world I've never meet reading it!) - any way I think that they wanted a 'shout out' (I'm sure they will have all forgotten about it though).
Oh - and Rolf Harris was as surprised to see me in Chester as I was to see him!

Meanwhile at home:
Euan was turning two and a whole half!
Tim was moving the 14ft bounceline (others may call it a trampoline) from the drive into the back garden - note when someone offers you a large trampoline make sure that it fits around the side of the house!
Anya and Patch were making dough balls and watching Alvin & the Chipmunks.
Basically not missing me as much as I was missing them!

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