Saturday, 29 January 2011

Made me smile....

It's been an uncomfortably busy week but I've still had to
pause and smile at the hen doorstop nana made.....

...beautiful hyacinths in the dining room...

...crystal tree grown by Hermione and generally interfered with by Miles....

....splat poos stuck on the ceiling .

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Come on, own up

Who was it who slept in the boiler room at
Whinfell Forest Centre Parcs?
Posted by Picasa

Monday, 24 January 2011

Done roamin' ..

.. for the time being!

Just got back from a fun but exhausting break to celebrate Craig's 40th. One of the highlights of the trip was a visit to see Long Meg and her Daughters. I was quite blown away by the place and look forward to sharing pictures once I get round to unpacking the camera.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Tea for Two

I'm loving the cute new tray cover Nana has made. I'm also loving my candelabra, which I have probably already told you about, but I am going to tell you again. I'm amazed with transformation from the nasty £3 silver electric tat Nana bought at a car boot sale.

Whilst on the subject of things I'm loving right now, I'm loving the fact that when it suits we can opt into formal learning experiences. Hermione is at her third science lecture this week, specially adapted for younger audiences, at a nearby university. She's loving them - lots of bangs, flashes and smells apparently. Must make my science experiments look incredibly dull!
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Escomb Saxon Church

We have been revisiting the Norman Conquest in our history lessons. We're lucky to have Durham Cathedral, a great example of Norman architecture nearby. But what could we compare it to? Durham was a place of pilgrimage before the Normans built a huge Cathedral there. What may the place of worship looked like prior to the Normans?
We visited Escomb Saxon Church yesterday to give us some inclinations. It was beautiful and a stark contrast to the Cathedral. Even Miles was amazed by the size, the roof timbers and the 'devil door'. Apparently suspicion surrounded the north door because the north wall was usually in shade. Consequently it was generally blocked off and termed the 'devil door'.
The cemetery was very interesting too, with some of the most unusual grave stones I have ever seen.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

As promised... of the handmade 'old man slippers' card and a couple of gifts he received from friends the other day.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Please help me to choose

Thanks to everyone who wished me well for last night. Thankfully there were no culinary disasters - just lots of fun and laughter. Craig is coming up to the big four zero and one of the couples who came brought lots of amazing home made gifts for him. I'll have to take some pictures and show you. There was a huge cookie with a message on (which disappeared this morning with a cup of coffee), a birthday card made out of a pair of slippers (!!), a specially designed and painted t shirt, an executive sock organiser, personal chill pills which involved squares of bubble warp, designer jewellery to keep his screws and nails safe and more...

Conversation focused very much upon syphilitic llamas and whether such things can be bought on Ebay. We also discussed, amongst other things, what to do for the best when you notice a naked man doing star jumps in your front garden during a dinner party - thankfully this didn't occur last night! I've not laughed so much in ages and my sides are still aching.

Anyway, nursing aching ribs and a rather sore head, I decided that I would take it easy today and try to choose a fabric to recover an old stool which I have found and would like to put in my bathroom. My bathroom is a pale blue colour with a grey floor. I like the idea of a black and white print (preferably newspaper print but I can't find this) but the white background may soon look grubby with littlies in the house. I also quite like the whole retro brown/blue/pink thing that's sometimes going on these days too. The dark background may look smart a bit longer too. What do you think? Opinions please?

Friday, 14 January 2011

Worth the wait

What a nightmare! The man at Tescos had trouble with his pricing gun tonight. He couldn't get the reduction stickers to print. Much to Craig and Hermione's irritation, I was patient and managed to snap up organic veg at a fraction of the price, two pots of hyacinths for 30p each and £31 worth of flowers for £2.60! So, perhaps there are other things I could have done with that half hour, but what the heck!

I love flowers but won't usually splash out. I'm feeling very blessed to have a home full of blooming colour right now - at a sensible price too. It's certainly worth finding out when your supermarket marks everything down.
So, my house is looking lovely, all I have to do now is make sure the food is equally good when friends come to dinner tomorrow night. I'm making a few things I've not made before, Loaded Nachos to start, Texan Beef (a la Nigella) and Cashew Roast for veggies, followed by Key Lime Pie. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Networking not working.

As regular readers will know, when it comes to Facebook I'm a hypocrite. I hate the ethos. I hate the commercial exploitation. I hate the way it accentuates some users vulnerabilities. I hate the impact it can have on 'real life' friendships. I hate lots of things about it, but I use it - not a lot, but I do. It's a social disease and I've got it.

I would like not to be on Facebook but there are groups there which I feel I need to be part of - things to do with home education and such like - things I need to find out for the benefit of my children, but otherwise would not be able to find out.
I felt physically sick upon reading about this lady. Sadly I doubt she will be the only one too. Really it's made me wonder why the hell it's called Facebook. Surely to call it Faceless would be more appropriate - a place where people can go, without a face and therefore without responsibility for their social interactions. I know of course that there are millions of users who despite being faceless are perfectly good and decent. I'm just saddened that some use it in a way so as to take social interaction to such a base level, totally lacking in humanity.

Yeah, so it's great for many, but what of those who use it as a way to debase societal decency and degrade humanity? What of those who make mega million bucks out of it - be it used as intended or not? Sheeesh, I wish I could kick it....and in the meantime I apologise profusely to all my Facebook friends for my gross hypocrisy, I'm working on it.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Keeping me up all night

I love it when Freecycle works - as opposed to being a pain in the backside when people start seeking designer clothing. Our three best gerbil boys acquired a fabulous new three storey gerbilarium courtesy of one kind Freecycler at the weekend. They appear to be loving it and are extremely active at night. They're noisy little devils and I've not slept well since they went into their new home. I'll need to adjust to their new sounds.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, 10 January 2011


'Hey son, this is how you join two pieces of metal together.'

