Sunday, 24 June 2012

Hmm new, old or both?...

I'm still here but I've recently bought myself a Blackberry Playbook tablet so I've been playing with that instead of using this laptop and because the touch-screen keyboard will take some getting used to for me to use with long nails I've not felt inclined to blog - but now the laptop is charged up so I can decide what I do on which bit of kit, so blogging on the laptop.

I'd had to leave the laptop for a while as the power lead had given up and as it has got slower and slower it uses up a lot of charge doing not much at all...very frustrating. The new power lead arrived and it got fully charged so now I can be selective and do things like blogging and uploading photos to flickr etc PLUS we are getting the new BT Infinity broadband installed next week so fingers crossed on-line frustration may be a thing of the past :o)

Doesn't mean to say my life will be more exciting or I will blog more poetically, but hey you can't have everything!

Friday, 15 June 2012

Un joli vacance .....

We've just got home from a four day holiday in France with our neighbour-friendsP&A. This one was all Hubby's idea as he wanted to see the tallest viaduct in the world at Millau in Southern France

We set off very early Sunday morning and got back very late Wednesday. Used the Eurotunnel train both ways and drove a total of about 1,600 a lot of time in the car! Both men shared the driving with Hubby doing most of it (his car). Our 3 different hotels were all 2-star but lovely although we all lamented the missing tea/coffee making facilities in the room that a better hotel would have provided but we survived! They did all provide free wifi which was very useful and a good selection of continental breakfasts which we took total advantage of  :o)

Hotel stops were at Bourges, Millau and Chalon-Sur-Saone and we did other stops for meal and comfort breaks although most of them were main road services. Our furthest south was to the beach was at Palavas where unfortunately I took a tumble (probably shocked at finally being in warm sunshine) thankfully my fall was broken by a couple of those beautiful Mediterranean palm trees, you know the ones with the big prickly pineapple looking I was grazed and perforated and bleeding from hands and arms, but the worst was the crack I took to my knee cap ouch ouch ouch (have to confess to saying a lot worse at the time)! So while I'm remembering the bad things and getting your sympathy I'll also mention that Hubby started the journey with a bit of a sore throat and ended it with a full blown head cold, he also dropped his phone and broke the screen and I also managed to break a shard of tooth  :o(

OK moan over and back to the good bits....we bought lots of nougat as we stopped in Montpelier as it's very near to Montelimar which is famous for it (and I love the stuff) and we bought lots of mustards as presents when we stopped in Dijon. We found some good restaurants too. Food makes all things pleasant eh?

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Our 3-day celebration event in 5-days...

Friday - Daughter was here and shopping and here again and lots of prep was done for the party tomorrow. So much food flying around but unfortunately so much of it has to be done fresh tomorrow. Also Daughter's bell tent up as a children's tent (although I think it's only girls invited in) and Daughter's camper set up for a family of 6 that can't bring their own.

Saturday - Today was the 'friends' celebration of R & E's 10th birthday and the girls' special request was to have a camping garden being a lot bigger than their's was the obvious venue! We were all busy from quite early, with R, E and O beautifully decorating my house with long long runs of home made paper chain and ribbons. Their first guests to arrive (just after 11am) were a family of 4 and they very quickly had their tent pitched. After that there was a steady arrival of families throughout the day. I'm guessing in total we had about 40 people here (including some that didn't stay over), bringing food for the heaving buffet table. There were 8 visiting cars on the drive I think and 7 tents and the camper! M had made the most fantastic 7 layered rainbow birthday cake

and Daughter had made a long run of plain bunting for everyone to decorate with pens, hopefully adding their names as a keepsake of who came to their party this year. Well into the evening lots of the campers huddled round the portable fire pit toasting marshmallows coming in about 10pm-ish when it got far too cold for them (actually had been far too cold for me all along). I said good night well after midnight leaving about 6 adults still chatting.

Sunday - Noisy chaos for breakfast and bathrooms and making packed lunches was ongoing for a couple of hours really, then everyone left all heading to the Medieval Oyster Fayre in Colchester. The weather was not good at all, it was very wet and obviously was going to stay that way all day, (I decided not to go because of the weather) so there was lots of deciding about who was going to go in Tudor costume and who wasn't. Most had planned to and had it all with them but in the end the adults didn't and 6 children did (including my 3).

Authentic Tudor crisp packet of course :o)
Hubby and I took advantage of the empty house to have a major tidy up and then they all filtered back gradually in cold and wet states. Chilli had been bubbling away in three slow cookers all day (1meat, 1veg and 1veg no mushrooms) then I cooked up a load of rice and Daughter then served dinner with tortilla chips and grated cheese, yummy, in about 3 or 4 sittings. We even had extra guests for dinner. About 10pm one family packed their tent and headed home and all the rest stayed. I was the last to bed and started getting breakfast things ready on the table at 1am....unfortunately for me I opened the fridge door and a plastic pot of hummus and another of spicy tomato relish stuff hit the floor and exploded everywhere, all up my trouser legs and right across the floor, so not the end of the day I had hoped for and a much later night than I should have had  :o(

Bank Holiday Monday - And another breakfast and bathroom scrummage. All the drivers were asked to have their cars off of the drive by mid-morning as we were setting up for our Jubilee Street Party. Some of the campers took this as a time to pack up and leave anyway and also some were happy to move their cars and stay for the street party too :o)

There were lots more people arrived after this photo but Hubby had hung out of our bedroom window specially to take this so I had to show it, didn't I? Lovely to have lots of our neighbours together. We started at 1pm and about 20 of us moved inside at 7:30pm to watch the Jubilee Concert live outside Buckingham Palace on our TV.

Bank Holiday Tuesday - Was a major clearing up day. Daughter came over and collected all her stuff together with a heap left behind by her guests posting a lost and found message to them all. Too wet for her to sort out the tent, gazebo or camper so they will have to wait for another day. I collected all the stuff left behind by the neighbours and it's in a huge box by the front door for collection. Food that wasn't thrown out is boxed (mostly cake) or fridged (mostly salads) or frozen (french sticks I've made into garlic bread).

All great fun and lots of people told us what a great time they had. Of course the clearing up and getting our house back to normal could take some time yet! I'm exhausted but so pleased we did it :o)