Monday, 30 July 2012

Strangely addictive....

I have no real interest in sport although it's often on TV in front of me as Hubby is a huge fan of almost every sport, however, the London 2012 Olympics is finally up and running and normally other years I have to watch the opening and closing ceremonies but can happily take myself elsewhere or read or book during the weeks inbetween. This year I watched all three and a half hours of the opening ceremony, without moving off the sofa, ending at I have it recorded from another channel in case they had different camera angles. I loved it all. I'm also amazed at what they have achieved by building the Olympic Park in Stratford as I grew up in the East End, walking distance from where the park now is and that area definitely needed lots of help and it certainly got its regeneration! And even though it's only the third day I've watched loads of the sports, not the whole time of course, but loads by my standards.
Hope you're enjoying it or avoiding it as is your choice.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Sunny days and starry nights, at last.....

Here's a quick catch-up while I pop in from the garden to cool off a bit - didn't think I'd be saying that at all this summer, so that's good.
Bad, is that my ankles don't like the heat much and looking down at them makes me feel very old (which I'm not).

Good, that our son came to visit last Thursday.
Bad, is that he is suffering from acute asthma and nothing seems to be curing or even stabilising it. Such a worry!

Good, that I went for my bi-annual visit to special-friendH on Friday and slept over.
Bad, that the weather and traffic made it an horrendous journey (about 60miles away).
Good, that we had loads to chat about.
Bad, that it was a 3:30am bedtime and I had to leave by 11am.

Good, that Saturday was an easy journey home and straight out to Music-On-The-Green, a local summer fair where we help host the art and craft exhibition.
Bad, that none of our group sold a painting, although I did sell some of my crafts, so that's good.

Good, that Daughter and children are camping this week and that the weather is nice for them.
Only bad thing really is that I miss them.

Good, that Hubby went to Daughter's and fixed her washing machine and mowed her lawn front and back.
Bad, that he brought home three bags of washing for me to get done while they are away. is good :o)

These are the paintings I displayed and my crafts....


Saturday, 14 July 2012

The art of speaking 'hairdresser'.....

Why do I find it so hard to speak to a hairdresser, to tell them what I want and for them to understand and actually end up with the hair on my head resembling the image I started with in my mind?

This time I had wanted to copy the hairstyle of actress Tamsin Greig so I found a photo and printed it out to take with me, although it was unfortunate that the printer was either out of an ink colour of two or needed a good head/nozzle clean so the photo was a bit rubbish but, I thought, still showed the length and style.

The place I go to is local and easy to walk in and not have to wait too long without an appointment (usually). I'm really not the sort to have hair done every 6 weeks regularly, so I never book in advance, it has usually got to the stage of me not being able to do a thing with my hair and getting cross with it so it has to be done and done now!

This time they gave me a newly qualified young stylist as she said she was good with perms and loved cutting short........that's what I wanted and thought a very young stylist would be eager for a modern cut!
Well the perming went really well, she was incredibly slow but so precise and the rollers were actually secure  and comfortable on my head. After all the lotions, lots of rinsing and neutralisers followed by lots of rinsing and washing, rinsing and conditioning and yet more rinsing we were ready for the cutting. I had told her I wanted the whole of the back very short so I could just leave it as messy curls and the front longer so I could dry it straight. I think I told her to take a bit more off at the back at least three times but she was taking off such a small amount each time it didn't really make any difference and I was finding it embarrassing to keep asking so I gave up. Then she started blow drying it all out into what looked to me like a middle-aged woman's old-fashioned set, at this point I was quite vocal saying again how I wanted it just left as tight curls at the back and she assured me that she needed to dry it this way just to check on the cut......but she left me like that and said it was done and would I like hairspray!

I paid and went home to be greeted at the door by Hubby and Daughter. I walked straight past them and upstairs to rewash my hair and dry it my way! Thankfully the good perm and almost good cut meant I got 'almost' what I had in mind. Perhaps next time I'll find a different way to explain what I mean, wish me luck.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Castles, Tudors, friends and relations....

Make a coffee first this is a long one  :o)

Friday 6th - Hubby and I had planned a day out with SisterM and her hubby. Sadly SisterM's cancer is progressing and she is now feeling a bit too weak in the legs for much walking around so we borrowed a wheelchair from our local Community Charity Shop. The weather was not good so there was no rush but hubby had assured me it was going to clear later and if we headed into Kent we had a better chance of staying shower free, so that's what we did, choosing Hever Castle as our destination. Still raining when we got there so had a lovely pub lunch first then as forecast the sun came out, the puddles dried and we had a really lovely afternoon in the castle and the gardens and even sat outside for afternoon tea. Got them home and didn't even stay for a cuppa as Friday evening traffic is always terrible coming east. We all really enjoyed the day.