'Awww, cool daddy!'
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, 9 January 2011

RSPB visit

We visited the RSPB centre at Saltburn yesterday following the recommendation by a friend. We enjoyed it, despite the bracing chill.

Most of the ponds were frozen with the reeds and rushes encased in ice. Pretty.

We travelled home via the Transporter Bridge. None of us had actually been on it before. We thoroughly enjoyed the ride although Hermione was concerned that the cables may snap at any moment. Thankfully they didn't!

Posted by Picasa

Friday, 7 January 2011

The wild and the not so wild

It's taken much longer than I would like but I think we're finally shaking our lurgy and getting back on top. Still feeling very much like I've been wrung out but I've an appointment with my reflexologist next week so hopefully that will see a vast improvement.

We have had friends to stay. Sadly they came to stay for a funeral. I've so many friends having hard times of late. I really do hope 2011 will bring much happiness. There are many folks I know who could do with a large dollop. Anyway, the circumstances could have been better but it was lovely to see them all the same. It was good to have their house bunny stay too. Here's Flick. Hermione willed her to eat the science book, but alas, it's still there.

Moving on from the 'not so wild', to the decidedly 'verging on wild', I must tell you about our brief trip to the museum today. 'Come and see mummy! Come and see Mummy!' shouted Miles. 'It's even more exciting than the dinosaur exhibition - it's a wild rumpus!!' The wild rumpus turned out to be a small group of school children and when their teacher eventually stopped texting on her mobile she looked decidedly unimpressed with his comment. Hmmm, perhaps she hasn't read Where the Wild Things Are? Or perhaps she thought the shame should be mine not hers? Miles was actually being quite charitable when he called it a wild rumpus - it's certainly not what I would have called it. I hope it was her supervision and not Miles' observations which were the cause of concern.

Moving on, for anyone out there who ends up buying lots of bits and pieces for children throughout the year, it may be worth having a look at the Hawkin's Bazaar sale at the moment. Many things have 75% off. Delivery is £3.95 but if you spend a reasonable amount it still works out a bargain. I've stocked up on gifts for my own children throughout the year and also for friend's children.

Miles' first 'proper' workbooks arrived today. He's starting some Singapore Maths. Sadly I think I'm much more excited about it than him. Hermione did Singapore Maths at his age before we moved to Horizon and more latterly Galore Park.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Hamlet the Comedy

So traumatised was I by the event, that I forgot to tell you about an interesting night out which Hermione and I had the week before Christmas.

We made a rather long journey, (about an eighty mile round trip), to spend time with special friends and go to see Hamlet the Comedy performed by Odd Socks Theatre Company.

Unfortunately, my windscreen wipers started doing strange things on the way there and by the time we arrived, (very late) I felt I'd driven most of the way blind. I was shaking like a leaf and had to be assisted by the theatre manager in making necessary telephone calls to ensure our journey back was safer.

Friends who live close by offered us a bed for the night and I sat down to watch the performance, resigned to the fact that I would probably spend the whole time trying to decide whether to accept the offer of a bed or whether to try to make it back home that night. How wrong I was! Within a few moments into the performance I had forgotten about our hair raising journey and the dilemma as to what I would do when the performance ended. It was hilarious!

I have seen many versions of Hamlet to include contemporary and those aimed at specifically for younger audiences. This one was different. I think it would appeal to all ages - even the Lady Ga Ga style Ophelia. Wonderful, wonderful show. I would certainly recommend it to you. Apparently they are touring with Macbeth the Comedy this year and I sincerely hope they come up north.

Oh, and incidentally, I felt so calm following the performance I decide to drive home that night. The only problem was that by the time we got back Craig had assumed all was not well and as out looking for us. Ahhh, bless his stinky socks.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Oh, only if it's Prada daaarling....

Here I was thinking it would be a good idea to Freecycle a whole load of stuff I dug out of Hermione's wardrobe. I wasn't prepared for the various queries I've received today about 'style' and 'brand'. Eh??? It's a child's dressing gown - it's pink and fluffy, 'nough said surely??

Sign of the times? I sincerely hope not. Here's to recycling the pink and fluffy from Mothercare as well as items with 'style' and of notable 'brand'.

Oh dear. Two moany posts in a row. Craig is back to work tomorrow. We are supposedly getting back into our routine -or perhaps I should say rhythm as routine implies a sense of organisation and efficiency which I don't possess. Hopefully here endeth the moans, for now anyway.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Grumble, grumble, cough and splutter

We have all had the coughing, snotting, aching and moaning lurgy here for over a week now. The children had it first and slowly we have all succumbed. I still feel crappy and have spent way too much time lying about on the sofa -as below when I was caught napping! Nana hasn't been well enough to get out of bed today. I'm sick of it and suspect there are many people out there feeling the same way. Ho hum, the joys of winter! Ho hum - the joys of having a blog where I can come to moan and generally wallow on occasions *grin*
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Up, up and away..

Out of curiosity, what do you think of sky lanterns? I know that they pose risks when they come to land and the non eco friendly ones are non bio degradable. However, as I understand it they are more eco friendly than fireworks. Cheaper too. Or am I just deluding myself?

Oh, I digress. Happy New Year! May it be full of calm and contentment.

Make a wish. Dare to dream.

Posted by Picasa