Saturday 7th - When FriendsL&K wanted to arrange a day to meet up I told them of our plans to visit Kentwell Hall for the Tudor re-enactment and they jumped at the chance to join us there. We picked up M and D at 10am then met our friends in the carpark at Kentwell at 11am. Hubby changed up some money to Tudor groats and pennies so we could buy things inside then we walked through the time tunnel into 1556. I've been there a few times now and still totally amazed at being immersed in living history with every resident  having so much knowledge to pass on, we talked at length to the washer women and the alchemists and the woodchoper and watched the players rehearse which was so funny. We stopped in the alehouse so the men could have some ale and of the games drawn on the table I played Nine Men's Morris and Horseshoe losing both games to a Tudor maid expert. We ate in the modern cafe but sampled Tudor marshpane, biscots, sweetmeats and men-of-ginger. O had been a Tudor all week but had missed his dad so changed back to modern clothes to be with his dad and come home with us, this also meant that Daughter, R and E could really enjoy the last night party and pack up their camper without the help of a 3 year old. It was so hard to be there and not hug my daughter and grandchildren as they had to stay in character which they all did really well. Again another dry day for us thankfully. The day ended with the fair which was brilliant. D won a candle on the hoopla stall, lots of Tudor children took part in the play dressing up as chickens (ours included). There was wrestling for the boys and 'arse pushing' for the maids and musicians and dancers too (including daughter) while the gentry walked around admiring the show.
When a very tired O flopped on granddad's shoulder we decided it was time to leave. We dropped off M, D and O at their house and went home to meet again with FriendsL&K who were staying the night. After a very much needed cup of tea we relaxed a bit then out to the pub for dinner. Late(ish) to bed and so lovely to have plenty of time for a good catch-up chat.

Sunday 8th - Up for breakfast but no-one was rushing although they had to get away before lunchtime. Very soon after Hubby's brother M and his partnerJ arrived bringing back hubby's laptop that they had borrowed and telling us all about their planned house move. Out to the pub for Sunday lunch which was yummy and all the nicer when bilM paid the whole bill, thank you :o)
They left quite early and hubby didn't have bowling for a change on a Sunday which was lucky as Daughter turned up about 8pm still costumed and with the girls all looking really tired, wanting help with the trailer camper to leave here before they could head home.

Monday 9th - Daughter arrived with the children to open up the camper and clean it and dry it out and to scrub all the children and their very muddy Tudor shoes. Unfortunately she is now full of cold and aches and pains and is very tired, not surprising after working hard all week and being out and camping in some horrid weather for 9 days. Slow going but all achieved. I fed them all both lunch (bacon butties) and dinner (lasagne)...definitely not potage!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Lifeguards then kirtles...

I have to say how proud I am of our very clever and dedicated Daughter, for someone who always disliked sewing she has made herself and three children authentic Tudor clothing, all hand stitched, which includes 2 shifts each, kirtles for mother and daughters, cote for a boy, jackets, detachable sleeves, under kirtles, aprons, head rails, coifs, biggins and hats plus bags and pockets and pouches. She has also purchased Tudor shoes and hose/stockings, bowls, spoons and cups that they have to carry around with them and bought herself a recorder suitable for that era as she is spending the week as a 'player'. They have also had to attend at least 3 open days and learn 'Tudor Speak'......and then finally last Friday evening they took up residence at Kentwell Hall to be Tudors for 9 days (camping in the grounds)!

Of course with the children always being so busy with their extra activities, there had to be a clash and it was last weekend for E. While her family drove off to the year 1556, E had to stay very firmly in 2012 with us as she had a special day of her own on Sunday. Before then she did the usual trampoline sessions on Friday night and Saturday lunchtime then on Sunday as part of the County Music School she took part in a whole music day held at the Suffolk Show Ground / Trinity Park. She had to arrive at 9am for rehearsals then put on a concert at 10:30am involving 5 different county bands, which hubby and I had tickets for and enjoyed. Then it was a picnic lunch and BBQ and then hubby and I left and E stayed.

We returned about 5:30pm for the concert that was starting at 6pm and got really good seats. We then heard how about 20 members of the Band of the Lifeguards of the Royal Army had been there rehearsing with our young musicians all afternoon and taught them 4 new pieces of music. The concert included the Lifeguard's conductors and trumpeters and band members all in their very ornate (and warm) uniforms, together with more than 200 of our County music musicians (that included E on percussion) and they all played exceptionally well. It was brilliant. E was exhausted but euphoric :o)

Add to that my rushing off to spend Friday evening with SisterM and having to shop on Saturday with E for some suitable concert shoes and then getting up really early Monday morning to help E into her Tudor clothing and get her to Kentwell Hall at 8am to join up with mum and siblings. I didn't / couldn't do much else for the rest of Monday!